Burning Man 2018: Beauty

It takes less then 24 hours for the playa to destroy your brand new gel manicure.

I’m not kidding.

My nails are destroyed.

My perfectly blown out hair is a hot mess.

Playa dust sticks to everything, including your hair, making it sticky and hyper-texturized so much so that you can barely run a brush through your hair.

If you shower, you need to IMMEDIATELY dry your hair or risk absorbing all the dust in the air into your freshly washed hair.

I learned this the hard way when I went on a bike ride into deep playa during a dust storm in 2015 right after I washed my hair in camp.

My dust storm this week happened while I was riding home with a friend from 9:00 and A to 6:00 and E (the long way, not the Esplanade way).

We rode our bikes to Tejas’ RV.

In a dust storm.

Riding into the wind.

When I arrived at the RV, My eyebrows and my formerly jet black lashes were “playa dust white.”

And yet, despite the elements, playa women look magically sexy and beautiful.

And I’m not talking about the ones who look like they’re fresh from the default world.

No, I’m talking about the ones who look like they’ve been up all night dancing in a dust storm at Opulent Temple.

I’m talking about the ones who look a little “rode hard and put away wet” but also wear a smile that could power a million light bulbs.

Inner radiance.

That’s where true beauty lies.

The things you never think of

Tejas did a good job of prepping me for my first burn in 2015.

He did however overlook one crucial lesson.

Playa hair.

Maybe he overlooked it because he has short man hair, not long girly hair.

I doubt it ever came up for him.

I was on the playa in 2015 and I took a shower.

Then I rode out in a dust storm with damp hair.


I could not get a brush or a comb through my hair for the rest of the burn.

It turned into ONE BIG DREAD LOCK!

I had to go home, pile on the conditioner, and slowly work a comb through small sections of hair.

It was excruciating.

Here is my BEFORE photo:

And here is my AFTER photo:

I learned, during my disastrous 2015 burn, that wigs can save you from EVERY BAD HAIR DAY ON PLAYA.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I came across THIS wig on Amazon – PERFECT FOR MY UNICORN HOT PANTS OUTFIT!

Not surprisingly, I will be taking 4 wigs to Burning Man this year – white, rainbow, purple and this pastel one.

I WILL NOT, however, be going out damp into any dust storms.

That’s just asking for trouble.

Rock climbing, scalping and norovirus

I took a trip to Eastern Oregon University with a friend of mine when I was in college.

We decided to go camping and rock climbing along with a bunch of her friends.

We all packed up our cars and took off to the Mountains – Mount Emily, I believe.

I’d never rock climbed before and, as it turns out, instead of rock CLIMBING I was learning to RAPPELL.

It’s what you do when you go DOWN the mountain at a generally fast rate of speed.

I hiked to the top of the mountain, stood precariously on the cliff as I got harnessed in. . .

. . . and I began to rappel down the mountain.

Not so bad.

All of a sudden I felt a hard tug at my head.

I stopped my descent immediately.

My long, free-flowing hair had gotten caught in the 8-ring.

The guys never thought to warn me about my hair because they all had short hair and it never occurred to them that it could cause a problem.

I quickly assessed that if I descended any further, I’d get scalped, at least partially.

So as I dangled on the side of a mountain, I held myself in place with one hand and I ripped out my hair with the other hand.

Meanwhile, one rock climber was harnessing up to decend on top of me to help while another climber was getting ready to scale the mountain to get to me to help.

I told them to stay and just give me time.

It seemed like it took forever to rip out that chunk of hair, but I did it.

As it turns out, the camping trip was somewhat doomed for me.

Not only did I rip out my hair, but I also got norovirus during my last day there.

You try having norovirus while camping.

It’s not pretty.


Actual pics from the trip:


Bottom right: me getting my hair stuck in the 8-ring!


Me with Eric Howard, who I crushed on all weekend.


Taking a break from ripping out my hair to flip off my friend Shannon, taking the picture.



Not-so-mellow yellow

I went to Holi last weekend and had a blast with Barbara and Yvonne.

Afterwards, when it was time to shower, I stepped into my shower with my filthy white flip flops on (to wash them to).

I stuck my head under the bath tub spout (no low flow shower head for me) and I proceed to turn the entire bathtub PURPLE for the next 15 seconds.

A deep, vibrant PURPLE!

So it comes as  a bit of a surprise that when all is said and done, I managed to turn a patch of my hair A BRIGHT YELLOW and not purple.

See. . .

Now, if you’ve been following me long enough, you  know that I actually turned my whole head of hair yellow a few years ago.

I had to rush into the hair salon to get it fixed because I worked in an office where EASTER EGG YELLOW HAIR would be frowned upon.

This, I can live with.

To see pictures from the 2016 and 2015 Holi festivals click here and here.




michelleI’ll let you in on a little secret:

I RARELY shave my legs.

It’s not that I’m TOO LAZY to shave them in the shower.

It’s just that I mostly wear pants and so my legs don’t show.

And. . . my hair is blond.

So even when it shows, it doesn’t REALLY show.

At least that was my theory until 5 minutes ago.

Picture this:

I’m wearing a black leather midi skirt with black platform heels and a red and black buffalo plaid shirt.

My legs are bare.

I’m standing in front of the window, silhouetted by the incoming light when I feel a little chill.

All the hair on my body STANDS UP.

I look down and HAPPEN to notice that I CAN SEE ALL THE BLOND HAIRS ON MY LEGS .

Like, there’s a bushel of them!

And just like that. . .



Pigpen head

I had NO IDEA how bad my hair would get at Burning Man.

Foolishly, I assumed I’d always be able to run a brush through it.


Playa hair happens when the alkaline dust of the playa gets kicked up into your hair and causes it to turn into a rat’s nest.

I kid you not. I couldn’t even poke a finger into my hair it was so bad.

It’s like dry spaghetti and insulation had sex and the baby landed on my head.

Definitely not something you want to walk around wearing.

The only saving grace is that EVERYONE was walking around with playa head. So I had that going for me.

Let me tell you, it can’t be easy to get a blow job from a girl with playa hair. You go to grab her hair and you get handfuls of crunchy noodles. Dust falls out.

If you pat me on the head, a dust cloud formed.

Kinda like Pigpen.

THAT is playa hair.

Here is my playa hair BEFORE my blowout in the Default World:

hairAnd that’s AFTER I washed and conditioned it when I got home.  Shocking, I know.

And here I am AFTER my blowout.  Ahh, much better!


Burning Man Mysteries

white witch michelleThings which still elude me at Burning Man

  1. How to keep my cuticles properly hydrated at Burning Man. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them any worse than post TTITD.
  2. How to comb long hair at Burning Man. I swear it was impossible to brush my hair. I finally gave up and just let my hair become one big dread lock.
  3. Cameras at Burning Man. How to keep them functioning. Mine froze up after I left it out in a dust storm (I know, I know). I know better now. The things you don’t think of until it’s too late.
  4. How to use a fucking ratchet strap. Am I the only person on the planet that can’t figure it out? Yes, I think I am.
  5. Costumes or outfits? Which is more P.C.? I like to call them costumes but that implies it’s a layer of clothing I put on to achieve an effect instead of a removal of outer barriers to who I really am.
  6. Nudity on the playa. Sure, the hot 20 somethings go naked on the playa but does anyone want to see my 40 year old mom bod? For that matter, do I want to put it on display? Lord knows I love naked retreats but not when I have to stand next to naked American Pie bodies. [P.S. I did go naked at the Human Carcass Wash and the Sauna Dome last year.]
  7. Will it make a difference to my burn now that I know more people in the Burning Man community – more people in Silicon Village and other Bay Area camps?
  8. If there is no shower set up for our camp, can I bring water to friend’s RVs and take a shower, with their permission?
  9. Two years ago, it was rain, last year it was bugs and bats, what “catastrophes” will befall Burning Man 2016? There always seems to be hurdles. But if it was easy then everyone would do it.
  10. Will this year truly be any better than last year? I hope so, but there’s no way to be sure. Maybe I’ll feel as alone as I did in 2015. And that would be a shame.

Happy Birthday Tejas!

Tejas turns 56 today! Or something like that.

We are celebrating with a Great Gatsby (The Roaring 20s) party this weekend.

My dress:

IMG_8731My headband:

FullSizeRender(1)And my hair:

gatsby1Great Gatsby (aka flapper) style hair is challenging for long hair since so many of the hairstyles of that time were short bobs, and cropped close to the head.

Women feminized the look by creating soft waves in their hair.

I went online to find out how to give myself finger waves and discovered that IT WAS COMPLICATED.

Way above my hairstyle IQ.

Then I found a post about a WAVING IRON which basically does almost the same thing without all the investment in hair pins and clamps.

So I snapped one up on Amazon Prime.

And it worked!


As my mom said, “Just add some red lipstick, a flapper dress and thigh highs with a Great Gatsby man and you will Charleston the night away.”

I can do something about the lipstick but the man, well that’s another story…

Hairstyles (not what you think)

Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz get interviewed about it.

A stray one can shut down an entire restaurant.

We’ve devised all sorts of ways to remove it from lasers to razors to depilatories.

We are a nation OBSESSED with pubic hair.

And I have a confession to make. Like the rest of America, I too am enthralled with bush.

I even sneak a peek at other women’s merkins in the gym… just to see what sort of hairstyle they’re sporting.

I used to shave. But shaving doesn’t last long enough.

I used depilatories and gave myself a chemical burn. Ouch.

I switched to Brazilian waxes but they hurt too much and I hated the in-between stage.

So I finally got my business lasered.

That’s right…. PERMANENT hair removal.

And I was thrilled with my pussy.



Soft. Pink. Smooth. Made for fun. It just screamed “Play with me!”

But recently, having seen more and more women sporting some sort of a bush, I’ve started to miss my long-lost hair down there.

Hair, at the very least, provides a little visual protection. It signals sexual maturity. It absorbs moisture and disperses pheromones.

And I have none.

Fortunately, I don’t think it matters much to men. They’re likely just pleased to get close to a pussy to be particular about the hairstyle.

But just so you know, I miss my little bush.



Now, I’ve been with trimmed men, and I’ve been with untrimmed men so I feel uniquely qualified to render a verdict in the manscaping debate.

To manscape or not to manscape, that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the dense thicket of outrageous pubes or take arms against them and trim them down.

In short, the answer is….


Indeed, I am a fan of manscaping. In particular, I am a fan of the last manscape job I was lucky enough to view.

But enough about Austin, here’s why manscaping is great.

  • You don’t have bush is your face when you go down south.
  • It gives men that “extra optical inch.”
  • It looks clean and tidy.
  • Shorter hairs are less likely to be “flossed” with.
  • If I’m going to maintain my nethers, I think he should have to maintain his as well.
  • Less prickly.

I think women spend a lot of time on the care and maintenance of their lady business. I think the least men can do to make things pleasant for us is give it the occasional trim. Being a woman with sexting friends, I often receive images of unmanscaped men. My advice to them is always the same – you should give that a little trim. Streamline it. Gain that extra optical inch.

With the exception of The Irishman, everyone has taken my advice.

What was The Irishman’s reponse?

“I’m Irish Michelle. And Irish men do no manscape.”

Ha ha. Okay!**


*  Manscaping actually included trimming/shaving hair on the back, the chest, the brows, the beard, and the nose/ears as well as the genitals but since I find the genitals more interesting, I focused my interest on that area 🙂

**  All this being said, if you really like a man, trimmed or untrimmed, you’re going downtown and you’re gonna love it.  It’s really the person attached to the manscape that matters, not the manscape.  Duh.