Nadine has a hot tub.

She conveniently turns it on when she knows I’m coming over because:

  1. She knows I can’t resist a nice hot tub and
  2. She knows I ESPECIALLY can’t resist a CLOTHING-OPTIONAL hot tub

I always climb in to soak but before you can give two shakes of a dog’s tail, I’m out again.


Because hot tubbing alone is no fun.

I’m left to my own thoughts which invariably turn into a jumble of feelings, not always pleasant.

Nadine has a theory that I’m uncomfortable with being by myself.

And this may be true.

I’m always surrounded by people.

I was raised with the equivalent of a twin sister.

We were ALWAYS together growing up.

I got married at twenty two and moved in with my spouse.

I had kids at twenty five and you know they were the Velcro babies everyone talks about.

I couldn’t shower or use the bathroom without being interrupted.

So if I’m not accustomed to being by myself, it’s because I’ve grown into a very social creature.

I’ve always loved people, especially the ones I’m surrounded by.

And if I’m not good at being by myself, if that’s the worst thing about me, then I’m not doing too bad.


NOTE:  Please excuse the clove cigarette.  I was young and stupid.  Smoking is bad for you.  Don’t do it.

Ta da!

I just happened upon this photo on Instagram and I was TRANSPORTED to a place I’d much rather be:

In a hot tub in the snow in the mountains with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne nearby and my gorgeous rear end hanging out of the water.

Ta da!

The Louis Vuitton monogrammed towel is totally optional, btw.

Nice touch!

I just thought you’d like to know that THIS is my happy place and that’s where I go when I’m stressed or feeling out of sorts.

Wet towel

I went to a birthday party this past weekend to celebrate my dear friend Nadine’s birthday.

I got her a beautiful custom crafted peacock travel mug.

There’s nothing better than going to a party at Nadine’s.

She thinks of every detail.

This time around there was German beer, French champagne, a bar with a bartender, and FIRE SPINNERS.

I wore my peacock corset, a teal steampunk skirt and a sheer black blouse:

I was thoroughly enjoying myself when I was invited to jump in the hot tub with friends late in the evening.

Why, I don’t mind if I do.

I stripped, wrapped a towel around me and jumped into the hot tub for a soak.

Four other people jumped in with me.

And as we sat there, the fire spinners set up and started to spin fire right in front of our very eyes.

Believe me when I say this:  There is little better than relaxing in a hot tub watching fire spinning.

To quote my Australian friend Charlie, “It was GLORIOUS!”

After the show wrapped up, I got out of the hot tub only to realize that my towel, which was next to the hot tub, was soaking wet because all the bodies in the hot tub caused the water to spill over and soak into my towel.

I had two options – wrap a cold, wet towel around my naked body and head inside or dash naked through the crowd.

I wrapped that cold, wet towel around my body and dashed inside for my clothes.

Mama didn’t raise no fool.

Semi Prude

Several years ago I attended a retreat at some nearby hot springs.

I signed up for the retreat AS I WAS DRIVING THERE, so I never got a chance to read the emailed instructions they sent me detailing what the weekend was about.

We make it through ALL OF FRIDAY NIGHT, sleep in community, and then get up for Saturday’s activities.

Somewhere around noon, the instructors mention that it’s “Clothing Optional” time and everyone starts to strip.

They ask, “Did anyone NOT know this retreat was clothing optional?”

I raise my hand.

I mean, I knew that the hot tubs were clothing optional, but the WHOLE RETREAT?!

This I did not know.


Yes, I did.

When in Rome, you know.

And as it turned out, it wasn’t that bad.

We, as Americans, have far too prudish an attitude about nudity than other countries.

I made it through my naked weekend just fine.

But it’s been years since I did a naked retreat and I must admit, the idea of doing it again kinda scares me.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because I’m going to a party which is clothing optional and I will of course be invited to socialize in the nude.

In some way, being naked is wonderful because it removes all the barriers we put up to keep people at a distance from us.

There’s lots of connection when you see the vulnerable side of people.

But in other ways, being naked is awful because it removes all the barriers we put up to keep people at a distance.

And that provides safety.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but if I had to guess, I say I’ll go in the hot tub naked but I will socialize with my clothes on.

This American is only SEMI-PRUDISH!

Arctic plunge


So we’ve established I was hot during my ENTIRE trip to Sweden.

Yes, indeed.

With a suitcase full of warm sweaters and tights, what was I to do?

Well, I went with The Swede to visit his friends in Jättendal for New Year’s Eve.

Snow everywhere!

And. . . The Swede’s friends have a hot tub.

First I was served the most SCRUMPTIOUS meal – mashed potatoes, steak, and pickled asparagus wrapped in bacon.

Then I jumped into the hot tub (with a bathing suit on, natch).

Before too long, even the snow banks and cool air couldn’t keep me at a comfortable temperature.

So I jumped out and sat in the snow in my bathing suit.

And I will have you know, neither one of the Swedish born-and-bred men who were in the hot tub with me got out to jump in the snow.

Just saying. . .

This California girl likes her ARCTIC PLUNGES!

What happens in the hot tub stays in the hot tub

I was at a party when I noticed that some friends were hopping into the hot tub in various states of undress.

Some wore bathing suits.

Others wore half a bathing suit.

And still others wore their birthday suit.

Well, there is nothing I like better than socializing au naturel, so I stripped and climbed (almost fell) inside.

I’m so dignified (cough).

I know you’d like to think that there was action.

And perhaps there was.

A little.

But it was all PG-13 rated.

I swear!

No one got past first base!

Sadly, I had to get out of the hot tub prematurely because my dear friend Tejas needed encouragement to consume water (not booze).

[How he managed to find CINNAMON SCHNAPPS when I told him to drink water for a while I WILL NEVER KNOW.]

That man is nothing if not resourceful.

So I have saved the memory of the hot tub activities firmly in my mind and will enjoy watching it play on repeat to my utter delight.

What do oysters and Burning Man have in common?

Today, Shutterfly decided to email me and remind me to look at my pictures from this week 11 years ago.

Wow!  What a blast from the past!

Graduation photos from Stanford.

I decided to scroll through all the photos I uploaded to Shutterfly and I came across some fun ones.

The first time I tried raw oysters.

I remember this trip.  I rented a luxury house in Tahoe during the winter and invited my sister and my friends and this guy I just started dating to join me.

The house had a hot tub on the outdoor deck AND a fireplace in the master bedroom and master bathroom!

Here I am sitting in the hot tub (please ignore the clove cigarette and note the snow on the patio railing).  It was COLD out!

I drove back to the Bay Area with the guy I just started dating.  We’ll call him “Tom.”

Tom stopped at his favorite restaurant in Truckee for oysters on the half shell – something I’d never had before.

Here you can see me eyeballing the oysters, working up the guts to eat one (let’s face it, they look kinda slimy and yucky):

Then I ate one!

It’s funny, many of the men I’ve dated have taught me something new.

Tom taught me to like oysters.

Ironically, Tom was a Burner.

A long time burner.

Too bad I waited 10 more years to discover Burning Man on my own!





When you drink with your sister

Start with a mini bottle of Champagne Pink Pop. Pick it out in a pink bottle thinking it’s pink. Discover it’s not pink and be disappointed. Try champagne and be even more disappointed. Add orange juice to make it drinkable.


Try OREgasmic Ale by Rogue Farms, because it’s supposed to be OREgasmic. Discover OREgasmic beer tastes like dirty feet and pot ash. Definitely not orgasmic. Be disappointed.


Try cheap stacked wine which comes in its own glass. Have low expectations. Have low expectations met. Feel foolish for trying wine which comes with a pull off lid.



Try Blood Orange Mimosa. Suspect it’s a headache in a bottle with a screw top lid, but love it anyway.  Make your sister drink most of it after dosing it with vodka.



 Graduate to bonafide liquor – making really strong mai tai and screwdriver. Decide to hop in the hot tub naked. Have to hang foot out of hot tub because of new foot tattoo (which effing HURTS). Have sister yell at you when you accidentally dip it in the water. Feel sheepish. Snap selfie anyway.


UPDATE:  Get RAGING cellulitis (skin infection) from dipping foot in hot tub.  Deal with your sister’s “I-told-you-so’s.”  On antibiotics.  Feel even more sheepish.

The post where I straddle his face

michelleI did something OUTRAGEOUS the other day.

I was at a party.

One with a pool and a hot tub where wearing clothes was “optional.”

So I went in the hot tub.



There was this guy there (there’s always a man, isn’t there?).

We were just chatting about tattoos and I mentioned that I had 5 tattoos.

He asked to see them.

No biggie, right?

Well, two of my tattoos are on my hips and there was no way to show them to him standing up in the hot tub since they were covered by water.

So I stood on the hot tub seat, STRADDLED him, and showed him my tattoos.


Now, first let me say that I wasn’t really thinking straight. I’d had champagne and fire whiskey and wine.

Until I jumped up and shoved my pussy in his face, I really had no idea that he’d be so close in proximity to it.

I thought I was being more demure but in reality I was being INCREDIBLY BOLD.

I’m confident I will never do this again, but it was fun to do just this once and to see his reaction.

I’m not sure he even SAW my tattoos.

I think he was DISTRACTED. . .

Hot tubs, little dogs, and BIG _____

imageMy friend Richard was kind enough to get me out of the house yesterday with the promise of a hot tub and a nice dinner.

Sensing that the last thing I wanted to do was have another dinner in Los Gatos, we opted for downtown Pleasanton.

Now the first thing you need to know about Richard is that he is one of the most generous people I know – hence the offer for me to spend the afternoon at his vacation home lounging in the hot tub while writing blog posts.  Would I like to lounge at the Treehouse?  Um, yes please thank you.

The second thing you need to know about Richard is that he has a really big….

…heart!  Jeez, what were you thinking?!

Yes, Richard has a huge heart as evidenced by him taking this lonely girl out for a decent meal and some good company… something I was sorely in need of.

We were eating dinner at a creperie downtown along with Kelso, Richard’s adorable Australian shepherd when Richard asked, “So what do you think of downtown Pleasanton?”

“It kinda reminds me of Los Gatos.”