Posts Tagged ‘Burning Man’

I’ve been prepping in a craze for my week on the playa that begins today and many friends have wished me well and expressed that they cannot wait to see my updates from Black Rock City. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m taking the whole week to completely unplug myself from all of the stuff that I’m normally (very) plugged into.

Like many, I tweet, I have facebook pages (both personally and for this blog), I capture every drink, new boutique find and yummy lunch on my Instagram profile and I pin things to my Pinterest boards… Some of this I do in the name of marketing, but most of it I do in the name of me. As my dearest friend Bari pointed out when I told her that I was giving myself this gift of unplugging for a week, taking photographs and chronicling my surroundings – and writing about it – is the way I move in the world, how I digest and process things I see, love, am moved by, etc. I assured her that I was going to do a bit of this; I am brining a camera and a journal but I won’t be sharing any of it live. And, I definitely won’t be online or concerned about AT&T’s horrible cell reception.

A whole week of being completely unplugged. A cleanse. A gift. A reboot. I’ve never done this in my life. I need it now more than ever and I look forward to my re-entry with a renewed perspective, leaning on the experience of how it felt to be in the silence. Just being.

I say all of this, and my plan was pretty solid until Saturday when I popped into Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito and one of my favorite shop boys told me he was also going to Burning Man and mentioned the Rockstar Librarian app. He mentioned it quickly, assuming I had it and then his mouth dropped open when he saw that I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t even make it to my car before Googling the app and downloading it – it is AMAZING! The “Time to Burn” app was created by Kate as a playa gift and it has every event for the whole week listed with descriptions and locations, the playa map and a list of camps. I didn’t leave the parking lot for 30 minutes and laughed aloud numerous times at all of the zany, fun and completely outrageous things in store for me this week – all carefully collected and presented in this perfect app, FOR the playa…

Thanks to the marvels of WordPress I’m writing this ahead of time and scheduling it to post; as you read it I will be on my way to the playa giggling with my playa playmate at the list we have PRINTED OUT (from Kate’s app) for our week of being completely unplugged!

Wishing you lots of love, lust, butterflies…and quiet unplugged time this week!



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Remember this?  My vintage Hawthorne cruiser from the Alameda Flea Market the first Sunday of the month?  The newest addition to my bike collection got a facelift today, just in time for playa lift-off on Monday morning!

I spent a lot of time in JoAnn Fabrics yesterday, I knew I wanted to cover the old seat and I maybe should have done something more practical but that’s almost never the case with me.  I fell in-love with this pink and green brocade fabric and the matching pink tassels.  And the very first thing I was certain about was that the frame had to be “bling-ed.”  Instead of encrusting the entire thing (which mostly had to do with my hot glued finger tips and lack of time) I picked spots to highlight with various shaped and colored bling, throwing in a matching pink sparkle here and there.  I created the ribbon streamers with tiny ribbons and a quick knot – these remind me of the real ones I had on my very first bike as a kid!

One thing I did not have on my childhood bike but that I had to have on this one is skulls, lots of blingy skulls! I hot glued one on the handlebars for sure and then picked up a few for the tire valves at Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito.

Of course I have the Divine Electric mudflap girl sticker on the back; I added a little bit of bling to it and I think my new playa cruiser is ready to go!


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I fell hard, madly in-love today with this beautiful playa image by Peter Ruprecht, taken at Burning Man a few years ago.  Okay, instantly it was the wedding planner in me and then the hopeless romantic girlie kicked in a little…and I’M GOING!  I want a cutie pic of me and my partner in crime, capturing that we are over the moon about each other and feeling happy and free.

We leave for the playa on Monday and I just read this great article entitled “The Misconceptions of Burning Man,” by Mary Polizzotti of 7×7 Magazine this week which resonated with me because I’ve been sharing where my “vacation” is with my work peeps and others and while most people here know what Burning Man is I think there are many misconceptions.

Of course every experience is what you make it but the essence of Burning Man is: “once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever.”  And, as Mary points out in her article it’s a week of no technology, people of all ages, surviving the elements…

I cannot wait to be a citizen of Black Rock City this year, where we will be the only living creatures for miles and the sky is a big, beautiful desert sky that makes you feel small.  Where we get back to the basics of love and giving thanks and freedom of expression is encouraged and appreciated.

There is something magical about a city of love appearing out of nothing – and then vanishing a week later, like it was never there.

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It doesn’t take much to get me excited about dressing up.  And, I’ve always been this way.  I was the college coed that loved a theme party, and the teacher who took Spirit Week to all new levels.  I’m the girl you can count on to go all-out for Halloween or any other costume-related party and I have been known to plan my own parties around fabulous costume potential.

So it should come as no surprise that I’m completely and utterly consumed with prepping for my “Playa Look” for Burning Man in a few weeks; it will be a full week of playing dress up!  And not surprising either, I have many things already that are perfect for the playa.  Faux fur vests of which I have a handful somehow, feather accessories and silver glitter nail polish and pink ruffles and a silver sequins bustier that I found on Haight Street.

Feather eyelashes that didn’t make the cut for some costume and left-over gold polish from my Foxy Brown at Studio 54 last Halloween… I am in Heaven with all of the possibilities for what I can wear and be.

When I want to add to the treasures I already have, I head to some of my very favorite places to shop for costumes in the city: Costumes on Haight, Piedmont Boutique, New York Apparel , Buffalo Exchange and of course the Goodwill and vintage stores in the Haight are always full of great finds!


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Today I’m crushing on these very special Glass Vial Pendant Necklaces handmade by Jenny Crandall of Leather Octopus.  Inspired by Burning Man she is making many to take with her to give as her playa gifts this year.  I love the idea of bringing back a memento of the time we will spend on the playa so I quickly placed an order.  Like little time capsules they can hold sand/ashes, glitter, small beads and other treasures, or even little love notes!

THANK YOU Jenny for these perfect gifts, I’m looking forward to seeing you on the playa!

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“You’re not a hippie, you just live life with your heart…”

Timing is everything.  And I am the sum of my parts and the product of every single second that has brought me to this very minute.  Four years ago I had no idea what Burning Man even was.  I landed on the scene in the Bay Area from the Midwest ready for a big change and taking a huge, brave leap to punk the Universe into giving me what I wanted: a fresh start in a new place where I felt alive and authentic.  Ahhhh…this DOES sound like hippie talk!

My life of homemaker and school teacher seems like a million years ago but how lucky are we that we can completely change gears, shift focus, drop everything…and trade it all in for something new if we want to?  Pretty damn lucky!

Today, with 41 years on the planet, I am the happiest I have ever been and the most comfortable in my skin.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am a lover – of bubbles and cupcakes and pickles and burgers and old-school tacos and fashion and dogs…of family and friends…books, movies that make me cry, romance, LITTLE THINGS…and the list goes on and on… So, it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me that this year, I’m going to Burning Man.

I joked with my dear friend Kate this week that I am officially a “hippie,” a part of me that I have related to for a very long time and something that fills more and more of my skin with each year.  She quickly replied that I’m not a hippie, that I “live life with my heart.”  This simple thought stopped me in my tracks.  It’s true without question.  Who else would have a blog of things they love called “love. lust. butterflies.?”

I live with my heart.  As dangerous and careless as this is sometimes I remind my head that “love rewards the brave” when it tries to get in the way.  Why? Because at the end of my days I want to know that I loved as much as I possibly could, with no regret or worry that I didn’t love enough.

I don’t have the words to express how excited I am to be experiencing Burning Man this year!  To be unplugged, in remote silence, surrounded by love and freedom of expression.  I know it will be a life-changing experience and I am giddy beyond belief that I am experiencing it NOW in THIS skin, happiest in all my days and so full of love.

I’ve created a Playa Love facebook page so that I can share this experience with my friends and family in distant places.  It’s a virtual Burning Man for all of my non-burner peeps.  Please check it out and if you feel compelled, please leave your love mark on my page – after all, you get what you put out, in spades!

Wishing you lots and lots of LOVE, lust & butterflies for all of your days!

(Photo Credit to Josh Adler and beautiful LOVE sculpture by Laura Kimpton)

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Sometimes wrong turns can be righted.  Yesterday I found myself accidentally crossing the Bay Bridge, it’s a long story but even after four years I am still finding my way around San Francisco.  Instantly, after a quick swear word, I realized all was not lost and that I was heading toward Treasure Island, and one of my favorite new things in the city – the Bliss Dance Girl.

I followed her construction a few years ago because I know Marco, the artist, and I watched from afar as she brought life to the Burning Man landscape .  Today her home is on Treasure Island, dancing to the backdrop of the city.

She is 7,000 pounds of graceful, feminine beauty and she takes up a space of 40 feet by 30 feet by 12 feet…she is something to see!

Sometimes the Universe gives us little gifts when we are least expecting it.  Mine came by way of a wrong turn yesterday and I took it, happily, and stopped my busy life for a few minutes to enjoy something really beautiful.


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