Burning Man Rites of Passage 2011.

burning man 2011 rites of passage day time collage

The Man, The Temple, Me napping and Me in the “O” of  the “LOVE” installation.

As I mentioned one of the bummers of my hiatus is not blogging about the positive things that happened in 2011. Burning Man was for sure one of my brightest highlights of last year, as it is every year. I was still not fully recovered from my mystery disease but I stuck it out, forged on and had a blast!

Since we’ve been going so many years in a row preparation is not half as daunting as it could be. All our gear including PVC, parachute, rebar, tents, shower, tables, chairs, sleeping bags and mattresses are all together in our storage unit. We have plastic tubs already full of rope, tape, lanterns, LED’s, bike parts, etc. So all we really have to worry about is taking inventory of what we’ve already got and acquiring food, booze and bikes. Bikes really only last for one trip to the Playa so we get “new” Craigslist bikes each year.

burning man 2011 rites of passage hair and outfits collage

My hair, lots of rhinestones, an appropriate amount of Panda and comfort were the main focus of this year’s Burner fashion.

I did do good amount of preparation on my hair and outfits this year. I absolutely LOVE having my hair braided. It’s so colorful, full and easy to maintain. But you really have to commit to an extremely painful 11 hours sitting in a chair having your head torn at in teeny tiny sections. I think it is totally worth it but The Husband says he doesn’t like it and this is the last year I get to do it. (Ha! Like he is the boss or something.) I also spent countless hours gluing rhinestones to yoga paints and making a few items. I say “making” not sewing because I can’t sew and used fabric glue on everything. I totally dig how everything came out and most importantly everything was very comfortable and adaptable for day and night.

burning man 2011 rites of passage friday night

Yacht mutant vehicle, The Husband and I, the Trojan Horse and a cool multi media art installation.

We went for the full week but Friday night was by far my favorite night. We followed the Trojan Horse out into the middle of the Playa with everyone else for some serious partying. We had met one of the owners of the Yacht earlier in the week and were lucky enough to get on it to watch the pirotechnics and burning of the horse. And we stayed on it almost all night dancing our asses off as it cruised around the Playa pounding music. It was SO FUN!!

burning man 2011 rites of passage map and satellite view

Black Rock City map and satellite image, red arrow is at 5:30 and Initiation where we camped. Photo credit.

Black Rock City is about 3 miles in diameter and this year 53,963 people participated. I say participated because this entire happening is fueled by community. It’s hard to describe the love and energy of this event. There is reason why many call going to Burning Man “coming home”, because that’s exactly how you feel while you are there- Home.

burning man 2011 rites of passage art installations and panda

3 more art installations and the 3 foot tall Panda that was on the back of my bike.

I feel like it just gets better and better each year and this was the best year yet. The Husband and I have come to terms with the fact that we might not make it back this year. It breaks my heart to think about not going “Home” this year. But we have some long term goals we are trying achieve and who knows? Maybe at the last minute we’ll find a way of going anyways. As of now I’ve made my peace with missing a year and I am trying to getting excited for all the other types of accomplishments we are making.

I think every single person on this earth should experience Burning Man at least once in their life. It renews my faith in humanity every year. It truly is amazing.

Posted in Burning Man | Leave a comment

Bummer Dude.

the husband and i at burning man

The Husband and I at Burning Man Rites of Passage 2011.

One of the big bummers about my near death blogging hiatus is that not all of 2011 completely sucked and now I don’t have any record of the cool stuff either.

We did 2 cabin trips with all our friends. We had 4 rounds of house guests of friends and family from the Bay Area. 2 friends had babies. I threw a baby shower. We went to Burning Man. We had a few camping trips. I drug The Husband to Sea World and Disneyland. And of course there was Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and New Years Eve. And I’m sure there’s much more that I am forgetting.

I’m very grateful for Instagram and Tumblr because at least I have snippets of all these things.

Looking forward I’m very excited about the big changes that this new year is already bringing. The first of which is that our roommate that I have lived with for 7 years is moving out. It’s the end of an era and I really love him but it’s time for me to finally live alone with my husband. I cannot wait to start redoing our house and start building a home for The Husband and I. Eventhough we have been married a year and half already, I feel like this is a real beginning for us. And it feels really good!

Another big change is The Husband and I are really focusing on our health. We both really enjoyed our first year and half of marriage overindulging in food and booze but the fat panda has sung. It was great fun to spend evenings at home cooking and spending time together but it is time for a change. We both have gained a ton of weight and my liver is suffering. I am dying to have a baby and I need to be in much better shape before getting pregnant. And I don’t want The Husband to have a freakin’ heart attack trying to keep up with a munchkin. I started a blog for Project Panda to track our progress and keep us honest.

I really think 2012 is going to be an especially great year for The Husband and I and I’m really looking forward to it!


Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

My Grand Return to Blogging. Alternately Titled- I Almost Died.

me on the hospital balcony in lebanon

Me still smiling after my millionth botched IV in the hospital in Lebanon.

When I last updated this blog I was leaving on what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. England, France and Lebanon with my parents and The Husband. I was going to meet The Husband’s family for the first time ever in Lebanon and I was so excited to come back and blog all the wonderful memories. So why did I disappear? Because the trip went so wrong and was so horrific that I didn’t want to talk about it because I was just so damn disappointed.

What happened? I got sick, so very sick I thought (and my family thought) I was going to die.

In London we walked a million miles taking the Underground everywhere and hoofing it though every museum and landmark we could manage and my feet hurt. My feet hurt really really bad but I discounted it because we were walking A LOT. Then when we got to France my feet swoll up to 3 times their normal size and I sought medical treatment. The doctor in France was baffled and gave me pressure socks for the flight to Lebanon. By the time I got to Lebanon the swelling was so bad I thought my feet actually might explode. I got awful purple bruises all around the edges of my feet along with huge raised bruises all over my knees and extending out. Then the real sickness hit. It felt like the worst flu I had ever had ever. Uncontrollable shaking with chills, super high fever and excruciating pain in all my joints that rattled my bones. I had never felt internal pain the way joints were radiating fire as I was shaking.

It was awful. Here I was finally meeting The Husband’s family and all I could do is lay there and shake. I was admitted to a hospital in Saida and I can’t tell you how scary it was. My Husband’s family made sure there was some one with me 24/7 for my safety. It was a predominantly Muslim hospital and most people did not care for Americans or non-Muslims. (The Husband’s family is Catholic). As if tensions weren’t already high Bin Laden’s assassination was announced a few days into my hospitalization. Besides the cultural differences the condition of the hospital itself was appalling. Even if I survived this mysterious disease being in that hospital was probably going to kill me anyways.

chillin' with my flippers up in hospital in saida

Chillin’ with my flippers up. Still sick but about to be released from hospital in Saida.

After almost 2 weeks in that hospital I wasn’t really any better. But armed with a ton of Panadol I was discharged and The Husband and I made the 24 hour trip back to the United States. Wow was that trip rough. 24 hours and 4 flights with the fever, pain and swelling. Even with a wheelchair and escorts at every airport I barely made it.

As soon as we got back to the US I went straight to a hospital in San Diego where I was tested for every virus and bacteria in the world. Every single test came back negative. All the doctors kept saying is that I was “a very interesting case”. I had gotten something awful and the doctors couldn’t figure out what it was but my body was winning the war. The bruising, swelling and fever finally subsided and I was released from the hospital to bed rest at home. I very slowly got better but after all the swelling in my feet I lost all flexibility in my ankles. Getting up and down stairs was impossible and took almost a month the relearn.

collage of lebanon and healing pics

Collage of pics in Lebanon, traveling home and healing.

My body had won against whatever it was and I finally got better and returned to work. I was weak but no longer sick and resumed life as normal. I was so surprised when my follow up CT scan came back showing my lymph nodes were extremely inflamed and not normal. Then my doctor uttered the words that no one ever wants to hear, the possibility that I was facing the Big C. What then followed was 2 months of not knowing, tests, scans and jumping around from specialist to specialist. And finally I got the good news!! I DO NOT have lymphoma. The assumption is that my magical mystery disease was so severe it’s taking almost 6 months for my body to go back to normal.

So there you have it! I stopped updating this blog because I wasn’t ready to tell this story yet. And now the story has been told and I feel so much better that this all actually behind me. It’s over and I’m OK!! I’m resuming living life in this space and it feels good. It’s a new year and I’m really looking forward to all the big changes The Husband and I have planned. I feel like this going to be the best year yet in our marriage. I’m so excited for what the future holds!!

Posted in On Holiday, The Husband, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I Interrupt this Blogging Hiatus with some Blogging about a Blogging Hiatus.

The Husband and I at the courthouse getting married April 27th 2010.

I interrupt this Unscheduled blogging hiatus to announce a Scheduled blogging hiatus.

I feel like I’m bursting with things to say and I have a million posts bouncing around in my head and filling up my drafts folder but alas none are polished enough to hit publish.  I have photo collages of our T.H.C. trip, a flat Panda adventure, birthday parties, beach basking, recipes, videos, wedding proposals, Muffins and our anniversary to share. But it will all have to wait until we get back because we leave tonight!

I can’t believe our long awaited trip is finally here so suddenly. My Mom, Dad, The Husband and I in England, France and Lebanon oh my! We are all so excited to meet our in-laws and new family in Lebanon. This is a reunion of epic proportions for The Husband since he hasn’t seen his parents, siblings or family since he came to the US over 10 years ago. I can’t even describe the emotions of our family old and new finally being together and meeting for the first time. I am absolutely thrilled that we all get to spend this time together.

I plan on taking lots of pictures and documenting as much as I can. Our phones have an international calling plan but we are turning off data so we will be at the mercy of free wi-fi while we are abroad. I’ve been updating twitter and tumblr and plan try to keep doing so.

On top of this amazing trip with both our families The Husband and I will be celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary while we are gone. Happy anniversary baby! I love you!

Posted in On Holiday, The Husband, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

T.H.C. We Were Smokin’ Hot!

Left: C, Middle: T and the little boy on the right the cool chick that is growing out the awesomeness that was her mowhawk is Me. I’ve mentioned how well C knows my fears here and my super hot date with T here.

I’m so excited to be going up to the Bay Area this weekend for a very special occasion. We are having a THC reunion! My two best friends and my names’ initials just happen to make THC, what a coinkydink! We thought that was so damn clever in high school. We were bad ass man. C, her husband and daughter now live in North Carolina. And T, her husband and 3 boys live the Bay Area. So us all getting together is a very rare occurrence. And it is going to be Out.Of.Control! Or as out of control as we can get under the very impressionable and observant watch of 4 munchkins with 3 Husbands keeping tabs!

I don’t even know what to say about these two girls that I love so much. We have been through so much together I don’t even know where to start. We’ve shared life and death along with celebrating huge successes and recovering from great failures. There are very few friends that you can truly count on when you are at your lowest low and scared shitless. And these girls have always been there for me. It’s so sad that as adults we have landed so far apart and only get to see each other once in a great while. But one thing is for sure, when we do get together it’s like we never skipped a beat and we always have crazy fun.  I can’t wait to see their munchkins and I absolutely adore their husbands. This is going to be a fantabulous weekend!

Posted in Blast from the Past, On Holiday | 2 Comments

30ish Years in The Big Box.

The Big Box with my mobile office and the Muffin Boy Cat.

Last night I had to get The Big Box out of the top of the closet to find a picture. The Big Box that is full of random crap that is super meaningful and deeply personal. The Big Box that has been collecting 30ish years of memories. So far I’ve found a ton of pics, obituaries, invitations, art gallery opening anouncements, drawings, tattoo designs, paintings, keys, student ID’s, rave flyers, concert tickets, rocks, bottle caps, plane tickets, movie tickets, train tickets, BART passes, bus transfers, love letters, cards, birth announcements, staff passes, business cards, invitations, postcards, keys, job name tags, school swag, figurines, glass, wood, festival bracelets and so much more. If I can get a scanner firing on all cylinders I’m going to do a series of posts with some of the cooler stuff that I have held on to.

A few years ago when all of San Diego was on fire we were on evacuation standby waiting for the reverse 911 call. We had one car load of stuff stacked next to the front door ready to evacuate. And The Big Box was one of the few sentimental things I stacked next to the door. That was a really interesting exercise, to look at your whole house of possessions and pick what fits in your trunk and leave the rest behind. I was grateful I had recently cleaned out my closet and had all my really important stuff organized. I had The Big Box, a milk crate with important documents, 2 jewelry boxes, food and water, clothes, blankets, cat crate for the Muffins and all their necessary stuff. We were very lucky and the fires never made it to us. Can you imagine my Roommate and I living in my Buick with 2 cats? This was before The Husband or the 4Runner came into my life. That would have been crazy.

Posted in Blast from the Past, Muffins | 1 Comment

Dank ‘N’ Dirty Dubz Volume 15.

This is what I’m listening to today on http://www.di.fm/ . So far good groovy sounds, but I hope it picks up speed. I’m craving something extra filthy to get through the work day today. Bring it baby!
Posted in Music | Leave a comment

I’m Going to Take the Random Coffins as a Good Omen.

3 coffins in the back yard of the house we are considering renting.

The Husband and I desperately want to move into a bigger place just the two of us. We currently live in a teeny tiny 2 bedroom 2 bath condo with no garage, no storage and a Roommate. In addition to the lions share of the rent we also pay $100 a month for a storage unit to store computers and our camping gear. The Husband runs his computer repair business out of our living room and the Roommate’s beer brewing occupies a corner of our dining room. Needless to say I can’t have more than a couple people over at a time and can’t ever really entertain. I love our Roommate, we have been the best of friends for years but it is time to move on. Plus He works really odd hours and is extremely sensitive to sound so we are always tip toeing around him. Besides it’s just time for me to be alone with The Husband just the two of us. I want to be married and revel in this awesome stage of our relationship.

So we have been house hunting. It’s a financially an awkward time for us right now with The Husband’s business being inconsistent but picking up speed and us spending the whole month of April in Europe and Lebanon. I keep vacillating between just wanted to go balls to the wall and emptying our bank accounts and moving, or sticking out our current situation just a little bit longer and feeling a little richer when we are traveling. We both want to move so badly and right away, I’m just not sure what we should do.

Friday we looked at a cool house a few blocks away from where we currently live and we both really like it. We would still be 2 blocks from the beach and my commute wouldn’t be any farther than it already is. It’s an older house so the layout is a little funky but is a house. Not an apartment, not a condo but a house for only $1600. The downfalls are that it is surrounded by apartment complexes so there is no privacy in they yard, the yard is completely asphalt like a parking lot, and it’s on a loud busy street that is on loud busy train tracks.  We are used to the trains already but not the street so much. The pluses are that it is a house priced at what most apartments cost in this neighborhood, the big yard would be great for building and storing an art car or RV, there is weird 1/2 back bedroom for The Husband’s computers, and there is washer and dryer hookups. I’ve never had a washer and dryer before! That is epic in all of itself. Plus there are 3 coffins that the previous tenants have left behind and I consider that a huge bonus and a good omen to boot!

So what to do? What to do?

Posted in Shiz | 3 Comments

Dog Sitting the Oz Muffin this Weekend.

Update: Everything went fine, the old fart survived the weekend and is back in his parents’ care. Thanks goodness!

Vid of Ozzie the last time I took care of him. I always send Whodaddy and SS (Southern Sass) pics and vids so they don’t worry.

My bestest friends in San Diego Whodaddy and SS are going to Vegas this weekend. So I get to dog sit the legendary Oz Muffin. Ozzie (named after the baseball player not the rock star) just might be the oldest and happiest Pekingese in the world, he is 15 going on 16 years old. He has no teeth left so his tongue is always lolling out of his short snout. SS affectionately calls him her “smoosh face”. He is very very sweet, very very old and is completely spoiled rotten. He no longer negotiates stairs so you have to carry him like suitcase whenever you take him in or out. When I take care of him he always refuses to eat unless I give him treats, SS says that he is smarter than me and has me trained. Whatever, he’s almost 16!! Here’s to a happy and healthful weekend! Wish me luck I’m freakin’ out about the old ass muffin, he better be good on my watch!

Posted in Muffins | 4 Comments

Frolicking in the Snow in Big Bear.

The Husband super happy to shmob in the snow.

We’re back bitches! And we had an absolutely delightful time. We decided to drive up late Friday night despite it being in the middle of the worst of the storm. It was really crazy. There were mud slides and rocks in the road where it was pouring rain. And once we got further up the mountain it was snowing like mad and the roads weren’t being plowed at all. But The Husband and I actually really enjoyed the added adventure in our drive. It’s so rare we get to throw her in 4wd and shmob a little.

One of the Munckins sledding.

What was really great about the cabin is that it was on a hill that had 2 perfect sledding runs on either side. So we didn’t have to go far to play and it was easy to go inside and warm up or freshen up a cocktail at any time. Everyone had an absolute blast flying down the hill. I’m not sure who went more times, the adults or the Munchkins. I didn’t bring my camera because I suck. But I’m hoping someone will send me a picture of me flying down the hill so I can post it.

I hope yall had as much fun over the weekend as I had!

Posted in On Holiday | 4 Comments