Yes, I’m going to Burning Man

I wasn’t going to write about this here until multiple people, as a response to the news, said, “Can’t wait to read your blog about it!” Well, fine. I’ll blog about it. I can’t think about anything else.

Friends have been asking have I gone or will I go to “the burn” for about 2 years now. Yet, I’ve never been. In 2012 I was offered a ride and a ticket (well, I’d still have to pay) and I said no. I said no to Burning Man. I regretted this such that I said yes to Electric Poncho in Mexico, a treacherous adventure filled with scorpions and heat (and oh my god I have never witnessed so much assault). I’ll probably have to do that one again, just to be sure that I hate it.

Cue 2014, and the usual questions abound;

Hey Sami … are you burning this year?

nooooooooopeeee

:(

unless it fell on my lap on a silver platter

which it did 2 years ago and i said no b/c i’m an idiot

IDIOT!

gonna miss you there!

The thing is, if you invite Burning Man to arrive on a silver platter, it will arrive. My phone rang when I was still in bed, late, on a Sunday, like noonish. Last Sunday. Friend (quoted above) called with a chance to test if I’m an idiot, again. “Hey Sami, I know someone with a ride and a ticket for you at face value. Want to go to Burning Man.”

“Umm,” am I awake yet? “Ye–ess?”

Turns out, this ‘someone’ has a non-split-able will call ticket, and needed to find a trustworthy adventurer to both buy the ticket and ride with him through the gates. So yes, I am hopping in a car with a guy I don’t know to camp in the barren desert of Nevada for the first time, and with only 2 weeks preparation. It sure sounds bad when I put it like that.

The night after “Hmm, maybe I’ll go,” turned into “Yes, obviously I have to go,” I felt like my chest was split open, my ribs pulled apart. My blood was cold and it drenched me from the inside out. I began foreseeing the emotions that I will have out there in the dust. Raw, grateful, alone, together, crying tears of joy and sadness. The ghosts of future feelings have landed in my lungs and are growing, growing to burst.

I am lucky this is so last-minute. I don’t have time to do anything but prepare. So I make a Koozie spaceship.

space rocket beer koozie diy

So I adorn a rabbit fur coat with EL wire.

space case El wire letters fur jacket burning man

So I take on the role of Art Director for this 8-foot tall monolith.

vulnerability booth burning man art

So I make my loved ones write me letters.

letter for burning man

I am crossing my arms over my ribcage. I am holding it all in. I am telling myself, Do Not Open Until )'(

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A Primer on Concealable Flasks and 2 Alternatives

height-profile-alternatives-to-classic-concealable-flask-liquor-alcohol-shots

Disclaimer: I’m not really one to let moralism get in the way of partying, but I do have to say that if you can’t afford to buy a couple drinks at your local bars (and tip!) then, please, stay home on facebook and “like” pictures of all the people you wish would have sex with you.

On the other hand, I am not going to wager $20 cover on an event of dubious potential, expensive drinks, and no-reentry.  If the music sucks, at least let me spike your weak fucking $9 cocktails with the whiskey I hid in my socks. Bonus for you, my sweet venue: if I look like I’m having fun, maybe other people will be tricked into thinking they are also having fun.

Anyway.

classic-flask

First, we have our classic bootleggers flask. This one has been vandalized with a sticker. If you are wearing actual boots, and I mean big, badass boots with buckles and shit, you may be able to get away with this one. Most likely, however, you will be caught and this will be confiscated, and you will be sad because it is made of actual metal and you probably paid some dollars for it.

disposa-flask-disposable-plastic-flask

The next logical step is the plastic flask. This one is black, so it can hide in a very dark corner of your purse. It is a little bit smaller, perhaps because the makers know you want to hide it. The advertising on the front claims it can hold 5 shots.

disposable-flask-disposaflask-claims-to-hold-5-shots

However, the makers of DisposaFlask are lying liars or else they are in cahoots with the people who pour weak fucking cocktails, because I’m counting a shot as a plastic liquor mini bottle, and it don’t add up. Technically, a shot in this country is measured at 44ml, but it’s much easier to divide by 50. The DisposaFlask is not labeled in ml or even oz so I did a quick science for you:

disposaflask-holds-150ml

I’m rounding down to 150ml as a penalty for lying liar behavior. Also, and I’m just throwing this out there: look at that meniscus. (I just wanted to say meniscus in my head. Meniscus.)

disposable-flask-disposaflask-actually-holds-3-shots

That gives us 3 shots. This explains why I always finish off this flask feeling vaguely not drunk enough.

1-flask-equals-almost-5-shots

An 8oz flask does in fact hold nearly 5 shots.

pocket-shot-whiskey

Now, neither of the hardbody flasks are easy to hide on us squishy-body people, which is why the makers of Pocket Shot invented this delightful little packet.

pocket-shot-equals-1-liquor-mini-bottle-shot

The Pocket Shot is exactly the size of a regulation liquor mini, and it is definitely squishy. It will snuggle up to your skin and/or skivvies in all sorts of places. Squirrel away a few of these, and if security finds the one in your shoe at least they won’t find your nut-stash. P.S. they are fun for hookup partners to discover in your bra (true story).

The downside is that these guys are a little expensive, and of limited variety. I mean, I’m not against putting a plastic-encased mystery “W H I S K E Y” in my body, but you might want a flavor you can trust.

And so that brings us to… the DIY disposable concealable flask

infantino-squeeze-pouch-for-babies-freshly-squeezed-feeding-line

What is that? Why, it’s a squeeze pouch. For babies.

Infantino makes a squeeze pouch “feeding line” (are they children or are they livestock??) so that yuppie parents can package up custom applesauces, vegetable purrée, and other goo for their toddlers to quaff. It will set you back about $15 for a box of 50 pouches. I will demonstrate in pictures how to alter this fine product to smuggle liquor in your underwear.

photo-grid-concealable-flask-diy

Wow. This photo grid is exciting. Isn’t it just ready to go up on a Pinterest board? This is How I Spend My Summer. But the branch clipper photo kind of says it all:

turn-infantino-squeeze-pouch-into-concealable-disposable-flask

The elegant minimalism. The textures: pristine factory plastic, rusty blade, raw clipped edges. So much narrative implied in one photograph, and yet, the mystery. Congratulations, parents; I’m using my art degree to teach my friends and internet strangers how to repurpose baby products to get drunk cheaply at concerts.

infantino-squeeze-pouch-for-babies-holds-2-shots

Your DIY concealable disposable flask holds two minis. My confidential expert consultant says she can hide 4 of them in the crotch of her jean shorts. Impressive.

alternatives-to-classic-concealable-flask-liquor-alcohol-shotsA final photo for your comparison. Enjoy.

 

Last-Minute Halloween Costumes … & a last minute blog post

(Costume ideas below the picture.)

Hey San Diegans,

I spent my prime blog writing time at Disneyland! I learned that Blue Bayou really does have “the best” Monte Cristo, it’s not an overstatement, and at California Adventure I learned that the silly swings are seriously fucked up. I will never go on those again. I only ever want to feel that sideways if I earned it through copious alcohol consumption, not a undulating suspension ride.

disneyland arthur stone sword

I’m down to 15 minutes before I need to start assembling my own costume, and I realized if I really do want to provide a service through this blog, I can at least share some last-minute, cheap and lazy, DIY Halloween Costumes that I found / imagined. Enjoy, and see you out at the bars tonight!

Movie Theater Floor
Wear black and stick on popcorn and empty candy wrappers.

Road to Nowhere
All black + white tape dotted line, then make an attachment or sign for your belt or hat that says “nowhere”

Fork in the Road
Road costume from above and dangle a fork on a necklace

Deviled egg
White shirt + yellow circle + devil horns

Error 404 costume not found
(print this and tape it to your clothes)

Aircraft carrier
Carry around a toy airplane

Operation (board game)
Use a thick red marker to draw the outlines of “adam’s apple,” “wishbone,” “funny bone,” etc. on white paper. Cut just outside the red lines and tape all the pieces on to yellow or nude colored clothing (or your naked body if it’s that kind of party). Wear a red clown nose or paint your nose red, or find one of those light-up Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer noses (I happen to have one..somewhere….)

Blackmail
All black clothes + print out oversized postage stamps and affix to the left side of your chest.  (Google image search stamps and put on a “large” size filter)

Cactus
Green clothes dotted with those page markers/stickies from office supply store or stolen from work

(Can you tell I’m just looking around my desk at this point?)

Any of the rage comics
Print out one of the rage faces as a mask, use black tape on white clothes to make a stick figure body.

Happy Halloween!

How to Spike Your Shoes + a Tale of Violence

If you came here from the google and just want the tutorial for how to make spiky shoes without using goddamn power tools, jump here.

I have mixed feelings about my interest in fashion… in that I know it’s incredibly shallow at times but I’m not a moralist so I know I don’t really need to make an arbitrary value judgement about being shallow.

If I am going to justify my interest in fashion, which is mostly an obsession with shoes, I will say…Jeffrey Campbells kick ass. At least when they are on my feet they do.

I went to my friend Mindy’s going-away party (sniff, we will miss you Mindy). It is probably the last time I’ll see her apartment, which I will also miss, sliced in above a Thai restaurant in Hilcrest. I took my gas mask photo there for her Apocalypse rager.

I wanted to impress Mindy because she is stylish and has an adorable laugh, so I wore these boots of kicking and stomping:

jeffrey-campbell-spike-black-wood-quilt

I was having a pretty good time until some misogynistic monster told the story of forcing an underage girl to walk home with jizz in her hair. Even in his account, she very clearly said not to do that, but he thinks no means yes and he even rubbed it in for her. This guy was basically who everyone thinks Tucker Max is, but actually an asshole. I mean, so is Tucker, but he knows he is. This monster I met last weekend pretends to be self-deprecating as an excuse to tell stories for attention in which he is always the hero and women are unfortunate victims. Because, you know, sorry, that’s just how men are lol haha what-a-riot no fuck you.

“I bet she’s traumatized for life,” I said.

I was possibly also cranky because I was sober. I’ve been trying to be nicer to my liver. Aside: I have been really hungry lately and I realized it is because I’m consuming less liquid calories.

By about 2am I’d ironed out most of my crankiness talking to a new friend on the couch about his job at Alesmith and how I really ought to give the new Skrillex album a chance. I mean normally I would be like oh no, sir, my DJ friends told me never to Skrillex but this guy could make even Skrillex sound appealing, is what I’m saying.

I was quite enjoying the conversation when a new guy walked into the party with his dudes, put on Bubble Butt by Major laser, and asked me to dance.

“I’d rather not,” I said, and my Alesmith friend waved his hands, no thank you. Bubble Butt said if we refused him, he’d shake his bubble butt in our faces.

Now I’m no stranger to butts in my face, but I don’t like stranger butts in my face, and this guy didn’t even know my name. I mean, please, people, don’t put your butts near my body parts without a proper introduction!  I raised my right foot high, a clear message, I thought, that if he proceeded with shaking his bum-bum near my nose, it would only meet boot.

Yeah, I shoved him with my shoe, pretty hard. Then I caught Katelyn’s eye and we high-tailed it outta there. My only regret is that I didn’t stay long enough to say, “Oh, I’m sorry, are you butt-hurt?”

I immediately scored two new pairs of Jeffery Campbells at the PB Buffalo Exchange. For my protection. Against butts.

jeffrey-campbell-usa-americano-damsel-paint-white-lita

DIY Easy Spiked/Studded Heels

These are pretty quick to make. I finished mine in the commercial breaks between watching Breaking Bad. Did you see the last episode? Holy fuck, what a phone call.

You’ll need…

  • Screw-on spikes. Spikes are expensive. Try Amazon, maybe. Mine are like these.
    screw-on-spikes
  • An awl. To avoid using power tools, we’ll make the holes by hand. So keep that in mind when picking the shoes – are you strong enough to stab ’em? I got one from Ace Hardware San Carlos Hardware for $4
    awl-it-is-stabby
  • A screwdriver with a plastic handle
    screwdriver-plastic-handle
  • Shoes. If you want to do pumps like me, you’ll need to choose a pair with a seam down the back, because I am not strong enough to stab through 12 layers of plastic/fabric/plether/suede/whatever-the-fuck so I’ll just go in-between the stitches
  • Maybe some super glue
  • Maybe like some felt dots or something

One

bushmills-whiskey-reed-ginger-beer-cocktail-mixed-drinkPour whiskey over ice and splash some sours or ginger beer or nothing on it. This is always step one why do I even have to remind you??

Two

spikes-close-up-shoesTake a good look at the shoes and plan where you’re going to place the spikes. I opted to go in between the seams, with 4 spikes in each shoe. Space between them makes them look more menacing. I didn’t need to mark my holes, because I can count stitches relatively well, but if you need to do that probably some white out or a pencil, right?

Three

stabbin-shoe-with-awl-lookit-my-glitter-nails-spikesPlace the tip of the awl in between the seams from the outside of the shoe. Place the plastic handle of the screwdriver inside the shoe, and use it to help you make a clean hole without denting the shoe and also so you don’t stab yourself. Go slow so you don’t break the stitches, and push inward with the awl while twisting. Like you are killing something through its eye-socket and you want it to suffer.

If you do break a stitch, you can be paranoid and put a drop of super glue on it though I’m pretty sure the screwed-on spike will hold everything together.

Four

Screw that spike on. Do I really have to explain this? Tighten it with the screwdriver, too.

Five?

The way my particular shoes fit, I can’t even feel the screws, but if they rub on your feet in an uncomfortable way you could try a felt dot or a piece you cut from a gel insert to add space between your precious foot and the screw. Or you could just suffer for fashion like everyone else, duh.

candies-suede-spike-gray-heels-DIY