[Life Hacks] Moving On Up


There are thousands of reasons to move, but only one important one: you. It sounds selfish, but who else is going to make your adult life their priority?  Whether it’s a new job, a new development in your relationship or your lease is expiring and you have the itch to jump neighborhoods, a move is (or should be) 110% about what’s good for you as an individual; I know mine is.After I graduated from UCSB in ’08, I had an executive decision to make: apply to grad school and pursue a career based on my field of study, or listen to that voice in my head that’s never stopped dreaming.  So I packed up my troubles and followed my heart to LA, which led to an incredibly hectic, and admittedly not very well thought out, move to my first apartment in Koreatown by myself.  And please believe – I say that not to harp on myself, but because I should have had more of a plan. Between my lack of income and unfamiliarity with the city, it might not have been the best choice – but it did a beautiful job of reminding me to define my intentions and embrace the reasons why I live my life. Every damn day, I wake up blessed that I listened to that small tinge of inspiration that I’ve always held onto, because it’s brought me exactly where I am today and I couldn’t be any happier.

As I prepare for fourth move in five years I have a snazzy mental inventory that I can refer to –  I know what I love having around (people, amenities like bars, markets and a gym within walking distance, and last but definitely not least freeways) what I’m willing to deal with (like volume, messiness and a general level of respect), what I’d like to avoid and what I really consider a priority (my relationships, my profession, etc) – 

 Work Life: Even though I do most of my work from home, one of the perks to my move is the decreased travel time to the office.  Because it’s Los Angeles, it doesn’t make sense to give you the mileage so just know that currently – the drive time ranges from 30-50 minutes depending on traffic, and the second I move that’ll drop down to a mere 15 minutes. Oh, yes!

Social Circle: The majority of my social circle resides out of Southern California and is mostly scattered up the Western Coast of the United States; but for the friends that I do still have in Los Angeles, most of them are living pretty on the East Side of town and I cannot wait to join them!

Love Life:  First things first, I’ve never lived with a significant other; this is the first time my love life has evolved to the point that it simply makes sense to live together.  We spend pretty much every waking moment together, and lately we’ve both felt like we just have a really well furnished storage unit on the other side of town.  Don’t get me wrong, it was all fun an games until we factored in travel time and traffic.  Los Angeles is one of the few places where you can actually be in a long distance relationship with someone who lives in the same city as you, and I can’t wait til we start a new chapter in the relationship.

Moving is like an earthquake: you can prepare, prepare and prepare for it but there’s simply nothing as chaotic or physically draining as an actual move.  So here are a few tips to help =)

(1) Before things start getting crazy, review your lease and get your “30 Days Notice” to your landlord ASAP to ensure a seamless exit

(2) If possible, try and get a small overlap of time where you have both places; moving out and moving in are a lot less stressful if they don’t happen simultaneously

(3) Consider the pets – are you combining furry, four legged families? If so, get a strategy together for how the animals will get acquainted.  Another idea to consider is shampooing or deep cleaning the carpets to get any layers of pet hair out before you bring more in.

(4) Submit your change of address form to USPS to get the mail moving to your new abode


(5) Color code your furniture so you know what’s moving, what’s getting stored and what you can toss; personally, I’m a huge fan of the Stoplight method

(6) Give your closet a heavy dose of reality and finally get rid of those capris/bellbottoms/high-waisted shorts/crop-top that you one time could have worn to that strange party but you never did so now it’s just staring at you with an ostentatious look, taking up precious closet space.   Limit the nostalgia items to five or fewer and get into the groove of getting rid of things – it’s good for the soul, I swear!  I love donating mine to friends, because at least I can still get some vicarious enjoyment out of the object, but if you’re feeling adventurous – try your hand posting your duds on Tradsey for some serious cash.

(7) Whether you’re moving with friends, or in with a significant other, take a few moments to make the new place your own.  Maybe that means hanging up brightly colored tapestries, or covering the fridge with drawings from friends – either way, make sure you put your mark on your spot, both early and boldly.

(8) Last, but certainly not least, get lost.  Maybe not literally, but take some time out of your day and explore the neighborhood – find a new bar, some yummy hole in the wall food, an art gallery or a park fit for a picnic; you never know what’s just around the corner!

My New Hood

Our fridge is an ode to our creative friends; I love it.

[Doing it Right] Shpongle’s Museum of Consciousness Tour

Last night, Hollywood went Hollyweird as Avalon Nightclub opened their doors to Shpongle, Desert Dwellers and San Diego’s Vokab Kompany; all thanks to the Do Lab, one of my all time favorite production companies – not to mention, the brainiacs behind my favorite festival, Lightning in a Bottle! At a show like last night’s – costume’s aren’t just welcome, they’re encouraged – and beyond being part of the Hippie Olympics, last night was full of friendly faces, new and old, all getting down to the psytrance sounds.  It was absolutely beautiful and I’m so glad I could share the night with my friends!  For the ‘Museum of Consciousness’ tour, Shpongle had visual team at Zebbler Studios create their second version of the ‘Shpongletron’, an ever changing, 3D, 3 story, projection mapped stage that evolves and manifests itself through amazing colors, flashing lights, sound reactive elements and all around trippy imagery throughout the evening; overall, this is the third version , dubbed  Shpongletron 3.0.  Today, Shpongle is cruising up the California coast to San Francisco and Arcata, then the tour will be making stops in Portland and Seattle before venturing off into the Mid-West.  If you have a hankering for a good time, great people and fantastic music – check this tour our, I promise you won’t be disappointed!




[The Audiofiles] Putting A New Spin on Some Old Favorites

I don’t know about y’all, but there’s nothing quite as sweet as a track that I loved in my youth getting a proper revamp for 2014.  From strong female vocalists to timeless basslines, funky breakdowns and catchy choruses – these tracks had it all back in the day, and now thanks to  exquisite ears, their new sounds more than hold their own against the original tracks (truth be told, I actually like them better).  In my opinion, and in your dictionary, a remix is a piece of work designed to sound different than the original; let’s be real, if all you’re doing is enhancing the ‘four to the floor beat’, I probably won’t appreciate the artistic quality of your work.  Another pet peeves in remixes is when the vocals are either eliminated or reduced to a repetitive whimper.  So, when artists come along and do a song absolute justice – I definitely notice.  The remixes below have completely blown me away, so whether you’re wishing Wednesday was over – or you’re happily plodding through the day, take a listen these kickin’ remixes and take a load off, it’s halfway to Friday  !

[Tech Tuesday] TomNod – How To Crowd Source a Crisis

Innovative, creative, addictive, mind-boggling, problem-solving and social; modern technology has come a long way over the last quarter century – if not justwithin this past decade.  After Nevada voted to allow autonomous automobiles in 2011,  Google has been feverishly developing a self-driving car technology adorably named ‘Google Chauffeur’.  Championed by the brilliant Sebastian Thrun – director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, expert Google Engineer and last but certainly not least the co-inventor of Google Street View, the project is still in closed beta testing mode up at their Mountain View campus.  Since the inception of the application, 3 more states (Florida, California and Michigan) have all put laws into effect allowing self-driving vehicles on the roads. Two years ago, the One Laptop Per Child‘ experiment oversaw the distribution dozens of iPads to a pair of remote villages in Ethiopia. Five months later – without instructions, assistance and only themselves to trouble shoot with- children had learned how to read and write English, and even hack the machines.  And now, thanks to TomNod – even the most disastrous of a crisis is transformed into a resourceful and useful technological tool.


TomNod first made headway back in November during Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and were soon acquired by Digital Globe; using Digital Globe’s satellite imaging technology, thousands of users from around the world explore real-time maps to solve real-world issues.As of right now, Malaysian  Airlines Flight 370 has been missing from sight, sound and radar since this past Sunday morning.  Until resolved, this event will be the first thing on every flight attendant and pilots mind, an unnerving thought of every conscientious traveler and while every news station, outlet and blog tries to make sense of the calamity.  My first reaction was (and still is) two-fold: (a) I still (at 29) plug my ears while the flight attendants breeze through the security pamphlet; which means the empath inside is shaking in her boots and (b) want to help; somehow, someway.  In the past few years, whenever a global crisis has hit I’ve managed to donate a small bit of what I make; it isn’t much, but it’s more than nothing – and to me, that’s something. So, when my boyfriend leaned over this morning to show me a great way to use, and crowd-source, data – I was all eyes, ears and heart.

The application is fairly simple – head over to the TomNod page and you’ll get a quick description of the program and a bit of background on the types of anomalies you might come across.  It takes a bit of time to load, but quadrants satellite imagery over the Gulf of Thailand will populate right in front of you.   If you think you’ve found something questionable, click one of the neon stamped circles on the left of your screen.  You’ll then be taken to a new window, where you’ll essentially take your cursor and drop a tag onto the map and don’t forget to add a description.  On the right side of your screen, you’ll see three metrics: the first is the number of quadrants searched, second is how many objects you’ve tagged and finally, how many other sources agree with your tags.  Below, you’ll see a map of how the quadrants you’ve searched stack up in the grand scheme of things.  If you have a few moments to spare, please lend your eyes to the TomNod team and the families of those affected; you never know what kind of a difference you can make until you try.