Monthly Archives: November 2014

[I Can’t Breathe] The Dawn of the New Civil Rights Movement is Here

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It’s time for a new civil rights movement, a community rights movement, where as citizens we feel safe in the presence of police officers instead of in fear of them. The looting – the violence – they’re not the answer; but you – you’re listening now, right? Protestors are blocking freeways, stopping people from getting to work- you might be mad; but imagine how it feels not being treated as an EQUAL in this country. As a multiracial member of society, as a woman, as a HUMAN BEING: I’m disgusted by the type of responses I’m seeing and I’m sad at the direction this country is going.

Change has never come easy, and it’s always had a price; if you’ve never had to fight for your freedom, to fight to be seen as an equal, if you’ve never had to think twice about your unequivocal right to be treated humanely by society – rethink what’s happening to your brothers and sisters, your neighbors and community.

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Violence, theft, destruction of property; they’re not the answer – but neither is treating a proportion of this country like they’re subclass citizens while inappropriately placing the police on a pedestal.

Do you have friends who’ve been arrested for bullshit? I have. Friends tased, put into the hospital with a broken nose and collapsed lung? Yep. And you know what scares me- knowing that if he was of color he would have been SHOT. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it, and if you DONT have an issue with the outcome of the grand jury, the ourpouring of community response on all fronts and the protesting – please get an education or see yourself out of my life. For the rest of us, it’s time. Raise your voice, raise your spirit, raise your community up and let our nation know that you DEMAND change, and you need it now.

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[The Audiofiles] Tricks, Treats and Beats – How HARD’s Day of the Dead Won Halloweekend

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The last thing a lay-person would expect descending on the Pomona Fairplex is a gaggle of grown-ups, dressed to the nines that more closely resemble the lost boys of Peter Pan than a group, fully ready to self-indulge in one of the best Halloweekends that Southern California has to offer.  As a tried and true fan of HARD Events, not only was I at the very first HARD Haunted, but I’ve followed the festivals around from The Forum to The Shrine, from LA’s Exposition Park and now – to my new favorite venue of in the Los Angeles ‘region’ – The Pomona Fairplex.  I was there when HARD Summer was shut down during Crystal Castles, and I’ve seen more acts than I can count give the crowd lessons in heavy bass.  The last event of theirs I went to was last year’s HARD Summer – and I made what I thought was an executive decision at the time that this would be my last HARD Festival, ever.

Heading into this year’s Day of the Dead, I literally had no expectations – sure, there were DJ sets that I was drooling over, and I was excited for it to be in a brand spankin’ new location; but I was ready for anything – and blown away by everything. From from Dubstep to Electro House, Deep House to Trap, for two days and nights, twenty two hours on 5 Different Stages – the crowd at the Pomona Fairplex was treated to some ghoulishly good treats and bass infused beats that you can’t help but shuffle your feet to.  What made it so epic? Well, glad you asked!

Location, Location, Location

One thing about shifting locations, is that it’s brand spankin’ new for everyone – from Gary Richards, the head honcho of HARD himself, to the artists and right on down to the fans: this was a new adventure, and we were all down for the ride.  Though the venue itself sits about 45 minutes outside of LA proper, it’s only about half as far from LA as the NOS Center in San Bernadino where Escape from Wonderland raged for two days – which is pretty excellent PLUR-spective.  Once you made it to the Fairplex and navigated the various lines to park, get your tickets and then descend into the grounds themselves – it was game on!  Everywhere you turned, there was ample space to move and groove, as well as space to wait for your crew, a plethora of delicious food trucks for anyone who got the munchies, an expansive row of patrons helping out in the various beer gardens and new friends everywhere you turned.  In the past, I’ve had a time pushing through crowds, getting elbowed on the dance floor and having an all around claustrophobic clusterfuck of an experience – this is the first HARD event where they really accounted for how many bassheads would be in attendance, and how much room they’d all need to go HAAM on the dance floor. Kudos for finding such a prime piece of festival real estate; I can’t wait until we’re all back there together!

 All Star Performances

It typically goes without mentioning that the entire roster of artists is on point for such a high caliber festival, but every set that I danced my ass off to was a phenomenal auditory adventure that had my whole crew looking around at each other to make sure we all knew how amazing it was.  Whether you were an instant Superfriend during Zhu’s debut US performance, were front and center while Mau5ville opened up with Longest Road, took part in Sunday’s Dirtybird BBQ with Eats Everything, Justin Martin, ShibaSan and the Master himself – Claude VonStroke, or lost your mind when Bassnectar put on a masterclass of mixing – there were an infinite number of reasons I was proud to be back home, so to speak, surrounded by beautifully bouncing souls that were set free on the dance floor.

 So Much Room for Activities

Going into the weekend, I was already excited for the Zip Lining, Ferris Wheel and stages – but what I hadn’t prepared for was how expansive the grounds really were.  No joke, when I checked the Health app on my phone after one day at the festival it told me we walked 5 miles. Fitness aside, yet another wonderful trait of the fairgrounds is it’s size. There were 5 large stages set up and none of the noise from the stages bled together.  To top it off, everyone knows that at a festival you’re going to run into people: there’s just so much energy, and enough confusion, that you’re literally going to bump into strangers and friends alike.  Instead, like I was saying earlier, it was like everyone finally had enough of a personal bubble that it wasn’t an issue.  We even managed to have a 10+ person yoga session smack dab in the middle of everything.  To my complete surprise and utter happiness, this festival didn’t have same anxiety, pushing, low grumble of negative energy from people invading your personal bubble.  Instead, we all bumped, danced, grinded, jumped and got down in a whole new realm of comfort.

Costumes

Last, and most certainly not least – how could I forget about the myriad of mind blowing outfits and costumes I saw over the weekend.  Now, I’m more of an ‘I’m Always a Cat’ girl – no, really; I always have cat ears when I’m out at festivals – to boot, I’m a tried and true testament to the fact you’ll enjoy yourself more if you’re comfortable.  For me, that honestly means rocking it out in uber comfy clothes (a tank top, leggings, flat boots) and cat ears.  but it was great to see how creative people could get!  Of course, things got a little bit ratchet at HARD – but would you honestly expect anything less? For as many people were dressed up in costumes or dressed down in their cats and casuals, as I think I’ll forever call it, but there were a good number of fist pumping bros and girls wearing pasties, bras and Little Black Diamond shorts.   I have the utmost respect for people who strut their stuff and don’t have a mind for what others think, but to the same token – and potentially, a symptom of my age – I kept wanting to put clothes on some of the girls; they looked freezing!  But, once the sun went down – but inside the Fairgrounds, surrounded by the warmth of the dancefloor and a rampage of ravers – it was incredibly warm and downright comfortable.

I can’t wait for the next HARD Festival, and I surely hope more Southern California EDM Production Teams start taking advantage of that Primo Festival Real Estate.

Keep tabs on HARD for their highly acclaimed international and national festival dates through their website and socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

Still can’t get over the weekend? No sweat, we’ve got some excellent pre-DOTD Soundcloud mixes sure to get you groovin’ into the long weekend:

[The Launchpad] Bouncy Kitty Creations

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Over the past year, when I thought I was combating my quarter life crisis it turns out what I was actually doing was fortifying new hobbies and forging stellar new paths for myself. Between creating infused olive oils, repurposing and creating one of a kind jewelry and as of late – chromotherapy based soy candles – I’ve truly found a DIY niche (or three…)that I’m obsessed with.  What better way to acknowledge an obsession than by sharing it with the world; right? So, boom – over the past month I’ve been putting in some extra crafting effort and finally opened up a little boutique on ETSY; though it’s not much – it’s certainly a start!

What takes something from a hobby to more than that? For me, it’s that little twinkle that starts when I’m wrist deep in craft glue or can’t tell what color your hands were at the start of the day; for others, it’s that little bit of extra change lying around in their pocket.  Honestly, it takes a lot of trying a lot of things – and failing at a certain number of them, too –  to determine what you’re willing to work at, what you’re determined to get better at and what our overall passions in our adult lives.

As children, our parents were constantly cycling through new adventures to see what would stick – for me, there was jazz dance, basketball and a variety of other sports, music (the flute, choir, theater and music history), cribbage (look it up, it’s awesome), beading and making jewelry, student council, crocheting; you name it, I got my hands on it.  But if it weren’t for my parents, who knows how long it would’ve taken for me to hone in on some ridiculously idiosyncratic skills. A well paying job could in no way supplement how beyond happy I am that in my spare time I write, craft, DIY, practice light poi, learn coding and as of late, I’m even learning how to hoop! But, I digress; back to the main point for today: Bouncy Kitty Creations!

MADE TO ORDER: Total Chakra Alignment  || Handmade Soy Wax Chromotherapy Candle || 16oz Jelly Jar

My ETSY shop is on and poppin’ – I don’t have my full range of candles yet, but I want to test the waters and see which ones are getting some love; and then build from there.  Right now, there’s a great assortment of ‘Total Chakra Therapy’ candles – which are my personal favorites; plus a few larger holiday fragrances and mini sparkle and mini disco candles, not gonna lie – those are all sorts of adorable.  Want more? Head to the shop – use the code BOUNCYKITTYLOVE to rep the blog spot and get a whopping 35% off. Yeah, you read that right – who loves ya? 😉

MADE TO ORDER: Mini Disco Candle || Handmade Soy Wax Chromotherapy Candle || 4oz Jelly Jar

Cinnamon Chai || Homemade Scented Soy Candles || 11.5 oz Jar

[Let’s Celebrate] Friendsgiving

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‘Tis the season for festive candles, home cooked meals, holiday cards and spending time with the ones you love; sure, Thanksgiving is right around the corner – but Friendsgiving? That simply never goes out of style. Living in Los Angeles, as in many big cities, there are twice as many transplants as locals.  A good proportion of which stay around for the holidays and end up below the radar for Thanksgiving, if they’re not flying solo.  Not that you need an excuse to get the gang together or have an ‘orphan’ dinner, but I couldn’t think of a better one than this family infused time of year.

First things first, you need someone that’s willing to both offer up their home for the night and then deal with the mess the next day; sure, guests will help but as the drinks keep flowing – you might want people to keep away from glassware and plates and enjoy simpler, less chaotic activities that won’t result in broken dishware. And remember, crystal is nice – but it’s less nice when it’s shattered on the ground; this is an opportune time to get some plastic plates and forgo dishes for the evening.  Get a group e-mail chain going and confirm what everyone’s bringing to ensure everyone leaves with a happy heart and a full stomach, and to avoid appetizer overlap.  If you’re hosting, the turkey is on you – and if you’re attending, don’t forget to bring a little somethin’ somethin’ for the entourage beyond your appetizer and or dessert like spiked eggnog, homemade candles, a magnum of wine, or the like.  Reserve your status as host(ess) with the most(ess) by creating room for plenty of beer, ice for any coolers and Cards Against Humanity is a must.   – . Oh, and don’t forget a camera and a kickass sound system!

Last weekend was my first Friendsgiving since college, so that’s almost ten years. And it’s really taken me that long to come back into my own skin.  It’s been a while since I’ve had a group of individuals that I’ve felt this at home and in touch with, and each and every day I’m infinitely thankful that they’re in my life.  We all combined culinary forces for a night that went down in infamy, fully equipped with beer pong, dance parties and Polaroid pictures.

[Write On] Misophonia – Noise Can Be a Nightmare

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My entire life I’ve had a sorted relationship with food, meal time and pretty much just eating in general.  But let’s not get things twisted – I love food and adore creative edible creations; I’ll dive head first into Thai Curry, Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Burgers, Sushi, Pizza, Pho, Spring Rolls, Sandwiches, Soups and the like.  Novel flavor combinations tickle my stomach and ornately decorated delectables are devoured within seconds (but not before I take a picture of it for memory’s sake, of course).  But beyond my predilection for mealtime perfection, I’ve also acquired a few less than desirable grievances circulating said meals.

Starting from when I was a little girl (probably around 4 or 5), through Middle School and all the way into this very moment – I’ve thought that there was something wrong with me.   From the occasional slurp of the soup (which, I’ve actually learned does help in savoring the flavor and is considered a sign of respect in assorted cultures, from China to Japan) to the sound of popcorn being shoveled down throats in a crowded movie theater, people that chew with their mouth open and – even worse – those who insist on talking with food smaking between their teeth: there’s a nerve that’s struck in my body that can vary from a small, creeping headache at the base of my skull to an overwhelming urge to throw plates and or a temper tantrum. Truth be told, neither of those things have ever happened – but if I had a nickel for every instance I wished or imagined that I caved into my feelings, I’d be wealthy beyond measure and eating off of paper plates by myself for the rest of my life.

When I was in elementary school, my step-mother and father produced a present of sorts – a book on manners ironically titled ‘Don’t Slurp Your Soup.’  What my step-mom had yet to figure out, was that my dad was the worst offender of literally every don’t in the book where as I – I wasn’t really that bad.  But when’s the last time that a 7 year old asking her father to eat quieter ever went well?  For a while, my parents thought it was a personal attack, doubly so when I’d leave in the middle of meals at my mom’s house so her boyfriend could smack his supper away, while I hid out in the bathroom with my hands over my ears.  And so, a tradition started.  But dipping out on meals to go and meditate in a quiet room (as awesome as it is) can’t always be achieved, nor is it polite; and after so many years, and different people – from family, lovers and friends to absolute strangers – ‘offending‘ my senses, I know that it’s me and not them (okay, so it’s kind of them…but it’s still absolutely me). My bottomline: I’m turning 30 in a month, and after all these years time for something – anything – to give.

First things first, I’m not crazy – and I’m not alone, either.  A few clicks on a keyboard and bam:

misophoniaInitially excited then freaked out by my two schools of thought (which were, in their exact order: There’s more of us! followed by I have a neurological disorder?!) I did what any slightly obscure person with too much time on their hands and a good internet connection would do: research.  Typically starting in childhood, Soft Sound Sensitivity Syndrome (4S)  begins with an emotionally significant trigger event and over time becomes part of  a negative feedback cycle.  Usually, the emotional trigger is someone close to the individual on a personal level – which makes Thanksgiving extra fun for us!  Though it’s a neurological disorder, it’s yet to be considered part of the DSM5 criteria. At older onset, Misophonia goes hand in hand with tinnitus and hyperacusis, typically associated with hearing loss or head trauma. On a scale of 0 (no discomfort) to 10 (homicidal) – I rank in at a 6. Okay.

Triggers’come in all shapes and sizes, or should I say – sounds, from verbal to non-verbal – visual and even environmental:

Smacking gum, eating nuts, soup slurping, lip smacking, sucking on lollipops, eating chips, eating ice chips, eating popcorn, snoring, tapping on the keyboard, tapping on the steering wheel, fluorescent lights, honking, yelling, nails on a chalkboard, old clocks ticking, trains, dogs barking, nail biting, muffled talking, whispering, sibilance, etc. Let’s put it this way, if it makes noise – it can be a nightmare. (For the complete list of Misophonia Triggers)

So, what’s a girl to do? I mean, I can’t just avoid eating with people for the rest of my life – right? So, I’ve developed a few tricks that help keep me sane when all I actually want to do is throw a temper tantrum or the occasional plate.

First, try honesty.  Yeah. Honesty. If it’s someone you love – like your parents, siblings, significant other or best friend – and you actually enjoy their company, try seeing if they can tone it down a bit.  Maybe close their mouth while they chew, or not talk with such vigor with a mouth full of food, or not slurp their soup or tap their fingers so menacingly.  But, after mentioning it once…twice…or a few times just for good effect, it’s time to throw up the white flag and accept defeat – and a different course of action.

I discovered that if I mimic the noises, it keeps me from losing my temper while attempting to physically (and passive aggressively) drop the hint that it’s loud and or obnoxious. But moving from the solution side of the equation to the problem side isn’t always the best route.  If things start getting testy, I’ll volunteer to play DJ and inspire some tunage and in extreme times of strife, I leave the room; clear the table, clean a dish, go to the bathroom, read the newspaper in the bathroom – you name it, if you’re a loud eater I’ve probably done all of the above while you were none the wiser, stuffing your face at the table.

Did you just have an Ah-Ha! Moment? How do you cope with unbearable noises?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

[The Audiofiles] Music Monday: Go One Deeper

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I know Monday’s can hurt, but Music always helps!  My musical taste ebbs and flows like an irreverent tide – but lately I’ve been attracted to a deeper, darker side of ‘Deep House’; the kind of music you’d find at at DirtyBird BBQ, at an early morning yoga sesh at Lightning in a Bottle or in a dark warehouse at 3am with 300 of your newest, closest friends. Hailing from France, Shiba San is the latest in a slew of DirtyBird producers that just tickle my eardrums.  His heavy bass infused deep house is perfect; from the dancefloor to the car stereo and more, he intricately layers Hip Hop, House and a little bit of soul into a whole lot of fun.

And then the Robot Heart Community, known for their epic NYC parties and Burning Man Sound Camps, released a historic set from Above & Beyond that I get incredible FOMO over; yes, the rumors are true – my favorite trance triumverate put together a deep house ‘yoga set’ for Elena Brewer and the result is pure magic.