The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

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Posts for ADVENTURES Category

Art Dorks Explore Las Vegas

ADVENTURES, ART - December 7, 2019

Dan and I are a couple of art dorks.

Exploring Las Vegas hasn’t been high on our priorities list, but an opportunity came up that we couldn’t pass up

Family is extremely important to my husband and I. My first Christmas with my husband’s family, they remarked how I must be surprised by their volume and I laughed saying they had yet to hit my family’s decibel level. Our love of family, even if we are the odd ones in the group, is a part of what bonded us as a couple. So, when his older brother was planning a 21st birthday celebration for his son in Las Vegas we decided it was time to visit Sin City together.

It was so much fun making memories with my husband’s family. On the first day there, they collectively won 1,800. They know how to do Las Vegas, and it was great experiencing the city with them.

Below are the home videos of our adventure in Vegas!

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EXPLORE SPARROW MART WITH ME

ADVENTURES, ART - August 28, 2018

The handmade art installation of 31,000 felt pieces by the artist Lucy Sparrow.

Unfortunately, Sparrow Mart closed it’s doors this past Saturday, but if you weren’t able to enjoy the felt made mecca in real life, you can come explore with me!

I found out about Sparrow Mart like most people did, through social media. But fortunately, because I follow a handful of arty farty people, I saw a peak of it during its exclusive opening night. Two days later I took a half day from work and met Dan in Downtown LA to go and visit Sparrow Mart. The handmade art installation included 31,000 pieces that took 4 people and 1 year to create, the creative vision lead by artist Lucy Sparrow.

The store was mini-mart sized but more like a miniature Gelsons, as it was stocked with produce and meats, a sushi counter and fresh fish. The shelves had brand names that invoked childhood memories, and Sparrow was clever in her selection of products to reproduce. Nostalgia mixed with a bit of novelty is what made Sparrow Market so special.

It was important to me to check out the store while it was fully stocked. All the items were available for purchase, and I knew as the buzz grew, the markets visual impact would dwindle. I’ve always been fascinated with the quantity versus quality aspect of art and life. My ice princess attitude towards Andy Warhol has melted over the years, but for a long time, I hated him because of his use of quantity to create an artistic statement – the use of repetition. And as I’m at Sparrow Mart thoroughly enjoying myself, looking at the felt Brillo Boxes, I’m hit with the quantity over quality constant again.  A principle I once protested, I now acknowledge the merit of because when it’s done well there is nothing to dispute.

when art imitates art

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JOURNEY TO THE MOTH STAGE – OBSESSION

ADVENTURES, READ - February 14, 2018

It’s been a little over a month since I went to my last Moth StorySlam and I am jonesing for a fix. I miss the energy of the room, hearing people’s stories, wondering if my name will be called. I knew when I decided to attend a few night classes that meant I would have to put the Moth aside for a few months, and I knew I would miss it, I just wasn’t expecting how much and so fast.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing the second to last Moth StorySlam story I prepared before my little hiatus. The topic of the night was “Obsession” and many girls and women graced the stage to talk about their romantic obsessions. And I would have felt lame if my story was exactly like theirs, except mine, wasn’t about my romantic obsession, but the other girl who was equally obsessed with him.

 

MOTH STORY SLAM – OBSESSION – 12/13/2017

click to read the story

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29 Rooms Los Angeles

ADVENTURES, ART - January 23, 2018

29 Rooms is an interactive art experience curated by Refinery 29 where artists and brands come together to create 29 Instagramable backdrops for your content creating enjoyment. I was really excited about 29 rooms, and super thankful my friend was able to get me in – but I’d be lying if I said that the “do it for the gram” attitude of the place didn’t leave a sour taste in my mouth.

The grammable art experiences seem to be popping up a lot these days, and my natural contrarian attitude wants to rebel against the museum of ice cream and happy place and say – no I won’t just go for the gram. I want to go for not only the visual stimulation but the intellectual stimulation. And not to say you can’t just go to something cause it’s just fun, cause I’m sure the museum of ice cream and happy place are fun for people. Maybe if I was better at posing in front of a camera I’d drink less of the haterade and be all about those fun and funky backdrops. But with 29 Rooms, we couldn’t even see all of the rooms because of limited time, mismanaged logistics, and the full-on photoshoots taking place in front of us.

I love getting that great Instagram moment as much as the next person, but I don’t want to do it at the expense of cultural enrichment. I’d like to know the who, what, and why behind what I experience. And sure, maybe some of the 29 Rooms were just sponsored pop-ups made by a collection of set designers who have no emotional investment in the mini-environment they created, but I know for a fact some of the rooms / installations were more than that and to not provide proper information educating people places the LGBTQ install on the same level of importance as the pink sand Shea Moisture install.

To give them some credit, there were small placards affixed to the wall next to the door of some of these rooms, but they were hard to read and considering the entire experience was just more of a mad dash to see what room you could get in, one ended up being more focused on trying to have an experience than finding the information on the room. I really wish they would have the info someplace online (I’ve yet to find it).

In my ideal world, 29 rooms would have time slots, and you’d walk through each room with about a minute or two to enjoy each space. Hell, make it 30 seconds, Yayoi Kasuma’s Infinity Rooms was 30 seconds and worth every moment. But I’m not the curator of 29 Rooms, and I just have to accept that our world is moving into a place where smart people can make money off those that want to enjoy an interactive highly Instagramable art experience.  I just hate it when I become a pawn, and totally know I’m a pawn – and am a little ok with being a pawn.

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JOURNEY TO THE MOTH STAGE – REVELATIONS

ADVENTURES, READ - December 6, 2017

Remember a few weeks ago when I shared my first “Journey to The Moth Stage” post, where I shared my dreams of telling a story on a Moth stage, and I wouldn’t give up until I did it. Well, I went back to a Moth StorySlam two weeks after my first Moth Slam and was called to the stage.

I thought it would take longer

My master goal is to get to The Moth GrandSlam stage, and that only happens when you win a StorySlam. I knew the story I was going to share wasn’t a winner, but I still wanted to put my name in the hat. Also, I want to say that my admission of my stories strength isn’t self-deprecating. I’m quickly learning what makes for a winning story and I’m sure I have one in me, just the one I shared on November 21 was not going to be a winner. However, it did land me somewhere in the middle of the story-tellers pack. So, I’m happy it was at least entertaining.

The topic this slam was REVELATIONS, and I desired to share my spiritual journey and revelation about religion and my decision to become a confirmed Catholic. I wrote out my story, revised it, rehearsed it in the shower, and had a nervous breakdown in my bed in the midst of reciting it to Dan the night before. But despite the tears and anxiety, I was determined just to put myself out there, to put my name in the hat. Basically, there is no glory or growth staying in a familiar place, and damn it I want to get a story on the Moth Radio Hour (someday).

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Journey to The Moth Stage – CONTROL

ADVENTURES, READ - November 9, 2017

If you listen to your local, national public radio station, you’re probably familiar with The Moth. Specifically, The Moth radio hour, an hour worth of curated stories from people’s lives that entertain and inform us all about life and the human condition. Each story is a true story from the storyteller’s life and what they share can be humorous, emotional, heartfelt, but basically always leaves you feeling a little more connected to humanity than you did before – or at least it does for me. I love listening to people’s stories. I love connection. So I really love The Moth.

I’ve fantasized about being on The Moth radio hour, but it’s a long road to get there, and it starts with StorySlams. The Moth hosts StorySlams in various cities across the country that are centered around a specific theme. Storytellers then coming to the event put their name in the proverbial hat and destiny decides whether they will share that story or not. Each story is judged by random people in the audience, and the winner of the night goes onto a GrandSlam where they compete against other StorySlam winners. The stories that get onto The Moth Radio Hour are curated from the Moth Mainstage, which is another level of The Moth that I assume one gets to by winning a GrandSlam.

It’s a journey, and one I am ready to embark on. I’ve been called an oversharer. I definitely identify as being a writer. So why not! Last night I attended my first Moth StorySlam. I crafted a story around the topic of control, and then decided it wasn’t good enough to perform – so I just went to observe. Since I was a newbie, I felt just getting a lay of the land would be good and I’m so glad I gave myself the grace to try and then know when I may be out of my realm. Well, after listening to fabulous stories, and not so great presenters of stories, and stories that weren’t even on topic – I have COMPLETE confidence that anything I write is worthy of my name in the hat. And really, I can only get better with each try. So I’m going to keep on trying.

When you attend a StorySlam, slips of paper with a question around the topic is on the chairs, and people can write a two sentence story around the topic to toss into a box. Last night the topic was “Control, ” and the question was, “When was there a time you felt you had lost control.” I wrote four sentences that outline the story I’m going to share below. The host read my slip of paper, the audience laughed, and she ended by saying, “That’s not a two sentence story, that’s an existential crisis.” I loved it. But her saying it was an existential crisis was sort of the reason my instincts said to not share my story because it didn’t feel like a story, it felt more like an essay.

Later in the evening, Dan and I ran into a few of the people who were also at the StorySlam, and I had confessed which slip of paper was mine. They burst into laughter and astonishment in being able to relate to my life existential crisis and encouraged me to share my stories – because it seemed like I could tell a good one.

So without further ado – here is my story around the theme of “CONTROL.”

(please note this is the first and only draft)

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AN ADVENTURE IN NAPA

ADVENTURES - September 24, 2017

In the past two years, with all the wedding planning, Dan and I haven’t gone on as many adventures as we would like to take. So when we were invited to a wedding in Napa this year, we went full road trip status. I splurged on a new vlog camera and we made sure to make time for some roadside attractions.

Here is our Napa Adventure recapped: 

Napap

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The Coachella Beekeeper

ADVENTURES, SNAIL MAIL - April 29, 2017

Yesterday, as I scrolled through the train wreck… not even, the nuclear meltdown that was #FyreFestival, I was overcome with shame for every time I complained the vegetarian options outside of VIP sucked at Coachella. Dan and I survived working the Coachella record store another year and have officially decided not to do it again; we even bought hoodies as a commemorative souvenir. Coachella is an emotionally and physically exhausting event to work, and I’m still getting over my Coachella induced cold. But Coachella overall is an amazing festival that really takes care of its attendees. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to create a great experience for those that attend the festival, that to complain about any of it just shows the amount of delusion us first world people live in (and I’m super guilty). Anyways, one of the little details you’ve probably never thought about when it comes to festival production is ‘pest’ control. I’ve been to Coachella five times and not once did it occur to me they have an onsite beekeeper to remove hives until I sat down to dinner with him. The Coachella Beekeeper.

Dan and I like to retreat to catering where there is an oasis of iced tea, fruit infused water, and a dessert bar. It also has buffet food for those working in production and have an artist pass, but we don’t get access to that. Anyways, as Dan and I went to catering to rest our weary legs and drink some free cold beverages, I sat down at a table with a friendly looking guy. Since I don’t have permission to use his name, he will be referred to as Mr. B.

Mr. B looked like an old rock dude with shoulder length hair. Out of curiosity and polite dinner conversation I asked what he did for the festival. Mr. B then proceeded to tell me he relocated beehives. I was shocked and excited. My face lit up! We then went on to talk about the dwindling bee population and how he got into bee removal. He grew up in Colorado and started beekeeping at the age of 12. Later, when he moved out to Palm Springs in his early twenties, he was working as a waiter when the opportunity to remove a beehive came up. With the experience he had from his days of beekeeping in Colorado, he attempted to remove the hive and was successful. He immediately saw a business opportunity and never went back to waiting tables again. For the last 30 years, he’s been relocating hives from businesses and buildings to his farm where the hives can thrive in safety.

I loved talking about bees with Mr. B, who had removed at least five different hives from the festival grounds. Coachella bee removal, a logistical element I would have never thought of, but this pro-festival has it on lock.  Mr. B also worked Desert Trip, and his eyes lit up when talking about meeting Mick Jagger.

It was an awesome and unexpected interaction. I wasn’t even going to share this story until I read about the Titanic failure of Fyre Festival. Production is not an easy job, and Coachella really runs a tight ship. So this is 1) me sharing about the most interesting man I met at Coachella, 2) a giant apology for ever complaining about anything, 3) a massive thank you to the amazing people that coordinate an experience for 125,000 people.

yum humble pie - coachella

** p.s. Before anyone makes a comment about Coachella funding hate groups because you saw a viral video. Please see the below comment I made on another friend’s Facebook post.

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COACHELLA MINI SURVIVAL KIT // WHAT’S IN MY BAG

ADVENTURES, BEAUTY & STYLE - April 11, 2017

I’ve attended Coachella once as a festival goer, and have been working at the festival in the merch department for the last 3 years. That totals up to 4 years of Coachella experience. So let me share my insight with you!  The desert elements can be brutal and I keep a few essential items in my purse while going between my shifts at the record store and favorite band sets. My camping guide is even more comprehensive and hopefully, I can put that together between now and Thursday, but none-the-less here is what I keep in my purse.

Coachella Festival Whats In My Bag

  1. My cell phone/camera. Instead of carrying around an extra camera, I will just be filming and taking photos on my cell. I also keep my phone on airplane mode most of the time to save its battery. The first time I went to Coachella as a festival goer, I challenged myself to unplug and not be on my phone to distract myself from my awkward social anxiety. There are so many friendly people in the world, open yourself up to meeting a few by just saying hello!
  2. External battery charger. Fortunately, there are dozens of charging stations inside the festival. But do you really want to be attached to an electrical box instead of discovering a new band? No, no you do not. Bring an extrenal battery charger and you’ll be safe from experiencing FOMO.
  3. Tissues. There is a lot of dirt and dust. Tissues keep me from driving myself crazy with the sniffles.
  4. Cottonelle Flushable Wipes. A few years ago flushable toilettes were installed at the Empire Polo fields that helped provide alternative options to the porta potties. But regardless you are using the same bathroom as hundreds of other people, and in case you happen to go in one when there is no toilet paper – now you have a backup. (the tissues are good for this too obviously)
  5. Wet Ones. A lot of the food inside the festival is finger food and after touching money, grass, dirt, just everything… my hands feel gross. Before eating I like to wipe my hands with wet wipes to keep things clean. Instead of just using regular gel antibacterial, the wet wipes actually remove the dirt instead of turning into sanitized mud.
  6. Face Mask / Bandana. It gets really windy in the desert causing dirt to fly into the air and get lodged in your lungs. Even if it’s not a windy day/ night, upon exiting the festival dirt is kicked up into the air by everyone walking around you. Stay healthy by protecting your lungs, keep a face mask on you. Don’t get the Coachella cough – it’s not cute.
  7. Sunscreen. Pretty self-explanatory. Skin cancer, also not cute.
  8. Band-aids. Blisters happen. If you’re not used to being on your feet for 12+ hours while dancing and walking about 5 miles over the course of the day, then just have some band-aids on hand. Better safe than sorry.
  9. Allergy Medicine (Zyrtec).  You technically can’t bring allergy meds into the festival, so take some before going in. I get pretty bad allergies since there is so much grass and dirt in the air. I take a little Zyrtec and I’m good to go for the day.
  10. Cash Diet. I like to bring cash to the festival because it helps me manage my spending. The food is amazing, the beer garden is on point. So instead of using my card, I like to use cash. Plus then I’m able to tip the vendors. It’s physically exhausting working the festival, especially for the food vendors working in hot tents cooking yummy eats for everyone. Tips can be super encouraging.
  11. Sunglasses. I bought my first pair of prescription sunglasses in 2012 for my first Coachella experience. I knew I’d be in the sun all day and I wanted to protect my eyes. It’s been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I recommend for those who do not need prescription sunnies, to bring cheap sunglasses so they don’t get lost. But for those that wear glasses like me, treat yo’ self.

I seriously have so many tip, tricks, and hacks for navigating Coachella.

If you have a question, feel free to leave it below! 

Happy festival season my fellow music lovers.

LOVE & LIGHT

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UT: VIP Access to Petroglyphs

ADVENTURES, TRAVEL - December 2, 2016

We seriously had VIP Access to some of the best petroglyphs in Utah, along with the amazing views of Natural Bridges.

I have a friend who is a park ranger. She is still at the start of her career, so she will jump from site to site until finding a permanent position. But the year Dan and I were driving around the country, she was working at Natural Bridges National Monument. I’d never heard of the place, but as I love nature and free lodging, we decided to spend a few nights with her.

Hiking is fun, but hiking with a park ranger is a flipping bad ass adventure! Without my friend, we would have hiked around the park following designated trails and such, seeing the sites but never going deep in the canyons. With my friend, we were opened up to a whole new world of Ancient Puebloans architecture and petroglyphs. My imagination swirls drawing up scenes of the Puebloan people carving their stories into the stone, messages for their community. We picked up two small books on deciphering the symbols, that I have tucked away somewhere, so well hidden I’m not sure where they are located. Perhaps I should have made a petroglyph map to them on my bedroom wall. (oh, the jokes!)

We seriously had VIP Access to some of the best petroglyphs in Utah, along with the amazing views of Natural Bridges. I’d love to return and explore more, this time in better shape. When we went I was way less fit than I am now. When I bemoaned I was in pain, my park ranger friend asked what I had hurt very concerned, I informed her oh nothing – I’m just severely out of shape.  This trip also inspired Dan and I’s New Year Morning hike tradition. We were so inspired by the beautiful scenery and burn from the hike, we really felt alive.  We feel the rush is the best way to start a new year.

Here are the photos from our awesome VIP hike.

Utah Natural Bridges National Monument_ Petroglyphs

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The above image is the view from the ground of where the large collection of petroglyphs are hidden.

 

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