Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coachella 2014

I was lucky enough to attend Coachella with experts.  And I was impressed with everything I experienced.  Food was good, lines were short, people had good energy.  It was spectacular.  I also couldn't get over the beautiful bodies and faces.  It was obvious that people spent months to be seen at Coachella. Abs abs abs everywhere and a pretty face to match.

I was expecting dirt ground, but it was all grassy and comfortable to lay on.
I was expecting long lines, but there were none
I was expecting insufferable heat, but there were plenty of shady spots and air conditioned booths
I was expecting my phone to die and to get lost, but my group had a lit up guiding lantern that kept us together and we found charging stations
I was expecting to pay an arm and a leg for water, but it was ALL free with easy filling stations
I was expecting to be bored, but as Jimmy described it - it's a playground with tons to see and things to interact with.
I was expecting to have difficulty sleeping, but the Marriot Villa Suite that we stayed at was pretty upscale.
I was expecting to wait an hour to leave, but our shuttle got us out of there quick!

I was expecting to be exhausted... that.. was a reality.  Currently I'm tired and spent all of Monday just laying down.  From the standing, the heat, the non-stopness of it all.

I stayed pretty sober, only drinking in the morning on the shuttle before I was forced to dispose the liquid before entering the grounds.  But it wasn't hard to sneak things in, but I wasn't really trying.



I wish I had taken pictures of all the unique things that people held up in the air to keep from getting lost in the crowd.  They printed large pictures of their faces/celebrities, they held up glowing gummy bears, they tied stuffed animals on sticks.  Even though there were 45,000 people there, It was easy to stay together if you held up something.  And the creativity made this part of the event really interesting.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/50-best-things-we-saw-at-coachella-2014-20140414/best-way-to-be-found-giant-heads-0996908


What's even more amazing is that Coachella transforms at night.


The best thing to do when the sun sets is to remove your sunglasses and use a face wipe to peel off the layers of sunscreen on your face.  All of a sudden, you're at a different festival.  And people start to glow.


What about the music?  The performances were amazing.  And the light shows made me feel like I was tripping on drugs when I was completely sober the entire time.  I learned that it's always better to be in front, but that's difficult when you want to see multiple acts.

This is what I saw:

Friday
HAIM - Ern/Erik got me into HAIM.  These girls were fun to watch with their facial expressions... they were our welcome to Coachella
Bastille - Just stopped by to listen to their hit Pompeii
Ellie Golding - Fun to sing along to though I couldn't understand her when she spoke
Chromeo - SO good!  I was dancing around, I love the beats
Flume - I don't remember
Zedd - We were deep in Sahara air hangar-like arena immersed in lights, this was intense

Saturday
Banks - She was wearing a big hat and looks like Monica from Friends.  She was hitting those high notes
CHVRCHES
Capital Cities - The trumpet player was good... and Safe and Sound.
MGMT - Missed their hit songs to catch Lorde
Lorde - Amazing live
Solange - We were pretty close and Solange is a very amazing performer.  Once Beyonce came out, the crowd did NOT know how to react.  I think I lost my breath.  They danced together.  It was amazing.

Pharrell Williams - Wish I was closer to the stage to see ALL of his surprise guests!  His voice was shocked so he couldn't really sing

Sunday

Flosstradamus - Jimmy LOVES this DJ.  We were in the front and ended up moshing. I was worried because I was surrounded by children, but it was pretty fun!  Flosstradamus got all of the girls up on the guys shoulders at one point.  And though I missed a confetti shower, I experienced a water bottle shower when the group encouraged everyone to throw something in the air when the beat dropped.  Ridiculously fun.
I'm on the right with Jimmy

Little Dragon - She's part Asian.  Yay.  I saw her first song.  Yawn.
Calvin Harris - We were a bit far and the closer we got, the harder it was to see.  Still great!
Lana Del Rey - Great vocals, but I wanted to sit for this performance
Disclosure - Amazing. Amazing.  When it was just me and Jimmy, I pushed us closer to the front and he fell in love with the night when Sam Smith appeared.

Sad that I missed 
The Knife - Ern said they were great theatrical performers.
Fatboy Slim - Just wanted to hear their "She's All That" Song.. Funk Soul Brother
Empire of the Sun - For that one song I love...
The Yuma tent was also supposed to be pretty inside with hardwood floor and shiny things

During Disclosure, we found a large group of older shirtless meaty gays obviously tripping on something and making out with each other.  "I can't until I reclaim my gay youth when I turn 40 I thought to myself."

Jimmy put together a video of the weekend which included the Do Over Pool Party.



I think I'll go again next year.  But really think about wearing things that glow for the evening and getting creative with the guiding sticks.

Brunch with the boys at Ace Hotel Cafe: King's Highway

Cait wait!  I hope the prices don't go up again.




Most of these pictures were taken from Instagram #Coachella - photo credit given in file name

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Arraignment

2014 is not my year.  When I went to pick up a coworker in downtown back in December, I was going 45MPH down my usually road to Little Tokyo, this time it was during school time.  What's the cost of 45 in a school zone?  When all is said and done: $441 for the fine and traffic school to get it off your record.

I did intensive research and found this great first person account: http://therazzline.net/article/traffic_ticket_advice.html


But instead of selecting a court date, requesting an extension and praying that my cop doesn't show up, I accidentally selected "Schedule an Arraignment" with no way of undoing it.  Well fuck, I messed that up.  What is an arraignment!??  It's when you go to court and they tell you what you did wrong - if you plead guilty you pay, if you plead not guilty you schedule a court date.  Wait.. you could avoid this extra meeting if you just pay.  I'm an idiot.

But I confirmed this notion through my adventures - go to court, your fine will be reduced.  After doing the courtroom dance lead by an amusing court officer who was both patient, positive and way too good at their job handling confused and stressed people the judge came in and said the following.

"... some of you will plead not guilty and roll your dice that your officer will not show up.  But you lose your right to traffic school and the odds are probably against you.  However, we understand everyone's economic hardships.  Your fine will be slashed in half if you plead guilty today."

And like a processed food on a conveyer belt we all stood up, walked up to the mic, said our plea and went on our way.

"Jose, you did not stop at a right turn, how do you plead?"
"Guilty..."
"Your fine is cut in half, please make your way upstairs.. you have the option for community service or traffic school."  The judge had a great motherly smile.

"Amy, you were jaywalking"  ... people waiting their turn started to whisper.  Poor tall blonde girl in a miniskirt, you should have used the crosswalk.

So my $441 didn't cut to $220.50, but to $312.  Because the court FEEs remained the same.  I'll take it.  And it's the best route to admitting guilt and paying a lower fee for those who feel morally obligated to being punished.... I did see those children I suppose.

MegaFail on Megabus


This is image is pretty dramatic, but that's what it felt like inside my stomach when I missed my bus to San Francisco by 3 minutes.  I spent hours laying out the logistics of my VERY last minute trip to the bay area - what time I would leave work, who I would meet up with, where I would eat.  Down to the second because ... that's me.  On my way to the station from work, I asked the bus driver if I should switch to the subway to avoid downtown traffic, he recommended that I just stay on the city bus that I was on.  I failed to inform him that I was in a rush.

It took me 1.5 hours to get to the downtown station and 5 minutes to disrupt my body chemistry.  Jimmy picked me up and made me feel better.  My mind was fine, but my stomach churned sharply.  A sensation that was neither nausea or indigestion.  Before this, I thought I could stay composed in intense situations such as when Jimmy though he was having a heart attach or when I was a life guard, but apparently not because this missed bus made my stomach do strange things.

It wasn't until I tweeted @megabus and wrote on their FB wall after eating dinner with Jimmy did I feel better.  YEAH! Justice!

But this situation really does show how comfortable my life has been when minor set backs like this upset me so harshly biologically.

The story:


Anyway - lesson learned.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Q1 - 2014

Because of work, I'm starting to think of my year in quarters.  Did we hit our goals?  Q1, 2014 felt like a bit of a waste.  Aside from a very wonderful trip to the Pacific Northwest, I find myself not as entertained with life as I used to be.

I've discovered that I've become impatient with people who lack the specific logic that I possess.  I used to be so patient.  I'm uninspired by people because there isn't anyone who I really look up to.  No close gaysian friends who are married. Though it's basically like being a part of the first Senior Class at a brand new high school... "we're allowed to marry now... um... I guess we're the first ones.  Good luck everyone."

I'm feeling old as I interact with younger millennials in various atmospheres.  The snapchat generation, the #yolo generation.  I don't understand you.  I don't understand why I complain so much about you.  But I know that you're children...

There have been projects that I've just brushed aside.  New light fixture? New photo board? new furniture?  New wardrobe? New skin regimen? New work out plan? The things that I would invest in that would be considered a "life upgrade" are afterthoughts.

I feel creepy trying to dance to songs that don't have any meaning to me.  I feel like I should have partied harder when I was younger when I had the right attitude.  Everything was still new and exciting.

How do these gays in Neverland do it?
- Party all night
- Drink all day
- Sleeping around the circle

Workout so much to preserve their bodies... but don't their minds age?  I wonder if I would be a Lost Boy in Neverland if I was single.  Or would I be complaining about the Lost Boys of Neverland after every failed date and generalize and complain about the community.

Anyway.  Let's start over 2014.

Let's start 2014 with Q2.  April.  And this is what I'll accomplish:
- Waking up early to swim... and taking a selfie to prove it every day.
... okay, let's just start there for now.

...and maybe I'll fix my bike for CicLAvia


Holi - Festival of Colors 2014

Almost missed the second annual Holi Festival in Norwalk.  Last year was amazing and I was hoping to experience the same this year.  But something about Jimmy not being able to go made it a little empty.  Plus, I've already experienced Holi so the novelty wore off.  What a debbie downer.  Next year I'm thinking about going in the later afternoon, the energy and light will be a little different.

I love going through pictures from photographers who brave the colors and bring their DSLRs.

John Truong, for example, makes this event look like a dream.  He has these amazing portraits that should be published.  SEE MORE.  He also did the Holi at Will Rogers Beach which I feel like I will crash next year so that I can finally use my bags of powered that I bought separately.  These bags were not welcome at the Norwalk event so that they could profile from you buying there.   There may be safety concerns too.

Other pictures:



When people ask about this event they say.. Oh the running thing... Yeah sure.  The Color Run.  Except without the running and with food, music and dancing.. aka... the festival the Color Run was based off of.  I've mentioned this before, but people gotta look up the origin of things.

My favorite pictures from instagram (credit in the file name).  Lots of hands!





And this is us:



Purple is the harshest color.  The boys had a good time.  When we took a shower, colors covered the drain like Carrie.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Manhattan 2013


What makes Manhattan wonderful is the feeling of independence.  When visiting New York, I was happiest when I realized that I started my evening drunk and ended my evening still drunk running around town seeing different people because nothing was holding me back.


Huan and JonJon in front of Bryant park right before I hopped on the L train to see Carl in Williamsburg for his birthday.  But what was in my body?



...ramen, the cocktail pictured above called the East Side San Jose (Espolon tequilla, honey, lemon, muddled cucumber, sriracha), two cheap frozen margaritas that gave me intense brain freeze (I had to step outside for a minute to relax my head), the best beer I've had from Ippudo and 3 vodka soda.  The city was my toilet if I needed to evacuate the excessive amounts of liquid, but I was able to keep it down and my buzz up.  "Let's move here!" stated Jimmy.

We ate at...

Jeepney - Gourmet Filipino food
Shake Shack - Meh
Coppelia - AMAZING Cuban... but we were drunk
Ippudo West - Yum!  Jon Jon used to work there so we got some special treatment!
Prosperity Dumplings - Life changing.  So cheap.
Hot and Crusty - Quick bagel breakfast
The Halal Guys - "What's the big deal?!  It's chicken/rice and RANCH!"  Jimmy is not impressed even when drunk.  But that hot sauce though - send you to the emergency room
Congee Village - Geneticboi treated us out!  So sweet of him.
Cafe Henri - Charming and amazingly affordable brunch!  Eggs Benedict FTW!
Woorijip - What an idea, it's a grocery store.. with an eating area and you can drink.  So buy your beer and soju and drink it on the spot.  BRILLIANT.



Jimmy is my travel boyfriend.

My trip to NYC included a shit ton of eating, drinking and spending of course.  But luckily we were housed by JonJon/Huan the first few days in Washington Heights which saved us a ton of money.



New York tap water is delicious.   This is the area where Huan and Jon live.  They're the sweetest.


We were in Brooklyn a lot.  Jimmy checked out a museum; Williamsburg reminds me of Berkeley.  We did Smorgasburg which is alright, but the view is wonderful.  I refused to wait in line for that ramen burger.

We saw...
Chelsea Market
Brooklyn Museum
Juilliard School - Jimmy was really excited
FAO Schwarz Flagship Store - Played on the piano from the movie "Big"





Of course we walked along the Highline and stopped the traffic of tourists to take some pictures.  This particular stretch of the highline is very interesting as it weaves threw new and old buildings.


We checked out the Lady Gaga exhibit which was disappointing since we were hoping to see the Jeff Koons statue.  But there were interesting things such as old costumes and large cover art.



Where we partied

Stone Wall Inn - The drag queen bingo reader called us the Chess club... ironically, Joe was playing chess on his iPhone.
Rosemary's Green Tavern
Union Pool
Industry Bar
Griffin - Sunday gay night - open bar for one hour... hello HiddenNYC!  Did it right.
G Lounge - Amazing hip hop in a great venue... my type of gay bar.
Employees Only - Speakeasy? Crowded and stuffy and expensive... aka a speakeasy.. but I was thrilled to check one off this list inadvertently: 9 NYC Storefronts with Secret Identities.


looking?


Geneticboi wrote a sweet entry about our visit.  Looks like we had a handful of friends in common.  "DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH MY BODY!"  He yelled as we wandered the streets.  He was so happy to see us.  I was happy to meet him - a fellow, and really talented blogger.


Here, I'm encouraging my friends to get that action.



The last few evenings we spent with Joe who lives in the middle of it.  Like.. it.. walk out of his apartment and there are people everywhere in Hells Kitchen.  But also outside of his apartment was $1 pizza.  I was so happy.... it was the only thing I wanted.  $1 pizza, crisp New York water and drunken nights.  Well at least until we saw someone throw up in the subway.  We were running from the stream that was coming toward our feet.  I felt genuinely sorry for the guy that I didn't record him.



By the end of it, Jimmy retracted his declaration.  "Fuck public transportation, I miss my car."  We were over the harsh cold.  My throat was dry at the apartment, I was shivering in the streets, then claustrophobic and exposed to germs in the subway, cold again while walking and then HOT and sweaty at the bar/restaurant  destination with no where to put my coat.   Over it.   So back to California we go.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exploring the LA River


I really wanted to check out the bike trail along the LA River and dragged my friends out to explore. We specially walked along the greenway trail.  There are projects to revitalize the river to make it more appealing to the public, but for now it remains what a lot of LA is - Ugly Beautiful.




The LA River is all concrete, but there is vegetation and life in between.  The bike trail was intense but clearly underused.  One day I will take a bike out there.



We saw about 10 people total hiking, fishing and hanging out in the perfect weather on a Saturday.  So much neglect.




What's amazing to me was Highway 5 was separated by a small metal fence.  As we walked back to our parking spot, cars were going 70MPH - too close for comfort.  There was essentially nothing protecting us from disaster if a driver lost control of the wheel.

I'm excited to see what the LA River becomes starting with 6th Street bridge.  Like all the other dozens of projects happening in the city, it's going to take lots of time.  But this is the city to be in.

==

I'm starting to realize that I have a lot of sufficient looking pictures on my iPhone and I should stop stealing Jimmy's.  I should take the time and do some edits and create my own.  So far, I like the results.

But Jimmy's LA River photos are amazing - there are a couple of boyband pictures that he took that are quite amusing.