Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Artwork!

Check out Justin's work on Facebook!



Joshua Tree Music Festival

Been curious about Joshua Tree Music Festival for quite some time - Matt's birthday was an exceptional excuse to buy tickets! Tracy, Matthew and I packed up her Monte Carlo and drove five hours to 29 Palms. Since Joshua Tree is a National Park and needs to be preserved for future generations (Yay Teddy Roosevelt!), the festival was actually held at a campground about five miles North of the Park entrance.  It would go against the grain, so to speak, to hold a festival where crazy hippies would be scaling canyon walls, tromping over endangered plants, and trying to fly off boulders - if you know that I mean...

A small get together - Maybe, 4,000 people went?  Perhaps not even that many - Lots of art, families, dogs, and adorable hippie children with hoola hoops - This tiny four year old girl was hooping around Tracy and I... Tracy said something like, "You are so beautiful and talented with that hoop!" And the little girl said, "I know..." And she started doing laps around us, smiling and dancing.... so friggin cute!  I might not like children much, but the little flower kids are special...

Matt, who has never been to a camping music festival before, could not figure out how balance sleep with enjoying the festival..... While Matt does not do drugs and rarely drinks - He DOES dance like a crazy fool - The kid needs a five foot wingspan in order to avoid knocking people out or tripping on his own feet.... All this fantastic dancing, leads to him meeting fantastic people - For example, on this trip, he met a beautiful guy from Kenya who teaches breakdancing and hiphop, who was also the lead singer for Dusu .... we got to check out the tour bus and backstage for awhile - Matt slept a total of, maybe, ten hours the entire weekend - I would wake up to see him crawl into bed just as the sun was coming up, he would sleep three or four hours, and then have to deal with a searing hot tent around 10am...

The festival was a helluva lot of fun! Music was funkalicious - Bonerama came all the way from New Orleans to play (their band is almost all trombones and tubas...) StantonWarriors did a DJ set that had hundreds of people dancing on the dance floor - Evaro, a very talented band from Joshua Tree which consists of mostly family members, did a fantastic job on Sunday... Now that I am thinking about it, I wish I picked up their CD.... they were really really good. Fucking Mexican Institute of Sound put on a killer dance set on Friday night

By Sunday afternoon, everyone who had been partying all weekend and could hardly move - This included Tracy, Matthew, and I... We had spent the entire weekend, from Noon-Midnight dancing in the front row like crazy people - When those two bands took the stage on Sunday, I could not even tell you who they were.... The whole festival was laying down in the shade, half dozing in and out of sleep - Sometimes I would see someone stand up and try to dance and I would think, "What are you trying to prove, buddy...  go back to bed" - Matt, Tracy and I were all curled up, sharing a plate of food that someone had gifted us, completely exhausted .... It was peaceful, comfy, there were two hundred people sleeping beside us, I was convinced that nothing could peel me off the ground... nothing in the world...

Delhi 2 DublinUntil Delhi 2 Dublin took the stage!!!!!...... Have any of you ever heard of them!?  They are INSANE!  Their music does not allow you to sit quietly - It takes over your body and demands that you Irish jig to their an electric sitar...!  Saturday night, Delhi 2 Dublin played a gig in Vancouver until 2am, jumped a plane at 4am to Joshua Tree, and put on one of the best sets of the entire weekend - high energy, great sound..... great way to end the weekend....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Burnt Toast! May 6th-9th

While Tracy and her boyfriend were unable to attend the small regional burn in North Eastern AZ because of financial issues - Matthew and I pulled some strings, glued things together, made it work - Enterprise ("home of the weekend special") gave me full rein of any car in the lot.  I chose this cute little blue thing, big empty trunk, never driven before, only 50 miles on it.... Perfect for a Thelma and Louise roadtrip....

While Matt browsed for hot guys on Facebook, I put together a Burning Man Checklist: 6x8 $20 tent from Target, tons of warm blankets, 1 gallon of water a day per a person (Also used to weigh tent down during sand storms/wind storms), baby wipes (no showers at the Burn), vitamins, food bars, saltine crackers, bananas, beer, wine, drinking cups, big heavy boots, really fun/funky/sexy costumes..... Ooooh and the new Sookie Stackhouse books.....

Never before have I driven through the eastern part of AZ (I have been just about everywhere else in the state) - There are the most gorgeous, majestic mountains out there.... like Flagstaff, but with far less people - It was around 6pm when Matt and I found ourselves checking into Toast, setting up camp.  Like the Playa in Nevada - The desert near St John's is really windy! Unlike the Playa in Nevada (which has absolutely no life or vegetation), Toast was full of bugs, cacti, and bushes - It was also full of cow poop.... LOTS of cow poop.  Luckily, with the 2010 Burning Man theme being Metropolis, our neighbor across the street started building cow pie skyscrapers and buildings to burn at the end of the week... which diminished the cow poop in our area significantly...

Again, unless you have attended Burning Man, I cannot really explain this festival to you - The Burn is nothing short of Magic.  Dancing with like minds, shaking it with facinating peoples, chatting with an exciting German man from AZ who chases Emu and creates fantastic fire-balloons from the 1500's, listening to songs sung from the heart, moments of love, stories of life, sharing a campfire in a 30 degree night - Matthew met a very interesting bi-sexual breakdancing millionaire who accidentally killed his 16 year old sweetheart fifteen years ago in a car crash - Matthew also partied so hard that he breakdanced all over my brand-new camcorder (oh well, so much for my 6 day old camcorder, eh?)  Randomly, I found a girl who was wearing one of the necklaces that Pat and I made for Burning Man last year - out of 55,000 people, Pat and I only made 200 necklaces and she had one right there in AZ - Also, Matt and I drunkenly helped this guy put together his Boma hut, which was made from PVC tape and insulated cardboard, only to find out that he was Tracy's neighbor at Burning Man in 2009 - It is strange how small our world feels when you really think about it....

This particular burn (which is less than 300 people) started to feel like home only a few days in - Faces were completely recognizable by the end of the weekend - It was a giant summercamp, full of art and positive ideas....

While the weekend really was a blast - Saturday meant the most - Around Noon, Matt and I decided to ban up with a camp full of botanists for a full day hike out to a canyon full of petroglyphs - Bags packed, water bottles filled, dogs unleashed, nine very happy people and five very happy dogs set off for a distant canyon - Three mile hike out was easy - Story goes that over 17,000 people lived on the canyon walls and water was plentiful - yet, sometime in the 1700's the water dried up and all the indigenous people had to move elsewhere - In present times, water still has not made an appearance but arrowheads and pieces of clay-pots litter the canyon floor.... While I hiked the bottom of the canyon - crawling over boulders, skirting cactus, ducking under bushes - Matthew, scaled the walls and leaping rock to rock, hundreds of feet in the air, watching birds fly beneath his feet (haha... maybe I am exaggerating a bit....but he was REALLY far up there, it was freaking me out).... The petroglyphs were brilliant - Scattered throughout the canyon, they were tucked inside of all kinds of nooks and crannies... it was like looking for jellybeans on Easter - Unlike a lot of ancient places where you only get to see one or two drawings - This protected canyon had hundreds.....

Hours later.... walking out of that canyon was not so easy... not easy at all - Nearly out of water, separated from a bunch of the group (most left earlier than us), drained from jumping over boulders in the 90 degree heat, dragging feet across three miles of sandy desert... I was sure the evening would end with Matt and I being ravaged by tumbleweeds... and yet, that constant and distant, pumping techno music drove us forward towards our temporary city... so familiar... that sound.  So Burning Man.... We found our home again...

Photos:  While I have no photos from Burnt Toast right now, Matt and I did make some friends who are going to try to email us a few pictures... :  )  So look forward to that sometime next week...!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Adventure in AZ....

Tomorrow I fly to Tucson, meet Matthew at the airport (he gets in an hour before I do).... Tracy will pick us up and the adventure begins! Excited to see my people... Have not seen Matthew since April (which really was not that long ago) but I have not seen Tracy since I moved into my apartment wayyyy back in October... it has been awhile...

For Matt's birthday... I bought him tickets to all kinds of fun festivals and things for the next two weeks. First will be a small Burning Man event called Toast! Good times camping and hanging out with awesome people.... Matt has been to a few regional burns - including Firefly in Vermont and the NYC decompression. This will be my first regional, (although I am also attending Burning Flipside at the end of this month in TX... two burns in one month! Go me!)

From the Toast, Tracy, Matthew and I all drive out to Phx to work a full week.... From Phx to the Joshua Tree Music Festival - The three of us shall dance like total psychos throughout the weekend - Joshua Tree Fest is mostly loud soulful reggae/funk/dance music (gonna shake what my momma gave me) Camping on site all weekend in Tracy's giant Burning Man tent - From there, we head to LA for a jam packed work week - If I can get enough sleep on this trip, I am expecting it to be a blast... *crosses fingers*

Photos:  Malibu - May 2009

Going Veggie...

When I said I was going Vegetarian on Facebook, everyone went,"Noooo - you will lose too much weight, what about those curves?" - For future reference, genetics will never allow me to lose my curves - Impossible... stop worrying...

Decided to go Veg after Matthew stayed here for SXSW.... Matthew, my bestest friend ever, has been living in Syracuse NY for two years now with a house full of crazy Vegans. They have "Save The Pig" magnets all over the fridge, they wash all their sandwich bags, every non-perishable in their house is a product of dumpster-diving, they conserve water by turning off the shower when they soap up (.....house of crazy Vegans).... Matthew has only been a Vegetarian for four months, or maybe five now, I lose track of time - But he is looking good - Looking healthy... Matthew and I have always been really competative..... so after I saw him doing the Veggie-thing and being all sexy and healthy and stuff, I kept thinking to myself, "Wonder if I could disipline myself food habits enough to be a Vegetarian...?"

Ha - bet he is reading this, smirking, like he made it happen... Wipe that smile off your face, buddy - You weren't the half of it.... Want to know what pushed me to become a Vegetarian? It was my "I am going to watch all the oscar movies": Hurt Locker, Blindsided, Up In the Air, Precious, Inglorious Bastards, ect... Which led me to the winning Documentary: The Cove (which was amazing)... Which led me to take a closer at the other documentaries that were nominated: Which Way Home, The Most Dangerous Man in America....... and Food Inc.....


Have any of you watched Food Inc? I know a few people have watched it and changed absolutely nothing about their eating habits (it happens).... I, on the other hand, was totally creeped out - The film concentrates on grocery stores and how your food gets there... While the movie covers all kinds of food: Organic, Soy, Chicken farms, Corn industry, Dairy... It was the Beef industry, the ecoli, the mass number of dirty farms, quanity over quality.... that just really turned me off. Meat being mass produced like that, is not safe... Not even about the animals (I know that sounds horrible) but it is not... It is about how the meat you buy in the supermarket comes from one of four companies. Those four companies mass produce meat... Millions and millions (and millions) of animals go through those slaughterhouses, seven days a week, can you imagine how dirty your food is by the time it gets to you? Your hamburger is made out out of over 1,000 cows... yuck....

Anyways - This Veggie thing is more of a challenge. It has been five weeks since I have had meat and yet, this could easily be a temporary thing, who knows - All I know, is that if I decide to start eating bacon (mmmm) again... it is going to be bought locally, safely, and from a place I trust... like our local Wheatsville Co-op here in Austin

Photos: May 1st 2010, Shot by MeadowSoft (my new buddy from Boston... who randomly was in Austin last week)