How I Re-Discovered Cannabis—In a Conscious Way

Mr. Light Blue, Ms. Yellow, and me, Ms. Red on the right.

Mr. Light Blue, Ms. Yellow, and me, Ms. Red on the right.

I was 13 when I smoked my first bowl with one of my brothers. I’d always considered my first time smoking weed lucky; I had a guide, we were in the safety of our Oakland home, and the weed was kind Northern California bud. Our parents were out to dinner one Friday night when my 15-year-old brother sat down next to me on the sofa while I was watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

“You’re probably going to do this sooner or later, and I’d rather have your first time be here,” he said. Something in his hand glimmered: a pipe with green swirls in clear glass packed with a fresh bowl of green weed with teeny brown hairs in it.

Read the rest.



Will Oakland Lead The Psychedelic Revolution?

1_L1bMt_cJSMe0kiur90ifBg.jpg

Behind the magic mushroom movement.

The city of Oakland breeds hell-raisers. Visionary writers such as Jack London and Amy Tan have called the Town home, as did radical politician Earl Warren, who paved the way for eliminating segregation in schools. Actress Zendaya is a local legend in the making. Then, of course, there are the Black Panthers and MC Hammer and his pants.

Movements don’t happen in places where people are comfortable with the way things are happening around them. Movements do happen in Oakland, where people aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo.

Read the rest.

My Mom Survived a Back-Alley Abortion

famphoto80.jpg

Her story taught me the importance of having choices.

My mom couldn’t wait to get me birth control. Growing up, she’d gently yet boldly say things like, “Every woman should have access to birth control” and “Whenever you’re ready, we’ll get you the pill.” Her feelings were so ingrained in me that I thought all moms were all about getting their teenage daughters birth control.

Despite this, I still went behind her back to get it at Planned Parenthood when I started having sex in high school. It wasn’t my mom’s fault — I was sneaky about everything, including going to raves around the Bay Area in the ’90s. And while I knew my parents wouldn’t approve of my drug use and all-night shenanigans, I didn’t know why my mom was so passionate about birth control.

Read the rest.


Acid, Dance, Unity: What Happened to the ’90s Bay Area Rave Scene?

parklotcrew.jpg

Remembering a different time in San Francisco.

My first rave was called Eon. It started in a donut shop on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. My friend found out about the donut shop, a.k.a. the Map Point, by calling a phone number listed on the flyer for the rave. I was 16, and it was January 1996.

My acid was kicking in when we stumbled into the donut shop, the fluorescent lights frightening, the rainbow sprinkles fascinating. We handed our five dollars to two guys resembling an ostrich and a bear sitting in a corner with a cash box. They handed over a piece of paper with handwritten directions on it.

Read the rest.





Oakland love + universal truths play out in new homegrown film, 'Blindspotting'

Rafael Casal as “Miles,” Daveed Diggs as “Collin” and Jon Chaffin as “Dez” in BLINDSPOTTING. Photo by: Ariel Nava.

Rafael Casal as “Miles,” Daveed Diggs as “Collin” and Jon Chaffin as “Dez” in BLINDSPOTTING. Photo by: Ariel Nava.

Green juice. Modern homes. Hipsters. That's not the Oakland that Blindspotting co-stars and writers Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal grew up in. Police shootings. Guns. Fights. These are themes more familiar to the longtime friends.

Some things never change. Some things do, for better and for worse. Push, pull. And while locals will appreciate the homage to Oakland that this much-anticipated film delivers, it's the universal theme of change that guarantees anyone can relate.

Read the rest.

The Air Purifier That Cleared Up My Allergies

As I write this on a Monday afternoon from my home office in Venice Beach, the air I’m breathing inside my apartment is Fair compared to the outside air which is Good. The air outside (six blocks from the beach), is better than the air inside our quaint two-bedroom abode. But the air was Good in here throughout the night, from 12 am to 7 am.

Coolio Slim told me all this through my phone. He’s my Dyson Pure Cool Link air purifier fan.

Read the rest.

Digital Detox Checklist: 8 Ways to Balance Constant Checking

I'm guilty of constant checking. And if you notice people walking in the streets and on public transportation, you would think that more than 43% of Americans are "constant checkers" who can't stay away from social media. Being obsessively plugged in can lead to increased stress because rapidly changing stimuli can trigger unhealthy emotional responses more often than not. The more you tune into that screen, the more you tune out living in the moment. If you find your screen time is feeling more like a bad habit than a fun pastime, there are many things you can do to keep things real. Here's eight.

Read the rest.

Clear Minds and Happy Hearts Through Kundalini Yoga

Trying to summarize Kundalini yoga is tough for me. Let me just say this, in the year and a half that I've practiced Kundalini, I have been more grounded, more creative, and insightfully in touch with who I am—my authentic self. Kundalini is exercise for not just your body, but your mind and heart as well. Of all the kinds of yoga I have tried - Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram, acro, power, restorative - nothing has tapped into my spirituality like Kundalini.

Read the rest.

Raver Princess Excerpt Published In Literary Journal, The Noyo Review

A published chapter from my working memoir, Raver Princess. Chapter titled, Supergirl. Page 61!

Clayton was wearing a big goofy smile when he plopped into my white '76 VW Beetle.

“Hi doll face,” he said, leaning in for a kiss. He tasted more like cigarettes than weed this afternoon.

“Hi! So, are you going to tell me where we're going? And what my second birthday present is?”

“We're going to my friend Dave's place. He wants to be a tattoo artist. We've talked about getting tattoos, and I really want you to be there when I get my first one. And if you want one, it's my treat.”

That morning I woke up more nervous for him than me. His first gift was a hand-drawn graffiti piece with my name in a bubble-letter style. All weekend I'd been admiring “Samantha” on thick, fancy paper alive in red, silver, and purple colored pencil. The art was polished, and the gift was thoughtful—I could tell it took him hours to create, and I was planning on framing it. It would be hard to up himself with another (affordable) present; he didn't have the money for the new pair of Adidas kicks I wanted, and Clayton's idea of dining out was a trip to Taco Bell.

“Oh really?” I said, gripping my furry zebra print steering wheel. I stared at the street ahead of us, unsure I wanted to move forward.

Read the rest.

 

Color Me Serene

Take a look at your workout wardrobe and notice the colors. Are you drawn to certain colors when it's time to motivate? Do you reach for bright, uplifting colors, or classically-colored basics? Maybe for certain workouts, you prefer some colors over others: red for TRX, blue for Pilates, and sporty gray for running. A quick study of your workout wear can hint to your color personality preferences.

Read the rest.

Beauty Lessons From a '90s Raver Princess

I remember my first rave beauty look vividly: silver Make Up For Ever glitter, mascara, burgundy lipstick and high pigtail ringlets fastened with those plastic-ball hair bands. It was 1996, and I’d been rocking bleached skunk-stripe highlights in my brown hair—an edgy look popular at the time, though I was the only girl at my high school who dared. By the end of the evening (technically, early the next morning) the glitter went from eyes to everywhere, and my pigtails unraveled. But I was blissed out, having just experienced the most thrilling night of my life.

Read the rest.

Green With Envy: 11 Stylish Stoner Chicks

Let's be real: female stoners are better dressed than male ones. Sorry Cheech and Chong. While we wonder how the most famous burner babes stay so fit, they’ll spend today celebrating the green life, especially in the legalized states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. In honor of 4/20, here are the most stylish—and most high—women in television and film.

Read the rest.

Secrets of a Dog Masseuse

Try this professional's ear rub technique at home

It took you forever to find your own trusted masseuse (we love you, Rhonda!), but what about one for your furry friend? Skilled animal masseuses are even more rare, and luckily we've found a local one we love.

Benita Karroll of Paws Massage L.A. comes to your home to discuss your animal's ailments, if any. You review Fluffy’s medical history, and everyone gets acquainted. After some gentle petting, Karroll applies canine acupressure, myofascial release or even hot-stone massage--and soon your beloved pup drools with delight.

Read the rest.

Junkies on the PTA Board

“Heroin is coming back in a big fucking way,” says Eric Stoltz’s open-robed Lance in Pulp Fiction. Like everything ’90s, heroin is in again. Is it just a matter of time before we start seeing its glamourized return in fashion and film? Pulp Fiction wowed me (and disturbed my mom) when I saw it 20 years ago. Kate Moss summed up ‘heroin chic.’ Molly, in her furry boots and neon lingerie, is tired. Maybe it’s time for the opiate of all opiates to reclaim the spotlight.

Read the rest.

AG Jeans Say It Ain't So Content Press Release

weezer

About Weezer
Formed in 1992 in Los Angeles, CA, Weezer is revered for their favorite jams, “Buddy Holly,” “Undone - The Sweater Song,” “Island in the Sun,” “Beverly Hills” and “Say It Ain’t So.” They have released nine full-length albums, six EPs and a DVD. While a few members have come and gone, the current band consists of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, guitar), Patrick Wilson (drums, guitar, backing vocals), Brian Bell (guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), and Scott Shriner (bass, backing vocals, keyboards). In the mid-90s, Weezer was recognized for their stylistic Spike Jonze directed music videos. Weezer has won multiple MTV Music Video Awards and Billboard Music Awards and they nabbed a coveted Grammy for their “Pork and Beans” music video in 2009. Known for their quirky vibe, Weezer’s alternate-rock-meets-power-pop music stands the test of time.

Alternative Therapy

Welcome the New Year with a psychic reading

We’re interested in alternative therapies, but while we’ve done juice cleanses and kooky beauty treatments, we’ve never visited a spiritual healer. So we jumped at the chance to visit a psychic who came with friends’ personal recommendations: Chassidy at the House of Intuition.

We climbed steep stairs to a nondescript house overlooking Sunset Boulevard to meet the pretty, dark-haired Chassidy. After saying a nondenominational prayer, she asked for our birthday, which she explained she uses as a doorway to channel the spirit guides meant to be “life teachers.”

Read the rest.


 

Love, Literarily

Curbside book clubs come to L.A.

E-readers and tablets may be showing up in ever more shapes and sizes, but we think the most exciting new way to read books is even more creative--free curbside lending libraries.

These little wood-and-glass huts stand on dozens of front yards across southern California (as well as nationwide). They operate on the honor system, with people contributing beloved tomes for others to borrow. The Little Free Library system began in Minnesota in 2009; now it’s a national organization seeking to promote literacy by encouraging the building of free book exchanges.

Read the rest.




 

Blossom Organics: Organic Care for Down There

With a mission to bring an organic sensibility to every personal care category, the Founding Formulator behind Marin’s Juice Beauty, Melissa Jochim, takes on intimate care with Blossom Organics.

With subtle, ‘70s Soft Rock packaging replete with daisies and swirls, what’s inside Blossom Organics is entirely modern. The collection is free of harsh petrochemicals, pH balanced for women and is made from 70% organic ingredients. Their site also has a handy guide of healthy ingredients versus harsh ingredients – useful information beyond the bedroom.

Read the rest.


 

bkr: Anti-Plastic Beauty in a Bottle

Everyone knows that Coke tastes better in a glass bottle. Mexican Coke, as it's most commonly referred to. So it makes sense that water tastes best in a glass bottle too. This was only one idea behind bkr, a San Francisco-born reusable water bottle company that outshines the rest.

Taking the anti-plastic reusable bottle crusade a step further, bkr has fused saving the planet and smart design into one 16 oz silicone wrapped, dishwasher safe bottle. Klean Kanteens and Nalgenes are cute, but bkrs are beautiful.

Read the rest.