[The Caturday Corner] Spring Coat Care for Cats

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Over the past few years I’ve more than cemented a name for myself as the Cat Lady of my social circle (and, my social media circles as well) but for an excellent reason – I own two (three now that my fiancee and I live together), take care of the four cats in my apartment and have spent a good amount of time volunteering at cat shelters and on the board for LA’s own Kitty Bungalow. Plus there’s the whole thing where I kind of act like a cat, but let’s save that story for another time ;) Now that Spring has sprung, I’ve noticed – as you invariably will –  that so has the pet fur around your pad; especially if you have black clothing, dark carpets or richly colored sofas and seats. With a shift in the weather, comes a shift in the actual coats your cats wear .

Until recently, I thought my older cat Sake had hairballs because he’d been going to town on himself; now that I’m using the Furminator brush on Stella and Daisy, our other two cats, I realize that they’re the actual cuplrits!  Low and behold, the big bristled brush that I’d been using on Sake’s medium coat simply wasn’t cutting it for short haired kittens. Depending on what breed of cat you own, or rather – the breed of cat that owns you – you could very well have your work cut out for you.  Long haired (furred?) cat breeds need to be brushed every three days, if not every other day; short haired and medium haired cats should be brushed at least once a week.For cats of all shapes, sizes and fur lengths – I completely recommend The FurMinator – not only is it a fantastic comb that literally gets all of the loose fur, but it’s a deshedder, too; and great for warmer weather! Plus, wouldn’t you like to wear a color other than ‘cat fur’ this season?

[The Audiofiles] Funky Beats for a Funky Mood

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 Originally, when I was getting ready for today’s post I had nothing but House, Techno, Love and Desert Hearts on the mind; if you’re not familiar with the group, trust me when I say over the next few years you’ll be hearing this name more and more frequently.  A band of merry music makers and rump shakers from in and around San Diego, the Desert Hearts tribe is more than just a community of conscious music lovers – they embrace the yearning, creative fire that burns inside all of us and manifest it into a whirlwind of a weekend.  From Friday morning through Monday morning, I’ll be grooving and moving to 72 straight hours of House Music.  If you think of EDC like a race, and Lightning in a Bottle was a marathon – ths might just take the title of Hippie Olympics in my book (sorry, LIB – it was good while it lasted!).  Plus, don’t get me started on the time, energy, love and passion it takes to last a week in the Desert for Burning Man – especially since I’ve yet to experience my own Playa Magic!

But, apparently – life had other plans for me. In the last 24 hours, I’ve dealt with and processed more emotions than I care to know about or share.  It should’t seem so convoluted that the world can turn on top of itself in the same amount of time it takes to breathe, blink and iterate a heartbeat – but at the end of the day, it still is.  I’m aware that we can only conquer or emotions if we make a conscious choice to control them, and doubly so that the people in our lives can give us expectation hangovers.   On a personal level, I absolutely am enthralled by people who are passionately, unequivocally, unapologetically themselves – almost to a fault.  I love the humanity it in, however flawed it potentially could be.  But somehow, all of a sudden – because I’ve never installed rules, guidelines or boundaries – it all backfires. You know, those fast friends where you invariably said some familial form of ‘I Love You’ much too soon without getting to actually know them; the people that you accept at 110%, but then refuse to give more than 25%.You don’t adopt a dog expecting it to meow, and you certainly don’t acquire friendships for the flippant sake of social guise.  The friends that I keep close to my soul are the ones that love me for the person I’ve become and constantly challenge me to be the best version of myself.  At moments of stagnation, of static movement – we’re not just standing still but we’re moving backwards; especially in a world where we have to run so fast just to stay in place.

‘When words fail, music speaks’ so I’m going to shut up and let these songs take it from here.  My heart hangs heavy, but my eyes are hopefully and my mind is open.

[Oh, Snap!] Street Art v20: Adventures Through Downtown LA

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When I moved to Eagle Rock almost a year ago, I knew that I’d be leaving behind a few things – some of which I’d miss more than others.  I definitely wasn’t going to miss the general lack of parking in the area or the amount of rush hour traffic you can get stuck in trying to drive three miles; but on the flip side, there was my proximity to West Hollywood, which brought with it a ridiculous amount of shopping and a menagerie of awesome restaurants, the amazing hipster watching at the Melrose Trading Post and last but certainly not least: the fact that my backyard was essentially the Melrose + Fairfax district, a mecca of the underground arts community that’s rarely spoken of. Sure, the area boasts a good amount of shopping – but in this case, aimed at ballers on a budget like myself and full of fresh street fashion, mirroring the often mind blowing and socially conscious graffiti that ebbed and flowed around their walls.

Once I was relieved of my bubble, I realized that though my area was overflowing with culture and art – so was every other area of LA!  Now that I’ve lived here for almost seven years, and in several different parts of the city – I’ve experienced so many unique pockets of creativity that I’ve realized they must be hidden in every nook and cranny here.  Out further West in Venice, Street Art runs rampant and it’s heavily strewn through Silver Lake and Echo Park all the way into the Arts District of downtown.  The following pictures were collected over the last few months while gallivanting through downtown on urban safaris with my partner in crime; enjoy!

[Tech Talk] Instagram adds Collage Maker ‘Layout’ to its Arsenal of Apps

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If a picture can speak a thousand words, then over the past few years Instagram has become an anthology of the modern personality.  From adorable pictures of animals to decadent, delicious meals, the latest and greatest in fashion and music and let’s not forget the exponential amount of selfies, Instagram has made a monumental name for itself in the world of smart phone applications; doubly so once they were acquired by Facebook.As the iPhone upgraded it’s photo and video services, the application paralleled in kind – offering up Hyperlapse as a keen alternative to the iOS’s native time lapse video recording services. Back when it was rolled out, this was incredibly important since any iPhone TimeLapse would invariably be converted to a real time video once it was loaded into Instagram.

I don’t know about you guys, but between cats and concerts – I happen to use a ton of collages, there a wonderful way to wrap up a weekend, pay your respects to a group of friends or simply embarrass just one on their birthday; and let me tell you, there are a ridiculous amount of applications that simply aren’t as seamless. Just off the top of my head, there’s PicStitch, PicCollage, InstaCollage and my typical go-to PhotoGrid. I’m a huge fan of the PhotoGrid because unlike the others it doesn’t have an irritating watermark, you can pick your pictures before your layout, there’s tons of structured – and free form – grids to choose from and you can adjust the color of the grid itself, using any pigmentation you want – even another image.  In all honesty, it was only a matter of time before Instagram reached out and adjusted for the needs of their market.

For anyone who’s been perusing their iOS App Store as of late, Instagram has added a third application to their photography arsenal just yesterday morning. Introducing Layout – a simple, clean application perfect for any and all of your photo collage-ing needs.  It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of ‘heart’ or ‘star’ shaped layouts, but it does offer up a tab to just view the pictures with ‘Faces’ on your camera roll and suggests layouts as you select your favorite images. Once you’ve chosen a set layout, you can mirror, rotate, flip, push and pull on your images – showcasing your favorite features and hiding the rest.  So far, the app is only available in the Apple Store, but hopefully it’ll be rolled out to Android soon!

For those of you who haven’t played around with it, let me show you how it all goes down!

  

Show me some of your collage-creations!

[Self Discovery] Delight Yourself in Friday’s Once In a Lifetime Solar Hat Trick

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This Friday, the stars are aligning in the most beautiful of ways.  First and foremost, Spring will finally be sprung!  Living in California, we’re a tad spoiled with the weather – but with Spring comes Festival Season, which makes me all sorts of giddy like a kid on their first day of Summer Camp with the best snacks in their lunchbox and a stuntin’ new do. Spring means love blossoms from the heart like flowers from the bud, that the happy humans and beautiful brains of Los Angeles will be out and about, spanning rooftops, lounges and underground affairs while enjoying laughter and a light evening breeze.  The Spring Equinox is more than ushering in the new season with the idea of rebirth, regeneration and growth.  Known as the Vernal Equinox to some, it’s also the time of year when the suns shines directly on the equator of our slightly shifted home planet – giving us hypothetically equal amounts of day and night. Derived from latin roots, equinox translates into ‘Equal Nights’ but that isn’t always so.  As it turns out not only does your attitude depend on your latitude, as Kanye muses, but your equinox does, too.  Depending on where you’re sitting on the Earth’s axis, you’re going to have your equinox at slightly different dates surrounding the equinox.  The closer you are to the poles, the closer you are to celebrating the equinox on the ‘Equinox’ – our actual equinox in Los Angeles was on the 16th; so good news for us, the days are just going to keep getting longer!  But no matter, at 3:45 PM in LA, 22:45 UTC, the First Point of Aries will usher in the Spring Equinox in sweet, serene style.

A point of balance in the world, the Spring Equinox brings with it a beautiful time to lay plans into motion, forge a new friendship or enter into that romantic relationship you’ve been tip-toeing around.  Spring is a time to expound upon chances and effectively be reborn within yourself.  Go start a new project, follow your passion and add a bit of spark to your life and watch your world shine.   This equinox occurs with the moon at one of of it’s closest points to Earth’s atmosphere, making it a ‘Supermoon‘!

Not only does the 20th mark our Spring Equinox, but we’re all about to get an incredibly special treat.  In a monstrous celestial celebration for all of Earth’s creatures (and maybe a few on Venus and Mars as well), on Friday we’ll be treated to a rare bird: the total solar eclipse. In fact, it’s been almost a year and a half since the last total eclipse back in November of 2013.  If you want your brain to explode just slightly, try this on for size: it’s been over 350 years since there was a total eclipse during the spring equinox! The last time these two celestial events coincided was supposedly all the way back in 1662, and it won’t be happening again until 2034!  The next time they appear simultaneously will thankfully be within my lifetime, but noting the odds – that’s a bit of luck as well!

Unfortunately for those of us in the Americas, we’ll have to live vicariously through our brothers down under and the lads across the pond in Europe.  The next time we’ll get our gander at an eclipse of any sort in the US will be August 21, 2017. Mark your cell phone calendars and etch it in your mind, it’ll be a day to remember.

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can see the Solar Eclipse – please, please, please: take precautions with your eyes!  The sun is a powerful ball of energy, bursting with life and just because the moon is passing over it doesn’t mean you should stare into it.  If you want to appreciate the full glory of the eclipse, there are special shades you can buy – and special lenses for your camera if you’re in the mood to get a stellar snapshot.

For more details on Friday’s Eclipse, these two infographics from NASA and Space.com sum it up very nicely:

Credit: NASA

Credit: Space.com

[The Audiofiles] Rain Man Sets Solo Career Ablaze with Debut Track ‘Visionary’ Featuring Sirah

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After setting the internet ablaze last year after leaving the talented dupstep triumvirate of Krewella, we’ve all been (im)patiently for Rain Man to come through with a solo career. The brains behind the bass and the passionate producer of the bunch, Rain Man more than made a name for himself behind the decks of Krewella and now he’s stepping out into his own spotlight. On March 29th, he’ll be kicking off a series of solo shows in Miami and now he’s rousing interest and ruffling feathers with his first single – ‘Visionary’, featuring Sirah of Skrillex and Alvin Risk fame.

Out today on Buygore Records, “Visionary” is the track we’ve wanted for the last year and simply haven’t gotten. Between the booming bass and seductive vocals, it’s easy to forget you’re not listening to a Krewella track; flip your script and remember who crafted those crushing beats and you’ll be singing a different tune. The track comes to life with the rumble of a Reggae infused Dubstep track, with delicately layered lyrics over crushing basslines – perfect for all hours at your favorite dance hall.

“The lyrics for visionary are super dark. Basically I’m talking about the decision every artist needs to make, where you either stay true to what you believe in or you bend your art to fit in a lane. I make my own lane,” – Sirah

Rain Man kicks off his solo tour in Miami at the Buygore Pool Party on 3/29, with stops in Chicago, New York’s Webster Hall and Avalon in Los Angeles on 4/17.

Purchase “Visionary” on Beatport

For more information on Rain Man, head to his socials -

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud| Facebookrain

Article Cross Posted in The DJ List

[LA Love] The Last Bookstore is the Only Bookstore You Need

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Photo by Daniel Leist Photography

Photo by Daniel Leist Photography

Though we haven’t yet fine tuned the ability to time travel, thanks to the power of the written word it’s possible to walk into a room and simultaneously transport yourself in a thousand different directions spanning the course of several millennium, in irrational, fantastical ways.  Where science boldly says no, literature proudly asks ‘Why Not’ in a thousand shades of possibility.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve proudly ebbed and flowed through my bookshelf with new eyes and an open mind – there’s no topic to small to ponder and no question to big to tackle; but often that leaves me holding seven books, wishing I had six extra sets of eyes so I could read all of them at once.

After seven years in Los Angeles, it’s easy to believe that you’ve seen it all – but let me tell you, in a city of bewilderment, wonder and constant creation – there’s always something hiding just around the corner, waiting to make your day; which is precisely the case with The Last Bookstore.   An exciting hodge podge of new and loved books and records that shop frequenters can buy, sell and trade – the Last Bookstore the largest independent bookstore in the world, and  simply the only bookstore you’ll ever need in your life.  Considering w shops like Borders and Barnes & Nobles falling by the wayside, this very well might be the last bookstore we have left in LA.

Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ Financial District, The Last Bookstore is much more than home to thousand upon thousands of stories, dreams, diatribes, poems, whimsical words and resilient reads.  The first story is a beautiful open air bookstore, with loads of literature for every type of reader, and high vaulted ceilings with a view into the shops of the Springs Arts Collective, with their unique creations peaking out for the world to see.  As you walk up the steps into the second floor, you’re whisked away in the same sort of wanderlust I lose myself in while reading.  Instead of noticing things in a sequential order as I ascended into the Labyrinth, they were all thrust upon my brain in simultaneous artistic attack.  Books were suspended in mid-flight, exploding every which direction to the delight of everyone around. Incredible sculptures crafted from books adorned the walls and aisles, while the floor was lined with contemporary galleries and art shops.

Photos by Daniel Leist Photography

Photo by Daniel Leist Photography

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Two of my personal favorites were from David LoveJoy  (above) – a contemporary designer who forges unique, otherworldly designs, gadgets and gizmos – and the FOLD Gallery (below), the niche boutique brainchild of Jena Priebe. The third Thursday of the month marks Downtown LA’s Art Walk, and The Last Bookstore and Labyrinth gallery are definitely a hipster hot spot; but would you expect any less?

Additional Pics: Daniel Leist Photography

For more on The Last Bookstore, David Lovejoy’s art or the FOLD Gallery, head to their socials –

The Last Bookstore: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

David Lovejoy | #LoveJoyArt: Website | Facebook

Jena Priebe | FOLD Gallery: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram