I’m writing this recap late 2016, a full two years later. But I do think that cataloging the stories I wrote — and I wrote a ton of them! — through the years is a good exercise. So here goes.


Best Dive Bars In Orange County
If you think OC is all about glitzy clubs, expensive shoes and boob and nose jobs, these dive bars will show you the county’s seedy underbelly.

Kid-Friendly Live Music Venues In LA
If you’re longing to enjoy the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle with your little ones, we’ve got you covered. Los Angeles is chock full of places you can enjoy music without worrying about a sitter.

Best LA County Fair Attractions For Kids
There’s a lot you can do at the L.A. County Fair with your wee ones, whether they’re into princesses or monster trucks. For the 5-and-under set, there’s also a whole slew of niche activities that will make navigating the fair easier for any parent.

OC’s Best Cinco De Mayo Events
Who says Cinco de Mayo is all about margaritas and clamatos? Keep your day of Mexican pride classy by checking out these not-all-about-drinking events.

KCET Artbound

OC Weekly


Looking for the Grateful Dead in Ryan Adams’ Music

Hozier On Dealing With Fame in the Age of Social Media

Jeremy Loops Finds His True North

Pop-electro Act the Heirs Grow Beyond Brother-Sister Duo

Roosh Williams is a Rap Maverick

Double Duchess On Inner Queerness

Priory Makes Songs For an Endless Summer

Niia Claims the Spotlight

Pop Artist Deleasa is Ready to Step Out of the Shadows

Swingin’ Solo With Jack of All Trades Michael Rault

moment #1:
When I was a kid we used to hang out in the open attic of my friend’s house in Baguio. It was called the pugad — bird’s nest — because it was a warm safe haven, yet we could see all the way down through pine trees and street lights, and all the way up–branches and falling stars. In Tuding, we counted 637 falling stars in one night.
moment #2:
I met C in Palawan because he owned the dive shop we were diving with. And I guess it was an artificial love affair — how could you think with a straight head when you’re diving off limestone cliffs and drinking beer under a full moon, kissing sweetly in a pink purple blue sunset haze?
moment #3:
The secret of a good gig is that you never remember it, because you’re having such a good time playing the music that it all just whizzes past you. So yeah, I remember that when we played at the Roxy for my birthday Barb dyed my hair purple, glued fake glitter eyelashes on and adjusted my knee high boots. And I signed CDs and drank rum diet cokes. But the “is this thing on?” buzz from the amplifier, the guitar sustain, the driving beat, the 10 foot stage, my booming voice–it seemed like it just lasted for a second. A good second. No, a great second.
moment #4
I’ve gone bungy-jumping in Bali, parasailing in Chamonix, SCUBA diving in Malaysia, spelunking in Sagada. But when I think of great, heart-gripping moments, nothing gets my adrenaline going faster than an airport. A tarmac, a moving walkway, conveyor belts, the snap of your suitcase handle, the roar of rushing engines. The idea that you’re going somewhere–anywhere else. Or the idea that you’re coming home.
moment #5
My Boni apartment was red, black and white. It was like a Japanese Zen poster. We had parties in it and once I saw alligators drawn on the walls. I liked listening to my French Berlitz CDs in my room when the weekends rolled around. I liked turning the airconditioner on and I liked dreaming of my future. Then I started living my future and realized I liked dreaming about it better.

In the Philippines I knew I was a tiny speck of nothing when I faced the sea. Here, the beaches are too full — of people, of things, of surfers — I could never find that finite sense of my self with a banana stand and a lifeguard post around. But I found that feeling in the high desert.

I don't have a photo of the actual board--this is a photo of our To-Do list.

A few months ago, I had a faux chalkboard up in my tiny kitchen in Long Beach. (Actually we had two of them; one on the front door for reminders and the second one, the one I’m referring to, for general hopes and dreams.) On it: new digs, more $$$, and CREATIVITY in big letters, on top of the list. We just meant we wanted better ways to express ourselves artistically. And  we’re incredibly happy that we got a lot of those items so soon after putting up that old list (it was January 2012 when we wrote everything down), so I feel a little silly for missing our tiny 2-bedroom (a mile from the beach!), my old job (I worked from home three times a week!) and just how familiar everything in Long Beach had become. So maybe I just have to work on the creativity part. I’m sure that will solve everything.