Abundant Self-Love Spell

Practicing paganism.

Photo by Yan Krukov

Burn four candles in each direction.

In meditation, say to yourself,

What makes you feel most alive?

I want to ask you a few questions, and while doing so, I will give you my answers as an example.

First, sit and take a deep breath.

Now…

What makes you happy?

            (ex. I am happy being with my tribe

            when I am showing love,

            and when I am being productive.)

Now…

What really makes you happy?

            (ex. I am really happy when I am surrounded in nature. When I am in ceremony. When people around me are getting along. Also, being in trance.)

What change would you like to see in the world?

            (ex. I would like to see people live with less anxiety.)

            Take a deep breath, hold, hold, and breath out. Repeat those three times.

What do you want?

            (ex. I want to be separated from the stress and needs of society. I want to be with my loved ones living self sustainably.)

What does your deeper self-desire?

            (ex. I desire to draw inspiration from my loved ones, creating deep, passionate art while living in “flow.”)

            (ex2. My deeper self-desire to apply my education to feed, cloth, and provide for my tribe while spending as much time with them meanwhile being heard and appreciated.)

What puts you in a trance like state?

            (ex. Reading puts me in a trance like state. Dancing, music, sex, and movement put me in a chance like state. Massage and touch can get me in a trance like state. Art, poi, yoga and sitting in meditation help me fall into a trance like state. Being in the middle of the desert under the stars, a fire these things contribute to a trance like state.)

            What are you afraid of?

            (ex. I’m afraid of how my words and actions hurt myself and others. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid I’m not good enough.)

            What are you chasing but not achieving?

            (ex. I am chasing higher education, luxuries, and travel.)

            Who are you?

            (ex. I am a woman, living in America with a loving tribe. I love nature, animals and kids. I am a writer and an artist)

            Where do you want?

            (ex. I aspire to be a published artist and to work for animation. I want to spend my life traveling and living self-sustainably. To have an abundance of knowledge.)

            How are you going to get there?

            (I’m budgeting my money. I’m giving 100% at work and I work whenever I can. I have a savings. I am practicing my art. I am committing to a higher education, when I can afford it. )

            Now sit in meditation and allow yourself to transcend into your future self. Letting your passion and the motions fall into your skin and settle within you. You have the ability to become the person you desire to be. You do not give up. You see the adventure within.

Thank you for reading my Waxing Gibbous moon meditation. Coming soon, I will be interviewing Adam Schluter CEO of Hello, From a Stranger. A man full of the stories of strangers spreading positivity, acceptance and truth.

LGBTQ in Children’s Animation

Living in a liberal state, I am surprised to hear the uproar in the mom’s’ community on LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) in Disney, Pixar, and children’s animation in general. Children’s’ cartoons have always had heterosexual lead roles. As society becomes more accepting of people in our community, diversity is inching onto the big screen. Yet, some parents insist that homosexuality is being pushed onto their children. For years the princess will one day meet her prince was the “only way” that a child’s movie would play out. I want to ask, “How long are we going to keep homosexuality in the closet?”

In 2013, the hit movie “Frozen” came out, a coming-of-age animation about two princesses, Elsa and Anna, one of whom is overcome with the powers of winter. Frozen was the first Disney movie to portray witchcraft in a positive light, a significant progression compared to Disney’s bias towards Christianity. The hit song “Let it Go” was said to have been an innuendo for coming “out of the closet” and a piece on self-acceptance. Even though I did not find any correlation with to homosexuality in this film, this song started the buzz. When will Disney include everyone in their movies, not just heterosexuals? 

In 2020, the Pixar animation “Onward” was released with a butch lesbian supporting character as the father figure. By no means was this character a leading role. Now with the cat out of the bag, we’re not all made to fit into generic categories. I witnessed mother’s’ taking offense to this character like she was invading their children’s perspective on how they might feel about themselves. If this is the root cause, then these parents also need to reflect on how they view their children, and whether they would love them if they are different. Perhaps that is what Disney has tried to teach people through diversity in their movies: to love everyone and not just those that fit into your category. 

“When The Proud Family premiered on Disney Channel in 2001, it was not only the first original animated show on the channel but one of the few all-ages animation programs on television at the time centered around a Black family.”

(-Radulovic, polygon.com)

Bringing backThe Proud Family” was nostalgic to all 90’s babies. What kind yet strong-headed lead would we want on television for our kids, other than 14-year-old Penny ProudDisney brought it back asLouder and Prouder,” and accompanying the Proud family, in a supporting role is a gay couple with non-binary siblings. They brought in voice actors that also identify as their characters—bringing work and awareness to the community. I am an open space, but it pains me to hear other mothers take offense to this rising trend and the feeling that we can’t be honest with our children about treating people as equals. Let your children follow their hearts instead of making them feel like they have to hide. 

So on that note, is it just a rising trend? This is a rebuttal I heard the other day. “I would be okay with it [homosexuality in animation] if they [animation studios] weren’t doing it to make money from a fad.” 

Well, I hate to break it to you, but as a bisexual female, I have been waiting my whole life for homosexuality to be in children’s animation. I honestly found heterosexuality kind of gross growing up. Seeing the go-to man marry a woman scenario over and over; got me sick. There are so many things we should be protecting our children from,: war, violence, hatred, negativity, but love? If we shield our children from love, what kind of hope are we giving them for the future?

Lastly, Disney released a short film called “Out,” about a man having difficulty telling his parents he’s in a relationship with another man. He switches lives with his dog and they play cat-and-mouse, almost exposing his live-in boyfriend to his folks. My husband didn’t like the movie when he saw it. The situation was all too familiar to him. We’ve all heard of the struggle LGBTQ people may have coming out to their parents. He wasn’t seeing what I was seeing. This was the first step. There it’s “out,” it’s been spoken. For a story to be told, it has to build from the beginning. Otherwise, the audience may not understand the world’s laws, but here it was. I would expect Disney to prep their audience to understand the struggle of queerness through this simple short, so that more complex characters can come into play in the future. Instead of immediately judging the characters, the audience may show compassion. We all live on this earth together. 

Radulovic, P. Feb 17, 2022. Polygon.com, The Proud Family creators: ‘There’s not just one view of Blackness or a Black family.’ https://www.polygon.com/disney-plus/22939385/proud-family-louder-and-prouder-creator-interview

Camping with Young Ones

Last month I went on three camping trips with the kids, to the Summer Music and Arts Festival, Grizzly Creek campsite, and with my partner to Ruth Lake. We had a great time and no one got sunburned! Here are a few quick tips on how I made it camping for a month with my kiddos!

The Sumer Music and Arts Festival was the hardest of the trips. We were vending and had a fairly large pop-up behind our booth but it’s not easy keeping a ten-month old in the shade. He enjoyed walking around and listening to music. I brought ear muffs for the kiddos so they could enjoy the stage and a wagon to pull the baby in. We were placed next to a yoga dome that was never built so there was less traffic our way. My daughter got poison oak in her eye on Sunday and we had to rush to the ER and they dosed her with steroids. I’d say we reacted properly and got her help as soon as it was obvious the swelling wasn’t going to go down with over-the-counter drugs. I came back to pack up without the kids. We brought lots of water to this event and had friends camping with us to help along the way.

Grizzly Creek Campsite we were able to cook on the fire. Check-in took a little while but the kids played with the freshwater spickets. Friends came and went and our dog Zed protected the campsite. Halaya set up her first tent which was a huge accomplishment. I took the kids swimming and Malakai had a blast in the water. He wasn’t a fan of his LifeVest but we had a lot of fun in the shallow area. I didn’t bring enough formula and the surrounding stores didn’t have any but I was able to contact a friend to bring it before it was too late! Camping with the kids isn’t nearly as hard as it might seem. The baby wakes up twice a night and I have extra bottles made. I made the bottles with hot water but I might have made a bottle or two during the day without making a fire and heating it. We brought baby sunscreen and a little sun hat. Halaya read to me at night and wrote a haiku in her journal. On Sunday we went hiking and explored the forest and river. I used my Ergobaby backpack to comfortably hike with the baby. It was a path off the road that doesn’t look like it gets a lot of foot traffic and leads to a beautiful clover field.

My husband got jealous of all our camping and wanted to come with us on an excursion. He loves to fish, so we went to Ruth Lake. Ruth Lake is beautiful. You can see the trees on the hilltop are burned from recent fires and have a white tint. The valley had come back, with lots of greenery and life. We wanted to camp at Boy Scout Camp but so did everyone else because it was full. I would recommend getting a reservation for that one, word says it has great fishing. Instead, we settled for the first campsite Fir Cove Campsite. The sites were more spread out than the other sites, there was easy access to the water and hiking trails. We brought both the dogs on this one and they did great! Halaya and I walked the trail closest to the water and it lead to the next campsite. We swam in the water which was mushy and full of tall grass. I swam pretty far out and the weeds continued to tickle my body. We cooked hot dogs and let the dogs swim after the beach was clear of other guests. We drove around looking for the perfect fishing spot but couldn’t find it. I recommend reserving a boat, fish are released into the lake seasonally.

Overall camping with the kids is magical. In the forest, no work and time spent together. I loved every moment I got with my children, friends, dogs, and husband. I appreciate everyone that was a part of my camping excursion. The biggest tip is not to forget sunscreen, lots of water, and formula. Don’t be scared to sleep in the tent with the kids and spend time under the stars.

Till next time!

Renascence Music Festival Laytonville 2022

(Image by Lyjia)

Renascence means the revival of something that has been dormant.

A transformational festival is a music and art event that wakes the unconscious, resonates the soul and unleashes the skills trapped within.

June 10-12 (Laytonville, CA)- Renascence has been a music festival that has been thriving to come to existence through the creative minds of artist that have been attending transformational festivals since 2016. Aspired to have been in production since pre-covid, taking a major hit when the gathering was indefinitely postponed in 2020. The name Renascence resonates with attendee’s as they have been forced in their homes and away from community gatherings for the past two years due to COVID. The festival brought what we’ve been waiting for, a healing and rejuvenating experience. It was a beautiful relief and intimate reunion as we came into flow with the Renascence crew.

Volunteers began streaming in on Thursday, although the build crew had arrived the week prior. Gates opened to the public on Friday and people weeded through the quaint hippie town of Laytonville and on to the outskirts to the event.

Renascence was held at Mendocino Magic, an exclusive 600-acre campsite at the Holland Reservoir, which provides clean water to neighboring farms. With plenty of room to camp, attendees dropped off their gear and had the option to park in general parking or car camp. Glamping was also available! Cheerful camp host-squad was present and proud to share their “burning man” inspired foundation where they host other events such as stargazing, campouts, and paintball.

Three stages were conveniently placed within comfortable walking distances from camping areas. The Basin stage was hidden at the furthest North corner near RV camping, headlining DJs such as Angelic Roots, SUDS, Alien Kitty, and Bioship who threw down phat beats into the early morning, turning off its speakers at 8am. At Meadow Stage, across from artist camping and surrounded by vendors, live artist, and Couch Fam, hosted several more DJ’s including Beat Kitty, AN-TEN-NAE, Dev Step, and AHEE. The third stage, the Reservoir, hosted live music and EDM, situated along the waterfront under a comfortable shade structure, with amazing musicians such as Reverend Stefen Sams, Ancestree and LaPostive. With such incredible music comes fun, loving vibes.

Vendors, performing artists, and live artists filled this space with creative endeavors. Wire wraps and fine jewelry by Or Original’s, pipes and bongs by Leafy Green, and hand sewn jackets from Zuvuya by Representz Clothing. Headlining live artist, Joe Mallory (who painted at Renascence pre party), and guest artist Gabriel Welch. Alongside Elliot Bliss, Katie Rose and many more. Fire performers, aerial silk dancers, LED flow artists and exotic dancers left each stage a unique experience. Talk of the town was that the first Renascence was an artist party, we were left in awe flooded with talent all around.

Hiking trails, kayaks, clean swimming water and art sculptures made this more than a music festival but an exclusive experience. In between stages stood a tea teepee with psychedelic black light art and a patio where ayahuasca inspired music by Eostar and the WEB of ONE rang into the valley. Healing from the community coming together must have imprinted the land, by the time Sunday rolled around so did the heavy rains, which is always needed and appreciated in Mendocino County.

Co- founder and producer Tori Love made a statement on June 20th reflecting on the festival,

“We have been pouring our hearts and souls into creating something that is rooted deep within the magic that lies within all of us and nature divine. Curating an experience that juxtaposes wholesome and hyphy, creating a container for rejuvenation, love, inspiration, silliness and play, reflection and clarity, unification, and diversity…

We intended Renascence to be a releasing of old stigmas and selves whilst taking empowering steps together towards a brighter, more loving self and world…

These powerful intentions and this pure hearted magic that has been weaved into the birth of Renascence was overwhelmingly present at this year’s first Renascence Festival just a couple weekends ago,

We look forward to continuing to curate and bring forth an even more beautiful experience for all for many years to come!

This is just the beginning of a new era of gatherings based in love, community appreciation, integrity, diversity and inspiration!”

Tori Love

Volunteer lead and co-producer Jordan @santacruzceramics also states after processing the event, “My experience was humbling and gratifying. Being able to provide the experience of Renascence for our community was the single biggest undertaking of mind, body and spirit I have ever done. Working with Tori to bring our dreams into reality was a blessing along every step of the way and we’re so excited to do it again next year!”

Party-goer and old-school DJ, Lyjia (Tom Core) states, “Beautiful grounds and staff were welcoming. Had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. I had heard a joke that people party to bass music in the forests and didn’t realize it was true!”

I highly recommend checking the Renascence Festival IG (@renascencefestival) to view all the talent that attended, and I hope to see you there next year!

Mike Love 2022 at the Arcata Theater Lounge

May 31, 2022, at the Arcata Theater Lounge- Mike Love played reggae-styled jam music with a crowd full of loyal fans. His music was inspiring, and the attendees were ecstatic to dance to such a fruitful message. 

Mike Love shared a deep appreciation for Groundation, a band he opened up for when he first hit the road in 2013. While Mike Love’s band members had to take a step away from the road, he introduces his fill-in Ryan Newman, Groundation bass guitarist, who grew up in Arcata, CA, and Groundation drummer Paul Spina from Santa Rosa. His band also includes a trombone, saxophone, and keyboard player. They played songs from his newest album, a collaboration with Rising Tide, called Together.   

Play full screen for best video quality.

Mike Love is a vocalist and guitarist from Hawaii. He is known for creating unique harmonic noises from his diaphragm that have not been heard in mainstream productions prior. His looper, analog delay, and barefoot buttons also contribute to his branded sound. 

Kinetic Sculpture Races

“For the Glory!” The crowd cheered at the finish line of the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Ferndale, CA on May 30 2021. Fifty three participants created a Kinetic Sculpture and raced from Arcata to Ferndale within three days, over hills and through water. There are no set rules on  building a kinetic sculpture race car besides that there shall be no motor! Sculptures may have any number of wheels or pilots, they can not be bigger than 8’x14’, all steering wheels are welcomed, must be able to move through land and sea, and most importantly your chassis (a.k.a frame). Kinetic race sculptures should also acquire chains, wheels, welding, axles, bearings, sprockets, gears, brakes and a whole lot more you can find here! Growing in interest, you can find people from all over coming to Humboldt county to participate in the national, grand championship Kinetic Sculpture Races!

Hobart Brown, founder of The Kinetic Sculpture Race in 1969 began building his art in local Ferndale studio, Mind’s Eye. He started the Sculpture Race with his own contractions and kids down Ferndale’s main plaza. This home of magical inventions and contraptions did not cease with Hobart but continued on as Marc and Lieah Daniels, current owners  of Mind’s Eye, offer studio space to local crafters and artist while maintaining a hub for Marc’s True North Boats, as stated on his website, “We create one-of-a-kind custom kayaks, teach skin boat building workshops, and are committed to helping traditional skin boat building thrive in the Native communities where it was originally invented and developed.” Over coffee we chatted about the beauties of Alaska and I got a sneak peak on a newer project, a wide frame boat they will attempt to use a skin in replace of wood panels. Anyhoo… back to the races!

If the art cars don’t completely take you away then allow it to be the celebratory finish line where my family and I awaited for the cars to zoom to their final destination! The Kinetic Sculpture band was a hoot. The bandleader led with a spatula as the announcers on a truck bed hollered, “If you like the band buy them a beer, if you don’t like the band buy them two. They play better when they’re drunk!” Colorful misfits and sparkle ponies, fairy godmothers, and “Kops” with bubble guns stormed the street. Performers playing with hula hoops, unicycles and poi. The historical buildings have a magical lust for such a festival. 

Kids and adults of all ages danced to the music and as the cars came in one by one the audience collected memorabilia from the Kinetic Sculpture’s squads, ranging from balls, stickers, to the “Bear Minimum” (a piece of paper stating just that!) Everyone was in great spirits and people from all over opened their hearts to this incredibly artistic event after such a long silence of COVID.

The sculptures and riders don’t have it easy and I would assume their following posse do not either. Starting in Arcata at noon all racers take off as onlookers cheer for their favorite stylized and sustainable art car. They finish day one at Halvorsen Park in Eureka. Day two starts off at Wharfinger Boat Ramp. Art cars must test their skill through the waters and finish at Samoa Bridge. On Memorial Day the racers started at Crab Park through the Eel River bridge, to the valley and ending on historic Main Street. Through the finish line came glory steelers and then our actual winners, in first place was Lemonheads, second was Live Wrong, and third place with Wing Nuts. Speed is not the only ranking place that the judges look for but also the Grand Champion, Best Art, Best Engineering, Best Pageantry and many more (that have yet to be posted!) You can find those results here! Our favorites being the three humped camel and plan bee! Thank you kinetic sculpture championship for such a family friendly and exciting event.

Renascence Festival Pre-Party

[Contains Adult Content] 

May 21, 2022- Arcata Theater Lounge hosts the Renascence Festival pre-party/ Mad Hatter Tea Party. With room to breathe, festy goers mingled and got down to dirty bass music. Headliner Ahee, known for his dubstep and 90’s smash mixes, drew in an eccentric crowd of all ages. Jewelry, merchandise, and crystal vendors lined the walls: local artist Joe Mallory painted acrylic on canvas with abstract surrealism concepts that opened the viewer’s third eye. Fire dancers and performers set the stage for theater doll Tori Love as Alice, who took away the show. Despite the teenyboppers, this was an adult party, and we can expect the Laytonville music festival to live up to this raunchy dance hall. 

Arcata Theater Lounge

Arcata Theater Lounge was opened in 1938, showing six films at a given time. Since then, the theater has expanded its offerings to include concerts and other events but still cherishes its vintage form. Drinks are affordable. Three levels from the stage allow for a pit, a dance floor with high chair seating, and a top-level for vending and coat check. The theater’s sound is crisp, without reverb despite the heavy bass. A comfy bean bag in the VIP lounge for the festy snoots. 

Ahee!

I was honored to speak with Chris Adams, a.k.a. Ahee, who has performed at music festivals like Infrasound, Excision, and Lucidity. His particular style could be categorized as “Alien Music.” While he makes the booties on the dance floor drop, he explores mixing his tunes with songs such as Eiffel 65’s Blue (Da Ba Dee) and All-Star by Smash Mouth. Besides his dirty bass and dubstep tunes. You can also find psytrance tracks and collaborations on Soundcloud. This DJ stands out for his relationship with his audience, feeling the crowd and recognizing them in his Facebook posts, never missing a group photo. Ahee creates tutorials on youtube so that you, too, can become a dubstep DJ with wubby bass. A lot of respect goes out to Ahee for being personal. When I asked him where he was from, it wasn’t a surprise that he answered, “I’m from here [Arcata, CA.]” Aliens like this come from out of the redwoods. 

Live artist Joe Mallory is nothing close to ordinary, inspired by psychedelic art and surreal nature. When asked, “What is this all about?” He replies, “Psychedelics play a big part but, as of recently, so does past life regression.” He explains to me that we come to this earth to experience and how each lifetime, we learn something new through life and death. He continued to share his past lives with me as a ceramics artist and his death by scooter. When asked how I could tap into past life regression, he replied to find an excellent psychic or look further into past life regression with a combination of psychedelics. Joe paints redwood trees, snowy mountains, and ocean landscapes with “moai” statues, oceans, and sacred geometry patterns. You can find Joe Mallory vending on the streets of Arts Alive in Eureka frequently. 

What would a Mad Hatter Tea Party be without Alice? And what better Alice than burlesque dancer Tori Love. Along with juggler Wiley, poi performer FigBungus and a fire spinning duet couple, these performers took the stage! Tori’s specialty twerk made this a randy R-rated performance! We can thank these performers for bringing the audience onto the stage for a costume contest. The winner, Mr.Komboujia, aroused the audience with his goldilocks wig and renaissance dress sporting and supporting Humboldt’s LGBTQ community. Also in the crowd were Little Lost Forest top hats that will be set up at a DIY station at the Mateel’s Summer Arts and Music festival. 

Are you dying to see more of the Renascence’s Crew? The festival will be held in Laytonville on June 10-12. Initially postponed due to COVID, Renascence’s team has been working hard to bring you a spiritually enlightening experience. We can expect to dance under the stars along with, aerial arts, amazing DJs, and vendors at this exquisite northern California event. Headliners include but are not limited to An-ten-nae, Mimosa, Atyya, Suds, and Beat Kitty.

600+ acres, fifteen minutes from downtown Laytonville. They encourage carpooling for parking is limited. Camping and glamping on site. They are still accepting vendor and volunteer applications. 

See you there!

My Experience with Full Sail University as a Creative Writing BA Student

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Since I was six and spent my summers with my grandparents in Germany, I found the language barrier difficult to overcome, and I read whatever English books they sold at the bookstore. At the time, the Harry Potter books were being released, and I took an interest in those; sometimes, all they had was adult fiction, and I would read those too. At eleven years old, I remember taking a solid liking to The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon. When my dad took me to the bookstores in my teens, he began monitoring my choices. I remember begging for I Was a Teenage Fairy by Francisca Lia Block because it had mature content, and he let it slip. While reading was a passion, so was writing. I have journals dating back to when I was seven—hundreds of journals in a chest. I have online journals that are locked. I have journals that have been lost by sites that have washed away my accounts. To say the least, if I ever had a passion, it was reading and writing. 

I went to San Francisco State University for creative writing in 2008. I lasted one year, and in my second semester, I got arrested for possession of psilocybin mushrooms. My roommate called me in, and when I went to jail, the guard told me that she didn’t know they were illegal. It discouraged me from returning to the University, and I moved forward with community colleges. I began dropping out of classes and schools. I went to five different community colleges and didn’t finish more than a class or two. When I felt like I was turning my wheels, I fell into a party scene I would associate with the closest thing I had to home. It wasn’t until I met my partner that I found a new home and was able to stabilize my life. 

Then I got into a car accident where I was found guilty. The world came crashing down on me. I was raising my partner’s five-year-old daughter, and the thought of what could result from the accident sent me spiraling. I wanted to be seen as a productive member of society, and at the time, I didn’t feel like that was what I was. I had been looking at Full Sail University for a while. I had lived in Florida and was familiar with the name. I have a passion for animation, and I knew this was an entertainment-driven school. They accept anyone with a high school diploma. I was passionate when I talked to the recruiter. Then I did more research and read all these bad reviews. It’s a private school for profit, and I can’t transfer my units, and it’s a big loan. I was petrified. I’ve never made a substantial amount of money, and this was an overwhelming decision. 

The Benefits

It didn’t take long for me to make the jump. I decided on this school because they had creative writing for entertainment expedited bachelor program, which meant I could skip the four years. I didn’t have to take a zillion general ed classes, and I would learn to write for television (having a passion for animation.) In my introductory course, I made a video expressing the desires that led me to Full Sail. This passion would drive me through my program. I was an A student, receiving two B’s throughout my education. I received a grant for $1500 when my loans would not fully cover the tuition. I received the Salutatorian of my class, and I graduated in two years. Since this was an online course, I also received my Cal Grants for being a California resident and didn’t have to pay out-of-state tuition, which I am thankful for. 

The Negatives

As great as that sounds, as many grants as I applied for, I didn’t qualify for any others besides what the school had given me. After cal grants, I was left with a $40,000 loan, subsidized and unsubsidized. There was no job placement. I met with my career counselor twice a month for four months. He encouraged me to build a website, business, and blog, which I did, but it didn’t make any money. The school calls me to ask what I’m doing with my degree and when I tell them I am not making any money with it, they ask about the blog and the small business. They use that as leverage that my degree is being utilized so that I can’t get forgiveness from FASFA or my loan agency. These are consequences I have to deal with. A year later, I joined an emergency substitute teacher program which was the first thing I used my degree towards. It is on call and makes very little money. I find a lot of fulfillment in working with kids, and I have built relationships with my students even as a sub, and I enjoy working with the schools. Then again, my mom sent me a Tik Tok that stated Substitute Teaching is the worst reason to get a degree. I had to remind her and myself that this isn’t the reason why I got a degree. 

Is the school flawed? No, I got an education. They used a lot (perhaps too many) online sources accessible to anyone. I did enjoy the checklist and easy accessibility of the Launch box. They provided me with a laptop and tablet that I’d never, otherwise, be able to afford. The school was manageable, and I was able to excel where I couldn’t in community college.

Is the system flawed? Yes, there is a significant flaw in loans and accruing interest. I don’t know how anyone can smile and say I’m going to University without the heavyweight on their shoulders that they are putting themselves in debt that can double or triple. I put my family at risk that they may not be financially stable or that I will not be able to provide for them even with a degree. It’s all so incredibly overwhelming, and it makes me sad. Shouldn’t going to school make you proud? 

In the end, you shouldn’t go to Full Sail if you expect to get a great job with some high-end studio. They will tell you how competitive the job market is, and this is so true. They will tell you that they have excellent job placement, but this is not true. Yet I don’t regret going at all. I am so proud of myself for finishing something, following my passion, and creating a future for myself. I am one step closer to writing a novel, writing for animation, and creating comics, all the reasons that I began this journey. I also have embedded in my mind how to structure a story, I learned how to organize my time, I was reminded to have fun, and I had great experiences collaborating with other students. The school is not what’s flawed; it is the loan system and our government for allowing them to double or even triple our loans, making it impossible to want to further our education. The solution to this would be; not to collect interest on loans that are being paid on time. If we’re paying the loans, leave us alone, we’re doing the best we can. 

Student Show; Humboldt High School and Humboldt State Artist Exhibit

Saturday, May 7th 2022 RAA (Redwood Art Association, 603 F Street,)– showcased Humboldt County High School students from Arcata, Fortuna, and Eureka alongside Humboldt State University. It was a beautiful mix of emotion, progression, and styles brought on by these inspirational artists. I found my heart over stimulated with a variety of art techniques, media, and themes. High school students expressed in-depth, mature, and well analyzed concepts along with impactful self theory, imagination, and creativity.

(Redwoods Art Association, Eureka)

(All pronouns unless otherwise given remain they/their)

Naia Ponzo won first place out of the high school showcase for their drawing Through the Woods. They were complemented on its use of texture and detail using pen on paper. A scene of a porcupine captures the depth of a small woodland area and the complexity of nature and life. 

(Naia Ponzos, Fortuna)

This exhibit was a great reminder for any adult to not give up on their creative drive. Artistic spark can be drowned out by the need to survive. While stories are told through creative endeavors.

(Natalie Rodriquez, Fortuna)

Natalie Rodriquez, Lily of the Valley, a fantasy painting of a woman holding a harp in the forest accompanied by woodland creatures. Reflects life in the redwoods and finding wellness in isolation.

(Louis Marak, Arcata)

Louis Marak’s Night Skull linoleum print won third place. A creature with a hut attached to its body with smoke lifting from the chimney. The artist left room for the interpreter’s mind to -=their own story. 

(Nico Headlee, Eureka)

Honorable mention of Nico Headlee and the unique medium, tempera, Untitled impressionist painting of a castle. The depth and dull colors makes you feel like you could step into this world. A sense of playfulness and realism. 

The styles of these student’s show through their work. Specific choices to use mediums, canvases, and themes that will surely reoccur in their future projects as well as reflect their passions and mindset of their youth. As an observer I am reminded of how talented humans are and how heavy the critique ego can be on the heart.

(Natalie Rodriquez, Fortuna)

Natalie Rodriquez, drawing Forget Me Not, a well executed cartoon like depiction of lesbians embracing. The shading is well placed and defined. Framed and characterized with flowers. 

(Chloe Asness, Arcata)

Forgive my picture taking. Chloe Asness Untitled, surrealism ink drawing. A woman’s mind blown out with searching eyeballs, perhaps symbolizing the fear of how one is interpreted by others. 

(Mariza Guimares, Fortuna)

This magnificent painting by Mariza Guimares called Deep End, a woman underwater in a yellow dress. The soft colors and reflection in the water, another well executed impressionist piece. 

(Cassidy Thorpe, Arcata)

This picture got a lot of shine but Cassidy Thorpe, Untitled, oil painting of vases and flowers similar to the Old Master Rachel Ruysch’s style with a dark background and an exquisite floral arrangement. The painting almost looks wet in the smooth strokes where the petals hit the water. 

(Tasuki Kato, McKinleyville)

Tasuki Kato, Untitled, graphite portrait. A young woman, hair and facial depth well defined. So life like you could pick this character out at a grocery store. Something in the eyes, playfully bringing on the future. 

(Alden Mauro, Arcata)

Alden Mauro won first prize, Untitled, a two piece floral oil painting. Experimenting with a variety of flowers and fitting detail and color into the vase while keeping a sense of space around it. The fallen petals can be interpreted as a reminder of a temporary form. 

(Mirian Wheeler, McKinleyville)

Walking into the RAA you would have been greeted with ceramic art. Here is Mirian Wheeler’s ceramic jar Feeling Peachy. I really enjoy the surreal gore aspect here. The metaphoric use of a peach may speak to you as the sweetness of a child’s life is full of chaos. 

(Samuel Hood, Arcata)

Samuel Hood’s Untitled colored pencil portrait of a flower woman in the nude. Being one with nature and producing the flower.

It is easy to relate high school with innocence. A lot of first times, fewer responsibilities, and less worldly knowledge, we can easily forget that our experiences are built from a core experience. Many of which start in high school. Themes of money aren’t very common here but I think many of us can still relate to the depictions in these pictures and our very own first experiences and how they shaped us to be who we are today. 

(Keigen Shaykett, Arcata)

“This is living.”

(-SHAWNA CHANCE)

Keigen Shaaykett’s Hot Wax Rider, a graphite drawing, has a clear similarity to 50’s cartoons while expressing a fast drug life and party scene. A candle burning on top of his head, as if the birthdays are coming so fast, he might as well keep the candle lit. A broken hula hoop framing a character on a bicycle’s face. A bottle in this mouth, holding a pill bottle spilling drug content. His other hand is in an almost yogi zen position, waving high. Accompanied by five other hands, a mix of pop art and surrealism. 

(Keioni Young, Arcata)

Keioni Young, Untitled, a beautiful Graphite drawing of a young man going somewhere. Bag in hand, smile on his face, dressed in comfort, this picture captures a moment, a feeling of freedom and adventure. 

(Paycie Holland, Arcata)

Paycie Holland, Gliophorus Psittacinus, modern art, digital painting of a green mushroom woman dancing. Themes of body acceptance, and therapeutic mushrooms are expressed here against bold contrasting colors of orange and green. Bringing up a controversial topic of allowing medicinal mushrooms to be widely accepted and the healing that can occur when we accept all body shapes and live in self love. 

(Abigail Garcia, McKinleyville)

Abigail Garcia, Untitled, watercolor uses blends of colors to draw emotions out of the young woman’s face. A fun, playful, coming of age image.

The following images are from Cal Poly Humboldt students.

(Valie Ward, Arcata)

Valie Ward’s outstanding image, Bliss, an acrylic painting on canvas with crystals. This image captures feeling and sound. It provokes an emotion of soothing comfort like when you give yourself a hug.

(Karina Juarez, Arcata)

Karina Juarez honorable mention, Nido De Abejas (Honeycomb,) ceramic tea set. Life sized bees and a beautifully presented soft curved honeycomb.

(Jolie Chaidez and Catalina Carlton, Arcata)

Jolie Chaidez ceramic vase, I’m your Venus (Left) blue and purple colors, rounded edges flowing gracefully, this piece looks like the liquids not meant to be trapped inside but can easily pour out. Catalina Carlton, Untitled, a sinful creature with tattoos, smoking a cigarette, the devil in all of us. Fun and excitable.

(Jacqueline Vasquez, McKinleyville)

Best in Show went to Jacqueline Vasquez, ceramic piece, Slab City. A tower, similar to a magician’s top hat, indented with many lines, waves at the brim, folded into its sides and open at the crown. This image represents a city built up by nomads towering for sustainability, and fighting for security. This piece has so much to say and represents it in texture.

Be there for a Victim of an Accident

Tallulah’s Car after Accident

A very close friend of mine got into a car accident at  38 weeks pregnant. She was hit sitting on  the passenger side in a small vehicle  by a Dodge Ram. I remember my husband waking up on February 11th ,  telling me, “How does Tallulah always get into accidents,” and myself shouting  back at him, “What? She’s pregnant!”  We  are  so fortunate my friend did not die that day. She went into the hospital  with a punctured lung and kidney, 18 broken ribs (do we even have more ribs than that?) and had to deliver her child by cesarean  after spending months off preparation on the most beautiful home  birth  experience I’ve ever heard. 

Tallulah and Trystin with newborn Oriah.

Talullah had a brief moment where  she was able  to meet her  daughter, Oriah, along with her partner, Trystin. The moment touched  the heart strings  of many and her story was told over social media platforms  as her outcome was not certain. The following weeks were an emotional rollercoaster. My friend was put under and her family  and friends gave her as much positive reinforcement on her facebook page as possible. She  was in a medically induced coma for three months where she had no contact with her newborn child.  When she woke up she wasn’t able to see her daughter for  another two weeks. Not only that she was swollen and breathing from a tube that  was  inserted down her throat which made it impossible to talk or eat. 

Kevin, Natascha, Tallulah, and Jeremy post Accident

This was just devastating. After experiencing the after effects of my friend’s terrifying accident I want to share with you some things that were  done to help support her at this time.

Yes I messaged the partner, the mom, the best friends. I know it may seem like an annoyance or that it was none of my business to reach out but all of these people needed support. Hell,  I needed support. When your heart breaks like this every voice of encouragement helps the vibe stay positive. The worst scenario might have been hanging over my head but it’s important to  stay positive no matter what because  that’s the energy that you want out  there. If there is no response, don’t be offended. I know her mom and partner were busy raising the newborn but every once in a while I would send a supporting message so that they know the community supports them. 

Start a go- fund me.  My friend’s cousin started her go-fund me  and it took off. People from all over were reading Tallulah’s story and helping in any way they could. Don’t feel bad for asking for help. In  these circumstances as much outreach as possible ensures the victim is getting as much help as possible. 

I created a simple 30 second TikTok to raise awareness of her accident and how the general public can help. This didn’t take long and it helped share her story. Don’t be shy to reach out, there are other people that can relate to these events.  

Her partner went to the doors of Newspaper companies asking to get this story covered. This was an exhausting but worthwhile step to get her story heard and to get aid for her situation. 

I found myself having a hard time at work, crying constantly and looking for answers up every tree. I put myself through the ringer when in  reality there was nothing I could have done in those beginning moments. While taking the steps to help, don’t let yourself become consumed with sadness/ depression. Instead count your blessings. In this case the baby survived and Tallulah saved her baby with her body which is now  taking the consequences.  There is something to be thankful for there. 

While she was in the coma her partner orchestrated a prayer circle outside of the hospital. Long Beach residents came to support  Tallulah. Sage was burned, songs were sung, and group prayer commenced. I thought this was a very powerful interaction that vibrates healing energy to our friend. Since I am not local, I held a zoom conference during  this time to  allow  distant friends of Tallulah’s to pray and talk about their relationship with her and how this has affected them. 

Then I started a food train! This was not as easy as I had expected. As you can see in the post, I linked the go-fund me with the information about the accident, added some pictures and content about the purpose of a meal train and posted it on her page, tagging her partner and mother. This was really helpful for them, maybe seven meals came out of it. Her partner would explain to me how he found himself not eating or eating out because he was busy picking up breast milk from donors, talking to lawyers, and answering the flood of messages from friends and family. Healthy meals should be encouraged while creating a meal train and sharing it with as many people as possible. I also encouraged a volunteer to pick up meals so strangers wouldn’t be coming to the house and for friends to do a noncontact drop off between a certain time so that the family isn’t being interrupted during this time. 

When I finally had a week to go visit she was just waking up from the coma. I was scared for her well-being and it was really hard to hide it. I think with in person visits that it is okay to not mask up. Even though all the text messages and posts were positive, here is when I showed my weakness, crying in front of her and telling her how worried I was. Maybe there was even a point when she was tired of all the positivity and also wanted someone to be real about how dangerous this scenario was. While in person I was also able to pamper her, massage oil on her feet, talk to her about meditation and possibly read a story or poem (she didn’t like this one but someone else may.) I was able to make  a poster  for her  and put it up in her hospital room. I included all of our mutual friends and positive affirmations along the side. I also brought her a picture of the baby and her partner that I took while I was there. I am very thankful  I got this time with her. 

Poster for Tallulah

When she got out of the hospital I sent  her  flowers home. Calling up a local florist, I had “congratulations on having a girl” flowers delivered to her home.  I felt like she missed out on the celebration of her birth and now was a good time to do so.

Another gift I recommend to send a patient coming home from a hospital is a robe. Sometimes we forget the little things that can help us move comfortably throughout the day. 

The last and most important influence I think can help you and a patient that has undergone  a traumatic event is Eckhart TolleThe Power Of Now” and “A New Earth ”, consciousness, breathing and gratitude are such important skills to have during a crisis. These books or audiotapes can help soothe a person’s soul, open their mind, and bring them to a place of acceptance. 

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this helps anyone that is helping someone that is undergoing trauma. You are never in the wrong for reaching out and being helpful, even if it feels like you don’t  know how  to help. Your heart, good  thoughts, and sending positive vibes can help a victim heal.