A Call to Ravers

On Sunday, my dream of attending Electric Zoo festival in NYC this year was shattered when the final day, the one and only day I had a ticket for, was canceled due to two untimely deaths, and other ‘health hazards’ in relation to ‘drug usage’, so the media says.

Although I do not think that the entire day-3 of Ezoo should have been canceled for thousands of fans, my own disappointment pales in comparison to the true issues regarding these circumstances.

On Sunday I went through a wide array of emotions. I woke up with excitement which was quickly replaced with a sick sensation in the pit of my stomach. At first, I was angry that the poor decisions of few cost the festival for all. But then I was overcome with a deep feeling of sadness for the two that passed. And finally, I was disgusted at the comments coming from both my own peers and other strangers, ‘ravers’, on social media.

Victim blaming is not the answer here. Saying someone ‘deserved to die because they took a drug’ is not the answer. Do not call yourself PLUR and then claim that a person deserved to die for a YOLO-influenced mistake that they made.

Our scene is being taken over by the mainstream, and we are well aware of it. We are aware of those that show up in “Where’s Molly” hats and only come to EDM shows in order to consume illicit drugs.  And we don’t like those people, for the bad reputation and images they portray us as. They are there for the wrong reasons. But that does not mean that they ‘deserve to die’.

So this is my call to ravers, to those who go for the music. To those who know that EDM shows can make the soberest of people feel alive, feel high on the beats and drunk off of the bass. To those who go for the peace, the love, the unity, the respect. To those who flock to the dance floor for an hour or two of a judgement-free world. To those who have truly lived in the moment, forgot the pain, misunderstandings, and hardships of the real world by getting lost in the melodies of their favorite songs. This is my call to you.

Have respect. The young man that passed away at Ezoo was a son, the girl was a daughter. They had best friends, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, just like you and I. They made a mistake that could have easily been avoided, and they suffered the ultimate consequence. It’s hard not to blame those who died for the cancelation, saying they don’t know their limits, or made a poor decision, or weren’t there for the right reasons, but keep in mind that was a person, a spirit, a human being. A life that was taken too soon.

Get back to the love. One of the reasons I fell in love with the rave culture was because of the love that engulfed me at every show. People should still be looking out for one another, making sure they are alright, have enough water, are eating or using the bathroom or sitting down if need be. Even if you think this person “is there for the wrong reasons”. If someone looks like they are in true danger, get them help. Do not assume their friends will take care of them. BE their friend. Be their savior.

Stop with the judgement. Listen, I hate the bros that go for the drugs as much as you do. But, maybe instead of hating on them, you could try and show them the reasons you rave. Teach them about your favorite DJ or tell them why you love the scene so much. If they don’t like the music, hopefully they’ll stop going to shows. But fighting someone with PLUR will hopefully change their perspective on things a bit.

And here is my call to society.

Instead of minimizing this incident as merely a ‘drug overdose’ because of some irresponsible decisions, one that could have been avoided if all drugs were avoided at all costs always, maybe we should start educating on drug usage.

The “Drugs Are Bad, Mmmk” tactic is clearly not working. If someone wants to experiment with drugs, they are going to do it. Abstinence is not key- protection is key.

So instead of preaching that drugs are always dangerous and addictive and cause deaths, how about we educate ourselves, our peers, and our children on drug usage in order to allow for ‘safer’ consumption. I am not advocating that illicit drugs are safe- I am arguing that there are ‘safer’ approaches to engage with these drugs.

We need to teach about how these drugs biologically affect the body, what to expect when taking them, how to avoid dehydration or over-hydration, what a lethal dosage is, what not to combine, etc.

And equally important, testing kits need to be made readily available. Why people would ever buy drugs from a stranger is beyond me. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) take a drink from a stranger if you didn’t see the bartender pour it would you? That is the first thing we learn in college- how to avoid the roofie-colada.

I mean, your parents checked your candy that your NEIGHBORS gave you on Halloween to make sure you weren’t being poisoned- so why would you ever buy drugs from a stranger at a festival?

However, people do. And therefore they should have a way to test what they buy to make sure it is not something more powerful, addictive, or dangerous than they think.

Education is key. This could have been avoided if the poor girl at Ezoo knew that 6 pills is a dangerous starting amount.

Looking out for one another is key. You could save a life simply by being a helping hand if you notice someone falling ill.

Love is key. Stop the disrespect. Do not blame these two for their mistakes. Do not judge them. Instead, teach others what you know, fill up their water bottle, send them to erowid.org, show them how fun sober shows are- help this be avoided in the future.

It was not the victims’ faults Ezoo was canceled- on a societal level, it was ours.

The People You See at the Town Fair

The weather is getting warmer, pants are being traded in for butt-showing shorts (seriously, what is this new style?), and the sun is tanning your bare backs…unless you live in Pennsylvania, the new Seattle.

And with this change of the season, it is inevitable that the carnival roll on into whatever town you live. Every town has to have an annual carnival right? Or at least somewhere within driving distance…?

Now, this town fair was fun growing up. There were the scary rides that could literally fall apart in any second, the sticky cotton candy your parents hated buying you, and the giant, really-awkwardly-hard, overstuffed animals your daddy or middle school boyfriend would win you after spending $10-100 trying to knock down a glued bottle of pop.

But, as you got older you realized how trashy, or, err, interesting this town fair really was. You noticed the wide variety of people it brought to its grounds, including, but not limited to:

1. The young family. This is normal. This is who probably should be at these sort of fairs. Kids love this stuff…(until that pet goldfish they won dies the next day). However, because of the following people, this is why the young family seems to stick out.

2. The middle school couples. CLEARLY their parents do not know either a) where they are or b) that they are with the opposite sex. In fact, you can sense by their constant holding each other and making out on the bench, ferris wheel, spinny ride, while trying to win a hard-overstuffed plush, waiting in line, and basically anywhere on the fairgrounds, that their parents are ignorant of this couple’s ‘relationship’. This is the only place that they are freely able to touch each other somewhat inappropriately, and they take full advantage of such. (You can also catch them at the mall on Friday nights.)

3. The group of young skater boys. I don’t know if they are trying to live out a Tony Hawk game or what, but there is ALWAYS a group of young skater boys in tight jeans, band t-shirts, and long hair that hover around the dark corners of the fairgrounds grinding on whatever piece of carnival equipment their board can handle.

4. Carnies. Well, duh there’s going to be carnies there. And to be honest- being a carnie sounds really freaking appealing to me right now. Traveling the world, meeting and harassing new people every week, being carefree or whatever. But I’d like to keep my teeth…and dignity.

5. The guy who thinks he’s tough. You know who- this guy dons a beater and storms around with an angry mug…usually alone. As you try your best to get out of his way, you can’t help but wonder why he found himself at the fair tonight.

6. People you graduated high school with. There’s two groups for this. The first group came to the fair for the same reason you did- to know where you never want to end up in life. The second group think the fair is the best place in the world. It’s best to avoid both of these groups. After all, it’s people you graduated high school with and didn’t keep in touch with for a reason.

7. The teen mom. I’m not talking about the teen mother who is taking her child to the fair for the child’s sake, such as the Young Couple. I’m talking about the teen mom who rolls up for the reason of being seen in skin tight, barely fitting clothing to show the world how ‘goooood she looookk’ post-baby. This teen mom will probably also try to start drama with the baby daddy (possibly one in the same as The Guy Who Thinks He’s Tough) while at the fair.

8. Overly dressed-up girls. You want to wear a cute sundress to the fair? That’s fine. But when you show up in a red miniskirt, a see-through top with your tatas out, a pound of make up, straightened hair, and 5 inch heels, I can’t help but to shake my head. Girlfriend, you’re going to a fair, not to the club. Throw on some basketball shorts and a t shirt, and get ready to be thrown upside down on the Freak-Out ride.

and last but not least…

9. The intoxicated. You know you’re cool when you get drunk to go to the fair………

And every year you say you won’t go back, yet every year you end up back on those old familiar, dirty fairgrounds.

Life at a Standstill

I’m at a standstill already.

I go to work at my part-time retail job. I come home. I sleep. I rinse and repeat.

My days off are spent comfortably on my couch staring at my computer screen.

Searching through countless job listings, rewriting my cover letter, giving up and staring at Reddit for the remainder of the day.

In fact, I stopped looking entirely.

It’s all about who you know in this world, and unfortunately, I don’t know anyone with these connections.

On occasion I see a friend and have a fun few hours.

But.

I don’t see a way out. August will come, and I won’t be packing my bags to join my friends at the little bubble we call college.

It feels like a summer vacation, wasting away my days in the air conditioning.

Yet, that’s the problem.

I’m wasting away my days.

I’m fine with my part-time retail job for this summer. It is allowing me to enjoy my last ‘free’ summer.

Well it should be, if I would take advantage of it.

But

This begs the question:

How long after graduation am I still considered just a ‘recent grad’ as opposed to a ‘failure’ for being career-less?

How much longer do I have to find a job before I’m looked down upon for having a degree, living at home, and only working a part-time retail job?

How much longer until I can escape this pause, and press the play button to resume my life?

I don’t want to sell out.

I just want to find a career, and  be happy with the one I find.

The Undercover Badboy

In a recent discussion with my two roommates, Mom & Dad, I realized how personality-shallow I am when it comes to boys.

For example, I am attracted to intelligence. You use the wrong your/you’re in a text and I’ll probably politely file you into my imaginary friendzone folder, if you’re lucky.

Ambition turns me on like no other. Oh, you have dreams and goals? You don’t know exactly what you want or where you’re going but you know you want something more and you’re determined to get there? Tell me more while I schedule our wedding into my planner.

Don’t even get me started on politeness. You have manners, and you use them? Not only can you win my parents’ respect and admiration, but you are also nice to the random cashier or waiter or old man on the street? Get me a fan, I’m sweating over here, because that is hot.

 

And there is just something to say about a good sense of wit/humor. You crack out a corny joke and I’ll probably laugh. You keep up with my humor, poke a little fun, and feed off of sarcasm, and I will most definitely come tripping over my own feet into your arms.

However, these aren’t the only keys to my heart. Because, every girl loves a badboy as I am coming to learn. Yet this is a very specific type of badboy.

I’m not talking about does hardcore drugs, curses like a sailor in front of your grandma, drives 90 in a 40, has no job, gets around badboy.

I’m talking the undercover badboy.

The undercover badboy knows when to be polite and when to let out his inner badness. In fact, you might not even realize he’s a badboy until you are starting to get bored of his supreme kindness and then BOOM he whips it out.

The undercover badboy will have a job, goals, and respect, but he will also secretly live life on the edge.

His inner badboy will only start to manifest itself slightly into conversation. You almost have to figure it out for yourself that he is not some every day nerd. They’re so subtle, his BAMF qualities.

The undercover badboy will play with your nephew, have a conversation with your mom, hang out with your straightedge friends, and then only when you’re alone or with other BAMFs, will he let his true badness shine through.

This is what differentiates the badboy from the undercover badboy. He is not trying to display to the world that he is a BAMF, such as the regular badboy, but he keeps it hidden and only displays his badness when appropriate.  It is a thin line between the two, but one of which makes all the difference.

And that, my friends, is why I am personality-shallow.

What Job Searching is Actually Like

Step 1. Make resume.

Skills? Uh…I sort of knew HTML back in middle school when I had a MySpace… I’ll put that on there, make myself really stand out. Any employer would feel lucky to hire me!

Oh..But what if they actually want me to use HTML at my job? All I remember is how to bold the B in BaBiiGuRl…

What you’re left with:

“Skills: Microsoft Word.”

Step 2. Reading through job descriptions

They want 3-5 years minimum marketing experience? I worked at a Hallmark store during my winter break one year. I had to market like, cards and stuff….I got this!

‘Looking for a finance/business recent graduate’….Hmm…I was a Communications major but I have a bank account…Sounds good.

‘High school degree or GED equivalent required, college degree unnecessary’… So glad I went thousands of dollars into debt…PICK ME

 

Step 3. Finding your objective

Objective…objective…

Objective: To be employed.

…is that good enough?

Or should I put: “Objective: I have no specific objective because I don’t actually know what your business is about nor if I am qualified for the position. In fact, I don’t actually even want this job at all but I figured I’d give it a shot.  Pick me”

Step 4: Writing the cover letter

“Dear business,

I have a great personality. And I want to move out of my parent’s house sooner rather than later.

Pick me,

Your’s truly”

Step 5:  Sending in the resume, cover letter, and application.

*Click*

That e-mail confirmation came rather quickly…Alright. Now I just have to wait for the interview. I got this!

How exhilarating.

Look at me go, taking the initiative, applying to real-person jobs! I love the real world.

Step 6: Waiting.

Monday…Tuesday..Wednesday….two weeks later…

Step 7: Trying to find the phone number and/or contact person and/or e-mail address in order to follow up and find out when interviews are being conducted 

Where do they hide this information? I feel like I’m searching through a Where’s Waldo book.

Step 8: Realizing you didn’t get accepted or rejected. You just got ignored. 

I hate the real world.

The Annoying Co-Worker

When working in retail, we all have had to deal with that one annoying co-worker. You know who I’m talking about. As soon as you read the word ‘annoying’, their face came to mind. Your annoying co-worker will exhibit most, if not all, of the following behaviors:

  • He/she will act super busy and important whenever your supervisor is around, but as soon as it is just you and them, the true laziness begins to show. You: “Hey, I’m really busy trying to ring up, wrap, and bag this customer’s items,  can you take the next one?” Annoying co-worker: “OHHH nooo, nooo, nooo. I don’t want to make them walk a whole foot over to my register! You can take them when you’re finished.”
  • He/she will have some sort of terrible body odor and/or a flatulence problem.  If they don’t have either of these, then they will definitely eat only onion sandwiches on their breaks and come back reeking.
  • He/she will tell you the same stories about their trip to London or Fiji or Sesame Place over and over and over again. Even when you stop responding, he/she will steep keep blabbering. They are like the energizer bunny. Except a lot less cute, and a lot less well-liked.
  • He/she will stand behind you watching as you count your change, help a customer, vacuum the store, eat, breathe, and possibly even sleep.  Every time you turn around, there he/she is…just hovering…watching your every move. Even after you’ve told them plenty of times that their mere existence makes you uncomfortable, there they still remain.
  • He/she will laugh at their own jokes, none of which are actually funny. Sometimes you will laugh along at the sheer pitifulness of the joke. Also, he/she will have a very disturbing, dry-sounding, been-smoking-for-50-years laugh.
  • He/she will be condescending, especially if he/she had, in fact, been working there longer than you. He/she will pretend you don’t know how to do your job even after he/she made you take care of all of the customers as he/she just stood there hovering.
  • He/she will be exceedingly slow, probably on purpose, in order to transfer the entire line to your register’s side.
  • Whenever a customer asks a question, he/she will stand there silently staring blankly into the customer’s eyes until you come up to assist, even though he/she clearly knows the answer.
  • He/she will spend the entire shift either drawing weird anime onto receipt paper, or making personal telephone calls on the company’s phone. Whenever you pass by, you hear them throw in the company’s name in the conversation to make it act like it’s a business call, but you know it’s not. Not unless the business is wondering what time he/she will be home for dinner.

 

If no one came to mind as you were reading these, maybe you should take a hard look at yourself…

You may just be the annoying co-worker.

 

Kaskade: A Man Who Truly Loves His Job (HQ Beachclub)

Alright. I tried not to do this. I tried to keep this blog general, relatable, humorous, inquisitive or whatever, and not full of reviews of specific events, but it’s now almost been a week and I feel the need to write about the wonder that was June 1.

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Last weekend Kaskade graced Atlantic City with his presence by playing at the Revel’s HQ nightclub on May 31, and then again at the new HQ Beachclub on June 1.

While I was unable to attend his nightclub set, I made sure to find myself a little spot on the dancefloor at the Beachclub to witness for the first time one of my favorite DJs do his thang.

And boy did he do it well.

Behind the DJ booth, Matt Goldman started the party at this Vegas-style club, complete with a pool, bars, views of the Atlantic Ocean, and VIP service if you so choose.

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From the beginning, you could tell that people were there to get down. Dancing was already occurring in the shallow end of the (what I can only assume to be) heated pool, drinks were being served…and spilled… and the music was only getting louder.

As time passed, I soon found my way to my desired spot for the afternoon: right near the front. Usually at shows I stand off to the side or near the back. But not for Kaskade.

As 3 pm approached, you could sense the anticipation in the crowd. We were ready for some Summer Lovin’.

Kaskade began his memorable set with a tease, playing the song Atmosphere before its actual release. Finally seeing Kaskade behind that booth after waiting hours in the hot sun mixed with hearing an amazing new song live made the crowd go wild.

I briefly glanced around behind me to see everyone singing along to the moving lyrics, jumping out of excitement, and smiling widely. There was not a still nor silent person in that crowd.

Kaskade moved along his set by playing some crowd favorites (and/or mash-ups) such as Eyes, Lessons in Love, Turn it Down, Last Chance, 4 a.m.,  and Room for Happiness.

While I was hoping and somewhat expecting to hear some of these songs, what really made the crowd ecstatic was his insertion of multiple genres, including some (but not too much) trap.

Kaskade even incorporated a mix of Zedd’s hit tune Clarity (although playing such an, in my opinion, over-played song shocked me a bit, but I suppose he was trying to appease all members of the crowd by playing something they know.)

Whenever the crowd was starting to slow down or lose energy, Kaskade would change it up in order to bring us right back to our dancing feet! Signs of a great DJ!

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What impressed me the most about Kaskade’s performance was how much you could truly tell he enjoys his job. Not only was he into his music, but he was dancing around, jumping up and down, smiling, interacting with the audience (I swear we shared a moment during Turn it Down), and singing along.

Knowing he enjoyed what he was doing made it that much more enjoyable for us, the crowd.

He even ReTweeted my compliment about it later that night.

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One of the most memorable moments was during No One Knows Who We Are, when everyone’s hands were high to the sky and voices were singing loudly along with the words, including, of course, Kaskade.

There was such a sense of camaraderie and unison among the crowd at that time and space. We were one, living in that moment, brought together by Kaskade’s music. “We are right now”.

As time passed way too quickly, Kaskade left us with the statement, “I think I convinced these guys to let me come back”, and I tell ya, Kaskade, I sure hope you do.

This may have been my first time seeing him, but it will definitely not be my last.

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*Pictures from instagram : @dtam09

*Follow me on Twitter: @Dat_assh