Category Archives: Ramblings
This Post Smells Like Teen Spirit
Long blonde hair kissing blushing cheeks with sky blue eyes peering into the souls of millions I think of my rock legend icon, thin and frail, in his pea green sweater and my completely unhealthy obsession with Kurt Cobain as a young teenager. I had his name carved into my ankle (right above the Nine Inch Nails logo) and his image plastered on my walls.
Nirvana was supposed to be my first concert. I had been listening to them since I was 9 years old courtesy of my siblings and I was obsessed. The day they were playing our town came and I was so very excited. My mom forgot to pick me up from school that day and my sister took my ticket. Her and my brother snuck into the pit and for many years (maybe to this day) my sister would brag about that time they saw Nirvana yada yada “I was this close!” She’d exclaim waving the wristband in my face or pointing to it where it was memorialized on her wall. My mom tried to make good on it and said she would make it up to me by letting me go to Lalapolooza which I also had wanted to attend for years- but in the end it didn’t matter. Kurt Cobain took his own life that April and the world was devastated- and so was I.
He never wanted to be an idol. He never wanted to be the voice of a nation or a movement- yet he was- just like that. Grunge was in his honor and we all carried out his legacy. It felt like music would never be the same.
Kurt was the first person I ever felt I knew personally that took his own life. He was unfortunately not the last. He was the rip in the page that made death real, that made absence present, that made a void that couldn’t be replaced. Only to be followed by many others over time of course- I was only but a young child- there was so much more to this world than I ever realized at this point and time- but at that moment he was my idol— and he was gone forever.
My sister Molly McCormick is a very talented artist and drew this when she was a teenager. I eventually got to see Bauhaus at the Palace theatre in New Orleans which is one of her all time faves and was able to forgive her for using my ticket that day- I cant really blame her though- I would have done the same thing. 🙂
RIP Kurt. Thanks for everything.
Sunrise on my heart: Aloha bliss and magick
Aloha from the land of rainbows, flora, fauna, and magick. I have found myself sinking deeper and deeper into the craters left behind from oozing magma that brought these islands (and the rest of the world) into existence!
Maui is full of secrets, surprises, blessings and adventures. Watching all the sands combine in the car seats turning them black, white, and red. Silhouettes of butterflies float across curtains while sweet blossoms of papaya wift through the air. Driving under a golden dragon eye Moon in time to catch sunrise from 10,000 feet on a Helaekala crater to acres of lavender farms as far as the eye can see. Jumping off of 20 foot cliffs and then snorkeling a 1/2 mile to get to the next beach while listening to the whales sing underwater the entire way! Floating on your back in an idealyc pool at the bottom of a waterfall gazing lovingly at a perfect chesire cat moon smiling down on you. There is not much more you need in life to feel content.
The access to fresh fruit and healthy living is abundant and comes with ease. Maui is constantly conspiring to keep us here longer and pull us back on her shores. Everything from roadside dips in fresh water pools to hiking 10 minutes to feast our eyes on triple waterfall views to spinning fire in the middle of a secret beach party (catch some of that here http://ift.tt/238jbbB and here https://instagram.com/p/BApVBmcwgUa/- Maui has exceeded my expectations on all levels.
We drove out to Hana for a few days and luxuriated in her splendor. Venus pool was a ridiculous pleasure. A pleasant protected tidepool filled with salt water and streaming sunshine. A family near by was seen selling fish and when we asked to get some they said aloha and didn’t want a penny for it and then ran inside and got us the special peppers they grew and told us how to make their favorite sauce. We still gave them something for their bounty- but the spirit of Aloha is ever present here.
At seven sacred pools all of my waterfall dreams were answered. I’ve been to more than 75 waterfalls in the past three years and this was by far the most dreamy experience yet. It’s what you wish for when you dream of waterfalls. Refreshing freshwater pools, rocks smoothed by the years of water flowing over them for lounging in the warm sun, falls at various heights making an impressive journey through the earth to the sea, rainbows shooting off the mist-It made my mermaid heart sing.
At one point while climbing the porous volcanic walls – whose knobs and crevices fit perfectly in my hands and feet I heard a loud message that the earth will tell me exactly what to do. I was astounded by my heart opening and listening to the earth loud and clear! Where to scramble, what to grab onto, what to eat, where to adventure and when to turn around. It’s been a pretty incredible and enlightening experience. It only continues to support my conclusion that everything humans need to survive and thrive here comes from the earth itself. We look in so many places and substitute so many other unnecessary things but in the end all we need is already here.
Mahalo Mother Earth for sharing your bounty with us. My wish is for each of you reading this to take a moment and appreciate all the ways in which the earth and the universe support us whole heartedly. Let go of the things that no longer serve you and bask in beauty of the lands, waters, sun, and seas. If we all gave ourselves permission to take this time what an incredible world this could be.
And now here I sit watching the sunrise from the sky. Still salty from my last maui swim where the sunset was bouncing off the shore and whales were breeching out on the horizon. My heart is forever warmed from the countless rainbows, whales, sea turtles, and thriving aquatic life encounters, fresh foods and coconut nectar, and good friends and family that surrounded this trip. The aloha spirit will keep me warm for the next chapter of my east coast adventures. May my story warm and inspire you as well.
It’s places like these that help me harness my magick. But you don’t have to be in far away lands to get to this place in your heart. We harness our magick every time we surround ourselves with things that bring us joy, charge us up, get into our flow through dance, hoop, yoga, or meditation, and lovingly adorn ourselves with scents, sparkles, and creams. There are so many ways we can prepare ourselves to successfully take on the days ahead! Join me on Instagram @aliluminescent and let me know how you #harnessyourmagick by adding this hashtag to the posts of photos that bring you joy. The more YOU harness your magick the more it encourages others around you to do the same! Next thing you know we will all be wrapped up and supported in gorgeous gooey love ball of worldly magick! And may it be so!
May this world support you in all the ways you wish and especially in the ways you never knew it needed to!
Aloha and Shine bright!
Enchanted Troupe Fire Reel
My friends and I have had a blast refining our beautiful fire show called “The Spirits of Fire and Smoke” and are excited to be able to share some highlights with you now! Enjoy this NYC star-studded cast of hard-working performers. Hope to bring our show to a place near you!
Check out our website at www.enchantedtroupe.com
Leaving Japan not only softer in skin but softer in spirit. The kindness of people is humbling. Gifts, bows, curtsy’s, two handed waiving until you are completely out of sight and the unbelievable genuine sincerity is overwhelming. Bicycles line the sidewalks unlocked and untouched. Umbrellas wait on street sides in case you forgot your own. Ongoing consideration for others and finding the greatest gratitude in helping others is paramount. It is easy to say that the people of Japan are the kindest, sweetest, most loving people I have ever encountered on planet earth.
The landscape here is diverse and dreamlike. Mountains, oceans, trails, cities, temples, and shrines in the most unexpected of places. Once arriving it finally makes sense where every anime movie ever came from. What an incredible place.
Mineral rich volcanic hotsprings are honored and utilized in every moment. What a better ending to a night on the town, a long day at work, a hike in the woods, or a holiday excursion -than soaking in a mineral rich naturally boiling volcanic pool rising from the earth? Great idea Japan! So efficient! Always harnessing and honoring the power of the earth in all that they do.
Bath houses came in various sizes and styles- from deluxe outdoor mountainside, to saltwater seaside, to a small room by a lil river. Pine and cedar waft around you as steam envelopes the dreamland of relaxation you have stumbled upon. Regardless, every experience was delightful as the one after and the one before. The houses are separated by gender and nudity is no big deal. Body image issues are cast aside as every age group are just different formations of skin and bones as each person gets down on their lil wooden stool and completely scrubs and cleans their whole body before soaking in a variety of temperature and mineral rich pools. The bath houses are not for BATHING they are for very clean people to sit and soak and heal. So lovely!! So rewarding. Muscle aches, pains, cramps, concerns, and worries melt away as the water, earth, air and fire spirits work together in perfect pine roasted harmony for these moments to occur.
Sanackos await you on the other side of your experience. Nice ginger tea or matcha (green tea) are served liberally and always with sweet respect. Tea biscuits, pancakes, plum rice treats, triangular nori snacks filled with a variety of surprises are just a few of the outrageously delicious (oyishi!!) options. Like it or “nato” America has got nothing on the taste and healthiness of Japan’s snacks! Wow! The food, the food, THE FOOD! Seto or bento style meals are my favorite. Every meal is a work of art as each small dish compliments the next in texture and flavor. Seafood is a big part of most meals and their rice is served as a delicacy. They pickle everything in lil bits and add tangy flourishes to every meal. We were fed like kings and queens across this country- silver platters with rising plumes of steam and all. It has been incredible!
Timeliness, efficiency, and effectiveness reigns supreme in Japanese culture. Typical Japanese business etiquette is that if you think you may be late-plan to arrive 30 minutes early. The trains run PERFECTLY on time. I have never experienced a more timely transit system in my entire life (and pleasant and clean too)! Every mode of transit ran impeccably on time to the minute. All the people wait patiently in line for the train to empty and then in a calm orderly single-file line board the train leaving seats for elders, mothers and children, and disabled. Everyone treats each other with sweet respect and is kind and thoughtful apologizing and thanking each person 3-5 times per interaction. What an amazingly considerate place-wow.
We had so many wonderful adventures here in these past few weeks visiting a range of locations. Each place unique in landscape and full of pride, history, and yummy treats special to that area. Tokyo, Gifu, Kyoto, Wakayama, And Hiroshima were the main prefectures we made it to.
In Tokyo we caught up with dear friends and made new ones, filmed a music video, ate at skyscraper restaurants, saw the Robot Restauraunt show and had hanami (picnic under the cherry blossom trees)! We were fortunate enough to catch Sakura- the two week span where most of the country erupts in fluffy intoxicating pink and white cherry blossoms. We romantically rowed a boat along the lake of the Imperial Palace- blossoms rained down on us and we made storybook trails through where they would float on the surface on the water. We saw them lit up at night and tasted a variety of sanackos and durinkos flavored by them. Coming during Sakura was such a sweet delight Im glad we waited to take our honeymoon until this time.
In Gifu history unfolded before us as we hiked the original road from Kyoto to Tokyo through a prime evil forest shrouded in mist. Waterfalls, waterwheels, and a tea house emerged along our journey.
Kyoto was a storybook lost in time and soaked in blossoms. We met a real Japanese Princess. The 4th Person in 50 years reaching the distinguishable honor of Tayu- she met with us before a client which is simply unheard of our other friends in Japan had exclaimed. We were very honored and thankful for the opportunity. We were befriended by an amazing local couple that runs this great shop! If you are ever in Kyoto check out M-Hero’s handmade goods! http://ift.tt/1K8W59M
We trekked through shrines and temples, attended tea ceremonies, and even hopped a fence and climbed a mountain and were rewarded with one of the best views of Kyoto and a never to be forgotten glass tea house by artist
Kii Tanabe (Wakayama) had unforgettable tide pools and a pilgrimage trail. It was raining the day we took our hike and we were blessed with meeting tons of forest crabs (! What crabs in the forest?!) and these amazing iridescent foot long worms!!! They changed color with every moment they were magical!!
Hirishima Perfecture included epic Island stay with salt water onsen’s and the famed bunny island I’ll tell you more about that below. We took time to visit the peace park and the Atomic Bomb memorial site. It was moving and intense. An important moment in history we must all remember to never repeat. As a matter of fact I hope war is something that we can say goodbye to in our lifetime. I know that politics are tricky and there are a lot of egos, oil, and money at stake- but in the end- is it really worth it? When will basic human rights raise above the quest of ownership in our global priorities? More on this at another time moving on. . .
Animals are beloved in Japan. There aren’t so many critters and creatures around but in the areas where they exist- they flourish and are showered with kindness.
First off the birds here are HUGE! Ravens, crows, eagles and hawk swoop around screeching and cawing to their hearts delight. Large fish are common, lots of cute dogs, and of course Cat Cafes-but then there were several powerful animal medicines we came into contact with- first was the area of Nara outside Kyoto where there are tons of deer! You get to feed them deer biscuits and watch them slurp up sakura petals. They are sweet, snuggle, and a lil rascally if you have food in your pocket.
Next, we visited Ōkunoshima- the magical island of BUNNIES! This Island has a sad history but a magical an epic present! Thousands of wild domesticated bunnies hop around this hilly seaside bramble. It is spring and they are bunnies so we had the fortune of hanging around until sunset when the baby bunnies roused from their dens to snack and hop from side to side along the trail.
Last but certainly not least was our highly anticipated and forever fortunate visit to the one and only Owl Cafe! Justin and I had the honor to spend time with over 20 different owls getting to hold, pet, and photograph a fair amount of them. What a deep and moving experience! Wow! Whoooo would have thought that Tokyo was smart enough to come up with this amazing opportunity. The owls were calm, treated very well, all had been hand-raised and some of them even had the day off that day and all were given breaks between groups of regulated numbers of visitors. It was tricky to hunt this place down and even many of my Tokyo friends didn’t know it existed. The price had doubled from what I found online but it was worth every penny. But for 2000¥/$20USD we got to spend an hour of quality time with some of the wisest birds on earth. Here is the link-http://wandertokyo.com/tokyo-owl-cafe/ you must make reservations in person and the day books out in about 1-1.5 hours of opening.
Barely off the ground in Japan and I already miss it. My husband tapped my arm and directed me to the ground crew outside our airplane window- waving with both hands and bowing until we road out of site.
What an amazing country, experience, and choice for our honeymoon. Over and over we kept finding ourselves floored by all the wonder and delights of Japan. One thing is sure-we will be back again before we know it.
Refreshing Facials (without leaving your kitchen)!
Traveling always reminds me that I need to take more time out of my busy life to take better care of myself! What a better way than nurturing the largest organ of our bodies- OUR SKIN!
Our skin takes the beating of every daily activity we take on. In my case that often includes makeup, city smog, and countless pairs of fake eyelashes! What daily activities are wearing on your skin?
Here are some quick and easy facials you can whip up in your kitchen to pamper yourselves in the comfort of your own home! You probably have some of these ingredients already sitting around!
2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee (or used grinds)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons yogurt (or whole milk)
1 tablespoon honey
Gently massage this yummy mask into your skin in the morning for a quick perk. Allow the mask to dry for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse it off thoroughly.
Make sure your mask is a comfortable temperature and then apply to your face in a gentle circular motion, leave on for 10-15 minutes, and then wash with warm water. Pat dry.
I hope that you try one of these this week and it leaves you feeling renewed and refreshed! Let me know how it goes! Do you have a facial recipe you just swear by? Feel free to share in the comments below!
The Intergalactic Unicorns Ali Luminescent, Christine Geiger, and Claire de Luxe!
The Intergalactic Unicorns is a stilt trio dreamed up and coated in spikes and Swarovski crystals. Leather wrapped luxuriousness 10 ft tall illuminating the room with their glowing horns and fiberoptic tails like a celestial bodies ready to rock your world!
We had the great honor to perform at the Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP Gallery show where we pranced and partied at this glorious event. We were swooned by the talented velvety voices of Tony Award Winner Billy Porter, Robin de Jesus, Lance Horne, and Elizabeth A. Davis. Jacob Langfelder did an amazing job producing this event!
Great write up and more photos can be found on Broadway.com and Playbill.com!
Catch the Intergalactic Unicorns in action at the latest Carmel Productions event in this video here
Or book us to come light up an event near you by clicking the hyperlink or the booking tab at the top of this page.
Reclaiming My Dreams
As a child I suffered from post-apocalyptic dreams for many years. Very Nightmare on Elm Street style- I was often afraid to go sleep. Terrified of what might come, what might scare me awake, or worse yet- keep me from waking at all. The sheer terror of what existed when I closed my eyes was enough to keep me awake for days. Haunted in my waking hours by what loomed behind my eyes was enough to throw anyone into a midlife crisis- but I was only 15-16 years old and this had been plaguing me for years. Even when I did sleep- I wasn’t a good sleeper- I would sleep walk, sleep talk, and wake up outside! So wild. Working almost full time, going to high school, and being immersed in a highly active theatre program left little time for slumber- and that was just how I liked it.
I would often be running on 1-2 hours of sleep a night- would barely get to school on time and often slept through bits and pieces of my classes. I think I slept more in school than out of it. Luckily, I was a good student and kept an A/B average. My heart goes out to my mother who would wake from my 3 alarm clocks placed strategically around my room to get me up after that 1 or 2 hours of sleep. One in the closet, one on top of my headboard, and the other by the door. It crazed her to no end. My school started a few hours before she had to get up for work and my alarms would wake her on the other end of the house before they would wake me.
I lied to myself and thought I didn’t need sleep for years until the delirium started to catch up with me. So I began to imbibe. I smoked copious amounts of weed until I would unabashedly fall asleep sans dreams. At the time, it was such a relief, in hindsight I was self-medicating and it was escapism. I still have to wonder to this day if I truly stopped dreaming for those years or if I was just too high to remember them- but alas, at least I was sleeping for the first time in my semi-adult life. Sweet uninterrupted sleep, deep deep unhaunted sleep. (DISCLAIMER: I in no way promote this method- it was awful and not a good way to live- if you need recommendations for a natural sleep aid I recommend the Pituitary Blend from Ema’s Herbs out in LA. Best tasting Valerian root tea I have ever tried. Be close to where you choose to slumber it puts you out pretty fast.)
Some of you may know me now and many of you probably have never met me. While my dream-state has improved I am still not a big sleeper. I am often up late and up early! In most households I am the last one to bed and the first one to rise. My grandmother is the same way- she would often encourage me to call whenever-“Even if its 1 or 2am I am probably up washing the floors” she would say. This lack of sleep has created an interesting paradigm for when the sandman finally comes. Finishing a tv program or a movie is a good sleep aide for me because I am often so exhausted that if I sit still long enough I will totally pass out. Going to the movies has never been a good date and often results in a very expensive nap-yes even at the IMAX for 300, even at movies I really want to see like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Avatar”-twice. Sad but true. Social sleeping is a popular habit of mine- and there are a myriad of photos of me passed out at parties to prove it! (Yes friends! Now is the moment to post those awful passed out photos of me that you have been sitting on- feel free to post them in the comments of this post) I also had a bad case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) which my social sleeping has played a major role in helping me kick to the curb- because when I would wake up I was already at the party surrounded by friends and loved ones ready to rock!
Some of the craziest places I have fallen asleep include the middle of a mosh pit- true story- for any Houston based readers out there it was during the opening band for L7 at Fitzgerald’s!, multiple restaurants in the middle of my meal, and one time at burning man I woke up in a hammock 18 feet in the air. This was probably the most terrifying as I didn’t realize how far up in the air I was until I went to “hop” down- and caught myself mid jump. Yikes! It was smoothed over with mimosa’s and pancakes hand delivered to me- so it ended quite well.
I still have very intense dreams- super visual, emotional, visceral. Sometimes I am overcome with waking dreams-where images flash across the inside of my eyelids every time I blink. These are not from exhaustion but typically ARE telling me something very clear. They don’t happen often- but I am thankful when they do. These blips and bleeps of information coming from inside me seem relevant and that they are something I should tune into.
All and all, I am happy to report that I am sleeping much better these days and I know that dreams are powerful medicine. Listening to whatever is in there is definitely more important than running, hiding, or repressing these experiences. So, I am taking the step that I have half-heartedly taken in the past- and fully RECLAIMING MY DREAMS! I have journaled for the last two days in a row and now have a dedicated golden bound journal next to my bed. Funny enough- when I pulled it off the shelf the first page was a dream I had written about in 2005- so I know this is destined to be the right book!
Sharing my experience with you encourages me to be more accountable to myself. So thank you for listening as it helps me be a better me, but also I hope that it may inspire some of you to pay more attention to what’s going on when your body is finally still and your mind has the freedom to wander.
I also look forward to exploring Dream Expert, Robert Moss’s, words of wisdom and guidance as I approach my dreams with a new attitude. Wow!!! I am not surprised that when I went to link his site right now that this is his
blog entry today: http://www.mossdreams.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-causes-of-dream-drought.html
Synchronicity rules! It means we are doing it right.
How do you feel about dreams? How do you use them to help you in your daily life? Any fun photos of you passed out in funny places, slumbering sweetly? Share in the comments!
Dreaming in Color
As a girl with crazy hair for most of my life I had an interesting phenomenon come over me last spring- for the first time ever I was at a total loss of what to do with my hair! Typically in control of every aspect of my image- this took me by surprise.
So when I was asked by the hottest salon in town (http://ift.tt/MvEu3C) if I would allow a no holds bar cut and color to be a model for the new line of colors by Manic Panic I jumped at the opportunity!
Growing up in Texas as an alterna-grunge-goth grrrl in the 90′s you had limited options for making your lochs the colors of your dreams. I tried everything from berries to kool-aid, but every now and then I could snag a dab of the highly sought after Manic Panic and it worked like a dream! Tish and Snooky, the creators of Manic Panic and forerunners of the original punk movement in the 70s were totally my hero’s! The fact that I was privy to their unreleased magick potion felt like I had just won the lottery.
Excited, I met with Jeanise Aviles, one of the amazing colorists at Aerea Salon, for the consultation and she gave me the option of picking between pink or yellow. Yellow?! An unreleased vibrant “Sunshine Yellow”?! I was sold- and then as what was about to happen washed over me- I was struck with the awe inspiring realization that. . .I had become my teenage idol.
Wow! I never thought the girl I dreamed of being in my twisted crazy teenage dreams, that I saw on posters like Switchblade Symphony, or in late night videos on120 minutes was actually possible. But here I am-receiving the full-on professional treatment for the brightest hair I have had to date.
Like a pretty pretty princess the ladies of Aerea salon took good care of me! We promptly set up a shoot which I can finally share! Here are the long awaited Manic Panic Photos!! Enjoy!
Salon: Aerea Salon
Colorist/Photographer: Jeanise Aviles
Model: Ali Luminescent
Hair Cut: Arleen Quinones
MUA: Christine Geiger
Assist: Ariane Garcia
(Ariane is also a radical colorist as well!! Glad she was there to help out with the shoot! )
And here are a few edits I was playing around with just for fun! Enjoy!
Vía http://ift.tt/MvEu3J http://ift.tt/1jBwtVY
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier
Don’t miss this show! It closes February 23, 2014.
Vía Ali Luminescent http://ift.tt/1ckGPrR