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In no particular order, and not promising anything too exciting.

1. Kiss someone I care for under hundreds of floating lanterns. Disregarding the negative environmental impacts, have you seen the festivals they do in some part of the world? Beautiful! The video above is from Thailand. Now I just have to find a willing victim I mean accomplice I mean um… :]

2. Finally master a new language! I really don’t want fall into the category of people who think the English language alone is sufficient to navigate through life. The same thought process towards learning a language is used when learning music, so why has it been so hard for me so far?  Now I just need to decide which language to being with.  Any thoughts?

3. Go hang gliding.  Actually I really don’t know why I haven’t done this yet because there’s a hang gliding group here in Chicago that’s only a phone call away.  I guess I always imagined myself doing this in a more exotic location than say, the Midwest.  :]  It’s the closest thing we can really get to flying, right?  Why wouldn’t you want to experience it at least once?

4. Perform musically for a crowd of thousands. I love being on stage. I really miss it. There’s something so electrifying about it, you feel so alive. I don’t know what vehicle of music this would fall under, but I hope one day to share my music onstage with a crowd of significant number.

5. Go to the Lightning in a Bottle festival next year. This is a music/art/life festival in southern California.  My friend went this year and the pictures and experiences she brought back to share with me sound absolutely amazing.  Attempting to explain it all would be stupid since I’ve never actually been, but it sounds like a great meshing together of sensory experiences, meeting other people, and just being yourself.  Here’s the link to the official page if you’d like to go check it out for yourself:


So..on to part two of the trip.  After wandering around in Toronto over the weekend, we started heading back to Muskegon, MI, where Michelle’s dad lives.  This part of the trip wasn’t so much for adventures so much as it was just to relax and take some time for inner meditation.  Having said that, there really isn’t a need to run a play by play of this part but there is one moment I’d like to share, which is when we went to the beach on Monday night, I think it was.

We got to the beach at just before sunset. The water was perfectly warm and and shallow for an amazingly far distance past the shore.  As the sun began to set the surface of the water turned a reflective golden-silver color.  It looked like we were swimming in mercury or liquid silver, with the sun burning into brilliant shades of oranges, reds, and violets in the sky above.  It was infinitely beautiful and I felt so at peace and content.  Everything seemed to fade away except the sky above me.  Yes, I’m getting poetic. 😉

Words can’t really do the scene justice, so here a few pics to help out:

Venturing out into the waves.  See what I mean when I say the water was silver!  Michelle and I on the beach:

Enjoying the sand.

Messages of love (to music anyways) and camera whoring bikini pic taking a nap on the beach:


As the sun begins to set, the moon begins to rise:

Ending the post with a shot of Michelle’s dog, Marvin:

-End of Part 2, thanks for reading! 🙂 –

Warning: This will be a very pic intensive post.

I Love Canada

So… I took a mini road trip with Michelle to Toronto, then back to Michigan a few weeks ago.  And I’ve been meaning to write about it, and meaning to…and then…almost a month has passed and I still haven’t gotten to it.   I still have like two pounds of random Canadian coins in my purse that I keep accidentally trying to pay for things with wtf…anyways.

So to be honest on the way there we were cracking jokes about Canada (such an exotic destination, beware of mounties!…etc etc) and on the back we were crying because we didn’t want to leave.  It’s about a 8-9 hour drive depending how fast you speed which route you take.  It’s not a great distance, but to be honest the whole trip was a lot of fun and it really reminded me to take more sudden adventures whenever circumstance allows.

The Blue Bridge which officially crosses over into Canada (are there yet are we there yet??) :

Pics of the city.  Downtown Toronto reminds me a lot of Chicago, as it’s right on the water with a lot of tall buildings.  Toronto appears to a bit cleaner however:


We were there over the weekend, and got in just as the sun was setting on Friday evening.  That night we went to see First State (trance artist) at Toika Lounge.  Being the forgetful moron I am, I completely forgot to take pics but we both had a great time.  The vibe was relatively low key and people seemed friendly enough.  If I lived in Toronto I would definitely stop at the events there regularly.  Because I love trance music.  And having a great time.  And friendly people. 😉

The next day we met up with Elaine of Fabulous Living Coach, a lifestyle and traveling blog.  I highly recommend you check her site out, she’s currently in Greece and the pictures make me want to jump ship right now and join her.  🙂  She was kind enough to give us a mini tour of Toronto.  Once again, I forgot to get any pics of the three of us because I was so busy looking at everything else. 😦  We decided to meet her in Dundas Square, which is a bit like Times Square in NY to me.  There was a Green Living Festival going on in the square that day, so we wandered around a bit while we waited to meet her.

Michelle eating some vegan samosas and fizzy lemonade:

Besides eating yummy food, we also talked to a guy walking around on stilts with a mess of white and green dreadlocks, held some exotic snakes around our necks (yah forgot the pics again whoops) and met this guy, who built this underwater percussion machine:

Afterwards we walked into Kensington Village.  I love it there!  It’s a few blocks of colors and creativity and general weirdness.  The houses there are all shops and it’s a great place to wander around and spend a few hours. Some shots of the shops we wandered through:

Bubble machine! 🙂

Michelle and I shopping for hats:

…I really wanted the feathered one but couldn’t justify the rather hefty price tag.  Michelle bought the horned hat and the proceeded to walk through Kensington, Chinatown, and downtown with it on.  🙂

Gardens in a car and hanging purses:

And then we came across a building with a giant alien on the front.  Naturally we felt compelled to go investigate:

Apparently there is currently a dubstep musical about alien abduction in the theater?  The artist creating airbrush posters outside was kind enough to give us a tour of the inside, and looked genuinely confused at why we were laughing so hard.  We both fully intended to go, but accidentally slept through it later that evening -.-

Description of the play:

While we were there Toronto also had the Play Me I’m Yours pianos hanging out around the city.  Saturday evening we got some food at a restaurant then walked past one on the way back to the hotel.  Out of impulse we decided to go over and start playing some tunes.  Before I knew it there was a small crowd and we were taking turns performing, singing, and making requests.  We were there at least two hours, it’s crazy how music brings people together.  I met some super talented pianists and singers.  Music is the only thing for me that makes me so happy that everything else can completely melt away.  I was so incredibly happy while I was standing there, it was such a perfect, spontaneous summer night.  I have videos of some people playing The Scientist and Hey Jude but still working out how to get them off my phone 😛

We both really loved Toronto and the trip, and agreed that a trip to Montreal is next on the list.  People there seemed really nice and friendly.  Also, everyone in Toronto was so stylish!  I saw so many cute outfits on girls and guys, I felt like a slob in my t-shirt and jeans. 😛

This trip really reminds me that I really must do more traveling.  There’s something about going somewhere new that opens your mind to new possibilities and approaches.  Afterwards we made a stop by Lake Michigan where Michelle’s dad lives to hang out on the water and relax, but I’ll save that for part 2 as I’m pretty sure this is already quite long.

Ending with a pic of a squirrel.  This guy was such a camera tease, he’d walk right up and as soon as I would point the camera at the ready he’d run away again:

-end of part 1-

On Saturday night Michelle and I went to an all night fundraiser for peeps wanting to get themselves and their art out to Burningman.  It was a combination of dance party, art show, aerial acrobatics, fire spinning, and general madhouse of creativity.  It was held in an artist’s collective; a huge two story loft/house-like structure that people usually live in.  Apparently the people who live in the house literally re-build the interior for each party, including moving walls and everything.  I was amazed at how cool everything was, the place was filled with all of these amazing things to look at.  I had never been to one of these before but it was a lot of fun to wander around and look at everything.  Everyone was a collage of glitter, paint, neon, fairy wings, steampunk goggles, etc.

Within five minutes I was happily sitting on a couch in a small alcove surrounded by painted artwork, Xmas lights, hanging paper stars and tree branches making new friends.

Within fifteen minutes both Michelle and I were sporting glittery face paint.

A few hours after that we were switching rooms between the main dancefloor (electro/techno) and a back dance floor (some sort of exotic electro type madness).

Anyways here’s some pics I took.  They’re all a little crappy b/c my phone doesn’t do too well in the dark, but here they are anyways.

Looking up from the main dance floor.  The glittery lights on the left is a balcony overlooking the dance floor, behind the white cloth is a staircase leading up to the second floor, the yellow light in the middle is the hallway leading to more rooms and another dance floor.

Fire spinning goodness with the DJ booth behind them:

And the view from the the balcony.  This was when two performers were dancing with flaming rings.

A little hard to tell, but the aerial silk ropes performer is on the right.  I got so entranced in the performance I fogot to take a proper picture. :]

Also on a side note, one of the looks I posted over the weekend on my Chictopia profile ended up trending on the front page for a bit!  I was completely taken by surprise, wasn’t expecting it at all! Here’s a screenshot:

And a closeup:

This pic was taken just as I was about to laugh. :]  I might end up living with Michelle in the future, or at the very least in the same city.  I can’t wait.  She’s so creative and we decided it would be so much fun to spend part of the weekend running around the apartment playing dress up.  And then having dance parties with ourselves.  And then going to Walgreens just for candy bars and wine.  Oh wait, we did all of that anyways.  😛

Happy Monday!

Sometimes life brings you unexpected surprises (the good kind I mean!) completely out of the blue.  Sunday afternoon as I was driving my car home I suddenly noticed that the air and lighting around me was very strange.  Around me the sun was shining and the air was hot, but as I looked up I saw the sky in the distance was BLACK.  It was a little eerie!  I arrived just as the clouds reached my home and the sky turned the darkest gray.  Out of nowhere came these super strong winds…I guess they were so strong that they blew off tree branches all over my part of the city. Then, just as quickly as it started, the sun came back out and everything was back to normal.  Still, the air was crackling with that electric feel that happens when there’s a huge storm just waiting to happen.

Later in the evening I got a call from one of my friends, M.  She was passing through Chicago on her way to Michigan and her flight was cancelled…there would be no more available flights until Tuesday!  She was currently standing in line for a hotel voucher and wondering what I was up to.  I invited her to stay the evening at my place instead of some lonely hotel and so off we went to pick her up at around 11 in the evening.  I really enjoy her company, so it was no problem at all.  She has such a kind, free spirit and she’s very genuine.

LED Staff!

LED Staff 2!

M brought along her LED staff for dancing/spinning and so after we got her all set up at the house, we decided it might be fun to go outside and watch her spin.  S brought his video camera and turned off the motion sensor light in the yard.  We turned on some Kaskade and watched her go!  It as very awesome.  My little pup was completely entranced, cocking her head this way and that.  S and I each gave a try ourselves, it’s a lot harder than it looks but very very fun.  I might look into making a staff of my own to practice.  I could do with some sort of activity to tone my arms a little. 😛  It was a very pleasant way to spend a late Sunday night.

Afterwards over drinks (white wine and tequila depending on your preference) and cake we sat around and talked.  S had to go work on his video project so M and I talked about an upcoming trip we’re planning soon to Canada.  M is currently on a travel kick and has been spending the last few weeks exploring most of southern Californa, and is now here in the Midwest.  She was showing me pictures of trips to festivals in the deserts of California and they look so beautiful.  I think I’d really like to go.

It was a short, unexpected surprise but in this case a cancelled flight turned an ordinary Sunday night into something fun.  I felt bad about being a little happy her flight was cancelled until she said the same, haha!  She took a train into Michigan the next afternoon, but she’ll be back in a few weeks on a planned visit this time.  I’m excited because when she comes there will be someone else to subject to my musical rants in the house, and this one might actually enjoy them!  Maybe by then I’ll have my own staff to practice with too!

Hello, I'm Melissa. Welcome to my blog! I'm a little panda living in the city who enjoys traveling, electronic music, yummy food, beauty/fashion, and collecting as many amazing moments in this life as possible. Thanks so much for reading! :)

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