Life of a Unicorn
By Koleana M.
Netflix released its third season of Orange Is The New Black last month, and it has been widely panned in the internet world. Rotten tomato released OITNB’s audience rating and the results were an interesting 74%. That’s only 3.8 out of 5 stars for Orange is the New Black: Season 3. Many critics claim the season is anti-climactic, flashbacks are poorly integrated, and the drama is lukewarm in comparison to the previous 2 seasons. While you’re free to compile your own feelings about how this season stacks up to the first two, I’d like to highlight the ways in which the third season converges dramatization with exploitation of society’s parochialism towards things that are different, while still maintaining its pervasive nudity; which is exactly why everyone needs to watch and learn.
Let’s take a looksie at some of the societal issues this season brings to light and how the characters work through them.
In Ruby Rose’s first scene on the show as an inmate, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schiling) asks her if she considers herself as belonging to the category of ‘women’ and Rose responds with “Yes, but only because my options are limited”. Rose gracefully and directly exploits Piper’s (and the world’s) need for placing people in gender boxes and only allowing a human to either be a man or a woman. Why do we feel this need to categorize? Gender can be fluid and identification can fall somewhere on a spectrum. Just as we have progressed into considering sexuality as a spectrum as well, it’s clear that we should open up to the concept of gender fluidity too. And it worked out wonderfully that the character who spearheaded the notion of gender fluidity in this show is a rather androgynous and extremely gorgeous Australian model named Ruby Rose. See her self written and directed music video addressing and showing us that she is the quintessential example of gender fluidity here.
This season we also learn more about our favorite butch Big Boo, who also struggled with her parents’ and society’s need to impose their expectations of appropriate gender representation on her, and she fought with this all of her life. She’s a woman who loves women and also loves dressing like a man. Big Boo doesn’t fit into heteronormative stereotypes that the world tries to place upon her. Why can’t we just accept her for who she is!?
Currently battling Caitlyn Jenner for the number 1 spot as America’s favorite Trans woman is Laverne Cox, who plays the character of Sophia in OTINB. Sophia is an inmate and the prison hair stylist- a job that perfectly embodies her interests in hair, make-up, and all things feminine. Her fellow inmates love her, her services, and coming into her prison salon for weekly gossip and beautifying. Until a little tiff with one Latina inmate causes a riot against Sophia and she is attacked in her salon by 3 inmates, cursed and beaten for being a man pretending to be a woman. In speaking with her prison counselor about that hate attack, Cox reveals that although she has undergone gender readjustment surgeries and taken every step she can towards becoming a woman, she’ll never really feel accepted in the eyes of people who don’t want to even try to understand transgender. Preach honey. We may never truly understand a struggle that’s not our own, but the least we can do is try to be accepting and supportive.
In this season, the extremely controversial Tiffany Doggett, or ‘Pennsatucky’ (played by Taryn Manning) evolves from being a crazy meth head hick to a character whom becomes humanized as we learn she has suffered and continues to suffer through mental manipulation and sexual abuse. Her mother didn’t raise her to understand that she has dignity and a voice in sexual encounters, but rather told her to ‘keep her mouth shut and let him do whatever he wants to do’ to her. With this mindset, she grew into a teen prostitute, drug addict, and ultimately ended up in prison, where she continues to suffer sexual abuse from correctional officer Coates. He repeatedly forces his sexual will upon her and then coddles her with donuts and ice cream leading her to think that these transactions are acceptable. The trauma Doggett endures makes it evident that parents need to have clear and in depth conversations with there children to help them understand their bodies, sex, love, healthy relationships and dignity.
White dominance in the work force:
Also in this season, Piper begins a dirty panty smuggling business and employs a band of inmates to provide the goods for sale. Through this business venture, she exploits her workers in many ways and fights very hard to keep her slavedriver position. The moment Flaca conspires against Piper because she wants fair pay, she fires the Latina panty girl and blackmails her to keep her mouth shut. Piper gives her employees an unreasonably low pay, keeping the profits for herself and her family. When Ruby Rose succeeds in stealing the profits- Piper plants contraband all over Rose’s cube and drops an anonymous tip to the correctional officers that they need to search Rose’s bunk. Upon discovery of the planted makeshift weapons, lighters and drugs, Rose is immediately hauled off to maximum security prison just 2 days before she was supposed to be released. Piper’s descent into madness as a mob boss of a panty business accurately depicts white dominance. Piper has been challenged to understand her white privilege throughout the entire series, and now that she is in a position of economical power, she fails to show us that she has learned anything of value. Instead of mitigating white supremacist conventionalisms, she makes it clear that she comes from a historically dominant ethic group and is incapable of leading with a more modest and balanced role.
Through season 3 we learn a lot more about our token mute, Norma, who develops a loyal following of inmates that are seeking spiritual enlightenment, solace, connection to a higher power, and probably the most important thing for prisoners- mental and emotional acceptance and perseverance to make it through their prison sentences. The show does an exquisite job of helping us see what a slippery slope it is between spirituality and cultism, and how easy it is for a person to codify a spiritually operatic culture. It’s normal for people to want to believe in something. An entire level of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs is dedicated to human’s innate desire to feel like they belong to something. We are social creatures and find a great deal of fulfillment in being accepted, which is what makes organized religion so popular. This is also why certain people have so easily talked others into ‘drinking the kool aid’. I don’t think Norma has any deeply malicious intent with her followers, but she likes the attention she gets- her followers constantly refer to her as their God, savior, mom, grandmother, guide and prophet. And her followers are excited to have something to believe in, someone to believe in, and are relentless in their quest for signs from the universe. This all seems fine and dandy until this cult becomes exclusive, its followers assume elitist attitudes and begin bullying an inmate so much so that she is driven into a depression and attempted suicide via pill swallowing. Whoa. Sh*t got heavy real quick. People can believe in whatever they want to believe in, but it becomes a problem when their ‘beliefs’ are harassing, bullying, and intimidating others all in the name of their ‘God’.
Alcohol & substance abuse:
My personal favorite character, Poussey, struggles hard with alcohol addiction in this season. And I understand it. She’s sad she’s in prison and she’s lonely. She just wants someone to love! I feel for her, I really do. Unfortunately, her character seems to be very misunderstood by her group of friends so she finds release in concocting her own homemade hooch and indulges in drinking it and napping all day long. While this blossoming alcoholic is meandering through her sentence, Soso tries to commit suicide in the library by downing a bunch of prescription pills she stole from the doctor’s office. When Poussey sneaks into the library to take a swig of her hooch she stashes in the ceiling, she finds Soso’s unconscious (but not dead!) body laid out on the floor among the shelves of books. I see what the writers did there. Having Poussey discover the body of an inmate who also was trying to find escape through substance abuse is probably the most effective way to get the woman off the hooch. And all of our hearts are warmed in the final episode when we see Poussey and Soso holding hands, having found what they were looking for all along – LOVE.
So while the first couple of seasons were all sex and naked women, (no complaints here), the third dives head first into some very serious societal issues. Every episode has layers of conflict, exploitation and oppression and the characters fight all these injustices while dealing with the fact their they live behind prison walls. OITNB directs spotlights over a lot of things that we struggle with, struggles other people are having, and how we may not be the person enduring the struggle but the least we can do is be allies for the cause.
And whether you watch the show for all the drama and deep sh*t, or you just like seeing all the naked ladies, this season has a lot to offer its audience – and her name is Ruby Rose.
I’ve never been to South Africa, but after reading Koko’s review of Ultra Music Festival SA, I kinda wanna go now. So if you like festivals and South Africa or just wanna give this a read, check it out!!!
I love me some music festivals.
UMF, or Ultra Music Festival, is an annual music festival of the electronic persuasion. It originated in Miami, Florida in 1999 and instantly gained popularity in the EDM world. With close to 200,000 attendees and tickets selling out every single year, the event grew and began holding international shows. It has debuted in over 9 countries worldwide and finally hit Africa in 2014.
This is the largest EDM event on the African continent, and after hearing great reviews from other PCV friends about the 2014 event, some friends and I decided 2015 was our year to venture to Johannesburg and steal a slice of this magic, which started at noon and went until the wee hours of the morn.
We walked into the expo grounds and all I can say is…oh. my god. So many beautiful people. Like I can’t even.
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A successful race! Read about KokoKai’s epic journey at the SuperSpar marathon in Bela Bela.
“Another marathon down. Sometimes I forget I’m in South Africa” – KokoKai
It was hot as balls, but I survived!
My first alarm went off at 1:50am and by 2am we were in the car and on the road. We arrived at the race site by 5, giving us just enough time to check in at registration, use the restroom and get ourselves prepared. My host mom gave me a big, warm hug and we wished each other good luck [she was running the 5k]. The gun went off at precisely 5:30 and away I ran!
The SuperSpar marathon in Bela Bela was a race of contrasts. The first 20km or so was pretty flat and I was feeling good about it. It would be quite misleading to any runners that hadn’t already studied the course map for elevation gains. I was constantly checking my posture and making sure my alignment was good. I knew that if I was kind to my…
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An assumption my family & friends are constantly buzzing around is that I’ll find the love of my life while serving in Peace Corps. Let me clear the air by stating that Peace Corps is not a dating service nor a marriage agency. With that being said, there may be some truth to the saying that when you surround yourself with people on the same mission as you- I suppose it can be relatively easy to fall for one of them.
Peace Corps Volunteers are grouped together in cohorts and sent to developing countries for our service. We don’t get to pick who is in our cohort, headquarters put us together based on the type of work we will be doing abroad. I met the other 34 members of my cohort in Philadelphia, then we all hopped on the plane together to South Africa.
We all fall in to 1 of 3 categories: 1. married and serving with your spouse, 2. in a relationship with someone back in America, or 3. (most are) single…wondering what their romantic life will be like these next two years. Speaking from personal experience, I came to this country without dating being on my priority list, I hadn’t given it much thought (ahem, already kinda wifed up at the time). I came to work, to immerse myself in my village and to try to make an impact in whatever way I can. Saving the world and such. After being in country for a bit, I quickly realized that Peace Corps can be like an extension of college life . . . if you replace the college keggers with humanitarian work.
“How often do you see other volunteers?”
Volunteers work full-time, most weekdays, but when weekends come around, we look for every opportunity to get together with other PCVs and rage face for 2 days before starting the cycle all over again. There are a lot of Dr. Phil venting sessions fueled by booze and tears, and yes, there is sex too, all mixed in with hikes, safaris & a general interest in exploring Africa’s terrain. Here is a funny read about sex and the Peace Corps from a fellow (sex ninja) RPCV.
I didn’t expect to be in such close proximity to other volunteers, to be able to see them basically every weekend. I didn’t expect booze to be so readily available, and so God-awfully cheap! It’s like summer camp for over-sized kids who want to save the world! And most of all, I didn’t expect romance to creep up into volunteer life as much as it has.
“Do people date in Peace Corps?”
The struggle is that there are no ‘first dates’ in Peace Corps. While people in first world countries can say things like “let’s get to have coffee” or “let’s get together for lunch one afternoon” if you want to spend a little time getting to know someone interesting, us PCVs are trying to navigate through a different structure of dating…“Wanna spend the weekend together?”
Yeah, you’re going to have to speed through a feeeeeeew steps.
We have to travel several hours on public transportation to visit each other, so visits are not simply for a few hours only. If you think you might have a connection with someone, you spend an entire weekend together to explore that spark. Nightlife and other forms of entertainment are so uncommon here, that you’ll spend a lot of face time just getting to know each other without the distractions of other people or noisiness of clubs.
So it’s like the opposite of Tinder . . .
Here is a video for someone else P.C. love story:
“Do PCVs only date other PCVs?”
I’m glad you asked. There are PCVs who date HCNs (host country nationals), but that’s a whole nother beast. We came to this country to fight HIV, and sadly some PCVs leave this country having contracted the virus themselves. So while mixing & mingling with South Africans may seem enticing and easy, a lot of PCVs steer clear of this temptation and turn to other PCVs to satisfy the natural need for carnal embrace.
“Is it true people will want to marry because they want to become US citizens?”
The answer is Yes, and it’s extremely annoying. Walking to and from work everyday, it is common to hear “I love you baby I want to marry you” being shouted in my direction from across the road. These guys are partially just being asses, but mostly serious. They will cat-call, stalk you, and shout marriage proposals over & over until they get your attention- all over the assumption that marrying an American girl will somehow grant them American citizenship, wealth and fame. It’s almost like being creeped on by Sype at a club.
The host country females are on this same hype too. “Do you have any brothers?” is a common question chicks like to ask me. I guess in the hopes that I’ll organize a betrothal for them to an American man. Why does everyone think America is so great? Hahaha. If they only knew the truth . . .
Romantic relationships blossom in a peculiar way when serving in the Peace Corps, and maneuvering the ebb & flow of volunteer life becomes more bearable when you have another PCV to hold your hand through it. They say roughly 80% of PCVs return to America in love. I don’t know how much I trust stats floating around the internet, but it gives you an idea of what Peace Corps dating is like.
Don’t feel sorry for us though! At least we are able to avoid the awkward self consciousness that comes with first dates, as described by Wedding Crashers’ Vince Vaughn:
Well, I’m glad you asked 🙂 Africans love their dance music! This is what they consider ‘house music’. It kinda has a drummy beat with some build ups, definitely a different style of composition than that house we love so much back in the States. One of the most popular songs I’ve heard since arriving in good ol’ Afrika Borwa is Y Tjukutja BTW, ‘Y Tjukutja’ means ‘shake your body’ in the Xhosa language (one of South Africa’s 11 official languages). Congratulations, you learned something new today. You’re welcome 😉 This chick Mampi is from Zambia and sings in Bemba. Also very popular in South Africa. She’s singing about her lover, it’s a love song, but she really does know how to get you up & moving! After all, that’s the point of dance music right? Then there’s these weirdo Afrikaaners who are creepy as fuck, but they’re well liked for their shock value. Die Antwoord translated means The Answer. Not gonna lie, their demeanor, costume choice, props, everything about their video production in fucking nuts. But I like it. They’re pushing the limits of normalcy, and their outrageous IDGAF attitude makes me want to watch, holding my breath with anticipation of what the next barbaric scene has to offer. All in all, I’m really digging the spread of musical entertainment in South Africa. A lot of the music is in any of the South African languages I don’t understand, but still there’s so much energy to it. And what I’ve discovered is that it doesn’t matter if you understand the lyrics or not, the beat still lifts you out of your chair and makes you wanna dance. 😀 -Kokokai
This was co-written over a Skype Sesh by myself and Sype, at 3am, bantering about how our lives have changed as we’ve finished college and are finding our roles in adult society as we near our quarter life crisis. We’re getting old.
1. Starting a sentence with “back in my day…”
2. Referring to things by the decade in which they occurred
3. Explaining your jokes that have references to 90’s TV shows
4. Buying khakis and cardigans
5. Taking aspirin daily
6. Eating TUMS, pepcid AC and Pepto Bismol
–Having heartburn and indigestion
7. Experiencing a 24+ hour hangover
8. Staying in on a Friday or Saturday night
9. Avoiding crowded bars and clubs
10. Monitoring your sugar intake
11. Lying about your age
12. Being able to read a map and formulate directions
13. Craving and enjoying vegetables
14. Uttering the words “I’m never doing that again”
15. Leaving a bar at 11pm
16. When your pre-game is a nap
17. Pretending to still be a student so you can get a discount
18. Having developed a taste palate for alcohols
–and not needing a chaser
19. Looking forward to happy hour
20. Buying health insurance/being kicked off your parents’ plan
21. Being sore from everyday life, not just from working out
22. Reading the newspaper
23. Being picky about what toothpaste you’ll use
24. Craving wine after a hard day
–or craving whisky [Airec doesn’t like wine]
25. Picking comfort over fashion
–like how Airec wears his running shoes everywhere
26. Being picky about types of socks and underwear
27. Choosing the right pens and notepads
28. Being particular about hygienic products
29. Staying cautious about cancer triggers
30. Budgeting finances
31. Tipping at restaurants
Hoes vs Pros: An Empowering Women’s Guide to EDC
We’ve written about EDC many times in previous posts on our blog, mostly mocking the stereotypes that revolve around going to raves, and poking satirical fun. Well it’s a kicks and giggles until someone gets taken away on a stretcher. Now is the time to buckle down for some serious rave talk.
This year may be your first EDC ever, or maybe you’ve been around the massive block once or twice. Whatever your situation may be, there is always room for improvement in the massive game. Where to start? Well, there is a hell of a lot more to EDC than just attending the event. Here are some tid bits that may help…learned from friends and through personal experience.
Every day leading up to EDC has an impact on the whole experience
When you’re standing in the middle of a 300,000 people mosh pit…
holding hands with your best friends…
surrounded by the ones you love…
and you could cry over how beautiful it all is…
everything is so perfect…
That is what EDC is all about.
Lets make sure we prepare ourselves for it this magical moment.
Disclaimer: These tips are coming from a female perspective. Although some points are applicable to all genders, if you’re a guy you’ll want to check out my male-counterpart’s dude version: Bros vs Pros- A Male’s Guide To EDC 2014.
Getting Prepped For EDC
Diet & Exercise: You want to act as if preparing for a 3 day marathon. Meaning that you need to eat lean, train mean, and be ready for the most intense cardio you’ve ever experienced in your life. I won’t go into dieting details (I’m vegan so I doubt you’d follow my dietary recommendations), but to put it simply, EAT WELL IN THE WEEKS LEADING UP TO EDC. Don’t scarf down pizza and burgers every day then find yourself in the motor speedway huffing and puffing for dear life after only 5 minutes of fist-pumping. That being said, don’t starve yourself either. Your muscles need protein and some carb storage to fuel this 3 day carnival. Carbs are your friends.
ABS: Abs are made in the kitchen- not in the gym. NUFF SAID.
Pro Tip: Cardio – Do whatever cardio form that floats your boat. Aim for keeping that heart rate between 100-120 beats per minute without passing out.
Pro Tip – Spend significant time on a calf-raiser machine. You’ll thank me when you find yourself in the mosh pit of Kinetic Field, trapped shoulder to shoulder with glittery chicks and sweaty bros, no shuffling room, no elbow room; the only dance move you can attempt is a completely vertical up-and-down jumping motion, with an occasional fist pump thrown in. Your gastrocs need to be formally trained for this.
Supplies: Gum & chapstick: You are allowed to bring gum and chapstick into the motor speedway as long as they are sealed. So go to the store, buy 3 individually sealed packs of gum, and 3 individually sealed things of chapstick. Bring 1 to each day of EDC. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t usually chew gum or need chapstick when you’re feeling yourself – bring them anyway. Trade them for light shows, massages, or just give them out for free because you’re a nice person. DO IT. Vics nasal inhaler – you’re not allowed to bring these in, so you must sneak them in. I’ll let you figure out how to do that on your own.
Pro Tip: A small pack of tissues. As sucky as it is- you will find yourself in a port-o-potty that doesn’t have toilet paper. Also bring a small bottle of hand sany. Disclaimer: some security guards might not let you bring these 2 things in, while others won’t care. It’s a hit or miss, but it’s always worth a try!
Pro Tip: Bring a fanny pack/small backpack (must be smaller than 12 in x 12 in – Insomniac regulation). CanNOT be a plush material.
You do not have enough pockets or bra space for all the shit you will need for EDC. Trust me on this- you need something that straps to your body to hold all your shit. Phone, keys, 3-day pass card, chapstick, gum, kandi, any and all other random whit you will accrue throughout the course of the night. Don’t ask me how, but you will accumulate random shit…3D glasses, sunglasses, stuff you buy at the merchandise tent. Oh, and of course your Insomniac reusable aluminum water bottle.
Pro Tip: A watch- You don’t wanna dig through your bag and pull out your cell every time you wanna know what time it is. That will create too many opportunities for losing your phone, and also drain your battery. If you’re like the Zips and you have 8-12 DJs to see per night, it’s extremely helpful to have a wrist watch to keep track of the time and know when you need to move stages or when you have a meeting time with the rest of the crew.
Attire: OH boy, this is all individual. But some pro tips I have for attire would be:
1. Sunglasses. When the sky starts to lighten around the 5am hour, and dawn breaks over the motor speedway, you will really really really appreciate sunglasses to hide the mascara and glitter streaked around your dime-sized pupils. Cover that shit up. Keep sunglasses in whatever stuff-carrying-device you choose to strap to yourself.
2. Comfy shoes. Ladies, do NOT wear heels, slippers, or strappy sandals. Full-foot-covering tennis shoes are the way to go. Common choices also are TOMS,Vans and slip-ons like Ed Hardys. My advice is to go with something similar.
DON’T’S: Steer clear of anything you will constantly have to fumble with all night. Realistically, you will be in that motor speedway for at least 10-12 hours (if you go as hard as the Zipper Squad). The last person you wanna be is that girl who stops the whole group asking for help readjusting, re-tying, “help me I don’t know what to do because my wimpy bra strap just broke,” type of person. Anything you wear into that motor speedway is gonna come out dusty, dirty, covered in sweat, glitter, body paint, and tears. Accept this fact and you will have graduated to the level of Pro EDC outfit planner.
Don’t bring anything into the speedway that you aren’t prepared to lose, damage, or break. Shiz happens. Leave valuables at the hotel.
Pro Tips: Re-enforce all of your bra straps – meaning get a needle and thread and make sure you sew that shit solid, so there will be no wardrobe malfunctions in the middle of the night. Do this for everything and anything you think might be flimsy and easily breakable on your outfits. Tutus are the way to go. Life would be better all-around if we could just wear tutus all the damn time, but we can’t. So take advantage of this 3 day circus and wear a tutu every day. Tutus are simple, low-maintenance, and super effing cute.
Pro Tip: If you drove, take pictures of everything around your car: landmarks, light poles, scenery. This will help you find your car when its 6am and its time to leave. The last thing you want is to be roaming the dusty desert parking lot for 3 hours because you can’t find your car and don’t remember where you parked because you were too excited to pay attention the night before. (This has happened) -_-
Solidify The Night’s Schedule: Take a few minutes to run through your crew’s plan. What time you’re leaving, what sets to see/your set schedule, what time you’re leaving, group meet up times and group photos. If you roll with a large crew (50+), this planning time is absolutely necessary. Or even if it’s just you and a couple friends, communication is key to enhancing everyone’s EDC experience. Don’t just assume people know what’s going on.
Pro tip: Have a meeting time & place every few hours.
Example: meet at the drop-zone, OR THE ZIPPER, at 10pm, 12am, 2am and 4am. This way, if anyone is lost, or if you just wanna connect with other group members, you’ll always have a time and place to gather together.
Inside the speedway: Zipper Squad always meets at the Zipper.
So the magical moment has come. You begin your descent down the bleachers and are holding back the tears while looking out at the shimmery heaven that is the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. What do you do first? MERCH TENT for water bottles, potty break, then hit your first stage. Or if your crew doesn’t have a set you wanna see at that moment – pick a ride to go on! But first things, first. WATER. Hydrate the f**k up. Stand in that line, get your reusable Insomniac bottle, and worship that thing for the next 3 days. Hoes allow themselves to dehydrate. Or if they do choose to down some agua, they buy plastic bottles and trash the planet.
Pro Tip: reusable Insomniac bottle. DO IT. Plus it’s a super awesome souvenir to take back to reality. I still use mine erry damn day.
Before the magic set in and your eyes are too jittery on euphoric emotions to read the speedway map, mentally mark out where each of the restrooms are. Hint – there are four, one in each ‘corner’ of the speedway.
Pro Tip: When facing the stands, the restrooms in the corner on the left of the bleachers are the most well-lit, least-used, and therefore cleanest bathrooms.
Pro Tip: ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GROUP. NEVER SOLO-MISSION TO THE BATHROOMS!!! Make your group go together all at once. Even if someone says they don’t need to go, remind them that it’s better to at least try now then to be in the middle of a rage-fest set and to have to dig out to find the bathrooms alone.
Pro Tip: Always kill 2 birds with 1 stone when it comes to water and bathrooms. You’re already out & about. Might as well make sure everyone is good on water & bathrooms in the same trip.
Pro Tip: Wanna boost your magical experience back up? Eat a fresh orange, and wash it down with some fresh-squeezed lemonade. You will not be disappointed. There are tents for fresh fruits and fresh lemonade. TAKE ADVANTAGE!!!
Keep from cramping!!! Buy some Powerade and alternate your water intake with Powerade intake.
Pro Tip: Don’t wanna pay $6 for a 16oz Powerade? Sneak in a Pedialyte electrolyte powder pack. It’s tiny- like the size of a stick of gum. Mix that shiz in your Insomniac bottle with some water. I personally prefer the Pedialyte route. But whichever you use, don’t be a hoe and think you only need water to survive. ELECTROLYTES SAVE LIVES.
Pro Tip: Designate a meeting place. Whoever you drove with or took the shuttle with: Have a meeting point for when the night is over. Hoes be like “I know we won’t separate so its fine”. Then you do separate, all of your cell phones die, or you don’t get reception. It’s 7am, you can’t find anybody. You don’t wanna go into the parking lot because what if they’re not out there? But security is kicking you out of the speedway. You don’t remember where the car is. Or you don’t know where the shuttle picks up. What do you do?? Take the leadership role early in the night and tell your friends what’s up. Say “Hey at 6am, we all meet at the Hug Life bear sign”.
Pro Tip: ALWAYS PREPARE FOR THE WORST!!!!
The Next Day
So It’s Time To Leave The Speedway: Refill your Insomniac bottle BEFORE you leave the speedway. You’ll want water for that 2 hour traffic jam getting out of the parking lot. ESPECIALLY if you’re shuttling it. If you drove, keep some water in your car for the drive home. Having water on hand is ALWAYS a good idea.
Pro Tip: the volunteers working the water refill stations abandon post usually before 5am. Get water before it’s too late. Make this a priority.
Supplements: You better bring whatever supplements you normally take at home, to Vegas. If you don’t normally take anything, well now is the time to start. It’s 8am. You have less than 12 hours to sleep, shower, and re-nourish your body before you’re back in the speedway again.
Pro Tip: bring a bottle of ibuprofen (your feet will hurt), a bottle of Rave Aid or 5-HTP (balance out your serotonin), and a bottle of potassium (reduce muscle cramps). Hoes will leave Vegas super dehydrated, nutrient-deficient, and sick with a fever. You just put your body through absolute hell. There is a right way to get it back to rage-face preparedness. Vitamin and water up.
Food After EDC: What to eat? Your body is going through a weird combination of still feeling magical so you’re not really hungry, but you need to feed your starving muscle children (broscience reference), all while you’re fighting that I’m-about-to-throw-up feeling. Stick with something simple.
Pro Tip: Have a bag of bagels and jar of peanut butter in your room, along with hella bananas. That way you can throw some nutrients into your stomach before noon, without having to leave the room. Take a shower, take a nap, and once you’ve digested some basic calories, you’ll be ready to brave the Las Vegas strip in search of a meal.
Pro Tip: Earl of Sandwich inside Planet Hollywood… perfectly sized hot, fresh sandwiches! They also sell a number of side pastas, fruits, and pastries. Plus, while part of your crew holds down your place in line, the rest of the crew can shoot over to Fat Tuesday (one Conveniently located in Planet Hollywood also!). You’re in Vegas: it’s never too early to start drinking! Not a day goes by where the ZipperSquad doesn’t snag some Earls and Fat Tuesdays!
Pro Tip: More sleep. Squeeze in another nap if possible. Even if only 30 mins to an hour. Mentally, you don’t think you need it. But physically, your body is DYING for a little more rest time. You don’t have to actually sleep if you really don’t want to. But fully lay down in bed and allow your legs to recuperate.
Pro Tip: Massage some lotion into your legs and feet. They need the extra TLC, moisture, and it will help with the soreness a lot.
I hope now you feel slightly more prepared to tackle the EDC beast. It’s a magical journey, you deserve to have the best possible experience.
Once you leave Vegas, the emotional after effects can be severe and it’s best to acknowledge the emotional roller coaster that you will feel in the days and weeks following EDC. For tips on dealing with PEDCSD (Post Electric Daisy Carnival Stress Disorder), see this blog.
A lot of these tips seem like simple no-brainers but, oh boy, do they make a world of difference in your experience.
I wouldn’t say I’m a master…there’s still so much to learn; through surviving countless massives, there are a lot of things I’ve fudged up. And through those mistakes- I learned the right ways to rave.
Don’t be a hoe raver; BE A PRO RAVER!