Thrills and Chills of Live Concerts

When it comes to attending concerts, I am a prime time newbie. As of today, I’ve only attended two concerts. First, Beyoncé’s Formation concert in Pittsburgh last summer. And, most recently, a benefit concert in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in which Miguel performed.

Two very different experiences, yet equally fascinating.

Beyoncé’s performed at PPG Stadium. I had perfect seats. At the best elevation and angle that allowed the late afternoon breeze to flow through my curly locks.

In contrast, Miguel’s performance was on an impromptu stage venue in McCullen Park, food trucks and a variety of booths circled around the stage. Easy access from your spot to overpriced water and a delicious selection of food with Hispanic, Arabic, and traditional American influences.

One word to explain my experience at Miguel’s concert is unprepared.

I didn’t realize that Saturday was the first day of a week-long heat wave unleashed upon the Northeastern section of the United States.

One moment I was fine enjoying myself, and the next my chest ached, my heart was palpating, heat rose to my head, and the world felt heavy.

I knew what was happening. I was aware of the signs of an oncoming fainting spell after years of fainting or nearly fainting while riding the MTA, or waiting on train stations.

Once the line was moving, I barely made three steps into the venue when the sunlight bouncing off the asphalt ground intensified. I had to get on the ground or sit on a bench immediately or else I would completely pass out, risking hitting my head on the ground. A let out a meek cry for help and was escorted by my cousin and a venue security into the shade. I declined to be seen by EMS. I knew this was just something that happens to me and once I drink enough water and stay in a seated position I should be okay.

Luckily we were early, so after a few minutes of drinking warm water (because security made us throw out our fresh, ice cold water at the gate) I was able to regain my strength, and we were able to find a spot very close to the stage to chill while we waited for the performances.

Considering my only other concert experience was in a football stadium, it didn’t occur to me to bring things to this festival concert. Would’ve been nice to have a blanket or seat cushion. Man, I have never been so sore after sitting on that hot asphalt for hours. I knew I had to save my energy for when the main event, Miguel appeared on stage, so I remained seated during the majority of my time at Northside Festival, enjoying and swaying to the live tunes by two opening acts Soars and BJ the Chicago Kid. Each had a different genre of music which blended amazingly to introduce Miguel. Both bands gained a new fan that day.

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I was so pumped as stage crew placed Miguel’s Fringe mic stand. Gods bless being 5’11 because I was able to be one of the first to catch a glimpse of Miguel right before he headed on stage. It’s thrilling to be so close to a performing artist. The set was selected perfectly with intermingling songs from Kaleidoscope Dream and Wild Heart. The use of lights to illuminate and pack a punch in my emotions sent my senses tingling. My experience was a definitely 8 out of 10, despite my mishap with my health I was able to spend a great time with my cousins.

 

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I can’t wait to go to more concerts!

~KIB~

~~Photo Credits to my cousin Mike Tapia, check out his amazing work on Insta @pyreaux_

The Missing Link

There is something missing within me. I can’t see it. I can’t point it out for those who wish to fill that void, I can feel it. I feel it when I stare endlessly at a black page. I feel it when my phone vibrates with notifications: ‘We haven’t heard from you in a while. Love your friends, WordPress, Instagram, and the rest!’

Last summer, my creativity and imagination, hopes and dreams erupted from a dormant, dead core. I had so many plans. So many goals to achieve and the surprising drive to do it all.

Where is it now?

As my mental lists of more places to explore, things to learn, ideas to create into existence grows longer, I find myself staring at that empty spot yet again.

I blame anxiety.

For my fear of exposing myself in the most intimate, vulnerable state: my true self.

I blame laziness.

All the experts say “if you want to get better at something, just do it.” There are many things I wish I want to do: I want to paint digitally, develop my blog and brand, write and draw graphic novels. I even have all the resources at my fingertips, yet I do not go the extra mile to reach and grab hold of my wants.

I blame myself.

Last year I raved about being unapologetically me. I’ve seen myself reach down into the pits of despair, my rock bottom. I climbed to the nearest ledge and claimed freedom, but now I look up and see the cliff high over head. My knees buckle with fear and I avert my eyes to my ledge. Make it my home to be comfortable. But now the ledge trembles with the extra weight. I must climb or face the bottom again.


Hello friends,

After a very long hiatus, I think it is safe to say that I am back. This piece is what I’ve been feeling the past couple of months in regards to why I haven’t produced any new creative content.

With TinyBlueBackpack, I hope to revamp the website with a new design/logo, the whole works. And create a schedule to stick to in order to promote consistency.

Thank you for sticking by and I will see you soon!

KIB

Au Revoir​, 2016: A Reflection

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invicible host against difficulties.” — Hellen Keller

Ah! Por fin! This year has come to an end at last. For certain this year was a roller coaster horror ride, which many I am sure can agree with me. Personally, this wasn’t my year at all. As you know from countless blog posts, I suffered deeply from my mental illnesses, falling to what to me felt like rock bottom. Throughout the year countless of lives were taken from us, both iconic and personal, that lead me to question just about everything. My world was turned upside-down, or I should say right-side-up because of the events of this year. Honestly, this year wasn’t a complete dud. I found a new meaning to the creative and adventurous life I wanted to live, vowed to live a life unapologetically and spontaneous and with an afro embracing the natural way my hair coils and curls, made and maintain lasting, genuine friendships that I wouldn’t dare give up for anything in this world, expanded the fruits of my knowledge so that my brain could soak up every bit of information it gets about the world around me and everything that is occurring in it,

My world was turned upside-down, or I should say right-side-up because of the events of this year. Honestly, this year wasn’t a complete dud. I found a new meaning to the creative and adventurous life I wanted to live; vowed to live a life unapologetically and spontaneous and with an afro embracing the natural way my hair coils and curls; made and maintain lasting; genuine friendships that I wouldn’t dare give up for anything in this world; expanded the fruits of my knowledge so that my brain could soak up every bit of information it gets about the world around me and everything that is occurring in it; and ultimately, learned to value my existence, love myself for all of my strengths and weaknesses, virtues and vices, specialties and flaws.

Remarkable events that occurred in one form or another are my extraordinary travels to Toronto, Pittsburgh, and the Poconos; succumbing to a new low with my depression and then surpassing that phase of having a mental illness; celebrating my nationalism for the United States during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; ultimately, ashamed and quite frankly, afraid to be a queer afro latina American in Trump’s America; and lastly embarking on a new life plan to become a professional writer and artist.

Despite the bad, there were a lot of kickass achievements accomplished this year. Some of which include:

  1. 50 million trees were planted in 24 hours by volunteers in India
  2. The Anglican church agreed that same-sex marriages are the same as opposite-sex marriages
  3. Panda’s are no longer on the endangered species’ list, and many other species populations are improving
  4. Physicist confirms Albert Einstein’s theories of the existence of gravitational waves
  5. Simon Manuel became the first black female to win gold in an individual swimming event
  6. Hamilton happened thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s beautiful mind
  7. The Harry Potter wizarding world is alive and thriving with a new book and movie series.

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It is best we put 2016 behind us (and locked far far far away), value the lessons we’ve learned from our mistakes and head into 2017 with full, unbreakable force.

May 2017 be the year for you!

-KIB

A Piece of Me in the Andy Warhol Museum

“Art is what you can get away with” — Andy Warhol

 

The Andy Warhol Museum located in the North Shore neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Conveniently, it is also Warhol’s hometown. Admissions are set at a moderate price (at $20 for adults, ten if you’re a student with a valid ID); luckily for me, I happened to visit during the Art Fest celebration throughout that week, and I saved myself $10.

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Visiting the museum wasn’t my first time at an art museum or gallery. Born and raised in the bursting cultural bubble that is New York City. I found myself in the presence of a plethora of great works of art on display on the streets and in museums like the MoMA or the Met; in which I gladly delved into.

However, one that warm, sunny day in Pittsburgh I discovered a new piece within myself as I became enticed by the works of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.

Not only were the pieces themselves fascinating, but the entire layout and architecture of the building were also a work of art! Six floors of gallery space traveling in a steadfast downward cohesive spiral. As advised, you must start at the top level where it all began. The top floor showcases the earliest work of the namesake artist with insider tidbits about the Warhol family. Throughout my trek down the spiral, I participated in each and every exciting interactive room display.

The museum as a whole had an exhibit running showing the works of Ai Weiwei alongside Warhol’s work. Intricately they wove each piece together to demonstrate the juxtaposition of their lives in ways such as how they focused on their subject matter, themes throughout their artistic careers, and how both Warhol and Weiwei represented the prospective century in which they lived (20th and 21st, respectively).

All my life, for as long as I can physically remember I’ve had an acute interest in the arts. I love to draw, to read, and to write. Creating something out of nothing but my mind and the impenetrable imagination lured me. The jumbled mess of neurons in my brain fired like a midsummer’s thunderstorm nonstop. Many times I genuinely appreciated, and was emotional, spiritually, and physically affected by a work of art; no matter the subject, no matter if it was a song vibrating its sounds into my ears, or a painting, or a sculpture, or a book, a poem. All works of art leave an everlasting mark on me. Indeed, some particular works of art wrought out the emotions and sensations from deep within my inner core to which I have no words to describe them. I found a couple on the walls of the museum. At the time of my visit to Pittsburgh, I was… No, I am experiencing the world where everything is a little duller. For the better half of the year, I saw the world as if it lost all of its colors. I couldn’t feel anything. Kaput, nada, zilch. It was as if one by one my senses experienced a power outage and a couple of the screws and nails in the infrastructure of my mind and soul were unexplainably missing.

Until my day trip across one of the many bridges the City of Steel had and I found myself strolling into a building completely unaware of the impact it will have on me. Oh, naive Krizia has not the slightest inclination or clue she will find a piece of herself within the walls of the Andy Warhol Museum.

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Before this warm, sunny Pittsburgh day, I wasn’t a huge fan of Andy Warhol. I knew of his iconic pop art Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe; that is how far my knowledge of the man went. Now, I hold a piece of him in my heart and thank him (and Ai Wei Wei) for clearing my view like a pair of brand-new prescription glasses. As well as, making my world a little less dull, and on teaching me how to appreciate and find the beauty in everything, even the little things.. especially the little things.

–KIB

Monthly Wrapup #2

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does, only that boy earns your heart.” — Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

Today I say farewell to June, and hello to July. We are half way done with the year 2016, and as I reflect on 6th month of the year I am noticing a fire from within that is burning stronger and brighter with each passing day. This fire is symbolic for the growth I’m seeing within myself where I am finding myself and my passions, slowly restoring my drive for a better future.

{My Month In Pictures}


{High-key}

  • Visited Bhavya in Pittsburgh for a week
  • Got my first tattoo
  • Began taking drawing and painting lessons
  • Began a classic books reading challenge
  • Attended my first concert, saw Beyoncé!

{Low-key}

  • Prescription mishaps
  • Sick Shiloh

{What I Read,Watched, Heard, and Ate}

  • Read
    • A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston
    • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    • A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin
    • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Watched
    • Gilmore Girls (Netflix)
    • The 100 (Netflix)
    • Game of Thrones (HBO)
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
    • The Pursuit of Happyness (Netflix)
  • Ate
    • Pop Burger in WestVillage
    • New York Burger in Chelsea
    • Patacon Pisao in Elmhurst

{Achievements}

  • Acted spontaneous: got a tattoo
  • Landed a job interview
  • Decided what I wanted to do in the fall: going to school to finish my Bachelor’s degree
  • Drank significantly more water
  • Wake up before 10AM everyday

{Looking Ahead}

  • June TBR
    • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    • A Storm of Swords by George R.R Martin
  • Life Tales
    • Myrtle Beach vacation
    • Adventures in DC
    • Mackinac Island in Michigan
  • Goals
    • Get everything settled (tuition, fin aid, housing) for year 3 of university
    • Sketch everyday
    • Produce a work of art every week
    • Publish content 3 times a week on TinyBlueBackpack (Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday)
    • Spend quality time with mom

–KIB

For The Love of Pans

As progress spreads from State to State, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect — our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, we celebrate victories that have affirmed freedom and fairness, and we recommit ourselves to completing the work that remains. — Barack Obama 

Pansexuality? What is that? Another sexuality? Do you love pans, plates, and pots?  (No I don’t)

There are many questions being asked regarding the concept of pansexuality, and I’m here to help you understand a tad more than you might have known before.

Pansexuality is essentially the attraction to a person of any sex or gender. Rest assured that there is no love for inanimate objects here. The deal is that as a person who identifies as pansexual, is attracted to cis males/females, trans males/females, intersex, androgynous, non-binary, any and all genders and sexualities.

You may be asking yourself, “why does this matter?”

It matters because it is very important to understand the abundances of identities one can possess. It is important to accept and honor one’s individual identity.

I identify as a pansexual cis woman. I am attracted to everyone regardless of gender or sexuality. This doesn’t make me indecisive or confused. I just believe that a relationship needs not to matter if the person is bisexual, or gender-fluid. All that matters is the bond myself and the other person forms. Yes, I have preferences and yes I’ve only been involved with males but that shouldn’t negate my ultimate decision.

Many people in my life don’t know of this aspect of my life and might be shocked.  I know there will be many who will be appalled and will outright reject it. There is nothing I can do about that. Except what I can do is love myself and cherish those who do accept me for me.

Still confused on what pansexuality is? Here are some outside links to help fill in any gaps in your knowledge.

  1. Heavy.com || What is Pansexual Definition? 5 Fast Fact You Need to Know
  2. Everydayfeminism || Pansexuality 101: It’s More Than ‘Just Another Letter’
  3. CNN || What It Means to be Pansexual
  4. The Gaurdian || Deadpool: the pansexual superhero who has never had a non-heterosexual experience

–KIB

City of Steel: My Week in Pittsburgh,PA

“Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself” — Plato

Oh Pittsburgh! Thank you for the week I spent within your city walls. I collected plentiful amounts of  memories, and spent a lot of time thinking about endless topics while roaming your hilly streets. Thank you for being my first stop on my new journey of life as a solo traveler. 6 days wasn’t enough to fully appreciate the glories of this magnificent city carved from the Allegheny mountains. I was blessed to experience the little I had explored. In addition, bless my amazing friend who let me crash at her place to provide companionship in her new city and to her rad housemates who accepted me as one of them. Each day was spend exploring, reflecting, and learning.

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{Tuesday}

Okay ladies now let’s get in formation. My very first day was spent touring the Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning a.k.a Cathy in Oakland, eating Iranian food at the Conflict Cafe located at the entrance of Schenley Park, and finally experiencing my first concert watching Beyoncé perform at Heinz Field! The Nationality Rooms in Cathy were absolutely whimsical and with each room it felt as though I was traveling through time and traveling around the world. That is how close to detail each room was! Conflict Cafe is such an ingenious idea for a restaurant because it allows for insight about the countries the United States is in conflict with. Currently Conflict Cafe features Iranian cuisine and it is absolutely delicious! I had bought the dish Khoresht-E Fesenjan, chicken marinated with pomegranate and walnuts served with steamed rice. My mouth is watering just thinking of how great the dish tasted! Lastly, I was giddy with excitement and wonder throughout the whole concert. Beyonce is a very talented and amazing performer and entertainer. It was a lot of fun singing along and dancing to all of her songs, new and old. I was deeply moved by her tribute to the late Prince, so much so I began to cry. I wasn’t a huge fan of Beyonce before the concert, but I definitely am now. I can’t stop listening to her Lemonade album.

{Wednesday}

Enrich your soul by stepping back in time. Museums have and will always be one of my favorite places to explore. There is so much knowledge in one place that continuously feeds my thirst for learning. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History wasn’t an exception. It was magnificent to explore the extensive collection of gems and minerals. I couldn’t help but think of creating gemsonas inspired by the Cartoon Network show Steven Universe. For lunch I ate a delectable grilled chicken sandwich at the Carnegie Cafe located within the museum. Highlight of my trip to the museum was seeing the dioramas of my favorite species, Giraffes and Sauropods. If you can’t tell, I have a love for animals with abnormally long necks.

{Thursday}

Even tourist need a rest day. Considering I had done a lot of walking on Tuesday and Wednesday, I decided to stay inside on thursday. I was able to spend time with the girls who lived in the apartment with my friend and watch Game of Thrones with them.

{Friday}

Spontaneous decisions create the best memories. After sleeping in until noon, the girls and I decided to venture to North Shore and visit the Andy Warhol museum. I didn’t expect to tap into my creative juices as much as I did while strolling through the museum. Every floor contained beautiful and heart touching pieces made by Andy Warhol himself and Ai Weiwei another contemporary artist. Many of my favorite pieces left a lasting feeling in my soul. I loved every moment! After visiting the gift shop at the end of my tour around the museum I purchased a small notepad which is perfect for when I am traveling and have a quick idea pop up in my head. I strolled around the North Shore neighborhood and stumbled upon a small park that had a beautiful marble and granite monument sculpture that reminded me of a place of spiritual importance. From the steps of the sculpture you can see the river, the many bridges Pittsburgh is famed for, and the magnificent skyscrapers of Downtown Pittsburgh. There I met a fellow blogger, Shannon,  and she was so sweet. Check out her blog: Eat,Sleep,Make! Thank you for taking pictures for me. Across the bridge, I went into Downtown. I had no idea where I was going but somehow managed to walk to PPG place. Ironically that is where my friend is currently interning at so I was able to catch up with her after work. The fountain in front of the glass castle that is PPG industries was so miraculous and peaceful to watch. Instead of ordering food in the area my friend and I decided to get Chinese closer to her home in Oakland; where I had the spontaneous idea of getting my very first tattoo at the tattoo shop right next to where we got our dinner. Josh Hayward, JzaJosh on Instagram, is the owner of the tattoo shop and he is simply amazing at his craft. Thank you so much!

{Saturday}

A day spent acting like children. A road trip to Pittsburgh own historical amusement park, Kennywood, consumed much of my day. We arrived just as the park had opened it’s doors and made our way around each and every rollercoaster at least once, some of our favorites were ridden twice! I love the anticipation, the adrenaline that surges through my veins as I sit in my seat with a brace blocking me from falling  as the cart rides up and up and up to the peak of the coaster before plunging down back to the ground in a series of loops and turns and roundabouts. The most beautiful sights are viewed on the top of a tall rollercoaster. We ate burgers at Johnny Rockets, Italian Ice at Rita’s, and endless amounts of cotton candy. I truly felt like a child again and it is a feeling that I will cherish for a long time. After returning to Oakland, I wanted to have fun before my 11pm bus ride back to the City That Never Sleeps. Meeting friends of friends and making connections with some pretty rad lads in South Side was a great way of ending my week in the City of Steel.

Thank you so much Pittsburgh for the adventures I found in your city. Until next time!

–KB