Thursday, May 12, 2016

Oh Yes, She made Lemonade

Beyonce's Lemonade is the best thing she has ever made. I honestly feel too emotionally connected to this album to even write anything interesting about it, this is just going to be straight up gushing, but that's fine. Sometimes that's all that is appropriate.

Awe is the word I keep going back to. Listening to Lemonade, I've held my mouth agape fish style, shed tears, rocked out, and felt my heart swell to capacity. I've even been pushed to keep going through a mini hard time just by repeating her mantra, "Ima keep runnin, cause a winner don't quite on themselves."

Beyonce is the queen. Everyone knows that. She has always been on a high pedestal, blowing kisses down to her followers. On this album, she brings that pedestal crashing to the ground on her own terms. She is standing right in front of you, heartbroken, defiant, honest, and more beautiful than ever.

If that wasn't enough, this is also the best she has ever sounded. Her polish and pose are still as evident as ever, but what is on display here is her heart, and she is singing it out, with some of the most soaring, and gritty vocals we've ever heard from her. Each song is brilliant on it's own. Beyonce is genre bending more than ever before. She and her mighty collaborators, Jack White, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Big Freedia, etc., are bringing together pop, rock, funk, and even country in new exciting ways. It's almost impossible to stop listening.

The visual album is a magical mystery tour into the soul of Beyonce, the soul of the south, and the soul of the black female experience. She will have you knowing by the end she is indeed no ordinary woman, that we are indeed no ordinary women. One of the most powerful lines on the album comes in the collaboration with Jack White, "Don't hurt Yourself." when she utters "if you love me, you love yourself. Love god herself."

This album is nothing short of a masterpiece. I would say her masterpiece, but I know she has so much more slaying to do. Slay on slayer.

Friday, March 11, 2016


Moving forward through this thing that has consumed you.

You have to keep stopping
to look around and see where you are
inside this beast, fuck, you're injured.

Unfamiliar territory,
where are the normal markers etched in stone?

You have to do it yourself now, pick yourself up through the hurt and just go.
It's foggy and dark but you just keep going.

You know there is something different coming if you just keep going, so you do.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Friday, November 6, 2015

Rest in Peace National Geographic

In September, news began circulating that Rupert Murdoch had bought National Geographic. This immediately disturbed me. To me, Rupert Murdoch is a poison that National Geographic was forced to drink to stay alive. The magazine has long been a staple in my family, and it was the face of American environmentalism to me growing up. I naively thought that we would be able to count on them for reasoned factual information about the natural world around us for generations to come. Now after only two months in Murdoch's hands, it seems those days are in the past.

You see, National Geographic meant something to me. My grandmother got one every month and never once threw one away. The stacked yellow spines loomed in great towering heaps on the table behind her favorite chair in the living room. To me they represented something very important about my grandmother and her values. They represented a love of nature and a view of the world much more expansive than the fields of the small farm she lived on. National Geographic was her window into that great world outside. As I've grown up I've come to realize that love of nature and thirst for knowledge were my Grandmother's gifts to me, and that the endless pile of National Geographics just one way of communicating that.

This all may be a lot to hang on an institution, but in my mind it was one of those last shining beacons of the kind that seem to fade out faster as the years pass. I am hoping for a future that includes children and grandparents alike continuing to be inspired by our beautiful world. Sadly they have to look to a different beacon, because National Geographic's has just gone out. RIP.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Opposite of War

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Is this real life?


Go create.

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 Mix-Tape / Best Albums

Happy end of 2014! It's been a great year musically, and I have stayed as obsessed as ever. As always, in 2014 I couldn't stand the thought that I was missing out on some amazing sound that I had yet to hear. While I did consume a huge amount of music this year, it's pretty clear there's thousands of albums I didn't listen to. So if I missed something important, don't hate, educate. I am always on the search for the latest and greatest.

This year I wanted to make a mix that says something about me, about 2014, and mostly about the great songs that got me through the year. I think I succeeded.

  1. Protomartyr - Maidenhead 
  2. Ex Hex - Don't Wanna Lose
  3. Tove Lo - Over
  4. Run The Jewels - Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) (Website)
  5. Bleachers - You're Still a Mystery
  6. Future Island - A Dream of You and Me
  7. Kelis - Breakfast
  8. Against Me! - True Trans Soul Rebel
  9. Mac DeMarco - Brother
  10. Sia - Hostage
  11. Mz. 007 - Important
  12. The War On Drugs - Burning
  13. Foster The People - Coming of Age
  14. The Preachers - Is This How You Feel?
  15. Kendrick Lamar - i
  16. Empires - How Good Does It Feel
  17. La Roux - Uptight Downtown
  18. Betty Who - Heartbreak Dream

You might notice a slight penchant for well constructed pop songs, great melodies, and meaningful lyrics. That's just my thing. I went ahead and added links to the videos or songs where I could. Most of these come from my favorite albums of the year. Really my most favorites are the 2014 releases from Ex Hex, Bleachers, Protomartyr, Run The Jewels, The Preachers, La Roux, Betty Who, Kelis, Sia, Ty Segall, and Against Me!. Honorable mentions to Temples, Allah-Las, and Alt J who put out a great album this year that didn't make it on to the list.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Gender Politics of Stupid Things

Even when it comes to things as mundane as cosmetic procedures and clothes, gender politics are at play. There has always been a double standard of the equality of the sexes ingrained in our culture, and woman sadly are generally portrayed as the less than sex.

When men adopt something that women have already been doing for years, they always have to change the name of the activity.

Manscaping, Bro-tox, manzeirs... And god forbid you ever compliment a man wearing a kilt on his lovely plaid skirt. (Ok, men in kilts have been around for quite a long time, but who can resist a good kilt joke?)

In WWI when women started donning their husband's trousers to perform heavy labor, we didn't start calling pants she-pants. ("Pass me my fe-knickers before my knees get cold!") Because pants, much like braziers, don't need to subscribe to a gender. And that's fine. Men, it's ok, just get secure with your Botox, and bra wearing.  I'm secure enough in my womanhood to not worry you'll think I'm a man because I am using two tubes of fabric to cover my legs instead of one. And if you did think I was a man, I wouldn't care, because there is no inherent value in gender.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Kitchen (Or how I finally got to have an amazing design dream from my head manifest in real life... with a lot of help)

The dreaded kitchen remodel. No one makes it out unscathed. Weeks of eating out on the cheapest food you can find, days without water, and having to make constant on-the-fly important decisions ends up being a cocktail that leaves you with at least a bad hangover. Once the fog clears though, you realize it's actually real and done, and you can start to live in the dream you had in your head to begin with. (Special thanks to my In-Laws, without whom this magical stuff would have never happened.)

Before (Part 1):
This was taken our first day in the house, almost three years ago now. We pretty much have done two separate kitchen remodels at this point, considering how far the kitchen came in the first few weeks.

This plastic nook we took out on the first day along with the original light fixtures, which were cool but very impractical. Check out that wonderful old lady wallpaper...

Ahh the battle of the wallpaper. We were so glad to be rid of it. I think my sister-in-law now has a permanent hatred of all wallpaper due to the amount of scraping she did in this kitchen. That's her scraping away.

 This is just where a chicken used to be on the pantry door. I like chickens.

 So here we have the kitchen picked down to the bones. This is long before new windows and wall changes and all that insanity.

This is the first dedo of the kitchen complete on about the second week we owned the house. The new color was so calming we weren't mad at the wallpaper anymore.

Before (Part 2):

After a few years in the house being people who love to cook, things about the tiny, weirdly laid-out kitchen really started getting to us, so we embarked on the big journey of a full makeover.

It all started with this hole. There was no way we could get a bigger fridge without removing the soffits around the top of the entire kitchen, and finding out that they were(mostly) hollow was a huge relief. My Father-In-Law hit the ground running at this point and didn't stop until an entirely new kitchen emerged. Seriously that man is a force of nature. 

Here are a few more "before" pictures:


This is when things got real people. We took out a wall that blocked off one entire side out the house. This made such a huge difference in the layout of the kitchen and the whole flow of the house is now much better.

Here you can see the whole cut for the new entry, and the old entry to the left.

Bye Bye wall.

Then we closed off the small doorway that used to lead you past the basement stairs on the way to the kitchen.

Slowly, the pieces starting coming together. New counters and sink, new sparkling appliances, light fixture, cabinets, but there was still lots more to do.

The paint, floors, and the backsplash really gave life to whole look. 

For the backsplash we used a white subway tile, and grey grout to give it some character.

We added a wood bar area for sitting under the window.


The whole kitchen. (Taken from the new entryway.)

 Here you can see where the wall was opened up at the far end of the kitchen. We added some industrial stools to the bar area and accessorized with cute retro stuff, as one does.

I still want to take a few more after pictures, but that's my kitchen journey story!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kitchenaid Makeover

My husband has been itching to do this project for quite awhile. He was extremely pleased with himself when he got around to it. I can't say it's not immensely cool.

Here is the before:

As you can see this guy had seen better days. Little Kitchenaidy was a gift from my parents and after using him myself for years, he really needed some work done. The process was pretty much just removing all the pieces that you could, in fact remove, and taping off anything you didn't want to be super blue(or whatever color your choose). A can of Rustoleum from Home Depot later, and this littlebaby has a brand new life on our newly redone counter.


I can't believe how pretty he is now. It's such a great color and fits perfectly with the retro vibe of our house. The hubby Bear is pleased and I'm one happy wife.

Monday, October 8, 2012


When in doubt, start writing. That’s what I always used to say, five seconds ago in my brain. It’s true though, you do have to keep skills up even if it’s something you're inherently good at. In fact it might just be like much more important if it’s something you're good at. Michael Jordan would have been robbing the world if he had decided to never practice basketball. So it is with great humility, and an understanding that I am clearly as talented as a worldwide icon, that I begin my quest to better myself… to how I used to be.

When I was twelve, I thought the universe was indeed very complex because I was a nerd, but my portion of it was very small and sheltered. I thought I would have a million chances in life, untold amounts of good fortune, and probably just like the best life ever, that anybody ever had. I didn't actually realize that I was already living the same life I would be 20 years down the line. Sure I own a house now, I have a full time job, I might even be considered respectable. Well scratch that last one, but the point is I've been around, I've changed, and I don't think that all of it has been for the better.

I have been battling bad habits my entire life. When I was three, my parents sent me to a baby sitter who gave me a glass baby bottle to drink from. I don't know why someone gives a three year old a bottle, I must have been either very convincing or very klutzy, probably the later. So I come home from the babysitter with a bottle and I wanted to drink everything out of it. I remember my parents being very angry that this person had given me a bottle, because my parents had never once given me a bottle. (For some natural living hippie reason I’m sure I will find out about when I become a parent.)

Their solution to this problem was to hide the bottle from me, tell me that I “must have lost it somewhere.” They decide that no matter how much I cried and screamed that I knew they had been destroyed my precious, deny it to the bitter end. And I mean end, my father will still say he lost it, it to this day, but never could without twittering maliciously  No issues formed there at all.  I had the last laugh though, later when I was that nerdy 12 year old, I bought a glass bottle at a dollar store and drank everything out of it in my dad’s (clearly the ring leader of the whole thing) face for like a week. No issues at all.

But like I said, bad habits die hard around here. I have a few I need to overcome. I think I will use the same technique that worked for me when I stopped biting my nails and started obsessively recording all the names of the meteorologists that read the weather on the recorded DC area weather line I would call late at night and replace a bad habit with a much weirder but slightly less destructive one. I have yet to figure out what that thing is, but I am pretty confident the first step is getting window blinds in all the windows in my house. Yes, I will be that weird. I'm pretty sure that is what it will take this time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bedroom Inspiration

It's been awhile. I'm an old married lady now, and as such fill my days with frivolity such as room design. Actually working full time, and working on your new house in whatever free hours you have just makes you long for such things. I'm a busy little bee, who sometimes feels like she's losing her honey lately. (Honey is clearly a metaphor here for sanity. Have you ever seen a bee lose their honey? They pretty much freak their shit.)

So I wanted to share with you, world, the room design inspiration for my homey home.

Dark glamour indeed. You can get busy in that room like it's a mofoin Burger King bathroom... or not. That's really up to you. It actually reminds me of Naked Lunch, but much less insane. I want to live in there. So far the walls are painted. Finding curtains even close to those is proving challenging. The bedding should be easy and accessories are always fun so no problem there. I want to add something mirrored like the dresser there, and that ceiling is goign to have to translate to something else because I am not up to receilingafication at the moment. What do you think?

Friday, February 4, 2011

OMG It's Shoe Time!

Hello hello! Wedding shoes are hard to find! My first round of looking lead me to many overpriced websites. After adding the word "cheap" to the front of my Google search, I started getting somewhere. I need a lower heel because, well, I like to walk and move, also I'm pretty tall, so I don't want to be towering over everyone, and my dress is just long enough with no shoes at all. Here are some ideas I am flirting with. (I like to use the word flirting when talking about things I am deciding between, it makes it sound sexy and not daunting.)

As always, comments are much appreciate.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day!

Views from the window, and current first person point of view.
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