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.