Monday, January 30, 2012

Music town

I don't know how, but I am continuously surprised by how much this town is driven by its music.  I went to see The Future Islands this past Saturday at Caledonia Lounge.  That place is small, and while you're listening (in this case, to my current favorite band), you're also forced to be involved in other people's listening experience.  The head-bopping, the yelling, the singing, the trances for some.  You see, very easily, that you are the farthest from the only one involved emotionally with the music you've come to hear.

The band gave a mini-speech, in fact, about how Athens, Georgia, had changed their lives, made their music better.  This place's magic might be myth, but if so it's a dream we've all bought into.

To enjoy music at 1am on a Saturday night, you probably should first ingest a little Mezcal.

And the next morning you're better off skipping the kitchen and eating breakfast outside (this is Big City Bread).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rain, go the hell away

I am usually one of those people that adores the rain. Pajama pants, hot coffee, comfort food, reruns, yada yada. So this weekend was nice. But now it's the week, and I need some sunshine to feel motivated with my work. I almost posted a real blog last night but honestly my rain lethargy is ruling my life right now. Currently blogging to you from Jittery Joe's where I am set up by the window with a stack of newspaper clippings. Cheers to all and here's hoping for some sun soon.

PS Daisy the dog hates this damn rain too.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cards against Humanity

If you haven't played this game, I advise you google it straight away. Be warned, its content is not for the faint of heart or the...conservative.

Here's the hand my friends Brian, Claire, Kelli and Matt dealt me when my question was: what is one of my greatest strengths.

Dirty dirty!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mottos edition

How someone sees me.

It's always so strange to get a glimpse of what somehow actually thinks of you.  Rarer, still, to see it illustrated.  A beautiful, gracious friend of mine is an academic and an artist; she sketched this out.  I don't remember when or where I said the phrase that's under the picture, but what's amazing is that she knew to pick that one out as the one that mattered.  Of all the million things I've said over the years here in Athens!

Excuse the other random words floating around--this is an excerpt she shared from a larger page of sketches about UGA and her time here.

Happy weekending everyone!

Yet another edition of: "I Wish I'd Written This"

Great article from Slate about the "cheapness" of sex for modern 20-somethings.  I'm not trying to pull a "I thought of this first thing," but I will say that my girlfriends can attest--I've mentioned this theory before.

Basically, the idea is that the "cost" of sex is so low for women now (because of birth control, their own education, their own careers, etc.) that men can feel less guilty about wanting just THAT.  And, secondary point, that society had carved out a new niche within which "casual" sex has become something not only accepted but often lauded as "modern."  Now...that I can concede to a little.  Ha.  You know I'm all about modernity.

But I agree: somehow 20- and 30-something men have gained the upper hand in the sexual world.  Even the ones that sit on the couch and do nothing are convinced of this.  Even though women outnumber men in colleges, at workplaces, I won't go on and on...somehow we allow them to get what THEY want in the bedroom.

I say women are partly enablers in all this.  I know I have been in the past--handing over control in a romantic situation to men who were not as smart as me, did not have as much to offer as I did.  Sad!  No more, no more, I say!

Anyway, read this:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Halls of endless possibility

LA Reed returns to the library, where basically her soul was born. My best friends have always been books ;)


I am not on a juice cleanse.  I would never, ever be able to do that.  But when my friend Natasha suggested that she pull down her beautiful beast of a Jack LaLanne Juicer for a little juicing party, I got excited.  Because my diet these days is based around a whole foods concept.  

The healthiest table I have ever seen.

Proof that we were still eating ;)
My favorite concoction from the evening: pear/mango/raspberry/apple/beet.  Seriously.

The one on the left is beet-based, obviously.  One on the right is carrot ginger.

Just a random include: this is Lucy, Natasha's boyfriend Craig's pup.  I wanted to steal him.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vogue is wrong, and most blogs are wrong.

Yesterday I read this post on Slate about the "denim bubble":

I agree wholeheartedly.  The very IDEA that anyone, even a magazine which trades in class and sophistication, could think that jeans are somehow a "steal" at $500 is not only unbelievable but very nearly sickening.

Vogue is not the only one getting it wrong, though.  I follow a fair amount of blogs, and while I won't name names because some of them are run by peripheral friends, most of them helmed by women have an occasional section entitled "blah blah blah under fifty dollars" or whatever.  OR, the trendy thing to also do now is be "ironic" and have a section entitled "things you could never afford."

It's all wrong.  This economy is no place to be ironic about purchases.  I recently found myself in a debate with one friend about another friend's spending habits.  Again, no names, and it doesn't matter because I'm not insulting anyone anyway.  But the crux of that conversation was this: in truly hard times, clothes are a non-necessity.  If someone is still spending a good deal of money every month buying clothes, then they haven't hit the poverty line.  Here's the thing.  I'm totally at the poverty line, but I hide it well.  I'm a career grad student who, hopefully, will start my ACTUAL career very shortly.  What I've learned from making very little money is that our gages for what is considered a "splurge" tend to ebb and flow in concurrence with actual income.  Duh, right?  So I find that there are a lot of people I just can't relate to.  A splurge for me is buying a pair of jeans for thirty dollars, because they've been marked way down in a clearance situation.  A splurge for me is eating a nice dinner out with friends without having to worry about what the bill will look like.  The awesome thing about this time in my life is that I will carry parts of this frugality with me everywhere I go.

Good morning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photo essay.

I was reading a blog today ( written by a woman who claims that she makes all of her income now by blogging about her former career, her former Mormonism, and basically all the shit that happened in her life before she took pictures and blogged them.  I have a lot of compassion for people who struggle with identity.  Because I totally do.  But I couldn't help but think--why the hell can't I make my money blogging?  I guess it's just not in the cards.  I don't have anybody major to diss.  I don't have any famous friends.  I'm not the best photog.  

Anyway, I love posting.  I will never stop.  Here's my recent life in pictures:

I call this "#athensga": hipsters crossing the street, and I am in a coffee shop over-caffeinating and ruminating about weird things.

My fake motto.  I don't really do this.  Okay, maybe once a week I do.

I have a weird wrinkle on my forehead here.  Hell, let's all be honest, I have a weirdly shaped and small head.  

Sweet Daisy.

He's the prince.  

I just adore this photo I took of my friend Natasha.  She's so lovely.  This was a football-watching day at Transmet.  

Sushi-making with Kelli (my roommate) and Natasha.  How very college-town-cool-kid of us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Dylan Moment/silence, please

"May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung"

Forgive that this is a Pepsi commercial, y'all.  This made me cry.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A healthier version of something you love.

This is officially my first foray into food blogging.  And it's not something I'll do a lot.  But as mentioned a few posts down, cooking is what keeps me sane right now.  It's melodic.  By the time my dissertation and this weird transitional time in my life are over, I'll have a pretty full repertoire of recipes to pull from. My beautiful friend Meredith reminded me tonight that I should grow in these new ways precisely because one day I will meet someone who'll they'll make perfect sense to.  In other words, want a second helping ;)

This is a VERY healthy version of macaroni and cheese that I developed just tonight by perusing several blogs and recipes online.  I wanted comfort food, but I also wanted to give myself vitamins and flavors.  It's got tons of carrot going on here, so if you hate carrots, leave this page right now.

It's really easy!  In one large pan, boil a package of baby carrots (roughly chopped) with salt, pepper, and the juice of one orange.  After it reaches boiling, turn the fire to simmer and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 350 and start boiling some penne pasta (about one 7-serving box).

After it's simmered, pour everything in the carrot pan into a food processor with a couple of cloves of raw garlic and a tablespoon of cumin.  Grind it down into a creamy paste!

After that, piece of cake.  Drain your pasta, but put it back into its boiler with a few tablespoons of hot water with the fire on medium.  Add the carrot mixture to it, stir it up.  Add a tablespoon of butter, stir it some more.  Then add about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese...and stir some more.  Add a tiny bit more salt and pepper to taste.  Then pour all of that into a baking dish.  Top with a few more small handfuls of cheese.  And bake for about 15 minutes.

It's on the sweet side, because of the orange and carrot flavors.  It would go wonderfully as a side to...well, basically any fall or winter meal.  

I don't actually expect too many of you out there in the ether to make this.  Hell, maybe I'm wrong.  Anyway, mostly I'm blogging to share my life right now--my experiences, from the tiniest ones like this to the big ones like...

Nevermind that for now.  Peace!

Happy Sunday

The day for lazy, the day to dream.

To any of you non-dreamers out there, well, good luck.  These days I'm eating non-believers for breakfast.  I've got a KILLER week ahead, during which major decisions about my future will at least partially rely on my ability to communicate myself and my passions with confidence and ease.  

Let me resurrect an important Kanye moment from a couple of years ago now (from the Austin power station I adore, no less):

You've got too many Urkels on your team, that's why your Wins-low.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Plants and no more animals

So I don't want to make some cyber speech about why I just went vegetarian. Most of my friends have been, quote, "I don't get it, why the hell would you stop eating meat after 27 years of enjoying it?"

My reply has been mostly this: that I want to challenge myself in a unique way. And if I'm challenging myself, I might as well be improving my health at the same time. I can't bear going vegan, but I will say that my main goals are to eliminate most animal fat, all animal meat, and most processed sugars as well as base my diet around plants. It's no secret that I'm embarking on a year full of stress (finishing a dissertation so I can walk across a stage in a weird robe), and I realized recently that cooking offers me a sense of stability. After a long day in front of the computer screen (I will probably be blinded in a few years' time), there is something so randomly but beautifully calming about pattering around a kitchen with one purpose--to make something taste good. Today I had kind of an off day, so I relished in spending an hour constructing some very involved black bean and spinach enchiladas. Maybe I will start posting some recipes. The thing about other people's recipes, though, is that the next person is destined to change it for their own better.

Okay, I'm tired.

Picture of the day: Bumper the cat, the only animal in this house (none of them mine, but I do live in a mini zoo) who lounges around in a sophisticated manner instead of scratching things and begging for food.

Word count

I hit 50,000 words on my dissertation yesterday.  That's 169 pages.  I have so much more to write, but I'll tell you--that felt so good last night.  I should have asked someone to have a toast with me over it.  Well, coffee toast to myself.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Please tell me I got here at the right time.

At 12:07 last night, I got into my car and took a long drive around Athens.  I had gone to a NYE bonfire with some close friends, but I didn't feel like drinking anything.  The evening was clear, and cold, and lots of things seemed to make sense.  I'm not one of those people who puts all their faith into a number.  January 1st started just like the 364 days that had preceded it.  But because I was on such a journey last year to find direction, there just have to be some markers I can use to feel new and feel confident.

Today is one.  I made coffee before I went to the grocery store and stocked up on some amazing ingredients.  Nothing special, though, right?  But I did it with an added swing in my step.  And when I got back home I cleaned the whole house to the soundtrack of a Martin Page album from the 1990s.  He has this song called "In the House of Stone and Light" that I used to fall asleep to when I was 12.  "It's been too long, my spirit's been at war."  Heady for a preteen, huh?  I was looking for some things then.  And I'm looking for the same things now.  I just finally understand how to get them.  Mostly by just being myself.

Some revelations: This year I will graduate with my PhD in American History.  It may not be the best dissertation anyone ever wrote.  And I may not get the best job ever.  But I'll finally have "Dr." in front of my name--just like my mother predicted when I was three years old.  I feel like there's going to be a cluster of good things to come this year if I allow myself to enjoy them.  I want to travel.  I want to start reading books again.  I want to cook, a LOT.  I just became a vegetarian.  I want to take care of my mind and my body in new ways.  Lessons I learned last year?  Leave the past in the past.  If there's a glitch in the system, try to fix it quickly.  If it breaks again, jump ship.  Some things sneak up on you.  And leave you tongue-tied.  And suddenly you spend a random hour on a Sunday thinking about how many banana slices someone likes in their cereal.

Screw it.  I'm going for it all this year.  After all, as I told my very brilliant advisor Steve (who knows all the right questions to ask at precisely the right moments) last night: my favorite number is two.