the gardener

I've never been too good at the suburbs (give me as many people squished into a square mile and not interacting with each other as possible, please), but I certainly appreciate good landscaping...especially when I'm trying to finish a roll of film.   

If and when I have a properly green lawn of my own, I imagine it will be full of secrets, reminiscent of "The Gardener", which always fighting with (and sometimes beating) "King of Spain" as my favorite Tallest Man on Earth song. 



a food post

I'm happy to say that the long stretch of not cooking my own meals often enough/cooking boring things when I did cook is over! To celebrate, I thought I'd share some recent fun things I've made.

Cheesy Quinoa Muffins
I used this recipe a while back and loved it, but decided to try a slightly modified version this time around. I put the onion in the food processor with a bell pepper and a carrot and then added some crushed red pepper (my #1 cooking crutch.) I also found it was much easier (and probably healthier) too cook 'em in a muffin pan. Caroline suggested next time I use a pie dish, and I'm really excited to try that.

I've been drinking smoothies almost constantly lately - this one in particular features strawberries, kale, banana, mango juice, and beet juice, but I've tried a bunch of variations and none of them have done me wrong.

Rosemary Parmesan Potato Chips
I try to be very strategic with my grocery shopping, which usually means knowing exactly what I'm going to get before I walk in the store, but it doesn't always happen that way. Today, for example, I only had one thing on my list, but decided to do a little browsing to make the walk more worthwhile.  I ended up with rosemary olive oil in my basket and picked up a couple potatoes and some parmesan cheese to seal the deal.  These are super easy to make - just slice up the potato, drizzle it with olive oil, and then sprinkle some cheese, sea salt, and pepper on top and stick in the oven until they're crispy!


south by southwest was a lifetime ago, but here is a post about it today

It's not-so-affectionately nicknamed South by South Stress for a reason, but everything has been so crazy in my own life lately that SXSW was easy breezy in comparison this year.  Of course, I don't recommend manufacturing a personal crisis just for the sake of enjoying a music festival, but you know, do what you gotta do...

hey friends hey
I missed seeing every band I actually have an emotional connection to who played shows that week, but SXSW isn't really the greatest place for music you care about, anyway.  What it is great for is sampling a bunch of acts you wouldn't necessarily pay to see, free alcohol, and coaxing out-of-town friends to come for a visit...all of which, god willing, manages to ease the pain of the absolute worst in corporate sponsorship if you dare venture to 6th Street (not recommended, not even for the Free Vodka Trolley.)


Jennifer and Jessica Clavlin make me hate my sister/BFF for never forming a punk band with me like I begged her to so many times.  Prior to forming Bleached, they were part of the notorious group of rabble-rousers Mika Miko until the band split and Jennifer played with Cold Cave for a bit. I loved their set and very much wanted to be up there with them in matching maroon ankle boots, but I guess I'll wait for the formal invitation to join the band first... 

Best Coast

I'm pretty sure I come across as super sarcastic on the internet (and in person, but to a lesser extent) because people don't understand that I'm genuinely a superfan of hype and enthusiasm. I love seeing people really into something, which was my main objective sticking around to see Best Coast after Bleached and Spectrals, and I was not disappointed!  I mean, I do like Best Coast just fine and I've seen them twice before and had a great time, actually, but I'm not going to pretend there aren't tons of other bands that came out around the same time (or earlier) and did pretty much the same thing as Best Coast (sometimes better) with a fraction of the media coverage. For whatever reason, people are really into this band in particular, though. And I'm not immune - I totally watched Bethany lookin' cute in her Rachel Antonoff romper and hanging out with Wavves' Nathan Williams out of the corner of my eye prior to their set like the creeper I am.  But when Best Coast took the stage (Bethany had changed into her new line for Urban Outfitters, of course), my eyes were mostly focused on the front row, full of well-dressed girls eagerly singing along about boys and the sun and boys.  And you know what? Their happiness made me happy.

I also saw Blouse (dreamy as I imagined!), Dive (favorite SXSW discovery this year), Craft Spells (dude who had drawn flowers on his mint-green guitar was my favorite), and others that I can't remember now.  But like I said, as many bands as you actually see during any music festival (this one in particular), there are gonna be a million more that you miss even if you wanted to see them more. 

Hangin' out with these girls really was the best of the best of South by Southwest, which is why I look so smug here.  Magdalena & Caroline, please come back!


the most worthy of the worthy kickstarters

As you all *hopefully* already know, Tricia and I are pretty big zine fans - we may have been procrastinating on our own zine projects the past few months due to other projects and my ridiculous work schedule (5am shifts most day! ugh) but that hasn't deterred our affection of support of the zine efforts of our favorite ladies.

Currently "The Vagina Zine" and Jessica of "The Disaster Life" have active Kickstarters to help finance their upcoming zine releases. If you have good taste and a spare $5 (AND LIKE FEMINISM), you might consider a small donation!

GIRL POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


and the jay-z song was on

After I helped Eve and Kristen over at MAKEatx create some pop up unicorn business cards a while back, I've been meaning to make some of my own inspired by Miley Cyrus.

I really love "Party in the USA" with no shame - super catchy and I like to think of it as a response to one of my favorite Jonathan Richman tunes, "Parties in the USA" even though I know that isn't true.  However, I am a little embarrassed by the number of juke boxes tucked away in dive bars of the greater Boston area that I fed dollar bills so I could hear the song, but me spending money I shouldn't is not Miley's fault, is it? It's totally the fault of bars in Boston being so very not good. 

Got my hands up, they're playing my song
And now I'm gonna be okay
Yeah! It's a party in the USA!

Another update is that they actually have a URL on them (look who's hustling now) and instead of saying handmade jewelry, they say handmade goods.  That means new things are coming, y'all - some of it is different jewelry, but some of it is not jewelry at all!

A side note: why isn't this Portlandia sketch getting more attention? We all talked about Put a Bird On It to death, didn't we?

One of the constants of the past decade had definitely been hearing Carrie Brownstein's voice in my head and thinking, "she is totally singing about my life!"


Also, flowers, right? I bought these on a whim the other day and it made everything better.  Pictured hangin' out with Jamboree by Beat Happening (hearts in my eyes for Calvin Johnson forever) and Kill All Of Your Friends by The Disaster Life. I was looking through stuff trying to kind of clean the house and thought they all belonged together.  Jessica mentioned a sequel zine on Tumblr and I hope that happens and I get my hands on a copy.  But I don't know. My hands might be otherwise occupied being all UP and stuff because they're playing my song.


patti & tricia

John Cale, Lou Reed, Patti Smith & David Byrne, NYC (1976) by Bob Gruen. Obviously they were just all born rock stars and had no life previous to that, right? Nope!

It took me a long time to get around to reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids and then a bit more to process it because I saw so much of myself in her story.  

What I liked best about the book was finding out that everything I assumed about Patti Smith was kind of wrong. I always thought of her as the poster girl for effortless cool, and that’s simply not true.  She is a bit of a try-hard, which is great, because so am I!  And you know what? I’m proud.  

Like me, Patti struggled from a young age with the whole “I know I’m an artist but I don’t know how to express myself!” thing.  Admittedly, there are worse problems to have and that I do actually struggle with, which is precisely why many people I love dearly typically don’t (and maybe shouldn’t) indulge such complaints.  

Patti had a real thing for Bob Dylan early on, but resisted music as a creative outlet for years.  Photo by Judy Linn.

I do think artistic existentialism (or whatever you want to call it) is a legitimate crisis to have, though. There’s sort of this weird adoration of people in creative fields that find their particular calling without much struggle, like somehow if the first thing you ever drew was a taco and it was a very great taco that's better than having a hundred ugly tacos drawn on crumpled up paper in your waste basket before you get it right even if the product looks equally delicious. Or maybe you decide that you don't even want to draw tacos, you want to sculpt them or write about them. Whatever, the point I was trying to make is that I'm hungry. Wait, no, I don't think that's right...

Certainly there’s something to be said for the wunderkinds among us and anyone else who takes a relatively straight shot to the top with limited fucking around. The hard work + good luck = success equation is simple and elegant and I think we all need to believe in it, but understand that it’s okay for our creative (or any other type of) self-discovery to be messier than that. Mine has felt like lots of flailing around with precious few moments of clarity and competence that usually end up with me feeling like all my previous efforts were tantamount to me running very fast and very far in the wrong direction.

Patti's companion, Robert Mapplethorpe, took a while to pick up a camera, but when he did, he found a lot of success photographing things like naked people and flowers.
But still, I don’t regret all the hours spent trying to train my tone-deaf ears to be something biology determined they never would long before I picked up my first guitar or wielding a paintbrush countless times just to form clumsy, tired shapes nor do I intend to give up the things I enjoy but have no particular talent for.  There are worse things to be than a dilettante.

Lately, it seems more and more like it’s time to pursue my first love, what I’ve always felt best at - comedy writing. Making people laugh consistently is something I'm actually! pretty! capable! of! and it feels nice, so why not? Though I haven’t yet found the best form form for my particular brand of earnest, politically-correct, whimsical humor to take, it feels right to try everything and take it as far as I can. My minimal-effort joke blog was on Conan, right? (Still not done bragging about that. Sorry.) So who's to say that actually trying won't turn into something real? Because we've established that, right? That trying is cool? K, good.
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