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Pfft, You think that’s crazy?! Many of us even have husbands!
Sometimes I feel too old for tumblr. I might have bought into this when I was younger - in fact, I did - and that’s a damn shame. It might matter at age 16, but in the real world, you can be fat and have a boyfriend/girlfriend (if you want to).
Kids: don’t buy into this. It’s just not true. Companies exist to profit off your insecurity and reinforce messages that you need to look a certain way before anyone will love you. But real, kind, beautiful men and women will still love you, easily, in whatever capacity you’re looking for. Give up the struggle of attempting to lose weight or look perfect, because you don’t need it to experience love. Hot men will still want to kiss you. Good men will still want to date you. I wish I’d known that when I was younger. But it was very freeing to learn it for myself.
There was good in 2013. Here some of it is.
Our second annual Vegas birthday trip. We stayed at the Elara and won some ducats. Ate foie gras as always, saw another Cirque show (I’m probably good on those for a while) and went to the mob museum. I am going to keep going to Vegas as long as it’s fun for me, and since I tend to enjoy the finer things in life (gambling, drinking, fine dining), I’m guessing I’ll feel that way for a while.
Coachella. Stayed in a hotel in Palm Springs and had a hot breakfast and swam in the pool every morning. If I ever do another Coachella (that was my 8th one!) no way I’m camping again. Highlight bands: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric, Grizzly Bear, Postal Service, Vampire Weekend, the Faint.
San Diego for 4th of July weekend: breweries, fireworks, burgers, burritos, the beach.
Seattle for Rian’s 30th birthday. So great.
I went to Denver to visit my best friend in September, while those torrential floods were happening. Eating at Rioja was amazing, though at the time I didn’t know how great of a place it was and just thought it was some nondescript fancy restaurant. There was bread service! I also went to San Antonio and Dallas for work. In Dallas I had an amazing show, ate at a different food truck every day, and met up with my internet bro of TEN YEARS.
My sister’s wedding:
This happened in late June. There was a lot of hullabaloo leading up to it, including a bachelorette party at the shooting range, a bridal shower, and a whole bunch of rehearsal dinner/pre-wedding activities. It was all very fun, but I was incredibly glad when it was over.
Besides Coachella, there would have to be two highlights: Arcade Fire at Capitol and The National at the Greek.
Arcade Fire played a huge show outside Capitol on their record release day. But they also played a private show at the Capitol Studio, livestreamed for an NPR first listen, the day before the album was released, October 28. E and I went. Arcade Fire have been one of my 2 favorite bands for about 9 years and I was front row center at Capitol. I was also up in front seeing them at the Troubadour in January 2005, and years later I found out E was too, so this came nicely full circle to see them together. We touched Win Butler and had something resembling a conversation (well, the closest you can get to having a conversation while the show is being live broadcasted for millions of people).
The National was also a great show. Energizing in a way I hadn’t experienced in a while. I wrote about it here.
Iron and Wine at First Unitarian Church, Steve Martin at the Bowl with my mom, Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective, Yeezus.
For some reason the latter half of 2013 was marked by all these contest wins and free events. The best would have to be a charity event for Meals on Wheels held at the Grove. Actually, E and I both won a pair of tickets, so we went with my parents on a hot September Saturday and enjoyed gourmet food. We also got gift bags. We totally did not belong there and it was awesome.
A fancy new apartment complex opened up semi-near us this year, and they had this free patio party/BBQ. It was a surprisingly fun time and I enjoyed the horrible PBR and multi-ethnic crowd.
E won tickets to a Sunset and Dine food festival/screening of Sunset Boulevard, tickets to a South African Wine and Food Festival (which wasn’t that amazing, but on the other hand, if it’s free), a free bar tab somewhere, a free meal at a place in our hood and a $50 gift card elsewhere. Most awesomely, he also won Disneyland tickets on a total fluke.
MP’s Soul Food
Oinkster (I’d been before, but not for a while)
Orange Is The New Black
Magic Castle for the first/probably only time ever
Santa Anita racetrack
Food/wine events: LA Weekly Plate, Bacon and Barrels, Craft Beer Crawl, The Taste
Casinos: Chumash twice (Thanksgiving weekend/after Bacon & Barrels) and Pechanga (post-San Diego)
Birthday shindig: I had a big kid 28th birthday party with an astro jump
Started a beer meetup group
Breweries: Great Divide (Denver), Ballast Point, Lost Abbey, Monkish, Golden Road, Smog City
Fun stuff: Dia de los Muertos, Union Station Tour, Echo Park Lake, NoHo walking tour, Citystock, Cousin’s art show, Universal Studios, The Magic Flute
Cinespia (The Party, Caddyshack, The Breakfast Club)
Neighborhood tours: Culver City, Highland Park, Echo Park, Little Tokyo
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Wolf Parade, I’ll Believe in Anything. 2006.
You know that thing where this has been your favorite song for 7 years?
Just logged into a travel site for the first time in ages and came across my profile description. I think at this point I’d only ever been to Dallas, Nashville, and San Francisco (other than choir tours, Boston, and family vacations) but hey, it was all true. And still is - I, now with my boyfriend, love to plan 3-night trips to big cities, pour over hotel reviews to find one closest to city center, and spend tons of money on food and drink. I’m in a different tax bracket now, but I still love a great travel bargain.
Still haven’t taken a tropical vacation! That needs to change soon. Unlike 22 y/o me (or however old I was), 28 y/o me would loooove to lounge on the beach drinking an umbrella drink.
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George Zimmerman was arrested today for “felony aggravated assault with a weapon, misdemeanor battery-domestic violence and criminal mischief.”
Let me be REALLY clear here: I am white, and I am a woman. I am not, in any way, shape, or form, saying that domestic violence isn’t a massive fucking problem. I am not saying that Samantha Scheibe wasn’t absolutely right to fear for her life, call the police, and press charges. I am 100% on Samantha Scheibe’s side—but the point I am making is not about her.
This is a man who, as I’m sure you can all *recite* by now, saw a black teenage boy named Trayvon Martin walking down the street, at which point Zimmerman followed Martin in his car, called the police, stopped his car and got out, taking his loaded gun with him, to follow Martin, and shot him to death. Martin was walking home from the store with Skittles and an iced tea.
Shot him to death. Police couldn’t give a shit. They let him go. You all know the rest of the disgusting story, racist story.
The guy points a gun at a white woman? He’s arrested, booked, and held without bail.
C’mon, FOX News, hold another fundraiser for the guy’s legal expenses!
I DARE YOU.
No one is going to call me an Iron Chef any time soon, but damn I love whipping up on-the-fly dishes with my man. At some point last week, whatever we were having for dinner seemed a little lacking so we made cornbread. Yes, I just have cornstarch laying around.
Dinner this week has been basically seeing what we can do with a Costco rotisserie chicken ($5!) and whatever we have at home. Tuesday it was BBQ chopped salad. Last night it was oven baked nachos with black beans and whatever other toppings we could rustle up. Tonight it was pulled chicken braised with sirracha and bbq sauce, and I pureed sweet potatoes and then threw in whatever ingredients sounded good - maple syrup, butter, and pepper. Then for dessert we had apple slices with cookie butter. It was all so damn delicious and fun to cook on the fly. Best $5 Costco chicken ever.
I went to Seattle three years ago and then again last weekend. This time it was with my exceptional boyfriend. It was my friend’s 30th birthday party and people were coming up from Portland and LA, including a couple who flew in as a surprise. As Helen Chance put it, it was like Rian was having a wedding to himself.
Saturday we headed to LAX for a Virgin America flight. God DAMN, I wish I could take every flight on Virgin. Everything about it was pleasant, even when we missed the boarding call for group A. We landed in Seattle, took the train to downtown, and got picked up by Nick and Heidi. We stopped at Ballard Pizza Co for inaugural Seattle beers, then headed to Nick’s apartment to freshen up and drink. The air felt and smelled amazing. At the appropriate time, we headed to Gainsbourg in Greenwood for the party. The night was an endless parade of hugs, drinks, catching up. When we arrived I fell right into conversation with a high school chum who had moved to Nashville after school but currently resides in Portland. I hadn’t seen him for years - I made a couple trips to Nashville and a friend and I even stayed at his place, but that was 2007. There was so much reminiscing and catching up. Seattle friends came by too, people that I know through Rian and Helen, and as a surprise another couple had also flown in from LA (I knew about it in advance) and it was like a big reunion of past and present, only with people you actually give a damn about. I made Rian play “All My Friends" and we all danced and formed a giant bear hug during the "WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS TONIIIIIIIIIIGHT?" It was incredibly late when we were done, and we passed out on the air mattress.
Sunday I’d been talking about a hangover brunch and was happy to get texts from people indicating that they were down for it. We agreed on 11-ish at the Hi-Life and stopped to get coffee at Caffe Fiore. Seven people at brunch, and a pitcher of mimosas helped us all feel a little more human. It was raining, and though there had been talk of Oktoberfest, we all decided to meet back up for happy hour later and go our own ways now. E and I headed to the Experience Music Project, spent a couple hours there and walked around Seattle Center. Then we headed over to the free Olympic Sculpture Garden, and the rain picked up so Nick came and got us, then we all headed to Ray’s Boathouse for happy hour. After a couple of rounds there, we went to Ballard and headed to King’s Hardware, then a forgettable pub called the People’s Pub, then we caught the bus to Rian’s to watch the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad. Nick came and got us and we went back.
The next day was Monday. We got up and took the bus to 3rd and Pike, for our own personal food tour of Pike Place Market. We’d been considering going on an official one, but that was kind of expensive and we figured we could spend less and sample exactly what we wanted to. We ate soooo much. A bagel, a pork sandwich, cherries, flavored honey sticks (which I hadn’t had since childhood and E had never tried), then just outside the market for Beecher’s mac and cheese and Russian piroshki, which I’d never tried or heard of. I observed that it looked very European riiiiight as we turned a corner and noticed a small alley with people sitting in bistro tables. Speaking of Europe. We got ginger beer from a specialty place, then had the clam chowder. After that point we didn’t have a ton else to do before walking about a mile away to the Seattle Underground tour. It was informative, and (as we know) I’m a sucker for tours of any kind. Once we were done there, we caught a bus to Ballard as Heidi wanted to try out her new grill. Probably the funniest thing that happened there was a spontaneous group sing-along of Gotye. “But you didn’t have to CUT ME OFF!” Later we headed to Rian’s DJ gig at Gainsbourg. It was dead, but we enjoyed the low-key atmosphere with some good food and drink. Brittney and I started a small dance party and things wound down, and we headed home.
Tuesday, we had one last brunch at a place in Ballard called Ridgeback. Eight people, seven crepes (and one breakfast burrito). From there, Nick drove us, Rian, and Bradley to the Ballard locks. It was such a goddamn beautiful day, and some nice lady gave us her parking sticker, and we went and saw the fish ladder before bidding the dudes adieu. Nick dropped us off at the light rail and we rode back to Sea-Tac, caught our plane, had to sit separately and I watched a shitload of Modern Family reruns.
Man, what a vacation. There is something great about having that kind of weekend, with so many group hangouts that materialize spontaneously. I never get that at home but it was amazing to have it with people who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like, in a gorgeous city, with my dude.
1. Aggressively anti-choice propaganda
2. Shitty self-promotion - if it’s posting about a show for your band or your gallery opening, that’s one thing. If it’s something for your corporation or whatever pyramid scheme you’re doing, stop.
3. Fitness/diet freaks. Special hat-tip to the people who combine this with #2 on the list and do a fitness-related pyramid scheme.
4. I am bothered that every woman changes her name on Facebook the day after she gets married. You’ve been with a guy four years, you have your own career. Then suddenly you want to be called Mrs? I don’t get it.
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In a weekend that included an AYCD beer crawl downtown, the Breaking Bad season premiere, and some other stuff I can’t write about here, a rock show was the highlight. A show at the Greek Theatre. A show that energized me in a way I don’t think I’ve experienced for a while.
I never gave a damn about The National before my boyfriend and I started dating over two years ago, but they became one of my favorite bands pretty early on. When we saw them at the Hollywood Bowl (2011) they played “Slow Show” and we sighed and leaned in with our heads together and said “This is our song.” (We’ve since changed our minds on account of the weird lyrics/dick reference, but that chorus is still delightful.)
For the Greek show, we got lucky during presale. The “Golden Circle” aka pit tickets. I texted my friend Sareene “We are totally gonna touch Matt Berninger.” It was March with 5 months to go until the show.
When you’re in the pit the Greek, they scan your ticket outside and then you go get a wristband. We got beers (Tecate tall boys) and headed inside to the sounds of openers Daughter. We kept walking closer to the stage, somewhat incredulous that we were… allowed… to be there. The security guys glanced at our wristbands and waved us in. There was room against the barricade, so we stood there. Grinning, looking around at the huge venue, incredulous that we were in the company of so many pretty people and here we were at the front of it.
Sareene asked me what song I “had” to hear them play. I said “Slow Show.” She said “Vanderlyle.”
The show began with a trailer for the documentary “Mistaken for Strangers.” Then they came onstage, one of the Dessner brothers directly in front of us. (I’m a piece of shit.) We were taken on a two-hour journey of amazing music. Here is the setlist along with commentary when applicable:
I Should Live in Salt
Don’t Swallow the Cap
Sea of Love
Afraid of Everyone
* Have you ever experienced shouting the cathartic refrain of “Cause I’mmmmm eeeeeeviiiiiiiiiil” at a large outdoor venue on a beautiful night? You should.
I Need My Girl
* Even though I am a straight woman, I identify with this song. E and I held hands during this one.
This Is the Last Time
Baby, We’ll Be Fine
*I don’t get this song.
* When I heard the opening chords, I got excited. (I have a prenatural ability to know what song a band will play next based on a note or two - always have - so I had to wait for E to catch up). Berninger walked out from behind the mic a few times and during that last refrain “You know I dreamed about you, I missed you for 29 years” - came over and stood in front of us. Looked at us holding hands over the barricade and sang to us. Sareene nudged me. It was awesome.
* Berninger came back over. I was singing along.
*Berninger walked in front of us along the barricade and we all copped a feel (of his shin/arm/whatever). I love it when artists do that.
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
* Acoustic audience sing-along. I made eye contact with whichever Dessner was in front of us and we both grinned. It was a perfect ending.
Forgot to mention that we saw the Dessners and their wives milling around before the show. Out like normal people.
Anyway. I’m getting to this age. 28. Which is kind of close to 30. Which is an age where I always pictured myself not caring as much about music, or at least making a change in the way I experienced live music. The Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, even the seated section of the Greek - that was fine, but “shows”? I thought I’d be done with it at a certain point. I definitely don’t go to as many concerts as I did, say, in college or right out of college when I had friends playing in Echo Park every weekend, but I haven’t stopped giving a damn about going to shows. Sometimes the energy is a lot different now. I have less patience for drunk/loud idiots; I complain about staying up too late or having to stand. I will say that the chances of me going out to a show at 10pm on a Tuesday - things I did easily a few years ago - are remote at best, unless it’s something incredible.
But. The teenage punk girl who loved mosh pits? The person who used Livejournal to score tickets to the Arcade Fire’s 2nd ever LA gig in 2005, and who used it again to meet up with a stranger and trade Radiohead tickets in 2006? Who saw Slint in 2007 and then didn’t listen to them for months out of respect for the show? Who kept a list of every concert she went to for years including an elaborate rating/ranking system? Who’s now seen multiplatinum rappers at Staples AND the departed D.C. band Supersystem play to 14 people at the Middle East upstairs in Cambridge MA? That person is still me. I still have all that excitement and enthusiasm and energy when I see live music, and it just takes a talented band to shake it out of me. Because I’d forgotten what it’s like to be high for days after a show.
Thank you, National.
picture by me.
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