Tuesday, September 18, 2018

5 things i love: favorite songs of all time edition

1. the kinks - "waterloo sunset"



i can distinctly remember the first time i heard this song. i was sitting at my desk in my dorm room during my freshman year at marist college, listening to former LA radio station indie 103.1 on the interwebs, as i was wont to do back then. i happened to catch it right from the beginning, and my god, it hit me like a ton of bricks—in the best way. it was beautiful and sweet and sad all at once, in a way i didn't know a song could be. i listened to every single lyric, and was transported to another time and place i'd never experienced, but i FELT like i had. and i still get that same feeling every time i hear it. when i went to london a couple years ago and we rode by waterloo station, it was as cool as seeing a damn celebrity, as far as i was concerned. don't think i'll ever find a tune i love more.


2. george michael - "freedom '90"








much like "waterloo sunset," i also remember the first time i heard this masterpiece from the late, great george michael. i must have been about five or six, and i was over at my classmate andrea's massive, ugly, museum-like contemporary house in syracuse, and it was playing on the massive, ugly TV. sidenote: for some reason, our parents just let us watch MTV all damn day back then and did not give a fuuuuck, and i very much credit this to why i am the way i am today. anyway, the video. i was straight-up captivated by the fact that female supermodels appeared to be singing, but it was a man's voice. the song just stuck with me from that day on. it's poppy (but not cheesy),  it's sexy (but subtly so), it's got soul (sooo much), and i can always count on it to zap me right out of a bad mood. perfection.

3. guided by voices - "game of pricks"




i don't know if i've met a GBV fan who has a DIFFERENT favorite song by GBV. which, considering that the band has approximately 2489354958490 songs, is pretty crazy. granted, i love "as we go up, we go down" aaaalmost as much, but this one always hits the spot. i swear to god, that melody was just floating around in the universe and we all somehow already knew it, and robert pollard just plucked it out and was like, "oh, you mean this one?" that is my reaction every time i listen. pre-ordained in the ethos, this one.

4.  the rolling stones - "gimme shelter"




the stones are fantastic in general, but this tune is just light years beyond any of their other tracks for me. haunting, melancholic, soulful, yearning, and all of that good stuff. also, one of the coolest experiences i've had in my 32 years on this earth: when i interned for the florida film festival back in 2013 and we were screening 20 feet from stardom, I MET MERRY CLAYTON, the iconic woman who sings on it!!! hell, i not only met her, but i got to see her sing in a room with like, five other people while as she sound-checked for the evening's performance. total diva, but i'd probably be one too if i were her.


5. blind melon - "no rain"



it's possible to have a spirit animal, but can you have a spirit song? if so, this is my spirit song. yup, if i were a song, this would be me. kinda upbeat, but go-with-the-flow, sunny, frolicking, bee girl dancin' in a field while long-haired stoner hippie dudes play me on in 1992. happiest guitar solo of all time! 


Monday, September 3, 2018

nautical, fried vibes: portland 2018



i'm sure it comes as a surprise to absolutely no one that i went to portland, maine again this weekend. it's the fourth year in a row that i've visited in late summer when the weather is primo, so my idealistic view is "extremely skewed" according to my friend jacob, but i am totally fine with living in blissful, skewed denial because it was glorious as always. except for the short time at the end of saturday night when i finally laid down and my stomach was all "DID YOU REALLY NEED TO CONSUME THAT MUCH, YOU HEATHEN?"...just like it does every year. by morning i was ready for breakfast at like 7:30 though, so it was fine!

i drove into town listening to "deserted" by blind melon, and had a flashback to last summer when we were eating big sicilian-style slices of pizza at a place called slab and "no rain" was playing in the pizza place. it then occurred to me that blind melon's sound is like, the sound of portland to me—all hippie and jammy and early '90s and chill—so they will now and forevermore be my official portland band.

ANYWAY! jacob no longer lives in the dreamy east end apartment where i took these pictures over the past few years and as i mentioned in a recent blog post, i am still very, very sad about it:




i know, i know, i need to accept this ending and move on, even if it's extremely difficult. his new(ish) place in the west end is nice as well and has v charming historic details on the stoop (below). as a bonus, it's a two-minute walk from tandem, which i have written about before, but will write about again (later).



FOOD

the porthole


after strolling the eastern promenade, we wandered down to this big, standard seafood restaurant with a standard name in old port to get the "nautical, fried vibes" going, as jacob so eloquently put it. we sat on the deck, and i had a beer and biiig lobster roll with drawn butter, which was actually one of the best lobster rolls i've ever had. i also stalked this beee-autiful boat.



gorgeous gelato


i'd never had gelato in portland for some reason, so late saturday afternoon was the perfect time to remedy that (except for the fact that this place was POPPIN' and a little overwhelming). the orange chocolate flavor was delightful! apparently, portlanders tend to have a favorite between gorgeous and its competitor, gelato fiasco. fully planning on heading over there next summer to see who reigns supreme.

paciarino



an airy little bistro specializing in pasta, paciarino was mostly a lovely choice for dinner, but the service left a bit to be desired. as you can see from the pictures, we were basically the first people to arrive for dinner and it filled up fast, but our food took a solid 45-50 minutes. like, i'm usually very laid back about that stuff, but literally 3/4 of the other tables had their meals. so, jacob's boyfriend said, very nicely, "could you check on our food, please?" to the waiter, and he replied with a flippant "no, it's okay, it's coming." and, funny enough, it arrived like 15 minutes later. anyone want to bet he forgot to put the order in?

my maccheroni paesani (or "MACKERONEY PAYZANNY" as my american ass probably pronounced it) was quite good, but it reminded me that i have this weird pasta issue where i don't really like short noodles? i know, it's incredibly stupid and makes no sense to me, either. but i basically only like angel hair, spaghetti, linguini, and fettucine, and i feel like long noodles just enhance every dish. what i'm saying is i would have enjoyed this meal 200% more if it involved larger pasta. which is obviously why i ordered a dish that was explicitly described as having short-ribbed pasta!


 
the bar of chocolate


fiiiiinally! we went here once before despite being too full to eat any dessert and i had like, a piece of bread and jacob had a ginger ale and it was very pointless. this time, after a beer at lone pine, i remembered that this place existed and just had to get myself a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting because at 32, that's just what you do on saturday nights at 9, right? hit the spot.

silly's


very, very, extremely silly in the best way. it was like willy wonka and clarissa darling opened a restaurant and i was all about the bizarre mishmash of decor and color, even though it was bit much to deal with at 9am. they even had a little trough for pups! i got the "sillytoast," which had whipped cream and berries and almonds, but my pun-tastic favorites on the menu included "holla-daised and confused," "what the shell is that!" and "don't lose your tempeh."




DRINK

tandem 


this may be the only spot i've been to every single year. it's your typical hipster coffee shop in a converted gas station, but...it has a secret weapon: malt iced coffee. yup, you read that right, and it's just as delicious as it sounds. unfortunately, bon appetit declared portland its "2018 restaurant city of the year" in this month's issue and they began the article by recommending good ol' tandem, so the line was around the corner almost every time we walked by. we lucked out at one point, and i got to drink that sweet, sweet fuel, and then we took pictures of each other.


el rayo

didn't eat the food here, BUT i had a cocktail that consisted solely of fresca and tequila (that had a little plastic shark in it) and then drank it on a patio, so what more could you want?




lone pine brewing company 




we met my friend jenny here for a beer, and the atmosphere on the patio was lovely. there were some acoustic pop/rock/country covers happening in the taproom and it was very bright and very loud, so we hung outside with the dogs and the breeze instead.

FUN

record shopping

we went to all six (?) of portland's record stores and i got are you experienced, which i already had, but the first one i bought was used and scratched to shit and i've never been able to listen to it. so...redemption! this store i can't remember the name of also had the best categories ever.





funny signs and graffiti

as a very amateur photographer, i guess i tend to be on the lookout for unusual things to begin with, but i aaaalways see so much weird graffiti and so many silly signs in portland. jacob even joked that i'm "portland's foremost graffiti-spotter" because he'd never noticed any of the things i point out.

oh, speaking of weird stuff, in case any of y'all voted in the only instagram story poll i've ever done, here were the extremely close results:


  spoiler alert: we did not go to see lil' jon. but we did see some other equally amusing stuff.


GUITAR GRAVE

oh god, not the vegan vandal!
 
it's not funny, but strange maine put their sign back up and i was so happy!


i kept calling this "ye olde vape"

big mood

"rocket ships" lolz

i googled this and it's just a food truck so i'm going to pretend i didn't google it


church

jacob's bf is a classical pianist, and sometimes plays at this unitarian church in portland. so he let us into this big-ass gorgeous church while i was drunk on fresca tequila and played songs for us! is being drunk on fresca tequila a mortal sin?



wall-posing

portland has so many murals and so much street art, and it just brings out my inner basic bitch. and this year, it was even worse because i had that '90s huji app. oh god.






and that's a wrap on portland '18. already looking forward to another dose of blind melon vibes and hippie magic next summer!


Sunday, August 19, 2018

a sunday night survival guide


sunday, SUNDAY. i mostly love this day of the week—i've only really ever had the whole "sunday scaries" thing once, when i had an absolutely terrible job last year. and then i was freelancing for 5-ish months and had a completely neutral attitude toward sundays, because it was the same as any other day of the week for me. and now, i have a new full-time office job that i really like, and i'm adjusting back to the whole sunday night routine once again. i feel like i've gotten a pretty good handle on how to keep the scaries and blues at bay, so here are some of my must-haves. share yours in the comments, por favor!

1.  a good podcast



or a couple! i recently discovered the sunday scaries podcast, which is cute and fun. plus, the episodes typically fall under the 15-minute mark, so they're super easy to keep up with. now that i'm commuting by train, i've been trying to listen to more on my way to and from work, but i just tend to be able to pay better attention when i'm hanging around the house on a lazy sunday morning and making pancakes or making dinner at night; it's a nice little ritual. pop culture happy hour is another new favorite, but i know i'm probably late to the party on that.


2. something delicious



sure, it could be a cocktail, if you're in the mood. but i've found that having a little treat in the evening while i'm watching a movie or reading a book—whether it's a cup of my favorite tea, a piece (errr, 4) of dark chocolate, or a big oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is a very lovely, visceral, in-the-moment way to enjoy the last hours of my weekend. alternatively, if i'm feeling ambitious, sundays are typically my nights to make that awesome and super-involved dinner recipe i saved on pinterest like 6 months earlier.


3. time with friends or family

sometimes, the best way to distract yourself from the impending workweek is with some good old-fashioned socialization. not just talking about brunch, either. i love meeting a friend for the occasional sunday night dinner, or catching up over a late-afternoon coffee to shake up my routine a bit.

4. candles/soft lighting


y'all know i'm obsessed with candles, and little white lights, and my himalayan salt lamp. all of these things do the MOST to promote a chill and pleasant home environment with minimal little effort. of course, everyone has different candle preferences, but my personal favorites are the scentsational midnight woods and DW home warm tobacco pipe (both available at marshall's or tj maxx) and anthropologie's warm vanilla cinnamon. the rate i burn through all of these is genuinely frightening.



5. the right (preferably vinyl) soundtrack 


to quote trent from daria, "it's the warmth of vinyl, man." my vinyl collection isn't very large thus far because i'm not made of damn money, but i treasure the 12 or so records i do have so far, and it's just so much cozier than spotify in terms of setting a definitive mood. i scored elvis costello's greatest hits last weekend for $10 at in your ear in harvard square, and it was the perfect thing to dance to this evening while prepping overnight oats for tomorrow.

here are some sunday evening standbys that will treat you right, with or without a record player:

kurt vile - wakin' on a pretty daze (and smoke ring for my halo...and...okay, pretty much anything by kurt vile)
the neighbourhood - wiped out! 
the brian jonestown massacre - take it from the man! 
the lemonheads - it's a shame about ray
pernice brothers - overcome by happiness
pinback - summer in abaddon

6. a plan for the week

i feel like it's all too tempting to close your eyes and forget that monday is coming, but i've found that making a mini to-do list for each day of the week ahead can go a long way to make you feel in control, and it only takes like, 10 minutes tops.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

75 things that make me ridiculously happy

at least once every year, i dig up this xojane article in which julieanne smolinski shares her happy list -- stuff that always makes her smile and reminds her of the good in life, including "videos of pigs running" and "terrible magicians."  i did a similar post a few years ago, but i felt like it was about time for a refresh (and now, i'm adding another 25 to my 50 from 2016). what would be on your list? share 'em in the comments!

1. bungalow houses
2. pizza parlor smell
3. this video that i took of drunk basics singing miley cyrus in a new orleans karaoke bar

A video posted by Kim Windyka (@kimmyloowho) on


4. the fact that there's a band called diarrhea planet and they're actually good
5. rapping A$AP rocky's "fuckin' problems" in full
6. summer thunderstorms
7. this banana cake i bake that's soooo gooood (2018 update: I CAN'T EAT BANANAS ANYMORE #tragic)
8. dunkin' fucking donuts
9. exchanging a smile with a cute stranger
10. the "daughter's hand" episode of beavis and butthead
11. the idea of getting a beavis and butthead tramp stamp
12. dancing like a ratchet ho to hip-hop in my apartment and sometimes in public
13. watching hip-hop choreography videos
14. going to weddings
15. saying "dishes are done, man" from don't tell mom the babysitter's dead, apropos of nothing
16. meeting delightfully weird people while traveling
17. sleeping in my own bed after traveling
18. sinbad's stand-up comedy
19. synchronicity
20. tilt-a-whirls
21. a first kiss that gives me the tingles
22. when multiple friends send me hanson-related content at the same time because they know how much i love them
23. the song "move, bitch" by ludacris and mystikal
24. tacky thrift store t-shirts
26. finishing the crossword
27. skateboard vert competitions
28. my friend's apartment in portland, maine that's straight out of the '90s: (2018 update: he no longer lives here #tragic)


29. kurt vile's wakin' on a pretty daze on vinyl
30. jackass
31. coolidge corner in brookline
32. american eskimo puppies
33. butcher-block countertops
34. this live performance of "get found" by bass drum of death



35. remembering that my old neighbor had ass-length blonde dreadlocks
36. pretty much every line from she's the man
37. buying apple cider donuts in the fall
38. a good cross-breeze in my apartment
39. witty text banter with a guy i really like
40. harry styles
41. porch swings
42. rompers
43. jaren johnston's voice, goddamn:



44. vacation anticipation
45. pickford in dazed and confused
46. jake kiszka from greta van fleet, who sort of looks like pickford in dazed and confused, doing guitar solos behind his back (this was actually from the show i was at last week and i still can't deal):



47. eating brunch and reading trashy magazines at the counter at trident booksellers on newbury street
48. the sweet vanilla cinnamon candle from anthropologie
49. the strokes from 2001-2004
50. when my family and i drunkenly dance around my aunt and uncle's kitchen island with utensils at almost every gathering
51. bars that have big buck hunter
52. 2 chainz "most expensivest shit" series (and 2 chainz in general)
53. chocolate-covered gummy bears
54. nonstop flights
55. slightly trashy, old-school carnivals
56. the rolls with honey-cinnamon butter from texas roadhouse
57. the huji app, which makes every photo look like it's from a 1998 disposable camera:


58. unexpectedly seeing a ladybug
59. youtube tarot readings, even if they're bullshit
60. david spade's stand-up/all of his appearances on ellen/david spade in general
61. the cold brew from caffe vita in new york
62. seeing bunnies in my neighborhood
63. the dimmer in my dining room
64. boho bands, the best bracelets ever:


65. MANCHEGO CHEESE
66. root beer floats
67. salem, ma around halloween
68. 2-for-$20 woodsy vanilla-esque victoria's secret fragrances that are always baaasically the same—just with new names—but still delightful (rockin' "bare vanilla" rn)
69. the "joyful, joyful" scene in sister act 2
70. the way james spader's character says "you're a bitch" with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth in pretty in pink
71. when people actually check out my music recommendations and like them!
72. the hard times and reductress headlines
73. petting and/or saying hi to strangers' dogs
74. when someone i think is especially cool follows me first on instagram/twitter OR likes my photo/tweet
75. the gingerbread cottages on martha's vineyard

Sunday, July 15, 2018

once around the block: a day on block island




my ongoing quest to visit all of the quaint beach towns in new england continues, unabated. back in early spring, my friend kathleen had asked me if i'd been to block island. i had not, and neither had she, so a plan was immediately hatched. i'm burnt to a crisp, all set with seafood for the next couple of weeks, and my right knee hurts for reasons unknown, but it was a great time.

FRIDAY:

i drove us down to narragansett town beach early on friday morning, as we decided to stay overnight there and just ferry over to BI for the following day because a) it was less money and b) the only options on block island had shared bathrooms and we're both too old for that shit. but anyway, the beach is the beach; it was relaxing, and the water wasn't too cold. despite my best attempts at thorough sunscreen application, my forehead, chest, shoulders, torso, knees, left inner thigh and the upper-side-area of my right thigh are red as a damn fire truck, which looks really really cool. oh yeah, and i took a 1998-style photo with my new favorite app, huji:


we grabbed dinner that night at turtle soup, the restaurant at the ocean rose inn. the location was absolutely perfect—right across the street from narragansett bay—and the place seemed to be popular with the locals, who were hanging out in adirondack chairs.


we started with a littleneck clam appetizer that had all sorts of peppers and was spicy and delicious. for entrees, i went for the georges bank scallops, while kathleen got the chowder and mussels. we were starting to get a little bit chilly sitting outside because we're delicate snowflakes, so we got coffees and a slice of the turtle cheesecake for good measure. i just want to take a moment right now to acknowledge the warm, cozy perfection that is coffee after dinner. coffee any time, really, but especially after dinner.


the sun was just about to set, so we wandered down along the water, snapping some photos along the way. edited to try and hide my incredible redness.



we spent the rest of the evening in the "secret garden" of our b&b, drinking canned sparkling rosé out of paper cups and chilling with the house bunny and cat.



SATURDAY:

our b&b (which shall remain nameless because i was less than impressed on the whole) didn't serve breakfast 'til 9 and ain't nobody on vacation got time for that, so we popped into the gnarly donut for some sugary sustenance and iced coffee. great name, great donuts.



we boarded the block island ferry, which ended up being surprisingly entertaining, mostly due to the loud, boisterous man with the boston accent sitting behind us. he was basically your favorite crazy uncle. some choice quotes:

funny guy's wife: "i want clam chowder."
funny guy: "it's fuckin' 9:20!"

[while taking a photo of basic bitches who were all drinking twisted teas]: "hold up your tweezies!"


once we arrived on block island, we promptly bought baseball caps (because my face and head could not handle any more UV rays) and rented bikes. mind you, i have not seriously ridden a bicycle for any significant length of time in foreva-eva, and i can verify that the phrase "it's just like riding a bike!" is only like 80% true. it was pretty smooth sailing after the first ride out to the southeast lighthouse, but the combination of the hills and the heat had me struuuuuggling. a break to sit in the shade so i didn't die and a couple more pauses later, we made it! i felt a bit better that random people who were biking down as we approached were congratulating us for arriving, so apparently it wasn't just totally me being weak and woefully out of shape. phew. mohegan bluffs were also in walking distance, and they were gorgeous.




all of that bike-riding made us pretty hungry (and, let's be honest, pretty much all there is to do here is eat and drink). we intended to stop at three sisters for lunch, but the menu had absolutely NO SEAFOOD AT ALL. are you kidding me?? as a restaurant on block island, having seafood is quite literally your only job. undeterred, we pressed on to poor people's pub, which was much more like it. a fun, no frills vibe, cold beer, fish and chips, and lobster rolls. or, as their sign below says, beers, burgers, & babes. sold either way.




then it was time for some retail therapy. i almost never buy clothing souvenirs, but i saw this cute long-sleeved tee with colorful boats on the back at one of the souvenir shops and just had to get it. ignore the fact that it's uber-wrinkled, i ended up sleeping in it last night because it was so comfy:


aaaaand oh, look at the time, it was almost happy hour! we biked up to payne's dock and scoped out some of the boats, and dogs on the boats, and funny boat names (one of my favorite hobbies)...



...and then headed over to the oar for their famous mudslides. there were also fun decorated paddles inside of the restaurant, fun buoys outside of the restaurant, and annoying, belligerent, drunk 50-something-year-old men asking for shots at the bar.






the day ended with a beachside dinner at ballard's. we began with "stuffies," a rhode island specialty: stuffed quahog clams with breadcrumbs, pepper, celery, and chorizo. it was sorta gourmet, but also somehow delightfully state fair-like. very into it. then it was lobster scampi for me, and the fire-grilled lobster for kathleen. THEY HAD LOBSTER 13 WAYS, YOU GUYS. oh, and i had a frozen del's lemonade with vodka, another RI classic.




funny story: remember the crazy uncle from the morning ferry? kathleen had jokingly commented earlier that she wanted to find out what ferry he was taking back so we could be entertained by him once again. and as fate would have it, he and his family were just a little bit ahead of us in the long-ass 8pm ferry line! wish: granted. we followed them up to the top deck and sat behind them (facing the opposite direction, because they were all wasted and we wanted to be out of the puke zone). at one point, apropo of nothing, he goes "i want a bong hit!"

joining him on this ride was an entire rugby team who was having a drunken singalong/dance party, which mainly consisted of them playing maroon 5's "wait" on repeat. we also made friends with the women next to us, who offered us twizzlers, and we gleefully snacked on them while observing the craziness.

back in port in narragansett, we finished things off with ice cream cones at the sweet spot, passing by this restaurant called "buster krab's" that i couldn't believe was a real place. the DJ on the patio started singing happy birthday to an 8 year-old child, which seemed very odd at 9pm on a saturday, but i digress.


SUNDAY:

once again, we didn't feel like waiting around for breakfast at the b&b, so we grabbed a hearty meal before hitting the road at the bike stop cafe, which had a half-hipster, half-diner vibe. it was great!





and, the vacation ended—as all great ones should—with us listening to the "my favorite murder" podcast on the way home for some true crime realness. we'll be back, BI!