Monday, May 15, 2017

good(?) ink

sure, many tattoo aficionados (and artists) are all about beautiful, intricate pieces that are full of meaning and symbolism. i can dig those as well, but personally, my sole criterion for a great tattoo is that it makes me laugh. i mean, i have a damn cheeseburger on my hip and have a second tat planned that's somehow even sillier (it may or may not be an iconic dazed and confused quote). unsurprisingly, my tattoo role model is steve-o from jackass. that said, i decided to scour the internet for some body art that made me chuckle, and these 10 made the cut.

1. chomp.

2. pretty much all of us, right?

3. found him!

4. the colonel knows best.

5. smoke smoke smoke that cigarette.

6. doubtfire forever.

7. i actually took this one myself, coincidentally a few days after i was talking to a friend about how hilarious a tramp stamp of beavis and butthead headbanging would be. close enough.

8.  way better than "thug life."

9. [nerd alert]

10. i'd have gone with "BOOYAH," but this one's pretty fun as far as lip tats go. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

these are (more than) a few of my least favorite things

 leave your own in the comments!

1. when you hold the door for someone and they don't say "thank you"
2. when someone doesn't respond to your text, but posts on instagram/facebook/twitter/snapchat
4. cashiers and/or other customers that comment on your grocery purchases (thank god for the self-checkout)
5. limp/dead fish handshakes
6. when someone is over the age of 10 and still doesn't understand/use the correct forms of "your/you're" and "there/they're/their" :|
7. car selfies on dating apps
8. when someone is a boring "bump on a log" at social functions and doesn't interact with your family members, particularly when it's your significant other or a friend/relative's SO
9. monsters who still come into work despite the fact that they're hacking up a lung
10. neighbors/coworkers who don't say hello when you cross paths
11. when people make singular restaurant or store names possessive or plural (i.e. "panera's," "DSW's," etc.)
12. well-done steaks

Friday, April 21, 2017

show review: RENT 20th anniversary tour

i'm typically iffy on most musicals; a full two hours of showtunes tend to make me start twitching. but there are two that i can't get enough of: rock of ages and RENT. i was fortunate to see the latter for the fourth (!) time on wednesday night at the shubert theatre in boston as part of the 20th anniversary tour, and it was fantastic and i teared up about four times.

based on the opera la boheme, the show premiered on broadway in 1996 and centers on a group of artists/musicians/creative types living in manhattan -- most of whom are drug addicts living with HIV/AIDS. not the sunniest subject matter, for sure, but most of the songs are surprisingly upbeat and get stuck in your head immediately. i had to stop myself from mouthing along the entire time like a freak. my favorite, "la vie boheme," from the movie adaptation which includes references to pee-wee herman, the sex pistols, soy burgers, dildos, and even pablo neruda.

the entire cast was incredible this time around, but i've gotta say that aaron harrington, an apparent "musical theater newcomer" who played tom collins, was far and away the best vocalist i've heard in a production (including broadway) in a loooong time. my mouth dropped open every time he sang, legit.

and of course, the iconic "seasons of love" just got me right in the feels as always. i mean, that high note at 1:16? HOW CAN YOU NOT SOB? she nailed it just like in this video, too.

TL;DR: go see RENT if you have the chance.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

5 things i love right now

1. this cover of the talking heads' "this must be the place"

covering talking heads is sort of like covering the beatles: if you're going to do it, you better damn well do it right. i was extremely skeptical (but intrigued) when i saw this on my spotify friend feed and listened intently, as the original is one of my favorite songs of all time. i hear a bit of vampire weekend, a bit of alt-j, and a bit of ra ra riot. i love it! what do you think?

2.  this new york times series, sunday routine

i'm endlessly fascinated by glimpses into the lives of random individuals, and this wonderful little times column satisfies all of my curiosities by profiling a sunday in the life of a well-heeled NYC resident each week (a radio city rockette, the editor-in-chief of redbook, bill nye!). i'm always surprised at how typical and similar to my sundays they are. and now, it's become a little sunday tradition of my own to read about them along with my morning coffee. how meta.

3. this insane dance choreography to the lil' jon classic, "snap yo fingers"

okay, SO. you guys know by now that i could happily watch dance videos from the millennium complex in LA alllll day. and probably have. but i've gotta say that willdabeast adams (red shirt) is the only choreographer that just kills it on a consistent basis, and i love that he mixes it up with not-so-current songs (like this one). his girlfriend, janelle ginestra, is a beast of a dancer in her own right; check her out in the front of that first group. and like, just look at them dancing together to one of my favorite guilty pleasure jams. power. couple. please never talk to me again if this doesn't make you smile:

4. this show, 13 reasons why

this teen drama, based on the novel of the same name, is minimal on the cheesiness, maximal on the drama and darkness, and just a really good guilty pleasure to enjoy with some wine and cheese while painting your nails or whatever. the basic premise: a teenage girl commits suicide, and leaves behind a set of 13 cassette tapes that explain her fateful decision. i'm only on the third episode, but i'm totally hooked.

5. these perfect summaries of harry styles' new, epic single, "sign of the times:"

Thursday, March 30, 2017

a spring fashion wishlist

i'm currently on a shopping hiatus to conserve funds, so i've been spending much of my time drooling over cute spring apparel on various sites, adding 20 items to my cart, and closing the window. please indulge me and enjoy some of the best pieces i've found in my recent internet travels.

this adorably springy dress and also maybe that pup (modcloth)

a retro bomber jacket (anthropologie)

a sassy romper that i'd have absolutely nowhere to wear (urban outfitters)

this cheeky graphic tee (human)

"cropped linen overalls" even though i typically hate overalls, because you can't deny these (urban outfitters)

some casual espadrille tennis shoes for $158 (anthropologie)

this unique and sweet '90s top (it says "just take these flowers")(etsy)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

around town: commonwealth market & restaurant

it's one of the most wonderful times of the year ... restaurant week! oh, sorry, i guess it's officially "dine out boston" or some nonsense now, but i will forever refer to it as restaurant week. for the past three or so years, my friend kathleen and i have had a standing date twice a year to stuff our faces for a fixed price at a variety of spots in the boston area: bergamot, tw food (RIP), henrietta's table, beacon hill bistro, marliave ... we've conquered 'em all and lapsed into food comas immediately afterwards.

we'd each been to commonwealth in cambridge's kendall square neighborhood shortly after it opened a few years ago, but i barely remembered the food. i distinctly do remember, however, being preoccupied with some dope i was dating at the time and agonizing over him the whole meal. LAME. so i was more than eager to reclaim commonwealth and savor every damn bite of my meal without worrying about anyone or anything.

if you aren't familiar with the concept of restaurant week, you basically get a full three-course meal for $38, and choose from a selection of appetizers, main courses, and desserts.

the vibe of the place is super rustic, with wood planks and white lights all around. basically the restaurant equivalent of a mason jar, if that makes sense. oh-so-cambridge.

there's also a market in the front portion of the restaurant, which offers all sorts of yummy treats and pickled things, etc.

but onto the food!

to start, kathleen opted for the nashville hot wings with slaw and bread and butter pickles:

and i ordered the crab-stuffed deviled eggs with salmon roe, which made them look kind of like little alien eggs or something:

(i'm kind of a deviled egg freak, and these were among the best i've had.)

for the main course, i went with the chicken cordon bleu with creamed leeks and green bean almondine:

and kathleen got the stuffed peppers with wild rice, roasted tomato sauce, and avocado ranch:

for the grand finale, i went all in with the red velvet cake, which was accompanied by toasted coconut ice cream and butterscotch oat crumbles:

(yes, i actually died and am writing this from the grave)

kathleen ordered the chocolate pie with banana cream and peanut butter cookie. guuuys.

everything was delicious, and the service was fantastic as well. if you find yourself near kendall square, i wouldn't hesitate to recommend commonwealth.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

are you my workout?


"so, you're just not going?"
my mother has mastered the ability to say "i'm not mad, i'm just disappointed" during every single conversation we have, without actually saying the words.
"no, not after yesterday. i felt like an idiot out there," i whined, pulling the covers over my eyes as i remembered the horrific events of my first day of summer field hockey camp.

okay, so nothing particularly bad even happened. i was just miserable, sweaty, and had no clue what the hell i was doing. i'm not sure exactly what possessed me to sign up, considering I'd never played a day of field hockey in my life, but i think it was the name: cave girl. at 15 years old, i was still trying to find my post-middle school identity, and anything i could do to make myself seem more tough and intimidating to the abercrombie-wearing, lacrosse-playing mean girls that made eighth-grade gym class a living hell was extremely appealing to me.

however, my newfound field hockey-playing persona didn't stick. it joined my brief elementary school softball stint (which ended because i was too busy collecting rocks on the field to catch the ball), and those bruise-inducing few months as a flyer for the church cheerleading squad -- they kept dropping me! -- in the graveyard of abandoned sports.  some people are serial daters, some people are serial killers. i'm a serial exerciser. sorry, i guess the correct term would actually be serial exercise dabbler.
the only constant that remained over the years was dance. from age four, i pirouetted, tapped, leaped, twerked, or some combination of those things on a regular basis, taking as many classes as I could handle and spending most weeknights in high school practicing with the dance team or performing during halftime at basketball games.
yet, much like the career of a professional ballerina, the window of opportunity to shake your groove thang in a controlled environment begins closing rapidly after you turn, like, 20, so here i am again. i've searched and searched for something that comes close to the exhilaration i feel when i stick a new piece of choreography and sync up perfectly with my fellow classmates, to no avail.
the music at jazzercise was surprisingly hip, considering that i was the youngest person in the class by a good 25 years. unfortunately, the moves were more ho-hum than hip-hop, and i think i may have offended some of the sweet octogenarians with my aggressive grapevines and plies. i just can't help myself when an usher remix comes on, man. then, i threw myself into another craze, something called "turbokick." it was inexplicably held in a pole-dancing studio that proved extremely distracting, and incorporated far too many push-ups, burpees, and actual exercise for my taste.

a while back, a coworker dragged me to her "pure barre" class. i have to admit, i really had high hopes for this one based solely on the name. a workout that utilized the ballet barre had to be perfect for me, right? wrong. there were no elegant arabesques, dainty chêne turns, or graceful across-the-floor work. there was, however, a cult leader of a teacher that kept using foreign words like "tucking" and "seatwork" as she reprimanded me for not doing them, or doing them, or doing them wrong. i still have absolutely no idea and don't really give a tuck. the struggle, as they say, could not have been more real. every day for the next week, i silently cursed everyone involved in the evening of october 21, 2015 as i hobbled to and from my cubicle and my car, indescribably sore and full of pure rage for pure barre.

to calm down and get some clarity or whatever, i turned to yoga. i desperately wanted to like it, but i think my chi's out of wack because i just could not get it under control long enough to stop whispering to the women on either side of me about how lame the new-age music was. i said namaste, and then waved adios, to downward dogs and children's poses for good.
needless to say, the quest for my perfect workout continues. for now, i burn most of my calories in the best way my 30-year-old self can: twisting and shouting, doing the electric slide, and kicking up my heels to "cotton eye joe" in a fancy cocktail dress, glass of wine in hand. at least i don't have long to wait before wedding season rolls around again.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

i refuse to title this post "netflix 'n chill"

at the risk of sounding like a total fuddy-duddy, i'm fairly new to the netflix world, having finally took the plunge for the gilmore girls reboot in november and sticking with it because i got hooked on stranger things. here's what i've been watching lately, for better or worse. more recommendations, please!

audrie & daisy: 8/10

be forewarned that if you decide on this documentary, your evening (or day) is about to take a pretty dark turn. audrie & daisy explores the world of teen sexual assault and cyber-bullying through two recent cases. it was fascinating and very well done, but i was utterly disgusted by the lack of remorse and self-awareness on the part of both the boys involved in the cases and the sheriff who led the investigation of daisy's case ... to the point where i was actually yelling expletives at the TV. still, very much worth watching.

tiny furniture: 7/10

i fiiiinally got around to watching this indie film, written by and starring lena dunham of girls fame before she created the show. between the plot (aimless post-grad millennial moves back in with her mom, complains a lot, and has cringe-worthy sex with a terrible dude in a large metal pipe) and the other stars (jemima kirke, who plays jessa on the show, and alex karpovsky, who plays ray), it's basically like an extended girls episode. if you're a fan of the show, this isn't a bad thing, and it was equal parts enjoyable and infuriating in the same way.

comet: 5/10

y'all know that i'm always down for a good out-of-order love story a la 500 days of summer, or my personal favorite, peter and vandy. comet drew me in by promising a similar plot ... and justin long. the only difference was that it was supposed to take place in "a parellel universe." maybe i'm dense, but i didn't even notice this element in the movie, nor did i understand why it was necessary. a couple more gripes: it was paaaainfully slow at parts, and the female protagonist, played by emmy rossum, was a total pretentious bitch. actually, the whole movie had an air of pretension that was just lame and didn't sit well with me. mehhh.

twinsters: 6/10

being an adoptee myself, i was intrigued by this documentary about a girl who randomly discovers the identical twin sister she never knew she had through youtube. i'll admit it was a bit plodding at points, but my personal connection to their story kept me watching. plus, it was really cool to witness these pretty amazing milestones: meeting each other for the first time, getting DNA testing, attempting to contact their birth mother. the girls' personalities shone through, and it was a heartwarming watch overall.

good kids: 6/10

i'm never above turning off a movie at any point if i get bored with it or start to dislike it, and i was fully expecting to reach a point of exasperation with this one. however, i found myself at the end, having enjoyed it much more than i thought i would. like a poor man's eurotrip -- minus the whole, um, europe thing -- meets american pie, good kids centers on a group of four sorta-nerdy recent high school grads that want to make up for lost time before they leave for college. yes, there are some extremely silly characters and plot lines, like a hippy-dippy martial arts teacher who calls himself "the lion" and the geeky ringleader prostituting himself to the cougars to whom he teaches tennis lessons, but it's all in good fun. if you don't take it too seriously, it's a perfectly fine summery romp.

the invitation: 8/10

what a delightfully freaky, slow-burning psychological thriller. the basic premise: a man and his girlfriend show up to a dinner party at the home of his ex-wife and her new husband in the hollywood hills, and things just get weirder from there. within the first half-hour, there's a coyote getting hit by a car, a wacky pants-less woman, and a group viewing of a cult video. i lost count of the times i uttered "what the fuck?"/"what is happening right now?" and "ohmygod i'm scared" aloud after that. the wary ex-husband, will, is perfectly portrayed by logan marshall-green, and his expressions were probably my favorite part of the movie. i'd post the trailer, but it would spoil the fun. if you're into creepy, suspenseful b movies, this one's a winner.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

5 things i love right now

1. this dude on youtube, the fitness marshall

i recently realized that my whole issue with exercising in the morning is not necessarily the exercising part, but the actually-leaving-my-house part. going to the gym at 6:30am? hahahaha NOPE. but after i received an apple tv for christmas, i had the brilliant revelation that i could now work out in the comfort of my living room with some help from youtube. enter the fitness marshall, who is not only my new favorite person, but also my new source of cardio and endorphins in the morning. the man is a talented dancer and keeps it current in terms of hip-hop tunes, but more than that, he's simply hilarious and sassy and great. this routine was the one that won me over. "SLAY THOSE DISHES!" i'm dead.

2. this now-defunct band, jank

don't you haaaate when you get really into a band and a) see that they had a show near you like, the prior week OR b) are already broken up? the latter is the case with this philadelphia act, jank, who were around for less than a year before some sorta personal drama caused them to disband. at least they left this great album, versace summer, in their wake. reminiscent of other emo revival/garage acts i enjoy like donovan wolfington and tiny moving parts, they've got great hooks and lots of fun, raw energy.

3. cole sprouse's tweets

yes, the cole sprouse from the disney channel show the suite life of zack & cody. i don't even know how i discovered his feed -- perhaps it was during one of my fleeting cougar moods  -- but so what, who cares, it's hilarious. here are some of my favorites:

4. this app, 1SE

might be late to the game on this one, but i saw it on my facebook feed on new year's day and thought it seemed like a pretty awesome concept. it allows you to record a 1-second snippet of each day for a year (or as long as you want), and stitches the clips together in a little life movie. i started a week late, but it'll still be pretty cool to see once it's all said and done.

5. this funny, tarot-inspired artwork

WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS? just kidding, i couldn't draw this stuff even if i had. :(

Sunday, January 15, 2017

what does your perfect day look like?

a writing prompt that i saw a while back, which encouraged you to describe your ideal day, stuck with me. it's not really something i think about often, but i'm guessing no one really does, right? anyways, the whole point of the exercise was to note which parts of your perfect day weren't currently part of your daily life, and make an effort to incorporate them into your routine. instead of being super cheesy and poetically mapping out a day from beginning to end, i just came up with the elements mine would include.

  • coffee, crossword puzzle, and breakfast in bed (or on my non-existent patio...)
  • day trip to a place i haven't been, preferably one with a cute downtown i can explore
  • picnicking in a park
  • a not-too-strenuous hike
  • baking a cake to replenish all of the calories burned on the hike
  • a dance class
  • a cocktail at my favorite bar, jm curley
  • relaxing dinner at a good restaurant that has chicken piccata or something equally as delicious on the menu
  • going to see a band i really like at an intimate venue
  • cuddling on the couch and watching a movie while drinking wine and eating pizza hut pizza (very important)
  • ...uhhh what happens when you cuddle on the couch drinking wine

your turn!

Monday, December 26, 2016

a 2017 to-do list

i'll admit that, while there are still a few days left in this year, i made a real paltry showing in 2016. out of 40 items, i was only able to accomplish 15. :(  however, it's only made me more determined than ever to attack 2017 and make shit happen. what do you want to cross off of your list next year?

1. visit seattle & portland
2. related: catch a fish at pike place market
3. also related: order the maple blazer blunt doughnut at voodoo doughnut
4. get a hot stone massage
5. tell a story at a MOTH story slam
6. book a trip to south america (possibly this one)
7. write and place five four new essays
8. attend an art gallery opening
9. make my own cheese
10. get another tattoo
11. jump into a ball pit
12. order a drink at an old-fashioned soda fountain
13. create 4 crafts, one for each season
14. move into a new home that i love
15. spend the day at an amusement park
16. ride in a horse-drawn carriage
17. read seinfeldia
18. order room service
19. visit washington depot, CT (the inspiration for stars hollow in gilmore girls)
20. pay it forward at a drive-thru
21. travel by train
22. stay overnight at the house i was born in (which has been turned into a b&b)
23. dine at il pesce at eataly boston
24. drink something from a coconut
25. host a theme party
26. run a 5k
27. adopt a shelter cat
28. make a recipe from anthony bourdain's appetites cookbook
29. go see a stand-up comedian i really like but haven't seen live (maybe: joe list, aziz ansari, or rod man)
30. take a weekend trip to the hudson valley
31. swim in a rooftop pool
32. [keeping to myself]
33. start a conversation with a stranger at a bar
34. go to a renaissance fair and order a giant turkey leg
35. do a tarot card reading for someone
36. go on a photo expedition to somewhere that's been abandoned
37. make a jar salad
38. have drinks with a band i like
39. find and buy liz phair's exile in guyville on vinyl from a brick-and-mortar record store
40. crash a wedding (this will be on the list until i do it)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

my 16 favorite songs of 2016

SPOILER ALERT: this list does not include that terrible song that glorifies mattress theft. now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get down to always, you can listen to all of these via spotify playlist as well.

16. bent shapes - "new starts in old dominion" 

let's start things off local. now that my former #1 hometown act, the barbazons, have disbanded, bent shapes has risen to the top. this upbeat, jangly gem was my favorite from their 2016 release, wolves of want. unrelated, but i got so damn excited by all of the boston love in this music video, from the MIT station on the radio to that very somerville-esque apartment to that scene where he's walking by the driving school -- which was shot on my street in my town! anywho, great tune.

15. fifth harmony f/ ty dolla $ign - "work from home"

as i believe i tweeted at some point, it blows my mind that no one had thought to write a song about "working from home" as sexual innuendo. the lyrics are so ridiculous yet clever, and i'll be damned if you aren't hearing "you don't gotta go to work, work, work, work, work, work, work" in your dreams after listening to it once. the perfect example of a dumb, sugary pop nugget. and then ty dolla $ign rolls in, telling her to make it clap with no hands and look back at it. a modern shakespeare!

14. car seat headrest - "fill in the blank"

will toledo was basically the pitchfork darling of 2k16, and i'd get any cred i had revoked if i didn't include at least one his songs. this rollicking, lo-fi number got my attention, and i especially like the tough-love lyrics: "you have no right to be depressed/you haven't tried hard enough to like it....stop your whining, try again/no one wants to cause you pain." listen up, fellow millennials.

13. sia - "cheap thrills"

just a really good time with a pretty simple, straightforward message: when the company and music are good, who needs moolah?

12. snakehips f/ ZAYN - "cruel" (jay pryor remix)

maybe it's because this version was my first exposure to the song, but it's so much more fun than the sloooowed dooooown original, IMO. zayn's sexy "pillow talk" was also a contender, but it didn't turn my car and cubicle into tha club like this one did. and when that beat drops? ohhh, dayum. i do believe this is the first remix i've ever featured on this list, so you know it's gotta be good.

11. tancred - "bed case"

a few weeks ago, while watching the 1994 cult classic reality bites (again), it occurred to me that if this song existed back then, it would probably fit nicely on the soundtrack alongside juliana hatfield, lisa loeb, and dinosaur jr. given that it has that early-90s veruca salt vibe. the solo project of jess abbott from the band now, now, tancred makes catchy, fierce indie rock with sweet vocals, handclaps, and lyrics about boys and ... well, boys. what more could you want?

10. two door cinema club - "gameshow"

i never paid much attention this band; just your standard background indie pop music as far as i was concerned. but i happened across this one on a new music friday a few months ago, and it had the darkness and edginess i'd been missing from them previously. the desperate "nobody wants meeeee!" scream is my favorite moment. pro tip: use the arrows in the top-left corner to see a full 360 view of the performance. whooooa.

9. father john misty - "real love baby"

ohhh, father john misty. the famously salty, bearded troubadour took a break from his onstage rants and all-caps tweets to record this adorable, no frills appeal to the object of his affection. aww.

8. heavy hearts - "bliss"

it's been so long since i've heard a song that really captures the energy and sound of the pop-punk/post-hardcore music that i loved back in high school and college, but "bliss" gets it just right. catchy as hell, too.

7. the 1975 - "the sound"

a synth-pop banger with an ear worm of a chorus that wouldn't sound completely out of place in the mid-80s, "the sound" makes me think of one of the times when i'm the happiest, which is letting loose with people i love on the dance floor at a wedding. not that i've ever danced to this song at a reception, but i'd really like to because the song seems destined for that ... in the best sense. just listen and you'll see what i mean.

6. twin peaks - "walk to the one you love"

if you know me at all, you know that i love me some twin peaks. like a fine wine, they just keep getting better with each album, though it did take me a bit of time to adjust to the bluesier, stonesier vibe of down in heaven as i'm partial to the raw garage feel of their sophomore effort, wild onion. while there are plenty of songs to love on the new one, i kept coming back to this for the groovy riff and the understated vocals. can't wait to see them this week for the 3rd time (and 2nd time this year), because the only thing better than their music is their live show. aw, yeah.

5. DNCE - "cake by the ocean"

now, i'm not saying that this is better than "call me maybe" in terms of pop song perfection, BUT i will say that i still get as giddy every time i hear the opening notes. sure, there are the ridiculous "AYAYAYAYAY-AH"s and the lyrics about licking frosting from your own hands and a promise ring-free joe jonas dropping the f-bomb. but i'm equally in love with the backstory about the title, which is supposedly the result of the band's swedish producers continually confusing the phrase "sex
on the beach."

4. pete yorn - "i'm not the one"

can we talk about how underrated pete yorn is? he's been quietly making killer songs since the early oughts, but always sort of flies under the radar. i wasn't the biggest fan of his latest album, arrangingtime, but this track immediately jumped out at me as the highlight. between the lovely melody and relatable lyrics (YES of course i tear up almost every time), it's just a gorgeous few minutes.

3. catfish and the bottlemen - "soundcheck" 

it's been so cool to watch these guys go from relative unknowns, performing to a crowd of 30 or so at great scott in 2014, to rocking a packed house at royale last year, to this year -- inevitably -- the house of blues :(. i'll always be partial to their debut album, but i was obsessed with this song for a good portion of the year. the quiet, crunchy chug of the pre-chorus leads into an epic, triumphant romantic declaration. then after the bridge, everything blows wide open and it almost turns into a completely different (but equally fantastic) song. 

2. the hunna - "we could be"

this year's biggest fuck-yeah-chorus comes to us courtesy of yet another british rock quartet, the hunna. their songs all kiiiind of sound vaguely the same, but it's okay because they all kind of sound like this one, which is great. strong vocals, anthemic refrains, great production. the other thing i really like about the tune, though, is that it's a total "fuck you!" to some record company who apparently passed on them. WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?!

1. SWMRS - "figuring it out"


shout out to spotify on this; it was actually one of my discover weekly picks early this year, and i immediately fell in love with its massive "oh-oh-ohhh"s, shreddin' guitar solo, and quirky lyrics about pop rocks, cherry cola, and waking & baking on wednesdays. a little bit of punk, a little bit of pop, a whole lot of fun. the band members are already cooler at like, 19 years old than i am at 30, but that's probably because the drummer's dad is billie joe armstrong from green day. spitting image, right?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

better watch out for those man-eatin' jackrabbits, and that killer cacti

i spent most of this past week in scottsdale, arizona. while it was a business trip, my team and i managed to squeeze in some leisurely pursuits as well ... shh, don't tell anyone.


we stayed at the saguaro, an instagram dream of epic proportions that's only a 5-minute walk from old town scottsdale. just scope the lobby:

there were also two pools, and we were lucky enough to witness a strange golf-related photo shoot at one of them on our first day:



and, a cute coffee shop:

however ... the rooms, while funky and fun, were a bit skeevy in that you could tell this place was probably a former by-the-hour motel that got a few coats of paint and some colorful bedding. still, not a terrible place to spend a few nights.

a spirit animal also kept watch over me:



our boss insisted that we stop here on our way to the hotel, as two of us were in-n-out virgins. i got the "animal style" burger and savored every messy, meaty, cheesy calorie in the back of that cab. 


culinary dropout


we stepped it up a notch for dinner that night with a sit-down meal here, a casual spot with nice ambiance (and a nice bob marley mural). my crispy shrimp caesar salad and reeeeally strong old fashioned were good enough, but i was so glad i convinced everyone to split the s'more pudding for dessert. it came with salted caramel graham crackers and had toffee chunks in it and everyone was just making awkward food moans for a solid 10 minutes. "i can't imagine enjoying anything as much as i enjoyed that," one of my coworkers said nearly three days later when we were reminiscing about it. normal.

the saguaro restaurant

we now interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to get real basic for a hot second. i detoxed the next morning (and the morning after that) with a "yogi breakfast" at the hotel restaurant. just greek yogurt with granola and fruit, apple slices, and almond butter, but oh maaaan it was good, and i felt like i was ready to do some sun salutations and like, harness my chi or some shit immediately after consuming it. namaste?

mcfate brewing company

i forgot how nice it was to dine al fresco in the middle of november. the beer was decent, and my grilled salmon and broccoli was so-so, but the atmosphere was just lovely.

barrio queen


solid mexican. solid margs. excellent lighting fixtures.


mannequin challenge 

a couple of weeks ago, i had mentioned the mannequin challenge to my colleague, who runs social media for our company. given the great vibes at the arizona office -- as well as the great piercings, tattoos, and crazy-colored hair -- we figured it was the place to make it happen. sidenote: there was also a soundtrack of 2000s pop-punk playing there at all times and it made me soooo happy.

anyways, it didn't come out perfect (dammit, dude in the beginning, why did you twitch?!), but considering how many people are involved, i think it's pretty amazing for only one take. the ping-pong ball and the group cheers-ing at the end are my favorite parts. oh, and that's a picture of our CEO that we're swooning over on the phone.

escape the room

half-drunk on margaritas from barrio queen and ready to enter an enchilada coma at 9:30pm, the last thing i wanted to do was a team-bonding exercise, but i'm so happy i did. if you've never done one of those "escape the room" things, it's pretty self-explanatory: they lock you in a themed room (ours was "old western bank heist") and you have an hour to get out with a handful of items, including the key to unlock the door. i knew it was going to be good when the super-sarcastic guy working there made fun of my coworker for being unable to unzip her jacket before we got started -- and when we finally got out, he made her an "i escaped the coat" sign as you can see above. oh, john! i'm pretty proud that my primary contribution to our success was shooting the fake sheriff. i spared the deputy, though. why do they love bob marley so much here?

old town scottsdale 

we had the morning to ourselves on friday, so i grabbed an americano and went wandering solo around old town to take some photos. since it was 8:30am, nothing was open yet, and it was a bit creepy, but kinda cool.

this was my first trip to scottsdale -- and to arizona, period -- so i barely scratched the surface of what the area has to offer, but i hope to return to this strange and delightful desert land soon. since this song was stuck in my head for the entirety of the trip (alternating with that "black beatles" tune), i'll leave y'all with this. yippee-ty-ay-yayyy.