Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 things i love right now

1.  kurt vile's new song, "pretty pimpin"



he's baaaack! admittedly, it took me a while to get the whole KV "thing." i totally missed the boat on his epic smoke ring for my halo album, but quickly became obsessed with wakin on a pretty daze and have been a fervent vile fan ever since. i think i enjoy this tune from his forthcoming record, b'lieve i'm goin down, more and more with each listen. can't wait to see him live in october!

2. this local taqueria, victoria 

on my way back from a saturday afternoon matinee of paper towns (good, clean, whimsical movie BTW), i stopped at this spot in my town that i'd been wanting to check out for a while. i'm always a fan of "street food" that is, um, not on the street, so i got an order of the fish tacos and promptly fell in love. i think there is one in beverly, too. muy bueno.

3. this advice column, ask polly

i've always been a loyal boston.com love letters reader, but a friend sent me one of these "ask polly" columns a few weeks back and -- sorry not sorry -- her advice is far superior. funny, thorough, and filled with pearls of MMHMM wisdom, there's always some value to be gleaned from each response, even if you can't relate to the reader's sitch. my personal favorite is this one about tepid dudes (or, "tepid MFers" as polly colorfully dubs them). polly (real name: heather) goes on a tangent about kanye west, and leaves us with an amazing mantra which seems unrelated, but also makes perfect sense when encountering half-assed people in your life: "fuck you and your hampton house." i've used it about 5x this week already.

4. my new record player!


insound.com was going out of business and selling turntables for next to nothin'. i finally took the vinyl plunge and i'm already scouring flea markets like a fiend to build my collection. all i have so far, besides jimi, is prince's purple rain. someone buy me all the records, please.

5. PICNICS



i'd basically been begging anyone and everyone to go on a damn picnic with me for the past 2 years, and my dreams finally came true this weekend. my friend kathleen and i got word that a bunch of local restaurants were offering picnic baskets for a zillion dollars, so we snagged one from precinct in the loews hotel. it was adorable and we found a relatively clean-looking bench in the public garden and went to town. charcuterie, cheese, grapes, little pickles, and individual boston creme pies in tiny jars. oh, and a bottle of wine! we got tipsy (shhh) and shared stories, watched the people and dogs, and had a lovely afternoon. highly recommended.

Monday, July 20, 2015

the tao of justin bobby




in the summertime, i have three basic needs: sweet treats, jumpsuits/rompers, and despicably mindless television. i'm talking america's got talent and celebrity family feud, people. but the one show that i come back to, summer after summer, is the hills. something about those glossy-haired blonde nymphs, prancing around west hollywood with starbucks and jamba juice cups to a soundtrack of up-and-never-quite-came indie rock bands immediately boosts my mood. the staged, awkward pauses give me life! and every time i re-watch an episode, i extract some new nugget of wisdom from it. okay, wisdom is a stretch. but what i recently realized while viewing the show 7 years later is that justin bobby was the REAL OG. like, i remember him being sort of an enigmatic joke back in the day -- lauren conrad summed him up when she exclaimed, "homeboy wore combat boots to the beach!" however, the man has some choice advice that really stands the test of time. let's revisit it, shall we?

there was this gem:


he also said something during this conversation about kicking toxic people who don't add anything to your life "the fuck out." i'm paraphrasing, but still brilliant.

also:

"there's something zen-ful about it." (what? no idea.)

"it's not a matter of like, how slow, how fast, it's just like ... for me, putting statements on things, i'll be gone. like, i don't like that."

and finally ...


and so i thank you, justin bobby, for entertaining and enlightening generations to come with your nonsensical adages.



Monday, July 13, 2015

new york weekend: 4knots music festival



sooo my boltbus didn't explode, actually had working AC AND wi-fi, and was pretty darn close to on time, which is always half the battle of a weekend in NYC, amiright? also, my seatmate on the trip from boston was an infectious disease doctor, and i couldn't help but chuckle at one point at the juxtaposition of my reading material (a cosmo article about...well, cosmo thangs) and his (the journal of infectious diseases). i stopped myself just short of making an STD joke.

but anyways! i ventured down this time around to attend the 4knots music festival at hudson river park in manhattan. the event used to be called sirenfest and was held at coney island, for you music festival junkies. i had been to sirenfest, but not the revamped 4knots, so i was pretty excited. it ended up being a great day, and the pre-and post-festival activities were fun, too!

BOOZE

the library

once i got into town on friday night, i joined gleni and her friend for some food and dranks before we went to see mates of state at the bowery ballroom. after the show, we headed to this nearby dive bar which was uncrowded and awesome at first but went rapidly downhill as the night went on. first, there was the slurring, lonely creep next to us who was trying unsuccessfully to discuss thin lizzy. then, there was the bro who squeezed in between us and tried to pay for shots with gift cards at 1am. the last straw was a group of bridge-and-tunnel douchebags who took my seat and then acted like complete dicks when i alerted them to their indiscretion. GET OFF MY LAWN!

reunion surf bar



everyone, i've found my spirit bar. we stopped in for a nightcap after the festival, and from the moment i walked into the softly-lit room to the sounds of chris brown's "loyal," i knew this was special. they had "graffiti" on the walls:

(there was also one that said "no music requests #noscrubs" and "save a board, ride a surfer." omg.)




i got some drink with grapefruit vodka and grapefruit juice and some sugar rim that was completely light pink and adorable. they also had outlets, which takes a good bar to GREAT in my opinion. always be charging.



BOATS

we paid a teensy bit extra and got the "VIP" tickets for 4knots, which i understood would involve a boat of some sort. but it was so baller, guys. basically like a dinner cruise charter that had a little bar with cute cocktails and AC and comfy seats and some lame-ass snacks, but still. no port-a-pottys and no heatstroke? i was a happy girl. and i was even happier when i spied some rock 'n rollers milling about the boat with us, including bass drum of death. the boat ruled, basically.



AND THERE WERE SO MANY FREE SAMPLES. not on the boat, but at the festival in general. iced coffee, turkey jerky, polar seltzer, ugh i love free stuff so much.

BANDS

we saw this awkward british trio called happyness, and witnessed the brilliance of mikal cronin:


we also swayed along with '90s indie legend steve malkmus of pavement -- who was looking disturbingly tan and had a strange middle school haircut that wasn't really working for me. sounded great, though:



but, i just really want to talk about twin peaks, because they stole the show (and my heart).



i discovered these dudes last year through my favorite internet radio station, The THING!, so i was stoked to finally get to see them live. their video for the total jam "flavor" will give you a great idea of what these guys are about. and it's sooo summery:



the bassist jack (aka rock 'n roll harry styles, as gleni dubbed him) was channeling his inner julian casablancas, saying stuff like "THIS IS MY FIRST TIME ON A BOAT! IT WAS SCARY! I GOT SEASICK! IT WAS GOING WAY TOO FAAAAST!" and "it's not toooo hot out there anymoooore." meanwhile, guitarist clay was my favorite type of musician to watch because of his ridiculous facial expressions, which ranged from blank stare and o-face to goofy grin.





"i'm into this one," i said aloud at one point, pointing at lead singer cadien lake james (what a damn name btw).




"you mean the white trash one?" gleni replied. pretty much! let's also forget about the fact that they're all of 19 and 20 years old. it's fine. best performance of the day, and even steve malkmus gave 'em a shout out during his set. now that's high praise. 



TL;DR: go to reunion surf bar and listen to twin peaks. i'm out!


Monday, July 6, 2015

20 summer food and drink items, ranked by goodness








contribute your own in the comments, yo.

20. the original flavor of fro-yo at pinkberry
19. STOLI RAZ & SPRITE
18. chicken sausage in a hot dog bun with all the fixins
17. chocolate-covered frozen banana slices
16. snickers ice cream bars
15. ceviche!!
14. fried clams/scallops/uhhh any fried seafood
13. corn on the damn cob
12. fruit salad with mixed berries and watermelon
11. root beer float
10. the pink panther bar from the ice cream truck that has the bubble gum eyes
9. pan bagnat! (no anchovies, tho)
8. SANGRIA
7. cold brewww
6. dark sweet cherries
5. this really really good potato salad that my mom makes
4. fresh-squeezed lemonade, preferably one that you get from one of those stands at a state fair
3. FRIED DOUGH
2. LOBSTER ROLL
1. a big fat burger with yellow american cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles (come on, what else did you expect from me?)

Monday, June 22, 2015

an unofficial history of the flower crown




Many moons ago, in a dark era before the arrival of Uber, a winged goddess named Kelsey got lost on her way home from an off-campus costume party because she had, like, wayyy too much Four Loko. As any slurring, sexy fairy is wont to do, she stumbled into a bodega for a bacon, egg, and cheese, snatching a bag of sunflower seeds on her way out in order to offset the massive carb-and-calorie guilt that was imminent. Just a few stiletto steps into a dark alley, her three-inch heel collapsed under the weight of her breakfast sandwich, and everything went black. 

When she came to, she found herself alone in a tent in the middle of the desert. She surveyed the scene: a few sleeping bags, four fedoras, and a suspicious number of unattended Apple device chargers. Peeking outside, she squinted at a large sign in the distance. “Co...Coach...Coachella,” she whispered. Kelsey lifted a gel-manicured hand up to her ear and tried to make out the chant of a crowd from afar. “This sex is on fiiiiiire!” “My jam!” she whispered to no one in particular. “I have to get over there!”

Not so fast, Kelsey. You see, just beyond the tent lay a mythical place known as the Land of the Basic Bitch. Many aspiring Coachella attendees, just like her, only intended to pass through for some Chipotle and cold-pressed juice before continuing on their way to Kings of Leon ... but they never left.

It was easy to see why. Starbucks lined the streets, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes were always in season. Rosy-cheeked millennials with Brazilian blowouts donned yoga pants, Juicy tracksuits, and UGGs of all sizes and shades. Traffic accidents were rare, but a Bitch-on-Bitch pedestrian collision — while one or both of them was scrambling to add a moment to their Snapchat stories while eating fro-yo — was a daily occurrence. Instead of a monument honoring a famous historical figure, a marble bust of Lauren Conrad sat proudly in the square. You were out of luck if you wanted to see the latest blockbuster; a double feature of The Notebook and Mean Girls sold out the town’s only movie theater daily. And yes ... on Wednesdays, everyone wore pink.

But back to our hungover hero. In a daze, she made her way out of the tent and into her promised land, passing through the rose garden where Chris Harrison hand-picked the blooms (and sometimes the contestants) for each Bachelor episode. With the sunflower seeds still in hand for sustenance, she remembered her greasy sins of the previous night and sloppily shoveled the remainder of the bag into her mouth. What she didn’t realize, though, was that these were no ordinary sunflower seeds. The non-GMO, gluten-free, organic and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious morsels that were left in her wake possessed special powers that would soon unite the Basic Bitch community in a totes unforgettable way.

Just about a year later, on their way back from an early-morning class, two unsuspecting SoulCyclers happened upon a miraculous sight in the garden. A pair of perfectly round sunflower halos, each woven together as if by magic, sat untouched amongst the roses. 

“It’s like they were made for us!” one exclaimed, unfastening her ponytail and placing the strange new accessory on her head.

“Perf for Coachella next weekend!” the other squealed, following suit.

A few well-timed, abundantly-hashtagged Instagram selfies later, and a phenomenon was born. Back in her dorm room, blissfully unaware of her trendsetter status, Kelsey rolled her eyes at the flood of floral headpieces that clogged her feed. 

“Baaaasic.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

5 things i love right now

1. this song by PHASES, "i'm in love with my life"



i was a huge fan of all of those so-cal power pop/indie rock bands back in the day: phantom planet, rooney, everybody else, the like, etc. etc. a couple weeks ago, i decided to see what former PP lead singer alex greenwald was up to because i'm weird like that. i was stoked to find out that he's making music with the former lead singer of the like, z berg, and a couple other dudes. this tune shot to the top of my summer jams list INSTANTLY. and the video isn't too shabby, either!

2. trader joe's frozen chocolate-covered banana slices



speaking of summer treats, have you tried these?! they're heavenly and they never last more than like, two days in my house. on a hot day, there's nothing better to snack on than this chill banana-choco goodness. swear.

3. silicon valley



you'll especially appreciate this HBO show if you work for a tech company like i do, but the snarky jokes are pretty universal. all of the characters are great in their own way, from meek and bumbling CEO richard to the crass, perpetually-stoned erlich. however, my personal favorite is guilfoyle, played by martin starr of freaks and geeks fame (BILL!). his deadpan jokes get me every time.

4. this pinterest-worthy quote:


can i get an amen?!

5.  this nerdy dude's hip-hop audition on so you think you can dance



i look forward to SYTYCD every year, and i always love when an unlikely person just blows everyone away with their audition. he does kind of look like bill gates!



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

some thoughts on age 28

welp, there's just about a week left before i turn 29, and i've been reflecting and all that crap because i guess that's just what you do when you're marching slowly towards death (and age 30). sorry, that was #dark. 28 was an interesting -- mostly good -- age; i've joked that it was the year of my slightly delayed quarter-life crisis, which is mostly false, but not compleeeetely false. anyways!

WHAT HAPPENED:

i ...
  • walked away from a condo deal because the house had electrical issues, and the sellers (who were also my future neighbors) were insane scientologists
  • bolt-bussed it to NYC for governors ball and rediscovered the brilliance of the strokes
  • went to quebec city with my family and ate my weight in croissants, poutine, and bison cheek
  • started watching that terrible reality show "rising star" and fell in cougar lust with jesse kinch
  • took a day trip to portsmouth NH with my friend sue and bought chocolate red wine, which is simply delightful when poured over chocolate ice cream
  • began dating a seemingly super-polite dude who was obsessed with the insanity workout that wined and dined me, took me to see panic! at the disco, came over for pizza and palo alto and then ghosted me
  • simultaneously started dating another asshole because i thought he was really hot and had great taste in music and a chill demeanor and did a surfer-dude impression that made me giggle 
  • mourned the end of my grandpa's amazing 101-year run on this earth
  • conquered martha's vineyard with sue and decided i want to live in one of the gingerbread houses someday
  • finished my book proposal
  • got red balayage highlights in my hair
  • took my first business trip for a conference in indianapolis, where i got to see mindy kaling speak, high-fived the lead singer of the script, and realized that will.i.am is nuts
  • went on a family road trip to wilmington, nc and was pretty unimpressed except for the whole dawson's creek claim to fame
  • saw 7,000 barrels of bourbon at a distillery in virginia and wanted to go swimming in them
  • dined at a bar by myself for the first time 
  • won tickets to a private concert with gavin rossdale, my first rock star crush
  • missed my 10-year high school reunion because a snowstorm knocked the power out in NH on the day before thanksgiving, rendering me homeless-looking
  • spent christmas with my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, watching the interview and new girl episodes and eating/drinking/laughing a lot
  • went on a date with a guy who didn't listen to music :( :( :(
  • sobbed uncontrollably at the parenthood finale
  • nearly died trying to walk to the dunkin' donuts next door to my apartment during the 3rd snowpocalypse storm (ok, so i just fell down in the snow)
  • got a tattoo of a cheeseburger
  • finally won at bar trivia, and two weeks in a row at that!
  • decided to be, uhhhh, *friends* with aforementioned asshole, because YOLOOOO
  • felt super liberated by the whole thing until a totally fated, totally awful run-in on public transportation left me feeling like a piece of dog crap and rightfully slammed the door on that sitch for good
  • met up with gleni in vegas, got wasted on chocolate martinis, and hung out with old dudes
  • saw a bunch of great live music: catfish & the bottlemen, king tuff, the new pornographers, the barbazons, juliana hatfield, hallelujah the hills, and walk off the earth!

WHAT I LEARNED/WAS REMINDED OF:
  • knob & tube electrical wiring is the worst. avoid at all costs.
  • french-canadians are so friggin' chic.
  • you shouldn't give a shit about someone who doesn't give a shit about you.
  • related: TRUST YO' GUT, even when your heart/ego/loins want to ignore it.
  • also related: BE BREEZY.
  • while it's not ideal, you can totally experience martha's vineyard in a day.
  • on second thought, snow is actually worse than knob & tube wiring.
  • tattoos don't hurt. like, at all.
  • vegas is magic.
  • whiskey is magic, too.
  • it's no coincidence that "tinder" and "terrible" start with the same letter.
  • if you can't find someone to join you for something you want to do, just go by yourself! it's fine.
  • the universe always knows better than you do. learn to listen to it.
  • liz phair's 1993 album exile in guyville is still just as relevant to 20-something women as it was 22 years ago.
  • YOLOOOO (that's right).

assuming you're not a young'n, what was 28 like for you?