Saturday, September 12, 2020

5 things i love right now

1. the iced oatmilk latte from dunkin' donuts


PLEASE, DUNKIN', NEVER TAKE AWAY THE OAT MILK, I BEG OF YOU. i've been using oat milk lately to make chia pudding so i'm on a bit of a kick, and when i saw that i had a dunkin' perks free beverage reward to redeem, i spared no expense and went balls to the wall with their latest offering. i swear to god it was the best coffee beverage i've ever had? 

...to make sure it wasn't a fluke and because i couldn't stop thinking about it, i obviously had to get it the next morning and my opinion remains unchanged. the creaminess of the oat milk and the bite of the espresso are just unreal. and i got it with one sugar, so maybe that takes it over the top. try it and let me know what y'all think.

2. this song by mad wave, "caroline"


i don't know what it is about september, but i feel like historically, my spotify september playlists are my favorites. the songs on them are just, like, much better than those from other months for whatever reason. and every year, there are one or two tunes that really stand out to me and capture the feel of the month. "caroline" is that song for september 2020. it's got a great, chill groove and earworm chorus and the harmonica is an unexpected and cool touch. it sounds like apple picking, the first day you put on a scarf, and pulling down your mask on a coffee shop patio to take a sip of your cider. :(

3. this extremely accurate gemini meme


personally. attacked.

4. this new hgtv show, selling the big easy

when i visited new orleans with gleni nearly 7 years ago on one of the best vacations ever, i was immediately obsessed and have been thinking about going back ever since. it's historic, charming, colorful, mystical and magical and slightly spooky, and full of amazing food and drink. so basically, it's me in city form...heyyyo (along with st. augustine, florida and savannah, georgia). 

while that return trip obviously won't be happening any time extremely soon, i can now live vicariously through folks who are shopping for amazing shotgun-style houses in the french quarter thanks to this show. it's essentially just house hunters: new orleans, but so what, who cares?

i must say, though, that HGTV really dropped the ball on the show's name; so many catchier options! ownin' NOLA, french quarters, big easy digs, etc.  

5. rediscovering this performance of kurt vile's "bassackwards"

to me, no musician quite captures the spirit of autumn quite like KV. i mean, yeah, i listen to him excessively all year anyway, but i go nuts when that first cool breeze hits—i've probably played "jesus fever" 20+ times in the past week alone. this mini-documentary on youtube that came out last fall is beautiful and autumnal and worth a full watch if you have 20 minutes to spare, but i always come back to this porch performance of "bassackwards." the rain is pouring and it's so earnest and cozy and brings a tear to my eye every time. can i just go hang in a huge catskills house with kurt vile and bake pies? i feel like it would be a great time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

an ode to the neighborhood walk

Two girls in overalls, hair tied back, throwing cream-colored pottery on the wheel in their garage. A construction worker asleep on the job (or just on someone's porch). A woman working diligently on her laptop in a gingham sundress. A young couple enjoying cocktails in the shade of their deck, sharing a private moment in plain view.

A cookbook, The Food of Portugal, sitting unattended on a sidewalk table, pages browning. A collection of seashells artfully arranged—without context—on a front stoop. Distressed and tattered mauve loveseats on the curb, looking mostly in vain for a new home. Abandoned bikes in the front yard, worn out from a long day of visits to ice cream stands and friends' houses.

Some days, when there's a bit of a breeze and it's slightly overcast and the soundtrack in my headphones is just right, it feels like strolling through a storybook. Ivy climbing up stone facades, technicolor flowers blooming cheerfully, wild rabbits hopping through secret backyard gardens, vibrantly painted doors, tabby cats lounging in dappled sunlight, Little Free Libraries filled with treasures, regal Victorian turrets, the scent of fragrant garlic or freshly laundered sheets wafting out from window screens and hinting at the stories unfolding behind them. Each home its own novel, me making notes in the margins. Even the unpleasant blare of a clarinet or sour note on a piano is rendered oh-so-charming because it means that there's a very determined young person trying in earnest to learn a musical instrument, and you can't not love that. Plus, it's only in passing. If I lived downstairs, I'm sure it would be far less endearing.

My imagination goes wild; the sight of a lush, leafy overhead trellis on someone's deck has me planning dinner parties with red wine and twinkly lights and charcuterie. A stranger's hammock invites me to curl up with a book until I'm lulled to sleep by that gentle rocking motion. A bright purple or pink triple-decker simply has to house an eccentric creative that wears long paisley skirts and has at least 30 houseplants and an art studio in the attic. You see, I'm the type of person that goes to open houses for fun, even when I'm blissfully happy in my current digs. The variety of decor, energies, and room layouts do wonders to inspire me to incorporate new ideas into my own home—or just nail down the specific vibe I'm going for next. So when I can't actually go inside, my brain is more than happy to fill in the specifics based on a few exterior cues.

And in this strange, surreal chapter when my world has become extremely small and travel is largely limited to the places I can walk and drive, there's something to be said for the understated, comforting magic of the world right outside of my door.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

5 things i love right now

1. this song by before the king, "low expectations" (and the music video)



this tune is a total summer bop, no question about it. but what's even more fun is this video. i'm going to put this man on my vision board because he embodies my exact favorite type of energy in a person. i guarantee you that this guy dances like a goofball at weddings. he's the fun stranger you meet at a music festival or on vacation or at the bar that you end up hanging out all night with and that makes the whole experience better. he's the absolute opposite of a "bump on a log" aka my LEAST favorite type of person. okay, i'm obviously projecting here, but you get what i'm saying. crank it up!

2. the baby-sitter's club on netflix



like many of my fellow '90s children, i grew up devouring the entire baby-sitters club series by ann m. martin (and even the spinoff, the california diaries—anyone remember that? bueller?), but i was still a little wary when i heard about the tv series and was thinking it would be a girl meets world situation where it's, uh, geared toward young'ns rather than the folks like me who remember the original. i was pleasantly surprised to find that it bridges the gap; i thought it was accessible for all ages, but i didn't feel elderly watching it—except when i realized alicia silverstone was playing kristy's mom. yes, we're that old, guys! they kept the storylines pretty faithful to the books while adding a modern twist, which was nice, too. also, claudia's style is still so fiiiiire.

3. random people's retro home videos

one of my favorite quarantine discoveries has been old footage from the '60s, '70s, and '80s on youtube. it's a beautiful, hilarious treasure trove of human experience! in particular, this day in the life of two bill-and-ted-esque hooligans is just delightful:



there's also this slice of life from a 7-11 in 1987:



great stuff.

4. anthony kiedis' autobiography, scar tissue



i've never been particularly attached to the red hot chili peppers—though, as you may have seen recently on twitter, anthony kiedis in the "under the bridge" video was my first celebrity crush when i was around five. the long hair, the tattoos, the lack of shirt, and the running all burned themselves into my brain in a most favorable manner back then. and i'm also low-key fascinated and obsessed with john frusciante because he's a fucking insane player. i'm aware that RHCP are one of those bands that get a lot of hate and shit by music critics and snobby fans; some justifiably so, some not IMO. i personally enjoy quite a bit of their stuff, though there's certainly a major nostalgia factor there. i can still close my eyes and see myself in my friend's den in 1999, watching the "around the world" video because MTV played it a bazillion times a day.

anyway, this book came out in 2004 but i'm on the waitlist for flea's autobiography, so i figured i'd just go on a chili peppers binge and bang this one out too. despite not being super into the band, on a personal level, it's actually a pretty fascinating peek behind the curtain of this musician who's been in the periphery of my life for so long. plus, beyond the standard sex, drugs (and drugs, and drugs) and rock 'n roll, there's a lot of great gossip and dirt, which is always fun with a book of this kind. really engaging so far.

oh! one weird thing i do is try and determine my top five songs for any "legendary" rock band, and i realized i hadn't for the chilis, so here goes. it's quite random. 1. knock me down 2. can't stop 3. soul to squeeze 4. scar tissue 5. fortune faded. i'd love to debate if anyone has the urge. and despite being the best song, "knock me down" has the dumbest, worst, most tacky 1989 video everrrrr.



5.  this converted dairy barn in rhode island




not a bad place to be stuck at home, i'd reckon.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

some ideas for the most boring summer ever

remember when we all thought that things would be "back to normal" by now? LOL. granted, i'm currently writing to you from the parking lot patio of my favorite coffee shop because i had to get out of my damn house, so that's progress i suppose. but with no concerts, festivals, movie theater visits, or big trips on the horizon, it's going to be a loooong, pretty lame summer. but! all is not lost. i'm tapping into my unsinkable optimism and determined to make the best of it. here are some of my plans. i'd love to hear yours! especially if it involves inviting me to a pool party and/or one of the martha's vineyard gingerbread cottages.

1. take a day trip

yeah, the bathroom sitch is a little precarious, but i feel like this is still a possibility. if you're near a cute little town or seaside village of some sort, make a day of it and explore a new place near you.

2. try your hand at gardening

i meeeean, if i can do it, anyone can! so far, i'm growing tomatoes, chives, thyme, basil (purple and green), banana peppers, and climbing beans on my deck. we'll see if they all make it through the summer, but i'm feeling good so far. here's my setup:


3. have a patio dinner/drink (at a safe distance)

your mileage may vary, and i haven't ventured out to a restaurant patio quite yet, but i'm personally looking forward to enjoying dinner with a friend al fresco soon and feel fairly comfortable about it depending on the place's seating set-up. another option that i have tried: grabbing takeout and having a pal over to enjoy it on your own deck! almost as good.

4. make your house look really cute




i already wanted to marry my apartment and have like, 10,000 of its babies, but i've really kicked my love affair into high gear now that i'm spending so much time at home. my main project is a gallery wall, which i'm almost done with (an example of one is above if you're unfamiliar) and i'm so excited about it. also, one of the few good things about facebook is that it probably has a "free stuff" group for your town/city. i've gotten a bunch of great new items fo' free from mine, including an adorable yellow table, an aloe plant, and turkish coffee set. and as i was writing this, i saw that my upstairs neighbor, who's moving, put some stuff out front and i just snagged these great little tchotchkes. yessss!


5. go fruit-picking



it's pretty easy to keep your distance from other people, and if like me, you forgot what REAL/non-grocery store fruit tastes like, it's a nice reminder.

6. rewatch your favorite shows/movies

...and maybe find some new ones! when i'm in a less-than-great mood, the comfort of watching shows i love and have seen a billion times—lately, broad city, younger, workaholics, no reservations, and seinfeld—never fails to cheer me up. last week, i discovered being erica on hulu, thanks to the recommendation of a writer i follow, and i'm obsessed! it's one of those time-travel drama series i'm a sucker for, a la hindsight (which met its demise way too soon). this scratches that itch and i'm so happy i found it.

7. go wandering

walking has NOT been cancelled, thank god! i've been very much enjoying my daily neighborhood walks. and last weekend, i actually drove into kendall square on sunday so i could park for free/without dealing with meters and touching things, walked into the city, and spent the afternoon strolling around. aside from wearing a mask, it felt almost like the good ol' days!

8. have a picnic



who doesn't love a good old-fashioned picnic? a handful of years ago, my friend and i bought a pre-packed basket from this hotel restaurant that came with wine, cheese, charcuterie, crostini, and boston cream pies in little jars and we ate it in boston common and sipped our wine covertly out of plastic cups and it was adorable. i really wish they were still doing that this year (i just checked and they are not), but i'm hoping to recreate this experience at some point because it was just lovely.

9. make a summer playlist

thank god for music, man. as is tradition, i whipped up a playlist of new and old tunes to get me through the dog days.

10. go to a drive-in movie

can you believe i've never been to one, even pre-pandemic? i'm bound and determined to make it happen now that it's en vogue.

11. read!

on the plus side, i've read more books this year than i have in so very long; i think i'm on #10 now!

12. stock up your bar cart (and perfect a cocktail or two)



sort of related to making your home look cute...get that home bar cart ready to rock. i was inspired to get mine in shape after watching like 1,000 of the apartment therapy tour videos and noting that the bar cart just seemed to make everyone who possessed one seem like a real, live adult.

13. take a hike

you'll feel in touch with nature AND accomplished.

14. whip up a summer dessert or three



not only is it a great distraction and quite therapeutic, but you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor when you're done! i made this cinnamon ice cream a couple weeks ago and have a whole bunch of other light and easy desserts on the docket.

RELATED: hit up an ice cream stand for a sundae or root beer float.

15. take an aimless drive at night

queue up that playlist and just cruise around. it's the little things right now. it really is.

Monday, May 25, 2020

what i've been watching lately

i guess i've been on a hulu tear because not a single one of these is on netflix!

stella's last weekend
6.5/10




an entertaining little indie drama. sure, there are some real heavy-handed scenes (the arcade, oof) and alex wolff's character can be way too much at times (nat is great, though!), but stella's last weekend is a lovely update to the "two brothers in love with the same girl" plot—starring actual brothers and their mom!—with some funny dialogue and poignant moments.

high fidelity
8/10



loved it! zoe kravitz was the perfect casting choice to turn the '90s classic on its head and give it a fresh spin in TV form—plus a dose of much-needed girl power. the supporting characters were all fabulous, the music references were solid, and most importantly, the writers did a fantastic job of really nailing the deeply flawed, unlikeable nature of rob's character in the book and movie.

in a relationship
7/10





i tend to gravitate toward these kind of dramatic, romantic indie movies a la peter and vandy, a case of you, in your eyes, and hello i must be going, and in a relationship continued in that tradition. emma roberts and michael angarano, whom i love, star as that couple who has been dating forever but also hate each other and fight all the time and you don't understand while they're still together. meanwhile, matt and willa are just starting to date. a highly relatable, realistic, and modern look at relationships.

little fires everywhere
8/10




full disclosure that i never read the book, but man, the series was insanely captivating and i couldn't wait for the new episode each week. the plot centers on the intersecting lives of two women's families in a small ohio town, both of whom are shady in their own ways, making it hard to know who to trust. and also, it's set in the late-90s so the music is on point.

big time adolescence
7.5/10



it has taken me a while to admit that i have enormous dirtbag crushes on both pete davidson and machine gun kelly; more MGK than pete, but they're both hilarious and attractive in that questionable "late-20s/early 30s stoner you meet at a skatepark" kind of way aka MY KRYPTONITE. but i digress. big time adolescence is a coming-of-age comedy/drama with a pretty unique plot: a teenager bonds with his older sister's boyfriend (played by pete), and their friendship continues even after the two break up. machine gun kelly is pete's best friend, and sex, drugs, and hijinks ensue.

isn't it romantic
7/10




honestly, i enjoyed this way more than i expected to. sometimes, you just need a dumb, silly, feel-good rom-com and this one totally delivers. rebel wilson stars as a down-on-her-luck NYC woman who's always been overlooked by guys she's into...until she gets knocked unconscious in the subway and her life turns into an over-the-top, fantastical romantic comedy—complete with cliches like her stoner neighbor becoming her gay BFF and her apartment being magically updated to a luxurious penthouse (you just have to go with it). it kept me engaged the whole time and the cinematography was so aesthetically pleasing in that dreamy,  disney way. cute!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

5 things i love right now


1. this video about explaining the pandemic to your past self



imagine trying to prepare your january 2020 self for the absolute shitshow this year would become in just a matter of weeks. such a clever concept and i absolutely lost it at the walk part!


2. this new yorker piece about the strokes

...slash basically everything happening with the strokes right now, because we need them more than ever. their new and extremely perfectly-titled album the new abnormal, is their first in seven years. y'all, i love it so much i could cry. behind is this it and room on fire, it's probably tied with first impressions of earth and i might like it even more than that one, but i haven't decided yet. in particular, i've listened to "eternal summer" 2000 times since friday. each time, i close my eyes and start dancing like lena dunham in that GIRLS scene set to robyn. then, i imagine listening to it when this living nightmare is at least somewhat over (please, god, sometime this summer) with a cocktail in hand and surrounded by friends and weeping tears of gratitude for the simple pleasures in life and julian's impeccable falsetto.

there's also their hilarious zoom chat series, in which nick can't remember their songs, jules looks like he's in a teenage boy's room, fab is killing it with one liners while trapped in a painting, albert is albert, and nikolai doesn't speak. so good.

but oh yes, this piece! i love this piece. it explains all of the reasons i've loved the strokes since i was 16 and will continue to love them forever. an excerpt:

The Strokes’ music makes everything feel less high-stakes. This might be why it sounds so good in an emergency. Nothing is ever so unbearable that it can’t be shrugged off. People arrive and depart, relationships begin and fracture, things are lost, parties get boring—whatever.


3. this cute dress i might buy to celebrate when we can leave our houses again




4. this spice girls cover by the struts



along with friday night livestream living room concerts from my man kevin griffin (better than ezra), the struts' "sunday service" youtube episodes are getting me throooough the quarantine. and this unexpected (but delightful) cover of "stop" was something i didn't know i needed until it happened. those dance moves! can someone please tell me how the hell i remembered ALL of the words instantly when i probably haven't heard this song in over 20 years? brains are weird, bro.

5. this incredibly accurate tweet



Saturday, March 28, 2020

what do you want to do when this is over?

i miss this

how's everyone holding up? i'm an eternally optimistic person, but i'll be honest: i'm not great! it's nothing short of surreal that just a few weeks ago, i was concerned with the upcoming shows and social engagements on my calendar and deciding what new restaurants i wanted to check out. and i shudder to think about how on january 22, as i was in a lyft on the way to LAX to fly home from los angeles, i completely shrugged off my driver's comment about how they were starting to test travelers coming in from china that day for coronavirus. now, just a little more than two months later, down is up and up is down. i just got laid off with 74 other people from my company. i've cried at least once every day for the past couple weeks. and while i know things will eventually go back to normal, it's so, so hard to believe in the middle of it all.

i know i'm not alone, but i VERY quickly realized that my life revolves around being out and about with lots of people: concerts, dining out, traveling, shopping, cafes! i even miss the silly little things like the guy at dunkin' donuts who knows my order and the people i see on the bus every day. i do feel very fortunate that i've gotten to travel pretty extensively in the past decade, so i've been leaning on those memories hard and trying to think ahead to when i can make more in the future.

what are you going to do when this is over and we're let back into the wild again? i'll start!!
  • sit in a bustling coffee shop on a sunday morning with a croissant and cold brew
  • hug all my friends and family forever
  • dance my ass off to live music at all of the local venues (and honestly at this point, i'd even go to a stupid nightclub again!)
  • go thrifting and antiquing and record shopping
  • wander target and marshalls and tj maxx aimlessly
  • GO TO THE MALL
  • attend a music festival and be endlessly grateful for once to be surrounded by annoying, sweaty people
  • get dressed up and have all of the cocktails and a super fancy dinner at every single one of my favorite restaurants (my optimistic goal is to be able to celebrate my birthday this way on may 28)
  • window shop on newbury street
  • get a mani-pedi
  • sit in a dark movie theater eating popcorn
  • stroll through the west village in new york
  • see a broadway musical
  • get lost in a bookstore for hours
  • lay on hampton beach in new hampshire and stroll the stupid boardwalk and eat fried dough
  • travel to greece, portugal, australia, all of those charming villages in france, everywhere (a ways down the road, i know)
we'll get there. we will. i know it. and in the meantime, thank god for netflix.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

the best of: forgotten emails




i listened to an episode of the cut's podcast a couple months ago that was all about the ghosts of inboxes past: ancient emails, both received and sent. this is extremely my shit, obviously, so i went hunting for some gems. feel free to share your own in the comments!


WE HAVE:


a ridiculously tacky rejection email...

Tue, Jan 5, 2016, 1:06 PM


Hi Kim Windyka,

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me about our Copywriter position. You probably won’t like this news but we’ve got a few candidates who are a better match for the role and we’re confident one of them will find a new home here.

Please keep an eye out for other opportunities as you seem like someone we’d like onboard eventually.

Stay optimistic!

 --------------

a delightfully random exchange with a total stranger...

Sat, Aug 13, 2011, 10:09 AM

Hi,

I visited my sister in Portsmouth last week.  One day Amity and her Odd Showroom were featured in the daily newspaper in an article about how she designed a dress for a movie premiere, for the wife of the Cowboys and Aliens director.  Anyway, I went to the Odd Showroom and bought a shirt that day.  Then, this morning I did a quick Amity related Google and came across a blog of yours about how much you like Portsmouth and that you had stopped by her store.  You seem interesting so I thought I'd say hello.  I live in Calabasas, California.  Seems like you live in Florida.  I'm not sure.  I've really only spent about 3 minutes reading your various posts, but you caught my eye.

Aug 13, 2011, 11:21 AM

Hey, Ben!

Indeed, I actually moved to Orlando for grad school just about two weeks ago from Boston (though I'm originally from NH, hence my love for Portsmouth!). If I recall, I think that blog was from a few years back so that's funny that it still showed up! 
That's awesome news about Amity, I haven't been to the store in a couple years now but I always really liked it. What do you do out there in Calabasas?

Sat, Aug 13, 2011, 11:55 AM

Kim,

Amity's store was a bit of a scene that day since a lot of people were there fresh from reading the paper.
I'm an elementary school teacher.  I don't have a position for the fall.  This morning I'm studying for a test that will hopefully get me placed in a special ed classroom with the district here.
From where I am in Calabasas it is a short drive through the canyon to Malibu and Surfrider beach.  I always see this guy there with Florida plates and occasionally a Florida sweatshirt.  He runs a surfing camp.  He's great with the kids.  So, all summer that is what I think about when I think of Florida. 
What are you up to in grad school?  Do you like Florida so far?

Sat, Aug 13, 2011, 9:45 PM
Very cool, a few of my friends up in Boston are teachers - I could never have the patience!

Classes actually don't start for me until the 22nd so I'm in a bit of a weird limbo since I don't know anyone here yet, so I've just been exploring and trying to enjoy my time off before the work starts! I'll be studying mass communications, though. 

Florida is a total culture shock for sure, but that's mainly why I decided to give it a whirl...I figure now's the time to do something like this and it'll be an adventure if nothing else. I'm a bit homesick for New England but I guess that comes with the territory! 

Wed, Aug 17, 2011, 12:24 AM
I think mass communications is an exciting thing to be doing in grad school... I bet you could end up with some great jobs down the road.

I discovered lots of cool things the last couple hours after first finding out about the comedian Jordan Rubin, and then his podcast, and then an episode with Rob Delaney.  That led to exploring the Tweets they were reading.  I'm suddenly closer to signing up for Twitter.  Listening to the podcast was this interesting flurry of connections in discovering new funny people and funny comments and then hearing that this guy's wife is a teacher, and then all the sudden Twitter was suddenly seeming so funny and viable for me to follow on... So far the only Tweets on my radar over the last several years pretty much have been athlete related.  

Anyway, I remembered that you're on Twitter and I thought of that for a second.  Believe it or not I really didn't look at your Tweets or webpage for more than a few seconds the other day, but seeing stuff you "said" like the Kelly Rowland song Motivation, mentioning mmmbopping the Hanson brother and how he has fiddy kids, and you and your glass of wine jumped right out at me as you being someone with a good attitude!

Good luck working through new Floridaness and New England homesickness... and Have fun!
 --------------

the sweetest thanks-but-no-thanks from a literary agency (and the very FIRST i ever queried with my work!)

Mon, Aug 11, 2014, 12:53 PM
Dear Kim,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider your work.  We've had a chance to read and discuss [Potential Book Title], and while your stories are funny, clever, and smart, we’re sorry to say that we don't think it is right for us at this time. 

Publishing is a tough business, and the response of any individual agent—or indeed dozens of agents—is not necessarily a comment on the inherent value of the project. Every agent has individual tastes and individual business requirements. We wish you the best of luck in finding the right path to publication.
 
---------------

 a hilarious match.com proposal from a man in his 50s:

Date received: August 08, 2009
Subject: A compliment from DC
I don’t usually write to someone who is so much younger than myself, but you are seemingly much different than the average run of the mill young woman.  

Your feet seem so firmly planted on terra firma. You appear to be bright and cheerful and willing to stick your toe into new and exciting waters. I like curiosity in a person, and of course you are just lovely.

I am a cheerful, fit, fun, thoughtful, and emotionally well adjusted man. I take each day on its own merits. There is always something new to discover and a new path to follow wherever it might lead. I am a curious traveler, an innovative cook, a man whose talents are now given to writing fiction and whose favorite physical activities are tennis, hiking, biking, and gardening. Toss in a trip to a museum, the theater opera and you start to get a clear picture of the man behind the keyboard in cyberspace.

Yes, there is an age gap between us. However, somehow, a little voice tells me that you march to your own drummer; that you might be someone who is inclined toward living her life a little out of the ordinary box and be interested overcoming the great American taboo concerning older/younger friendships.

So...please do review my profile and if the spirit moves you, I'd love to hear back from you.

Ciao bella,

Steve
 ------------------

an urgent, very 2010 plea from a friend:

Wed, Jan 27, 2010, 3:45 PM


via a twist of fate, I now have a burned copy of Ke$ha's album.  you need to hear "party at a rich dude's house"
------------------

an epic AIM conversation i saved, in which a friend and i were having the time of our lives coming up with roller derby names:


alloverober (1:33:07 PM): Julia Rob-hurts
polkadotpanic (1:33:10 PM): hahahaha
alloverober (1:33:50 PM): are there any guys?
polkadotpanic (1:33:52 PM): nope
alloverober (1:33:53 PM): Bruise Willis
polkadotpanic (1:33:56 PM): hahah
polkadotpanic (1:33:58 PM): i already decided
polkadotpanic (1:34:00 PM): my name
polkadotpanic (1:34:06 PM): will be punchy bruiser
alloverober (1:34:09 PM): haha
alloverober (1:34:11 PM): thats good
alloverober (1:34:40 PM): The Brady Punch
polkadotpanic (1:34:43 PM): hahaha
polkadotpanic (1:34:49 PM): i'm trying to think of a lindsay lohan one
alloverober (1:35:06 PM): Lindsey Lowhands
alloverober (1:35:08 PM): please
polkadotpanic (1:35:08 PM): hahah
alloverober (1:35:13 PM): you're better than that
alloverober (1:35:14 PM): ha
polkadotpanic (1:35:16 PM): true
polkadotpanic (1:35:34 PM): Jennifer Harm-her
alloverober (1:36:44 PM): HA
alloverober (1:37:53 PM): Jessica Elbow
alloverober (1:38:29 PM): Jessical Hell-ba?
polkadotpanic (1:38:45 PM): lol, hmmm yeah that second one works better i think
alloverober (1:40:53 PM): Hit-Me Spears?
polkadotpanic (1:40:56 PM): hahahah
polkadotpanic (1:40:58 PM): yes
alloverober (1:43:01 PM): Bette Hitler
alloverober (1:43:03 PM): haha
alloverober (1:43:04 PM): too far?
polkadotpanic (1:43:06 PM): hahaha
polkadotpanic (1:43:08 PM): lil' bit
alloverober (1:43:52 PM): Dionne War-Wack
polkadotpanic (1:43:56 PM): hahahaha
polkadotpanic (1:43:57 PM): love it
polkadotpanic (1:44:37 PM): Paula Ab-duel
polkadotpanic (1:44:45 PM): though that's hard when it's just spoken
polkadotpanic (1:44:45 PM): haha
polkadotpanic (1:46:02 PM): Pummel-a Anderson
alloverober (1:46:12 PM): NICE!
polkadotpanic (1:46:17 PM): hahaha
polkadotpanic (1:51:22 PM): the best one i read yesterday
polkadotpanic (1:51:29 PM): was "sandra day o'clobber"
alloverober (1:53:14 PM): haha
alloverober (1:53:15 PM): ha
polkadotpanic (1:54:05 PM): so good
polkadotpanic (1:54:23 PM): Kicki Lake
alloverober (1:54:36 PM): haha
alloverober (1:54:43 PM): i was just trying to think of one for her
polkadotpanic (1:54:53 PM): yeah right
polkadotpanic (1:54:53 PM): hahaha
polkadotpanic (1:57:29 PM): Katherine Hata-Jones
alloverober (1:57:42 PM): thats good
polkadotpanic (1:57:42 PM): or Catherine
alloverober (1:57:43 PM): real good
polkadotpanic (1:57:44 PM): whatever it is
polkadotpanic (1:57:48 PM): hahaha
polkadotpanic (1:57:51 PM): i could do this all day
polkadotpanic (1:57:54 PM): and might
polkadotpanic (1:58:22 PM): Florence Fightengale
alloverober (1:58:25 PM): haha
alloverober (1:58:28 PM): haa
alloverober (1:58:34 PM): you've found your calling.
polkadotpanic (1:58:41 PM): i may have.
alloverober (2:00:32 PM): got a meeting
alloverober (2:00:32 PM): but
alloverober (2:00:36 PM): Mary Choppins?
polkadotpanic (2:00:39 PM): hahhaha
polkadotpanic (2:00:40 PM): yes
alloverober (2:19:16 PM): HEY!
alloverober (2:19:18 PM): you there
polkadotpanic (2:19:22 PM): HELLO!
alloverober (2:19:27 PM): Erin Break-a-Bitch
polkadotpanic (2:19:32 PM): hahahahahaha
polkadotpanic (2:19:33 PM): AWESOME
polkadotpanic (2:19:38 PM): OR
polkadotpanic (2:19:44 PM): Clock-a-Bitch
alloverober (2:19:45 PM): Broke?
alloverober (2:19:49 PM): Clock
alloverober (2:19:49 PM): ha
alloverober (2:20:00 PM): send that one to Mikey
polkadotpanic (2:20:01 PM): good stuff
alloverober (2:20:02 PM): he'll love it
polkadotpanic (2:20:18 PM): sent
polkadotpanic (2:20:20 PM): he went to get lunch
polkadotpanic (2:20:26 PM): but he'll enjoy the brilliance when he returns
polkadotpanic (2:24:03 PM): Harmin' San Diego
alloverober (2:24:36 PM): NICE
alloverober (2:25:04 PM): Audrey Floorburns?
polkadotpanic (2:25:21 PM): hahaha
alloverober (2:25:26 PM): team name
alloverober (2:25:31 PM): Third Glock from the Sun
polkadotpanic (2:25:35 PM): hahaha
polkadotpanic (2:25:36 PM): nice
polkadotpanic (2:25:58 PM): The Smacks of Life
alloverober (2:26:15 PM): Groin Pains
alloverober (2:26:15 PM): haha
alloverober (2:26:17 PM): sorry!@
alloverober (2:26:19 PM): sorry!
alloverober (2:26:25 PM): couldnt resist
polkadotpanic (2:26:27 PM): hahahaha
alloverober (2:28:30 PM): Claire Hucks-Tables
polkadotpanic (2:28:35 PM): ahahahha
polkadotpanic (2:28:52 PM): "hate" is an easy one to use
polkadotpanic (2:28:54 PM): hatey perry
alloverober (2:28:57 PM): yeah
alloverober (2:29:03 PM): Hatey Benjamin
alloverober (2:29:04 PM): haha
polkadotpanic (2:29:07 PM): hahaha
polkadotpanic (2:29:14 PM): wait i NEED to find out what her derby name was
polkadotpanic (2:32:47 PM): Hilary Ruff
polkadotpanic (2:35:08 PM): janet hackson

 ------------------
 the best response to my craigslist post looking for a roommate:

Wed, Aug 25, 2010, 10:02 AM
Hi There,

My name is Regina and I'm a Flight attendant for jetblue airways of 5 years. I'm 28 years old. I live at _______ nowin boston. Just left my bf. I work about 15 days a month and gone alot!!!  My hobbies include, passion for skiing as I'm a serious skier and traveller. I spend a lot of time at the gym and runnning. I dont really drink much but may have a glass of wine on occasion. I like to cook as well!!! I'm in a motorcyle club as well and ride my bike whenever possile.  I'm clean and neat and like i said very laid back.  I do have a car and a motorcycle.  If we could work on the rent, since i would be part-time I could offer you guy buddy passes on jetblue as needed!!!  hello...great deal! I'm from KY orginally, and have plenty of refrences. I just broke up with my bf like i said and need to move on.. I;m  a great part-time roomate with not that much stuff, bed night stand tv, and need to get a small dresser and small storage for my ski gear as i ski on all
 on my off days and travel on them too 
Below is my resume for addt. info on me and attached pictures as well.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

5 things i love right now

1. this starbucks drink, the almondmilk honey flat white


it is RARE for me to be extremely into any starbucks drink (dunkin' 4 lyfe) but i'm making an exception for this absolutely delightful new beverage. lately, i've been in the bad habit of "needing" an afternoon coffee, and i'm no coffee snob, but our office machine is just unpalatable. can't do it. combine this with the fact that i try any and all new weird food and drink and here we are. it's a little creamy, a little sweet, a little nutty, and the espresso balances everything out nicely. plus, it's relatively healthy for a 'bucks drink, so it's got that going for it, too.

2. this singer, briston maroney



well...i've been into him since january and i know i've already turned a few of y'all onto this dude, but i'm still going strong, so i wanted to share the love. the first time i heard his latest, "steve's first bruise," i had one of those "where has this guy been all my life?!" moments and retroactively declared it my favorite song of 2019 (uh, to myself). it's one of those rare tunes that demands that you pay attention to it the whole way through, from the stark beginning to the raucous end and the rises and falls in between. the rest of his songs are actually quite a bit more low-key (i highly recommend "freakin' out on the interstate" and "small talk") but that voice! and the way he uses it! and he's only 21! go, briston, go.


3. this piece about being ghosted before being ghosted was a thing

so poignant. so perfect. chef's kiss.


4. this choreography set to harry styles' "adore you"



the only thing better than dancing to harry styles songs? watching really really good dancers dancing to harry styles songs, of course. so smooooth! and ugh, the chemistry between kaycee rice and sean lew. yes, when you watch these routines as much as i do, you start to know the dancers' names. it's fine.

5. these relaxing videos of people walking around cities in the rain 



so i never really understood the whole ASMR thing and still don't completely, but what i do know is that these videos i recently discovered of people walking around in the rain are soooo relaxing and pretty. i especially love this one in beacon hill, and then i read the comments from people all around the world talking about how beautiful it looks and my heart felt so full because it IS beautiful here! there are also some really good new york ones, too:

 





Saturday, January 25, 2020

4 days in LA



city of staaaaaars....sorry, i've been watching la la land clips since i got back and it's stuck in my head. sort of like last year's trip to charleston, i'd only been to LA once before in 2006 with my family. while it was fun, i didn't really like it then (and i still kind of don't, in general??) but i was in the mood for a glitzy glammy los angeles vacation and it completely delivered. i had such a good time and it was the perfect warm-weather winter getaway. let's get to it!

DAY 1:

my flight got in a little before noon but it took me almost two damn hours to get to my airbnb because i decided to avoid the supposed craziness of the LAX rideshare lot and save some bucks by taking the flyaway shuttle to union station and then hailing a lyft from there. pretty sure it ended up taking the same amount of time, though, so...don't do that.

i knew it was gonna be good when, on the lyft ride, we passed by the hybrid donut/chinese food shop featured in the starcrawler video for "i love LA," a video i've inexplicably watched like 20 times at this point because its retro imagery is permanently lodged in my brain.

anyway, my airbnb—a cozy little studio attached to a spanish-style hillside home—was so freakin' cute! highly recommended if you're a solo traveler or couple planning a trip to LA.





those views, tho!
i know there are a lot of airbnb horror stories floating around lately, but i maintain that you can have some incredibly cool experiences (much cooler than a hotel) if you do your homework. like, sorry, but why would you spend $200+ a night for a sterile hotel when you can stay at this house's studio for DIRT CHEAP?


i set out to explore the neighborhood for the rest of the afternoon. silver lake is known as a funky haven for creative types: musicians, writers, indie actors, etc. etc., so i was excited to roam around. i grabbed an iced anise cookie latte from lamill coffee boutique, a beautiful cafe, to fuel my stroll, and embarked on a self-guided tour of the many *secret staircases*. they were really cool and provided amazing views, but god dang, they were steep!




after about an hour, i had enough of that and popped over to the thirsty crow to plot my evening over a half-priced old fashioned (happy hour, holla!). unpretentious with a relaxed neighborhood vibe, this was already seeming like my kind of bar. and when they started playing letters to cleo and the donnas, i was totally sold.



silver lake ended up being the perfect neighborhood for me to stay in. it was such a vibrant, cool area with all of these charming houses tucked into the hillside, friendly people, and lots of great restaurants, bars, and shops. also, they love elliott smith; not only did he shoot his famous figure 8 album cover here, but there's also a mural that pays tribute to musicians connected to silver lake, including him, beck, and silversun pickups.








for dinner, i had my sights set on l&e oyster bar, but they didn't open 'til 6 and ain't nobody got time for that (ok, only i didn't), so i sidled up to the bar at an intimate bistro called alimento, where i had a delicious spaghetti dish with dungeness crab, tomato, basil, and bottarga breadcrumb.


then, i decided to take my chances and head over to the first night of mandy moore's residency at the bootleg theater. you couldn't buy tickets in advance, the theater was tiny, and it was first come, first serve, but it was still an hour and a half before doors, so i felt like i might be okay. and i was. and once i got inside, my stupidity led to the coolest celebrity encounter!

the way the theater's set up, there's a really small bar room in the front (also with a stage) and the main room is through a doorway that seems like it's just for the bathroom. so, not having ever been there, i just assumed the small front room was where the show was taking place and sat down. like, there was even this display behind the stage:


i picked up a lucky penny on the ground...something that ALSO happened right before i met josh homme from queens of the stone age in new orleans and walked by c.c. deville from poison during my first trip to LA, WTF. as i'm sitting and wondering why there's only like, two other people in this room so far, i spot a blonde woman walking back toward the line from the bar. "she's pretty," i think to myself. then my brain processes her face and i realize holy shit, it's hilary duff! not only was i a huge lizzie mcguire fan, but younger is legit one of my favorite tv shows. so, i'd consider myself a fairly big hil stan.

of course, i didn't want to bother her, but....you best believe i was going to bother her!!! only 8 hours in, this was definitely going to be the best celebrity sighting of the trip and i wasn't throwing away my shot, dammit. running on pure adrenaline, i walked up to her and spewed something dumb about visiting from boston and being a huge fan and asked for a picture. the guy with her, who i didn't identify as her husband matthew koma until the next morning, offered to take it for us. not for nothing, but he sings on the only EDM song i really really like ("spectrum" by zedd), his new band, winnetka bowling league, was on my spotify playlist last month, and his jam with RAC, "cheap sunglasses," was on the playlist i made for this trip! so that was kind of exciting too.


oh yeah, and mandy moore was super fun! weirdly, i saw her twice in one day in 2007 when she did a couple of free concerts in boston, and this was her first show since that tour. crazy. her husband, taylor goldsmith of dawes, and power pop legend mike viola joined her, and she brought up some friends to perform at points, too. good stuff.


DAY 2:


sunday morning was spent in venice. on the way, my lyft driver regaled me with tales of seeing ben affleck and jennifer garner fighting in their car in front of a chipotle, ben walking by my driver's car while dramatically vaping, and my driver blurting out "you're even more handsome in person than i expected!" lolol. 



i had breakfast at gjusta, a big and airy bon appetit-recommended bakery and deli where i waited a million years to order. but it was so worth it, mainly because i actually heard one of the cashier dudes say "gnarly" without a hint of irony and i felt as if all of my dreams were coming true in that moment. check out my multigrain porridge waffles with berries and rhubarb:




then it was on to the beautiful venice canals, and bougie abbot kinney street, and venice beach, which is officially my new happy place. skateboarders and surfers and beggars with signs that read "feed me weed" and day-glo graffiti, it was a dream.








though i could have easily spent all day there, i walked up to santa monica and had lunch at dogtown coffee. if you know me, you know i'm obsessed with all things '70s skateboarding/z-boys/lords of dogtown, so what a freakin' treat it was to eat in a cafe housed in the old zephyr shop!! i had a kale salad with cheese, walnuts, and mushrooms, which was surprisingly delicious but too boring to bother taking a photo of, reminisced about my favorite heath ledger scene, took in the memorabilia that adorned the walls, and chuckled at the barefoot man sitting near me. there's also a fairly new mural that pays tribute to the late, great jay adams on the back of the building.



took a quick ride over to beverly hills, and in the approximately 15 minutes i was there, i walked past david spade (who i also LOVE) in sweats. at this point, i'm feeling like this trip is just #blessed. it happened too fast for me to bug him, which was probably for the best.


last year, i saw these crazy colorful lattes all over instagram that i traced back to the butcher, the baker, the cappuccino maker in west hollywood, and just had to get one for myself, so i met up with one of my longtime twitter friends, heather, for the first time in person to chat and try one. i wish that it was a bit sweeter, but would you look at those colors! we had a fab time and i was so glad we got to meet IRL.


and then began one of my favorite experiences of the trip. for some reason—maybe it was my good mood because i was on vacation—totally magical shit just seemed to keep happening from the minute i arrived in LA and didn't let up. note to self: try to be in vacation mode ALL the time.

i strolled the sunset strip, past the legendary hair band venues like the roxy and the rainbow bar and grill and the viper room, and down to dan tana's, my top dinner choice. i would not recommend this walk by yourself at night—it was only 15 minutes or so, but halfway through, i was like "well, shit. it is dark and this road is DESERTED and i should not have done this." people aren't kidding when they say LA is a driving city, but that just doesn't jibe with me and i couldn't get that through my thick skull, only taking lyfts when i absolutely had to. which was still a lot. anyway, the bar was packed at dan tana's, so i hoofed it over to nearby craig's and boy, i'm so glad i did!

i ordered the chicken paillard, which was absolutely awful and flavorless, but no matter. it was worth it for the fellow patrons at the bar. i began talking with a woman, joyce, who had been talking with two guys next to her, tom and jimmy. we became fast friends and when i mentioned that i was going to grab a drink at the chateau marmont before checking out a show at the comedy store, joyce said she wanted to join me. the boys got wind and were all "we're coming, too!"

sadly, the chateau was having a private party or some bull and we couldn't get in, so we strolled to the sunset trocadero lounge down the street and got happy hour martinis and had a grand ol' time together:



the next morning, still groggy and lying in bed, i googled tom, who mentioned he was a producer and had worked on i, tonya but didn't say much more. uhh, he's THE producer of i, tonya...and MARGOT ROBBIE'S FUCKING HUSBAND! i thought back to the night before when he stepped away to take a call from "his wife" and shortly thereafter had to leave...which suddenly all made sense because it was the night of the SAG awards. and also how he pointed at a billboard we saw for birds of prey and was like "we worked on that!" this town is wild, man. never know who you're going to go boozing with! such a cool, quintessentially LA experience. jimmy told me he wanted me to send him this blog post, but i'm not going to send it now that i have discovered his friend's identity. muahaha.

oh, and the comedy store show was great. i got to see erik griffin from workaholics, plus a bunch of other really funny dudes like chris spencer, adam ray, jay larson, and rick ingraham.

DAY 3:


i still cannot get over the truly insane law of attraction experience i had on monday morning. probably the craziest one yet. as i was walking from my airbnb to get some cold brew and almond coffee cake at dinosaur coffee, i decided to listen to this band, everybody else, who i loved back in the rooney/phantom planet era and whose sunny power pop always brings back fond memories of my first visit to LA. so i'm strolling along, bopping to EBE, get to the coffee shop and hang for a bit. as i'm leaving, i make eye contact with one of the FOUR other patrons in the entire place, and it's the fucking lead singer. what on god's green earth?! i seriously had to restrain myself from gasping in his face and/or saying "STOP IT" aloud. i'd love to see someone explain that away as coincidence 'cause ya. just. can't. absolutely bananas. can you imagine how freaked out he'd be if i was like "hey, i'm from boston and was just listening to some of your songs from 2005!" hahaha. that, my friends, is what i like to call a wink from the universe.

next up was a laurel canyon music history hiking tour, which was such a special experience–especially after recently watching the documentary echo in the canyon. it was a beautiful day and i was joined by three other people. our guide, joseph, lives in the canyon and is clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about all of the past and present happenings there. he also brought along his little yorkie pup, graham!



we saw the old residences of neil young, slash, john lennon, stephen stills, jim morrison, and a bunch of other '60s/'70s folks, and the current residence of steven tyler and some lesser-known musicians. while i'd never ever want to live in LA, if i ever fell into massive wealth, i could be persuaded to live up here. the vibe was so different than in the city and i really dug it. the canyon country store, where mama cass famously lived and jennifer aniston famously worked, was super cool, too.
jim morrison's house

she actually lived in the basement of the store!!
i grabbed lunch at joan's on third, a sleek cafe and bakery that would have been the perfect setting for a scene on the hills or in a nancy meyers movie, then wandered the original farmers market and the grove for a bit

idk what happened to the photo i took of joan's but this is the vibe



...did some vintage browsing on melrose, including at wasteland, from which i bought clothes 14 years ago that i still wear. no such luck this time, but it was fun to look!

because i felt like i haaaad to, i walked all the way up to the cesspool that is hollywood boulevard to stare at the chinese theatre and the stars on the walk of fame and was reminded of perhaps my favorite photo ever, from the previous LA trip (it's tom cruise's star hahaha):
please note TMZ HQ, bottom right
hehe
after like 20 minutes i needed to rid myself of the grossness of LA's times square and sought refuge right around the corner at a bar my friend recommended, lost property (thanks, sean!). so damn great. there was barely anyone in there, and i let the bartender, dan, whip up a bourbon-y concoction on the spot for me that involved amaretto, chartreuse, maybe scotch? i forget, but it was delicious. i also talked his ear off and got his whole backstory. again, can i just do this for a living? it's so fascinating to hear about how people ended up where they are and pick their brains about life. he also let me charge my phone. score!

ugh ugh ugh another disappointing dinner was had at delphine because all of the good places, including musso and frank's, were closed on monday/because of the holiday. it was extremely forgettable so there's no point in spending any time on it.

buuut then i went to this dope late-night bohemian coffee shop called the bourgeois pig and got the bourgeois latte with chocolate, hazelnut, and espresso and sat in this dark back room that looks like an enchanted forest and i forgot all about the bad dinner. :) :) :)

DAY 4:


basically everyone told me i had to go to sqirl (and that there was always a long line), so i headed over there for breakfast and i lucked out with a short wait, probably since it was a tuesday morning. i ordered the breakfast porridge with straus milk, toasted hazelnuts, blueberry rhubarb jam, and assorted fruit—apparently LA is very into porridge right now which is cool because SO AM I—and a cold brew. it was great! creamy and hearty and fruity and perfect.

from there, i lyfted into downtown to browse the last bookstore...



and OBVIOUSLY some (500) days of summer filming locations:
the bradbury building, where tom meets autumn
the million dollar theater, where they watch vagiant

i also stalked the park bench but it was all fenced off now. womp.


downtown LA is weird and mostly blah, but the broad is a super cool contemporary art museum i'd recommend. while the galleries were neat, i'd be lying if i didn't say my primary reason for visiting was to get a photo in that insane mirror room. unfortunately, i didn't realize that you had to put your name in and come back when it was your turn, so i'd already explored the entire museum and had nothing more to do by the time i got added to the queue. but because this trip was magic, the universe was all "i gotchu, girl," and this younger dude plops down next to me on the bench and asks me how long i'd been waiting. "just 20 minutes, and they told me it would be an hour and a half," i groaned, mentioning that i was getting nervous because i had to be up in burbank for the conan taping in a couple hours. "i think they're about to let me in," he says, just as he gets the text that it's his turn. "come on. we're getting you in!" he says. beckoning for me to tag along with him. and he did!! what an angel. done and done.


for lunch, i stopped into a huge food hall, grand central market, and dug into this incredible fried chicken sandwich at lucky bird. after a couple really bad meals in this city, i was so thankful things were turning around on the final day!

then it was time for conan! the whole experience was really smooth and fun, from the friendly warner brothers staff members to getting a little unintentional tour of the WB lot while walking to the studio. the taping went by so fast, but i'm so glad i went. i'd been to one talk show taping, live with kelly and michael at disney world some years back, and it's always so fascinating to see how things play out behind the scenes.

also, the guest was jeff freakin' goldblum, and i could literally watch him and conan shoot the shit for hours on end. i was so happy that pretty much everything we saw made it into the broadcast:


i booked it to the griffith observatory and caught the tail end of the sunset and pretended i was in la la land or whatever:
 


i closed things out with a glass of pinot grigio and a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs at little dom's, a classic italian spot in the los feliz neighborhood. i loved the cozy atmosphere and oooh-wee, those meatballs just hit the spot. this restaurant is also known for its celeb sightings, but i was already gluttonous with my good fortune thus far, so i was okay not spotting anyone.

while there were a few more things i wish i had time to fit in (the getty, dinner at musso and frank, and that drink at the chateau) i had a total blast and LA is such an exciting place to visit. i'm bound and determined to make sure that another 14 years doesn't pass before i return!