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.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

5 things i love right now

1. this townhouse in harvard square

the exposed beams! the skylights! the loft! the private deck! not the price tag! 

2. this hip-hop dance routine

one of the few things that make me happier than actually dancing is watching people dance who are better than i am. i completely geek out on youtube choreography videos and discovered this one, set to usher's sexy "no limit," after i got sucked into yet another vortex the other day. as with most of my favorites, this one was shot at millennium dance complex in L.A., which makes sense because ... L.A. that chick in the front of the second group?! i yelled "get it, girl!" out loud in my apartment. which reminds me that i also absolutely love that the other dancers hoot and holler the entire time. now if you'll excuse me, i'm off to teach myself this choreography. i'll, uh, see y'all next year i guess.

3. this village voice article about bob dylan 

a bit of a long read, but so, so cool. basically midnight in paris in article form, and set in 1970s new york instead. can you imagine hanging out at a diner with bob dylan and patti smith and joan baez and joni mitchell? and hearing dylan create blood on the tracks because you were his upstairs neighbor? well, the author did. oh, and partied with norman mailer, too.

4.  this gilmore girls-inspired coffee club

i mostly just wish i had thought of this idea. indeed, this is a legit coffee and tea subscription service inspired by gilmore girls, with roast names like "luke's no-nonsense special," "stars hollow autumn festival," and "taylor doose's town meeting." i'm almost certain it's just like, green mountain coffee that's been relabeled, but these geniuses know their market and that we'll eat this shit up with a spoon from emily gilmore's expensive flatware collection. sigh. full disclosure that i haven't subscribed ... yet.

5. this cat flask

much like hooters restaurants, this flask is delightfully tacky yet unrefined. purrfect for covert winter boozin'.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

the best of texts from friends (and mom), part 4

in this edition, we have:

regrettable bar behavior:

makeout adventures that would make theodor geisel proud:

a full conversation that i never even had the chance to join:

unsolicited terrible tattoos:

incredulous observations:

epic sexts within a text (how meta):

online dating advice-seeking:

early bird special reports from mom:

and as always, dads:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

my fling with blue apron

isn't my kitchen beautiful? jk, i stole this from groupon

"it's easy," they said. "you'll love it!" they said. and by "they," i mean the evil marketing geniuses at blue apron, arguably the most popular meal delivery service. so, i took the plunge and signed up, hoping that it would inspire me to cook more and branch out in terms of my recipe repertoire. i lasted approximately a week and a half, and made three of the six meals they sent me before admitting defeat.

yes, i will admit that it was extremely nice to receive perfectly-portioned ingredients for all of the meals (seriously, even flour and butter). but there were so. many. ingredients. and so. many. steps. and i'm pretty sure i used all of the pots and pans in my apartment for each of the recipes. oh, they try to trick you into believing there are only six or so steps, but do not be fooled! each "step" is actually like 20. exhibit a:

aw hell naw!
don't get me wrong, the dinners were delicious. i made the beef & shishito pepper open-faced sandwiches:

and the crispy catfish with kale-farro salad and warm grape relish:

and the pimento cheeseburgers with collard greens and carrot slaw, which i forgot to take a picture of. they were all great, but it was way too much food for one person, and i'm not much of a leftovers girl, so the whole thing became pretty damn overwhelming (and slightly depressing) pretty fast.

not to mention, by the time i finished washing dishes, i felt less like a spunky, childless 30 year-old woman and more like a jaded soccer mom who was ready to feign a headache to her husband for the third night in a row. one mini-existential crisis and a freezer full of abandoned meals later, i gleefully canceled my subscription and was filled with indescribable relief. grubhub, i'm back, baby!

for couples and families, blue apron seems like it could be a great way to get more creative with meals and potentially save a very small amount of time and money on grocery shopping. however, if you're slicing and sauteing solo, i'd stick to your own devices. but, to paraphrase the old adage, better to have blue aproned and lost than never to have blue aproned at all.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

show review: diarrhea planet at the sinclair

the t-shirt i bought last night/the best t-shirt i'll ever own

gather 'round, kids ... let me tell you the story of a band called diarrhea planet, who have inspired air guitarists and drummers, made uptight prudes scowl at the mere mention of their name, and melted faces across the country.

i first discovered the six-piece revelation back in 2011ish, along with some of my other favorite nashville acts like natural child, JEFF the brotherhood, and pujol, but didn't witness their epic live show until last year. they played great scott, which is the size of a shoebox, and my friend and i were among the ... oh, four or so women in attendance. after having my mind completely blown by the four-guitar assault, i knew i couldn't go a full year without seeing them again.

this time around, they moved to my favorite venue in the area (the sinclair) and i was pleased to see that the female contingent was higher (though it was mostly just dutiful girlfriends ... sigh).

i arrived at the tail end of the first opener, local band salem wolves. they had great stage presence and solid chops, but weren't quite my cup of tea music-wise. straightforward, bad religion-esque punk would probably be the best way to describe them.

next up was western medication, a fellow nashville outfit and possibly my new favorite band. live, the vocals made me think of king tuff and white reaper, but not so much now that i'm listening to their album. and i still can't put my finger on what the music itself reminds me of. smith westerns, maybe? stone roses? it's driving me insane. regardless, i'm a big fan.

(update: i just read a youtube comment after i typed that paragraph about how they sound like smith westerns. can someone pay me for this?)

and finally, the main event ... the one, the only, the planet of diarrhea. if you haven't had the pleasure of experiencing one of their concerts, i can only liken it to a 45-minute roller coaster ride of stage-diving, fist-pumping, guitar-shredding goodness that leaves you wondering where you are and what just happened to you in its aftermath-- in the best way. the fact that nearly all of the members trade off vocal duties makes for an exciting and dynamic show as well. at one point, i was covered in beer (and god knows what else) and could not care less because i was headbanging and screaming "STREET RIP!" the power of diarrhea planet, man.

this wasn't my first rodeo, so i knew to stay as far as i could from the front of the crowd, where punk bros-a-plenty moshed the night away. 

guitarist jordan even got in on the action towards the end, simultaneously surfing and playing. siiiick.

if you're still not sold, i'll leave you with one of my favorite d-planet videos, a homage to nickelodeon classic pete and pete. aw yeah.