MY, OH, MY IT’S BEEN TOO LONG

Hello, internet! My laptop charger broke and I was without my precious MacBook for nearly a month, but I’m back and better than ever. Other than that, life has been tremendous. Being without a computer was quite wonderful, honestly. It gave me time to do things other than stare at a screen for hours on end. So, I’m going to recommend some things that I enjoyed during my absence from the internet.

1. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

I finally read Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem (happy belated birthday to the truly inspirational Didion- she just turned 80 and is still as stylish and lovely as ever) and it blew me away. Her prose will make you want to be a better writer. It will also make you want to read everything she’s ever written.

2. Twin Peaks (TV series, 1990-1991)

Shamefully, it took me until 2014 to finally watch Twin Peaks in its entirety. It’s still haunting me. David Lynch has a way of doing that- peering into the darkest places and making you feel terror that shouldn’t exist outside of actual nightmares. The scenes with Bob have given me nightmares like nothing else.

3. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Yes, Please is so incredible and honest and my, God, we are lucky Amy Poehler exists in our lifetime. I suggest you read this one right away. It’ll make you want to take the world by storm and experience everything.

3. The One I Love, 2014, dir. Charlie McDowell

I saw the trailer, which reveals little but intrigues a lot, and was transfixed. Mark Duplass tweeted that it was finally available on Netflix and I watched it immediately. You need to do the same before you hear anything about the plot. It’s the most uniquely original film I’ve seen in quite some time. I was entertained from the first scene. It should also be noted that Ted Danson is in this for little bit, which makes The One I Love well worth watching just for that. His stepson, Charlie McDowell (son of Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen), directed the movie, and Mary Steenburgen’s voice is featured in one scene. It’s a family affair!

5. “Birthday” by Selena Gomez
My friend Rachel heard this song while shopping in Forever 21 and immediately reported back to me on how girly and fun it is. It’s been our car ride go-to, and it really is the most girly and the most fun.

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NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL

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Today, I pre-ordered a signed copy of Lena Dunham’s upcoming book, Not That Kind of Girl. I am so stinkin’ excited about it, and the fact that it’s SIGNED BY ONE OF MY IDOLS is just insane. I can’t wait to read it. I’m a huge fan of Lena. I saw Tiny Furniture in 2010 and fell in love with her and how full of moxie she is. She’s only 28 and she’s written and directed a feature film that was accepted into the Criterion Collection, written and directed a hugely successful (and excellent) show for HBO, and now she’s written a book that she was paid $3.7 million dollars for. She’s successful, she’s funny, she’s relatable, and she’s a hilarious role model for twenty-somethings everywhere. Her book will be a source of inspiration and a signal that we can have it all. Women in positions of power and success are starting to write more memoirs, and I want to take this time to discuss some memoirs and other non-fiction inspirational books by women that I love, and some that I’m excited to read.

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TO PORTLAND: I’VE LOVED YOU FROM AFAR

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I crave the Pacific Northwest. I’ve never been there. In fact, I’ve never set foot on land farther west than Mississippi. For some odd reason, though, still, I have a crush on the Pacific Northwest. 

It started when I was a sophomore in high school and I discovered Nirvana. 

“Kurt Cobain is from Seattle. It’s usually cold and rainy there. I need to be in Seattle” were sentences that ran through my mind on a regular basis. I thought Seattle to be awfully romantic, and I, of course, romanticize Kurt Cobain, it’s hard not to. Keep in mind, I was chin-deep in teen angst at the time and I thought the idea of sublime artistic suffering while watching the rain fall with a coffee mug in hand and blanket wrapped around my cold, frail (I say frail because in this particular daydream, I was a starving artist. I am by no means frail, mind you) body, listening to the emotional strain of Kurt Cobain singing over and over again, Something in the way… Something in the way… was the direction my life needed to be heading toward. I decided I wanted to be a music producer and after college, I would work for SubPop records. Easy as that. 

The teen-angst ended, luckily it didn’t involve me doing anything my parents would disapprove of- I basically just listened to a lot of 90s grunge and discovered the indie scene and art house films. While I still love Nirvana, the complete obsession died out, too. I forgot about the PNW for a while and focused on other things, like boys, high school melodrama, and my budding music production career. Once in college, I realized music production was not for me and I pursued graphic design, which was very much for me. I graduated from high school in 2010, and then, in 2011, Portlandia premiered.

There’s something about the name, Portland. The syllables hit hard, almost like a staccato, before exiting the mouth. Port-land. Elliott Smith was from Portland. Mark Rothko was from Portland. Gus van Sant is from Portland. Portland. I developed an idealistic perception of this dream land where I wanted so badly to be. In Portland, I would be free to be a liberal without having to explain myself and argue with anyone who asked my opinions on political and social issues. In Portland, I could say proudly that I’m a feminist and support gay rights without being accused of being a lesbian- the two don’t coincide, guys! Straight people can support gays and lesbians, too! Look at me, I’m straight, I think everyone should be able to get married! In Portland, I would never be more than 5 minutes from a record store. In Portland, I could dye my hair lilac and receive compliments instead of dirty looks. In Portland, my boyfriend and I could ride bikes everywhere and have an adorable Siberian Husky named Ripper and a gray cat named Tattletail. In Portland, I could do anything I wanted and succeed, because I would be in Portland. 

It’s strange, isn’t it? It’s almost like I’ve become Jay Gatsby and Portland is my green light; my Daisy. The truth is, I know nothing about Portland. I’ve invented my idea of Portland. I’ve conjured it up completely on my own. Sure, I’ve done research and read PDX Blogs- I think I follow more Portland-area twitter accounts than I do Huntsville-area twitter accounts- but I’m okay with that. Because as long as I’m in Alabama, I’m going to continue dreaming about Portland, and maybe one day, I’ll get myself there. 

 

 

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: MARC JOHNS

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Marc Johns’ illustrations are, and I’m not afraid to say it because it’s completely true, the best. I adore them so much that I ordered a signed 8×10 of Marc Johns’ Orange Reading David Foster Wallace (pictured after the break below) and I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival. If you’re looking for art that makes you giggle and feel inspired and possibly revives the flame of creativity inside you that is slowly flickering out, Marc Johns is the way to go.

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MIXTAPE: EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS

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It’s a dreary Monday here in Alabama, and I needed a pick me up this morning in order to feel like it was even remotely possible to make it through this gloomy day. So, here’s a little playlist that will hopefully set you on the right foot this morning! Click through to listen via Spotify.

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THE BLOGMOPOLITAN QUIZ

The Blogmopolitan Quiz

Two Thirds Hazel, one of my favorite blogs, posts these really fun Cosmopolitan-style surveys every few months, and I figured since I have my own blog now, I’d post my responses to her quiz! I hope you all don’t have any trouble reading it (you’ll have to click on the image to enlarge it, sorry about that!). You can download this Blogmopolitan Quiz here, and you should! Post yours with your answers to your blog and leave a link in the comments. I would just love to read them all!