What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I just got back from a trip to Austin, TX! On the plane I listened to Norah Jones’ new album. The whole thing is really lovely, but, this was one of my favorites:

On my nightstand: Last week I blogged about my intent to put my writing first this year; to start the day creating art. As a part of this, I’m kicking off 41secwnbauleach writing session by reading a short passage from Barbara Abercrombie’s A Year of Writing Dangerously, 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement. Only twelve days in, but I’m loving it so far!

On my stove: Super, super simple slow cooker pork. We had frozen half a pork shoulder last month when we over-bought for pork mole (which I like to call Roast Beast around the holidays– because Dr. Seuss). Anyway, this week seemed like a good time to thaw it out, make some pulled-pork barbecue in the slow cooker, and try to hold on to our Texas vacation feeling just a bit longer. This recipe was easy and delicious!* We served with pickle slices and roasted potato wedges. (*Full disclosure: we skipped the green peppers, because we didn’t have them, and used a more vinegar-y sauce.)

So– what’s on in your world these days?

What’s On For the Holidays …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days. (Special Holiday Edition)

On My Holiday Playlist:

I’m more grateful than I’m ever really able to articulate for years of happy childhood memories. Not the least of which are Christmas seasons filled with family and friends. The first notes of this song bring all that back. A few years ago, I found my original scratched-up-sticks-on-several-tracks-vinyl copy. It’s perfectly imperfect and the absolute best way to kick off the season. Continue reading

What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: The other night I was looking for some music to listen to while Mike and I cooked dinner. I asked if he had any suggestions, and he threw out The Barenaked Ladies. Do you ever sort of forget about an album only to stumble on it again and be totally transported? Their album Stunt was on heavy rotation in the first apartment I lived in post-college, and Rock Spectacle was the first gift I gave Mike when we started dating some 15-some years ago. Listening makes me grateful for the memories, and simultaniously grateful for today.

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I’ve Been Trying to Do It Right

Last Friday night Mike and I went to see The Lumineers. The show was at an outdoor amphitheater and the evening could not have been any more perfect. Just a little heat from the day rising from the concrete and a cool breeze blowing those little hairs at the back of my neck that always slide out of the pile on top of my head. And if the temperature wasn’t enough to make me believe in the promise of fall around the corner, the moon hung low and full and orange in the sky. The band was everything I hoped for when I snapped up the tickets months ago: harmonies, and cellos, and accordions, and suspender wearing drummers, and powerful emotive vocals. And stories. Man, I love it when the songwriter gives a little of the “why” behind their words. And then there was the beer … Continue reading

What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I’ve been listening to a Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors station on Pandora a lot lately, which is how I discovered this Ben Rector song, The Men That Drive me Places. It’s stories, and music, and gratitude all in one little four-minute package. And as someone who spends a lot of time with Uber drivers, this really, really hits home. So much truth.

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I Still Believe in Tuesday Night Rock Shows

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This week I went to two concerts; one on Monday and one on Tuesday. My life isn’t always like this– there are plenty of weeks in which I attend zero concerts. However, many years ago, I promised myself that would never let the fact that I had to work the next day cause me to miss out on a show I really wanted to see (i.e., I’d go out on a school night). This week, there happened to be two such shows.

It’s a commitment I’m so grateful to have been able to keep, though I’ll admit it looks a little different from the vantage point of the later end of my 30s than it did in the early part of my 20s. Here are just a few of the those differences: Continue reading

Books & Brews: Courtship of the Cake / Ballast Point’s Calm Before the Storm

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Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a novel I love with a pint to sip while reading it, under the theory that there is a perfect beer to compliment every book.

This month I read Jessica Topper’s Courtship of the Cake. I’ll start with a warning – this book is going to make you want to eat cake. Even if you wouldn’t particularly list cake as your favorite dessert. Hummingbird Cake, loaded with fruit and spices and covered in a pineapple cream cheese frosting, yes please. It’s also going to make you want to get a massage. You’ll find yourself sitting on the stretch-y machine thing at the gym, thinking if only Dani were here with some essential oils to rub that spot between my shoulder blades, that would be so superior to this. That’s how well you get to know the characters in this book – so much so that you want them to hop off the pages and give you massages and bake you things. Continue reading

Heavy Metal, Spicy Cauliflower, & Perceptions

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There is a new bar in my neighborhood. It was opened by some of the members of the metal band GWAR. From what I understand their shows are equal parts performance art and rock show. GWAR Bar is a reflection of this: lights that are hand painted to look like eyeballs, a “blood” stain on the floor leading from the bar to the kitchen, Continue reading

On Belonging …

Sometimes I listen to music on my walk to work in the mornings. On the hottest days of summer I’ll listen to recordings of live shows and pretend I’m at a music festival, instead of thinking about how many sweaty blocks I have ahead of me. In the winter, focusing on music and lyrics gives me something to think about other than how cold my toes are despite the wool socks and boots. It’s a good distraction.

Sometimes it’s a lot more than that. Continue reading

Chicken Fried

Over the last couple weeks, while preparing to launch my latest book out into the world, I also decided it would be the perfect time to roll out the changes to my website that I have been planning for some time. This meant a lot of time spent in front of a computer, moving and tweaking words and images.

In the midst of all this one must take a break — lest one forget how to form words into coherent conversation without sounding like web copy. Continue reading