Shiny Thing: Leon Bridges

This album is getting heavy play at our house these days. If you get him started, Josh will marvel at the way it was recorded and describe to you the little details you might miss like, for example, that “they killed absolutely no transients on those drums…” (I assume this has more to do with production technique and less to do with whether or not any homeless people were harmed during the recording of the album.)  I will say much less insightful things like, “Singing, good. Music, nice.”

It is soulful, and out of a different time, and too busy being awesome to worry about a bunch of post-production “sanitizing.” It sounds real and a little raw… like music should. Your ears should hear it.

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Book Reports, Speed Dating Style

I usually like to write a little post to commemorate each book I read, but I’ve been reading through them pretty quickly these days and have a decent backlog of books to report on. No one wants to read that many book reports in quick succession, and I certainly don’t want to write them. So, the condensed version.

orangeisthenewblackOrange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman

Is it like the Netflix show? Yes and no. The setting (a woman’s prison) is the same, some of the challenges are the same, and you’ll recognize some characters. But the show is definitely dramatized for entertainment value.

Is the book better? Yes and no. They’re different enough that I feel like I can like them both for different reasons. The book is a much more serious, matter-of-fact account. The show is straight up dope, yo.

Do I recommend reading it? I do, though not with the most glowing of reviews. The subject matter is interesting and important, but the writing could be better. It’s not terrible by any means; it’s just not stellar either.

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DIY: Natural Honey Face Wash

Sometimes I smear honey on my face. Some people seem to believe this is a strange thing to do, but those people are wrong. It’s an amazing thing to do. Here’s why:

  • Honey gently removes dirt and impurities from your skin without removing the skin’s natural oils.
  • Honey has natural antibacterial properties that calm inflammation and help clear and prevent blemishes.
  • Honey is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs the moisture in the air, and helps skin stay hydrated.
  • Honey is a good source of antioxidants, helping to neutralize free-radicals on the skin.
  • The slight acidity of honey promotes tissue healing and regeneration.

In short: it makes your skin all glowy and super soft. (And tasty, I suppose, for as long as it’s actually on your face.)

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Reading Fiction: The First Bad Man

My first exposure to Miranda July was her public art project, Learning to Love You More. The project included a number of “assignments” that anyone could complete – things like “Reread your favorite book from the 5th grade” and “Make a child’s outfit in an adult size” and “Photograph a scar and write about it.”

Then came You and Me and Everyone We Know. And No One Belongs Here More than You. And so on, and so on. It has been something of a long-term love affair. So, you can imagine my delight at the publication of her first full-length novel, The First Bad Man.

If you are already a fan of Miranda July, you will love this book. It is as Miranda July as Miranda July gets. And maybe even a little more. It’s bizarre and awkward and uncomfortable and lonely and poignant and sad and laugh-out-loud hilarious. It’s all of the things that Miranda July does best, and she does them even best-er here.

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40 Days of Yoga, True Selves, and No Fear

I am participating in a 40-Day Yoga Journey with Kula Movement. Today marked day seven of the journey, and included our first group meet-up with all of the participants. We introduced ourselves, we chest-bumped, we partnered up with the person who will be our “buddy” for the remainder of the journey, and we set intentions.

My intention, expressed as an affirmation: I am my true self without fear.

There are certain areas of my life where I’ve been feeling beaten down and marginalized for too long. Instead of finding compassion or support, I’ve been finding the need to defend and justify the things I think and the way I feel. At first, I dealt with this by trying to behave closer to someone else’s expectations of me. But I’ve never been particularly good at that, and so gradually I found myself ceasing to care. Not ceasing to care about someone else’s expectations of me, but ceasing to care… at all. It happened gradually, and so I almost didn’t notice. But caring just became too exhausting. And that is a dangerous place to find oneself.

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