September Favorites

for your eyes

University of Vermont’s “Black Lives Matter” Flag– I am so proud of my school!!!! AND so pumped to have been mentioned in Rookiemag, one of my favorite things ever in early high school. A lot of controversy was sparked and the flag was stolen, but the Student Life Director and his wife painted a new one and subsequently flew it among our other flags once again. I couldn’t make the solidarity photo because of class, but how fucking cool is this:

14481999_1041465809236105_4907585551871562588_o

Lexie Lombard’s “what high schoolers are ACTUALLY wearing” Video– This video was the cutest thing I have ever seen, because everyone was so honest and unabashedly themselves. I have watched countless “What to wear back to school!” videos since I started watching YouTube, but Lexie has been putting out unbelievably real and entertaining content lately, and this is a gem.

MediaFile D.C.– When I was in D.C. I met the kindest, sweetest, smartest person ever- her name is Swetha, and she recently took a position as the technology writer for this publication. She hasn’t published anything yet, but the site is so interesting, my favorite article so far is this one released today on media bias. It’s not long and beaten to death with academic language, it’s quite accessible, which is nice.

France did a really cool thing!!!!

The second weekend in September was ArtHop, a very-Burlington Burlington event. I left with a vintage YSL necktie and images of organically flower-dyed $300 sleep shirts in my head. I discovered what exactly what Battery Street Jeans is, and I got to see this wonderful painting by Robert Gold, pictured below. It’s called NYC Starbucks. I really like it because of its pink light and how he played with the reflections of the outside and inside. Go Robert.IMG_4241.jpg

for your ears

Glass Animals’ How to Be a Human Being– My suite mates played this vinyl to death, and with good reason. I liked a few Glass Animals songs before, but this album is an absolute masterpiece… each song is about a person they met on their tours since their last album was released, which is super interesting, because I love people and each of the stories in the song lyrics are distinct and unconventional.

STRFKR released two new singles- Tape Machine and Open Your Eyes, a follow-up to earlier this year’s Never Ever. They’re all really good at getting me to walk places at 7 o’clock in the morning.

Fearless by Taylor Swift– I think the time where college feels most lit for me is when I come home from long days, lay in bed, work on homework and listen to this album really. loudly. Also, The Way I Loved You is one of the greatest songs of all time.

I’ve really been feeling Washed Out’s Paracosm lately, mostly because of the kind of hot/kind of not/early sunset weather we’re having. Yesterday I played It All Feels Right with the windows down on I-189 after a wrong turn around golden hour, and everything felt exactly as it sounded.

everything else

Shelburne Farms– During parent’s weekend, my family and I went down to Shelburne,  a beautiful suburb of Burlington with rolling hills, grassy knolls… the typical Vermont thing. They have an elementary schooling program which is kind of amazing. It’s a small class and kids learn sustainability and farm skills while getting a classical education, I have a friend who went who can totally vouch for that. And I had the best cheese ever-aged smoked cheddar cheese, the 6-9 month kind. I literally ate it off the block without Triscuits or anything while watching Gilmore Girls yesterday. It’s gone now!

Mac and Cheese and Chips- After a bad day, going down to my dorm’s cafe and getting a bowl of mac and cheese and Deep River kettle chips is heavenly. I don’t even bother getting a spoon; I use the chips to dip into the macaroni, and the cheese adheres the noodles to the chip, forgoing “compostable” utensils.

Running Your Fingers Across Flower Bushes- I came up with the perfect alternative to picking flowers (which is bad- let the flowers live #uvmstudentthings) which includes taking your bare hand and just running it across a flower bush. You get the same physical effect and your hands and wrists will smell good for like an hour. I swear, I do this whenever I pass one which is a lot.

Saxby’s– On a particularly rough early Sunday in D.C., I immediately hopped in an Uber to Georgetown and found this place while wandering up and down the side streets of Wisconsin Ave. I got a blueberry bagel with peanut butter and a caramel iced coffee. It saved my life and they even played that song from the 2000s- the “listen to your heart, before you tell him goodbye” one. It’s kind of like the Starbucks of the DMV/Philly area. Thanks, Saxby’s. Hoya saxa.

I have this romper in a different pattern from the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale and I’ve gotten compliments on it from every kind of person, it’s so soft and YOUR THIGHS DON’T CHAFE!!! I ordered it a size larger, and it’s honestly the most comfortable thing I own.

What Vermont Sounds Like in September, Featuring My Only Talent

Honey, sunshine, apples, misty mornings and sweltering afternoons, colorful pens, picnic blankets. Laying on a huge outcropping of rock feeling the breeze blow by you, but still soaking up the last of the sunlight before it disappears behind the trees. Eyes closed. Adjustment. Peanut butter and banana toast. COFFEE. Walking around a city when it’s kind of empty and the sunlight is fading. A cold beach day.img_4273

A lot of people think writing can describe everything. And I can attest to that, to an extent. But language, as much as I am fascinated by it, is so limiting. Only the best writers can evoke feelings unable to be described. But musicians can, sometimes even without words. Any musician, with a heart and capacity to breathe. Making playlists for me is a form of organizing my emotions, like a creative vessel of therapy. It also creates an escape- I can go back to this space, this September, and recall what I was feeling, what my world looked like, smells and images. I remember what it felt like to be me at a given point in time.

I figure most people do not understand why music does this for me. Growing up has just been me being shocked time and again that people do not think the same way as me. Part of me wants to believe that everyone has music on repeat in their head. And when people ask me how I manage to remember 97% of song lyrics from everything I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what to tell them. My mind absorbs this kind of information. And it kind of feels stupid, like I should have a better talent. My only truly, naturally successful job path in life is to be one of those people that picks songs for movies. And even then, there’s a lot of corporate debate in that. But maybe I would like that? I don’t know.

Until then, I’ll just keep blending sounds together to make them vaguely resemble a place in time. Some people are really good at keeping diaries. Mine are playlists.

And compliments like “you just played the perfect music for that car ride,” or “your Soundcloud playlist is fire,” will always unintentionally speak to that place inside me that knows that this talent is special. And “that mixtape you made me was amazing, can you make me another?” – that is a question I will never tire of hearing.

 

 

 

 

Life Crisis Solved: Mayonnaise as a Concept is Gross But Society Makes it Seem Okay

The Help. The Secret Life of Bees. The Kitchen House. The books that have always comforted me and given me advice have always been about black women. More specifically, a white woman writing about black women pre-civil-rights-movement and their interactions with a sweet, endearing, non-racist white girl. None of the experiences told in these novels are remotely racially conscious, none of them truly celebrating black women. They beat the Magic Black Woman trope to a cringe-worthy death. So, once I understood this, I wasn’t sure why I didn’t immediately sell my copies and move onto some better literature.

And then I listened to Glass Animals for the first time. The winter going into 2015, I was spooning a thick fingertip-sized mound of eyeshadow onto my lid, blending, when I heard “fresh out of an icky, gooey womb / woozy youth / dopes up on her silky smooth perfume” from my iPhone speaker. “Peanut butter vibes,” “Mind my wicked words and tipsy topsy slurs,” “Tripping round the tree stumps in your summer smile,” alliteration, food and nature imagery, a voice like warm, fuzzy butter. I realized that it wasn’t the hollow experiences that I enjoyed. It was the food.

It was why I liked watching movies about the south with my dad. Always an aficionado of southern American culture, taking us to southern-themed restaurants and watching Sweet Home Alabama were among his favorite pastimes. As I grew older, learned what the confederate flag really meant, and the intricacies of American enslavement, I started to resent his favorite things. And even when I became a vegetarian, I couldn’t resist freshly made chicken and dumplings with grits pooling into warm dishes at the kitchen table. It reminded me of my favorite books; Aibileen’s chicken, August Boatwright’s love of honey. Lavinia learning the ways of the kitchen house. Why did I (literally) indulge in these narratives? It all made sense now. I love food.

Writing this is making me hungry. I want bananas and thick, creamy peanut butter with gelato for dessert. I want all of the wines they describe in the book I’m currently reading, “a rosy, yummy mess of a California sparkling wine. Drier than it was sweet,” and I’ve only had boxed wine and a few $5 bottles from the front of the package store. I want to watch the food network channel, Cupcake Wars specifically, and listen to them list the ingredients needed for the perfect lemon buttercream frosting. I want to be the girl Glass Animals describes in Season 2 Episode 3, “Leftover breakfast, cereal for lunch / she’s broken but she’s fun / my girl eats mayonnaise / from a jar while she’s getting blazed.” And I hate mayonnaise. I don’t really like weed. But they make it sound great.

A lot of things make sense now. How Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is my favorite movie. How I write down all of the restaurants I visit, and why I need to have the Zagat app on my phone even though I can’t afford to eat more than cough drops at this point in my life. TLDR: I can’t wait to go to the farmer’s market tomorrow morning.