Monday, October 15, 2012


I'm not sure there's a season (for me) to stay in and watch movie and documentaries. It seems only appropriate when the leaves are falling and there's a slight breeze from the old windows creeping in. Honestly, I could stay in on any warm summer night if the movie was right. BUT, this is our human hibernation period so let's embrace it.

Netflix has encouraged my documentary fascination...A homeless man who befriends a flock of parrots in San Francisco? Yes, they have that story. The man who gave up the jelly belly empire right before it became said empire?  Yes, the candyman exists.Not THAT candyman (no link, he scares me!)

Here's a few recommendations:

I watched this when I was 12 and still have nightmares about Bob. I'm curious to see my adult reaction to this. So far, I'm 12 again.

Herb and Dorothy. They're just the sweetest.

Francesca Woodman was an artist beyond anyone's comprehension at the time she was alive. The family relationships were distant, artistically supportive, somewhat admirable, unemotional, cold..possibly misunderstood?

This was a critically praised documentary when it came out, and I just discovered it's on Netflix Instant. I don't remember the church's response to this coverup. I'm excited to see this one.

And you? What are your recommendations?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Double dippin'

My post title just made me think of dipping dots. I miss them. I only got them at cedar point and I haven't been there in years. Dipping dots is reason enough to go.

So It's winter in my house already.  Actually, it's fall and winter in my heart. I made a warm and healthy soup on my day off this afternoon and It got me excited for it all. Dee Dee assisted in the floor cleaning and was a peaceful companion all day.

 Since I contribute to a cooking blog with friends, I thought I'd share at both places.

Things you'll need:

Spinach(I used fresh)
one onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 carrots-chopped
3 large russett potatoes(or any of your choosing)-cubed
2 stalks celery
1/4 cup fresh parsley
salt and pepper
tablespoon turmeric
4 cups veggie stock
one bay leaf
touch of fresh lemon juice

I loved the coloring from the spinach and turmeric. It was a great way to use up all my market veggies from last week and the turmeric gave it a nice kick.

Cook garlic, onions and bay leaf for a few minutes. Add the remaining veggies(except spinach) and salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for about 5-6 min. Add veggie stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30-35 minutes and add spinach towards the end(last 15 minutes). After you remove the soup from the burner add the parsley and a touch of lemon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hazy Lazy

I'm in a sudafed cloud. It's a small miracle I'm typing actual words right now. You know twenty minutes after you take some medicine there's a window of opportunity to do things? I'm healed! I'll go vote, read, make some food. This is a mistake. It set me back what is hopefully just an extra day (fingers crossed). Do not seize that moment. Rest, friends. Rest.

Have I shared some Wendy Rene with you all before? Her sweet voice put me to bed earlier.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Down on the corner

Sometimes, as I'm sure many of you do(or maybe don't), I wander down several streets in my Detroit neighborhood. Sometimes it's to make myself aware of my somewhat sketchy neighborhood, a desire to see something new or maybe it's wander. Regardless, I tend to do this often and it brings me a small amount of enjoyment and satisfaction. Driving around the mostly gentrified section of South Corktown I saw a man exchange money for "goods" with two young teenage kids. Sun beaming down. 10:25 a.m.  It wasn't mind boggling but it made me think how often that happens in a day around Detroit. I got home and found today's article from Detroitblogger John. A day in detroit crime. Broken down by JUST murders, violent shootings and carjackings. Just one day. I thought I would pass this along.

Informative and heavy but here's something I enjoyed following that piece.

One of my favorite local music writers, Brian Smith, has a fantastic cover story on local musician Kenny Tudrick. His romantic imagery and style have always kept me reading. Check it out.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hey, I have a blog.

I'd love to claim that i'm so busy that i don't have time to blog. This is not true. However, I SHOULD be busy because I'm trying to nail down a job, pack, move, find an apartment, say goodbye to this weird and great city, etc. But, I'm currently staring at 6 boxes of dvds and vhs (a few of which were just bought: An Education, The Devil and Daniel Johnston and a live MC5 DVD). We like to add to our pile. And on and on and on....No hoarders, just collectors of all good things.

These are my kind of music stories. Singing about the road, alien life,the ambiguity of a possible disappearance and disappear. Do you know Jim Sullivan? He's new to my world. I found him in a half asleep daze last night. Coincidentally, I saw he was admired by a musician I admire so the search was on. His disappearance is not just intriguing, his voice is the kind you want to hear stories from.

This short NPR piece coupled with a visit to made for a good night of music.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oh to be home again..

You've left behind endless songs and stories for all of us. A beautiful ode to the land we call home. More importantly, you ended your life as you wanted: ramblin' on with a smile on your face. Thanks for making me love music more than I thought I ever could.

 Love to you, Levon.

Three years ago I watched this video. It's been a happy obsession ever since.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Droid brain

I'm back! Internet was down for a bit..

I forgot I had a blog for a quick second. I'm under the Instagram spell and I can't seem to to tear myself away enough to post videos and songs I've been loving. It is pretty awesome though, right? It's Facebook without the ranting and bitching and baby "success stories" of the day(oh look, little billy learned how to shit IN his diaper!). Social networking through personal photos seems to be the happier avenue these days(not that I don't like a good bitch/debate session on Facebook).

I'm moving back home in June and I feel rushed to see more of Maryland, specifically the shoreline. Sometimes you need to be pushed. There's more to this state than what I've seen. I'll share my daytrippin' with you soon!

I found an LP of rare tracks from Yemen(45s) compiled by Chris Menist. Qat, Coffee and Qambus("plant stimulant", coffee and a lute) has a more traditional sound than I had expected, but I love it nonetheless. Thank you to that thoughtful soul.

I was gonna share a track from that album but youtube failed me today :(
Instead, I'll share my favorite Jay/Kanye parody. It's been floating around for a long time so you've probably come across it at some point, but I love these girls and I can't get enough!

"She said Shea can we get married at the Straaaaand.."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trapped in the closet

You know when you go to the thrift store and you find that thing that you've been searching for forever? It's great, right? You know when you rent an apartment and you open the closet and you find old photographs in a worn out shoebox and you spend hours imagining who the photographer was, why they took them, etc? Sometimes. Well, imagine opening that shoebox and finding beautiful black and white photos of maybe Tina Turner, The Who...Yea, THAT'S A FIND.

After his photographer boss passed away, Dan Oppenheimer was responsible for sifting through his possessions. Read this and enjoy! P.S. James Taylor and Michael Caine. So Perfect.

Here are my small and pretty impressive finds from my day. I should add I've been looking for this particular drinking jar for a long time so, It's MY Tina Turner photo. Almost.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

She was a tomboy

I caught Kurt Vile at Ram's Head Live on Thursday night. Their opening act was an experimental band with a love of... fruit. So much so, the lead signer proceeded to eat a banana and perform with the peel laid gently on her head(she also shared an orange with the front row). Needless to say, we couldn't wait for Kurt Vile to hit the stage.

It was an intimate show with a small audience(thanks for inappropriately screaming weird comments during the pre-acoustic moments, dumb drunk girl). His natural and slightly awkward presence was really likeable and I loved every song.

Also, I spent today at the Smith College annual used book sale. Half off day! My modest stack is below. I'm hoping my Arabic language dictionary find will push me towards taking some classes soon.

**He didn't move much on stage so the pictures aren't very..dynamic. He DOES have lovely hair, drunk girl.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kiss my grits

I miss the no fuss restaurant experience. Small menus, cash only, honest to goodness waitstaff, simple and comforting foods. That's it.

Pete's Grill in the Waverly Neighborhood of Baltimore is just that. There's only about 25 seats, all counter top seating. Perfect place for greasy but stellar home fries, the paper and a kind waitstaff. I found my morning spot(only took 9 months) seven blocks from my place.

**There's a few shots from outside my yellow and black door. Stunning and colorful row homes which are a nice window view with a church dome in the distance. The trees are blooming and my neighbor with amazing garden fashion(I wish I could have gotten closer!) has been outside for three days.

Finally, This Martha Reeves and The Vandellas song is a classic, BUT I love how adorable Martha looks in this video. Go ahead girl.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Day with Charm

I realized my blog needed more personal photos. I also realized I wanted to photograph more of what I saw around Baltimore and all my other small road adventures and share them with you. Here's my day at Charmington's, courtesy of my new phone that makes my photo taking skills look pretty good(though, they are not). Enjoy!

A good spring afternoon. Even better when seen this way.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I woke on sunday morning

Sundays have become my favorite day. They don't resemble the miserable, depression filled days of high school signaling the sad end of the weekend. Nowadays, it's my one usual day off so, I treasure it. I visited South Philly last Sunday which, I have to say, has been my favorite east coast city thus far. A warm community feeling, families, culturally diverse, young types appropriately sprinkled about(minus the neon caps and mustaches), long standing Italian cafes and restaurants, street markets galore, etc. I could go on and on. And the food. The food is beyond delicious. Make it your next east coast stop(after Baltimore, of course).

Today was a little less adventurous, but sometimes that's needed. I bought a Turkish area rug(finally), made some red lentil soup, took a walk right before sunset, got the Sunday New York Times for free(score!), bought a cheap bus ticket for NYC and listened to some of my favorite tunes. Sundays have been good to me lately.

P.S. I'll miss walking to a cafe 5 blocks from my house.

A little Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson to end the day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lee and John

Yesterday was record release day and in the spirit of acquiring and finding new music, I'll try to update on anything worth looking out for.

I wasn't rushing to the record store for anything new, but I saw that Old/New soul singer, Lee Fields released his new album "Faithful Man". Old school voice..It's a stone cold thing.

This blog has been keeping me happily distracted lately. It helps me to appreciate the foods I prepare and to pay attention to the details.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Super, indeed.

So, it's Super Tuesday. Whoopadee doo! Mitt, Newt and Rick(those names are even more ridiculous when spoken in a row). Oh, and Ron. This may be the moment Mitt Romney catapults himself into the front runner position but, this ain't a political blog and I heard enough state by state updates on my drive to and from D.C. today. I'm quite certain you don't want to hear it either.

But today WAS super! I'm a little over zealous right now because I'm hopped up on some serious caffeine. I lost count of the number of espressos I consumed today at my Espresso lab course with Counter Culture Coffee. It was for the sake of education. We can't turn our backs on education. Delicious education. On a real note: I learned quite a bit about the history of this precious bean and the finest ways to consume, maintain and distribute. At the very least, I'm a little more confident in my skills and knowledge.

Super Tuesday is more importantly super because it's record release day. And today, Bruce's new album Wrecking Ball is out. Here's a clip from Jimmy Fallon with Bruce Springsteen and The Roots. Say what you will about Jimmy Fallon, but he's a genuine music fan and I dig that about him(not to mention his near perfect impressions). He's just as excited as the rest of us music nerds.

Bruce Springsteen Performs "E Street Shuffle" - Music - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I get asked to dinner

I made some pretty killer lentil soup the other night. I discovered that my mom has taught me wrong(I'm positive my mom only barely checks her email so this information will never get to her). She typically uses brown lentils, which i love, but The Lebanese got it right with red lentils. Red lentils, onions, garlic, veggie stock, cumin, salt, pepper and lemon and you have lebanese style lentil soup that you'll find at your nearest sweet little middle eastern spot. Easy.

Also, this is the best cookie I've ever had. THE BEST. It's a staple at the cafe and we love making it. It's better than any buttery chocolatey concoction you whipped up in your kitchen. Trust me. It's from the book, Vegan Cookies Invade your cookie jar. They will invade your hot cup of coffee too. eattt!

On another scattered thought, I decided to save most of my tax refund but give myself a little something(s). I need the music.

Here's a few vinyl selections that will find its way into my home..

Ran to the record store last Tuesday for Damien Jurado's new album. Matt is really happy to be photographed with Damien (mostly because his cannibal corpse t-shirt is peeking in)

The Louvin Brothers-Tragic Songs of Life (1956)

Kurt Vile-Smoke Ring for My Halo(2011)

Maybe a little more Donny Hathaway and An Eccentric Soul compilation from an old chicago soul label? It ain't cheap but I'm feeling frivolous and soulful.

Here's a little taste from Deno.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Voces Del Secuestro

Did you know there's a radio program strictly dedicated to kidnapped individuals in Colombia? A decade ago, around 3,000 people were kidnapped a year in Colombia. A YEAR. Meaning, around 8 people a day. That's an astounding number. According to the information I heard this afternoon on This American Life, that number has drastically dropped to around 800 a year. But back to the radio program...

Voces Del Secuestro is a Colombian radio program that caters to this very issue. It allows loved ones to leave messages for their taken family members to be played on the airwaves. They are prompted to be positive and cheery so as to lift the spirits of their loved one. No crying, weeping or messages of despair and loss. Are these messages delivered? How do they know their effort is worthwhile? According to reporter Annie Correal, it does make a difference. Her father was kidnapped by The FARC over a decade ago and held captive for 8 months. During his captivity, a guard gave him a small black radio that became his only source of companionship and information to the outside world. During that time he tuned in every week to Voces Del Secuestro and finally heard the comforting voices of his son and wife. Miss Correal catches up with her father on a recent episode of This American Life to understand his time away and learns that she never really understood how that experience has shaped her father today.

I've been thinking about the power of radio lately. How it used to be the main source of entertainment and vivid storytelling. How it allowed your imagination to be on the forefront, to run wild with colors and images and thoughts. It created a society of thinkers and artists and a head filled with endless ideas. I never thought of its comforting and life saving attributes. I was just talking to a friend about not listening to This American Life as much. It was exciting to sit in my car oustide of work this morning glued to the radio, eagerly waiting to hear what Annie Correal would say next.

The story originally surfaced here with the assistance of producer Jay Allison.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brighten my northern sky

Sometimes I wish I didn't live in the city. I wanna see some stars. A friend this past weekend told me his camping travels in a remote city outside of Tempe, Arizona were the best nights under the stars. Brighter than imaginable.

Enjoy these stars.

..and how could I forget! For the first time, Frida Kahlo's personal photos on Exhibit in Arlington, Virginia.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's time.

I returned from a long road trip from one of my favorite places. Home. I cleared my head, freely listened to my favorite music(I found an old hip hop mix),strained my back, saw the mountainous state of Pennsylvania covered in light snow and saw some dear people in my life. The universe was nice to me on the way back with a deep orange and red sunset in Maryland and a quick drive(I win. I made it back under 9 hours.)

I hope what I felt is a continuous push, some real motivation. I talk about starting my own business as a dream, a cloudy illusion that only happens and exists in that unreachable sense. It will become a reality and I need to start viewing it as such. Detroit really inspired me this time around. I saw people around me make, draw, shoot,play, sell, etc. Though my steps are small and behind the scenes, I'm eager for a hands on, concrete change. A small business course? Heavier research? It's time.

On a happy record release day note,Damien Jurado's Maraqopa is out today! I don't think I've been excited for a new record in years. New music lives again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy singles awareness day

Can someone send me a sweet little 3x4 valentine with Snoopy holding a little red heart? I miss those, even if they were forced on the entire class and you had to put your head down if you forgot to bring one in for someone(shit is rough).

On that note, enjoy these eclectic non-valentines courtesy of No one's bitter here.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Everybody knows about it

I caught the documentary, Freedom Songs: The music of the civil rights movement on PBS just now. Check your local listings. It was released in 2009 and PBS has been playing it on and off since then(I'm assuming more so this month). It was part of their yearly contribution gift and from what I saw, it's a fantastic collection of music and interviews. It's a look into the roots of freedom songs and a loud wake up call to the African American community to act whether it be loudly and violently or holding hands and waiting for a change to come.

***James Brown switching his show to a live CBS broadcast last minute is a pretty great story. People stayed home to watch and avoided the streets of Boston that evening.

From Phil Ochs to Mahalia Jackson and back to the black churches where 3 small girls singing impromptu stirred a well known civil rights activist. Guys, it's something to see and hear.

Remember when music really mattered? Yea.

It's been a long, long time coming.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Doo Doo Doo Doo

"I heard you call my were outside my door.."

This album is becoming closer to my heart everyday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Love and The Lovings

I'm looking forward to this documentary about well known interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving. Maybe I'll take a trip to NYC to see this exhibit.

I adore the porch photo. The nonverbal communication is undeniable. She's drained, he's attempting to stay uplifted and determined. What an exhaustive and disheartening process. To be in a sweet moment of love and then to be punished and forced to publicly defend it. I hope you can see this too.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thanks, Alan.

Alan Lomax, folk historian and one of the greatest collectors of folk music from around the world, has given us the ultimate gift: His collection!

I read this last night and haven't been able to stop listening. It's massive and authentic nature Is really a dream come true for folk music lovers and anyone looking for some new music to dig into. Along his extensive folk travels, Lomax discovered the hugely talented Mississippi country blues signer Fred McDowell (if you don't know, you will soon fall in love. see below.)

So, here's a peek. Thanks, Alan. And as a nice coincidence, happy birthday to you (January 31, 1915).

Rosalie Hill

Mississippi Fred McDowell

P.S. I spent the day in Washington D.C. on sunday for the first time. If you happen to go to the Adams Morgan neighborhood this is the spot for falafel (sorry, the website is awful)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All My Little Words

For the last 5 or 6 years, the purging process has been moving pretty rapidly. I'm not sure if it's from the onslaught of several hours of Hoarders marathons, or just a general sense that..I have too many things. Still a renter, it's a difficult and strenuous task to haul one million books and two million records. But, for all my purging, there are certain things I don't want to part with: The first record I bought with him, A chain my dad bought me that I'll never wear, etc. If I burned everything, at least I had those, I always thought. I did realize (just today) that in this purging period, I've lost a little meaning. I don't yearn to be overly sentimental, but I'd like it to exist in small compartments inside me with a little physical reminder. Not spilling over, but quietly existing, you know? Maybe a more selective and thoughtful purge is needed.

The other night at work a woman walked in with a wallet she had found in the parking lot in front of the cafe. She didn't want to bear the responsibility of it, so I told her we would keep it in hopes that this young girl would stop in. Her license photo looked familiar and I assumed she would come searching for it. I casually looked through to see if we could find a phone number. Nothing. Lots of checks, safeway coupons, a book of stamps, neatly organized receipts. This morning, I realized it was still sitting under the register. We flipped through it once more, a little more thorough. We found a tiny handwritten piece of paper : Brian R. with a phone number and a small black heart.

We called and he was relieved to know that it had popped up. "She's been worried about it and has been too busy to look around," he said.

"Wait, how did you know to call me?"

We mentioned that his phone number was written on a small piece of paper with his name.

"We've been dating for three years, I can't believe she kept that."

In your pocket, In your wallet.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dance Time...

With African Scream Contest. Enjoy. Don't break your bones.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I dream of Nebraska

Michael Shannon is really underrated(I need to start watching Boardwalk Empire). He's got a frightening and disturbing way about him...Those scars are from a dark past. Michael Shannon, don't look directly at me...eek.

He kinda scares the shit out of me.

Watching this trailer made me feel a little uneasy so naturally, I really wanna see it! His unrelenting dreams have taken over his quiet small town life and his bizarre reactions to them create doubt and fear with the people around him. But it may not be a product of his subconscious. Have you seen this yet? I'm drawn to it.


I really need to learn to play the harmonica already. At least just a few notes from Nebraska? I was reminded of my favorite album of his earlier today. Home recordings done so right. I don't want to minimize this album and call it roadtrip specific because it's more than that, but it's a must on any drive. Long or short.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I am what I eat. I am a latte.

I just finished watching the documentary, Food Matters(Is that Jewel?). So, yea, I'm scared as hell. I'm also really really hungry right now.

Not just scared, I feel duped. Here's why..

When I was 19 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I had a large celled tumor on my chest the size of a potato(doctor's words). Long story short, I freaked out but had an optimistic prognosis. They pumped me full of poisonous goodies and magical laser beams...No eyebrows. No appetite. But 8 months later I was Cancer clean and back to myself. I'm thankful I had a kind and good mannered doctor and my father's full insurance coverage. But no one really asked me the right questions. And no one really said what control I had over the situation or what steps I could take to preserve this new found "health".

After watching Food Matters I tried to remember all the conversations I had with any medical professional about what I should be eating, avoiding and doing. Nothing. No one mentioned the words, "Try to eat healthy or include such and such in your diet". They said, "Eat what you can and want because your appetite will be different." Okay then, I can easily eat chili cheese fries because it's delicious and accessible. I'm sure cancer cells love that.

I feel duped.

I was young and had no real motivation to take matters into my own hands. My disease had vanished so problem solved. Frankly, I wasn't educated enough on the matters of nutrition and physical health and it's affect on our minds(dementia?) and bodies. Or I shoved that information into a subconscious cave in my brain where I didn't have to admit that Ramen Noodles ARE bad. The fact is, it does matter. We do have control. If I took anything from this documentary it's the control we have on US. They can fuck up a burger at Wendy's and pump hormones into a tomato and call it food, but It's my choice to consume it.

Interesting and not so surprising fact: You know what Country has the lowest rate of cancer? Japan. Green tea, sea plants and fish oil. Just sayin'.

P.S. Take your daily multivitamin.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The grass is pretty okay.

I've been visiting more than usual lately. I think a friend of a friend mentioned their culture podcast and now I'm kinda hooked.

Even better, they've been sharing a ton of photos from selected time periods.
This one, I really got caught up in. Life. 80 years ago. Most, if not all, seem to be taken in France in the early 1930s. Everything seems poetic and tortured beautifully in black and white...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eat. Read. Rock &Roll.

So, 2012.

I'm not sure I will stick to any resolutions and I'm pretty sure every year I don't make any concrete ones.

I will say, I feel things will get a little better. I don't usually ride this positivity wave and it may not last but today, things will be better. I will finish all the books I received over the holidays and share them with friends, I'll be better about calling you(or calling you back) anddd I definitely promise to find new records that inspire me, a new job(fingers crossed) and see more of Michigan come summertime. These aren't resolutions, they're future small triumphs. Triumphs, resolutions..whatever.

So far, this is the good of 2012..

I'm loving the Carter Family before Miss June came along. I closed my eyes and was sitting in a church pew, wishing they wouldn't stop.

Chili and chocolate. In my coffee mug. Maybe in yours too? I'm happy to start making this at the cafe.

I used a variation of this recipe.

I added a pinch of chili powder and espresso and made this a spicy mocha. This shit has a backbone, beware! It's worth every sip.

When I was younger, I never read. Anything. I didn't enjoy it, but truthfully, I barely tried. My sister breezed through Little House on The Prairie in twenty minutes while I played basketball in my church dress. But I started in my 20s(eventually) and forced myself to keep going. I'm playing major catchup. I'm more than okay with that.

First book of the year. From New York's housing and racial divide to Kingston as THE home of hip-hop(someone used a mic before them). This is pretty comprehensive and you can tell Chang did his research. I'm excited to see what comes next.

..and the year goes on. Enjoy it.