the feminine mystique

from Stellar, by Ignacio Torres

I’ve written ad nauseam about the trials and tribulations women face in their professional and personal lives. I am a woman, and the struggle is very real for me and my fellow females.

But today is International Women’s Day, so for this one day of the 366 days this year, I will not tear my hair out in worry. I will celebrate my femininity in all its beautiful, graceful, wild, and imperfect glory. I will dance and sing and love every inch of myself. I will send love to all my fellow women in the hopes that they, too, get some reprieve from the everyday battles and have a peaceful moment today to simply exist and to enjoy their existence.

Happy International Women’s Day to every girl and woman out there, whether you were born this way or identify this way. The fight continues, but that fight should never get in the way of everyday gratitude and self-love.

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best [night] ever // the lone bellow at 9:30 club

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For the second year in a row, my friends and I gathered to celebrate the birthday of one of our own with one of my favorite traditions: a live performance by the incredible powerhouses that make up The Lone Bellow.

The very first time we saw them perform, after I’d chanced upon them on Spotify and just had to share their breakout hit “You Never Need Nobody” with my nearest and dearest, was back in 2013 at the intimately small music venue DC9. We were close enough to touch them, close enough that we could feel every note belted out by Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin, and Brian Elmquist vibrate deep within us. I was lucky enough to score a picture with Zach and Kanene, and we all left that show with wide, sappy smiles on our faces. Their first album was the soundtrack of that holiday season; we played our favorite songs on repeat when our college friends came to visit for New Years Eve.

Two years later, they were back at The Hamilton just in time for Sarah’s birthday. And what better way to celebrate your birthday than with what you know will be a spectacular show? Of course we went. Of course it was amazing.

When we found out that they’d be playing this week at the 9:30 Club, again for Sarah’s birthday, it was like they knew our story and came back just for us. We immediately made a plan to go.

The show started out strong, obviously, but things got really incredible when the backing bandmates left the stage and Zach, Kanene, and Brian gathered around one microphone with just their guitars. A technical issue with a guitar and a “fuck it, we’re doing this a capella” moment from Brian later, they got the entire crowd humming along to “Watch Over Us.” For the entire duration of the song. It was a perfect moment. People (myself included) were in tears.

The greatest part of the night, however, was when Zach pulled a couple onstage so the guy could propose to his girlfriend. The crowd screamed in delight — And the screams got even louder when the band then proceeded to cover Mariah Carey‘s “Always Be My Baby.” At this point, people all around were incredulous. How could the concert possibly get any better?

We all know the answer to that could only be MORE 90s R&B covers. Witness The Lone Bellow perform K-Ci & JoJo‘s “All My Life” and Boyz II Men‘s “I’ll Make Love to You” in my shaky-from-laugh/crying videos below.

They closed out the show with their openers, Escondido, covering “I Shall Be Released.” If you’ve seen Big Easy Express (and if you haven’t, you should), we left that performance with the same high you get from watching Edward Sharpe, Mumford & Sons, and Old Crow Medicine Show singing “This Train is Bound for Glory” at the end of the movie. It’s a nearly indescribable, completely enveloping feeling of joy and wonder at the transformational power of music. We made our way home on a cloud — I’m still feeling it, two days later.

It’s been an awesome experience to watch a band make it so far in their career so quickly. Kanene, who grew up in Virginia, intro-ed one song with the note that she saw her first show at the 9:30 Club when she was 16 years old. She explained how special it was to be performing on that very same stage years later. We all felt that excitement and, more importantly, that gratitude from them in every performance that night. There’s nothing sweeter than a band that’s so humble they freak out when the crowd hums along to their music.

As one of my friends noted, The Lone Bellow’s albums are incredible, but they are so much better live than they ever will be in recordings. Having created such spectacular memories from all the times we’ve seen them perform — and knowing that every performance to come will be equally memorable — I’m OK with only getting to experience that feeling once a year.

The 9:30 Club is celebrating their 35th anniversary this year, and will be featured in a new PBS music variety show called “Live at 9:30.” Stay tuned for more news on the show’s premiere date and which episode will feature the Lone Bellow’s concert, but in the mean time you can watch the preview, here.

best day ever // pt 1

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You know how you have those days sometimes where everything goes right and nothing can get you down and by the end of the day you just feel like A++ Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 11.34.18 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 11.35.02 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 11.35.26 AM? Yeah. Those days.

I had one of those days recently completely without meaning to and am still basking in the glow of how perfect it was. The day started out innocently enough — I just signed up for ClassPass’s free two-week trial and decided to wake up early for a class at Elevate Interval Fitness. Needless to say, after two weeks without working out, Elevate totally kicked my ass. My coworker Matney invited me to the zoo and after a quick pit stop for doughnuts and coffee, we spent a couple of hours walking around the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, where I made friends with an orangutan and found a golden lion tamarin I will one day have to smuggle home in my purse.

zoo time!

I met up with the boyf and headed to Chinatown Coffee Co. for a R E F R E S H: Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 11.47.38 AMMoroccan Mint TeaScreen Shot 2015-07-04 at 11.47.38 AM, my new mingering mike's supersonic greatest hitssummer fave, then onto Shake Shack for a cheese fries R E F U E L. We headed into the American Art Museum to see Mingering Mike’s Supersonic Greatest Hits, an exhibit about a self-taught artist known only as Mingering Mike. Though he privately recorded some songs, Mingering Mike’s musical career was, for the most part, entirely made up. The exhibit comprises dozens of hand-painted cardboard records, album covers, song lyrics and liner notes made by Mingering Mike in the 60s and 70s, when black radio was still brand new and artists like Marvin Gaye and James Brown were just coming on the scene. Not only are the works super funky fresh, but the exhibit is also a powerful dialogue on the historical moment in which Mingering Mike lived.

From there, we hit up Showtime Lounge for a quick Tecate + PBR break before an early dinner at Red Hen where we indulged in bubbly + squid ink pasta which is basically Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 12.10.52 PMMAGICScreen Shot 2015-07-04 at 12.10.52 PM. Then an Uber ride to the Angelika theater pop-up at Union Market for a showing of Ex Machina, a movie about robots that act like humans and humans that act like idiots. It was fairly mind-bending/blowing and we both left there feeling like maybe we need to stop trusting machines so much.

We weren’t quite ready to stop yet so we made a trip over to Crane & Turtle to check out Bar Otsukare, a Japanese whisky pop-up led by Eddie Kim and Jesse Selvagn. Eddie & Jesse became interested in Japanese tipples while working together behind the bar at Daikaya and have amassed a collection of rare and funky whiskies, shochus, and sakes. Their kickoff event was an all-around good time, and we had a blast sampling new (to us) drinks among some of our Room 11 friends (where Eddie used to work and Gavin, my boyfriend, currently tends bar). Stay tuned for Bar Otsukare — They’ll have more events coming up and, trust me, you won’t want to miss them.

squid ink pasta + japanese whisky

We finally made it back home and I passed out in front of the TV (no surprise, given I’d been awake for close to 24 HOURS by that point). I’m constantly amazed by how vibrant, creative, and fun the DC food/art community is, and how much there is to D O and S E E and E X P E R I E N C E. I can’t stand hearing transient folks bemoan the erroneous belief that this city is all lobbyists and lawyers and politicos hanging out on the Hill and downtown when there’s so much beauty and culture and LIFE going on in the rest of the city. It’s absolutely magical to get to be a part of it all. Also, let’s be real — It’s insane the amount of shit you can get done in one day when you put your mind to it.

R E L A T E D : Want to find out about the fun things going on around town? Check out A Creative DC and BYT for plenty of ideas to entertain those idle hands & feet & bodies.

m o o d s :: i n s o m n i a

 

duanemichals

from The Spirit Leaves the Body, 1968 by Duane Michals

Sleep is hard. Insomnia comes at night and suddenly I’m staring at the ceiling, willing myself not to look at the clock. The stars outside are beautiful, or would be we weren’t all drowning in light pollution. No matter, there are ocean waves and rainstorms on my headphones. If I can’t sleep, at least I can listen to the sound of my own breathing until the sun’s rays light up the bedroom walls.

Tonight. There’ll be another chance to sleep tonight.

stars

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apartmentalizing

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a light pre-moving lunch courtesy of Duke’s Grocery

I recently decided that I’m never moving again. And by “recently” I mean yesterday, and by “decided” I mean cried myself to sleep after two very, very long days of packing up & moving multiple loads of boxes, tote bags, garbage bags, furniture, and eventually just random handfuls of things out of our not-so-nice (but very large) old apartment into our very nice (but quite small) new apartment.

The only things that got me through the move were:

A. My cat, who, despite hiding under the bed for the majority of his transition into the Brave New World, still let us scratch his belly in between loads of boxes.

B. My boyfriend, who despite getting on my nerves on day one is a trooper who doesn’t complain about having to carry my oversized suitcases — plural, sorry, Garv Screenshot 2015-05-22 at 2.38.30 PMScreenshot 2015-05-22 at 2.38.30 PMScreenshot 2015-05-22 at 2.38.30 PM — full of hardcover books up three flights of stairs. #BallerStatus

C. This playlist:

 

And while we are currently living amongst a sea of boxes, I’m already dreaming of what this beautiful new place (marbled bathroom floors! brand new appliances! private balcony!) is going to look like once we’re all done unpacking && building our new furniture. THAT’S RIGHT, we’re getting all DIY up in this bitch. Here’s a small glimpse of inspiration and what’s to come — Let’s call it rustic-gilded bohemian, shall we? That’s what I’m sticking by until a better name comes along. Stay tuned for updates/actual apartment photos once we’ve cleared up some boxes!

Xoxo, MakingThisAdulthoodThingUpAsIGoAlong-Girl

DIY Floating Copper Shelves

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curtains

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table

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hearst-castle

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pallet_couch

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scalamandre wallpaper

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moroccan room

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