Monday, April 10, 2017

Sunday Night Exfoliation

I like ritual. I like repetition.

A few weeks ago, I was in the shower and looked at this small exfoliator sample I got in an Ipsy (my referral link!) bag forever ago. I'd only used it a couple of times, so I decided to start exfoliating my face on Sundays. I know it's just a small thing, but it's something I look forward to now.

I used to paint my nails on Sunday, too.

Now Sunday is record-our-podcast day. Or laundry day. It's more work. Add all of that on the anxiety I still feel about starting a new "work" week. I don't even think Mondays are bad, but there is something about Sundays that just draaaaaag and make me feel unsettled.

So now there's more to the day than endless dread and irrational fear. I feel pampered. I exfoliate my face. My hands. My feet. It's a DIY spa day. I cleanse up and wrap up the old week and trudge into the new week with softer skin ready to weather whatever the new week has in store for me!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Happy Rex Manning Day!

I don't know why Empire Records made such an impact on me. Maybe it's because I saw it as a music-obsessed teen that idolized people that worked in record stores and wanted friends that felt the same way. I guess it made me realize I did fit in somewhere and I wasn't just some fucked up misfit. There were other people like me.

In college, I watched this movie regularly. A college teacher asked me where I wanted to be in 5 years and gave the plot summary to the movie adaptation to High Fidelity. I can't help it. I've always wanted to be in a record store surrounded by what I loved most: music.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Voice Changes

I'm still figuring out my voice. I used to have a writing voice forever ago. I felt confident in who I was on my blog. I felt confident in writing. I didn't worry too much about offending people. I didn't edit every thing to the point of being vanilla ice cream. I didn't remove the nuts, chocolate swirl and caramel. I wasn't just a blank boring canvas.

I wasn't a fluffy white cloud.

This is a bad analogy because I love clouds and I'd love to be a fluffy white cloud. It's carefree. It's slowly zooming across the sky and changing shapes and dissipates and its whole cloudy life is figured out.

I don't have it figured out like a cloud.

I'm scared.

I feel like I'm just writing the same thing over and over again using different words. I guess I'm trying to figure out what to do here. What do I want to do here that will keep me coming back instead of running away. I want to do something that's me.

What's me?

I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out again.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sundays are for Reading [February 27 - March 5]

Hey, it's Sunday, we made it through another week. Here are some things I read and felt like sharing with you:
  • Let's Be Friends 
    • "As I’ve grown, I’ve learned that every relationship exists on a spectrum. It’s never either/or. Friendships do not need to be void of physical and emotional intimacy. Romantic relationships do not need to be void of the emotional responsibility that’s associated with good, functional, and long-lasting friendships."
  • Find Your Tarot Type
    • I've been really interested in Tarot for awhile now. I consult a free tarot website, but I really want to get my own pack of cards. Too bad so many of them are $$$!
I like how I unintentionally shared three articles about dating and vulnerability.

Let's lighten things up with some music, shall we? I guess I was really into covers this week.

"Dancing in the Dark" by Hot Chip

"In a Big Country" by Rogue Wave

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Whenever I try to write, I always stop. It's either too personal or not personal enough. It's hard to have a niche blog when you have no niche. This morning I was googling agave coffee syrup and thinking about a blog I read sometimes. It's mostly a photo blog, but I feel like there's no vulnerability that comes through. Now, I really love this blog a lot, but there always feels like something is missing. I feel this way about a lot of writing on the internet now. I want the vulnerability of the writer. I realize that's what I miss from the internet. I know the internet is perfectly curated food macros, cats and jokes, but I know that I'm none of that. I have always been words.

But what happens when my words give me anxiety. Maybe I'm saying too much. Maybe I'm not saying enough.

I guess I still write them and actually push publish this time.

I've had a lot of suggestions over the years about how to write, live stream and do anything with my life and I think it all comes down to none of that fits my personality.

I am words. I am not memes. I am not gifs. It's not that I don't enjoy visuals. I do. I've always enjoyed self-portraits and sharing my personal life. I want to be open, but the internet keeps closing the door.

I'm knocking. Is anyone home?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: My Year in Review

This was a hard year for everyone, but I'm going to focus on all of the good and fun things I did. Let's see what I can remember:
  • I had a few goals for this year that including not buying anything, which I failed miserably on, but my other one was to get good at pushups. I started off doing pushups on my knees. I could do maybe 2 or 3 in January. I'd like to say that I just did 80 pushups in a span of 15 minutes a couple of weeks ago. 80 pushups in the normal pushup position!
  • I actually started working out a lot in May. It sort of tapered off, but I'm a lot stronger than I used to be and I lost a little weight and gained some muscle for sure.
  • I'm trying out for the Just Dance World Cup! The qualifiers are happening right now and running through January. I'm not going to make it, but it's been a really fun experience for me. I'm in the top 100 though!
  • I tried liquid eyeliner for the first time. Not bad. Still not confident in it though.
  • We took a couple of road trips this year to Philadelphia, PA and Millinocket, ME.  We also went to Brooklyn to visit a friend and explored a bit more of Massachusetts by visiting the Bridgewater Triangle and seeing Profile Rock.
  • I made a lot of friendship bracelets.
  • I used Periscope for the first time.
  • We celebrated 3 years on Twitch, gained a lot more followers (300+ now!) and had our first official TGIF Arcade Awards.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Thank God It's Date Night

This podcast started as a joke.

Actually, no, this started as a way of talking about movies without actually talking about movies. I wanted to do a shorter podcast. I only had time to do a shorter one. I can't really talk about movies with any sort of knowledge about them despite going to a college known for its film program.

I'd already been marked a person that liked "quirky love movies" and I honestly couldn't tell if that was being insightful or insulting.

But I like what I like.

So TGI Date Night was born.

Way back when in the Dave and Diana dating machine, we used to rent a ridiculous amount of movies. We'd get 3+ movies on a Friday, order 2 pizzas (one for each of us, duh!) and just veg out all weekend.

I'd escape into the suburbs and forget my academic life existed. The only way to reach me was by a corded phone in my dorm room or through AIM. This was 2004. I was disconnected and it was truly blissful.

Now Hollywood Video is closed. So is Mike's and Fred's and all of my favorite movie places. There's Netflix or nothing. (Okay, fine...or Hulu or Amazon or Redbox...)

But for 15-30 minutes every other week, you can join us in our time machine and eat an imaginary pizza with us. It's like being on a date with TGIF Arcade, but you're not a third wheel because this is a monster truck-bus and we're rolling into Date Town with our silly but hopefully thoughtful and helpful ideas for a kickass date!

Now, please pass the popcorn!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The End of the Year

Instead of looking at a list of resolutions I didn't write, I'm going to write about all of the things that I liked & did this year that kicked ass.
  • I ate a lot of BBQ sauce.
  • I streamed a lot of video games on Twitch. It was a really good year for TGIF Arcade.
  • I went to San Francisco and stayed in a fancy hotel and got to meet a friend from the internet that I've known for over 10 years. 
  • I listened to a lot of music on Spotify this year, but I fell in love with one album. I was going to try and write an entire music-related year in review, but it would have just been me gushing about how great Built to Spill's Untethered Moon is and if you need more convincing, just go look at the cover, which has a cat on it.
  • I finally got to go to Cedar Point, which is an amusement park in Ohio that my mom told me about when I was a kid and yeah, that's how I spent my Halloween!
  • I started wearing eyeliner. I really only wear it on the bottom, because my hands are too shaky for proper application on the top lid. I feel so awesome when I wear makeup. I used to wear makeup everyday when I was 19, but it wasn't really the makeup that I wanted to wear and now I finally feel like I'm wearing the things and becoming the person I've always wanted to be and if you've ever felt like you were hiding your real self from the world, you know how big of a deal that is to feel like a whole person and your best self when you walk out the door. I even feel good when I'm not wearing makeup, too, which fuckin' rocks!
  • I spent a lot of time playing video games this year considering I have an entire Patreon focused on it. Some of my favorites were Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360), Kingdoms of Amalur (Xbox 360/PC), Nintendo Badge Arcade (3DS) (don't play this if you have poor impulse control, because you will want to spend money on it), Style Savvy: Trendsetters (3DS) and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS). 
  • So about a year ago, we played Mass Effect, then spent the entire month of December 2014 playing Mass Effect 2 and finally finished up Mass Effect 3 in 2015. (If you've never played the Mass Effect series, it has such a great story and even though the third game is controversial, I'd say go play all of it right now!) We really liked our Commander Shepard. Her name is Gigi Shepard. She really likes dresses and has a ridiculous backstory. We started creating Gigis in every game that allowed custom character creation. We were so enamored with our Commander that we adopted a cat named Gigi. She is really skittish, but loves playing with toys and pretty much just sleeps in her bed all day, which is a big improvement over sleeping behind the couch all day. Guys, cats are the best!
I know a missed a lot of things I did, because I didn't write about them anywhere and some things that happened this year really sucked. I really wanted to focus on the chewy, soft doughy bits instead of the glaze on the top. Wait, is the icing the good part? I don't know. All of it makes a big, gooey life donut and I'll take the bad with the good. I plan to write a lot more this year, but I make that plan every year. Let me know about your year in the comments!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gracelessly Aging and That's Okay

I will never be young again and I am thankful. I'm happy to live in my world of nostalgia reliving 16 over and over again. My college years I revisit on occasion. I time travel back listening to the same music on repeat. I go back to what it felt like to be 4 years old and in love with Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It" and feel powerful. I think about dancing to Milli Vanilli in my living room. My parents feigning enthusiasm for my running man.

I feel old and stereotypically it's hard for me to embrace what's happening around me right now. It's not moving too fast, per se, but I miss what was happening on the internet in 2002. I lived in a time where blog posts were vulnerable. People shared their deepest darkest secrets via words. No photos. No gifs. Your parents weren't on Facebook. There was no facebook. No twitter. No fucking YouTube. Porn was a hassle. It was simpler and we were hidden and we found each other somehow. Then you shared each other with your friends.

My longest relationships are from over 10 years ago. People that lived no where near me. The connection we felt with each other because we IMed nonstop.

I know I'm guilty of holding onto the past, but some people are just that way. I will always prefer handwriting to typing. Mailing letters to emails. Mixtapes to mix CDs. Don't even get me started on MP3s, I skipped over them and went straight to streaming.

Truly minimalists, we store everything on our laptops, kindles and cloud drives. What does it feel like to print your own photos in a dark room? You may never know. I do. I am thankful for that.

I'm thankful to be old. Not even old. I'm 34. That might feel forever years old to a 22 year old. I know because of one brief encounter I had when I was in college. I met an artist and I thought, "He's an adult. What is he doing with his life?" as he skateboarded next to me as we lazily commuted back to South Station. Now here I am: his age. What am I doing with my life? I'm playing video games. I'm doing a podcast

I guess what I'm saying is that everything you believed you would be like when you're older is a lie. I'm not wiser. I'm still a fuck-up. I still listen to the same music. I have changed as I've experienced new things. I understand the world differently. It's like unfolding a paper crane to find out how its made and realizing how delicate and complex everything is and that I didn't really understand it at all, but it comes together so simply and quickly. You won't be able to tell when you get old. It just happens. Slowly. Embrace it. Don't miss your youth. It was wasted already being an asshole and making mistakes and never learning from them. Eventually, you do.

Eventually you realize you knew what you wanted all along.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Track Fours

The first time I noticed the power of track four was in 2001. Weezer's green album had just come out and my mom was obsessed with "Island in the Sun" but instead of asking to play it by name, she'd just say "track four" and we'd be on our 15th listen of the day. (BTW, that song is not on this list, because I think we're all tired of hearing it by now.)

Back before my husband was my husband, Dave brought it up again. He made an entire mix CD of Track Fours. He had an entire theory that track fours were the best songs on any album.

It's April. The fourth month. It's nearly warm outside. I decided to revisit my favorite track fours in honor of spring.

"Climbing the Walls" by TMBG -- I was listening to a lot of TMBG in 2007, specifically "Ana Ng," and was really into this song even though I had never listened to any of the other songs on this album. I guess it was just luck that it was track 4. Nonetheless, it's an underrated song, kinda like how no one seems to take TMBG seriously. These guys have some seriously wonderful and delightful songs and have the energy and silliness to turn bad days into good ones!

"Zero" by Smashing Pumpkins -- If you know me at all, you'll know that I still claim Smashing Pumpkins is my favorite band. They're not really anymore, but they had an huge impact on my life. I still care about them. This is one of my favorite songs from them. The video is so dark and creepy. The one song I'd love to karaoke.

"In Repair" by Our Lady Peace -- Guys, guys -- this is my favorite concept album ever. This is probably in my top 10 favorite albums ever. I always go back and listen to it and it's still really great. This is before the lead singer had to change the way he sang to save his voice. I totally get that, but I'll always still be in love with this era OLP.

"Persuasive is Her Name" by The Deathray Davies -- The Day of the Ray is the only reason I know Dave. Think about that. Dave and I have been together 11+ years and it's all because of this band. I picked this album up on a whim in a used record store in Cambridge, MA. I thought I recognized the name. I lived in Dallas before moving to Boston and often would read the free alt weeklies and I'm sure I picked up their name from there. I was very into local Dallas alt music scene despite being underage with no driver's license, I somehow was still in the loop thanks to prolific reading and listening to The Adventure Club.

"Inspector of Inspectors" by Driftless Pony Club -- Go listen to everything DPC right now! Please! Also, check out Wheezy Waiter -- aka Craig Benzine, he's the lead singer --  because there are some hilarious "on tour" videos with the entire band and his channel is super creative!  If you're in Boston, you'll see me rocking out to them on April 25 at The Middle East!

"The High Party" by Ted Leo/The Pharmacists -- Honestly, everyone should be listening to Ted Leo. I know, I know...but this is one of my favorite songs...period. In college, the only thing I ever won was a signed poster by Ted Leo from OUC. If you know what OUC is, I'm really embarrassed now.

"Rococo" by Arcade Fire -- I really love songs about hipster kids. Like 2003 elitist hipster indie rock kids. Not the 2007 shutter shades kinds. I also really like listening to "My Coco" by Stellastarr* right after it. Guess what? "My Coco" is a track four. You see what I mean?

What are your favorites?