Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rhye

This song, this band....

oh, this song...

You can check it out just by listening to the song by itself with it's album cover art, OR, you can check out the song with one of it's two amazing videos.  The two videos do contain sexual content, though, so be warned!  Regardless of the content (which hey, who doesn't love a sip of complex love every now and then), I love both videos, and I love the song even more... it's been stuck in my head for WEEKS!!!  In fact, the entire album, "Woman", from whence this song sprang, has canoodled with my laptop and I for the last month or so... I'm thinking we're in it for the long haul.




I stumbled upon Rhye driving to work one morning, listening to NPR.  Their segment, "Rhye: Men of Mystery Find a Feminine Sound" had me hooked as soon as they played the song.  Check out the article here.  After revealing that the band consisted of two men, singer Mike Milosh and songwriter- producer Robin Hannibal (both of who each respectively have amazing solo work as well), I realized that I wasn't shocked persay that the voice didn't belong to that of a woman, but that I hadn't even really considered whether it was a woman's or a man's while listening... it was just sensual, smooth, and utterly hypnotizing and, because of the experience of the song, the gender perspective of the song was irrelevant.  Much like the voice of their music, the artist's imagery for their albums and PR shots are vague and aloof, aiming for anonymity; not for the sake of being obscure, but for the sake of experiencing the music "as is" and not for "who is".  In the article, Milosh comments on their selective imagery, supporting their intent in putting the music itself as the priority, and not necessarily their personal success:

"I can't say it's not intentional because we made a conscious decision to stay out of things," Milosh says. "But it wasn't a PR scheme. It's not something that we created out of gimmickry, or whatever. We just didn't want to be in the imagery of it because we wanted people to have their own experience with the songs. Robin and I talked about it at great length. That's how we both love exploring music, especially when we were younger. You hear something, you're intrigued by it — but because of the song, not because of the image around the song."
"Woman" not only resonated and stuck with me, but the album also felt extremely important, and not just because of it's "sexy" content, though I do feel that we live in a world that dangerously censors sexuality in exchange for thoughtless entertainment and violence.  It felt extremely important in it's lack of gender, in it's ambiguity, in it's pure emotion... in it's humanity.  In a world so politically and socially divided, I believe that it is imperative to be able to knock down walls and stereotypes to reveal our most strange and precious trait, humanity.  So often, walls are built, blinders are worn, and the compassion and empathy towards our fellow human beings, is completely lost, forgotten, or stored away to make room for stubborn ignorance.  To be able to subtly debunk a stereotype for someone while their prejudices are down, through music, media, sports, etc., then the chance to open minds, stretch horizons, and knock down walls presents itself...  

Just for fun, and for example:


So, in short, I (obviously) personally took away a lot from my initial experience with this band, whether it was the experience they intended or not.  Although, I'm pretty sure that they left that up to the listener.    I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, and let me know if you have any music you'd like to recommend.  I love listening...


"Open"
I'm a fool for that shake in your thighs
I'm a fool for that sound in your sighs
I'm a fool for your belly
I'm a fool for your love

I wanna make this play
Oh, I know you're faded
Hmm, but stay, don't close your hands
I wanna make this play
Oh, I know you're faded
Hmm, but stay, don't close your hands

Caught in this pool held in your eyes
Caught like a fool without a line
We're in a natural spring
With this gentle sting between us

I wanna make this play
Oh, I know you're faded
Hmm, but stay, don't close your hands
I wanna make this play
Oh, I know you're faded
Hmm, but stay, don't close your hands

Ooh, stay open
Ooh, stay open

Stay open
Stay open

I wanna make this play
Oh, I know you're faded
Hmm, but stay, don't close your hands
I wanna make this play
Oh, I know you're faded
Hmm, but stay, don't close your hands

Stay open
Stay open
Stay open

Hmm, stay open



Is it in your brain yet? 

Are you as turned on as I am?  

Go ahead, slow dance with yourself... it feels good ;)... or, better yet, find a partner.  This is baby-making music...



Monday, May 27, 2013

Meet Mum... or Turbo... she goes by both...

Meet Mum...


Mum needs a home.


Mum is a stray cat that showed up at my parents house and had a tiny little litter of two kittens on Easter morning this year.  At first, she was a little shy about meeting new people, however, once she realized that she had found a safe place for she and her kittens to nest, she began inching out of her shell and slowly revealed the giving, strong, and utterly sweet little lady that she is.  She taught her babies independence, how to hunt, and how to trust those who are there to help.  She proved to be an excellent   Mama cat, which eventually led me to affectionately calling her "Mum".  Joey and our friend Jason have begun to call her "Turbo"... so, really, she goes by both.  Which do you like better?

Mum's two little one's... super precious, super FLUFFY!

After about 7 weeks of nursing, I was able to find amazing, loving homes for the little duo of trouble.  All that was left was to find a home for Mum.  So that she didn't end up in a shelter, Joey and I decided to take her in as a foster until we were able to find a loving family for her to be a part of.

So that I didn't introduce a sick cat to our three ladies at home, I went ahead and got her checked for cat leukemia and heartworms, both of which she was negative for, and then got her vaccinations and got her some de-wormer.  Shortly afterwards, she graced our home and settled in smoothly, with the exception of the occasional hiss from our own sweet feline, Nugget. 

Mum and I chillin' on a Sunday morning.

Now Mum is slowly but surely gaining her strength and beauty back, getting more beautiful everyday.  She is a gem of a cat, and if you or anyone you know are looking for a fantastic pet, then please consider Mum.  She's wonderful.  She's pretty damn cool.

Also, if you've ever wanted to help out a stray or rescue, then check out these resources:

Also, on a side note, it just so happens that Mum's favorite music is by the band Múm.  She's a pretty awesome little kitty... enjoy :)

Múm, We Have a map of the Piano

Múm, They Made Frogs Smoke til they Exploded

Múm, Green Grass of Tunnel


Friday, May 24, 2013

Enter: Summertime...


 Every year, after cleaning up my classroom, I get in the car with the buzz of Summer break in my veins.  I never quite feel like I'm on Summer Break, though, until I have a plan of some sort, and this is the first year that I have found myself with absolutely NO idea of what my summer is going to look like.  While this is exciting in some respects, it's also very nerve-racking.  I've felt sort of "caught", recently, if you will... sort of stuck in the mud.  I'm very content with life, and I'm not at all unhappy, but still, that nagging feeling still lingers...

Last year, the plan was to work on illustrations and notecards/invitations/stationary.  We were also planning and saving to move to NY, and trying to build our creative pursuits/skills in preparation for the adventure.  It was a good plan, but I didn't have the resources I needed.  My computer slowed me down considerably and it was so frustrating that one job pretty much did me in.  However, Joey and I did begin a personal project that I began sketching ideas for and still whittle at occasionally when we feel inspired.

In previous years, I took summer jobs, teaching at summer art camps, which were awesome, and totally rewarding, but stretched me thin on the teaching front.

Enter: Summertime 2013:
There is a vast expanse of time before me that I know if I don't use wisely, it will pass me in a blink, and the potential of that time will be wasted.  I don't have any specific goals (big projects) in this moment, but I do have a lot of little things I'd like to accomplish, as well as interests I'd like to explore further.  This morning, before Joey woke up, and while I was thinking about the opportunity and potential for this summer, I made a list of things... a long list of things... in fact, I got to over 30 and just figured, why not go to 50?  So, it may not be realistic, BUT, it'll be fun to attempt to knock out this beast of a list by the end of the summer.  Right? Why not...  Here goes...

Meg's Summer 2013 "50"... (In no particular order)
1. find a home for "Mum" - a foster cat we're searching for a forever home for...
2. change driver's license
3. change car tags
4. change banks
5. clean both cars off/out
6. oil change/fix AC/windsheild fluid/hubcaps/detail*
7. get a new pair of eyeglasses
8. finish Tanzania dresses
9. complete closet project
10. fix blinds in Apartment
11. replace light fixture in bathroom
12. fix dishwasher
13. fix ceiling fan in bedroom
14. thoroughly clean around the apartment
15. frame mirrors into BB's old picture frames
16. re-upholster Annie's chair*
17. clean out refrigerator
18. organize cabinets
19. begin creating a functional "bulk" food storage area
20. buy bags for buying in bulk
21. edit down wardrobe
22. the master cleanse
23. Have the ladies professionally groomed*
24. Hair cut and color
25. Manicure/Pedicure*
26. Find and/or make some throw pillows for around the house (couch, chairs, bed, etc.)*
27. Find new comfortable shoes that are *good* for the feet*
28. New Bra/Bra Fitting*
29. Finish sewing green dress from forever ago
30. Create a "Trapeze" dress to wear around for summer
31. Sew plaid tank/tunic, begin working on plaid dress for Fall
32. Create body form
33. Read at least 5 books:
 
34. Style bed
35. Style couch/chair(s)
36. return framed Beatles poster to Matt
37. Begin cooking on a regular basis again
38. Take the dogs to the dog park on a more regular basis
39. 30 day vegan challenge
40. Sew/mend all of Joey and I's "need to be altered" clothes
41. Joey's 30th BIRTHDAY!!! :D
42. 3 year Anniversary!!! :D
43. Blog on a consistent basis
44. Begin research
45. Clean out ALL emails
46. Clean off desktop
47. Double Feature Nights
48. Follow the WNBA - choose a team to focus on
49. Exercise more and on a consistent basis
50. Drink more water




Cross your fingers, everyone!  What are your plans for the summer?


*I ended up crossing off a lot of items from the list that I simply transferred to a "Wants" list.  Those things will be on the wish list for future birthdays/Holidays as we're trying to be a bit tighter with our budget.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chasing Ice

When we're in a new city, Joey and I love to try to experience it as if we lived there, so, walking around and becoming familiar with streets and driving through neighborhoods is usually pretty routine for us when we're on a trip.  One of our favorite habits when in a new place is going to see a movie in a local, usually art house or independent, theater.  In Asheville, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe and then strolled on over to the Fine Arts Theater where we were excited to find a showing of "Chasing Ice".  We had both heard of this movie and were interested in seeing it, but weren't expecting to run into an opportunity to see it in a theater, which was an amazing and perfect way to experience the film's breathtaking imagery.




I can't express HOW amazing this movie was... equal parts mesmerizing in it's meditation in the mysterious beauty of the natural world and intensely terrifying in the window in which we're allowed to observe, first-hand, the rapid deterioration of Earth's glaciers at the irresponsible hands of mankind.   It's baffling to me the overwhelming resistance that many people share in the "idea" of global warming.  I've never understood the concept that, even if you're still unaware that the environment is sick (which.IT.IS), why.... why, why, why, would you simply not be at least open and willing to participate in the preservation and health care of the ONE planet that we share with so many other living lifeforms... plants, animals, people... all earthlings.

 I love "list" posts, and would love to at some point create a list of "important movies".  Without a doubt, this movie would indeed make that list.

Go see it!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Meg, Joey, and Noodle vs. Asheville - Part IV - Asheville, Black Mountain, aaannnnddd...... St. Louis!

Ok, LAST leg of this adventure... I promise :).  During the downhill slope of our Spring Break trip, we went into Asheville a couple more times to cruise the neighborhoods, walk around and become familiar with downtown, and check out some awesome eats!  We also went to explore Black Mountain, a small town near Asheville, and cozied up to our area near our little cabin a bit more for good measure.

Driving into Chimney Rock (the town):


 Breakfast at Ginny's Family Restaurant

 BEST.BLACKBERRY COBBLER.EVER.

Checking out the town's "backyard"...



Pet friendly towns are the best towns...


Antiquing...

 Local Plant Nursery in Black Mountain...

 WITH A BUNNY!!!



 I'm pretty much smitten with this area of the country...


Noodle Love:


A dog and her boy...

video

Asheville loves chocolate:





Dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe:


 Fried grits "appetizer" with siracha sauce....

 Veggie Burger with a "side" of fried okra!!!

Chess on the street...

One last hike; just the Doodle and I...
 
video


We found the magical mystery tour...







 Headed back home.  We stopped in Nashville so that Joey could participate in our friend Greg's bachelor party.  Noodle and I got a night to ourselves, and Joey and the guys did what they do best, drank whiskey and caused a ruckus ;) ...





After jumping from Joey and I's vehicle and into my brother's car, I was off to St. Louis to meet my brand spanking new nephew, Max!!!


My beautiful sister, Lindsey, and beautiful little Max...



Bowe with a baby.

The GusBuster!!! Big Brother of the year!

Aaannnd, this is how Gus and I have fun... Gus with the camera and me acting like a clown while my mom walks by oblivious to our hilarity... good times!!! Love you Gustopher!!!

Thanks for checking out our adventure!  It was an amazing trip and one that I would highly recommend for anyone.  I daydream about it pretty regularly.

Here's an updated picture of little Maxwell man...

Such a handsome little fellow!!!


I'll work on brevity for future "adventure" posts... unless, of course, you liked all of the pictures? What do you think?

Happy Trails!



Monday, May 06, 2013

Meg, Joey, and Noodle vs. Asheville - Part III - Asheville and the mountains...

So, I've realized that I'm not very good at getting these posts out in a timely fashion.  I think it's because I know that I've got to wait for ALL of the pictures to upload (I know... life is so hard in 2013).  Anyway, here's the round of pics from the rest of our trip into the city of Asheville and our adventures in the surrounding areas (here comes an onslaught of pictures)...


The city of Asheville:

 

 A little Asheville girl came up and got fresh with me...


 Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate...


 Giant Iron!

 Giant Door!


 My outfit that I wore on our first trip into Asheville.  I got TWO really nice compliments on it, so I figured I would document it for future, hopefully equally successful, outings.

Wine and Conversation...



The Biltmore:

 We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, so we weren't able to capture images from the coolest parts of the tour, like the basement, where the servants ran the operations of the ginormous house from everything such as cooking, laundry, and serving, to assisting in the Vanderbilt's personal indoor gym/indoor pool and bowling alley (crazy!).


A crawfish friend we found easing his way down the waterfall...


Chimney Rock:





The never-ending staircase... this was the finish line...









Do you see the lizard?




 Yeah, I ran into Daniel Day Lewis on the mountain...

 Butt shot ;)

 I want to perch with these people...


The Great Wilderness Trail (for kids of all ages...):

 Brady the Groundhog...

 Sleeping Possum... or is it?


 Giant SPIDER!!!

Noodle made a Salamander friend :D


Note to self: Quit posing like an idiot... it's not as funny as I might imagine... even though I did momentarily transport myself into the "Neverending Story"...




The Four Season's Trail:


Screech Owl House




 Can anyone identify this plant for me?  Just curious...




Next up, Black Mountain and one last stroll through Asheville!