The Week in Tweets – February 5, 2016

Happy Friday yinz! My pizza is getting cold so let’s just skip my usual rambling preamble and get right to an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!

11 – tie) gene cox (@genecoxrva)

I’m concerned that one of the presidential candidates will win.

Svenn Amish (@amishschool)

My son asked why our kindly old neighbor had to die and I told him God has a plan and part of his plan was to kill Ms. Nussbaum.

I truly want to believe in a higher power but it’s getting really hard to when horrible things like “Grease: Live” and “Donald Trump” keep happening…

10) Amy Dillon (@amydillon)

So You Think You Only Need Two Things From Target

I’ve got a better chance of winning the Hunger Games than I do getting out of Target without any unnecessary purchases. Once I even bought dog food and I don’t even have a dog…

9 – tie) Awesome Todd (@Awesome_Todd)

Sorry I put catnip in your pants before you went to the animal shelter.

Meredith (@PerfectPending)

I grossly underestimated how much KidzBop I’d have to listen to as a parent.

I grossly overestimated how much dog food I could slip into my toddler’s cereal without him noticing and now he won’t eat Cheerios anymore. On the bright side his coat has never been shinier…

8) Jike Spingleton (@DJ5thAce)

I’m definitely prejudiced…against people with stick figure windshield decals

A stick figure family decal is only acceptable is there’s another decal next to it of Calvin peeing on said stick figure family…

7) Valerie (@ValerieGauvain)

I hope the accessories for the new Barbie dolls are just 100K worth of student debt, and a college degree that qualifies you to work retail

Don’t forget to also include a Tumblr fashion blog and their parent’s health insurance card!

6) Jeff (@LIVEFASTDIEAWSM)

I have “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” stuck in my head but I don’t know the words so my brain is doing a version of that bad pantomiming of lyrics.

It’s been awhile since I’ve heard it, but I think the chorus goes:

First we gonna shop
There’s a sale at Kohl’s
On Rachel Ray pots
And scarves from J. Lo
X gon’ give it to ya
He gon’ give it to ya
X gon’ give it to ya
Kohl’s cash get it, booyah

5) Katee Coleman (@kte_did)

Does it mean you’re an adult when your boyfriend’s ex is stalking you on Linked In?

I’m not sure but I do know that she should definitely be endorsed for “creeping”!

4) REW Speedwagon (@therealeatwood)

I only eat chickens that were raised on a farm listening to Rachmaninoff and fed on corn that grew up listening to Tchaikovsky.

Me too! I also require that all my beef, pork and cheese products are never exposed to a Kevin Hart movie.

3) Reckless Behavior (@KV68P)

A bag of peanuts that states that it might contain peanuts is all you need to know about what’s wrong with the world.

Better it states “might contain peanuts” than “might contain penis”…

2) ∀LL∃Y ∁∀T (@deardilettante)

You can find humour in everything if you’re a terrible person.

True dat! And here’s a truly tasteless joke from my childhood that I still feel bad for laughing at upon hearing it waaaay back in 1986:

Question: How do they know what shampoo Challenger-passenger Christa McAuliffe used?

Answer: They found her Head & Shoulders on the beach.

1) Agatha Crispie (@agathagotstoned)

If we dug into the earth’s crust and found out it was really a cheesy crust, that would explain so much

If the Earth’s crust was made of cheese, I would have eaten my way to China by now…

Below is a picture of Oscar doing what he does best…nothing. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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everybody loves…dating advice

Though my son is just a toddler, I still thought it would be a good exercise to write a blog post detailing some “words of wisdom” in regards to dating advice. I began to put some thoughts together and then quickly realized that I’m no longer qualified to cover the subject since I’m:

A) Married
B) Old
C) A dude who counts Sam Malone, R. Kelly and Tucker Max amongst his idols.

    Thankfully my friend and modern-day renaissance woman (educator, baker, runner, whiskey-drinker) Shannon agreed to assist me. Please enjoy her enlightened advisement!

    whale-Girl

    I did a little Googling to see what kind of advice was already out there. I think my favorite tip out there on how to treat a woman was, “Not all of them eat like birds, allot of them can eat like whales” (spelling error their own). I’m not convinced this is a tip on how to treat a woman or how it’s relevant dating advice at all, which is why I find it so amusing.*

    I found vague advice (tell her you love her), outdated advice (when walking on the street, walk on the street side), and downright sexist advice (guys tend to be more logical, so don’t expect her to display male logic). I couldn’t seem to find anything that would actually be helpful if your goal is treating women right in today’s dating world.

    Before I get to the five simple rules I came up with, I’d be remiss if I didn’t first share the caveat that I’m a single, white, 30 year old straight woman. I don’t pretend to know the dating rules for the LGBT community or cultures that follow traditional dating rituals. I hope the rules I’ve come up with translate for all humans, but I want to acknowledge that they may not. Now…onwards!

    Rule #1: Respect her.

    This seems pretty obvious and straightforward, but you’d be surprised about how many men get this wrong. Rather than regale you with an Aretha-worthy lesson on respect, I’d rather show you how easy this is by simply mastering the remaining four rules.

    Rule #2: Believe her when she tells you who she is.

    I can’t think of more frustrating dating experiences than those when men refused to believe me when I shared things about myself. It can be something really simple like telling me I’d like the burger better than the eggplant parm despite the fact I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years. Or it can also feel pretty serious.

    I’ve spent about 99% of my adult life valuing my independence and exploring new ideas and people without ever feeling the need to be romantically tied to anyone. This was totally my journey and what felt right to me. However, almost every guy who wanted something serious with me tried to convince me that I was lying to myself because I was single—that I really did what a relationship (because apparently that’s all women really want out of life).

    I don’t think they were intentionally trying to be paternalistic, but that’s exactly how it felt. There is no greater way to violate rule #1 than to discount my perspective and replace it with your own.

    Rule #3: Chivalry might be dead, but maybe it’s alive or maybe it’s a zombie.

    I’m not trying to sound afterschool special sappy here, but we’re all unique in our own way. Some women’s view of romance means she expects to be put on a pedestal and treated like a princess. Some women value the effort that goes into showing you care, but don’t necessarily want classic-movie style romance. Some women will tell you not to hold doors for her, and the alternative isn’t slamming them in her face (yes, this happens).

    The alternative is letting her open her own damn door (and—gasp—being comfortable with her holding it for you). Take the time to get to know which woman she is. Basically, what I’m saying is—if you didn’t catch it from my zombie metaphor—chivalry comes in all forms.

    By not respecting how she displays and wants to receive affection, you risk violating rule #1. It might be that you’re not compatible with each other and it’s time to move on. And before you think, “she’s just never had a guy treat her well,” see rule #2.

    Rule #4: Sometimes she is more important than you.

    Women are badasses (co-signed by Obama). We have careers, side hustles, families, friends, dreams, goals, etc. Sometimes that stuff is more important than happy hour with you. Bourbon on the rocks and witty banter won’t get a woman her dream (though bourbon and banter sounds like an okay dream to me…).

    The thing is, you’re probably not trying to date this woman because she’s 100% available, waiting by the phone for you, eager to please. At least, I hope you like her for more than that. You can easily abide by rule #1 here by realizing that the things that attract you to her may also be the things that keep you from her sometimes. And frankly, doesn’t that make you swoon harder (wait, do men swoon?)?

    Rule #5: Read rules #1 through 4 again.

    Frankly, four rules feels like a weird amount, but I couldn’t come up with a fifth because I did such a great job on the first four! So for good measure, read them all again. Really internalize them.

    *I’ve been known to house an entire large pizza by myself in one sitting, so I’m clearly of the whale persuasion. I know you’ve been wondering what that asterisk was all about.

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    My Mixtape Monday – February 1, 2016

    First Name: Shannon
    Twitter: @shanlin1022
    Sex: Female
    Age: 33

    Occupation: Stay at home mom and health coach

    Mixtape Name: Pre & Post

    Side A
    1) Prima Donna by Christina Aguilera
    2) Pop Champagne by Jim Jones and Ron Browz
    3) Day N Nite (Crookers Remix) by Kid Cudi
    4) Yala by MIA
    5) Wait Your Turn by Rihanna
    6) On to the Next One by Jay-Z

    Side B
    7) The Longest Time by Billy Joel
    8) Desperately Wanting by Better than Ezra
    9) Coming Around Again by Carly Simon
    10) Requiem for a Dream by Clint Mansell
    11) Aqueous Transmission by Incubus
    12) Danny’s Song by Kenny Loggins

    Liner Notes: All the songs on Side A are “pre-Mateo” songs. These would be my pre-gaming songs before going out to bar hop in Shadyside. Also, these would be on my playlist if I ran. But I don’t.

    All songs on Side B are “post-Mateo” songs. Motherhood has brought out my softer, less drinking in public side of me. I grew up with these songs and now play them for Mateo when he needs a little wind-down time and mama needs a big glass of wine. But I’m secretly hoping he will have fond memories of these songs too.

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    My Mixtape Monday – January 25, 2016

    First Name: Leah
    Twitter: @leahquinn2
    Sex: Female
    Age: 22

    Occupation: Marketing Coordinator/Writer

    Mixtape Name: Saturday’s Uniform

    Side A

    1) Stonehands by Balance and Composure (links in email)
    I have to admit, choosing the first song for this mixtape was more challenging than it probably needed to be. Still, this has been a consistently played song on my Spotify history so I figured I’d go with something solid. It’s a song that sneaks up on you and eerily reminds you of all your past regrets. Plus, I think “stonehands” is a great piece of imagery. “I know you’ve got hands of stone, crush everything I’ve ever known.”
    2) Above the Clouds of Pompeii by Bear’s Den
    OK, this song is a little heavy. And the music video is completely depressing, sorry about that. But my favorite line is when he repeats, “I was too young to understand, I was too young to understand,” because I like to wonder at what age we’re not too young to understand. It gets a little more upbeat as the song barrels on, “hold your head up high, she would want you to.” Bear’s Den is a really cool band– great at portraying emotion.
    3) The Light by The Album Leaf
    This is a must-have for my “Putting Pen to Paper” playlist on Spotify. Sometimes I just need a quiet, repetitive, wordless song to write to. Also, I feel like I should mention I’ve never seen Scandal, but apparently it’s their flagship song. Whether you’re a Shonda Rhimes fan or not, it’s a great, reflective song.
    4) 7 Layers by Dotan
    “I was a stranger in my own skin. Seven layers I’ve been hiding in.” I don’t know much about Dotan, but I was immediately attracted to these lines– and sometimes that’s enough.
    5) Gooey by Glass Animals
    This song. It threw me way off when I first heard it, and I barely know what to say about it. When I first heard phrases like “icky, gooey womb” and “peanut butter vibes” my knee-jerk reaction was to switch songs… but then I couldn’t. It draws you in. YouTube comments range from “this song calms down my wailing toddler,” and “I think this song is devil worship.” And when two opinions about one song are that polarized, you know it’s gotta be good.
    6) Earth Angel by Death Cab for Cutie
    Ah, the sweet sounds from the ’50s, sung by hipsters from the 2000s. I’m a huge Back to the Future fan and I shamelessly love this song. It takes me right back to that Enchantment Under the Sea dance scene.

    Side B

    7) Will You Smile Again for Me by …And You Will Know Us by The Trail of Dead
    OK, before I begin, I should mention a good friend introduced Trail of Dead to me just recently. I feel a little ashamed, like I should have known them a long time ago. The song is so dynamic, and I love that trumpet part at 1:30 — at least, I’m assuming it’s a trumpet, I won’t pretend to be a brass instrument expert. Here are the best lines: “The paper’s your soul and your blood’s the pen” and “just how long did it take for you to understand where your feelings stopped and writing began.” They remind me that it’s like you sign an unbreakable contract when you decide you want to be a writer.
    8) Caroline by Jon Foreman
    “Caroline, the middle-finger queen of the never mind.” I like this song because it paints a picture of someone we all know in just the first line. We all have Carolines in our life. “It feels like what you find your pleasure in are the things that are bringing you down.”
    9) Real People by Dresses
    I have to be honest about something. This song is the reason why I bought a ukulele. I don’t think the original song was performed with one, but the Blue Microphones version was, as well as the live version. I had never heard of them about 2 or 3 years ago when my roommates and I saw them at the tiniest venue above a bar in Pittsburgh– shout-out to the Smiling Moose. We stood in the front and were so close to the musicians that when they heard me turn to my friend and say, “this is my song,” Timothy replied “well, this one’s for you, then.”
    10) State Hospital by Frightened Rabbit
    Alright, so we’re back to another dark song. Actually, curating this mixtape has me realizing that it seems to be a theme in the bulk of my music. Not sure what that says about me, but I’ll make sure to ask my therapist next week. If you can get past the very emotional themes, this song boasts some genius lyrics: “Her blood is thicker than concrete, forced to be brave she was born into a grave,” “A slipped disc in the spine of community,” and “Brought home to keep warm in the arms of a plumber, ruddy and balding / who just needs a spine to dig into, a chest for the head and a hand for the holding.” They’re just so powerful, and cut like a knife.
    11) The Luckiest by Ben Folds
    I could have picked 12 Ben Folds songs, but I went with the one that has made the most sense to me since I first heard it when I was just a kid. Something just clicked when I heard the last verse:
    Next door there’s an old man who lived to his nineties and one day
    Passed away in his sleep,
    And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days, and passed away
    I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way to tell you,
    that I know we belong
    That I know that I am the luckiest.
    12) Landslide by Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks
    Look, I know we’ve all heard this one before– probably in the background of the corner diner, in line at the bank, or waiting for the dentist to see us next. Sometimes the most meaningful songs are chosen to be the soundtrack of the most mundane parts of our life. I loved this song when I was young because my Mom loved it, and that seemed like a good enough reason. When I heard, “Well, I’ve been afraid of changing / Cause I’ve built my life around you / But time makes you bolder, even children get older / I’m getting older too” I thought of her as the one afraid of change, and as myself as the child. But now as I listen to it, I feel myself align with the one who’s made bolder with time. I love finding songs like this that seem to grow up with you.

    Spotify Playlist Link: Saturday’s Uniform

    YouTube Playlist Link: Saturday’s Uniform

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    My Mixtape Monday – January 18, 2016

    First Name: Meg
    Twitter: @MegKCampbell
    Sex: Female
    Age: 27

    Occupation: Full-time marketing/communications, part-time MBA, constant cat herder

    Mixtape Name: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Frick.

    Side A
    1) Dance Anthem of the 80s by Regina Spektor
    2) Spectrum (Say My Name) by Florence + The Machine
    3) Rumbrave by Murder By Death
    4) Grace Kelly by MIKA
    5) Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce
    6) Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra

    Side B
    7) Bad Girls by MIA
    8) Powerful by Major Lazer feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley
    9) Bled White by Elliott Smith
    10) Obstacle 2 by Interpol
    11) F*ck You by Lily Allen
    12) Portions for Foxes by Rilo Kiley

    Liner Notes: Monday is the first day I will have to brush snow off of my car at 6 a.m. before going to the gym. It’s the first day that my walk to and from the bus stop will be REALLY cold It’s the first morning I will frantically tear apart the apartment before realizing that my gloves are exactly where they’re supposed to be.

    I hate the cold. I hate the cold so much that it threatens to ruin my mood for an entire season. It helps if I have a playlist that makes me believe I can defeat the epic jerk that is Jack Frost. This is that playlist.

    Okay, here we go. Out the door and Dance Anthem of the 80s. Time to dance, and dancing keeps you warm…at the price of weird looks, but worth it. Now Florence takes it up a notch, makes me feel like a badass. Keeping the badass vibe rolling, Murder by Death reminds me that, “I send men to their doom.” Men like you, Jack Frost.

    Oh hey, okay, it’s getting a little bit dark. Let’s take it back to a super happy place. Thanks, MIKA! Dancing, dancing, dancing. Just when the cold starts to really bite, Beyonce reminds me that I and my fellow ladies do, in fact, run the world. Still cold. Frick. Okay, let’s just dream about running away somewhere warm with Frank for a few.

    It’s not warm though, and Frank is dead. Let’s take it back to the real world and face it like a #bossbitch with M.I.A. A girl still needs a warm up though, and Powerful is such a sexy jam that I think it actually heats me up. Bled White lets me film an internal montage of me bravely facing the cold city streets with a peppy surface attitude but dark underpinnings. Obstacle 2 reminds me that snow can be sort of romantic or something. Oh who cares if it’s romantic, Fuck You, snow, Lily Allen style, very, very much.

    Oh, fine, snow and cold. Now that I’ve arrived somewhere warm, maybe you aren’t that bad. Maybe it’s graduation goggles, but ending the journey with Rilo Kiley makes me think that maybe I like you even though you’re bad news, or at least can tolerate you enough to do this again in 8 hours.

    Spotify Playlist link: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Frick.

    YouTube Playlist Link: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Frick.

    tape-holiday

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    My Mixtape Monday – January 11, 2016

    First Name:Goob
    Twitter: @goob
    Sex: Goob
    Age: Goob

    Occupation: Goob

    Mixtape Name: Retrospective Mega Mixtape Mashup Monday Retrospective

    Liner Notes: Mashups are a thing; megamashups are a more recent thing. For a megamashup, the game is to meld more than just a vocal and an instrumental: megamashups fold in five, ten, fifty songs into a single track. Megamashups often get released at the end of summer, incorporating all of the season’s hits in some way or another.

    The year-end is the season to watch, though, because of constraints change: most mixers set the goal at including (somehow) tracks that reached the top of the charts, or tracks that did well at home and abroad, or some other formula for choosing what has to make it into the mix.

    This often means finding clever and artful ways to combine songs that would make each other shake, shiver, and shy away in shame. A small group of mixers and DJs has been getting better at this for a while now, finding ways to make it all work.

    Sometimes, it works really well.

    I’ve made choices here, to present my list of the best year-end mashups of the past seven years. My choices are not always sure, or even reasonable, but here they are. Here’s the thing: everyone I name here is very, very good. Seek ’em.

    2009: DJ Earworm, Blame It on the Pop
    This is the first year the mega mashups really started to come into their own. DJ Earworm put out an effort for 2008, but it wasn’t as cohesive, didn’t stretch or hold. In 2009, Earworm put down this track, and it was immediately clear that this was the new bar. And that DJ Earworm was good at this.
    2010: DJ Earworm, Don’t Stop the Pop
    What I remember about this year was the pop music landscape made this exercise difficult. Earworm has the best effort here, I think, but only just: Daniel Kim, Ben Stiller, and a bunch of other folks made some good stuff.
    2011: Mashup Germany, What the F**k
    Parked on the end of his 2011 Promo Disc (highly recommended!) this storming little thing pulls on boots and stomps through the year’s popular music without relent. Video edit by Panos T, who is good at that.
    2012: DJ Drybones, Carry Me Home, Maybe
    My unreserved selection for 2012. Where DJ Earworm said “hey, I can put all of these things together with cohesion,” DJ Drybones steps up and says “hey, I can put all of these things together with a story.” Plus, a neat solution to the problem that was Gangnam Style. Also, pretty good at this. This one is great.
    2013: Robin Skouteris, PopLove2
    Another year of complicated musical terrain. Hot on the heels of the ridiculously fun PopLove, Robin Skouteris follows up with a mega mashup for the year. Daniel Kim had a good outing here, too, as did Isosine, but I think Skouteris found a better way to make sense of it all. Plus ducks.
    2014: DJ Earworm, Do What You Wanna Do
    2014 was a mighty strong year for Mashup Germany and both DJs Earworm and Drybones, but I’m going to give this one to Earworm for finding the cohesion this year, in a careful and artful way. And say that all of ’em are very good at this.
    2015: DJ Earworm, 50 Shades of Pop / DJ Drybones, All About It
    Very, very good at this.

    YouTube Playlist Link: Retrospective Mega Mixtape Mashup Monday Retrospective

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    The Week in Tweets – January 8, 2016

    The expression “T.G.I. Friday” has been around since the 1940’s. To replace it with something more hip and current, I’ve come up with three new phrases that express delight about it being the last day of the standard work week:

    Friday af.

    Yaaaas for Friday.

    Friday YEET!

    My personal favorite is Friday af, but any are satisfactory. Alright, enough slang editorial, let’s get onto an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!

    6) Shannon Plush (@shannonplush)

    An invention that turns your couch into your bed and brushes your teeth/washes your face for you.

    If you can engineer it to wipe my butt too, I’ll definitely buy one!

    5) Totes Awesome (@FrakkingAwesome)

    Tan lines are the literal worst. I better not see anymore f*ckin tan lines in 2016! Or pestilence & famine, but mostly the tan lines…

    Agreed! Here’s my updated list of the world’s worst problems:

    1) Tan lines
    2) Transnational terrorism
    3) Climate change
    4) People that pronounce expresso with an ‘x’
    5) Kyle Ren and the Knights of Ren

    4) 3M075 (@SamuelHLowe)

    – I’m your son’s teacher and I’m calling to tell you that he may be a compulsive liar.

    – And a damn good one. I don’t have any sons.

    You know how some parents get indignant whenever a teacher tells them that their “little angel” has done something wrong? Well, I’m the opposite. I actually have a hard time believing them when they tell me that my son DIDN’T misbehave.

    I mean, it’s not like he’s pure evil or anything. He’s just curious and a little bit mischievous…kinda like a Mogwai. And just like a Mogwai, whenever any of the three rules are broken – 1) do not get him wet (he hates baths), 2) don’t try to take away his iPad and 3) never run out of snacks– he can instantly turn into a rampaging Gremlin!

    3 – tie) Martin Munson (@wickedimproper)

    *hoverboards down the receiving line at a funeral*

    Jake Weisman (@weismanjake)

    Movies set unrealistic standards for how many dance offs you’ll have in your lifetime

    It’s 2016, where’s my hoverboard dance-off?!?!?! #ThanksObama

    2 – tie) aly (@WElRDAL)

    Since October I’ve gained 10 pounds lmfao fuckin holidays

    beezuskiddo (@beezuskiddo)

    I was going to resolve to lose weight, but then I forgot and ate a cinnamon roll.

    I was also going to resolve to lose weight, but then forgot and ate a cinnamon roll. And then I forgot that I had eaten a cinnamon roll and ate a donut…

    1) It’s Kim! (@KimFreakinB)

    Ok. Ok. I’ll watch “Making a Murderer”.

    I’ve been feeling really left out of the loop since I’ve also not watched the show yet so I’ve resigned to start it tonight. I’m also long overdue in learning how to Dougie…

    Below is a picture of kitten Rachel stretching out. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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    My Mixtape Monday – January 4, 2016

    First Name: Amber
    Twitter: @aterrormusical
    Sex: Female
    Age: 28

    Occupation: freelance journalist/photographer, marketing coordinator at a music venue

    Mixtape Name: [Real]

    Side A
    1) I Don’t Want Love by The Antlers
    2) This Land Used to be My Land, But Now I Hate This Land by Pomegranates
    3) Pioneers by The Lighthouse and The Whaler
    4) Bizness by tUnE-yArDs
    5) Regret by St. Vincent
    6) Passenger Seat by Death Cab for Cutie

    Side B
    7) Helm & Anchor by Seafair
    8) Saturday by Fall Out Boy
    9) All Fired Up by Interpol
    10) What Went Down by Foals
    11) You by Pearl and the Beard
    12) Two of Us on the Run by Lucius
    13) Stars by Alessia Cara

    Liner Notes: “Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

    ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

    ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

    ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

    ‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” – The Velveteen Rabbit

    This mix is dedicated to the man who’s proven that Real is the most beautiful thing you can be and to the girl who thought love was not for her.

    May she continue to be proven wrong.

    Spotify link: [Real]

    YouTube Playlist Link: [Real]

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    The Year in Tweets – 2015

    I, for one, am glad that this year is coming to an end. It was pretty much the sh*ttiest year of my life, and worldwide it seemed like not a week went by without a mass public shooting, terrorist attack, or person of color being killed by the po-po. And don’t even get me started on how disappointing ‘True Detective’ Season 2 was…

    Despite all this strife and discord, I still managed to tweet out a bunch of gelastic non sequiturs over the past twelve months. I’ve compiled my best thirty-nine tweets below, along with some pics of my buddy Katrina’s dog Loki. He’s an 11-month-old Siberian Heartthrob who’s appropriately named since he’s all about mischief. His hobbies include chasing other puppies at the dog park, eating mud, and stealthily stealing tissues out of the garbage while his Mom isn’t looking.

    Have a happy and prosperous 2016 everybody and please enjoy an all-new, all-different Year in Tweets!!!

    “found footage” horror movie of me stepping on Legos in the dark…

    “waiting for the liquor store to open while wearing a swimsuit” means you’re either having a great day or your life has gone miserably wrong

    caprese salads are my favorite salads because they’re not really salads, they’re just f*ckin’ cheese…

    Coco Chanel said “before you leave the house, remove one accessory” so i’m taking off my pants…

    coffee so strong that it’s a beachbody coach and so hot that none of the other stay-at-home moms want to hang out with it…

    current status: planning my lunch while eating my breakfast…

    every morning i wake up asking myself the same burning question – “what condo did they end up choosing on House Hunters International?”…

    FYI – “going to Target on a Saturday afternoon” is the new “going to the club on a Friday night”…

    had a nightmare about Freddy Krueger but instead of trying to kill me, he just kept inviting me to play Candy Crush…

    hit snooze so hard on my iPhone 6 that my iPhone 3G felt it…

    i ate a big burrito right before bed and then had a nightmare that i ate a little burrito…

    i can handle incompetence and backstabbing, but if a coworker doesn’t alert me when there’s free food in the break room, they’re dead to me

    i can hear Whitney singing “i believe the children are our future” in my head as i watch my son eat shredded cheddar cheese off the floor…

    i have the perfect beachbody because it’s soft, pale yellowish and mostly dry…

    i like my coffee like i like my women…strong, hot and furiously challenging the ahistorical conceptions of the patriarchal state…

    i really hope that “yelling at old people who are holding up traffic to turn into church” isn’t a sin…

    if someone steals my identity, i just hope that they use my gym membership more often than i do…

    in high school, i put more thought into deciding what outfit to wear to Kennywood than i did what colleges to apply to…

    just pressed Left-Right-Left-Right B, A, Start on my Keurig and now i have unlimited coffee…

    most bumper stickers make me cringe but i just saw a one that said “I Love My Grandcat” and i’ve never felt happier to be alive…

    my company is holding CPR training tomorrow but i refuse to take part until they get me some better looking coworkers…

    my computer must be broke ‘cause i keep hitting the escape key but i’m still here at work…

    my toddler is constantly asking questions like “Who’s that?”, “Where are we going?” and “What you really know about the Dirty South?”…

    read a Yelp review and someone wrote “Fish tacos so good that I ate the whole meal!” & i’m like “smh b*tch, i eat everything even if it sux”

    rollin’ down the street, smokin’ endo, sippin’ on gin and organic, locally sourced, gluten-free juice…

    she wants a Victorian that’s haunted by devils; he’s looking for a mid-century modern that’s on the ocean floor…next on HouseHunters…

    sings “Jaaay-son DeruuulooOoOo” prior to starting Powerpoint presentation…

    smoke break, but instead of a cigarette, i go outside and eat string cheese every hour…

    that feeling when the IT guy is working on your computer and he sees that your last Google search was for “marshawn lynch fantasy”…

    that’s not a tattoo it’s eczema…

    the next episode of “Naked and Afraid” is just me stepping in the scale this morning…

    these thin mints aren’t making me thin…

    trying to explain to my toddler why he can’t have pizza and ice cream for breakfast and i really can’t come up with any good reasons…

    watching Cake Wars and wondering how we can expect humans to live peacefully when delicious desserts can’t even get along…

    when i was a kid, going to bed at ten on a Friday would’ve been a punishment, now it feels like a reward…

    whenever i travel into the city with my wife to see a show i pray we don’t get shot but if we do i also pray that my son becomes Batman…

    yells “REMIX!” at your second wedding…

    you know you’ve been watching too much Thomas the Train when you yell “fizzling fireboxes” during sex…

    Loki_Pic copy

    week in TWEETS, , , , , , ,


    My Mixtape Monday – Best of…2005

    Continuing our annual tradition, below is a mixtape playlist rounding up the best songs of the year….just not this year. Let’s flashback a decade and relive the excitement (Tom Cruise on Oprah’s couch), pain (Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston getting divorced) and triumph (Carrie Underwood winning American Idol) of 2005 with a playlist put together by me and my buddy Kate!

    First Names: Kate & Alex
    Twitters: in 2005 there was no Twitter, but you can try to find us on MySpace!
    Ages in 2005: 14 & 28

    Mixtape Name: Million Dollar Mixtape

    Side A – High School Freshman by Kate
    1) Breathe (2 AM) by Anna Nalick
    It is not 2 a.m. It is not even midnight. It is around 3:30 p.m. and I’ve been out of school for less than an hour. I’m freshly 14 years old, I’m listening to the first half of this song on repeat, and I am in LOVE. Bad love; crazy love; the kind of love that hits you the hardest when even the smallest bra in the juniors’ department leaves little convex pockets of air under your shirt.
    The unfortunate blond object of my affection seems to be aware of me in a vague way; that is, we once bumped shoulders in the hallway and he expressed a mumbled realization that a sentient block of carbon was passing on the left.
    After I shoved a tortured confession of my feelings into his locker (signed Your <3 Secret <3 Admirer <3), he started dating my neighbor, who was at LEAST a B-cup. Oh, how I wept. Just breathe, Anna sang. Just breathe. I wiped the tears and snot trails off my face and I did my best.
    2) Crooked Teeth by Death Cab for Cutie
    Ah, indie rock. I remember one of my first encounters with that intoxicatingly twee aesthetic – a girl in my algebra class was wearing a Death Cab for Cutie t-shirt.
    She wore it most days, because she was a Cool Girl. She had Cool Dyed Hair and wore Cool Ripped Jeans and smoked Cool Menthol Cigarettes. She had probably never worn a blanket to school or suffered an allergic and very puffy reaction to sparkly gel eyeshadow or staple-gunned her own leg for a paltry $5 in art class, unlike your friend the author. She just hung around listening to music, her pin-straight hair dropped in a perfect geometric slash across her face, and boys hung around listening to her.
    After my first run-through of Plans, though, I’d forgotten all about my jealousy. Ben Gibbard KNEW ME. Crooked Teeth was WRITTEN ABOUT ME PERSONALLY. Specifically, it was about the time I almost asked a boy to a dance in middle school but totally didn’t. It was also about my recently deceased dog. It was also, improbably, about the time my mom wouldn’t let me go to Club Zoo Under-21 Night with my friends. There was no doubt about which side I was on. (Uh-huh.)
    3) The First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes
    Death Cab was, of course, a gateway drug, and it dragged me with inexorable, black-eyelined force toward the pained whine of the patron saint of Sad Boys: Conor Oberst. My God, I loved Bright Eyes. The lyrics! The truth! The beauty! The constant folksy little hammer-ons! Ben Gibbard didn’t know me. Ben Gibbard didn’t know shit. How could I have been so blind? It was Conor, waiting just beyond the horizon holding all the answers in his super-cool guitar-strumming arms, the whole time.
    I practiced dropping Bright-Eyes-inspired witticisms here and there, my eyes shielded by cheap off-brand Ray-Bans.. In my mind, I was speeding down California One, beautifully and tragically alone, an open bottle of gin in the passenger’s seat, while a bevy of scorned lovers called my Razr flip phone to no avail. Until then, I decided, I would just keep the door to my room shut so my mom wouldn’t ask me why I spent all my time whispering at my reflection in the mirror.
    4) My Doorbell by The White Stripes
    If my MySpace page from 2005 still existed, somewhere, by some miracle, in the annals of the Wayback Machine, and you were brave enough to give it a click, you’d be barraged by dozens of photos of Jack White messily embedded in the HTML code. To say I loved the White Stripes would have been an understatement.
    When Get Behind Me Satan came out, I practically receded into a singularity. The poppy rhythms of My Doorbell in particular snagged my attention. It was wistful, cheery and just a tad insistent. I imagined Jack and Meg’s tour van breaking down, fortuitously, in front of my parents’ house.
    They’d come right up to the porch and I’d ask them in for a cup of tea while Triple-A made its way over. We’d talk, we’d laugh, we’d write Grammy-winning tunes. We’d discuss marriage prospects. It’d be a very eventful 20 minutes. I’m thinking about my doorbell, Jack. When you gonna ring it?
    5) Lose Control by Missy Elliott ft. Ciara
    The year? 2005. The time? 8:00 p.m. The location? Brittany’s house. The event? A dance party. I was huddled over an iPod in the living room with several other girls as we created the perfect playlist. Remember that Club Zoo underage night I was bitching about earlier? We’d decided to go (gasp) WITHOUT PERMISSION.
    “I’m sleeping at Brit’s,” I told my mom cheerfully. “I’m sleeping at Kate’s,” she told her mom. “Whatever,” our moms said. We pulled out the box of club clothes from under our friend Rachel’s bed – she’d methodically been sneaking belly-baring shirts and pleather skirts from her older sister’s closet for months. We were ready. But first, we had to practice our moves. And what better song than Lose Control?
    At 14, sexiness was a too-big costume we were trying on out of curiosity, but with a beat like this in the background and sips of deliciously illegal Smirnoff Ice between awkward flailings, we felt almost like adults.
    6) Heart in a Cage by The Strokes
    There are a lot of reasons that this is my favorite track on First Impressions of Earth, but the fact that it features the f-word was its sticking point for me in the good old days of 2005. I loved the anger boiling behind the recurring guitar riff, and I loved the edge to Julian Casablancas’ voice when he shouted about fighting through the crowd to find someone who wasn’t even there. I, myself, had felt the exact same way when I showed up to Language Arts wearing my cute new blue-striped shirt and my crush was out sick. (A likely story.)
    The Strokes made their first appearance in my life during an art class, when the art teacher, who I was also in love with (think of ninth grade me as Tina Belcher with a drinking problem), popped Room On Fire into the CD player. It was transcendent. And, of all the songs on this list, Heart in a Cage is the one that I revisit the most often.
    7) Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
    You can say what you want about the long and oft-ridiculed catalogue of catchy bubblegum pop, but this song is everything a radio hit should aspire to be. Listening to it is like knocking back a shot of espresso.
    And in 2005, anytime I felt like it was about time to crawl into my grave and wallow around in my despair for a few centuries, I’d pull out my trusty silver iPod and search for KT Tunstall. All worries would dissipate for about two minutes, and I would bop around, feeling light and free and maybe even moderately attractive, which is a rare feat for a 14-year-old girl.
    It didn’t matter that I’d embarrassed myself past the point of no return in gym class once again, or that I’d turned in a half-blank algebra test. It didn’t matter that my date for the winter formal had gotten arrested and would no longer be able to escort me. Suddenly I saw — I was everything I wanted to be.
    8) John Wayne Gacy, Jr. by Sufjan Stevens
    When I was in 6th grade, my friend and I spent days poring over something entitled, as I recall, The Big Book of Serial Killers. We were obsessed. We’d seen lots of horror movies, but this was it; the real thing. These were the real monsters who stalked the world and plucked people just like you and me right out of their lives and dropped them into a nightmare. It was like a car wreck — you’re disturbed, but you just can’t look away.
    I’ve always had a passion for the morbid, and with the release of Come On Feel the Illinoise, it intersected squarely with my budding love of soft-voiced indie rockers. I read everything Gacy-related I could get my hands on. I stared at his seemingly innocuous paintings. I tried to put myself in the head of his unfortunate victims; I tried to put myself in my own head. It was all very disturbing, and the last few lines of the song have always stuck with me: “And in my best behavior, I am really just like him. Look beneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid.”

    Side B – First Marriage by Alex
    9) Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
    I got married to my first wife* in September 2005. All the pomp and circumstance surrounding that event was enjoyable and exciting at the time, but since things didn’t work out, it’s hard to look back and feel much joy.
    Since U Been Gone is a fitting leadoff to my side of the mixtape since its bittersweet sentiment echoes many of my own feelings about that time period. The song also is a significant harbinger of the paradigm shift in mainstream music that’s occurred over the past decade.
    The composition incorporates elements of R&B and indie rock, whilst the soaring chorus is pure anthemic pop. Combine that with a knockout vocal performance from an artist promoted via a televised talent show, and you have the recipe for half of the songs that make up the iTunes Top Ten list today.
    * I’m now happily married to my second (and hopefully last) wife!
    10) King Without a Crown by Matisyahu
    It’s been almost exactly ten years since Howard Stern left terrestrial radio and I’m still sad about it. I would listen to it religiously during my morning commutes and would frequently find myself going into work late since I just couldn’t turn the radio off and get out of my car after parking.
    Howard’s show aired locally on 93-7 K-Rock in 2005, and I’d usually keep the station on during the ride home since it played a decent mix of alternative rock. One night I heard the live version of King Without a Crown, fell in love with it, and spent the night searching Kazaa Lite for a copy of it.
    I’ve always had a soft spot for reggae-ska-rock (which helps explain my love for Sublime), and this song continues to be one of my all-time favorite examples of the genre.
    11) Dance, Dance by Fall Out Boy
    12) The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage by Panic! at the Disco
    Two more songs that I discovered via 93-7 and then downloaded illegally. I was a little too old to get enraptured by the emo-punk scene of the early aughts, but these songs burrowed their way into my head and found a permanent place.
    13) Sitting, Waiting, Wishing by Jack Johnson
    Nowadays, Jack Johnson’s brand of easy listening dad-rock is more likely to be referenced in a meme for “Stuff White People Like” than to be lauded as credible music. But I say “F dat!”. I don’t care how much of my hipster cred it costs me, Jack Johnson is awesome.
    I first became aware of his music via Rodeo Clowns off of G. Love’s 1999 album Philadelphonic*. Mr. Johnson’s debut Brushfire Fairytales soon followed, and is still one of my favorite albums from the early-00s. After the uneven On & On, he released In Between Dreams in March 2005. From the first song (Better Together) to the last (Constellations), this album perfectly captured the charm of his straightforward songwriting.
    To coincide with the plaintive theme of this retrospective, I went with the anguishing love ballad Sitting, Waiting, Wishing. It distinguishes itself from the rest of the album by not shying away from the ugly side of life and ruminating on the resentment associated with moving on from a failed relationship.
    * I might as well throw away all of my hipster cred and state for the record that I love G. Love & Special Sauce as well. Do yourself a favor and check out Philadelphonic, as well as their eponymous debut from 1994.
    14) Go Crazy (Remix) by Young Jeezy feat. Jay-Z
    Every few years, Jay-Z will jump on a remix and remind everyone why he’s the GOAT. Being paired with hot newcomer Young Jeezy and a crazy (no pun intended) Don Cannon beat brought out the best in Jigga with lyrics like:
    “See, I’m a hustler’s hope, I’m not his pipe dream.
    So when they speak of success, I’m what they might mean.
    Attract money, my worst color is light green.
    My favorite hue is Jay-z blue.”
    15) 1 Thing by Amerie
    The beautiful cacophony of horns and drums on this Meters-sampled track are still undeniably catchy to this day.
    16) Gold Digger by Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx
    “Now I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger”…but…actually there isn’t any “but”. Thankfully my ex-wife had a good job so our conscious uncoupling did not entail any financial hardship for moi. Further mollifying the situation was the fact that she was a lawyer and handled all of the associated legal paperwork herself. At far as divorces go, I can’t imagine it going any easier than what I went through. Regardless, I still don’t recommend it if you can help it!
    The antagonists of Mr. West’s breakthrough hit are not portrayed as magnanimously as what I described above. Thankfully his disdain is more tongue-in-cheek than outright vitriolic, and his playful delivery is a perfect match for the lively beat.

    Liner Notes: Now that we finished up recapping our decade-old favorites, let’s get on to our selections for the top songs of 2015:

    Alex – Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) by Father John Misty, Lean On by Major Lazer and 100 by The Game feat. Drake

    Kate – The Ballad of Bull Ramos by The Mountain Goats, Hotline Bling (Drake cover) by Sufjan Stevens, High by the Beach by Lana Del Rey

    YouTube Playlist Link: Million Dollar Mixtape

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