18 July 2014
After spending most of last week and the weekend under fake lighting I decided that I would take a day trip to somewhere, anywhere, this week. Even if it meant that I would get gross and dirty since it was hot, buggy and muggy. Well, that day off was all those things but it was also miniature golf, ice tea in mason jars, a scenic country drive, a 10 minute fight with Brady in a parked car (the stress of work had made me a wee bit cranky) and some exploring north of Athens.
Hurricane Shoals is where we ended up and while it wasn't the best park I've ever been to it certainly wasn't the worst. The shoals were full of folks splashing around to beat the heat but the real gem of the place was the spooky Village-esque arrangement of historical buildings. They were almost all open to the public all the time even though the had furniture, books and farming implements inside. It was actually a bit spooky...
Yep. I got a nice little sunburn that day but, hey, I was out from underneath all those fake lights in the bakery...
16 July 2014
This may seem like the oddest collection of pictures but they all are from things that popped up the last few days and caught my eye...or they've been around so long it's like discovering them again for the first time.
One of my favorite pictures hangs over our heads while we sit in bed. It's been in that spot for over 10 years now so I kind of took it for granted but I recently told the story of how I procured it (not that exciting but somewhat funny) and I fell in love with it all over again.
Glasses from two places that have great memories of some seriously good times. We visited Bull & Bush in Denver on our US 'round trip honeymoon years and sampled some of their delicious whiskeys. Too much whiskey. Way too much whiskey. As for Creature Comforts, it's a new Athens brewery with a focus on small craft beers that tend to be on the sour side. Both places have rung with our (slightly tipsy) laughter as we whiled away the hours with dear friends.
A day trip to a local park yields rushing shoals, miniature golf complete with miniature homes for decor, a mysterious marmot that ran for the hills and a little village that sat eerily quiet under the blazing sun and is stocked with odd remnants of the early 1900's.
Purple basil blooms appeared overnight. It all smells so good!
This little one is an orgyia leucostigma or 'white-marked tussock moth' larvae. They sting but I didn't find that out the hard way, thank goodness. They're also less seen than they were in years past due to a fungus that controls the gypsy moth population affecting the O. Leucostigma as well.
Today I'm going to try out the new Cuban restaurant that opened on the Eastside of Athens and them I'm doing a deep summer clean on the house. Well, as much as I can anyways. I pulled something in my back yesterday while hiking (ah, the joys of getting older) and my mobility is fairly limited. I'm not a good sick person so I'll just keep chugging along. It did keep us from kayaking today but I'm hoping that we can do it tomorrow instead. Hmmm, maybe I should rest up today after all, eh? I need to enjoy these mid-80's temperatures before they're gone again...
Happy Wednesday everyone!
11 July 2014
Lately the news is jam packed with misogynistic statements...it seems that world is against women. The schools dress codes for girls becoming stricter while conversation with boys/men about how the problem doesn't lie with a mere outfit is almost no where to be found. Hell, women are against women. Judging looks. Judging outfits. Telling someone they've never met before to 'cover up so my husband won't look at you'. Things like that. Yes, I read that on a blog for real. A very popular blog. It's enough of a blow to someone who already struggles with our society's notions of ageism - I'm almost 40 and have lines around my eyes *GASP*. And bodyism - I'm curvy and have cellulite on my knees. I'm also a heavily tattooed (yes, I still get shit for that) and well-educated baker who isn't having kids. There's not much to represent me in mainstream media right now. There's not much representing women in general. It can be frustrating and maddening and saddening...
But as I head into this weekend I want to remind myself that while I struggle with and against a number of things, both in the media and within myself, I've got a lot of good things going on with my mind, body and life. A LOT of good things. SO MANY GOOD THINGS! You have to remind yourself all that good when you're fighting a whooooooooole lot of bad.
I'm willing to try anything once...within reason. Whether it's fashion, food, books or tubing down a polluted river (yep, that was my 4th of July experience in Helen, GA), I'll give it a whirl once. You've all heard the sayings about seizing the day and living in the moment but I really try to embody that concept on the daily. Why not, eh?
I know myself and know when I'm not going to compromise. Okay, I just wrote about trying new things as much as possible but I also try to draw limits. Gah, that's a fine line. For example, I've gone out to the bars for *insert thing here* but you know what? I hate going to bars. Hate it. So, I don't do it unless it's a going away party or a special occasion (like Athfest). It's liberating and fulfilling to say 'no' sometimes just as much as it is to say 'what the hell...why not?' because you know yourself because you've been willing to try new things and push the envelope. And as a Southern woman this is a big deal for me because I was taught to constantly compromise. Yay for changing a lifetime of ingrained habit!
I try to be happy as much as possible. Happiness is work. Hard work. And I'm so proud of myself for choosing happiness over anger as I've become older. Oh, I used to be a very angry lady at one point in my life. One of exes was a very negative guy and really hurt me (verbally) and it took me a long time to realize that my anger towards everyone and everything had to be addressed. Years where I partied hard, made even more horrible relationship choices (verbally and physically abusive ones) and did whatever I could to avoid self-reflection. Now, I'm thankful every day for a wonderful partner, my dogs/kitties, my education, my friends and my life. I'm happy. Because I worked, and continue to work, for it. I deserve it. So do you.
I also like: my hands, my scarred up knees (I rode BMX as a kid), my defensive driving abilities, my affinity for clogs, the different voices I use for different animals, my cookie making skills, my ability to read a 250 page book in a hour, my ability to wash a sink full of dishes in under 5 minutes, my ability to quote feminist literature, the way I use a fork, how I can pick things up with my toes, my blue eyes and dark hair, the way I can wear florals with flair, the way I can give a look that kills a conversation and so much more.
I'd also like to hear what you like about yourself. What makes you the person you are?
10 July 2014
I'm once again putting out the call for postcard correspondence. I've been so happy to meet so many of you folks from 'round the world! I stocked up on odd cards from New Orleans, from some locals parks and some fun local ones fresh from the printing company. The only thing I'm missing is some more people to send them all to...
Go here to find out more. Hope to hear from you soon...
When I find an album I love it becomes a life long relationship that weathers all sorts of ups and downs and rounds and rounds. Is it that way for you as well? I'm not talking about playing an artist on repeat for 2 weeks and then phasing it out...although I do that with some songs that aren't part of the long term love. No, I'm talking about an album that you'll defend to anyone and everyone. One that has a million memories, big and small, that come to mind when you hear the first notes strike up. One that you'll wait til the band goes on tour so you can get a copy of it in vinyl just to have the music in hand after the last of live notes have faded. This is one of those albums for me and Brady...
Timber Timbre is spooky stuff...rooted in these swampy, bluesy notes that resonate with my home town of Waycross, GA. The band has swagger and they hum in your blood like cheap neon. I know I've spoke of them before but hot dang! They're so, so good.
Bad Ritual & Do I Have Power are my favorites on Creep On Creepin' On. Give 'em a whirl...
07 July 2014
These are the last of the photos that I'm sharing from the N.O. trip and they are the crummiest of the crummy by a long shot. I don't know if it was the heat, the food coma or the fact that I'd taken about a bazillion pictures at Metairie Cemetery earlier on this same day, but I just couldn't get my act together. I won't even think of showing you the Insectarium photos...yeeeesh!
So, after that wonderful introduction I'm sure you just can't wait to see all the pictures, right?
Right after taking all these (cruddy) photos I beat the pants off Brady in miniature golf. Yeah! We almost went kayaking but decided to splurge on Italian ice (me) and homemade cannoli (him) at Angelo Brocato's. They've been making goodies since 1905 so you know that everything there is pretty darn good...
05 July 2014
Advertising is free here on m'blog because I like the idea of getting to know people, their blogs and/or their products in ways that can facilitate a supportive community. I'm not always super active on the blog (sometimes I disappear for a few days) and I've a bad tendency to respond to comments a few days after people post but my heart and mind are there regardless if my physical access to internet and keyboard are not. So, I'd be thrilled if you'd overlook all that jazz and join me in making the internet a fun and honest place to be!
I'm offering the option to ad swap or the like for 1, 2 or 3 month periods. Currently I'm advertising on a few blogs that I love (Dainty Squid, Kitty & Buck, etc) so I do get a bit of traffic flow to G&M. Why don't I pass along the benefits to you too?
Ads and agreements are subject to approval. We should have at least a few things in common, eh?
Sizes are all the same (200x100) and ads should have clear images and/or text with no distortions. I'll be glad to help you create one if you'd like...
Email me at email@example.com for more information!
PS If you're a current sponsor then I will be contacting you about updating our swapping arrangements. Thanks!
02 July 2014
The Athens scenescape has been changing with the ever quickening momentum of a snowball rolling down a hill. Every single day something is being torn down or built up and the shadow of the huge industrial crane downtown moves over us in constant sweeps. Now, this isn't a post to complain about progress although it can certainly be seen that way. There's no stopping change...that's for sure. There are, however, ways to help preserve certain things - buildings, art, ideas - for hopeful future generations. And that includes outdoor public murals.
The mural pictured above was created a number of years ago by the now world renowned artist and Athens local David Hale. As of last week? Gone. Painted over by the owner of the building after new tenants moved in. This has become something of a hot button topic here in town (people are pisssssssed) but what I'm going to say is that for me the real issue is bringing awareness to the protection of art in this form. Murals are a part of our culture and have been since we put our hands on cave walls and made stencils over 40000 years ago.
Of course there is going to be conflict about non-commissioned murals aka graffiti/street art. But when we live in a world where Basquiat and Bansky and Saner and Stikman and Specter are seen as true artists (by most folks anyways) then there is the idea that saving art in a variety of forms is a damn fine idea. It's my hope because hope was kept for me by those before me.
If you're interested in supporting an overarching conservation program then visit this organization. It's a good place to start...
In Atlanta? Check this out!
If you happen to pass by local street art then make sure to stop or slow your step and take it all in. Without protection and/or interest, it might be gone overnight...
PS - images above were taken by me, myself and I. Feel free to use but please give credit. Thank you.
01 July 2014
Greenwood Cemetery was created in 1852 and was the first cemetery in New Orleans to be free from surrounding walls. It was built by the Firemen’s Charitable and Benevolent Association which, unfortunately, was kept busy with burials thanks in part to the serious amount of danger that early firefighters encountered in cities...
The plots here differ from St. Louis #1 and Metairie in a myriad of ways. They are a lot smaller and much more organized. Religious and other iconography are not abundantly found in engravings. Instead of that you'll find a plethora of religious figurines that mirror each other. Wait til you see the last picture in this series! There is a uniformity here that makes the unusual (like the Bacchus pendant and Buddist tomb), and even the several seen, become even more prominent and striking. I stopped counting the Virgin Mary statues after I reached 50 on one block but when I began to look closer that them I became intrigued with them...the same but so very different. See for yourself...
With the screeching wheels of the graffiti laden train rolling by, I shot photos for several hours in the slightly muggy heat and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. Except if I'd been able to find and photograph John Kennedy Toole's grave...now that would've been something!
Oh, and how many Mary's can you count in the last picture?