📷: August 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
Joy isn’t a truth that should be censored.
Roses & Thorns
- A Pinterest-worthy pandemic birthday party for my sister and niece
- Daily Harvest ( I will need to write a review, it’s been a game-changer)
- Two family members passed away (Not due to Covid-19)
I’ve just completed watching season two of The Umbrella Academy. It was a fun story to follow, and I enjoyed the stylized costumes and set design of the sixties. I appreciate the aesthetics of the era. I’m sitting down to write the Snail Mail letter of July, and I’m not really sure where to go. So here is a lightly edited stream of conciousness.
In July, I dived inward, but in a way that was different than June. I worked on finding and figuring out ways to grow and find a more sustainable way of navigating life. A very self-indulgent month of self-actualization, and honestly, it feels a little obnoxious to talk about my existential evolution. Still, it’s what happened. A major component of said evolution being my rediscovery of skateboarding.Continue Reading
For lack of a better word, I will be referring to Vagina Slims as a podcast. But it exists in a world apart from the idea that comes to mind when you think of a podcast. Vagina Slims gives me old school radio DJ vibes. That one hour hosted by your favorite radio DJ, sharing their thoughts while playing some favorite tunes.
I still stand by this sentiment, but as you get deeper into the interview, you might find it amusing how I was instinctually was picking up on the intent behind Lauren’s refreshing form of expression.
When I was crafting the interview, I was trying to figure out a category to put Lauren and Vagina Slims into, find a way to T-up, or justify my outreach to her. However, the truth is simply that she doesn’t fit into some “creative box”. I just enjoy seeing the world through her eyes, and she mostly shares that viewpoint via her Instagram or Vagina Slims, which up until recently (aka pandemic free-time) was more sporadic. Years and years ago, I stumbled on her YouTube, maybe a month or two before she shut it down, which then led me to follow her Tumblr to than listening to Vagina Slims after she started that project. I’ve always been drawn to her taste, and in my eyes, I believe she moves through the world with an artist’s spirit.
Yes, you could say this interview is designed to support the effort of Vagina Slims, but really I just wanted to know more about a person that I found interesting.
(internal dialogue: do we always need some profound justification or reason for simply finding out more about the people we find intriguing?)
I digress – Please do not go and listen to Vagina Slims with the expectations associated with the structure of a podcast as it is in 2020. If anything, pretend you’re on a long road trip flipping through the radio stations and somehow landed on the frequency that is picking up her radio waves. She answers questions from listeners, plays fantastic music, sometimes shares her thoughts on recent movies she watched or sources of inspiration, and always confesses her musing on life in general.
My favorite part of road trips is flipping through radio stations. I’ve found a Majauna themed station in Northern California, a preacher comparing a woman’s sex life to KFC chicken in Lousiana, and a weird Christian storytime in the plains of Kansas. Vagina Slims is how I enjoy the magic of a happenstance radio program from the comfort of my home. Plus, I’m aesthetically amused by her dreamy walks and wherever she roams via her IG Story.
Without further ado – I hope you enjoy meeting Lauren Rose as much as I have over the years via the internet.
Name &/or Nickname:
Zodiac Sign (bonus points if you know your moon and rising sign):
Rising: Aries (I swear I’m not crazy!!)
Helen Hunt in the movie “Twister”
What inspired you to create Vagina Slims? Do you remember how you were feeling 5 years ago when you started this project?
I initially had the idea for Vagina Slims after watching a 1990s film called “Pump Up The Volume” starring Christian Slater. In the film, his character runs this underground pirate radio station that is more or less stream of consciousness talk and his related music picks. He actually pitches his voice while on air so no one can recognize who he is and it suddenly becomes super popular at his high school and starts this revolution of sorts.
In a sense I wanted to create something similar, an open diary “My So-Called Life” format that allows for change, growth, and dissection of topics that I’m into. I’ve always been an internet kid in some way or another growing up so this was a great medium for me to talk about music/movies/life without exposing myself too much. I felt very charged when I first started it like I was finally getting closer to the truths that I’ve wanted to speak about for so long. Years later I still upload in varying degrees, I haven’t tried to capitalize on it and that’s what I cherish the most. It is just for me and the listeners and no one else.
I’m not a professional critic of movies or television, but I love a good story or insight into the human condition. And the fastest way to enjoy a good story these days is in front of the tube*.
*Do people even know what that means? And can you say tube if half the content is streamed from your laptop?
Below is a recap of what I recommend you spend your valuable time on when it comes to selecting material to stream.
Please note, I do not promise we share the same taste, nor that I specifically have a taste that you will enjoy. To try and determine if our taste is aligned, I recommend checking out my previous What I’ve Been Watching — have you watched any of those titles? If yes, do we share similar feelings? If no, you’re just going to have to roll the dice.
3 TV SHOWS x 4 MOVIES x 3 DOCUMENTARIES/COMEDY SPECIALS
📺: indicates the service i used to watch said tv, movie, doc, or comedy specialContinue Reading
This playlist is brought to you by Drunk History, Insecure, Betty, Skate Kitchen, my husband, and a guy walking down my street at the same time I was walking my dog. No joke, I used Shazam on half of this playlist and stopped a man to find out what he was playing on his Bluetooth speaker (it was The Dells).
I’m all about giving proper credit where credit is due, and I wasn’t listening to nearly as much music in June as I usually do. So, if it weren’t for the above — this playlist would be twenty-minutes tops.
Top Five of June:
“Elastic” – Joey Purp
“Magnificent Romeo” – Basement Jaxx
“When The Going is Smooth & Good” – William Onyeabur
“Slippin” – Quadron
“Run For Cover” – The Dells
📷: July 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
On July 1st, I was in bed when I remembered to take my self-portrait. Fuzzy front-facing camera phone self-portrait it is what it is…
Roses & Thorns
- Getting a necessary wakeup call & realizing I could be doing so much better
- Learning and growing – working towards being a true ally
- My sister’s birthday and getting her a TCO “No Bitch” mug to celebrate
- Police Brutality
- Violence Against Trans People
My last snail mail was written only two weeks ago. I don’t have a lot of new things to say or a fresh take on the monumental shift that occurred within our society and myself in June.
I talked about in May’s Snail Mail.
I explain my mental space in the intro leading up to an awesome interview with the band Draag. Thank you again to the band for being so gracious with the delay in posting their interview.
I’ve added banners to my blog that links out to Black Lives Matter and Transgender resources. I want to be a part of a solution, not perpetuate a problem. In June I received the harsh wake-up call, like many (but not enough), that my complacency was actively harming the people I love.
Yeah, not cool dude. Not cool.
Anywho, I write this snail mail to mark the start of this month on this here corner of the internet and go on to post much more interesting content. 🙂
The sound of a cold morning where the dew on the leaves has frozen.
I usually do a write up about how I know or discovered the person or band I’m interviewing. How the music makes me feel or the images it conjures in my mind, but today I’m called to go in a different direction.
I had reached out to Draag for an interview on May 17th, before our country and world took a sharp turn toward collective radical social justice reform. Radical because I think a majority of society was sleepwalking. A shift has occurred, and whether that shift makes you excited or you’re just waiting for things to “go back to normal,” a fundamental shift has happened so buckle up. I view this time as a moment filled with growing pains good and bad. One of the bad growing pains is cancel culture, I’m not here for it and I hope we evolve past it. But I do think there should be more accountability for the voices you give a platform to, and that is a responsibility I am taking on by publishing the voices of other creators. I’m happy to share I did a little social media sleuthing, and Draag is black lives matter aligned. Because I only want to highlight the people who believe in making the world BETTER for other people.
Jessica, the vocalist for Draag graciously responded to my request for an interview quickly after I reached out. I was excited to read through the band’s answers and was looking forward to getting Draag’s interview up, but Camari Carter had also sent in her reply quickly and she had an event coming up that same week that I wanted to help support.
Then I was asked to pause and listen, and I did – happily. As I work towards creating what my new reality will look like and the content I share, I’m VERY excited to share this great interview with Draag. I’m not sure how I came across them but their track Trauma Kit was added to my February playlist, and I’ve been getting into their dreamy escapism sound ever since. I don’t know what you call the wee hours of the morning, but if there is an A.M golden hour – that is the time in which I’d want Draag to be my soundtrack.
Name &/or Nickname:
Zodiac Sign (bonus points if you know your moon and rising sign):
Adrian: Cancer Sun, Cancer Moon, Virgo Rising
Nick: Taurus Sun, Aries Moon, Virgo Rising
Shane: Pisces Sun, Virgo Moon, Aries Rising
Ray: Pisces Sun, Virgo Moon, Taurus Rising
Jessica: Leo Sun, Pisces Moon, Aquarius Rising
When was Draag born into this world? What is the origin story?
Adrian revived some songs he wrote when he was 9 years old on his karaoke tape deck in September 2013. He wanted to condense everything he loved about music into this project, so he recruited a bunch of audiophile toneheads, female vox, and a lot of synths and guitars. Our first EP Nontoxic Process was released in 2018, but we buried our first two mixtapes, made during a time that felt like a completely different band.
Who are some of your creative influences? They do not have to be music related, just creative people who have developed work and put themselves out into the world in a way you admire and perhaps subtly influences your own creative choices?
Kobe Bryant, Ed Templeton, Anna May Wong, Alexandro Jodorowsky, John Carpenter
Apparently my dog really mellows out to “All Mirrors” by Angel Olsen…
Top Five of May :
“Quarantine” – Levitation Room
“Twenty Four Hour Party People” – Happy Mondays
“Cynical Girl” – Marshall Crenshaw
“Jewelry” – Blood Orange
“Hope to Die” – Orville Peck
*Bonus: “Automechanic” – Jenny O.
📷: June 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
A seam in the space-time continuum has burst, and we are in a new dimension.
My eyes are glazed and red from the tears. My face – puffy and pink from the crying. Our country is screaming out in pain, and this was my self-portrait for June 1, 2020.
Roses & Thorns
- Moved our mattress into the den for a Friday night sleepover
- Went on a beautiful long drive
- Watched Julio Torres Zoom Fundraiser “My Sun Aquarius”
- Watching a woman use her whiteness as a weapon on Christian Cooper
- Watching the life drain out of George Floyd
An hour before I took this self-portrait, I had done some breathwork. The exercise triggering an avalanche of pain and gratitude to pour out of me, my face soaked with tears. I cried over the victims of police violence. I cried over the hatred that people spew. I cried over the chosen ignorance of those who refuse to recognize the system of racism in our country. I was crying because I felt guilty and filled with shame for the times I participated in a system that has oppressed black people. My intentions were good, but I wasn’t practicing anti-racism in my life. I was failing the people I love because I had grown apathetic and convinced that I could never take down our countries system of abuse – I certainly couldn’t solve this problem.
The apathy translated into a complete ignorance of our local and state governments. A total unawareness of how city budgets get allocated to departments. Asleep at the wheel focused on the federal system, instead of paying closer attention to the dumpster fire in my own backyard. I would pay attention to the props in state elections, but not the weekly city council debates. Blind to my influence over the judges who decide how to sentence non-violent criminals; probation and rehabilitation or maximum sentencing because the person fit into the box of “societal nuisance.”
I wasn’t ready to write my May Snail Mail Letter until now. Twenty-days from when I snapped the self-portrait and twenty-seven days since the death of George Floyd.
It’s hard to think about how to write a recap of May when it feels like a completely different world. A seam in the space-time continuum has burst, and we are in a new dimension. One where people are brave enough to protest amidst a deadly pandemic. All walks of life coming together to risk their health and breath to make sure no black man gasps “I CAN’T BREATHE” on camera again. The chance at a new kind of society. A new approach to equality. An end to the allowances made for the generations before us.Continue Reading
I am an imperfect ally. I have a full post on this statement on page 2 but first the art.
An Instagram friend @joannathejoyful shared out a powerful quote about art and protest, that I wish I remembered/recalled, but its sentiment has been with me this entire week and inspired me to curate a collection of art and graphic design work from Instagram. I searched the #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter hashtags on Instagram and pulled the pieces that resonated most with me.
I have not reached out to the individual artists for permission to share. I will happily remove any artwork from individuals who do not wish to be featured in this post.
🎨 currently unknown artist x please let me know
🎨 Arty B: https://www.instagram.com/artybraud/
🎨 Broobs: https://www.instagram.com/broobs.psd/<center>
🎨 Monyee Chau : https://www.instagram.com/monyeeart/
the artist has made a very important update to her post/art acknowledging the complicated racial implications of the image she created and the damage of the “model minority” narrative has had on black people.
🎨 Nikkolas Smith : https://www.instagram.com/nikkolas_smith/
🎨 Shirien: https://www.instagram.com/shirien.creates/
🎨 Rudy Willingham : https://www.instagram.com/rudy_willingham/
🎨 Jess Bird : https://www.instagram.com/blessthemessy/
🎨 Danielle Coke : https://www.instagram.com/ohhappydani/
🎨 Sakina Saïdi : https://www.instagram.com/heyimsakina/
Click to page 2 for more thoughts on being an imperfect ally….