Sunday, May 29, 2016

What if the Bachelorette was in a wheelchair?

--> how do I say this confidently without coming off as  “that girl”? Oh well,  here goes.... The Bachelorette is back and I am really excited about it. [Tangent: I have had a very hot/cold relationship with this reality show. When it first hit the air, I was on board. I cried at Trista and Ryan’s wedding, and not so quietly lusted after Andrew Firestone. Then after a few seasons, my passport to #BachelorNation definitely got unstamped for years (I know nothing of Juan Pablo or Prince Farming). I got really sick of watching the franchise exploit women (and some men), making us as a sex (and really a human species as a whole) look not so great. Catty love-hungry size 2’s for miles and miles…it got tiresome. Then with the dawn of Kaitlyn Bristowe, I got shaken from my pretension, and decided to say "F#*k it" and jump back into that oversexed hot tub with both feet…and I’ve never looked back. It's the best! Why did I try to fight my love for those years.] After watching the shit show that was premiere, aka the dawn of Jojo, I had a random thought. [Tangent: Besides wondering how it is possible for one woman to look so stunning in champagne tones. It's just not fair.] Why has there never been a dating show contestant in a wheelchair?

 Truly, this would be a great curve ball for such a tenured series [Tangent: So much better than bringing Jake Pavelka back as a surprise guest. Ugh. Him again?] and the perfect way to prove that a chick in a wheelchair chair is super dateable.  However, there are definitely some kinks in the premise.

If you put out a casting call for potential suitors for a wheelchair Bachelorette, you're get a slurry of weird fetishists [Tangent: You know...the kinds that are finding this blog for some ungodly reason by searching "sexy girl in wheelchair diaper." Hi weirdos! ]. As intiguingly cringeworthy one gal vs 20 creeps sounds theoretically, the element of surprise is going to be way more enticing to producers. They just wouldn't tell them beforehand, because we all know springing disability on someone is ALWAYS a good idea. 

Can you imagine the limo pulling up...a ramp flipping down and out rolling me? Twitter would likely combust with equal parts shock and misplaced pity? I'm sure the letters W-T-F would be so overused that those buttons may cease to work on keyboards across the nation. 

Better yet the initial reactions from the suitors seeing their future fiancee for the first time would be worth it. Awkwardly figuring out how to maneuver a hug and realizing their line "Are your legs tired? Because you've been running through my mind all day." might not work best in this particular scenario. Here's my best approximation of their faces- trying to stifle confusion while trying to come off open-minded and camera ready.

As much as I hate to admit it- the dates may not be exactly what you are used to seeing in the prime time dating reality universe. Even though I am semi-pro at wistfully staring off into the distance, navigating a sandy beach to do so is probably not the greatest idea, and I'll wager that those rugged cliffs they always seem to be jumping off of (whilst holding hands) are not exactly ADA compliant. [Tangent: It would be nice for me to point out now that these things are insanely cheesy and unrealistic for uprights as well.] There would likely be a lot of dates consisting of eating tacos and watching Netflix, which honestly seems more easy to recreate once the show is over.

Just thinking about the various "what if's" in this hypothetical only further draws attention to the extremely cookie cutter nature of the show. I mean they have yet to have a black bachelor or bachelorette or a plus-sized one...hell they haven't even had a red head make it very far in the competition, so I guess I shouldn't hold my breath until my awkward dream becomes a reality. [Tangent: And we all know a similar show will probably show up on the TLC fall schedule...because as we who watch trash TV know, they have no shame.] Thankfully I didn't wait on Chris Harrison to come calling to find my other half.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Netflix (and Amazon) Documentary Hits and Misses Vol. 18 (May 2016)

Recently Netflix and Amazon added a crap ton of new docs and seriously it has been a spoils of riches. Instead of giving in and watching something that has been gathering dust bunnies in my queue, I have been voraciously hoarding new titles: Some great...some not. Plus, I'm in between binge series, so tell me what I need to watch next! [Tangent: I just finished Difficult People on Hulu last night, so will take suggestions on my next must-see.]

Miss Representation (Netflix)- B+/A-
This is a movie that I probably watched some version of in my media studies classes in college. It focuses a lot on how skewed portrayals of women are in TV Music and Movies and how that can skew our perceptions and carry them into our own lives. It also shows how underrepresented women truly are. I know that sounds generic, and not maybe "new info", but I consider myself pretty educated on these matters and was still taken aback by a lot of the statistics. The whole doc is well-constructed and compelling for men and women. [Tangent: I really can't stand when things hide under the guise of feminism and are just anti-men propaganda, but this film states that we are all somewhat to blame for stereotyping.]

Nintendo Quest (Amazon Prime Streaming)- A
Okay. This movie is definitely not for everyone. However, I have a superhuman sense of nostalgia and I enjoy any doc based on a challenge [Tangent: Some of my favorites are My Date with Drew and Craigslist Joe.], so a movie about some nerdy  Canadians trying to compile all 676 original Nintendo games in 30 days with no Internet help is a perfect fit.  I watched it with my collector and completist boyfriend and enjoyed it. Maybe it's because I could see Jamie doing something life this. Sure, my family only had maybe 4 NES games in the late 80's, but I still loved seeing all the titles and learning about them. I truly started to root for this guy and get mad at the adversaries he met along the way!
I am Road Comic (Netflix)- C+
My problem with this one is the same issue I have with a lot of docs featuring comics, they just aren't as funny as you hope.  [Tangent: I know that's not completely fair to hold them to a different standard than you would the Lisa Lings and Morgan Spurlocks of the world..but it happens!] If they have a lot of heart or are informative or compelling, you trade that element for the belly laughs [Tangent: You see that in amazing nonfiction like Tig or Sleepwalk with Me.] The concept was a good one: follow the everyday life of a touring comedian, but unfortunately it has been done...and done better. I would recommend you watch The Comedians of Comedy or SuperHigh Me instead and get that feel in a more entertaining package. I will give it kudos though for getting some funny insights from Nikki Glaser, TJ Miller, Pete Holmes, Judah Friedlander and Doug Benson...but it needed more focus.

Addicted to Sexting (Netflix)- D-
This one was the worst. I thought it would go one of two routes: funny and light or like a 20/20 expose. Either of these options I am 100% down for.  It was neither. It was like they assembled this mishmash of sexting pundints and talking heads, and they were all awful- from the "comedians" to the porns. [Tangent: There was an older woman in a floppy hat that I can only assume wandered in off the street because she was offered free coffee and donuts in exchange for her commentary about nudie text messages.]  It was somewhere between a Cinemax after 11 PM series and something they would show in a health class. Like trying really hard to be informative, sexy and funny and succeeding in none of these arenas. I couldn't even finish it.

A Ballerina Tale (Netflix)- A

My only complaint with this documentary is that I wish I went into it knowing nothing about Misty Copeland, but I have seen her profiled and interviewed on several programs; so it was less new info and more just broadening the scope. Even if you are not hugely interested in ballet [Tangent: I mean...I have seen Center Stage 42x, but that hardly makes me an expert.], I think it's fascinating. Misty is the first black ballet principle dancer for a major company (not only in the US...but anywhere in the world). It seems baffling that so many niche past times take so long to be fully inclusive. It's a very easy watch and Misty is so damned likeable that you will be overjoyed that she is broadening the white WASP-y world of ballet. 

That Gal Who Was in that Thing (Netflix)- C

 After I just discussed a great woman-centric doc in Miss Representation, I am gonna make a controversial statement- this documentary was not as good as the male equivalent That Guy Who Was in that Thing. [Tangent: That's not sexism...those are the facts.] I'm not sure if it's because I saw the other first (and the idea was novel) or because half of the women featured in this movie about character actors have played a TV role (on a popular show) for over 5 years. Paget Brewster was a lead character on Criminal Minds for years and the mom from 7th Heaven was one of the other women profiled. In the original doc, it focused more, or at least it seemed, on actors who played bit roles in movie and TV and had for years, to the point where they looked familiar, yet hard to place.

So what next? 

I love the messages I get at all hours with your thoughts and recommendations! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Wild West Comedy Fest and how not to act during a comedy show

In the past, I have been extremely excited about the Wild West Comedy Fest, which has been rolling through Nashville  during May for the last couple years. Maybe it's my early 20s crush on founder Vince Vaughn [Tangent: DO NOT JUDGE ME!] or the fact that I really enjoy live comedy- but it's definitely something I look forward to year after year. [Tangent: You can read my enthusiastic post from last year here.] This year was weird. I felt like there wasn't as much publicity around the event, which was apparent because the tickets I did get were either half price or completely free through last minute online promotions. Shows that were amazing, and rightfully should have sold out simply didn't...which makes me fear for the future of this event.

We ended getting $10 tickets for Trump vs. Bernie (a faux debate between the James Adomian as Bernie Sanders and Anthony Atamanuik as Donald Trump). This was highly entertaining and hilarious if you have any vested interest in the election and watching the bat shit crazy of it all unfold. If it is coming to your city the go see it, or you can watch a version of it online here. Bonus, the guys were super nice and came out to meet and greet after.

 We also got free tix to TJ Miller [Tangent: Erlich is basically my favorite part of Silicon Valley and I love anytime he is on any podcast, so it was something I didn't want to miss.] He was awesomely weird and dark and nihilist, and I laughed incredibly hard throughout...despite the fact that the audience around us clearly had never been out in public before. [As is the norm when I go to any public gathering, I spend the majority of the time getting distracted by peers in the audience acting a fool, so thus most of this post is going to be dedicated to the details of their behavior. Apologies in advance to TJ Miller, who is now forever partially obscured with the distractions I witnessed.]

Sometimes, disability seating means you sit pressed against the stage and lose sight of what everyone else is doing so you can immerse yourself in a performance. At TPAC, that is generally not the case. I am usually seated in the back by the ushers, but the view of the stage raised above tall people, so no complaints on that end. It just generally means I am directly behind people who are unaware that they have witnesses to their awfulness. Such was the case Saturday night.

The following events unfolded in the row in front of us in the span of an hour, whilst a person was displaying a talent, which they were paid for, onstage.

  1. The group of four played musical chairs and got up every 5-10 minutes in varied pairs of two to get more drinks (or use the rest room or go smoke or do cross fit....or whatever the hell was happening in the lobby that seemed to keep beckoning them!) Though the were on the end of the row, it still often involved multiple people in their group standing up to accommodate and an usher flashing a flashlight to the doorway.
  2. When new drinks were brought into the mix, there was a coordinated celebration [EVERY TIME!!] and shout whisper of "cheers" across the group. One would think, "How many overpriced theater drinks does one go through in such a short period?" My guess is at least 3-4 apiece and their enthusiasm for this ritual did not wane.
  3. The gent on the aisle texted for at least half of the show.  When not reading or sending texts, he was scrolling through old messages or checking his Facebook page. [Tangent: He must run the social media for a Fortune 500 company or have a sick family member in the hospital on life support.]
  4. At one point, the mystery texter on the other end sent a video and the considerate gent played it....volume on. He then realized that this might be declasse, so he instead lowered the volume and enlarged the video.   [Tangent: I think this is not really an improvement and more just a lateral move on the "dick move" scale, but I commend him for trying to modify his behavior in some capacity.]
I was so irritated. I can't comprehend why people would go to the trouble of parking downtown on a Saturday night or even just putting pants on for that matter...if you were going to not give a shit. Am I just old and crotchety now? 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I've got a new dumb tumblr .... Yelp to the Max

"I'll tumblr for ya....I'll tumblr for ya...I'll tumblr for ya...I'll tumblr for yaaaaaa"

Much to the annoyance of everyone around me, the above is pretty much what always came to mind when people mentioned tumblr [Tangent: For a person who does social media for a living, I am more or less a moron when it comes to so many sites and apps. Ex: Last week I was schooled by a group of middle schoolers during my career week presentation for my friend Kristine. Apparently I am going about social media all wrong. Snapchat is where it's at and Facebook is for lame old people (like me apparently).]  I never understood it..or how you used it...or why the site itself felt the need to exclude necessary vowels a la a vanity license plate.

I mean I do have a tumblr account and my neglect of it seemed wasteful so I thought: Surely, I should fill it with something either incredible or incredibly dumb. I thought there was no time like the present to manifest destiny that pocket of URL space. The idea came to me while listening to an old episode of the Go Bayside podcast. After a phone call to my friend Ryan, we decided to go halfsies on Yelp to the Max, which is exactly what it sounds like: fake yelp reviews for the fictitious and horribly- run technicolor dining establishment from Saved By the Bell. See...clearly we decided to go incredibly dumb rather than incredible...but we are excited none the less about our completely brilliant/stupid concept.

I picked Ryan to help me write them because his knowledge of SBTB is as pathetic as he has a lot of social media experience and he has minor celebrity on tumblr. [Tangent: Lest we forget that time a gay porn tumblr payed homage to his  Halloween costume. That story will never get old. Or that time he took a picture of a bear dog and it confused the internet for at least 24 hours.] It's such a new fun hobby! 

There are just way too many times The Max has proved to be a terrible restaurant for anyone not a part of the Zack Morris posse. Ex: Can you imagine trying to enjoy a milkshake while a telethon or a dance contest is taking place? What if yelp existed back then and people used it to share their distaste with a magician run teen hangout? 

 We've only posted about 6 but we are enjoying it so far. If dumb wastes of time are your bread and butter, check us out on tumblr, follow us on twitter and instagram (where we are @yelptothemax). And if you have ideas, send them to me on FB or twitter.

Oh and don't worry...I am still doing actual blogging and writing, too...but everyone needs a dumb distraction! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Center for Puppetry Arts: My Muppet Dreams Come True

Because I suck at getting to the point efficiently, I'm still catching up on Atlanta posts, so just in case you are bored to tears- look on the bright side- this blog is filled with puppets and better yet...MUPPETS! So unless you suffer from pupaphobia, I don't see how you couldn't be interested. [Tangent: Rest assured this is my last ATL post, so then we will move on to something else.]

As soon as we picked Atlanta as our last minute road trip destination, The Center for Puppetry Arts was immediately on our radar. [Tangent: I remembered reading about it in this post on my friend Rae's blog, and I was intrigued.] THIS. PLACE. WAS. AMAZING! The website seriously doesn't do it, or the new Jim Henson installation justice. [Tangent: I guess it's good that our expectations were minimal, but seriously this place blew us away! We loved it, and were smiling like jerks from the moment we opened the door. It's now in the lead for the hotly contested title of : Kimmie's happy place! Exhibit A: Look at my face when I "met" Rolf.]

As we entered the place, a busload of children was leaving. Thank god. I really didn't need a gaggle of kindergartners harshing my puppet buzz. The museum has a ton of fanciful daily shows and lectures, but to be real, marionettes in action make me a wee bit uncomfortable, so we opted to just check out the exhibits on our own. [Tangent: And if you've watched too many episodes of Twilight Zone or read too many Goosebumps books, and you have an irrational fear of being murdered in your sleep by a ventriloquist's dummy- some of the items in the "Puppets of the world exhibit" might be a little unsettling. But you'll love it, just be forewarned!]

Because we went on a weekday morning when there was basically no one else there, we could feel comfortable posing ridiculously with the features we felt moved to do so with. [Example: If there is a giant puppet of Scar from the Lion King Musical, you're not gonna pass by're gonna cower in fear alongside it, right? Same goes for seeing Madame in person, you're gonna impersonate her.]  

We were also allowed to completely monopolize the nice tour guide volunteer, aka the "puppet master," who was a repository of puppet facts and the history behind a lot of the pieces. His day is the epitome of Life goals.[Tangent: I now realize I was probably really obnoxious. Based on the fact that I have seen the docs I Am Big Bird and Being Elmo, I've obviously deluded myself into thinking I am an expert, so I was sharing facts with the guide with far too much authority. Clearly I should have stayed in my lane. Hindsight is 20/20.]

I guess in my mind I expected the non-Henson portion to be a little ho-hum, but the unexpected diversity blew me away. Sure, they had ancient puppets that looked like horrifying burn victims and cool marionettes from the Howdy Doody days of TV, but there were also claymation and shadow puppetry. [Tangent: Little known fact, my boyfriend is a big fan of shadow puppets, and not a sunny patch on the wall goes unvisited by a barking dog or Abe Lincoln head in his presence.]
I will admit though that going through the entry to The World of Jim Henson was one of the most exciting thing I've done in years (sad as that may be); I felt like Charlie Bucket going through the gate to Wonka's factory. [Tangent: Also, it's forever astounding how much Jamie resembles of course I had to get a side by side of addition to a shot of me losing my damn mind, while Miss Piggy looks on at me judgmentally. ] We also got to get within inches of pieces of our childhood. I was the world's biggest Sesame Street fan (I had the lunch box and stayed home from Pre-School to watch Maria get married.) so seeing one of the actual big birds was surreal!

They had various rooms: One devoted to the Muppet Show, one for Sesame Street, one with interactive exhibit of how episodes are shot, a room for Dark Crystal/Labyrinth and a room set up as a mock-up of Henson's studio. I literally giggled with delight when I went into a room filled with Fraggles and artifacts from Emmett Otter's Jug Band- two staples of my youth.
the muppet posing with the "9" is the only existing Roosevelt Franklin- one of the rarest and most controversial muppets

Then as we left and bid adieu to our muppet friends, we had the option to leave a post-it note on the you can see 99% of them are Bowie tributes. 
If you were a Muppet, what Muppet would you be? 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Last Week I was no different than Kurt Russell leaving a Walgreens

I have gotten super delinquent in my blogging. Life has been crazed. [Tangent: To put this into a early 90's country music metaphor, this blog is the devoted trucker's wife left behind by me, a guy off driving an 18 wheeler for weeks at a time.]  Luckily two things that begged to be delved into in my life perfectly dovetailed together in their utter randomness. Now to explain the bizarre title of this post:

Last week, something happened that threw me for a loop. I was waiting at a crosswalk near downtown with my boss who happens also in a chair. It's a high traffic area and a hot day so we were lamenting how long it was taking for the little "walk" man to change from orange to white. Across the street, there was a woman holding an armful of takeout food and a drink. At one point she set it down, and my boss and I kinda made a comment that she was making herself comfortable because the light was taking so long. WRONG! She then pulled out her phone and as we crossed the street filmed us....and not even hiding brazenly, two-handed eye-level paparazzi-style filming us rolling right towards her. SO AWKWARD. Here is me using my dusty art minor to reenact it via half-assed stick figure drawings:
As we brushed past her, she rubber necked to catch us going past her and uttered, "You girls make me feel strong." guess.  [Tangent: Now I may write a mean streak of "what I should have said theater" style articles and blogs. This one even became syndicated. But in reality, when put on the spot, I panic and all that intellect inside me devolves into panic and maybe a stink eye at the very most. My boss felt the same...she leads lectures on disability etiquette and even she was so caught off guard that she felt confused on how to react so just rolled past her. ] Will we go viral for crossing the street to head back to our office?  

This incident made me realize that I am no different than Kurt Russell at a Walgreen's.. And that woman breaking her neck to take unauthorized video is me. OK, that's a weird sentence without any context so let me rewind. 

While we were in Atlanta last month for a mini road trip, we hopped into a Walgreen's near downtown to pick up a few things we forgot to pack. As we were starting up the car to depart, a man walked right next to the handicapped space and Jamie nonchalantly said, "That guy kinda looks like Kurt Russell." Because he is one of my mature gentleman crushes, and his likeness is ingrained on my consciousness, I immediately squealed, "That IS Kurt Russell!!!' 

We couldn't leave.  I had to be sure. The Internet is my best friend, so I immediately googled "Kurt Russell + Atlanta" and verified that he was in town filming the sequel to Guardians of The Galaxy!  We considered going in and attempting to brush hands while reaching for TP or a bag of Nice! gummy snacks [Tangent: Even though I know Mr. Russell would spring for the Haribo. He can afford that luxury.], but we just stayed in the car like pansies and hypothesized about his purchases and pretended everyone else entering and exiting was also a celebrity, based on who they kinda looked like. As he emerged like a butterfly from a drugstore chrysalis, I snapped this picture of him. 

 I felt a shred of guilt staking him out and posting a picture to social media (and now to this blog) without his consent. Then after that run-in with the lookie-lou on 21st Avenue when I was with my boss, I felt even worse. I tried to tell myself that he is friggin' Kurt Russell and getting his photo taken at a Walgreen's is an regular as the Sunday paper, but it temporarily made me feel heaps of guilt. 

My only consolation was considering the context behind the actions. Mine was "AHHHH! Kurt Russell...I love him!! No one will believe me! How cool is this!??!" and this lady was likely more like "AHHH!!! Look at this cuteness. Wheelchair people out in the wild!!" Life is weird.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Eating our Way Across Atlanta- Restaurants where we overate

"We're going to Atlanta for a few days?"

"Why? Do you know someone there?"

"Probably. But no, we are just going." 

"Is there a concert?"

"Nah. We are just getting away for a couple days becase we both have time off." 

Why do people think it's so weird to go to a place with zero motivating factors other then you want to relax and explore in an environment where there is an increased liklihood you will cross paths with someone from the Real Housewives? OK. To be fair this was more my rational in choosing Atlanta for a last minute road trip destination; [Tangent: The pull of a possible run in with Phaedra Parks was too great. Spoiler: I did not run into her, but I am 87% sure that Kim Zolciak-Biermann's father referred to me as a "gentleman" when I let him enter a doorway in front of me at a store. And we had a much cooler sighting that I will discuss later.] however, we  are both fat kids in small bodies, we wanted to cram our face holes with as much good food as humanly possible. 

Because we lucked out with our AirBnb in the Old Fourth Ward area,  we were super close to everything we wanted to get into. [Tangent: Seriously, If you are going to ATL, I highly recommend staying at this place. Our hosts were the nicest possible humans, and the place was functional and super cute. I feel like I like to stay at aspirational places, where I can pretend for a minute that I live in a tidy and chic space. My home will likely never be spotlessly lean and feature Keith Haring wallpaper...but for a couple days I can pretend. Because for me travel arrangements can be a crap shoot, I was pleased that this place was actually mostly wheelchair-friendly. While doing the seach for a place to stay, I had looked into a loft that was listed as "accessible" but the bed was up on a raised platform up a flight of stairs. FAILURE!] I had asked a bunch of people on FB beforehand and hit up our hosts for insights before setting out to go on our food quests. Unfortunately, we both felt like hell multiple days and wanted nothing more than to lay on the couch and watch Purple Rain, so we didn't get to eat as much as we had hoped...but here were some of our favorites:

King of Pops: 
After stalking their cart through the streets of Bristol a few years ago at Rhythm and Roots, I have been a fan. I know Nashville has recently been getting carts, but I have yet to see them. Anyway, since they originated in Atlanta, I thought they seemed the perfect thing to curb the heat.  I needed to hydrate and a sweet tea and lemonade flavored $3 pop seemed preferable to a bottle of boring water. Their walk-up window is in a little neighborhood , which reminded me a lot of Nashville's 12South, and is located adjacent to a their stream of foot traffic is steady.

Noni's Bar and Deli:
We kind of lucked out with this one because our sweet Airbnb host also owned this restaurant and it was less than a block from where we were staying. Convenience aside, it was just really damn good. They specialize in traditional Italian pastas, sandwiches etc. We each had a giant bowl of pasta (The panchetta cream was DELIGHTFUL!), Parmesan fries and delicious cocktails. [Tangent: Cream sauce + cocktails + sun = midday naps for all!] Jamie of course, fulfilled his expectation of getting the most feminine beverage on the menu. I stuck to the Brooks, which is potent and refreshing at the same time. It's also doggie friendly, which is great for a lady like me who is down with OPP [Tangent: Other People's sickos.]. Prices were reasonable, which I found surprising for the quality. They could seriously be charging twice the price, but I am glad they weren't. When we got home, we stalked their yelp and saw that they really pop off post midnight. Maybe next time we go, we will check out the dance parties. I was bummed that they were doing a Prince tribute our last night in town, but we didn't know about it until we were already pooped on the couch and watching Purple Rain. 
Savage Pizza:
 This was really Jamie's only must because it is his traditional stop before going to shows in Atlanta. It has been much hyped to me by the pizza-loving ginger. The pizza was  yummy and similar in flavor to Pie in the Sky, and  I liked that you could personalize your pie with lots of six different sauce options. [Tangent: I love having a crap ton of choices!] Probably the best parts of the dining experience were their proximity to Atlanta's Little Five Points (which has a similar vibe to Nashville's Five Points) and the fact that I could eat my dinner under an army of suspended action figures. Example: I ate my chicken florentine personal pizza under a Bee-Bop and Rocksteady.

 Sublime Doughnuts:
I am very glad I woke up one morning craving a donut and decided to google "best doughnut in Atlanta" or else I would never have tasted the glory of having a sublime orange dream star bursting all over my taste buds. Note my look of euphoria above. So. DAMN. GOOD. This place is incredibly unassuming as it is in a strip mall by Georgia Tech. Not fancy and not expensive...thus pretty much being perfect for me. [Tangent: My mother craved nothing but Dunkin Donuts while pregnant with me, so I am guessing that has some carryover into my current adult addiction.] We loved this place so much that we got a dozen on the way out of town to bring home with us. 

 The Vortex 
If a place has a skull as an entryway, of course we are going to eat there. We had both heard lots of good things about The Vortex in Little Five Points and they claim ownership on "Atlanta's Best Burger" so it was a gimme. Even though they have a crazy long beer list, we both drank mules  (mine with vodka...his with whiskey) and ate food bigger than our faces. Although I'm bummed we didn't get their famed "Coronary Bypass" (a cheeseburger with grilled cheese sandwiches in lieu of buns), we both had happy tummies when we left. I had some kind of concoction topped with blue cheese spread, mushrooms and bacon aka all the things I hold dear. Jamie got the "Fat Elvis" which had peanut butter, plantains and bacon on it. Both were big hits!

What did we miss out on? 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I'm Gonna be a Supermodel: The Fashion is for Every Body Fashion Show

AGH! I am really excited to finally be able to share a little bit of insider dish about this really cool thing I get to be a part of! Is that vague? Yep. Sorry. Here goes...

As I have mentioned many a time, blogging has brought many cool people and opportunities into my life, and one of them is my friendship with Alicia Searcy aka the lady that is Spashionista. Unlike me, [...who is currently rocking a dress from the Target little girls department that I have convinced myself is "mature enough" even though it has pom pom trim], Alicia is extremely into the Nashville Fashion scene, Nashville Fashion Week and the Nashville Fashion Alliance. So no duh, she is fashionable. While attending her vow renewal last year, Alicia (ever the networker) asked me if I wanted to model in/help out with a fashion show that she was dreaming up. The concept was that the models would have a variety of disabilities as well as body types and cover a broad spectrum of ages to prove that everyone has the right to awesome style. It is titled, Fashion is for Every Body.

 Of course, I had the initial flutter of a thought that a disability fashion show could easily skew corny and come off extremely hokey, but I knew Alicia wouldn't let that happen. [Tangent: When anything with disabilities is ever done, I always get ultra protective. I want it to empower and not be the makings of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I want people to say "of course!" and not "awww!" Does that make sense?] My friend, the Spashionista, is the perfect person to champion this project and make people take notice and take it seriously! I  mean IT'S DAVID BOWIE THEMED, FOR GOD'S SAKE!!  Watch and learn:

There are also some legit local designers on board: Catland Forever Couture, Amanda ValentineEric Adler. Also models, like me, will be rocking clothing from Pura Vida Vintage and Opium Vintage. AndrĂ©s Bustamante is presenting is debut collection alongside my friend, John Thielman, who will also be showing for the first time. I sincerely cannot wait to wear all the pretty clothes and use all the knowledge I have gleaned from years of watching Top Model and the like.[Tangent: Reality TV wasn't rotting my was teaching me to SMIZE!] 
 The event is set for September 10th, and of course I will be giving updates when the event gets closer. For the moment, we are working to raise the needed funds to make sure it is taken seriously in this space. It is our hope that this will resonate with those in the fashion world and make our presence known! In order to make it possible, there is an indiegogo set up, were you can throw a few dollars or get your advance tickets! [Tangent: I hope you'll be there or at least spread the word! I could you miss an opportunity to see me make an ass of myself?]

Get excited.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Netflix (and Amazon) Hits & Misses Vol 17: March/April 2016

Maybe it's because I decided to binge on Netfix's Love and watch every season of Curb Your Enthusiasm last month...or maybe it's because the pickins are getting slimmer in my unwatched docs queue, but I didn't watch as many documentaries on Netflix as usual in March...therefore my reviews definitely carried over into April. I would just say, "Screw it!" but truthfully, I need things to keep me consistent and these reviews are the things people seem to get the most excited about. I love hearing that people bookmark the posts for their next seemingly endless browse session.

How To Survive a Plague (Netflix)- B
Let's start off with discussing the most heavy thing imaginable: the AIDS crisis in the early 80s. As expected this movie, comprised mostly of actual footage from that time period, is a lot to take it.  I was turned on to its existence by one of my favorite podcasts, Throwing Shade, and I figured since I was just a toddler in that era, an educational refresher was likely in order. Sadly, to be honest, my knowledge of the fight for proper healthcare among people living with AIDS in the early years is based almost wholely on Dallas Buyers Club. The themes and content were very interesting and upsetting, but I did zone out a couple times due to the presentation. [Tangent: Similar happens to me when I watch the history channel sometimes.] Even so, I still think it is worth watching especially if you are not well versed in the early gay rights movement or about the outbreak of AIDS in the US.  It is a must watch for those that are ignorant (like me) about all that the era entailed in regards to this disease.

Brave Miss World (Netflix)- B
Now to a much lighter topic- cases of rape injustice on a worldwide level. Just kidding...not at all lighter...equally upsetting, but still eye-opening and worth exploring. The stunning subject of this film is former Miss Israel (and then Miss World) who was raped as an adult, and then went on a global crusade to whistle blow situations where accusers were being swept under the rug. Some of the stories are BRUTAL and will make you wince, but they deserve to be heard. This one had been sitting in my queue for a long time and I'm really glad I finally gave it a watch. Unfortunately, this month I also watched The Hunting Ground (see below), which featured some of the same themes and it's really hard for me not to compare the two. I watched the other first, so I think that's why I didn't give Brave Miss World a higher score.

Crafted (Amazon Prime Streaming) - B
I chose this movie for two was by Morgan Spurlock [Tangent: He made everyone scared of Big Macs in Super Size Me and created docu-series 30 Days...I also wrote about his doc Mansome in this post.] and it was about 30 minutes, which is a good length when I am feeling non-committal. Since I know a lot of crafters for hire and small business owners, I was a little more invested in this than some might be. The whole thing had a very "made for instagram" vibe as if the whole movie was shot through the crema filter,  but it seemed to make sense given the etsy-centric subject matter. It lacked a lot of the humor that you come to expect from Spurlock docs, but it also featured a profile on artisan knife-makers, so you can't have it all!

Autism in Love (Netflix)- A
April is autism awareness month, so it seems Netflix has several to choose from. [Tangent: It was a toss-up for me between this one and The United States of Autism, which I will likely get to next month. ] I really liked this doc a lot. It is sad and happy at the same time, and really gives you a glimpse inside people on the spectrum and their struggles with emotion and connection to others romantically. Because I work for a disability organization, I, of course, view it through that lens and can be a little critical in some areas. Example: Although the cover a spectrum of cases, they are all fairly high functioning and independent for the most part. They may not drive or live with a parent, but the majority hold jobs. [Tangent: In docs and reality programming, its pretty common for those profiled to be of higher ability levels. Some with autism are non-verbal or have additional behavioral issues. Dual diagnoses are very common.]  I really liked it and think if you love a disability love story like Monica and David, which I reviewed here, then you will like this. Also, you're gonna fall in love with the people in the doc. I am obsessed with Leonard's mom and couldn't stop staring at her large heat miser tattoo.

The Barkley Marathons (Netflix)- A
Oh. Dear. God. This one is a doozie. Generally a documentary about an outdoor endurance test wouldn't appeal to me at all, but it features my home state and lovable kooks, so I was on board immediately. [Tangent: Plus my friend Rae gave it her thumbs up, so I knew I was in for a good time..and not just your average sports doc.] To preface, I don't even like to go out to my car if it's raining outside, so I cannot fathom why someone would like to do a non-stop all-weather 100 mile race through rough terrain. The race itself is bananas and a complete fever dream, which is exactly what you would expect from two dudes named Lazarus Lake and Raw Dog...probably not his Christian Name.  These men, who my dad would've referred to as "characters," are the ones who conceived of the bat shit human sacrifice known as The Barkley Marathons. I think you'll like it.

Plastic Galaxy (Amazon Prime Streaming)-C
My boyfriend loves a good toy and amassed an impressive Star Wars collection as any boy would in the early 80s and I love docs about obsessive this movie, found on Amazon streaming, seemed like a safe bet for entertainment we could agree on.  On a whole, I dug it. There were parts, as a very casual Star Wars fan (as in hasn't even seen all the movies) that I didn't care about, but I enjoyed the story of how these toys were kind of the unlikely beginning to crazy movie merchandising. It was interested to see how many companies passed on the rights. Again, I think if I actually played with these toys as a kid, I might have been more into it. [Tangent: My brothers did have the death star and all its inhabitants, but I was off having my barbies and his WWF figures kissing and putting on productions of Cinderella to be bothered.]

Finding Vivian Maier (Netflix)- A+
I love this movie. I love anything that is a big of an unraveling mystery. The movie profiles a young man who bought a Storage Wars style lot at an auction, which included boxes and boxes of undeveloped film and slides from an unknown photographer, Vivian Maier. In development, he found her art to be ahead of its time, but could find nothing about the enigmatic woman behind the camera. Through this documentary, he is working to uncover who she is/was through travel, research and mostly interview. It was so perfect that I almost wondered if it was a setup, as I do with most things that are too good to be true. I now am following Vivian Maier on Facebook and want to go see her work in a gallery.

The Hunting Ground (Netflix)- A+
Like a lot of folks, I became acquainted with this doc after crying disgusting amounts of saline during Lady Gaga's performance at the 2016 Oscars of "Til It Happens to You." My major mistake was watching this movie when I was going to sleep, because it took me 6 days to watch it in segments (and likely caused me to have some awful dreams), but I stuck it out and I'm glad I did. The movie, about the rape culture on college campuses will piss you off. It definitely is well put together and hopefully will make some waves in universities so that they will be pushed for change. It was great to see many of these women (and men) find strength after being ignored by administration. The sheer volume of stories that all end in a faculty member victim blaming them was astounding!!  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Ravishly, Surgery and bad Adele Parody

Hello. It's me. Remember what a consistent blogger I used to be?  [Tangent: That was kind of an unintentional Adele parody. Remember when those were a thing a circa late 2015. Oh, those were simpler times.]  Terrible pop culture references aside, I have been a little busy lately and promise that I will be a bit better later. In my absence not only has some site with the term "Arab lesbian" in its URL been linking to me [Tangent: What? WHY!?], but I have been freelancing up a storm so that I can pepper all corners of the Internet with my ramblings. Manifest destiny, bitches! In case you didn't see the links posted on my Facebook, here's: 
I probably didn't make these posts too appealing, but I am actually oddly proud of myself. Who would have thunk I was an advertising major? [Tangent: And by my use of the word thunk that it was in the college of journalism.] Trust me, someone clearly approved them, so they must be decent...the garbage that you read on here is 100% filterless. 

I'm really excited to be writing here and there for The Ravishly. Earlier this month, I finally met in real life, my long lost internet writer girl crush, Winona, and she encouraged me to pitch them some stories. [Tangent: Go read her blog, The Sky I'm Under. She's bad ass and the insightful lady I dream of being.]  The Ravishly recently ran a story about super delegates called Is Ted Cruz Actually Just a Sackful of Lizards?  so I am definitely in the right realm. 

The other reason I have been MIA is because my mom had back surgery last week and my family has been in town so I barely have had the sense to pee or eat...much less write coherently. She's getting around much better now though so it's time for me to play catch up. I EVEN WATCHED A BUNCH OF DOCUMENTARIES THIS if that's your thing- get pumped. [Tangent: Maybe this means I will have more to write about than the inordinate binging I did on Little Women LA, a show that is exactly as terrible as a show as you would assume.] So that what's up with that...what's up with you?

Friday, March 25, 2016

My first Trip to Gatlinburg Part 3: Fantasy Golf Fantasy

Are ya'll sick of my slow ass installments about Gatlinburg yet? [Tangent: I can sense the virtual eye rolls from all corners of the universe. I am now the blogger version of your Aunt who takes 45 minutes to walk you through her 35 mm prints of her recent trip to Tucson. You'll deal. ] I would like to think that as in all great trilogies, this is either gonna win me the Oscar (Lord of the Rings style) or go straight to video and have no original magic(Home Alone style).  You can decide after and let me know.

Jamie, Travis and I had to depart the crew early because we had dumb adult responsibilities to get back to, but before we left we knew either mini golf or go carts were on the horizon. [Tangent: I have not mini golfed in likely two decades, but recalled loving it. Jamie had also bragged that he was pretty I had to see my boyfriend's athleticism in action.] Rae had been really excited to go golfing at a kitcshy wonderland, aka Adventure Golf, and had been hyping it since we decided to go to Gatlinburg (You can read her gushings here.), but when we drove by it, there was nada but an empty lot. It was a bummer for them because they were quite attached, but luckily we found another fun and fanciful links, where we could pose with lots of giant weird statues and get stared at by families with rat tails. Fantasy Golf to the rescue!
 I loved the place and the guy at the counter was super helpful and gave us a group discount and didn't treat us like annoying tourists like some folks (ahem...airbrush bitties!). He even let us scope out which course we wanted while we waited for our group to convene. 

There was however one misstep or amazing aspect (based on purely outlook) of this place: THE MUSIC. [Tangent: If Fantasy Golf had a DJ, he would be a sad woman in her 40s going through a bad breakup and/or loss of a beloved cat.]  When you go to a family recreation center with giant statuary devoted to mermaids and trolls, you generally assume you will hear some T.Swift or Bieber or a healthy serving of 80's pop... and not "Tears in Heaven" blasting from the speakers. While we were there, we heard several Boys II Men slow jams, "In The Arms of An Angel" and if I recall correctly "I Can't Make You Love Me". Music to cry golf to, for sure!  [Tangent: This juxtaposition would only be more surreal if it was at maybe a sad strip club.] I assume we left before they started pumping out the Eliot Smith. Though weird for certain, I feel that it only made the day more fun, because we kept taking bets on songs that would be equally and inappropriately at home here. 

It really was a great day and we were so happy for a 70 degree day in February. Besides, I almost got a hole-in-one twice...once I figured out which direction to hold the putter and stopped using my foot to kick it. I'm so athletic!!  Here are some more pics of weird statues and hot group pics of us in our much fraught over airbrush glory! 
 FIN! (Finally!)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

My First Trip to Gatlinburg Part 2: Knives and Airbrush

 After reading my last post, I know you are likely on the razor's edge anticipating what else I did in Gatlinburg. [Tangent: ..or maybe not. Likely it is the latter, but I try to harness the power of positive thinking. Oh and just a head up, like all classics (from Lord of the Rings to Sharknado) this will be a trilogy. I'm gonna suck this well dry.] Aside from hanging out at our incredible cabin, or course I wanted to soak in the "big city" fun that Gatliburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville had to offer. [Tangent: I could you not? I just kept telling everyone I wanted to go to Dixie Stampede to see the psychic pig as promised on the billboard. That or Lumberjack Feud. Luckily no one listened to me.] We spent day 2 of the trip checking out downtown, which was super fun and loaded with weird moments. 

Everyone had their own agenda and "must do" activity.  Because he is a collector, Travis just really wanted to go to Knife Works, which as boasted by all their signage is the largest in the country (or something). He even offered to buy anyone that went with him a $10 gift, so of course everyone ending up going. [Tangent: To say this was not my element was a huge understatement. Jamie even made up a game called "Spot the people voting for Bernie Sanders," but the assessment was it was only the group that we walked in with. Such good people watching on a Saturday afternoon. Plus I got some replacement parts for my teeny pink swiss army knife. I am such a weapon enthusiast, right?]  

It was actually kind of fun and I learned a great deal about bumper stickers with thinly veiled (or just outright) racism and that apparently there is a thing called "Turtle Man" who is I guess something to do with knives and reality TV. Maybe one of you can help me out with that. Thankfully the outer areas of the store had weird antiques and curiosities [Tangent: Like David Hasselhoff's high school yearbook...where he was likely voted "Most likely to dance atop the Berlin Wall in a piano scarf!]

For some reason they had trays and trays of pinback buttons for under $1 so we quickly all clustered around those (and I think Crystal's hubby, Marc, fell asleep on a bench.) It was like a pool of water is a desert beckoning us. [Tangent: Also quick thank you to Rae who I stole borrowed a chunk of these pictures from!]
 Then after a weird detour where we went down the steepest mountain ever pushing Jamie's new break pads to literally burn rubber, we were in the thick of downtown and had two objective's 1. Get Jamie a donut from Donut Friar and then 2. All of us gals wanted airbrushed shirts [Tangent: ...because when in Rome...]. Both seemed like simple enough tasks, but proved to be equal parts stressful and hilarious. 

Donut Friar didn't take plastic, and by the time we found the ATM, they had sold out of Jamie's favorite donut and then the old bittes at the airbrush store were awful. [Tangent: The next day we created a backstory where they had gone to the Smokies on a girls getaway in the 70s...met some men and decided to stay forever and invest in an airbrush store. Soon their hubby's ran off and left them alone running a business...which seems like fun in theory but in actuality is a touristy hellscape.] 

One would think that selling 4 shirts without any prodding in a highly competitive airbrush market would be a dream (there is one on nearly every corner), but these ladies were having none of it. All of our questions were met with heavy sighs and eye rolls. They were irritated that one of us wanted a child's size. They were pissed that I wanted mine to say something different. They really just didn't enjoy the fact that we were even breathing near their technicolor Tweety Bird samples on the wall. [Tangent: Clearly they are not graduates of the Chick-Fil-A school of "my pleasure" customer service!]
Me: I want the same design as the other gals, but I want mine to say "Baby's first trip to Gatlinburg" and then ...
Airbrush nazi: Umm... hold on, I'm writing! You want it to say what?! (in a tone inferring that my choice of words was dumb)
Me: Well maybe just "My First Trip to Gatlinburg" ..then 2016 since there's not much space
Airbursh nazi: [insert exaggerated sigh and overzealous erasing.] So what do you want it to say? Is that the final decision?
Seriously, I just lightened her load! This was the case with each of interactions with them (and you can tell my our body language below that it was aggravating). She acted like she couldn't be bothered. The shirts were also not clearly priced and everything was additional, which wasn't really communicated but we were so frightened of these women that we just did what they said and tried not to ask too many questions. [Tangent: If answering airbrush queries on Saturday night is not your ideal, maybe Old Smokey Moonshine is hiring, lady!]

When we found out they wouldn't be finished until the next morning, we dreaded having another course interaction...but at least we got overpriced airbrush out of the deal! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My first trip to Gatlinburg: Dream Cabin and Essential Cabin Activities

As a native Tennessean, when I used to tell people I had never been to Gatlinburg- it was usually met with slacked jaws and incredulous expression. [Tangent: They probably thought I fell into a crevace as a child and was monitored solely by woodland creatures, therefore not going on many vacations. I mean...I'm assuming. Either that or my parents always thought it was too expensive to take 4 children to anywhere with too many touristy-type destinations...that may not even be accessible...knowing we would shape-shift into intolerable brats once we got anywhere with video games. I guess the latter is more likely, right? Oh and while we are on topic- I've also never been to Disney World and didn't go to Florida until I was an adult, and I turned out just fine. I've been to tons of beaches and Disney Land though before you call Child Protective Services retroactively.] To be fair I have been to all the areas surrounding and have driven through the Smokies on at least an anuual basis since I was born, so I get the majestic beauty aspect, but never had I gotten to experience the other part: The chalet/hot tub in every cabin/airbrushed/bears emblazoned on everything/redneck riviera aspect...until a couple weeks ago!

I'm so glad my friends invited me to tag along [Tangent: We went with Rae, Crystal and Aubrey and their fellas. I am thankful that we all get along so well. Boys and girls alike. That doesn't always happen. The fact that we were all content to keep the cabin TV on CNN all weekend so we could discuss the primaries speaks volumes! Oh and since Rae is a blogger, she of course, took a million pictures that are way better than my iPhone snaps so check them out here and here. ] so I could cross "Go to Gatlinburg" off my list of things every Tennesseean has to do. Of course, I was instantly concerned that the facilities would not be Kimmie-friendly. I know cabins generally mean ridiculous steep stairs and if they are "accessible"- it generally takes away every ounce of charm.

Well, somehow Aubrey found the unicorn of a cabin on AirBNB in nearby Sevierville that was seriously the cutest/creepiest/kitchiest residence I had ever laid my peepers on. So many quirky antiques and likely mountain ghosts hidden in every corner.

[Tangent: Feel free to ogle it here! It was actually two 100-year-old cabins that were connected with a middle living area by people that helped build up Gatlinburg. There was history and old articles hung in the kitchen that revealed the original owners built the space needle downtown!] Sure, the main stone walkway had some unevenness and would be hard for a power chair and the hot tub was down some stairs, but it was fully ramped and I was in heaven. I mean look at that amazing house...

Since our cabin was so adorable, we spent a lot of time just enjoying it and hanging out. [Tangent: I mean that kitchen...why would you not want to just live in there?!?!] Everyone was in full vacation mode, so we had brought or bought ridiculous ways to spend our time while hanging out. Here are some of my recommendations for essential cabin activities:

1. Ridiculous and Comfy clothes
We had no idea that we were gonna have gorgeous weather during the day. High 60's in February was an awesome surprise, and I was ill-prepared with my bag full of sweaters and boots. However, it got REALLY cold at night...especially in my room that was the "old part" and not at all air tight so thank goodness we decided beforehand to wear animal onesies! I am semi-angry we didn't get a group shot of 5/8 of us looking like low-rent furries!

2. Board Games

Ever since I bought HeartThrob at a goodwill several years ago, it has become an institution at any and all gatherings where people aren't afraid to embrace their inner 12 year-old girl. [Tangent: You can read all about its merits here in this older blog.] Even though it is geared towards young 80's girls, we have found that guys win almost 100% of the time.  Rae loved it so much, she bought her own copy on eBay and brought it to Gatlinburg. If we hadn't remembered games, I likely would have dug into some of the homeowners because there were some gems from the 70s and 80s in my bedroom. [Tangent: I find that on vacation if we rent a house from someone I like to embrace that person's spirit. I have been known to read their books (usually weird harlequin romances) and play their games. I remember learning to play dominoes at a NC beach house as a kid, because that was all there was to do around the house!]

3. Drinks!

Of course if you like an adult beverage, vacation is a time you go full throttle and invent a "vacation bev!" [Tangent: When Jamie and I went to the beach with my family last year, he became quite fond of Mountain Dew Dew Shine and Whiskey. This is a drink he hasn't had since, but will always be his Holden Beach 2015 drink.] For the ladies, our Gatlinburg 2016 drink was St. Germain, Vodka, Grenadine, vodka soaked gummies, marachino cherries, sliced strawberries- served in a mason jar with a giant straw. Yes, it was loaded with flair and so delightfully refreshing!

4. Odd Beauty Treatments

Ever since I  first tried Korean sheet masks [Tangent: You can read about it here when I animorphed into a tiger!], I knew that my travel-mates would appreciate them. [Tangent: You can buy the assortment on amazon here although now I kinda wanna try these!] Plus it was really fun to look down into the hot tub and see a heated conversation about women's issues taking place while those involved with wearing dragon faces on their own. Oh, and in case you're wondering in the photo above- I'm an otter. Isn't it obvious? 

Oh, don't worry- I have more silly photos and stories to share from my weekend! Be on the lookout...because this is gonna be a multi-parter like any good vacation episode of a sitcom! Isn't a photo of me in otter face the ultimate cliff-hanger? I thought so!
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