navigating the normal



The Weirdness of Mattress Stores

A Freakonomics Podcast
So much good information about the history of Americans and their mattresses; the business of mattresses; brick-and-mortar mattress stores; online mattress retailers; economic and city planning phenomona to answer the question, why are there are so many mattress stores?



Holy Ghost!’s Crime Cutz

Madaila’s The Dance

Weekness | Volume II

April 22, 2016
A weekly rundown of all my weaknesses including the things I’ve read, heard, or found that might interest you too…

The Picture Above
The bedroom floods every day with the best morning light in our entire house. If I’m not at work or traveling, I take advantage of this by treating myself to a breakfast tray in my room on the weekend mornings that I’m home. Along with strawberries, scrambled eggs, and an iced latte, last week’s breakfast tray included this simple but satisfying avocado toast. I got the recipe (technique?) from Smitten Kitchen  awhile ago. You may ask why one needs a recipe for smashing avocado onto toast. I would reply, “you do.” Using a hearty, grain-filled bread (I used Ezekiel Sprouted Oatmeal); sprinking a little salt and lemon juice; crushing red pepper flakes and drizzling olive oil turn this bland, boring breakfast into something I look forward to every weekend.

It’s so hard to be woman. Seriously. 
I am an eternal hysteric always striving to be the chill girl. In Girl Writer: Why Women Need to Drop the “Chill” Act and Embrace the Hysterical, the Girl Writer reminds us that it is ok to have our thoughts, feelings, and desires–and to express them! Furthermore, the author is absolutely correct when she posits that pretending to be chill doesn’t get what her what she wants in the end either. Being an overweight woman in America is its own special hell. Losing that weight from your body and not your mind might be an even mightier task to accomplish. I don’t relate with all of The Things No One Ever Tells You About Losing 100+ Pounds, but the insight to her emotional workings and process intrigues me.

The Tragic History of RC Cola
I find the use of “tragic” especially fascinating. And the food politics surrounding sugar and sugar substitutes always spark my interest.

It’s National Park Week!
National Geographic’s May issue is dedicated to Yellowstone the National Park Service’s Centennial year. It asks the important question: Is Yellowstone in Danger of Being Loved to Death and Fresh Air‘s take on it. A little closer to home, here’s how to participate and #findyourpark in North Carolina: 100 Things You May Not Know About North Carolina’s National Parks.

Gasoline by Halsey
Skipping every song in my 2016 playlist to get to this one this week. Turning up the volume nob and screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs as I race to and fro around town. Wishing the coach would play it during the WOD at Crossfit.

Dawes & The Lone Bellow at Pisgah Brewing
Dawes and the Lone Bellow are going to be at Pisgah Brewing on Wednesday, July 6th. Dawes needs no explanation, but the Lone Bellow has been in rotation in my 2016 playlist. It’s knee-slapping, head-bobbing Americana.

Matchbox Twenty
Taking this last track back. My favorite Matchbox Twenty song for my favorite anecdote this week. I went into Gap to return some summer dresses. The bearded and manbunned store employee helping me out had on a Matchbox Twenty tshirt. When I saw this, I chuckled and quietly told him that I liked his shirt. He promptly took me down a couple notches in one sentence: “It was my girlfriend’s dad’s shirt. I don’t listen to them.”

Product Placement: Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister for Fings & Toes
After working out consistently for many years and going to Crossfit for going on three years, this week saw my first serious burns and rips. I don’t have rope climbs. We worked on rope climbs. I did not know that I would be practicing rope climbs. I was not prepared for rope climbs. I burned my shins and my thighs. I ripped the skin off half of my ring finger, and I clumsily tapped it up until I could figure out what to do. The tape allowed water into the open wound and it stung like a bitch every time I washed my hands and while the sweat dripped off my body during yoga. Getting home, I realized that I had previously bought Advanced Healing Blister Band-Aids. Most likely for blisters on my feet during a festival.  These Band-Aids are the perfect solution for this injury. They look like skin. They feel soft. They wrap nicely around my fingers. No water has gotten to the raw rips. They haven’t peeled off. For a not-so-serious athlete like me these bandages are the perfect fix.

Krispy Kreme’s Super Hero Day
You might as well find this out now. I have a doughnut obsession. And my personal opinion on the subject is that Krispy Kreme > Dunkin Donuts. Next week KK offers a buy one get one special for Superhero Day on April 28th.

Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

Weekness | Volume I

April 15, 2016
A weekly rundown of all my weaknesses including the things I’ve read, heard, or found that might interest you too…

The Picture Above
I took this picture of Battlecat’s bathroom door. Oh, Battlecat. Probably the most likely to have both signs in all of Asheville!

If I’m Not the Worst, What Am I
The take away from this Vice article is that one doesn’t “need fucking Lululemon” to practice self-care–good because I can’t fit into their clothes anyway. It can be “messy, dark, loud, and even mischievous.” #truth

When Musicians Boycott To Protest Politics
While Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr are boycotting North Carolina to protest the passage of House Bill 2, Louis C.K., Joel McHale, and Against Me! are actively engaging North Carolina audiences and public. It’s a nuanced at look at how music (and musicians) has interacted with politics currently and in the past.

Fewer Americans Are Visiting Local Libraries-And Technology Isn’t To Blame
Get a library card! Go to your library! Petition local representatives (or whatever authority who runs your library) to fund them. The more they’re funded, the more people go. Unfortunately, the reverse is true too.

This Bakery Offers A Second Chance for Women After Prison
I heard this segment on NPR’s Morning Edition as I drove into work. I adore everything about it–baked goods; empowering women; job creation. Together We Bake in Alexandria, Virginia provides job-training and coaching program for women emerging from prison.

Orgone at Asheville Music Hall
I was told to go see Caleb Caudle at the Asheville Music Hall. When checking out there (new and wonderful!) website, what really interested me was Orgone. SUPER funky. They are going to be at the Music Hall on Wednesday, April 20th. Spotify says they’re a jam band too. I can see that.

Liz Vice at Grey Eagle

She will be at the Grey Eagle on Thursday, May 5th. I hate to miss her, but I will be at Trampled By Turtles and Devil Makes Three at Pisgah Brewing. If you aren’t interested in those bands or didn’t get tickets before they sould out, go see her!

The Record Company at Grey Eagle
Another band that I’d go see if a bigger deal in my world weren’t here that evening (Haim). They will be at the Grey Eagle on June 8th. They’ve been on 2016 playlist for a few months now.

Workout Playlist: A Collab

Rage Against the Angry White Boy Music
I’ve never fancied myself a good playlist creater. But after listening to months and months of nonstop Rage Against the Machine at Crossfit, I had to take a stand. I needed something with beat and vocals and perhaps even some female musicians. I talked our trainer into giving me a chance to change up the music. To create a playlist of music for people I only know within the confines of an hour a day and a concrete box, the task was daunting. But my motivation was high. I peppered it with Haim; threw in a dash of the Gossip; some Cherub and Adventure Club; plenty of Florence; Rhianna and YACHT. And thus was born the best playlist I’ve ever created. Listen to it. Follow it. Add your own music to it.

The Living Room

Podcast from Love + Radio 

I found it on the Atlantic’s Best Podcasts of 2015. A fast but emotional listen. The story is deeply intimate. A young couple moves into the apartment across from the narrator and never seems to close their curtains. The narrator tells the story of a young couple as she watches intently for months over the alleyway and through the windows.  As one listens to the narrator recount her story, it feels as if you’ve intruded on something highly personal. But it is the sentiment the narrator leaves us with—that she, an unknown neighbor, a stranger could peer into their lives and she was in their corner, pulling for them, is perhaps more affecting as the plot leading to its conclusion. Perhaps some unknown stranger is rooting for us out there somewhere. If you need thirty minutes to fly by, this is the way to do it!

Blog at

Up ↑