navigating the normal



By Joe Posnanski

A father takes his 14 year old daughter to see Hamilton.


‘Kill Every Buffalo You Can! Every Buffalo Dead Is an Indian Gone’
By J. Weston Phippen
The Atlantic

The American bison is the new national mammal, but its slaughter was once seen as a way to starve Native Americans into submission.

Rent: The Oral History
By Rebecca Milzoff

Twenty years after Jonathan Larson’s posthumous triumph arrived on Broadway, the cast and creative team relive the rise of a musical that changed theater.

Fates And Furies

A Book by Lauren Groff
This is one of those books that you see everywhere. You don’t know what it is about, but you know you should be reading it. Your point is proven for you when you go to check it out from the library, and it has the longest hold time of any other book you’ve put on hold in the past five months. When you’re finally allowed to bring it home and you start reading it, you realize why all the hype.

The allure of Fates and Furies is something that I can’t put my finger on. The writing is breezy and quick. Its cadence reminded me (for some weird reason) of Matilda. Each sentence, each scene is so matter of fact. Large swaths of time are left out, but you don’t need them. You get the full picture in the small anecdotes and moments in time.

Fates and Furies is about a marriage. Period. There’s no making it more interesting or riveting than that. But in my opinion, its magneticism comes from the prose and not the plot.

Read it. Quickly. Because that’s the only way the book allows you to read it.

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.

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.


A Book By Diana Gabaldon
My good friend, Andrea, and I have been engaged in an exclusive, message-only book club over the last few months. Basically, we tell each other what book we are reading and then demand the other go read it because it is soooooo good–via text, Facebook, or Hangouts. I take it one step further and verbally abuse her for recommending such good books that I become obsessive. The latest in that series of obsessions is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

This is a time-travel, historical fiction, action-adventure, romance novel. And I’ve been voraciously consuming every word of it for two weeks. Claire Randall steps through magical stones in the Scottish Highlands in post-war 1945. Through the stones, she finds herself in 1743 and in the literal middle of a fight between English redcoats and Scottish clansmen. She is taken in by the clan MacKenzie where she nurses the castle inhabitants with a combination of modern techniques and antiquated potions; deals with the injustices of doled out in a rogue time; and begins to fall in love with a hunky, smar, tender, ginger Scottish warrior. This book has plenty of sex, fighting, intimacy, and intrigue. Many a nights, I went to sleep with my heart racing after putting down the book. And there were quite a few moments where my jaw literally dropped and stayed that way for the rest of the chapter.

The book was published in 1991, but its television iteration has been on Starz since 2014. I knew I had vaguely heard of it when Andrea introduced me to it. Like so many things that pulse a low hum in the background until one recognizes it is there, mentions and articles regarding the series have catapulted to the forefront of awareness. Vulture had a piece this week calling Outlander’s sex the best on television. In the piece, it mentioned a previous post on Jezebel regarding how apparent the female gaze is in the series. It also cites a recap written by (my beloved) Roxane Gay. There is rarely a topic on which I dissent from her. Of course she thought the particular episode she recapped was perfect. It blends some of her favorite things: feminism and literary guilty pleasures. There’s no way to currently watch Outlander without having Starz. I will wait. And it will be worth it. Meanwhile, there are seven other books in the series I can devour.

The Sugar Conspiracy
By Ian Leslie
The Guardian

In 1972 a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar-and not fat- was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and his reputation ruined. How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get it so wrong for so long?

Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream
By Kathryn Joyce
Huffington Post Highline

The dangerous culture of male entitlement and sexual hostility hiding within America’s national parks and forests.