Links!

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Here’s what I’ve been reading lately to help you over the hump towards the weekend.

I know I have felt that awkward, “What can I possibly say feeling?” How to Help People in Grief.

Huzzah! Long live the cheap bikini!

Want.

These two should probably join Cirque du Solei

The Music in Whale Calls

Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence. Spoiler alert: It’s not the lame advice you’d typically expect. (Gosh, I just love her so much!)

Even though he’s Magic Mike, he’s still just a weird dad.

Aliens are real!

If someone is shitty to everyone else, there is a 99.5 percent chance that they will eventually be shitty to you, too.”

When you’re running late.

Image by Alice

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Your Summer Farmer’s Market Shopping List

One of my favorite things about summertime is all of the bounty it brings to my local farmer’s market. After all of the squash and root veggies of winter, and the greens of early spring, I’m ready for tomatoes and berries once the warmer months come around.  I stop by a market about once a week, and look for the things that are in season – that’s where you get the best deals.

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First I do a loop to see which vendors have what, and are offering the best price. Then, I let my nose be my guide. If I can smell the peaches or the melons from a distance, it usually means they’re ripe.

To make sure the produce lasts, I get a combination of ripe – I’ll eat it when I get home things, and stuff that could use a couple more days to soften up. Buy fruits and veggies with the stem on. They’ll last longer. Check out this guide to what’s in season now:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe/ Muskmelons
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Collard Greens
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Lima Beans
  • Nectarines
  • Okra
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash & Zucchini
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Now go snap some up!

Talking Like a Girl

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I have been told that I sound ditzy – until I talked for a little longer, and started using big words that no one expected. I’ve been told that I need to sound more authoritative, to speak sternly and declaratively. When I tried, I’ve been told I sound monotone. People have said my voice sounds musical, bobbing up and down like a song. People love to imitate how I speak.

And when I asked my male friends, no one had ever had this experience.

I’ve listened to This American Life’s chapter about vocal fry. I read this article. And now, once again, there’s a podcast on Fresh Air asking, “Are we ‘policing’ young women’s voices?” I’ll add my own question – Can we stop it already?

There are so many ways that women already have to change themselves to be “appropriate.” To avoid being raped, the responsibility is on us to not dress too provocatively, or drink too much. At work, we have to be extra certain to dress professionally to avoid looking too young, to not wear pink so we don’t look too feminine, to choose high necklines so our chests aren’t too distracting. After all, we don’t want to be accused of sleeping our way to the top, right?

The way we speak shouldn’t be the next on an already long list of behaviors to we have to adapt to fit.

Image by Howard Lake

In Honor of My Gram

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The past two weeks, there has been a gap in my posts. On July 11th, I lost one of my most faithful readers, my dear grandmother Janet Rose. She has always been the person asking for latest things I’ve written, pushing me to follow my creative dreams, and wondering when that novel I’ve been plugging away at will be done so she can get her hands on a copy.

After 30 years with her in my life, it just didn’t feel right to post things I knew she wouldn’t see. But I know that Gram would give me a hard time if I leave off for too long. So, in the only way that seems fitting to pick up again, a tribute to her and the things I’ll remember fondly the most.

  • Playing card games, especially when drinking iced tea and eating Nips candy on the back porch
  • Picnics on the beach and ice cream at the Nokomis Groves afterwards
  • Hunting for shark’s teeth and olive shells in the sand
  • Eating the most delicious variety of dips at the kitchen counter while she stirs some equally delicious bubbling pot at the stove
  • Sharing recipes
  • Feeding and holding all of the tropical animals at Sarasota Jungle Gardens
  • Doing puzzles together at Mema’s house
  • The always-full game closet that gave us days of fun
  • Learning to knit from the only other lefty in the family (then learning again when I inevitably didn’t practice and forgot)
  • Playing video and computer games together. (Helping Gram get past the levels she couldn’t beat)
  • Searching for treasures at yard sales all around town, and inevitably saving all my money for a rainy day
  • Learning how to make her famous éclairs (and lots of ways to practice when they didn’t turn out quite right)
  • Evening walks to the creek or railroad tracks or river or meandering through the woods
  • Sending her long-winded emails full of all of the mundane details of my week, and knowing she printed them out to read over and over again
  • Watching violent action movies with the only other person in the family who loves them as much as me
  • The feeling of her soft hands in mine
  • How I was always allowed to pick up her crossword and fill in a few clues
  • Raiding her magazine and Reader’s Digest stash for reading material
  • Falling asleep in “my” twin bed at her house to the tune of trains whistling in the background
  • Telling her what I’m reading for book club
  • Deciding together what I should have for a bedtime snack

It is the thousands of happy memories that we’ve had together that make me miss her so much. And in this time of grief and loss, I will think of those and remember the loving soul, huge heart, and wonderful Grandmother that I was lucky enough to have in my life.

Links! (not THAT Link)

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If Magic Mike was rewritten by children, here’s what it would be about.

Gloomy cat.

America explained to non-Americans

Did you weigh in on the great peas-in-guacamole debate?

Why cats are just fine (not great) pets.

For anyone who hasn’t joined the dirty 30 club yet.

Can YOU identify Magic Mike characters by their abs? I got a 6 out of 8.

A crisis line that works for the kids these days who only communicate via text.

The perfect koozy for your summer bbq’s.

If you’re on a budget, the best $10 or less wines you can buy.

Image by Tiger Pixel.

What I’m Listening To

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I was never really one to listen to podcasts. My friends would talk about how much then enjoyed them, and I just…well, couldn’t really get into them. Then Serial came along, and like the rest of the world, I was hooked after my first episode. In between airings, I suddenly NEEDED something to occupy my listening time besides music. I was also doubling the distance I ran, and wanted a little more engaging entertainment than just workout playlists to get me through the long runs.

Much like when I first got my iPhone and I asked everyone I met which apps they had, I started quizzing friends, strangers, coworkers about what podcasts they listened to. After some trial and error, I had built up a fairly solid lineup for myself. And here are the ones I subscribe to:

If you haven’t start to already, get out there and start listening. I can’t recommend these highly enough.

A Hate Letter to NYC

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I have lived in NYC for almost 12 years now. In some estimations, that makes me a real, bonafide New Yorker – a title I have fought hard to earn. One thing everyone who lives here knows is that living here ain’t easy. And another that we can all agree on, is that one of the best things about being a member of this inner circle is that it has earned you the right to complain – about things that only other true New Yorker’s would understand.

For the most part, I love my city, and there’s no place else I’d rather be. But on some days, I hate it with a fiery passion. And in those moments, here are the things that drive me nuts the most.

  • The average traffic light is 3 minutes long. WHY is your fool self running out into the path of oncoming cars? No one needs to be to work on time that badly, and it’s just going to ruin my morning when I have to SEE you get hit by that bus you’re barely dodging.
  • When something goes wrong and you all want to group complain. Yes, the subway is taking forever and we’re wedged on this platform with sweat dripping down our butt cracks. Talking about it only makes it worse. Put in some headphones and put on a podcast. Try to find your zen. I know I do.
  • Subway performers in the morning. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU PLAY ELECTRIC GUITAR BEFORE 9AM? There is no one that wants to hear that that early. I certainly don’t when I haven’t had my coffee yet. This is my time before work. Let me enjoy those last few minutes in peace.
  • Subway performers during evening rush. I enjoy subway performers (I swear). There are even a few (ok two) acts that I like so much that I always give them money and stop and watch. I have even listened to Too Many Zooz on spotify when I hadn’t seen them in a while. They’re so good! But why are you trying to break dance, or hobble through with your cane when I barely have room to wedge my body into the car. Nobody can even get their hands in their wallets to give you anything it’s so jam-packed. Stop trying to play that nonsense.
  • People who stop walking to swipe their metro cards. At this point, it’s probably becoming clear that I have a lot of subway-induced rage. Who doesn’t, amirite? It’s like those fools who come to a full stop in the EZ Pass lane. Don’t you see what you’re doing wrong?
  • When you’re waiting in a long line, and the person behind you asks dumb questions. Is that self service kiosk broken? NO, I just LIKE standing here wasting my time when I could be using it to ring up my dinner. Check yourself.
  • The fact that the MTA claims the subways run on a schedule. We all know that’s a joke.
  • Every time I go to an event thinking I had an original idea, and then they are hundreds of other people who are there.

What really pisses you off about this wonderful city?