Watch This Now: My Mad Fat Diary

My Mad Fat Diary tells the somewhat very true tale of Rae, a teen in the 90s. I don’t know if you remember the ’90s at all, but there was no internet there for a while. Rae, like any good ’90s teen, loves Oasis and writing in her super secret diary. The diary is a product of Rae’s recent turn in a mental institution. Rae struggles with body dysmorphia and depression; a suicide attempt landed her in the hospital, or “France,” as her mother has told the neighbors.



Rae returns to her normal, small-town teenage life with some lessons in hand, and her diary, the only place where she can be completely honest and open. She reconnects with her former best friend, Chloe, who has a new posse of friends – the teenage version of what one might refer to as “the beautiful people.” The things she writes in her diary will be incredibly familiar to anyone who’s ever been a teenage girl in the last, say, 50 years: feelings about boys, feelings about her body, indignant feelings that she is cool and valuable and interesting and anyone who doesn’t recognize it is missing out.


Series one had six episodes; it was such a hit that series two is already on its way. With the demise of Skins and their strange Skins-as-adults movies, this was exactly the teen TV fix I was looking for. Anyone who’s ever been a teenage girl: watch this now.


Watch This Now: My Mad Fat Diary

It’s time for a January playlist


Internet, it’s cold in Kansas City. No, seriously, it’s very cold. Look at this nonsense:


But you’re in luck. I’ve compiled the perfect sad bastard January playlist to warm your heart and steel your resolve. I also recommend some mulled wine, or a hot toddy. Anything that’s warm but also has alcohol in it. Pair that with this playlist, and you’ll be in good shape. You can probably just be half-asleep until the beginning of April with this playlist and a warmish alcoholic drink.


2013 travels

2013 was definitely a year of travel for me, taking me to places I’ve visited before – South Dakota, Chicago, New York – and brand new ones, too – Milwaukee, the Dominican Republic, Panama. Below are some of my favorite photos from this year. Here’s hoping 2014 has some new horizons in store for everyone.














2013 travels

Christmas songs for the rest of us


If you’re an introvert (or just a human in general), the holiday season can be a mixed bag of feels. Winter weather forces things to be quiet and calmer; twinkle lights and candles make it a perfect time for some energy-fueling introspection. At the same time, it’s one of the busiest social seasons of the year: a wonderful chance to spend time with your friends and family.

Still, I find that my favorite Christmas music is, in general, on the sadder end of things. It’s a fun, happy season, but for a lot of people, for many reasons, it can be sad, too. So here’s my contribution to the neverending pile of Christmas playlists. It’s got a whole lot of sad bastard interspersed with some pop and, of course, a sprinkle of wrock.

Happy holidays.

Christmas songs for the rest of us

Sting wrote a musical: all is right in the world

Normally around this time of year, as the air gets cool and crisp and nature starts trying to murder everyone with pollen, I like to start annoying my friends with a little seasonal ditty of Sting’s called Soul Cake.

Soul Cake is from Sting’s album On A Winter’s Night and celebrates the extremely festive old-timey custom of  soul cakes. originating in the MIddle Ages. On All Saints Day (November 1), children would go door to door begging for souls cakes, simple cakes made with spices. “Souling,” as it was called, is considered by many to be the origin of our modern-day Halloween begging for candy.

Anyway, this is all build up to the point of this post. This year, just in time for my usual Soul Caking, Sting has released an album of songs from his new musical, The Last Ship.  

The Last Ship debuts in 2014 and “will explore the themes of homecoming and self-discovery, drawing upon Sting’s memories of growing up, and reminiscencing universal truths – the complexity of relationships, the passage of time and the importance of family and community.”


Shipyards! England! Hopefully a lot of scarves!

And therefore, I will be forcing everyone to list to this song this fall instead – though don’t be surprised if you still get Soul Caked too.

Sting wrote a musical: all is right in the world

Excited About: Austenland

I was suffering from Austenian fatigue around the time that Austenland came out. I’d tried Mr. Darcy’s Daughters, scoffed a little at Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, watched Lost in Austen with mild interest/shame. There are so many Austen spinoffs around, I can’t keep up anymore.

But this trailer combined with the name Jerusha Hess caught my attention. Yesterday, I sat down and read Austenland in one fell swoop. It was easy, fast and fun – just what I needed after the serious(ish) nonfiction I’ve been reading lately.

Since I’m not really a movie person and I’m definitely not a chick flick person, it’s nice to be excited about something fun and easy; normally I’m more into the morose, the Shakespearean (but not this! never this! just…why), the teenage, the tragic.

I’ll take this confection for once, thank you very much.

Excited About: Austenland

June playlist

June playlist 2013

It’s that time of the month again – time for a new playlist! The new Vampire Weekend album came out, so this playlist is a little VW-heavy. I’m fine with it. I’m also really digging Bastille’s Pompeii.

We’ve had a weird June. It’s been cold, rainy, and occasionally straight-up hot. It snowed in May. I’ve been traveling for a week. I expected it to be warm, so I packed a bunch of shorts, but due to evil, cold weather, I’ve had to wear the same pair of pants for most of the trip, reinforcing my Theory That We All Only Need Like Two Pairs of Pants Anyway. This playlist is a little love letter to the spring we didn’t have. I missed you, chilly, green-skied, flower-bud-filled spring. See you next year.

Add the playlist on Spotify or  listen below.

June playlist