Category Archives: Pop Goes The Culture

And the Lorde Sayeth

I love Lorde! She is incredible and she’s only 16. She writes all her own stuff; her lyrics are so smart and well constructed. And her harmonies in “Royals” are wonderful. It reminds me of Swedish pop that I enjoy so much like First Aid Kit, Lykke Li and Robyn.

And I love that the “Royals” video leads right into “Tennis Courts.” This video is so simple, yet so creepy and mesmerizing.

Another band I’ve been digging lately is Haim; they are so talented and fun. Este Haim looks like a young Melanie Hutsell, which gives them a comedy vibe even when there aren’t SNL people in their videos:

I usually only listen to music when I’m running, so I mostly listen to Jay Z and shit that gets me off of my ass, but it’s nice to have music that I want to listen to while I’m cooking and stuff. Justin usually plays something from his 10,000 iTunes or streams KDHX on his computer, so I haven’t been in the mindset to play music on my own since I’ve lived here.

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Another reason to play music at home is that Justin is fixing my parents’ gorgeous 1965 record player (it helps that his friend at work actually worked at RCA when this was built; he is freaking out over this thing). It hasn’t worked since 1992 when my brother stole one of the speakers to build a sub-woofer. I have a tiny but respectable record collection; it will be fun to build it with current stuff, too.

AND I grabbed this fantastic little radio from my Grandma’s house; it actually picks up KDHX which is rare in my building. I love playing this while reading next to the windows.

Screen shot 2013-08-31 at 9.27.17 AM

I remember the last time I was as massively depressed as I am now–I discovered Mates of State, Lykke Li and Gogol Bordello, and they helped lift me out of the fog and into one of the happiest years of my life. Maybe all I was missing was music to relax to and heal with, as opposed to the harsh stuff that forces me through a 5-mile run. I’m starting to feel like me again, slowly but surely. It’s nice.

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“… And Thus Was Contextually Justified In Asking His Hand In Boo-aige”

If you’re not watching Awkward Black Girl, I don’t know how to help you. It’s the best.

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“A Man Like That. Where In The Hell Did You Meet A Man Like That?”

So once upon a time, a million years ago (okay, three and a half), I had an awesome birthday party where my friends and I watched The Room. Janet and Courtney, two of my Twin Peaks Club buddies, were in attendance. A few weeks later at TPC, Janet and Courtney were talking about the movie.

“What is that?” asked a tall, quiet guy sitting across the room from me.

I launched into a breathless, hyper description of The Room. Justin told me later that that’s when he started falling for me.

Months later, after we had talked more at TPC, TV Time and other Squid stuff, he organized a covert Room screening at Webster University. We went to a bar for drinks afterward, and he asked me on a date.

Exactly three years later, we went to the Tivoli to meet the writer/director/producer/star himself, Tommy Wiseau!


He brought along his co-star Greg Sestero, and they showed up an hour early to sign autographs. We would have been first in line, but we were like an hour early and left to go get Froyo. We were probably 15th.

Tommy and Greg were AMAZING. They spent at least 5 minutes with everyone who came. We weren’t sure we would be able to do this, but: Justin told them how we met, and we invited them to the wedding!


Greg (who was intimidatingly handsome) seemed genuinely touched and said, “You guys are going to have laughter for your whole lives together.”

And Tommy? Well, Tommy was beside himself, but I think he’s kind of always like that. He told us that he would invite us onstage for the Q&A. Justin and I figured that the whole process was such a whirlwind that he wouldn’t remember. He was still amazing, though. He kept taking things out of our hands to sign, including a DVD, a stuffed dog and the program Justin made for that original screening.


Tommy: Happy …
Justin: Wedding?
Tommy: Nah, that’s cheap.

He ended up writing, “To Justin and Stephanie, Happy life. Love Tommy. P.S. Be good to each other.”

The pug in the tuxedo was a brilliant thing to start selling at Room screenings. It even talks! Appropriately enough, our place in line was in front of the flower shop at the Tivoli.


Tommy was late to the screening because he wanted to spend time with everyone in line. But he finally showed up. Before the Q&A, he told everyone in tuxedos and red dresses to come up front. They played football with a plastic water bottle for prizes. (It makes sense, I promise.) All the people were lined up for questions, too. So we assumed that he forgot. And then:

“Oh, before we begin, I wanted to invite up a beautiful girl, a beautiful couple with a beautiful story. See, I am an actor, I remember things …”

I handed my camera to the guy behind me (after an hour in line, you make friends with people) and we went up front.

“This is a wonderful story; who would like to tell it?” Tommy asked, and I reached for the mic. (Justin told me later he was like OH THANK GOD.) “You have two minutes to tell us. Okay, go.”


So I told the audience the story that I just told you, and ended it with, “And now, because of The Room, we’re getting married!” The whole audience cheered really loud. I don’t remember much else because it’s hard to remember things when you’re on stage in front of hundreds of people. I just remember Tommy and Greg shaking our hands and saying, “Thank you.”


Tommy and Greg were pretty hysterical during the Q&A; if you ever have a chance to see them, do it. At the end, they said, “We will be back someday soon! Somebody already invited us!”

Justin and I decided that since we had that first conversation at TPC, we could technically do the same thing at Twin Peaks Fest. Then we joked that we should go to Comic Con and pull the same gag at every panel to see how many celebs we can meet.

But really, The Room is what brought us together, and because Tommy and Greg were so kind and genuinely happy for us, that night is something we’ll remember fondly forever.

AND we can’t wait to go to another screening in a few years to tell Tommy, “We are expecteeeng!”

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Breaking My Silence (On One Direction)

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Harry Styles (in the plaid shirt) is totes the cutest!

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You’d think this post would put me in jail, but:

a. He’s 18.
b. His last girlfriend is a year older than me.
c. His outfit here makes me think that I like him because he looks like my girlcrush Shane from The L Word:

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P.S. Good grief, that song is terrible. Palate cleanser (and my favorite video ever):

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So I Watched “100-Minute Lady Boner”

I mean, Drive.

  

Other movies I’ve watched while Justin is at work: Crazy Stupid Love, Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl, Murder by Numbers. See a pattern?

I have yet to watch The Notebook. Give me 24 hours.

Half Nelson was the most impressive and Crazy Stupid Love was the most fun, but Drive was 100 minutes of me writing “Stephanie Gosling” on the back of my social studies bookcover. It’s one of those movies where I walked away with more of a feeling than a story. Also: I love the soundtrack!

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While I’m talking about great soundtracks, I have to mention Hanna. And really, Gosling may be badass, but nothing he’s done compares to Hanna’s escape scene.


Especially since she spares the hot guy. That’s my girl.

Gifs by my braintwin starsweptnight.

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In District Stephie, We Make Gyros

All the media tour clips of the The Hunger Games cast fucking with each other are charming the pants off of me.

 

 

Speaking of Peeta, I finally went to Pita Pit and oh mah gad.

(Gifs by starsweptnight, who has documented like every great quote.)

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Cheer Up, Sleepy Stephie

This month, I am tired. I’m tired of everyone bitching 24/7 on the Internet, I’m tired of politics, I’m tired of drama that people invent because they’re bored, I’m tired of negative people, I’m tired of angry/sad memories that haunt me unless I’m running, I’m tired of road rage even though I see so little of it these days, I’m tired of everything revolving around food and booze, and I’m tired of a couple people whose interest in me is borderline creepy. And obviously, I’m tired because I have a sleeping disorder.

Also, March is the last month I think I have to relax before the wedding planning gears back up and I really need to focus on getting in shape. These days, aside from P90X, walking to work, and a few 5-mile runs, I spend most of my time lounging around the house. (This sentence is making me laugh a lot. Remember when my only exercise was walking to school while chain-smoking and eating Doritos for breakfast?) I’m not going out much, either–my friends are either too crazy, too busy, too pregnant, or too exhausted like me. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately: A Song of Ice and Fire and Downton Abbey.

If I ever picked a good time to start using a Kindle, this is it–each book in A Song of Ice and Fire is at least 1000 pages. I just started the third book, and it’s about 1200 pages long. The most recent is so long that they split up the paperback into 2 parts in the UK. So thanks, Kindle Fire, for saving me from crampy hands and bad circulation. Also, I found that by reversing the display to white text on a black background, the Kindle doesn’t mess up my sleep cycle anymore. Good thing, since I have roughly 4000 more pages (or 80,000 locations) to read.

A Song of Ice and Fire is the series that HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on. It doesn’t seem like something I’d be into, but the tv series was intriguing and when your female doctor and lawyer friends start gushing about fantasy books, you pay attention. I am insanely addicted to these. In fact, writing about these is making me want to wander away from my computer to read some more.

Why do I love them? For one thing, the books play out like a TV series–each chapter is from a different character’s perspective, so you jump from city to city and scene to scene. With so many characters literally sprawled across the world, it helps you keep track of everyone. The characters are all great, but my favorites are tomboy/badass Ayra, little person with big brains Tyrion and bastard Jon. Giving each of the Stark kids a direwolf was a nice touch (I love that Jon got his own special wolf, and Ghost is clearly the coolest out of all the direwolves); I’m interested to see if their dreams about wolves lead anywhere. Also: dragons are schuper schweet!

I’m much more interested in reading these days than watching TV, but I’ll be so sad if I fly through these books. So lately I’ve been throwing episodes of Downton Abbey into the mix. My co-workers are totally obsessed with this show. My boss has basically dedicated his Facebook page to it. So I figured I’d give it a shot; I’m about halfway through. It’s lovely and I love Mr. Bates. If you’re not drinking the Kool-Aid yet, give it a shot.

Speaking of great TV dramas, Vulture has this whole Greatest TV Drama bracket going on right now, and while I should protest it simply because Six Feet Under was knocked out by The Sopranos, I’m still in it to root for Buffy. My buddy Davy had the tough choice of choosing between My So-Called Life and The Wire, and I think he made the right call.

Because I’m boring right now, I’ll tell you what Justin’s up to lately: Police Academy. That’s right, Justin and his best friend are taking a citizen’s class at the Police Academy, where he gets to tour the 911 call center and juvy and do ride alongs and hopefully Citizen’s Arrest some folks. My brother and I are especially delighted by this because we were obsessed with the Police Academy movies when we were little. My personal favorite was Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.

He is also very, very sad about Peyton Manning. :(  Hell, even I cried during that press conference yesterday. Hoosiers have the biggest hearts in the world. When their hearts break, mine does, too.

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Farewell, Fishers.

Justin and I just finished Six Feet Under. It really is the best show ever. I’m so bummed that it’s over.

Kathy Bates’ character Bettina is basically my role model for life. In fact, remember when I wanted to be her before I knew she fictionally existed? And then Josh said the funniest thing he’s ever said to me (and he says funny things for a living)?

Anyway, if any of you guys get divorced in 20 years, please come live with me. I promise I’ll say sassy things and bake eggplant and help you rediscover life as we drink an assload of wine. Bettina 4ever.

AlsoDavidandKeithomg

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Heart Boners

The Internet has earned a day off. Good God.

Seriously, my wedding reception is just going to be that song on repeat for 4 hours (except for the part where I make Erin dance to “Moves Like Jagger”). Does anyone know how to make this live on my iPod? I will bring my laptop to the Y if I have to, I swear. (UPDATE: Amanda made me an mp3! WOOO!)

I got Justin 12 Ways To Say I Love You from Rag & Bone. It just arrived last night so I’m writing it on my lunch break. Why give a hastily-written card when you can give a hastily-written book? If I had more time, I would make a flash drive mix to put in that teeny tiny envelope (his car has a USB port; jealous!), but oh well. Last year I just got him s’mores fixins. Valentine’s Day is so close to my birthday, the Superbowl and our half anniversary that by the time we get to it, we’re exhausted.

My valentine to all of you is more Tony Lucca, whom I am still swooning over:

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Ahem.

Last night I watched The Grammys for the first time in years. Mostly out of curiosity for how they would react to Whitney Houston’s death, but also to support Robyn (she lost to Skrillex; don’t even get me started) and to keep up with some of my favorite people while they live-Tweeted the show. Because if there’s one thing Twitter is good for, it’s finally making awards shows fun to watch again.

HOWEVER, one thing that threw me for a loop was people’s reactions to Chipotle’s “Back to the Start”–people were reacting to it like they were seeing it for the first time! Are you guys kidding me? This video is 6 months old, and it blew up the Internet thanks to a gorgeous cover, sincere message, and awesome stop-motion animation with creatures made from a 3D printer. (Justin was virtually unfazed by the video til he learned that 3D printers are an actual thing.)

This is the first time I’ve ever said this, but I pity people who don’t work in advertising. We have been gaping at this thing for half a year. So here it is; no more excuses:

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“I’m So Excited.”

This is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time:

If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, then you know I’m a massive Kristen Bell fan. And obviously I’m a massive Ellen fan because who isn’t besides crazy folk?

And if you’ve known me personally for a long time, you now know that Kristen and I are on the exact same scale when it comes to crying. This is almost how I reacted the day I got engaged.

And man, the way Dax says, “Do you wanna come be a part of setting up his little habitat?” is the same tone of voice that Justin has to use with me at least once a month.

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CAN’T. STOP.

NSFW–but I mean, if you don’t have a pair of headphones at your desk by the end of 2011, I can’t help you.

But the highlight of this week was an SNL behind the scenes video of Taran Killam recreating Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” video. I’ve watched this 600 times and it only gets better for me:

I also secretly like this song, but mostly because I like to think about Kreayshawn watching this and throwing a temper tantrum:

Yes, I am aware that you hate this. Go watch Taran again.

EDITED TO ADD: OMG! Side by side!!

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This Week In Mental Consumption

Outside, the Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class installed silkworm trays. They worked in silence, daydreaming of various things. Ruby James was thinking about how handsome John 2X had looked that morning, and wondered if they would get married someday. Darlene Wood was beginning to get miffed because all the brothers had gotten rid of their slave names but Minister Fard hadn’t gotten around to the girls yet, so here she was, still Darlene Wood. Lily Hale was thinking almost entirely about the spit curl hairdo she had hidden up under her headscarf and how tonight she was going to stick her head out her bedroom window, pretending to check the weather, so that Lubbock T. Hass next door could see. Betty Smith was thinking, Praise Allah Praise Allah Praise Allah. Millie Little wanted gum.

Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimidations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins with middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.”

This is a little belated since I only have 50 pages left, but I am enjoying the hell out of Jeffery Eugenides’ Middlesex.

Lately Sarah (Justin’s BFF’s wife) and I have been trading books like crazy. She owns all the books I’ve ever considered reading and vice versa. It’s amazing and the boys get a huge kick out it. The other night we had a double date at Monarch, and while Sarah and I were gushing about The Virgin Suicides, Brent pointed out that we were both sitting the exact same way: hugging ourselves with our right hands under our chins, like little girls madly in love. In all fairness, we were.

Up next: Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth, which is also my current TV marathon thanks to Jen, Ron, and the bomb-ass breakfast for dinner that Ron made us last night (with farm fresh eggs from Moon Dance!).

Justin and I are in the midst of a new TV club: Six Feet Under and Breaking Bad. It’s no Buffy/Wire, but we’re still having a lot of fun.

Tomorrow night: Melancholia with my work friends Ben and Jim!

I should note that I’ve also been working my ass off at the Y. I’m a sucker for their incentive programs where I win a t-shirt just for working out. This will be my fourth! Plus: I’ve been rocking a standing desk at work. So, uh, not a total sloth. Just like 70%.

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“That’s How You Know It’s An Adventure.”

Yesterday was Justin’s birthday! Last night we saw Hugo. Based on the trailer, I had assumed it was a Harry Potter-ish ripoff or a pretty-but-blah kid’s story. I had no idea why Justin was so excited to see it. But it’s really an homage to filmmaker Georges Méliès, the father of special effects in film. I didn’t know what that meant until Justin mentioned the video for “Tonight, Tonight”:

Hugo is pretty amazing. Martin Scorsese directed it, Johnny Depp produced it, it’s a 3D film actually made with 3D film, the sets are gorgeous, the story is touching*, and Sacha Baron Cohen is totally hysterical in the most subtle way. It’s a shame that the marketing for the film, especially the trailer, is so misleading. I can’t gush about it enough.

I know all my entries lately have been videos or  just plain short. I’ve been hit with a case of the SADS, work is kicking my ass, I haven’t been running, and you know what? I just don’t feel like writing right now. I’ll bounce back with stories of the Amish and Jersey Boys and farm parties and Hoosier adventures; I just don’t know when.

Right now my energy is focused on real life and real people (see you tonight, Kendra and Jane!) and getting my muffin top back in the gym.

*There’s a dead dad plot, obviously. As an English major, I knew this was an ongoing theme in literature and film and other stories, but you’re never really aware of it until your dad dies, too. Just wait for it. It’s unbelievable, though once you get there you understand why it’s a story that someone wants to tell.

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Heads Up Girl, You Can Rule This Place

It’s hard getting back into the groove after being so busy and then so sick. Right now I’m just trying to catch up with as many friends as possible (Jen, Jane, Kendra, Vee, Heather, Erin and Ty, I’m looking at you) as well as getting back to running 5 miles a day. It gets dark early now; I miss my city walking and it’s a scary trip to the Y at night. I’m trying to fill up my iPod with as much new music as possible to keep me motivated.

(I wish that guy could give me a peptalk in the mirror every morning.)

Speaking of “being busy with my job and my gay friends/laughing and drinking with my one night stands”, I’m 80% through this life-changing Felicity marathon. I’mnotreadytotalkaboutitjustyet.

 

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Martha Marcy May Marlene Marvelous

Ooooh gurl. This movie is so amazing! I’ve been looking forward to this movie since Sundance and it’s finally here. Justin and I were both silently losing our shit during the whole thing–him for the stunning direction, me because I love cult movies and John Hawkes, and both of us because Elizabeth Olsen is freaking incredible.

If you get ooked out easily or you need quick pacing or you hate weird endings, then this isn’t for you, but for everyone else, go see it!

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Dammit, Janet

I’ve listened to this about 20 times now; she is amazing!

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Moodboard 1: The “Ex”

Jen and Ron had a super fun barbecue last night and I had a lot of fun, but this dude who used to pretend to like me was there. I haven’t cared about this for almost two years but for some reason every time he opened his mouth I was like … well, there’s probably a German word for what I was feeling, but no English ones. And so:

At the end of the night he complimented my fruit salad and I was all:

Usually when I see him I’m fine, so I don’t know what my deal was last night. Did I drink too much? Not enough? Anyway, ugh.

And now, a tiny moodboard for today:

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Elvis, Eddie and Erin T. Fainting

Last night Justin and I went to Elvis Costello! It was fantastic! He brought along his Spectacular Spinning Songbook; audience members got to go onstage and spin the wheel to see what he would play. (They could even dance in the go-go cage if they wanted!)

The best part, however, was when he started covering “Substitute” and out of nowhere, Eddie Vedder joined him! (Erin T., I thought of you.) He was in town on his ukulele tour and rushed over from The Fabulous Fox during his opening act. I only had my crappy phone, but YouTube user SuperJCS2009 posted an awesome video of it:

Afterward, Eddie spun the wheel. It landed on “Pump It Up” and the crowd went crazy.

It was one of the best shows I’ll ever see. Elvis played for THREE HOURS! No opening act! You can’t tell from the video but the backdrop was a giant TV; the whole setup was so fun. He walked through the pit a few times and sweated on my friends Kim and Nancy Jane!

Justin was beaming the entire time, so I think my present was a success! We ate at Thai Country Cafe before the show and walked all the way down to see the installed-that-morning Chuck Berry statue. Hooray for Date Night!

The party continued this morning when I heard a drum circle outside my window at about 9 am. I looked out my window and saw an Indian wedding procession! (I live next to two reception halls, but usually I only see gawking guests and puking groomsmen late at night.) They were dancing and drumming and so happy and it totally made my day. Oh, and they were nice enough to have a dance party in between the trees for like 20 minutes so I could see them!

I’m supposed to go to two parties tonight, but we’ll see. I have a BBQ tomorrow and fireworks Monday, and I really only have time/energy for one. Oh, and today I finished Friday Night Lights! I highly recommend it (and you know how much I hate football. Trust me. So good). Up next: the latest Dr. Who! I love only watching TV one show at a time.

 

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And Now A Word From The Future Mrs. Riggins

It was a pretty awesome weekend for both me and Justin. Justin’s film was accepted into the St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase! It’s screening at the Tivoli in August, with a chance to screen at the St. Louis International Film Festival later in the year. He’s practically beaming, which is all I can ask for, really.

Me? I ran 8 miles in one go for the first time in my life. (I did it once a few years ago, but I walked a mile in the middle.) As my buddy Joseph said, “You ran eight miles here?! No one runs eight miles here!” I’ve never seen double digits on the treadmill before!

I’ve run 53 miles so far. I feel like I miiiight be able to make it to 100, but now my issue is more about time. Saturdays and Sundays are my long run days, and I’ve only got one available Sunday left. I’d have to run over 5 miles a day on all my free days to do this. I’m not going to kill myself over a dumb goal that I only set to entertain myself, but I’m still psyched to try. I may even hit up the gym at my hotel in Napa, if Kendra’s superstar itinerary allows it. :) (Shoot, with dinner at the Culinary Institute, I’ll need to go anyway.)

My partner at work had a girl’s night at her house and it was so much fun! My new friends at work are so awesome … I really lucked out getting placed with the team that’s perfect for me. They’re a lot like me, only much cooler, which is how most of my friends are. I go to work every day feeling very fortunate to spend my time with them … and I usually leave feeling very, very full because we hit up places like Pho Grand for lunch.

I will probably finish Season 4 of Friday Night Lights before I leave for Napa. I was about to say it’s gotten a lot happier and awesome, and I shit you not, as I was typing that, my (other) favorite character just found out that his dad died. So … business as usual for FNL!

Speaking of Napa and dads, I didn’t realize until this week that I’ll be spending my first Father’s Day without him in California, drunk on wine and cheese. I guess if I can’t have him back, I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend the day. (Though, knowing me, you will probably get a sad entry about him eventually.)

I have to travel a lot for work, so I finally invested in a little red Swiss suitcase that I’m breaking in on Friday. I’m so excited!

P.S. “I’m gonna tell you something, all right? And you can’t tell it to anyone else. My mother never took me shopping for a pageant gown and because of that, I never placed in Miss Texas. That’s why I got into football. That’s fact.”
- Tim Riggins

Via What Would Riggins Do?, where you’ll be able to find me for the next hour or so.

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