Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July Joys & Favorites | just leave me to do my dark bidding on the internet

| Joys |
Independence Day! We celebrated the 4th at Grandma's house with grilled brats and corn-on-the-cob and backyard fireworks. Grandma's neighbor gave the kids these balloons, and I am so grateful for this neighborly gesture. More even than the fireworks, this was the part of the afternoon Mads and Ella loved most--running through and bouncing off of a bouquet of balloons.
Fuquay-Varina Splash Park! I think perhaps we adults enjoy this place more than the kids. They're still small enough that getting a spray of water to the face is not always an entirely pleasant surprise. But, it's not far from our house, the kids get to expel some of that destructive 3-year-old energy, and it's a great way to cool off in this heat. My only complaint is that of a vampire: I wish it were shaded.
Batmobile! Martigan's Grandmommy and Grandpa Tommy spoiled him royally with his own batmobile (it's black, so it is a batmobile). He drove it furiously for two days before the battery stopped holding a charge, but what a glorious two days (we'll buy a new battery soon; honestly, I'm enjoying the break from the car).
Oak Island! We're not beach people; we're not good at beaching. We always get it wrong, never give ourselves enough time. But, once we get close enough to an ocean, my compulsion toward it becomes an unassailable, tangible thing, a tether that tugs. We're not beach people, but every time we stand in the sand staring at the ocean, we discuss the possibility of moving to an island and becoming fisherpeople. Or merpeople.
Interviews! I truly do loathe job searching. It is among my least favorite experiences, right up there with depression and giving birth, which perhaps is why in the past I've often stayed stuck in a job that didn't suit me or my talents for far too long (years). Unemployment would be a breeze were it not for the fact that I have to spend so many hours a day searching for a new job. But, I must admit, I've been really lucky in my interviews thus far--businesses for which I can see myself working and excelling, businesses for which I feel optimistic and enthusiastic. And, even were they not businesses that seemed to fit me, how lucky I feel just to be granted opportunities to interview.

| Favorites | 
| Recipe | Not Ice Cream! Mads and I have indulged in this recipe nearly every afternoon, sitting on the back deck or front porch (whichever is shadiest at whichever hour). So simple: one frozen banana, half an avocado, a handful of frozen berries, and enough yogurt or coconut water to get it all blended. A thousand imaginable variations. (A food processor works better than a blender, unless you're working with peanut butter--peanut butter is impossible in a food processor.)

| Kid Craft/Play | Moon Sand! I've mentioned this already in my last Project 365 update, but it's just not a North Carolina summer if you don't hear me complaining about it: it is too hot to be outside. I am not just being a hyperbolic whiner; various heat advisories in our local papers and radio station bulletins back me up on this. And any parent, grandparent, child carer can tell you that keeping 3-year-olds cooped up indoors for too long is a dangerous play, particularly when they are together (think Lord of the Flies, but with all your collectibles in the cross fire). This recipe is relatively simple to throw together and cheap (just 4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of baby oil--recipe found here). It's messy, but I'm a mom; I'm impervious to mess.
| Product | Boogie Wipes! Mads and I were briefly sick this month. Again. I don't know how anybody survived a persistently runny nose before Boogie Wipes. They are so worth the however much they cost--it doesn't even matter, I won't blow my nose on anything else.
| Movie | What We Do In The Shadows! After my fifth time watching this in a row, I think it became pretty official that this is one of my all-time favorite movies. Like, I would get a tattoo of Jemaine Clement as Vlad the vampire as a cat.
| Show | Stranger Things! Typically, Wolfman and I are at least two years behind everyone else in our television consumption. It's a nice place to be--we already know what happens on any given show, we know what critics thought of it, what audiences thought of it, and we've decided we don't give a shit about any of that and don't mind wasting (or not wasting) our time on it. Stranger Things, however, is very new. The only thing I knew about the show came from a tweet which described it as "Twin Peaks meets Goonies." Having seen it, I don't think that's an accurate description, but only because it's something better and more interesting than a rehash of other things. (I will say, though, that it has a just a touch of John Carpenter Halloween to it.) However, part of what makes it so lovely is that Stranger Things definitely gives you all the feelings you feel while watching ET or Goonies or Stand By Me or any other beloved 80's movie featuring a group of boys coming-of-age. It feels wholesome. Scary, weird, wholesome: some of my very favorite adjectives. And, god, how beautiful are David Harbour and Winona Ryder. I've always liked Winona Ryder (I'll get a tattoo of Lydia Deetz right next to my Vlad-as-cat), but she is a complete revelation to me in this show. Her crazy eyes, the way she stabs the air with her cigarette and walks with a hunch, I just completely, utterly love her performance. And now, because Wolfman and I are riding the zeitgeist this time, we have to wait for season two. In classic first-in-a-franchise horror movie style, season one did not quite wrap up, and I could not be happier.
| Links & Etc. | On Instagram, I've been particularly taken with @nurturingnova--her account is so chill and joyful and beautifully cultivated. | I've been following Julia Dreads on Youtube for a while, but this month she's increased her output, and her daily vlog videos are the prettiest dailies I've seen. | Recently discovered Drew Monson on Youtube, and though it took me a few videos before I'd made up my mind, I do think he's very funny. But, it's his videos discussing his struggles with depression that I find most impressive, perhaps because they're vulnerable, but more because they're real, and I don't often hear people discuss depression in a way that feels real. | "Literally, right now my body is heavy. It just had a child. My tits are bigger. My stomach is, you know, still soft and giant. And there's this part of me that's going, 'you're going to look kind of ugly,' and then there's that wiser voice that goes, like, 'no you're not. You just had a child. You're going to look real. You're going to look like the thing that you are.'" Love this Amanda Palmer's Style Like U strip interview. | Loved the TED Radio Hour episode "Animals & Us" and recommend it if you have animal companions. | I want this to be a real thing: Mom Tiger Will Finally Lose Her Shit on New Episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

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