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Making Kool-Aid Out of a Shit Sandwich

June 15, 2015

I’m sure they do you dirty bastard.

Summer has just about arrived in Lawrence, Kan. and it’s every bit as magical as I remember it years ago…

OK, it’s not magical, really. Thus far, Paul and I’s summer has consisted of the following non-magical, totally mundane, and massively irritating events:

– A terrible move where the moving company overcharged us for bad work.

– A raw sewage flood in the basement.

– A scrambled attempt to find a new home to move into, as our current home became an obvious temporary option.

– Job lost under weird circumstances.

This was basically my reaction after all the above stuff happened.

But all in all, Lawrence is still the somewhat magical and alluringly laid-back city it was when I first arrived here almost seven years ago. Except now, Lawrence is far more enjoyable because I’m no longer busting my ass to get to class on time. I’m just busting my ass to make sure all my clients are happy.

Bad happenings aside, Paul and I are happy we’re here because we’re 1. living together (he’s the best roommate ever), and 2. things have to get better. For real.

And because he and I are banking on our positive attitudes to propel us out of bummerville, I’ve spent time thinking of awesome, cheap things to do that are summer specific. Because if anything can buoy a sour mood, it’s summertime fun.

1. 70s sitcoms and Kool-Aid

Nothing is better than crashing on the couch and watching hours of “The Brady Bunch” while sipping grape, cherry, or lime Kool-Aid. And luckily, because Hulu exists, and I’m an adult and can drink a sugary beverage when I want, I can take part in this bad-ass summertime activity all the time. (For real, I work from home.) While I do plan on legit Kool-Aiding it up this summer, most weekends I’ll probably sub the empty calorie concoction with some club soda, sliced fruit, and vodka — because I’m a responsible adult.

2. Read trash

As a kid, I read Goosebumps all summer long. And as an adult, I plan on finally finishing the Motley Cru book I just found hiding in my grandmother’s car. (No, grandma wasn’t a Cru groupie, I misplaced it last year after my Arizona road trip.) I’m pretty sure my eyes will devour every disgusting inch (dirty) of that book in a few days, so I’d appreciate any other trashy book suggestions.

3. Start a project

In the past, every project I’ve started from June through Aug. was a success. I’m a superstitious person. so I plan on really diving into the few projects I want to succeed in the coming years now. And while I realize that real businesses are much harder to “make” succeed than, say, learning how to apply liquid eyeliner and lipstick, I still have that “can do” attitude that 16-year-old girl had who murdered those makeup tricks many years ago.

4. Watch a ton of horror

Alright. This one horror website started a series called “how to get into horror.” When I first read that headline, I yelled a few fuck-shits and thought “why does one have to learn how to get into horror?!” And then I realized that most younger people don’t have access to the killer VHS selection I picked through when I was a young, curious, soon-to-be-avid horror fan. Every summer, I’d walk down to the local video store and pick three videos a week to rent based on their covers. Then, after a stop at the Quick-Mart to buy three Clearly Canadians and a bag full of Fun Dip, Now and Later, and Starburst, I walked home and got my horror education. This summer, I will further my education in horror (it’s a continuing education, after all), and watch horror films on my streaming services (while also hitting up Liberty Hall), all while eating my current movie snack — tofu fries covered in Sriracha and kale, all chased with a goblet of high-alcohol Rose.

How are all your summer plans turning out? Have any god-awful things happened to you lately? I love terrible stories, so please share. Also: I’m curious — how many people reenact their childhood summer activities? Am I the only loser who does this?

Image: Jamie

How Horror Helped Me Grieve and Made Me the Tough Broad I am Today

October 10, 2014

Pretty proud of this one. My horror origin story, if you will.


Horror movies are great. No, I think everyone who frequents this site thinks horror movies are spectacular. Amazing! We’re all over the moon about horror.

All horror fans have come to love the spooky genre for various reasons. I came to love horror films because they grossed me out as much as they cracked me up. And all those movies reminded me that being alive isn’t so bad. Bad stuff happens, people. (But at least you’re not the one with a knife through your left eyeball.) Through the years, though, my appreciation for scary movies has grown deeper and has helped me get through all that life crap.

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Rad Records and Musical Musing

July 13, 2014
Hi-Fi Records makes me have the happy pants.

Hi-Fi Records makes me have the happy pants.

Over the past few weeks, I wrote a few articles about two local record stores that I love visiting.

Love Garden Sounds resides in Lawrence, Kan., a town I love and adore. I lived there for about eight years while earning my undergrad and graduate degrees. Love Garden has a slew of new and used records at great prices. Also: The store loves Lawrence, local artists and all its customers. Whenever I get the time to make the 40 minute drive to the groovy college town, I do (and then I go broke because I buy all the records).

Hi-Fi Records is ran by two incredibly lovely people who I am lucky to know and call my friends.  This small but quickly expanding record store is in a Olathe, Kan., antique mall. It won’t be long before this store outgrows its space. Kyle and Bettsy will take over the record world soon, I just know it. Between them, they have so much appreciation for the vinyl format and music, as well as love for each other, that they’re unstoppable.

I’ve taken to writing about records lately because I’m rediscovering a format that made me so very happy when I was a kid. During college and into my post-college life (what I like to call a time of confusion and offness), I was turned off by music. I think it was because it made me have the feels, and for a while there, I wasn’t digging on feeling a hell of a whole lot.

Over the last year, I’ve started to rebuild my personal music empire. I enjoy listening to music again — I have 600-plus records in my collection and two turntables, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m even working on two musical projects. Singing and playing the piano (and relearning the guitar, I hope) are two activities that make me incredibly happy and fulfilled. I can’t wait to play an empty bar soon.

If you’re interested in reading the two articles I recently wrote concerning my vinyl addiction, please click on the links below. And if you’re ever in town go to these rad stores:

Love Garden Sounds: One of the Best Record Stores for Vinyl Lovers, via EcoSalon

Hi-Fi Records’ Kyle Maggart seizes the day in Olathe, via The Pitch

Live to Horror Another Day

July 9, 2014
Don't fuck with this bitch.

Don’t fuck with this bitch.

I was contacted by Horror Move Uncut’s site runner about contributing. How could I have said no? I mean, I love horror — and I love writing! Total no brainer. My first foray on the site tackled all the crazy shit that went down in All Cheerleaders Die and how it wasn’t a total feminist disaster.

Read it! It’s fun.

Image: All Cheerleaders Die site

You Callin’ Me a Slut? Yaawwwwn

June 26, 2014

Slut walk

I got to write about one of my favorite topics over at EcoSalon — slut shaming! OK, it’s not my favorite topic, but it’s definitely one that is getting out of control. I’m tired of people telling young women what to wear. And for the last time: If a man or young man is distracted by what a woman wears, that’s on the dude. It’s not the woman’s fault. Ugh, as if!

Anyhow, read my rant on slut shaming here.

Also, I am going to start writing about my favorite record stores and thrifting places! Lucky me. First up, my Love Garden Sounds mini-profile. It should go live in a week or so.

Image: David Shankbone

Project Vintage, Vinyl and Indie

June 7, 2014
And there are even more records now.

And there are even more records now.

Because I’m prone to the sads and the panics, I try to keep myself busy to avoid spending too much time thinking about, say, the amount of money in my bank account. Or when quarterly taxes are due (next week — dammit). Or everything that could possibly happen, but most likely won’t happen, but really, all the bad things could happen, like, all the time.

So, my new project (also known as my yearly goal, or the thing that keeps me on my feet and out of my head) is going to involve me not buying anything new (except for my cruelty-free makeup and hair dye, because I’m pretty sure I am not myself without my candy-apple hair and lips) until January 1, 2015. My other exception: If I find an original piece of art, or a handmade product, I will make the purchase. I am a BIG supporter of independent artists because I am one, duh. So, all you horror artists and such — please get hold of me. I really want to decorate my place with your killer original items.

I’m an avid thrifter, so this shouldn’t be too hard. Also, since I’ve been able to reinstate my vinyl habit (I have my own place and my father finally fixed his 1969 Garrard record player’s problem of not playing), this will include a lot of time searching for reasonably priced vinyl gems of yesteryear to add to my vintage collection. And as I stated before, if I find an awesome piece of vinyl from an independent artist, or from a small company just trying to reissue some amazing tunes, that will be fair game, too.

I’m hoping to write posts about the wonderful things I find via a new site I’m working for, Ecosalon, but even if my column doesn’t pan out their, I still want to embark on my “slightly used/wonderfully original but swell” journey soon. To brand my journey (because what are we without a brand), I’m going to call this endeavor ginchy grabs. Because everything that’s original, or finds a second loving home, is incredibly sexy, don’t you think?

So, do you have any favorite vintage shops I should know about? Any artists I should visit? Please let me know at


Babe… BABE!

March 31, 2014


Last week, I introduced you to Cordelia. She’s a self-obsessed actress that toys with her lover’s heart. This week, I want you to meet Sebastian. Sebastian is an artist at heart. He likes to express his work through various mediums, such as painting, music and acting. He just has so much creative energy to share with the world.

Sebastian connects with a lot of people in his day-to-day life. He has so many social media accounts to keep up with that sometimes, he just has to relax and chill with a beer. Because really… if he’s still thinking about creating while chillaxing, he’s still creating, right?

Along with his various daily outings and social media goings ons, Sebastian doesn’t have a ton of time for other people, but still – he wants companionship. That’s why Sebastian recently joined OKCupid. He wants to branch out and meet people who can have a good conversation. While he cherishes women and would never stand for any of his friends using women, he can’t seem to commit himself to one woman. There are just too many amazing people out there to connect with.

These are the OKCupid letter of Sebastian. He hopes you feel inspired by his moving words.


I’m so happy we connected on OKCupid, babe. Like, I never thought Internet could actually bring people together. I mean, it’s filled with such negativity, you know. Anyhow, I’d love to meet up with you for a drink, babe. Hit me up.


I had SUCH an amazing night with you the other night. Can you come over for dinner? I’d love to cook for you. Show you a few of my favorite movies. What do you think?


You are so amazing and I can’t wait to see you again. BTW – did you see the stars the other night? They were so beautiful – I’m sure they were shinning for you. I wanted to let you know that I’m going to be really busy over the next few months. I’m building an elaborate art installation and I truly can’t have any distractions – and god knows your rockin’ bod is a distraction, babe! I promise to hit you up when I’m done.

Babe – I’m so fucking sorry I can’t see you. I want to so badly! But I’m really working hard on this piece with Cindy. I swear, babe. She’s just a creative friend I have an awesome connection with. You have nothing to worry about. And I SWEAR. That photo you saw of her and I on Instagram was totally nothing. We were just supporting each other after a hard day, you know?

Babe… Babe! Babe? Come on, babe. Babe. BABE!

Disclaimer: If I had to peg myself, I’d say I’m Summer. You haven’t got to met this free spirit, yet. She grew up in a household that let her be what she is. She loves to love, and loves being loved – A LOT. Summer does have a streak of anxiety, though, and tends to retreat into corners, singing to herself if things just get too heavy, man.

Now. let’s watch a bunch of Cordelias and Sebastians act, sing and dance.

Image: Melissa Coarezza