Do you consider yourself an expert on any one author? Thanks to an intensive, year-long study of the works of John Irving my junior year of high school, I definitely have some next-level knowledge on the New England author. Right now I'm reading his latest release, Avenue of Mysteries. It has all the strange but familiar trappings of his other novels that I hold dear to my heart. I love the way he tells stories that aren't quite fantasies but have absurdist elements set in reality. Plus, the low-key cheekiness of the cover on the paperback edition is a sight to behold.
We all know that Chance the Rapper is adorable, right? Seriously, just look at that grin. I find his song "Blessings" to be way more inspiring than a certain other song that mentions feeling blessed that I heard way too much while I worked at Urban Outfitters. Plus, Big Sean's iteration totally rips an idea from my favorite George Strait song. I could make connections and go down a musical rabbit hole for hours, but I'd rather pass the baton to you: which songs make you feel blessed?
I am definitely not on top of my Netflix queue for the time being, but I do have a retroactive recommendation for those of you looking for your next binge! I watched the Judd Apatow project Love in one day. It is a poignant, sometimes painful look at modern relationships and living with your own problems while falling for someone. I hate admitting that I saw some of myself in both of the main characters, flawed as they are. But I think that's important in television: I prefer characters who aren't squeaky clean and perfect.
Do y'all have a go-to meal when you are feeling totally uninspired in the kitchen? Mine is pretty simple and follows the "green, grain, and a bean" idea. I throw on some couscous, sautée whatever vegetables I have on hand and throw in some seasoned and cooked black beans. I put all that on top of a bed of fresh greens and have a hearty, nutrition packed meal that took all of 15 minutes to make. There really isn't a recipe to follow as it is kind of a "whatever's on hand" meal; just follow the directions on the couscous you make!
Although I have a bit too much on my professional plate to apply for these jobs myself, there are some really cool opportunities in my area that may be perfect for some readers! First of all, there's the Appalachian Transition Fellowship for The Highlander Center. This position focuses on the economic revitalization of the central Appalachian area as we phase out coal as an energy source. There are positions available all over the region, even Knoxville! I actually know someone personally who did this, so if you have any questions I would be happy to make the connection for you.
An opportunity that is all around the country is the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture Envoy program. This is suitable for someone wanting a part-time, grassroots initiative position as it is 12-15 hours weekly. The position calls for 12 highly creative leaders to serve as the public face of the USDAC in their region. If you love art, people, and where you live...what are you waiting for?
Applications for both positions are due September 5th.
The only way to describe my shopping pattern would be a pendulum. I'll buy a few (ok, several) things in one week and then not even want to browse online for three to four weeks after that. That being said, I pretty much always have my eye on some secondhand luxury goods over at The Real Real. It's always cool to see things I loved from seasons past show up at an accessible price point! Right now I am loving the Loeffler Randall Rider Satchel, these beautiful Manolo Blahnik heels, and their amazing collection of silk scarves like this floral Gucci number.