31 December 2013

2013: You've Gotta Keep Moving...End of the Year Blog

2013: You've Gotta Keep Moving...End of the Year Blog

“We all change, when you think about it, we are all different people all through our lives and that’s okay that’s good you’ve gotta keep moving so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.” -11th Doctor (Matt Smith) in Time of the Doctor

 At the end of year, I have a tradition of writing up an “end-of-the-year” blog in which I attempt to capture the happenings of the past year, as well as to begin thinking ahead to the types of changes I would like to see in the coming year. At the end of 2012, I do believe I wrote a “love letter” to the year that included the words, “pal carajo.” Because, well, 2012 kicked my ass. 2013 was quite different. I found my way. And I sit here on the last couple of nights of the year, thinking about what has changed in the past year, all the hard decisions I have made in my personal life, all the progress I have made in my career, and all the unknowns that are spread out before. 

So, cheers, we begin another year, and here is what took place last year…

1.    I spent a lot of time juicing, making paletas, and hula hooping.

2.   Once I learned how to eat my feelings, in contrast to drinking them, I reached a place where I literally split my pants. After the fact, I sang the Young MC song for days.

3.   My academic career took me to many great places…an ethnography conference in Chicago, an invited plenary session about the statehood vote of Puerto Rico, Atlanta for the Southerns, New York for the ASAs, and well, Sydney, which deserves its very own acknowledgement.

4.   I saw 20 minor leagues baseball games during the past season, mostly thanks to Michelle. I saw games in Nashville, but also in Staten Island, Coney Island, Virginia Beach, and Memphis. The baseball extravaganza also involved attending batting practice with the Nashville Sounds courtesy of Michelle. Then, there was that weird incident where Ozzie (the mascot) started following me on Twitter.

5.    I found out that my heart skips a beat more than most people.

6.   I had the chance to teach two classes for my mentor for approximately three weeks, which reminded me of just how much I really love the career I have chosen.

7.   The girls left the neighborhood. Then, the girls returned to the neighborhood.

8.   My brother, John, got engaged to my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Jessica.

9.   I ate many new foods, such as bone marrow, alligator, kangaroo, and emu.

10.  I fell in love with Miranda July, Junot Diaz (even more than I was), Lena Dunham, Sandra Cisneros, and Tao Lin.

11. I also fell in love with Doctor Who, Breaking Bad, and the Walking Dead.

12.  We lost three of the greatest musicians the world has ever known: Jason Molina, Lou Reed, and last, but certainly not least, Dave from Sticky.

13.  I was cited, published a couple of times, and applied to more jobs than I care to remember. In addition, I also received my first two inquires for jobs interviews. I was also accepted to present my research at the International Sociological Association’s World Congress in Yokohama, Japan next year.

14.   In addition to my academic successes, it was a year of rejections, from fellowships to grants to jobs to publications.

15. I had the chance to see Caitlin Rose and Jason Isbell with Michelle, Justin Townes Earle with Allison, Desaparecidos with Erin B., and particularly, Cyndi Lauper with myself.

16.  Allison and I took a weekend.

17.   I ate at a TGI Fridays and a Wafflehouse.

18.   Sydney.

19.   My brother, Taylor, graduated from college with his nursing degree.

20.  The many, many lovely neighborhood parties in Germantown, from the celebration of 2013 to Garden Tours to Oktoberbest to the Holiday Party. I’ve also loved getting to know all my fantastic neighbors, particularly, the one and only, President of Germantown, Robbie.

21.  I dealt with some very difficult situations, where I feared I would lose some of the most important people in my life. I also was forced to interact with the most bat shit crazy person that exists in all of New Jersey, well and the world for that matter.

22.   While trying to figure out how to enter the dating world, I overcorrected, then undercorrected, compartmentalized, invested little to receive little return on my investment. I also realized my intuition is pretty spot on when it comes to potential partners. 

23.   I noted how curiously similar the dating world is to both the job market and the lottery.

24.   More than several times, I wrote the following on my social media pages: “I never learn” and “Reckless Abandon.” Apparently, I like making mistakes, without too much foresight.

25.  One of my favorite quotes of the year came from Michelle when she said to me over brunch, “To a hermit, you are like the circus.”

26.   And because RuPaul’s Drag Race has the greatest of all quotes, I leave you with these:

“Don’t try it little boy.”
“Hot garbage.”
“You shady bitch!”
“Get a grip, get a life, and get over it.”
And my own personal rendition, 
“Girl, you better sissy that manuscript.”

27.  I learned to “guffaw” and “scoff” too much.

28.  I decided to start the year over with a clear heart, even if this meant making tough decisions.

29.   Last year, I got my first two tattoos. This year, I did something else that I had never done, twice. And no, I don’t regret that either.

30.  On the last day of 2012, Michelle, Ashley, and I made a list of the things we wanted to eliminate from our lives in 2013. As I began to write out my list for 2014, I realized there are many items that remain on my list, but perhaps more importantly, I also realized how much progress I’ve made in the past year. Yes, I must say, 2013, I learned how to just be myself.

21 December 2013

"Falta algo por hacer...": Katherine's 12th Annual Holiday Mix

"Falta algo por hacer...": 12th Annual Holiday Mix 2013

As most of you know, I'm writing my dissertation at the moment. There are times when I'm starting a chapter or trying to transition to the next section of the chapter and I'm lost for how to make the transition. In these cases, I generally just write in the blank space that will later occupy my cleverly (ha!) written words: [TRANSITION]. It signifies that I know something goes in that space, but I'm not quite sure what I want to write yet. And that being said, here is how the 2013 holiday mix begins...


See below for instructions on how to download or request a copy of the 2013 mix. 

1. Mambo Sun- T. Rex
It was one of those moments. You know, the moments when the most perfect song plays right when you need it? The details of the moment now escape me, but I know I was with one of my best friends, Ryan. He was either picking me up to go out or dropping me off.  As we drove through Nashville, this song played in his car. And it was perfect. And I remember saying to him, "That's it. That's the first song for the holiday mix for this year." So here it is. Get out your dancing shoes, this mix is made with the intention of making you dance, because it has been one of those years.

2. Anything Can Happen- Ezra Furman
Earlier tonight, I trolled through my own Facebook feed from the past year. If there is one thing I can ascertain from my posts, it is that I'm absolutely in love with this song and if any song belongs on the end of the year mix, it is this one. If you don't know my absolute adoration for Ezra Furman and his music, then you likely don't know me very well. And if that is the case, I urge you to listen to his music immediately. For a few years now,  there has been an odd correlation between the release of Ezra's albums with big transformations in my life. Perhaps it became a self-fulfilling prophecy, but regardless, it is a damn fine album for 2013.

And when I hear this song, I want to jump out of my chair to embrace everything. Embrace this year. Embrace new and old habits. Embrace new and old friends. Embrace my successes and faults. Embrace every single time I fall back down and get back up again. So, try it, get up, turn this one up loud and dance your ass off.

"And I'm bored with all the idiotic nihilist kids,
And the cheaters and the cowards and materialists
And my heart goes wild every time I try to think about it.
I put my hand on my heart and leave the city behind,
And I'm shaking off the chains because they were all in my mind..."

3. Youth- Daughter
As per usual, I have Bob Boilen and the rest of the crew over at All Songs Considered to thank for introducing me to several new musicians this year. Daughter is one of them. I've fallen in love with them several times over and over again this year. I remember the first time I heard this song. I remember trying to see them during the summer in Sydney, which was not successful. I remember sharing it with my friend Jorell. And I remember sitting on the tangerine dream with you, listening to them together. Trust me, they'll break your heart. Yes, this one is for the brokenhearted.

"Shadows settle on the place, that you left.
Our minds are troubled by the emptiness...
And if you're still breathing, you're the lucky ones.
'Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs.
Setting fire to our insides for fun
Collecting names of the lovers that went wrong,
the lovers that went wrong.
We are the reckless,
We are the wild youth.
Chasing visions of our futures,
One day, we'll reveal the truth
That one will die before he gets there."

4. Empathetic People- Telekinesis
Again, I must thank Boilen and his team. In this year of contradictions, missed opportunities, and undone things, there are days you just need to turn up the music loud...whether its because you need to block out your own thoughts or because for part of the year you had a musician that lived next door to you. It's the song you play when you don't really care about the lyrics, but rather you just want to feel something else, anything else. 

5. Weight- Mikal Cronin
Obviously, I'd be lost without Boilen and NPR...Sigh. This song reminds me of the year in terms of all the starting over, which I did more times than I care to say. Getting older. Dating. Relationships. Giving Up. Starting Again. And how somethings are left undone. Somethings are just not done. Falta algo por hacer.

"I've been starting over for a long time
I'm not ready for another day, I fail at feeling new
The time is right, I'm only getting older...
I'm not ready for the moment
I'm not ready for the tide to change
I'm not ready for the silence
I'm not ready for the fear and shame
I'm not ready for the weight again
Take me from myself
Holding on for something, I don't know..."

6. Truly Freaking Out- Tim Kasher
Tim Kasher is one of my favorite people in the world. I've known him for years. One of my favorite memories of Tim (no, not that one at that pool in Chapel Hill, Jennie Ann) is one day when I was flying out of Chicago and walking through the airport, we passed one another. One quick glance. Then we both froze, turned around, and embraced. Or wait, maybe my favorite memory is when we had an impromptu dance party in the Penguin when he played in Charlotte? Who knows. I just know Tim is an amazing songwriter and musician. And yes, this year featured many instances of me truly freaking out.

"And I know, I know, I know the end is near,
And I know because the storm clouds have appeared upon your brow when I come around...
And I know, I know I worry too much
And I know you wish I wasn't so affixed to this affliction of our time...
I was six years old learning how to swim,
Then I was 36, wondering how I sunk...
It's as if the record jumped
And I know you wish I was here in the now
Taking stock in the fact you're still hanging around
And I truly do, I'm just truly freaking out
I truly believe the sky is falling down...
It scares me to death I might outlive you all
All those eulogies, all the funeral costs
All jokes aside, I simply can't bear the thought..."

7. Tragic Music- A Radio With Guts
I first heard A Radio With Guts in Puerto Rico. Every single time I hear them, I think of my family on the island and those scattered throughout the world. In the last few months, I've found my way back to the band, often courtesy of FacialWorld posts by my friend Jorell. Because, as we know, there are some nights, you just need to listen to the tragic music, drink red wine and feel nostalgic for all the people and places that have come before.

"I want to hear it loud, I want to hear it true,
Sometimes I like the darker clouds and I feel like feeling blue.
I drown myself in music, light another cigarette. 
I know i shouldn't do it, but they're so fucking poetic.
Tragic music scars to prove it. 

I want to feel the pain, it helps the heart to grow.
When I'm puking in the drain, you know it's murder on the throat.
I'm drinking like Bukowski, light another cigarette.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, doing nothing to protect it.
Tragic music scars to prove it. 
I'm digging for the car keys, cause I'm out of cigarettes.
Thoughts of parking on train crossings with a mix tape in the tape deck..."

8. Sometimes Always- The Jesus and Mary Chain
Yes. Nothing else, just yes. 

9. Bathtub- Waxahatchee
This one reminds me of too much from this year. Its in the lyrics, again and again.

"Take my word for it, I'm not worth it. 
I ignored you all night and you don't deserve it...
I was sure you were right, but you're not.
I contemplate my ruined fate. 
Someone will hurt me so bad one day.
And you'll resonate or I'll apologize, 
Or maybe I'll make the same mistake twice.
And I tell you not to love me but I still kiss you when I want to.
And I lament, you're innocent,
but somehow the object of my discontent.
And its fucked up, I let you in, even though I've seen what can happen.
You make a tape, I receive it in the mail and I force myself busy
The diversion will prevail.
And I will swallow all my guilt with little pills and forge my chin up. 
And I will only think about it in the morning, in the bathtub."

10. Waitin'- Caitlin Rose
This year, I finally had the chance to see Caitlin Rose perform with Jason Isbell at the Ryman with my friend Michelle. I had already fallen in love with her music. But when I saw her perform, I fell in love with everything that is Caitlin Rose. Absolutely beautiful and an amazing performer. And she knows what she is talking about.

11. Codeine- Jason Isbell
Well, and then there is this.

"Darlin' I'm not one to judge, but if I was then I'd say you don't look so good. 
Got no answers of my own.
But with you gone, this place looks bigger than it should. 
If there's two things that I hate.
It's having to cook and trying to date. 
Busting ass all day to play hurry up and wait. 
That's a few things that I hate. 
If I call when I ain't drunk,
This old boat'll still be sunk..." 

12. Pale Blue Eyes- Velvet Underground
Well, because, (swallows hard), you know why already. But in that vein, this was probably the first song that I really loved of Velvet Underground. It was on a mix tape someone made for me that was delivered on Christmas Eve,  many many many years ago. And it still breaks my heart every single time I hear it. It will always remind me of you.  

13. Someday I'll Be Forgiven For This- Justin Townes Earle
Because honestly, let's hope that I am someday.

14. Goodnight Lover- Songs: Ohia
As a tribute to Jason Molina, another great musician that we lost this year. I first heard Jason from my old friends Parker and Greg on a road trip to SXSW many years ago; however, the memories attached to his music seem to weave throughout my life since that first moment. I remember listening to Molina in the kitchen of my parent's house with my mom. I remember taking her to CMJ one year to see him play. I remember listening to him with Tim in our old beach house and spending a night "hanging out" with him with some friends of ours at their house party. I remember listening to them with someone who continues to come in and out of my life, over the years. But mostly, when I hear Molina's voice, I always think of Art. This year has probably not been the best of our friendship, but you know, that's the way that it goes with best friends. You find yourself in and out of each other's lives, but there is some comfort in knowing there is someone out there that knows you as well as they do and that they are still there, even if the stars don't always align. Goodnight, Jason Molina, wherever you are.

Here's how to access the mix for your personal listening pleasure. There are several options:

1) Go to this mediafire link:

Here you can download the zip file, which contains all the tracks and cover art (listed at the very top of the file listing). Or, you can download the individual files which are also listed in the link.

2) Subscribe to the mix on Spotify. Here is the link: "Falta Algo Por Hacer...": Katherine's 12th Annual Holiday Mix

3) Watch and listen all the songs on YouTube. Here is the link: Falta Algo Por Hacer...Katherine's 12th Annual Holiday Mix

4) If you'd like a hard copy of the mix and/or cover art, send me a message via email/Face/tumblr with your address and I'll send you a copy for the holidays. 

06 December 2013

December 06. Blood Simple.

Yes, I've already seen Blood Simple, when I was 19 years old. However, since the Belcourt is showing it on the big screen, I've added it to my list of 31 movies for December. Not to mention, it enables me (thank you, Vanderbilt) to see Miller's Crossing (one I haven't seen) on the big screen for free later this weekend.