meg says read this, Read This

Meg Says Read This: Dear Mr. You

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One of my favorite reads of 2017 also happened to be one of the last books I read this past year. Let me start off by saying, I’ve always been captivated by Mary-Louise Parker’s acting skills. I think it’s  phenomenal how she can play such a variety of characters, and make the audience believe those traits are a part of her core. I remember when Dear Mr. You, was first being marketed back in 2015. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read it because I was fascinated by the premise. Now that I have? I can’t shut up about it. I’d been in a bit of a reading rut, fiction hadn’t captured my attention as quickly as usual, and I didn’t want to read something technical, so I grabbed this book from my stack of “to-read” on the shelf. Instantly I was blown away by MLP’s ability to weave such beautiful words together. She truly is a master of the art of story telling. This book is written in a letter format that basically reads like essays, or short stories. There’s a variety of topics covered – dating, insecurity, adoption, friendship, learning yourself. Sometimes, she writes in such a raw and vulnerable way that hit me so hard, I had to take a break with tear streaked cheeks. Not in a heartbreaking way, but in a beautiful way that was totally recognizing the special qualities or difficulty of certain moments in life. This was definitely a thought-provoking read, at times comical, and all around it felt very genuine and sincere. If you’re looking for something that’s refreshing, and a little different than I highly suggest you check out Dear Mr. You. 

If you’ve ever felt like you’ve lived a dozen different lives in your time on earth, and sometimes it’s mind boggling how they all could roll into one another and be the map of one single life – than I think you’ll appreciate this book. If you’ve ever snapped at a stranger who meant you know harm because you were literally at your wits end and they were the unfortunate soul to cross your path? You’ll appreciate this book. If you’ve leaped head first into romantic adventure knowing whatever fate you crash into has to be better than to sit on the sidelines wondering? You’ll appreciate this book. If you feel like you know what you want to do in life, and you’re taking all the wrong roads to get there? You’ll appreciate this book. If you’ve connected with random passerbys and your interactions resonate with you years later, you’ll appreciate this book. If you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing with your life, and some days you’re hanging on by a thread? You’ll appreciate this book.

Mary-Louise Parker writes in such a way where sharing her experiences so openly, even if they’re not all specific events you could name – sometimes, they’re the observation of significant interactions – makes you examine the interactions in your own life. Who is your emergency contact? What do you want so badly out of this life that you will scrape by to achieve those goals? What makes you find the magic, on the days when life looses its sparkle?

Dear Mr.You is poetic, soul-searching, gut-wrenching, insightful, and truly just a work of art that aspire to harness just a sliver of the talent it took to create. If my gushing hasn’t convinced you already, just go ahead and give this one a try.

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So, This Is the New Year

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it’s a good day to have a good day. (Hillsboro Village, December 2017.)

Well, hello and happy new year to anyone reading this four days into 2018. I’m not one for “New Year Resolutions,” but I am one for goals, and I feel like a serious slacker for my lack of posts as 2017 came to a close. Oh believe me, I was still consuming plenty of music, books, and (maybe a little less) film, but what the heck is wrong with me, in why it’s taken so long for me to share it with you? So, here’s to a new year and me sharing the things I stumble upon when I find them instead of dragging my feet. On top of that, how about I throw in a mix of some other things I discover now and then? I’ve really tried to avoid chains in the past few months – whether it be food or retail (though, let’s face it – I can’t give up Target or Trader Joe’s.) More than just sharing food photos, I’d love to share when I’ve had great encounters at small businesses. I love that moment when I walk away from an interaction with a smile on my face. It’s even better when you also get to eat something yummy, or find the perfect little gift to send someone to let you know you were thinking of them, or you know the pets and fetch you get to give a shop dog around the corner when you don’t have your own pet at home. It’s just as much about the moments that effect us emotionally, as the tangible things we take in. SO – here’s to just sharing more in 2018. I’m in this wonderful city, I’m constantly taking in great experiences, even on the rough days you know someone nice chats with me over buying coffee, or an Uber driver gives me a great music store recommendation, and it’s just a shame I don’t write about them more. So maybe 2018 will be something more like “read this, listen to this, watch this, try this.” Let’s all just simply try more in 2018. If i’m honest, it’s not even always trying “harder” it’s just the pure effort of putting yourself out there and making those attempts now and then. We get caught up in our comfort zones, those safe warm cozy spaces where we don’t have to go out on a limb because we only reach for things in an arms length. Well, take it from me – it’s those moments when we stretch a little further that become the game changers. Sometimes it happens in such small increments you don’t even realize it’s happening, until you look behind you and realize how far you’ve come. So, join me in this endeavor if you’d like – no wild, outrageous expectations for 2018 – just more trying, just more hopping out of that easy space, and let’s just share with one another more. If the past tumultuous year has taught us anything, I think it’s really been that although we collectively as a culture forget it far too often – we do really share so much common ground.  When we share our experiences, passions, hopes, hurts, etc. with one another is when all these things come to light. I don’t know, I’ve always been on the optimistic side – painfully so; I’ll hang onto that sliver of hope til my fingernail is snagging on that last piece of thread – BUT I do this without shame. You should drink in that optimism sometime. It tastes good. And I have a good feeling about our coming days. Something is stirring in everyone, and once that’s been woken up – there’s no going back to sleep. So, welcome to the other side. I’m looking forward to this journey we’re all on, together.

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Listen to This: “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell

Hi everyone, happy November! I know the posts have been sporadic again, but I have a few in mind. Today’s might not be so fresh because I remember gushing over this song last year, but this morning it just seemed so right. “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell is hands down one of my favorite songs. Not just one of my favorite Isbell songs, but one of my favorite songs across the board. I just think it’s so raw and beautiful. This morning on my way to work it came on the radio, and everything seemed to melt away and turn into a smile. It wasn’t even that stressful of a morning, but it was gray and rainy, dark, and traffic was congested, and this song came on when I was a few blocks from work. I actively noticed myself inhale. It was like “okay, here’s your moment to take a deep breath and be ready to take on whatever the day has in store.” While this song put my morning off to a great start, it also goes so well with the cozy feeling I had before I even left the house this morning. It was one of those days where you wake up and you just feel like the perfect temperature. The blankets aren’t suffocating you, and you have time to close your eyes a bit longer before the alarm goes off. And the coziness made me not even care about the jarring dreams I had the night before. Anyway, none of that has to do with this song but more with how this song makes me feel. “So cover me up and know you’re enough, to use me for good” is such a beautiful line.  I love that the lyrics combine love, and pure emotion, but the song has weight and texture to it, it’s not just flowery poetry. It’s life, and grit, and it’s all the stuff in between that pales in comparison when you know you’ve got something good in life worth fighting for. So, with all that being said if you’re not familiar with this song, check out a live version from Austin City Limits. 

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Listen to This: “Praying” by Kesha

First of all – Happy Friday everyone! Second of all – I apologize for the lack of frequent posts recently. Things have been a little crazy over here, but I have a few things in mind I’d like to share with you. One of them being Kesha’s “Praying.” The whole Rainbow album is hands down – fantastic. But there is something extremely special about this song in particular. “Praying” was released in July, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a bit. The first time I heard it, I got chills and started crying. I’ve yet to listen to it, without tears coming to my eyes.My top adjective to describe this song? Powerful. Kesha is a powerful force, as a human, with her art, with her strength. I keep thinking about the metaphor of a Phoenix rising from the ashes. But really…Here we have this woman who has been through the ringer, and a lot of it in the public eye. I read an interview the other day where she talked about her time in in-patient rehab for her eating disorder, and how her time with the piano when she worked on Rainbow, she kept singing it to herself to get her through. I know music has an entertainment value, but it’s also an extremely influential tool in spreading your message. It’s amazing that someone who could’ve let her first single in years be fueled with rage and hate – yet…I think this is a song of grace. This woman has found peace. Can you hear the honesty in her voice? Do you hear the vulnerability? Because I think it’s all there. But I also think this is someone who has been through hell (as the lyrics referenced,) and has come out on the other side…though all of our experiences shape us as people, she seems to have evolved and come out on top despite the ultimate attempts to drag her to to the bottom. “We both know all the truth I could tell” Kesha sings. Light has been shed on parts of her battle, but I’m sure there are countless details we will never know. I just really believe in the raw authenticity of this song. It’s like an anthem – an anthem for those who have struggled with all kinds of traumatic experiences. Abusive relationships, mental illness, assault, the crappy cards we get dealt in life sometimes. I just think the message here can really resonate with listeners, and I have so much respect for Kesha for using her voice, her unmistakable talent to create this. In a time when others create “revenge” songs. Here we have this woman speaking her truth, and she’s doing it with poise. This song in itself shows such an evolution from the artist who brought us “Tik Tok.” When I think of Kesha, and I think of her art, her strength, her courage, her ability to be so real I just feel so proud of her. That probably sounds weird coming from someone who doesn’t personally know her, but she’s shared enough of her story with us to know that she’s come out on the other side of a very dark time, and she is glowing.