AURAL FIXATION: Rival Sons

One of my all-time favorite compliments came to me secondhand. A potential employer had asked a colleague to describe me. His answer: “Unflappable.”

I am notoriously levelheaded, sometimes to the point of frustration for people close to me (shout out to my exes!). It’s a blessing and a curse. I easily maintain my composure in what others would consider exasperating situations, but this poise can be misinterpreted as disinterest or dispassion. Let there be no confusion in this case.         I’m aflame. I’m agog. I’m athirst. All for a band called RIVAL SONS.

Me: “Can I be an annoying fan and ask for a photo?” Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons: “No, but you can be a beautiful woman and ask me.” Oh, Jay, you sly devil, you. As if I needed a reason to love you more.

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RECIPE: The Key Lime Pie That Will Change Your Life

Despite the fact that Starbucks is insisting that it be autumn in your mouth (Pumpkin Spice Lattes already?!), there are in fact three weeks left of summer. The time is now to do all of the wonderful summery things you may have been putting off—read a book at the beach, have a water balloon fight, eat barbecue until you can barely stand. And one more thing: make this recipe. It’s the perfect summer treat—tart and sweet, light and creamy.

key lime pie

Muddy Waters and wife Geneva in Chicago, 1951

This 1951 photograph of McKinley Morganfield, A.K.A. Muddy Waters, and wife Geneva was released a couple years ago, but I saw it for the first time today and was floored by its beauty.

Photographer Art Shay on how the image came to be: “Time magazine had sent me to the south side club in which he was performing. I arrived early as usual and there he was, strumming his guitar and cuddling his woman in the hallway. Slivers of dying winter light came down across the pair from some blessed window giving me barely enough natural light. He strummed a greeting using my name letter by letter.”

muddywaters

AURAL FIXATION: Lawrence Rothman

Tucson is like Phoenix’s less popular but naturally prettier, down-to-earth sister. When it comes to attracting national touring musicians, though, her allure is often all for naught. They’re just bands passing through, not suitors looking for love. I adore Tucson, but sometimes I’m embarrassed for her, especially when good artists decide to grace us with their presence and end up playing to a nearly empty room.

Sadly, this was the case when Lawrence Rothman stopped here on his way to support Little Dragon on tour. There was a crowd of no more than ten people, and I’m pretty sure half were club employees. Despite the poor turnout, Rothman did not disappoint.

Capture

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RECIPE: M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fact: Sometimes you just need a cookie. Good news! I’m here to help.

What’s better than a chewy, soft-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside, buttery, chocolatey cookie? One that’s super easy to make, that’s what. Chances are you might even have all the ingredients on hand. I added chocolate chips and M&Ms, but this dough recipe could be used as a base for all kinds of cookie creations. Go wild!

You may have sworn your loyalty to another cookie recipe. I’m challenging you to cheat on your beloved. Go ahead. You won’t regret it.

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CeDell Davis, Last of the Delta Bluesmen

I’ll never forget the first time I heard CeDell Davis. I was a junior in high school, and I’d made my way to Mississippi for the first of many blues festivals to come. CeDell had a unique style of guitar playing, imposed by a merciless teacher—Polio. Unable to maneuver his crippled hands, he used a butter knife as a slide, creating a beautifully raw and original sound. A stroke has since robbed him of his ability to play guitar, but at 89 years old, he is still living the blues and chasing his dreams.

A photo I took of CeDell Davis at the Sunflower River Blues Festival in Clarksdale, MS, 2000

A photo I took of CeDell Davis at the Sunflower River Blues Festival in Clarksdale, MS, 2000

If you can, help CeDell make a new record by contributing to his Kickstarter campaign. He’s a real-deal Delta bluesman who has paid his dues and deserves your support.

Lessons from Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

SUPERMENSCH-advance-screening

MENSCH
:  a person of integrity and honor

He was responsible for Alice Cooper’s infamous chicken incident at the1969 Toronto Rock and Roll Revival. To prove his worth as a manager, he went on a 3-day bender with Teddy Pendergrass. He invented the notion of the “celebrity chef.” The story of Shep Gordon—talent manager, film agent and producer—is peppered with one salacious moment after another and will make any rock n’ roll enthusiast or pop culture buff (myself included) lament how utterly boring her life is.

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Family, Food and Game of Thrones

Lemon Cakes

My version of Sansa’s Lemon Poppy Seed Mini-Bundts with Almond Glaze

You may not be a fan of the fantasy genre or perhaps you don’t even watch television, but chances are you know something about Game of Thrones. It’s inescapable. The premise of GoT didn’t initially appeal to me and I’ve never been one to devotedly follow a TV show, so I was three seasons behind before I succumbed to the pressure of media frenzy and watched the first episode. One hit is all it took—I was hooked, and the more I watched, the more invested I became.  As I disappeared into the complex world of GoT, it infiltrated mine.

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The Birth of a Blog

“It’s impossible,” said Pride.
“It’s risky,” said Experience.
“It’s pointless,” said Reason.
“Give it a try,” whispered the Heart.

37e3406001bcc21612243b279c2ddbc1Hey, friends! Welcome! After toying with the idea of starting a blog for some time, I finally decided to ignore my excuses and just do it. This space will be an outlet for me to share my thoughts, experiences and loves. As I set out on this journey, I’ve put some thought to the why behind it. Here are my hopes:

  • To become a better writer. Though I have a master’s degree in creative nonfiction writing, I’ve never been comfortable with referring to myself as a “writer.” Maybe it’s because I don’t have that fabled compulsion to create. I’m not a tortured artist, I’m not overwhelmed by a need to express myself. My artistic impulses are occasional and often sabotaged by procrastination and self-doubt. As Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” And how do you become a better writer? By writing.
  • To live less out of habit and more out of intent. It’s possible that no one will read this blog, and that’s OK. Writing about my life and the things that shape it will require me to be a more mindful observer of my personal growth.
  • To meet and learn from new people. There’s also a possibility that people will read this blog! If so, I’d love to hear from them. I look forward to exchanging ideas and encouragement with others.

Thanks for joining me.

xo
Katharine

kittylemieux_pie dreams