July rundown

31 July 2018 on monthly and rundown. 13 minutes

Hello everyone! Welcome to my newly established monthly blog post where I reflect on my favorite things from the month. The categories are subject to change in the future, and suggestions are always welcome!

Quick links:

Article | Poem | Music | Podcast | Adventure | Food | Charles update | Person

Article or otherwise useful academic resource

This section is intended to be an interesting or thought provoking journal article or news article that I read during the month. It's also possible it will be a thread from twitter. (because I follow great people with interesting perspectives!)

Some crazy insight about your eyes! (from twitter)

Thanks to @Foone on twitter, who I actually don't follow, so I'm unfortunately unsure how this came up on my timeline, but I'm glad it did! The human body is so wild, and this is a crazy dive into some of the weird things about our eyes. Oh and a warning that this contains vulgar language, and the grammar may seem strange because it's a series of tweets pasted together.

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions

Ok I was actually very set on the eye article from early in the month, but I just read this story on July 30th, and it's so crazy to me?? Like who knew this is what happened to McDonald's monopoly game? Some of you might've. I had no idea. So I'm sharing it.

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The theme of the month may be that I'm not good at choosing just one thing to feature, but I think these two poems deserved to be featured together for the very clear parallels to be drawn between them.

Read by clicking on the image.

I came across this poem earlier in the month and then again when the author shared it on twitter on July 26th, the day that would have been Emmett Till's 77th birthday (this year). She described it as "an alternate universe where I saw him at the grocery store." More of Eve Ewing's work can be found on her website.

Read by clicking on the image, or listen by clicking here.

This poem was published in 2015, the year following Eric Garner's murder, but it did not come to my attention until this year. More of Ross Gay's work can be found on his website.

I'm not entirely sure what I want to say here because I think the poems say a lot on their own, but for those who aren't familiar with the stories of this boy and this man, I'll give a brief bit of information of why we know their names. Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 when he was 14. The two men who lynched Emmett were not convicted. Eric Garner was 43 when police murdered him in New York City in 2014. He was approached, forced to the ground, and went on to say "I can't breathe" 11 times before paramedics arrived but did not follow the procedure to revive him. His murder also did not lead to any convictions. These two poems are important not only for reminding us of their deaths, but because they also help us to remember their lives and the light that they each brought to this earth before they were taken from it.

We learn about the Civil Rights Movement like it is some completed task of the past, but these two poems came across my screen this month, and it is clear that the root of these events are the same. We still have incredible work to do to secure the safety of black lives in this America.

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"Slow Clouds" by The Kruger Brothers

Shout out to Justin Haney for recommending we go to this concert in early July! This song is beautiful, and the Kruger Brothers are so so talented. (And based out of NC these days). We got to hear the story of this song, which was written as the soundtrack to a perfect day, inspired by a time one of the brothers found a strawberry field and ate so many strawberries he fell asleep in the field and didn't get in trouble for coming home late. But listening to it definitely makes me feel like I'm in some perfect day of my own.

"Dance Me to the End of Love" by The Civil Wars

This album came out while I was in high school and made me fall in love with the Civil Wars, and I have just this month rediscovered my love for their music, although sadly they are no longer a band together. But they still have several lovely albums on Spotify for your ears to enjoy!

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Binge Mode: Harry Potter

Shout out this month to Connor Riley for the pod suggestion! I just started rereading the Harry Potter series when he told me about this very fun podcast that takes a deep dive into all the books and movies. So far I have read the first two books and listened to almost all of the corresponding episodes for those (which seems like a crazy amount of time because each book has four 75 minute episodes plus a bonus episode and an episode about the movie, but the podcasts are great for commuting and running!) The hosts were sometimes a little much when I first started listening, but at this point I'm hooked and now feel like they're great people I know and like. #McGalleonthechronicgambler

A note for anyone who read the HP series when they were younger but haven't gone back to them in a while: it's so rewarding! I've forgotten so many wonderful little details that I get to rediscover while I read through them again.

And a note to anyone who never read them: it's never too late!

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I got to go home!

This month, I was so lucky to get a few days to visit my home in Asheville, NC (my favorite place to be). I got to spend some wonderful time with my family making blackberry jelly, visiting the Biltmore Estate, and saying goodbye to my sweet first car and moving on to my second. I feel so very blessed when I think about my family and friends and how much love and support I get from them, and I feel lucky again every time I get to go home to this wonderful place! Thanks to Zack for making the trip with me, Alexis for driving up to see me during the weekend, my dad for hosting all of us, my mom and gramma for teaching me to make jelly for the first time and taking me blackberry picking, my grandpa for all his definitely helpful comments during the jelly-making process, and my wonderful roommate Lauren for taking care of Charles in my absence. I have such wonderful people around me!

Here are some pictures of our adventure!

The Biltmore Estate + Chihuly exhibit

Shout out to mom for working here and the estate for allowing employees to bring family and friends on the grounds to enjoy this beauty.

Beautiful glass pieces designed by Dave Chihuly and created by his team

Definitely not a series of pictures of my mom and I that perfectly describe us.

My beautiful and always very normal best friend

Our fun group - so glad Zack's parents could join us!

Zack befriending the wildlife

Shoutout to our team of photographers for this one.

Two master jelly makers and some girl related to them

Berry picking is so fun when the weather is lovely, the berries are plentiful, and there are no thorns!

We had a FULL day of making jelly after we finished picking, and ended up with some wonderful (mostly formed) blackberry jelly and peach jelly. We also came home from the trip with some fresh honey from my uncle's bee hives.

Some of the final product! I should've taken more pictures of the process, but just know it was definitely messy and great teamwork.

Uncle Greg's bee hives! And the insider scoop is that the orange (Clemson!) hive is one of the best, much to his Gamecock fan heart's disappointment.

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Recipe or dining out experience

Biscuit Head!! (not a recipe, not vegan, sorry)

Y'all this is one of my absolute favorite places to go when I'm home. They have a whole homemade jelly and butter bar, and their biscuits are SO good. And I hear they've got two new locations opening (or open already?) in the area. Go Biscuit Head!

Mimosa fried chicken biscuit minus the egg plus the bacon of the day (peach jalapeño)

ft. this very cool table that was an old window pane with a whole world underneath

Zack's gravy flight

ft. espresso gravy, sausage gravy, and sweet potato coconut gravy

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Charles update

Charles is my 15 month old cat, and everyone deserves at least one picture of him per month, so I'll pick my favorites.

How are your eyes so big??

Charles and his new castle

A second shoutout to my roommate for not only looking after this little guy while I was away, but also going to a library event and making him this cat castle! (accompanied by Adam VanDeusen - shouts to him too). And photo creds to Lauren for both pictures this month.

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Person of the month, photo of the month - it's just a cool thing I want to talk about that doesn't have another category.

My person of the month this month goes to one of my very biggest supporters, who made the long journey to visit me in Ann Arbor while he deals with his own ACL injury. I am so grateful for my dad who constantly shows me how much he loves and supports me, even when it's hard. His knee recovery is still underway, and he has a second surgery upcoming, so I want to send him all of my love and support as he goes through this unpleasant time.

He also gets a huge shoutout for always being willing to host my friends and I, and he's famous for always having fresh baked brownies available for everyone (he is possibly be the world's biggest fan of chocolate). He makes the best french toast, and he's already had (at least) three of softball's greatest comebacks through previous ACL injuries and a torn rotator cuff. He's the reason I'm such a big Harry Potter fan, football fan, and he gets some credit for getting me interested in politics. I don't know where I'd be without him. (I could go on for a while, but I'll stop for now) You're the best, dad!

At a Detroit Tigers game

Bonus shoutout to my Aunt Donna who came to visit me with him!

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June rundown

My favorite article, poem, songs, activity, fun fact, ..., in June 2018


August rundown

My favorite article, poem, songs, activity, fun fact, ..., in August 2018