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Blog — "a few things"

Things I Don't Get // 2

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

A little bit ago, I wrote about things I don't get. Many of you suggested making it a series, and to be quite honest, there are a plethora of things I just don't get, so I thought I'd appease you all. And so I present to you, a second installment of things I don't get.

1 // I just really don't get birds. Birds are total assholes. They just sit wherever they want and take a shit whenever they want. If a person were to do that, they'd get arrested. Even my dog has the decency to find the same patch of grass in the park and go to the bathroom there. But birds? Nope. They just let loose wherever they'd like, leaving their business on your patio furniture, your car, and even sometimes your head. Jerks.

2 // I don't get people that constantly live in fear. Recently, I saw someone tweet that no one is safe anywhere at any time in Baltimore. A little bit dramatic, are we? If we get serious about it for a minute, no one is ever safe anywhere. I could have a meteor rip through my roof and kill me any second. Or, I could drive to the store and get hit by a car. No one is ever actually 100% safe. Scary thought if you choose to focus on that. However, I don't, so I tend to feel safe 99.9% of the time.

3 // I really don't get why City Schools are canceled today. There is half a centimeter of snow on my car and everything else is melting because it is simply too warm for anything to stick. Mind you, if I was still a teacher, I'd be celebrating this. However, after nine years of living in Baltimore, I still don't get why the slightest bit of snow makes people think the world is ending. And don't even get me started with rain. Last week, I needed to run an errand and it had been raining all day. People were driving 45 on I-95 where the speed limit is 65. Whaaaaaaaat. It's rain, people! Drive cautiously, but you don't have to slow down by 20mph. Didn't you know that they design roads and tires to be able to make driving in rain safe?

4 // I don't get people who unfollow and then follow me repeatedly on social media. There are a few of you out there that are guilty, but I won't name names. If I offended you enough to unfollow, why not just keep it that way? Why unfollow and then refollow me four or five times? I really don't get it. I usually unfollow someone because I don't care to follow that person anymore. If I'm really so torturous on Twitter or Instagram that you felt you needed to hit that unfollow button, why come back a fourth and fifth time? I just don't get it.

5 // I really don't get Uber. Maybe that makes me sound like an old, crotchety person that isn't hip and with it. However, it just really doesn't make sense. I get if you're planning on drinking and you don't want to drive. However, why pay someone to do something you can do relatively for free? Andrew and I drive everywhere in Baltimore if it's not walking or biking distance. Public transportation in this city sucks. So, we drive. Why would I want to pay someone to do something that is free to do? Aside from the tiny amount of gas it uses, it is free. And we can almost always find free or cheap parking that would cost us less than it would to hire an Uber. In fact, I think Uber is genius because, let's be honest, saying the word "uber" is sort of fantastic. So they got you! How much cooler does it sound to say "I took an Uber" than it does to say "I drove" just by default of getting to say the word "uber." Same thing, but you just dropped 8 bucks to be able to sound cool.

And that's it for my latest installment of things I don't get. What don't you get? Are you with me on these or not?

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Friday Links to Love

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

It's hard to believe that the first week of February is over. Just like that. Gone. Time flies during this time of year, and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. Somewhere in between all of Valentine craziness, I've happened upon a few things for you to enjoy on this Friday.

This song from the new Tedeschi Trucks Band album that came out last Friday puts me in a good mood every time I listen to it.

As mentioned before, the last two weeks have been especially crazy, so when I stumbled up this article about how to treat yo' self without buying or eating anything, I took note and tried to carve out some down time.

My sister posted this article a couples days ago about mistakes artists make to keep them from thriving. I definitely found myself nodding along to a few of these items. They say the first step is admitting that you're doing something. From that point on we can work to improve the things we're doing to hurt ourselves, so this was another reminder of what I can work towards improving.

With the Super Bowl happening this Sunday, I felt that this article about why it's annoying to be a female that gets football. Yes, I love the game. No, I don't need you to explain what's happening. And a hell no to the pink jerseys. I could relate to the writer big time on this one.

While I can't entirely relate to this piece about having a friendship affair, there were bits of it that I could connect to. It's difficult making friends as an adult, and while my husband is definitely my best friend, there's something about having a really close female friend that is much different. I know I've personally told my husband multiple times that I wish I had a female best friend that you can talk to about anything rather than carrying on small talk conversations. And he gets it.

And that's a wrap. I hope you'll enjoy a few of these articles over the weekend. Anyone have any great weekend plans? We're making pulled pork sandwiches and watching the Super Bowl, of course!

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A Few Thoughts on David Bowie

Heidi Shenk "a few things" music

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On Friday morning, I excitedly opened Spotify to give David Bowie's Blackstar a test drive. It is what I often do when new albums come out that I am excited about. There wasn't much precursory information about the album, but of the information available, I was intrigued and excited. In addition, my brother in law had written his quick review about it on Facebook ("it was a bit weird"), which further piqued my interest. Having been a huge fan of David Bowie since middle school, this was a big deal.

As the title track of the album began playing, the "a bit weird" review made sense. It was dark and cacophonic and mysterious in a way that only Bowie could pull off. It was a new sound to my ears. I quickly shot my sister a text stating, "It IS a bit weird, but it's Bowie and Bowie is weird, and I sort of totally love it!" I sort of totally loved it enough that I played the album in full three or four more times to try and process what I was listening to.

Later that night, while cooking dinner and washing dishes, I played the album for Andrew. His first reaction was, "That's a bit morbid!" It was morbid and dark and deathly-- exact words I used to describe what we were listening to, but I couldn't shake it. Something about the album stuck in both a wondrous and unsettling way.

Yesterday morning, upon waking to the news of Bowie's death, I knew. I knew why I couldn't shake the feeling the album gave me. The album was meant to be released in this way, in time with his death. It was a final farewell in the same theatrical way that he'd always presented his persona-- almost a perfection in his art. He had created a piece of art that was meant to embody his death. He had succeeded. And it was heartbreaking.

This past weekend, I had already decided that I wanted to share a few words about Blackstar with you, much as I had shared a music post with you this past Friday as well as in the past. However, on Monday, I decided I needed to process what had happened instead and gather my thoughts on paper, so to speak.

In sixth grade, I began listening to the band Queen. My sister and I became quickly obsessed and one of my biggest music idols became Brian May. Naturally, through Queen, I learned about David Bowie. He was fascinating. He pushed the boundaries on so many levels through both his music and his various personas, and for lack of a better way of putting it, he was a weird dude.

Bowie made weird the new cool. And I resonated with that. I was the weird, odd one out. I wore whatever I wanted rather than following any fashion norms, I said what was on my mind even if it didn't align with the ideas of those around me, and American pop culture was mostly foreign to me since I didn't really grow up with many of the same experiences as my peers. Bowie made it ok to be weird, and so being weird was ok.

While my friends were listening to the Backstreet Boys and 'Nsync, I chose to listen to Bowie. I plastered my walls with photos of his various personas instead of photos of boy bands, and I hung a Bowie calendar from my bedroom door instead of one of Justin Timberlake. While my friends had crushes on Timberlake, I did not have a crush on Bowie. Rather, I was inspired by his creativity.

When I was in seventh grade, he released an album entitled Earthling. It was like nothing I had heard before. It was a mish mash of pop and electronica and trance and grunge guitar. It pushed the boundaries of what music was in my mind and made it clear that music didn't need to fit some formula for Top 40 radio. Without his music, I don't know that I would have the drive and hunger for finding new music like I do today.

On Monday, as I listened to Blackstar yet again, I found myself purchasing a vinyl copy of the album to keep. While the album is saddening, I wanted to have this piece of art in hand as a way to celebrate a majestic and innovative life the way I think he had wanted. It serves as a reminder for us all to continue choosing the path that is right for us even if it goes against social norms. Bowie loved what he did so much that he was willing to pursue his creative endeavors and push the boundaries of his art up until his death, living one incredibly full life. It may be a bit weird and strange and beautiful all at the same time, but if weird was ok with Bowie, then weird is ok with me.

 

 

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3 Sharable Links That Will Change Your Perspective

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

We're all guilty of getting sucked into the black hole of the web. However, sometimes that black hole isn't such a bad thing. Recently, I've found that some of the articles I've happened upon have literally changed the way I think about my daily life. I thought I'd share three of those with you today in the hopes that they'll give you the same boost or that "aha!" moment that they gave me.

1 // Andrew and I bike a lot when the weather is nice, he even more so than I. As we have officially entered the season or gorgeous weather, he bikes to work almost every day and we try to ride our bikes as a way of getting to Orioles games, happy hour, the farmer's market, or wherever we are traveling locally. Last week, Andrew already had two very close calls due to drivers that were not paying attention to the fact that he was in the unprotected bike lane. Things would be much easier for all parties involved if we had a system like this ingeniously designed intersection for protected bicycle lanes.


Protected Intersections For Bicyclists from Nick Falbo on Vimeo.

2 // I think as whole our society tends to get burned out on the job. I loved this article about 5 simple office policies that make Danish workers more happy than Americans. The points made are absolutely true for many people. Especially important in my book, was point number five in which being happy with your work is an absolute priority.

3 // Some days, I find myself having an incredibly bad or unproductive day for one reason or another. This article about how to make your unproductive days better has some really great ideas on getting a restart and sums up a lot of the same strategies that I often use.

What new ideas have helped put things in perspective for you lately?

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3 Sharable Links That Will Change Your Perspective

Heidi a few things

We're all guilty of getting sucked into the black hole of the web. However, sometimes that black hole isn't such a bad thing. Recently, I've found that some of the articles I've happened upon have literally changed the way I think about my daily life. I thought I'd share three of those with you today in the hopes that they'll give you the same boost or that "aha!" moment that they gave me.

1 //...

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