Monday, August 18, 2014

Let's put the sauce on a low simmer for a bit...

I don't know about the rest of y'all but I've been somewhat of an emotional basketcase this past week and a half.  

I was already on shaky ground last Monday because I'd been watching the entirety of Deep Space Nine this year and saved the final episode for that night.  I came home and made a strong cocktail (ahem) and cried it out while saying goodbye to 173 episodes.  Who would have suspected such a turnaround from a show I despised to me crying over never seeing a Ferengi again?  I always like the weird/terrible ones.

And still with a Claire Danes-style trembling chin I learned of Robin Williams death.  I was too shocked at first to register emotion but then as I watched the reactions roll in I kinda lost it.  There I was drinking blood orange faery pee and making chicken gravy that was heavily seasoned by the salty rivers of my despair.  I could NOT stop crying for hours.

I didn't think I even liked Mrs. Doubtfire that much but apparently I did.  I'm STILL not over it completely and I refuse to watch the video of Koko the gorilla crying.  Every time I attempt to read an article about him I get upset.  I do not even have the capacity for Lauren Bacall right now.  My apologies.  

Then Wednesday I got SUCKED IN to the events in Ferguson.  Obsessed may be the more appropriate word now .  I was aware of the story but watching it happen in real time that night was pivotal.  And still is.

I was constantly checking for updates on the computer but couldn't seem to respond to an email or other basic internet protocol.  I had that last blog post ready to go for a week but couldn't seem to hit 'publish.'  I'm still up pretty much every night til midnight watching the protests unfold on Twitter. If you're interested in the events at all I strongly urge you to get yer ass over there pronto and follow the protesters and journalists on the street.  

Warning: "once you've committed to following the ghastliness of Ferguson, it's hard to think about anything else, watch about anything else, read about anything else."

I'm not normally so emotional but it may have something to do with hormones and spending several days working til midnight at home and being utterly sleep-deprived and Deep Space Nine residual grief.  Maybe I was also going through hot dog withdrawal?  Maybe everything hit at once.

I don't know but I cried when I learned that the Civil Wars broke up and then I cried over the sound of some of their harmonies.  I cried because I liked riding in my car at night so much (...the fuck?) and because my new bed pillows were the perfect blend of soft yet supportive.  I cried when I saw this picture of Janelle Monae and I cried when I read about Mo'ne Davis pitching in the little league world series.  I cried typing that sentence just remembering her smiling face.  There's no crying in little league, Lacy!

So basically I'm a giant gaping soul wound of flayed emotions, half-assed activism and Good Will Hunting references.  

I spent the weekend doing some emergency self care and it was most beneficial.  I need more.

I let out my frustration on a bunch of overgrown bushes in my garden, sweated a lot, helped a friend rearrange her furniture, tried to avoid electronic screens as much as possible, had some quality naked time, went to our local march (fully clothed) in solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson instead of just retweeting news, I made new friends, I drank a lot of water, I was in happy baby pose a lot, I worked out as much as possible - sometimes in the rain - and then I hung out in the rain some more.  

Not only did I check that off my summer bucket list (BOOM) but there's something about NOT avoiding the rain, being purposefully drenched in it, that is quite liberating despite its romantic comedy cliche vibe.  Just what I needed to momentarily forget about tweets.

Good thing I have a privacy fence.

The only things that make me actually laugh right now are videos of Robin Williams and Craig Ferguson together and that terrible Walking Dead 'Coral' meme.  It's so bad.  I can't stop cackling.

Birgit Jurgenssen via Alison Jacques Gallery
In light of these recent events and the fact that if I even look at a computer/phone/tv screen I get a headache, I'm taking a blogging break for the next two weeks.  I expect much more naked time and happy baby pose in my future.  Maybe even at the same time!

I'll be travelling for the next two weekends anyway so I figured this would be a perfect time.  I'll obviously be on Twitter (I CAN'T STOP!) although I'll try to respect my bedtime and  emotional well-being as much as possible.   

Hope everyone is taking care of themselves and I'll holler at you in a few weeks!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Welcome to the ModSauce School of Heavenly Libations.

We're to the point in the summer season where I'm done.  I don't care if the grass gets too high or the plants are wilting or my feet look like driftwood, it's too damn hot to garner any fucks to give.  The good news is that if you live in the South you've got another 45 days of disgusting humidity to look forward to. YAY!

Obviously the only thing to do now is get a gawddamn pedicure already, Groot toes, and drink the humidity away.  Fortunately for you I've been doing lots of "research" and "learning" about drankin' this summer to make the next 45 days bearable.  

Nay, not just bearable but ENJOYABLE.  

So here are all my favorite "research" moments of the summer.  I'm just destroying this summer bucket list of mine too.  And frankly, it's been a shitty week and I think we could all use an adult beverage.

I started the summer with my booze of choice: wine.  Wine is good for all seasons and is my best friend all year.  In honor of this esteemed status, I like to dress it up with some fruit for the summer months to get in the spirit in the form of sangria.

I love sangria because you can just throw a bunch of things together and it always tastes good.  However, sometimes it's a little too sweet for me so I found this GENIUS recipe on Gimme Some Oven.

She added arugula to her blend and I'll never have it any other way again.  It makes it peppery and spicy and balances all the sweet fruit.  I'll probably just throw in whatever fruit I have available the next time I make it but I'll be sure to throw in a handful or two of arugula.  Recipe, schmecipe.

But if you're looking for something a little stronger, channel your inner stumbling-sorority-girl and switch to Fireball.  It's the cinnamon whiskey CIN-sation (I'm sorry, I couldn't stop myself) that's sweeping across the nation leaving blackout drunks and discarded panties in its spicy wake.  

Of COURSE this brand has fan graphics.
If you listen really closely you can actually hear a girl crying on a dirty bathroom floor somewhere.  That's Jessica.  She's the patron saint of Fireball.

It's the only thing I'll actually do shots of anymore.  When I get home from work.  Alone.  Because that's how trashy it/me is.  

I have a bottle of it with a handle now for easy mobility.

If you are looking to make an actual cocktail drink out of it my favorite way to drink it is just mixed with ginger ale.   Pinterest (the collective?) named this 'Gingerball' and that's probably the best name I've ever heard so I drink it partly for that reason.  

Top quality ginger balls, right there.
Fancy it up with with some Fireball-soaked maraschino cherries; serve in a red Solo cup and a disturbing lack of dignity.  Mason jars acceptable too.

Or you can just search for Fireball on Pinterest and pick any recipe.  The college crowd has already done the work for you.  I want to make a Fireball barbecue sauce and caramel sauce so damn bad.

Fireball transitions great into Fall if you mix it with cream soda, Jack Daniel's Honey, hard cider, a splash of Cointreau, ice cream, Firefly, etc.  Not all at the same time.  

Well, now that I think of it...

Speaking of Firefly (sweet tea vodka), it has long been a staple at the ModSauce Ranch.   Normally I just mix it with raspberry lemonade or, um, more Firefly because it don't need no help.  But for my recent hot dog party, my friend and gardening buddy, Emily Rose who blogs here, kicked it into Southern overdrive by turning it into boozy fruit spectacular.  

Holding her delicious creation here. Photo via Eat Drink Frolic.
Start by soaking some peaches in a half liter of Firefly in a pitcher.  Add in a can of Sprite and some blackberries and raspberries.  Spank some mint (heh) and add to the mixture.  Fill the rest of the pitcher with water, serve over ice and then watch it disappear down everyone's throats.  So smooth.  So dangerous.

The hot dog party (Wienerfest 2014) was a big night for cocktails because we also saw the birth of another spectacular creation know as Summer Faery Pee courtesy of Slade Roberson (who blogs over here).

I ran out of limeade so I recreated it after the party with just the juice of one lime if you're in a pickle.
It's so easy: 1 part gin, 1 part limeade (like the Simply Limeade stuff, ya know), 1 part St. Germain, 2 parts ginger ale.  Garnish with a sprig of rosemary from your garden.  It will feel like a sweet summer faery just gave your throat a golden shower and you will love it.  It's deceptively strong and perfect for summer.

St. Germain is something I just recently got and is the essence of Faery Pee.  It's that thing in cocktails that takes it from 'Fireball in a solo cup' kind of night to 'impress your friends with elderflower liquer while eating hot dogs.'  I don't usually like sugary drinks but this is sweet and floral without that 'rot your teeth' feel.  I'd prefer to rot my liver and reputation, please.

Although I haven't tried it at home, earlier this summer I had a Citrus Ginger Fizz and it was also perfect for summer.  However, ginger liqueur is hard to find and expensive so just make Summer Faery Pee.  You won't regret it.

And lastly, I've also developed a mild obsession with blood orange this summer.  Well, blood orange soda.  [MS sidebar: I do not like using the word 'soda' unless it is preceded by 'baking' or 'club' but blood orange coke sounds weird so there ya go.]

I don't really use recipes (could ya tell from this highly technical blog post??) but mostly I've been drinking it with Firefly (the raspberry kind) and a dash of peach vodka with a bit of rosemary or mint.  It's practically fruit salad!

After a hard day's work in the yard I yearn - yes, YEARN, I say - for salty margaritas.  I've been making a bastardized version of these blood orange margaritas from How Sweet Eats and they hit the spot.

I just use blood orange soda instead of the simple syrup.
Not even I can sink low enough to make a 'salty rim job' joke.  OR DID I?!?!?!?!

Sometimes if I'm feeling extra naughty I'll add in some ginger beer.  Nothing is more American than "beer" after mowing the grass, right?  I feel like a real patriot.  Considering the ginger beer I drink is Jamaican that sounds about right for an American patriot.  Sigh...

So that's what I've been drinking most of this summer and it has been delightful.  I vouch for all of these cocktails but take that with a salty rim job because I'm currently drinking boxed red wine mixed with flat Sprite over ice cubes. 

What are y'all drinking or not drinking this summer?  Alcoholic or no, I want to put it in my body.  Has anyone actually tried a coconut water cocktail yet?  I'm scared to waste the coconut water and alcohol if I don't like it.  Mostly the coconut water.  That shit's expensive.  But not ginger liqueur expensive.

PS I had to google 'liqueur' every time I typed it because I'm wrong every time.  Too many vowels.  Or maybe too many wine/Sprite drinks...

PPS There is no physical way to type/say/hear "drinking" without it morphing into Drunk in Love "drankin."  However, I'm Southern so that's how we say it anyway so it's indistinguishable.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Don't cha wish I'd get more current references? Don't chaaa?

UGH.  Don't you wish you could go to a hot dog party at this place?  I bet they have a special room just for keeping buns warm.  

This is the Oban House in Australia by David Watson.  Don't you wish you could refer to your house with a proper name?  I guess mine would be Wiener Manor...?

Oh wait sometimes I call it the ModSauce Ranch...  that sounds about as cool as Wiener Manor so now I get what y'all must have been feeling when reading it all these years.

Don't you wish you had a mini-golf green AND pool in your backyard?  At the Wiener Manor it would be a go-kart track and pool but that might be harder for a landscape architect to make look jazzy.

Ahhh... this fits in with my current need for minimal junk and lots of space for twirling and frolicking.  Don't you wish you could open up the walls of your house to the outside and not be swarmed with pollen, mosquitoes and tree monsters?

This is Australia so don't they have giant flying spiders and dragonflies that are actually closer to dragons than flies so perhaps this isn't such a good idea after all...  Don't you wish dragonflies WERE actually closer to dragons than flies?

I like kitchens that look like they were carved out of the foundation rock the house was built on.  Like, "chisel me a sink over there, Bubba!" Don't cha wish your kitchen was a lot like this one?  Don't chaaaa?

The bathroom at Wiener Manor requires each user to sign a health waiver before entering...  Don't cha wish your bathroom was RAW like this one?  Don't chaaa?

*weeps softly, the tears further staining the yellowed grout in the crumbling bathroom*

All pics from here
Don't the neighbors wish they'd buy mini-blinds?

Although, nobody really gives a shit what happens at the Wiener Manor and I only have curtains on about half the windows...

I'm 12% of the way to becoming an Australian architectural masterpiece!

Monday, August 4, 2014

DOG days of summer. (Do you sense a pun?)

To fully appreciate the season and kick my bucket list into the stratosphere I decided it was time to have a party at the Ranch.  Buckle up, people!  It's about to get rowdy!  

Until 11:00 pm.

After a random discussion regarding the merits of Sonic's (the restaurant not the hedgehog) hot dog selection, I decided my upcoming party would be a hot dog bar!

via Honey Rider (NSFW)
I thought it was the BEST IDEA EVAR that surely no one had ever thought of until I went on Pinterest and saw that EVERYONE had thought of it already.  It's like the new 'cupcake' kind of viral.  Except with phallic-shaped meats.   People are having hot dog bars for tailgating, children's birthday parties and as their wedding food.  I'm late to the game.  As usual.

But despite being terribly uncool (as usual) I forged ahead.  All you need for a hot dog party is meat, bread, toppings and a high tolerance for wiener jokes.  This is my jam!  Everyone else can be in charge of the sides and appetizers.

As a single person entertaining can sometimes get... hectic.  Fortunately, this idea allowed me to do almost everything beforehand so I don't have to recreate a Thanksgiving cornucopia of oven-time fuckery in the summer.  

So let's go step by step so you can throw your own sausage fest!

Step 1: Hot meat.
I was told Hebrew National are the best so I bought 50.  Done.  I don't grill (I'm only one girl and not sure I can handle that many hot wieners at once) so I found a way to roast them.  Yes, I googled the best way to roast hot dogs and of COURSE there's a "recipe."  
Closeup of meat trench from here. Seems almost indecent...
Making the slice down the middle was actually pretty beneficial (if not a little surgical?).  It was like a little trench that holds all the toppings and meat juice in place!  This is tube meat scienze, y'all.  I could fit about 20 on a cookie sheet so it was perfect.  I kept them warm on the stove in a double boiler with about 2 inches of water in the bottom until everything was done.  Easy.

I also threw in some chicken and apple sausages in case someone wanted to switch it up.  Too much of a good thing can be dangerous.

A friend just said she's been experimenting with marinating brats in different craft beers...  I'm intrigued!

Next year...

Step 2: Luscious buns.
Make sure your high quality wiener is nestled between the best buns available.  I searched high and low for pretzel buns but couldn't find them.  I even thought about making them but remembered I'm a fucking terrible baker.  Maybe next year.

Instead I just got a variety of potato buns and wheat buns and a few hoagie buns for the chicken sausages.  I found poppyseed buns the day AFTER the party.  Thanks for nothing, area grocery stores.  Gourmet hot dog party gone to SHIT!

I went to my best friend again, the internet, for all my burning bun questions and they said you could steam hot dog buns in the microwave in their plastic bag...  Really?  I don't even reheat food in Tupperware but those flimsy bags are microwave safe?  

By the time we were ready to eat I'd already had a cocktail or two so that plan sounded like a great idea.  However I'm 110% certain I poisoned my guests with that method.  No one's complained but their future children might possibly have three eyes.

I also totally miscounted (math iz hard) and ran out of buns.  But the next morning I woke up and found a bag of buns in the microwave so... 

But it was so easy and they stayed warm for so long I'll totally do it again.  For only 45 seconds next time...

Next year I'm making pretzel dogs and possibly corn dogs...  A variety of buns is best.

Step 3: Top it off.
This is where you really get to shine, fellow hot dog enthusiasts.  It's the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of the sundae, the, um... condiments on a hot dog.

I accidentally grew some cucumbers this year (more on that in a later post) so I made some homemade sweet pickle relish.  I'm practically a homesteader when it comes to phallic foods!

Making its umpteenth appearance in my kitchen was my favorite bacon jam recipe.  I jazzed it up with some pomegranate balsamic I recently got at Olive (for local readers) and maybe cut back on the sweetness for this usage.

I also made a garlic aioli and it was my personal fave topping of the night.  This was real aioli - not garlic mayo - and was so, so easy that as long as you have two arms you can make it.  Or one arm and a nice friend.  I jazzed it up with some lavender rosemary olive oil (also from Olive, you can tell I had a recent shopping trip) and trying to figure out what else I can put it on because there's only so long an egg yolk can last, right?

The other players in the condiment orgy included:
Onions a million different ways: raw, fried, caramelized.  Those are actually the only ways I know how to serve onions...  onion jelly?

Mustard for days: classic yellow because this is America, you beef-loving fuckers, a spicy brown and even a champagne dill if you're feeling fancy.  I even used some of those honey mustard Snyder's pretzel bits but I think I was the only one to eat them.  That's fine.  I'm obsessed with them and they were a perfect bit of tangy crunch.

Other options included shredded cheese, pimento cheese, feta, pickled jalapenos, pepperoncini, mayo, apple relish (for the chicken and apple sausage), vegan chili (because why not?), Fritos, sour cream, salsa, bacon, sriracha, bbq sauce and Slawsa.

Oh and ketchup.  I was going to make some bacon pickle ketchup that I found in Food Network magazine but technically all the ingredients I already had listed above so I just combined them ON the dog.  Somewhere I have a gourmet "fancy catsup" recipe in an old Food&Wine but there's only so many condiments one girl can make and consume within the next few months.

I guess technically anything can be made a condiment if you're brave enough and depending on its geography so pasta salad, baked beans and coleslaw also topped that delicious cylinder of beef.  

I'm not a fan of coleslaw but my friend (@thebex) brought this lime and cilantro version and it was fantastic.  It has zero - ZERO - vinegar which come to find out is the reason why I'm not a fan of coleslaw.  Vinegar alone can't cover up bland flavors.

Once you have all of the elements in place you really just let nature take its course and watch people get creative.  There might be a contest next year.

I think these won the prize for biggest and most decorated pair of wieners of the night:

Pic from Eat Drink Frolic.
I am a bad blogger but a fun partier because I forgot to take any pictures.  Also, I was tipsy.  I did however take this picture of my fave combo I ate for leftovers the next day.

The money shot.
On the left: garlic aioli, honey mustard pretzel bits, caramelized onions and ketchup.

On the right: pimento cheese, bacon jam, fried onions.

Two wieners is about all I can handle at once.

If you're keeping track that was 304830849382 wiener jokes and I'm exhausted.

Because I'm all dawgged out I'm going to save the alcoholic beverage portion of the party for later but magic was made there too.  It was nothing but social lubrication, yummy meat and cringe-worthy innuendo so naturally we'll be doing it again next year.  Possibly every week in the near future until I can eat the leftover hot dogs...

I'm sweating onion and bacon out of every pore of my body right now...  I might actually BE a giant beef hot dog right now, I don't even know.  I'm so sated I can't even turn that into a wiener joke so y'all work something out in your heads.

In unrelated news, this is also my 600th post!  How exciting!  And it's full of the lamest jokes about wieners... sigh... I'm not surprised.  Thanks for reading and maybe I'll see you all next year at #WienerFest2015!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Furniture design iz hard.


Is it a...  tongue with legs?  A maxi pad with mutant wings for a goth giantess?  A modern scorpion coming to say hello?  An extra piece of art in the dinner scene from Beetlejuice?  A very sad slide?  A dramatic shoe horn?  A bicycle seat that's entering into a black hole and being stretched through time and space?  A kitten launcher?  The lovechild between a slingshot and a boomerang?

Oh, it's a chair? 

If my delightfully fat ass is going to sit in that chair it needs to be three times as big and OFF THE FUCKING FLOOR.  

Unless it wants to end up a thong.  

But as a general rule, fuck your non-functioning art chairs.  


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I'm a member of the Illuminati now.

If you've followed me for a hot minute you know that I'm a Beyonce fan.  Nay, I'm a stan.  I'm a proud member of the Beyhive, secret agent of the Beygency, loyal servant to my High Priestess of the Sparkle Leotard.  

If you're already rolling your eyes you might want to skip this post.

I've always had a special place in my heart for her since we are roughly the same age, both Virgos and enjoy taking glam to one step above what the situation might warrant.  I always knew her concerts were amazing and halfheartedly tried to see her last summer on the Mrs. Carter World Tour but it never happened.  

But then she dropped that album in December and shit got real.  I HAD to be in her presence.  I told myself I was going to see her next tour no matter what.  And when the On the Run tour was announced there was no question that I would give her all my money (up to $125) so I could bask in her glow in person (from more than a football field length away).

To prepare myself I began to abstain from all things Knowles-Carter-related about a month before the show: no music, no tour gifs, no Buzzfeed lists, nothing.  I needed to become a temporary born-again Beyonce virgin before the honeymoon.  

The day before the show my uterus had some plans of its own but I literally shut that shit down using willpower and verbal abuse.  I can't be bothered with such corporeal nonsense during such a spiritual experience.  My uterine lining was literally too scared to come out of my body.

Next I gathered an appropriate outfit.  I was not there to peacock around and distract from the star, I was there to sweat and act a fool and walk a mile from the hotel to get to the Georgia Dome in comfortable shoes.  

Pretty much what I look like all the time.
And I chose wisely.  I can't tell you how many girls I saw in uncomfortable latex and spandex and other -ex clothes with sweaty boobage spilling out the side hobbling through downtown Atlanta wearing house shoes or flip flops while their boyfriends carried their stilettos.  I have to respect their commitment to their freakum dresses because I saw more ass cheeks than I ever thought possible during the sunlight.  

I also didn't want to have my weak, mortal body disrupt the show so after a few cocktails with dinner I abstained from all liquids about an hour before the show started.  I could not allow my bladder to interrupt the night.  

We finally got to our far away seats and waited for the Queen.  For almost an hour.  I guess when you're royalty time is of no concern to you.  I was pretty sure I was going to cry at the mere sight of her so waiting probably worked out better for me as it calmed my nerves a bit and we could find the wifi signal.  

While we waited "This is not real life" was displayed on the large screens in case we were confused about this being an alternate universe of magnificence.  Finally the lights went down and my life finally had purpose.  Over artistically edited video "Move That Dope" started playing and I knew they were going to come HARD tonight.

Then the screens parted and they made their entrance it was everything you would hope.  

Screaming, vibrating, earth-shattering Beyness and a very large smoke machine.  

Oh and Jay Z.

I kinda forget that Jay Z is JAY FUCKING Z.  

We started with 'Bonnie and Clyde' and followed their "relationship" throughout their respective discographies - hot outlaw sex on a platter, diva power, hustling, more nasty fucking, some religious stuff, then they got married, then someone *cough* cheated, now they've forgive each other again as 'On the Run' reminded us that they are the ultimate outlaws and Bey looks way hotter in a ski mask than I ever could.

They did not disappoint.  Not for one second did I feel like I could have gone to the bathroom.

If you can imagine the excitement of the Superbowl half time show except they scrubbed away all the sweetness (Kelly) and light (Michelle) and threw in some Tarantino then you have On The Run.

It's like every Beyonce gif of perfection came to life for 2.5 hours of non stop hair-tossing, ass-shaking, dirty, gritty, boss bitch action.  If you want to know why your fun little Bootylicious girl is now the queen of the world then this is it.

And this.

You don't think as a grown-ass human being that you will scream for another woman's ass when it appears on a giant jumbotron screen but you will, my friend.  You will.

I wish that I had been closer so I could have really lost my shit amongst my fellow superfans where it would have been normal.  Instead I was so high up that I was afraid to dance in case I fall straight down to meet my doom or embarrass the people taking selfies.

So close yet so far...
But I did throw my diamond up very discreetly a few times.  I know they felt it.  There's a special light that shines when a white girl throws up a diamond - it's like the Care Bear Stare.  It's full of hugs and cheer.  

Say what you will about these two but I have mad amounts of respect for their artistic vision.  Collaborating with your spouse - who happens to be the best in the world a at what they do - to create the ultimate fantasy of love, death, sex and adventure and do it successfully is a pretty legendary thing. 

It's the apex of storytelling and gangsta shit backed with some fuck hard bass beats.

At the end they let us know that play time was over and that "This is real life" as their secret home moves were revealed on the jumbotron.   Wedding clips and Blue Ivy giggles and matching tattoos and family stuff played on screen while the royal couple stood on stage arm in arm while Beyonce sang Halo to the baby and we all cried.  

I don't give a fuck how carefully it was all orchestrated you can't look at someone's baby and not feel like part of the family.  It was worth my movie ticket price.  Whether you paid $100 or $1000 you got your money's worth.

So all 50,000 of us dried our tears (and put slippers back on if necessary) and made the walk back to the hotel safe in the knowledge that baby Blue Ivy is angel and that your life is forever changed from watching Yonce grind on some chairs.

I may have been spiritually complete but after not having had any water in five hours and screaming in hysteria for most of that I was physically depleted and possibly already hungover.  I was not able to form coherent sentences and may have even been in a trance.  I'm not sure.  

What I AM sure of is that at about 4 in the morning all of my corporeal needs returned with a vengeance.  I could only hold our for so long.

Not only did I exhaust myself, I exhausted my camera battery taking shitty pictures and video that are useless.  This is totally fine because I've spent the last week rewatching the tour from OTHER people's clips and pictures.  But not any show - the ATLANTA show.  I ain't here for your shit, Miami.

I strongly recommend that you listen to the The Read's recap of the concert because it is 700 times more entertaining than mine even if you hate Beyonce.  I listened to it twice because they GET IT.  I also listened to their review of Beyonce's album release in December again because I can't get enough.  Nostalgia and all.

If you haven't read the numerous lists out on the internet yet here are some of my personal highlights from the show:

- Those wind machines aren't just for show.  After Beyonce finished a set and we waited for Jay Z to perform I could see Beyonce bend down on the side of the stage outside of the spotlight and wipe off sweat with towel after towel and throw them into the audience.  Sometimes people bring her towels just for this reason.  Don't nobody ever say she don't love her fans.

- I love when Bey gets angry and starts cussing (The Read mentions this too).  Nothing brings me greater joy than hearing sweet little Beyonce screams "MOTHERFUCKER" while pretending to rob a bank.  Or when she gets indignant and  yells "I'M RICH!" or gestures to her fine ass while talking shit about another woman that's trying to take her man.  Ring the alarm, indeed.

- The bevy of costumes was spectacular as to be expected (read more on each outfit on her Tumblr like here with Project Runway alum Michael Costello or this Diesel outfit), but one of my favorites was her American flag train that she closed the show with.  It was actually a shirt tied around her waist (so badass) but it felt beyond luxurious and of course looked marvelous billowing in front of the wind machine.  Bitch knows how to hit her mark.

- Although I wasn't truly there for Jay Z every time a song came on I remembered "oh yeah, this shit is fucking amazing!"  Everything from Magna Carta deserves to be listened to (and rapped along with) in a stadium.  It's that big.  Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit.  *dead*

- Flawless was on of my favorite live numbers.  Gahtdamn.  She wore a Versace bodysuit and a helmet with a gold mohawk.  I have no words.  It made no sense and yet all the sense in the world.

However, sitting in a completely dark venue with nothing but Chimamanda Adichie's words about feminism flashing on a giant screen to thousands of rapt people felt pretty fucking powerful and I may have choked up slightly. 

- This fine couple really knows how to do other people's music.  Beyonce did Lauryn Hill's Ex-Factor while we sang every word and then we all lost our collective shit with a Michael Jackson sample in Love on Top.  She sang Justin Timberlake's part of Holy Grail better than he did. Jay Z rapped a bit of Bun B's verse in Big Pimpin and *I* lost my shit but I'm just incredibly partial to that bit, you illiterate sonofabitch.

- I go crazy for Beyonce's over-the-top, sometimes-syncopated dancing ESPECIALLY when she does street dance moves.  But when she dropped the Nae Nae IN Atlanta during 'Diva' people went bananas.  By people I mean ME.

See the full gif set here
- Jay Z doesn't need another living soul to perform with, he's got his funky and expressive hands and that's enough.

- After some drama with my original Bey buddy I had to find someone to take my extra ticket the night before the show.  Fortunately my friends and the Knowles-Carter angel posse found a replacement.  My new date was only moderately fond of Beyonce but was very understanding when I ignored him for three hours during the show.  But in the end I made a new friend.  We have a special bond no one can break.  On the Run brings people together, y'all.

- Partly what made this show so much fun to watch is that you could tell they were having fun too.  No sourpusses allowed.  We're here to party.  Drunk In Love in Atlanta - they were so cute right at the end.

- Les Twins.  Beyonce usually only performs with her all-ladyperson band and backup dancers except for twin brothers who happen to be French models.  Because DUH.  And they were truly spectacular and I would totally break my only-ladies-allowed policy for them too.

All images in this post by Rob Hoffman unless otherwise noted.  More of his ATL pics here.
- Towards the end of the show a very passionate fan about five seats over from me began screaming his love for Beyonce at the top of his lungs for about half an hour.  Since she was about the size of an ant to us his impassioned pleas fell on deaf ears.  Except ours.  But he kept screaming he loved her because "SHE HAD TO KNOW."  

We all laughed but we were all screaming just like him on the inside.  Bravo to you, sir.  You said what we all felt anyway.

The HBO documentary of the concert is coming in September so for all you closet Yonce fans reading (I KNOW you're out there) you can witness the event too.

I'll be watching it nightly before bed until Blue Ivy's concert footage leaks.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This makes me exceedingly happy

Rose steps in Tehran, Iran
Can we have more fine art graffiti artists?  Like Renaissance master type shit, Dutch still life, Flemish Baroque, etc.  Would people like Brutalism better if there was a bouquet of dead flowers and a freshly-murdered rabbit painted on them?  

Can I maybe paint a mural on the side of my house INSTEAD of landscaping?  I don't know if you guys know but growing things is hard.  I don't know which is harder: growing things in the summer in Tennessee or imitating Old World painting techniques on mint green vinyl siding?

Regardless of your mural talents, I'm also getting a Tupac's 'The Rose That Grew From Concrete' vibe from this and I approve.  Here's a refresher of the poem if you are needing to get something tattooed on you this weekend.  

Honestly, I'm just using it as landscaping inspiration because it's dry as fuck around here and my lawn might as well be concrete and it's not even August yet.  I also don't know how it could be so desert-like right now and yet I'm having allergies...?  That's some Biblical apocalyptic shit, right there.  Thanks, Obama.

And speaking of life-changing musical artists, I went to see my Queen, Beyonce, Tuesday so please suffer through a concert overview next week.  It would have been today but honestly I've spent two days rewatching the concert through every terrible vine, gif, blurry iphone video uploaded to youtube so I've been busy.  

But it was worth it.  

The vines and the concert.