May 2013 Playlist




This month’s playlist is here! If I could use a phrase to describe it, I would say it’s…seasonally appropriate. You’ll find the link to the Spotify playlist and the link below. Enjoy! (And, I guess, let me know if you’ve listened to it. I like making playlists for myself, but it’d be nice to know if you guys like listening to them?)


01. Neil Young – Walk On

02. The Rolling Stones – 2000 Man

03. The Velaires – Brazil

04. The Nightcrawlers – The Little Black Egg

05. Patsy Cline – Crazy Dreams

06. The Byrds – You Don’t Miss Your Water

07. Elvis Costello & the Attractions  – Little Triggers

08. Daniel Johnston – Favorite Darling Girl

09. Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers – Ice Cream Man

10. Francoise Hardy – Comment te dire adieu

11. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood – Summer Wine

12. The Zombies – Beechwood Park

13. Nico – The Fairest of the Seasons

14. She & Him – Turn to White

15. Brenda Lee – Someday You’ll Want Me to Want You

16. Roy Orbison – Shahdaroba


Link to Spotify playlist: May




Every Song That’s Been In My Head Upon Waking Up In the Last Week

Thursday – ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ by The Eagles

Friday – ‘Night Light’ by Jessie Ware

Saturday – ‘Car On a Hill’ by Joni Mitchell

Sunday – The Adventure Time Ending Theme

Monday – I don’t remember, actually, but here’s ‘Always Be My Baby’ by Mariah Carey

Tuesday – ‘Waiting For the Moon to Rise’ by Belle and Sebastian

Wednesday – ‘Listen to the Music’ by The Doobie Brothers

Donna Martin Graduates


congrats tori!

Photo Credit: Dad


On Monday, my sister Tori graduated from Yale University. My family celebrated her four years of hard academic work, athletic achievement and partying for three days in New Haven.

I joined them one day into the festivities, after having been heartily overserved on Saturday night. I drove to the Yale Class Day ceremony on I-95 in the pouring rain, which is literally my worst nightmare as I’ve become terrified of driving on the highway since I stopped getting behind the wheel regularly. When I finally arrived in New Haven after a three-hour journey – it should have been about ninety minutes – I parked near campus and started on my way to the ceremony, to which I was already late. I asked my brother Aidan where I should meet them. He gave me the wrong location. I ended up walking around a deserted part of the Yale campus in the rain for about 30 minutes – this includes a stop at a cafe to go to the bathroom since I actually was worried that I was going to pee my pants after drinking about a gallon of coffee and a large, blue Gatorade in the car –  before my mom called me to tell me where they were.


100% Incorrect Information

100% Incorrect Information


I joined my mom and my grandma to watch a bunch of graduating seniors in crazy headgear – my sister was wearing a white pillbox hat with plastic flowers all over it – give short(ish) speeches to the crowd. I had missed the first half of the ceremony, including Cory Booker’s speech.  (My family spent the rest of the weekend talking about it. One of my brothers said he would remember it for the rest of his life. Ugh.) I sat for about an hour in the pouring rain, an umbrella hovering just above my head, occasionally glancing to my grandmother on my left, who was wearing three sweaters and a plastic bag over her hair.

Finally, my mom dispatched me to get the car I had driven so that I could drive my grandma back to my sister’s apartment. I met my family there, where everyone gorged themselves on snacks and took naps until it was time to go to my sister’s get-together with her track team at a pizza restaurant called BAR. (I’d been there before and I highly recommend it if you find yourself hanging in New Haven.) Of course, my family was late and we each got like one sliver of pizza.


My grandma, Kay, and me, chilling at BAR

My grandma, Kay, and me, chilling at BAR


Afterward, we went across the street to Geronimo’s, where we enjoyed some food and drink and so many laughs that I was crying at times with our great family friends, the Hudsons, whose daughter Caitlin was graduating along with Tori. The re-telling of the story of how several of our (collective) brothers were swarmed by a hive of bees when we were kids up at our lake house was a highlight, but there were many, many great moments that night.


Flannerys & Hudsons Hanging Together

Flannerys & Hudsons Hanging Together


I drove back to our hotel with my mother, who was liking every Instagram photo ever in the passenger seat. Again, I was terrified while driving on the highway, even more so at that time, because it was dark and rainy and I couldn’t see any of the lines on the road. We got back to the hotel safely though and I slept cozily in a bed with my grandma, who kept me awake most of the night with her snoring.

My alarm went off at 6:30 but I snoozed until 7, when my mom knocked on our door, already full dressed and ready to head back to campus to save seats for the official commencement ceremony. My brothers, my grandma and I all rushed to get ready. About 30 minutes later, we were all packed up and ready to go.


In our seats on Old Campus. Dayton gives the name "Peter" at Starbucks to avoid confusion.

In our seats on Old Campus. Dayton gives the name “Peter” at Starbucks to avoid confusion.


We arrived at Yale’s very muddy Old Campus to sit in the cold and wait for over an hour before the ceremony began. It took the students like one hundred years – really, close to forty-five minutes – to process into the area. We were able to spot Tori on her way in from our seats as her residential college, Morse, was waving foam battle axes in the air. When it was announced that the undergraduates had officially been given their degrees, my sister and her friends shot off confetti cannons, which was maybe my favorite part of the ceremony. Well, other than the announcements of this year’s honorary degrees, as the recipients were super impressive. (Examples: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and very talented writer Edwidge Danticat.)

After that, we went to Morse College for Tori’s diploma ceremony. I obviously misread the program and thought the ceremony was at some church and my family listened to me so we ended up really far from where the ceremony actually was and before we realized I had made a mistake. And then on our way there, two of my brothers fell behind us as they were walking with my grandma, so I stood on a corner to wait for them and ended up waiting for ten minutes before realizing they must have gone another way. It turned out some woman had given my grandma a ride in a wheelchair. Anyway, I got to Morse just before the ceremony started and scarfed down a pain au chocolat while standing under a tree. By then, it was hot and sunny so this ceremony was just as uncomfortable as the other were, but for opposite reasons. We heard some speeches from the master and dean of the college before the diplomas got handed out. Finally, Tori got hers and could move her tassel or whatever!


The Scene at Morse College

The Scene at Morse College


Our whole family took some pictures in the Morse courtyard before we headed to Yorkside Pizza for lunch. Then, we all said goodbye to Tori and headed back to New York! (I am happy to say that, two days later, I think I’ve fully recovered from the weekend except for a mysterious bruise all over my left foot and also, a mysterious series of pulled muscles on the left side of my body.)


All of the Kids Post-Graduation

All of the Kids Post-Graduation


Anyway…CONGRATULATIONS, TORI! I couldn’t be prouder of you.

Team: Look out for my interview with Tori, which I hope to post sometime in the next week. (If she still lets me interview her. She hasn’t answered my email yet.)

How to Attend a Concert On a Weeknight*


Kurt Vile, 5/16/13


1. Put the time when tickets go on sale on your Outlook calendar. Make sure the event is marked as “Busy” in case someone tries to schedule a meeting with you.

2. When the day tickets go on sale arrives, remind yourself to buy them every fifteen minutes. Forget all about it ten minutes before the sale. Remember approximately two minutes before sale and breathe a sigh of relief.

3. Buy tickets. Convince yourself that the fees are worth it.

4. For the next three months, at regular intervals, talk about how excited you are for the show with whichever friend you’re going with so that neither of you forgets about it.

5. When the day of the show finally arrives, remind yourself like one thousand times not to forget the tickets (if you’re not picking them up at will call).

6. Panic as soon as you leave work because you think you forgot the tickets but then realize that they’ve been in your bag since 9 AM, you dummy.

7. Arrive at a bar near the venue approximately an hour before doors open. Do not bother eating dinner beforehand.

8. Drink two beers, minimum. (Happy hour is still in effect.) Take your time, though. You don’t want to get there too early.

9. Leave the bar and realize that you are drunk off of very little. Stop for pizza on the way to the venue.

10. Arrive at the venue, realize that the first opener is still playing and immediately order a beer.

11. Wait until the second opener has started before moving into the crowd. Choose a spot where you can see the stage.

12. Have your view of the stage almost completely blocked when a 6’6″ dude stands directly in front of you.

13. Spend the next minute or two trying to find a spot where there isn’t a 6’6″ dude isn’t standing directly in front of you. Give up.

14. Drink another beer.

15. Make your friend take a few pictures for you  – but not too many because you don’t want to be a douche, you just want to Instagram one or two – because you still can’t see anything.


Angel Olsen, 5/16/13

Angel Olsen, 5/16/13


16. Look at the time. Try not to think about the fact that you have to wake up in six hours.

17. Enjoy the show, in spite of everything.

18. Catch yourself nearly wilting due to exhaustion during the encore. Hope that the band, even though you love them, does not play more than two songs.

19. After it’s over, hop in a cab. Spend the ride doing important things like Instagramming pictures from the show and setting your alarm for exactly five hours from then in case you forget when you get home.

20. Get home and eat like eighty-six Girl Scout cookies in bed because one slice of pizza wasn’t really dinner.

21. Pass out with your computer on your lap.

22. Wake up to your alarm blaring at 6:45 AM. Snooze. Decide you don’t need to shower because sometimes a whore’s bath is enough.

23. Rejoice! You have dry shampoo! A shower is not necessary. Get ready in less than ten minutes and head to the train.

24. Catch your reflection in the windows of the subway. You look like a zombie. Also, the dry shampoo is visible in your hair.

25. Get to work. Start going through your email. Open a list of upcoming shows and start entering the ones you want to go to in your calendar.

*(When You Have A Full-Time Job)

Last night, I saw Kurt Vile and Angel Olsen at the Bowery Ballroom. This list was loosely based on that experience.

Childish Things: Or, How I Learned to Love Adventure Time

OK, so,  Adventure Time is my favorite TV series currently on the air that I’m not totally caught up on. (I’m in the middle of watching Season 3 right now, though this isn’t really a show where watching all of the episodes totally matters.)  When I first told some friends about my new obsession, they were skeptical. I’m not a known cartoon fan and the animated shows I do watch – Archer and Bob’s Burgers – are meant for adults. Also, I guess, some people just grow up and forget that animated shows exist and/or can be great. Anyway, I don’t think I really believed just how much I was into Adventure Time when I first started watching it. I hadn’t even heard of the show until I saw two dudes dressed up as Finn and Jake at a Halloween party last year and I asked my friend what they were supposed to be. But I ended up blowing through the first season on Netflix shortly after it appeared there and now I’m addicted.

If you haven’t watched the show, here’s the deal: It’s about two adventuring best friends and brothers, Jake (the Dog) and Finn (the Human), who are hanging out and having adventures around the land of Ooo episode after episode. That sounds like it could get lame pretty fast, but I promise you that it doesn’t. The show has a wonderful mixture of gross/silly/weird/sometimes biting humor that keeps it fresh. (So far, I mean. It could get old by the time I start watching the fifth season, but somehow I doubt it?) As long as you’re not offended by fart jokes, I’d venture to say you’ll think it’s pretty funny.

The cast of characters is fantastic and well-rounded for a show primarily meant for children. While I think that anyone who’s a fan would agree that Jake is just the fucking coolest ever and that Princess Bubblegum is an awesome supernerd role model (girls can be smart and girly!), my favorite character is Finn. I like Finn because he’s not afraid to be sincere. He feels responsible for everyone around him, always wants to do the best he can, and wants his fellow Ooo-inhabitants to get along. But when he has trouble achieving his goals or senses injustice, he gets really, really pissed. (I relate to him a lot in this sense.) I love watching a kid character who is totally badass but also totally a kid still learning the way the world works. The show also has enough episodes that many of the quirky and hilarious recurring characters – try not to fall in love with Lumpy Space Princess or the main villain, the Ice King – feel fully fleshed out and not just good or evil or annoying.

Finn and Jake are also different from many questing characters I’ve encountered in my years of reading children’s or young adult books* in that it seems they’re adventuring because they like it and it’s an awesome way to spend time together, rather than out of a sense of duty to something or someone that is much, much greater than them. And I think that’s pretty cool.

Anyway, I meant for this to be a shorter “In Brief” post, so I’ll stop here. But I will say that when I was originally thinking about how to frame this post, I was going to talk about some of the “childish” things I enjoy, from my Hello Kitty calendar to reading (and re-reading and re-re-reading ) young adult novels. I need a little figure out how to write about that, but I hope to share something in longer form soon.

In the meantime, is there anything else out there that’s meant for kids that you, as an adult, are/were into? I want to hear about it!