#Obsessed or All I want is Everything.

Darlings,

It’s Friday, I’m already in sweatpants, I can finally eat foods that aren’t plain pasta and saltines without wanting to die and  I find myself obsessed with a few things I’d like to share with you as I make my way back to the real world. 

Now, maybe some of my obsessions this week are a little more unusual than others. But darlings, it called staying alive.

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As someone who has been to the ER twice in the past two weeks for general stomach distress, I can tell you that my two new favourite things in life are Saltines and Saline. I know I talk about this new found love for Saline last week, but I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy being rehydrated without having to do any work. For the past two weeks, it’s been hard to keep much down, including beverages – so this has been a necessity for me. BUT if it were up to me, I would have an IV drip come to me every Sunday morning.

In a perfect world, I would be wearing the charcoal grey cotton cashmere jumpsuit (that I have made millions on by selling to hospitals across the globe), reading The Sunday Times (in reality, we can’t get anything delivered to our house because it will get stolen, so I’d probably be watching reruns of Vanderpump Rules), eating segments of a blood orange (and an almond Croissant from Tartine), drinking an espresso (from the Nespresso machine I keep threatening to purchase), and wearing my Healing Benonite clay mask (that feels like it is actually sucking the dirt out of my face) while sitting with an IV in my arm keeping me hydrated and happy and ready to decide what to do with my life.

 

What I wouldn’t be doing is eating Saltines, because while I’m obsessed that they got me through this period of not being able to eat anything else, I’m not interested in really eating them again until I get another stomach bug, which I hope isn’t for another 7-10 years.

 

One of the joys of being sick is getting to catch up on all of the television you’ve missed out on. I finally took the bait and started “Schitt’s Creek” and all I can say is that I’m not just impressed, I’m obsessed. To be honest, anything with Catherine O’Hara is a blessing unto us all and the idea that this is a defining moment in her career should put you in state of shock that makes you run to the TV and start watching this show. Although I am completely in awe of her wardrobe in the show – think Delia Deetz in Beetlejuice meets 2019 fashun.

The nuanced ‘gets’ of the writers and cast are what make this show so incredible. It’s a nonstop joy ride for every judgey person out there, who has no problem telling you your blouse is garbage or your point of view is incorrect. It’s a show that celebrates a bitchy face in all forms, resting and otherwise. It’s also low key the best fashion on TV. 

Real talk, it’s a show that talks about wigs, sexuality, nontraditional relationship dynamics and not being able to ride a bike in normal context, and of course for all of this, I’m here for it. You can find it on demand on Xfinity and on Netflix. 

Something I’m trying to do as an “adult” is focus my wardrobe. Look, darlings, I’m not interested in every piece of clothing bringing me joy, because that’s ridiculous. What I am interested in is every piece of clothing being something I want to wear. This oversized tunic from Free People is honestly one of my favorite pieces of clothing I’ve ever owned. It goes with everything and it looks chic AF even though it’s basically a mens XXL sweatshirt. When I wear it with workout leggings and black slip ons, le hubs says I look “very European.” Obviously anything I can wear with workout leggings and still look European in is a real gift.  AND it’s supposedly dry clean only, but come on, you can totally wash it inside out and air dry it at your own goddamn house. Oh also it makes me feel like Ann Margaret in “Bye Bye Birdie.” What a blessing.

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You know what else is v European? No makeup. Obviously I can’t get behind that because no matter how many incredibly skin changing $200 facials I get (GO NOW, ASK FOR KELLY, NEVER LOOK BACK), nobody needs to see my slow descent into sun spots and large pores. But most days it’s minimal, if only because I’m lazy. Concealer, a smear of red lipstick and mascara usually fits the bill. But I’ve never found a weekday mascara truly worthy of a love affair until I met Lash Slick. She goes on inky and has the perfect amount of lift. She doesn’t flake or run or annoy my contacts. She’s beautiful in her millennial pink packaging and makes me feel like someone who can drink two glasses of wine on a weeknight and then go home and be productive (does that unicorn exist?)

But nothing is quite as faux European as listening to Charlotte Gainsbourg in your earpods while walking through the square and quietly embracing your superiority in musical taste, hoping someone will ask you directions so you can take one earpod out, the volume just loud enough for the tourist to hear and think to themselves, “Wow this is one hip lady.” But of course that’s not why I listen to Charlotte Gainsbourg, I listen to Charlotte Gainsbourg because her music is dangerous, dramatic and elegant at the same time and most days that’s what I aspire to. Her newest EP comes complete with a cover of the only Kanye track I get behind (and maybe that’s only because it’s video is full of ballerinas) and four other tracks that make me walk with my head higher, my shoulders stronger and a real desire to be her best friend. You should listen to Take Two Now. Because I said so.

And let’s be honest, darlings, when I’m on the otherside of this TEN DAY SECOND COURSE OF ANXIETY AND TENDONITIS INDUCING ANTIBIOTICS, (I’m really un-interested in the whole state of western medicine right now unless it has to do with lip fillers or tattoo removal), I won’t be having two glasses of wine on a weeknight, I’ll be having 15 Mezcal Negronis. Mezcal Negronis are my new drink of choice because in addition to focusing my wadrobe, I’ve realized that I’m OK being basic once in a while. They say the thirties are the best decade. So if this is the best we can do, I’m going to drink my Mezcal Negronis at peace with my decision. There’s no need to make one at home, go have someone make one for you. You deserve it, darlings.

Ok, hope you’re just as obsessed as I am.

Xoxo

LCF

 

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Always Wear Sunscreen or LCF does the best of the American Medical System.

Darlings,

After returning from our wonderful trip, I found myself with a bout of a god awful bacterial infection in my stomach. If you will indulge me in a three act play:

Act One:  Move your damn car.  

I have terrible stomach pain, which 12 hours of Bravo is not helping. Am wearing mismatched sweats and can’t take a sip of water without doubling over in pain with the drama of a season 1 New Jersey housewife.

I call my doctor who I hope will tell me to take a bath, a Xanax and call her in the morning. Instead, she says go to Urgent Care. It’s Sunday. I am appalled.

My Lyft (doesn’t have the same ring as Uber, I know, but you know, politics, sexual harassment, etc.) is stuck behind a truck double parked in the middle of the street. We wait, and wait and even though the fellas unloading this truck see a line of cars build up behind them, have no intention of moving. I’m huffing and puffing in the back of the car and finally with the same wounded strength as Carrie after Big stands her up at the alter and she pummels him with her very expensive white flowers, I step out of the car and scream at these guys to move, to which they inform me “they are unloading” and I reply, weeping, “Well, I am dying so I win.” So if you were behind a truck on 16th and Wharton on Sunday around noon, YOU ARE WELCOME. The dramatics are real, but still probably made better by those musical theatre classes my mom made me take, so thanks Mom.

I am uncertain if my driver thought I was crazy or wants to marry me, but I’m going to assume it was the latter, if only because I look like a crazy old lady in pearls, and he might stand to inherit something good when I did die as I said I was in the process of doing (which he wouldn’t, unless you count books and wine as a really great inheritance).

Act 2:  Hell hath no fury like a Jewish woman who hasn’t eaten in 24 hours.

I get to the urgent care facility which smells like a K Cup machine exploded with only flavored coffees (which, as you know, I find appalling and uncivilized). The woman behind the counter takes my insurance and my credit card and hands me an IPAD to fill out all of my issues and medical history. AN IPAD. At Urgent Care! I am all for saving the environment, but can you imagine the germs on that thing. One sick person after another handling that thing with hands they’ve just wiped their germy nose or other orifice with. Honestly, disgusting. Give me a piece of a paper and a pen, I can write.

The minutes tick by. Then the hour hits. The woman behind the counter who gave me the germy Ipad makes a general announcement that they are running behind today because of a new employee. I have a few internal thoughts on this statement (that I made public through a follow up survey, don’t worry). If I were in charge, I probably wouldn’t start a new doctor on a Sunday in January. You know, the only day of the week most doctors offices aren’t open AND one of the months with the highest incidences of general sick. Also, can you call someone else to come in?

My usually not overbearing Jewish mother appears merely seconds after this announcement is made and sits with me for another 90 minutes before they call me back.

They get me in the room, tell me there isn’t much they can do for me because they don’t have the right equipment to image my abdomen and suggest I go to the ER. Well, if you think the fellas with the moving truck got a mouthful, let me tell you that the staff back there were in for even more of a treat. In addition to not starting new employees on Sundays, I would suggest that the woman behind the counter, in addition to getting herself a Hazmat suit to defend against the IPads of Death, figure out what is and is not treatable at that location to save the employees in the back from angry Jewish women who are nearly 24 hours into a forced fast. The wrath of a hungry Jewish woman (I mean, from my own personal experience) is one that no one wants to bump into.

So off we go (thank goodness for my usually not overbearing Jewish mother) to the Emergency Room. How exciting, the same hospital where I was born (which mom would remind every person caring for me). I had to go through a metal detector where the security guard confiscated a meat thermometer that had made it’s way into my coat pocket.

Honestly, try explaining to someone that A. You have no idea why it’s there (I do, it’s because I cooked Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s house, knew she wouldn’t have one and transported it in this coat) and B. That it’s something you actually use and not intended as a rather blunt weapon. All while doubled over in pain from some kind of stomach/organ situation.

And there, without my meat thermometer, we waited for another two and a half hours. The two and a half hours consisted of a family eating McDonalds next to me, making me want to die even harder, a couple coming in for what looked like a girlfriend with similar condition to mine and a boyfriend with a man bun who tried to charm the admins into giving him a definitive timeline for when his girlfriend would be seen (it didn’t work), and the world’s most uncomfortable chairs. Pennsylvania hospital, get your waiting rooms together. The man bunned fella couldn’t charm his way into the hearts of the staff, but my “did you know my daughter, the patient waiting to be seen, was born at this hospital” mother was. And so finally I was seen.

Act 3: Double Doink. 

Darlings, I’ll give you a piece of advice: Don’t ever try to get medical attention while there is an Eagles game of any significance on.

I am escorted to a room and asked to change into a gown.

Let me ask you a question: How can someone in a compromised state of any kind be expected to tie those ties in the back effectively? Is this a class I missed? It’s like asking someone to get themselves into a straight jacket. Just probably not happening.

Darlings, it’s 2018, do you think maybe an update to the hospital gown is in order? Maybe a nice drawstring pant? A cotton cashmere? A solid color? Maybe a charcoal? And a hood? A hood would be nice. Hospital Executives everywhere: I’m available for consulting.

I am hooked up to an IV full of saline, which I hear they’ll bring to your hotel room in Vegas and I think to myself that I would appreciate this service every morning while I’m enjoying my first cup of coffee (at odds with each other, I know darlings).

The chill of the IV was oddly comforting, which is strange since I’ve been battling the chills all day long.

They take a blood panel, which is always emotionally strenuous for me since A. I have tiny veins that roll around and hate all medical professionals and  B. I am always convinced that this is the time they find Leukemia (my Bubby died of Leukemia and I have a sense that I will too. I also read too many Lurlene McDaniel books as a kid).

I don’t know if the nurse was extra strong, my body was extra week or I was just feeling extra vulnerable, but when she put the tourniquet on, I nearly lost it. I have never felt so much pain in my life. I cried. She backs away. We try it again. I am fine. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment. How many times have I had blood drawn (A lot, I’ve been a hypochondriac since adolescence) and this has never once happened before.

A resident comes in and asks me a lot of questions, the answers to which he jots down in his 1920s newspaper reporter notebook. Unlike those reporters, or even the paperboys, (could you just die over young Christian Bale?) of the 1920s, he was incredibly socially awkward and may have blushed when I confessed that “yes, I do use cannabis recreationally once in a while” in front of my mother (who just yesterday found out that I had never done acid and was scandalized to hear that she had raised such a square). The resident informs us that he would go report back to his attending physician, who would come in and hopefully tell me what was wrong with me.

The attending physician comes in a few minutes later, using the old “Sisters?!” line on my mom (Okay, Dr. Christian Troy) (PS Just finished rewatching Nip/Tuck, still love it, but doesn’t reallllly hold up) and asks me all of the same questions that his resident did. I guess that notebook was just for show?

While he is asking me all of these questions and tapping on my stomach, that play that made everyone very excited to be a Philadelphian was happening. So he asks a question, I answer and he would have his back to me and to the TV, and mumbles an answer or affirmation.

Listen, I get it. As Philadelphians, we REJOICE in the bad fortune of other sports teams when the consequences are positive for us. We are just as bad as people say we are (no we’re not, and btw what are sports?).  Doctor, I don’t care if you want to watch the game, but like maybe not with my vital organs on the line. He hems and haws and says something about my gallbladder and my intestines and then leaves after the thing that happened to the Bears happened.

In the meantime, the tourniquet nurse comes back and feeds me a cocktail of “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Well, no that’s not right, but I think that’s what I heard. It tastes like melted Artic Zero mint ice-cream with a chaser of Chalk and it makes my mouth numb, probably about as close to that acid trip my mom wants me to take as anything I’ll do. And finally the Golden Globes come on.

We watch Sandra Oh and Andy Samburg be generally boring, but kind in their opening monologue. There is a collective gasp by myself, my mom and the nurse as we see Gaga’s dress for the first time. And I think “FUCK I was going to blog about the red carpet, but here I am in a hospital bed” So sorry I didn’t red carpet for you – here’s my .02.

My favorites? Julia Roberts. Jamie Lee Curtis. Judith Light. Glenn Close. Charlize Theron. Don’t @ me, I stand by all of these choices.

 

My least favorites? Elisabeth Moss (LEAST FAVORITE BY A LANDSLIDE). Amy Adams. Rachel Brosnahan. Kate Mara. Heidi Klum (She would absolutely call this unfinished if it came down the runway on PR).

 

(all photos @Getty Images)

Back to the hospital: Le Hubs comes to replace my mom as the worried family member and I fall asleep, only to be awoken and wheeled to get an ultrasound. I hate ultrasounds, they are another thing that are emotionally draining for me, and I imagine for any other woman that has lost by nature or chosen to lose a baby (not scientifically a baby, but can you let it slide for the sake of the story?). And it is messy and disgusting and CAN’T WE FIGURE OUT A BETTER WAY.

Am Wheeled back to the room, watch Bohemian Rhapsody walk away with best Drama (I have thoughts on this, and they aren’t really positive. YOU GUYS THEY CHANGED THE YEAR OF HIS HIV DIAGNOSIS TO MOVE THE PLOT LINE ALONG. A CREDITED DIRECTOR IS ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. I REFUSE TO GET BEHIND THIS.) The football obsessed attending physician comes in and tells me that I had a bacterial infection which he refers to as “Traveler’s Diarrhea” (is there a medical term for that?) and prescribes me an antibiotic which I would later learn has side effects including swollen tendons and heightened anxiety. I would say this was a pretty good choice for someone whose medical history includes both Tendonitis AND Generalized Anxiety disorder. But I’M NO DOC, so what do I know?

Epilogue: Next time, le hubs, I’d prefer a black car

I got dressed, walked of shame out through the ER waiting room full of people who probably needed the urgent care much more than I did and got into a minivan home.

I spent the next few days watching great and good TV (Finally got through season 2 of Mrs. Maisel and it’s better than the first, don’t @ me) (And the first episode of The Romanoffs, which I thought was a little trite and predictable, but I’ll never say no to Aaron Eckhart), eating saltines (Which Stanley of course took a liking to) and drinking ginger ale. I am starving.

Wear Sunscreen. Don’t get sick on a Sunday. Do some drugs strong enough to make your mother proud (don’t really.)

xoxo lcf

 

 

RIP The worst breakfast sandwich in the world or how we spent 36 hours in Porto.

Darlings,

We just got back from a whirlwind trip to England and Portugal – to celebrate Christmas with le hubs family and to ring in the New Year in a place neither of us have been before.

We had such a great time, both in the seaside town where le hubs grew up in England and in Porto and Lisbon in Portugal. It was a lot of travel for a a short amount of time, but it was so nice to be back overseas where the Nespresso flows like water, and wine is cheaper than it, where the sparkling water comes in glass bottles, and a 2Euro ham baguette tastes better than basically everything.

I’ll tell you what a 2 Euro baguette tastes MUCH better than. The Reduced Fat Turkey Bacon breakfast sandwich at Starbucks. The RFTB has been a mainstay in my diet since I was in college, for no other reason than it’s a 250 calorie breakfast that is always available. Something else about the RFTB?

It’s one of the most disgusting foods in the world. Every time I order one, it’s like Groundhog Day – every time I take that first bite I think it’s going to be delicious and every time I take that first bite, I am reminded how much food can taste like cardboard. But I do it. Over and over and over.

So imagine my surprise this morning when, still very jet lagged, I walked into Starbucks and ordered my standard Americano and RFTB sandwich, and the barista told me that they are re-evaluating the recipe. THE RECIPE. The twenty year old recipe of dry English muffin, oily but not sharp cheddar, rubbery egg and salty yet without flavor turkey bacon recipe. Can you believe it? I couldn’t. I walked out, stunned and sad that there was no advanced notice given.

So darlings, before we get to Portugal – pour one out for the OG Reduced Fat Turkey Bacon Sandwich, the worst breakfast sandwich I have ever eaten and the only breakfast sandwich I ever ate regularly. Never again will I taste your disgusting and comforting salinity, never again will I have to scour the office kitchen for just one drop of hot sauce or one packet of ketchup, never again will I almost set the microwave on fire by warming  the sandwich up in it’s non-microwavable package.

So here’s to changes of the reduced fat fake bacon kind in 2019.

So darlings, Portugal! Let’s start in Porto.

Our trip started with a four hour delay on our flight from Manchester to Lisbon. A regional plane with TAP Portugal, Portugal’s budget airline. A four hour delay is never great, especially when the only bar in the terminal shuts down two hours into the delay. Once we got on the plane, we had another 40 minute delay due to more mechanical issues. I was not impressed. As many of you know, I hate to fly, and sitting on a plane watching people go in and out of the cockpit, trying to figure out a communications issue  is my idea of a nightmare. But at 3am, we landed in one piece in Lisbon and got into the taxi of someone who could have easily been a murder, but got us to our hotel where we slept for a crisp 4 hours aka about 5 hours less than this princess needs.

The alarm was an unwelcome sound, alerting us that it was time to head to the Santa Apolonia train station to hop on a train to Porto. It’s about a three hour ride – extremely civilized with coffee service. I tried to sleep, but the ride was so beautiful that I couldn’t!

36 hours in Porto

The Pestana Palacio Freixo was a dream come true for an Eloise wannabe like myself. As soon as we pulled up, I knew I made the right decision. A beautiful old castle, with the most incredibly manicured grounds.

 

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We were both starving, so at the recommendation of a friend, we grabbed lunch at All In Porto. The server was friendly and was generous with her time and kindness. We drank a red vinho verde, made from the local grape Vinhão. I LOVED it. I’m a big fan of a more acidic, funky red wine and this was just perfect. I’ll be on the lookout for it back here in the states, but it sounds like only something like 7% of all Vinho Verde is red, and it doesn’t fit that big, juicy flavor profile that Americans tend to like, so I might be searching for a while.

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We ordered tinned mackerel (I ate so much tinned fish on this trip I can’t believe I don’t have Mercury poisoning) and a charcuterie plate that was supposed to be for two people, but four people could have easily left 1/4 of it on the plate – it was unbelievable, full of cured meats, cheeses ranging from soft and mild to firm and pungent. As we were ready to order our second glasses of wine, a Vinho Verde from the Duoro region that smelled suspiciously like a German riesling, The Cure came on and I thought I might actually be in heaven.

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We ate a manchego drenched in smoked paprika – that was definitely our favourite. The olives that came with were tiny, spicy and sweet, and I’ve never tasted an olive like it in my life – INCREDIBLE. We couldn’t finish the platter and the otherwise charming waitress gave us a dirty look, but hey –  I feel like you’d be hard pressed to find two people who can take down more meat and cheese than le hubs and myself.

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After lunch, we walked around – took in the beautiful city that is Porto – a city of bridges, so many bridges. We crossed the Dom Luis bridge, which links the Port wine houses of Vila Nova de Gaia with the downtown Ribeira district. The bridge crossing was incredible because it is a working bridge, so there’s traffic in both directions, with foot traffic on both sides of the bridge. No separator, nothing. Just a bunch of cars driving extremely fast, a bunch of tourists taking selfies, and honestly what could possibly go wrong?

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We stopped at Ramos Pinto for a Port tasting. We chose Ramos Pinto because my Bubby had a Ramos Pinto poster hanging in her staircase that I have such a vivid memory of. Bubby had such impeccable taste, so I figured it was our best bet. Turns out I don’t love Port. But that’s OK. It was still fun, it was still important to do and it made me feel close to my Bubby.

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We walked along the river back to our palace and took a nap! The blackout curtains were too good and we slept for a while before getting ourselves together for a drink at the hotel bar (darlings, I love a hotel bar) and then getting to dinner.

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The concierge at our hotel recommended a restaurant called The George. We had a fine dinner there, but it was really rushed and a little big for it’s britches, in my opinion. We decided the concierge was probably getting a kickback. Harumph.

My actual meal was delightful – 3 HUGE Octopus tentacles, grilled over octopus Arancini, but le hubs didn’t love his, a brothy, ricey, thing. The broth lacked the flavor it should have had and it came with a prawn that required too much undressing at the table. Would I recommend it? No, probably not. Would I recommend taking the advice of a concierge? No, probably not. I’m bad at taking my own advice.

We were tired but managed to get ourselves back to the hotel bar (darlings, you know what I’m going to say..) and had a few peaty scotches to end the evening on the terrace of the bar. The stars were bright, the air was fresh and I felt like  a million (tired) bucks.

We slept. And slept. And slept (the palace had the most incredible blackout shades). And when we woke up, we were ravenous.

So we walked back to Porto and ate lunch at Tapas & Friends, where we were able to sample some of the more local cuisine – more Octopus (darlings, I love Octopus almost as much as I love a  hotel bar), sardines on toast (honestly, is there anything better?), cod cakes (I can say with authority that I’m over cod for the time being), the famous Francesinha sandwich (which tasted to me like a croque monsieur drenched in Chef Boyardee sauce, but listen we all have different palates) and fried potatoe skins, which I thought was genius – A. no waste and B. I am always here for a fried potatoe product. The latter came with “homemade garlic mayonnaise” – everyone here is so proud of their homemade garlic mayonnaise, and anywhere people are proud of their garlic mayonnaise, I am proud to be a friend.

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We walked through a street market – full of antiques with questionable histories, fake Cartier love bracelets (I kind of wanted to buy one…) and lots of cork products. The cork! The ceramics! The tchotchkes! Can you make it through a new city without a street market full of tchotchkes? I certainly cannot.

We did Porto the way we do all travel –  popping in and out of shops, bars, cathedrals (darlings, I love religious art, especially in Catholicism – I remember the first time I saw Jesus on the cross at the Art museum when I was little and just like every other morbid obsession of mine, I was both unable to sleep for days and also couldn’t get enough) and walking around until sunset.

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We also stumbled upon a free photography museum, which was exquisite. Housed in a former jail, the exhibitions were largely by Portuguese photographers, mainly about life in Portugal. There were haunting images of the wildfires in the center of the country, (wildfires that happened almost exactly to the date of the wildfires we lived through in Sonoma County), an entire exhibit dedicated to life on a fishing boat, which I loved, and a lot about the poverty and gangs within the city limits of Lisbon. We learned so much about the social science of the country from this museum than we would have any other way. And at the very top floor (my THIGHS!) was a exhibit on the history of the camera.

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We like to find places to watch the sunset. And so we took the advice of the bartender from the hotel (hotel bartenders are millennial concierges, don’t @ me) and we to the a little park in the middle of the city to watch the sunset. The vibe there was pure European youth. There was a cafe where we bought HUGE Super Bocks for 1Euro, found a spot on the lawn and sat with our beers to watch the sunset surrounded by people strumming guitars, writing in notebooks, making plans for the evening. This is where I felt the most joie de vivre on this particular trip.

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That night we decided to take the advice of the Times and go petiscos hopping on and around Rua dos Caldeireiros. Our first stop was Trasca, which was also our favorite of the night – a cozy space where the stone walls are exposed, the decor is eclectic and colorful and the servers are lovely. We had sardines on toast (because of course) and this incredible Portuguese sausage roll – sausage, spinach and a whole egg, wrapped in the flakiest pastry you can imagine. I could have sat in there all night and sipped on vinho verde and eaten this delicacy.

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Our next stop was  Casa Marlindo where we sat outside and ordered cold Octopus (if you’re counting, this is three meals in a row) which was poached in olive oil and like the sexiest thing I’ve ever eaten. Le hubs deemed it “too slimy,” which was fine, because I ate all of it myself. We also had gizzards, which came in a huge steaming bowl of tomatoey sauce full of sherry and cream. If we had decided to sit there all night just to nurse this bowl of gizzards, I would be OK with it, but we left half of it because it was so much. I felt terrible, but how can you possibly know how large these portions are?? Probably a gratuitous order, but we also ordered padron peppers, doused in olive oil, grilled and salted and I have never tasted a more succulent of it’s variety.

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Our last pesticos stop was Caldeireiros, which was the largest and seemingly most established of it’s kind. Unfortunately it was kind of a sour note to end dinner on. The service was curt and the food was bland, uninspired and did a disservice to the cuisine of the region with floury cod cakes and underseasons Gambas with garlic. It’s the only place on our trip that I truly wouldn’t recommend.

Our evening ended at The Royal Cocktail Club (another recommendation from our millennial concierge), which was inspiring. Although it looked like it was sponsored by Absolut, with all of the Elyx swag as decor (darlings, I may never escape, nor do I really want to, my past life in booze), the drinks were inspired, the mixologists were darling and were happy to chat with us about their methods, the city and what they love most about life. They didn’t give me a side eye when I ordered a mezcal negroni, in fact they shared a love of it. They had atomizers of different spirits behind the bar, one of which contained Laphroaig. Darlings, 2019 is the year of me wearing Laphroaig as a scent, who needs Chanel?!

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But my favorite parts of Porto?

The fishermen at the river.

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The Art.

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The Cats.

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The TINNED FISH.

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The Sun.

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The Green Tiles.

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All for now. Stay tuned for Lisbon.

xoxo lcf

1700 words on my insincere desire for emotional neutrality or why I equally love and fear my time at camp.

Darlings,

I just got home from camp. I’m exhausted, I’m hyper emotional. I’m burnt and bruised from being out of kitchen practice and a klutz in general. But I’m also happy, refreshed and grateful once again for the experience of community.

 

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Going to camp at 13 is hard. Going to camp at 32 is harder. The stakes are higher, the emotions are deeper and the ripple effect is much longer. At 32, all of a sudden, it feels like everything, even camp, is more serious. I think perhaps it’s because camp at 32 is intentional, whereas camp as 13 is expected. And even though I’ve been going back to camp for almost my entire adult life, this year felt specifically unique to me. Like I have aged out of being young and beautiful and exciting but am too easily flustered to be confident in my own self,  firm and knowledgable. My guess is that a lot of these feelings are just a buildup from the year I’ve had. My camp self has had to evolve and like my everyday self, I haven’t emotionally  quite caught up yet. I imagine that this is not unique to me, and that as a woman, every year wedges a wider divide between who you were and who you are and how long it’s appropriate to pretend the former. I know this is potentially hyperbolic, but at 32, I’m still living a full catastrophe life and with that comes the idea that people will stop wanting to be around me because my skin is not as smooth as it was, I’m more serious than I used to be and I haven’t worn a sequin in a few years. And when the setting is a room full of 250 people you admire and find to be interesting and beautiful, it’s easier to regress into feeling less than than it is to remember that maybe those people feel the same way about you. Some of them, maybe.

That being said, I could probably talk forever about how much I think about emotional neutrality – this desire to live a life void of all of these neurosis, to be at ease with who I am and how I think that people see me. Because I live in a state of constant battle of not caring what other people think and caring to the point of anxiety, the idea of neutrality sounds like heaven. But emotional neutrality to counterbalance an inferiority complex seems like it would take all the excitement out of life. I might think of it like “Brave New World.” Does the idea of a Soma-like pill excite me with it’s ability to quell all anxiety and deploy rose colored glasses for every situation? Of course. Do I think that I’d chose it over my own personal brand of anxiety? Probably not.

In my experience, when I think about neutrality, it’s almost an ethereal idea. Something that isn’t real, that could never be real. The other thing about neutrality is that I never seem to put myself in positions where I can expect neutrality either in my behaviors or in the the position in which I put myself for others to see me.

I take high stakes, high stress positions at work. I do more than I should and I always raise my hand to do more. I put myself out there in a way that I don’t need to, in a way that someone seeking any kind of emotional neutrality wouldn’t. And of course, going to camp at 32, to cook for a lodge full of people, something truly outside of my daily comfort zone, is opening myself up to not only the polars of emotion on either side of neutrality, but also the distinct vulnerability that comes with putting yourself in a position of power when it comes to something as personal as food.

Camp for me has always been an exercise in seeking centeredness, if not truly neutrality. A place where I alternately was able to learn to grow into myself when I was young, grow into some type of feigned confidence as a young adult and to find some Walden-esque peacefulness as an adult.

But I can’t pretend that I thought that camp this year would bring any peacefulness, Walden-esque or otherwise.

So I guess all of this becomes a question of why I keep going back if there’s even a part of me that wants even a little neutrality to my emotions.

It’s a question that other people have – “Why would a straight* woman go to gay camp to work your ass off all week as your vacation?”

And it’s a question that I ask myself all the time “Why would I do something that puts me in such a vulnerable emotional position when I probably should spend the week at a meditation retreat or some other bougie self care situation to try to rid myself of the daily evils of anxiety?”

I think the answer to the emotional question is that I truly believe that the more stress I put myself through, the less I will ultimately feel it. This has proven to be true for the more tangible anxieties of my day job and so I imagine the more overarching anxieties will have to break at some point too. I would not suggest you try this at home, but I like to think it might be working for me.

But really I go to camp because there are all of these things that override my own emotional fragility and all of these things that pull me in, year after year.

I think the true answer is that I go to camp because it’s my spiritual home.

I go to camp because it’s so hard. It’s hard to be on my feet for 16 hours a day, it’s hard to know how much to order, it’s hard to remember everything and everyone and do it all well. It’s important to do things that are hard. It’s easy to become complacent.

I go to camp because I’ve never experienced community like it.

I go to camp because the sky over the lake reminds me that change makes the world go round. That life, like the clouds, is always moving, always changing. and that change is sometimes swift and sometimes stale, but it happens. And while everyone can see the beauty in a Magritte sky, it’s seeing the beauty in the rain clouds that is what’s truly important.

I go to camp because the physical space holds more memories for me than any other place in the universe. And as much as we have the embrace the change of a fast moving rain cloud, we also have to reflect on where that rain cloud has been already.

I go to camp because somehow they haven’t caught on to the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing and they let me unleash my inner Bubby to feed a lot of people a lot of food. And nothing makes me feel better than feeding people.

I go to camp because in my day job, I am a strategist, not a creative. At camp, I get to be a creative.

I go to camp because I love to dance.

I go to camp because it challenges my physical being as much as it does my emotional being. Solving branding challenges and feeding a large crowd are extremely different. The pivot gives me a jump start and re-calibrates my perspective.

I go to camp because I love watching people find their own fearlessness.

I go to camp because it gives me a place to find my fearlessness.

I go to camp for the hugs.

I go to camp for the sound of rain on my cabin’s tin roof.

I go to camp because no makeup makes me feel as beautiful as I feel covered in lake.

I go to camp because the smell of a fireplace at dawn is the greatest smell in the world.

I go to camp because are you really living if you aren’t skinny dipping under the moon annually?

I go to camp because it’s important to remember the good guys still exist.

I go to camp because I like to remind myself that I can still surprise myself.

I go to camp because when the nucleus of something is love, love is always present.

I go to camp because crying is a welcome form of expression and I really like to cry.

I go to camp because even when you can’t quite articulate your feelings, someone knows exactly what you need.

I go to camp because as self conscious as I feel, I also never feel more like my true self.

And finally, I go to camp because when you find a good tribe, it’s impossible to stay away for too long. In fact, it’s detrimental to stay away for too long.

Darlings, I guess this was a long winded way of saying that nothing in life is easy. And that even the things that you think you want are far more convoluted than they appear to be. And that nobody is normal and everybody is normal. And that I worry too much about the way I look or the way I present. And that 32 is young. And that it’s an honor and a privilege to get to turn on the ovens once a year in a place that means so much to me. And that I can’t think of anything that should make me happier. And that I miss it so much. And that I’m happy right now, writing this weird thing about how I can’t seem to get life right, but can anybody really? And is getting life right a thing that ever happens? And is getting life right more fun than getting it wrong? And is it ok that I use this forum to lay it all out there? Or does that just feed into the vulnerability I already feel? And that maybe I go to camp as an emotional cleansing because it does bring out all of these questions and emotions and they are different from the things I think about everyday and sometimes new anxieties can be exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Darlings, I don’t know.

xoxo lcf

 

 

*I don’t really think straight is the right way to describe my own orientation. But it’s always seemed to be the easiest for both myself and others, especially considering I’m in a long term heterosexual relationship. It’s not that I’m bothered by it, necessarily, it just feels a little too inflexible for me.

 

Something I consider often: The state of Brian Wilson’s Happiness

Darlings,
I send the same question to my best bud, a musician, at least once a year:

“After spending so much time and emotional energy on the masterpiece that is “Good Vibrations,” do you think Brian Wilson hates performing it, or worse, seeing it performed live?”

Usually something witty follows – like “…seeing it performed live at 1.5x with a band of Hawaaiin shirts (and sometimes Uncle Jesse) so that they can get to “Surfin Safari” quick enough to appease the white zinfandel drunk aging out of middle age ladies dancing in the audience?”

Honestly, I have asked him this question no less than six times over the years. Maybe now it’s become kind of a joke. But in reality, it’s something I think about a lot.

I really started thinking about it after I watched “Love and Mercy” (which you should watch twice in a row if you haven’t seen it yet) and watched Paul Dano recreate the orchestration of “Good Vibrations” in a way that made me excited and nervous and sad all at once – and  just weeks later watched Mike Love slither through the same song on a trembling pier on the Atlantic in front of hoards of Chardonnay soaked, sunburnt women in poly blends.

 

The whole sequence of events really made me think a lot about how upsetting the process of creating can be, about how upsetting the process of living can be. And why sometimes the most creative people are also the saddest.

 

 

If my parents did one thing well (they did a lot of things well) it was to instill in me a great love and knowledge of music. I don’t think they did it on purpose – they weren’t the kind of parents who pulled out an album and explained the detail of the recording, of the history. But my mom’s love for disco and show tunes was contagious and my dad’s early onset hipness and eagerness to listen to and share anything birthed from the industrial folk complex and/or a product of growing up in the Mid Atlantic during the 70s was unmistakable.

 

Both of my parents are very cool and their musical tastes reflect this. The best compliment I’ve ever received was from a gentleman in Ogunquit Maine, where we both sat around a piano drinking cocktails singing along with the pianist. He said “I’ve never seen anyone who knew the words to as many songs as you do.” So maybe by accident, but thanks to my dad’s 6 CD changer full of Wilco, Pearl Jam, The Pulp Fiction Soundtrack, John Hiatt and Bruce Springsteen and my mom’s vinyl collection defined to me by the Cats original broadway recording, Donna Summer, Bette Midler and of course the entire Beatles Catalog, I’m pretty well versed in the music of the past 75 years. And for that I will be forever grateful.

 

Oddly, I don’t have very much recollection of The Beach Boys or Brian Wilson growing up. To grow up in such a musically inclined (dual) household and nary a peep about Brian Wilson until I found the 1996 CD cover of pretty much universally loathed “Imagination” on the floor of the back seat of my Dad’s car is kind of weird. Now I understand why no one liked it, but in 1996 when we listened to it in my Dad’s red Honda Civic, I was really taken by the oddities of his voice. It was akin to the first time I heard Chrissy Hynde on the radio. “I’ll Stand by You,” is in no way the best Pretenders track, but it will always be my favorite because it was my first. Everytime I hear “Lay Down Burden,” I get a little teary. Judge me, please.

 

As an aside – This was before the time of instant gratification in music. So at ten, instead of asking any questions about where else I might enjoy this new voice in my life, I used my allowance to  buy “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” and the single cassette of “Mister Boombastic.” But, like Edith Piaf,  Je ne regrette rien.

 

My mom as I recall, hated The Beach Boys, a feeling that was I’m sure a product of her alternative high school education, the abyss of mind alterers available to her and a great distaste for anything “conventional.” I have a pretty clear recollection of being at a fourth of July party early, early on in life – lots of red, white and blue, maybe some Zima (not for me, I was like 4) and my mom saying something to the extent of “ugh, the Beach Boys.” I don’t know that my dad ever really had any opinions. So I asked him.

He said “I don’t hate The Beach Boys. I think over the years they became kind of a joke. IMHO Brian Wilson is The Beach Boys and the various incarnations without him were a joke. Pet Sounds is a great album and, if you get the chance you should listen to The Smile Sessions.” Which of course, duh, Dad.

 

 

One of the albums that did get a lot of play on that 6 CD changer was “Rock Spectacle” by The Barenaked Ladies. It opens with “Brian Wilson,” which as a kid was a fairly benign track about a name that I knew I should know but didn’t know why – with a catchy opening and a reprise full of percussion that could get a minivan full of kids engaged and excited before there were individual screens to take care of that. Also say what you will about the Barenaked Ladies, but I love them, I danced at my wedding with my dad to “If I had a million dollars,” and like The Counting Crows,  I will defend them to the death. 

 

But now, as I think back, I believe the first time I was exposed to depression as I would experience it later in life. Depression in the context of culture, of having to keep moving until you are drowning, of having to drag yourself out of bed in the morning so you can fulfill obligations, so you aren’t lying in bed like Brian Wilson all day.

 

I have dealt with sometimes crippling anxiety for my entire life, but recently my new therapist made the suggestion that I am severely depressed and remarked that I very well may be in the midst of multiple existential crises. Darlings, I can tell you that it is a truly terrible feeling to have so much but still feel like you need to achieve so much more to live up to your own expectations of yourself, all the while feeling sad, fatigued and unable to thrive in any kind of meaningful way outside of true obligations.

 

One of my favorite coping mechanisms is thinking about other people’s state of emotions. Mostly it’s because I don’t want to deal with my own, but I also think that sometimes it’s easier to think about my own in the context of successful people dealing with the same things I am.

 

Brian Wilson is potentially the greatest musician of our time. Fame. Success. Innovation. But he still ended up obese and horizontal. For a long time.

 

Lately, it’s been harder than usual for me to get out of bed, to write anything, to cook, to do anything that has at anytime defined me, or  to think in any kind of linear way. I don’t really know who I am, and am feeling a profound loss of identity, creative and otherwise. And so while I would never compare myself on as a creative person to Brian Wilson, I do think about him a lot. And I wonder if maybe he stayed in bed because he didn’t know who he was when he got out of bed? Maybe he was scared that when he got out of bed he wouldn’t be able to match what he had done before he got into bed? Sometimes I think about Brian Wilson and if he felt like I feel now. And I think that he probably felt worse. And sometimes I think about Brian Wilson and how he feels watching his precious memories become obtuse reflections in the distance. And sometimes I think about Brian Wilson and wonder if he still feels like life is hard enough that maybe some days he’d rather stay in bed.  

 

Most days I try to talk myself out of all this, and most days it has nothing to do with Brian Wilson. Most days, it’s just me, wondering how to reconcile my minor successes in life with my constant conflicting desires to lay flat and look up at the ceiling and push myself to produce anything creative, even if it’s just a blueberry pie. What does it take to feel good about what you’ve done and not overwhelmed by what you haven’t? And when does the desire to strive outweigh the inability to?

 

You guys, mental health is no joke. There are a lot of words above, but I want you to know that if I’m struggling in this way and still have the ability to post photos to social media about how great my life is – there are others in your life who are struggling too. It’s not an easy world to live in today. And I hope that if you’ve made it this far you might call a friend, or give someone a hug and not wait for them to ask you to do it.

xoxo lcf

With a stifled vocabulary, The CDC cannot protect the American people.

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Just about a year ago, I got called out on social media for not using the right vernacular for asking a question with political and social connotations on facebook. Following this,  I have stayed largely quiet on social media when it comes to politics because confrontation over semantics on the same side seems inefficient. But also because I didn’t trust myself to always use the right words and I didn’t want to upset someone again by using the wrong ones. And because there are so many people fighting the good fight, ones who always seem to know the right words to use, why should I? Why should I on here? Why should I run the risk of in-fighting when it’s so much easier to just talk about sequins and puppies and cupcakes?

Because the CDC doesn’t want to recognize “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

That’s why.

Because we are all “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

That’s why.

And because every voice counts. And because I’m sorry if the way I articulate it is incorrect. Correct me please. We’re all always learning.

Because I am vulnerable and entitled, we all are. I believe in evidence and science, and if you don’t, that’s your prerogative, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have the ability to discuss them. I believe that we need to continue to discuss fetuses, and that they are so much more than whether or not you choose to birth what they become.

Because diversity is not a word, it’s an idea / one that can’t be defined totally or denied no matter if it escapes your lips or doesn’t or if It appears on a page or it doesn’t. One that can take the shape of another word if this one is not somehow allowed. But because diversity is the known word that allows us to discuss this idea easily and fairly, or as fairly as a word that carries so much weight can be discussed.

And, because a transgendered person is just a person. A person. No more interesting or boring than a person who was born into the right gender for them. A person. My friends. Your lawyer. Your friend. My barista. Your neighbor. Just a person. Unfortunately not enough people understand this, and so to take this word out of the vocabulary of the CDC puts this group of people in clear and present danger, especially if we can’t somehow define our friends as vulnerable in certain situations. And because to not be able to define the beauty of diversity within these confines will create a ripple effect that could potentially amplify how some people see those who are somehow different from them as a lech on their precious white America.

And none of that matters because every word they are trying to diminish somehow describes a human being. And with every forbidden word they are creating more and more barriers are defined to separate us from one another; to put labels on each other; to define differences.

And with every word they take away, they not only deny a basic right of freedom of speech, but begin to make the English language smaller and smaller until it’s only full of words a handful of people want to hear. A language that only contains vocabulary to protect those the government deigns important enough to discuss. All within the name of science (even though they don’t really believe In it).

The CDC cannot protect the American people without the use of these words. It cannot do it’s job. Words are just words, but they carry a lot of weight. Think of what happened in the years that Reagan refused to say AIDS out loud. Silence equals death.

All this to say. Love thy neighbor. Trust thy neighbor. Educate thy neighbor. Especially if they are different from you. Keep your vocabulary full of words that are uncomfortable to you. And help protect those who the government doesn’t deem worthy of their protection.

https://www.translifeline.org/

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/

https://www.aclu.org/

https://www.splcenter.org


 

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On being 7 in 1993 or It is Undoubtedly Raining in Baltimore.

Darlings,

I saw The Counting Crows live tonight for the first time since probably the early 00s. That was too long of a break and I vow to never let it happen again.

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Let me back up. You might remember the wildfires we had here in early October (I would forgive you if you don’t as most of you don’t live here and there is a heck of a lot else going on in the world right now to keep you occupied) – well, they were absolutely devastating to the community here. So many people lost their homes, lost loved ones and lost normalcy. There’s a lot of rebuilding to do, but the resiliency of this community is truly inspiring.

The company I work for decided to throw a benefit concert to both raise money and help in healing. We’ve been working pretty hard over the past few weeks to get it together, to make it the best it can be and to raise as much money as possible. And it turned out to be a great success! In fact, if you are interested in making a donation, you can by texting GREEN to 56512. All of your donations will go to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund.

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The headliner of tonight’s benefit concert were none other than The Counting Crows. A band who by the numbers has literally killed it over their 25 year tenure. Yea, twenty five years. Let that sink in. Loved by some and loathed by some, The Counting Crows are in my opinion a musical force to be reckoned with.

To be quite honest, darlings, I don’t remember a time in my life when The Counting Crows weren’t present or at least omni-present. Their first album, August and Everything After, came out in 1993, when I was the ripe old age of 7. Do I really remember much before 7?  My dad had the album. My dad had lots of albums, but I liked this and Vitalogy the best (my parents are amazing in many ways, but one of the greatest gifts they gave me was introducing me to really great music from many different genres very early. I consider it a great life skill to be able to sing along to Donna Summer, Pearl Jam, Edwyn Collins and Chris Isaac in a row.). From the time I first heard this album until right at this very moment, The Counting Crows have been a part of my life.

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Einstein on the Beach is the first song that made me feel like I had discovered something that nobody else knew about.

Colorblind signaled awkward and authentic early intimacy to me for a very long time.

I found solace in Perfect Blue Buildings – a song that I thought explained my own personal demons better than I could have ever articulated.

I could probably go on and on. About how I still think of my ex-boyfriend when Mr. Jones comes on, because one of the clearest memories I have of him is strumming his guitar, singing it with his heavy Spanish accent. About how the entirety of Recovering the Satellites reminds me of the first few years after my parents got divorced. Or that I was so inspired by Hard Candy in high school that part of my senior project was inspired by it.

Maybe because they wrote a delightfully saccharine filled theme song for Shrek 2 (which btw was nominated for an Oscar) or maybe because Duritz could be construed as an eccentric front man with a taste for Hollywood Golden Girls, it seemed like over the years, the respect for the band wilted.

And I would like to use my tiny piece of the world wide web to tell you something real.

The Counting Crows are an exceptional band and should go down in history as one of the best bands of the 21st century. 

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Last night I was having a conversation with friends about why it’s OK to love Bruce Springsteen but not Billy Joel. I personally love them both. Nobody could pinpoint a reason further than he’s a pop singer from Long Island and Bruce is well, Bruce.

So, darlings, here’s a question – Why is it OK to Idolize Wilco but not The Counting Crows?

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Tonight the band performed a two and a half hour set. TWO AND A HALF HOURS. And it was a tight as hell two and a half hours. These guys know what they are doing and they do it well. Duritz’s voice sounds the same as it did the first time I heard those opening “Sha la las” of Mr. Jones (what about that tambourine? Do you remember it?  I do).

That voice. That voice that can only be described as silky salinity full of visceral longing for all things unrequited. If that voice were personified, it would be the Arcangel Michael as portrayed by John Travolta as a sugar addicted, hyper seductive chain smoker. Darlings, close your eyes – this is accurate.

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It was a full band – two pianos, that perfect tambourine, an accordion that touched the deepest depths of my heart, a SYNTHESIZER (aka the most important and magical instrument of them all) and of  course that light touch of Harmonica that any gal who easily falls in love with musicians craves. The musical talent of this band is insane.  Similar to how I feel about The Roots, I think The Counting Crows have been playing together so long that they are almost morphing into a next generation Jam Band, which is epic. They have so expansive of a catalogue and so innate of a relationship that it feels like they are able to seamlessly expand and contract words, notes and melodies on stage, a rubber band of sound,  as if their momentary emotions were aligned and dictating the music as opposed to rehearsals dictating the nuances of the live performance.

From the balcony I fell in love with both the Canadian Tuxedoed Charlie, the multi talented percussionist whose perfect grey coif never floundered during the entirety of the show and whose Accordion playing left me feeling like an indie rock version of Amelie,  and Spiky Haired Dave who moved so deftly between literally shredding on his guitar and gently picking a mandolin that it gave me chills. The absolute versatility of this band was eyeopening.

Opening with an extended version of “Round Here,” Duritz gave me exactly what I didn’t know I needed – a view of a grown man who can still relate to the discomfort of being young and unsure of anything with but a belt of the vocals and a series of staccato physical movements truly unique to him. What was truly unbelievable, though, is that after listening to this song for 25 years, the resonance is still overwhelming. I’m sure I had no idea what I was singing along to as a 7 year old, and probably didn’t even consider the lyrics when it blasted like white noise through adult contemporary stations over the last twenty years, but as a 30something constantly on the verge, I understand Maria with the suitcase in her hand and her walls crumbling down and her inability acting normal when she’s nervous. I think there’s something significant to be said about a song that you can know for 25 years but not really know until the moment makes sense.

 

From there, they captivated the crowd with numerous hits off “Recovering the Satellites,” “This Desert Life,” a rendition of “Omaha” so perfect I nearly cried and a jam band-esque cover of “Ain’t Going Nowhere,” which darlings, is one of my favorite songs to see covered live.

Side note – one of my favorite live covers of this was at an afterparty at Newport Folk Festival led by Jim James (also, note that I was reunited with an  exceptionally talented old friend that night when I saw him on the side of the stage playing the bongo!)

 

I would also be remiss not to note that they covered Teenage Fanclub’s “Start Again,” which was all at once uplifting and heartbreaking.

(another side note: Darlings, did you know that Ben Gibbard recently released a full remake of Bandwagonesque? It’s dark and broody and I love it.)

They wrapped up with an encore of “Rain King,” and my personal favorite “Holiday in Spain.” Throughout the evening, Duritz delighted the crowd with pithy quips about their tour and his drinking habits, unusual physical responses like laying underneath the piano as the band around him built out every track into an all encompassing circle of sound and being human – he stopped for a bit to tie his shoe (safety is no accident, darlings) and tripping over the monitors at the top of the stage.

The Counting Crows are also kings of the “Sha La Las” and the “Na na nas” and darlings, you know that if there is one thing I can always get down with it’s a “na na na.”

The lyrics of Adam Duritz are truly a gift. Well, they are least a gift to me, dealing with anxiety and depression in flowery, poetic riddles that ask the listener to not only listen, but to also ask back – almost a silent call and response. I mean, darlings, is it possible that I am overthinking this? Yes. 100%. But for me, they resonate. Duritz has a public history with his own mental health and as you all know, darlings, I have my own fun in that space too. To me, his lyrics are the way anxiety manifests itself into half awake dreams during long bouts of insomnia. Troubles at work turn into big top circuses and issues with intimacy become crumbling skeletons. There is a place in the mind where things that are real turn into things that are ethereal because if they stay real, life gets the better of you. Duritz has a true talent for articulating the space where the real turns into the ethereal and the ethereal turns into the real. He is a poet and his poems soothe me.

Tonight touched me in so many ways. A community coming together to help those who hurt, musicians gifting their gifts to soothe and for me personally, taking a cathartic trip down an incredibly long memory lane.

Oh and one other very important thing. The swoon factor of Adam Duritz has been very high for me from the get-go, so this entire assessment could be based on my almost lifelong crush on that eccentric frontman with a penchant for Hollywood Golden Girls and therefore null and void. But to be honest darlings, I’m pretty sure it’s all completely valid.

Go listen to music that makes you feel.

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xoxo

lcf