Archive for ‘INSPIRATION’

October 17, 2014

Sweet Sounds Alabama

Muscle Shoals Road Trip

“Buy a chevy get a gun!” announced the radio commercial somewhere in Mississippi followed by another commercial with a sultry women’s voice enticing the listener, “ever wanted to get into exotic dancing, come down on talent night and make lots of money”.

Leaving Memphis we drove through Mississippi and Alabama to get to Muscle Shoals. The trees in Mississippi have vines growing all around them, connecting each tree with an overgrowth that sweeps down up and around. Men drove tractors on the side of the freeway keeping nature away from the road, pulling trailers that pushed down on the long grass and probably cut the vines.

I’d seen the documentary earlier in the year, and it motivated me further to start planning actual stops on our road trip. Bowerbird and I being music nerds, Muscle Shoals was a must see destination followed by Fame Studio which is around the corner and down the street. The documentary is a little confusing when it comes to the timeline of both studios, but Muscle Shoals Sound studio was established after the partners at Fame studio decided to go their separate ways.

Trying to be a prepared tourist, I messaged Muscle Shoals Sound earlier in the month to make sure they we’re open the 8th as I know the studios will be restored. I got a friendly reply back saying the studios were open till 2pm that day. Bowerbird and I do not arrive places early together, more like right on time. So when we of course left Memphis a little later than intended, we tried to be light hearted and joked the entire way to Muscle Shoals, looking at our GPS which read ETA 1:57 and every time we increased our arrival time I’d chime “we will have 6 minutes at the studio – damn now only 3 minutes – come on sweetheart I know we can get 9 minutes.”

As we drove up I saw someone from the studio come outside and remove the open sign from the front lawn. I had Bowerbird flip a Dukes of Hazard u-turn and hopped out of the car before we officially parked. Opening the door to the studio, the adrenaline was pumping as I asked the guide if we could still look around. She kindly said yes, her name being Georgia.

The Muscle Shoals tour is informal with a capital I. You walk around this hallow ground, where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote music, Simon and Garfunkel recorded, the sound of a generation was shaped at your own speed. Pictures hung on the walls with the famed musicians working in the studio, writing is physically written on the wall like playful boys marking their spot. The toilet seat from which “Wild Horses” came into fruition. Georgia shared stores with us, explained the structure of the building, and how tiny it felt when it was originally in operation due to how large engineering equipment used to be. To think now most people just make music on their laptops, and before it took an attention to detail and agility to make sure everything was laid right because the last thing you can afford is a botched recording.

Apparently one of the Swampers haunts the property today, and most of the photos I took are blurry, so it makes you wonder. Although I didn’t feel any spooky spirit, not like I did in West Virginia but that’s another story. Here are a few of my favorite shots from Muscle Shoals.

After Muscle Shoals we visited Fame Studios for a tour. Still an operating studio, we only saw Studio B as they were recording in Studio A. The history of Fame was shared along with the stories that directly came from Studio B. My favorite being guitarist, Duane Allman camping outside Fame Studios until Rick the owner would give him a chance to perform and record. He slept in the parking lots for weeks till he was given a chance, and I just loved the story of commitment and roughing it out to get what you want. It’s a metaphor for all success, because the road to success sure isn’t comfortable.

Bekka an d Bowerbird at Muscle Shoals Sound

We are in South Carolina right now, and clearly in the second half of the trip, 3rd quarter. I’m trying not to get sad, while already on it. Mourn the loss of the trip, while I still have more states to go to I’ve never seen. Tonight is Atlanta, the day after possibly southern Alabama and next Monday – New Orleans! Ok I’m no longer mourning, I’m just excited. So many wonderful things have happened on this trip, even a few weird things. But altogether I’m living my dream, I’m seeing new sights. Yesterday I picked cotton off the side of the road. I’m experiencing life in a way I don’t normally get to, and that in itself is the greatest part of this adventure. It’s new.  For me a full life is achieved when you seek out new experiences, break routine, and get out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s a thrill seeker going to a silent yoga retreat or a shy introvert going on stage and belting out their voice. Variety is the spice of life they say, so let’s spice it up!

June 27, 2014

“Cool Girl” Style Conspiracy

The fashion world created the “cool girl” style and I will forever be grateful. Bed-head hairstyles, or quick top knots with bold lips and an excellent hand at liquid eyeliner. The women of New York realized they needed a solution to looking chic with as minimal effort as possible, because the women of New York are exhausted!

Yes, I am calling out the editors, assistants, associates, and the ambitious mothers of invention who work all-day and then network all night. Alarm clocks set to the last possible minute before being late to work, buzzing to wake up hard working individuals, desperate for at least 6 hours of sleep. There is no time for a beauty routine longer than ten minutes when you need to get ready quickly. Throw on a simple ensemble of stylish black pants, an effortless tailored top, and maybe a jacket, if the weather calls for it, and it’s out the door. Presentable, but not haggard at their day jobs, because under those stylish glasses, below the perfect cat eye, and covered by a Nars concealer are their “bags of honor.”

Puffy and dark, the bags under one’s eye indicates a lack of sleep due to the drive and determination one has to succeed, all while not giving up their social life. By Thursday, I am rocking my own “bags of honor”… with a full time job, freelance projects, passion project, and happily the supportive girlfriend of a musician, my body and beauty routine has learned to cope on 5.5 hours of sleep.

I will not look in the mirror and judge myself for not looking like a well rested teenager, my skin a little sallow and eyes possibly glazed. No, I will see my puffy, dark circles and declare them my “bags of honor”; for my week has been filled with new connections, tending to old friendships, accomplishing fabulous projects, and being an essential member of my 9-5 team.  All while running on B-vitamins, lots of coffee, water and whatever I can remember to feed myself.

New York is a city fueled by ambition, and the fashion publishing industry. With an increase in easy hairstyle and quick beauty stories, I’m happy they dubbed what was previously known as “the rushed look” the “cool girl” style. No longer does this California girl have to look polished by spending hours on her hair for an at home blow out.  All I need is dry shampoo and a good concealer. Covering my “bags of honor” only to make every one wonder… how does she do it!

cool girl style collage

April 12, 2012

I adore her

I’d like to say I think we all are always figuring it out, I never think I have it figured out, but I’m happy the youths (young women) of today have a cool chick like her to look up too and have an awesome site to go to for advice. Cause teen magazine(s) sucks, especially for the alternative teen.

January 17, 2012

Best Face Forward

I have this second Aunt, my father’s Aunt. Aunt Alice, she is the most divine woman. I love/d my grandma, but she had nothing on Aunt Alice’s style. Always posh, she always wears s skirt suits (she made) that could give Miss Coco herself a run for her money.  I admire her style, and wish to posses that kind of elegance at her age (which is 91). Right now I wear jeans and hoodies etc, but after 80 it’s all about Aunt Alice class and Iris Apfel creativity.

Anyway one day I told Aunt Alice how I just thought she was the most posh woman I have ever met.  I love everything she wears, and wish to posses that same grace. She then told me that her mother told her once, that whether it is to the market or out to dinner always leave your house looking your best and putting her best foot forward.  With Aunt Alice’s mother in my head, I have noticed the world is different with your best face forward.

I might not always dress to the nines, but now whenever I leave the house I make sure my hair and makeup are “done” (I put done in quotations because I think a messy bun or wavy hair includes my hair being done). Mostly my makeup has to be done, foundation and blush since I have bad acne. And it maybe that I am more chipper with my face done up, less insecure so I don’t avoid eye contact.  But I’ve noticed when I go out and have makeup on, I get better customer service. The cashier giving me 15% off discount meant only for card holders, or my billion questions answered with a smile (this includes men and women), I receive better service.

At first I thought of calling this post “Privileges of the Pretty”. But I don’t think it’s about the fact I have makeup on or not I look prettier that is getting the positive results. It’s me leaving my house with my best face forward, following Aunt Alice’s advice and just putting the best of me out there. Not to say I HAVE TO HAVE makeup on at all time. There are plenty of quick errands I make with no makeup on, but if I want a little extra care, I put a little extra care into myself first.

January 3, 2012

crush on camus