Happy Friday friends and family! I fully intended to do a “things I like Thursday” style post yesterday, but I had a late meeting, and a few experiments to catch up on: the day simply got away from me.
Better late than never is my motto, so without further ado, here are a couple of things I am into right now!
1) Lavender Country by Patrick Haggerty.
I learned about Lavender Country from this interview on the Dinner Party Download. Lavender Country is the first ever openly gay country music band. They released their first record in 1973! The album is being re-issued by Paradise of Bachelors, a collective of scholars and musicians dedicated to preserving American folk music heritage.
I think Lavender Country is amazing for so many reasons. Firstly, the songs themselves are GREAT! They have a classic old-timey country sound, with hilarious and poignant lyrics. The album is a declaration of self-determination, with a healthy dose of humor. I love the album’s political bent; however, message aside, the songs also happen to be infectiously catchy.
Secondly, the fact that an openly gay country band existed in 1973 simply blows my mind. Of course, the original record only ever sold about 1,000 copies, so they obviously didn’t have a huge following. However, these musicians deserve ENORMOUS kudos for having the courage to be themselves. When Patrick Haggerty was asked about the bravery required to sing gay-themed country songs in the 1970s, he replied that he got his courage from the unconditional love and support his Dad gave him. Three cheers for the Haggerty family! America may have a history of intolerance, but learning about these brave pioneers who faced injustice head-on with humor and compassion gives me yet ANOTHER reason to be patriotic, as well as some new and excellent listening material.
2) My new Mizuno shoes. Astute readers may have noticed something new and yellow going on south of my ankles in my latest round of selfies.
I just bought myself a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 16s.
I like these shoes a lot. I have been doing most of my long runs in a pair of Mizuno Wave Sayonaras.
However, lately I have been noticing an odd stiff sensation in the toe-box on runs longer than 18 miles. I’ve put about a dozen miles on the Riders so far, and I will be taking them out for a long run this weekend. The jury is still out on whether I will wear these for my marathon, trying something new on race day is a TERRIBLE idea; however, so far they feel supportive, supple, and speedy. I’ll put them through their paces on this weekend’s long run to see how they do.
If it’s not completely obvious, I am pretty loyal to the Mizuno brand of running shoes. I think they make a high-quality product. I like their ethos as a company as well, their latest advertising campaign: “What if Everybody Ran?” is pretty brilliant.
Mizunos kept Wendy Davis on her feet during her epic 13-hour filibuster, and they keep me running happily as well.
3) Weasle-poop coffee.
There is a special kind of coffee called Kopi-Luwak Coffee that is supposedly the best coffee on the planet, according to retailers who will sell it to you for 400 bucks a pound. The reason that this coffee is so magical and expensive is because it is made from beans that have been consumed, partially digested, and then excreted by an asian civet cat.
Apparently the digestive enzymes promote a natural fermentation that alters the composition of the beans so that it has no bitter aftertaste. My old housemate recently took a trip to Vietnam and brought me back a bag of Kopi-Luwak Coffee (rest assured, he did NOT pay anything near full price). I finally brewed it up this morning out and discovered that it is DELICIOUS. The coffee was not bitter at all: it tasted extremely bright, with lots of citrus notes. I certainly won’t be buying these magic-wonder-poop beans for myself after I exhaust my supply. I am a grad student: I can think of MANY more productive uses of $400.
However, I will certainly enjoy pretending to be a one-percenter while I brew-through the rest of this bag of delicious Poop-Coffee over the coming week.
OK- That’s what I’m liking lately. How about Y’all? What are your favorite things this week?