Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Bunch of Random Shiny Objects

Y'all know about Bitter Southerner, right?! If you aren't reading it every Tuesday when the new articles come out, I just don't know how yer livin'.

As it says right at the top of their website: One Great Story from the South Every Week. We're here for a reason: to shed light on what it means to be a Southerner. Not what it meant to be a Southerner 20 years ago, and certainly not what it meant 120 years ago. Instead, let's talk about what it means to be a Southerner today.

The stories are kind of random, but often wonderful. Food, music, literature, culture, geography, photography, the ghosts that all Southerners seem to carry around with them. They have a little of everything. Here's one of my favorites, "From a Distance," about leaving home and "the old Southern duality thing."

This week's post, "Acadian Azaleas, 1979," is about photographer Rick Oliver who traveled around Bayou Lafourche in the Spring of 1979 taking polaroids of Cajun people with their flowering azalea bushes. If you go to the BS Facebook page, you can look at all the reader-submitted photos they've collected in the last couple of days of people posing (usually in their Easter clothes) in front of azaleas. I love it, even though I have to say my folks are more like crepe myrtle people.

It gives me the Bourbon and Branch Water Blues.

One small quibble is that Bitter Southerner is mostly focused on the Deep South, and I'm a little Fringe South. So another website that has great stories that are specifically about Oklahoma is the alternative, Tulsa-based, online news magazine This Land Press. Here's an example of a very Okie-centric article that I particularly loved about the TV show Mazeppa Pompazoidi, which I have never seen, but know about through my parents. If you've ever wondered who let Gary Busey on the TV in the first place, you'll want to read it! I also learned about this website, WhatWasThere, from This Land Press. WhatWasThere has searchable maps with user-uploaded old photos that show what a place looked like in the past. I can spend hours there!! Don't look at it! Oh no.

Here's another great link from my dear friend, Val, who knows me like I know the back of my hand. (Or should I say she can read me like a book?!?! Oh, see what I did there? Well, you will in a second...) It's a company called Litographs that sells t-shirts, bags, and prints of images made out of the text of the classic books they represent. They are tremendously cool shirts, AND it's a local business for me as it's based out of Cambridge, MA.

So, should I get The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

or The Great Gatsby?

I also love the Leaves of Grass design - perhaps for a tote bag?

Finally, are you listening to Parker Millsap yet? What are you waiting for? You're seriously missing out. Go here and watch this video of him singing "Quite Contrary" on a rooftop in New York City. You'll thank me.
Have a lovely Wednesday, you fine people.

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