Published 12/31/13 by: Kaitlin
I’m a firm believer in treating yourself. While “Parks and Recreation” may have coined the phrase “treat yo’self”, I have been promoting it to friends, family and colleagues for years. I work hard every day, and serve my students the best I can, so I feel worthy of a nice treat once in a while. Sometimes it’s a manicure, or buying myself breakfast before work, but other days, particularly bad days, I may go for a big ticket item. Pictured above are the things that I covet as we enter 2014. I accepted the fact that I’m a materialistic person a long time ago, and I’ve moved on. I may be liberal, and wear a lot of moccasins, but I truly do love the finer things. Has anyone seen that pillowcase that reads, “I lied about being the outdoors type”? I don’t even bother lying. I’ll walk around outside with you and enjoy some sunshine (warm or cold), but that’s the extent of it. What have you accepted about yourself in this past year? What do you hope to accept about yourself as 2014 rapidly approaches? Do you like to treat yourself? What should make my wish list for February?
Published 12/30/13 by: Kaitlin
You may or may not know this about me, but I love live music. I will go to any show, at any venue, except for heavy metal, or whatever category Godsmack falls under. Basically, if the lead singer isn’t screaming maniacally into the microphone, I’m there. The summer time is obviously the most popular for concerts in New England because outdoor venues can reopen their gates, but I try to make an effort to spread out my attendance to shows over the winter so that I don’t cry myself to sleep at night. Below you will find my list of shows that I saw in 2013, and the ones that were on my wish list. Please let me know in the comments who I should’ve seen, so I can be on the look-out for tickets in 2014!
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at State Theater Portland, Maine June 2013
I went with a large group of friends to this show, and trekked up to Portland (about 2 hours North of Boston) for it. To say the expectations were high would be a fairly monumental understatement. The crowd ranged from older hippies to younger hippies. These guys (& gals) had been on my “to see” list for a few years, and I was thrilled to finally see them in action. Apart from the festival circuit, you don’t see a lot of bands of this size (at least a dozen people on stage) traveling on American tours as a headliner. Obviously bigger acts warrant a large back-up band, but this is a dozen people who are all part of the ensemble. It was pretty exciting. The State Theater is an awesome venue if you ever get a chance to check it out – it’s an old theater with a balcony, floor seats etc. and every show is general admission. For thirty bucks you could be in the front row, if you’re tenacious enough. I’ve seen multiple shows here, and I’m never disappointed. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros didn’t publish who their opening act was, and they moved the start time to the show up by an hour. We then endured a kind of sloppy opener, but we were confused because they looked like the Magnetic Zeros minus Edward. Could this be? Were we already seeing the headliner unbeknownst to us? Sort of. The rest of the band minus the two regular lead singers (pictured above) came out and did a 45 minute set that was kind of aimless, and the songs all blended into one another. There was a couch involved. It was bizarre. Then they took a 15 minute break, and Edward and the gang all came out, and rocked the house. They played every song I knew, and multiple songs that hadn’t been released yet. There was a lot of howling, swaying, moving and grooving going on – and that was just from the band. Edward Sharpe is what I imagine a rocker from the 70s to be like at his pique – he obviously enjoys the music he’s playing, and he feeds off of the audience. It was a shaky start, but they redeemed themselves.
Concert Grade: B
Taylor Swift with opener Ed Sheeran at Gillette Stadium Foxboro Massachusetts July 2013
This marked the third time I’ve seen Taylor Swift play at a sold out Gillette Stadium. It’s pretty difficult for me to be unbiased about her because I absolutely adore her. It’s also hard for me to not compare this show to when I saw her on the Speak Now Tour because the girl literally sang, danced, and gazebo’d over the stadium in the pouring rain. That’s hard to beat. TSwift certainly gave it the ole college try, and managed to dazzle me by having a superior opener in Ed Sheeran. His vocals, covers, and wizardry with a looping pedal were phenomenal. I’m looking forward to seeing him again when he ventures out as a headliner. Taylor played all of my favorites, and I loved that she included a secret song in the #9 spot of her set list – meaning it changed every show to whatever she wanted it to be. On the car ride to the stadium I told my brother that I was hoping for “Tim McGraw” or “Fearless” as the secret song, and when she uttered, “There’s something ’bout the way the street looks when it’s just rained…” I started screaming like a lunatic. Other highlights included Carly Simon coming out to duet on “You’re So Vein” and Taylor waltzing around the audience to one of my all time favorites: “Sparks Fly”.
Concert Grade: A-
Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen & Thomas Rhett at Fenway Park Boston Massachusetts July 2013
Photo Credit: http://j33zyyy.tumblr.com/
Here’s the situation: my lease on my apartment was up on July 31st. During a mid-July packing extravaganza with my brother in our sweaty, un-air conditioned apartment, I jokingly asked, “wanna see if we can score some last minute tix to the Jason Aldean concert?” My brother, who is usually the cheapskate in our sibling duo, said, “sure, we deserve it!” So, on a muggy, overcast day in July, Brad and I bought tickets directly behind first base at Fenway Park, and picked them up in a restaurant 45 minutes prior to the show. I want to clarify for everyone that this wasn’t really a Jason Aldean concert (although he was the headliner). This was a country festival. Miranda Lambert easily could’ve been the headliner, and her set list certainly showcased that, and Jake Owen was absolutely stellar (unfortunately we missed Thomas Rhett’s set). Imagine sitting in America’s best ballpark (in my humble opinion), and hearing about 25 number one hits from country radio in one concert. It was absurd. The crowd was rowdy, but they were some of the best people I’ve ever done a sing-along with. While I love Jason Aldean, I was underwhelmed by his set – it wasn’t that long, and he didn’t play enough of his new album (something I’ve never complained about before because it’s usually the opposite – not enough oldies). I think Miranda played just as many songs, and she was more interactive with the crowd. Brad complained that Miranda was “too twangy” and that it made her difficult to understand, but I knew her songs well enough that I didn’t even notice it. The highlights of the night were “Night Train”, “Gunpowder & Lead” and “Anywhere With You”.
Concert Grade: A-
Jay-Z & Justin Timberlake at Fenway Park Boston, Massachusetts August 2013
I don’t think I need to say a lot about this concert because it was legendary, and we all know it. The highlight for me was that there wasn’t one defined headliner – they took turns performing mini-sets of songs. Moment I needed to be fanned from fainting number one:: when Justin sang “New York, New York” Sinatra-style with just a spotlight on him, and it led into Hov belting out “Empire State of Mind”. Moment number two: when Justin covered Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” which led into “Izzo”. They closed the show with “Forever Young” together, and managed to get the entire audience in Fenway Park on their feet, waving their cell phones in the air. It was majestic.
Concert Grade: A
Published 12/28/13 by: Kaitlin
If you are above the age of twelve, you most likely got spending money, gift cards, or both for this holiday season. It’s because you’re difficult to shop for, you buy everything you want, or the items you desire are too expensive so your relatives want to put some money towards you saving up for that PlayStation 4 etc. There are a myriad of reasons why relatives seek the easy way out and let you choose your own gift. When I was younger, I saw it as a cop out, and was disappointed to not have anything to unwrap. As I get older, and the internet marketplace becomes more exciting (see Etsy), I have become the Queen of Gift Cards. Seriously. I currently have a Very Bradley pouch in my new purse completely devoted to gift cards because I received so many for the holidays (thank you students, mom, et. al.). So, I figured this was the perfect time to have my first gift guide post on We Are The Tide!
I now present to you, how you should blow your holiday money in January 2014:
For the jewelry lover:
Anna Beck Designs – classic looks, especially for someone who enjoys two-tone jewelry. I own the reversible teardrop pendent, and it’s one of my most versatile necklaces. Worth noting: some of her designs are only available at Nordstrom.
Elisha Marie Jewelry – statement pieces for funkier folks. I wear my Elisha Marie items daily, but I’m also a hippie-dippie English teacher, and feel it’s my privilege to do so. Ha.
Ann D. Kearney Designs – stunning metalwork. It’s classic, yet original. In fact, I wish I hadn’t clued you in about her, because I want my pieces to dazzle all.the.time. Oh well. She’s too good not to share.
For the art lover:
Draplin Design Co. – Kitschy graphic art printed on hats, posters etc. I was gifted the Boston poster below, and can’t wait to get it framed!
Cathy McMurray’s Artwork & Etsy Shop – Absolutely beautiful watercolors. Cathy incorporates nature, a Native American vibe, and geometrics into her one of a kind pieces. I have trouble picking just one to include in my apartment decor.
For the homebody:
L.L. Bean Slippers – this is the best loungewear companion any girl or guy could ask for, and they come in all shapes, sizes, colors – all with a lifetime guarantee! What more could you ask for?
Pendleton Blankets – An American brand done right. The quality of their product is unparalleled, and who doesn’t need a nice, bulky blanket in the winter?
For the media consumer:
You should snag any of these shows’ complete series on DVD because I’m telling you. Blindly follow my lead, because when it comes to TV, I don’t mess around. (All available for cheap on the shopper’s godsend that is Amazon)
For the fan of game night:
Both of these games are a blast with or without adult beverages. Again, these are all readily available on Amazon.by
Published 12/25/13 by: Kaitlin
Plunging necklines, gold chains, a soundtrack boasting Elton John, and hairspray by the ton. This is the footprint of “American Hustle”; It’s what you see on the surface. As you dig in to this movie, you soon realize that it’s not your average heist flick. Most films of this genre revolve around one major heist – usually “the last big hit” before all the savvy criminals bail out and attempt to retire on a tropical island far away from their seedy pasts. Some of that rings true in “American Hustle”, but for the most part, it’s people trying to dig themselves out of the hustles gone awry.
When we meet Christian Bale’s character Irvin Rosenfeld, he’s at the peak of his hustling. He calls himself a con artist, and he meets his match in Sydney Prosser, played impeccably by Amy Adams. They are drawn to each other, and start hustling people through a loan business they set up. They’re in love, and they flaunt it in fur coats and tinted shades. The movie doesn’t really heat up until the two are caught, and forced to help the FBI sting four people in fraudulent business. This is when the hustles start layering one on top of the other. The more aggressive the FBI (specifically Bradley Cooper’s Richie DiMaso) is, and the more convoluted their operations become, Irving’s agitation arises, which leads to his romantic and professional relationship with Sydney being at risk.
Throughout the movie you’re left wondering who can trust each other, what people’s true feelings are, and what’s intentional or unintentional. The cast is very character driven, as they all have their quirks and punchlines. Jeremy Renner was superbly cast as a blue collar New Jersey mayor trying to rebuild Atlantic City, and Louis CK is a deadpan FBI supervisor (a glorified paper pusher) whose mundaneness is noteworthy. While Bale’s performance was transcendent – I mean, I actually forgot I wasn’t in 1978, where microwaves were aptly referred to as “science ovens”, it’s Jennifer Lawrence who steals the show. Lawrence plays Bale’s neglected, house-bound, sarcastic wife. She’s hilarious, terrifying, delusional, and beautiful simultaneously. I wouldn’t be shocked if she pulled off another Golden Globe this awards season.
For those of you looking for a typical heist movie, this isn’t it. If you like good one-liners, a nice perm, and quirky characters who may con you out of a free breakfast, then this is for you.
Kaitlin’s Grade: Bby
Published 12/11/13 by: Kaitlin
During the summer of 2013, ABC Family did something that none of us expected: it created a show that developed dialogue about family definitions, political standpoints, and how love should really conquer all. ABC Family’s (relatively) new show, “The Fosters”, follows the daily obstacles and triumphs of a family led by a bi-racial couple who happen to both be women. This double-matriarch household also has some other atypical characteristics: four out of their five children are adopted, and two of them are Hispanic. If you’re counting, this means that the Foster household encompasses one gay marriage, and three different races/ethnicities. I also think it’s worth mentioning that the mothers both work in fields that serve the people: Lena is a vice principal at a charter school, while Stef is a police officer. On the surface, this is a show about a very diverse family trying to lead their children successfully day by day. On the grander scale, this show is harboring feelings of tolerance in an audience that may not be aware of their own opinions. In other words: ABC Family’s viewership just became a bit more open-minded. Why? Because they’ve humanized what a modern family looks like and put them in situations that most of us have also had to dig ourselves out of. It also helps that everyone is adorable.
The show is returning for its second season on January 13, 2014, and I’m making every effort to convince people to watch it as a catalyst for important conversations that may have otherwise been avoided. The days of handing your daughters a book about getting their period are over. You now have glamorous television shows (willing to take risks) to turn to as an introduction to some difficult topics. Take advantage of “The Fosters”!
Topics Covered In the First Season:
Rape, abortion, bi-racial marriage, lesbian marriage, illegal immigration, rumor-spreading, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, Quinceaneras, ethical responsibility in educational practices, ethical responsibility when fostering children, religious oppression, lying, teenage drinking, teenage sex, drunk driving, runaways, gifted children, and the role of law enforcement in a community.**
**That list is staggering when you consider that the first season was only 10 episodes long. You may be thinking after perusing the list above that this show is overly dramatic, or displaying teenagers in the most extreme scenarios in order to provoke conversations and trend on twitter, but you would be very wrong. The show’s integrity and craft is above anything I’ve seen on ABC Family, and its ability to be simultaneously genuine and controversial is an achievement worth applauding.by
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