Tomorrow, I’m setting off on a hiking trip to Ireland. I’m incredibly excited to share what I can only imagine will be incredible pictures of oceans and cliffs and things that look old, and likely are. Also me, hiking, which should be equally amusing. All weekend I packed everything I hope I’ll need into a couple of bags, including a backpack (that I’ll be carrying as we hike) that I hope doesn’t resemble Cheryl Strayed’s monster pack. I’m only hiking for a few hours a day and sleeping in a hotel at night, so if it does end up resembling Strayed’s pack, I’m really in trouble. That said, I wanted leave you with 6 of my favorite things right now.
1. It’s been posted for over a month, but for some reason FITC‘s interview with graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister went viral last week (see below) – when Sagmeister unabashedly (and aggressively) declared that most people who claim the label “storyteller” are not, in fact, storytellers. The comment drove loads of people to debate all angles of the argument in what is probably the most articulate and well-argued comments section I’ve ever seen. Because, if we’re all storytellers then are any of us? Let me know what you think – or jump into their ongoing dialogue.
2. I’ve known of Angus and Julia Stone for years – but aside from “Big Jet Plane” their songs never really grabbed me. Until, the ABC show Revenge used “For You” in the launch of the first season. I listened to them quite a bit after that – you really have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate their soft-sung harmonies, delicate instrumentation and fantastic lyrics. If you’re unfamiliar with them, their last album Down the Way is one of my all-time favorites (they also have several really great solo albums) — and so far, I really like the sound of this new, self-titled one.
3. I’ve just been plowing through books this summer including Edan Lepucki’s California, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, and for those seasons when you feel like nothing you read is very good, this summer has been completely the opposite. I’m new to Roxane Gay, a writer/professor/blogger/etc. who is publishing two critically-acclaimed books this year – a novel, An Untamed State (blurbed by Edwidge Danticat) and this collection of essays, Bad Feminist, which comes out today. It’s been popping up in my Twitter feed for weeks, so I finally gave into the pressure, followed Roxane and bought the book this morning. If you’re a newbie like me, here’s a primer on her work.
4. Boyhood – is a new film by writer/director Richard Linklater. It’s a coming-of-age story like no other, with Linklater beginning production on the film in 2002 and concluding at the end of 2013 – utilizing the same principal cast (Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater) a few weeks a year, for 12 years. The film has been receiving incredible reviews, and I cannot wait to check it out.
5. These are Paper & Clay ceramics, made by Brit McDaniel. They are incredibly beautiful pieces (I’ve seen them up close!) with a very simple and clean design aesthetic. Below is a video produced by Choose901 (which highlights Memphis-area people/makers), where you can see McDaniel talk about how she got started and the creative community in Memphis!
6. And lastly, these things are trekking poles. After Wednesday, these might be my new best friends, along with my pack, as I trek across the southern Irish coast. I’ve never used them before, though I’ve seen plenty of them on my hikes in and around Nashville, so I’m a bit anxious about being a trekking newbie. That said, in my prep for this trip, I’ve found some fantastic travel-related blogs, so if you’re into that kind of thing – or want to be – check these out!
+ Her Packing List – a female-centric travel website including product reviews, travel logs, and, obviously, the ultimate packing guide for many locations/situations across the world.
+ Wild Junket – self-described as “a travel blog with a focus on adventure travel, created to inspire others to get off the conventional trail and seek out extraordinary experiences.”
+ Lonely Planet – Maybe the most popular place for info on what to see/do wherever you’re going.
+ Travel Tapes – My friend/video editor (etc.) Chris Paz started this up late last year to chronicle his time in Mexico, Cuba, and places far and wide across Central and South America. He’s a habitual traveller, so I’m sure this is just the beginning.