Six things I’m loving this month

Edgar Allan Poe

I copped a book of Poe’s spookiest stories from my family’s dusty bookshelf a few years ago. I was attracted to its crazy weird illustrations and only recently started reading its even crazier, weirder stories. So fucked up and perfectly delightful this time of year.

Imagine my continued delight, then, when PBS posted its newest episode of American Masters to my Roku box.

“Buried Alive” looks at Poe’s troubled life, his messed up attraction to a 13-year-old cousin, his unwavering criticism of American literature which turned out to be the boost it needed to truly establish itself, his development of the detective trope that’s so familiar to us today, his alcoholism, his work ethic, his mysterious death… Spooooooky…

Andrew Wyeth artwork

Ugh. Chicago has been gray and overcast for weeks. It’s so depressing. Thus, my newfound attraction to Andrew Wyeth paintings.

A 20th century realist, Wyeth’s work shows, with deft minimalism, the gray scenes of life that are somehow optimistic in their acceptance of #thestruggleisreal.


See also: Otto Dix

Maybe all that Poe and the, shall we say, stressful state of things in this country socially, has me drawn to images of the grotesque. This “Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden,” painted by the Expressionist Otto Dix in 1926, had me double take when I scrolled past it on Pinterest. I love the arresting colors, her war-worn face, her distracting fingers (that’s so Dix!), her Germanness, her “new woman”ness, her uglyness, her Bubikof (watch below), her drooping panty hose. Not to mention that color.
Learn more about her (spoiler: not actually a journalist, despite the title).

Sincere Engineer and the Girl Punk Spotify playlist

Sincere Engineer is the band name of Deanna Belos, a Chicago musician who just released “Rhombitian” in October. Clashing and dark, but vibrant too. I love it. Check it out on Spotify. She’s performing Nov. 10 at Township Chicago to celebrate the album’s release. Throw ‘bows with you there?

Sincere Engineer’s sound has made me hungry for more savage punk girls. Enter: Girl Punk playlist on Spotify. Best Coast, Punch, Trash Kit, Whore Paint, Cyndi and Sinead, just to name a few. Thank you to whomever put that shit together. You’ve been keeping me sane in this Chicago fall fog.


Also obsessed with the new album “Twurk for the Nation” by Chicago rappers GlitterMoneyyy. I saw these two perform at The Shithole and laughed my ass off.

No fucks are given as they skewer social commentary with a dildo. XOXOXOxoxoxoxoxoxOXOXXo. Do yourself a favor and listen to “Validate Me.” Or all of it, really.


Watching this Russian probe unfold

More terrifying than Poe. More dark than Wyeth. More gut-wrenching than a punk scream. Learning how much the world has changed when we weren’t even paying attention is a 21st century American horror story. It’s. Fascinating.

On this week’s Episode 47 of FemComPod, Justin and I disagree about the conclusion of the Atlantic article below but don’t disagree on how interesting the findings in it are. Listen to the article and then watch a live recording of the podcast below. Welcome to the brave new media world.


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