Inspo: Secrets in the pavement, Miley and Odetta, talking about poverty respectfully, and Tide by Tide

Walked-all-over love notes

I walk about two miles at least each day. To get around this town, you have to rely on your two feet and a well–curated podcast roll. While I walk, I see so many notes in the pavement. Every 15th square in the sidewalk has something wonderful written in it. I like to imagine how good the cold wet goosh must feel on your finger as you write your forever note.

But, oh, what to write? I agonize over what I would choose. I like this one:


Sometimes pigeons get in on the act. I hope their little bird feet are OK after walking through wet cement. Was this the grisly scene of a pigeon on pigeon murder? Was he forced to walk through this for botching a bird seed robbery and his pigeon body is telling no tales at the bottom of the river?


But mostly the notes are things like this:


I imagine a coupling announcement is popular because it’s the first thing that comes to mind. You probably don’t have a lot of time, after all, to cement your statement, lest it dry or a construction guy spot you before you get in your partner’s full name.

I definitely have a favorite gray graffiti message. It’s brilliant. But of course, as soon as I started taking photos of these to track my favorites, I couldn’t remember where it was.

For weeks, I sought this note as if I were Ahab and it my infuriating white whale. I was determined to find it again. I grew increasingly discomforted by how looking at sidewalk squares over and over again is a lot like writing a word over and over again — the reality of that thing even being a thing becomes completely fuzzy and suddenly you’re questioning if this word, this path, YOU! are even real.

And then one morning, the sky split open, and there she was, letting her brilliance rip and her blow hole spout gloriously on my morning commute.



Miley + Odetta = <3

I’ve always been on Team Miley. She reminds me of me as a wee young lad-y wearing sequins and ruining all the decent pictures with an indecent tongue thrust and generally just doing things that make most people uncomfortable.

Buried in the silly celebrity junk piled on top of Miley is the root of her story: She’s a really, really good singer. I love her smoky, badass voice. She’s country twang turned soulful pang. That voice is as drrrrrrty as dish water and I hope she never, ever cleans it up. Her recent cover of cover of Odetta’s “Baby, I’m in the Mood for You” with The Roots on Jimmy Fallon’s show knocked my sequin socks off.

Sidebar: Favorite lyric in this song:: “And sometimes I’m in the mood, I wanna live in a pony stall!”

Oh oh oh oh oh oh… Don’t miss the Odetta version either.

The importance of telling our own stories

Family Story is an incredible program started by activist Mia Birdsong that shares stories of people living in poverty, as told by the people living in poverty. The point is to show that the story we think we know about the lower class has countless more chapters that are rich with love, hard work and promise. The big takeaway though is that it’s most empowering to let people–of any circumstance–tell their own story. Her Ted Talk is just the inspiration you need on a Tuesday.

Word choice matters

Move along if the phrase “word selection” doesn’t get the bespectacled little worm inside your head to turn on his lamp light and sit up straighter in his velvet armchair.

OK, for those of you still here, I bought this pack of Tide pods on the right a few months ago.

Having done enough laundry to need new pods (hooray, adult choices!) I picked up what I assumed was the same product.


Well, it is, but there’s one very important difference on the packaging.

Older version = Brightener


Newer version = Color Protector


Ah-ha! I don’t know if one version is newer or older, but I think “Color Protector” is such a subtle but smarter word choice for this aspect of the product. “Brightener” makes me think it will brighten my clothes, which is not good for certain colors. “Color Protector” makes it seem powerful but neutral—instilling a sense of need for this piece of the formula that “Brightener” just doesn’t evoke.

With a “Color Protector” I feel like my skivvies are free to be whatever color they want/ were born to be – and, really, that’s all this modern girl wants.

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