Crystals

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Synth i

synth_mixA few years ago around this time I made a pretty decent “mix tape” of songs that emphasize the Synthesizer. I felt it was diverse-ish, in that it wasn’t all Kraftwerk, and had a mix of old and new artists. But, I listened to it recently for the first time in a couple years and it is long. There was probably enough material on it to warrant 2 or even 4 volumes. Challenge accepted. I present the 1st of 4 Synth volumes for this winter, Synth i. It’s similarly structured to that one I made those many years ago, but it’s also shorter and tighter, and not quite as ambient.

I highly recommend listening to this in sequence, either while driving aimlessly home at night or with heavy duty headphones sitting at your desk. Either way, do it in the winter. This is not a summer time mix. synth_mix

David Bowie

bowieI feel like I’ve known David Bowie in some capacity my whole life. I didn’t really know what to make of Labyrinth when I was a kid, but I watched it all the time, and was incredibly creeped out by Jareth. I wasn’t into that hair, and whatever was in his pants. I’m still vaguely creeped out by him. And that movie is still weird (and wonderful), and David Bowie is still David Bowie.

I got lucky. The first Bowie album I ever listened to all the way through was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (commonly known as Ziggy Stardust). To this day it remains the most crucial album in his canon (even when you consider Low and Heroes and yes, dammit even Let’s Dance).

Aside from his wide ranging and far reaching music catalogue, which is filled with so much strange brilliance from end-to-end, I hold so much respect for him as a person. For almost 50 years… He’s always busted conventions, and done whatever the fuck he wanted. Even at the very height of the Berlin period (when he released Low, Heroes & Lodger back-to-back-to-back), when he was releasing some of the most interesting and masterful stuff, his music videos were getting banned in the UK because he dressed as a woman.

And he doesn’t end, or stop, and he’ll never die, because he’s not human. He’ll just.. Fly away one day.

I was lucky enough to see David Bowie Is at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London a few years back (not at the Tate, as some assumed). It was a really interesting exhibit which used zone-controlled listening devices, so you were constantly surrounded by the sounds of David Bowie’s voice and music, while looking at actual outfits he wore, or  room-size screens of him as Ziggy, prancing across a stage in platform boots. It made me realize how different he was, and how OK it was to be different, and how much I loved him.

David Bowie, the love I have for you is unreal. Happy Birthday.

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© Andrew Kent

Let’s Go to the Gym.

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Well, it’s January, which probably only means one thing for many people: “I want to start eating healthier and go back to the gym.” Has anyone ever gotten a gym membership in January that’s NEVER been to a gym before? I doubt it. Of course it’s a cliche to make declarations of self-improvement in the New Year. It’s so cathartic! And even though it’s totally hip nowadays to decry these resolutions as misguided and unproductive, I say Bah! Go ahead and try to better yourself. Healthy eating (Not a DIET) and exercise are good for you, and they make you feel good too. Not just physically, but mentally. And after you get past sore muscles, you feel limber and lighter. I hate carrying around a heavy body, but worse yet is my ankles and hips feeling achey. Taking daily walks always made it better.

Anyway. In the last year I went from one pair of leggings, a sport bra, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt to like, 10 pairs of leggings, 8 more hoodies, quality running shoes and a really nice sport bra. I LOVE workout clothes. I like working out, but I LOVE the clothes I get to wear. I probably lust after gym clothes more than anything else these days. They’re comfortable, they’re efficient, and brands go the extra mile now to make them ultra-stylish. Like, if I were going to be on a space ship (in the future, where I can walk around and stuff ala BSG) I’d be wearing workout clothes; they’re essentially built for the same purposes.

Anyway, AGAIN.

I honestly love going to the gym, too. I love my gym. It’s huge, and it’s always full of people. There’s energy and ambience. No harsh lights. Carpeting! A juice bar! TVs everywhere. Rows and rows of treadmills. I can really just disappear in that place. Plus a cozy locker room, sauna and pool is always nice. I like working out. What makes me happier to work out is rocking an insanely cool workout ensemble. It energizes me, makes me feel confident and motivated. When I look good, I feel good & I look good.gym&tonic

Pose Top – For Yoga. After a good yoga sesh — and they are really good when they’re good, you want to wrap yourself up in something soft and slinky. Yoga is kind of like a fitness nap. Mm, so cozy.

S’well Bottle – For HYDRATION. DUH. These are designed with eliminating plastic bottles forever in mind. Plus, they’re insulated; 12 hours for hot drinks, 24 hours for cold. And? Extremely good looking.

Dri-Fit T-shirt – Nike and Running are practically synonyms, and this is a hot t-shirt to go running in.

Racerback Tank – I’m obsessed with this brand. They’re like American Apparel for the gym – but without all the creepy porno ads. Very minimal, basic gym wear that could really just be worn anywhere.

Wireless Earbuds – Don’t be this guy.

GapFit Breathe Hoodie – Another one for post-yoga, or a brisk lake-side walk. It’s got thumb holes. It’s so cozy.

Cold Weather Leggings – I’ve pimped these a lot. They’re insane coziness, and great for running – both indoor and outdoor.

Trail Half-Zip  –  For anything. Look how flattering this *probably* is.

Wunder Under Pant – Patterned leggings always win.

Flyknit Metallic –  Nike owns running. And their shoes are mad comfy.

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