Let’s Get Balanced

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EDITORS NOTE: Bringing you The Weekend Mix today is one of our new contributors Esther McCaskill-Baker! Note: While there are Amazon links here, they are NOT affiliated ones. We only use affiliate links on explicitly affiliate posts, in case you were worried. The links are included simply for ease of use. 

It’s the start of Libra season and this week’s The Weekend Mix is one of the first ones to include some fitness and lifestyle youtube recommendations. So, take the opportunity this weekend to get nice and balanced for a spooky October. Here are some picks for music, youtube channels, tv shows, movies, and books to check out this weekend!

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  • Feeling Jazzy? Try some Norah Jones- Perfect if you’re in a jazzy mood, she’s an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Known most perhaps for her 2001 song “Come Away with Me”, now is a great time to check out her 2016 album “Day Breaks” or her 2017 single “Unchained Melody“.
  • More Interested in Metal? Give Jinjer a listen, a Ukrainian 4 piece progressive metal band. Try their 2016 album, “King of Everything
  • Want some Rock? Consider Icon for Hire, a rock band from Decatur, Illinois, with their 2016 album “You Can’t Kill Us
  • Leaning More Towards Rap? Check out Ivan B’s 2017 album, “Forgive Me for My Honesty“.
  • Need Folk or Electronic? Give Halsey’s “hopeless fountain kingdom(Deluxe)” album a listen for that synth-pop craving. Try Anaïs Mitchell to get folk-ed up.

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Youtube

  • Let’s Get Physical: Some fitness gurus I like to turn to on Youtube include Whitney Simmons, a fitness guru, Team Richey, a male crossfit athlete who does GREAT collabs, and Nikki Blackletter, a fitness guru.
  • Meal Prep & Lifestyle: Jordan Cheyenne and Sarah Rae Vargas are also favs. They range from meal prep to lifestyle to self-acceptance.
  • Social & Philosophical Commentary: For social commentary and hilarity, The Gabbie Show is a great show. On the intellectual side, BBC’s The Big Question and Intelligence Squared Debate are good choices. BBC’s The Big Question’s “Did Man Create God?” and Intelligence Squared’s “We Should Not Be Reluctant to Assert the Superiority of Western Values” are two of the best debates!
  • Must-See Web Series: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modernized adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (Developed by Hank Green and Bernie Su for you Nerdfighters out there).
  • Special Video Pick: Check out Amanda Bucci’s “Keys to Success from the Summit of Greatness

 

TV Shows

  • Underground– Originally on WGN this underground railroad focused series is available on Amazon Video.
  • Flash Forward– While this show is about seeing the future, it’s a nice glimpse into the past. Watch this ABC series that aired 2009-2010 on Amazon Video
  • The Good Wife– Starring Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies, watch this political drama on Amazon Video
  • United States of Tara– Created by Diablo Cody, watch this compelling and funny series on dissociative identity disorder on Amazon Video
  • Atypical– Watch this compelling 2017 show, created by Robia Rashid, on the autism spectrum. Catch the first season on Netflix

Movies

  • Suite Française– Looking for a new drama? Check out the story of a French woman in Nazi-Occupied France and the German officer quartering in her home on Netflix
  • What Happened to Monday– If you’re interested in exploring a more dystopic flick check out What Happened to Monday on Netflix, featuring Noomi Rapace, Willem Dafoe, and Glenn Close. 
  • Friends with Kids- If you’re interested in a comedy, check out this one about navigating adult life with children on Amazon Video, featuring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Jon Hamm.

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Books

  • Oracle of Glass by Judith Merkle Riley– Feeling like some historical fiction? Using actual police records from the reign of Louis XIV, Riley’s work dives into the world both of the occult and the French court. Available on Amazon.
  • Julia’s Chocolates by Cathy Lamb- More in the mood for romance? Follow the story of Julia Bennet after she leaves her blueblood abuser fiance and moves to the town of Golden, Oregon. Available on Amazon
  • Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller by John Connolly- Want to get into a series? Start exploring crime with the private detective Charlie Parker as he investigates a missing girl. Available on Amazon
  • A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey- Do you see the world we live in today and wonder, how did we get here? For some insight, check out the history of the doctrine. Available on Amazon.
  • The Divide by Matt Taibi- In addition to Harvey’s work, don’t forget to check out Taibbi’s look into American Injustice and the age of the Wealth Gap. Available on Amazon.
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath- Interested in Self Improvement? Evaluate yourself with StrengthsFinder 2.0. Available on Amazon.

💗 That’s it, everybody! I hope you have a balanced and peaceful weekend! We’ll see you next week!  💗

Prime B1tches: Living the Remote Life

┏┓
┃┃╱╲ in
┃╱╱╲╲ this
╱╱╭╮╲╲house
▔▏┗┛▕▔ we
╱▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔╲
order a lot of sh*t on Amazon Prime
╱╱┏┳┓╭╮┏┳┓ ╲╲
▔▏┗┻┛┃┃┗┻┛▕▔

That’s right. Every week the mailman knocks on the door with piles and piles of boxes. This is mostly because not only are we transportationally challenged and work from home but because our mom is currently wheelchair bound, it’s a great shopping solution for all parties involved.

~  W e ‘ r e   P r 1 m e   B i t c h e s  ~

That’s why I wanted to experiment with the Amazon Affiliate Program with a lot of different blog posts. Essentially, this is part of a series of sponsored posts where we do Amazon supply lists to give you tips and insight, this week we’re looking into essential supplies for working from home. Working from home can also be very lonely, messy, and mess with your brain a little. Actually, my favorite depiction is this:

 

via Hannah Hillam

It’s actually a pretty accurate depiction of me, right now, writing this blog post. So with that in mind, here are 5 recommendations from me to help your work-from-home experience.

1. Cafe Bustelo

via HYESU LEE on Behance

I remember the day I first saw it— years ago when I used to wander aimlessly around Target for hours killing time before and after my movie theatre shifts, I saw this glass bottle on the top shelf:

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via Target

I took it home with me and it’s been one of my favorite things ever since. Most instant coffees, while they do have value, they make you feel a little sad. There’s something missing in the flavor or the panache or something, but Cafe Bustelo Instananeo is simply perfect. I gave it up because I didn’t need to be that keyed up working at a movie theatre thinking about the meaning of life, but now that I’m working from home, it’s exactly the afternoon pickup I need. Now, I don’t get it from Target, I get it from Amazon (Affiliate Link). Whether for days, I can’t bring myself to make a pot of coffee or for a little lift in the afternoon, it’s perfect for getting through deadlines. Just a spoonful of it, plus some honey and half and half, it’s a creamy and razor-sharp way to get moving.

2. Herbal Tea

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Yes, there are a lot of beverages on my freelance must-haves. I’ve always been into black tea, but when I started working at an internship at Atlantic BT, I started having a herbal tea in the afternoon when I got my afternoon mental-block. I’d just walk to the break room, grab a peppermint or green, and be able to step back from the research of whatever I was trying to write.

When I started working remotely and getting into being a Prime B1tch, I started ordering herbal tea as a way to take a break. Especially if you’re pounding caffeine, herbal tea is actually a great way to hydrate and strengthen your focus.

Here are some of my top picks (Affiliate Links):

  • Turmeric Ginger Tea–  I started picking this up because I not only work as a writer, but I also teach theatre classes to children. As I started to do it more, I noticed I kept getting infected with some funk. To boost my immune system, I started drinking Turmeric Ginger Tea. Not only does it help keep me moderately healthy, but it also is a stomach settling and tasty hot tea.
  • Lemon Ginger Probiotic Tea – This is definitely one of Sarah’s favorites. It’s a milder stomach settling tea that is great if you’re looking for probiotic benefits. The mild taste is also a great, happy pick-me-up for hard afternoons.
  • Get Some Dank Bigelow Tea-  I know not everyone is into Bigelow teas but I am. While I admit they don’t have the best teabags for steeping, they have some great herbal teas that are individually packaged so they don’t lose flavor.  In particular, I love Sweet Dreams tea any time of the day.

Of course, those are just a couple teas you can try. Either way, I would recommend picking the right flavors and kinds for you.

3. Give Yourself a Real Set Up

via Giphy

Just like the herbal teas, I can blame Atlantic BT for the dual monitor life. Here’s what our office looks like:

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Plucky Media                                                                                                                  While you might be thinking,

“Hey, I don’t need to feel like a space captain to get my work done”

It actually really helps to be able to separate your work out and use two monitors at the same time. If you work from home, it CHANGES THE GAME. Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Monitor– That’s the basic thing. I’m not saying you need the biggest one in the world, the one I’m using right now is this one, but there are tons you can choose from (Affiliate Link). Sarah actually uses the monitor left over from the family computer our family bought when we were in elementary school. It’s whatever is in your budget and whatever works.
  • Dongle + VGA Cable- To make the monitor a part of your laptop, you’re going to need to use a VGA adapter and probably a dongle. I actually use the same dongle (Affiliate Link) as I used on my MacBook Air as on my current Google Pixel. Your monitor probably comes with one, but if you need a cable, a standard VGA cable (Affiliate Link) should be fine.
  • Wireless Mouse and Wired/Bluetooth Keyboard – It can be super annoying to use the keyboard and track pad when you have two monitors. That’s why I definitely recommend getting a wireless mouse and keyboard. I use a Logitech Mouse (Affiliate Link) and a USB keyboard. While Sarah uses a wired Apple Keyboard (Affiliate Link), I’m really happy with my Light Up Gaming Keyboard (Affiliate Link).

Those are just a couple of things that can help you technology wise when comes to working from home.

4. Bluetooth it Up!

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Pictured (From left to right): Molly Riddick as “Lil’Bitch”, Nicole Benjamin as “Cunt”, and the Bluetooth speaker

One other thing that can help you tech wise is by making sure you have the music setup you need. One item, that we actually bought for our production of The Amazing Cunt and Lil’Bitch Take Your City, is our stand-up and light up Bluetooth Speaker (Affiliate Link). It’s great not only for blasting the Steven Universe soundtrack, but for playing video game stream audio, and any other background-noise needs you have.

If you need headphones, I also definitely recommend taking a look at some great Bluetooth Headphones (Affiliate Link). Cords aren’t a big deal, but it’s great to get them out of the way and have room for movement.

5. A GOOD Chair

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This might be the most important thing. For almost my whole year of working from home, I was using really bad chairs. From the short kitchen chair I was using to the bench I was sitting on for months, I started to notice a TON of back pain. While doing yoga videos every once in a while helped, I knew I had to make a change.

I recently invested in a rolling office chair and it really helped. While I still have some back pain from doing a mostly sitting job, it’s helped a lot. I got this one (Affiliate Link), and it’s great, but you know, also consider your own budget. Sarah recently just swapped out her wooden chair for an armchair in the living room and that’s working for her. It’s important to think about your health while working from home and prioritizing what your body needs.

Need More Tips?

While we do a lot of pop culture criticism on here, we’re also passionate about remote working and self-care. As Prime B1tches, we are going to be experimenting more with Affiliate Amazon content to see if it’s a viable income stream. Let us know if you liked this kind of comment with a share or a like or you can even comment below. This is just something we’re trying out. I tried to make this as personable as possible so even if you don’t click the link, you got some tips on the process.

 

Meet Mackie!

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Hey, everybody! Plucky Media is proud to announce our new contributor, Mackie Raymond! She has some kick-ass content coming your way, so be sure to stay tuned for all the great stuff she’s about to publish! Everybody give her a warm welcome! Here is some of her information below!

Mackie is an actor, singer, and visual artist living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also a fourth-year student at North Carolina State University, studying Communication Media, Vocal Performance, and Arts Entrepreneurship. She works part-time for NC State’s Crafts Center and NC State’s Disability Services Office, and as Raleigh Little Theatre’s first annual Jack Hall Artistic Intern. Mackie has performed with a number of local theatre companies, including Bare Theatre, Theatre in the Park, Temple Theatre, Burning Coal Theatre, Sonorous Road Productions, and NC State University’s TheatreFest, and is a co-founder and managing director of Star Pocket Theatre Collective. In her free time, she’s usually reading graphic novels, listening to podcasts, playing PC games, and geeking out about Steven Universe. Yes, simultaneously.

Mackie already has some sweet recommendations on her The Weekend Mix from September 15! Check it out here! We’re so excited to have her onboard!

I’m Dreaming of a Grubby Tap

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Hey! I dunno about you guys, but this week took it OUT of me. Anyways if I’m not alone on feeling blah this week, I hope you can find some time to do stuff that you love this weekend. So yeah! Let’s put this week behind us and get to the GOOD STUFF! Here’s my take on the weekend mix!

What to Watch:

  • South Park: If you hate them, I don’t blame you…keep on scrolling to the next recommendation if you have no interest. South Park, however, is airing right now on Wednesday nights, so if you wanna hop in, now’s the time. So yeah, I will say that South Park’s last 3 seasons are the best that they’ve ever been. I also really think it’s very interesting that they make almost every episode in 6 days. It’s current, and it talks about stuff as it’s happening. They got thrown off by the 2016 election, and the final episode of last season (unfortunately) derailed but watching their commentary was incredibly compelling and relevant. I’ve never 100% agreed with them, but I do think that *some* of their criticisms are valid. Anyways…if you hate them I understand.
  • Drag Makeup Tutorial: Trixie Mattel’s Legendary Makeup:I love Trixie Mattel, and I think you should too. Fun Fact: I love watching makeup tutorials, especially drag makeup. I love how their makeup tells a story about their characters and it’s such a cool art form. Also, Trixie is hilarious. Enjoy!
  • Salad Fingers: Ugh you may hate me for recommending this, but I DON’T CARE. I’m not kidding or being ironic when I say this, but I LOVE SALAD FINGERS. SUE ME! I think it’s such a cool little story, and it’s also such a cool historical thing in the youtube community that I think everyone (within reason) should watch. It took 10 years to make! History! AH! Old school flash animation is such an important part of internet culture, and Salad Fingers is arguably the Magnum Opus✨ of this art form. Watching Salad Fingers is a rite of passage for any internet-y kid out there! I will say that it’s very unsettling and features some gore, so if that’s something that isn’t cool for you, then you should just skip it. Also, when you finish watching the whole series, check out these theories by The Film Theorists! The links to the theories are down below!

What to Read

Here are some great essays to check out as well:

What to Listen to

  • Bad With Money: Ok Gaby Dunn taught me so much about financial literacy. I had to figure out a lot of finances on my own growing up, so having her podcast has been great. I’ve learned about how banks really operate, the stock market, and lots of other great things. The guests she brings on really help, and she talks about money in a very relatable way. Finances are hard, especially as an artist! You learn financial literacy with her and you don’t feel so alone.
  • Wisecrack’s THE SQUANCH: Rick and Morty PodcastIf you’re watching Rick and Morty, it’s really cool listening to these guys takes and opinions on what’s happening. I wiiiill say that they kinda piss me off because they’re almost too analytical, but I do enjoy most of it. So yeah, if you’re obsessed with Rick and Morty, and always want more, then it’s great getting a mild Rick and Morty session with these guys.
  • Hopeless Romantic by Michelle Branch: UMMM HAVE YOU GUYS LISTENED TO HER NEWish ALBUM????? Okay, okay, this album has been kinda my go to this past Summer. It talks about romance, broken hearts, and moving on while still keeping hope. Typically I kinda stray away from listening to tooooo many romantic things, but Michelle Freakin’ Branch, Y’ALL (I love her). Ugh, it’s just such a GOOD album you guys. I believe you can listen to it on Apple Music as well as Spotify.

That’s it, everybody! I hope you have a great and peaceful weekend! We’ll see you next week! 💖

 

The 🍵 Tea 🍵 on Every Zodiac Sign !

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If there are two things we love at Plucky Media HQ, it’s our expansive tea collection and the zodiac. Whether you get your zodiac content from the @poetastrologers, @astrologyheaux, or through zodiac based tumblr memes, there’s nothing better than the intersection of the zodiac and pop culture! Also, NO TEA NO SHADE NO PINK LEMONADE, but the other tea article we read got everybody’s tea COMPLETELY WRONG, so I had to fix that!!!! Anyways, here’s the tea on every zodiac sign bbys.

1. Aries

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“I never go outside unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.”

– Joan Crawford, Aries

Aries is known for being courageous, optimistic, being incredibly passionate (and sometimes aggressive). The Aries mind is always active and ready to tackle anything they put their mind to. Passion Tango Herbal Tea. It’s a sweet, warming, and packs a punch, just like the Aries!

2. Taurus

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via Today

“Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.”

– Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Taurus

You’re a down to earth person that’s steadfast, secure, a little stubborn, and has that bit of fire. Your tea is going to be Constant Comment by Bigelow Tea. You and Constant Comment are both bright, bold, and sweet (with just a little spice).

3. Gemini

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via Giphy

“A strong spirit transcends rules.”

-Prince, a Gemini, amiright?

If you’re a Gemini, then you are high-energy, witty, and rarely stay still for long. Because of your changeable and flexible nature, you’re the Rooibos Tea. Rooibos or “red tea” isn’t technically a true tea, but an herbal infusion. It’s harvested as a young plant, and because of that, it tastes sweet, grassy, and floral. The innocent and carefree nature of Gemini pairs so nicely with this type of tea.

4. Cancer

Stay Plucky

 


Oh, Jaden, you sweet baby Cancer. You and your emotions go hand and hand. You seek safety and value the closeness with others, especially family. Because you crave comfort, you are the Royal Myanmar Tea Mix. People in Myanmar typically drink their tea with condensed milk. It’s sweet, indulgent, and the perfect comfort tea for a Cancer sign.

5. Leo

via tumblr

Cole Sprouse— #classic Leo.

Leos are larger than life and the center of attention. They can command a crowd in seconds. The perfect tea for the Leo is Egyptian Licorice Tea. Egyptian Kings used to ingest licorice for it’s bold and sweet flavor. Licorice is also good for the throat and will help the mighty Leo roar on.

6. Virgo

via Odyssey

“I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.”

-BEYONCE

Like Beyonce, Virgos are the most hardworking, precise, and practical of the signs. They value order and carefully approach everything they value in life. The perfect tea for the Virgo is Builders Tea. Builders Tea is an incredibly strong black tea that will get the busy Virgo through anything. It’s bold and perfect for the focused Virgo.

7. Libra

via GIPHY

Kim K, the Libra to Kanye’s Gemini.

The whimsical Libra strives for balance, beauty, and harmony among their peers. The perfect tea for any Libra is any Chamomile Tea. Chamomile is known for being a great tea to help with stress, sleep, and can even make your skin and hair glow! Chamomile is also a beautiful plant, perfect for any Libra’s aesthetic goals. Chamomile is the perfect cup of tea for the Libra that seeks order and harmony.

8. Scorpio

via Newsweek
“I don’t have pet peeves, I have whole kennels of irritation.”
-Whoopi Goldberg

Like Whoopi Goldberg, Scorpio’s are very passionate, steadfast in their ways, and incredibly loyal to those they love. Their piercing nature can intimidate many, but once you’re in their inner circle, you will be so thankful for their loyalty. The perfect tea for any Scorpio is Mate. Mate is praised to have almost the same strength as coffee. This tea is bold, caffeinated, and can pack a punch just like any Scorpio.

9. Sagittarius

via Pinterest

 

Tyra shook the earth when she proclaimed “Kiss my fat ass!” on The Tyra Show. Like her, the crazy Sagittarius is fun loving, a free spirit, and incredibly social. You are often the center of attention and are very popular. Your tea is Kombucha. Kombucha is a fizzy, unique, and can keep you on your toes! If Kombucha isn’t brewed just right, then it could ACTUALLY kill you, just like if you test a Saggitarius. Kombucha is perfect for any Sagittarius, but make sure you buy it from an actual store.

10. Capricorn

via Pinterest

“But generally speaking, I tend to be quiet and introspective”

-Rowan Atkinson, a Capricorn

Rowan Atkinson, or Mr. Bean, like most Capricorns, not only has great business savvy but has a great sense of humor. Capricorns are ambitious, always purposeful, and take responsibility (and everything) very seriously. The tea for the Capricorn is Shu Pu-Erh. This tea is actually a brick tea. This traditional tea is incredibly dense, sweet, and earthy. It is brewed only when it should be ready. The Capricorn will warm up to you when they feel like it’s the right time. Shu Pu-Erh is perfect for the Capricorn’s old soul.

11. Aquarius

via Oprah

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”

-Oprah, a Aquarius

The Aquarius sign, like Oprah, is known as the humanitarian amongst the entire zodiac. They believe in community, humanity, and are very progressive. The perfect tea for the Aquarius sign is Matcha. Matcha is a slow release caffeine and provides a powerhouse of health benefits and energy. Matcha is the perfect pairing for the progressive Aquarius. It will give them the energy they need to change the world!

12. Pisces

via Glamour

“It’s tougher to be vulnerable than to actually be tough”

-Rihanna, a Pisces

The Pisces is the most gentle and whimsical of all the signs. They rely heavily on their intuition and emotional intelligence. Though they do sometimes have a “martyr complex,” they do generally care about the overall well-being of others. Because the Pisces sign performs a lot of emotional labor, they seek the solace of alone time and rest. The perfect tea is actually any Sleepy Time Tea, particularly Bigelow’s Sweet Dreams Tea. It’s a blend of chamomile and mint that quiets the mind and is perfect for the Dreamy Pisces.

And that’s all folks!

If you like what you see here, don’t hesitate to contact us with suggestions for what you’d like to see covered! Also, all of our writers work for zero money, and we’re trying to change that. Send us a tip if you’d like!

The Most 🔥Fire🔥 Emmy’s Tweets From Last Night

The 69th Emmy awards were last night and like any well-adjusted millennial, I spent the whole time on twitter. While I was live-tweeting the event for the Plucky Media twitter, I saw some amazing tweets. In case you missed out on any of the action, here are 10 🔥Fire🔥 Emmy’s tweets from last night.

1.☕ Straight Up Tea on the Industry☕

2. Remembering That Major Height Difference

3.🗣RIZZZZZZZZZZZ AHMED

4. HA HA HA SEAN SPICER, YEAH NORMALIZING THAT IS FUNNY

5. Sisterhoooooooood

6. Issa Rae KILLING It

7. EVERYTHING LENA WAITHE

8. Nicole Kidman Getting Real About Domestic Violence

9. RuPaul was ROBBED but Look at This QUEEN

10. OPRAAAAH

Want More 🔥 Tweets?

We have all the tweets we did last night on this Storify if you want to check out all the good stuff. If you wanna keep up with our twitter, don’t hesitate to give us a follow, especially because that way you’ll never miss a post.

A Note: We know that content organizations using tweets of other people as a way to make money on other people’s work is pretty much awful. It’s standard practice and we know tweeting is unpaid work. At the same time, we also love to celebrate voices that need to be amplified and twitter is an integral part of the experience and we wanted to share these. Right now, Plucky Media has nothing in the bank, but we don’t want that to be forever. After paying our contributors, the next step is definitely if we do tweet dumps like this is to pay authors for the tweets we post.

If you want to support that future, don’t hesitate to drop us a tip! 

Wax and Wane

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We’d like to introduce our new contributor, ✨Mackie Raymond✨! She put together such a great Weekend Mix! Expect more cool stuff from her later!

~~~~

If you’re like me, you’ve had a mega exhausting week, and you’re ready to either kick back or kick into high gear. Raleigh pals looking for plans, hit up SparkCon! With acrobatic performances, stand-up showcases, pop-up theatre, walking tours, film screenings, food trucks, trivia, and more, there’ll be plenty to keep you movin’ and shakin’ from dawn to dusk. My top picks? Psychedelic Circus Show tonight, Zine Making Station and Street Jazz Dance Workshop tomorrow, and 7 Stories: LitSpark Open Mic Sunday. Take all that workweek stress and art it out.

Let’s get into it!

What to Watch

Where does heteronormativity go to die? Chris Fleming’s channel. (“I’m Afraid to Talk to Men” was the anthem that defined a generation. Dissertation forthcoming.) This week, I’m highlighting My Dad and My Soccer Coach, an ode to awkward slips of the tongue.

  • Now streaming: Portlandia season 7 on Netflix. Grab a bowl of Tuscan popcorn and settle in for a weekend binge.
  • Elsewhere online: Gravity Falls. After a 40-episode run on Disney Channel that ended in 2016, this silly, character-driven cartoon has cemented itself as a cult hit, with a devoted online fan base. It hits a few of my sweet spots: conspiracy theories, strong continuity, complex mythology, redemption arcs, and, oh yeah… set in Oregon. Moody. Downsides: major issues with race and gender representation. But we’ll save that tea for later.
  • Fun with schadenfreude! Musical Theatre Cringe of the Week: “It’s a gift from me to Elle,” from Legally Blonde. No, it’s not the video you’re thinking of.

What to Listen to

  • Podcast: Let me go ahead and disclose my audio allegiances. I’m a huge podcast fan. Like, sit-on-the-couch-listening-to-podcasts-instead-of-watching-TV fan. This week’s top rec? Rookie. I don’t usually go for interview podcasts, and Tavi Gevinson is by no means a perfect interviewer, but this show feels like a slumber party with your closest, up-to-the-minute trendy gal pals. I devoured the entire podcast over the summer and walked away feeling a little more creatively emboldened.
  • Album: Last Saturday marked my first visit to The Pinhook, where I inadvertently stumbled into a Real Dad concert. Based out of Durham, Real Dad “mixes Batman Forever and Twin Peaks atmosphere with an empowering performance of dusky, but danceable love songs.” The result? Moody synthwave that is sometimes foggy, sometimes fizzy, and always intriguing. (Also, have you heard Kesha’s new album yet? Yeah, she’s, like, actually good now. Or maybe she was always good?)

What to Read

  • A Good Ole Book: I’m not even close to being the first to recommend this 1990 fantasy novel, but my pick this week is Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Encouraged by fellow ex-Supernatural fans, I picked this book up years ago, but wasn’t quite sharp enough to appreciate it yet. It’s a doozy, but worth the read if you’re willing to follow Gaiman and Pratchett down some rabbit holes. Oh, and it’s laugh-out-loud funny, which is rare praise from me. (Bonus: angel/demon homoerotic tension. Fight me on this.)
  • Comics are for grown-ups too!: I love to get my sweaty fangirl hands on any and all Bubbline-related content, so I’ve recently been working my way through Meredith Gran’s Adventure Time spinoff comic series, Marceline and the Scream Queens. Lady punk rockers, candy courtiers, and the always colorful Land of Ooo make for the perfect backdrop to some sweet ‘n sour Sapphic tension. No, the comics aren’t part of the canon (sigh), but they’ll still make that little scene-adjacent hipster that lives inside you smile.
  • Food for Thought: How to Tell the Difference Between Real Solidarity and ‘Ally Theater’. Mia Mckenzie’s expert breakdown-takedown of performative allyship is required reading in an age of civil rights rollbacks.
  • Recommending recommendations: When it comes to unique, critical pop culture analysis with an eye for women and LGBTQIA+ folks, few internet voices deliver like Lady Geek Girl and Friends. Committed to “analyzing geekdom from a religious, feminist, and queer perspective,” secular theologist LGG and company serve up a rad mix of smart and savvy anime, film, video game, etc. reviews on the weekly.

What to Play

  • VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action. Katy recommended this nonlinear bartender simulation game to me, and it’s awesome. Cyberpunkers, aesthetic bloggers, and fans of dystopia, this one’s for you.
  • Quick play: Try Cibele for something you can finish in a single night. But know this before you dive in: the multiplayer game-within-the-game is ancillary to the relationship between the playable character, Nina, and her online companion, Blake. You’ll laugh, you’ll seethe, and, if you’ve ever been a lonely nerd girl on the Internet, you’ll recognize Nina’s story like the back of your (hand-drawn fanart-mottled) hand.

That’s it for this week, y’all! Take care of each other. Be good to yourselves.

Where Has My South Park Gone?

Plucky Media

South Park has always been my guilty pleasure. When I couldn’t count on anything else, I could just go on Hulu, pick a random episode and actually enjoy myself. When I wasn’t watching The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, The Daily Show, or The Colbert Report, Sarah and I spent our afternoons pulled up to our desktop computer binging through all of the South Park episodes the Comedy Central website had to offer. The past two seasons, the show was actually on to something. Season 19 was the smartest season of the show to date, actually taking down how “activism” and advertising tie together. Going further, Season 20’s look at Member Berries and the power of nostalgia, was actually going somewhere really cool until the show imploded from the Trump upset. Last season, there were a lot of brilliant ideas being thrown out, and even interesting commentary about how internet trolls operate. As Matt Miller puts it in Esquire, 

“You have to give Parker and Stone credit for trying to serialize Season 20 amid the most unpredictable news cycle in recent memory. But it just didn’t work. Ideas were started and abandoned. Story lines fizzled out (What happened to the gentlemen’s club? What exactly happened with the Member Berries?). The stories that were completed either made no sense or seemed like they were forced together, as if Parker and Stone tried to shove a puzzle piece into the wrong spot. (Why was SpaceX involved? What were they trying to say with Cartman’s girlfriend? What was the deal with Star Wars and J.J. Abrams?) It was a season of half-thoughts and glimmers of brilliance that never amounted to anything.”

With the end-of-season title, “The End of Serialization as We Know It”, there was a lot to expect from the premiere of Season 21. It was clear that they were going to give up the serialization experiment. No more interconnectivity of episodes, no big message, but that never stopped South Park before. Even before serialization, they’ve been able to tackle issues like buyouts and panic from the recession in Margaritaville and the trend of handheld camera horror movies in Pandemic Part 1 and Pandemic Part 2. So there was a lot to expect from a show that is always able to capitalize on trends and critique the world we live in, right?

Apparently not. Because last night, we got a South Park episode empty of any meaningful commentary whatsoever.

[NOTE: Spoilers under the cut]

Read More

Mercury is out of Retrograde! Time to Get Back On Your Bullsh*t

Plucky Media

Hey, Y’all! We can all look forward to this weekend because MeRCuRY iS oUt Of rETroGrADe! Woo! However, the full moon was in Pisces/Neptune earlier this week, so if you’re a dreamy person, please try to protect your energy when you get to the weekend! The early part of this week was probably pretty emotionally taxing, so just be aware and conscious of your energy. If you need to take the time to recharge, then you totally should take it.

Anyways, here are some of our picks of media you should look at this weekend. As always, if you have suggestions, comments, or concerns for things you’d like to see featured, then let us know!

Here we freaking GO.

What to Watch

  • Bojack Horseman: Bojack Horseman is a cartoon that takes place in Hollywoo, CA where anthropomorphized animals and humans cohabitate together. Bojack Horseman, a 90’s star from his show Horsin’ Around, struggles with inner demons, the entertainment industry, and celebrity culture. This show is an amazing. It has equal parts humor meets equal parts darkness. It’s an amazing beautiful mess that you can’t take your eyes away from. The show comes back THIS FRIDAY(9/8/17), and you should totally check it out.
  • Sailor Moon: Sailor Moon was one of my favorite shows when I was little. It faded into a distant memory in my childhood brain as a show with a beautiful color palette. I’m trying to reclaim it. Also, I’m getting really back into astrology, witchy stuff, and girl power, so this is something that has been a great joy rewatching.
  • Rick and Morty: Please, please, please don’t let some Rick and Morty fans ruin the show for you. Rick and Morty is definitely very dark, but it’s also just a well-made show. Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland are masters of storytelling, and it’s just FUN (and existential…but I’m all about that shit).

What to Read:

Okay, so you definitely need to stay informed of what’s happening with DACA. Dreamers are a huge part of what actually ‘makes America great.’ Here are some resources to check out:

Other Great Reads:

What to Play:

  • Tap Tap Fish: This is a cute game where you pretty much have the ocean on your screen. It’s a very relaxing game where you can raise your own fish and manage a coral reef. It’s a very relaxing and very pretty game.
  • Viridi: This is a game where you raise your own succulents. You visit it every day to water it and help it grow. It comes with a beautiful soundtrack and lots of facts about succulents. I’m a terrible plant owner, so this has been great for me to learn about plants without feeling the guilt of being a bad plant mom. Also, you can play this on Steam or a mobile device! I couldn’t get the app to download to my phone because my phone is old, but I like the idea of it as an app!
  • Stardew Valley: Ugh I’m sorry this isn’t a free game, but I FREAKIN’ LOVE STARDEW VALLEY. It’s a big world, wholesome, and beautiful. It’s the Harvest Moon we’ve ALWAYS deserved. It’s about $15, but it’s given me hours of entertainment.

That’s all Folks! We’ll see you next week! 😘

The Ultimate Survival Guide for Your Next All Nighter

Plucky Media

Hey, You! Yeah, You! Oh no, do you need to pull an all-nighter? Well, I got you! Here are 5 ways that can (hopefully) make them way less painful!

1. Create Boundaries

Boundaries are important. They help keep things in balance when it comes to yourself, friends, families, coworkers, loved ones, etc. It’s also important to create boundaries for how you study/work.

Here are some things I’ve done to keep myself more focused.

StayFocused

The StayFocused web extension basically has you put in websites that are just going to distract you. You can allow yourself a certain amount of time for different parts of the day. With the extension, I decided that from  9AM-5PM I could only have 15 minutes of my ‘banned sites’ during that time period. When you reach your budgeted time, the extension shuts you out of those websites. This worked for me a little, but then it just fizzled out. I felt like I was punishing myself, and it just didn’t work well for me. I know tons of people who love this extension, and it’s definitely worth a try!

Separate Your Browsers

This is actually the method that worked the best for me. I use Chrome as my web browser, and I have four separate chrome accounts for very specific uses. When I am working, I use “Sarah Work,” which only has the bare essentials of what I need for to work. The same goes for my other browsers. This is what it looks like:

Having this separation has made the world of difference for me. It’s all about what you think works for you. Try to find some way to create boundaries that will serve you well.

2. Budget the Night Smarter

I’m a horrible procrastinator. I did almost every assignment up to the last possible moment…and it was always pure, terrifying chaos. I would do this thing where I would sit at my computer screen in a haze until it was done… and it was always excruciating.

It wasn’t until I started working from home when Katy introduced the Pomodoro Technique into our work schedule. Katy just (lol) published an entire breakdown of how this system works. Check it out here if you want more in depth information. Basically, you have a series of sessions where work for a total of 4 highly focused sessions for 25 minutes with a 5-minute minute break in between each of them. After you’ve completed 4 successful 25-minute sessions of focused work, you earn a 25-minute break! Allowing yourself organized rewards and breaks, as opposed to just sitting at my computer “until it gets done” makes the whole process way less painful. But yes. Please try the Pomodoro technique. I’ve never been more productive in my entire life.

3. Reduce Eye Strain Where You Can

Staring at a screen for hours can really take its toll on you. Computer screens and phone screens are supposed to shine like the Sun, and this can mess up your circadian rhythm when you stare at it late at night. If you aren’t working on a type of project that requires editing pictures, creating graphics, or anything that requires you to deal with the full spectrum of color, then you need this software called flux. The software warms up your computer screen as it gets later in the day. It helps you keep working at your computer screen without giving you that horrible buzzing and nauseous feeling that comes from staring at a screen too long.

If you think this would interest you, download Flux here:

4. It’s Okay to Take a Step Back If You Need It

It’s okay to not be able to push through for the entire time. If you need to just go to bed. Do it. If you need an extension. Email the Professor. Sometimes you hit a wall and it’s okay to not be able to finish something.

When you’re coming up to deadlines, it can be easy to prioritize your well-being second. Body and mind are so closely intertwined. If you are coming across that feeling where everything is awful, take a step back. Take a shower, drink some water, stretch, or do something little that makes you happy. Don’t deprive yourself of something because you haven’t ‘earned it.’ If your body is telling you that you need something, then chances are it’s a good idea to listen to it. No paper or assignment is more important than your overall well-being. Remeber that.

5. Drink Some Water You Animal

Just do it. I can go on and on about what water does for your body, but chances are you’ve heard it all before. So just do it. Put the coffee down, you caffeinated fiend!

And yeah…

I hope this helps. I actually learned all these things after I graduated college (lol), so I hope this could help somebody else. Because let’s face it, college burn-out is real, especially towards the end. I’m still recovering from it. Take care of yourself. You deserve it. <3

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