Guys!!! I'm writing from my dorm! It has been a crazy week here and I will fill you all in very soon. But I feel like I've done a lot of storytelling recently that I want to switch it up and give you guys some recommendations. I've actually ventured out into the world in the past few weeks and I have places you absolutely need to go!
Vibrant Coffeehouse and Kitchen - East Village, Des Moines
If you haven't been here yet, you need to drop everything and get in the car because this place is a ten on the scale of fabulousness! It's a brand new coffeeshop in the East Village with so many unique features that'll make your day truly vibrant. For starters, if you're in a rush, there's a window right there on the sidewalk. Running late for work? No problem! Your coffeemaker on the fritz? Don't even panic! You can get your latte and scone with so little hassle that you won't even want to gouge the eyeballs out of that one co-worker when you walk into the office! My personal favorite is that the door is automatic. When I was first coming up to the entrance, I thought my eyes were deceiving me because after many years of accessible doors being on my radar anytime I enter a building and of course, the inevitable disappointment, imagine my shock when a storefront in a major urban area have accessible doors. In fact, don't even imagine. Here's video evidence:
I've been there twice and both times I have gotten the grown up grilled cheese. It is a grilled cheese with the additions of bacon and some variation of American cheese. I know that is a mediocre description but cheeses are not my thing in the slightest. I'm just a consumer, alright? A consumer of good things. And this sandwich is absolutely devine! I have, though, switched up my coffee order which is a big deal when you are a religious orderer of iced caramel macchiatos. I'm sticking to the signature lattes for right now because I always love seeing what indie coffee brands have up their sleeves (it's almost always better than the chains). First I got an iced candy bar latte which was very refreshing with a perfect balance of sweetness and caffeine! On my second venture, I tried a hot fudge latte not iced. It was yummy but not the best decision considering it was ninety-five degrees outside. Esthetically, Vibrant Coffeehouse is very chill. It's cool and dark but pops of color give the space a nice contrast. There's lots to pursue for your purchasing pleasure and plenty of options on the menu whether you need a midday pick-me-up or an early morning latte!
Okay, gang, here goes nothing. I am attempting a redo of the lost post which I tragically deleted as I was writing. This time around, I'm going to save by paragraph because, that's, you know, the smart thing to do. Before we get going into this absolute roller coaster of a day, let's do some positives and negatives as the evening has settled. Positive: I finished a book, caught up on some podcasts, and lounged around in my pajamas all day. Negatives: Jax, our very old, very sweet, but very deaf dog, decided right in front of. my desk would be a great spot to take a nap. It was fine until I actually needed to do things and he just would not move. I left the room, I yelled loudly. I gestured. Nothing. This dog would not budge. So then I brought my laptop to the living room and of course as soon as my mom came home for lunch, he got up. I chipped a tiny corner of my manicure on my thumb and the annoyance I feel is so over the top but I just can't help it. I have no clue when I did this and it's just enough for my to notice but not enough for me to call my manicurist and ask her to fix it. Major issues going on over here, guys. Oh, also, I didn't make coffee this morning and have been perpetually tired all day. I don't know why I do this. I need coffee to function but at least once a week I'll be like, "Nope. No caffeine today. Only water." Spoiler alert: there was no water consumed today either. Now my left hand is doubly tight and I want to fall asleep before 7pm. But here I am, ready to push through for all of you because this day is too funny for me to keep to myself.
Allow me to take you back to last Thursday, August 10th. My day started when I gained enough semi-consciousness to untangle myself from my blankets, feel around for my phone, barely lift my eye mask. and see it was barely past 7:30. Back to bed! Though, not for very long because a morning doctor's appointment was on my schedule. My dad was the one taking me and I never really fell asleep-asleep so I heard most of the business calls he took that morning. I swear, I've never seen the man not answer the phone on the first ring. We were in the car a few weeks ago and he took a call but got another one that he kept declining. This person kept calling and then finally just texted "call me". Lots of calling but anyway, what you need to know on this particular occasion is that my appointment was at 10 am and he was taking calls up until 8:50. Yes, I remember details like this. My dad then opens my door (very annoyingly and aggressively, might I add) and tells me he's going to take a quick shower. Key word here is "quick" alright? I'm thinking at most this'll take ten minutes because my father, as long as I have been able to retain memory, has had the most minuscule amount of hair in the history of mankind. That and he really has no clue what a descent shower skin care routine is.
I hear the lovely docile tones of his morning sports radio cast. It is, of course, blaring because he can't hear it otherwise and then I have to bank for fifteen minutes instead of ten because of that wonderful radio cast that makes me want to jab a pencil in my ear. I'm sorry, but that is just not how I like waking up in the morning. I like quiet but if I want to listen to music or a podcast, there are these wonderful things called AirPods that allow you to listen at your own volume preferences without disturbing those around you. Moving on. (insert pause for breath and also so I can maintain what is left of my rapidly crumbling mental state while I recap this day) THIS MAN ENTERS MY ROOM AT 9;30!!!! I had gotten into my wheelchair from my bed because I can do that now and pull out the first thing I see in my closet while berating my FIFTY-TWO YEAR OLD father on his lack of time management. Yes, Matthew. I am calling you out. But I'm your favorite and very prepared to g0 against you in a battle of wills so there's nothing you can really do to phase me.
AND FOR THE PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE....
Mom took the wrong car to work. I love her but man, the brain-to-action connection really just flopped on this day. Normally she drives the van to work because I am allergic to interacting in the world and therefore, never leave the house and my dad has his work car. It is like, a quarter to ten and I am stressed because there's a schedule to keep to and we are failing at it. As I'm brushing my teeth, I am informed that the van isn't home. All we have is my dad's short Subaru. My chair weighs three hundred pounds, is at least four feet tall, and does not break down. The irony is not lost on me. The wheelchair accessible car is not available for use by the wheelchair-bound person. So, long story short, I had to swap chairs to go to this appointment and then we drove to my mom's office to switch cars. All's well that ends well. Almost. We still had to go home and get my regular chair and also pick up Ashley. I thought it would be done in that order but apparently not! I was holding the back of the drivers seat in a vice grip because this chair is very light, has no seatbelt, and my dad like to take corners very sharply. Let's just say that I was especially glad to finally be in the chair that is substantial and has a seatbelt. But my dad did get us breakfast once we were all settled so yay! Also, sidetone: did you guys know that Smokey Row has energy drinks? They're not on the menu anywhere except the main location but they're taped to the windows at all the other spots. Seems like a counterintuitive marketing technique but you do you Smokey Row. On to the state fair!
This year, we went on the first day hoping to avoid the big crowds. We were actually able to park on grounds which is a small miracle, The three of us walked around before we were desperately in need of AC so next we ventured into the Varied Industries Building. If you've never been to the fair, this building's sole purpose is to sell you things. We walked through all the booths and then went to the livestock barns. I don't typically go through the barns but my dad is very much the "this is the plan and there are no other options" parent so I went into three barns! I did survive and I will admit that it was cool to see the largest cow and pig of the year.
I finally tried fried Oreos this year and my honest review is that they're good but I don't think I need to have them again. My dad tried a grilled cheese-mac and cheese-brisket-bacon sandwich. It was good but he could only finish half. It was a shocking moment in my life. Then we walked through all the antiques where dad and I kept freaking out at finding vintage four-foot tall Darth Vader statues. The last things we did included walking through the dollhouse exhibition and finally, for the first time in years walked right past the butter cow. A very successful trip!
And would you look at that?? I made it to the end without deleting my work! I was right about to this point the last time so don't worry; I immediately pressed the save button. I hope you enjoyed my summer story time! I can't believe we're so close to back-to-school. Maybe on my next post I'll be coming to you live from my....dorm room?? Ahhhh!
Note: all jabs were made in good fun.
This was not the post I had planned. In fact, I had an entire very long, very funny post ready to go but I was writing the closing, I did something on the keyboard and the page reloaded. I hadn't been continuously saving so when I logged back in, only about 10% remained. I thought I could make it work but my original was just one of those that could not be replaced. The humor and stories and EFFORT and time. I won't lie, I'm kind of sad that this one was lost. But it's okay! There's plenty of other stuff bouncing around in my head that deserves to be put into words. So let me save this and give you guys something equally amazing!
First of all, I cannot let today's epic news pass: Taylor Swift announced that 1989 TV is coming on October 27th!!!💙 Yes, it's already in my calendar and yes, I pre-ordered the vinyl and one of the exclusive CDs. This was after I ordered the vinyls for Lover, folklore, and evermore online at Target last night at 10pm. I'm not responsible for what semi-conscious me does. I just deal with the repercussions once responsible, levelheaded me returns. I already have the vinyls for Red TV, Fearless TV, Speak Now TV, and Midnights. All I have left is Reputation and Taylor Swift but they haven't been re-recorded yet. The re-records are a very big deal. Allow me to explain:
When Taylor started she was very young and when Big Machine Records took an interest in her, she immediately jumped at the chance. She signed a contract in 2005 which was set to expire in 2018. By the time the contract expired, a more experienced Taylor decided to switch from Big Machine to Universal's Republic Records. Seems fine, right? Oh, no no no. Because Big Machine owned the masters aka the original recordings of her first six albums. Now when she switched labels, she made sure that the ownership rights would lie solely with her. Hence- Lover, Folklore, Evermore, Midnights, and beyond are all entirely hers. No one else makes any other decisions or gets the primary royalties.
So back to those first six stuck with BMR. The label was sold to an equity group owned by who? Music sleaze number one Scooter Braun. Scooter then sold Taylor's masters to another group called Shamrock Holdings in 2019 for a sky-scraping $300 million. Now on the surface, this seems like good business when an artist is as popular as Taylor Swift. But underneath, oh it was like the underworld of music. Scooter Braun was terrible to Taylor and people who were in his management, were also equally terrible. I mean, everyone knows about the mic drop heard around the world. So Taylor claims those masters were sold as a move of malice against her in order to prevent her from getting any of the royalties or other benefits since she did not own them.
What did she do? The most epic girl boss gatekeep move she could: she promised to re-record those first six albums. Not only does she get control back but her version would become the preferred versions amongst her fans therefore, the originals would essentially lose their $300 million value. As of now, we have Fearless (Taylor's Version), Red (Taylor's Version), Speak Now (Taylor's Version), 1989 (Taylor's Version) coming in October, and as I've mentioned, everything from Lover on is hers under her new contract. The re-recordings work because she owns the lyrics and musical arrangement. The recordings as they currently exist are where the issue lies. So with every re-release, they're slightly modified which also works as a great way to show growth in her as an artist through these songs we all knew growing up and absolutely love.
There's a little Swiftie School Session for everyone who needed a catch-up! My two loves in this life (at this present moment) are Taylor Swift and books. On the book front, I'm reading six right now. The trick that I have is that my bookmarks are in the most annoying spot so that any time I have a bookmark out, I immediately put it in a book instead of trying to put it away. Then when I finish a book, the bookmark goes into the next one in my pile, and so on and so forth. The goal is to one day run out of books to rotate through but I've never gotten to that point. I'm about a hundred pages into Under the Dome by Stephen King but I've been there since April and then before that, it had been unread on my TBR since December. I will finish it. I never leave a book unfinished even if it takes three years to get through. I did finish two books this week! One was a twelfth century pirate fantasy novel. while the other was set sometime in the future dealing with a serial killer and clones. That one was wild.
I'm trying t0 read as many as I can in the next week because my mom has told me that I'm not allowed to bring all of my books-only the ones that I am actively reading- to college. It's actually a good rule in retrospect because I go for the four hundred page hardbacks and those are heavy. When we moved to Waukee, the three totes of books were all bowed and required two people to lift. So I'm hoping to only need one oversized bag this go around. I've got about half my closet packed into one suitcase which was actually shocking because it was essentially all of my winter clothes. Crossing my fingers that only one suitcase is needed for the rest. I can't believe we're this close to move in day! I've been oscillating between panicked and excited - sometimes in the same hour. I know that once I get settled a lot of my nerves will dissipate but the lead-up has me all over the place. I am genuinely glad to just have more of a routine and things to do everyday. I think I've reached that point in the summer where you're nothing but perpetually bored. Luckily this last week of summer will help alleviate that because my birthday's on Wednesday! We're doing some back to school shopping over the weekend, I've got a facial scheduled. Lots of fun things!
I hope you guys enjoyed this one! I really was all over the place but had a blast educating you on my favorite music and my dilemmas with college move-in! I might try another go at the post I accidentally erased now that I've had some time to write about other things. It was very funny so I'll definitely attempt! Serious question though: What am I going to call this one??
The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!