Tag Archives: ukelele

Art Talk, Episode 5


It is officially afternoon on my day of illness and pain, and I have not done any homework like I said I would, and for that I am SO PROUD!! I’ve been sitting here playing ukelele and being sick and smelling like a sick person all day. Allie brought me crackers and yogurt and bananas, which according to Google are good things to eat when pooping yourself inside out.

I ALSO want to show all you home-people my haircut, which I like and forgot to show you because Georgia. LOOK AT ME NOW!





The Art Part of this post

Also, I looked like that when I made the song I posted for you below. YEAH. SINGING SONGS CURLED ON BED SICK.

Also, Art Talk! I know that I’ve only posted around 2 of them, but this is Episode 5 because I have 3 that I started a long time ago and never got around to finishing. Oh, well.

Today, we’re going to appreciate JUST DO IT RIGHT NOW MUSIC! This is a porpoisefully (yes I mean that) unedited cover of an awesome song that I first heard Ernie play in Georgia. It’s called Built for This by Ben Sollee. So here’s the challenge: cover it on 1st takes only, no editing, no listening to what you did, just DO IT and POST IT. So, I listened to Ben Sollee’s version on youtube a couple times, got the lyrics from the internet, played it through a couple times, and then boop! Recorded, no tag backs. On garageband, with Mr. MacBook’s built-in mic. Nothing fancy, just me and a ukelele.

It’s all part of this new bit I’m working on: make music. Just–make music.

And don’t worry about it.


Yogurt and Dates and SONG and Art Talk, Part I


Sometimes all we have time for is a quick lunch of yogurt and dates, purchased from a hanout in between the university and Qalam.  That sounds really exotic and cool, but really it’s just liquidiy go-gurtish stuff and dates.

Also, on our way home today, Allie bought EFFloads of ingredients for trail mix. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday lunch problem = SOLVED. I got next round, guuuuuurl! YESSSS!


Today, Allie, Sarah and I decided to explore Marjane, a faraway department store, which is tucked behind a mallish sort of thing full of pricey European-ish shops. The sharp divide between rich and poor jumped out of the ordinary and seemed so strange all over again as we wandered, bewildered, through aisles of clothing, food, toys, and office supplies. Everyone there looked pretty posh and bouzhie (I have no idea how to spell that), and though it looked familiarly U.S.ian, it was a bit off-putting. What is this place? we asked one another. It’s hard to understand how this sort of store can even exist within a 10-mile radius of the medina and kasbah we are learning to call home. I bought a notebook for school and a bar of chocolate, and was slightly relieved to leave.

Here in Morocco (though I have seen exceptions to this rule), it seems as though either people are loaded and rolling, or lower-middle-class or poorer. A longstanding and controversial question amongst Moroccan sociologists remains: is there a Moroccan middle class? If so, who are they, and how do we define middle class? If not, how should we go about creating one?

All this and more, when Katie returns to Social Issues, sometime in the future. And now, for something completely different!

I’m starting a new series in this blog, just like Gender Talk, except this one is about Art, and it’s called Art Talk.

Art Talk, Part I!

Welcome to Art Talk, where self-consciousness comes to DIE!!!!!

(Stroke mustache, educated flim-flam flobble wobble. Imagine me wearing a monocle.)

(wait a minute)



Let’s talk about Art! For the longest time, the only piece of original music I’d show anyone would be a sanitary final draft, after lots of takes and edits, with layers of stuff on top of layers of stuff, and it would all be very self-conscious and excuse-ridden. NO MORE, I SAY, declares Captain First Draft, NO MORE!!!!

This is something I Thought a little while ago: thoughts don’t have to be profound, and art doesn’t have to be good. All too often we try to show off only the flawless and seemingly effortless final version of whatever it is we’ve created, whether it’s Art or Writing or LookAtMyGreatPersonality or whatever. What about a celebration of bad art? Of works in progress? What about the pursuance of lower-case art, without getting caught up in all that guilt and self-consciousness?  The rough draft exhibits the raw creative energy we put into creating the song in the first place; who would want to lose that?

Now, when I make silly videos of me singing: instead of trying to sing perfectly, I just decided to sing happily, sing like I’m super glad to be singing, sing honestly, and (most of all) be excited for people to see it, flaws, awesomeness, all the above. So, due to overwhelming popular request (one person), I think it’s time for another video of me sinnnngiiiinnnngggggg!!!!!!


EDIT: the first video I uploaded was the wrong one, hahaha. It is still included below, because that’s hilarious. I’m uploading the right one right now, but it’s taking forreeeevvvverrrrrr.

EDIT 2: Okay, here’s the right video, lulzipoops!

…and THIS is me telling off Photo Booth for being dumb and not wanting to record audio.

Z’bdah has ruined me! RUINED!



This Post is for Joe and Ernie!



Okay. First of all, Ernie. The butter. The butter here. I can’t even call it butter but it IS. In my head there’s z’bdah, Moroccan butter, and there’s butter, our butter. Remember that time I thought oliveoilbuttersubstitute was butter, and you were all like wtf mate das not buttah and I was all like oh I’m dumb? Consider me schooled. Consider me ruined. This BUTTER IS RIDICULOUS. Imagine butter but richer and thicker and more intense butter than any butter ever. I wonder if I can mail you some. It’s so thick that it’ll stay in your mouth for hours and hours after eating it, so rich that you need barely any at all to have a butter-splosion on your bread. Z’BDAH. HOLY CRAP.

OKAY Y’ALL. This blog is also meant to push me out of my normal behaviors, outside of comfort zone, break my habits, lalala. (ooh, yay, personal development AND cultural awareness! What a spiritually fulfilling blog to read. This should be a movie.) I’m unreliable with stuff like blogs. Writing every day, posting regularly, not censoring myself, and the following video are all very anti-me things to do—which is precisely why I’m doing them. WOOOO!

I’ve never done a video thingy like this before, and it feels pretty weird putting it up on the internet. It’s all public and stuff. I don’t like that there’s a video of ME on my blog, it makes me feel like an egomaniac, blah blah blah, so I’m going to upload it now. Feel free to comment about how wonderful I am. Jk. lulz.

But anyway, Joe & Ernie, I thought of you guys today, and the last time we all hung out and had a big ol’ play music party—and decided that we CAN still have play-music parties despite being so far away. OUAIS! So I made a video thingy. It took a couple tries because my computer didn’t feel like recording audio, but IT WORKED EVENTUALLY! MEZIEN!

Everyone else, this is a poem that Ernie wrote and Joe set to music; you can find the poem here!


I’ve almost started to think about starting to think about thinking about starting to pack!


Or, The Post Just After Katie Discovered The “All The Rage Faces” Website, Unfortunately For This Blog

…ALMOST! You see, we pull away from the Homestead at 9am on Wednesday, which is the day after tomorrow, tomorrow being Tuesday (today, as I’m sure you know, is Monday, Photocopy Day). We shall drive to San Francisco and eat Sourdough Bread Bowls (probably with Soup in them), then I shall get on an Airplane and then, at long last, this will be a Real Travel Blog.

Today, I assemble the Oh Shit Kit: the comprehensive collection of first-aid supplies (mostly pepto-bismol) and photocopies of Important Documents gathered together to prepare for any and all eventualities that might cause me to utter those fateful words, “oh, merde.” Come at me, travel emergencies! I’m ready. I’m ready, Freddy.

So a large part of almost starting to think about starting to think about thinking about starting to pack is the sudden birth of a zealous determination to be the best, most conscientious packer OF ALL TIME. I WILL PACK ALL THE THINGS!!!


I’ve been googling “what to pack for long trips” and many variations thereof, and thought that I could write a really funny blog post about stereotypical advice given to travelers and why I’m not following any of it, but then I realized that I’d been searching the wrong keywords. Most of those advice articles 10 tips and tricks for the beginning traveler and 15 things not to pack and 82 gadgets you should buy from an expensive retailer before you leave are geared toward moneyed thrill-seekers going to many places, not for a student going to stay in one place for a few months.

So then I googled “what to pack for study abroad” and came up with even better advice. So, no funny blog post about the good advice I’m taking from all the cool people who write cool blogs about all the cool places they’ve been and the cool things they’ve done. Nope. But I AM taking jeans, I don’t care what you say. YEAH. JEANS. WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

So anyway, with nothing else to occupy me (except a number of enjoyable things including books, cooking, running, and playing in the rain), I’ve been piling clothes, books, and toiletries in the middle of my bedroom and simply staring at them, as though they’ll stuff themselves into my backpack in the most logical way and, magically, I won’t have forgotten anything come the moment I buckle my seat belt on the Airplane. Mr. MacBook (emphasis on the second syllable, please, he hates it when people mispronounce his name) plays an endless loop of my favorite TV shows and movies in the background, as though I were trying to shove the next four months of would’ve-been-watching-Netflix into the last two days before my departure. Or maybe I’m just getting bored.

I’ve also been practicing my ukelele, thank you thank you Jessie! I can now play in more than just the key of C! Feel free to suggest songs I should learn and play for my host family, to share what I consider one of the U.S.’ greatest cultural triumphs (yes, despite everything we can still find things of which to be proud) with my host family: music.

Well, I was going to put more rage faces in here (like at least 9 more rage faces), but I’m tired, luckily for you. In closing, I would like to point out (since this is the post that followed my undoubtedly unfortunate discovery of the aforementioned rage faces website, and I also think that this is a funny joke) my reaction to tip #6, or 14, or 3 in any travel advice blog anywhere ever: