It’s almost SXSW and you know what that means?
I don’t care.
I’m sure all the bands leaving for their tours to go down to SXSW are totally worthy bands, are going to have a great time, and hopefully make some useful contacts, but as for me, I’m going to be up here sitting in my bed likely watching another episode of Scandal
or Grey’s Anatomy
because Shonda Rhimes is a genius.
On that note, if you’re like me and not prepping your bags, instruments, or your liver for what’s to come in Austin this year, these are what I recommend you do while chillin’ in the Pacific Northwest this weekend. Remember I am not The Stranger or Seattle Weekly.
- If you never go out, go out. If you always go out, go out.
Idea A: Local Radio Station Hollow Earth Radio is putting on their 6th annual Magma Festival, a “forum for underrepresented sounds and perspectives.” Every weekend for the entire month of March Magma Fest will be dishing up a variety of new and emerging artists via their local space on 20th and Union and at other venues around Seattle.
Why go to this? My band NighTraiN was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play for this festival in 2010 and we loved it. We felt supported by our local community and I want you, local community, to keep supporting lovely community based projects.
I know a lot of you have already supported KEXP during their pledge drive this last week, but go the distance and really get into the scene by helping out a very small local station on the way to getting its wings!
Check out the schedule for the whole month by going to:
If this doesn’t sound quite right to you, just open up The Stranger to music listings, close your eyes, get your pointer finger ready and let it fall. Go to whatever random venue your finger points you to. Not that I don’t love the recommendations, but there’s a lot out there to hear and you might keep hearing some of the same old sounds if the only thing you do is trust rec’s.
Idea B: I’ve heard some people don’t like shows and that’s okay. Guess what? There are a million other things to do in Seattle including, but not limited to:*
1. Visual Arts – Is there ever a day in Seattle when an art show is not going on? I just told you to pick up a copy of The Stranger, so open it up and check out what venues are near or far from you and go to one. Go by yourself or with a friend. I prefer to go with friends because we can discuss how we feel about pieces and then get sloshed on some wine and snacks later.
2. Theater or Film – Once again, check your local arts listing. I’ve heard good things about I Won’t Be Ignored at Erickson Theater and La Boheme at McCaw Hall. I’ve yet to get to any theater productions as of late, but perhaps I’ll take my own advice and get to something soon.
3. Dinner and drinks with friends – When isn’t this a good time. I really want you to see your friends and you want to see your friends too. What’s keeping you from getting out there? Seattle is filled with amazing restaurants and it seems the food scene is only slated to increase. You should start experimenting with new restaurants now before you find you can’t catch up to the endless supply as good eateries and food trucks become ever more abundant.
* Don’t have any money? Don’t make that an excuse. Seattle is a lovely place to live because there are lots of free and low cost things to do. Not only is there first Thursday, a free art walk downtown, but lots of other neighborhoods also host their own throughout the month.
- Take at least 2-4 hours of you time.
I don’t really feel like I should be telling you this, but as a reminder you need some you time.
I know sometimes it’s hard to get in this time. You’re busy, so very very busy. I want you to ask yourself “what am I busy doing?” “Is there anything that’s not necessary?” “How can I re-plan my day so that I have a little extra me time?”
A few ways to get in extra time are pre-planning meals, getting up a little earlier, working it into something you’re already doing, rethinking how you view the things you’re already doing, stop incessantly checking your phone, email, facebook (you know how much time you waste doing these things).
What does “ME” time look like? It looks like you doing something that you want to do. If that means going to brunch with friends, relaxing and reading a book, taking a nice hot bath, watching a movie you’ve been meaning to get in for awhile, going to a car show, writing a song, starting your novel, etc. Take this time to really focus and say, “this time is for me, I’m going to use it to appreciate and pamper myself.”
I have a friend that has made it a point to pamper herself every single day, something I always aspire to, but don’t always achieve. What pampering to her means is if she doesn’t have a ton of time at least getting something small in. 1. Spending an extra 10-15 minutes giving herself a small facial. 2. Using the Steam and Sauna rooms at the gym after a good workout. 3. Taking a bath instead of a shower 4. Meditation 5. Writing in a journal. 6. Getting a massage (when more time and money are available) 7. A nap
*Hey Moms out there. I’m not forgetting you. It is very difficult to get some quality me time when you’re a mom. From talking to other mom friends, the best way to get this quality me time is to setup times when other moms will take your kid(s) and switch off every once in awhile so that you’re not paying the steep prices for child care and you’re both getting the benefits. Let me know other ways you’ve found to get in more spare time!
- Do something for someone else without expecting anything in return
Want to feel a little better about life and yourself? Do something for someone else without expecting them to do anything for you. This means not keeping a mental tally of this or any other thing you’ve ever done and asking for something later, tomorrow, next week, or years down the road.
You can do this in multiple ways:
1. Do something sweet for your partner – make breakfast, take them out, make a special “Saturday Card” (cards aren’t just for birthdays and holidays anymore).
2. Do something special for your friends and family
4. Smile – this goes a long way here in dreary Sea town.
5. Let someone tell you their story
6. Think of more!
- Don’t check the weather report
Just don’t check it because you already know it’s going to depress you. You already know it’s going to be cloudy and possibly raining, so just make sure to be ready for that, wherever the weekend takes you.
- Wake up appreciating being alive
You’re alive and if you’re reading this blog you’ve got access to a computer and you’re literate, at least partially. Be grateful that you have all of this because you are seriously doing better than 90% of the world. Maybe you don’t make tons of money, but can you feed yourself? Clothe yourself?
Just take a moment to realize how great your life is. You might forget it afterward, but at least you’ll have had this moment.