So I started this blog called “Yes, I’m Positive”

Yes I'm Positive

In a desire to help people who were struggling with quitting drinking, or coping with mental health issues, or just dealing with life’s curve balls, I started writing on a new blog called Yes, I’m Positive that shares positive inspiration without being cheesy. I see a lot of internet memes with the same quotes on the same stock photos, so I figured I could use my own stuff and maybe create something a little fresher. 

I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in over five years after an illustrious side-hustle as a major party girl, so I hope something that changed my life could help someone in my old position. Little poems that haven’t fleshed out into full songs also pop up, and if you follow the Instagram profile @yesimpositive you get book recommendations as well. 

Positive inspiration for a complex world: Yes, I’m Positive

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia skyline

Melbourne, Australia skyline

When one of your oldest friends invites you to her backyard wedding in Melbourne, you RSVP without a second thought. It felt like a super sized version of Austin, Texas where we both had lived; a “flat San Francisco” popped into my head as well in terms of American comparisons. Of course, culturally it had its distinct Australian differences and felt much more European and mannered. An introvert’s dream, I didn’t have a single car honk at me or any catcalls despite walking all day on Smith and Brunswick St. shopping. How refreshing to not feel like a piece of meat!

Even though I tend to wear a lot of black and band t-shirts, Melbourne influenced me hard and I came back with a bag of wacky prints both new and vintage. The VINTAGE scene there!! My god, I haven’t seen that big of a collection of mint condition vintage clothing since San Francisco in the 90’s! All day can be spent at Vintage Garage on Brunswick Street alone.

They have a very egalitarian society, so I sat in front on a couple taxi rides and far preferred it to the whole rider/chauffeur setup. The women I saw had a cool sense of style that was not focused on looking good for a man- beat up Blundstone boots beat out high heels by a country mile (or Country Road to throw an Australian fashion pun in, it’s a popular store like J. Crew).

Last couple differences that I enjoyed were that lattes are called “flat whites” and when walking stay on the left. It took me about three days of bumping into people and doing that sidewalk dance before I got it down. Loved you, Melbourne and I can’t wait to return.

Keith Haring mural in Melbourne

Keith Haring mural in Melbourne


photo by Doan

photo by Doan

Fairy Penguins!

Fairy Penguins!

Hosier Lane Street Art in Melbourne Australia

Hosier Lane Street Art

Hosier Lane Street Art

Hosier Lane Street Art

Keith Haring mural Melbourne Australia
The shirt on the left is new and from Monster Threads. The one on the right is vintage from Vintage Garage, and if anyone comes across this blog that can identify this psychedelic textile I would love it. Funny to see how things don’t really change much!

psychedelic textile vintage print

psychedelic vintage textile print

Star Wars Costume Exhibit at Denver Art Museum


Denver Art Museum is currently showing the new Star Wars costume exhibit, and anyone into the franchise or vintage fabrics needs to grab their tickets. I loved seeing the progression of Princess Leia’s polyester white robe to Queen Amidala’s hall of decadent embroidered dresses. Personally, I’d rather be a handmaiden than the queen, those amazing velvet pieces looked comfy and warm.


The exhibit consists of multiple rooms focusing on various characters. Especially popular was the Sith Lords exhibit complete with Darth Maul fight scene, and this lighting setup that reminded me of Nosferatu.


The smallest costume besides Yoda’s robes was certainly R2 D2. Expect a bottleneck here, as he’s very popular with the kids. I’ve never cared about what phone I had, but I took a picture of a family with the dad’s iPhone 7 and wow. Can I just buy the camera? 

Meow Wolf

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Welcome to Meow Wolf – photo by leslieloudspeaker

Right now in Santa Fe, New Mexico, there is a portal back to the 80’s owned by master world builder Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin. The purchase of an old bowling alley (complete with original carpet!) crossed with psychedelic local art collective Meow Wolf brings America a new destination that must be seen and crawled all over to be believed.

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laundry room from your collective conscious nightmares – photo by leslieloudspeaker

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through the fireplace

Starting out as a lonely house full of ennui and character building, you soon find yourself transported to space, a twisted treehouse, rooms devoid of color, underwater where the neon grows; every door, secret passage and public tunnel take you to a new world, each one more psychedelic and haunting than the last.

I happened to visit Meow Wolf right after the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, and a lot of other balloners had the same idea. While downstairs was a bit of a madhouse, upstairs was just lovely due to skinny corkscrew staircases and vertical ladders making access more difficult. Despite the crowd, there were so many little rooms to explore that you could always find a serene little art nook to have for yourself.

This place would make an amazing AirBnb.

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Mt Evans and the Mountain Goats


One of the best parts of living in Denver is that when it’s a scorcher, just drive twenty minutes away and the temperature drops 15 degrees. Mt. Evans was just hopping with mountain goats, even a couple babies; tourists were flipping out, of course.


The River Arkansas at Red Rocks

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This past Memorial Day weekend was very heartfelt for me; not only did I get to shoot a show at Red Rocks for the first time, but it was for my old buddy from high school in Texas Macon Terry and his band The River Arkansas. With beautiful vocal harmonies, pure soul searching lyrics, and thumping stand up bass lines, The River Arkansas had the crowd on their feet cheering and hugging and other general merriments. Since they were opening for the movie The Big Lebowski, it was funny to see so many people in bathrobes getting down. Spa Night at Red Rocks.

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lighthearted musings on being alcohol-free for four years

As my fourth year booze-free comes to a close, I can’t help but ponder over how much my life has changed both externally and internally. The double chin that I thought was genetic went away pretty quickly, so never underestimate the power of beer bloat. In fact, I physically look better than I did in my 20’s; even though Lone Star beer tastes like water, it apparently has nice, juicy calories. 

Unfortunately, not many really get to see that since I hermit myself away most of the time out of fear of criticism and never being understood. Without that social lubricant alcohol, I have a hard time making conversation unless it’s about the mysteries of the universe; I learned pretty quickly that most people DON’T want to talk about death and the meaning of life after a hard week’s work. They want to bitch about their coworkers.

Sometimes I wonder if my personality was just alcohol, there were always so many funny/terrible stories about what I did last night in the past, now there are no stories. I’ve turned into the boring person I used to shun. However, this boring person is much nicer, respects other people and their belongings, isn’t obsessed with celebrities because their own life is so devoid of real spirit, and gets great pleasure in being selfless (although is that self-indulgent in and of itself?)

Where I lack in social interaction, I now more than make up for in mental clarity and self-awareness. Brutal self awareness. The kind that makes you crawl into a ball in the closet in sheer embarrassment over past actions and things said. I’ve learned lessons from every shameful move I made in the past, and am now struggling through that whole “loving yourself and forgiving yourself” bit. I’m getting there. On good days, I think I’m a rock star. When I drank, it calmed my anxiety and allowed me to small talk with strangers like a Southern debutante pro. However, I could not stop at debutante level; bawdy drunk cousin making a big scene at your wedding and sharing everyone’s secrets was the role I fell into comfortably. Now my small talk is minimal, but my offensiveness is as well.

Even though I am told how great I’m doing all the time, I don’t really feel it. I’m too riddled with the anxiety and depression I was unknowingly self-medicating away. Lots of good changes have come my way, though. I never have to check my phone in the morning, dreading to read what awful weird texts I sent to people at 4 a.m. Going out to a fancy dinner is dirt cheap- I’ve actually been congratulated on being the fastest eater of a seven course meal by our waiter since there is no dilly-dallying over bottles of wine anymore. My legs have been bruise-free for years (I once thought I had a blood problem, and also worried that they were lesions. AIDS.) Nope, just bruises from bumping into things while blacked out. I take secrets to the grave now and good thing, as people tend to naturally tell me every dark and dirty thing they’ve ever done when talking to me. I think it’s because being sober makes me listen intently. I mean, I’m not talking anymore so I may as well listen.

The biggest change of all though is seeing my creative dreams become reality. It’s hard to get difficult creative endeavors going when you have a bottle in your hand non-stop. Now I dream it and DONE. Want to be a concert photographer? I wrote out a plan and did it. Want to be published in the Village Voice? Worked hard at the Westword and the Village Voice noticed and started publishing me. Wanted to be the owner of my own little version of the Shannon’s that I loved working at so much in high school? I’m sitting in the store right now.

Fighting is practically non-existent in my marriage, as we talk to each other and communicate about issues instead of blowing up and screaming things I don’t mean. At 4 am. Man did I love making a scene at 4 a.m. in my drinking days. There is so little yelling going on now that my husband laughs and laughs at me on those rare times that traffic gets me so heated I come in the door berating every driver I just saw and every move that they just stupidly, thoughtlessly made. That’s the extent of my anger, a little bit boring but much better on my psyche and everyone else’s.

Do I ever plan on drinking again? Nope. I yearn for a margarita on a sunny day, but I know that I will never be the type to have that one margarita. Even typing about this hypothetical ‘Rita is causing me to plan out where the next five will come from! (I’d go with another pitcher, and then move to a Mexican beer or two because after three ritas my cheeks get red as a Nutcracker doll’s). Instead I’ll just continue to make goals for myself, treat other people as well as I possibly can, wake up in the mornings feeling fairly awesome and excited about the day instead of thinking only of what greasy breakfast item can I devour the quickest, and occasionally feel wistful that I’m not invited to any parties that I don’t want to go to.

Some Songs for Sunny Summer Car Rides

New Songs For Summer Days

New Songs for Summer Days

One of my favorite things to do on hot summer days is to go on car rides on back roads, just listening to music and letting the world go by, preferably with someone else driving! Here are some songs that are proving very road friendly for me this week:

Ezra Furman – Lousy Connection – Doo-wop horns and lyrics from someone entrenched firmly in the fringe, the new single from Ezra Furman is sassy, thought provoking and catchy as hell. Ezra gets what it is like to feel like an alien.

Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’ – The new single showing once again he’s truly top of the league as a lyricist, and the chunky consonant heavy sound of the lyrics just feels good on the tongue when you sing along. With a slightly quicker beat, it sounds like this next album could be the one to give him more attention than long time fans will care for.

Cayucas – Moony Eyed Walrus – This summer is especially exciting because Cayucas is finally dropping a new album of surf inflicted Beck-like scrambled pop and folk breeze sounds. Their sound is a little more sophisticated this go round with quick time signature changes and more intricate vocal harmonies and interplay.

A Summer of Black and No Boho

I’m absolutely sick of festival fashion. Paisley kimonos, fringed swimsuits- I want none of it (floppy hats are forever, though). As the bohemian raggedy layers of polyester look has hit total mass oversaturation, I’ve turned to simple pieces in black and white that you can dance in while maintaining a sense of comfort. Right now at my store we are carrying Stussy for women, who are designing things on the same wavelength as what I’m yearning for. Here are a few of the outfits I’ve worn the past two weeks, taking influence from Korean and Japanese women with bare legs and covered chest. Color palette has been revolving around black, white, mint, marsala and leopard print. 
   
    
    
    
   

Grand Opening of my new store STNDRD June 18th! 

  

I’m excited to finally have our Grand Opening party at STNDRD this Thursday, July 18th. We’ve got the latest fashion trends from brands like Stussy, Staple, Upper Playground, Rook, Stance Socks, Undefeated and Herschel Supply Co. Come check out Denver’s newest lifestyle clothing store this week!