Hopefully this is coming directly to your inbox if you are a subscriber. I heard from several people last week who had troubleshooting issues, and I was told by Substack there was a glitch in their system. I believe we’ve gotten everything straightened out, but please let me know if not.
Also, a gentle reminder to any Founders level members to send me your materials for advertising on the website if you’d like to be featured.
*WARNING* gmail may truncate your emails due to length. I don’t want you to miss content so be sure you’re expanding and seeing all sections (News & Politics, Entertainment, Health & Nutrition, Recipes, Travel, Beauty, Life Hacks).
With housekeeping out of the way, let’s dive in!
News & Politics
Kibbe on Liberty
Recently I joined liberty legend, Matt Kibbe to film his popular show on the Blaze TV network, Kibbe on Liberty. Matt is one of the founders of the modern day liberty movement. He helped start the Tea Party (in the good old days, before it was co-opted). He’s a former Senior Economist for the RNC, former President of Freedomworks, and current President and founder of Free the People. I’m a fan. It was really cool to sit down and talk with him. You can watch the video here, or listen to the audio version here.
This will be my first of two Newsmax columns this month. In this article I’m examining a troubling new study that examines the history of racial bias in the death penalty and the current practices that continue it. Read my article, but if you have the time I’d encourage you to also read the full study (linked within), it has a lot of important information and will help readers better understand the legacy of lynching and remnants of Jim Crow in our modern system.
Last month I spoke on a panel at the Rehumanize Conference. The event was held virtually this year so you can watch the full thing online. My panel, Police, Prisons, and the Death Penalty, also featured Zuri Davis of Reason and I was super stoked about that. Zuri is my friend, but she’s also one of the most important criminal justice voices writing. Follow her here if you don’t already.
My friend Brad Polumbo, another journalist you should be following, just launched a podcast and has Glenn Greenwald (pardon me as I scream into a pillow and fan girl) coming on as one of his first guests. Worth a listen.
- Would you vote for Trump if he pardoned Snowden? My friend Jack Hunter says he would.
“Savage Love” – Jason Derulo (don’t judge me)
“Roses” – Imanbek Remix, Saint JHN, Imanbek
“Come & Go” – Juice WRLD
“Very Presidential” with Ashley Flowers (in case you want to hate politicians as much as I do)
I listen to the New York Times’ “The Daily” most days. Their two-part feature on Breonna Taylor is a must.
I’m not sure I’ll agree with everything in it, but it’s an interesting premise. Does the United States have a caste system built on race? I can see some points in favor of the argument. I’m one chapter in, so we’ll see.
HEALTH & NUTRITION
My secret energy pill is easily ordered off Amazon. I take it with my vitamins. It’s called taurine. You may have seen it listed as an ingredient in energy drinks, but from my research it isn’t one of the bad ones. It’s actually just an amino acid found in many foods. I take it as a supplement and it gives me lots of energy. It also acts as an appetite suppressant and helps me with my intermediate fasting.
Of course I am not a medical professional and you should contact your doctor if you have questions about it.
Keto Pancakes. Yes, they exist. I swear to you they are good. And, best of all, they’re only 3 ingredients. I use a low sugar syrup sparingly on top.
I know. How is this even possible? But it is, another keto miracle. These bad boys take less than 20 minutes to make and you can keep them in the fridge and heat them up for a quick snack during the week.
I’m still under a travel ban with my work. I’ve gone from being home 10-15 days a month to very rarely leaving the house, so COVID has radically changed my life in that way.
I had just relocated to NYC four months before COVID hit, and thankfully was in a sublease there – meaning I hadn’t moved my furniture and could easily escape when things hit the fan. So I’ve been a refugee in South Carolina with my family since May, and while I never thought I’d be back here, I’ve found a lot of fun things to do in the area.
Funnily enough, the Libertarian presidential campaign is based out of the neighboring town, Greenville, this year and due to that I’ve got several friends living here for the season too.
This region is known as the Upstate and encompasses Anderson (our town), Greenville, and Spartanburg. We’re actually under an hour from both the Georgia and North Carolina borders here.
Greenville is growing rapidly. In some ways, it reminds me of Nashville before the boom. Housing is still affordable around the downtown and it’s super walkable with lots of new bars, restaurants, and shops going in. There’s also several parks and waterfalls sprinkled throughout the downtown.
We got a room at the Aloft Hotel on Main Street so we could park the car for the weekend and began our evening at the Foxcroft Wine Co. I’m a wine fanatic and this place had the aeration machines that ensure every glass is served at the perfect temperature and fully opened. Most people don’t know this, but when they say red wine is supposed to be served room temperature they mean cellar room temperature. Hence, most restaurants serve red wine far too warm and white wine far too chilled. If you’re a wine snob like me, this really hurts the experience.
Next, we walked over to Pomegranate on Main for an appetizer and a martini. My brother claimed this was the best martini he’d ever had, and while I’m not a vodka drinker I did take a sip of his and I approve. We also tried a pesto hummus appetizer that was very good. I’d go back to this place for dinner in the future, their menu looked appealing.
We then had dinner at Lemongrass Thai. Aesthetically, Lemongrass is pretty bare bones, but they have really solid food and great service. It’s a family favorite in my household.
Lastly, we finished the night at the Neat Bourbon Bar. You could easily walk pass this place. There’s a door with a small sign on Main Street, and a staircase behind it that will lead you down to this speak-easy vibe bar.
I had not one, not two, but three of the Neat Derby cocktail. It was divine.
Our plan was to go river tubing Sunday morning in nearby Saluda, NC. Unfortunately, the waters were too high and the weather was not in our favor so we had to regroup. We had brunch at Ink & Ivy on Coffee Street. I love a restaurant with big garage doors they can open when the weather is nice and this was that kind of set-up. They made me a fantastic spicy Bloody Maria (again, no vodka for me), and transitioned their breakfast burrito to a breakfast bowl for me since I can’t have gluten. Next, we decided to head to another nearby town, Traveler’s Rest (TR).
TR is a very small town with old southern charm. You can walk around their downtown, drop in to the few shops and restaurants, or head to the river to kayak. We went with the most bougie option I could find, because I’m me, and headed over to the Hotel Domestique.
If you can’t afford to get to the French countryside right now, well, you probably can’t afford to stay here either. But this is meant to make you feel like you’re there. Rooms start at $379 a night and go up from there, which honestly gives me sticker shock. $379 for a swanky hotel in Paris? Sure. $379 for a swanky hotel in BFE South Carolina? Why. I’m truly still trying to figure out who is doing this.
But it’s worth dropping in on. It sits in the foothills of the mountains and has beautiful views. The onsite restaurant is rated very highly (we just had wine and the macarons). There’s a fire pit on the premise, a spa, and a charming lodge. Here’s a room I broke into if you want to see the layout. They did have real fireplaces inside, which isn’t nothing to me.
I only had my river floating clothes and car ride attire with me or I would have taken better advantage of the obviously fantastic instagram opportunities on this property.
That’s the last time you catch me unprepared. I love a photoshoot.
They say beauty is pain, and that is certainly true for this week’s beauty procedure. Tattoo removal.
Here’s the saga. I got the basic bitch semi-colon tattoo on my finger a few years ago. If you’re not familiar, this is a sign for suicide awareness and prevention. It symbolizes a sentence that could have ended but has not. As someone who has always suffered from anxiety/depression (and just existentialism in general) this actually is a very meaningful symbol to me. My best friend, Kelly, and I had talked about getting this tattoo for years. But, we decided to pull the trigger after a Nashville Sunday Funday of brunch, bushwackers, and in general bad decisions that resulted in us being Yelawolf’s (the rapper) first customers at his new tattoo parlor.
Here we are. Making poor choices.
I don’t know what happened, but the tattoo literally fell off 4 days laters. No, not faded, fell off. Like in two giant pieces. Something went very wrong, I’ve searched all over and never heard of this happening to anyone else. But honestly, I hated how it turned out and was rather relieved. But ever since, it has looked like I have a 6 on my finger. Like I’m some kind of devil worshipper (I am not).
So, this month, I finally summoned my courage and began the process of removal. Everyone says it hurts more to have a tattoo removed than it does to get a tattoo, and my pain tolerance is low enough that I can barely sit for a tattoo.
Everyone is right. It feels like they’re pouring scalding hot grease onto your skin. Pricing, the number of treatments, the length of the procedure, and the results are all highly dependent on you, your skin, your tattoo, etc. I’ve now had two treatments at $50 a pop. Each one has taken no more than 10 seconds and been the worst thing that has ever happened to me. They tell me finger tattoos are the hardest to remove because you don’t have much blood flow there.
The process works by burning the tattooed area, the ink particles absorb the energy, heat up, and shatter into tiny fragments. The body’s immune system then flushes the tattoo particles away from the location, lightening the spot over time.
They think I’m still looking at 3 or so more treatments. I’ll keep you updated. But in the meantime, never get a tattoo you’re going to want removed. I can’t imagine doing this for a larger area.
Things Nobody Tells You (Life Hacks)
If you love to travel, eat, and drink as much as me, it’s important to remember all of the places you’d like to return to or recommend. I used to struggle with this, I could never remember where I’d been in a city. But now, I use the TripAdvisor app. It’s free and you can make a board for each city and save each of the places you go to on it. Never lose another great spot again!