Friday, October 31, 2014


Happy Halloween!  And it's a Friday, which means that the entire coming weekend can be rightfully devoted to the spirit world, movie marathons, and bowls of much-needed pumpkin seeds (which are, by the way, freaking awesome). If you have trick-or-treaters coming to your house this year, be sure to also be on the lookout for UNICEF collection boxes--a few dollars could make a world of difference :).

Peanuts animated GIF

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I'm exhausted from the week and looking forward to being an introvert this Halloweekend.  One of the things I'm most excited about, actually, is Daylight Savings--one more hour of sleep, yay!  And it's also always fun to know November is here because that means fall and winter holidays are coming, so I can start playing Christmas music...even though it doesn't totally make sense given the bat and spiderweb decorations currently filing my living room.  #noshame

<3 Frances

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thirty and Some Music

It's the thirtieth day of October, which means Halloween is officially tomorrow and November is officially almost here.  Bam.
But, instead of getting into the future too quickly, let's take a moment to appreciate the present (with music!).

<3 Frances

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Direct Again

Looking out the window now, I realize that the sun has just risen, and there's finally daylight.  When I got out the door earlier today (7:00 am!), it was dark and freezing outside, and I felt somewhat nocturnal and terribly decaffeinated.  But those are two pretty basic symptoms of my #mornings.

happy animated GIF

I have relatively good news today (hence the hamsters!), despite being a bit late on the delivery: Mercury has gone direct again!  As of the 25th (Saturday), our little planet friend with the chaotic disposition ended its retrograde.  That means that we can start making plans and decisions again without fear of havoc (yay!) and that the dust of whatever did happen over the past few weeks is going to begin to settle. Did you meet someone new and start a relationship during retrograde season?  Truths hidden by the guise of retrograde's mis-communications are going to come to light, and it's going to become clear where, exactly, you two are headed (if anywhere).  Have you been feeling forgetful lately?  Your brain fog will clear up in no time.  Have you been wanting to make a major change but been unsure of when to go through with doing so?  The post-retrograde period is a good time for your true wishes to surface and a good time for you to take action.
All that being said, may the force be with you as you tackle post-retrograde life!  I'll be attempting to do the same.  Results may vary.

<3 Frances

Monday, October 27, 2014

Food for Thought

It's the last week of October.  Officially.  That means that, in five days, November--the month of pre-holiday anxieties, chunky sweaters, and the Macy's parade (!)--will be upon us.  But I guess I'm probably getting ahead of myself now because November is, despite its impending arrival, a good 120 hours away.  And Halloween is arriving before November does, anyway.
Oh, God.  Halloween.  I love Halloween a little bit more than I should.  And not because of the candy (which reminds me--only buy fair trade chocolate!).

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Corpse Bride: a Halloween must and
one of the defining films of my unorthodox youth.
  In less seasonal news, Iris, Jill, and I were looking through poetry this weekend (because yes, we do that often!) and found a quote by Gibbons Ruark, a man who writes poems as awesome as his name. It's about the time that it takes to write a poem (or a story or anything, really), and it embodies how we feel about art in general:
"If a poet has finished a new poem and somebody asks him how long it took, he can legitimately (if facilely) recall his age and give that number of years as an answer.  Every durable poem must have the whole weight of a poet's years behind it."
Yeah.  Let that sink in a minute.  It sort of feels like their are tiny fireworks of accord going off in my chest right now because, suddenly, everything makes sense.

<3 Frances

Friday, October 24, 2014

Autumn Grunge

As the weather gets colder and the leaves turn to crisp shades of red and orange, I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to oversized flannels, moto boots (not real leather, though, of course!), baby doll dresses, and--unexpectedly--tights and leggings (even despite a previous disinterest in all things spandex).  Together, these items invoke thoughts of one decade in particular: the 1990s! 

<3 Frances

P.S. Please note that, sadly, none of these pictures are mine.  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Requiem for the Flightless

"They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without a pretence at apology, without the homage of a tear. Now and then a visitor wept, to be sure; but this slaughtering-machine ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory.” 
-Upton Sinclair, The Jungle 

More than 99% of America's farm animals spend their lives confined by the sunless metal walls of factory farms, industrial operations that pump out hundreds of hormone-filled meat products while completely disregarding the brutal effects they have on both animals and the environment. The animals on factory farms, their bodies swimming with antibiotics and increasingly resistant bacteria, are separated from their families and tortured by a quality of life so low it can hardly even count as an existence. Their counterparts--the roughly 1% living on local, organic, family-run farms--are exposed to sunlight and green pastures, but they see only pain and suffering.
I wrote this short poem (or at least attempted to) about the animals forced to live on factory farms in an effort to raise awareness about the horrors of industrial agriculture. Perhaps one day we will maintain sustainable lifestyles--our refrigerators stocked with fresh, local foods that did not pollute the environment with toxic chemicals--but for now the struggle to open the public's eyes goes on.

requiem for the flightless
by frances

i wonder what they see
when they look into my eyes.  
if they see anything at all, even.  
sometimes it doesn’t seem
like they do.

life is endless iron pastures,
metal bars,

corners too dark,
too tight,
too bloody.

needles pierce flesh,
beaten until it’s raw,

names are numbers
lullabies screams
mothers, babies
ripped from their sides
thrown onto conveyer belts
going nowhere.

i can’t swallow

like i used to.
can’t walk.
can’t run.
can’t fly.
can’t see.

but i can feel.

if anything,
i can feel.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Melancholy's Melodies

I know that I may share music a bit too often, but it's difficult not to. Sometimes life demands a soundtrack, and there are certain melody/lyric combinations that go perfectly with what we're feeling and with what's going on.  As someone who enjoys the photo essays from Mother Jones magazine and likes reading books like Watership Down, I often find myself drawn to sad songs--poems that hurt the heart and gnaw at the threads of emotion connecting nerves to reality.  Without further adieu, then, here are four of my all-time favorite pieces of musical melancholy:
"Time Flies" (Lykke Li)

"Wonderwall" (as covered by Cat Power)

"Flecks" (These Brittle Bones)

"Fix You" (Coldplay)

<3 Frances

Friday, October 17, 2014

Another Week Down

Congratulations, you've made it through another workweek!  Between assignments, upcoming tests, and general societal anxieties, this week feels like it's been rather long.  The next 48 hours for me will probably not be all that restful, but it's going to be okay because Halloween is in exactly two weeks (on a Friday!).

The 40 Cutest GIFs In The History Of The Internet

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Song for Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, friends.  We've made it through the infamous first day of the work week.  

Alt J: "Dissolve Me"

Friday, October 10, 2014


It's a cold, rainy Friday, and after hearing about all the scary things happening right now, we want to emphasize how important it is that you take care of and appreciate not only those around you but also yourself.  Take time to be grateful and happy--watch a funny movie or tell a joke or, even if your day is hard and you feel lost, give yourself a hug.
And then let our little October ghost GIF friend give you a hug, too.

<3 Frances

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday Music

It's morning again, and my mind is trying to adjust itself to a state of consciousness.  But it's also #ThrowbackThursday, which means I'm dressed up like eighties-era Madonna and, for the sake of the day, enjoying some throwback music from decades past.  A little cheesy?  Maybe.  But worth it nevertheless.


Nirvana: "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Hole: "Doll Parts"

The Smashing Pumpkins: "Tonight, Tonight" 


Madonna: "Holiday"

Michael Jackson: "Thriller"

Simple Minds: "Don't You (Forget About Me)"


The Bee Gees: "Staying Alive"

Queen: "We Will Rock You"


Jimi Hendrix: "Voodoo Child" 

The Beatles: "Blackbird"

Obviously we didn't get all the great hits or great artists up there, but we have a few pretty big ones, including the king and queen of 1990s alternative, the original "Material Girl," and Jimi himself.
Happy Thursday!

<3 Frances

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mercury in Retrograde

In case you don't know already, Mercury, one of our dear planet friends, has gone into retrograde...again.  This phenomenon, which occurs three times this year (February 6-28, June 7-July 2, October 4-25), is known for causing communicative confusion and all-around uncharacteristic sloppiness.  Mercury is hanging out around the sun, looking to us humans as though it's going backwards, and it's playing all sorts of tricky games with our lives (trust me--we here at Moth Bird are experiencing it, too!).  Missed flights, misread emails...yup, welcome to retrograde season!
All that being said, though, Mercury's period of "backwardness" doesn't need to be entirely bad and chaotic.  Here are a few bits of knowledge from some of our favorite online astrology experts:
 Don’t purchase any big ticket items, because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of! Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, and make sure you have a warranty!
 Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, and people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster — could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!
 Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions. Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet, but adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.
-Gala of Gala Darling

 So how not to have a nervous breakdown? Focus on the prefix re-, which means to go backward. Don’t start anything new. Review all your contracts before you sign. Renew your commitments, rather than making new ones. Prepare to repeat yourself often. It’s like learning a new dance. Or something.
Note to all 21st-century dwellers: Mercury retrograde can crash electronic equipment. Back up your computer, calendar and cell phone address book. Expect delays if traveling, and pack a book to entertain yourself while you wait for the tardy bus or plane. Get in touch with old friends – and don’t be surprised if people from your past track you down. You might hear from the most RANDOM ex-boyfriends and childhood classmates during retrogrades. Mercury also rules contracts, so think before you ink. Either wrap up important negotiations before the cycle starts, or wait to sign documents until Mercury goes direct.
-Tali and Ophira of Astrostyle
Retrogrades can create some serious confusion. It also causes indecision. You may notice things getting lost and luck may seem to be against you. In fact, mercury retrograde can be seen as the planetary manifestation of Murphy's Law. Meaning that it can feel as if everything that can go wrong.... Is going wrong. It is famous for causing delays and postponements in all areas of life and this feeling of fighting upstream can lead to a sensation of severe restlessness and frustration. Mercury also particularly effects a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations & anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office & cabs so if you have to interact with any of these industries, you can expect some mix ups to occur.
 -Just Channeling

 Overall, friends, don't take anything too personally, be wary of signing contracts or making big commitments, and, if you're going somewhere, expect some unexpected delays.  But also let go of your anxieties and just go with the flow.  Fighting and resisting Mercury will get you nowhere, and know that this time of confusion is both temporary and also wrought with opportunities for good things to happen.  Work on unfinished projects!  Let yourself breathe! We're doing our best to do the same.

<3 Frances

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Never Forget

The situations being faced by the victims of 1986's Chernobyl catastrophe are heart-wrenching and unimaginable, but they also have produced many powerful stories of hope and inspiration.  Chernobyl Children's International October e-bulletin just came out, and I wanted to share it because of the spotlights it puts on the lives of some of Chernobyl's victims--old and young--and the profound bravery with which they lead their lives.
On behalf of all of us at Moth Bird, I also wanted to say that we are so very excited that we've had 205 page views!  It may be a little number, yes, but it's one that's very meaningful to us.
Thank you!
<3 Frances

Monday, October 6, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Yet another week has come and gone, and we're officially four days into the crisp autumn days of October.  That means 27 days left until Halloween, and I'm a little bit too excited about that....
Today I wanted to share a picture that will make your life better.
Meet the "Office Kitties."  They, too, love weekends.

<3 Frances