the writeous babe project

writing my way through life as a southern fried feminist

30 Things I Love Right Now

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

For this month's issue of See Jane Write Magazine I interviewed author and poet TJ Beitelman about his writing process and his latest novel John the Revelator. TJ is one of my co-workers at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, one of my favorite writers and one of my favorite people. 

TJ (pictured above) also blogs and on his blog has a feature he calls 30 Things I Love Right Now

So I decided to give it a try. 

In addition to working with talented people like TJ, here are 30 things I love right now. 

(1) Tacos. | (2) My lunch bunch at work. | (3) Brach's marshmallow pumpkins. | (4) #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso.  | (5) Talking to other women about their dreams. | (6) Essie nail polish. | (7) See Jane Write's new website. |  (8) Birmingham. | (9) Almond tea at Urban Standard. | (10) Giggling with girlfriends in coffee shops. | (11) Brunch. | (12) Women Business Leaders. | (13) Running the Lakeshore Trail. | (14) Beyonce's latest album. Still. | (15) Goddess by Banks. | (17) Pretending to be a real professional by using my LinkedIn account.  | (18) Blogging. | (19) Reading other people's blogs.  | (20) Dreaming. | (21) Writing a column for B-Metro. | (22) Cooking salmon for husband every Sunday.| (23) My red shoes. | (24) Maxi dresses. | (25) Being a happy feminist. | (26) Finding other happy feminists on the Internet. | (27)  Fancy Love fragrance by Jessica Simpson. | (28) Being childfree. | (29) Being free. | (30) Being me. 

5 Things That Made Me a Happy Feminist This Week, Vol. 4

Friday, September 12, 2014

I met this lovely lady -- PR diva Candie Price -- at a blogging conference last month.
As you can see we became buds instantly. So I was elated to see her at this month's WBL meeting. 

1. Women Business Leaders. On Saturday, I joined Women Business Leaders, a networking group for professional women of faith. I plan to write an in-depth post about the group before its next meeting in hopes that some of you Birmingham babes will join me.

2. Alabama feminists. The University of Alabama student newspaper The Crimson White reports that my alma mater is now home to the UA Feminist Caucus!  

“The issue of feminism impacts us everyday regardless of gender, sexual orientation or anything like that. That’s why it’s so important to be involved,” Cassidy Ellis, club president and a first year graduate student studying gender and race studies, said.
According to The Crimson White, Ellis came up with the idea for a feminist club for the University last spring. She said her goal was to address those who have said there isn’t a need for feminism, and that the group seeks to dicuss further misconceptions faced 
about feminism.
Upcoming events include a “Feminism Is for Everybody” panel discussion. I might have to take a trip to T-Town to check this out! 


3. Supporting fellow woman writer and entrepreneur Carrie Rollwagen. Carrie, the owner of a local coffee shop and book store, has written a book about the importance of supporting local businesses and she's launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the book published.  I consider it a privilege to be a backer of such an important project. Watch the video above to learn more and then pledge your support too! 

4. Feminist Wednesday. I can't believe I'm just now learning about, but I'm so glad I recently stumbled upon the feminist storytelling site.  Go check it out now and thank me later. 

Princess of the Press!

5. And thanks to NPR I also learned about another awesome site this week -- Rejected Princesses. Produced by Jason Porath, Rejected Princesses is a series of illustrations of women whose stories wouldn’t make the cut for animated movies, or has he says "women too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids' movies."  

What made you a happy feminist this week? 

My Feminist Fingertips, Vol. 2

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Nail Color: Play Date by Essie
How ironic that the nail color I've been wearing most of the month is called Play Date. My feminist fingertips have been hard at work. Play dates have been few and far between.

This month for my B-Metro column I wrote about why natural hair is my feminist fashion statement.

I blogged for Birmingham Restaurant Week 2014.

School started back but declared on this blog that I wouldn't let that stop me from pursuing my writing dreams or spending quality time with family and friend.

At school I organized an hosted a TEDTalk-inspired professional development day for my colleagues. One of my co-workers gave a talk on Sam Seidel's Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education. I was so inspired that I wrote my August column for WBHM on the topic and revamped some of my lesson plans.

And one of the things I am most excited to report is that this month I revamped the See Jane Write website. Check it out and let me know what you think.

What have your feminist fingertips been up to this month? 

5 Things That Made Me a Happy Feminist This Week, Vol. 3

Friday, August 29, 2014


Do I really need to explain why this made me happy?

2. Well, in case you don't get it, read this article from the Ms. Magazine blog. 

In my review of Bey and Jay's On the Run tour, I mentioned that seeing the word FEMINIST was emblazoned on a huge screen at a mainstream music concert was nearly a religious experience for me. And it's an experience I had the chance to relive while watching Beyonce's performance at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night. As Ms. Magazine writer Anita Little explains:  

In being so unapologetic and quietly outspoken, she’s made feminism accessible to young women around the world who otherwise never would have identified with the movement. 
By lifting verses from Adichie’s TED talk on gender equality and using it to inspire her own music, BeyoncĂ© is bridging the gap between academic feminism and everyday feminism. If young women attendees at her On the Run tour can scream out the lyrics to “Flawless” and mean every word, who says they can’t  eventually read Audre Lorde?

3. While we're on the subject of celebrities dropping the f-bomb, Taylor Swift has finally joined the feminist club too! Two years ago I blogged about comments Swift made about feminism in an interview with The Daily Beast. 

When asked whether she was a feminist in a 2012 interview with The Daily Beast, she replied:
I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.
But now she's singing a different tune. In a recent interview with The Guardian Swift had this to say: 

As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means

Why should we care whether or not Swift calls herself a feminist? I think Anita Little, writing for the Ms. Magazine blog, said it best: 

Swift has millions of fans, most of them young women, so for her to gave a tacit endorsement of the feminist  movement could encourage fans to explore the meaning of feminism for themselves.

4. Tamron Hall spoke out on the ridiculous notion that child-free women are somehow less mature and less caring simply because they don't have kids.  "I’m taken aback by the idea that that empathy is bestowed upon you only because you are a parent," Hall said. 

5. Even Playboy understands that catcalls aren't flattering. 

See the full flowchart here

And one thing that pissed me off...

Lifetime's new show Girlfriend Intervention promises to bring out the "strong black woman" trapped inside every white girl. Sadly, I'm not making this up. Read this NPR article for more.

What made you a happy feminist this week? 

BRW 2014: Parish Seafood and Oyster House

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My husband loves seafood. He's originally from Virginia, so he grew up eating fish, shrimp, and crab the way my fellow Alabamians and I grew up eating chicken and ribs. So I knew that during Birmingham Restaurant Week 2014 we'd try at least one seafood place. We decided to visit a restaurant we'd never tried before -- Parish Seafood and Oyster House in Trussville. 

For our starter, my husband and I shared Nikki's Low Country Crab Cake -- a huge homemade crab cake made with lump and claw, blue crab served on a bed of Creole corn and topped with zesty remoulade sauce. 

For dinner I had the Low Country Shrimp and Grits -- creamy three-cheese grits smothered with big, juicy shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onion, and applewood bacon. At Parish they aren't stingy with the shrimp, making this a great pick for shellfish lovers. 

My husband had the Deluxe Seafood Platter because he wanted a little bit of everything -- fried catfish, fried shrimp and fried oysters, served with hushpuppies, cole slaw and fries. The shrimp, which I kept swiping from his plate, was seasoned perfectly. But hubster said the succulent catfish was "the star of the meal."

Matt Norman opened Parish Seafood and Oyster House in February of last year with a simple concept. 

"I wanted to open something simple, laid back that everyone could enjoy. I have always loved seafood and loved cooking this style of food," Norman said. "We strive to be that comfortable neighborhood restaurant and bar where friends can come to meet for a drink, enjoy our oyster bar, but you wouldn't think less of it as an option to bring your wife on a date or an anniversary."

Parish certainly has the welcoming atmosphere Norman is striving to achieve. The staff if friendly and goes above and beyond to be helpful. When my husband and I visited on a recent evening after work, the sound of soul music was soaring through the air. Enjoying the music, dinner guests were swaying in their seats and bopping their heads to the beat. 

Parish Seafood and Oyster House also serves live music on some nights. And they host a  jazz brunch on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m., featuring live jazz, $2 mimosas and $5 trips to the "Build Your Own Bloody Mary" bar.

Parish Seafood and Oyster House has a spacious covered patio that's perfect for events (when it's not 100 degrees outside).

"When we started out we were serving po'boys on deli paper and using foam cups and plastic ware," Norman said. "We moved past that. I now bring in a few hundred pounds of fresh gulf fish each week - red snapper, grouper, flounder - all butchered in house." 

Norman went on to say, "We like all kinds of food but most importantly, we love people. They, after all, are the only reason we are in this business and the only reason I am in this business. I want to make them all happy -- every last one that comes through our doors. Period."

And he means that. On the day of my and my husband's visit the temperature outside was hovering just below 100 degrees and so it was pretty hot inside the restaurant, too. Noticing sweat on the brow of some customers, Norman, who's been in the restaurant industry for 20 years, started offering free cocktails and glasses of wine to his guests. 

When asked what he thinks sets Parish apart from other local seafood restaurants, Norman's answer was simple: "Stubbornness," he said. 

"We know we are not always doing it right. We know we have room to improve. We know we aren't perfect. We are not too proud to admit it. However, we strive to be. We start over every day trying to be better."