About Sophia Ball

I'm really good at drinking wine. In fact, I'm probably drinking wine right now. Occasionally, I write stuff too. Award-Winning Writer | Podcaster | Columnist | Blogger | Wino | Sparkler Enthusiast | Actively Resisting Adulting If you stop by my blog for a visit, be sure to talk to me too! I love meeting new folks, online and off. :)

Want to get better understanding of what happened in Charlottesville? Read these.

Like the rest of the world, my eyes are on Charlottesville right now.

I wavered on whether to write about it – I’m not a political or cultural commentator, and people wiser than I are already discussing, writing, analyzing, and illuminating the topic. But I have a feeling that in order to achieve any sort of true change, and move forward, we have to – at least – speak out. To speak up for the people around us. To speak up for what we believe to be good, and true, and kind.

I’m shocked, because it’s impossible not to be shocked by such things, but I’m not surprised. In the Western world, racial tensions have always bubbled beneath the surface while we pat ourselves on the back for how far we’ve come.

We aren’t talking loudly enough about the socially-sanctioned violence that is being inflicted upon minorities. Now, but also before Charlottesville, from before Trump ever came along – although he seems to have fanned the flames.

So let’s talk. Or, in this case, read.

This is some reading that I’ve been doing, in my attempt to get some clarity about what happened. Hopefully, it’ll resonate with you too.

Charlottesville and the effort to downplay racism in America, by Jia Tolentino

“Charlottesville, Virginia, feels enough like Eden that it’s always been easy to hide a certain amount of blood […] What happened in Charlottesville is less an aberrant travesty in a progressive enclave than it is a reminder of how much evil can be obscured by the appearance of good.”

When Does a Fringe Movement Stop Being Fringe?, by Vann R. Newkirk II

“Even the most feared white supremacists in the lore of Jim Crow were just regular white men […] The disconnect in terms is understandable. It’s one thing to see the Red Shirts and Klansmen as bogeymen of the past and imagine their pogroms and mob clashes in the abstract. It’s another to see them manifest suddenly in violent strength, even if one subscribes to the idea that white supremacy runs deeper than caricatures of hooded rogues, and that its long tendrils have always animated politics and political violence in America.”

Charlottesville Is the America That Donald Trump Promised, by Jay Willis

Via GQ.

“Today marks the first fatal terrorist attack to occur on this president’s watch, but it did not come at the hands of that one religious group he denigrates at every opportunity, and whose adherents he wants desperately to ban from entering the country. Instead, it was committed by people who have been living among us all along, quietly waiting for an opportunity that, at long last, has arrived. Hate has always existed in America. Donald Trump just made it fashionable again.”

The Rise of the Violent Left, by Peter Beinart

“Antifa (short for anti-fascist) traces its roots to the 1920s and ’30s, when militant leftists battled fascists in the streets of Germany, Italy, and Spain. When fascism withered after World War II, antifa did too. But in the ’70s and ’80s, neo-Nazi skinheads began to infiltrate Britain’s punk scene. After the Berlin Wall fell, neo-Nazism also gained prominence in Germany. In response, a cadre of young leftists, including many anarchists and punk fans, revived the tradition of street-level antifascism.”

What Trump Gets Wrong About Antifa, by Peter Beinart

“Saying it’s (Antifa) a problem is vastly different than implying, as Trump did, that it’s a problem equal to white supremacism. Using the phrase “alt-left” suggests a moral equivalence that simply doesn’t exist […] antifa’s vision is not as noxious. Antifa activists do not celebrate regimes that committed genocide and enforced slavery. They’re mostly anarchists. Anarchism may not be a particularly practical ideology. But it’s not an ideology that depicts the members of a particular race or religion as subhuman [..] If Donald Trump really wants to undermine antifa, he should do his best to stamp out the bigotry that antifa—counterproductively—mobilizes against. Taking down Confederate statues in places like Charlottesville would be a good start.”

How “Nice White People” Benefit from Charlottesville and White Supremacy, by Lauren Duca

“Look, getting a job because your name is Geoff is not the same thing as joining the KKK, but that privilege is precisely the thing white supremacists were working to reassert in Charlottesville. They chanted about not being “replaced.” Their very existence is grounded in insisting on a moral claim to this country as a superior race. They want to continue having every possible advantage based on the color of their skin; that’s practically the mission statement. Most white people are at least aware that they benefit from white supremacy, and yet we stuff down these painfully obvious truths, tending to our cognitive dissonance like a paper cut that won’t heal, worrying more about being called racists than the effects of racism itself.”

Have you heard of goth chickens? Because they’re totally a thing, and they’re fantastical.

I’ve finally found my spirit animal. My patronus, for you Potter fans out there.

So pretty. Source.

This is a goth chicken.

It’s a genetic mutation, of course. All the best things are. It’s known as fibromelanosis, which just means that the birds produce 10x more melanin than your run-of-the-mill Foghorn Leghorn.

Foghorn J. Leghorn – from Looney Tunes, obviously. The greatest show from my childhood. Source.

This means that the Goth Chicken is totally black – from feathers to bones. To it’s black, black heart. The inky colour is so deep it’s iridescent in the feathers, shimmering with purples and blues.

Ermergerd look how cute that baby chick is… source.

It’s feathers, skin, bones, organs, muscle – all totally black.

Apparently, only his blood isn’t black. Cause hemoglobin and shit. Source.

How cool is that? I totally want one. I can keep a chicken in my apartment, right? Plus, in a zombie apocalypse you could eat him. Nutritious and delicious, tastes just like chicken.

I assume.

New favourite music stuffs!

Hillsburn is playing our Blues & Jazz music festival tomorrow, and I’m pumped. Two weeks ago, one of my dear friends (and total music buff) was like; “Have you heard of Hillsburn?” and I was like; “Nope” but then she put on the CD and I had totally heard one of their songs before. So I’m totes hip.

I don’t know what it is about my particular corner of the world, but here in the East Coast incredible artists and creators are literally dripping out of our walls. Literally. It’s kind of creepy actually.

Anyway, I think they must be spiking the water or something. And as long as they’re already spiking the water with talent, they might as well throw some LSD in there too. (Is that still a cool drug? I don’t know what the kids are taking these days.) Would make for a super interesting Saturday. That way we can all chase the dragons in the kitchen.

I’ve gotten off-topic.

Back to Hillsburn. These are some of my favs from their album “In the Battle Years”. Definitely worth taking a listen.

I also really love the last song from that album; “Billy”, but I can’t find a version that will play for me on YouTube so I don’t wanna link it. It’s on Spotify though, and I highly recommend taking a listen. Cause it’s super dark. Spoiler: It’s about murder. But it’s got a super catchy riff so it’s okay.

I don’t know if this will work for yas, but let’s give it a whirl:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/1PXmX2r7fBlpTXpIauTn5t

I’ve heard they put on a pretty epic live show, but even if they have an off-night I’ll likely be mildly intoxicated and drunk me is super easy to impress, so I win either way. Yay me!

If you see me at the show, yes – that is a flask in my purse and no, you can’t have some.

BTWs, the Storytelling Gig went off without a hitch, and as soon as I get the press pictures I’m gonna tell you all about it. It was awesome.

Here’s a backstage picture I took from another Small Halls show that I MC’d in the meantime:

I’m basically a music photographer now.

PS – I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this (cause duh) but drugs are bad. Don’t do them.

PPS – Unless they’re prescribed to you. Then take the drugs.

PPPS – This also feels like an appropriate time to point out that ‘sharing is caring’.

Ermergerd!

I found a new place! Yay for not being homeless!

Also, it’s gorgeous. Totes gorge, if you will. It’s actually a little too fancy for me. I haven’t figured out how to operate the dishwasher. But honestly? I think that’s the dishwasher’s fault and not mine. When I press buttons the dishwasher refuses to respond in any way that makes sense.

I’m naming the dishwasher Scrooge cause it’s so difficult to work with.

In other moving news, I can finally (almost) fit all books onto one giant bookshelf. IT’S MY NEW FAVOURITE THING. I feel like Belle.Today is also a super exciting day! First – this blog right here was mentioned by CBC. I like that they warned people in advance about my cursing. Fair move, CBC. I feel ya.

The other fun thing happening today is that I have a performance as an introductory storyteller for the internationally award-winning Small Halls festival. It’s crazy, I don’t even know how it happened – but sometimes the universe gives you opportunities and you gotta follow them. I’m excited, and nervous. I’ve been rehearsing HARD, and I think it’s gonna be great. I think when my feet hit that stage, as the great Neil Gaiman and Jenny Lawson say, I’m just going to pretend to be somebody who’s good at it.

I’m IN this!

Wish me luck!

PS – I have helicopter stories, falconry stories, and ‘how Domino’s pretty much saved my life on moving day’ stories coming up for you on the blog roll this summer. Stay tuned!

PPS – If you like this blog, don’t forget to subscribe (you can find that in the sidebar —>) so that I can stalk your inbox keep up with you.

A Podcast Story – Pt. 1

OMG – things are happening! Slowly, and piece by piece, but they’re happening.

You know how I’ve mentioned that I’m launching a Podcast, right?

Here’s the logo:

Our tagline is: “Completely unsolicited life advice from two thirty-somethings who have no idea what’s going on…”

And this is the icon:

You can find the website here. It tells you what this is all going to be about. Please let me know if I’m missing something or if you are left with unanswered questions. It’s just a temporary landing site – something prettier will be developed down the road.

We even have business cards…

Business cards make it totally seem like I know what I’m doing right? Right?!?!

And our Facebook just went live. Like, 30 seconds ago. Please like it so I don’t feel like a loser.

My life is still a circus and I may be homeless come the 1st of June cause I haven’t found a new place yet. So send me good vibes please!

Where am I? What’s happening?

So in addition to a million projects, I’m moving. I don’t have a place to live yet, so send me good vibes. Also? Moving is the worst.

In addition to all that, I have some personal stuff happening that is stressing me out. One of the things that happens to me when I get stressed out is that I get easily confused. And super ADD. I have trouble keeping details straight.

Sometimes this leads to hilarity.

For example, I just thought that it was April but that May was already over.

Figure that one out.

I can’t.

Because that’s not at all how months work.

The good news is that some of my projects are wrapping up, which is good because my focus in GONE right now. I talked to my partner-in-crime for the Death Cafe and that is pretty much taken care of at this point, so it’s one thing off my plate.

I assume you’re wondering, “What the hell is a Death Cafe?”

Because people’s first reactions are usually “oh… isn’t that a little… morbid?” The answer is: it shouldn’t be, and it doesn’t have to be. We are living in a culture that isolates us from death, and discourages healthy conversations about it. That has some real-world impacts on our medical systems, on our end-of-life care, and on our burial customs.

There’s even some – dare I say it – cool things to talk about. Did you know you could have your ashes pressed into a record, over your favourite songs and stories? Or a diamond? Or you can become a tree!

I know that if I become a diamond, I hope I’m involved in some sort of epic heist.

So whether you’re afraid of death (like me!) or totally cool with it (like my co-host!), or just love to talk about anything and everything (like us!), death is a topic that is totally worth chatting about.

The purpose of Death Cafes is to normalize conversations around death.

Of course, I had so much fun designing the banner for this.

PS – In honour of my last-minute and somewhat frantic move, check this out. His captions are hilarious and it’s keeping me sane right now.

PPS – Because my life if so erratic right now, my posting schedule will be all over the place. I may even miss one or two. Please stick with me until things calm down again.

Did you guys know there are dildos with cameras?

***Full disclaimer: this post talks about dildos and vaginas. If you’re not cool with that, I suggest coming back later.***

So my techy sister and I had the following conversation:

A little while later we had this follow-up conversation:

 

PS – I’m really scared of the type of google searches that are going to lead people to this post.

PPS – If you’re here because you were looking for sexy time videos (aka porn), I’m sorry.

 

 

I’ll take that Premium D…

***Bonus post for my other post this week just being me posting about how I can’t post and the posting is f’ked up.***

***I may have just created a blogging black hole. Also, if you followed that, congratulations! You get a sucker.***

***This is that post I was having trouble with, I wanted to add a bunch of Beauty and the Beast GIFS but WordPress won’t let me because they hate me. Or you. Probably you.***

***I’ve since found out that it has something to do with the capabilities of WordPress.org over WordPress.com. I have to import my whole blog over to .org and find hosting and a bunch of other stuff to add GIFS. The moral of the story is no GIFs for you.***

***For now at least. No one knows what the future holds.***

I’ve been pulling some crazy days lately. All my days seem to be 18 hour days, but I’m working on super fun, creative projects so it’s okay.

One of the things I’m doing is launching a Podcast with one of my best friends (I’ll tell you about it soon!) and we actually have an event booked already, which has really put the pressure on our deadlines.

Instead of our weekly meeting last night, we decided to take a break from all the hard work over the last couple of months and go see Beauty and the Beast. It was…

AH-MUH-ZING.

And not just the movie. Or the soundtrack. Which I will be singing for a week.

But the tickets… we sprung for the “Premium D-Box Seats” and could. not. stop. giggling. Because we have the emotional maturity of 12-year-olds. (For those that don’t know, the Premium D seats are the ones that move and shake and shit.)

I didn’t realize the seat could be turned up or down, and for realz, the next time I go I’m going to ‘jack up the intensity of that Premium D’.

THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!!! What?!?!?!

I’m fairly certain at this point they didn’t get named Premium D by accident.

What’s your best Premium D pun?

PS – Oh, and it’s Good Friday. Can anyone tell me what resurrection has to do with Easter Eggs, and why do they come from bunnies? It’s like religion was designed to make you stop asking questions. #zombiejesus

PPS –

 

Technical Issues

I’m experiencing some technical issues with my blog – that don’t at all make me want to smash my computer into a thousand tiny pieces that I crunch to dust under the heels of my feet…

…I just realized I would make a terrifying dictator.

Fuck. I’m coming back as soon as I figure this out.