cincinnati, it's more than just ok


Fourth of July has always been a big deal in my family, as it should be. It marks the most important birthday of all, that of ‘murica! This particular fourth was exceptionally awesome. The weekend started off great. We had some family time that was extra special. I am not sure if Atticus was just in moddler mode (defined as “a model toddler”) or we were just ready to relax and we actually threw ourselves into autopilot. Having no obligations, no rules, and being laid back is the best strategy to a toddler being a moddler; the less conflict, the better. For whatever the reason, not only did I genuinely enjoy my people this weekend, but I realized I kind of love my city.

Cincinnati was not on my list of dream cities, honestly, it didn’t even rank. But through a series of decisions this is where I am today. 8 years ago when we moved here, it was easy to hate on the city. There were few restaurants, and no nightlife, so disparaging comments about Cincinnati’s delay in growth made sense. Everyone agreed that we were living the Mark Twain ideal that Cincinnati was 20 years behind the rest of the world.

“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times.” -Mark Twain

But today, no matter how hard I try to hate on the city, I can’t help but love it. Between Bluegrass night at Washington Park, the Fort Thomas community 4th party, the Cincinnati Nature Preserve, and just being able to go to my mom’s for a patriotic party, all within a few days, gives me pure gratitude.

The city is really trying, and they are succeeding. As someone who wishes they were an outdoorswoman, married to a true outdoorsman, but definitely urban at my core, I have the best of both worlds here in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. There are plenty of parks that allow for a good old fashion hike, but most of them have bonuses like grazing buffalo or turtle feeding, play parks and picnic spots. Everything is super affordable, compensation is pretty decent and even during the recession, there were jobs available for us college educated folk. There are a lot of great local musicians so most of the festival music is good, and because I am surrounded by Catholics, there is always a community festival happening somewhere in town.

As middle class folk, with a young child, I couldn’t ask for more. This may not be my forever city, but I am happy to be here now. To see a city turn an ugly river with some floodwalls, into a sophisticated and beautiful waterfront that encourages community and togetherness has been inspiring. Everywhere I look I see innovation, creativity, and most importantly, hard work. I’ve seen parks filled with strung out junkies turn into meccas of childhood joy, I’ve seen ratcheted buildings with so much character being wasted, brought back to life with new purpose. And most importantly, I’ve seen a generation inspired to push the limits of human capability and simplistic living.

Best of all, my kid is getting to see this too. What better way to teach core values, like the love of family and hard work, than to see it at every corner, every day. You can’t legislate morality, but you can live it and I would argue that has the greatest impact on the next generation. Kindness, community, family, inspiration, creativity and hard work are our family’s core values so seeing that everywhere I look makes me feel a sense of belonging that I have never really felt before.

Maybe this philosophical realization came because it wasn’t hot as hell outside? Instead of coping to survive like I usually feel during July 4th festivities, I was able to actually experience the moment. Either way, I’ll mark it as a win. So thanks Cincinnati (and its surrounding neighborhoods in Kentucky) for being awesome. Thanks to all of those that work hard to make it a better city, and especially those who have stuck around to help build it, instead of running away to a sexier city (you know who you are ;)).

crimson attends a clinton rally, SCOTUS ruling gives us warm fuzzies, and Brexit...oh Britain.

While Crimson fails to see Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, she can’t help but make some keen observations about the Cincinnati rally. Laurie and Crimson discuss the SCOTUS ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Texas, where the SCOTUS struck down anti-abortion laws limiting a womans access to reproductive health care in the state of Texas. This somehow leads to a sidebar about a John Oliver’s skit using dogs to represent the SCOTUS members, a well worth investment if you haven’t watched. And then we get to the big news about Brexit from the EU and how once again, millennials just keep getting shit on. Laurie sells out to The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts where the author explores the root causes of bad thoughts and why they spiral out of control.


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the democrats fight for common sense gun laws and the humanism of the blame game

Unintentionally, we spend most of the hour discussing the Democrats attempts at getting gun legislation passed by the House and Senate. That leads us into the concept of blame and vulnerability as we “sell out” for Brene Brown’s TedTalk “The Power of Vulnerability.”

the left and rights reaction to the orlando tragedy

Crimson goes on a rant about the downfalls of today’s competitiveness in extracurricular sports and then we catch up on Orlando and its new tragedy. We contemplate life, post the Orlando terrorist attack under a Trump regime and the implications of his rhetoric. Laurie gives a strong endorsement for watching “60 Days In” and we start a conversation about the disaster that is the US prison system. And Crimson sells out for the “Tyme Iron.”

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podcast technology

For those of you who have listened to the crimsonian podcast since episode one, thank you. And not just thank you for taking time out of your day to listen, but for tolerating the lack of professional sound quality. When we started this endevor, it was just to have a creative outlet and to partake in the awesome world of podcasting. We really didn’t think anyone would listen, so we decided to wing it. I had absolutely no idea what technology was needed or how to make it possible, but as with most things in life, you just got to throw yourself in and figure it out.

Through the process of trial and error (and consultation with my husband, Taylor), I believe we have FINALLY reached our goal of sounding somewhat professional, without making a significant investment. Yay! But given the hassle, I thought I would share what worked for us, so you aspiring podcasters can learn from the error of my ways.

I started with just a MacBook Pro and a USB microphone I borrowed from Taylor’s company. One microphone, directly into the machine worked ok, but Laurie and I had to be pretty close and any movements would put one of us out of the range of good quality. So it was uncomfortable and didn’t sound professional. The bare minimum of being able to hear us was met, but it just wasn’t good enough. We needed another microphone.

We then learned that Mac’s wont recgonize two microphones…at least not when using Audacity or Adobe Audition. So we proceeded to buy 2 AUX microphones, XLR cables and an audio box. The thought was that the audio box would allow for two microphones to be recgonized as one by the machine. But this too failed. You could barely hear either microphone, and when troubleshooting we learned that we may have needed a power booster for our audio box. We went on to buy the USB power hub, but that rendered no improvements.

In this time, we had an unique opportunity to interview a good friend who was coming to town for a wedding. So with our shitty set up, we proceeded to interview them, which was a big mistake. The interview is so impactful, but the quality really takes away from the content. I could hit myself when I think about this…ugh technology.

Out of frustration, and after returning hundreds of dollars worth of equipment, I decided to go to Radio Shack (yes, they still exist somehow) and I bought the best USB microphone they carried, the Blue Yeti. I came home, hooked it and my borrowed USB mic up to the USB power hub and sure enough, it still didn’t freaking work. I was done, I hadn’t won any battles and the war was looking over. I was defeated, and quite honestly, over it.

Lucky for me, Taylor still had some fight in him. While I was out with a friend, he took it upon himself to solve the unsolvable. And with another small investment in Garage Band, he did it! Thank fucking God, cause I was seriously over the whole situation.

So Episode 3 will be the first episode with our new “professional” set up. We have 2 USB mics, hooked into a USB hub, which is then hooked into my MacBook Pro. Garage Band recgonizes both microphones and me and Laurie no longer have to huddle up close to provide our commentary and we sound much better. We still have a lot to learn about the world of podcasting, and we are working hard to figure it out and improve each episode, and can’t thank you enough for hanging in there with us!