Below is my attached resume and five samples of my best writing,
Samples of work
Below is my attached resume and five samples of my best writing,
Samples of work
When searching “Montenegro” on Google you will come across the country of Montenegro in the Balkans, but if you search “Montenegro alcohol” you will find the enlightened amaro of Bologna, Italy.
Montenegro is a very common industry drink amongst bartenders. It is most likely taken as a shot, but some very clever mixologists have incorporated this unique amaro in many cocktails; for example, Standby, in Downtown Detroit, offers a drink called “Cool, Cool Beverage,” that includes Branca Mentha, Rhum JM 100, grapefruit sherbet, mint and most importantly the holy grail: Montenegro.
It’s difficult to put into words what Montenegro tastes like. Is it orange? Allspice? licorice root?
It’s all of that and more.
Montenegro is a fairly innocent drink from afar, classy you may say, but if you limit yourself to this amaro for the night, you might find yourself waking up with the thought, “What the hell happened last night?”
Below are 10 ways Montenegro can ruin your life (based on personal experience):
1. Bringing a bottle of Montenegro to a party is exhilarating because not only is it incredibly difficult to get your hands on, chances are your friends and acquaintances haven’t tried it. But, when they do, they don’t like it. In fact, they hate it. At this point in the night, your self-esteem is at an all time low.
2. Well, now that nobody at the party likes it, you decide to keep it by your side and take shots straight from the bottle, not for you, but for the sake of the Montenegro. This leads to a light buzz and with that light buzz comes the inclination to smoke weed and what goes best with an alcoholic drink nobody likes? Weed.
3. So now you’re high….and buzzed. This a period of low inhibitions and a period of sparked curiosity towards what’s inside your new friend’s home. You leave everybody outside, including your boyfriend and stumble into the house. You immediately fall unto the kitchen floor.
4. Upon entering the home, you spot a crazed drunken woman open the guest bedroom door and scream at the top of her lungs. Before tonight you were acquaintances, but now….you are best friends. (This isn’t Montenegro ruining your life, new friendships are actually one of the many benefits of drinking Montenegro).
5. You and your new BFF will converse in the drunken language of women: bitching about your boyfriends. This only strengthens the bond between the two of you. This will then activate your bisexual tendencies and you start to think, “Should we just date? Fuck our boyfriends.”
6. So now you and your new BFF our joined by two other girls on the guest bedroom bed. Don’t get too excited, nothing happens, except one girl takes her top off and suddenly you think, “Shit, maybe I’m not bisexual.”
7. You decide to leave the bedroom and find your boyfriend, since the craving for masculine energy is strongest at this point. He is found in the kitchen with lots of other men. The only thing you can think of is the Montenegro. You drunkenly express your concern, “Where is the Montenergrooooooooo?”
8. The men are laughing. They are laughing at you. They are laughing at your misery since you can’t find the Montenegro. You decide to head to the table lined with bottles of rum. You start to drink out of the bottles, straight up. The men try to stop you, but no man can stop a woman with Montenegro flowing through her veins.
9. You find a cat named Biscuit. Biscuit is unbothered. He is shaped like a literal biscuit. You love biscuit. You hug biscuit. Biscuit walks away. Your heart breaks.
10. Now you are determined to find the Montenegro the men hid on you during your cross-faded rampage. Your super woman senses tell you to open the refrigerator. You find the Montenegro. You hear your boyfriend mutter, “Oh fuck, what the fuck is even going on anymore?” You chug that glorious nectar of the Italian gods. Your night ends.
Your night doesn’t end on such a wondrous note. Don’t forget that you throw up outside your apartment building and feel like that would be the last day on Earth you would ever live.
Nope, drink how you want and have fun.
Also, Montenegro might turn your night into a messy episode of Jersey Shore – Midwest version, but it will make for great memories.
Emily Varnam, a doula, who is speaking over a Facebook call, is currently in London visiting family. Despite being jet-lagged, she is still able to hold a conversation about the systemic oppression that is present in the daily lives of women, especially women of color, regarding their bodies and health care. She tells me about the organization she co-founded, The Fifth Vital Sign (or 5VS), which identifies the menstrual cycle as a vital sign.
She founded 5VS with Kelsey Knight who is currently based in New York City. The two teach classes on menstruation, contraception, consent in a medical and sexual setting, breast and chest health, hormonal health, anatomy and body literacy.
The Fifth Vital Sign was created following several after-work conversations with Varnam about the lack of informed choice Knight saw while working in labor and delivery. Knight said that many women were “meeting their cervix for the first time during labor,” meaning these women were not aware of what their cervix did, especially during labor.
Lack of available access to body literacy is “disempowering” to these women, said Knight. They both decided that conversation concerning body literacy, among many other concepts, needed to be made accessible to as many people as possible.
According to Varnam, while working with birth, she noticed there wasn’t adequate preparation in the way education and healthcare systems were set up to give people opportunities to make informed decisions about their bodies and their health.
“I just saw how differently people were spoken to, how much their pain wasn’t taken seriously and how much they were coerced,” Varnam said.
It’s an issue where we need to start listening and believing people. This motivated them to focus their organization on people understanding their bodies, rather than a “one size fits all” kind of curriculum.
Varnam said that a really good way to oppress people is by not making access to body literacy easily available.
“Separating somebody from other people is one thing, separating people from themselves is a whole other thing,” Varnam said.
The Fifth Vital Sign is heavily focused on conversation.
“Our work is not to come in and save anybody, it’s really just having conversations about what our bodies do and what choices we can make,” Varnam explains, “then it’s up to the individual to makes those choices.”
The duo is currently broadening what they do in response to what people and the community have said they needed.
“The health of our bodies really relies on the health of the community and vice versa,” Varnam said.
Through multiple music workshops, events and discussions, these women are powering through a patriarchal area of society so their music can be heard, respected and danced to by all.
In 2013, former member Lauren Rossi began Seraphine Collective as a blog project. The blog featured interviews and individual profiles of women musicians in Detroit. She said her hope was to “highlight, inspire, and encourage current and aspiring musicians in the area.” The conversations that came from those interviews generated a rich exchange of ideas, including, but not limited to, the need for a woman-owned and operated venue, record label, recording studio, workshops and space where women could share their skills.
They started to create zines (most commonly known as magazines, or “fanzines”) and mix tapes. Then, their monthly meetings were being made open to the public. Once they received a grant from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Knight Foundation, the collective was able to put on BFF Fests and their DJ Workshop: Beat Match Brunch with Mother Cyborg.
“What started out as a predominantly rock music collective has grown drastically and now includes more hip-hop and electronic performances,” as said by a Seraphine Collective member. Because the Seraphine Collective is heavily rooted in inclusivity and the concept of being a collective, they chose to keep members anonymous.
BFF Fest (Best Fest Forever), one of the first events that really showed the community what the Seraphine Collective was, is an all-ages and inclusive summer music festival in Detroit. It was created to highlight, celebrate and promote the talents of Michigan’s diverse community of musicians and artists. BFF Fest prioritizes the participation of women, gender non-conforming, queer, transgender and people of color performers “to create visibility in a music scene dominated by patriarchal and institutionally racist cultural norms,” a seraphine collective member said.
Seraphine Collective is also putting on more events to create visibility in the Detroit music scene, such as their Open Tables monthly, where DJ’s from the Beat Match Brunch workshop get to practice beat matching vinyl records in a public space.
“Beat Match Brunch 102 is coming up this April focusing on the digital side of DJ-ing, taught by Mother Cyborg and Stacey Hottwaxx Hale (Godmother of House music!),” a Seraphine Collective member said.
The collective hopes to host another dialogue series in the spring, along with booking more shows they are passionate about, but their main focus, as of right now, is getting their own space.
Intersectional feminism plays a huge role in their movement. In their words, “Our feminism has to be intersectional or it is complete bullshit.” Seraphine collective said that they encourage open and honest expression of both feminist unity and differences. They believe that when people gather to create, perform and appreciate music, it has an unparalleled way of creating the authentic human relationships needed to collaboratively tackle all of the more “heavy” issues at hand in Detroit.
They also have hosted a series of community dialogues on rape culture in the Detroit music scene last spring.
As far as the future looks for Seraphine Collective, they aim to “keep exploring how music intersects with identity, community consciousness and various activism efforts in Detroit.” They want to continue supporting, building with, and learning from the people in Detroit who have been making music and art for generations.
Seraphine Collective hopes to keep growing and learning, especially from feminist organizations that have come before them. They are in the early planning stages of opening their own venue in partnership with Girls Rock Detroit and We Found Hip Hop.
My photo story is on the hospitality training session put on by FIERCE Staffing through the organization FIERCE Empowerment. Arielle Johnson, the founder of FIERCE, leads a group of women in a training session on hospitality to help them get a boost in the career field of hospitality.
What I learned from this project was that plans fall through and they fall through fast. I learned to always keep your options open and to plan for the unexpected. Putting together various pictures to build a story is truly a beautiful experience. Bringing this organization – and what they do – to life was my main goal. I plan to keep on finding more experiences to document through photography so I can create something just as special as this, again.
Sports photography is the most difficult project I have worked on so far. From indoor arenas with horrible lighting to players moving too fast for me to capture that special shot, I prefer to maybe shoot more stationary people. But all in all, I would do it again. I found it challenging to take in the timing of it all. Players will make that special shot when you never expect it and I was always waiting for it, only to miss it and be disappointed. As the game went on I got better about sooting multiple photos at once during a climatic play. I enjoyed being out there in the middle of it all and feeling like I captured moments that others did not.