You’ve stumbled upon Bar\Heart, a weekly newsletter about belonging and the places we call home. I’m so glad you’re here! This is the Friday afternoon Cocktail Hour, featuring drink recipes, book suggestions whatever detritus I find interesting each week. Subscribe and I’ll mainline my brain straight into your box! Cheers.🍸
Hi, y’all! We made it to Cocktail Hour – the “bar” portion of Bar\Heart.
This week, Lovey – that’s my husband – and I are drinking Hank the Tank Brown Ale from Batch Brewing Co. here in Detroit.
I’m not normally a beer drinker, but this one is real special to us. Our friend Stephen Roginson asked his team at Batch to brew a special brown ale for our very special dog, Hank the Tank, after he passed away in February.
We always knew our goodest boy was the community mascot. How could he not be with his beefcake head and dopey personality? But we didn’t know how much he meant to our entire community. So this surprise gesture – and so many other kind notes we received from friends and Bar\Heart readers – really touched us.
So we decided when the beer was ready, we'd host a party. And last night was that night! We tapped the barrels of Hank the Tank and invited everyone to raise a glass to Hank and all the furry friends we’ve loved and lost, and help raise money for Michigan Humane.
If you couldn’t make it – or aren’t local to Detroit – and want to donate in Hank’s honor, this is the best way to do it. Michigan Humane currently has a matching grant, so anything we all donate gets matched 1-1! So it’s double your donation!
This is the artwork that the brewers drew for Hank the Tank. I cried when I saw the artwork, which Batch gave us and we’re having framed.
Tomorrow (Saturday 4/30) is Independent Bookstore Day. Be sure to send some love toward your favorite local bookseller. They really are the hearts of our communities.
When I link to books in this newsletter, I use Bookshop.org because when you order through them, you are supporting independent bookstores. The site takes 10% of all its sales and divvies it up amongst local bookstores all over the country every six months. So far, they’ve given back nearly $20 million. You can read more about how it works here.
I am also a Bookshop.org affiliate, so I receive a small fee from sales made from links in this newsletter. It doesn’t cost you anything extra or take from the bookstores’ 10% cut, though! Just want to be upfront with y’all.
Regular readers know that I participated in a Sonnet Slam this week in honor of National Poetry Month and Shakespeare’s birthday. My friends at insideOut Literary Arts asked me to be a member of their team, and of course I said yes.
Even though I’m not a poetry reader and had no idea what a sonnet should sound like. So after spending too many hours Googling and listening to Patrick Stewart, aka Captain Picard, read sonnets on Instagram, I turned to my friends at iO for help.
They picked a sonnet for me from Michigan poet Diane Seuss and taught me how to read it. I even made a Manhattan and read it LIVE last week on our Friday afternoon LIVE session on Instagram. You can watch me make a fool of myself. Don’t laugh too hard.
Despite my sketchy sonneting, I can report that we won the Sonnet Slam! (My team buried me dead in the center of the lineup; wise move.) We came home with the trophy of good vibes from a night of community and knowing that we helped raise money for this great Detroit nonprofit. What could be better than giving Detroit kids the power of their voice, through the written word, to make change?
If you want to support their work, their National Poetry Month fundraiser is coming to a close. Maybe you can help them finish strong with a donation?
Reminder to anyone who needs to hear it: It’s ok to say no! Embrace the "no"!
I once liquified lettuce in my refrigerator’s crisper drawer. That’s how long the poor head of iceberg sat there. I’ve gotten better since then, but things still manage to get a little dicey in there.
Thankfully, the New York Times' Wirecutter recently published this great primer on how to keep produce fresh – and what to avoid tossing together. For example, keep apples and pears away from your mangoes and carrots. And lemons and limes are good on the counter for 2 weeks, then move them to the fridge. (Though, limes never last that long in our house! Too many G&Ts.)
Here is their hand-dandy guide, but do read the full article. There are so many more tips!
After 32 years, a Florida man sentenced to life in prison for murder because he had the same name as another suspect is finally free. My friend, Tris, was the reporter who brought this tragedy to light nearly a year ago. This week, Thomas James was finally exonerated.
This year, for Mother's Day, she created a playlist for her 12-year-old daughter, Louella. Anyone who finds themselves in the GenX demographic or nostalgic for the 90s will recognize so many of the tracks. It's a power list from kick-ass women bands.
It starts strong with The Cranberries' "Zombie," hits you with some Bikini Kill and the Breeders, adds in some Hole, Go-Gos and even Heart before finishing with Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U."
This will be on repeat on my summer road trip mix, reminding me of the nights I worked at Angelo's Pizza in Denver during college. I wasn't even old enough to drink, and I felt so cool working there. I looked up to the other women on staff who kindly taught me how to deal with drunk customers and carry a tray. They they also introduced me to Hole and Bikini Hill and so many of the artists on this list. We'd sit smoking and counting our tips at the staff table, these songs playing at full volume on the jukebox, and I thought life could only keep getting better. I definitely needed that soundtrack, and that feeling, back in my life right now.
Here's the full lineup so you can mix your own, in case you don't have Spotify to listen:
The Cranberries' "Zombie"
Sleater-Kinney, "Dig Me Out"
Liz Phair, "Help Me Mary"
Bikini Kill, "Rebel Girl"
The Breeders, "Cannonball"
Blondie, "Rip Her to Shreds"
Le Tigre, "Deceptacon"
Bjork, "Violently Happy"
Mazzy Star, "Fade Into You"
Fiona Apple, "Sleep to Dream"
Cat Power, "I Found A Reason"
Heart, "Crazy on You"
The Go-Go's, "Our Lips Are Sealed"
Stevie Nicks, "Edge of Seventeen"
The Bangles, "In Your Room"
Veruca Salt, "Seether"
Garbage, "Stupid Girl"
Hole, "Doll Parts"
Sinead O'Connor, "Nothing Compares 2 U"
He's so sleepy! Did you know bears become active a half-hour before sunrise, tend to nap throughout the day, and go to sleep an hour or two after sunset? Me either. But that's why I follow the Naitonal Park Service on Instagram. I get cool photos and science. FTW!
Alright. That's all for this week. I'll see you next week for Cockail Hour.
Don't forget to look for me in your inbox on Tuesday. I'll be coming in hot with the 10 books I'm most anticipating in May!
See you then.
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What is Bar\Heart? It is Amy Haimerl’s weekly newsletter and podcast about belonging in America and the places we call home. Plus cocktails! You can read more about it here. The midweek edition includes intimate conversations from the heart; the Friday Cocktail Hour is a round up drink recipes, book recommendations and other detritus I pick up on the Internet and in life.