Saturday, November 1, 2014


This November edition of the Panda Head Newsletter tackles both FAMILY and (or) THANKSGIVING, and with a cast of talented contributors (including illustrators Lauren Tamaki and Hannah Dean, writer Casey Weir, and graphic design witch/maker of her own Thanksgiving traditions, Jourdan Betette), each feature takes off running in a wildly different direction, and I'm so glad to have had all of them in on it.

Many thanks to Y-O-U for subscribing – from here on out, the Panda Head Newsletter will focus on all things Panda Head Blog + the A Creative DC project. If you're not already getting these in yr inbox, you should! Hope the holiday season kicks off smoothly at your house – X and O.




i eh loav m’familé! (pause, hawking, coughing) excuse me! sorry, i had a MOUTH FULL OF TURKEY BREAST. i was just with my family for THANKSGIVING DINNER. why do they call it dinner when we eat at 3? you know no pilgrums be eatin’ no turkey breast at 3; they be eatin each other though, on that hannibal lecter shit. I KNOW THAT’S RIGHT.

where were we? oh! YEAH! i love my family. i love the way they shake. the way they rattle. the way they roll out of town and allow me to help myself to the glorious treasures of their medicine cabinet. it’s a kind of tacit consent, not the one you learned about in criminal justice class; ours is MUCH more chill. dad still thinks he has a good stock of emergency pain medicine (lol). he probably forgot about our tacit consent. it’s okay, he’ll find out someday…i’m sure it’ll be at the worst possible moment, like when he breaks a finger doing some handy-dandy shit for my mom. he’ll be like, “look bobby! i made you a television out of wood!” then he’ll come down with the hammer like WHAM! THAT’S A BROKEN-ASS FINGER M’FUCKER! YEAH SON!

he’ll be cursing, i’ll be at home, laying on my pleasure pad, feelin’ the good stuff slither through my central nervous system, playing patty cake with my cerebral cortex; so hot, soo gooey, so oozie in my floozie. then the phone’ll ring and it’ll be my mother. she be all like “have you seen your father’s prescription for good time city?” i be like “yeah, i seent that shit. I SEENT THAT SHIT ON T.V.”

she be like “?”

i be back at her like “that shit look REAL GOOD THOUGH F’REAL. but naw, i ain’t seen that jont.”

i eh loav m’familé.

Casey Weir is a writer in Alexandria, Virginia.


Lauren Tamaki is a Canadian in Park Slope Brooklyn, and an Art Director at Kate Spade Saturday. She previously worked as a designer at Bumble and bumble and Arch & Loop; illustration clients include GQ, Food & Wine, and The Wall Street Journal.


Thanksgiving Traditions
(for 100% real-life grown-ups)

Whether you have your own kids, or own clan of buddies who have procreated – most people now consider you grown-ups (finally). Hosting your own Thanksgiving is one of those rites of passage that nudge you further away from the adolescent category. So - my house, my rules? Absolutely. Here are a few traditions that may not have been part of your childhood, but will definitely be memorable for someone else’s. Try one out this year – or one of your own – and if your parents can’t hang, they don’t have to stay (although, ours definitely can).

1) Let them throw cake.
You know you have been thinking about it. All that food spread out on the table on the finest china. It is just beckoning for chaos. You get a devilish smile from your cousin across the table, and its a perfect segue to a glorious 80s movie food fight. Let’s fulfill this unfulfilled dream that left us angst-ridden into teen years (that’s TOTALLY why that happened). Set up a kiddie table on the patio or in the yard. Give them plates of mashed potatoes and let them go crazy!
BONUS: Dogs can be the clean-up crew. EVERYONE’S HAPPY.

2) Hire a designated babysitter.
Believe it or not - your parents like to relax too. Let them have a few too many ciders and stay up late for once. Relieve them of their duties and hire a babysitter or pay your babysitting-experienced teenage cousin stay the night and be the DB. Its really fun when your parents cut loose, guys. Trust.

3) Pump up the Jams.
Play the music loud, and make many toasts. This is the perfect time to get gushy and platonic-lovey with all your buds and also let the blood-family see what these people really mean to you. If your buds are over for Thanksgiving they have really infiltrated into family-land. Honor them by playing songs that remind you of old times together. Thanksgiving is all about the sentiments!

4) Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-chaaaannggeees! !
This is your time to throw the yams and marshmallows out the window (unless you’re like me and get down on those all animal style). Guess what? You don't have to do anything you don't wanna do. Out with the old...and in with the new. Start a new tradition this year. Seriously, DO IT. It's a responsibility of all new generations. If you’re hard up for ideas – you can always Pinterest that shit.

5) Quit Playin’ Games with ma Heart!
After the pie has been served and devoured what should we do? GAMBLE (fake money recommended). Poker or Black Jack can be a fun and festive after food activity because it does not require moving much. You may have another household board game that requires getting into teams which gets people all riled up and banded together. You can even give away the extra pumpkin pies you made as prizes for the winners!

Jourdan Betette is Magick Bat, and an artist + graphic design witch planted in DC from her native Californian homeland. She currently freelances for various local music and arts related projects, including Sasha Lord Presents Booking with Comet Ping Pong.


Hannah Dean works in a variety of mediums, including ink, water color, collage, clay, pastel, oil crayon, and acrylic. Her work concerns relationship and organizational themes. She has not shown in the past and has no formal art training beyond high school, but has been drawing and creating daily since she can remember. Hannah lives and works in Washington, D.C. but grew up in the Greater Boston Area.


In which my entire family re-experienced Halloween for the very first time, via my two and a half year old niece, Aurora. She may or may not have been the only one to go to bed screaming that she wanted candy.

Among other things, Morgan H. West writes Panda Head Blog and curates NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS, the Panda Head Newsletter.