Sunday, September 29, 2013

Consumables #81

A couple of days ago, I got to ride a ferry for my work day because I got to go present my knowledges to another library system (what? I KNOW THINGS) and wow was it a gorgeous, splendiferous day to ride around on a boat. I love you, Seattle!

And then, the day after, and each day since then, someone turned the lights out in Seattle. And turned on a wind machine. And a sideways rain faucet too. It happened overnight. I am less enamoured with you, Seattle!

Thankfully, we have our teevee set to keep us warm. New fall shows! Returning fall shows! It's all very exciting for a girl such as myself. Here are some early teevee thoughts, most of which are too early to really draw any conclusions because most tv shows, by their format, need time to grow a little, so judging now seems a little unfair. But don't worry, that shall not stop me.

New Girl
This show always pains me a little bit because the jokes! Mostly great! (Winston saying "I know everyone's going through a lot, but I think it's time for me to start a puzzle" is sort of the highlight of my week) but they throw in those hipster-racist jokes every once in a while that make me NUTS. I was afraid that after that horrendous Indian wedding episode that I was never going to be able to look at this show ever again, but my love for Nick and Winston has carried me forward. Schmidt is sort of dead to me, since they mostly make him do that icky stuff, and it was bad enough that they had Cece falling for him despite his inability to stop rapid fire racist stuff at her, but now he's got another lady who's totally into him? Ugh. Stop that story line, New Girl. It's gross.

Sister Wives
I know I just talked about this but I was super wrong about it. I said that reality shows, including this one, are about nothing. And then I watched Season 2 where Sister Wives had episodes about having to flee the state because of the legality of their family structure, and an episode about how their kids socialize with kids outside their faith, and an episode about sexual expectations for the teens in the family. It was actually more than a giant polygamist family going to the grocery store every episode. They're exploring bigger things. Sorry, Sister Wives.

The Mindy Project
Every single time I see James Franco in something, I think: oh. He's actually really good at this! I always forget that. I guess it's because of the persona that people always talk about, but I have total actor amnesia with him every time. It's like when I hear a Kanye West song and I think: oh yeah. He can make music, aside from being a jackass. NOW I remember. I thought Franco was really funny in The Mindy Project, and I hope he keeps showing up.

The Michael J. Fox Show
I really hope this stays good. I thought the pilot was good, and who doesn't love Alex P. Keaton? We need him in our lives, yes? Plus Marie from Breaking Bad! And Bunk from The Wire! Being very un-Marie-like and un-Bunk-like, thank goodness, because that would be weird.

Sleepy Hollow
Considering the decidedly spooky weather we have been having, I was super ready to be into this. I am going to stick with it a while longer, but so far...the EXPOSITION IS KILLING ME. So much explaining! If you can't tell your story through the action, and the story is complicated, it is excruciating. "I have found a clue in the note that was left here, and the note says that there were demons who fought with witches, but when the witches fought back, there was an energy force that was created whereby the demons need to be using a steel blade in order to kill others, but they can't be killed with a steel blade, they can only be killed with a medallion, which was created by a holy order, and the holy order has hidden the medallion..." Oh my gahhhhh. That's not anywhere near the actual storyline, but there are paragraphs of dialogue like that. SHUT UP AND GET CHASED BY HEADLESS MAN, PLEASE.

We all knew that Stephan from Pretty In Pink would grow up to be a terrorist, right? I've only seen one of these, and it's pretty silly, but James Spader gets to be creepy and weird, which all we have ever wanted from him, and so now we have it. You have to just ignore some plot silliness, is the only thing.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Why can't I remember the name of this show? I keep talking about it to people and I am always "Marvel Shield Agents. Marvel Shields and Agents. Agents with Shields? Sonny and Shields? Brook Shields?"

Parks and Rec
The first one this season was funny, and heartwarming, and delightful. It seems like that would get old or repetitious or something, but not to me it don't.

And yes, of course, Breaking Bad is coming to an end tonight. THANK GOD. My ticker cannot take much more of this. AMC was running a marathon of all the seasons in a row leading up to the finale and all I could think when I heard that was WHY anyone would do that to themselves all in a row like that. I remember, before I started watching it, a friend told me I had to watch it, and she said "I can't exactly say I enjoy it, because it's not a pleasurable show, but it's SO FUCKING GOOD." For all the commentary I have heard about it since, that still pretty much sums it up.

Happy teevee time, pals! Here's a song to start your week that's been speaking to me lately.

Graveyard, by Lucy Schwartz

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Annual Sog Has Begun

Out with Seattle summer gorgeousness, in with Seattle fall/winter/spring drippiness! Crap. Let's all stay in and read.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Consumables #80

You know what is irritating? People scolding each other on the social media Tweetbook or whatever when there is a joke made about tv, or movies, or Miley Cyrus, and the scold is along the lines of "Stop talking about Breaking Bad and start paying attention to the war on SYRIA, DUMBFACE." Listen, I get that many people are not as politically engaged as they should be. I am not going to argue that. But let me just say something on behalf of one segment of the Dumbface demographic, and that is this: I can know about Syria while also making a joke about Duck Dynasty, ok? It is possible to do both of those, by one human body. And maybe I want to do one of those on the Tweetbook and not the other. My tweetbooks are not representative of all the thoughts I am capable of having. Ok? Ok. So just stop that. Signed, Dumbface.

I shall now proceed with talking about the pop cultures and the books. Don't freak out.

Breaking Bad
I don't know what I could possibly add to the discussion about Breaking Bad that hasn't already been said by someone else, but I think it should be stated that Vince Gilligan is trying to kill us all with that show. I mean, good god. The anxiety! Also, I just have to say that for as gangster/evil as Walt has gotten, I love that they still have him run like a doofy dad. Every time he runs, all flat-footed, it is awesome.

Parks and Rec
Fall tv is around the corner! While we wait, I would like to live inside the Parks and Rec gag reels. Actually, not just while we wait. For all times.

Quick Draw
One of those millions of Hulu original shows. This old west comedy is all improvised and there are some good laughs in it. I've watched a few and I shall keep going. The main character has an old school comedy silliness that I love- it's like an updated Bob Denver quality or something.

Sister Wives
I don't know why I started watching this but now I can't stop. Please send help. You know the thing about reality shows, whether it was Osbournes or Kardashians or Sister Wives or Jon and Kate Plus 8 or Jersey Shore or Real Housewives Duck Dynasty or whatever? NOTHING HAPPENS EVER. Like, there will be a whole episode where a Real Housewife will go to dinner. That is it. I watched an episode of Sister Wives last night where a lot of the episode was the whole clan cleaning their yard. I am watching YARD WORK ON TV, you guys. So it's polygamist yard work, but still. Really?

I am behind the curve on this one- I just watched the very first two episodes. So far (I know I am not saying anything new about the Sorkin) there is way too much BITCHEZ BE CRAYZEE for me to hands down love it. Like, do the ladies have to be quite so hysterical? Just tone it down a wee skosh, would be good. I do like it enough to keep watching though (says the lady who binge watches Sister Wives. QUALITY STANDARDS).

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This one was so delightful, in so many ways. The main character, Ifemelu, grows up in Nigeria, immigrates to the US as an adult, and then returns to Nigeria again. Thematically, it delves deeply into being an outsider as an immigrant, becoming less and less so, and then the experience of being somewhat of an outsider in one's home country as a result. I think the reviews I have seen of this talk a good deal about the gender/class/race issues, for good reason, but not enough about how overall, this is a love story. Ifemelu falls in love with a boy in her school growing up, then has to leave him behind when she immigrates, and the question of whether they will find each other again when she returns is a lovely story.

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, by Ellen Forney
I am a fan of Forney's illustration style and her voice overall, and this one doesn't disappoint in those ways. Her depiction of her own depression and its effect on her personal life and her ability to make art (and her fears about not being able to make art) were so honest.

A Dog Called Homeless, by Sarah Lean
A kid's novel about a girl who has lost her mom. A sensitive, comforting story, but I didn't care for it overall. I have discovered that I am one of those people that finds no comfort at all in themes where the message is "your loved one isn't all the way dead because they live on in your heart." Because I am a crusty adult person. I would recommend it for kids though.

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
Such a light, charming graphic novel about middle school drama geeks. There is friendship drama and romance drama, but all in a very harmless happy way, where everything works out and things never get too bad to begin with. I would have loved this in 6th grade.

A Land More Kind Than Home, by Wiley Cash
Engrossing setting, fascinating characters. Story about what happens when a charismatic preacher's secretive practices run amok, and people start dying because of it. The only thing I would have liked more of is more development on what made the characters tick. The bad guy was so horrible- but there wasn't much background about why. And what was it about him that was so charismatic, exactly? But maybe the ambiguity was sort of the point. Could be.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt
It's weird to think about it now, but there was a small era of time when I was little that I hated my brother. Like, I HATED him. But I also loved him so much, I wanted to be around him all the time and followed him everywhere. Except I hated him. But loved him. Both. This story is such a good take on the complicated love/hate that can go on between siblings, both young and older, as well as the sad historical moment that was the early days of AIDS. The characters were the kind that stay with you for a while after reading, and there is a character called Toby that just broke my heart all up. He's the saddest character I have come across in a while.

My Friend Dahmer, by Derf Backderf
Although I thought the drawings were good and it definitely held my interest, I am not sure what to really take away from this. In a sense hearing any anecdotes from someone who knew Dahmer in high school are interesting just because it's hard to think of him as a person with a childhood, but I couldn't help but think that the author was placing significance to their encounters in a way that seems dubious to me. I mean, if Dahmer was strange in high school, wouldn't everything seem creepy or significant in hindsight, knowing what we know now? So, not sure what to make of this account. Plus, they weren't really friends, so that was kind of a stretch, but I guess "My Acquaintance Dahmer" doesn't sound as good.

That's all I have time for today. Never enough time to catch you up on everything!

I don't want to leave on that icky last book. How about a song that I have been listening to lately?

Song for Zula, Phosphorescent

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

High class water closet

It is 90 degrees outside today! I believe I am the only person in all of Seattle that is happy about this. I just want to get out there and BAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PICTURE. I know that lyric doesn't make sense when changed that way, but wheeeee I am sun drunk and so who cares.

Hey, so the other day, Nordic Boy and I drove up to our house and there were FIVE raccoons just chillin' on our front porch. It was maybe 5pm. Aren't raccoons supposed to be creatures of the night? Is that not the pact that they have agreed to with us? Nordic Boy and I started up our front stairs, saw the raccoon gang, and we backed our shit up and got back into our car to discuss what the hell we should do next. Do you think we are fraidy cats? I don't care because raccoons are mothereffing badasses and they will tear you a new crack crater if you mess with them. It took a few minutes but they decided to move along- they paraded down our front stairs, looked us in the face as we sat in our car, and they were all "THUG LIFE" and walked right past us and crossed the street into our neighbor's yard.

Did I tell you that when I was in Chicago a few months ago, Alli and I were taking an afternoon stroll through her neighborhood and we were walking by these train tracks and we saw a pack of 4 skunks waddling along a few yards away from us? What is with my only seeing smallish wild mammals in packs? Thank goodness the skunks were not startled by us or else they surely would have did that nasty shart-like spray on us or what have you.

I am super well-versed in the ways of nature, can't you tell? A regular Marlin Perkins.

In other news, we worked on our bathroom this weekend. Want to see?

Here's what it looked like before we started:

The counter and sink were super low, which I guess was nice only in that I felt like a total giant every time I was in there, and the counter was also built slanting outward so the depth took up all the space in the room. When Nordic Boy and I were in there at the same time, it was squishville. I always felt like we were fighting over the mirror, which when I say it like that makes it seem like we are vain, vain people, pushing each other to the side to gaze lovingly at ourselves. Which, I guess if fighting over the mirror was such a problem, then maybe?

Anyway, so it got ripped out.

Then Nordic Boy put in new insulation, replumbed some stuff, rewired and put in new lights.

 Then we bought a medicine cabinet/mirror that was more suitable for our gigantic pair of faces. There are even mirrors on the inside of it so we can love ourselves even when it's open. And the storage space! Line up all the things in the cabinet! LINE THEM UP!

 And then there was a new sink and new storage that allows both Nordic Boy and I to be in there at the same time, cozy but not squished:

And finally, new tile, which classed up the joint:

Result: I just want to be in my bathroom all the time. I am considering moving in there.

Thursday, September 05, 2013


It's no secret that in Seattle we get a lot of rain. 99% of the time it's misty rain, or foggy rain, or drizzly rain, or a steady soggy rain that saturates you to your core, like you've never been dry a day in your life. However, rarely do we get what I think of as a Midwest-style late summer downpour, starting with a hot muggy day that ripens into fat, heavy drops that pop out of a weirdly brownish gray sky in the afternoon, and then continues into a full scale thunder and lightning storm at night. I love that kind of rain. It's loud but somehow soothing at the same time. It makes me want to run outside in it but it also makes me want to hunker down with my dude under a blanket, somehow, both. It's a sexy rain.

We're having sexy rain right now. How about a sexy tune to go with it?

Rhye (The Fall)

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

I adore the first-day-of-school photos that populate my Facebook feed this time of year. They are the best! So much excited cuteness- cute smiles, cute outfits, cute little book bags. To die for. How are all these kids so excited for school? I was never excited for school, unless it was dance school. I remember starting kindergarten and being all "what the FUCK is this dumb sit-in-a-line and nap-on-a-mat bullcrap?" Only without the cusswords, which I did not fully embrace until middle school. By high school I was married to the cussword, until death do us part. Cussword child bride. I remember once, early on in kindergarten- like maybe my first week- I had decided school was for the birds and tried to tantrum my way out of getting on the bus. My mom was not having that shit and physically placed me on the bus and was all BUH-bye and I was off. I should have known- tantrums did not work on my mom. I still tried them every once in a while though. Worth a shot.

This weekend I went to a barbecue where I found out a dear friend of mine is moving away. I am simultaneously really excited for her but pretty much royally bummed with cheese for me. It seems as though I have to have a large majority of beloved pals who are several states away from me, like, as a rule. Frickety frack.

The other thing that happened this weekend was that I got an email, out of the clear blue sky, from a friend that I used to know from my THE-AH-TAH days saying that she's in town. We had lunch and it was delightful as well as fascinating. She has been living in California growing (medical) marijuana for the past few years and making a freaking fortune off of it. She has now quit the business and is tooling around the country in a car, just doing whatever. So far she has visited Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and was headed to Arizona next. She has no responsibilities, no home (currently anyway), and no plans. She just stays with friends or in hotels and just...whatevers. Like a monied hobo. I know it makes me terribly provincial but it sort of blew my mind a little bit.

That's whass happenin these days.