Ok, so I just looked back at the bloggie and I haven't talked about books for months! MONTHHHHS. What sort of cockamamie librarian am I? I mean, honestly. What in the Sam Hill is going on around these parts?
To be fair, one major thing that has been going on around here, of course, is the fact that my reading habits were majorly stymied after my dad died. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating, and for the first time in my literate life, I wasn't reading. At first it was because I just wasn't able to focus on anything for more than a few minutes due to extreme SPACEY-NESS which has nothing to do with Kevin Spacey although I kind of want it to be related to that, but rather a much-increased talent for glassy-eyed staring. Then when the Kevin Spacey-ness wore off a little bit I just sort of started avoiding reading because one of the great pleasures of reading in my life, for me, has been talking about books with my dad. And the thought of reading something and not calling my dad to talk about it was kind of unbearable to me. Then, some friends of mine said that they were going to do "Infinite Summer," which, if you haven't heard of that, is a thing that people do where they take a whole summer to form a book club just in order to read Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, which is a honkin' 5 million pages long (ok, so it's 1200 pages or so but same diff). And I gathered my non-reading, Kevin Spacey, glassy-eyed self and said SIGN ME UP. Because, hey! I haven't been able to page through anything for weeks and weeks but a book the size of Dwayne Johnson's beefy left buttock? SURE THING GUYS!
Good news: it did get me reading again. I read about 75 pages, just because all my friends were doing it. And then that made me think: hey! I can read again! HOORAY FOR PEER PRESSURE! Kids, peer pressure can be really an awesome thing, is what no one tells you. Anyway. After 75 pages, I really, really, truly, hand-over-heartedly, did not want to read another goddamn page of that goddamn book. At least right now. I keep reading blogs and articles that say you really have to read through page 200 before shit gets good. And I understand that 200 pages out of 1200 is really not that far into the whole dang thing. BUT. I think that in my current state of affairs, asking me to wait 200 pages of having feelings of Totalis Snoozefestius is kind of asking too much of me, at this juncture. So, I am declaring Infinite Summer over for me. Sad horns!
However, I have moved on to many other books that are a reasonable amount of pages (I mean, honestly 1200 pages? GET TO THE POINT DUDE) and although I still have this visceral feeling of wanting to pick up the phone and talk to my dad about them, I am dealing with it. I still have you guys to talk bookishness with! For this time, I'll forgo my usual lightning round of books and just do one. I'll catch you up with more soon.
Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell
My friend Alli had a guy friend in high school named Steve and they were majorly in love with each other, only they didn't really say anything about it. They were friends, and weren't dating, but their underwear practically went up in flames when they were around each other. They would watch movies together at her house and they didn't make out or anything but they did this thing that can only really be described as petting each others' faces. Like, can you picture what that means? They would caress each other, on the face. AND THAT IS IT. To this day that is the funniest, weirdest shit I can think of and I adore it so much. Such pent up sexy feelings and no way to express them! I GUESS I WILL PET YOUR FACE? CAN WE MAKE THAT A THING? Anyway, this book will make you think about being in love as a teen because it's intense, and overwhelming, and really powerful. I have seen some reviewers say that they didn't like it because they don't see how the two characters could fall so hard and so fast for each other which, ha-what? You must not have been hanging with the teens I know (or the teen I was). It is achingly nostalgic. So much so that I think teen readers will like it but adult readers will lurve it. It is charmingly funny at some points too. Not as funny as heavy-face-petting, but funny.
More books on deck soon! Lates, my pretties!
Ok, so I just looked back at the bloggie and I haven't talked about books for months! MONTHHHHS. What sort of cockamamie librarian am I? I mean, honestly. What in the Sam Hill is going on around these parts?
The most important thing I need to say is that I have discovered Melissa Gilbert on the interwebs. Half Pint be tweeting! Unfortunately she does not have a lot of shit to talk about Nellie Oleson or her raccoon named Jasper, and I am confused that she is neither married to Manly nor is she dating Rob Lowe but rather is having matrimony with Mark from Thirtysomething, but still. I will take it. And yes, I am excited to discover that she has recently moved and lives in Michigan, not 45 minutes away from where my Mom lives. When next I go to my mom's I will practically be SMELLING the lemon verbena! What? No, it is not weird. What do you mean?
On a related note: when I went to the beach a couple of weeks ago, there was this building that looked just like the schoolhouse on Little House, and Nordic Boy said "they need to round up some kids to make a bell for that building" and I said "Tinker Jones!" and if you understand what we were talking about there, we are friends.
Here are some Consumables that are kind of dusty because I can't seem to keep up lately.
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Could it be that I never talked about this in a former Consumables? I don't think I did, but I saw it a long time ago. I thought the first JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek didn't have the character development and thinky-think stuff (as we intellectuals call it) that I want out of my Star Trek, but this time around, I was so INTO it being explosions and chases, mainly because I saw it at a time when I was steeped in pure sadness and all I wanted was loud escapism. Draw from that whatever conclusions you will about the role loud escapism plays for people. Plus they did make Spock confront FEEEEEELINGS and really Spock isn't Spock without a little Vulcan therapy breakthrough, so check and check on that. Also, I love the Cumberbatch, but I had all sorts of opinions about Khan casting that pointed to a non-Cumberbatch villain so I was really torn about that whole thing and OMG NERD RED ALERT STOP TALKING.
Also saw this in my Cannot-See-Anything-At-All-Heavy-Or-I-Will-Fall-Apart phase. I really miss the days when Robert Downey Jr played other things. I mean the smart aleck thing is charming and all but remember when he was Charlie Chaplin and remember when he was Less Than Zero-ing, and remember when he was in Soapdish? He's going to mix it up again some day, right? Also, the Pepper Potts stuff is just yucky. Someone do a Women's Studies thesis on that shit, will you? Despite all of these comments, I enjoyed that movie a bunch. Because things blow up! And there are jokes! Again, that is exactly all I could really enjoy at the time.
Aw man, this didn't get renewed. Rats. I know the copying of the Gilmore Girls was a bit on the ridiculous side, but really, if you're going to copy something, the Gilmore Girls is not a bad choice. The thing I adored about this show the most was that it blows the Bechdel Test right out of the water. The show is full of ladies! And they are talking about lots of things other than dudes! It was kind of amazing that way. But it's no longer. Bye, lady town.
When I first started watching this show I was alternately delighted (reality show about professional ballet dancers who are rocking the art form and the show actually shows that instead of the dumb way dancers usually get shown in the pop cultures) and also mortified (the first season showcased a dysfunctional romance that was played up for it's The Hills-ness and I was mortified about the whole thing), but the second season is so much better. It now focuses on some things that I find so heartwarming, heartbreaking, and compelling about dancers. The thing about ballet dancers is that really, there is no such thing as being famous as a dancer, like, outside of the small specialized world of dance. No one in non-dance America knows who Maria Tallchief is or who Julie Kent is or who Misty Copeland is. And no one is getting rich off of being a ballet dancer these days. Like no one. It's not like acting or painting or writing or singing where there are a lot of starving artists but there is some chance that you might bust through and become a huge star or make some sort of buck. It just doesn't work that way for dancers. But the training and dedication is so high, so ridiculous, and people who do it are so freaking committed to it. I know I am biased, but it's really moving to me. The whole show doesn't get into it as much as I want it to (there does need to be some amounts of reality tv drama after all), but there are glimpses. I watched the latest one last night and I bawled. Then again, I am a bit of a crybaby lately so maybe that isn't the best measure.
I had forgotten how freaking likable Sandra Bullock is in movies. Pair her up with Melissa McCarthy and one is liable to crack from likableness.
Orange is the New Black
I know this has been talked about ad nauseum but let me just join in on it. I was not sold on it for the first couple of episodes but then all of a sudden it was sooooo compelling to me I couldn't wait to watch it every day. First of all, talk about blowing up the Bechdel Test. LADIES AS FULL HUMAN BEINGS EVERYWHERE! Plus Captain Janeway being a ferrrreaking badass. Plus, you show me another piece of mainstream pop culture that confronts privilege. Class privilege, white privilege, hetero privilege. Where else is that even being hinted at? Yeah, it's got some stuff I don't like, but overall, it sort of bowls me over with things that I have never seen on tv before.
The Daily Show
I was afraid I was going to go into some sort of withdrawal without my daily dose of Jon Stewart, but his hiatus was made bearable by the guest hosting of John Oliver. Can John Oliver now have his own show too, please? I want to see both of them every day.
The Colbert Report
I know it's not news, but when Stephen Colbert did that business where he danced around to Daft Punk, it was too much delightfulness for me to bear. Aside from the set up and the comedy, I just feel like I want my whole life to be made up of silly dancing through any situation. Nordic Boy and I do a fair amount of this in the secrecy of our home, but I am thinking why can't we be doing this throughout the day? Can I please do that? I don't think my employer would mind. Maybe I should try it.
It was another lazy weekend at my house. We basically cleaned, went for walks, did home improvement stuff, grocery shopped, cooked (I made a bangin' strawberry shortcake, oh my gahhhh it was good), wrote letters, rearranged my bedroom furniture, read a novel from beginning to end, and went to a movie. I guess when I type it out it doesn't sound that lazy, but for me, what that means is that I didn't do anything with anybody, except Nordic Boy, who I don't mean to downgrade to not-an-anybody, but you know what I mean.
We finally found the bathroom backsplash tile of our dreams and we went to the tile store to order it up. You know what is super awesome? When Nordic Boy and I go to places that sell building supplies (like tile stores) and the salesdudes only address Nordic Boy and act like I am invisible. Because ladyfolk do not understand the construction buildy stuff. I know what you are thinking: that compared to Nordic Boy, I in fact do not much understand the construction buildy stuff but MISSING THE POINT YOU ARE says me (as Yoda). I understand it plenty enough to be spoken to. Also, the salesdude (who was a real bro-ham type of guy, see yes, I can prejudge too because EQUALITY) was strange because this is what happened. We brought him the tile sample board, which basically says the name of the tile brand across the top ("Tile-o-rama Designs, Inc" or some such), and then a sample of the tile is stuck on the board, and under that it says the name of that specific tile ("Tiley Cyrus, WHITE"). We say that we need x amount of the tile, the guy looks it up on his magic 'pooter (by which I mean his computer, not his butthole, you understand) and he orders it, the end. Except in our case, bro-ham looks it up, and looks it up, and looks it up, and peers at the screen like it is a palantir (NERD POINTS WUT), all the while shaking his head and saying "looks like this is no longer available" and making disappointed face. Finally, he says he is going to go in the back and ask his colleagues if they might be able to find this rare tile of Atlantis for us, and disappears in the back for like 15 minutes. Then he comes back out and says "ok! I've found it! Turns out that it is from the Tile-o-RAMA line, and it's called the Tiley CYRUS." Um. Wow, Encyclopedia Brown. That's what it says on the mutha fracking BOARD.
We ended up not buying them from that guy.
I have been floating through my days this summer, not paying much attention to things that I normally would. Summer usually means trips, a full up social calendar, and tons of time in the sunshine (Seattle summers are so gorgeous, the entire city freaks out this time every year). I have been living in the present to a sort of ridiculous degree, which is mostly a good thing, but can also be kind of weird, when I stop to think about it. I find I am having awkward conversations with people where they are asking me perfectly reasonable things like "do you have any upcoming trips planned?" or "what are you doing this weekend?" or "do you want to come to my party next month?" and I feel like I am being asked to perform time travel. The future? Plan something? What sort of crazy talk is that? My days (outside of work, that is- I can get it up for work because people aren't paying me to be a damn hippie) consist of me only thinking of the very next thing that might happen. I read a book for a while, until my stomach grumbles, and then I find something to eat, and then I might look outside and decide to go for a walk, and while on a walk, if a friend calls and asks me if I want to go out, I will do that. Just, consecutive decision making, one thing at a time. It's sort of awesome. I don't mean to overstate this- I mean when I think about it I am still doing things that are autopilot for me, like getting my groceries and cleaning my house and things like that, so I don't mean to say that my life lacks any structure. I am a pretty structured-time kind of lady (I know, so sexy) so certain things are just always going to be happening in my life because I have always been that way. So, just know that I am not patting myself on the back too much over Living in the Moment, Man. I'm just saying. For me, it's been loosey goosey.The downside of it is (aside from awkward conversations where I answer "I don't know" a hundred times because I have never before noticed how often future planning comes up in conversation but people are doing a poop-ton of planning, it turns out) is that things move a lot slower this way, and I can sometimes feel like life is moving along super fast for everyone else, and I am standing still, and look at all these things people are getting done, and what have I done, and omg, nothing, I have done nothing, and summer is almost over and I missed the whole thing, ahhhhhhhh! Life is not a race but it can sure feel like one when your friends have had babies, written books, gone on vacations, or remodeled their homes all during a span of time where you've just been dicking around wondering if now would be a good time to go for a walk or not.
Anyway, my weekend was really lovely. Much of it was spent at home with that dude of mine. We chatted and read and home improved a bit. On Sunday evening we took Delium out for a belated birthday dinner at a fancy restaurant and played Last Word with the topic: Comfy Mystery TV series, which lasted like an hour, because once somebody utters aloud the phrase "Father Dowling Mysteries" then it's required that we talk about that for ten minutes before someone else says "Rosemary and Thyme."
When Delium arrived at our house to pick us up for dinner, he rang the doorbell, Nordic Boy answered the door, Delium walked in, and I stood up and did a sort of Russian style jumpy jig while yell-singing "Ha---ppy birthday happybirthdayhappybirthday! Ha---ppy birthday, happybirthdayhappybirthday!" and Nordic Boy and Delium watched that shit for like, half a second before full on joining in, jumping, raising the roof, and throwing in some turns. "HA---PPY BIRTHDAY HAPPYBIRTHDAYHAPPYBIRTHDAY!" it went, from all three of us. This makes me think about how these dudes help me to live in the present all the time, by not thinking too much before deciding to act silly, by being present enough to join in on some dumb shit right in the moment, by not being worried about looking weird in front of each other, by bringing out joyfulness in something as simple as saying hello. I know that sooner or later this slow pace I have been in will end and I will speed up my life again. But I have people who bring out the present so vividly and exuberantly all the time, I won't lose this feeling.
Brain potpourri, type something fast. GO.
My yard now has a large hole in the front of it, which is covered by some wood planks and an orange cone. We have to remove the big oil tank that is buried in our front yard, you see, so when we get a chance we (ha ha, who am I kidding the "we" means me and Nordic Boy minus me) go out there and dig a little each day. Every time I think our yard cannot get any uglier, I surprise myself. We just keep upping that game! Best neighbors EVAH. The orange cone is really the classy icing on the cake, but I can't just put boards across the hole. That's how little kids constantly fell into holes on Little House on the Prairie (Carrie in the well, saved by an alcoholic neighbor, then Nancy in a different well, saved by Little Lou, the incarcerated clown) so if there is one thing I learned from Little House, it's that you clearly mark holes the ground. Well, that and also that God looks like Ernest Borgnine.
My yard shame caused us to skip going to our annual neighborhood "Night Out" event. I just couldn't face the neighbors, with their pretty yards. I think I am taking my yard shame a bit too far, what do you think?
I gave out the tiniest of whines the other day and Alli and Map called me up, at the same time, conference call style, and left me a message saying they are buying plane tickets to come visit me for my birthday this year. I mean, seriously. I just gave a small whiff of a whine, and they rallied. Who has friends like this, I ask you? Thankfully, I do.
Nordic Boy, Biogirl, her dude, and I went to the beach for the weekend. I decided I was going to not check email the entire time I was away (um, Nobel Prize committee, are you taking note? THE SACRIFICE). During that time I was notified by the library that all of my requests were about to unsuspend if I didn't manage the dates on them, and since I didn't see that email, I returned to all of my holds coming in at the same time. Like, 40 novels, all waiting for me. Lesson: NEVER DON'T CHECK EMAIL. (Somehow I think this is not the lesson I wanted).
Is Robin Thicke cute or gross? I honestly do not know which it is.
When I was at the ocean, it was the first time I had been near the ocean since scattering my Dad's ashes. I was totally not expecting this, but I fucking bawled. Is going to the ocean ruined for me now? How much would that suck?
Do you speak Hindi? If you do, this tshirt is super funny, and I kind of want one.
Why do I keep hearing about Bruce Willis giving grumpy interviews? I feel like this has become a pattern in my life. Another day, another interviewer getting pooped on (so far, thankfully metaphorically speaking) by David Addison.
Oh hey. Just thought I would give you a taste of what it feels like inside of my head. Want to hear another one?
I saw a book display that said "Find Your True North" and my first thought was about why they were doing a display about Kimye's baby.
(curtsy left, curtsy right)
Calgon, take me away with your soapy, sudsy self! I didn't think I would particularly like this, but I felt like I should watch it just because Only African American Lady Lead on a TeeVee Drama is enough to make me get behind that. But then...I watched every last one of these, beginning to end, in about 2 weeks. Obsessively! First of all, Kerry Washington and I, who I am not saying look anything alike because that would be milk-shoot-out-of-nose-and-possibly-other-holes ridiculous, do have one thing in common and that is skin tone. Which means that I study, with hawk-like focus, her lipstick and eye shadow shades. Educational, is basically what I am saying. Aside from that, it is just the right kind of melodrama for me. Dumb enough to be fun, but not so dumb that I can't take it. And there are some good surprises in there, where a plot twist will happen and I will say WHAAAAAA, which is always delightful. It's all kinds of intrigue and betrayal and corruption and sexy business. Plus, Mr. Katimsky from My So Called Life! And Noel from Felicity! And Desmond from Lost! I went from "Ok, I guess I will try and watch this" to "WHEN IS SEASON THREE OUT YET...NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW?" pretty quickly.
Basically, I am watching this because I love those fricking kids from Dance Academy so much that I would follow them anywhere, and they are all on this show! Like, they just took the entire cast and brought them over from Australia and made them fake some American accents (except, they don't quite have that down perfectly, I'm afraid) and put them on this show. Except Kat--where's Kat? If you don't watch Dance Academy (and WHY AREN'T YOU) you won't care about any of that. The show is basically a modern take on those tv movies set in summer camp that used to play all the time when I was a kid. Like "Poison Ivy"-- that's the one with Michael J. Fox and Nancy McKeon from Facts of Life having camp hijinks. And that "Little Darlings" one with Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol. Or Meatballs. I like it just like I liked those when I was kid. I am a grown ass woman now, I know that. Don't you think I know that?
I finished the latest Mad Men a while ago, but I just have to mention it because aren't they doing a good job of making Don Draper look skanked OUT? He is just like a sweaty greasy burnt up cigarette at this point. Also, can we just make this entire show about Joan and Peggy? And maybe more Roger too? I just want to watch them all the time, please. Can we make that happen? Get on it, Matthew Weiner.
Top of the Lake
Speaking of Peggy Oleson! She's a badass detective in New Zealand in this one and it's like Prime Suspect meets Twin Peaks, only not as weird as Twin Peaks (but still kind of weird). Holly Hunter is this cult leader, and Faramir from Lord of the Rings is Peggy Oleson's boss, and Yaxley from Harry Potter is a scary suspect. Wait, let me start again. I even confused myself there for a second. This young girl discovers she is pregnant and disappears, and Elizabeth Moss is the detective in charge of finding her amidst a creepy small town that doesn't want to help solve the case. It's a pretty dark story, and what I liked most about it was that although the main mystery does eventually get solved, there are many subplots of mysterious things that don't get solved and leave you thinking. I am sad that there aren't going to be any more of these.
Orange is the New Black
I am about half way through these and I'm loving it so far. I shall probably have more to say about it when I am done with it, but for now, I think you should watch it so we can talk about it. Ok?
I have been listening to the Judge John Hodgman podcast and chuckling out loud in public from it, so I decided to watch this stand up special by Mr. Hodgman. His humor is right up my alley, for example: "I am growing my mustache because I am going to play a young Wilford Brimley in a Cocoon prequel that I am writing in my mind." Come on. That's funny! It also has a surprisingly sweet ending that I wasn't expecting. I may have cried a little bit during the ending. But then again, I am much more of a cry baby these days than I used to be, so I don't know what the eff that really says.
I only watched this because I will watch Helen Mirren chew her lunch if given the opportunity, and I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Grumpy interviewee Bruce Willis not withstanding.
FULL CIRCLE POST is what you just witnessed. I know. It's amazing.
Let's go out with a summery song, shall we?
Sunshine Barato, by Mosquitos
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