Consumables #152: Watching PeeWee’s Big Holiday

I took the day off on Friday and so did my dude and we did a proper gallivant around town. Seattle has recently opened some new light rail stations and they are so shiny and pretty and they get you to places in 5 minutes that it normally takes 40 minutes to drive/bus to. People around here have been going nutso talking about it, like a transporter has been invented. And I am here to say that the hype? In this case I think Public Enemy would be ok with me saying: believe it.

We ate a fancy pasta luncheon with Hayden and then we went to see this gorgeous exhibit at the art museum of artisanal arts. We then did some shopping, walking, being in the sunshine, just for miles and miles all day long. All with zooming around in the shiny new choo choo. ALL I WANNA DO IS ZOOMA ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM IN A CHOO CHOO.

It seems all of my references will be from circa 1990 today.

We also strolled into a semi-fancy restaurant for dinner, and the tables were all booked up so they sat us at a bar that looked into the open kitchen area. While there, eating our fancy feast human wet food, the chefs were straight up getting in each others’ faces with some food squabbles. I don’t think this is quite what the open kitchen seating is for, but I have to tell you, we were mesmerized.

Also accomplished this weekend, we saw a dance show which featured a piece by one of my current favorite choreographers in the world- it was so good I wanted to break something. It made me cry in the best way. Dancey business, you guys. It is my favorite, favorite thing.

To round out my 1990-ness, I watched PeeWee’s Big Holiday. I feel like Peewee Herman is either a thing that gets you right in your funny bone or it’s a thing that seems super dumb to you without any room in between, so it doesn’t make much sense for me to recommend this or not. Let me just say that when we watched it, there were a couple of scenes in it where we had to pause the movie because we were busting a gut so hard that barfy feelings may have been happening to us both. Like, we were in STITCHES. If you like PeeWee, you gotta watch this movie.

Consumables #151 Watching In the Heart of the Sea

I had to go to a meeting today and when I got there I was already almost late and there was no parking anywhere. So I parked in a questionable spot and went to my meeting and when I came out? A ticket on my windshield asking me for FIFTY GEORGIE WARSHINGTONS. And I couldn’t even be mad because I knew I was being shady.

I watched a movie all about bad decision-making the other night called In the Heart of the Sea. In it, Chris Thorsworth plays a dude who decides to go hunting for whales so as to use their oil. I only know Chris as Thor and when he is Thor he has a very Thor voice. I guess you could say he has a Thor Throat (LOOK MA, ARE YOU PROUD OF THAT ONE?). In this movie, he is not a super hero but he still has that voice, just booming out everywhere. Do you think he booms it out like that just when he is ordering his latte in the morning or whatever?

Anyway, he goes off to sea. The heart of the sea, of course. Although it seemed more like the ass of the sea. There was nothing but storms everywhere they went. And then whenever whales showed up, Thor and his buds had to just stand there on the side of the boat and wait for them to swim by and throw harpoons at them by hand and hope for the best. I do not know how, in this day and age, we are supposed to feel sorry for whale harpooners or root for them in any way, but there you have it. There is one whale who is a total Kujo whale and busts all of Thor’s shit up one side and down the other.

To sum up, Thor got jacked up and I got squeezed for fifty monies, both victims of bad decisions.

C0nsumables #150 Watching The Good Wife and the Bad Debates

I can’t watch another debate, people. I just can’t DO IT NO MO. What are we even doing to ourselves? It’s like, every damn day with these foolios. I am a politically engaged person and I am being crushed. This can’t be good to entice non-engaged people.

Speaking of deadly repetition, can I tell you a little something about one of my fave shows, The Good Wife? There isn’t much I don’t love about this show; even its missteps are usually more interesting than most tv I watch. However. How many times is Hostile Takeover of the Firm going to be a plot point? I can’t even count how many times everyone and their meemaw wants to hatch a scheme to take over the firm. Diane and Will, David Lee, Cary, Alicia, Louis Canning, David Lee again, Cary again, on and on. There are many things to care about on the show and who is sitting in the big office ain’t a one. Like, what does being the boss of that firm even get you? It is not clear. Anyway, they brought that shit in AH-GAIN last week and I just want them to PLAY A NEW TUNE Y’ALL STUCK ON REPEAT. Anyway. At least they brought in an investigator to distract us with hotness. Not as hot as Kalinda but who is.

I went and saw this lovely singer/songwriter last weekend and now this is stuck on repeat in my earbuds. Now this repetition I can handle. Take a listen. Happy Friday!

Consumables #149 Watching: 2015 Films

Oscars! Why do I watch them? I started to make a list, and after I wrote “outfits” I couldn’t think of another reason. Do I think they are relevant? Not really, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the #OscarsSoWhite stuff. But now that you mention it, once you add that in, I pretty much think the Oscars should be flushed down the crapper.

Instead of talking about Oscar nominees, I give you my own top ten list of 2015 movies, for your perusal and/or flushing down crapper needs.

Spotlight: Lookee that! I started with an Oscar-y one. I loved that this movie was about systemic, institutional issues, without leaving the individuals involved out of it either. It’s a heart slicer of a movie.

Diary of a Teenage Girl: Teen girl learning to navigate sexy business, told with such specificity and care. It’s dire, and hopeful, and funny, and sad, and scary, and embarrassing, and beautiful.

Tangerine: A day in the life of a woman trying to track down her cheating boyfriend/pimp, her tenderhearted best friend, and the taxi driver who frequents their neighborhood. Filmed entirely on an iPhone, for Pete’s sake.

Dope: A group of geek friends in Inglewood, in love with 80s hip hop culture and founders of their own punk band, have to figure out what to do when some drugs get left with them by accident.

Wolfpack and Charlies’ Country: I just told you about both of these but I loved them so much I couldn’t leave them off the list.

Spy: This was the most fun movie I saw in 2015.

Iris: She is a badass. And the clothes!

Dior and I: Also, clothes! I like to look at clothes movies, y’all.

Ballet 422: Hi, have you met me? This one is so obvious it’s sort of embarrassing.


Consumables #148 Watching: Bridge of Spies

I had all kind of plans for my President’s Day to get some crap done that is so past needing doing, and I was excited. CHECKLISTS, START YER ENGINES. I was going to have a Close Encounter of the Erranding Kind. Then I walked out of my front door and there was sideways wind and swirling icy rain and now I totally understand what Matt Damon felt like in The Martian so I canned that shizz pronto. I guess that’s one reason I could never be an astronaut. I went to “eh, forget it” in about twenty minutes. ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR EH FORGET IT

A bunch of friends texted me for brunch, which I did go out for (I will make one giant leap for pancakes) and then I got mineself into my house and stayed there. I didn’t think about the Presidents once.

I did, however, watch Bridge of Spies (I just accidentally typed Bridget of Spies which would def be a Bridget Jones movie I would watch the shit out of). I don’t know if it was the sleepy mood of my day or the fact that I was puttering around the house while I watched it but I can say two things about it: I liked it. Also, I can’t think of one thing to say about it. Tom Hanks is just the right amount of Tom Hanks. There’s a bridge. There are spies. There is a scene where prisoners are exchanged and it made me want to watch White Nights again, which also had a prisoner exchange and spying. Granted, White Nights had no bridge but I didn’t see Tom Hanks throwing in eleven pirouettes, and really, which would you rather have?

Consumables #145: Insomnia Assistance

No sooner had a little time off work helped me Get My Groove Back, I am now knee-deep in work again, which means my Groove has been Removed. How Stella Got Her Groove Removed is something Angela Bassett would never allow I am sure, and who wants to see that movie?

I finally started watching Making a Murderer on Netflix a couple of nights ago which is really probably a bad idea for someone who is getting their groove removed. I watch a few episodes before bed and then I can’t sleep because I keep thinking about it. When part of getting my work grind on again is re-acclimating to waking up at 5am, that ain’t a smooth move, Ex-Lax.

On top of this, I just read Steve Sheinkin’s The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights. It’s about segregated armed forces in WWII and the unsafe and unfair working conditions that caused 320 servicemen to be killed in California while the remaining survivors were threatened with mutiny charges. Also so compelling and vital to know this history but between this and Making a Murderer it’s basically Horrible Garbage Humans Misusing Power times as I go to sleep (or don’t go to sleep) each night.

As long as we are talking about miscarriages of justice narratives (happy new year, guys!), I just have to plug the documentary Brother’s Keeper. So good. I am here to help you with all your angry-insomnia needs.

If you are a weirdo and would rather your documentary films be inspiring (whatever, but ok) I also recently saw He Named Me Malala. I especially loved the way the film illustrated the normalcy of Malala’s young adult life (homework! looking at pictures of Roger Federer on the internets!) as she navigates the more extraordinary aspects we all know about. She’s still a kid, and seeing that side made the movie all the more inspiring.

Here’s hoping your groove stays with you.

Groove Theory, Tell Me

Consumables #144: 2015 Reads

If there is one thing missing in your life right now, I bet you it is a year-end list of some sort. Why doesn’t anyone do one of those? Lucky for you, I am here for you. Here are a few of the books I read in 2015, for your consideration, enjoyment, or frosty judgment.

Book that I Couldn’t Look Away From: Pretty Girls, by Karin Slaughter. It was graphically violent in ways that were way more than I signed up for, but by the time I realized that, I couldn’t quit because I had to know the end. Kind of scarred now.

To Get Lulled Into a Beauteous Melancholy: My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout.

Book I Was Sure I Would Love: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. I love being tidy! I love helpful tidy-talk! But I am not going to consider my socks’ feelings about how they are being folded, Marie.

Fashion Read: The Battle of Versailles, by Robin Givhan. History, race, gender, and Halston talking about himself in the third person. Check, check, check and check.

Many People Told Me This Was Funny: Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant, by Roz Chast. I really loved this story of the author’s aging parents, but I did not LOL at all, book-recommender-liars.

Stop Staring At Me Reading This, Fellow Bus-Riding Commuters: How to Be a Bad Bitch, by Amber Rose.

Book That Made Me Cry And Want My Blankie, In the Best Way: Boats for Papa, by Jessixa Bagley.

My Favorite Illustrations: Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson.

Scratching That Deadwood Itch: The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt.

Remember How Fucked Up College Was? Welcome to Braggsville, by Geronimo T. Johnson.

Don’t Even Try to Argue This One with Me: Selfish, by Kim Kardashian.

History We Should All Know: Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, by Pamela Newkirk.

Seattle History, Romance, Aviation, Jazz, YUM: The Game of Love and Death, by Martha Brockenbough.

I Know You Already Heard About It But Still: Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nahisi Coates.

I’m Not Going to Lie, I Skimmed the Farm Science: The Martian, by Andy Weir.

As a Former Dancer, It Seems That People Think We Are Psychos, However I Don’t Care Because Ballet Drama is Delicious: Tiny Pretty Things, by Sona Charaipotra.

I Don’t Know How Come You Don’t Find This Mesmerizing: Becoming Sister Wives, by Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robin Brown.

Royalty Is Jacked Up, Fact: The Family Romanov, by Candace Fleming.

Cue up for 2016!


Consumables #143 Reading: All the Light We Cannot See

Healthiness has returned to my household again, which I am so happy about for the following reasons, most of which show my true selfish nature.

  • I do not have to be the primary cook in my house! Hallelujerrrrrrrrr.
  • Make out times can come out of hiatus!

I guess that is only two things. But they are important.

Let’s talk about a book so that you don’t have to hear me talk about my current make out levels. Sorry about that.

I recently read the tome (anything over 400 pages is a tome, trust me I am a trained professional librarian) All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. It is a World War II book, and there is a part of me that wants to go into my theory that World War II books can often have so many of the same touchstones as to pretty much be genre fiction, but I shall spare you that (EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT YOU ARE WELCOME) and just say that this is a lovely story that gives you everything people want in a World War II epic (highest stakes imaginable, separation from loved ones, horrible war stuff, evil lurking inside of neighbors and friends, suspenseful hiding and secrets, love and goodness staying strong, you know what I am talking about) wrapped up in some beautiful writing. Fans of Atonement, take note of this one. Don’t let the tome-ness of the thing scare you off– one thing that makes it a breeze to get through is the teensy chapters. It’s so easy to squeeze one more in, and one more, and one more.

Consumables #142 Reading: Bob, Son of Battle

I have never been a dog-book person. Ever since my fifth grade teacher read us a chapter each day aloud from Where the Red Fern Grows and emotionally ground up all of our souls into teeny tiny pieces as we collectively shed our 10-year-old innocence out via our tear ducts (THANKS MRS MORLEY THAT WAS SUPER FUN TIMES YAY READING), I have never felt compelled to read a dog book. Nothing good happens in dog books, is my thought. And don’t you come into my comments thread and tell me about no pooch story that won’t shred me to bits, because I ain’t buying it.

This is why it was weird that one day the book Bob, Son of Battle by Alfred Ollivant showed up on my holds shelf at the library. I have no recollection of putting it on hold (MRS MORLEY DID YOU HACK ME) but I guess I might have. If people recommend a book to me I often put it on hold then forget about it, so that’s probably what happened. Turns out Bob, S.O.B. is a classic kids’ book, published back in 1898 as Owd Bob and originally published in Cumbrian dialect. This version is in reg-lar English. I thought: what the heck, I shall lift the moratorium on dog books for a minute and at least read a few chapters to see what is up.

Set in the English countryside, it’s all about sheep farmers who are obsessed with their sheepdogs. James Moore is a genteel farmer and his dog, Bob, is the David Beckham of sheepdogs, and by that I do not mean to imply canine sexiness levels. Bob is just undefeated master of the coveted sheepdog tourney cup. All the farmers in the town get together at the pub each night and argue about who can ever have a dog like Bob? No one, and I will fight you if you say otherwise. A smidge severe, right? This is only the beginning.

Enter Adam, a rough, scrabbly, a-hole of a guy who beats his kid and hates his fellow man. He has an equally rough sheepdog who just may be able to beat Bob at the tourney. Everyone hates Adam and his damn dog. Much of this is very upstairs/downstairs. Adam is clearly riff raff and Bob’s owner John is Lady Effing Mary Crawley.

That is the set up, but you guys. This book was so rough I could not put it down just for sheer nutosity. The sheepdog farmers were so gangster it was shocking. First of all, SO MUCH FIGHTING. The farmers be getting heated about their dogs and going full fisticuffs at all times. People are getting beat almost to death on several occasions. Then there is Adam, the one with the most rage issues, beating his son throughout. And then! Halfway through, there is a full on mystery to solve regarding someone in town who is a DOG SERIAL KILLER. Like, first it is a sports book and then it is a gangster book and then it becomes a Silence of the Lambs/Hounds book. I kid you not, as I was reading it I was saying “WUT” out loud throughout.

I shall not tell you the end but it was probably one of the most jaw-dropping I have read in a verra verra long time. IF ANYONE OUT THERE HAS READ THIS BOOK YOU MUST TALK TO ME ABOUT IT.

Apparently, according to the internets there is a 90s movie made from this starring the sheepdog farmer from Babe (that guy really cornered the market on sheepdog farmer roles in Hollywood, but he will always be Harve from Little House/Zefram from Star Trek to me), which I cannot imagine. Did Tarantino direct it?

I mentioned this book is for like, 5th graders, right? The next time someone tells me they think kids’ and teen publishing has gotten too violent in modern times, aka The Hunger Games Complaint, I am handing them Bob.

Consumables #141 Reading: Modern Romance

This weekend was slow and sultry, and as such I didn’t venture too far from home all weekend. I had a bit of an intense work week and felt quite dipped in overtaxed glaze by Friday, so I was ready to marinate in some 90 degree weather and shush my brain up. We did end up going to a cornhole party, where it turns out I do not suck as bad at that game than in years past, which makes sense because what is cornhole but a game built for the antique human. We played a few games, ate some potato salad, and chatted with friends until after the sun went down and we continued to sit in our lawn chairs to become All-You-Can-Eat mosquito smorgasbord. I love summer.

I have a friend who I know through this here blog, and she’s one of the few blog friends that I have connected with for years but have yet to meet in person. Through our correspondence over the years, we took the blog friendship to the next level. To use dating parlance, blog-related comments was first base, emailing was second, and becoming Facebook friends takes it to third. Yeah, that’s right, I just equated Facebook friending to getting handsy below the equator. DEAL WITH IT. Anyway, we have been friends for years. I knew her before she had kids, and now she has two little school age kiddos. I consider her a friend, no less a friend than someone I’ve met in the flesh. She lives in the Midwest, in a state I haven’t visited since high school and I don’t know if and when we’ll ever meet each others’ faces.

One day I commented on something on her Facebook page, and someone else commented after me, and I was like WAIT A HOT MINUTE, because I knew this other commenter from a completely separate part of my life. Commenter was a friend of my friend in Seattle, and I was dying to know how these two random people knew each other. This weekend, Commenter was at the cornhole party, and I got a chance to ask her. Her answer? They are blog friends. Have been for years. Huh. The internets are so cuckoo.

I recently read Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari. Unlike the proliferation of books written by tv comedy people (hi Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Mindy Kaling, et al), this one is less a humor book and more a sociology book that’s written with a funny tone. Ansari teams up with a sociologist from NYU (and talks with many more sociologists) to explore dating and relationships in the digital age. They did tons of focus groups around the world and combed through existing studies to explore questions like: what are behavioral differences between relationships that start out online versus in person? How is communication affected by the proliferation of texting? I found the whole thing totally fascinating (despite a few unfortunate fat jokes- ugh, Aziz, I love you but you gotta interrogate your fat jokes and then stop that). Although the book is about romantic relationships, I found a lot of it relevant to friendships as well. As a person who has found several of my very favorite people through this blog, I can vouch for the realness of online connection. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic plus getting some yuks out of it, read Ansari.

Here’s my current summer jam while I am feeling slow and sultry, y’all.

Summertime, by Vince Staples