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What I’m listening to: Tapestry

October 17, 2020

As the days become shorter I find myself listening to music that can be described as the soundtrack of my childhood. It’s warm and comforting.

This week I listened to Carole King’s Tapestry album. I’ve heard many of the songs individually but I’ve been listening to singles-on-demand services (Amazon Music, Youtube, Spotify) for so long that I forgot how nice it was to just listen to an entire album.

This is a playlist – just let it play to listen to the entire album.

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Hobbies

Friday Movie Night, part II

October 16, 2020

We are still watching movies on Friday nights with friends. A few of them collaborated to build a bot on our Discord server that allows us to nominate movies, and on Friday afternoon, it creates a poll with 3 random movies for us to choose from. Three cheers for democracy!

Here is the latest batch, plus a few I forgot from the last post.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension — what the heck even WAS this movie? I enjoyed seeing very old actors when they were not old. Much of it is set in New Jersey, which immediately makes it awesome. I *think* they were trying to pay homage to 1938’s War of the World radio show, but I’m not 100% sure. It was fun and 80s fashion is always great, but think I needed another drink. Also, Jeff Goldblum was disturbingly quasi-sexy.

I just don’t know how I should be feeling about this. It’s not right.

Tango and Cash – Holy 80s, including Sylvester Stallone in fabulous 3-piece suits and Teri Hatcher before her plastic surgery. Kurt Russell’s adorable. Can you call it a buddy cop movie if the cops aren’t buddies until the end?

Army of Darkness – This is the third movie in the Evil Dead series and it was okay. Maybe if I had seen the first two I would have been more enamored. I think the SFX department bought out all of the Spirit Halloween stock to create the undead army.

Weekend at Bernie’s – Thanks to the Internet we know a corpse couldn’t take a beating like that, but it was still a funny little romp. We watched it over Labor Day weekend, a bonus.

Real Genius – Evil military people who want to use science to destroy? Check. Group of plucky college uber-nerds fighting THE MAN? Check. Bebe Val Kilmer? Check. It was an 80s teen movie for better (madcap hijinks and pranks) and for worse (sort of sexist, but in a way I’m used to). The soundtrack brought me back to a simpler time when all I had to worry about was nuclear war. It was my favorite of this bunch, but The Big Lebowski is still my favorite, though.

Bébé Val Kilmer!

Better off Dead – TWO DOLLLLARRRRS. I did see this movie as a teen, and with the exception of cringey high school student stereotypes, stalkery overtones, and suicide jokes, most of it holds up. I always remembered the Ricky character as a dorky nerd, but he was really a boundary-breaking creeper and the actor was really good at playing a boundary-breaking creeper. Turns out he was played by Dan Schneider, former producer of a bunch of Nickelodeon shows with a few unsubstantiated #MeToo-ish clouds over his head. The movie does a great job showing how I remember teenhood – everything was THE BEST or THE WORST or THE MOST AWKWARD.

Ninja Scroll – My first anime movie. There were ninjas, but I don’t recall a scroll. WM warned me that it was borderline rapey, but … eh? There are far worse rapes in movies. It was overall kind of dumb.

Time Bandits, Idiocracy – I didn’t attend these weeks – sometimes I just fall asleep by 9:30 on a Friday night and there’s nothing to be done about it.

As my friend C said, “It’s not the movie itself, it’s who you watch it with.”

Reading

Show Us Your Books – October 2020

October 13, 2020

I miss commuting to my job in the city for many reasons, but one of them is the enforced reading time. My commute consisted of a 26 minute train ride, and a 15 minute shuttle ride in the morning, and the the 26 minute train ride in the afternoon. Plus the time spent waiting for said trains and shuttle. That’s a good hour and twenty minutes of time per day where all I could do was read. Now I work from home, meaning I sleep in, work past my quit time, then immediately get up and go to the kitchen to figure out dinner. That missing time really shows in these monthly reviews of what I’ve read.

I also had a large work project this month and put in some night and weekend hours, which ate into reading time even more. In September I only read two books.

Onto the books! I use the Goodreads rating system, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing

Untamed — Glennon Doyle
I’m not a mom, so Glennon’s folksy doing-my-messy-mom-best persona wasn’t something I sought out in the past. I think that benefited me greatly coming into Untamed because I didn’t have to deal with the baggage of loving her book about putting her marriage back together and reading in Untamed about how it was a good deal of fiction writing. (She was Rachel Hollis before Rachel Hollis, if you know what I mean.)

It’s part essay, part memoir and the crux of it is that women are taught to be small and be nice (aka tamed) from early on and sometimes you just gotta say your piece, go for what makes you happy, and live. Within the first few chapters she says her kindergartener would have been called a shaman in other cultures because she felt so strongly and viscerally about dying polar bears. I breathed through that Momestary moment and I’m glad I did.

I’ve held my tongue so hard I tasted blood, trying to be gentle. I’ve spent thousands on potions and poisons, trying to be youthful. I have denied myself for decades, trying to be pure.

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

I have read many self-help books over the years starting with my SARK phase in the 90s, and what I’ve learned is that you don’t have to to take every nugget of wisdom in a book to heart. If it works for you, take it. If not, leave it. Glennon’s stories and insights work for me better than the “girlbossbabe” genre of these books.

I will share the parts that made me cackle though: Glennon is married to Abby Wambach, pro soccer player. Glennon ADORES Abby and Abby is her universe and her reason for being. Their love is beautiful and pure and the energy crackles between them. But holy moly their dialogue is like:

Glennon: (hearts, flowers, feelings, life force, woo, spirituality, and many many words)
Abby: ok babe

Three stars, which means I liked it. The order of the essays was disjointed, and I never quite understood how the individual essays related to the chapter titles.

Witches Abroad — Terry Pratchett
This is the twelfth book in the Discworld series. I ‘ve been enjoying them so much that instead of binging them, I’m spacing them out so I don’t burn out on the series. I read book #1 in 2016. Funnily enough, I only rated it 2 stars. Nevertheless, she persisted.

After Magrat Garlick is bequeathed a fairy godmother wand, she and her 2 witchy associates, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg head to Genua to stop a fairytale from happening. As with the rest, this book was rollicking fun. Pratchett was a genius.

Four stars and I feel that if you just pick the Witches books out of the series, you’d have a blast.

Magrat plunged on with the brave desperation of someone dancing in the light of their burning bridges.

witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett

Currently Reading: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman.

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

Other SUYB posts:
2020:
February | March | Spring/Summer | September
2019
January | February | March |April | June | July | August | December
2018
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

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