- The Dog Stars by Peter Heller ~ Shades of The Road but way less bleak.
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman ~ Scary, strange, real, and lovely.
- Ruby Ridge by Jess Walter ~ I read this because I really like Jess Walter, but it was a bit long for me, and I’ve decided if I just pretend for the rest of my life that crazy racist separatists and their arsenals hiding up in the mountains don’t exist, that’s okay with me.
- Attachments by Rainbow Rowell ~ Extremely enjoyable. She is just great. So excited to read whatever comes next.
- Sit, Ubu, Sit by Gary David Goldberg ~ A far better than average celebrity memoir, especially if you like behind the scenes talk of beloved childhood sitcoms starring Michael J. Fox, which I do.
- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh ~ Decent but overall made me sad.
- American Savage by Dan Savage ~ I like Dan Savage but felt like I’d already read most of this by him in one form or another.
- The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman ~ Beautifully written but overall, again, made me sad.
- In the Body of the World by Eve Ensler ~ Tremendous. She even writes about a certain television program:
Each night James and I move to Dillon, Texas. This is a surprise. I have never really been drawn to Texas or football or small towns. The nausea comes. The body aches. We smoke a joint, eat a picnic, and travel. I am not sure why or why now. I know Tami Taylor has a lot to do with it. She is tall with long red hair, supersmart, sexy, Southern, and kind without being stupid. I alternate between wanting her as a mother, a lover, and a friend. I live for Tami Taylor. James lives for the totally unavailable bad boy, Tim Riggins. It’s a TV show called Friday Night Lights that revolves around a high school football team. I have never really watched television before. It always depressed me.
What I love is that now we really live in Dillon, Texas. Our days are just marking time before we can be with our friends: Coach Taylor, Tami, Tim, Matt, Julie, Vince, Jess, and Lyla Garrity. I want to say it’s not that their lives are more interesting, but in fact they are. I hardly leave the house, so this is the closest I get to traveling. I have become a person obsessed with a TV show. There are so many things I never thought would happen. Each day, some way in which I thought myself special or different comes undone. For example, I was convinced that I was not a “cancer person,” whatever that meant. I thought cancer didn’t happen to emotional people or manic people … We make up stories to protect ourselves. I am not a cancer person. I am not someone who would die in a car crash. I had a rough childhood, so the rest of my life will be easy. I paid my dues. These little myths and fairy tales keep us from the existential brink. Now I had crossed over and had discovered that there are no rules or reliable stories. There is suffering. There is ordinary. It happens every day. More of it seems to happen the older you get, or maybe your vision for it just expands …
James sleeps next to me every night in my bed. We have never been this intimate. I am nervous. I am dying. I had cancer. My cells are trying to fight it off. It could go either way. I get up my courage. I say, “Jimmy” (I am the only one who calls him that), I say “Jimmy” — in a Southern accent just like Tami Taylor — “Jimmy, can I put my head on your chest.” He says, in a deep man’s voice, “Of course,” and cuddles me in just like Coach.
- The Top of the Lake ~ This show has a lot of fog and mist and I thought the world was creepy and beautiful and that Elisabeth Moss was FANTASTIC but overall the ending fell flat for me. Holly Hunter: such a weirdo in this. Worth watching if you don’t mind lame endings.
- Orange Is the New Black ~ The perfect summer show. Such good acting, and it has a lot more depth and breadth than I first thought it would. Enjoyed it tremendously the first time and am enjoying it even more the second time (oops). The Christmas pageant scene might be my favorite thing on TV this year since Enlightened ended. It made me burst into straight up tears.
- The Newsroom ~ Can’t, won’t.
I’ve become very intrigued by All Things Jack Antonoff after reading through his entire Tumblr and just feel like everyone who only knows him from Fun needs to know that he used to head a band called Steel Train and they were awesome. Here is one of their wonderful songs and the wonderful story of the making of the video. And just for fun, here’s a photo of him and his sister entitled “how we walk places.”
- The Heat ~ Loved it.
- Pacific Rim ~ Ridiculous but so fun to see with my brother and to revel in the adorable robot smashing manliness of Jax from Sons of Anarchy and good ole Stringer Bell.
- The Laramie Project ~ Devastating.
- Tiger Eyes ~ No. Just no.
- Much Ado About Nothing ~ I feel this story is problematic in a modern setting, but I enjoyed it overall, if only because of Nathan Fillion and the still extremely charming Kellerman from Homicide as Don Pedro who I thought somehow ended up being the best one in the whole movie?
Favorite things on Internet:
- Scott Simon’s tweets over the course of his mother’s final days.
- Still loving Humans of New York more than anything else.
- Anything ever by Rembert Browne makes this list; this month, it was his post on the Essence Festival.
- Sarah Silverman & Jerry Seinfeld getting coffee in a car.
- A long time ago, we used to be friends.
- The Writers’ Room: Breaking Bad ~ This is a great show featuring the ins and outs of “the room”. I thought I might be done with Breaking Bad, but that was a lie … I’m in ’til the end.
- Poussey’s Instagram feed.
- I still have my old school MBTV Buffy bag, that’s how much I once loved MBTV, so I’m glad that Previously.TV is around. It makes me happy. Except for when it makes me really sad.
Best Day Trip:
Mystic, Connecuticut, is a beautiful place with good pizza, boats, and bookstores.
Best Food Eaten:
I loved my soup, sandwich, cappuccino, and Neil Gaiman on a rainy Connecticut afternoon and crockpot soup and pineapple mojitos on the patio with an old friend.
Pets Still Alive:
All. Marley’s hanging in there, and the extremely adorable neighbor dogs spent a lot of time here while their people were on vacation. To see Zuko in the company of other dogs again really kind of made my heart sing.
Flowers, Trees, & Plants: