April, May, June, July

Life:

  • Phew! I could write a million words on life as a mom and the baby who has changed my world in a million ways, but words fail me on this at this moment. It’s the hardest but the best.

Books:

  • I have now officially finished 3 novels in 2015! This feels major. I read Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Ofill, which I liked well enough, and The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I probably would never have gotten through had I not had several hours in a row, sitting in a car repair shop, to read the first few hundred pages and get sucked in. I loved it very much, and I still think about it a lot. The news that it’s being made into a film thrills me, and I’ve already cast Miranda Hart or Gwendoline Christie as Alma. I also read and very much enjoyed Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg. It gave me New York-ache.
  • I also read Born with Teeth, Kate Mulgrew’s autobiography. I really liked it; maybe because I was in the middle of season three of Orange Is the New Black and really feeling a lot of Red love at the time. Other celeb autobiographies that were just okay: Giuliana Rancic (of interest: the cancer parts and the Jerry O’Connell parts, both very dishy); Brooke Shields (just okay); Candice Bergen (I did watch every episode of Murphy Brown and enjoyed the parts about that; overall, she comes across as kind of snobby?); Maria Bello (sort of boring); Ali Wentworth (funny and worth reading though I wish I knew the real identity of her former arch-enemy now best friend Daphne) … I think that’s it.

TV:

  • Speaking of Miranda Hart … OH, CHUMMY. I really loved Empire, don’t get me wrong, and Cookie Lyon made a major impression on me that I thought would not be soon surpassed, but that was before I met Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne, AKA Chummy on Call the Midwife. The first time I started this show a few years ago, I was so bored and couldn’t get through it, but then I read a few of Al’s write-ups on Previously.TV and became intrigued; those and my friend/neighbor, who is obsessed, persuaded me to give it another go, and thank God. I love it 100% and shall surely weep when I catch up and there are no more to watch. Thank the Good Lord for return of my beloved Last Tango in Halifax!
  • The Crimson Field ~ World War I, English nurses, France field hospital, wonderful, devastating. Also: the very, very, very, very, very dreamy Richard Rankin.
  • Scott and Bailey ~ Kind of like Cagney & Lacey, but in Manchester. Excellent and very addictive.
  • Catastrophe ~ Much more hilarious and sweet than I anticipated.
  • American Voices ~ On PBS. PBS just makes my life so much better. This was super enjoyable and Sara Bareilles’ take on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, a song I didn’t even think I liked, convinced me for a moment that it is the greatest song in the American songbook. (Scroll to an hour and 8 minutes into that link to hear it.) I think I just love her. Anyway, I came down from that ledge, but still. There is something to splendid to me about watching masters mentor youngsters. It does my heart good. Really great show. Sara and Ben Folds are so winning together that I almost cannot even take it.

Music:

  • I have no idea when in this lifetime I will see Jurassic World, but I sure love this music. Takes me back to the summer of 1993, just after high school graduation, seeing the first movie for the first time. And the fact that Bright Abbott / Andy Dwyer keeps becoming the biggest movie star in the world over & over makes me so happy.
  • I went to see Idina Menzel’s local stop on her World Tour. She was hoarse and a bit strange, to be honest, but No Day But Today, the gay guys joining her for Take Me or Leave Me, and the little children joining her on Let It Go made it worth the steep price of admission. When I saw the OBC of Rent in the spring of 1997 after being 100% obsessed with it, in a way that really and sincerely basically consumed my every waking and sleeping thought for nearly a year, she was the only original cast member whose understudy went on that day and I have always lamented that even though Kristen Lee Kelly was great. So I’m glad I was able to spend an evening with her at long last.

Movies:

  • Closure ~ Really good documentary. The subject of the film also has an excellent blog.
  • Tig ~ I liked it.

Podcasts:

  • Theater People is so good that I backed its Kickstarter campaign, which is something I had never before done in my life. Patrick is such an engaging host, and I love his unabashed enthusiasm and how much a super fan he is of the people he interviews. It’s really a true delight and a treasure!
  • Mystery Show by Starlee Kine … so good. Really enjoying this one.
  • How to be Amazing by Michael Ian Black … I discovered this one because of his interview with my beloved Lin-Manuel Miranda as I feverishly consume all-things-Hamilton-media in advance of seeing the show. I knew I liked Black because of how much I liked his book (You’re Not Doing It Right), but he’s also a good and careful interviewer and I’ve now listened to enough podcasts to know that there aren’t that many of those. (I know a lot of people like Alec Baldwin’s interview podcast, but I think he is a TERRIBLE interviewer and I cannot abide him and it makes me very retroactively sad because of how much I love Jack Donaghy.) I’ve only listened to Miranda, Amy Schumer, and Elizabeth Gilbert so far, but they’re all good.
  • Totally Mommy by Elizabeth Laime … another plug for this one, without which I truly do not know how I would have made it few my first few months of motherhood. That is a dramatic statement, but it’s just helped me so much.
  • Extra Hot Great by the Previously.TV gang … This is just a solid, reliable, well-rounded, truly satisfying podcast week-to-week, without fail. And Again With This, which is a walk down 90210 memory lane, is a delight as well. That show was so formative during my high school years. The first season aired before we properly had Fox as an actual cable channel, and I watched it over the air on a tiny black and white television in my bedroom and then the rest of the high school years unfolded as my own did. It is so stupid and terrible but it was a big part of my life back then.
  • I have really tried to branch out from white guys interviewing white guys in terms of my podcast experiences; that said, I really enjoyed Pete Holmes’ new interview with Jimmy Kimmel and old interview with (hearts) Rob Delaney (flowers). The way that Rob Delaney talks about being a dad is very, very swoony.

Favorite things on Internet:

  • Tara Ariano’s interview with the actor who plays Rogelio De La Vega, one of my very favorite characters on TV. This is (unsurprisingly) wonderful.
  • Joe Reid’s homage to the debut of Best Friends Forever. And his tribute to one of my favorite SYCYTD moments ever. Basically, everything Joe Reid writes.
  • This photo made me weepy. I loved In The Heights, I love A Chorus Line, and I remain so excited to see Hamilton that I basically cannot contain myself. (Video of the Hamilton cast’s tribute to A Chorus Line is here. Amazing.)
  • On Sadness, Family, and the Parenting Lessons of Inside Out.
  • The only thing that rivals my excitement about seeing Hamilton is my excitement about seeing Fun Home! Grateful to have bought my ticket before it won all the Tonys. Love this love letter to the show from the Keenan-Bolgers. And let’s just watch this over & over until the end of time.
  • I have no idea when I will ever see this movie, but this post delighted me on a deep level all the same.
  • I deeply love Waitress the movie and sing its song to my baby every night when rocking him to sleep. I doubt that song will be in this musical, but I really wish I could see it all the same.

Pets Still Alive:

Both. They wear me out. They are 14 and 15 and are ruining rug after rug to the point where I am not buying any more until they are both dearly departed. I don’t have much left for them at the literal end of the day and there are only so many more hours of my life that I can spend on my knees scrubbing their accidents out of grout.  I looked down earlier today and there was cat litter and also cat barf stuck to my bare knee, hours after this morning’s latest grossness. This is just the real, hard, sad truth. I love them but the day the dog peed all over the bumbo seat flipped a switch in me and now I love them in a very different way.

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Flowers, Trees, and Plants:

My backyard is a disaster thanks to the end of the world summer thunderstorms we had almost every day for several months there. I’m about to let it just Grey Gardens itself. It’s too much to even tackle at this point. It would take too many chainsaws. I guess I’ll just hire someone to do it. That and install a dishwasher. I’ve washed 14 years of dishes in this house by hand and I am done. Done I tell you.

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At least we have the day lilies and the magnolias and the crape myrtles.

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Best Food Eaten:

Bruch at Shaya? It is so good. I would like to crawl inside one of its warm loaves of pita bread and live inside of it in the winter. It’s just a really great place to eat brunch and I wish I could go daily.

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Honestly, though, I don’t think anything has tasted better this summer than the Thai Trifecta … ginger, lime, and coconut … from the one and only Hansen’s Sno-Bliz. It tastes like sunshine and happiness.

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4 Responses to April, May, June, July

  1. Lyn Never says:

    You might also enjoy the One Bad Mother podcast. I listen to every episode and I don’t even have kids!

  2. Lauren says:

    Glad to hear all is frenetic but well – couldn’t imagine it being any other way. Equally glad that you have tickets to Fun Home and Hamilton. I can’t even begin to tell you how much you will fully adore both and am excited to hear what you think. Perhaps we can collide schedules this time around!

    Give that adorable little one a squish and take care!

    • eliza says:

      AHHH Lauren! I really wanted to schedule a coffee/hug with you this time around but it was even more insane than usual. I will email you so we can discuss the shows further! Xox.

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