I’ve been meaning to participate in Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into forever, but the first few days of each month usually slip past before I remember to. Here, finally, I am catching on to the catch-up/catch-all linkup. Some highlights from 10/13:
October began with my long-lost college-journalism-partner-in-crime Megan landing in PDX, fresh off a year studying smartypants stuff in England. She promptly got sick with cat allergies/a cold/dumb American culture shock. But we still managed to gossip about old university frenemies, plan outrageously wonderful futures, and hang out with a couple of our old professors, as cool twentysomethings do.
My mom, too, visited, the first time she’s come to Oregon since I graduated and became an adult (or something like one). We touristed it up at the ocean, the Saturday Market, and the art museum. We argued about theology and spent way too much time at Whole Foods. I tried to scare her with the hipsters at Mississippi Pizza and we ate a pile of outstanding gluten-free food at Brooklyn House Restaurant, where she teared up eating sourdough. She, much like Megan, also came down with a cold, so we had time to plow through the entirety of Firefly, which she enjoyed but did insultingly say was “cheesy like the old Battlestar Galactica.” Somewhere, Joss Whedon cringes.
Aren’t you impressed I’ve only mentioned my cat once so far in this post?
A Few Good Books
Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell. A simple and sweet and devastating story of first love. It quickly, easily cut through my skepticism. Recommended if you’re a fan of The Perks of Being a Wallflower or The Fault in Our Stars.
A Dance with Dragons, George R. R. Martin. I almost gave up on this series after finishing A Feast for Crows a couple years ago. I really, really hated AFFC. But I am beyond glad I finally picked up with ADWD; it doesn’t reach the dramatic heights of A Storm of Swords, but it soars (and sprawls) upward and onward. Although: I’ve been kind of proud up til now that all five of my favorite characters have stayed alive this long … but, well, you know what they say about pride and falls — and Martin’s unending cruelty.
Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest, Gerard Degroot. If you like history or NASA or space or politics or propaganda or just good writing, you should read this book. Accessible but incisive, Dark Side deconstructs the space race, starting with its inception in the Holocaust slave mines of Dora. I’m only halfway through, but I’m already searching my library catalog for more Degroot.
I once took a lot of pride in not watching (much) television. Yes, my name is Kate, and I was one of those snobs who sneered, “Oh, I don’t even own a TV.” Thankfully I matured out of that, and now fall is a season of rejoicing: The Walking Dead is back! Please don’t die, Glenn, please don’t die. Parks & Rec is back! There’s never enough Pawnee and Eagleton rivalry. Parenthood is back! Is it getting cheesier, or am I getting more cynical? Still totes on Team Riamber, though.
On Netflix, I finished the second season of Girls. Bored by the first half, loved the second half. For all the show’s issues, I am pretty impressed with how its handled Hannah’s OCD. Much more realistic than the stereotype-driven Monk or the ever-awful Glee.
On SNL, I laughed aloud at Drunk Uncle and The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders:
Around the World Wide Web
Brides Throwing Cats. Catch a feline and you’re sure to be next to catch a man!
Modesty vs. Humility: 6 Ways to Move the Discussion Forward on It’s Complicated. This is one of the more balanced attempts I’ve seen to acknowledge the importance of context while stripping away the old-fashioned weight of Modesty Rules. “That’s a theology of fear, of control, and of manipulation, not a theology of freedom, virtue, and wisdom.”
Book of Lamentations on the New Inquiry. A thought-provoking critique of the DMS-5, envisioning it as a dystopian novel. “The narrative voice of the book affects a tone of clinical detachment, one in which drinking coffee and paranoid-type schizophrenia can be discussed with the same flat tone.”
Unusable Words on the New Yorker. On the beautiful challenge of words like pulchritudinous and incomplex. “Writers are a perverse lot and will derive a skew pleasure in attempting to use the unusable.”
From a Broken Line on Ava Anomaly. Abby Norman adds to Jamie Bagley’s Empathy Series, telling the story of Bathsheba from her perspective. “My part of this tale is written nowhere else but on my heart.”
That Can By My Next Tweet swept across Twitter, generating sometimes hilarious nonsense in 140 characters or less and proving once again the Internet is the most effective time waster ever invented.
— Kate Schell (@kate_schell) October 26, 2013
What have you been into lately? If you are Congress or the NSA, we already know your answer is “ruining the world economy and pissing off all of Europe and probably Atlantis too.”