Flipping

It’s Saturday night and my husband is scrolling through the Netflix and Amazon Prime options looking for something to watch. (The Good Place didn’t stick.) He’s been scrolling for about 10 minutes now and I fully expect him to go another 20. Do you know someone who does the endless scroll? Or is it you?

When I’m watching by myself I go directly to the show I’m in the middle of (currently Bunheads for something light and Stranger Things season one for something less light). If I’m not in the middle of a show, I’m usually about to start a new one from the seemingly endless list of shows I don’t have time to watch. So I almost never scroll and browse. Back in the days of regular TV, I was never a channel flipper, either. Not even during commercials. I hated the thought that I might get distracted, linger too long on another channel, and not get back to my show in time. Channel flipping caused too much anxiety. Frankly, so does scrolling.

Sometimes, mid-scroll, CW asks me to pick something but then comes up with a reason why he’s not in the mood to watch it. Sometimes the Rotten Tomatoes score is too low. He’s impossible to watch TV with. We do watch the Great British Bake-Off together and Game of Thrones, but that’s about it. This is one of my life’s greatest tribulations: not having a show to watch with my husband.

He just paused for a while hovering over a movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman. Things are dire. Send whiskey.

Gilmore Girls & Guys

I am super hip and with it and have my finger on the pulse of the pop-culture world, so I heard about the Gilmore Guys podcast approximately two years after the rest of the world. Have you heard of it? (Probably.) Are you into it? GET INTO IT. IT IS GREAT.

(If you’re not familiar, it’s a fun podcast that discusses Gilmore Girls episode by episode, and there’s so much more than that. It’s its own fantastic Thing. Kevin and Demi, the hosts, just seem to be super sweet and thoughtful and funny and smart. They’re generally fun and pleasant to listen to.)

Even though I had recently re-watched the series during my maternity leave, I decided it was worth another re-watch so I could follow along with each episode of the podcast. As of last week, I just finished Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and the accompanying Gilmore Guys discussions, which concluded my massive watch-and-listen. I’d watched and re-watched the original 7 seasons several times, but this was only my second time watching the revival. The podcast episodes are significantly longer than the TV episodes — sometimes insanely so, like the 722 episode that was released in two parts totaling over 6 hours. I know what you’re thinking, but they’re mostly awesome and worth it. But what this means is that over the last several months, I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours either watching or thinking about Gilmore Girls.

Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:

Emily Gilmore is the fucking shit. She is the best (and sometimes also the worst, but in the best way) and I’ve been saying this for years and will keep saying it: Kelly Bishop IS IMPECCABLE. Her story was by far the best in the revival, and that scene at the whaling museum alone is worth the trouble of watching the whole series. But wait, maybe the scene at night with the glass of wine and the ocean is the best in the revival? Hard to say; they’re both amazing. The Clamshack? (“I guess The Vagina House was taken.”) And let me not forget the amazing fanfare with which she left the D.A.R. “BULLSHIT!” Boils down to one thing: Bishop is Queen.

I need to be IRL BFFs with Aisha Muharrar and Sarah Heyward, my two all-time favorite podcast guests. They are the best and I know we would hit it off and could discuss TV and writing and just, like, hang out in our pajamas and stuff. Maybe Aisha could introduce me to Leslie Knope Amy Poehler? I am even willing to forgive the fact that Sarah Heyward writes for Girls. (Sorry, Girls fans; I respect it but it is super not for me.)

Jason Mantzoukas. Who knew? I assumed he was a d-bag because he is on The League, which is a d-bag show if I ever saw one. (Sorry not sorry, League fans.) Also he plays a d-bag on Parks. Turns out he is also sensitive and smart and …stuff. He is an amazing an hilarious guest on the podcast and is super vulgar and inappropriate and I LOVE HIM. I feel like no one else understands my extreme hatred of Logan Huntzburger and the Life and Death Brigade the way Jason does. Jason, call me.

Logan Huntzburger and the Life and Death Brigade: STILL FUCKING AWFUL. These are not good people. These are bad people. I mean, I could list some reasons for this claim (the rich white guy money and privilege and smugness and the firmly classist and paternalistic belief that their own antics are the most amusing and charming thing they could bestow on the hapless bystander victims in their vicinity — the tango club Robert buys?! The old lady filing clerk at the Stars Hollow Gazette whom they probably pay to stand there with a flashlight in her face intoning “in omnia paratus“?! The AWFULNESS.) but how about just this:

Or this:

The Rory storyline in the revival was a bummer. What had she been doing for the past 8 years? Why was she so terrible at her job and networking and talking to people and finding a story? At least we got to enjoy Alex Kingston as Naomi Shropshire, which was a fun element. As to why Rory was cheating on her boyfriend with Logan, who was cheating on his fiancée with Rory? Logan is awful and the people around him sink to his level.

Lorelai and Luke — it was so sweet to see their wedding finally (and to hear Sam Phillips’ “Reflecting Light” as the soundtrack!), though some of that storyline was a bit of a bummer, too. Had they really not talked about kids!? Enh. Fine.

Well! You’d think I’d have more refined thoughts than that to share, but this is NaBloPoMo and I owe the internet a daily post, so there’s no time to refine. Take what you get and don’t get upset!

In my TV life, I’m moving on to Bunheads next, which I watched when it originally aired, but haven’t seen since. I know I’m going to enjoy the rewatch, but even moreso because I’ll be able to listen to Kevin and Demi’s Bunhead Bros!

 

Watching & Reading

Here’s how I’ve been entertaining myself lately:

ABCGO

How to Get Away with Murder

I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of this show last year, so I was excited to find a few new episodes in my Hulu queue. I’m almost caught up with the new season, but not quite, so no spoilers, please. I love mysteries and legal dramas and have a bit of a weakness of absurdly soapy plots, so HTGAWM is right up my alley. I don’t particularly “like” any of the show’s characters, which almost makes it more fun to watch because if/when something terrible happens to one of them or they’re revealed as evil, I just get to straight-up enjoy the drama. Fun.

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Scream Queens

This show is completely ridiculous and fun and I recommend it if you’re interested in horror, campus narratives, or over-the-top campy pop-culture stuff. The send-up of popular horror movies is entertaining and the 90s soundtrack is just extra enjoyment for old folks like me. Plus, Jamie Lee Curtis!

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The Mindy Project

This is the one 30-minute comedy I’ve been consistently watching this season and while I don’t LOVE it the way I loved, say, Parks and Rec, it’s still fun for me. especially because this season Mindy and Danny have a new baby, so, hey!, relatable. Has anyone else noticed Mindy’s supercute pajamas recently? I need to know where she’s getting all those.

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Nashville

As out-of-control soapy as this show gets, I still love it so. The Juliette storyline is particularly awful this season, so I really hope they find a way to turn that around. I also really can’t stand this new Marcus character. Who the hell does he think he is, anyway?! What I have been appreciating is the return to Scarlett and Gunnar awesomeness, in particular their musical collaborations. Just give me the S&G album of my dreams, please, Nashville!

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The Martian, Andy Weir

I had been meaning to read this forever based on people’s favorable mentions of it on Twitter, and then I realized the movie had been released, so I’d better get a move on if I didn’t want the plot to get spoiled for me. I enjoyed the first-person narrator’s sense of humor and sarcasm and found the scientific aspects of the story to be really interesting. Space travel isn’t something I know a lot about, but I still found the technical aspects of the book easy enough to understand for a non-expert such as myself.

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The Royal We, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

I had absolutely no interest in this book for a long time because I was somehow under the misconception that it was a non-fiction book about the real Will and Kate. Once I found out it was a novel, I was on board. When the Kindle version went on sale, I figured, why not? It had plenty of slow moments for me, especially in terms of the royal family stuff, which I generally have very little interest in, but the love story itself was entertaining enough to keep me reading.

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Carry On, Rainbow Rowell

I’ve just started this one. Rainbow Rowell is hit or miss for me — I tend to prefer her adult books (Attachments and Landline) over her young adult stuff. In particular, I did not care for Eleanor and Park. Fangirl, on the other hand, was more interesting to me, but I found myself skipping the Simon Snow fanfiction sections of the novel in order to focus more on the main characters. I figured, then, that Carry On, her fantasy novel about the Simon Snow “world of mages” (obviously inspired by Harry Potter) that she first explored in Fangirl, would not be a hit for me. I decided to read it after all, though, after seeing a lot of friends say how much they were enjoying it. I’m about 20% of the way through so far and in all honesty I’d just rather be rereading Harry Potter for the umpteenth time. Maybe it will get more gripping. We’ll see.

Present Perfect Continuous

It’s been nothing but pregnancy talk around here for a while, so I want to change things up. I keep running into the thought that I “don’t have time” to write substantially about anything more than once a week, so that time gets devoted to weekly pregnancy updates instead of anything else. Well, perhaps I don’t need to write substantially! Perhaps I will write trivially about things of little import! How about THAT?!

Here are a few things I’ve been doing lately:

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Reading: I recently started Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life, and despite not being immediately gripped by the plot or characters, I have persisted. At about 80 pages in I was seriously wondering why I bothered, but I am currently about 125 pages in and now much more interested. I am usually not one to complain or be daunted by very lengthy works of fiction (some of my all time favorite books include Infinite Jest and In Search of Lost Time, for example; The Goldfinch was a recent favorite). I do generally find, though, that my favorite lengthy tomes are the ones that interest me immediately and in such an insistent manner that I am unable to stop reading after just one chapter. I don’t feel that way about A Little Life, nor did I about, for example, Ulysses. We’ll see how it goes.

Watching: Sadly I have finished watching Make it or Break It, the cheesy ABC Family show about competitive gymnastics. I was dismayed to find out at the end of S3E8 that I had just seen the series finale — I’d been expecting several more episodes. Having accomplished that proud feat, though, I’ve returned to my slow ongoing re-watch of Lost.   What I wish I were watching, however, is Hannibal. I got behind on the current season and then when I went to Hulu to catch up, all but the last three episodes had been removed. DAMN YOU, HULU. (No, they’re not available on NBC.com, either.)

Listening: Frank Zappa and Taylor Swift. With those two, you’ve pretty much got all your bases covered. Until, that is, the much anticipated (by me, anyway) Ryan Adams 1989 cover album is released. Bated breath over here.

Planning: My next nursery project, a couple of mobiles with //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js“>hand-sewn birds. I haven’t done a legit sewing project in MANY A YEAR, so this should be…something.

Brunching! Don't worry, mine is virgin.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Loving: The visit from my friend C. and family over Labor Day Weekend! It was so nice to have them at our house and to have a couple of days to relax, hang out, catch up, and just spend time together. We went out to dinner one night and then the next day stayed in for brunch and then afternoon grilling at the house, with plenty of breaks for her 8-year-old to run around in the backyard and for our dog to follow him around hoping for a chance to play with the b-a-l-l. It was lovely. We need to do this more often.

Things I’ve Been Enjoying Lately

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Re-watching Lost

I’m currently early in season two and thoroughly enjoying it. If I remember correctly, I’ve seen the first couple of seasons more than once, but it’s been long enough that I don’t remember a lot of what happened. As far as seasons 3 and beyond, my memory is very foggy. Of course, I do remember the way the series ended, which I did not love at the time, and when it occasionally comes to mind as I’m watching now, it still pisses me off. I wonder if I’ll feel differently about the ending this time around? At any rate, I am enjoying spending time with Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Locke, Jin and Sun, Hurley, and Desmond.

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The Property Brothers

As we moved from house hunting to house buying, it’s been really fun to watch this and other real-estate/remodeling shows. It doesn’t hurt that the brothers are both totally adorable. My husband has gotten into the show, too, and it’s just fun to sit around and think about all the things we can do with our new house — and, of course, to make fun of the often vapid and annoying people featured on the show. “I want my dream house, and I want it NOW!” — Actual Quote from a Buyer on the Show.

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My Library’s Kindle Books

Downloading a book to my Kindle app instantly, for free, just never gets old. Sure, sometimes I have to be on the waiting list for quite a while (I’ve been waiting weeks and weeks for Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train and I’m now number 10 on 6 copies — it’s getting close!), but it’s worth it. Here are a few I’ve read recently, along with my star rating (out of a possible 5):

  • How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran (still in progress)
  • Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel ***
  • Looking for Alaska – John Green ** (2.5)
  • Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty *** (3.5)
  • The Vacationers – Emma Straub ***
  • Yes, Please – Amy Pohler ** (2.5)
  • This is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper **
  • Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes **** (4.5)

Dinner! (kale, quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas, feta, tahini dressing)

This Composed Salad Recipe

I found this recipe on Pinterest and, due to my love of all things kale and quinoa, I felt sure I would love it. I modified it by roasting the chickpeas first, but did everything else pretty much as directed. When I make this again, I’ll leave out the feta. I think, with the tahini dressing, the feta is not really needed. Leaving it out has the benefit of making the whole recipe vegan, which is something I like to do often.

Azaleas

The Warm, Springy Weather

It’s azalea season, which is the loveliest time in Alabama. Enough said.

Spring Break Miscellany

Greetings, friends! Spring break is officially here! Time to strap on your beer-funnel hats, slather on the sunscreen, and prepare to party. Well, or not.

While we had a quite lovely weekend with plenty of lounging, movie-watching, and mimosas at brunch, the official start of Spring Break (today) started off with a nasty pet situation. The cat, who is a known spite-pisser, decided to take a dump on the bathroom rug (again) and also to pee all over her bed. She has one of these cave-style beds, and she must have climbed on top of it and flattened it down and then peed on the top part. The pee went everywhere, though, including soaking all the way through the rug to the bathroom floor. So in addition to my usual pet-waste-related morning chores of squeezing the dog and emptying the litter box, I also had to do a load of laundry and clean the floor and scrub the cat bed. (CW helped, lest you think he is one of those lazy men you see on sitcoms & commercials who never does any chores at home.) I just. I mean. WHAT THE HELL, KITTY?!

[68/365] Sulky Cat
“I admit nothing.”

In completely unrelated news, we rented Gravity last night. Who has seen that? Was anyone else just a little, I don’t know, underwhelmed? It was much shorter than I expected it to be and (relatedly) the plot was much narrower than I expected. I had not realized it was almost entirely just…Sandy in Space. Because I hate to get even the smallest soupçon of a spoiler, I try to avoid most information about movies before I see them. I am usually satisfied to know the writer, director, star(s), and genre — then I can just watch the plot unfold as intended. I don’t like to see long trailers or to read reviews. In the case of Gravity, I managed to avoid all this. In fact, the main thing I knew about this movie going into it was that most of my Twitter friends were very adamant that they were too freaked out or terrified to see the movie, the trailers, or the awards-show clips. So, basically, I go in thinking it’s a terrifying space movie starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and then I get…well…I get… Gravity. Disappointed.

[56/365] Running Feet

Hey, here’s another unrelated update: Physical therapy has been going very well lately! I have been able to do three 3-mile runs in the past week. I’m feeling great about that! If I can maintain three short runs per week for a couple of weeks with no pain during or after, I will be well on the road to recovery (and able to start increasing my distance again). I have been working my ass off, I’ve got to say. My therapist has me doing all sorts of balance work, squats, and lots of bosu ball stuff (single-leg dead lifts standing on the bosu ball, you guys. Ridiculous!). Last week, he had me jumping off of a box over and over while trying to land silently. So that was interesting. I do not land silently, let’s just say. At any rate, I am really glad I went back to PT as soon as the hip problems cropped up again. I think as a result I’m going to be spending less total time in PT and less total time away from running or other workouts. Last time I was on my butt for several months; this time I’m up and running again after about one month.

And now I had better sign off, because I’ve got a ton of laundry to deal with (thanks, kitty) and some single-leg balances to do. Ooof.