I’m in the weirdest place in my adult life so far and it all feels very messy and also vaguely anticipatory. It’s...a lot. So, as usual, I’ve been distracting myself from impending panic about not having done much with stuff other people have made!
A rundown of recent loves:
- I finished American Gods, which ended up having a killer plot twist I didn’t see coming. Now I’m reading Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman. I’ve long had a thing~ for books that tap into the darkness swirling around inside teenage girls — be they entitled rich girls (The Cliche, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars series), dark-minded cheerleaders (Megan Abbott’s Dare Me) or gaslighted cult members (Emma Cline's The Girls). Teen girls are powerful — and as a lifelong lover of good villains, I like when they’re a little wicked too. So far, Girls on Fire is delivering.
- As usual, I’m loving something Rob Sheffield wrote. "I Love the Nineties Tour: Behind the Scenes With Coolio, Vanilla Ice and More" is a nice lesson in humility and a reminder that we’re all just out here on a mission, wishing someone could cure our lonely conditions. (Sheffield has a knack for writing about so-called has-beens others have written off. If you enjoy this piece, you might like the first piece of his I ever read, "Rocklahoma: Still Hair Metal After All These Years.")
- Need a laugh? Watch/rewatch Drunk History's "A Sound in Space" with Jenny Slate:
- Speaking of laughs, if you can catch it somewhere, I highly recommend checking out CNN’s docuseries, The History of Comedy. It’s long, but wildly educational. You’ll cry from laughing more than once and the powerful sixth episode, "Spark of Madness," will also make you cry real tears if you love Robin Williams as much as I do.
- Since I finished that series, I’ve been watching a lot of stand-up specials. Most recent winner: Marc Maron’s Too Real. If you liked Maron’s character on GLOW (side bar: please watch GLOW), you’ll love it and if you didn’t, you’ll probably still laugh the whole way through. His impression of Mick Jagger is perfect enough to make a grown man cry.
- Are you watching You’re the Worst? You should really be watching You’re the Worst. Season four premieres tonight!
- On a heavier note, I’ve really been struggling lately with figuring out what exactly I want to do with myself. Inspiration is pretty thin on the ground, but I have recently seen two (very different) things that really struck me. The first was wiissa's Midnight Ramblers, a mockumentary about the groupies that shaped ‘70s rock. It’s basically a 15-minute Almost Famous, but about the Band-Aids, so obviously I’m totally in love:
- The second was President Bartlett’s "American Heroes" speech from The West Wing episode "20 Hours in America, Part II." This speech probably would have hit me hard on any day since November 8...but right now, as my fellow Texans struggle in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and many others await the assured devastation of Hurricane Irma, it really resonates: