What I’m reading
This month’s theme seemed to be calling stories and anti-hagiographies. I picked up Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People at the book store and finished it in two days. Sara Miles (of Take This Bread, one of my favorite finds of 2016) shows up in the book, and that didn’t surprise me in the least–the books aren’t the same at all, but there’s an undercurrent of surprise (of all the people you would expect to become religious in such specific ways, these are not two of them) and that really appeals to me. I also read Pastrix, the first book Nadia wrote. Then Jana Riess’ Flunking Sainthood, in which Jana tries and fails at all kinds of spiritual practices (the epilogue made me cry and I also felt a lot better at all the ways I fail, so thank you, Jana).
Lastly, one of my tutoring students was working on Toni Morrison’s Beloved, prompting me to read it too. It’s so intense, but so worth the read. The central questions (at least the way I read it) are: is there such a thing as an ex-slave? Can you ever escape your past? And what does it mean to be beloved?
What I’m watching
Besides the usual suspects (NCIS, NCIS LA, Hawaii 5-0, Scorpion, Criminal Minds (what a way to write Hotch out of the series..sigh), Brooklyn Nine-Nine):
Dr Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Moana.
I liked all three of these movies. We caught an early viewing of Fantastic Beasts (10AM on a Saturday), and it was a great way to start the weekend. (My main complaint? Johnny Depp as Grindewald. The thing about evil is that it looks just like you and me–Grindewald didn’t need to be Johnny Depp-ed, in my opinion.) I went into Doctor Strange without any expectations, but turned out to really like the movie, although I rolled my eyes at all the Orientalism. And Moana was great. They did a much better job with the Polynesian aspects of her life than I honestly thought they would, and although there are certainly some valid critiques to be made, I really enjoyed it.
What I’m listening to
Slate’s Working podcast is doing a series of interviews with people whose jobs are going to become so much harder under a Trump administration. Last week, they talked to an abortion provider, and this week, an immigration lawyer working primarily with children. Both episodes are well worth the time spent.
What else I am doing with my life
Christmas, apparently! We got our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. It’s a tiny tree, partially because we didn’t want a big one, and mostly because we have a smart car and the tree had to fit in the car, so a tiny tree it was! We decorated it that weekend, and so far, the animals have left it alone. (Let’s hope that stays that way.)