What I’m Into, August Edition

 

(Also known as, why this post is four weeks late.)

Little G. was born on August 12 and is absolutely perfect. Her arrival has shifted my priorities somewhat, so perhaps this post should be titled: “What I’m Also Into, August Edition.”

Reading:

Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Mother’s Guide to the Meaning of Life. Don’t let the saccharine title fool you–this is not a sappy book. I’m six weeks into this parenting thing and so much of what she writes about is still beyond my understanding, but I can see glimmers of truths in what she writes, and glimpses of what is to come. Incidentally, this was my first Amy Krouse Rosenthal book, whom you may know from her beautiful and heartbreaking Modern Love column, published ten days before her death, and I will be back for more. Four stars.

Kevin Kwan’s Rich People ProblemsThis is book three of a series, and while 1 and 2 were entertaining enough (in a “how the other half lives” or more accurately “how the 0.1% lives” way), this felt like one book too many. Two stars.

Meg Cabot’s The Boy is Back. I like Cabot’s books as long as I remember that they are romances, not literary fiction, and downgrade my expectations accordingly. Two to three stars.

Donna Andrew’s Gone GullI mention Donna Andrews about every other month–she’s my favorite cozy mystery writer and this new installment did not disappoint! Meg’s grandmother has opened up an arts center but is plagued by vandalism, and then murder. Meg has to solve the mystery before the center is forced to close! (Insert suspenseful music here..) Four stars.

Currently on my hold list at the library: Lucy Syke’s The Knockoff, Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, Roger Horowitz’ Kosher USA, Ken Jenning’s Because I Said So!, Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, and Katrine Marcal’s Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?. 

On the left: Baby’s first bookstore visit! She was two weeks old. On the right: our haul from that visit. L. and I have somewhat different taste in books. 

Shorter pieces:

On the rise of female powerlifters: I got into lifting before I got pregnant, and can’t wait to get back into it. It’s given me muscles, sure, and aesthetic effects, but mostly confidence. Like the article says, “‘When they’re able to lift a certain weight,” she explains, “then they start questioning, ‘Well, what else did I think I couldn’t do that I can actually do?'”

Plus, it’s really nice to be able to carry whatever I need in daily life. Functional fitness for the win!

On starting new projects (Emily Freeman). 

“If we’re going to bring forth creative work into the world, we have to be able to discern the difference between sacred waiting and scared waiting.” This. There is a difference between white-knuckling the status quo and being afraid of the future, and letting things take their time so new roots can unfold. I have done plenty of both over the past year, and while waiting for anything still doesn’t come naturally to me, there is fruit to be found in sacred waiting and I am learning to see it.

Watching

Happy ValleyThis documentary takes a look at the Penn State community after the sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky and other officials came to light. What I took away from this documentary is how much we want people to be either good or bad, and most people aren’t–most people are equal parts innocent and guilty, good and bad, and communities generally have a very hard time dealing with that.

Little Evil. Adam Scott (Ben from Parks and Recreation) plays a man who unwittingly becomes the stepfather to the antichrist. I am not a horror fan, at all, but this is a horror-comedy. It’s both funny and lame–it was entertaining enough but not likely to make my list of ‘movies I’d recommend’ and I mainly watched it because I heart Ben and Leslie forever.

The Good Place. Eleanor dies and finds herself in heaven–by accident. Now she has to prove she belongs there. This series stars Kristen Bell and is produced by the same people who did Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Parks and Rec, so of course I loved it.

Bones. A slow healing process post-childbirth means a lot of time spent on the couch. Nursing a newborn also means a lot of time spent on the couch, and Bones, Booth, and the rest of the crew have been good company, especially late at night when I want something familiar to get me through yet another nursing or pumping session.

YouTube:

Jun’s KitchenThis youtube channel features a man cooking traditional Japanese dishes–but for his cats. It’s oddly captivating.

Marblelympics. Picture me reading on the couch, hearing cheering from the tv, glancing up to see a sporting event on the screen, glancing again to see that this is, in fact, a sporting event featuring marbles and professional grade commentary. Epic and amazing.

(You can thank L. for both of these. He has some interesting Youtube habits.)

Listening to:

Not much. I’ve been youtubing lullabies because I am deficient in that department and turns out singing to them does really quiet down fussing newborns. I have sung the ones I know approximately a million times so far and need to expand my repertoire for my own sanity. L. reports little miss also likes the Hamilton soundtrack, particularly “Dear Theodosia,” so perhaps I should just brush up on my historical rap skills…

What have you been reading, watching, and listening to? Anything I should add to my list?

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