I don’t feel like writing a lot of big thoughts today and I almost skipped the blog this weekend. However, I realized I at least wanted to talk about what I’ve been reading and share a Huey photo (which I know you all live for). So, here I am.
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry is a novel that encapsulates everything I love about roller derby without being about roller derby at all. The story is told from the collective perspective of the Danvers High School 1989 women’s field hockey team. Before the school year begins, the team makes a magical pact that, they claim, insists they do dark deeds in exchange for improved field hockey performance. The story is a modern take on the Salem witch trials (sans trials; only teen witches) and celebrates the power in young women doing whatever they fucking want. This was tons of fun to read and made me want to sign up for field hockey and dance naked in the woods under the light of the moon.
Meanwhile, on the internet:
- Meet the introverts who are dreading a return to normal via The Washington Post. It’s me. I’m introverts.
- Work isn’t fulfilling because capitalism is a death march via Truthout. This is an interview with Sarah Jaffe, author of Work Won’t Love You Back. I really like reading these frank takes about our relationship with work.
- Free donuts were never the problem via Food & Wine. Yes, I am sharing more articles about the hysteria surrounding the Krispy Kreme donuts-for-the-vaccinated promotion. From the article: “But as a fat person, I have watched in distress and anger as acquaintances posted memes about gaining weight in quarantine. I have ingested the collective absolute dread and horror of maybe looking … like me? Is there a size limit to human dignity? Apparently some people think so.”
TV and Music
I saw Amazon advertising Coming 2 America, the sequel to the 1988 movie Coming to America, and realized I’d never seen the original so why not watch it. Coming to America was sort of fun, if very much of its era (as all things are). There’s a weird layer of sexism in it that seems to be typical in 80s movies. The movie was entertaining overall, but it was not what I expected. I thought a movie about a prince from a fictional African country who travels to New York would be about racism. Not so. Coming to America takes place in a world where racism is maybe in the background but the movie doesn’t address it head on. Coming 2 America was a lot more entertaining for me, which didn’t surprise me because I knew I’d be able to get more of the references and it would mesh with modern sensibilities. I was impressed by the number of actors from the original movie who appeared in the sequel. It made me laugh. What more can I really ask for?
I continued my regularly scheduled snack deliveries this month by sampling some chocolate from Vosges. I tried the milk chocolate truffles plus some of their easter treats. This is really good chocolate. It’s pricey but delicious.
Making Things and Doing stuff
There are some things I’ve made and stuff I’ve done.
I am happy to report that I finished reading a book in Spanish. Even though this is increasingly frequent, I am still proud when I do it. The book: Vagabundos by Hao Jingfang. This is a translation from Chinese, so why not read it in Spanish instead of English? I found it while browsing the Kobo store for ebooks in Spanish. I’m learning it’s much easier to read books in other languages digitally because I can look up words in the moment, “highlight” them, then add them to my flashcards later. I don’t have to interrupt my reading to get an immediate answer if I’m not sure what something means. It’s a game changer.
The book itself was okay. This is a very slow read that features a lot of people talking and not a whole lot of action. It’s set on Mars and features a group of Martian teens who have recently returned from four years of study abroad on Earth. When they come home, they start noticing all the restrictive features of Martian society. I’m not sure if I was suffering from a lack of understanding, but I felt like certain aspects of the story didn’t go anywhere. I thought I would be relatively at home reading a science fiction novel, but I think it was more philosophical than anything, which made it, at times, a hard read.
My friend Mandy told me that I need to start sharing some food photos that prove that sometimes I’m “slumming it” like everyone else when it comes to cooking. I thought everyone tacitly understood that I don’t go all out every day, but I was wrong. Since I have no interesting foods to show you this week, please accept this picture of a meal we had a few days ago: salad and cup noodles. Now you know.
Finally, here is a some cat photo for your nerves. Huey lies around like this often and it always makes me laugh.