Tag Archives: entertainment

The Year of the Mash-Up

From Glee to tonight’s Grammy Awards, I deem this year: The Year of the Mash-Up.

Ahh, the (sometimes) genius of a great mash-up song–but I am hoping this year, my life will become a mash-up of sorts. I’m in need of massive change. I’m itching in my skin, bored with the routine and the recreation of the routine to shake up the previous one. I don’t care if there is a mash-up leading to a new job (which I’m really hoping for), or a mash-up in my romantic life (which I’m also hoping for)–I just need a mash-up of sorts, damn it!

In other news, I’m sitting here smiling to myself about my witty naming pop cultural year. I’d love to be a pop culture writer. Sigh.


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What I’m Into This Week

It ‘s been a while since I wrote these posts. I love them and one of my favorite to write. It’s a journal for me of sorts (duh!) to look back on and remind myself–well–what I was into.

Jane Eyre–It wasn’t until I was almost 30 that I began to read classics. I didn’t read many of the big ones in high school or college. Though it was slow going, I’m loving Jane. I’m loving Charlotte Bronte. I find her character fascinating: she’s part feminist; at times confident, at times insecure; sheltered and supressed and sometimes just plain odd. I’m about 300 or so pages in, but I really look forward to my book club’s discussion–that is if we have one. Mostly it’s just talk of men, sex, jobs, houses, and gossip. I also want to read some analysis of it and maybe watch a BBC or Masterpiece Classic movie version.

I also love the writing. What I love about the classics is the language. It just all sounds so much more sophisticated. The love scenes are so pure and romantic. The character descriptions so blunt (I love the pure honestly of calling Mr. Rochester “an ugly man.”) I find it fascinating that dialogue and language is itself historical and classic. I hated history in school, but as I’ve become older I’m curious about many things and desire to learn more history. This concludes the book section of what I’m into this week (how’s that for segue?).

NBC and the Great The Late Show Debate–When I couldn’t sleep as a kid I turned on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. (What I really tried to stay up for Letterman, but I’m sure he’s a post for another time.) Though most of the world is keeping abreast on the terrible situation is  in Haiti, I get enough of what is going on NBC. Here’s why: Conan is calling his bosses out for making bad decisions, and I’m jealous.

I’ve always been a Conan fan and was terribly excited he would be on an hour earlier (when I may actually be awake and able to watch it more). Conan’s letter announcing his position was brilliant, classy, and in the right. Sometimes you just don’t mess with tradition, and that tradition is The Tonight Show. Conan has been the nice guy too long, and now he’s pissed and acting out. I’m jealous because that is just what I wish I could do at work. In the five years I’ve been at my organization I’ve watched its demise. The Board and those in senior positions have made tons of mistakes and many have suffered because of it. It’s frustrating and sad and really wish I could pull a Conan because if I don’t change my attitude soon I’ll be begging to be laid off. Get my three to five month payout, go on unemployment, and be forced to figure out what exactly I do want to do next. Even if I have to bag groceries for a couple of months–I’m to the point where I really want out. But I’m also scared because unlike Conan, I won’t get 30 million and I won’t feel secure in this state of the world. It’s a debate I obviously have with myself because I really am scared of what would happen if I did lose my job. And now that I’m totally off topic, let’s move on.

Roger Ebert’s Journal–I’ve always been a fan of the Eb’s (as I pronounce it, da’-eebez). His writing is really creative and thoughtful–be sure to read the entry on food and memory.

NPR’s Monkey See Blog-A must for pop culture lovers. (I secretly wish I was Linda Holmes. What a cool job!)

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What I’m Into This Week: The Women Rock Edition

1. The Help (audible edition). Though I could listen to storytelling podcasts like  The Moth or David Sederis’ reading his own stories in only the way he can, I never thought I would like listening to books to tape. The Help changed my mind. I’m in the 10th hour and I don’t want it to end. A beautiful story of friendship and an intriguing look at 1962 Mississippi, The Help is easily one of the best books I’ve read (or in this case) listened to, in a long, long, time. I absolutely love the main characters: the two black maids Aibilnne and Winny, and 23-year-old white woman who interviews them for a book about their experiences as maids, Skeeter. They are all strong, thoughtful, independently minded, and sensitive human beings. These are women who are destined to become literary heros, at least in my mind.

2. Slates Julia Turner‘s reviews of Mad Men. I think she’s in my mind.

3. The sparky Kelly Ripa look-a-like Det. Andrea Penoyer  and the rest of girls of the TLC’s Police Women of Broward County. As a longtime fan of shows like COPS and it’s perfect counter-part Reno 911, this show has easily become a favorite. It has all the missing teeth, lack of clothing, and trash of COPS, plus crack whores, undercover drug busts, and women kicking ass during the day, but we also their vulnerability as they go home to their families at night.

4. Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts. If only I had unlimited funds to shop at the craft store. Sigh. Still, it’s Martha Stewart P*rn at it’s best.

Other women who rock (in no particular order): Tina Fey, Tina Turner, Peggy Olson, Rachel Yamagata, Dept. Chief Brenda Lee Johnson, Kate Winslet, and many, many, more.

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Television Magic

I have been enjoying His cable United States of Tara, the History Channels History of Sex, a marijuana documentary where they splice together Hippies Goofiest Moments to show the effects or as we said in unison last night: people actually acting happy. If I had cable I’d constantly be flipping between Comedy Central, E!, Food Network, Lifetime, and the History Channel. I’ve lived with out cable for so long now-I often say PBS is my cable-but when I have a cable remote in hand I’m an addict. I’ve considered ordering it, but am cheap, so I will still live in this primitive Two and Half Men rerun world. 

I watched the Brady Bunch this morning, it was the classic Greg caught smoking episode. Like the marijuana documentary, it was hilarious in that mid-60s way as Jan kept stressing the word smoking. “…and Greg was smoking.” That was funny enough to make my morning but then this scene took place and instead of laughing I was disturbed. See for yourself:

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What I’m Into This Week

Damages. Glenn Close plays such an evil, manipulative character, yet so awesome to watch I want her on screen the whole time. Though it’s wonderful she’s not because then we wouldn’t see Ted Danson’s egocentric billionaire try to swarm his out of a pending litigation. Or fresh attorney Ellen Parsons played by the beautiful Rose Byrne who is vulnerable, brilliant, naive, and strong all at the same time. This show is so addicting, I’m almost done with season one, so if anyone bother to read this blog, don’t tell me anything. 

Kabul Beauty School.  Author Deborah Rodriguez’s touching memoir of starting a beauty training school in Afghanistan is both a historical and cultural lesson about Afghan women. At times the book is amusing in the way that travel memoirs often speak about cross-cultural differences, surprises and misunderstandings. Then Rodiguez reiterates a conversations or story we hear from one of the Afghan students about life, about marriage, about being a woman and truth and heartbreak insue. Books like this remind me of all that I have to be thankful for and that though women in the U.S. may make .75 to every $1 a man makes, at least we have the freedom to dress, be educated, marry, and be who we want. It makes me want to be brave and do something important with my life to help improve someone elses. 

Roku Netflix player. I don’t have cable, I have netflix. I bought myself the little pre-holiday gift of the Roku so I could watch the “Watch Instantly” selections on Netflix. I’ve only had it hooked up for a couple days, but I’m already addicted. I’ve been watching episodes of 30 Rock, Dead Like Me, and classics, dramas, comedies, fitness videos, and documentaries in the que. Some may complain the Watch Instantly collection isn’t that great, but I like vast collection of documentaries, foreign films, and classics so I’m happy. 

Root Vegetables. Parsnip fries. Butternut Squash. A huge pan of assorted veggies roasted in olive oil and fresh rosemary in the oven. Great for salads or goat cheese pizza. I love to cook in the winter and root vegetables are comfort food.  

What are you into this week?

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What I’m Loving This Week

1. Dan Savage’s Podcast. Wow. Why didn’t I discover this sooner. I must download past episodes of this. In today’s episode he tackled younger woman/older man, kitty blowjobs, a man disturbed about going down on a girl (of which he said something to sort “good thing you’re not gay, because then you’d have to eat ass”), teenage pregnancy and the adult trying to help (“but the fuck out”), and more. He is a comedic genius, and a perfect modern day “Dear Abby” for the relationship and sex defunct. Download it now.

2. Two Fat Ladies on DVD. Jennifer and Clarissa ride around the UK on a motorcycle and sidecar to come to the cooking rescue–whether it be cooking for a girl’s lacrosse team, priests at a cathedral, or a house owned by a Scottish Duke–Jennifer and Clarissa’s humor, charm, and outspokenness, make entertaining television (even if the recipes aren’t really duplicatable, not to mention super unhealthy). Jennifer steal’s the show with her thick, round, black glasses, wit, and tendency of breaking into song, she is like the cool Grandma I never had. They end almost every show sitting out behind the kitchen smoking cigarette’s and drinking a glass of wine, continuing their funny observations of the day. 

3. Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Okay, I’m cheating here because I finished this book almost 2 weeks ago, but I absolutely loved it. I always love going to the farmer’s market, but now I’m more cognizant about where and how far my beloved fruits and vegetables have to travel to get to grocery stores. So until Winter (or until I join a CSA) every Saturday, I get up and go a week’s worth of fresh goodies. I admire how her and her family took time to build a garden, raise chickens, and have cooking adventures. The books makes you want to eat better, move to the middle of nowhere and grow your own food, and spend entire days in the kitchen with your family making jams, sauces, and chutneys. It is a literary treat.

*I’m going to attempt to make this a weekly “column” if only to keep track for myself what I enjoyed and why. A diary of sorts…kind of like my whole point to having a blog.

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