Well, July happened. I went on a family vacation and then bridesmaided in another wedding. I just got a short-term 2-3 day a week nanny job to make a little money before I move to Mexico. And I liked things, so here is my What I’m Into, modeled off of HopefulLeigh’s “What I’m Into” series.
Because I was traveling a lot in the early parts of July, I really didn’t watch a lot of new TV. I was enjoying my family and doing nothing, and then I was bridesmaiding. There was a lot of rewatching of my perennial favorites, like 30 Rock and and HIMYM, but for most of early July, I didn’t delve in to new TV. Also, all my traveling caught up with me and I got some kind of allergies/cold/sinus infection combination and I pretty much laid in bed for many days. Along with continuing rewatches, I picked back up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watched the first season sometime last year, but then just dropped it. It is my new favorite thing, and I’m already almost done with Season 3. It’s crazy and weird, but it’s fascinating.
My family vacation to Lakeside is where I read. A lot. Hours in the car and on the porch of our rental home are spent reading, reading, reading. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you will see many pictures from various family members of this years time at Lakeside, and in nearly every picture, I’m reading a different book. I finished quite a few books this month, and started/got stuck/abandoned quite a few, too.
I love being able to catalog my reading habits on Goodreads. It frees up a little space in my brain, so I don’t have to remember every single book on my to-read list (which is ridiculous) or even recently read list. It’s also fun to catalog my thoughts as I read. See especially my reading updates on Killing Kennedy, in which I quoted it’s ridiculous foreshadowing of Kennedy’s upcoming assassination. Spoiler Alert: Killing Kennedy is about the Kennedy Assassination.
I finished 8 books on my vacation (including the aforementioned Killing Kennedy). Two favorites were Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm and The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School. Both of these books are memoirs of women who left their normal life and decided to do something crazy, something that they’ve always wanted to do: working on an oyster farm and going to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, respectively. I really enjoyed these books, because I love memoir and because I highly identified with stories of crazy life change. Shucked, I happened to find on Anthropologie’s Instagram. Yes, that’s weird, but it had a pretty cover and hey I judge books by their covers. Let’s face it, I love memoirs, and I wish I had brought a dozen more.
When I last went to Mexico, I read America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines by Gail Collins, which detailed the history of women in America for its first 400 years, up until about the 60’s. Somehow, I had no idea she had also written a “sequel”about the incredible changes for women since 1960, When Everything Changed The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. I highly recommend both of these books if you enjoy history. Neither are action-packed, but they’re fascinating.
When it comes to “beach reads,” I have a very low threshold for inanity. However, after taking The President’s Club to read on the dock, I quickly realized that I needed to bring something a little less educational. The answer was Divergent. Once I conquered the slow first few chapters, the book LITERALLY jumped a speeding train and became a fascinating and quick read. I finished it in about a day, and my cousin and sister were able to finish it by the end of the week. If you like dystopia or young adult lit, give this book a try. I’m on the waiting list for its sequel at the library and I’m just hoping it arrives before I leave.
My other favorite of books I read on vacation was The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson. I first loved Maureen from her fabulous twitter. She is constantly hilarious about all sorts of random topics. Now that she has a puppy, she is on fire. I email my best friend tweets from Maureen about 10 times a week. Madness Underneath, sequel to The Name of the Star, was simultaneously great and horrifying (in the best way), which is exactly how I like my entertainment these days. I typically don’t enjoy books about supernatural phenomena, but Johnson’s spin on a ghost story is different from any paranormal story I’ve previously encountered. If you like England and humor, try it.
I’ve been trying out Spotify’s “Discover” feature, whereby it suggests similar music to what you have previously listened to or it reminds you to listen to a song you haven’t heard in awhile. Their suggestions are good, but I’ve rarely ever found music that I fell in love with from an algorithmically chosen suggestion. My enjoyment of music is rooted in what the music is paired with. For example, was the song in an important scene in a favorite TV show? Which really means, was it in Chuck? See nearly all of my recently played music for more than the last year on Spotify. Wanting to listen to music from Chuck was 90% of the reason I used Spotify in the first place. Vampire Weekend and the Head and the Heart are examples of bands I have started to enjoy based on liking more of their songs than what appeared in Chuck, etc. The recommendations and suggestions from a computer program just aren’t the same.
One of my favorite air traveling pastimes is to buy a New York Times or an unexpected magazine while I wait in the airport. Apparently, Dallas Love Field does not sell the New York Times, or they had just sold out by early afternoon. In protest, I went the complete opposite direction of the NYTimes and bought a $3 Teen Vogue with Emma Watson on the cover. It was hilarious and terrible and totally worth $3.
Next month, I will start posting from Mexico. I don’t know what media I’ll be consuming once Spanish school starts, but I’m sure I will find a way to stay entertained. It just might be in Spanish.