I’m finally home after my five-week (!) Eastern time zone adventures. There may be a lot to say about that some other day, but I have read some books and watched some TV & movies, so let’s get into that first. Also, if anyone is on Letterboxd, give me a shout so we can follow each other. (Or, you know, sign up and then we can follow each other. Either works for me.) My username over there is englishist.
I think I have too many books to read. No, I know I have too many books to read. And by read, I mean have finished by a deadline because I am in two book clubs and also clearly hate myself. I mean, obviously, I want to be in these book clubs and want to be reading the books but also, like, why do I do these things? I do not know.
Anyway, since my last post, I did some stuff:
So I made a wishlist: 2020 Birthday Wish List.
Also, I am having a hard time remembering what I did this past week. Oh, I know why. It’s because I spent the first part of the week prepping my summer course and the rest of the week recuperating. I also participated in a virtual coffee date through the #RaiseThePercentage incentive and had a fun phone conversation and then a work date with a friend of mine. Oh and fun (unexpected) conversations with other friends! So that was nice.
There have been a lot of posts with anti-racist reading lists, which is great, and I appreciate people doing this work. In fact, my local independent bookstore posted such a list, and I wrote this response to their FB post since I have been thinking about this issue quite a lot.
I really appreciate this list, and I appreciate the inclusion of fiction, especially for young people here. I would like to remind you and your readers, though, that Black people think about things other than race and police/state violence and that adding in some fiction and nonfiction that show Black people just existing are also important. One of the issues Black people face is that we’re expected to constantly educate people about race and to exist as Black first, people second. Fiction books that don’t center race as the primary narrative are essential to building empathy in readers. Perhaps you can create a list that centers those fiction and nonfiction narratives–written by Black authors–as well.
Books by Brandy Colbert, Varian Johnson, Samantha Irby, Liara Tamani, and others would nicely fill a list of that sort. I also created a Twitter thread during Black History Month that has several of the types of books I’m thinking of. Black lives matter not just to address racism but also as fully lived lives.
I have started accidentally watching Vampire Diaries.
I know. I KNOW. Believe me, I know.
I know this brings up a lot of questions.
First, how does one accidentally watch a show? Second, vampires? Third, seriously VAMPIRES??? I mean, honestly. I know it’s a pandemic and all, but whew.
The first question is easy. My daughter is the one actually watching Vampire Diaries and because there is just the one TV and the one living room/work area, I am often in the room while she’s watching it.
For people who know me well, the vampire thing is a real conundrum because I hate vampires. I mean, I *hate* them. I HATE THEM. SO MUCH. And yet, this stupid show has sucked me in. Do you know why? Because it’s a really, really good teen soap opera. My biggest love combined with my biggest hate.
It probably doesn’t hurt that the vampires are all very, very good looking.
More specifically, the Jeopardy! production schedule.
(Also, as a note, I will not be using the exclamation point going forward. But as always, I want to acknowledge that it is part of the official show title.)
All I know about the Jeopardy production schedule is that they film all the episodes for the week on one day (and I learned that from a middle grade novel. Reading: it really is fundamental).
I am so glad that I can see the light from the bottom of the dark grading pit that I have been in on this, the day the prompt is explicitly about TV and the movies.
WED. | Dec 11 – #AMonthofFaves On the Screen or in Your Ear – What did you watch this year that you absolutely loved?
Let’s start with the movies:
Okay, so my absolute favorite movie that I watched this year is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Whew, I am all caught up on S3 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and it got a little dark there, but OMG, I am in love with the fact that Bow’s dad’s name is LANCE, and it is the greatest gift TV has bestowed on me these past few weeks.
Well that and the twins from Sunnyside. They are amazing. Watch Sunnyside on Hulu, y’all! It’s a trip. Because the twiiiiiiiins.
I read some books:
I read exactly one book in August, which brings my summer break reading total to five. So, there you go.
What I did do, apparently, was spend my time watching TV (I’m all caught up on Netflix with Schitt’s Creek and Kim’s Convenience; I also caught up on the last six or so episodes of Jane the Virgin–I’ll miss the show, but I’m glad it ended when it did, on the showrunner’s terms) and I have seen a ton of movies.
But first, the book:
Whew, there is a lot to cover from the past two weeks, so let’s just dive in.
1. First of all, my brilliant daughter got accepted to not one, but two study abroad programs: one for the summer and one for next school year. The summer one is at a Buddhist monastery in China and completely funded through scholarships. The second is at a university in Japan, so she has started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs. Please click over, read her story, donate if you’re so moved, and/or share her page with others. Everything helps!
My daughter is also posting all of her pre-study abroad prep on Instagram and plans to keep it up while she’s abroad, so if you’re interested in that, please follow her there (@starless_knight39) as well. At some point, she’s going to start a vlog about all her adventures as well. I mean, the girl is on the move and living all of her dreams. I’m so proud of her.