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.
And only because I somehow got updated to the new block editor and almost LOST MY MIND with how confusing it is. Anyway, I am somehow way way back in the dashboard editor, so I am safe. For now. I didn’t finish the post I was working on (yet), but I wanted to get this posted first, so here we are.
Here. We. Are.
Here’s what’s been happening since my last check-in post:
Whew, it has been a minute since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post. Did you know there’s a new host? And that today is the meme’s tenth birthday? Whew, time passes so quickly.
Today’s prompt is to pick a past TTT topic you’ve done and re-do/update it, which is perfect because I’m still mad about all the books/movies/TV shows being promoted as Black stories but that only show Black pain or Black poverty or just read my original post about it. In fact, I’m mad enough about it that I’ve had more than one conversation with friends about how stupid and annoying it is, and I have concluded (again) that Toni Morrison is right about racism functioning as nothing but a distraction.
No joke. I submitted grades on Saturday for the end of our spring semester. I was doing prep for my summer class that starts Wednesday, and I could not figure out what I had done in the class before. Or what I was planning to do. What are assignments? How does one organize a class? Part of it is that I’m teaching the class online for the first time. But the other part was that my brain was seriously just like, “I don’t know, man. You tell me.”
I said to my daughter OUT LOUD, “I am a terrible teacher who doesn’t know how to teach.”
Okay, I’m going to pontificate a bit on the High School Musical movie franchise and then reflect on the A to Z Challenge and then get into the books so scroll accordingly.
(I don’t know why I am feeling the exclamation point for post titles so far this year, but I’m going to leave it.)
The title, btw, is only a little misleading. I mean, I did *finish* a book, after all.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I listened to the audio, and I love a full-cast audio, so this really delivered. Rebecca Soler (narrator of The Lunar Chronicles) narrates all of Sadie’s parts, and she is the actual best so that was A+++.
Welp, I said I wasn’t participating in any reading challenges, and then here comes Audible with their three audiobooks in three months challenge, complete with a $20 gift card if you complete it.
And if you thought your girl wasn’t going to read and WIN MONEY for doing so, then you don’t know me at all. Not to mention I have (a) plenty of audiobook credits to spare and (b) a 20-minute commute Monday-Thursday while I teach the winter session. So. Here we are.
Today’s Month of Faves topic is actually favorite books read this year. However, I’m still reading, and one of the two books I’m currently finishing could make that list. So instead, today I’m going to talk about how we celebrated Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood) that I mentioned in my #AMonthofFaves This Is How I Holiday Away From Home post. This can either be categorized as a part two of that post OR as fitting the day/weekend in the life post that I missed because I was grading non-stop.
Here was the plan for Jólabókaflóð.
Everyone (me, my best friend Fernie, her husband, and the four kids–“kids” even though three of them are grown) are all going to put our names in a hat, draw a name, and then go to the used bookstore and pick a book for that person. Then, we’re going to make hot cocoa and sit around and read on actual Christmas Eve.
Here’s what we actually did based on ideas we all contributed as we tried to work out logistics. As a reminder, there were seven of us in total participating.
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:
1. I didn’t post an update last week because I told myself I hadn’t really done anything, which was insane because my friend and I were seatfillers at the Creative Emmys. I mean, that is literally a thing I did, and I was all Kanye shrug about it. I don’t even understand HOW when I sat directly behind Amy Sherman-Palladino (she offered to scrunch down in her seat so her hat wouldn’t block my view), Phylicia Rashad basically walked right by me (okay, okay, she was like three rows away, but OH MY GOD, I almost passed out from the proximity), and Sterling K. Brown came by to say hello to someone in our section. Just, you know, stopped by for a chat.
Also, ASP and her husband brought their Emmys back to their seats, and those things are beautiful and massive and can definitely be used as weapons. So, you know, that is also a thing that I can now say: I saw an Emmy up close and personal. Also, a Wayans brother. (It was Shawn.)
2. I posted a couple of things:
3. My friend and I also went to a taping of Kelly Clarkson’s show, which was quite delightful. I mean, it’s Kelly. She is adorable. It was a lot of fun, though it was FUH-REEZING in the studio. In fact, the set photographer was wearing an actual winter coat, and I may have, very classily, put on my leggings under my dress as soon as we got in the studio.
My friend was all, “Seriously, you couldn’t do that all those times you went to the bathroom?”
To which I could only reply, “It wasn’t cold then!”
So anyway, if you want to see me in the audience of Kelly’s show, it’s the episode with Mike Colter that will be airing this Tuesday, Oct. 1. It’s syndicated! Or you can watch it here.
4. I also went to see a stage production August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, which I was not familiar with at all. It was awesome. I really need to read more of his stuff. More plays in 2020, perhaps?
5. And, of course, I read some books:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a very well-written memoir and super engaging. I listened to the audio (my first Julia Whelan, which is surprising because she is pretty prolific, and fantastic), and was immediately hooked.
This is also VERY triggering, which I was not prepared for. I was just so not prepared. But I did feel compelled to finish the whole thing, which just goes back to how engaging the story is. So, there’s also that.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had, surprisingly, never read this book before so was shocked that Bess, George, and Ned weren’t in it. What madness is this???
I liked that, though! I mean, it’s a little slow to start, but Nancy is truly On Her Own, so that is really appealing. I mean, my girl legit saves herself from every single scrape she is in while finessing an entire community including the dad of the girls who hate her, so queens gonna queen, basically.