You know, I was beating myself because I hadn’t posted yet this week, and I realized it’s because I have been struggling with how to (and whether or not I wanted to) address current events. All I’ll say is this: Living in this country is exhausting.
My reading deprivation is officially over, so I watched some TV and read some books. More specifically, I finally finished Living Single (Hulu), which is super fun because the characters really do feel like they’re my friends. I was trying to decide on my next throwback comfort watch and remembered that when I was watching The Bernie Mac Show, I started X-Men: The Animated Series (Disney+), so I think I need to go ahead and get back to that. Not to mention, seeing the good guys win over and over again might just be what I need to feed my soul right now.
A note on the wrap-up: I’m going to try something new with my book reviews this week since WordPress has stepped up its game with these blocks. I’ll see if I have the patience for it in the coming weeks.
1. I went to a panel with the Jane the Virgin showrunner as well as several members of the writing staff. They played the clip of Jane’s reaction to the major spoiler that happened at the end of last season and then answered questions from the moderator (who was the show’s narrator!!!) about the process.
Two fun facts: (1) The whole season is planned in detail from the beginning. (2) They always reveal secrets instead of having characters keep them.
This was so fun. A plagiarism plot, a mean professor, Susan being a stalker, Esther dabbling in pens, Daisy being the all-around best, and a trip to Ikea. Did I mention Daisy is the best? I love her. I mean, they’re all pretty great IN GENERAL, but specifically in this volume Daisy is the best.
I’ve finished a couple of books these past two weeks (more on that below), but the one that’s had the most impact so far is Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professorby Lynda Barry. In fact, the book has inspired two activities I did in my class the past two weeks.
Activity 1: We’re working on poetry and some of my students submitted their pieces for feedback. I found myself making the same comment over and over (needs more imagery!), so inspired by Syllabus and “Variations on a Summer Day” by Wallace Stevens (snippet here), I came up with the following activity.
Ok, so I was planning to write about going to Amy Spalding’s book launch for The Summer of Jordi Perez (it was great! Amy is as funny and fun as her books! I won a Hello Kitty button!) and/or how my student told me (again!) that he loves my class because he’s now no longer scared of college (seriously made my day), but I just wrote the most brilliantly terrible poem, and Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” was the Google doodle for today, so I have to celebrate poetry.
First, my poem:
Heart Eyes by Akilah @ The Englishist
like a single emoji
fills the screen of my heart
I mean, seriously. How could I not share that? IT IS PERFECT.
And here’s Maya Angelou reading one of my favorite of her poems:
First, I had book club, which was a delight as always. I was late because of traffic and also because, even though I turned it off, my Google maps was somehow set to avoid highways. By the time I figured it out, I had already lost about ten minutes of driving time. 🙄 I mean, I still would have been late, but I would have been less late. Because, let’s be real, I was eating lunch and fooling around online.
The discussion was about Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile, which most of us did not like. (You can see my review of it here.) Those who have seen the TV show much prefer that to the book.
One of the cool things we did was check in on our New Year’s resolutions and goals, and it was nice to see how many people had made (sometimes surprisingly fast) progress on theirs.
Okay, I am a little ready, but I am mostly not ready. I am especially not ready to live that 7 a.m. class life again.
2. My friend Jasmine’s book came out. You may have heard of it:
She did a launch party in LA at The Ripped Bodice, so I got the chance to hang out with her and a bunch of other super cool authors and non-author people, including one of my online friends who I kept trying to meet but our schedules just couldn’t get it together. But! On that day, it worked out! So, that was fun. (It was more than fun.)
If y’all knew how happy I am to be posting using the original WordPress dashboard, I might be slightly embarrassed. But you can count that as item one on the gratitude/something on Sunday list. (And now I think maybe I prefer the new one??? Ugh, you win, WordPress.)
Item two is that I went to church for the first time in weeks (okay, it’s been over a month–possibly two). Anyway, I still haven’t found a church home yet, so I have been visiting different churches. Today, I went to one of the Unitarian churches in town as a guest of my friend Kathy. The topic of the service was, of course, gratitude and when it came time to say what we were grateful for, I said, “New friends.”
So, yes, I am grateful for all of the wonderful people I have been meeting since I’ve met here, some of whom I already feel comfortable calling friends. So that’s nice.
There was also a poem, and since that seems to be a running theme around here these past few days, here it is for your enjoyment:
A Prayer of Thanksgiving by Max Coots
Let us give thanks…
For generous friends…with hearts as big as hubbards and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
For feisty friends as tart as apples;
For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us we had them;
For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn — and the others — as plain as potatoes, and so good for you.
For funny friends, who are as silly as brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes, and serious friends as complex as cauliflowers and as intricate as onions;
For friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini, and who — like parsnips — can be counted on to see you through the long winter;
For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time, and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
For loving friends, who wind around as like tendrils, and hold us despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;
And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past, that have been harvested – but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter;
For all these we give thanks.
Special shout-out to my continuous and crotchety friends. ❤️