Metatalktail Hour: Media Recs April 21, 2018 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, I want to know what you've been reading, watching, listening to, or otherwise enjoying and want to recommend to everyone else who's looking for something new to enjoy!

Or tell us anything else that's going on! Avoid politics, and send me suggestions for future topics.
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:08 PM (142 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I just did 20 hours of airplane time this week (11 hours out and 9 hours back) and for some reason thought it would be a good deal to take the OLD laptop and not the NEW laptop. The old laptop has about one movie of battery life in it. So on the way out to Hawai'i I watched Baby Driver (ok) and then stuck to free stuff on the airplane seat TVs. I bought my ticket from Jet Blue (endless snacks! endless movies!) but the carrier was Hawaiian Air (few snacks, few movies) and only had a few things that weren't "premium" items. So, I watched Lilo and Stitch, which was better than I expected. Then I read some. On the way back I watched Moana (which they are going to be translating into Hawaiian which is so cool) and a documentary called Aloha From Lavaland (highly recommended) about a small town in Hawai'i which was in danger from an encroaching lava flow and how various people dealt with it both pragmatically and spiritually. I just went to write them down on my things I watched movie list and found that I haven't seen a movie since I saw Thor in January, the first time I've gone so long without a movie since Summer 2016 and the first time I've gone that long without a movie NOT in the summer since 2009. I directly blame Netflix because now I watch tv shows and stand-up comedy specials more often.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:21 PM on April 21


I just rewatched Westworld in anticipation of season 2 and it was even better the second time around, likely because I didn't have to spend so much damn effort figuring out [spoilery stuff].
posted by gatorae at 5:22 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I just picked up Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music: Larry Norman And The Perils of Christian Rock by Gregory Alan Thornbury. I don't know anything about Larry Norman but the title sort of stuck in my brain and I'm thoroughly enjoying this particular version of rock history.
posted by Fizz at 5:23 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


And when I say I don't know anything about Larry Norman, I mean that. I don't think I've ever heard a song of his prior to my picking up this book. I've added a number of his songs to my Spotify list because it makes for good listening as a companion to the book.
posted by Fizz at 5:24 PM on April 21


I have developed a fondness for urban fantasy books, which is not something I would have predicted ten years ago. I'm currently reading the third of Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series, which are police procedurals set in London, but with magic.

The other day, I listened to a podcast about the civil war over p-values. In other news, I am really enjoying my stats class, and I am a total nerd.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:32 PM on April 21 [8 favorites]


I've been reading "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver and very much enjoying it. It took me a while to get into it, but now I'm liking it a lot.

Went for a hike with some church members this morning (we've started up a monthly hike) and it was gorgeous, once I got over my need to WALK FASTER. People were in a bit of a meandery, picture-taking mood, and it was gorgeous and enjoyable once I slowed down a bit. Currently on my porch watching the Western bluebird pair fly back and forth with nest-building materials and the scrub jay cautiously steal the almonds I put out for him. I like how victorious he looks when he flies off with two almonds in his beak.
posted by lazuli at 5:33 PM on April 21 [5 favorites]


Gosh, it's rare for me to be up at MeTa chat time!

I did 17 hours on trains in 3 days and somehow didn't watch anything. Around that I did watch an unhealthy about of series 1 of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Quite an impressive guest list. Woody Strode & Peter Graves in one episode, Jamie Lee Curtis in the next. Other than that reading up on object oriented ontology. If I'm honest the Buck Rogers is easier to digest.
posted by biffa at 5:39 PM on April 21


I'm re-listening to all the eAudio titles available to check out from my local library in two series - Stephen Briggs narrating Terry Pratchett's Discworld (at the gym from a watch) and Jim Dale reading Harry Potter (from a phone in a car and at home). Occasionally the match of narrator and text in audiobook versions is just perfect, and that's definitely true with these.
posted by ClingClang at 5:39 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I've been splitting my time between Scottish humor, Scandi-Noir and English Dramedy. I cannot recommend enough the work of Sally Wainwright. Her series Last Tango in Halifax is amazing, and leads naturally enough to her series Happy Valley. Both feature the amazing work of Sarah Lancashire.

I got into The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo years ago, but turns out there's this whole swath of Scandinavian noir that I was unaware of, and it has crossed over into the BBC with stuff like Wallander and The Fall and Marcella. If you don't mind subtitles, don't miss Borderliner, it's incredible. Of course, if you like that sort of thing, don't miss the satirical Fallet, which kinda takes all the tropes of scandi noir and makes light of them.

And then, well, then I got caught up in the work of Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, Scottish comedians who parlayed a couple of characters from the nifty skit-based show Chewin' The Fat into the long-running show Still Game. It's on netflix and a real hoot.
posted by valkane at 5:41 PM on April 21 [10 favorites]


If you enjoy the adventures of a nice jewish girl from Newton Ma, Nell Scovell's bio "Just the Funny Parts" about the travails and scandals as a writer in Hollywood is just the ticket, actually I wouldn't be posting this right now if I'd taken the kindle rather than the laptop to *bucks. Took until chapter three for a sex scene but really funny and really really smart, well duh.
posted by sammyo at 5:42 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Recently discovered and watched the very weird Wonderfalls (Fanfare). Unfortunately, many of the youtube episodes are not good quality.

Hilarious, ridiculous You Suck at Cooking (Yeah, you totally suck)
Including, or perhaps especially, The Pimblokto Episodes.

Escapist rather than educational at the moment!
Oh! And recently got, Obama, An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza. All the things trump could never be.

I tell you what, I just paged through in leaving this comment, and on page 47 there is photo of Putin looking over his teacup at Obama in a rather unsettling way. Dang. On the facing page, Obama shares a cute moment with Sasha as they dine on the roof of the Ritz Carlton in Moscow.

And here we are.
posted by Glinn at 5:43 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


unstrungharp's question about favorite subtle emotions was terrific, and pinochiette's answer was timely--I found a copy of Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book by chance, and have been enjoying its descriptions of feelings, clothing, temple visits, and next-morning letter writing. SaltySalticid kindly introduced me to Vulfpeck, and oh my... "1 for 1, DiMaggio" and their cover of Stevie Wonder's "Boogie On, Reggae Woman" have been on repeat. Steve Silberman's (MeFi's Own) NeuroTribes has also been in the current reading pile. Fascinating, especially in light of the recent discussions about Hans Asperger's complicity with Third Reich policy on eugenics. Long way of saying "Thanks for being such an awesome source for recommendations, MetaFilter!"
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:45 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


I have been listening to I Hate It But I Love It probably more than is really good for me, since I haven't seen more than a third of the media they're talking about, but I just find them charming as hell (and they remind me of some distant and much-missed friends.) I also just reread Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and oh, man, is that a creepy and effective little thriller.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:45 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Travel Man is some fun time-wasting, bantery-people-in-nice-places TV.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:46 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


O, and I’ve been reading old Lynda Barry comics. Lynda Barry is healing reading.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:47 PM on April 21 [7 favorites]


I read Texts from Jane Eyre this afternoon (it's a quick read) and I am still giggling over the chapter about Moby Dick. It is very sharply observed and I highly recommend it.

In other news, I have been blown away by the awesomeness of the metafilter card swap this month. I have had at least one birthday card (sometimes two!) in my mailbox every day this week. Someone even used Wonder Woman stamps! So thankful.

I have signed up for a weekend art class in June. As per the instructions we will be painting from photos or pictures of whatever we want, so now I have to find something that I feel might be worthy of turning into a painting. I thought about bringing in my copy of Chi's Sweet Home issue six because who doesn't like manga about cats but I cannot find it anywhere. Obviously I have time to keep looking but seriously wtf? I only have one bookshelf where did it go.
posted by janepanic at 5:48 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


Watched season one of Taboo. Dark, moody, slow burn. Tom Hardy is so good. Playing Gorogoa via Fizz. Really lovely. Highly recommended.
posted by not_the_water at 5:50 PM on April 21


O! And I rewatched Paris Is Burning, because it is a great documentary; so fierce and so sad. I even made a (small) FanFare post.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:50 PM on April 21 [5 favorites]


aaaah I want to play Gorogoa so much. Chuchel is some fine silliness but not at all the same thing.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:53 PM on April 21


Also, I'm watching Dawson's Creek and enjoying a trip back into my teenage television viewing years. All of it is available on Amazon Prime video. Dawson, Joey, & Pacey, soooooo much angst.
posted by Fizz at 5:53 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


Oh! And Netflix's Nailed It! is hilarious AND has the only nonchalant, natural introduction of an interpreter for a hard-of-hearing contestant that I've ever seen. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen an accommodation for a disabled person on a reality show at all, let along this kind of offhand, zero misery-porn, of-course-we-do-this adaptation. (The show is generally a delight, being a not-safe-for-networks version of a high-end baking show where everyone is expected to fail and in a hilarious way, and everyone is in on the joke.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:56 PM on April 21 [12 favorites]


"In fact, I don't think I have ever seen an accommodation for a disabled person on a reality show at all, let along this kind of offhand, zero misery-porn, of-course-we-do-this adaptation."

MasterChef, when Christina Ha was on, treated her blindness as pretty natural and not something to get worked up about. Viewers were naturally curious about her aide and how it fit in with the rules of the competition, so they had Ha herself explain it during one of the "talk directly to the camera" segments they do with each contestant, and the aide was only ever on camera during wide shots or when they were crossing the set because the focus was Ms. Ha.

It was also interesting because the other contestants at the beginning hung back a lot, not sure how to interact with her/her aide. But by the middle of the season, several other contestants had obviously learned how to guide a blind person when walking (so her aide was rarely necessary when they were moving around the set because one of the other contestants would offer an arm), and several of the other contestants (usually women) obviously observed what her aide did for her during the non-competition parts, and during parts where Gordon demonstrates a recipe (for example), you could hear one of the other female contestants describing to Ha in an undertone what Gordon is doing, and every now and then a third contestant would chime in with a clearer descriptive word. It wasn't a focus of the show, but it was a really interesting little background drama to watch a group of people go from hesitant and ignorant to comfortable and informed.

(Anyway, spoiler alert, she won.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:09 PM on April 21 [21 favorites]


Ok, I’ll have to give “Nailed It!” another shot.

Ear Hustle has been the podcast I most look forward to lately.

Also: We are fostering this amazing flufferson. He’s so great. He promises not to make a big deal of your two eyes if you don’t make a big deal of his one. If you’re in or near Montreal and are looking for a dog, get in touch! I can’t believe this guy hasn’t been adopted yet.
posted by veggieboy at 6:25 PM on April 21 [10 favorites]


I don't watch a lot of tv or movies, so I don't have anything good to talk about there (though I did finally watch Valerian and basically agree with everything the people over in Fanfare said).

About a week ago I got an itch to find out what is going on with Steerswoman Book 5 (nothing happening) and started reading Rosemary Kirstein's blog where I found a recommendation for a novel called Happy Snak, which is like so, so, so good. And I also saw a mention of the Jaran series which I am reading now and are good but inferior to Steerswoman in every way. I don't mean that in a bad way, but the books have certain similarities that make me sad that I can't re-experience the Steerswoman books for the first time, if that makes sense at all.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:25 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


Back in the day, I enjoyed reading Gail Carriger's Soulless. The rest of the series was a little more hit or miss for me. But I really enjoyed that she decided to do a spinoff series of romance/erotica and has managed to get some good variation between characters of sexual identity. The books/novellas thus far: Poison or Protect, Romancing the inventor, and Romancing the werewolf.

Another series is Seanan McGuire's Wayward children. I was absolutely mesmerized by Every Heart a Doorway, the prequel Down Among the Sticks and Bones was weirdly more horrifying in it's inevitability, and I straight up loved spending time in Beneath the Sugar Sky. Even more awesomely, my daughter has loved the whole thing too (Sticks & Bones more then Sugar Sky, for her).

I also read a neat historical romance -- Tempest by Beverly Jenkins. It's about a black couple in Wyoming Territory in the late 1800's or maybe early 1900's. I got satisfying romance and learned a little more about Black history at the same time.

I just finished watching the second season of UnReal. It was fairly enjoyable, in it's horrifying way, but I know I missed a lot of what was happening since there weren't subtitles on the DVD for some reason.
posted by Margalo Epps at 6:26 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


O! And I rewatched Paris Is Burning, because it is a great documentary; so fierce and so sad. I even made a (small) FanFare post.

I was hoping to watch that tonight! Which may not happen, but I've never seen it and I somehow have developed an intense desire to do so in the past few days.

Also my hiking group today included two librarians and another serious reader and I came away with several recommendations and YAY BOOKS!
posted by lazuli at 6:30 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


I started reading Christopher Moore's Noir yesterday and the over-the-top prose is giving me just the right amount of snort giggles. I also have approximately
5 other books I should finish, including The City of Brass, American Gods and The Angel of Darkness. I borrow a lot of lighter fare from the library on my e-reader, which slows me down when reading the hard copies.

I just finished watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which was absolutely delightful and I'm working my way through The Frankenstein Chronicles, which I find completely bonkers in a "I should have questioned Sean Bean surviving long enough to make it to season 2" kind of way. Fallet is also in my queue, if I can stay awake long enough to get through an episode.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:34 PM on April 21


I just read Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese SF in Translation, translator Ken Liu, and loved it. I want to go read Three Body Problem next.
posted by Gotanda at 6:37 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Ooooh, I didn't realize Moore had a new one out. I see a library trip in my future. Thanks, theBigRedKittyPurrs.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:42 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I'm about half an episode from finishing Wild, Wild Country on Netflix. It's about the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and how they moved to Oregon in the 1980s and all the craziness that surrounded it. At first I was kind of sympathetic to the cult members because they were just doing their thing and not bothering anyone, but then by episode 3 things got... weird. I have no memory of any of these events (I was 11 in 1981) other than a bunch of Bloom County strips from around that time where Bill The Cat joined the cult.

It's good. I wish it got a bit more into the day-to-day stuff as well as the reason why this dude got so many followers, but that's the sort of stuff I can probably find out after the fact.

For podcasts, I'm really loving The Omnibus Project, where Ken Jennings and John Roderick discuss trivial things and events.
posted by bondcliff at 6:43 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Ok, since this was the second recommendation for Nailed It! this week, I've just put it on. We were in need of something light, and as much as I love watching electronics and car videos it was time for a change of pace.

Hopefully in a week or so I'll have a chance and the brain space to finally watch season 2 of Jessica Jones and season 4 of Bosch.
posted by monopas at 6:57 PM on April 21


I've been reading the bound paperback versions of the Sex Criminals comic, which I like a lot. Also read the first volume of Bitch Planet, which was quite good, but Sex Criminals is extremely inventive and playful so far.

Atlanta on FX is excellent. Probably my favorite thing on TV right now. I will not enjoy the long wait for season 3. Also about halfway through The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which is very well made, and probably underpromoted or clumsily marketed by Amazon because I'm surprised it's not any more buzzy than it is given how much fun it can be. Still enjoying Silicon Valley, which is funny but maybe starting to get a little long in the tooth this year.

Just saw Disobedience, which is about (long story short) a long-dormant but suddenly rekindled same-sex relationship in a London orthodox Jewish community. Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams star and it's directed by Sebastián Lelio, who also made the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman. It's lovely in a lot of ways though it feels ... studied? And maybe a bit contrived. Certainly worth seeing if you like McAdams since it's a career highlight for her. Alessandro Nivola is also really, really good.

The singles from Janelle Monae's forthcoming album Dirty Computer are pretty damn sweet and that album drops on Friday so I have cleared my calendar for the weekend.

Let's see. I'm in the middle of the Collected Fictions of Borges and it is blowing my mind. So many things I thought were incredibly clever in 20th century fiction were in fact lifted wholesale from Borges and nobody told me! Or more likely they did tell me but I didn't listen because I was young and dumb and didn't want to read more Great Books. Anyway, it's fantastic. I'm over the moon.

And God of War for PlayStation 4 is pretty fun so far. Kratos is a daddy!
posted by Mothlight at 7:01 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


I just spent the last hour playing Disgaea 5, a really fun JRPG. It is like Final Fantasy Tactics on steroids. So many classes, sub-classes, items, character types, and monsters to battle. :) It's my bread and butter.
posted by Fizz at 7:08 PM on April 21


bondcliff, you might find this article interesting once you're finished: 9 Rajneeshpuram Residents on What Wild Wild Country Got Wrong

I feel like I've watched everything there is to watch (that I'm interested in), which kinda stinks. And I currently cannot watch P&R, Bob's Burgers, or You're the Worst one more time.

Okay I could probably manage one more rewatch of You're the Worst.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:13 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


I’m reading The Expanse books by James Corey (that is an unfortunate name right now, it’s just too close and makes getting to the books on Amazon hard) and now I want to watch the show. But I very very rarely watch anything, so maybe I will get around to it and maybe not. As far as the books go, the first was okay but addictive enough that I went for the second, which was very good indeed, much better than the first, then the third was okay again and now I have bogged down in the fourth which is, well, meh. Plus all the main characters have become Perfect Beings which is something that always annoys me - they were more 3 dimensional 2 books back! How does that happen?

I’m also reading the Ides of April which is Lindsey Davis rebooting her Marcus Didius Falco Roman mysteries by turning his adopted daughter into the protagonist. I can’t quite get into it either - and I usually adore her books - so it’s possible the problem is me; I’m restless and can’t settle in to a book or something.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:15 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


I have developed a fondness for urban fantasy books, which is not something I would have predicted ten years ago.

I haven't really been able in invest myself in a lot of books the last couple of years, so I end up reading a lot of light, short things. So it caught me off guard when my Nook kept suggesting "since you like Mysteries..." and "Since you like Horror..." (not that kind of light). My first reaction is still "WTF? No I don't". But I guess I do. But like music, often the things I like and the things I really can't stand are superficially closely related and the early recommendations were way off the mark.

Which also came up on a road trip. I don't listen to podcasts all the time, since I don't have a commute or occasion to, but I love them, so I collect them and catch up when I'm traveling. So I listen to like 15 hours of Snap Judgement. Good choice, great for driving. But I've had a couple of occasions, like the other day, where I'm really surprised at how much I really do not like a show that I've collected possibly years of because I was so sure I would like it. I stuck with this show to give it a chance and went from hate to "eh", but there was one last year that I listened to one episode and immediately deleted a hundred old episodes.

Which makes me curious about this whole algorithm predicting taste thing; Does it work for some people better than others? Because I find that most of the time I'm thinking "Yes, Artist Y does sort of sound like Artist X if you squint, except they suck". And yes, I really enjoy Sherlock Holmes, but no, I'm not interested in "Brother and sister Jake and Jenna Ruffaroundaedges return from Iraq where they were both decorated paratroopers to their hometown of Dirtville, Montana to find...Can they stop the madman before it tears their town and their family apart?"
posted by bongo_x at 7:16 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Does it work for some people better than others?

I am going to go out on a limb here and say: yes, and is also contingent on which company wrote the algorithm and based on what collected data.

The Singularity, if it comes, is going to involve at least a few million people being inadvertently downloaded into nothingness due to a bad configuration file.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:31 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


I've been reading a lot of romance novels lately; mainly Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

I like Trust Me best of the Krentz's, and probably This Heart of Mine best of the Phillips' so far. I keep getting stuck in Natural Born Charmer because the two main characters do so many things that embarrass me it's hard to keep reading. Right at the moment, one character just blurted out a lie about the other's mother out of basically noble motives but a giant, emotionally harrowing mess is certain to ensue.
posted by jamjam at 7:52 PM on April 21


I've just started Season One of Poldark. It's late 18th Century Cornwall, and there's nipped waists and moody cliffs and surly help and galloping horses and sweeping music and gloom and brooding but mostly So Many Things Left Unsaid. It's magnificent.
posted by mochapickle at 7:56 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


I've been listening to Inward Empire, a really good American history podcast all about complexifying the simple narratives we get about this country.

I've been reading Svetlana Alexievich. Multiple books at once! If anyone has other good oral histories like this, I would be so grateful.

I also remember ages ago someone posted about historical novels about the Danelaw, which I know is a niche microgenre, but if anyone has something along those lines to recommend it would be amazing.
posted by threementholsandafuneral at 8:02 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


So I went ahead and just watched "Paris Is Burning" and fuuuuuuuck.
posted by lazuli at 8:05 PM on April 21 [6 favorites]


I'm not interested in "Brother and sister Jake and Jenna Ruffaroundaedges return from Iraq where they were both decorated paratroopers to their hometown of Dirtville, Montana to find...Can they stop the madman before it tears their town and their family apart?"

I kind of am.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:16 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


Rockford Files re-runs.


The answer to all of life's disappointments and triumphs is always Rockford Files re-runs.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:38 PM on April 21 [9 favorites]


I've been really into the terrible podcast the greatest generation from maximum fun. It's essential a TNG (now DS9!) podcast from two film guys who are a little embarrassed to have a star trek podcast. they are mega dorks and it's really funny. I'm almost to season 6 of the show- middle of 2017 of the podcast. I'm so thrilled they seemed to have committed to doing ds9 as well, so I have that to look forward too.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:52 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Don't laugh!!!. I'm watching Gomer Pyle, from beginning to end. After posting the Jim Nabors obituary, I watched this clip and was so blown away by it that I decided that the whole series was worth catching up on, just to get to this clip. (My mind is weird that way.)
posted by Melismata at 9:12 PM on April 21 [5 favorites]


The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a fun, light, character-driven, spaceship-based, all gender, sci fi novel I can recommend.
posted by latkes at 10:10 PM on April 21 [9 favorites]


I've been watching any Marvel movies I'd missed in advance of Avengers Infinity War, and started watching Legion, really recommend.

In other news, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia this week, which at least explains why my back isn't getting better. Thank god for AskMe, a wealth of questions on the overwhelming subject.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:21 PM on April 21 [6 favorites]


I saw Katie Sackhoff speak at SVCC and it put the bug in me to rewatch the Battlestar Galactica reboot. The same things bother me. The characters change on a dime, often for just one episode as a clear plot device. The Cylon ship scenes make me want to sleep. But I could watch Mary McDonnell all damn day. I would watch her read our tax code. I would watch her act all of the parts of the script. If there’s some thing missing from BSG, it’s Mary McDonnell saying “We will not have this... at the dinner table.”
posted by greermahoney at 10:38 PM on April 21 [7 favorites]


I also got a bunch of amazing MeFi cards this month; I keep meaning to sit down and thank the card-senders individually, but just in case I continue not getting to it for a while, you people are jointly and severally awesome!

valkane, have you read Helene Tursten's Irene Huss mysteries? They are (somewhat) less noir than most of the other Scandinavian stuff, although bits of them can be pretty brutal; I have a squishy taste for happy endings and enjoy them for Irene's toughness and humor and for the ensemble cast, Irene's family and her colleagues (SUPERINTENDENT ANDERSSON)... .

In what is likely to be an ongoing saga (or could end with a whimper at any time), I have been going to the infertility clinic, and the latest is "Well, it's worth trying IVF, but you shouldn't get your hopes up too much." So it will probably be tried, ダメもと. I'm somewhat afraid of the physical discomfort, having been lucky enough never to face major medical stuff so far, and very afraid of increasing emphasis on the narrative in which "successful birth" is the only happy ending. It is, therefore, not so comforting to hear "I had a child when I was older than you" or "A friend did IVF and had a healthy baby," even though people really mean well; what would actually make me feel better is "Well, I'm childless, but my life is happy and fulfilled."

In reading and watching news? Well, not much new, lots of rereads. Sylvia Plath's letters from Smith and Cambridge, which is sort of nuts because I'm not even a poetry-reader as a rule; but I have a thing about collections of letters and diaries, and they're very absorbing, even though her adulation of Ted Hughes in the last section tends to call up the opposite response in the reader. Also the latest of the Cynthia Harrod-Eagles mysteries, a vastly long series of police procedurals set in London, which are well-plotted and have extremely appealing lead characters in the detectives and their families. Harrod-Eagles also shares my taste for appalling puns...
posted by huimangm at 10:54 PM on April 21 [5 favorites]


We've been at Ebertfest this week so we've seen eleven films over the last three days which is always fun (this is our 8th time here) but pretty exhausting. I'm somewhat of a film projection geeks so it was neat to see films like Interstellar, American Splendor and Lebowski projected from actual celluloid onto a huge screen. I know that Interstellar has its detractors here on Metafilter but seeing a 70mm film print of it projected on a fifty foot wide screen just blew me away.

The real highlight of the festival though was getting to hear Ava Duvernay speak after a showing of her film 13th. They've posted her Q&A here on YouTube if you want to watch.
posted by octothorpe at 11:24 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


MonkeyToes, I also bought Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, after reading that answer to that question, which I also loved. I haven't gotten very far in it, though, because a dear friend recommended a couple books in a row that I've been working my way through: first Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, then still Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem. I got sidetracked by rereading my favorite books, which I hadn't done in a year: F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, then Richard Bach's The Bridge Across Forever. Neither has held up perfectly; I notice more than ever the privileged white male bullshit, the objectification, the mythologizing, the manic pixie dream girl shit. But what I love about both is the way the authors turn phrases, the epigrams they spin, the moments of transcendent beauty they capture, the examples of how there's more to this world than what we see. I don't have many things I'll reread or rewatch, but those are still on the list for the way they portray the life of writers and wanderers.

Anyway, I've been experiencing massive wanderlust, and I just watched Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong. It felt too short. Everything I read, everything I watch, everything that plays on the radio is telling me to go west already. Soon...
posted by limeonaire at 12:38 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


If there’s some thing missing from BSG, it’s Mary McDonnell saying “We will not have this... at the dinner table.”

I love Donnie Darko and that scene is one of my favourite reasons, it's such an amazing scene because SOOOO much is happening and everyone in that film is perfectly cast.

*pantomimes* “I'm all ears.”

Also, it is 3:56 a.m. and I in the middle of a bout of insomnia, so I'm glad that this place and thread exists.
posted by Fizz at 12:57 AM on April 22 [5 favorites]


Fizz, I’m really glad I’m not alone in my Darko love. And Sparkle Motion doing Notorious is the icing on a perfect cake.
posted by greermahoney at 1:25 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


I've been getting back into reading non fanfiction fiction, specifically sci-fi ish books. I've really enjoyed the Ancillary Justice trilogy after seeing it recommended here so often. Also enjoyed the Themis Files books 1 and 2, A Long Way to A Small Angry Planet and a Closed and Common Orbit. I felt like A Long Way to A Small Angry Planet was a nicer, more inclusive episode of Firefly. I am slightly put out I've now started two series in a row that have books due out in the next few months and I have to wait to read them so soon after discovering the series.
posted by poxandplague at 2:43 AM on April 22


I've been playing through my Phoenix Wright games again. I haven't played the 3DS games yet, though, because I wanted to play them in Japanese and the 3DS is region locked. I finally caved today and ordered a Japanese 3DS, so now I have five games worth of completely unspoiled mysteries and puzzles coming my way.

I recently fell in love with Kate Liu's performances from the 2015 International Chopin Competition. When she plays, she looks like the happiest person in the world, and I believe it. My favorites: Scherzo No. 3, Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante, Sonata No. 3, Fantasy in F minor, Impromptu No. 3, Nocturne Op. 62 No. 1
posted by J.K. Seazer at 3:17 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


I'm reading Gravity and Grace by Simone Weil. The title is slightly misleading, as the word pesanteur in Weil's notebooks refer to heaviness, encumbrance, rather than what the word "gravity" would imply in common language (mutual attraction of matter, or seriousness). The book was heavy-handedly prefaced by the editor, the overtly Catholic Gustave Thibon, and the selection of passages from her notebook could have been significantly biased by his stance of Catholicity. Nevertheless, the actual content and thoughts expressed outshines the more of less manifest effort to appropriate them. Her observation of the human condition is very stimulating on the personal level. And her daring, her austerity, and her vulnerability, were a source to reflect upon. And not being a Catholic, I think I was more impressed by the breadth of her thought, especially the thoughts resonating with the object-relation theory in psychology and Buddhism in Asian traditions.

I haven't posted for a while and I feel very isolated. I feel very much unable or impossible for me to be understood. It's like waiting for letters that never arrive, and you wonder if the letter you write gets through at all, and you're no longer sure what you're going to write, and feel terrible.
posted by runcifex at 3:49 AM on April 22 [13 favorites]


Listening to the cast recording of The Band's Visit. Not the kind of music I usually like, but it's so good. I just want to dive into it and never come out.

I am playing The Room: Old Sins, finally available on Android.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 5:53 AM on April 22


I started the new job this past week, my first 9-5 ever. Only it's actually 8-4, and, although we don't clock in/out, the staff is very serious about going home on time. I'm still figuring out the tasks assigned me, so a couple days last week I ended up staying a bit past 4 to finish a task or answer a phone call or what have you. On Friday, I had no less than 3 co-workers shooing me out the door right at 4 pm - so it is nice that no one wants me working unpaid time and being taken advantage of. But I am used to longer days and I'd often just as soon finish a task entirely and not have to pick it up in the middle tomorrow. So, this may take some adjusting on my part.

As for media, I've listened to some good audiobooks recently - after many recommendations, my holds on A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and The Fifth Season were both fulfilled in the same 2 week period. Since the app I use through the library only checks an audiobook out to you for 2 weeks at a time, I had a lot of listening to do! But I enjoyed both, and would definitely recommend them.

Now I need to focus on my stack of physical TBR books. First up is Space Opera by Cat Valente, described as "Eurovision in Space." I haven't started it yet, but the cover is sparkly, that premise is genius, and the reviews are good, so I have high hopes!
posted by the primroses were over at 6:04 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


I haven't posted for a while and I feel very isolated. I feel very much unable or impossible for me to be understood. It's like waiting for letters that never arrive, and you wonder if the letter you write gets through at all, and you're no longer sure what you're going to write, and feel terrible.

Sending good vibes your way, buddy. If it makes you feel any better I know the exact feeling you are describing. I don't have any answers, but you are not alone.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:08 AM on April 22 [7 favorites]


I'm not interested in "Brother and sister Jake and Jenna Ruffaroundaedges return from Iraq where they were both decorated paratroopers to their hometown of Dirtville, Montana to find...Can they stop the madman before it tears their town and their family apart?"

That actually sounds great to me, although ideally it would be in another language with subtitles. At this point I feel like I've seen almost all the high quality gritty shows that are easily available, so then you try other options. Right now I'm watching Bosch, which is enjoyable without being great, for example.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:30 AM on April 22


Well, just to get this out of the way up front, I'm watching American Idol, which I didn't think I'd ever be able to say again. The talent is weak and the judges are too nice, but I guess it's kind of like how other people look forward to Thanksgiving year in and year out even though nobody really likes turkey.
Also, I watched the Jesus Christ Superstar broadcast about 3 times and then spent the next couple of weeks with the worst case of ALW earworms you can image, so as much as I liked the production I'm afraid to watch it again lest I go through the aftereffects again.
Ever since my PITA daughter went to sleepaway college during the week, I've also working my way out of my roughly decade-long TV/movie semi-hiatus and trying to watch more movies and find a few series to latch into. The latter is proving more difficult, because my favorite genre is DIY shows and the ones available on the streaming platforms I currently have (Hulu, Amazon, Netflix) are mostly shit. I'm tempted to get a Roku device and subscribe to Philo since that seems to be the only affordable way to stream the full DIY network lineup.
But on the movie front I've seen some things that I probably wouldn't otherwise have seen and that I feel were very worthwhile. In particular, I've discovered that these days really enjoy the genre of...I guess "swan song" films? Old people movies? I watched both Lucky with Harry Dean Stanton and Lovely, Still with Martin Landau and enjoyed and recommend both. I think it's because I do feel drawn to Feel Good movies in These Troubled Times, but I'm a bit too cynical to really enjoy a lot of traditional feel good movies...I think the everpresent spectre that hovers over any honest feelgooder about old farts helps balance that out and keeps things from being TOO sweet.
posted by drlith at 6:50 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


I went outside and the world was beautiful. Spring is starting in my part of the world and buds are bursting everywhere. I highly recommend going outside.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:52 AM on April 22 [9 favorites]


I watched Totoro for the first time with a three year old yesterday, as suggested by MeFi. Toddler crack, with bonus cat bus. Not sure how I’d never seen it.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:55 AM on April 22 [6 favorites]


I love watching stuff on MUBI while doing cardio at the gym, and I've really been enjoying Police Python 357 (trailer, content warning) even though cop movies are not my thing at all.
posted by chinesefood at 6:56 AM on April 22


Thank you, Literaryhero.
posted by runcifex at 7:15 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


In local news, my kid's special education aide just won teacher of the year based on my nomination letter. That made me very happy. It's not just one of the district's highest honors, it also comes with a little money, though it still seems like such an inadequate way to say thanks for all he does.

Here's the letter I submitted.
A couple of weeks ago I asked my daughter who her favorite teacher was and without hesitation, she said Mr. X. When I pointed out that he wasn’t technically one of her teachers, she bristled at the suggestion. She told me she learned more at school from Mr. X than she did from her other teachers, and I think she has a point. My daughter has never really struggled academically, her challenge has always been her disability, particularly her social and emotional challenges that are a result of her Autism Spectrum Disorder. She’s never struggled with the material and instead struggles with fitting in, controlling her emotions, and negotiating relationships. The kindness and patience exhibited by Mr. X have not only enabled my child to better control herself in school, he has also served as an excellent role model whom my daughter clearly looks up to and admires. And it’s not as though he can help her solely through his caring nature, he’s also effective at being stern and consistent in his expectations of her and seems to have an uncanny ability to steer her in the right direction with the proper balance of rewards and consequences.

Even though she will sometimes come home angry at Mr. X for imposing and enforcing rules on her, he manages to do it in such a way that she eventually understands that he always has her best interests at heart. My daughter has told me in no uncertain terms that she doesn’t just think Mr. X is the most helpful person to her at school, but that he’s the one person who understands her the best, and for that reason, she loves Mr. X. He clearly knows what he’s doing from a professional perspective, but they don’t teach you in college how to care like he does. That seems much more the result of him being a really great person who has found his calling. Our family is very lucky to have his experience, training, and loving heart as a resource for our daughter. We are very grateful that Mr. X is our daughter’s friend.
I really hope he spends the money frivolously, and not on his students as I suspect he probably will.
posted by Stanczyk at 7:15 AM on April 22 [30 favorites]


huimangm, I'm childless and my life is happy and fulfilled. I hope you find happiness and fulfillment whichever way your life goes.
posted by lazuli at 7:33 AM on April 22 [9 favorites]


We saw Ready Player One Friday night. I was more entertained than I expected. Last night we had to resort to Red Box as FIOS has been dead since about 3 PM. We got Murder On The Orient Express. Don't make our mistake. And FIOS has pushed service restoration to 330 tomorrow. 2 days without broadband. Living likes it's 1998, except the 4G thing.
posted by COD at 7:54 AM on April 22


I've been obsessed the past few weeks with the UK band Kaleidoscope, who released an album called Tangerine Dream just over 50 years ago; just delightful Beatles-ish Revolver-inspired pop music (with some 60s Bee Gees and Donovan thrown in). Spring is very stressful, I work at a nursery (and oh my gosh from the outside it may look like a bucolic job but it's actually quite exhausting) so this music is one of the few things that is keeping me going. The sad fact is that Kaleidoscope never had much success and original copies of the LP go for well over $1000 now.
posted by plasticpalacealice at 7:57 AM on April 22


lazuli, thank you very much for saying that; you're a lovely person, and it helps. I do need to remember that I basically like my life, and I'm very fortunate in general, and worry less over whatever path ends up untaken!
posted by huimangm at 7:58 AM on April 22 [3 favorites]


And as I was typing that previous comment my Internet came back. Behold the power of Metatalk.
posted by COD at 7:59 AM on April 22 [4 favorites]


By the way, if you tried outside in season one of 2018 and thought it sucked, give it another try. This season is much better.
posted by Stanczyk at 8:07 AM on April 22 [8 favorites]


I will go back and read the whole thread but want to recommend Cræft by Alexander Langlands. He is one of the archaeologists on most of Ruth Goodman's history series and now teaches at a university but the book is about his experiences as a jobbing archaeologist and experimenter with pre-industrial farming and craft techniques. He writes about the extensive knowledge that people needed in order to grow and make all of the things they needed for daily life and how losing this has made us vulnerable to economic, political and environmental hazards. He'll try pretty much anything, with varying degrees of success, from haying to lime burning.
posted by Botanizer at 8:13 AM on April 22 [13 favorites]


Right now I've just started watching the first season of Legion (with Dan Stevens). Admittedly I'm very late to the game, but I've been catching up on a number of shows lately (Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and others), and this one more or less slipped under my radar until I heard an interview Dan did with NPR a week or so ago in which he mentioned his work on the show.
posted by Roger Pittman at 11:50 AM on April 22


I'm so jealous you're watching Legion for the first time! I will say no more.
posted by mochapickle at 12:03 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]


Yeah I agree with what mochapickle said. I watched it episode by episode and I wish I'd had the chance to watch it all in one go for the first time. You lucky duck.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:32 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]


Recently worked my way through the Locke and Key graphic novels by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez - its a fantastic horror story with great characters and amazing artwork. I bought the first one after hearing about it probably on here somewhere and I was hooked.

I also enjoyed Armando Ianucci's The Death of Stalin - you wouldn't think the Veep/Thick of It treatment would work for such a grim topic, but it's both brilliantly funny and incredibly dark at the same time. It really brings out the absurdity of the situation, and the performances are fantastic from pretty much everyone.

Valkane mentioned Sally Wainwright earlier - I should also recommend her drama about the Brontes - To Walk Invisible. It really brings the family to life in a way that makes it seem very modern.
posted by crocomancer at 12:56 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Two recent reads:

Gordon McAlpine's Holmes Entangled: metafictional Sherlock Holmes novel about, among other things, multiple universes, but also age and mourning. It's descended from Michael Chabon's The Final Solution and Mitch Cullin's A Slight Trick of the Mind (which became the film Mr. Holmes) in terms of the set-up--elderly Holmes feeling various anxieties about his relationship to the modern world, deceased Watson--but its narrative goes in very different, SF directions.

Jeannette Ng's Under the Pendulum Sun: neo-Victorian dark fantasy about missionaries, set in an alternate universe in which humanity is in contact with the mysterious fae. As the heroine tries to figure out what happened to the missionary who preceded her brother, she finds herself facing all sorts of uncomfortable questions about human (and fae) identity. Especially enjoyable for anyone who knows a lot about the Brontes.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:45 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]


A friend lent me Democracy Kills by the journalist Humphrey Hawksley. Which has caused me to seek out more of his work.
I dont have a TV but I have found the first series of Babylon Berlin which I am enjoying immensely.
I will now have to hunt down season 2.
posted by adamvasco at 2:55 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


We just finished watching Babylon Berlin on Netflix and it was really, really good. (We watched the German with English subtitles--when trying to find a trailer I saw a bit of the English dub and it is TERRIBLE. I dislike dubbed versions anyway, but this one seems especially egregious, so I really recommend the subtitles instead!)

It's set in Berlin in 1929 and is centred around two main characters: Gereon, a middle aged male detective with crippling shell shock who has just moved to Berlin from Cologne, and Lotte, a young woman from a very poor family who works as a typist/clerk for the police but has ambitions to become a detective.

The sets are amazing--part of it is set in a lavish nightclub/restaurant based on a real place. Many of the events in the show are based on real events--there's lots of political intrigue and corruption in the Weimar Republic.

(On preview: jinx adamvasco!)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:05 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]


Halfway through the TV show Counterpart, and we are completely, utterly hooked.

The 18 inches of snow we got last weekend is disappearing rapidly. TIL dogs are so magic that their upside-down paw prints look like butterflies.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:39 PM on April 22


After wanting to read them for ages, I'm finally plowing through the Modesty Blaise comic strips (via ILL) and books (via Abebooks). They are so entertaining and solid under all the pulp and I wish I had made time to read them sooner.

I'm also reading and rereading the Aubrey/Maturin books thanks to the Fanfare thread.

My to-read pile is sizable, but a big part of that is my omnibus copy of the Kristen Lavransdatter books, which my mom owned and loved but which I never got around to reading. Something reminded me of them and I got the book, but haven't started reading yet.
posted by PussKillian at 7:17 PM on April 22


Yay! Sun! Bikes! Moar hills!

ARGH, I JUST GOT BIT BY A FUCKING DOG WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? SOME FUCKIN' HOMEBUM'S DOG ON A STRING NO LESS?

I was just annoyingly proclaiming to a friend how much my outdoor life around here resembles a comfortable if twee Studio Ghibli vignette, sigh.

Damn and blast it! Oh well, I guess the ER and hospital was kind of on the way and I could just bike there, and I don't need stitches, and if homebum is not a moron he left the scene in a hurry so he doesn't get his dog confiscated or put down because it's out of my hands now.

I'm mainly really irritated I didn't get to finish my bike ride as I was aiming for 40-50 miles today and wanted to do the local trail segment there and back again twice.

I would not and am not holding the dog accountable. I startled the dog, and it's owner error for them sitting where they were sitting on a bike trail, and partially my error for excessive speed for that segment of trail. I stuck around long enough to meet the dog and make my judgement call - it's a good dog and still a pup really. As much as a dog can I could tell he knew he screwed up and was apologizing. (And I don't want to start/have an argument about this, please. I've made my judgement call. I live in a small town, it's been reported - and if the dog does get put down there's likely a really painful conversation in my future involving said poor homebum with mental health issues.)

Let's see, in more positive news I cleaned my bike and it's faster and quieter than ever, which may help explain how I got bit by a dog.

I also broke my recent downhill max speed to 30 MPH. (Lifetime record is a GPS confirmed 64, which is way too damn fast on a bicycle and likely to never be personally bested.)

Maybe only cyclists will get this, but there's just something intensely satisfying and really kind of sexy about a good, fast, solid bike that moves and feels as quick and slick as a slot car. It's like somewhere between sure footed like a cat and flying/soaring like a bird and rolling/tracking along like a twisty roller coaster.

I've done a lot of fun active things. I've been in fast cars and even have ridden a few motorcycles. I've snowboarded and skied. I've been on a bunch of really good roller coasters. I've surfed big waves, too.

But biking on a good, well dialed in and personally fitted is just the best, just so good.

In garden news I now have more kale, spinach and brussel sprout sprouts than I know what to do with, and I should be thinning and transplanting in about 2 weeks. I had no idea kale and brussel sprouts looked basically identical, but they're related so duh.

Basil and parsley is finally starting to poke through, too, and I was/am worried about it.

Anyway, here, have some really good, mellow, dubby deep house mixes:

Pablo Bolivar - Live at Nos-Org, Tokio 2012. Very smooth, melodic modern deep/progressive house mix. (Warning, mix starts off with movie/gunshot sample for some reason that's not a theme or anything.)


Nicolas Jaar - Against All Logic - Live radio DJ set.
Super deep lofi sparse house beats ranging from minimal to soulful jump up, all of it Against All Logic tracks mixed live by Jaar himself.

Jessica Diaz - Deep Afterhours n. 27 Very techy, dubby and sometimes verging on reggae beats deep house, a broad spectrum of what deep house music is. It's enough to make Thomas Fehlmann jealous with the clicky-clockwork syncopation.

And yes, Thomas Fehlmann (one half of The Orb) is still active. I saw him DJ in a three piece suit at 6AM at Neumo's in Seattle a few years ago after seeing him play in The Orb with Alex earlier in the evening and I could barely keep up with the guy and he's like 60 something. Apparently his nickname now is "Uncle Grandpa" because he looks like Sigmund Freud in a bespoke suit and white hair and neat beard. There were a bunch of early 20-something folks totally fanboying/girling over him, it was great.
posted by loquacious at 7:38 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]


I've been rewatching Due South. It hasn't aged as badly as some of the other 90's TV, and it's still clever and a joy to try to explain to someone who hasn't seen it before. It might actually be my favorite show to try to explain to someone who hasn't seen it before (the middleman comes in a close second).

I also discovered Sarah Pinsker after reading And Then There Were N-One and then Wind Will Rove, and I loved both of those so much that I'm just pilfering her back catalog until I get to something that I don't absolutely love or run out of material.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:46 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]


Oh also I've been picking away at the second season of Jessica Jones, but mixing that with Due South is just really fucking weird.

And then there's we bear bears. ICE BEAR IS MY FAVORITE
posted by dinty_moore at 7:49 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


I have been watching a lot of Netflix lately because my baby only naps on me. I know I'm super late to the Stranger Things party but everyone was right that's is great. I was worried it was going to be too scary but actually it was ok and I only looked away a few times.

I'm also just getting around to listening to the Slow Burn podcast and it's fascinating. Nixon and the people around him were nuts! I didn't know much about Watergate and there's so much more than bugging going on, like kidnapping and shoe stealing and plane crashes. Highly recommend.
posted by carolr at 8:12 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]



I encourage those who like rockin' punk rock to check out The Thermals, which is technically an old thing but I think it's okay for this meta.

In new(er) music, there is Alex Lahey.
posted by curious nu at 8:43 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


huimangm, I'm also childless and my life is happy and fulfilled. There are so many ways you can connect with other people that are really important, and that parents (understandably) don't always have time for. For example, I love organizing parties and events that help keep friends and family in touch with each other, and that brings me a lot of joy. Find a way to give love and attention to the people you care about, and you'll be fine.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:12 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]


As for what I'm enjoying this week, Portal Bridge Constructor!!!!! it is so much fun solving the puzzles, and the portal theme ensures that it's still entertaining even when your designs fail spectacularly. Also I got to go to a goth/industrial night and danced to NIN, pigface, souxie, sisters of mercy, kmfdm and the like. bliss.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:34 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


My son just got a Nintendo Switch for his birthday and we’ve been enjoying beating the hell out of each other playing Arms. It’s like a boxing game except you’re this weird robot thing with sproingy arms that punch from across an arena. You hold one controller in each hand and punch furiously at the air. It’s just fanciful enough to not feel like real life violence, but it’s still kind of fantasy violence. My wife and other son are playing it too and if I think too hard about it’s deeply disturbing but it’s also the most interactive and physical game I’ve ever played and it’s tons of guilty fun.

I’m also reading The Hobbit to my kids and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos book to myself (after a recent trip to the Griffith Park Observatory which was way cooler than I thought it would be).
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:33 PM on April 22


As can be seen by my post on the blue, I have been obsessing about Legend of the Galactic Heroes of late. The new anime adaptation that started broadcasting this April no doubt contributed.

On one side there are the space Nazis ("Galactic Empire") with generous helpings of North Korean-style dictatorship and Dark Enlightenment thrown in, and on the other side are the Free Planets Alliance, a multi-ethnic representative democracy founded by refugees fleeing the Empire's repression, but the current political leadership is willing to wage war to distract the populace from economic woes and counts on battlefield wins helping their election chances. And alt-right type groups roaming the streets victimizing anti-war advocates.

The 10-volume series of novels by Japanese novelist Yoshiki Tanaka was published from 1982 to 1987.

And here's a quote from the FPA's military hero Yang Wen-Li: "I believe that being ruled by the worst democracy is preferable to being ruled by the best autocracy."
posted by needled at 4:51 AM on April 23


I've been pretty much obsessed, since I discovered it a month or so ago, with the song "Refuge" by Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree; this seems to me to be one of his more PT-ish solo tracks).

It's both sad and furious. Like so many killer songs, it has a long and searing instrumental section. If I were ever to somehow see it performed live, I think I would discorporate.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:16 AM on April 23


Off main topic: My family enjoys giving me TPS-branded items - my mother gave me TPS stationery years ago that comes in handy for Mefite correspondence. Look at the TPS hat my sister made me for my birthday! I'll never go unrecognized at a meetup again.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:52 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


I got an ARC of Michael Ondaatje's "Warlight" (it's out in May). I think it's gorgeous. I had my gallbladder out a few weeks back and the recovery time gave me some time to catch up on my reading. I also really liked The Long Room by Francesca Key, which is kind of/sort of a spy novel. Golden Hill was fun, and a bit of a romp. Oh, and I just recently got around to reading both Leonora Carrington and Eve Babitz and I honestly don't know how I've gone this long without them.

In other news, I think Trust is fantastic. And this is not relevant to media, but in the world of recommendations, I recently bought the first pair of jeans (an article of clothing I'd entirely given up on) I've ever really liked in my entire life from Universal Standard.
posted by thivaia at 7:53 AM on April 23


Oh and the new Wye Oak is gorgeous
posted by thivaia at 7:55 AM on April 23


I just discovered that Robert Charles Wilson and Robert Anton Wilson are not the same author. Which means I have a whole new set of pretty good "hard SF" books to explore. (I'm glad RAW exists, but life is too short to read more than 1.5 of his books.) RCW's books are unambiguously good, so far.

In the last 10 years, name confusion has lead me to discover both Henry Roth and Ryu Murakami, both of whom are far more interesting writers than their more famous family-name-sharing authors whose novels I thought I was browsing. So, I'm 2:1 on the absurd ambiguity of human names being a good thing.

(I still refuse to accept that Richard Simmons and Gene Simmons are not the same person. 'cause the world was a much richer and weirder place before my friends pointed out that fact.)
posted by eotvos at 7:55 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


latkes: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a fun, light, character-driven, spaceship-based, all gender, sci fi novel I can recommend.

It's really good as an audiobook!!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:57 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Westworld is back tonight aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
posted by billiebee at 8:09 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Listening: I just finished listening to Slow Burn, which is an 8-episode podcast about Watergate and sort of indirectly contextualizes the current political situation. It was very well done.

Watching: I'm hopeful for Wyatt Cenac's new show about policing! I'm really enjoying paying attention to baseball again!

Reading: I'm in the middle of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, which I am really enjoying. I wish that it was slightly less compressed, though? There are at least four different point of view characters, and things are happening very quickly. I may no longer be sharp enough for YA fiction. My boyfriend is reading Harry Potter for the first time, and so I'm probably going to have to reread them to keep up with his nitpicks and commentary.

In Other News: I have a new apartment. It is great! It is sunny today! I'm going to skip out of my terrible interior windowless basement office to go sit outside soon, I think.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:31 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Halfway through the TV show Counterpart, and we are completely, utterly hooked.

aha, I just finished the first (and only, so far) season today. if youd told me i'd be into a show that centers a cis white dude talking to himself, i'd have laughed at you... but here i am 🤷
posted by yaymukund at 9:11 AM on April 23


The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a fun, light, character-driven, spaceship-based, all gender, sci fi novel I can recommend.

Yes, yes, yes, so much so that I re-read it almost immediately, which I rarely do. Really loved it.

Currently reading New York 2140. Quite interesting, we'll see where it goes.

Watching: switching among Brooklyn 99, QI, Legion, Lost in Space (probably done with that one, only 3 episodes in, kinda meh), Reds baseball (*sigh*), and just finished the final season of Detectorists (wish I could watch that one again from the beginning for the first time).

Listening: Stuff You Should Know, the Bing Crosby station on Pandora, and whatever gets put on the record player at home.

Threw a surprise 18th birthday party for child #2 on Friday. She was completely, 100% surprised, and I am shocked that none of the 25 other teens spoiled it for her! Way to go! A surprise for the surprise was that I threw my back out the day before but my husband is a champ and did all the cleaning/prep beforehand and all of the cleaning afterward. Some friends came over after daughter was out of the house on Friday and helped decorate and cook. It was good.

Prom (the last one of high school) for the daughter was on Saturday and her friends came over to the house to get ready together. I'm going to miss all of these kids when they all go off to college in the fall. They're good eggs.

Our son will probably be coming home for the summer instead of interning, which is fine by me. He's been interviewing for a position but he's not thrilled with it and he really could use a mental health break because he struggles quite a bit so if he needs to just be home, so be it.
posted by cooker girl at 10:11 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Beyond the all consuming terrors of the moment, some of the things I'm currently into include:

• John Ashbery's translation of Pierre Reverdy's Haunted House and Dan Bellm's translation of The Song Of The Dead are in my bag right now. I'm also varying ways through the books that are living by my bed or in the bathroom, Anna Politkovskaya's Is Journalism Worth Dying For? and Nomad, an abridgement of Isabelle Eberhardt's diaries. At the top of the "to read" stack is The Broken Road, the third volume of Patrick Leigh Fermor's account of his walk across Europe in the 1930s.

• Three CDs I'm listening to lately are Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973, the recently discovered Bill Evans recording, Another Time: The Hilversum Concert, and the re-release of the Charles Hayward/Gigi Masin recording, Les Nouvelles Musiques De Chambre.

• Recent thrift scores include Jessie Allen Cooper's exceedingly chill, exceedingly 80's, Soft Wave, Hott City's disco masterpiece, Ain't Love Grand, Jenny Burton's sublime In Black And White, and American Girls, the only record by Brie Howard Darling's all-women band of the same name (think Heart meets LA hair metal?—it has its charms). Online, I am/have been listening to the new Visible Cloaks mix, Sonae's female:pressure mix, Mary Halvorson's Wire playlist, Hawthonn's Red Goddess (of this men shall know nothing), and the Backlisted podcast, which, in its wit, erudition, and humor is exactly the kind of podcast I would dream of doing if I dreamed of doing podcasts.

• Other things I'm really into right now are lavender/sage candles, papayas, palomas, and this kick-ass rosé.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:39 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Mr Fig and I have been binging Better Call Saul -- it is SO GOOD. And the Fanfare discussions are even better! If you're racking up mystery favorites on something you wrote there like a year and a half ago, it's just me.

In non-media related news, I am focused on leaving my job, because of my terrible manager, who has not gotten any better since the last time I complained in a Metatalktail hour. I applied to like 35 different places in a week, got 2 interviews (and one pending phone interview), and have reasonable expectation that at least 1 job offer will be forthcoming. Apparently EHS (environment, health, and safety) people are a hot commodity.

Only my closest friends and family know about this, but the internet is an anonymous-ish enough place where I don't think this will have any negative impact on anything/one - this weekend, my husband was voluntarily put into inpatient psychiatric care. There's been enough askme's and associated answers to show me that I'm not alone in my upset and anxiety, and that this is a good thing, and sort of guide me to what to expect next. So, if you have contributed to any of those, a special thank you. I'm fine, he will be fine, it's just all a lot of new unpleasant experiences to deal with. I feel guilty even asking, but if you could send some well-wishes to the Fig household, they would be very welcome.

on preview: PALOMAS ARE THE BEST. I need a Paloma right now. my job departure is imminent, maybe I should go to the grocery store and make myself one right at my dang desk. Put it in a coffee tumbler, nobody would even know (being a stickler for following the rules pays off in lack of suspicion when you decide to break them!)
posted by Fig at 10:44 AM on April 23 [19 favorites]


I've been watching "The Alienist" and "The Terror"... yeah they're great, and so are the books they are based on. I also recommend the movie, "Sgt. Stubby" (spoiler: the dog does not die).
posted by cass at 12:57 PM on April 23


Going biking to the new transit center bike shed opening for Earth Day because that's how exciting my life is. Presuming I don't meet any bitey dogs.
posted by loquacious at 1:10 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Hugs, Fig.
posted by lazuli at 1:13 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Still eating pickles, loquacious? (I just had one, mmmmm)
posted by Melismata at 1:16 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Also hugs to you, Fig. I've been in a psych ward. It's not fun, but they're really focused on taking care of people even in the worst hospitals. When they say 24 hour observation and hold they mean it, and someone is always there.

I was probably even in one of the largest/worst/busiest wards west of the Mississippi and there was still a whole lot of compassion there. (Granted, I also managed to talk my way out of the voluntary hold because it made me realize my problems weren't going to be helped at that location, but that's another story.)

Melismata: Is water wet? What a silly question. :) I'm still eating pickles, but alas, have none at the moment. Kristi brought me a jar of amazing sour pickles from OlyKraut when they passed through, which are sour dill pickles in a sauerkraut brine so they're extra sour and salty. Yes please.

That reminds me, I should probably just eat some salt before heading out to ride, screw the optics. It's actually been a pain to keep that up and stay properly hydrated. I actually keep little single serve paper salt packets everywhere, like in my bike bag and littered over my desk. I have to check my pockets for 'em before laundry, granted the salt wouldn't hurt anything and if anything is already in a lot of detergent.
posted by loquacious at 1:26 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


I just finished Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places, which is really more a book about the sociology of ghosts than a series of ghost stories, and really enjoyed it. Plus it has a surprise appearance by our own Jessamyn at the end!

I also finally read Elizabeth Moon's first novel in her space opera series, Trading in Danger. It was tons of fun and felt so good to have a young woman protagonist feeling her way through her first command in space. She wouldn't be totally out of place in the Vorkosigan household, either. Really excited to have the rest of the series on demand for when I need a break from grad school and politics.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:31 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


For TV, I am finishing up the last season of The Magicians and it is good escapist fun. Also in the midst of The Terror and yet to get going on the new Expanse. Oh, Barry on HBO is really funny so far. Awkward hit man in Los Angeles discovers an acting class. Bill Hader, Henry Winkler, Stephen Root.

For reading, I am rereading DC: New Frontier, by the late Darwyn Cooke. An alternate take on the DC universe. I am also eyeing Alan Moore's Jerusalem and one day will actually pick it up off the nightstand. Same with Acceptance--watching Annihilation gave me a bit of renewed interest, so I am sure I will really really think about reading it now. Really.

Ongoing comics of note include Paper Girls and Harrow County. Just finished the last trade of Fatale, the Brubaker noir-mythos book. Recommended.

For music, I have been listening to Trans Am like, a lot. It fits into my nerdo Krautrock but also with the jams interests. And someone recommended the newest Rival Consoles album, and that is pleasingly bloopy.

I played my daughter the Aquabats song Shark Fighter and now that is all she wants to hear. Who can argue with that?
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:01 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I love Figs. All of them. We're nothing if we're not there when all that's left is love.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:41 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I'll come back and list the books I scored recently....but this is just a loving shout-out to an amazing used bookstore that I go and visit when possible. The kitties no longer scamper among the shelves; instead, there's an amazingly fun and friendly little dog to greet and entertain you.

The selection of books is curated; not a lot of junk to go through and it's worth brousing because all of the stuff is interesting or classic or worthwhile.... it's like visiting a well-read person's personal library. (The bookstore is in an old house) Good classic jazz is usually playing in the background. Plus, the couple who run the place are unpretentious and great at recommending reads based on your interests.

When I was there, a young child was there with some adults...the child was regaling one of the owners with all kinds of tales while the adults broused about. The owner was perfect and treated the child as any shopper, suggesting interesting books and telling the child about each story... It was totally charming.

I ended up with a bunch of Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge detective mysteries, some Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire stories, some Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody stories and what will likely be fun reading: Spencer Quinn's Chet and Bernie mysteries (that acvording to their descriptions are "unreliable narrators")

All are ones I've not read previously so I'll enjoy getting to know the authors...Now I need to find time to read.

Life is good, indeed.
posted by mightshould at 4:04 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Does anyone watch Vikings? If so, does anyone have a reason why I should watch Vikings?
posted by elsietheeel at 5:14 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Lots of love and strength to you and yours, Fig. You’re a good egg.
posted by mochapickle at 5:20 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Fig--I'll be thinking warm thoughts for you and Mr. Fig. I hope his recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

And I'm sorry you got bitten by a dog, loquacious!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:36 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]


I seem to be in a Facebook argument with my 7th-grade science teacher. I remember her as being a force for good in my life. Turns out she's xenophobic and racist, and lacks the critical thinking skills that I had thought she taught me. Maybe she did teach them to me and then she forgot them. I don't know. I'm sad about the good parts of my childhood falling into the pit, even while acknowledging that I'm not surprised that the institutions of my childhood (and certainly of my adulthood) harbored open racists.
posted by lazuli at 9:28 PM on April 23 [7 favorites]


Well, that is really sad.
posted by bongo_x at 10:13 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


lazuli, that must have felt like betrayal :(

And betrayal is a familiar feeling. It hurts a lot. In my case it isn't exactly like racist hatred, but nevertheless... I'd try to approach it in your style, too. I'll try to see it as not merely about me, but a objectively extant condition inherent in the limitations of what it is to be human. Anyone can be hit by this, and I shouldn't be somehow so entitled as to be exempt.

I don't know if that would help you feel better, but I hope so.
posted by runcifex at 10:51 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Figs,

If there's any guilty feeling left, please know that by calling us to practise the virtue of benevolence and compassion is an incredibly good thing, and we're better because of it.
posted by runcifex at 10:56 PM on April 23 [2 favorites]


And I'm sorry you got bitten by a dog, loquacious!

Very late post bike ride update:

OK, I'm not going to be coy and clever and make you wait for it. I was lunged at and almost bitten by another dog. Twice. Different dog than yesterday.

Actually, I was bitten and nipped by my friend's new dog after this, so that's three in two days, and two other dogs lunged at me. This normally doesn't happen and it's super frickin' weird because usually puppers are my instant friends and I'm suspecting there's something pheremonal or hormonal going on. Or rolling up my pants over my huge calves is making them think of baked hams or something. I don't know but this just isn't normal for me on a bike or off.

The dog today that came at me at two different times was ahead of me off leash following an owner on a bike. I was trying to pass them on the bike trail and the dog turned back, squared off, took a long hard look at my bandaged leg and went for it like a homing missile. I actually had to come off my bike and use my bike as a shield and the F#^%!$ owner is doing the "It's ok, he's friendly!" thing and I'm really firmly and clearly announcing that I just got out of the ER yesterday for a dog bite and attack and I don't really care how friendly you think your dog is, he's clearly being aggressive towards me.

They passed me after a water break, and the dog came at me again even passing at high speed and I had to lift my right (bandaged) leg over the dog's head as it lunged at me.

So I don't know what's going on. I definitely know I'm not going crazy or anything, and my pattern recognition skills at the moment are telling me dogs apparently think I'm delicious. I do have pepper spray I can carry, but that's no fun, either.

The bike shed opening was so exciting there was no one there. At all, not even a transit rep. I mean, I was going to bike out there anyway but I usually get a bike light or a water bottle or something out of showing up. Harrumpf.

I biked 30 miles and about 1200 feet of elevation, with a moving average of 14.1 MPH, including stops and breaks. I'm starting to be able to pace a solid 18-20 MPH again, instead of short sprints, which is pretty quick for my bike, weight and lack of anything aero and being a Fred.

I saw the biggest raven I've ever even heard of. It was so big I thought it was a bald eagle. It wasn't. It made a common crow look like a sparrow.

Almost jumped off a dock, but settled on wading and picking up about two cups of beach glass. Soon. Maybe even tomorrow, but you should understand that water is like 40-45 and it'll make you see stars and question your choices. It's very refreshing for about however long it takes you to climb up of the barnacle covered ladder and shiver in the sun for an hour.

Ended the evening catching up with folks and a house party. Apparently all my biking is paying off 'cause I'm still blushing from compliments from basically everyone I know, but for once I'm accepting them gracefully, or even at all. "Aww, thank you. I've been working on it."

It's also getting harder to keep discussion trans and gender affirming process with under wraps in mixed or out-of-cahoots company. which isn't terrible at all, and on the other hand the majority of the mixed company I was in tonight was primarily genderqueer-flex-pan identified women and the same if a little less for the men in attendance with everyone secure and pretty aware and happy on that front and we just spent twenty minutes griping about how lame and pervasive commercialized gender essentialism is in the context of baby clothes and how all the boys stuff has "I wanna be a scientist" and the girls get "Going shopping!" or "Princess." and all that crap.

But it's also hard to explain "Hey, yeah, I totally just grabbed the salt box from your pantry shelf and I'm eating it out of my hand 'cause, uh... I'm taking a new medication? Do you happen to have any pickles?"

Oh, and I also managed to track down the owner and dog that bit me yesterday and check in and confirm they're still together and let them know I'm fine, and spent a little more time meeting the pup. That was good.

Please, dogs, stop biting me. I just want to ride my bike, ok?
posted by loquacious at 3:51 AM on April 24 [8 favorites]


All the love, fig.
posted by crush at 8:05 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


We're going to see a new psychiatrist this afternoon for our Depressed and Explosive Yet Also Of Course Beloved Kid. He's 11 and has been in psychiatric care since he was maybe 8, and so far the previous psychiatrists have given him a series, and then a layered, um, parfait of antidepressants, and occasionally he seems less unhappy and rageful for a couple of weeks. We've been stripping them away recently, in preparation for this new person, and Beloved Kid seems very slightly less angry and very slightly more sad. I'm trying hard not to think about the years he's spent this way. We're hoping for a new approach from this person, whose supervisor has published on pediatric mood disorders, and who we have met. Everybody needs to catch a break here.

Fig, love and understanding to you in the struggle.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:58 AM on April 24 [10 favorites]


((((Fig))))
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:07 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


guys guys guys guys guys guys I JUST got a job offer, from my #1 choice, they liked me so much they increased the initial salary by a LOT (from 10% less than what I'm making now to +10%) , and changed the job title from Coordinator to Manager, and I pretty much got everything I was going to push for in negotiations. oh and it's a shorter commute too.


wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

also, THANK YOU guys all for the warm comments, thoughts, and memails. I talked to Mr. Fig's care team last night and today, and he is doing well. They are collaborating on a plan for him, and it sounds like he should be home soon.
posted by Fig at 11:42 AM on April 24 [36 favorites]


YAY, FIG AND MR. FIG!!! That is wonderful news all 'round.
posted by lazuli at 11:43 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


FIG FIG FIG FIG
posted by loquacious at 11:53 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Yay all Figs!

I recently finished The Gone-away World by Nick Harkaway, as recommended by smoke.

It is not perfect but I loved it. If you want a weird, dense, post-apocalyptic thing, it is for you.
posted by minsies at 12:17 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Wishing you and your husband the best, Fig.

I saw Tom of Finland yesterday, at the neighborhood theater, among a visible community/brotherhood of happy leather-clad men which made me smile. Was a tad wary going in because bio pics often don't do it for me even when I'm interested in the subject, but this one worked and did all the things I sense they're supposed to but haven't in the past: I left the theater uplifted and moved and grateful, affirmed and with much to think about, consider. Good stuff.
posted by ifjuly at 1:19 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


So glad to hear the good news Fig! You deserve all the good news!
posted by the primroses were over at 2:08 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Yay Fig!!!!!!!!
Sending good vibes your way and hopes that things are on the upswing for both of you!
And...a hug across the MeFi miles if you want it.
posted by bookmammal at 6:38 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


loquacious said "Melismata: Is water wet?"

I just love any excuse to share this clip: Why Water Is NOT Wet - With PROOF
posted by yaymukund at 2:59 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


I just love any excuse to share this clip: Why Water Is NOT Wet - With PROOF

Are you really going to make me restructure that old horse to "Does water make things wet?" or do you have another video about how nothing actually ever touches anything else and it's all electrons anyway?
posted by loquacious at 6:04 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


So it's possible I was not actually arguing with my 7th-grade teacher but instead with a fake account with her name. Which until that point had mostly posted heartwarming grandma-and-Jesus-type stories. It looks like I am friends with two accounts with her name, and only one has a photo, and the non-photo one is the one that posted xenophobic/racist shit. So now I don't know what to believe, but I'm just going to un-friend that account and hope it's all good going forward.
posted by lazuli at 9:13 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Also there were two major, fatal car crashes in the area yesterday, one of which seriously injured a close friend of a close friend, to where she's likely to be in the ICU for several weeks, and people are driving really badly around here and we just passed the six-month post-wildfire mark in Sonoma County and I kind of feel like everyone's in that place of post-traumatic stress without realizing that it's post-traumatic stress and things just feel very dangerous and unsettled around here right now. And I basically have just been spending a lot of time reminding myself and other people to be careful, and to slow down, and to take care of themselves.
posted by lazuli at 9:27 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]


27 miles biked, much elevation. Two bowls of veggie soup with bread, two apples, one pepperoni stick. Note: Haven't had dinner yet, likely peanut butter, apple and cereal.

If you're curious, here's a few random phone pics of what my bike rides look like. If you like pretty scenery, you should take a look, because it's just ridonkulous right now. I have very consciously been leaving my good camera at home because I wouldn't get any biking done, but you can bet that I'm taking mental notes of places I want to photograph on a more leisurely ride.

So that's about 100 miles for the week with a lot of climbing and I'm hoping my roommate and his gf are going to join me for another 30 tomorrow.

Stupid off leash dog lunges for today = one.

This time I swooped around the owner sitting on his stationary bike on the far/wrong/narrow side because the other 2/3rds of the trail was occupied by unleashed dog, causing the dog to lunge into/through the owner. I think this is a fine tactic not unlike a pick-and-roll in sportsball and bears further experimentation. The owner of the dog did not like it at all. Leash your doggo, doofus.

I have also found my probably illegal in WA high strength backpacker/courier/postal grade pepper spray and I'm going to start carrying it and hope I never have to use it. I also kind of realized that some of the areas I've been biking through and exploring have been pretty wild and not frequently traveled, and I know we have both cougars and coyotes around even in the more urban city. (Saw a coyote yesterday!)

Wildlife spotted today: Many otters. A whole lot of bunnies. A huge blue heron.

Random friends/people met around town at large and not at, say, a venue: 3. Potential job/work leads and ideas: 2.

Side note: Last night I hung out at my local and tons of people I haven't seen in ages came out of the woodwork and moss for the nice weather. Again just showered in lovely compliments, including this one for someone I vaguely know "I have never seen you so glowing and present and like "here, come talk to me!" before. Whatever you're doing, keep it up!"

This is huge for me. I'm sorry for the bragging / humblebragging, but I've never been able to take a compliment well without feeling weird and awkward about it.

I've also been working hard at it for a bit over a year now with doc and therapy stuff, doing my homework and, now, fairly recently with the nicer weather going fairly bike and exercise mad. I have been able to drop about 40 pounds in about 3 months. I'm aiming for another 40 before fall. And I'm doing it the plain old fashioned way.

I feel fucking fantastic. My knees feel great. I'm learning how to feed and operate my body instead of throwing garbage at it. I actually sometimes eat breakfast now.

I also was going into treatment expecting I'd want to hide and withdraw while I adapted, and, no, I'm just bloomin' all over the place often in unexpected ways. In hindsight, I'm now seeing I could have theoretically done this at any time, perhaps even very early on in my recent barista job. I'm not beating myself up or hating myself about taking this long, and I'm very content and thankful to be here now, but to be honest I didn't really even know the extent of either the employment protections or health care support available to me, and it took a strange, gentle and slow crisis to push that awareness in front of me.

My three month anniversary is coming up next month and so far I'm having an utterly glorious time allowing myself to have a second childhood and do-over and doing an incredible amount of healing. I'm not even sure might make it better right here and now. Ice cold pickles that grow on vines like blackberries? A bike tune up? Enough snacks and pocket money to bike out to La Push and back for a week?

The world and political scene might be the world's biggest tire and manure pile fire but I had no idea I could be this far from depression, or feel this peaceful, content andenergetic. I'm so glad I like biking and I still have this perfect-for-me bike because I would have no idea what other realistic thing to do with all this energy.

Last night I also handed out my card (yes, I have a card!) to a bunch of those friends to reconnect and trying to recruit a casual bike and adventure posse for summer.

And I hope these frequent updates and bike-blogging aren't too much or too annoying, but I have a lot of enthusiasm to share, and I've loved being able to check in and share my progress.

I've actually had to use some of my comments as checkpoints and stuff to transfer to my journal. Heck, at my last doc appointment my doc and I were drawing a blank on my actual start date and I pulled up my comment in one of these older threads to find and calculate the exact date because I didn't have my journal with me.

Hugs to all who want one.
posted by loquacious at 10:26 PM on April 26 [8 favorites]


I for one am loving the enthusiastic updates!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:45 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Riding with my roommate and his gf in a few minutes. *poing poing poing poing*

I've been waiting for them to get their butts in gear for, uh, an hour. Maybe two.

I'm having fun noticing I'm actually cranky and irritable about waiting and maybe actually a little addicted to the endorphins because it's the same cranky and irritable I used to feel about having to wait to bum a smoke off of someone or running out of smokes.
posted by loquacious at 2:04 PM on April 27


I finally got to hang up my bird feeder and it's currently full of goldfinches!
posted by elsietheeel at 2:18 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Bike report: No dogs, wee!
posted by loquacious at 5:18 PM on April 27


Todd Snider: Can't Complain
posted by mule98J at 7:37 AM on April 28


This morning it was full of red-winged blackbirds, which was not quite as colorful but twice as raucous. Five goldfinches is cute birb party, five blackbirds is a mosh pit.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:43 AM on April 28 [6 favorites]


Late to this party, but Thundercat's "Them Changes" is a pretty great funk jazz space blues tune.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:47 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


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