MetaMedia July 3, 2020 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Life can be difficult, time are tough; it is very easy to feel overwhelmed. That being said, I'm curious about what you are reading, watching, listening, and playing to get through these turbulent times. I'm also interested in knowing if your consumption of media has changed over the last couple of months. Are you seeking out things that are light and easy to consume? Or maybe you seek comfort in something heavier and darker. Or maybe you've withdrawn from screens altogether and are finding pleasure in a more analog and tactile space. Share with the community if you feel up to it. As always, be kind to yourself and to others. Cheers.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 4:19 PM (88 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

I've taken up crossword puzzles. If you really concentrate on figuring the answers out you may temporarily forget the conflagration in your peripheral vision.
posted by selfnoise at 4:30 PM on July 3, 2020 [7 favorites]

I seem to be on the same TNG marathon that everyone(?) is doing.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:11 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I watched Normal People in two sittings. Holy fuck, it was great. 10/10.

Been listening to the same audiobooks on repeat, all read by Will Patton: Jesus' Son, Train Dreams, Deliverance, and Light In August, as well as the first 4 and a half minutes of Robicheaux (first 3 minutes, next 90 seconds) because I find comfort in its similarity to something I've been writing for years.

I don't think the pandemic has affected my media consumption.
posted by dobbs at 5:12 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

The 3 books I have on the go at the moment:
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers (comfort read)
How Long Until Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin
The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle (reading aloud to the child, who is only intermittently up for it)

I can’t sit through a movie right now, too long. I have rarely been able to commit to a show in The Way We All Watch Now (bingeing) so there’s nothing on my visual radar. I have a small round of web things I check more or less constantly, and I spend a lot of time on MeFi.

The back yard makes good tv. Chasing deer out of the garden, watching the chipmunks chase each other, checking out bugs and toads. We’ve been experimenting with digging up milkweed where we think it won’t be noticed and trying to root them at home. The wrens in the box outside the windows are so loud compared to their size, and comically persistent about nesting.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 5:22 PM on July 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

I've lost all interest in dystopias, now we're living in one (yes NZ is at near-elimination but not very normal with closed border, and many people still very cautious) it doesn't seem so much fun anymore. I've saved the entire Survivors* 1970's series and used to like watching an episode or two until things started feeling like Peter Heller's The Dog Stars.

I've been tweeting seriously as there are some great climate and change people and discussions to join. Also discovered the UK's Sleaford Mods TCR, Jolly F*cker, nsfw, early in lock-down, the sound the world needs now. Some's funny, some's very hard-hitting, very anti-racism.

* The first series had Terry Nation was director, then he was swapped out and it gets a little weird it later series. No screaming, no music (where would it come from?), very chilling. Start of video may be troubling to watch in light of our 2020 experience.
posted by unearthed at 5:26 PM on July 3, 2020

I've also rewatched this Dominique Christina performance a few times. Extraordinary.
posted by dobbs at 5:28 PM on July 3, 2020

I stopped reading books and just watched the news from March to June. I did pause to watch Normal People. Now I'm reading Max Brook's Devolution, which I am enjoying, first fiction I have read in months.
posted by Elmore at 5:32 PM on July 3, 2020

I've been reading slightly less than usual, but I was sick for a chunk of last year and did nothing BUT read. Now the country/world is sick but I've got little jobs to do so a little less reading and mostly in the same veins.

Also somehow I watched almost no movies between October and April. This was mainly because I was watching a lot more "prestige television" (or something?) like The Mandolorian. I miss my boyfriend who is COVID-denied me so we have started a "Saturday is distant-movie night" thing and I like it. Seen some good documentaries (Galaxy Quest, Baseball) and some fun other movies (Lovebirds, Knives Out).

But I spend more time with screens to be social so I'm also consuming less screen-based media besides 7th Inning Stretch (Daily at 3 EDT, 4 on Sundays) on FB Live. I was doing a lot of online trivia but now I am doing a lot less.

I've been... watching my house plants, watching the moth situation here, watching the wildlife outside (a bear! by my stairs!), watching the seasons change in a way I didn't when I traveled more for work. I'd prefer doing my normal stuff but this has been solidly okay.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:50 PM on July 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

I started the lockdown by watching the first five and a half seasons of Schitts Creek, then had to watch the remaining episodes as they aired. It made me happy. Then I watched all of the celebrity bake-offs available on Channel 4 via vpn, as well as the last season of the Great British Sewing Bee. Now Junior Bake Off is airing on CBC, so I'm keeping up to date with that. These are interspersed with terrible hallmark-esque romantic movies. I also knitted a toy dinosaur and am 3/4 of the way through a second. Finally, I have come to the conclusion that I'm not a big fan of PC gaming, but can't be bothered buying a console.
posted by Kris10_b at 5:53 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I’ve watched over forty films in lockdown now, mostly horror and classics...things that have been on my watchlist for ages. I love my small routine of tracking everything on Letterboxd, finding reviews that I agree with and liking them, and checking to see if there is a Fanfare post.

I’ve also been backseat driving several video games with my partner. He plays and I crochet things and yell. It’s been very cathartic.

We’re working our way through walking dead seasons on PS4, thanks to a recent sale. I’ve nearly finished yet another top. All these wearables will have memories of 2020 media, it’s neat.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:06 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

We've been watching a lot of The Office episodes on repeat (definitely a comfort food). We also discovered History Channel's reality tv survival show, Alone. 10 people who have to make it 100 days with a bare minimum of survival gear, it has a very Les Stroud feel to it and isn't as gimicky as something like Survivor or Man vs. Wild.

Movie-ise, I've been watching a lot of queer cinema: Another Country, Maurice, My Beautiful Launderette.

And I've been playing a ton of Call of Duty: Warzone and Streets of Rogue. I have just been wanting to live in other worlds or to completely turn off my brain and play stupid games where you run, hide, & chase other people online. The shoot is both the best and the worst part of CoD: Warzone. I hate how good it feels, but it's a complicated guilty pleasure.

And that's how I've been spending most of my time with media.
posted by Fizz at 6:11 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Watching the evergreens shoot out their light green summer growth, and little pinecones are begining to form too.

Stripping the religious component out has made for some interesting study of late, psalms and proverbs specifically. Looking forward to doing the same with other belief system materials in the future.

Starting the day with a bike ride gets me up and moving; otherwise I seem to overdrink coffee at home. I'll find a bench and table, and write my kid letters - old school envelope and stamp type.

Certainly not an easy time in our world, I'm glad I overworked myself when I was younger.
posted by Afghan Stan at 6:15 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh and how could I forget dumping dozens and dozens of hours into Cities Skylines! I could fix traffic problems forever and never tire of it see what I did there.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:16 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Reading Network Effect, the first Murderbot novel.
Feels good to spend some time in the mind of a killer robot.
posted by signal at 6:21 PM on July 3, 2020 [7 favorites]

As I mentioned in an answer to an Ask, I am currently measuring quarantine by how many times I've reread the first few Anne of Green Gables books. So far I'm up to three and beginning to seriously consider getting an Anne tattoo. (The question I answered is here and worth checking out because it is full of great suggestions for funny, hopeful, comforting reading.) I miss the library and checking out physical books so much it hurts. I've been checking out tons of books via my Kindle instead. I kind of go through phases, where I'll tear through 3 or 4 new books inside of a week and then I can't concentrate enough to consume anything except rereading Jane Austin and Jurassic Park and Neal Stephenson for 10 days.

In other comforting habits, I also find myself eating garlic broth noodles at least once a week - it's my fuck-it food (as in fuck it, today has been stupid, I'm just going to eat a giant bowl of garlic broth noodles and follow it up with a cup of decaf with a scoop of chocolate cocoa mixed in and I will try again to be a person tomorrow). It's dead easy: mince/press/chop as many cloves of garlic as you prefer to eat in 1 or 2 meals (this is usually about 4 large cloves for me). Heat a glug of olive oil in a sauce pan and add the garlic. Once it starts to brown, add 4 cups stock (homemade is good, so is the chicken stock from Costco). When it boils, add 3-4 ounces of your preferred pasta - I like the thick Italian pasta from Costco because it holds its shape). When the pasta is done, serve it up and add a big handful of grated parmesan to your bowl. (I usually get one dinner and one smaller lunch out of this.) If this is insufficient carbs for the type of day you have had, I have been known to include a giant hunk of toasted sourdough on the side to dip in the broth.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:41 PM on July 3, 2020 [11 favorites]

Interesting question, Fizz. My media consumption is predominantly in the form of reading books and the pandemic hasn’t changed that, although I have a much lower tolerance these days for actually spending time reading because I’m often overwhelmed. I just finished reading Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On, which was fun. That book was preceded by Dr. Michael Greger’s How Not to Die, a 900-page (!) book that was basically about the health benefits of a vegan diet, from which I’ve already begun formulating a few AskMe questions and which took me a very, very long time to read. Virtually no TV or movies; I don’t have the attention span or patience for either, which I guess may seem weird given the apparent patience required for my reading habit, but so it goes. We have a Disney+ subscription and I may be roped into watching Hamilton. I recall liking the Chernow biography, might as well try the Miranda musical, about which I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I know virtually nothing. Lots of news reading, but never news watching. I play occasional games of Battle of Polytopia on my phone but can’t muster the energy for any game more complicated. Occasional crossword puzzles and logic puzzles, too, both of which I find soothing. I also listen to old favorite songs on Spotify.
posted by cheapskatebay at 6:41 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

cheapskatebay, the sequel to Carry On just came out earlier this year and I thought it was also excellent!
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:43 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

We've been watching a lot of non-narrative, non-drama TV. Great British Sewing Bee, Great Pottery Throwdown, Great Australian Bake-Off, parceling out the latest season of Nailed It to savor the Nicole Byer fix. I kind of want to get back to a narrative drama of some sort at this point but also don't want to be cheering for cops or watching trauma and man that winnows shit down a lot.

Video games, I've been playing Starcom: Nexus the last few days on the recommendation of a MeFite and it's lovely! Top down 2D space shooter/trader/explorer in the general vein of Escape Velocity or Starcom 2, hex-based free-form ship design, very pretty little thing. Also dipped into Resident Evil 7 finally and man they did a good job making it creepy and interesting after the disaster that was RE6.

I will at some point ever read a book again. My current recreational reading is the 1993 Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant report which man I don't know how far into that I'm actually gonna get.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:45 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

Generally I've been sticking to comedy TV, and mostly re-watching because I just am not great at focusing right now. I did just discover What We Do in the Shadows and promptly binge watched followed shortly by a re-watch so my husband could see it all (literally every time he walked by when it was on he'd laugh).

When I can focus I've been re-reading Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series. Or I'll play Animal Crossing while listening to the podcasts that I've fallen behind on since I don't have a commute anymore.

My cousin is coming over tomorrow, so I'm holding off on watching Hamilton. We both saw it in Chicago (separately) so we're excited to see it together with the original case, even if it's on TV.

So while I'm waiting for tomorrow I've departed from the comedy world and started rewatching Hannibal. And now the word Hannibal keeps getting subbed into the Hamilton soundtrack stuck in my head and I am just confused.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:48 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have mostly been watching “comfort” movies and shows (X-Files, Mad Men, MCU, classic noir or sci-fi), or going with the very small handful of new shows (BCS, The Great, Westworld, Dark). A few shows such as Run or Tales from the Loop or Spaceforce were letdowns.

Every time I finish a season I think welp that’s one more “before time” production, how many are left? I probably spend too much brain space on when we get new seasons of anything. (Succession, Glow, we need you!)

I can’t deal with anything too grim or dystopian, but my taste for that has been diminishing over the past few years. See also, Handmaid’s Tale or Plot Against America. I’ve scarcely been able to read anything longer than a New Yorker article.

Of course Hamilton is all queued and ready to watch!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:53 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I never watch TV in non-COVID life but have used this time to finally see The Wire, as a friend had been urging me to do for years. Two episodes to go! (Lately I have had only intermittent success concentrating on books, my usual go-to, but being stuck at home has done wonders for my ability to sit down and watch a TV show or movie. I guess that's something.)
posted by ferret branca at 7:06 PM on July 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Great conversation-starter (as ever), Fizz. Lockdown for me has been all about the TV, I've tried to be good and read as well, but it's been hard to focus. But I did read Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, both highly recommended.

I spent a large part of the beginning of lockdown watching Star Wars and associated media (The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars) for the first time, which has been terrific. I really, really loved The Clone Wars - what a great show. I was so invested by the end of it.

I also rewatched the entirety of New Girl. Well, actually this was only partially a rewatch as when it first aired I stopped watching it about midway through its run - watching it now, to my surprise I actually found it got better in the later seasons because they leaned hard into the characters' eccentricity rather than making it all about whether people were going to get together. Having said that, annoyingly heteronormative, and repeatedly fatphobic, which was uncool. But a nice light watch, lots and lots of episodes, and Schmidt is great.

Lately, I have been watching Dark, which you would think would not be comfortable viewing given real life and what it's like right now, but the circularity of the show, the way pieces fit together, is actually very comforting. It just occurred to me to search for it on Fanfare, and I'm pleased to see a number of posts on it; I look forward to reading what others thought.

And of course, Hamilton is ready to go. I'm so excited to see the original cast perform. I have seen the West End show numerous times, and they're terrific, but I'm very attached to the cast album.
posted by unicorn chaser at 7:12 PM on July 3, 2020

I’m struggling with getting my brain to focus on reading new things - I’ve been able to reread things I’ve already read before, but that doesn’t help me get through the bags of books I brought home from the school library I run back when schools shut down in March!

In terms of watching things, fluffy or lighthearted things are not my jam right now. In the beginning of quarantine, I was watching a lot of disaster movies, but now that everyday feels sort of like the apocalypse, that’s not really working out much for me. My present goal is to get caught up on Supernatural, and since I don’t even know where I left off, I’m rewatching from the beginning - I’m on season 5 in the rewatch. I’m finding it’s hitting the right notes - not too serious but not too silly, not too scary but not too realistic either.
posted by firei at 7:13 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh and lots of movies on Netflix and Amazon, mostly either horror or darker fantasy or action. I did enjoy Knives Out, Midsommar, and the Jumanji Reboot (which is probably the lightest/happiest thing I’ve watched all quarantine), though I haven’t watched the sequel yet.
posted by firei at 7:17 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fanfiction is my comfort food. I know I should read more unrelated fiction but there's something so calming about immersing myself in an universe I already know like the back of my hand but with enough changes to keep it fresh that I just can't help but fall back to it, especially in these uncertain times.
posted by simmering octagon at 7:34 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

Definitely comfort watching for me, can't handle anything dark or heavy, not even now when my part of the world is practically back to normal. Mostly British things - bake off, Doc Martin, Death in Paradise. The family friendly, pure Lego joy of Lego masters got me (and a lot of Australia I reckon) through the worst of lockdown.
posted by pianissimo at 7:55 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

An awful lot of youtube. I've been watching a lot of reaction videos, primarily to tv/movies but also some music. During this time, I don't get to sit with someone and introduce them to something I love so this is scratching that itch for me.
posted by acidnova at 7:59 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’ve been watching this show a lot.

And this:
posted by chazlarson at 8:19 PM on July 3, 2020

I had forgotten about Death in Paradise! My apartment is a cave, and I like to watch that show when I miss the sun. Adding to my watch list....
posted by ghost phoneme at 8:37 PM on July 3, 2020

ghost phoneme - I also saw Hamilton in Chicago and watched it today on Disney+. It was a different yet complementary experience. I bet you’ll enjoy it!
posted by 41swans at 8:51 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Wilder Napalm.
Evil Alien Conquerors.
Dorohedoro (a series, not for kids).
The Cat Returns.
Whispers Of the Heart. (It's a cartoon and so long, and there's John Denver, and just watch it.)

I wish you all joy, and we've found it sincerely in whatever measure we can. We persevere. Together.

I learned how to play cribbage! My daughter taught me.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:55 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

My life now isn't dramatically different from my pre-pandemic life and neither is my media consumption. We just watched Hamilton this evening, which was great. I kept seeing people on MeFi recommending the Murderbot books so I tried them out. I'm on the third one right now. We also watched a TV show based on a recommendation from here - Battle Creek, which was pretty good, though my daughter was sorely disappointed that the two main characters did not fall in love with each other. The best books I've read so far this year were The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. I'm in the middle of about five books right now and probably the best one is Hild by Nicola Griffith.
posted by Redstart at 9:56 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Hmmmm . . . between reduced hours and no commute, I’ve got time to practice piano regularly. Peter Grant audiobooks, repeating The Expanse novels and novellas, and listening to Bach. Working my way through Claire Clark’s cookbook, Indulge. Perfecting shokupan. I’ve just begun coding at home again; well actually finishing a long abandoned path tracer. I didn’t think I’d code for fun again. And enjoying jumping rope in the yard. Mila the cat, along with my partner, find it baffling.
posted by lemon_icing at 10:29 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I mean, the number of movies/TV we've watched is staggering... all of Star Wars, all of Avengers minus the Captain America's, all of Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Ocean's 11-13, The Office, Space Force, Community, just finished Parks and Rec, now moving apace through Star Trek TNG, lots of other one-off movies. Most of this is a second, third, fourth rewatch. We've also been watching Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix and 48 Hours or Dateline. My boyfriend likes to watch these last ones while playing video games and it provides nice background noise while I do endless document review and writing. This is definitely an increase in TV watching for us because we are both home all the time.

I read a lot of books in March and April (more than usual) but the pace has slowed. I did finally finish the Louise Penny Gamache books and Donna Tarte.

Best thing I've done to stay distracted is play The Sims Mobile. Super addicting and motivating with daily quests and goals for your Sims. Try it!
posted by Red Desk at 10:44 PM on July 3, 2020

I've been rereading James Herriot's memoirs recently. There's something very comforting about reading someone give the sixth description of shoving his arm up a cow's rectum in as many chapters, I don't know why.
posted by biogeo at 11:04 PM on July 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

I watch a lot of Bob Ross. His painting and voice are very soothing. Now that Tubi has seasons 2-8 or something like that, you can see almost every mountain, every stream, every tree he has ever painted.

I also watch a lot of Perry Mason. For some reason, and I cannot put my finger on why, I am fascinated with the show.

Now that baseball is attempting to start the season, I will watch all 60 Yankees games!
posted by AugustWest at 11:49 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I watched all 8 seasons of House at the start of lockdown, I had seen the odd episode but not all of them, not perfect but a good distraction.

I watched Hamilton yesterday and loved it! I’m not a fan of musicals (nor normally movies that are 2h40 minutes long) but it was as good as everyone had said! If it ever makes it to Paris I will definitely go and see it live.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:01 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Read too much escapist fantasy and SF and needed a change - so now reading Energy Economics and Auckland Unplugged.

Not been in the mood for watching anything challenging - I'm re-watching old British comedy shows (Black Books being the most recent), and watching Hermitcraft on YouTube (mostly Scar and Impulse). Playing a lot of Minecraft as a result.

Running more than what's average for me.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 12:55 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Critical Role returned this past Thursday. My God, what a balm for my soul that Twitch stream was. 70k+ Critters came together just for the first broadcast alone. I swear I could feel the joy and relief radiating around the world. Mass verklempt-ness.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 12:58 AM on July 4, 2020

We have a List, of things either I or Mr. Nat has not seen, that we think the other should see.

So, we’ve watched:
Harry Potter 4/5/6
Crimson Tide
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Angel season 5
That episode of TNG with Worf and the quantum stuff
LA Story
Get Out

And then there’s some Jeopardy, Great British Bake-off, and a very large number of YouTube’s. I like the MefiLabs recent YouTube links for this; it has somehow led the YouTube algorithm to decide that I speak Spanish and Mandarin, neither of which is true. There’s always numberphile and the Hydraulic Press channel, as well as Andy Phillip and his lathe. Mr Nat watches the Vlog Brothers as much as I read metafilter, so those too. Clips or the occasional full episode of QI, as well as various other UK quiz shows, made me get interested in the 4 part standup special Repertoire by James Acaster.

Tonight we watched Booksmart which was fun. We are working our way through Cowboy Bebop (nostalgia trip for me, I watched it with friends late at night freshman year of college two decades ago); I mostly like it but a few parts have Not Aged Well and I wonder how the upcoming live action will deal.

We also have a few things that require different subscriptions so we aren’t watching; Late Night (with Mindy Kaling), Hamilton, The Mandalorian.... if our state and country stay stupid long enough, we might build a list of what’s on each service and do some month-long signups.

Mr. Nat has also been gently nudging me to watch Watchmen. But I’m not sure, it seems pretty high tension, and I don’t do well with gore (Get Out was fantastic, but I had to cover my eyes for a few scenes). I am also totally unfamiliar with the comic source, so ... ? Should we watch it?

Reading wise I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Murderbot, but haven’t read the novel yet since part of what I enjoy is the length (my reading attention span is shot). This week I finally got a copy of the new translation of The Posthumous Memoirs of Blas Cubas, so I’m looking forward to diving in.

If puzzles count, then we’ve also been doing a bunch of those, too. Logic puzzles are a salve.
posted by nat at 2:27 AM on July 4, 2020

I'd like to thank you Fizz, because your enthusiasm for games got me to purchase the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. Since then I've been playing various games, which have got me through a very difficult month which seems it will get even worse in July. So far, I've loved:

* A Normal Lost Cell Phone
* Wide Ocean Big Jacket
* A Mortician's Tale
* Democratic Socialism Simulator
* One Night Stand
posted by daybeforetheday at 2:44 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I struggle with television at the best of times and all I have been able to watch recently is The Great British Sewing Bee (and I'm very grateful for the links to earlier seasons over in Ask) and David Olusoga's A House Through Time. Normally listen to a lot of wireless and podcasts but my consumption of that is down too. The Archers has gone all weird with socially distanced monologues from the actors' homes.

I was given a kindle near the start of lockdown and that has changed what and how I read at the moment. Doing a lot of re-reading - the Abbey Girls series, some of which are available on Gutenberg, Mercedes Lackey, Bujold's Chalion books. Also found a very undemanding 1920s-set mystery series which is 99p for three books on Amazon (how can that work?) - the Daisy Gumm Majesty series. Also some books on mythology and religion. Currently re-reading Frances Hodgson Burnett's T Tembarom, which is one of my comfort reads.
posted by paduasoy at 3:25 AM on July 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

I do not want to come off as self-promotional here, but this thread is very much relevant to my current life situation!

You know the Talking Heads song Found a Job? I am not trying to live my entire life based on the gospel of D. Byrne, but it seems to be working out that way...

"Damn that television, what a bad picture!"
"Don't get upset, it's not a major disaster"
"There's nothing on tonight," he said, "I don't know what's the matter!"
"Nothing's ever on," she said, "so I don't know why you bother"
We've heard this little scene, we've heard it many times
People fighting over little things and wasting precious time
They might be better off, I think, the way it seems to me
Making up their own shows, which might be better than TV

So yeah, after a bunch of quarantine with full time Internet surfing and very little else, I had a bit of an epiphany and asked myself "Why didn't you ever do the video blogging stuff you always wanted to?" So I did.

Don't get me wrong, I still jerk around on the Internet most of the time, but I am also now a full time dedicated content provider. Every week, shipping by the truckload! Don't forget to like and subscribe! Share your opinions in the comments section!

Oh and another thing: I watched 3 episodes of "Naked and Afraid" and then in self-disgust deleted it all. I don't care how it ends. Making TV is more fun than watching TV.

So think about this little scene, apply it to your life
If your work isn't what you love, then something isn't right
Just think of Bob and Judy, they're happy as can be
Inventing situations, putting them on TV

posted by Meatbomb at 4:08 AM on July 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

At first I was reading a ton, both Kindle stuff and old paperbacks. Then I decided to finally watch The was brilliant, thought-provoking, everything it was chalked-up to be, and more, but also deeply depressing, watching someone slowly kill their own soul (and, you know, a bunch of people) for hours on end. So I can’t say that was a great idea of mine. (Now I’m going about in pity for myself...)

Overall, even watching happier shows seems to more negatively affect my mood than spending time reading regardless of how sad the book is, not sure why.

I do keep thinking I should be more organized about how I’m spending this weird time, when else will I have the chance to watch or read certain things, etc, but instead I’m reading Circle of Friends for the tenth time or putting Curb Your Enthusiasm on while I play on my phone. Oh well!

Thank you Fizz, I always appreciate these posts.
posted by sallybrown at 5:23 AM on July 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

sallybrown—I also watched The Sopranos! I started in March and just finished a couple of weeks ago. I knew the basic story, I knew about the last scene, but that was it.
I really enjoyed it, if it’s possible to enjoy watching people doing extremely horrible things. Great writing and great acting.
I just checked out a book from the library called The Soprano Sessions because I’m not quite ready to be done yet.
posted by bookmammal at 6:15 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

bookmammal, if you like podcasts, check out the new one that Michael Imperioli (Christopher) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby B) started called Talking Sopranos. They just recently had an interview with Edie Falco that was especially good.
posted by sallybrown at 6:42 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ooohhh...I think I may have new plans for today! Thanks!(Christopher was one of my favorite characters. And Adriana....)
posted by bookmammal at 6:49 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I tried to dedicate myself to reading some books from my "read someday when I have the time" stack, but couldn't focus. So I went back to my favorite comfort reads: Victoria Holt Gothic Romance novels from the '60's. If the front cover features a long-haired woman in a long nightgown running from a castle over under the spooky light of a full moon, awesome. Moors or craggy cliffsides, excellent. I'm not big on her books set in Australia (no castles!) but the rest are delightful.

The day I realized that Victoria Holt was a pen name and the author, Eleanor Hibbert, wrote under many names, was the best day of my reading life. I've branched out into Jean Plaidy historical fiction since I've just about exhausted Holt's books. I read her Catherine de Medici trilogy and I'm sure any historian would declare it absolute crap, but it is delightful, tawdry, addictive crap and I love it.
posted by Gray Duck at 7:30 AM on July 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

We've traveled into the New Mexican hinterlands looking for a home, and we found it at six thousand feet, in a little pocket of sanity just below the pines. We'll be getting our stuff down here in a few weeks. I'm finallly getting around to reading "Hamilton." Our fiddlers group in Idaho has closed shop for the season, so I'm going over the active playlist in solo sessions--yeah and also the inactive playlist, and then some Todd Snider, John Prine and Steve Earl. You get the idea. Hell, last night I somehow even remembered "A Rose and a Baby Ruth," from my junior high school days. All that at night, on the deck of our rental, looking out over a beautiful expanse of New Mexican desert: coyotes on the low hill across the grassy swale are a bit off key, or else my guitar is. No matter. The waxing moon is entrancing. Thin clouds make subtle moon rainbows, and I can still see Jupiter and Saturn following the moon across the sky. One day before it's full, and I could read a newspaper by its light, if I wanted to, but I don't.

Sunday we boogied drove a bit to our south, to the Gila River, a sweet strip in a desert landscape, where cool water meandered through its sandy bed. Debris from winter's high water had drifted into he perfect place for sitting and listening to a sample of the 150 species of birds that are said to inhabit the area. It was so quiet I heard my heart beating. Then we saw the goddam bear, and he was so cute until he sniffed in our direction (perhaps intrigued by the apple I was eating), so we did an exit to the trail back to my jeep with as much dignity as we could manage, laughing like teenagers instead of the fogeys that we are.

Sometimes its a joy to suddenly remember that life is sweet and good.
posted by mule98J at 7:38 AM on July 4, 2020 [7 favorites]

I've been re-reading the Wizard of Oz books, which I adored as a kid. I've been having almost daily migraines, which means a lot of time in prodrome and postdrome, so light and easy is about all I can handle right now. They hold up surprisingly well, and are often quite funny. There's also a lot less problematic shit than I would have expected--obviously there's still some, but I was honestly expecting a lot more. Also, Oz is a socialist utopia that's like half a step away from prison abolition. So that's been fun.
posted by brook horse at 7:45 AM on July 4, 2020

(Counting down time to the spam post from Crouse, above).

My family discovered Community-the one show I think we can happily watch together every day, and even the 10 and 14 year olds are happy. 14 year old wants to stay up late and watch Criminal Minds-she’s decided to become an “FBI Profiler” and was not particularly interested in my suggestion she think about how much of that show is beautiful women in agony. 10 year old is mainly into annoying YouTube videos of dirt biking or grown men unboxing things or playing video games. Husband loves grim, dramatic TV-Hunters, Watchmen, Ozarks. I can watch an episode or two then lose my stomach for it. I like things like GBBO, 80s trashy movies, but mainly reading all the time. And listening to Disney podcasts and pretending that we will travel again soon.
posted by purenitrous at 8:17 AM on July 4, 2020

The early part of the pandemic should have been a boon time of reading for me but I frankly have been less motivated during this time. Constant news of the pandemic took a lot of the wind out of my sails. Though I did watch more escapist movies then I usually do during that period (who knew Prime had so many Shaw Brothers films). But as our infection numbers locally are going down substantially, I've been more open to picking up stuff again from my book hills (they ceased being simply piles of books long before Covid19).

Usually I try to dovetail this reading with my other media consuming. I watch a lot of movies generally so I've found in recent years that keeping and building lists along with reading books on the theme I've chosen helps keep me interested and focused. Last year was the year of Charlie Chan and depictions of POC in movies of the 30s and 40s and this year, perhaps oddly, has been the year of the classic muscle men. I've gotten through the Tarzan movies from Weissmuller to Mike Henry, I couldn't find any of the Ron Ely Tarzan so I watched the Doc Savage that he did. I read a few of the many Tarzan novels and a history of the Tarzan character. I'm working my way also through the El Santo films which will take me to the end of the year and am reading a book on Lucha Libre which nicely incorporates my love of how media depicts culture.

Since my Tarzan run is mostly done (I have the two 80s films to watch... which I'm dragging my heels on) I've put together a list of about 20ish peplum / Sword & Sandal films to watch that I haven't seen. Currently I have no book lined up to go with those (suggestions welcome). This month I'm watching pre 90s Canadian films I haven't seen and pre 70s Non-Canadian films depicting Canadians and am reading Pierre Berton's Hollywood's Canada (which is pretty entertaining and snarky at times).
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:27 AM on July 4, 2020

A few things have changed: I had a very gracious person offer to cover my home internet costs for a few months while I’m unemployed; I broke down and bought a budget windows laptop so I wouldn’t have to try and apply for jobs using only my phone; and my bff added me to her Netflix account. I haven’t had this kind of setup in many, many years and I am pretty far behind with most popular tv shows. Sex Education was so good, you guys!
posted by janepanic at 8:40 AM on July 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

If all goes well enough, I will have a year's streak of Spanish in Duolingo next month. To keep my interest up, I've started doing French as well. I had attempted Chinese last year, but Chinese does not lend itself to the Duolingo method, and at least I know a little French already.

I bought so many games at once with the racial justice bundle that I have yet to begin to unwrap them. I need to get on that this weekend.

My reading has been compulsive but mostly unsatisfying, except for some genre books that I consumed quickly, like Grady Hendrix. Right now I'm rereading Antoinette Fraser's biography of Marie Antoinette, and it's a real pleasure to read something so unhurried and scholarly.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:54 AM on July 4, 2020

I continue to watch my regular mix of "make fun of the news" news shows (The Daily Show, Real Time, Full Frontal, Last Week Tonight), but I find myself being compulsively drawn into rewatching Mr. Robot and Legion. Both series which deal with unreliable narrators and non-linear timelines and which somehow feel more like literature for television than anything I've ever encountered before.

I haven't been much of a book reader in years, but recently MetaFilter got me to buy a book I'm looking forward to starting, The Posthumous Memoirs Of Brás Cubas.

I'm still listening to more NPR than is probably mentally healthy for me, but I've been doing that since I was, like, 10 years old, so it's a hard habit to break.
posted by hippybear at 10:04 AM on July 4, 2020

I'm reading more non-fiction, and generally reading more, which has been great. I tend to prefer darker, more intense stuff and that has not changed.

I'm also watching horror movies more often. for me, going to dark stuff is a sort of comfort.

I've been obsessively listening to Jay Som's Anak Ko. like every day, for weeks...its hitting a certain mood for me in the relative isolation. (also its good!)
posted by supermedusa at 10:49 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have been listening to audiobooks on anti-racism between listening to podcasts for an upcoming FPP. Other than that, I spend my time reading and writing COVID reopening plans. So it’s not exactly happy reading, but it keeps me busy.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:04 PM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I read Octavia Butler's Parables duology in like, February? I had been meaning to read it for a while, in part due to many recommendations here. well what timing! if you have been meaning to read these books but have not yet, maybe wait for another reality because the one in the books will hit WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too close to home. excellent books but a harrowing experience to read in the current circumstances.
posted by supermedusa at 12:17 PM on July 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Pre-pandemic I spent 1.5 hours daily sitting in traffic and was a steady consumer of audiobooks. Without the commute, I'm finding it difficult to finish anything. Stranger in the Woods, Unraveling Oliver, and The Library Book all needed to be returned before I could get through them. I made it through Trust Exercises but it was so disjointed that I really didn’t enjoy it (was it because I only listened to it in short bursts with days in between or because the author kept flashing backward and forward AND changing the names of characters?). The only audiobook I’ve been able to listen to and truly enjoy was Metafilter favorite: Murderbot (All Systems Red), but I can only access the one story through my library’s Overdrive collection. Other recommendations for novellas are welcomed!

I’ve had to cut back on my viewing of YouTube because so many of my subscriptions were just hyping me up – making me even more angry and anxious than I can bear right now. The facts and salient points about the pandemic, BLM, and our god-awful president as presented by Brian Tyler Cohen and others, just pound away inside my own head without release, making it hard to sleep. So about a month ago I started watching Shitt’s Creek; yes, I know, privileged white people struggling to survive their own crisis, but it's funny and somehow heart-warming. This week I watched Eurovision on Netflix based on FanFare recommendations, and while I don’t care for Will Ferrell, the movie made me laugh out loud more than once, and now all my YouTube viewing is related to learning more about Eurovision (I’d never heard of it before – typical American).
posted by kbar1 at 12:50 PM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

At the beginning of the whole mess, I was having trouble concentrating on anything, but I've recently found myself able to read books again. I'm reading The Warmth of Other Suns, which I've been meaning to get around to forever. If things stay stable with my mother, I'm going to be taking a long road trip next week, and I'm kind of excited about the prospect of listening to audiobooks. I need to find something that will be engrossing but not enraging, which is my long-drive audiobook sweet spot.

Otherwise, I've been watching lots of dumb YouTube videos where people, like, try different fitness trends and shit. That's pretty much my intellectual level at the moment.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:43 PM on July 4, 2020

I'm reading a lot of books about how terrible the Trump administration/conservatism is (Sarah Kendzior's Hiding in Plain Sight was pretty good, while Nancy MacLean's Democracy in Chains kinda dragged in places--seriously looking forward to Rick Perlstein's Reaganland), and about race and justice (most recently They Can't Kill Us All), which I was also doing pre-pandemic.

In March/April, I reread all of Donald Westlake/Richard Stark's Parker books, but I haven't read much fiction lately. I have Megan Abbott's first book, Die a Little, checked out from the library, but haven't started it.

During pandemic time, most of my tv-watching has been comfort-food re-watches of things like The Simpsons (I'm only as far as the third season, so I have some time to decide when to stop) and '80s/'90s comedy movies, which aren't always the way I remembered them.

Similarly with music, I've been enjoying revisiting old favorites, and diving deeper into genres where I only know the most towering figures.

I want to return to Slow Burn, and give You're Wrong About a try, but, much as with fiction, haven't been listening to podcasts much. I used to listen to them while hiking/walking outside, but these days I'd rather just hear the nature and the silence, y'know?
posted by box at 2:54 PM on July 4, 2020

TV and movie wise, Mr gudrun's tastes tend to run to darker dramas and more to horror than mine. I normally watch with him, but noped out of the latest season of Ozark and watched the Norwegian series on Netflix called Home For Christmas instead, and really liked it. I also binged the reboot of Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix as well. I've watched the latest seasons of Death in Paradise and Father Brown, watched Picard and liked it fairly well, and have been rewatching All Creatures Great and Small. We both watched the latest season of Rick and Morty and I'm looking forward to Season 2 of Amphibia. I caught Venom on tv and though I thought the beginning was kind of slow, I wound up enjoying it overall. We are both watching Dark, and just started Season 2 (been going to Fanfare threads among other places to help try to keep the characters/time stuff straight). Also watched an episode of Warrior Nun, which was just ok, to my mind.

Bookwise, I've mostly been doing fantasy comfort rereading, like Bride of the Rat God and The Blue Sword, since I've been having some trouble concentrating. For new stuff, I've binged my way through most of T. Kingfisher's books - so good!, and have been liking the Northern Creatures series. I've also read (in translation) The Siege of Troy by Greek-Swedish writer Theodor Kallifatides and am part way through Richard Wright's Black Boy, which I started in March, but it is tough to read emotionally so I'm going slowly.

I'm lucky enough to be able to go outside, so am taking a daily walk of at least an hour. I'm trying to find routes with the fewest people (tons of people out for exercise since Covid hit), so head away from my immediate apartment area towards the nearby more residential neighborhoods with yards and trees. I'm taking photos of nice flowering stuff if I can find it (and also literally smelling the lilacs and magnolias when able). Today I spotted chipmunks, a ton of rabbits, and some goldfinches, which is pretty decent for suburbia. Sometimes I listen to podcasts when I'm walking - stuff like The History of English or A Way With Words or Revolutions. Today, the wind was blowing, and very few people were out walking for a change, so I just listened to the sound of the wind in the trees. One of the things I miss the most is being completely alone in nature, and this was the closest I've gotten to that since the virus hit.
posted by gudrun at 8:19 PM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

signal, I’m so glad you mentioned Murderbot series. I’ve just torn thru diary #1, the novella All Systems Red, and am going to the next in the series. Cheerful, non-dystopian sci-fi is exactly what I needed today. I miss Fourth of July with my friends.
posted by lemon_icing at 8:30 PM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've been finding comfort in cheesy kid-friendly sitcoms on (Canadian) Netflix playing in the background as my media consumption has been dominated by a desire to only consume media where nothing bad happens to characters I like that can't be resolved in 22 minutes or less. So i've binged things like Fuller House, Alexa and Katie, One Day at a Time, Mr Iglesias and even going back to some old Nickelodeon shows like Victorious that I was "too old for" the first time around (Who knew Cat Valentine was a young Ariana Grande?)

I am also a huge fan of Youtube "explainers" like CGP Grey, Wendover Productions, Half As Interesting, Real Life Lore, etc as long as they're not explaining anything related to our current covid situation.

The situation has primarily changed my podcast habits however, and I simply dont want to listen to anything about these unprecedented times -- and that was basically every podcast in my feed. I'm normally a heavy, heavy podcast listener, and although not commuting has reduced my podcast-time drastically, I'm still finding myself looking for things to listen with my covid-filtered feed when before I had more content that I could consume.
posted by cgg at 8:32 PM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am rewatching, The Expanse. I read too many papers, and I subscribed to New Scientist, NY Times, Wapo, and will donate to the Guardian, tomorrow. I now think I want to re read Gravity's Rainbow, because I think I can find traces of Alan Turing in there, maybe a part of Slothrop. But anyway, I made a garden, so I am utterly enchanted with it. Best to you Mefites, what a weird time we live in, and I have some foreboding about it. Doing the complicated tile puzzles in the Times, shows me some of the holes in my bucket. If I ever have to escape, we can take the Buick through some of those attention deficits and we will be fine...
posted by Oyéah at 9:54 PM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I spent a good chunk of the early lockdown getting through THE GOOD PLACE with my roommate. We then moved onto THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA, and then the QI back catalog and the complete works of Anthony Bourdain.

I'm also working through a lot of old movies for my blog, although my watch rate has gone down - but that's more a function of my not wanting to watch a new one until I've written a blog post about the one I'd previously seen, and I'm getting slow about writing those.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:09 AM on July 5, 2020

Watching: We're near the end of season 4 in a rewatch of The Sopranos.
Reading: I'm reading Ted Chiang's Exhalations.
Eating: Single-origin-chocolate S'mores for dessert last night, from Dandelion in San Francisco because chocolate that's why.
posted by emelenjr at 7:00 AM on July 5, 2020

I am watching the new Babysitters Club series on Netflix - recommend if you binged these as a child or if you have a middle grade reader at home.

Also getting around to Taste the Nation on Hulu, which is excellent 4th of July weekend viewing.

Most of my media consumption lately has been audiobooks, since we just bought a house (!!!) and there has been so much cleaning and yardwork and cleaning. Best recent listens have been The City We Became by N.K. Jemison and Long Bright River by Liz Moore.

Also, the Eurovision movie on Netflix is overly long (seriously, why are all movies a full 2 hours now - 90 minutes is the sweet spot) but super fun.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:37 AM on July 5, 2020

We've been watching DS9 and Voyager in airdate order, now on early season five of Voyager and early season seven of DS9. It took the first six years of our relationship to finish all of TNG as I have a fairly low appetite for TV in normal times, so the idea that we're going to have seen fourteen seasons of Trek all in one year is blowing my mind even though I was right there on the sofa the whole time it was happening.
posted by terretu at 7:43 AM on July 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have a fantasy baseball draft next Monday!

So I have to re-check all my rankings, see who’s still playing since early March, re-calculate for 9 players instead of 10, etc.

(The MetaFilter league needs more players for it to work! We only have 6 right now. Draft hasn’t been scheduled yet. If any of you have ever wanted to try it out, this is the year to do it. There’s an invitation link in my profile, or you can MeMail me. I’m also willing to do a Skype or Zoom call so you can see the interface/what you do on a daily basis, we can join a mock draft on Yahoo, etc.)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:13 AM on July 5, 2020

In terms of comfort viewing we are watching all the MCU movies in chronological order and I'm really enjoying them. Just watched Thor: The Dark World last night. Other than that it's been a mixture of old Hetty Wainthropp Investigates episodes interspersed with Good Luck Charlie re-runs.

I was halfway through the new William Gibson when lockdown started and I just kind of lost interest. Have started Gun With Occasional Music and think it looks very promising but just don't seem to have much reading in me at present

Musically all I seem to be able to listen to at present is Jungle and Drum and Bass...
posted by Chairboy at 8:18 AM on July 5, 2020

I just subscribed to this watercolor box subscription. I feel stupid about it, which itself is stupid, right? But her little paintings are all so charming and exactly to my taste and I feel desperate to get into a creative activity but lost as to what that might be. Every time FB fed me the ad for this I felt such a yearning. So I bit. The first box should come tomorrow.

I'm having a rough time lately, but no rougher than anyone else I suppose. It's hard.
posted by HotToddy at 10:56 AM on July 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've read The Goblin Emperor three times since March.

I've read other stuff too, but I expect when I think back to quarantine it's just going to be "that time when I read other stuff while wishing it was The Goblin Emperor and occasionally just said 'fuck it' and read The Goblin Emperor again."
posted by potrzebie at 12:29 PM on July 5, 2020

For some reason, I've started gravitating towards true crime tv series, documentaries and podcasts. I think I got burned out on all my science podcasts since so many were related to COVID.
posted by kathrynm at 12:37 PM on July 5, 2020

Lots of crosswords and acrostics, lots of fanfiction (specifically Good Omens).

I did use some time to "catch up" on series I always meant to watch--Penny Dreadful (the original and the semi-adjacent-okay-but-not-nearly-enough-OG-flavor City of Angels), I Am Not Okay With This, the newest season of Queer Eye, and a whole lot of streaming theater--pretty much everything NT Live put out, as well as some productions from The Globe and the RSC.

And of course, Hamilton. Those of you who are yet to watch it (and those of you who already have!) should drop by and help build the conversation over in FanFare.

(I have watched 1776 every July 4th since I can remember, but I replaced it with Hamilton this year. Not just because HAMILTON OMG HAMILTON, but I think because 1776 is pretty much the only thing left that makes me feel quasi-patriotic, and man, I don't know that I'll ever want to feel that way again. Certainly not this year.)
posted by tzikeh at 1:11 PM on July 5, 2020

Intergalactic Fishing
posted by PugAchev at 1:36 PM on July 5, 2020

lemon_icing: "signal, I’m so glad you mentioned Murderbot series. I’ve just torn thru diary #1, the novella All Systems Red, and am going to the next in the series."
posted by signal at 1:45 PM on July 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think I've posted most of the stuff I've learned about recently here and the rest (including bits of these) will be in the music swap.

But, my most recent discovery is Judy Henske. (Who is new only to me.)

And I've been listening to Zbignew Priesner on repeat a lot lately.
posted by eotvos at 2:02 PM on July 5, 2020

I wish I had time to watch more online theatre. I just can't make myself set time aside for it. There's so much great stuff out there that I do very much want to see-- productions I missed seeing live, and regretted missing, and there they were online for free, and... I missed them again.

But on the plus side, I've been participating in a lot more stuff online! You can catch me doubling a bunch of small roles in The Show Must Go Online's Richard II here, and contributing some backing vocals to this. I've also become a regular on the Beyond Shakespeare podcast (who have open sign-ups, if online readings of non-Shakespearean early modern plays are your thing.)

This week was a three self-tape week, all for online Shakespeare-- some paid, some not, but we forge ahead in whatever way we can. I learnt three Shakespeare speeches in a week and filmed them and... didn't hate the results. Which is new.

I used to be so frightened of cameras, and genuinely loathe seeing and hearing myself. But something changed around the time I did TSMGO. I realised I'd already looked as stupid as it's possible to look on camera, in public on the internet for all the world to see. So I lost my fear of screwing up, and things have been going better, which feels strange as hell but I'll take it.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:50 PM on July 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Favorite Books Since Lockdown Began:

Deacon King Kong--James McBride
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead--Olga Tokarczuk
The Mirror and the Light--Hilary Mantel
Autobiography of Red--Anne Carson

Favorite TV Since Lockdown Began:

Mrs America
Normal People
What We Do In the Shadows
I May Destroy You

I like writing plague diaries and reading others. I've pulled out all of my Bubonic Plague materials (14th and 17th century versions), which I've found weirdly comforting.

Oh, and I'm rereading all the James Baldwin novels. They're every bit as good as I remember.
posted by thivaia at 8:20 PM on July 5, 2020

I gobbled up as much of the live Shakespeare as I could during the depths of WFH days, and was able to donate to the theaters as well. since i've been back to work full time i've been watching things that come in smaller doses : Elementary, Beforeigners, Tales from the Loop and Gravity Falls when my son is in the mood.

I read the Mirror and the Light in April and it was glorious. Dune in May, to get ready for the new movie, and now I'm reading Prairie Fires: the American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder which is a brilliant take on the myths of the american pioneer spirit, and very relevant to current events.

I'm thinking about gathering any interested parties for a Gravity's Rainbow re-read, since there's a current FPP about it and Oyeah mentioned it in this thread as well.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:10 AM on July 6, 2020

Yesterday I sat down and read Margaret Killjoy's The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, which the always fantastic genjiandproust had sent me a few months back. It's absolutely wonderful, and highly recommended for any other aging punks or anarcho-collectivist types, or just anyone who wants a lovely little fantasy/horror novel.

I'm also watching and loving Doom Patrol as I wait (not very patiently) for the second season of Umbrella Academy. The episode that dropped this week was truly delightful and had a bunch of stuff from the comics that I never thought I'd see on tv.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:29 PM on July 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

All through out my husband's hospital stays, I have been watching Heartland on Netflix. Just sort of feel good stuff, and lots of seasons to see me through.

He was just admitted to a hospice home today. I don't feel like watching TV right now. I might go back to it tomorrow.

We felt so lucky, he was working from home, and we watched a lot of stuff on Acorn, etc. Sea Patrol was a favorite. "Away sea boats!" as well as 800 words. He also likes George Gently and I like Vera and any number of Brit TV shows, I can't even name them all, but I've watched them.

He's just gotten so weak and declined and now they say he's dying. He doesn't even want to watch TV now. He got admitted to a hospice home today, I don't know how much time he has left, days, weeks, not sure. Some weird liver malformation that the doctors never saw before but it's led to his decline and mimicked cirrhosis so by the time they tried to figure that out he was too far gone. But those are the shows we used to like to watch.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:46 PM on July 6, 2020 [5 favorites]

I spent a big part of the last couple of days reading Connie Willis' Blackout and All Clear. My goodness that was an involved plot. And the cliffhangers almost drove me crazy!

She didn't dedicate it to Pynchon, naturally enough, but there were so many similarities to Gravity's Rainbow that it would have been almost superfluous if she had. But then I thought something like that about Dhalgren too, and that was published only a year after GR, which would have required some pretty fast writing on Delany's part.
posted by jamjam at 11:23 PM on July 6, 2020

Marie Mon Dieu, I'm so sorry.
posted by paduasoy at 2:00 AM on July 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Have watched the Netflix Eurovision movie twice this week, it's very funny, IMO. Warning: Contains major earworms.

Marie Mon Dieu I am sorry. *spare hugs* to anyone who needs them.
posted by Coaticass at 2:06 AM on July 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sending love to you Marie Mon Dieu.
posted by wellred at 5:50 AM on July 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Over a period of a couple of weeks we watched the first four seasons of "Better Call Saul", which just amazed me: the acting, the cinematography, and the virtuosic storytelling are all first-rate.

I recently read Carlos Luis Zafón's 4-novel series "The Cemetery of Forgotten Books". If you aren't up for the whole series, the last volume, "The Labyrinth of the Spirits" is a great stand-alone story, with influences ranging from Dickens to Borges to Raymond Chandler.
posted by Agave at 9:12 PM on July 16, 2020

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