What We’re Watching Wednesday | Crude but funny

Each Wednesday I share what my wife Kim and I are watching in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, it’s TV shows that are crude but funny.

Mainly, there are two shows we have been watching, both on Hulu: Drunk History, which started from sketches on Funny or Die, and Letterkenny. a Canadian show. Both are as crude “af” but also as funny “af” too. If  you don’t mind the occasional sight of vomit and fart jokes, these shows are for you (but really there are some funny lines in between, especially with Letterkenny, with dialogue so fast we had to put the closed captions on just to keep up).

Here’s from the opening of the first episode of Letterkenny (and yes, this is NSFW and does contain vulgar language):

And this clip from Drunk History is one of the less crude ones, but still funny:

So do you ever like your humor a little, or even a lot, on the raunchy side? If so, to what shows or movies do you turn to?

Back-to-back Summer Readathons still on the radar

Sunday Salon July 8, 2018Like I mentioned last week, I’ve signed up for back-to-back summer readathons for the last two weekends this month. The first is the 24 in 48 Readathon from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, until 11:59 a.m. Sunday, July 22 (reading for 24 out of any of the 48 hours); the second, a reverse Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, from 8 p.m. Friday night, July 27, until Saturday night, July 28, at 8 p.m.

I added one more book to the potential list for both readathons that I announced last week: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue after seeing Tanya  of the blog mention it as her best book she’s read so far this year in her and her co-blogger Kim’s post The 2018 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag [2018 Girlxoxo Edition]. The rest of the list (again) is as follows:

  1. We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  3. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
  4. Bluebird, Bluebird: A Novel by Attica Locke
  5. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  8. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli.

In their post, Tanya also gave a shout-out to Children of Blood and Bone and I believe she is one of the bloggers I saw mentioning it that made me want to check it out.

As for what I’m reading before the two readathons or in between them, today I’m going to work on a recommendation from a patron at our library: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. I’ve had mixed success with her books. I think I liked Pigs in Heaven but I absolutely hated The Poisonwood Bible (sorry for all of you that loved it, but I just couldn’t get into it — at all). The patron mentioned he didn’t like that one either, but did like her first novel, so I thought maybe I won’t hate it and might actually like it. We’ll see. I also have the next Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book, The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny. Even though in the first two, we didn’t meet Gamache until a good 30 or 40 pages into the book, and I’m not usually a fan of multiple points of view, I really enjoy Penny’s writing.

Are you planning on participating in either or both readathons? Have you read either Louise Penny or Barbara Kingsolver? What do you think of their work, if you have? If no to the aforementioned questions, what are you reading this week?

Back-to-back Summer Readathons FTW

Sunday Salon July 8, 2018 I’ve signed up for back-to-back summer readathons for the last two weekends this month. The first is the 24 in 48 Readathon from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, until 11:59 a.m. Sunday, July 22 (reading for 24 out of any of the 48 hours, Eastern Standard Time); the second, a reverse Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, from 8 p.m. Friday night, July 27, until Saturday night, July 28, at 8 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).

In the past, both readathons have encouraged reading diversely, but the 24 in 48 Readathon organizers this year are putting a special emphasis on it (see their post here). To that end, for the two readathons, I plan on focusing on diverse authors, not only authors of colors (although I will admit my list is lopsided toward them) as the organizers mention, but also also authors and books that represent “LGBTQIA+, disabilities, neurodiversity, geographic diversity, and more.”

I already have a few books selected for the readathon, but will add more to the potential reading list. Here is the list so far:

  1. We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  3. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
  4. Bluebird, Bluebird: A Novel by Attica Locke
  5. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  8. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli.

I own the first six and have been meaning to get to all of them for a while and I borrowed Children of Blood and Bone from our library after seeing a lot of book bloggers mentioning it. I am hoping to borrow the last one from our library too. I think we just got it, but it hasn’t been processed yet. Once it is, I’ll scoop it up.

Are you planning on participating in either or both readathons? Even if not, do you have any recommendations of diverse authors or books that I might want to add to my potential reading list for the upcoming readathons?

 

 

 

Spies, Intrigue, and Felicity: A Show I Never Expected to Like

Each Wednesday either my wife or I share what we are watching (either together or separately) in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, in the spirit of the holiday we’re celebrating here in America, she gives her (spoiler-free) review of the show The Americans, which recently just ended after six seasons.

It happens to me with books. I pick something up quite by accident and casually begin reading, and end up clutching the book in a fevered dream every chance I get until it is over, when I am left with that curious emptiness once the story is fully told.

The Americans was just such a TV series for me. Recommended by a friend (Michelle of the blog That’s What She Read) quickly abandoned by my husband as “too complicated to invest in,” I continued on alone, watching most episodes during downtime in the wee hours of the morning at work. I argued with it, rolled my eyes a few times, and then the questions began mounting that I decided I needed answers to. In short, I was hooked.

The show, in case you haven’t heard of it, concerns Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, a couple with two children living in Falls Church, Virginia, proprietors of a travel agency. Their house is nice (though I earnestly prayed that as the seasons wore on they would get rid of that awful wallpaper in the kitchen), their kids are occasionally annoying, and oh…they are Russian spies.

I credit Keri Russell for pulling me in. She portrays Elizabeth with such unapologetic brutality that you watch her to see whose ass she is going to kick next. And at the same time you realize she is the Alpha in this situation, like Tony Soprano or Vic Mackey in The Shield, you root for her, only occasionally swatting away the pesky reminders that these characters are supposed to be enemies. Is it close to reality? According to my own research, spying is a lot more boring than one might conclude, watching this show, and frequently less successful. This fascinating article details the experiences and exploits of a real spy during the same time period.

Elizabeth’s husband Philip, played by Matthew Rhys, is the conscience of the pair…and his struggles with some of the things he has to do raise the most interesting questions. Could a couple who lives seamlessly embedded in American culture and raise children here remain true to their mission without wavering for all that time? Elizabeth acknowledges at one point that things are “easier here, not better” but it is difficult to believe, given the backstory they have for her, that it isn’t both.  The show may not be strictly historically accurate, but as a play of drama, loyalty and moral dilemmas, it is excellent.

Pushing Forward Back June/July 2018

Pushing Forward Back June_July 2018
At top is a photo from my sister of my mom holding a photo of me when I was a baby. At bottom left, I took my dad out for ice cream for Father’s Day. We were joined by my nephew Jonathan. At bottom right, Kim and I got a bathroom selfie before the wedding of her sister Tracey last Saturday. Photobombing us is her sister Debbie.

Back at June

June was a pretty good month on the personal front, especially for three weekends in a row. First, on Saturday, June 9, I celebrated my 49th birthday. Then on Sunday, June 17, I went and visited my dad (and mom), who lives about 60 miles away, for Father’s Day. I also was grateful to be able to see my sister, brother-in-law, 11-year-old nephew, 3-year-old niece, and their new almost 6-month-oldest cockapoo/Shetland sheepdog puppy. Finally on Saturday, June 23, Kim and I (along with family and friends) celebrated with her sister Tracey as she got married near Cleveland, Ohio.

Blogging-wise, it wasn’t a good month, but then again, I was busy with other things. Highlights on the blog this past month were 25 Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 50 and My Library Checkout June 2018. If you look at the list and wonder how I’m doing so far on doing some of those things, not great, but hey, I still have time to turn that around. We also got Hulu again and are enjoying watching especially older shows like ER, CSI, and My Name is Earl.

Musically, the two big albums this month were Kanye West’s ye and Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Everything is Love — at least for everyone else. Spinning again and again, though, on my virtual turntable was Father John Misty’s God’s Favorite Customer. I just couldn’t, and can’t, get enough of this album:

Forward to July

This month starts off on a high, with three days off for both of us. Kim has her normal three days off: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I took vacation days for Tuesday and Thursday, having Wednesday already off as a holiday for The Fourth of July. After traveling last weekend, we have no plans of going anywhere, but it will be nice to have the time off together. I have a feeling we’ll be getting together with our neighbors for a cookout on the Fourth too, but we’ll see. If not, I’m sure we’ll still have burgers and hot dogs on the grill.

Other than that, I only can think of one other thing that I have planned: the 24in48 Readathon on Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22, for which I’ve signed up. For more information or to sign up, click on the link.

At the end of the month, I’m looking forward to this movie:

So how was your month of June? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you looking forward to in July? Share in the comments.

My Library Checkout June 2018

Have you been using your library over the past month? What did you read? What didn’t you read? What are you waiting on? These are the questions of a meme called Library Checkout, led by Rebecca Foster of the blog Bookish Beck.

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  • Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason
  • American by Day by Derek B. Miller

The best of the pair was American by Day, a sequel of sorts to Miller’s Norwegian by Night. I say, of sorts, because I don’t think it’s necessary to read the first one to understand this one. But I would recommend reading the first one anyway, if you haven’t, because it’s just that good. This second one might be one of my favorites of the year. Of course, I’ve only read 15 books this year, so not too hard to say that.

Returned Unread

  1. Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia by Steven Soll
  2. Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott
  3. Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers: A retirement and aging roadmap for single adults and childless adults by Sarah Geber
  4. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
  5. Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda

I actually did start Ramp Hollow and Wonder Valley, with the former not catching my interest and the latter catching my interest but not holding my interest at this time. I’ll have to try it another time. It looks like a good one, but one that requires more attention than I had this past week.

For next month, I’ve decided to start with a clean slate. I emptied out my holds shelves and don’t have anything on them yet. I’ll have to see here in the next few days or next week what catches my eye. Once I do, I’ll let you know.

What did you check out from the library this past month, put on hold, return unread, did not finish? Or if you don’t use the library, what was the best book you read from this past month? Share in the comments.

Going to the chapel…

…and we’re gonna watch two people get married.

Kim and I are leaving tomorrow for a wedding on Saturday of a relative of hers, and by extension of mine. The wedding is in Ohio, just west of Cleveland, late Saturday afternoon – and actually is taking place in a chapel with the reception in an old school building on the same site.

As a result, we won’t be back until late Sunday and my normal blogging schedule is being put on hold until Monday when I will do my monthly Library Checkout post.

In the meantime, though, you can follow our adventures on Instagram with the hashtag #bryanandkimgetthehelloutofdodge, our new hashtag when we leave town. There will be no tags or photos of the bride and groom.

See y’all back here on Monday.

When everything on hold comes in at once

Okay, not everything came in, but virtually everything I had on hold came in at once this week, to wit, two books I had had on hold for several months on ebook at The Free Library of Philadelphia:

  1. Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda
  2. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

AND…another one that had just come in earlier in the week, on ebook from my home library: American by Day by Derek B. Miller.

Then at the end of the week, just to make things even more interesting, I checked out a physical book, The Lonely Witness by William Boyle, that a patron had said was pretty good.

So come Friday night, I was faced with choosing one of the four for my weekend read, which really would be Friday night and Saturday since I was/am going to visit my father for Father’s Day. Since I already had started American by Day Thursday night and was enjoying it even in the early going, I decided to stick with it, read a little Friday night, finished half of the book by noon on Saturday and then the other half later in the afternoon.

I don’t know if I realized that Miller had another book coming out until a blogger (I can’t remember who) recently mentioned this one. I previously had read Norwegian by Night, which was published in 2012, and which was one of my favorite books from that year, and American by Day is a sequel of sorts. Why I say of sorts is that this one features Sigrid Ødegård, a Norwegian cop, who from what I remember wasn’t a major character in the first one.

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The story picks up from where the previous story left off, but I don’t think it’s necessary to read Norwegian by Night to understand this second one. Here, Sigrid is sent to America by her father to find his son/her brother Marcus. Of course, it isn’t that simple as Marcus is suspected of the murder of his girlfriend. As serious as the story sounds, and at times is, Miller also injects a fair amount of humor into the novel, especially with the interplay between Sigrid and Irving Wylie, the county sheriff who is looking for Marcus. The story also is absurd at times (no spoilers, but if you read it, you’ll see what I mean), but I went with it because I was enjoying the book so much at that point.

Next up: I should read Pochoda’s book since I think I had the book on hold since February, but we’ll see. I have enjoyed Locke’s books in the past, so I might just go with that. I’ll keep you posted.

What did you read this past week? Anything good, anything worth recommending? What is on your radar for this coming week or the next couple of weeks?

Friday Finds | Father John Misty

Each Friday I share what I find myself listening to. It might be new. It might be old. This week, it’s relatively new, Father John Misty’s new album God’s Favorite Customer, released on June 6, and to which I’ve been listening almost incessantly ever since:

What is on your virtual turntable lately?

What We’re Watching Wednesday | Hulu

Each Wednesday either my wife or I share what we are watching (either together or separately) in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week, it’s the streaming service Hulu.

A couple of years ago, my sister got us a gift of Hulu for a year, but we decided that it wasn’t worth it for only two or three shows, at the time, the original CSI for me and Brooklyn Nine-Nine for both of us so we canceled it so she wasn’t paying for it and also because we didn’t want to continue it. However, earlier this year, when I learned from Kim of the blog Sophisticated Dorkiness that Hulu had “gotten” the complete ER, I was very tempted. I used to have several episodes of the series, especially the early years, recorded on VHS, and always wanted to rewatch the series, especially those first few seasons with Anthony Edwards and George Clooney.

Fast forward to last week: I was thinking about getting MHz Choice through Amazon Channels because we had watched an episode of Inspector Montalbano based on the brilliant Italian book series by Andrea Camilleri that we had borrowed via Hoopla from the Free Library of Philadelphia. I thought about getting the channel, but wanted to see what else they had. Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize any of the other titles and one of the shows we wanted to finish watching (the third season), Borgen, isn’t available for streaming. So I decided that wasn’t worth it and then I remembered Hulu. Maybe it was time to give them a second look…

…and I’m glad I did. This time around, the streaming service had more shows than just CSI and Brooklyn Nine-Nine that we wanted to watch. For example, we had been watching Bob’s Burgers on Netflix, but then it was abruptly taken off. We’ve been wanting to get back to the show and now we can. A few other shows we are looking forward to: Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, The Shield (which we never did see the end of), The Bridge (both the original and the American remake), Spiral, Raising Hope (which I have seen multiple times, but want to see again…and again…and…), CSI: Miami (which I want to finish), My Name Is Earl (another one I have seen multiple times, but want to see again..and again…and…), Wayward Pines (since I recently just read the first book of the series), and Good Behavior (also written by Blake Crouch, who wrote Wayward Pines).

Yes, they also are movies, but not as many as Netflix or Amazon Prime that we are interested in seeing, but there is this one that we want to see again:

Do you use Hulu? If so, what do you recommend watching? If not, what have you been watching lately that you would recommend, either TV or movies?