Saturday, July 1, 2017

What's On? - Binge Worthy

What's on? this week is all about the binge, the things that make me forget I own a sewing machine and are the reason my June Twilter's bee blocks took so long to finish. They should be saved for the beach and Christmas vacation because of their ability to derail the best laid plans and the most sincere to-do lists.

What I'm reading:

I'm a huge fan of local author Joshilyn Jackson, but somehow missed her last book, The Opposite of Everyone. When I went to preorder her new novel, The Almost Sisters (coming July 11) I realized that I had a whole other story I could read while I wait.

I have loved each book in different ways, but Joshilyn's genius is in her characters. They are real, credible people at the same time that they each have something about them that makes them truly weird in the most normal way. Does that even make sense? Her stories are always emotional and suck me in, the kind of books that you read while waiting for the water to boil or in the parking lot at work right up until the moment you absolutely have to get out of the car and go inside so you aren't late for your job. They can't be put down. They're the kind of books you think about when you aren't reading them. I think each one is my favorite...until I read the next one.

What I'm watching:

The Pit Boss and I are almost finished with Season 3 of Fargo. We loved Seasons 1 and 2, although this one took a little bit longer to get into. It was worth persisting. I'm constantly amazed by the universe the Coen Brothers have created, and love the moment when you realize how the stories intersect. 

It probably goes without saying that this is not for the squeamish or those easily offended. It's funny and violent and intense; even the most minor character is so well fleshed out that you almost feel like you belong in this world. None are without flaws, and their humanity is laid so bare that it sometimes makes me anxious for them.

It almost makes me want to visit Fargo just to prove to myself that this is fiction. 

What I'm listening to:

In our current environment here in the United States, one salve for the news weary is the escapist fantasy of The West Wing. I have rewatched every episode so many times that I can (and do) quote it almost daily. There is a West Wing connection to just about every situation, and TPB just rolls his eyes when I come out with, "Vermont maple syrup? In this White House we serve New Hampshire maple syrup!" 

Now, to my delight and his dismay, there is a podcast called The West Wing Weekly. Josh Malina, who played Will Bailey on the show, and Hrishikesh Hirway, of Song Exploder fame, dissect and analyze an episode of the show each week. It's perfect for new watchers and old fans alike. Even though I've seen every episode multiple times, I still pick up new things I didn't notice or understand until now. They have hosted some incredible guests, including cast and crew members, and occasionally a person whose real life job is all about one of the political topics addressed in the episode. It's amazing, really, how many of the issues from 2002 are still timely and relevant in today's climate. 

Plus they occasionally do cool stuff like this. If I could figure out how to be in San Francisco on August 26, I'd think I'd died and gone to Heaven! 

So what's on your devices that I shouldn't miss? What do you read, watch, or listen to that takes you away from real life? Please share!

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