Obviously, I can’t believe that it’s already August. Really, it doesn’t seem possible. First of all it means that in a mere week and a half I’ll be paying a visit east to my Midwestern roots. I’m excited about that, I’ll be staying two weeks, but then by the time I get back to the PNW it will be September…and that means that summer will be over before I can even blink. July slugged by in a weird lazy blur. I don’t really know what happened–but I did read some good books and watched some good films and I guess that it was a summer feeling kind of summer. Lazy. Yup. So here’s seven things among those lazy days, that I’ve been into, lately.
Azincourt–this novel by Bernard Cornwell, the first of his books I’ve actually read but he’s been on my list for a long time. If you love history, this is a win. If you love ancient stuff with swords fights and bows and arrows, and slightly gritty details, this is a win. If you want fluff, and romantic comedy…this isn’t that book. But seeing I love history (classics major…no?), and I can handle grit better than I realize, and seeing this is a story circulating around one of my favorite medieval* battles ever, featuring one of my favorite French kings ever (King Charles VI, who was notoriously mad, believing he was made of glass, and would shatter if he fell off his horse.) and seeing that I really love a man with a bow and arrow (Robin Hood anyone…)? Seeing all those things, I really enjoyed it, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be returning to more Bernard Cornwell in the future. Thankfully he’s somewhat prolific, so that well won’t run dry for a while.
*life goal: learn to spell ‘medieval’ on the first try… that and ‘renaissance.’ I actually decided to major in classics because I couldn’t spell anything from later centuries… ok, just kidding, but really, life goal here people.
Night–This is the rather well-known memoir of Elie Wiesel, it seems like a lot of people read this one in literature class, but I missed out somehow. It’s another gritty one, but isn’t a fictitious account–this is a boys recollection of what people can do to each other at their most horrific. It was a hard read, but well worth the effort. The memoir is provocative and beautifully written, something everyone should read and remember. Even in the most sophisticated ages we’re not free from the most base and vile potential. To forget would be to risk letting history repeat.
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day–I think this is the only lighthearted thing I read the entire month. The second book I have read by Mark Batterson, I think of his works somewhat like I think of Joel Osteen: these men are your spiritual cheer-leaders. But sometimes, I need someone to come along a find the ‘glass-half-full’ version of the scenario. I think it might be due to my more ‘melancholy’ disposition, but I really find these voices helpful and encouraging. It was a fast read, but I walked away ready to take on…pretty much anything and everything.
Second Chances, by Gregory Alan Isakov: The song I’ve had on repeat more times than I care to confess. Beautiful, deep, melancholy, slow and lazy. First discovered Gregory’s music at the beginning of the summer via my sister, and this song in particular has taken my heart.
me, I’m mumbling in the kitchen for the sun to pay up
lonely is a ring on a cold coffee cup
I’m some sick hound
digging for bones
if it weren’t for second chances, we’d all be alone
Disclaimer: So I’m not much into TV usually, and I don’t say that to sound sophisticated, but rather to acknowledge publicly that I don’t actually *ahem* own a TV. So…that means everything I watch is either old, or internet. Alright, that said….
Comedians in Cars getting Coffee: This makes me real happy. It’s totally random, and basically just Jerry Seinfeld picking up other comedians in a car, and driving them to get coffee. It’s as simple a concept as it sounds, but I’ve pretty much been addicted for the last week. I haven’t watched all of them yet, but you better believe I’m planing on it, and you should too.
Star Trek TNG: Don’t worry, I actually am aware of the fact that this show is about…twenty years old. It’s just, my parents didn’t watch Star Trek, and I was only… well, I was a lot younger. I watched a little bit of Voyager when I was in high school, but I’ve never got around to watching all of ‘The Next Generation.’ This last year I, my sister and my bro-in-law have been working our way through. My first viewing, their reviewing. Here’s the good news: despite not so amazing ’80’s CGI, the story, cast and characters totally hold the test of time. The not good news? We’re almost finished, and I can already feel the pangs of withdrawal. Needless to say, if for some reason you’ve managed to enter the twenty-first century having not watched TNG, move that to the top of your priority list…because space is the final frontier. This will do two things; one it will make you a more cultured person and two, you will then be able to spend the rest of the twenty-first century being super depressed that we haven’t even manned a mission to Mars (although maybe it needs to be a womanned mission, ey?), much less got around to hyper-drive capability. Winning.
$5 Tuesdays: I always loved going to the theater; it’s a place that I enjoy going with friends, with family, and frankly I’m one of those people who will go to the theater alone because I love it. However the last three years I’ve really cut back. The sad truth is that spending $10 (which means I’m in a reasonably affordable part of the country) makes the cinema a privilege that I usually opt out of…because my body also needs things like…food from the grocery store. etc. But in a happy turn of fortune, my little neck of the woods, and it’s one theater has made a serious contribution to my happiness. They now have $5 Tuesdays. This is genius* on many levels. I’ve previously whined that this theater has ‘limited movie options,’ which it does. I don’t get to see neat indie films here, or limited release films here…I’m lucky to get all the big box office releases, honestly. Nonetheless, I’ve seen more film this summer than in I have in a long time, and it’s been fun. In July, I really enjoyed Begin Again…which was nothing like what I thought it was going to be. Happy surprise.
*life goal: learn to spell genius on the first try, so I don’t look and feel like the opposite of a genius every time I write the word.
Well that wraps up July, which is good, cause I’m writing this on August the 4th…so none too soon. That’s me for now, and what I’m into. Over and out.