What on earth? You’re telling me summer is almost half over? BUT ALL WE’VE DONE IS SUMMER SCHOOL!
Okay, that’s not quite true. We’ve done more than that. Annalyn took a week off summer school for theater camp. We saw the first half of an outdoor stage production of Wizard of Oz. It was really funny, and we were both sad to leave at intermission (which was already quite a long time past a certain little girl’s bedtime). We visited friends in Des Moines, took our house of the market (again.), I hosted a taco party /slash / food drive, Annalyn had two teeth removed at the dentist’s office, and Adrienne began eating tasty, tasty rice cereal and smushed peas.
Oh, and did I mention we went to the pool? And Adrienne didn’t hate it? AND LOOKED CRAZY ADORABLE IN HER TINY BABY SWIMSUIT??? Right. Because that happened, too.
So I guess it’s been a pretty full month after all!
How about you? What have you been into this month? Here’s a bit more about what I’ve been doing…
What I’m Reading:
Well, here’s the thing. I’ve been a little stressed about some stuff, so it’s possible I may have imbibed in a few novels of the romance variety. I know better, yes. Yes, I do. So we’re just going to move right on to books I’m not embarrassed to add to my Goodreads account.
- The Chase by Janet Evanovich – You guys. I was so excited about this second book in Evanovich’s new series. An FBI agent works with a con artist, they flirt and hilarity ensues. It’s like White Collar, but a little more Stephanie Plum-ish. Or it was supposed to be. This book was so boring I read about four other books between starting and [finally] finishing it. So. Thumbs down, sadly.
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – This is a young adult fantasy novel. It’s about a girl assassin. And I liked it a lot. It was also strangely similar to another book I read (Defy by Sara B. Larson – and yes, I did notice that even the authors’ names are similar!). But I still really liked it and will definitely read the other books in the series.
- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge – Over the past few years, as I’ve read lots of young adult books, I’ve discovered the genre of reimagined or fractured fairy tales. And I love it. I think it’s because I am not creative that way; I’d never think to re-work a story that we all know and love and turn it into something same-but-different, something beautiful or funny or fascinating or confusing or all of the above. This book, a twist on Beauty and the Beast (my favorite Disney movie, in case you need to know), is by far one of my favorite reimagined fairy tales. I can’t even describe it (just ask Smitty, who made the mistake of asking me to describe it). But if you like this sort of thing, I highly recommend reading it.
- The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars) by Rob Thomas – Perfection. This book read exactly like the show (and movie), and I loved every page. I think Kristen Bell read the audio version, and that is probably the only thing that could make me love this more. If I listened to audio books. Which I don’t. But if I did. ANYWAY. If you’re a fan of V-Mars, read this.
- Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh – What is it about time travel that intrigues me? I DON’T KNOW. But I love it, and therefore I loved this book. Granted, the main character was a tad annoying by refusing to believe she was truly living in another time (she thought she was dreaming – and no, that’s not a spoiler; it’s the premise of the story). But the concept and the story and the conclusion and the characters and the whole thing? I loved it. Time travel stories for the win!
(Side note: Did you know that some colleges offer entire courses about time travel? My friend from college TEACHES one now, and I so wish I could drive down and audit it. For a whole semester. Because, awesome.)
Last but not nearly least, I am so looking forward to reading my friend Bonnie Gray’s first book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest. If you read my recent post at (in)courage about putting too much on my plate (again.), you know how badly I need this book!
What I’m Watching:
Well, you know, summer TV. It’s mostly the same as always – every episode of So You Think Can Dance (which is never enough), Suits and Covert Affairs on USA, and Perception on TNT. Perception, if you haven’t watched it and like that sort of thing, is a lot like Monk before it got annoying. With Will from Will & Grace, that guy from Party of Five, and the girl from She’s All That.
I’ve also added a couple new ones (BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH SHOWS). Chasing Life is an ABC Family show about a young woman with leukemia. I’m not watching it just because the main character’s last name is Carver. I’m not. Or because Cappy from Greek is on it. No, that’s not it. It’s mainly because I saw those things on the commercial and then accidentally-on-purpose watched the premiere and then accidentally-on-purpose liked it enough to watch every episode so far.
Also – in the category of Random Details from My Life – the mom in Chasing Life is the mom from a short-lived show called Get Real, which I watched and attempted to analyze for my Media Criticism class in college.
The other new show I’ve added is Playing House, a 30-minute sitcom on USA about two women in their thirties who have been best friends since childhood. And the best friends are played by real best friends. And it is SO STINKING FUNNY. You guys, I love this show. If you like quirky small towns or long-time friends or funny ladies, WATCH THIS ONE. You’ll have to watch it on Hulu (here!), but you should do it. Because I really love this show and want it to come back. Soon. Go watch it.
I also watched three movies this month:
- Maleficent – I didn’t have any desire to watch this. I’m not a big fan of Angelina Jolie – or wicked witches. But I kept seeing people say how great it was on Facebook. So I convinced Smitty to go see it with me – and it was great. (Have I learned nothing from Regina and Once Upon a Time? Wicked witches can be THE BEST.) This was a great, great example of a reimagined fairy tale, and I loved it. (I wouldn’t say it was the best movie I’ve ever seen like one of those Facebook friends did. But it was really good!)
- The Edge of Tomorrow – Tom Cruise in the sci-fi version of Groundhog Day? Yes, please, and thank you. I read that this movie was poorly marketed and a million times better than the preview made it look – and it was. Very funny, with a creative story. As I’ve said so many times before, Tom Cruise may be totally crazytown, but I do love his movies.
- The Monuments Men – And then there was this one. I’d been waiting to see this movie for MONTHS, ever since I saw the first preview a year ago. The WWII version of Oceans 11? Of COURSE it will be great! Bah. The parts where Matt Damon and George Clooney were actually together WERE funny. But the rest of it was a total snore. Sad, sad, sad.
And then there’s Friday Night Lights. Yes, fine, shut up, it IS 2006. Okay, it’s not. And no, this self-professed TV-lover has NOT watched this beloved show. But I am now! Okay? I’m doing it now!!!
And I love it. And I want to talk about it all the time. I have SO MANY FEELINGS. But everyone else watched it years ago and is over it. Except – thankfully – Jill, who just so happens to be watching it for the first time right now, too. She and I agree, Riggins is overrated. (Go ahead and discuss this amongst yourself in the comments if you please. Please? FEELINGS. NEED TO DISCUSS THEM. Ahem.)
Okay, guys, it’s late and I’m tired, so I’m going to make the rest of this short. (Is it possible? Yes. I think. Maybe.)
- What I’m Eating – my brother’s brownies. Duh.
- What I’m Cooking – see above. And then see the fast food cups and napkins littering my house. *sigh*
- What I’m Listening to – Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea are my new favorites. Because I’m sophisticated that way. (But seriously, don’t you think “Problem” by the two of them sounds like an old-school late 80s song by Paula Abdul or Janet Jackson? I do. And I love it. And I sing along, even though I’m more of an alto and stupid Ariana is more of a I-have-a-huge-range-and-you-can’t-sing-this-high.)
- What Video You Should Watch – this one (below). Because Jimmy Fallon show + Brian Williams + rap = WINNING, every single time.
All right, that’s it. I’m hitting publish and linking up with Leigh. I can’t wait to hear what YOU’ve been up to and into, so please share in the comments!