Thursday, December 3, 2020

November Favorites: Bento Boxes, Creepy Dudes, and Way Too Much Arctic Monkeys


Hey! Who's got two thumbs, a chonky orange murderbrat, and FINALLY finished this huge biography about the titular character in her favorite Broadway musical?!?


It was great. I mean, it WAS. I promise it was! It took me forever to read it, and I eventually only got through it by making myself read a chapter every morning while I drank my coffee, and parts of it were soooooo tedious (turns out that I don't have a ton of patience for the detailed play-by-play of political machinations), but it was great. I didn't love the way Chernow described Thomas Jefferson's serial rape of Sally Hemmings without any emphasis on the fact that Hemmings was, you know, serially raped, and I feel like he also might have smoothed over some of the evidence that Hamilton, himself, may have been holding enslaved people, but when you write a zillion-page book there's going to be something in the mass of details that you don't get quite right. And I basically read the entire low-down on Hamilton's sex scandal out loud to Matt, constantly interrupting myself to say stuff like, "All he had to do was say he wasn't embezzling! Or all he had to do was say those money transfers were a personal matter! Or all he had to do was say he'd been blackmailed over something private! Or all he had to do was say he'd had an affair, but not give out the details! Or all he had to do was give enough details about the affair to explain the money transfers, but NOT WRITE AN ENTIRE BOOK ABOUT IT WITH EVERY SINGLE JUICY DETAIL INCLUDED AND THEN PUBLISH THAT BOOK!"

Oh, Hamilton. So smart, and also so... not.

Here's another book that I really liked, but that also has some super gross subtext:

Background info: I let my Amazon Prime subscription expire in October, and so all that month I made it my business to watch EVERYTHING on Prime... or at least die trying. I watched a few episodes of Poldark, and probably would have watched more if the subscription hadn't ended. It was only okay, but it had potential, although I did think the casting of the actress playing Demelza was super weird. Like, they were trying to act like she was a child, but clearly the actual, literal human playing her... wasn't? 

So when I got the first book and started reading it, I thought it was even weirder, because in the book she's clearly depicted as even younger than they tried to make her in the show. Like, she's a kid. A little kid with headlice and a pet dog.

Soooooo... yeah, Ross marries her. I mean, he raises her to adulthood in his house as his servant first, but then he marries her. They act like it's super romantic and all, but it's actually SOOO GROSSSS. Unfortunately, they also make the characters appealing and the plot interesting and the action exciting, so when I was griping about the way in which my main character spent years grooming my other main character and it was predatory and kind of rapey and made me very uncomfortable and Matt replied, reasonably, "So you're not going to read anymore?", I had to admit that I already had the sequel on hold for me at the library.

I mean, I've got to see if Demelza has cancer or a baby, right?!? And if Elizabeth figures out a way to get out of her unhappy marriage. And whether or not Ross really can make a go of the mine.

Here's what else I read in November. I promise that none of these are at ALL rapey:

Will is very much a browser when it comes to books, and she's been visibly suffering by having our public library back on curbside pickup only, sigh. It's such a bummer to see her reading fewer books and zoning out on screens more and more, when I know that reading is her biggest passion and the screens are just there to numb the boredom. Sigh... Here are her favorites from what she read in November:

And here's the rest of what she read!

I'm pretty obsessed with NYT crossword puzzles, and one of my favorite weekend traditions is to spend most of the morning hanging out with Matt at our kitchen table, passing the crossword back and forth over breakfast burritos and coffee. Alas, I've never met a silence that I wouldn't rather fill, so I also play the latest episode of "New Music Friday" from the All Songs Considered podcast:

All Songs Considered is my gateway drug into music that keeps my Favorites playlist from getting boring, or rather, allows it to get boring in a new way, perhaps? At least, that's likely what the rest of my family would tell you, as they've suffered through a SERIOUS deep dive into the Arctic Monkeys lately, thanks to All Songs Considered telling me about their newest release and reminding me that oh, yeah--I LOVE the Arctic Monkeys! I love them so much that I should listen to them constantly! I should, in particular, put their AM album on infinite shuffle!

If I'm gonna be honest, most of my YouTube viewing over the past month has been more Arctic Monkeys (ahem), although to be fair I've been watching a lot of filmed-live music in general on YouTube--I miss live music! However, our real family obsession has been this discovery:

We are all SO INTO watching this person cook elaborate, made-from-scratch lunches for herself, her kiddo, and her husband! There's an amount of frying and a number of meats that I wouldn't have expected, and now I really want one of those rectangle frying pans for making those rolled omelets. 

This month, my goal is to work through a pretty big stock of library books and DVDs that I've lazily let pile up--our public library stopped charging overdue fees, which has really thrown off my usual sense of urgency to finish things so I don't get a fine. I'm sure that the library would actually like some of their resources back, however... 

P.S. Here are my favorites from prior months:

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