august 2019 (hot tita summer)

duolingo stat line: 336 day streak, 12596 lingots, 614,595 points, language learned: portuguese/french/spanish/italian (new stories and golding up that skill tree)

i have kid fury and chrissle to thank for this, which has become the vibe that i’m putting out there for this month. i mean, really-i have been out of control since watching that grace jones documentary, but hey-hot tita summer.

august came in like a wrecking ball-i made a new friend at music bingo, who was going north anyways, so we made it to my first freedom train, my first emancipation day, and it was perfect timing, and i have to speak all of my love and appreciation to itah for running one of the most important bookstores in the city, and for forever mobilizing the people and taking up space.

i experienced my first company picnic at murray’s farm where we oogled pretty chickens, puppies, pigs and piglets, turkeys, kittens, cows, and chicks. i also got derailed from recovering a chicken with a hand full of cake, and won the bocce ball tournament at the last moment. i almost filled out the garbage book, walked among corn fields as tall as me, and had a grand old time.

mezcal happened to me. it was a weird night, but i made it home, and did not puke. i fell asleep and woke up very early to finish it’s always sunny-season 6. the last hours of my 30s are going out sleeping on my body’s clock.

we moved into our new studio! (on one of the hottest days of the year). but it’s real, and we’ll be in production again real soon…

i celebrated my ten-year anniversary in this city at a crayon bar, spending too much money on lotions and sunscreen at shopper’s but a) optimum points! and b) shiseido has been the truth, and i’m turning 40 soon and we ain’t getting any better at environment, so i gave myself the gift of skincare. finally, adobo with bonus friends using white peoples’ things was the perfect cap to the evening. happy anniversary, toronto!

i lived in the east end for a few days-what a lovely refresh. i also have an art cart now, which is everything. the girl really likes it. we spent an art cart day together, and it was so lovely.

1) the last black man in san francisco-dir.joe talbot this may have been the best film i’ve ever seen in my life. the story, the cinematography, the casting, the acting, the wonder-everything. there have been a lot of great films about gentrification, all set in oakland, and this completes the holy trinity along with sorry to bother you and blindspotting. i heard a podcast about the making of, and saw the poster at TIFF when i went to see paris is burning a few months back. wow. what a gorgeous piece of work.

2) the poetry of pop-adam bradley this one should’ve made it to july, but didn’t. i also couldn’t do the appendix this time, but i will, at some point. i definitely suggested the janelle monae “pussy cataracts” lyric for the false rhymes chapter-second edition!

“The most danceable songs find a balance between the reassuring and the surprising.” (76)

“Lyrics can flood the line or leave it wanting.” (87)

“No one, not even Rihanna, speaks like Rihanna sings.” (102)

“Songs are made for ears, not eyes.” (118, Pat Pattison)

“The English language rarely gets lazier than it does when it’s dealing with love.” (149)

“Just because singing announces itself as meaning doesn’t make that meaning clear.” (186)

i was also led here because-rod stewart x miguel x asap rocky? ok.

3) 40 & single-written and created by leila djansi i’m not sure how i got here, but it’s quite something to see the glamour and wealth of ghana immortalized on film. i kind of wish that vanessa williams would have become a better actor than when she was on melrose place, but it was nice to see that she’s still working, and that she’s still fine. the fact that abortion, queer relationships, hiv and stis, rape, murder and fashion are depicted are groundbreaking, though i kind of wish that the protagonist could have been with a fine white lady, or at least one that looks like she could be the same age-but i guess that’s a way to interpret her “daddy issues”. also-the legacy of being called “ransome”-yikes. i thought i was mishearing it, but it was a full plot point.

4) schitt$ creek-season one catherine o’hara and eugene levy are comic geniuses. also-i want to hang out with daniel levy. this show is amazing, i’m so glad for it. for anyone who doubts the original programming of the mothership-watch this one. (and kim‘s). it’s unfortunate, but clever-they can avoid any diversity characters because they set it in a small town, but i’m here for white people’s shows-it’s kind of better when they stay in their lane.

5) definitely hispanic-lejuan james i got this completely on its cover, never having seen any of dood’s viral videos, so it makes sense that i don’t have a single pull-quote, which is not to say that i didn’t like it-it was just exactly what i expected it to be. i checked out his IG and i am glad for his success.

6) it’s always sunny-season six this one made me laugh immediately from episode one. maybe, like the simpsons, they’ve really hit their groove. the bonus materials-the podcasts and lethal weapon 5, are killer.

7) hold still-lynn steger strong “She believed in what she was giving: books, communication, it was the world that saved her once.” (82)

“She’d used one to help the other. She was pretty sure that neither would turn out better as a result.” (144)

i got here through the “i’m leaving new york/i’m never leaving new york” pairing, as well as the mother of mother issues anthology. the is a full-blown alternative mother story, and i’m here for it allll.

7) crashing-season one wow. what a great reflection of what standup comedy is truly like. you gotta find your motivation, and finding your wife in bed with a hippie art teacher is motivation. i can’t tell if i think pete is pathetic or heroic, but i’m sure it’s somewhere in between. i love the appearance of the comics, whether featured or not, and i wonder if this is an extension of judd apatow‘s claim to have done everything in his career thus far so as to be able to do standup now, but i’m here for it.

8) true detective-season two tim riggins yelling “no” is exactly how i felt when i came home from moving our studio to an unauthorized $600 charge on my credit card from MLSE and then having to text m to see if it’s also something that she experienced-what a mistake. a reminder to people-it’s called “self” worth because it’s the worth of your SELF. (katt williams). why get so worked up about what someone else thinks of you if it’s not at least a bit true? just work on it. also-i didn’t say you were a bad person, that’s just what you’re choosing to hear. you are trifling and a space case and cannot handle money to save your life, but those are all (correctable) behaviours, not personality traits. you’re hella annoying, but i’ve solved that by just not engaging with you further. but i wish you no ill-will, i hope you find accountability, really, i do. you might just need to work for it. but back to this show-it was beautifully done. i enjoyed it much more than the first season, which, surprise surprise, is contrary to the ratings (i mean, i was recently reminded that i liked gigli, and i’m proud of that fact). the extended cast, the story that doesn’t exist in the bowels of the mind’s bayou, and the less terrifying pacing made it more accessible for me than the first. and the third has mahershala?! sign me up!

9) what lies between us-nayomi munaweera this one also came from the mother-taboo anthology, and damn-it truly delivered on the perfectly-woven story. here are some pull quotes:

“Then too, motherhood is broken because in this place, to be a good mother is to give yourself completely. It is to erase yourself. This is what I refused to do. So they shudder when they hear my name, but inwardly they smile because they have not failed in the way I have.” (6)

“Everything done can be denied.” (23)

“I have misled him. But this is what he expects to hear; this is the narrative people expect from me. Is it so bad to give it to them?” (167)

10) madea’s big happy family-tyler perry i’m not sure if i’ve seen this before, but there was enough “new” plot twists that it was still entertaining. it was teyana taylor‘s first film, and she perfectly exemplified perry‘s “ghetto baby mama” stereotype. it wasn’t clear to me if bow wow was wearing contacts, or if his eyes have just gotten lighter over time. i’ve never understood the madea getup, but i did absolutely love “prescriptures”.

11) women on the verge of a nervous breakdown-pedro almodovar i’m not sure of the exact inception point of artist influence, but i’m sure that there is a “before almodovar” and “after almodovar” in my life, just as there must be in tarantino‘s life. the shots, the absurdism, and the dvd bonus knowledge that he’s worked with his brother (producer) and the same editor for all of the films makes all the sense in the world. the percolator earrings made me want to get an ice cube and a needle, and i’m kind of charmed by the fact that this movie is about how the world is perfect, but men still lie. hashtag, universal truth.

12) vi-kim thuy i falsely assumed that kim thuy‘s books needed to be translated from vietnamese to english, but really, they needed to be translated from french to english. that being said-either she employs an amazing translator, or she just writes so beautifully across all languages that this collection of vignettes categorized by places in places comes alive-the ones that i’ve been are strong enough to float the ones that i haven’t visited, and her work is everything. seeing her recently at the reference library with the live demo of the cookbook confirms that she is also everything.

“She had the delicacy never again to talk to me about my father. Perhaps she understood that I needed silence in order to hear his voice again, and to find a path back to him.” (128)

13) schitts creek-season two i mean, this show is amazing. but the cast is amazing, and i learned that the show is the baby of lindsay‘s old boss on corner gas. makes sense. the smalltown cbc comedy that has gotten a makeover and makes fun of rich people-a winning combination. also-i haven’t seen chris elliot since get a life, probably because he played a similar archetype, and he twisted himself into a pretzel in the opening credits of that.

14) black girl magic-eds, mahogany l. browne, idrissa simmonds, and jamila woods i found this because i heard the song exploder podcast of jamila woods’ song “baldwin”. the public library doesn’t have her album, but it did yield this amazing collection of poetry that does not suck at all. i love that it’s organized in the way that it is-spreading out peoples’ work, because i enjoyed looking through the contributor’s notes after each piece, and i love that all of their author shots are so varied-from the sideeye to the joy to the choice to be smoking a giant blunt-i’m here for this addition to the canon. i love naomi extra‘s ode to her grandmother’s girdle, am struck by this line in toluwanimi obiwole‘s “Amerikkkana”:

…What does terrorism even mean to a man who knows his colonizer’s anthem better than his father’s eulogy?” (147)

and this gem from thabilise griffin‘s “destiny, chile”:

i like my cereal soggy and my liquor irate

and my favourite from the whole collection is morgan parker‘s “Magical Negro #80: Brooklyn” which is in part a cover of the lord’s prayer. i also learned that “one thing about music when it hits you feel no pain” was a bob marley lyric before it was a dead prez one (and well before it was a drake one). though britteney black rose kapri‘s “micro” is a close second fave.

15) the return of kid cooper-brad smith i literally gasped, “a western!” when i got this one. the last western that the ontario librarian’s association recommended i read was the sisters brothers, and, well-i can’t be mad at that. i love that it was my cat-sitting staycation book, and i was literally terrified by cats entering my room during a particularly tense plot point. it was saucy, it was well-written, it incorporated a real and racist practice of stolen land into the “cowboys and indians” narrative, and i couldn’t recommend it more. it was a real desperado tale.

16) the simpsons-an uncensored, unauthorized history-john ortved i don’t feel like there is any new information in this, other than liz taylor telling matt groening to “fuck off” because she kept making maggie‘s first word too sexy. the most interesting part for me is that it seems to be read by the same person behind “effective personal leadership”, which is an odd juxtaposition, or is it?

17) it’s always sunny-season seven danny devito is perfect. i am really glad that he has found such a perfect ongoing role. all of these idiots are perfect, really-i feel like i’m in the place where i can really see the humour of this show now. i’m glad i stuck it out for seven seasons.

18) hobbs and shaw-dir. david leitch i knew i wanted to see this from when we kept seeing the trailer for it during our nba championship winning playoff season. the rock can already do no wrong, but idris elba as an evil sexy robot?! throw in some badass women and cameos by the dumbdumbs that are kevin hart and ryan reynolds? this type of ridiculously expensive and explosive action flick ticks all the boxes of escaping to a summer blockbuster. i love that i could recognize some of the hawaiian-influences in the language thanks to the course i’ve been doing on duolingo.

19) crashing-season two i like how this season dealt with the realities of dating someone who is also in comedy, or, more generally, someone who works in the same field as you. competition, ethics, and luck are all parts of negotiating a relationship as such, and throw in the self-absorbed, insecure profession of standup?! yikes. it’s kind of creepy how much ally looks like jess tho-and i’m starting to wonder if apatow has tyler perry leanings when it comes to writing female characters as irrational and emotionally mean. *one to watch. i like that he keeps winning and losing, and i don’t think it’s an accident that i’m writing about this at the same time that i’m listening to the last episode of the imposter, which is aliya’s live standup set (amongst other things).

20) the most beautiful-mayte garcia i finished this one at propeller, where i cashed in my free mocha (on their confusing old-system card) maybe at a table with aliya‘s at least one-time brooding partner? it was another side of the story of prince, the legend-as it was proof that he essentially groomed himself a child bride. mayte is very gracious, only mentioning that “in retrospect i think he liked the power dynamic” of marrying someone so much younger than him, but he really was on a lifelong revolving door of staging the next one while moving the last one out of paisley park. i could tell how much her heart broke, and how she still very much relates to her own body as a little girl, but if your only boyfriend became your husband, and that guy was prince-what do you expect? she gives a few glimpses of her exclusive insight to his history of drug use, and how she could see the parallels of her being the next girl with carmen on her way out, and her being the one on the way out with manuela coming in. i had forgotten that she dated tommy lee, and google just told me that manuela is now married to eric benet-yeesh! i’m glad i found this one at gerrard/coxwell last week, and i wish mayte all the peace and healing in the world. i did have a flash of inspiration by her v-shaped bangs, but we’ll see how that might shake out with this shaved side. (sigh).

21) the breakbeat poets-eds. kevin corval, quresh ali lansana, and nate marshall it’s interesting to note the differences between poetry anthologies as compiled by women (about black feminism) and men (about being hip hop adjacent), both in form, content, and ensemble cast. i like that this one is organized not only by a poet’s contributions, but also by their age. the differences in people’s bio photos between the two is also something of note. i’m also noticing that there is no listed 1979 contributor-dangit, i missed that opportunity. i’m charmed by the poems dedicated specifically to rappers (24 haikus for biggie for each of the years he was alive), the ode to a fig, and the change of tone from the folks born before me to the folks born after me. ocean! danez! jamila! morgan and mahogany! i love that i caught up on my inflection point pods that included the episode where mahogany was performed black girl magic-the poem that i presume begat the anthology.

I’ll be the air that you breathe
I’ll be your number one fan.
I’ll scream the ‘heys’
I’ll tolerate your hoes
I’m a Hip Hop cheerleader
.” (74, mic check 1,2-jessica Care moore)

22) secrets from my vietnamese kitchen-kim thuy i love that kim thuy is doing all of the things-she’s truly an inspiration.

23) the hustle-dir. chris addison i guess i’m feeling remakes of ’80s films because i’m here for this one (originally directed by frank oz!). bigup to rebel wilson for producing this as well as starring in it, and i guess anne hathaway is now the queenpin in a posse film. it’s interesting that she speaks dutch tho-thank you, dvd bonus material. i also love her outfits and styling this movie, and the fact that everyone calls her “annie”.

24) the path made clear-audiobook read by oprah winfrey it’s short! and there are a few good tidbits to listen to whilst laying on your couch with a sheet mask! it’s interesting that the whole point seems to be that you are bigger than your money, but at the same time-a large part of this woman’s empire has been about gross capitalism and the acquisition of things, but one needs the other, i suppose.

25) it’s always sunny-season-season 8 from the beginning-i’m here for “pop pop-the final solution”. in fact, before that-i was mesmerized by the opening video game sequence. the dinner for schmucks plotline with the sexist twist? nobody saw that coming. DR JINX! what a perfect cameo! LADY HOUSE!

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july talk 2019

duolingo stat line: 306 day streak, 12,247 lingots 602,221 points
language studied: arabic (brand new!)

i suppose july 1st has always been a big day for me, and if it has anything to do with canada day, it’s more in line with quebec‘s understanding of it being “moving day”. i left montreal on july 1st, 2009, and last year it was my shift-aversary to a renewal of my commitment to live my best life. i wanted to go to the beach and go to the mandarin, and while i did neither of those things-well, i went to the mandarin, but arrived too late to participate in the buffet, (so my bday it is!) i did find myself in the endogphins of staying warm in the ac under avery while his gentle snout moved my fallen ripple chips around. and i got my version of a subscription box of frankie‘s medicine cabinet rejects (“i’ve never heard anyone get that excited over neo-citron“) and took a nap before heading uptown. i had a conciliatory cinnabon and actually had a lovely time at a well-organized and delicious bbq with more dogs (swoon).

i couldn’t wait until my birthday to go to the mandarin, and i loved it in the moment, and had a giant tummyache after. go ahead, tell me you told me so. (sigh).

WTF IS THIS FREE AGENCY?! i maintain my calm and stance around kawhi, but everyone else is off the rails! thank you, homie, for at least keeping us in the top ten news items FOR WINNING AN IMPOSSIBLE CHIP for the duration of you revealing your next move. aaaand, mans is in LA. give our best to lou will-thank you (and you’re welcome) to everyone. listen to these pods be so disrespect-full as to imply that the mufuckin’ KNICKS (a team of which i haven’t been able to name three players on for the last four years, at least) are better than us now that kawhi is gone, LOL.

i am sad to report that the meat lover’s pizza at pizzaville is not what it was/what i remember it to be a few years ago. (sigh). but at least it was cheap and i can move on now.

i have renewed my commitment to my tpl reading challenge, currently at 10/25 completed, but i have filled in my selections for the rest, and have signed on for the ola evergreen reading list and the toronto book award long list. it’s a cute addendum to include kids and teen books on the tpl reading challenge, and i like that the chicago public library is doing an adult summer reading club. libraries are amazing and all of our lives are enriched by them. i also love that the philly free library podcast of john waters‘ latest junket (that i listened to after the audiobook, but was the reason i knew that he had a new book out) has him saying “the library was where i saw my first glory hole!”

i have been so heavily recruited as of late-and it finally happened-i was offered a corgi (really one every year) as a signing bonus. on the real-i am on the verge of shaping one of the biggest offers of my life-and glad to reap the rewards of trusting myself. i have so much gratitude in my heart for the people doing good things, who also see me.

also west coast-you’ve taken enough of my loved ones this month, ease up, ya heard?

1) creed II-dir. steven caple jr. i never saw the first one, but somehow i didn’t think it mattered. it didn’t. i am definitely pre-menstrual because i bawled throughout this movie, even though i felt a bit tricked by the fact that i was watching a complicated american hero movie vs. russia because the hero is black. also-damn, michael b. jordan has done a lot of physical work-this is the one he did immediately after black panther. i’m not sure why people hate tessa thompson but i’m here for her. i even tried to mimic one of her manicures in this film, albeit with a much closer colour combination lest it went sideways. finally-how does sly stallone get away with the amount of work he’s had done on his face? and those eyebrows?! whyyyyyyy?????

2) it’s always sunny in philadelphia-season four what a perfect follow-up to a day that i spent quiet after my first volunteer shift at feed it forward, the pwyc grocery store. there is a lot of meditative energy in culling a bunch of produce and building beauty-full displays. the challenge was that i was going in tired and the ac was down, so it sapped out all of my energy. so napping/being on my couch watching this show was the way to go. at least they gave me a musical this time to go along with their usual “ironic” racism (representation matters) and explosions and took it to the final frontier of cannibalism. it felt like there were less episodes, and i suppose that’s a good thing.

3) the sisters brothers-dir.jacques audiard i was surprised to find this in the stacks at runnymede. the book reads like a total movie, so i’m surprised that i didn’t know that it was made, let alone with joaquin pheonix and john c. reilly as the brothers. oh, because it’s a french production. fitting, as i’m set to read patrick dewitt’s french exit as per the annual ontario librarians’ association evergreen list, which i was reminded of at sanderson the other day, where there was a sign and seemingly none of the books, but i got one, and put the others on my holds list. i really like the score of this film, it’s interesting-kind of modern and experimental, unexpected on many fronts. the toothbrushing scene is just as magnificent on film as it is in word. ok, i’m not really into this. i’m not really watching it-it might be too “period piecy” for me, and while i applaud the efforts, i’m thinking more about cleaning the bathroom. yikes.

4) last interview-david foster wallace i’ll admit, i put a lot of these on hold at the same time, and think i mixed him up with david rakoff (i know, i know). i was a bit disappointed when i’d discovered my blunder, and admit that i couldn’t even get through three pages of infinite jest, and probably hold dave eggers’ work to unfair confirmation bias for what teeny sliver i was able to stomach (and of course he does one of the interviews). because it’s mentioned in the intro and body of the collection, i have to question david streitfeld‘s claim that “no one in the issue went on to greater fame except Wallace” of his profile for details magazine (yes, it’s dead but…) that also included stories on adam sandler, john woo, and coolio. what the fuck am i missing here?! all of those people are waaaay more famous than dood. i really like his statement of tv having the inverse function of books.

“The language is always smarter than we are.” (16)

“Most of the modern writing I like the best is both sophisticated and colloquial-that is, high-level and complicated but at the same time intimate, sort of like a smart person is sitting right there talking to you-and I think I do little more than try to achieve this same high-low blend.” (121)

5) fifty shades of black-dir. michael tiddes i knew something good would come out of seeing fifty shades of gray, and now-here it is. this was an impulse grab from bloor/gladstone because i was killing the hour before music bingo (my streak of bringing folks that win while i get sooo close continues). marlon wayans got fine. or least his body did. this was a perfectly executed parody.

6) friday foster-produced and directed by arthur marks “friday foster, pam grier structure, look at your body…” is exactly what i thought of when i saw this on the shelf at runnymede. i love black thought, and always will, not only for his ridiculous breath control, but for the fact that i’ve learned things from his raps, like thomas’ toasts and now this. this movie looks like it was shot in 1975, in a good way. apparently, this was a comic strip first? i don’t know that i am convinced to look at that, but i love a young, fine pam grier (as opposed to today’s fine pam grier) choosing to work as a photographer rather than be pimped out. ALSO, EARTHA KITT! there are a lot of people who can walk with knives or gunshot wounds in the back. there is also rampant sexism though she toes a delicate line. the soundtrack is pretty amazing. i also don’t know how down i am with the idea that her kid brother pulling a fast one on her, like the opposite of penny and the dog in inspector gadget-instead of helping, he’s making a profit on her expensive gifts. she got that luis vuitton tho. and she’s sexually free without being painted as a ho, which is inspiring to see.

7) the last interview-david bowie “The media is either our salvation or our death.” (50, 1974 Rolling Stone interview with William Borroughs and Craig Copetas)

“Certain countries don’t need rock & roll because they were so drawn together as a family unit.” (51, ibid.)

i had no idea that bowie‘s actual true artistic love was acting. this is kind of like iverson actually being better at football than he was at basketball-mind blowing! these insights (as well as the bizness about the holograms) is quite forward-thinking, i gasped aloud when i read the interview by iman for bust magazine, and love the banter between him and alexander mcqueen. i was also quite interested to learn that bowie was born four days after my father, what a year 1947 was-and it explains why my dad “knows davids bowie”, which was his comment on how he didn’t know george michaels.

“Wide shoulders are the flared trousers of the Eighties.” (107)

and, i am now seeing bowie as a fashion historian.

8) god’s pocket-dir. john slattery interesting. this film doesn’t show up on slattery‘s imdb page, and a full title google search yields that it is “an uneven debut”. i usually don’t do this before i start the film, but i was waiting for the torey lanez album (that i’m not sure i’ve heard) to play out. i picked this one up at st. lawrence when i went to the post office before work, and honestly was instantly sold by turturro and philip seymour hoffman-it was surely one of his last projects. on the day that i find out that an entire pig head costs a mere $10, i come home to watch a movie about stealing meat to pay gambling debts (in part).

9) the duff-dir. ari sandel i’m a sucker for a teen movie, mostly because of how bad they can be, but this one has ken jeong and romany malco and allison janney, so it was amazing. i guess we’re at the point where there are no more ideas, because this is also based on a book (go, YA), and while i’m not rushing to read it, i’m glad that writers are involved in the film adaptation process. another gem from st.lawrence.

10) lay the favourite-dir. stephen frears i watched this one on the evening before i found out that kawhi chose the clippers, who somehow also managed to get paul george. i’m not a betting person, but this was a nice look into the world of bookies. another star-studded cast, this one definitely one for the soft “feminism” of the day, but an absolutely entertaining after-work wind-down. also-alex voss as a platinum blonde stripper? here for it.

11) hateship loveship-dir. liza johnson this is somehow billed as kristen wiig‘s first dramatic role, but i’m sure there have been others before it. she really is great. my favourite is her pretending to be liza minelli pretending to be a lampshade. it’s a bit unsettling at this point to see harvey weinstein as partly responsible for this film, especially with the young female shining stars, along with wiig and jennifer jason leigh. loneliness is a mug. and it’s easy to make up a romance with someone, especially over letters, and so much more heartbreaking when they’re fake. this move in and forced wedding hits a bit close, and i wonder about women whose determination leads them to this end by any means, only to regret it in the near future after their “coup”.

12) the early works of cheryl dunye if i taught a film studies class, this would be the one. there is just so much in her catalogue, and i could design so many syllabi/talking points/direct lines to present her/story with her themes and accomplishments with experimental dunyementary. it’s been amazing to see her get better at completing a narrative arc (as i have binge-watched so many of her works recently). “i went through the process of learning the technology first, and then learning to speak” daaaaang. this is the perfect summation in her own words.

13) never can say goodbye-sari botton isn’t it the most ny shit ever to publish a love letter to the city immediately after a breakup letter?! i mean…again, i’m glad that i came to this through the things we don’t say about our mothers anthology. it is dedicated to maggie estep, who must have died between the printings of the set. this one doesn’t have as many “star” writers, i say as i’m about to read a piece by whoopi goldberg. followed by the one by alexander chee.

“Did you know that the Jefferson Library on Sixth Avenue used to be a women’s prison, and the word catcall came from the women who leaned out the window to call down to the street?” (10, New York, in the Mirror, Rosanne Cash)

this is the exactly the kind of badass fact that i needed to learn while i am sending a young dear into new york with my favourite spots, and exploring the streets of this fair city with the same energy as one would on vacation. on the day that i finished this at propeller, i nursed a delicious espresso tonic, saw a fleshlight “in person” left on a toronto sun box after writing about them in my sex column after a hot tip from the ny museum of sex, and met a shiba inu puppy. the world is a wondrous place. it’s also no accident that folks have mentioned dog day afternoon in this collection, and i know exactly what they’re talking about, having just watched that one too.

“I witnessed New Yorkers sobbing alfresco all the time-or at least I noticed it and then quickly averted my eyes, hoping others would do the same for me once it was my turn to fall apart.” (147, Quit Everything, Kathleen Hale)

i can also identify with the feeling of having an amazingly accurate meeting with a psychic, and then having a completely trash meeting with a psychic in the city.

“New Yorkers are fascinated by movies, because movies are fascinated by New York.” (154, City of Mundane Fantasy, Elliot, Kalan)

“Like so many of us who don’t know what to do with ourselves, I chased a relationship.” (162, SF -> NYC, Isaac Fitzgerald)

oooh-weeeee! this one hit a bit too close.

“The thing about missing eight winters, though, is that you forget that you also missed eight springs.” (165, ibid)

forest for the trees and all of that.

“I almost move to Los Angeles every year, but I never wrote love letters to it.” (179, ESB, Rachel Syme)

14) billy crystal 700 sundays-dir. des mcanuff netflix might be the place that makes comics, but hbo (and that signature sound effect) is for comics who are already made. it’s the place for a concept show-and this is a one-man show. the laughing and claps feels a bit canned, and i’m not sure how much of it i can handle. (17:03 is the answer to that question).

15) puzzle-dir.marc turtletaub so, the last feature film i watched ended with vacuuming in a frame and this one started with vacuuming in a frame. i can definitely relate to the joy of doing a puzzle, and the resistance to having a cellphone. what an amazing concept for a movie-ah, it’s based on a argentinian film. kids are fucking entitled jerks. i’m glad this ended the way that it did, but shoutout to everyone who has been a “filler” relationship-it sucks, but we usually know what we’re in for before we make that mistake. this was kind of a shit alternate ending, save that she’s by herself.

16) overboard-dir.bob greenberg just how common is amnesia? i love that it’s set up as a telenovela, as soap operas are where the most amnesia seems to happen. i may have stopped listening to anna faris‘ podcast, but that doesn’t mean that i don’t find her irresistible. i really think she is comically matched with eugenio derbez here. i’m also loving the concept of making sure the rich men get theirs. and giving single moms a break to study for nursing school without working. “sometimes, dad’s leave”. i’m a puddle. and the genderqueer middle daughter wearing a suit to the wedding and flying the seahawks‘ flag?! i’m done. i love this impulse pickup at bloor/gladstone. OH SHIT! THIS IS A REMAKE OF THAT ’80S MOVIE! WHAT A CLEVER TWIST!!

17) the last interview-gabriel garcia marquez the GGM book i ever read was his autobiography, so that’s a thing. i read it when i moved to toronto from montreal and took a detour through vancouver. the read came off tasha‘s shelf, during a surprisingly rest-full weekend in victoria, when we were still friends. i will forever be great-full for that, despite how things eventually fell apart there. i have gone on to read a few of the fictions, but am kind of holding out to when my spanish is good enough to read them as he wrote them.

“Before we leave, we learn that he studied law for four years and then was on the faculty for six months, but that he doesn’t remember anything from those studies because he spent all his class time writing stories…” (12)

“Every writer must write the book they’re able to write.” (19)

“Death isn’t a necessary condition of revolution; revolution doesn’t have to continue to be an inventory of disaster.” (28)

“When it comes down to it, the writer’s duty-his revolutionary duty, if you like-is to write well.” (59)

18) the dog-produced and directed by allison berg and frank keraudren wow. imagine watching the godfather to inspire your friends to rob a bank with you, only to have al pacino play you in the movie they made about your bank robbery. this was a new story to me, but i was intrigued by the summary on the cover. i’ve seen a number of “documentaries” about heists, and was kind of waiting for this to be revealed as fake news, but it was not. stranger than fiction, and definitely worth the watch.

19) how to lose your virginity-dir. therese shechter i had no idea that the creator of the barely legal porn series was a woman, re/writing her own non-consensual sexual initiation, but this was one of the things i learned from this doc. i also had no idea that purity balls in part fund emergency pregnancy clinics, and just how backwards things are in the states in terms of reproductive rights and health. this short doc crams in a lot of crucial information, and showcases a lot of different women doing the work. i also appreciated jessica valenti‘s face, which have never seen before, despite reading her books.

20) becoming bulletproof-dir. michael barnett i fell in love with documentaries, i’m sure i’ve mentioned, in victoria because i spent much of my undergrad at the cinecenta, the on-campus theatre that did such a good job curating documentaries for me. i’m so great-full to the public library for continuing to provide this service for me. this one is amazing in all of the ways, and i can’t help but fall in love with everyone involved in the zeno mountain farm project. and, of course, i am bawling. and i have a new entry for the bucket list that is my life-i gotta participate in this at least one year. i gotta meet AJ.

21) the last interview-oliver sacks so, awakenings was about tourette’s? and based on his book? i knew he was a neurologist, and had even remember one of his last books when he was on the junket for it through the philly free library podcast, but had no idea he had worked so extensively with the subjects of awakenings, robin williams, and temple grandin. all i can remember is the cover of the fisher king, so i immediately put awakenings on hold (just as i did dog day afternoon) so that i could check it out. it just kind of seems like we are learning the same lessons over and over again when it comes to our identifying differences, and that’s either hope-full (we do keep learning), or exhausting (we have to keep learning the same things), or just the truth that we don’t have that many moves as humans, so we might as well make them. of course he was a regular contributor on radiolab (and i forgot that because i overdosed all those years ago), and his last interview was with them at BAM, one of my favourite places of mixed-medium learning in the world. also, of course his work with the brain and music is referenced in the poetry of pop, and the first selection i read from the OLA evergreen list is about brain matter. no accidents, just soft focus.

“What was happening was that he was unconsciously copying the shape of the letters with his tongue. And that would show people who lose their reading are still able to write, which is a strange thing. So in a way, he was converting what his eyes saw and writing it with his tongue. And I would absolutely not have thought such a thing was possible.” (66)

me neither, but this is one of my biggest fears, so, phew.

22) women of resistance “i saw a latinx bookstore in california that reminded me of you-there was a huge mural of selena and it was full of books like this” is pretty much the highest compliment someone could pay to me when i pull out this one to match my company to my booklook before tita jokes, the star of this year’s toronto fringe festival. i am pretty sure it was recommended by another story or a different booklist, one of the city’s remaining bookstores. it’s a small, punchy volume, and i love that it, along with tita jokes, acknowledges that women are neither a monolith, nor the sum of our “parts”.

“My god understands how for generations bodies like mine
were the choice for someone like you to make.
Do you know how many years, women like me
lived equally afraid of both hangings and hangers?
Yet we’re still here, everyday carrying ourselves.” (44, An Open Letter to the Protesters Outside the Planned Parenthood Near My Job, Elizabeth Acevedo)

“O, to be permitted the luxury
of only worrying about one thing at a time.” (135, Shiv, Rachel McKibbens)

23) george-alex gino this book is my selection for the “banned book” category of tpl’s 2019 reading challenge. it’s kind of hard to believe that it was banned for having a trans protagonist, but then again-plus ca change….and all of that. the narration is interesting-third person first, it feels like, and that would very much be in line with the subject material.

“Dad made a better part-time father than a full-time one.” (26)

24) the saturday night ghost club-craig davidson well, this is actually the second of the OLA evergreen list, as i read camp forevermore in the fall. and i heard about the author because his book was shortlisted for canada reads the year that jully black took it to jeanne becker, so that’s a reminder to go back and read that. this was a fascinating read, really well-written and took me in from the beginning, with the passage of tense, which, now, i’m seeing, is exactly like memory, and mimics how the brain actually processes things, and the ghosts of memory past can be real or imagined ghosts. wow. i will be thinking about this one for some time to come, but yea, librarians-thank you for being amazing.

“It was just like my uncle to lead you halfway down a lonely road, stop, and ask if you wanted to be there at all. By then you had no choice, did you? He’d brought you there, and he was the only one who knew the way back.” (95)

“Hungry ghosts are born when a person dies wanting something, be it love or hope or sanity. That’s why they have slender necks and gigantic bellies. Pretas have enormous appetites but lack the ability to satisfy them.” (131)

“Memory becomes what we need it to be.” (237)

25) skyscraper-dir. rawson marshall thurber ok, so i’m still all about the rock being in everything, but this die hard tribute is taking it very close to the edge, especially because it seems like a bizarre commercial for duct tape. it is an interesting meditation on the u$’ insecurities about china once again, i mean this is literally about building the tallest building in the world, and having your wings burnt off like icarus. it’s a good thing that i’ve got season four of ballers to balance this all out.

26) arrested development-season four maybe i just needed some distance, or i’m remember this completely differently-i don’t know anymore. i was late to the series, and had watched the “old” episodes just as the new ones were coming on netflix, and remember not being into the first few episodes, but this scratched copy of it, all these years later, was perfect for a day of sweating and sleeping out my first (and maybe last) mandarin buffet. i do miss these characters, and in retrospect, all these amazing guest stars that were using this as their jumpoff.

27) the seas-samantha hunt this one is a re-issue, with more stunning cover art. it reads like the nourishment that is her other fiction. i never thought to call it magic realism, because that is usually a genre i affiliate with south asian authors who write in (beautiful) circles. i love the focus on words and water in this one-thoughts for food and food for thought, if you will.

“My mother is regularly torn between herself and being my mother.” (19)

“There are two rooms used as libraries, for which my mother and grandfather keep two separate and opposing systems of organization in their heads-hers by subject, his by the way he feels about the author: Animosity, Betrayed, Curious, Delighted, etc.” (37)

how facking petty do you have to be to do this

“I told her voler oddly enough means both to fly and to steal in French.” (87)

“The word prison shares a root with the word surprise, from the French prendre, pris-to take.” (182)

“If one word can mean so many things at the same time then I don’t see why I can’t.” (216)

28) dog day afternoon-dir. sidney lumet i’m totally here because of “the dog”-i had to see what the prisoners of gen pop viewed along with john wojtowicz. i wonder if the “attica” chanting was added for their benefit. a lot of this wasn’t in the documentary, it’s hard to say what has been embellished, even with all of the years that have passed, and both versions. i have a good idea now what has been embellished. but hey, 1972 al pacino, i see you. i wonder what john waters thought about this story and what he would’ve done with it. the “making of” documentary bonus material is enlightening (as per usual). it’s kind of amazing that it’s a lot of these actors’ first film, though probably great that they had done stage acting together. it’s interesting that the writer celebrated his oscar on set of a star is born, and there’s an ad for that film on the marquee during one of the shots. it’s also interesting to know that it was nominated for all those oscars the same year as one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.

29) awakenings-dir. penny marshall even if i saw this movie before this point, i don’t think i would’ve been able to appreciate it or understand it in the way that i do now. i was especially moved by the friendship that oliver sacks had with robin williams, and how he was weirded out by just how close he got his mannerisms in this portrayal. i love how it is shot with a focus on mirrors and eyeglasses-metaphors for “reality” and dreams, living and existing, reflexes and momentum. robert deniro is truly a great actor, he really captured the ticks of someone that has tourette’s, and did so with compassion and care-full study. i don’t really like the hollywood ending of hinting that he asked the nurse out for coffee romantically, but maybe sacks wasn’t out at that point.

30) just like being there-dir. scout shannon “if you’re a misfit, or an artist, and you don’t want to make money, it’s the perfect place for you” “good thing i went to flatstock, because if not, i’d be in law school!” this is in the stack of documentary gems that i snagged from st.lawrence last month. “the history books will tell you what happened, the art will tell you how we felt about it”. i was hooked from the first statement that at its heart, poster art is copyright infringement. i must have touched a poster that has been screenprinted at some point, but i just don’t remember. i’m a lover of the niche, so this is the perfect doc for me. i can also see the extreme pleasure of carving the levels of the screenprint-i’ll put it on my list of things to do again-i did a brief workshop at the st. emilie skillshare back in the day, making a print of my own face. years later, a new roommate saw it when she went home to visit and confirmed that it was me.

31) holy rollers-dir. bryan storkel i’m ready to say that this hand-full of docs that i got from st. lawrence is the strongest that i’ve procured in awhile. the idea that these christian pastors et. al have come to be the biggest team of card counters started just to make some money on the side is very intriguing to me, and reveals big church to be the pyramid scheme that it is. the pastor that has branched out into selling mom jeans and “nutritional product” justifying that god is ok with him also playing blackjack is a trip. over the course of the doc, he couldn’t reconcile it with his god. i really just wish he would shave his goatee-it’s so public-like. i wonder if the christianity of the players makes it easier for them to buy in to the pot and make an hourly wage despite how much they win-i don’t know why some don’t just splinter off as independents. “i think the casino is wrong because they mislead people”…interesting projection. the disguises tho. they acknowledge that it looks weird that he was let go from the team as the only non-christian. “god has provided this all for me-it’s my calling.” “some people go to business school, i ran a blackjack team”. with a pretty, pretty great rate of return, if i do say so myself. it’s an awful lot of biting the hand that feeds you when they’re all saying how much they hate casinos. interesting, but flawed logic like the interpretation of christianity itself.

32) the farewell-dir.lulu wang WOW. the only thing i saw about this was a brief glance of the cover (so brief that i didn’t even notice i was looking at awkwafina, but she wasn’t wearing a wig or glasses or anything at all but her face) and that mish had texted me asking if i wanted to cry my eyes out with her, and friends-that kind of therapy is good to have. it was so brilliantly cast, acted, written, shot, and scored. and to find out that lady is half of a power couple with barry jenkins?! whooo! i didn’t actually get to respond to simu‘s invitational (and only now realizing that he was next to jeremy lin on the raptors’ caravan), but i’m so glad so many folks turned out, and that i must have passed danita on the way out. i definitely need to see this again (and again).

33) ballers-season four so, ricky‘s lying to the woman in his life again, guys are blowing too much money, and now, russell brand is in the mix? at least he is more entertaining than he was in his audiobook that i could only stand for three minutes. it was priceless to see him yell “allah akbar” just before the young surfer put up his black power fist on the podium in a tribute to john carlos, tommie smith, and the panthers. it is interesting to see spencer dating a black woman, hey joy bryant-nice to see you haven’t aged a minute, but their chemistry is not at all believable. maybe because she’s a nice lady and more hotep than ho-tip, but still. the t-shirts are still on point, the wit sharp, and “tinder for dogs? man people keep stealing my good ideas!” and the sunken place bbq is hilarious tho. but it took a dark turn very fast. why doesn’t this guy ever take off his sunglasses when people could really use seeing his eyes? (oh, because he was saving it for the second last episode) and why is everyone so unduly mad at him when they are all implicated in the same shit? i have to take my hat off to the show writers and runners to keep this football soap opera going so strong for four seasons, and i love how it’s such a present example of justice and doing the right thing. whooooo. except ricky-he’s always doing the wrong thing. maybe for the right reasons? but maybe not.

34) time is illmatic-dir. one9 & erik parker it’s been 15 years since illmatic, and i’m glad dood is still touring-i have seen him a few times over the year, and he’s coming with mjb in a few months. the album has staying power, and this doc really focuses on the history and making of-knight makes an appearance, as does destiny, but there is no mention of their mamas or how the relationships happened. the testimony of his brother and father is something, and the scenes where they are reminiscing about where the folks in the liner credits are is kind of heartbreaking, as his his brother saying, “i’m not calling anyone out, but why wouldn’t you move if your son got shot? i had to pass by this courtyard where i got shot every day, and that’s kind of traumatizing.” oh, man.

35) grace jones-bloodlight and bami-dir. sophie fiennes “my expectations way exceed theirs” “i need more rouge” wow. grace jones is a clinic for life. her hats, her face, her stage presence, the fact that she seems to be shucking oysters constantly-aaaahhhh. what an icon, what an inspiration, what a hero not afraid of taking up space. no matter where. i think i was supposed to see this in the theatre, but i’m glad that i saw it after overnight inventory, when i was just laying on the couch eating popcorn and dried mango, bleeding into the power of my moon. it really set off my wine/weed/tarot/manicures hang with alex in the park.

36) it’s always sunny in philadelphia-season 5 i feel like this was one of the most succinct seasons, and any feeling that i wasn’t here for the rest of it have at least now been assuaged. the jokes are snappy and the timing is perfect, and rhea perlman is flawless once again. they took on the sexism, and i think this is the lane for them, it doesn’t make me as uncomfortable as the race stuff, because well, representation matters. season 6 is already on hold.

37) the book of salt-monique truong this one was recommended by anita, when we attended kim thuy‘s talk at the reference library for her cookbook. the bare minimum of a search to find out if this is a true story yields no answers. it’s certainly an interesting perspective and a snapshot of a time of many conflicting interests-french, american, vietnamese, gay, creative, and culinary.

“It denies her. It forces her to be short if not precise. In French, GertrudeStein finds herself wholly dependent on simple sentences. She compensates with the tone of her voice and the warmth of her eyes.” (34)

“Anh Minh believed that if he could save three minutes here, five minutes there, then one day he could tally them all up and have enough time to start life all over again.” (43)

“…but he was broke, and having no money at sea, he had learned, is better than having no money on land.” (108)

“A cook who has no desire to eat is a lost soul. Worse, he is a questionable cook.” (138)

“Yes, I know that they could have concluded that just from hearing you speak, but my Mesdames are in this way like me. They never assume that words can tell them the whole story.” (186)

“Words, Sweet Sunday Man, do not have twins in every language. Sometimes they have only distant cousins, and sometimes they pretend that they are not even related.” (223)

somehow, the days leading up to this book’s due date had slipped past me, and it’s a good thing i decided to honour the desire to go home and read this to return it on time, rather than not use my time wisely at the volunteer job that was not good at honouring my time this morning. it meant that i was around to answer the call to interview at the libary-a call i’ve been waiting for for close to ten years now. eeeeeeee!

singin’ a new june

we are one of two teams that still has current basketball-it’s kind of surreal, but also, catching up on all these pods that had us eliminated by the bucks, i have to just smile a bit, because we’re on a momentum that comes with playing with house money, against all odds. no matter what, we’re making history every game. every single game. what a time to be a raptors fan. our crew experienced our first loss together, but we weren’t going to sweep the warriors, and they got that one AI who used to play with that other AI. we won another one on the road! and tina found the cutest photo of us as kids and took it gracefully as i used it as a montage about how her team sucks, lol. but then we won the next two and doods came up big! and then, we lost the championship by one point-whom whomp. also, there are no acceptable circumstances under which we cheer for the debilitating injury of a superstar player-even if he’s kd. i’m sayin’. WE THE CHAMPS! WE THE CHAMPS! lowry wearing damon‘s jersey and holding up the trophy was everything in the parade, as well as ibaka leading the charge like it was the titanic. i’m great-full that my babymama came thru with the kids and my cappuccino. also-i’ve developed a taste for cappuccino.

thank you and you’re welcome, basketball fans. i’ve been watching this video and kyle and kawhi sharing the finals mvp trophy (“that’s nice!”) non-stop. bigups to pascal for winning the most improved player-we never had any doubts about you!

i got a shoutout in the employee newsletter in my first month! even though my name is spelled wrong, i know it was done as such so that folks can remember how to pronounce it. 🙂

abbi jacobson is amazing and i’m glad that i got the chance to see her say that she’s working on a queer tv adaptation of a league of their own.

i have been mainly learning czech on duolingo this month. i have also had many more discussions about killing and eating squirrels than i thought i ever would.

mum’s still the word for the moment, but there is huge news coming from the miikshiverse and i cannot be more elated! i am meeting corgis every day and nothing can stop us now!

there’s been a parade every week in this town! hooray for this pride where i seemed to have developed a tolerance for alcohol-i’m not sure why i was drinking so much rose-i’m not rick ross! i may not have found corn, but i wore my kimono and ended up rolling with so many of my new co-workers, and life is beauty-full. i even got so lit that i didn’t get my duolingo streak. i guess that’s what my 12,000+ lingots are for.

i’m finally putting my gay-ass baby badminton rackets to use by shuttlecocking around town. this humidity isn’t ideal for racket sports, but we will sport if it kills us. although i didn’t win the teeny trophy at music bingo, the winner did give it to me, so we are all champions indeed around here. also, i fired up the fan that lindsay bunz’d for soy milk for the first time, and damn, this is some good living. it’s a whole new world in this apartment.

1) just friends-dir. roger kumble i’m so glad i’m out of my friend-zone situation! also, someone that FZV introduced me to (and try to pawn me off on) recently walked back into my life, after also messaging and flaking on me online. surprise surprise-i gave them my number and they whatsapp’d to say that they were talking to someone, and proceeded to try to keep a conversation going. (harumph. are even the people connected to you by proxy all wack?!) anyways-this movie that seemed unnecessarily violent, but i guess that’s what’s funny-the comic genius of anna faris, and shades of deadpool future were the highlights. the story itself, of punishing the hot girl for not getting out of town and bettering herself, well-that’s a bit misogynist. but it was fun enough for an after-work decompress after a meandering graffiti walk from the market.

i spilled a whole smoothie after blending it, and my reaction was, “well-now i know how an oil baron feels”. (not sure what to make of this)

2) night school-malcolm d. lee “where the chicken is christian, for some reason” made me laugh out loud. i kind of love that kevin hart and the rock are in every single movie, and this one has the ensemble cast of comedic performances. it was nice to see tiffany be a regular person, and i’m loving that it was malcolm d. lee to do it. i bet this was a great set to witness improv on. i missed this one in the theatre, but am glad i’m seeing it now. thanks again, sanderson!

3) baywatch-dir. seth gordon if you would have told me that two of my favourite movie actors would be zac efron and the rock, i would have looked at you sideways. but there is something to action flicks, the movies are larger than life, with real people rather than superheroes. we keep seeing the trailer for the new fast and furious movie because they added idris and jason statham and while we were making a plan to see it, someone (who has questionable basketball facts) stated that the rock is a republican, so i checked into it, and it turns out that while he has once been republican, he has considered running for president as an independent against the sitting actor in office. nice cameo by hassel the hoff! i was wondering if there was going to be a callback (other than pam anderson in the opening credits) and thought it was only going to be on that little keychain. i gotta love that the villain is a woman of colour, and nice touch that the last remnant of her is a glass slipper.

4) angie tribeca-season one i am not really sure how i got here, but i’m here for it. i’m not sure why i thought this would be a serious show, but a few minutes into the first episode, i’m totally seeing how this is a show from the mind of nancy and steve carell. i love the ridiculous hot dog stand that seems to be all over town, and the ford sponsorship is an aggressive counter to they lyft sponsorship in insecure. i have been wondering why car ads are the only ones out there lately-is it because nobody is buying cars anymore? i spoke too soon-there are many other blatant ads for other products. and, “frontbutt” is the reason i got here-i’m kind of leaning towards seeing toy story 4 because of them. i’m here for cop farce, this is cute and funny. too bad the library does not have more than one season of it. OH SHIT! BILL MURRAY! BILL MURRAY QUOTING CARLY RAE JEPSON!

5) the dark dark-samatha hunt i love when a writer is good at short stories as well as novels. this collection seems to be pregancy-centric, and also death-centric, so-circle of life i guess? also-the wilderness and the unknown figure very prominently. i am so compelled by the deer story, as well as the completely formed and executed fact of each story. a love story is the one that was in non-required reading, but for some reason, i remember the arranging the chicken bones story as well. either way, the work stands multiple reads.

“America moves so quickly it blurs itself into a coma.” (133, The Love Machine)

“I’ve made humans. I’ve made things up. I tip taxi drivers ten, twenty dollars every time they don’t rape me.” (148, A Love Story)

“Why do people act like boys can’t be human? Like they don’t control their own bodies? It’s not a very nice way to think about boys.” (150, ibid)

multiple reads, it turns out, in the same volume. i discovered why the stories seemed familiar on the 29 bus. interesting, they are versions that are familiar yet different-i recognize the bones.

6) women with money-jean chatzsky i first heard about the her money podcast in bust magazine years ago, and have gotten some useful information out of it. i’m here for this audiobook, read by the author, because it’s like a v. long podcast. i appreciate that although we as women are socialized to be more open with each other, money remains the taboo topic that nobody talks about, not even with women friends. hearing about the process of this, i had a thought about attending a money conference with womens-i’d like that experience. she also has insights on how we are shaped by our money story, and how we can re/shape it. i have figured out that i don’t like the music or her cohost(s) on the pod-i really like this experience. i have been lying on the floor a lot to it. in hearing about her way to teach children about money, i’m realizing that my dad had his own way of “letting me make my own decisions” that would’ve been disastrous had he been someone else, but i’m also not someone else. “you can’t teach what you don’t do”. dang. that’s some shit. also, we have failed the 40/70 rule, but i suppose a lot of the other things would’ve had to have happened first. (shrugs). it’s interesting that she says “ah-men” and not “eh-men”. i suppose there is so much that i don’t have to worry about-elder care, fighting with siblings over an inheritance, etc. etc. there is a certain freedom in not expecting an inheritance at all. i feel like this book, in any form, should be required reading for all womens.

7) almost christmas-written and directed by david e. talbert i bawled all the way through this one, so i’m definitely premenstrual. i also grieved a spilled smoothie like an oil baron and had my neighbour fix my shaved side (how the fuck am i going to grow out this haircut?!) and he so very generously asked me if i wanted a time out before coming down to enjoy his last good food dinner. that’s exactly what i wanted. what a good friend. i feel like this is a remake of soul food, like how they already remade shaft with sam jackson twenty years ago, and they’re trying to pass this off as an original idea now. i believe the link here is the shared actor-who i recognize from survivor’s remorse.

8) mentors-russell brand “those of us searching for god in romance are doomed” i tried to renew this audiobook read by the author, but i could not, because there is a hold on it. (there was no hold on her money-just sayin’). this was only three discs, and i returned it after 3/4 of one. i’m sure he has a fascinating story, but he’s not the best reader, even of his own work. i’ll wait for the standup special.

9) ballers-season three after walking all the way home through dundas west fest, i decided that i wanted to watch ballers more than anything else. it’s perfect television. episode one had steph and aisha curry-making a very natural cameo in better times than the current ones (in basketball, not their love). episode two had the rock driving a monster truck! episode three brings the product placement of nba x espn as well as the crossover of all the good marijuana industry arguments. it also ended on a note that i didn’t get-ooh, the suspense. i am super loving ricky‘s indoor and outdoor pajamas this season. “yea, how does one get into the piss business, anyway?” i love hearing jidenna and keith sweat in the same five minute sequence. also, joe answered his phone with his nose, a skill that only white people seem to have tried to find out they have. i think i like this show because i wish i could limit all this stupid machismo to palatable 28-minute increments, but alas and alack, we cannot believe everything we see on tv. i also hate new york, and welcome different perspectives on why others do too. wow, not sure how i feel about the non-consensual ejaculating, but i guess they had an understanding about going in unprotected in the first place. i guess legacy is a theme in this season. what a great uphill camera angle to communicate san francisco. i think they made a mistake saying that kim k got famous fucking reggie on a tape, but it was ray j. i just read an article about raiders nation (including the gorilla) and there they were. finally-can someone tell me what the allegiance to travis scott is here?

10) charlie murphy-i will not apologize-dir. lance rivera un! it’s been a long time since i thought of him! the last time i heard anyone speak of charlie murphy, it was jay pharoah, talking of what a great mentor he was. i’m kind of feeling a way about the “high-functioning retard” material and the laughs it’s getting, and then it kicks in that it was 2009 and he brings it back to president bush. imagine how this material would land, and how much more ironic this would be. using his brother as a final punchline tho….there’s something charming about the lack of production value of the special and the bonus material live from the comedy clubs. but i’m beyond blown away by the leroy smith series, especially the absolutely perfect and timely single, “my gift to the game”. i don’t know if cee has seen this work, but it absolutely reminds me of him.

11) what doesn’t kill you makes you blacker-damon young so, this thing happened where my books are cross-referenced by my podcasts, and i think that means we’re living in the future. i first heard damon talking with kiese on death sex and money, which was rebroadcast on it’s only a game, and i was really looking forward to luvvie‘s questions for him on rants and randomness and surprisingly, she had no direct ones for him. he brought up lots of things in terms of gender and his privilege, and this is a man who has done the work-both in his book and the tour for it.

“(Little hood ni$$as get meet-cutes too, apparently. How do you like dem apples, Nora Ephron?)” (16) there’s just something so earnest and adorable about this statement, and it was the one that captured my heart.

“High school classrooms are basically Internet comment threads with acne.” (100, No Homo)

“I even began a short-lived bartering service where I’d lend rentals to classmates, exchanging them for cafeteria cheese fries or Karl Kani belts. For two weeks in the fall of 1995, I was Penn Hills Senior High School’s thrift shop Larry Flynt.” (116)

“There’s just no way of euphemizing the fact that you’re getting a new barber because you just believe the new barber is better, so instead of having that conversation with them, you ghost.” (266)

this is intense, because his barber died. what a cautionary tale that ultimately still brings you to put yourself (and your line up) first.

i enjoy the discussion of the intramural ball league-especially the rules of honour system fouls and it just seems really nice and civilized. i’m a bit concerned about bringing an infant and propping her up in the stands-what if she got a ball to the face?

12) the public-written and directed by emilio estevez wow. first of all, i knew that homie and paula abdul were dating, i didn’t know they were married for two years. i don’t know where he’s been since they divorced, but i love that he is such a fan of the public library-you have to be to create this amazing movie, and to wrangle such talent to stand behind it. i love that it’s a time capsule of the north york branch before it was renovated, and i love how nuanced “the public” is as a title, as it can really apply to the library, the people who frequent it (and all of their reasons), the voters, folks who need to be “protected”, and that mass of undefinable people that is often conjured in any of these contexts. i love this nuanced discussion of public space and i will see this movie more than once.

13) the last interview-j.d. salinger “He seems in many ways to have been a sweet man-touchy as hell, of course, but that’s not the worst sin in a writer, nor the most uncommon.” (xvii) i have never read catcher in the rye. but i know about it, of course, because of its alleged inspiration to mark david chapman. but this collection brought to light a seemingly common thread to the collection of folks who are famous recluses, and this one in particular brought up a lot of questions for me of what we expect out of a person-do we give people more of a pass on their privacy if they create a big enough body of work? because salinger refused to release his work and he didn’t want to talk to people either, did that make him stand out more than others? “Write your way out of it. Put everything down. Otherwise I have no answers for you.” (55) this advice hit me in the heart, right as i was finishing up my sample for the writing grant-if i get it i will put it all on blast. i love that someone tried to woo him into an interview by making him a mixtape based on his books-that’s genius, i might just take that idea someday. the most fascinating view was that of joanna smith rakoff‘s claim to have responded to his fanmail, but i suppose this is the draw of fanfic, or nikki killing every guest spot when she can’t carry a whole album, sometimes it’s easier to hop on a moving train than to build a locomotive from scratch.

14) fences-directed by denzel washington so, seeing an august wilson play has been on my list of things to do for some time, and film adaptations of plays can be hit and/or miss, but who better to trust with this first (i think) foray than denzel and miss viola davis? oh, the ever-continuing narrative of sons wanting their fathers’ approval. and cheating men expecting forgiveness and support from their wives (sucks teeth). and once again…legacy. don’t throw your junk in my backyard, my backyard’s full.

15) the unpublished city-anthology curated by dionne brand i don’t know if ian kamau is so comfortable with his pinxy folx that he would write “pilipino” on purpose, or if it is a typo. if so, it is the second one, on the first page. i’m not gonna lie-that’s a bit of a surprise. this collection is strong though, and i’m glad it exists. go ahead, poet laureate.

16) it’s always sunny in philadelphia-season three just when i thought that maybe i was over this show, they surprised me with more innovative levels of inappropriateness and i’m still here for it. i might take a bit of a break for a bit, but i’m not over it forever. fred savage directed episodes! so did jerry levine! (i was just saying that i definitely saw teen wolf) i suppose this show is “seinfeld on crack”.

17) the last interview-ursula k.le guin i haven’t actually read any of her books, but now i have one of her own recommendation. i recognize how important she is, but my feelings about sci-fi and fantasy are probably grounded in a will-full misinformation, but legit, i haven’t gotten around to it yet (like driving). i’m open now, and i may have a new fave, who knows. i do appreciate her taking up place in the genre and in the world. she was advocating for “they” pronouns in 1976, and challenged feminism in important ways. for sure, i’ve got some great pull quotes from this interview collection:

when asked about her favourites amongst her own work: “I love them all, the flawed little bastards.” (xii)

example of above: “This is going to look rather odd in print, but it really doesn’t matter to me very much what sex people are, and this is my main problem as a feminist. Every now and then I forget to be upset.” (71)

“And of course, we keep breeding.” (111)

“(Laughs) People will always take it literally, and they will quote it as the gospel truth, but what the hell-you just can’t write for stupid people.” (164)

“It’s a serious age, eighty-eight. If you turn the numbers on their side, it’s two infinities on top of each other.” (180)

and, i got a chill because she died shortly after that literal last interview, at the age of double-stacked forevers. damn.

18) the owls-written,produced and directed by cheryl dunye once again, i’m not sure how i made it this far without knowing cheryl dunye and/or her work. once again, i must express gratitude for the library, and specifically the sanderson branch. i’m glad this is the second one that i’m watching, as i’m seeing the comparisons to the watermelon woman in the way that the form of documentary is played with. this is later in her career, so i can see how she has gotten more comfortable with her craft, and how she’s kept innovating. this is another take on fences, in a way, and a meditation on what we build to keep folks in, and what we destroy to keep them out. “the older generation has transpanic that we’re losing all our good butches”. i hadn’t considered this to be about aging out of the queer community (or aging in) until the bonus material, but i suppose it is that, too.

19) thirteen reasons why-season one i was first told about this series by tala, and i feel like she was probably too young for it, but maybe she’s the perfect demographic. i can’t help but feel like this is a cautionary tale against forgetting technology. or the glamour project that the cassette (or mixtape) never got. but i suppose that’s what podcasts are now. i don’t mean to be callous about the suicide at the centre of the plot, but it does seem a bit self-involved. why do i get the feeling that this is a show about netflix and the way people choose to binge-watch, or not? but it was a book first so that doesn’t quite hold up? i do appreciate the mention of the sexual violence that girls are expected to take lying down and the lack of accountability for boys and school administration. loneliness and friendship are important teenage themes that are tackled in an interesting (if not always successful) way here. wait. are they all dead like lost? the dollar valentine seems like a gross violation of peoples’ privacy….shoes! not only in the house, but on the bed! nooooooo! there are a lot of parallels here to dark archie-i know it goes a bit deeper, but there is definitely a teenage aesthetic right now. i actually can’t believe they showed the suicide-it is so much more impactful now that we’ve watched all of the 13 reasons why. what a bunch of cliffhangers, i guess i’ll have to wait for the library to catch up, or for frankie’s netflix, but i have the last episodes of star to watch. watching the bonus material, of course dylan minette‘s favourite book is the catcher in the rye, of course. and also hannah has an australian accent in real life. also, bigup selena gomez for her role in this project.

20) mr. know-it-all-audiobook read by john waters if ever there was a hero of staying true to yourself, this man is absolutely it. it seems like he’s got a new memoir out every year, and i’m here for it. disc one talks about how he’s appalled now that he’s accepted. but since he is, why not go along with the seventy-five iterations of hairspray. i also learned that he was asked to officiate winona ryder and johnny depp‘s wedding, and he declined because winona was so young. it’s also so charming that he geeks out that boy george has “cocksucker residence” as his voicemail message-this is all kinds of goals. i also appreciate the tip of the mutually exploitative relationship between makers and the media-for content and free advertising. i also like the callout of the chinese market for killing international film for anything other than action and special effect films. i’m loving the streetwalking down his movie memory lane-it’s really sweet (rosanne was in there! a liberal when i knew her!) “art is everywhere-you just have to notice it”. i also love the intel that he masturbated to elvis for the first time at ten years old, thinking he had discovered something(s) that nobody else had. it also explains his relationship to johnny depp. i also love his succinct way of summarizing that as soon as you stop listening to new music, you are old-no truer sentiment has ever been expressed. early on a saturday morning, after drinking an unholy trinity of bourbon punch, tequila, and rose, while making mark bittman‘s bacon leek carbonara, i exclaimed “YESSSS!” as i heard him say that his favourite restaurant in new york was prune (so on my list of things to do) and could see his vision of his own dream restaurant, “gristle”. (swoooon). “man-made oysters!” oh my gaaaaawd. i love the true stories of people who do nutty things at book signings, and am here for his new gay heterosexuality, or new hetero-homosexuality. (sigh) ever an innovator, ever our elder. i like his boasting of his 16-1 record for marriage as the pope of trash beating the pope in rome. i love that he’s an advocate for monkey art, he’s writing a letter to his “son”, a doll that he got made fourteen years ago, and giggled at the question “if you want a standup career, why the hell did you become a flight attendant?!”-he will probably never know just how close to home that reminder hit. “please come to my grave, but don’t fuck on it. leave me black licorice.” i loooooooove him. of course he spends a lot of time talking about his death, as well as the death of those poor people who crashed into the world trade center on 9/11 watching a knight’s tale and doctor doolitle 2-who thinks to research this?!

20) paris is burning-dir. jennie livingston this is a movie that i didn’t realize that i hadn’t seen until it started. like wild style, it is one that seems to be so deeply entrenched in “the culture” that it’s required reading. i hope it is for the film studies students that came after me. it was lovely to see it on the big screen, and also like wild style, i can now see how problematic it is, in terms of the exploitation of the subjects. there is a huge void in the discussion of black trans women, even now with our “post-everything” corporate prides, and here’s to the unsung heroes who give up their lives and their secrets for the entertainment of the masses. this is why drag race and the ease with which white cis women feel entitled to it makes me uncomfortable. (sigh). thank you, queens.

21) goodbye to all that-writers on loving and leaving new york-ed. sari botton i’m sure that i came to this through “what my mother and i don’t talk about”, and i’m pretty charmed by it because i also have a history of loving, hating, living, writing, and leaving new york (even though i never really signed on). i mean, i love that this was the cusp of roxane gay being the cover star that automatically moves books, and her essay is particularly amazing. i love that i opened it on the day that i got a surprise letter from my 40-year-old pen pal, because maggie estep has an essay in the collection, and my pen pal and i connected because i left my email in a pencil note in her book, diary of an emotional idiot, that i thought about stealing, but did not steal from the victoria public library. i love that this got attention as a #booklook on insta, and also that not even a year later, part two came as a seemingly immediate regret. so new york.

“There was nothing for me to say goodbye to in New York because I never truly said hello. I became a writer without all the glamorous or anti-glamorous trappings of New York life I thought I needed.” (18, Strange Lands, Roxane Gay)

(swooooooooooon). also, me too.

“I had moved to New York to be near lots of people without actually having to interact with them.” (85, Think of This as a Window, Maggie Estep)

ibid. i also had a chance to gchat with this woman before she passed away in 2014 so she knew of my fangirldom.

“I want strangers to love New York, as long as they’re not walking slowly in front of me.” (107, Someday, Some Morning, Sometime, Emma Straub)

this was the perfect book to read as summer is kicking in and my resolve is tested on the daily in this humid parkdale apartment.

22) steven universe-season one i understand now why chrissle says all these gems are lesbians. i’m also super here for a crystal-based superhero that activates by eating ice cream, if even for a moment. ok, three episodes in, i’m thinking that this is really a show about how women must do the work mothering men regardless of their choices to be biological mothers or not. it could also be a callout of the trope of how a dopey dood is at the centre of a universe of amazing women, get top billing, and be lovable but incompetent. blah blah blah. but it’s like he’s piper and i’m here for the stories of the supporting cast, so i will keep watching this 55-episode season-at least the theme song is (mostly) amazing. BRO. THEY DID A TRIBUTE TO THE WENDY’S HOT DRINKS TRAINING VIDEO!!!! I LOVE THIS SHOW NOW! ugh. there are now 4 stevens in this episode-i don’t like this show anymore. oh no, what if this show is like how i thought i didn’t like evan, but really it’s because we recognized the self-absorbed ego-maniac in each other and just didn’t like that? (sigh). oh well, at least we’re great friends now, and i never have to watch another season of this show ever again.

23) bad moms-written and directed by jon lucas & scott moore what a fitting movie to watch on the “boxing day of pride”. i was a total bad mom last night. i wouldn’t say that i’m hungover, but i’m totally content to watch this, steven universe, and catch up on duolingo. i made a totally balanced breakfast of blackbird pastries, sausage and mushroom soup, jackfruit, black tea, and iced rosehip tea. i’ve wanted to see this since i took myself to the sequel two christmases ago, and i’m so glad that these women are a) still working, b) still hot and c) contributing to hilarious celluloid legacy of women. lilly singh talking about “foreign” women-i’m dead! i think using mascara to dye greys is low-key genius, and i can’t wait to try it. “mom’s don’t quit, that’s for dads!” i love it. even though i had a mom that quit-that’s a whole other winning choice, and i still respect her for it. but the interviews with the cast and their moms still crumbled me. to tiny bits of pistachio cake.

24) not becoming my mother-ruth reichl i didn’t know about the books that ruth reichl wrote about her mother because in 2009, i was just learning about her career as a food writer. i saw her live during the junket for my kitchen year, which was the inspiration for my now-abandoned dream of moving to mexico city in my 40th year (which is now). it was the first home book i finished in my emancipation year, and i recently saw that she has a new book, one day when i dipped into indigo to look for sticker books.

“All of those smart, competent women sat at home, twiddling their thumbs and telling their daughters how much they had enjoyed working during the war.” (52)

oh, the never-ending story of women who are not content to only be defined as mothers….

25) stranger inside-written and directed by cheryl dunye daaaamn. i feel like i’ve seen at least a trailer of this, or maybe i’m still puzzled as to how i haven’t at least been familiar with cheryl dunye-daaaamn. the writing, the acting, the jumpoff that this was for the cast-wow. and it’s interesting that i’m seeing this after oitnb , because they obviously should have referenced it for research purposes, because it’s so much more well done. i understand the restraints of one movie vs. a eleventeen-season series, but still.

26) kidding-season one i first heard of this show during tiff last year, at the first ever conference for canadian content producers. i had to leave before it was screened, but i put it on my list of things to do. wow. what an amazing cast and a great show. what a beauty-full place where non-wayansin living color cast to reunite, if only for a heartbeat. great writing, creative puppetry, and such a complete exploration of the life of a mister rogers‘ type character and the machinations of the showrunner/puppetmaster behind it all. i feel like the title is a take on “adulting”, and once again, carrey is in a role where he feels trapped in his own life, like the truman show. oh faaaack this show is good. the writing and acting is sooo strong. dangit. maybe this explains that weird red carpet interview? maybe it doesn’t?

27) portlandia-season eight this is the end. and they went out with a bang! “bruno mars is not in this band!” and the podcasters on the case in the cop shop, i just can’t. i have missed these two special gems, and am glad they are closing strong. all the best guest stars are back and amazing! traceee! i want her outfit and makeup!!!! they did NOT pay homage to both the bound video and the olsen twins pizza party video-aaaaahhhh. a corgi AND an elderly pug?! what a legacy.

28) the bronze-dir. bryan buckley i was at runnymede, and decided to only get this if i was getting other dvds. (of course i got more dvds). a minute into the opening sequence, i’m in love. she’s a horrible brat, but she gives her stolen money to folks to get their wheelchairs fixed. “what’s camel toe?” “just a pro term for sticking a landing” who is melissa rauch and why have i not seen her until now? oh, probably because i haven’t seen the big bang theory. well shit if this isn’t an ohio parable about lebron, i don’t know what is.

m’aidez

i’m back amongst those who earn the money. i’m also doing comedy again. nanaybaby is here tomorrow. it’s a lovely start to the month.

(save the part about seeing my breath to open the month).

it’s the playoffs, baby! i feel like a lot of series have been predetermined, but it’s still fun anyway. i also have to laugh that folks are just starting to get upset at the officials now-i even heard someone on a podcast say “there are three teams every game”, and as a raptors fan, that’s old hat-i said that at least three years ago. but hey-it sucks to be ahead of one’s time. i made it to jurassic park! game 5 of round 2 and it was still freezing outside, but it was well worth it for the biggest win in playoff history! and kawhi flagrant fouled serge, who took it like a champ and came back playing better-prolly because he knows he’s wrong for serving dood dick pizza. and then…game 6. (yikes). AND THEN KAWHI CAME THRU WITH THE BIGGEST SHOT IN OUR PLAYOFF HISTORY!!!! (happy bday eirene!) and then the emotional roller coaster continues going down 0-2 (yikes again). and back up with the winning viewers assembling at the choma household. i burned allll of the palo santo. WE THE FINALS! WE THE FINALS! game WON!

part of the joy of working in the market is that i get to fetch chicken carcasses for my friends and other celebrities, and i got to talk with: this national treasure i am also down with this workout that i’m getting every shift. i’ve managed to keep this same energy to come home and mop as well-i even cleaned the top of the fridge!

“so, he wants a relationship without the relating part” and “so, he doesn’t understand how women relate to each other” are things that my therapist (i luhhhhhhhh you mami) said to me this morning that blew my whole shit up. i realize how this precedent has influenced how i’ve been attracted/attractive to people who allow me to re-enact this self-fulfilling prophesy and also why i have currently not been interested at all because i am giving myself the time and space to do the work.

there appears to be a conclusion coming from the drama of two of the major canadian banks encouraging a transfer of an account and neither of them being able to find the funds. geeez.

1) peeples-written and directed by tina gordon chism craig robinson played the nba song onstage at his jfl 42 show a few years back and it was my favourite. seeing him open this movie with “speak it, don’t leak it” was everything. i love this cast-everyone is perfect. david alan grier has been the og, and i can’t turn down any reason to see him in anything. i still love the chocolate news, btw, and feel like it was underrated. also-casting melvin van peebles and diahann carroll as the grandparents?! classic.

2) the single moms club- dir. tyler perry i suppose i am a glutton for punishment and am going on a tyler perry binge right now. while not quite succumbing to acrimony (though the read has made me curious as fuck about it), i cannot deny how accomplished he is, or his commitment to carving a niche and sharing the love. “if you smoke too early, you don’t get boobs” nice advice from the nanny/maid. it’s nice to see these two latin hotties that i recognize from star. damn, motherhood is all about unrequited love. also-terry crews is hilarious. and tyler perry comes across hellacreepy (and is he wearing a man weave?). it is true that other people’s children are easier to deal with, and i love the message of everyone getting better by helping each other. not so enthused by the tyler perry cliche of them only coming together because they have men in their lives, tho. dangit, man. but maybe this is his way of making the fairytale that he always wanted come true. interesting glow up for the cover….

3) why did i get married too?- dir. tyler perry and, why not go all the way down the rabbit hole? what that just two crack jokes in the first thirteen minutes?! and why is jill scott’s wig always jacked when she’s with her new man? is this just a coincidence? janet put in the performance of a lifetime (and so did malik yoba, for that matter) and watching the behind the scenes material, i realized that she filmed this the year that michael left us, and i suppose i must thank tyler perry for giving her that outlet to release her anger and sadness. i’m not sure that i am down with these v.dark sides of the extreme drama, and rewarding folks with dates with the rock after driving their husbands to get hit by trucks, but that’s the tp aftertaste (like stevia) that makes you question why you watched this too.

4) chris brown-welcome to my life-dir. andrew sandler in this age of cancel culture, i was moved to watch this. also-jlo is on the cover and that really sold me. watching this footage, i’m remembering the chris brown fury that was real-i witnessed it when he was in that holiday movie-the decibel in that theatre was out of control. i’m also noticing how much buddy has modelled himself after chris brown as much as he has decided that he is basquiat as well as exploiting homeless people in photos. this is his side of the story, with rihanna‘s audio, and it seems like a lot of explaining around his assault, and once again swinging the focus from violence against women to supporting damaged men. perhaps it’s the fact that he was a child star that makes him a bit more sympathetic, and he’s still kind of young, because look how quick folks are to cancel the king of pop. (all of the sudden vs. the thirty-five years that it took to even be moved by any child that r.kelly hurt). watching the “man in the mirror” performance now for the first time-i’m wondering if this would’ve been enough to be his redemption song for me. i don’t even know if i ever went as far as chrissle and fury who have wanted to congratulate him for not fucking up (to no avail). i think the closest i can come is that both rihanna and karreuche are killing it.

5) tyler perry-higher is waiting so. i don’t know why i just assumed that this guy would read his own audiobook, but he does not. what i discovered was that i wanted him to read his own story. surprise, surprise. as it turns out, i could barely get through disc one, no disrespect to dominic hoffman, who reads just fine, but i don’t think i want any more audiobiographies that are not read by their author. maybe i will check the book out, maybe i will just continue to binge watch these movies.

6) let’s be cops-dir.luke greenfield i had a thought about the folks who were born at the same time as the juniors-baby ice cube and in this case, baby damon wayans. much in the way that sequels will get greenlit faster, i feel like the second generation is not only finer, but is coasting on the laurels of their daddies a bit, which is not to take away from their talent, which is definitely there. the roles are more diverse now, and that’s a big one for legacy. the buddy cop movie film is an interesting genre, and this one is about how far fake cops can take it, and exposes the reality of real fake cops in corrupt systems-and that is levels on levels. it’s funny when they abuse their power as civilians, but in this climate of actual police abuse of power, it’s an interesting choice. i know that i am here because i searched keegan michael key, and he does an impeccable impression of a dominican here-i feel like he’s also been watching desus and mero.

7) gingerbread-helen oyeyemi it was at the appel salon lecture for this book that i completely missed (but watched on video) that i met a woman who was there for something to do, but had never heard of her. she said she’d never read any of her books, and was not allowed to borrow any books due to her outstanding library fine, so we went downstairs and i took out what is not yours is not yours for her and she gave me her daughter’s business card. i knew it would be a risk, and of course she blew the return date, but i renewed it and sent an email to her daughter, which was never acknowledged, but the book is no longer on my record, so i guess that what is not any of ours is not ours, but returned without a trace. my very own harriet and perdita. i have decided to go into overdue town with this one. and, also not to finish it. i go to page 124 if ever i decide to pick it up again. here’s a pullquote from the first attempt:

“Daughters are enigmatic minefields of classified information.” (28) ain’t that the truth.

8) A.C.O.D.-dir. stuart zicherman “marriage isn’t stability, stability is stability”. what can i say, i’m a sucker for a star-studded cast. i had never heard of this one, but i’m not surprised that it was a hit at sundance. it came out in 2013, but i was confused about the previews, for movies like bad grandpa, which i feel like came out way before that. i am also an adult child of divorce, so i’m attracted to the subject matter, and jane lynch is amazing as usual. i was just at a party where i think someone tried to ask me if i thought that my parental models had anything to do with my current outlook on marriage, and seeing the streeters/film staff claim their status/philosophy on marriage, i know i will think more about this. at that same party, i derived great pleasure from reworking someone’s dating profiles and wonder if i may do it for nordstrom/indigo/sephora/sweet potato gift cards, as i got the humbling reality of earning slower than i can pay my bills, but i am choosing to see it as a good sign that i started getting paid in a three paycheque month. back to cash only for me!

9) let it go-written and directed by brian jett i love the bloor/gladstone library for its curation of feature films. i love the concept of this film-centering three fascinating felons around one humdrum probation officer. also, seeing kevin hart struggle in a hotdog suit without “kevin harting” is something quite endearing. “why does someone want to be a parole officer?” “i guess it’s the part of me that wants to believe that people can change”. i like the motif of reminiscing on couple pictures-it’s a reminder that everything we see on the gram is not all that it seems, which brings me to another telling quote of the movie, “so this is how the other side lives”. shoutout to this white man for showing a realistic portrayal of how a black man can be profiled and punished for the stupid behaviour/family connections of one drunk white woman that he’s not even with. now that i’ve seen the whole film, i’m seeing that it was variations on the theme of “let it go”-from people to ideas about people to ideas about our selves, or ourselves-very smart. i love it.

10) the best american nonrequired reading 2018-ed. sheila heti the 826 is amazing, and i love reading about the process and the young jurors-they are truly inspiring and so good at picking striking pieces. i’m also going into overdue town with this one, and it’s well worth it. i’m certain that it’s hanif abdurraquib is the reason that i got here, but i’m also happy that i got to read pieces by people who i’ve met for the first time here (and have been blown away), and those who i am comforted to know are still on good people’s radar.

“She was so angry, I was glad I couldn’t read her mind. I knew her thoughts would break my heart.” (41, Eight Bites, Carmen Maria Machado)

“I hope to write the book(s) people would want to read on the bus.” (86, In Conversation with Vi Khi Nao, Stacey Tran)

i had heard of kristen roupenian‘s “cat person” when she talked about her collection of short stories and i was wondering why there were so many questions about this piece-now i know. wow. damn.

“It walks a line between punishment and survival, like so many tools of escape do.” (249, On Future and Working Through what Hurts, Hanif Abdurraquib)

hmm. is this the attraction of sleeping until noon every day?

11) father figures-dir. lawrence sher i believe this is the first time i’ve seen glenn close in anything since damages. it’s definitely the first time i’ve seen her in a comedic role. i suppose the moral is that we can rise above our parental predecessors, and sometimes-our whole lives are a lie. two of my favourite comedians-ali wong and katt williams surprise cameos, and this was an original enough concept not to be saccharine or predictable. it was the perfect movie to organize my financial papers to after work.

12) gone girl-dir.david fincher is ben affleck a good actor, or is he just good at playing someone who seems really guilty for killing his wife? i never read this book, even though it was a book club phenomenon, and i am watching the movie now because tyler perry has a part-as the tommie cochran-esque defense lawyer. why does this woman write in her journal with a poofy pen and call herself a “girl”? i knew there was more than met the eye, but can’t really be onboard with a plan that involves killing herself…also-what does this do for the reality that most women who are battered by the men in their lives are not sociopaths with the means to frame them for murder? does her clever disguise of glasses and a shitty new orleans accent really present a good enough cover? and the media spinning the idea of “twincest”?! this is rather sensational. it also just confirms what i’ve always thought about some people-nobody is blameless. is she actually pregnant? has she finally met her match in doogie howser? turns out, nope. she’s actually too skilled in the art of manipulation and sexual violence. damn. i am so stressed by this. why didn’t they wash the blood off of her in the hospital? man, this does nothing to dissuade me from thinking that marriage is trash.

13) the chi-season one bright colours, chance, a charming-ass kid making deals, and we’re off to the races. twelve minutes in, and i’m in love. i’m so glad this is in its third season, and lena waithe is a beast (i love the mini her). that is quite the glamour shot of the unglamorous school lunch. i am also feeling the shots of folks through windows. yaaaw, sneakers as currency/lifestyle/contradiction….i’ve been waiting for someone to make this statement in a way that is true. “murder capital, where they murder for capital”. kids growing up too fast, negotiating, hardening to survive-the storytelling is amazing-this kind of coincidence can only be written by someone who really cares enough to respect the people behind the characters she is portraying. (swoon). these kids ain’t loyal. i love the acknowledgement of the police force deciding the outcome of certain things before they happen-it highlights the long-standing corruption, and this is even before the jussie smollet debacle. disgusting-the stop and frisk averted because of the anniversary reservation, and i don’t think that was even an exaggeration. common is an imam, and they played “the light” at a point when an accidental dick pic was sent. i guess i feel the way that i did when kanye produced be, to bring common to a wider audience, common producing is bringing chicago to the forefront, and also boosting lena waithe. sometimes, relationships get ill. holy cautionary tales of (not)listening, people. this high school production of the wiz is everything. daaaamn. revenge is a dish served savagely to family! the grieving moms meeting each other in the support group is some foreshadowing, and the second depiction i’ve seen of this in the past few weeks-it’s another way of gathering and witnessing, and i’m interested in gathering and witnessing, especially in non-religious ways. “if i’m gonna tell it, then i’m gonna tell it all”-these people’s confession! the reveals! and, the boys’ murders have been “resolved”, which is a miracle in and of itself, but the setup for what happens next with these forever links is so well done. i love this show.

14) girls-season five leave it to me to go to the complete opposite of series. while i really prefer the previous lena, i’m appreciative of the fact that at least these two are out here, making their media. it was a bit of an intense switch, to go from chi-town realness to white bridezilla, but one episode down of extreme self-absorption, and nine to go. i’m glad the show is ending, and i will complete it. i’m glad the episodes are short. it’s hilarious that she first appears in a “i woke up like this sweatshirt” and has built in the conversation of her body image and nudity. it’s also something that ray‘s character keeps getting lumped in with trans issues-first lecturing guys on not asking about trans issues, and then stumbling through a conversation with a trans person. which season did a young obama work on? there is so much weird nudity in this show. and lisa bonet?! never thought i would see that coming, and i’m glad the season ends on a positive note, in terms of people being honest with themselves.

15) The Last Interview-Ernest Hemingway ok, so when i get an idea into my head, i’m dedicated. i have called in every edition of this that i could, and i’m ready to read some interviews. i know it’s because of hanif, and because i have been reading short-form magazine writing, and also that it’s been a minute since i’ve written any of it (and this may be foreshadowing) but i’m excited for the folks that i don’t know more than the folks that i do-because it’s like making a story from a collection of talking photographs. hemingway has reminded me that the subject can control the interview (to an extent) but the editor is really the one with all the power. he also seems like kind of a dick, but was a voracious reader, so i suppose i get it. well-by all accounts, he was a voracious book collector. maybe he was frontin’ like gatsby. i learned that hemingway worked at the toronto star, that he committed suicide (i know, i’m so late to this game), that all of his books were seized by the castro empire, and that europeans drink red wine chilled. huh.

16) ingrid goes west-dir. matt spicer i love aubrey plaza, and baby ice cube is still so fine. once again, this is an amazing project that is a cautionary tale against social media, with an insight on batman that i’ve never heard before-well, maybe evan has said something…but i like the parallel to being obsessed with imaginary worlds and curating the “best” version of yourself as result of what you think other people what to see and being obsessed with imaginary worlds and not giving a shit what other people think.

17) kim’s convenience-season two back to these charming characters! i’m still confused as to why some folks say “jung” and others say “chung”. i laughed out loud when mr. chin compared janet to his three-year old “teenage” dog getting sexy at the dog park. i recognized one of the dog statues in the window! they are in cabbagetown and the show is set in regent park…i’m also loving the faux brands-“ip” pasta instead of “kd” and “bulk boutique”. the score continues to be amazing, and i love that the kids are watching riverdale-maybe it’s a shoutout to their network mates…”we so badass-like cagney and lacey!” i’m here for that shoutout. “fancy, like batman parents”. i’m pretty sure that i recognized the independent hot dog seller on queen and ossington in a street shot. appa telling raj about his mistake not to choose janet was everything, and i appreciate the facts on hand sanitizer-i’ve been saying that for years. oh, the missed connection between jung and his dad is amazing. i like that they are reconciling, but what will the plot tension be when they do? well, i guess we don’t have to worry about that. as well as when kimchee and janet get together? there is no going back from the bonus materials now, and this season did not disappoint. bigup to ins for keeping his play going and evolving-he may have been a bit stiff as the warden on prison dancer, but respects for this piece-it’s such an inspiration.

18) the last interview-christopher hitchens one of my coworkers asked me what i was reading yesterday and we had a brief conversation about this. as a brit-he shared that hitchens has an ultra right-wing brother, and that’s interesting, as perhaps he sharpened his skills before even left home. siblings, amirite? this is only the second in the series that i have engaged with, but it would seem that only favourable snapshots (or at least only those interviews with a favourable bend) are assembled, and i suppose it is a bit gauche to poke fun of the dead, and that could be another niche series that someone else will have to take up-oh wait, there’s the internet, never mind. style is a theme-in developing his writing style (for style’s sake), his personal style, and the fact that he had a one-year affair with anna wintour! i hadn’t considered his takedown of mother theresa-i suppose i was just too far removed, in terms of age and (lack of) religion to consider any of the points in real time, but i see now that there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered on that front.

“Only serious people have a sense of humor, only those who best understand the world can make us laugh.” (xi, from stephen fry‘s intro-honestly, for at least 2/2 that i’ve read, the intro is always the strongest entry)

“I have no time to waste on this planet being told what to do by those who think that God has given them instructions.” (108) here, here.

“I have learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness. Amazing.” (121)

19) girls-the last season oh, poor hannah-still making such trash decisions to trust such trash men. i like the stylistic choice that i just noticed to have people play covers of the outgoing song, the desperado flute solo was everything-perhaps the only thing better than rihanna‘s original-i’m still getting a chill. i also somehow forgot that jessa and shoshana are cousins. elijah has gone back to being mostly one-dimensional (no revisiting thus far of his heart being crushed after his realization that he wants a relationship) but i’m here for his “i survived season 3 of ally mcbeal” shirt and his statement of “we can’t all be justin trudeau“. this process of interviewing writers to find out things that she already knows is a bit painful, but i guess we all go through it. i’m kind of doing it now by reading these interview books. and is that tracey ullman?! also, why are all of desi‘s shoulders ripped? everybody is this show is so self-absorbed, maybe this is what classifies it as a white show (and why it’s so hard to watch). but i suppose that the continued flashing of everyone’s female public hair is a radical act. while it is absolutely presumptuous of the doctor (who i don’t remember) to share his abortion resources, i can’t fault him for strongly suspecting that it would be the right move. it’s something that the casting of a slightly more glamourous hannah in the movie within the show-is this self-reflexion or self-loathing? and then we find out that fake hannah has had three children, so is art imitating life or is life imitating art? does she realize that that’s supposed to be her? wow-i don’t feel sorry for marnie for having a narcissistic mom because it explains her, but doesn’t excuse her-i don’t feel bad at all-i’m kind of over giving white women a medal for taking up space. but white women are not alone-they’re always feeling bad for themselves for doing the work that men should be doing, and that sets a horrible precedent for the rest of us. i love that elijah got to have his aunt viv moment and that marnie got told about herself by the pawn shop man. i know i just finished saying i don’t feel bad for any of these people, but it is a heartbreaking moment when adam and hannah realize that it’s not going to work out (again). and sometimes, things don’t work out, the band breaks up, and the baby don’t latch. but, sometimes it does. a bittersweet goodbye to this one, indeed. it’s not perfect, but it’s here.

20) the last interview-julia child i just noticed how great it was that season two of kim’s convenience was 13 episodes instead of 10, and it was julia who broke down for me that 13 weeks is a quarter of a year, which is conceivably, a natural “season” that corresponds to fake seasons of television. this is the first that i’ve heard of her not liking julie powell‘s blog project, and maybe that’s why they filmed the movie after her death. she also loathed cilantro, which is interesting. i like the meditation on what it would’ve been if they stayed stationed in china instead of france, which is interesting because she loved chinese cooking, and obviously french, but if she was in viet nam, who was colonized by both-she would’ve hated the food-because we are a people of cilantro. i also love that working for PBS means that they didn’t have a budget so they would auction off the food they’d cooked to the audience. you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

“You learn to cook so that you don’t have to be a slave to recipes. You get what’s in season and you know what to do with it.” (62)

“We have people who want to learn how to cook, which is quite different from people who just want to be amused by cooking.” (134)

and this is the difference between folks who cook because they learned from tv and folks who cook because they did it by experience.

21) the last interview-martin luther king jr. so the most striking thing about this volume is that there’s a selection where he’s doing a guest spot for ebony magazine called “advice for living”, and it’s literally people asking if they should divorce and white people asking what they can do to help the racial cause, so it’s like the read now. it’s one of those things that is only incredulous in retrospect, but it’s kind of amazing nonetheless.

“You don’t have a solid South regionally. You have three South’s. The South of compliance-Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, West Virginia. The wait-and-see South-North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Arkansas. Then the recalcitrant, hard-core, resistant South-Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia. There are several South’s in terms of attitudes.” (40, Does Segregation Equal Integration? interview with Mike Wallace, 1958)

this is an interesting breakdown, because i have only thought about “the south got something to say” rap south, which was unified in terms of east coast/west coast.

“One of the great tragedies of the war in Vietnam is that it has strengthened the military-industrial complex, and it must be made clear now that there are some programs that we can cut back on-the space program and certainly the war in Vietnam-and get on with this program of a war on poverty. Right now we don’t even have a skirmish against poverty, and we really need an all-out, mobilized war that will make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life.” (110)

poverty vs. war and space travel is still so relevant, it’s kind of tragic. (sigh). just like “whitey on the moon” and when i last sat in the motown museum lamenting the loss of marvin, since he was singing about right now.

22) they can’t kill us until they kill us-hanif abdurraquib i love it when i read someone who reminds me how much i love writing and reading about music. i’m fully obsessed with hanif, and this is the best essay mixtape translation that i never knew was probable until i saw it was possible. bigups for real. like with kendrick’s work, i have become accustomed to anticipating shivers, and this collection brought me many. i am considering stealing it from the library, for the first time since kanye at abbey road.

“Stepping out into the night, swallowed by grey even inside of the black, I’m not sure if I came here tonight to forget pain, or to remember thirst.” (46, The Weeknd and the Future of Loveless Sex)

see? (swoon).

“Home is where the heart begins, but not where the heart stays. The heart scatters across states, and has nothing left after what home takes from it.” (61, Under Half-Lit Fluorescents: The Wonder Years and the Great Suburban Narrative)

ibid on the (swoon).

“No one decides when the people we love are actually gone. May we all be buried on our own terms.” (116, Fall Out Boy Forever)

it was really kind that he did not name the teammate that mj punched in the face. steve kerr (i’m not that kind).

“The link between black music and black survival shows up most urgently when the stakes are at their highest.” (150, Tell ‘Em All to Come and Get Me)

“I realized then that the magic of ‘Alright’ is the same magic that exists in the body language of the joyful black greeting. It fits so well into these movements because it pulls so many people on the front lines of them to a place of healing. It works as both as a rallying cry and a salve.” (151, ibid.)

and, i love that kendrick has become not only an artist who is younger than the generation he moves to write about him, the turnaround time of criticism of his work is very fast, and that he won a pulitzer prize for music. i also love that he loves bubba sparxxx and got a final chill this morning about serena williams and his mediation on being on different sides of the gun and his white father-in-law. daaaaamn.

23) mike and dave need wedding dates-dir. jake szymanski so, i’m clearly on an aubrey plaza binge, and i have yet to be disappointed. this time, i get an anna kendrick bonus-it’s great to see this scrappy little nobody in a comedic role, she really is hilarious. as is zac efron, whom i have decided i really like now. i wonder how closely based on real-life events the plot was because, weddings are unbelievable, but this is next level. so, what does it mean that i’ve heard “raphael is cool but rude” twice in the last six hours?

24) ballers-season two back in football land, and we’re off to the races. the kanye 2020 shirt in the first frame that turned into a de la shirt in the next, the same paak song that we just played during our closing shift-scott vener does the music-that makes so much sense now! this is the perfect way to decompress from the rampant problematic male energy that we witnessed today-i like how this show moves it all around so that i don’t have to be a part of it. THEY JUST SUGGESTED BURNING PALO SANTO-AAAAAHHHH DID THIS FOOL JUST CALL AN ALPACA ‘RIHANNA’?! “i don’t need you to forgive me, i just want you to know i’m sorry” is a huge statement, for life. i love this show. they cast well with the rock.

25) it’s always sunny in philadelphia-season one and two i am very late to this game. i feel like this gives me a unique viewpoint on the “ironically” problematic shows that help set the scene for our current state of affairs. i remember the white folks who talked to me about loving this show, and i wonder if they saw it ironically or literally. i wonder this about the intentions of the show creators. i’m only two episodes in and it’s a bit uncomfortable-i haven’t worked out if it’s the provocative kind of uncomfortable or if it’s the kind of uncomfortable that is just uncomfortable. (also, this may be an opportunity to work out the difference). a couple more and it’s kind of like strangers with candy, where the adults learn the wrong lesson. and, danny devito has entered the building. a shitty father figure always brings things to the next level. i wouldn’t go so far as to get his face tattooed on my body like the girl i saw with that in the audience at strombo one day back when that was a thing. who’s your daddy, indeed.

26) do yourself a favor and forgive-joyce meyer i always thought that forgiveness was a human thing first, but i’m realizing now how tied to religion it is. i have mixed feelings about this, as of course, it is a trait that brings value to christianity, but also it’s an extreme method of control/flex to admonish people for not forgiving each other in the way that god allegedly forgives us. lots to think about.

27) the secret lives of sports fans-eric simons “The world, it seems, can be split into three categories: the humble, the proud, and the oblivious.” this explains why people wear sports garments “because we like the colour”, and also why they double team and/or wear something that has nothing to do with the team or sport of the event they are attending-i did see someone in pittsburg steelers slides at jurassic park a few weeks back…and there’s always someone who’s wearing a kobe jersey everywhere.

(105) “Love is not an emotion. It is different from sexual desire. More like hunger than anger, it doesn’t have a discrete physical structure to work with so, in some sense, it has to invent its own.
If this sounds familiar, well, yes. It is definitely like watching sports.” (151)

“In fact, the dopamine is good because it drives him to practice. We need pleasure for basic survival.” (170)

“Humans, in turns out, have an incredible ability to suspect others of lacking sufficient loyalty to the group.” (236)

“Testosterone does not mandate aggression; dopamine reward does not mandate addiction. Conflict in our genes is not conflict in our destiny.” (279)

and yes, i have thought about folks who choose to boo players-i do not, i boo officials, and clap when they miss, but i don’t boo anyone. there’s a lot of pressure and it’s an insecure move to tear down the other team-i choose to cheer for when our team is doing well. i am also not down with the energy of the mob, and am glad that i fell into a winning watching team in a comfortable home on the plushest of rugs. this was an interesting read, i can see how the author has contributed to radiolab. maybe one day i will go back to that pod, but i’m still smarting from the overdose when i first moved here.

28) the little hours-dir.jeff baena well, the director is aubrey plaza‘s partner, so-that’s amazing. imdb shows me that he also directed a zombie film starring his lady called life after beth. as far as religious tales goes, i like this one. now that girls is over, it’s a good thing there are still vehicles for jemima kirke to show her pubic hair.

29) nobody’s fool-dir. tyler perry i think i saw a trailer for this somewhere, but did not know it was a tyler perry project. tiffany haddish is everything, and i swear i recognized tika sumpter from something, but the google search only brings up her having to defend her white husband and another tyler perry project that i had no idea existed-the have and have nots. i’m pretty sure that aa meetings don’t happen in open coffee shops where people announce that aa meetings are happening. omari hardwick is beefier than he is in power, and he’s sporting the danny green 2019 frohawk, but i like this dynamic a lot. whoopi goldberg is also awesome, though i don’t know why she has such an unfortunate wig. catfish is an interesting plot twist, and it is a great opportunity to make a hilarious cameo, but once again-the woman is successful in work but not in love, and the man is flawed but has all the answers. and she has to lose him to get him back. also-bigups to that white dress, which needs its own imdb page by now. also, why on earth were there 16 PAs on this film?!

30) support the girls-written and directed by andrew bujalski i suppose this night was a girls trip reunion tour. i am not really sure what i was expecting from this, but it wasn’t quite a comedy, and not really a tragedy either. regina hall is great, though her accent comes and goes, and i feel like this is kind of a meditation on what it means to stay at a job too long when your values do not quite align with that of your boss and/or company, and where the healthy lines do or do not exist in the world of good managers and coworkers. there is a parallel between what healthy relationships look like at work and at home, and what loneliness means. i guess this film attempts to answer the question of what kind of women choose to work at hooters?

31) what my mother and i don’t talk about-fifteen writers break the silence-ed. michele filgate “our mother is our first home, that’s why we’re always trying to find our way back”. “lies make fools of the ones we love”. i am listening to this one on audiobook, certain again that this is a result of my completist mission. it’s been a minute since i’ve thought about demeter and persephone, but it’s fitting here. “It was a trap for all of us, made of all of us”. dang, what power-full insight alexander chee brings to the experience of people’s reaction to your admitting that you have been molested or sexually abused, daaaang. “storytellers are survivors, and our stories are our currency-what we choose to share with each other is a marker of intimacy”. what a fine line between connecting with someone through stories and being an emotional vampire, vomiting our stories on anyone who happens to walk by with ears. dammit if kiese laymon is not the quintessential american author, at least the one that i would name. and then, the carmen maria machado mother story happens-whoo. ok, a tie for quintessential american author then. sometimes, growing up is accepting that our parents are damaged children that we cannot turn to for comfort. i once shared a stage with evelyn lau and bookended her statement of “our parents have spent our whole lives killing us” with, “and, we have spent our whole lives killing them right back”. all truth, all pretty woman quote.

32) a simple favor-dir. paul feig so, this is a bit of a left turn for paul feig-bravo. i remember seeing the trailer for this, which told us basically nothing. i love anna kendrick, so i was compelled to find out what it was about when i saw it at the library last week. i’ve never really had an opinion on blake lively-but i thought she was a noteworthy wife choice after alanis morisette, and have loved her eggnog french toast recipe that i read in some men’s magazine once. the pacing really complements her acting, and her wardrobing (featuring all red bottoms) was quite interesting. bonus was nick young from crazy rich asians as the husband pawn! this felt a bit like single white female meets gone girl, but was good enough to keep my attention while i was doing my dishes and meal planning.

33) mr. splitfoot-samantha hunt i can usually see one writer crush roll into another-and this has happened after hanif, and because of hanif. the samantha hunt selection that the kids picked for non-required reading 2018 made such an impression that i put everything that i could of hers on hold, and this one grabbed me by the heart from page one. this hasn’t happened since the lonely hearts hotel.

“She doesn’t even know enough about mothers to fabricate a good one. Her idea of a mother is like a non-dead person’s idea of heaven.” (1)

SEE?!

“A song from the ’80s comes on the radio and they dance. They think it is a new song, because it is to them.” (151)

i am absolutely floored by this book. can’t wait to read the rest of her catalogue.

34) the people vs. o.j. simpson-american crime story i remember when this came out, it was the talk of the town. i never got around to watching it, but it’s fitting that it’s finals time while i am now, as it was the first time since the recent warriors‘ run that i wasn’t interested in the finals at all-rockets vs. knicks. i figured that i should tune into game 7, and all i saw was the white bronco chase. the first note of interest is that john travolta starred in and produced the series. apparently, marcia clark still thinks oj is guilty and also had ties to scientology. ross is robert kardashian, and this brings in the affair with kris (and khloe‘s father status). the pacing is very dramatic-i’m a bit skeptical of why they needed to stretch it over this many episodes, it’s like a time capsule watching the dramatizations of the rodney king riots, and it’s a trip to one day think that all of the crimes that led to the black lives matter movement may one day be the same b-roll for some television drama. depicting the young kardashians in front of the tv chanting their own name is a thing, and this is the first i’ve heard of the suicide note/gun to his own head in the backseat of the bronco. at the time, i was a teenager, and was all gung-ho on the racism of the LAPD angle, because that was (and is) 100% real, but this is another perspective into how an opportunity was wasted in defending a murderer. i also had not yet come into the intersectionality of my feminism, and that’s why my math teacher was surprised that i celebrated his not-guilty verdict, as the underdog. also-if these headlines are real, “dream team deepens bench” precedes the 1996 barcelona dream team, which is my first memory of the name. the impression of black women-both sides wrong for different reasons, is yet another example of how some folks are still objects, and not subjects. also-we get a skinny lance ito, with no discussion of his appointment as probably having more to do with his “model minority” status than his talent. also, his wife being an LAPD officer lying about her conflict of interest with mark furhman is a detail that i don’t think should just be brushed over. i also got a wave of recognition for the extended jury selection…it’s also interesting that i read the jim brown book recently, and his charge that oj has never given back to the community as he has (with the curious dismissal of the fact that he has always beat women in the same way that he has) is echoed in this dramatization. what an episode for john singleton to direct-whoooo! (rip). this is important exploration of christopher darden though, and how he was backed into all the corners. is it common practice for jurors to go touring the crime scenes? and for defense teams to be able to stage these crime scenes with the suspect as host? the blatant sexism that plagued marcia throughout the whole case is something that needed to be portrayed, and i’m glad that it’s on record. now that robert kardashian has passed, this was an opportunity to show him in a new light, just in time for kim to follow in his footsteps of justice. i had no idea about the jurors’ influence on the case, and it’s a unique angle for sure. on a petty note-nice to see that coach casey‘s suits are getting play on the actor playing johnnie cochran. the amount of times the characters look at the cameras within the cameras is a reminder of how big a role the media played in this case, and how important it was to reality tv as well as the introduction of dna evidence. wow. i can’t believe that folks still believe he didn’t do it, or that the fact that this guy wrote a book called “i didn’t do it but if i did, this is how i would’ve done it” was omitted from the film. but then, this is a country where folks still think elvis is alive. and he was finally found guilty and served time for stealing his own sports memorabilia but not the murders?! if you ask me, this was perfect timing after the unbelievable happened in november of 2016.

35) ray bradbury-the last interview “The secret of life is being in love.” (4) so i admit that i did not know who ray bradbury was, but i just took out all the books i could from the series. this one is different from the rest of the collection because all of the interviews were done by one person, sam weller, his main biographer. i realized a few pages in that he wrote farenheit 451 and had a really interesting career as an architect, screenwriter and consultant. i love his love for libraries, most (obvi).

36) the watermelon woman-cheryl dunye i was returning my materials to sanderson before work one day and found this browsing through their materials (new curator and all). three minutes in, this has opened a window to all the materials i can get by dunye, as well as the “of course” that she has directed episodes of queen sugar and the chi. this doc is simultaneously a search for a legacy of black women in film, and also ends up being a history of black queer women, “i think she’s in the family”-i love it! i also love the produce truck. i don’t know that i believe that first kiss-though, do all white people do that weird licking thing? what an uncomfortable reminder of queer folx of colour who beef with each other because some folx only seem to be attracted to white women. i’m lovin’ the clip of the roots’ “silent treatment” tho. i love all of the wardrobing-i’m here for the styling and the fits. i totally believed in the fictional woman. i love the perspectives (literally and literally) of the bonus short-black is blue. just, wow.

37) naz &maalik-written and directed by jay dockendorf this is another gem of a film that i picked up from sanderson. i love it. it is so refreshing and perfectly cast and acted. it is a complex and intersectional american story. it almost makes me miss brooklyn. (almost). i love this young emo love and all of their troubles-real and imagined. i guess we have to play all the lottos of life, one way or another.

act a (april) fool

alright, aries-let’s do this better than pisces, yea? (i mean, we can’t really do it worse…but let me not challenge the universe) this new moon has brought me certainty that i don’t need to accept anyone else’s timelines-i can respect them, but i can also just leave them right thurr. and feel no kind of ways.

to everyone out there that’s going through it-i see you, i feel you, i’ve been going through it too-but the minute we give up, we are dead. so reach out and let’s stay alive-i promise i will too. thank you for being there and reminding me that i’m pretty.

i’ve taken the recent food poisoning as an opportunity to go on an elimination diet/start eating intentionally-it shouldn’t have had to come to that, but i’m great-full that it did.

i feel like this emotional roller coaster has reflected the weather-one day it’s warm enough for knees out, the next there is the chill of winter again. oh well-we can’t just shine with the sun-that’s so basic-and we might as well move to california-no shade to anyone who is moving to cali-really-no shade.

i also feel like this shedding of figurative skin is like the shedding of the physical foot skin-day five of the foot peel is a weird one-it reminds me of peeling the wallpaper at my grandma’s house and i’m wondering if i will just keep peeling to reveal stumps and that’s how i will know it’s done.

i figured out how to put podcasts on my phone, and while i am hellalate to the game-i really needed that win, and now i can listen to music podcasts while walking again, and that is everything.

my second evergreen swap went really well-and is more proof that life is better with friends. nothing doing for my marie kondo-IT ALL SPARKS JOY. but on the upside, it all sparks joy.

my favourite is when i come to events and some dood takes up a lot of space and assumes he’s the only one who knows anything about rap. but it was a great info session nonetheless, and vegetables in the free lunch.

i got to volunteer to meticulously staple flyers at six degrees, and learned a lot walking around distributing them. among the things i learned were a) the fact that thinx are now available all the time at the drake general store and that b) i have a crush on you is a permanent art space/wonder-full art selling establishment.

friend eating holidaze are great. it’s been my pleasure to roll foods with people. it’s been a bit of a challenge to transport rolled foods uptown, but i’ve taken it like a champ.

the pigeons are back, with humping sounds that i have never heard before-greaaat. happy spring. turns out, these are the grunts of a single pigeon, no humping-is this the most awkward mating call?! or should it get a clue-nobody wants that, buddy-it’s so desperate.

we are out of the first round of the playoffs, and have set a franchise record of winning a series in less than 6 games-thanks, orlando for that. also, it was 8:48 last night and still bright out, so yea, daylight!

i am back among the working, and it’s great. a real perspective change to be the new person learning names and things and stumbling through brain overload. but i am seeing great crew trainers (and what all they can be) and chose well in terms of a compassionate workplace in line with its own politics. also, it’s the first time in a long time that i do not work with vegans, and that’s something of note.

1) black writers matter-edited by whitney french bigups to whitney french-this is a huge leap from poems in a tree, or at a foldup table in kensington market. from one poet busker to another-CONGRATULATIONS, WOMAN-YOU DID THIS DAMN THING! and what a strong collection to add to the canadian canon-a living example of the conversation i was having a few weeks ago about why we have to challenge what constitutes as a “masterpiece” because that whole discourse is based in systemic academic whiteness, even when those awards are handed to writers who are not white. i didn’t know any of these writers (as writers) and i’m glad for the introduction. the pieces that resonated most with me were rowan mccandless’ “hunger games” and christelle saint-julien‘s “memorialty” from which i pulled this mic drop:

“When I write, I can be anything, including who I am.” (163)

and, wow. gotta love this-but don’t kill me in concluding that whitney hella looks like poussey!

2) mothers who can’t love-susan forward and, man. what a heavy selection in my sad sack reading of this quarter-perhaps this is part of my problem, lol! i read through and skimmed the examples that don’t quite apply for me, because i don’t have the kind of damage that comes from presence-though i can identify with the insecurity that comes from absence, but at the end of the day-i learned that i get to make my own blueprint, and have been free to just try some shit my whole life. i did put “heal mother wound” on my list of things to do, but it has always kind of been there.

3) dear white people-season two and, i have always been down with other people’s netflix. this came up the other night because we were going to have a movie night but couldn’t agree on a movie. i was two star episodes behind, and that got me the bogart privileges. (i loooooove lee daniels’ star soo much and can’t really see what anyone has against it). regardless, i was still watching and then of course i remembered this lovely gem of a 30-minute episode series that is still new to me. i can’t get over how gorgeous everyone is, how well they frame up, and the costumes, (sigh), the costumes. also, joelle is sooo pretty and reminds me so much of vincia, and i’m glad that she finally gets to win this season. it’s pretty genius to have tessa thompson come in, especially the character that she plays, and the mindfuck it is to have sam 2.0 wrestle with the existential crisis of “i’m not her!” i like how true to life the portrayal of how beds and politics and a social circle overlap, as well as the complicating of white guilt and internalized racism/shadism that can only happen with a longer format. i also don’t think it’s an accident that beyonce‘s last tour was heavily highlighting the black college experience, and i’m thinking a lot about the idea of academia and the resistance, especially since all of the episodes of the philly free library podcast that i’m catching up on are about fredrick douglass and the civil war-the more things change, i suppose. in my watching of season one, i remember noting in passing that giancarlo esposito was the narrator, and i got a chill with the foreshadowing of his appearance in the moment of the final episode of this season. giddy up.

4) go-dir. doug liman i thought i had seen this movie, but turns out, if i did, i completely forgot everything (this has happened). so ’90s, such great performances from these young babies-scott wolf, sarah polley, katie holmes, and melissa mccarthy! i am kind of glad that i saw this now, in the context of her career since that point. it’s interesting that this is the film that dood made after swingers, and also that it was made by the same guy who made swingers (and mr. & mrs. smith and the bourne identity) i’m all for multiple points of view (since the world seems to be moving all the way away from that) and am excited to watch the slap, which is on hold for me at the library, and i just heard desus and mero talk about. this was the perfect end to dinner and movie night, and lovely to enjoy with a slice of cherry pie.

5) prison dancer-dir. romeo candido my favourite musical. forever. i love this iteration of the show, and am glad for the things that carry over-jeigh and norm, i see you. it was not a coincidence that i was listening to the lin manuel episode of song exploder where he’s talking about making the puerto rico relief song, and the added bonus was i got to hug vincia and we got to witness this show together.

6) girls-season 4 the watching machine is baaack! what a pleasant surprise from lindsay when we met to drop off our clothes before the evergreen swap. i binge-watched this season in the afternoon following my first volunteer stapling shift at six degrees (look out for the coupon campaign for the new location!) here is another season of circular relationships and a battle over being self-absorbed/being indignant about being self-absorbed. it’s interesting that there was an episode of hannah sleeping in a storage locker, like the episode of atlanta where earv does the same. with the way rent is going, why not? i love the bookend of insecurity/security about adam, and am kind of feeling the new adventures on the horizon for everyone irrespective of men (even though it’s always men who encouraged them to go on that path). i guess it’s fitting that hannah is the only one that’s boo’d up (though a lot can happen in six months), and i’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

7) looking for lorraine-imani perry i’ve decided not to finish this one because it’s on demand and someone else has a hold on it, and also i listened to the philly free library podcast when dr. perry was on the junket for it. what a necessary story, though, completely.

8) we wear the mask-ed. brando skyhorse and lisa page wow. the lies peoples’ parents tell them. or, as this shift in age comes-the lies people tell their children. this is mostly a collection of folks who had the opposite dolezal experience. i still wonder what the heck rachel did to her parents to make them blow up her spot like they did, and these folks have had to deal with the legacy of passing, with varying levels of awareness/complicity. the diversity of passing tales (across race, gender, and class) is vast, and i’ve always loved brando skyhorse.

“Not talking about race isn’t an option any person of color in this country has ever had, in particular if it’s not clear what race you are.” (15, College Application Essay #2, Brando Skyhorse)

“While there are myriad ways to pass, I’m intrigued by economic passing, the act of leading others to believe you belong to a higher-or lower-economic class of social status than the one to which you actually belong.” (134, Class Acts, Clarence Page)

“Whenever you pass as someone other than who you are, the presumption is that you know who you are first of all, and then you decide not to be that. I didn’t know anything. I certainly didn’t know who I was, and I could only guess at who I wanted to be.” (182, Passing Ambition, Sergio Troncoso)

9) orange is the new black-season five i finally got to see the riot that ensues, and see a season stretch over three days. the betrayal, the politics, and the tension between portraying guards (and inmates for that matter) as real people and monsters continues. i do like the continued exploration of the failure of the prison system, though the “doctor curry” stereotype that is milked too far and brushed off too easily as comic relief by the “white trash crackheads” is a bit gratuitous, as is the unexplained nudity of the inmates in this season. but i appreciate the introduction of the discussion on social media (as well as the shoutout to the hamster burrito video) and the cross-cultural discussion of gender roles in regards to the socialization of sisterwives and princesses, s/heroes and victims, and the sheer genius of using a cellphone alarm as a vibrator. also-red light special is the best song to see a guard strip to, hands down. it’s interesting that piper says that the mcc lost lamb reminds her of “me, but more annoying”, as she’s right in the way that she’s a privileged white woman who is manipulative and being set up to get her just desserts (if there is justice in the television world). it feels like we’re running out of gas, but i’m still interested in what comes next.

10) kim’s convenience-season one it’s good to finally get to see this show. i wish i had seen it when i had to explain to the man with accidental white privilege the difference in people speaking in accents “racist” when it’s the people who are of the ethnicity that they are representing, but it’s like when people used to think that “ricepaper” was a racist magazine name. the difference is inside/outside, people. it started a bit dicey, with the gay/trans material, but got better as the episodes rolled out. i don’t like the sexual dynamics with the boss-i feel like it’s a joke of casual sexism, and i’m not here for it. i’m also not sure about calling a dood “kimchi”, but hey-we’re catching up to a lot of years of representation, and representation matters. i do like the inter-racial dynamics across gender lines-with the church ladies and the chinese man who comes over to gloat about his businesses and the targeting illegally parked japanese cars. i truly laughed out loud in the hapkido episode. this show is on netflix now, and i wonder if it’s too many asian family shows with fresh off the boat.
yikes-soops awkward sweaty kiss. ah, i see-it was acting. and now jung likes the inappropriate boss? i kind of love that kimchi is vietnamese and he brings the toilet flush with a bucket to the narrative. oh man. and i’m totally crying at the season finale. what a triumph for canadian television, and television period.

11) because sometimes you just gotta draw a cover with your left hand-stephan pastis i picked this up because i somehow neglected to travel without a book, and was only picking up dvds. so of course i overcompensated by getting too many magazines and this comic collection to go along with my 300 flyers. it’s a bit hacky to make silly puns and make your animal characters point out that they’re hacky silly puns, but i did laugh out loud. the rat’s my favourite. i can’t tell if i’ve ever read this comic before, or if the animals are just drawn a lot like mo willems‘, but homage seems to figure heavily in this guy’s work. either way, another example of why the in-person library experience is still important.

12) broad city-season four ooh, flashback? it’s kind of confusing but ok. nice rupaul cameo, and why is ilana getting insight from a baked potato wrapper? this is the second reference in two white women shows to “that terrible new york times article” about asian nail salons. now that i’ve listened to abbi‘s audiobook, i’m seeing it play out in this season of the show (the second last). i’m still pretty confused about the timeline, but i’m still watching (and beating john on duolingo and waiting for the game). i love the animation of the mushrooms episode, but who the fuck does mushrooms in the city? and, officially two cameos from oitnb-it’s so weird when tv worlds collide, like those two power children also being on oitnb. aaah, i understand the flashback now because of the season finale callback. i’m also glad that i got to catch up with my bust mags (shoutout to the college/shaw branch for having a downtown collection-though who on your staff is the huge amy schumer fan?), and got to read the article where these two are cover stars whilst watching this season. woot!

13) the good place-season one and…my use of other people’s netflix continues! i got about seven episodes in after catching up on star at frankie‘s, and the show is cute, the concept is good, and the cast is perfect, but i expected a bit more based on the hoopla. but i’m glad i get to see jameela in action-she’s such a badass. i suspect this show to be a bit of a glib way of white folks lightly acknowledging their privilege and not dealing with it, and so far, both people who “don’t belong” have committed crimes of selling fake drugs to people, so perhaps there’s some big pharma conspiracy, or the “architect” that doesn’t belong may be suspect of selling “heaven” as fake drugs to everyone. we’ll see-i’m still speculating and who knows when i will get to finish this one.

14) vacation-written & directed by jonathan goldstein & john francis daley total impulse pickup on the day i forgot to bring reading materials, heavily motivated by the cast-christina applegate, whut whut?! also-bonus soupcons of regina hall and keegan michael key? alright. i mostly did not watch this, just had it on in the background while i got ready for my second easter dinner, but it was predictable and cute in the way that i like my predictable and cute movies to be.

15) prince-the last interview and other conversations i came to this because i am currently binge-reading everything that hanif abdurraquib has written, and indeed, his introduction gave me shivers, in the same vein as me’shell‘s cover of “sometimes it rains in april”. i maintain that this man is the only one who could just show up now and say, “just kidding”, and we would all forgive him, forever and ever. i took this because it was a slim volume for my trek uptown, and then realized that i read it on the death anniversary, so it’s a day when all of our gods are resurrected. i maxed out my holds list getting out as many of these volumes as i can, even if i don’t know the work of the artists/writers, because-why not?

“Interviewing at its best is a match between what a speaker is willing to give and what a listener is willing to take away. I’ve been on both sides of that table; I have sympathy for both speaker and listener.” (x, intro, hanif abdurraquib)

“No last name, and please, no ‘the’ prefix. Just Prince.” (8, Prince-interview with Lisa Hendricksson, Minnesota Daily, April 1977)

16) hollywood africans-jon batiste i don’t know how i got here, but i’m glad i did. i can’t remember the last time i heard a contemporary piano album that i loved, and i’m here for it. a quick google taught me that this guy leads colbert‘s band, and that’s cool. i’m thinking that i will prolly play this album the fuck out.

17) flint-dir. bruce beresford “you thought this was a sprint, it’s a marathon”. despite its big-name cast, i’m not surprised that there wasn’t a lot of hype around this movie, since, the struggle continues. water is life, and i don’t know how much longer we can keep avoiding this fact. the marathon indeed continues (rip nipsey) and this one is surprisingly directed by the same dood that did driving miss daisy. huh.

18) little-dir.tina gordon having issa rae say, “i’ve never seen a better glowup” is pure genius. also, what is her continued sponsorship by lyft?! this movie was cute, and i’m glad i saw it, but i feel like the lesson of “money makes things better” is kind of a superficial fix that comes across a bit stronger than that of friendship, but it’s still good to have this as part of the pop culture offering. marsai is amazing, and that outfit she’s wearing for the dance sequence at the end is everything. it’s good to see luke james get to be a happier guy, and for everyone to find love and wealth. fairy tales are still problematic, but i guess this is a way of evening the playing field.

19) lila & eve-dir. charles stone III i believe i have admitted in the past that i love jennifer lopez movies. this is probably because i find her captivating to look at. i checked out two more dvds that feature her last night. also-viola davis is a real actress, and i kind of wanted to see how she would hang. the concept of this is interesting, and part way through, i was just thinking that jlo was the worst person with boundaries ever, but really, it was fight club situation, and i’ve been thinking about what the reality would be if all of this was truly the process of one woman alone. i don’t think it’s a coincidence that her name is eve, as “that snake, could be that cool cat, whispering she trynna play you for a fool, black”-the google led me to this director being the same one as uncle drew, drumline (also attributes the film to tina gordon as director), and the roots‘ “what they do” video. the cast interviews are interesting, as per usual, and i also learned that viola‘s husband is her supporting actor and co-producer.

20) wiener dog-todd solondz from the extended credits and highly stylized float in on a skateboard, wiener dog is beauty-full. i love the way this film looks, and the signature deadpan and completely inappropriate delivery that todd solondz brings. man, i would love to talk to him, or watch someone else crack this nut, i’m sure his mind is an amazing thing. also-kieran culkin filled out and is a man now-igby grew up. i love that the cover is kind of a callback to the woody allen films that are mostly ensemble cast, and i love the idea that someone just grabs this accidentally and gets this instead. it was the perfect movie to come home and unwind to. i’m not sure how the dog gets from hotdogs to bomb, but i guess that’s supposed to be inferred in the “intermission”? either way, it’s weird and wonder-full and i love it.

21) nina-written and directed by cynthia mort so-lauryn hill was busy? i remember when this was just coming out, that there was a huge kerfuffle, and i can see this now-i mean, zoe saldana is blackface struggling with the voice-at least they didn’t cast scarlett johansson? (sigh). the writer and director is a 62-year-old white woman who mostly got her start writing on roseanne. i know, it gets better and better. i don’t know what it is that attracts me to these biopics, but maybe it’s the hope that i will learn something new, or that i think that watching them will ensure that they keep making them, though it’s always a struggle with the family-in this case, poor little zoe got dragged trying to get them to co-sign. well. that couldn’t have come as a surprise…the credits are uncomfortable to watch-this interpretive dance in the mesh body suit-i just can’t.

22) the crown ain’t worth much-hanif willis-abdurraquib as we can see, i’m currently obsessed with this man’s work. lucky for me, so much of it is available all at the same time. it always comes back to poets for me-my favourite writers are the poets. poets are home. here’s my favourite, from THE YEAR MY BROTHER STOPPED LISTENING TO HIP-HOP:

“…I was cruising down Livingston
with a girl riding shotgun who woke up
that morning in my Tribe Called Quest t-shirt hoping
I would finally tell her I loved her back
& two months later she fell in love with a coast
where my phone calls were no longer currency
& I didn’t know how to define that kind of alone…” (29-30)

23) a brief history of seven killings-marlon james damn. this was so much book. i have not been this intimidated by a book in such a long time, but i did it. i might take a breather before i dive right into crouching tiger, red leopard, though. it’s not the sheer number of pages, although i have tended to get scared by the 500+, which is ridiculous because i regularly read the 300+, and sometimes many of them in a week, so it should be the same, but it’s just the concentration of pages i guess? but in this case-it was also the characters and switching their pov every two pages-maybe this is why i never got into harry potter either? (no, that one is because i am waiting to be invited to a cottage). here are the quotes that took me the last 8 weeks (on and off) to pull:

“Dead people never stop talking. Maybe because death is not death at all, just a detention after school.” (1, starting strong…)

“I tell you, if birth control is a plot to kill black people, then the Singer must be the plot to breed them back.” (133) just ask lauryn how she felt when six days after her sixth she was on stage with rage against the machine and rohan was picking up ladies in ethiopia.

“The problem with a book is that you never know what it’s planning to do to you until you’re too far into it.” (157) and this is a spike lee self-reflexive moment if i ever saw one.

“My lipstick looks like it was put on by a blind baby.” (228) what a stunning visual.

“Jamaica never gets worse or better, it just finds new ways to stay the same.” (282) i think this was the moment that i came up with “between maintain and mundane” for my #thatspace series on the twitter.

“I don’t know, there comes a point when you’re walking that you’ve walked too far and there’s really nothing to do but continue.” (441)

this is exactly what reading this book was like. sheesh.

24) i feel pretty-written and directed by abby kohn & marc silverstein imagine a world where regular girls are so confident that they are not affected by mean girls and society. michelle williams is amazing-i’ve never seen her in a role like this. the baby voice is amazing. i’m not sure that i’m here for making fun of the guy for being “feminine” for taking zumba classes and not taking the lead. also, she was lying when she met him, and she was lying when she broke up with him. i guess the lesson is not to be too confident and lose touch with your friends. basically-skeelo said it best when he reminded us to be kind to the people on the way up because they are the same ones who are on the way back down. it gets kind of silly, but i guess that’s the point-self-absorption is delusional and damaging no matter what you look like. this feels a lot like trainwreck, but i suppose it’s good to take aim at the cosmetics industry and show solidarity within it-amongst white women, but hey-we have to go make our own things, right?

25) the flower of my secret-pedro almodovar “god, i don’t believe in you but come save me.” “but no war compares to you” these are my favourite quotes from this film that has the signature almodovar feel, but seems to have gone back in time in terms of the visual product. the highly saturated ’90s colours are gone, in its place a more sepia or ’80s look, but there is stunning work with mirrors and angles in this tale of ghostwriting and life substitutes. the drama is high (and at times absurdist) and i’m here for it. i can’t remember the last time i saw an almodovar film, and that’s too long. i feel a binge-catchup coming.

26) second act-dir. peter segal i love jennifer lopez movies. i mentioned that, right? i missed this one in the theatre last winter (carlton cinema, whut whut) and at first glance, i thought it was pretty brazen to call this movie “second act” when it centres around a 40-year-old woman, especially when it’s played by someone who is closer to 50, but that in itself is radical because it’s usually much younger women who are playing older. but then i thought about how it’s fitting because it’s the second time she puts on an act in terms of her daughter. it’s better than i thought, but i’m not really feeling the pattern of women being whoever they want until they get too big for their britches, and just listening to the rational men who told them what to do all along. also-why doesn’t dood realize that she has broken into his house to steal the plant? also-leah remini reminds me a lot of natasha lyonne.

27) colossal-written and directed by nacho vigalondo i have wanted to see this for awhile because i thought it was about her period. it is not. thirty-four minutes to go and i’m still not sure what the heck it’s about, except a bunch of unresolved feelings. why do the people of seoul have to suffer though? what the actual fuck? why is it the responsibility of one woman to endure the physical and psychological abuse of a man that she’s not even with to save the lives of innocent koreans?! hmm. maybe this is a film about climate change. it’s a hell of a statement on global footprints, and how mother nature wins in the end. well-i can deal with this type of fairytale.

28) ballers-season one i guess i’m going through a football phase right now, and this time, with the rock, it might just stick. the yung money theme song is a good start. the involvement of peter berg is another good sign. i’m into this show as a football version of survivor’s remorse and i’m here for the thirty minute episodes. episode one highlight: “funeral hoes” and “god’s plan”. episode two highlight: “we leased it” and i look forward to seeing what will happen when #18’s girl finds out that he ain’t shit-swearing that he will be faith-full and immediately tries to sell the chain that she got him (with his own money). episode three highlight: “have you ever been to saskatchewan?” episode four highlight: “i am bigger than my problems” episode five highlight: “thanks, uncle frank”. episode six highlight: the rock wearing a tank top that says “people’s champ”-everything is everything. episode seven highlight: birdman-as himself! episode eight highlight: “KOBE SPENT FOUR MILLION!” episode nine highlight: straight-up mercy kills. episode ten highlight: “fuck dad it is..” (bonus-the rock‘s ass) i will also watch the opening credits every time because of the two elderly pugs who appear three-quarters of the way through running the treadmill.

29) jim brown-last man standing-dave zirin i suppose this is a football wave, though really i’m down to read every sports book that zirin has ever written. i really love his commitment to the social justice bend of athletes, as well as the societal conditions at the times they were playing. (sigh). that violence against women piece really puts a damper on the building of historical heroes though, huh? but humans are nothing if not contradictory but damn. i don’t really know what to do with this one. i’m also not sure why he doesn’t work with barkley, from where i’m sitting they have a lot in common in terms of ideology. he projects his expectations that other pro athletes own up to their own sexual misconduct and violence against their partners, but admits to having a double standard when it comes to wanting to have all the new pussy, but expecting women to be faithful. it’s an interesting dating history, from racquel welsch to gloria steinem (who may have justified his abuse). oh, man.

30) breaking big-pbs series hosted by carlos watson a lot of these folks featured are folks that i have searched many times on the toronto public library website, so it makes sense that i would have come to it, but i’m still very glad that i did. here are some things that stood out from each feature. from trevor noah‘s-i don’t think i knew that he initially said “no” to the show, or that he started as a correspondent, but i’m glad that he and many of the correspondents have been such strong showings at just for laughs over the years. from eddie huang‘s, i love that his mom says that she didn’t teach him how to cook, “he steal from me”. i also love that his brother is interviewed as well, because i only heard about him in the last book in particular. at some point in time, i must have either eaten at baohaus or i found out about it through hip-hop related sources. either way, bigups to this dood for real. it’s huge to be able to expose your family and get to a place where you can heal together. and the sheer number of platforms that he’s been success-full over? sheesh. hashtag, goals. from danai gurira‘s, i didn’t know about her theatre background, and am very impressed by her drive to always be a creator and to only take roles that spoke to her. i really want to see eclipsed and applaud their gall and activism. can we even imagine a world where danai was not michonne? i had no idea who jason aldean is, but i suppose there must be some content for everyone to relate to, but i am glad for his realistic stance on gun control. i had been wondering about soul cycle, but it was last in my mind when kimmy schmidt exposed it as a cult. i had kind of written off spin class in general, but after seeing this profile on ruth zukerman i am curious about it and flywheel, though i will probably rewind it to see why she left one to form the other. it does bring to my mind thoughts about improving by adding things vs. improving by taking things away. i’m happy to see that roxanne gay‘s story includes footage of her at the appel salon. carlos might be a good editor, but he needs to fix his face as a host. “there is a god for broken people”-damn, she is amazing. i got a chill when she said that she sees her writing taking her next to film and tv. i also love that she advocates for people having jobs-that is the reality of so many of us, and great to hear an amazingly accomplished writer say. i admit that i know michael strahan‘s name more than his football legacy, but i just teared up at his hall of fame induction speech. i love what he acknowledges about changing the conversation when he stands up, and think back to officer smiley, who made himself smaller while taking my statement, and how much i appreciate that. also-bigups to him on the multiple hustles-i love how he works that mike tyson lisp. i’m glad to see kirsten gillibrand here, having heard her episode of the philly free library podcast last month. an added bonus is that she’s a longtime friend of connie britton‘s and that they studied in china together, and am adding them to my americans in china mixtape along with kanye and his mama. she has announced that she’s running for 2020, people. in west philadelphia, lee daniels was born and raised. it’s unbelievable that his grandma told him he was a faggot when he was 8, and that he started his own successful nursing agency with no prior experience. i’m not surprised that the woman that loved him enough to tell him he was gay was asian-we are always the beard. HE WAS A PA ON PURPLE RAIN?! “i didn’t know what to make of me, prince liked me”. i forgot that he was involved in monster’s ball and didn’t know that he was too afraid to direct it and produced it instead. i also wonder if sapphire ultimately is ok with her decision to let him have it-this is the first that i’m hearing that it was a fight to get the rights for push. it’s a hilarious outtake that he was yelling at oprah in the butler because she couldn’t do laundry properly-woooow. i appreciate the different perspective of a blonde beauty queen fox news anchor in gretchen carlson, and applaud her for standing up and leading the charge of sexual assault in the media workplace. bigups on taking the bikinis out of the miss america pageant, too. i feel like i only know christian siriano as a big time designer, i didn’t know that he got his big break on project runway. aha! the reason i thought he was always big time was that michelle obama chose to wear him (along with jason wu). what a fashion revolutionary for expanding his couture to all women and stepping up to dress leslie jones when no one else would. special shoutout to taystee for her cameo in the lane bryant ad campaign. and rounding it out was mayor carmen yulin cruz, who i had seen get into it with 45 over the hurricane, but had no idea of her path into office and continued pushing against her own party. what an inspiring series this has been, i’m not surprised that it’s been called back to the library-everyone should put it on hold.

march madness

so, the month started with an unexpected treat by MLSE of a detroit roadtrip to watch our team lose to coach casey’s new team. it was a bittersweet bookend to this tenure as a season ticket holder.

also-lots of love from my peoples with whom it doesn’t have to be so difficult all the fucking time. we all deserve this, people-we deserve to be with the ones who want to love us, feed us, hold us, and see us.

the work front has gotten very exciting all of a sudden-dangit, it just goes to show-when i say i want to work, i want to work. lots of potential life changes on the horizon, but i suppose they have always been there. it’s been quite an ordeal trying to jump up in the air and stay there.

my last games as a season ticket holder are coming up-it’s kind of surreal that the first time i see us actually beat lebron, kyle‘s not playing, and it comes as the man who’s made it to the finals the last eight years in a row will not even make the playoffs. further-it was outshadowed by the bloody fight that happened in the stands next to us, and urkel being in the building.

all my ipods are dead now. boo. i am sad and wish i had these podcasts on a thing i can walk with. “there’s a thing called demo-itis” and “they just reminded me of kittens-and i love kittens” are examples of gems from jhene aiko‘s episode of song exploder that i’m sure would have given me life in a walking way.

i am going through it with my hair right now-i can’t handle the growout, i can’t reach certain places to shave, i’m trying to comb it over, the greys are in full force, and dangit, i get all the flyaways when i put it up. (sigh).

1) handbook for an unpredictable life-rosie perez i went looking for this because of the in living color book, and i recognize the parts that that author took, basically in her exact words. another virgo with struggles with family-gotta love it. but damn, i’m sorry that she had to struggle with the group home and the convent and all of that, at least she always knew that someone (her tia, her dad) loved her and was fighting for her, despite her narcissistic and controlling mother. i am also in outrage over the grandparents being fired for being group home parents for having weed, but the man going free for raping one of the girls. i love her for speaking out about the attempted sexual abuse from her half brother, and i can identify with being afraid when five percenters wanted to talk to you. also with moving somewhere and hustling to make money because folks were robbing and betraying her. ooh the story about how she got on soul train! and how she got to teach bobby brown how to dance because of it. it just goes to show-people will always want to hold you back, but better ones will notice you. and meeting spike lee?! and negotiating by machete where that ice cube could go! puffy was heavy d‘s driver and a club dancer! ll cool j‘s dad was a creepy dick! slick rick pulled a gun on her! i never knew she became an AIDS activist because of her actual gay husband. her survivor’s remorse is real, and i hope that she is truly good with jennifer. being recognized by rodney dangerfield at the emmys! tom cruise holding her papi’s hand at the oscars while she got him orange juice for his diabetic crash and her swearing her way back into the ceremony! i’ve always loved this woman, and listening to her audiobook has made me love and appreciate her even more. what a treasure.

2) isn’t it romantic-dir. todd strauss-schulson this is the perfect example of the sports movies where they learn the lesson, and still win anyway-it takes away from the lesson as the win. i kind of feel like the real moral of the story is that fat girls can find love too, despite what their jaded mothers who drink wine floats say. but at least it’s self-reflexive. i’ve been a fan of rebel wilson, even though she’s got that corpse-complexion that i’ve been recently made aware of. but, i prefer the other movie that she was in on this topic, where she was an actually happy single person.

3) a brief history of seven killings-marlon james so, i cannot remember the last time i read a 700-page book, but it’s probably been a minute. i regularly read 300-pagers, so it’s not that big of a deal, but just like how five lines of four people will always look shorter than one line of 20, i suppose optics are a thing. i also happen to be reading this book at the same time as a couple people on the outskirts of my circle, so i suppose the world is small and all of that.

4) best food writing of 2018-ed. ruth reichl i love ruth reichl. i also love food. i mean, obviously-but i love all facets of food-the growing and harvesting, shopping for a spectrum of food-from junk to organic produce, and i love the politics of waste and power. this collection has it all, and i want to track down all of the articles in the “honourable mentions” in the back-dangit! i was also blown away by how much i had no idea about, and am great-full to this woman for her continued knowledge and gifts in this curation.

“Suffice to say that we love to consume stories about consumption in all its forms.” (xii, foreward, Silvia Killingsworth)

“Apparently the rules have changed. Women may not have value as chefs, but as victims we’re finally interesting!” (34, Amanda Cohen, I’ve Worked in Food for Twenty Years. Now You Finally Care about Female Chefs?)

“Soon the entire Nixon administration was sold on the idea that we could make our enemies-and even our friends-dependent on us to feed themselves.” (75, Ted Genoways, Bringing in the Beans)

i knew it….this is why i am so passionate about the distribution of resources…

“It’s hard to have pride when you’re poor. Finding joy in food that comes from a bag or a box feels like a sin in a society that demonizes it. Now it’s hard for me to honor that happiness when grieving. Food brings me home, but it also makes me face my shame.” (123, Marissa Higgins, The Struggle of ‘Eating Well’ When You’re Poor)

“Craft is only as white as the lies it tells itself.” (146, Lauren Michele Jackson, The White Lies of Craft Culture)

“It’s always hard to leave the place you call home. Sometimes it’s harder to come back.” (164, Francis Lam, In Good Hands)

“Maybe I would have learned this reading anything, but I learned it reading cookbooks: words can be used to make an idea more precise or more vague, to make something clear or to blur its edges. Some writers are good at imagining people who don’t live a life exactly like their own, and others seem incapable.” (230, Tejal Rao, The Joy of Reading About Cooking)

also-these nba fools with the pbj! I had no idea!

5) don’t call us dead-danez smith daaaang. i just read the first poem aloud, and got a chill. i haven’t felt this way about poetry in awhile (you know what that means!) just look at this brilliance:

“history is what it is. it knows what it did.” (summer, somewhere)

“take your God back. though his songs are beautiful, his miracles are inconsistent……abra-cadaver. white bread voodoo. sorcery you claim not to practice, hand my cousin a pistol to do your work. i tried, white people. i tried to love you, but you spent my brother’s funeral making plans for brunch, talking too loud next to his bones.” (dear white america)

aaaah. i love him sooo much. just go read this because every single poem is so good. and so necessary. and so worth it. go treat yourself to the feeling of experience it for yourself. you deserve it. ( i mean that in all of the ways).

6) my kitchen year-ruth reichl i’ve decided to read this because of the 2019 toronto public library reading challenge item “a book you’ve always meant to read”. it’s also on my personal list of books that i own that i haven’t read. also-i just can’t get enough of ruth reichl, this dynamo who has an amazing career in cooking and writing. when i bought it, i had just paid off my debt and was inspired by her talk of mexico city ingredients, and decided that it was my next destination. it was at george brown and after the cookbook store had folded (rip). it’s also no accident that i’m picking it up now, as i navigate a similar place of being in a no man’s land of decadent unemployment, thinking and cooking my way out. also-full circle, i had an interview at sanagan’s yesterday, and met peter, the owner, who i saw do a demo in that very same cookbook store after it had been renovated with a full kitchen.

“A disaster is a fine excuse for a pajama party, and we stayed up half the night talking.” (25)

frankie gave me a bunch of pantry/produce castoffs, and i made the lemon panna cotta the day i overdosed on all the dairy. it was perfect.

7) i might regret this-abbi jacobson again, i have opted for the audiobook, because i love to hear a woman’s story in her own voice. i had no idea what this was about, but again-no accident that it’s her account of her choosing to drive across the country alone, after her show wrapped and her relationship ended. the first disc sets it up as a self-reflexive running away. i like it, and i can identify. i hope it ends with her being sure that she is not, in fact, incapable of love. (fingers crossed). i feel like the second disc was an hour of stream of consciousness, which both inspired me and also made me say, “come on”-probably around the point where it went to “when do ankles become cankles?”. it’s interesting to know that she also worked at the onion and i’m enjoying the process part. just like key and peele-they have decided to end broad city on a high note, and i can’t help but wonder what influence michael jordan has on that cross-platform. both 23 jordan and 45 jordan. ohemgee, the poignancy of knowing you’ll be heartbroken when something ends, but also needing it to end-dang-this perfectly describes my recent end of employment, perfectly. also-the wisdom of saying nos that make room for more yesses. there were a couple more discs of free associations and “what ifs” that made me question whether or not this would’ve been better in her journal, but hey-plenty of doods do this, so, take up your space, boo. and i suppose that’s why it was called i might regret this. the moral of the story-she may not.

8) love enough-dionne brand i got this one half because i want to read more of our prolific poet laureate‘s work, half because i’m checking the “a book set in toronto” box on the 2019 toronto public library’s reading challenge. i don’t know if her work has gotten easier to read, or if i’ve become a better reader, but it’s probably six of one and half a dozen of the other, like the process i’ve gone through with toni morrison. it’s also as glamourous to recognize toronto in a book as it is to recognize it in a movie-i never knew this before this book.

“It occurs to her that you can go to sleep at night as one person and wake up the next morning as another. It occurs to her that you can go down into the subway at Main as one person and emerge at Landsdowne another.” (19)

see?

“Mercede’s love was exhausting because it needed love back constantly. Lia and Germain were children and didn’t always know how to love back. They simply knew how to love, and at times they simply wanted to run or play and have love waiting for them when they returned.” (50)

“Sex didn’t need English, of course, but love did.” (57)

“But the woman said it had to be true first, for it to have become a fiction.” (87)

facts.

9) glamour magazine-i ducked into sanderson quickly to see if they have bust. they don’t, but i caught up on the glamour mags that i have missed since issa was on the cover. reading the masthead, i’m seeing that they’ve incorporated self and mademoiselle, and that’s perhaps the reason that they’ve got the resources to be so consistently dope now, both in the clean graphic design, and the phenomenal content. or maybe it’s that rusty, er, anna wintour is the artistic director. i mean-i don’t think i’ve ever seen a ninety-something year old park ranger on the cover of any fashion magazine, and the articles are great. i’m actually considering a subscription….but maybe when i move.

10) the lonely city-olivia laing i did not finish this book. i read until page 125. it’s the first book that i’ve fired in a long time. but i had different expectations-i don’t know why i thought it would be a celebration of navigating a city alone, but i was confused by the title-i should’ve know because it’s called lonely city, but the subtitle of “adventures in the art of being alone” made me think that it would be subversive, and celebratory of the lifestyle choice of not conforming to this relationship and kids and blah blah blah, but alas and alack-it turns out that it’s a bunch of portraits of artists who made art out of their extreme loneliness and social awkwardness. because it was a collection of artists, i kept with it because i thought eventually it would stop being like breaking bad, where i hated everyone because they were terrible people, but it never did, so i bounced. it came at the same time that i decided to walk away with someone with whom i’ve been having a circular and depressing situationship with. no accidents.

“If you are not being touched at all, then speech is the closest contact it is possible to have with another human being.” (47)

11) the woo-woo-lindsay wong holy shit. “crazy” is thrown around so very casually (thank you, eirene, for gently calling me out on this earlier in the year-it took awhile, but i got it), so i’ve been hyper-conscious of not doing it, but this story is legit crazy. i don’t think i’ve ever seen this before-i’ve read sedaris and borroughs, but not a parallel story from a woman, a racialized (canadian) one at that. the devils are really in the details-damn.

“But loss of familial trust is like a screwdriver in the eye or a sledgehammer in the forehead-it’s more the shock that causes the internal damage, and you don’t even think about the pain or the bleeding or the spreading infection of hate until later.” (87)

“At thirteen I was competing with myself, my siblings, my cousins, my parents, my uncles, my aunties, and all the other Chinese people in the world.” (99)

“Luckily, it is a universal truth that rich girls do not hit excessively hard. It’s the petty middle-class ones that you have to watch out for.” (138)

“I felt betrayed that she had gone completely insane without consulting me.” (208)

“It was probably more frightening to be ambushed in the bathroom by my mother than to encounter a real ghost. At home, things were usually uncomfortable and chaotic, and I could not spend four months of summer trying to avoid the damned supernatural.” (227)

12) dirt candy-amanda cohen & ryan dunlavey with grady hendrix i love this comic storycookbook. i also love that vegetables are the stars in her resto. i also love her tip-included tasting menus. thank you, best american food writing for this, i’m putting it on my list of places to eat.

13) CHICHO-please see this show. don’t ask any more questions, just treat yo’self.

14) shoplifters-dir. hirokazu kore-eda i thought it was about a real family. who’s to say that they’re not? it’s quite a different view of japan than i remember ever being onscreen, and it’s the second that i’ve seen this year that is about the end of the world, which maybe is more of a thing because of the aftermath of fukushima (as suggested by my brilliant friend paul) the casting, acting, and shots were beauty-full. holy twists, batman.

15) bye felipe-alexandra weten i put this on hold because it looked like a contemporary selection in the relationship self-help books in the collection of the toronto public library. it was a quick read, with nice layout, but one awful font that i did not like at all. i went to check out the instagram, but it was just too depressing.

16) polyamorous-jenny yuen i think this one was saved by not being a completely personal story. i liked the snapshots into people’s poly lives across canada, and was even amused at the one person who felt that the poly community was “too queer”. oh, my. i’m also thinking about the passing of the law of three people being allowed on a baby’s birth certificate, and wonder how that has/can/will impact folks that i know who are in the situation to be doing this.

17) overcoming passive-aggression-tim murphy, phD and loriann oberlin, MS, LCPC i’ve been going through a rough patch/hypersensitive processing moment and one day put all these self-help books on hold. it must have been one of those nights that i stayed up way too late because i forgot to put them on inactive and got them all at once. i mostly skimmed this one, despite the accolades that they make sure they claim, but this pull-quote was the one:

“We gravitate toward the old order or conditions similar to those of our upbringing so that we have a second chance to make things right.” (109) it’s actually quite beauty-full (or a bit unnecessary) but i gotta love the earnest in this goal-just as long as it’s not a twelfth or thirteeth chance to make things right.

18) on the come up-angie thomas so i was having a discussion with someone about “the formula” that seems present sometimes with certain authors in certain genres, and i definitely feel the presence in this second novel by angie thomas. it’s interesting that she thanks common here, because this is definitely like be/finding forever, in terms of the turnaround time and the similarities. obviously, they have the movie in common, and i’m hoping that there is a mixtape forthcoming.

“That’s when I learned that when people die, they sometimes take the living with them.” (45)

19) relationship sabateurs-randi gunther, ph.d man, there is a lot of self-help this month. is it also a coincidence that i feel like i have fallen apart the most this month? physically and mentally? i don’t know. but here are the pull quotes from this one:

“This need to dominate may hide an underlying fear of being controlled. Controlling people may have been raised by similarly overbearing parents who forced them into obedient subservience. As a result, they may be determined never to be in that role again.” (11-12)

“Insecurity is the emotional experience of anticipated loss.” (39)

20) go ahead in the rain: notes to a tribe called quest-hanif abdurraquib

“A Tribe Called Quest wanted to go out on a concept album about love, but the only problem was that they didn’t love each other, and it didn’t seem as if they loved the world they were occupying anymore.” (119)

“There is a way to read a poem, and then there is a way to allow a poem to exit the body and be read by everyone in the room.” (155)

i read this one on my daytrip to ottawa. full disclosure-tribe has never been my favourite. i know, i know. but as suspected, i have loved them more through those who really love them. like hanif. i am still thinking about his calling q-tip ewing and phife john starks. i’m not sure i agree, but then again, i’m not sure that i don’t. i also love that these are letters to the group, as well as love letters to the work, and to phife‘s mom. it does feel a bit surreal that he is gone, and like it was just yesterday that i saw him perform halftime at the raptors game. to me, this feels really different from the michael rappaport documentary, which felt completely exploitative, but interestingly enough, hanif doesn’t feel that way about that.

sorry this is a late publish-i’ve been knocked out by food poisoning. ugh.

february books et. al

for the first time that i can remember, the lunar new year falls in february. i am more motivated than i ever have been-could it be the few extra weeks? perhaps. or maybe, because i actually met another vietnamese person who just accepted my status in the nation, i made canh chua and held space with friends and other rappers all day.

also, it’s the first year that i can remember that the all-star game is not on valentine’s day-what the hell-why the beaver damming of my longest and most reliable relationship?!

i also watched (most of) the grammys for the first time, maybe, ever. at the gladstone with drag queens, of course. all i have to say is that diana ross, tracee ellis ross, janelle monae, cardi b, her (and her baggy sheer jumpsuit), gaga and dolly are everything. there’s also the alicia keys showboating, but the medley was cute. she’s totally wearing makeup tho-we’re not still buying that she’s not, right? i wonder if it was a deliberate move to make it so female-centric, in the light of everything that has happened, or maybe it’s another way to “prove” that nobody “wants” to honour women in music. my favourite quote of the night was, “IS THIS A LOVE LETTER TO TEQUILA?!”

and speaking of love lessons, here are the biggest reminders that have emerged in this year of the pig: “it’s ok to let the people who want to hold you, hold you” and “no response is a response” (listen). (sigh). i’m going to work really hard to make this the year that that sticks.

i am still tantalized by makeup, so i have decided that i’m going to get the nyx advent calendar now that it is 50% off, and literally only open a door every time i do an open mic, in order to do my 40 stages by 40 challenge, and also am doing a daily 40 x 40 exercise challenge (squats, pushups, situps, jumping jacks) while i duolingo.

i am also moved to finally do the repairs and mending that i have been meaning to do to my clothes, and revamped my faux fur scarf into the fur donut of my dreams! i am also noticing the beauty of when a knit two purl two turns into something-i feel like i was looking for it to happen, and was looking too hard, until i actually saw it happen.

it’s interesting to hear them discussing the sad state of basketball nicknames being discussed on the hoop collective podcast, when it’s been at least two years since i first heard it brought up on open run (though i’m sure someone did it before).

another inspiring asian brunch and new friends! i love that my circle is becoming more refined and that people are responding well to the boundaries that are becoming increasingly easier to establish.

i’m great-full for sticker puzzles, friends who let me help, meals cooked by childrens, and delicious food. also, canada’s a drag is amazing-it’s the degrassi to drag race’s saved by the bell-it’s stories behind the magic, and it’s real. let’s do our part and our civic duty-stream that ish!

palentine’s day at tinuno-it was destined. also, i rolled up the rim AND won! well, for the second time, really. the first time, i left the cup at the location that i won it in, but this time, my brokeass is gonna keep it and redeem it. i found a bonus one unrolled on the streetcar on the way home from games night, and won another one!

daamn, just got a notification of this being my ten year anniversary with wordpress, and that makes sense-i had decided new year’s day 2009 to move here, and thus the blog was founded to re/distribute my reading materials on mtl public transit. well, i didn’t think i could keep a blog going, and it’s been ten years, so here’s to the relationships that i maintain without even trying. imagine when i do.

1)years of living dangerously-the complete series-created by joel bach & david gelber a library search for america ferrera led me here, thus further confirming how amazing she is. i have never heard of this series, even though it was produced by many heavy hitters and won an emmy. it’s kind of amazing how deep the belief that climate change in texas is “biblical”, and i’m having a flashback to the time that i really understood the impact of high school football, also in texas. but for every amazingly ridiculous american, i feel that there is an equal and opposite amazingly amazing american, and a christian environmentalist is the star of the first episode. plot twist to have don cheadle bring them together-aw shit! i also love the connection between america and beyond, if in the diplomatic way of saying-“we are deforesting for palm oil because it is in all of processed food” and not “reconsider your relationship with convenience foods, asshole”. i like it-way to not alienate the people that you need most to change their ways. i’m surprised to see arnold here, expressing his concern for environmental factors, when it was his “build the wall” idea that has inspired the current and only person who has ever held the job post of “leader of the free world” who is a blatant climate change denier.

it’s a pretty big win for the pastor to let his daughter address his congregation about climate change, and the christian responsibility.

chris christie‘s almost angry stance against climate change is an example of the populist politics that have overtaken the forefront of our current reality, but at least he didn’t toss paper towels at people from a pulpit. it’s interesting that this is where mark bittman chooses to comes in. and this brings up makes the next point of the documentary and the tension of the political debate-labour vs. environment is real, and makes it shows it truly as a class issue and is a present example of how the workers of the world have not united, they have lost hope and have hyperfocused-it’s truly a privilege to be or think complicated.

one of my core values has always been about the distribution of resources, and the will-full ignorance re: the investment into climate change denial-think about how much better we would all be if we used that money towards not continuing to fuck up our environment?

2) i can barely take care of myself-jen kirkman i first saw jen kirkman two jfl42s ago, when i was in attendance for the live recording of her podcast and her guesting on another podcast. i liked what she said about preserving her voice, having to get an emergency topshop jacket, and her extensive knowledge of russian robots due in part with her experience with them as an online jewelery retailer. i was surprised to see her books at the pape/danforth library, but now that i’ve read one, i’m not surprised at all. i obviously identify with being single and childless, and am inspired by her real-life realness, in her career and her lifestyle choices.

“A total stranger tried to small-talk me about abortion. I have never had an abortion. I never want to have an abortion. I also don’t want to have a baby. I fear how both procedures would impact my life and leave me full of regret.” (90)

“That’s what I love about my mom ever since she’s entered her seventies. She’s still lucid but has the honesty of someone who’s lost her mind.” (121)

3) my squirrel days-elie kemper (audiobook) where does kimmy end and ellie begin? it’s hard to say-and this is not a bad thing. this book feels like getting tea with someone, or a private show, in the way that many books written by actors/comedians do. i am impressed that she used to write for the onion, and love hearing of her journey through 30 rock. i am also loving the overthinking of putting david letterman‘s face on a piece of toast. she must be kidding about how she approached her role in bridesmaids, right? and, confirmed as she likened it to apocalypse now. also, now i see where the soulcycle story arc in kimmy came from. and, heart of hearts, i am sad (and kind of relieved) at the announcement that season 4 will be the last of kimmy schmidt. only two behind now!

4) i may be wrong but i doubt it-charles barkley i discovered more books written by basketball players while on library tour, and opted to put them on hold rather than check them out (my bags were always so heavy). i opted to keep them inactive, an amazing function of the website that allows you to keep your place in line but not have to read at an unsustainable pace, but once i read shirley wang‘s story about barkley and her dad, i knew i had to hear this man’s thoughts in his own words (over and above the espn story, which is so worth the listen and bawl if you have immigrant parents). mike wilbon hooks with the intro, and we are off to the races.

“And we bootlegged. We sold alcohol. That’s the way we made ends meet: selling alcohol.” (34)

this is the first moment that i realized that i was in for something different-and it’s also got me thinking about the history of women bootlegging-from this to the stories of nuns doing it, it’s kind of amazing, really.

“Getting to the top isn’t the end of the process, it’s the beginning. Make sure the elevator brings up somebody else.” (59)

“My first agent cheated me out of a lot of money. Luckily, Julius Erving and Moses Malone taught me so much about a lot of things, including money.” (74)

“The funny thing about this is that Michael is so damn cheap. Michael ain’t the most popular guy in Las Vegas. He’ll win $1 million in the casino and not tip the people.” (80) and then an awkward story of how MJ chastised him for giving a homeless person money because if he had enough breath to ask for change, he could get a job at mcdonald‘s…yikes.

“I guess if R. Kelly had become a priest he’d be fine because then he’d be protected from the laws that any other pedophile is subject to.” (85)

this was 2002 and i think that he’s trying to do the hotep thing of “why persecute the black man when all these white men have been doing this?” so i’d like to ask him now, 15 years later, if he thinks that the pied piper has been fairly persecuted for his continued crimes…

“Tiger wins, so they get an easy way out of dealing with some real ugly stuff, some of their own bigoted feelings they’ve been carrying around but don’t want to deal with.” (103)

again, this is 2002 so it’s before obama, and this situation with tiger is foreshadowing the same effect with the guilt of white people and how they can feel proud of themselves for “letting” others win.

“Me, Scottie, Michael and Magic played cards every night, all night. We’d start playing cards around eight o’clock, go until five in the morning, get three hours’ sleep and then go to practice. Every day. Every single day.” (189)

and, that’s a movie in itself. damn. to be a fly on the wall…also, an anecdote about them seeing a comic rip into magic for not having $2 for condoms to prevent his HIV and getting permission from him to laugh about that, in his presence.

“I believe in prayer and treating people the way you would want to be treated. But the idea that God might help me beat another team never crossed my mind.
How come it’s often the most religious people who seem to forget the verse in the Bible which says that only God can judge me?” (212)

and, thus he tells the story of how he refused to be part of kevin johnson‘s prayer when they were in the finals. who knew that i would pull so many quotes from this book? turns out, i actually agree with barkley on many, many fronts.

5) kiki-a film by sarah jordeno and twiggy pucci garcon “but more than anything, i love.” this is the first time i’ve heard the phrase “of trans experience” and i’m feeling it. i love all of the interviews with the supportive parents and families, it’s really heart-warming. i also appreciate the dancers talking about their own growth and freedom, through and around the balls. also-if this is not the quintessential example of making something (fashion, identity, art) out of meagre economic and socially accepted circumstances, i don’t know what is. this is the second documentary in a row that i have seen obama in now, and it’s striking how quickly he has become history-it feels like so long ago that the office of potus even meant anything, let alone be occupied by someone thought-full and intelligent, who cared about things like climate change and marriage equality. (le sigh).

6) gifted-dir.marc webb because this movie is about an established british mathematician who tries to exploit a young girl with a love of science set to kind of creepy music, i cannot help but think of dr. tiger mercer stealing miikshi‘s experiment, and obviously there are the familiar tear-jerking themes of abandonment and mothers and not doing the right thing by a child for me, but i’ve been thinking about what this is responding to in society-perhaps it’s what to do with children who are exceptional? or does it have more to do with kids who are not?

7) race-dir. stephen hopkins ok, i admit i’m here because fonny is fine. (and from toronto). oh shit, he’s 25? never mind. that is particularly interesting because he seems to only play people in the past. i’m racking my brain to remember his performance or character in home again, but i cannot. no matter. i once treated leni reifenstahl too leniently in my documentary film class, and in retrospect, i probably was choosing to see her more as a trailblazing woman in film, rather than the propagandist that she ultimately was. i’m glad for the knowledge of her and goebbels that i got from that class and it’s something to see them represented in film. what a travesty that jesse owens was never acknowledged by the us or the german government-let this be a lesson in giving people their flowers while they are living.

8) pimps, hos, playa hatas, and the rest of my hollywood friends-john leguizamo i have always loved this man-i even loved the pest. his first one-man show came out while i was in my last year in university (or second last year) and it changed everything. i never really saw house of buggin’, but i saw how it was the predecessor to both mad tv and in living color, and i never forgot that. most importantly, dood is still working and relevant and making his own way to tell his story, and after all his career ups and downs, this is the most inspirational thing.

“The crew snickered. Another example of how the crew don’t play. They don’t make enough to put up with spoiled people.” (125)

second-acting! i never thought of showing up to the theatre to mingle with the intermission folks, and then grabbing a program and take a seat for the second act. john learned this from his uncle, and then taught it to everyone who came to see his show.

“I love Spike Lee. Spike’s the kind of guy who says nice things about you behind your back.” (203)

9) dysfunctional friends-dir. corey grant what a premise. someone bringing together their “friends” and forcing them to be with each other for five days in order to get a piece of his fortune. i suppose we can all have fantasies. it was pretty well executed though, what with the ensemble cast that included a young michael jackson, a former girlfriend, one that starred in clueless and turned clueless, a veritable princess, and tatiana ali. bigups on the spoof booty video, and the prophetic rachel dolezal character of the white girl who attended an hcbu and only dates pro athletes.

10) bessie-dir. dee rees well damn, look at dee rees out here, telling queer stories, doing a period piece, casting queen latifah as a queer icon and omar and mike epps as her mens. and let’s not forget mo’nique as ma rainey. the costumes are to die for, and it was interesting that bessie was shown the most naked, not with any of her lovers, but alone in the mirror. i love that they kept the shot where the water hit the camera, but i suppose the emotion made it a keeper. the behind the scenes is precious-seeing queen la‘s 1996 audition for this and how perfect she was for it then, and the 22-year journey from then to now. just, wow. “the blues is not about people knowing you, it’s about you knowing people”

11) orange is the new black-season three i remember binge-watching the first two seasons at julz‘ house, and now, we’re back (and way behind). wow-the production value, and the wardrobe restrictions of outfitting a prison, but i’m loving how the womens’ styles have come through, in their underwears/paper suits/garbage bag dresses. i missed these fools and their acting. something always happens in the intro, where i think it’s different women, so if someone could verify this for me, that would be great. if not, i suppose i will keep watching it like an optical illusion every time. the book funeral!!!! THE ULTIMATE BOOK RETURN! ohemgee “a ‘made you a mixtape’ kind of love”!!!! i don’t know if i’m just noticing, but there seems to be an overt focus on books and quotes and literacy as a tool of empowerment, but i suppose that’s an opportunity to take this show as it goes on-and of course, i’m all the way here for it. “they multiply like grandmas” is a quote. and damn, “my system is making the ladies think there is a system” is a thing, as is further perpetuating the divide and conquer. also-mike birbiglia! and outwardly naming prison sweatshops! for victoria’s secret, er, whispers, no less! perhaps the possibility for activism is alive after all…i love that they’re at least hinting at the martha stewart reality as well. i wish that the “behind the scenes” of sophia didn’t reveal the plot twist on a disc that the episode aired on, but in some ways, at least now i know that it’s coming. damn, taryn manning-that’s a real actress-shit. and oooh piper is a snake! i’ve always known it! i’m glad they’re organizing against her! and go ‘head, alex. i wonder if real-life butchy alex is feeling any redemption in the fact that her character is starting to see past piper‘s garbage. FELONIOUS SPUNK! i just cannot. it’s really important to see how people get lost in the cracks, how drugs are prioritized over talk therapy, and how insecure men who feel small in their actual lives have over the inmates and their coworkers who are trying to do a good job. emancipation day at the lake tho?! i full out cried when soso and poussey were floating around holding hands like some damn otters.

12) homey don’t play that-david peisner there are a lot of revelations in this book and it is very well-written. i found it in the library collections because i was trying to watch seasons of in living color after three since i own up to then due to the great mentos scam of 2014. it’s no accident that i am reading about comedians and family ensemble shows, and carving out a niche because this is what is happening in my life right now. i’m getting tips, like “don’t saw yours and ours, say i and me-the more specific you are, the funnier you’re gonna be”. also, the more things change, the more they stay the same. i remember being in new york in 2015 talking with folks being sore at kanye west for “giving white people the permission to say ni$$a” and reading now that eddie murphy did this bit at the tonight show. (for the record, as great as these two men have been, neither of them gets to give anyone permission to say that word, let alone the folks who invented the word in the first place, but i digress. also, hearing chris rock say that he learned the most about standup from damon wayans, and then shawn and marlon saying that they learned the most from rock is really beauty-full (and kind of tragic because of the snail’s pace that we have progressed at). also, the freshness with which key and peele were able to revive the same issues/skit of trained theatre actors competing for roles as thugs makes reading about hollywood shuffle so much more impact-full. keenan wanted adam sandler as his white guy. i will be thinking about this one for awhile. also, keenan prioritized being funny over being important, and this is an interesting hill to die on, especially later on, when the show crumbled without him at the helm. also-paul mooney as homey, not his creator. i had no idea that the fly girls as their own franchise was a thing, or that they lost their chance at a record deal by talking smack about paula abdul in the washroom while she overheard (and it probably did not help when they did the “promise of a thin me” skit). i know ali wentworth from in living color, not mad tv. daaaamn. also, kelly coffield and steve park got married! aiya! keenan’s influence on network television on 309 also got me messed up, as well as his influence on fox as fox being the literal embodiment of “when he gets on, he’ll leave you for a white girl”.

“Keenan wanted to invert this relationship. He saw the writing staff as being there primarily to service the cast, not the other way around. His show would be built around its cast. Which is to say, it would be built around his family, starting with Damon.” (110-111)

“As one story goes, at one point the NAACP tried to pressure Keenan by asking how many black writers and producers he’d hired. He challenged them to send over a list of all the black writers and producers they knew. They didn’t have any such list and that was the end of that.” (135)

“Perhaps the most far-reaching effect of ILC’s Super Bowl half-time show was on the Super Bowl halftime itself. Never again would the NFL hire an Elvis impersonator, figure skaters, or the members of Up with People. The following year, they hired Michael Jackson, then the biggest entertainer on the planet.” (252)

and yea, that shit happened. wow. context means so much more, in context.

13) step-dir.amanda lipitz i love documentaries. i believe (in) documentaries. perhaps this is why i wanted to give leni reifenstahl the benefit of the doubt. and why i’ve always found more pleasure/escape in real life stories, rather than sci-fi or fantasy, and i’ve never read mysteries because i see them integrated into real life. but i know that there is always a bend when it comes to the form-it’s not neutral, like scientific studies, everyone’s trying to “prove” something, for some reason. i am impressed by how many hair/makeup looks that blessin goes through, and i feel that there are reasons that so many blanks are left un-filled. i looked her up, and she got through her first year in her program, and it’s quite amazing that 100% of those students got into universities, absolutely amazing. kudos to these young women, i’m surprised i didn’t hear about them in the read’s black excellence.

14) are you here-dir. matthew weiner “friendship is so much more rare-because there’s nothing in it for anyone.” “you don’t know me, and you don’t owe me.” this is another side of maryland, fictional as it is. this is america (shoutout to childish gambino for winning that grammy) and it’s quite something to see fake white people not knowing how to navigate getting all of the free money (and land) and real black people not having a clue what to do because they have no money or food. but they all made it in the end, and that’s the american dream, right?

15) orange is the new black-season four “why does she get a garden tour like a shiba inu?!” “i’ve had a beard since i was ten years old-two-the one on my face and the one i took to junior prom. yea, i like men-i will never find you adorable.” so, more inmates and spanish “gangs”, both nuanced (puerto ricans vs. dominicans) and blatant-the white woman using her white privilege is still running things, taking the crown from red. i guess piper is walter whiting her way through the prison, and it just reminds me that i hate them both, even though i’m supposed to, i don’t feel like it’s a testament to their great acting, i think it’s just because the shit is too real. taystee out there googling is hilarious tho. aw shit, now this dumdum done fucked around and started a white lives matter club-oh great. i can’t wait to see who she tries to blame for this mess. ooh, white lady cracksmoke confessions in the cornfield! and the merging of the paula dean and martha stewart stories? genius. i gasped out of true horror when the garden was dug up, not for the murder consequences, but for the kale and tomatoes. everybody’s eyeliner is out of control. holy fuck. and then there was no orange. just black. she couldn’t breathe. say her name. and then….things fall apart. wow.

16) the book of negroes-dir. clement virgo as much as i want to support the canadian director and author whose book this was based on, at this point in my life, i decree that the book was better, for me. maybe it’s just that i don’t need to see these slave narratives and the violence represented visually, or perhaps all i needed was to hear them say “plantin” once and that was it, but probably it’s just that i’m not desensitized to the violence-rather the opposite, i must preserve my watchings for something that will teach me something or show me a new perspective. in general, i believe that the mediums are largely complementary now, but please-read the book, read the book, read the book.

17) things that make white people uncomfortable-michael bennett i have tried to like football, more than once, but i cannot. i even played football in high school for crying out loud, but i have no idea how it works, and how the continual violence around the players’ circumstances gets swept under the rug. but hooray for dave zirin and haymarket books for another tale of an athlete who is not just brawn, but plenty of brains, first.

“I was half god, half property. But whichever half they were dealing with, I was never fully human.” (32)

and, this is the quote that made me pull back and say, daaaamn.

i had no idea that houston took in more refugees than any other state, but it makes sense-we are so quick to write off texas, and we are wrong. i also had no idea that the key and peele skit about the sack dance was based in reality.

“The NFL is just another corporation, and they’ll do what thye have to do. Asking them to lead on social issues sometimes seems like asking a dog to meow.” (15)

“I’m sure that some fans care, but I know that the NCAA does not. We all know it. Ask most NFL and NBA players and they’ll tell you with the cameras off that the NCAA is a gangster operation, a shakedown, and a system that works for everyone except for the so-called student-athletes. The main revenue-producing college sports are football and basketball. The main sports in this country built around Black Americans are football and basketball. The only sports in which you are not paid for the revenue you bring in are college football and basketball. This is not a wild coincidence. We tend to come from communities that are the least empowered, the most desperate for opportunity, so we get the shittiest end of the stick. It’s a bullshit system that persists because we’re too desperate for the chance at the brass ring-the pros-to organize and say no.” (23)

and holy shit, i had no idea about his run-in with the cops in vegas, i’m so sorry it happened, and that they tried to gaslight everyone after that. all the more reason to redefine the american hero.

“If food is self-determination, then right now, that self-determination does not exist.” (101)

holy shit. the activism that this man has is amazing. and finally, an athlete voicing my own concerns over the hypocrisy of fast food conglomerates funding sporting events. and calling out other athletes to come onboard, whoo!

for anyone who is still wavy on the state of the NCAA-i challenge you to counter this argument. but wait-you probably don’t think that climate change is a thing either.

“It was impossible to avoid the contrast: poverty and malnutrition in Haiti mean starvation, while poverty and malnutrition here mean early-onset diabetes and obesity.” (111)

and, boom! way to call out 45 for calling haiti a shithole nation.

18) muppets take manhattan-dir.frank oz oh snap, the plot of this one is a bit too real. joan rivers giving miss piggy a makeover is kind of everything tho. but that same played out trope of piggy tricking kermit into marrying her? come on. this is where the male ideal of “feminism” runs dry-she should’ve left him a long time ago if he couldn’t commit to her, or see her for all that she is. just sayin’.

19) muppets most wanted-dir. james bobin my first thought is “who the hell are these muppets? it’s very jarring to listen to these voices. but i suppose things must change. in this case-production value is the least they can do for this turn from the original vision-but hey, masters die, and not everyone has access to that magic, and nostalgia will only get us so far. i can’t lie, “i’m an amphibian-american” and “it’s not easy being mean” are pretty good lines. it’s also pretty dark to deliver kermit to the gulag in a hannibal lector mask. and the cameos are pretty amazing. i guess they got around the voice thing by making the puppets sing in funny accents. the muppet face firework finale was a nice touch, but overall-meh.

20) how to be single-dir.christian ditter “sex is the perfect way to know what you want” is an interesting take on being single. so is “i’m tired of you meeting a guy and falling into his dicksand”. and damn, new york city looks great in movies. shoutout to leslie mann for being typecast as the older woman who doesn’t know she’s adorable and desirable to young men. i can’t help but get the sneaking suspicion that the lesson is that women need to count their blessings and not pass up on doods that “good guys” without acknowledging that the standards are much different, because of the patriarchy.i can definitely identify with multiple vantage points in this movie, for sure. okay, okay-this turned out differently than i thought, well played, people. well played.

21) dear white people-season one (created by justin simeon) “you’re tracee ellis ross biracial, not rashida jones biracial”-i’m dead. i didn’t watch this when it came out because i wasn’t sure how it would play out, i’m still working out how i feel about the movie. but again, such gorgeous shots. and heeeeey intersectionality! wow-will there ever be a non-ironic use of “redbone” again? ohemgeeee i love this series so much more than the movie! awwwww! young, complicated love! holla…perspectives! of COURSE barry jenkins directed chapter v. i am so glad that i decided to look through the collection at runnymede yesterday when i stopped in to pee. going to a different library is always fun because the collection is curated by something other than your usual. what a treat that we have 100 different curated branches to choose from. the wardrobe and wardrober are sooo inspiring! so much that i sent my dad an angry email about a side piece that he had who had horrible taste in food but amazing taste in clothes-it was almost worth being a casualty in that affair for the clothes. (almost, ok?!) wow-the times when the fourth wall is broken-damn. also-gus fring as narrator?! did this fool just have a 9 and a 1/2 weeks fantasy montage about these two?! and now a do the right thing one?! gaddamn. has a show ever made you want to burn palo santo between episodes?! holy cautionary tale of not getting into revenge-based rebound relationships, batman. yo-this fool sniffing manties wearing a “bad choices make good stories” shirt is too much! i strangely just had a thought wondering what FZV thinks about this show, just not enough to actually reach out to her. (but thanks for the sardines on toast, buddy-i’ve been running with that for a minute). aaah! director commentary! gaaaah!

22) fruit of the drunken tree-ingrid rojas contreras my numbers have been going down since i lost the watching machine (temporarily), but that’s probably good that i’m watching less tv and listening to more podcast and reading through my book selection. this one came from preparing for the upcoming lecture series at the library. i think i remember hearing the tapes of people recording messages to the kidnapped in colombia in a this american life episode, back before i completely overdosed on those, and it’s something quite striking to read a fictionalized account based on a real-life one.

“Both versions of the story I told were lies, probably because the truth was more difficult to tell. What was the truth? Something horrible had happened. A man had been killed.
Maybe it wasn’t so difficult after all.” (88)

“The ways we failed Petrona was a bitter pie and I had divided it in three and maybe now it would be easier to bear.” (228)

“Sometimes the less you know the more you live.” (300)

and what a way to end the book on a mountain of beginnings.

23) lies that chelsea handler told me-by chelseas’s family and friends (audiobook) this is an interesting way of handling this project. i’m not gonna lie, i mostly put it on and went to sleep, so i missed a lot of it, save the night i couldn’t go to sleep at all, but basically, she would let her friends and fam talk about her and her pranks and failures, and then would come on and refute and rebut. there’s a weird chapter that she reads as her dog, so i don’t know who exactly she is dragging, but i appreciated the show notes and suggestions that she shares (and ignores).

24) be everything at once-dami lee i heard her on luvvie ajayi‘s podcast, and loved their conversation. my new little sister commented on the #booklook that i posted about it, and it was good for a couple kekes. it’s cute and worth supporting.

25) can you ever forgive me-lee israel i cannot believe that a screenplay was developed from this little book, or that production originally began with julianne mooremelissa mccarthy is perfect. i was expecting more in the book than some of the letters, and the details that were all covered in the movie.

“Walt Disney, for instance, would have been out of the question: his signature looks like something underneath the Articles of Confederation.” (96)

“Imitation is not flattering in the least; it is the refuge of the third-rate.” (104)

i don’t think this is as cut and dried-i think imitation only, for the sake of imitation, is that, but sometimes, influence due to reverence is clear before it turns into something personal….

“I began attorney shopping now. I stupidly surmised that I was owed talented pro bono representation, having written extensively for Ms. magazine and been associated in the past with civil rights causes.” (112)

this made me laugh out loud, as does a text exchange with a new friend over mall eggplant.

26) fighting with my family-dir. stephen merchant so-is stephen merchant my favourite now? i think he is. also-the rock is in every movie, now and forever, and i’m here for it. i loved this movie, the perfect one to see after an intense therapy reunion, and before new noodles and playreading group. it also gave the premise to a new joke as i remember that i do know paige, because of an old roommate who was obsessed with wwe-monday night smackdown, thursday night raw. (sigh).