weekly digest

Weekly digest (7/8/11)

Q: When does a four-day-week not feel like a four-day-week?
A: I DON’T KNOW. But it always does, doesn’t it?

  • Read it. I’ve always enjoyed Simon Rich’s funny bits in the New Yorker, and his new novel Elliot Allagash is a pretty funny, if quick, prep-school read.
  • Saw it. Muriel’s Wedding (1994, with Toni Collette), is either a very mild black comedy or an extremely offbeat normal comedy. I’m not an Australian in the mid-90s so it’s hard to say. But what great fashion!!
  • Heard it. I am in a music SLUMP. How does that happen? I just bought the best of Otis Redding on vinyl though (because I am obnoxious and now own a record player!).

Weekly digest (7/1/11)

I may not be camping this week, but I have big cooking (and eating) plans. That really is the pursuit of happiness, isn’t it?

  • Read it. I just discovered the works of M.F.K. Fisher, and I’m absolutely delighted. She writes about food, but is also one of the best observational writers I’ve ever encountered. Try The Gastronomical Me, you won’t be disappointed.
  • Saw it. Super 8 has its flaws, but it’s also the type of popcorn summer movie that makes you feel nostalgic for the childhood you didn’t know you had.
  • Heard it. I am Fuel, You are Friends has a free summer mix up!!! It’s delightful, as always.


Weekly digest (6/24/11)

It has been gloriously HOT this week in San Francisco. I’m still recovering from a birthday picnic sunburn, so it’s been feeling like summer vacations of my youth (back, you know, when I had a summer vacation).

  • Read it. Looking for something long and pulpy to take to the beach? Or add to your electronic reading device before a long plane ride? Might I suggest The Passage by Justin Cronin. It’s a long sci-fi-esque bio-thriller, which I confess I don’t usually pick up but the writing and story are so well-done I have not been able to put it down.
  • Saw it. Finally saw How to Train Your Dragon, which was adorable and reminded me of a certain surly cat I live with…
  • Heard it. The Buddy Holly tribute album is streaming at NPR and is guaranteed to make you smile.

Weekly digest (6/17/11)

What a mix of high and lowbrow this week! Happy weekending!

Read it. In my book club this month we read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, which I confess I had never read before. I had the Norton critical edition so I even did some extra credit reading the critical essays. Felt gloriously like school again!

Saw it. Another cultural milestone gap fulfilled – I finally have seen Point Break. And really dug it.

Heard it. So the only other time I have heart WTF with Marc Maron he was having a pissing contest with Michael Showalter. But this week he has Amy Poehler and it’s just about the most charming thing you’ve ever heard. Amy! How about you do a podcast! Just read your grocery list! I’ll listen!

Weekly digest (6/10/11)

Phew, even with a three-day week it is HARD to come back after vacation – especially a vacation as awesome as I had. Post to come soon. With… pictures.

  • Read it. Must be celebrity month at SW, cause I finally finished Bob Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume 1. I bought it in 2004, and, despite the prolonged bookshelf rest, it was pretty darn good. You’re not going to learn anything new about the man, but you knew that, right?
  • Saw it. Going to have to go with Rango (even if Rango did lose!).
  • Heard it. So there’s this artist called Lady Gaga? You may know her for her high-art music videos and tours, but seriously, the 80s power rock on “You and I” makes me SO HAPPY I SQUEAL.

Weekly digest (6/3/11)

I’m all packed and ready to head off to New Orleans for 5 days! Enjoy the Cultural Itinerary, and I’ll be back on Wednesday!

  • Read it. I finished Rob Lowe’s autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends and it was pretty hilarious. He’s more frank than you would imagine, and has the greatest celebrity name dropping stories ever. For example: when he was nine, he found out Liza Minnelli was staying in a hotel he was in for an audition, got her room number from the front desk, and knocked straight on her door to have a conversation. Great beach read.
  • Saw it. Confession: reading Lowe wax poetic about The West Wing made me go back and binge on the first season. What a fine, fine show. I was definitely inspired to walk-and-talk.
  • Heard it. Hurray for the Riff Raff has a band name that I can’t seem to remember, but their music is just the sort of slow country singer-songwriter I can’t get enough of. They’re playing in SF next Sunday and I’m excited to check them out live.

Weekly digest (5/27/11)

Long weekends always in the nick of time, don’t they? I’m off to the farm to move fencing around! Or something!

  • Read it. I’m almost done with Skippy Dies, a really great Irish modern comedy. If you liked About a Boy, or the Adrian Mole books, or just feel the need for some dark laughter, check it out. Paul Murray is a fantastic observer.
  • Saw it. These Sherlock Holmes new miniseries are so fantastic! It reminds me much of House (which, you know, was based on Doyle’s stories… House/Homes, get it?). Much better than the Robert Downey Jr. reboot that I fell asleep in. Currently streaming on Netflix! (And review to come…)
  • Heard it. A very legal little bird lent me the new Bon Iver and I am obsessed. Feeling blue, too. I sure hope that guy gets enough sunshine.

Weekly digest (5/20/11)

Harumph, another cloudy weekend. All I’m hoping for is sunshine for Memorial Day. Last year we went camping and ended up sleeping on frozen ground. That was the opposite of fun.

  • Read it. I’m still waist-deep in the Collected Novels of John Cheever, which I recommend if you’re a true-blue Cheever fan. Otherwise, I’m sad I missed the boat on NPR’s Monkey See bookclub, which did The Sandman: Dream Country this month. Glen Weldon put together a great list of jumping-off points... most of which are now on my library queue. Huzzah!
  • Saw it. Parks and Rec had its season finale last night, which was GREAT but I’m going to have to go with Bridesmaids.
  • Heard it. Slow on this boat, but James Blake‘s new album is pretty great, isn’t it? Also, I feel like I keep on getting into bands right after they tour the Bay…

Weekly digest (5/13/11)

I’m starting to get really excited about summer plans: camping, a trip to New Orleans, and road-tripping to Oregon for Pickathon. Now if only SF weather would do the same thing…..

  • Read it. Fell back to my old favorite of myth re-tellings with My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me. It’s a pretty big collection, and some are better than others, but definitely worth a perusal if you’re a fan of the genre.
  • Saw it. I saw Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams last week in 3D and it totally blew me away. Review to follow!
  • Heard it. Apparently all I do is refer you to the NPR music site, but now they’re streaming the soundtrack for Broadway’s “Book of Mormon.” Warning! If you listen to it at work, you will probably be distracted!

Weekly digest (5/6/11)

Well, I hope everybody recovered nicely from Cinco de Mayo. I’m off to Hidden Villa farm this weekend, where I hope to do another of my grand farmer impressions.

  • Read it. I’m just about finished with The Tiger’s Wife, by Téa Obreht, an extremely lovely story and impressive first novel. (Slightly related side note: guess what pops up in Google Images when you search for Tiger’s wife? I don’t know why I would be surprised but I was!)
  • Saw it. Friday Night Lights is back! It’s Season 5, and the episodes, which showed on Direct TV last fall, are finally on NBC and On Demand. If you aren’t watching it yet, I’m not quite sure what to do with you.
  • Heard it. Flavorpill’s latest mix has the collaboration between Ben Folds, Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, as well as a great Benatar cover by Thao & Mirah.