weekly digest

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 (6/3/11)

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.

Weekly digest (4/29/11)

This week was jam-packed! I’m happy to say I’m still standing, but it was pretty close there.

  • Read it. My brother recommended the graphic novel series Blacksad to me, a noir collection where all the characters are different animals. It’s classic hardbroiled detective stuff illustrated by two former Disney animators so the visual style feels oddly familiar in contrast to its saucier content. Highly recommended!
  • Saw it. I caught not one but two concerts this week, which might officially be my limit for working weeks. First was the epic tUnE-yArDs at the Great American Music Hall, which was danceable and tribal. Mad did a great review! Then I saw the Head and the Heart at the Bottom of the Hill, which was so lovely and moving. Man, those guys can draw in an audience.
  • Heard it. Have you missed the dulcet sounds of the Fleet Foxes? Their new album is streaming at NPR….

Weekly digest (4/22/11)

Man, this week has really flown by. I’m still minorly sore from mucking at Pie Ranch. I started a photography class over at Root Division.  We celebrated Mad’s birthday with an awesome dinner at Foreign Cinema, and will have our first barbeque this weekend (assuming it doesn’t rain!).

  • Read it. I’m just finishing Louise Erdich’s novel/short story collection Love Medicine, about a Chippewa family in North Dakota, and I really enjoyed it. Also, with the posthumous publication of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, there have been all these articles by people close to him. The UK Guardian has a rare interview with his widow Karen Green, and Jonathan Franzen writes about his friend in the New Yorker. Both pieces are raw homages to the man behind the great writer, and how those he left behind are dealing with it all.
  • Saw it. KO read The Blind Side and so we rented the movie. I totally cried and rooted for that sassy blonde Sandra Bullock.  Thumbs up!!
  • Heard it. Been listening to some tUnE-yArDs in preparation for seeing them next week. What!!

Weekly digest (4/15/11)

My brother is in town this weekend, so I hope San Francisco is extra-fun! Also, I’m hoping to head down for a work day and barn dance at Pie Ranch. How much fun does a barn dance sound?!

  • Read it. The graphic novel Daytripper is really haunting. Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá achieve everything you expect from a comic and everything you want from a piece of art.
  • Saw it. Lord Huron and Vandella on Tuesday night! Mad did an awesome write-up and I concur with everything. I had so much fun at that show.
  • Heard it. Unofficial Tina Fey week at Scenic World! But she’s on Fresh Air and is her typical blend of funny and classy. Also, I have been listening nonstop to this James Blake Joni Mitchell cover (courtesy I am Fuel, You are Friends) .