The Cinematic Glory of my Teenage Years

kat-stratfordI, like any good, angsty teenager of the ’90s, loved Daria and My So-Called Life, but my taste in movies was (occasionally) less than stellar. Does that mean I love these movies any less? Nope. 10 Things I Hate About You FOREVER.

The theme this week is movies. Action, Romance, Thriller, etc. I will call this list “if you grew up in the later ’90s and had a rather unworldly outlook on life” teen movies. Did I like other movies outside of this made up genre? Yes, yes I did.

In no particular order:

Bonus: Blue Crush. Hawaii and surfing and fabulous abs…
10. Save the Last Dance.
Who didn’t want to secretly be a fabulous dancer?!
09. Center Stage. See above. Or was it just me?
08. Now and Then. This one is just plain great, right?
07. She’s All That. Because what teenage girl doesn’t appreciate the message that a haircut and contacts will be all that’s needed to make Freddie Prinze Jr. fall in love with her? There may be a bit of sarcasm here.
06. I Know What You Did Last Summer. My early foray into horror. No wonder I am scarred for life. But Lois Duncan!
05. Sweet Home Alabama. Really, when I think about it now, Melanie is the worst.
04. The Breakfast Club. All the angst. And Molly Ringwald.
03. Ever After. Cinderella + Drew Barrymore = Everything.
02. Clueless. As if…I wouldn’t include this on my list.
01. 10 Things I Hate About You. I wanted to be (and probably was) a less cool version of Kat.

How perfect is this image in tying together current events and top ten Tuesday? I, again, am mostly being sarcastic, but also…not so much. Because this could explain a lot. This brilliant illustration is available for purchase on etsy.

For more movie lists, go here.


Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

acadia01. I’m still pregnant. I’ll spare you the whining, but know that it’s there. And given how small this little peanut is predicted to be, going overdue may be a good thing. Still, there is something about the due date passing by that’s deflating.

02. Like short stories? Patrick Somerville’s The Universe in Miniature in Miniature is a great collection and it’s available through Featherproof Books at 20% off – and 100% of all sales will go directly to Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, Equality Illinois, and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights until November 17.

03. Hillbilly Elegy was very much on my to read list, but the results of the elections bumped it up. I understand why people voted against him, but I do have trouble understanding why anyone would vote FOR him –  this book is supposed to help.

04. I just picked up my hold for Outlander (television show) at the library. I’m looking forward to watching it while I am on maternity leave. Clearly, I have BIG plans for my productivity.

05. In my last post I mentioned choosing between Acadia National Park (in Maine) and Olympic National Park (in Washington). I’m still thinking on it, but the above photo is Acadia (found here).

06. Rest in peace Leonard Cohen. This will never not be an amazing song.



Olympic National Park

Option A: Olympic National Park

: Oh, am I still expected to cook?
Drinking: Water, water, water, and occasionally watered down tea.
Reading: Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn. So far, so good!
Organizing: A little of everything. Cleaning here and there.
Coveting: A Forestbound bag. Gorgeous and interesting, right?
ListeningGod’s Gonna Cut You Down // Johnny Cash
Watching: NOT ALIAS. I was extremely sad that Netflix pulled this show just as I was halfway through season three.
Smelling: Breakfast potatoes. Not mine, sadly.
Wishing: To both go into labor and not go into labor. Is it too much to ask to HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL over every aspect of the process? I think not.
Loving: Pizza. As one does.
Adoring: Halloween. I love this season, weather permitting.
Needing: Sleep! I am so exhausted with no hope of it getting any better.
Feeling: Sore. But it comes with the territory and I’m okay with it (most days).
Wearing: Stretchy stuff, because when you don’t think you can get any bigger, you can. Which, given how small my baby is predicted to be, just seems unfair.
Wanting: Birkenstocks. Still. I blame this on the ridiculously hot and prolonged summer Denver is having (I refuse to call this 80+ shit fall. Where’s the snow? Where’s the rain?) and my swollen feet.
Wondering: About that delicate, impossible work life balance. It’s strange to talk to people about leave time. People who don’t have babies think 10-12 weeks is an incredibly generous amount of time off. Those who have had one recently know how messy and emotional things still are after only two months postpartum. I do have to return to work, I don’t have a choice, and I do want to, but if I had 4-5 months off (rather than 2.5), I’d be both a better employee and parent.
Thinking: About this post from Andi, so good! Because I am too old for this.
Hiking: Ha. Hahaha. I do walk. A little. But I am, VERY TENTATIVELY, planning a vacation next year. The question is… Acadia National Park or Olympic National Park?

Photo found here, from what looks like a defunct Instagram account (sad!).


Six Degrees of Separation // Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

extremely-loudThe idea behind this exercise is to connect books in any way that’s meaningful to use, from the profound to the inane. Although Kevin Bacon is typically behind the six degrees came, books are just a bit more fun.

This month’s choice: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Surprisingly enough, I have not read this book. In general, I struggle to read fiction of recent tragic events, so I haven’t touched this one (or the movie) yet. So my first connection is of a rather superficial nature – title.

Both Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson both have long, flowing titles. The latter is a modern take on the French folktale Bluebeard and although it is not fantastic, it is solid (and set in Mississippi).

Another solid retelling is Margaret Atwood’s recent novel Hag-Seed, based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Sometimes the modern take is based on already excellent material (like Hag-Seed), and sometimes the adaptation improves on the source material, which is absolutely the case with Kass Morgan’s The 100, a teenage love triangle masquerading as sci-fi (which was turned into a surprisingly enjoyable television show).

Conversely, a space opera absolutely worth reading is Rachel Bach’s Fortune’s Pawn. It’s the first in the trilogy and an all around enthralling read. One of my next sci-fi reads is likely to be Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Coreybased on Carolyn’s review. I love when a fellow reader points me in the direction of a great book, which happened just recently with Maria Helena’s recommendation for James Thompson’s Snow Angel, a crime novel set in northern Finland.

From New York to the deep south to rural Finland, I managed to make an entire chain without including Stephen King or Bob Dylan. Weird. Who have I become?!

Care to join in? You can, right here.


Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

hag-seedThe Hogarth Shakespeare project launched in late 2015, with prominent authors retelling and re-imagining the works of Shakespeare. With authors such as Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, and Gillian Flynn, I couldn’t help but be excited about these novels. Yet somehow, despite Atwood’s contribution being the fourth installment, it’s also the first one I’ve read!

Hag-Seed*, Atwood’s take on The Tempest, is the perfect blend of humor and heart. Felix (as Prospero) is the artistic director of the Makeshiweg Festival, or he was, until he was maneuvered out of his position by his scheming assistant Tony. After a self-imposed exile, complete with a depressing, dilapidated shack, he takes on a new position at The Fletcher County Correctional Institute for non-violent offenders. Here he teaches inmates about Shakespeare, changing their lives – and his – in the process. I won’t say how it wraps up, but I loved it. While I had very little doubt about Atwood being an excellent choice for such a project, I am very happy my suspicions were confirmed. Hag-Seed is a witty, wonderful, tongue in cheek novel. I’d highly recommend it to most anyone, but (of course) especially to Shakespeare fans.

Next up, for me, Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler. I’ve been hesitant to read it because I’m not sure anything can top my love for 10 Things I Hate About You, and I don’t want to be left…whelmed.

*I received a complimentary review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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