I should have written this post two or three weeks ago, when June was at its most glorious, full of the usual promises, this year amplified by the great gift of the three kittens we rescued. The kittens are wonderful, no worries. They're thriving, loving, and filling our house with purrs and fluffy acrobatics. I can't thank you enough for following this magic both on Instagram and through our Jersey Cat page (no membership needed, it's completely public ). I'll try to update the page tomorrow with their name stories, and some observations about their characters (other than "fluffy").
But June has brought on more than that. A serious emergency on the husband's side of the family has rattled us to our core, and has changed the outlook of the immediate and not so immediate future. 2016 hasn't been very kind to several of my friends, so we're just one family out of many. Perspective, though, is not all that it's cracked up to be.
I started reading Jennifer Weiner's Who Do You love, but had to take a break as the emotional resonance was a bit much. I enjoyed Angela M. Sanders' (that's Angela of NST, if you didn't know) The Halston Hit. Vintage couture, drag queens, a frothy kind of suspense... it's a god fun. And I'm about to start a book my sister has wholeheartedly recommended: Life According to Lubka by Laurie Graham. There's no eBook version, and it was only printed in the UK, so I had to order an actual paper copy from Amazon.uk (all of a sudden it's 1999), but I expect some pure reading joy. My Mom wants to add that if you also speak a little Bulgarian, your enjoyment would be even greater (my own vocabulary is limited to saying "monkey", "frog", and "fried bread")
I couldn't find a video of Jono McCleary's Brightly, but everything this guy records is magic. This is the acoustic version of Tomorrow, and if you suspect that your musical taste somewhat aligns with mine, I highly recommend checking him out. (question: is anyone interested in a blog post about my favorite music? A blogger friend has suggested it and I've been kind of skeptical).
Before we get to the main event, I can tell you that over the last month the husband and I binged the entire fourth season of The Americans. It was hard to DVR every weekly episode and avoid spoilers but we did it and I still think that this is the best way to watch this complex and heart-wrenching series. People who've never watched tend to dismiss The Americans as "that show about KGB spies", but it really isn't. It's about family, trust, love, the crazy 1980s, and the way it all culminated for people who also happened to be ruthless KGB spies, yet also loving parents going trough a massive identity crisis (brilliantly written). This season also featured a mega Emmy-worthy performance by the incomparable Dylan Baker (Colleen Sweeney, if you used to watch The Good Wife while it was still good).
Another binging worth your time was the ESPN documentary (did I just type those words?) about OJ Simpson. Those were ten hours of meticulous research, in-depth analysis of race relations, Los Angeles in the 80s and 90s, no sensationalism, and a jaw-dropping amount of authentic footage (no reenactments or any of the usual BS). I think it's an important show.
But, aren't we here to talk about Cersei?
Beware of spoilers.
Seriously. SPOILERS AHEAD.
I loved the sixth season nearly as much as I hated the fifth one. Despite the general lameness in Meeereen and the way my favorite actor, Peter Dinklage, has been underutilized, I loved the pacing, the wrapping up of old storylines from Uncle Benjen to the Hound, Walder Frey eating pie, Jaime and Brienne's complicated relationship, and the brilliant Wildlings (RIP Wun-Wun). I'm still traumatized by Hodor , but somehow it was the understated and carefully filmed last seconds of King Tommen that touched me the most. I liked Tommen, I was sorry for him, I knew he was doomed, but still. And now we have a Queen. Darth Cersei. As terrifying as the Mad King himself, a fact that Jaime couldn't have missed during the coronation. Just wow.
And one final gloating: R+L= Jon Snow. Anyone not seeing that one coming should join Giantsbane for a drink of fermented goat milk.
When your best friend goes on a business trip to Paris you end up with more Bell Jars.
I just bought the Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette. I'm officially a sheep who owns a red eye shadow.
Clothes that smell like kitten formula.
Something to help with the next nine month withdrawal: Watchers on the Wall.
I've been consisting on an odd diet that includes fresh tomatoes, Turkish delight, and scary amounts of chocolate milk. Whatever works.
Even including this category seems wrong and self-indulgent. But I have a list of petty complaints and you're going to hear them. All of them.
When my old laptop kicked the bucket last month the husband immediately ordered me a new and amazingly spiffy machine. Only the one that arrived a few days later did not have a working touch pad. No biggie. Lenovo did good on their customer service promises and replaced it within a week. I love my new toy and its spectacular performance, but the keyboard is slightly different, ending up with me making so many typos that I write like the comment section of People Magazine.
Then the washing machine died. The technician arrived, congratulated me on sixteen years of good washer stewardship (there was not even a speck of rust), and told me that fixing the thing would cost more than 50% of a shiny new high-efficiency Whirlpool. Guess what we're doing on the 4th of July weekend?
Because that's not enough, I woke up with the mother of all back spasms that caused me to throw out my back. It's stress (it's always stress). I have a massage booked for tomorrow, but that makes me feel even more guilty.
Those three whiskered faces that start purring when they see me.
Saturday afternoon with the husband.
A date to Home Depot.
2017 (maybe). Let's make it 2020.
I want my mommy.
How are you? What's on your list of loves and banes? Any wishes and recommendations?
Art: Rose Garden, Camille Pissarro 1862