"Whoa we're (more than) half way there!"

Whoa whoa whoa! Somehow I am still on track (actually, ahead of schedule) to read 52 books this year. I know, I'm just as surprised as you are. I have never been one for keeping goals. I cannot tell you how many half marathons I have "trained" for and never ran or how many weekly schedules I have meticulously planned and only got half way through Tuesday and said "to hell with this exercising and meal planning life style, I'm getting Thai food and binge watching reruns of Broad City." That being said, I have learned making specific goals does not work for me; goals actually make me more anxious, which then leads to quitting at the first sign of failure. I need to keep things loosey goosey or else I turn into a creature unbeknownst to myself (a moody little bitch who takes her failures out on those around her... *cough* my husband; bless his heart.) So ya, whoa! I am actually keeping with up with a goal! Possibly because it's about books, which is a sedentary activity where I can simultaneously hide from the world in my down comforter. 

With that being said I'd like to make a (more than) halfway post, reflecting on what I have read so far this year and what I would like to read for the rest of the year. 

I have read 34 books this year (check them out here) and not a single one has been written by a white man. Take that patriarchy! I made a spreadsheet at the beginning of 2016 of books I'd like to read and I have strayed away a bit, which is cool because this whole plan is loosey goosey, remember? 

Since I I have 20(ish) weeks left in 2016, I'd like to let you all know what I am interested in reading for the rest of 2016. 

Fiction:

Non-fiction:

I specifically a stoked to read Shrill by Lindy West, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. And White Teeth... and The God of Small Things... and basically all of these books. 

Season 1, Episode 2: The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton

I tried to go to Gilmore Girls trivia in Seattle last week but the bar hit capacity and they wouldn't let us in. I thought of ways I could flirt with the bouncer but then I realized my sad life; the only time I would ever flirt with a bouncer to get into a bar would be for Gilmore Girls trivia, or Harry Potter trivia, or Lord of the Rings trivia... That being said, my patient friend waited with me outside while I answered the first round of trivia from the street and I got all of them right. I don't win at many things in my life, but this would have been one of them, I am sure. Then we ate ice cream sundaes to drown our sorrows. 

So moving on... Let's get to reviewing all 153 episodes of Gilmore Girls in 153 words or less. 

XTC "The Man Who Murdered Love" is a great song. 

Lorelai and her Paul Frank thermal, very important. I myself wore a Paul Frank shirt in my sixth grade school picture. Inspired by Lorelai? maybe... 

I remember it was like the coolest pop culture knowledge to know that Chad Michael Murray was on Gilmore Girls BEFORE One Tree Hill. Rory before Peyton... or Brooke... or however the hell he ends up with. 

Jackson is the original hipster who wears his beanies above his ears. 

When Kirk isn't Kirk yet but a DSL installation guy.

Lane's foxy sweatshirt is also very important

Lorelai talking about dating Luke in Season 1 EPISODE 2, those bastards made us wait so long.

I'm not sure how this is ending up to be mostly about early 2000s fashion...  

July Reads

 

July is over, somehow. I read six books this month, somehow. Damn, it feels good to be back on schedule to reading 52 books this year. 

Book 27/52: Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the foundations of a movement by Angela Y. Davis

Angela Davis is incredible. She is a former member of the Black Panther Party and a champion of black liberation and intersectionality. I picked this book up at Powell's books in Portland, OR during the week of the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. This books is a collection of interviews and speeches by Angela Davis. It addresses the importance of intersectionality and solidarity in the fight against state violence, from Ferguson to Palestine. You should most definitely give this book a read. Below are some quotes:

"No amount of psychological therapy or group training can effectively address racism in this country, unless we also begin to dismantle the structures of racism."

"What we often assume belongs most intimately to ourselves and to our emotional life has been produced elsewhere and has been recruited to do the work os racism and repression... It's interesting that in this era of global capitalism the corporations have learned how to do that: the corporations have learned how to access aspects of our lives that cause us to often express our innermost dreams in terms of capitalist commodities"

"We will have to go to great lengths. We cannot go on as usual. We cannot pivot the center. We cannot be moderate. We will have to be willing to stand up and say no with out combines spirits, our collective intellects, and our many bodies." 

Book 28/52: Invisible Man Got the Whole World Watching: a young black man's education - Mychal Denzel Smith

Another incredibly important book to read. The title plays off of the classic novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Smith goes on in the title, suggesting that black lives are still systematically invisible but are publicly scrutinized, politicized, and exploited for the state. The whole world was watching Ferguson, but systematically Ferguson is invisible. The whole world was watching the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, but Trayvon was dead. Gone. Humanity invisible. Smith also touches on popular culture, feminism and mental health in the black community; the latter two are unique topics coming from a male author. I HIGHLY recommend this read. 

Book 29/52: Citizen: an American lyric by Claudia Rankine

Another book on race in American. Are you seeing a theme here? Well, get used to it. When shit goes down, I run to the books. In the words of Joan Didion "information is control." When I see the blood on my hands of institutionalized racism,  I run to the books. Then I run to the protest. Perhaps information is more than just control, perhaps information is redemption. I found out about Citizen after Johari Osayi Idusuyi was seen reading it at a Trump rally last fall; who said reading can't be a form of protest? Give this book of poems a read, perhaps even as an act of protest. 

"Yes, and the body has memory. The physical carriage hauls more than its weight. The body is the threshold across which each objectionable call passes into consciousness- all the unintimidated, unblinking and unflappable resilience does not erase the moments lived through..."

"Because white men can't police their imagination, black men are dying"

"And where is the safest place when that place must be someplace other than the body?"

Book 30/52: Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books by Azar Nafisi

This book was good. Not great. But good. I read it after reading Persepolis because I wanted to know more about Iran. The book is Azar Nafisi's memoir of her time living and working in Iran as a professor of English literature. She is fired from the university for refusing to wear the veil, but continues to teach devoted students out of her home in a secretive book group. The book dragged on a bit and that is what made it good but not great. If you want to read it, go ahead, but I am not jumping up and down insisting you should. 

Book 31/52: Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

I read this book in a matter of hours while taking refuge in a backpacking tent, hiding from a swarm of mosquitoes. I really appreciated this book. It tells the story of a girl growing up in one of Mexico's most dangerous mountain towns; almost all the girls have to pretend to be boys to keep from being kidnapped by the drug cartel. I appreciate this book because of the subtle strength and tenacity shown in the women characters, even in the most unjust situations. This novel also contains fascinating metaphors and some touches of magical realism. I definitely recommend it. 

Book 32/52: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Now this was weird, I usually love Barbara Kingsolver's work. Not this time though; I did not enjoy this book at all. So much that I didn't finish it (but I am counting it as read because I read over 75% of it). This book is where Kentucky, Tuscon, and a Central American refugee crisis meet in a poorly written novel, wrapped in an ignorant, white-washed bow. The main character is beyond annoying; she is like a living and breathing embodiment of white guilt and ignorance, so "shocked" by the horrors of the lives of Central American refugee. At one point, after a Guatemalan man confesses a horror from his past, she ends weeping and confessing how guilty she feels about her white life, then the man comforts her. GROSS! I just couldn't with this book. Don't read it. I have the Poisenwood Bible on my list, hopefully it isn't as awful as this train wreck of a book. 

Friday Links

Your Body is a Space That Sees by Lia Halloran

Happy Friday internet friends! Yesterday I made some changes to this space, mostly with this awesome new series I am starting.  Now, I didn't calculate how annoying/kind of impossible it would be to review all 153 episodes of Gilmore Girls by the time the revival comes out on November 25th. It is 118 days away and I have a feeling people don't want me pushing out 1-2 of these a day. Plus, I really don't want to do that. So, all 153 Gilmore Girls episodes will be reviewed in 153 words or less, but perhaps by next year, not in a few months. 

Alright... to the links!

My week in podcasts

Tell Me I'm Fat - This American Life

Your Life is a Poem - On Being

"...the feeling that you’re not battered by thought in a poem, but you are sort of as if you’re riding the wave of thought, as if you’re allowing thought to enter. You’re shifting. You’re changing. You’re looking. You are in a sensibility that allows you that sort of mental, emotional, spiritual interaction with everything around you.

I think it’s very, very helpful for mental health, actually. I mean, I really wonder sometimes what it would be like to live without that apprehension — that you could have a thought, shape a thought, change a thought, look at the words in a thought."

Phoebe and Ilana Glazer Make America Great Again - Sooo Many White Guys

Bad ass women following the Call of the Forest - Unlearn & Rewild

My week in books and pop culture

NPR's read, watch, binge! series is everything I need come winter when I hibernate.

Where Rory has an iphone and Lorelai talks about Amy Schumer.

Holy shit! My vagina and I can officially become a presidential nominee. But we both know that I am too lazy for that job.

Bill Clinton and balloons: the most important news story of the week.

My week in news I found that is really important but will definitely kill the mood at a party

Half of all U.S. food produce is thrown away; we don't even have the decency to compost it.

10 companies own almost all the world's food brands. Who knew the devil looked liked a coca-cola, some sugar cereal, and a chocolate bar? 

On the gentrification of living in small spaces

"But as with anything real-estate-related in this country, even tiny houses come with their own set of privilege and class assumptions that end up dictating who gets to live in them and where they get to put them — and often shut out those who could benefit the most from the tiny house movement... while people have been living in small homes forever, it’s just that now, as (overwhelmingly) white and middle-class people are doing it, there’s finally something to celebrate. It’s not new for people to be living in RVs or mobile homes; it’s just that now there’s a new vocabulary to gentrify living in a small space."

White friends, don't expect a pat on the back and a plate of cookies when you decide to stop being racist.

Man friends, don't expect a pat on the back and a plate of cookies when you decide to stop being misogynists. 


Well that's that. Hope you all have a great weekend! I'm going backpacking and I'm hoping to not be killed a bear. 

Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot

In the spirit of the Gilmore Girls revival coming out on November 25th, I have decided to watch all 153 episodes of Gilmore Girls and blog about them in 153 words or less. It is basically about books because this is like the most bookish show around. By the way, this little intro does not count towards the 153. So here we go...

I love that the first pop culture reference is a Jack Kerouac one.

Rory's white sweater is really important. 

When Dean first sees Rory, Rory is saying the words “bundle of sticks up your butt.” Premonition on how horrible Dean will be?

Dean is gross. And will always be gross. 

Melissa McCarthy brings me an inappropriate amount of joy.

Things I still say to this day: “I want to take a bath in that sauce!”

and... “People are particularly stupid today and I can’t talk to any more of them”

The way Rory first talks to Dean when they meet is disgustingly close to how I first talked to my husband when we met. 

The nostalgia I feel when I hear Sam Phillips is real AF. "That's Where the Colors Don't Go" comes on and my heart just can't.

Lorelai’s feminism is so important. Fight me on it. Please. 

Macy Gray. That’s all.