1. Pumpkin Beer Season!
Last year, my husband bought a case of this and I was irritated because he only bought one case. I rarely remember which beers I like, because he remembers all of that stuff for me, but Pumking I do not forget. You can literally taste the buttery pumpkin-pie crust. In the beer. It’s delicious!
2. Breaking Bad, more addictive than Crystal Meth
We just finished season 4, and I’m planning on saying much more about this amazing series once we’ve caught up entirely. (We haven’t caught up yet because my husband is obnoxious and insists that we do things like sleep and interact with our children.) The acting alone here is blowing. me. away. There is not a single weak actor on this show, and every last one of them has a role teeming with contradictions and nuance. Jesse is probably my favorite, since I find myself thinking things in Jesse-speak the way a person might begin to think in a foreign language once it is mastered.
3. Babel by Mumford and Sons
I’ve already written about my great love of M&S, but I need to say it again: this band is so wonderful! I am shocked by how religious this new album is, in the very best way. Look at these lyrics:
Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve my hands to learn
If that isn’t a prayer, I don’t know what is.
4. This moppet:
When the bus comes for her big sisters every morning, my youngest immediately starts running with all of her toddler might to catch it. I always grab her right away, but it never stops her from trying again the next day. It reminds me of a hamster I once babysat for a few months. His name was Husserl. He would spend every day trying to jump out of his tank and it was both funny and sad, the futile way he wouldn’t give up even though escaping the tank was clearly impossible. Until the day he escaped. So anyway, I’m staying on my toes every morning.
5. Louie just keeps getting better
I wrote about this the other day, too. We DVR everything, so I’m often a few episodes behind my favorite series. We let them stack up and then watch it all at once. So we’ve just finished the story arc (3 episodes long) where Louie is being considered as a replacement for Letterman. It was the most ambitious t.v. I’ve seen in a long while. I can’t believe he (Louis C.K. both writes and directs almost every episode) pulled off walking such a delicate balance between pathos and hilarity. Those three episodes were sort of like Barton Fink, but better (and I say this as a huge fan of the Coens.) I could talk about this all day but I’ll stop here: the soundtrack is unique and brilliant and the pacing of each scene could not possibly be more perfect. It’s masterful. My only quibble is: Jay Leno??? Come on, man, don’t side with that loser.
I did write a fan letter to Conan O’Brien once. How did you guess?
6. Ora Et Labora Et Zombies
I’m going to write more about this later, but I have to do my part to promote this wonderful project. When my oldest daughter comes into the house with the mail, it makes our day if we see our favorite envelope in the stack. There is nothing so satisfying as the feel of a nice long letter in your hand. I so rarely get those anymore that it almost makes me nostalgic, and when you add to it a tale that is both engaging and delicately, charmingly told….well, you can see why it makes our day. Have you ordered your letters yet? What is your problem? All the cool kids are doing it!
7. Dostoevsky, man.
He’s pretty cool. I am in the process of re-reading The Brother Karamazov, as I do every few years, and as it happens every time I have to put the book down periodically to process my awe.
I was going to write out a snippet here, to illustrate his brilliance, but Dostoevsky is not really a pithy writer. It’s his scope, and his depth, and the way he effortlessly has his characters swing from one extreme to the other, just as it happens in real life and just as almost nobody else manages to convey believably. So I’ll just say: Dostoevsky, man.