May seemed to fly by faster than April did. Maybe it was that we turned our backyard into a dog park for Norm & Cliff so are enjoying more time outside. The warmer weather also helped. Pop culture continues to keep me sane this month. Thanks to attending another Bookish Happy Hour with the library this week my list of “to reads” is getting longer and longer…Here’s a few of my favorite pop culture finds over the past month. Please make sure to share yours in the comments – I am always up for new recommendations!
Becoming RBG was a nice graphic novel about Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s life. It was a gift from my dad and I’m not sure if he knew it was more of a young reader book, but it was fun to read her story and I’m happy to share it with kiddos in my life who need to learn about this hero. I then ready a very NOT child friendly graphic novel – November Volume I, by Portland comic book writer Matt Fraction. It’s a weird story but I liked it enough that I’ll complete the trilogy.
On vacation with a friend last year she handed me The Nest when she finished reading it. I figured now was a good time for a light and easy “beach read.” It’s a good story with some nice twists to it. Nothing amazing to write home about, but it was the easy read I needed after finally finishing The Starless Sea last month. I have a lot of other books on my shelf to read, but also a long list of new books I need to find. Might be time to finally do curbside pickup at Powell’s (I really need the library to open)…
I have a friend who has similar podcast taste and he texted me a few weeks ago to recommend We Crashed, about the rise and fall of WeWork. It was FASCINATING. I’d heard pieces of the story but hadn’t heard it all. If you like a good “guy sounds like a massive tool and gets his comeuppance” kind of story, this is it. It’s only 6 episodes and it’s really fascinating.
Now I’m in the midst of Wind of Change, an investigative series into whether the CIA wrote the hit power ballad by The Scorpions at the end of the Cold War. I’m learning a TON about the CIA during the cold war and the story is BANANAS. It’s still going on because I refuse to download Spotify to binge it. But that will probably change soon enough…
The Daily episode a few weeks ago about the Murder Hornets was fascinating if you’re curious what’s going on there. This weeks episode about USPS was really helpful too. And I’m grateful for Think Out Loud and OPB Politics Now for helping to keep us up to date in Oregon on reopening and our May election!
I don’t usually talk about my obsession with the NYT Crossword mini, but it’s a thing. Last month I also discovered Tiles on the New York Times app and it is such a calming, zen like game to play. You can pay for the game app or play tiles 8 times a day for free. So far that’s been enough for me.
Last week one of my all time favorite pop culture writers, Whitney Matheson, mentioned a new app called I Love Hue Too. It is my new obsession (and probably why I should rewatch Upload, I was two screening with the game). It takes color hues and mixes up the pattern so you have to put it back. Again, it’s super soothing and zen like. I’m. Obsessed.
We finally finished Ozark and it was SO GOOD. If you need a good series right now that’s SUPER dark but a great story, this is it. We could only watch one episode a day – it was a lot to process. And I am grateful that my clients are so much easier to manage than Helen’s.
A few people had recommended Never Have I Ever on Netflix and it was SO GREAT. It’s produced by Mindy Kaling and a very smart show about an Indian American teenager growing up in LA. The voiceover is John McEnroe, which makes NO sense but really ties the show together. Trust me. It’s awesome. I’m also enjoying #blackAF if only because Rashida Jones is so great. I tried a couple of episodes of Hollywood on Netflix and couldn’t get into it. It’s just not my jam, but if you like Ryan Murphy you may enjoy it.
Over on Hulu I devoured Mrs. America. I know it’s a fictionalized account of some characters but I learned a lot about everything that was going on during the Equal Rights Amendment work in the 70’s. I thought it wrapped up nicely.
I blew right through Run on HBO, with just 7 half hour episodes it’s a light and easy show. I love Merritt Weaver which won over my aversion to “hey lets have an affair” kind of shows. It’s just weird enough with some good twists I kept with it. And it’s all worth it for a very ridiculous minor character late in the series.
The best thing that happened over the past month was on April 30th – A Parks and Recreation Special. It was EXACTLY what I needed during quarantine. What is Leslie Knope doing? What do her binders say? I was SO HAPPY, and yeah I cried at the end. It also got me thinking about what other fictional towns and characters are doing right now. My friend and I went down a wild Gilmore Girls quarantine fan faction hole that we really should have shared with the internet.
The other day my brother suggested I check out Upload on Amazon Prime, and so I binged that this week. It was a clever show by Greg Daniels (creator/EP of The Office & Parks & Rec). It has a similar but different vibe to The Good Place – what if right before you die you could “upload” and then still communicate with your loved ones on earth? There’s a good mystery to it and the female lead, Nora, is an actress I hope I see for years to come!
That’s the pop culture that has kept me sane this past month, what about you? I’m excited for more warm days ahead to spend time outside with my pups and making a dent in my bookshelf and the laundry lists of books I want to read…
Stay Healthy, Stay Sane, Walk Your Dog…