À la Super Eggplant, currently, I am…

Watching: Grey’s Anatomy. I always need a show I’ve either seen before OR don’t really care too much about paying attention to, to watch while I’m doing school stuff (planning, grading, etc.). So I restarted Grey’s from the beginning. Turns out I had stopped watching mid-season 3. I’m in season 11 now and finding something to cry about almost every episode. HA.

Reading: Like a maniac. I’ve been very focused on devoting my 45-min each way bus rides to books so I’ve been flying through a lot of YA/middle grades stuff lately (I was roadtesting books to use with my class). And now I’m deep into “The Half-Drowned King” by Linnea Hartsuyker and loving it.

Listening to: The new National “Sleep Well Beast.” Oh my oh my do I love this album. The music is, as per the National’s usual, dark and deep and sometimes turgid. The lyrics are fraught with tension and anxiety and longing. It’s beautiful.
I’ve been talking about you to myself
‘Cause there’s nobody else
And I want what I want
And I want everything
I want everything

You are in this too
Can’t you find a way?

Eating: Finishing off the summer with Elote from around the corner every other note (OMG it’s good). Lots of ham, egg and cheese sandwiches on a toasted onion roll (because these rolls are basically challah or egg bread and my grocery store never seems to have egg bread anymore, sigh). Either that or pumpkin-spice Cheerios (they aren’t great, the pumpkin definitely tastes artificial, but they’ll do.)

Drinking: Obsessed with the Molokai Coconut Bai. I gave up soda, kindof, in the hopes of dropping some weight. Nope, not an ounce. Oh well, this stuff is still pretty delicious. And since dropping soda made no difference at all, I am letting myself get a frozen Coke one morning a week.

Knitting, quilting, sewing: Woops. Haven’t done a single stitch since school started. Maybe the Columbus Day weekend will let me get back into it? (Remember, I work Saturdays at the Salon, so my weekends are only one day.)

Focusing on: My PT exercises for my messed up foot and half-broken back. Foot is getting a LOT better…but I still look like a cripple for the first few minutes/steps I walk after I get up (from any sitting/lying down). Back is a mess, but working really hard on “neutral spine” is definitely helping those deep background muscles to engage so…maybe I’ll see some progress soon. Haven’t been in the pool because maintaining my teal hair is a higher priority right now HA.

Summer at the Movies

Wonder Woman: I thought it was just as crappy as 90% of the other super hero movies out there. And the ending? Where she funnels her power from…LOVE? Yuck. The only part of that movie I really enjoyed was the Robin Wright fight scenes. Those were fierce.

Baby Driver: Quirky and weird and really sweet.

The Big Sick: Wow, this movie takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions. It was just so full of real life. Fantastic.

A Ghost Story: Awful. Dumb. Painful to watch and sit through. A movie I would have happily left the room to go to the bathroom during. Yup, that bad. There were maybe 7 minutes of dialogue in the entire movie. It’s laughable to say that Casey Affleck starred in it — he’s got maybe 7 scenes? I read this interview where it said he didn’t want anyone else subbing for him under the sheet, that he felt it really needed to be him? HA. PRETENTIOUS. It could have been anyone under that sheet and it definitely felt like it was just anyone. The ONLY part I liked was at one point, he hands his wife headphones to listen to a song he’s composing. That song was pretty.

Atomic Blonde: 100% engaging, invigorating, amazing. My favorite flick of the year so far (although this may be my fewest movies seen year ever). The fight scenes were fantastic. The sets, the clothing, the soundtrack, the atmosphere. And Charlize, who was all anyone could ever want as THE NEXT JAMES BOND. The ONLY bit of the movie I didn’t love was the very last scene–I felt like it stripped away a little of her agency. I understand the reason for it–it provides justification for a whole bunch of things–but I still would rather have ended with her as an independent operator.

American Assassin: Technically I’m sure this is a decent action flick. But it seriously suffers in comparison to Atomic Blonde. The fight scenes weren’t as tight or serious, the noir wasn’t as deep or intriguing, it just…WASN’T what it could have been.

Duff at the Movies 2017

Repeat from 2016 disaster: Um, what? I never created this list back in January? And I haven’t realized that until now (August?) Ughhhh….. Off to attempt to recreate… Might be missing something…

  • American Assassin (9/23)
  • Atomic Blonde (8/8)
  • A Ghost Story (7/x)
  • The Big Sick (7/18)
  • Baby Driver (7/17)
  • Wonder Woman (6/11)
  • Fate of the Furious (or as I call it “Fast 8”) (4/16)
  • Get Out (2/25)

Big Screen: La La Land

This was OK – probably a 3 on a 5-star scale.

The downfalls for me were a) not enough music and b) doesn’t seem to quite live up to its premise.

Also depends on why you chose that movie that day (don’t all our reactions somewhat depend on our expectations): I wanted a feel-good, make me grin happily at the end, movie. And this isn’t a fairytale romance, or a sing-along. This, when it comes down to it, is a very realistic look at the ebbs and flows, ups and downs, of an adult relationship, where often what you might want isn’t going to work with everything else in your life that has its own timeframe.

That said, both stars were lovely in this. And the thing that happens in the girl’s head at the end of the movie…is really lovely also. 😉

Big Screen: The Arrival

Fabulous. So many neat (and unique) ideas about the power of language and our understanding of time. Just super cool.

Somewhat spoiler below….

Also they did a great job of coming up with a completely different idea of what an alien life form would look like, sound like, act like, etc. So many alien movies fall into tropes. Not here.

Things I did today:

  • Worked at the salon from 8-3.
  • Determined that I can still eat from the freezer for another week so no need to buy groceries and cook lunches.
  • Got a pedicure.
  • Went to Mariano’s for cookie supplies and bought a pizza.
  • Updated the podcasts on my iPod.
  • Graded approximately 50 annotated articles.
  • Made two batch of sugar cookie dough (from two different recipes).

Got some baking’ to do tomorrow. And about 180 or so more articles to read.

Duff at the Movies 2016

Um, what? I never created this list back in January? And I haven’t realized that until now (July 10?) Ughhhh….. Off to attempt to recreate…

  • La-La Land (12/28)
  • The Arrival (12/?)
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (7/22)
  • Ghostbusters (7/19)
  • The Meddler (7/4)
  • Central Intelligence (6/29)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (6/26)
  • L’Attesa (6/24)
  • Keanu (5/13?)
  • Allegiant (4/1)
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (3/? stub is illegible!)

Duff Does Live Music 2016

  • Sufjan Stevens (3rd x) (Pitchfork) (7/16)
  • Anderson Paak (Pitchfork) (7/16)
  • Brian Wilson (Pitchfork) (7/16)
  • Super Furry Animals (Pitchfork) (7/16)
  • Troye Sivan (2/23)
  • Josh Ritter (1/29)

Books Read in 2016

date refers to date finished; i.e., just b/c I finished two books in a given day doesn’t mean I read two entire books that day!

  • Because You’re Mine, by Lisa Kleypas (7/11)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (7/10)
  • Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (7/7)
  • Untold, by Sarah Rees Brennan (7/7)
  • The Hare, by Cesar Aira (7/5)
  • Until Friday Night, by Abbi Gilnes (7/5)
  • Stiletto, by Daniel O’Malley (7/2)
  • Hamilton: The Revolution, by Lin-Manuel Miranda (6/30) (nonfiction)
  • Fire Touched, by Patricia Briggs (6/29)
  • The Trees, Vol. 1: In Shadow, by Warren Ellis (6/26) (graphic novel)
  • The Last One, by Alexandra Oliva (6/25)
  • Snow Like Ashes, by Sara Raasch (6/22)
  • The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig (6/17)
  • Unspoken, by Sarah Rees Brennan (6/14)
  • Article 5, by Kristen Simmons (6/11)
  • If I Was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo (6/10)
  • Sex Object, by Jessica Valenti (6/10) (nonfiction)
  • The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater (6/8) (reread)
  • Mr Fox, by Helen Oyeyemi (6/7)
  • I Kill Giants, by Joe Kelly (6/6) (graphic novel)
  • The Sellout, by Paul Beatty (5/31)
  • The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater (5/30)
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater (5/29) (reread)
  • The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater (5/28) (reread)
  • The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater (5/28) (reread)
  • Blaze, by Rachael Herron (5/27)
  • Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore( (5/21) (reread)
  • Fire, by Kristin Cashore (5/21) (reread)
  • Graceling, by Kristin Cashore (5/21) (reread)
  • Bolt, by Dick Francis (5/11) (reread)
  • Break In, by Dick Francis (5/9) (reread)
  • Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, by Eula Biss (5/7) (nonfiction)
  • The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy (5/5)
  • Booked, by Kwame Alexander (4/22)
  • Gym Candy, by Carl Deuker (4/21)
  • The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson (4/19) (nonfiction)
  • Son, by Lois Lowry (4/17)
  • The Story of My Teeth, by Valeria Liuselli (4/17)
  • Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs, by Sally Mann (4/17) (nonfiction)
  • Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie (4/16)
  • The Crimson Skew, by S.E. Grove (4/12)
  • The Golden Specific, by S.E. Grove (4/12)
  • Giant Days, Vol 1, by John Allison (4/5) (graphic novel)
  • This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki (4/4) (graphic novel)
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act, by Kieron Gillen (4/2) (graphic novel)
  • The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, by April Henry (3/30)
  • Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie (3/27)
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin (3/22)
  • Mara, by Brian Wood (3/19) (graphic novel)
  • The Radiant Road, by Katherine Catmull (3/16)
  • On Immunity, An Inoculation, by Eula Biss (3/5) (nonfiction)
  • An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir (3/4)
  • Messenger, by Lois Lowry (3/2)
  • Gathering Blue, by Lois Lowry (2/29)
  • The Giver, by Lois Lowry (2/28) (reread)
  • The Darling Songbirds, by Rachael Herron (2/27) (romance)
  • The Door, by Magda Szabo (2/27)
  • The Raising, by Laura Kasischke (2/13)
  • Black Wolves, by Kate Elliott (1/23)
  • Loitering: New and Collected Essays, by Charles D’Ambrosio (1/19) (nonfiction) (essays)
  • It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single, by Sara Eckel (1/10) (nonfiction)
  • Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown (1/5) (nonfiction) (advice)
  • The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown (1/2) (nonfiction) (advice)