I did one of these the last time I was just wrecked by being sick. Realised it’s all I had the energy for.
So what have I been up to? I’m glad you asked.
I’ve caught up on a bunch of movies I’ve had on my to-watch list for ages. I saw Suffragette, which I didn’t enjoy even though I expected to. I just don’t think they spent enough time getting us to care about or understand the motivations of any of the main characters. I thought they were pretty one-dimensional.
Also I get that being a militant suffragette at the time was awful – I already knew that it was awful, so I was expecting that, and worse – but would it have killed them to include a few lighter bits in the script? It made me think of that Joss Whedon quote, where he pleaded with writers, “make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”
I also watched Only Lovers Left Alive, which I had been putting off because how many vampire movies can I watch?
All of them, my friends. All of them.
And this one was so unpredictable – I mean, nothing much happens, which is why it was hard to predict, but once I sort of got that that was the point, and it wasn’t particularly going to go with any of the usual themes, I really enjoyed it. It was frequently visually gorgeous, and the music was great and I love the three lead actors in everything they do. Also it kept being unexpectedly funny. There’s this one bit where everything’s looking a bit bleak and Tom Hiddleston’s character just randomly gets angry about some bad wiring he happens to notice up on the wall, and I laughed out loud. You wouldn’t think that would be funny but they made it work.
And I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower because the cast looked good and I like teen movies. Well, sometimes. This was one of the times.
I also caught up on Call the Midwife, which I had forgotten is just so great, and watched a lot of Disney because my child has also been sick. She’d never seen Dumbo, for instance, and I hadn’t watched it myself since I was little. My god, the pink elephant scene. That scared the shit out of me as a child. WHY IS IT THERE:
I also read basically every comic up on www.fowllanguagecomics.com and he has parenting down, man.
I’ve also been slogging my way through www.harkavagrant.com but wow that shit is dense. Though hilarious. If you like history and stuff. That cartoonist has a kids book out now, The Princess and The Pony. I tried to get my child interested in it – I read it to her in the bookstore – but the fact that the pony does farts somehow annoyed her (I think she didn’t believe that was really in the book) and she thrust The Gruffalo at me instead. Ah well.
Apart from The Gruffalo, I recently read Lady Killer on no more recommendation than The Bloggess was reading it on a plane and some jerk tried to tell her it was anti-feminist based on nothing but the cover. I enjoyed it. I’ve been thinking I need to read a few more graphic novels since I’ve liked the ones I’ve read. And it wasn’t anti-feminist.
I also just read The Bloggess’s second book, Furiously Happy. I kind of hope her husband is nicer and more supportive in real life than how he comes across in it, but I guess she wouldn’t be with him if he wasn’t. I enjoyed it but her first book had a bit more of a linear narrative; this one’s a bunch of anecdotes sort of loosely about her struggles with mental health problems. It’s poignant and real but also laugh-out-loud funny.
Speaking of graphic novels and mental health problems, only this time not so funny, I also recently finished Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant because I thought reading about someone going through putting their elderly parents in care might help me somehow come to terms with the fact that my Nonna has dementia or something.
I say “or something” because any time anyone comes to assess Nonna, she throws them out of the house or just doesn’t let them in to begin with. So we don’t know what’s going on with her. But she’s losing it and while I’m sure it’s always very upsetting when this happens, Nonna wasn’t easy to begin with. And she isn’t losing it in a vague “oh dear, where is my knitting” way. She’s losing it in a “I’ll call my son every hour to have the same borderline-abusive conversation with him and then when he tells me it’s time for him to go to bed I will call him at 3am to tell him he’s a horrible son for not devoting his life to me and I’m selling the house and he gets nothing” way.
Anyway, the book is from a cartoonist for the New Yorker and because of that, I kind of expected it to be funny and it wasn’t. I mean, there was some funny bits, but it was mostly just really honest, and kind of gut-wrenching. I mean, her parents decay and die, as promised on the label.
Even thinking about it has made me sad again.
I should go have some panadol or something.