Monday, June 23, 2008

What I’m reading…

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I’m doing this backwards, in that I saw the movie first (which was okay; B-) and now I’m reading the book. I’m a week in and halfway through its 672 pages (whew!), and I’m diggin’ it. Dude: The Hills ain’t got nothin’ on this stuff. Joo. See.

The Bitch In The House

It’s a collection of essays written by women, reflecting on sex, marriage, motherhood, and feminisim. I’ve had this lying around for a couple of months – the essay format makes it good for a quick pre-sleep read. I’ve enjoyed reading what other women have to say about their personal struggles with their feminist ideals vs. also wanting some of the more traditional aspects of wife- and womanhood (or not).

What I’m watching…

The Farmer’s Wife

This PBS documentary follows a rural Nebraskan husband and wife over the course of three years in the early 1990’s as they struggle to keep their farm and their marriage intact. I’m kind of a sucker for documentaries – they make up nearly half my Netflix queue – and J wonders how I can watch them when they are typically bleak and depressing (mostly true). I like having the window into someone else’s existence from the comfort of my couch. These people struggled to just put food on the table – one month, after paying for farm supplies, rent, and bills, they had $20 left for groceries. For the month. TWENTY BUCKS. I spend that on fancy cheese in one trip to the store. It puts into perspective how fortunate I am: my irritation over potential penalties for paying off my student loans too early is a blessing compared to this woman having to go beg one of her creditors, face to face, to extend the terms of her loan two more years. The debt? $800.

Also watching the Discovery Channel’s NASA series When We Left Earth. Awesome.

What I’m listening to…

I’d forgotten that I’d ordered some music from Amazon until I saw the package at my back door next week. Yay, Christmas! Now what the hell is this?

· Catching Tales by Jamie Cullum
I bought the album Twentysomething a couple of years ago and liked it, though it took me a couple of times to warm up to it. I’ll admit to being kind of a pushover for a guy behind a piano, and I love the slight gravel of his voice. I’m still only on my second spin of the album, but I’m digging it. Nice and jazzy, without the pretense.
Good for: Having a glass of wine while you’re cooking dinner

· Betcha Bottom Dollar by The Puppini Sisters
I read about this album in Bitch, and was intrigued. Eh, it’s okay. The traditional WWII-era arrangements are nice, but the novelty of an Andrews Sisters-esque trio doing Kate Bush, Blondie, and Beyonce covers (yes, you read that right) only carries it so far. If you’re not already a fan of tight girl-harmonies of the 40’s, I don’t know that you’ll care for it. I do like their version of Java Jive, though.
Good for: Girlying up for a night of dinner and dancing

· Hey Eugene! By Pink Martini
Another one I read about in Bitch, but I’d heard of Pink Martini other places too (though I can’t remember where now). Not at all what I expected, but I kind of like it. Some nice horn and guitar arrangements, and beautiful vocals on the foreign language tracks. Title track is unexpectedly catchy, in a modern Broadway kind of way. Mellow and lounge-y.
Good for: A swanky dinner reception (should you ever find yourself giving one)

P.S. While getting links for this post, I stumbled upon this – I can vouch that Mexican Coca-Cola is The Shit.


Electric Monk said...

Awesome post, although I can say that, not being a woman, most of this doesn't apply to me. Cause I like things like football and hunting and... and... WRESTLING!

But seriously, I have that Pink Martini album, and it's pretty cool. I bought it after hearing them perform "Hey, Eugene" (still my favorite track) on NPR. Mainly it makes me want to throw trendy parties with shish-ka-bobs and chocolate martinis just so I can play that album. And I'd wear a fedora.

(Note to self: buy fedora).

Gin said...

If you throw a trendy party, I damn well better be invited. I would wear a vintage dress and funky jewelry.

And shutup, you are about the most unstereotypically-manly dude I know - and I mean that as a compliment. Feminist lit and dishy historical (non)fiction is not just for chicks, you know.

Okay, maybe it is.

I am Trish Marie said...

Twenty bucks? Now I feel stupid for calling Kenny earlier to whine about money. I was all woe is me, because I didn't like my (self-imposed) shopping budget for the month. You know. My shopping money. Not grocery money. Shopping. As in clothes, toys, Starbucks.

megan said...

The Farmers Wife is awesome. I remember watching it when it first was made, and then again recently. You can stream it from the Frontline website. It is extremely powerful.