August 4th, Weekly Roundup

It's August. Summer is almost over, go grab a spot on the beach and enjoy it while it lasts.

I'm going to be honest, Game of Thrones hasn't been perfect this season. But I don't care. There are only a handful of episodes left of the entire story and I'm really invested in Jon Snow and Arya Stark. Get ready for a lot of GoT-related shenanigans.

- In Olenna we trust. Welcome to the graveyard, in a much-deserved send-off. And anything to heighten the drama of eventually Tyrion/Jaime reunion/standoff. But first, a reminder of why we loved her in the first place.

- There have been plenty of think pieces lately about the women of GoT (side note: all of those women around Dany's war table are dead now, right?). But don't worry, the show has quality where it matters - Slate names Cersei the worst person in Westeros after last week.

- For some fun, the Cut looks at the series' biggest fuck boys (am I using that right?). Sure, whatever, this makes sense.

- For something else, I have a confession: I love Stephen King (the writer, not the shitty Congressman from Iowa). I'm pretty blind to his faults and am looking forward to the upcoming film adaptations with mild trepidation and excitement. To prepare, Vulture examines and ranks the Stephen King film adaptations and Jesus, some of my favorite books have made really shitty movies. But The Shining is where it should be, despite the author's own protests.

- Also in Stephen King land, the adaptation of The Dark Tower finally made it to the big screen. All accounts say it's a steaming ball of shit, but here's a glossary anyway. Personally, I really enjoyed the books and wouldn't mind seeing them adapted in a meaningful way, on the big screen or the small, with Idris or without.

- Twitter and Pajiba are here to remind you of the important of bro-speak and the sexism of clothing. Excuse me while I go mourn my pocketless pants.

- I recently saw The Great Comet on Broadway. It wasn't perfect but it was fun and just 2.5 hours of awesome escape. The cast was awesome, especially Oak, from Hamilton. Here is some drama over the casting. I hope the show can find its niche and stick around. Until then, I'll be listening to "Charming" on repeat. And this is from someone how loves Mandy Patinkin.

- The White House has been a spectacular shitshow lately but the recent claims of reverse racism and discrimination against white people are especially frustrating. Come the fuck on. How did the Kush get into Harvard again? To quote Bill Maher, his acceptance letter came with a receipt.

- But on a positive note, the months of activism and hard work paid off last week, when the Senate Obamacare repeal and replace failed spectacularly. I was up in the middle of the night (the time when all important legislation that impacts 1/5th the economy and millions of people is debated) to watch the vote, desperately refreshing Twitter. And John Fucking McCain came through, this one time, saving the key legislation of that guy who kicked his ass in 2008. Poetry! Here, Al Franken recounts the moment in the Senate chambers. Here is where I also note that I just finished Franken's Al Franken Giant of the Senate and can't recommend it enough. Funny, informative, and occasionally touching. Adding every one of his books to my to read list right now.

- Finally, it's Friday. Go get a drink and read these highlights from the Trump transcripts that were released this week. Maybe make your drink a double, because, jesus, we're in for a ride.

Weekly Roundup, April 28th

Here we go again...

Okay, after a bit of a break, I think all of this week's tweets are political. Sorry, it's been a real shitshow. And we're at 100 days of zero accomplishments, nepotism, and golf!

- Vox confirms that "Trump voters" are overrated and not worth the media attention they're currently getting. You're preaching to the choir, Vox.

- Jezebel is here to remind everyone that Ivanka Trump is totally unqualified for her position and not the savior everyone seems so desperate to make her.

- Similarly, boo away, German friends. And thanks for asking her a real, honest, and difficult question.

- WaPo annotates that troubling AP interview with the President of the United States. I've seen dementia patients on Grey's Anatomy make more sense. 

- In honor of Earth Day last week and the Climate March on Saturday, here are the National Parks Trump has put 'under review.' Enjoy them while they last, Exxon is coming.

- Last week, Bernie Sanders suggested reproductive rights aren't a deal-breaker for Democrats. Well, here's a refresher on how abortion is an economic issue, not just a social one.

- An interesting internet thing this week: Chelsea Clinton is getting attacked by trolls for being pleasant on Twitter (no, really) while men bend over backwards to defend Ivanka Trump's role in the White House, based solely on who her father is. Side note: Ivanka has reached Bitch Eating Crackers for me and I"m embracing this view. But in a more productive fashion, Pajiba considers why we have such a different reaction to these two women. Hint: it's sexism.

To wrap up the political section on a positive note, here are just a bunch of pictures of Barack and Michelle Obama.

And a couple more:

- It's not just ACLU and Planned Parenthood out there, Vox reminds.

- Okay, this is totally off topic, but I've fallen into a serious Leftovers hole in the past few weeks. I enjoyed the first season and the book but couldn't find the time for season two. But now I'm all caught up and on the edge of my seat to find out what happens. It is a ride. This week, they somehow managed to make the fucking Wu Tang Clan poignant. Six more episodes left!

- Finally, The Handmaid's Tale adaptation kicked off this week. I reread the book last year and it's as timely as ever. I'm only one episode in to the Hulu version and so far I'm impressed by the acting and the cinematography but mostly just disturbed by how mirrored it is by real life. But first, Vulture looks at the deviations from the sacred source material and Jezebel asks the really important question: what must the men think?

Weekly Roundup, April 14th

Time, it flies.

Girls ends its run this week. And while I'm ready to say goodbye to Lena and her cohorts and embrace the wine and frivolity of Big Little Lies, let's take a moment for what Hannah created. The Cut suggests that Shosh might have her shit together the most.

- In a similar vein, Vulture takes a stab at a Hannah goodbye letter. We're a couple of days away from the finale and here is where we are. I think we'll end up with some type of epilogue, putting us five years in the future with a summary of each character. My brother thinks we'll have more of an end of the beginning/beginning of the end type of thing, where Hannah meets her next group of friends. Honestly, I hope he's right. That's much more interesting.

- Jezebel and I are on the same page here: please no to a season two of Big Little Lies. I loved season one. But! It was a tiny little story. It should not be continued. Some anthology with the same actresses and a new story? Yes please. But, to be honest, Liane is not the best author and I could see her running into this for the money and attention. Don't do it Liane!

- In other news, it might be a good time to know your traveler rights.

- Looking for a last minute gift? Everyone could use a good coffee table book.

- I'm currently a catless cat lady and have 'consider getting a cat' on my to do list. Until then, here's a cat lady who lives with over a thousand cats. Goals I guess?

- NY Mag looks at the response to the crisis in Syria as a reminder that Democrats and Republicans are playing very different games. Hint: one side has ideologies and goals, the other side just wants to win. And that Russia business continues to look very, very questionable.

- Also, Eric Trump is really, really stupid. This administration continues to not understand the difference between what you keep on the DL and what you have a press conference about.

- And can someone please to explain to the Christian right that Republicans are not their party? Today's example, the Governor of Alabama!

- For some of that German word I can't spell or pronounce, that guy who told Obama he lied at the SOTU, well a bunch of his constituents showed up at his town hall and returned the favor.

- Quartz offers an interesting look on that character Hillary character Stephen was so aware of.

- Obama is expected soon in Berlin. I'm sure Angela is excited. Can I go to Berlin too?

- In the wake of more kids getting shot and killed while at school, Vox takes another look at gun violence.

- Here are this year's Pulitzer prize winners. Spoiler alert: most of them hate our president.

- Before you complain about something something bootstraps, here's a reminder about the actual usage of Food Stamps in this country.

- In the category of 'things we can't get back after Trump is no longer in office': the Great Barrier Reef!

- One of my favorite stories of the past few weeks: a coal mining museum is using solar energy, because it's more efficient. But please, tell me more how this is an economic problem.

- Pete Souza continues to be the best. You don't know what you had until it's gone.

- In slightly better news, Bill O Reilly is finally losing sponsors. Can't happen soon enough.

Weekly Roundup, March 10th

First one of these from Rhode Island. Greetings!

First bottle of wine in the new apartment! A friend brought this bottle all the way from Germany for me and it was delicious. And yes, that is an air mattress and camping chairs in the background, aka the thing we lived off until the movers showed up. Glam life.

First bottle of wine in the new apartment! A friend brought this bottle all the way from Germany for me and it was delicious. And yes, that is an air mattress and camping chairs in the background, aka the thing we lived off until the movers showed up. Glam life.

Before we get to the links, I have some news. I just moved to Rhode Island! After a couple of months in the Midwest, I got restless and packed my bags and hit the road again. So here I am: new year, new decade, new state, new job, new company. It's a whole new thing!

Over the next couple of months, I'll wrap up all the loose articles from my time in Germany - thoughts on travel around Europe, living abroad. Then a couple of articles on moving. Then settling back into the grove - exploring New England, gossip about books and television, and worrying way too much about politics. Until then!

- This one is a little older but here we go. Wired maps first sentences of famous novels. It's pretty.

- The Oscars were almost two weeks ago but I'm finally getting around to all the drama backstage

- As for the Oscars, thanks to Vanity Fair, I just discovered this awesome Third Man theory on Best Picture which I will absolutely be consulting next year. Here is where I also note that I haven't been immersed in an awards season in two years (2016 was moving to Germany, 2017 moving to Rhode Island) and I can't wait to be distracted at the end of this year by Little Gold Men podcasts and ignore whatever shitshow is going on in the real world (and probably DC).

- Speaking of drama, Ryan Murphy is back with Fued. The Fug Girls take a look at what really matters in a show like this: the fashion of the first episode.

- Who's crazier? The eponymous Ex Girlfriend, or Diane from CheersI'll always tend towards Diane.

- Finally, politics. I was going to link to a few disheartening political links. Maybe something about the pathetic attempt at healthcare from Republicans or whatever terrible thing our Orange Furor tweeted this week. But instead, let's remind ourselves what we can do. Lately, I joined the Rhode Island Indivisible chapter. The tea party did one thing right: organize. Let's do that, but nicely and for a good cause. With facts.

Weekly Roundup, January 20th

Chances of apocalypse today? Crossing my fingers, pressing my thumbs. Until then let's check out some links.



This round up is entirely political, because what else is there today? But first, Pajiba had a great Obama-centric Pajiba love. I'm just going to reference it instead of blatantly copying. Really going to miss having such a nerd in charge of things.

- Do you have Instagram? If not, well you missed out on a chance to follow White House photographer Pete Souza. I don't know what to expect from his Insta feed now but lately it's been a lovely reflection on a great eight years. Some of these photos are going to be in history books and we'll be seeing them the rest of our lives.

- One thing our former President was a huge proponent of: books. Seeing as our new President doesn't like books and, who knows, maybe is even illiterate, let's take a minute to revisit the Obama recommendations. I've read a few but he's given me plenty to add to my to read list.

- Will we ever have such a classy, elegant, and scandal-free first family again? Here's hoping.

- And one more instance of eloquence and intelligence. Here's Obama's letter to the nation. Sure, most of it is a subtweet to Trump (especially the emphasis on 'we') but it's also the truth. Love you, please don't leave us, etc.

- How quickly until the incoming administration takes credit for everything accomplished by Obama? Leaving this here as a reminder of where things were before Agent Orange took office.

- Speaking of, here's a nice way to keep track of the bullshit.

- I don't have the energy or capacity to really summarize the terrible things coming from the new administration this week. However, one thing that particularly surprised me: plans to entirely eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts. What an ugly, ugly country they want to create. Taking millions of people off healthcare? Okay, sure, that's what the assholes ran on. Time to revisit the propaganda out of Nuremberg as that's what we're about to be left with.

- To end on something kind of sort of positive, Zillow has a fun look at the White House. Hope it can house Fuckface and his ego.

Weekly Roundup, December 9th

My penultimate Friday in Germany. Are you freaking out yet?

Slate has the coolest toy for Friends geeks. They created a mechanism to play around with the different groups, figure out who had the most scenes with who. I love stuff like this - analyzing a totally random piece of a thing you love. I'm sure we'll have some version of this for Game of Thrones within a year that it's over. It will just be way more complicated! Also, where do I get a job reading through TV transcripts?

- I'm not to the part where I list terrifying stuff from the news, but this is slightly political. The real new tea party? Urban cities, which are increasingly less powerful than the rural counterparts when it comes to federal voting. At least cities have the better museums and restaurants? Hamilton?

- Speaking of urban cities, Wired takes a look at commute maps, demonstrating how silly states are and a need to reorganize. Plus, nifty graph!

Wired, one more time: the never-ending puzzle. This stresses me out but also excites me.

- I recently reread Handmaid's Tale. It's a beautiful, beautiful book. The narrator's voice, the lovely prose, the terrifying and yet believable descent into dystopia. A great book. Maybe don't read it if you're following the news. But! A Hulu project is in the works and it looks incredible. Can't wait, Peggy Olson!

- The AV Club offers up some podcasts to check out. I've added a bunch to my list. Also, can't recommend "Keepin' It 1600" enough. These guys are keeping me sane and will be vital the next four years!

And now, the things that are scaring the shit out of me this week!

- The next First Daughter is sitting in on phone calls with Japanese officials while finalizing a deal with a Japanese clothing company; meanwhile, her dad is changing decades of foreign policy via Twitter and checking in with foreign governments without talking to the State department, seemingly related to hotel developments. Major changes in foreign policy, especially the uninformed, leads to wars. Paul Ryan is a spineless coward, so much for checks and balances. And fake news continues to be super dangerous, as a totally made up story pedaled by the next National Security Advisor led to a man with a gun 'investigating' a pizza place. How soon until we start burning books and putting nonconformists on lists?

Weekly Roundup, December 2nd

It's December and I'm officially freaking out. But at least it's Friday!

Okay food and wine, but excellent bread, in Naples, Italy

Okay food and wine, but excellent bread, in Naples, Italy

Non-political links first:

- Okay this is kind of a cheat, but I don't understand our gun culture, at all. Vox reminds us why it's terrifying and unusual and uniquely American. Graph number six was especially stark for me.

- That Hamilton boycott was not the most effective. Congrats to a stellar team for breaking yet another record.

- Speaking of boycott, checkout the app buycott. You can sign up for campaigns you care about and check major purchases to ensure your shopping aligns with whatever keeps you up at night.

- As for buying stuff, I am woefully behind on Christmas shopping. Here are gifts for all the basic bitches in your life! I love at least half of these. #basic.

- Obama continues to be the best. Can we just keep him?

- Looking for comfort: German Netflix has Friends now! I basically consume it at all times. For fun, here's Rachel's trifle! It did not taste good.

- Buzzfeed has the best German junk food. My faves: currywurst, HARIBO, and paprika chips. I'm also really going to miss a few things not listed, like the open-faced salami sandwiches and the best bread ever.

- More fun: it's time for the end of the year lists to start up! And let's start with Time's top episodes of this year. Some of these are silly (and that was not the best of OitNB this season) but the Bojack, American Crime, GoT, and Black Mirror selections? Great job!

- Something this extremely divided country can agree on: this is a good thing! Netflix continues to bring us all together.

- Finally, our Hamilton creator (I still really need to watch that Hamildoc and Moana, on it as soon as I return Stateside, promise) stopped by Drunk History for the show's premiere. He's a genius, even when drunk, and the success couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Cheers! To go with that drink: here's the thoughts behind every Hamilton Mixtape song, which was finally released today.

And here's the new feature I added last week to the weekly roundup: stuff that is scaring the shit out of me this week! Also, check out re:act and flippable for concrete steps you can take to limit the damage of the incoming administration. Finally, join a local Facebook Pantsuit Nation. I know this is silly but I'm in the Illinois and Central Indiana chapters and there's consistently actionable items, like quick emails, petitions, and scripts for calling your representatives. Also, every time I call, the people on the other end are honestly really friendly and just want my info. Much nicer than the assholes on Twitter!

Here we go: potential appointees continue to be Bond villains, including people who want to privatize education and gut healthcare. Bonus: they're all billionaires and super inexperienced! Education is super-troubling to me as this demonstrated there is a serious lack of critical thinking skills in this country. Fake news, media bias, and bubbles are serious problems and the country can't decipher what is what - now is not the time to destroy public education! Finally, the most experienced guy up for a cabinet position gave his girlfriend classified info (aka, the thing that Hillary did one sixth of and it was enough to 'lock her up.') If you didn't die from irony, there's more! The President-Elect doesn't believe in facts or the first amendment and the conflicts of interest are bananas. For the next four years, serious federal government foreign affairs decisions might get made based off Trump tower locations! The media continues to disappoint, like the Wall Street Journal, which took three paragraphs to note that the totally unfounded tweet about election fraud from Trump might not be accurate, this NYT article about why we all just can't get along is A+. And while our President Elect might have the attitude of an 8 year old, other Americans are not doing so great either, at Starbucks, Michaels, or Delta flights.

Final note: the incoming president is an extremely lucky bastard (besides being born a rich, white male) - Obama is handing him a great economy and job market. It took Obama eight years to fix the messes of the previous administration. Wonder how fast it will take the next jackass to fuck it up? Or take credit for it?

Weekly Roundup, November 25th

We made it to Friday. For some of us, that probably included a super-awkward Thanksgiving dinner, so let's celebrate with fun links.

- The Mini Metro project does just that, miniaturizes city metros. My favorites are Paris and London. Also, US, get your shit together on public transit.

- There's new Gilmore girls arriving via Netflix this week. Take a look at the most famous guest stars, because everyone could use some Hamm.

- A recent survey lists the 18 countries where expats have the best quality of life. Germany came in at number nine. Thanks for being my home for the past year, Deutschland!

- Not included in my Thanksgiving Friends episodes: Ross's moist-maker. EW takes a look at how to make the thing.

- Here are the best audiobook recordings of all time, apparently. In general, I'm not a fan of audiobooks. I prefer reading the thing or listening to something meant to be listened to, but sometimes there's a long car ride and you need one. The Stephen Fry HP recordings I've been meaning to give a try for awhile now. Personally, I think the Gone Girl recording is pretty excellent. I listened to it on a ten-hour car ride before reading the thing itself.

Finally, Political Links. I went a little overboard last week. This week, going for more positive and interesting news.

- The graphics team over at NYT took a look at Trump's America and Clinton's America. It's interesting to see the differences geographically. There have been lots of articles since the election about a rural/urban divide and it's startling here. 

- Finally, I'm going to try to do one dump of 'Shit That Is Terrifying Me This Week.' Because there's a lot of it, basically daily, and I don't want to lose sight of any of it. First, the appointments continue to be racist pieces of shit, like the guy that was too racist to be a federal judge in the 80s but is now up for AG. The Trumps claimed to willing to sacrifice for the country, but the family is staying at Trump Tower in NYC, costing tax payers literally a million dollars a day (go to the fucking White House already), and Trump is entirely unwilling to separate himself from his business, including his kids on phone calls to world leaders and using his position to get a better deal for his hotels in Argentina. JFC. In general, his calls to other world leaders has been a gigantic clusterfuck that could have serious international implications. And let's not forget that $25 million dollar settlement where our new President admitted to defrauding American people. Then there's the really scary thing: his behavior to the press. To begin with, Monday he had a crazy, dictator-like meeting with the heads of media, calling them unfair liars and picking on individual reporters. He also has yet to hold a press conference, something other modern president-elects were doing regularly by this point. How can we hold a President accountable when we don't even know the fuck is going on? For example, he literally lied about the Hamilton fiasco this weekend. Besides a general middle finger to the first amendment, he stated that the cast harassed Mike Pence, which is fundamentally not true (the audience booed him, the cast thanked him for coming and hoped his administration would represent all people). We will have a President who lies, even about easily proven facts. We need the media more than ever. We also have the most unqualified President in history who seems uninterested in briefings from the intelligence community. Wow! And one more fun tidbit: literal Nazis celebrating Trump's victory. And Clinton's popular vote win continues to widen