September 8th, Weekly Roundup

It's Friday. There have been two, almost three, once in a lifetime hurricanes, and fire across the West coast, since my last weekly roundup. Good thing none of this is man-made. Donate and volunteer where you can! Please do something more than 'pray' and send 'good thoughts.'

Good wine, great bottle. Let me go read Moby Dick.

Good wine, great bottle. Let me go read Moby Dick.

Here we go.

Look, the Trump administration is a total shit show. And yet the person I find myself focusing on is Ivanka. Her faux feminism bullshit, her pretend liberal optimism. She is peak bitch eating crackers for me, emblematic with everything wrong with our brand-based culture. And then this NYT Op-Ed fell out of the heavens and beautifully summed up it all.

Let's talk about a real feminist and an honestly-intelligent woman for a second, Reese motherfucking Witherspoon. I've liked her since I saw Fear a really long time ago but I appreciate her hard work, her commitment to her woman-led films, and the work she puts into her brand. I think I'm being semi-hypocritical here - Reese wears Draper James as often as Ivanka wears those sheath dresses from China. But one is using the word 'Daddy' and turning an eye to the end of DACA and exit of the Paris Accord while the other is staring in a movie written and directed by a woman. And on the cover of Glamour talking about how woman should embrace ambition. I know which brand of feminism I prefer.

In other 'the world is terrible' news, a college professor is wearing a bulletproof vest to class as his students may be carrying guns. If we all start doing this, maybe we can make the NRA chill? No, they'll probably just start selling bulletproof vests. It looks like the Bill of Rights is missing the 'right to go to public spaces without being shot' amendment.

That rant came out of nowhere. For some good news, NYC is offering free public lunch to all students, the largest organization in this country to do so. Because feeding kids, who can't agree to that? 

End of politics, if you want to skip past all that. But before you go, Fiona warned us twenty years ago that the world was bullshit. She continues to be my emotional mouthpiece. And continues to be not wrong.

In a totally unrelated note, when I moved to the East Coast from the Midwest, my commute went from about ten minutes to about forty-five minutes (this week I had my max ever - 1.25 hours!). And in general it hasn't been the worst - time to plan my day in the morning, time to decompress from the day in the afternoon. Time for podcasts and audio books. But also time for road rage. And the worst might be those jerks in the left lane, going an absurdly low speed. And here's why that is really, really bad!

I'm flying in a few weeks, my first time home since moving. And since I have done so much wine tasting here, I want to bring home wine for friends and family. Here are some tips on that! I'll let you know how it goes.

I haven't posted here since the GoT finale (to sum up - I can't believe we're going to have to wait two years for the rest of the story). Here are some links. First, Pajiba points out all the really pretty scenes. And not totally unreleated, Vulture asks the really important question - were they supposed to be hot? And then, the fashion of Westeros. Dany's fut coat alone...

Finally, It premiers this weekend and my recent entry unearthed Stephen King feelings, so here's his films, ranked. And sorry Uncle Stevie, but I gotta agree with the brilliance of Kubrick's The Shining. Forget top King adaptations or horror films, it's on my top film list, period.

August 25th, Weekly Roundup

It's Friday! Last week was a little bleak, so I skipped a weekly roundup. Some of the links but be a little stale but still important.

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Here we go!

- CNN listed all the garbage news out of the White House for the past four weeks. It's mind boggling and a great reminder of how distorted time seems since January 20th. Also - I sincerely miss people bitching about Obama's tan suits and mustard habits. It's also from the third week in August so who knows what new horrors have popped between publishings. Editor's Note: Something dramatic that happened - that horrible, vile, totally insane speech in Phoenix, for one.

- The Vice documentary heard round the world. From Charlottesville.

- This news is a bit old but still sad, though not surprising, to see what the GOP is doing to my former home state.

- Colbert and WaPo seem to come to the same conclusion - time to admit Trump is just an old-fashioned racist. Until then, WaPo also wanders what an actual president might have said about Charlotesville.

- Wired confirms that the 'alt-left' is mostly a made-up boogeyman of conservative media.

- Rick and Morty has been excellent this season. Just as smart and witty as ever. Vulture takes a look at all the universes we've introduced so far. Spoiler - it's extensive.

- The trailer for the follow-up to The Lobster recently debuted and it has everything! So excited for this - looking forward to another odd, moody film I can't stop recommending or thinking about.

Okay, GoT time - can't believe the final episode is this week! A few week's old, but Gilly's ignored by Sam (but NOT the internet) revelation of Jon's parentage still had a great reaction.

Slate looks at what has gone wrong with the show. I think it was exemplified in the last episode. Those seven dudes north of the wall, bantering around Brienne and Tormund and teaching me how to pronounce whinging? That was prime Game of Thrones and I could have had an entire season of that. And here's the thing - we probably should have. In the rush for the finish line, there seems to be efficiency in the way of character development and just good storytelling.

Similarly, Vox points out all the questions coming out of the last episode. Because it was a dumb idea, guys. A really, really dumb idea...

Another thing that is really bugging me - the inconsistencies of the white walkers. Look, I'll buy dragons and ice zombies, but you gotta be consistent with your dragons and ice zombies.

August 11th, Weekly Roundup

Friday.

There are all kinds of problems in Washington, from the man child in the White House to the looming debt ceiling crisis. And, you know, Korea. But here's something you may not be worried about! Really old politicians and all that implies. Spoiler alert - Reagan's Alzheimer's is just the beginning.

But seriously, the debt ceiling is a big deal. Speaker Ryan keeps reminding everyone the last time Republicans were this much in charge, it was the 1920's. Someone's history lesson must have ended with The Great Gatsby.

NYT has a leaked draft of several federal agencies' climate change report. Al Gore and most intelligent people were right, who knew. It's terrifying and worth a read. Maybe just as troubling and in a totally different way - NYT received the draft because the agencies were worried the White House would try to suppress it. We've bypassed party over country and are at coal industry over country, I guess.

A few months ago, Katy Tur was on The Daily Show and she said the moment she thought Trump might be able to win the election was in late 2015, when he shit all over McCain's war record. If anything, service is sacred, right? Nope.

Since I drafted this, he shit all over a totally new sector of public service - ambassadors and diplomatic teams, while trying his hardest to jerk off Putin from New Jersey. Also, he seriously doesn't understand how any of this works or what Putin's actual jurisdiction here is - this doesn't save us any money. And even if it did, it wouldn't make a dent in the money we've spent merely on his family's travel expenses. I miss politicians who did shady stuff and had the shame to at least try to hide it.

Okay so another thing I really don't get - the Trump hotel on DC, which is leased from the government and basically everything about it is illegal. And yet here we are! WaPo makes it an emblem.

DJT Jr is just a young man trying to help out his dad, Ryan Lochte is just a boy fooling around. Vox argues the problem might be more than just Trump.

But seriously, Atlantic asks the big question that I think we have to address before we make any progress - when the hell did America lose its mind?

Here's a funny ad someone at work sent me in response to the North Korea shenanigans this week. But seriously, we're six months in and I'm one more crisis away from finding a therapist or at least an anti-anxiety medication.

Okay, let's dramatically shift gears.

This week, r/askreddit posed the question: what would the differences be if Harry Potter was American? Pajiba rounds up the best but the thread in general is a good time-killer on a Friday afternoon.

A few years ago, I spent a weekend totally sucked into the world of Top of the Lake, an odd but great Australian miniseries. And series two is back, this time with more Brienne and the perfect amount of Nicole Kidman.

Taylor Swift's sexual harassment suit is ongoing this week and she took the stand. And let's pour one out for T Swift, educating the attorneys on where a woman's ass is located and refusing to be victim-shamed.

Look at what the film Hidden Figures is doing! We need more films about women in STEM, probably.

Let's end on a high note: a day camp for transgender kids! Also, I think that 'no transgender people in the military' atrocity is still stalled. We'll take silver linings where we can.

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.

July 28th, Weekly Roundup

I've been MIA lately following a visit from my mom (waves to Mom) and some business at work. This week's list will probably be a little light but back to real stuff next week.

The Cut's advice column was especially useful this go around, looking at an over analysis of Facebook/Instagram/etc. that I am all too guilty of.

- Admission: I didn't read a single Jane Austen novel until freshman year of college, when I took a Jane Austen course and read all of them. She had an anniversary last week and Vox takes a look at where each novel shines. Overall, my fave is probably Emma. Or Sense and Sensibility. But there is Pride and Prejudice and that Keira Knightely adaptation is definitely my favorite... Oh screw it, they're all great.

- Here are the biggest celebrity breakups from the year you were born. My year kind of sucks, to be honest, but I vividly remember the breakups of the last twenty years in a way that makes me feel very old.

- In general the news out of Washington this week was comprised solely of garbage fire. There was the terrible "Mooch" interview and the depraved healthcare vote, with John McCaind continuing to be totally made up of bullshit. But the thing that saddened me the most, besides millions of people potentially lose healthcare, were the terrible remarks from the President to a bunch of Boy Scouts. I feel bad for people who have to raise children in this era. I promise kiddos, this isn't what a President usually looks like! Check out this Obama clip on Youtube!

- Happy Anniversary, Mad Men, we really miss quality, dense television.

- To end on a happy note, here are some great pictures of Obama. Enjoy your weekend.

July 14th, Weekly Roundup

Well that escalated quickly.

I need to take more pictures of drinks.

I need to take more pictures of drinks.

First, the not-so-bad.

- PSA, Game of Thrones is starting up this weekend. So excited! Until then, here's Kit Harrington auditioning for every other character.

- As part of CNN's 90's celebration, NY Mag takes us back to Elaine, heroine of the feminist movement. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

- Famous ladies offer their favorite books, for your summer reading list.

- These are just cool - take a look at the pictures from the International Drone contest.

- More cool stuff - the San Francisco MOMA will respond to your tweets!

- The Fug Girls look at Christina Aguilera through the years, fashion-wise. And I am suddenly transported back to middle school. Hit me baby one more time! Or something like that.

- Confession: I love both wine and Sideways, so this is all for me. NPR looks at how the wine snob film has impacted the industry.

- Last week, I got really excited about the Amelia Earhart story. Well, maybe that was fake news.

- I wasn't sure if this went under 'not-so-bad' or 'terrible' but it's certainly art, so we'll leave it here - a photographer snaps Marines before, during, and after their duty.

Now, the terrible.

First up in terrible links, the G20 was this weekend. And we managed to be extra embarrassing. There was the time we briefly entered monarch territory (seriously, there wasn't a single Senate-approved official available?).

And all the Don Jr. news is baffling. He's new levels of stupid and incompetent, with a dash of greed and entitlement. If someone wrote this in a Hollywood screenplay, the editor response would be: too obvious, not believable. They really are that incompetent. Someone on Twitter said it best - it's House of Cards with the characters from Arrested Development. In general, the Bluthes are an apt reference. WaPo is here to let you know who's who in these new developments. It's also especially entertaining to revisit all the times Senior derided the Russian allegations. 

And a friendly reminder that our President cares more about his delicate ego than the country itself.

Happy Friday!

July 7th, Weekly Roundup

It's July! I hope everyone had a great holiday week, got too much sun, and drank too much beer. 'Merica.

Here is some fun stuff:

Game of Thrones is starting up soon and it can't come soon enough. Aside from The Leftovers shaped hole I currently have in my life, I'm looking forward to some major national distraction. And good news - next season, its last, might be feature-length.

- It's my first Fourth of July in New England and I may have missed the brief takeover of the holiday by Taylor Swift.

- Here's a 1936 guide to living on your own and I am here for literally all of it. Single women unite, or something like that.

- I'm completely obsessed with this story - apparently Amelia Earhart may have been imprisoned by the Japanese!?!?!

- This past month, I've burned through several books on the beach (and layers of skin, to be totally honest). Luckily, Vulture is here to replenish your Amazon Wish List.

- I'm sorry, Tobey Maguire for life. I don't understand why we keep getting new Spidermans (men?) with new origin stories. I'm gonna blame this guy for kicking off the unrelenting spate of comic book films. But here they are, anyway.

- Some nice news, and a reminder the rest of the world will move ahead without America, from Volvo - the company is committing to hybrid or electric vehicles. I drove a Volvo when I was in Germany and kind of loved it, though after five years with a Prius, I can't imagine life any other way.

- One more nice thing before we get into the terrible - Colbert used Twitter this holiday to remind us of actual American Greatness.

And now everything that's terrible! I don't know about you, but with Fourth of July, this week seemed extra rough. At one point I caught up on The Bachelorette. I just needed something frivolous and non-terrifying. But that's over, so here are the highlights (lowlights)?

- The worst of Reddit has the President's attention. Awesome!

- Don't worry too much - POTUS sure isn't. I get President's have to be at least 35, but maybe it's time for an age restriction on the other end of the spectrum. Looking at you, Bernie 2020 people.

- Stupid GIFs aside, something truly troubling - Sinclair media. John Oliver is here to remind us why this really matters.

- A DOJ official quit this week and it looks like we failed the grand 'run the country like a business' experiment in just six excruciating months.

- A startling opinion piece from Ezra Klein - America the Diminished.

- Some good news - most states are ignoring the terrifying voter suppression initiative from the White House.

- On Fourth of July, NPR tweeted out the Declaration of Independence. And some Trump supporters were apparently not getting it. While that's entertaining and kind of sad, Pajiba is here to rain on the parade. Apparently, there were only a few of these guys and one, though he might be an Obama-bashing Trump fan, actually handled it in stride and made it harder to mock him. Dammit!

- Some free advice, don't bring the Holocaust or concentration camps into an argument, if you can help it. On a personal note, I visited Dachau a few years ago and if your inclination in a place like that is to politicize it, you're a fucking asshole.

- There have been so many news stories this week, but this one may have made me roll my eyes the hardest. Nikki Haley complained about having to work on a holiday. I miss the days of government work being considered public service and an honor (Hamilton assures me they happened!. I mean, I had better work ethic when I was a cashier at a pizza place in high school.

- Finally, have some fun and also get a quick education - can you spot fake news? Seriously, this has never been a more useful skill.

- PS, this Pajiba article really hit home for me. A writer defriends her dad on Facebook. While my own father's Facebook habits are mostly a-political, I find myself posting stories with my Trump-supporting, never-engaging cousins in mind, telling myself just one magical Washington Post will convince them. This is dumb. And are the pictures of their cute kids really worth the mental anguish I create for myself?

June 30th, Weekly Roundup

Excuse me while I freak out that it's already the end of June. Halfway into my thirtieth year and I still can't figure out time.

We're at the bottom of the barrel now - I made this in my kitchen.

We're at the bottom of the barrel now - I made this in my kitchen.

Here we go!

- Lin-Manuel Miranda has introduced to the internet Ham4All, to get famous people to sing Hamilton songs and everyone else to donate to immigrant-supporting charities in hopes to win Hamilton swag. It's effective - they've got my money. The videos are fun and come from all corners of pop culture. My fave so far is from the ladies of The Beguiled with some fun cameos, though the timing of all of this is very confusing to me.

- One more nod to the Ham guys - they've got a music video! Sure, the Mixtape came out last year. But today's atmosphere could use the message. Great job, everyone.

- The twentieth anniversary of the publication of the first book of Harry Potter hit this week. Freak out accordingly. The Ringer ranks everything HP by everything. Here's the original NYT book review, which made me aware of the fact that JK was my age when she started the first book and, damn, do I have a ways to go. It just literally changed the world.

- For something dramatically different, our real-life Big Brother, Google, has some interesting insight into Americans. Hint: we're liars.

- The answer might be boring: c-sections. But the graphics are fun and unique and half my friends are pregnant right now: why are most babies born at 8 am?

- And after they have the babies, NYT asks, are women allowed to love their jobs? Personally, I really, really like my job, but I keep thinking I should *love* my job, like I would do it for free if I was millionaire, would chose it over love and marriage and babies.

- Living on the coast and half the country away from the Midwest again, this article on buying plane tickets gave me anxiety.

- When did words stop having meanings? Samantha Bee investigates. Spoiler alert: you can blame people whose last name is 'Trump.'

- I'm in spoiler alert frame of mind, but, spoiler alert: a Clinton presidency wouldn't be all sunshine and roses, either. Infinitely better, sure.

- From Vox - what conservatives know about climate change that liberals don't.

- Has America ever been greater? Flashback back Friday, to this day two years ago, when we legalized same sex marriage.

- The best arguments for the ACA and against the BRCA/ACHA are found on Twitter. Hey, if it's good enough for POTUS...

And to end on a positive note... The Leftovers offers the best FYC ad yet. Please nominate this show for everything.

Weekly Roundup, June 23rd

It's Friday! Here we go!

Side note: I had the perfect Saturday afternoon at this pizza place, eating the freshest and best pizza I've had since Italy, drinking too much wine and chatting with the bartender about the merits of the  Handmaid's Tale  novel versus the book. 

Side note: I had the perfect Saturday afternoon at this pizza place, eating the freshest and best pizza I've had since Italy, drinking too much wine and chatting with the bartender about the merits of the Handmaid's Tale novel versus the book. 

And here are the suggestions:

Late to the party, but in honor of Father's Day, Huffpo has some touching, and occasionally graphic, images of dads meeting their kiddos for the first time.

To be honest, I'm mostly leaving this here for me. The best restaurants in New England! BRB, eating my way across the region. There aren't enough meals in a day.

Safety Not Guaranteed is that quirky indie movie with the chick from Parks and Rec that you watched in the middle of the night that one time on Netflix. Hey, turns out, it was a precursor for forthcoming changes in the industry.

Just a mere few weeks ago, Haim was just that odd band whose members were in T. Swift's squad. But then Spotify introduced me to them and the scales have fallen from my eyes. Just in time for their new single, which has a fun music video. I like the cut of the jib.

I'm gonna be frank: these are dumb and nonsensical. But it's Friday, so what the hell. Here are some silly fan theories on series' finales.

Similarly, Vulture asks if the series finale even matters any more.

For the most part, I enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu. But the finale made me really, really excited about the prospect of moving to Canada.

Apparently there was a new Cars movie? Let's use the opportunity to revisit and rank the Pixar films. Spoiler alert: the latest effort isn't great.

While we're still on movies, Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman script leaked. I can't judge this honestly as I forever have rose-colored Buffy goggles, but jeez...

Pajiba has an interesting take on the Pussy Posse and Squad Goals and how we treat female and male friendships differently. Pajiba also has their Pajiba 10 coming up and is offering Justin Theroux for your consideration. Yes, please.

In a moment of frivolity, let's revisit the Julia Roberts ride, My Best Friends Wedding, which turns twenty.

For all the never ending hoopla from the NRA, let's take a moment to really look at what those various bullets do to human flesh. Along those lines, the biggest link among mass shooters isn't political ideology or religion. It's spousal abuse. That seems fixable? Finally, in a small piece of hope, most Americans agree to some common sense gun reform topics.

Maybe a thing useful going forward: Wired compiles all the people the President of the United States has blocked on Twitter.

Reminder: Kansas really, really sucks. Let's not let Republicans do this on the national level.

In this week's "wow, climate change really sucks" edition, it was so hot in Phoenix they couldn't fly planes!

Finally, Stephen Colbert continues to be the best, this week with an assist from Seth Rogen.

PS. I'm sure you've already seen that, but here's a reminder that the new healthcare bill is really, really awful.

Weekly Roundup, June 16th

There is a winery near me named after cats. That is all.

There is a winery near me named after cats. That is all.

Let's kick it off with some life/career advice for young women.

- First up, HuffPo compiles "20 Essential Truths Women That Woman Over 50 Want to Share." Sure, I'll take it. None of these are surprising. But the trick is to remember them and put in the effort. Thoughts for the weekend!

- And here's some advice from an editor at Shondaland, because they seem to know what they're doing. Several of her points hit home. I'm not committing to the book, but this article made me add to my Amazon Wish List.

Now for a dash of politics.

- First up, let's talk about misogyny in politics. Real talk- I don't like Bernie Sanders. I didn't like him during the primary and his behavior lately has not improved my opinion of him. But what's super frustrating? That Twitter cogent who insists Hillary sit down and shut up and stop talking about the election, while exulting the merits of a guy who couldn't even win a primary. I agree the Democrats/Progressives need to come together, stop rehashing 2016, but before we do that we need to talk about how differently we treat women in politics because they, more so than goddamn white men, are the Democrat's backbone.

- Idiots are up in arms over a new production of Julius Caesar because the guy who plays Julius kind of sort of looks like Trump. These guys have obviously never (1) read the play (or its Wiki page) or (2) paid attention to art, ever. Where were they when a similar Obama-centric version took place in 2012? Nowhere because Conservatives liked it and Liberals understood the first amendment and the power of art. And the point of the play. Oskar Eustis also some thoughts. If I'm going to take a side between the guy who gave us Hamilton and the guy who gave us Alex Jones...

- Here's example 35908 of the President breaking basic ethical rules, especially the kind he derided Clinton and Obama for for years.

- Google has definitive proof - everyone is a little bit racist sometimes. Especially Americans.

And a welcome pop culture break!

- The Tony's were this past weekend. I wasn't nearly as invested this year as I was last year, but it's always a good time and everyone just seems to like everyone and have a good time. First, we've got the highlights of the evening. And Vox counts down the best Tony's performances. Ugh, I just really, really love musicals and live theater.

- For a very different Tony, here's an oral history on one of the biggest deaths in television, Adriana in season five of the Sopranos.

- The podcast industry is about to get very analytical. Watch this space.