Reading Week: Read-watching TV

Fall TV is here! And that means I now spend approximately 50% of my time reading episode recaps. Mostly on The AV Club. (I used to be really into the recaps on Vulture, but they are not as quick to post and The AV Club really reeled me in with its grading system.) Of course, I watch all of the shows that I read about. But I watch a lot of shows so I end up reading a lot of recaps. What was I read-watching (watch-reading? I dunno) this week?

Adventure Time: I caught up on a few recent episodes (“Earth & Water” and “Time Sandwich”, for those of you who are fans) this week. I thought the review of “Earth & Water” was particularly thoughtful.

Breaking Bad: Duh. I’ve never been as big of a fan of this show as my friends/everyone on the internet seems to be. But…I have been the opposite of bored by this season and find that I look forward to reading the recaps on Sunday evenings after the show airs to see if I missed anything.

Boardwalk Empire: I vowed to stop watching this show after Season 2 ended because I thought it would hurt too much to not see Michael Pitt’s beautiful face every week. Also, it’s just not a great show. It’s fine. But I like period pieces and Steve Buscemi, so.

Broadchurch: This show has been on BBC America for six weeks now. I don’t get BBC America on Verizon FiOS, which is currently the greatest tragedy in my life, so I watch this on Amazon. Anyway, if you’re not watching it, you should be.

New Girl: Perhaps the greatest surprise of my life –  thus far –  was that I started watching and liking New Girl last year. (I would recommend everyone start with Season 2 and then go back and watch Season 1, like I did. Season 2 is just so much better.) I watched the Season 3 premiere late last night and literally thought about reading the review – which I accurately predicted would be a B+ – when I woke up this morning, which is a sad and very revealing fact about me.

So, what else? I am still reading Last Call because it’s really impossible for me to read non-fiction quickly, unless it’s like David Grann or Geoff Dyer or John Jeremiah Sullivan. (OMG, note to self: I should write about how much I love John Jeremiah Sullivan soon.)

Also, I am getting really excited to see Anna Nicole the Opera next week. The review in the New York Times was great. Reading it made me revisit one of my favorite magazine pieces of the recent past, a New York Magazine feature on Anna Nicole published shortly after the original production of the opera opened in London in 2011. I actually ripped this story out of the magazine and still have it in my “inspiration files” because it really is such “a peculiarly American story”.
One last thing: I don’t read advice columns very often, but this one on The Awl today caught my eye. Probably because the headline is “Am I Really Just A Booty Call?”. And, you know, maybe that is a question I have encountered in some fashion before. Anyway, I thought there was some pretty great advice in there for young, intelligent women who are in possession of smartphones. (I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but I guess I wouldn’t stop anyone from trying some of the things she suggests.)

How I Spent My First Weekend After Summer Unofficially Ended

I’ve been very into doing things lately. By which I mean, if I’m presented with the option of having an experience versus like, staying home on a Friday night and watching documentaries on Netflix, I’m trying to choose the experiences. And I think that I did a pretty good job of doing things this weekend, or at least enjoying the things that I was doing.

On Friday night, I went to not one but two shows. I saw Cymbals Eat Guitars and Bob Mould first at Williamsburg Park. It was free and also very good! I was definitely looking forward to the show and Bob Mould’s performance didn’t disappoint. He played the entirety of the Sugar album Copper Blue, as well as some stuff from his new album Silver Age and some crowd-pleasing stuff from the Hüsker Dü era. (Here’s a link to his great Letterman performance from last week.)

After grabbing dinner, my roommate and I went to Cake Shop at a friend’s invitation to check out an all-girl Japanese band called The Suzan. Despite being in a basement that smelled like a frat and feeling a little rough due to horking down an enormous burrito just before we got there, I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time they were on stage. The entire crowd went from being skeptical to joyously dancing in just a few songs. (I mean, how could one not when confronted with four Japanese girls with the hippest haircuts and dramatic makeup ecstatically playing instruments?) I haven’t felt that much positive energy in a long time.

banana bread

I woke up early – at 11 – on Saturday to get preparations started for our housewarming party. Before 3 PM, I had baked banana bread (from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for “Jacked-Up Banana Bread”) and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with coconuts and dried cranberries (my own spin on my favorite recipe of all time, The Silver Palate Cookbook’s oatmeal raisin cookies). After that, I rearranged the furniture in my room with the help of one of my roommates and finally hung things on the wall. There is nothing like having a party to make you get all of your shit together. So now, after being in this apartment for a little over a month, I really feel at home!

the coziest corner of my room

Our party was definitely a success (I think!) – lots of good people and good food (and drinks)! And it ended only after all of the guests had left with a roommates-only dance party. I hope our neighbors enjoy R. Kelly in the (early) morning.

I got myself up early again – at 11 – on Sunday and even though I was barely functioning, I managed to make a frittata with spinach, onion, chicken sausage and parmesan. I ate it while catching up on the disappointing new BBC America show, Copper. And then I watched Drive which did not jive with me as well during the daytime as it has when I’ve watched it at night. Also, it was beautiful out and I felt bad about sitting inside and watching TV for so long so I ended up grabbing some iced coffee and just walking around Greenpoint for ages, which was delightful but sort of lonely. I was a bit tired out when I got home and had settled in to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi when my friend Lexie called to tell me she was in my neighborhood. We caught the tail end of the Brooklyn Flea at the East River Waterfront, which was an excellent idea because the late afternoon was even more gorgeous than earlier in the day. It was a good end to a good weekend – and I’m looking forward to more like this one this fall.

(FYI, my weekend truly ended with watching Bachelorette on demand on Sunday night, which I now want to watch over and over again for the rest of my life. Lizzy Caplan + Adam Scott Forever!)