Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekly Buffet: Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot

[Adored classic showing at backyard movie night - To Kill A Mockingbird]

As predicted last week, the Pacific Northwest is back into a heat wave. This made for the perfect conditions to finally utilize a projector I had purchased awhile back. I had waited all summer to set up a little backyard movie session!

There was a lot of pondering over what to use for a screen - a sheet, maybe? What about cardboard or butcher paper? Good old grandma came to the rescue after she realized that hiding up in her attic was the portable screen they used to project family photos on back in the day. Hooray!

It is really an ingenious, compact gadget, complete with cute little legs that fold out to prop up the entire screen. Such a cool item that I'm hoping she lets her favorite granddaughter keep...

Watching movies under the stars just screams of summer memories - from having sleepovers on my front porch that often involved dragging out a TV to indulge in scary movies in the spooky darkness of the night, or hanging at the drive-in, or attending local outdoor movies that are set up around town.

Making your own backyard movie is a  more convenient option, plus, you have total control over the film selection. I plan on making this a weekly tradition now that I have all the tools.

That had to be a milestone for the week, but there were plenty of other things to enjoy as well. Check it out.

"Head Underwater" - Jenny Lewis

Surging with more excitement than I've had for new music all year, I jaunted over to Jenny Lewis' website and pre-ordered her album The Voyager. I even splurged on a combo pack that included the CD and a cute tote, heyo. 

Since I rarely pre-order anything, I was surprised to receive the digital copy in an e-mail two whole days before the album actually released. Is that standard? Nevertheless, I was thrilled and raced to downloaded it and start listening. 

Instantly the first track sank my heart, but in a good way. Lewis has been open about how she wrote the album while dealing with the death of her father. "Head Underwater" seems to be her ode to the entire mourning process - everything from the initial shock to acceptance and trying to move on.  I too am still reeling over a recent heartbreaking loss and was shocked about how much this song expresses how I feel on a daily basis. The lyrics make me sad, nostalgic, and, by the end of the song, uplifted.

I've never been the type of person who plays a song on repeat, but that's not the case anymore. This jam has become my anthem.

"I'm not the same woman, that you were used to."

The X-Files Files

Scully and Mulder are back with vengeance! Well, not entirely, but The X-Files has worked its way back into the pop culture stream all thanks to comedian Kamail Nanjiani and his popular podcast, The X-Files Files.

Having only caught the fever for the show about three years ago, the element that was missing while I watched every episode was that "water-cooler" type conversation. No one else was watching right as I was and the best I could do was look up random threads on the internet. I quickly stopped doing that after coming across a couple spoilers.

When I got excited about a plot development there was no one to echo that sentiment! Well, Kamail's podcast is the perfect answer to that feeling.

This really is a fan podcast. Kamail discusses the plot points of the episodes, but also delves into the cultural impact that the show had, even pulling (hilarious) deep cuts from posts on the original X-Files message boards. Plus, he has guests on! One of The Lone Gunmen (aka some of my favorite characters from the show) was on recently and told some behind the scenes stories - be still my heart!

Anyone who has ever wanted to watch the show but hasn't yet, let this podcast be your guide. He is watching almost every single episode, although, he definitely makes the point that he is skipping only a few of the most horrendous episodes.

All I know is after listening to the podcast, I'm tempted to watch the show again.

Dawson Sings The Blues

No need for commentary, this piece of art speaks for itself. [Spoiler Alert?]

East Of Eden 

Each summer, when it comes to books, I try to tackle a classic epic. One time it was Jane Eyre, another was One Hundred Years of Solitude, and last year it was all about Anna Karenina.

This summer I have settled in to over 600 pages of John Steinbeck's East Of Eden.

Being a lifelong James Dean fan, I've seen Elia Kazan's movie version of the book a couple times. Reading the first couple chapters of the book I was stunned to realize how much more story there is in the book. So far, I'm 400 pages in and haven't even got to the part the movie covers. Suffice it to say, even if you have seen a movie based on a book, for many reasons, read the book anyway.

Since Steinbeck is such a prolific and popular writer, I don't need to say how much I am enjoying his writing, that is already assumed. Much of the story takes place in California, so just reading his vivid descriptions of  the vast open land in the Salinas Valley has been making me long for a road trip. 

Fittingly enough, when this post is published, I will in fact soon be on my way, traveling down the Washington and Oregon coast to The Golden State. Perfect timing!

I'll take the book along and hopefully finish it on the road - preferably sitting on a sandy beach.

Now into August, the final moments of summer are getting closer. I intend to enjoy the heck out of the time we have left and I hope you do the same.

Just a quick side note - a couple days after I posted some critiques of the show Halt and Catch Fire, I watched more episodes. Anyone who was initially bored and confused by the show like I was, keep going, the story gets really fascinating.  

It took until episode six, which features a terrific story involving a huge storm and a cabbage patch doll, but now, I'm hooked! 

As the show progressed, the audience is able to get a better understanding of the characters intentions and in that way feel more invested in their success. Since that has all fallen into place, I intend to go back and watch the beginning of the season again with more appreciation. Initially I was letting some of the elements bore me and missed a bunch of details. 

After last weeks game changer of an episode, I can't wait to see what the season finale will reveal tonight. 

Until next time!

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1 comment:

  1. I love that you guys had your own little screening in your backyard! That is so fun! Teen witch is playing in Seattle in a little less than 2 weeks!!! You need to come with Sydney and I and watch it.


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