Oct 24 2014

This book is so good

I’m about half way through The Silkworm and I’m liking it even more than its predecessor, The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Robert Galbraith (or J.K. Rowling) has created such a likeable leading man in Private Detective Cormoran Strike, that I love spending time with him regardless of the mystery he’s working on (but the mystery is pretty great too!)

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– Jen

 

 


Oct 23 2014

My cheering feels lackluster (Project Runway)

Usually on finale night, I have picked my favorite, I’ve placed my bet, I’ve cooked an appropriate meal. I like CEREMONY.

But this season on Project Runway, I just can’t commit.

Yes, Kini is fast and seems like a good guy. But I see no spark of genius there (and his preview collection was the worst…I’ll never get over that coat.)

I really like Sean and I loved the white outfits he made the last couple challenges, but I have to agree with Nina. The fringe is too much.

Char is a a breath of fresh air with her gratitude and humility, but I’m not blown away by her talent. She has had it pretty rough this year though. (May the condescension, arrogance and cruelty shown her by Korina follow Korina all the days of her life!)

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However, Tim has been way too emotionally involved and invested in Char’s success on the show (He practically forced her to buy that fabric in Rome!)

I guess that leaves Amanda. She’s been the most consistent and she seems to have learned her reality show lessons about how to not be a dick. As a repeat contestant, she’s been gracious and used her time well (as well as the Aldo accessories wall thoughtfully!) Go Amanda? (please read with up-speak.)

– Jen


Oct 23 2014

Good news via Twitter

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Silicon Valley was my favorite TV show last year and I couldn’t be happier the gang’s back together!

If you’ve never seen it, it’s a half hour comedy, there were only like 8 episodes and it builds in hilarity until you are peeing yourself watching the last show.

If you loved it like I did, all I need to say is Optimal Tip-to-tip Effeciency!

– Jen

 


Oct 23 2014

What is the point, John Oliver?

Every Sunday night I settle in to watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. It’s funny and it’s smart and the amount of time and research his staff devotes to these topics is really impressive.

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However, I’m not sure what to do with my feelings at the end.

*He explains that the Miss America pageant isn’t really giving away all that scholarship money they claim. (Annoying, but not unexpected.)

*He explains that our drone policies in the middle east will come back to bite us in the future. (Scary, but I’ll probably be dead by then.)

*He explains that a little known law, Civil Forfeiture, allows local police officers to confiscate cash from law-abiding citizens who’ve broken no laws (Infuriating.)

*And this week he explained how many of the translators in Iraq and Afghanistan who risked their lives (as well as the lives of their families) to help our troops and are in imminent danger, are not being allowed to move to America. Even though we promised. (Now my head is about to explode.)

The problem is, he just lays out the facts with great righteous indignation and then says goodnight. I can’t sleep, I’m disturbed for days, but most of all, I’m helpless to do anything.

Am I missing something here? Is it just an exercise in futility? Is he just trying to ruin my week? Is anyone in power watching? I’m not sure I can do this if there’s no possibility of righting these wrongs.

– Jen

 


Oct 21 2014

Let’s play a game of “what did we expect”

WHAT DID SHE DO TO HER FACE!!  – Shout the internet headlines

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Renee Zellweger looks a little different. The first thing I thought was, “Yeah, she looks different, but not bad different.”

Then I thought how unfortunate for her that people used to make fun of her unusual appearance and now that she looks more conventional, they’ll make fun of her for plastic surgery.

NYMag‘s Dave Holmes tweeted it like this:

hey that lady whose face everyone made fun of went and changed her face let’s all wonder why all day

 

So, here at the end of 2014, we still make fun of people for the face they were born with and then we express shock that they try and “fix” it.

I feel a little like sh*t. We probably all should.

– Jen

 


Oct 21 2014

Careful there…

Brittany Maynard is a 29 year old woman with terminal brain cancer who has moved to Oregon in order to receive a doctor’s prescription for life-ending drugs. I choose to respect her decision. This is not a post about her, but about her verbiage.

My concern is the use of the term “dignity”

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There’s an implication here that irks me. You do not lack dignity if you live out your days being cared for by others. That someone else helps you bathe and dress and God-forbid change your diapers…this has nothing to do with:

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We all want to go out on our own terms, but life sucks sometimes and there’s no dishonor in vulnerability.

Love and peace to Brittnay Maynard and all who suffer.

Jen

 

UPDATE: A lovely reader, Marcy, sent me an email with a different interpretation, which I think is valid and good to remember:

My interpretation is that it’s trying to show contrast between the state-sanctioned pills and the likely traumatic ways that terminal people attempt to end their lives early when they are not given a more peaceful option.

I honestly hadn’t thought of that, and was simply reacting to the idea I often hear from people equating a loss of dignity with long term care. I’m also glad to see another side.


Aug 15 2014

No cynicism here

One of the best things I’ve ever read on grief is the book Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield. (It is his story of losing his wife suddenly to an embolism.) This passage has always stuck with me:

“I was helpless in trying to return people’s kindness, but also helpless to resist it. Kindness is a scarier force than cruelty, that’s for sure…when you experience this type of kindness…You lose your right to be a jaded cynic.”

I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of you for your tweets and notes and emails and thoughts of kindness toward me and Jason. In the face of death and mayhem and injustice all over the world, I’ve received a portion of goodwill that overwhelms me and reminds me that most people are kind in an unkind world.

It leaves us determined to be more patient with one another, and give people the kind of break we’ve had to ask for as we stumble through grief.  And we’re doing better today.

– Jen

 

 


Aug 9 2014

News that’s hard to share

Sadly, our Mr. Knightly has passed away. After 15 years together, he was tired and frail and in pain and we knew it was time. We had just returned to Washington state after years away and we like to think he held on in order to get us safely home. It is a heartbreak unlike anything we’ve ever felt, but one of our comforts is how much he was loved by all of our friends.
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We were honored to have him in our care for so many years. Thank you for the all the good times you shared with our little family. We have an empty space that will be tough to fill. As we said to him as he slipped away to peace, “what a good boy you are”
As life must go on in good times and bad, we have rented a little house in Roslyn, WA and are moving in this week to start a new chapter that looks very different from what we planned.
With love,
Jen and Jason Andrews
PO Box 199
Roslyn, WA 98941

May 2 2014

Thoughts from my reading chair

Recently I have read some books that I didn’t really like:

No Book but the World

You Should Have Known

All Our Names

A couple good mysteries that resolve nicely:

Unseen

Her Husband’s Secret

But the main thing I want to tell is that I read a sweet little story about a sad, misanthropic bookseller whose life and outlook change through a series of events that add up to a good life.

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1) Super easy to read

2) Funny and sweet

3) Hyper-literate characters who talk in the language of people who love books. You will enjoy all the references as a side benefit to a lovely story.

– Jen

 

 


Apr 29 2014

Oh my darlings!

The Grand Budapest Hotel is so good. The one-two punch of Schindler’s List and Lord Voldemort (and let’s be honest, Maid in Manhattan) had led me to believe Ralph Fiennes was incapable of being likeable on film. I was so wrong. I am now pretty much in love with him.

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Side note: A while back I had decided to try and excise “darling” from my vocabulary. (It’s my favorite term of endearment, but I feared it was making some people uncomfortable…too lovey and familiar, I surmised.) After Budapest though…I’m thrilled to say “darling” has been returned to me and I delight to use it again!

I do not hesitate to say that for me, this is Wes Anderson’s finest effort yet. If you don’t like his movies this will be no fun for you, but for those of us who do…I think it’s great fun to rank them, and I do it by how happy I was as I left the theater.

So from least happy to most happy:

Tenenbaums

Rushmore

Life Aquatic

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Darjeeling

Moonrise

Budapest

Cheers to Wes all the way around!

– Jen