The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
I've had several people recommend this to me over the years, and this feature on the AV Club finally spurred me to action. I just finished this first collection (containing issues 1-8), and I liked it, even if it's quite a bit darker than the comics I used to read back-in-the-day. (In middle school/high school/college, I was quite the Marvel/X-Men fangirl and blew a lot of my hard-earned money on the comics racks at Bunny's Books, the Piggly Wiggly & Pamida, depending on who managed to keep their shelves up-to-date at any given time. It was always kind of a crapshoot, tracking down comics in Ashland, but that might've been half the fun.) Moving on to the next volume soon...
The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America's Middle Class by Jeff Tietz/Rolling Stone
Should be required reading for anyone complaining about stuff like food stamps and other government aid programs. Our economic crisis is so much more complicated and nuanced than soundbites on TV can capture, and I thought this profile of some homeless people living in a parking lot in southern California was brilliant and heartbreaking.
Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital by Matt Taibbi/Rolling Stone
And this should be required reading for anyone waffling over who to vote for. I can understand people of various political stripes not wanting to vote for Obama, but I don't know how anyone can be for Romney. Romney's not even for Romney -- Romney just parrots whatever popular opinions are blowing on the breeze at the moment (see: his primary season debates with the wingnuts last winter where he said stuff like "I was an extremely conservative governor," and how he now presents himself as the most moderate moderate ever to grace the state of Massachusetts). Mitt, Mitt, full of shit.
Year Zero by Rob Reid
Aliens have been stealing Earth's music since the 1970s. Then they figure out that since they broke a bunch of U.S. copyright laws, they owe us about a gajillion dollars, or all the money in the universe and then some, basically. Hijinks ensue. This reads like Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide stuff -- a fun, fast read.
My Life in France by Julia Child
I kept bumping into that Julie & Julia movie on TV late this summer -- I still hate the Julie parts because she's entirely too self-absorbed and whiny to sympathize with, but the Julia portions with Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci are still pretty freakin' delightful (and just serve to really make me wish they'd dumped the pouty-narcissist-food-blogger angle completely ). Anyway, seeing that inspired me to read one of Child's books, and this seemed like a good place to start since I was more interested in a narrative than a cookbook. I've never been to France, but this made me want to go someday, so hey, job well done, Julia Child.
Cabin In the Woods
I'm not a big horror movie person, at all -- not that I'm easily spooked, but if I'm going to spend time watching a movie, I'd rather it made me laugh. Well, this did make me laugh, and it also grossed me out, but in a very subversive, entertainingly-gross sort of way. It's not quite what it seems.
The Five-Year Engagement
I'm not a big romantic comedy person, either, but I really loved this. It's too long -- they should've shaved about 20-30 minutes off because it gets a little padded toward the end -- but I loved the characters and where their story took them. (One of my favorite scenes: the Elmo/Cookie Monster discussion near the end. Laughed out loud.)
It's not my favorite Wes Anderson movie (if I had to pick, I'd go with The Life Aquatic), but I really liked this. It reminded me of one of my favorite children's books, Bridge to Teribithia, and of playing in the big ravine by my house when I was a kid -- that sense of just being outside, on my own, able to hike and climb and explore whatever I wanted.
The Dick Van Dyke Show (season 1)/Arrested Development (seasons 1-3)/Community (seasons 1-3) marathons
- Dick Van Dyke - because I'd never seen it, other than some Nick at Nite reruns years ago
- Arrested Development - because I hadn't watched the whole thing in a couple of years
- Community - because it didn't come back on October 19th and I needed a fix
Project Runway/Project Runway All-Stars
I'm so bored with these. The contestants on the cycle that just ended had potential, but the 90-minute format is just sucking the everloving life out of the show -- instead of showing us more of the designers' creative processes from challenge to challenge, the show is just showing us more of the designers saying how great Project Runway is over & over. It's like a snake eating its own tail. (John Teti's AV Club reviews of this show are the only thing that's still keeping me watching it sometimes -- they're so, so funny.) And why, for the love of god, is a season of All-Stars on literally the week after a regular season ended? Too soon! Give the shows (and the audience) some breathing room! (It probably doesn't help that I honestly can't remember who half of the people on the All-Stars version are. It's hard to care who wins.)
Way better than last season so far. It's still not what it was in its prime, and there are still some issues with how inconsistently Andy behaves as a character/boss (now, it's like they're turning him into a Michael Scott clone, what with the nonsensical staff meetings and even going so far as to make him have a feud with Tobey -- where did that come from?). But at least this year, it seems like there's an endgame in mind, and like there are actual plotlines being developed with some sense of purpose. Last season was bedlam.
- Another turkey hat! This one was for my friend Shannon's boyfriend Brad, whose family has some sort of cockamamie Thanksgiving hat contest.
- Lots more crocheted doodads fresh out of the hopper, but most were baby presents that are currently in-transit to their new homes so pictures will have to wait a bit.
- Last, a Halloween treat.