What I’ve been consuming (aside from lots of taco salads)

Okay, so I’ve read a few books in the last couple months that I keep meaning to mention. Like how Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart has one of the most meaningful, stunning, tragic endings ever that just slaps you upside the head suddenly (plus it’s barely over 200 pages). Or how Jesmyn Ward’s new memoir Men We Reaped is downright heartbreaking in its portrayal of Black Southern poverty and her descriptions of the grief she carries with her, and despite some structural problems, it was an emotionally tough read that had me near-crying several times. Or how I spent a day binging Augusten Burroughs reading his memoir Dry and I probably scared my neighbors with my loud cackling, but it’s now my second-favorite thing by him after his essay collection Magical Thinking.

Or how Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided had some highlights but overall was just okay and made a few too many stretches I think, and Kevin Fong’s Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine and John E. Douglas’ Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet were too dry for me to get past the first couple chapters (Tim Wise’s White Like Me might also have a premature rendezvous with the book drop, too). And though I liked Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s super short novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, it didn’t quite hook me like his short story collection Strange Pilgrims did.

Come to think of it, the movies Carnal Knowledge and Enough Said were also disappointing. Or maybe it just bored me. How many movies can we possibly have where actresses are portraying deeply flawed 30-or-older women in quirky / ridiculous / unsustainable jobs that they seem to hate but continue to perform? See also: Orange is the New Black, Bridesmaids, The Office after Jan gets fired, Young Adult, et al. Dexter, on the other hand, has been a great binge watch the last few weeks, and I love how it explores universal issues of identity through what amounts to a grown-up version of Jhonen Vasquez’s Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, just packaged as a cop/detective show.

But after noticing that if I come across an article in Feedly that’s more than like four paragraphs (six if they’re easy reading), I say “ugh” and skip to the end, I’ve decided to not write a big huge blog post on those. Nobody would read it, plus I’ve waited so long to write about this stuff that I don’t remember enough to give them each substantial paragraphs. Plus, most of that I read is old, and somebody out there has probably already done a better, more timely job of covering the newer stuff.

So there. This is paragraph five, so here’s a cartoon I found on Twitter that made me laugh. It makes me miss my husband, who has absconded to Petrozavodsk, Russia, until the beginning of August and has left me to my own devices. Which apparently includes binge-listening audiobooks and reading Twitter and eating taco salads for a week straight. Anyway, cartoon:

Bonus image: a taco salad. Ground turkey with some of that packet taco seasoning, plus a lazy dressing of just sour cream mixed with salsa.

Taco salad

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