I should pace myself better with these entries, but you know. This is a fine way to really edit my media/whatever consumption to just the things that have really made their mark on me. Even though I probably have consumed way more “good” things.
I think we should make more room for meaningful connections, probably. There’s so much detritus, it’s hard to figure out who you are and what things mean to you these days. Perhaps that’s just me. Plus, who am I to talk when I’ve been watching so much trash television anyway?
Transparent season 1
Okay, so this isn’t trash television. Au contraire, it’s possibly one of the best seasons of T.V. I’ve witnessed in my life. If you aren’t familiar with the premise of Transparent, it follows an aging father who’s slowly transitioning (get it? Trans Parent?) and gets “caught” by one of his daughters a little prematurely. The show follows the family as they go through this together, and it’s really a rather nuanced way of approaching this issue, as well as some “fringe” sexualities, etc. Much of media these days queerbait and only ever consider trans stories because it’s such a hot topic these days, but I feel like this particular show handled these stories well and respectfully, never going into full-on sob story territory.
And even though she is a minor character in this series, Carrie Brownstein’s Syd was someone I really enjoyed watching onscreen. Like, really enjoyed. Like, I’m probably a little bit in love with her right now.
Mind of Mine by ZAYN
Anyway, so I had to mention it somewhere. I was planning on writing a full review, but as time went on, I found myself not having much to say about it. I’m super proud of this record in that it is something so different from One Direction, something that Zayn has stated he has been wanting to explore more of. So in that regard, I’m glad that he was able to explore and tap into that side of him a little bit more.
So, although I liked majority of the album, I did find Mind of Mine a little meandering, with some tracks a little bit generic, probably only really saved from blandness by his own damn voice, which let’s be real, is angelic. I don’t feel like MoM quite reaches the rawness and openness of fellow Malay-produced artist, Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, but I think there are merits to this solo album that came out so soon after he left One Direction.
“Mind of Mine (Intro),” “It’s You,” “Befour,” “Drunk,” “Intermission: Flower,” “Fool For You,” “TiO,” and “Blue.” That’s a lot, but I’m probably being quite generous, as I love him, as you know.
Dear Distance and Happy Endings by Luis Katigbak
I read Dear Distance early in the year and fell in love with the stories, rationing the slim volume because I never wanted to run out of his words. When Luis passed away, I reached for his first short story collection, Happy Endings, which I had stored in an unused bookshelf. Petra lent (gave?) it to me in high school, and I guess I had planned on returning it but never did. I had forgotten a lot of the stories, so it was nice revisiting them. I don’t feel like this is a place for a review, really, but if you manage to find a copy, do yourself a favor and get it for yourself.
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith and Carol, 2015
I snagged this copy of The Price of Salt before meeting BP for lunch a few weeks ago, even though it was kind of painfully expensive, as it was the only edition I had seen so far that I really liked. I watched Carol first, then I began reading this (still not finished), and it really enriched my experience of it, made Therese’s longing that much more acute and realized. This is my first Patricia Highsmith novel, and I’m just so in love with it.
Carol was a beautiful film, the kind that makes you root for love.
Hurry Home & Rest by No Rome
BP lent me this EP by No Rome, and like, I’m really not the best judge of music. I just like shit or I don’t—that’s the extent of my critique, because that’s all I know how to do. So I hesitate to “critique” this beyond “I really like it,” my attention especially trained on “Adore” and “Rest_Less.” To be honest, I’m drawn to the entire EP, even though I generally don’t like it when remixes of a single song is how EPs end (I get why they’re put in the end; I just feel weird about multiple remixes on EPs and albums), but that just gives me more of a reason to start it back up again.
Cell-O-Phane by The Buildings
I missed The Buildings’ launch of Cell-O-Phane, which is a pretty long album that really pulled me in, because it played on my nostalgia so much. Even though The Buildings is comprised of cool people who are almost a decade younger than me. I’m fucking old. In any case, I was literally transported back to the days when I scoured record stores for something new to listen to that wasn’t corny acoustic albums or pop I wasn’t interested in. It spoke to then-me, kind of like a time machine of sorts. I’m attached to “Different Shades of Blue,” particularly.
Itch by Mich Cervantes
So I kind of fell in love with Itch, as short a volume as it is (which, to be honest, I wish it was longer). I always wondered how hard it probably is to coordinate as an artist with a writer, and vice versa, when it comes to comics and graphic novels, but Mich is both in this regard. This came out last year, but I only got a copy of it last week when I went to Mow’s. Anyway, this is a great coming-of-age story that I feel like fills a gap, currently. I don’t think very many stories address sexual exploration and identity as openly and safely as this one, since it seems to still be a taboo topic, even though it shouldn’t be. The art is beautiful, too.
The Faith Diaries
The Faith Diaries is a web series companion that follows the first season’s finale of UnReal—another non-trash T.V. show you should probably add to your to-watch list—that follows one of the character’s journey as she explores her very queer leanings. The episodes are short, about five minutes, and the typical talking heads shots of vlogs and web series are interspersed with the actual scenes (which, I suppose, we’re supposed to ignore?). Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away, but the final episodes’ final “confrontation” was so moving to me that I was brought to tears.
If you are struggling with your own identity, and feelings of acceptance, especially your own, please consider watching it, even if you don’t really know what happened on UnReal, prior to this web series. It honestly helped me sort through some shit, and I wasn’t expecting it to.
Fountain pen shit
I fell into this black hole again, and for the sake of documentation, here are my favorite inks, currently:
I currently have 5 LAMYs (4 Safaris and 1 Al Star), 1 Montblanc (obsolete hand me down from my dad), 1 Kaweco (Liliput), 2 Pilots (Metropolitan and Kakuno), and 1 TWSBI (Eco). I am eyeing a Pilot with a soft nib (kind of a soft flex effect, I guess), but I guess I’m trying to grasp onto what little sanity I have left.