All Tied Up 7/21/2017
Y’all, I checked out a stack of library books as high as my knees, but instead of reading any of them, I’m reading something that won’t come out until September. (Hashtag librarian problems.) Amelia convinced me to read Kendare Blake’s “Three Dark Crowns” last year because she is a monster and also it is an excellent book. It did end in a holy shit cliffhanger, though. So when I saw an advanced copy in the ARC pile at my internship, you’d best believe I snatched it up. “One Dark Throne” is amazing so far. The premise is this: Triplet queens are born, each with a magical gift. They are split up and raised apart until they have to try to murder each other because There Can Be Only One (queen). The perspective flits among the three queens: Mirabella, Katharine, and Arsinoe. “One Dark Throne” picks up where the first book left off. So many things are happening, and I have emotions, and it’s so good. It’s so damn good.
Many years ago, when the “Twilight” movies were becoming all the rage, a friend of mine introduced me to a celebrity gossip blogger who had informative and hilarious takes on the culture surrounding the movies. I enjoyed the writing and analysis so much that I’ve stuck with the site and enjoy my daily bits of celebrity information from Lainey Gossip. The contributors are diverse and don’t shy away from tough discussions about racism and misogyny, and how they play out in pop culture. In the last six months or so, the site started up a podcast called “Show Your Work,” which talks about, well, work. Specifically, the work that goes into being a public figure, running a television show, being Beyonce—and I find it absolutely fascinating. For example, last week they talked about the control room trucks that various television networks deploy to live events, such as the Oscars, and the work that goes into running a live event. I highly recommend checking it out if anyone is interested in the “inside baseball” of the entertainment we consume.
I am utterly lost in “Jane the Virgin” season 3. This show has everything, you guys. Female sexuality. Sexuality in the not-young. Actual emotion on the part of the men in the show. Grief and loss dynamics. Parenting realities and anxieties. Lots of non-white culture. Also: Twin drama, weird murder plots, evil submarines, skeletons, and face swappers. Oh, and hot, hot people. Seriously. This show will break your heart and heal it again and then break it again. It’s amazing.
I’ve also playing a lot of “Elder Scrolls Online.”
I started learning Japanese in February, and so far I’m really enjoying it. The thing about Japanese, though, is that in order to read and write it, you have to learn three different scripts: two phonetic alphabets each made up of 71 syllabic characters (hiragana for native Japanese words and katakana for foreign and onomatopoeic words) and kanji borrowed from China. I can now read hiragana and most katana, but since I want to be able to speak, read, and write Japanese, there is of course one last challenge to overcome, and it’s the most difficult of them all. Before you can claim basic Japanese literacy, you have to learn at least 2,000 kanji first. To help me on this daunting journey, I bought a copy of “Remembering the Kanji I: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters.” I like how it starts out with teaching the meaning and stroke order of basic characters that are often used as the foundations of more complex characterss and slowly increases in difficulty, all while explaining the meaning of each in fun, easy-to-remember ways.
I’ve been busier than usual because of work, so finding time to practice is tough, but I already know 25 kanji thanks to this book. Now only 1,975 more to go.