Sunday Lowdown #13

This Week at the Theatre Job

Surprise! I resigned from this job. Friday is my last day (after a three-week notice). No, I don’t want to talk about it the comments. On Golden Pond opens on May 10th, and that is the last show I will have managed that sees the stage under my tenure.

This Week in TV & Film

I missed loads of Jeopardy! because I was busy helping with auditions for the summer musical at the theatre, Oliver! What’s with show titles have exclamation marks in them? I look way more excited than I am. I saw Jeopardy! on Thursday and Friday, though, and James Holzhauer is holding strong, breaking records, and, to my mind, going to put that tool Ken Jennings to shame.

I started watching a new show on Netflix by Lisa Hanawalt called Tuca and Bertie. She’s the brain behind Bojack Horseman, though Tuca and Bertie has a decidedly different tone and two female leads. The art style is still very Hanawalt, as is the emphasis on the gross things that happen to bodies and anxiety (hooray representation!). The three lead voice actors are all people of color: Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong, and Steve Yeun. You can check out my review of Hanawalt’s comic art book My Dumb Dirty Eyes.

This Week in Reading: Finished Books

Shell @ Books By the Cup started #OurAfricanAmericanReads, so I finished Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin for that. It involves reading a book about, or preferably by, an African American and then answering four questions:

  • What does your book say about the African American experience during which it is set?
  • Compare the treatment of African American men and women in your book.
  • What is the role of white characters in your novel?
  • How did your book affect you emotionally?

Having these questions in mind before I started reading really helped me dig deeper into the text. It felt a bit like a college freshman lit class again!

I also finished a novel that came to my attention via Goodreads and couldn’t wait to get my hands on: Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman. We are both mediocre violinists who started playing the instrument “too late” to be excellent at it and attempted to be music majors and did not finish, instead switching to creative writing majors. TWINSIES! My review will be up next week. It turns out the memoir leaned pretty hardcore into some feminist territory, which fit great with my discussion post asking, is Grab the Lapels really is feminist?

This Week in Reading: Books in Progress

I’m currently about 80 pages into Winds of Change by Mercedes Lackey, part of 2019’s #ReadingValdemar. This is the 9th book on the schedule! Though the setting is described much better, early on I confused two main male characters with little from the narrator to distinguish them.

Still plugging away at Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, which I put on hold because I picked up Sounds Like Titanic. I read about one book per month by a male author, and if I get behind on books for Grab the Lapels, the dude book is put on hold. I won’t forget anything; Trainspotting is a bunch of vignettes, unlike the film.

Another slow read is Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell, a re-read for me from seven years ago, but totally new to my husband, to whom I am reading before bed each night. We both love it, and it leaves us with much to discuss afterward (until one of us quits responding because he/she has fallen asleep).

Next Week in Reading:

I need to start A Detroit Anthology, edited by Anna Clark — and finish it. Thankfully, it’s a shorter anthology. Through essays, photographs, poetry, and art, this anthology collects the stories Detroiters tell each other over late nights at the pub and long afternoons on the porch. Stories they share in coffee shops, at church social hours, in living rooms, and while waiting for the bus. The authors and artists may be lifelong residents, newcomers, or former Detroiters; they may be activists, workers, teachers, artists, healers, or students. This is my newest book shelved.

Also, I’ll make a little headway on Forward, a memoir by Abby Wambach. You may have heard me mention Wambach before. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA World Cup Champion, and the highest all-time international goal scorer for male and female soccer players. She is an activist for equality and inclusion and co-founder of Wolfpack Endeavor, which is revolutionizing leadership development for women in the workplace and beyond through her champion mindset, individualized coaching, and team-bound focus. I’m reading this one for funsies.

Lastly, I’ll get started on Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo. As you may guess from the title, this is part of my reading fat women and girls goal. It’s also a sequel to Fat Angie, which I reviewed and loved. The second novel is about
sophomore year, which has just begun, and Angie is miserable. Her girlfriend, KC, has moved away; her good friend, Jake, is keeping his distance; and the resident bully has ramped up an increasingly vicious and targeted campaign to humiliate her. With her mother threatening to send Angie to a “treatment center” and the situation at school becoming violent, Angie enlists the help of her estranged childhood friend, Jamboree. Along with a few other outsiders, they pack into an RV and head across the state on the road trip Angie’s sister did not live to take.

Books I Obtained This Week:

Just two, both for my reading fat women and girls goal, because today is my birthday. I bought The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes Rodriguez and Game of Hearts by Cathy Yardley. I’m really happy using the library and buying fewer books, but if a book about a fat woman or girl is not at the library, I buy it.

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30 comments

  1. Birthday greetings from across the Atlantic. Hope you get to do something fun to celebrate. Well that was a shock to see you resigned from the theatre. I’ll miss those behind the scenes posts – hope something comes along soon that suits you better.

  2. Happy, happy Birthday! Oooh you have a lot going on – hoping the next adventure is a rewarding one.

    I also read Go Tell It not so long ago and wow, so powerful…Beale St is on my list – hoping to take it along on an upcoming work trip to Memphis

  3. We have a patron at the library who is obsessed with Jeopardy, and every time he comes in I get a full update. So I actually know all about this new guy who’s winning all the money!

    Happy Birthday! I hope it was great! 🙂

    • Does the patron like or hate James. There seems to be quite a division. He’s terribly likable — he’s not smug like Ken Jennings or Brad Rutter, but he’s not as silly as Austin Rogers. He already said that his family is not hurting financially, so he’s going to donate a lot of the money to children’s charities in Las Vegas, where he lives.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  4. I hope you had a wonderful birthday! I can’t wait to read Abby Wambach’s memoir. I don’t have an athletic bone in my body, but I represent a lot of female athletes, and I find her so inspiring. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on it.

    • I have great hand-eye coordination, but no desire to be working out. I love the way Wambach is challenging both on and off the field, and she’s got some obvious issues (especially her DUIs), but we can still like her for the faulty human she is, and even look up to her.

  5. Hope you had an excellent birthday! Interested to see your responses to Baldwin’s book – I found it incredibly moving, even if the ending felt a bit rushed (esp. regarding the aunt’s letter subplot). You’re liking Tuca & Bertie, then? Bojack’s one of the few Netflix shows I keep up with.

    • I saw you commented on my answers to the questions for James Baldwin’s novel on Goodreads. I’ll respond to that in that medium. Yes, I like Tuca and Bertie. It’s very real, but doesn’t have that sad depressing overtone that you get in BoJack Horseman. By “real,” I mean that it covers topics like anxiety, depression, sexual assault, and sexism.

  6. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! I’m so glad you got books for your birthday! We all need more books. And potentially more bookshelves. For real. And cake. Cake is important too. Good cake. Not crappy cake. Cake deceives us more often than it doesn’t. #Tangent

    Congrats on quitting your theatre job! As this is 1.5 weeks after this post was written, and we’re proper friends, I know that you’re still doing work for them. But at least you can do that work from your own home! Or a delicious coffee shop!

    There are so many books you’re reading. I love it. I keep track of all my books by only reading one in each format at a time (physical book, ebook, audiobook on CD, digital audiobook). Do you have any tricks for keeping this all straight?

    • I used to only read one book in each format at a time, but I experimented with reading a little of many books. I have a spread sheet with page number goals on it. This really helped improve my memory of what I’m reading. Just this past week, I started reading larger chunks of one book at a time again. I can already see how it’s negatively affecting my memory of what I read. I think so much happens in one sitting in the plot that I don’t tuck it away properly.

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