Weekend Things

Happy Monday from a snowy Colorado!  Since we were gone for such a big chunk of October, I feel like I’m mentally a month behind.  They started playing Christmas music on our local radio station this weekend and it caught me totally by surprise.  Snow?  Christmas music?  Holiday specials on Food Network?  I guess we’re here already!

59958ee3-328c-43a4-a2b5-c28c8e80e2fd

Friday night, we saw The Lighthouse at the Alamo and let me just tell you this movie is insane.  It’s a two-hander between Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, playing a lighthouse keeper and his assistant and… their descent into insanity?  It was so bizarre and wacky and I found it wildly entertaining.  I don’t think Joey is sure how he feels about it but I loved it!

8ecb7f1f-e3bb-4a0a-b369-c8b4a4193354

Saturday started with pancakes (these, except I left the pear out) and an episode of The Kitchen, but then I sat on the couch and read for hours!  I recently realized our book club was meeting a week earlier than I thought and that the book was a lot longer than I expected, so I needed to put some work in on it and I definitely did.  Helps that I really like it so far!  Later on, I headed into Louisville to get a facial and even got to say hi to my mom beforehand ♥

5e8c178a-4662-4d6c-aa4a-ad145ec6199036578131-9202-4f04-a750-782899a0ae0a5c8da3c4-b74b-4692-9296-5783d95ac255

That night we had tickets to see Ray Lamontagne at the Paramount and can I get a hell yeah for a Saturday night concert?!  Those weekday ones are so brutal.  Beforehand, we grabbed dinner at Corinne.  They had a burger, chicken tenders and lobster mac and cheese on the menu, so Joey was IN.  I wasn’t feeling super into it, but then I was really impressed with the atmosphere, the service and the food.  Joey went with the chicken tenders, in case you were wondering 😛

Ray has the most interesting voice!  It’s somehow both gravely and smooth?  I don’t know how he does it, but he sounded great and the whole show was acoustic so it sounded extra beautiful.  That being said, a dark theater and a soothing sound was making me very sleepy at times!

fc9ccf6d-6fd4-4dc8-9c27-8d703db7563f

Sunday breakfast with this sweet boy and his parents!  Hannah and I got together at the end of August, but the five of us hadn’t been altogether since July and that is unacceptable!  I love seeing that little family and I can hardly believe Mason is just about to turn two.  When did this happen??  He gave me the sweetest little hug before we all dispersed ♥

0d7b9a60-707f-47e5-a2d0-385b92fe0870e6149f93-ed81-445f-b2ac-b99fbc9890e7

Joey went to watch football after breakfast, so I used the alone time to make lunch salads for the week and… you guessed it, READ!  Is this how people read more than I do?  They stop watching TV and movies and scrolling Twitter and just actually read?  I also went to yoga for the first time since September!!!  Felt so nice and my shoulders are only slightly mad today.

For dinner, we made a Buttermilk-Marinated Roast Chicken and guys… SO GOOD!  I saw Samin Nosrat make one on Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and have been meaning to make it ever since.  I’m so glad I finally got around to it!  Besides the forethought required to marinate it a day in advance, it was wildly easy to make and so moist and flavorful.  Try it out!  We also made Glazed Beets with Creme Fraiche and Pistachios (except I used Greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche) on the side and we loved it!

Please tell me what you did this weekend 🙂

Recent Reads

You know when you have a blog and an Instagram account and a Twitter account and also, real life conversations with real humans and you can’t actually keep track of who you’ve told what and on which platform?  This is me in 2019.

I do try to give little book updates on the blog though, so even though I had to look back and make sure I hadn’t already talked about all of these, it’s worth it.  Lo and behold, I found five books I had not written about!  Here we go.

img_8293

The Kites by Romain Gary

I read this right after finishing a book I loved dearly with all my heart (it’s the last one on this list!) so it had big shoes to fill and it did such a good job!  There is no shortage of books about World War II but I’d never read one from the French perspective and it felt so new and interesting plus you just get so attached to the characters.  I don’t want to spoil anything but the main character’s uncle is a kite maker and though that sounds trivial, those kites come to symbolize so much in the midst of the war.  Also, if you don’t know what Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is, prepare to have all the feels.  My heart!  I was surprised to discover this book was actually published in 1980 but has just been translated into English.  There was a note from translator Miranda Richmond Mouillot at the end and it blew me away!  I had never given much thought to the intimate art of translation and how much you need to understand about language, meaning, intent and the original author to pull it off.  She does so beautifully.

A Curve in the Road by Julianne MacLean

This book was okay.  I will say the events of the very beginning are totally wild and enthralling and I couldn’t put it down but then you get the twist pretty early on and I had this feeling of “so now what?” through the rest of it.  The main character goes through an EXTREMELY TRAUMATIC event and despite that, the book felt a bit too tidy.  She kept TELLING me she was sad or explaining, with perfect clarity, what she was feeling and why.  Maybe I’m off base, but I don’t know that I’d be thinking all that clearly after what she went through.  Still it was an entirely unpleasant read and elicited some interesting talk of narcolepsy at our book club.

img_8785

The Dog of the South by Charles Portis

What a book!  Toward the end, I was CONVINCED that the narrator had lost his mind and none of what he was experiencing was actually happening, but I was wrong which made this book all the more amusing.  It’s narrated by Ray Midge as he travels to British Honduras to track down his runaway wife and, more importantly, his Ford Turino, but he meets all sorts of characters on his way and he is a character himself!  I told Joey he came across as a cranky old man, except he’s only 26.  I didn’t love this one but man, did I appreciate it.

img_8790

Radium Girls by Kate Moore

What a letdown!  Reading the description, my hype was a ten, but something like 20 pages in, I realized this was going to be a STRUGGLE to get through.  It was billed as the story of all the young girls who worked in the radium factory during the first world war, painting the dials on watches and ultimately dying of radium poisoning but it was SO bogged down by facts and quotations that the author had obviously pulled from her exhaustive research.  It was definitely interesting, but I did not need 400 pages of basically no real character development just to understand the horrific tale of these women.  The Wikipedia page will suffice.  I seriously only made it through 88 pages.  Womp, womp.

img_8911

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I’ve known about this book since it came out, but discounted it because it seemed to be on every “summer beach read” list and that made me think it’d be some silly hollow read.  I was so wrong!  Also, why didn’t anyone tell me the bulk of the story is told by email??  I love a good story told through correspondence.  It gives you such an intimate yet patchy account of the characters that just totally works for me.  I think, if you can get written account of a character’s deepest feelings and see how they speak to others, you don’t really need to know every detail of their actions outside of the correspondence.  It’s one of the few instances where I actually enjoy filling in my own blanks, plus it just feels like the definition of show, don’t tell.  In the end, despite all her flaws, I really loved Bernadette and maybe all the Beatles references too ♥

I’ve saved the best for last!

0a8bf937-aeca-457b-9096-1e947f4e3c7e-1e39946f6-1f71-4e0e-b1b3-2d3951606b18

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Wow, wow, wow, I LOVED this book!  Above is the first page of the book and it gives me chills.  I was hooked from there.  I am a stalwart read-before-bed person, but I was so enthralled in this one that I found myself reading on the couch right after work.  Even Joey noticed how into it I was.  It was dark and mysterious, but also a love story and a story about the power of books and reading.  I felt this writing and this story deep in my heart.  At the end, there was a bittersweet passage that hit me so hard, I had to write it down.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing it here.

“Bea says that the art of reading is slowly dying, that it’s an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day.”

Whew!  It simultaneously scares me and captures exactly what reading means to me.  Do you think it’s too long for a tattoo, though 😛

I just picked up The House of Broken Angels and I’m not sure about it yet, but please share what you’re reading with me!