5 Things I'm Into, Vol 7
It's summer in Seattle, for realz, and the sun is shining abundantly on endless days that stretch late into the night. That, in and of itself, is reason to celebrate - as we all do this time of year, with as cookouts, beach parties, mini-vacations and outdoor concerts as we can fit into the solid 60 days of warm, sunny we have to look forward to. Here are a few things I'm really into this summer. And just for the record, no, they're probably not going to be enough to distract you from all the terrible stuff that's going on in the world...but they'll certainly help.
There is truly nothing better than discovering a musician, author, actor, ANY kind of creative artist later into their career. Instead of one or two pieces of their work, you can devour THE ENTIRE BACK CATALOG. This has happened to me with Ann Patchett. I've seen her books on shelves and reading lists for years, but never picked one up until last month, when I read Commonwealth. Couldn't put it down, actually. What a gorgeous, interesting writer. I immediately went out and bought several more of her books and look forward to wiling away many hours drinking them in. Oh, and don't pay any attention to the 3.5 star ratings on Goodreads. I have no idea what's wrong with people. These are easily 4 star books or better.
Glossier Boy Brow
If you've known me a while, you know I don't often push beauty products. And this one, I know, is going to make my male readers shake their heads in confusion. BUT I SWEAR IT'S LIFE CHANGING...if your eyebrow makes a goofy cowlick like mine does. Think of this product - which is somewhat ridiculously called a "grooming pomade" - like mascara for your brows. You use a tiny wand to brush the tinted gloss through your brow and it trains the hairs in the direction you want them to go and fluffs them up, making your brows look full and beautiful and non-cowlicky but with no weird texture after it dries. SOLD. Oh, and Glossier is a cool company.
I love it when an artist drops their second album and it's even better than the first. BEST FEELING. I remember the year I fell in love with Lana Del Rey and was SO HAPPY when her second album topped her first. Lorde has done it, too. From the minute "Green Light" kicks on, you know you're in for something different - it's dramatic, but it's a dance track. It's so different! And once you're locked in, it just gets better. I can't stop listening to "Homemade Dynamite" and "Perfect Places." Damn, this is a good album! Go listen to it! RIGHT NOW! Oh, and the new Coldplay EP is really good, too.
The Keepers on Netflix
Caveat: this show is really, really freaking intense and highly disturbing. But I love true crime, so here we are.. It takes a deep dive into the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a nun at a Catholic high school in Baltimore who was killed under highly suspicious circumstances back in the late 1960s. Many of the young women who attended Archbishop Keough High come together for a searing set of interviews regarding the ongoing sexual assault they endured at the high school at the hand of Father Joseph Maskell, who has since died. It is thought that Cathy Cesnik was killed because she intended to expose the abuse. One survivor, in particular, tells a very harrowing story of her time at Keough. This is hard to sit through for the first few episodes, because it's just so dark, but it's really worth it in the end. I loved seeing how these women banded together to seek justice that had eluded them via the legal system.
I don't really understand how I missed her stuff before, but Sam Irby is the shit. I just finished her book, We Are Never Meeting In Real Life., which was one of the best books of essays I've read this year, right up there with superfans Lindy West and Roxane Gay. In addition to some highly entertaining stuff about the fourteen years she spent working the front desk at an animal hospital and the super unlikeable cat she shared an apartment with, Irby writes about her life and experiences with brutal and often graphic humor (if you're easily offended, this book isn't for you). But what makes the essays special is their undercurrent of deeply felt struggle and hardship, from her weight to her chronic pain to growing up with her parents to her sexuality and back again. Sam Irby has to be one of the funniest writers out of Chicago. Check out her blog - and her book!