31 March 2016

watching reading listening.

watching: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  My first exposure to John Oliver was first via Community (aka, the greatest television show in the world) and second via The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (specifically, his absolutely amazing takedown of Paula Deen when he was filling in for Stewart a few summers ago).  I was a little late to the Last Week Tonight party but got into it about a year and a half ago.  It wasn't until last week when I had a dream that I was in a college seminar with John Oliver as the lecturer that I thought I might actually be a little addicted to the show.  It is funny, smart, and also sometimes stupid, but still clever.  The show's recent story on "Donald Drumpf" hit the mainstream a few weeks ago, and it might have been the first time you'd ever heard of the show.  It was indeed a good story, and I'd also like to name "Sex Education," "Food Waste," "Government Surveillance," (this one was AMAZING), and "Wealth Gap" as some of my favorite topics they've covered.  But really, they are all fantastic.  I admit I haven't seen a complete episode as we don't have HBO, but their Youtube channel features the main stories of each episode plus some bonus features.  Two warnings: First, the show is HBO, so it can get a little crass at times.  But just about all of the videos they post to their channel have the Fs covered, if that's important to you.  Second, the Republican Party and those a part of it are the butt of many, MANY jokes.  Whether or not they're warranted is completely up to your own political preferences, but if that's not something you care to engage in, then by all means don't.  (For the record, jokes at Obama's expense are found here and there, but admittedly pretty rare.)

reading: I Am A Bunny, by Richard Scarry.  Theo can kind of sit through a picture book now (we have to read it really fast) and this one is a favorite.  I remember Richard Scarry from when I was little, and it's fun to experience the stories in a new way with Theo.  The illustrations are beautiful, and the book is full of pictures of birds, which is the one thing right now that Theo can point out in real life AND in pictures in books or on the television.  Basically, he's only here for the birds.

listening: Melody Gardot.  I actually discovered this artist when I was still in college (I was about to say a couple of years ago, but that's not actually true... insert bawling emoji).  I was driving home after a night class and the local news radio's evening jazz program was on.  A song was playing, and after deciding that I loved it I frantically worked to commit to memory one line of the song so that I could Google it as soon as I got home.  The Song was Les Étoiles by Melody Gardot, and every time I listen to her now I am thankful that I miraculously managed to remember "dites-moi étoile, qui vous donnera l'amour?"  My favorite place to listen to her is in the kitchen while I'm working - especially when I'm kneading bread.  (It's truly a meditative experience when those are paired together.)  I know jazz isn't for everyone, in fact, it's probably not for most people.  But I'd highly recommend a listen to Gardot, or at least a look into her beginnings with music.  Her story of hardship and redemption through music is so inspiring.

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