Here is our essential list of fun things to do for the Spring of 2016. Book and music recommendations can, as always, be found in our Amazon Store!
I am currently on the search for a good “5-star” book as the book I am presently reading is turning out to be a dud. I have, however, encountered two books within the last few months that were solid 4-stars books that I wanted to recommend. A 4-star is always better than a dud or even a 3-star!
- The Unknown Bridesmaid, by Margaret Forster: Ignore the maudlin title, this book is about the subjective nature of memory, especially seen through your younger self. The “troubled” main character felt reminiscent of a Gillian Flynn novel.
- Room by Emma Donoghue: An abducted woman is forced to have and then raise a child in captivity for a decade. Inspired by real-life events (and now an Oscar-winning movie), this book is strong. 35% of the book is during their captivity (which is heartbreaking and terrifying) but the book really took off AFTER their rescue.
- Asteroid Made of Dragons by Derek Adams: My friend Derek who you may remember from here and here has written a third book titled, Asteroid Made of Dragons. It was just published and (like his other books) is a super good time. I got to read an earlier version and can’t wait to dig into the printed product.
- The Deadly Troubadours by Brent Thomas: My pal Brent, has written a fantasy book about a rag-tag team of professional adventurers and the shenanigans that befall them. Added bonus: it is illustrated by his talented wife.
- And would you believe I’m still chipping away at my Lovecraft anthology?
I am in somewhat of a reading drought. I am pecking away at 2 books that are in no way connected or alike. If I am honest, I’m mostly at a standstill with both- however, both are in the back of my mind. I just am not reading a bunch of books these days.
- Go Set A Watchman by Nelle Harper Lee: This one has been locked and loaded in my Kindle since Leigh suggested I do a post about it. I have mixed emotions about reading it though. I know I should read it but- I just don’t think it should have been published before Miss Nelle’s death. However, I will report back when I finish it.
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: This woman is a tidying genius! Seriously. If you are sick and tired of your life being cluttered- you need to read this book. She basically says for objects you want to get rid of and objects you are having a hard time getting rid of- thank the 0bject for doing its job well and then let it go! She also says everything should be organized neatly and assigned a place in your home and kept there when it’s not in use. Even though she says you should sort through your entire abode in one swoop, I am going slow- but, I have gotten rid of a bunch of junk! It’s awesome.
I haven’t really been musically inspired recently. I’ve been digging on our recent playlist and keep tucking back into some classic standards. Primarily, I’ve been nomming on some podcasts- mainly during walks and dishes.
- Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me on NPR: Everyone should be listening to this brilliant Chicago-based game show. I assume everyone already is. I include it in case you aren’t.
- Blurry Photos: If the show Unsolved Mysteries was really hilarious, then it would be this podcast.
- Candy Chat: Small town Southern ladies taste and talk about post-holiday/sale candy. It’s scarily reminiscent of this blog, actually.
- SuperEgo: Edited improv. My favorite.
I am like Leigh, I haven’t been overly musically inspired of late and I hate that because listening to music if one of the most fun things to do. I have been listening to the last playlist- most of the songs I picked are blowing up the radio and that’s how I was introduced to them. There are two instances that have made my music radar go haywire.
- A Sailor’s Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson: His latest album is due out April 15, 2016. If the first single, “Brace for Impact (Live A Little)” is indicative of the entire album, we are in for a banging new album. I am super pumped to hear it.
- “Heart of Steel” by Galactic featuring Irma Thomas: Oh Lord, how could this song have been out since 2010 and I just heard it this morning! Seriously- this is fresh, fresh in my head and I am just riveted. Galactic is no stranger to our playlists but, my favorite local radio station, 92ZEW, blew me away with this diamond this morning.
The better question might be what am I not watching. There are the old stand-bys: Project Runway All Stars, iZombie, Bates Motel, Hell’s Kitchen, Face Off, Better Call Saul, The Good Wife, Survivor, and RuPauls Drag Race (to name way too many). And (like Coralie) we love Fresh Off The Boat and Modern Family. We are patiently awaiting Empire, Nashville, and UnReal to restart but until then are consoling ourselves by watching Bates Motel. As far as new shows go, here are my four recommendations:
- Crazy Ex Girlfriend Mondays on The CW: Irreverent musical numbers in a sitcom? I’m so there.
- Telenovela on NBC and Hulu: The season just ended, but if you liked the movie Soapdish, then this is a show for you. Shows within shows are kind of one of our favorite things.
- Teachers, Wednesdays on TV Land: Not for the faint of heart, this show stars, and I mean stars, a pal of mine from my time at Second City.
- The People Vs. O.J. Simpson on FX: This show is about as close to perfection as it gets.
My TV watching is divided into 2 categories: what I watch with Bub and what I watch by myself. Bub and I are huge fans of a bunch of sit-coms on ABC. If you do not watch The Middle, Modern Family, The Goldbergs, Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat– you are seriously missing out on some awesome prime time TV and a fun thing to do. I want to tell you about our 2 newest shows and I will save my shows for next time.
- Superstore on NBC Monday nights: This show stars America Ferrera and Ben Feldman and follows the relationships of employees of a mega-superstore. The adventures of the characters and how they interact within the store makes for some great comedy.
- Vinyl on HBO Sunday nights: OOOOH. EMM. GHEEE. First of all, Sturgill Simpson sings the theme song, Sugar Daddy. Second of all, this show was created by Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese among others. Thirdly, this show, set in the 70’s New York music business, puts the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll in sex, drugs and rock n’ roll! Put the kiddies to bed and check this out.
Have An Outdoor Adventure: Jojo and I can be pretty big homebodies on the weekends, so I have made it a special point to “have at least one outdoor adventure” a weekend. As such, I’m encouraging you to do the same. Research your local parks, nature trails, points of interest, pack a bag of essentials and get out there. Very few people remember all the T.V. they watch, but I’ll never forget the 147 rabbits I got to see at the Sepulveda Wildlife Preserve.
Let me tell you what I am doing- I am doing my damnedest to soak up as much free Vitamin D as possible! Spring has sprung here on the Alabama Gulf Coast and it’s like the veil has been lifted! The short list of what I am doing is being outside. But, here are a few particulars.
- Growing Tomatoes: You remember last Spring when I told you about one of my bar regulars making me some tomato growing buckets… well, I already have them going this year! I love watching plants grow and tomato plants grow surprising fast! My plant already has little yellow blooms which means there will tomatoes to follow! In my second bucket I put green bell peppers and after re-watching the how-to make these buckets video, I am totally inspired to make several more and try my hand at growing other stuff in these buckets!
- We’re Beaching It!: I mean, one of the perks of living at the beach is being able to go to the beach whenever we want. And now that it’s generally over 70 degrees around here, the beach is such a fun thing to do. Baby Bub is a beach bum through and through and is the only one brave enough to play in the water but even he can only manage it for a couple minutes. Plus, the first couple months of summer down here are the best months- before it gets too hot and being outside gets to be miserable.
Okay, here are our lists of fun things to do, as always we want to hear what’s at the top of your current lists! Have you got a 5-star book suggestion? How do you listen to music? Do you listen to a mix of songs or do you listen to entire albums or both? What’s on your Netflix, Hulu and TiVo queues? And what fun things are you doing? Nature Walks? Gardening? Beaching it? Let us hear what you have going on in the comments!