What I’m Into [February 2014]



A couple weeks into this month, winter excited us by warming up into the thirties and forties, melting the snow, streaming water into the roads, revealing pockets of smudged grass, and persuading all the people to go coatless. And then things turned perverse. Out of seemingly nowhere, a Polar Vortex collapsed onto the state freezing all that water, suspending everything. The roads turned into 2 inch deep ice slides and life expectancy fell to about ten minutes. Nothing has changed!


And now I’m done. Let’s talk about Books:


Remember my seventy books in a year challenge? It’s going okay. I partially blame the return of TV Shows.


I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed, because it’s being made into a movie with Reese Witherspoon. It was between good and great. I liked it. Loved the scenery and Strayed unmatchable gift as a storyteller, but sometimes I was just so sick of being on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). My head kept spinning over where she was and who she was meeting, it was hard to keep up with her.


I read And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini, which is perhaps his greatest work yet. Couldn’t recommend it enough.


I read Ocean of the End of the Lane (at the beginning of January) and finished it in one sitting. I love Neil Gaiman and I loved this book. His imagination and style make me want to write fiction.


I also went on an Anne Lamott kick and read Traveling Mercies and Plan B, and reread Bird By Bird. When people ask about my faith lately, I’m telling them I am an Anne Lamott Christian. She somehow manages to not eliminate the complexity of faith, but instead make it beautiful, and funny. She’s like my new Brennan Manning.


I’m also in the middle of a bunch of books that I am determined to finish. Some of them I am almost done with and others I have been more sluggish on.


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

The Liars Club, Mary Karr

Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown

Bible, Gender and Sexuality, Jim Brownson

The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien

Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston




Parenthood– It’s the only show on TV that moves the human heart. It breaks mine, mends mine, and stabs it with a pair of scissors, sits with it for awhile, it’s an emotional roller coaster. And it is so good. As a writer, I think the script is exquisite. It’s not easy to make normal conversation, normal events, this rich and intense and funny and meaningful.

I mean…





Scandal– I have loved it since it’s inception, except the most recent episode, which I admit I had high expectations for. I have Pope fatigue. She’s great and all, but, eh, when the plot is moving slow, and sometimes shallowly, her Pope intensity falls a little flat. I don’t know. Still sorting out my feelings.

The Walking Dead– I have heard plenty of criticisms about how wrong the second half of this season has started, with all its’ diverging storylines, and I could not disagree with them more. I’ve loved this season so far and think the different narratives are an exciting change.


[Warned you]

Baby Judith LIVES!

Which might be for nothing since Girl on the Left wants to kill her.


A year ago, after my free one-month trial with Netflix was up, I cancelled my subscription. Turns out, you get a free month every year! So I signed up again to continue the House of Cards saga (an easy favorite, a fantastic second season)

and, since I have a couple more weeks left, I have started watching Orange is the New Black. Which makes me laugh a lot. Sometimes cringe. Overall, it’s a good show.



My most read post this month was A Closet Comes Undone, where I talk about life on the other side of secrets. It has been an exhilarating and exhausting month because of everyone knowing, but as we move into March, I am feeling weathered and strong because of it.


And that’s it! Linking up with Leigh Kramer today- Go check out some of the other posts!

  • There’s a reason I no longer live in Illinois and your first paragraph is it. Except Minnesota winters are definitely rougher than Illinois ones so…my condolences. Ocean at the End of the Lane was the first Gaiman I’ve read. Definitely want to read more by him! I refer to Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies on a regular basis. Such good stuff. I caught part of the 3rd season of Scandal and was sufficiently intrigued so I’m going to get the first 2 seasons from the library and catch up.

    • You should read Neverwhere by Gaiman. it was the first one I read and i thought it was brilliant, another page turner. Scandal is really good (like I said, high expectations.) And if you read the above comments, know that Parenthood is the only show worth its salt (that is, next to Friday Night Lights- who, fun fact, are the writers for Parenthood!)

  • I keep hearing good things about Parenthood, and I’m in need of a new show to watch obsessively now that I’m almost through Gilmore Girls. I’ll need to give it a try.

    • Echoing my comment above to Sheila, yep, yep, YEP. It is essential to the human experience. You won’t regret it, I swear!

  • Sheila Warner

    I just love The Walking Dead. It’s really about the human spirit in the face of enormous adversity. The will to survive. I’m also a fan of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. And, The Good Wife. All complex stories about people. If a show has a strong human element, I’m in. I can’t watch any of the sitcoms out there b/c they are so shallow.

    • K, Sheila, you NEED TO WATCH PARENTHOOD. I think you’d love it. It is about the will to survive, but in the smaller, relatable, everyday life things. Watch the first few episodes and then report back stat!

  • Roo James Wilson

    I’d love to see Orange is the New Black, but it’s only available on Netflix right? i’ve enjoyed listening to what the transgender actress in the series has to say about the treatment of the transgender community.

  • I’m breaking up with Parenthood. I can’t handle Joel right now. I LOVED HIM! WHAT HAPPENED!?!?!!?