The Stapler in the High Castle, Season 2

If you understand the reference to the title, you’ve seen The Office. And the second season of The Man in the High Castle. If you don’t understand it, and it’s because you haven’t seen season 2, I wouldn’t exactly go running. 

Season 1 had this “OMG what’s going to happen next?” tension to it because it was this whole new world in which America didn’t win the second world war and we were mostly Nazi territory now. They obviously left season 1 open so they could make a season 2, but season 2 felt unnecessary.

Besides Julianna’s wardrobe and the use of Cabaret’s “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” in the final credits of the last episode (and their use of “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music in the opening credits, I suppose), I was bored. The episodes felt really slow and a lot of it was really boring. By the last couple of episodes, they had you cheering for obergruppenführer Smith, so yes, we were cheering for a hypocritical Nazi. This didn’t feel right. It’s like rooting for Mike Pence. At any time. You’d feel dirty.

But Julianna’s wardrobe? Give. me. all. of. it. now.

Gratitude List

I have an alert set on my phone that goes off nightly as a reminder to make a mental list of things I’m grateful for that day. Thanksgiving Day was yesterday and I’ve just gotten done eating a second plate of leftovers today. I’m grateful for that today.

I took the train out to my parent’s house yesterday for an early dinner with most of my mom’s side of the family. A cousin’s fiance commented on my plate above, “Wow, you’re going to eat all of that?!” I’m thankful to have the self control not to punch you in the face. There was lots of talk about the election. I’m thankful that it’s over. I was thankful to see my family, who I hadn’t seen since before I went to Poland. I was also thankful to have the chance to play with their 12-week-old kitten. She’s weighs a whole four pounds now. And she’s cray-cray. 

I stayed the night and left early this morning to return to my apartment for a day of relaxing with Playbill, watching Confirmation on HBO Go and another episode of The Crowns, and tonight I’m going to see Guster at the Beacon Theatre. 

There are still two days left to the holiday weekend. I hope the rest of the weekend has yoga and coffee in it. 

The Walking Dead // Commercials

As I’m sure you’ve read, Sunday night was the season finale of season 6 of The Walking Dead. The cliff hanger ending was pretty fucking infuriating, but you know what was even more infuriating? 

The amount of commercials in those 90 minutes. It wasn’t a 90 minute episode – it was more like a 45 minute episode chopped into five minute segments. 

J and I have been watching this season with the Amazon Season Pass, meaning we never watch commercials. BUT we wanted to watch the season finale in real time, so we plugged my Macbook Air into my TV, logged into our friend’s cable account on AMC.com, and we watched it live.

Well, I’m glad we saw it, but fuck that noise: never again. 

I would rather stay up until midnight or watch it the next day than deal with 45 minutes of commercials. I wish they’d stop cutting away from the actual show every 90 seconds. Maybe do three segments of 10 minutes worth of commercials at a time instead?

I know they think people will completely walk away but I muted my TV every time so it was just as useless for all the money that advertisers paid. I’m not sure how Netflix funds their original series, but they do it without the need for commercials and it’s brilliant. 

The traditional TV cable subscription is dying and everyone knows why. I haven’t paid for cable in more years than I can count on one hand and I never miss it, ever. Definitely not after Sunday night. 

A Night with Shirley Jackson

I’d seen somewhere on the Internets that Paul Giamatti (far right), along with (from L-R) Cristin Milioti, Dana Ivey, and Stephen Kunken, were participating in a night of reading short stories by the late writer Shirley Jackson in honor of her 100th birthday. I literally had no idea who Shirley Jackson was, but my dude had just finished watching the John Adams series on HBO and loved Paul Giamatti so I bought two tickets. 

We ended up hearing five short stories from the group (one was read by the host, whose name I forget at this moment) and they were all pretty good. The story Ivey read was kind of long and I don’t really remember what it was about. Jackson was a dark writer, sometimes very cryptic. Usually cryptically funny though. 

Giamatti’s story was probably the more eerie. Milioti, Ivey, Kunken, as well as Giamatti all told the stories with the flare that only stage actors can provide. It was a really different type of night, one that I’m glad we went to.

File Under: MUST WATCH NOW

What are you doing right now? If the answer isn’t “binge watching Making a Murderer,” then you have the wrong answer. About a man named Steven Avery from Manitowoc, Wisconsin who is wrongly imprisoned for 18 years and then arrested again for murder, you won’t be able to stop watching these ten episodes. The episodes are about an hour each, so clear an afternoon and an evening. (My dude and I watched it all in 2 days.)

The way the police department in this county fucks up the first time he’s arrested (it’s horrendous) and the second time (I mean, come on), it’s really hard to watch and to stomach. It kind of makes you lose faith in our legal system. 

My boyfriend, being the type of person who googles the shit out of something when he’s interested in it, googled this case and found out that they did leave out some questionably important aspects of the case, but I promise that you won’t be able to get out of your seat for 10 hours if you start watching this. 

It will also make you count your lucky stars that you’ve never been accused of murder, because holy shit, you’re probably fucked if you are. 

It’s been one week.

So, it’s been a long week. At the end of the day on Monday, my boss called me into his office and told me that my position was being downsized. I’d been hired to be a finance and operations liaison to support a merger of two marketing companies on opposite coasts. When the west coast company went out of business (semi-unexpectedly?) two weeks ago, I knew my place at the company was up in the air. Honestly, it wasn’t the best fit for me, culture-wise, but I learned a lot (like how to work with someone who’s really difficult) and I had two really good interviews last week, I applied for a lot of jobs, and I met with a dozen or so recruiters and I’m continuing to do so this week. Luckily my dude is really fantastic at prepping for interviews, so he’s helping me a lot on that front. 

It’ll all be okay.

I saw a friend at an event on Tuesday  night and she didn’t hesitate one bit when she heard I’d be downsized and she invited me to a networking event that was at the ungodly hour of 7am on Thursday. It was a good experience and I made a bunch of connections.

Thursday evening consisted of a quick and easy dinner (grilled chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, garlic sautéed broccoli) and The Walking Dead and Mockingjay Part 1 with Justin. My new glasses were also delivered. They’re cute.

After a day of being productive, I went on Friday night I went to YogaWorks for a Teacher Training Class & Info Session with a woman who taught the very first class I ever took at YogaWorks. It was really interesting and although I’m not in a position to spend $3400 on it right now, it’s definitely something to consider in the future. I’m not sure I ever want to teach yoga. I’m simply interested in deepening my practice. 

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the evening glued to my computer reading updates about the massacres in Paris. So, so sad. Religion is the worst. All religions. They all need to be put to rest. 

I finally made it to my early morning yoga class on Saturday for the first time in what felt like forever and got my ass kicked. Most of Saturday was spent doing a lot of nothing, but I rallied and wandered downtown to visit Washington Square Park where I’d heard there had been rallies earlier in the day. The mayor’s office was planning to light the arch in the park blue, white, and red, which I thought was awesome. The Empire State Building stayed dark on Saturday night in solidarity with the Eiffel Tower. 

Afterwards I saw Fool For Love (review to come!) before meeting up with Justin and one of his good friends for drinks at a favorite spot of ours, Anejo, in Hell’s Kitchen. Sunday was spent relaxing, watching Real Time with Bill Maher, and later on a trip downtown again to get my glasses fitted at Warby Parker and a late lunch at The Copper Still while my eyes glazed over during the Giants+Patriots game. (I seriously do not get football, but I was more than happy to support Justin and eat some delicious noms.)

It’s been an unexpected week, but not an entirely shitty one. Here’s hoping things progress to be even better this week. 

spaghetti pangrattato with crispy eggs | smitten kitchen

I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen recently and I was all, “OMG” and i finally got around to making it last night since I wasn’t going to yoga, or a show, and I had plans with Justin who was coming over. He’s had an extraordinarily long week at work so when I showed him the recipe, he had pretty much the same reaction as me (as in “OMG yes”). 

It took minimal (no) prep and the only thing I ended up not having in my kitchen already was parsley, so $1.29 later, I was good to go. Twenty minutes later, I was done cooking it and Justin was arriving. 

He logged onto his Amazon account on my Roku, purchased a season pass to The Walking Dead, and we ate pasta and watched the first four episodes of season 6 of TWD. We were extraordinarily full and exhausted by the time we were done (watching TWD is taxing, let me tell you).

Perfect Thursday night? Yes. 

spaghetti pangrattato with crispy eggs | smitten kitchen

Sunday in the Heights (of Morningside)

After a great Friday night at Salvation Taco and an extremely relaxing and reenergizing Saturday, I spent Sunday morning watching a few episodes of The Leftovers (apparently it gets better after the first couple of episodes that I’d watched, says everyone). After I headed over to Columbia University’s campus where the weekly farmer’s market was – almost bought some of those Pink-a-Boos, but instead went with some apples, string beans, and sweet potatoes, and that little pumpkin (does anyone know how you keep a pumpkin fresh?). 

I looked for the For Dummies guide in Book Culture that I’d sold to them last year but they didn’t have it unfortunately. But incase you’re looking for a number of books on Marxism, they have those in spades.

Last on my walk around my neighborhood was the Petco on Columbus Avenue. The beautiful animal above is 2 years old and named Felicia. I didn’t want to adopt a long-haired but she was so sweet and mellow and apparently if you brush them often enough, they don’t shed. So I submitted an application to adopt her. We will see what happens.

I ended the day with a vinyasa and meditation class and a few more episodes of The Leftovers

Not a bad day at all. 

All adventurous women do.

I am a total nerd for the show GIRLS. I have commitment issues when it comes to television shows and I rarely start watching a new one. It takes a lot for me to watch a TV show every week (I don’t own a DVR) but I made time in my schedule for this. I rewatched half of the first season with my 60-year old cousin last Saturday with gelato from Screme. (Technically she’s my second cousin, once removed, but that’s neither here nor there.) She couldn’t relate to it, obviously, but she commented on how different times are now than they were when she was dating, and also about how real she thinks the show is.

I remember the first time I heard the name Lena Dunham. I had no idea who she was. I read some of the vitriol written on Gawker about the first episode (that spawned mostly due to the fact that Lena and her co-stars were privileged, and who were they to actually take advantage of that privilege?!) and I knew I had to watch it.

I did, and I loved it. I was obsessed.

I thought it was full of witty one-liners and there were situations and characters that I could relate to – at least partially.  I‘m semi-self obsessed (at times) and have a rough time getting over break-ups (like Marny). I have a vulgar mouth and sharp tongue (like Jessa). And I often think everyone is out to get me and I take advice from anyone who will dispense it (like Hannah). My favorite episode was, by far, the Crackcident (where the still above is taken from).

Yes, you can hate Hannah because she was 24-ish and her parents had to cut her off. Shoshana goes to NYU and doesn’t seem to worry about the student debt she’s incurring so we can assume her parents are footing the bill. You can moan and complain about the privilege that’s displayed in GIRLS, but it’s no worse than the privilege displayed on other channels. I’d echo my cousin’s sentiment that GIRLS is the most real show on TV. It’s certainly more real than anything that’s ever been on the CW network. 

Maybe it’s only relatable to girls.  Maybe it’s only relatable to girls in New York City. Whatever the case, as a girl in her [admittedly] mid-twenties, I still relate to much of what they go through (probably because I spent my early twenties in NYC too). You know you’ve totally dated a guy who’s slightly asperger-y but even though you can see that there are issues, you still want it to be more than casual (example: the last guy I dated). You’ve probably been hit on by the husband of a family you’ve babysat for in the past (not me, personally, but I’m assuming it happens more often than it should). You’ve totally smoked crack and then freaked out because you “matriculate at NYU.” (Again, not personally, but I feel like I would react the same way if I happened to smoke pot that turned out to actually be crack.)

I’m obsessed with GIRLS because it’s a show about a time in your life when you’re trying to get your shit together. You’re out of college, but don’t exactly know what you’re going to do with your life yet.  Even though I’m four years out of college, I still feel that way sometimes and I don’t think that’s unique to me. It’s an aspect of this generation that was sometimes privileged and then thrown into a job market when the economy was in deep shit.

And really, stop hating on Hannah. Would you refuse support from your parents to follow your dreams if they offered it? Some wouldn’t, but I think a majority would (I would).

Do you love it? Hate it? I’d love to hear what you think.