Friday, May 29, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/29/15)

Happy Friday!

Judy Blume Knows All Your Secrets

I don't watch the show, but this is awesome: 'Big Bang Theory' Cast Announces UCLA Scholarship Endowment

Vox has an interesting mix on their summer reading list.

The Detroit Zoo has baby warthogs named after Game of Thrones characters.

A coworker showed me this noise machine site yesterday, and it's one of the better ones I've seen, especially the way it lets you easily mix different sounds.

Love this Emojic 8 Ball.

Not sure where this came from originally - my cousin posted it on Facebook - but it's a great, simple way to talk yourself out of Imposter Syndrome.

Perfect: The Thomas Hardy Boys

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/28/15)

Yesterday the Nebraska legislature voted to repeal the death penalty.

FIFA's huge corruption and bribery scandal, explained

New York Times Reporters Stake Out Zurich Hotel Before Dawn To Cover FIFA Arrests

Why Bernie Sanders doesn't talk about race (The short answer: Vermont.)

How the Koch Bros. Can Bring Order to the Chaotic GOP Primary

Even if you don't care about reality TV, this review of The Briefcase is worth a read: "We at least have health insurance. Part of me is moved by his kindness. And part of me wants to start throwing furniture in the street so we can get a new Les Miz going or something because oh my God, fuck everything. How much struggle are we expecting everyone to endure? And how much are we exploiting that struggle by turning it into entertainment?"

Hm: Comcast, investor in Vox Media and Recode, could end up buying them both

The Onion: Kids Love When Mom Sad Enough To Just Order Pizza

Edith Wharton Reviews the Starbucks Located at Her Childhood Home on West 23rd Street

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/20/15)

Important: America Snores When Christian Terrorist Threatens to Massacre Muslims

In case you, like me, had NO IDEA what this Mad Max thing was, Todd VanDerWerff is on it.

More Todd: I'm waiting to read this until after I see the new Avengers movie (Friday! Finally!) but since you have probably seen it already: Superhero movies have become an endless attempt to rewrite 9/11

Tragic but fascinating: Buried In Baltimore: The Mysterious Murder Of A Nun Who Knew Too Much

The end of an era: F. A. O. Schwarz to Close Its Doors on Fifth Avenue

I hope you're ALWAYS reading Gail Collins, of course, but here's a good one: Wow, Jeb Bush Is Awful

Apparently Michael Schumacher's son was racing under a fake name for a while. Did that WORK? I mean, I clearly didn't know, but was anyone actually involved in the sport fooled?

Report: Putting Head In Hands And Moaning Quietly Still Best Way To Get Through Next Several Seconds

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My Favorite Thing About Pitch Perfect 2... (SPOILERS)

I realize this post has an inane title; it's basically because I couldn't come up with a more specific title that didn't include spoilers. And now I'm rambling about that fact in order to give a little buffer space here, because yes, some spoilers for Pitch Perfect 2 are below, so if you care about that you should click away now!

I liked Pitch Perfect 2 a lot in general, but my favorite thing about it was really the lack of something. I loved the way they handled Skylar Astin's character Jesse. I liked the development of Beca and Jesse's relationship in the first movie, and I was so afraid that they would break up and get back together in the second just for the sake of drama - partially because I hate the idea that happy, functional relationships have no place in fiction, but also because it seemed unnecessary and like it would pull focus from Beca's story.

I was all ready for the movie to try to give Jesse his own story, or to make Beca's story about him - to make him jealous of her success, or to suggest that her busy-ness was making him feel neglected. But they avoided all of these easy, traditional options. Instead, he was just there, clearly proceeding with his own life but, for the purposes of this story, present as an interested, supportive boyfriend, popping up to yell "That's my girl!" whenever Beca did awesome things but never making the audience think about him other than in relation to her, because it wasn't his story. And that was just so refreshing.

This partially jumped out at me because of recent discussions on Tumblr about the character arc of Andrew (the male lead/love interest) on Classic Alice, in which show creator/writer Kate Hackett said this:
1. This is Alice’s story, not Andrew’s. She’s our focus and always should be. Even within the story, this is Alice’s story & not Andrew’s. He’s focused on her within the narrative for the story you guys get to see. But bigger picture, I didn’t want to write a story about a dude. I wanted to write a story about a lady human.
There are so many stories about dudes. So, so many. And there are so many stories in which ladies exist purely to support or service the dude's story. And yet when a story revolves around a female character, it's so common to see almost automatic reactions of "But what about the guys?" With their treatment of Jesse, the writers of Pitch Perfect 2 make it clear: This is not a man's story, and that's okay.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/15/15)

Happy Friday!

Me elsewhere: Our final network fall schedule: The CW.

I'll continue recommending Todd's schedule analysis: CBS, ABC, FOX.

And here's his How The CW went from near extinction to surprising success

Eee, look at the trailer for The Magicians!

Anne Helen Petersen's celebrity features are always worth reading: Anna Kendrick vs. the Hollywood Type Machine

Find Out What Your Name Would Be If You Were Born Today is fun . . .

. . . but finding out what presidential candidates' names would be is better.

In case you also missed it: Downton Wars. And the fact that Rob James-Collier owns is my new favorite thing.

I haven't had a chance to play yet, but this Where Is Your Gun Now, Mr. Chekov? game looks nifty.

Signs That Agatha Christie Is About to Murder You

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/14/15)

Me elsewhere: CBS's fall schedule.

I haven't had a chance to watch most of the new show trailers yet, but I was hearing so many great things about Supergirl that I watched that one, and yep, I'm in.

As a woman who's been working in tech for a while, let me say: yes yes yes. People Can’t Be Trusted To Make Unbiased Hiring Decisions. So This Woman Created A Computer Program.

Yay Vermont! Election Day voter registration!

This piece about the suicide of a college athlete is difficult and powerful, but I think it focuses too much on the "revelation" that people post filtered/edited versions of their lives on Instagram - obviously - and too little on the societal pressure on young women to be "perfect" in general.

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Antimatter

"The author comes to the store in the hope of selling books and becomes some kind of living warning of the dangers of trying to do anything at all."

Heh: Books That Literally All White Men Own: The Definitive List

And the follow-up: My Favourite Deleted Comments From the White Dude Book List

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/12/15)

My latest fall TV schedule post at Fox. And, again, you can see everything summarized on my public spreadsheet.

Speaking of, my friend Marisa made a handy countdown to the return of The X-Files.

Reading Todd VanDerWerff on TV scheduling is a JOY, always.

It's official: Obama library will be on Chicago's South Side

The Queen remembers VE Day

I've been wanting cake since I read this, and now you do too. You're welcome.

And I've been wanting to watch Goodfellas since I read THIS. Again, you're welcome.

If June Thomas reviewing a book on the history of stationery doesn't make you click immediately, then God, Jed, I don't even want to know you.

"baby i love you but reading is not a group activity"

Monday, May 11, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/11/15)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week (THERE'S A LOT OF IT) and NBC's fall schedule.

I also have a public Google spreadsheet of TV info - premiere dates, pickups/renewals/cancellations, etc. I'll be updating it all week as upfronts progress.

Related: You may wish to look at descriptions of PBS's upcoming programming. There's some exciting stuff.

And in this TV finale season: Did you know the term "cliffhanger" apparently came from Thomas Hardy?

I haven't had a chance to read the Times nail salon series yet, but I'm glad to see it's getting real results.

Speaking of Cuomo: Sandra Lee is getting a lifestyle show. Will it answer our burning question of whether she makes tablescapes at the governor's mansion?

This piece on dogs waiting sadly outside polling stations is the most delightful coverage of the UK election you'll read.

I can't believe I kind of forgot about the Demon Sheep.

I'm not sure my brain is ready for Daniel Radcliffe playing Lee Atwater.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/6/15)

Kensington Palace has released Princess Charlotte's birth registry form. Awww.

Whoa. A signed first edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude was stolen from the International Book Fair in Bogota.

Anyone who is running for president OR watching this season of The Good Wife should know better than to do this, Mike Huckabee.

Boston Magazine has an important overview of what started GamerGate: "What if a stalker had an army?"

Espresso in space!

"This week, the governor of Texas announced he was putting a special watch on U.S. military exercises this summer, due to public speculation that the soldiers might take over the state and confiscate everyone’s guns. Also, the Idaho Legislature recently killed a bill that would have provided federal aid in tracking down deadbeat dads, due to concern that it might involve the use of Shariah law. I do not want to hear you calling Bernie Sanders an extremist."

Sarah Dessen has a new novel out this week, and a good piece about dating an older guy at 15.

"You misunderstand yourself entirely. You have never been Elizabeth Bennet. No one in your entire acquaintanceship – in your entire life – has for even one second considered you to be the Elizabeth Bennet of your social circle."

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/5/15)

Ruth Rendell has died. I've been meaning to read her for years, so I finally just checked her first book out from the library.

Jack Ely, singer of "Louie Louie," has also died. Sorry, this is dark so far. Moving on!

Carly Fiorina is the latest example in "Dear candidates, just register all obvious domain names, COME ON."

Speaking of, Fiorina's claim that no regulations have ever been repealed is just as ridiculously false as it sounds.

I will never tire of stories of people hanging up on the Pope, thinking they're being pranked.

How Nellie Bly became a Victorian sensation and changed journalism forever

The Onion, and also the truth: Woman Can’t Wait To Get Home And Take Off Uncomfortable Persona

Classic Films, Summarized by Someone Who Has Never Seen Them

Monday, May 4, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/4/15)

Me elsewhere: Here's your TV news for the week.

In case you somehow missed it over the weekend: The new British princess was born, and the Fug Girls have adorable pictures here and here.

Ooh, the Bartolomeo Cristofori Google doodle!

Only people who have read the Mortal Instruments series will care about this, but I am astonished by how like Simon the newly cast Alberto Rosende is in this video, and I continue to be astonished by the fact of TV shows based on books by people I know being REAL.

Sad news: Ben E. King has died. (And B.B. King is in hospice, which is also sad, and I mention here partially because I kept reading stories about these situations and thinking I must have misread or someone must have typoed the names or something but no, both.)

It's clearly time we all learn about Marilyn Mosby.

Britain’s Drift From the Global Stage Becomes an Election Issue

I'm pretty excited about the new Macbeth photos.

Gail Collins read Marco Rubio's books so you don't have to.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Morning Coffee (5/1/15)

Happy Friday! How is it May?

Here's the most fun political non-scandal ever: Nick Clegg's wife is secretly a food blogger!

Stephen Hawking assures us that in another universe Zayn is still with One Direction. So.

The Critique of Reason at Yale sounds great and I really must manage to get there before it closes.

Background TV is an important and under-discussed issue. Personally, I tend to go for procedurals. This is why I have "watched" every episode of CSI: Cyber, though I'm still not convinced it's a real show and not an extremely elaborate joke.

The Royal We is one of my favorite books of the year so far, and this interview with the authors is delightful.

My friend Laura's projected titles for James Patterson's forthcoming books are hilarious: "I Am Not Even Trying Anymore; This Is My Grocery List, Bet It Outsells The Bible; There Was Nothing Good on TV, So I Wrote Another NYT Bestseller; and 15 Ways to Con Other People into Writing Books for You (and Letting You Publish Them in Your Name)!"

Here, it's Friday, have some firemen and ducklings.

Here Are Some Paintings Of A Woman Riding Aristotle Like A Pony