Listology: What I’m Digging This Week (The Summer Entertainment Edition)

I love this time of the year. Aside from the fact that the extra daylight makes me feel as though I may actually get through my To Do list before nightfall, I start hoarding books for my summer vacation beach reading binge. Plus, the TV networks have actually created year-round programming to keep me glued to the boob tube (this is good and bad).

Here are just a few things I’m totally digging this summer (I know—it’s not really summer yet, but since it’s been over 90 degrees every day, I think that’s just a technicality.

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I’ve been on a memoir binge lately. From The Bloggess’s book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster and even finally On Writing by Stephen King (which is part autobiography, part writing lessons).

I just started the third chapter of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, but I love this book. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Cheryl is brutally honest about her strengths and weaknesses to the point where I’m still not sure if I’m sympathetic towards her or somewhat turned off by her choices. But I like that.

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I love the original “Mob Wives.” Sorry. I can’t help it, but there’s something weirdly endearing about those women. I like bad-ass bitches who fight for their family. And truth be told, they’re more “real” than the “Real Housewives of Insert City Here” because they’re not rolling through town in a Rolls Royce, pretending they’re making more money than they are, wearing big jewels with their clay faces. They support their families while their husbands are in jail (and unlike a certain NY “Housewife,” they say “jail” instead of “going away”).

So I’m hoping the newest installment, “Mob Wives Chicago,” is just as good. Check out this extended trailer:

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I can’t even tell you how much I’m looking forward to HBO’s “The Newsroom.” Here’s the blurb about it (with some minor editorializing).
From the mind of Aaron Sorkin, creator of “The West Wing (the best TV show EVER in my opinion)” and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball,  comes “The Newsroom,” a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program. Focusing on a network anchor (played by Jeff Daniels), his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), the newsroom staff (John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel) and their boss (Sam Waterston), the series tracks their quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles-not to mention their own personal entanglements.
“The Newsroom” starts June 23 and I can’t wait. Check out this trailer and tell me you won’t watch.

It Might Get Ugly Around Here

I haven’t written a real post in a while and, honestly, that’s probably a good thing for all of you. (All two of you!)

Periodically, I get into a blogging slump—I think it happens to anyone who’s blogged for more than six months—but this one has been rough. I log into to my dashboard every day, fully intending to write a fabulous blog post (hell, I’d be happy to write a mediocre one these days), and I just stare at the screen. If I’m feeling productive, I’ll click through my stats or clean out my spam folder, but most days even that’s too much for me. I have plenty to write about, but I just can’t focus. It’s easier to sit in front of the TV and watch Mob Wives (really, if you aren’t watching this show you’re missing out on one of the great reality programs on TV!).

I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me—am I burned out? do I have ADD? do I need to get out more?—and then I came across this post “When Blogging Is Seriously Hard” by Judy Dunn.

You should read it. Go on. I’ll wait.

Okay, back?

I’ve got all of those issues and then some.

Family life taking a lot of energy? Check.

My husband is going through a professional transition and it’s stressing him out, which stresses me out. He is the most grounded, easy-going person I know and it takes a lot to ruffle his feathers, so on the rare occasions when he allows things to get to him, it’s unsettling. There’s a disturbance in the Force and I don’t like it. He keeps me tethered to reality and when he’s distracted from that, well, everything falls to shit. More accurately, I fall to shit. The thing is, he’s a bad-ass motherfucker and this situation is going to work to his advantage and turn out better for him in the long run. The process is frustrating, though.

Going through my own professional transition? Check.

My career thing is a struggle for me right now. The fact that I refer to it as a “career thing” lets you know how discombobulated I am. I don’t know if I need to find something new (or even if I should), or if I just need to make some adjustments to what I’m doing. I’d like to write more (which is ironic given the fact that I’m writing about not being able to write) but I don’t know if that means transitioning back to a writing career (assuming that’s even an option for me) or freelancing. I’ve had some ugly revelations about how I’ve handled my career. I reacted poorly to some challenges in my old job and walked away from a career I really loved. Now I have the task of piecing together that experience and skill set with new ones I’ve developed over the past few years and finding the perfect place for them. It may be where I am. It may be doing something entirely different. I don’t know the answer.

Stuck inside my head too long? Check. And Check.

Much to my detriment I live in my head. In fact, it’s the worst thing an insecure, uptight, Virgo like myself can do. It’s downright debilitating at times. I am a master at mulling over the What-ifs and Then-what’s. If I could, I’d make it the focal point of my résumé. I’m that good at it. But it screws me up more than it helps.

I’ve tried to “push through the hard” but maybe I haven’t pushed hard enough. I’ve tried to step away and clear my head, but that hasn’t worked. I’ve tried to blog about it, but I’m still not comfortable with putting it all out here even after nearly 4 years in this space. Which is probably disingenuous. I struggle with that too.

The one thing I do know is that I’ve been holding back. In writing, in work, in everything. It’s time to get unstuck and start working it all out.

In her post Judy says, “When your life changes direction, so does your blog. That can be stressful but, at the same time, it’s also exhilarating.”

If you stick around it might get interesting. Or ugly.

Or both.

 

 

 

 

Mob Wives, Season 2

I know my last post was all about being zen and present and mindful, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m giddy as hell about the return of Mob Wives tomorrow night!

You can’t watch this extended trailer and tell me you won’t get sucked in.