Thursday, August 30, 2012

Check in Thursdays: Week 35

Watching... The pilots for The Mindy Project and Ben & Kate are available for preview on Hulu. I really liked The Mindy Project - it wasn't super groundbreaking or anything but Mindy has a unique voice and I have high hopes. Also, random reality dance show A Chance to Dance in which the BalletBoyz (recently seen as judges on So You Think You Can Dance) are tasked by Nigel Lythgoe to form a dance company in 30 days and perform at the Dizzy Feet Gala.
Listening... Japandroids - Continuous Thunder. I'm not always one to pay attention to lyrics but this one really got me. Probably one of my favorite tracks this year so far.
Reading... Uh, A Clash of Kings here and there but really not much. This has been kind of bad year for reading.

Watching... Been catching up with season 3 of Parenthood. It's interesting because for the most part I kind of hate where so many of the storylines are heading but watching the story unravel is pretty amazing. The characters and how they interact in a way that is so realistic; I muse at the end of each episode how surprising it is to me how much I love this show.
Listening... Still got my iPod but I am starting to get rid of my alarm mix. To switch it up, I've started listening to some random Korean pop music on my iPod.
Reading... The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. This is the book that had some to do with Oprah and her book club, I think. Someone had mentioned it to me as being their favorite book ever. It's well written but in a kind of pretentious way and none of the characters are really likable. As a result, I'm having a difficult time getting into it. We will see what my final verdict is...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Check in Thursdays: Week 34

Watching... The web series Dating Rules From My Future Self. Apparently my attention span and free time has decreased to the point where I can only watch 5 minute webisodes? The first season starred Shiri Appleby and the second season has Candice Accola (from The Vampire Diaries). Dumb but cute and fun.
Listening... I've mentioned Passion Pit multiple times but this week's obsession is It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy.
Reading... Chipping away at Swamplandia! and A Clash of Kings.

Watching... What a coincidence; I was going to write about a web series this week, too! I'm also caught up on the one Jenn mentioned above and was looking into other web series and came across this one: The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. It's a mash up of videoblogs and other social media to provide a modern day reselling of Pride and Prejudice.
Listening... My iPod wakes me up every morning with the same playlist in the same order... "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men, "This Modern Love" by Bloc Party, "Honey Bee" by Blake Shelton, "The Shining" by Badly Drawn Boy, "The High Road" by Broken Bells, "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.... Then I usually actually get up. Well, sometimes.
Reading... Rereading the Twilight series, embarrassingly enough. Mostly because I caved to curiosity and bought 50 Shades of Grey. A few chapters in and I couldn't shake the feeling that it was basically the same as Twilight but somehow less enjoyable. I felt like it had a distinctively British writing tone for a book set in the Seattle/Portland area and... I dunno. Not on that bandwagon. So, I decided to give the vampire series another try and am enjoying it much more. Halfway through book 3.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Check in Thursdays: Week 33

Watching... Random movie recommendation, this week! Chalet Girl starring Felicity Jones (I don't actually recognize her from anything, but she's totally like a British Ellen Page in this movie) with Brooke Shields, Bill Nighy, Chuck Bass (or Ed Westwick), Sophia Bush, dorky guy from the tv version of 10 Things I Hate about You. This movie was basically a British Whip It (maybe its the Ellen Page similarity) on snowboard. Well, in some ways it is like Cutting Edge, too, but whatever, it was fun! I'm glad Netflix had it on streaming!
Listening... Stuck with what is on my iPod, but this week's nostalgic music: Stroke 9.
Reading... Random free books on my Kindle. Oh, and tv gossip like Ausiello on Oh, and As You Like It.

Watching... Now that the Olympics are over, I'm back to So You Think You Can Dance and forever trying to catch up on last season's TV. I also finally watched The Dark Knight Rises, which I liked but didn't think was as good as the last one.
Listening... Metric - Youth Without Youth is getting radio play? Also, new song from Frightened Rabbit.
Reading... Started Swamplandia! byKaren Russell while I was at the beach this weekend.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Check In Thursdays: Week 32

Watching... Well, I've stopped watching the Olympics because I haven't really turned on the tv in my hotel room. Instead I'm catching up with ABC TV on Hulu. First up: the last few episodes of Once Upon a Time.
Listening... Uh, I brought my iPod with me so that means I'll be listening to mostly music that I already had been listening to. Nothing new to report!
Reading.... Finished The Botticelli Secret before I left but not the other two books.  Am reading a lot of junk on my Kindle, but balancing that out by starting As You Like It. (Burkie and I are going to attempt a virtual book club. Details still to be worked out.)

Watching... I was traveling for work this week too so didn't get to watch much of the Olympics either. Trying to catch up with at least gymnastics online but the NBC streaming isn't so hot.
Listening... Umm...nothing. At all.
Reading... Didn't get much reading done this week - it was just work, eat, sleep. But still working on Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Hoping to get some quality reading time in this weekend at the beach!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Check in Thursdays: Week 31

Watching... The Olympics! NBC coverage is terrible, of course, and I can't watch the live feed because it's during the work day, but gosh, I love gymnastics! The US men's team melting down was pretty painful, but our girls winning gold was amazing! I'm kind of obsessed with McKayla Maroney's ridiculously perfect vault--I rewinded and watched it like 5 times. And how amazing was Gabby Douglas? It's amazing how everyone was concerned about her consistency and focus only a few months ago. I'm definitely sad that Jordyn Wieber didn't qualify for the all-around though (stupid rule) but I was really happy for Aly Raisman. I believe she's been told in the past that she should just give up bars completely since it's her weakest event but she stuck with it. Unfortunately the result was a little heartbreaking - lost the tiebreaker and the bronze to Mustafina. She still two event finals to go though. Also very happy for Danell Leyva's bronze (and his ever-present towel, which has its own twitter feed, and his super excited stepdad/coach). Bummed for John Orozco but I think he's young enough to come back.
Listening... Spotify on Android! I listen to most of my music in the car so I'm pretty excited about this. Passion Pit's Take a Walk was my pick a few weeks ago, now listening to the full album.
Reading... Still working on Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Just read a really interesting chapter on how Asian-American students often feel overlooked/inadequate because of cultural introvert/extrovert norms and perceptions.

Mira: (posted a day late again, cuz... I forgot!)
Watching... The Olympics are taking over my life, too.  Staying up until 1AM every night and not being able to do anything but sit in front of the tv after 8PM.  What a productiveness-drainer! But oh so exciting. I love gymnastics, too, of course, but my surprise Olympics crush? Missy Franklin!
Listening... So it's been quite a while, but I really like the Awolnation's "Not Your Fault." The song gets me super energized while listening to it (don't know why) and I am curious about the rest of their music.
Reading... Finished the Rick Riordan and Mary Higgins Clark books. Also finished a Nora Roberts book. Unfortunately had to return one of the Marina Fiorato books to the library before I started it, but currently working on The Botticelli Secret.  On deck for the weekend: two young adult books by Allyson Condie, Matched and Crossed.  More teenage dystopian fiction. :)

Assorted thoughts on the Olympics

Man, I love the Olympics! In my normal everyday life I could care less about professional sports but whenever the Olympics roll around I'm staying up late every night, tearing up at random athlete profile segments, and finding the most obscure events interesting -- like team handball?? Anyway, of course my number one priority has been gymnastics and I hate that I haven't had the time to pay attention many of the other events, but here are some of my random thoughts on the Games so far:
  • I didn't particularly like Team USA's opening ceremony outfits...outside of the whole Made in China controversy I thought they just looked overly preppy and the berets looked stupid. I guess that's Ralph Lauren for you though. The Nike warmup suits also initially struck me as strange - those gray hooded rain jacket things (for London's rainy weather??) and the neon green sneakers - but actually it's kind of grown on me.
  • I definitely approve of all the purple! If I were to have an Olympic medal, I'd definitely want one on a purple ribbon!
  • I know Ryan Seacrest is supposed to be like the successor to like everyone in media, but I find him interviewing athletes to be really strange. 
  • Ok, time to start complaining about NBC's coverage. I know that everyone loves swimming but must they cover every friggin semifinal in the primetime slot? Must we really see every single appearance by Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte?? How about some equestrian or something? Americans like the royal family! Zara Phillips won a medal!
  • What was up with the men's gymnastics all-around coverage? Germany's Marcel Nguyen surprisingly takes the silver but the first and only routine they show from him was his last!!
  • More gymnastics chatter - the commentators will not shut up about how the Russian girls are all divas and drama and pretty much crying every day in the gym. I mean, there were definitely a whole lot of tears from them during the team and all-around competitions, but I wonder. The Russian head coach, Alexander Alexandrov, actually coached in the US for years, so I'd be curious to hear his thoughts on this.
  • Interesting story I heard on NPR this morning about how bronze medalists are often happier than silver, i.e. "I made it on the podium!" vs "I lost the gold."
  • I was wondering what was up with the divers and their little towels so I looked it up
  • The skimpy women's beach volleyball outfits generally make me feel a little uncomfortable, but the bikini-top-over-shirt combos that some of the teams have been wearing due to the weather look pretty strange...