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These are a few of my favorite things
...from the last couple weeks: VOLUME 1
Hi, Hello, heyhey, ahoy, haiii.
I’d like to re-introduce myself.
I am that someone you know who, within an hour of watching or reading something that’s moved me, is liable to yell it from the proverbial rooftops of my village—be that the family group chat, my pen pal’s inboxes, or my bestie and my text thread as a loud ass voice note.
These past couple weeks, I’ve watched movies and shows, finished books, and read poetry that have prompted new ideas, writings, and fresh new sonic rabbit holes. I simply cannot keep these to myself.
(Speaking of, the song above is thee most iconic cover of “My Favorite Things” by Outcast from their album Speakerboxx/Love Below. It’s one of my favorite works by them despite having no words at all.)
After such an inspiring couple weeks, I thought to myself, “Self? Why not share some of these goodies with the good people over on Substack?”
And so, here we are. Congregating on this fine Wednesday (or whenever you happen to scroll) for an all new installment:
A Few of My Favorite Things From the Last Two Weeks: VOLUME 1
Here we go, in no particular order…
Cinephiles, please prepare your minds for blasphemy:
It took me until just last week to see Slackers (1990).
I know. ‘Tis a cult classic. An arguably career-starting film for prominent filmmakers (see: Kevin Smith). And all the more odd that Richard Linklater is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. I know. But you can shame me no more, my friends, because hahhah!—I’ve seen it. I love it. Of course.
Slacker is a charming snapshot of a day in the lives of citizens, oddballs, and outcasts all around the wonderfully weird city of Austin, Texas, USA.
It is plotless yet never aimless. Wonderfully interesting yet mundane. Linklater has this undeniable ability to sift through the seemingly tedious and banal and uncover magic. It’s a rare skill and absolutely fascinating to watch.
Y’all like classical music? Fun fact: I played professional violin up until my first year of college. Started at 3. Hated it the whole time. Ha! There’s a story there, and we gone scoot on past it for now (stay tuned). But I must say, I’ll always have a soft spot for spirited classical works like those of Florence Price.
Price was a biracial composer who wrote several symphonies, many of which were inspired by Black spirituals and her time growing up in Black southern churches. I’ve had her Symphony No. 1 in E Minor on repeat for weeks.
Burned Again - Stiffed
Before Santigold was Santigold, the Philly-born singer fronted the fun and funky punk rock band Stiffed (2001-2006).
Gotta credit a random convo with my dearest friend this past week for reminding me to revisit the one and only album Stiffed ever released, Burned Again. It still goes hard, and hearing Santi’s earlier vocal inflections is quite an aural adventure.
Books and reading
Moon Crumbs hits harder than any chapbook has for me in a long, long time.
Dong eloquently describes Moon Crumbs as “…bite-sized, paragraph-length confections that taste alternately sweet, bitter, and savory; playful, sad, and rapturous.”
It’s less than 35 pages. My biggest qualm was the downright whispers of sorrow in my gut at the end of every striking vignette. Every little bite left me wanting.
Dong includes a poem for every flavor: sweet, bitter, and savory. My favorite one right now is the savory:
The Taste of Umami
their million slim
wet arms, are bathed
in reds and greens
What is it you swish
in your gentle pink
Now that I’ve finished The Appeal? Baby.
I’m really not getting what took me so long to tap into this genre! And Hallett didn’t just write a mystery novel (her first book ever, btw).
She wrote a mystery novel strictly in emails, messages, and letters, as if we, the readers, were seeing through the eyes of the two young lawyers trying to solve this fascinating, high-society, British theater troupe murder. A true literary exploit.
I had so much fun with The Appeal that I’ve already raised my monocle to another great mystery. More on that later…
Ashley Gavin: Live in Chicago
Ashley Gavin is a good time. Her commanding presence and comfort on stage make the fact that this is her debut almost unbelievable. But after the seasoned comedian hilariously spins the tale of her long and often bleak road to notoriety, it clicks. Gavin’s a professional, dahling.
Thanks to TikTok, where Gavin shares bits with over 1 million fans (1 fucking million, y’all), she’s finally been able to carve out a full-time comedy career. And not only does Ashley Gavin evoke double-over-hold-your-belly-laughs, she’s also so utterly gay it hurts. Like I said, a good time.
If you like rollercoasters of thought, random breaks into various pop song, and questionable sketches in between, you actually might have a great time with Early’s very bizarre special. Maybe. Mayhaps.
Now, fair warning: Though he does tell some truly funny jokes during this 1-hour…experience, I wouldn’t call it a stand-up special. More like performance art? Still, I was nothing if not entertained.
Okay, fine. Yes. You got me. I’m including this one because I want (nay, need) at least one of you to experience it and tell me—Was this real or just a fever dream? Humor me. Please. Please.
My work was right alongside witty essays like, “Which Death God Can I Sacrifice The Entire Self-Development Genre To?” by- one of my new favorite newsletters.
Check out the full list if you like!
Alright then, Imma leave it there.
Feel free to keep it going in the comments. I’ll surely join you, as I’m always ready for more good, creative treats—I’m sure others of you are too!