It’s been a while since I did one of these, and actually I wanted to write a bunch of individual pieces about some of this stuff but for now I want to jot it all down in a list until I have more time over Golden Week.
Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading/watching/listening to recently:
- A student recently recommended Riverdale, which is a new Netflix original based on the old Archie comics. I was surprised by how good it is, and now I always take the opportunity to ask this kid what she thinks of the newest episodes so A+ for being an “””educational bridge””” or whatever, and A+ for being a sort of ridiculous, sort of campy, really engaging show. Also the AV Club’s reviews (linked above) are really funny.
- On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, I restarted my Hulu account (immediately after which I spent half an hour looking at the movie selection and yelling in despair because goddammit they took off 80% of their old artsy shit and I’m forever mad about it) just so I could watch A Handmaid’s Tale. I read the book the summer after I got back from Beijing and actually wasn’t super wowed by it. I liked Oryx and Crake, also by Margaret Atwood, way more I think because of the science angle it had. And speaking of disappointments, all the disavowals of feminism by both the author and the cast are making me mad as well in a lowkey simmering anger kind of way, and that I would like to write a longer piece about. But the show is really, really good and really, really brutal so I recommend it but just… be careful. I watched the third episode just now and it was really difficult to watch especially given the current political situation in America and Europe.
- After legitimately begging my coworker for five minutes to come to an after party yesterday, I recommended Jebiotto to him, trying to type it into his phone while we tipsily stumbled around Kameido. I saw them live on Saturday and their vibe was completely amazing. They’ve got a bit of a disco thing going on and man, check it out.
- Not really relatedly, the same coworker asked how to describe the alley we were walking down and was wondering about the difference between thin and narrow. I said, “This alley is narrow. You and me are thin.” The kids tell him he looks like a Pretz or Pocky stick, and when I laughed and said they made similar comments about me he said, “Okay, then I’ll be Pretz and you can be Pocky.”
- Of all the movies I saw in Taiwan last month, La La Land wasn’t my absolutely favorite but for some reason I can’t get it out of my head. This is something else I want to write more about, but I think the story of ambitious people plus the fact that I saw it in Taiwan has made it a really special movie for me. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack all day today, much to the detriment of my phone battery and monthly data limit.
- Then, I started reading “A-ko san’s boyfriends“, which is a manga someone recommended recently. I don’t think there’s an English translation, but anyway it’s really good so far. Being in the manga section at Kinokuniya really creeped me out though. I love the main store but I still have a huge stigma against the manga/anime crowd, which is my own problem but.
- While I was still in the main store at Kinokuniya I found this really great book of… Twitter poetry? It’s just poetry, but the author publishes them on Twitter and then some of them were collected into a book. A coworker recently recommended Tawara Machi‘s tanka poetry and because tanka are really short I’ve been using it to practice Japanese so now I’m on a poetry kick.
- Finally, if you live in Tokyo and haven’t yet checked out the Docomo community cycles you should definitely give it a try. My bike is broken so I got a subscription to the bikes and they’re really convenient (unless you live in Edogawa or Sumida) and best of all they’re the electric assist variety so you can go super fast. You shouldn’t but… you can.
- This isn’t a recommendation, but a request for one kind of. If any of you readers out there have tried the American Cherry Pie Frapuccino at Starbucks please let me know how it is. I want one, but I can’t get my mind around eating a pie crust on top of a frapuccino…