Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Best : May 2015.

Oh hello there, beautiful little blog! Didn't see you there! Probably because I haven't updated you for five months! And last time I did update you, it was to post a humongo list of EVERYTHING I DID IN 2014 THAT I LIKED (okay almost everything) and it was great but also long and took a week to compile which was satisfying in the end but also annoying.

But it's 2015 now! Summer is in the air and I can feel it in my bones! And I have plans for you, beautiful little blog. This go 'round, instead of blogging once a year in a mind-numbing burst, I'm setting a goal of writing at least once a month about the good things that have been filling my brain parts. The best things, even. I will call this series Best. That previous sentence was a bit of a spoiler, wasn't it?

You also might have heard this, but it is June now. I know! WTF! As this is my second post of the year, I am clearly a bit behind in my once-a-month ambitions. I'm about to unroll the Best of May 2015, but I do really want to catch up on the previous months, too. I have notes in my phone about what the Best Things were of all those previous months and everything--whatta nerd!--it's just taken me this long to actually fully write one of them down here.

So after today, I'll work on catching up retroactively, and then hopefully I'll get on track. This is an over-explanation. Which is not new for me. Things Jill Likes definitely needs an editor.

I loved Americanah from the first page. What a knockout, gut punch of a novel. The hardest parts for me to read were when Ifemelu first came to America--well, a lot of her time in America, really--and Obinze's time in London. An epic about race, immigration, Lagos, America, and love. And blogging. But mainly the other stuff.

I also want to note that May was the month that I set up my own pull box at a local comic store for the first time. Nerd achievement: unlocked! I'll write about the comics I've been reading in another post because they deserve their own undivided attention.

I don't know if it's the on-point '90s references or if it's just all Jessica, but Fresh Off the Boat, which I was introduced to way late in the game this month, makes me laugh out loud. I love Jessica more and more each episode. And when I say love I mean I. LOVE. HER. This and Blackish are so good and promising and I hope that they are signs of more things to come--even more complex and even more funny stories of people that have been ignored by mainstream media for too long--not just a brilliant but brief ABC experiment of 2015.

These are new shoes I bought this month. They make me feel super cute!

I have been generally boring with music lately and just *whisper* listen to the radio *un-whisper* but gosh darnit, that "Shut Up and Dance" song is my jam. I also really love "Renegades" by the X Ambassadors which is that "long live the pioneers" song from that Jeep commercial and yes that Jeep commercial was how I first heard it oh god I am so old and embarrassing. The new Brandi single is also smashing DUH but I still haven't listened to the full new album yet so MORE TO COME ON THAT probs. 

Also let's talk about Janelle Monae and her backup dancers when she performed "Yoga" on The Tonight Show:

How I wish yoga was actually just like this.

Man oh man was I bad at food this month. I made a couple new recipes that were OK, a few standby favorites that didn't even taste as awesome as remembered, and ate a whole lot of fast food. But! I did get to visit the Portland Mercado with Kathy and Manda at the end of the month and man oh man was it neat. 

While pretty much every other development in Portland and the Pacific Northwest as a whole appears to be goddamn awful and soul sucking lately, the Portland Mercado, down the street from us on Foster, is a diamond in the rough: a bursting-with-life, bursting-with-success authentic community project. It's described as "the first Latino public market in Portland" and has pretty much everything you need: coffee, alcohol, groceries, candy, and chorizo. AND eight colorful food carts out front that each tell their own story from different corners of the Latin American world. This is a mole bowl from the Mixteca cart and it was good but now I just want to go back and try EVERYTHING ELSE.

I'm going to try to narrow down a thing I did each month that was my favorite but there will often be multiple things, as there are this month. The first notable thing we did was an urban scavenger hunt, which I thought was going to involve alcohol but actually just involved hula hooping and jumping in water fountains and talking to strangers and pretending to dance at a make believe quinceanera. It was very silly but very fun and Manda made us all matching t-shirts that said Darryl's Lesbian Haircut, which is our trivia name, which is a Walking Dead reference. Do I watch The Walking Dead? Of course not, fool. 

This is us making a ring around the world's smallest public park. It's a thing; look it up.

Kathy, Manda, and I also went on a hike at Latourell Falls, my second time doing the loop, which is a near perfect little hiking loop: awesome upper falls, awesome lower falls, Columbia River Gorge overlooks, inclines and declines, walking under a gothic feeling bridge, and a memorably odd tree. JP went with and was so tired and adorable in the back seat on the way home that I just about died.

Friends Katie and Todd also got married this month, which included a karaoke bachelorette party that began at Chopsticks III and ended with me having a serious conversation with a pitbull named Mixie on Becky's kitchen floor. It also involved a weekend full of shopping for new clothes which was almost shockingly irresponsible but also WAY FUN. And then of course there was a wedding in a barn in the Willamette Valley where you could see three Cascade peaks and lots of horses and llamas and the ceremony involved some killer Bob Seger references and even though it was hot we did our best to make it a dance party.

That was fun. Just wait until you hear about all the best of JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril!

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