Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Best : February 2015.

I made two dishes in February that have ended up being some of my favorites this year that I've since made and enjoyed again. One is almost exceedingly simple: Baked Italian Eggs from the Budget Bytes cookbook, the yummiest breakfast you can make yourself if you're obsessed with Italian food, and also an excellent use of the ramekins I got for Christmas last year!

The other is much more time consuming, what with the cutting of the chicken strips and then the breading and then the frying--always an extremely messy affair--but mmm, this lemon chicken is delicious.

The ALA Youth Media Awards are announced each January and are always a Big Deal for youth librarian folk such as myself. I still haven't read a lot of the winners from this year, but one I was glad I picked up was El Deafo, which earned a Newbery honor. A graphic novel that dramatizes author Cece Bell's own childhood growing up deaf in the '70s and having to wear a ginormously embarrassing hearing aid, this adorable book also deals with all the other stuff that comes along with being a young girl, particularly when you are "different"--figuring out which friends are real friends and what makes you happy. I also heart when graphic novels win non-graphic-novel-specific awards, especially big ones like the Newbery! Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier. 

Even though I don't write about TV on a professional level anymore, it almost means more to me than it ever did. Being able to just let my mind go blank and be taken over by a crew of characters after long days at work or just long days of whatever is such a privilege, and anyone who knows anything knows that TV > Movies x 1000 these days. And hands down, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been my favorite new TV experience so far this year. Which is shocking, because when Brooklyn Nine-Nine won at the Golden Globes last year for best comedy series I was like whuuuuuut and I feel like a lot of other people were also like whuuuuuuuut. Maybe it's because I never considered myself a huge Andy Samberg fan in the past, and the ads for it never exactly drew me in. But after hearing some good things--specifically, a bunch of gif sets on Tumblr that always made me laugh--I Hulu-ed a couple episodes and then couldn't stop Hulu-ing more and more episodes in many winter Friday nights of bliss until I realized there have only been two seasons and I had watched all of those two seasons and I was very sad.

B99's ace ensemble cast begs comparisons to Parks & Rec, yet I can't think of another show where I acutely love each and every character so much so equally. Obvs I love every character on Parks & Rec, but we also all know that Leslie Knope is our heart and soul and reason for being. While I enjoy Jake Peralta, Samberg's leading character, a lot, I don't watch the show for Jake Peralta. Some days Captain Ray Holt is what I live for, other times it's Rosa Diaz; sometimes I can't get enough of Amy Santiago, and I can never, ever get enough of Terry Jeffords! You guys, I just love them all SO MUCH!

The real story of February 2015, though, is all about these badass bitches who sneakily, out of nowhere, got together again and released a record for the first time in a decade, kickstarting my almost dormant riot grrrl heart. I mean, my volcano of feminist punk rock love will never actually be extinct, but feeling that magma rise up to the surface again felt all kinds of empowering and right and good.

My Top 5 No Cities To Love tracks as of 7/15:
  1. A New Wave
  2. No Cities to Love
  3. Bury Our Friends
  4. Price Tag
  5. A tie between Surface Envy and Fangless sorry I know that's cheating but they're both really good!

Along with releasing a new album, Sleater-Kinney also had the audacity to go on tour. While their Portland and Seattle shows, after first being non-existent, sold out in seconds, we trucked ourselves all the way to Spokane to see their very first show in almost a decade, which felt special, as Kathy and I had seen one of their very last shows in NYC way back when. Spokane is a kind of a weird town and ended up depressing me a bit but once the show got in full swing everything was adrenaline and Carrie Brownstein and nothing hurt. They played so many good songs and their energy was just the same and we had a perfect view and they were so happy too and I can't put into words how it made me feel other than a true and 100% alive and better version of myself.

The next day before the looong drive home, we did stop by a few of the more uplifting Spokane highlights that we had missed the day before, such as a diner inside of an old train car and the world's largest Radio Flyer and the Garbage Goat. So on second thought, Spokane isn't that bad after all.

February may be the shortest month, and looking back I can't remember at all what I did at work then, but man, it was a good one this year.

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