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Media Maven

While rifling through boxes recently, I found a little “time capsule” I’d made myself the summer I turned twelve-years-old. I’d read the suggestion in a magazine and haphazardly filled an empty stationery box with cards, letters and handwritten notes on what movies I’d seen that summer and the current retail value of my library’s inventory.

I thought it’d be fun to chronicle my summer of 2012 since I’m actually enjoying being in the audience again. See, in 2006, the comedy nightclub Comix opened and would exist for four years. My personal life did not. I lived, ate, drank, and slept there. Then I wrote & published a book, and I’ve since lived, eaten, drunk and dreamt about book stuff. Which brings us to present day. I started mentoring a girl and between tour dates cherished the R&R time. I’ve taken all of August off which might bleed into September and, holy mother, I’m making up for lost time.

Below is a list of media I’ve consumed in the last couple of months in NYC. This isn’t comprehensive as I just now thought about chronicling my viewing and reading pleasures but will give you an idea of what I like. Please, please, please submit any recommendations in the comments below. Okay, here we go!

TV

  • Olympics XXX!!! (I don’t have any television at the cabin but thankfully NBC has live streaming & full replays. O’er the land of the FREE! And the HOME of theeeeeeeeee BRAAAAAAVEEE! Man, I love the Olympics. Ever since Dorothy Hamill and especially because of the 1984 Olympics in LA. Deal. Sealed.)
  • The Wire (Currently on season 1, episode 4. Don’t ruin it a-hole. Yes, I realize I’m 10 years late getting started but, still, shut up with your stupid spoilers.)
  • Friday Night Lights (Waiting for the final season to be released on Netflix. Again. Zip yo’ lip, mofo!)
  • Breaking Bad (Christian is behind on season 4, but I’m not watching the final season live. So, feel free to ruin it for him. I’m good.)
  • Downton Abbey (PBS!!!)
  • Dateline (The husband did it!)
  • 48 Hours Mystery (The husband did it again!)
  • Forensic Files (The husband did it but they’ll show you how!)
  • Veep (Julia Louis-Dreyfus continues to be one of my favorite comedic actresses of all time. I can actually pinpoint the first time I saw her on re-runs of a a short-lived sitcom called “Day by Day” and made a point to tell everyone I knew that she was worth watching. Then Seinfeld hit and I was all like, “I TOLD YOU!”)
  • Arrested Development (Again. Worth it.)
  • Hatfield & McCoys (Not finished with this one but enjoyed the first part. I saw Mare in “Tribes” Off-Broadway a few weeks ago and was reminded that I didn’t finish it.)
  • Cheers (It holds up 20 years later. Classic!)
  • Louie (I feel like I should, ya know?)
  • The Walking Dead (Enjoyed the 1st episode so will definitely watch more.)
  • Sons of Anarchy (Wow. This is cheesy and awful. Smart people I know watch this show. I’m dumbfounded.)

–I know I’m missing “Modern Family” on this list but Netflix only has it available on DVD, not streaming, so I’d rather wait till that happens or get it another way.

Reality Game Shows*

  • Biggest Loser (Or, as Christian calls it, “The Fattest Fatty”. Hey, he was a fatty once, he’s allowed.)
  • American Idol (I’m not done with this one yet. Judges were lame, sure, but man…the talent was crazy good.)
  • Survivor (I remember seeing the first commercial for this when I was living in a penthouse in Cincinnati. I thought it sounded like the most incredible sociological experiment ever. It’s devolved into a kind of rote game show, but the characters generally keep it interesting.)
  • The Amazing Race (I usually forget about or lose interest in this one even though I so admire the logistical chess game that producing it must be. Also, I love that it shows all sorts of religions, races, disabilities, sexual identities, etc. {Wait, what is etc. in this case? I dunno…whatever}. But, flipping sports never fail to go long and ruin my DVR taping and pfft…I’m behind, not emotionally caught up and just say F it.)

*I don’t watch reality TV and have no interest in it. But a good contest with genuine, heart, talent or strategy & I’m in!

Movies

  • Ides of March
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  • Reality Bites
  • Transamerica (Wow. Felicity Huffman deserved all the accolades she received for portraying a pre-op transgendered man. Picked up this DVD for 1.00 a that bizarre auction in Liberty, NY.)
  • Drive (Ryan Gosling! Gory murders!)
  • Sons of Anarchy (The pilot was really cheesy. We own the first season {I have no idea why or how. Maybe Christian bought it.} so I will probably end up watching more episodes, but, yeah…it’s bad.)
  • Far From Heaven (At the AMMI with a talkback & Q&A with director Todd Haynes, costume designer Sandy Powell & production designer Mark Friedberg. I’m so glad I didn’t see this movie when it first came out in 2002. I didn’t know it was a melodrama and am certain I wouldn’t have appreciated it as such. Amazing night.)
  • The Age of Innocence (Also at the AMMI introduced by Martin Scorcese himself. You know, Marty, the director? Another melodrama but a different age. Heh.)
  • Finding Nemo (Pixar owns my heart. Sigh.)
  • Brave (Well, okay, they don’t *own* it. This is my least favorite Pixar movie but still enjoyable. It was awesome to see a girl with skills and courage in a powerful role. Perfect for taking my protege.)
  • The Help (Loved it!)
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love (Loved this one, too!)
  • Easy A (Cute. Clearly was on an Emma Stone kick.)
  • Bad Teacher (Ridiculous at times, but fun. Cameron Diaz is irresistible to me.)
  • Stranger Than Fiction (Interesting attempt at a sort of alternate reality rom-com. Really great ending.)
  • The Strangers (A really, really, really terrible idea to watch this alone in the cabin. Worst night of sleep ever.)
  • Hugo (Meh. Not sure what the big deal is. Maybe should have seen it at the theater.)
  • Our Idiot Brother (Paul Rudd is also irresistible to me. He & Cameron Diaz should give me their baby to raise.)
  • Midnight in Paris (Lovely.)
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene (Meh.)
  • Take Shelter (Meh.)
  • Young Adult (Enjoyed it but, like Bridesmaids, there was a meltdown-in-front-of-a-group scene that is just not believable. Took me out of it for a bit, but I really liked it.)
  • Peep World (Meh.)
  • The Pirates: Band of Misfits 3D (Glad for the 3D part because my protege J had a hard time following the accents and foreign vernacular. But she did enjoy it and ended up learning about Charles Darwin, Queen Victoria & dodo birds, all three of which came up in subsequent outings to museums.)
  • Mamma Mia (Got this for $1.00 at a garage sale on 8.11 & watched the same night. I’d seen the musical on Braodway when it first opened & surprisingly enjoyed it. The movie was fun, too. It’s hard not to like Meryl Streep being fun, sexy & silly. I hope I get to be her when I grow up.)

–Watching Moneyball & Drive this weekend.

Documentaries*

  • Ken Burns’ The Civil War (Currently about half-way through. It’s dense and so I have to be in the right mood to really immerse myself.)
  • The Wild and Wonderful Whites (Wow.)
  • Being Elmo (Watched this after meeting Kevin & Elmo for a show I brought to the 92YTribeca. Loved him and so, of course, loved his doc.)
  • Prodigal Sons (Bizarre twist but I lost interest a few times.)
  • One Nation Under God (
  • TEDTalks (These are short & sweet so make for great viewing on the treadmill. I’m only a few in, but am enjoying them.)

*I normally watch documentaries more than any other genre. Lately, I’ve run out of ones to watch but still love recommendations.

Books*

  • The Long Goodbye (currently reading at super quick clip)
  • How to Be Black#
  • Guts#
  • Kasher in the Rye#
  • The Book of Drugs#
  • Have You Found Her#
  • Wild (meh)
  • A Piece of Cake (Amazing story of recovery & redemption but, crikey, she could’ve used an aggressive editor or hired a ghost writer. It’s a 325 page story drawn out to 480 pages. It starts out strong then gets really repetitive. It’s a fast read, though, and I skimmed through parts.)
  • French Lessons (Actually a book on tape that I won in a raffle. Fiction /romance which is definitely not my “thing” so can’t fairly rate it for someone who does like the genre. It did make the driving to & from the cabin more interesting and made me want to listen to more books.)

*Most books I’ve read lately were written by friends & acquaintances indicated with # above and, therefore, unreviewed. I haven’t ventured out beyond that. (I prefer non-fiction, but love a good mystery / suspense tale.)

Okay, so that is a pretty good summation of the last couple of months. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things and will continue to revise this post through Labor Day.

~~Kambri
Oh! And museums & zoos & stuff! I’ve been to a crap ton! In addition to the dozens of things I’ve visited in each city I’ve tours, in NYC I’ve gone to The Spy Exhibit at Discovery Center in Times Square, The New York Aquarium at Coney Island, The AMMI (I’m a member, duh), American Museum of Natural History, The Central Park Zoo, Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest, and Chuck E. Cheese.

3 Comments

  • Gina F

    Our tastes are DIFFERENT!! But I absolutely love “favorites” lists as a way of learning about my friends.

    I’m glad you saw ‘Prodigal Sons.’ Kim Reed is a very close friend of Nathan and I. I got to accompany her through the promotion phase, and I learned a ton about it. I met her mom and some other family members (not Marc, who, sadly, passed away a few months ago.) I had no objectivity when watching it, but, like with your book, I would still think it’s an awesome piece of work. If I weren’t rooting for you so hard, who knows exactly what my impression would be…but I know good writing when I see it.

    My other favorite documentary – SO different than Prodigal Sons, – is called “Marwencol.” I would recommend it to anyone smart, but if you have an interest in psychology, trauma, neurology, or art, you need to see it. It’s about a brain-injured man who has created an imaginary city with dolls and toy buildings in his backyard. He kind of “lives” there part-time, which is extra interesting because the town exists in WWII era Belgium. Fascinating.

    I don’t like Modern Family. Too cute.

    I loved Bad Teacher!

    I actually see a lot of public freak-outs a la Bridesmaids and Young Adult. I have had a couple, and in my psych grad program, people would get really triggered in classes and bug out. Also while working in a day treatment center, a group of mentally ill but relatively high functioning adults would be having a conversation, and someone would get triggered and become unhinged. Maybe it depends on the company you keep?

    The Fattest Fatty is a much kinder and more accurate name than The Biggest Loser. I, and a lot of my fellow fatties, prefer to be called fat over most euphemisms. I have a mixed reaction to that show, but to me it always comes down to “they chose to do it on TV, it’s helping them, fine.”

    I really liked the movies “Ted” (smart) and “Casa de Mi Padre” (idiotic.) If you liked “Midnight in Paris” you will probably like “To Rome With Love.” Less Romantic, more Farce. But still really sentimental and sweet. And VERY funny.

    OK, that’s enough blah blah blah on my part.

    I’ll close by saying I really, really loved your book.

    Gina

    • Kambri

      To clarify, these aren’t my “favorites”, these are what I’ve watched / read in the last two or three months. So this blog entry is serving as my “time capsule” like the one I made when I was 12.

  • Stacey

    It’s so funny how our tastes are so similar! I remember watching Being Elmo a couple of years ago. I’d say about 53% of this list I have either read, seen or plan to. LOL

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