Several things to begin with; firstly, this is my 300th post. So, yay me. Secondly, I’ve decided to post my weekly roundups on Sunday because I think it’s more realistic. Hopefully I’ll have fewer late posts.
I’ve been starting with the Random category lately because it is summer and there is, frankly, so much going on. I also haven’t posted a Spring or Summer Bucket List this year. It exists and it is coming but it’s not done so that’s why it hasn’t appeared. Spring is not happening, clearly, because the seasons in Cleveland sometimes seem to switch straight from Winter, in April (or even May), directly to Summer. It was one of those years.
Anyway, last Saturday was extremely eventful. At some point in early Winter I promised my best friend that I would participate in the Color Run. I do not run, I, actually, think that running is the worst thing that exists in the world. Unless I am being chased by a rogue velociraptor you can pretty much bet that I’m sticking to the walking side of things. But, promise I did, and I did fully intend upon starting to run. But… it was just so cold, and my gym doesn’t have a track and treadmills are sort of, well, boring. I thought I would start when the snow melted, but it never ended up happening. Still, I refused to back out of the Color Run, since I knew already it wasn’t exactly what could be described as “hardcore” and I decided to power walk. My best friend and her hubbie, who really needs a better term to describe him in relation to be… like best hubiend or something equally ridiculous because “best friend’s husband” is really not adequate, and I already had a team name and everything, Team Darkest Timeline (in honor of the show Community), and there were supposed to be mustaches (which never happened, ridiculously since that’s why I agreed to do it in the first place!). Regardless of mustaches or no the run was amazing fun.
For those who are unaware of the Color Run, it’s a 5k that sprays you with powdered paint as you run, or walk as the case may be, through certain color check points. Orange was a bit stingey, but pink really piled it on. I started out looking like this:
and ended up looking like this:
Looking my best all around, really.
Then later on in the evening it was time for the annual Solstice Party at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Which is probably my favorite event of the year. It always sells out, but this year the tickets sold out during the member pre-sale, which I thought was a little sheisty considering there are plenty of non-members that should have gotten a chance to attend. I’m just lucky I got to use my mom’s membership and bought my ticket the first day of sale. But regardless, it’s full of art, music, booze, and lots of people watching. Actually, it’s my favorite people watching event of the year too. Even if this year was somewhat subpar on that front.
Something they do every year is projections on the South entrance of the building.
And it actually never fails to impress. This year, inside, they had projections on the floors that looks like they moved on their own, until you walked across it and realized that they moved when you did. I actually don’t know how they did this, but it was awesome.
Oh, how I love Lake Erie.
Watching: Orange is the New Black
I don’t even know what there is to say about Orange is the New Black that hasn’t been said already, but I will give it my stamp of approval anyway. It’s one of the most entertaining shows that’s around these days. I like shows that manage to be funny and serious at the same time, and that have unlikable characters that you like anyway.
In case you are somehow not in the know, Orange is the New Black centers around Piper Chapman, who at the beginning of season one voluntarily surrenders herself to Litchfield prison after being convicted of carrying drug money, ten years ago, across boarders for her ex-girlfriend, Alex Vause, who ratted her out and is also doing a stint in Litchfield. Along for the ride are a bevy of prisoners, all trying to survive, and have a life, while incarcerated. There are so many characters that it’s relatively impossible to get into all of them in one review. Some are more intriguing than others, but they all manage to be interesting. Each episode revolves around a different character, and shows a flashback of their life before prison, often of the crime that landed them there in the first place.
The show comes from the memoir of the same name, by Piper Kerman, who consults on the show. I haven’t read the book, but gather that it revolves around Kerman’s exposure to women far different from herself and how they changed her life. It sounds a little trite, and often times Piper’s journey on the show can be to. But, as someone much like Piper out in the real world, I can see where she’s coming from. But mostly what I like about this show is not seeing the different ways they lived outside of prison, but the way they live the same in prison and the bonds their form from the rules they live under and their proximity to each other. A little like camp, only… you know, not.
Reading: Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
I really liked this book. The writing was insane; like every sentence was waiting somewhere in the ether for the author to pluck it out and insert it where it belonged. Sometimes it was distractingly beautiful. I started reading this at the beach after having it sit on the shelf for a couple years since I picked it up randomly when Borders was going out of business. It was one of those books that just looked like it was up my alley. And I was so right. I started Sunday and finished Monday, racing through the lyrical prose.
In sun bleached Athens three expatriates find their way to each other. Rebecca, a former flight attendant, tormented by her mother’s abandonment of her and her twin sister, comes to Athens from a small French town to paint. George, obsessed by language, stumbles drunkenly towards Athens from a New England boarding school and small liberal arts college where he managed, always, to remain achingly alone. Charismatic Henry takes a job in Athens at an archeological dig run by his long time mentor. All three are somewhat lost and all three are somewhat lonely, and when they find each other it seems like they have finally found their families. But tragedy is waiting in the wings, ready to tear down even the most intrinsically designed of worlds.
I have to say that the first second of this book was by far and away my favorite section. I really enjoyed all the characters together and how they seemed to fit into each other’s worlds in the sort of way that only happens maybe once or twice in a lifetime. Perhaps this sort of closeness could never last, but it’s always a shame to watch it fall. I liked Rebecca, I loved George (somewhat because of and despite his many faults, cause… dude’s got issues), and even though Henry was the most typical of the bunch I did genuinely like him too. But then everything changed. Plot, characters, and even narrative style. And I have to say, while second person is generally annoying it managed to be less so here due to good writing, but it still managed to irk. Let’s just say, this book, written in third or even first person would have hit it out of the park. The later three books were also, almost entirely, about Henry, who was by far my least favorite of the initial group. After awhile I really just wanted to shake him, while still being sympathetic.
But I don’t even know if any of those things are complaints, because this book was wonderful. Almost entirely wonderful. And I really do need to check out other things that Van Booy has written because he’s clearly brilliant.