Lately Loving

My life hasn't been very eventful lately, as my friends have all returned to school and/or gone off on mid-winter vacations. (I'm not bitter...) As a result, I've had to find things to keep me busy. So I figured now would be the perfect time to tell you about some books, movies, and media that have kept me more than occupied recently!

The first is Serial. Yeah, that podcast everyone was talking about in November/December? Well I finally got around to listening to it last week, and let me tell you: I got addicted. I spent all of Tuesday compulsively listening. (I might've listened to 9 episodes in one day.) Serial is the completely engrossing story of a murder case from 1999, and as someone who couldn't get enough of Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew as a child, this totally fit my fancy. And while it isn't too graphic or disturbing, just like any murder mystery/thriller, it's probably best not to listen to it too close to bedtime. It kept me occupied for most of the week, and I am now eagerly anticipating season 2!

Secondly, literature. I just started reading The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. It's about a girl in 1686, newly married and living in Amsterdam, the miniature house she is given by her new husband, and the miniaturist who seems to be able to predict events in their lives. That's all I really know right now, but things are starting to get good! It's enchanting and funny so far, although I must admit that the Amsterdam setting is more than enough to keep me reading.

Up next, television. Last Christmas (2013), I binge watched three seasons of Downton Abbey in about two weeks. It was lovely and funny and...well, painful. Now that season 5 is on PBS in the US, I've gotten back into watching it. And it continues to amaze and surprise. That sly 1920's humor keeps me laughing, and the costumes and drama are totally engrossing. Essentially, it's just nice to be transported to the 1920's once a week.

Lastly, film. On Saturday night, I went to the movies with my Dad to see Birdman. We saw Les Miserables together a few years ago, and have been trying to get back to the theater to see something as good ever since. While we considered Into The Woods, when the time came, we both decided on Birdman. It looked funny, crude, and weird, and has plenty of Oscar buzz.

We were not disappointed. The only way I can describe it is as follows: It was weird as shit, and I loved every second of it. It's the first time I'd ever seen an Oscar nominated film that featured magical realism, of all things. It was crazy and wonderful, and in the end, powerful and poignant. But it was still funny; it didn't take itself too seriously. I myself was a big fan of the cinematography, in addition to all of the incredible performances. Seriously, every actor in this film BROUGHT IT. Emma Stone absolutely crushed it-- I was floored by her performance. She went from 0 to 60 back to 0 again all in a matter of minutes. It was actually beautiful to watch. Michael Keaton was obviously pretty stellar as well. I don't think I have the words to describe his performance, except to say that I think he completely deserved the Golden Globe, and here's hoping he gets that Oscar. And while I will admit to being nervous about seeing an R rated film with my Dad, I must say that it wasn't too inappropriate. How do I put this? It was crude without taking it too far, and the "F" words were used well. Essentially, it's not The Wolf of Wall Street. You can watch it with your (semi grown up) family.

So that's it! Those are the things I have been loving lately, which I would highly recommend to all of you! :)
I hope you all had a great weekend. My family and I are enjoying the snow day!

 -Fran