Calendars and society are telling me we’ve reached July, but I have my doubts. I’m just continually amazed by how quickly 2015 is flying by. What a difference a year makes. I remember feeling like June and July dragged on especially, what with that imminent college graduation and all. I have a certain boy band concert to attend at the beginning of August, so I can’t say I’ll be disappointed if July comes and goes just as fast as the rest of this year has. Enough stalling– I’ve got a monthly review to write!
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
I love Marina’s voice. The fiction portion of this collection inspires my own delusions of authorship, whirling from one artfully crafted snapshot of a moment to the next. I know any good writer is capable of what Keegan accomplished, but I still found myself awash in jealousy and awe as I read. Somehow, “Winter Break” and “Against the Grain” both made me feel like making that 2.5 hour drive home just so I could give my mom a hug and tell her I love her to her face. In fact, all of the non-fiction essays connected with me emotionally. “Stability in Motion” for the nostalgia factor alone. Keegan describes her 1990 Toyota Camry and mode of transportation through high school as “a place of comfort and solitude amid the chaos of my daily routine. My mind was free to wander, my muscles to relax. No one was watching or keeping score.” Just. Come on. Don’t you love that?
Paper Towns by John Green
“Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.”
It took almost 200 pages before I finally understood what it was about this book that I first loved so much, but once I did, oh boy. What with fresh-faced idiots labeling John Green the “savior of YA Lit” and then some, it’s difficult to take any of his work seriously. However, I once considered PT my favorite novel, and I knew the movie release was just around the corner. Two things that remain true to memory: the genuinely epic road trip sequence, and the pay-off at the end of the book. It is almost (not quite?) worth the terribly boring 100+ pages we spend suffering Quentin’s creepy obsession with Margo. I do love that moment when Q miraculously- finally- understands that the Manic Pixie Dream Girl image he has of Margo isn’t anything more than “an idea that [he] loved”; and when he acknowledges “how long, and how badly, [he] wrongly imagined her” you sort of feel like cheering.
Avengers: Age of Ultron in the spirit of full disclosure I will state that I do not consider this worth reviewing. It is as if Whedon wrote Avengers fanfiction, ran it by Marvel execs as a potential sequel idea and somehow turned it into what I can only describe as the most agonizing 140 minutes of my life. No stars.
Spy OK- I admit I went into this movie 75% invested in Jude Law’s return to the silver screen (Wes Anderson and thriller forays excluded) and the other 25% focused on the actual movie itself… but despite this, I loved Spy. Not only was Melissa McCarthy incredibly well cast, it is just an absolute blast to watch. Little things like the juxtaposition of a rodent-infested headquarters against the super sleek exoticism that abounds in tales of espionage just put Spy at the top for me. Also, Jude Law did not disappoint.
It’s worth noting that I watched Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomorrowland, and Pitch Perfect 2 in May, and proceeded to Not blog about May. Still feel like talking about them, though. Beautifully shot, Mad Max was absolutely one of the best films I have seen all year. I left the theater feeling like I hadn’t taken a breath in over three hours.
I went into Tomorrowland with almost no expectations and was blown away by the magical optimism of it all. I believe my friend Simoa stated it best when she said this was a movie Walt would be proud of. I’ve attached this quote displayed at the very end of Meet the Robinsons (2007) because it applies so well to the feeling I got while watching Tomorrowland.
Meanwhile, I had the highest expectations you can possibly imagine for Pitch Perfect 2 (Anna Kendrick and a capella… what could possibly go wrong?) and was marginally underwhelmed. What made 22 Jump Street funny was the constant reference to the fact that the film was basically exactly the same recipe as the first one, just with a larger budget. What made Pitch Perfect 2 unfunny and unlikeable for me was the obvious reliance on the popularity of the first movie… with a bigger budget. All/most of the song choices fall flat. Hailee Steinfeld works wonders, but as one of the few characters that is not recurring, this is not a huge surprise. When it was all over, I wanted to watch Pitch Perfect just to cleanse my soul of this gross attempt at a continuation of the original story.
Lately I have not been my usual cloud pic loving self, so I was glad to find this gem on my phone. I love a good sunset, but I think we can all agree the cloudy sky is what steals the show. I don’t know if the business (or rather, routine chaos) of my life is keeping me from taking stock of the natural beauty we get to see every day or what. But I hope I have more pictures of the sky to share come the end of July.
At the beginning of June I decided I wanted a haircut change without actually sacrificing the length of my hair. I honestly feel like I have been growing it out for years, when in reality it’s probably only been a couple of months or so. Either way, I decided to try out an undercut. I didn’t really get it as short as I’d have liked, and it’s definitely subtle– but I suspect this is a good thing. Better safe than sorry re: hairstyles. Always.
I spent the entire month of May completing a series of style dares on Instagram (most of the evidence has since been deleted because, you know, I have that ability…) so June’s style was severely lacking. That, and I don’t think you’d be surprised to find that spending most of my time at work does nothing to inspire my inner fashionista.
This blog is horrifically long and I am a monster.