The only body of water I’ve been into this summer includes aggressive dancing swans

What I am Into - Summer 2015
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Though this blog has chronicled much of what I’ve been into over the past years, my interests have been sometimes intermingled with other things, such as circling pigeons, sneezing grocery baggers, and a “My piano can beat up your piano” bumper sticker. So, I thought it would be nice, at least every once and a while, to record what I’m into in one place.

What I'm Into: Summer 2015I want to say that I got the idea to do this through the lovely Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy. I’ve also decided to participate in the “What I’m Into” linkup hosted by Leigh Kramer, who is a “proud book nerd,” a “connoisseur of fried pickles,” and hopes to one day wear a “fabulous hat and sip on a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby” (as an aside, I was born and raised in the Bluegrass and have never had a mint julep or been to the Derby, but I do possess a number of fabulous hats).

The linkup is once a month. I will aspire to a monthly “What I’m Into” post some glorious day in the future when I have more time to write but, for now, I will aim to share what I’ve been into once each season.

So here we go.

Things I’ve been into during the summer months:

Hill Street Blues

My boyfriend, Nez, has the complete Hill Street Blues series on DVD. I never watched the show when it aired. I missed most TV shows of the 80’s. Most pop culture for that matter. During those ten years I could not have identified Sam Malone, Axl Rose, or Ferris Bueller. That’s because I got married, birthed four children, started homeschooling, and had not yet had my Personal Renaissance (I did manage to see Back to the Future, though, because Michael J. Fox).

Anyway, we just started season five of Hill Street Blues and I’m still reeling from when Esterhaus died in season four (and I hope it’s okay to share a thirty year old spoiler). It’s a great show and gets better as it goes.

I’m looking forward to the last three seasons, but there will be a big Hill Street Blues hole in my life when it’s over. Similar to when we watched The West Wing. It starts to feel like you’re living with these people and know them personally. It’s sad when they’re no longer a regular part of one’s life.

Other TV shows we enjoyed: Grace & Frankie, Sense8, Daredevil, Soap (all on Netflix, except for Soap which we were first watching the old-fashioned way–on grainy VHS tapes of reruns–then we found the DVD set on sale–booyah).

Humphrey Bogart movies

Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen

Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen

This one is an “I started out being into it because my boyfriend was into it” and now it’s a “I’m into it because I want to be into it.”

Nez watched all 20+ Audrey Hepburn films with me when I had my Audrey-fest (which you will hear about one of these days, pinky swear). He’s been a big Bogart fan for years so that gave him the idea to watch every movie with Bogie in it. Nez has seen quite a few already but he wanted to fill in the gaps.

So far, of the early Bogart films we’ve seen (we’re watching them chronologically), I’ve liked Dead End (gritty, with important themes) and The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (diabolically witty) the most.

Other films/documentaries I’ve seen this summer: An Honest Liar, My Neighbor Totoro, The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, The Life & Death of Peter Sellers, and I re-watched all the Harry Potter movies with Ikuni (and apparently the two things one needs to burn through eight Harry Potter films in five days are time and a 28.8 ounce bag of gummi bears).

Lucius

I stumbled upon this dynamic duo and have been following them since. Here’s “Turn it Around,” the first song I heard by them from their debut album, Wildewoman:

Other music that’s caught my ear: St. Vincent (“Birth in Reverse”). I’ve also had my love for classical music reignited and am enjoying pieces by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Paganini, and others.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

The unique interpretation of the story (all the swans are male dancers) and the brilliant choreography in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake brings out the soulfulness of Tchaikovsky’s masterful score in a way I’ve never seen before (and I’ve seen a whole flock of Swan Lakes).

One reviewer says, speaking about a live stage production, that Bourne uses “the raw ingredients of the classic ballet but also [creates] an engrossing fresh narrative all of its own.” I totally agree.

Something else–it just makes sense to have more aggressive swans…I mean, have you met a swan? Still, though the piece emphasizes male dancers, the female roles are strong, well-developed, and diverse.

I’ve watched two filmed versions–the original cast (filmed in 1996) and the 2011 production. I recommend the latter to those not familiar with the ballet, mostly because of how the prince is cast and played.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

I’m reading again! I started Stranger in a Strange Land like, um, four years ago. I finally picked it back up.

In fact, if you have 17 minutes and 2 seconds you can learn all about my non-reading woes and what I’m doing about it in the video below. You’ll be rewarded with a cute picture of our interfering albeit adorable cat at the end.

My goal is to one day be able to read like I did in the past, with at least two or three books going at the same time. But, for now, I’m concentrating on Heinlein’s influential science fiction novel about Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised by Martians who has amazing intelligence, childlike innocence, and is apparently the best kisser in the universe.

I’m on page 183 of Stranger in a Strange Land, by the way, and feeling no guilt over my turtle like speed. I’m reading, and that’s what matters.

So, what are you into?

P.S. The foot in the graphic above is not mine. I’ve never stood on a diving board in my life.

P.P.S. Ikuni read this post and commented on how cute it was that the play button covered my nose on the YouTube video. “It’s like I’m cyber-booping your nose every time I click it.”
Image by Jenni C (cc cropped, tinted, text added)

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6 comments

  1. How fun that you two are watching all of Bogie’s films! This makes me want to rewatch all the good old films.

    Thanks for linking up with What I’m Into!

    • Hi, Leigh!

      I thought I had comments set to post automatically but apparently not! Duh.

      But, thanks so much for dropping by. I love your linkup idea and hope to participate again in the future.

  2. Hi there! I’m visiting from Leigh’s linkup. We started Sense8 on Netflix, too. Fascinating premise! I’ll have to check out some of the others you mentioned. Have a great September!

    • Thanks for visiting, Sarah!

      We loved Sense8 and are anxiously looking forward to the next season!

  3. You had me at ‘aggressive dancing swans’ – but seriously – loved Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake! I totally agree with you – his version much more suits how I think swans are, and it was a fascinating story in its own right. Plus – his particular aesthetic genius lies in the fact that he puts his men not in tights, but in baggy trousers and bare torso.

    Anyway…! I’m coming to you via Leigh Kramer’s place – I blog on being real with God in hard times over at Thorns and Gold and I’ve written a book called ‘Coming Back to God When You Feel Empty’ (free on my blog) – lovely to connect with you!

    • Nice to meet you, Tanya!

      And the baggy trousers work so much better than tights. 🙂

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