things i am watching and/or reading and/or listening to instead of doing my work
double infected ears edition
“grey street” dave matthews band
saturday november 6 was the greatest night of my otherwise miserable life, without question. because, for the first time since adrienne vogel gave me her copy of under the table and dreaming sitting in the grass outside the arts wing of our high school in 1994, i got to see david matthews, the object of my undying affection, live in concert. the thrill wasn’t even dulled by the fact that i had a double ear infection at the time, which is wild because i bet you didn’t realize a toddler was writing this. i had a killer headache for a week but i assumed it was because i buy too many pairs of internet glasses (i’m stopping that immediately), so i scheduled an eye exam but went to urgent care just in case and the doctor looked in my ear and just said “WOW” which was humiliating! so when i went to the show i was on a horse-killing amount of augmentin and felt like someone brained me with a heavy tree limb, but not even two ears filled to overflowing with rotten fluid was gonna keep me from my true love, and i was not even a little bit disappointed. the show started on time because dave understands both his target audience and our early bedtimes, they played many jams including “you and me” and “seek up,” plus i got to see what it looks like when thousands of your dads get drunk and dances to flute music. also: i am very old and have been to very many shows, but literally nothing comes close to the moment when dave (and all 10,000+ people in van andel including myself) screamed “yeahhhhhhhhh!” during the closer “grey street.” the serotonin that flooded my brain at that moment 2:55-ish into the song? ENOUGH TO POWER A CAR. i’m serious, i felt my soul leave my body and my depression was cured for the duration of the show. simply incredible stuff.
OH MY FUCKING GOODNESS. we watched the first two episodes of this show last night and i am absolutely gagging for more. i’m not sure there has ever been a show more specifically targeted to me and my interests and i cannot handle how good it is? it’s spooky and gory and disgusting and funny and also like lost mated with lord of the flies while listening to smashing pumpkins siamese dream on repeat, and even that vivid description isn’t really doing it any justice. 90s teens listening to hole while boning and doing drugs and plotting murders?????? INJECT IT INTO MY LARGEST VEIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i want a hundred more episodes, minimum. you can watch the first episode (directed by the god karyn kusama!!!) on youtube here for free, trust me it fucking rules.
brian moylan’s vulture recaps of selling sunset
yes i watched the entire new season already, because it goes down easy like potato chips and also it’s the kind of show you either watch in one fell swoop or you don’t bother watching at all? i’m trying to imagine myself being like “let me pause here and get back to this later” and i just can’t. but a thing i can do is watch a television program and then spend many minutes of my free time reading what someone else thinks, often in excruciating detail, about the same television program we both just watched. anyway i am a huge brian moylan stan, his housewives recaps are high art, and when i saw he was recapping this new season of the most boring (?) pointless (??) yet completely captivating (???) show on netflix i gobbled that shit right up.
love life season 2
i didn’t watch the good place because i’ve had *just* enough intense religious education to feel weird watching a show about hell. so i didn’t really know who william jackson harper was until i suffered through midsommar, rolling my eyes like “that black dude wouldn’t be at this shit.” come on! he wouldn’t!!! i never watched the first season of this show but i saw a trailer for the second season and thought it looked cool, totally forgot about it, then was reminded by an ad, forgot again, and found my way to it by accident. i don’t know how to describe things, as you know, but it’s such a realistic depiction of the fits and starts of dating and relationships and every supporting character could get their own spinoff that i’d gladly watch. it’s like the heir apparent to love jones (the #1 best romantic movie, fight me) but funnier and with less poetry. bolu (!!!!) profiled wjh in the cut and it’s a great profile, he’s great, the show is GREAT, etc etc etc.
“90s dad thrillers: a list” max read’s substack
my pal mark just sent me this (i became a paying subscriber immediately), the perfect blog about the only good genre of movie: tommy lee jones (or someone just like him) angrily yelling about something +/- some old man fighting. as a person who falls asleep every night bathed in the blue glow of a few good men muted on the television on my dresser, i am something of an expert in these movies, if you understand “expert” to mean “i have seen the long kiss goodnight upwards of 1000 times.” anyway this newsletter is the only thing i want to read for the rest of my life.
i am begging you to watch this show. here is a trailer for the second season. what do i have to say to get you to watch this show? do i need to get on my knees and plead??? well, i won’t be doing THAT because my leg is fucked up and i will literally die wherever i kneel, BUT: consider this the newsletter version of me standing in a damp trenchcoat outside your bedroom window with a boombox blasting an old school boolumaster juke mix. i’m in love with you, now please go watch every available episode of this hilarious show.
succession season 3
i mean……………………what is there even left to say??? i read the recaps, i listen to several of the associated podcasts, i dedicated an issue of this newsletter to some sexy roman and gerri fanfiction, i’m in a group chat called “welcome to clown town” with two of my best mates who send conhead memes to me against my will every day: I AM THOROUGHLY OBSESSED WITH THIS SHOW. i’m so glad it’s back and i’m kinda bummed that we’re somehow already halfway through the season??????? you already know this and don’t need me to tell you but it’s great, especially if you like sexual political tension and don’t mind watching rich shitheads be mean to each other inside fancy apartments and hotel suites.
“papi’s home” drake
i’m not a full album listener. not anymore. i’m too fucking old, i can’t pay attention to shit, someone is always talking to me or asking me to do something or texting me about a thing i forgot, the dog is barking his head off at a ghost in the pitch black backyard, the ups man needs me to sign away a kidney for a package he dropkicked to the front door, food has to get cooked, there’s a show on tv that if i don’t watch i will die: long gone are the days when i could lock myself in a quiet room and listen to an album from beginning to end. i can’t even do it in the fucking car anymore, because where the hell am i going, menard’s? homegoods?? fresh thyme??? those places are seven minutes from where i live! i’d have to buy my groceries one item at a time to make it work!!!!!!! anyway, this song scratches a lot of my favorite itches: pointless braggadocio, a midtempo beat, drake singing “daddy’s home” in a very sexy way.
i stopped watching/paying attention to the news in january because i was tired of having my blood pressure spike at regular intervals throughout the day? i don’t know how to describe that feeling when your shoulders creep toward your earlobes and your back knots up because you’ve heard too many senators voices during your regular person day, but i had to quit knowing things or else i was gonna lose my fucking mind. i deleted msnbc and cnn from my tv lineup, i continue to ignore the newspaper that is delivered to our house until i need kindling for the wood stove, i deactivated my twitter because i simply am not meant to have this many people’s opinions thrust into my eyeballs every day. also it’s goddamn demoralizing to have to seek out nine separate verifiable sources just to get to the truth, so i’d rather just not know shit. the only thing i miss about twitter is that i have no idea what’s happening in pop culture, but i have filled that void with a handful of podcasts, especially this one from the cbc that is so smart and thoughtful and funny even when they’re talking about viral tiktoks and shit i will never see/probably not understand. i appreciate listening to people who can articulate why a piece of art is good (OR BAD) and these dudes do a good job distilling zeitgeisty things so that a senior citizen like myself can understand them. a warning: THEY’RE CANADIAN. the first time i heard amil say “PRO-cess” i threw my phone against the wall in a rage while shouting “usa! usa!” aww don’t get mad, my northern brethren, it’s just a little humour.
only murders in the building
okay i don’t use the word “delightful” in everyday life but this fucking shit is d e l i g h t f u l and i’m sad i finished the series because i could watch a dozen more episodes, at least. it’s so clever, plus jaboukie is in it! also i would watch martin short read the fucking dictionary.
american crime story: impeachment
as a devoted you’re wrong about listener i am no stranger to the idea that what little i remember about Important Cultural Events that happened when i was a kid is distorted and inaccurate and warped by time. every time we revisit one of these stories i’m like “wait that’s what that was actually about???” i can’t even tell you what i knew about monica lewinsky other than my feeling a deep secondhand sadness for how her name was dragged through the tonight show mud or whatever. watching the show i know i’m old as hell because my main takeaways are:
“i wish linda tripp didn’t feel like she had to eat all that lowfat soup”
“if i was 22 i definitely woulda boned the president and probably also gone to jail”
“SHOULDN’T THIS INCREDIBLY POWERFUL MAN BE FIXING THE DEFICIT OR SOMETHING???????”
lmao the government was shut all the way down and dude was like “ok but…………..blowjob” and i love fucking up at work too but not at the expense of the us economy??????????? it’s wild that he just, you know, got to keep being president? after gaslighting and ghosting his on-and-off again girlfriend??? i watched the entire series like “who does this motherfucker think he is, every man i’ve ever dated??????” anyway the show is very ~ryan murphy~ which i mean as a compliment, beanie acts her little ass off, little tom hanks is in it as is that weirdly aggressive redhead i liked from the affair, my friend ashlie plays juanita broaddrick, i learned more about government watching this shit than i did in high school—it’s good.
inside the nba
i’ve already talked (too much, probably) about how much sports-related television i consume in lieu of facts or actual news, and while i will happily watch pretty much any sports punditry made available to me, my favorites will forever be ernie, kenny, shaq, and chuck, and their many, many clips on youtube.
reprieve james han mattson
“a chilling and blisteringly relevant literary novel of social horror centered around a brutal killing that takes place in a full-contact haunted escape room—a provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession with fear as entertainment.” i…don’t know that i would describe it this way? because this description sounds like the opposite of the kind of shit i’m into (i do not ever want to “explore capitalism” or “race politics” or whatever) but thankfully reprieve isn’t really like that, in short it’s about a haunted house and the people who work there and it is fucking excellent.
the real housewives of potomac
i almost forgot to put this in here but then i was thinking about how much i like listening to danny pellegrino recap the episodes on his podcast, and i feel like i don’t know anyone irl who loves this show as much as i do but goddamn do i love this show. the entire cast is outstanding and they are so rude and mean to each other but they’re also glamorous as hell??? if i could write a dissertation (i can’t!) i would devote it to le grande dame karen huger and her reign as the queen of surrey county. there are many bravo housewives who hold pieces of my heart (luann! marlo! garcelle! that one bitch who threw her prosthetic leg!!) but karen’s chunk is the biggest. potomac is the best franchise, without question, and i’m so sad this season is over.
the great british baking show
i’m not breaking any news here but this shit is so soothing and lovely and everyone is so nice to each other and i watched the finale the other night and WEPT THROUGH IT. no spoilers but………………….*sob*