Humblebrag: Things You Should Know About

Because I’m constantly doing awesome things, I decided it’s only fair to share the wealth. Here’s a quick rundown of some things that made me happy last week:

Runkeeper’s Running for Fat Loss I’ve been pretty lazy for the last month or so when it comes to running. I have another 5k coming up in about three weeks, so I decided to get back into training a few weeks ago. I’ve used Runkeeper for my training over the last seven months, usually using the Beginner 5k workouts as my guide. I switched over to the Running for Fat Loss program to focus on maintaining a slower pace for a longer amount of time versus the widely varying (but, in my experience, highly effective) Beginner 5k workouts. I’ve seen great increases in my endurance and stamina. With time, I expect my speed to increase as well.

Call Me by Your Name Want to get swept away by a romance? Want to remember that feeling of a budding crush that drives you absolutely insane? Want to remember that excitement of the first skin-to-skin contact with your beloved? Want to remember falling in love in the most exquisite language? Then read Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman. I read this book over the weekend and promptly gave to it a friend to read because the poetry in the description was to beautiful to leave it to myself. It reminded me that falling in love isn’t something you make happen. It happens to you in a uniquely earth-shattering way. This is basically a novel-length musing on love and lust that takes place on the Italian riviera and it’s gorgeous because how could a novel whose setting is the Italian riviera not be beautiful?

Best read by Oshkosh's version of the Italian Riviera. This angle does capture the screaming children feeding the dirty gulls.

Best read by Oshkosh’s version of the Italian Riviera. Unfortunately, this angle doesn’t capture the screaming children feeding the dirty gulls.

Videogum’s Breaking Bad Recaps Not to belabor the point, but I really like Breaking Bad. I also really like humor. And when the two are combined, it’s like my wildest dreams coming true. Not be dramatic or anything. I first heard of Videogum from Stereogum, back in the days when I was a music snob and only listened to music produced by weirdos in New York basements. Videogum is great for topical and viral humor, as well as tv show recaps. I forgot about the site for a while, but when Breaking Bad came back, I remembered their hilarious recaps. I don’t want to give anything away, but they definitely called Todd an “obedient child-murderer who ruined our Jesse” in this one. New recaps are posted each Monday.

Child murderer. Straight up child murderer

Humblebrag: Things You Should Know About

Because I’m constantly doing awesome things, I decided it’s only fair to share the wealth. Here’s a quick rundown of some things that made me happy last week:

Breaking Bad Insider Podcast It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Breaking Bad. It’s the best show on television. Smartly created. Masterful character development. Beautiful camera work. Nuanced motifs and themes. Incredible plot and pacing. It’s essentially a mega-movie that consumes your life until you complete the 4.5 seasons available on Netflix. I’ve seen each episode about three times, so I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I’m only now discovering the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast. Each episode lasts about an hour long and features intense discussion between the show’s editor, Kelley Dixon, and various guests (Vince Gilligan, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, etc.)  about the most recently aired episode. I always knew there was a massive deal of work that went into making something that comes together as seamlessly as Breaking Bad, but these discussions really solidify the immense work required to make a show as cool as this. Check out the latest episode (and archive) here.

Okay, Jesse Pinkman. I’ll keep your meth-cooking a secret as long as you always have that bad boy stubble.

Plex I’ve had a Roku for about a year and I love it. I’m able to watch my Netflix and Hulu on my television (did you hear? I no longer have to watch on a tube tv!) without 10 different cords and three remotes. All it requires is two cords and two remotes. However, I did not know that I’m able to wirelessly watch all the videos on my computer using my Roku by downloading the Plex Media Server on my computer and getting the Plex channel on Roku. It only took about 15 minutes to set up too – and I am basically an infant when it comes to electronics and wifi configuration settings. I’m pretty proud that I discovered this without Corey’s help. Get more information about Plex here.

Miranda July When prompted to discuss my mood about last week, I told my family, “Everything is bullshit.” I spent most of the week with a perpetual headache, living off of minor sleep (my own fault – my weekly Stitch & Bitch with Mindy is so enjoyable that it keeps going later, and it’s vital that I read half a novel before sleeping, apparently), eating whatever my hormones dictated (“CARBS” was the only thing I heard, apparently), and running with new shoes that give me blisters on my both insteps. Nothing terrible happened last week, I was just burnt out from being around people constantly. On Saturday, I spent a few hours at the beach reading Miranda July’s collection of short stories titled “No One Belongs Here More Than You.” The combination of sun, warm PB&J, and silly-sad stories was exactly what I needed. Her stories were strange, beautiful, and a bit haunting. I plowed through the whole book in an afternoon, so many of the stories are a blur. I’m sure I missed a ton, but the experience renewed my sense of enchantment with the world. And we could all use a little of that, right? She’s also cool enough to have a super minimalist website that is SO HIPSTER, but whatever. Want to be enchanted by your surroundings? Read her stories.

No One Belongs Here More Than You

Don’t worry, I kept the dust jacket on at the beach so everyone knew I was reading a book they probably wouldn’t understand.

What’s making you happy these days? I promise to give you credit if it’s not something I’ve already discovered.

My Halloween Weekend as a Cat & Jesse Pinkman

I did something weird this weekend. I went out Friday AND Saturday night. This is unusual for me for a couple reasons. The first is obvious – I don’t go out very often. I’m not usually a fan of bars. I don’t have a ton of money. I like to sleep, and when I get tired, I don’t like waiting on other people to decide to call it a night. The second is that it’s Halloween, and I don’t really like Halloween.

As a child, I didn’t like the creepiness of it. I’ve never planned a costume. Even when I went trick or treating, it was always some costume my mom and I threw together before I grabbed my plastic pumpkin bucket. I was usually a pioneer girl. Why? Because that’s what I usually had on hand. As I grew up, I learned that Halloween is a time for girls to get away with wearing lingerie in public and for boys to hide their excitement beneath conveniently bulky costumes. I started to hate it because I have neither the body nor the confidence to wear a corset and tutu while ordering a 7&7 in front of a group of strangers. I did the slutty costume thing once – I was a “Sexy Camper” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) The costume cost way too much and was purposefully lost during my move from Milwaukee to Oshkosh.

I’m ashamed when I think of that costume. I bought it knowing that I didn’t want to look like a slutty girl in a re-appropriated Boy Scout uniform. I really wanted to dress up like Audrey Hepburn, but I thought I would feel uncomfortable with all the other girls wearing dresses that skimmed their cheeks. But I wore it anyway, and spent the night yanking the cheap spandex down and cursing when the iron-on patches fell off the chest.

The year I dressed up like a substitute teacher (pencil skirt, vintage-cut sweater, smeared makeup, paper airplane in my hair, “kick me” sign taped to my back) was the year I decided to stop caring if I looked slutty enough. I decided to stop feeling inadequate because I had less skin showing than Bo Peep or the Sexy Clownfish (yeah, that’s a real costume). Maybe it was the women’s studies classes I took, or maybe it was because I didn’t like my thighs. The result was the same – I felt better not presenting myself like a trashy fairy tale character. So what if guys weren’t trying to rub against me? I didn’t want that anyway. I think that’s what bothers me most about teens and 20-somethings dressing up for Halloween: it brings out the desperate and animal characteristics in women and men.

Sure, the polite conventions of sexual tension are just facades, but I like them. We all have those hungry urges, Halloween just allows us to advertise them. And though I’m blatant about some things, when it comes to romance and affection, I prefer it to be a bit more subdued and eloquent. If a guy shows interest, I’m not naive to his intentions, I just enjoy prolonging the illusion that we’re self-controlled beings instead of animals.

My room is always spotless, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Anyway, I didn’t mean for this to turn into a rant on the sexual politics of Halloween costumes. It’s not exactly a unique topic anyway. I’ll segue by saying that I dressed as a sort of sexy cat for Friday night. I think the long sleeves and the fact that I wore a puffy vest most of the night negates the obvious sluttiness of the initial costume. I’m also pretending not to notice the obvious similarity to a Playboy Bunny, because UGH. I took women’s studies classes, so I can wear cat ears, but never bunny ears. Obvi. That’s what we call feminism, people.

On Friday night, Andrea and I stopped by a party in Oshkosh, then went to Peabody’s where we listened to some great live music. We had a guy introduce himself three times in five minutes. Then another guy threw a tantrum because instead of waiting for him to order me a beer, I bought my own. I’m pretty sure that’s where I’ll meet my future husband.

Bathroom pic with a Shel Silverstein book because we’re classy

On Saturday night, I wasn’t feeling the cat ears. My brother suggested I go to Home Depot and get a yellow hazmat suit, use his gas mask and be Jesse Pinkman. I didn’t want to buy a hazmat suit, so I went as Jesse Pinkman getting a breath of fresh air (and a beer) from a meth cook.

Jesse Pinkman probably has a metal sculpture of a tree above his kitchen sink, right?

Andrea lent me her leather jacket (I need to get one – the second I put it on, I felt like a badass). Corey lent me his gas mask, beanie, and big red magnet. I was hoping that when someone asked me what I was, I could point to the magnet and say, “Yeah bitch! Magnets!” and he would understand. That only happened twice. In the end, I just told curious people I was a hazmat worker and they should watch better television.

Not sure why this is the face I think Jesse Pinkman would make, but let’s go with it.

All in all, I had a surprisingly fun Halloween weekend and I went into work on Monday with my dignity in tact, which is more than I can say about the year I dressed like a scout.

The following photos are courtesy of my friends Kaleigh (the pinup Rosie the Riveter) and Andrea (the adorable kitty).

I hope you all had similar fun weekends. Stay safe and keep blooming.