What I’m Into :: August 2014

What I'm Into :: August 2014

Ahhh, the end of August, you’re the best. We’re saying goodbye to summer (which makes me sweat) and saying hello to school (which makes me smile). And best of all? The end of you means the beginning of fall. And fall is my favorite.

That doesn’t mean August is all bad, of course! It’s not. Really. {What’s that? I’m protesting too much? Psh.}

Seriously, this August has been full of family drama and blistering high temperatures. (Yes, fine, after a gloriously mild summer. But I don’t care how many nice days we’ve had, the nasty hot ones still make me mad. I am reasonable that way.) So I’m doubly thankful for What I’m Into this month – both because it means the end of a less-than-awesome month and the chance to remember the GOOD things that have been going on.

Here we go!

Reading August 2014

What I’m Reading

Lucky for me, it’s been a season of book reviews around here. I’ve had four (FOUR!) recent posts about books, and I have another one coming up next month. But that’s not all I’ve been reading!

The ones I’ve already mentioned: The Cure for the “Perfect” Life, Dark Hope, and The Best Time Travel Books of All Time

The ones on sale until Monday: Jesus Calling

Other books I’ve read: The first book in the Katie Parker series by Jenny B. Jones (Christian YA by one of my favorite authors) was on sale not too long ago and reminded me that while I’d read that first one, I hadn’t read the other two. So I fixed that problem. Oh – and to make it even better? Jenny is releasing a follow-up novella soon, so I’ll find out what’s happened to the main character since the series ended!)

I also read the fourth book of Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series, Silenced. I enjoyed it a lot more than the third book, thankfully. I’ve so enjoyed this series that reminds me – in all good ways – of Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series, and I’m glad there’s still one more book to come. I hope Pettrey continues writing after she completes this series. I like her mix of suspense and romance, and she writes good dialogue (the most important thing to me).

The ones I’m reading right now: Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, Deluge by Lisa Tawn Bergren, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, and Power Play by Catherine Coulter.

Basically I need to take a week off from life and just read. That’s the dream…

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What I’m Watching

You guys. Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy? It is SO GOOD. Completely hilarious.

Look, I was wary. I only know Chris Pratt as schlubby-but-lovable Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation, and despite his ab selfie heard ’round the world, I just wasn’t sure he could pull off space cowboy hero.

Well, he did. And the other characters were great, too. (Not so much the big bad – sorry, Lee Pace – though.) The story itself isn’t anything innovative, but the movie is just pure fun and seriously funny. It reminded me of Star Wars, with more colors and less drama. I loved it. You [probably] will, too.

As for TV, we’re entering the end-of-summer wasteland now, as summer shows wrap up and we wait for new and returning shows to begin their fall seasons. I’ll talk more about those upcoming shows soon, but for now, I’ll report that I’ve been watching the same old, same old: Perception, Suits, Covert Affairs, Franklin & Bash, and So You Think You Can Dance. They’re all fantastic.

Especially Suits – holy cow, tell me somebody else is still reeling from the last few minutes of that finale!

Maddie & Tae

What I’m Listening To

Hold on, folks, because I’m about to get up on a soap box.

Now, if you don’t like country music, you might want to skim this section. (NOT THAT YOU EVER DO THAT.) But I do like country music. I love it, as a matter of fact. It – along with Barry Manilow, Chicago, the Beach Boys, Lionel Ritchie and hymns – is the music of my childhood. And, I’m not ashamed to say, it’s the music of my adulthood as well.

In the past year or so the biggest sub-genre of country is, well, I don’t know what it’s called. Country rock? Bro-country? (I saw that somewhere. I swear on my George Strait CDs I did not make it up.) Whatever it’s called, it’s fun. It’s loud and pretty much all about having a good ol’ time and not relevant to my own personal life, but I like it a lot. (Except when they add rapping, and then I have a problem.)

So I like this current trend except for one thing. What I don’t like (in addition to the rapping situation, in case you forgot) is the lame songwriting. I’m not talking about the fact that we have both a song called “Dirt” and a song called “Dust” playing on the radio right now. I am not even worked up about two songs – off the top of my head! – that start (THAT START!) with the word, “damn,” negating all attempts I make to only listen to profanity-free music when Annalyn is in the car, no matter how fast my ears and station-surfing fingers are.

No, I’m sick and tired of songs using empty words and phrases that mean absolutely nothing at all. Like “This is How We Roll,” “Yeah,” “Where It’s At,” and “All Alright.” I’d include, “Aww Nah,” but forgive me, I love that one. I just feel like, as a society, as a world in which talented songwriters live, WE CAN DO BETTER.

Right? CAN’T WE?

I don’t know. Maybe you all don’t care. But I just needed to get that off my country-loving chest.

Also, it’s funny. Because though I’ve been annoyed by the bizarre prevalence of rapping and the loss of decent turns of phrases in these country songs I otherwise love (I do. Honest.), it never once occurred to me to be offended as a woman. Even though these songs? They really are pretty stereotypically sexist. Nope. I’ve just sung along, forgetting everything I ever learned in COMM 560 Women’s Rhetoric (aka, one of my favorite college classes ever).

That is, until I heard the brilliance of “Girl in a Country Song” by the talented (and adorable) Maddie & Tae. Guys, these two 18-year-olds debuted this summer, swinging at some of the biggest names in country right now with their first song. They mock all these obnoxious lyrics in the best way. All in good fun, but still. Maddie and Tae can’t just play the guitar and sing. They’ve got nerve!

This song – it’s hilarious and catchy and, oh my word, SO TRUE. I love it. And I still love the other songs. But this is priceless.

Also, for you pop music lovers, I’m also going all girl power with All About That Bass. (And anything Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato or the likes of them sing. And Taylor Swift’s new song. Because yes, I am 14, thank you for asking.)

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What I’m Eating and/or Cooking

Well. See. The thing is…I’m tired all the time. So I wanted to try to learn to drink coffee. But coffee is gross. It is! I know. Everyone else in the world loves it, but I don’t. I want to, but I don’t. But I’m tired. So I keep trying it.

And then…well…I found a coffee drink I like.

Unfortunately it comes with a whole lot of sugar and about a million (or 600) calories. Even without whip.

OOPS.

Seriously, though, I have discovered the McDonald’s Frappe. And it is delicious and wonderful and I want one every day. Mocha or caramel, doesn’t matter. I love them equally. And I always get it without whip, but I looked up the calories and some things you can’t unsee. You know?

So I’m not sure if I’ve made any progress in my effort to learn to drink coffee. More likely I’ve just gained a few pounds. I mean…I’m not even sure if these delicious drinks give me any more energy! They just taste SO GOOD.

Maybe next month I’ll have something better for you in this department. But for now, I’m not gonna lie. I’m all about the bass AND the frappe.

How about you?

What were YOU into this month? Tell us in the comments!

I’m linking up with my friend Leigh at What I’m Into.

{Frappe Photo Source}

Dark Hope: A Book Review

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A List of Things to Tell You

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