Discover more from warm cups of tea
It’s me again! Sorry for being subject to the winds of time and whims of myself and thus sending two of these within a week. :-)
I can’t believe it’s the end of June; the first half of this month really has passed through in a whirl, shaken my life like that tiny earthquake that passed through Melbourne a few months ago. It really was a minor quake, and, well, this is still quite recognisably my life, if shaken up a little. Anyway! Lists! Exciting.
Statistics! From last.fm, as always.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Florence + the Machine
So true. IVE album had a grip on me for a while, it really is very good. I also had days of listening mostly to The National and then to Carly Rae Jepsen (on different days), which is what happens when you are me.
Self Love - Metro Boomin ft. Coi Leray
Don’t Delete the Kisses - Wolf Alice
Lost the Breakup - Maisie Peters
Bad Ideas - Tessa Violet
All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem
I’m on Fire - Bruce Springsteen
Groceries - Mallrat
Sparks Fly - Taylor Swift
Good Behaviour - Linying
Crush - Tessa Violet
Time. I was having one. Absolutely enamoured by ‘Self Love’ from the ATSV soundtrack. The whole soundtrack is fantastic but this is the one that really scratches something in my brain. ‘Lost the Breakup’ by Maisie Peters song of the year. The rest are songs <3
real flop months for reading. we persist.
American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis. Okay I liked it. Patrick Bateman’s narration is incredibly well constructed, the claustrophobia of being in his mind and motonony of being in his day-to-day life reconstructed quite well in the text itself. I did find the sexual violence excessive; I do get it, it’s just that I got it quite early on and then it continued. I think Bret Easton Ellis is an interesting artist.
This Time It’s Real, Ann Liang. Really the best way I can describe this book is ‘cinematic’. The writing is vivid and lovely and everything falls into place exactly as you would expect, whilst at the same time the development of the romance is genuinely very sweet. Feels a little like a To All the Boys for this decade? The kind of comforting read for teenagers in particular holding onto the idea that romance is real and out there.
Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson. The tumblr post that says ‘i love reading a book that i’m slightly too stupid for’. Loved this nevertheless, conceptually brilliant and then Carson does have this way of arranging words and images that is quite singular to me. Geryon you will always be famous I think.
A Scatter of Light, Malinda Lo. Lo mentions in her Author’s Note that A Scatter of Light was first seeded in 2012, meaning that for a decade she has been wanting to capture a specific experience at a specific time (the book is set in 2013 and makes references grounding it in 2013). This perhaps suggests why the book does feel a little self-indulgent, which to be clear I am entirely in favour of always. Anyway, I enjoyed that there was no tidy romantic narrative, that the emphasis was on the protagonist Aria coming out and finding herself with the acknowledgement that this process is far from straightforward. Also just gay people are messy.
Bunny, Mona Awad. It was a book. I genuinely cannot think of much more to say. I didn’t think this was very good or memorable but I liked just enough of it to be curious about Awad’s other work so there is this.
Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan. Sadly I think that I will have to pay the library to replace this book because it got water damage :( But that is okay because I liked it a lot :) A small, understated novel that fills a basin with the story of one life in one Irish town.
Obit, Victoria Chang. A map of grief and its variants. Fascinated by the metaphors in here, and the way ideas are spun out. Unfortunately I did think that the same concept of poetic obituaries was reproduced too many times across the book for it to hold sustained impact, and then later engagements with the political climate felt underdeveloped. That’s okay because I enjoy words <3
Still reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Hoping to sit down and read Aristotle’s Poetics as well as various other plays and texts that should not take long in theory but we will see.
film + tv
I HAVE been watching things — uncommon me behaviour. Mostly I have been watching things with other people, which I do enjoy immensely. Here are some thoughts.
Succession (2018-2023). I’M FREE. WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. In all sincerity, this is a good show and I thought that s4 was overall solid viewing, if occasionally mixed. I genuinely enjoyed being part of the viewing crowd. An online event for the ages etc. Season 4 episode 3 Connor’s Wedding you will always always be famous + I found the finale quite fantastic. Just also went insane once a week for ten weeks.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). Rewatching with Jordan still, and also watching random episodes at other times for funsies. It’s how it goes. Mostly out of extreme hyperfixation Buffy era but like. Love this show. Buffy Summers you are everything [repeated refrain].
Babyteeth (2019). Very sweet and gorgeous. The Mallrat needle drop was one of the primary reasons I watched this and it did deliver. Many other elements that were so great to me: pool scene, coming-of-age narrative, heartwrenching beach scene to end. Does veer towards melodrama/cliché at times but always manages to pull back with how very sincere it all feels.
The Watermelon Woman (1996). Lesbians making things with heart and humour! Huge fan. The meta-textual element of this film (made as a mockumentary in which a director traces the life of ‘the watermelon woman’ and thereby emphasises the erasure of Black lesbians from history/on film) was incredibly done.
Les Misérables (2012). Showed this movie to my friend Claudia who had not seen it. What a movie. Genuinely think it is a great movie adaption of a musical (and does deliver on the spirit of the book) even if it is a terrible version of the musical. Love you les mis <3 It IS a future that they bring when tomorrow comes <3
What We Do in the Shadows (2019-?). Fun show! Big fan of the deadpan comedy style, I do feel like it resonates quite a lot with my own humour. :3
10 Things I Hate About You (1999). I hadn’t seen this in years and years, though I do sometimes visit the poem scene. Really quite fond, and the soundtrack is spectacular.
She’s the Man (2006). Watched this as a double feature with 10 Things and it really is a great time, I love a rom-com.
The Social Network (2010). Jordan and I will just watch The Social Network not much more to say here. Literally a perennial classic in the charts of my bedroom. ‘good luck with your video game’.
The Godfather (1972) + The Godfather Part II (1974). With ganseyline, now also known as ‘michael corleone examiners intl’. Genuinely incredible films, I do think I prefer the first but both are so well-thought out and executed. Michael Corleone your big sad brown eyes, turned dull and lifeless by an entanglement in a cycle of violence enforced by the familial structure, have captivated me.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002). Unfortunately think this was quite formative. Specifically, seeing Keira Knightley in this movie was and continues to be an experience. Also, we all understand that Jess and Jules should have been lesbians but Bend It Like Beckham does have a shocking amount of homophobia in the dialogue for a movie that is not about being gay and that tries to implement a love triangle of all things.
But I’m A Cheerleader (1999). I’ve been meaning to watch this for AGES and finally did. 10 Things → She’s the Man → Bend It Like Beckham → BIAC really is an evolution of rom-coms getting progressively more gay, thank you my friend Claudia for pointing this out.
XO, Kitty (2023-?). Almost forgot to add this one, actually genuinely wild to me how many things I have been watching. This show is messy as hell but I enjoyed it okay. Also quite clearly capitalising on the Hallyu wave, which I find amusing. Yuri Han’s story did make me genuinely emotional and also I can’t not support the fact that they made a Kitty Song show and made her bisexual. Somi’s ‘What You Waiting For?’ playing while Yuri and Kitty are in the car together in episode one genuinely + unironically great viewing.
Thunderball (1965). Had never watched a James Bond movie in my life before being shown this installment from the 60s and well. It is certainly a movie. They certainly had underwater filming in this movie. I did have a good time. Some of the outfits slapped severely.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018). Wheeeeee Jordan and I watched this and it really was brilliant, at the time of release and also now. Like, I love a rom-com  and this has all the wonder and drama of the greats. Genuinely nice to see an East Asian lead inside here and then of course Lara Jean Song had an unparalleled impact on my style and my life more generally. Little changes from the book that still annoyed my brain but we will live.
Across the Spider-Verse (2023) (twice). Possibly the current heights of art and animation and enforced by fantastic storytelling. Miles Morales was already brilliant and then they added a new layer of being 16 and trying to find who you are and where you belong, as well as the struggle to be a teenager with parents and a parent with teenagers. Which is of course all entwined with <3 Gwen Stacy’s storyline <3 I love you Gwen Stacy <3 The Miles-Gwen-Pavitr-Hobie truly so important to me. Not a fan of the police being in there and specifically the notion of good police existening generally, and I do think a similar plot could unfold with not those choices, but. Everything else. What a movie can’t wait to watch it again.
Titanic (1997). butch/femme lesbian movie for the ages and I am only kind of joking. They put lesbianism in this movie.
D.E.B.S. (2004). They put lesbianism in this movie as well but textually and not just in my head. More movies should be silly campy overwrought spy comedies where there is a hot villainess and also Devon Aoki playing a French character.
Please Like Me (2013-2016). please like me in the 2jo kosmi room likely place for it to be. It’s a show of all time! These are my friends (as in, relatable to me and also I am fond of these little characters in my screen). I cannot emphasise enough how often I process/cope with my own life by framing it as part of a sitcom inspired entirely by Please Like Me.
I also watched two (2) recent episodes of Riverdale, a show that people made. I enjoy Betty. I think she and Veronica should kiss kiss fall in love.
Some things I enjoyed online:
The Quarry, The Hunt
Suburban Flaneur, Aries Gacutan
answer these 10 questions and i'll tell you what kind of lover you are, frannym [generates an emotion akin to watching happier than ever mv for the first time]
Rent Free, Xiaole Zhan
Mattel, Malibu Stacy, and the Dialectics of the Barbie Polemic, Charlie Squire
What a time. Here’s to the second half of the year I guess.