A Month in Obsession: April 2016

This spring is killing me in ways our mild winter never did. Where art thou, sunshine? I can’t keep wearing the same old pair of pants for another 30 days and the rest of my jeans all have some wear and tear in them. Anywho, clearly my sartorial choices have not been part of my monthly obsession. What has?

Book: A Life in Men by Gina Frangello


Sometimes you have a bad reading month, and April was that for me. Instead of looking at the duds and forcing a case for them, I’m choosing a book I absolutely loved reading last year. Frangello’s novel about a young woman with cystic fibrosis whose estranged best friend passes away is an incredible examination on how the physical world informs and molds our own internal narrative.Mary’s way of dealing with the loss and her own impending death is by hopping from one international destination (and bed) to the next, meaning that it’s the perfect book for those with an acute case of wanderlust that don’t care for the stereotypical frothy travelogue.

Movie: Confirmation

When I was in 4th grade, Michael Horvath had a big old crush on me and his way of showing it was by teasing me relentlessly. I kept quiet about the teasing for a good part of the year, until Mrs. Beiser finally overheard me trying to make him stop. When she asked me why I hadn’t told her before that he was bothering me, I answered that I didn’t want to be called a tattletale. This unleashed a drop-the-mic type sermon from our cool-headed teacher about how we needed to speak up when someone made us uncomfortable that weaved together both our elementary school politics with that of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. It wasn’t until I saw the HBO movie about the scandal that I fully understood Mrs. Beiser’s wrath. Yeah, that teacher freaking rocked.

TV: People vs. OJ Simpson

I know Gen-Xers are in power when the media starts to bombard us with representations of their era. Admittedly, I am enjoying every second of it since it’s filling relevant gaps in my pop culture education. By the time the Trial of the Century was underway, I was living in Peru where the whole mess went largely ignored. This show gives a rundown of the key players and their epic failures or victorious moves. Marcia Clark, man. I hope she feels vindicated after watching this.

Podcast: The Sporkful

How to transform sensorial experiences, like food, into audio form? Make it about the people. The Sporkful does just that by examining our personal and social relationships with food as opposed to waxing poetic about such ingredient or palate profile. Their recent series on food and race is a great way to approach the tensions and triumphs that arise from being an immigrant nation.

Random: Prince’s guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

I once asked my dad if he liked Prince “Like him? I hate him! He could have been even better than Jimi Hendrix and decided to make pop songs instead!” Before you go off sending my dad hate mail, we must remember that we all make mistakes. My dad clearly had the wrongest of wrong opinions about Prince. But he was right about one thing: his guitar prowess. Like many of you, this was one of the celebrity deaths that hit me hard. I loved Prince’s androgyny, his funk, his assless yellow pants.  Yet, I had never really paid attention to his guitar skills until this video popped up in my feed. See Prince wipe the floor with guitar legends. See Prince basically have an erotic connection with every single chord on that instrument. See Prince throw the guitar in the air at the end…and have it never come down. Not even the laws of gravity applied to him. Rest in peace, you freak.