Friday, June 29, 2018

Life Lately | June

After a few months of lowkey plans and not really pushing myself to "do things," June was full of making the most of every free day and weekend. I started the month with the end of my work conference and a weekend in Raleigh. The next weekend I took a day trip over to Annapolis with two friends, where we meandered in and around town and the naval academy and soaked in the sea air. For Father's Day weekend I went back down to Raleigh to spend a long weekend reveling in everyday Raleigh life. The last weekend I stayed in D.C., but filled it with a day in NoMa and Capitol Hill wandering around Union Market and some bookstores with a friend and a pool day with friends from church.

Concerts //
After months without live music, I went to two concerts in June, both by myself (which I've done before and honestly wouldn't mind doing again). I saw Arctic Monkeys (finally!!) in Raleigh over Father's Day weekend, after years and years of waiting to see them. They played a good mix of old and new songs, including a few personal favorites that I wasn't sure they would do like "Do Me A Favour." And as much as I dislike their newest album, hearing them play a few of the tracks live made me like it a little better. The next weekend I saw Harry Styles, much to my  own surprise. I had bought the ticket months ago right after I moved to D.C., thinking it would be something fun for the future, and then promptly forgot about it until Ticketmaster sent me a reminder email the week before. It was more fun than I was expecting; I was never a One Direction fan but I do like Harry's solo album, and the excitement of the crowd and my surprisingly incredibly close seat -- 5 rows from the stage -- made it completely worth it.

D.C. //
D.C. truly comes alive during the summer -- or at least, there are so many extra people here over the summer that it's crawling with life. With summer comes the usual fun things -- free music in the evenings, pop up vendors, new museum exhibits, longer daylight hours to fill with friends. We've also had a few unexpected things happen in the city. For the first time ever, the Capitals, the local NHL team, won the Stanley Cup -- a big deal not only for the team but for the city too, as it's the first big sports championship a D.C. team has won since 1992. I can't claim much about this one as I never attended a game, but I went to the victory parade and it was fun to join in on something that clearly meant so much to the people in the city. Additionally, Wonder Woman 2 has been filming in the area throughout the month, and after work one afternoon I scrambled over to Georgetown to visit the set. I didn't see any of the actors and they were in the middle of a filming break while I was there so I didn't see much aside from the set, but it was still cool to see the 80s setup and talk to other people there who had been all day and had seen some of the action.

Books //
Because life was a little hectic this month, reading was not a priority. I finished four books, mostly through a rush at the end.

Mort by Terry Pratchett
My favorite in the Discworld series so far. It follows Death and Death's new apprentice Mort as Mort accidentally changes the course of history by preventing an assassination and must now try to set everything a-right again. As with the rest of the Discworld series, it's more focused on humor than it is on anything else, so while the characters might not be the most 3D, the dry wit more than makes up for it.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
Good but not great. Kushner's newest depicts the "real" people in prison -- the ones usually overlooked and not given a fair chance in life. While I liked the blunt view of power structures and wealth in the prison system, I found the switch between perspectives a little jarring, as it would jolt me out of the story and then force me back in somewhere else (usually somewhere I didn't care about). The main character Romy was an interesting perspective but I didn't so much care for the others.

The Bouncer by David Gordon*
A book written solely to entertain -- Gordon's thriller revolves around Joe, a former military operative who now works as a club bouncer for the mafia. When the mafia boss decides to find a terrorist to get the FBI on his side, Joe gets pulled into the resulting mayhem. It's a lighthearted, very funny work, and intriguing enough to make me want to read more of Gordon's work.

Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie
There's not much to say about this one that can't be said of all of Christie's novels -- it stayed entertaining and kept me guessing. Not more much you can ask of a detective series.

Also loving //

I knew I would like this one before I even started it -- how could you possibly go wrong with putting Carey Mulligan, John Simm, and Billie Piper together in the same show? Collateral follows the threads of a seemingly random killing of a pizza delivery guy as the police move forward to solve it despite obstacles from other involved parties. It's also more than just a murder mystery, as the plot touches on the current immigration dilemma, sexual assault in the military, Brexit, and class conflict, but the tone is never too bogged down to be dismal.

A Brighter Love / Paradise is Waiting by St. Lucia
I've mentioned before how much I love St. Lucia, so of course I was excited to see they had released a couple singles ahead of their upcoming album release. The tracks don't introduce anything new to the signature synthy pop of St. Lucia's past offerings, but they do it so well that a continuation of the same is all good by me.

*I received a free copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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