I appear to have taken Ted Lasso’s advice to have a “goldfish brain” seriously. Every year, the second half of May is a mad scramble with deadlines and kid events and end-of-the-college year stuff. Somehow, by June 2, I’ve forgotten what it was like, which means that I get to be shocked1 all over again the following May by how much of a scramble it is.
All of that is a long way to tell you that I haven’t been doing much during the past two weeks other than trying to stay just ahead of where everyone requires me to be. This does not lead to deep thought2 about much of anything other than: May is a kick in the head.
So, instead, some snack-sized tidbits to nibble on:
Over on the Another Mother Runner podcast, Sarah and I talked with Lexie Kite about body image resiliency. It’s a conversation I think everyone who lives in a female body should take an hour to listen to. I did not expect to have my mind blown3 but really did.4
I spent 90 minutes of my precious time watching Some Kind of Heaven, which is a documentary about The Villages, a ginormous retirement community in Central Florida.5 The Villages fascinate me, mostly because I can’t fathom why anyone would want to live there. Don’t get me wrong: if it’s your jam, jam on. But it is decidedly not for me.
Because of said fascination and because I’ve driven through it a few times, I’ve watched a few docs and read a few books about it. Some Kind of Heaven seemed like it was made just for me. It was not.
Let me start with one word of praise: this is a gorgeously shot film. Pick a frame and hang it in a gallery. Director Lance Oppenheim knows how to make it look great.
Then there’s the rest of it - and I think I can sum up my problem efficiently: this is the film you make when you have zero empathy for other human beings. Oppenheim chose the most outrageous storylines, which is standard and fine, but then chose to undercut it all with a tone of “would you look at these elderly jamokes?” that is implicit in how the subject are shot and what bits of footage he uses. He lingers on every face long enough to make us all fidgety and uncomfortable — and does it for no good reason. Do not recommend.6
Which brings me to Mare of Easttown on HBO. After the first episode, I was all in. Kate Winslet is so good. The accents are perfection. The family dynamics were complicated in interesting ways. And then.
I don’t want to spoil it, tho, so let me simply say that took a turn an injected a whole SVU-vibe into the proceedings that just feels like a plot addition because we can’t just have a drama with a strong female lead, we also have to have over-the-top violence against young women to maintain some sort of misogyny-based balance.
That being said, I’ll watch the last two episodes simply because of Jean Smart, who plays Mare’s mom. Maybe they’ll manage to stick the landing? Seems unlikely but … maybe?
What have you been enjoying this merry, merry month?
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shocked, I tell you
or whatever it is I do
this is not my first (or second or third rodeo) when it comes to talking about how women view their bodies. Kite and her twin, tho, come at it from an angle that might work and I am (as the kids say) here for it.
Related: Jean Kilbourne has done amazing work and you should pay attention to her. Here’s her TED talk, just to whet your appetite.
Mostly because I’m about to leave for/am in Florida to visit my mom, who doesn’t live in The Villages but it is a topic of conversation.
But if you want to see for yourself, it’s on Hulu.
(and realize I’m especially grumpy this week)