Tri-Weekly Roundup August 30 – September 19

Can you spot the praying mantis?

Welcome to the weekly roundup on Ink in the Archives! Every week I will share what I’ve been up to and interested in and ask you to fill me in on your week too.

Eventful Events and Happening Happenings

My partner and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with sushi and an evening of watching Lucifer on Netflix. Who says we don’t know how to have a good time? My wonderful partner bought me an espresso machine to celebrate and we have been having so much fun learning how to use it.

Plus we are so excited that my sister-in-law came down to visit us (which is the reason that this post didn’t go up last week like it was supposed to)! It was so lovely to have her. Of course, with COVID and the terrible air quality, we were pretty limited on what we could go and do, but it was still lovely. We went to the Full House house, got a cake from b. Patisserie, and then walked up to the edge of the Presidio. I hope next time she comes everything will be open and we can take her to the Haight, Castro, and Mission.

This weekend it’s Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year. I had a really hard time deciding whether to make challah or apple cake, but I finally settled on apple cake. I made it from an old recipe I found in a Jewish community cookbook from the late 50s. It was layered and was almost like an apple lasagna. I love adapting old recipes.

On the very sad side of things, you’ve probably hear that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87 after a long battle with cancer. She was my absolute hero, and I have to admit I cried while reading her NY Times obituary.

Books Read

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost One of my best friends told me this book really resonated with her and I had to read it because I would see so much of her in it. She’s not wrong, since, like the author, she’s a international affairs major who loves to jump into travel with both feet. This book is hilarious–travel writing that will make you laugh and gasp. He has some horrific experiences on a small island in the Pacific, but he also learns and grows and adapts, which is fun to read about. Recommended for: anyone who likes travel narratives, funny books, or knows an international affairs major.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell I found this book to be really refreshing. Odell talks about how doing nothing, allowing yourself time to think, process, and observe, becomes a radical act in a society that’s designed to keep you as busy, productive, and distracted as possible. She argues that this time for reflection is necessary for sustained action. She draws her conclusions from humanities sources, the arts in particular, and writes about her own experiences as well. While it doesn’t suggest certain strategies or prescribe certain actions, reading it becomes a meditative experience in itself. Recommended for: anyone who needs a break.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester I honestly feel like the title sums up this book pretty well and still manages not to give some of the juiciest bits away. A relatively short but fascinating look at 1800s life and how mental illness and scholarship are often closely related. Recommended for: anyone interested in the Victorian era, people who like dictionaries.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Movies Watched

You can probably tell by this list that I’m desperately trying to shorten my Netflix queue. I swear sometimes it takes longer to go through it than it does to watch something on it.

Carrie Pilby (2016) I don’t know why I waited so long to watch this movie. It is utterly adorable. Carrie is unbelievably bright (having graduated college at 18), but she’s also incredibly lonely and isolated. With the help of therapist Nathan Lane (who I loved in this), she overcomes a past trauma and moves on with her life. This is a book adaptation, but I’d never heard of the book. I may have to pick it up though because I really liked this film. Streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Polka King (2018) I should start off by saying that I love Jack Black and his earnest hilarity. This movie is not hilarious despite an abundance of some very fun and funny actors. It is earnest and rather sweet and an interesting look at how people who want to do good things sometimes get caught up in a mixture of enthusiasm and naivete to do some very bad things. Like run a Ponzi scheme. Streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Luka Chuppi (2019) A fun Bollywood farce where things go so, so wrong before the ultimately happy ending. Comical misunderstandings about a couple’s marital status (or lack thereof) threaten to disrupt two very traditional households in India. Streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Candy Jar (2018) The smartest kids in school hate each other? That probably means they’re perfect for each other. A relatively clever high school comedy about two star debaters with moms who hate each other that explores the pressure to achieve. Netflix original.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

No Kiss List (2015) It’s hard to say what the worst part of this film: the acting, the music, the writing, the subject matter, the cinematography, the directing…I don’t think there’s anything good about this movie. I watched it with my sister in law to have something to make fun of, but it was even worse than we could have predicted. Streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Parasite (2019) I was really hesitant to watch this movie because the title has horror movie written all over it and I do not watch horror movies. I was sure that this movie, academy award winner though it was, was going to involve bugs. Or deadly diseases. And I don’t need that in my life. However, my sister-in-law swore to me that this wasn’t the case and that we needed to watch it with her. So we did. And she was right. Though there are horrific moments in this film, the parasites are all of the human variety. This film has so many interesting things to say about wealth disparity and though its set in South Korea, it reflects United States culture as well. The movie builds really slowly and is just gorgeously put together. I am really glad she convinced me to watch it. Streaming on Hulu.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Please know that I’m not paid for my opinions about anything. I just like to share things that strike me as interesting, useful, or engaging.

Chi Luu examines the linguistic elements of memes in this really interesting article on JSTOR that relates the meme to the evolution of language online.

Need a reading recommendation? Check out this list of 9 Black women authored books in translation from Words without Borders.

Did you know that Monopoly was supposed to teach people how negative capitalism can be? Eula Bliss writes about the game’s origins.

I just picked up this beautiful deck of tarot cards based on fairy tales and folklore by California based designer Yoshi Yoshitani. Also available on Amazon.

How are you doing? What are you reading/watching? Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Tri-Weekly Roundup August 30 – September 19

  1. irenemerm says:

    Our week in the Portland OR area was very difficult. Between the knowledge that some many homes were destroyed and so much gorgeous land spoiled and so many people’s lives were changed forever, many of us had to deal with the worst air in the world. I have asthma so my world revolved around our children who were evacuated and my breathing treatment. Today I can report on good quality air for two days running. Yippee.


    1. I’m glad that the air quality is getting better in Portland. It’s really tragic, but we’re resilient and homes will be rebuilt and the land will replenish itself. I’m glad that you’ve been feeling better.


    1. Isn’t Carrie Pilby just so lovely? I am recommending it to everyone. It has been tough the past month or so since the semester started to find a lot of time to watch movies, but I’m really enjoying working my way through my Netflix queue.

      Liked by 1 person

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