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 sourdough starter is ready to make bread! And my new flour arrived direct from the mill! I’m so excited to share my bread photos with you soon. I made some of the best scones I’ve ever made with my sourdough starter this week. They were so fluffy and complex… I cannot wait to make them again.
I started doing yoga and exercising again this week. I’m trying to make that a bigger part of my routine because I have been avoiding it and consequently had a sore back most nights since I’m a chronic sit-in-bed-and-reader. Now I’m sore, but in a better I’ve-actually-worked-my-body kind of way.
My mom and I have been working on some art classes online together in an effort to try and be more creative throughout the week. Our first class was all about filling a page with doodles. We’re almost done, so I’ll share that picture soon.
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad This is not an easy book. It actually functions more like a workbook, with 28 days worth of writing prompts. Since I only had a limited time with the book before it needed to be turned in, I wrote down the prompts and I’m still working my way through them. I won’t lie–this book will make you confront deep and ugly parts of yourself–but I think this kind of work is so necessary in order to participate in anti-racism. If you’re not sure what you can do to help change the world, I think knowing and changing yourself is a good place to start.
Watership Down by Richard Adams I had never read this epic chronicle about a group of rabbits that go on to make their own warren, but I’m so glad I did. This book would have been a five star book for me (because the rabbits and their lives are so compelling it is ridiculous), but I had to take a star off because this book displays a sense of white superiority when it labels different cultural practices as “primitive” when comparing rabbit behavior to human behavior. There is a sense that some cultures are analogous to rabbits and others are superior. I call BS. And I think casual racial superiority in books, especially children’s books present opportunities for important conversations about race. If you give this book to your child, I think you can’t ignore the fact that these attitudes exist now just as much as they did in the 70s when the book was written, and that has to be talked about or those attitudes will be unconsciously absorbed instead of challenged. I still enjoyed the book, but I think it’s important to be critical of what books are doing — especially the ones we love.
Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok After two heavier reads this week, I really needed some lighter fare. This story followed a woman living with her father and younger sister in New York City’s Chinatown as she becomes a professional dancer. Although I wish the writing had been a little less straight-forward, the story was really captivating and I liked that the protagonist and her family were complex and dynamic.
Patty Jane’s House of Curl by Lorna Landvik This book was sadder than I thought it was going to be, but it was still a pretty moving story about two sisters. I thought the ending and subsequent epilogue felt rushed, but all in all this book was heartwarming even though there were plenty of tragic events.
I have a lot of free time this summer. So I thought I’d use it to work down my ever-growing movie backlog. This is what happens when you’re a film student–you’re so busy reading philosophy and criticism there’s no time to watch the movies everyone is referencing. I’ve challenged myself to watch one movie from this list a day.
Keanu (2016) My husband and I both really enjoy sketch comedians Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, but when this film came out in theaters, we thought it looked so ridiculous as to not really be funny anymore. But, we were still curious so we watched it the other night. It was as ridiculous as we’d expected since it follows Key and Peele, two nerdy guys that get swept into a gang war over a kitten. But it had a few redeeming moments (like any scene with Tiffany Haddish).
I Married a Witch (1942) Starring Frederic March and Veronica Lake, this romantic comedy is about a witch and her father who’ve been burned for witchcraft, but are now free to seek revenge on the family that accused them. I am not a fan of this film. I really enjoy movies about witchcraft and magic, but this film was too slow (even though it was short), had little or no interesting character development, was stereotypical in its depictions of men and women, and didn’t feel either all that funny or that romantic. Also Veronica Lake plays a little too dumb in this movie. I wanted to smack her.
The Death of Stalin (2017) Armando Iannucci’s film is a dark political comedy about the power struggle at the end of Stalin’s life. It stars Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor along with many others. I really liked this film, which was clever and engaging. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.
Logan Lucky (2017) A heist movie set in West Virginia that’s as much fun as Ocean’s 11. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from this film, but with Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, and Adam Driver in it, how could it be bad? Answer: it could not be. Definitely worth a watch.
Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) Brittany decides to get her life in order after a visit from her doctor, but she ultimately learns that she needs to do more than physically transform in order to be a happy person. I think her story is really relatable and motivating. It’s streaming on Amazon and it’s based on a true story.
Palm Springs (2020) This Groundhog Day-esque time loop film follows Nyles and Sarah as they relive her sister’s wedding day in Palm Springs over and over. Starring Andy Samberg & Cristin Milioti, this comedy was still poignant–exactly the kind of movie I want to watch right now–something that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still makes me think. (Streaming on Hulu)
The Best of Everything (1959) Oh boy. This film…. it’s got a lot of sexism to go with the work place drama. Kind of like if Mad Men, The Devil Wears Prada, and the boss from 9 to 5 were all the same office. I watched it because it was supposed to star Joan Crawford, who I have a love/hate relationship with, but Crawford plays a very small role and is not very supportive of the girls. At the end of the film she asks the editor in chief who’s been sexually harassing everyone through the whole film if he’s still pinching the girls, and he answers “Of course I’m still pinching the girls. You don’t imagine I’m interested in their minds do you?” She just smiles and lets him light her cigarette. That pretty much sums up this film.
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.
If you enjoyed visiting the virtual escape room I mentioned last week, you might enjoy this roundup of other virtual escape rooms on Google forms from the Verge. These are great for young adults, team building, and anyone else who’d like to be solving puzzles right now.
In Los Angeles, there has been an outpouring of support for a bookstore called The Salt Eaters that is amplifying the voices of Black women and other people of color. I found this really inspiring, and I can’t wait until she opens her online store!
How was your week? Let me know in the comments!