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Your Weekly Dose of EEE #25: The Bear Combines Kitchen Drama with Family Drama for a Great Watch
And speeding up to (eventually) slow down. Or is it the reverse?
How’s your week been? Mine’s been one long, yet fast, burst of doing things. A full-day conference, a day “off” during which I tapped away at the weekly essay while my kids whirled around me, and various tasks that keep expanding and contracting like a throbbing injury.
Yes, I compared my work to a smashed toe. Take from that what you will.
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What’s Exciting Me?
Good news! My news business is a finalist for an award, and it was accepted into a program much like the one we did last fall where I’ll have a mentor to help grow the business and make it more sustainable. I’m very excited about this, and it starts very soon. I am also working on a grant application for even more fun things, and I think we have the potential to really change the public’s relationship with local government in my town. Exciting!
When We Were Mothers is selling and continuing to earn ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ reviews. I have had zero time to work on the sequel, but I’ve decided that’s just how it has to be right now. I had plenty of breaks while I wrote the first book, and each break helped me get my mind organized and ultimately made the story better. I’m working on other important things now, and when those slow down I’ll get back to the book. No. Big. Deal.
What’s Entertaining Me?
I’m entertaining myself plenty by building LEGO things (like the Technic Batmobile) and spraying abusive chickens with water from a squeeze bottle intended for condiments.
Here’s what I’m loving that was created by other people.
📺: The Bear. This show is listed as a comedy-drama, but I’m not sure that’s exactly the genre. It stars Jeremy Allen White, who I know from his work as Lip on Shameless (which is definitely a dark comedy-drama), as Carmy, the best chef in the nation who comes back to Chicago to run his brother’s hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop after his brother dies and leaves the restaurant to him.
I will confess here that two of my favorite genres are “restaurant reality” and “cooking competition,” and so my background on the content area is pretty deep. So deep that I often channel my inner Robert Irvine and create mental plans for how I would fix the restaurant’s numerous issues and inefficiencies. Because of course after watching a few dozen episodes of a television show I know how to run a restaurant. 🤣
Themes here are grief and loss, overcoming emotional and literal obstacles, dealing with trauma including the effects of substance abuse disorder on loved ones, and more. And the sous chef (Sydney, played by Ayo Edebiri) is a strong young woman who does not back down from conflict. I love her.
📖: A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum. I listened Rachel’s Atomic Anna several months ago and got a signed copy for myself at her paperback launch in Brookline. A Bend in the Stars is another super-nerdy historical fiction novel, this time set in World-War-I-era Russia. Vanya and Miri are a brother and sister on their own impossible journeys—Miri is a Jewish woman and a doctor who dreams of being a surgeon in a time when women are viewed as inferior, emotional beings. Vanya is a mathematician and physicist in Einstein’s era who is trying to build a more complete theory of relativity—one that includes acceleration and gravity. (If you’re a nerd like me, you know that “gravity” is really “acceleration due to gravity” and wonder why the two are treated differently in the book. Halfway through, I think I know. I’ll report back when I’m finished reading!)
I’m enjoying the writing and characterization in this book as well as learning about the origins of WWI in Russia and the social and political climate of the time.
🎶: I don’t know if you know, but I took an accidental road trip to South Carolina from Boston last week, and on the way home it was All Nicci, All The Time. I sent my husband back with the oldest and youngest, and I drove the car back with my middle kiddo. She and I love singing and musicals, so we spent most of the time singing to keep me awake. Here is our playlist:
Little Shop of Horrors
The Greatest Showman
I’m Just Ken
Yes, I know. I have a problem. And it has now spread to my 10-year-old. You’re welcome to anyone who is ever in earshot as she shout-sings “You will never be satisfied!” on repeat.
📝: I just read this short essay fromand am now obsessed. I feel so seen, and also schooled! Bryce has 2 kiddos, 4 and 3, and according to him they’re terrible sleepers. (No idea what that’s like, says the mom who has had her 3yo in bed with her more nights than not in the last week.) Bryce has a really great voice that reminds me a lot of my friend . Read to find out how he managed to keep one kiddo in bed so he could do adult things (literally the 2 hours per night that I live for)!
What’s Enlightening Me?
Listen. I’m going to say this knowing that my skin is crawling with the anticipation of all the things I have left to do to finish out this work week and the grant application I’ve taken on even though I don’t really have time to fill out the application, much less do the work it entails (but if I get the grant, I’ll work my ass off to accomplish the work because it has such amazing potential). So, maybe this time, do as I say, not as I do?
Offloading the pressure of working on my novel is actually making me feel a lot better. The work I’ll be doing for my news business in the next few weeks is also going to (eventually) offload some things so I can not feel like everything is up to me. Slowly but surely I am trying to draw limits on what I agree to do, as I know that’s what makes me feel better.
That’s sounds kinda boring, but it’s important, and sometimes enlightenment be that way.
See you next week, loves!