February has finally concluded. I’d like to skip over the lion and get right to the lamb.
Hoping to avoid a freakishly large snow dump in the middle of the month like we got last year. Right now my yard is a lovely combination of mud, water, and ice. Just enough ice to be treacherous, just enough water to seep into your work shoes when you really just want to get to the car.
I have built enough snowmen (kinda sorta one) sledded enough with my son (I think twice?) filled the birdfeeder numerous times for the poor winter birds and opportunist squirrels, and my son has asked multiple times for a fire. The last one we had was in December and the little guy is jonesin again. It is time for the world to warm up and be spring.
I am happy to announce that BookRiot’s Read Harder has been able to coincide with my TBR on my second most dreaded category: the dreaded Celebrity Memoir.
I have said this before. I have read so many of these dumb things as a part of challenges. I would rather read about all the nonwhite problems in the world than the drivel of someone famous. Even if the memoirs I have read or listened to really have not been that terrible, unlike the romance category, it has not turned me on to reading them on my own steam.
The one I read this year:
Bossypants, Tina Fey
Now, I just made two contradictory claims: one, that this was on my TBR and two that I don’t like memoirs and I won’t read one unless challenges tell me to. These are reconciled by the fact that I really do like Tina Fey. I think she is funny and brilliant and 30 Rock is one of the few things I can binge watch with my friends without fervently wishing I was elsewhere. My friends are aware that my TV tastes are different and that this is one of the few points of convergence. I don’t watch a lot of TV and what I do watch is embarrassing. Well, my guy best friend. My girl one and I could watch hours of BBC miniseries while knitting and consider it a day well spent. We party like that.
I loved the parts of this book that talked about Fey’s passions: her acting, her gift of improv, how it was to work on Saturday Night Live as a writer and then on the screen, her pitching and producing 30 Rock and the work it involves and how it’s hard to mix it with motherhood. How you choose the best combination of brilliant and productive staff, the highs and lows of creative work.
I loved how she pointed out the sexism that still exists in acting, TV and politics and this was before Trump was elected. Years before. How men stop listening to women they no longer want to sleep with, how past coworkers told her that no one wanted to see a scene without any men in it. Loved it. Loved how women are making more of a mark on the world, even if the examples that she provided of sexism are much more recent than I am comfortable with admitting and thinking about. Uncomfortable things uncomfortably close.
The one thing I did not like, which is the same thing that turns me off of 30 Rock, is Fey’s self deprecating humor. She is funny, I will give her that. What she says about beauty is also meant to be a comment on the way women are treated by society and that they can be seen as irrelevant without their attractiveness. But before I was aware of this brand of her humor, I have always thought she is lovely and her humor on 30 Rock and in this book tends to ruin it. I was googling pictures of her with her husband after I finished it and she looked lovely in all of them with him. She talks about her stellar past fashion choices, which, okay, mine weren’t awesome either. She talks about how boys were not into her geekery as a kid. And I read it thinking, did any of these boys later come to regret that they passed up a chance to be with someone as cool as Tina Fey? Do any of you all regret it now? Not overlooking the fanny pack and seeing the funny and sharp woman underneath? I mean, she can toss out a fierce shutdown that makes me drool with jealousy. And she wrote for SNL!
It didn’t turn me off enough to stop reading. She is who she is despite all of her “shortcomings” with her struggles with fashion and natural beauty. I still root for her. I still think she’s pretty. She has a partner who appears to not only support her creativity but participates in it. Sounds cool to me.
My brain is still primarily noveling!