Curiosities // August 2022

August 2, 2022

Time for another post of curiosities!


What I’m Reading: I thought about picking just one book, but the truth is that I’m hauling all these books around my house with me in a basket, so buckle up.

The Book of Gothel and Every Poem a Potion, Every Song a Spell were both sent to me by friends of Carterhaugh, Mary McMyne and Stephanie Parent respectively! Both are fairy-tale retellings – The Book of Gothel explores “Rapunzel,” and Every Poem a Potion, Every Song a Spell has “Jorinda and Joringel” at its center, along with many others!

Outfoxing Fear: Folktales from Around the World edited by Kathleen Ragan, Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit, and Witches, Sluts, Feminists by Kristen J. Sollée are all research for our current course.

I picked up Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster when I was at the Strand in NYC last month because the title made me laugh wildly.

Not pictured (because I’m reading it on my Kindle, which I am also dragging around the house with me) is A Girl’s Guide to Joining the Resistance: A Feminist Handbook on Fighting for Good by Emma Gray, also for current course research.

What I’m Listening To: Yeah, honestly, it’s still mostly the soundtrack to Six, the musical about the six wives of King Henry VIII (and the inspiration for our #CatherineParrEnergy email last week.) But when I’ve needed background music while working, I’ve been listening to the soundtracks from the videogames Pathologic and Pathologic 2 – it’s kind of eerie and creepy but in a way that I find strangely calming? 

What I’m Watching: Speaking of Pathologic, Hbomberbuy has a great video on YouTube about it, which friend of Carterhaugh Julia Pillard got me to watch a while ago, and I re-watched it this week. It’s primarily an exploration of the game but also an inquiry into what games (and art) can be and do, which I find completely fascinating. Do games always have to be fun? Or can they do other stuff?

I’m halfway through Our Flag Means Death, and I love it so far. NO SPOILERS PLEASE.

Also, I’ve watched and rewatched Belle (directed by Mamoru Hosoda) a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” that draws heavily on internet culture, music, and self-expression, and it’s honestly one of the best cinematic fairy-tale retellings I’ve ever seen. Absolutely check it out!!

Something That Made Me Think: “How I learned that swearing can be good for the soul” by Elizabeth Jameson in The Washington Post. As a pretty sweary person who usually makes an effort not to swear that much, this made me think about why I often find it so cathartic. 

Something That Made Me Laugh: I stumbled across the compilation of the “Men of Middle-earth as Bad Ex-Boyfriends” thread again this week and laughed until my contacts were in danger of escaping my eyeballs.

Also, I present to you an exchange that I had with my niece, Zoe, at the Center for Puppetry Arts last weekend:


What I’m Reading: Well, I’m obviously reading several of the books Sara already mentioned because we’re both reading for the current course! Outfoxing Fear: Folktales from Around the World edited by Kathleen Ragan and A Girl’s Guide to Joining the Resistance: A Feminist Handbook on Fighting for Good by Emma Gray are at the top of my pile right now. I’m also thoroughly enjoying rereading Moonlight and Vines by Charles de Lint, our book club pick this month (Newford is definitely my ‘magic world I want to go to’), and I’m eager to get to the two books sent to Carterhaugh that Sara mentioned above too, they both seem amazing!!   

What I’m Listening To: Yeah, I’m pretty much obsessed with the Six soundtrack too, not gonna lie. It’s just SO MUCH FUN. And these days, I seriously need some just straight up musical fun. It always feels wildly good to be singing your heart out while driving around for me, and this music is just 100% perfect for that. I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten some really weird looks from other drivers, but I absolutely do not care. I am obviously also still obsessed with Florence + the Machine’s newest album Dance Fever, even though it came out back in May, and I’ve been listening to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack a lot too, which, you know, doesn’t really require an explanation, because it’s perfection.   

What I’m Watching: I’m super late to the bandwagon for this, but my sister is home for a few weeks, and she’s insisting that I catch up watching Schitt’s Creek finally. And yes, it really is as funny and sweet as everyone (including Sara!) has insisted it is! I really don’t know why I’m always so behind on TV shows and stuff (I think I just… never watch them unless I’m doing it with someone else??)

Something That Made Me Think: To be honest, the Folklore & Resistance Roundtable that Sara and I moderated on July 24th is still making me think about all kinds of things. All of the panelists were just so brilliant and wise. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend making the time to watch – it will absolutely make you feel a little bit better about the world. I’m also still thinking about this NY Times article I reposted on Facebook a while ago, a beautiful piece called “How Animals See Themselves” by Ed Young. And, let’s face it, I’m totally obsessed with “whimsigoth” now… I mean, it’s basically “witch-faerie academia,” right??   

Something That Made Me Laugh:

I find this completely delightful in all possible ways :P.

What are you reading, listening to, watching, thinking about, and laughing at lately? Let us know in the comments!

Still the official mascot of curiosities posts!

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