Friday Four: Latent Mandy Moore Fandom, A Fantasy Story That Made Me Cry, Lana Del Rey’s Love Song And My ‘Fancy-Day/Casual-Night’ Dress

I’m in what I call a ‘fill the well’ kind of week. You know how it is: you feel a bit (or a LOT) depleted and you just need to lay low a bit to rest, regroup and figure out how you’re going to approach the next big chunk of activity in life. I’ve mostly been yoga-ing and foam rolling, drinking coffee, cooking, spending time with my little Budgie and taking long, restorative walks and hikes. (We’re having a little stretch of springlike weather, and I for one am soaking up sun and fresh air as much as I can!)

I’m working on some longer blog posts, which I hope to publish soon. But these are the thoughts, images, songs, stories and such boomeranging in my brain — hopefully to settle soon into something a bit more cohesive and articulate!

+ Can we talk about Mandy Moore in ‘This Is Us’? I keep up with the show in spurts — I tend to let a few episodes pile up and then stream them in a row. It’s sort of my ‘TV as Prozac’ hit — it’s mushy and a bit emotionally manipulative, but it also has great acting and inventive narrative structure. But I’m super-impressed by Mandy’s warm, genuinely sweet yet nuanced performance — warmth is one of those qualities that seems to be innate and ‘undirectable’ in actors and she has it in spades. I wasn’t very aware of her music in her teen pop heyday, but I do remember when she tried to reinvent herself as a singer-songwriter. I also remember liking her in ‘Saved’ and the other times she’s popped up in movies, but she never quite seem to find a genuinely good project for herself until now. It’s nice to see her in a prestigious TV show and hit her stride in a more grown-up career kind of way.

+ Lana Del Rey has a new song! It’s called ‘Love.’

+ I just finished reading 2016’s volume of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, which I really enjoyed. It’s a wide range of stories in the fantasy and sci-fi genres — some of them are typically genre-ish, some are poetic and beautiful, some comical and strange and surreal and whimsical. I skipped a few of the stories, but overall the volume is pretty top-notch. I loved a lot of the stories, but Adam Johnson’s story “Interesting Facts” — one of the standouts — really blew me away and had me in tears at the end. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s a moving portrayal of just how enduring and deep a mother’s love for her family can go. You can read it at Harper’s website.

+ This week’s outfit can be filed under ‘Making an effort without actually putting much effort into it.’ Because…I wore a dress! I’ve been ‘off’ dresses for awhile. I used to wear them all the time, but now it’s hard for me to find one that works for my body. But this one — from Fabletics, lol! — is a neoprene sweatshirt dress with interesting mesh-like detailing at the neckline and sleeves — it’s kind of ‘fancy-day’/’casual night.’ I wasn’t too sure about it when I first ordered it, but I decided to go for it this weekend for my dad’s birthday dinner. Comfy yet just a little edgy…yay!

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