books, reading

Reading Rec: Between the World and Me

I’m still reading Ta-Nehisi Coates and my book is full of highlights I want to re-read, share, and remember forever like these:

“The question is not whether Lincoln truly meant ‘government of the people’ but what our country has, throughout its history, taken the political term ‘people’ to actually mean. In 1863 it did not mean your mother or your grandmother, and it did not mean you and me. Thus America’s problem is not its betrayal of ‘government of the people,’ but the means by which ‘the people’ acquired their names.”

“There is nothing uniquely evil in these destroyers or even in this moment. The destroyers are merely men enforcing the whims of our country, correctly interpreting its heritage and legacy.”

“You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history. They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. Enslavement was not destined to end, and it is wrong to claim our present circumstance — no matter how improved — as the redemption for the lives of people who never asked for the posthumous, untouchable glory of dying for their children.”

Between the World and Me is great, sad, an smart all at once. I’m still reading and highly recommend it. I’ll share a lot more on the book later, but I couldn’t resist getting started now, while I’m still reading, learning, absorbing.

my house

Walls! Paint! Progress!

A few days I posted an update on the progress in the living room, but the photos were all newly installed drywall and that’s just not a good look, so I’m updating again.

Remember the new drywall:

Living Room Walls - New Drywall

Look! Paint & the floors can be seen again!

Living Room Walls Painted

There’s still more to do of course, but the white walls (instead of the old brown paneling) are so nice. It’s so much brighter in there!

Can’t wait to finish & add the furniture & hang out in there! 😀

pop culture, television

Pretty Little Liars (Season Six) in Recaps

I’m a huge, TV loving nerd, so I’ve been recapping Pretty Little Liars all summer. And on Tuesday, we fiiiiiinally found out who ‘A’ is!


Click the image above to see what happened in episode ten during the big ‘A’ reveal or click here to find recaps for the whole season.

Here’s a peek at season six:


pretty little liars tennis ball wearing a wig

pop culture

The Pretty Little Liars Meet ‘A’ [S06E10]

Soooooooo, the PLL mid-season finale was Tuesday, and well… that sure was an episode. Other than the ‘A’ reveal, it was so much talking, remembering, showing flashbacks, and explaining, that it felt basically like there was no action or tension. Not great. But still. Ridiculous + confusing + cute outfits, so I stayed glued to my TV. And I’m still sort of feeling the “holy shit” like I was on Tuesday.

Anyway, here’s what happened:

The girls left the dance, and went to the mystery scholarship office and guessed the code on a door keypad which ended up being “A’s brain” (secret lair) & it’s total high tech lab situation. There’s some CNN-style holographic bullshit screen in there! And it fired up a live feed of the room where Alison is trapped.


Mona continued to be a total boss:

Aria, about Clark: “You knew he was a cop?”
Mona: “Aria, maybe you always thought he was happy to see you, but I could never get past the bulge in his pants.”
(He had a gun. 😂)

She also wrote some code to access the PRIVATE CELLULAR NETWORK belonging to “Charles” (OH OKAY) and spared a moment to compliment his investment skills (because she totally hacked into his portfolio).

Time for the big ‘A’ reveal! 

After being taken from prom at the end of the last episode, Alison is locked in a room at Radley WITH ‘A’… AHH! Her dad & brother, Jason, are lying on the ground nearby and look totally dead (but who knows).

A is CeCe! What!

FYI: ‘A’ is CeCe Drake! Formerly Charles DiLaurentis, then Charlotte DiLaurentis, then ignored/pissed enough to create a fake identity, harass everyone for years, kill, and date her own secret-bro as part of a scheme. (DID THEY HAVE SEX?!)


So, back to the ‘A’ reveal… the villain is a mentally disturbed transgender person? Seems rude. And also, due to the timing, it seems questionable that they planned this from the beginning. Although they did have a bunch of twin hints throughout the show (but I thought they might just be referencing the books a bit to throw readers off).

I’d be really interested to know WHEN they decided who ‘A’ would be because this is definitely suspect… CeCe hasn’t been around in forever. Honestly, I had to look her up to even remember who she was.

Anyway! While they’re locked in the room in Radley together, ‘A’ (Charles/Charlotte/CeCe) explains lots of stuff to Alison while the girls watch on the live feed.

Young Alison with two dresses!

Apparently, Mrs. D started buying Charles the same dresses she bought for Alison and bringing them to him at Radley. When Charles was around 12, he was friends with a fellow patient (Bethany!) who killed another patient by shoving her off the roof. (Why would mental patients have unsupervised access to the roof?!) Also, that patient was Toby’s mom, who was reported to have committed suicide, and Bethany threatened to blame it on Charles. And thus began whatever psychotic hold Bethany had on his life. Also, at some point, they held a funeral for Charles (allowing Mr. D to believe he’d actually died, but really celebrating Charles becoming Charlotte).


Meanwhile, in Radley, Alison is confused about why Charlotte/CeCe targeted her and her friends so ruthlessly.

Alison: “You almost froze Aria & Spencer to death.”
A: “Almost!”

Alison: “You drove a car through Emily’s house.”
A: “Yeah, and I almost cut her in half too, but is she hurt? No.”

So I guess she didn’t plan to actually kill them so it’s fine? She loves them! But she has a weird way of showing it, OKAY!

While they’re chatting in Radley more (zzzzzzz), we find out how Charles ended up being sent to Radley as a little kid in the first place: Baby Alison was crying and he said, “You know what makes me feel better?” sweetly and ran her a bath. He dropped her in, and since she was an infant, she went under the water and would’ve died if their dad hadn’t found them. I’m not sure what they were going for in this scene because he seemed like he was trying to take care of her (and even tried to get his mom’s attention when the crying started), but then he stared creepily when she was under the water and when their dad was saving her. So…

In present time, Charlotte/CeCe says she never meant to hurt Alison and that their dad used it as an excuse to send her (Charles) away because Charles had started asking for dresses and their dad didn’t like it.

‘A’/Charlottte/CeCe goes on to explain how eventually she found a way to get to know her siblings… She got day passes out of Radley for attending classes, but instead met Jason and Alison (as CeCe, not their sister) and became close to both of them. (Remember the eps with flashbacks to Alison being BFFs with CeCe? Oooooh.) 

Meanwhile, Bethany was still murder-y and threatening them, so at some point Charlotte thought her mom’s life was at risk and found Bethany sneaking around outside of the DiLaurentis house and hit her over the head with a rock. Except, surprise! It was Alison (who I guess looks like Bethany from behind) and that’s what kicked off this whole big mystery! The night Alison went missing!

After Charlotte appeared to have killed Alison, their mom BURIED HER while Charlotte looked on asking for forgiveness. And girrrrrl, you should let your mom finish burying your sister before you ask her to get over it.

After they’ve buried Alison, Mrs. D paid off a police offer (future, awful cop Wilden!) to sneak Charlotte back into Radley so no one will know she was out to kill Ali. (Even though, surprise! Ali wasn’t actually dead. Check a pulse next time, ladies!)

So Wilden always knew CeCe was a DiLaurentis in disguise because he’d met her as Charlotte that night! And he screwed with the girls & tried to arrest them for things he knew they weren’t doing! What a jerk. Well, good for him, because Charlotte killed him later to keep him quiet.

Oh, and Mona killed Bethany with a shovel, thinking it was her former school bully, Alison. Lots of deadly teen girls around Rosewood!

Anyway, Charlotte/CeCe spent time with Mona when she was in Radley and super out of it. Drugged Mona unknowingly told CeCe a ton of info on the girls and kicked off the whole ‘A’ texting, stalking awful behavior.

And just when CeCe seems maybe less crazy and more a victim of circumstance & bad decisions, she says this stuff:

“I know you won’t believe me, but I love all of my dolls.(Dolls! Like when they were locked in that dollhouse bunker. NO THANKS!)

“I would never let anything really bad happen to them… it sucks to kill someone even when they deserve it.” (Oh, I bet.)

And Bunker-Sara, Emily’s ridiculous new love interest, is Red Coat! Remember that excessively veiled person at Weldon’s funeral? Also Bunker-Sara! With ‘A’/Charlotte/CeCe in the car waiting for confirmation that he was dead (so he wouldn’t be able to stop Alison from returning/being alive again.)

At present, she’s been directed to set a bomb at Radley to blow up the DiLaurentis family, including ‘A,’ post-reveal. First, DUH EMILY. SHE WAS SO OBVIOUSLY WEIRD AROUND YOU. And second, like Spencer can’t easily disarm a bomb and ruin your plans! 😂 The day is saved!

Next we fast forward to Labor Day and see the girls saying goodbye as they head off to college. Except Alison is staying home and looks like their sad, frumpy mother sending them away to school.

At the very end, we see our first glimpse of the time jump to five years in the future. Alison is in a classroom writing a name on the chalkboard. The rest of the girls run in and look worried/say some weird stuff: “He’s coming for you.” / “We have to go.” / “We came back for you, Alison, so move it!” / “Too late, he’s already here.” So basically: WTFFFFFFF!?

Oh, and the moms are still locked in the DiLaurentis basement from prom night as far as we know. If they didn’t get out before the time jump, they’re totally bones now.


Check out the whole season so far in recaps on this Pretty Little Liars page. It’s been great. Remember the tennis ball wearing a wig? CLASSIC CECE.

my house

Living Room Progress: Walls are Happening!

In the past month, since we ripped the paneling off the walls, we’ve had the air conditioning vent moved from the wall to the ceiling, and all of the electrical re-done. Then we took a pause to spend a week in Portland and I spent a weekend working in Fort Worth, so… now we’re back to work!

After getting a few estimates on drywall installation, we settled on a company and today they started! It was loud & messy & so exciting! It’s already so much brighter in there! It’s going to me aaaaaamazing! 😀

This is what it looks like tonight:

Over the next two days, they’ll be back to add texture and paint. Can’t wait to see it when it’s done!

pop culture

WTF, Pretty Little Liars Summer Finale!

Listen, y’all. I’m gonna need some TIME to ruminate on tonight’s episode of Pretty Little Liars (“Game Over, Charles,” S06E08).

Me, right now:



For now, please bask in the glory of my favorite lines from this episode:

Alison: “You almost froze Aria & Spencer to death.”
A: “Almost!”
Alison: “You drove a car through Emily’s house.”
A: “Yeah, and I almost cut her in half too, but is she hurt? No.”


Swing back by on Thursday for the full recap. Until then, the recaps for episodes 1-9 can be found here.

pop culture, reading

Mindy Kaling & Fall TV

I love television and checking out new shows every fall is my fave.

“Each fall, the trade papers publish loglines of the upcoming TV pilots… Here are some of the kinds of shows the networks seem to be clamoring for lately…”

A confident workaholic named Marcia or Alex comes home to find her husband cheating on her with his secretary. The discovery always occurs in the middle of the afternoon, and the adultery is always happening in her own bed, in view of photographs of her kids. The rest of the series explores her journey to a new life as a sex-positive fortysomething. She gets a really fun assistant who’s an expert on all the new, slutty dating protocols. Also, everyone on this show spends a lot of time drinking wine while sprawled on couches. And they’re always wearing jeans and are barefoot, sitting with one foot tucked under them.

See Kaling’s piece in The New Yorker, Coming This Fall, for the rest:

  • Boy-Man Must Face the Adult World
  • The Staunch Oval Office Dame
  • Dad! Mom!
  • Hot Serial Killer Who’s Kind of Literary
  • Neurotic Sensitive Guy is Also Super-Unhappy
  • Remake of Gritty Israeli Show About Terrorism/Infidelity/Mental Illness
  • Talkative Chubster Seeks Husband

Book Cover of Mindy Kaling's Why Not MeSpeaking of Mindy Kaling, did you know she has a new book out next month?

Why Not Me? releases September 15 and oops, I’ve pre-ordered it three ways (hardcover, audio, ebook). Listen, y’all, I like to support what I love AND I like options.

The pre-orders were inspired by my multiple beloved copies of Mindy’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). (I highly recommend the audiobook!) We’re close enough in age that her pop culture references from growing up and life stages match up with mine so closely that the stories are a delight to laugh along with… sort of like watching Dawson’s Creek when it aired and the kids were my exact same age at the time. Perfection.