Hope everyone is doing well. I sure am. Life has settled into a routine of home activity and studies, so there isn’t too much to report this month, aside from all the new stuff that I watched and some doggie tidbits. ☺️
- The good vibes I’m getting from my research – I hope it lasts long! ✌️
- Distracting myself with tennis (I’m hooked on LiveScore whenever I can’t watch) and seeing Dominic Thiem (the best of the younger players) winning Barcelona Open, beating homeboy Nadal in the semis 🎾
- Trying new, yummy recipes with the slow cooker 😋
- The news of Niki Lauda’s death, a sports hero (watch the movie Rush and read my thoughts here)
- The unstable weather which makes my mood… even more unstable! ⚡️
Doggie Diaries 🐶
- Life with the dogs has been pretty calm, which is always a good sign, especially when remembering the forced visits to the vet in the previous two months.
- I love how they keep me company while I’m studying, even though sometimes they have to divide their time between me at my desk and Matt in the living room, poor doggies. 💙 Dash is addicted to sleeping at my feet under the desk. I suspect that it’s not just my feet that he likes, but the enclosed space, because when we’re all back in the living room, he’s starting to crawl under a small side table by the balcony door for a nap. It’s like a kennel for him, haha.
- Rowley is taking a leaf out of Dash’s book of ‘dog behaviour’, i.e. to bark at other dogs while we’re out for a walk! The first time it happened, we were shocked as he was never much of a barker with other people or animals, unlike Dash who’s capable of barking even at his own shadow! Now, all of a sudden, there are times when both of them bark at a dog. What perplexes us is their criteria for choosing the dog to bark at because they do not bark at all of them, only at some. Anyway, whenever that happens, I feel a little embarrassed because they’re so loud; yet I can’t help but crack a smile while I’m trying to hush them. 😄
- Another funny thing with Rowley is that he seems to understand the word ‘bye’, or rather, the signs of me preparing to leave the house. Sometimes we tease him by making him believe that I’m going out, when in fact I’m only moving to another room. It soon stops being funny though, because he goes totally nuts and starts barking his head off! And believe me, his bark is not soft at all! He’s kind of getting out of control now.
- Take a look at their Instagram, @dashandrowley, as I have been uploading some pics and videos of them!
What I’ve been watching
- Movies: Only two films this month.
- Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile: A new release which tells the story of serial killer Ted Bundy from the point of view of his girlfriend, Liz. I found it deeply disturbing, not just because of what he did (which I already knew in detail; the film didn’t dwell too much on the gory bits, except towards the very end), but because Bundy is played by ex-teen heartthrob Zac Efron, and at least half of the movie plays almost like some light rom-com showing all the girls drooling over Bundy. Ugh. It’s a good movie, though.
- Twisted Pair: We found the latest creation from Neil Breen, one of those bad filmmakers who has a cult following on the Internet. This was definitely his worst movie ever. It still makes you laugh because it’s so ridiculous, but he keeps repeating the same themes and motifs, and it’s becoming annoying. One hour and a half seemed to last forever.
- TV: We watched several shows, all on Netflix, including new releases and several documentaries.
- Chambers: In this new show, a teenage girl is possessed by the spirit of her heart transplant’s donor. It’s creepy (but not scary), and the twists keep you glued, but I thought it grew overly complicated towards the end. What I appreciated the most was the diversity, both in the choice of actors and in actually incorporating that same diversity (Native American) in the plot.
- The OA: Season 2 came out last March, but we only discovered this series this month while browsing trailers on Netflix. It’s about near-death experiences and dimension travel, so it is not that easy to understand at first, but it eventually grows on you and keeps you hooked. I probably enjoyed it also because it kind of resonates with what I’m reading about these days. I hope they will confirm Season 3 soon!
- Comedy: The best comedy I saw this month was Tuca & Bertie, the new adult animated series produced by the creator of BoJack Horseman. Like BoJack, it has anthropomorphic characters, with two feathery female protagonists. I found it hilarious, and I loved the feminist vibes. Another funny short series is It’s Bruno!, which I recommend to all dog lovers. Then, we also watched Flinch, a British game show where contestants have to endure challenges without flinching. Their reactions are funny to watch, but I didn’t like how they often repeated the same challenges.
- Documentaries: First off was a short doc from the ReMastered series, Devil at the Crossroads, about Robert Johnson, a mysterious blues musician. The rest all have the same theme, life in prison: Jailbirds, Girls Incarcerated, and Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons.
- Eurovision: Like every year, we tuned in to the biggest music show. I liked it better than the previous two years, but among all the songs, there is only one which I will definitely be playing again throughout the year, and it’s Iceland’s entry by Hatari. The industrial sound, the growling, and the staging all rendered well the idea of a dystopia.
What I’ve been reading
- I continued with my thesis-related reads, and so far, I’m enjoying the books and their subjects. I can recommend one of them, as it’s not too academic: Alex Owen’s The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England, about the history of English spirit mediums from around the 1870s.
- I only managed one book as a ‘pleasure read’: Bizarre Malta lists over 50 places, events, or specific objects or habits from my country that are mysterious or unusual. I love reading about old tales and myths, so I really enjoyed this one. It made me realise that there’s still a lot that I don’t know about Malta.