Better Things

So this show. Wow. You guys know I love TV. And “Better Things” is one of the best things I have come across in a long, long time. I mean yes, of course I love “This is Us”, I am a human being with a heart. But this, it’s real and raw and sharp and acerbic and honest and really fucking funny and relatable and beautiful in a way I was not expecting. It also had me sobbing on my couch yesterday and touched me in a place that “This is Us” could never. P.S. the New York Times agrees with me, so there’s that – Review: ‘Better Things’ Returns, and Better

“Better Things” is the story of a single mom raising three daughters in LA. She happens to be Jewish. She’s an actress. Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K. created/write/direct produce and she stars. The entire cast is spectacular. Her daughters. Her mother (oh her mother – Phyl). Her friends. This show is perfection. Like in the same way “Girls” was in season 1 and every episode of the the last season, except the series finale which I still cannot understand.

I binged season 1 last week on Hulu on a tip from my best friend and it made me laugh out loud. I was instantly drawn in and started raving about it. I was not prepared for the shift in season 2 and the increased depth of every episode.

Season 2 is still in swing (Thursdays at 10 on FX). Sam is single. She dates (her monologue on a date in episode 2 of season 2 is EPIC, Better Things “Rising” preview), she gets laid, but it’s all periphery. This show is not about her love life. Her daughters are her life. No, they are her heart. But she is the antithesis of warm and fuzzy. She has sharp edges and is harsh and abrasive and independent, but she’s also just likable because you can see a little bit of yourself in her, or who you wish you could be. In episode 3 of the season, “Robin”, Sam meets a new friend. These are the descriptions of all of the episodes btw, Same has people over, Sam is forced to look at some stuff. I so love that.

Back to Robin. Sam in bed by herself having this reverie with the most perfect music playing (aptly titled “Everything is New” by Briana Mareala) and flashbacks to unexpectedly meeting a man, Robin, the night before and the conversation and connection that ensued. We only got to hear part of their conversation, moving between that and just seeing them talk and their faces, then jumping back to the expressions on her face the next morning as she relives the experience while her daughters have barged into her room and onto her bed, demanding her attention. But it’s like white noise and really she can’t pull herself out of the visceral memory and experiencing it again. This hit me hard.

I saw the hope. I saw the magic of realizing a connection is forming that is unusual for someone who does not form connections easily. I saw two divorced people with baggage, and scars. I saw the vulnerability of them both. This is unfamiliar territory for them both. Her apprehension was visible, as was her excitement. Cue the sobbing.

No one talks about love after divorce. Heartbreak after divorce. How much harder it is, to put yourself out there, open your life up, your heart, your children. And how devastating it is when it ends. Maybe it’s the expectation. You’ve already been through a divorce, healed, done the work on yourself to see how you contributed, cleaned up things on your side of the street and put yourself back out there. Maybe you think that now you’re smarter and will pick a better person because you know who you are and what you need and what didn’t work last time and this time you will get it right. And then you actually find someone that makes you feel something you have never felt before and go all in and experience a love you knew existed but didn’t know it could be for you. And then that doesn’t work out either because it’s not just about love, and life is complicated as is timing, and people are so much more damaged and broken than we want to admit, myself included. And then the wound that was so nicely healed up gets ripped back open and you’re just bleeding. No one talks about this, but it’s real and it happens and it is hard and it hurts. 

Watching two people experience the beginning of that something that they know is profoundly and acutely different as it’s happening was to relive it myself. I’ve wondered if I would go back and do it again, despite the pain and disappointment of a person and a relationship not being what I had thought or wanted. The answer is yes. And I will do it again.

TV man. I love it because it moves me and it makes me feel. This show makes me feel in a way that I reserve for my two favorite shows of all time: “Mad Men” and “Felicity”. “Better Things” is TV at its best and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Better Things

I Love You Sonos Much

I am not the most technically savvy person out there, by any means, but I’m no dummy either. You may disagree after I let you in on a little secret. I own no Apple or Android products. Seriously. I had like 2 iPods in the past, but that’s it. In my defense, I have worked at Microsoft for 8 years and it’s all I’ve ever really known. I have a PC. I have a Windows Phone. I have an Xbox. That said, I don’t get to experience many of the new apps that you normal people take for granted. Like Instagram, until recently. Or Tinder. Still no Tinder for me. But maybe that’s a good thing. And on that note, I need to do a post on my online dating experiences, which has been horrifying and would mostly be me telling you about the most ridiculous emails I get from these guys out there, I just don’t get it. Like, for example, I had this 26 year old guy email me and ask if I liked younger guys because he’d always wanted to sleep with a MILF. Um, no.

Sonos Logo

But I digress. The topic at hand is Sonos. Sonos lets you wirelessly stream music from tons of places, including your library, tons of music services and radio stations. One of my must-haves in the new house was built in ceiling speakers in the kitchen and living room. I did a little research to figure out what I needed to buy in order to get my Sonos sitch up and running and ended up with the Sonos Connect Amp ($499.99) and Bridge ($49.99). I can control via my laptop and phone, although the phone app isn’t even the real deal, it’s called “Phonos”. Sonos doesn’t have an app for Windows Phone. Lame and par for the course. So far, I have been using Songza or Spotify since most of my collection doesn’t come through due to my Xbox Music Pass. I won’t bore you with the details, but it’s a subscription service, I don’t own the songs, they’re protected, blah blah blah.

Bottom line, Sonos fucking rules. Yep, just dropped my first f bomb. That’s how much I love it. So pleasant to be cooking dinner and have the music playing. Working from home, sitting in my beautiful white kitchen with the music playing. I am chopping to Katy Perry and typing to Vampire Weekend. Sold.

 

Mix Tape Nostalgia – My Latest Road Trip Mix(es)

I have been making mixes for a long, long time. I made them all through middle school and high school. I meticulously recorded the songs I chose from cassette tapes, they might even have been tape singles, to another cassette tape – which seems just plain crazy now. The rewinding, the forwarding, to get it just right and make sure you didn’t catch the beginning or end of another song.  Other tape memories include:

Good times with this guy
Good times with this guy
  • the boom boxes had 2 tape players, for crazy people like me to make said mixes
  • when my Walkman got the auto-reverse function that flipped the tape over. Such an advancement (oh, I loved that big, yellow Sony Walkman)!
  • the stereo in my maroon, ’84 Volvo station wagon actually auto-stopped forwarding/rewinding the tape after each song break, really revolutionary stuff
  • I may have recorded a song or 2 from the radio – hey, that’s what you did when you didn’t have the tape!

In high school and college, things got easier with CD’s, this really opened things up for my mix tape making skills. There were several “Best Mix Ever”s, not to mention the famous “Europe Mix” which I made 3 copies for the 4 of us who traveled through Europe for a month post-college (you didn’t want to be the one who didn’t have a copy).

In my 20’s, I literally thought I had died and gone to heaven with the Napster/mp3 movement. I could have ANY SONG I WANTED WITHOUT HAVING TO BUY THE CD, JUST LIKE THAT!!! This was also around the same time pop music was making a huge resurgence, so I could get the singles I wanted with no investment in the entire album.

Now, here I am today, my music experience is in tip-top form, from the Bluetooth/phone experience in my car – Spotify or Xbox Music (yes, I am the one person who has a Windows Phone and uses Xbox Music), to the seamless way I can have the same experience on my laptop or TV.  The crazy thing is this is the only way Oliver has ever experienced music – on demand. If he wants to hear a song (or watch a TV show/movie) – BOOM, done. Kids these days….

Last weekend’s trip down to Portland required 2 mixes, Road Trip #1  – filled with upbeat, pop goodness that will pump you up and make you want to sing. Road Trip #2 – more mellow, still happy stuff, but won’t exacerbate fatigue or a hangover.

Now you get to enjoy my mixes (or I very much hope you do!) with just a click. How easy for you!

Road Trip Mix #1 – On the Way Down

Road Trip Mix #2 – On the Way Home

FYI – I get my music via subscription (Xbox Music & Spotify Premium) and pay a monthly to have access to all the music I want, wherever I want,  I just don’t own it, which is fine by me. And if I could get one gadget to enhance my experience right now, it would be one of these bad boys. Bring it from the kitchen to the bathroom when I’m getting ready, no plug in required!

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker
Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker