W’happening Weekend 2016

The first instalment.

I was distracted my Nanowrimo, then Christmas, then my coursework got the better of me. But now I’m back and now ready to share with y’all what has taken my fancy mediawise and whatnot.

So outside of class…. what am I reading?

Welcome to Night Vale (a novel)

images

I started listening to WTNV the podcast back in my third year of uni. It helped me through a very solitary summer of manual labour, and I really love The Story of You (its a fan favourite. if you know, you know). So when I heard about the novel being written and that it was to focus on the mystery of the Man in the Tan Jacket (the door to door salesman) I was intrigued… because of all of the characters I want to know about, I want to know about Emmett… I mean, Everett… I mean (other name) some more.

There was also a moment while working as a magazine distributer during last year’s London Book Fair where I saw someone walking out of the venue with their nose buried in what was CLEARLY an advanced copy, or maybe a proof? I just know I really wanted to leave my position and chase after them demanding they hand it over. But I didn’t. So I gifted it to myself for christmas.

BOYYYYYYYY

The novel has all the trappings of the biweekly podcast episodes with cameos/references to my fave WTNV characters… but damn, its nice to focus on one (or rather two) stories for an extended period of time. To quote the WTNV host Cecil, in all it is “Weird at last. Weird at last, God Almighty Weird at last.”

Watching

Love and Hip Hop

I’m gonna be super real right now. I never have watched Love and Hip Hip before in my life. My dad never let me watch reality TV growing up and it wasn’t till Jersey Shore that I started to watch my guilty pleasures (mostly on MTV or VHS1)… which then lead me to 16 and Pregnant, and the Teen Moms and Geordie Shore (but that’s where my Reality TV experience ended… until now)

According to the first episode, there have been new additions to this season. Lil B (You know, from Chicken Noodle soup with a soda on the side… I let it rain, I clear it out) who is now rapping under her given name- Bianca. Rap duo Bad Bitches On Deck… though in the three episodes I’ve watched it looks like they might not be a duo for much longer. A girl so small that she reminds me of Lady Gaga in waifish-ness… and the main reason I started to watch the show.

My girl Cardi B.

Cardi is the first instagram I followed for jokes and selfies. She’s so personable and real about her life and situations its hard not to love her, crooked teeth and all. Cardi’s going through, what I guess you would call a professional glow-up? She used to be a stripper, and now she’s a rapper, events host, she’s walking on the catwalk at NYFW- now my baby is on TV. Like, I’m literally here for her antics. And, as usual her catchphrases and reactions are perfectly gif-able.

Listening To

Charly Black – Party Animal DJ BrainDeaD remix

I am preparing man. Carnival is coming soon, my mum’s back in Trinidad absorbing all that sun and enjoying family recipes and I’m slyly jealous, but trying to create my own vacation between studies, chores and sleeping by listening to this song.

It’s a good combo of dancehall and twerk tunes (its tagged as #twerkhall on soundcloud where it is in the top streamed dancehall songs at the moment). Breh. I’ve never been so distracted while brushing my teeth before. Legitimately, dancing to this song might help me lose weight or something… I’ll get back to you on that.

I’m seeing a theme here…

Second installment of my weekly doings. Well, after two intense days at uni and my final two shifts I finally got some time to relax… and now I feel less guilty about what I’m doing! The fact that a reading week is coming up sure does help. Anyway, this week… I’ve been:

Reading:  Randolph Lalonde Origins (Spinward Fringe Book 0)

Source: amazon.com

Something great about my iPhone is the Kindle app. I get to do reading on my four hours commuting to and from uni on the days I’m in. I’m making progress on a sci-fi novel named by. It’s got all the regular things I enjoy, humans, space battles, hints of aliens and strategy (because space wars are all about strategy).

Nifty little object that the MC has? A cool ass vaccum suit that deals with space-business… oh, and it comes out from a little bracelet from their hand and is crafted to their skin through microbes everyday after disintegrating all of the dead skin cells from their body… and of course, an A.I. personal assistant who is so advanced that it is just a hairs width away from being outlawed.

They’re fighting for resources for their artificial planet, going against some kind of big evil space corporation. So I guess they’re almost… space communists? I could be wrong in my interpretation. But I’m just starting and it is just so very cool.

Watching: Unforgotten

Source: mainstreetpictures.co.uk

If you’re sensing that I like crime shows… you are correct. Unforgotten is an ITV Drama, following the opening of a case in North London after a body is found buried in a cellar. So far, its tackled issues of sex, redemption, racism and is doing a very good job of showing the shift of personality through time in the persons of interest in the case. Of the multiple POI are a priest who’s known to having affairs, a former National Front member, a former gangster and a seemingly nice wheelchair-bound man with an abusive streak.

The murder isn’t even the most engaging facet of the series I believe. The interest of the cold case and the changes in the POI as the police attempt to get justice for the murder victim intrigues me more. I change my idea on who I think the murderer is about three times an episode before giving up on speculating. It’s all the fun guesswork of your everyday crime drama, with the added unreliability of narrative that I was first introduced to in E4s My Mad Fat Diary as the PCIs end up frustrated and running in circles due to the evasiveness of those they are investigating.

Listening to: Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Source: hamiltonbroadway.com

I’m not usually a big fan of musicals. But I’ve been seeing rumblings about Hamilton: An American Musical, based on the founding father on the $10 bill’s life. It’s freely available on Spotify and has been since this September… since listening to it I haven’t raved about it enough. Hamilton goes gone against everything I thought musicals would be, I’ve listened to it in full over seven times in as many days. Lin-Manuel Miranda has ensnared me, I’ve never been so enthused about American History… to be expected from the man who penned the lyrics to the numbers in In the Heights (2008).

It’s so modern and raw and perfect. I mean, that the musical numbers are quite clearly hip-hop inspired bangers helps. The lyrics are madness, the wordplay is undeniably fantastic, Cabinet #1 is a rap battle that has me hollering at every punchline as though I’m in the ensemble. The cast are so brilliant, not only are they great at rapping at mad speeds and commanding attention through dynamic action and stage theatrics (major props to Daveez Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Renée Elise Goldsberry’s Angelica Schuyler personally). On top of it all, they are so  talented in projecting the emotions in their performances. I wouldn’t be surprised if attending this musical feels more like a concert than anything else and I can’t wait for the Hamilton to come to the UK so I can see for myself.

I’ve startled my parents when I start rapping along to Guns and Ships in my room (LAFAYETTE!!!)… I’ve annoyed my poor neighbors wailing Helpless and Satisfied during the night and, to be fair, they’ve retorted with midnight fireworks… I’ve cried at Dear Theodosia and Its Quiet Uptown while trying to fall asleep…

I’m also, much more informed on the Alexander Hamilton’s (and his family and friends’) role in the founding of America… and wow. I’m impressed. Talk about being the change you want to see.

Misc: NanoWriMo has begun

I have updated my word count to 1690 on day one! I’m so excited. This week I’ve finalized my plot. I’m so happy to find out that so many of my fellow MA students are also taking part. Definitely more enthused than I was last year. I’m happy to produce a blurb to share. I’ll have you know that I don’t think it will turn out like the Riftwar Cycle at all, apart from the fact that I would categorize them both as “portal fantasy”.

Weaver

A trip of self discovery

Kewoya’ana is a girl on the cusp of womanhood with no life plans as the world accelerates around her. Returning from a close friend’s wedding, she is transported to a strange land full of even stranger people she has heard of only through the smoke and shadows of her father’s educational  fireside stories. She must develop understanding of this new world’s thoughts on gender, race and social standing in order to make her way back to the familiar…

If she fails she will remain an outcast on the fringes of society… something that never appeared to be an option in her childish fantasies of adulthood.


Until next week then

W’happening Weekend

So other than what I hope will be weekly posts on things in general (updated every Wednesday), I’ve decided to do a weekly round-up of what I’m readng, watching, listening to and attempting for the first (or second… or third) time.

Reading : Robin Hobb Fool’s Quest (second book of  Fitz & The Fool trilogy)

Source: Harper Collins (UK Publisher) website

Not even going to lie. I was introduced to Robin Hobb in sixth form, by then most of her books had been out for years. I was lucky enough to be gifted the first of The Rainwilds Chronicles and have collected them since. The thing I love most about Hobb’s writing is the world building (and the dragons). Hanging out in the Six Duchies; we’re picking up right where we left off spoilers: Bee’s been kidnapped and her home ransacked; Fitz and the Fool are reunited in the most chaotic manner, and with his companion so close to death’s door Fitz pushes aside his fatherly responsibilities in order to bring the Fool to Buckkeep to try and save him.

Oh my god y’all. It’s getting real. I cried reading Nighteyes’ origin passage (I didn’t realise how fresh his death was in my mind), I cried in chapter 8, because I thought this would be one of those Hero-NEVER-gets-recognition-for-his-services-and-dies-alone stories but it’s not and I’m so glad, Oh Robin I have so many feelings about Fitz you can’t simply understand.

I was sucked in so fast. I kinda devoured it, second time around I’m taking a more leisurely pace…

Watching: Chewing Gum

Source: E4 Website, promotional image for Episode 1

I was introduced to E4s new comedy series through a tumblr gifset. I knew at once that I had to watch it. It’s a follow up to writer/actress/singer-songwriter/playwright (is there anything she can’t do?) Michaela Coel’s play Chewing Gum Dreams, set ten years on from the innocence of childhood dreams of adolescence and idealised adulthood crashing and revealing the real awkwardness of being a 20-something year old in London.

It opens with the main character Tracey having a little monologue on the origin of her name, while we follow her navigating home after a prayer session with her Christian boyfriend who refuses all forms of intimacy, even holding hands! (while Tracey is gagging for some canoodling). Her best friend, super-buff Candice who is adamant that Tracey should skip the party being held that night to turn in her V-card at the age of 24, while Tracey’s  Devil-fearing sister Cynthia wants the two of them to stay in all night avoiding temptation and playing Ludo while their mum is out “evangelising”.

I find the character ridiculously relatable and the humour reminds me of days spent reading the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, but more grown up. And I’m always down for a dark-skinned Black British female lead… who also happens to be in love with Beyoncé.

Listening: Undisclosed: The State vs. Adnan Syed

Source: Undisclosed Official Twitter

Last year I was addicted to the podcast Serial, hosted by Sara Koenig. She produced a narrative podcast focusing on the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the prosecution of Hae’s ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed who has spent his entire adult life incarcerated as a result of being found guilty of a crime while he professes his innocence.

The woman who brought the story to Koenig, Rabia Chaudry- the older sister of Adnan’s best friend, hosts the story with two other lawyers: Susan Simpson and Colin Miller who were active in the Serial online community. Unlike Serial which focused on the narrative of the investigation and court-case, Undisclosed focuses on the technical analysis of the investigation and the case with intent to prove Adnan’s innocence (and updating his appeals progress).

The podcast started this April, unfortunately, real life distracted me and now I’m catching up. The case is even more interesting than I thought, there is a real sense of educating listeners on the law and how the State or Adnan’s defense lawyer’s actions led to him being found guilty of Hae’s murder.

I like to think I enjoy police procedurals because I like the idea of Justice. True justice, like the guilty get punished and the victims get support and closure kind of justice I watch in my Law & Order SVU marathons. With Serial there was a sense of confusion, as Koenig’s journalistic investigation continued the more ambiguous her thoughts on Adnan’s guilt became. There is none of that is Undisclosed, Chaudry and her co-hosts dissection of the evidence collection, Adnan’s defense attorney’s and the prosecution’s performance all relate back to their belief that Adnan was not given a fair trial… To be honest, after every bombshell that’s been dropped about the case, it’s no surprise that the thousands of people who tune in for the bi-weekly episodes and addendum believe in his innocence.

Misc: I tried to cook home food…

The inspiration… 

This is a more random category. Today I’m trying to make fried bake… again. Some background? My parents are from Trinidad and I love Fried bake, even more than I love saltfish, even more than I love curried goat, probably tied with my love of hard dough bread…

Last Sunday I was home alone and I was hit with a craving. I had all the ingredients, and so I thought,, “Hey self, you’ve only ever watched mummy make the dough once before. You can totally make it with guesstimating measurements.” I was clearly lying to myself. Took me two attempts but at least the second batch puffed up!

I’m 22 now, I should know by now how to cook my favourite recipes. Apparently my mum was cooking Sunday Lunch for a large household at the young age of 12. While I’m not so sheltered enough to not know how to cook basics like pasta like some people my age, I’m not quite there with my comfort food.

Perhaps I need my own Naparima Girl’s cookbook.