100 more random pop culture things I like.

(Part one is here.)

1. Doctor Who and all things related.
2. Nearly anything and everything John and Hank Green do, at least on the Internet. (John Green wrote, among other things, The Fault In Our Stars, which is great. Hank is his brother. They make and produce a lot of web series.)
3. Martin Freeman’s impression of Gollum. It does not matter how many times I watch that; it makes me giggle every single time.
4. The movie Across the Universe and all of Julie Taymor’s weird Beatles fangirling.
5. The fact that there is a regular at the store where I work that looks almost exactly like Ian in High Fidelity, and that I can turn to one of my coworkers and whisper, “GET YOUR PATCHOULI STINK OUT OF MY STORE” whenever he passes by. (He’s actually a pretty decent guy. Does not smell like patchouli.)
6. Christopher Scott’s routines on So You Think You Can Dance. (Emmy-nominated example here.)
7. Neil Patrick Harris’ opening numbers at the Tonys.
8. This quiz on Sporcle.
9. The Periodic Table of Muppets.
10. All the random musical numbers on Jimmy Fallon.
10. John Coltrane, A Love Supreme.
11. “Slow Dancing In a Burning Room”.
12. Pentatonix, “Dog Days Are Over”.
13. Pentatonix’s Kevin Olusola beatboxes and plays cello at the same time.
14. Punch Brothers cover Radiohead.
15. Whenever Bobcat Goldthwait is on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!
16. Whenever Scottish people are on Craig Ferguson (he and Ewan Macgregor have a particularly good time, it seems).
17. Also, whenever Doctor Who actors are on Craig Ferguson.
18. The little short films before Pixar movies. (My favorites so far are La Luna and Night and Day.)
19. Alton Brown’s podcast.
20. The Joss Whedon-directed Much Ado About Nothing and everyone involved, but especially Nathan Fillion as Dogberry.
21. Also, the Kenneth Branagh-directed Much Ado About Nothing and (almost) everyone involved. (Seriously, why is Keanu Reeves even in that movie?)
22. The production of Hamlet that the BBC filmed starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart, which contains THE best version of the “To be or not to be” soliloquy, in my opinion. It’s the only version I’ve seen where I’ve thought re: the actor: “He gets it.”
23. Shakespeare movies, apparently. (Though not all.)
24. C.S. Lewis’s essays defending genre fiction.
25. The webcomic Unshelved.
26. Christian band MercyMe has this thing they do on their YouTube channel called Cover Tune Grab Bag–my favorites are “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Baby”.
27. The fact that a) Hanson still makes music (and it’s pretty good, actually) and b) also recently put out their own brand of beer called–and I cannot make this up–Mmm Hops. Yep.
28. God help me, but “Thrift Shop”. (Although “Can’t Hold Us” is also ridiculously good.)
29. Stephen Colbert (and friends) dancing to “Get Lucky”.
30. Related: Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer (i.e., Duckie from Pretty In Pink), Jim Walton, and Neil Patrick Harris perform “Sorry/Grateful” from Company.
31. Patty Griffin sounds more and more like Emmylou Harris the older she gets and this is in no way a bad thing.
32. OK GO music videos.
33. Tripping Out With Alie and Georgia on the Cooking Channel. So great. It’s like if a few of my friends and I went on a trip together and we all had Anthropologie wardrobes.
34. I have recently discovered Top Gear and “Star in a Moderately-Priced Car” is my new favorite thing.
35. The fandom blends at Adagio Teas.
36. Not proud of this, but effing Candy Crush.
37. Mayim Bialik (i.e., Blossom) and Danica Patrick (i.e., Winnie Cooper) have advanced degrees in neurobiology and mathematics, respectively. (Danica Patrick even has a theorem named after her.)
38. Do y’all know about James Nesbitt? He’s an Irish actor and has been in some stuff like the BBC series Jekyll and a small indie movie called The Hobbit (he’s the dwarf with the earflap hat). He is rad. Check him out. Also, if they ever make a film of C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength, I nominate him for MacPhee.
39. J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek movies.
40. Speaking of, this blooper from the first Star Trek movie is hilarious. (“NO SPOCK!” “Fascinatin’…”)
41. A TV show that was on FX in 2010 called Terriers–two private investigators who are friends, one’s an ex-cop, one’s an ex-thief, yada yada, but what makes it such a great show are the writing and the actors. It’s on Netflix. Go watch it.
42. That scene in Elizabethtown when they show the fire safety video to the kids.
43. “Blunt the knives, bend the forks…” (I will never not love this, because I am a giant nerd.)
44. The best movie lines that never get into those best movie line lists. Some very not-safe-for-work-or-kids language, but still great.
45. Seriously, I know I’ve mentioned it before, but if you haven’t seen The Philadelphia Story, GO WATCH IT.
46. Pulp Shakespeare. (“We should have broadswords for deeds such as these.”)
47. ’20s and ’30s jazz music.
48. Will Shortz’s puzzles on Weekend Edition.
49. Did y’all see that show Awake on NBC? If not, it’s also on Netflix. It stars Jason Isaacs, i.e. Lucius Malfoy. Amazing. (Also, it has in common with Terriers the fact of its being cancelled after one season, and the excellent actress Laura Allen.)
50. Everything J.K. Rowling says happens to the characters after the Harry Potter books end. Everything.
51. The BBC Proms!
52. The rather obscure U2 song “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”. Lyrics by Salman Rushdie, of all people.
53. Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue.
54. Kishi Bashi, “Bright Whites”.
55. The Motown version of “How You Remind Me”.
56. I mean, I love Christian Bale as Batman and all, but I’m honestly kind of intrigued by the idea of Ben Affleck in that role.
57. In Anne Hathaway’s performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” in the Les Mis movie, the line “As they turn your dreams to shame” kills me every single time, because she turns the word “shame” into a cry of lament instead of just singing the notes.
58. Peter Jackson’s behind-the-scenes video blogs.
59. Troy and Abed’s little skits during the credits on Community.
60. Movie trailers.
61. The Vitamin String Quartet–when they’re bad, they’re pretty bad, but when they’re good, they’re very good. Their cover of “In Your Eyes” is great.
62. Bela Fleck’s cover of Bach’s Prelude from Suite for Unaccompanied Cello. (Yes, on the banjo.)
63. So I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and it’s crazy-disturbing, but pretty good. It kept my attention, anyway.
64. Fr. Thomas Mackenzie’s One-Minute Reviews at the Rabbit Room.
65. A three-year-old kid recites Lord Tennyson’s “The Eagle”.
66. If I ever get married, at some point during the reception, there needs to be a Soul Train line.
67. The fact that right after that video asking what the fox says came out, Popular Science came out with an article about what noises foxes actually make.
68. The Sunday Routine column in the New York Times.
69. Related: Daily routines of artists and writers and other creative types.
70. And, um, the Morning Routine articles at Bon Appetit.
71. The Price is Right.
72. Have you guys seen Celebrity Game Night? It is great.
73. The Twitter feed of Broadway composer/performer Lin-Manuel Miranda, which recently featured a series of tweets about how the Internet is like summer camp. For example: “The internet is summer camp and Yahoo! Answers is the under-qualified nurse’s office. #icepack? #gargle? #isthishelpful?” He has also done Q&A sessions during which he only answers using lyrics from musicals. Stellar.
74. We have these mugs at the store where I work that have the cover art for Joshua Tree on them and I kind of want one.
75. Looping machines.
76. The ’90s hip-hop station on Pandora.
77. There’s an episode of All Songs Considered (one of NPR’s music podcasts) where they just cover ’90s music, and I have listened to it twice already and am thinking about just keeping it on a flash drive or something.
78. The music video for Bob Dylan’s cover of “It Must Be Santa”. It’s so random and weird and out of character for him, but that’s why I love it.
79. John Green’s aforementioned novel The Fault In Our Stars. And I am going to just assume that I’ll love the movie, too.
80. But actually, my favorite John Green book is An Abundance of Katherines, mostly because it has footnotes.
81. The Roots and Elvis Costello made an album together called Wise Up Ghost and I love it. And I’m not even a huge Elvis Costello fan.
82. Kindle Daily Deals.
83. I had a thought the other day that Alan Rickman would’ve been a better Javert in Les Miserables–I mean, he’s got the acting chops, and he already established that he can sing in Sweeney Todd. Plugging his voice into the song “Stars” in my imagination makes me happy, although it probably won’t ever happen in reality…
84. Arthur Darvill is currently starring on Broadway in a musical based on one of my favorite movies, Once, in a role that was originated by Glen Hansard, one of my favorite musicians, and basically my head is exploding. Also, Arthur’s in a band called Edmund that sounds really great and I wish I could get hold of their music somehow.
85. Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad (daughter of Phylicia, i.e. Claire Huxtable) are doing the title roles in Romeo and Juliet on Broadway right now, too.
86. Oh, and Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart and Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley are all doing two plays together in New York this fall. No big deal. (Basically, I just want to be in New York right now.)
87. Mental Floss, the trivia magazine, has a YouTube channel and they do these amazing list shows with none other than the multiple-aforementioned John Green.
88. Zen Pencils is a much-linked webcomic that illustrates quotes from famous people.
89. “Moses” from Singin’ In the Rain doesn’t make everything better, but it sure makes a heck of a lot of things better. (Completely underrated: The performance of the guy playing the elocution teacher. His reactions are so great.)
90. The Lone Bellow and Over the Rhine cover Paul Simon’s “Slip Slidin’ Away”. (If you have not heard of those two bands, I am sorry I have failed you by not insisting you listen to them.)
91. I’ve recently discovered Neil Gaiman through his excellent novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane and a couple of Doctor Who episodes he wrote.
92. Also, Stephen King? Amazing. Looking forward to Doctor Sleep.
93. I know I’ve already given a Jimmy Fallon shout-out, but there’s a video of him and The Roots and a bunch of Sesame Street characters together that is the happiest thing you will ever see online. (Watch Questlove and Murray in the top left during the very beginning.)
94. Speaking of The Roots, their station on Pandora is excellent running music.
95. Peter Capaldi–ever since he was announced as the twelfth Doctor, I’ve looked up his other work, and friends, he can act.
96. NPR’s blog about race and culture made a taxonomy of bros.
97. Glen Weldon of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour has been tweeting the past week or so with the hashtag #duringthegovernmentshutdown2piginthecity and it is so bizarre and weird and funny what he’s been coming up with.
98. Great Performances on PBS.
99. There is a Sound of Music pop-up book. You’re welcome.
100. For a while on the New York Times Bestseller List, there was a book entitled William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. R2-D2’s dialogue is done in iambic pentametric beeps. Not kidding. (See also: Two Gentlemen of Lebowski.)

To the Children I May or May Not Have

Right now, you are untested hypotheses,
Question marks left hanging at the ends of
Sentences in my body’s unanswered prayers.

Or perhaps you are some other woman’s
Future anxiety, her unresolved ellipses,
Her worried hope, and my

Joyful exclamation. Or, and
I hesitate to speak it lest it be so,
You may be impossibilities, erased

Words out of the next blank pages
Of my story. I do not, cannot, will not
Know until my plot thread catches

Up with the Writer’s scribblings.
Until then, my darlings, we wait.

“No, you cannot love in moderation…”

1. Beginning to let go of my long embrace of a darkness that I used to love because I thought it made me holy, instead of seeing that it made me both miserable and unloving.

2. For a brief moment in time I thought about being a midwife, but then decided I didn’t want to deal with medical things, especially when it came to the bringing forth of a life. These days, I want to be a counselor, which I guess involves a weird midwifery of the soul–the healing of lives is sometimes gentle, sometimes violent, often pretty painful. It took a large team to help fix me.

3. Some days I wonder whether or not I’ll ever get married, and if I get married if I’ll ever have kids (I have some health things that make that a question), or if I should adopt. Sometimes I listen to the voice that says, “Who would want you?” And then sometimes I remember, and answer, “Jesus does. The people that love me despite my sin do.”

4. From the sermon this morning, a line that cut me to the heart: “Love does not fear the lack of reciprocation.” Why? Because it already has found its fulfillment in a greater love. I want to love like this.

5. And I look sometimes at my love and how shallow and closed-minded it is, but also at how much bigger it is than it used to because, because it’s a little bit braver. Take courage, Christian, you will one day shine like the stars.

6. I’ve been thinking about the sea, thanks to last night’s devotion, and how the sea is often used as a metaphor for chaos and destruction, and how Jesus drowned in that sea in order to pull us up out of it. The writer of Psalm 69 says that the waters have come up to his neck, and that’s often true. But because of Jesus, we will not drown in them. The waves will not overcome us; the sea of chaos will one day be replaced with the glory of the Lord.

7. That’s all I have. Good night.