Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: Entertainment

Friday six-pack, 2017 v5

Me, every time I look at the news:


Because, in addition to the trash fire of my government, we had a little prison riot here in Delaware that resulted in the death of a corrections officer. Oh, and the prison? A mere 10 minutes from my house. And since it’s a small state, OF COURSE we knew people who were in there when it started. 

At least I had the news of Viola Davis playing Ruth in the movie adaptation of Small Great Things as a distraction.

Other than that, let’s see what happened:

Reading. Finished Idaho. Restarted The Lilac Girls and The Best of Adam Sharp (ARC from NetGalley). Picked Up Thirteen Reasons Why and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

Watching. Did I even turn on the TV this week? I don’t think I did. So nothing to report here. 

Listening. No new podcasts that I listened to but I am ridiculously excited for the new one from the Serial producers. It’s called S-Town, it’s a true crime podcast about a small town in rural Alabama, and it releases in March. So put that on your radar. 

Quitting. My 40 by 40. I actually quit is about a year ago but I’m now announcing it formally and officially. I’ll explain why I quit in another post.

Planning. Speaking of my 40th birthday, I have no idea what I want to do for it. I know I want to travel. I was hoping to be able to fulfill to-do list item #1, a trip to Australia, but I’m not quite sure how to logistically make it work. I mean, I understand the idea of getting on a plane and flying there but it’s so much bigger than that. So I’ll have to settle for another place that’s logistically easier but I don’t know where that is.

Laughing. Have a great weekend! I’ll be in Baltimore for another two day cheer comp and hopefully be home in time to watch the puppy bowl. See you on Tuesday for Judging Covers!

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Friday six-pack, 2017, v4: Here we go

Well, we’re one week in and I can’t. I CAN’T because WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS GOING ON? WHAT IS HAPPENING?! As those are mostly rhetorical because I know you’re all probably as befuddled as I am, I’m going to focus (well, mostly) on all the non-political things that happened because I am treading a very thin line between staying informed and having my head explode. I can’t afford to have my head explode.

Reading. Finished The Quickening and Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Started Idaho. Picked up A Head Full of Ghosts and Bottomland. Tabled The Lilac Girls because library due dates rule my life. Also reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins along with The Child since we had in the house and she’s reading it in school for their one school/one book thing. 

Watching. A four part documentary series on Netflix about the disappearance of this British woman. I can’t remember the name of it but it’s fascinating. 

Following. All the rogue Twitter accounts, like AltNatParkSer (for the National Park Service), RogueNASA (NASA, obviously), AltUSDA (the USDA. Also obvious) and others because science fucking matters, censorship is bullshit, and this is out of hand. A president was elected, not a dictator and the motherfucker’s blatant disrespect for the Constitution, the citizens, general common sense and decency, and the world is insane. I cannot comprehend this level of hatred and narcissism and insanity and disregard for what’s staring you in the face and I’m even more concerned for those who build him up and assure him that this is how a democratically elected leader behaves. If you can explain it to me, please do. Also, and let me say this and then I’ll stop, I feel like this country is becoming the pot, we’re the frogs, and the administration is in charge of slowly turning up the water. Well, I’ll you what. This frog isn’t getting in the fucking water and I’m going to do my damnedest to protect those who are too vulnerable to know better from getting in the pot. They can turn up the temperature but I refuse to boil. #resist

Losing. Specifically, weight. It’s not something I talk about much here because…well, mostly my own issues but as of today, I’m down 15 pounds and a full pants size. While I feel I still have a long way to go, I’m pleased with my progress, even if it is slower than I’d prefer. 

Buying. Almost nothing. 26 days into the spending freeze and I’ve spent less than $50 unplanned. Each purchase I made in defiance of the freeze was purposeful and mindful which, to me, means it’s working. Full recap next Thursday, along with the next 30 day challenge. 


Have a great weekend! We’ll be celebrating my dad’s 65th birthday and my nephew’s 9th topped off with a Sunday cheer practice (which means she practices and I read and/or nap while she’s there. In other words, a perfect Sunday for me). See you on Tuesday when I’ll be linking up with Lauren and Bre for their new monthly linkup, Add it to My List. 

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren





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(Some of) The Men of the 80s: A Jana and Erin Playlist

For reasons that are too boring to discuss, we (Jana and Erin) skipped our playlist in December. But we’re back now, finishing our trip through decades of our favorite music. We’ve already covered the 50s, 60s, and 70s and that brings us to…THE 80s!!! Everyone’s favorite! And since the 80s is massive, we’ve decided to split it in three: one for the men, one for the women, one for the groups. There might even be a hairbands one in there but we’re not sure yet.

Anyway, like most people, we love the music of the ’80s. I (Jana) spent my childhood in the 80s (I turned 13 in 1990) and Erin entered her teen years during this decade. Beyond that, the 1980s had Reagan, Thatcher, and Gorbachev. Charles and Diana got married. The Berlin Wall came down and AIDS was on the rise. The 80s also had Saturday morning cartoons, neon (so much neon), THE MOTHERFUCKING FRAGGLES, big hair, and the Brat Pack.  It also saw the birth of MTV (you know, back when it played music) which helped launch or sustain the career of so many artists including these guys:  

Rick Springfield, “Jessie’s Girl”. Quite possibly one of the best songs ever written. Okay, in my (Erin’s) opinion, at least. Jana says: “Love Somebody” is a better song and also, Rick Springfield is my favorite Australian. 

Billy Idol, “Rebel Yell”. Yes, the obvious choice because it’s just so, so good. Jana says: I have yet to hear a Billy Idol song and NOT had it stuck in my head for days afterwards. 

David Lee Roth, “Just Like Paradise” because when he broke from Van Halen, I (Erin) refused to pick sides. Jana says: I didn’t give a shit when that happened but this is a great song.

Bobby Brown, “My Prerogative”. This was before drugs, alcohol, and arrests. He was awesome. Jana says: Sadly, who could’ve predicted he’d be the last one from that family still standing.

LL Cool J, “I’m Bad”. This lady (Erin) certainly does love cool James. “I’m Bad” is probably the first rap song I (Erin) knew word for word. Jana says: When I was pregnant with The Child, we called her LL (for little Lynch). We’re so clever. Also, did you notice LL never dies in any movie he’s in? WHY IS THAT?

Elton John, “I’m Still Standing”. A new personal anthem for me (Jana). Also a fun song. And there’s a great cover of it in the movie Sing.

Eric Carmen, “Make Me Lose Control”. There are no words to accurately convey how I feel about this song. I simply love it. 

John Mellencamp, “Authority Song”. The struggle was real picking a JM song. Too many good options to choose from but I (Jana) settled on this one since I crank it to 11 when I listen to it. Erin opted for R.O.C.K in the U.S.A. which, incidentally, was my second choice. 

Steve Winwood, “Back in the High Life”. Another one I (Jana) find beautiful and absolutely love.  

Phil Collins, “Don’t Lose My Number”. Confession: I (Jana) LOVE PHIL COLLINS. Almost as much as I love Billy Joel. Actually considered flying to Ireland to see him in concert in June #notajoke  

We could probably list all the reason we love all the men and songs on this list (full playlist below) but instead, we’ll just do our In Memoriam and get to the music.

All of these men redefined how we think of a man, all of these men (well, three of four) empowered women, and all of them were influential, phenomenal musicians whose impact will be felt for decades to come. That, and their music is just fucking timeless. There’s no editorial on these as the music speaks for itself.


 George Michael, “Father Figure”.  

 David Bowie, “Modern Love”


Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror”

Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy”. I could not find a decent video or a link to accompany this song which is a fucking shame. This song is incredible and showcases everything Prince was capable of. 

 And here’s the whole playlist: 


What are some of your favorite 80s songs performed by men?


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Friday six-pack: 2017, v2

What a week. Good news: my child was invited apply for the National Elementary School Honor Society (didn’t know this was a thing but I am incredibly proud of her). Bad news: Barack and Michelle are leaving the White House. I can’t even think about it anymore. Did you see that speech? My god, are they amazing (check out Ali’s post on them because I echo her sentiments). Other nonimportant news is what follows:

Reading. Finished Kissing in America and But What if We’re Wrong? Picked up Bowling Alone and Idaho and some NetGalley books including the new Graeme Simsion. Thanks to everyone who participated in Show Us Your Books and, completely apropos of all the book love, the next one is on 2/14. This might be the only year I celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Watching. The OA. I knew absolutely nothing about this show before I started watching other than people could not stop raving about it. I gave it a shot. I get why they raved. 

Listening. I was completely stoked to hear that Halestorm had a new album of covers so of course I had to listen to it the day it was released. The one stand out, for me, was their version of “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” (original by Sophie B. Hawkins). I love when Lzzy actually sings and shows how good she really is and makes a song her own. The rest? Meh. 

Ranting. I’m not going to launch into another political but please, read Steph’s post for all the reasons I’m pissed and you should be, too. In the Gettysburg address, Lincoln said that this is a government by the people, of the people, for the people. What a beautiful, eloquent sentiment that is completely being shit on by the people elected to carry out that ideal. What’s happening now is a government of vendettas, agendas, and gaslighting. I’m frustrated and angry and I want to cry, daily, because I cannot comprehend WHY they’re not listening. I can’t understand WHY getting revenge is more important than protecting our country and our citizens. I can’t fathom WHY they hate the way they do. I know that trying to understand the why is futile and I never will but I figure if I can, it might help me get through the next four years with my sanity in tact. And let’s not even go into that Utah high school assignment. It is Friday, after all. 

Anticipating. April 4th. Because that is the official date for the return of Prison Break! If you’ve read here for any amount of time, you know my love of Wentworth Miller runs deep and knowing that he, and that show, are coming back to TV makes me insanely happy. 


Have a great weekend! I’ll be in Atlantic City with the child for a cheerleading competition. Wish her and her squad luck as they’re competing for a bid to a huge national competition in Disney World. I’ll be sharing some pictures over on Instagram if you want to follow along (can’t post videos, though, until the end of the season). If not, I’ll see you on Tuesday!


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Friday six-pack: The first of 2017

Reading. Finished Today Will be Different and Salvage the Bones. Started But What if We’re Wrong? and Private Citizens (I’m trying to only read one book at a time but But What if We’re Wrong is way too intense and thought-provoking to read before bed). Picked up Blood Men, Imagine Me Gone, and Nearly Gone. Show Us Your Books is this Tuesday! Our first one in 2017! 

Writing. If you guys don’t know, I currently have a books column over at my friends’ site, Adulting. This week I introduced my Adulting reading challenge. If you wouldn’t mind, please go check it out, share it as you see fit, and if you’d like, join the challenge (it’s pretty low stress, averages to one book per month, and I’m allowing doubling up on categories. Like, I’m reading My Antonia for classic book and one written before 1950). Since I created the challenge, I’m participating in it so we can work through it together (I’m also doing one with my library and Erin peer pressured me into the Aussie Authors one, too. I’m only aiming for 3 books in that one, though. And two are authors I planned to read anyway).

Watching. On a whim, I started River on Netflix. It’s this weird British crime drama about a detective named River who is basically going crazy, hearing voices and being followed around by dead people while he’s still trying to function in reality. The main guy is the guy who was Professor Lambeau in Good Will Hunting and one of the brothers from Ray Donovan is in it, too. It’s only 6 episodes, I’m halfway through, and I really like it. Of course I do. 

Not joining. One of the moms at the child’s cheer gym invited me to join her DietBet. I’m politely ignoring declining. It’s not that I don’t like the idea, and the thought of earning money for continuing to do something I’m doing anyway is appealing, but I’m so uncompetitive that I don’t want to be bothered. Also, I don’t want to take selfies of myself in tight clothing and post it for people to see and I can’t understand why people are actually okay with doing that. I don’t even like taking selfies when I’m in regular clothing. 

Listening. No new podcasts to speak of as I’m still trying to catch up from not listening to anything over the 10 or so days the family was on vacation but I have been compulsively listening to Spotify. Specifically, Shinedown radio. For some reason, when I pick this station, Spotify insists I like Nickelback (I don’t) and Daughtry (I do) by putting dozens of their songs in the queue (thank god for the remove from playlist option). When that happens, I sometimes get to hear songs I’ve never heard before including this one from Daughtry that I *might* put on repeat. (I’ve also been listening to a lot of Phil Collins because, you know, balance)



That’s all for this first (back to school and work) week of 2017. Preparing for relatively low-key weekend with lots of cold weather (or, as I call it, the perfect reason to not leave the house). Hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Tuesday for Show Us Your Books!

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