Here’s my weekly list of stories, shows, books, movies, music, etc., that have made me happy over the last seven days:
1. Top of the Lake. I held my breath though a lot of this haunting BBC miniseries, which opens with a girl standing chest-deep in a lake. We find out she’s 12, she’s pregnant, she won’t name the father – and then she disappears. Elizabeth Moss (Peggy, Mad Men) stars as the lead detective. Check it out on Netflix.
3. Adventure Time. I’ve finally caught up with every episode of this animated show about two adventurers: Finn and his adoptive brother, Jake, a dog with magical powers. The humor is smart enough for adults and silly enough for kids. Just go with it.
4. Daily Rituals, Mason Currey. You know how watching an episode of “Hoarding” makes you want to clean the entire house? That’s how this book works for me. Each short section details the work routines of people like Simone de Beauvoir, Federico Fellini, Mozart, Flannery O’Connor, Nikola Tesla, Stephen King and Chuck Close. Weird and inspiring.
5. This story about Dale Irby, a retired teacher who wore the same 1970s polyester shirt and brown sweater every school Picture Day for 40 years. “After five pictures, it was like: ‘Why stop?’” Go, Dale!
7. The Alton Browncast. Alton Brown’s podcast has finally launched on the Nerdist network! The July 5 episode features food news, an interview with Bobby Flay and listener call-ins. Loved the story about Bobby Flay’s wife, Stephanie March, trashing his homemade queso for Velveeta and Rotel. We could totally hang.
8. “Man,” Neko Case. This is the first single from her new album, which is coming out Sept. 3. Can’t wait.
9. “Strictly Reserved for You,” Charles Bradley. Daptone Records discovered this 65-year-old singer a few years ago when he was working as a James Brown impersonator under the name “Black Velvet.” This song is from his second album, Victim of Love. What happens at the 2:33 mark on the video make me laugh every time.
10. The Cosby Sweater Tournament! Check out the March Madness-style brackets on Bill Cosby’s website. (I’m calling it now for the track meet sweater.)