In the first song of Anais Mitchell’s song cycle-turned-musical Hadestown, Hermes tells the audience everything they need to know: “It’s an old song,” he sings. “It’s a tragedy...but we’re gonna sing it again.” The main (and side, such as exist in this mostly five-person musical) characters are introduced: Persephone, Hades, Hermes himself, Orpheus, and Eurydice. The audience, he assumes, already knows how this will all end. Boy meets girl; girl dies; boy tries to save girl; boy fails. But maybe, Hermes says, it will turn out different this time. So, we’re gonna sing it again.Read More
Scivias-Codex Plate One
Hildegard receiving a vision and dictating it BECAUSE women be multi-tasking.
Here’s a strange question: do you have a favorite nun?
I think Maria von Trapp, played by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music is a good answer, even though she gave up the sisterhood in order to marry Baron von Trapp (and take care of all those children).
And, yes, I adore Sister Helen Prejean, too. She is one of (if not the) leading advocate for abolishing the death penalty and has written two passionate books on the subject: Dead Man Walking (1993) and The Death of Innocents (2006).
Sister Helen is also practical. Back in August, I heard her tell Terry Gross on an episode of NPR’s Fresh Air that one of the reasons she doesn’t wear a traditional nun’s habit (and hasn’t for decades) is because she’s from Louisiana and it’s just too hot. Yes, sister. Yes.
But my favorite nun? Hildegard von Bingen.
And maybe she should be yours, too.Read More
Hello! We are only a couple weeks away from the premiere of Survivor: Island of the Idols, the 39th season of the powerhouse reality show that has cornered the market on people on an island kicking other people off the island. (Also, if you are hankering for more Survivor content and missed our ode to the Queen of Survivor, then head over and check that out!)
So today, Mary and Todd are bringing you our professional opinions about who will outwit, outlast, and outplay all others when Survivor returns on Wednesday, September 25.Read More
Mary here, your resident Wheel of Time nerd. Last time I checked in with the blog about the Wheel of Time, I shared my dream cast for Amazon’s new series, and before that I talked about how I was enjoying the series, which I’m reading for the first time. Currently, I’m on the fourth book, The Shadow Rising, and still slowly making my way through the series. There are only 14 books, so I’m sure I’ll finish. One day.
To discuss the new casting news, I’ve called in resident Wheel of Time expert, Todd, to help me wade through all this excitement.Read More
“It’s the nuances of desire that hold the truth of who we are at our rawest moments.”
Desire as we’ve never seen it before: a riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting.
The moment I saw the publisher’s blurb for Three Women, I knew it was something I wanted to read. Seeing it listed on various “most anticipated” lists and then hearing an interview with the author on another favorite podcast (Professional Book Nerds) my anticipation grew.
Because I had a few Audible credits banked, I preordered the book, and the morning it became available I began listening.Read More
Over its 38 seasons, Survivor has had its fair share of memorable characters, from inimitable winners like Tony Vlachos and John Cochran, to strategic masterminds like Cirie Fields and any number of likeable people in between, but ever since Season 20, Heroes vs. Villains, one has stood out among the rest, the only two-time winner, Sandra Diaz-Twine.
In preparation for Season 39, Island of the Idols, Todd and Mary have been re-watching old seasons of Survivor that feature both Sandra and “Boston” Rob Mariano, and after finishing Game Changers one thing became clear, the title of Queen is not bestowed lightly, and it only belongs to one player. So in this post we will be talking about all things Sandra (and we might even include some Rob love as well).
A SPOILER WARNING, I GUESS? for Survivor: Pearl Islands, All-Stars, Heroes vs. Villains, Redemption Island, Game Changers, uh, and a bunch of others probably. Just, read at your own peril if you are not thoroughly versed in Survivor lore and don’t want to be spoiled.
If books were boys, I’d be considered a stage-five clinger. I latch on to one and won’t let go. I read the same books over and over every few years, loving the way my interpretation changes–or doesn’t change –with whatever’s going on in my life at the moment.Read More
Welcome to the Hårga, a commune in Northern Sweden that is at the center of Ari Aster’s sophomore film Midsommar, following his amazing debut film Hereditary (see our thoughts on that movie here). How did the strange and unsettling world of this commune stack up to Aster’s first film? We invited one of our favorite guests (and horror enthusiast/host of the podcast Everything Trying to Kill You) Mary Kay McBrayer to help us work out our feelings about this movie.
So come along, have some hallucinogenic tea, and let’s figure out Midsommar together.
Spoilers to follow.Read More
This year marks the 13th anniversary of High School Musical, a Disney Channel Original Movie (or DCOM for those in the know) that sparked the careers of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens and ushered in a renaissance for musicals, especially those aimed at teens. While I could write many words about the significance that High School Musical has had in my own life and to the larger pop cultural landscape, instead I am doing something a little more offbeat. I am boppin’ my own beat all the way to the top. As a fellow member of the class of ’08, I feel a special kinship to the HSM kids, and that means that this year (or early next year) Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, and all the rest will be turning 30. And so I am going to rank every song in the High School Musical series based on how useful they will be to the Wildcats (and the rest of us) as they turn the big 3-0.Read More
With Riverdale’s season finale airing tonight, we have a LOT of questions that still need to be answered — some of them stemming from last week’s episode, “The Dark Secret of Harvest House.” Here, we parse through the penultimate episode and make our final predictions about Season 3. Join us, won’t you? *cue cult chanting*Read More