Insert Witty "What I Like" Title Here

So… It’s been awhile. A while? Adverb or prepositional phrase, either way, you know what I mean.

So, I’ve been promising a blog or “social media” of some sort to a fellow co-worker and friend of mine for some time now, and here it is: rather than just having an “It’s been awhile” (I’m going with the adverb here) blog about just one topic, I’ll include a couple different things that are harboring my attention for themselves these days. What am I listening to? Reading? Watching? and Looking at? (That last one is what my friend is excited to hear/read about here.)

Without further ado (not that there was much)…

What am I listening to?
When I first started this blog, an up-and-coming singer’s father told him about it (this here slab of etchings you’re looking at right now). He started following my blog and I added him on MySpace. Since then, I’ve added him on Facebook and YouTube. Check out Tristan Clopet.


The prominent song on his site, “A Chat With My Brain,” is delicious for the upcoming summer season. Definitely something to cruise to (probably not a kickass suggestion considering the hiking gas prices) or lounge around on the beach to. Sit near an open window on a humid day with this song playing in the background if you can’t make it to the beach. Either way, it’s got sweet summer feelings ribboning through it. Simultaneously fun and mellow: it’s got a contemporary, crooning Folk feeling that’s a dirty-love-child combination of Bob Dylan-esque guitar riffs and Michael Buble’s soothing tenor. And that’s just the debut single. Other favorite tracks, “So Alive” and “Proximity Bomb” have a harder rock sound focusing on electric guitar and edgier vocals. Multi-faceted, talented, and kinda pretty, he’s just recorded his debut LP Name It What You Want, featuring “A Chat With My Brain” in March–sign up for the newsletter for drop dates. To quench the fiery thirst I’ve just incited, you can find “So Alive,” “Proximity Bomb,” and 4 other great tracks on his EP Purple.

What am I reading?
Being a graduate student majoring in English, this question has the potential for titles piling up in the multitudes, but I’m talking about what I’m reading in my spare time: leisure reading! For Christmas and during a Books-A-Million sale, I got two books by an author I was so, so, so excited to read: Joe Hill. And for good reason.


I’m one story from the end of his short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, and it isn’t what you’d expect based on the title alone. It’s contemporary fiction with a literary feel dancing around aspects of thrillers and the supernatural. There are a couple stories about ghosts, vampire hunters, and even possibly demons (at least, that’s how I read “My Father’s Mask”), but the stories are not about the ghosts. Definitely not the floaty-apparitional kind, though the title story includes a young, transparent girl named Imogen, it is not really her story. The stories are about the people who experience the ghosts, the supernatural phenomenon of floating high and free above garages and up to the window of the woman you love. These stories are about surviving your past, and how it is the life you’ve left behind that haunts you. Haunts us. The choices you didn’t make, you were forced to make. A couple stories are about real monsters, the monsters who live next door, the monsters who pick kids up from in front of a hardware store by luring them in with balloons. Black balloons. If his novel Heart-Shaped Box is anything like this collection, I’ll be hooked for life. If only because it appears he’s a Nirvana fan, too.

What am I watching?
I feel like I can answer this with one word and a picture: Archer.


But I’ll give you lots more information than that, because what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t give you my unabridged opinion? A pretty crappy one, I figure.

Archer follows a team of secret spies who work for ISIS: International Secret Intelligence Service. The team was organized by the ever-haltingly-maternal Malory Archer, mother to arrogant and dead-pan Sterling Malory Archer. Voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, known for his work in the current animated Fox smash: Bob’s Burgers (as the title character), as Ben the lazy son of Dr. Katz in the Comedy Central cartoon, and maybe less known for his work as The Devil in the Adult Swim cartoon Lucy, Daughter of the Devil, Archer is not just arrogant but a sarcastic, self-centered, and takes-no-bullshit womanizer who happens to be good at his day job: saving the world (or at least ISIS) from utter destruction.

The cast is rounded out nicely with Lana Kane, a sultry and resourceful spy (Aisha Tyler); Pam Poovey, a mouthy bad-ass Human Resources Director (Amber Nash); Cyril Figgis, the oft-mocked comptroller (Chris Parnell); Malory Archer, ISIS Director and Sterling’s mother (Jessica Walter); Cheryl/Carol, Malory’s dim-witted, glue-eating secretary (Judy Greer); and Woodhouse, Archer’s patient-as-a-saint valet (George Coe).

You can find it on FX Thursday nights at 10 pm EST/9 pm CST. The best part is you get a full hour and a half with this show because FX runs the newest episode at 9, the previous week’s show at 9:30, and then reprises the new one at 10.

What am I looking at?
Should actually read “Who am I looking at?” because in addition to the books and television shows, there’s someone else I’ve been looking at lately–mainly, at the request of my aforementioned friend/co-worker: Ryan Bertroche (this link is to his Facebook page).


I’m always interested in local talent, regional and statewide. It seems sometimes people can forget the Midwest exists because we have Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Omaha. None of which sounds like New York City or Hollywood, and are mostly known for wind, snow, beer, and corn. So, when people like Ashton Kutcher, Elijah Wood, and Megan Monaghan, creep up on the scene I like to cheer them on from my place at the sidelines. Granted, Blog Readers, I know there are several more famous Midwesterners famous for a much broader range of things than being pretty and acting–but I wanted to focus on pretty Iowans who became actors because who I’m looking at hails from Bettendorf, IowaSocialite Life does a Male Model Monday on Facebook, and here is Ryan’s profile from February 2010.

He started modeling right out of high school, and he’s posed for several famous photographers (none of whom I recognized), but he’s appeared in V MagazineArena Homme PlusVogue Homme JapanOut MagazineSports, and Style. He’s also been doing some acting, and can be seen in the 2009 SyFy remake of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn as Amos. I haven’t seen this version, so I can’t speak to his acting chops, yet. But if Ashton could do it, why not Ryan?


I mean, just look at the guy. Girls are gonna be begging to watch him fall in love, fight a war, and self-destruct on the big screen in minutes. He’ll be the next Robert Pattinson before he knows what hit him.

So, I hope you all enjoyed my little (ha!) update about what’s keeping my attention locked up in a little metal box under its bed. Take a peek if it sounds interesting, and if it doesn’t, well, just chalk it up to a girl mumbling in the corner and go on about your rounds…



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