Hi, friends! It's time to talk about what's making me happy this week!
1) I spent this past weekend up in the Catskills with a dear friend from college and her family. I've probably been to visit them 25+ times, but the Catskills region just never gets less bizarre. Highlights of the trip included:
- participating in a "pub sing" in a 17th-century farmhouse. It began with people leading raucous songs about drinking and being cuckolded, then shifted to include somewhat less raucous songs about Jesus by the end of the evening. Someone texted me a question while I was there, and I replied, "I'll have to get back to you on that—I'm in the middle of drinking cider out of a jam jar while sightreading four-part British carols." I held my own admirably, considering I had not sightread music since I was seventeen.
- visiting Twin Peaks Coffee and Donuts in Tannersville, where the donuts are made to order by a donut robot. The employees punch in how many donuts you want, and then you can watch the robot drop the dough into the boiling oil, flip them over, and send your finished donuts up a little conveyer belt. They were ridiculously tasty. To make matters weirder, this scarecrow was hanging directly outside the shop's front door.
- shopping in Tannersville, where I discovered a store called Stones and Bones Antler and Bone Decor. Inside, crammed in with the giant insects set in glass paperweights, the decorative skulls covered in feathers and turquoise, and the deer-hoof bottle openers, was this two-headed taxidermy duckling in a bell jar. Like you do. (I also visited an antique store that had the first snowsuit ever made by Ralph Lauren.)
- bowling at the small-town alley in Margaretville where Lucius shot their "Hey, Doreen" music video.
- watching season three of Buffy with my hosts, who have never seen it before. Nearly all my friends are Buffy fans, which means I've never watched it with complete newbies, and it was such a delightful experience to listen to them gasp and speculate and laugh at the jokes for the first time. Now I know how my old roommate felt when she introduced me to the show back in 2004.
2) The New Pornographers, whose Brill Bruisers tour I saw at the Hammerstein ballroom on Monday! I hadn't heard the new album, but I'm a big fan of it now, and it was awesome to hear some of my old favorites as well. It's always a pleasant surprise when bands sound just as good live as they do recorded. The only drawback was that we were in this strange balcony section with seats, which were packed so close together it was impossible to stand up, and nobody around us seemed to be having fun at all. The girl directly in front of me literally put her head down on her boyfriend's shoulder and took a nap during the show.
3) Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. I'm a huge fan of the Raven Boys books, and this third book was just as good as the first two. Honestly, not that much actually happened in it, but Maggie is such a brilliant writer that I don't even care. All I wanted to do was swoon over individual sentences and then text them to all my friends. Whenever I need lessons in good writing, I'll be coming back to this series.
4) Tenth of December by George Saunders. You guys, these stories are so weird and unsettling, and I'm enjoying them so much. I think it's better if you go in knowing nothing, so I won't say any more, but you should definitely pick up this book.
5) I AM BUYING MY TICKETS TO AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND TODAY. Is it April yet so I can leave?
What's making you happy this week? Tell me on Twitter @alison_cherry!