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Friday, July 22, 2022

Friday 5ive- July 22, 2022

Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly-ish post featuring five things that caught my attention this week.
It's been a scorcher of a week, temperature-wise, thanks goodness for air conditioning.

1) As one of the many wine clubs we belong to, PlumpJack Winery hosted a special Zoom cooking class with Truffle Shuffle on Saturday evening. The Truffle Shuffle chef walked us all through cooking a Crispy Skin Duck a 'lOrange with roasted parsnips. We received a two bottles of PlumpJack wine- a 2020 Odette Reserve Chardonnay to drink while we cooked, and a 2019 PumpJack Merlot to enjoy with our duck. We also received a box with the duck, parsnips and everything else we needed to make dinner. I've never cooked duck before and I have to say, we enjoyed it a great deal and I would definitely make it again. (The parsnips did not turn as well- luckily we had some leftover salt potatoes I fried up.)

2) I went to a Broadway show this week. I've been wanting to see POTUS, a comedic play about seven women surrounding a disaster of a President. The cast is absolutely first-rate, with the always amazing Julie White playing the Chief of Staff who is constantly putting out fires and actually the brains behind the operation. (The running gag is that she should President, but it is not a joke it is reality.) She and Rachel Dratch (who plays a mousy secretary trying to find her power) both earned well-deserved Tony nominations for their roles. Vanessa Williams plays the accomplished First Lady who also should be President, she definitely plays to her strengths in this role. Suzy Nakamura is also stellar in her role as Press Secretary and has some of the funniest lines in the play. The real revelation is Julianne Hough who more than holds her own with this strong cast in her Broadway debut. I laughed through the entire show, and there are more than a few lines that are thought-provoking and earned thunderous applause from the full house. The show closes in August, so go see it if you can. ( I also liked the Signature Cocktails available, although if I had purchased one before the show, I would have fallen asleep.)

3) Peloton riders got a big surprise last Friday. After she performed live on The Today Show plaza to celebrate the drop of her album Special, Lizzo showed up at the Peloton studio in NYC to take the live Lizzo spin class. Not only did she take the ride with everyone in the class and instructors Robin Arzón and Jess Simms, she sang every song throughout the 30 minute class and she brought along background dancers. It was such a cool thing to do, and it was a blast. I'm not sure Peloton tops that ride- maybe Bruce Springsteen shows up for ride and sings???

4) I wanted something light to watch on TV after the heaviness of Better Call Saul and The Old Man, so we watched Jerry & Marge Go Large, starring Bryan Cranston and Annette Benning. It's based on a true story of a small town Midwest middle-aged couple who figure out that there is a flaw in a popular lottery game. If you play enough games, you are guaranteed to win money. Cranston and Benning are charming as the couple looking for something to do together now that Jerry is retired from his line manager's job at the local plant. Jerry and Marge form a corporation with people in the town and everyone shares in the wealth, to the total tune of $27 million. (You may have seen the 60 Minutes story a few years back.) If you need a feel-good movie and have Paramount+, this one will make you smile.

5) I read two books this week. The first was The Desperate Hours by Vanity Fair writer Marie Brenner. Brenner looks at the beginning of the COVID pandemic through the eyes of doctors, nurses, administrators and more at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospitals in New York City. I live almost across the street from New York-Presbyterian and so I had a special interest in this well-researched, well-written, totally immersive book. Brenner puts the reader right in the midst of the hospital where decisions are being made quickly without much information available about COVID. What impresses me most is the dedication of doctors, nurses, aides and maintenance staff who showed compassion and courage in dealing with so many people who were dying around them. It reminded me of Sheri Fink's Five Days At Memorial, about a hospital caught up in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The Desperate Hours is destined to go down as one of the most important books written about COVID. It will be one of my Most Compelling Books of 2022. 

I also read Madeline Martin's historical novel The Librarian Spy, about a Library of Congress librarian recruited to work as a spy in Lisbon, Portugal during WWII. I haven't read any books set in Lisbon, so this one intrigued me, and of course I can't resist a librarian as the main character. (My full review can be found July 26th) . If you liked Kristin Hannah's  The Nightingale  and Jessica Shattuck's The Women in the Castle, this one is for you. 

Have a safe, healthy, and  cool week.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a terrific week, especially seeing a broadway play!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com