Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly post featuring five things that caught my attention this week. It's June already, that is simply not possible.
1) I finally finished a virtual bike challenge ride that I started in September- the Applachian Trail Conqueror Virtual Challenge, which is a 1968 mile journey. Luckily for me, I virtually rode the trail from my Peloton at home because if it was doing this outside on the actual trail, I would have been gone from home a very long time.
2) I attended a wonderful event at the Long Island Lit Fest on Wednesday featuring Adriana Trigiani in discussion with Helen Ellis about Adriana's wonderful moving epic family story The Good Left Undone at the Mahasset Cinemas. Adriana and Helen are two of my go-to authors, I always look forward to the publication of their books. The discussion was a lively and often hilarious one, covering a variety of topics including:
- The first time they met for dinner, which Helen called "one of the greatest nights in NYC" as they drank martinis and ate dinner at an outdoor restaurant or "dinner in the gutter" as Helen joked. (Anyone who has been to NYC will totally understand that.)
- Adriana's obsession with the Plexiderm commercials
- When Helen went home to Alabama from college in Colorado, she was wearing Birkenstocks, a flowing prairie skirt, and stick straight hair. Her mother greeted her with "Helen Michelle, we are in the South. We roll our hair and wear lipstick."
- Adriana's reasons why Italy is "the Florida of the United Kingdom"
- Who you will ask to do your funeral makeup when the time comes
- Finding a bird in your house is bad, seeing one looking inside at you from the outside is very bad
- If Adriana goes before her husband, she has instructed a friend to "go in and get my shoes. The new one will NOT be wearing my shoes. And you know I'll be replaced in three months." Women will swoop in on the widower.
The Good Left Undone was discussed, as was Helen's upcoming book Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge. I read an early copy and it is funny, sweet, and sassy. It's filled with essays about life with Helen and her husband during the pandemic, and the one titled "Email to the Cat Sitter" had me laughing out loud. It's maybe her best book yet, and a perfect anniversary gift for your favorite couple.
Adriana described the evening as "a little bit like back in time and you are in your aunt's kitchen and I'm your aunt." That is such an apt description, it was one of the best bookish evenings I've had in a very long time. Do yourself a favor and read The Good Left Undone (about how families are only as strong as their stories and women are the keepers of those family stories) and Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge.
|Hellen Ellis, me, Adriana Trigiani|
3) I attended the White Mass for healthcare workers and caregivers at St. Patrick's Cathedral this week. It was a lovely mass, and Cardinal Dolan gave a wonderful homily. I looked at the pew across the aisle and noticed that the nameplate honors Mary Higgins Clark, who was a lovely lady and a teriffic mystery writer. She was a big supporter of Catholic causes, including ArchCare, the organization that organized the White Mass.
4) I went to Boston over the Memorial Day weekend to visit my son and he took me this very cool place for breakfast called Steel & Rye in Milton. As you walk inside, there is bakery case filled with scrumptious baked goods. In the back is the open kitchen, and to the right is a bar that runs nearly the length of the restaurant. They have plenty of seating inside and we ordered our breakfast and took a seat at the outdoor tables, alongside the families and people with their dogs. Once I saw the Cranberry Orange Loaf, I knew I would choose that and it was an excellent choice, although my son's Breakfast Sandwich with egg, bacon, tomato and lettuce looked very tempting. If I lived there, Steel & Rye would be a regular hang out for me.
5) We watched the last two episodes of Succession this week, and all I can say is wow. The writers, actors, and directors knocked this one out of the park. The funeral episode was so fantastic, with an amazing performance from Kieran Culkin as youngest son Roman, and a eulogy given by Logan's brother (played so well by James Cromwell) that will go down as one of the best monologues ever. I wasn't sure the final episode could top that, but it sure did. The Roy siblings jockeying for the power seat of CEO was something Shakespearean, and that scene just outside of the boardroom was incredibly tense. And the scene in the car at the end, oh that was that crazy. All I can say is well done all, and anyone who thinks they will be in contention for Emmys against Succession, well, I wish you luck.
Have a safe, healthy, happy week and use sunscreen. Until next time.