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An Almanac For The 21st Century

Welcome to This you Need. Allow me to help you find that one perfect thing that will solve a problem or simply bring you joy. 

Wear, Watch, Want #33: The Drive-Thru Black Magic Edition

Wear, Watch, Want #33: The Drive-Thru Black Magic Edition

Wear: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

I got a deluxe sample of this lip balm in one of those Sephora sample bags. You know the ones. It's a small cosmetics bag full of maybe 10 samples, three of which you might just like. I love them. I live within walking distance of a very nice, brand new brick and mortar Sephora store, yet I will place an online order so that I can get a makeup bag filled with samples. No wonder Sephora decided to bestow VIB Rouge status on me for years - I'm a makeup CHUMP. Anyway, my point is that I completely fell in love with my tube of Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. I have a fat mouth that demands constant lip balm application, and despite trying many (MANY) tubes of therapeutic lip treatments, nothing was cutting it. Jack Black's balm not only stays on my lips for hours, it doesn't feel super glossy (Jack Black is marketed toward men, so this makes sense), and I love the minty flavor. It contains shea butter, my absolute favorite moisturizer, so bonus points for that as well. Extra-extra bonus points for my fantasy scenario (which is true only in my dreams, by the way), where my new beloved brand is the brainchild of this guy:

Watch: The Magicians

Of course I'm going to talk about SyFy's adaptation of Lev Grossman's Magicians series. OF COURSE I AM. I've mentioned these books numerous times (here, and here) and I was anxiously awaiting the TV series. Many elements have been changed from the books to the show, which is to be expected, but my biggest disappointment is from the audience. I have not been able to find a recap from any of my usual outlets that is from a recapper that has read the books. I ask you. DAFUQ?! Time to get a tad bit preachy, so bear with: I have been an entertainment editor. If I had a writer who was recapping a show that was based on a book series (especially a book series that was only three books that you could easily read in a week) I'd tell them to read the books. If they didn't want to read the books I'd ask if anyone else was willing to read the books and take the assignment instead. Fans are going to want you to have the knowledge, they're going to appreciate it. The show is really good, I'm liking it a lot so far, but I want to talk about it, or read about it, and how it relates to these books that I found so immersive and obsession-worthy.

I think they're trying to draw out the Brakebills experience. They aged up the characters, so Brakebills is a grad school instead of a college. In the books, their time at Brakebills is half of the first book, and then they graduate and leave. Where they are in the TV series storyline now, they would be in their third year, but it's as if they've been there for a month. I was getting a little worried, watching and trying to figure out what was cut out and changed and how that might affect things I loved about the books, mainly Antarctica. I'm not going to spoil anything, or synopsize. You can go to the second link above to read my kinda-sorta book synopsis if you'd like. I just want to point out a few things that got me thinking maybe they were going to change more and more and more until... NO ANTARCTICA? But we'll get to that.

  • The scene with The Beast in the classroom is much different in the book, and in my opinion much scarier. Also, The Beast doesn't have a head covered in moths - he looks like The Son of Man, but with a tree branch instead of an apple. In my opinion, this is much more unnerving and eerie.
  • Penny isn't around. I think the absence of a character isn't a spoiler, so I'll just tell you: Everything Penny does as a Brakebills student is in some way a creation of the show, because he's not there in the book. He comes back though! He's a main character, certainly.
  • Margo, who's name is Janet in the books, is so great in the show. I'm not a Janet fan, but I adore Margo.
  • Julia is my favorite character in the series. I love her in the TV show. The casting is perfect. Thank you, show, for not blowing it completely. Bless.
  • Quentin is tolerable! Sometimes I even like him! Look, if you watch this show and think that Quentin is sort of annoying, you're probably going to have a hard time with the the books, because Quentin is an absolute shit for about two thousand pages, or however long the entire series is.
  • I'd like to take a moment to mention yet again that, in the books at least, Alice is from my hometown. It seems, though, that Lev Grossman knows nothing about Urbana, Illinois, despite including it in his book.
  • In the books, it's mentioned multiple times that the fourth year students and Brakebills go away for a semester. Half of the class in the first semester, and half in the second. They come back looking emaciated and rough. And they don't explain what happened to them. Some don't come back at all. This has not been mentioned at all in the series.

This lack of clear definitions of years and explanation of classes worried me, because this fourth year experience is what really hooked me on The Magicians. Here comes a spoiler, are you ready? In their fourth year, Brakebills students suddenly, without warning, turn into geese and fly to Antarctica for the semester. And then things get really crazy. That was the point in The Magicians where I was like, "Oh shit. Whatever character said, 'This isn't fucking Hogwarts' was right." And at the end of this week's episode, guess what happened? They turned into geese. And then guess what happened? I SQUEALED with delight.

This clip doesn't show the goose-y bit, but it shows the trials, which are the precursor to GEESE. 

Want: Drive-Thru Car Wash

My car (affectionately referred to as The Jelly Bean) is perpetually dirty. I have to park on the street, and it's just always covered in a layer of grime. Maybe it would be grimy even if I didn't park on the street, who knows? All I know is that I have a song that I sing when I get in my car called "Filth Car" that has unfortunately become the anthem of, well, me driving anywhere. I think I've made my point. I take my car to the car wash, sure, but it's a whole ordeal. I have to go there and wait in line and hand my car over to the attendant and then wait for an unknown length of time and then the car comes out and I have to wait for them to dry it off and it's just A LOT. I am unaccustomed to the whole thing. "Uh, Dummy?" You may be asking, "What about a car wash where you toss some quarters in and hose off your car yourself? Or drive thru?" THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. That's exactly what I want. I'm on the hunt, and so far I'm coming up with nothing in my vicinity. I really don't want to drive for 20 minutes in LA traffic to wash my car in a way that suits my lifestyle. This is a ridiculous conundrum, and because I just can't bring myself to care, the reign of Filth Car continues.

How I Spent My Depression Vacation

How I Spent My Depression Vacation

Grab Some Snacks: Here Are Six Must-See, Lesser-Known Documentaries

Grab Some Snacks: Here Are Six Must-See, Lesser-Known Documentaries