We talk about comics–seriously, a lot–but sometimes we like to branch out and act keen about all SORTS of diverse pastimes. What are we up to?

Catie

Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation, Feb 2014, Farrar Straus Giroux. illustration by Eric NyquistIllustration by Eric Nyquist

I just finished reading Jeff VanderMeer’s new book Annihilation. It’s an awesomely eerie book about a group of scientists being sent to a mysterious Area X, an area that has been cut off from the rest of the world due to unusual disappearances.  The whole book is uncanny with more questions than answers, in a way that’s unsettling but never unsatisfying.  Next two books in trilogy come out later this year, and I’m excited to pick them up!

Megan B

I find it difficult to discover new podcasts as the same shows tend to get recommended over and over; Nerdist this, or Welcome to Night Vale that. One show that is soon to be on every must-listen list of podcasts is the Empire Movie podcast. A spinoff of Empire Magazine, the podcast features interviews, reviews, and a lot of enthusiastic nerding out. They are an honest bunch that dishes equal parts praise and critical discourse of the big hits and smaller fair as well. When they talk about comic book film adaptations, they have a very knowledgeable resident expert in Helen O’Hara. They also update frequently so with two years of weekly updates, there is a hefty backlog to listen through.

Kelly

Sexy Cardinal Peter Capaldi in The Musketeers, despite his distracting facial hair and the fact that the show is dumb as a box of rocks. Rocks with inexplicable costumes.

Real talk: The poem Cynddylan on a Tractor by R. S. Thomas. I started teaching some of my high-reading-level students this poem last week, and it’s still sitting there in my head.

My husband is from a small village in South Wales. I grew up in the suburbs, so had difficulty understanding his perspective on non-urban living. Was it that weird British fetishization of country living? Did he think urban life was somehow morally inferior, like some 19th-century reformer?

But then I read this poem. It’s in the voice of someone who is watching a familiar way of life slowly, inevitably die; something is broken, the poem suggests, and it can never be fixed. And then I really began to understand where my husband is coming from.

So R. S. Thomas improved my marriage, I guess! Plus I discovered a poem I hadn’t read before, which definitely qualifies as hot.

Brenda

Muhammad Mahdi Karim, GNU Free Documentation License, wikimedia commonsMuhammad Mahdi Karim, GNU Free Documentation License, wikimedia commons

March is all about honey bees and Bee School. I adopted a bee hive a couple springs ago, but now it’s time to take care of them on my own. Just bought my bee keeper gear and am about to peek in the hive to see what’s happening.

Kayleigh

Rupaul’s Drag Race season 6! This may be the most unpredictable season yet, with a motley crew of drag queens including insult comic Bianca del Rio, Australian Idol finalist Courtney Act, and androgynous club kid Milk. It’s a fierce competition, and the most recent episode “Scream Queens” (with guest judge Linda Blair!) proves that this could be anyone’s game. The most addictive reality show on tv.

Ivy

I’m re-watching all of True Detective…I know the show is kind of problematic, but I haven’t been this addicted to a program in a long time. I’m trying REALLY hard not to acknowledge my insane crush on Rust Cohle.

Claire

Tove Jannson's Moomin strip, Moomin v. 1, Drawn & QuarterlyYou know it by now: Tove Jansson’s Moomin strip

Now I know that’s a comic strip, above. But bear with me! My dad just presented me with a potato grow-bag, and I’m in heaven. I love vegetable gardening (it’s so easy! Stick it in the ground and it grows, basically–and it is the best soother of grotty nerves, as seen above), and this is perfect for the communal yard that’s my current garden.

Lela

I’m in love with the art of Chuck Hodi. I love lowbrow art and Chuck Hodi is a great mix of pop culture and fun! Plus- Zombie Golden Girls!

Now: What are you up to? Off-topic thread, go wild!