|—||The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern|
I am so pleasantly surprised by what a fantastic judge Nicki Minaj has proven herself to be on this season (number 12!) of American Idol. Behind the hot pink lipstick and the constantly changing assortment of hats and hair lies a smart, sassy judge whose biting critiques of the contestants have been pretty much spot on. In recent years the AI judges (cough, JLo, cough) have tended to overpraise mediocre performances and coddle the contestants, but Ms. Nicki tells it like it is. If you’re bad, she’ll tell you how bad and why, but not in a mean or abrasive way. And if you’re good, she may very well compare you to a stack of smooth, buttery waffles (here’s looking at you, Kree Harrison—my pick to win it all this year).
Minaj’s comments have been specific, insightful and above all, genuinely good nuggets of advice for the wannabe pop stars. Sure, she was fifteen minutes late to a live show, and yeah, her voice could be oh-so-slightly less shrill, but at last we’ve found a judge who’s not afraid to dish out some truth. Randy has essentially been useless for the past three years, rarely capable of saying anything other than “in it to win it!” and “yo dawg”; new judge Mariah Carey’s holier-than-you attitude is already tiresome. Only Keith Urban (another newbie) joins Nicki as a judge that doesn’t make me want to press the mute button. At last, Simon Cowell finally has an heir, and her name is Minaj. Keep up the good work, girl (and go Kree)
Penguin - The Original 10.
The bird never gets old.
Jenny Lawson is equal parts honesty—
“Whenever you write, write for yourself.”
“I took drugs before I came here.”
I caught the bestselling author more famously known as The Bloggess at the 82nd Street B&N tonight, where she read from her brutally funny, deliciously weird memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Madame Bloggess took questions, signed copies of her book and posed for photos with her army of fans. As a writer, she’s fearless; no topic from her offbeat upbringing is off limits. Like Lawson, I hope to turn my own horror stories into an actual book that real people will read… someday (it took her eleven years to do it!). Just, well, maybe not with a stuffed mouse in a cape on the cover. (My mouse will have trousers on, thank you.)
A Rainbow of Penguins (x)
We may be a bit partial, but this is the best rainbow we’ve ever seen.