Below is a roundup of some random things that delighted me while I was away. (Part two of this list will appear tomorrow.)
1. Bob's Burgers -- I started watching Fox's animated series when it debuted in 2011 but for some reason fell off a couple episodes in. Now that I've caught up -- Season 1 is on Netflix and you can grab the current season on iTunes -- I'm obsessed! Bob's is one of the only shows that makes me laugh out loud consistently, and I love all the characters so much it's hard to pick a favorite. In addition to a cast that includes Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman, guest stars have included Kevin Kline, Sarah Silverman and Bill Hader.
2. Rod: The Autobiography -- Yes, I read the Rod Stewart memoir, and I'm telling you, it's great. I'm not sure what initially attracted me to the book since I've never been a huge Rodphile, but the man kept me riveted with his frank and funny recollections of relationships (both personal and professional) and rock 'n' roll milestones (such as the life-changing release of Maggie May). Random House has a 40-page sample, if you're curious.
3. Saga -- It probably goes without saying that Brian K. Vaughan's current comic is pretty sweet. I caught up in no time at all with Image's trade paperback and issues on ComiXology. And yes, the otherworldly story does involve a newborn girl, so the timing seemed appropriate.
4. Heads or Tails by Lilli Carre -- Fantagraphics issued a lovely volume from one of my favorite cartoonists that includes several beautifully strange short stories. I'm a longtime fan and even have a framed Carre print hanging in the baby's room.
5. Price Check -- I'm not sure how much press this little film received, but I really enjoyed it. The flick tells the story of a family man (Eric Mabius) trying to deal with a psychotic new boss (Parker Posey). As we've seen many times before, Posey is quite skilled at playing crazy people.
6. Vanity Fair (January 2013 issue) -- The mag's Comedy Issue, guest-edited by Judd Apatow, is a treasure from start to finish. How great is that oral history of Freaks and Geeks? The in-depth Albert Brooks interview? The story of The Blues Brothers? I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a magazine so much.
7. Pitch Perfect -- Truth be told, I thought this movie looked absolutely horrible when I saw the trailer. Unfortunately, the marketing team failed to capture its sharp humor and attitude. Now on DVD.
8. Real Man Adventures by T Cooper -- McSweeney's published this insightful book of essays about Cooper's experience living as a man. (He was born female.) The work is moving, funny and intelligent, and it includes everything from interviews to letters to lists.
9. Studio 360 -- The podcast has been churning out excellent episodes lately. Highlights include an interview with Beck, a chat with Judd Apatow and an entire ep devoted to I Love Lucy.
10. Kick 25 -- Yes, I own the deluxe box set devoted to INXS' classic album. Somehow I still haven't tired of Never Tear Us Apart, and I doubt I ever will.
(To be continued Thursday ...)