Five things (Monday morning)

1. I'm working in a coffee shop today that is playing tons of Pavement, a band I was once rather obsessed with, and I'm wondering when I became so rooted in my daily habits that I only listen to NPR. It's time to bring back some old favorites like "Wowee Zowee" and "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain." Seriously. 2. Speaking of habits, I have GOT to stop it with murder mysteries set in Italy, a rather specific genre I've been reading almost exclusively for the past two or three years. I mean, I used to enjoy picking up a piece of classic literature every now and then, after all, I was an English major. But just when I think I it might be a good time to move on, my parents introduce me to a new murder mystery author. I mean, if these writers keep it up with their rapid output, I could theoretically read these things, well, forever.

I'm going to try and start on a Graham Greene novel J recommended, but if you want to get nice and addicted, here are my favorites.

Donna Leon, who writes the Commissario Brunetti mysteries set in Venice.

Andrea Camilleri, who writes about Detective Montalbano. These are set in Sicily.

Michael Dibdin, who died last year, writes the Aurelio Zen mysteries. Zen's a Venetian, but he's job takes him all over the country.

I just finished the book "The Innocent" by Magdalen Nabb, who writes a series of mysteries featuring central character Marshal Guarnaccia, set in Florence. A whole new series, and I've only read one! Ok. Calm down, calm down.

3. Last month was the most beautiful August I have ever experienced in my life. I normally associate the month with raging humidity and intense lethargy. It's, you know, disgusting. But this August, unexpectedly - magically! - was characterized by lovely days where the temperature reached no more than 75 or 80 degrees, the sun was shining and there was even a cool breeze. August of 2008, I shall remember you fondly, for I have a feeling you will never be that way again.

4. J and I have switched our weekday morning television viewing throughout the years. We've watched "The Today Show" at times, even though I think it can be pretty ridiculous. Take Willard Scott, for instance.

We liked CNN's "American Morning" until they ditched Soledad O'Brien and Miles O'Brien for, like, absolutely no good reason, and ushered in, God, I don't even know who they are, these new guys, thus rocking our world. Don't they get it? Viewers want stability. We heard Miles O'Brien introduced the other day as the "space correspondent." Really? From major morning show host to "space correspondent?" Poor Miles.

Anyway, we've been kind of afloat for a while, but recently started watching "Morning Joe" on MSNBC because they focus on politics and don't do the inane feature-type stories morning shows flock to for whatever reason. Like, about how eating out at chain restaurants could make you fat because of the huge portions. Yeah, thanks for that. I think we'll be sticking with MSNBC.

5. I've stopped commuting into New York City for the time being, which is good, because I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, and it was getting tiring and all that, but honestly, the best thing about it is that I can now stay up to watch "The Hills" without worrying if I'm going to get enough hours of sleep before having to get up and catch the train. Priorities.