Tag Archives: The Readers

Sunday Salon/Currently … Stable Genius with a Big Button

 

“Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you didn’t
And all this science, I don’t understand
It’s just my job, five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man …” 
~ “Rocket Man” performed by Elton John, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin

A mere seven days into a brand new year and — in what will undoubtedly be a common refrain for many of the 358 to come (should we be so lucky to see them) — this has been quite the week. We’ve had the Stable Genius boasting about the size and potency of his, um, nuclear button. There was a bombshell of a book release with a title that could be most Americans’ motto for this administration. (You know I got myself on the Fire and Fury holds list at the library — #180 out of #542, baby! I like my chances for the audio, for which I’m #37.)

Not to mention the weather has been downright frigid this week, with temperatures more suitable to Mars. All right, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration for the sake of pithy blog fodder, but I think we can come together and agree that it’s goddamned fucking cold. Last night we got down to -14 and that’s the actual temperature, not the RealFeel (of which it was -20 on Friday.)

But here’s a little something that made me feel all warm and toasty. I woke up to find this from The Girl (who had a snow day) as I sat down to have my coffee at 5:30 am.

She’s a keeper, that one. She’s 16, so this is a proud teenage parenting moment for the win. (And yes, for the love of God and keeping the peace, please let it be known that she did spell out AWESOME. My phone camera cut it off and I’m too lazy to retake the photo.)

Reading
I had all good intentions of reading Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan as my First Book of the Year, but decided I needed to get crackin’ on a review book, considering the review itself was due January 6. I’ll tell you more when it’s released in March. This week I’ll be reading another review book, so I don’t have much to talk about right now reading-wise.  Sorry.  I am reading a back issue of The New Yorker (10/23/2017) which includes this profile of our creepy-and-dangerous-as-fuck Vice President.

Blogging/Writing … 
Still hoping to finish my Best Books of 2017 post and a few other recaps of the year. Hopefully that will happen before, say, the Fourth of July.

I wrote a review for the aforementioned review book and submitted it within 29 minutes of the deadline. A great start to 2018. I’m working on another author piece, due tomorrow, so I need to spend some time with that today.

Oh, I almost forgot the biggest Blogging/Writing news. In what might be a regular occurrence or one time thing, The Husband made a return to blogging with this post (“Heaven and Hell Prepare For Massive Influx of Billions“)  It’s hilarious, but I may be biased. Anyway, consider giving it a look and showing him some blogger love.

Listening …

My current audiobook is It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell, a compelling memoir about Mitchell’s tumultuous childhood and how that affected her relationship to food. Mitchell writes candidly about her father’s alcoholism and destructive behavior, her mother working four jobs and preparing elaborate feasts for family gatherings (Mitchell’s descriptions of the food are mouth-watering), and how her traumatic formative years led to her weighing 300 pounds at age 20.

Many of the Goodreads reviews seem to be more complimentary to the first part of the book, but for now I’m finding this to be engaging yet heartbreaking. It seems odd to draw comparisons to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls but I think this would appeal to those who connected with that book.

Podcasts of the Week …
Being back to work after a long (12 days!) break means I’m back to podcast listening during my commute. (I alternate between audiobooks and podcasts, depending on my mood.)  For 2018, I want to get back to doing my Podcasts of the Week feature, either as part of these Salon posts or in a separate discussion, because I listen to so much great stuff that I want to a) remember and have a reference point of sorts and b) share it with you.

One that stood out this week was Ezra Klein’s discussion with Jon Favreau of Pod Save America. Both The Ezra Klein Show and Pod Save America are two of my favorites so this was a must-listen.  Others I enjoyed this week:

Getting Things Done: Tips for a Year-End Review (1/1/2018)
The Bob Cesca Show: Fire and Fury (1/4/2018)
The Readers: Farewell 2017 … Here’s to 2018 (12/30/2017)

Watching … 
To my delight, The Girl is on a quest to watch all the great ’80s movies. I am more than happy to oblige. This week her selection was “The Breakfast Club” and now she’s obsessed with all things Ally Sheedy, circa 1985.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, hope you’re keeping warm this Sunday.

 

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Podcasts of the Week: Ep. 7 and 8: You Downloaded How Much Data?!

Apple iPhone 6 - PDI

Photo Credit: Public Domain Images; Apple iPhone 6; click through for source

A weekly (more or less) blog feature where I talk about podcasts and recommend a few shows from my playlist. 

Conversation at the Verizon Wireless store two weeks ago while signing our lives away reviewing my current plan in order to add The Husband’s new phone:

Verizon guy: “You only used about 10 GBs of data in April and May, but your data usage nearly tripled in June. Something happened in June ….”

Me: “Hmm, I’m thinking maybe it was subscribing to 107 podcasts?”

Yes, friends. As of right now, I’m subscribed to 107 podcasts. One hundred and SEVEN. And that’s with deleting some and adding others that sound good, and then deleting some more. I certainly don’t listen to every episode from every podcast I subscribe to, but apparently this has gotten a little out of control.

I’m trying to be more selective. I really am. But, there’s so much damn good stuff out there. And because there is, I’m grateful for unlimited data plans, of which I was grandfathered into a long time ago and am not inclined to give up anytime soon.

My latest listening discovery is On House of Cards, a podcast produced by On the Media. I am a huge HOC fan. Love, love, love that show. I finished Season 3 over the Fourth of July weekend and cannot possibly wait until February when new episodes are released. Until then, I’m going to try and handle my withdrawal through the On House of Cards podcast, mostly for what the guests themselves have to say. I’m going in backwards order; I listened to the May 20 episode, “The End of the Road” with guest Beau Willison.

Speaking of all things Presidential, last week I finally got around to checking out WTF with Marc Maron, who showed up on my PocketCast app as being one of the podcasts I should discover. This was about a week or two before Marc’s interview with President Barack Obama, which you may have heard a little something about. I still haven’t listened to that episode because of some technical issues on my end (it keeps failing to download on my phone). I definitely plan to, though.

Last Thursday, I happened to catch Episode 618: Ed Asner and Adam Goldberg  (7/9/2015) which I enjoyed and not just because I was listening to a podcast practically in real time, on the same day it was … what’s the word? Podcasted? Anyway, I like Marc’s interview style – very casual, just shootin’ the shit.  They talked about the acting that Asner did before Mary Tyler Moore (for me and many other people, Asner will always, always be Lou Grant) and about being shunned by casting directors for his comments on El Salvador. Great interview – very entertaining and funny.

Almost every podcast I downloaded this week focused on Go Set a Watchman, which, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know as the controversial “new” novel by the legendary Harper Lee. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to read this; I have a strong appreciation for To Kill a Mockingbird as a literary classic, I don’t consider it one of my “taking with me on a desert island” books. I’m more curious than anything, I suppose. I’m #24 on the library’s e-book holds list for this one, and while I’m waiting, I’ve listened to more than a few podcasts this week about Go Set a Watchman.

The ReadersThe most enjoyable episode was from The Readers, a (new-to-me) podcast that I knew I would love because Simon Savidge ISavidge Reads) and Thomas Otto (Hogglestock) are two of my favorite book bloggers.  In “Ep. 131: Go Set a Headline and Ten Classic Books You May Not Have Read But Should” (7/13/2015), they discuss the spoilers that several major news outlets have shared and how that has influenced whether they will be reading the book. I will admit I was also more than a little annoyed by the spoilers, so hearing Thomas’ take on this was validating.

In addition to the various book podcasts I’ve been listening to, I’ve found that short stories work great in this medium and are usually perfectly timed for my commute to work. The Moth offers some of the best storytelling and Episode 1202: Blue Men, Psychopaths and a Bad Date (6/30/2015) was fantastic. John Grady, formerly of the Blue Men Group, tells us about a particularly memorable performance; Neuroscientist James Fallon shares a personal discovery from the lab and former SNL cast member Rachel Dratch recounts a bad date.

My final recommendation from the past two weeks comes from WNYC’s Death, Sex and Money with Anna Sale. Siblinghood (7/1/2015) looked at the relationships we have with our brothers and sisters and the impact that this bond has on ourselves and our lives.

’til next week …

 

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