On reading, writing, and podcast listening

Thorough randomness alert…

I’ve been doing pretty well with reading every day, 10 pages at the end of the day before going to sleep.  I’m on my fourth or fifth book this year.  I’m amazed at people who can read, say, 50 books a year – even when I was reading a lot, I didn’t get through that many.  For the last couple of years I’ve shot for 20 books, and missed it each year.  This year I’m going for 15 – fingers crossed I succeed this year.

I have, miraculously, been working on writing.  Mostly not writing, really, but digging into one of my unfinished novels and working on the plot.  Not a lot of words to show for it, but hopefully some momentum.  Check in with me at the end of the month.

I have several random draft posts that I’ve started, but a lot of the topics are old by now.  However, there are a couple I’d still like to talk about:

  • Do you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge?  Your Facebook newsfeed was filled with videos of people pouring ice water on their heads.  It raised a ton of money for the ALS  Association, but it also garnered a lot of hate.  Many people got sick of the videos, and it became a way to prove you were “cool,” I think.  Several articles were written about “slactivism” and the crudeness of publicizing one’s generosity.  While I understand how seeing people post the same thing over and over again can be annoying (hello, The Dress is obviously BLUE!), I didn’t understand the real hatred I started to read.  I don’t understand the difference between the Ice Bucket Challenge and Movember, or, for that matter, Race for the Cure.  What’s the difference between videos of the Ice Bucket Challenge filling your news feed and pictures of people in pink wigs, or with full beards?  Why is boasting about running 3 miles in a pink tutu okay, but pouring water over your head isn’t?  If someone can explain that to me, please try.
  • Linda Holmes had a great blog post about Hallmark channel movies.  I absolutely love this post because she says exactly how I feel about them.  Are they cheesy?  As hell.  Are they bad?  Usually.  But it’s great white noise, and I’m a sucker for a cheesy romance sometimes.  I miss turning on the TV and zoning out for a couple of hours of fluff.  I have a feeling it will be a few more years before I can do that again…
  • I really loved this blog post from Chuck Wendig about money and politics.  Regardless of his personal political leanings (seriously, if you don’t agree with what he has to say about the current Republican and Democrat modes, please just skip down to the 10th paragraph, because any political leanings are irrelevant to the meat of the post), I think he’s spot on when he says “money imbalances democracy.” The US government is no longer a government of the people, for the people, by the people.  It’s a government run by lobby groups, who are certainly not interested in what’s best for the public as a whole.

I rarely turn the TV on during the day, because it distracts Baby J (which is exactly why I do turn it on when I need to cut his nails).  Plus, you know, experts say TV isn’t great for babies.  But we don’t have a radio at home, so I had been playing music online through the TV – except the the TV was still on, even if it was just a desktop photo (we use our computer hooked to the TV).  So I started looking for podcasts that play music, and of course All Songs Considered came to mind.  I had never listened to it before, but now have listened to 5-10 podcasts.  And I have to say – Am I missing something? I don’t get it.  I would say I like about 5% of the songs they play.  Additionally, I find the hosts mildly pretentious – “The bass at the beginning makes you think of African tribes gathered around a fire pit in celebration.”  Uuuuuuhhhhhh…….yeah.

I do like the Morning Becomes Eclectic podcast, though.

Anyone have a good music podcast they listen to?


Categories: Random | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “On reading, writing, and podcast listening

  1. anonymous

    “What’s the difference […]? […] If someone can explain that to me, please try.”
    No difference. They’re fads. I hate them all.

    Money and politics in the USA is very problematic because of the winner-takes-all system which leads to a two-party system. That is bad, because it promotes the false dichotomy of a black-and-white worldview and, if neither party supports some important issue, you’re SOL. More specifically, the problem with two-party system and money is that if one party gets corrupted, it is less likely to pay any price for it and the other one will get corrupted as well as a result. The system relies on their symbiotic relationship in order to work.
    Multi-party systems are generally proportional, which means there is real room for smaller parties, room in the representative organs that is. That allows them to grow gradually and secure a foothold. That, in turn, awards them the possibility to become a major party or, at the very least, have real effect on policies. That is an important dynamic, because it deters corruption and lock-in. The voters don’t need to turn their world-view completely upside down just to get rid of a corrupt party, they can choose a near-by match. For an example, think Syriza in Greece. Now, I know you’re thinking that they had corrupt government before. Yes, they did: That was when they had two competing major parties, PASOK and ND. In effect, they were locked in a two-party system. It took some shaking, but the multi-party system allowed other winners when it mattered.
    Could this happen in the US? If a new party in the US can not achieve a large enough share of votes, it will only work against the wishes of its voters by forcing their next best choice to lose and awarding the win to their worst choice. Even if they managed to establish themselves within the representative organ, that very dynamic would still be in play for each of the individual seats.

    I don’t really listen to podcasts or radio, but I remember some years ago having listened to some on occasion at early nights with a friend in a car. The thing is, most stations played crap music, but we tended to settle on Radio Helsinki because, even though we might not have liked the songs or even the style of music on that program, the stuff they played was always interesting. Now obviously that was a later slot back then – I don’t know what they broadcast now – or during the day, for that matter.

  2. Can you listen to music apps? Spotify? Songza? Those I like. I also love the Tiny Desk Concert series. I’m with you on most music podcasts though — a lot of hot air. 🙂
    One podcast I like is The Longest Shortest Year — it’s geared towards parents of babies/toddlers. It’s funny and informative.

    • Not really, because of location. I do have a radio app that plays radio stations from around the world, including the US – which means I hear random ads for mattress stores in Muncie Indiana. I’ll check out that podcast – most of the parenting podcasts I’ve found are geared more for older kids, which I can’t fully appreciate yet. 😉

  3. we’re all about music. we use spotify. love it so much we have the paid subscription.

    our tv never goes on during the day.
    if my husband is home we watch a few hours of netfix or hbo nordic series in the evening. if he is traveling the tv will not go on at all. sometimes for weeks on end. all fine with me.

    the ALS challenge and so forth indeed fads. i don’t understand how they get such a foothold and become such a thing either.

    • See, I find the annoyance over the fads more annoying than the fads themselves. I think the issue is that the internet has given everyone a voice, and some people think they MUST use it. You don’t *have* to use that voice, people. You don’t like something? Move along, and it will pass. Don’t harp on it. 🙂

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