December Stuff

Here’s some stuff I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to.

The last three books I’ve read were nonfiction. Neil Gaiman’s The View from the Cheap Seats is a collection of speeches, forwards to books, and dedications to other writers, artists, and musicians. If you are an artist and need a serious boost to your morale, buy this book. Gaiman is so dedicated to stories and writing that he makes me want to run to my desk.

Ota Pavel’s book How I Came to Know Fish is a charming, very sad, memoir of growing up in a small town in Czechoslovakia. Read this book if you need to cry, but just can’t get there. It should be mentioned that he wrote this book in an insane asylum. The Best American Travel Writing (2015) is hit or miss. There are some serious page turners in this book,super interesting travelogues. And then there are some that make you cringe for the state of American travel writing if these represent the best and others that made me long for the excitement of shoe shopping.

I have been watching Master of None, Wolf Hall, and stuff about spies. Master of None is a Netflix series that is about a single struggling actor. It is very real in the way that the romantic comedy Enough Said was real. The dialogue does not represent the wittiest words ever spoken, but they are as real as they can get. Very understated, believable, and relatable. You get the feeling that these are normal people in normal situations. And I would like to go out drinking with them all. Wolf Hall is a miniseries about Henry VIII and the rise of Thomas Cromwell. It makes you realize how dark it was all the time in the mid-1500s. Mark Rylance is a badass. I read the spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in the summer and a friend gave me the BBC miniseries featuring Alec Guinness for my birthday. Do yourself a favor: stay in one Friday night and watch this from beginning to end. Awesome.

For some reason all I’ve been listening to in the last month is Christmas music, the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack and Song for my Father by Horace Silver. Listen to those if you haven’t already. They’ll put you in a good mood all day long.

My recent podcast addictions include Lore, Very Bad Wizards, and Star Talk. Very Bad Wizards features a philosopher and a psychologist talking about morality and other wild topics. Check out their episode on What is Funny? It’ll change the way you think about humor. My favorite podcast is Lore. It’s tagline: the dark history behind common folklore. Seriously, how can you not get into that? It is what I listen to when I work out and if something can make me not mind burpees, then it must be excellent.

A random assortment of recent favorites: flax seed in smoothies, dark chocolate in chili, using David Sedaris in lessons, Alabama’s voters, pull ups, rubber gloves to remove cat hair, sliced garlic in salads, Únětice beer, and writing standing up.

Today, after desperately avoiding spoilers and reviews, I’m off to see Star Wars. If it’s not good I will mitigate my disappointment with beer and ribs. The struggle is real.

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