Some January things I recommend! It’s late on a Friday night, and I am breaking my own rule by illicitly using my laptop in bed. Back to the usual programming of this blog where I just pop a bunch of stuff I like into a post.
1. Listening to “In The New Year” by The Walkmen back to back with “This Year” by The Mountain Goats.
Here are the youtubes:
“It’s gonna be a good year
Out of the darkness
And into the fire
I tell you I love you
And my heart’s in the strangest place
That’s how it started
And that’s how it ends”
“The scene ends badly as you might imagine,
In a cavalcade of anger and fear
There will be feasting and dancing in Jerusalem next year”
2. The Looking Glass here in DC. (I am terrible at taking pictures when I should be, so I only have a picture of a Santa lantern.)
My famous friend Katy and I just went over there tonight, and I had never had their food before. That was a huge mistake. I had two amazing tacos — “vegi tacos” with a blistered shishito pepper and avocado with some crema sauce. Yeah, they were bomb. We also shared garlic fries, and I had a great beer. It made me miss Wisconsin — the bar is a little crowded and kitschy in a way that reminds me of every bar on Willy Street simultaneously, and fries and beer were major staples of my Madison bar diet, even though the fries were DISCO FRIES in Madison. Miss you, Disco Fries.
3. The media web created by Serial
If you haven’t heard of Serial yet, you are either my parents or living in a cave. I had to parse that out because my parents were until quite recently unaware of Serial and do not live in a cave.
But as someone who spent thirteen weeks of their life basically obsessing over the podcast and theorizing and being crazy (Serial is only partially to blame for that), I am so glad there is an media firestorm/twisted web/etc etc around the aftermath of the podcast. From The Intercept’s Jay interviews to the Serial Spoiler Special Podcast from Slate.
The reason I believe my friend Katy is famous is because she cohosts the Spoiler Special. I loved getting to text with her every Thursday morning about our theories and then hear her spin them into something much more sophisticated for the podcast. And she just did a bonus episode about the Jay interviews! Except we didn’t text about those, we talked about them yesterday while I was hungover from drinking cheap sparkling wine.
MORE SERIAL COVERAGE FOREVER.
4. Welcome to Night Vale podcast.
I really do love consuming audio narrative, especially when I run or knit. I like being read to, I like audiobooks, and I like podcasts. I have been knitting more again because of a super easy cable knit headband pattern my cousin Lauren showed me how to manage. It is a quick and simple pattern, and I can’t believe I can cable knit. I can barely knit and purl. I will share a picture of the headband I made for my sister and the pattern once I have a picture of Margaret in the headband.
BUT I DIGRESS. Welcome to Night Vale has been such a good mental diversion while knitting. It’s a mysterious, funny, and clever take on community radio. The concept takes the mundane and sometimes strange format of community radio and places it in the context of a town plagued by supernatural events, terrifying Secret Police, UFOs, and a very handsome scientist, Carlos.
I like it because it doesn’t pretend to be an old time radio show but fills a very similar appeal for me, in a completely modern way.
5. Curated Spotify Playlists
I realized a while ago that Spotify has some excellent playlists in their browse tab. I have always loved music, finding new music, and listening to music a lot (for a while I was really hustling to work in the music industry). Turns out that when your job is no longer booking bands for your college, you lose a lot of the time and energy to dedicate to finding new music! I have been relying on recommendations for a long time, but some of the Spotify playlists are just fabulous and waiting for me to listen to them. For instance, “Teen Party” was great for getting ready on New Year’s Eve, and “Evening Chill” has me listening to Handsome Ghost happily at the moment.
Not all of them are great, or even good, but a little effort has huge payoff. They feature ambient and instrumental often during the workday, which I really like when I am trying to jam on a writing project. “Tranquility with a Beat” was what I had on my headphones this afternoon.
6. Favorite POP SONGS RIGHT NOW
These aren’t cool picks, but this is what I have on repeat (since I had to take a little break from Blank Space). None of these are as family friendly as Taylor Swift, if that is something that bothers you.
Blood Stutter – Handsome Ghost
Don’t Tell Em – Jeremih
(people doing amazing subway choreography, not official video)
Tuesday – ILOVEMAKONNEN
Ghost – Ella Henderson
(thanks for playing this song, every spin instructor)
NEEEEERRRRRRDY. I really like what all the people I know are reading. And people I don’t know. You can add me. My favorite person on Goodreads also happens to be my fave college professor, Craig Werner. I think I secretly have tricked him into making me a Thomas Merton reading list. I did this to my favorite high school teacher, Gordon Gilsdorf, with C.S. Lewis reading, and I am a better person for it. So let’s hope it works this time, too…
Oooh, since that is 7 things, I can link up with Seven Quick Takes! LUCKY ME!