Monday, April 15, 2019

currently consuming

If I ever joined a cult, it would be because Bre told me to. I don't know why but she has this ability to tell you about things, non-forcefully, and then you are like, yes, I must try or do that thing. See: bujo-ing and all the crap I have bought because of it. And watching I'm Sorry again. And Add It To My List. She is doing a "Last Week Tonight" post each week and of course it makes me want to share the things I like, too.

So here are consumables that I have been loving that don't cost extra money, assuming you have library access/streaming services/a way to listen to podcasts.

(I hate that I have to get so technical but surely someone will be like "well electricity to run my TV costs money so really that isn't free." I mean not a real someone, but the bitch eating crackers that I imagine in my head who loves to judge me. Anyway.)

Podcasts:

This American Life - Beware the Jabberwock - I love TAL but some eps are better than others. This one totally fascinated me by telling me more about a name I have heard from twitter - Alex Jones - and how he came to be, and why he is so problematic. Like I could have told you before that he was awful, but now I can pinpoint exactly what he has done that was bad and speculate on how it came to be.

Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend - Pretty sure Bre rec'd this too but we share a love of good ole Coco. Even the ads on this are funny ("Conan O'Brien pays off the mortgage on his beach house..." complete with bird sounds in the background). Conan interviews celebrity guests to see if they could be friends but asks really entertaining questions and lets them shine without taking over. Also, his assistant Sona keeps him grounded in reality and calls him out in perfect ways. This one is great, especially the ep with Michelle Obama.

TV:

Superstore is a show I never expected to like. I don't love sitcoms. However, I was bored and a friend recommended this and I like America Ferrera so why not? This is a sitcom in a workplace with some unrequited love and long-running jokes, but it also brings light to illegal immigration status, maternity leave (or lack thereof), women's rights, and other issues without being too preachy. Plus it often makes me LOL.

Shrill had to make my list because I love Lindy West so much. But really, as someone who has never felt thin but is not plus-sized, I found SO MUCH of this show relatable, and I'm sure women of all sizes do, too. (The first scene where she is stuck in the shirt...). It is what Girls could have been if the characters weren't terrible. Was Annie always likeable? No. Did I like the last episode? No. Is the book better? Of course. But I loved so many parts of this show, including Annie's roommate, who was the BEST.

The new season of Queer Eye is so, so good. The one where they record the guy saying bad things about himself and play it back for him and then the one with the young, black, lesbian women were my favorites and both had things that I wanted to write down and nod my head to.

Books:

My favorite, Nora McInerny, wrote another memoir called No Happy Endings about life after her husband died of cancer. This time, we get to see her grief as she raises their son, falls in love again, and gets pregnant while getting two bonus kids from her now-husband. It's a lot, but if you truly like to see how another person navigates life, it is 1000% worth your time.

Allow me to be the 47th person to tell you to read Michelle Obama's book, Becoming. I really loved it.

I really liked Pachinko, which has been around a while, but if you haven't read it, I really recommend it. It is the story of one family, through generations, and with the backdrop of the Korean/Japanese conflict that I honestly knew nothing about. It really hits on the fact that so many emotions are universal, regardless of when or where they happen.

TL;DR - just consume all these things.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

what's new?

What's new with me is that I miss the connection of internet friends.

Also, recently, the idea of vulnerability keeps creeping up - in my work life, from Brene Brown on instagram, and from my therapist, which is what made me really listen.

(Lauren, you have a therapist? Yup - vulnerability in sharing, y'all).

I feel like those two are tied together - my fear of being vulnerable on the internet can make me, well, somewhat uninteresting. If I am not sharing my whole self, then what is left to read?

Anyway, like many others, I can wax poetic about the good days of blogging circa 2013 - no shade, I like to know I'm not alone - and I can also try to do something about it. So here I am, linking up with Kristen, and hoping some people who are just regular women with no intention of being an #influencer come around and read paragraphs and don't mind a lack of pictures.

So - what's new with me since I actually wrote a blog post with some feelings?

I'm working on being nicer to me. Did you see that episode of Queer Eye in season three where they recorded all the bad things the guy said about himself and then Karamo made him listen to it? That was SO resonant with me. I may not say them aloud, but how many times a day do I judge myself, or think that others will? How much negativity am I spreading internally? Whoa.

So that led me to writing down daily gratitude. Yes, I have scoffed at it before, so if that is you, I totally get it. But, it gives me a reason to visit my bullet journal daily and it can be as simple as how fantastic the perfectly ripe pineapple I just ate was. All it takes is one little thing.

On the life front, I am working to straddle the line between Instagram makes me want to buy everything and not being a mindless consumer. For example, if you listen to my Instagram stories, you know I have recently discovered this store called Dirt Cheap which has Target stuff at HUGE discounts. I will go in there and be like "hmmm, well, this vase is cute and SO CHEAP" and have it in my cart, but then think... why? Why do I need another vase? Is it sparking joy? Usually no - I usually get my joy in "things" from quirky knickknacks found in antique malls - and I am able to put it back. I mean yes, the thing is cheaper than my average Starbucks, but do I need MORE STUFF? Mostly, the answer is no. However, after living in our house four years, I am finally working to make some of our spaces more home-y and adult - a rug under our bed, finally hanging some art in the bathroom, and buying a concert poster with no idea where to hang it mostly because I was in love with it. (It's an Avett Brothers poster with an astronaut riding an armadillo and it was perfectly Houston. I had to.) I guess my personal line is that if it will make me feel a way - comforted, pull up a memory, etc - then I am more than willing to consume.

(But I also saw a tweet of a cartoon with the Marie Kondo landfills where the trash was up to the sky so I really am trying to be mindful of my footprint as a human.)
(The responses not to blame Marie for this are spot-on - WE are the ones to blame for having SO MUCH stuff. It isn't her fault for encouraging people to get rid of it. She didn't buy it for us)

And finally, vulnerability. I mentioned that before. I wrote the aforementioned paragraph and thought about how I would love to connect with some new, regular women who blog or read blogs, and how maybe they love to consume things and it brings them joy, and I wanted to rewrite everything I said. I don't want to hurt feelings. But I have to own what I think, try to articulate it, and accept when I'm wrong, or at least honor a difference of opinion. I have secretly wanted to be perfect in so many ways while trying to tell myself I didn't care what other people think for SO LONG, and it's exhausting. So, to put it all out there, and in the words of John Mayer, "just wanna be liked, just wanna be funny... looks like the joke's on me, so call me Captain Backfire." Not being my full self wasn't me enough, so it's a thing I'm looking to change. Trying to be more moderate and not piss people off worked in a way but was a disservice to me. I like to read real thoughts and feelings and see what everyone else is going through, but all I can control is what I put out there, and I am going to work to make that much more honest and vulnerable. 

SO anyway, if you are new here and made it through that, you might be my kind of people. I am much more likely to post on Instagram than keep blogging going, but if you like blogs, I already have half a post drafted which is more than I blogged all of last month. Cheers to working on you, reading about real people, and killing time on the internet.