In which I vomit happiness all over a podcast

Me...podcast listening

Me…podcast listening

I think I miss talk radio.

That’s the only justification I can make in my brain for the absurd number of podcasts that I listen to on a weekly basis and subscribe to monthly. Don’t even get me started on the number of times I have said, under my breath while standing on a subway platform, usually in a complete rage, “WHY HASN’T GIRL ON GUY/NERDIST/THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR UPDATED YET?!”

It’s not always one of those three. I subscribe to about 15 podcasts that update weekly or monthly and usually, by Thursday, I am swearing about having nothing to listen to on my commutes.

But today, today, I got a special treat.

Today I listened to the Nerdist podcast episode with Katey Sagal.

You guys, I am a child of the 1980s. I grew up in a time when the plastic covers had only just been ripped from sofas, when moms were bobbing and perming their hair to look like football helmets with pride, and when RoseanneThe Cosby Showand a little sitcom called Married…with Children were the height of evening entertainment.

Okay there were a lot more to it than that, but that’s a lot of what I remember.

We were not allowed to watch Married…with Children. Nope. It was forbidden.

Which of course only made us want to watch it more. It was the ultimate in bad behavior in the Berkey household. Sunday evenings featured viewings of The Simpsons but after that was Married…with Children and sometimes, if we held very still and were very quiet, our parents would forget what was on after that harmless cartoon show they let us watch and we would get through a few minutes – sometimes even the whole half hour – of the Bundys.

We freakin’ loved it.

So today, when I saw that was what I had que’d up for my commute, I giggled like the naughty ten year old watching a sitcom she was definitely not supposed to be watching. In other words, I giggle maniacally and to myself so that the jig would not be up. And it did not disappoint.

Love him or not, Chris Hardwick hosts a good interview, and when the guests come to play – as many have in the last few weeks – it’s even more entertaining. Listening to Sagal talk about Sons of Anarchy, Futurama, and of course Married..with Children was everything I wanted it to be. She just has one of those voices that is permanently etched in my brain as this thing straight out of my childhood.

And then she talked about how she sings and writes songs and puts out albums, and allowed my brain to plan things to buy in its downtime during my work day. So fun. SO FUN.

Okay that review of “so fun” only really makes sense if you’ve ever sat in front of me and seen me get really excited about something, but for those of you who haven’t, just imagine me being really excited and bouncy and clapping my hands a lot.

The Nerdist interview with Katey Sagal was great. And you should listen to it. There’s comedy. There’s actual good talk about stuff like meditation and life/work balance and monetary success vs feeling like you’re accomplishing something you’re proud of success. And there’s a lot of laughing and joking and some inappropriate references to drugs and drinking. I enjoyed it a lot.

Katey Sagal sounds like possibly the coolest person ever. Like Helena Bonham Carter laughing that she scares her childrens’ friends by toying with her Bellatrix Lestrange wands levels of cool. And they tweeted pictures at the end, and it was kind of adorable.

via Katey Sagal's twitter https://twitter.com/KateySagal/status/371010802766979072

via Katey Sagal’s twitter https://twitter.com/KateySagal

Go download it right now. And tell me if you don’t find yourself running to Netflix to see if they don’t have Married…with Children on there somewhere. I am seriously hoping Hardwick attempts a reunion panel for that cast.

It would be fucking amazing, and I would buy tickets.

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I read too much and that got dark fast

“God, I wish I read as much as you do.” I hear it on a regular basis. Friends, colleagues, strangers on the internet. Everybody says the same thing.

And I’m always a little confused. I guess I never thought that I read all that much.

I mean, I get through 50 pages on a good commute, and I might spend 30 minutes with a book on a work night before turning off the light. But even I am susceptible to the ridiculous internet addiction that seems to be plaguing the world these days. Now, more often than not, I spend that last 30 minutes before I put out the light scrolling through Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook. I’m almost ashamed to admit it.

I always have good intentions. I’m going to put my phone down in just a second and pick up that book I’ve been reading for the last few days or weeks or months. I’m going to take another stab at Murakami’s 1Q84 which I still haven’t finished over a year later. I’m going to get on with my reread of Emma because that is how excited I am about Emma Approved coming to an interweb near you in the near future. (But really. I AM SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED.) But I never do. Regardless of my good intentions, I find myself looking at the time an hour later and realizing that I have to get up in a few hours, and jeez, I really should go to sleep or I’m just going to hate myself when the alarm goes off. My light is flipped off before I get to crack a spine or read a word. I guess I still get a lot more reading done than other people my age. I devour a book or two a week – sometimes more if I’m on a roll or in a zone or some other crazy metaphor you want to make that equates with sports or another extracurricular activity I am not familiar with at this point in my life – or ever if we’re being honest.

Reading a lot, which I’m told I do, isn’t actually hard.

Obviously, when I say “just do it” I am not saying that men and women with small children and absolutely NO time to do anything but care for those children should be finding the free time I do. I mean, I get it. I do. But at the same time – as a single, free-of-responsibility kind of adult – it’s second nature to me. I’m noticing more and more that other people don’t do it the way I do. No one else has integrated books, reading and literary pursuits into their daily lives the way that I do.

Frankly, at this point, unless I’m talking to someone I already know is a heavy reader like me, I don’t ask what they’re reading as an ice breaker. It won’t be greeted positively. The last few times I have done so I’ve been met with blank stares.

The blank stares make me more sad than anything else.

“I haven’t read a book since someone made me read a book for a class” used to be the most common response I got.” I just don’t have time to read” was another.

And then I talk to my nerdy friends and they say the same thing, and I start to wonder if I’m some sort of freak.

It’s middle school all over again. I can’t possibly read as much as you all think I read. And it can’t possibly be more than you read yourself, right? RIGHT?

I’m not actually reading entire libraries at a time. Half the time, I’m nose-deep in a book I’ve already read once or twice because I fall that much in love with a good character or a good writer. There are so many new releases that I just never get around to. Is it really just that I have more free time than the parents and paired up single folk. Others watch Housewives of Orange County and I read antiquated literature because I think it’s fun.

Others have lives where they connect with the rest of the world and have relationships and boyfriends, and futures.

Wow that got dark fast.

Motivation and Goals: Everything is Hard

Motivation is hard.

I know that you know that. I know you know that because at least once I day I receive the following GIF in my inbox:

writingishard

The person who sends this to me varies on a daily basis. Needless to say, I have a lot of friends who are writers, and they like to commiserate with me as I toil away at the keyboard in a different state, room or country than them.

Lately, it hasn’t felt like writing specifically is hard.

Lately it has felt like everything is hard.

It’s harder when I’m sitting in front of social media sites that suck my motivation right out of my face and put into their endlessly scrolling feeds of gifs, pictures and news articles that just remind me that the world is going to shit faster than anyone really wants to admit.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I multitasked my work, reblogging gif after gif of Tom Hiddleston teasing the Cookie Monster and teaching him about delayed gratification, drinking coffee, and trying to keep one ear on the news of what was happening with senatorial procedure and what the heck President Obama was going to do in the face of this Syria situation.

Then I woke up this morning, and I read some words by another writer on this whole Syria thing, and I got to thinking.

Syria has been a reality for months and weeks. It didn’t really occur to me that it could affect things here in a big way until this weekend. (Yes, I realize that is grossly self-centered and naive.) I was driving down a rural turnpike, singing along to some musicians I’d never heard before, and exchanging Top 5 lists with my friend, and it felt like the world was about to change. And then it did.

I had checked Twitter just to see what was going on in the rest of the world outside the car. Upon seeing one of my old political friends tweeting about the imminent remarks President Obama would be delivering, I unplugged our fancy mp3 player from the dashboard and hustled through a game of hide and seek with the local airwaves to land on NPR just as he began.

His voice came through the car speakers – tinny and unpolished by a synthesizer and so unlike what I hear come through stereos now with all the digital hoopla of 2013. The decision he had made, that of addressing the violence and use of chemical weapons in Syria with the Congress after their recess, is one that will have far-reaching consequences.

Afterwards we continued on the rural turnpike, quietly listening to the responses from politicos and wonks on NPR.

I was reminded, in the silence, that the drugs I use dull my creativity and my motivation and they are under my control.

I can turn off Twitter. I can close the window on Tumblr. I can open a notebook, and pick up a pen, and not engage with the raging masses of social media who sit behind their computer screens – probably marginally clean, well fed and housed – and I can actually attempt to make a difference.

It’s a new goal. I’m going to be turning off the internet more often. I’m going to try to spend more time putting pen to paper creating new things instead of critiquing the things of others.

Let’s see how it goes. Maybe I’ll find some friends along the way.