Read Watch Listen: Recs from a Slacker

It’s been an odd couple of months for me, and I’ve broken my regular cadence of book-reading and movie-watching in favor of more easily digestible podcasts and TV shows. Work has been just enough crazier than usual that I haven’t really been in the mood for anything requiring too much emotional investment. On top of that, I’ve been setting aside most of my spare time to relax in the kitchen or work on a personal project.

I do, however, have a couple of things I’ve been able to invest in that I highly recommend. In addition, I’ve got a read, a listen and a watch at the top of my “Get To It Immediately” list. 

Newly Consumed: Pick it Up

onthemedia

I’m always looking for new, palatable ways to digest the news that doesn’t make me cringe and hurl my phone across the room, and I’m only about 20 years late on this one. What I love about On The Media, hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, is that it considers current events, as well as older stories and interesting media artifacts, through the lens of media coverage.

Rather than telling you another depressing spin on the news, it considers how stories are being presented by the media and what is or isn’t being coverage. A recent episode included everything from narratives around the Greek financial crisis to the vitality of the famous “A dingo got my baby” line.

Can you tell this podcast reaches to the deepest trenches of my media and communication nerd soul?

grove

Pick up this book and read it, because it is distressingly relevant to the current state of race relations in this country. This took me an embarrassingly long time to finish, in part because I would read a few chapters and then get depressed at how familiar the cycles of racial violence and police misconduct felt.

Gilbert King tells the story of the Groveland Boys case and Thurgood Marshall’s defense of the three men falsely accused of raping a white woman in Lake County, FL. It’s an engrossing narrative that serves to highlight our country’s horrifying (recent) past and our history of racial police brutality. As my brother pointed out, it’s hard to imagine a time in the 60 years since the Groveland Boys case that this story wouldn’t feel at once familiar and relevant. 

On My List

between

I need to give myself a short respite from nonfiction since Devil in the Grove took me far too long to finish, but as soon as I’m ready this is at the top of my list. It is one of several books from the last year, including Ghettoside and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, that deals with what it is to be black in America. I’ve heard mixed responses about the format-Between is written as a letter to Coates’s son, and something of a follow-up to his 2008 memoir-but everyone seems to agree it’s an important and poignant read. 

misssimone

I tried to make it to see this documentary about Nina Simone at the San Francisco International Film Festival when I was volunteering there, but the timing never worked out. Luckily, it’s now on Netflix so I can watch it without leaving my house. Many thanks to Glen Weldon of Pop Culture Happy Hour (an NPR podcast of which I am a devotee) for his glowing review, and for reminding me of the incomparable Simone song “Four Women.”  

anotherround

Buzzfeed and I have a complicated relationship, but I’m totally excited about one of their podcasts, “Another Round” with Heben Nigatur and Tracy Clayton. I follow Clayton on Twitter and think she’s tremendous (follow her!), and am always looking for new podcasts to add into my rotation since I have the attention span of an easily bored 9-year-old. Plus, how can you not be excited about a podcast with a segment called Drunken Debates? 

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Things That Are A Mess: Everything I Own

‘Cause instagram makes everything look better..

I wanted mess? I got it. What started as a simple quest to find my colored pencils ended in the realization that my life is, quite literally, a mess. Not that this is a surprise to those who know me, but the mess has reached an unbearable level. My clothes are all in garbage bags, my things are in boxes and bags, and I’m living out of a suitcase. Half my stuff is still in the garage and I just found out some of my boxes are soaking wet. I keep picturing bugs making their way into the bags of clothes and then having to put my entire wardrobe in the laundry. I hate laundry.

So I set out on a mission: today, I will conquer the mess.

Clothes mid-organization

My hope is this can be a “before” post, and that by tomorrow I’ll have all my summer clothes sorted from my winter clothes (packed back in bags and boxes), and that I’ll have some sort of system for finding my things. This is complicated by the fact that I don’t want to completely unpack everything, but I’m a resourceful girl. I will find a place for all my books! I will find a spot for my banjo and my art supplies! I miiiight find a place for my shoes (I’m a realist–I got a lot of shoes).

Updates on my progress to come. I know you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat.

On the cleaning playlist? 

  • Gossip – Heavy Cross (love Beth Ditto’s voice)
  • Black Keys – Run Right Back
  • Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
  • Deer Tick – Diamond Rings 2007 (I’m feeling sorry for myself that I wont be going to the Newport Folk Festival this year, and therefore will be missing seeing Deer Tick and a lot of other great artists)