Five Recent Media Obsessions

If you've known me for any length of time (more than five minutes), you know I get really into things. Here are five things I've been really enjoying lately that have not had their own post yet. 

1. Anne Lamott

There are only a few authors that I have read that felt like they were not only speaking to me, but speaking for me, saying things that I could not or had not or did not want to say aloud, but that needed to echo through the universe despite my reluctance. Anne Lamott is one of those authors. I discovered her (read: was assigned one of her books) at the beginning of this year and have been slowly working my way through her catalog ever since. Of the books I've read, I think my favorites are Bird by Bird, a book on writing and how to do it, and Operating Instructions, written the year her son was born and her best friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer. 


2. Edgar Allen Poe's Murder Mystery Dinner Party

This is exactly what it sounds like: famous authors gather at Edgar Allen Poe's house for a friendly game of murder, and actual murders ensue. It's genius, hilarious, and made by some of the best internet creators out there. Some surprisingly amazing characters are H.G. Wells and George Eliot. That should tell you something. Best of all, as a YouTube series, it's totally free. 



3. Bad with Money with Gaby Dunn (Podcast)

Click on the photo to listen to  Bad with Money.

Click on the photo to listen to Bad with Money.

Being in your early twenties is to have the feeling of impending doom as a constant companion. There is a voice in your head (at least, in mine) that is certain that I am doing adulthood wrong, that I don't know how to do the thing, and that everyone else does. Well, I can take some courage: Gaby has no idea either! Bad with Money is a pretty simple podcast: Gaby sits down with different guests, be it her parents, a financial psychologist, the teller at Bank of America, her best friend, boyfriend, or sister, and they discuss what her fundamental problems with money are. This week, I realized that I don't actually know the difference between a Roth-IRA and a 401K, but instead of being talked down to, I was listening in on someone else learning too. It's been the most approachable financial advice I've gotten in a long time. 

4. Relient K's latest album, Air for Free

lick the picture to go to the band's website. 

lick the picture to go to the band's website. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I wrote this blog while listening to Air for Free. I considered writing a full review of the album, but I realized I had nothing but good things to say, and also, Relient K holds a special place in my heart as my favorite band. Every other band I love is great and all, but Relient K has a way of getting past my defenses and really showing me who I am in a mirror. Back when Forget and Not Slow Down came out, I thought that I would never hear another album that really told the story of what I was going through. Air for Free is my year in an album of beautifully crafted music, clever lyrics, and a band that has evolved from pop punk, to alternative, to alt-country, to pop rock, to something like Pet Sounds or Paul Simon. While I think the album should really be listened to straight through, in order, if I HAD to pick a favorite song, it would be a toss-up between "Runnin'" and "Cat." 

5. Crime novels

While I've never minded a good, violent read (one of my top 100 books is John Dies at the End), I had never picked up a crime novel. That's changed. 

Last year, I met Ryan Gattis at an event my University English department was hosting, and I was blown away by both his interview and his reading from one of his books, All Involved. I read the whole thing in two days in my living room. The re-read took a little over a week. All Involved is a masterpiece that also inspired me to pick up some crime noir books. I just finished Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep and would relish the chance to play Carmen Sternwood on stage. I was in a mixed-gender version of Twelve Angry Men (called Twelve Angry Jurors) on stage. Next on my list is either Gattis' Kung Fu High School or The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. 




If you get into or already know any of these things, let me know in the comments or on Twitter! I'd love to hear your thoughts and we can geek out together.