What I’m doing…

I’m still not in great shape after the election results.  I’ve already been struggling hard with anxiety about returning to work, with new motherhood, and on top of that, I’m not feeling particularly great about our president elect or his ability to make sound choices.

However, continuing to be a pop culture specialist (I’m not sure I’m super proud of my endless/useless knowledge of all things pop), I’ve continued to find enjoyment in many many things.  I kinda talked about some of that here, but since I’ve started to ease back into working out and listening to podcasts and watching some dvred things that have long been neglected, I’ve picked a few gems that you may find interesting.

Listen to this (music).  These girls have been having the best year ever.  The Knowles’.  Beyoncé released her visual album, Lemonade in April of 2016, just in time for her tour.  Solange released A Seat at the Table at the end of September, which was gorgeously, flawlessly, and impressively well-done.  Give these a listen.

If you’re ready for Christmas music, Pentatonix’ new Christmas album, A Pentatonix Christmas, is incredible.  The group has changed the scope of a cappella, and this album is no exception.  I’m actually really really bummed that I didn’t get the chance to see them when they were here on tour, but I was super pregnant, and I didn’t think I could stand in the pit area for the entire show like I’d done for Gavin DeGraw’s show a few month’s earlier.  You’ve probably already heard their version of Hallelujah, and Up on the Housetop is pretty dope as well.

I kind of think Pandora is pretty much over due to Spotify slaying (they’re doing podcasts now, so you don’t have to go elsewhere for anything if you don’t want to), however, Pandora pushed their Thumbprint Radio Station, a station featuring everything you’ve ever given the thumbs-up.  Pretty genius, and really fun. Hip Hop BBQ is also perfect for background while you work.

Spotify’s Daily Mix is a mix that’s made just for you according to what you’ve listened to.  I have two mixes, one that’s a lot of pop, and another that’s just Latin music.

Watch this.  Unfortunately, since Baby Liam’s been here, my days of actually getting to watch anything when it actually airs are pretty much over.  But that’s why they invented TiVo, so I’ve been able to cherrypick some of fall’s best.

Issa Rae’s Insecure on HBO is awesome.  If you followed her YouTube series,  Awkward Black Girl, you’ll love some of the references to that.  Issa is still freestyling, still awkward, still hysterical, and still struggling with all of the things that we struggle with.  Highlights include ‘Broken Pussy,’ Molly asking Jidenna to leave clothes at her place (what!?), and Issa’s gang-banging neighbor.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s Divorce on HBO is genius.  I’m a big fan of SJP anyways, but she’s done it again with Divorce.  It’s smart, it’s real, and it’s funny.  I hate that the episodes are only 3o minutes, but it coincides really well with how long it takes me to nurse the baby in the morning.

RHOA is back.  Nene is not.  But Sheree is, and so far, she has not disappointed.  Cynthia and Peter are getting a divorce (should have never gotten married), Kenya and Sheree are in a race to finish each of their respective compounds, Andy let Porsha keep a peach despite multiple physical altercations with cast members, Kenya is still insane, Phaedra is funny, and Kandi’s son is adorable.

Listen to this (podcasts).

Psychobabble Podcast with Tyler Oakley.  This weekly show is a quick one.  It usually hovers around half an hour, and is a half-hour of pop culture review.  Tyler actually promoted his book, Binge, pretty heavily through the podcasts, which I really enjoyed as well.

In the Dark.  This podcast is kind of Serial-style, and follows the investigation that took place after Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance 27 years ago.  Reporter Madeleine Baran takes you through the investigation, but is not, imho, as skilled of a storyteller is Serial’s Sarah Koenig.  But if you’re into true crime, this is for you.  One note – this podcast gets pretty graphic and times, and some of the details of the abductions and the murder really are disturbing, and not for you you listen to while your kids are around.

The Read.  This one has been a favorite of mine for a few years.  Hosts Crissles and Kid Fury take on black pop culture, black excellence, as well as serious issues facing the black community.  Kid Fury used to vlog, so it was cool to see him make this transition.  These guys are really also a lot of fun to follow and interact with on Twitter.

What are listening to/watching/reading lately?


Serial (OMG!)

First and foremost, I hope your Christmas was a good one.  I spent my first Christmas with my husband as a married couple, and it was really very nice!  We were able to sneak in a run downtown, and spend some time with one another, which is not something we get a whole lot of time to do together.  Fun fact:  you would think as a married couple you’d be all up in each other’s grill all the time, but when you both work full-time, and you both work out an have to manage four pets – sometimes spending time can be tricky.  All that to say, our time was lovely and very, very much needed 🙂

So, I’ve taken to listening to podcasts while I’m running.  I love, love, music, and am constantly reworking my running playlist on Spotify so I’m not horribly bored, especially on long runs.  But truthfully, I’m starting to feel like there are only so many times you can listen to Chandelier…

…before you can sing every ad lib on cue, and you can perform the music video, frame for frame, on a long run.  I know this because I did it in Vegas when I was running my first leg at the Ragnar Relay.

So I started by downloading a few of my faves.  Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, This American Life, and The Read, a podcast so funny, that I’ve had to stop myself from falling off of the sidewalk from laughing so hard.  So I started on the hunt for some more podcasts to keep me entertained, especially considering that training for Rock ‘n’ Roll starts in like two weeks.  And I found two that were like omg, the funniest things you have ever ever heard of in your entire life/the most riveting pieces of literature (?) I’ve ever heard.

Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley

So, if you’re into hystericalness, this is the podcast for you.  This podcast is done by Tyler Oakley, a YouTube celeb, with a wicked sense of humor.  Often he and his friends discuss pop culture, his love for Lady Gaga, and the epi is sprinkled with wise little nuggets of feminist goodness – which you don’t think you could typically get from two dudes, but they’re very socially aware.  My only complaint is that it’s only about 30 minutes.


Serial Logo

I just finished the last episode of Serial, and all I can say is OMG. Slash, I need someone to discuss it with. Slash, what is going to happen to Adnan?

So if you’re a fan of the storytelling style on This American Life on NPR, you will most likely be a fan of Serialwhich is an amazing story of a murder that occurred nearly 15 years ago in Baltimore Country, Maryland.  I promise, you will be hooked.

And if anyone is done with Serial and would like to discuss it with me here the comments, please feel free to do so.

So these are the ways that I’ve managed to keep my mind occupied while working out – how to you keep your mind active while you work out?

Did you/have you/are you listening to Serial?