Recommendations

Podcast Recs – October 2020

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done podcast recommendations.  If I’m being honest, I really wanted to write a blog about that shit show of a Presidential Debate or the fact that the Disney corporation just laid off 28,000 people but I can’t find the words for either topic.  Since there is nothing like some good old fashioned escapism, let’s get back to podcasts.

I’ve been listening to a lot of my old favorites like Disgracedland, History Chicks, Sean of the South and Mike Rowe’s The Way I Heard It.  If you have not checked these podcasts out, stop what you’re doing and do so. Seriously, so good on so many levels. 

Now for the new stuff.  One of my old favorites, Noble Blood, is produced by a company called Grim & Mild.  They produce a number of really good podcasts specifically centered around history with a twist.  With the case of Noble Blood, it’s all about royalty and their unhappy ever afters. That show runs about 20 – 30 minutes per episode.  Cabinet of Curiosities is much quicker usually around 10 or 15 minutes. It centers around the bizarre and strange.  Lore is another longer show running around 30 – 35 minutes. It deals with creatures, legends and places. While listening to these three shows, I’ve learned about all the wives of King Henry the Eighth, the origin of Lloyd’s of London, The Legend of the Wild Hunt and ghost ships. I find many of my family’s dinner conversations revolve around interesting tidbits I’ve learned from these podcasts.  Grim & Mild makes other shows that I have not listed here that may also interest you.  This is just a sampling of the stuff they put out. I’m not going to lie, I’d love to be a researcher for them.  Some of the topics they come up with – wow.  I’d like nothing more that to dive off into the deep end of research.  It makes my book nerd/useless information junky heart sing. 

Like with all my recommendations, I get my downloads from Apple Podcasts but these shows can be found pretty much wherever you get your podcasts. If you start listening to any of these, I’d love to hear about your favorites. Also, if you do podcasts and you have a recommendation for me, please leave me a comment. I usually listen while doing my walk/jogs and it really makes the miles fly by. 

Photo Credit: Kaboompics .com free on Pexels.com

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Recommendations

What I’m Watching

black crt tv showing gray screen

Last Sunday night was the Emmy’s and I have to admit I have never watched the four shows that dominated – Schitt’s Creek, Watchmen, Succession and Ozark.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard great things about Schitt’s Creek and Ozark but the premise does nothing for me.  Maybe if we have to go into lockdown again, I’ll watch it along with Breaking Bad. I don’t know. I find that I don’t dedicate myself to most series until I know it’s gonna be around for a few years.  

Having said that, I’m a sucker for documentaries and limited run series.  Here late Netflix is owning it with those times of shows. I know many are “canceling” Netflix due to Cuties. Get over it. Child porn is everywhere and for awful and inflammatory as Cuties is the documentary The Social Dilemma makes up for that awfulness.  Y’all, I always knew deep down that social media is the devil and yet I keep it around because I love keeping in touch with far flung family and friends.  We have been reluctant to let our kids have social media because we feel they are on their devices enough playing games and doing school work. After seeing that documentary I just want to burn all of devices and go analog again.  It’s disturbing. This documentary is definitely worth your time.

I’m also watching Challenger: The Final Flight. It has a time capsule feel to it and is very well done. Anyone over the age of about 40 remembers exactly where they were when it blew up that cold January day, I know I do. And, having always been interested in the space program, this show is just fascinating.

I also really enjoyed Down to Earth with Zac Effron. It’s a few months old and slightly contrived but to see how other places are working toward sustainable planet practices is interesting. Sometimes it seems to me that the world wants us American’s to do it but when you see what other countries are doing it brings it home that we all need to do what we can to help our people and our planet.  Some would say this show it a little propaganda-y.  Whatever. It’s still pretty good tv and Zac Effron is extremely easy on the eyes, at least that’s what my 13 year old daughter says.  I can’t say that she’s wrong.

Next time we’ll talk podcasts so all my podcast people I got some new favorites.

Photo Credit: Burak K on Pexels.com.

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Recommendations

Book Review

img_1349A few weeks ago, err a month ago, oh let’s be real no one has a concept of time anymore. How about this – not so long ago a fellow blogger recommended a book that I quickly found out was in high demand at my local library.  I wasn’t completely sure what the book was about but I trusted this person’s judgment on books so I put it on hold.  I finally got it a few days ago and I’ve been glued to it ever since. The book I’m talking about, you ask?  Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.

It’s so weird. I heard Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame mention Malcolm Gladwell’s name in his weekly podcast, The Way I Heard It.  Then this blogger that I follow mentioned this book. I figured I had to check the guy out. One might look at the title and think oh this is like one of those stupid self-help books that teach you how to put yourself out there.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  This book looks at how we perceive strangers, how they perceive us, and how this perception screws us more often than not.  Gladwell offers case after case to illustrate how humans naturally default to the idea that the other person is telling the truth, how if the words and behaviors don’t match we don’t believe a person and how behaviors in different cultures mean different things.

Some of the cases Gladwell uses are Hitler, the Brock Turner rape case at Standford University and the Sandra Bland Police overstep incident right outside of College Station, TX. Those last two cases I plan to have my teenaged kids read.  Both are very gritty but I feel like my kids need to see both sides presented here in this book. We get far more information about the cases including court depositions that the general public was never privy to.  The Brock Turner and Sandra Bland cases especially made my blood boil and heart sink at the same time. In so many cases in this book you think to yourself, that could have been me in that situation if only the other person perceived me a certain way.

Even though this book was published last year, I found several parts of it to be relevant to our current situation of police overstep. A whole section of the book talks about how policing has changed in the last 50 years and how it has gone from keeping the peace to actually looking for crimes. That little piece of information and how it all got started blew me away.

I highly recommend this book for anyone trying to make sense of some of the things going on right now.  It won’t solve any problems but it will give you another perspective which is never a bad thing.

Completely unrelated, I’ve started a new ritual. In the morning, as I drink my coffee and peruse various media outlets, I always hop on over to Facebook to read Sean Dietrich’s daily column.  Sean Dietrich is a southern writer/humorist. He is the writer I wish I could be. The way he describes things makes me long for the rural southern towns my childhood, food made by old ladies and 30A.  I invite you to google him and discover his work as well.

Photo Credit: Screen capture of my phone while I was listening to the book, Talking to Strangers. This is the cover art for both the print and digital edition. No copyright infringement intended.

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Recommendations

Country Music

img_1056Well, I’ve got another recommendation for y’all this week. This time it’s a little bit different. It’s not a podcast but a mini-series, a documentary mini-series to be exact. Master documentary maker Ken Burns has knocked it out of the park again with his latest creation, Country Music.

I’m sure there are many readers that want to click away right now.  They’re rolling their eyes and thinking, “I don’t like country.”  You’d be well within your right to click away but I really feel this documentary is really something.  It’s an 8 part series that spans the birth of what we call country today all the way up to the present day – a truly American art form.  Burns weaves a brilliant story of the melding of the storytelling of mountain people and slaves, to gospel standards and string bands. How people who came to American bringing with them their instruments and culture and formed this new thing. He demonstrates how this new thing continues to grown and morph and split apart and come back together in new ways and how it eventually gave birth to rock and folk and bluegrass.

As native Nashvillian, it’s interesting to see how Nashville factored into the whole situation. It doesn’t happen as much anymore but 20 or so years ago, I’d tell people I was born in Nashville and it was assumed I only liked country music. That used to really annoy me. It’s kind of like the old schtick about how you can talk away you want to about family but don’t let anyone else talk bad about them.  I would rabidly respond, Nashville is Music City USA, not Country Music USA. I usually failed to mention it was also called Country Music capital of the World.  I had a chip on my shoulder that few outsiders could see what amazing music of all types was coming out of our city.

This documentary made me proud to say I was born in Nashville, the Country Music Capital of the World.  And, that I’m a country music fan (as well as many other genres). There have been several times watching the documentary that I was so overcome that it brought me to tears. When they show clips of Opryland with Roy Acuff singing Wallbash Cannonball or when they show Dolly Parton singing I Will Always Love You I am transported to my childhood. I have caught myself singing along more times than I can count. Although, just because I was born in Music City that doesn’t mean I can sing.

The Country Music documentary can be found on PBS but I believe you can also watch it on Amazon.  I’m currently watching it on Youtube TV.  I’m not going to lie, it’s long.  Each of the 8 episodes is two hours long. I’ve been watching it while on the elliptical. It makes those miles pass very quickly.

Photo Credit: This is a screen capture off my phone of how it looks on Youtube TV if you choose to look for it. No copyright infringement intended. I make no money off of this and I’m broke. Don’t sue me.

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Recommendations

January Podcast Rec

black headphones with mobile smartphone

About a year ago, a forever friend turned me on to podcasts.  She and I have similar tastes in literature so I knew I’d love anything she recommended.  The first thing she told me about was Believed.  It’s super heavy but very good.  You can find a review here.  I’m up to date on my current podcasts and was looking to find something new in the meantime.  Of course, I turned to my trusty pusher, err I mean friend, and she came up with another heavy but good one called The Mysterious Mr. Epstein.

Look, I know what you’re thinking because it was probably the same thing I was thinking. Do I really want to hear about some skirt chasing, Chester the molester rich guy? Eww, no probably not. But, the story is much more than that.  All of us are vaguely familiar with the situation if you read anything remotely close to the news or social media but this is a deep dive.  This podcast talks not only about Epstein’s social climb but also his involvement with heavy hitters like the Clintons, Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos to name a few.  The podcast talks about the payouts of law enforcement and lawyers.  In his last days, he kept various attorneys on retainer to keep him company in private meeting rooms so he wouldn’t have to sit in his cell. He was above the rules because he could afford to buy his way out of the rules.

Right after the whole Epstein case broke and he was arrested I mentioned to my hubby that heads were about to roll.  Either Epstein’s little black book would ruin lives and careers or he’d end up dead.  Sure enough, Epstein was found dead a few weeks after he was arrested. I laughed along with others at the ‘Epstein didn’t kill himself’ memes but after listening to this podcast I’m not laughing.  There’s no way in the world a sociopath and narcissist of that magnitude would have offed himself.  That man not only felt but knew he was above the law.  He had cheated punishment too many times.  Someone or someones in high places wanted to make damn sure their lives and careers weren’t ruined so they eliminated the problem.  I doubt we will ever know who was behind it.  We can all make our assumptions but you know the old saying about assuming things.

You can find The Mysterious Mr. Epstein in the usual places you find podcasts. It’s pretty short – only 7 episodes long. If you decide to listen, I’d love to know what you think.

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Recommendations

Boredom and New Recs

black headphones with mobile smartphoneIf you’ve ever had surgery, been badly injured, or delivered a child, you know there is a certain amount of time you have to take to heal. There is no fast track or quickie workaround. You just have to take it day by day.  And, in that day by day living, your body may be weak but your head is just fine. That is when the boredom sets in and that’s where I’m at right now.  In fact, it’s been exactly one week since my surgery. I cannot drive. I can’t do housework. Mainly, all I can do is sit and it’s already starting to drive my hyper AF self crazy. I knew this would happen. I tried to prepare for it by saving episodes of shows and movies to watch, by saving episodes of podcasts, and saving projects I could work on from my recliner chair. Yet, alas here I am googling funny dog videos. Since I’m a shut in, finding cool and relevant topics for blog conservation is a little bit nonexistent.  I refuse to talk about politics; half of America is doing that right now. As I see it, everyone sucks and we’re all doomed.  The only thing I can speak to right now is tv shows, podcasts, and funny dog videos. So, let’s do this.

Funny Dog Videos:  Y’all thought I was joking didn’t you? Nope. Go to YouTube right now and join me down the rabbit hole.  Search for ‘husky dog in a bathtub’ and that will get you started. Then you can just search Husky dog videos.  That has got to be the mouthiest breed in the world. Those dogs just talk up a storm. After that has wasted your whole day, you can move on to Tucker Budzyn.  He’s a Golden Retriever and is so funny.  I legit think his owner can read his mind because the subtitles look exactly like what he’s thinking.

TV Shows: Mixed-ish on ABC.  It’s another spinoff of Black-ish.  Since I hated Grown-ish and Rainbow isn’t my favorite character on Black-ish I really didn’t think I would like this show but it’s hilarious.  Much like Stranger Things, it feels very nostalgic since it’s set in the 80s.  It’s like re-watching my childhood with the clothes, behaviors, and outlook of the time and of course, there’s always a moral to the story – usually something about trying to fit in or finding one’s way.  It’s worth a watch and it’s crazy that Rainbow’s hippie dad is played by none other Mark-Paul Gosselaar.  That’s right, Zack from Saved by The Bell. You feel old yet?

Podcasts: Last time I did podcast recs, I mentioned The Worst Year Ever. Well, the premise was good but I never got into it. All it did was remind me that politics sucks – hard. It’s so much happier to stick with true crime and murder. HA! To that end, I give you Hit Man and Today in True Crime.  The first four episodes of Hit Man are strong. I mean really riveting but then the story meanders but it does eventually come back so stick with it. So far, there are 8 episodes. Today in True Crime is a daily podcast that never lasts more than about 15 minutes.  It currently has 73 episodes and deals with anything from the day of Jack the Ripper’s first crime to the day Charlie Manson died. Most days it’s really interesting.  There have been a couple of duds or just plain horrific things but most days it’s fascinating.  If you’re looking for something a bit more cheery, I give you The History Chicks.  The History Chicks has been around for a few years and updates at least once a month but more like every few weeks.  Each episode deals with a different woman in history. I really enjoyed the episodes on Lucille Ball, Mary Todd Lincoln, Mary Pickford, and Abigail Adams. This podcast does a deep dive into the lives of these famous ladies. It’s the history lesson you wish you had in school.  Let’s face it, way more people would be more into history if every class were this interesting. As always, you can find these podcasts in the usual places. I get mine from Apple but they are also available at iheartradio and a few other places. The links I provide for each podcast can tell you where each one is available. I say get it whichever way is easiest for you.

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Recommendations

September Podcast Recs

black headphones with mobile smartphone

This week’s entry will mostly be podcast recs so if you’re not into that I hope to see you again soon.  If you are, please continue. As I’ve done in the past I will be adding links to the podcast’s website so that you can read more and find it where you get your podcasts.

For my True Crime fans, I give you Hell and Gone. It’s set in Arkansas and is narrated, written and researched by a local Arkansas woman.  Her educated but very Southern voice is music to my ears. It is on its second season so there’s plenty to binge on.  I personally liked season one better than two but two is still unfolding so we shall see.

Following the True Crime genre is Hit Man.  This one is absolutely fascinating as it includes a real hit on a person’s life as well as Mowtown legends.  Really interesting stuff.

For my friends who think history is boring, I suggest you try Noble Blood.  It’s a brand new podcast with only 6 episodes but there’s not a dud in the bunch.  Each episode tells the little known story of a historical figure – some you’ve heard of like Marie Antionette and others not so much. These stories range from scandalous to sad and will remind you you’d have to be crazy to want to be a royal.

I’ve also been listening to a podcast called Family Secrets and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  Some episodes are fantastic while others I’ve abandoned a few minutes in. At first, it felt like the author/narrator only knew how to tell stories of privileged, tristate Jewish families. I mean, they do say write what you know.  But, for me, that doesn’t resonate as I’m not privileged, Jewish or tristate area resident. Hell, I’ve never even been to the tristate area. However, she has started to branch out and those have been riveting. I guarantee if you listen you will hear a story that seems oddly familiar to stories you’ve heard within your own families or maybe a close friend.

Finally, I’m very happy to report that Mike Rowe’s The Way I Heard It podcast has returned with new episodes and that Disgracedland will be returning for its 4th season very soon.

In other news, I have been watching the Greta Thunberg bru-ha-ha unfold and I’m up to my eyeballs in kids school and extracurricular crapola. I keep wondering when Mother Nature will come back from her vacation and bring Fall with her. And, I finally found Coffeemate Pumpkin Spike sugar free creamer at the grocery store.  #Notsponsored but I’m open to sponsorship so hit me up, Nestle.

P.S. So, I wrote all this a few days ago but today I heard about a new podcast called Worst Year Ever. I have only listened to the intro but it sounded hilarious and sad all at the same time because it’s about the 2020 election.  Stay tuned to see if I actually rec it.

 

 

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Recommendations

Rabbit Holes and Recs

rabbit holeIf there’s one thing all ADHD people share it’s the hyperfocus rabbit hole trait. I’ve seen this in every ADHD person I have ever known, myself included.  We get so fixated on something, and it can literally be anything, that we lose sight of everything. I’ve seen my kid go on a food bender to where he only wants to eat one thing for every meal for days at a time.  I’ve seen him be the same way about a video game, a band or a toy.  My hyperfocus usually revolves around information. I get so fixated on a topic that I become a sponge soaking up every available piece of information I can find about said topic.  I think that’s why I’m a wealth of useless trivial knowledge. Ask me some questions about a band, movie or random pop culture whatever and I’ve got all sorts of information no one needs.

This hyperfocus is why I have been M.I.A. from this blog since April 13. I ran down the rabbit hole of Podcasts and Music.  Y’all know I’ve been all about podcasts here lately.  I guess that was rabbit hole number one.  Sidenote, I have two new suggestions for you.  One is a couple years old but fascinating, especially as a Southerner. It’s called Sh*ttown (pronounced shit town).  “>Here’s a link.  The other recommendation I have is what started me on the latest rabbit hole.  Disgracedland – see link here – is about rock and roll giants and their debauchery.  As a person who grew up in Nashville and saw and heard about various incidents in the music industry, I thought I could not be shocked. I was wrong.  A few of these truly shocked me.  Disgracedland led me to the books The Heroin Diaries and The Dirt by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue.  Then, because you know big brother is always watching, I somehow got turned onto the fact that Netflix adapted the book, The Dirt.  That morphed into me listening to pretty much nothing but hard rock/heavy metal for the last week. I’m in serious need of a pleather mini skirt and some wet n wild black eyeliner from my early 90s glory days.  It’s thank God they don’t tour anymore and Guns N Roses have already finished their comeback tour a couple years ago kinda bad.  If it weren’t for my family, I’d probably be ready to become the worlds oldest groupie right about now.  (Sigh)  I assure you my guardian angel has had it with me and my flights of fancy.

The funniest thing about these rabbit holes is you never know when these things will just fade away or a new rabbit hole will take its place.  I find this is a common trait among ADHD people as well.  We get so fixated on a thing it’s all we can think about for days and weeks and then, as if someone flipped a switch, it’s not on our radar anymore. It’s the damndest thing. I’m just glad mine have always been relatively harmless.


Photo Credit:
  I just searched the word rabbit hole and this came up three times. Not sure who owns it but if you do and you want it taken down, let me know. No copyright infringement intended. Trying to do the whole fair use thing. I’m broke. I do this blog for free. Don’t sue me.

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Recommendations

New Podcast Recs

img_2371Here I am again with the recommendations.  I’m currently obsessed with Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and Broken Harts podcasts.  What is it with me and these unhappy topics?  The first podcast I recommended (See here) was about a child molester.  These two podcasts are about a brutal serial murderer and his family and a murder/suicide within a family.  Y’all, the only happy feeling you will take away from these podcasts is thank God it’s not me or my family.  But, these podcasts suck you in.  It’s so damn interesting.  Check it out.

Root of Evil tracks the whole screwed up Hodel family starting with the head crazy, Dr. George Hodel.  If you are wondering to yourself ‘who the hell is Dr. George Hodel.”  It is believed he is the man responsible for many L.A. homicides but most specifically the Black Dahlia Murder in 1947.  His son, former LAPD detective, Steve Hodel, has written books about his infamous father and the murder. Dr. Hodel had many lovers, wives and dealt in some shady stuff. He was not a nice guy.  The people interviewed for this podcast includes Dr. Hodel’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  The podcast follows how the sins of this father have thrown an entire family into chaos for more than 70 years. It’s unbelievable and fantastical and much like a car wreck, you can’t look away.

Broken Harts literally starts with a car wreck.  Last year, the Hart Tribe, a family of 8, perished when their car went over 100 foot cliff in California. It was later discovered the crash was believed to be premeditated. The podcast starts at the crash and works backward to try to uncover the root cause of this seemingly Facebook perfect family.

You can find both of these podcasts wherever you get your podcast. I use Apple but they are also available through I heart radio and other places.  I will say Broken Harts has a lot of ads. That is my only complaint.  Now dear reader, I would love to hear your opinions.  Have you listened to these or currently listening? Do you have a rec for me?  Help me find my next obsession.

Photo Credit: This photo probably borders on copyright infringement. It’s a screenshot off my phone of my current place on this podcast.  I shall be hitting the play button as soon as I hit publish on this blog. I cannot think, compose and type while listening to others talk. I just can’t keep that many plates spinning at the same time.  Bravo to you if you can.

P.S. I don’t know what the hell happened with last week’s post. It looked great. I published it and the facebook link screwed up. So, I invite you to go back and check it out.  Here’s a link. I happen to think the story I told in it was hysterical even if it did happen to me.

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Books, Favorites, Important Stuff, Random, Recommendations

Podcast Rec

believed

Y’all know I occasionally do favorite things and recommendations – usually for books and movies.  Today, I’m doing something new. I’m recommending a podcast. I love podcasts. They are great for long commutes and when slugging away on the treadmill or trails.  I wish I could take credit and say I discovered this one on my own.  It was actually rec’ed to me by a dear friend. The podcast is called Believed. You can find it at  michiganradio.org/believed and on the NPR One app, Pocket Casts, Apple Podcasts, and wherever podcasts are available.

I feel I should give you a warning. This is not a feel-good podcast. It’s about the Olympic Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar and the sexual assault cases brought against him nearly a year ago.  I know many of you will shake your head ‘no’ at this discovery and say “no way” but please hear me out. I know many of us are weary about the whole sexual assault ‘Me Too’ movement.  I don’t think this podcast is riding the movements’ coattails. as this case exploded before that movement. For me, the take away for this podcast is to remember sexual assault/harassment can happen anywhere and to anyone and in situations where trust is just a given.

This podcast was a real wake up for me. Even with the “Me Too” movement, we as women tend to forget or bury things even though we’ve all endured something. It might have been something as benign as a creepy teacher that liked to leer at girls with large chests (Yep, that was my school.). Or, it could be something more serious like a hansy boss or a date that ended in rape. We need podcasts like this one to remind us these predatory people will stop at nothing to get what they want.  There are many clowns out there, like Larry Nassar, that have been pulling crap for years and never get caught. They have perfected the cover-up.  They are super slick and hard to catch.  As a parent of a young girl, it was a reminder that even the most trusted adults can be wolves sheep’s clothing. Just because someone holds a position of trust does not mean they are trustworthy.  I urge any parent to listen to this, especially parents of young girls who have close relationships with other adults.

 

 

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