Archive for magazines

We’re Cutting the Cord

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 4, 2016 by sethdellinger

We are going to do it.  We are “cutting the cord”.

Very soon, our household will no longer have cable TV.  To me (although not to my love, Karla), this seemed almost unfathomable until recently.  Not that I am SUPER into television; I usually have a show or two that I am keeping up with at any given moment, but other than a select few, I’m never really passionate about them.  I don’t typically turn on television and just watch whatever is on—I turn it on at appointed times to watch something specific.  Karla has almost never been that way, so this won’t be a huge change for her.

While I don’t really *watch* a whole lot of TV, I do turn it on sometimes just to feel connected to the outside world.  If I’m all alone in the house, I have often simply turned on the TV to feel less lonely—and I’ve always been quite aware that was my motivation for doing so.  In recent years, as I’ve become more aware of this opiate-type usage of TV, I have tried to curtail it and now will read with music on more often than with TV.  Silence, however, is still somewhat rare for me.  But I’m a work in progress.

The good (?) news is, we have so many streaming and DVD options, we still have more to watch than we could properly accomplish in a lifetime.  Our household alone has Netflix as well as Amazon Prime, so even those two services alone offer more than we need.  Factor in free streaming services like Crackle and a dozen or so other channels we have loaded on our Roku and the approximately 500 DVDs we own—including numerous seasons of TV shows–continuing to pay for cable seemed silly and wasteful.

Yes, there are a few shows (at this point, really just The Walking Dead) that I still HAVE to see.  Luckily, each episode is available to rent for 2.99 the day after it airs via Amazon.  Pricey?  Perhaps—but much cheaper than our cable bill.  I will just be avoiding Facebook on Sunday evenings for awhile :)

I hear you:  BUT SETH!  What about live TV?? News?? Sports???

 Yes.  This is the only part that hurts.  First, we will be keeping the cable through the election.  Once that whole fracas seems settled, we’ll cut the cord.  Yes, I will miss sports.  However, I already gave up football.  But I will surely miss seeing my Phillies, 76ers, and Flyers play.  I will certainly follow their seasons via print and internet media.  I imagine in the vanishingly rare event that one of my teams would be having an amazing year and look headed to the playoffs, I might cave and get the cable again, but for just a limited time.  I will very much miss special events like the Oscars—but a local theater here shows it on the big screen every year—so maybe there’s an opportunity for a new tradition.  Or, maybe, it will become one more item in the growing list of things I used to care about, but now, maybe not so much.

I can’t claim that this change is occurring because we don’t watch filmed, scripted entertainment.  We do, and we don’t feel ashamed of it.  It’s just that there’s filmed, scripted entertainment coming out of our ears, and we pay more for all of it than we do for our electric and gas bills.  This seemed askew to us.  In addition, we get an actual newspaper delivered, as well as about ten magazine subscriptions, and I am kind of addicted to fivethirtyeight.com and The New York Times online—so as much as I love CNN and MSNBC, we don’t really get our information from the television.  The fact of the matter is, getting rid of cable stands to change our lives very little—a realization that made it seem truly ludicrous for us to keep it.

Howard Bryant for President (of MLB)

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Uncategorized with tags , , on August 29, 2016 by sethdellinger

I have posted a few entries in the past about the unappreciated world of sports journalism; unfortunately most people writing about sports are not thought of as real journalists or, god forbid, artful writers tackling important topics–and granted, much sports journalism is pure reporting of events.  But longform or opinion sports journalists are some of the most eloquent, incisive writers out there, and some of their work can elicit incredible emotion or hammer home incredible points.  It doesn’t always connect sports to the wider world (although it often does), but sometimes a terrific piece of writing that is just about sports is still worth the time (and money) investment.

One of my favorite sports writers is Howard Bryant, who writes a bi-weekly column for ESPN the Magazine.  I have never, ever once read his column (or one of his longform features) without coming away thinking about something differently than I had before; his ability to turn the angle on a topic and shed a new viewpoint on it is nothing short of mystical.

In the most recent issue, Howard wrote a short column about Major League Baseball in general that I feel is worth reproducing here.  If you have any interest in baseball, sports in general, or terrific opinion journalism, please take a few minutes to read this.  I have pasted the text here for you but a quick search for Howard Bryant and MLB will find the original article on MLB’s site.

 

“After A-Rod’s Fall, He and MLB Are a Perfect Fit” by Howard Bryant, from ESPN the Magazine, September 5th, 2016

IT SOUNDS SO inconceivable, naive, delusional, but it was only a decade ago that Alex Rodriguez was the antidote to a ruinous generation of drugs and greed. He was the choice of the really smart baseball men, such as Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman, both of whom traded for him, and a paralyzed commissioner such as Bud Selig, who tolerated Barry Bonds holding the home run record because soon enough Rodriguez would shatter it and make the game whole again. He would make them clean.

Alex Rodriguez only made it worse. The Golden Boy wasn’t so golden after all. Following a bizarre week in which the Yankees held a retirement ceremony for him even though he’d never announced he was quitting, Rodriguez was discarded without much care. Even the pregame celebration before his final game as a Yankee was curtailed by thunder, lightning and rain, fitting for those who found him less of a True Yankee than the rest. “That wasn’t thunder,” former Yankees player and coach Lee Mazzilli said of the biblical thunderclaps that preceded the downpour. “That was George.” The Yankees’ 1996 championship team was being honored the next day, but for Rodriguez’s night, only Mariano Rivera joined him on the field. Former teammates Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter were not present. Neither was his old manager, Joe Torre. That’s called a message pitch.

Point the blame at Rodriguez, who admitted using PEDs, but no amount of reveling in his inglorious end can undo the enormous collaborative effort that has created baseball’s current dystopia. Rodriguez, along with Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire, is part of the Mount Rushmore of discredited legends that represents the true legacy of the steroid era: It isn’t that they aren’t in Cooperstown. It’s that nobody cares.

The all-time home run list was once led by the most recognizable foursome in sports — Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson. That leaderboard stood for nearly 30 years, until Bonds, who hit his 500th and 600th home runs just one season apart, passed Robinson in 2002. Sammy Sosa hit 60 home runs three times and won the home run title in exactly none of those years. While baseball took the money and laughed at warnings that it was undermining itself, the consequences would be felt later, with Rodriguez amassing 3,000 hits, 2,000 runs and 2,000 RBIs — something only Aaron had done — but leaving the game utterly uncelebrated, inside baseball and especially out.

The Rodriguez epitaph will be a one-sided story about the phenom who was part of the top millionth percentile of talent and blew it all. Yet Alex Rodriguez will in the end be no different from the industry in which he performed for the past two decades, a game that has lost its way, seemingly intent on undermining all that made it special.

The game, like A-Rod, took the money (it is now close to a $10 billion industry), ignored the spread of steroids and lost out on the good stuff. Its records are now as worthless as those in the league it is so envious of, the NFL. It decides which team will host the most important games of the World Series based on an exhibition game. It plays its championship in the worst weather because its leaders refuse to compromise on money and adjust the schedule. It plays at least one game every day between teams that play under two sets of rules. And because baseball cannot decide whether it wants to be truly modern, the game’s leadership allows it to stand weakly in the middle, playing a full season of baseball, simultaneously rewarding and penalizing teams for not coming in first place by staging a one-game playoff, as if the baseball season were the NCAA tournament.

Baseball wants the world to be proud of its drug-testing program. Meanwhile, it deals with an All-Star team of steroid-tainted players who thus far need a ticket to enter the Hall of Fame — Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Manny Ramirez and most certainly Rodriguez — by disciplining virtually none of them and hiring nearly all — laying the weight of accountability on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. If not knowing himself was the self-destructive fatal flaw of Alex Rodriguez, it makes perfect sense that he felt so much at home playing major league baseball.

Something About Something I Just Read

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Uncategorized with tags , on December 10, 2015 by sethdellinger

It’s a sad fact that true sports journalism has just about disappeared in our culture.  And here right away I must draw a distinction–sports news is alive and well and thriving, ie the reporting of facts and scores and controversies, etc.  but sports journalism–the longform literary journalism that digs deep into issues in sports and then uses them to illuminate cultural or human issues that transcend the playing of games–is all-but dead, which is a shame, because it’s one of the best and most unique forms of literature there is.

Newspapers–when they used to have a lot more space for stories because there was more space needed for advertisers who no longer exist–used to publish it, but now, except for the New York Times, all newspapers publish is sports news.  Sports Illustrated runs about one longform piece every two weeks, but it’s usually a book excerpt.  Yahoo Sports and FiveThirtyEight.com push out a nice piece every now and then.   The only real go-to place for it anymore is ESPN the Magazine.  The Mag (as us acolytes call it) is a tricky magazine to read, because it actually consists of just about ONLY longform sports journalism, which is GREAT but also makes it tough to just pick up and peruse.  But it’s existence is comforting.

Last year, The Mag published a piece on Alex Rodriguez that remains my favorite piece of sports writing ever.  Before the article, I had a very neutral opinion of A-Rod–I wasn’t rooting for him, but I didn’t hate him like many do.  After the article, I was not only on his side, I was actively rooting for him–even a fan.  but more than that, the article moved me, to tears even.  But not about Alex Rodriguez.  About me.  Like the very best sports journalism, the piece transcended the world of sports and connected the essentially meaningless lives of millionaire athletes to my individual life and our wider, diverse culture.  It was writing of weighty value.  I saved that issue and have since read the piece (which is extremely long and takes about two hours to read) three times.

This was a lengthy way of me introducing the piece I read today, also from ESPN the Magazine.  The article is “Athletes Control the Media” by Kent Russell.  This article qualifies as actual literature, in any field.  Although it is ostensibly about what the title suggests–athletes controlling the media and no longer vice-versa–Mr. Russell expands upon the subject with such aplomb, veracity, and intensity of feeling that the article becomes a large-scale examination of our current media culture, as well as the “many lives” of each of us as individuals in the new age of social media.  Although this might sound like a topic you’ve read about before, Mr. Russell has infused it with a layman’s philosophy quite unlike anything I’ve ever read.  Following are some passages I found especially mind-boggling.  You can read the whole article here (and if you do, just randomly click on an ad or watch the entire video commercial so ESPN the Magazine can make a few cents to keep this kind of journalism going).

Excerpt 1:

“Far below the press box, pacing the field, was the man himself. Bill Belichick kept his arms folded and his chin tucked, sphinxlike. I watched him nod in agreement, conferring via headset as to his next turn in this game of human Stratego, yet I never saw his mouth move. With the help of binoculars, I began to fixate on the small gap between his lips, scanning for the fine mesh screen behind which the smaller, truer Belichick looked out on the world, as if in a Mickey Mouse suit.

By refusing to play along with these people in the press box, Belichick has allowed himself to be transformed, by way of their writing and broadcasting, into a humorless curmudgeon. This is a persona, to be sure; a mask that Belichick donned long ago. What he understood was that over time, many of the journalists up here would begin to mistake this mask for the man’s actual face. And so, in leading them to believe that he is a reticent grump — and not an unflinching actor in addition to the greatest coach of all time — Belichick has gotten the media to direct their questions to the mask.”

 

Excerpt 2:

“When people cheer on the death of the news conference, what they’re also cheering on, perhaps unwittingly, is a future in which all of us will engage in this kind of careful brand management. In such a future, I’ll have my inner circle, the few people I know and care about from real, corporeal life. Then I’ll have my fans and followers, the fellow travelers who don’t really know me but enjoy or support my curated presence. Then I’ll have my “haters,” the people who misinterpret or misconstrue my presented selves, or who actively work against my narrative. These individuals are not with me, physically or in spirit, so they must be against me. This is a feedback-looped orientation toward the wider world that another, better, writer once summed up as: “He who does not feel me is not real to me.”

During his media day news conference, Marshawn Lynch put that sentiment this way: “I don’t know what image y’all trying to portray of me. But it don’t matter what y’all think, what y’all say about me. Because when I go home at night, the same people that I look in the face, my family that I love, ha, that’s all that really matter to me. So y’all can go and make up whatever y’all want to make up because I don’t say enough for y’all to go and put anything out on me.”

This declaration still makes me want to stand up and cheer, sound as it does like something a pioneer in a cabin on the frontier might say. But — and this is ignoring the fact that his trolling flouted an obligation listed in his $31 million contract — Lynch got at the crux of something capital-T True here. Something that works against the point he was trying to make. Real adult life, the face-to-face relationships that allow one to understand as well as to be understood, is founded upon messiness, dialogue, the abdication of total control. I alone cannot truly know who I am. I alone don’t even get final say. I can have some idea. This idea can be based upon the selves I put forward. Yet it’s the people whose lives are affected by my selves — they get to tell me what all that self-presentation looks like. They get to measure the distance between the kind of guy I say I am and the kind of guy I happen to be. It is unlikely that Lynch, Jeter and Belichick have any interest in hearing what kind of guys they are. This is understandable. Although they are as in the limelight as anyone in our culture can be, “spelunk the darkest caves of your psyche, in public” is listed nowhere in their job descriptions.

“STICK TO SPORTS!!!!!” you might be saying about now. Fair enough. I will not mention the recent TV debate in which moderators were demonized for questioning the backstories and assertions of individuals trying to become the leader of the free world. Nor will I mention how the University of Missouri football team used social media to tell the world that it was going on strike until the university’s president stepped down. When that president did step down and media came to document the campus’ reaction, there was a literal sign of the times staked into the quad — no media / safe space — in addition to an assistant professor of mass media who was filmed saying, “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?” This same assistant professor had previously posted on her Facebook page: “Hey folks, students fighting racism on the MU campus want to get their message into the national media. Who among my friends knows someone who would want a scoop on this incredible topic?”

 

Except 3:

“Belichick slid into the room and stood to the left of the dais, out of frame. There was a small pack of reporters about 5 feet from him, but none approached. He leaned into a corner jutting from the wall’s architecture, putting all of his weight onto its right angle. He kept his hands in his pockets and his face fixed, rocking back and forth, toggling his spine against the edge. He watched Brady just as intensely as he does during a game, radiating neither joy nor love but grim determination.

I thought then of all the Kremlinology that people engage in, trying to divine the real Bill Belichick from whatever scraps he leaves. Commenters, both official and unofficial, have looked to his on-field body language and cryptic sound bites for clues. They’ve dissected pictures of him kissing his girlfriend. They’ve pored over Vines of him eating “like a gremlin.” They’ve read way too much into the fact that he sang “Love Potion No. 9” at a party. I, myself, read way too much into the answer he gave during the last Super Bowl media day, when the daughter of one of his players asked Belichick what his favorite stuffed animal was. “I’d like, uh, like a little puppet,” he said, “that you can kinda put your fingers in … it’s a little monkey … and then he can talk.”

Belichick took to the dais. He started delivering a monologue of platitudes, as if trying to get them all out at once. “It was a tough week mentally,” he croaked in his strangled-sounding voice. “But they really pushed themselves. I thought our preparation was good and they played hard tonight.”

Eventually, a question was asked. Belichick stared into the middle distance. He appeared to be imagining some empty, perspectiveless afterlife in which jaunty supermarket Muzak was overlaid with the tortured screams of this interrogator. Then he snapped to and answered, “It was good team defense, which it always is when you play good.”

There were a few more questions about special teams. But no one asked the question that I wanted answered, the only question to ask, I thought, which was: “Bill, how does it feel to be so controlling? So single-minded? To be heir to — and apotheosis of — Vince Lombardi, George S. Patton and Niccolo Machiavelli? At what cost is this success? How can this possibly be enjoyable, still? Who are you?”

There was a lull in the back-and-forth. Camera shutters clicked together like insect legs. Belichick sucked his lips inward, nodded. A wall-mounted digital clock blinked past midnight. I thought about asking my question. He climbed off the dais and left.”

 

 

It’s My Thought That Counts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2013 by sethdellinger

It occurs to me with no lack of regularity that, because of my persistent status as single and childless, that I have significantly fewer opportunities to receive presents as the rest of you romantic and procreating beasts.  And hey, listen, I’m gonna admit something most people avoid saying out loud:  I would like more presents!

So recently, I was thinking, maybe it’s not just the lack of Valentines, Father’s Day, and anniversary (as well as the extra gifts one gets at Christmas and birthdays etc, from your significant other and children) that are preventing me from getting a significant amount of free goods.  Perhaps part of the problem is, when gifting times roll around, many of you potential gifters think my interests are limited to just a few things, like pompous music, post-1930s American and British poetry, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock, and you just don’t know how to buy presents for a guy like that!  And, while it is true that I really love those things, the fact of the matter is, I have literally hundreds of interests, and with the advent of the internet, there is nearly no shortage of ways you can spend money on me! And the internet also means it is very easy for me to re-sell something you may accidentally get me that I already have!

So, in case you have just been hankering to buy a gift for a guy but don’t know who the hell Philip Larkin is, I will here lay out for you a massive list of interests I rarely talk about, but I assure you I am just crazy for!

1.  Soundtracks to movies made before 1980 on vinyl records

2.  Anything to do with early thought on city planning, especially dealing with pioneer Jane Jacobs

3.  I like hats

4.  I like notebooks to write in, but not one with Hallmark-y or sentimental messages printed on the cover

5.  Corduroy clothing

6.  I collect old postcards, preferably with messages written on them, preferably from 1915 and earlier

7.  Single-issue Marvel comics (any title) from between 1993-1997 are usually a good bet

8.  Anything celebrating the state of Pennsylvania, especially including its coat of arms

9.  Back-issues of Discover magazine, pre-2005.

10.  Post-it notes, white-out, index cards, legal pads, mechanical pencils

11.  Owls

12.  Games for the original Game Boy (original only, no Game Boy color!)

13.  First edition of any book by Orson Scott Card, Dave Eggers, Flannery O’Connor, or John Updike

14.  Hoodies or winter coats ordered from the websites of any of my favorite bands.

15.  Anything that you see on this list, if you can find a mousepad that in some way depicts or deals with it, I would like to own that mousepad

16.  I have a genuine interest in the Johnstown Flood.  Aside from the famous book by David McCullough, I own nothing about it.

17.  Aside from the DVDs, any merchandise or materials related to the film “Labyrinth” would be a home run.

18.  I have a high interest in the European particle accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC (sometimes also called CERN).  Yes, there is merchandise.

19.  I love Grey Flannel cologne but haven’t owned any in years.

20.  Any DVD that says it is part of the “Criterion Collection”…you can buy me that.

21.  I am a big fan of motorized inclined planes, or “funiculars“.

22.  I love backscratchers.  It is not possible for me to own too many of them.

23.  Books or materials about early American filmmaking are always great (post 1910 and D.W. Griffiths only, I have no interest in Edison’s important but dreadfully boring experiments).

24.  Dr. Strange is my favorite comic book character.  I have plenty of stuff but feel free to take a leap of faith, there’s a lot out there.  Statues, figures, and busts are especially desired.

25.  The easiest thing on the list:  I love all Philadelphia sports teams.

26.  I have an interest in Quantum Physics.  There are tons of books and DVDs on the subject.  I will read and watch them all.

27.  John Sloan, the painter.  That man painted my soul.

28.  I am intrigued by the lost colony of Roanoke and would love to learn more about it.

29.  Post-Revolution, my favorite historical figure is Aaron Burr.

30.  I could always use a new (good) digital camera.

31.  I have an interest in but have not read much about behavioral psychologist BF Skinner.

32.  I am a major evangelist for Dr. Pepper, and even more specifically Diet Dr. Pepper, and I will, without irony, wear, brandish, or otherwise use merchandise imprinted with this soda’s logo.

33.  I have always been smitten with now-deceased scientist Carl Sagan, and any of his books are welcome.  Likewise, his television series, “Cosmos”, and any materials related to it, are high on my love list.

34.  In the realm of living scientists, I have a bona fide man-crush on Neil DeGrasse Tyson and will gladly accept his books, DVDs, or tickets to see him speak somewhere.

35.  I get weak in the knees for Ben and Jerry’s “Late Night Snack”.

36.  Art Spiegelman’s masterpiece of graphic novel literature, “Maus”, is an all-time fave, but is always priced just out of reach.

37.  Toblerones.

38.  Coffee-table sized books featuring the art of Henri Rousseau, and/or merchandise featuring his paintings “The Dream” or “The Snake Charmer“.  If I listed all of these items in order by what I’m interested in right now, this one might be #1.

39.  I have an odd interest in the history of the Mormon religion, specifically the handcart disaster, the Mountain Meadows massacre, and the early life and “visions” of founder Joseph Smith.

40.  I’d love a Polaroid camera.

41.  I love coffee, of course, and there are a few things I still need, primarily a pour-over set for iced coffee and a French Press.

42.  If I hit the lottery tomorrow, two of the first purchases I’d make would be the complete series of “The Fraggles” and “24” on DVD.  Don’t judge me.

43.  My favorite living poet is Billy Collins.  I have all his books.  See what else you can do.

44.  I love riding my bike.  But I’m not a serious biker, like, wearing spandex, etc.  I do it just to cruise around.  But I could use a new lock, gel seat cover, or other biking stuff you might think of.  I could also use a new bike, but if you want to go that far, we should probably collaborate on that.

45.  Anything relating to the old TV shows “Northern Exposure“, “Twin Peaks“, or “Picket Fences“.  I own the entire series of “Northern Exposure”, but other than that, it’s open season.

46.  I find the Donner party very interesting.  I have read this book on it, but nothing else.

47.  I like to use caramel coffee syrup in my coffee and oatmeal.  I can never have too much of it.

48.  I love newspapers, but it’s not easy to find merchandise regarding them, such as hats, shirts, etc.  My favorite newspapers are The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today.

49.  Museum memberships.  Any kind of museum.  Art, history, whatever.  I can’t imagine a gift I would love much more than a membership to just about any museum.  Currently, I am a member of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but no other museums.

50.  Old coinage, pre-1900, from early America or other countries.  Confederate money would be very cool.

I Told You So. Even Though You Didn’t Care Then, and You Don’t Care Now.

Posted in Snippet with tags , , , , on August 13, 2012 by sethdellinger

About two years ago, I posted this.

And now (in case you didn’t see this particular news snippet) this has happened.

Powerlines

Posted in Photography with tags , , on April 19, 2012 by sethdellinger

 

Manic Panic

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Snippet with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2012 by sethdellinger

I am currently in the midst of a months-long creative and intellectual mania.  I often say I don’t have enough time in a day, but it has certainly never been more true than it is now.

I attribute this primarily to getting healthy and exercising; it definitely kickstarted an increase in energy, and a change in mood to the extreme end of “good”, and energy plus super good mood=extreme mania, and it’s lasting a long time.  Which is good—damn good—but my lack of ability to do every single thing I want to is getting a little annoying.  Let me describe a little better what the mania entails:

First and foremost, I want to do stuff constantly.  Like, outside of the house stuff.  It being winter, there are a limited amount of things to do, but I have lists of things I want to do when I have time, like “take pictures on Raspberry Street” or “tour the Watson-Curtze Mansion“, etc etc.  When I do have time for activities such as this, it’s damn difficult deciding what to do.

Secondly, I have an enormous list of creative and artistic projects that I want to start, work on, or complete, and the list of projects itself has become a project.  When I’m at work or out and about, I find myself typing ideas into my cell phone’s “notepad” for me to add to the project list when I get home.  Hell, my list of potential blog entries alone is staggering.  This aspect of the mania is the most frustrating, as I am getting more and more interesting and ambitious ideas and I simply don’t even have the time to start on most of them.

The mania is also driving up my appetite for media/ information consumption, even as the mania means I have less time to partake of that particular fountain.  For many years now, most of you know, rather than watch much television, I’ve (through Netflix) watched, on average, one new movie a day.  Even as my appetite for film continues to grow, my attention to other projects and interests is decreasing my time for them.  And the mania has only increased my desire to read; I currently could probably read all day for four straight days and not get sick of it.  Information, information, information, my mind screams at me.  I currently have very little desire to read fiction (although, Mom, I really DO want to read that Stephen King book you sent me, and probably will start it in about 2 weeks).  I read the Erie newspaper every day, and often stop somewhere for a USA Today, New York Times, or Wall Street Journal, depending on what’s happening in the world or if I heard about an article or feature in one of them from one of the websites I simply can’t stop reading thoroughly every day (SlateHuffington Post.  Oh, and Hacking Netflix and Deadline).  And my magazine consumption, which I had finally whittled down in recent years, has skyrocketed during the mania.  I can’t seem to read enough science writing.  I currently read all of the “big three” science mags (Popular ScienceDiscover, and Scientific American;  I’ve been a big Discover supporter for years but right now it’s just not enough), and it seems my hankering for history now bleeds over into magazines.  America’s Civil War has been a mainstay on my bedside table recently, as have some oddballs such as Archaeology and The Saturday Evening Post.  And these are all in addition to the standard entertainment, arts, news, and cultural magazines you’d expect me to be reading.  Oh, and yes, I read books, too!

I have also taken quite a shine lately to just listening to music.  I have found that, in most of my adult life, I have rarely simply sat down, doing nothing else, and listened to music intently.  And now I have started doing it and it is changing my life.  But where is the time???

Oh, and I have REALLY started to enjoy just puttering around my apartment, re-arranging things, finding new homes for this or that, hanging the artwork in new arrays, paging through my old books, putting old photos in little frames, etc etc.

In short, I literally do not have enough time in a day right now.  I already start out with a deficit, working 50-60 hours a week.  Then, remember, I’m spending between 8 and 12 hours a week in the gym, so there is potentially almost 80 hours unavailable a week.  And then there’s sleep, at some point, and getting on the internet.  I have essentially zero downtime.  Please do not misunderstand me: I am loving this.  I am in a constant good mood, and never even remotely close to being bored or sad.  But damn.  Who knew there could be so much to do (without, really, doing anything)?  Also, this is a way of explaining to some of you how and why I might occasionally sound out of my mind, especially after a day that may have been devoted to intense, marathon bouts of reading, followed by writing or otherwise creating something incredibly personal and emotive, followed by going to a hockey game or something, and then back home to shower in the dark while The National plays on my stereo.  It’s a whole lot of fun, but sometimes can make me a little crazy.

I anticipate things leveling off as my body continues to adjust to being some degree of healthy.  But I just had to put it out there how wild and fun and jam-packed my life is at this point, even if it might not sound particularly fun to a lot of you, it is for me.  And almost everything I’m doing or want to do is free or relatively cheap (not to mention my food budget being more than halved in recent months) so I’m actually saving a lot of money recently (concert-going has all but stopped, and there’s much less time to go to the movies now).  How one starts saving money by doing more stuff is some sort of mystery!

Hey, have an awesome day!

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