Saturday, April 9, 2016

97. Things I have been enjoying

Sometimes I wonder about what I can enjoy in the moment anymore. Does anyone really enjoy Facebook? It has it’s uses, but ballooning joy is not one of them. (At least 98% of the time. Seeing pictures of puppies is what it’s mostly good for.) Yet, I keep going on, hour after hour, day after day. It just feels like filler. It’s like underwriting shoutouts on MPR. You expect them, but you glaze over them for the most part.

So I think it’s good to examine what is actively bringing you joy over the course of your day. Here are a few of those things:

  1. Hello from the Magic Tavern (Podcast). Usually I like my podcasts to be of the non-fiction variety. I enjoy interview-focused programs, well-done radio stories, and stuff about writing. This is none of these. It’s an improvised podcast from the Chicago Podcast Cooperative. The back story is that a guy, Arnie, falls through a dimensional rift behind a Burger King into the magical land of Foon. He had his podcasting equipment with him, and he’s still getting a slight wi-fi signal from the Burger King, so he uses it to record a podcast every week. They’ve been doing the podcasts from just over a year now, so I’ve been binge listening to them. (I actually kind of enjoy binge listening more than binge watching. ) Arnie has set up camp at a pub, the Vermillion Minatour with a talking Badger, Chunttttttt (yes that’s how it’s spelled) and a wizard, Usidore the Blue (he has a longer name, but you’ll have to tune in to find out.) They have an eclectic array of guests from trolls to talking Eagles. Like an occasional improvised scene, the premise gets old from time to time (it goes blue every so often), but they’ve done a good job at building a weird world. I’d recommend it when the real world gets a little too out of control.
  2. “Boys Among Men” by Jonathan Abrams. This is a book that I went back and fourth on whether I wanted to buy it or not. I made the right choice. Like any excellent reporter, Abrams does a good job of bringing the reader into a different world. He does a good job of dividing the vignettes, from high school and AAU programs, to the world of the NBA. I appreciate the little anecdotes, like veteran Antonio Davis literally taking in rookie teammate Al Harrington. Abrams brings up all the big name players- Garnett, Bryant, LeBron- but also brings up a few cases that I didn’t even know, like Leon Smith. While on principle I am for allowing players to declare for the draft when they are 18, I’m questioning my stance after reading this book. Not everyone has a good support system like Garnett and Bryant did. Not everyone makes good choices. There are a number of people who only want to make money off of those kids. I don’t know if that’s the lesson that Abrams is trying to impart with this book, but these are good stories to tell.
  3. The Macy’s food court. It’s become my favorite place for a sandwich. There usually is not a long line. The ingredients are high quality and it’s a reasonable price. The key here is the variety of bread, which as you know, is the key to turning a good sandwich into a great turkey sandwich. I had one on a pretzel bun yesterday along with bacon, tomato, lettuce, onions, banana peppers, and provolone cheese. Oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it again.

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