If I were Mayor of Night Vale

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. I’m still trying to find ones that work me, but here are a few that I’ve enjoyed immensely.

Relevant PodcastA weekly podcast released every Friday by the Relevant Magazine folks. This was my gateway podcast. They are hilarious, usually have one or two interviews from authors or musicians and there isn’t an episode that doesn’t leave me laughing. They have also introduce me to a lot of good music.

Mystery ShowThis is a relatively new podcast that solves strange mysteries, like a missing video store or what is Jake Gyllenhaal’s actual height, which I know sounds a bit strange, but the best thing about the show is Starlee Kine’s storytelling ability.

In addition to Mystery Show, some other great storytelling shows that I enjoy are The Moth, This American Life, True Story and StoryCorps. These are shows where different people form all walks of life share their true stories.

TED Radio Hour: Each episode is mainly a synopsis of a series of related TED talks, and it has lead me to discovering some talks that I probably wouldn’t have found on my own.

Finally, the odd, hilarious, and oh so imaginative, Night Vale podcast, a bi-monthly radio show that gives its listeners an update on the goings on and the mysteries of Night Vale. I would suggest starting from the beginning for this one.

 

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Then I lost my keys

It was 80 days after the incident. I found myself in front of my backdoor, the contents of my purse spilled across the cool concrete as I frantically searched the two pockets of my small purse for my house keys. I kept looking into those empty pockets, as if the keys would appear out of thin air and let me inside.

In that moment, many things flashed through my mind, but none of them a solution to my current situation. I was alone, in the dark (thanks to the motion-sensored light that never comes on for me), exhausted both physically and emotionally, and in terrible need of some rest.

The last three months have felt as though my insides were being scooped out and constantly tied into tiny knots. I hated looking at my phone, just incase a text comes in informing me that something else happened, but I cannot escape looking at my phone, as it’s also been the bearer  of good news – of swift and miraculous healing. The smell of the hospital and rehab center are imprinted in my mind; I smell those smells all the time. The question “Why?” is constantly in my head, followed closely by “Where were you?”.

I’m a single woman in her 30s who is constantly asked the question “When are you getting married? Why are you single? Do you like being alone?” (as though singleness is a curse) forcing a kind of aloneness on me, yet, I’ve never felt the impact of loneliness as much as I did at that particular moment. I thought of the random outburst of tears that sneaks up on me, breaking through the dam that I’ve been trying to build around them, seeping out without a care of where I’m standing and with whom I’m speaking.

As the search for my keys continued, I thought about the total number of times I’ve ever lost them – 0 – my mind drawing a blank when I try to recall what I did that day and how I could have dropped them when they are usually tucked away in the inside pockets of my bag. And so I gave up. They were lost. But a larger part of me was more concerned with the fact that it took so long, and something so little, to make me see how overwhelmed I really was. There were so many things broken beyond my repair, so I loosened the tight grip I was holding and allowed all the emotions to flow. Over these things, I have no control.

I want to pause and take a moment to say thank you, to the people who kept asking me how I was, and who kept reminding me of the community that I have. As for the keys, 6 days later I found them in a sad bin of lost keys.

Christmas Past

For the first seventeen years of my life I lived in another country. I celebrated Christmas differently. The weather was rarely frightful, and if there were fires it was outside in the fireside where they cooked large meals in big pots. Snow was seen only when the television stations decided to go off air.

December was always a busy month, from parties to service, Christmas to Old Years Night (as we called it), it was a never ending bustle of activity. A Christmas concert, caroling, a dinner for folks in the neighbourhood, services, practices, performances…

I don’t really have a favourite memory because everything was always delightful. I just remember being very glad that it was December, that Christmas was coming, that school was out for the term, that I would get to stay up until midnight on Old Years Night to greet the new year.

As I look back on those days, the memories that stand out the brightest – playing games in the “bottom house” or watching the sun rise over the Atlantic, or hitting a triangle as we moved from house to house, belting out Christmas songs – always had one thing in common, one set of people, my family.

I’m happy for Decembers – past and present – because it’s always the time we do things together. For me it’s always the most wonderful time of the year. For family and Decembers, I am thankful.

On Time

I grow older.

The year changes old to new.

Months fly by in seconds, minutes, hours and days.

Time marches forward, leaving memories of moments in the past.

Sometimes I wish I had more.

Or sometimes that it would end.

Most times it creeps by unnoticed,

Until one day, without warning, time is spent.

This Year in Books

To date I’ve read about 38 books, some were ok, others were great, most were enjoyable. I love receiving books as presents – or gift cards to buy books, or used books, or just take me to a book store on a shopping spree!

I thought I’d share a few books I’ve loved this year.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers – I know you’re an adult and you’re probably thinking, children’s books? Really? But listen, do me a favour and go to a bookstore, pick up this book, read it, and then judge me.

Love and other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan – I really enjoyed the writing style and the protagonists’s mind. I also liked that it dealt more with family relationships.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Another brilliant E. Lockhart story. A bit of a mystery and a bit of a suspenseful read, with a lovely little twist in the end.

Conversion by Katherine Howe – Present day and past storied intertwine as Katherine Howe writes about the Salem Witch Trials and a case of – what seems to be – mass hysteria at a girl’s boarding school.

God in my Everything by Ken Shigematsu – This was a good read for me, it’s about building a rule of life in our busy lives and I felt I needed to read some of the things in this book. It’s a super easy read too, and features an adorable story of a chipmunk as an illustration on giving.

What If? by Randall Munroe – You don’t have to love science to read this, or even know much science. This was a super fun and interesting read, and I definitely learnt a thing of two. By the way, it has the bonus of being the book you should probably be reading if you want nerdy guys to talk to you.

I’m in the middle of reading a few more books which I hope to finish by the next month. If so, I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more books to the above list.

 

Year in Music: Spotify

If you’re like me and haven’t received that Spotify email that tells you about your Year in Music, you can check it out here: www.spotify-yearinmusic.com

This is actually great because I was wondering what my most listened to tracks were this year. According to Spotify I listened to Pop and Contemporary Christian Music mostly, which makes sense as I didn’t start using Spotify to find new music until recently.

It also said that the top artist was Lorde – though, if Ms. Swift didn’t pull her tracks from Spotify it might have been her. Blank Space anyone?

The top track played was Coming Home – Part II by Skylar Grey followed by Love is On the Radio – Mr. & Mrs. F mix by McFly. I was surprised to see Tessa Violet on the list, but I suppose I listened to Just Right a bunch of times when it came out.

They then have a Play it Forward playlist which is a selection of songs for you based on your tastes this year. I think they did a great job curating the list for me, I started listening to it and I think it suits my tastes.

What’s your year in music like?

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On repeat: Jesus, Born on This Day by Mariah Carey

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