Working at home like I do, I’m spoiled rotten by the fact that I can listen to anything I want, as loud (or as quiet) as I want, all day long. For a music-lover like me, it’s heaven on Earth. Whether this adds or detracts from my productivity is up for debate I suppose, but the fact of the matter is that I adore being able to have music playing whenever I want. And for most of those working hours, it’s Spotify that I typically turn to for my tunes.
Well hello there! Where’ve you been these last couple of weeks? What’s that? Where have I been? Why, I’ve had my head buried under my pillow, waiting for the horror show that is the Donald Trump campaign to go away. But I’m finally convinced that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And that scares me to death.
Here’s the deal: I’m going to start writing (looks like I’ve already started!) without having any idea whatsoever what I’m going to write about. Consider it an exercise wherein I take a few minutes and share a bit (a tiny fraction, really) of what’s going on in my mind. I’ll try my best to keep it clean.
It doesn’t get more ‘dead of winter’ than right now, the middle part of February. The skies are gray, the ground is gray, the trees are gray…Colors seem to have disappeared from the world; when we’re lucky, the gray is broken up by the brilliant white of snow. And it’s cold. So, so cold. It’s February in Michigan. It’s time to hibernate. (Some context: As I write, it’s 19 degrees outside. It’s cloudy. It’s windy. And it’s snowing.)
Another work week in the books…Another long, rather sad week. I had a long, rambling post planned, about the nature of death and how as we get older it becomes more and more a part of our daily lives (being 46, this is becoming more clear every year.) But you know what? It’s gonna have to wait. I’m having trouble dealing right now with it all. So let me keep it short: hug your kids. Call your parents. Cherish each and every moment. Life is fleeting; never take it for granted.
We’re already almost a month into 2016. How is that even possible? Despite the fact that the new year is already a few weeks old, I’m not done thinking about ways to make it, and my life, better. I’m still looking for ways to improve things because modern life is stressful enough as it is. There have got to be ways to make life simpler. And happier. Much less stressful. And I think I’ve stumbled onto something that’s really gonna work. It involves how I spend my time online, whether it’s at home on the computer or anywhere on the smartphone.
It’s been a long week. Popular culture took a real hit this week with the death of David Bowie, and then actor Alan Rickman, both aged 69, both from cancer. Each in his own way created beauty with their art, and will be sorely missed. I take solace in the fact that all of the media attention will pique some curious kid’s interest, and he or she will visit a record store, or seek out a film, and be inspired to create art of their very own. Not for money, not for attention, but just because.
With the resurgence of listening to music on vinyl records, there has been a correlating explosion of information out there on how to properly care for all these new records (please don’t call them ‘vinyls’, I beg you.) So I’m starting a new series of articles I’m calling ‘Vinyl Rules’ to make it as easy as possible to care for your treasured records the right way, and without spending a ton of money. The first topic I’d like to tackle is record cleaning. If you’ve spent any time looking for old records in stores or in your grandma’s attic, you’ll see very quickly that people back in the day did not take very good care of their albums. Not at all. But with today’s expensive records, old and new, there’s no excuse not to keep them in tip-top shape, now and into the future.
As I get older, and I am definitely getting older, I find myself watching more and more documentary films. Documentary films show us the neglected corners of the world that don’t get much attention, shining a much-deserved light on the people, places, and events from the past, present and future, and give us more insight on the human condition. Documentaries have many marvelous qualities; they can educate, enrage, and inspire us. They can move us to take action to right wrongs. They can also be incredibly entertaining. What I’m saying is, I love documentaries. Given a choice between the latest box office blockbuster or an unknown little indie documentary, I’m almost always going to choose the doc. And I’ve seen two in the last week that are well worth checking out. Continue reading “BrainstemBob Approved: Two New Documentaries” »