Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Category: Podcast Roundup Page 1 of 2

Dentist, Beer, and Breathing: A Podcast Roundup

It’s been a while since I did a Podcast Roundup and today’s is a BIG one. An adventure was had, and it included an early morning departure time to make a dentist appointment near the beach, the ensuing traffic, a hotel stay that made me feel as if I were in a submarine (I’m a little claustrophobic, so breathing exercises were needed), and a… um… “colorful” trip to Walmart for booze.

But there were plenty of podcasts, some a renewal of hope in technology, AND a beer and burger with one of my boys!

I’ll do my best to keep this less that short novel length, but let’s start at the beginning.

My dentist, who I love dearly and is better than any dentist in the world, is about 120 miles away. Why do I go? Because I get great personal service, and his office is on the beach. I don’t need to elaborate, do I? My son had an appointment at the same time, so we planned to meet there and then enjoy the afternoon at an Irish pub he found within walking distance.

I take into account the traffic that may occur and give myself plenty of time to get there, but this time…it didn’t work. But, by the miracles of technology, all was peachy. In my sweet new car that I JUST got last week, I could see on my GPS that there was no way around and that we were going to be about an hour late. I called the dentist, rescheduled, and then called my son so that we were all on the same page.

Yes, my friends, we are living in Star Trek times. I have interactive on-ship navigation, voice and text communications with home base, ship to ship communications, AND entertainment. Don’t even get me started on life support systems. I sat back, turned up the radio, and listened to another podcast.

I’m keeping these podcast notes to one sentence, hopefully, maybe one “line?” Let’s see.

The Happiness Lab: The Secret to Making Friends as an Adult

We need friends. I don’t like it either but it’s true. Humans are social animals. There’s a book to read.

People I (Mostly) Admire: A Million-Year View on Morality

I’m not sure I can go with this guy’s idea. We can’t even predict 100 years. How can you possibly know what’s going to be good for anyone a 100k years from now?

The Knowledge Project: Barbara Tversky: Action Shapes Thought

I like the idea. Didn’t get into this one much. It was while my new ship ran into galactic traffic issues.

Quillette: Meet the 80-year-old Feminist Who Got Banned From the YMCA for Protesting Male Bodies in the Women’s Locker Room

This one I’m putting on the playlist again. I couldn’t focus.

And then I arrived at my destination! Since I was so far from home, and I have other friends nearby to visit, I decided to take an evening to myself. I got a hotel room for the night but while I was trying to go to sleep, I started to have a panic attack. It was so hot outside, over 100 degrees. And So. Cal. is doing the Flex Alert thing (nice way of saying “We’re turning the power off for a while. Good luck, suckers!”) The A/C was working fine, but I need more air movement to feel comfortable. And what if the power goes off? Ahh! There was much breathing steadily and calming my heartrate.

Also, I found out that it’s not JUST Costco that you can’t buy alcohol in the self-checkout line, it’s a California law. Here’s the kicker. We have lots of self-checkout lines, but only one or two old-school checkers. So, if you want to buy booze, you’re gonna wait in line. It’s like a “cooling off period.” Do you really want that bottle? How long are you willing to wait? Ugg. Seriously!

If you do take a bottle in self-checkout, the machine says, “Call an attendant.” They come over and say you can’t buy it. Why can’t they just check my ID, like every other sane state?! I can’t… must not… lash out at… breathe in, breathe out… the ground beneath your feet, the air in your nostrils… all I want is a bottle of wine and some oreos. Is that too much to ask?

Still worth the driving though! I did all my “big city” shopping, had lunch (Tacos & Beer is amazing!) with one of my besties, and got to see my other son for a bit before I went home. He had to test drive the new car. Verdict: “It’s not as soul crushing as I thought it would be. PS When the therapist asks me what pushed me over the edge, I’ll have to say that my parents sold our family truck and got a subcompact SUV.”

podcast roundup
I gotta brag. She’s beautiful.

The drive home was much more peaceful. The smoke from the fires nearby was fantastic. I wish I could have stopped to take some pictures.

Cato Daily Podcast: What Can Presidents Take with Them When It’s Time to Leave?

Interesting interview, history, and yeah…don’t act like Trump is the first president to be an ass over his papers.

Freakonomics Radio: Roland Fryer Refuses to Lie to Black America

Of all the podcasts I heard this week, this is the one I shared to my Facebook friends. Highly recommend.

No Stupid Questions: How Can You Improve Your Mental Endurance?

Great conversation. Lots of studies and analogies. It’s amazing what we DON’T know about the human mind.

And that’s it for today. I’ve been sitting here, enjoying the cooler temperatures all morning. It looks like fall is on its way and I’m ready to receive it!

podcast roundup
I was greeted with a big rain this morning!

More Episodes, Traffic, and Whiskey: A Podcast Roundup

How many episodes? Oh, you’ll see. Traffic goes without saying in Southern California, but mention it anyway. And… Did you say “whiskey?!”

Long title, I know, but I’m short on ideas this morning. The Podcast Roundup is officially BACK! I know you’re excited, as am I.

Last week’s podcast roundup, as I mentioned, was more of a single podcast sum up than a round up, mostly because the podcast was so long and had so much great stuff in it. This week, I listened to shorter episodes and had more time to listen thanks to some delightful drivers that decide to drive their box truck full of shoes on the far left, through a construction zone with narrowed lanes, at many miles-per-hour over the speed limit. They crashed, took out several cars (that were probably trying to get around it on the right going even faster), and dumped a load of shoes and destroyed the truck, scattering shoes all over the freeway.

Yeah, it was fun. It didn’t look like anyone was hurt, amazingly. A tow truck was there and highway patrol. There were people trying to pick up the shoes and put them back into boxes onto a pickup truck. It took me an extra hour to get home, BUT I got to listen to a whole podcast that I had meant to listen to last week when I ran out of time. So, as usual, everything works out in the long run.

Except for those people that smashed up their cars, of course. That would suck, but maybe it kept them from a worse fate. How can we know? I’m not sure if you can feel this through my words, but I have no sympathy for people on the freeway lately. You all drive like maniacs. I do not wish you harm, but sheesh…people…please.

On with the podcasts!

The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos – “How do I stop negative self-talk?”

Chatter: The Voice in our Head (And How to Harness it) by Ethan Kross

This episode was beautiful. Yes, I bought the book. Hindsight: having Amazon on my phone is probably a bad idea. “Mental chatter stops you from focusing on what you love right now, right in front of you.” This podcast was filled with helpful ways to use your mental chatter in good ways. Even if you don’t buy the book, listen to this. Or, if you’re not a podcast listener, get the book. You won’t regret it.

Quillette Podcast # 193: Understanding Wokeness as a Make-Work Strategy for the Privileged Class

Wokeness, the Highest Stage of Managerialism by Malcom Kyeyune

I didn’t want to listen to this. Freakin’ Socialists…but he had some very interesting things to say, ideas that had never occurred to me. I wanted to know more, so I linked to the article he wrote. I’ll be reading that later today…if I have time. New word, or phrase: “Productive Class” Those who create something someone else needs or solve a problem through work. I like it much better than “working class.”

The Creative Nonfiction Podcast #325: Kerri Sullivan

I always love listening to Brendan O’Meara. I don’t know why. He just gets my heart. I never know the writers he talks to, and I rarely want to get the book they wrote, but I do like hearing their processes and thoughts on writing and publishing. This one was about New Jersey stories. I have one. Maybe I’ll write it this coming week!

Favorite new words added to my vocabulary:

“Metabolizing” all the input, the ideas, and thoughts that you’ve been actively gathering. A time to sit and be quiet. It’s all part of the work. A part that doesn’t look like working but it is.

“Snacky” kind of reads. Those books of shorts stories, poetry, and magazines. Not something you have to spend time preparing for and processing after, a between meals kind of read.

The Minimalists – Emotions from Childhood are Holding You Back

The link here isn’t to the episode. They don’t have it on their website. It’s one of the little ten-minute tastes between full episodes. “You can’t get through life without getting hurt. You just need to know you’ll be ok when you do.” This is what secure attachment teaches us and we learn it early in life. It’s what that toddler is doing when he wanders away from his parent and looks back, or when she looks up to her caregiver when she falls.

Conversations with Coleman – The Pride Generation with Katie Herzog

Blocked and Reported Podcast

This one… I have never heard an episode on this podcast that didn’t help me to see an alternative point of view in ways I had never suspected were out there. This one did not disappoint. I immediately wanted to share it on my Facebook feed, but ultimately decided against it for fear of putting up a “friend” sorter kind of article. You know those, right? The ones where you know most people are going to read the headline and then react in not so nice ways? Ways that make you wonder why you associate with these people in any way.

This one would probably be a bonus. It would piss off my far-left AND my far-right followers. For those of us in the middle, the ones just searching for information and perspective, attempting to live in a fair and kind way to as many people as possible, this podcast is a gold mine.

I’ve linked to Katie Herzog’s podcast as well and added it to my favorites list. I haven’t listened to any episodes yet, but I’ll be trying it out next week.

Well, that’s all there is today. Nearly five hours of podcast time, thanks to the traffic. And every bit of it was good for me. I hope you find something you’d like to explore when you read these. If you do, let me know what you find on your travels. I’d love to hear from you.

Wait…one more thing.

I found a new whiskey and it is delicious. I don’t have the palate or words to describe one whiskey from another but if you like ones like Jameson or Glen Fiddich, you’ll like this. I got it at Total Wine on the way home and when I arrived home, a generous glass was poured while I related my day’s adventures to my husband. Cheers!

The Podcast Roundup is Back…Sort Of!

At first, I thought I’d do a podcast roundup post like I have in the past, and I think will eventually go back to that, but then I sat down to write and realized I only listened to ONE podcast yesterday that was 2 and half hours long. Not much of a “roundup.” Maybe I’ll just summarize? Then I looked up the podcast website to share the link and found he had a good summary and highlights written there. Seems redundant to write my own.

But then again, I know I have my own highlights, insights that came to me while I listened, my own connections. Where will I go? I have no idea. Get a cup of coffee and let’s see.

I started listening to The Knowledge Project podcast  last month and it’s now one of my favorites. He interviews people, mostly people I’ve never heard of, and gets them talking about their work and processes. I haven’t heard a bad interview yet, but this one was extra special.

The title “Core Human Motivations” is what caught my attention. I’d love to dive into that subject. I swear I’m at a loss to explain the motivations of the people around me, as if I’m not human myself and I’m walking among an alien species attempting to make sense of their actions. It’s not true, of course. As far as I know, I am human. And the closer I look around me, the more I realize that I do behave in much the same way millions of other people do. I just THINK I don’t.

So, I keep reading and studying, observing, connecting more dots. Lately, I’ve been wishing I had more opportunity to interact with new and varied people in person, but my location and my temperament limit my prospects. I keep trying though, racking my brain for ideas on how to get out there. I’ve decided to keep my mind and heart open, ready for the opportunity to present itself. It will have to do for now. Something will come up, or it won’t. Either way I’ll be here happily living my life.

I had four pages of notes. Keep in mind, I was driving with a notebook on the center console, pen in hand. When I hear something that I want to remember or have a thought I’d like to expand on later, I reach over and jot it down blindly. I do glance over and to put my pen down in a blank space, but then my eyes go back to the road, so the notes are rather messy, and I have no idea where I was in the podcast, what triggered the thought. Only I can decipher them…mostly. If I don’t look over them that day or early the next, I can lose them completely. They make no sense without the attached memory.

All that being said (yes, I’m rambling a bit, train of thought is my favorite way to blog), here are my favorite thoughts from yesterday’s drive.

Shaming children as they grow up does not teach them to do better, it teaches them to care more about what other people think than to learn what their own wants and needs are.

Convenience doesn’t sell well in cultures that don’t pay by the hour. Time isn’t the driving motivation. It’s like when you are retired and on a limited income. You drive all over town for the great deal or make things completely by hand or from scratch. It’s a cheaper monetary investment but an expensive time investment. We invest what we have.

Things that are “soulful” are generally inefficient. Mediation, admiring a sunset, baking from scratch, quilting…things that feed your soul take time.

Entrepreneurship isn’t the same in every culture. Some people build a dam and wait for the water to come to it. If the water doesn’t come, they decorate it or turn it into something else to attract attention. Others build dams right on existing waterways and syphon off some of what already exists.

In some cultures, money and time are spent on making sure the living room and kitchen are spectacular. In others, it’s the bedroom and bathroom. It an indicator of what you deem important to you. The comfort and enjoyment of guests? Showing your wealth? Or your own personal comfort and satisfaction?

In India they treat their children as assets, they invest in them. They are expected to take care of their parents later in life, and kids expect to do that to the best of their ability. It isn’t a burden for either.

              That’s an interesting take. I’ve always felt that way about my kids. I heard people go on about “four years and then thank god they’re at school.” Or the sentiment that they are a burden on the family until they are 18 and then “See ya! You’re not my problem anymore!” It never made any sense to me. We invest in our time, effort, and money in our family. We’re building something, but we don’t expect anything in return. We do get returns voluntarily in any good relationship. Something to unpack and write more about later.

We live our lives looking for insight and connecting the dots between every experience we have to see the bigger picture. This podcast is a perfect example of that.

              This is how I read. There is no prescribed destination or curriculum to learn. I follow my experiences and learn from them, gathering information, and connect it to other parts of my life. It’s like breathing to me now. I can’t stop.

Shameless people (people who do not feel ashamed of themselves, for not knowing something, or being wrong) are able to connect more dots more quickly.

              Promote places to accommodate that feeling, support others around you in their exploration, and we end up all being smarter and happier.

“Pride” of one’s identity, “Fans” (from fanatic) of one thing or another, are the easiest to trigger or offend.

              This was a great bit, but this line doesn’t do it justice. I’d like to listen to it again and expand on the idea. I think the point is that tighter you hold on to a thing you do or are as an identity, the more likely you are to fight for it. To let it go, or have it challenged, becomes a life-or-death fight.

We tend to copy end states instead of journeys or processes. We see a rich man and copy his car or house instead of looking into how he got where he is and copying those ideas to take us where we want to go.

              We don’t say “What would Jesus do?” because we want to be the Son of God. We say it to remind ourselves to think more like he would think and react in the same ways. We can do that for anyone we admire.

Truth isn’t something that is taught in any public education system. We teach what to think. You get the information and repeat it back to me for credit. Now you are educated. That’s “schooled” not “educated.”

People aren’t more intolerant today, they are running out of processing power.

              Interesting thought related to another podcast I heard. We receive so much more input than previous generations. The statistics on that are staggering, but I’d have to spend some time looking them up again. At some point, we all just yell, “Enough!” Unconsciously, we shut down and let others take over the details. It’s how we end up with tyrants and dictators.

Social media (my favorite subject) has so many places to put your energy, so many conversations, and inputs, that we don’t have the time or the energy to go deeply into any of it.

We skim over the top, like and move on at best. We comment the first thought that come to mind, reactions, and can do some pretty serious damage to each other. This will be our “printing press,” the thing that changed our world, started wars, and devastated humanity, until we can learn to use it in wiser ways. Then look out world! Great things will happen in the aftermath! Maybe even warp drive!

Kids watch the same shows over and over again. Why? They are learning to recognize patterns and make sense of the world. Adults have learned those patterns, so repetitive things bore us. We watch for broken patterns. A joke is a broken pattern. You thought x would happen and it didn’t, y did instead. Every time we experience that, we get a hit of dopamine. It’s why things like TikTok and IG Reels suck you in for hours. It’s addictive to our minds.

              That doesn’t mean it’s bad and should be banned. It means we should learn how to use it, like we do everything else that brings us joy and excitement. And guess what! Fear and humor light up the same parts of our brains. Humor is “Oh shit! A pattern in broken! But it’s ok, adapt, laugh.” It’s practice. Fear is “Oh shit! A pattern is broken! It’s not ok, I must do something, adapt, and live.”

One more. I know this got long but I told you there was so much great stuff!

Intolerant people don’t read or travel. They don’t have the lenses they need to see another person’s point of view, or adapt to a new situation, so they fight instead.

This is why I love to read. It shows me new worlds, new people, and new ways of seeing. Travel is far too uncomfortable for my conservative and timid nature, so I read…probably more than I really should.

And there you go. Wow…that was a lot of words. I hope I didn’t overwhelm you!

Death, Curiosity, and Woke: A Podcast Roundup

Eek! It’s been over a month since my last Podcast Roundup! Near death, curiosity, woke, and so much more today.

The following paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with my Podcast Roundup, but it was exactly what came to mind when I started writing this morning.

Are you ready, kids?!

death curiosity and woke

Yeah…Spongebob was a big thing at this house when our kids were little. I think I’ve seen every episode at least twice. And, for a while, there was rarely a conversation with my husband’s daughter that didn’t start with, “Remember that time in Spongebob when…” I found that show so clever and there were some great gags. I especially loved the so-called villain, Plankton!

On with the show!

My drivetime included four podcasts this week and all of them were pretty good. I could have listened to more, but I had important phone calls to make on the drive home. Priorities!

Practicing Human – Unwinding Bodily Tension

My one takeaway from this short piece is now my daily mantra, “Allow yourself to be just as you are.”

The Minimalists – 342 Near-Death Experiences

Those pesky near-death experiences. Life is short, and for some crazy reason we need to be reminded.

What’s important to me? Spending time with the people that bring light into my life is more important than anything else. What’s my legacy? An emotionally healthy family and friendships. When I’m gone, I want the people I love to think, “She was the coolest person, so much fun to be around, and always ready to be there when we needed her.”

You’ve heard that saying, “If it’s not a ‘hell yes,’ then it’s a ‘hell no!’” I like it and I use it, but holy Toledo, you guys. I’m afraid that just about everything is a ‘hell no!’ to me. Remember those in-person books clubs I swore I’d attend? Yeah, nope. Maybe that’s ok? “Your willingness to walk away from things can be a superpower.”

Oh! And they had the best analogy for living life. When you drive you watch the road in front of you and the activity in your immediate surroundings the closest. You only glance at the map and up at the landmarks, the mountains and passes, to keep an eye on where want to go. You glance in your rearview mirror for what might be coming up from behind you. This is how we should be living too.

EconTalk – Ian Leslie on Curiosity

What is curiosity? It’s looking for insight and connections. We’re all born with it. It’s what makes humans thrive, but somewhere along the way we seem to have lost it. I’ve met so many people over the years that seem completely incurious about…everything. It’s sad. Why is that?

Also, my dad and I were recently discussing how we should or should not be interpreting works of art, specifically movies and books, but it applies to just about everything. I found another piece of the puzzle in this podcast. “The best art asks questions, instead of answering them.”

What does that mean? I think it means when we’re experiencing some form of art, if we feel led to think more deeply about a topic, like why do humans act like this, then we’re seeing something great. We can see it multiple times and learn more. When we experience art we can see once, get what they are saying, and then walk away, never needing to experience it again, that’s not great art, it’s entertainment, a diversion which also has it’s positive uses.

Another book added to the TBR list: Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It by Ian Leslie

Also, I have a small rebuttal to one statement in this podcast. He said that some people, after reading that kids learn best on their own, through their own exploration, just “let them out in the garden to figure out life on their own.” Maybe some people do, but we didn’t.

Instead of formal school, which is great for teens and adults that choose it, but I believe is failing all our young children and creating incurious robot people, we allowed our kids to grow up right next to us. They asked questions, we answered. They expressed curiosity; we supported their pursuits. We didn’t direct their learning, we encouraged them to explore and experience the world by taking them out into it. In essence, we were mentors.

PS Young children don’t ask a million how and why questions to get information or to be annoying. They do it to practice interaction and connection. They are constantly proving to themselves that they exist and can influence their environment, that adults around them care about them. When adults ignore or rebuff them for being intrusive and annoying, they begin to shut down and isolate. THIS is one of my biggest problems with our culture in general and with schools. But that’s another post.

Quillette – Progressive Social Panic at Yale and Princeton

I had no notes on this last one, but it was interesting to hear more conversation on the idea of “woke” and “social justice” possibly going too far. I’ll just leave you with the description they posted on their website: “Reporter Aaron Sibarium talks to Quillette podcast host Jonathan Kay about his recent scoops concerning the campaign against anti-woke Princeton classics professor Joshua Katz, and the unsettling radicalism of student activists at Yale Law School.”

So, there you go. Several more hours of listening all logged in. Do you listen to podcasts? Share them in the comments here. I’m always looking for new perspectives and voices.

Tony Robbins, Aimlessness, and Free Speech

Yes, I finished reading The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight this morning, I’m too mentally and physically exhausted to write about today, as I was once again out galivanting around Southern California yesterday. Instead, I shall leave you with a quick Podcast Roundup!

On Purpose with Jay Shetty: Tony Robbins on: Breaking Negative Thinking & Unlock the Unlimited Potential of Your Mind

I’m not a Tony Robbins fan, but I do commonly find that even people I’m not in love with have wisdom to share. This one, though…I’m not sure if it was because my back and shoulder were hurting so much on the drive (I somehow hurt myself (hoeing, lol) pulling weeds last weekend), but the whole conversation was exhausting. I guess I’m not that much of a “driven” kind of person. All I wanted to do was yell at them to take a freakin’ breather.

Yeah, I was grumpy. But I did get a few little gems out of it.

We humans tend not experience life directly and in all it’s glory. We experience what we focus on. And we usually look for what’s missing instead of what we already have.

Also, humans tend to unconsciously mirror each other. What everyone else if feeling and projecting, so shall we. Pay attention to your surroundings, the people you interact with, the books you read, the tv/news you watch.

He also mentioned some ideas from The 4th Turning by William Strauss, which I thought I’d read in the past, but it’s not on my shelf, so maybe I heard of it or read about it somewhere else. I think it may be a book recommended by Oliver DeMille and his Leadership Education model. I will be adding it back to my TBR list.

Secular Buddhism: Aimlessness

The old “You’re not lost if you have nowhere you are supposed to be” thing. Sounds crazy to our “go get ‘em” culture, but it resonates with me. Aimlessness is one of the Three Doors of Liberation. It means letting go of where you think you should be and embracing where you are.

Hmm…suddenly I realized that this is related to the previous podcast.

Conversations With Coleman: The History of Free Speech with Jacob Mchangama

Book: Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media by Jacob Mchangama

I love the people that Coleman has on his show and this one really got me going, even on the long, later than I had expected, drive home from my adventures last night. Not only did I get to add another great book to my TBR list, I found another podcast to listen to. Clear and Present Danger is all about the principles of free speech as they apply today, where they came from, and how they evolved.

There was a lot of great stuff to think about in this episode, and when I read the book, you can bet I’ll be sharing THAT information with you here. Today just I’ll share my two favorite takeaways.

Censorship only brings more attention to words and ideas you don’t agree with. In most cases, the best thing you can do when you hear things you don’t agree with is simply scroll on by, don’t buy the book, watch the video, whatever. Saying “I’m certainly NOT going to listen to Joe Rogan on Spotify because he’s a bad man!” only makes me (and millions of other people) go find out who that is and what he said that upset people, and the subscribe to his channel because we’re curious what else he has to say. Buy banned books! Watch banned movies! Read, study, and decide for yourself what is right and wrong!

And some wise advice from the Stoics about social media. Detach a bit. Use it if you want to. It doesn’t matter what someone else says. That made me smile. I love sharing what I’m doing and finding in the world through social media, Facebook and Instagram, (that’s an invite to follow me) but negative feedback is hard on my insecure little heart. And reading other people’s negativity…well, remember what Tony Robbins said about humans unconsciously mirroring each other?

I’m doing what the Stoics teach; being me, loud and proud, and taking a step back from other people’s feedback. Like it or not, I’m here to stay.

And there you are! Only three podcasts and I found so much. Let me know in the comments if you decide to chase any of these links, or if you’ve read or heard any of the podcasts and authors. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Human Behavior, War, and More: Podcast Roundup

It’s been awhile since I did a Podcast Roundup so let’s dive in. It’s Friday so I’ll make life easy for both us with one-line (maybe two if need be) takeaways from each episode.

Practicing Human – No Wrong Emotions

Making space and being honest and accepting of my own feelings doesn’t mean I need to express them or make other accept them.

Secular Buddhism – When Things Fall Apart

The dishes always going to get dirty, then you wash them, put them away, and use them again. It’s the cycle of life to fall apart and come back together again.

EconTalk – Luca Dellanna on Compulsion, Self-deception, and the Brain

Your mind is an has emotional driver and your navigator (logic) makes up reasons for those emotions.

              Book: The Control Heuristic: The Nature of Human Behavior by Luca Dellana

Practicing Human – You’re Responsible for Your Happiness

Self-work is for everyone around you. It helps you slip into the water without making a huge mess of everything.

Cato Daily Podcast – Deregulate Low-Income Entrepreneurs to Address American Poverty

I took no notes on this one and I don’t remember any of it. I think I was in my head.

People I (Mostly) Admire – Does Death Have to be a Death Sentence?

When we turn our attention to the hard things in life, you’ll find a lot of beauty.

Book: A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death by BJ Miller, MD and Shoshana Berger

Quillette Podcast – Shmuel Bar on the War in Ukraine, and the Failure of Western Deterrence

When we look at other world leaders and their actions and think “That’s crazy!” or “That’s evil!” we’re not seeing their decisions and actions from their point of view, from the culture, background, and store of information.

Practicing Human – Self-Sabotage

If you think you know what you want but when you move toward it something always gets in the way, there may be something you aren’t willing or able to feel/experience yet.


human behavior

How’s that for a round-up?! I’m off to get this place ready for our Friday Night Happy Hour. I’ll be playing some mean pool and maybe…with a little luck…I’ll win a game, maybe even two.

PS I really need to learn to take a day off after a run into the city. I have so much going on in my head that I would love to quietly process. I took notes, and have stored the ideas away for later. Maybe tomorrow I’ll take the day to stare out the window and reflect.

Peace, War, and Education: Podcast Roundup

Today is Podcast Roundup Day! (insert fanfare music here) This week we dive into a little peace, some war news, and liberal education. Two hours of listening and five pages of notes. When I come in the door, sit down on the couch next to my husband, and open my notebook, he knows he’s in for some discussion and gets another beer.

Sidenote: I’m still devouring Attached by Levine and Heller and…holy moly… I feel like heart escaped and wrote a letter to my brain. This book is now required reading. You have an assignment and I expect an essay. More about THAT tomorrow…possibly. I may just need some time daydreaming about it, ruminating on how to use the information.

Another sidenote: I ordered Yung Pueblo’s new book Clarity & Connection the day before yesterday, and it was in my mailbox when I got home last night. You guys…get it. It’s freaking beautiful. It’s not going to be logged in my reading log. I’m just picking it up and reading a page when I have a second and soaking it in.

On with the roundup!

Secular Buddhism: #166 Welcoming the Unwanted

I chose an episode of Secular Buddhism to listen to first because I needed a reminder of peace, you know, while I got gas in my truck $$$$. I couldn’t have picked a better way to start the day.

Takeaways: There are pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral emotions. We tend to label them good and bad and treat them differently which causes problems. Instead, try welcoming them all in without putting a green or red sticker on them as they come in the room.

Feeling angry? I tend to get angrier at myself for having a feeling at all. That’s not helpful. I had the chance later in the day to sit with unpleasant emotions a while and attempt to see what they were trying to tell me. It got ugly and then better. Progress.

I’ll probably listen to that one again soon and hope it sticks in my brain better.

The Intelligence: Defog of War: Your Questions Answered

and

The Quillette Podcast: Russia’s Surprising Military Blunders in Ukraine

These two podcasts were chosen so that I might better understand how a close friend is responding to the current battle between Russia and Ukraine. They were short, enlightening, and gave me a better picture of what’s going on.

What they did not help me with is why it’s happening. I’d like to know more about what led up to the escalation, more history. But that’s probably way above my head and more details than I really need right now.

I’d highly recommend listening to these two episodes, especially the first. They are an hour combined and give a good overview.

I’ve added the following podcast to my listening because it was suggested during the Quillette podcast. I haven’t heard an episode yet, so I can’t say if it’s good or not, but it does look promising.

New Podcast: The Lost Debate

              “To use today’s jargon, we’re a “multi-platform media company.” We believe the most important conversations in society happen in the dark corners of the Internet—on platforms dominated by political arsonists, nihilists, and extremists. Our mission is to infuse more empathy, nuance, and objectivity into those conversations.”

Cato Daily Podcast: Let’s Be Reasonable: A Conservative Case for Liberal Education

I believe we have lost the concept of what a liberal arts education really is, and the differences between a university, college, and trade school education are expected to accomplish. I loved hearing Jonathan Marks’ positive outlook on higher education and Generation Z or iGen (a new term for those born after 1995 and raised with smartphones).

Yep…another book added to the TBR list. Will it ever end?! I hope not. I think once you stop learning, you die…like immediately.

Book: Let’s Be Reasonable by Jonathan Marks

“More than just a campus battlefield guide, Let’s Be Reasonable recovers what is truly liberal about liberal education―the ability to reason for oneself and with others―and shows why the liberally educated person considers reason to be more than just a tool for scoring political points.”

There it is, another Podcast Roundup. I’m excited because I added another show to my list. I’ve been looking for new input lately. I’m always open to ideas, so comment with your favorite podcasts if you have them!

You don’t listen to podcasts? Why? I honestly want to hear this. I’ve always been a talk show fan more than a music fan while I drive, so podcasts…they do it for me.

Prices And War: A Podcast Roundup

Sorry, my dear reader, but this is going to start out as a bit of a downer of a podcast roundup, but I have to be honest about what I’m exploring. Life is not all happy joy and flowers and entertaining novels.

Yesterday’s trip into the city was sprinkled with reminders that things are not right in the world. The first of which is that I’ve tried for three days in a row to get my hair cut in town and have run into “supply chain” and “lack of staff” issues.

prices and war
Minor, I know, but really Target?
A hard to remove sticker right in the middle of the title?

I filled up my truck with gas and paid a dollar more than I did last week, and last week’s prices were already higher than I have ever paid for gas in my life. You would think people would be slowing down and conserving gas on the highway, but no. Impatience and frustration was up. Once again, a woman passed me and another truck going uphill toward a blind crest, while crossing the double yellow line. Life apparently don’t mean much.

Some of it I understand. With gas this high, those (most of us) that commute to another town for work are finding it almost a waste of time to keep working, another reason for the “lack of staff” in certain places. We’re becoming more frightened for our future than we already have been.

I was able to eat lunch out with a friend INSIDE my favorite restaurant, so that’s a positive. But the prices were higher, understandably, and the menu was slightly limited. Not terrible but a sign none the less.

I noticed the local hospital billboard on the highway has lost its medical masked character. And Target and Kohl’s had no signs about having to be masked at all. I can’t help but feel like covid is being downplayed and set aside a bit, like maybe we’ll all forget what’s been going on and focus elsewhere. Hysteria and fear will just fade away. A cross between “Nothing to see here. Move along.” And “We have always been at war with Eurasia.”

I went into the city to see about getting some new sheets and a blanket for my guest room. My son is coming with his new girlfriend, and I want the room to look a little spruced up, even though I haven’t been able to paint it yet. Have I mentioned that paint now costs twice what it used to ten years ago and is going up still? I found a blanket on clearance for $35 (last one and it was $120…really?). And some sheets for $50. I remember paying $40 for REALLY nice, higher end sheets twenty years ago. That’s another story.

I am hyperaware of my ability to consider purchasing things I may need in the next few years before the prices go higher. I know we are lucky to work from home, so the price of gas is only having an effect on my leisure activities…for now.

There’s stress here, and I knowing I don’t have it nearly as badly as others doesn’t help. I have lived in earthquake country all my life, and I know the ground is always slowing shifting. Small earthquakes are said to keep the equilibrium, but right now…I don’t know. I feel like there’s pressure building up to a larger quake, and that scares me because what comes after isn’t predictable.

Do you hear the Lion King music?

That all being said, I do have a bright side to my thoughts. Life has always been unpredictable. Wars always rage on all over the planet. Sickness and death come to all of us. Things get complicated and then easy again.

The end of the world is not coming. The story keeps being told.

Podcast roundup! Remember? Here they are!

Ron Paul Liberty Report: Biden Bans Russian Oil. Are We Committing Economic Suicide Over Ukraine?

Things I didn’t even consider.

Quillette Podcast: Jacob Mchangama on His New Book, “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media”

This, once again, made me add a book to my TBR list. Did he just compare Luther to Rogan? Yes, he did.

Book: “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media” by Jacob Mchangama

The Intelligence from The Economist: War Stories: The View from Russia

A point of view we all need to remember. There are more than two sides. Two governments in conflict. The rest of the world’s nations and their governments vying for position. And then there is us, the people affected by such bullshit.

Conversations With Coleman: Covid: The Conversation We’ve Been Waiting For with Dr. Zubin Damania

Always an interesting take with Coleman. I love this podcast. The conversation can be maddening slow at times, but it always gets somewhere I never thought it would go. Dr. Zubin Damania is one of those rare people that can completely disagree with you but still make you feel like he understands your point of view and wants to come to some kind of working agreement for all of us. I highly recommend his website and YouTube channel, linked to his name above.

Me going for a walk in the wind!

I’m still reading Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger and loving it. I think it will be added to my list of books I would make everyone read in my own universe. It’s uplifting and positive environmental discussion. Not, “Everything is fine, life as usual,” but “Hey things are looking up and here’s why and how we might do better!”

Thanks for reading even on one of my downer days!

Social Anxiety Win and A Podcast Roundup!

I conquered a battle with social anxiety yesterday and I want to share that win with you!

It was Drive Day yesterday and you know what that means!

Podcast roundup!

I was meeting a friend at a new place, and since I wasn’t completely sure how long it would take to get there, I was a half hour early. No worries. I brought my journal. That’s when I got a text.

“Traffic here, sorry, going to be about a half hour late.”

Well, shit.

That’s when I realized after all that driving, I really had to use the restroom.

Now you’re wondering, “So? You’re at a coffee shop, Michelle. What’s the problem?”

Anxiety. I’m in a strange place, alone. I’ll have to walk in there, use the bathroom, and order a cup of coffee…ALONE. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s a lot for someone like me.

I texted my husband the situation, “laughing” emojis galore. He knows the struggle. He’s been with me for 24 years. “Just do it baby. What’s the worst that can happen?”

“I’ll look like a fool somehow” is what I was thinking, but texted back, “I’m doing it! I’m going in!”

Some things are great stirrers of courage. Having to use the bathroom is a big one.

I grabbed my wallet, the key out of the ignition, and took a deep breath. “I can do this. Normal people do this.” Opened the door, locked the car, walked toward the coffee shop door, and opened it. So far so good.

I see the restrooms sign, my eyes move to the door handle and… combo locks on the door. Damn. A glitch. I’m going to have to go up to the counter and ASK to use the restroom. What kind of a world are we living in?! I’m already inside, there are only a couple others having coffee at the small tables along the wall. I steel myself again, “This is just what people do.”

“What can I get for you?” the cheerful young girl at the register chirps.

“Your restroom code first!” I laugh.

“Of course!”

She tells me the four-digit number. Oh, lord, I’m going to have to remember that all the way back to the front of the store, at least thirty feet away. Yes, that is really what ran through my head before I repeated the numbers back to her and turned away.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget them!

With that out of the way, I ordered an Americano, black, and headed out to the patio with it, to sit and write in my journal while I waited. Finding it far too sunny there for this fair-skinned red headed girl, I went back to my car.

Safe back in my own space, I breathed a huge sigh. Yes, literally. Then I texted my husband again.

“I’m a bad ass!”

“Yes, you are hun! You can do anything!”

Then I proceeded to tell him that we should have a flask of whiskey for emergencies because that’s exactly what this was AND what this cup of coffee needed to be perfection in a paper cup.

That stressful ten minutes down, I settled in to do some scribbling while I waited for my friend to escape Los Angeles and join me.

On the drive there, I had the chance to listen to three podcasts, one of which made me (yes, MADE me) buy a book while I sat waiting. Here they are, in order of appearance, one quick thought for each. These thoughts are from memory because I had to borrow my mother-in-law’s car and there’s no center console to hold my notebook while I drive.

Quillette Podcast #178: Michael Shermer on Watching ‘Scientific American’ Go Woke

Science should not be politically correct. It’s science. The point is to throw things out there and prove or disprove them.

This conversation was eye-opening, some things I didn’t realize people really considered were discussed, and I had this thought about sports teams separated by gender. What if instead of male and female teams, we just had teams by ability? I’m thinking about baseball and football kinds of sports. But then…there would probably be very few female players on the team. There’s no way, no matter how hard I work, to lift and kick and hit as hard as these dudes. The same goes for some smaller males, true.

There was a term he used…damn… See? This is why I take notes while I’m driving.

Freakanomics – No Stupid Questions EPISODE 83 Can You Change Your Mind Without Losing Face?

Have you ever had to change your opinions about something after learning new information? I hope so. Why do we think our politicians, leaders, and educators should never “switch sides” of a debate?

The other thing that rang so clear to me during this podcast was hearing about how one politician changed his stance on gay marriage years after finding out his son was gay. Empathy is what brings us together.

Freakanomics – People I (Mostly) Admire EPISODE 28 Why Aren’t All Drugs Legal? (Replay)

This is the episode that held a gun to my head and made me order another book on Amazon. I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have “shelf” control. Ha ha ha! I thought it was a new interview, but I found out just now it was a replay episode. No wonder it was so familiar.

My stance on legalizing all recreational drugs has been long-standing, but the reasons have changed over the years. This interview confirmed some older reasons and gave me a few new ones. I can’t wait to read this book, and since it’s the second time the interview has come up, I felt compelled to have it shipped to me ASAP…and that looks like a month from now according to Amazon. Weird.

I didn’t listen to any more podcasts on the drive home. I was too high on the three-hour conversation my friend and I had over coffee…and then drinks…then sweet potato fries!

Interested in reading another Podcast Roundup? Check out Legacy, Science, and Coincidence

Legacy, Science, and Coincidence: A Podcast Roundup

FYI I hear “Woody’s Roundup” play in my head each time I write “podcast roundup,” so there…now you do too. Cue the music!

Yesterday’s podcast time, as usual, was far more productive and enlightening on the drive out than on the drive home. There are two reasons for that. The drive out is early in the morning when I’m at my most refreshed and alert. On the way home, I’m getting tired. I’ve talked, walked, ate, and shopped all day long and now I’m ready to be quiet and reflective. THIS is why I do an all-day adventure like this every week. It’s a sweet process that does my heart good.

I’m excited to share the roundup with you this week. I found a new podcast I enjoy, but I’m still looking for new ones, so shoot them my way if you know of any. And I discovered a couple new books to read, too!

Let It Be 001: Legacy

I took copious notes on this one, so many ideas popped into my head as these two women chatted. My favorite idea was “Don’t leave behind a mess.” Just like any time in your life, at the store, in the restaurant, or at home with your loved ones, when you leave this planet, do your best not to leave behind a mess.

The big takeaway here was the idea of that we build two lives: a resume life and a eulogy life. Here’s a TED talk (only five minutes) of David Brooks explaining it.

Quillette Podcast: Christopher J. Ferguson on Racist Orcs, Ableist Adventures, and Non-Binary Monsters

This one wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and I’m glad of it. I’m not a DnD person, never have been. I’m not that kind of geek, but I know people who are. I had a lot of thoughts while I listened to this one too, like:

It’s strange lately how much we’ve changed our stories over the last thirty years. We’ve moved away from good guys and bad guys and focused more on how people change and relate. All those “bad guy” origin stories.

Do you play games online or in person? Do you have an avatar? Did you create it to look like you, or do you have an alternate personality? Do you play to escape everyday reality, or to connect and explore?

Here’s a link to Christopher J. Ferguson’s paper, Are orcs racist? Dungeons and Dragons, ethnocentrism, anxiety, and the depiction of “evil” monsters, if you’d like to check it out.

No Stupid Questions 84: Why Do We Find So Much Meaning in Meaningless Coincidences?

Humans…we love to connect things. It’s how we learn and change our environment. At the beginning of the show, they started talking about watch the new season of Succession (great show, by the way) and WE’RE watching the new season too! Coincidence? Here’s the weirder part. Yesterday morning, my husband moved aside a magazine I had open on the table. It was open to an ad for a cruise line and he mentioned the strange coincidence between us watching the show and the current plot crisis. (Insert Twilight Zone music)

People I (Mostly) Admire: 60: Cassandra Quave Thinks the Way Antibiotics Are Developed Might Kill Us

THIS was a good one. Cassandra Quave is a fascinating person with a lot of interesting ideas. She talks about her life and how she got where she is. I’m going to get her book “The Plant Hunter” to hear more of it. She has this crazy idea about balancing the body, remembering that medicines were first derived from plants, and that maybe all these sciences should be communicating with each other instead of competing.

BBC Bookclub Abir Mukherjee

I heard “crime novel” and almost moved on, but then I heard a Scottish accent from a name like Abir and wondered what the story was. I was not disappointed. His book “A Rising Man” is also now on my TBR list. It’s a crime/historical novel, based in India in 1919. I love listening to author’s talk about their books and the BBC Bookclub is always wonderful.

Let It Be 002: Entitlement

This one…hmm…I’m not a fan of these words “entitlement” and “deserve.” When people start throwing them around, I tend to tune out. It was my last podcast of the drive. I was tired, so I had a hard time getting past my distaste.

Here’s my take on things like this.

My perception of karma is like a giant tapestry, the warp and weave of which we all create with our lives. Everything happens because of something else that has happened, some of which we can control, most of which we cannot.

Make people’s lives around you a little easier by not being rude and obnoxious. It complements the colors of the thread around you, creates sparkles and highlights in the bigger picture.

That’s it for this week. I hope you found something you liked in all those links. Let me know if you have a favorite podcast, no matter the subject or genre. I’m always searching for more listening material.

Oh! And more thing…

I finished a journal today, so tomorrow is new journal day. Don’t you just LOVE new journal day?!

Want more podcasts? Check out my previous posts, Thought Wrangling: A Podcast Roundup or Rivers, Narrative, and Racism: A Podcast Roundup

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