Journal: What I’m listening to, reading, and watching

I wrote most of this on the way to San Francisco. I’m finishing this on a train home from Flushing. I did some of the drawings between 5-8am on a few of the weekdays.

What I’m listening to

I increased my Audible subscription to two credits each month. I got a few books for my trip.

Long Story Short: The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Need, by Margot Leitman, is about, well it’s in the subtitle. Leitman used to teach storytelling classes for the Upright Citizens Brigade’s education center.

I live by the UCB theater but haven’t gone to a show yet. I’ve been meaning to go with my girlfriend and this is another reason to. Leitman doesn’t currently live in New York, but the UCB storytelling show (The Nights of Our Lives) is still on every week.

Oh yah, I mentioned I started recording voice notes and private podcasts. I don’t have guests to interview so I just yap into a microphone. It’s a form of storytelling, so I want to improve. (Even if it’s only to entertain myself.)

I’m a few chapters in and it seems to be exactly what I’m looking for.

What I’ll eventually be listening to

Start With Why, by Simon Sinek, is about inspiring others and being inspired by asking “Why?”

That’s a guess based on the synopsis. I haven’t started listening to it.

The more I work on this blog with a handful of readers, the more I’m considering why I’m doing it. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but I’m looking for a little guidance in steering this ship. It takes time and energy so I want to make sure it’s worth it. I’m grateful that this doesn’t need to be a source of income at all.

What I stopped listening to and am listening to instead

I stopped listening to Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman. It wasn’t boring or bad. I stopped because fiction and narrative nonfiction still don’t seem to work for me. If I’m listening to something for entertainment, I’ll first reach for a podcast.

On that front, my brother pointed me to Hardcore Game of Thrones. (The first few episodes are on SoundCloud for free.) Hardcore Games of Thrones is a parody of Hardcore History. It treats Westeros history as if it were as real as medieval history.

It’s so good. HGoT gives me the same thing I was looking for with Norse Mythology. I don’t have to pay as much attention because I already know most of what I’m listening to.

What I’m reading

Here’s my current rotation of Kindle and hardcover reading.

  • Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart: Still working on this. One of my first memories ever is going to American Video (a video rental place in Japan) with my brother and dad. We were looking for the latest Bret Hart compilation VHS. (Likely this Coliseum Home Video production). Someone rented it out right before we got there. That’s first lessons in disappointment. Anyway, I’ve read far enough that I’m now getting to WWF pay-per-views and matches I grew up on.
  • Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: I’m enjoying this. It’s got me thinking more about which activities I should prioritize to have a joyful life. Like when I was reading Snow Crash, I had to remind myself a few times that it was published in 1990. Since then, I imagine flow has become even harder to achieve. I got a paperback version of this. It’s reminded me of how different reading paper is. I can’t switch to social networks or to other books.
  • Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory: I should’ve bought a paperback version of this also. I’ve been buying a few drawing books but now I need to start applying them. Art Before Breakfast is a good reminder that even a few minutes of drawing will add up.

Every day has a dozen dull moments—fill each one with a quick sketch. A dozen sketches a day means that in ten years you’ll have done 43,829 drawings. Then you’ll be getting somewhere.

What I’m Watching

“Who else could get us to do this other than Kanye?” Some guy I didn’t know was asking his friends. “He got us staring at a brick wall at 1am.”

A lot of cool things happen in New York. It’s one of the reasons I decided to move here. Then I learned many of those cool things are very exclusive or have a gigantic line. This time, it seemed to pay off. I was about to sleep, saw a tweet about projections for the debut of Kanye’s “New Slaves”, got out of bed, and walked a few blocks to one of the corners listed.

We waited. And waited. We checked our phones to see if the other corners got the projections. They did, so we waited more, thinking the street team was making their way north through the city. We waited.

People left, convinced that they skipped our street corner for time reasons. The next day I found out we had the address wrong. The projection was one avenue over. Kanye somehow got us all to watch a brick wall.

Anyway, Big Little Lies somehow got me to watch hours of moms bickering.