Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stuff that works and stuff that doesn't.

I know, I'm sorry. Last week was...bad. It was a bad week and I wanted to write about it but sometimes the writing just makes the bad that much badder. The short version is this:

I took my car in for a routine state inspection and oil change and $1,400 (and two days) later I got it back. That is a very hard conversation to have with a mechanic when you're at work, especially when you know co-workers are listening in. Last week was also the week in which I shoved food in my mouth with both hands with nary a breath or pause. It was also the week that girl scout cookies were delivered. These things are probably related.

This week has started out much more quietly and with a lot less sugar, and yet? The insomnia I thought was solved by daylight-saving-induced exhaustion is back. Yay! Hi, insomnia. You suck it. Here's what didn't work last night: decaf iced tea (sob), space heater white noise, Benedryl. When the dang Benny doesn't work you know you're INFORIT. I will be taking an advanced meditation course next week so I'm going to request that he help me out. Also! The instructor said we might to a past-life regression if we have time. I'm going to kick it's ass this time, sure enough.

So, update out of the way, I thought I'd share with you all a few things that have been working for me lately. These are not amazing new inventions, just bits and pieces that have brought me small joy, as I'm not allowed to buy anything ever again (see car repair above) so I've been trying to get by with the things I already own or are free. (This is NO FUN, but I'm trying.)

1. This American Life.
I love my little iPod so much and lately I've been subscribing to the free This American Life podcast. If you don't listen to this, start. It's so good and so interesting and you'll have tons of stories to annoy your husband with. I'll be all,

"Kenny! Kenny! There was this story? On this American Life? About this room? Where NY teachers are placed when they're on probation? And they stay there for months sometimes? And still get paid? It's crazy! You should listen!"

I think I do this to him at least once a week. If you don't have an iPod you can also listen to it free right from the website and revel with me in the dorky hot goodness that is Ira Glass.

2. Too Close to the Falls
I love a good memoir and Too Close to the Falls is REALLY good. Plus, the author has a blog where she talks about the sequel that she's writing. It's just such an interesting story about growing up as an unconventional kid near Niagara Falls in the 1950's. Her stories are great but the ending was a bit abrupt, so I was really glad to hear about the sequel. (Also, who lent this to me? I found it in my shelves and have no idea where it came from. Was it lent? Was is on my Amazon list? Did I get it for Christmas? I have no idea.)

3. No Line on the Horizon
I know some of the reviews about U2's new album are not great, but it is. Great, I mean. Aside from a few songs that are WAY TOO LONG (seriously, boys? 7 1/2 minutes? That is just showing off and I also think maybe you're underestimating most people's attention spans) it's solid and has a few tracks that are perfect for driving (my favorite kind of song.)

4. Life on Mars
I like anything named for my favorite Bowie song and I REALLY like this show even though it's already been canceled because ABC sucks. At least they get to finish out the season and give it an ending (unlike poor Pushing Daisies, which I'm still mad about. I hate you, ABC.) Watch Life on Mars if for no other reason than to enjoy my fine new crush, Jason O'Mara (who, as a bonus, is Irish!) *sigh*

Now, leave me a comment and tell me what you're enjoying lately that's free.


  1. I loved that TAL about the teachers!

    Free shit, huh? Hmmmm... Lost is good again, and of course The Office and 30 Rock. I can't think of anything but TV. Sad!

    Sorry about your car troubles. That is terrible!

  2. Sara, stop that! TV is LOVE. 30 Rock is completely awesome and Lost has sucked me right back in. GOd, I love some television.

  3. ABC does suck, big time. I pretty much hate them forever, except on Lost nights.

  4. If you like the American version of Life on Mars but haven't seen the UK version, I highly recommend it!

  5. Ugh, that sucks so much about the car!

    If you have netflix I recommend the series Moonlight. Mostly for the very dreamy Alex O'Laughlin and Jason Dohring (Logan Eckles!).

  6. Skeezix, thanks! I'll check that out.

    Bryan, I'm dying to see the original but I don't think it's on DVD yet. We are watching Ashes to Ashes though.

  7. I love that Glass's mom is an "infidelity researcher." What IS that exactly? I'm intrigued. I just bought that snazzy raincoat. It was not free by a long shot so, sorry. I can state that 30 Rock keeps me alive from week to week. How do they do it? "It" being consistently and alarmingly funny. I have such a huge crush on Jack Doneghy.

  8. I love that Ira Glass apparently dated Linda Barry and she declared him her worst boyfriend ever. IRA.

  9. Oops, I meant Lynda Barry. Sheesh. Here it is:

    For a time, he dated cartoonist Lynda Barry and moved to Chicago in 1989 to be with her. He called Barry his "little ghetto girl" and she does not remember the relationship fondly. Barry is quoted in a 1998 Chicago Reader article as saying of Glass, "I went out with him. It was the worst thing I ever did. When we broke up he gave me a watch and said I was boring and shallow, and I wasn't enough in the moment for him, and it was over." In the same article, Glass is quoted on his feelings about their breakup: "I was an idiot. I was in the wrong. About the breakup... About so many things with her. Anything bad she says about me I can confirm." Barry has written a comic story about the relationship, entitled "Head Lice and My Worst Boyfriend," in her book One! Hundred! Demons!.

  10. I have a deep love for all things TAL. You should also be podcasting Radio Lab, which is basically the science version of TAL and Savage Lovecast, which is seriously hilarious and absolutely not work safe.

  11. We've been renting (netflixing) Weeds... love it! And also... you might want to investigate Ambian... also love it... 20 minutes I'm in sleeping land and wake up re-freshed and un-groggy.

  12. I did not know that about Lynda Barry--that's hilarious!

    I was at the library today and thinking how fantastic it is to be able to get books free. Now I just have to get a hang of returning the damn books.

  13. I have to comment because This American Life is my salvation at work. Episode 339 The Breakup, in which Starleigh interviews Phil Collins about the origin of Against All Odds, awesome. Even better, #328 What I Learned From Televion, because who doesn't want to hear Ira talk about The OC. I also recommend NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!

  14. TAL is awesome and if somebody couldn't guess Ira Glass was a freak just from listening to him? Woe. Is. Them. Obv.

    Benadryl is good...but in the narcotics game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, it does not beat Xanax. Or Lexapro. Or any other anti-anxiety med. Seriously. I didn't sleep for almost 20 years. Two scips later I look 10 years younger and have increased my life expectancy by 40 years. Not that this is such a good thing considering the state of the world, but if you're into outliving your parents, it's something to look into. Seriously. get the big-girl meds.

  15. This American Life is on the radio when I'm driving around looking for yard sales on Saturday mornings. Sometimes I drive around aimlessly just to listen to it.

    Something free that brings me joy?