Meandering Musings Week 19, 2017

I have a somewhat heavy week of personal engagements and podcast bookings. I dig it, but it’s getting in the way of me coming up with my Meandering Musings.

I started writing a post about why I don’t do politics on my podcast and have mostly quit talking politics in general. Then I realized that too many people wouldn’t listen anyway, and that’s one of the reasons why I quit. So I just quit writing about why I quit talking about politics.

A second reading of “13 Reasons Why” and perhaps a second viewing of the show will be necessary before I feel comfortable offering up my own thoughts. However, this past week I’ve read two great posts, one from Sarahbeth Caplin and another from Sarah Fader. Check them out.

I was going to record a solo podcast regarding this story someone sent me from the ESPN website. I may end up doing it as part of something else in the future. In the meantime, I have to mention that I’ve never seen a case in which I believed an accused rapist who said, “It was consensual.” Going over all the other reasons why I believe he is completely guilty would take a while, but that might happen in the future.

As I vaguely wrote above, I have a few podcast bookings this week. That means I should have at least one episode ready by next week and a couple more close behind. I’d be more than happy, though, to have several more bookings. Speak to me: swmseekspodcast@gmail.com.

Meandering Musings Week 18, 2017

Content warning: Suicide

I’ve been sidetracked by the A to Z Blogging Challenge as well as starting up my podcast. It’s time, though, for another round of my Meandering Musings.

Let me mention again my podcast with Alexis Donkin. I hate doing self-promotion, but this is really about her. I don’t do every little thing that she does, but her approach really is some kind of magical. I’ve been focusing on trying it more and more. It really does help.

I watched “13 Reasons Why” and have started reading the book. Maybe after I’m done with the book, I’ll write something more comprehensive. For the moment, I have to say I enjoyed it. I think it has a lot of important things to say and not just about suicide. I also thought there were more and probably stronger reasons than the “13”.

As for whether or not anyone should watch it, that’s everyone’s individual choice. Encouraging people not to watch it seems a terrible idea, particularly with teenagers. Watch it with them and discuss it. Telling them to stay away from the show will only push them towards it.

Someone I went to Afghanistan with committed suicide last week. Of all the brothers and sisters I’ve lost, this one was the most shocking. He was young, smart, healthy, one of the best soldiers I’ve ever met. When last I saw him, he looked to be headed toward a very bright future. This is the fourth war buddy I’ve lost in the past two years, all but one 30 or younger.

Podcast: Living and Loving Intentionally with Alexis Donkin

Alexis Donkin was kind enough to guest on my podcast. You should definitely give her a listen.

I’m naturally a grumpy, cynical sort, but influences like Alexis Donkin have been bringing me around to different mindsets and habits. It really has made me feel much better. It’s scarily magical.

Also, feel free to vote on whether or not I should keep Francesca around for future podcasts or move into a different work space. I can’t blame all my audio problems on her, but she definitely created some background noise. (The ones that aren’t her fault are already getting better, though.)

You should be my guest. Drop a line to swmseekspodcast@gmail.com.

“Zoom” by the Cadillacs

This is probably only their third-best song (behind “Speedo” and “Gloria”), but it starts with Z. Since I used a doo-wop song to announce my A to Z theme, I figured closing with one was only right.

The Cadillacs have been pretty well forgotten by casual fans but are still highly influential. (No less than Billy Joel paid tribute to them in the fadeout of his hit “River of Dreams”. Bonus points if you can find it.)

So here’s the end. Somehow I made it all the way through the A to Z Challenge this year. I did cheat a little (throwing in an extra M and S in place of Q and X), but I did 26 posts. So there.

If all goes well, I’ll be moving on to some other fun stuff quite soon, namely a podcast. Check it out. With a little luck, I’ll have some real episodes rolling within a day or so.

“Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by Carole King

I could’ve easily picked another version of this song (usually done as “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”). The Shirelles probably did the most famous one, and Roberta Flack’s absolutely kills me. I had to go with Carole King’s because she did co-write the song. (She wrote the music with lyrics by her ex-husband Gerry Goffin.)

Another reason to choose this version is to mention Carole King’s amazing album “Tapestry”. It features a couple of other songs that other people had made into hits (like “Feel Like a Natural Woman” and “You’ve Got a Friend”) as well as a couple that you shouldn’t bother hear anyone else do besides Carole (like “So Far Away”).

In the age of shuffling through every song in your collection, “Tapestry” is one of those albums for which I will put everything on pause for a listen. I did it about a month ago. I might have to do it again today.

My (Possibly Not) Great Podcast Experiment

A big part of my motivation in starting my blog was learning about people’s lives outside of the straight white male “default”. My writing has wandered in many different directions since then, but I’m wanting to re-focus a little on that original mission. I figure the best way to do that is with a podcast, something I’ve wanted to do for years anyway.

I have just one big rule: NO POLITICS. That too often becomes an excuse for people to tune out. My interest is in learning, not dividing.

I’ve been tinkering with the technicals for a while, and that will probably continue for a while. I can’t promise the production quality will ever improve, but I doubt it can get any worse.

I’ve recorded a little intro for you to check out. If you want to be a guest, drop a line to swmseekspodcast@gmail.com.