Let’s Talk Podcasts

So, working at home has been a fun challenge. I like working with more than one screen because Excel is SO much easier that way (and over the years I have had a total of three screens always. The offices have spoiled me), so I am in what can be considered a study and not in front of my TV. To help pass the time, I have spent hours listening to various playlists and podcasts. I have a few podcasts that I really enjoy, so I decided to share them with you!

The Upside with Callie and Jeff Dauler is a M-F podcast out of Atlanta. Jeff Dauler had been a morning show host most of my life, and when he made the move to podcasting I followed. He and his wife make a great team. They are so honest about everything. It is a political-free zone 97% of the time (sometimes you cannot ignore what’s going on in the world) which makes it a delightful break from the news. Gratitude is their main thing, and the fan base are a bunch of super kind, encouraging Weaponized Hamsters. This show has become so much of my morning routine that it throws me off if I don’t listen. Also, they have two dogs that they talk about a lot and that is just the best.

Welcome to Night Vale was the first show I ever started listening to back when the only place I knew to find podcasts was YouTube. It is a fictional podcast told from the view of Night Vale’s radio host Cecil Palmer. His voice will melt butter; I love him. The story is on the Lovecraft side of weird, but you get so attached to the characters and the stories. I got to meet the voice of Night Vale, Cecil Baldwin, at DragonCon in 2016, and he was the absolute best. The podcast updates about twice a month with a break during the summer, and has been going on since… I feel like I was in high school? So almost 10 years?

The Darkest Timeline with Ken Jeong & Joel McHale is a brand new pandemic project that was started back in March. I love the show Community, so I had to give it a listen. And, guys, it’s not all dumb jokes and show stories. Ken and his wife are doctors, and part of the show is to talk about the Corona Virus and what’s in development and such. It’s not nearly as political as I thought it would be- they are really determined to stick to the facts. And they have GREAT guest stars. Jim Rash, Alison Brie, Dani Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown… Basically everyone from Community has shown up at least once, but then there has also been Pedro Pascal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Shaq. Donald Glover, unfortunately, has only come on for the script reading and after show that they did, but he never stops. The man is a legend. I both learn and laugh a lot with this one.

Office Ladies is actually my least favorite on this list. For me, personally, it just feels like a talk through of each episode of The Office. There aren’t a lot of behind the stage stories, and compared to the Community cast stories, it’s just lackluster. But, I only recently started listening to them, so maybe I need to give it a few more episodes?

My Dad Wrote a Porno is the best worst thing you can ever listen to. And by worst I mean, do NOT listen to it in public. You are in for one wild ride as Belinda traverses the business world. I have learned that the only way to make deals in the pots and pans world is to have sex with everyone. I have also learned that Rocky Flinstone knows nothing about biology and anatomy, and really that’s what makes it great. You have three hosts for this one: Jamie (son of Rocky), James, and Alice. Jamie reads a chapter of his dad’s books (yes, there are more than one) each episode, and James and Alice make amazing commentary while playing the drinking game and trying not to puke at the gross descriptions. There was a HBO special where they read a chapter in front of a live audience, and that is how I found this show. If you need to laugh until you cry, check this one out.

Other fun honorable mentions include the new Harry Potter at Home series and other Night Vale Presents shows: Alice Isn’t Dead, The Orbiting Human Circus, Between the Wires, and more. The Harry Potter series is various actors reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/ Sorcerer’s Stone and it’s just delightful to hear Daniel Radcliff, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis,. Jason Issac… Really pretty much everyone involved on stage and screen in the HP Universe.

There you have it folks! The list of podcasts that are making my 8-14 hour long days (I wish I was kidding) better. Do you have any suggestions? I know a lot of people are in to true crime- not really my thing, and I want to try to catch up on Critical Role at some point as I have heard that one is good. Let me know what you have discovered!

Winds of Winter Release Date!

The quarantine has produced a miracle. At long last. George R.R. Martin has announced the release date of Winds of Winter. And it is… Unknown. It’s April’s Fool Day and even I am ashamed at how cruel this joke is. Apologies to readers everywhere.

I did reach 25 books read so far this year though! Let’s take a look:

  1. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston
  4. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Glass Scepter by Bekah Harris
  6. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
  7. Revan by Drew Karpyshyn
  8. First and Only by Dan Abnett
  9. The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno
  10. Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
  11. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
  12. The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
  13. Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
  14. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
  15. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  16. Ghostmaker by Dan Abnett
  17. Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan
  18. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  19. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  20. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
  21. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  22. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  23. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  24. Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
  25. Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

This year’s series re-read is Lord of the Rings. I will probably also reread The Hobbit and The Similarion as well. I am trying to keep it to one series a year, unless it is Wheel of Time. Those can get sprinkled in whenever as there are 14 of them (15 if you include New Spring).

There are so many good ones in this 25. I really cannot say which are my favorites.

Save the Cat! is my new writing companion. I am in love with the theory and outlining method. Every aspiring writer should read it. House of Salt and Sorrows and The Starless Sea are probably top five worthy. Both were fantastic reads.

There is a lot of fantasy on that list. It’s my main genre. I did manage to finish The Last Wish before watching The Witcher on Netflix. Love them both. All the Star Wars books are really good (there are 4 on this list), especially the ones about my girls Padme and Ashoka. Brandon Sanderson I love, but it takes me much longer to get through his books. They require a lot of concentration, but the worlds he creates are wild.

I can’t wait to see what the next 25 will be! I am currently reading 2 books with 1 or 2 more on my Kindle waiting to be downloaded. As always, any suggestions are appreciated!