#Adulting: Nothing To See Here…

Hi everyone!

I was going to do a post this month but realized not much has happened this month (’tis life, you know?).

So please enjoy this post for May (which is nothing).

 

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What I’m Listening To: American Public Media’s Marketplace. I took a break from the daily, business-reporting program a few months ago because a person can only be so inundated by trade war and other depressing economic news before their mind explodes. But I’m back now, because I missed the reporting, including topics on Cardi B’s rise and the destruction caused by straws.

(Credit: Good Reads)

What I’m Reading: Most recently, I finished re-reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for the third time, but just before that, I read the debut novel by Buzzfeed writer Doree Shafrir, entitled Startup. Particularly and painfully relevant, the fiction novel is set in the New York startup culture as a movement reminiscent of #MeToo begins. My main gripe with the book is that it’s too short; just as the action picks up, characters are found out or betrayed, the novel ends.

What I’m Watching: Marvel’s Deadpool 2 has just as many funny (but shouldn’t be funny) comments as the first with a sad undertone. Also, is it just me or has Marvel stopped caring about letting actors play more than one character? Chris Evans (Human Torch to Captain America), Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch to Erik Killmonger), Enver Gjokaj (Cop to Daniel Sousa), and now, Josh Brolin (Thanos to Cable), just saying.

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#Adulting: Where Will We Be?

There are two types of people in the world right now–Those who couldn’t care less about Avengers: Infinity War and those who feel personally attacked by Infinity War.

(Photo Credit; Yes This is Actually From the Directors of Infinity War)

Fortunately, no matter which camp you fall in, this post will not have spoilers (Thanos did demand silence, remember?). Instead, I use this movie analogy as a way to work through how I interpret the world. As the end of my fellowship draws closer, I’m thinking a lot more about how I see the world and what paths would help me see the world even clearer whilst maintaining some semblance of peace.  But, of course, to figure out an ending, we’ve got to go back to the beginning.

 

It’s no secret that I’m drawn to superheroes in all forms of media (movie, television, web comics, paper comics, pulp, cartoons, etc.) because the stories and characters are the ways we keep history alive by applying the same myths and figures in new bodies and names, by coping with disastrous events (ex. mutants after the nuclear war, the numerous Godzilla works after the massive atom bombs in Japan, etc.), and prediction of events if we continue on the paths we’re currently on. The superhero genre has a way of meeting their audience where they are, in terms of comprehension. And although there are points where can do better and seem to be taking steps in that direction (“see” audio documentary here), we’re getting there.

The same can be said for audio. Radio journalism is not what initially drew me to audio. It was podcasts, i.e. the flexibility to listen whenever, the freedom from the broadcast clock, the wide range of topics, but most importantly, the conversational style. The most successful podcasts are NOT monotone; they are NOT full of elevated, superfluous language; they are NOT high-brow. Why? Because they meet people where are, in terms of their understanding, and therefore, can convey how these complex topics–about the environment, about the economy, about education–aren’t actually complex if someone explains them and iterates that it affects everyone, no matter you’re socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic identity, gender identity and sexual orientation. Like the superhero genre, there are strides the audio industry can take to reach more people  and include more people who are constantly left behind.

Being intentional (which takes massive preparation and extensive input outside of your immediate knowledge) about how to use the medium to reach the audience is only part of the game; being successful in execution is equally important. You probably think I’m gonna list some canonical literary examples or Academy Award-winning movies? Nope.

Animation,

(My film professors would’ve loved the subtle commentary on movie theaters in the age of technology in We Bare Bears “Shush Ninjas”)

by far,

(The Amazing World of Gumball does a ton of economical commentary and engages in media theory through the different materials they use for minor characters)

is best example of representation and

Steven Universe is but one example of how animation explains a concept that adults struggle to explain)

and understanding,

(The original Teen Titans  animation series (not to be confused with Teen Titans Go!) tackled complex topics that kids and adults are even afraid to admit to themselves, let alone talk about, like manipulation and self-esteem)

I’ve ever seen.

To be fair, not all animation does this, nor should it. Like all media, some sources should be purely to educate, some purely to escape, but the most memorable do a little of both. And it was this balance and utilization of how medium affects a narrative that pulled me to study English (this was my concentration BTW). One source I go back to frequently is Avatar: The Last Airbender.

How can one show successfully explain a military coup,  explore the dynamics of war invasions, retreats, and strategy, introduce and maintain a blind character as part of the ensemble, gently handle the implications of child abuse and necessity of forgiveness, and still have all the makings of a kid’s show, including but not limited to: bathroom jokes, the (multiple) picking of boogers, sibling antics, unrequited crushes, and an eccentric uncle?

For these reasons (and more), I watch ATLA when I need to escape but always understand more about my life once I finish my binging.

So now, as I consider more about what paths I want to take and how to reconcile who I want to be into the view of the world I have now, I think about to this scene from Book 2:

This is a process, but my favorite part of ATLA is that it’s okay not to know. It’s okay to say “I don’t know.” And maybe right now, that’s my answer. I don’t know…yet.

 

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(Photo Credit: Gimlet Media)

What I’m Listening To: Gimlet’s The Habitat.  The true story of when six volunteers agreed to live in a mock-Mars environment, for scientific purposes. I’m really excited about this series because I remember when the experiment was first being reported, which wasn’t that long ago. (I just started so don’t @ me)

What I’m Reading: Getting caught up on my comics! G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel (If you enjoy the MCU and looking to get into the comics, I highly recommend the new Hawkeye (trust me), Ms. Marvel, or the most recent Captain Marvel comics; the more serious types? See Captain America, Civil War, or Jessica Jones; also, you can’t go wrong with any of the iterations of Spider-Man, whether that means high-school Peter Parker, adult Peter Parker, or even Miles Morales because, of course, they crossover from time to time)

What I’m Watching: Isn’t it obvious? Avengers: Infinity War (2018) (yes, more than once) and that’s all I’ll say about that. Also, I’m finally caught up on the Blackish-spinoff, Freeform show Grownish  and consider this quite a feat since Yara Shahidi is fantastic and literally #hairgoals.

(Photo Credit: Freeform Grownish)

 

 

#Adulting: A Glimpse of the Possible

In my last post, I paid homage to Millennialthe Radiotopia/PRX podcast that gave me the post-grad motivation to intern, work part-time, but mostly, figure out what I really wanted to do and make no apologies for it.

Well, update: I met the creator of Millennial. (!)

But first, let me back up a bit.

For the past few months, I’ve been learning more and more about the public radio landscape. Since the Corporation for Public Broadcasting helps fund America’s public radio stations, it’s important to know how they work, right?

Continue reading

Senior Summer: Maybe I Can Actually Get Stuff Done This Summer? Maybe?

There’s no good time to make and keep a goal…except maybe during a three-month vacation? Short of launching a multi-billionaire entrepreneurship or being employed as a teacher (and even the former isn’t likely to take breaks, giving how tech is innovated these days), a three-month vacation isn’t likely to ever happen again.

So why not take advantage of it? Some scientists say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. That pretty much means that you have three tries to get it right this summer.

Keep it simple. Don’t be super ambitious like run 5 miles everyday if you haven’t even broken in a pair of sneakers. Maybe just running three times a week. If you want to enhance your photog skills, learn how to use free apps and take an artsy photo everyday. Tackle a Buzzfeed challenge. Start off small.

And once you have a goal (or goals, maybe you are ambitious!), here are some tips to help you reach it.

As for me, I have been woefully remiss on my leisure activities this year. Surprisingly, being an English major doesn’t allow me a lot of time to read for fun or watch for fun, so I’ll be tackling (fingers crossed) a book and a show a week–either catching up on a current show or finishing the series of a cancelled show. (Below are this week’s:)

That said, I also, finally learned how to use the app I bought over a year ago. You can get Gif Brewery through the Apple Store. I finally had fun with some old videos:

A M Montgomery 2015 Gif

A M Montgomery 2015 Gif

Good luck on your goals, guys!

Season Caught-up/Series Complete: Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix

(Great series but so violently graphic at times, I had to cover both my eyes and ears)

Book Read: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

(Dessen is very predictable when it comes to romance; that said, I wish it would have ended a bit more realistically)