Catching you Up: What I’m Into November 2014


I’ve started this post a number of times, but I haven’t been able to finish.  Maybe this time.

It’s been rough.  I am sad.  And angry.

– – –

Apparently people write things on the internet when they see bad things all around them.  A lot of people write mean things or stupid things or racist things or angry things — but I don’t really know how to do that. Right now I can only feel the feelings and ask the questions and read the books.

I don’t think the solutions to systemic injustices in our world are so straightforward that random people on the internet know what they are talking about.  I want to hear the real-life stories of pain and injustice from those who are experiencing it.  I want to hear about ways to fix our world or seek justice or reconcile communities from the people who actually study this kind of thing and work toward it regularly. And if you aren’t one of those people then I don’t really want to hear from you.  Instead, I’d like for you to stop talking, sit with me, and listen.  Then maybe you’ll feel sad and angry too, and we can learn about how to make things better without making them worse.

That’s not really a good thing for a blogger to say, is it?  Unfortunately it’s true right now.  I find Facebook incredibly depressing.

– – –

But this past month wasn’t all bad.  Even when the world is dark and sad, I strongly believe that being alive is baller.  Here’s a rundown of what I was up to last month:

What I’m Reading:

This month I’ve been reading about hopelessness and war and death and racism and American criminal law.  I’m three classes into this open course about American literature after World War I.  I’m three chapters into this book on race and American criminal law. I’m also reading Amy Poehler’s hilarious book Yes Please. Which I enjoy, but wish was more vulnerable and revealing.  It’s a bit of a shallow read.

What I’m Watching:

This month I’ve been watching all the television shows.  I don’t like the trend of shows taking winter breaks, not coming back with new episodes until January.  Do you guys remember back in the “good ole days” when Alias had 22 episodes per season?  We need to get that back.  What is up with HBO’s last season of The Newsroom having only seven episodes?  Not cool.

I still enjoy Madam Secretary the most of this year’s new shows, but State of Affairs has captured my interest — although it is too early to tell if it will be keeper.  It’s nice having Katherine Heigl back! Parenthood continues to be awesome, and I’m secretly loving Agents of Shield.  I’m not sure it’s cool to say that on the internet but it is true.

What I’m Listening To:

This month I’ve started listening to podcasts, and now I love them.  For blogging I like the How They Blog podcast.  For road trips I like Serial and This American Life.  What are your favorite podcasts?  Hook me up!

I’m also looking for some new music.  Do you have any favorite current bands or artists?  I haven’t bought a new album in probably a year.  I tend to forget that I’m allowed to do things like purchasing new music, and go for months at a time without even thinking “Hey, I’m allowed to choose music that I like and to listen to it just because I want to!”  And then I remember, but I don’t know what’s cool because my favorite band is still CAKE and I think they stopped being a band about ten years ago.  Help me out!

What I’ve Been Doing:

Voting.  This month I voted as a Chicago resident for the first time.  While the lines were honestly shorter than I expected, there was only one voting machine per precinct!  Each voter had to wait in line to vote electronically or vote on a paper ballot.  I used the electronic voting machine because there wasn’t a line when I arrived.

Getting a massage.  This month I had my first massage in two years, and it was fantastic!  I think it was perhaps the best massage I had in my entire life.  Thanks Shaney!

Painting.  My friend Lindsay and I wanted to try a painting night so we scheduled the November KD event at a nearby Bottle and Bottega location and — true story — it was so fun! Following instructions while painting and talking to friends is a little stressful, but if you try to stay loose you can make something really beautiful! (No photos here because I’m totally gifting my painting creation to my mom for Christmas.  Because there’s nothing more appreciated than hand-made crafts by your 28-year-old daughter.)

Working.  A lot.  I spent the week before Thanksgiving working in DC, and it was a great week.  My team was very productive and while I didn’t get the friend time I can normally squeeze into my evenings while there, I had a few professional firsts and headed home feeling great.  My work continues to be challenging and full of surprises and I absolutely love it. Most of the time.  :)

Hanging out with Accidental Devotional’s Abby Norman!  The weekend before Thanksgiving (and right after my work trip), Abby Norman and her husband showed up to spend the weekend hanging in my Chicago condo and attending a communications conference downtown.  It was so lovely to spend some time having awesome conversations with my friend. Our oven was broken all weekend so I didn’t do a lot of cooking for the Normans (sorry!), but we made up for it with a deep dish pizza taste-off.

Eating turkey and relaxing in Tennessee.  After just one workday and a day of medical appointments, H and I drove down to Tennessee (with Winston!) to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  Our Thanksgiving was wonderful and I hope yours was too!  I loved seeing my family and friends and I also loved sitting by the fire and reading.  A lot.  It’s my favorite way to relax.  (Maybe if I had a yard with a fire pit I would watch less television and read more books?  Maybe we should just buy a house already so I can find out?  Great idea!)

I’m linking up today with Leigh Kramer to share What I’m Into.  It’s a great way to find shows to watch, bands to follow, books to read — all of the cool things that cool people are into right now.  Click through here to see all of the posts!


Thanks for sticking with me here during a month of very little posting.  Sorry about that.  Here’s to an excellent December.  Happy Holidays.  



  1. emmillerwrites

    It was hard for me to write my What I’m Into post this month, too. I couldn’t think past the last week of the month and its weird tension of Thanksgiving and Ferguson. I’m with you. I tend to go quiet. I kept the news updated and at the top of the newspaper’s website. That’s what I can do practically. Beyond that, I’m with you: I’d rather sit and listen.

    Joel is on the podcast train right now. I really need to get on board. I mean, I suppose I should be researching this for when we launch our podcast, right? :P

    • Mary Beth

      It is. It feels wrong to write about good things. But it feels wrong to ignore the small joys that keep the world moving as we fight the big fights too. Thanks for sitting with me.

      GET ON THE TRAIN, Em! It seems like all we need is an awesome microphone and something to talk about. I will ask my Dad if he has a spare mic in Tennessee. But mostly I need to work on my pronunciations because I think I have a bad radio voice. :)

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