Happy Friday! Another week gone by means another update on the things I’ve been reading, seeing, doing, hearing, or whatever verb best describes the action I took with a particular item.
What I’m listening to: Star Wars Headspace
Those who follow me on Spotify may have noticed that I listen to a lot of playlists with names like “Atmospheric Calm” or “Perfect Concentration” or “Brain Food.” This is because I don’t work well in silence. I like to have on some sort of music in the background, preferably something soothing. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic music, which is how I came across this album. Artists like Kaskade and Flying Lotus mixed songs with sound effects from Star Wars. It’s not all as mellow as Bonobo–each artist brings their own style–but it’s perfect working music for me.
What I’m reading: The last book I read is titled, oddly enough, On Writing (Amazon). It’s a writing guide authored by Stephen King. Whereas the last book I finished–On Writing Well–was geared toward non-fiction, King shares his wisdom for writing fiction. In addition, On Writing is something of a memoir. King recounts the personal stories that shaped him as a writer while dispensing the practical advice he learned from each experience. I recommend any aspiring writer check it out.
What I’m watching: The first episode of Showtime’s NHL series aired last Friday.
My reaction: “Meh.”
The on-ice footage is gorgeous, as usual. But that’s not covering any new ground. The fact that it’s the playoffs is supposed to give things an air of intensity that’s been missing from previous behind-the-scenes shows. I didn’t feel it.
I loved the original 24/7 on HBO. Yes, I’m probably biased because the Capitals were involved. But, more than that, no one really knew what they were doing the first time around. That was a good thing; the players and coaches weren’t as guarded, and we got a truly memorable look inside the life of two NHL teams. Since that first season, I’ve gotten the sense that the teams are holding back, more concerned with controlling their image than giving the fans real insight.
Truth is, I’m spoiled. I lived my own version of 24/7 when I worked for the Rampage. I’ve seen what goes on backstage. I’ve heard some amazing conversations. And I’ve felt the intensity of the playoffs. That is what I want the league to capture with these shows. Instead, they seem to be veering more toward a fancier version of the weekly recap, one with up close footage and voice overs. I wish the league would go back to featuring more of what’s happening off the ice.
Puck Daddy has an interview with series producer Ross Greenburg if you want to learn about the show.
What I’m listening to Part 2: Tim Ferriss’s podcast with Sebastian Junger, best known for his documentary Restrepo. Fair warning: there is a lot of discussion about war and PTSD. I had to focus on setting my own biases aside to get through it. I’m glad I did. I love it when someone is able to challenge my way of thinking, and Junger does so with ideas that are both controversial and sensible.
What I’m doing: I published two blog posts this week–you can find them here and here. I didn’t link to them on Facebook, though. I’m trying to practice writing every day, and I just don’t feel like bombarding my News Feed with that many updates. So, no more linking to everything I write. I do have a couple of longer form pieces in the works, and I plan on sharing those when I post them. And, of course, I’ll keep sharing the Friday update.
Have a great weekend.