What’s making me happy this week.

Hi, guys.

I don’t really have anything going on, but I didn’t want to get back into a month going by and me not writing anything. I definitely need to concentrate on the positive, because last week was one of the worst I’ve had in a really long time, and despite my attempts to start this week with a better attitude, I’m already starting to fail in that endeavor.

So I’m trying to concentrate on the positives today. That is, in the words of one of my favorite podcasts, what’s making me happy this week.

1. My wonderful friend Ashleigh’s wonderful new blog

Ash is a sorority sister who remains one of my favorite people from college (and from life), and she has broken up with online dating and is blogging about her adventures at Things I Did Without a Man. To be honest, I don’t spend all that much time on online dating, but I do spend a fair amount of time complaining about how much it sucks, and I think a lot of my single friends (myself included) could stand to spend more time appreciating what they can do as single women. For example, when I woke up at 9:00 on Sunday morning, I already had several text messages from parent friends discussing what time their kids had woken up. Suckers.

(And I also love the fonts Ashleigh uses on the blog layout, because interesting fonts make me happy as well.)

2. Podcasts

I had a discussion yesterday with a friend about how podcasts have affected how much other media I am currently consuming. The answer: a lot. I find myself drawn more to nonfiction books these days – when I do read, that is, since a lot of my commuting time is now spent listening to podcasts instead. I’m also listening to a bit less music, since I’ll put on a podcast while I’m doing the dishes or cleaning, when I used to listen to a playlist or Sirius. I’m trying to figure out exactly how to balance all of the media I want to consume – and I haven’t even gotten into television yet, because there’s just too much – but lately, podcasts just make me really, really happy.

There was Serial, obviously, and if you don’t know about that one, please crawl out of your cave and see the sunlight, but beyond that, I subscribe to 19 others. I don’t listen to every episode of all of them. Some, I have subscribed but am waiting for the right moment to press play- a long flight or bus ride, for example. But each gives me a something different – whether witty banter, insightful conversation, or mini classes educating me in something interesting. So, in the spirit of sharing, these are my favorites (in addition to the ones I’ve already mentioned and in no particular order, except for the first one, because it’s my favorite):

And one that I haven’t listened to but am saving for the right rainy day: Kumail Nanjiani’s The X-Files Files. Because…

3. OMFG YOU GUYS THE X-FILES MIGHT BE COMING BACK

With this news breaking over the weekend (and aided by Gillian Anderson’s Nerdist podcast appearance last week), I am happier than Mulder seeing a bleeping dead alien body. I really want to believe that this won’t suck (though in all reality, it probably will), but I can’t help getting excited about it. Just imagine: Mulder in the Twitter age. The possibilities are endless.

4. Twin Peaks

I’ve been satisfying my need for spooky mysteries by watching Twin Peaks for the first time. I just started season two, and I’ve been told that it goes downhill quickly, but for now it is a gloriously weird show about gloriously weird people with a flat out glorious leading performance by Kyle MacLachlan. It blows my mind that this show was on network television. Oh, how times have changed.

5. Thinking about Europe

I haven’t been to Paris in ten years, but it’s nearly always on my mind – never more so than over the past few weeks. It would take an entire post to list all of the reasons I love that city, so I will refrain from attempting to do so. Watching what the city went through certainly did not make me happy, but watching its resiliency does.

Any city is resilient after a tragedy – we humans as a species are incredibly resilient. Otherwise, I’m not sure how most of us could get out of bed in the morning. That doesn’t make Paris special… but what does are my memories of it, the happiness I felt there more than any other place I’ve ever lived. A lot of that had to do with being 20-years-old and not having a worry in the world, but much more came from all that city had to offer me: lessons in food and wine and art to last my whole life long; the ability to conquer fear and homesickness; a never-ending thirst for travel and exploration. That’s why I love Paris and still think about it every single day.

Likewise, I’ve been thinking about Greece. It’s been ten years since I’ve been there as well, and luckily (maybe?) my prehistoric blog from that year is still active. If you’d like a glimpse into the life of an engaged 23-year-old trying to make it in a strange land for a year, click here. For many years, I tried not to think about Greece. Greece was too intrinsically tied to memories of my ex-husband, and for a long time, those memories made me nothing but sad or angry. They don’t so much anymore – I can appreciate what an incredible year that was, regardless of how things turned out a few years later.

I won’t be traveling to Paris or Greece anytime soon, sadly. One of the only reasons I dream of meeting a handsome, rich, intelligent man is the hope that maybe that man would have the means to surprise me with a romantic trip overseas, since I can’t afford to take one myself. I know that won’t happen, though, so I satisfy myself with art and music and food here in New York. Luckily, I live somewhere where I can travel to a foreign country by going somewhere just a few blocks away. Such as…

6. Upper East Side Dinner Club

An endeavor some friends and I are embarking upon, wherein we try a new UES place each month. January was La Tarte Flambee, an Alsatian restaurant just a few blocks from my apartment. It was fantastic.

So that’s what’s happening with me this week. Know something that would make me happy that I should check out? Let me know.

In the meantime… stay warm and happy, friends.

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