Pros, cons; six of one, half a dozen of another.

Things I hate about this year: I’ve been to see/hear very little live music (so far) this year.

Things I love about this year: All the (FOUR) shows I’ve been to were magnificent performances by bands I love.

*Note: I do have tickets to Spoon in September! Or October. Can’t remember which. I have it written down somewhere.

Things I hate about this year: I didn’t see a single movie in April, and wasted my February movie-going energy on Wolf of Wall Street, a completely ridiculous movie with zero redeeming qualities if you ask me.

Things I love about this year: I saw Only Lovers Left Alive and Words and Pictures, two flicks which are still serving my soul with reminders of things I love, things that are important, things to strive for.

Things I hate about this year: It’s somehow so much easier and faster to record having read a book on goodreads than to take the five seconds longer than that to record it here and who knows maybe even a quick review.

Things I love about this year: At least I’m keeping up with goodreads.

Hey I’ve got something for YOU.

So my friend Megan published a book. Well she’s published two. One, that I adored a LOT, “Everyone Remain Calm” was only available on Kindle when I got it (looks like you can get a print copy now).

Her new book is out in paperback and I had actually preordered it on Amazon but then I went to hear her read live at Women & Children First (a great Chitown bookstore) and I wanted to get a book signed so I bought one there as well.

SO if you leave a comment and tell me your favorite book of short stories and/or a great “read at the beach” recommendation for my summer vacation, you could win a free copy of her book!

Here, let me give you a teaser. Go read this essay, then come back here and leave a comment, and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win this book! I mean considering how many comments I get these days, you may not have a lot of competition!!!

On podcasts and changing my mind.

I often have very random preconceived notions about celebrities–ones I like, ones I dislike for whatever random reason. We all do, right? And it’s been intriguing me lately how their appearance on say, Jimmy Fallon or a late-night show rarely changes how I feel about them. But a 30- to 45-minute podcast interview, on the other hand, can have a huge effect.

For instance, I never watched That ’70s Show but I loved Topher Grace in both Win a Date with Tad Hamilton AND In Good Company. After listening to him and his idea for his new web site on The Nerdist podcast? Nope. The web site idea sounds a million years too late and what he wants to do on it has been so well and widely done elsewhere. No one who was really smart would think it was a good idea at all.

Whereas, say, B.J. Novak for whom I have harbored a perhaps (PERHAPS) irrational complete hatred for, for years, thanks to The Office and Inglorious Bastards, things I loved lots of things about and hated him in–after listening to him on the Nerdist, I think he’s so much smarter than I ever realized and I am totally going to buy his book of short (in some case, very short) stories.

In case you were wondering. Don’t lie, this is all stuff you couldn’t have gone on living without. Heh.