Things I Loved This Week #107

Middle School Turn Up Playlist:

BuzzFeed is surly one of the greatest things to happen on the Internet in the entirety of its history. Where else can you find good reporting on the Baltimore protests, pictures of school lunches around the world, and twenty-five facts you never knew about your feet? Nowhere. Well. Tumblr, but there’s a lot of porn on there, too. You search for the most innocent things and you never know what you’ll come across. Anyway, the other day, there was an article about the songs we’d turn up to in middle school. I think I was probably in high school when these songs came out, but that makes no difference. At the bottom of the article was a Spotify playlist (Beysus bless Spotify!) and I have been listening to literally nothing else since. I’d forgotten all about “1, 2, Step” and “Hollaback Girl” and “Rock Your Body” and “Pon de Replay,” but now that they’re back in my life, they’re what I’m all about. Yesterday I was mowing the yard, turnt up with some old school Rihanna, and honestly, I’ve never enjoyed mowing the lawn more. I’m not a nostalgic person for my youth, but there’s something about these delightful tunes that makes me happy and feel hella old. I’ve always felt like an old man, though, so what else is new? I heartily recommend this playlist, which I have kindly attached for you. You’re welcome.

Great Courses:

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For the longest time, seven years to be exact, I rebelled against college education. I didn’t want to be a part of a system that I thought was corrupt and overpriced. I finally caved in and took a semester online this year. It was terribly time consuming, but I can’t deny that I feel it was worth it. I have always loved learning, after all, and that is why I love the Great Courses so very much. These are programs (either audio or visual, your choice) made up of hours and hours and hours of lectures on a very specific topic. You might see them advertised in National Geographic or late night television. Seeing these advertisements seems to lessen their glamour, for whatever reason, but you needn’t think that. They’re really of the highest quality and very expensive, but I discovered that with my Audible subscription, I can get an entire course for one credit, so I’ve been doing that and having a marvelous time. The first one I downloaded was twenty-four hours on the history of ancient Egypt with Dr. Bob Brier, and it was beyond fabulous. Rich and informative and eminently listenable. Then I moved on to a course about the history of Victorian England, and I was stunned at how much I never knew I never knew. When you have a lecture series that takes over a day, you are sure to learn something! Lately I have been ashamed of myself for not knowing very much about the Aztecs and the Mayas and the Olmecs and all the peoples of ancient America, so I found a course on this. I started it and already I’m delighted. Did you know that Olmec is just a name for the Olmen people, a modern group who live in the same region? Or that the Olmecs were known to trade in rubber? Or that the Mayas had little to no gold? Or that their hieroglyphic texts had been translated? I didn’t. And I’m only an hour in! Learning is such fun, no matter where you do it.

Bruce Jenner Interview:

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I never made fun of Bruce Jenner, but I didn’t take his situation with all the gravity and seriousness that I should have. I am alarmed by this behavior of mine, even though I cannot understand why I did it. There is such a pervasive culture of teasing transgendered people in our society that it seems normal to make a he/she joke. Of course it’s wrong, but I only just realized how complacent I was. As a member of the LGBT community, I should never have allowed myself to act in such a careless way, but Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer last week helped to correct me. I think that was Bruce’s intention, too. I know it was, he said that point blank. He wanted this intensely public discussion about his personal life to be a watershed moment in our culture and one that people could refer back to at a time when transgendered issues are gaining more and more exposure. Beyond the awareness raised, which was enormously important, it was good to see Bruce so content. He’s a person on a mission for good, and that’s incredibly valuable. People will argue that he’s doing it for exposure, but who the hell cares if he is? Bruce Jenner has been in the national spotlight for the entirety of his adult life, he doesn’t need to transition to a woman for attention. What he is doing for himself is courageous; what he is doing for our culture is heroic. Good for Bruce.

Eggs:

[Me.]

I am absolutely, passionately, and madly in love with eggs. It doesn’t matter what form they take; I adore them. Give me a poached egg on toast. A beautifully folded omelette stuffed with feta and onion. Scrambled eggs. Or, most wonderfully, an egg salad sandwich. Oh, there is nothing more divine in the world than a good egg salad sandwich, and I think that I make one of the best. Well, the best I’ve ever yet had the pleasure to taste. I would adore doing a taste testing of all the most highly recommended egg salad sandwiches. Last night was a particular triumph. I made homemade bread using the bread machine recipe that my family has used for decades — and that I had entirely forgotten about — and it was the most amazing thing I’ve consumed in a while. Eggs are the perfect food. I sound like I’m on the Egg Council. I don’t support the crappy eggs you find in the grocery stores with the weak yellow yolks. I’m talking about the amazingly flavorful and lovely free range and organic eggs you buy from local farmers. They’re so much better. Go out and get some good eggs, reader, then transform them. Make them glorious.

End of College Semester:

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After many long months of winter, spring is finally here, and as summer approaches, I am finally going to have my life back! Work will be ending at the end of the month, and I’ll be heading off to California with my sister. A great comfort to me is the fact that besides not having work, I will not have any more classes until the Fall term. As I said earlier in this post, I have no regrets about going to school, and I still don’t. I feel as if it has been a worthwhile use of my time, but that’s the problem, time. It took all of my damn time! I work every day and then when I get home, I devote several hours to my classes. With cooking, cleaning, and trying to get the smallest bits of exercise in, I’ve been a zombie. Never enough time, but soon I’ll have hours and hours to spend how I want. I will finally be able to watch a movie or go for a walk longer than an hour or take a guilt-free nap or actually read a book! It’s going to be amazing. Once next week is finished, so is college! HOORAY FOR ME!

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