Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sipping from the Garden Hose of Words

Afternoon break at LA Burdick'sTo lessen the feeling of being perpetually behind, I've been trying to be more intentional with my literal and virtual piles of stuff to read.

I currently have magazine subscriptions to Outside, Cook's Illustrated, and The Atlantic. I also sold my name to TapeOp's mailing list in exchange for a subscription. At the beginning of the year, I swapped Paste Magazine for The Atlantic.

As someone that works in music, it feels odd to no longer receive print music journalism in the mail. But I found I wasn't looking forward to reading Paste anymore since they're so focused on adult-contemporary genres. That, plus having so many sources to find music now, meant that reading it didn't seem necessary. The last music magazine that I remember wanting to read from beginning to end in one sitting was Musician magazine. What was cool about Musician magazine was just how many genres and musician-related issues they covered. Maybe it was a slight foreshadowing of the work I do now?

In terms of long-form reading, I've succeeded in consolidating the "to read" list to one online list on I still add more stuff to the list than I read - but at least I know what I've been meaning to read.

The blogs, however, are killing me. Can't keep up. Too much content. Not enough time. And the brain only takes in so much in one sitting. Do other people just let all the daily knowledge wash over them? Do they use services to sort through it all? Even though I'm slowly unsubscribing, I think I'm only managing to swap the stuff I don't care about for less stuff that I care more about -- which only makes the problem worse.

Too much stuff to read! Magazines! Blogs! Books! Ahh!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ode to Snowstorms

My Snow AngelI love snow. Even today, on my fifth day of being held semi-hostage by two consecutive snowstorms - I still love snow.

For me, snowstorms are about trudging down the middle of the street in a city that's as quiet as it's ever going to be because lots of snowflakes have forced me and everyone else to give in to something they can't control.

It's not only that snow covers bare ground and purifies the landscape and gives us days off, but it's what a good snowstorm does to people. I come from one of those places where strangers don't talk to each other unless it's about snowstorms or the Red Sox in the playoffs. In DC, like in Boston, snow brings people together. My experience has been that during snowstorms people are kinder to each other - shoveling, pushing cars, helping people over snowbanks; they're more patient - driving slower, standing in lines at the grocery store; they have more fun - sledding, skiing, snowmen, forts, snowball flights. Kindness, patience, and the ability to enjoy life can get lost in the daily grind of "accomplishing things" and snowstorms give people the chance to rediscover and embrace them.