Home > General > Bits and Pieces: 5 Things I’m Digging Right Now

Bits and Pieces: 5 Things I’m Digging Right Now

The year of writing is getting off to an inauspicious start, but I’m not as worried about it as I was. Starting something cold turkey is as difficult as stopping it, but I will get there. First, a couple of programming notes:

First of all, I’ll be welcoming my brother-in-law, Matt Campbell, as a co-writer on the Lost Re-Rewatch Project, though for him it’s merely a Rewatch Project. He’ll be sharing thoughts on certain episodes, which may or may not be supplemented by yours truly. He’s an insightful guy and has a view of the show that is distinct and, frankly, a little less rose-colored than my own. I hope you enjoy the extra voice.

Second, I am teaching a course for the Drury University English Department this semester, Editing and Publishing, which will focus on the (fine?) art of critique and reviewing. I may post class content–or more accurately, content for class–here from time to time, as well as share some of the good stuff that comes across my desk.

And now, because I’m feeling it, a few things I’m hyped up about these days:

1. Hell On Wheels. I got behind this show early on (it premiered after The Walking Dead) and am catching up on DVR. It pretty much kicks ass. Anson Mount is an ex-Confederate with a score to settle, Common is a badass freed slave, Colm Meany is a complicated railroad magnate, and Dominique McElligot is… well, scorching hot. The plot is a little murky so far, but the acting is very strong. Plus, it’s AMC, so I have faith it will rule eventually. It’s set in a railroad-building camp, and everything from the opening credits to the whore-with-a-heart-of-gold storyline indicates it wants to be nothing less than Deadwood, minus the HBO-ified vocabulary. I’m not sure it’s going to quite get to that level, but it’s still my third-favorite show currently on TV–second if Game of Thrones takes an inevitable Season 2 swoon.

2. AppleTV. I asked for this for Christmas at the suggestion of a couple of friends, and my loving wife obliged. Holy cow, what an invention. For $100, you can have access to hundreds of movies, your personal iTunes account, and your Netflix account, all on your TV. For me the biggest benefit was no more watching Netflix streaming films on a laptop, radiating my lap in the process. Any episode of The Office on my TV at the touch of a button (without buying $250 in DVDs)? Yes please.

3. Risk iPhone app. Yeah, I know. Thoroughly addicting, though, and a great time-killer.

4. Trolling the Internet for cheap vacations (or at least affordable ones). Thanks to the big H, for the first time ever I’m actually looking forward to doing our taxes this year, and despite the usual misgivings about “savings” and “debt” I have a few fantasies about how any return could potentially be spent–it is a round-number anniversary for Nichole and I, after all. I realize I’m setting myself up for grave disappointment when my modest pay raise equates to a higher bracket, but it’s really just fun to look. Kayak and Lonely Planet are couple of current favorites.

5. The @Philanthropy Twitter feed. From the Chronicle of Philanthropy, if you work in non-profit-land, it’s a must-follow. Lots of topical information and free professional-development options. If you don’t work in non-profit-land, and don’t care about your fellow man, I recommend @Zodiac_MF. He’s profane. He types in all caps. He live-Tweets game shows. He loves pop culture that OWNS.

Hope this helps you enjoy killing some time. Peace out.

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