It doesn’t all have to be about parenting, does it? Sometimes we need to relax and enjoy the other parts of our lives, which ultimately makes us better parents!
So this is a space for some of the fun, non-parenting related stuff I enjoy in my “time off.”
Chris Rosser is the musician’s musician. His music is a unique blend of folk, jazz, classical, and world music. When trying to describe him, it’s really better to ask what instruments he doesn’t play. You can also find him playing with the amazing Free Planet Radio, an instrumental group “exploring the infinite and seamless relationships between musical cultures through the universal language of sound.”
I am also a big fan of Lea Michele from Glee. Here is one of my favorite performances, singing “Don’t Rain On My Parade” at the Tony Awards.
If you want to enjoy dynamic, vibrant visual art, then you must check out the work of Allen Bentley. His paintings “explore relationships through the dynamics of motion and dance.” Seeing it on the computer screen is great, but if at all possible you should see them in person at one of his shows!
I fell head over heels in love with the Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency series from Alexander McCall Smith. The characters are so believable you wish they lived down the street from you. I also applaud the author for providing a window into everyday life in southern Africa that doesn’t involve war or famine or disease but just ordinary people dealing with the challenges and joys of life.
Neither 1491 by Charles C. Mann nor Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond is light reading, but they are the sort of books that have the power to change the way you see the world. Based on extensive research in a range of fields, 1491 gives us a view of the Americas before Columbus as we’ve never seen it before – more populous, prosperous, and sophisticated than ever imagined. Guns, Germs, and Steel takes an even wider view, looking at the underlying forces that have shaped world history and addressing a question that has always puzzled me – Why were the Europeans able to conquer the Americas so easily? Guns, germs, and steel, my friend! But of course, the story is much more interesting and entertaining than that 🙂
This one is for my sister and the childhood friend who turned us onto the Elfquest series of graphic novels. As kids we got lost in the magical World of Two Moons, created by Wendy and Richard Pini. Let’s just say this series spawned numerous attempts by us to create our own graphic novels.
TV Shows I Used to Watch When I Used to Watch TV
“Who Do You Think You Are?” is entertaining for anyone interested in genealogy, history, or celebrities. Each episode looks at the family history of a celebrity – from Gwyneth Paltrow to Reba McEntire.
Project Runway is such a fun show! I could do without all the drama among the contestants, but I love watching the creative process as they make their incredibly varied and artistic fashion creations.
The Amazing Race is an all-time favorite. Again, I could do without the bickering, but I love to see all the places the contestants travel to in their race around the world. And in addition to getting to see the sights, you also learn something about the country they are visiting, as the challenges the contestants must complete are based on local culture – so, for example, in the Czech Republic they had to complete a challenge based on the work of Franz Kafka, while in Cambodia they had to learn a traditional Khmer monkey dance. Good fun!
My Nerdy Side Comes Shining Through
If you love language, you will love A Way with Words! The hosts Martha and Grant are super knowledgeable and also really fun, answering all your language questions from grammar to history to “Why did my grandma always say that? Nobody knows what it means!”
A.Word.A.Day is another great resource for word lovers. I subscribe to the newsletter, which each day delivers to my email inbox a write-up of a new word, complete with definition, etymology, and usage. Often there is a theme for a week, such as words from fencing, or words imported from another language.