Hello Friends! Welcome to this month’s “On My Radar,” where I feature the songs i’m listening to, the movies and shows I’m watching, and more!
We’re only 16 days into December 2018, and I’m already ready for the New Year. After Halloween, I like to gloss over Thanksgiving and my Birthday and go straight to Christmas. Re: My Birthday— it happened. I ran a 5k that morning, so that was cool. I didn’t want to make any plans because I’m still kinda mad about being born, but my friends came out to see me cross the finish line, and I felt loved. They make me filled with gratitude.
Anyways, there’s always more time for reflection at the end— so let’s get started:
This Month’s Mixtape:
This month’s mix features a combination of my favorite Christmas songs and the songs I’ve been bopping my head to on loop. Again, it’s random— I’m no DJ! But, I tried. Who knows, maybe you’ll like a few and save them? If you do, let me know, because it’ll make me a little less embarrassed about putting my sketch music tastes out there.
Some of my favorite gems in there include: Solitary Man by Johnny Cash, Taxi Cab by Vampire Weekend, and anything off the new Muse Album (thank you Chris for showing it to me).
ALSO!! I’m adding something new: featured Playlists by my friends. This month I’m happy to introduce ya’ll to my girl, Crystal, through her mix on the link below. She’s always tuning in to the coolest music, and one of my favorite traits about her is that she knows everything about the person behind the song. Anyways, enough of me— I’ll let her awesome playlist speak for itself:
Podcast episodes I’m really into right now (in no particular order):
Ted Talk: Three Questions to Ask Yourself About Everything You Do, by Stacey Abrams — This lady’s a GOAT, and she’s definitely on my radar. This year, she was up for the Governor’s seat in Georgia, and even though she lost the race— she broke down doors for people like me who are tired of being messed with and not taken seriously. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ted-talks-daily/id160904630?mt=2&i=1000425120296
Part-Time Genius: How Did Dolly Parton Become Such a Legend? — Another boss lady, honestly. If ya’ll don’t know already, I STAN my girl Dolly Parton. I grew up listening to her and Johnny Cash on my Mom’s cassette tapes. This episode is a little bit about her awesome backstory, and it made me love Dolly all that much more. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/part-time-genius/id1242486356?mt=2&i=1000417752972
No Man’s Land: Sylvia Plath— Okay, so like most angsty hipster teens, I read the Bell Jar & thought it was gold. Then, in college, I’d always hear people making jokes about her and her writing and how people who liked her were just lonely spinsters, so I shamefully and regrettably pretended I didn’t care for her. My mistake. Sylvia Plath was cool, and this episode’s all about her and her struggle with depression and finding herself. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/no-mans-land-by-the-wing/id1441459875?mt=2&i=1000424285950
SYSK: How Satanism Works— AIGHT BEFORE YOU SKIP OVER THIS! I put this on here for a reason!! I studied Religion in College, so naturally I was intrigued by this episode, because it gave me a throwback to some of my favorite lectures. Satanism’s not what you think it is. Open your mind, and give this a listen— trust me. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stuff-you-should-know/id278981407?mt=2&i=1000391695537
Oprah’s Master Class: Vanessa Williams— She’s kinda awesome, and she’s been through a lot. I think she got a bad rap, tbh. Listen in if you want to hear her tell her story in her own voice, and if you (like me) want to learn a little about being transparent with your life. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/oprahs-master-class-the-podcast/id1401057414?mt=2&i=1000424782561
Sword and Scale: Allena from Work linked me this, and like her last reccomendation— these episodes got me feeling real queasy in my cubicle. Some people are just MONSTERS!! This one was interesting to me because he interview the killer’s friend, and I got to learn about how important empathy needs to be. It’s a two-parter, so here are both of the links
Other Notable Mentions:
No Man’s Land: Ida B. Wells— https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/no-mans-land-by-the-wing/id1441459875?mt=2&i=1000424795452
Myths and Legends: Medusa— https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/myths-and-legends/id990897842?mt=2&i=1000391097350
Ted Talks Daily: To Transform Child Welfare, Take Race Out of the Equation— https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ted-talks-daily/id160904630?mt=2&i=1000418250506
Quotes that had me thinking:
“I am slowly learning that some people are not good for me, no matter how much I love them. I deserve someone who is gentle and kind, because my soul is getting tired. Realizing that I deserve something good is one of the first steps.”
- Michelle K., Why I Need to Say Goodbye to You
“And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in.”
- Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
“Everyone thinks I’m showing off when I talk, ridiculous when I’m silent, insolent when I answer, cunning when I have a good idea, lazy when I’m tired, selfish when I eat one bite more than I should…”
- Anne Frank
“I shall go on shining as a brilliantly meaningless figure in a meaningless world.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
“I just wanted to tell you that with all your faults I love you. I love or revere very few people. As for the rest, I’m ashamed of my indifference to them. But for those I love, nothing and no one, neither I nor certainly they themselves, can ever make me stop loving them. It took me a long time to learn that; now I know it.”
- Albert Camus
“What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then.”
- T.S. Eliot
“Don’t feel sorry for yourself— only assholes do that.”
- Haruki Murakami
“Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone.”
- Czesław Miłosz
“I’m really afraid to feel happy because it never lasts.”
- Andy Warhol
Movies/Shows I’m Watching:
This entire month, all I’ve done is hate-watch Cheesy Christmas Movies, and so here’s a list of them, along with my unwarranted reviews:
*Upon reflection, I kinda feel like I was being really mean about these reviews and want to say that I’m sorry if I was too messed up with my thoughts on them. I sure as heck can’t act, so props to these guys for following their acting dreams and working on these movies.
A Christmas Prince: 6/10
A Christmas Prince 2: The Royal Wedding: I’m annoyed with how they cast the Indian guy. 4/10
A Princess Switch: This one was especially bad— Vanessa Hudgens is in it. I’m still mad about that National Parks scandal and that whole Coachella thing when she made my culture her costume. 3/10
The Holiday Calendar: wowww ok, Kat Graham is the lead?! The most diverse cringey holiday movie of all of them!! They also cast the Indian guy as the bad guy in this one though, so boo Netflix. BUT, diversity. 7.6/10
A Christmas Wedding Planner: the lead guy is distractingly hot, the girl is a quirky manic pixie dream girl, and I think a backstreet boy is in this. The mom from Gossip Girl is in this 6.9/10
Christmas with a View: I’m beginning to think all these Netflix made Christmas movies take place in the same universe bc they’re recycling characters now. Right down to the character name and actor! Also all the wine in these movies is the same weird see through red. Anyways, this one’s more diverse than A Holiday Calendar. The main girl is distractingly pretty. It’s also barely about Christmas. 8/10
The Spirit of Christmas: the bio said it was about a workaholic girl who stays at a haunted inn during Christmas, so naturally I was intrigued. Halloween meets Christmas? My kind of movie. This wasn’t just cheesy, it was terribly done. Like even worse than the Wattpad christmastime fanfic I’ve read in the past. I made it 25 minutes in. 1.2/10
A Holiday Engagement: Shelley Long, who played Diane on Cheers, is in it— so I was down & all about it. Takes place in LA and stars a well off blonde who doesn’t need a job and is marrying a lawyer. He leaves her the week before thanksgiving. So she hires an actor to play her fiancée. 30 minutes pass, Shelley Long finally comes on screen. There is no diversity. Not one POC. Who am I supposed to relate to?! I made it 44 minutes in. 1.4/10
A Very Murray Christmas: I watched the whole thing hoping that every next four minutes the movie would magically get better. I mean, it’s a Coppola Film— aren’t those supposed to be good? This was really weird. A lot of famous people were in it though, and the band Phoenix performed. It was essentially a karaoke musical 2.5/10
A December Bride: I’ve officially watched every Christmas movie on Netflix, so this one is from the Hallmark Channel. Anyways, this movie is probably up on my list of favorites bc it feels like a scandalous romance novel but in movie form. The movie starts with the leading lady and her fiancée, and her fiancée’s best friend. Her cousin comes in. The fiancée’s best friend introduces the cousin and Fiancée, and THEY get together!!! Then a year passes and the leading lady needs an interior decorating job and the fiancées best friend hires her to apologize and also help. They pretend to be engaged for a little bit because people feel bad about her fiancée leaving her for her cousin. They accidentally fall in love. It’s beautiful. She decorated his house and gets a job. He gets her a sleigh and everything. 8/10
Enchanted Christmas: another Hallmark original. This one has Carmen from Spy kids as the leading lady!! She’s a single mom who works in LA but has to go back to her hometown for a Work project over the holidays. She bumps into someone she used to know, who loves dancing as much as she used to. ITS HER HUSBAND IN REAL LIFE!! Omg!!! Anyways, they reminisce and reignite a spark. It’s cute. Wow, she’s really pretty omg. Also this is based in UTAH!!!! I LOVE Zion. And the cast is diverse. Ok, a solid 8.6/10
If you made it this far, thank you. This month’s been ok— I mean, I’m not as blue as I was last month, which is good. Things I’ve learned this month: 1) There are so many things to be grateful for and waking up and having a job and a house and a family and friends are some of them. 2) Loyalty is important, and you can’t keep people in your life who hurt you repeatedly, or who spread stories about you being a floozy (My favorite The Office Quote: “I mean, I’m not a slut, but who knows?”). 3) Also, if you’re upset that someone hurt you— maybe take a minute to self-reflect on your role in them hurting you. You’re half responsible, and you need to take ownership of the things you did that were wrong too. 4) And somewhat related but, learn to GET OVER SOME THINGS!! GEEZ AMBIKA.
Also, I’ve got a few things coming up on the site that I’m excited about, so keep an eye out for an updated version of my podcast, “Storytime. With Ganges Gal,” a new “Letters to You, From Me” post (about someone I ~ think I loved?), and a new “The One Where” story. Also, if you haven’t already— please be sure to check out my favorite new project— the “Do Good Things Club.” On it, you’ll find an event calendar of all the community service opportunities you can take part in, suggest ones for me to put up, and a blog of how those events went down.
As always, if you have any rec’s for me— drop a comment below, and I’ll be sure to check it out.
Sending good vibes your way,