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Real Life Wednesdays

Real Life: Do You Watch the News?

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When I was growing up, I used to watch the news every evening. My mother would come home from work, and I’d wander into her room and sit on her bed while she changed clothes and had the evening news playing. It turned into a thing — we’d watch the local and national news virtually every night, the anchors becoming our regular dates each evening. This was in the 90s, before there was such a thing as the 24 hour news cycle.

This past weekend, Joe and I were catching up on VICE, a great news magazine series that’s broadcast on HBO. We started watching the first season last year, but fell off the wagon somehow. Now, I can’t remember why. I love how VICE’s segments are produced and the topics they’re reporting on…even when they’re disturbing or difficult topics to cover.

After the show, Joe and I sat chatting about the news in general, and the reasons we never watch it. I went on a mini-rant about how what was said on another HBO show, The Newsroom, is totally true — that the press is essential to a well-informed electorate (read: democracy), and how can mainstream media not have reported on some of the things VICE has covered, etc etc etc. Joe pointed to CNN, and how after September 11th, the 24 hour news cycle just became a THING, and when the real news ran out (as it’s wont to do if you’re reporting 24/7), the filler came in, and with the filler came higher audiences, and you know the rest.

“We check the news on CNN.com,” Joe said, to which I replied, “Yes, and this past week, they literally ran a huge headline that said ‘NO NEW LEADS’ in regards to the Malaysian Airlines plane crash.” CNN, the most trusted name in news, reported that they had no new leads. This was news.

We definitely renewed our commitment to watching programming like VICE more, and decided we’d even try watching a few evening news programs, just to see the types of things they’re reporting on these days and how they approach the topics. But more than anything, I realized I missed the news of yesteryear. It made me wonder — do you guys watch the news? Where do you get your information from? Do you watch shows like VICE, or know of any other programs that are doing a great job reporting on topics that other media outlets don’t cover? This can be a touchy subject, since so many outlets these days often take on particular political slants…so let’s leave that part out (and please, be kind to one another below). What I wanna know is, are you watching or reading the news, and if so, where are your favorite places to do so?

Image Credits: Newspapers 1 2 3 by Jon S, NS Newsflash via Flickr, used under Creative Commons 

Real Life: 10 Months in New York

new york - photo by kevin dooley

Hard to believe that next week, it’ll be 10 months since we have been in New York! It has been a while since I checked in about what’s been going on here and how we’re doing, so I figured it was time for an update.

Overall? We’re doing okay. Some of the homesickness of the first half of the year here has abated, though it comes and goes. I think once you start getting used to a place, and the more it feels “normal”, the easier it is to forget or ignore what you might be longing for. And honestly, I think our trip back to the Bay Area in February really helped. It still felt like home, and in some weird way, it was like reassurance that maybe it would always feel that way. So it wasn’t as scary to embrace New York anymore for fear that I would lose that feeling of “home”, if that makes sense. Moving is emotionally confusing, y’all. Conclusion: just like everyone said, you really do have to give yourself at least a year to adjust.

One thing that has really, really helped make life continue to feel more “normal” here: keeping a full calendar. We try and schedule get togethers with other couples, I have continued going to French every single Wednesday, and I always have lunches and dinners happening with girlfriends. Not only has that community of people in my life been instrumental, but just going out is a huge factor too — you end up finding restaurants you really love and want to go back to, and that’s a big part of a place feeling familiar. We have friends visiting us from SF later in May, and when they told us they were coming, I realized I actually had places I wanted to take them and show them and was excited about! A sure sign that we’re settling.

Here’s something that may shock you: the winter has been brutal. Obviously, weather has a huge impact on quality of life, but since the temps have finally started rising, I’m able to reflect on just how MUCH of an impact. Walks are shorter. People want to go out less. You basically wear the same pair of snow boots and the same parka for weeks on end. And of course, everyone is in a brighter, sunnier mood these days. Snow was beautiful the first few times, but I am VERY much looking forward to spring.

That’s our basic check in. Doing better; still think that eventually, one day, we might move back (but we’re cool with hanging out here for a few years). As always  (I mean, it IS New York), I have some NY stories and observations. You just never know what you’ll see on the streets here:  Read more »

Habit Forming: 3 Habits I’m Trying to Break

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Do you have any bad habits? I definitely do. But I’m not talking nail biting or eating too much candy (did the picture fool you??). Mine are probably equally as common, but no less frustrating.

I recently read the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Businessand it was so fascinating to think about how these scientific studies that focused on rats actually mirrored my own life pretty well. The human brain, and the rodent brain — more similar than we’d like to admit, right? What really struck me about some of the studies discussed was how making the tiniest changes in one’s life can have an enormous impact on other parts. It’s all about changing up your cues, so that things become second nature.

Here are three habits I’m currently trying to work on: Read more »