“I’m gonna make it through this year if it kills me”

One week till a medical appointment that will take me out of this health-related limbo; two weeks till the end of the year. Oh yeah, and a holiday in there, which I keep trying to care about as much as other people do. I feel bad about that, I really do. Theoretically, I like a winter celebration. I love fireplaces/bonfires, baking, coziness, etc.; I think I just hate the stress related to gift-giving and gift-getting. Oh well. I do my best to keep my incorrect feelings to myself.

Anyway, the trend towards infographic-ing everything you do throughout the year is… sure something. It makes sense, in that apps want people to post about them on our increasingly bizarre social media landscape.

First, the “I’ve become a parody of myself at 45” slide, a.k.a. the “I swear I’m not Canadian, what happened” slide

Top artists slide from Spotify: They Might Be Giants, Metric, The Go! Team, TWRP, The New Pornographers

The only surprise there is the New Pornographers. I did listen to Whiteout Conditions a rather extreme number of times early in the year, I guess. And that and Challengers are some of my go-tos for driving. Okay, I guess I answered my own question.

I’m from the US, though. Three out of the five on that list are Canadian. ??? Thanks, Canada! (TMBG are from the US; The Go! Team are from the UK. The rest… yep)

Top songs slide from Spotify: 1) “Brontosaurus” by They Might Be Giants; 2) “I Can’t Remember the Dream” by They Might Be Giants; 3) “Chain Link Fence” by the Go! Team; 4) “Synopsis for Latecomers” by They Might Be Giants; 5) “Bright Blue Sky” by TWRP. 1, 2, and 4 are from the same album.

So this is a bit silly; three out of the five are just from TMBG’s newest album. I’ll note, though, that “Chain Link Fence” rose above the rest of the Go! Team’s catalog because it was on my playlist for Healers 3. Ha. (“Bright Blue Sky” is just a great song.)

Spotify’s top podcasts slide: 1) Ridiculous Romance; 2) Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff; 3) The Greatest Trek: Star Trek Reviewed; 4) Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine; 5) Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet

Y’all. I work at a desk job when I’m not writing sap about unlikeable fantasy crankpots, and apparently I average 5 hours total between music and podcasts per day. Which is. A lot. Hey, the lowest-ranking office drone gets the office with the extremely loud router, so I have to listen to something to keep my sanity.

This list is not untrue, but it also favors shows that update frequently and have long episodes, since it’s based on total listening time. Ridiculous Romance tends to release two hour / hour-and-a-half episodes per week, and I listen to almost all of them, so that makes sense. But it is a little bit of a bummer to overlook others with a more sedate release schedule. So. Plugs.

Ridiculous Romance [history focused on relationships OR the relationships of historical figures and their less famous partners OR people who just fucked around in an entertaining manner. Extreme theater kid energy, and I mean that as a compliment]

Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff [history focused on anarchists, revolutionaries, and generally people who messed with The System. Makes you realize how many people died of tuberculosis in the 1800s, and also how many things the Quakers got up to.]

Greatest Trek: New Star Trek Reviewed [exactly what it says on the tin, they review the currently airing Star Trek series. It’s kind of a lesser known offshoot of their flagship show about older Trek, but I actually don’t listen to that one. Nothing against it. My path to Trek fandom is … nonstandard]

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine [history focused on medicine, like it says. Also occasional episodes about current events in medicine, and Q&As about trivial/curiosity type questions. I only started listening to this show in… May, or something? … which shows how much I binged their extremely large archives.]

Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet [a pair of siblings do dramatic readings of one-star reviews, from Yelp and the like. I kind of got away from this one, no particular reason, but obviously I binged a ton of the archives earlier in the year]

Not on the list:

Old Gods of Appalachia [horror fiction podcast about an alternate version of Appalachia influenced by beings of immense power and spookiness, and how they affect people throughout various phases of history. I am not quite in Appalachia, but I love this show a lot.]

The Silt Verses [horror fiction podcast about … where to start… cultists on the run from the law in an alternate universe where eldritch gods can manifest from nearly anything, and more or less control society. Where OGOA is mostly narrated by one narrator, this is a full radio play style.]

The Short Game

Scam Goddess [true crime where nobody gets murdered. In other words, historical and current scams and con artists.]

You’re Wrong About [revisiting stories that got a bad rap in media, loosely speaking]

Maintenance Phase [debunking health/wellness bullshit, of which there is an infinite amount out there]

American Hysteria [moral panics, urban legends, and basically times when my culture lost its collective shit over something]

Gender Reveal [interviews with trans people, that’s it, that’s enough, it is fucking great. They do have various lists of episodes on particular topics, which is nice for a show with such a big backlog.]

Recap from Reddit, based on time spent: 62 hours on r/lgbt, 31 hours on r/fantasywriters, 7 hours on r/quilting.

So in 2020 I quit Facebook, and in 2022 I stopped even lurking on Twitter. So the last cesspool standing is Reddit. The thing about Reddit is that most of it IS terrible, that’s true, but if you curate your list extremely carefully and keep a quick hand on the block button, it still functions. High praise!

The funny thing here is that I took r/fantasywriters off my list sometime in late summer because its level of teen-power-fantasy sameyness was annoying me too much, but it still made the list. I guess a hate-read is still a read.

I will shoutout r/cozyfantasy and r/nonbinarytalk as probably my favorite two groups. r/quilting is mostly lovely as well, though it is hilarious how judgey people can get about the hobby. It’s like every hobby, I guess. People love to be judgey.

Most Played slide from Nintendo Switch: Stardew Valley, Ring Fit Adventure, Slay the Spire.
  1. one entire 100% completion playthrough of SDV in late winter, so that’s approaching 200 hours right there
  2. I play RFA nearly every day now, stopping and having to build back up is the only bummer factor about the upcoming possibility of surgery to correct this health thing
  3. I only played Slay the Spire from, like, August to November and it’s still on this list because I had a problem, okay (also? I never finished it. I was so, so bad at it, but I enjoyed it anyway. My brain works that way sometimes)

I took far too long with this, so writing stats will have to wait.