The Friday Five for January 31st

Cool Thing I Did This Week: I’m going to be hosting a podcast with Billy Penn twice a month, and we recorded our first one on Thursday at WHYY studios. A lot of fun and great to meet their writers. Pretty cool! Should launch on Monday. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter. Not only is it a great recap of everything happening locally, it will also contain the podcast on Monday.

Podcast I’m Listening To: I’m a bit late to the party, but Chip Chantry turned me onto this one: S-town, about the bizarre goings on in a small town in Alabama. A reporter goes down there to investigate a murder, and ends up being a part of something else. I like it not only because it’s so well done, but because it reminds me a bit of where I grew up. A small town in the middle of nowhere, with enough interesting characters to make Twin Peaks look like Ozzie and Harriet.

What I’m Watching: Don Montrey, a member of Comedy Sportz who performed at our World Cafe Live Seinfeld quiz, posted this and I was kind of amazed by it. It’s called an Ames window, and it’s a hell of an optical illusion. It reminds us that what we see isn’t always what’s actually happening, and that sometimes our expectations guide our brains more than our eyes do.

Music I’m Listening To: I love this song by Brother Ali so much. It’s an impossibly beautiful song about a topic that we very rarely hear in music: love for self. Brother Ali is a rarity in hip-hop: an albino Muslim who is legally blind. In the song, he talks about reasons that he should be bitter, but instead is joyous. It’s wonderful.

Ayo, dependin’ on the day, and dependin’ on what I ate

I’m anywhere from twenty to thirty-five pounds overweight

I got red eyes and one of them’s lazy

And they both squint when the sun shines so I look crazy

I’m albino, man, I know I’m pink and pale

And I’m hairy as hell, everywhere but fingernails

I shave a cranium that ain’t quite shaped right

Face type, shiny, I stay up and write late nights

My wardrobe is jeans and faded shirts

A mixture of what I like and what I wear to work

I’m not mean and got a neck full of razor bumps

I’m not the classic profile of what the ladies want

You might think I’m depressed as can be

But when I look in the mirror I see sexy-ass me

And if that’s somethin that you can’t respect then that’s peace

My life’s better without you, actually

To everyone out there, who’s a little different

I say damn a magazine, these is God’s fingerprints

You can call me ugly but can’t take nothing from me

I am what I am, doctor, you ain’t gotta love me

Cool Thing That Happened This Week: Not only was Bowlizzo a huge success (we sold out all eight lanes and had a ton of fun), but something kind of cool happened. 15 years ago, I joined the Big Brothers program. On Sunday my little brother, now a graduate of Temple, brought his friends out for the event. It was his first ever quizzo. Pretty neat.