best books, movies, and shows of 2014; how to be an audiobook narrator

14 Dec

Whole Shebang 12/14/2014

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Jen is the host for this edition.

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1. For our best of 2014 round-up we featured my dad as our guest. Here are some of the books, movies, and shows that made the list. Expect a comprehensive annotated listing of the best TV shows out there by my mom soon.

Books

Movies and TV Shows

2. I am rather fascinated by the job of audiobook narrator. We read the NYTimes article “Actors Today Don’t Just Read for the Part, Reading is their Part“. The article features a popular narrator named Zackman. To see her professional website and see what an audiobook resume looks like check out her website.

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enriched by the moisturization provided by Dove beauty products.
Mom is enraged by the commercials in Hulu Plus. So repetitive!
Jen is enraged by the advertisements at the beginning and end of every 24: Live Another Day episode when streaming on Amazon Prime.

 

Thanksgiving on the holiday scale; the allure of recipes; Plated

30 Nov

Whole Shebang 11/30/2014

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Shelley is the host for this edition.

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1.  Thanksgiving as a holiday.  Feasting, family, friends, football, manic shopping, dysfunctional whoohaaa at the table.  The ladies discuss what the holiday means to them, how their enjoyment of it has changed, and traditions to keep or to trash.  Jen started this whole topic by impugning Thanksgiving saying it is the worst holiday ever.

Are your holidays Norman Rockwell perfect?

2. The allure of recipes. Why do we collect recipes, especially those of us who do not cook?  Shelley to her dismay when cleaning out the storage room  found almost a hundred cookbooks to say nothing of the  ones in the kitchen.  She also has a Pinterest board for recipes.  she is not alone in this quirk.  What drives us? Cait’s answer is succinct, brilliant, and dead on.

3. Plated.  There is a new company that does one better than delivering your groceries–they deliver a recipe and all the ingredients necessary to make the meal.  Is this the beginning of an answer to the lament that we all need a wife? Check out Jen’s hilarious reasons why this service is not for her.

Enrichments or Enragements:

 

Shelley is enraged by the utter lack in either stores or the internet of warm, flexible, light-weight boots for walking in the snow. And poor Cait has had to listen to her lamenting all weekend long.
Cait is enriched by the wonderful video, “Shia La Beouf” by Rob Cantor and the Gay Men’s Choir of LA. Very funny.

Jen is enriched by her new pair of Skechers

Bloody Jewelry; Bloody Bathrooms; and Possibly Bloody Skies

16 Nov

Whole Shebang 11/16/2014

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Cait is the host for this edition.

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1. kizhner-feat

Have we grown too dependent on electricity so that we would be willing to add strain to our hearts to power our smart phones?  Artist Naomi Kizhner thinks so and created jewelry that will theoretically use the pumping of your heart to push blood out of your veins, into a trinket to turn a turbine, and then back to into your body.  It could be like Mary Lightly of Psych’s ever-present ankle weights.

0416mary

2. Totally NSFW the Shebangers discuss the Lily Cup Compact, a proposed menstrual cup to be used in lieu of tampons that is making a splash (hopefully only metaphorically) on Kickstarter.  The conversation in worth a private listen.

 

3.  How many times have you yearned to careen through the air in a windowless, metal tube?  Well, the Centre for Process Innovation has heard our pleas and answered them with an airplane that has no windows, but instead video screens for walls showing what is happening outside the airplane.  Tune is to hear Shelley share insights from the original astronauts.
Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enraged by being housebound to avoid gunshot wounds during deer season.
Cait is enriched by Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods.”
Jen is enriched by reading the book, then watching the movie.  Today’s film is the adaptation of Stella Gibbons’ “Cold Comfort Farm.”

 

civil forfeiture; abandoned shopping carts; skinny jeans

2 Nov

Whole Shebang 11/02/2014

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Jen is the host for this edition.

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1. John Oliver described some extremely troubling tricks local police have up their sleeves and The New York Times describes a similar practice employed by the IRS. What is a law abiding citizen to do to avoid civil forfeiture and how can we remove these laws from the books?

2. I have a confession. I like to spend time shopping online, filling up my shopping carts all over the web with no intention of buying a thing. Apparently, I am not alone in this. According to this infographic, 67% of shopping carts are abandoned.

3. I bought grey skinny jeans and other family news.

ONskinnyjeans

Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enraged by the failure of the University of North Carolina to educate its students.
Cait is enraged by the military strategy in the Decision at Delphi.
Jen is enriched by her participation in the mid-term elections. Go me!


 

Freeze your eggs, anyone?; banking boondoggles; air umbrellas

19 Oct

Whole Shebang 10/19/2014

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Shelley is host for this edition.

 

1. Freeze your eggs, anyone?  Facebook and Apple are offering their employees the opportunity to freeze their eggs.  Shelley asks if this latest benefit of working for big techie companies is just a logical extension of foosball in the lobby, free sushi, and over-night accommodations, or as some suggest that it is the beginning of the doom of civilization.  Jen’s response is scathing; Cait’s full of possibly legitimate paranoia.

 

2. Banking boondoggles.  Bank of America is buying itself out of trouble with the Justice Department with a multi-billion dollar settlement  for its allegedly fraudulent mortgage practices that in 2008 resulted in so many home foreclosures and trouble for investors who bought the bonds. Shelley’s ire is still up because the practices that caused the problems with the system have not been rectified; Jen feels the ones to punish are the people who hired and okayed the people who robo-signed mortgages;  Cait’s fully justifiable paranoia continues. And, specifically what has been the government’s role in the financial crisis and continuing mess? Just for fun watch this video from Jon Stewart about the AIG trial which makes one laugh and cry at the surreal absurdity of the bailout and the companies that were saved.

3. Air umbrella.  Did some fellas in China build a better mouse-trap with this addition to personal rain gear, or is this just plain silly?

Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enraged, or perhaps en-saddened, by the devaluing of the virtue of loyalty.
Cait is enraged by a wrong-headed ad on the bus aimed at Millennials.
Jen, for the trifecta, is enraged by her sense of disenfranchisement when working with(?!) her government representatives over a serious local issue.

 

The Death of Adulthood in American Culture; Dalai Lama Not Reincarnating; Ye Olde English

5 Oct

Whole Shebang 10/05/2014

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Cait is the host for this edition.

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1. Have we lost the ability to represent (or enact) adulthood in American Culture?  A. O. Scott of The New York Times certainly thinks so.   Pointing to the end of patriarchy, the devouring of Y.A. fiction by O.A. (old adults), and 40-year-olds on skateboards, he says American Adults just aren’t doing it right.  (Listen for Jen’s thoughts on Y.A. fiction!)

Is Katy Perry acting like an adult?

Is Katy Perry behaving like an adult? (Spoiler: Yes.)

 

2.  Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, has decided not to reincarnate.  With twinges of sadness, dismay, and admiration, the Shebangers examine this choice and its effect on Chinese/Tibetan politics.  Here is the link to Robert Thurman’s interview with the Dalai Lama.

3.  i.chzbgr

The words of Shakespeare sounded very different back in Billy’s day.  A marvelous mini-documentary discusses how they determined what it sounded like during the English Renaissance, the value of performing the plays the way they were originally performed rather than adapting them for modern times (I’m looking at you, Ethan Hawke), and gives a lovely side-by-side recitation from Henry V.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPlpphT7n9s

We can do better.

We can do better.

 

Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enraged by the total lack of color in stores today.  How dreary!
Cait is enriched by her new Sistema Klip-It Lunch Cube and how it has made her life easier!
Jen is enraged by children reading Y.A. novels.  Live a little, little ones!

 

NFL; Scotland; Stonehenge

21 Sep

Whole Shebang 09/21/2014

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Jen is the host for this edition.

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1. Is the NFL in charge of punishing their players for legal crimes? We have all gone on record saying that we don’t mind if our artists are bad bananas. I don’t expect Interscope Records to refuse to product Eminem’s album because he beats his wife. I don’t expect them to do that even if he writes a song about beating his wife and enjoying it. So why is the NFL different or is it?

covergirl-ravens-photoshopped1

2. I was rather excited for Scotland’s referendum regarding seceding from the UK that took place on Thursday. But if there is one thing that I took to heart when I was learning about the US civil war as a kid is that secession is the whiners way out. We discuss whether we were pro or con secession in this case and about secession in general.

John Oliver had some valuable things to say about the “variously willing” members that make up Great Britain:

3. The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project has revealed 17 additional structures including one they are calling superhenge.To find these things, they used a magnetometer, ground penetrating radar, and 3d laser scans. Mom and Cait are not impressed.

defleshing chamber

Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enriched by the feats of those who cut down large trees.
Cait is enraged by the CTA, again! Chicago needs more buses!
Jen is enriched the ipad game The Secret Society by G5 entertainment. It is a hidden object game to end all hidden object games.

 

Tidbits on the 2014 elections and Obama, Angelina, and Kim–fashion hits or faux pas?

7 Sep

Whole Shebang 7/9/2014

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Shelley is the host for this edition.

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Change of schedule:  After two years of weekly podcasts, the ladies have decided to go to an every-other-week format.  Full-time jobs, other projects, and life have made the weekly schedule difficult to maintain.  We hope our listeners will bear with our decision.

 

1. Tidbits on the 2014 elections.   The ladies are joined by guest, Ace, cousin and nephew, who brings his A game with information and opinion on whether the Republicans have a chance to keep the House and re-capture the Senate and how such an outcome will effect policy and on various pivotal races for governor. With characteristic aplomb, Ace also answers  queries on who will vote, how to mark a ballot, and other basics.  The ladies always feel so much more educated after he has been on the show.  Thank you, Ace!

2. Obama, Angelina, and Kim–fashion hits or faux pas?  These three have been in the news recently for their controversial sartorial decisions.  President Obama gave an important speech in a a khaki suit (a khaki suit!! what is up with that!!), the media went wild, and Shelley smells a conspiracy.  Angelina’s veil has embroidered replica’s of her children’s art pieces which Jen finds a bit reminiscent of blood in vials worn around her neck.  Cait thinks the slut-tastic garment worn by Kim Kardashian to the British GQ awards is perfectly appropriate for the event and venue but horribly tailored. Here they are:

Schlubby, just-being hip, man, or political statement? You decide.

 

 

Va-va-voom, or poorly tailored?

 

 

 

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enraged by appallingly unhygienic and uncaring habits of those sharing public transportation.
Shelley is enriched by having witnessed the most terrifying thunderstorm of her life.
Jen is enriched by the Canadian show, Continuum. Well, maybe she is; she’s not sure. Listeners, weigh in and let her know what you think.

 

Dad Makeover #howtodad; Danes at Work; John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight

24 Aug

Whole Shebang 08/24/2014

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Cait is the host for this edition.

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1.  Cheerios has given dads a media makeover.  That’s right; the bumbling idiot father’s of commercials and sitcoms we have seen since the 1950’s have been replaced by a very capable and oddly charismatic fellow.  Is this new portrayal of dad necessary?  This article suggests so.

Before:

images


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homer-simpson-the-simpsons-sleeping-774783-480x320

Where is your mother?

After:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GYxH2-WeZY

2. An article in Fast Company suggests that Americans could take a few pointers from the Denmark workforce.  The article, 5 Simple Office Policies That Make Danish Workers Way More Happy Than Americans, outlines simple, but systemic changes such as shorter working hours and low power distance between bosses and employees.  Cait has a terrible take on this:

A recent photo of Cait

A recent photo of Cait

3. After John Oliver’s brilliant coverage of the Anthony Weiner/Carlos Danger saga during Jon Stewart’s sabbatical, he earned his own television show.  Is John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight an update on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report?  The Shebangers discuss how airing on HBO provides different opportunities.

Here’s a monologue that effects us here at the Whole Shebang:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enriched by getting her printer working!!
Mom is enriched by her visit with Jen in Santa Fe.
Jen is enriched by Australian novelists.

 

myth of antioxidants; Channing Tatum; Crocs

10 Aug

Whole Shebang 08/10/2014

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Jen is the host for this edition.

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1. The Whole Shebangers are becoming curators of all debunked health science. My favorite example being that sunscreen gives you skin cancer. In this installment we talk about the myth of antioxidants as our saviors. We read an article Fruits and Vegetables Are Trying to Kill You by Moises Velasquez-Manoff that tells us that vitamins are worthless because they don’t contain the noxious substances that put stress on our bodies, which your body has to ramp up to fight against.

A sort of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger type argument. So keep your eye out for the term hormesis —that something that is toxic can in small amounts be beneficial—in your next diet book.

2. It is time to decide – is Channing Tatum a worthwhile person to watch in movies? Is he hunky, dumb, boring, a good dancer?

Here are our It is Time to Decide results:

Cait thinks Channing is worthwhile.
Mom does not think Channing is worthwhile, unless he is dancing.
Jen does not think Channing is worthwhile, unless he is dancing.

 
And make sure you rush out to watch Step Up All In like it was the Titantic, so the powers that be are convinced they should make yet another Step Up. I can’t get enough.

3. It is time to decide – are Crocs the most amazing footwear ever created or a terrible crime against fashion?

Here are our It is Time to Decide results:

Cait thinks non-clog Crocs are work appropriate.
Mom thinks Crocs are amazing footwear.
Jen thinks Crocs are amazing footwear.

If you are now convinced, get yourself some Crocs and gibbets and join the revolution!

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enriched by the comedy special of her friend Jimmy Povolo.
Mom is enriched her movie theater’s rewards program which is easy and actually rewarding to use.
Jen is enriched by the fourth season of The Killing now streaming on Netflix. Worth it!