Finding Favorites with Leah Jones
Finding Favorites is the podcast where we learn about people’s favorite things and get recommendations without using an algorithm. Host Leah Jones explores how people found their favorites, why they love it and adventures they’ve had pursuing their favorite thing. We talk movies, music, hobbies and more!
4 days ago
4 days ago
Lyndsey Little, creator of OniGirl comic, joined Leah to talk about her love of monsters, the monster boarding school where her comic is set, and the best foods for nostalgia day!
Support Lyndsey's kickstarter to bring glorious color to OniGirl
Follow Lyndsey on Instagram and Tik Tok
Stories to Dismember podcast
Most Oreo Oreo
Godzilla Movie Monster Evolution
Biblically Accurate Angels
Rivkah Reyes on Friday Night Movie Podcast
Beauty and the Beast
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Blackcoat's Daughter
Sunday Jan 29, 2023
Sunday Jan 29, 2023
Sunday Jan 29, 2023
Shai Korman, co-host of the Friday Night Movie Podcast, is back and we are talking about music movie moments. Opening and closing credits, soundtracks, movies about bands and more.
Follow Shai on Twitter and Instagram
Signal Awards for Excellence
What Does It Eat
Bandcamp Fridays for 2023
The Wrong Cat Died
The REM song inspired by the Monkees
That Thing You Do
That Thing You Do
When Harry Met Sally
Eurovision Song Contest
Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls
Peacemaker Opening Credits
My Best Friend's Wedding (opening credits)
Sholay (RRR closing credits)
Drew Carey Show - 5 o'clock
Buckaroo Bonzai (closing credits)
My Best Friend's Wedding (karaoke scene)
My Best Friend's Wedding (Restaurant singalong)
Reservoir Dogs (opening walk)
Lost & Found
Sunday Jan 22, 2023
Sunday Jan 22, 2023
Sunday Jan 22, 2023
Author Chelsea Stickle picked up embroidery as a hobby to channel her rage and has been poking fabric with sharp needles ever since. You can order her newest chapbook Everything's Changing from Thirty West Publishing House - it is a collection of surreal micro-fiction and flash fiction rooted in the chaos of the last few years.
Follow Chelsea online
AITA for falling apart at a dinner party
Crochet a tiny fox
Cross stitch fabric
Morton Salt Spill in Chicago (2014)
ADHD symptoms in women
Bias about ADHD leaves many women with a late diagnosis
Sunday Jan 15, 2023
Sunday Jan 15, 2023
Sunday Jan 15, 2023
Michael Shelly, a music maker and WFMU DJ, joined Leah to talk about a few of his favorite things including the music of NRBQ (New Rhythm and Blues Quartet), the classic comic strip Nancy, and eating good food on the road. We also chat about WFMU and how Michael met They Might Be Giants, which lead him to one show at Millikin in the 90s.
Keep up with Michael
Juniper - She Steals Candy
Chirp Radio Chicago
Twitter accout of classic Nancy
Roadfood the book
Lou Mitchell’s in Chicago
Galatoires in NOLA
Zahav in Philly
Gallaghers New York Steak House
The Flat Five (Chicago musicians)
Sunday Jan 08, 2023
Sunday Jan 08, 2023
Sunday Jan 08, 2023
Author, podcaster and journalist Dan Kois joined Leah to kick-off the new year to explore the classic children's book Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton. Dan's first novel Vintage Contemporaries is available on January 17, 2023 and can be pre-ordered now from Bookshop.org.
Follow Dan on Twitter and check his website for updates about the launch events for Vintage Contemporaries.
Parents, you need Narcan
Sandra Boynton's official YouTube
Mars Cheese Castle
Chucks from Northshore Care
Aden and Anais muslin swaddles
Llama Llama Red Pajama by ANNA DEWDNEY
Bonus Best of 2022
The Lost Connections
Sunday Jan 01, 2023
Sunday Jan 01, 2023
Sunday Jan 01, 2023
Friends and guests of Finding Favorites are back to tell us about their favorite things from 2022. This is a clip show with SO many great recomendations, most of which are in the show notes below. This includes clips from How Did This Get Made (Leah asking a question at the Stone Cold live show in LA) and Doughboys (Burger King 6 with Jon Gabrus and Adam Pally)
Leah Intro 1 - best movies of 2022
Everything, Everywhere, All at once
Pennyworth on HBO Max
Everything, Everywhere, All at Once
Strange Loop (Broadway)
Eight Billion Genies (Comic book)
Only Murders in the Building, Hulu
Leah intro 2: The return of Live Shows with Friends
Boston for a cancelled Doughboys show
How Did This Get Made in LA with Esther and Susan
Return to Boston for Doughboys and introducing Ronnie to the Doughboys in Milwaukee
How Did This Get Made in Chicago with Jocelyn over halloween
LetterKenny live with Amy Guth and Kevin Alves
Hadestown with Rob
Going to Weird Al with Shai Korman’s family in DC
Esther Kustanowitz, The Bagel Report
The Ringer-Verse Podcast
Shai Korman, The Friday Night Movie Podcast
Weird Al at the Kennedy Center
Stranger Things, Hulu
Severance, Apple TV
Tehran, Apple TV
Pachinko, Apple TV
Love after Lockup, TV
Dark Web Comic Books
His dog Elvis
Bug Con (Bugmane event)
Doin’ it with Mike Sacks (Podcast)
How Did This Get Made clip: Leah is the person in the audience. Episode is Stone Cold, recorded live at Largo
Leah Intro 3: Cancer Stuff
Finishing chemo, radiation and immunotherapy
Celebrated with my trip to Boston after chemo and a trip to LA after Radiation
Got a sparkly caftan for my radiation gong
Three trips to the Mayo clinic
Returning to Israel
COVID Bivalent Booster, Flu Shot and the Pneumonia vaccine
Premier League Football
Inside Job on Netflix
Gravity Falls on Disney
Taco Cat Go Cheese Pizza
Pentament (Xbox, PC video game)
Crimes of the Future (movie)
Leah Intro 4
101 Places to Party Before You Die
Mike Nichols, A Life by Mark Harris
Art by Phineas Jones aka Octophant
Stories to Dismember Podcast
Love on Netflix
Doughboys clip from Burger King 6 with guests Adam Pally and Jon Gabrus. Leah created the drop that Mitch plays towards the end of the clip.
Southside on HBO Max
Red Door Shelter
Candy Chat Chicago
101 Places to Party Before You Die
How Did This Get Made
Wash your hands, wear your mask, get your booster and keep enjoying your favorite things.
Zoom Bomb 00:00
Hello, hello. Hello. Hi. What's good? [Switches to German]
Welcome to the Finding Favorites Podcast where we explore your favorite things without using an algorithm. Here's your host, Leah Jones.
Leah Jones 00:20
Hello, and welcome to Finding Favorites. It's that time of year, which is the last day of the year. And that means the Call-In Show, the best of 2022 is back. This is the second time I'm doing it. So that might mean it's a tradition. Check back in 12 months and see if that's true. Right now I've got clips about 10 clips. As I'm recording this intro, I might have more by the time I finish recording. But I'm going to break my favorite things of the year into three chunks. It'll be me a few clips me a few clips.
Without further ado, I wanted to kick off my best of ‘22 with my top movie theater experiences of the year. The year started, and I was finishing chemo, which meant that Ronnie and I were still celebrating what we lovingly called Steroid Saturdays, which is when I would get chemo, I would get steroids along with my chemo infusion. And then I would be wired on steroids. And the amount of time that I had energy from the steroids got smaller and smaller over the course of the three months of chemo. But what we did was every almost every Saturday morning, after I would get chemo on Fridays, we would go and see a matinee. And so I saw a lot of movies in the theater over the winter of 21 and 22. But my top three movie going experiences were not on Steroid Saturdays. it was seeing Everything Everywhere, All At Once, in a packed movie theater. This was the first time I had been in a packed movie theater part of going of the Steroid Saturdays, The MO was we went to matinees of things that have been open for more than one or two weeks. So generally, we went to private, we created private screenings for ourselves.
Everything, Everywhere, All At Once was at the theater on Diversey and Surf. So it was an it was a sold out theater. It was jam packed. There were not assigned seats. But seeing that movie, in a theater full of people was outstanding. It was such a great experience. And only topped by at the end of the year going to a sold out show at the music box. In a theater that holds 700 people to see the Indian movie, RRR. RRR was a movie I'd heard about on podcasts, where people were just like, don't know anything, go in blind and watch it. I watched it at home alone really enjoyed it. But getting to go with three of my friends to see our RRR in a movie theater where people cheered, booed, clapped along, plus the director was there in from Tollywood to answer questions. And that was very, very cool. Seeing an Indian movie in a packed house of people cheering for these historical revolutionaries set into magical realism. It was amazing.
And finally, I have to give a shout out to 4DX. Like I said, on previous episodes, I saw Wakanda Forever 3D 4DX. It’s the fourth dimension. The chair is essentially a roller coaster through the whole movie. I'm still talking about it. It's been a month later. Don't see a movie in 40x If you want to experience emotions, other than the hysteria that comes from being on a roller coaster. So you're going to hear some people talk about Wakanda Forever because it was an outstanding movie. I did not connect to it emotionally because my chair kept making me laugh. That's all I can say.
Coming up in this first block. We've got a filmmaker Liz Nord is back. You just met her last week. So Liz Nord is back. Steve Higgins who has been on the podcast twice is back with his favorite movie Broadway show and comic book of the year. And then Mark Smithivas, who I've known on since the earliest days on Twitter and who has been the person… Probably the person I know into audio the longest of anyone I've known. He joins with a TV show and a movie recommendation. Without further ado, here are Liz, Steve and Mark
Liz Nord 05:32
Hi, I'm Liz Nord. I was just on the last episode of the show talking about my love for documentary films. But I watch a lot of other stuff too. And my guilty pleasures are the comic book sci fi supernatural TV series, usually aimed at young adults. My favorite discovery from this past year is probably Pennyworth. on HBO max is the origin story of Batman's infamous butler Alfred Pennyworth. In 1960s, London, we also meet a young Thomas Wayne and Martha Kane, the future parents of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. No one has any superpowers in this show. They're just regular people in extraordinary circumstances. And that is part of what makes it so fun. It's funny and stylish and cheeky. And over the top. There are three seasons so far. The first one is probably the best because it doesn't try to be anything it's not. The show is a total romp. But note to parents, it's definitely not kid friendly. Enjoy and Happy New Year. Hello,
I am Steve Higgins. And I am here to talk about three of my favorite things of 2022. First, I want to talk about my favorite movie of 2022. I actually got to the theater quite a bit more this year than in the past two years, obviously, because of the pandemic. And one of the movies that I saw in theaters this year that absolutely blew me away. It made it shot to the top of my list. The second that I saw it, and it never left even though it was pretty early in the year and never left that top spot. And that is Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. I remember first seeing trailers for the movie and hearing the premise that it was kind of about alternate realities. And just how visually stunning the trailers were. And I was pretty interested. But then I heard that the directors of the film The Daniels, Daniel Kwan, Daniel shiner. Were also the directors of Swiss Army Man, that was a movie that I saw in theaters back in 2016. And I absolutely loved I thought it was brilliant. And so to find out that they had done this film as well, I was sold, I absolutely had to see it as soon as I could. You know, the the premise of it is very sci fi but I like to tell people it's sci fi like Slaughterhouse Five is sci fi it's it uses a science fiction premise, in order to explor human themes. You know, it's really about our hopes and dreams and desires in life and who we want to be who we wish we had been the regrets of choices that we made. The great what if what if I had done my life differently? So it's very much the road not taken. I think the premise then getting at the heart of it is yes. To story about, you can jump from one alternate reality to another and you can grab the skills of a different version of yourself from a different reality. But really, it's about people and connections and relationships. And how would you feel if somebody came to you and said to you, alternate realities are real there's a multiverse and in all the different versions of you that exist out there, you the version you are right here right now are the worst. You're the worst version of yourself that you could be and how, how hard that is. It's a movie that has a lot of heart. A lot of soul searching, the acting is fantastic. Michel Yao, Ki Quan, and Stephanie Chu is kind of the core family of Evelyn Waymond and joy are amazing. You feel like their family dynamic is real. And it's it's a really powerful film because of that dynamic. It's It's hilarious. It's got great action sequences. It's visually stunning. It's high concept. And it's, it's moving. It's incredibly, incredibly moving. And I think this film is not only my number one movie of this year, but might be, you know, the best movie that I've seen in In the past five or 10 years, probably barn on an amazing, amazing film.
I also got to go to the theater a little bit this year to see some live theater, took a trip to New York in June and saw some Broadway plays. And so my favorite experience with the live theater this year was seeing A Strange Loop. I saw it about three days before it ended up winning the Tony for Best Musical. And it was an amazing experience. I it's it's been a, it's been a work that I have had trouble recommending to people, because I feel like the soundtrack doesn't quite do it justice. The songs are good and powerful but it doesn't have the same gravitas to it as when you see it live. And you can see the the actors performing on stage and you can see the sets and you can you can be there. Unfortunately, it is wrapping up its Broadway production on January 15. I'm very hopeful that that means they're going to move it to another city. I'm really hopeful that that city in Chicago because I will absolutely drive up to Chicago to see it again. It was it was an amazing work. Now it being wards and all kind of portrait of a black gay man in New York City.
In the modern era, it is not a film. Sorry, it's not a play, that I would recommend to anybody. We actually had a friend of ours, who was going to New York with their teenage son and asked him he really wants to see this. Should we let him go see it? No, you absolutely shouldn't. It is. It is not appropriate for young audiences. There's a lot of very frank discussion of the realities of relationships and gay sex and things that you probably don't want your teenage son to hear.
But if that sounds like a thing that you might be interested in, you know, seeing a creative person floundering, not feeling like they're able to live up to their full potential, and not just creatively but also romantically also just in life. And see them kind of come to terms with that seems to be a bit of a theme between my film in my and my play that I chose, but I would recommend at least giving the soundtrack a listen. And if you think after you hear the soundtrack that interested me, then if you can get a chance to see it live, it will take it to the next level.
And then finally, I want to recommend a comic I'm a big comic fan comic reader read a lot of great comics this year, but one that really blew me away the most is a eight issue miniseries from Image Comics, written by Charles Soule, illustrated by Ryan Brown, it's called 8 Billion Genies. And the basic premise of this comic is that, at the same instant, every single person in the world is given a genie. And given one wish that they can make and how those wishes change the world for the worse unfolds over the course of the eight issues. The first issue is the first eight seconds. Second issue is the first eight minutes third issue is the first eight hours, and so on. Up to now only the first six issues have come out. Issue seven and eight are coming in January and February respectively. And that's the first eight decades and the first eight centuries to show how this world gets changed by the introduction of everyone suddenly getting one wish that they could make anything come true. How would that play out and people being people? It doesn't play out well, but the basic premise is the the our main characters are in a bar. And there's only a handful of people in the bar and the second that this happens, the bartender slash owner of this bar makes his wish that all of the effects of everybody else's will issues in the world will not affect what happens in the walls of this bar. So this bar becomes a safe haven, from all the craziness and chaos that goes on outside. It's beautifully drawn by Ryan Brown, who makes the characters seem real. And the fantasy elements are jarring, obviously, with the reality of the world, but in a way that it's cohesive, if that makes any kind of sense. It's a cohesive narrative, I should say. And again, the high concept from Charles Sol is just just brilliant. It's an absolutely great comic. If you only read one comic, check out 8 billion genies by Image Comics. So those are my three favorite things of 2022. The film, everything everywhere all at once. The play musical, a strange loop, and the comic, 8 billion genies. Hope you check them out. Hope you dig them. Thanks for having me back on the show.
Mark Smithivas 16:09
Hi, Leah, this is Mike Smithivas. I hope you're having a great end to the Year. Happy New Year. And my favorites that I wanted to let you know about is the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building. I really loved this series with Steve Martin. It just had a level of sharpness to its writing, and the cast was top notch. And I like to say that it's a great achievement when you have a series that tries to parody something, in this case, True Crime podcasts while managing to also be what it's parodying. Meaning that I was kept guessing until the very end of who the murderer was. So I would highly recommend binge watching it. There's two seasons to it. Both seasons are really good in my opinion. And if you love that kind of New York, character actor, type of vibe, there are there are many veteran actors who are in that series. What else I just watched with my family, Black Panther to Wakanda Forever. And I was truly surprised that a movie could a Marvel movie could be something more than just your standard superhero movie. I know it had big shoes to fill, trying to be the sequel to an amazing breakthrough movie like Black Panther. But in this one, I think they managed to be poetic, while also celebrating or memorializing the death of Chadwick Boseman. And also highlighting a lot of strong black female characters. So I think it set the bar pretty high for what a Marvel superhero movie could be. And I'm hoping to see more of that in the in the future with other Marvel franchises. I think I'll stop there. I hope you have a happy new year again, and we'll catch up to you and 2023.
Leah Jones 19:00
All right, thank you, Liz, Steve, and Mark for your recommendations. All right, so in 2022, we were vaccinated. And for me, that meant the return of live shows and seeing live shows with friends. Again, a lot of my year was overshadowed by my treatment for breast cancer and a long slow recovery. That in part because I had an undiagnosed chronic illness on top of the cancer. A lot of my live shows were on my calendar as the emotional carrot to get through a part of cancer treatment. The first thing I looked forward to all through chemotherapy was going to Boston to see the Doughboys it was a doubleheader in January of 2022. And it got canceled because COVID was too high. I think that was the Omicron. It might have been Delta, like I don't even remember anymore. But their winter tour got cancelled. But I could not give up emotionally kind of could not give up the trip. So I went to Boston, I met a few people who also kept their trips. And so we hung out. And the week before the Boston trip, there was a Chicago show that got canceled. But people still came into into Chicago. So two weeks in a row, I got to hang out with my friend Geno, and then see other Doughmies in Chicago and Boston. And then other friends who aren't into the Doughboys but do live in Boston. So it was sort of like come hell or high water. I am marking the end of chemotherapy with Boston. And so I went to Boston in January, it was very cold. I slept a lot. I was very weak. But it was such a good trip.
A week, like a week after I finished radiation. I got on a plane again. I went to LA and that time it was for How Did This Get Made live show. It was right after my birthday. I stayed with my friend Esther. But this time I took… Esther and I have a mutual friend Susan, who is as into How Did This Get Made? Like we're both huge fans of it. And we have both gone to shows at the Largo and taken Esther and Esther is always a very willing guest. But this time Susan and I went together. And then when we got done with the show, Esther surprised me with a birthday charcuterie… a chocolate… a plate of chocolate for my birthday. And that was a fantastic trip.
Then Doughboys got rescheduled. So I went back to Boston again. And they had so I went to Boston and shot saw two shows in Boston. absolute blast. And then I got to take Ronnie up to Milwaukee to see the Doughboys live in Milwaukee, which I was just like, “your opinion of me might change a lot when you see the experience the live show of one of my favorite podcasts.” Introducing him to Doughboys at a live show was great seeing some Doughmies and Milwaukee. Having it was just a really fun trip.
And then Halloween I got to introduce Jocelyn, my co-host of Candy Chat Chicago to How Did This Get Made at the Chicago Theater. Again, this was one that had been in the summer got rescheduled pushed to October. I have talked about this show ad nauseam, especially on my interview with Kevin Alvis. So needless to say, this is the show. It was Morbius it's coming out next week finally, and this was the one where I realized that Jason Mantzoukas now knows who I am, which is mortifying and, but was wonderful. I got to see Letterkenny live this year with Amy Guth. That's also how I met Kevin Alves. My friend Rob and I, we went to see a ton… I would get Broadway in Chicago season tickets and Rob was my standing plus-one for a few years. Broadway in Chicago was back a highlight this year was seeing Hadestown. And finally, I went to Washington DC to meet up with Shai Korman and his family. Shai is from Friday Night Movie Podcast. And I got to go with his family to see Weird Al at the Kennedy Center, which was just the coolest venue and such a great group of people. So in this section, these are people that I have been to live events with or know through podcasts community. So we've got Esther Kustanowitz from the bagel report. Shai Korman from Friday Night Movie podcast. Pam Rose, who I know through How Did This Get Made? And Rob Schulte who I know through the Doughboys community.
Esther Kustanowitz 24:31
Hi, this is Esther Kustanowitz from The Bagel Report Podcast among other places. Leah Jones has been so instrumental in my own online development from blogging to Twitter to podcasting and I'm just thrilled to be able to continue in this tech meets pop culture dialogue that we have going on. So I have loved all of the pop culture this year except for Kanye obviously, not cool, but there was so much especially Within my chosen primary category of Jewish TV that I could talk about, but since I've already done an episode of finding favorites about that, I figured I'd focus on one of the other pod things that I loved the most this year, which was continuing to make the river ringer verse podcast part of my week.
I love a lot of other Ringer network podcasts with special shout outs to The Rewatchables, The Big Picuture as well as a lot of their other pop culture podcasts. But the Ringer-verse! they're my people. There are like two main teams and they're so dynamic and passionate about fandom. They're absolutely unapologetic about how nerdy they get about popular culture, sci fi, fantasy, etc. They totally like an every second of their recordings, they revel in how nerdy it is, and how intertextual it is, and how they know the comic books did this. And the previous movies did that. And I love the individual personalities that that are involved in recording this show and how they interrelate. And even when they disagree, and they sometimes really, really disagree, they all come back to the love they have for each other and for the primary cultural product. So I love that they can have a three hour discussion about a two hour movie, and they bring in experts to explain the lore, which helps me put things in a greater context. So being a regular listener has changed how I react to the pop culture that I consume. Because more often than not, I'll hear a phrase or a see a scene that I'll file away in my memory bank know just know somewhere in my like cells that the ringer verse team is probably going to talk about and love and criticize and contextualize and obsess over it. And I really just loved being able to partake in their conversational experience, even though it's really one sided, because I'm pretty sure they don't listen to the bagel report podcast, although, obviously they should. And I just had a guest spot on Jews on film podcast, where we talked about the fable mins for two hours so I'm honing my skills should they ever require an expert on Jewish content, I'm hoping that the reverse will give me a buzz. So if you are a fan of Star Wars or DC or Marvel properties or the Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones or anything else that kind of hits the the pop culture with a little bit of a sci fi fantasy heroes comic book infused element, the wringer versus a must listen. Thanks and have a great 2023 everyone.
Shai Korman 27:52
Hey there, Leah. This is Shai calling from the Friday Night Movie Podcast and my favorite of the year that I want to talk about is getting to go see the great Weird Al Yankovic at the Kennedy Center with none other than Leah Jones, host of Finding Favorites and Candy Chat Chicago because getting to see Weird Al with Leah Jones is one of the all time favorites that any person could experience. And I hope we get to do it again soon. And I love finding favorites and keep making this amazing show.
Pam Rose 28:35
Hi, this is Pam Rose. You may remember me from a previous episode talking about my love of one Jason Mantzoukas and How Did This Get Made. But right now I'm here to talk about things that I loved in 2022
Well, some of them at least in Number One on The List: Vechna from Stranger Things. Stranger Things came back with a vengeance this season. Epic epic episodes and at the center was the big bad vechna He was mean he was evil. He had the cutest bomb in the world and I want to be his best friend. So yeah, Batman. And speaking of TV and awesome TV, Apple TV continues to crush with its original programming. My number one favorite show of the year severance. Severance is so good if you haven't seen Severance please watch Severance. I was in California and vacation the night of the finale and my brother and I both put our headphones in and our beds. We watched the finale because I could not wait. I didn't want to get spoiled. But people talk about severance. We know how good it is.
But what about other shows on Apple TV? How about Tehran? Have you seen this show? Because it's awesome. If you'd like homeland, which is one of the all time greatest shows of all time, you might like Tehran it's got the same feel. Season two was stellar. Glenn Close was on season two she started speaking Farsi at one point what was happening, so 10 Iran I recommend it. Also, I'm not a girl who's into epic things, but let me tell you, Pachinko. Oh my god. So good apparently is based on a book. I don't have time for that. But I do have time for the TV adaptation of it and Pachinko is so good. It's multigenerational story about a family in Japan, Korea. I learned all kinds of things about history, but also so engrossing loved it so Pachinko check those things on an Apple TV if you have Apple TV if you don't get a trial of it, and you can watch these things. You could thank me later. On the music side. Kelsea Ballerini came out with a new album this year and it's her best one yet highly recommend it. We all know Taylor Swift killed it with her new album. Lavender haze midnight Rain Come on. Take McRae's debut album was awesome every track a banger and Mimi Webb continues to put out song after song. Never skip on any other things and I get to see her live twice this year. I was the oldest person there by about 20 years but that girl can sing her ass off. So watch out for that little 21 year old British girl because she's coming for you. She's putting out her first full length album next year. And don't sleep on it because she's great. And then if you need something trashy to get you through 2023 may recommend love after lockup. And I wish I was kidding. But really, it's so addictive. It's so trashy. We get love during lockup now. We get life after lockup. But love after lockup, we TV, you can catch the episodes once you watch one you're gonna get hooked. You're gonna say why am I watching this? What is happening? But then you'll keep watching, but it is that good. So anyway, those are some of the things that I loved. Yeah, here's to a great 2023 with awesome TV, music and movies. Let's do it. And also fellas, if you're single, I'm on Instagram hamster. Pam, come find me. Have a great 2023 guys.
Rob Schulte 32:09
Hey, Finding Favorites listeners. This is Rob Schulte. And I want to list off some of my favorite things of 2022. The Dark Web series of comic books. That's been fun. My dog Elvis, he's at the top of the list almost every single year. Bug Con, that was great. And let's see here is working on new episodes of Doing It with Mike Sacks. That has been a lot of fun. I think he was on his podcast as well. Great episode. Well, here's to you, 2022. And looking forward to 2023.
Clip from HDTGM: Stone Cold
Paul Scheer 32:52
Let me go to the audience here for a second. If you have any questions. You're in a beautiful shirt. It's like a baseball shirt. HDTGM shirt. I love this. Not one that we sell, but it's a great looking shirt. Okay, yes.
Leah Jones 33:10
So you mentioned before William Forsythe was also in Raising Arizona?
Jason Mantzoukas 33:13
Leah Jones 33:14
So was Sam McMurry who played Lance the FBI agent.
Jason Mantzoukas 33:16
Leah Jones 33:17
So my question is, who would you like Red Rover called over from Raising Arizona?
Jason Mantzoukas 33:22
Paul Scheer 33:23
Well, let me let me repeat the let me repeat these so I can make sure. So two of the actors in this film, the FBI agent and of course our second baddie, William Forsythe, were in Raising Arizona. would there be anybody that we would call over from Raising Arizona?
June Diane 33:41
Imagine Holly Hunter as Nancy it's and it would be different and interesting. And they'd have to do something different
Jason Mantzoukas 33:50
Nicolas Cage as part of Boz.
Paul Scheer 33:54
Really? John Goodman as Ice
Jason Mantzoukas 34:04
I also think you could have John Goodman as the whip. [audience reaction] Guys. Cool. Cool. Okay. I know it's been a while but everybody be cool.
Paul Scheer 34:19
Great question. Great question. Great shirt.
Jason Mantzoukas 34:22
Great. Oh, so much overlap. Raising Arizona also because of the supermarket scene. I was thinking about Raising Arizona a lot during this movie. And I'm like, Oh, I gotta rewatch Ray's It's a great movie
Leah Jones 34:47
Awesome, thank you. Now you have got a lot of music to listen to and TV to watch podcasts to listen to. Here's my third chunk of things that my favorite things this year, which have to do with cancer, even though my treatments ended in March-ish, that's not true. Radiation finished in March. I was getting immunotherapy until October. But I had a really hard recovery from chemotherapy. And to get to the bottom of it, I wound up going to the Mayo Clinic this summer I drove up to the Mayo Clinic three different times. Each of those was a very fun road trip with a different friend and found out that there's a lot of good food in Rochester, Minnesota. There's a lot of good bartenders in Rochester, Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic for me was an outstanding experience. But finishing chemo in January and hitting the gong in March of '22. was incredible. And then finally getting a sarcoidosis diagnosis. And at the very end of the year starting treatment for sarcoidosis, starting my hormone therapy to gobble up all the estrogen in my body. I am finally walking without a cane. Breathing without coughing and feeling pretty good. I'm gonna put into this block.
In September I went to Israel went back to Israel hadn't been since 2019, which is a long gap for me. And with this incoming government, I'm not sure when I'll go back on that trip. I my goals were simple. At that point, I was still using a cane. Although it was getting stronger, I was still using a cane. So my goals were to have a hotel breakfast buffet every day and see a friend every day, which I did. There were some things that were really physically challenging about the trip emotionally challenging about the trip. But ultimately, I went to a beautiful breakfast buffet every morning. So at least one friend a day had ice cream had a few really amazing dinners laughed a lot, gotten the ocean. And it was a wonderful trip. So it was good to have to return to Israel, even if I don't know how to change a flight without accidentally getting charged $3,000. And finally I am going to give it up to science for the COVID boat bivalent booster, the flu shot and 15-20 years early I also have the pneumonia vaccine. So in this next block of people, we have Cameron MacKenzie, my friend Jason Mathes, my friend Caroline, get your pencils ready because she is recommending a dozen card games to play with your family. And Monica Reida is back with her favorite video game and movie of the year. Thank you to everyone who joined me on this clip show. And I'm sure I'll be back one more time for the last-minute clips that I have been asking people for.
Cameron MacKenzie 38:25
Hello, my name is Cameron MacKenzie. I had a book come out this year called River Weather from Alternating Current Press. And I wanted to talk about my favorite thing of 2020 to 2022 I think was really the year that I got into Premier League football. I'm gonna call it soccer for the sake of this conversation. Because the reason I got into Premier League football was that I got burnt out on American football, I grew up playing football. When I quit playing football, I started to watch it. But over the years, I just got ground down by the narrative of whatever Tom Brady is doing or the desire to buy Ford trucks or drink Budweiser beer. It's just sort of a constant loop and I couldn't take it anymore. My oldest boy is eight years old and he started playing soccer. And I realized I knew nothing about soccer. So I couldn't tell him what was good, what was bad what to do how to do it. So I started watching Premier League and I was blown a way the games are beautiful and exciting. The players are absolutely incandescent, the teams themselves. There's so much history to these teams and the fan bases are rabid. You if you're born in these places, you can't really choose what team you're going to watch. It's sort of handed down to you like a heritage or lineage. So if you're going to start watching Premier League, you got to choose a team and you got to stick with that team through the ups and through the downs through the good and Through the bad, the only thing I would compare it to in America maybe is college football, that sort of level of passion. But if you find yourself getting bored of the US sports landscape, give Premier League a try, you will not be disappointed. Just be sure that you choose team before you start. No arsenal.
So I saw this tweet that said, a great alternative to screen time is playing cards as a family, so many learning opportunities. I taught my kids that there's no such thing as family while playing uno, and then I'll play I'll put a draw for down on a kindergartener and cackle like a swamp which, because I did not come to lose.
My name is Carolyn Musin Berkowitz, and I love playing cards with my family. So in my family, we play tons of card games, usually one or two per night. We started with uno, which is why I particularly like that tweet, but we've moved on a bit. Here are some of our favorites. We really like playing Go Fish. We even have a set of cards with fish on them. It's a nice easy one. It's how my little one learn to read. Sort of, we like Taco Pet goat Cheese Pizza, which is really funny to say and it's a quick game. And also, you might get your knuckles smashed. So buyer beware. Scrabble Slam is a super game that I found at Walgreens, by the way amazing games that you can find in the toy area at Walgreens. And it is a game where you make a four letter word, not one of those but whatever. And then you put other cards on top to make new words. Great way to teach your children spelling also, we have set my game of SET is probably from when I was a kid when I was a teen, and it is a math and patterns game. Super fun. There's also a junior version. But trust me, your early elementary child can handle the regular game.
Leaping Queens is a super fun game, where you have you want to collect as many queens as possible. But beware because your opponents are going to try to use knights to steal them or sleeping potions to put them to sleep. Skip It was a great counting game. And again to try to read your read yourself with all your cards before your opponents do super fun, lasts more than five minutes. Maybe it's 10 minutes. So it's good when you want something that will take a little longer. We also have been Monopoly Deal. If you've ever played Monopoly. With young kids, you know that it can last forever and it's not so pleasant. I recommend Monopoly Deal. It the game was over in 10 to 15 minutes. And I gotta tell you, my six-year-old was the first one figure out the strategy in this game. Super fun.
We also like Yahtzee not really a card game, but a pretty good game. Regardless. Yahtzee slam is a different version of Yahtzee a different iteration with poker chips. And it is super fun as with these. Now, this is not a card game, but I do have to mention trouble. It is a super game that requires zero skills, and a lot of trash talk when you send your opponents back to their home base. And finally a Chicago is about to have a terrible blizzard. And we're all going to be stuck inside for a few days. Let me introduce you to Phase 10, which is kind of like Rummy, you have to get certain arrangements of cards before your opponents do. You have to get through 10 rounds and it might take you more than 10 rounds to get there. So if you're going to be home for like a long Blizzard, make your hot cocoa sit down with phase 10 and enjoy a happy new year. I'm Caroline, and playing card games is one of my favorite things.
Jason Mathes 44:00
Hi, Leah Jones. This is past podcast guests, Jason Mathes checking in from Connecticut to tell folks about something that's probably popped up on the recommendations on Netflix and to tell them that it's worth the time. It's a cartoon, a very adult cartoon called Inside Job. And it features a lot of the comedians that I know both of us enjoy their work. Nominally it's the story of a young woman named Reagan who is a genius scientist whose father created the corporation that controls the world. So all the conspiracy theories that we've been told about the Illuminati, about the wizard people about those types of things are true. And this is the corporation that has to do all the grunt work to ensure that they dominate and control the lives of everyday citizens. It's a workplace calm empathy. It's also a father daughter divorce story. But it is highly intelligent. It's from at least executive produced from the gentleman who brought us. Gravity Falls, which is very popular in a lot of communities for being a, what I call the opposite of loss, the TV show, and so much that he weighed the show out. So there are easter eggs contain throughout and riddles and puzzles and Gravity Falls that we do to the answers. So if people have not checked out Gravity Falls, that's a completely kid appropriate. It was on Disney. And it's genius. It's smart. It's funny, it's very endearing. But inside job is all of those things, but it's for a PG 13 Plus audience, just just so folks know. And it's really great. It's a smart, funny comedy that people will enjoy. And it's something to binge watch over the holidays, and just enjoy the heck out of it, and laugh about it. And enjoy Happy Holidays to everyone and especially to the Jones family. Talk to you soon hopefully. Hello,
Monica Reida 46:22
my name is Monica Reida. And in 2022. I loved Pentamento and Crimes of the Future. Pentimento is a video game for Xbox and PC, where the premise is you are a young artisan who is in Bavaria in the 1500s. And you are currently working at a Abbey as working on illuminated manuscripts. And one day a baron comes to visit and the next day and there's a lot of you know, tension as to the Barrett and a lot of people in the village seem a little unhappy, he's there. And then the next day the Baron is found murdered in the Abbey. And so it's up to you, you are a scholar, you are a dropout from college like the best of us. And you have to try to figure out who killed the Baron to try to clear an elderly monk from being executed. The art style for the game, it looks like you're walking through an illuminated manuscript from the Middle Ages. It's one of the most beautiful video games I think I've ever played. And it requires a lot of critical thinking. It's kind of the opposite of a lot of games I tend to play where it's like, Oh, I'm just going to try to make the best moves and you know, score enough shots on goals in NHL 22. Or I'm just going to kill a bunch of guys to save the day in Yakuza. So it's kind of the opposite of that where you have to critically think about the choices you're making. And I'm not even close to being done with this game. But I already can't wait to play it again. And see how different choices affect the story how it affects the characters. So Pentiment on Xbox and PC.
One of the things I love this year, I also loved the new David Cronenberg film, Crimes of the Future. It takes place in a future where there are a lot of body mutilations and people enjoy getting surgery, including putting on performances to show off the mutilated bodies to show off the surgery. It is I would say kind of a form of sicko cinema that I think I associate with Cronenberg, and also John Waters. I mean, it's a film where people actually say surgery is the new sex. It is also I think, one of the funniest movies I have watched this year. I think benediction from Terence Davies is probably the only film that I saw this year that I think was funnier than crumbs of the future. But Cronenberg's dialogue and his most of which is delivered by Alyssa do. And I am just blanking on everybody else in the cast, Viggo Mortensen, Don McKellar, one of my boys and Kristen Stewart. It's delivered in just a brilliant, natural way that also lets the humor shine and put as a very dark and morbid film. But even just the visual cues and the cuts and the Justice positions of it the visual style. It's it's a very funny, very morbid film that has stayed with me since I saw it in theaters wearing a sickos shirt because yes, I do think that if you love Cronenberg, you might be a sicko, and the best way. So those were the two things I loved in 2022. I hope you and anybody else listening you know if you've got a fuzzy little friend or furry friend, curl up with them and enjoy some movies, enjoy some TV show, listen to some Quebec while pop and have a nice 2023
Leah Jones 50:41
and I'm back with my final block of favorite things from this year. Followed by a few more clips that have come in. So a favorite TV show of mine is 101 Places to Party Before You Die. It was on Tru TV. It is now available on HBO Max, so it's much easier to find than it was when it first came out. It is Jon Gabrus and Adam Pally. Adam, you might know from the TV show Happy Endings or from from The Mindy Project, John Gabriel was on a show called Guy Code that I never watched. I know John from podcasts. I originally saw him in a live episode of Nicole Byers podcast that was taped in Chicago many years ago. And then I started listening to High and Mighty, I started listening to Doughboys. His podcast is High and Mighty. He's a regular guest on Doughboys. I've seen him at two of the three Doughboy shows I've been to. And they have been best friends for 20 years. They came up together at UCB. And they got to shoot six episodes traveling the states. Going to bars going to restaurants, museums, and Jocelyn and I have watched it on my own at least twice. Jocelyn and I have watched it. There are times when we'll finish recording an episode of Candy Chat Chicago, and we'll just go back to the Denver episode because that is the episode that makes us cry from laughing so hard. What I love about it, honestly, it's the same things I loved about Jackass, which should have made the list (how did I not talk about Jackass Forever?), we are starting to get more positive representation of male friendship. And I think this show it was recorded both John and Adam have lost parents young. And this was recorded at a time when we had been vaccinated and the world was starting to open up again. And so they're they're traveling the country after a year of quarantine. really aware of what it means not to be with your friends and your family. And there's so much heart in between the laughter and so much realness that this little show. I hope someone picks it up for a second season. Let's keep talking about it. Let's keep watching about watching it and do watch the Denver episode all the way through the credits. Because you will be crying crying at the you'll just just watch it.
A book I read that then I bought for two people for Christmas and Hanukkah gift. So now I can talk about it is the biography of Mike Nichols called Mike Nichols a life by Mark Harris. Again, this was something that people were talking about on podcasts. And I had some audible credits and I picked it up and just lived in Mike Nichols world for like three weekends. just listened to it playing match three games on my phone and nonstop listening to Mike Nichols story. He is at some level, the for the real life Forrest Gump of pop culture and New York culture from like 1950 Odd. He is everywhere. He's friends with everyone. He's foes with everyone at certain times, but it is a compelling biography to understand pop culture, from truly from like the 1950s on, charted through his life. And then tonight, I ran out and picked up a painting by local artists Phineas Jones, other than my own dad's art, Phineas is the person is the next person that I have the most art in my house from. He was selling some original paintings and so I got an original little painting of some Chicago hot dogs. So with that, rounding out the podcast the best of 2022 Are. We've got clips from Lindsay Liddell, who I know from the Doughboys community, Robert Persinger, also known as drop King, who I know from the Doughboys community, Keidra Cheney, who is one of my very longtime Twitter pals. And Jocelyn Geboy, my co host on andy Chat Chicago Rounding things out. I do expect to wake up to two more clips. And so there will either be clips from Jaqui and Taylor when I wake up and they will be added to this, or you know that you will hear from him this year when I finally get to sit down and interview them. So with that, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your booster and keep enjoying your favorite things.
Doughboys Excerpt: Burger King 6 with Adam Pally and Jon Gabrus
Mike Mitchell 55:59
Wiges, how are you?
Nick Wiger 56:00
I'm doing well.
Mike Mitchell 56:01
Look, we have we have one guest it's way overdue. And then and then another
Jon Gabrus 56:07
who's the exact opposite of overdue.
Nick Wiger 56:11
Our most frequent guest, this is this is the duo. This is the odd couple that we have with us today. And, Mitch, we want to we want to get to them because they've been doing media all day. I'm sure they're their little bushwhacked. But before we do that, you got your you got to drop.
Mike Mitchell 56:25
I'm looking for it. All right, just
Nick Wiger 56:29
I can't believeyou're not ready with this. I said.
Mike Mitchell 56:33
We usually talk for five to 10 minutes. Well, you could have read time.
Nick Wiger 56:38
Yeah, but our guests were like, Hey, we we've been we're fucking wiped.
Mike Mitchell 56:42
I know. But that's if you get into Rush mode, it's going to be a bad episode. So don't go into Rush mode.
Nick Wiger 56:49
Well, I'm not going to rush mode. It's going to be good episode because our guests are great. I guess.
Adam Pally 56:53
Is this the Podcast? This is what it is. Yeah. Yeah.
Jon Gabrus 56:57
Honestly, dude, I'm the most frequent guest and more or less, this is what it
Mitch, do you want me to play it?
Mike Mitchell 57:03
No, I got it. I got it. I found it.
Nick Wiger 57:05
Gabrus was was air drumming some Neil Peart, I should say at the mention of Rush, which was Rush mode. That was a lot of fun for me. I saw that was the first concert I went to at the Anaheim pond
Adam Pally 57:16
Really? The first concert you went to is rush?
Nick Wiger 57:18
Jon Gabrus 57:18
Mine was Soul Asylum at Jones Beach.
Nick Wiger 57:21
Adam Pally 57:22
New Kids on the Block Rush on the continental arrowheads. Oh, yeah. That's awesome.
Mike Mitchell 57:27
Mine was WBCN River Rave I believe is the first concert I went to. I saw the boss the Mighty Mighty Bosstones less than Jake. Yeah. Let's just
Jon Gabrus 57:38
lead with artists so that people know what you're talking about. Yeah, I don't quite remember the name of the tour. I want you otters jug band Christmas that my first concert was jingle ball 1992. Sponsored by Cadillac. Play the drums bass Hall.
Mike Mitchell 58:02
I went to I went to Roger Waters concert. My friend my friend's mom, Mrs. Tufo. She gave us a ride. My friend Martin he gave me what he said was acid. I bought it from him. And I took it and I was in the van with Mrs. Too far. She drove us to the concert. And then when we got out, he was like, that was vitamin C. It wasn't acid at all. But I think they expected me to like flip out and act like be like, This is crazy, but I never did it. You know what I mean? I never felt for the I passed the test. You know what I mean? Right? And, but then I did take two tabs of mescaline at that concert. It was really crazy.
Jon Gabrus 58:36
For how could you tell what was the mescaline in Hi-C? Right
Mike Mitchell 58:42
Alright, here's the drop Hold on. I'm gonna I got it. I got it loaded up.
Jon Gabrus 58:48
And you're gonna leave all this in right?
Mike Mitchell 58:51
I just think the crowd was changing
not editing this at all. We haven't even announced our names to happen yet. Yes. All this shit has to happen first.
Mike Mitchell 59:06
I was watching prehistoric planet alright, I'll save that for later alright, here we go. Here we go. Wiges, Here is a little drop. Here we go plastic fork city. The city is also weird That's it. Perfect fucking length. It was nice and short. It was nice and short when
Jon Gabrus 59:52
he sat literally that's the only clip I've ever heard that's both not too short and not too long.
Mike Mitchell 59:58
I was kind of perfect. Yeah, great length. Hey, while you Norman in Boston, Mitch asked us to get back to the simple life drops with one or two clips from the show. To that end. Here's my Ode to Guns and Roses. Hope to see in Chicago in 2022. Oh, that was cancelled because of COVID xoxo Leah, aka Chicago Leah and the Doughscord Hey, thanks for Chicago Leah. Thanks, Chicago Leah. Thanks.
Lyndsey Little 1:00:29
I'm Lindsay Liddell. And this is a strange list, but three of my favorite things are monsters, food and podcasts. This year was very unusual for me in the sense that it became such a culmination of significant moments for me, all relating to three of my favorite things. The stranger still was how my favorite things all intermingled together in some way, it felt like synchronicity. It began when as an avid listener of the Doughboys podcast, I joined the fan community Doughscord. I quickly felt at home there and made many friendships with others who loved the hosts, Nick and Mitch, and we all shared a mutual love of fast food of course, separate from this and after some time had passed, I along with two others began hosting our own horror movie recap podcast called Stories to Dismember. Even though the three of us had met through Reddit we surprisingly and quickly formed friendships and almost a familial bond. It's been a really fun and fulfilling project. And it just really gives me a love for podcasts in a whole other way now, in fact, it was our pleasure to have Doughboys host Mitch on as our guest for Halloween. For some added complexity and confusion to the layers of my favorite things. Long before I was a Doughboys listener and Mitch starred in my favorite show love on Netflix, so for me personally, it was a dream come true for him to speak with us. As an aside, Nick, if you are serious about guesting with the stories to dismember team we would still love to have you. You know where to find me flitting around on Discord. So anyone listening to this if you love podcasts, I presume this is one of your favorite ones, but also check out Doughboys if you love fast food, and if you love horror movies or monsters, then check out stories to dismember. And if your favorite thing is just Mitch Mitchell, then check out our episode where he guested with stories to dismember. Thank you so much for letting me share some of my favorite things Leah and I hope you have a wonderful new year.
Robert Persinger 1:02:34
Hello, my name is Robert per singer. And my favorite things from this year were traveling to new cities. I visited Milwaukee in Boston for some live shows and had an amazing time seeing the sights and meeting some great people. In Boston, I wanted to shout out the TAM. Jam curlies, the Trillium beer garden, Regina pizzeria, Legal Seafood, tasty burger emack and folios Mangia Mangia, Mike's pastry and the union Oyster House. In Milwaukee, I wanted to shout out to Feroz while skis, Thurman 15. Up down the Milwaukee Public Museum, Boone and Crockett, the Milwaukee pedal tavern, 's ads foundation Culvers lakefront brewing, lost whale, burn hearts, straight shots. Ian's else's Bryant's and landmark lanes, so happy to have met so many awesome people in these cities. And I wanted to include them too. So shout out to Kevin, Chelsea, Phish greeing, Aaron, Gino, Zayn. Kev, Nick. smo, Shawn, demo, Jess ,Taylor, shifty, Lou. And of course, Leah. If I forgot anyone, I apologize. It was a very fun time after all, here's to a great 2023
Keidra Cheney 1:04:11
So this is Keidra. So I wanted to share a couple of things to be alive trying to figure out what to share for the best of 2022 because 2022 didn't seem terribly eventful. And when it was eventful, it wasn't so great. Um, but there were things that were really good about the year. And one of the best things for me this year in pop culture, which is my usual obsession is a show that I constantly talk about called south side, which is on HBO Max. It's a comedy very Chicago. It's done by a group of actors and producers who are from the south side of Chicago and So the humor is very, very Southside and very Chicago specific, really funny, very weird at times, like a lot of funny, weird sci fi and geek culture-oriented humor, but also just random humor. So if you like to think of what it might be close, I compared it to, It's Always Sunny in that the characters are not supposed to be characters that are like, moral in any way, or like people that you should look up to. They're just, you know, weirdos doing, doing their thing in the world, working at a rent to own center, and basically taking people's stuff back once they can't afford it anymore. I'm probably not explaining it very well. But it is really hilarious. It's really not meant to have like, any broader message outside of making you laugh. And it's made me laugh more than any show that I've seen in the past decade, except for maybe the first season of Arrested Development. And that is like, like, the gold standard for me in terms of making you laugh. So yeah, Southside on HBO Max, three seasons, just perfection to me, every season has gotten better. And I just laugh at it nonstop. And I'm probably going to turn this off and watch the third season over again, as soon as I'm done with this. The other thing that has been really great for me, for 2022 That was my personal best, is starting to follow a lot of rabbit accounts on Instagram and Twitter. I love rabbits. I hope next year I will finally have a rabbit of my own. I just think they're cute and funny and weird and just adorable. And interesting little guys, and I just love seeing them eat and jump and zoom around. And just be lovely, lovely fellas and ladies, I follow Red Bull shelter on Instagram and there is an account that I follow on Twitter every morning and every evening they basically show this rabbit eating a meal alongside of his person. So this person is like eating super avocado toast or whatever in the rabbit is just they're eating their pellets or hay or greens every morning and evening. And I love to start and end my day with watching that burn habits delicious meal. So those are my favorite things of 2022 the things that really made me smile and made my life better. And I am wishing you and everyone listening a very happy new year and here's to a much better 2023 Then this past year
fix Harry it's Jocelyn did this last year kind of off the cuff this time I made notes. I am dears best friends with Leah and co host of our joint podcast. Candy Chat Chicago, come to the candy state with the chat. So that has been a joy that has continued to be a joy. This year has really been something Hmm. I've had I had the joy and the honor and the privilege of being able to be with Leah while she navigated and figured out did cancer. And I was glad to be a part of that journey. Even better to have her be on the other side of it. Um, lots of things happened not to me, but I've seen I saw friends get married. I saw friends have babies. I saw friends get engaged. I saw one dear friend get a new job. She was really excited. So I've kind of been watching and letting things swirl around me. Lee is going to talk about I'm sure but she turned me on to the show called 101 Places to Party Before You Die. It's Adam Pally and Jon Gabrus. Oh my god, it's I want to tell you all the funny parts but like, it's kind of like you literally had to be there so like just go watch it and maybe you maybe think it's funny. Maybe you will I just fucking couldn't stop laughing. Um, I got the opportunity to see the Avett brothers again in 2022 for three night run at the Chicago theater March 31 first through April 2 It's been a really long time since I'd seen them so that was really nice and it was really nice to see and catch up with old friends and make new friends as well. firepit is still fucking rock and life we know that it's it's it's it's always been good and it continued to be good to us this year as well. I this new band I really loved called The Diff. They're kind of back on tour from their from the 80s from out east I don't know Massachusetts or something And they came back together and did a reunion show. I don't know earlier this fall, and it was really great. And I was really excited to see them. So that was a fun part of this year. Um, How Did This Get Made podcasts championed by Leah for many, many years, and I have problems listening to words like talk radio and stuff. So despite the fact that I have a podcast, it's been sort of hard for me to listen to one, but this is Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas and these cats are off the chain so I went to a live courtesy of Leah to a live taping of a show. the premise they don't like you know, how did this movie Get me and Chicago show was Morbius Jared Leto vampires Matt Smith weirdness and so it was really fun to it was really fun to listen to you and to go to go to you to make part of and Leah got some really fun interactions with Mantzoukas and Paul and all of them actually. So it was really it was really great. That was fun. And other than that, I wrote all my notes. I'm just putting out there for the year. I have a lot of attentions, always right. I always want to write that book. I always want to do the one woman show. But ultimately, like I really had an epiphany Today I had a little mini meltham panic attack over really nothing really if in the scheme of things that were told you the story you'd be like, okay, but I really my intention for the years to let go of that which does not serve me immediately. possessions, attitudes mindsets. I don't think it's gonna be easy to do but I think one of the mindsets that dogs me is this all or nothing thing black or white? I do it or I don't. And so I think this will be a fun way to kind of exercise that is to like, let go stick stuff like that. Right? Like even if I'm not letting go of stuff like you realize, like, it's not all or nothing like I get every day and I can I can you know do it again over and over again. And meeting my friend Jo was a huge part of this year. Mutual actually of Leah, so that's always fun when that shit works out. But um, yeah, I really glad to be around again, the sun one more time. Sure. It's crazy, but she's great too. And I wish you all a very happy new year and a great 2023
Thank you for listening to finding favorites with Leah Jones. Please make sure to subscribe and drop us a five star review on iTunes. Now go out and enjoy your favorite things.
Now how do I stop this? That's a great question. Stop. I guess I'll just leave
Sunday Dec 25, 2022
Sunday Dec 25, 2022
Sunday Dec 25, 2022
New York-based filmmaker Liz Nord joined Leah to run down a list of documentaries for watching during winter break. Liz also talked to Leah about how she became a documentary filmmaker and obsessed with the art form.
Follow Liz online to find out when her documentary is streaming.
Music Box Theatre Chicago
Trembling Before G-d
Street Level TV
Closed Captions at Sundance Now
Short of the Week
Albert and David Maysles
The Truffle Hunters
The Eagle Huntress
No Film School interview about The Eagle Huntress
The Mole Agent
Bad Axe (shortlisted for Oscars)
I Am Not Your Negro
Betsy West and Julie Cohen
Summer of Soul
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah.
Wash your hands, wear your mask, get your booster and keep enjoying your favorite thing.
Liz Nord Documentaries_mixdown
Announcer, Leah Jones, Liz Nord
Liz Nord 00:00
Hi, my name is Liz Nord, and my Favorite Things are documentary films.
Welcome to the Finding Favorites Podcast where we explore your favorite things without using an algorithm. Here's your host, Leah Jones.
Leah Jones 00:18
Hello, and welcome to Finding Favorites. I'm your host, Leah Jones. And this is the podcast where we learn about people's favorite things without using an algorithm. I'm so excited this afternoon I am with one of my OG go into Israel friends. I'm here today with Liz Nord. She is an Executive Producer, who started in the news and documentaries. She makes documentaries, podcasts, multimedia online content. Most recently, Liz worked at Sundance, and she's here today with us on finding favorites. Liz, how are you?
Liz Nord 00:58
Hi, Leah Jones. I'm so excited to be here.
Leah Jones 01:01
It's so good to be catching up with you. I was so thrilled when you send me your email. I'm like, How have I not had Liz on yet? You had a podcast before almost anyone I knew. And yeah, you I hadn't I didn't ask you to be on. That's on me.
Liz Nord 01:17
Well, yeah. So that your listeners know I literally I asked, I requested to be on the podcast. I'm a fan of both Leah and of the podcast. And I was like, I have favorite things. So here we are.
Leah Jones 01:32
I'm so happy. So we were doing a little catching up before I hit record. And just reflecting a little bit we met in I think the summer of 2007 at a conference in Israel. Is that right? Is it like did you go in 2007?
Liz Nord 01:48
Did you know I think I was like the year after you. It might have been 2008. So it's been a while.
Leah Jones 01:57
And at the time, your documentary age, were you still working on Jericho’s Echo in 2008? Or was it just
Liz Nord 02:05
No it has been out in world, which I think is why I was invited to this conference with Jewish artists and Jewish innovators people creating Jewish things in the world. And my film Jericho’s Echo was not specifically Jewish, but it was about Israeli punk rockers. And so it fit the bill.
Leah Jones 02:27
Yeah. So we met then we see each other at conferences. We see each other at conferences, weddings, funeral when
Liz Nord 02:38
Your dad has art shows in New York.
Leah Jones 02:40
When my dad has art shows in New York. Yes. We've got to get you guys out to Chicago.
Liz Nord 02:47
Absolutely. I really want to go to the Chicago Museum is the contemporary art museum. The one that's right downtown. I've been once before and I loved it so much.
Leah Jones 02:57
The Art Institute of Chicago, which is the mass of everything one.
Liz Nord 03:01
Like near the bean.
Leah Jones 03:05
And then there's also a Museum of Contemporary Art, which is stunning. But the Art Institute of Chicago is the one it's got, I always just got everything.
Liz Nord 03:18
Yeah, I was amazed by that museum. And I live in New York, it's not like I don't have access to culture. But yeah, love to come back. Also good food.
Leah Jones 03:26
We've got very good food in Chicago.
Liz Nord 03:29
Just like this season. Like coming in spring.
Leah Jones 03:33
Yeah. No, don't come in the winter. Don't come in the winter. It's a great spring summer visit, absolutely. No spoilers but we're going to be talking documentaries. But I'm curious as we head into winter, and this will most likely be a Christmas episode. Do you have any winter repeat movies? Like any winter traditions that that are movie related?
Liz Nord 04:01
Oh, I love that question. I mean, winter is like primetime for movies. And obviously often like holiday stuff comes out on the big screen, which I will say that everything, all the recommendations I'm going to make today I know we're gonna get to talk about some films, I tried to find things that are very contemporary and all available on streaming. But I still believe in person in theater, film going experience, especially for the blockbusters. So I usually do try to get to some of the like ones that come out between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year to have that communal big screen, big audio experience. So this year, it was Wakanda Forever, the New Black Panther film and I feel like the Black Panther cannon as it grows will be an annual viewing because they're just so lush, and beautiful. They're not really your typical comic book movies and they have kind of a deeper meaning. But I love all that stuff. And I will say that the Harry Potter films always make a good seasonal, you can watch several. They all have, almost all of them have a Christmas scene or a winter season because they go through the school year. So those are always fun. And I'm a total Star Wars geek. So I'll revisit the films. Have to say not like loving all the series so much, even though I'm excited that they exist in the world. But I will always go back to the films, especially the originals.
Leah Jones 05:38
Yeah. I'll tell you. I saw Wakanda Forever a couple weeks ago. And I went and saw it in 4DX. Have you done that?
Liz Nord 05:52
What even is that?
Leah Jones 05:54
So 3D, right, three dimensions. 4D fourth dimension. It's the fourth-dimension experience. The chair is a roller coaster. Every four chairs are connected. And they tilt forward and back side-to-side. They vibrate. There's like a fan behind you. So if there's a breeze going through the jungle, it's a little breeze on your neck. If a bullet goes by your face, they do this like really quick puff of air past your neck. So you feel the bullet go by. I went with my friend Ronnie, we had never gone before. We really didn't look into too much what 4DX was about. And we laughed hysterically through the whole movie, but the chairs….
Liz Nord 06:44
I feel like I'd be laughing the whole time. I wouldn't even be able to like..
Leah Jones 06:49
Don't do for the extra movie you want to emotionally connect to. So we felt very self-conscious being two white people in the middle of Black Panther : Wakanda Forever in Chicago as our chairs kept jolting us.
Liz Nord 07:06
Oh my god, you couldn't have been the only one’s, people must have been laughing.
Leah Jones 07:09
Luckily, it was a Tuesday or Thursday night. And it was it was there were only 10 of us maybe in the theater. And so we were all having our reactions. But I am very excited to see Avatar in 4DX themselves.
Liz Nord 07:24
That sounds like a good move for Avatar. For people that haven't seen Wakanda Forever is surprisingly emotional for a comic movie. Particularly because it's lead. The original Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman, passed away between the first and second films and they honor him and his contribution to the film's right from the beginning. I mean, people in the theater when I thought were crying,
Leah Jones 07:52
Right, which is the appropriate emotion. But as his sister walks through the lab, and that first scene and your chair goes kaboom, kaboom with her steps. And your chair is moving with her steps. And you just start laughing from then. And it's not a laughing scene.
Liz Nord 08:12
No, I also feel not a great situation to have like popcorn on your lap.
Leah Jones 08:18
No, we did not. Thankfully, we did not get popcorn. There were people behind us who had like a soda. And I'm not kidding when I say I had to hold on for dear life to not get thrown out of the chairs at times.
Liz Nord 08:32
Oh my god. I don’t think, that's for me.
Leah Jones 08:36
I wish they would make like a 45-minute 4DX experience that was Star Wars battles.
Liz Nord 08:47
Like made for it that makes more sense. How they used to make films for the IMAX and they were so incredible in that environment. Now they just show regular films on IMAX, which always feels kind of weird to me.
Leah Jones 08:59
Yeah. So I'm not looking forward. That's how we're gonna see Avatar because otherwise I don't really care about seeing Avatar. But I have to say the 3D trailer for it before Wakanda Forever, it was a stunning use of 3D.
Liz Nord 09:16
I mean, that sounds pretty cool. And it's funny because like, we're talking about documentaries today. So I'm thinking about, what does this mean for a documentary? And I think what the documentaries that I really love are immersive, what they call immersive when you find yourself in this other world. But I don't know that like in a doc, you'd want to be as immersed as a 4DX experience. It's a funny to think about.
Leah Jones 09:42
I need more people to go, so I can talk to more people about how insane… I mean, you know the big fight on top of the ship in Wakanda Forever. Your chair punches you in the back. As they're like fighting on top, feeling fists in your back.
Liz Nord 10:00
Yeah, I feel like goodbye unless it's like a massage. But you know…
Leah Jones 10:04
It's more like a sharper image massage chair, but it's happening as punches are landing on the screen.
Liz Nord 10:13
Oh my gosh.
Leah Jones 10:15
So I need more people to go talk to me about this ridiculous. I don't think you need a chair that moves as a reason to go to the theater. I think you need to be with people. Like I think the value of…
Liz Nord 10:31
I like the comfy chairs now that we back there's a lot to be said for it.
Leah Jones 10:38
Yeah. I mean, I went and saw Jackass Forever in theaters twice. Just to make sure I see it but with people,
Liz Nord 10:46
I would like to maybe unpack that with you another time.
Leah Jones 10:48
Yeah. What I'll say about Jackass is that, it is possibly one of the greatest documentaries about male friendship ever made. How about that?
Liz Nord 10:59
That is not what I ever would have expected you to say so. I'm color me intrigued!
Leah Jones 11:03
That they are, I think it's especially Jackass Forever because at this point, they've been doing it for 20 years. Everyone involved in the fourth movie, the Jackass guys, if they weren't sober, they weren't invited back like band's not there because bands not sober. And they've supported each other through sobriety, and through finding other businesses, through starting families. And, and there's, I mean, there are there's drinking on it because there's younger people. But there's really you don't often see on film, men who have been friends with each other for 20 years, working and laughing together, punching each other in the nuts and hugging it out. Like I felt like it was a really positive portrayal of an evolved male friendship.
Liz Nord 12:05
That is really cool. I love hearing that. And like note to self, definitely don't see that movie in 4DX.
Leah Jones 12:14
Liz Nord 12:15
Not my nuts punched?
Leah Jones 12:18
No. So when you come to Chicago, I'll take you to a movie at the music box. Which is one of our house. Amazing theaters still has an organ player, so there's organs. Organ player before the Saturday matinees. And I went, it's 700 people in the house. So I went there sold out for RRR.
Liz Nord 12:43
Oh, I've heard such good things about that movie. It's like on the list. It’s on my Winter list.
Leah Jones 12:49
Yeah. So I think it was the most incredible, probably live theater experience I've ever had in my whole life.
Liz Nord 12:58
Wow. Because people were so into it.
Leah Jones 13:01
People were cheering, clapping. I would say that and everything everywhere all at once. Which I also saw in a big theater sold out.
Liz Nord 13:10
That was a great one to see in the theater. So wild. Those guys, the Daniels, the filmmakers are really interesting. I interviewed them once. I used to run a website called No Film School, like by filmmakers, for filmmakers, and so interviewed lots of filmmakers. And those guys, the directors are these kind of young goofy guys. And they've done amazing work. Always pushing the envelope like they did with this film. And yeah, it's always nice when filmmakers who seem good people are also doing well in the world, and their films are getting traction.
Leah Jones 13:48
Yeah, I'm glad to see that one getting the nominations. I think it deserved.
Liz Nord 13:53
Also, like Michelle Yeoh, she's just so rad. And the fact that she's now having big sort of second coming, even though she's been in the industry for what, like 40 years. Yeah, I mean, what a badass. I love her.
Leah Jones 14:06
Yeah, she's phenomenal. Yeah, I think our winter film traditions. Well, I'm Jewish. I'm the only converted, so my family is not Jewish. So when we go to my sister's home for Christmas, we watch Bad Santa, we watch elf Christmas vacation.
Liz Nord 14:31
I mean, I've seen them all. When you grow up Jewish in this country, you can't avoid Christmas. And some of them are really fun. I love I have a weak spot for Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.
Leah Jones 14:41
Liz Nord 14:43
I love Muppets.
Leah Jones 14:44
Yeah. And then my sister will play, she's gotten a really good Pandora station of like jazzy Christmas tune.
Liz Nord 14:54
Oh, can you send that to me?
Leah Jones 14:56
I will. Yeah.
Liz Nord 14:57
Do you love Christmas music as well? Much of what It was written by Jews. There's a documentary about it.
Leah Jones 15:02
Leah Jones 15:16
Okay, Liz, as promised, we're here to talk about documentaries. But I wanted, and I know you have lots of great recommendations, which I am so excited for. But my first question is why documentaries? Do you remember seeing your first documentary? Or do you remember the first documentary that really punched you in the gut? And you're like, I got to know more about this?
Liz Nord 15:45
Oh, that's such a great question. I think like most people, although documentaries are much more prominent and available on all the streamers now. When I was a kid, I never would have told you, Oh, I want to grow up and go into documentary because I thought documentaries were historical, boring things on PBS, or like nature docs, which are fun to watch, but not a career path for me. And then it's just like true crime, none of that really appealed to me. But the idea of documentary filmmaking and filmmaking was always exciting. Or actually, the idea of filmmaking itself was exciting. And that's what I originally went to undergrad for. I ended up leaving that major, and funnily enough, like I said, later, running a website called No Film School, and I'm still No Film School. But it was a strong interest. And then I ended up becoming a graphic designer, and then came back to filmmaking. But part of what got me back to it was that I am one of those people that other people just talk to, like strangers all the time, tell me their stories. So there was this one moment, I remember pretty clearly on the bus in San Francisco, where I used to live and where I started my doc career. I was in my early 20s and this woman on the bus who I did not make eye contact with, really had no reason to talk to me. But sat next to me and started telling me in detail about her recent divorce. I thought, I need to do something with this. This happens to me all the time, enough that I should go some direction. I mean, clearly, there's some kind of calling, Even when I'm not trying, people are divulging their lives to me. So yeah, I guess I could have gone toward like sociology or therapy, psychiatry. But I was already in the media making business. And it was wait a minute what makes sense. Let’s put all this together. Let people talk to me. I'll just turn on a camera. And that's kind of really how I became a documentary filmmaker. And of course, once I started learning more about the practice, I also watched tons of films, and learned, Oh, my God, there's this whole massive world of independent documentary films that I have not had much access to previously. And I was like, oh, this is something really different! These are emotionally resonant, relevant, beautiful films that aren't formulaic historical docs, and I don't need to be dissing historical docs. I actually think, especially now, there's historical docs or docs that cover historical topics that are really fascinating. But I think it's not this male narrator are telling you, blah… blah… blah… you feel like your history class.
Leah Jones 18:51
I would say that women of our age, we're women in our40s.
Liz Nord 18:57
Wow, I didn't know you were going to be divulging our age.
Leah Jones 19:03
Yeah, unless we are plus or minus 10 years.
Liz Nord 19:06
Yes. Right. Yep. Women in are 30s or 40s.
Leah Jones 19:10
As women in are 40s. We were primed for that stretch of PBS where a documentary was the Ken Burns multipart sepia tone documentary.
Liz Nord 19:24
100%. That's what I'm talking about.
Leah Jones 19:28
And that's all we knew . So absolutely. Like once you learn there's more than Ken Burns, there's a whole world of more than him.
Liz Nord 19:36
A massive world. And so people who might not be as familiar with the field, understand kind of generally what I'm talking about is that when I say an independent film. There's this independent space where an independent filmmaker, meaning they're not necessarily tied to a studio, or anything like that. They've raised their own money or they've gotten financing outside of a streamer or studio so that they can follow their own whims and storytelling instincts. That's where a lot of films that I'm interested in, the people that I cover and work with, and promote and everything. But that's the space that we live in. And to go back to your other questions. So I started exploring the field, I took a couple of classes in San Francisco, at a place that no longer exists. But it was a wonderful organization called the Film Arts Foundation, where you could just show up and learn to use a camera without having to go to graduate school or anything. I started attending, getting involved in the local film scene in San Francisco, which was pretty robust at the time, and starting to attend the festivals. And a couple that do stand out in those early years, in terms of film experiences, where I was like, I want to do this. One was at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, probably in 2004ish. I made my first film in 2005. There was a film called Trembling Before God, which someone who's now a good friend Sandy Loski made and was pivotal doc about Orthodox Jews who are gay, coming out and/or figuring out how to navigate their worlds where that wasn't as acceptable of a lifestyle or wasn't acceptable at all. And I saw the film live with an audience at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. And in the film, itself one of the characters face is blurred, you can't see them, because it would be dangerous or uncomfortable. They couldn't really be on film recognizably. So we saw the film, it was really moving. And then that character, came out on stage first time publicly, showing her face and saying, I'm gay. And the audience went freaking bananas, understandably. And it was so moving. And so like, oh, this is what a documentary can be and can do. And I want to be part of that.
Leah Jones 22:07
And that it can be contemporary. It can be things of the moment, and not just 100 plus years ago, piecing together through archival footage,
Liz Nord 22:19
And that film followed these it's protagonists in their daily life, it's very present, very of the moment. So that was really cool. And other one was at South by Southwest, which became kind of my annual pilgrimage after the first year I went, which probably was 2005ish. And then I went 10, or somewhere between 10 and 15 more years after that. But the first year I was like this is so cool! Because I went and declared, I'm a filmmaker. I went to this film festival, film and media and everything festival and I was like, I too am a filmmaker. And I saw the premiere of Morgan Spurlock Super Size Me. I mean, the film is fine. It's debatable. People love it, they hate it. That festival happens in Austin, Texas. The crowds are super enthusiastic. They screen at this really cool movie theater called the Alamo Drafthouse that serves beer and everything while you're watching the films. And again the beauty of going to film festivals is that often the filmmaker is there. So saw the film, Morgan Spurlock shows up. Since then he's become very famous. But this was his first documentary of note. Again, audience was so wild. And that Austin crowd is so enthusiastic. And I just thought, wasn't as much about the content of the film. But I was like, oh, this is the rock star I want to be. I don't want to be I've never aspired to be in a band or whatever. But that's the Rockstar, I want to be. The one that shows their film to this rapidly enthusiastic crowd and gets to talk about it. And that film will then live on and have its own life and trajectory and influence in the world. That was super exciting to me.
Leah Jones 24:11
Wow. Those are two…. Somebody's ringing my doorbell.
Liz Nord 24:20
Like I heard a doorbell. Okay, so you were saying those are two, we talked about Super Size Me for that. And you said those are two really?
Leah Jones 24:30
Yeah. And then the doorbell rang and my brain went.. boom! I'm just thinking about I have also gotten to meet Sandy from Trembling Before God. I think I met him at maybe at the conversation. So we're Facebook friends, we're acquaintances, we're not friends. But certainly that piece resonated through the Jewish community continues to resonate. And then Morgan Spurlock Super Size Me, it was such a massive global sensation.
Liz Nord 25:02
That's one of the ones that kind of put more modern documentaries on the map.
Leah Jones 25:05
Yeah. There's still a role for sometimes investigative, sometimes experiential, documentary making. But I don't know, I just love that those were theater experiences for you.
Liz Nord 25:24
Yeah. And also what I thought you were gonna say, when you said, when you were coming to films is that I think it also kind of proves my point, even though I do want to talk about more modern films. But just like those are part of a modern wave. And they're two totally different films in tone, in style and structure. And neither of them is what one might have historically expected when they heard the word documentary.
Leah Jones 25:48
So you go to South by Southwest, you stake your claim, I am a filmmaker. And then you make your first you are your first director, the first producer. Are you like on the crew have a document I know. I said, I wasn't gonna make you talk about your career the whole time. But I guess I've never gotten to ask you some of these questions. We've known each other so long, but I've never said, because I remember you literally carrying a camera. Wasn't the exact Zachary Tim, was he your camera guy on one of your Jerusalem movies?
Liz Nord 26:29
Oh, no, we never worked together. But we had people in common. And when I moved to New York, he was one of the first people that helped me get into the New York Film Scene as part of a collective called the Film Shop. But I don't think that's that relevant. But I was filming in Jerusalem, another project in Jerusalem, a few years later when we might have seen each other at the Union. So early in my career, I was taking those classes in San Francisco, I decided instead of going to grad school, I would buy a camera and make myself into a filmmaker. I always tell people this, because there's so much about believing and putting out there that you are doing this thing, whatever it is and echo have created a lot. And at that South by Southwest, I had already started making Derrick Rose Echo. So I really was in the process of making a film, but I made myself a business card. We used to do that. And it said, Liz Nord Filmmaker, and as soon as I put it on paper, and told people, it felt real and it became more real which is pretty cool. And I still need to remind myself of that. Sometimes 20 years into my career, I still get impostor syndrome. It happens. But when I really started before making a feature documentary, I was doing what is called Video Activism. So kind of documenting stuff that is happening in the community, was sort of an activist bent. And around that time was when the Iraq war was starting. And I lived in San Francisco, which is a very progressive place. And so we were doing, I was part of a group called Street Level TV. And we had a show on the cable access in San Francisco. I would go and film Iraq war protests, and things of that nature. So I started out pretty scrappy right out there, literally in the streets.
Leah Jones 28:33
I really didn’t know that. That's so cool.
Liz Nord 28:37
It was cool. Looking back on it. Yeah, it was a moment for sure. I think what's important to notice that it just wasn't so common then. You don't really need video activists anymore because everybody has a camera and is documenting whatever is going on around them. Thank goodness that, for example, police brutality has now come much more to light because people with cell phones have just exposed that. But at that time, cell phones didn't even have video cameras. It's amazing, because not that long ago. But so it took people like us to actually go out there with cameras and make sure to be noting this stuff.
Leah Jones 29:22
It was really important. Because everybody couldn't document. It's wild. Things have changed so much.
Liz Nord 29:31
And that's part of what's been so exciting about being in this field, is that it has just changed so rapidly and documentaries have become so much more ubiquitous and your listeners can go see all sorts of fascinating stuff that wasn't really out there before. If you didn't go to the art house or you weren't part of an educational institution that had a DVD. It's amazing.
Leah Jones 29:58
So I want to ask you about if you're going to a film festival, which I know you often do. How are you approaching the documentary slate? Assuming you're not a judge, are you looking for topics that you like? Are you looking for filmmakers you've heard of? How do you start to prioritize a festival slate?
Liz Nord 30:23
Well, that's a great question because I've been as an audience, and I've also been as press. And so it really had to study the programs and figure that out, how to navigate all that. But when I'm not going as press which of course, most people wouldn't be going, I actually love to be surprised. SAnd that's one of the amazing things, especially going to a festival like Sundance. Because Sundance happens in January. And that means eat, of course, it's the head of the year, it's also the head of the film gear. And it requires not all festivals do of course, but Sundance requires that you're having your films premiere. So that means if your film has played anywhere else, but at least in North America, it wouldn't be eligible for Sundance. So that means as audiences, you have this real gift of going to see films that you just haven't heard much about yet. And so I usually do a combination of at this point, I know so many filmmakers, which is another just great privilege. So I'll try to see films by people I know and to support them. And sometimes I just go blind, whatever let's just give this a shot. That's why we're here. And that's always really fun. And then I like to kind of look outside the box. There are some films that you know when you go to a festival are going to have distribution, or they're already, for example, a Netflix film. So you know it's going to be on Netflix, or it's such a big-name director that it'll definitely get out there to the public. So often look for the films by say a first-time filmmaker or just something slightly less obscure or that hasn't secured distribution yet. So that I can make sure to try to see that film when I get the chance.
Leah Jones 32:23
Because you're trying to see the things that you might not have another opportunity in theater to see.
Liz Nord 32:30
That's right. And while this whole conversation might not feel like super relevant to everyone because you can't necessarily go to film festivals, I would highly recommend that people seek out festivals in their area. Because film festivals are so ubiquitous now that there's often small local film festivals, almost everywhere. And especially because of the pandemic, a lot of the big festivals are now making some of the films available streaming. So Sundance this year, which is coming up in January, you can buy tickets to some of the premieres online, which is pretty freaking cool. If you're sitting in Idaho and would never get yourself to Sundance actually, it isn't that far from Sundance. But if you're sitting in Maine, and I couldn't get yourself to Sundance or didn't have really a reason to go to Sundance, you can see some of these films, which I think is really one of the silver linings, I guess of the pandemic. Obviously, I rather would have not had the pandemic but this is one of those outgrowths that is positive.
Leah Jones 33:34
Yeah, that some things have become more accessible.
Liz Nord 33:40
Yes, and literally more accessible. For example, Sundance again, never did closed captioning on the live screenings. So it cut out a whole audience that required a deaf audience, for example, that would require closed captioning. And now you can stream with closed captioning for premiere, which is pretty special.
Leah Jones 34:02
That is really special. Wow!
Leah Jones 34:17
Well, let's get into some of your recommendations. I know you've been working on the list. So when you started thinking about, I want to tell people to watch these documentaries. How do you categorize documentaries? Are you like these are shorts, these are long, these are men, these are like, how do you categorize it? Or are you just this is what I'm loving right now.
Liz Nord 34:45
That is a great question. I'm a category person, a kind of list organizing person. I guess that comes from my producing background. So I do categorize and I will say I'm glad you brought up shorts because I did not really include shorts on this list. Let me tell you, this is finding favorites right, so it's so hard to find my favorites. Guys I've seen like 9 billion documentaries and so already narrowing down Long's as I love that you say Long's, I think the appropriate term is feature length but long is awesome. I'm used to it from now on. So my list that I really came up with to talk about today are Long's, but I think shorts are a really fun way to get into doc's if you're listening to this, and you're, oh, yeah, I was one of those people that thought documentaries we're boring. Shorts are such a great way in and I really actually think it's kind of the golden age of the short documentary. And people can see shorts, of course online. And if you want things more curated, there are a lot of ways to see shorts that someone else has already gone through. And the great thing about a short is, if you don't like it, like it's going to be over soon. So there's sites, for example, New York Times Op Docs. I mean, that's so well curated. There's some that are less well known, like one called Short of the Week. It's a website and another one called Leto. I'll send you the links to share with everybody. But there's some amazing places where you can watch really high-quality documentary shorts, online.
Leah Jones 36:21
Cool. I know that sometimes in festivals, well, I don't think there's a sometimes because it's hard to move people. Moving bodies is complicated. They'll do a shorts block. So you'll go in and you'll watch 3 to 10 shorts.
Liz Nord 36:40
Yeah, that’s very common. And there's usually several blocks. I mean, imagine this, I know I keep talking about Sundance, but it's because that's where most recently I worked for the past four years. But they saw the shorts programmers there. They say that they watch every single submission, which is an incredible feat. Because there are almost 10,000 Short submissions a year. So that the ones that get through that gate, or whatever are like going to be pretty strong. But there's this kind of way I say it's a golden age of shorts, because there's just so many people making shorts now that the gear and the analogy is so much more accessible. That means there's a lot more crap out there. But it also means there's a lot greater stuff. And I'll make one other note too, because I think this episode is going to come out soon.
Leah Jones 37:32
Christmas morning. People will unwrap this on Christmas morning.
Liz Nord 37:39
So it's a perfect time to mention that also every year, the Oscars puts in I don't know who actually makes it but somebody makes on behalf of the Oscars, the Oscar nominated shorts programs in theaters across the country. I always have so much fun watching those. And then when you watch the Oscars, you actually know what the shorts are. So I would recommend that folks look in their local theaters for the Oscar nominated shorts programs. And there's usually the documentary one has its own screening. I love going to the best animated shorts nominations and the best live action shorts, as well. So that's always a fun thing to do in January and early February.
Leah Jones 38:23
Those are for sure available in Chicago. And you don't have to be in a major city. You just have to be in a town with a theater with somebody who loves movies, and still loves movies, and you'll get the chance to see.
Liz Nord 38:36
So to get back to your question.
Leah Jones 38:39
Tell me about your Longs.
Liz Nord 38:41
Yes, my Longs. So the way that I thought about categories was almost in opposition to the categories that we talked about earlier like the typical categories of historical, animal, true crime, those are categories, but there's all these other categories. And of course you could split out by gender, country, whatever, that's also really interesting. But my categories are and I think some of them are accepted in the industry as categories. So I ended coming up with a bunch of categories. I'm trying to figure out how to even narrow down to share with everyone because this could take all day. So I'm gonna start and we'll see where we get. But because we had talked about Trembling Before God and Super Size Me earlier, maybe I'll bring us up-to-date on some more kind of contemporary doc's that are in those general categories. So for example, Trembling Before God, it might feel all into the modern like observational or cinema verité category, and or the character centered doc, there's a lot of overlap between the two of those. But like cinema verité is the classic documentary mode if folks have heard of Albert Maysles, and the Maysles brothers and other really famous longtime documentarian, that's this idea of the quote unquote, Fly On The Wall. But more contemporary filmmakers have acknowledged that you're not really a Fly On The Wall. But being in the room, changes the room a little bit. So these are observational documentaries, meaning the cameras just turned on, and you're watching life. But just with a little more self-awareness by the filmmakers.
Leah Jones 40:52
And so does that mean that there's not like a voice over telling you, you as the viewer are learning the story based on the scenes that I mean, cinema verité. That's like true cinema verité?
Liz Nord 41:12
Yeah. Truth is what he was talking about, like documentaries are supposed to expose some kind of truth. But then that gets really muddy too. Because exactly like we said, well, there's a filmmaker in the room. Is everything really true? I will say that part of the reason I love documentaries and why they're favorites is because so often the story behind the scenes is just as interesting as the story in front of the camera. Of course, the audience doesn't always learn those but even though these are verité, they're meant to really feel true to life, and you're watching this thing unfold. They're usually hundreds of hours of footage taken for a 90-minute talk. So it is a true story that's unfolding before your eyes. But it has been very edited to create a compelling story out of all this mundane stuff that happens in life. So one of the ones I love was Oscar nominated a couple years ago, The Truffle Hunters. This was directed by two guys, Michael Dirac and Gregory Kershaw. And it's basically about men, old dudes in Italy, who are truffle hunters. They are searching, for their job is to go into the forests of Italy with their dogs. It's actually not boars or pigs that they use with their very sweet dogs and seek out truffles. And it's an example of why would I ever watch? That sounds so boring. But somehow the filmmakers have found these delightful characters and created these scenes that are just so beautiful to watch. And what's so amazing about dogs, that you get this really, really up close and intimate peek into a world you just never would have known about. And it's really funny and delightful. Like there's one guy in the film where his dog, his truffle hunting dog is really his BFF. He lives alone with the dog. He feeds the dog at the dinner table, they sit there every night, chatting away. And during the day, they go out and search for these extremely rare, extremely valuable truffles. It's just this little slice of life that is so delightful. And again these filmmakers just watch these guys. There's a little bit of voiceover sometimes it's common, where there's not a narrator, but the voiceover might come from the protagonists themselves. So they might be talking you through what they had done, or the song that you're watching. And you get to know them a little bit that way. But then that also crosses over to this kind of character-based documentary. So in The Truffle Hunters, they are characters and I would say is not a really PC word to use anymore in the dark world, their protagonist, their participants. So they like yes, we're watching their lives, but it's more about the scene and the situation and the lifestyle and their little stories and then their character center docs, which are really focusing on one person, and they're fascinating trajectory. So it's funny I did not realize this when I was making the list, but I'm having an old man moment, because one of the characters center docs that came to mind was another Oscar nominated doc by a female Chilean filmmaker, but actually know how to pronounce her name. It’s Maite Alberdi. She made this film called The Mole agent. Did you hear about this one? Okay, so again, another old guy story. So it is basically, this lonely old man is at home alone. And he gets this invitation or he sees a notice tacked up, I don't remember how he found out about it. But he basically found out that a local detective agency was looking for an elderly detective, to infiltrate a nursing home to see if they could find signs of abuse. To this guy, like try out, and he gets in, he gets the part. And he's trains as a secret agent. Basically, this whole new lease on life. But what happens without giving too much away, is that even though he's there as this like investigator, he also is an old person in this old person's residence. And everyone falls in love with him. And he becomes and some of them literally, I don't know, if you've ever been to an assisted living kind of place but there's often many more women than men, just from…
Leah Jones 46:09
I was at my great aunt's funeral and my uncle Jimmy could still drive and he was a charming man. And there were women who had been waiting since high school for him to be single again at the funeral with casseroles.
Liz Nord 46:22
As a side note, I also was that I visited my wonderful aunt, before she passed away, several times at one of these places, and I brought my boyfriend at the time with me once. And this older lady, basically hit on him by pulling up the bottom of her pants and showing off her ankle and was a sailor, whatever. I don't even know what you said. But my aunt was so horrified. And she called her a slut. Anyway so that's the thing. And so at this place, this guy becomes the most popular guy. And then the detective agency is don't forget to do your job. It's just this is one of those Stranger Than Fiction, half the time, you're watching and going is this made up? Is this scripted? And this can't be real. But it's real. And that's the kind of doc I really love. And again, the guy's just so charming. And it's such a funny premise, but also bittersweet. And I think that's the other thing about doc's why I love them so much is that because they're real life. If they're done well and reflect real life, they often have that bittersweet feeling because in real life, there's joy and pain. There's also joy and pain in docs, which is what I think real narrative films, fictional films are often trying to achieve. So yeah, should I keep going?
Leah Jones 48:00
Yes, you should keep going. I'm googling these as you're talking and they are all adorable old men.
Liz Nord 48:07
I know it's fun. I'm going to change track.
Leah Jones 48:12
Okay. Look, here's the thing, if it turns out that your favorite thing are adorable, old men in foreign countries, with funny hobbies or with interesting hobbies, that's fine.
Liz Nord 48:25
I am a daddy's girl and my dad is 91 so maybe it's a thing. But a different direction although there are old men and this next suggestion but they are not nice old men. So no funny enough now, I set this up like in such an opposite
Leah Jones 48:53
Like oh, now they're not as bad, they're not Nazis. They are bad guys. Well they're not Nazis.
Liz Nord 48:57
Yeah, that's true. But also the hilarious part about this would you have no way of knowing is that this category is feel good docs. The other I don’t want to say misconception because it’s a real thing that so many documentaries, especially today are like about very urgent and very dark social issues, that it’s critical that these films exist, and they often move the needle and create real social change and I’m 100% for it, and it’s just not for everyone. And in fact, it’s often not for me. I told you earlier, I love Star Wars and stuff I don't always want to watch the heaviest saddest thing in the world. So believe it or not, there are a whole bunch of feel-good inspirational documentaries. Again could go on all day, but the one I am going to talk about it's called The Eagle Huntress. And this one's on Disney. This is definitely easily accessible. The Director Otto Bell, my friend Stacy Reese is the producer. And this is a really cool dark part of author. What's cool about it, I would say is that not all documentaries are family appropriate. And this one is, as I mentioned it's a Disney film, so you can watch it with kids, although it's subtitled. So either you'll need to help little kids with that or your kids have to be old enough to read. But anyway, it is about a 13-year old girl. Aisholpan Nurgaiv is her name. And she comes from a very, they're in Kazakhstan in the mountains of Kazakhstan. She comes from 12 generations of Eagle Hunters. So this is like a big deal in the mountains. And no boys have ever left, excuse me, no girls have ever been trained as Eagle Hunters. But she's the only daughter, her dad's a champion Eagle Hunter. And she wants to be trained. And he says, yes. And the elders, this is where the bad men come in. The elders of the community are like no fucking way. That is not acceptable. And the dad is like, you know what we're gonna do this. And it's this amazing story of basically she becomes a total champion. She follows in her father's footsteps and becomes this badass Eagle Huntress. And again at 13 she's this little tiny girl. And eagles are big and scary and have claws. And hunting doesn't mean that they kill them. I mean, I won't get into all the logistics. But basically, she's getting these huge eagles to come and land on her arm while she's riding a horse. And the mission is crazy. It's amazing to watch. It's super heartwarming, especially for the daddy's girls out there. And it is beautifully shot. This is one of those stories where the behind the scenes is just as interesting which I actually didn't plan on plugging things, but I had interviewed the filmmaker. I can send you a link to the video from No Film School because they had to bring something I don't remember an absurd amount of gear 2000 pounds worth of gear on a helicopter to the mountains of Kazakhstan to get these incredible wintry mountain shots. In action shots requires a special type of attention to be able to capture again the eagle, the horse that it's not just like standing, pointing a camera at someone for an interview. So anyway, that one was just super fun and not necessarily expected.
Leah Jones 52:57
And I'm clicking through the photographs on IMDb
Liz Nord 53:01
Oh, do you see her? Do you see Aisholpan Nurgaiv?
Leah Jones 53:04
These eagles are half her size!
Liz Nord 53:06
This is what I'm saying. People have no idea how big a frigging eagle is.
Leah Jones 53:10
I guess it would say like half her height. But her torso is the size of an eagle they are. They could just say we're hunting you! They are huge.
Liz Nord 53:21
And that's why it's a challenge. And imagine their wingspan, turn them on their side. They're probably taller than she is. So that is a rad movie. You got a power situation. Should I keep going?
Leah Jones 53:38
Yes, yes. So these are so that I'm just clicking through the photographs. And the stills are just stunning.
Liz Nord 53:49
It's so beautifully shot. And it's also such a beautiful environment. And similar to The Truffle Hunters, most of us will never go there. We will never know what that world is. And here we get this totally into it. And it's funny you said that about the photographs, because if I recall correctly, the reason they even made the film is because the filmmaker saw a photograph of her with eagles, and was like, what is this?! The fun thing about being a documentary filmmaker is that real life is always happening. So you're constantly coming up with ideas are being fed ideas, because you just opened the newspaper and there's probably several potential films in there.
Leah Jones 54:40
Oh my gosh, and she and her dad went to Telluride with their eagles. Oh, I didn't know that picture of them in front of the Telluride Film Festival banner, like Main Street. Telluride, the two of them just with their eagles and Main Street.
Liz Nord 54:57
Oh, that is too cool, and it makes some of his tally rides on Mountain Film Festival? That's funny.
Leah Jones 55:04
Okay, moving on. I'm watching this one tonight. I'm ordering Thai food and I'm watching The Eagle Huntress,
Liz Nord 55:11
Although a Mongolian restaurant in your area that might be more perfect. I love that you have to report back. And I should also just say it I'm sure people already expect this. But in all of these categories, I also had several recommendations. So I'm really working hard to just pick one.
Leah Jones 55:30
So and here's what I'll say. It's called Finding Favorites because it's a covered name, but it could have been called something you love. Because sometimes people really are worried about upsetting the things they didn't pick. Sometimes, because they know human beings who made the things they didn't pick, and sometimes it's because
Liz Nord 55:51
I'm talking to my filmmaker friends. I also loved your film, I promise.
Leah Jones 55:56
Yes, yes. So to all the filmmakers listening today, this is finding favorites. Calling something you love. So Liz loves you, even if she didn't name you, and you can come on my podcast in the future and rebuked her.
Liz Nord 56:16
What a great idea! I love that good documentary filmmakers always about the stories. Okay, so I want to bring up another category, because we talked earlier about the shifting of the times, and how so many more people have the opportunity to document life around them and their own lives now, and that there have always been personal documentaries. There's always been people telling their own story, or their family stories. But it's become so much more common in an era when we can constantly document ourselves. And even people our age our parents might have been VHS taping our lives. And so now someone could have had their whole life basically documented, and maybe make a film about it. And of course some of them are really self-indulgent. But many of them are really, really good. So one of them I want to talk about is coming out. I'm excited to talk about it, because it's making debut right now. It's out there right now. And it's actually in full transparency. I did give notes on a cut of this film. But I'm really proud because it's by a brand-new filmmaker, David Siev. And it's literally winning all the awards. It just won a Critics Choice Award last week. So the film, it's a weird one to say out loud. But it's called Bad Axe, not badass. Bad Axe. Which is the name of a town in Michigan, FYI. Oh, so this is a very American very timely story about this guy, David Steve's family. And they live in this rural Michigan town called Bad Axe. And they are Asian American. And they own a restaurant. And the pandemic comes. And as we all know, there was a huge rash of anti-Asian sentiment during the pandemic. Because for a lot of reasons, but in part because it was we were touting this idea that it came from China and Trump was calling it the China Flu and there was a huge uptick in abusive incidents against Asian Americans. I mean, the irony is that we're so friggin ignorant in this country, like his family's not from China, they're from Cambodia. But it didn't matter. So they were Asian American, and they were on one hand facing all this flak from the community. And on the other hand, there were a lot of community members that hadn’t come to the restaurant for a long time and really came to support them. Because it was also regardless of their family background, just keeping a restaurant alive during the pandemic, when restaurants were closing left and right. And it was hard to get supplies and people didn't want to come eat in person. It's just like, what an incredible story that only this guy could have told. Because it's his family in this very unique situation. That also was indicative of what so many other people were going through. So I love that kind of doc to where it's a very specific story, but has a more universal or more widely understood kind of message. So it's just really this American family's story, and it's beautifully done. And again, people are really responding to it. So I'm excited. Also to have known this filmmaker in his early stages and see kind of where he's gonna go with his career. So anyway, it's out in theaters now.
Leah Jones 1:00:15
Well January 5, that it will be at the Gordon center in Lake Forest, Illinois at 7pm. So I searched it, and Google always wants to help you see something. So it immediately was showtimes in your Chicago. So it is showing. So people search it on Fandango and see if you can find it when it's coming to your town.
Liz Nord 1:00:36
For sure. I mean, that's exciting, too, because not all docs even get theatrical distribution. And if you can't see it, or if it's not in your town, this one, again, because of all the acclaim and momentum it has, we'll definitely be coming out on streaming. So that's that what I realized? It's funny because obviously, I'm a female filmmaker, I am very active in movements to raise up female bipoc filmmakers. And I even am like a really early kind of founding member of a group called Film Fee Towels, which is really for female directors. I have not talked about one female director yet. Like I said, it's like its guy day for me. But there are so many amazing female docs, female fronted docs out there. Oh, I didn't say my friend, Stacy produced Eagle Huntress, but that is she's not the director. So I will talk about one of my favorite filmmakers in general, but like her stuff is out there. So, this is for people that like something a little more unusual, this category is an up and coming. One, it's becoming much more like prevalent in the field. And it's called hybrid that comes from a lot of different things, but it's essentially like it comes from the idea of being a hybrid between a fictional and a documentary film. So what it is I told you earlier that I like to check out the films that are kind of like playing with form that are doing something a little different, that are maybe pushing the envelope and these are these are documentaries that are pushing the envelope where, it's asking the question, like, what is real what is documentary? Often, they're kind of poetic. So, this filmmaker she's an Israeli American filmmaker named Alma Har’el. She also directs fiction work, which I think informs some of this. But basically, she has made a couple of films that are like in this this world of this hybrid world worth mentioning and that are available are Bombay Beach, and Love True and apparently by the way, it was so she directed the film Honey Land, and that Honey Land, oh my gosh, Honey Boy. Now Honey Land is another film on my list. That's fun. Anyway, Honey Boy is a fictional account, but like, it's like hybrid in the other way. It's a fiction film, but it comes from the true story of like, Shia LaBeouf’s life. Shia LaBeouf, contacted her to work together after seeing Bombay Beach. Okay, it was like this is this is so fascinating. So, her first feature doc is called Bombay Beach. A more recent one is called Love True. And both of them are worth mentioning. Because basically, they're just like super creative in that. They are documentaries. They're kind of like the Verity style, you're watching people's lives unfold. But they break out into these constructed formats. In the middle of the film, when you're like totally not expecting it like what the hell is going on, which I kind of like. So in Bombay Beach, for example, there are dance numbers. So, it's not a film about dance and it's not a film about dancers. It's like if you've heard of what of the place Bombay Beach, it's like this super poor community in Southern California, that is like, on the shores of the Salton Sea, which is a man-made sea in the middle of the desert, actually, it's in Colorado or California. Anyway, it's a man-made sea that used to be this vacation destination. And now I have to say I love the description on IMDb. I wouldn't normally just read you the description but the IMDb description says that the Salton Sea used to be a beautiful destination vacation for the privileged and is now a pool of dead fish. So anyway, she's just documenting the lives of these people that you know some people that live in this wild place, but in the middle of scenes of just like of their lives, there's like these breakout dance numbers that she worked on them with. She worked with them on and on. Guess it was a way to like express their internal dialogue and their thoughts and feelings. Like it's still documentary in that, like, you're still getting to know these real people in their real lives. But she's expressing who they are in a way that's constructed. And this sounds maybe a little bit esoteric, but I just find it so interesting. And the way she does it is like really, really cool. And in Love True, it's kind of similar. It's a movie about love. And she's following three love stories. And that love is very broadly defined. It's not necessarily a typical love story, but in that one, she used some devised theater, kind of like psychiatry techniques, and had the characters kind of recreate, theatrically recreate some of their own stories. So again, in the middle of what feels like a typical cinema Veritate documentary, it breaks out into these scenes where you're like, What the hell? Like you're kind of watching someone's dream happening on screen, starring them. She's just interesting. So I recommend checking her work.
Leah Jones 1:06:16
Also, her website is wild.
Liz Nord 1:06:19
Oh, I am in it. But I know she does a lot of weed.
Leah Jones 1:06:24
It's a lot of like, multi layered it's got a real Myspace vibe.
Liz Nord 1:06:24
Oh, fun Myspace. Wow!
Leah Jones 1:06:25
And also she could play Tori Amos in a movie.
Liz Nord 1:06:42
Yes, sidenote, she's gorgeous. Yeah like amazing skin. It's anyway.
Liz Nord 1:06:56
Can I do like two more?
Leah Jones 1:07:02
Two more to bring us home?
Liz Nord 1:07:06
So what I'm gonna do is because I'm thinking these are all kind of like, serious. I don't want to end on a total serious note. But I do want to bring up one more probably the most serious one that I have. And then we'll end with fun. How's that? Okay, so the other I think very like typical, oh, this is a documentary is a biopic like, it's a story about someone's life. And we've had these in pop culture to forever like you think of behind the music or something. Like I've been cool ones. I think the biopic has gotten much more creative in recent years and one that I really just loved and was so gutting just it's a hard watch, it's not a light watch, and it's not children appropriate. But it's called I Am Not Your Negro. And it's a 2016 documentary, actually made by a Haitian filmmaker, Raoul Peck. And what's so interesting about this is the subject is James Baldwin. If people don't know him, he's a very prolific American Black American writer and kind of civil rights activist. And before he died, he had an unfinished manuscript. About several other civil rights leaders who he was in the circles with in the social circles with Medgar Evers and Malcolm X and MLK, of these like, really pivotal figures in in civil rights in this country and he never finished the book. So, this filmmaker, I don't exactly know how he came upon the manuscript. But he essentially finished the book for James Baldwin, by creating this film. This film is like the film version realization from another creative of this other creative’s work, which in itself is like such an interesting concept. And he did this with just incredible archival footage, but also really beautiful graphics and this amazing kind of narration voiceover by Samuel L. Jackson. And it's just really lyrical and it's such an unusual, it's such a unique film that it's hard to describe, but it also is going through some of America's most challenging social moments. And then resonates so sharply still today, the issues that are covered, then it's just like, it feels so relevant, but it's also just an incredible watch.
Leah Jones 1:09:51
I remember when it came out, but I don't think I knew it was about James Baldwin. But I didn't hear any of that backstory about it? I guess I just thought it was a straight up biopic.
Liz Nord 1:10:08
Which is why I am bringing it up. And also people just want like fun and more standard, but holiday watch type. biopic. I really love the partnership. Also, these are friends but um, Julie Cohen and Betsy West, they have created this whole canon of documentaries about badass women. So probably a lot of people have heard of RBG the film RBG that got such a big a lot of attention about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Leah Jones 1:10:41
I saw that one. And I saw that one in the theaters where we're in the last row at the top of the theater because it was sold out.
Liz Nord 1:10:42
Oh, my gosh did you love it?
Leah Jones 1:10:45
Yeah, it was really interesting. That's when I mean, she was still alive when that came out. It was right.
Liz Nord 1:10:57
Yeah. I saw it premiered at Sundance, and she came. It was awesome. But anyway, they've also made these other films about like Julia Childs and civil rights activist Polly Murray and the most recent one is about Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Congresswoman who got shot. And they're just pretty serious. But they have this kind of women biopic genre going, and they're really good at it. So those are, just another sort of recommend on the completely opposite side of the spectrum. Up to wrap up on a fun note, I have to go full circle because my first doc Jericho’s Echo was a music documentary, like I said about the punk scene in Tel Aviv. And music talks are really my first love and I didn't really talk too much about them. Because that could have been a subset of Finding Favorites. We could have done a whole episode on music docs. So, I will just say, everybody knows what a music documentary is. There's tons out there. And they're so fun. And my bone to pick with music documentaries, the ones I don't like, or where the documentary doesn't meet the excitement of the music and the movement it's part of is more interesting than the documentary itself. There's a range. And there's a lot of those, but there are also so many good ones. One of the most recent, that has gotten tons of attention. It's on Hulu is Summer of Seoul.
Leah Jones 1:12:27
Liz Nord 1:12:28
So, this is cool. This is the first feature directed by Questlove of the musician from The Roots and now he's like Mr. filmmaker he's got several projects in the works, apparently. But this is fascinating, because it is about the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969. It was a series of concerts that happen in Harlem in New York City where I live in ’69. Around the same exact time Woodstock was going on. And it's kind of fascinating, because we haven't really heard about the rights. And yet it was a festival where some of the most influential musicians of our time played, but they were black, and just never got the traction even though of course, Jimi Hendrix and others played at Woodstock. But this was homegrown festival that was just incredible.
Leah Jones 1:13:24
Over the course of six weeks, it was the whole summer! That’s amazing.
Liz Nord 1:13:28
It was this ongoing series of concerts. And like all over the map, in terms of the types of music that were that were played, but this is one of those another kind of behind the scenes is so interesting. Essentially, somebody filmed it for public television. Nothing ever really came of it, the boxes sat in someone's basement, or somebody was cleaning up the typical story, they found these rolls of film are, Hey, what's this? And basically, essentially, ultimately, Questlove was handed this material. I bet you'll be interested in this. And he made this just film where you're holy shit this was pivotal cultural moment that we're finding out about now. 50 years later and some of the footage is just so amazing. And these artists that are so ubiquitous, now you're seeing them and they're really young days and you're seeing huge crowds, huge black crowds and Harlem, just loving it, loving the summer. We so often see about the social unrest of that time. So, it's really beautiful to see just people loving it and having a great time and it doesn't feel any kind of way other than this is beautiful and musical and soulful and fun. So that one is just a fun watch and an eye-opening watch as well. And then there’s a million music documentaries. So, I recommend kind of poking into that genre for people, it's another one of where if you haven't watched a lot of documentaries, it's a good entry point. It's an accessible kind of sub-genre.
Leah Jones 1:15:17
This is such you've given us such a good list of things to watch on winter break.
Liz Nord 1:15:22
I was so excited about that. And I'm so excited that we did this and that, you've given me so much time to chat about favorites, and I love it. You're one of my favorites. So, all works out well.
Leah Jones 1:15:35
I can't wait till I get to see you again. I gotta get to New York next year.
Liz Nord 1:15:39
One of us will get to the other place. Or maybe we should go meet in the Bahamas? I don't know.
Leah Jones 1:15:44
I mean, also that yeah, also the Bahamas.
Liz Nord 1:15:47
Anyway, so yeah. So, I will be happy to send you some links to these films and if the if the world demands it, if your crowd wants more recommendations, I can also send a list for the site.
Leah Jones 1:15:58
Amazing. Where can people find you on the internet?
Liz Nord 1:16:03
Oh, that's fun. I mean, I’m at liznord.com. That's probably the easiest way I'm really into photography, street photography, and no casual photography. It's a way to keep up my creative practice without having to make a film that takes five years. So, Instagram is a good place to find me and I'm just @ lizfilm.
Leah Jones 1:16:27
But thank you so much. This has been really a wonderful conversation.
Liz Nord 1:16:29
Thank you and happy holidays. Merry Christmas to all the listeners. Who are listening on Christmas.
Leah Jones 1:16:36
It's Merry Christmas. It's merry last night of hug I think it's last night of Hanukkah.
Liz Nord 1:16:41
Yeah, might be the night before but either way. Yes. Holiday season be merry and bright. Whatever you celebrate or even if you don't celebrate anything.
Leah Jones 1:16:52
This real perfect overlap of Christmas and Hanukkah this year ruined my Hanukkah party. Just traditionally the Saturday night of Hanukkah, but I have a big party. It's Christmas Eve. And it will be with my family. So. I don't, we’ll see if my sister allows me to cook latkes in her kitchen. I don't know.
Liz Nord 1:17:15
They do stink up the place but they’re so delicious. I'm gonna try cheddar latkes because this year just to make latkes more fattening.
Leah Jones 1:17:24
Thank you for listening to Finding Favorites with Leah Jones. Please make sure to subscribe and drop us a five-star review on iTunes. Now go out and enjoy your favorite things.
Sunday Dec 18, 2022
Sunday Dec 18, 2022
Sunday Dec 18, 2022
Terry Gant, Chicago-based comic bookstore owner, joined Leah to talk about hospital husbands, Twitter and Prog Rock. He prescribes the musical journey for someone new to Prog Rock and ready to get a feel for symphonic Swedish death metal.
See Terry speaking at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Monday, December 19th, 2022, at the event Spiritual Awakenings.
Shop at Third Coast Comics online or in person.
The Pineapple Thief
Send in your best of 2022 voice memos to leahj77[@]gmail.com by December 30 to be included in the New Year's episode about the best of 2022!
Sunday Dec 11, 2022
Sunday Dec 11, 2022
Sunday Dec 11, 2022
Jen Michalski returns with a new short fiction collection (available for pre-order now) and how she found Outsiders by S.E. Hinton for the first time. We talk about S.E. Hinton's YA ouvre, the movies she inspired and the Outsider House Museum in Oklahoma.
Keep up with Jen Michalski online
Pre-order The Company of Strangers
Whoopi Goldberg Original Broadway Show Recording
Jackie and Laurie Show
The We Came to the End
Why middle grades still love The Outsiders
Rob Lowe on Armchair Expert (lots of Outsider talk)
Bright Lights, Big City
S.E. Hinton and the YA Debate (The New Yorker)
The Enduring Spell of ‘The Outsiders’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Why The Outsiders still matters 50 years later (Rolling Stone)
Alternate titles proposed for S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders. (slate.com)
Exclusive interview with S.E. Hinton - The Outsiders Fan Club (weebly.com)
The Outsider House
Wall of Voodoo
Honoring teens sexual reality - Judy Blume
Poe House in Baltimore
Our Cancers Dan O'brien
Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris
S.E. Hinton with Jen Michalski_mixdown
Announcer, Leah Jones, Jen Michalski
Jen Michalski 00:00
Hello, my name is Jen Michalski. And my favorite thing is S.E. Hinton.
Welcome to the Finding Favorites Podcast. Where we explore your favorite things without using an algorithm. Here's your host, Leah Jones.
Leah Jones 00:18
Hello and Welcome, to Finding Favorites. I'm your host, Leah Jones. And this is the podcast where we learn about people's favorite things without using an algorithm. I am very excited tonight; Jen Michalski is back and she is the reason I have authors on this podcast. She changed the whole trajectory of finding favorites. And I'm thrilled that you're back. Jen, how are you doing?
Jen Michalski 00:46
Great. I'm so thrilled to be back as well. I've been waiting for weeks to do this. I'm so excited.
Leah Jones 00:51
And you're back because you have another book coming out.
Jen Michalski 00:55
I do. Yes.
Leah Jones 00:56
The Company Of Strangers.
Jen Michalski 00:59
It'll be out January 10th with Braddock Avenue Books, and it's a collection of short fiction.
Leah Jones 01:05
So they're short fiction, is it? Is it all COVID era writing, or is it like expand your career?
Jen Michalski 01:15
It's a mix. I mean, I actually I moved to Southern California three years ago, which spans the time I was last on your podcast, but some of that a few of the short stories in this collection were written here. Most of them were written in Baltimore, though. But the cover is really great. It's a cover of some surfers standing in front of a California sunset, and it was so weird, like we live, I guess about it's a 10-minute drive from the beach. We were coming home from the grocery store we were at a traffic light I just looked over, and these surfers were sitting there, kind of chatting. There was this beautiful sunset behind them. I just took the picture from the car and it turned out so good that I just wanted to be the book cover, even though, not all the stories were set in this area. I just felt like, because they were all just kind of standing in their own little thoughts. They weren't exactly talking to each other; they were all holding the boards, it kind of reminded me of a lot of the stories how people that we know are strangers, but then we also have these intimate connections with people we don't know! Our whole life is just sort of not really quite knowing what another person is thinking.
Leah Jones 02:30
When did this book become a sparkle in your eye?
Jen Michalski 02:37
Well, it makes short story collections, they take a long time to build because you just have to collect so many stories. And I think they started to play around with a collection even before I left Baltimore. They were different titles, and it just never felt quite cohesive. So you just put it aside, actually wrote a novel while we were here in Carlsbad during COVID. I'm still finalizing the draft of that to start sending out. But, I did finally write the last story in this collection is a Novella, and I wrote it here. It just felt like the right piece for this collection. The title came from one of the stories in the collection. I don't know, there's something that you finally know when you have the right combination of stories. But it does take several years to come about. So, a lot of this is pre COVID. But I was very active during COVID. Because we just didn't go anywhere for two years and we just moved here, so we had no friend bubble either. So we were it was just me and my partner and our dog. The perfect time to have your own writing residency. It's definitely changed a lot of how marketing has been, still everything's kind of online. I don't have as many I have yet to build, it took 10 – 12 years to build the connections. I had the writing community in Baltimore, and it's coming about even slower here because things are still not quite back to normal. But I think every industry has been changed by it. It's just something you have to go with the flow and that's life.
Leah Jones 04:29
Yeah, I think we've seen a significantly from… I mean, My day job is marketing and financial services, and very few of our teams are back to in person conferences. It's still a lot of webinars, a lot of the meetings that used to be required to be in person are all on Zoom. People aren't getting on planes anymore like they used to. So I see it in work, I see it at my synagogue; just where we've had people who when I understand haven't felt comfortable to come back in person or liked the balance that attending online events brought to their life without the commute in the city. Because of Chicago, the effort to get somewhere in Chicago sometimes can be 30 to 60 minutes to get somewhere in the city. I just seen people clinging and now that it's cold and the sunset today is at 4:19 p.m. The people ran outside during the summer and now they're coming back to online events.
Jen Michalski 05:46
Yeah, it's a strange thing, though. I joined a library book group here in Carlsbad when we moved here and we've been online the whole time. We actually met the other night and it's like this, is anyone interested in just not doing a meeting in person, but just meeting in person? Because I actually have never met any of you outside of these little squares, and you probably live 10 minutes away. And then some people were like ‘yeah’, and some people were like ‘uh’. I know that attendance to the book club is skyrocketed because people can just get on their computer in their pajamas and they don't have to. It can be a pain in the butt after work, make sure you're still dressed or take a shower or comb your hair and go out to talk about a book that you may not have finished reading, even an hour. So I get it. But it just felt weird, and I know people younger than us, their whole lives have been brought up this way. It's really just a little old, so we're just like, “Oh, my God, no everything is...”. I mean, I know, we've been sort of preparing for it with social media. But I just think about the old days when you're bowling league was social media, you'd go out once a week and that's how you get information and gossip and connection.
Leah Jones 07:04
Yeah, I've talked to friends about a friend of mine whose dad has passed away. But when her dad was alive, he was the one that would take her mom and they would go to the bar in a small-town Wisconsin, because that is where they saw their people, they caught up with people and how much of her mom's social life has suffered. Because she was never the one who had to take the initiative to go to the bar, because her husband would come home and say, “Alright, now let's go here, let's go there”, and how hard that can be to maintain.
Jen Michalski 07:42
Yeah, I love that story, though, that's great.
Leah Jones 07:45
You really have to think about is this activity outside of my home, worth the risk, worth the healthcare risk? Or the benefits I'm gonna get for it? The social benefits, which I think are significant. I think the benefits of seeing people in person are significant. Is that more important? Or how do I balance that with the risk to my physical health? I wish I could time travel 50 years and see the research about what this time did for us.
Jen Michalski 08:27
Hopefully we're still alive and 20 more, and we'll have some linking of how it's working out.
Leah Jones 08:34
For the launch of this collection will you have an opportunity to go back to Baltimore and celebrate with your folks in Baltimore? Or is it going to be mostly online events? How are you thinking about rolling things out?
Jen Michalski 08:50
It's mostly online last year, I went back to Baltimore, when “You'll Be Fine” came out. I am not doing it this year. Like I said, I've done a lot of just more interviews and I've written essays and done podcasts and things like that. It's actually felt really comfortable to me. This is someone who I used to host a reading series in Baltimore for many years and co-hosted one for years before that, so very accustomed to being on stage and being with people. But I don't know, I just as I've gotten older, the energy has gotten less for me to be able to get out and do that. Maybe that's why I identified with S.E. Hidden history because she's very reclusive and she never goes out and does any sort of events now. And part of it was she said, there was an article online about someone was like her handler when she was in Texas to do a book festival or something. She's just like because basically, I get asked the same four questions every time, so I can imagine there's this in their system. I love music and I was listening to Aisles a Mile (based on Google search it is Miles of Aisles), Joni Mitchell live album, because I just started collecting Vinyl a year ago. So I've just been on this spree. And I got that I was listening to it, and she was talking about how weird it is to play your greatest hits at these concerts. Because, if you are an artist, no one ever says to Vincent van Gogh to paint “The Starry Night”, again. I mean, sure, some people will do. But it's that we're so bound by what we've already done. Even when you see dance, if I'm going to see a band in concert, I'm going to see “X” this month, at the [Not audible[00:10:41]]. And so on a beach and I don't want to hear, I haven't even listened to their new album yet. But I definitely want to hear Los Angeles. I get it as bands, whatever entry point the fan has to your body of work as an artist, is what's important to them. And that your whole career usually.
Leah Jones 11:05
One of the podcasts I listen to is The Jackie and Laurie Show. It's Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin. They're both women in their mid-50s, who have been standup road comics for 30 plus years. And Laurie did monologue jokes for Conan O'Brien. But they have both been on the road for 30 years. And they talk about the business, the business of standup comedy, how the business of standup Comedy has changed for women over the last 30 years. And they talk a lot about the churn of comedy albums. How like first standup comic, it takes you, 8 to 10 years to have enough jokes for your first album. But then the culture and comedy are, once you've recorded an album, that's all trash, and you can't ever perform it live again. So by the time it goes on your album, it is the best, it's the best written, it's you've got the timing down, it's the best it could be. But then, because people can hear it whenever they want; comics believe well, then that's done, I can never perform it again. And it is the opposite of bands. And then they talk about how sometimes people will try to request their favorite jokes. And they're like, well, maybe people do want to hear the jokes they know. And that debate about like, do you want to always hear something new and unknown, and surprising, or sometimes you want to hear the greatest hits. I think it's interesting how it's different between mediums, media.
Jen Michalski 12:49
I would love to hear a comedian do their own. I mean, because there was certain comedy albums I listened to growing up like Whoopi Goldberg’s album, and I remember the characters she did like Fontaine and I listened to it so much, I could do the Fontaine or Joan Rivers, and I would actually be disappointed if I didn't get to hear some of those jokes; just because I grew up with them. But I totally get that and I remember a period where I went to see a lot of Lloyd Cole concerts and there was always a guy there was always request, Mr. Wrong, Mr. wrong and I couldn't see this falling boy call like I am, and requesting this song that I wonder how Lloyd felt about it because he never actually played the song
Leah Jones 13:51
So you brought her up, let's get into it. This time, the favorite thing that you want to talk about or one of your favorites is the author S.E. Hinton.
Jen Michalski 14:01
Yeah, it's funny because it's like a no, no. And writing books is to make your author or your character an author. And I've already done that in one book. And now I'm going to talk about authors on the podcast.
Leah Jones 14:13
I didn't know it was the rule.
Jen Michalski 14:15
Yeah, there was sort of an unspoken like, don't use writers in your writing because it's kind of Gaucher or whatever. But you know, they also tell you to write about what you know, so
Leah Jones 14:28
Right, we can't have both.
Jen Michalski 14:30
But yeah, S.E. Hinton was my first, I wouldn't say, literary an author, but she was like my gateway to writing novels or having feeling like an adult novel, adult age novel could appeal. To me, I just remember I guess it was like 82 or 83 and going into the North-Point library, every Saturday with my grandfather and we would just go to the white section I would read everything that was there like Lois, Duncan and Lois Lowry and read the whole Row of Nancy and yearbooks on summer, I have collected them over the years again. And I remember picking up this. I'm pretty sure I've read the book first before I saw it in 16 Magazine, because I was a huge consumer of teen magazines at that age as well.
Leah Jones 15:19
16 young and modern
Jen Michalski 15:23
So, Bob later, and I read the book, and I was thinking I grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Baltimore. They weren't exactly great creatures. But there was definitely a subset of kids that were jean jackets, and smoked after school and rode their BMX bikes, and they were all tough.
Leah Jones 15:48
And the book is outsiders. Yeah, just checking.
Jen Michalski 15:54
And they were just like, I don't know, there was just this picture of, and I sent you the picture of the cover that I was in my library, to link to the podcast, but that cover, and this boy is looking so tough. And I guess I could just relate to Ponyboy he was thoughtful and literate, but also an outsider. It was we were definitely in a neighborhood that was blue collar middle class. So I felt like, there was something, there was still like a glimmer of like a romantic hope that you could be this thoughtful character in an area that was always just very coarse. For me, it was just getting called a lot of names a lot of fat names, or which names or this and that, and for someone who is overweight and questioning their sexuality in the 80s. It wasn't like, something I wanted to deal with. But I felt like I could relate to these characters. And I, it's interesting, because, well, apparently the book is based on a true story, S.E. Hinton when she went to high school in Tulsa, there were there were Greasers and socialism. A boy she was friends with him and he was a greaser gotten beaten up while he was walking home from school. And she was upset about it. And she went home and just started writing. And that was it. That became like the first or second chapter of the book when they get jumped later in the book. But yeah, it was marketed as an adult novel. There wasn't like a young adult market like there is today. The market is huge. Middle aged, middle grade, and you just have your own Barnes and Noble, right. So it wasn't selling but there was this like sub market that it was selling, and it was to kids, because teachers were teaching it in schools. And I wondered, what made teachers decide to teach it in schools other than the fact maybe there weren't books that really spoke to other. I don't know if they read The Catcher in the Rye, back then in the 60s. But I mean, we did in high school. To Kill a Mockingbird, but maybe they hadn't become what they were at that point in 1967, that they were in like the 80s and 90s when we read them. Tthat's actually how the movie was made. In 1980, the movie version of The Outsiders. In 1980, there was a librarian at the Lone Star school in Fresno. She wrote, the director, Francis Ford Coppola of all people, on behalf of her seventh and eighth grade students about adapting the outsiders. It was like 100 kids who have cosigned to this letter, and he was so touching. I have to do this for them. This is Francis Ford Coppola; this isn't some starting out director or this is a big deal. And I thought it was so cool that he just says, yeah, we got to do this. We got to find in a lot of the guys who were casted in The Outsiders, it was one of their first films. It was their springboard for greater fame, and you think about who was cast in The Outsiders movie?
Leah Jones 19:20
It’s really a who's who?
Jen Michalski 19:23
Yeah, of 80s. Matt Dillon and Patrick Swayze, Ralph Michihiro (on Google I could find Ralph Macchio), Rob Lowe. Oh, my God! Even Top Gun. Tom Cruise. Emilio Estevez. It was just huge. All of the guys that were and see Thomas how C. Thomas Howell was his debut role. I was reading back then they would all stay in the same hotel, but to get them in their roles like Francis Ford Coppola would give the guys who were playing the socials are the more of the upper, the better rooms. And they just try to create a sense of resentment or on cloud that he did that sort of method acting for them.
Leah Jones 20:17
I need to look for the show notes. I think it was Rob Lowe. It was either his interview on like Andy Richter’s three questions (as per Google Search, The Three Questions with Andy Richter)or Armchair Expert, where he talked about, because they are high school students, for the most par. Some of them knew each other, from the scene in LA, from the acting scene, and the stories from that set are phenomenal. Sometimes some camaraderie, some competition, and then they just all go on to have these incredible careers.
Jen Michalski 21:03
The staying power is amazing to me. Because I even bought the idea because it was recently on TCM and HBO Max is one of the movies to watch. And I was afraid to rewatch it. So it was not a lot of his age gracefully from our game. He didn't want to, and I was surprised that it's still stood up. And it took itself seriously, it wasn't corny. And I could see there was a lot of natural tension in the book, and Sen knew how to write a compelling scene that made you want to find out what happened to these boys and care about them. And then there's continued conflict. So it was really a good primer on how to write a novel. I don't think it's not like she went to a writing program, we were so inundated with Emma phase and this and that. But I mean, she really was able to find a natural piecing and conflict. And it just worked so well as I was impressed. And what I thought was funny is that, it seemed like the one of the most gut wrenching or just difficult parts was figuring out what to title it. I read an article in Slate, because I just thought she came up with The Outsiders. But she actually had called it a different sense of that was the original title. And that, I don't mind that, but it doesn't say it doesn't just off on the shelf, reading the spine doesn't really jump out to you. But some of the titles that the editors had suggested to her during this process were. And they have some copies, if you go to the Slate article, they have some copies of the letters correspondence between him or her editors. Some of the alternate titles were Northern Division Street, which that sounds it's very West Side Story sounding. The long-haired boys, very descriptive. The boys in blue jeans, and the leather jackets was another one. So at the last minute she came up with The Outsiders and that worked.
Leah Jones 23:27
Yeah. It's hard to imagine it under any of those names.
Jen Michalski 23:32
Yeah, I think I would just completely date itself and be irrelevant. So but yeah, I just thought it was going back to the movie watching that, and the title, I just felt like she was definitely influenced by products of her time to like rebel without a cause. So you probably were watching and West Side Story. And I think about that too, in my own writing. So I think about the things that influenced me when I was 13 or 14 in writing and when I was coming up in that age in at 45. Just starting to read more mature works, but also reading Sweet Valley High still because everyone likes that saccharin in their life. But I just remember the big authors then we're again the literary Brat Pack. So it was Bret Easton Ellis and Jamie Kinder, Kinder Nene. So Less Than Zero and Bright Lights, Big City. And I didn't know much about writing that and I just took this as gospel and I spent a little too many years writing books in first person and in second person and just these very bare deadpan observations, thinking that was the way to write. It wasn't until getting to college later and reading more widely that I was able to put that away. Although I actually just read an essay recently that will be out in the Cincinnati review because it just stuck with me. Reading Bright Lights Big City that young, I was talking to someone about my collection, and they made the observation and five of the stories a good third of the book had stories and second person. And how that's also sort of a no, no, like when you're writing. It just people don't really gravitate to it much. But I apparently have gravitated to it a lot.
Leah Jones 25:36
So first person is “I”, it's the voice is the point of view. Third person we know from Seinfeld is an omnipotent observer describing everything. Wait a second, I don't remember what second person narration…
Jen Michalski 25:59
Second person is when you get up in the morning, you don't or like the first line of Bright Lights Big City, you're not the type of guy who would find yourself in a place like this. I had written, like a bunch of stories like that. But I had to think on it for a while other than being influenced by this particular book, when I was growing up is this that. I guess just being like, a queer writer, was an interesting time in history and coming up in 2006 and 2007, there wasn't a lot of queer writing, and then it suddenly exploded especially in YA Middle grade. And all of a sudden, I'm 50 years old, and I never felt there was any wave to ride. Like it, somehow passed me over, because by the time it became sought after it was a little older and out of the crucial market, I don't know. But I still felt like the need to write second person, so people could see my side of the story, I guess. I guess you're so used to reading third person and first person and perspectives that aren't your own. For me, it was a way of easing people into a character that maybe we're all the sudden, you can't escape, because you're them.
Leah Jones 27:29
Second person can be so powerful. Somewhere behind me on my bookshelf it's a book about someone who survives round after round of layoffs at a marketing agency in the crash in 2002. Or in 2001-2002, the first, or the tech bubble crash 1999. Who knows which crash it was?! And I read that book. And at the time, I was nearing the end of my career at my first marketing agency. I was reading the book, it made me really envious of everybody in the book. The protagonist was surviving the layoffs. And I was feeling envy for the people in the book who were losing their jobs. And I was like, Oh, that's a hint that my job is not good for me. If reading this book and being put into the space of somebody in a place where everybody's losing their jobs, it makes me want to quit. I then took that advice forward. So I can see what you're saying that by easing people, in with second person and helping them try on an identity and live in a story as someone who is not themselves. Because I had a reaction so visceral that I resigned and started my own company. From One Night, One Novel.
Jen Michalski 29:08
Please, put that that novel title in the Book Notes as well, so I can…
Leah Jones 29:12
I will. I know it's five feet behind me, but I don't want to. I will put it in, it'll be in the notes. So is your essay coming out about writing in the SEC? Is it you reflecting on writing in the second person?
Jen Michalski 29:26
Yes. And yeah, it was just a lot of the issues we just discussed. And part of it was our Springboard was those influences, those inciting incidents you had as an impressionable young person. It really depends on what around and for me this particular books were on the table. B Dalton, I remember the Less Than Zero Hardback, How to Ever be with the Elvis Costello trust glasses with the red and blue lenses and I was taken by that. And that was part of the reason why I got the book. So with S.E. Hinton, probably being a zeitgeist of her time and just what was going on around her. But, she didn't always write about Greece Susan socials though, or socials. When I was a child, I thought it meant that I was reading it in the book, and I thought it was Socs, S. O. C. S. It's good to see the movie and ironed that out. So I was one of those kids had a big vocabulary, but had no idea how to pronounce the words because they just read them, and it's still to this day, sometimes if I'm going to talk, and I want to use a big word. I will go to Google and Google and listen to how it's pronounced just to make sure because I know I've mangled so many words in my life just by seeing on the page and learning them that way.
Leah Jones 31:02
I feel a lot of college was finding out what words I had been saying wrong in my head for my whole life at that point. Absolutely.
Jen Michalski 31:11
Yeah. And I had a roommate who pointed out every single one.
Leah Jones 31:17
Jen Michalski 31:18
Yeah, she also wrote a book called Tex, which was about a boy and I think also in Tulsa, who lives with his brother, there's a real absence of parents. Her books that I've discovered, she wrote that was then this is now which I think was the last of the four that she wrote for people and that was in maybe 71, or 72. But there was some drug use and that it's in psychedelics. And I was a little too young to understand identify or actually scared me a little bit. It was like, Go Ask Alice which scared the crap out of me. It did its job until I got to college and tried all those drugs. But, for a while I was definitely afraid of psychedelics and any sort of drug. She also wrote Rumble Fish, which was sort of like the outsiders also, a boy and his brother. She had this great thing with nicknames because in Rumble Fish, the main character is Ricky and his brother was the Motorcycle Boy, and The Outsiders, Ponyboy, Soda Pop. So there were some great names that she had. Rumble Fish was also directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It was really arthouse film. I remember seeing it in the 80s when it came out and it came it was in black and white, except for there were some Siamese fighting fish – betta fish in a pet store late and then the movie. And the only thing in color in the whole movie, these fish which is kind of wild. I think the brother is colorblind.
Leah Jones 33:09
I know I saw The Outsiders. I know I read it. But I don't think in Rumble Fish I was aware of, but I don't think I ever saw it or read it.
Jen Michalski 33:20
Well, it's probably one of those that will come out again and TCM like I said, it's a Coppola film. And it is very artsy. It was probably a little more than it needed to be. It was very high art. But it was also this, I think about all the things I was introduced to from other things like I knew that Stan Ridgway, Wall Obudu did the soundtrack or the title song for Rumble Fish. So I kind of got into him and his music through The Outsiders. I discovered who Robert Frost was and got to read his poems and I did buy a Betta fish after Rumble Fish. We had some in the household for many years. I remember discovering Oscar Wilde through Morrissey. So it's funny just how that sort of crossover either like you'd read about bands and music and books or you read about author, learn about authors through song lyrics. Was there anything that you were introduced to a band or a book when you were growing up that just ran with it and it just became part of your identity.
Leah Jones 34:37
I was given for my high school graduation, one of my close friends in high school was the Sunday night DJ on the college radio station. And he gave me a copy of The Stranger by Camus for graduation of a particular translation of it was like a new modern translation of The Stranger. And I do have gone on to collect translations of The Stranger. Because it's a pretty, it's a globally published book. So I have a few different English translations. One that I bought the Shakespeare book company in Paris, I bought a copy of The Stranger. But then I also bought a copy of it in French, from a random guy selling books on the banks of this Sand River in Paris. And I bought it in a copy in Argentina, a friend who went home to China bought me a copy of it. So that's kind of a book that I have a long relationship with.
Jen Michalski 35:49
So how many copies do you have now?
Leah Jones 35:52
Seven or eight?
Jen Michalski 35:53
Wow. Well, if I see any of my troubles, I'm going to send you.
Leah Jones 36:00
What I still need for all the times I've been to Israel; I haven't bought a copy of it yet in Hebrew. So that is high on my list. But I'm sure there are. I was very confused when my period started because pads in the 80s didn't have like a belt. And are you there? God, it's me, Margaret. She had the pads with a belt. I was very mentally prepared for the belt. And then there wasn't one. So I remember just like not being prepared because of what I had read in the book so many times. But Judy Blume actually went back and she has continuously revised the technology. And are you there? God, it's me, Margaret, to be like, what was actually available.
Jen Michalski 36:58
We're gonna have to do some research on that. I just remember that terrifying me reading about I was why is this happening? And then I think I got this the nine or the 311 school from a guy and my brother's friend, Paul; because my mother took me aside one Saturday morning. She's like, I want to talk about something. And I was okay, and she's like, I heard you talking to your brother. Wow, this is so dated. I heard you talking to your brother while you're playing Atari this morning. And you told him that when you got your period, it's when you peed red blood, as if there's any other color. If he peed red blood when he had a baby. And first I was I don't know, I didn't say that. And I still have no recollection of saying that. And then I knew she make it up. Because I couldn't see her making up something like that. But in your teen, you have these blackouts or something because you just do not remember things you said and I didn't say that. But, probably said all kinds of shit. We were playing Atari. I do not remember because and then she sat me down and told me how it really worked. And then a week later, I got it. I was like, God, she cursed me!
Leah Jones 38:16
She jinxed you!
Jen Michalski 38:19
Didn't she like it? But I got scared. I'm kinda can't imagine growing up in a family where he didn't talk about it at all. I've heard so many stories of girls they started bleeding all day, and I thought they were dying. I mean, can you imagine it. I'm glad for this public service that Judy Blume has done, but it just scared the crap out of me when I read it. But I think it's because we're probably both precocious and you're reading above our grade level. And we're probably reading things that we should have still been reading fifth grade, whatever.
Leah Jones 38:54
Once I started reading, my sister was a stronger reader earlier than I was. And then I might have told you this story on our last interview. I want a copy of Stuart Little as a prize for something at school and my twin sister read it first. She read it before me and I was like that is the last time you're reading one of my books before me. And then from then on, then really until the start of COVID, I was a reader. And then COVID broke my brain.
Jen Michalski 39:26
Does your sister collects any books?
Leah Jones 39:34
She reads a ton still. She reads a lot on the Libby app now. I did get her a copy of, they did a 50th anniversary release of Bunnicula. And it's like a red velvet cover. So I got her a copy of that. I don't know if she has other books she collects, but she'll text me when she hears this.
Jen Michalski 40:07
Yeah, because I want to know, I'm gonna put that in your notes too. The books that your sister may be collecting.
Leah Jones 40:13
Leah Jones 40:27
And Then We Came To The End, that is the book about losing your job by Joshua Ferris.
Jen Michalski 40:39
Okay, I'm gonna look that up. I mean, look it up on living. That's the first place I'm going to look. Great, it's a great app. Yeah, I'm just so amazed that going back to The Outsiders that it just has so much cultural staying power. Because, I'm sure kids are reading it now have no idea what Greasers and socials are and I think I had some awareness just because in the 70s, when I was a child the 50s were seeing such a huge resurgence. So it was exposed to American Graffiti and Shannon on Happy Days, whereas kids are just, what's happy days? What's a greasy?
Leah Jones 41:15
Well in episode two of one division?
Jen Michalski 41:18
Oh, yeah, I guess they do kind of get sneak it in there. Right.
Leah Jones 41:22
They sneak it in there a little bit. Yeah.
Jen Michalski 41:25
I don't know if there's still reading it now. But I do know that you can there's merch that still on the internet that you can get stay gold Ponyboy. But then there are some people that really work were introduced to it late and it was surprising. I was reading, there's an article I think in the New York Times or New Yorker from Lena Durham, who was, I didn't learn about this book until I was in college. And it's because someone in one of my classes that I had a crush on told me to Stay Gold. But you can buy sweatshirts and T-shirts that have Stay Gold on them. And all these online Cafe press like stores. The coolest thing that I discovered about The Outsiders is that the house that they filmed in the movie, that the Curtis Brothers lived in. It's now a museum. It’s The Outsiders house in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So I knew we were talking about bucket list earlier. And this is actually would be something on my bucket list. Because I think I've driven through Oklahoma was unremarkable on the way here to the West Coast. But if I ever get back, I'd like to stop and see The Outsiders house. There's just a lot of not seen photos from the movie from behind the scenes and things like that. What happened was, I think it was scheduled for demolition and there was a there's a hip hop artist named Danny Boy O'Connor. And he was a big fan or he is a big fan of the movie and the novel. And he bought the house in2016. And he was able to save it. And now you can, I think for $10 go and get a little tour and see all the rooms and see all the photos and stuff like that. I'm sure there's a gift shop there too. And I'm excited about that.
Leah Jones 43:28
I met my friends who have moved to Tulsa in the last couple of years. And it's I think for like a weekend; I think there's lots to do there. It seems like there's a good food scene, it seems like they're having an according to their Instagram; really enjoying how they moved from Chicago to Tulsa. And they’re really enjoying it. And there’s really kind of a, I think because it's so affordable. There is kind of some either, they're recruiting people, they're openly recruiting people to move to Oklahoma, to move to Tulsa, to change the environment. It's not quite the word I want –get more people there, get more things happening.
Jen Michalski 44:16
Yeah, I see that a lot on some of the politics forums. There's always a bunch of people who are just like, we need to get a bunch of progressive minded people to move to some of these states and try and make a dent. And I think it's slowly happening just because living in California, it's so expensive. And even any room in the Pacific Northwest, the West Coast has become completely unaffordable. But in all the people move to Texas, but then they have property taxes and laws that are not very good for people, queer people, and people of color.
Leah Jones 44:58
I think businesses moved to Texas because they were drawn in by the nose, either it's no sales tax or no income tax. So they recruited all these huge companies to move and Plano just became nothing but corporate campuses. There was an era in my life when I went to plan out all the time for different companies. And then I think all those people have finally realized that the politics of Texas is not South by Southwest. They just couldn't imagine what it was really like there. And at that state, I interviewed James Tallarico, for answering the call, which is volunteering I do with military vets who want to run for office. People who've done public service, who are trying to decide if they are running for office is their next way to serve the country. And James Tallarico is a state Representative, so he's at the State Level, outside of Austin, and their state legislature meets once every two years for six weeks. Because their constitution was written before airplanes. So you think about how long it would have taken to travel from the Panhandle to Austin to the Capitol and back, and how are you going to ask a farmer or rancher to do that more than once every two years. And the whole state is governed with these convening laws developed before airplanes. And that, to me, that boggles my mind. And it partially explains how they're so capable of gerrymandering and strangling the people of Texas because their legislature never meets.
Jen Michalski 47:10
Leah Jones 47:14
But I do think going to Tulsa to see The Outsider Museum would be really nice.
Jen Michalski 47:19
I'm totally think you can do that. Like you said, in a long weekend and when it maybe gets a little warmer too. But yeah, I was trying to think, are there any other literary places or things that I'd want to see turned into a museum and it's kind of hard. I know that the house in James Joyce's the dead is the street. There is a house in Dublin that his aunt's owned and it was the inspiration you can go see that. I don't know if they give tours or whether it's a private home, but so I would definitely do that. I wish there was a House of Leaves house, but how would that work, I don't know. But I would definitely go to Milwaukee to see anything liberated, surely related. But that's not a book but that's as far as I got. So I'd love to. If anyone else has any suggestions from books or gift shops; I would love to hear the trends. This isn't my favorite right now.
Leah Jones 48:29
So I just picked up a graphic novel biography of Eugene V. Debs. So Eugene V. Debs was a Socialist Presidential candidate from my hometown in Terre Haute, Indiana. So his house across the street from my elementary school, had murals in the attic depicting his life. I don't know if it was the house he was born in or the house that he ran his presidential campaigns from is still in Terre Haute, Indiana. And he wrote speech upon speech and pamphlet upon pamphlet. So I think that's a good House Museum to visit.
Jen Michalski 49:13
Oh, and of course, though, I mean, I'm from Baltimore. So the Edgar Allan Poe house in Baltimore is one as well.
Leah Jones 49:22
There's also an Edgar Allen House in Providence, Virginia.
Jen Michalski 49:27
Oh, it is there? Oh, yeah, that's right. I think I do remember that. And there's probably something in Philly too, sort of this rivalry like who gets to claim him?
Leah Jones 49:36
I feel it's cliche. But I wouldn't mind going to Key West to see the Polydactyl Cats.
Jen Michalski 49:50
Oh, yeah. You should go. Well, I did. It was a long time ago in college. I did see it, did go to the Ernest Hemingway house.
Leah Jones 49:56
But I don't know, there's not a Little House on the Prairie house. I don't think. Every wardrobe is the possibility of being the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe wardrobe. Any freestanding wardrobe you have to check them all.
Jen Michalski 50:18
Well, I am not a huge Harry Potter fan as some people. So I don't know if there's a place in London, where he lived the suburb that he lived in, or there's not anything like that, right?
Leah Jones 50:31
You can go to the platform nine and three quarters in London. So they have it. They've got a photo setup. And then on September 1 at 12, o'clock noon, every year they put it on the board, and they do a train call for the Hogwarts Express, on the day when they would have gotten to school. I don't know why I know that. But I do. Because there's the Christmas Story house in Cleveland.
Jen Michalski 51:05
Oh, I don't know that. That was that existed, too.
Leah Jones 51:09
Yeah. And it's a house in a residential neighborhood. And they've bought a few of the houses nearby, so you can walk through the house where they filmed it. And then I think other houses have the gift shops available. And then there's just a ton of signs – “Not to park on the street”. Because it is a residential neighborhood and the people do want to have their life. And that house I think is for sale, it's on the market, that museum.
Jen Michalski 51:46
Yeah, I had a really great book a long time ago, that was basically all the different locations in San Francisco in the Bay Area. Where different scenes from Alfred Hitchcock movies had taken place. And it did remember going up to Bodega Bay for the day. We were out there lost and just looking around and seeing where the birds were flying.
Jen Michalski 52:22
But yeah, she wrote those four novels, she wrote one more for YA, it was called Taming The Star Runner in 1988. I had moved on by then. So never read it. It's not on Libby. So I couldn't read it with this podcast, but I'm gonna definitely try and look it up over spring break and see if I can just find a physical copy somewhere and see how it compares to the S.E. Hinton Canon as it were, The Outsiders that was then and this is now, Rumble Fish and Tex.
Leah Jones 52:57
I need to ask my sister. That Was Then This Is Now, I'm pretty sure we had. I think we had The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, and That Was Then This Is Now. But I don't think Tex and Taming the Star Runner; I don't think we had those.
Jen Michalski 53:16
Yeah, Tex was last of the four big ones. And that one was published in 79. And then there was a nine-year interval between Tex and Taming the Star Runner. But Tex action, all those four books, The Outsiders, That Was Then This Is Now, Rumble Fish and Tex are all made into films. I know we talked about The Outsiders and Rumble Fish, but Tex was also a film with Matt Dillon, who played a Dolly in The Outsiders. And then, That Was Then This Is Now, I don't think I saw it. And I don't think it was any of the sort of Brat Pack. It's as it was. But yeah, I don't think I saw them with any of that. She's had a great career. It would be lovely to have other novels adapted into movies. And one of them still being read [Not audible[00:54:21]] and taught in schools. But yeah, she was just a big part of my life as a reader and as a writer growing up and I owe a lot to her books and her perspective and her just writing a story that she wanted to write that she didn't see. I'm sure she was growing up reading things Gone With The Wind or whatever. Her name is Susie Hinton, and the editors obviously wanted her to publish as S.E. Hinton because I think that they were worried that people wouldn't believe a woman could write a man's perspective.
Leah Jones 55:08
Right? How could she write about teenage boys?
Jen Michalski 55:10
Right? [Overlapping of discussing not audible [00:55:12]]. But that helped me too, also write in both sexes and genders. And I mean, there's just a lot that I that I owe to her. She was sort of my gateway drug to writing in a lot of ways. The ways she pitches you Harriet the Spy, I could spend another podcast talking about that. It’s one of my favorites. That's a real character who is also very complicated and complex, and human and terribly unlikable at times and frustrating. And you never saw that sort of character and children's literature before. And she also did all those lovely illustrations in the book herself. S.E. Hinton she wrote a few other books, but they weren't quite as popular. There was one. I think it was a Long Secret that came out a few years later that was told from Beth Ellen's kind of point of view. I'm still omniscient, but it was more about my thumb, and it wasn't Harry, it was more of a minor character in this book. But yeah, sort of similarities. Last thing I'll say, I remember just getting that from my aunt. My aunt went on vacation to a beach town or something. It was Virginia Beach, and she went into a bookstore. She knew that I like to read. I was 10 or 11. And she was asking the clerk what were some good books for young girl to read. And my aunt was like, I don't know, 22 at that time, and this clerk, my aunt was explaining to me thought that she was asking for books for herself. She thought my aunt was like, I don't know. 17, 15. I don't know. It's just kind of strange. I always looked young. She had that rough Mattia sort of young glow about her. So the clerk at the store recommended. And this is what my brother and I got. Because my brother didn't really care about reading, even though he was an English major in college, and brought home the aforementioned Bunnicula, The Secret Garden and Harriet the Spy. So I have her to thank for my introduction to Harriet the Spy, and The Secret Garden. And this bookstore clerks know what they're talking about. Definitely ask them for suggestions.
Leah Jones 57:45
So if you had the opportunity to do a fireside chat with S.E. Hinton, and, you know she's tired of answering the same old, same old questions. Do you have some questions that you kind of teed up? Should you ever run into her in an airport or on a stage?
Jen Michalski 58:09
No, I haven't. I just, I would be a little embarrassed. Like, what do you ask? How do you ask that perfect question? I guess I would just ask her if she still writes on the side things that she doesn't want people to see. I think as a writer, you just never stop writing. So I can't imagine she's stopped even if she's been reclusive. I think she likes horses and has a horse farm or something. Or she still lives in Tulsa. She likes not being a celebrity. She likes being she said a resident.
Leah Jones 58:47
Jen Michalski 58:51
So I don't get that happens. I mean, it's just happening to a lot of authors are like that. I mean, in Baltimore, we have and Tyler, also very reclusive, but also, he's written what 10 novels or something about Baltimore. So it's just how I think it's how Hinton and Tyler and lots of writers, including myself, just connect with people, because it's hard. And I'll do it because I have no shame to strike up a conversation with someone in public in line. We're just it's not what we're good at that sort of likes, soft skill of like, the early promotion or putting ourselves out there. So it's just, it's always ironic to me that authors are responsible for so much of their promotion when they're just so bad at it because they just don't like to even talk about it.
Leah Jones 59:41
It's so the opposite of writing. I have benefited from the need of authors to go and do their own promotion because they truly after you came on, your publicist reached out and was like that was amazing. Can I introduce you to some other authors? And she introduced me to a whole bunch of them. And so I still have authors coming on to this day because you came on with your last book. So it's been really fun. I've met so many people, and I have been able to start reading again. Because really, that COVID just wiped it out for me.
Jen Michalski 1:00:24
Oh, I understand. Me too, they were years what it wasn't reading at all, like less than a book. And I think joining a book club helped. Because then you felt like you had a deadline, you read that extra chapter every night, even if you didn't want to. But it felt like using a muscle I hadn't used in a long time. Once I started reading, and finding books I really enjoyed; I became hungry again for more and having that experience and emotional connection. So yeah, I'm glad that you found your way back to it.
Leah Jones 1:00:58
Yeah, I've been working on, I just finished listening to a Mike Nichols biography. Mike Nichols was in Nichols in May with Elaine May comedy duo of the 1950s. He was the Director of the Graduate; he won like seven Tony's for Best Director. And it's just I think within any cultural scene, there's the person who crosses a few boundaries and just seems like they know everyone. And Mike Nichols was active in or touching or responsible for so much Pop Theater and Movie culture that was created from like 1950 until his death in 2014. And he's almost like Forrest Gump. Because he's, after JFK was assassinated, he's one of the people that Jackieo will be seen on the town with because he's trustworthy and won't make a move and can talk to anyone, and we'll get her, he's just everywhere. And it was fascinating to me, because it also just shows how wealth and network and proximity is responsible for what makes it on the big screen. Oh, well, we rented this house in the Hamptons, next to Leonard Bernstein. And I got to know him swimming with our kids. Like, it's just all this stuff that was, it was wild and but engrossing to listen to. So that's like, the big story that I just finished listening to. And then I'm reading a book of poetry called Our Cancers by Dan O'Brien. His wife had breast cancer. And then almost as soon as she was in remission, he was diagnosed with I think colon cancer. And their daughter was a toddler. And so I'm testing the waters with it. What I might still be too close to my own experience to be reading cancer stuff right now, but it's really beautiful poetry.
Jen Michalski 1:03:30
Yeah, please send that one, too. Both of those actually, I'd love to take.
Leah Jones 1:03:35
The Company Of Strangers is coming out, you said January 10th. People can preorder now, which is very important. People could preorder it now and print it out and give it to somebody for Hanukkah or Christmas. And then tell them their book is on the way in January.
Jen Michalski 1:03:55
They could and I'm actually I bought like a big pile of vintage postcards, just off like eBay or something. Because I've always just loved old postcards and collecting them and for every person that pre orders a book I'm sending them a hand chosen postcard with a personal message of things. So I just get to share that my collection of postcards.
Leah Jones 1:04:23
I love that. How should people tell you they pre ordered a copy or is your…
Jen Michalski 1:04:29
Pre order from Braddock Avenue books. I have the list of the pre orders and the addresses and then as soon as pre orders close, I'm going to sit down and look at the list and start working on picking out postcards and writing them out to people who have ordered.
Leah Jones 1:04:51
Awesome. And where can people keep up with you online?
Jen Michalski 1:04:58
I'm on Twitter still. I joined high recently. I'm not sure if I'm going to stay there, we are all still looking for the backup plan for Twitter, but it seems to be a little stable, more stable now. So we'll see. And it's just, it's strange to been on Twitter for so long and built up so many friends and relationships then have to start over somewhere else. But, I mean, I guess we're all gonna, we all might have to do it. But at the same time, part of me is like, well, you know, if I don't catch on somewhere else, maybe that's okay. Maybe that's okay, too. That'll be few more hours of each day that I'll have to do something else. But yeah, thanks for asking. I am on Twitter @MichalskiJen one word.
Leah Jones 1:05:58
Yeah, on literary journal as well, right?
Jen Michalski 1:06:00
Yes, JMWW is and you can just do a search on that JMWW. We publish stellar republishing fiction, nonfiction, flash fiction, poetry, interviews. We have a couple of columns that run each month. And we're basically a weekly journal. Now we actually are. We used to do print anthologies for a while, and then I stopped. And we've recently teamed up with another publisher of Modern Times Publishing. And they are publishing a bunch of anthologies of different literary journalism that have been around. Earlier this year, they approached us and said, do you want to be the first anthology that we publish? So in 2023, we'll be back with a new anthology, and it's going to cover the best of maybe the last 10 years. It's going to be a pretty chunky book. But all our editors voted on the last 10 years of submissions. And we got all those together, and it's in the proof stages now. So we'll have that come out in 2023; sort of a big thank you to all of our contributors over the years.
Leah Jones 1:07:15
Nice. That's exciting. Well, Jen, thank you so much for coming back to talk about S.E. Hinton.
Jen Michalski 1:07:23
Thank you for having me. I always love talking to you. I always learn so much more from you than you probably learn from me, but I am just glad for the opportunity. You're so well, you're so well rounded and well versed in so many things.
Leah Jones 1:07:36
Or I appreciate I will take that in framing. I am like a sieve or a flypaper for trivia. I'm really good on trivia teams.
Jen Michalski 1:07:48
Good. I'm gonna remember that when I pull out my Trivial Pursuit, and I gonna have to Zoom you in as my partner.
Leah Jones 1:07:55
Oh, I used to keep a backup coffee copy of Trivial Pursuit in my car. When I lived in Colorado, in case I went to a party, and it wasn't fun enough. I'd be like, Hey, guys, I have a solution.
Jen Michalski 1:08:09
Oh, that's pretty intense.
Leah Jones 1:08:12
This was in 2001. 1999 to 2001, I would go to my car and get my copy of Trivial Pursuit. Just you know, in case we weren't having much fun.
Jen Michalski 1:08:21
Now did it live in it up? Because I have to say I had a similar impulse in college, but it was usually I was really drunk. And I was like, let's play Pink Floyd. And that was a party killer. But what did this have the opposite effect. I was alright, three hours of intense trivia.
Leah Jones 1:08:41
Sometimes they would let me, sometimes we would play and sometimes it was just a bit but I literally kept one of my copies of Trivial Pursuit on my car.
Jen Michalski 1:08:55
That's ballsy and awesome.
Leah Jones 1:09:00
Awesome. Well, thank you so much.
Jen Michalski 1:09:02
Thank you for listening to Finding Favorites with Leah Jones. Please make sure to subscribe and drop us a five-star review on iTunes. Now go out and enjoy your Favorite Things.
Sunday Dec 04, 2022
Sunday Dec 04, 2022
Sunday Dec 04, 2022
Kevin Alves, a Chicago-based podcaster, performer and producer, joined Leah to talk about the Canadian shows Letterkenny with Shoresy before a deep dive into pirates.
Kevin also turns the table and gets Leah to tell the whole story of how Jason Mantzoukas recommended Finding Favorites to everyone at the Chicago Theater on erev Halloween.
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Scooby-Doo! really did have a thing for pirates
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The Pirates book series!
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Finding Favorites with Leah Jones
Everyone loves something. A hobby, a musician, an artist, a book genre - everyone has a favorite thing and this is the podcast where we hear the stories.
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