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Of my identities, one of the most commented-upon is city cyclist. I’ve ridden through sun, snow, sleet, 5:30 AM sleepies, whatever. People call me hardcore but I’ve got limits to my desire and ability, though perhaps not what you’d expect (i.e. heavy traffic, extreme cold, the occasional near-monsoon.) It’s more like: I just haven’t been reading enough or, I fell in love with this new podcast. Or I’ve been overwhelmed, yet again, by this unshakable fanfiction habit.

There’s only so much time in a day, right? Work must happen. Laundry folded. Litter boxes cleaned. As well I’ve been experiencing low-grade hip ache (here’s looking at you Cambridge Dance Party; here’s looking at you, late 30s.) So came December 2015, Desmond Puddin’ went down for a bit of a break so I could spend my 45-min morning commute squished between puffy coats on the MBTA Orange Line, wrestling my earbuds into compliance or dragging out a paperback while eyeing just how many of my fellow travelers worship at the shrine of glass/plastic/metal (many!) or paper (more than you’d guess.)

What siren called me off my bike this winter? Thought you’d never ask.

Fav Podcasts/Winter 2016

Another Round – My number #1. Heben and Tracy soothe and validate my inner, lonely high school weird-girl. Real. Honest. With laughter that rivals the breathless contagion of Click & Clack, their energy and synergy are utterly unique. I’ve converted at least five people to this podcast, and counting . . .

Dear Sugar RadioThe Sugars open doors. Together, Cheryl and Steve are compassionate, thoughtful, clever and clear-eyed, often moving the conversation and their advice in a direction you wouldn’t expect. I listen almost as soon as episodes show up in my feed.

FanBros – As a kid, I sometimes watched a TV show simply to listen to the opening theme (yup, Disney’s Gummi Bears). FanBros begins each episode in an equally joyful and compelling fashion, but then I’m happy to experience the rest (unlike aforementioned cartoon). Comics I Copped is one of my favorite segments, and I’m always interested to hear what co-host Tatiana King-Jones brings to the table. Overall, I love the range of ‘black and brown’ voices. Yum.(Also, it’s my secret desire to one day attend a show DJ’ed by BenHaMeen in NYC.)

Black Girl Nerds – Jamie Broadnax keeps me connected to a wide, wide word of nerddom and geekdom (with a focus on the POC experience) that I’d otherwise completely miss.

Reading Lives – You know how magazines and websites feature interviews that ask public personalities about their favorite books? Reading Lives is better. There hasn’t been an episode in a bit, but I hope host Jeff O’Neal brings back this gem.

PopagandaFeminism and pop culture. I’ve listened to some great essays and been exposed to voices and perspectives I’d otherwise miss via this Bitch Media podcast.

Note to Self – Newest on my podcast feed. First, can I say how much I enjoy Manoush Zomorodi’s speaking voice? I do. The show openly and throughly examines how we live with technology, how we want to. Great production sound.

Fav Reads/Winter 2016

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith (illustrator) -appears to be a children’s picture book; is actually a meditation on the mindful life

Revolutionary Petunias by Alice Walker – oh, you know. Some verses from Queen Alice. My favorite poem from the collection: “For My Sister Molly Who in the Fifties”. Look it up

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 & 2 – by G. Willow Wilson – I was surprised into loving this. Tell your daughters, your sisters, your mom! Also, jackalope

Between the World and Me by Ta’neshi Coats – finally made it through the kazillion holds on the audio book at my public library to listen to what everyone, (including an author I most admire), was talking about. Yup. It’s beautiful. It’s painful. It’s good

At My Back by SallyExactly on A03 – a new chapter prompted me to re-read the whole shebang, all 474,300+ words of some of the best, most context-filled, and comprehensive writing about archer-spy Clint Barton (Hawkeye) and spy-assassin Natasha Romanoff/Romonova (Black Widow.). This Avengers fic -breakneck, adventuresome, serious, humorous, artful- is one of the best I’ve read. Ever. This is what comics and superhero tales could be