Too much Disney, podcasts, & what’s up with witches?
I’ve been on vacation. And can my stomach be normal for like… 5 seconds?
You may have noticed that I’ve been off the grid over the last two weeks, but I promise you it was for a good reason: Disneyland.
(You may also notice a bunch of typos and confusing sentences in this post, but I’m getting sick. You figure out what I meant.)
What started as just a trip for my sister and her family turned out to be a family vacation for all of the adult children in my family, my parents, my sibling’s spouses, their children, and a family friend who may as well be my sister. For some reason, we thought it would be a great idea to go on Father’s Day and take multiple flights to get there, so I didn’t actually get to see my own father that day. But I did recognize him in my own way…
My family is a little Disney crazy, and on earlier trips, we have GONE HARD at Disneyland. We went on all the rides, got all the fast passes, and ate all the treats. At the ripe old age of 31—with two aging parents, a small army of children and babies, and a thrown-out back from packing my suitcase—going on dozens of rides didn’t seem very attractive. I’d much rather enjoy air-conditioned kids’ rides like Winnie the Pooh and Small World. (I also ventured to go on some scary rides—but don’t worry! My 5-year-old nephew was there holding my hand and keeping me safe from the ghosts at the Haunted Mansion.) For the most part, I spent my Disney experience admiring the architecture of the historical details of the parks, taking leisurely naps, and trying to sneak into Club 33.
Just look how gorgeous the door to the original Club 33 is. I love how the earliest parts of each park, like Main Street, New Orleans Square, and Buena Vista Avenue, have such incredible attention to detail that you feel like you’re stepping back in time.
I asked some shop ladies in “Katz & Sons” in California Adventure if any of the cute hats or embroidery materials behind the cash register were for sale. Unfortunately, they weren’t, but I did learn that they were vintage items curated for the store. They have vintage props and antiques all over the park.
But I’m so ready to be home. I’ve had a stomachache for two weeks before the trip, and I really need to eat something that is NOT Mickey Mouse-shaped.
What I’m listening to
I thought it might be interesting for you, my dear readers, to get a quick update from me on what I’m listening to, reading, or learning about, and what’s coming up.
But before I do that, I actually want to hear from you! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below and tell me the following:
What have I written about so far that you have really liked, or is there something that you would like me to write more about?
Do you think I missed anything in any of my previous posts?
What book, podcast, TV, or movie recommendations do you have?
Just want to shoot the breeze? Have a movie idea? I’m all ears.
With no further ado, let me tell you what I’ve been listening to…
American History Tellers
Since losing my job, I’ve been working on healing my attention span. I used to be a voracious reader, and you would seldom find me without a book. Now you’re lucky to get me to watch a full, 30-minute episode of a sitcom in one sitting. Everything post-March 2020 has melted my brain, so I’ve decided that the best way to train myself to read an actual book is to listen to long-form podcasts.
I’ve been following Lindsay Graham—no, not this Lindsey Graham—for a few years now. I love his podcast American Scandal, and hearing about all the insane controversies in American history. I love that he scripts hypothetical conversations, acts out the drama, and gets actual historians to research each season for him. So when I heard that he had yet another podcast covering broader aspects of American history, I knew I had to download it.
Between packing for my trip, traveling to and from California, and packing to go home, I ended up listening to the entire first season of American History Tellers. (I also discovered that he has another podcast called American Elections: Wicked Game, which covers every American presidential election from George Washington to the 2020 Trump/Biden face-off. I will be binging this one next.)
The first season had to do with the Cold War. He covered a great deal of ground: the rise of communism, McCarthyism, nuclear warfare, censorship, soft power, and basically everything that makes for good political drama. Speaking of “witch”…
What’s up next
Many of you seemed to like my article about the Salem Witch Trials, and, lucky for me, I really enjoyed writing it. Over the next few months, I’ll be writing more on this subject and what we can learn from historical witch hunts and those portrayed in art—including McCarthyism (and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible). Some of them are even going up behind a paywall. Subscribe, so you don’t miss any. And if you have a favorite example, let me know in the comments.
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