013: Mercury is in reggaeton

Send help 🐌

Sorry for opening this letter with such a corny joke, but the retrograde (or perhaps Scorpio season 😖 — but actually really just fatigue) means I’m finding solace in really basic jokes to get by. I mean, yday I was cackling for hours at a clip from that episode of Family Guy where Cleveland is a member of Black Box. I feel like The Simpsons references are timeless witticisms, but Family Guy references are toilet brain.

I looked up that clip because I was listening to procrastination music on loud and dancing like a fool in my apartment. (Lately it’s been a lot of diva house and early jungle. I’m convinced my upstairs neighbour is producing jungle tracks now — my influence 😎) In other words I was feral and on a deadline of my own design.

I’ve had my head down all week working on a new season of Burn Out, the pod, and it’s finally here! Click through to listen to conversations with:

Debby Friday**, an experimental electronic artist with influences as disparate as Avril Lavigne and NON Worldwide,

Cold Specks**, a Polaris Prize-shortlisted singer-songwriter with four albums under her belt, learning to stand on her own feet again,

and Gyimah Gariba, an exciting young animator who sees the potential for cartoons to shape new worlds and emotional textures.

**These episodes are supported by FACTOR. I got a grant y’all!

It was a fucking mission and perhaps ill-advised to drop these episodes at the start of Mercury Retrograde. I’d taken Lisa’s advice and rented gear to record the forthcoming episodes (there are already three more banked, so subscribe!!!!) in order to better manage my time. So this new season of Burn Out isn’t just hosted and produced by me… I also recorded it!!! But guess what? You can tell. 😩 The limits of my technical knowledge are truly showing. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about this here, because it seems unprofessional? But the truth is that I’m really figuring it out, and I’m doing it all alone, and I have help in the form of people who can answer questions but it’s still difficult. As it should be: it’s an entirely new skill set. And yet, I refuse to let my self-consciousness — or the pursuit of perfection, which means I’d probably just fiddle with it forever — make me feel like I’m not good enough or smart enough to make a podcast. I’ve been enrolled in Podcast Night School this week. I’m truly learning!

The point I’m fumbling toward is that I’m content with being less than perfect in public if it means that I’m taking risks and stretching myself in new ways. I recommend it, particularly moving toward the end of the year which always feels more intense than it needs to be. Be easy, be un-selfconsciously feral. Finger paint. Scribble. Scream into a pillow. Post a ‘bad’ photo of yourself. Don’t edit the caption. Read a book that everyone talks about but that you don’t quite understand and be okay with not ‘getting it.’ Do the same with a movie. Go to yoga and lie in savasana the whole time, especially if you’re tired as hell. Literally, do what you want and don’t worry about it.

Thank you as always for being here, reading, and listening. In the last month I’ve met a bunch of new people who are already subscribed! So nice. And welcome to the new subscribers — I guess many people had feelings about unfollowing a Toronto man 😂

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Lots of love,