Tribute to Londonist Out Loud

“Hello hello! You’re listening to the sound of London. This is Londonist Out Loud.”

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of an Anglophile. A year ago yesterday, I was looking for the London Walks podcast in preparation of my upcoming trip to London over spring break. However, while searching iTunes, I found that Londonist.com had their own podcast. I downloaded the latest episode and gave it a listen. Look Up! gave me two new obsessions – this podcast and Katie Wignall’s Look Up London blog/Instagram/walking tours. It had never occurred to me to listen to a walking tour of a place of I wasn’t currently in, but I was immediately in love. I could picture some of things she mentioned as I walked home from work and made notes of things I wanted to look up. I immediately downloaded as many episodes as I could from the back catalog to bring London with me wherever I was.

So imagine my disappointment when the podcast stopped updating at the end of January. And then last weekend, there was this tweet:

To say I’m devastated that the show has ended just as I’ve finally caught up is putting it mildly. I understand that things happen and shows end, but I was just not prepared. And given that I’ve canceled my plans to go abroad for my vacation this year due to uncertainty at home, losing this connection to my favorite city in the world is really hard. So this is my small way of saying thank you to Londonist, N Quentin Woolf and all the people involved in making this my favorite podcast (even if I only discovered you a year ago).

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True Story: I Went to SoulCycle

A few weeks ago, one of my assistants mentioned that one of her roommates is an instructor at SoulCycle and she could get us a free ride. I’ve heard about this place for years, but never wanted to spend the amount of money for one fitness class, especially since I can go to unlimited free spin classes at the gym at work. However, I definitely wanted to know what all the hype was about, so I was happy to finally have a good excuse to clip in and ride!

img_9218Unfortunately, half our group bailed before we got to Saturday and my assistant was running late, so I was on my own when I first got there. Surrounded by the women of the Marina who definitely look like they spend their life at SoulCycle, I felt pretty out of place as I checked in, signed a waiver, and was handed my cycling shoes.

There’s a nice series of lockers of various sizes to put your stuff, which is considerate and helpful. About 15 minutes before the start of class, we were let into the room, which is stacked to the gills with bikes. Even when I took rec center classes, I don’t think I’ve ever been this close on all sides to the people riding with me. You are assigned a bike number when you make your reservation and there is staff on hand to help newbies (and basically anyone who raises their hand) properly set up your bike. You can also choose your proper weights (stored beneath the saddle) and put your water in the holder under the bars. You get a towel with your bike. The staff will show you how to clip in and out of the pedals, though this is easier said than done (flicking my ankles just isn’t a natural movement)!

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Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen

27774658This is the last (for now) book in the Her Royal Spyness series that I’ve been plowing through for the last year or so. I had to take a brief pause while reading this as I ran out of time on my library renewal, so I had to send it back and request it again. It’s a VERY quick read, though!

This time the crime happens before Georgie even gets involved, which is a nice change of pace! Georgie and Darcy are heading to Gretna Green to elope, when they stop for the night and find out that Darcy’s father’s been arrested for murder. Darcy drops everything to go back to Ireland to help out and then breaks it off with Georgie because the scandal will follow her forever. Luckily, Georgie doesn’t give up and heads to Ireland to help out, whether he wants her there or not. Additionally, Darcy’s former paramour-turned-benefactor/friend, Princess Alexandra “Zhou Zhou” Zamanska flies her little plane over to Ireland, not wanting to be left out of the “fun.”

Georgie and Darcy’s investigating feels a lot more realistic in this book. It’s also great to see Darcy’s family and learn a little more about his life before he bumped into Georgie and began his life as an international man of mystery. The murder case gets wrapped up off screen for the most part, so that’s not as satisfying, especially since you know it was never going to be Darcy’s father going to hang. The Queenie situation also wraps up quite nicely, so I’m happy to see how Georgie proceeds from here.

Ten books is a nice round number, but I do hope there’s at least one more for Georgie and Darcy. I’m sure there would be a murder or some crime to investigate as they lead up to their big, white wedding. Fingers crossed!

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No Day But Today: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour

In addition to my trip to the musical stylings of my favorite 90s FBI agent, this week, I was also lucky enough to see the 20th Anniversary touring cast of RENT at the Golden Gate Theatre. Bless my friend George for sharing his birthday bounty with me!

Musical theatre nerd confession: I’d never actually seen RENT live.

I know, I know. I’ve got “Will I?,” “One Song Glory” and “Seasons of Love” embedded in my marrow from repeated chorus performances through my formative years in the mid-90s. The movie version was one of the first DVDs I requested when I joined Netflix after I graduated from college over a decade ago. But this was my first time seeing the stage show as it was meant to be seen.

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True Story: I Went to a David Duchovny Concert

Back in the halcyon days of early November, while we were still basking in the glow of a Cubs World Series win, David Duchovny tweeted his North American tour schedule. (I know, I know, I’ll give you a moment to deal with that sentence.) I put out the call to find my other “ladies of a certain age” who needed to share this experience with me.

And I found my people quickly.

Five days later, the U.S. elected a new president and my attention was focused elsewhere. (Has it really only been three months? I feel like I’ve aged YEARS!) Luckily, my friends were on the ball:

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