Here's what's been turning my crank this week.
Book of the Week
The Art of Asking or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help – Amanda Palmer
Some of you may know who Amanda Palmer is. Some of you may know her as a cabaret-punk performer in the band The Dresden Dolls. Some of you may know her from her TED Talk. Some of you may only know her as Neil Gaiman's wife. Amanda Palmer has always been sort of on the periphery for me. Her music, though ingenious, is not really my style and I've never really followed her writing. That being said, I was definitely intrigued by the idea of her book, about not being afraid to ask people for help.
Asking, in Western society at least, is often equivocated with weakness or failure. How come you can't just do it on your own?
Why should I have to do it on my own? That sure seems lonely.
Though I can't relate to everything in the book, I definitely feel a connection to the idea that I don't deserve to ask for help, or ask for anything at all. What makes me so special that I should voice my demands like that? Well, that's just it. They're not demands, they're requests. I'm asking, not begging, a distinction Palmer brings up a few times. Believing that you deserve what you want is a difficult mountain to climb. Knowing that you can ask others to help you up that mountain can sometimes make the climb a whole lot easier.
I'm not finished the book, but it does have me hooked. Palmer's philosophy is addictive. I'm trying not to second-guess myself too much when I put forth a request to a friend, a family member or a stranger.
For more daily wisdom, follow Amanda Palmer on Twitter at @amandapalmer.
Show of the Week
I don't cook. I know how to cook, and I will if absolutely necessary, but cooking in general has never interested me. If you asked me to clean or cook, I would take clean every time.
That being said, I can't get enough of Masterchef Junior.
The younger sibling to Masterchef, Masterchef Junior pits 8 to 13 year-olds against each other in the culinary competition of a lifetime. And these kids are good.
However, my favourite part of Masterchef Junior, that you don't see in the adult version, is the support that runs through the group. Each kid sticks up for everyone else. They cheer when another of them triumphs, they console and cry when one of them falls. This camaraderie is so rare to see in competition television, that this show is a breath of fresh air.
Even the judges are friendlier. They help out when a contestant has made a mistake and hand out hugs as much as criticism.
There's only a few weeks left until the finale but I highly recommend jumping on board now. The intensity and the loveliness of the food only increases as the show goes on.
Song of the Week
Sal Tlay Ka Siti – Book of Mormon
Every year for my mother's birthday, we try and take in a musical. This year was Book of Mormon, a little bit of a departure from our usual fare. I absolutely adored every moment of the show (and thankfully, so did she) and I haven't been able to get the album off of rotation for the past few weeks.
Mostly though, I can't stop listening to "Sal Tlay Ka Siti," the power-ballad sung by Nabalungi. It's sweet, it's soulful and it's strong. I've been a fan of Robert Lopez since Avenue Q, especially his female-driven songs. This song stands alongside of "A Fine, Fine Line" for me in terms of powerful female songs and is definitely going into my shower-song repertoire.
For Fun of the Week
DanAndPhilGames – Sims 4
As an introvert, I need to recharge alone. Even if all I'm doing with another person is watching TV and being silent, I still feel 'on.' This week I escaped to my room for some me-time and decided to watch two cute British YouTubers play video games.
I'm so glad I did.
These videos are absolutely hilarious and totally take the edge off of a long, stressful day. And if you need, you can always switch over to their normal channels (danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil) for more adorableness and hilarity.
And that's it for this week. Monday will have a month in review for the crazy month that has been November. See you there!
If there's anything I should check out vis a vis pop culture, let me know in the comments!