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A while back, I wrote about different audiobooks I was going through on Audible during my Monday drives. I had listed to Crazy Rich Asians before watching the movie and loved that I did it that way. The book has much more detail to it and added to the movie so much for me. Recently, I trekked through the second and third installments of the trilogy and really wish that Kevin Kwan would go in for a fourth. The detail he puts into his characters, their language, and the intricate plot lines is phenomenal. I have loved every minute; and trust me, these are lengthy reads. I hope they are planning to make these into movies, too. Crazy Rich Girlfriend was my favorite of the series and would be hysterical on the big screen.

Give them a listen; and if you have any suggestions for my listening pleasure, SHARE!

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Making a Murderer: Part 2

Ok, this is a bit of a spoiler alert. If you watched season 1 but haven’t started (or finished) season 2, skip to the podcasts below. When I watched season 1, I had a fishy feeling about Bobby Dassey. When they shared the timeline of events that day, I knew something was wrong with the fact that Bobby vanished as soon as Teresa Halbach left the property. I don’t think that Scott Tadych had anything to do with it, but Bobby’s demented self did.

And let’s talk about Kathleen Zellner for a minute. She is something else. That hair, those nails, her lack of emotion. Maybe I’ve been watching too much of season 3 of American Horror Story, but she would make a perfect Supreme.

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Bear Brook

I stumbled upon this podcast yesterday when driving back and forth from Baton Rouge. I keep starting and stopping podcasts that just don’t keep me hanging on. This one seems like it will do the trick. It follows a double murder that is found by a couple of kids playing around in the woods back in the 1980s.

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Voodoo City

This one is just a treat for all of those looking for some trick in time for Halloween. The stories are quick and shed some light on New Orleans legends. Give it a listen!

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I have really gotten into trying to read the book before the movie comes out. One of my most recent was Crazy Rich Asians. I will say that I completely suggest doing the Audible version. It’s so nice to hear the names and towns pronounced correctly. It’s also amazing to hear the accents. It adds a whole new tone to the book. With the digital version coming out in a few weeks, get this onto your list. It’s quick, catty, and really satisfying.

So, I’m into cults. Not in a way that suggests I want to or would join one, but I like to know why these people are able to be brainwashed in joining groups that take all of their money, their time, and families. Well, if I think about it, maybe online shopping is a type of cult. It takes all of my money. Anyway, here are a couple of cult-themed resources I’ve come across lately.

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Cults of Our Lives

This podcast covers a new cult each week in 30-minute spurts. I personally have learned so much, but sometimes, the girls get off track and the sound quality isn’t top notch for both hosts. However, listening to this each week during my trek around the states of Louisiana and Mississippi led me to my next obsession — Patty Hearst and the SLA.

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The Radical Story of Patty Hearst

Ok. Did she or didn’t she? Was she or wasn’t she? Personally? I think she was full blown in that cult from the beginning.

Long story short. An heiress to media millions gets “kidnapped” by a smaller (but violent)     cult, the Symbionese Liberation Army, held “hostage” for months while releasing tapes to  her family through the media about ransoms and needs of the group, only to show up on security footage of a bank robbery holding a machine gun of sorts. If you watch all the way through the docuseries, you’ll see just how into it this rich bitch gets. Crazy people.

Ok. I’m falling into a podcast black hole. I’m listening to ones that I’m hearing about on the news or in other podcasts, but they just don’t seem to be doing the trick. One that I came across was My Favorite Murder. The reason I’m not a fan is because these 2 girls really don’t have any sense of the “too soon” concept when talking about murder or dead loved ones. It wasn’t for me, so I gave up on them an episode in.

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What I did come across was The Last Podcast on the Left when I was listening to that one episode of the aforementioned podcast. While it’s pretty crude, rude, and socially unacceptable, it does dive deep into some things I’ve been listening to all year — murder, serial killers, and the strange parts of history. So far, I’ve listened to a little bit about the Jonestown “Death Tape,” which will give you nightmares and keep you up at night. Some of ole Jim Jones’ voice comes through pretty demonic and filled with crazy talk. I doubt I listen to each episode because … well … it may be too much for me.

My main point is that I need more podcasts. I like history. I like true crime. I like weird and strange stuff. So, give me your suggestions. Please. I’m begging of you.

Yes. You read that correctly. I’m going through a bit of a ghost phase right now. As you know, I’ve taken to the podcast world full steam ahead and have been looking for some type of paranormal (slash) creepy ghosts (slash) true haunting story. However, the only ones I was finding were kind of cheesy; and after a few minutes, I would find myself changing the “channel.”

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However, a few weeks ago, I found one that was pretty amazing. It’s called Family Ghosts, and it tells a different story each week about a story that haunts a particular family, including two stories that haunt the host. I was hooked and quickly devoured it. Thankfully, Season 2 will be out this fall.

While ghosts are in the title, it’s not really filled with ghost stories. It’s more of things that plague you or gnaw at you from your past. Give it a listen if you like deep dark secrets with a side of gossip.

Another key point in my ghost phase took place last weekend here in Natchez. With the help of the Mississippi Paranormal Society, we at the Natchez Garden Club were able to host a paranormal tour and ghost hunting evening at Magnolia Hall. If you are familiar with Magnolia Hall’s history, you know that the home’s builder, Thomas Henderson, died in his bedroom on the first floor and still haunts it today. What I didn’t know is that more than just Mr. Henderson haunt this mansion’s halls. We met several children figures Friday night who seems to be in rather playful moods. They were playing with the light devices we had in the rooms, coming through the speakers we were using, and telling us about themselves in little broken phrases and words. I will say that I was thoroughly creeped out in the beginning; and by the time I left, I was ready to plan my next ghost adventure.

 

If you missed out on our first hunting experience, we’ve got a plan to have the team down again in the next few months. So, follow Natchez Garden Club on Facebook to keep an eye out for that event.

So I’m podcasting away on my weekly drives and have gone through MANY true crime series in the past few weeks. However, I’ve been on the lookout for some more conspiracy-theory based or paranormal based series that would not be too creepy to keep me up at night. Luckily, one of my lovely co workers shared a couple of options with me, one of which I started this morning.

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Limetown

This fiction-based podcast is one that seems to be taking a turn towards The Giver. I’m 3 episodes in and rather hooked. Give it a listen, I’m sure I will have follow ups as I get further in and make up my own mind if this actually is fiction or not. You just never these days what people in the backwoods of the south are up to.

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S Town

This one. I burned through it quickly. I’ve also done some research to see what these people from backwoods Alabama looked like. Wow. Not what I had in mind while listening. I don’t want to give anything away, but what you start listening to and hearing turns quickly and becomes much more intense. You really have to listen to this one. It’s perfect for the dark and twisty.

So, I’ve been taking a break from podcasting to listen to some audio book versions of actual books on my shelves. While I love an actual hard-back book with actual pages to flip, I haven’t quite figured the safest way to read and drive to Baton Rouge on Mondays. So, through my stereo will have to work for now.

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Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill

This one has been on my Kennedy-designated book shelf for years. I keep overlooking it and finally decided to give it a download when I had a free credit on Audible. Written by Jackie Kennedy’s secret service agent while in the White House, Mrs. Kennedy and Me tells the deep and dark of the Kennedy tragedy and also the brighter moments the family shared while living in Washington. I learned a lot about my first born’s namesake and found myself extremely sad by the ending. Even though I knew it was coming, it just didn’t seem right; and it made me hate history. Give it a listen or read; it’s nice to see another side of Jackie O.

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Man Repeller by Leandra Medine Cohen

Now this one I happened across because I follow the Man Repeller account on Instagram and didn’t really know its back story. However, anytime that a blurb about a book involves fashion, blogging, and a 20-something, I’m probably going to like it. It’s kind of funny I started this one right after a Jackie Kennedy biography of sorts, but they kind of fit together perfectly. Maybe Leandra is a modern-day Jackie with style that catches on and no one knows why. Maybe it’s like another version of He’s Just Not That Into You, and all women can equate singledom with what’s in our closets. Whatever the connection, I loved this book. She tells it like it is and has experienced some of the exact same issues I’ve faced over the past ten to fifteen years while in high school, college, and the beginnings of the working world. Hey, if blogging about what made her single worked for her, why can’t it work for me?

 

Yesterday on my trip to Baton Rouge, there wasn’t much of a view during the drive down. It will still darkish from springing forward an hour in the wee hours Sunday morning; and to be honest, I was a little caught up in the final episode of season 1 of Serial. But on the drive back to town, the sights of spring were everywhere. I went towards campus before leaving Baton Rouge to pick up a little lunch, and the azaleas blooming were so perfect. As I made my way around St. Francisville, it was amazing to see just how far ahead an hour south of Natchez can actually be. Most of the bushes are completely open already and some have actually started to tinker out. What I did notice is how each patch of azaleas is treated different. Some yards have precisely manicured hedges of the same color bush all throughout the yard. Others let them grow wild almost around the bases of huge Live Oaks. My favorite are the houses that treat an azalea hedge as a 6-foot fence of sorts around the property so you only get a glimpse when passing by. I actually pulled into Afton Villa Gardens to take a few pictures of the driveway. It looked like something straight from an episode of The Joy of Painting with a bunch of happy little trees, bushes, and sky.

When I bought my house, I added a row of azaleas to the front of my house; and last year when I chopped down my 100-foot pines, I added a few at the foot of my driveway. I plan to add more this year and really make a mound of blooms in the future. Even though it’s a tad cooler this week, it helps liven up the senses when so much color is surrounding you.

Sprigs of Spring

I think we have all been a little skittish to say that Spring is finally here; but after several days of warmth, humidity, and a little pollen on top, I think it’s safe to say it’s here. Now, I know that we are due an Easter cold snap thanks to our thunder in early February, but that I can handle. It’s more ice, snow, and need for layers upon layers that I’m ready to get rid of. It’s time for a little sun on my cheeks and saying goodbye to sweater weather!

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My rides to and from Baton Rouge have been tricking me lately to think that Spring has been here for weeks on end. The campus at LSU has been covered with Japanese Magnolia blossoms for weeks, and mine in the backyard on Auburn are just starting to burst open. It’s always been a late bloomer, but I’ve been waiting to see if the cold snap got it or not.

Unfortunately, my inevitable Spring sinus infection has hit this week, too. I spent most of Sunday doped up on Benadryl and Tylenol trying to make the pressure behind my eyes go away. I guess I’ll just have to live with it for a little while longer; I mean, the real pollen hasn’t even started to collect yet. I haven’t seen any streaks of missing yellow in my carport, so there’s still that to look forward to.

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Since I was a little dazed on my drive yesterday morning and I have a couple more days of travel this week, I decided to put the e-books to rest for a little while and try a new podcast. I’ve been told several times since I’ve started listening to different ones on the drive to give “Dirty John” a try. Well, after 4 episodes on my drive Monday, I’m hooked. I did do a little digging, too. I had to put a face to the name behind all of this craziness and was surprised how normal he looked. I guess that goes to show you that you just never know and to never judge a book by its cover.

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Wedding photo from December 2014

I mean, how much more normal can you get? She must have not been a fan of the Google search yet or didn’t use Facebook to the best of its abilities before tying the knot after a few months of knowing him from Match.com. Oh, well, I’m sure by the end of the week, I’ll be finished with this season and looking for more dirt. In the mean time, keep those suggestions coming! I’m new to all of this, remember?