Read any good books lately?
Binge watching any shows on Netflix?
And what’s on your music and/or podcast playlists while you are working from home and sheltering in place?
Those are the questions we are asking our friends across the imaging industry in a new weekly installment of our Business as Unusual series.
Each week we reach out to four to five folks from different segments of our industry for their reading, watching, and listening recommendations that are serving as a distraction from the never-ending stream of COVID-19 news.
CJ Cannata, president and CEO, The Cannata Report
Reading: Laugh if you will, but I’ve been obsessed with “Flowers In the Attic,” since I read it almost in its entirety when my cousin gave it to me one Thanksgiving morning when I was twelve years old, as well the whole five-book Dollanganger/Foxworth series for probably the fourth or fifth time. Over the past two months, I’ve read the first four books again, and am about to start the fifth, the prequel, “Garden Of Shadows.” I also just read the latest “Flowers in the Attic” tie-in, “Out of the Attic” – trashy, but nostalgic. Aside from that, I’m reading “The Kind Worth Killing” by Peter Swanson, which I would recommend to fans of thrillers like “Gone Girl,” and a book a friend of mine, Jason Graff, recently published, “Stray Our Pieces.” I also am reading a lot of magazines, including Classic Pop’s Madonna special edition, Q (the British equivalent to “Rolling Stone,” but several notches above in terms of editorial quality), and Scientific American.
Watching: Again, balancing the nostalgia with the current, I was obsessed with the daytime soap opera “All My Children” (yes, the one starring Susan Lucci as “Erica Kane” for 41 years–the show’s entire run), and I found someone in California who has DVDs of the series from 1980-2011 when its last episode aired). I started in 1996, when I stopped watching for several years, and am now in December of 2003. I also started watching “Dallas,” another favorite, again, starting with the end of season two, which originally aired from 1978-1979. I’m also re-watching some of my favorite shows with my mom. We started with the five seasons of “Damages” and are now into the second season of “The OC.” Next is “Six Feet Under,” my favorite series of all time. On my own, I’ve been watching Season 3 of “Ozark,” Season 6 of “Grace and Frankie,” and am about to start watching “Hollywood,” a soapy drama and period program about Hollywood’s Golden Age, and “Becoming,” a documentary about Michelle Obama’s book tour (all on Netflix). It’s safe to say I have been seriously self-isolating and not leaving the house much at all!
Listening: Music, music, music. I curate my own digital music library, which I started almost 20 years ago. I’m constantly adding to and updating. I’ve spent the last seven months, and more aggressively, the last two, because I have more time, rebuilding my music and music video and concert clips library of nearly 35,000 songs and videos, updating and streamlining all of the tags, cover art and playlists. In terms of artists, again, balancing the nostalgia with the new. On the nostalgic side, a lot of 80’s and early 90s, including Bon Jovi (a band I never thought I would listen to again, though perhaps living with Carol and Frank in New Jersey and feeling a bit like I’m back in high school probably has something to do with it; Stevie Nicks, and The Cure in my more pensive moments; and on the more recent side, Niall Horan, Tame Impala (“The Slow Rush” is a must-have record for anyone with an affinity for a solid yet innovative, groove; and Sadler Vaden, who’s “Anybody Out There?” record along with last year’s record from The Black Keys has given me hope that rock and roll is not dead.
Dawn Abbuhl, president, Repeat Business Systems, Albany, NY
Reading: I have always read as a way to relax, and in these times, I’m reading a lot! I read about a book a week. Currently, I’m reading “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn about a psychologist who suffered a trauma and is now agoraphobic (she won’t leave her house). Very upbeat (not!). I’m an optimist and hoping for a happy ending. Another amazing book is “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult. It is set in an African nature reserve and I learned a lot about elephant behavior and that was awesome. If I can learn something about a culture, issue, time period, and have a happy ending, that is a complete win in a book for me.
Watching: I am watching “American Idol” as one of the contestants goes to college in my area. Otherwise salsa dancing videos on YouTube. I also confess, and only because we are all friends here, that I have watched the “Tiger King”—only because my son was watching it and it was a bonding experience. It was the number one show on Netflix, but it is truly a train wreck and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. Finally, I am addicted to the Hallmark Channel as I watch it while working on the weekends. Every story follows basically the same plot so I can walk away for 30 minutes and still come back and easily follow the story.
Listening: I work out every day so the only music I listen to are playlists with good music for yoga or other workouts (rap, Top 40, hip hop, Motown, general high energy music) with a little Latin music thrown in.
Laura Blackmer, SVP, Channel Sales, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
Reading: I am an avid reader but am finding it hard to focus on new books, so I have been rereading some of my favorites. I am currently re-reading “Misery” by Stephen King—no pun at all just a suspenseful well-written story. I probably will follow with the movie at some point. Besides the paper, the daily analyst messages, and the onslaught of email, not doing much more reading for pleasure.
Watching: Our family has found comfort and info in the following Monday-Friday routine. “ABC Local News at 6,” “Nightly News with David Muir” at 6:30, and a rousing round of “Jeopardy” (The college tournament was particularly fun.). Outside of that, I am training a puppy, so we are watching plenty of “how to” videos and doing virtual training. I always try to catch “CBS Sunday Morning” and “60 minutes,” and if there is a spare hour, I will try to catch up on “Ozark” or “My Beautiful Friend” both of which started new seasons.
Listening: I am an avid Sirius XM junkie, mostly listening to First Wave and maybe Classic Rewind. I also listen every morning and throughout the day to 107.1 The Peak, one of the last independent radio stations in the NY Area. Their 10 at 10 is a great feature with music, news, and movie/tv clips from a particular year.
Phil Buysse, general manager, US Bank
Reading: Mostly The Cannata Report. I have 25 years of back issues saved, so I won’t run out anytime soon. I’m not much of a fiction reader, so mostly non-fiction and articles on business and investing. I also have a bird watching guide nearby and have been enjoying the many species visiting the feeders outside my home office window.
Watching: Without live sports, the TV hasn’t been on as much. I did manage to catch Tiger King and a couple old movies I haven’t seen, including “National Treasure” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” I’ve enjoyed some of the more recent movies as well, like “Ford vs. Ferrari,” “Parasite,” and “Jojo Rabbit.” History Channel and HGTV are my TV go-to channels.
Listening: I listen to local sports talk (even though there isn’t much to talk about), business radio, a golf podcast called No Laying Up, and a business podcast, How I Built This. For music, I’ve been led by my kids into country and newer artists that sound like old school country/folk like Tyler Childers, Colter Wall, and Cody Jinks. I’ve also been pulling up concert videos on YouTube of my old rock and roll favorites like Dire Straits.
Joe Odore, product manager, office products, Panasonic Systems Solutions Company of North America
Reading: I’m currently not reading anything specific right now–mostly online news to keep up with the pandemic. Otherwise, I read Wired magazine.
Watching: I’m starting to catch up on the current season of “Better Call Saul,” and finishing the latest seasons of “The Flash” and “Supergirl.” I love that sci-fi universe.
Listening: I’m a big 80’s music fan so I listen to a lot of Pandora and have a channel setup for that. I also listen to some alternative music all of which is from Pandora since streaming is the way to go in this day in age.
Andrew Ritschel, president, EOS, Fairfield, NJ
Reading: I listen to a lot of audio books. My most recent are Clive Cussler’s “Journey of the Pharaohs” and Harlan Coben’s “Seconds Away.” Harlan lives here in Northern New Jersey. In his stories he adds local names of stores and restaurants, which makes listening even more fun. Next, Delia Owen’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” and Kevin Dutton’s “The Wisdom of Psychopaths,” a book I recommend for all of us with all of the different people we regularly deal with. And finally a business recommendation from my friend Gary Harouff of AIS Las Vegas on marketing, Marcus Sheridan’s “They Ask, You Answer.”
Watching: Recently, cutting my cable/Wi-Fi bill from $289 per month to $99 per month hasn’t really harmed my viewing, but helped the wallet. With Netflix and Hulu I have recently seen “Better call Saul,” “Fauda,” “El Camino,” “Parasite,” “Roma,” and a host of other TV series and movies.
Listening: My (soon to be) fiancé’s daughter has been dating a guy whose father is a world-renowned classical and jazz pianist as well as a professor at Julliard. I have been brushing up on these two music genres through Alexa and Pandora so I can chat intelligently when we finally meet, hopefully in the near future.
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