December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011


Though I prefer my home environment as close to silent as is possible when living in a big city, I like a little background music at work. The 800ish songs on my non-iPod Creative Zen Stone Plus (no longer in production) usually do the trick. I try not to sing along to them since my co-workers at Cabinet Department That Shall Not Be Named do not yet love me unconditionally. Just wait until they hear me doing the harmony on “Monday, Monday,” amiright? Delightful.

Now that I listen to music via earbuds rather than through speakers (again with the whole “not wanting to disturb co-workers” thing), I’ve realized that I can crank it up as much as I want. Which in turn means I can listen to podcasts. Which in turn in turn means three letters: NPR.

I never miss a “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” It’s a weekly trivia show based on the news. The most recent episode was a year-end summary that focused on British topics. In my world, that’s a win-win. People can call in as contestants on the show, but I’d be way too nervous for that. Gotta follow my cardinal rule: admire from afar. If only “Wait Wait” weren’t taped on Wednesday nights in Chicago. I could handle being in the studio audience. Sigh.

I keep an eye on “This American Life,” which has the apparent mission to simultaneously inform and horrify. Nothing against Ira Glass, though I personally find him pretty soporific. It’s more the structure of alternating touching stories with tragic ones that throws em. You could have a show about…birds, for example. Act one: Big Bird. Act two: the bird that ate its young at the Cincinnati Zoo. Act three: Lawn flamingos. You just never know where TAL is going to go with something, which is why I only listen to the shows on topics I’m passionate about (mostly food).

If “The Delicious Dish” were a real program, I would mention it here, with a special shoutout to those shows featuring Pete Schweddy.

(I listen to non-NPR podcasts, too, but that’s not really the gist of this entry, is it?)

Any other NPR fans out there? What programs do you recommend?

4 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke:

I generally avoid all radio except 88.9 Radio Milwaukee and NPR.

Saturday and Sunday mornings are prime scheduling. Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, All Things/Songs Considered, A Way With Words, and (if I'm not particularly motivated to get out of bed) On Your Health and Car Talk.

At night, they broadcast Old Time Radio Drama and the BBC.

*insert sigh of happiness here*

I would highly recommend the splendid table (

Splendid Table is AMAZING. Downloaded the latest episode (clip show) and the first guest was Amy Sedaris. Love.