Monday, November 5, 2018

What Podcasts Are You Listening To?

Recently, I've fallen into a new morning routine: I put the baby in his highchair, make myself a bagel (and porridge, fruit and yogurt for him), and ask Google Home to tell me the latest news headlines. Then I sit down to feed him and ... tell Google to play me a podcast.

It was an idea that John had long ago, when our baby was much younger and I still didn't have much semblance of a morning routine ... I was an exhausted feeding machine and my only respite was the time I had in front of the TV while I fed and fed ... and fed. I barely had the energy to do anything else. Observing me watching the nth episode of Gilmore Girls (for the nth time), John said, "I know, why don't you listen to podcasts instead? That way you can still go around the house ... doing stuff." I think I wanted to reach over from my position on the couch and - using what little reserved energy I had - throttle him. At that time, television was my only saving grace; it helped keep me sane, comforted, and entertained all at once.

But now as my baby's a bit older and beginning to comprehend the world around him (and I've got a bit more freedom - emphasis on "a bit"), I'm conscious of the amount of TV I have on in the house. Don't get me wrong: when I really need to get something done (like shred the pile of papers threatening to become a trip hazard by our home office door) and every single toy is just not good enough, I have been known to dunk the baby in front of the YouTube channel playing his favorite songs (I like Super Simple Songs, FYI) for 15 - 20 minutes. It happens.

So, I'm loving my - our - new podcast routine. I get to listen to something relatively engaging while getting things done and my baby isn't a TV zombie (yet).

Through Google podcasts, I've learned something new through TED Radio Hour (which takes excerpts from Ted Talks and interviews the presenter) and listened to fascinating interviews via NPR's Fresh Air (like that uncomfortable one with Leonard Cohen's son, Adam Cohen - well, at least, I found it a little awkward when he declined to read a poem on air after being asked to).

I listened to this incredible podcast about Jorge Bracero, who played an instrumental (and truly inspirational) role in Puerto Rico's recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which hit the island in September 2017. I then found his Facebook page and told him just what I thought ("You're incredible! A hero!"), and he replied to say thank you! It was pretty cool.

One day, John came downstairs and asked me what I was listening to. "I don't know - it's a podcast about mushrooms, I think," I replied, spooning another glob of prune puree into a wide little mouth that resembled an eager baby robin's beak (my child's method of eating involves opening his mouth as wide as his jaw will allow, raising his eyebrows into two inverted quotation marks, and making appreciative "Mmm mmm" sounds as he swallows).

"This is so boring!" John exclaimed. "And this guy's voice is so annoying!"

"Well, kind of," I said. "But I've listened to all the other ones and there's nothing else on that I'm interested in."

So, I'd love to know ... what podcasts are you listening to? Do you have any to recommend? I'm not really into podcasts about politics (because they just make me angry, and I prefer reading articles about this anyway) or finance (because I sort of glaze over), but I do have a wide range of interests ... I'd be up for anything, really. Especially anything random, but interesting.

Please help! I can't listen to another podcast about the powers of psychedelic mushrooms or Miriam Webster's "Word of the Day".

Thanks! And muah. 


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