Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, In Their Own Voices

With the tragic loss of public figures Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain comes a collective heavy heart and a reckoning with how their work and lives intersected with our own. Bourdain’s TV shows were so full of moments of real human connection and understanding across cultures. I read Kitchen Confidential immediately after I had my second baby, and Bourdain’s writing totally transported me to the world of the kitchen and everything surviving a life there reflected about finding your place in the wider world. It was an ass-kicking, grown-up place I wanted to spend a few minutes in each day, while I shoveled yogurt raisins into my mouth and nursed my baby. His Parts Unknown episode on New Jersey, with a long segment on the Jersey Shore, got the place I’m from so perfectly, when so many other tries at portraying it never did, exactly, and made me less homesick in the Midwest.

Spade’s bags and aesthetic represented something both grown-up and simple so many women aspired to. I was thrilled to get a black Kate Spade bag to bring to work for Christmas, and I carried it through a year when I didn’t know if I’d be able to become a mom the way I’d imagined, when work was a distraction and a constant, and feeling professional, polished, and a little bit fancy every day was a blessing.

Their paths to becoming iconic figures, and the ways they talk about their lives in these podcasts, are fascinating. Hearing them tell their stories in their own voices, full of laughter and incredulity that they got to do the things they did, full of grit and sarcasm talking about the bumps in the road that almost derailed them, were just what I needed this week.

The intimacy of an audio interview is one of my favorite art forms, and these three are particularly good tributes to two complicated, interesting lives:

Anthony Bourdain on Fresh Air, 2016

Kate and Andy Spade on How I Built This

Anthony Bourdain on WTF with Marc Maron, 2011

4 Reasons I Love But That’s Another Story

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The idea behind But That’s Another Story is to get notable people talking about a book that changed them, changed the way they saw the world, or found them at just the time in their lives when they needed it. Host Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club and editor at Macmillan publishers, says he got the idea for the podcast after finding that the question, “What are you reading?” posed to friends or strangers, always opened up a new way of understanding what people cared about, were curious about, feared, and loved. His interviews are so thoughtful, easy to get lost in, and fascinating in what they cover in around twenty minutes. I love so much about this new podcast, but here are five of my favorite things about it:

  1. It’s not just authors. The first five episodes include two authors, but also NPR’s Sam Sanders, illustrator Mari Andrew, and Last Week Tonight writer and comedian Josh Gondelman. It’s as fascinating to hear Gondelman talk about how Infinite Jest made him a better person as it is to hear how Middlemarch influenced Min Jin Lee’s sense of a narrator’s power.
  2. Books=an excuse to get to know someone. Really, you could make a podcast like this about anything someone interesting loves: a favorite album, a particular vacation spot, or a movie could stand in for a  book. But there’s something so personal and private about how people discover, fall in love with, and absorb books in their lives, and these interviews give people a chance to dive deep into those encounters. In a time when a quick scroll through any comments section can make you feel defeated, it’s nice to imagine asking anyone about their favorite anything and watching their face light up. You get that feeling from these interviews, and it’s such a joy.
  3. The subject-focused editing. Schwalbe introduces his subject, but then edits a lot of himself out as the subject tells their story, giving the interview an almost-uninterrupted narrative arc. Each episode starts with the subject talking about what they read as kids and what books meant for them growing up, and I especially loved Julie Buntin’s story about discovering Lorrie Moore’s Who Will Run the Frog Hospital as a cigarette-smoking teenage girl reading on a picnic table.
  4. Will Schwalbe is basically a hug in podcast form. He loves books so much, and you can tell that he’s had so much practice having these conversations with people in his life, that he truly believes books change people’s lives and are magic, that he can’t believe he gets to do this for his job.

11 Female-Hosted Podcasts To Binge on International Women’s Day

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By The Book: Each week, hosts Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer read a self help book and live by it to the letter. It’s irreverent, addicting, and honest, and the genuine fun and affection these ladies have for each other and this project is infectious. Check out my longer review of this show here, and their most recent episode on The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

Call your Girlfriend: It took me five or six episodes to get into the groove of this one, but their recent one on moving (the hosts are close friends who moved to different cities) was such a truth-bomb-fest it made me stop and type out what they were saying at least twenty times on my notes app, interrupting my dreaded elliptical workout while making me reflect on all the tough, necessary, not-so-lonely-after-all life lessons I’ve earned from re-starting my own life in so many new cities.

The History Chicks: Their back catalog of hour-long deep dives into women in history from Cleopatra to Julia Child goes all the way back to 2011, and I was all in for the way they tell these stories, with such humor and such awareness of the worlds each woman existed within. My recent new-to-me-faves are on Zelda Fitzgerald,  Dorothy Parker, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Unladylike: This titles of each episode of this new podcast from the former hosts of Stuff Mom Never Told You all start with “How To,” and topics are challenging, taboo-busting feminist stories and interviews. Recent faves: How to Ride a Bicycle, featuring an interview with a PhD turned bike messenger, and How to Get a Yoga Body with Instagram star/all bodies can do yoga advocate Jessamyn Stanley.

Stuff Mom Never Told You: Classic episodes of this show (hosted by the current Unladylike hosts)  go all the way back to 2009, and I love making playlists of whatever lady-centric topics I was in the mood for at the moment: migraines to Ruth Bader Ginsberg to Marriage vs. Ambition. This show will make you see both the everyday chores of womanhood and the Bigger Issues like work-life balance and fertility in a new, challenging way.

Note To Self: Host Manoush Zomorodi has a way of asking questions about the intersection of technology and all the messy things that make us human that’s so thoughtful and challenging; you can tell her guests sometimes have never considered the questions she poses to them. I can’t stop thinking about an episode from this week (originally aired in 2015) on the Invisible Girlfriend app.
Another Mother Runner: I’m coming out of Midwest indoor-workout hibernation, when I need as much you-got-this motivation as I can get to get my butt bundled up and outside into the March mud and wind. These ladies are the vibrant, encouraging community I need. Listen while you lace up your shoes, if you need company while you nurse an injury, listen if you feel like you’re failing at getting out the door for whatever reason. These women have been there, and they’re right there with you.

My Favorite Murder: This juxtaposition between the horrifying, darkest-side-of-humanity these hosts discuss and their addictive, funny dynamic is why they’re stars. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of all things murder and a perfect sense of when axe or serial killer jokes will work best. I don’t always listen to murder podcasts, but when I do, it’s this one. For a deeper dive into the murder-podcast genre and its appeal, especially to women, check out this terrific New York Times piece.

Death, Sex, and Money: Anna Sale’s interviews and reporting on the big three of things-it’s-not-polite-to-talk about just keep getting better (and it was always amazing). Every single show cuts right to the most important, most difficult, and therefore most fascinating things about people. Check out DSM’s recent Opportunity Costs series on class and Lena Waithe interview, both thought-provoking gems.

The Longest Shortest Time: I’d especially recommend this if you’re a parent who feels like your particular path to or through parenting is weird, or like you haven’t yet run into someone with your particular version of a kid-getting-or-raising experience. This podcast digs to find the stories that haven’t been told yet about parenting, from accidental gay parents to a theatrical makeup artist who brings her toddler along, but also always comes back to the universality of even the most unconventional stories.

Fresh Air: I feel like Ter-Ter (as Jessica Williams called her during one of my favorite interviews) sometimes gets left off lists of badass podcast ladies because she’s SO famous and amazing, but she’s a freaking interview magician, the face you see in the lady dictionary when you look up “she makes this look easy.” But also: whenever she talks to other women about their choices and lives, the way they’ve navigated everything from sexism to motherhood, she just does it with such nuance and honesty. 

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Panel Chemistry and No Snobbery

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NPR’s roundtable discussion of what to watch, read, and listen to is my go-to podcast for discovering what’s worth being on my precious post-kid-bedtime-binge-list, but it’s also more than that. The panelists do such a good job of talking about pop culture’s role in our lives:  its importance in making us feel less alone, in providing an escape, and in telling the kinds of stories that haven’t been told yet. Their discussions always push me to think about things I already like in different ways and to experiment with genres I never would have chosen on my own. There’s so much to love about the dynamic on this show, but here are some of my favorite things:

The Panel: They dive right in, never traipse off into talking-to-hear-themselves talk territory, or dismiss something because it’s not normally their thing. The chemistry between host Linda Holmes, music critic Stephen Thompson, and book critic Glen Weldon is so full of joy, and hearing their rotating “fourth chair,”  who’s always a normally-more-serious NPR contributor, from Audie Cornish (who happens to know a lot about 90’s hip-hop), to Gene Demby (big comic book enthusiast), talk about pop culture is like when your favorite teacher does the electric slide at a school dance. The panel gives such thoughtful attention to everything they review, but they also give permission for you to do you with all things pop culture, to engage with it in whatever way gets you through: read stacks of romance novels, watch cars racing or lady superheroes on a movie screen, or watch some cupcake bakers get all upset about some fondant.

The “When In Rome” factor:  If they’re reviewing Brooklyn 99, they talk about joke-density, Mike Schur’s workplace-comedy rules, and Andy Samberg’s particular brand of goofiness. The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu gets a full discussion of how race is handled, what kinds of dystopic echoes are most disturbing, and how Elisabeth Moss does justice to Offred. They judge everything on how well it does what IT is trying to do, without a trace of snobbiness. When in Rome, eat plates of delicious pasta; when watching UnReal on Lifetime, appreciate some good fake-reality-show backstabbing.

What’s Making Us Happy: I used to make these lists for myself, uh, daily. So I’m very into this move. They’re random, they’re personal,  and they’ve helped me discover everything from recipes on Budget Bytes to YA novels I never would have tried.

Here is a good mix of episodes to start with if you’re new to the podcast:

Pop Culture Resolutions and Predictions, Plus What’s Making Us Happy

Lady Bird

The Good Place

The Deuce and What’s Making Us Happy

Pop Culture Summer Stories and Playing House

Wonder Woman and the Tony Awards

 

 

 

 

6 Podcasts on Work and Parenting That Don’t Use the Phrase “Work-Life Balance” Like It’s A Real Thing

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Maybe you have a fulfilling, financially lucrative, and flexible work situation. Maybe you have a kid who sleeps through the night, doesn’t nurse like a starving pterodactyl and never gets sick with the kid puking plague. Maybe you’ve reached that mythical asymptotic place on the curve of work and kids that gets as close to having it down as it possibly gets.

Or maybe you’re more like me and literally every woman I know when it comes to work and kids: you’re piecing it together, hopping off the crazy train then sort of wishing you were back on it, looking at that green grass on the other side of wherever you are, , trying to make one and one equal three and game the system and coming up short. Every woman’s version of trying to negotiate motherhood and a professional life (or pause from that life) is full of achingly common themes. Every version can be weighed down with so many unknowns, and every version can feel lonely.

These podcasts don’t offer any easy answers, but they do tell nuanced, complex stories, show triumphs and failures with grace and humor, and offer a glimpse of what’s possible.
The Longest Shortest Time: It’s A Real Mother (four-part series): The story of Jane Swift, who campaigned for governor of Massachusetts while she was pregnant and gave birth while in office, made me want to call my mom and thank her for getting through any version of being a working mom in the 80’s. There’s also a story of a working class mom trying to make ends meet, of parents in Sweden living the dream of paid leave and still struggling, and of a company where babies come to work with their parents. There’s an episode on the elusive, unattainable “ideal worker,” and another on “the cliff” women can face professionally in a culture that’s not built for moms to flourish.
Note To Self: Taking The Lead: This four-part series from 2016 follows Rachael and Leslie, two Brooklyn moms who put everything on the line to try and get an app called Need Done off the ground from conception to prototype to trying to convince angel investors to give them millions. The glaring irony is that this app is designed to help parents with demanding professional lives manage and outsource tasks. The series ends with foreign policy analyst Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of the Atlantic article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” and her husband, Princeton professor Andrew Moravscik, telling their family’s story with an honesty and hard-earned wisdom any parent will hear in their voices. 
3,2,1 iRelaunch: This podcast covers everything related to re-entering work after a career break. I love that they cover the emotional side of things, like an episode on not talking yourself out of opportunities and dealing with rejection, as well as the practical topics like how to talk about a career break in interviews and how to make your résumé stand out.

Hit Refresh: The Future is Flexible: Host Adda Birnir founded Skillcrush, an online tech-education company. I’ve taken their classes and love the availability of support and the curriculum’s challenge level and design. (And am totally gonna spruce up my WordPress site with my new skills if I ever stop listening to podcasts and cleaning up Play Doh). Adda interviews Annie Dean, co-founder of a company called Werk that helps companies attract, retain, and support talented women who want job flexibility. Today we drive on smooth, paved highways that cross the country, right? Well, they didn’t exist until the Federal Highway Act of 1956. Annie Dean is basically the Dwight Eisenhower of re-inventing work flexibility, and this podcast is so worth listening to.
Ali Wong on Fresh Air: There are a lot of (dumb) reasons there are not twenty Netflix specials with pregnant or recently postpartum lady comedians like Ali Wong telling jokes about the “savage rituals” of breastfeeding or how stay-at-home moms have it figured out because they get to take a shit in their own bathroom in peace, and it’s not because those things aren’t as gross and funny as every dime-a-dozen dude making a dick joke.  I was laughing so hard hearing Wong talk about her expectations that nursing would be a “lily pad in a meadow and bunnies would gather at my feet while the fat-Hawaiian-man version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow, ” versus the reality that it was more like  “Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant” that I almost forgot all about the wage gap!
Startup Pregnant: The women who tell their stories on this podcast are more type-a and corporate-career-oriented than me, but as I listened to host Sarah Peck do a few interviews it became so clear that whether she was interviewing entrepreneurs, CEO’s, or non-profit leaders, their deeply honest stories and struggles were the same as mine in every important way. The podcast operates on 10 “Core Values” that show up consistently in every episode, including “Work life balance is  a myth. There is fit and there is tension,” and “Culture change starts with stories.” I couldn’t agree more.  

Four Interviews With Badass Women To Get You Through Another Terrible Week

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Another week, another news alert about some Voldemort jerkoff turdface dude in politics, comedy, or Hollywood who’s made women’s lives miserable. I submit, as one possible avenue of dealing with this now-routine terribleness, making sure your podcast playlist is as full as possible of interviews with tough, cool, talented women like these.

Lisa Ling on Death, Sex, and Money talks about being raised by her dad, dancing on tables in New York City, and the heartbreak of long-distance love. Listen to this one if you hung on Lisa’s every word during Channel One News in your high school homeroom while finishing your homework while some idiot kicked your chair and flicked wads of paper past you.

Kathrine Switzer on The Runner’s World Podcast (#49) tells the story of how she became the first woman to run with a number in the Boston Marathon in 1967. As a post Title IX kid, it’s incredible to hear her talk about the ridiculous lengths she had to go to as a young woman who just wanted to lace up her sneakers and run. Listen to this one while you bust out five miles on the treadmill and everything feels a little easier and less shitty afterward even if it isn’t. Yet.

Barbara Corcoran is a woman who refuses to get knocked down. On How I Built This, she tells the story of how she went from waitressing at a diner in New Jersey to building a New York City real estate empire. There are so many moments where she’s forced to pivot and reinvent her business, and she just gets better at it every time. Listen to this one if the idea of a career change seems daunting, or if you’ve ever thought you might have a little hidden hustler/entrepreneur inside you who wants to come out.

On Song Exploder (#122), Rachel Platten tells the story of her song “Broken Glass,” the defiant song she started before the 2016 election and finished after it.  Her other hit “Fight Song” was chosen as Hillary Clinton’s campaign anthem, the vitriol and hate she encountered during that time changed her irrevocably.  Song Exploder edits out most of the interviewer’s questions so the whole story is told by the artist, and you can hear the shock and confusion Platten’s voice change to an edgy, brave toughness as she talks about how “Broken Glass” came to be.

Make Me A Playlist: A Dad On a Solo Road Trip

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An old friend of mine requested a playlist for an upcoming 6-hour road trip. He’s got little kids, but they won’t be coming along. Of course I suggested S-Town for one leg of the trip since he hadn’t listened to it yet, but I suggested he mix it up for the ride up there. Here’s the playlist I made him:

WTF Barack Obama Interview: I always throw a WTF into the mix if I’m listening with my husband. My friend is pretty into politics, so I thought a little #tbt to this great interview with Obama would be a good way to start off his trip. 

PCHH Favorites of 2017: This is one of my favorite shows, and this rapid-fire best-of-2017 is just full of great suggestions for movies, music, comic books, and TV that stood out for the panelists in 2017. Extra bonus that it’s just the three main panelists with no “fourth chair” so my buddy can get to know the show’s core group.

Why Oh Why: Randy’s Mema Died: This is Randy, the actor who plays the part of the host’s fictional egocentric, manipulative, douchey-but-occasionally-lovable friend. I think this episode perfectly captures the weirdness, performance-art, and social commentary that the Randy episodes are going for. 

99% Invisible: El Gordo: This is just such a great story, about the only dude in a Spanish town who didn’t share in a gigantic lottery win.

Ellen Burstyn’s Lessons on Survival:  This interview is so beautiful, Ellen Burstyn is such a badass, and I feel like my friend would never pick this on his own. If any episode will get you hooked on Anna Sale’s interviews in Death, Sex, and Money, this one will.

Reply All Jennicam: I went to high school with this friend, and I am pretty sure we had to do a group project with some research using Alta Vista at some point. So I felt like an Internet 1.0 story would be a good one to throw in. All the Reply All stories that take you back to the late 90’s and early 2000’s are so good, and it’s fun to time travel to that totally different world recent past when the Internet was new.

Fresh Air: Patton Oswalt: I’d suggest this to any friend who’s experienced loss, who’s pulled it together for their kids, or who could use a comedian’s take on Donald Trump. So, that’s everyone. Such a gem, this one, and it will make many friend-playlist-appearances after this one for sure.

How I Built This: Starbucks: You will never walk into a Starbucks and see it the same way after hearing this interview with CEO Howard Schultz. 

How I Built This: Air BnB: The story of Joe Gebbia founding Air BnB is fascinating for a few reasons: the failure that came first, the way he finally got an investor’s faith and attention (it’s crazy), and the ways I feel like these guys had to be dudes for a bunch of the things that seem lucky or like inspiration to have gone their way.

 

 

Why The F Do I Love WTF?

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I’ve been having a hard time nailing down what it is about WTF with Marc Maron that I love so much, but let me try.  

He’ll sometimes meander into a four minute story about some divey place he used to do standup or some guitar he’s trying to find strings for, or he’ll skip talking about what the interview subject is most famous for and talk about their cats or their opinion of Delta’s airline food, before jumping to talking about the interviewee’s shitty father or their struggle with addiction. He tells you what he thinks of the state of New Jersey (he likes it and feels like it’s a part of him even though he hasn’t lived there since early childhood) or some fish restaurant in Seattle (he likes the fried scallops quite a bit).  

He’s a celebrity now at 54, but wasn’t for a long time. He rambles for 15 minutes before each interview in a stream-of-consciousness half-rant-half-self-therapy session that should drive me nuts, but that I love. He’s lived an interesting life himself that he’s not afraid to share with guests and the “what the fucksters, what the fuckaneers,” as he calls his listeners. He’s a curmudgeon who can’t help but be so genuinely and deeply interested in everyone he talks to, and the hour-long conversations end up being riveting, though in the opposite way that a Terry Gross interview is.  I totally recommend listening to interviews of the same person by both Gross and Maron. (Bruce Springsteen, Greta Gerwig, and Sarah Silverman have all been on both shows.) If Gross’s interview is a dinner at a five-star restaurant, where the conversation progresses through a series of thoughtful questions from the amouse bouche to the creme brulee, the WTF interview is more like hour nine of a 16-hour road trip, where you’re eating sunflower seeds and beef jerky and drinking gas station coffee, telling stories in the front seat of a Honda Civic about your family’s yearly Thanksgiving fight or about the time you shit yourself in third grade, like you’re in a stinky, cramped confessional and both far away from home, so why not?

Two recent WTF’s I listened to and recommend: interviews with Jenna Fischer and another with Pete Davidson. I listened to them both on a sub-zero day driving east on Route 80 with my husband (and no kids…) and was totally distracted from the bleak winter corn fields and my New Year’s Day hangover. I picked those interviews because I liked The Office and SNL, and by the end of the trip they’d talked about everything from how grief and trauma can screw up kids to the Stanislavsky acting method to borderline personality disorder.

I think in a good life, you need both the fancy dinners and the long road trips, and you definitely need both WTF and Fresh Air on your playlist. Maron and Gross get to the place where you find out the most interesting, vulnerable, and honest things about people, though only after WTF will you be able to call yourself a “what-the-fuck-buddy.”

From Weinstein to Wonder Woman: 2017 in 10 Podcast Episodes

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Dear Sugars: Hillary Clinton: Hillary helps the Sugars answer a letter from a woman who faces what they call the “double bind of female ambition.” If so much of 2017’s politics felt achingly personal, or if you ever wrote Hillary a letter asking for advice in your head, this one’s for you.

Why Oh Why: Dudes in Bars on January 21, 2017: On the day of the Women’s March, 10 women in 10 different cities talk feminism with…dudes in bars. If you’ve ever tried to do the same thing and felt weird, disappointed, awkward, or confused afterward, give this one a listen. And maybe bring your own cocktail to ugly cry into.

Pop Culture Happy Hour’s Wonder Woman Episode: I cried during the battle scenes in Wonder Woman because I’d never seen anything in a movie like them. The attention to every detail, the joy the panel conveys, and the smart, funny, emotional conversation in this episode  is everything that’s right with the world when everything else feels icky and wrong. 

Pod Save The People: Bonus Pod: Charlottesville: Host and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson interviews the UVA college students who stood toe to toe with white supremacists.  The bravery and maturity of these young people is astonishing and inspiring. At first I wrote “college kids” and then deleted it. They’re a lot of things, but they’re definitely not kids. 

Longform #269: Jodi Kantor: Even in the face of incredible systemic resistance, Jodi Kantor refused to give up on the Harvey Weinstein story, and she changed the world with her work. Journalists like her are such badasses, and hearing her tell the story in her own voice gave me goosebumps. 

Terry Crews on Anna Faris is Unqualified: How do I explain what happens in this interview? Terry Crews kinda opens a vein, about his own failures and mistakes, about what he thinks is bullshit about the NFL, and about men’s need to step up and be feminists, but in this high-energy, try-to-keep-up, all-over-the-place-but-totally-riveting way.

Lovett or Leave It: Roll Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Listening to the joy and incredulity in the voices of the Pod Save America guys on the night Doug Jones won the Alabama Senate race is all I need to fuel another Sisyphean six months of making bff’s with the interns in my Senator’s office. There was some circa-2008-level-hope in their voices that night you rarely hear from these guys.

Martha Stewart Speaks Her Mind: Martha’s just having none of your whining, about this year or any year. She’s got peacocks to tend to, she’s got life-changingly-delicious cider to brew, she’s got Snoop Dogg collaborations to do. She also hates Donald Trump, and you’ve just got to hear her Martha takedown of him, with its perfect consonant pronunciation and monotone-burn like no other.

Death Sex and Money: Who’s Driving Your Uber?: Anna Sale somehow tells the story of all the hustles that have ever been hustled, all the dreams ever deferred, and all the people who are keeping on keeping on in these mini-interviews with Uber drivers in the Bay Area.

Patton Oswalt on Fresh Air: Oswalt tells the story of his wife’s sudden death and the dark period that followed, the superhuman strength he somehow found to help his daughter through her grief when he could barely function through his own, and the impossible joy of finding love again with an honesty, humor, and grace that will stay with you long after the interview is over. And he’s also got a weird, gross metaphor for what it’s like to have to tell Trump jokes in 2017.

Easier Than Joining a Gym or Being A Nicer Person: My 2018 Podcast Resolutions

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The last week of December is for eating cookies and thinking about self-improvement! These are my podcast-related goals for 2018:

Listen to More Fiction Podcasts: I love reading fiction and used to be in the habit of listening to The New Yorker Fiction Podcast and Selected Shorts when I had a long commute. I just finished the 36 Questions Musical Podcast and was amazed at how much I missed listening to fiction and how happy it made me. Resolutions should be all about more of things that make you happy, so more of this. The New York Times has a great list of new fiction possibilities here.

Try a Player Besides Apple Podcasts: It’s the only player I’ve ever used, and it’s starting to feel a little cluttered and awkward. That could definitely be more me (ahem, see post-Christmas-house-full-of-junk) than the app, but it’s worth trying some others to see how they help organize content and help me find new things to listen to. 

Hunt Down a Live Show: I love how live shows give you a chance to see a slightly less edited version of your favorite shows and to hear hosts interact with audience members. Bonus if it’s a good excuse to get to a city I’ve been meaning to visit, extra bonus if it’s at one of these cool festivals.

Host a Podcast Brunch Club: My plan is to just steal my existing book club’s email list, add a link to a thought-provoking, discussion-inducing podcast, and buy some mimosa stuff. Worst case: I don’t get around to organizing this and I drink a mimosa in my PJ’s and join the New York Times Podcast Club. So really there is no worst case in this situation. 

Organize Some Playlists: I love a good themed Spotify playlist. I have one for general difficult things in life, one for upbeat cleaning, one for kinda sad cleaning, one for chill taking my time cooking, and one for dishwashing. My podcasts live in an ever-expanding, unorganized list and I have to do some quick what-podcast-mood-am-I-in math every time I choose one. I’m thinking a murder-themed list, an advice-themed list, and an interview-shows-themed list to start.