December 3, 2016

Voraciously listening

Sooooo... It's been a while. If you follow my blog, I'm sure you noticed the lack of Hazel posts these past few months. I'm reevaluating what I want to share on my blog and may get into those details later, but for now I want to talk about my love of PODCASTS...

I started listening to them (outside the ones that are also on NPR) when I was on maternity leave. Being home alone with a baby can be lonely and busy and sometimes a little boring. I found that listening to podcasts was a great way to pass the time as I stared, nursed, changed, and played with my baby.

I wish I knew a word that meant voracious listening (like gobbling-up is to eating)... because that is what I've been doing to podcasts ever since. When I'm home alone, doing chores, working on the bathroom reno, going to sleep...

Below I am sharing some of my favorites (links in the titles). I like to laugh and I like to learn, so many podcasts are focused on those two things, but there are quite a few that leave me in tears because they are so touching.

If you listen to any of these, let me know what you think! Frequently, after listening to episodes I want to DISCUSS them with people, some of the topics are just SO GOOD. So I am always open for that. :)  I'm also open to recommendations, so hit me with your favorites!

The Longest Shortest Time
The parenting podcast for everyone. This is the podcast that really got me listening to podcasts that weren’t already radio segments.  It’s a parenting podcast, but they’re human stories that can be enjoyed by anyone. You DO NOT have to be a parent to be touched by The Accidental Gay Parents (multiple episodes are dedicated to this story. LISTEN TO IT!).

More Perfect
This is a new spin-off of RadioLab (see below) devoted to discussing topics related to the Supreme Court. I’ve had an interest in law ever since my CSU HR law professor lectured about important cases and made dry jokes about Justice Scalia beating up swing vote Kennedy in the bathroom, so this is up my alley. So far it’s a mixture of looking at specific cases and going into some history.

I think most people who like podcasts have listened to this one or at least heard of it, as it’s one of the most high-profile podcasts around. Tyler and I downloaded these episodes and listened to them on our road trip back from Colorado this summer.  It was the perfect podcast for a roadtrip because it is one that has plenty of cliff hangers that make you want to binge the whole thing and it was approximately the right length. We ended up sitting in OUR DRIVEWAY IN THE CAR for an EXTRA 10 minutes after an approximately 14 hour drive in order to hear the end!  Season 1 was great, but season 2 was much harder to get into for me, so I haven’t finished it.

The Mortified Podcast
People reading excerpts from their tweenage diaries. It’s good for an awkward laugh. Enough Said.

The Gilmore Guys
I hate that I love this one. The two male hosts (one who watched GG when it aired and one watching for the first time) do a podcast for each episode of Gilmore Girls + additional episodes talking to the cast and crew. Frequently they talk for double the length (or more) of the GG episode itself.  It’s definitely a guilty pleasure and sometimes it gets pretty bad (maybe it's bad most of the time, I can’t tell anymore), but I’ve listened to all of it and they have a few more podcasts to make of it to finish off the reboot that came out in November.  I guess if you’ve watched GG as many times as I have, it’s kinda nice to visit Stars Hollow in a new, goofy way.

If Gilmore Girls isn't your favorite show, podcasts like this are around for other shows too, so do a little searching. Which leads me to...

The West Wing Weekly
Tyler and I have started watching The West Wing for the first time. It's been fun for me to listen to this podcast as we go. I don't listen on a 1 to 1 ratio as we watch, but the episodes are still fresh enough to remember. This podcast is less goofy, and they bring on really interesting guests including people who were in or worked on the show as well as real Washington D.C. folks who held some of the same positions who are able to point out accuracies and inaccuracies.

How to Be a Girl
The podcast of a mother trying to navigate the world of parenting her transgender kid. And not really knowing WTF she’s doing, but trying to do what is best for her kid (as we all do). I can't even put in to words what it's like to hear this sweet kid describe for herself what it's like to be transgender... you just have to listen. The episodes tend to be short.  It’s poignant and heartbreaking and empowering, and I wish all the best for this family.

And then there's the NPR Suite + Trivia Shows:

They make even mundane topics really interesting.

This American Life

The MOTH Radio Hour

TED Radio Hour

Ask Me Another

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

^^^All worthy listens!

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