1. Today, I am talking podcasts. Late last year, I struggled to listen to books or podcasts because work was so crazy. I usually listen at work, to help me focus on what I'm doing and tune out all the other office noises. But things have quieted down quite a bit, so I could finally break out my pods again. So today I am going to talk about some old favorites and a new one. First: I'm going NPR. But not the stuffy NPR you know and avoid. I'm talking about the snarky NPR. I'm talking about Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. This is a news quiz, that gives you a vague sense of knowing more after you listen to it, but it is also freakishly entertaining. With a rotating panel of comedians such as Paula Poundstone, Roy Blount Jr, P.J. O'Rourke, Mo Rocca, Faith Salie, Roxanne Roberts, Peter Grosz (the dark-haired guy in all those Sonic commercials), and Tom Bodett (yes, the one who leaves the lights on for you), and a celebrity guest for each episode, the weekly episode is unrehearsed and unrelenting. And with Bill Kurtis as the announcer? It's nerd comic perfection. I highly recommend it.
2. Another long-time favorite: Crime Writers On. Originally titled Crime Writers on Serial, this podcast features four writers, one fiction and three non-fiction, who write about crime. Basically, Rebecca Lavoie fell in love with the podcast Serial, way back in the first season, and made her husband and some friends talk to her about it while she recorded the whole thing. Then Serial ended, but they kept talking. They talk about other podcasts, true crime documentaries, books, and other interesting pieces of popular culture. But they do it with intelligence and humor. They are my standard for how smart I want my podcasters to be. And this is why I have no podcast. I can put together words on paper, but not so much good so with the speaking um thingie. So I blog. I do not podcast. And based partly on their recommendation, I found the one that is my newest obsession.
3. Done Disappeared. Done Disappeared by John David Booter (written by John David Booter, edited by John David Booter, theme song by Johann Johann Johannisburg and him, John David Booter, or something like that) is a parody podcast of all the true crime podcasts that have sprung up in the last few years, since the popularity of that first season of Serial. It's phenomenal, with so much cleverness and snark and intense sincerity. I finished listening to the first season last week, but it's only a matter of time before I download them all again and start over. I truly hope that there is a second season, because I do want to know more about the disappearance of Clara Pockets and the investigation by John David Booter. And remember: Don't. Disappear.
*what is making me happy this week