Archive for October, 2008

David Sedaris

I’m a huge Sedaris fan. I stumbled across this reading on Letterman, and just have to share it. Enjoy!



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Podcasts and Mopping

comp.jpegI don’t have a radio/CD player in my house anymore. We moved, it is in storage, and we can’t find a good place for it. But I don’t miss it. First of all, in my life with three young children, when could I ever listen to it, even if it were here? Secondly, I have my laptop, which has come to mean almost as much to me as a forth child, and it is so much more useful.

Back in my radio days, I would either play CDs, listen to music on the radio, or listen to the news. Now, all my favorite CDs are burned onto my laptop, I have my favorite radio stations saved in my iTunes library which I can queue up whenever I want, and I know where to find my favorite news shows which are all available on podcasts. Not only do I not need my radio anymore, I can experience more using my laptop instead.

Here is what I listen to, from my laptop which is precariously perched atop my toaster, while I mop the floors and clean up the kitchen after the kids are in bed:

WBUR or WNYC streaming live

If ‘m not terribly interested in what is streaming live, I go to:

WBUR: On Point and pick either one of the the current day’s show or something fun and juicy from their archives. I love Tom Ashbrook.

NPR: Fresh Air This one is a great one for keeping up with things that have truly fallen off my radar since having children. Things like books, theater, and music– that are not made for children’s entertainment. Also–and here is a good tip– if there is a book I wanted to read but didn’t get the chance to (and can finally admit to myself that I am not going to) read it, I will go the Fresh Air “past shows” site, enter the author’s name and, viola! there is an interview with the author about his/her book! Then, I get all the good parts about the books, along with some narrative by the author! I just finished listening to an interview with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The other night I listened to an interview with David Sedaris about one of his books, and laughed myself silly.

PRI: This American Life Real stories about anything you can think of, told with wit. One hour

WNYC: The Brian Lehrer Show. He has a show going on right now that is especially interesting, called “30 Issues in 30 Days”, which explains both presidential candidates’ take on various issues. Very compelling.

KPBS: A Way With Words One of my favorite shows from my days in Sunny San Diego. Factoids and questions answered about words and grammar. Kind of geeky, but I always learned something cool.

If you have a lot of mopping to do, or you have more quiet time around the house during the day than I have, OR you have a crazy commute, check out Audible.com. They have books, newspapers, and magazine articles available in podcasts. There is a fee, but it seems pretty reasonable– especially if this is your one way to stay connected to the world beyond.

If you have a favorite podcast, or another way to get your fix, please share!

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I went to bed last night feeling a little sick. Not because I was painfully reminded that Sarah Palin has a chance of becoming our next VP, and not because I ate too many of my favorite cookies, but because I think Palin did a good-enough job n last night’s debate to win people over. I was willing to face my dismay and resentment of the Republican Party by watching the debate only because I was really looking forward to watching Palin bumble her way into showing Americans how truly unready she is for this position. But NO! No bumbles, no f@#$ ups at all (except for a general’s name that 99% of America didn’t know anyways).

What she gave us was plenty of you bet ‘cha smiles and reassurances coming from Main Street Wasilla, here to fight the bad guys of D.C. Unfortunately, I think that is about all MOST of my fellow country women and men want to hear. Remember that G.W. was voted in TWO times because, in large part, people related to him, could have a beer with him. I wish the moderator had asked questions like: “How old do you think the earth is?” or “Is it true that you believe women who are raped should not be permitted to end their pregnancy?” Maybe, just maybe, then people would have thought, “Hmmm, she is kind of crazy. Do we want a certifiably crazy woman in our White House, representing us overseas?

Because, though she doesn’t know Pakistan from Italy, neither do most Americans. It’s true. Take a drive across the country. Leave the East Coast bubble, and talk to people. Biden was up there reeling off percentages and explaining how bills have these amendments…. Sarah was just smiling and winking, and making people wish they could have a post-debate beer with her.

If I could sit down with Sarah Palin for a beer, I wouldn’t ask her about energy, the economy, or the origins of Earth, I would ask her one question: How could you be so selfish and irresponsible– so UNpatriotic– to accept being the VP on this ticket? How could you? Knowing that you’re not prepared to be PRESIDENT of the U.S.A.? And then I might pout my beer over her teased and sprayed doo, because how can a mother of five have time to maintain that kind of hair styling (never mind the campaigning)?

Oh, please, fellow American brother and sisters, see beyond the smiles and hair spray. See that, though it is possible that she could be ready for the White House after a few more years of governing, and after a few science classes, she is not read yet. At all. Please don’t fall for the Beer Gal, like you did twice for the Beer Guy. Please.

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