Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pining for Podcasts

My ipod and I, like any healthy couple, are always on the look out for fresh ideas and activities that we can share, bringing new depth to our relationship, and keeping the fire alive. Since there are no key-parties for the portable mp3 community (YET) we fill the void in other ways. One of the best *ahem* plugs I've found in a long time (earplugs, you sicko) comes in the form of all the awesomely free podcasts on iTunes.

Don't worry, I am aware that the podcast things have been around for an internet eon, but short of a few CBC radio 3 shows, which are unavoidable if you are a faithful Canadian indie-lover, I've never been too swept up.

Before we left for Japan, since we had only two weeks notice, I didn't exactly have time to take any classes, or study any books on tape. Instead, I frantically downloaded a ton of ten minute lessons on the basics: oeeshee means delicious! sumi masan means excuse me! And those two phrases got us surprisingly far. Since I was in that department, I also downloaded a few other podcasts for the sake of layovers and long flights. I immediately set upon This American Life, by NPR, entirely because David Sedaris writes about contributing to the program. As far as I'm concerned, there can be no better endorsement. I am happy to say, it has not disappointed. Ira Glass is an astute and engaging host, actually more of a guide, or editor, I suppose. The themes are the right mix of poignant and flippant, and the essays chosen to flesh out the ideas are surprisingly successful at doing justice to themes like "No One's Family is Going to Change." Wow, right? Right.

So, check it out. It makes for a good commute. Also, check out Great Speeches in American History. I've never had such a meaningful bus ride as my Monday morning trip down 25th, listening to Martin Luther King's Dream.

On a (much) less inspirational front, I've also been known to peruse the Midwest Teen Sex Show, but before you judge, remember: good relationships are about compromise, and my ipod just loves that shit.

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