The first day I ever met my Southern bestie, she told me she loves listening to the radio; I said I love podcasts. Which then prompted her to ask, “What’s a podcast?” I almost bolted right then and there. I get it, listening to talking isn’t for everyone. It certainly isn’t for my husband; the only way I listen during road trips is when I’m driving AND he’s sleeping.
But I’m a story person. I don’t like listening to the same songs over and over again. I like listening to words that have a purpose. An order to things that keeps you wanting to know more, like reading for your ears.
Before my car/phone started acting up, I’d listen to podcasts every day while driving. (It does this thing where it searches for a source and it says it connecting but then I’ll have been driving for miles and miles and it never connected. And by then I’m at my place where I need to be and it was just silent the entire time, which is even worse than the radio. My display also says it’s Halloween in 2014, so it’s got its own issues to deal with.)
Now, I’m limited to fuzzy radio stations and podcasts directly from the phone. But some day it will work again, I will have a new phone or new car or both, and my road trips will be full of imaginative learning content that my son and I can drool over, likely for different reasons.
When I am able to listen (at my house), here are the best shows currently on my plate:
Commonly shortened to 99 PI, this show is about design and architecture. Sounds boring, right? I thought so too. I wouldn’t listen to it for years.
Only I finally did and found that it’s actually fascinating. It talks about the things you never think about, design and flow, hence, the invisibility. For instance, how sound was recorded back in the 1800s and musicians stood on wheeled carts being pulled closer and further away from the recording device to perfect the volume. Or how kidney bean-shaped pool came to be and why they are skateboarders’ dream come true. And why they started putting missing kids’ faces on milk cartons. Stumped? You’d better take a listen.
Geek out in the un-geekiest of fashions with Reply All. This show is tech based, but also explains things so the laywoman can understand. My favorite segment is Yes, Yes, No where they talk about new-age Internet things and explain them to their middle-aged boss who’s way out of the loop. Even though I’m the same age as the hosts, I tend to side with the boss and enjoy the spelled-out lessons. It’s like I am being taught by a kid who’s way cooler than me, but without the embarrassment of actually having to ask. They laugh at the boss instead of their listeners … it’s a good time.
How I Built This
Get ready to be inspired about your job when tuning into to How I Built This … or just maybe feel badly about your own accomplishments. The show’s host interviews super successful business owners (the inventor of Spanx, Kate Spade, Mark Cuban, etc.) and they talk about getting started and making it as an entrepreneur. I find it intimidating in the best kinds of ways.
Stock up on your daily dose of weird with S Town, or rather, your all-the-time dose, if you’re like me and couldn’t stop listening until it was over. The show is a limited series that covers the point of view of a Southern man who is quirky, a world-expert clock builder and repairman (yes, really), and an all-around confused soul. The story starts with him contacting others about a criminal investigation, but then turns into an unexpected narrative about his super intriguing, yet so strange life. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard and I wish it could go on forever.
Now go and cast on!