Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NPR Overload

For those of you who have heard my ranting against the suburbs, you have probably already guessed that I love living in a big city. Mostly I am loving the fact that I haven't had to drive my car for over a month.

According to mapquest, my commute would be 45 minutes if I drove (it actually takes longer with Chicago traffic). Instead, I take a bus to downtown and then the "L" up to Evanston. Depending on when I leave, if I can catch the express train, and how long it takes me to walk from the train stop to my lab, it takes me between an hour and a half to an hour and forty-five minutes each way.

As a result, I have tons of time to listen to music and podcasts and I have turned into a podcast fiend. Every day I listen to NPR's story of the day, most e-mailed stories, Marketplace (secretly and unexplainably my favorite show), and The Onion's audio program. I also listen to Science Friday, This American Life, The Economist, Science, Cell, the Brainscience podcast, Futures in Biotech, Word of Mouth (the BYU writing center podcast--you're welcome, Lina) and some stuff from the BBC when they are new.

Soon enough I'll have exhausted the available archives for most of these podcasts and will be forced, either to find new podcasts to listen to, start listening to music, or, heaven forbid, interacting with my lab mates while I work.

Right now I'm very much enjoying being well caught up in what's going on with the stock market, technology, politics, and even pop culture (I have opinions on which shows should have won the emmy, for crying out loud). Classes start for me on Friday, so I'll have to wait and see just how much that class work takes away from my NPR time. If the class doesn't end up being terribly time-comsuming, my current life-style will guarantee that I'm well on my way to becoming one of those self-satisfied and arrogant "city-folk." You all might want to just spam my e-mail address now before I start sending you mail about how you can reduce your carbon footprint, that one funny joke Paula Poundstone told last Sunday, or how you can donate to your local NPR station.


amanda said...

I love imaginging you and Amanda contentedly tucked away into a corner of Chicago, just loving every minute of city life, because there are some places where even what you get to complain about is more interesting than in other places...

And have I already mentioned how pleased I am that you started this blog? I am. So.

Petra said...

I did a lot of listening to podcasts last semester when I was a running fiend, so I know the feeling. (I'm pretty sure I blushed every time I said, "I heard on NPR the other day," and I said it a lot.) I also recommend The Moth, which is just people telling true stories live to an audience. It's delightful.

Dave said...

I also have turned into a podcast fiend as of late. I wear headphones about half the day as I'm designing, so I listen to many of the same shows. Like Petra, I also recommend The Moth. WNYC's Radio Lab is also a cool one. TED Talks are great too, but are video podcasts - I don't know if your player supports them.

I have to admit I'm a little jealous of your big city life. At times I miss being right in the thick of things - I guess that's why I love my podcasts.

Say hi to Ira Glass for me.