I am pretty crazy about listening to either music or podcasts. There are various times during each day that I turn on one or the other. Weather permitting, I try to walk most days and love to listen while I walk (honestly, it helps distract me so that I walk a bit longer!) When I am working on a project that doesn’t require a lot of focus or when I am cooking, I will turn on a podcast. These bits of my day add up to lots of opportunity to listen during the day. Fortunately for me, there are about a billion amazing podcasts available.
While there are many amazing podcasts that are related to crafting, sewing or quilting, these are (surprisingly) not ones that I listen to regularly. Most likely, this is due to the fact that I read blogs on those subjects rather obssessively. I love the blogs I read and think that the visual media normally included with a blog post is perfect for those topics. Instead, I subscribe to a variety of non-sewing related podcasts. I wanted to share a few of my favorites. Maybe you’ll try one and love it. Or, possibly you are already listening to some of these and can share your favorite episodes in the comments.
My all time favorite is This American Life. This well known podcast is hosted by Ira Glass and subscribed to by millions of listeners. For years, TAL has been recording essays on various topics that are part of life in America. Some of the episodes are politically based, some are hilarious bits of humor, many are just based on day to day life. They are creative and highly entertaining. Essays have been done on compulsive gambling, summer time, Santa, holiday traditions, the process involved in selling cars, the abuse of the disability insurance system, what is a sociopath, siblings, babysitting, inner city high schools in Chicago; the list is both endless and fascinating.
It has only been a couple of months since I began subscribing to 99% Invisible. This fantastic podcast is hosted by Roman Mars. The podcast explains the origins of things that you never really think about and are then surprised to hear how they came to be. Examples of recent podcasts are the origin of consumer credit and credit cards, the origin of the Monopoly game, how fortune cookies came to be (and why they are standard fare in American Chinese restaurants but you won’t find them in China), and what the ‘use by’ and ‘sell by’ dates really mean on our food. I love listening to Roman talk about such ordinary parts of life, explaining how they came to be. It is fascinating. Remember back in the 1980’s when pictures of kidnapped and missing children were printed on our milk cartons? There is an excellent podcast on how that bgane and whether or not it was effective. So very interesting.
OK – here is another one. I love listening to Note to Self, hosted by Manoush Zomorodi. Topics that Manoush covers are related in one way or another to technology. While I am not one to buy the latest and greatest gadgets and devices (case in point, my laptop weighs a ton. It is huge and several years old, but it basically works – so why replace it?) I do like knowing what is going on and how things work. Recent favorite episodes discussed how much is too much with regard to social media, whether multi tasking is actually helping us (it doesn’t help me – I tend to flit around and accomplish less if I don’t stay focused on a task), teens and sexting (that was a crazy good episode), video games and how they are developed and what the developers are trying to achieve (this one reminded me of the original behavioral psychology experiments with Pavlov’s dogs.) Another current episode talked to the people that coined the acronyms FOMO and JOMO. I had never heard of these and found it interesting to listen to them talking about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) vs the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO). I won’t go into detail here; it is better to listen to them. Are these acronyms that you have heard of? Am I totally off my game here? Anyway, all of the episodes are relatable, current, and important.
Just one more – I also like the podcast, Death Sex and Money. The title clearly describes the subject matter covered by Anna Sale on this podcast; important topics that aren’t always easy to discuss. I like this podcast and listen regularly though there have been a very few episodes that I skipped over. I am not into raunchy language and there are (just a few) episodes that were a little bit crass. Most of the topics are really interesting though. Some of my favorites include an episode about growing up and working as an undertaker in the family mortuary business, the story of a very young woman who adopted her sister’s six children, a heartwrenching interview with Jonathan Clark who lost his wife, Laurel, in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle explosion, and an interview with a ‘sex worker’ where they talk about why she does this sort of work, what it all means, and how it makes her feel.
There are many more podcasts out there but these are at the top of my list lately. They both enlighten and entertain me.It is the perfect way to balance my sewing time and listening time. Watching TV or movies while in the sewing room doesn’t really work for me; I find it too distracting. Listening to podcasts is perfect. There are lots of ways to access them and instructions are on each of the websites. I use a podcast app on my phone which makes it easy to access them when I want.
I would love suggestions for other podcasts. Be sure to let me know if you already listen to any of these and which episodes you’ve enjoyed!