Dec 29, 2011


What do you know about the word podcast? I had heard it before but never really focused on it. I confess that visions of Star Trek dance in my head when I hear the word and the picture of a space ship flits through my mind. I know that is not what it means but I never really focused on what a podcast was. Well on our epic driving trip to Utah in November I came to understand what a podcast is and how it can benefit me....let me tell you all about it.

 My daughter Madeline had  a ton of podcasts on her Zune for a radio show entitled This American Life. It continually amazes me how life is going on around me amazing books are being published, amazing groups are singing, and amazing radio shows are being broadcasted and it may be nearly impossible for me to know about all of them. This American Life has been in existence since 1995!! How have I missed it??  I have only known about it for about six weeks and I adore it. It is a weekly radio broadcast from Chicago and you can download the podcasts for free.

 My kids moan and groan when I want to listen to them in the car. They claim to like the stories but not Ira Glass's voice. Ira is the creator of This American Life and the host. And I can not figure out what could possibly be wrong with his voice it must be a kid thing. Besides the whole podcast is not just his voice.

 The podcasts are at least an hour and each show has a theme that it is loosely based on and they have a couple stories that relate to the theme. It is truly just ordinary life. The topics are fascinating. I want to be best friends with the person who dreams up these fabulous topics. The first one I ever listened to was called Frenemies....then I listened to one about well meaning parents...then one about unconditional about people who want to be super heroes...the list is endless my friends and they are all real life. Some of the stories make you sad, some make you laugh, some make you nostalgic, some make you long to write, some make you marvel at all the different people in the world and the experiences they have, some make you think about what you have accomplished. And some just simply make you wonder :)

So as soon as you are done reading go and google This American Life... look at the archives... read all the topics... salivate at all the fabulous information out there just waiting for you... Download just one... get into a comfy chair preferably one with a great view out a window and listen to your podcast :) Oh, and be sure to let me know what you think :)


The Metzgers said...

There was a TV show This American Life on HBO for a while. You can get it on Netflix. It didn't last long and I think it is because radio is the perfect medium for those stories.
You can get podcasts of Wait, Wait Don't tell me as well. Not stories but SO funny.
I get what your kids are saying about the voice of Ira Glass. I feel the same way about Terri Gross. (She is the host of Fresh Air.)
By the way in case you haven't guessed, I LOVE NPR!

Jenny said...

Oh, how we love This American Life at our house!! It has made our road trips so enjoyable! I am in shock that you have not heard about it before, because it is precisely something I know you would LOVE. Enjoy catching up!!! My favorite is when it's on the radio in the car when I'm running evening errands and I have to stay in the driveway to finish hearing a portion of the program.