podcasts of the last few weeks. (and months. and years.) Ep. 11

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Something has gone a little quirky with my PocketCasts app; for whatever reason, a lot of old episodes recently downloaded onto my phone when my phone’s WiFi was left on. (This snafu nearly blew our monthly home Internet/data/Wifi/whatever usage allowance slightly over the edge.) And when I say a lot, I’m talking 1,300 back episodes — some of which are over three years old and some that I know I’ve listened to and deleted.

(I’m a little frustrated with PocketCasts, actually; it seems a bit unreliable lately, quirky, and more than a little buggy.  Anyone else having these sort of issues or is it just me?)  I’m sure there’s some explanation that more technical minds than mine could figure out.

While I’m pondering that, here’s something else I can’t figure out: why the hell was The Longest Shortest Time cancelled by WNYC?

I listen to a bunch of podcasts — as of this writing, I subscribe to 88 of ’em, which could be contributing to my downloading issues, but I can’t be the only person who subscribes to this many podcasts, can I?  — and The Longest Shortest Time is one of my top five. Hillary Frank has a knack for telling compelling stories about the struggles of parenthood. It’s honest, real, well-written and never fails to draw me in, regardless of the interview.

From the Facebook page, it seems as if Hillary Frank is considering next steps, which will hopefully involve taking LST to another home.  We can all keep our fingers crossed that this does happen — and sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, I’ll be catching up on a few LST episodes I’ve missed.

Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately — in chronological order, including the first episode of an infamous podcast that’s a year old:

Fresh Air with Terry Gross: Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber On ‘Finding God In All The Wrong People (9/17/2015)
A recovering alcoholic and former stand-up comic, Nadia Bolz-Weber started The House For All Sinners and Saints, a church in Denver, Colorado that is rooted in the Lutheran tradition. (Bolz-Weber is an ordained minister in the ELCA).  She’s a down-to-earth combination of realism and traditional theology and I loved listening to her. Her new book, Accidental Saints: Finding God in the Wrong People, came out this month and I immediately checked it out from the library after listening to this interview.

Strangers: The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read (7/10/2015)
How does someone graduate from high school and college — and then spend 17 years as a high school teacher — without knowing how to read? John Corcoran did. His story is fascinating and sad at the same time.

New Yorker: Fiction: Michael Cunningham Reads Harold Brodkey’s “Dumbness Is Everything,” (6/1/2015)
I love Michael Cunningham and would happily listen to him reciting the alphabet. Even better is listening to his melodious voice read this Harold Brodkey story from a 1996 issue of The New Yorker. I’d never read — nor heard of — the late Harold Brodkey before this episode, which was certainly quite the way to start my morning commute to work.  (And yes, I now need to read much more of his stuff.) Love the New Yorker: Fiction podcasts for that very reason.

Death, Sex, and Money: “In Sickness and In Mental Health (4/8/2015)
One in five people has a mental illness. We have a stereotype about who “these people” are, but the reality is that people with mental illness are our family members, our friends and loved ones, and our co-workers.  They’re people like Guilia who was a happily married newlywed before experiencing a psychological break and being hospitalized for what would be diagnosed as bipolar disorder.

Serial: Episode 1, “The Alibi”  (10/3/2014)
In what is probably the cruelest part of having some episodes downloaded and others not, the first episode of “Serial” turned up in my queue, followed by … none of the others.  Of course I listened to the first episode anyway. Of course I did. And of course I’m now hooked.

As I said, it’s so odd that all these old episodes would suddenly just download. I can’t figure it out, but regardless of the reason, I’m glad it allowed me to catch some great episodes of some of my favorite podcasts.

 

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