When I jogged, back in the day, I was alone with my thoughts. I’d think about work. I’d think about what I was writing. I’d practice moving meditation. I’d occasionally trip and fall. This was before running shoes were available on the market and the toes of my Keds would wear out, causing the soles to droop in front and catch in cracks in the sidewalk.

Then came the transistor radio, and if a game was on, it took precedence over thinking.

Then came the Walkman, and thinking was dealt a mortal blow. AM/FM and tape cassette, on a belt. I kept a list of the books on tape that I listened to, just for fun. By the time that I lost the list, it had more than 500 titles on it.

And then came the nano, and iTunes. Books joined thinking as activities several clicks down in my hierarchy of cerebral activities in which to be engaged while out on the hoof.

I still want to think. I want to listen to books. I do listen to a little music. I’m out there for more than two hours a day. But, just as I’ve got a list of Web sites to surf to every day, I’ve also got a list of podcasts that I don’t want to miss. Naturally, the list changes, evolves. It includes 50+ titles.

Uh oh. Metaphor-for-life alert. Time misspent, observing rather than doing? Listening rather than thinking? Ironically, I’m thinking now, but only about thinking. Is that productive thinking? Rats. Now I’m thinking about thinking about thinking, and what you’re thinking. Or wait, am I just observing myself? I tell myself, Listen to yourself! What the hell are you talking about? But that’s not lving life, it’s just analyzing it. Whew. All of a sudden I understand why I like listening to podcasts.

My current favorites:

Sports: Baseball Today; Bill Simmons; Hang Up and Listen

Movies: Filmspotting; The /Filmcast; B-Movie Cast; Kermode/Mayo

Politics: To the Point; Slate’s Political Gabfest; Left, Right, and Center

Other: Slate’s Culture Gabfest; On the Media; Comedy Bang Bang

I’ve also been listening to David Blight’s Yale lectures on the Civil War (iTunes University).

Forbidden Sex

It’s been a while (not awhile) since I wrote a post with the word “sex” in the title. Since 99% of my visitors are drawn to this site by that very word in those very titles, indulge me while I lure this majority back one more time, to their eventual disgust at the utter lack of the base, degrading, and exploitational titillation that they seek, unless I include it by accident – by thinking out loud, for example, or by getting this blog mixed up with my alternate, income-providing site, “Sexy Sexual Advertisements for Sex.”

I thought about simply using the title “Sex,” or “Sex!” or perhaps “Sex??” for this post, but rejected these as ambiguous. “Sex” in these titles could be a verb, as in “How to sex a chicken?” (That is, how to determine the sex of a baby chick and separate the roosters from the hens when they hatch (that is, are born), for those of you unconversant with the poultry industry.)

I thought about using “Teen Sex” as the title, teen sex being the most popular topic on the Internet, but as a post-teen who is able to think back on teen sex and recall my personal experiences with it, I’m dismissing the subject and the acts covered by the subject, as overrated and too associated with button and strap and elastic struggles and wrestling, even if teen sex persists as a powerful blog magnet.

I thought about “Animal Sex.” Many of my “readers” are vectored here by Google, Bing, and even that snooty Jeeves, looking for what, bestial congress? Really? Animal sex? There is no lingerie. No buildup with dinner and a movie. No action in the back seat of your car (would be hard on the upholstery). No “meeting the parents.”

I thought about using “Group Sex” as the title, but ho hum. I’m not a joiner. Which group are we talking about, anyway? AA? Too talky during the act. “Hello. My name is John and I’m an alcoholic…” PETA? What, animal sex again? AARP? Please, put your teeth back in, grandma; or no, wait a minute…

I thought about “Porn Sex,” but these days we’ve got food porn, torture porn, Palin porn, etc., etc. Porn is the new white bread. As a search term, “porn” scarcely ranks above “corn” anymore (not any more). Does that last sentence make any sense? No.

So I chose “Forbidden Sex.” What does that mean? If you’re a member of a religious order, it’s all forbidden. If you’re some wild-eyed nihilist with a minor in de Sade, nothing is forbidden. Gay sex was once forbidden; now, the next President will probably be gay (or LBT), and married. Sex between a black man and a white woman wasn’t exactly forbidden; it could just get you lynched. Sex between Asian and Caucasian? Irish and Italian? Catholic and Jew? Democrat and Republican? Limbaugh and Garofalo? Not forbidden; all bidden. And what about sex outside the marriage? I read somewhere that formerly, up until the 60s, say, the husband was expected to have something going on the side; but now, no! Swiper no swiping! Is this, then, the last bastion of forbidden sex – the wandering husband? My goodness, there must be something worse than that. Infidelity does not rise to the “forbidden” level. Accidental strangulation at the critical moment? Nah, Carradine was probably murdered or too high to know what he was doing. The act since his death has become common comedic currency. See “Cedar Rapids.”

Forbidden sex. It’s out there somewhere. If you encounter it, or better yet, if you do it, tweet us. Post the details on our wall. Download a clip to YouTube. Name it and define it in Wikipedia. Get a groupon deal and let us in on it. Thank you.