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).

7 Responses

  1. I am waiting a decent interval, because I know there are people out there who need some answers. Or have topics that haven’t been covered.

    But if the decent interval passes, and you can decide when that is, I’d really like to hear about podcasting, and what you think about it, and what’s good.

    thank you.

    • Hey, Lily. What do you already know about podcasts? Do you listen to any? Do you have a device with which to listen to them, in addition to the computer itself? Let’s customize my response.

  2. I have an ipad. And a (oh god, I forgot what they’re called and all I can think of is “walkman”) — you know, a shuffle. But the only thing I’ve listened to on it are books on tape. Plus this great thing the New Yorker does where they have people who write fiction for them talk about a story they love and then they read the story.

    But just this morning, I played a podcase of Stephen Frye talking about downloading music without paying for it. And it was great.

    And that’s it for me on the podcasting front, except once, in the early days of my blog I made a podcast and it was fun to do.

  3. I’m curious about your handle, joem18b . Please explain.

    • Do you mean, text you a picture of it? Couldn’t that get me in trouble? Plus, it doesn’t seem like your thing… let me rephrase that…

  4. I’m so thoroughly a lesbian that I cannot figure out how joem18b is a reference to your dick, so I think you still owe me a post explaining it. Help a sister out! With your words, my friend. Your WORDS. 😉

  5. Hey, Sonje. You asked about my “handle.” I thought that you were referring to my, you know, handle, using a lesbian term for it that I hadn’t heard before.

    As for “joem18b,” I wanted to be joem, but there was already a joem, so I tried to be joem2, but there was already a joem2, so I tried to be joem3, but there was already a joem3… By the time I got to 18, my patience was wearing thin, so I tried to be joem18a. But there was already a joem18a.

    As it happens, there was already a joem18b as well, but I got on the waiting list and after six years, I got my… my… well, I guess you like to call it “my handle.”

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