I listen to podcasts. Ergo, I am an awesome human being.

I frequently listen to podcasts. I was an early adopter of This American Life, Fresh Air, Serial, The Moth, and now I am deeply involved in the Relevant Podcast, Dear Sugar and making my way through back episodes of Invisibilia. I like to talk about podcasts with other podcast enthusiasts. I think like a podcaster. I see life through the lens of podcastabilities. I celebrate podcasts and the life of a podcast devotee.

Opname van een hoorspel / Recording a radio play

Because I listen to podcasts, here is what I want you to believe about me:
– I am an open-minded person.
– I am very educated.
– I am supremely evolved as human beings go.
– Podcasts were actually my idea.
– I have a diverse set of interests and passion projects.
– I participate in democracy.
– I give to worthy kickstarters.
– I am a close friend of Ira Glass.
– Hillary Clinton calls me for political advice.
– I am skeptical of certain non-governmental organizations.
– I wear TOMS chiefly because of their get/give business model.
– I would rent my cloak over Adnan Syed’s involvement in the death of Hae Min Lee

Woman on a two way radio - Miami

Because I listen to podcasts, here is what I want to believe about me:
– I am an open-minded person.
– I am very educated.
– I am pretty evolved as human beings go.
– Podcasts are the kind of thing I probably would have invented if I had the time.
– I have a diverse set of interests and passion projects.
– I participate in democracy.
– I am probably the kind of person who would give to worthy kickstarters.
– I would totally be a close friend of Ira Glass if he hired me to work for TAL.
– Hillary Clinton should call me for political advice.
– I am one of the most skeptical people, just, in general.
– I totally wear TOMS chiefly because of their get/give business model.
– I consider Adnan Syed like a brother.

Headphone Tail Piece

Because I listen to podcasts, here is the truth about me:
– I am an overprivileged white woman with incredible access to high speed internet and smart phone technology that enables me to maintain a hobby of listening to nerdy-voiced people read their acts of journalism aloud.
– I am not really all that special and depend on podcasts to make me sound more interesting than I am.
– Cleaning my bathroom is boring and podcasts make it less insufferable.

Headphones and Trolley

Because I am part of a generation of people that listens to podcasts, here is the truth about what should be expected of me:
– I should be more than a downloader and a binge-listener to recorded voices.
– I should be as captive an audience to my family as I am to the snorty giggle of Terry Gross.
– I should care about the injustice of my neighbor’s busted car battery as I am about the gay brother of the Dear Sugar writer-inner.
– I should curate the topics about which I educate myself instead of relying on Sarah Koenig to do so episodically for me.
– I should and can and will continue to believe in the power of a story and all the stories that are never voiced, broadcast, or allowed to reach an overprivileged woman scrubbing her bathroom floor as an antidote to her own privileged boredom.

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The best thing I saw at #AWP15

I got to go the Association of Writers Program conference in Minneapolis this past weekend, thank you Workplace Pro Growth account!

It was the best carnival of all for a writer, a smorgasboard of publishing goodies and a veritable Main Street USA of connections, all overstimulating and whipping one around at full-tilt. Also, I am now in possession of 45 bookmarks and 8,000 pens.

It’s easy to fall prey to AWP overwhelm and to just want to stand bowlegged in a corner and hope someone is going to shout, Red Rover Red Rover, Girl with the manuscript come over. But one is better off wading into the book fair looking as though one has a plan. And waiting for something shiny to call out.

#awp15

Which is why the BatCat Press was my absolute favorite booth. How darling are these girls? They were all shiny dappled cheeks and information and I was all standing stun-gunned, trying to get past the fact that they are in high school and cranking out professional books and hand-marbling pages and all kinds of other ridiculousness. They attend a high school called Lincoln Park in Pennsylvania, which I hope it’s okay if I’m posting their pics here, because they’re kind of a big deal. They operate the only press in the U.S. run by high school students.

This is the part where I tell you how I spent my high school years: shoving cup after cup of Reese’s pieces into my wide open maw while I stood in the walk-in cooler at the Dairy Queen where I (supposedly) worked.

#awp15

These girls make books. With their hands and their brains and probably some hipster pixie dust.

And here is their teacher, perhaps the most charming teacher I’ve ever snuck a picture of at AWP.

#awp15

Shout-out to BatCat Press. Press on…..

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Happiness in April 2015

I believe most people I know — people who mainly live in the first world, who check small glowing screens several hundred times a day to be validated of their importance — are concerned pretty regularly about their own happiness.

I think about happiness in an evaluative way several times a day. Am I having a good day? Why am I not having a good afternoon when my morning was so full-feeling? When will I feel happy again? I suppose I believe myself entitled to happiness, much the same way I believe myself entitled to good food and hot showers and when I am deprived of these things, I expect that I will find some shred of compassion from somewhere because, How sad to go without.

2015-03-10 13.47.20

Happiness always comes in certain measure for me after the cold and the gray of winter passes and spring stops flirting and actually sticks around. I have a strong burden to be happy on those perfect weather days. I feel like the dinged-up floor model of the human being if I can’t just be happy all day on the days when everyone else is outside celebrating sundress season and tossing frisbees. There’s actually a lot of pressure to be ecstatic, have you noticed? Today people spoke on the social media about the opening day of baseball season and it was like the chains of slavery, apartheid and Prohibition had all simultaneously been unshackled and now we could eat, drink and be merry from sea to shining sea.

Untitled

What I want in my thirties is so much less and so much more. I don’t want the long weekend full of spectacle and best-laid plans and friends jetsetting in from out of town. I don’t need all that to be happy. I just want the weekend not to pass so quickly. I want to hold on to kite of happiness as it unspools and I want to keep it up in the air just so long enough that I can remember it and before it dips and nose-dives toward the ground. I want feelings and reminders of how good and sweet this life is and all its accoutrements to remain in my pocket in tact even after I launder my jeans. I don’t care about the prize in the box. I just want to sit and enjoy my Crakcer Jack until at least the seventh-inning stretch, even if it’s not opening day.

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