October 12, 2020

Going for walks with podcasts

When Zoya won’t settle, or when she needs a change of pace, we walk.

Sometimes, I’ll wear her in the baby carrier. Sometimes, she’ll agree to go in the stroller. Either way, we’ve gotten to know the houses in the neighborhood quite well since we take so many walks when she needs to settle herself.

Many times, L and I walk Zoya together. Sometimes, I walk her myself. On those times, I’ll plug in my headphones and listen to a podcast—some of them old that I’ve saved up over the past few months, some of them new—while out on our stroll.

It’s no secret that I’ve been having trouble focusing recently, and because of that I can’t really read much. Podcasts, on the other hand, provide an escape like reading a great article, but without the cognitive load of reading. So I’ve been listening to podcasts on our walks, and doing what I can to enjoy the outdoors until the weather inevitably changes and I’m stuck indoors.

Today’s list of links below are all podcast recommendations—some episodes, some series—that have kept me happy and entertained over the past few weeks. I hope they bring you joy, too.

A poem

Audre Lorde

It has rained for five days
the world is
a round puddle
of sunless water
where small islands
are only beginning
to cope
a young boy
in my garden
is bailing out water
from his flower patch
when I ask him why
he tells me
young seeds that have not seen sun
and drown easily

A conflicted legacy: New York librarian Anne Carroll Moore basically invented the children’s library, but also was a gatekeeper that kept many people out of the children’s literature arena.

A genius at work: In light of the release of the extended version of Sign O’ the Times, The Current is running an 8-part series on the making of the enduring classic album.

Deconstructing a classic: Prior to having Zoya, I was in the middle of a The Wire rewatch. You should start a rewatch too, and then follow along the discussion about each episode in this excellent podcast.

Black text on yellow: The No Name brand is ubiquitous in Canada now, but it’s worth diving deeper into its origins and its effects over the past decades.

Looking at the yourself: John Green reviews his own podcast on the podcast, and is honest and vulnerable about what’s next for him and the podcast.

Words matter: How do you feel about the term people of color”? Is it time to retire the term?

Too many tears: As someone who has been crying multiple times a day recently, learning more about why we cry was fascinating.

One and done on the radio: If we’re going to talk about one-hit wonders, it helps to know the rules for what makes a one-hit-wonder and what doesn’t.

Friends in the kitchen: Listening to Samin and Hrishikesh talk about cooking makes me want to be friends with Samin and Hrishikesh.

Music and culture: Questlove’s interviews with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins are among my favorite music interviews, ever.

A song everyone knows: The good folks at Switched on Pop did a small series with the New York Philharmonic all about Beethoven’s fifth symphony that is worth a listen even if you don’t like classical music.

A coach for all teams: As an avowed fan of the Ted Lasso television series, this chat between Brené Brown, Jason Sudeikis, and Brendan Hunt was an absolute delight. (And if you’re not watching Ted Lasso, you should be—it’s delightful.)

→ Weekend Reading