Whenever I ride the metro in or out of DC, I’m always looking for ways to distract myself from the fact that I’m sitting in a packed train car that has a weird burning rubber smell with an underlying scent of summer sweat. Delicious. Of course, other days, I’m also looking for a way to drown out the youths who laugh and heckle at other passengers at the top of their lungs. The answer is almost always to put my headphones in, turn on a podcast, and lose myself happily in something funny or insightful.
Some days I pay so much attention to my podcast that I don’t even notice when I sit down next to one of my coworkers. Whoops. That just happened today.
I have a nice cycle of podcasts I listen to throughout my work week, and I think they’re great for anyone to try out! Here are my faves:
Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me is living proof that I am turning into my parents, which is a pretty wonderful thing! I definitely used to be one of those people who was sure I wouldn’t listen to NPR on purpose until I was at least 40 years old. Maybe 37. But I can’t lie; it’s one of my favorite shows! I love hearing a funny weekly recap of the news, and they interview really interesting celebrities like Nick Offerman (who plays Ron Swanson on Parks & Rec) and Tim Gunn. I started listening because I’m a huge Carl Kasell fan (miss you, Carl!), and I stuck with it because of the very witty panelists that make me crack up in public, which of course makes me look like a crazy person. I’ll take it.
This American Life has a way of weaving together incredible stories around a common topic, most told by everyday people, in such a moving way that you’re laughing one week and crying another. This has to be my favorite podcast because it not only makes me consider my own experiences, but it makes me want to know more about other people and their own stories. Lately, I really loved this episode about Break-ups. This one is a gem.
America’s Test Kitchen represents my dream job. Not kidding. These people are culinary masters who spend their days tweaking recipes until they reach perfection, testing out dozens of products to find the perfect muffin tin, and answering home cooks’ questions they call in to ask. I mean, these people have an answer for everything! If I could just stick them in my pocket and pull them out when I’m cooking in the kitchen, I’d never have to worry about my bundt cakes sticking to the pan or my angel food cake deflating in the oven. Every week, they answer questions, interview influential culinary figures, explain how they perfected a recipe, and usually give some product reviews.
Radiolab is a quirky show that focuses on a different topic each podcast, and each podcast is always fascinating to me! From describing the history of weights to talking about the AUMF, which was written after September 11th, they do an amazing job of teaching me something new. My absolute favorite episode that you really need to listen to is Black Box. That episode still gives me chills thinking about it.
Joy the Baker feels like hanging out with my best friend, talking about internet pressures and hilarious instagram accounts and everything in between. Both Joy and Tracy are my favorite food bloggers, and they’re also hilarious besties! I love their insights on blogging, friendships, and other “totally important unimportant things.” You’ve got to check them out!
If I’m missing out on any other podcasts, let me know! I’m always looking for more things to distract myself with during my commute!