The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Me" Time Part I

I commute into Manhattan, which offers me about 100 minutes of “me” time 4 days a week. I really do view it as “me” time. Once I get home, my time usually becomes everyone else’s time. But when I’m on the train, I can do what I want to do as long as it can be done on a train. Unfortunately the train does not have any treadmills or spinning classes. I don’t do anything unusual. Typically I select from the typical commuter activities—reading, writing, listening and watching. And occasionally conversing, but I usually don’t commute with anyone requiring more than a “hi how are you.” Even a few years ago, listening and watching were not as typical. Now the ubiquitous iPod and the becoming ubiquitous DVD player have changed that. Reading is probably my favored activity but my habits do change. During the past week I seem to be splitting my “me” time between reading and listening to podcasts.

I’m not sure what prompted me to do so, but I decided to peruse the available public radio podcasts and I subscribed to a few. I also updated some podcasts that I haven’t been listening to and unsubscribed from a few that don’t fit my present mood or are no longer being podcasted. So what am I listening to?

WNYC On the Media-- A 1-hour show devoted to media criticism and analysis.

NPR Driveway Moments—Typically from 5-15 minutes in length, rather than turn the radio off, you stay in your car to hear the piece to the end. It's a Driveway Moment.

NPR Playback-- Each month, NPR Playback combs the NPR radio archives to connect past with present. Presently reconnecting with events from 1981.

NPR World Story of the Day-- Pick 1 story from the day’s broadcasts and presents it in about 5 minutes

WBEZ American Life-- this weekly radio show on topics that aren't really news, but topics that relate to everyone's life in some way.

WGBH Morning Stories—stories that stay with you all day long, usually under 15 minutes long, personal stories told by people in the community.

KCRW The Score-- Under 5 minutes, the poetry, the sociology, the philosophy of sports.

And my only music podcast, Coverville-- Focuses on cover songs; a new rendition of a previously recorded song. The show is produced and hosted by Brian Ibbott, in his home. About 35 minutes, usually 6 songs.

(As an aside, as I type this in MS Word, spellcheck doesn’t recognize the word podcast because it’s just too new a word!).

In the last 2 days I learned that judges writing decisions often quote songwriters, with Bob Dylan being the most frequently quoted; that oboe players have to “build” and carve the reeds that their instruments use, often on a daily basis; that when the Sony Walkman came into vogue in 1981, many people thought it was a ridiculous fad that wouldn’t last. I listened to a soldier’s comments on the morality of war and an opinion on what makes Terrell Owens a complete a$$hole. I learned about a book called Hungry Planet that I have placed on reserve at my local library and I listened to some cover songs that I never would have known are covers because I never heard the “original” versions. I was entertained, enlightened, educated and reminded. Hey, not bad. Too bad I had to come to work and act stupid (hehe just kidding!!).


Anonymous said...

I love learning new things :)
Isn't it outstanding that you can do so on your commute?
Unfortunatly I'm still using a CD player and haven't figured out how to read during my 55 minute drive to work! LOL

Shelly said...

Audiobooks! Does your car have a CD or tape player?