I hope July won’t be as rainy as June was, because I’ve set a personal goal of walking, running or biking at least 100 miles this month. Last month I had set an informal goal of 60 miles in June — and I was worried that would be way too difficult. Luckily, I was wrong, and my miles for the month totaled 71!
Most of those were biking miles. The Boyfriend had taken a new job that was much farther from our house than the old job, making the car much less available to me. So I’ve been doing more commuting by bicycle.
My plan for the month: Ride the bike to work twice a week, which would take care of 80 miles of that goal, and walk a mile or two most other days. I already have 2 miles of the walking done!
I usually listen to podcasts while taking a walk (or run, if I’m feeling energetic), so I tend to go for ones that are at least half an hour or longer. These are the ones I listen to the most:
• Judge John Hodgman: A very silly show from author/actor/Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman. People call in with disputes; he legislates and is snarky. This podcast is my favorite. There’s a lot of in-jokes and references to past shows, so for best enjoyment I’d suggest listening to the older ones in addition to newly posted shows.
• Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! A news quiz radio show, taped mostly in downtown Chicago. A revolving panel of guests chat about current events and people call in to answer questions for a chance to win a voicemail greeting recorded by the show’s scorekeeper and question-reader, Carl Kasell. The Boyfriend and I actually went to a taping of the show once. It was awesome, and makes listening to the podcast even more fun since I know how it’s made. :)
• Point of Inquiry: A science- and politics-focused show in which authors, scientists and other folks are interviewed on their fields of study. Chris Mooney is likely the more well-known host, but I think Indre Viskontas is way cooler. She’s a cognitive neuroscientist and opera singer. A recent good episode delves into the art of rhetoric, and why more people should get good at it. A note of warning: The show comes from a very secular liberal perspective. If that would bother you, best to avoid it.
• This American Life: Sort of my gold standard for podcasts, though it’s actually a radio show released in podcast form. They pick a topic and tell 1-4 stories based on that topic. Many are journalistic reports, some are fiction, some are “based on a true story.” I’ve really enjoyed ones that involve people with a very different life than I’ve known. One episode that sticks in my mind has a story of a guy who was addicted to drugs, and decided to volunteer as a coach of a boys’ baseball team. Other really good ones are The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar, in which a young boy goes missing in 1912 and is found with a man who may or may not be his kidnapper, and Switched At Birth, which is just what it sounds like. Compelling stuff.