Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday List: Podcasts

I have really gotten into listening to podcasts lately. Music these days gets on my nerves so I wanted to try something different. I searched iTunes for various topics and posted on Facebook asking my friends to tell me their favorite podcasts. Here is what I have been listening to:

NPR Programs: Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

I had already listened to a few episodes on NPR so I downloaded this game show podcast first. The show is run like a contest where "celebrity" guests answer questions like "Who is Carl This Time (a current events game) and "Bluff the Listener" where the contestant is told 3 news stories from around the world and has to guess which one is actually true. Its a very NPR show. What I mean is that there are lots of geek-y play on words and historical events.

NPR: Ask Me Another Podcast

Much like Wait Wait ... Ask Me Another is a game show podcast. A special guest is invited on the show to answer questions, but also participates in an interview. So you get both the game show and an all but traditional podcast interview. This podcast is more comedic with its clever spin on current and historical events, music and culture.

His & Hers with Michael Smith and Jamele Hill

When someone recommended this podcast, I thought it would be all about sports. It is not. ESPN's Michael Smith and Jamele Hill discuss current events, family, relationships, pop culture, music and just about everything else you wouldn't expect from two ESPN analysts. While sports analogies make their way into just about every podcast, the duo also does a great job at making sure to leave the audience with some life lesson. I don't think they intentionally do this, but with each podcast I find myself learning something greater than topic at hand. I look forward to downloading a new episode every week. They also record a two to three minute His and Hers Daily podcast, but I don't ever listen to those.

Stuff You Should Know from

I absolutely love this podcast! It is my second favorite right now. It involves  two guys (whose names escape me) that do extensive research to explain a topic. Some of my favorites have been:

  • How Lewis & Clark Worked
  • Who Owned the Abandoned House
  • How Jet Lag Works 
  • What's with the Winchester Mystery House
  • How Crack Works (explores the myth of the crack baby)

There are many more that I can't name. I learn a lot listening to these podcasts. Its like the stuff you didn't learn in History class, with a modern spin. This podcast is several years old so it has been fun discovering all the older episodes. They also have a great supporting website with lots more stuff you should know, including videos and blogs.

My absolute favorite podcast right now is .... [insert drum roll]

The Read

Kid Fury from Miami and Crissle form Oklahoma City are recent NYC transplants who talk about pop culture and their new adventure in New York. I love that they stan for Beyonce in nearly every episode and drag any and everyone for their foolishness. No one is off limits, well except Beyonce and Blue Ivy.  I've had fun catching up on all of the older episodes and look forward to their witty banter each week. I probably should stop listening to them so much because in my mind I tell people off like Kid Fury. They are no where close to PG so if you are sensitive to vulgarities, this aint the podcast for you.

Other podcasts I occasionally listen to are:

I love Snap Judgement when I need a good bedtime story. 

And ...

The Modern Manners Guy's voice is a little annoying, but this short podcast offers some good tips.

What are you guys listening to? Do you have any other pod cat suggestions?


Friday, November 8, 2013

Holiday travel and shoe give-away

I have been traveling like a mad woman. I have been on the road every week since Septwmber. Most of the travel has been for work with a couple of personal trips thrown in. It has been an immensely busy, hard-working year and it's high time that I put those 100,000 Delta Skymiles I've earned to good use. I'm going to take the second half of December off to visit friends and family and recharge my soul. My office is actually closed from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day (I already have a work trip scheduled on January 2) so I'm taking off the week before, giving me December 16 - January 1 to relax, relate, release.

My first stop will in Atlanta to see my Redskins play the Falcons at the Georgia Dome, adding another stadium to my NFL Bucket List.  I booked a flight to arrive in  ATL at 10 am and leave later that same evening at 7:30. 

The next day, I'll hop on a flight to my hometown Charleston, South Carolina. I'm looking forward to spending quality time with my mom, hanging out with my best friend, his wife and my God baby. 

Who can resist that little face?! Hello, Sunshine.
After a few days in Charleston, I'll make my way to San Antonio, Texas to spend Christmas week with my twin, his wife and family. 

Debie and Lamar. 

Later that week, my mom and sister plus my sister-in-law's family will join the party at their brand new home. Usually, I'd shutter at the thought of so many people, but I am taking on a positive outlook and am going to embrace it. 

This should be fun. I need something to look forward to and a release from my crazy schedule.

In the spirit of the holiday season, I am giving away a pair of shoes. Full disclosure: I bought these shoes to do speed workouts and shorter, faster runs. Turns out they aren't good for my running style. I'm a mild to moderate pronator and these shoes are for a neutral runner.

Brooks Pure Flow 2

I've only worn them a few times (maybe 5). I stopped after a five mile run made my feet hurt. Then a Brooks rep told me these weren't the shoes for me. Look at my bowlegged, flat footed gait ...

If you wear  a size 9.5 (or know someone) and can tell me how you will run happy in these shoes, you can have them. Leave your story in the comments. Once I pick a winner, I'll contact you for a mailing address. 

What are your holiday travel plans? And hit me up if you are going to be in any of those cities when I'm in town. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lost Ones

I am having trouble with humanity these days. Lately, my life has been a comedy of errors, disappointments and pure foolishness. The sheer gall and audacity that some folks have is beyond my comprehension. I like to think that I am a strong and understanding person, but that strength is failing me. I am no longer sympathetically aware, tolerant or forgiving. This scares me. I don't want to be that person. "I know I"m guilty of it too, but not like them."

I heard a song that resonates with how I'm feeling right now: Sanctus Real - Pray

I bow my head to pray, I don't know what to say 
I'm not sure how to fix the things I'm dealing with
I'm in a desperate place, I need to share the weight
But I just don't know how, to let it all pour out 

Though I'm silent, my heart is crying
Cause I was made to come to You
So I prayGod I need You more than words can say
Right here in this moment 
You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
So even if it's just to speak Your name
I'm gonna pray 

I failed to find the time, but You've been calling out
I let the days go by as if I could live without
But it's gotta be here now, I won't be pulled away
Cause it's just You and I, so let the world around us fade 
As I pray
God I need You more than words can say

Right here in this moment
You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
So even if it's just to speak Your name

I'm gonna pray
I'm gonna pray 
Father, I'm in a desperate place
Father, I know You can bear the weight
Father, Take me in Your arms as I speak Your name

I lift my hands and prayI lift my hands and pray 
You know my heart, You know my needAnd every single part of me
So even if it's just to speak Your name
I'm gonna pray

I'm gonna pray You know my heart, You know my need
You know every part of me
More than words, You want my life
Take it as an offering

I don't want to be one of the lost ones. I want to be present, hopeful and believe that life means so much more than this.