I’ve never been into podcasts. Don’t know why; just haven’t really embraced them. However, in my now-fourth month of recidivous insomnia, I’ve realized getting on my laptop or reading a book simply wakes me up more. Enter the podcast. (For info purposes, these are recorded talks, programs, etc that you can download onto your Ipod for later listening. You can download one item or subscribe to a series). I simply turn on my Ipod, choose the podcast, lie back down and if not sleep, at least enjoy a few hours of quality listening.
At the moment I’m opting for a lot of Chinese-focused stuff. Features like “Ask Amber” from chinesepod.com. This is a show where Amber living in Shanghai answers questions about Chinese culture. The topics range from Roommates to Pollution to Spitting to What Beijingers Think About the Olympics to Why Chinese People Don’t Like Cold Drinks. It’s really interesting and really informative. And Amber sounds so cute and smart that it’s pleasant to hear her voice at 3am.
I’m also listening to a Mandarin language learning podcast with Serge Melnyk, as well as an NPR download on Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet. Washburn is fluent in Mandarin, and her music fuses American bluegrass and folk with Chinese folk music. It’s really pretty amazing to hear her take traditional Chinese songs and put them to banjo and fiddle. It sounds absolutely amazing, like they were always meant to come together. http://www.abigailwashburn.com/music.html
On other topics, I’ve been listening to (gasp!) Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen. I’m seriously considering re-starting my public speaking career, only moving it away from nonprofit charitable issues and focusing instead on the whole stem cell transplant process: arrival, survival, revival, and thrival. As such I’m interested in hearing speakers speak, whatever their topic. Whatever your opinions of these two people or their ministries, y’all, they can speak. And again, they are not annoying at 3am. (And for my people worried about me going off the reservation, I also listen to the Weekly Parsha D'var Torah with Ari Goldwag...)
I’m slowly tapering off the prednisone, and if all goes as planned, I should be able to sleep through the night by October. Which is important because I will need all my energy to be a microwave for Halloween. (As you’ll recall Bambina came up with some funky costume ideas for the family). She is going to be a window, I will be a microwave, and BBDD will be an oven. I have NO idea how we’re going to pull this costume design feat off without some Michael Kors/Heidi Klum/Tim Gunn input, but we’ll just try to make it work.
Perhaps there is a podcast for insane Halloween ideas?