4 Podcasts that are Total Game Changers

2016-06-26 Podcast Feature Edit

If you haven’t hopped on the podcast game, you gotta. Speaking as someone who’s way sick of the radio and procrastinating in updating her Spotify playlists, podcasts are a total life saver on morning commutes, or long runs, or when soaking in the rays on the beach.

Beyond giving me something different than the same old playlist to listen to, I love podcasts because:

  • They’re informative
  • They tell fascinating stories
  • They indulge in all of my favorite fandoms

Like I said, if you haven’t started tuning into podcasts, you really have to, because they’re a total total tooootal game-changer. Here are some of my favorites to get you on your way:

Anna Farris is Unqualified
Episode to download: Episode 20 and episode 21 with Olivia Munn
Why it’s so awesome: I’m going to be honest here – I do not listen to every episode of this podcast, mostly because some of the guests Anna has are super irrelevant to me (but might be fascinating to you!). But when I am into the celeb guest, this podcast is freaking lit. And the episodes with Olivia Munn? Aside from her being a top celebrity girl crush (seriously, I don’t think I could stop myself from shamelessly flirting with her if our paths crossed), she totally sold me on this line (that I’m paraphrasing): be careful of the woman who can’t be friends with other women. She’s the one who will sleep with your husband. She and Anna spent a good chunk of time completely articulating why I don’t like girls who “can’t be friends with other girls” because ~drama~, and I could not even deal with it, it was so accurate. Do I feel another blog post/rant about this in the future? I’m thinking yes.

Stuff You Missed in History Class
Episode to download: Live from FanX: Nazis, the Occult and Indiana Jones
Why it’s so awesome: Big surprise, the girl who studied history in college likes the history podcast. And even bigger surprise, the girl who specialized in WWI and WWII European history loved the episode about Nazis. My girls Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey accompany me twice a week on the way to work chatting about the coolest little nooks of history that remind me of why this subject stays alive. It’s not always about “learning from our past” or learning from our mistakes; sometimes it’s just about reveling in the magical things people used to do, or hearing a really great story. Can I please be you, Holly and Tracy? Your job is my dream.

Revisionist History
Episode to download: Episode 1, The Lady Vanishes
Why it’s so awesome: Even though there are only two episodes of this brand-spankin’-new podcast out in the airwaves, I’m totally hooked. It’s run by Malcom Gladwell, the guy who’s written some pretty unheard of books like Outliers, Tipping Point, David and Goliath, and Brink. I know he’s just *meh*, but his podcast is pretty awesome. (Also, please let my sarcasm read well on the screen! I do know that Gladwell is kind of a BOSS and his books are fantastic!) This 10-episode podcast takes a second look at various things throughout history and shows how maybe they were misconstrued or misinterpreted, and tries to take a different look. If nothing else, it serves as a good reminder that we should be doing this all the time, and understanding that most things happen from multiple different angles. I’m super about “The Lady Vanishes” because #feminism. Simple as that.

Here to Make Friends: A Bachelor Recap Show
Episode to download: ‘Bachelorette’ S12e2 With Sharleen Joynt, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, & Carol Barbee
Why it’s so awesome: First things first, this podcast is awesome because it recaps the Bachelor and other members of the Bachelor franchise, and indulging this little fandom I have is so much fun. While that’s all fun and stuff, it’s not really the best part. This podcast does an amazing job of proving that just because someone watches the Bachelor or Bachelor adjacent shows does not mean that you’re fundamentally against feminism. It shows that you can watch the show with no irony, and still be looking at it with a critical eye. That’s why I love the episode with Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and Carol Barbee, two creators from the show UnReal (another favorite of mine!). They chat about women leads and how we view #LadyBosses, and I love that we can use this, shall we say, less than intellectual TV show, and transition it to a really critical conversation about women in society.

On Dancing, Love, and Other Drugs

dance blog realOn January 12, 2015, exactly eight days ago today, I published a post entitled, “5 Teams to Watch at UDA Nationals 2015.” It was literally exactly how it sounded—a list of five teams I was super amped to watch at UDA Collegiate Nationals. Now, eight days later, I’ve gotten 679 views on that post. 679. I hadn’t even gotten that many views on this entire blog until the start of 2015. Like what? Dang.

The really cool thing about it all is that I would’ve come up with my favorite teams heading into the competition whether I’d decided to post to my blog about it or not. I freaking love to dance and have obsessed over collegiate nationals for years and years and years, so doing my thang and being able to post it to the blog was rad because I didn’t need to come up with a blog post for the week.

Especially since making other blogger ‘friends’, I’ve been looking at other people’s blogs and being like, “oh, okay,I need to do this, this, and this.” By “this,” I think I’ve meant outfit reviews and DIY crap and recipes. And that’s really not who I am. You want me to post an outfit of the day? Why don’t you take a gander at my collection of plain white shirts and black leggings. You want me to post about DIY crap? I’d rather just buy a set of coasters rather than modpodge photos to some. You want me to post recipes? Well guess what—I may make a lot of baked goods from scratch, but I don’t know crap about actually making up a recipe.

Let me set the record straight: There is nothing wrong with the fact that I accept a free mascara to review, or hair conditioner, or whatever. Posts like that are fun. Posts about my day seeing the Nutcracker are fun. But this blog was supposed to be about my poetry, and although I can’t crank out a sonnet the way I used to, I feel like I’ve lost the purity of my intentions.

Which is why the “5 Teams to Watch” post came at the perfect time.

I have two great loves in this world. One of them is dancing. I love having it hurt when I inhale the day following at 7-hour practice. I love working through a dance and realizing that my mind truly will give up before my body does. I love the camaraderie and the way that this art has somehow become my space, my breathing room.

The other is writing. I love threading a sentence through the eye of a needle. I love taking a totally universal feeling or emotion and articulating it in a way that nobody would’ve thought of. I love recognizing this predictability amongst the human race, recognizing that we’re all sort of just writing the same story and that’s really beautiful.

And when I wrote “5 Teams to Watch,” I was, in the most natural and serendipitous way, just putting those two worlds together. It’s like, there are parts of dancing– the dance, the feeling, the photos of teams learning of their victories– that are in themselves poems that I am not conceited enough to think that I know how to write. But I still want to try.

I started the second semester of my senior year today, which pretty much just indicates one thing—I have to figure out what the fuck I want to do with the rest of my life. And I’m starting to kind of realize that whatever I do, I have to do it with love. Do it with love, and what will follow is the success.

I really hate when people wrap their words around old clichés, making them feel really dank and heavy. This is not Oz—not everything you write is some pulling away of the curtain which hides the universe’s secrets. Sometimes it’s just about a boy in your car or the cruelty of hearts beating or of the way two people holding hands can look like Mary Magdalene—a bunch of drugs that we get addicted to and breathe in like some intoxicating potion.

So I’m sorry that this was all incredibly heavy. I’m sorry that I’ve spent this last page just throwing my heart a cliché and hoping it will stick. But I hope you all know—I did it with love.