• Binge-Listening to a Podcast

    I heard about Tig Notaro the same way most people did, after she did a comedy routine about her sudden diagnosis of breast cancer following a horrible stretch of 4 months in her life. Louis C.K. first tweeted about it and the word spread and I heard about it from an NPR interview. She was a great interview with an insane story and I followed her off and on since. I knew she had a podcast, but I had a hard time really getting into it because – and I know this is dumb – I had difficulty keeping David and Kyle separate and it made me frustrated.

    It’s also a concept I wasn’t sure worked in my head. Three comedians who like science/philosophy/religion and interview “real” people in a lot of those fields. I love funny podcasts, if you look at my subscriptions they’re all comedians…and I love science, but I just wasn’t sure how the two would mix.

    Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was looking up Tim Minchin (who did a fabulous keynote speech here) and stumbled upon a show where Professor Blastoff interviewed him. I listened to it and – for some reason – the separation of Kyle and David finally clicked and I didn’t find it frustrating. Maybe this comes after a long stretch of training for marathons while listening to podcasts, maybe it comes from getting better headphones, but either way – I LOVED THE EPISODE. So, I listened to a few of the recent ones and found myself IMMEDIATELY frustrated that they were only produced once a week. Well, a friend of mine told me to start from the beginning, and I did about two weeks ago.

    And I’m 36 weeks in. In two weeks.

    And y’all? It’s great. I can not tell you have many times I’ve had to stop on a run and hold my knees to catch my breath from laughing so hard. The interview parts aren’t even my favorite, it’s the stories the three share together that always just crack me up. The make fun of each other terribly, but it’s done with serious love and affection and so it doesn’t bother me too much.

    But let me tell you…binge listening to podcasts? SO WEIRD. Kyle said something on a recent (to me) episode where he said, “I think I’ve told this story before…” and I could honestly say, “NO YOU HAVE NOT!” Because I’ve been listening to these podcasts non-stop for two weeks.

    I sat in my front yard yesterday weeding and was cracking up at something and Donnie walked out and I said to him, “Do I look like a crazy person here?” And he just nodded.

    The weird thing is, because I know Tig’s story and where she is TODAY, listening to the old podcasts is weird. I’m still listening to episodes that are pre-diagnosis, and pre-other awful things that happened around that time. (She faced hospitalization for something OTHER than the cancer, and a family member’s death, and a heartbreak.) So listening to her joke about dying is very weird. But, for the most part, it’s really great and I’m actually not minding long runs by myself with this in my arsenal.

    But still…my podcasts HAVE to be funny. I know there are interesting and information ones out there I would like in other situations, but I listen while running 90% of the time and if I’m running? It has to be light enough to keep me entertaining, but interesting enough to keep me listening so I don’t fall into a rut of looking at the clock every two seconds to see how much I have left in my run. I’m just thrilled to have a new one that I still have 130+ episodes I can listen to before I’m even close to “caught up” – that ought to get me through 3 marathons, 3 50Ks, and 1 12-hour run during my ultra season!