Monday, May 2, 2011

We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Wow, it's been a really busy few weeks. Thanks, everyone, for your patience. I have a lot going on this summer, and there will be intermittent posts throughout at least part of May while I'm down south visiting the family.

But first, enjoy this shot of the NPR headquarters with literal and metaphorical black clouds looming above. When I was a kid, I didn't listen to NPR that much--I thought it was stuffy with all that classical music and serious news all the time. But I often set my radio alarm for NPR so that there was no chance of being awakened by boot-scootin', which was my only other option for radio in southern Mississippi. I remember one morning when the first words I heard were "the mating habits of the aboriginal dung beetles." That solidified by belief that NPR was just boring.

As I got older (and lazier), I'd leave the radio on for a few minutes while I fumbled around the room, waking up. The older I got, the longer the radio stayed on. Suddenly, I realized I was actually enjoying Wagner. I liked being informed about world events before I even had breakfast. I had never planted anything, but I knew I wanted perennials someday, if only because I liked the word, and I could totally change my own oil if I had to. NPR offered something for everyone--and still does. Now you can get everything from quiz shows to movie reviews to grown men discussing comic books. And it's been fun to watch NPR's popular image evolve from pipes and elbow patches to something much hipper. It's not just the realm of the cultural elite, but it provides valuable information, entertainment, and public services. NPR is a national treasure, and it deserves to be protected.

My two personal favorites are actually online (like the rest of my life): The Tiny Desk Concerts, where I find a lot of great new music, and Pop Culture Happy Hour, a hilarious weekly podcast conversation that has improved my life in every way. Really.


  1. So, why aren't you interested in "the mating habits of the aboriginal dung beetles?" I listen to NPR most of the time. We have different shows in CT and FL than the ones you have in DC.

  2. Hey, Jack! Glad I didn't lose you in my hiatus. I'm sure their mating habits are fascinating and riveting, but considerably less so in the AM. (I have trouble finding anything interesting in the morning.)

  3. I figured that a grad student must have very busy periods when blogging is tough.