Podcasts Are Back

Days like this require some audio-distraction

Days like this require some audio-distraction

New York Magazine just wrote a piece on why podcasts are getting more popular: “What’s Behind the Great Podcast Renaissance?” Through the various podcasts I listen to, I’ve heard hosts and guests say similar things “it seems like everyone has/needs a podcast now.” It doesn’t surprise me at all that podcasts are getting more popular. I’m surprised it took so long to happen in the first place! They are easy to produce, people have time to listen to them, and there is a sort of safety in podcasts.

I think its because podcasts are free and easy to produce. They’re also excellent for talkers (vs. writers or readers). A lot of show business people are in the talking business. Their ability to deliver a punch line or riff or deadpan remark is their livelihood.

Of course, as the listener, a podcast can be a wonderful distraction from traffic, the other people on the subway, or to finally get all of your housework done. I’ve also heard that people exercise listening to podcasts but that’s not something I think I will ever do- I’m strictly a music person. I also listen to them while travelling when the sounds around me won’t enhance my experience.

Podcasts give you the same kind of platform as blogs or Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr except there’s a key difference with podcasts: they’re in audio format. The audio format makes it harder for your words to be held against you. If I disagree with something someone says on a podcast and I want to quote them, it takes a lot more effort on my part to find the exact spot and type up the quote vs. finding the quote in something written and then copy & paste it. It’s also important to note that very few people would have the know-how to capture the audio clip to replay for someone else to judge too. With this key difference, podcasts feel a little more private, a little more safe. For performers, it can be scary to try out new material or to accidentally say something that will get them in trouble later which is why podcasts are a great option for them. Performers can try out new material to a captive audience without the same threat of backlash from written audience.

I wrote a blog post about the podcasts I’ve been listening to recently, not-so-creatively named Podcasts, Podcasts, Podcasts.

Upcoming Trip to Seattle

I was feeling a bit restless. I couldn’t quite pinpoint the reason. But then it dawned on me that I hadn’t left Colorado since the end of July. That’s 3 months of staying put! I did spend a weekend in Aspen for Tough Mudder at the beginning of September but that doesn’t feel like enough of an escape from the ordinary. In order to remedy this without spending an arm and a leg, I started to look for domestic cities that I want to visit. Seattle was at the top of my list. It has been on the top of the list for a while. A few years ago I went to Vancouver, British Columbia and a few years prior to that I went to Portland, Oregon. The Northwest is what’s up. I love the style. Vancouver has such an international, cosmopolitan air to it. I loved walked around that city (actually, accidentally walked clear across it several times). Portland is all about bikes, beer, and keeping it real. I loved it.

Vintage Trolley

 

Everyone said I needed to go to Seattle if I liked Portland. Well everyone, I’m going! I booked a flight on Alaska Airlines which happens to be one of the only domestic airlines I haven’t flown with before. Anyone have any good or bad experiences with them? While in Seattle, I’ll check out the Space Needle, Pike’s Place Market, and the original Starbucks. I want to see other random stuff like the hidden waterfall garden and the underground tour. Thankfully my college roommate is from Seattle so I’m going to meet up with her. She is kind of a foodie so I have no doubt she’ll point me in the right direction of amazing restaurants.

Has anyone been to Seattle? What’s a good place to visit?

I better be ready to walk the hills

I better be ready to walk the hills

Vancouver 2012

I never wrote a post about my trip to Vancouver in the fall of 2012! I just realized it. It was a fantastic trip. I arrived Thursday night then stayed at a cheap but clean hotel. On Friday morning, I walked all around VanCity. The city is pretty narrow and long. I walked from the one side to the other side a few times. It was rainy but beautiful. The leaves were changing colors. I was there with CISV for Train the Trainers Training (TTT). I met up with the group on Friday evening. It was really nice to see some old friends from CISV and make some new friends who I have thankfully been able to see again over the past few years. Several of the people there are now in charge of large parts of CISV International. We finished the training with a grand night of karaoke. The trip was filled with ups and downs even though I was only there for 6 days. Overall it was fantastic. I’d love to go back again!

Here are some of the pictures I took: Flickr Link

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What a beautiful city!

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Podcasts, Podcasts, Podcasts

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to podcasts on my ride to school. Since I mostly ride my bike, and I’m going to school where I’ll be sitting down calmly for a few hours, I don’t need to get pumped up. I’ve found that it’s a great way to entertain myself while I’m commuting. What am I listening to, you ask? Well, there’s three that I really like right now and I’m open to suggestions if you know of another good one.

IRL TalkIRL Talk: Formerly GeekFriday, this podcast is all about the internet, but it’s in real life (hence “IRL”). This is hosted by Jason Seifer and Faith Korpi. They talk about topics like apple products, comic book movies, crowdfunded projects, things that are creepy, TV, movies, and apps. Their dynamic is funny because it seems like they’re always fighting (there even used to be a fansite about it). The companion website has the show notes and the links to everything they talk about on the show. I rarely go to these sites anymore because I’m riding my bike and don’t have time. Listening to this podcast helps keep me in the loop of tech, movie, and app news without me having to listen to super specific podcasts.

The Fame FataleThe Fame Fatale Says: Formerly E! Entertainment’s The Answer B!tch, this podcast gives you all the answers about Hollywood that you might have. Now, since Leslie Gornstein isn’t associated with any particular magazine or network, she can speak even more freely. It’s much more entertaining to listen to a Hollywood podcast where the person can say whatever they feel like. She often has guests come on the show who work in Hollywood in various capacities. She also has blind items and celebrity cage matches. The blind item is a story about a celebrity but she never reveals who the celebrity is. The cage match is when she and her guest go head to head to see who’s latest celebrity sighting was better. This is a quick, entertaining 30 minute podcast.

I Seem FunI Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman: This is the newest podcast I have discovered. I’ve liked Jen Kirkman for a while (she’s a comedienne) and I’ve even seen her perform live. The last time I saw her, she opened up for Chelsea Handler in her Uganda Be Kidding Me show in Denver. This is her podcast diary. Do not mistake it for something else. Sometimes she tells random stories from her time on the road, sometimes she gets emotional about things going on in her life. It’s her diary so she can say whatever she wants. I really like the travel stories. Generally, it’s funny. It’s always smart. The podcast is on average an hour long. If you’re not so much into diary podcasts, I still recommend listening to the live shows. These are more like comedy shows but a little off. I also like how this podcast shows a different side of Kirkman from her book which is all about how she doesn’t want to have kids. There’s a little bit about that in her podcast but it’s much less of a “I’m going to shove this down your throat” approach (hey, if they paid me to write a book like that, I would do it too). Like I said, worth a listen!

September Update: Culture & Communication and Tough Mudder

It’s week 6 in business school! I still haven’t had any exams but they’re on the horizon. You still can’t ask me if it’s hard or not. For one of my classes, I had to turn in a team paper a few weeks ago and our second team paper is due tomorrow. It’s a pretty interesting experience because I haven’t had to work with a team of all Americans (from the US) in a very long time. I see myself as a great team player who gives everyone enough space to contribute and be creative. I must seem like the hippy to my group because I like to work in sometimes seemingly overly-cooperative way. Its not my natural state but it’s just how I’ve learned to work through my involvement in CISV. It’s not always the fastest method, but it gives everyone an equal share in the group. It reminds me of this article from BusinessInsider.com “Communication Charts Across the World“.

Here’s the American communication style and the Swedish style (click to see detail):

american vs swedish communication styleI find my style to be some combination of the American and Swedish styles. If you look at all the charts on the site, the Swedish one is the only one with the curly-Q in the middle in order to build consensus. I definitely do that. I don’t have a problem talking for a while in order to find the best solution for the group. If there are more stressing time constraints, I’m more likely to want to go with the more American way of putting all your cards on the table.

I’ve been part of some pretty cool events in the last month. I completed Tough Mudder, joined my sister at the MuckFest for MS mud run, volunteered at a Peace Day event, and went downhill mountain biking. See the pictures below!

Tough Mudder (2)

Looking down at the end of the course. Snowmass is a beautiful place for a race.

tough mudder before and after

Below: Me getting pulled up Everest. At this point in the race, my calves were shot so I really needed the help to get up.

Tough Mudder (3)

Tough Mudder (1) This was my favorite obstacle. I’ll have you notice that there are no mats below and no spotters.

Tough Mudder (5)

And if you didn’t think it was tough enough, look at the the elevation change of this race. Those were super steep climbs. Overall the thing was like a fast hike, not a run.

The following weekend my sister ran another mud run called Muckfest MS. Its definitely more fun than Tough Mudder. There are 16 obstacles in 5k! Last year it was a 5 mile run but apparently during the backwoods section someone saw a bear. They shortened it this year. Alex ran it like a pro with two other friends of ours. We had sweet tie-dye shirts from our team Amazed by Amanda which is in honor of our long-time friend Amanda who was diagnosed with MS during college. I wish I had participated but its an expensive race if you sign up late and I wasn’t sure what my body would feel like after Tough Mudder. I was happy to run along the course to take pictures and support my sister.

Alex and me after MuckFest MS

Alex and me after MuckFest MS. This is after the garden hose shower so she isn’t very muddy.

September has been a busy month between work, school, and social events. Of course, the busier I am, the more I’m getting done. I even managed to get the new iPhone 6 in less than an hour without pre-ordering it!

 

 

 

Back to School… Again

If you follow me on twitter, you’ve seen me use the hashtag #backtoschool. I’m not mocking the rugrats or getting excited about upcoming sales. No, my friends, I’m going back to school. Cue the Adam Sandler:

I’m going to grad school to get my MBA at CU Denver.

From sidehustla.com

I’ve always thought about going to B School but this year, as I joined the Quarter Century Club, decided to finally pull the trigger. I can’t live the life of leisure (#lifeofleisure) forever without making some more dinero (that’s money for those of you who don’t speak Spanish). Its not all about money though. I’ve got to build on my current skillset to excel in business.

People at the university like advisers and professors say that along with each class, I should expect to spend 10-20 hours studying. I doubt that but at the same time, I anxiously await it. Everybody has a different experience with school and my hope is that I can still have a social life and do well in school. Good luck to me.

Any tips, hints, tricks etc for getting through B School are welcome!