For real horror: You know what's scarier than ghosts, vampires, zombies, haunted lighthouses and being buried alive? Actual real-life contemporary murder. In "My Favorite Murder," the hosts (who are from my homeland of California) recount their favorite true crime stories. One episode talks about the Night Stalker, who was all over the news during my childhood growing up in L.A. Another focuses on Mary Vincent, whose attacker hacked both of her arms off, yet she still managed to survive. The show also talks about child murderers (as in children who are murderers), a murder in a lululemon store (WTF), a woman who faked pregnancy and then tried to kill a truly pregnant woman so she could take the baby out of her and claim it as her own (seriously WTF), and other equally pleasant topics. I can't stop listening. (True story: My parents were visiting recently, and I was on the trainer listening to murder and they literally started praying the rosary.)
Be warned, however: Every time I go running now and see someone out there, I'm 99 percent sure they're going to murder me. It also doesn't help that this just happened in a park I used to run through in Seattle. And my paranoia isn't limited to the trail. One of the creepiest stories in the podcast is about a woman who was swimming laps and a guy stood on the deck and stared at her and she got a bad feeling, so she didn't get out of the pool and just kept swimming and eventually he went away and then later she saw his picture on the news and he was a murderer. Now I think about this all the time. (I do feel like I should sign up for a self-defense class and carry pepper spray. I'm curious -- if you're reading this, do you do anything to protect yourself while running?)
|"Phew! Didn't get murdered!"|
For shits and giggles: On a completely different note, I also love "My Dad Wrote a Porno," which is basically three friends reading aloud from their dad's horribly written erotic novel. The novel in question is "Belinda Blinked," and it is so unbelievably bad that it's amazing. (The word "cervix" should never, ever be used in a sex scene.)
So you know you're not alone: "Terrible, Thanks for Asking" tackles the awful things that happen to us and how we learn to live with them. Expect tears. But expect hope too. (Also related: "The Hilarious World of Depression." I love that we can have honest, adult conversations about mental illness because it really is a thing and we shouldn't be embarrassed to talk about it.)
For tunes: The Current is my favorite local radio station, and I'm a fan of their "Song of the Day" podcast. It's a great way to find new music.
For politics: The "NPR Politics Podcast" is a good overall view of the shit circus that is our current administration. (Side note: Is anyone else freaking out about the proposed budget? EPA cuts? Elimination of arts funding?) If you're looking for politics with a much more adamantly liberal slant, check out "Pod Save America." And finally, "Civics 101" explains all of the government terms and entities we hear about in the news so we can decipher what's really happening and how things actually work (or should work, or perhaps may not be working at all).