Five Podcasts To Get You Into Podcasts

by Meredith on April 13, 2016

The other day I had to explain to my mom what the word “podcast” means (which is hilarious since years ago I co-hosted a fairly successful one). Podcasts are these little bits of talk radio (for lack of a better description) that come in every genre you can imagine. Do you like funny stories? Perfect. NPR newscasts? TED Talks? Fictional stories? Biographies? They’re all there. Podcasts are like on-demand TV shows… for your ears.

If you have an iPhone, look for this icon:

podcastsicon

If you have an Android, HERE is a list of apps you can download to listen to podcasts (you should know all of us iPhone users secretly judge for having phones that are less superior every time we get one of your green text messages – really – get an iPhone already).

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This American Life

I love This American Life because, for the most part, I can listen to it with my kids in the car. Ira Glass (of NPR) has a super soothing voice and a knack for finding interesting people in our country and telling their stories.

I don’t know one person who found this show and doesn’t love it.

Serial

Serial falls into the True Crime genre. If you loved Making a Murderer on Netflix, you will love this. It’s one story, told week by week.

Season 1 was about Adnan Sayed, a man in prison for a crime shrouded in mystery. Did he do it?  This continues to be a conversation around our dinner table.

Season 2 (the current season) is about Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl. If you thought you knew everything about Bergdahl, you were wrong. There is WAY more to this story than what FOX News wants you to hear.

My Dad Wrote A Porno

Imagine if your 60-year-old Dad wrote a dirty book. Most people would try to ignore it and pretend it had never happened – but not Jamie Morton. Instead, he’s decided to read it to the world.

You guys, I laugh until I cry.

This is genius and not safe for work or kids. Listen to this by yourself.

Modern Love

Modern Love is the perfect podcast for a hopeless romantic. It’s based on The New York Times’ popular series of weekly reader-submitted essays. A famous actor will read the essay, and then they interview the person who wrote it to see where they stand today.

It’s so real.

Death, Sex, & Money

Death, Sex, & Money is a show about the things we should talk about more, but we don’t. Each week, Anna Sale interviews a guest about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.

For example, last week’s show was about this guy whose wife discovered he was having an affair as his lover blew up with his phone with text messages… as he lay in a hospital bed in a coma. He ended up dying, and she never got to confront him about the affair.

Don’t listen to this one with your kids.

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You’ll also like Criminal (True Crime), StartUp (Business), Reply All (all things Internet trendy), The Mystery Show (Mysteries), Under The Influence (Marketing), Sword & Scale (True Crime), Car Talk (Automotive), and Allegedly (Comedy).

Ok, it’s your turn! Tell me about the podcasts you love.

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Skinny people get sick, too.

by Meredith on April 6, 2016

I thought I was having a heart attack. Or maybe a panic attack. But the more I sat there, wheezing, chest tight, arms numb – the more I realized I was probably going to die.

This was it, I had finally worked myself to death. Putting in 80 hours a week had lead to… curtains. God was going to slow me down by putting me in a grave.

It was 1:15am.

ME: Shaun… *nudging him* Shaun… wake up. *nudging harder* SHAUN! I THINK I AM DYING! *punching him in the arm*

SHAUN: What’s going on? What’s happening?

ME: I am driving myself to the closest hospital. I’m having a heart attack or a panic attack. Stay here with the kids, I’ll call you when I know more.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever driven yourself to the hospital when you think you’re dying or maybe having a panic attack, but I did. Which made me freak out even more. What if I didn’t make it to the hospital? What if croak on the road and no one is around at 1:22am to help me?

I couldn’t call Shaun because he surely went back to sleep, and waking him up is next to impossible. So I called my mother in Arizona. She’s a super light sleeper. I told her over bluetooth that I was pretty sure I was dying, and just to stay on the line until I reached the ER.

Needless to say, I made it to the hospital. They ran a bunch of tests for a couple days. They told me I had an enlarged heart and pulmonary hypertension.

Good. I wasn’t dying. But also? THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A SIMPLE PANIC ATTACK. This wasn’t the best hospital in the area to be receiving such a serious diagnosis. One time they accidentally threw away a healthy human kidney during a transplant mix up.

I had to get out of this hospital. I had somehow been surviving life with an enlarged heart, and now they would surely be the ones to kill me. Why did I come to this hospital? OMG YOU GUYS! WHY DID I COME TO THIS HOSPITAL OF DEATH?!

I decided to tell my Facebook following what I had been up to for the last two days. After all, how would you guys function in your daily lives without knowing what’s going in my daily life?! Plus I was sort of freaking out, and I believe in the power of prayer.

It went something like this:

“Please pray for me, you guys. I fucked up and came to UTMC, where they are telling me I have an enlarged heart and pulmonary hypertension (don’t Google it – sounds like a death sentence). Anyway, I am trying to get moved to Toledo Hospital. They won’t let me leave. They want to run more tests. The official hashtag for this new adventure is #MeredithsBigFatHeart.”

Most of you were so funny and cool and supportive and very concerned.

But then this weird fucking thing happened with some of you. SOME of you decided fat shaming would be the right thing to do during this time.

Here is what SOME of you had to say to me:

“Wow. Scary! You’re going to need to completely change your lifestyle and eat better.”

“Lose 20 pounds.”

“STOP SMOKING! EAT RIGHT!” 

“You shouldn’t take Adderall!”

“Did they put you on a strict diet yet?”

“Party is over! No more alcohol or fatty foods for you!”

And on and on and on. There were over 300 comments on this post. A solid 20 of them were some sort of advice about how I need to lose weight or change my lifestyle or stop taking my prescribed medication.

Talk about getting kicked in the gut while you’re down. I get it! I AM FAT! But for fuck’s sake, do you think I’m the new Chris Farley? Living recklessly?

I’ve never been seriously sick before. So maybe this is just how it goes. When people get cancer do other people tell the cancer patient what they did wrong to get the cancer? I sure hope not. Because HOW SHITTY for the person with the new cancer diagnosis.

Anyway, to everyone who wanted to fat shame me while I was experiencing a heart problem – you’re assholes. ASSHOLES.

Let me help you find better words. Here’s a list of acceptable things to say to sick people:

“Praying for you!”

“Hang in there!”

“Any hot male nurses?”

“Hope you don’t die! But if you do, can I have your Chi flat iron?” 

I ended up leaving the Hospital of Death, and I’ve been seeing many amazing specialists for last month.

I finally have real answers.

I do not need a complete lifestyle change. I have never been told ONE TIME to lose weight. And not one single doctor cared that I “party smoke” (where you smoke sometimes for fun when you’re drinking alcohol). Hell, they didn’t even care when I was honest about my love of marijuana. No one told me Adderall is causing this. And the amount of red wine I drink is actually a great thing for my heart.

I have allergies. I have allergies so severe, that the doctors have never seen a test like this. They don’t know how I’ve been able to function. It’s a mystery to them.

Normal people score about 160 on their allergy test. People with lots of allergies score a 400. I scored greater than 5,000.

allergy test

The allergies have manifested in my lungs, and over time, it has caused me to only use my lungs at 60% of their capacity. It’s why they thought something was wrong with my heart, which is working too hard because my lungs are wonky.

That’s my problem. I cannot breathe. I am Bubble Boy. So we’re working on fixing this. Me and my doctors. It’ll be trial and error with meds and inhalers until we get it figured out.

Allergies are a real bitch. But feeling like a giant worthless fat ass slob, when you’re asking for prayers and scared…

Well, that’s even worse.

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I’ve been wearing leggings as pants for Science.

February 11, 2016

I’ve been adamant about leggings not being pants. Because they’re leggings. And not pants. You can read my most popular blog post ever about this highly controversial (and totally polarizing) topic by clicking here. I was the one who told all of you leggings are reserved for babies and toddlers. I told you about us being […]

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You Park Like An Asshole & Other Neighborly Causes

January 28, 2016

I could have spent today working on 1099s. I could have spent today getting a pitch done for tomorrow. But no. I spent today fighting for the cause. YOU. ARE. WELCOME. NEIGHBORS. I spent a significant amount of time making this diagram to show you guys how fucked up shit is in my neighborhood. I’m […]

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Keyboard Warriors, Friend Counts, & The Experiment

December 14, 2015

I’m six months into a one-year study on keyboard warriors. Keyboard warriors (informal noun): People who make abusive or unnecessarily aggressive and comments on Facebook statuses. They tend to leave bad reviews, sometimes for a business service they’ve never used. Oftentimes, keyboard warriors can be found in their natural habitat of their mother’s basement,  furiously typing.  I made a spreadsheet and everything, […]

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Meredith’s Drunk Book Club: Troublemaker by Leah Remini

December 10, 2015

If you haven’t read Leah Remini’s “Troublemaker” yet – do it. It’s AMAZING. I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend. Her humor and sarcasm shine through with her thick New York accent. Before we get going on this, you should know that I’ve been obsessed with Scientology since 2012. My husband is probably sick of […]

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My Morning With Opal Covey. #OpalForMayor

October 31, 2015

Ok, so let’s discuss my involvement with Toledo Mayoral candidate, Opal Covey.  Opal Covey was going viral on the internet. Like many Toledoans Americans, I quickly became obsessed. I couldn’t get enough of her. My friends (and even my husband) were saying, “She doesn’t have an online presence! You should help her!” People who work in social […]

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The Bad Friend

October 20, 2015

Something like this recently rolled through my Facebook timeline: When do you stop inviting that friend who never shows up to things? The comments on that post went something like this: Three times and then I take it as a hint our friendship is over. I used to have a friend like that. She’s dead to me. […]

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One girl. One cup.

September 28, 2015

I can’t do it anymore. I’m throwing in the towel. Or rather… the toilet paper. Every morning I’ve been starting my day with a shake from Shakeology. I finally got the recipe to where it was manageable. Lots of ice, a scoop of chocolate powder, a dab of milk, and a tablespoon of peanut butter. But […]

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Idiocracy

September 16, 2015

Do you ever think, “Dammit. Is there something I’m missing, or am I the smartest human alive?” Samesies. All political debates with men talking about women have me like: #SorryNotSorry #MyUterusDespisesYou #78CentsOnYourDollar #IsTheJokeOnUs? Kindest Regards, Meredith

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