I listen to a lot of podcasts: news, humor, history, story tellers and fiction. I’m rarely tempted to share any of it, but this story is an exception, a “black sheep of the family” changeling tale that had me – me! – in tears by the end of it. Homecoming covers a lot of emotional territory when it comes to family relationships. It manages to do it within a fascinating science-fiction structure that, at the same time, goes beyond it to tell a universal story.
Here’s the podcast. Listen to it. Share it.
If you like science fiction, or at least podcasted science fiction, visit Escape Pod and sign up for more!
I’ve been bitching about the weather, namely, the lack of it. Here it is, the middle of February, 2012 and it’s warm enough to go outside without zipping up your coat. The ground is brown or straw-colored, with foolish sprigs of green that pop out of the ground, only to get wiped out at the first dip below 32 degrees. Mind you, it gets cold but the snow that’s supposed to insulate things (as well as look nice) is nowhere to be seen. For a girl who grew up in Buffalo, NY and spent most of her adult life in the Boston, MA area that’s just not normal.
In a vain attempt to appease the snow gods, I thought I’d post a very charming little story written and narrated by author Patrick McLean. I first heard his podcast novel, “How to Succeed in Evil,” a few years ago on Podiobooks.com. He’s been one of my favorites ever since. This is a story about snow, and the fabled 14 words for it among the Eskimos. Listen – or read – and enjoy. Laugh! Maybe we’ll get a few flakes soon, no matter what you call them.
Well, coming off of my mug win, I just had to share this next story. It’s coming up on Valentine’s Day. I usually get a small bouquet of roses and and funny card. No chocolates, thank goodness. I’d inhale them and I’m trying to avoid that kind of thing.
This story takes the cake, though. Not only is it a great story all by itself, it’s told extraordinarily well. I listen to a lot of audio books, and have taken the occasional shot at narration myself. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, so I’m all the more impressed by this story. Share it with a loved one and skip the chocolates!
I won a liberry ninja mug! Other cool stuff happened too, just today:
1. I found a new pair of headphones on the street. Obviously they had been dropped by someone who was long gone.
2. I found another place for my business networking group to meet. I’ve been going crazy trying to find a second location and now I have.
3. My first snail mail letter arrived, From Puyallup, WA. I’m in Boston, MA, so that’s all the way across the country.
But, the mug started the ball rolling. I was listening to my liberrycast podcast on my iPod last night. I usually listen to podcasts in bed, while I’m waiting to get tired. I’m a chronic insomniac, but that’s another story. I always start with Tales From the Liberrycast. As I was listening, I suddenly heard my name, my very own name, announced through my headphones:
I sat up straight in bed, slack-jawed as I heard the announcement. I never win anything (except for a jar of analgesic cream and a business book. But a mug? Never!) I pulled off a multitude of covers and half walked, half stumbled to my husband’s study. “Guess what? Guess what?” I said.
He looked over his shoulder, away from the computer. “Yes?”
“I won a contest!”
Weird looks from the hubby. “Huh?”
“I just heard my name on a podcast. It was part of a contest and I won!”
“What did you win?”
“A mug?” Then he nodded his head and smiled. “Neat! Congratulations.” We hugged and I went back to bed. And, eventually, I even fell asleep.
I will show my liberry-ninja mug to all my friends at the Robbins branch of the Arlington Public Library. And I’m going to tell even more people about the podcast.
Thank you, Juice, my story-telling friend. You made my day, or at least my night.
I have a problem when it comes to cats. I love them. They love me. A meeting with any cat is inevitably accompanied by a few circle-eights around my legs followed by a visit to my lap. They purr. I rub beneath their chin and scratch their ears. They either purr more, fall asleep or play, depending on their age.
But here’s my problem: I’m allergic to cats. I hate locking them behind doors just because I’m there. Cats have their own ideas about these things and they’re not the least bit quiet about them. It’s annoying for the cat and induces no small amount of guilt in me. I’ve tried antihistamines. Then I’m drowsy, but still stuffed up and sneezing. I must be the price I’m paying for sins I committed in an earlier life.
My love-hate relationship with cats makes me all the more nostalgic for them. I want them, but I can’t have them. So when my podcast friend, the library ninja named “Juice” (no, really) did an entire episode about his beloved cat, Winston, I was all ears. And a lovely cat-tail/tale it was, nice enough so that I downloaded the mp3 just to share with you all. So, sniff, sniff, a-choo!, on with the tale: