Saturday, July 11, 2009

In which Juniper discovers podcasting

You know how certain technologies are easy to use and work like they're supposed to nearly every single time (the toaster oven, say, or the dvd player) whereas others work only when the proper shamanic formulas are chanted over them (the fax machine comes to mind, as does the sewing machine).

Well, anything to do with podcasting has always fallen firmly into the second category for me. I've had an iPhone for a while, but whenever I would try to actually get a podcast from the vapor of the internet INTO my computer and from there ONTO my phone, something would be, I believe the technical term is, wonky. So for about a year, I had one and half episodes of The Splendid Table in my podcast menu, and nothing else. Also, I was almost mortally mortified when my brother went to look at my "music" in March and found that the only music I had at all was half of the "Jesus Christ Superstar" soundtrack that I had somehow uploaded by accident.

Well, I am happy to report the after long months of frustration, my recent houseguests* enthusiastic conversation about RadioLab set me trying again and at last somehow Learning Has Happened, and I now can listen to podcasts! And Jeff helped me download some music!

So, two things. First of all, if you havent already, (I mean, of course you have already, because you've been podcasting for YEARS, but you're humoring me, right, since I'm the new girl on the block here?) check out Pray As You Go, which I heard about in an in-one-ear-and-out-the-other sort of way on someone else's blog months ago (Sarah? Was that you?). It's just delicious.

Really, if you knew how many hours in the last 8 months I have spent getting a little less mediocre at facebook scramble instead of praying (among a gazillion other things I could have been doing), I would be mortally mortified again for the second time in one post.

Because usually? For real? I find it kind of hard to pray with Bible. I'm so used to study or sermon prep from the Bible that whenever I open it to pray by mind starts whirling about how I can Use This Somehow. But, maybe because it's already its own neat little package - the music, the scripture read twice, the soothing Irish voices encouraging you in the gentlest possible way to pull your head out of whatever hole you have it buried in and pay attention to how Christ is working in the world, and wants you to work in the world - it's very compelling. And think better for me, in the long run, than getting less mediocre at scramble.

Ok, second. iTunes genius playlist. I know, I know, I know, you smartypantses have been doing this for years and this is like nothing to you, but bear with me. I'm like a child on her first roller coaster. If that was a good thing for you. Which it wasnt exactly for me, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, to experiment, I tried making a list from the Wallets Take It. I purposely picked an obscure-ish band. I mean, the Wallets are obscure, right? Unless you went to college in Minnesota in 1989?

I was going to print out the whole list it made, but it seemed kind of overwhelming, but let's just say that if a mix of Three Dog Night's happiest ones, Duffy's saddest ones, Santana's awesomest ones, Talking Heads rockingest ones and The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald thrown in for good measure would make you happy enough to burst, than you can understand how I feel. Well, maybe only if you went to college in Minnesota in 1989.....

Wait. there's probably some way to actually save this list on actual iTunes so you could actually listen to it, but I think that would require more than I can really expect of myself for one week.


*This mere mention does not do justice, btw, the awesomeness of visit from said houseguests. Confidential to SG - I have your white t-shirt. I'm considering holding it ransom until you come visit again, but instead I'll probably put in the mail soon. But really. Come visit again. It was so very very very great to see you.


Sally said...

excellent, there is hope for me yet!!!!

Cheesehead said...

Welcome to the rodeo.

At our house, the shamanic forces are poetically referred to as "Waving The Right Dead Chicken Over It."

sko3 said...

Your enthusiasm made me run right to my itunes to check out the genius (I admit--I've always ignored it). Juniper is an evangelist!

Andy said...

As you probably already know, The Wallets "Take It" is one of my favorite 80's new wave albums. I'm surpriesed iTunes even knows what it is. Maybe you just got some random "this chick likes obscure stuff so let's just send her a random curveball list" response. Regardless, you've inspired me to try it. I've spent a bunch of energy trying to get that damn genius thing to go away and stop bugging me... maybe I should just embrace it myself.

Rachel said...

But have you listened to RadioLab yet?!!

Sarah S-D said...


i have raved about pray-as-you- go before... maybe it was me... but i got there from gannet girl... so maybe you did too.

and radio lab is a MUST... NOW... LISTEN!!!!! you won't regret it. seriously.

this american life always satisfies.

wait, wait don't tell me almost always satisfies.

speaking of faith frequently satisfies.

last night when the baby would. not. sleep. and we were dead. tired. after traveling ALL DAY, had to get up and rock her to soothe her screaming. and of course my podcasts had not been refreshed. 3 a.m. rocking of a screaming baby when one hasn't slept yet oneself is inordinately better than podcasts.

i know nothing about genius playlists however... hmm...

Sarah S-D said...

that should have read "inordinately better WITH podcasts" silly me.

Juniper said...

sally - always there is hope!

cheese - your comment is like some kind of super kinetic haiku

This is rodeo.
At our house, shamanic is
The right dead chicken.

sko- hey! good to see you! lost you for a while, but now you are found....

Andy - yeah, Mr. Amazonpants had a lot to say about algorithms and the high probability of getting songs you like from a selection of your own music which is already songs you like but I dont care. I was feeling the LOVE, baby!

Rachel - yes, and love the marshmallow bit. Both those guys just remind me so much of the yellow house boys, somehow -- the good bits. How about you?

Sarah - I THOUGHT it was you - thanks for the prayer link. Sorry to hear about hard days with the baby, and no sleep. That is so very hard. I cant really listen to TAL, sadly. It is not a good one with people with hearing very mumbly. I alwaya want to say "Speak RIGHT into the MIKE, young man!" which really is not at all the hip kind of persona I'm always diligently trying to project around here.