Sometimes I pinch myself

I am a huge nerd. Some people get excited when Lady Gaga comes through their town. I get excited when my favorite author/public radio personality/scientist comes through town to give a lecture or do a reading. For many years I forced my poor siblings to attend these events, events that were few and far between in the Bay Area.

Now that I’ve made the move out to New York I am constantly pinching myself at all of the amazing events I’ve been able to attend. Tonight for instance, I attended a This American Life themed edition of Selected Shorts hosted by Ira Glass. Two of my favorite podcasts combined to put on a show live. One of my favorite comedians Mike Birbiglia was also there to regale us with one of his hilarious stories. It’s been shocking getting to see in person the voices I’ve heard through my headphones so many times. Tomorrow night I get another dose of Ira at The Talent Show.

I’ve seen Malcolm Gladwell at Barnes & Noble. Neil DeGrasse Tyson at the The Daily Show. Stephen Colbert reading from To Kill a Mockingbird at Symphony Space. Donald Glover (Community) & John Lutz (30 Rock) at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Jonsi from Sigur Ros and Madeleine Peyroux at the Blue Note. I went to a lecture the other day on what was going on with the Large Hadron Collider that was sold out! These are the types of things I get to attend every week. I often turn to my friend (who not only willingly but eagerly joins me at these events) in a shocked breathlessness whisper “I can’t believe we live here!”

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Ira Glass (my NPR crush)

I am in love with this man. If I have not already introduced you to his genius, this is Ira Glass host of the amazing This American Life. If you have stopped listening to radio, he gives you a reason to go back. The premise of TAL is they pick a theme and they put together different stories based on that theme, which may sound boring but it’s more like movies for the radio. The show has the ability to have you laughing hysterically in the first act and reduce you to tears by the last act. You can stream all of their shows on their website www.thislife.org. They also have a weekly podcast of their latest show. If you need suggestions I have a favorites list I’d love to share with you, just let me know and I’ll email it to you.

Anyway the reason I have Ira on the brain is he was in Berkeley this past weekend giving a talk on how to tell a story. I was supposed to go to this show but since I’m on the other coast of course was unable to attend. A group of my friends went and from preliminary reports had a great time. One of them managed to sneak me a sound clip of part of the chat. In the clip Ira deconstructs the opening segment of the Cringe episode (this episode is on the favs list btw). He breaks down how they put together a story for the show. This is why I love Ira, he can make something mundane into a compelling story. I’m so sad I wasn’t there. (Thanks for the clip BDM, it felt like I was there because I could hear you and J$ laughing)

I’m crossing my fingers maybe I’ll run into him on the subway (he lives in NY). Better yet maybe I’ll submit one of my story ideas to the show and he can come and interview me.