Twenty-four hours before my apartment walk-through last week, I faced a full day of asshole chores that renting and adulthood forces upon you: dusting ceiling corners, scrubbing walls and googling tips on how to remove stains from hardwood floors.
How did I tackle it all? My go-to cleaning strategy pretty much involves a steady flow of cannabis. After a few puffs on a mellow strain, my dish piles look less daunting, vacuuming all the glitter off my floor becomes a glorious game of instant gratification, and I can cruise right through my responsible adult chore list in a patient bliss. After 15 years of renting, my pot-tastic strategy has never failed me.
However, this year I discovered podcasts. Although it’s 2014 and this makes me hella late to the podcast party, cleaning days have never been better. My stoney cleaning marathons are now the perfect excuse to spend hours consuming nuggets of wisdom, current events and thoughtful perspectives.
So for your next epic cleaning day, light up and have a listen.
The royalty of storytelling, Moth performers have mastered the art of captivating audiences in a modern-day oral tradition that is part-comedy, part-tragedy and all confessional. The best part of the Moth podcast is that you never know exactly what you’ll get. A recent surprise favorite was “Rooftops in Terhan,” a beautiful story of a young woman’s return to Iran during political turmoil. No matter what you choose, these stories will make you laugh, cry and ponder the great stories lurking in your own layered life history.
Promising “storytelling with a beat,” Snap Judgment is another podcast that delivers a fabulous dose of perspective cooked up by damn talented producers. The host Glynn Washington kicks off each segment a personal story told with a genuine fervor and dramatic flare. Each week features a new theme, a la This American Life, along with an equally impressive soundtrack. I imagine this is what stories sounded like back in the day when we all gathered around the radio instead of tweeting our support for #TeamLannister.
I can’t get enough of these savvy ladies. Dedicated to examining “being women from every imaginable angle,” these curious and articulate women bring the female angle to a wild range of topics. Online dating. The etymology of the word lady. Women and cursing. And a bajillion more topics you didn’t know you wanted to learn about. Most episodes are between 20 to 30 minutes, which is conveniently the perfect length for cleaning up after dinner.
Though I am not nearly ballsy or motivated enough for foreign journalism, I still wish I would have been a foreign correspondent instead of a writer for the interwebs. Thus my obsession for this BBC podcast. Part travelogue, part current events and all parts fascinating, this podcast goes behind the scenes of the global headlines that pop into your Facebook timeline. The richly descriptive narratives, often told in a British accent from journalists around the world, take you inside the chaos and trials of foreign reporting. Their stories are the perfect antidote to the banality of cleaning out your fridge.
Since the majority of my Internet consumption comes from Gawker, travel Twitter feeds and Buzzfeed, Science Friday is a much needed injection of substance into my brain. With interviews from leading scientists on easily digestible segments ranging from Bitcoin to climate change and the chemistry of wine, this podcast will have you yelling, “FUCK YEAH, SCIENCE!” on the regular. Check out this science-filled interview with the editor of “The Pot Book: The Complete Guide to Cannabis” from 2010.
This podcast is brand new, and I’ve only listened to one episode. I finished the first one in the midst of folding and was at a loss when I didn’t have another just like it. With a concept focused on “the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation,” this one has plenty of potential.
Got a podcast suggestion or a cleaning plan? Let us know in the comments.