Tag Archives: npr

It was like being the designated driver for a bunch of nerds.

10 Aug

The hosts of Planet Money: Alan Davidson & Alex Blumberg

First, an admission: I’m a huge dork and I love “behind the scenes” glimpses of programs I follow. That explains my ticket stubs from NBC’s studio tour (including the SNL set) in New York and NPR’s “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me” show in Chicago.

So it should come as no surprise then that a few weeks ago when NPR hosted a live recording of Planet Money‘s podcast in DC, I eagerly snapped up a ticket. Turns out, I’m not the only nerd in DC. The venue (a Synagogue in Chinatown) was sold out with 800 attendees. I love living in a Nerd Mecca.

One of my friends — whom we’ll call Honer in this post out of a) respect for her privacy and b) her Honorary Nerd status — also picked up a ticket, so we made plans to meet at the show, 30 minutes before doors opened. As my work day wound down, I began receiving texts from Honer, regretting the wine she had consumed the night before.

Not going to call it a hangover, but my head hurts.

Not sure how I’m going to make it tonight. It’s officially a hangover.

Would you think less of me if I show up with a roadie? I think this situation calls for hair of the dog.

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Wait Wait! I’m going to tell you…

27 Feb

Full disclosure: I’m an NPR junkie. My idea of a perfect weekend involves bottomless chai, my recliner and a steady flow of NPR programming. One of my favorite programs is Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

If you’re not familiar with WWDTM, it’s an hour-long quiz show hosted by Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell, featuring three comedian panelists answering questions about current events. I recognize that this format might just qualify its fan base as ranking in the 99th percentile of nerdiness. So what.

Each week Peter Sagal notes that the show is recorded live in front of a studio audience from the Chase Auditorium in downtown Chicago. At some point in the last six months, this prompted a light to go off in my little nerd brain: DID HE SAY CHICAGO?

Hell, I’m out there twice a month for work. Why haven’t I made a pilgrimage to the seat of my personal religion?

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You may call him the Gipper, but at least 77 people call him Lifeguard.

7 Feb

Yesterday would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday, so NPR ran a story discussing his life and legacy. It was a generous, human look at an actor-turned-politician.

From what I hear, people apparently adore the man. I won’t say anything beyond that, because my last few attempts to write a sentence ended up with: a) an essay about Alzheimer’s, and b) imagining how I would feel about a puppy becoming the POTUS. While both are debatably relevant to this post, neither is especially helpful nor likely to endear me to you, my patient readers.

So what I learned while listening to NPR’s profile that was REALLY fascinating to me is that Reagan allegedly pulled 77 people out of the water when he was a lifeguard. (They interviewed #70, who said that “Dutch” was a really great guy.)

A few observations…

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