Podcasts

David Sedaris

by Cellobella on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 · 1 comment

I went to An Evening with David Sedaris to see and hear David Sedaris.

I’m never sure what to expect at author evenings… do they read… what do they read… how do they incorporate questions…

In this case, David read a few short stories, and included some new material, threw in a few choice diary entries and answered questions.

I was sitting on my own and by that of course I mean I didn’t sit next to anyone I knew – clearly I wasn’t on my own.

His Majesty’s was full and I was in the last row of the Dress Circle which was irritating because my colleague – a big Sedaris fan only got his ticket that night and ended up with a much better seat.

I am never booking through BOCS again.

You agree with me right?  That’s annoying.

But maybe they sensed his deep passion for the work, I don’t know.

I knew “the work” through This American Life – a podcast I adore.

His short stories occasionally feature and they are always pithy and amusing.

He looks just as he sounds.

Short of stature.

Balding.

Older than me.

My favourite martian ish.

He wore a white shirt, dark trousers and brown shoes (at least I think they were brown… I was a long way back), and stood behind a heavy wooden podium.

Can someone have a short voice?

We-ll it’s kind of Woody Allen ish.

So maybe yes.

He described doing book signings and how he likes to ask people random questions so that they can have a conversation rather than the “rehearsed in the line” stilted comments and adoration, for lets face it, you are hardly likely to wait in a queue for a book to be signed if you didn’t really like the work… or the author.

Anyway I went to get a drink before the show and I was behind this girl who was holding a hotel bottle of shampoo.

She was telling her boyfriend that David gave it to her after she told him her story.

I guess being bald, the shampoo was rather redundant and she did have long hair… but after hearing David’s comments about book signings I’m guessing it was payment for the story she told him.

A story that he liked.

A story that he might write down in his diary and read out at another evening somewhere around the world.

A great story.

What did you tell him, I nearly asked, but then the bartender asked for their order and the moment slipped away.

Now THAT’s irritating.

Good show though.

I enjoyed watching him writing notes on his work as he read… I imagined ticks where the audience laughed…

If you’ve seen it – I’d love to know what you think of the single celled organism story – because of all of them I think that will be the one that stays with me.

The story is about single celled organisms who are ignored by all the other cancer cells and germs and they think it is to do with their name so they try unique cells and all sorts of other permutations but nothing works.

And a cancer cell sees them arguing over their name and says that noone will talk to them if they don’t speak the language, but the single celled organisms don’t understand what he’s saying and so don’t pay any attention.

It seemed a rather conservative stance.

But as another colleague who was there (very smart person) said she thought it was an observation rather than a moral tale…

Which of course made me think of petri dishes and conclude that it was very clever indeed.

On the way home I plugged in my ipod and listened to This American Life where David Sedaris wasn’t featured.

This American Life

by Cellobella on Friday, January 30, 2009 · 2 comments

I don’t think I’ve raved about a podcast on this blog before but seeing as I’ve bored all my immediate circle with tales from this podcast, it’s your turn.

This American Life is a Chicago Public Radio program that Ira Glass (pictured) created back in 1995.

It is brilliant.

I wait impatiently all week for the next episode and the stories it contains.

It is so good I’ve done something I’ve never done before for a podcast – I’ve donated money to Chicago Public Radio to help keep it on air.

Yes I live in Perth, Australia and no I’m not American, but I do appreciate good story-telling and great radio and this podcast is both.

Each week Ira chooses a theme and collects stories – both written and collected to explore that theme.

Themes include Big Breaks (this week), Switched at Birth, Heretics, Music Lessons, Break-up and Matchmakers.

The podcast is free for a week after broadcast and after that you can download it from iTunes for a small fee.

Subscribe.

If you’re not in radio you will LOVE the stories, if you’re in radio – you will question your work.  I know I have.

My favourite story so far, and the one that I have been telling to anyone who will listen concerns a doll called Nubbins.

It’s a story by Elna Baker called Babies Buying Babies, and it’s on the Matchmaker’s episode.  Definitely worth a listen.

And while you’re on Elna’s website – watch the fortune cookie story – very funny.

So that’s all.  Just wanted to share with you some brilliance.

Have a good day.  :)