For My Listening Pleasure

My newest obsession is podcasts.

Which is kind of funny, because Tara listens to a podcast version of The Opie & Anthony Show, and has been singing its praises for the past year. She played it for me on the drive up to Seattle one time last year, and I was not at all impressed. First off, I like music when I’m driving, particularly on long road trips. Second, these guys are rude and crass, which in itself isn’t so bad, but they are rude and crass Republicans, and their anti-Obama monologue a few months before the election made my stomach turn. And they had Ann Coulter on the show, which really sealed the deal. I’m a pretty easygoing person and get along well with almost everybody, but I absolutely loathe that woman. If the devil is walking among us, I’m convinced he doesn’t have horns and a forked tail but is, instead, a blatant racist with long blonde hair and a face like a hawk. The same woman who insulted the entire Special Olympics by calling the President “a retard” before one of the debates.


Now that election season is over and Ann has crawled back into her dark little hole, the Opie & Anthony podcast Tara played on Friday’s trip north was considerably less annoying. In fact, with all the talk about sex and current events, I found it quite entertaining. It made the three-hour trip fly by, in fact. Hmm, I thought to myself. I could really get into podcasts. So I scouted the internet for suggestions, posted on Facebook that I was looking for recommendations, and came away with a list of podcasts to check out. Things like WTF with Marc Moran, The Nerdist, Comedy Bang Bang, and Pop Culture Happy Hour. I’ve listened to a couple of them already and, sure enough, I’m hooked. They’re an entertaining alternative to music, which I will always love, but could stand a break from every now and then.

And, in typical over-the-top Mark fashion, I quickly decided that if all these guys can have successful podcasts, well gosh darn it, so can I! So when Tara came home last night, I said, “I have a great idea, babe.”

“What?” she asked, but she said it all slow-like, drawing it out so that it was actually a “whhhhaaaatttt?” that, to make matters worse, practically dripped with an accusatory mixture of doubt and disbelief. My own fiance! The future Missus! What had I ever done to deserve such preordained scorn?

“We should record a weekly podcast!” I declared, ignoring her obvious skepticism and plunging forth enthusiastically. “The Mark & Tara Show!”

“No way,” she replied.

“But. But. Why not?”

“What would we talk about?”

“Anything. Everything. Breaking Bad. Restaurants we like. Music. It’ll be lots of fun.”

“Honey, you’re going to spazz out.”

“What?” I asked, but I said it all slow-like and high-pitched, drawing it out so that it was actually a “whhhhaaaatttt?” that indicated I had No Idea What She Was Talking About. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said.

“The video stream,” she answered.

Oh. That.

Remember how I recently wrote that I had no desire whatsoever to be a reality TV star? Funny thing about that. The very next day, I found myself broadcasting to the entire world (or at least the four people who tuned in) a cooking challenge for our food blog. It was National Chocolate Souffle Day, and Tara and I thought it would be fun to come up with a bake-off to see who could make the best chocolate souffle. Then one of our Facebook friends suggested we stream the challenge live over the internet, and I was all over that idea, so we set up the laptop and for the next hour I mugged for the camera, cracking jokes and doing horrible impressions, while Tara actually concentrated on making a souffle. As a result, I was funny, but my dessert fell flat – literally – while hers turned out amazing. “It’s because you were busy spazzing out on camera while I was actually cooking,” she said, and I had to admit, she had a point there.

Which means, she probably has a point with the whole podcast thing. Sigh. Get me in front of an audience – even if I can’t see them – and I tend to act a little over-the-top, I suppose. Which means I should amend my earlier post because it turns out I’d make a great reality TV star! But yeah, I’d probably come across as a total spazz on a weekly audio version of Mark My Words, as fun as that would be.

Oh to the well.

Speaking of Seattle, our weekend trip was lots of fun. Tara’s nephew is walking now, and he’s a real blast. Those few years when kids don’t talk back to you yet are the best ever!! We drove into downtown Saturday evening and strolled around Pike Place Market for a while before meeting up with a blogger Tara had known for many years – longer than she and I have read each other, as a matter of fact – but had never before met. We had a few drinks in a brewpub before heading across the street to a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese place we discovered a year and a half ago for a late dinner. It was a great visit, too short as usual, but a nice respite from the norm.

Here are a few pics, but before I go, if there is a particular podcast you’d like to recommend for my listening pleasure, please let me know!

"What'cha lookin' at, Uncle Mark?"
“What’cha lookin’ at, Uncle Mark?”
Pike Place Market at sunset.
Pike Place Market at sunset.
Feeling crabby?
Feeling crabby?
Colorful chile peppers.
Colorful chile peppers.
Pike Place Market at dusk.
Pike Place Market at dusk.

Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

12 thoughts on “For My Listening Pleasure

  1. Love your idea of a podcast, Mark!

    And it’s funny you mentioned that because many, many years ago, I actually had a podcast set up on my blog in which my readers could either read my blog, or listen to it through a podcast. However, back then they had it set up so that you couldn’t actually record your podcast yourself, you had to choose a voice and it would speak for you. So…I didn’t use it for long.

    LOVE the photographs you took while on your Seattle weekend trip – especially that last one. The colors you captured are AWESOME!


    1. How weird! I can’t imagine relying on a robot to do the podcast. The fun is in recording it yourself. Maybe you should revisit the idea, now that technology has improved?


  2. It was a fun weekend! Anthony is going to just keep getting cuter and cuter!

    Not much of a podcast listener but I know that iTunes has a whole slew of them that you can check out. I do know that most, if not all, podcasts are free.


  3. There is a show I listen to from time to time. It’s called noagendashow .com/. Just two guys talking about all kinds of things going on in the world. But they usually make fun of things from the news. Plus they just banter back and forth. It’s twice a week. Thursday and Sunday. For me it’s just something to listen to and chuckle at.
    I listen to it on the computer. Let me know if you check it out. I’d like to know what you think of it. One of their catch phrases: Shut up slave.


  4. I can’t get into podcasts. I need to have music when I drive.

    Also, I love the first photo of Pike’s Place and your nephew is awfully adorable. 🙂


    1. I used to feel the same way, Sarah. Now I think back to how different my road trip would have been if I had podcasts to listen to the whole way. Mixing them up with music, of course. Listening to “Badlands” while driving through the Badlands will always be one of my fondest memories.


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