I watched all nine seasons of The Office for the very first time this year. I know. But I think I could probably appreciate and connect with certain aspects of it better now that I've worked in an actual office after years of remote work. Its humour and human-ness balances perfectly with the cringe-y and the bizarre (could you ever really recover from finding your stapler encased in jell-o?)
Listening to Office Ladies with Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey is giving me an insight into so many more layers and details that I never would have thought of. I don't mean the little background catches or stuff that a fan who has watched the show multiple times would notice – though there is plenty of that enriching the conversations – but rather the nuances of the actors and the writers injecting emotion into a line, the camera finding a moment no one planned, the stories behind specific props or hairstyles, the improvisations, and the immensely creative, collaborative, positive process that working on this show seems to have been. Everyone on the podcast brims with warmth and enjoyment as they relive the journey, making it a real pleasure to listen to.
I didn't really expect to go looking for a Harry Potter podcast. While I never thought the series was perfect, like any work of art or literature, it did hold a special place in my life. But with J. K. Rowling increasingly putting out her misguided, ill-informed, and snarky views into the world, it felt like my memories of the books were becoming tainted. I don't believe that a work can or should be separated from its creator, and we do need to question and complicate it – because without that, we essentially ensure that there are no consequences for the words or actions that we are ethically or morally opposed to – but this is so much harder to do with a work that already held a huge place in our life. It's so much harder to condemn or let go of it as a new work that we are yet to form a relationship with.
This podcast doesn't (yet) have hundreds of episodes, but each of them feels like drinking a hot beverage on a cold but calm day (couldn't resist). Host Fiona Barrows chats with her guests, most of whom have creative businesses or practices, about their journey and how and why they chose to quit the rat race and pursue a different way of life.
Don't you enjoy being around people whose eyes light up when they talk about – and are given the space to talk about – the things they love? That's what listening to this podcast feels like. Described as a "podcast about passion", it always lifts me up to hear people, strangers at that, discuss one thing that they care about most with the host, Sophie.
I am thrilled to have discovered this podcast during one of my "search for random terms I like" sprees. I thought the synopsis was interesting, but I really didn't know what I was getting into because the episode descriptions and titles don't reveal much. So I went in cold into Episode 168: The Travelling Stones one lazy afternoon, and a couple of minutes in, I felt my heart race in anticipation, stunned by the unexpected turn the tale had taken.