Listen up!

I think I mentioned I write for a living so ... it should come as little surprise that I am desperate to stretch my legs periodically. I do this by going for a short walk around the neighborhood, daily, weather and workload permitting. And, to make the most of my time (walking in this neighborhood being more on the merely pleasant, than the totally interesting, side, oh yawn) I’ve decided to look for cooking podcasts to enliven my little jaunt.

Very odd hearing people cook, as opposed to watching. Still, shared interests and all ...

The podcast I tripped across, no surprise, was from Jamie Oliver. I must say, it felt rather like his television show ... like you were in his living room, nay, in his life ... and it was all terribly casual and amusing. Didn’t learn too, too much about cooking (bear in mind, however, that I’ve only heard one podcast so far, so this can, and may very well, change, in other podcasts), but I did smile to myself once in a while (especially when someone in the podcast broke a wine glass) which is a marvelous thing to do to keep the crazies away, or so you would think.

But you would be wrong. Because everybody and their brother (and it was their brother - it was all males) tried to chat with me. The most amusing was the guy outside the library who kept showing me discarded books and grinning like a fool. The least amusing was the guy who wanted me to do something with his clipboard (feeling charitable, I’m assuming he wanted me to sign a petition, although I had less savory suggestions of my own). I could not hear any of them.

And, of course, the question is, did they not all notice I had my iPod? Has the new year resulted in either decreased IQ or decreased vision? Or does no one really care?

So I have bravely taken it upon myself to introduce the first and only iPod Etiquette Rules.*

(*Equally applicable to other MP3 Players sans attitude.)

The rules:
  1. If someone you do not know is listening to an iPod, do not disturb them.
  2. If, however, the pants of the someone you do not know are on fire, ignore rule #1 and disturb away.
  3. If you are inclined to disturb said someone, do so loudly as they can’t hear a bloody thing you say in a normal speaking voice.
  4. If their pants are not on fire and there are no similarly disturbing events in the vicinity, do not assume the listener wishes to buy your candy, sign your petition, donate a quarter, enter your store, sample your wares (unless it is chocolate; an exception is always made for chocolate), or mediate your dispute. In this case, back away slowly to a great distance.
  5. If, however, you know the person and their pants are not on fire and there are no other extenuating circumstances and you wish to speak to them, you must judge the depth of your friendship. Will it withstand interrupting their quiet listening time? If not, please see rule number one.
  6. If your friendship will stand the blow of interrupted quiet listening, such as when you are in possession of a truly spectacular bit of juicy gossip, then the only acceptable way to interrupt said listener is to quietly and nonchalantly indicate a desire to chat. Waving of the arms, tugging at the sleeve, and tapping of the head are all considered poor etiquette. As is tripping, grabbing, and, of course, screaming. Although, for horrid effrontery, nothing tops reaching over and yanking ear buds out of the startled listeners ears. Instead, place yourself in eyesight of the listener, smile, and wait for them to acknowledge your presence, if they should be so inclined. If they do not, then slink away, my poor darling, just slink away.

And as for cooking-oriented podcasts, here are a few interesting looking ones:
  • Podcast Alley seems to have a nice selection, including one from New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni which looks juicy
  • The Culinary Podcast Network has a decent selection, including a recent podcast with Madhur Jaffrey, author of those renown cookbooks on Indian food which we just have to get our hands on because we adore Indian food and because so much Indian food is vegetarian which is just perfect for us
  • Ronnie and Eddie productions seem fun ... and the pictures are just so pretty (we know you can’t see the pictures on a podcast, but just knowing they are there makes all the difference)