Thursday, January 18, 2007

Everything is free.

So the method seems to be that I neglect this thing for about a month in the name of actually enjoying a short time off, then getting back to work and trying to make research occur, then feel guilty about it for a week while still ignoring it, then getting home at two in the morning from a whole bunch of work and trainriding and deciding to write because that's the only way I'm going to be able to occupy the time between now and when I fall asleep that doesn't involve walking downtown to the CTA headquarters and pounding my head into the side of the building in frustration.

So there's that.

Actually, on the CTA front, I really don't have much to complain about anymore, as I'm paying basically nothing. Northwestern recently got the UPass for students of The Graduate School (TGS), which allows unlimited use of CTA systems for eighty or so dollars until mid-June, and then again from August until the end of the year. That's $160 for probably about ten months of the year. If I'm using it for 9.5 of those months, riding it once a day, I'm paying about a third of a dollar every time I use it. Not that I wouldn't gladly pay more if it showed up on time, but since it's basically free, I don't think I can complain about that so much anymore. Perhaps I will continue that under the argument that I can't opt out of the program. Not that I'd want to.

I have finally joined the billions upon billions of people that have an iPod and so have subscribed to every podcast ever. Not that I couldn't have subscribed before, but my previous mp3 player had this thing where the headphone jack was royally screwed up (possibly because I dropped it onto the tracks at the Granville station) and so it wasn't incredibly good for listening, and listening to radio going to and from the train was a sketchy proposition at best (I enjoy talk radio, and so had an evening assortment of Tom Leykis, Bill O'Reilly and Loveline that I could get to come in clearly on the FM radios on my phone, old mp3 player and shoe. If someone can give me an adequate, reasoned explanation for why in the hell Bill O'Reilly is on after a guy who tries to orchestrate widespread flashing on highways and and before a show about the all too common problem of what to do when your genitals are in a toaster, I'd love to hear it. It probably, actually, says something very profound and outrageously hilarious about our culture that I'm just not getting. Either way, I've subscribed to the following (that I will admit to on a blog that's read by six people tops)

Mike and Mike in the Morning (best clips collected into 1/2 hour)
News Hour with Jim Lehrer
Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
Penn Radio
Point of Inquiry
Slate Explainer

I've more or less stopped listening to (and stopped updating) Sportscenter (as I usually check ESPN at some point and even without cable can keep up with anything that would tell me) and Slate Explainer because, while often fascinating, the woman who does it has the most bizarre accent ever and it sounds like she's trying to enunciate way too clearly and, really, I can read the actual print article faster than it would take me to listen to the five minute podcast. Other than those, I'd recommend them, if you're the kind of person that might think you'd gain anything by listening to what I had to say.

I'm very tired and should be getting up in a few hours to head back into work, so I'll stop here. No fascinating commentary on the events of the day for this post, though I'll try to do this more regularly. Really.


EDIT: Oh, one thing. It's been covered by everyone else much better than I can hope to (mostly because this blog isn't devoted to sports, I'm relatively dumb and tired and I'm late to the game) but I'd like to give a + to the Gonzalez/LaRoche trade. I'd rather have seen it happen without giving up one of the few good prospects in the Pirates system, but that hardly seems enough reason to not be happy that Littlefield is a) actually doing something that might help and b) not in a coma.

How about that.


Hal said...

I recommend the Science (as in, the research journal) podcast. Very fun.

I'd recommend any of my other ones, but they're either video (is it a video iPod or not?) or from out of state conservative radio, and I'm not sure if you're interested in such.

Hey, at least you're getting a free pass. Here at UMSL, they're planning on taking ours away. After Metro built the expansion on, they had to start charging the universities for the passes (before they were free to students). The university has not sold enough to break even on the program, so the talk is of eliminating it altogether. Boo!

Jenna said...

What do you mean free? 160 dollars a year is not free.