Saturday, February 09, 2008

An Evening with Ira

So last week I was in Chicago at a G. Love concert, this weekend I was in Ann Arbor with my Mom listening to Ira Glass, host of NPR's this American Life series. So who will it be next week to complete my celebrity tri-fecta.I must admit that I was not a huge NPR fan until I met Bruce. He got me hooked and now I love it - especially the weekend programing and most of all This American Life. Bruce had to work so he was very very jealous of me tonight.

Tonight Ira Glass was at Borders for a talk promoting the release of the This American Life DVD. The radio show hit television screens last year for the first time on Showtime. I actually saw a few episodes because DirecTV who was over charging me gave me three months of Showtime free for the inconvenience - because as we know I am a Sahakian and we DO NOT pay for premium channels!

The evening was an hour question and answer. If you have never listened to This American Life - you should, you can listen on NPR or download the podcasts. The thing I enjoy about Ira Glass is that you feel like he is having a conversation with you, even if you are listening on the radio or in a huge room filled with hundreds of people. The evening was more of a question and answer as opposed to talk. People asked him all sorts of things, like to sing to their girlfriend. He talked about the show and the process of picking out stories for the show. I even asked a question! He was talking about their huge list of contributors and I ask him what it takes to be a contributor - because who knows he made need a contributor from the hit blog: TiVo Changed My Life.

He also talked about how before he was in radio that he was a magician at children's birthday parties and that NPR was not the geekiest thing he had ever done. Which when anyone claims to be a geek, I find them to be a kindred spirit. For instance he was talking about the music he listened to in his childhood, which was during the 1960's - he said a neighbor asked him who he thought was better the Beatles or the Monkeys and he was like I didn't listen to either. "As a Jew in Baltimore I listened to Showtunes, it was the music of my people." (that's not an exact quote but it's close - actually soon Borders will have the video of tonight's talk online because they had an entire crew there filming it.)

Then we lined up to get him to sign our DVD's. When I got a chance to talk to him, he was such a nice person. Sometime when you stand in those lines they shuffle you through like cattle, and the person signing doesn't even have a chance to look up. He was great, taking pictures with people. I told him that we listen to This American Life in my classroom. We talked about which ones we listen to, of course I was nervous and could not remember the theme of the show despite having listened to it several times (it is "Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time.") But we talked about the stories and what the kids liked. I told him that my favorite and many of the kids favorite was 'Dancing for the Lottery.' Which if you haven't heard it - it's where all these River Dancers decide that if they put positive thinking and energy into their performance of the show River Dance that can lead to them winning the Mega Millions. I think I like it so much because I have been there - especially when I was in a job that I didn't love - we would buy these syndicate tickets and for a night think about what we would do if we one - and how there would be no news on Monday morning because we were all millions and we wouldn't show up to work. But I digress. The coolest thing was that on my DVD that he signed he wrote, "I envy your job!"

I also had my camera ready as usual and I had my trusty mother there ready to take a picture. Needless to say my mother was somewhat nervous, the following are the pictures that transpired.

This is her first picture after I gave her the camera.

This is her second picture when I clearly wasn't expecting a picture to be taken -- so needless to say I wasn't ready and I think I was exclaiming something like "stop." Which amused everyone around us. She claims that this is actually her best picture. You decide.

This is me talking with Ira Glass, ignoring the paparazzi (a.k.a my mom.)



Anonymous said...

GLaSS both weekends! (i couldn't resist :-))

Anonymous said...

Your mom is right, that was the best picture. I think we saw Ira on the El a few months ago when my parents were in town. Didn't have the guts to go and have a picture taken with him though.

wet cat carl said...

Im back into blogging!!!

taawd said...

i think the picture of you saying stop is one of the funniest ever of you. i believe i have two or three of them when i let my mother have control of my camera.

Anonymous said...

I gave the "This American Life" podcast a try. I liked most of it, but as I get older I have a harder time with the Public Radio delivery style. It too monotone for my taste.