One of my college kids called last week with the news that he just adopted a cat. He sent me a photo of the male cat, named Jennifer, playing in a box. Jennifer looks remarkably like these bookends and if you purchase them (here), you too can enjoy cats playing in boxes.
For those of you experiencing bad weather or cabin fever, this week's listicle is one of my best. It's mostly podcasts and you will see that one link cleverly leads to the next in a connect-the-dots sequence that will entertain you for a good two hours. If you don't listen to podcasts, now's your chance to see what all the fuss is about.
On to the list. It begins, of course, with cats playing in boxes:
From the website Funny or Die is a list of cats-in-boxes gifs that'll make you laugh laugh laugh all the way to the bathroom. (Where you'll get a tissue to wipe your eyes.)
The Funny or Die co-founder, Adam McKay, is now podcasting. His show is called "Surprisingly Awesome." This episode is about the band Chumbawumba, and their fascinating back story. Give it a listen. You'll get rock 'n roll, revolution, Margaret Thatcher, and a delightful variety of British accents.
"Surprisingly Awesome" is produced by Gimlet Media, a start-up company that wants to be the HBO of podcasting. Its founder, Alex Blumberg, trained with Ira Glass, worked for NPR, and produces some of the best podcasts in the industry. But he doesn't know jack about start-ups, venture capitalism, or how to run a business. In this podcast, Alex attempts to pitch billionaire investor Chris Sakka. Good grief, it's painfully fun to listen in.
Alex Blumberg's wife criticized his shoes in that last episode. Her name is Nazanin Rafsanjani and she met Alex at This American Life. While there, Nazanin produced my all-time favorite podcast. It's about an Iranian couple whose arranged marriage takes a surprising turn when they move to the United States. I cry every time I listen to it. It's pure Jane Austen.
Jane Austen's stories always end with a marriage. And so does today's listicle. If you are feeling particularly voyeuristic, you can peek at Nazanin and Alex's wedding photos here. It looks like a beautiful ceremony incorporating both Jewish and Iranian traditions.