The This American Love of My Life

Amy Balmuth Staff Writer  Spending most of this summer on the road, I was unsurprisingly quick to tire of my indie rock stocked iPod and search for a different, potentially more mentally stimulating way of passing the hours until the next pit stop. And thus was born my deep, undying love for the NPR segment “This American Life.” Led by Jewish stud and intellectually attractive Ira Glass (who Ms. Bunger met, by the way), “This American Life” is an hour of fiction, fun and fascination. Each week has an overarching theme and subsequent stories, both true and fantastical, which fit that theme. You never know what each week will bring—the stories range from a creative mash up of Kafka’s metamorphosis meets Dr. Seuss, to learning how to cope with aging parents and the burden that comes along with it. They made me laugh (a particular favorite included an Adventureland-esque theme park manager who raps promotional videos) and cry (the aforementioned aging parents story… a real tearjerker) but mostly, they made me think of my own stories that I’ve got to tell. Unless you live in a box, weird things happen to us all and when executed correctly, they’re almost always worth listening to. Perhaps it was the sweet lull of Ira’s voice, or maybe the soft rocking of Interstate 90, but after every sixty minutes was over my father and I were always left with something to ponder. We actually talked, about all the weird stuff in our lives that was so Ira-worthy it was painful. And somehow the long stretches between Midwestern hicksvilles and gas station McDonalds became that much less monotonous. So perhaps next time you plan on driving across the country, or maybe have a particularly long commute, take a break from your latest indie acoustic cover and treat your ears to an hour of Ira. Ms. Bunger promises you wont regret it!]]>