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The WALKING podcast
56 minutes | 15 hours ago
Walking on the beach, in a contemplative mood, I gaze out on what used to be an undersea minefield and discover an atrocious-looking jelly fish, oozed haphazardly over the rocks at my feet. This week's walk is sponsored by The Wild Wine Club, a new online wine shop based in Portland, Oregon that exclusively sells natural and organic wines from around the world. Choose from a monthly subscription box or select your own bottles to enjoy. They offer free delivery in the Portland area and shipping to select states in the U.S. Check out their selection of orange, skin contact and funky reds.
49 minutes | 7 days ago
Step Into Liquid
I accidentally walked into a creek. This week's walk is sponsored by Chris Funk's new solo record, "Songs for Dog Fitness." Pandemic music for walking your dog, or for not walking your dog. (You may know Chris as the creator of the WALKING podcast theme song from last season, or as the guitarist for The Decemberists. Check out his new record on Bandcamp and you can even buy it on purple vinyl.)
45 minutes | 15 days ago
I see many funguses. I encounter a massive buck hopping improbably high out of the ferns. Isaac tells me about someone he just met while walking, and I tell him about my imaginary friends. I walk home, in a tiny bit of a rush.
235 minutes | 22 days ago
Election Night Special Coverage Special
Four hours, 10.4 miles. I had to stop at a bakery in the middle. This election night special coverage special is, as always, just a recording of me walking. I hope you'll come along as a way to relax or be distracted. As special coverage theme music, I used "Fanfare for the Frontier" from Mike Verta's Hollywood Masterclass. This walk is dedicated to Wendy Macnaughton, who will be hosting an election night drawing party / birthday party for herself on Instagram live at 5pm pacific/8pm eastern. Why not draw with her if you need a calm, restorative place to be online?
52 minutes | a month ago
While investigating mushrooms at Yucky Pond, I lean over, somehow unleashing the voice of Matthew McConaughey from the phone in my pocket. Then: off to the harbor, where I confront two of life's awe-inspiring and unknowable phenomena: marine mammals and behavioral economics. Special guests: dolphins! Accidental guests: Matthew McConaughey, Dax Shepard.
35 minutes | 6 months ago
Missing one cohost (medically excused from action; foot injury) the two of us soldier on, and decide to visit the neighbors' goats. Will they bleat? Will we get some bleating on tape? They do not bleat. And they are far away. After recording this walk, I felt a strange melancholy. Is there something about goats that's sad? This is the third episode of the third season of The WALKING Podcast, a special pandemic mini-season where I am walking with my daughters and giving them the revenue from your classified ads, because my children won't go on a walk with me without getting paid. Ads only cost $1! Keep them coming and help support family togetherness. Venmo Jon Mooallem LLC and put your classified in the comment. Thank you to this week's sponsors: Mark in Bloomington for Art Beat Bloomington, Daniel Alarcon for Radio Ambulante, The Cantona Kung Fu football club (@cantonakf), Sam Green, and this season's flagship sponsor, the Garden Girls, Bainbridge Island's only Golden Girls-themed farm stand and the official Golden Girls-themed farm stand of the WALKING podcast. (@pinkfarmstand).
38 minutes | 6 months ago
A Bad Case of the Downhill Giggles
This is the second episode of the third season of The WALKING Podcast, a special pandemic mini-season where I am walking with my daughters and giving them the revenue from your classified ads, because my children won't go on a walk with me without getting paid. Ads only cost $1! Keep them coming and help support family togetherness. Venmo Jon Mooallem LLC and put your classified in the comment. Thank you to this week's sponsors: Reyhan Harmanci for Patrick Hoffman's new book CLEAN HANDS, Grain Design, Ann Friedman, the Barcott-Dederer family, Todd Vaziri for Feeding America, Sam Green, Drew Hansen (shout out for our very first political ad), Alexis Coe, Bay Nature Magazine, and our flagship sponsor this season, the Garden Girls, Bainbridge Island's only Golden Girls-themed farm stand and the official Golden Girls-themed farm stand of The WALKING podcast.
38 minutes | 7 months ago
Dad, What Does 'Trespassing' Mean?
Welcome to the first episode of this special pandemic mini-season of The WALKING Podcast. And this time, it’s a family affair! I’ve hired my two daughters as co-hosts because I can’t figure out what else to do with them. That’s right! It’s a whole new kind of walk, with the wordless, contemplative pitter-patter of THREE sets of feet and—they’ve promised; really looked me in the eye and promised—minimal complaining. Why are these girls doing it? Is it because they love going out on a ramble with their dear old dad? Nope! In fact, they hate it! I’m always asking and they never come. It’s because they want to get paid! We’re selling classified ads—$1 each. Send us your well-wishes to far away friends; your quarantine complaints, your self-promotions; your tractor parts for sale. As always, we’ll read them in the middle of the walk and post a picture of where we were when we read them. Venmo a buck to Jon Mooallem LLC with a 3-5 sentence message. PS: The person who was crying at the end of this episode was fine. See you next week. We'll try to keep the stage whispering to a minimum.
54 minutes | 8 months ago
SEASON FINALE: You're All WALKING Now!
There is a season--turn, turn, turn. A time to listen to someone else take a walk, a time to take a walk yourself. We are now in the latter. As I took this walk out to the harbor the other morning, I recognized that walking has become *the* leisure time activity of US Quarantine Culture: a way to maintain the fitness of our lower bodies and souls, a thing not just to do, but to write about and discuss. And so, I made a decision, mid-stride: The WALKING Podcast will be saying goodbye for a while, remaining fallow until conditions change and require it to sprout up again. Stay safe. Help other people when you can. Happy walking.
6 minutes | 8 months ago
Please buy my book THIS IS CHANCE!
I'm sorry but you can't come along on this walk. This one's just for me. My new book is out today. It's called THIS IS CHANCE! You can buy it here on Amazon or support your local shop if that is safe and possible for you right now. Thank you.
56 minutes | 8 months ago
America's Designated Walker
Nothing much to say here. This--as always--is a recording of me walking in the woods. Maybe it's helpful to you. Maybe you'd like to take a walk but can't. I feel lucky that I can, so I feel obligated to share. This week: no sponsor. But you can hear me phone a friend. This walk is sponsored by a spirit of togetherness.
54 minutes | 8 months ago
Let Me Take You Safely Outside
I never knew what this podcast was for; I was always surprised that people listen to it. Maybe it has a purpose now? Maybe it has something small of value to offer? Wouldn't that be strange? This week's walk is sponsored by Ian Karmel, who sends us a philantvertizement for Kenton Women's Village in Portland, Oregon: "an amazing charity that provides shelter to houseless women in Portland - but that also goes so much further than that. It also gives them hope. I know that's a super corny thing to say, but seriously. The Village is a group of tiny houses, so the women have a sense of security, privacy, and space as well as leadership, self-determination and community. On-site case management, mental and physical health services and long-term housing placement are provided and the results are pretty impressive." I say all the results at the ad break! Please consider supporting this important work.
62 minutes | 9 months ago
Not a very relaxing moment here in Washington State. And yet, thankfully, the trails feel (and sound) exactly the same. This week's walk is sponsored by Ann Friedman, journalist, newsletter-er, and co-host of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. Ann stands out in my mind (and in my social media sphere) as someone who's always making an effort to champion what's good and stand up for what's right. I really admire that. Her Philanthvertizement reads as such: "I would love your listeners to consider a donation to IRAP, the International Refugee Assistance Project, which provides legal advocacy for refugees and displaced people. Their motto is 'Everyone should have a safe place to live and a safe way to get there.' I started donating to this group in 2017, when three things happened. First, Trump's Muslim ban took effect—and protesting at airports felt profoundly ineffective in the face of such cruelty. A few months later, I read Mohsin Hamid's novel Exit West, in which refugees can leave one country and instantly appear in another just by walking through a door. These portals are the only magical element of the story: Mostly, it focuses on the brutal realities faced by a pair of young lovers when they become stateless. And a few months after I read Exit West—but long before I had stopped thinking about it— I heard IRAP's founder, Becca Heller, speak about her work. I have been a donor ever since. You can find a donation button at refugeerights.org" THANK YOU! Until next week, walk at your own pace and don't touch your face.
43 minutes | 9 months ago
Who Else is Gonna Bring You a Bow and Arrow?
Off we go: into the woods, toward the harbor, up the hill, through the old cemetery, and onto my newish pal Berg's house--or, his "almost-house," as he's not quite done building it. Berg needed to set up a rope swing for his boys, and had a fun idea: I'd bring my daughter's bow and arrow over, we'd tie a fishing line to the arrow, then take turns trying to shoot it up over the arm of an old maple. This required me to walk a couple of miles with a bow and arrow strapped to my back. I may have (slightly) frightened a couple of people walking their dog. This week, another Philanthvertizement (TM) in lieu of a sponsor. This one's from one of my personal icons of podcasting, the Slate Political Gabfest's David Plotz. (Especially love the way he says the word "effective.") David will be riding in this year's Pan-Mass Challenge and aiming to raise $5500 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute--in honor of his father, a veteran research scientist at NIH, and to support his friend's son Dmitri, who is one of thousands of children who benefits from the pediatric brain cancer research done by Dana-Farber. What a wonderful thing to do! WALKING podcast listeners: will you join me and mobilize to get David to his goal? Here's a link to donate. It's even tax-deductible. Wouldn't it be great if we all just did that right now? Let's be...effective.
53 minutes | 9 months ago
Not much to say about this walk: just putting one foot in front of the other. Particularly after the accursed misadventures of last week, this walk was a welcome, uncomplicated delight. It's a walk that unabashedly puts simplicity first: the sensibility of this walk is Straightforward-forward. I'm noticing a boost in listenership after my appearance on the LiveWire Radio show this week, so all of you who are coming along on the walk for the first time have picked an exceptionally typical place to start. This is representative of what happens here at WALKING: walking. This week's Philanthvertizer (philanthropic advertiser,) in lieu of a proper sponsor, is a woman who is so talented I accidentally just typed her name as "Avery Talented." Her actual name is: Avery Trufelman. Avery says: "Rehabilitation through the Arts (RTA) is an extraordinary nonprofit. And, full disclosure, my mom does work with them. Basically they put on theatrical performances in maximum security prisons all around New York. They've changed the lives of the incarcerated people they work with. They also do the incredible work of letting the public into these prison facilities, to see what the living conditions are really like and to witness the immense heart and talents we've locked away. Intense, huh? Maybe your listeners will be moved to donate."
46 minutes | 9 months ago
Dive-bombed by Bats!
THIS IS NOT A VERY GOOD EPISODE OF THE WALKING PODCAST. A few weeks ago, for reasons I explain in this episode’s ad break, I decided to try something new: instead of a traditional sponsor for each episode, I’d start asking people I admire to tell me about a non-profit or philanthropic organization that they believe in, and then I’d tell you, the listeners, about it. (I would call this innovation “Philanth-ertizing.”) One of the first people to reply was Hrishikesh Hirway, who told me about a great organization (see below.) I wrote back: “Perfecto! I’ll do this next week!" Well, I did not do Hrishi's Philanthertizement next week. Or the week after, or the week after that. In fact, ever since, it’s like I’ve been cursed. I went to record the next episode of the show and my recorder broke. I recorded an episode using a backup recorder, but then couldn’t get the file off it. Then I got sort of busy and it slipped my mind that I make a podcast. (Probably not part of the curse, but who’s to say; could be a mind-curse.) Three weeks went by—no new episodes. Finally, one night after dinner, I laced up my shoes, switched on my new rig, and walked out the door to get this episode done. It did not go smoothly. It was dark. I had a headlamp on. But just as I got to the end of the driveway, the headlamp started flickering—then zonked out. So I turned tail, back to the house, to fetch another headlamp—and just as I did, my phone started chiming with texts from a friend. (I’d forgotten to silence it.) Inside, I tried to hug my daughter and knocked her over. Then, back outside and finally walking, I got dive-bombed by a bat. Then another bat. Then, I discovered a tremendous tree had fallen over the trail! Then, as I stood in front of the tree, talking into my recorder, trying to explain “Philanth-ertizing” so I could get to Hrishi’s ad, I got dive-bombed by a couple more bats. Then finally, after some more walking, when I was almost home, an owl flew right in front of me, very low, like a swift white phantom, and scared me shirtless. Anyway, here it is: a cursed and atypical episode of the WALKING podcast. This week’s walk is sponsored by Hrishikesh Hirway on behalf of Women’s Audio Mission, an organization that brings the art and science of audio engineering to women and gender non-conforming people. Please consider supporting the work they do. Thank you, Hrishi, for letting us know about them.
54 minutes | 10 months ago
Snow Falling on Seavers
I was thinking about Growing Pains on this walk--the old TV show. I was thinking about how the dad, Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke), worked at home; he was a psychologist with a private practice in an office right off the family living room. (Horrendous home-office placement, particularly in a family with three loud, wise-cracking kids, but I digress.) I'd never before seen a dad who worked at home. None of the actual dads I knew, in real life, worked at home. They all drove away in the mornings to be middle-men, or lawyers or "sell components" I can't claim that sifting through these memories of Jason Seaver as I walked through the woods birthed any great epiphanies or insights. It's just, some thirty-five years later, I'm a dad who works at home myself. And on days like this--a snow day, when my daughters are off from school, rambunctiously skipping back and forth from the neighbors, making snow angels and sledding, and I'm up in my office over the garage, yapping on the phone with book publicity people and typing (always typing)--I feel grateful to be a dad who works at home: grateful to be here, looking down on them from my peculiar perch, and taking a break to share hot cocoa, share the burden, share in the laughter and love. Rain or shine. All the time. This week's walk is sponsored by Sean Sullivan, who thinks you'll like The Monolith, a short documentary by Rosie Walunas. You can see it here.
56 minutes | a year ago
Grief Mistaken for Joy
Sometimes you're walking in the woods and stumble upon a wedding. Sometimes what looks like a wedding is a memorial service. This week's walk is brought to you by our friends at North Light, the friendliest all-day bar and kitchen, with a specially curated book and record shop, in Oakland, California.
59 minutes | a year ago
BONUS: Holiday Special!
Exploding the usual format of the show to bring you a star-studded, Yuletide spectacular that harkens back to the homespun, holiday podcast specials of days gone by! With special guest appearances by: Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk, fine arts photographer Meghann Riepenhoff and friends, TV producer Jesse Ziebart, Grammy-nominee Korum Bischoff, and restauranteur and businessman Harvey Wolff from Proper Fish. Come along on a wintry ramble around the island, chasing away a case of the holiday blahs! The WALKING Podcast Holiday Special is brought to you by Dresden Stollen Bakers. When Irmgard Maron came to the United States in 1928, she brought a cherished recipe for stollen from her native Dresden. She began baking for friends and relatives during the holidays and, at their urging, started a small bakery business. Ninety-one years later, three generations of her descendants still gather to bake this deliciously rich holiday bread once a year and sell it to families like yours around the world. The WALKING Podcast will be back to normal next week, i.e. no talking.
53 minutes | a year ago
Put 'Em In a Tree Museum
The school carpool collapses last minute, scrambling my morning agenda, but I manage to sneak in a walk anyhow before getting in the car and journeying down to Portland for a meeting. Sometimes you have to walk before you can drive. Lace up and come along as we encounter a dissonant and grave disturbance in the woods. This week's walk is sponsored by: RICHARD'S FAMOUS FOOD PODCAST. It's a food podcast that's "more like Pee Wee's Playhouse than the Splendid Table," from creator Richard Parks III. Wow, I encourage you to give it a listen! Tagline: "Jump into the Brine" (with a little tm next to it.) And don't forget: You can be a Stickfluencer! Send $5 to The WALKING Podcast (via Venmo) and I'll thank you during the ad break for "sticking up" for the show. Also, if you want, I'll mail you a stick I pick up along the way. A real-life stick!
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