Cheering up my partner on her commute
March 2, 2017 6:14 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend has an hour-long commute each way on public transport (and by car one day per week), in Melbourne, Australia. She was really looking forward to moving closer to work and cutting down her commute (her least favourite thing), but recently had to pause the idea for at least a few months, and is pretty bummed out about it. To take some of the pain away, I wanted to offer something interesting or enlivening via text each morning, that she can look forward to and enjoy using not much more than her phone.

Some background: She is drawn to human connection, emotion authenticity, new experiences, personal development, and in particular she loves yoga, art/painting/beauty, intelligent soulful music, comedy, nature and travel. And furry animals. Professionally, she is a psychologist and PhD candidate interested in women's sexuality. Her phone is a Samsung Android, so apps have to be available on that.

I'm thinking episodic or one-off videos, audio, playlists, podcasts, anywhere from a thought-for-the-day to 2x60 mins in length, would work well, if they're related to the above or just original and well-made.

Here's what I've thought of so far:

- Podcasts: Of the ones I know, Invisibilia, 99% Invisible, This American Life, Adam Buxton... I'm not sure where else to look that relate to her interests.
- Guided meditations, or thought experiments about being in public
- Generative/ambient music
- Spotify/youtube/soundcloud playlists - I can make some, but not every day. What's a good source of genre-spanning playlists?
- Mixcloud mixes - I've found it difficult to find good recommendations on there; maybe I'm doing it wrong.
- Erotica - probably audio, rather than another medium. Pretty much any feminist flavour (she dislikes 50 Shades for its adherence to patriarchy)
- Maybe a little film festival of short youtube videos
- Articles/essays, though in audio form rather than text.
- Melbourne-specific things: local bands/art/culture
- Stimulating/experiential games (rather than being mindless and massively addictive) - what's available on Android?
- Something I can deliver by text? Quotes/thoughts/pictures?

My intention is to queue up a bunch and send a link once per day without needing to beanplate it. If we could both watch/listen to/play a particular thing together each day (not simultaneously), that would be very cool.

As you can see I'm short on specifics; I'm feeling a little culturally-starved myself! What has kept you fulfilled in the boring parts of your day? Any ideas would be most welcome, both for particular works, or curated sources of such things. Or something completely different!

Previously on the podcasts tag [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]
posted by cogat to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What about ACTUAL notes instead of texts?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:34 PM on March 2, 2017

Write her some personalized erotica!
posted by kapers at 7:21 PM on March 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

For podcasts, Strangers with Lea Thau. It's all about authentic human connection through storytelling.
posted by prewar lemonade at 7:34 PM on March 2, 2017

For human connection, emotional authenticity, new experiences, and personal development; Hannah Brencher is an outstanding source of same. Happened to StumbleUpon her earnest and heartfelt TED Talk a while back, and within those gobsmacked minutes my cynical worldview simply evaporated. She is a shining light in dark times, pure and simple. <3
posted by Amor Bellator at 9:26 PM on March 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've been listening to audiobooks a lot over the last few months. I also have an hour-long commute, and it's a fantastic way to pass the time. I have an Audible account, which is an Amazon company and ties into one's Amazon account. I have the app on my phone and tablet, and I can also listen on my Echo Dots at home. Since each book I listen to is about 30-40 hours long, that covers a hell of a lot of commuting. (I also listen at home and sometimes at work, usually while I'm doing chores or some other task that requires my eyes but not my ears.)
posted by Autumnheart at 9:27 PM on March 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Podcasts: Missing Richard Simmons.
posted by jojobobo at 9:28 PM on March 2, 2017

This is very sweet. I don't know about apps - but perhaps leave notes in her backpack for er to find.
posted by Hummingbird1983 at 10:25 PM on March 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

What about a back and forth the two of you can have? I.e., get a notebook and write a question at the top something like, tell me about your happiest day? or describe your perfect meal, tons of better ideas online), and have her write it and then you write in it, etc. Or start a story, have her write the next part, and you write the next part and . . .

Using phones is great (that's how I manage my commute) but doing something non-tech and that could bring you together sounds like much more fun.
posted by EtTuHealy at 12:56 AM on March 3, 2017

I also have a horrible transit commute, and this is incredibly sweet of you.

Does her transit of choice allow beverages? Preparing for her/handing her a travel mug of her favorite, nicest morning beverage of choice could be a really lovely gesture.

Podcasts and language-learning audio are my favorite way to pass the time, since I can't be sure I'll get a seat (or personal space) on any given day. Now, I am in the US so my subscription list is pretty US-centric and US public radio heavy, but here's what I'm listening to now:

News and politics: the New York Times' The Daily, the NPR Politics Podcast, 1A, Pod Save America, the Pollsters, Ciquizza, Marketplace, Planet Money, The Weeds, Make Me Smart, TechDirt, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me

Pop culture/history: the Metafilter podcast, Stuff You Should Know, Shmanners, Code Switch, Ask Me Another, Dinner Party Download, Reply All, The Hilarious World of Depression

Podcasts by awesome women: Nerdette, Bitch Media, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff Mom Never Told You, 2 Dope Queens, Sooo Many White Guys, Call Your Girlfriend

No ideas on games, but that is also an excellent idea in general!
posted by bowtiesarecool at 7:26 AM on March 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

My husband and I are really into Bitmoji. I love getting Bitmoji from him, especially when they're funny. There are a ton of "I love you" ones, plus thematic/holiday, and they're always adding new ones.
posted by radioamy at 7:07 PM on March 3, 2017

There are some wonderful ongoing serialized fiction podcasts that I don't see recommended in Metafilter podcast threads very often. Some of my favorites that I think your girlfriend might like:

The Penumbra Podcast
The Bright Sessions
Ars Paradoxica
Wolf 359
King Falls AM
Archive 81
Wooden Overcoats
posted by beandip at 8:39 AM on March 4, 2017

+1 on audiobooks
Jenny Lawson's "Furiously Happy" is fantastic.
"The Rosie Project" had me cackling all day.

Podcast: Invisibilia
posted by Neekee at 11:52 PM on March 4, 2017

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