Five Things How do the objects we love define us? What can we learn from the things we treasure? And how can we discover a life story through those objects? Five Things, from 89.3 WFPL and Louisville Public Media, explores those questions and more.
Five Things

Five Things

From Louisville Public Media

How do the objects we love define us? What can we learn from the things we treasure? And how can we discover a life story through those objects? Five Things, from 89.3 WFPL and Louisville Public Media, explores those questions and more.More from Five Things »

Most Recent Episodes

Episode 48: "Ask Me Another" Host Ophira Eisenberg on Parenting, Orchids, and Snow Globes

This week's guest on Five Things is Ophira Eisenberg, stand-up comedian, writer, and host of the NPR comedy game show Ask Me Another. She's also got a new comedy special just out, called "Inside Joke," which she taped when she was about 38 weeks pregnant with her first child. She was 43 years old and never thought she'd be a mother — and she is very honest about some of those concerns that first-time moms have, but rarely share in public. We had a great conversation about some of the things that she values, including a collection she never meant to have, some jewelry sent to her from faraway relatives, and the pickiest plant there is.

Episode 48: "Ask Me Another" Host Ophira Eisenberg on Parenting, Orchids, and Snow Globes

Episode 47: Writer Kayla Rae Whitaker on Imposter Syndrome, Pencils, and Peanuts

Kayla Rae Whitaker is the author of "The Animators," a novel published earlier this year by Random House. She's a Kentucky native who recently moved to Louisville after several years in New York City. Among other things, we talked about what it's like to come back "home" and how she finally learned to accept her (gorgeous) curly hair. Kayla's essay for Lenny on imposter syndrome: http://www.lennyletter.com/life/a1000/my-imposter-year-kayla-rae-whitaker/ Kayla's essay for BuzzFeed on getting sober: https://www.buzzfeed.com/kaylaraewhitaker/dating-after-drinking?utm_term=.woKL7ZoZG#.whrbKakay

Episode 47: Writer Kayla Rae Whitaker on Imposter Syndrome, Pencils, and Peanuts

Episode 46: Kentucky Poet Laureate Frederick Smock on Fossils, Travel, and Paying Attention

This week's show was recorded live at the Writers' Block Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, in October 2017. Kentucky's Poet Laureate, Frederick Smock, was my guest — we talked about how children are natural poets, how his father taught him to be a professional "noticer," and what writers can learn from rejection.

Episode 46: Kentucky Poet Laureate Frederick Smock on Fossils, Travel, and Paying Attention

Holiday Rebroadcast: Pastor Joe Phelps on Loss, Family, and Bruce Springsteen

This week, we're sharing a rebroadcast of one of our most popular episodes: a conversation with Joe Phelps, pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. He's recently announced his retirement after 20 years of service. After nearly 50 episodes of Five Things, I can honestly say that this is one of the conversations that has most stuck with me.

Holiday Rebroadcast: Pastor Joe Phelps on Loss, Family, and Bruce Springsteen

Episode 45: Fred Johnson on Shakespeare, Running, and PTSD

My guest this week has been in situations that I can only imagine — four deployments with the US Army will put you in harm's way on a regular basis. Fred Johnson is a retired Army colonel who now describes himself as a "professional volunteer," as he's trying to find his path after nearly 30 years in the military. He's written a book about his experience, called Five Wars: A Soldier's Journey to Peace — he says the fifth war was after he came home and tried to reintegrate into civilian life. I first met Fred when he came to tell a story at The Moth StorySLAM, which I produce here in Louisville. I was struck by his openness and clarity, and his very public search for healing. He told stories about cultural differences in Afghanistan, about the mistake he feels he made in Iraq, and about the moment when he knew he needed help.

Episode 44: Writer Amy Bammel Wilding on Goddesses and Community

This week's guest on Five Things is writer and community leader Amy Bammel Wilding. She's the creator and lead facilitator at Red Tent Louisville, which she describes as a gathering place "dedicated to witnessing and inspiring the reawakening of the Sacred Feminine." A collection of guided meditations that Wilding wrote for gatherings at the Red Tent has just been released as a book, "Wild & Wise: Sacred Feminine Meditations for Women's Circles and Personal Awakenings."

Episode 43: Writer Victor LaValle on Comic Books, Metallica, and Malcolm X

The first Victor LaValle book I ever read was his 2012 novel, "The Devil In Silver." It's a masterful blend of horror and social commentary — horror's not typically my thing but I loved it. LaValle has won all kinds of awards and accolades, and his latest book, "The Changeling," not only received glowing reviews, but it's in development for a television series. His recent comic book, "Victor LaValle's DESTROYER," is a continuation of the Frankenstein story with a Black Lives Matter twist. When I was in New York over the summer, I reached out to see if Victor would be up for doing an episode of Five Things, and he graciously welcomed me to the apartment he shares with his wife and two kids. We sat at the kitchen table on a sunny morning and talked.

Episode 43: Writer Victor LaValle on Comic Books, Metallica, and Malcolm X

Episode 42: Dawn Howard on Political Transformations and Facing Fears

This week's guest on Five Things is an accountant who's finally figured out how to use her skills to support the things she believes in. Let me explain — Dawn Howard has experienced a political transformation over the past few years. She describes herself as a former Republican who is now "super-left," as she says, and she says that change started when she broke her ankle while living in Ireland. (Listen to the episode to learn how that makes sense together.) She recently quit her job as a corporate tax professional to open her own consulting firm, and that led her to becoming a paid staffer for a political campaign: she's now the finance director for Dan Canon's Congressional run in Indiana's 9th District. Dawn is a friend of mine, and that's why I knew she'd be great in this context — she's unusually open about her challenges in life, and she talks about serious things in a really smart, funny way. I'm so glad to share her story here.

Episode 41: Actress Reshma Shetty on Hard Work, Motherhood, and a Stuffed Penguin

Reshma Shetty and I met nearly 20 years ago in Lexington, Kentucky, when she had just moved to town for graduate school in music and I was working at the university. Later, we both lived in New York City, right around the corner from each other. I helped her practice her lines when she had an audition for a TV show that turned out to be her first big gig: the role of Divya Katdare on USA Network's Royal Pains. That show has now ended after 8 seasons, and Reshma had her first child a couple of years ago, so life is looking different for her these days.

Episode 41: Actress Reshma Shetty on Hard Work, Motherhood, and a Stuffed Penguin

Episode 40: NPR's Sam Sanders on Trying New Things and Being a Grownup

NPR reporter Sam Sanders was one of the breakout stars of the 2016 election season. He's now the host of his own podcast (and radio show), called It's Been A Minute, in which he talks with newsmakers, artists, and other reporters about everything from music and television to a round-up of the week's news. It's been described as a show for people who are exhausted by the news but can't stop — which probably describes many of us these days. I was delighted to talk with Sanders recently, although he was in a studio at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and I was in a studio in Louisville so we couldn't see each other. He sent me a couple of pictures of some of his items, including a compost bin that was part of a story he did very early in his career, a hat that looks like a pizza (yep), and his couch.

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