National Public Radio has been a staple of my life for as long as I can remember. It started when I was very young, listening to All Things Considered in the car on the way to soccer practice. Before long I was more familiar with Daniel Schorr’s voice than my own grandparents. When I was a latchkey kid in middle school I filled the empty house with Fresh Air every afternoon. In high school I was so mad when I heard they were forcing Bob Edwards out of his job I wrote a letter threatening to withdraw my contribution.

In college, NPR is the only reason I ever clean my room, do dishes, or make dinner. I’m so conditioned for background noise that tidying without listening is unthinkable. Salem’s local station has a terrible format–all classical music and no news or talk–so I don’t listen to the actual radio anymore. Instead I just stream it off my computer. Most days I go for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, but every now and then it’s nice to throw on Talk of the Nation and listen to crazies like me call in and question experts.

Right now I’m listening to Garry Kasparov on Fresh Air.