Tuesday, September 21, 2004

good listeners

Although I don't have to be at work until early this afternoon, I rolled out of bed early enough to catch the morning sun in my living room, slanting across the floors and actually hitting my suncatchers, makin' little rainbows. I turned on CBC and listened to a whole bunch of people on The Current proposing phonetic spelling systems for English. spook followed me around, spelling things ("Neighbour. N-A-B-O-R.") and giggling, while I made faces and protested. ("Work. W-U-R-K." "You're just trying to hurt me now!") For years, my clock radio alarm was set to CBC radio one. Every morning started with CBC, and whatever they had cooked up for that day, with whoever was hosting the show. I have a whole set of memories linked to radio listening.

One afternoon, during a particularly hot summer when Shannon and I spent part of every day lying on the kitchen floor with the drapes pulled down, she got to her feet and stomped out of Peter Gzowski's interview with Alexa McDonough. She disappeared down the hallway. "Call me when he stops condescending to her!" she yelled from her room at the other end of the apartment. I did, but only after they had moved on to the next segment.
In the middle of a sleepy Sunday morning newscast, Rick sat bolt upright in bed, staring wildly. "Why is the legislature sitting?!" he asked me, panicked. "My god, is it Monday?!" I had been paying more attention and was able to reassure him that no, they had called an emergency session, and he stopped hyperventilating.
Jennifer wrote me a love letter making reference to my news-broadcast habit. (More addictive than caffeine.)
There are other things...endless complaining about smarmy Michael Enright, some swooning over Avril Benoit (and Meredith informing me frostily that Avril had been rude to her sister)...it's the little things that make up a relationship, right?

Public radio has all but disappeared from my life, and I miss it. Where else can you listen to people all across the country talking about who taught them to bake muffins? Where else does some big tough trucker call in because every morning his dog "sings" along with the This Morning theme song? (The dog did a frighteningly good job of it, actually; he had better pitch than some of the people in my high school choir.) All the weird minutiae makes public radio a haven for geeks, and it's not just ours--This American Life, which I explored via the Internet, makes fabulous radio out of Chicago. Can you imagine an hour about poultry? You don't have to! Visit them at www.thislife.org! I know there are others, all over the world. While there are things I love about TV (the Weather Network's sexy satellite map, for example), it's not the medium I want to take home to mother. Oh, darling radio, can you forgive me for my infidelity? I know we've both changed, but I want to give it another try.

1 comment:

martha said...

I was markedly sad when I found out that Tatsuro the new Bill Richardson is married. Radio lets me idealize so. And who gets listened to more anyways- Ideas or some prof?

But dreaming 'col, you have complained to me of the CBC, that you had had enough of gardens and books.

'col, you are such a good writer.
Keep writing, I mean for more reasons then it entertains me and gives hope.