Tuesday, February 2, 2010
TTT - BAD LISTENING OF THE THIRD KIND
But don't worry. I have another confession. A worse one. People who don't know me all that well...who know me from work which is the same thing as church...or who know some of my other interests...British Victorian novels, embroidery, etc. would think - "Ah....she will confess that she is addicted to monks singing, or Vivaldi....that's Annie!" But, no. I rather wish it were Annie, but it is not.
Annie's not-so-secret vice is - talk radio. And, it may even run so far as an addiction. For example, type an "n" on this laptop and you will instantly be connected to National Public Radio. Check the setting of my radio at work - Michigan Public Radio. The radio by my bed: Michigan Radio, in the kitchen - the same. Yes; I am an All Things Considered addict; a Morning Edition obsessed, On the Media, Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, This American Life - listening weirdo. You are thinking, "No; this is how she gets her news. This is very, very educated." How I wish.
Well, you are right that this is how I get my news. Unfortunately life got too busy for the morning paper, which was OK since the morning paper turned into a six-page advert. But, if you were with me, as my family is - you might wonder why I needed to get the same news five or six times a day. I'll get up at six and listen to Morning Edition, and turn on the radio on at work and listen happily to the very same segments. And, when it comes to the weekend - I've probably been known to listen to one episode of Car Talk five or six times over a two-day period.
I really do learn a lot this way. I really do adore public radio. The programs on This American Life are insightful, moving, amazing radio by anyone's light. (Truly, if you have never listened to this program, you must give it a try.) But, it is all much more than this.
Somehow, listening to talk radio takes in-hand the chaotic portion of my mind and busies it so that the part of my mind that I need for simple tasks can function. For example, there are some sorts of work that I am pretty-much incapable of doing without talk radio on - cooking, for example, housework....any sort of cleaning or tidying, ironing, etc. If I try to do it in silence....well, I just can't. I think I must feel a lot like a hyper-active child feels. I cannot focus, I cannot decide what to do; I do one thing twice, get distracted and start doing things I didn't intend to do, leave important bits out (like putting soap in the washer) I stand and stare. Even as a child I learned that I could not do stupid busy-work homework without the TV on.
The confession part of this is still coming, though....none of the above seems too awful. The problem is that occasionally I cannot FIND any decent talk radio. One of my stations goes to classical music, the other won't come in, the third is an AM station and shuts down at 6 p.m. What do do!!??!! I do have to admit that talk radio that gets my dander up will not do - so the typical "talk radio" (Rush and so forth) is not in the running, ever. But I need calming, talking voices. This was my position, for example, last night as I was attempting to make dinner. Everyone was hungry; late night at Religious Education...I was exhausted, the poor dinner fixings sit on the counter while I struggle to find TALK RADIO! Can't start cooking without TALK RADIO! There is NO TALK RADIO....!!! We can't have dinner! There is no talk radio!!! I'm about to tell Craig that he must get off the computer - because that is the only way....I'll have to go to streaming NPR. But! Finally, oh, thank Heaven! Talking voices! It is the Michigan State University station - not the public radio station, but the student-run station - and here are two college boys talking about sports. Yahoo! I don't even quite know what sports they were talking about but talking they were....and dinner preparation could proceed.
I've listened to money shows, gardening shows, home repair shows, medical help shows. When we lived in Heppner, Oregon there was some show where the announcer would read want ads and notices for things like lost cows, seed corn for sale, etc. I'll listen to it all. But, if you want to know the real truth - the thing I've most enjoyed, which I cannot get now at all for some reason is - Doctor Laura. I'm just going to hang my head and leave it there.