I did something kind of shitty this morning I totally forgot that I was supposed to be in Brooklyn attending my therapy session with Dr. Bloch. Instead, I was in a bed in Eastern Iowa, tending to a sinus infection, trying to block out the rays of a harsh farming sun. I’d meant, all week, to call Jonathan, but for some reason that was the one thing that slipped through the floorboards of my subconscious.
Due to an overweening guilt, I found myself unable to go back to sleep, so I packed up the trunk, cleaned out the car, and spent a few minutes with Chopin, telling him no, I wasn’t going to leave him in Iowa where he would sold into white slavery.
The trip to Chicago seemed less daunting, not because it’s so short, but because I have continued the tradition of my forefathers and glommed onto the latest technology… that’s right, ladies and gents, Satellite XM Radio!!! Okay, so exclamation points are the domain of those with nothing to say (and eighth grade girls signing yearbooks), but this thing is pretty cool. I got the Sony model for a discount Iowa proves itself good for something – and it’s portable enough to take in the house, which is perfect for Columbia County, a town that considers itself lucky when the Christian Rock station comes in clear.
It’s the size and shape of 2800 baud modem circa 1993, and the antenna looks like something you put inside nice shoes to keep their shape. Reception is a bit of a problem if you ham-n-egg it like I have – there’s no way I’m mounting that thing on the outside of the car whilst living in New York. You might as well put up a giant sign that says “steal our cool stuff” and leave the doors unlocked. For now, the antenna sits on the dash and tends to slip out of reception whenever you pass a truck closely on the right, which can be rectified by giving truckers a wide berth. I have some other experiments pending.
As for channels, there are about 140 of them, ten of which I like, which is a damn good batting average for me. I heard Midnight Oil on the “80s Alternative” station, a cool version of “Stoned Soul Picnic” on the 60s station, a discussion about Ogg (“mp3s better watch out”) on CNET, and the news in London on BBC. They even played “You’re the Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia somewhere on there, which won my heart right away. Although my tireless searches through late night AM radio stations has become a lost art, this thing will keep me awake on long road trips, something especially meaningful to my family.
Rocking to “Wig” by the B-52s, I pulled into downtown Chicago, had a joyful reunion with my beloved Tessa, and went out to dinner with a number of my Carolina friends. The reunion of my fratbagger extended family begins in earnest tomorrow, and even Chip will be there!