2001-05-10 10:19 a.m.

Writing/Country Music

This will be quick because we're leaving town for the night and I need to get packed and feed the fish and drink more coffee...

I'm afraid the first one to feel my wrath was my dear old roommate Di in San Antonio, the one that named her one and only child after me (and after the other roommate and with the child's own original first name and the last names of both parents....the kid has FIVE, count 'em, FIVE, names, but one, I am proud to say, is mine). Yes, Di happened to call last night. We don't talk or e-mail frequently at all anymore. She's busy with her family and a hard long-houred job and I'm just busy. But she called last night and heard the news of the demise of my job. And she said, or began to say, the dreaded phrase, "Well, where one door shuts...." I screamed into the phone and was glad she was beyond fist range. I told her she was in for a good slap if she were within flailing range. She perfectly understood. Old roommates have a way of doing that. The good ones anyway, of which I have had exactly two.

Hurried through the rest of my work yesterday afternoon and had interruptions from some of my program directors in other cities. One calling to ask me to do special things and special favors and I just want to say, "Are you out of your mind? I just lost my job and you want me to go the extra mile? You're lucky if you even have me smiling while I do my show!" Of course, I will do what he asks because that is what I do and, in this business, he might own the next company I work for. The other called to check on me and my future and cry with me over the state of radio in American and the state of his station specifically when I am gone and his night jock is gone all at once. I will miss his station most of all because of the Classic Country Cafe I hosted each day through the noon hour. I love nothing more than getting to dust off some great old songs. That is probably the kind of job I need to seek out again.

I rushed off to meet with Abbycat at the 503 for our first writing session with some apprehension but with anticipation too and I am glad to say it went incredibly well. He didn't scare me, he was very supportive and complimentary, which he didn't have to be but it was nice. We each started with the same sentence, drawn randomly from a book, and went off in two different directions for 45 minutes. Amazing what different results come from it. Mine a personal essay about daydreams, his an amazing scene from a short story or novel with a couple in bed. His writing is sharp and witty and I really look forward to more of it, both in his journal and as we write together.

I came home and fast forwarded through the Academy of Country Music awards and cringed in embarassment for 90% of the performers, presenters and especially Leann Rimes. What a horrible country music "face" to show to America. I used to love Dick Clark on American Bandstand. I should just learn to turn off the TV when any awards show is associated with him anymore. When Mark got home I fastforwarded through the show again to show him the worst of it. Doddering old idiots, fat slovenly Oklahoma boys, horse-face butch redheads with a dozen dancers... Is this what country music has come to? Highlights that redeemed some folks: Lee Ann Womack singing (not lip syncing) with no dancers or hoopla and Brad Paisley in that tight T-shirt (okay, I'm not ALL about the art) with a simple band and no pyrotechnics. Pretty grim to have two decent performances on a three hour show.

We're leaving in 26 minutes.

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