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This Wonderful Life

May 28, 2009

This Wonderful Life: I heart the radio. A lot.

Of all the 20th-century media out there (newspapers, television, magazines), radio is the one I would miss the most if it completely disappeared. With the proliferation of iPods and other MP3 players, radio stations are struggling to keep listeners. Why take a chance on the radio when you can plug in all your favorite music or listen to a podcast or book?



Don’t even get me started on in-car DVD players that make it possible to spend a full day on the road with your children without ever having to actually have a conversation with them.



Not me. I love the radio. I love the pure, random magic of it. I love that I’m not in control of it.



One minute I am back in 10th grade, earnestly singing along with Simple Minds, imploring the universal ``You’’ not to forget about me.



The next minute, I am listening to The Pointer Sisters’ ``Slow Hand,’’ and envisioning a compilation CD entitled ``Mid-1980s Divorcee Rock.’’ My mind wanders to the possibilities of the playlist. The Pointer Sisters’ ``Slow Hand,’’ Juice Newton’s ``Queen of Hearts,’’ anything at all from the Barbra Streisand/Barry Gibb collaboration known asá ``Guilty,’’ which included such unforgettable divorcee classics as ``A Woman in Love,’’ ``What Kind of Fool’’ and the title track, ``Guilty.’’



To quote: ``And we got nothing to be guilty of Our love will climb any mountain near or far, we are And we never let it end...’’



If you were a child of a 1980s divorce (or a participant in one), that song might just be stuck in your head all day. Sorry about that.



Radio doesn’t even have to be good to be satisfying. I love the fact that, although I would never in a million years seek out the song `Easy Lover,’’ by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey, I can almost certainly count on hearing it on some central New York radio station or another if I spend any time in the car.

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This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009