My alarm clock plays CDs, but in the past few months it hasn't worked so well. Even CDs that are bought and not burnd begin to skip after about 30 seconds of play. So it's back to the radio stations for me.
NPR was my first choice, but it is simply impossible to wake up to. I'd set my alarm for 7 a.m. and bolt upright with a start at 8:15. It's too bad; I really enjoyed those "This I Believe" essays.
I tried Mix for a while, but I couldn't stand Whoopi's voice, and there was no music. I don't understand why radio stations think the thing to do when people are waking up is play NO MUSIC WHATSOEVER. I don't want to hear from callers in Brooklyn or wherever talking about how much they love Whoopi; I want to hear "Rock Lobster."
97.3 (when it was Everything Alternative and not The Wolf) worked for a few weeks. The morning show, Rover's Morning Glory - whatever. At least they played a song I liked once in a while.
But then one morning I heard Rover talking about some news item where we bombed a Muslim wedding party in Iraq, and people were all pissed off. Rover didn't understand this, because if we couldn't bomb all Muslims everywhere at their weddings, they would surely come back and bomb us just as soon as the vows were exchanged. Evil people, you know, those Muslims.
So I switched to Q102. And this actually worked for a couple of months. Sometimes they'd play a Hinder or Pussycat Dolls song, but I learned to see that as an incentive to get up and turn off the radio. It turned into a system: "Lips of an Angel" meant hit the snooze button; "Buttons" meant get up and put on some coffee already. Plus, I liked that the talk was actually local; one amusing call-in segment on a high-school football widow had several people calling in to say they went to high school with the bride or worked with the groom.
And then one day they broke the news that Wal-Mart, in response to protests from evangelical Christians, is forgoing the word "Holiday" and using "Christmas" signage to refer to its seasonal merchandise.
The three DJs were all thrilled! "That is such good news," they trilled. "Oh, I'm so glad Wal-Mart saw the light on this one," they warbled. "And of course it's not about disrespecting anyone else's religion," they caveated.
Looking back, perhaps I should have called in and asked these DJs why they thought the use of the term "holiday" was so offensive to begin with. "When someone wishes you a 'happy holiday,' do you grit your teeth and think, 'You BASTARD!' " I would say to them.
But right around that time, 94.9 The Sound began its 9,490 nonstop song promotion, so I switched again. Now the worst thing I have to worry about is hearing the Jane's Addiction song "Caught Stealing" for the eighth time since the promotion began. And let me tell you: it's a lot better than dealing with people.
Plus, this morning they played "Rock Lobster."