Posts from January 2014
posted Jan 31 2014 7:24PM
In October of 2007, I was hired as a part-time air personality on WAYZ. My first day of work was training. I was to join the jock on air and observe. The jock was Tori Anderson, and it was the first time I had ever met her. I was immediately struck by how welcoming and friendly she was. Whenever I talk with anyone about Tori, the word “nice” inevitably comes up. But in this case it is completely accurate. She’s one of the nicest people I have ever known. That first day she answered my every question, regardless of how inane, with patience and a smile. I went home that day knowing I had just met one of those people who changes your life for the better just by being a part of it.
For the better part of three years I was lucky enough to be part of a WAYZ lineup with Tori, Tiny, Katy, and AJ. Oftentimes when you’re in the middle of an extraordinary time in your life you don’t know it until after. But I knew this was special. I was lucky enough to be a part of this exemplary group of people, all of whom I number among my closest friends. All the while Tori led the way. She was our den mother, the person who never had anything negative to say, who always found the positive in everything, and who taught us all by example how to handle any situation with grace and that love is the right answer to just about any question.
We had known for a while that Tori’s departure was coming. Her scleroderma was making it more and more difficult to work and to commute. We all supported Tori’s decision; we love her, and as incredibly difficult as it is to watch someone you love suffering, it is of course even worse for them. And so we all did our best to be positive and focus on the fact that she would be more comfortable and in less pain. We did our best to ignore our own feelings of impending loss. Even so, on the day of her last broadcast, we all gathered around her as she read her statement to you, the listeners, we were all, to a person, choked up. It was a very emotional moment.
And just like that she was gone. She did come out for our company holiday party in January, and we all extended open invitations to drop by and sit in with us on air anytime. And hopefully that will happen. She may be gone from our airwaves, but she is and will always be a treasured member of our family. Like I said before, she is one of those people who changes your life for the better just by being a part of it. And I’ve spoken to countless members of our audience who have related to me their Tori stories. And every last one of them told me what a wonderful person she was, how she always had time to talk, and had a kind and encouraging word for everyone. This was no act; it was and is 100% genuine. In this cynical day and age it’s easy to assume that everyone is bitter and angry. But Tori is not. Many people in her position would be, and it would be hard to blame them. But not Tori. She coined the motto “Scleroderma Sucks,” and it does, but she has not allowed it to define her. She has handled her condition with grace and dignity and she serves as an inspiration to everyone whose lives she’s touched, either in person or on the radio.
I can safely speak for Tiny, Katy, and AJ when I tell you it’s been an honor to work with Tori, and even more of an honor to know her. We were lucky enough to be all together for three years, and I’ll look back fondly on those three years for the rest of my life.
posted Jan 27 2014 4:56PM
I realize I've said it a million times, but it really annoys me when people complain about the cold in the middle of winter. Anyone who has lived on the east coast their entire life knows what the weather is going to be like in the winter.
This year has been no different. Well, actually it's been somewhat colder than usual. In Hagerstown, WAYZ's city of license, the average high temperature for January is 38°F, the average low is 21°. So it's been colder than the average low for several days over the past few weeks.
Now some people think that means we'll have an early spring. Honestly, I don't know where they're getting that idea. It's not as though there's a quota for cold days and if we get them out of the way early the rest of the year we'll have warm weather.
Besides, as predictable as winters usually are, summers are usually just as predictable. The thing that drives me up a wall is that many times the people complaining about the cold will turn around and complain about the heat as soon as summer comes. They're never happy!
The thing I've come to realize is that we can't do anything about the weather except endure it. What's the alternative? Never go outside again. Or move. So we deal with it. But take heart: the winter won't last forever; it will eventually end, just as every other winter has. Just as every other season has. I find that to be very comforting. Cheers.
posted Jan 24 2014 4:57PM
The snow panic is setting in again. So, because I'm so totally over it, I'll be writing about something else today.
Are you a gamer? I'm not. At least not anymore. When I was heavily into video games, that term had not yet been coined. When I was a little kid, back in the early eighties, video games were in their relative infancy. Home gaming systems were primitive, and mostly held to the standards set by Atari's 2600.
My family owned a 2600 and I logged quite a few hours on it. But what I really loved to do was play arcade games. When I was a kid in Philadelphia, there weren't any arcades in my neighborhood. But there were quite a few corner stores. Most of them had at least one or two arcade games on the premises.
The most popular games in my neck of the woods were Pac-Man, Asteroids, and Galaga. Nearly every Mom & Pop shop within walking distance of my house had at least one of them, and many had two. The ones that had all three usually saw the most foot traffic. This was a blessing and a curse to the proprietors, because it brought the kids in, but most of the time they didn't buy much, if anything. Personally I tried to do my part, especially at the stores I liked (i.e. the ones who didn't throw me out for not spending enough). At those stores I would use a dollar of my allowance (six bucks a week when I was 8-9 years old) and buy a soda and a soft pretzel. It worked out perfectly, because the soda (in 16oz bottles) cost 75 cents, and the pretzel cost 25. The remaining five dollars usually ended up getting broken into quarters and plowed into the video games.
I was pretty good at Pac-Man. I should have been; I got a lot of opportunities to practice. Every Friday night my family went to eat at Pizza Hut. The Pizza Hut had a Pac-Man game, and since there was usually a line, my parents would feed me a continual stream of quarters to keep me occupied so they wouldn't have to listen to me whining that I was bored. My sister usually opted to plug her quarters into the jukebox.
I was better at Asteroids. This, too, was not surprising. The closest corner store to my house had an Asteroids machine. And only Asteroids. So I would keep an eye on the place to figure out when the machine was usually not in use, and I'd while away those hours there, spending quarter after quarter for the privilege of blasting space rocks. And since the store was within sight of home, I would always hear my mom when she called me to dinner.
But the game I was the best at was Galaga. There was something about that game that I found endlessly fascinating, to the point that on more than one occasion I plowed my entire allowance into it, then went running home to ask for more money to do the same. If my parents were preoccupied, they might give me my whole allowance a second time, having forgotten they'd already given it to me. I'm ashamed to admit I pulled off that particular stunt several times. Or I'd get the money from one, then get it from the other. That particular variation didn't work as well and got me in trouble a few times. But always after I'd spent it. Of course, the punishment usually ended up being that I wouldn't get any allowance the following week. And so I'd have to stand there and watch my friends play, which was its own unique form of torture. If you'd asked me then, I'm sure I would have preferred to have been grounded. But I couldn't tear myself away. What if I missed something?
Eventually my interest in video games waned. Games and game systems grew more and more advanced, but I soon realized that the basic concept of many of the games hadn't changed that much, which is why I didn't pester for an NES when that came out. Of course, I did play my friends' NES' every chance I got. But soon that too got old. Nowadays I see commercials for games on TV and they look more like movie trailers.
My parents were relieved when I stopped obsessing over video games. Their relief ended when I asked for a drum kit for Christmas.
posted Jan 22 2014 6:57PM
I just came in from outside and I can't feel my fingers yet. I can whack them against the wall and I feel nothing. NOTHING!!! So, yeah, totally over this winter thing now. NEXT!
Anecdote: I was out running an errand this afternoon and I ran out of windshield washer fluid. And as you know when there's snow on the ground, there will be salt and other grime on the roads. And that stuff gets all over your windshield right quick. Before long my windshield was filthy and since I was travelling west I was driving right into the sun. The sunlight refracted through the dirt on the glass and I couldn't see a thing. At the first safe opportunity I pulled into a gas station and used the squeegee to clean the window off. They didn't have washer fluid, or at least I thought they didn't. I didn't see it until I had already cashed out. I'll have to pick some up tomorrow (as I've been saying for weeks; I've been sipping the procrastinatorade). Cheers.
posted Jan 17 2014 12:10AM
Have you gotten used to writing "2014" yet? Usually I get the year wrong until sometime in February. Not this year, though. So that's something, I guess. I don't know why I've traditionally had trouble with it. I think it's because of the length of a year. If a year was shorter, like the length of a month, it would be easier. Think about it: do you ever get the month wrong when you're writing the date on something? No, of course not. Because a month is just the right length. It changes regularly enough that it's easier to keep up with. Just another one of those thoughts keeping me up late with a headache. Cheers.
posted Jan 14 2014 6:17PM
So I'm on line at the checkout in a discount store. There's a woman behind me in line and she keeps making huffy puffy noises and giving me reproachful looks. I don't know why; I've never seen her before in my life. Finally she mutters to the man behind her, "What's he doing? Stocking his whole house?"
So my big crime was that I was buying too much? Er, excuse please? You're in that much of a hurry that you're mad at me for buying too much? And let's be honest here. I didn't have three cartfuls. I had the basics, stuff you go to the discount store for: TP, PT, glass cleaner, laundry detergent, dish soap, sponges, pitstop. Nothing extravagant. So I rang out, collected my bags and left. On my way out the door I looked back and she was shaking her head at me.
I will never understand this. Rant over. Thanks for reading. Cheers.
posted Jan 10 2014 4:37PM
I don't know about you, but it's definitely cold enough for me. More than enough, in fact. I don't know what it is but I'm pretty much over winter by this point. But hey, there's only two more months of this stuff to go. Yay!
Just about the only positive thing I can say at this point is at least it's not blizzarding. Of course, now that I said that it's going to blizzard. If it does please don't blame me. I have no power over the weather. I wish I did but I don't. I'm suffering through it just like you and everybody else. So, come on spring. Cheers.
posted Jan 6 2014 3:55PM
Like most people, when each new year comes I resolve to do something. And I don't know about you, but most of the time I fail. I don't know what it is, but I feel a lot of pressure to keep my resolutions. And I always kick myself when I break them. And usually once I do that, I'm done. Once the streak ends I lose interest.
I'll give you an example. Last year I vowed to drop a few pounds. I started a diet and exercise regimen. I stuck with it for about two months, which is a long time for me. But then I broke my program. Maybe I ate something I had vowed not to. I skipped a workout. Whatever it was, I did it. After that I couldn't see the point in picking it back up. Which is admittedly kind of a dumb attitude to have.
So my resolution this year is to be a little more sensible about these things. Allow myself a margin for error. Forgive my own mistakes and try not to be too discouraged by them. We'll see how that goes. If you have resolutions, I wish you luck and hope you're able to stand by them to your satisfaction. Cheers.