My friend Carrie Ann is so lucky. She volunteered for the KUER fundraiser today and got to meet Doug Fabrizio. Genius! I have a plan to meet Doug Fabrizio too but it is much more involved. I’m going to write a book about a person who wants to meet Doug Fabrizio so badly that she writes a book so she can go on Radio West and talk to Doug. This book I’m writing will actually be pretty good—very post modern and self-referential in a Charlie Kaufman sort of way. I can’t wait. What do you think Doug will ask me?
Or should I just get a babysitter and volunteer to answer phones at the next fundraiser?
I was shocked when I saw how handsome and tan Doug is. I should have guessed with a name like Fabrizio but I had formed a picture in my mind based on his voice. His voice seems neither olive-skinned nor quite so ruggedly handsome. What a treat. I feel so proud of Doug because he is one of the most interesting, well- read, and courteous things in Utah. . . Better than Sundance!
I can’t believe I went for so long not even knowing about NPR. I can still remember the first time I listened to it. It was Diane Rehm’s show on September 11th. My son was 4 years old at the time so I didn’t want to turn on the news for him to see what happened. But I wanted to hear what was going on so I turned on the radio. I bonded with Diane through her coverage of 9/11. It was like she was talking just to me. Her picture shocked me too—she’s much better looking than her voice suggests.
I started listening to Diane all the time every morning. Her show corresponded with times I was in the car dropping off kids and going to work. More than once I was late for the class I teach because I was sitting in my car in the parking lot at the bottom of Maeser Hill listening to one last segment—a woman who interviewed Barbara Streisand (who would have guessed how freely she would speak of Streisand’s weirdness? Jackpot!), Twyla Tharp (I went straight out and bought The Creative Habit to assist me in my plan to meet Doug by writing a book about writing a book about wanting to meet Doug. It’s funny because it’s true.), and Maurice Sendak (which I required my students to listen to and write about . . . here is where my love for NPR borders on obsession).
Coincidentally, around the same time I discovered that Fresh Air came on just as I was picking up my son from school. Suddenly getting to the pick-up lane early to ensure a good spot became a pleasure. I caught the last half of an interview with, as it turned out, Maurice Sendak. He was so dark and depressing I was surprised to find out it was him. Go ahead. Listen to it it online. He'll freak you out because he killed someone when he was little. (Intrigued? So was I.)
Radio West comes on just as I’m fixing lunch and I love it. Love Doug. Love the local topics. I even love the fundraisers. I love the drama and the urgency in Doug’s voice. Sometimes I get tears in my eyes when he invokes Marconi because it’s always apt. Doug never begs for money during the fundraisers. That would be a turn off. He maintains his dignity and instead of [just] making people feel guilty, he inspires us to do our civic duty. It’s ennobling. He often reminds me, “If you’re listening even now during the fundraiser you’re really hooked.” Then I feel embarrassed, but in a good way.
Once when they were working on a Driveway Moments collection, Jenny Brundin said that Doug had been up all night putting it together. I believed her. I wanted to call in and tell Doug that my driveway moment was listening to Jenny Brundin talk about Doug’s tireless effort in editing the driveway moments collection but I felt embarrassed, not in a good way.
I’d like to say that listening to NPR makes me a better person but, honestly, I don’t think it does. I'd like to think it makes me more interesting but “I heard it on NPR” does get old and I just don’t have the same delivery (or background music) as Ira Glass. I am, perhaps, too willing to shell out money on books based on Diane’s recommendation alone. I’ve been late to countless Bishop’s Youth Firesides because the rebroadcast of This American Life is at 6pm on Sunday. Sitting alone in my car in the church parking lot apparently doing nothing very intently looks weird. It’s a problem. And even though I’ve often been jealous of my husband’s ability to tune out the kids’ crying, talking, or whining, if Doug is talking I don’t hear them. I don’t do it on purpose. You see, it’s not a choice—it just happens. When I do miss something he says because of the sheer volume of whatever might be going on in my house or my car I find myself wishing so badly that they had a tivo-type device for radios. I know they do have one, of course, because I heard about it on science Friday and I really wish I had one.
I know what riveting means. Gandalf coming back and being white is riveting. BYU football is not. It’s rare that I’m “riveted.” Most of the time my attention is fragmented, divided, or just wandering. NPR is riveting. It’s probably even a little too riveting for me