What a wild day. I set my alarm and, forgetting that the radio volume was turned all the way down, slept hard. Thank goodness Chet came snuffling at the door to wake me, or I'd never have made it to Athens. I had a date to record three commentaries for NPR at 9:30. The roads were horrible, thanks to a snowstorm last night, but I hurried out the door. This is not the first time I've been thankful to have a big fat ol' Explorer. It took two hours to make the normally 1 1/2-hour drive, but I plumped down in the studio chair at 9:28, with two minutes to spare.
The engineer who normally records my pieces is out of town, and so is the guy who fills in for him, so the job of connecting to NPR's studio in Washington was left to a brave soul named Steve Skidmore. In the next half-hour, he figured out a brand new computer setup and finally made the ISDN connection that would allow me to read my commentaries in Athens, Ohio, and have them received and recorded in Washington, D.C. Yikes. We were all sweating bullets. NPR studio time is at a premium, and we burned about 40 minutes of it just trying to figure out how to connect. I roared through three commentaries--actually, I think the adrenaline was a help. Then I recorded one that I wrote, on a notebook balanced on my lap, on the drive over to Athens this morning. I never know when they'll air on All Things Considered until the afternoon that it happens, but I'll try to let you know. In the meantime, you can check out the archives if you've got the time or inclination.
I picked up a computer for a friend who'd bought it on e-Bay, making what seemed like a kind of shady deal for a nice Mac on a streetcorner, then raced home to feed the animals and get ready to go out again this evening. Bill and I are playing music at a singer/songwriter's night in Parkersburg, WV. We've got 15 minutes, and we'll sing five or six of his songs. Running through them, I was struck by how good they are. I'm proud of my big sweet guy. Now to jump in the shower, fix dinner for Liam, and climb back in the Explorer. Phew. No time for pretty pictures or poems today!