Monday, November 28, 2005

Radio To The Power of X

I had a birthday. A grownup birthday, in which I received a grownup toy: XM Radio. My husband installed it in my car yesterday, and I was excited. I got ready this morning thinking about all the music and talk radio I was going to listen to. All the commercials I was going to miss.

And then I got in the car.

XM Radio is a LOT of radio. There are a lot of choices, and within those choices are a lot of decisions. The power was a little bit overwhelming. Take the traffic channel. I am used to traffic reports which sound like this:

"There is a backup on the inner loop before the Wilson Bridge. Don't go that way."

On XM, the traffic report is significantly more detailed:

"Two cars are stalled on the 8 mile marker on 95 Northbound, right before the mixing bowl. One of the guys has on a red shirt from Abercrombie. There are seventeen side streets being cleaned between D and M streets in the District. And oh yeah, your neighbor to the immediate right can't start her car so you need to back out carefully."

I listened to the condition of seemingly every road between my house and 5th Avenue. In New York. Then I decided to listen to music. The choices! I could listen to 80's Music. Or Love Songs. Or Love Songs Made In The 80's. Love Songs Made In The 80's By Foreign Musicians. The All Foreigner, All The Time, Channel.

Of course I'm kidding. Of the nearly two hundred channels, none of them is devoted to Foreigner. Ahem.

It's a pretty obvious conclusion: this is radio for men. The same guys who flip through channels on the living room sofa. I will approach it the same way I approach the nine hundred channel digital cable we have in the house.

I'll find four channels I like, play them incessantly, and hide anything resembling a remote control in the glove department.

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