SOUNDTRACK: WRFF 104.5 FM & WRXP 101.9 FM.
The CD player in my car died. I have been listening to the radio these last few days. At first I was a little excited at the thought of listening to these stations that I so recently discovered. But let me say, when working outside in the yard, you don’t mind what the stations are playing as much as you do when confined in a car.
Everyone hates commercials. True. But I never really noticed how all stations play commercials at the exact same time. So you can’t even switch back and forth between the two stations without someone yelling at you to buy something.
But the real problem comes with the music. Now, these are stations that I like and the bulk of the music they play is very good. However, after being stuck in the car for more than three hour with these two, I’m ready to strangle them. WRFF based in Philadelphia seems to have copped its set list from the venerable Boston radio station WFNX circa 1995. I loved the Toadies back then and was thrilled to hear them again. But I don’t need to hear them every other day, now. And, WRFF loves the Police, almost obsessively. Now, I like the Police quite a lot, but for RFF, The Police seem to be their go-to band. Hey, we’ve got a slot to fill, let’s throw on “Message in a Bottle.” Again. I like the Police, but come on! And, of course, there’s Airborne Toxic Event. I think every time I turn on that station I hear “Some Time Around Midnight.”
And WRXP is just a little too fixated on the classic rock. When I first started listening I was pretty excited at the mix of classic rock and alternative stuff. But at this point, I’ve grown tired of the classic rock, especially since it seems to be all second-tier classic rock. You know, I don’t really need to hear “Money for Nothing” anymore.
And so, I am left scanning the dials. And, I am ashamed to say that it took me a few days to search to the left of the dial, where I know good music normally resides. In my defense, where I used to live didn’t have much access to those stations. But now that I live within shouting distance of Rutgers, there is much to be joyous about.
[READ: May 5, 2009] The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip
I had read this short book about six months ago, but decided to read it again before posting on it. The second time through was a much more satisfying read for some reason.
This story is about a small town called Frip. Frip is on the edge of a cliff above the sea. Lurking in the sea are a multitude of gappers. Gappers are small orange urchin-like creatures. Gappers love goats. Not to eat or to do anything evil to, they just love them. Goats make them happy. Conveniently for the gappers, the three families who live closest to the edge of the cliff all keep goats. Unfortunately for the families and the goats, hundreds of gappers climb on the goats and shriek with delight whenever they cling. This is rather disconcerting for the goats, who stop eating and stop producing milk.
The three families are: our heroine Capable and her dad, her neighbor Mrs Romo and her two boys (who spend their non-gapper moments practicing singing), and Mr & Mrs P and their two girls (who practice looking pretty for boys). The children are employed to go out to the goats eight times a day, scrape the gappers off the goats and throw them back into the sea.
One day, the gappers realize they can go to just one house, instead of all three. So, they choose Capable’s house (which is closest). Now her neighbors have no gappers, but Capable is overwhelmed by them. Capable asks for help but the neighbors tell her that the gappers are her problem now.
When her neigneighbors pay movers to (literally) pick up their houses and move them further and further away from her, what is Capable to do?
This allegorical story is very good. It works on a kids level but is also fun for adults. And, best of all, the illustrations by Lane Smith (who did The Stinky Cheese Man among other stories) are weird and wonderful. They’re creepy and cool. Perfect for kids and grown ups.
There’s a nice moral at the end, but the story is never treacly. It’s a modern day fable that gets more fun with each reading (or telling).