Monday, February 02, 2009

Growing old

I remember being 9 and listening to the radio on Saturday mornings to the Victor Khoo and Charlie show ( I tried to google this to link it but I couldn't find anything substantial). I used to wish that I'd get picked for the call in part of the show. I don't really know why but it sounded cool to a 9 year old. So, I'd listen wistfully at the children who did get the chance to talk to Victor and more importantly Charlie.

Then when I was 12, I used to listen to the radio because my friends and I were sure that the radio station got our dreamy song requests for the soppy songs of that time like "Because I love you" by Shakin Stevens and Bananarama's Love in the First Degree and many others. Once again, we were sorely disappointed. I wondered why some guy in Serangoon North got his song played for some girl he saw at the bus stop but why I didn't get mine played to wish the track team luck. Now I'm guessing because a) it was rigged or b) mine was just less exciting.

When I was in college, radio got better. It played things I wanted to listen, it stopped disappointing me, perhaps because I didn't expect much from it except for it to be playing 24 hours and by then, it did. There were also more radio stations, like "Class 95" that played better music than Perfect 10 which was cool to a secondary school kid but too noisy to study to when I was pretending to be an adult.

Radio became integral to me. Not because of anything else but the fact that I needed white noise. I couldn't work in an environment where you could hear a pin drop. I couldn't work in libraries, especially those old dome like ones. I'd fall asleep in 10 minutes. I couldn't drive without the music because the car sounded too still. Even when I was in hospital delivering the twins, I made sure that I had loaded my Ipod with enough music to get me through the couple of days. At work, I tried Net radio, I tried the I-tunes radio as well but that frustrated me everytime the connection buffered or streamed or reset itself. Once again, I gave it up.

The only thing left was having the radio on in the car for company or to keep me awake. It didn't really bother me what was playing as long as the DJ's weren't too inane and the music was passable. But the problem was indeed that the DJ's were either too inane or spoke extremely bad English and the music being played was obviously tracks played on a rather limited loop, even when the radio station prided itself in playing hits from the 80's and 90's. This was a station that was supposed to have been voted most popular and most listened to but it was rapidly failing to provide for my very basic needs. So, Packrat and I started station surfing on our rather limited bandwidth and amazingly, we found one that played music that we actually listened to, sang to and actually enjoyed.

Unfortunately, it branded us. It branded us as old because it was the oldies station that we were being drawn to. For a second, we wondered if we had become really old and frumpy. Then we decided, whatever. If we enjoyed the music, if we recognised the music and if it wasn't just noise that was on for the sake of needing noise, why not? We discovered that there was some white noise that was more enjoyable than other types of white noise.

We came back from Vegas spoilt for good white noise. Even though we were in the gambling and possibly sin city of the US, we had Air One, a Christian Rock station that played wonderful Christmas music. That was when this current phase of disappointment began. Coming back and realising that the radio stations weren't playing any Christmas music and still played what we began calling suck rock made us grumpy with our current choices. But beggars can't really be choosers. Even though we can get Air One on I tunes radio, we don't have it where we need it the most, in the car. So till we find something better, which is unlikely, we're going to be a bunch of fogeys listening to a goldies station.

Because at least, the music is tolerable, enjoyable and mostly singable too if we needed it to be and that just staves off the disappointment that we are likely to feel at some point.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:18

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