I believe I’ve mentioned before that over the past year or so, I’ve become a big fan of NPR and its local station WAMU. On Saturday, when I was driving home after the Washington Sinfonietta’s concert, I had the radio on (I think it was “All Things Considered”) and I got a very pleasant little shock. A woman was talking about her comfort food tradition involving spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk, and how it stemmed from someone sending a can to her and her mother. (And how she would ask her mother about the war in Hungary every time she was allowed one of the spoonfuls.)
I was thinking to myself, “Where have I heard this story before?” and then a split-second before they mentioned the storyteller’s name, I realized where. It was the lovely Miriam Katin, whom I know through comics. She’d actually turned that story into “The Seven Sweet Spoonfuls of Understanding” which ran in one of the Monkeysuit anthologies. Even hitting to home some more, it was seeing her comics there that made me comment in a review of mine that she should really submit something to one of Drawn & Quarterly’s anthologies. Which she did… and not only had a story published there (which was then nominated for an Eisner Award the following year!), but her debut graphic novel We Are On Our Own as well. It’s a small, small world!
(You can listen to the story online at this link. It’s well worth it!)
And secondly, I was looking at WAMU’s schedule today and saw a note that they were making minor schedule adjustements in 2009. I clicked on that link, and the changes were mostly on early Sunday mornings, in part to fill the hole from two cancelled shows: The Infinite Mind, and Calling All Pets. And I have to admit that my first response to the latter being cancelled was, “Awwwww!” Except that, well, I never actually listened to more than the last five minutes of it. It was usually what was playing as I drove to my running group early in the morning.
It was a split second later that I then realized that what I really cared about was not so much that Calling All Pets was on, but rather, that Car Talk was not on. Seriously, I think I wrote off NPR for years because every time I turned it on, it was the weekend and it was Car Talk. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I’m sure there are people reading this who listen to it every week, and to them I say, “Better you than me.”