My Rider Demands No Brown M & Ms, Imported Versace Towels, and Awesome Entrees

This will be overkill for those of you with whom I’m friended on Facebook. Apologies. Feel free to shift into Long-Suffering Mode here.

However, since there are still twelve people on the planet who don’t have Facebook accounts, I thought I’d share one of my recent happinesses here, too.

A few weeks ago, I received a message from the producer of a show on Duluth Public Radio (affiliated with the University of Minnesota-Duluth), saying he’d gotten my name from a mutual friend and asking if I’d be willing to read something from my blog on the program called Women’s Words. This program airs twice each Sunday afternoon, embedded into a music show featuring lots of Shawn Colvin, Ani DiFranco, Lucy Kaplansky, Dar Williams.

If you like your Birkenstocks and are adept at braiding (hair, rugs, what have you), you should tune into KUMD for the Women’s Music Show. To perk up the mindful folk tunes, a mini-program called Women’s Words is inserted into breaks between Neko Case and Fiona Apple. Usually, Women’s Words features Minnesota women who are poets. But a blog essay? The producer thought that would work just fine.

He gave me complete leeway with my selection, which meant I could choose from any of roughly 500 past blog posts. Knowing full well I could spend days mired down in making a choice, I just scrolled through the last few months on the blog and decided to go with this fairly-recent post. It was relatively free of swearsies and references to private parts, so it fit the bill.

Of course, once I printed it and did a test read, the thing clocked in at over 8 minutes.

I do like to go on.

You may have noticed.

The program generally runs 3-4 minutes, so there was some whittling to do. After a few hours of editing (changing the title alone cut off nineteen seconds), having cut out every extraneous thought, word, and bit of nonsense, I had it down to about 4.5 minutes.

Would this fly, I asked Producer?

Yes. Yes, it would.

The next step was to get myself to the studio on the appointed day, at the appointed hour. Anyone with any familiarity with me will know that this was the biggest challenge of the entire project. Not only can I get lost between my bed and the front door, I’d be eleven minutes late even if you walked me there yourself, holding my hand.

Fortunately, I found the UMD campus, found the building, found the basement studio, and found the tall, bearded producer. We sat and chatted for a few minutes before he migrated to his glass booth. After clapping on huge headphones and making sure my microphone was at a 45 degree angle to my mouth, we talked a bit more to each other in hushed, controlled voices.

“Hey, I feel like this is an SNL skit about public radio,” I told him. “Have you seen those? With Alec Baldwin?”

“Do you need me to do a bit about ‘Schweaty Balls’ now?” Producer responded.

“Only if I can pretend I’m a guest who’s made muffins. Here is my muffin. Isn’t it fluffy? Everyone loves a fluffy muffin. Andddddd scene!”

With that kind of warm-up, how could I not be ready to read?

Truth is, I’m pretty much always ready to read aloud. My dream job would be Audio Book Reader, in fact. I couldn’t do all the accents or keep track of the characters, necessarily, but I would toss in an occasional brogue followed, inexplicably, by some drunken hillbilly. Give me two minutes, and listeners would no longer be invested in the plot but, rather, would be willing the random appearance of a helium-voiced elf.

Anyhow, I read. And it was fun. With digital editing, Producer could fix any word stumble or verbal biff. When I finished, there was one word that needed re-recording, and then I was out of there. Adrenalized. Smiling. Wishing for a career in radio, even as a sound effects lady. I make a mean Horsie Clip-Clop by slapping my legs, and my Wind in the Pines mouth blowing makes listeners feel like they’re out for a moonlit ski.

So here you go. If you’re interested, or if you haven’t listened already, this is your chance:

 “Ab-solutely” on KUMD’s Women’s Words









13 responses to “My Rider Demands No Brown M & Ms, Imported Versace Towels, and Awesome Entrees”

  1. Meg Avatar

    Very nice; very nice indeed. An excellent choice for the program, methinks. I feel like I’ve had a cyber- “brush with Greatness” ala David Letterman!

  2. Lil Avatar

    Congratulations! I really need to get to FB more, I have it and yet had no idea.

  3. Chantal Avatar

    Oh Joselyn that is so fun! I loved hearing you read and as an extra added bonus I needed that reminder to push myself. I have been in one of those “sit on the couch, stuff food in my face, ignore the alarm” kind of moods the last few weeks. Micro-gains and glacial progress indeed.

  4. Erin Avatar

    I could listen to you read all day! You have a lovely, soothing voice. I loved that particular post. Good choice!

  5. Choochoo Avatar

    Very awesome. You should start selling your autographs on eBay right away. No, seriously.

  6. Choochoo Avatar

    And I totally hadn’t heard that until now. I should probably spend more time on Facebook. Doing something other than play monsteryard, that is.

  7. Secret Agent Woman Avatar

    I had actually listened (although a couple of days after it aired). Nicely done!

  8. lime Avatar

    great choice. rock on with our own strong self!

  9. Vicky Avatar

    That was great – even though I’d read that particular post, I sat through it again and listened, enthralled. Couldn’t you record all your blog posts like that – I love being read to!

  10. A Cuban In London Avatar

    Anyone who plays Fiona Apple AND Neko Case on their show has my utmost respect. Plus, me dig some Ani Di Franco, too. I will definitely be clicking on that link. I’m not surprised you were asked. If I were a DJ I would be on the blower to you in no time! 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  11. kmkat Avatar

    Did this hit the Twitterverse, too? I remember something about it but ::deep, deep shame:: did not follow up. Now that I have the link (emailed it to myself) I will listen later today.

    You are The Greatest!

  12. pia Avatar

    You were wonderful and made me feel so guilty!

  13. magpie Avatar

    so cool to get to HEAR you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *