RADIO KILLED THE VIDEO STAR
On Wednesday nights I teach until 9PM, race home, eat, bathe, and go to bed so I can get up to teach from 6-9AM on Thursday.
This week my slumber was interrupted at 3:30AM by a thunderstorm.
I could not go back to sleep. In addition to the thunder, my right ear was throbbing.
Nor would my jaw close properly when I peeled myself out of bed at 5.
I went to the studio. I taught. I tried my jaw every once in awhile to see if it would close.
It would not.
After class I called Dr. Dreyfus for a consultation.
He too thought it was probably an ear infection.
Or a toothache.
Or a sinus infection. (I've been using the neti pot daily since the teacher training).
"Don't f--k around," he said. "Go to the doctor."
The doctor, who is from Hyderabad, saw me at 1PM.
It was indeed an upper respiratory + ear infection.
She asked me if there had been any other symptoms.
"Uh. Well. Not really. I've been kind of tired lately, that's all."
Since I was officially sick, and a major winter storm was on the way, I didn't think I could follow through on plans to see the live, on-stage version of This American Life.
I had planned to take the train downtown, teach from 5:30-6:30 and then walk many blocks through 40mph winds to see the show.
Since I was officially sick, I drove.
Afterwards I found myself driving towards the lovely Chicago Theater in the heart of downtown.
"If I find a parking space, I'll go," I thought.
I found a space.
The line to get in went around the block. Literally.
So I went to Borders and read in Venus Zine that someone had stolen my idea for Punk Rock Yoga.
When I came out the line had not moved.
So I went upstairs to visit my friend Jim D. at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
I also ran into some students who were playing hookey from yoga.
I went outside. The line for TAL was still long.
I waited and watched the police congregate in the middle of State Street: one was in a car, one was on a bicycle, and one was on a Segway.
All were fat.
Finally I got in.
The show began.
It was all about television.
Sarah Vowell was the same as always. David Rakoff killed.
Ira -- who gave his apartment to The New Orleans Evacugees a couple of years ago -- got booed when he talked about his recent move from Chicago to New York City.
Things dragged even more when he brought out the director of the new This American Life TV show and proceeded to talk and talk and talk with him.
But the tide turned when he showed excerpts from the TV show, which debuts on the 22nd.
It is amazing.
It is visually stunning.
It brought tears to my eyes.
And it was an excerpt.
Still, I won't be ordering Showtime anytime soon.
But after that I had to leave.
When I came out I saw that a crowd gathered across the street, in front of ABC-7's new studios.
They were watching the live broadcast of the evening news.
But there weren't that many of them.
For once, watching radio was better than TV.
Or, as Ira recently told the Chicago Sun-Times, "...the network tells us that the audience we'll get on TV is half the audience we get on public radio. Public radio is so much larger than any cable TV network."