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Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Music Life: Memories of Going on the Radio and Events With My Friend

I've continued with Thankful November and today I posted:

Day #8 of being thankful. I work with someone at the library majoring in broadcast communications. He was telling me how he's debated joining the community college's radio station and I said to him, "you should! I never was a DJ or radio personality, but I remember being on WCUR a few times when I was hanging out with my friend. She loved being with WCUR and it was a lot of fun." I was telling him about my times with Christina Gates and Deanna Lynne - they were so fun and I'm thankful for the moments Christina invited me to experience the radio life. Always so fun.
I started writing about those times for my book. Hey, they involved travels... especially when we went to see Aaron Carter and Orgy from the tickets we won. I'll be working on those poems later. But, here is a hay(na)ku about my first time visiting the station and being on air. I was a nervous wreck, but it was fun. I might write another poem about Halloween on air. Remember that Christina? We accidentally played "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" and never realized it had to be edited. Oops. But, let me know what you think of this hay(na)ku.

I've been working on my poetry book and decided to write a few poems about going on air with Christina and a few about concerts we went to because we won tickets from the radio station. I managed to write about my first time on air with Christina:

Memories Of My Friend's Radio Life
(A Tale From My First Time On Air, On the Radio)


a long pause
before CDs

loudly, startling others
on chairs,

waiting for interviews
about their

stores, books, photography.
But now,

to rock or country,
their bass

out of the 808s,
headphones muffle

What is suggested?

Her playlist set,
we laugh--

There's something amazing
about rap,

we could play
all night.

the other DJ,
eyes roll--

"You're no fun!"
heavy bass,

Through our laughs,
we're live;

to report news,
or interview,

about our days
around campus,

We learn about
new hobbies,

things not known,
boundless knowledge

the town, city,
or state.

The end nears,
heart racing,

I am nervous,
I speak

about entertaintainment maybe
or whatever

We sign off,
thanking listeners,

the next show,
hard rock,


I remember being so nervous. I did speak a little bit and I had fun. I commuted to West Chester University, but every once in a while in 2012, Christina and her roommate invited me to stay with them during the weekend. They lived in the dorm. Christina was very active with WCUR and both her roommate and I would go on air with her. We both enjoyed it. I remember meeting a lot of the other personalities and discovering new music.

The time Wesley Bear went on air - December 2012.

Christina and EJ.

Christina hosted a program with this one guy - I think he went by EJ. I always thought he was funny and had a cool personality. Their music tastes differed widely - Christina is into country and he was into rock. I know a few times where he would roll his eyes at Christina's choices, but they always compromised. I still love #StupiddFaced - college musicians (or not very well known musicians) were always sending WCUR promo CDs to play that they would always have to play first. I think #StupiddFaced was in a collection from a while back (earlier than 2012 - I hung out at WCUR mostly in 2012) and Christina and her roommate just loved the song. It is catchy, it grew on me, and I ended up buying it on iTunes.

In March 2013, I went to see Aaron Carter with Christina. She was given two tickets to see him and she asked me if I would go with her. I was never a fan of Aaron Carter, but other musicians were going to be there, I thought it would be fun, and agreed to go with her. It was held at the Note, a little music lounge in West Chester that was founded by Bam Margera. It has since closed, but it was a nice venue. I loved the one band called Petrel and the drummer was cute. When Aaron Carter started, I became claustrophobic in the pit and went to the bar area where I met the drummer. Here is the poem:

Serenade to a Drummer

   From the excitement of a winning ticket, we arise
in the moments the setting sun marks night
when the raging winter briefly pauses with snow,
and we can see the stars despite city lights.
From the excitement of a winning ticket, we arive
with a spirit in fan girls' laughing and singing,
my friend has lead me —who knows how?
Yet we get to the front of the line, speakers ringing.
I look forward to sitting down, soft lounge chairs,
trekking through snow, what a challenge on brick!
The cold winds messed our scarves and hair,
but we were finally here, my friend's excitement,
the excitement of those around me, droning and loud;
giggling and gushing swing themselves to the moon-
before we all enter through the door to the black shroud.

   We all gather to the front of the stage,
though dark, we can see guitars and drums—
silhouttes of the musicians setting up;
those that are claustrobic run for rum;
the close quarters overwhelm, but my complaint
dies upon when I lay my eyes on him;—
my heart rushes as my friend whispers,
someone needs a phone number, I give it on whim,
not casting my eye away from the handsome drummer-
I'm not paying attention to the crowd around me,
we lock eyes, I am feint and burning up;
time to cool down, I excuse myself and flee.

   Oh the window's coolness relieves me!
I could have fainted! As a friend, I fail!
But despite the melancholy, I see him
chatting with management, I become pale.
My cheek is hot and pink! Yet I walk to him,
My heart beats loud and fast;—
I introduce myself, we talk forever,
gushing, nervous, a picture at last.

Me and Nick, the drummer from Petrel.

Some back story. While Petrel was performing, I was taking pictures with my cell phone (I didn't bring my professional camera). I thought the drummer was cute, but I was more interested in photographing. Christina's roommate texted her or maybe it was her boyfriend at the time texted Christina asking for Patrick's phone number. I won't get into a rant about Patrick today, but let's just say he was an acquaintance of mine who could never learn my correct name. Although I told him my name is Jessica, he still called me Meghan. The last time we hung out, he introduced me to his mom as Meghan, I corrected him saying my name is in fact Jessica and his mom just laughed saying he was a jokester. Anyway, I shut down my phone camera and gave Christina the number to give to Rob.

Jess, the keyboardist from Petrel.

Aaron Carter. Yeah, my phone takes horrible pictures in dark settings.

I will write the poem about the time I won tickets to see Orgy from WCUR and I took Christina to see them with me. They are one of the many bands I have followed since middle school.


  1. Well, all day long I hear how great Christina is at this or how wonderful Christina did that! Christina, Christina, Christina! :)

    Hi, Jessica Marie!

    I broke away again today to join you for a weekend post, something I will not ordinarily be able to do. Also, please note that I need to be away from all blogging this coming Wednesday through Saturday because I will be entertaining out of state family guests and promised Mrs. Shady that I will give them my full attention.

    I can relate to your experiences going on the radio. I majored in Speech and Broadcast Communications and trained in a broadcast studio. The first job I landed upon graduating from college was as a radio station DJ. I enjoyed your poems and your rap video. Believe it or not, my taste in music has changed in the short time I have known you. My favorite genre now is hardcore rap. I listen to it while I work out and it pumps me up. Patrick might be a jokester, but he should stop trying to be funny by deliberately calling you by a name other than your own. A person's name is very important to them. An acquaintance should make every effort to get the name right and pronounce it correctly.

    Have a great week, dear friend Jessica!

    1. Hi Dear Friend Shady,

      Your humor always makes me smile. :) In college, Christina and I hung out a lot... not so much anymore as I don't like going to West Chester much nowadays.

      I stopped talking to Patrick earlier this year. Not only because after two years he still couldn't learn my correct name (he never really made the effort), but other things that came up and didn't make me comfortable. When we stopped talking, he told me to get over myself, give up on my dreams of moving out of PA, suck it up and realize I will never get out of here. He said I should give up on all of the dreams I have. That bummed me out, but I finally saw the situation for what it is: he never learned my correct name because he didn't care about me. He's in the Army Reserves and thought it could be related to that, but no. As friends have said and people I used to work with at the Senior Center have said: "Anyone who was interested in you, even as an acquaintance, would still learn your name. He failed that first test." They are right - it took me two years to see that. I don't think Patrick was a jokester, he never wanted to learn my name. His mother wants Patrick to have a girlfriend and I think that's why she laughed about it. I think I was the first girl he brought home in a while. Well, it was awkward... very awkward. Halfway through he left me there because he hurt his back. I was sitting there watching TV, his mother went out, and then his dad walked in. You could tell by the look he was thinking, "what is this strange girl sitting in my house for?" So I explained. Shady, the whole thing was bizarre. He was bizarre. Sorry for the rant!

      That's funny. :) I tend to listen to all types of music - yes, even country and classical. I love music and I think all genres are important to learn from. I've always loved music and have always learned from it. My favorites are metal, rock, and hardcore rap acts like Twiztid. :) Hardcore rap and heavy metal are the best things to listen to when working out, though!

      I applied for a radio job today, actually. They need an office person. That would be really cool if I did get that job! I really loved going on air with Christina. Although I was a bit quiet, just selecting songs and sharing my taste in music with those that listened to the station on campus was just exciting. When I was a pre-teen/teenager, I always dreamed of being a radio DJ. I remember I once wrote about owning a station and made a playlist of all the songs I'd play. Good ol' days. :)

      I understand, Shady. I don't blog as much as more myself. Between work, looking for a full time job, working on my book, and life in general, I've been cutting back. I make sure to post my Thankful Thursday posts, though, because they're important to me. Enjoy your week and your company, dear friend!