Insomnia, NPR and The King of All Media (Howard Stern)


Soooooo tired! I've been up since 11:45 last night. It's quite aggravating to be unable to sleep. Throws the entire rhythm of the day off. Like all vampires, I require complete darkness to sleep; so it is impossible for me to nap in the day when Shiloh does. The only thing I can hope for is that I'll be so exhausted by the time I crawl into bed there is NO way I won't pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow, then awake at the wonderful hour of  4:00 a.m. That's all I ask. I love getting up early in the morning. All is quiet in my house (provided I'm not trying to blow it to smithereens!) It's my peace and solitude before the circus swings into full gear. (Doo-doo-dooty-dooty-doo-doo-doo!)

With the exception of the occasional night terror - when Shiloh screams as though she's being stabbed and needs to be rocked for about forty-five minutes - she has slept through the night since she was three months old. So she is up and ready to go by 5:30 most mornings. However I have a strict not-before-6:00 rule. Unless, of course she's in bouncy or screamy mode. She's getting quite good at jumping in her crib - letting go of the sides and flying from one end to the other. She catches some good air. 

When I can't sleep during the night, the radio and iPhone are my saviors. Although Ben called me this morning to inquire if I'd heard the blurb on the Marketplace Morning Report that people who read phones or watch TV just before going to bed sleep poorly. Of course. Just what I needed to hear. When I can't sleep, and have been tossing and turning for an hour reading my phone (who would have thought that would be an acceptable phrase?!) is the problem. 

I don't watch TV all day (my mother should be so proud!). I listen to the radio which is set to one of my local NPR stations; and I listen to the news ALL DAY LONG. Today they broadcasted the oral arguments for the healthcare mandate law and it was pretty interesting. I sometimes can't believe what a news junkie I am now. My teenaged self wouldn't recognize me. I remember groaning all the time about how awful and boring the news was whenever my mother wanted to watch the half-hour spot on NBC. I'm lucky that Shiloh is too young to complain about it. 

However I am kind of stuck with the news for now since my beloved Sirius Satellite Radio was stolen out of my truck in MY OWN DRIVEWAY the first night I spent in my brand new house in Arizona. It's been two years since that horrific violation and I miss my daily dose of Howard Stern. During my search for the elusive sleep last night, I pulled up a few clips of his show on You Tube just because I COULDN'T take any more news! I'd forgotten how much I miss my Howard. Really, the man is a genius. If you're predisposed to hate him just because he can be crass or crude, you should give him another shot. 

Sexy! That's right...

The first time I heard him, and I'm getting in the WAY back machine for this one, was when Ben and I were traveling from Upstate NY to Gloucester to visit his parents. Back then WBCN rebroadcasted the show at night. Ben put it on. Even though I'd never heard his show before, I had a preconceived notion that he was a pig not worth my precious time. Since humor figures so prominently in my life, I'm forever indebted to Ben for telling me to just relax and give him a chance. I need to be reminded to relax a lot. ANYWAY... There was one part during the show that walloped me with the humor hammer. Howard, Robin and Fred were discussing some Russian ice skaters, and Howard referred to one as "Ivnna Bityourballsoff." I lost it. I howled for a good five minutes. I was hooked. When we returned to Upstate I found a station that carried him and my mornings were funny ever since.

It was quite exhilarating when he went to Siruis and his creative genius could bloom fully. Not to mention that he was FINALLY able to just speak his mind without having to perform verbal cartwheels about adult subjects

It would be a lie to say that he doesn't talk about sex. A lot. And there is a fair amount of potty humor. But these are all asides. He is smart, insightful and asks WAY more interesting questions of the celebrities that brave his show than anyone else. I actually learn about them as people. He also has guests on his show that the mainstream media won't - I can't tell you how many times I've found a porn star more fascinating than a celebrity he'd been speaking with only moments before. His tenacity and desire to know fueled by his enormous ego have combined for the greatest interviewer. Ever.

Once he even read an e-mail of mine over the air!!! I was in my car on the way to work when the words I wrote came out of his mouth. I actually shrieked and clapped my hands. If I could have jumped up and down without causing a fifty-car pile up on 93, I would have. It was one of only a few e-mails read that day and they must get thousands. I sent the e-mail in because Artie Lange had proclaimed, "You can't be a die-hard Yankee fan without liking George Steinbrenner." And anyone who knows me well, knows I'm a die-hard Yankee fan and I LOATHED George Steinbrenner when he was alive. Howard read the whole e-mail (it WAS just a couple of sentences) and Robin said, "See, Arite? I told you not all fans out there like Steinbrenner." When I got to work that morning and told a friend, and fellow listener that Howard had read my e-mail he said he'd heard that! I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day.

Another thing I miss inordinately is the sense of being part of another life. I listened to his show from beginning to end EVERY day. I got to know everyone. They put everything out there for us listeners. Even though they have no idea who I am, I felt included in their lives. I miss hearing about the fights, the Wack Pack, constantly late Benjy and his gross eating habits, George Takei, sweet Beth O. Stern and her mission to find a good home for shelter pets, Robin with her detox and travels, Fred with his magnificent timing and endless sound effects, Ta-ta-toothy, Lisa G and the rest of Howard 100 News. My days are less funny without them right now and that makes me sad. (Frowny-face)

Mother's Day and my birthday are coming up... Maybe a new Sirius radio and renewed subscription can be a combined present from Ben?? I think I'm going to start leaving subtle hints. Maybe I'll tape a piece of paper scrawled with "Buy me a Sirius for a combined Mother's Day AND birthday present" to a brick and toss it through the windshield of his truck. That subtle enough?


In celebration of Giada's book signing, tonight's (like last night's) and the rest of the week's dinners will be from her. Tonight's link is to a moist, tender pot roast bathed in the the most delicious, rich gravy. It is Stracotto with Porcini Mushroom Gravy. This was the last meal that I shared with SuperMom and her wonderful family, but the second time I made it for them. I made it three times this past winter, and each time it was wolfed down with barely any for leftover for Ben's lunch. I make Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, and steamed carrots with some butter as sides. I suggest making this before the cold weather disappears! I find that warm weather and pot roast are not complementary.  


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