A MinD in MoTown

Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 3

…The time has come! (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up.)

It turns out I was wrong and all of us lovely contestants trying to become Charlotte’s 96.1 The Beat‘s AM Mayhem Superstar are now thrown into the world, waiting for votes. That’s where you fine folks come in.


I’m entry #51 – one of 112 vying for a single, solitary on-air radio gig. And now that it’s come time to vote, I’m putting my all into this and hoping that maybe, just maybe, you readers can help me out.

Whether it’s sharing this in your Reader or posting something on your own blog (PLEASE!?) that I could use a little help, words cannot express how much I’d appreciate it. Spread it like wildfire, if you can!!

Thanks for all you guys are able to do and don’t forget to vote!!!

Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 2

And so, it’s done. (Before reading this post, check out Part 1.)

I arrived home just before 7 p.m. last night and with the exception of eating my dinner and a one-hour break for Vampire Diaries – do not judge me! – I worked ’til 11 p.m. to make sure I had this video in the bag.

Six full takes later, and a handful of ridiculous bloopers, here’s the final product*. I look like a damn fool, but I promised my readers the video – it’s public on 96.1 The Beat‘s Web site anyway – so check it out:

We’ll find out on Monday – I think? – who the ten finalists are. Those ten will seek votes from the public ’til five people each receive one day on air for the real test. I suppose stay tuned for Part 3.

* What a ridiculously horrible freeze-frame. Thanks a ton, YouTube. Sheesh.

Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 1

“Become a radio DJ” was never in my set of goals. To be honest, it was never even something I remotely considered … until Monday.

After repeatedly hearing radio advertisements for a new AM Mayhem DJ with Charlotte’s 96.1 The Beat, I finally caved that morning and checked out the details of the contest. A few pictures? No problem. Some information about yours truly? Piece of cake. A three-minute video resume? Uh oh.

Sophie and my supplies.

But I brainstormed anyway, trying to think of an idea that might get my video noticed above the rest. Then I remembered Belle Renee‘s amazing 20-something bloggers vlog and I knew exactly what to do. After a quick email to her making sure it was okay that I stole her idea – thanks lady!! – I spent $15 on ten sheets of posterboard, three glue sticks and a ten-pack of Crayola markers, realizing that I just signed up for an unexpected weeklong project.

I chose a song that afternoon to accompany my on-tape silliness – big thanks to Pham his guidance and for steering me away from the four music-media moguls – and waited for the end-of-work bell to toll.

With a rough script in hand, I started later that evening, cutting the posterboard into fourths and writing out the first few cue cards (which I ended up redoing Wednesday night). Sophie tried to help, but kept mistaking the markers for chew toys so her services were no longer needed. I worked on the cards a bit more Wednesday night – a 13-hour work day on Tuesday hindered my progress – and I have a few more to fill out tonight before my digital camera and I make our finished product (which I’ll be sure to post).

Of course I didn't buy the "washable" markers.

A few glitches, such as my inability to edit said video and my camera’s issues with voice matching up with mouth movements, led my three-minute segment in this direction and I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t look like a complete fool once it’s done. A beer or two prior to hitting record just might be necessary to shake these jitters.

But onward and upward I go. Am I finding myself to be serious competition for this on-air gig? Not really. Aside from that I entirely lack radio experience, a lot of these candidates – because yes, everyone’s video is posted on 96.1’s Web site – have a charisma that I’m not too sure I can call my own. But this journey certainly makes for a good story and it’s a bit fun to do something on a whim and hope for the best.

Now to head home and wrap this thing up. Stay tuned for Part 2 and wish me luck!

Happy (Grand)father’s Day
June 22, 2009, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Cross your fingers, Ma famille

I debated whether or not to write this – and I’m still arguing with myself as I type – because delving into my personal life here is typically something I avoid. But the pull is strong, so I’ll write what I can and hope it turns out coherent.

For the last several months, my grandfather (my mother’s father) has been battling prostate cancer. And speaking to him last night, on Father’s Day, as he told me he had only ten days left of radiation, I couldn’t help but think of a million amazing memories with him that have made this process hard on me despite the tough exterior I reveal.

…Damn it. I’m crying already.

From going to chip-and-putt to the days he’d pick my brother and I up at daycare, promptly at 5:30 p.m. The vanilla milkshake he always ordered when we’d eat at Burger King. The morning breakfasts we’d occasionally share before I went to school. The way he likes his coffee – no cream, two teaspoons of sugar. The crazy songs on the juke box that he’d sing, including “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” and how he’d call my grandmother from work and leave her messages of “their” song: “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”

This is the man who first introduced me to computers and taught me how to properly type. The man who comprises every ounce of Italian blood I possess. The man who lightheartedly claims his favorite color is “sky blue pink,” who makes the BEST breakfast-for-dinner meals, and who jokingly says:

Grandpa: My best friend is Sobby Beymour.
Me: You mean Bobby Seymour?
Grandpa: That’s what I said: Sobby Beymour.

Although I’ve had considerably less time with my grandfather than my mother and grandmother, the two people I talk to most frequently about his cancer, it pains me to know that he’s waging this war daily. But because of the relationships they both have with him, I try to be the hard-shelled girl who listens and says, “he’s going to be okay” and “he’ll get through this,” instead of adding my worries to the mix. After all, prostate cancer has such a high cure rate that it’s difficult not to look at this optimistically, even if that confidence sometimes falters.

It wasn’t an irregular conversation with my grandfather last night, nor was it terribly long. But in the brief minutes of our phone call, it was just me and him. I wasn’t really calling for my grandmother and saying “hey” to my grandpa as I waited for her to come to the phone. I wanted to speak to him, to wish him the best this Father’s Day, and to selfishly hear him say he was feeling okay, even if I knew he’d be lying to me. And at the end of that phone call, I told him I loved him, and he said it back. For many, that’s normal, but growing up, “I love you, too” was not something my grandfather would utter often. I’d always say those three words first, and he’d reply with, “Me too,” to which I’d remark, “I know you love yourself grandpa, but ‘do you love me’ is the question.” He’d just laugh it off and say some form of “yes,” but each time he replies with “I love you, too,” it’s nothing short of amazing.

Crap. More tears. No wonder this is taking four hours to write.

He’s a short full-blooded Italian man with some spunk, I’d say, and it saddens me to see my jovial grandfather so downtrodden as a result of this cancer. The man who would play golf three times each week, or more, and play around on his computer for hours now remains exhausted and miserable. My grandmother tells me he’s constantly depressed, wanting to throw in the towel and accept death as his fate. That breaks my heart, yet I keep those thoughts bottled in, refusing to believe this 74 year old man will ever leave this earth, let alone in the near future. After all, since the day I was born, he’s been the most consistent father figure in my life. How could he not be there one day?

And now I can’t stop crying… Writing this at work was really stupid. 

When my mom told me the news – as I sat in the drive thru of Taco Bell – my immediate reaction was “should I come home?” She told me not to, and somewhere in my mind I knew that wouldn’t do much good regardless. But at times like these, the 500 miles seems like a trillion. Being so far away and unable to help him get through this, I’m left with few options in showing him my care, concern and fervent hopes for the absolute best outcome. The devices I’m left with, cards and phone calls, likely do little, but hopefully it’s enough for him to realize that his battle never leaves my mind and I’m sending him lots of love and prayers – yep, prayers – every day.

As these last two weeks of radiation wind down, my entire family will probably remain on edge, crossing our fingers that the cancer has been eradicated. Until then, I’m going to do my best to be the rock they – especially and primarily my grandmother – need right now, the one who refuses to believe any options other than remission are possible. I’m not fooling myself, I know what could happen. But I also know the odds, and with them in his favor, I’ll be the cheerleader, I’ll be the optimist, I’ll be the believer.

… Truth be told, I’m just not ready to stop hearing my grandpa say “I love you, too.” I waited my entire childhood for those four syllables, and I’m not ready in the least bit to never hear them again.