Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Life Is Better Than I Deserve

One year ago in July 2009, I was battling breast cancer that metastasized to the liver and many months into a chemotherapy regimen whose effectiveness inflicted severe anemia. For no discernible organic reason as my transfusions had stopped working, God granted me a sudden supply of energy that keeps me functional to this day. I would need that energy plus His blessings of peace, love, joy and strength as the life I knew and counted on to carry me across the threshold into heaven was unexpectedly torn asunder. As I have documented elsewhere, my husband of nine years was leading a double life and became a cruel, wicked stranger.

I am not a victim. I am a redeemed Christian. What I survived this past year is not my grievance against any man. It is my testimony to God's faithful promises. On the extremely rare occasions that I look back, I still do not understand everything I endured. My faith was tested as never before, but God empowered me to show my husband His compassion, mercy and forgiveness. I did so because I love God and I loved my husband.

My husband did not show me any compassion or mercy because he does not love God and he does not love me. He wanted me to stop chemotherapy and die for his convenience. After he confessed his complete fall from grace to me, he tried to convince me and others that I was crazy so that no one would believe my account and to justify his shocking descent into unrepentant sinfulness. That is all I really remember now and it is enough. My pain healed as swiftly as my love for him died.

This past year I lost a beloved husband who deceived everyone but God, financial solvency and stability, my hair and eyelashes, my ability to taste the food that gave me so much pleasure, and the illusion that my cancer would likely be cured. It was my own personal Great Depression, but I was never depressed and life is greater than ever.

The lyrics of this song describe why I am so happy and smiley faced all the time.

Good Life - Audio Adrenaline

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It Was 22 Years Ago Today

The supervisor who hired me 22 years ago today did so, she said, because I exuded stick-to-it-iveness. I sure stuck to this job, proving her prescient, although truthfully I was a single mother just looking for a steady paycheck. I’m definitely not a quitter and enjoy solving problems.

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Thomas Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” In my case, opportunity has looked a lot like a library. I have worked in libraries – academic, public, and corporate – for all but two years of my career. I am naturally drawn to books, organized systems, and service. My job entails multiple duties in addition to operating a library and, although frequently overwhelming and crazy-making, I enjoy every last minute of it.

I am thankful to God for a job that enabled me to raise my son by myself, for remaining employed in this embattled economy and during this personally challenging year, and for feeling well enough to keep working throughout my 7-year cancer odyssey. Here are a few of my favorite work-related videos. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Working Week – Elvis Costello

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Morning Glory, Evening Grace: A Decade of The Hugh Hewitt Radio Show

Ten years ago this week, the Hugh Hewitt show was launched over the greater Los Angeles airwaves and I was in the audience. Although it was immediately apparent that Hewitt is an accomplished and exceedingly smart man, it was not as clear on July 10, 2000 that I was listening to what would become the second most important talk radio show of the modern era and arguably the most influential platform for new media in its formative years of the new millennium.

In July 2000, the call sign for 870 AM was KIEV, a lesser light in the southern California market made notorious by local firebrand George Putnam. The addition of Hewitt was a critical first step toward building a stable of talent worthy to challenge KFI, the LA home of Rush Limbaugh, and KABC, which carries the Sean Hannity show. Within six months, KIEV would be rebranded as KRLA 870AM, formerly the call letters of a seminal, beloved rock station in the 1960s and 1970s.

Both of his aforementioned competitors, Limbaugh and Hannity, honor Hewitt's contributions to political discourse. Limbaugh has cited Hewitt's work on several occasions and Hannity invites him to appear on his TV show frequently. Like Hannity, the Hewitt radio show follows the familiar format featuring more interaction with guests than with callers. What distinguishes Hugh's show is the caliber of the guests and the conversation. Hewitt honed his interview skills as an attorney, law professor and TV co-host on the weeknightly Life & Times, a public affairs series on the Los Angeles PBS channel. His style is tenacious and erudite but never disrespectful or condescending.

As William F. Buckley did with his groundbreaking National Review magazine and Firing Line TV show, Hugh Hewitt has been a generous advocate of the new media of his day, sharing his microphone with writers and thinkers who populate the blogosphere's center-right, his preferred terminology to describe conservatism's place in the political spectrum. Many bloggers who once toiled in pajama-clad obscurity are dressing a lot more nattily after regular promotion on the Hugh Hewitt show.

Professor Hewitt was kind enough to read one of my silly posts aloud on his radio show during the 2004 presidential campaign, which earned my eternal gratitude if not my blind allegiance. I disagreed strongly with Hugh when he aspired to be a kingmaker for Mitt Romney in 2007-2008 and stubbornly defended President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers far beyond the call of party loyalty. But here I am, ten years later, still keeping my boom box close when Limbaugh and Hewitt come on during my workday.

Last week Glenn Beck was added to the KRLA schedule in the morning time slot formerly reserved for Mike Gallagher, who now begins his delayed broadcast during what was Hugh's third afternoon hour. Hour three of the Hewitt show airs locally at 11:00pm,  far too late even by SoCal standards to attract many listeners. Granted, that third hour of the Hewitt show is a replay of the first hour whenever Hugh has a public or TV appearance or other outside commitment, but I think this is piss poor programming that may well backfire when listeners like me switch stations at the conclusion of Hewitt's second hour. Gallagher, who may be a fine fellow, cannot hold my interest and strikes me as a Limbaugh wannabe instead of a thought-provoking original like Hugh.

Since Beck's arrival began to be heralded ad nauseam on KRLA, Hugh seems more passionate and engaged in his radio show than ever. I hope this change was consensual and redounds to Hugh's benefit. In my opinion, two consecutive hours of Hugh Hewitt are more illuminating than three hours of any other radio talker except Rush Limbaugh.

Congratulations to Hugh Hewitt and his esteemed producer, Generalissimo Duane Patterson, as they embark on another decade of broadcast excellence!

Philadelphia Freedom

My son Chris is on vacation this week, visiting a female friend while exploring historic Philadelphia and the tri-state area. Todd Rundgren, one of my all-time favorite musicians and a son of Philadelphia, wrote, performed and produced a song that humorously describes Chris's mission. This is the more interesting of the two homemade videos available and I presume this version is a tribute to mankind's devotion to pet dogs.

We Gotta Get You a Woman by Todd Rundgren