I’ve recently come to realize that my brain absorbs a great many things. This is distinct from learning things, or retaining facts. My brain takes on the characteristics of various sets of stimuli. I’ve always been a sympathetic person, taking on something of others’ experiences, putting myself in others’ shoes. Lately I’ve come to wonder if that tendency is related to my ability to mimic vocal accents after just a few minutes of exposure. Or the fact that, after reading an engaging book, I start to narrate my own thoughts and become obsessed with describing everything around me in the voice of the book’s narrator. This is why I have to limit my exposure to Hunter S. Thompson.
My absorbent mind also tries to comprehend everything when I travel. Traveling means all-new stimuli at all times, and the effect is alternately thrilling and anxiety-inducing. I can turn myself into a nervous wreck trying to comprehend the depth and breadth of New York City, for example. So many people, so many stories, so many understood details and assumptions to absorb.
I’ve been listening to NY news radio station 1010 WINS online in an effort to acclimate myself to the region. It’s particularly helpful and comforting to listen to because of my familiarity with news radio (I spent my first year in Little Rock working as call screener for Pat Lynch’s talk radio show on KARN), and the fact that WINS shares its primary voiceover talent, Jim Cutler, with Little Rock’s KARN (who’s also the voice of our local Fox TV affiliate). Even the AccuWeather meteorologists are occasionally people I’ve worked with at KARN. So score one for the homogeneity of radio.
A pleasant characteristic of the WINS broadcast is its constant bed of fake teletype machines in the background. I like to lay down and listen to it meditatively; the unfamiliarity of another city’s news lulls me into a uniquely dream-like state. I’m taken back to listening to WINS last February at Arika’s place in Brooklyn. I feel vaguely refreshed when I’m done.
1.) Via ISDN line. Yes, America’s local radio weather people are all located at AccuWeather in Pennsylvania.