Columnist for Thursday, 5/31 - Red

Preset denial

So here is what I realized as I drove back to Los Angeles day before yesterday...I have been "living" in LA for two months and I have only one pre-set radio station button set for an LA station. I still have five buttons set to Santa Cruz (where I used to live) stations and two set for radio stations in my old hometown (which I drive through going SC->LA or LA->SC, so it's not *that* weird). However, what is weird is that for the one and a half years that I was driving down the coast of California every other weekend, I never had a preset button that worked south of Santa Maria. And in the two months of living here I only added the local LA public radio station to my selection. What we have here is serious case of denial. At some deep level I must not think I live here. Clearly, I still live in Santa Cruz. The post office seems to think so as well, even though they have a change of address form, not a single piece of mail has auto-forwarded itself. (Hmmm...note to self "look into that")

Anyway, where... was I...Oh, Los Angeles of course...I live here after all.

Now the first piece of trivia that may help explain this anomaly is that the radio stations in LA spend about 50% of their airtime doing commercials, or otherwise chattering and not playing music. I can tell myself that I so many commercials makes me not want to listen to the radio. However, analyzing that logically, lots of commercials should lead to my having more preset stations not less, so I can speedily cycle though a large number of stations to find the *one* that is actually playing music at that moment.

Upon further reflection (or should I say farther because I was driving), I think that part of it is that I liked living in Santa Cruz, I miss the people and the place. So when I want to add a new radio station to my preset list I have to delete one of the old ones, which were by definition my favorites. When I pick which least favorite of my favorite radio stations gets the ax, I'm also severing my ties to Santa Cruz. It is totally irrational, to use up prime preset real estate on radio stations that are 400 miles away. Now that I have realized my human frailty in this regard, I will endeavor to be less irrational, and to add at least two more local radio stations to my car's preset radio buttons.

Now if I can just figure out which stations to give up...

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