Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sitting on the Fence

It's a very quiet and enjoyable Sunday afternoon here on East Mountain. The skies are darkening, the wind is kicking up, the temperature is dropping and the sound of thunder is in the air. A brief but refreshing summer storm is bearing down upon us and it should be raining in moments.

Things quiet down here during the summer months. The university students are gone and there's less traffic on the roads (yea!). Summer activities are in full swing though. On weekends folks seem to flood out of town to the lakes, rivers and favorite campsites. But in the world of Goth, there's really not much going on. As for my own personal life the last event I'd been looking forward to, The Vore 20th Anniversary Show is now a couple of weeks behind me. I don't mind; and as a matter of fact, I always enjoy these quiet times. Still, there is one opportunity that now presents itself that is both very exciting and disturbing at the same time. I'm really sitting on the fence over this one and it's a situation that only an introvert such as myself ends up in turmoil over. 

There is a non-profit organization here in town that has for years, talked about getting the rights to operate a low-power FM radio station. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave approval to some 2,000 organizations to operate such broadcasting facilities. The local group has both received approval and chosen a frequency. They are waiting for the FCC to complete certain paperwork and the issuance of their call letters. After that, they'll be cleared for broadcasting. 

Low-power FM stations are licensed to broadcast with a power output of between 10 and 100 watts. When you consider that our local public radio station broadcasts at 100,000 watts with a signal that reaches well into Oklahoma on the west and Missouri to the north, and way below the Arkansas River Valley to the south, you can begin to appreciate that 10 to 100 watts is not very much. The signal strength must be adjusted according to the height of the transmitting tower and how well the signal is able to bypass neighboring hills, buildings, etc. All things considered, Fayetteville's new all-volunteer community radio station will have a signal that should serve all of our community and will likely be one capable of extending outward for a few miles, thereby reaching, at least partially, into neighboring towns as well. 

Community radio stations determine their programming according to the needs of their respective communities as well as according to the interests of those actively involved with the station. At this point in time, it looks as though Fayetteville's community station will be focused primarily on talk and discussion shows. There will be a smattering of musical venues, which may include cool jazz, bluegrass and heavy metal. 

Heavy metal you ask? Yeah, that's me. Back in April I signed up to do a metal show and since that time my mind has been working overtime in terms of how I'd like to not only mix the music, but also incorporate the occasional horror theme into the programming. As I mentioned a bit earlier, this whole thing is, in many ways, a very exciting prospect. I love mixing music and I feel confidant that I'm capable of creating an excellent program--all with a classical but spooky touch. 

All I want to do however, is have a two-hour weekly program and otherwise, slide back into life as usual. After all, it's not like I don't have important personal projects and other responsibilities. But when I attended last week's open house I quickly came to realize that if I want to do this show, it's going to take a much bigger commitment than I'd bargained for. Before I knew it, I was on the programming committee; and although I'm not even sure what that will entail, I was asked to sign a skills list. Do I have construction skills? Got a truck? Can you write news or do web work? How about getting into fundraising or public outreach? By the time I left the place I was already free-falling into a funk--in other words, a depression.

There are three meetings set for this coming week that by all rights I should attend. I have to mention here that years ago, I swore off meetings and promised myself that I'd never attend one again. I absolutely loath them and truly don't like being thrown into groups of people that I'm suddenly supposed to become close to and work with.

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with all of this. If I want to do my metal show it's going to take much more of a commitment than I was expecting. I don't mind helping out a bit, but jeez!  

The rain has ended and the sunshine has returned. It's probably like a steam bath out there but I think I'm going out for a pale ale and a cream stout. I have a few more days to sit on the fence and put off any decisions. I'm still in the information gathering stage. I'll let you all know how things turn out somewhere down the road.




  1. I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm so NOT a committee person either. Maybe, if you can brace yourself and get through the meetings over the coming week, you will get a sense of how much of a commitment is truly involved. Maybe the involvement needed has been exaggerated by some eager extrovert types who thrive on all this stuff. :)

    I've been thinking about you because I've just finished my 'Dark Shadows: Fan Favorites' DVD. Husband, son and I watched the 9 episodes over a couple of weeks. It was interesting, but there was too much of a jump between episodes... sometimes 2 years! Plus, only 2 of the episodes had any vampire action. Next time, I will look for one of the DVD compilations that contains episodes from just one storyline. It was fun seeing some familiar faces, like a young Kate Jackson, and "Violet Beauregarde" from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory". :)

    1. Thanks for the understanding, Little Gothic Horrors. I'm inclining toward your line of thinking on this radio matter. I definitely have to attend Wednesday's meeting. All will be revealed that evening I've been told. Of course, all was supposed to have been revealed at last week's open house but apparently, there's always more. Thanks for the thoughtful advice.

      As for Dark Shadows, I highly recommend starting at the very beginning, Episode 1. There's no vampire action for about the first 210 episodes. Truth be told, it took several months of daily weekday broadcasts before the writers and producer began incorporating the supernatural into the program. Still, starting at the beginning is more than worth it, in my opinion. You'll come to love the setting and the slow buildup to the vampire, Barnabas Collins.

      Now that Barnabas is on the scene, all I can say is, wow! I recommend you watch each episode after dark. Talk about Gothic!

  2. Hehehe, you're right on the money with 'Dark Shadows'! I'm in around Episode 240 now, and it's really kicking up! :-)

    I'm not much of a committee person, either, so I, too, understand your being on the fence about all this, especially if you had no idea the other stuff was involved. I'd be tempted to simply tell them on Wednesday exactly how much time and other stuff outside of your own show you're willing/able to do, and see what they think. They might simply say, "Okay!" and let you off the hook for anything else. If not, then you can decide how much other stuff (if any) you are willing to commit to.

    1. I think you're right, Lucretia. I've got to find out exactly what they expect and then decide whether or not I can commit to it. I don't mind helping out somewhat as I know the station will be all volunteer, but I might not be willing to make the commitment they require. Hopefully, I'll learn more in a couple of days.

      I'm at Episode 225 or so on Dark Shadows. I'm sure enjoying it!

    2. You DO realize, of course, that we will both go through withdrawal when we eventually get to the end... ;-)

    3. You may be right about that, Lycretia. But we've both got a long way to go. It'll be a while fortunately.