Cross-posted at publicradioquest.com.
So Sunday night my friend Perry died, and I spent the evening downing whiskey in his memory. He’d appreciate that. Monday morning was full of that post-bad news haze, where you have to first figure out if that was a dream and then kind of come to terms with it again.
The bizarre thing is that I never actually met Perry — I just spent three or four hours talking to him every week for more than a year as we worked on the podcast. So, we’d sign on, talk about science, argue, laugh, agree on something random, and call it a night. Perry was my opposite in a lot of ways (like gender, physical fitness, political leanings, diet, hobbies) but also very much like me in other ways (sarcasm, inability to hold the tongue, skepticism). It’s taking awhile to get used to the idea of him not being there every Wednesday to tell me what a foul-mouthed hippie I am. Like:
PERRY: [RANDOM JIBE AT MY LACK OF TV/VEGETARIANISM/LIBERALISM]
ME: [LITANY OF CURSES IN RESPONSE]
PERRY: Steve do you hear this girl? Rebecca, you kiss your mother with that ****ing mouth?
The bulk of our interactions never actually made it on air. Steve’s a good editor.
Anyway, Monday was rough. It was midway through the morning that I remembered it was the day I would find out whether or not I made it to Round Four of the Public Radio Talent Quest. At that point, I went from sad/angry to sad/angry/nervous as hell. My coworkers had no idea about any of this, so naturally assumed that I had been out partying all weekend (easy to let them think that since it was actually true).
By the time Izzi from PRX called to tell me I actually had made it into Round Four, I was sort of a mess. I think my response was something like, “Oh wow, that’s great. I’m so happy. Thanks so much. [AWKWARD PAUSE, SLIGHT CHOKING UP] Okay well I have a lot of work to do, so . . ..”
Now it’s Tuesday. There’s still so much sadness, and now at the same time so much excitement about the future. Perry was really supportive of me in the Talent Quest, even though public radio is run by a bunch of radical liberal socialist whatnots. I think he saw the importance of being that candle in a dark world in whatever way you can. Judging by the incredible response to the news of his death, Perry succeeded in doing that. I hope by the time I go (sometime next week, decade, or century I’m pretty sure), I’ve made a similar impact, whether it’s through the podcast, my site, a public radio show, or whatever crazy adventure is just around the corner.
Anyway, this is the post that lets the Skepchick.org readers know I’ve made it into the next round, while letting the PRTQ audience know a little bit about what’s going on in the background. I’m going to dedicate the next round to Perry and his lifetime spent promoting science and skepticism. Then I’m going to eat a big juicy veggie burger, hug a melting glacier, and vote for a democrat.