Thursday, January 29, 2009

It Came From Outer Space

I Think It's Pronounced "Zim"

So I've been hearing about satellite radio for quite a while now, mostly from people who mistakenly think the words "Howard Stern" are some kind of selling point.

Naturally, I've resisted, preferring to harvest the pe
ople's free airwaves with the highly advanced wire hanger that I almost don't notice anymore when I'm waxing my Gremlin.

I've resisted, that is...until now.

Yup, I am now a proud mobile satellite enthusiast, with more than 2 million (I may have rounded up) stations at my e
ars' fingertips.

I always wondered how the whole satellite radio thing worked...and now I know. Here's the inside poop on the set-up process:
  • Go to XM website and begin entering contact information to set up account.
  • Realize that the paper with the radio number you need is down in the car, two flights of stairs below.
  • Curse.
  • Stomp downstairs while muttering obscenities and retrieve paper.
  • Stomp back upstairs.
  • Complete account set-up process.
  • Wait for radio signal to be sent to car.
  • Per instructions, drive around pointlessly for 15-20 minutes waiting for radio to receive signal and unleash mind-blowing premium programming.
  • Minute 21: realize that every single button on the radio does nothing but deliver non-stop commercials for XM.
  • Per instructions, turn radio off for 5 minutes then repeat process.
  • Drive around for another 21 minutes, marinating in a continuous loop of promos for sports, talk and medical stations, none of which you would listen to even if they were free.
  • Minute 21: test the other radio buttons again and discover that they are mocking you with more satellite commercials.
  • Call XM customer service hotline from car and become ensnared in verbal combat with automated robot receptionist girl.
  • Angrily punch random series of numbers into phone resulting in miraculous connection to "live person."
  • Answer series of questions posed without hint of irony by "live person," including the following:
Is your car outside?
Yes.

Is the weather cloudy?
No.

Are you near an obstruction, like a large building?
No.

Is your engine running?
Yes.

Are you tuned to Channel 1?
Yes.

Are you wearing Jean Nate Bath Splash?
What?

Never mind.
  • Dangle on hold for approximately 10 minutes. Dig furiously at cuticles. Realize that neighbor is eyeing you from webbed lawn chair with that Neighborhood Watch look on his face. Peel out around block.
  • Rejoice when "live person" returns to give detailed instructions. Instructions are as follows: turn radio off for 5 minutes and try again.
  • Damn "live person" to the fiery depths of Escondido. Hang up.
  • Fume in car for 7 minutes, inflicting moderate damage to passenger-side visor.
  • Deflate with resignation as you accept that you're going to drive around for 21 more minutes.
  • Drive around for 21 more minutes.
  • Close eyes and poke at radio keypad while chanting saints' names.
  • Discover that the keypad doesn't work with XM - you have to use the "forward" button.
  • Convince yourself as you drive home that the signal just now reached your car; it was not, in fact, working all along while you drove around like a jackass pushing the wrong buttons.
See? Piece of cake.

I Am Nostalgic for the Delightful Circus Circus Buffet

I'm still exploring all the channels, which play specific categories of music and have names like "Spa," "Lithium" and "The Joint" (which, BTW, exhibits no connection to the expected BBQ rib joint, but rather plays non-stop reggae...hmmm...).

I've already noticed, however, that a couple of wedges of the ol' demographic pie have been sorely overlooked. Here are my suggestions for additional music channels, which I will be forwarding to the XM folks post haste:
  • Milk Duds - Tunes tailored to the lactose-intolerant lifestyle.
  • The Hammer - Non-stop music from "Smokey & The Bandit"
  • Club Yoda - Trance/trip-hop music crafted from the motion-picture soundtracks of the "Star Wars" movies
  • Buzzkill - 24-hour public policy debates
  • The Cougars' Den - An invigorating mix of music, club listings and skin-firming tips for today's predatory female in the prime of mid-life
  • Strudel - Hot polka hits of yesterday and today
Whoops, that's the timer on my toaster oven telling me my TV dinner's ready. I'm off to the garage now to spend me some quality time lounging in the ol' ride because nothing goes with Salisbury steak and carrot niblets like a couple hours of 80s hair bands.

Yesss.



Thanks to DiPaola Momma over at Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom for the Bag Tag. I'm supposed to show you a photo of the inside of my purse, but I can't 'till I file the serial number off my Glock which is floating around in there somewhere. You understand.

MuseSwings is in the middle of a mystery... Help track down the missing gemstone and win a gorgeous prize! Hurry...

And thank you to "Sunshine" at
Writing Is Like...for this little gem:

103 comments:

Beth Kephart said...

I am your first comment-er today. Your first! I'm so excited that I don't know what to say, only that I wish you had called me before you set out on your quixotic tune journey. I'd have sat in the car with you, making your pointless rides less pointless.

Braja said...

You lost me at "satellite." I don't have any less affection for you, though. I just want to make sure you know that. xoxxo

Not The Rockefellers said...

Wow. I suddenly feel so much less alone.

I felt your hell(Escondido)all throughtout this post.

Peace - Rene

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

I loves me my satellite radio--but then I am a bit of a music snob.

But yah, it tends to make you spend more time in the car, which is a problem in Ohio 'cause we have some silly "open containers" law. But I am nothing if not a rebel.

Great blog, here.

Scott said...

Prefers her fantasy life - I am a music snob too, once you go satellite you never go back

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Hangin' in the Cougar's Den with all my Blogland Laaaaaadiiiieeeeeees. Reeeeee-oar! Did you hear that the tongue-roll there?! LOL

Real Live Lesbian said...

Try communicating with that Robotgirl while afflicted with a Southern accent. Fortunately, I'm paired up with a Yahhhn-kee, and I promptly tossed her the phone.

They need to program that Robotgirl for drawl!

blognut said...

There's a channel called The Cellar too. It plays random serial killer music. Not sure if it causes serial killing, or if it is there to entertain serial killers. Let me know....

okiesister said...

I love Polka!
Especially Weird Al's.

wenderful said...

Love me some XM. There are a gazillion channels but I really only listen to about 3 of them. Well worth the 14.95 a month I'd say.

That reminds me. I better go renew.

TattooedMinivanMom said...

1st- What is pronounced Zim? X-Zim radio? I need these things clarified for me.

2nd- How many people think your being serious when you write silly stuff to make fun of yourself? Like when you say you drive a Gremlin and eat 50s style TV dinners?

3rd- If you really do drive a Gremlin and eat crappy TV dinners...bahahahahaha...I mean, I'm sorry I made fun of you.

4th- I've been to the fiery depths of Escondildo...not pretty.

5th- What is Jean Nate Bath Splash and where can I purchase said product? I need to make a phone call to XM customer service later and I want to be prepared.

6th- The reason for my call to XM is to 2nd your motion of adding Strudel as a station option. I do love a good poke-a, as well as the occasional pickle tickle.

However, I hereby and forth-wit boycott the Cougar's Den channel because them b****es seem to have the hots for my hubby wherever we go.

nikkicrumpet said...

Gee...you make it sound so appealing. Especially if it comes with a lifetime supply of Salisbury steak dinners! Oh and how do you get Burt to fit in a Gremlin???

Andy said...

I love my XM- Lithium, 90s, 20 on 20, All Porn All the Time, Teletubbies, Nothing But the Annie Soundtrack, and Pink Floyd cued up with Wizard of Oz happen to be my favorites

Momo Fali said...

This made me extremely thankful that I do not have satellite radio!

Sassypants Wifey said...

Bah, XM is the devil's talk! My car came with it and I hate it. We got sirius sattelite about 6 years ago when we lived in 29 Palms (aka the sinkhole with no radio, aka crotch of the USA, aka collector of meth heads, aka our favorite base but hate the town around it) anyshway, sirius saved my life there. As we drove from the stumps to Colorado we had the best radio, no commercials. Ah the good ole days.

XM has nothing on Sirius, XM can suck it. (no bitterness there eh?!)

doug said...

Ok, I couldn't wrap my finger "Naturally, I've resisted, preferring to harvest the people's free airwaves with the highly advanced wire hanger that I almost don't notice anymore when I'm waxing my Gremlin."


What on earth was that all about..I'm a little slow.lol

bernthis said...

Need I write a post about my experience with getting Tivo? Good Lord, it felt a lot like yours.

Swirl Girl said...

you had me at Jean Nate body splash!

LOLOLOLOL

bb mcclain said...

How in the world do they come up with channel names? I've heard XM has an all Elvis channel. Please tell me it's true!

bb mcclain said...

How in the world do they come up with channel names? I've heard XM has an all Elvis channel. Please tell me it's true!

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

After 2 long years, I just recently QUIT XM. And I mean Brokeback Mountain quit. Cuz I was tired of taking it up the patooty from them. But...I wish you nothing but a beautiful relationship, with much romance and candlelight dinners.

ella said...

Do they have a showtune channel and requisite gay-boy BFF to ride aournd with? If so, I'm IN.

Kulio said...

Craving a tv dinner suddenly.
Laughing here.

K said...

So it isn't exactly X-rated then?

I don't know about all these few gadgets. I'm just excited when I get to listen to any form of adult music (or even children's music if it isn't a CD I've heard 100 times in the last 24 hours).

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

We saved ourselves the nitemare and just load the old iPod full of whatever tunes we want and plug it into the radio adapter in the car... Whala... instant and free music.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I go back and forth between XM and my iPod. If it makes you happy, it's all good. Right? Right.

Gladys said...

I'm still laughing at deepest pits of hell um I mean Escondido or as we like to say "Ess-con-dildo"

Poetikat said...

Jean Nate? I haven't heard that name since I had a red transistor radio with an ear-plug!
This is why I don't do these newfangled thing-a-ma-jigs!

Thanks Anna - now I know what my next Blasts From the Past Post is gonna be...

Kat

Always Home and Uncool said...

A proud XM subscriber here for six years. Just waiting on the direct chip implant for my brain.

R Susanna said...

Aren't you lucky! You get to listen to Howard Stern! I love him. Not really, I think he's a jerk.

Ann's Rants said...

Anna, just I think you should just go old style with the getto-blaster on your shoulder and a monkey on your back.

Chris said...

We get XM Radio with our TV satellite. Out of the 100 channels offered, I only listened to 1. The Squizz. And the SOB's went and deleted the channel the other day.

I was starting to wonder if XMS and the gas companies were working together after your hour of aimless driving.

Seeker said...

just dropping in from Bee and Rose...great post. Made me laugh like i was crazy. thanks for sharing

The Self-Deprechaun said...

I sold my xm radio on ebay for food recently. Best trade of my life. Can you heat me up a Salisbury Steak dinner as well please?

Let's listen to the Cougar den while eating. Thanks

bfs ~ "Mimi" said...

Dying laughing here ~ especially about your Glock!

Hang tough!! (Oh, and thank you for sharing the other day.)

Jen said...

Any and all radio scares me. I might have to hear some news or something. I just stick to the kids yelling in the car while driving or on a rare occasion, my iPod.

The Hussy Housewife said...

WOW...OM must also own some stock in the oil companies with all the driving around you had to do.

Jeanne said...

A giant ant? You slay me.

MommyTime said...

I would 100% do exactly what you did, and then I would complain really loudly to my husband that not only does the subscription not work, but neither does the radio, and then he would figure out the button pushing problem, and then I would be all "well, obviously the children have been pushing the buttons again, which is why I couldn't figure it out." And then I would eat a Rice Krispie Treat to feel better.

jennifersusan said...

Of course you didn't get the signal until just then. Just like that one day last year I couldn't get my car to go anywhere in the snow and it wasn't because I had my emergency brake on. Honest.

the mama bird diaries said...

Wow. That satellite radio sounds like a breeze.

unfinishedrambler said...

I never had that many problems. Hmmm. Must just be you. ;)

But I like The Hammer Channel. Smokey and the Bandit is one of my favorite movie. No, really.

Belle said...

Waxing your Gremlin?
I live in England.
Please tell me that doesn't mean what I think it means...?

phd in yogurtry said...

When you get The Cougar's Den up and running, let me know, will ya?

LarryG said...

there is absolutely nothing like the exhilaration of "owning" a new technology! :)

Melodie said...

I LOVE my satellite radio. Lithium is my favorite station, though it was much better before the merger with XM. They started editting (Oh no you di-int!) some of the songs and even cut out some of the songs that I had come to count on hearing.

Coffee with Cathy said...

Hilarious! And we just went to the satellite-radio store, picked something up and plugged it in. Who knew???

Michele said...

Had similar trouble with satellite radio myself. Too funny.

Grand Pooba said...

Hmmm, my husband got xm radio...um...I mean satelite radio...but the process he went through was not nearly as entertaining!

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Hmmm - I thought only men could 'wax the Gremlin'.

Tabitha Blue said...

Ok, that was HILARIOUS!!!!!!! Love it!! Haha. Glad I don't have this delightful invention yet, LOL


:)
~Tabitha~

freshmommyblog.com

Michelle said...

Oh that sounds EXACTLY like what I went through when I renewed the XM after my free trial ran out on my new car. It drove me BATTY. Don't forget the extra $3 they charge you to send you a bill that they never told you about since I was going to pay it online anyway. THAT ticked me off.

But hey... I love me my channel 164. Oh, and you can listen to most stations on your computer (if someone hasn't already told you that), so you don't have to sit outside!

And thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday on my SITS day. I had so much fun and am still wading through wonderful comments. I hope you enjoyed yourself and that you come back to visit soon!

techguyandstuff said...

Wow. You had me laughing out loud!! Great post!

Shonda Little said...

I don't think you should have XM or Sirius -- I think you should be on them, like with your own show. That might actually make this tight ass break down and get it if it had 30 minutes of your wit.

Sabrae Carter said...

So I start reading your blog and saw that you mention 'Howard Stern' and I still can't get over the fact that 'HE' got married!

Imogen Lamport said...

So much choice! What to listen to? Since I've had kids, all I want is the sound of silence!

Imogen Lamport said...

Oh and come by to pick up an award

Jeff said...

I think you have the coolest profile pic I've ever seen.

WA said...

Wait, wait, wait--where's the rest of the Circus Circus buffet bit? I'm nostalgic for it too, but I'm comforted by the fact that the fried fish I ate there one night in Reno in the late 80's is still being digested as I type.

And Charo + Thanksgiving + PTA = FAB-U-LOUS!

Wendi

TattooedMinivanMom said...

Dude, you just confused the crapper out of me.

Are you trying to say I frequent Barry Manilow fan chat rooms on EHarmony and make grown, sorry-ass single men cry?

Sheeeeeet, I knew someone would recognize me. That mustache just ain't as effective as it used to be.

Renee said...

Does Mouse know how funny her mother is?

Love Renee

VE said...

But does one really need a Bay City Rollers exclusive station? I think not!

Sue said...

I like the sounds of that Strudel channel....but I am half Polish and polka music is always so much fun....

Nap Warden said...

Now I am officially the LAST person on earth without satellite radio. I would be all over any bad 80's station!

BoufMom9 said...

Congrats on your SITSday!
I will visit your other posts "tomorrow" after i go to bed ;)

Sig said...

No satellite here, but congrats on being featured!

San said...

Hallo from SITS! And a big round of applause for being FB! I can see why you were chosen! You are hilarious! :)

Well, I don't have satellite radio, but I'm pretty sure that if and when I do, my hubby's gonna be the one to install it! Haha!

Ladybird World Mother said...

!!!Oh, have just found you... will just wipe tears of mirth away... its no good, need tissue now. Will be back...

Sandy Toes said...

Hello from SITS!
-sandy toe

Bella@That damn expat said...

Coming over from SITS. Congrats on being featured!

Stacy's Random Thoughts said...

Been there, done that...ugh! :)

Happy SITS Day! ;)

Rhea said...

You know I think you're brilliant. Pure comic gold, baby!

Congrats on your SITS day in the sun, and enjoy all the extra comment love!

NJDecorator said...

Happy SITS day to you....

I also want to thank you for the opportunity to spit my morning caffine all over the keyboard. Too funny!

Astrid said...

No satellite radio here.

We listen to lots of kid music here and when I'm driving without the kids the only thing I want to here is NOTHING.

Happy SITS day! I'm so glad I found you!

Cindy said...

Jean Nate? I haven't heard that world in 21+ years :)
Congrats on being a featured SITSta!

Oh, we love Howard in this house... subscribers for as long as he has been on satellite.

Barely Domestic Mama said...

Thanks for the laugh over your XM experience! :)

I wandered over to your blog from SITS.

Kathleen said...

Happy SITS day! Your writing is a total hoot, thank you for the laughs this a.m.!

Enjoy your day!

Shelley said...

Happy SITS day. Congrats and be sure to bask in all the SITSta comment love.
Your blog is hilarious.

Blue Castle said...

Satellite radio sounds neat, but I don't really have any desire to spend more time in my car. Which is what would happen, if I ever got it. :)

Congratulations on your SITS day!

lizspin said...

Congrats on your big saucy day!!!

TheXMom said...

Love the post.. I don't have XM but wouldn't mind it.. can you get it for in your house?? I'm such a technology dork... anyway congrats on being the FB over at SITS... Glad I found your blog.

Monica said...

I love my satellite radio! Hope you enjoy yours once you get the hang of it!

RebeccaMom said...

Congrats on being featured at SITS! Hope you have a great day!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Very funny post, I have not gone there yet myself. Congrats on your big SITS day!

Princess Abigail said...

Gosh, at LAST! Someone who's life madness appears to ressemble my own ...

rock on sister!!!

Cathy said...

Stopping by from SITS to congratulate you on being today's featured blogger. I have been wanting a satellite radio for some time, but after reading your post, I think I'll stay with my 3 local channels.

Caitlin said...

I'm here from SITS, and your blog cracks me up!! I wish I could wear a mustache with that much panache.

(...that is the word I was looking for, right? I'm going to go with that.)

My First Kitchen said...

The "Neighborhood Watch look" is my favorite line. Congrats on being the SITS girl today! I'd post on one of your featured articles, but I sort of already did. I sort of feel like I'm friends with a rockstar. Or at least someone who's married to one.

Veggie Mom said...

Congrats on being the SITS Featured Blogger. Enjoy your time in the spotlight!

Amanda in GA said...

stopping over from SITS congrats on being the fb today.

Kori said...

This post is so me. Loved it.

Congratulations on your SITS feature.

Kristin said...

I am technology illiterate. Your description of how to lost me. I will not be attempting satellite radio until it is outdated.

stopping by from SITS.

Ruby Red Slippers said...

I also love XM-we drove to FL from MI and it was Awesome not to have to switch and find a signal...funny girl are you!

M said...

I'm super excited, I thought it was just me that XM hated.

Just wait, it gets better. You think paying for 2 years would be the easy choice...wrong.

Lisa M said...

congrats on being the SITS featured blog!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Featured blogger? I thought everyone was already reading you, kind of like a satellite blog.

I'm feeling sassy today because you are the first featured blogger that I had already discovered on my own.

DOes your 2 million stations include a Jawaiian music one?

MuseSwings said...

Congrats! You and your moustache are featured on SITS today.

Michaela said...

Great, now I'm not sure if I'm jealous or not. ;) Eh, I don't get out enough to want to have it, booo!!

Congrats to being todays SITS feature!

anti-supermom said...

great to meet you and your blog. So funny.

Happy, saucy day.

Jennifer said...

Haha! Perhaps I should try that satellite radio stuff! Sounds worth it! But another addiction?.. I dunno about that!

It's All Good said...

youre blog is hilarious, keep it up!

WheresMyAngels said...

So, it sounds so worth it. I love to have even more confusion added to my life. My satellite TV is just not enough these days.

Eudea-Mamia said...

Sadly, my new GMC came with satellite radio. I too wondered why people would bother. One year later, and I just paid a large sum to reup my subsription for the next year.

I never thought I would see the day when I would PAY for radio.

How I long for the days of rabbit ears and boomboxes.