Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

seen and heard


Seen, in the CD section of Borders, where they break down the music they sell into categories and put big signs over the bins: "Comedy/Wedding Music."

Seen, in the Water Street laundromat parking lot: Some poor fool who had to use clear packing tape to put his front license plate back together, all because the 3 random letters that follow the 3 random numbers (Wisconsin plates are always 123-ABC) said "MEH." Really -- pay the extra $25/year for a personalized one if you really need a license plate that says "MEH."

Heard, at Eau Claire's sole authentic Mexican restaurant, where the food isn't microwaved and the service doesn't suck: Two college wrestlers chatting. I couldn't tell if it was a date -- one of them was either really manic or really nervous -- he wouldn't shut up. And because of that, I got to hear him expound on all sorts of topics. But my favorite was about how this morning, he'd gotten an email from the athletic director, and "there was a word in it I've never seen before. I didn't know athletic directors knew big words."

After he then took a phone call a few minutes later and had to look at the menu to tell someone where to join them, because "I don't know the name of this place," I pretty much gave up. Oh, but not before he described the person who would be joining them as a "nontraditional student -- you know, he's 25 or 26."

Best part (so far) of aging? Being able to slyly smile to myself and think, "My dear, your turn will come." And when it does, I'll graduate from sly smile to full-out belly laugh. ;-)
Now playing: Joshua Radin - One of Those Days
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, April 25, 2009

can we stop slagging bipolar people, please?

Or, "things that make ya go ARGH, part 2."

I wrote a column about this once. My editor spiked it. This is my revenge.

I happened to be doing my morning rounds at the courthouse one day at the same time a competitor was there doing the same thing. Without naming names or gender, let's just say this person is a well-known doofus, and not all that well respected.

Under discussion was the case of a 19-year-old girl. I don't remember what she'd done on that particular occasion, but I remember covering her sentencing on a variety of charges. At 19, this girl had racked up 27 -- that's TWENTY-SEVEN -- felony charges, been married and divorced, and had a kid whose father also was in prison.

The doofus mentioned above, who was snarking about this with one of the court clerks, laughed it off by saying "yeah, she's bipolar or something," in a tone of voice that suggested "woo-woo, batshit-crazy!"

Sometimes I say something, sometimes I don't. I wasn't in the mood to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person that day, so I didn't. But I did write a column about it. Which got spiked. Because, although it would have reached about 30,000 subscribers and untold numbers of others via the Web, and thus been a tremendous public service, it made my editor nervous.

Example 2: A youngster of my acquaintance recently posted a Facebook status about moving somewhere "bipolar people actually take their meds."

You gotta pick your battles with the under-25s. Right now I don't have time to battle *anyone,* as I try to wrap up an interstate move. But I'm thinking about what I'm going to say later. There's still hope for the kids. It's the people who are older than me (cf. Doofus) who are beyond reach.

Did you ever see "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"? It was a midnight movie staple when I was in college, to the point that we went every week and soon had it all memorized. At one point, the narrator says about the main characters' predicament: "It was to be....."

(dramatic pause requiring audience interaction, which consists of shouting "A PICNIC?!"

Narrator: "NO picnic."

Folks? Mental illness is no picnic, no matter what flavor you might be subject to. I get bitchy about bipolar because it's an issue for me. There are plenty of other places to educate yourself on the wide bipolar spectrum, so I'm not going to do it here (I encourage you to visit Psych Central for lots of good information, however). What I *will* do is tell you that it is TREMENDOUSLY uncomfortable to feel your moods switch on a dime -- used to be a matter of hours for me, today it happened in a matter of minutes. It's horrible wondering what the medication that they really don't know jack about yet is doing to your brain, and how addled you might end up down the road because of it. It's even worse when the shit doesn't work right, or at all, or causes side effects that suck worse than the original problem (thanks for the diabetes, Seroquel! Thanks for the bone marrow failure, Lamictal!). I am here to tell you that being a prisoner of your own brain effing sucks. Pure and simple. A little compassion is in order -- not snark.

There is, of course, a website devoted to the other thing I hear a lot of: But You Don't Look Sick. It's true -- all my limbs and organs are intact (for now) and more or less functioning appropriately. But you can't LOOK at someone and tell they have an autoimmune disease, or are painfully aware that their thought processes are woefully disordered and yet are unable to stop the thoughts. (I find myself in that position now and then. If I actually told someone the thought that was on "infinite loop" in my head awhile back, I probably still wouldn't be out of the ha-ha house. And I *knew* it was twisted and disordered and plain old batshit-crazy. But knowing that didn't make the thought stop, or completely convince me that it would be a really bad idea to go through with it. For what it's worth, I didn't. But to know you're f'd up and yet just have to wait it out till it ends on its own is disconcerting, to say the least.)

To look at me, though, you wouldn't know this. I get told a lot I'm considered "high functioning" -- you know, like all crazy people need to be wild-eyed homeless alcoholic freaks. One way or another, my mental health always gets in the way of whatever job I have, but I'm able to hold them for respectable amounts of time. I bathe on a regular basis and only a few pair of my socks and undies have holes. ;-) But because I'm not walking down the street glassy-eyed, pushing a shopping cart and jabbering to myself doesn't mean there isn't something going on sometimes. I wish more people understood that.

As always, Kurt said it best.

From "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," where the main character tosses a life of wealth and privilege to live among and help the poor however he can. In this case, he's helped deliver a set of twins:

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

Now playing: Johnny Ferreira - Dig That Crazy Chick
via FoxyTunes

things that make ya go ARGH.

Or at least things that make ME go ARGH.

-- Awful song lyrics.

Putting aside AC/DC (great music for beating the crap out of inanimate objects when you're pissed, frighteningly antisocial lyrics), there is one that has always bugged me.

From "Save a Prayer," off the Duran Duran album "Rio":

"Some people call it a one-night stand, but we can call it paradise."


Look: I know that in 1984 or so when that came out, they were all horny 23-year-old boys. (Which is redundant, but you know what I mean.) In 1984 I was 19 -- nowhere near the old fart of 2009 -- and even *then* it offended the shit out of me. And before you go telling me about how it doesn't matter, to me, it matters. Nobody really grasps that I have more affection for language than for most humans and critters. (Not that there aren't plenty of absolutely lovely specimens of either group). But since I knew what a book was, I was a fan, and once I learned how to hold a pencil and make comprehensible marks on paper -- well, I've been in love ever since. Many is the time that I read a phrase, or a sentence, or a paragraph in a book and say "DAMN, I wish I'd written that!" And so with lyrics, too. To me the music has always been just a backdrop for the poetry.

So yeah, I get irked when language is abused, whether out of snark or ignorance. (Let's not get me started on the horrendous decline of people's ability to write standard English.....) Seeing words misused or abused is damn near the same as seeing those things happen to a human or critter I care about.

Anyway, the point of this blustery blather was to open a discussion on least-favorite song lyrics. So go to it. :-)

Another thing that makes me go ARGH is to come in a future post, as it deserves its own....

Now playing: The English Beat - The Limits We Set
via FoxyTunes

whoda guessed?

So today was the semi-annual household hazardous waste disposal day at the fairgrounds. I got there about 9:45 (started at 9) and the line was already ridiculous.

While it's a lovely service to have, it could have been better directed -- none of the volunteers seemed to know what the others were doing.

On the way out, though, I ran into (not literally :-) the police chief, who was out there being a sport and directing traffic. Wayne Nehring may well be the world's nicest human being. He has none of the 'tude one usually finds in cops and was always very friendly and helpful when I needed to work with him on a story. Plus, he'd sit and chat with me for a bit about whatever anytime I had to go do the routine cops check when my officemate was off.

Anyway, seeing him made me realize there are things I'm actually going to miss about this place. Like the non-surly cashiers at the grocery store. (Especially impressive because they're almost all teenage kids, and are unfailingly smiling and polite. It's the *adult* cashiers who are surly.) Other things too, but I'm trying not to think about it.

Who knew?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

love it...

"Regular people" make a doctor's appointment or go to urgent care. "Celebrities" check themselves into the hospital.

Gotta be nice to have unlimited funds.
LOS ANGELES – "Tonight" show host Jay Leno has taken ill and the taping of Thursday night's show has been canceled.

His spokesman, Dick Guttman, says Leno left his office at NBC's Burbank studios about midday, and checked himself into a hospital for observation. Guttman characterized his ailment as "mild."

Guests on the show were expected to be Ryan Reynolds, Jules Sylvester and swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Instead, NBC will air a rerun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

beyond even comically absurd.

So yeah, the Suburban Journals are crap. And with all the people they've laid off recently, they're likely to have become even worse (I haven't seen one personally in years, though). But THIS -- this is offensive on so many levels.

Reporter who took a bullet on the job gets canned

I know "loyalty" hasn't existed anywhere in the business world for decades, but damn.

Speaking of, the other beyond-absurd story to come out of the newspaper biz the last couple days -- guy who won a Pulitzer this week had been laid off awhile back.

When even the (allegedly) most prestigious award in the field can't save you,.....


Now playing: David Bowie - Fame
via FoxyTunes

if they don't kill you from salmonella first.

pistachios and blood sugar

Thursday, April 16, 2009

and so begins another trip around the sun.

Naturally, being both irretrievably middle-aged and a former member of the dead-tree media, I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for online, and god knows where my book that contains the column is. But as I began a new year today, I thought a lot about Ellen Goodman.

In her first book, many moons ago, she had an essay called "At The Age At Which Mozart Was Dead Already." (That would be 35, btw. She had just passed a birthday herself when the column was written.)

It began with a marvelous anecdote that has always stuck with me, about a conversation with her uncle during a quiet moment at his 40th wedding anniversary party. She asked him how the hell he'd stuck it out for 40 years. He said that every morning, he woke up, looked in the mirror, and said to himself "Fred? You're no bargain."

It went on from there to talk about how she was writing obituaries in Detroit when her college friends (one of whom is Carrie Rickey, the real-life basis for the "Sex and the City" Carrie) were having their first novels published; how somehow she never managed to live up to what she thought she should have achieved at any given point. Then one day she ran into a friend on the street, someone who appeared to have finally achieved peace with himself. When she asked how, he said that he turned 30 and realized he was too old to be a wunderkind, and that instead of comparing himself to Wolfie inking in the G-clefs at age 4, and realizing he would never be Shakespeare, he decided to just be what he was.

Last line: "I'd rather be alive than be Mozart."

Let me just say that this resonates tremendously with me, and you can ask for a reason if you want it.

Some days I feel every inch my age. I hate the physical breakdown that accompanies it. But I've grown rather fond of the wisdom. And all in all -- I'd rather be alive than be Mozart.
Now playing: Frank Sinatra - Young at Heart
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

file under: "that ain't right."

Tad Beutin and (especially) Joe Knitter are stand-up guys. Jay ADMITTED he said what is being claimed that he said. And all he gets is 90 days without pay?

Sorry. Like the guy, or what I thought I knew of him (which, since this whole thing surprised me, evidently was incorrect). But his authority, credibility, etc are shot, the city looks bad, and he really needed to lose his job.

On a personal note, I'm very happy to be out of the biz when I read about meetings that go until 1 a.m. ;-) I have covered more than my fair share (hellooooo, South Milwaukee school board!). I hope the JS at least pays OT....

South Milwaukee - The city's all-white Police and Fire Commission decided Wednesday to suspend Fire Chief Jay Behling 90 days without pay for using the N-word five times in front of employees of the all-white Fire Department.

The unanimous vote came shortly before 1 a.m., after 90 minutes of closed-door deliberations.

The deliberations followed four hours of witness testimony and comments by attorneys that began at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Behling, a 31-year member of the Fire Department who has been chief since December 2003, showed no emotion after the decision was announced and refused to comment afterward.

The firefighters union had asked that Behling be fired or demoted. Union president Glen McCoy, a lieutenant with the department, said the union would accept the decision but was disappointed.

"It hasn't fixed anything. We still have that shadow over our heads," he said, adding: "I think we have a lot of healing that we have to do."

During Tuesday night's hearing, an attorney for the firefighters union called nine witnesses to testify about the slurs and their potential impact on the department.

Behling attended the hearing with his lawyer but did not testify, and no witnesses were called on his behalf.

In urging the commission to remove Behling, union attorney John Kiel said: "His comments reflect on the entire community, they reflect on the entire Fire Department. They establish a culture that you cannot tolerate."

Behling's lawyer, Robert Mihelich, called Behling's slurs egregious and said Behling was ashamed. But he contended the union did not show that the epithets had harmed Fire Department morale, confidence about Behling in the community or relations with other emergency agencies.

"They have utterly failed to prove their case," Mihelich said, before the commission went into closed session.

Behling made the slurs about African-Americans at the firehouse on three days in February. The firefighters union confronted him about the statements March 1. The next day, the union filed a complaint with the city, which led Mayor Thomas Zepecki to suspend Behling for three days without pay.

On March 20, the union filed another complaint, this time with the Police and Fire Commission, asking that Behling be fired or demoted.

During the hearing Tuesday night at City Hall, three firefighters, who are members of the union, and a captain, who is not, testified about Behling's use of the N-word on Feb. 16, 20 and 23. Behling used the word in reference to a variety of African-Americans, according to the testimony: former Milwaukee Area Technical College President Darnell Cole, shortly after his firing; women at MATC's downtown Milwaukee campus; and people who come to Behling's church to receive food given to the poor.

All three firefighters testified that they were shocked and offended by Behling's slurs, saying they had never heard him use the word before.

One of them, Tad Beutin, said Behling told him "out of the blue" during a conversation: "These (N-word) keep coming to my church trying to get a free meal."

Beutin and the captain, Joseph Knitter, who is second-in-command of the department, also testified that they worried that Behling, given his use of the slurs, could not fairly enforce the city's anti-harassment policy.

Knitter said Behling had referred to female African-Americans at MATC's downtown campus as "(N-word) broads."

Two African-Americans were among more than 75 people who attended the hearing. Both testified for the union.

South Milwaukee resident Michael Knox testified about a recent fire near his home and what he had heard about Behling's slurs.

"What if this was my house?" Knox said he thought at the time. "My thing was, would I get that same level of protection or service?"

Knox had said in an interview before the hearing that Behling should be fired. "If they don't relieve this man of his position . . . that's just condoning it," he said.

The other African-American who testified, Milwaukee firefighters union President Bobbie Webber, said supervisors in the Milwaukee Fire Department who have made racist statements have been fired.

Roughly half the audience showed support for Behling by wearing stickers that said, "We support Jay." One of them, South Milwaukee resident Tara Withington, said before the hearing that she has known Behling for 25 years and he should remain as chief.

"He made a mistake. He owned up to it. He accepted his suspension. He apologized," she said.

In an interview Monday, Mihelich had accused the union of having "an ax to grind" in seeking to have Behling fired or demoted. He said the union wants the chief out because of a dispute it has with the city over staffing.

The union's lawyer, Kiel, denied the accusation. He said the union filed the charges with the Police and Fire Commission because the city did no investigation of Behling's slurs before the three-day suspension was issued.

In the formal charges, the union contends that the city has lost confidence in Behling and that he will be unable to "effectively represent" the Fire Department in dealings with other emergency services agencies in surrounding communities.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

reality check.

My preferred grocery store is kitty-corner across the parking lot from the free clinic where I spend the better part of every Tuesday lately (or so it seems. Wait was down a bit tonight, though -- 2.5 hours -- usually 3+).

I have a cold. Will it kill me? Not a chance. Does it make me feel like crap? You betcha. How such tiny little viruses can cause such misery is beyond me. So the whole time I was sitting for 2.5 hours in the clinic, waiting for my 3 minutes with the dr. and my 30-second needle stick and for frickin ever for my meds, I was sitting there saying to myself, "This sucks. I'm freezing, I'm exhausted, I want to go home and go to bed, and I have to sit and sit and sit here."

Finally sprung, I trotted over to Gordy's for a few things. On my way in, there were 2 women in wheelchairs, waiting on the local paratransit van. The driver was unloading another passenger. Apparently he was taking too long for one woman, who started hurling curses at him -- loudly. I thought, "Lady, I pay taxes in this town so YOU can get around FREE anywhere in this county. Quit bitching."

Speck? Meet plank.

I have gotten over the humiliation of having to spend my Tuesday nights with felons and homeless people and the like (not that I think I'm better than they are, just that I never expected to find myself in the position of needing good medical care and essentially being reduced to beggar level). I appreciate the hell out of the fact that every last person involved with this clinic, from receptionists to physicians and everyone in-between, is a volunteer, and that they do this out of the goodness of their hearts and concern for their fellow man. I'm glad it exists as a safety net for those of us who need it. But man, when you're already not feeling well, and you can't just walk into the nearest 24-hr Walgreens, hand over an insurance card and the scripts and have them in 10 minutes so you can go home and go back to bed, you really realize what you're missing.

I think I've said this before, but LORDY this country needs health care reform. Now, please.
Now playing: Beastie Boys - Sneakin' Out the Hospital
via FoxyTunes

Monday, April 13, 2009

RIP, Bird.

This guy was one of the great characters ever in a sport full of great characters. (Funnily enough, the weirdos are usually pitchers.) He was a lot of fun to watch, and the news makes me miss the pre-zillion-dollar-whiner days.

Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych

Saturday, April 11, 2009

applause, applause.

April 16th is my birthday too, but I'm not willing to share it with this overrated piece of junk! (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charlie Chaplin can stay, however. :-D)

Don't get me wrong, E.B. White was a fabulous writer, but it's only because of his reputation that this survives to torment generations of students.

50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice

Now playing: Joshua Radin - One of Those Days
via FoxyTunes

Monday, April 6, 2009

things that shouldn't pair up.

Top of my list? College kids during times of stress (midterms, finals) and all-you-can-eat buffets.

Having been there, done that, and gotten both the T-shirt and the stomachache, my old-fart self now understands how the adult patrons at Village Pizza in Columbia, Mo. must have felt the time about 8 of us descended on the place and attempted to eat it out of business -- and then amused our very punchy, mostly-sleepless selves by singing old TV show theme songs at the top of our lungs. Badly.

Went to the Chinese buffet in town here with a friend for lunch today. Seated directly in front of me were 2 girls, 2 boys, none of them over 20, I'd guess. The one guy concentrated on stuffing his face. The other concentrated on being as loud and obnoxious as humanly possible. The girls giggled increasingly hysterically the louder and more obnoxious he got, which, of course, egged him on. The funny thing is, he wasn't even remotely funny. And I decided I'd never complain about a restaurant full of toddlers again. At least they have a valid excuse for being loud and obnoxious.

Now playing: Elliott Smith - Somebody That I Used to Know
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, April 4, 2009

classic commercials

I had to explain to a non-American, non-native English speaker the other day what I meant by ascribing something to "Mother Nature." As I recall, I was using it in the context of the atrocity of snow in April, but then it got me to thinking about that stupid commercial from the '70s: "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature." I wonder what it says that I remember the tagline and not the product--but through the glories of YouTube, let's revisit Chiffon margarine, shall we?

Chiffon ad

Other faves:

Hey Mikey! He likes it!

This one, I'm afraid, is rather un-PC these days, but for me it conjures memories of Royals games on KMBZ and whatever their TV station was (it's the song that matters, not the bear):

From the land of sky blue waters

The flavor says butter

Feel free to add to the list!

Now playing: Supertramp - Gone Hollywood
via FoxyTunes

for your viewing pleasure...

...and that of other, increasingly blind fools like me, I found a template even I can read. :-D

Now playing: 'Til Tuesday - Everything's Different Now
via FoxyTunes

don't fix me 'cause i'm broken...

....i was that way from the start.

Rocco Deluca -- "The Gift"

I don't want to be
Political energy
A constant apology
Or an instrument of hurt
A hammer coming down
To pound and pound and pound
The door to your closet
Is greedy with love

Here's my gift to you
Accept it, accept it
That's all you have to do
Accept it, accept it

Confused, the twilight sings
It looks like diamond rings
The jewels that this hour brings
Throw shadows in the park
Don't wanna waste your time
Or take what isn't mine
Don't fix me cuz i'm broken
I was that way from the start

Here's my gift to you
Accept it, accept it
That's all you have to do
Accept it

Here's my gift to you
Accept it, accept it
That's all you have to do
Accept it, accept it

this and that.....

-- I stopped off for lunch today at a little place I've always wanted to try. It was suitably quaint, and the food was surprisingly good, but I noticed a stack of business cards at the register when I was paying and it caught my attention:


Who knew?

I had heard, long ago, about doggy orthodontia, and I once had a friend whose cat had his own cardiologist. But damn -- talk about niche jobs. ;-)

Which is exactly what I was talking about with my BIL earlier today. We both agreed that we never expected our skills to become obsolete in our lifetimes, then tried to figure out what else we'd be good for besides saying "Ya want fries with that?" And then I came home to a letter from the state dept. of vocational rehabilitation, which helps the disabled of all stripes find gainful employment. They'll pay for retraining, buy you office equipment if it's determined you'd do better working from home, remodel your house for office needs, if necessary, advocate for you with employers, etc.

Sounds great? Sure. Except that I applied in July, was told in Feb. that I was #2,511 on the waiting list, and now, suddenly, am off it -- right as I am in the middle of prepping for a move out of state.

Of course, it's the weekend, so I have to wait (not my strong suit) to find out if the offer is transferable, and how long a waiting list I'd face, again, if yes.

Wouldn't it be lovely if, once I made a decision about what to do next with my life, it actually stayed made? I certainly think so.

One other weird thing -- my caseworker would be the wife of a guy I worked with at the L-T. When we originally met over the summer, she didn't let on to that -- very professional, no "Oh, do you know my husband?" or anything, which was kind of her, I thought, considering what I was there for. And I know it's all confidential, blah blah blah. But it's still a little trippy.

-- Dept. of Unfortunately Named Companies: ASGROW soybeans (say it out loud)

I do love me some edamame, but not if I'm going to have to think of it forevermore as coming from a company called "Ass-Grow." I don't need any help in that area, tyvm. ;-)

(Passed a sign in a field on the way home, if you're wondering how this came up. The lunatic was just driving by, however, and not on the grass. Or soybeans.)

Now playing: Rocco Deluca - Gift
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, April 2, 2009

what's smart about this?

Behold the "smart car."

What, exactly, is "smart" about driving something the size of a large-ish box from U-Haul, in which you will be vaporized if you get hit?

Also, given the physical size of the American public these days, is it really "smart" to expect whole bunches of people are going to be able to fit into one of these things?

I saw one of these things today, and aside from being able to squeak into a tight parking space, I see no value. "Cheap" only equals "good" if you live long enough to finish making the payments.

Uff da.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

so long, Springfield.

After a 72-year run, on radio starting in 1937 and then TV in 1952, CBS has axed Guiding Light.

The death of soap operas has been predicted for a long time, because the audience is aging and the kids aren't replacing them. So this probably will not be the first one to tank. But it's sad anyway.

My best friend's mom got me hooked on soaps in 5th grade when we used to go to her house for lunch. They were the first people I knew with a VCR, and she taped Luke and Laura's wedding for us on General Hospital. My sophomore year of college, I made sure not to schedule any classes after 2 pm so that I could be home for GH, take notes, and post daily updates on my dorm room door to fill in those who weren't as obsessed. ;-)

The next year, I moved into a house with 1 TV and 4 CBS-watching roommates, and thus became a GL fan by default. That show and I have been through a lot together. But, eventually, my own life became soap opera enough for me, and I stopped watching somewhere in the mid-'90s, maybe. Apparently a bunch of other people did too.

Here's the notice from CBS:


CBS's daytime drama GUIDING LIGHT will broadcast its final episode on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009. At the time of its final broadcast, the series will have spanned 72 years and more than 15,700 episodes on television and radio.

Created by Irna Phillips, the show debuted on NBC radio on January 25, 1937 as the 15-minute radio serial "The Guiding Light." It made the switch to 15-minute episodes on CBS Television on June 30, 1952, although it continued to air concurrently on radio with the actors playing parts on both shows until 1956, when the radio show ended. In 1967, the series first started being broadcast in color, and a year later, the show expanded from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. In November 1977, the show expanded to a full hour. The series is credited by The Guinness Book of World Records as "The Longest-Running Television Drama."

"GUIDING LIGHT has achieved a piece of television history that will never be matched; it has crossed mediums, adapted its stories to decades of social change and woven its way through generations of audiences like no other," said Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. "This daytime icon will always be an indelible part of CBS's history, with a legacy of innovation and reputation for quality and excellence at every step of the way. While its presence will be missed, its contributions will always be celebrated and never be forgotten."

"No show in daytime or prime time, or anytime, has touched so many millions of viewers across so many years as GUIDING LIGHT," said Barbara Bloom, Senior Vice President, Daytime Programs, CBS. "We thank the cast, crew and producers – past and present – who delivered this entertainment institution, the beloved characters and the time-honored stories to our audience every day for seven decades. It's been a privilege to work with such an extraordinarily talented group of people."

The radio show's original storyline centered on a minister named Rev. John Ruthledge, and all the people of a fictional suburb in Chicago called Five Points. Today's show takes place in the fictional town of Springfield, and revolves around the Spaulding, Lewis and Cooper families. Throughout its historic tenure on the Network, GUIDING LIGHT has been the recipient of 69 Daytime Emmy Awards, including three for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series.

The show has broken ground with stories such as cancer, teen pregnancy, sexual harassment, alcoholism, abuse, AIDS and post-partum depression and, in 2008, premiered a brand-new daytime production model, featuring permanent sets inside its New York City studio and approximately 20% of the production shot in exterior scenes in the town of Peapack, N.J. In addition, directing and editing were changed to be done digitally and almost simultaneously, giving the sets a more realistic feeling and eliminating the need for production suites.

Now playing: Duncan Sheik - Memento
via FoxyTunes