Comments by Cheryl-Anne Millsap

Comment for "Midlife Web Diary"

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Review of Midlife Web Diary

I listened to this piece and then took a minute to think about it. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
It's just this kind of quirky, strange-but-true story that makes This American Life so fascinating.
And the fact that Susan's whole online adventure led to a new life, and a new outlook, makes it more appealing to others. Especially women who might be in the same situation.

Comment for "In The Bath"

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Review of In The Bath

I liked this little piece. It was fun.
I'm always amused by the way people tend to have definite preferences when it comes to baths vs showers. And the reasons they give for their preference...
Personally, after listening, I wanted a little alone time with Mr. Bubble and a good book.

Comment for "StoryCorps: Mary Warm"

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Review of StoryCorps: Mary Warm

I first listened to this piece when it aired on Morning Edition in early December, 2006. I was half asleep.
I lay under the covers, listening to Mary's voice as she quizzed her father, and to her father as he replied, and I was very touched.
I found his comments to her, describing his feelings when he and his wife learned that Mary had Down's Syndrome, to be moving and admirable.
I'm a big fan of StoryCorps. And pieces like this are the reason I think it works so well.

Comment for "What if kids got to write the end-of-year letter?" (deleted)

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Review of What if kids got to write the end-of-year letter? (deleted)

This is a sweet piece, very engaging. When children talk about what is going on in their lives they are uninhibited and very open. Even when those events are sad, like the child whose sister is missing, or the boy who talks about being reunited with his long-lost brother. And then he mentions that his brother can be violent...

My only other comment is that I wish the ending hadn't been as abrubt. But it's still a very catchy piece.

Comment for "Mary Jo's Kitchen - Hand-dipped candy"

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Review of Mary Jo's Kitchen - Hand-dipped candy

I am now a bona fide Mary Jo fan. The simplicity of each piece, as well as the usable information in each one, grabs you and before you know it you're hungry for whatever it is she is talking about. Good work.

Comment for "Mary Jo's Kitchen - Pomegranate Seeds"

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Review of Mary Jo's Kitchen - Pomegranate Seeds

This is pomegranate as poetry. It made my mouth water even as it informed me. A perfect little drop-in for the winter months.

Comment for "Be A Man"

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Review of Be A Man

I laughed when Aaron Sanders explained that his inability to read the pamphlet, and get to the job of tiling the bathroom, left him feeling less than "manly."
As one whose feminine self esteem has been dented by cookbooks, sewing patterns and gardening guides, I feel his pain.

In a DIY culture, it's nice to hear from a DGID (Didn't get it done.)

Comment for "Three Generations In Manila"

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Review of Three Generations In Manila

This short piece is very well written. It evokes the scene, a grandfather's grave in Manilla, and reminds us that every interaction - no matter how small - leaves its mark.
This would be a good drop-in for Father's Day.

Comment for "Forgive & Forgetfulness"

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Review of Forgive & Forgetfulness

This is short (Perhaps, just a tidge too short?) and sweet but Norman makes a good point.
As a serial "forgetter," I'd like to think people forgive me, but I can't remember to ask...

Comment for "Why You Can't Eat Just One!" (deleted)

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Review of Why You Can't Eat Just One! (deleted)

After listening to this piece, I finally understood why I can consistantly be outsmarted by a bag of Cheetos and a box of Raisinets.

Comment for "The Perfect Christmas" (deleted)

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Review of The Perfect Christmas (deleted)

I liked the way this piece gently made fun of our slavish devotion to tradition, and at the same time made it all sound like so much fun.
The commentator took us through Christmases past in his family, as old traditions grew older and new were added. He teases his parents for holding on to those traditions.
And, just as you'd expect, now that he is an adult and a father, he's doing the same thing to his family.
Hope this gets some air time. It's fun.

Comment for "Commentary: When Kids Grow Up"

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Review of Commentary: When Kids Grow Up

Citing the statistic that 4 million grandparents in the U.S. are raising their grandchildren, the commentator expresses the belief that one of the best gifts we can give our adult children is that of independence.
"My children left years ago creating lives with distinct values," Vulgamore states. "My heart aches to keep my children close but I applaud their independence."
The tone of this piece isn't sweet or sentimental. Instead it is real and authoritative, with a healthy dose of grandmotherly common sense.

Comment for "Darkness at Midnight"

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Review of Darkness at Midnight

This is the season of clear, cold nights. Perfect for stargazing.
After listening to this piece on the loss of dark skies at night due to artificial lighting, one statistic stuck with me...Two thirds of the people in the world can no longer see the Milky Way from their backyards.
The piece also explores the connection between bright night skies, greenhouse gasses and the loss of the natural day and night rhythm of life.

Comment for "This Child"

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Review of This Child

There is an eloquent simplicity to this piece. The soft music and the direct, soft-spoken, voice of the narrator accentuate the poignancy of the story.
Told without bitterness, we get a sympathetic glimpse of the mother even as we imagine how the child must have felt.

Comment for "Happy Holidays! (Now buy an eyeliner)"

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Review of Happy Holidays! (Now buy an eyeliner)

I know exactly how she feels!
The home party business gets old very quickly. Why call it a girls night out when it's a business transaction?
Buying out of guilt or "peer pressure" as Sussingham notes, is the only polite way out. After a while, the lure of a glass of wine and homemade goodies palls and you start inventing excuses...
I had to go underground to escape Pampered Chefs, Mary Kay and Tupperware.
Sussingham's suggestion that we drop the pretense of getting together out of friendship, and instead pay a cover charge to cover the cost of goodies and bring in a little cash for the host, is perfect. A simple solution.

Comment for "Four Seconds: Suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge"

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Review of Four Seconds: Suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge

This is a beautiful, sad, piece. It's intuitive and instinctively crafted.

As I listened, when the essay reached the point where I thought "This is where I would add music," suddenly there was music...and it felt absolutely right.

Anyone who has ever had to pick themselves up after the death - especially the suicide - of a friend or loved one, will identify with the need to explore each detail and nuance.

The interview with one of the few surviving Golden Gate jumpers is fascinating and very revealing, and I was mesmerized during Warga's description of his silent, healing, moments immersed in the water.

A truly beautiful piece.

Comment for "Three Days Before Christmas in the Zombie Hut"

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Review of Three Days Before Christmas in the Zombie Hut

Probably a much better picture of the real holidays than the sweet stuff so many ( like me ) will submit.
It's quirky and a little tipsy and funny to listen to.

Comment for "Snowballs at Midnight Mass"

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Review of Snowballs at Midnight Mass

A sweet and unabashedly spiritual piece.
I could see the church-goers as they were described, with satin jackets and brassy hair. I was pulled into the atmosphere of a cold and very snowy night and the sound of a snowball fight in the light from the open church door. Very nice.

Comment for "Holiday Junkie" (deleted)

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Review of Holiday Junkie (deleted)

The "spend and waste season" is an excellent description of the modern holiday season.
Dr. Shana Weber offers timely suggestions for reducing consumption and for recycling materials over that might be discarded after the holidays.

(Makes me appreciate my grandmother who used the same paper, boxes and bows year after year.)

Comment for "Women Making Music: Lucinda Williams"

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Review of Women Making Music: Lucinda Williams

I liked this little peek into the personality of one of my favorite artists.
The profile is short, but thats ok. Like a little slice of cake this sound bite is tasty and leaves me wanting even more.

Comment for "Tough Love"

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Review of Tough Love

Lisa Wojna uses the words all parents come to use to describe parenting: "It humbled me."
In a straightforward and compelling voice, she shares the experience of dealing with the drug use of her children. The children she thought she could "love into a good home."
Wojna draws us in and offers a peek into her bewilderment, and frustration. Her sons narrate their own memories of that time.
With the sounds of a family meal being prepared in the background, she comes full circle. The ending isn't picture perfect, but it is real.

Comment for "Christmas Visit"

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Review of Christmas Visit

Short and sweet. This will get a chuckle out of a lot of listners. In fact, the producer should just market the script to all of us who make the same call every year.

Comment for "Commentary: Haunted Santa"

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Review of Commentary: Haunted Santa

Cute piece. Pat Kent Gulya puts a positive spin on the Singing Santa that serenades her from the closet.

Comment for "Carols on the Carillon"

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Review of Carols on the Carillon

I found this wonderfully sound-rich piece to be very engaging and perfect for the holidays.
Short does an excellent job of capturing the sound of the bells, and the effort involved in playing the instrument.

Comment for "Commentary: Spider Traps"

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Review of Commentary: Spider Traps

A light, but well constructed piece.
I like the idea of sweeping for the things that scare us, sticking them to the "spider trap" and then relocating them.

Comment for "Matchmaking Cabbie"

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Review of Matchmaking Cabbie

Nice to hear something fresher than the stereotypical "hostile" cab driver story.
I can't imagine leaving my phone number with a cabbie, but then I guess that's the point.
I like these Odd Job pieces. They're quirky but interesting.

Comment for "Gumbuster"

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Review of Gumbuster

To be honest, I had never thought about "gum polution."
I liked this little piece. The earnestness of the speaker and the convoluted - but very serious - language used to describe the act of removing gum from the sidewalks of New York, hooked me.

Comment for "Primary Sources - Sexy Teen Fashion" (deleted)

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Review of Primary Sources - Sexy Teen Fashion (deleted)

Engaging piece perfect for back to school broadcast.
The 15-year-old narrator is sharp. She tells her peers to leave the sexy, revealing, clothing at home and, when at school, to focus on using their other power - the power of intellect.

Comment for "The Lord God Bird"

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Review of The Lord God Bird

This piece captures the mystique of the Ivory Billed woodpecker, and the hopes of the fading small town that has pinned its survival to the bird's "resurection."

The soft cadence of rural southern voices, accompanied by the haunting melody of the original song, lingered in my ear and in my mind, bringing to life
a complex part of the country and the reality of an almost mythical bird.

Comment for "Finding Love in a Nevada Brothel"

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Review of Finding Love in a Nevada Brothel

This piece is sweeter, less cynical, than I expected.
"Copperfield," the trucker, evokes the image of a naive cowboy in a late-night movie. Cherry Rose, the "working girl," is matter-of-fact, but kind. (The characters from "Bus Stop" flashed through my mind.)
Makes you wonder what happens to these two.