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Actually, both quatre-vingt-huit (88) and quatre-vingt-neuf (89) are pretty cool. 

I just got back from a road trip to the deep south – about 1100 miles and a full 17 hours of driving each way.  Luckily, the car I rented had Sirius XM Satellite Radio.  It saved me from complete boredom without me having to pack all my favorite CD’s. 

It is an impressive thing to hear so many options for radio programming – from top 40 hits to hit country to hip-hop and soul to blues and jazz to talk radio to news to whatever you can think of.  But this time around (yes, I’ve done this once before) I was most impressed by the non-English programming.  And in particular the three French channels – two of music and one of talk.  My goodness!  What a great opportunity for a guy like me who studied French in college but hasn’t had the chance to really speak it since.  I got to listen to so much fun French music and try to re-attune my ear to the cadence and idiomatic phrases of the French language. 

Some of the music was clearly of indigenous origin – sounding like the progeny of Jacques Brel or Edith Piaf songs.  But there were also disco numbers and pop numbers and folk tunes (all no doubt also written by Francophones) and there were even  – drum roll – covers of classic American acts like Sonny and Cher.  Yes!  Sonny and Cher.  I had a good laugh over that.  If you can find it, I recommend a cool ballad by Luc De Larochelliere titled “Si Fragile.”  Several other artists have recorded the song as well.   It’s a beautiful song.  Another interesting song I heard was called “Reste” by Daniel Belanger.

Hmmm.  Maybe I could ditch my cable and do satellite radio instead for entertainment.  Heaven knows I am tired of the cable company raising prices and taking programming away at the same time. 

If you are planning a long drive in the near future, do look into satellite radio.  It made those 17 hours feel like … well, they felt like 17 hours.  But it made them a much more interesting and enjoyable 17 hours.

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