Thursday, November 30, 2006

After A Week Off, I Start Answering Your Letters Again

I'm so sorry I didn't answer your letters last week, but, in accordance with the McCain-Schickelgr├╝ber Thanksgiving Correspondence Bill of 2002, I was legally unable to answer any mail on the national day of thanks. My apologies to those of you who wrote to ask about my delicious recipe for cranberry tofurkey scramble. Maybe next year!

Today's letter comes from Taylor, who says he's an "old friend from the good old days" (even though I don't recognize the name & I've never had good days, not now, not before), & he writes:

Good to hear you on the radio! We always thought your meth habit would lead you into a darker future - maybe working at a car dealership or something. The entire family appreciates the show, especially when it isn't on.
I gotta ask, though - what the hell do you have on the people at your radio station who give out shows? Aren't there laws against bribery or coercion? Is this something the FCC handles? Because no one in their right mind believes you got your show on its merits.

Actually, Taylor, the FCC has no rules governing the ways a person gets on the radio. My radio station, KOOP, is different than most commercial radio stations in that, unlike, say, a Clear Channel radio station, you don't have to have your blood drained & your personality re-programmed by a robot before you get a show.

But I find your slanderous comments more offensive to KOOP than to me. I feel the same way when people give my girlfriend pitying stares when they see us together. Obviously, no one out there can see the real me. Or, in your case, hear the real me. Except the radio station I love & the woman I shack up with. They both hear & see me just fine. & I'm all right with that, especially if they don't find out the other exists. Because then I would be in trouble of sitcom-like preportions.

Thanks for writing! If you'd like me to respond to an email, write me one!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Whither A Birthday Show For Magda?

Seriously, just because I have a radio show, should I be able to give my own girlfriend a special birthday show? What the fuck is up with that? What if [insert irate listener name here] wants to do a show about my girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/partner/lover/special animal friend's birthday, but they can't because they don't have a radio show? Does that seem fair?

Does this really make anyone mad, or am I simply reacting as I might react (since I am self-important & irritable) if I were listening to a radio show where the dude on the air was playing songs for his girlfriend's birthday? I dunno, but if I were the guy I am imaginging that I am writing about, I'd probably stop reading this blog right now & go read snarky comments about superhero Hostess ads of the 70s. Then I'd feel a lot better.

But wait! my more observant listener will note. Gary, didn't you already do a birthday show for your girlfriend a couple of years ago? & maybe also before that in 2002? Are you just going to play the same damn songs you played then? Didn't you once say something like, "There are so many themes that I'll never have to return to the same ones ever!"

The answers are: yes, no, & probably. There'll be a whole new slew of birthday songs for the discriminating birthday music listener. & not just songs about my girlfriend's birthday - it could be about anyone's birthday. & I'm doing it because the day happens to be her birthday. What the hell sort of boyfriend do you imagine I'd be if I didn't do a radio show for her on her birthday? Do you not want me to get laid again ever? Besides, I've been doing this "Self Help Radio" show for over four years now. You know how much I drink. I could very well be forgetting a previous theme. As I age, I'll repeat myself, like the old often do.

Sometimes to humorous effect.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Preface To Magda's Birthday Show: Who Is Magda? Why Does She Get A Show?

I'll invite you to take a little trip into the past. Nearly twenty-eight years, in fact - were you even born then? I was a mere ten years old, & had already had my heart broken & my teeth knocked out. But I am not travelling back to my past - I'd be more embarrassed than anything to meet myself - but to a past I never saw nor knew.

It's December 1st, 1978. The President of the United States is a space alien named Nell Carter, & the number one show on television is a Korean War high school comedy called "Welcome Back, M*A*S*H." In California, space aliens are slowly prying the state away from the San Andreas Fault & tipping it into the sea, causing a former governor named Reginald Reagan to promise he'll stop the aliens if he becomes President. & in a Bay Area hospital, a woman with the unlikely name of Barbara Muchlinski is giving birth to a space alien who will be called Magdalena.

Or was she? We're travelling back in time because the space alien named Magda, who happens to live with me & oftentimes makes me dinner & yells at me about my drinking, this space alien is a liar. She cannot be believed. She's told me the most ridiculous stories, from unbelievable tales about how whiskers help monkeys evolve to meeting David Bowie in Prague & helping him inflate his bicycle tires. Yes, this space alien, whom I love dearly, cannot be trusted. She is a fountain of untruth, prevarication, tall tale, fable, falsehood, statistics & damned lies.

So we travel back in time - we go to the hospital where she was supposedly born, to see for ourselves. We must do this, alas, with our imagination, since time travel is patent pending, but we can certainly trust it more than the words of the space alien I love. Because she can't tell the truth. In fact, I'm not entirely sure she's a space alien. For example, she cannot mind meld. She doesn't speak a space alien language, & she hardly ever gets collect calls from Alpha Centauri. & the ones she gets she insists are wrong numbers.

On our trip back in time, then, we need to examine her ridiculous claims, to prove or disprove them with the most ridiculous facts we can find. Here are some questions we'll need to ask ourselves:

- Where were space aliens usually born in the Bay Area in the late 1970s? Were they allowed to be in human-oriented hospitals?
- Was she born during an earthquake, when it would have been easy for a space alien baby to change places with a human baby? If so, is the real Magdalena Muchlinski living on the third planet around Sirius playing high-stakes poker & smoking like a chimney?
- Was her mother, Barbara, who is charming & very human, an accomplice or an unknowing vessel for space alien seed? Can we discover if her other children are aliens, or if they are hybrids?
- If we make bets in the past & win because of future knowledge, can we take the money into the future? Or does money from 1978 look like Monopoly money today?
- If we were born after 1978, can we stop our parents from meeting & see if we cease to exist? If we cease to exist, will we therefore be unable to stop our parents from meeting, & then begin to exist again? Will it become a cycle that never stops, & will those of us watching find it fucking hilarious?

Let's travel back in time, & return tomorrow, & report what we discover!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dysfunctional Family Holiday Haiku Wrap-Up

Man, what the hell happened last week? I know it was a holday week, but I was totally lame with the whole posting on the blog thing. My bad. My really bad. I don't know what was going on.

But in addition to subbing the Lounge Show & Virtual Noise, I managed to do Self Help Radio with the usual flair & grace. & kind listeners wrote weird haikus for the show, which I will share with you now. These are the winners, from fourth place to first:


At the Thanksgiving dinner
Waiting for the pie.


Mommy I’m sorry
The store took my fake ID
I can’t buy your beer


I was wrong to lock
My brother in the closet
From third to fifth grade


There’s no family
That doesn’t screw with your head
Your entire life

This week's show will be a birthday show because it happens to fall on the birthday of my beloved, whose name (really!) is Magda. So if you want to write a haiku for Magda, or a haiku for birthdays, then most assuredly you can do so by clicking here. She'll appreciate it.

Also, Friday's show - most of it - is now available on the Self Help Radio show archive page. Listen to it away from your family.

I do say "most of it" because the first few minutes didn't get recorded due to a screw up with the station's recording device. It's my fauly, really, so I should just say "user error." My apologies to completists & to the folks who made the music that you won't get to hear if you missed it live. Sigh.