Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 18?

2008 was a persistent cough with an intermittent sore throat. 2008 was to laugh. 2008 daren't, & most certainly 2008 mayn't, especially after we all agreed, don't let's 2008! A pox on all 2008 houses, & then a lot of us didn't own them anymore.

2008 sat in a pool of its own waste, yelling wildly at all the other years, but somehow sounding both more petulant and mewlish. 2008 was too cute by half. 2008 could never decide what to wear, so looked both foppish & unkempt. 2008 could barely pay attention, & paid nearly no mind.

2008 held its breath & still never got what it wanted. 2008 pratfell but wasn't funny anymore. 2008 was the year that cried "Wolf!" to a tired world. Every old idea 2008 recycled would have been cheaper to manufacture new.

2008 had wagged & snarled like a dog. 2008 fantasized more & more & dreamed less & less. 2008 took pills for all sorts of things: to focus on its standardized tests, to be better at sports, to keep the blood clots from forming in its legs, to see colors in the night sky.

2008 was not sure what it wanted to be when it grew up. 2008 lied to everyone about its sexual prowess. 2008 needed a shower & a shave &, toward the end, everyone agreed, was letting itself go. The impression 2008 left was slight, like finding a cut on your body & not remembering when you got it. Still, 2008 lost a lot of blood.

2008 gained weight but wasted time. 2008 wrote lots of bad poetry because hardly anyone wrote poetry to 2008. What a hypocrite 2008 was! What a sad sack of shit 2008 was! What a bleary-eyed malcontent 2008 was!

We all had mostly decent times with 2008, but the bad times were really, really bad. Now none of us can really come to grips with 2008. 2008 stole more than a year from all of us. We can help feeling, right before 2008 disappears, that somehow 2008 owes us big time. & yet. We know we'll never collect.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 18: My Thoughtless Dismissal Of Christian Heavy Metal Causes A Shitstorm

A new year. A cloud of poisonous smoke. A level five ogre with a plate of recently spoiled luncheon meat. A book of non-sequiturs. Three Irish setters named "O'Seamus." Everyone who will ever love you. Some who will not.

A rented coat rack in a drifter's squat in Bakersfield in 2008. The next-to-the-last day of the year. You're there. I'm there. Not surprisingly, Montana governor Brian Schweitzer is there. The following are the words recorded in the angels' notebooks:

You: Sexy.
Me: Remunerative.
You: Cavalier.
Me: Sandwich-board wisdom.
You: Fifteen points!
Me: Hollywood swinging.
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer: The Governor will carry out the executive power vested by the Montana Constitution and faithfully execute the laws of the state. In so doing, the Governor's Office will ensure that the state government continues to live within its means; that is, with existing taxes collected equitably and no additional tax burden on its citizens. The Governor's Office will ensure that the programs and budgets of state departments are sustainable and operated efficiently and fairly. The Governor's Office will protect the social capital of Montana, its families, businesses and communities by the judicious use of state resources and effective delivery of state services.
You: What he said.
Me: What he did.

A breeze ruffles a sports jacket which, if it lives long enough, will become fashionable for the last time in 2015. There is something like fear in the air. It's the scent of fast food french fries scalded with lard. The governor trembles.

You: I wish there were still three pickles left.
Me: Devil-may-care.
You: Must I wait for love?
Me: Ne'er-do-well.
You: This painful burden I carry.
Me: Brother-in-law.
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer: Terre de nos aïeux. Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux. Car ton bras sait porter l'épée, il sait porter la croix. Ton histoire est une épopée, des plus brillants exploits. Et ta valeur, de foi trempée, protégera nos foyers et nos droits. Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
You: I'm glad to hear it.
Me: Take it back.

Soon, night has fallen & it can't get up. The stars over the ocean step lightly, lest they be caught in a cross-current of mud, blood, beer & obscure human-tested pharmaceuticals. In the distance, a door slams.

You: Boys to men.
Me: All for one.
You: I'll be sure.
Me: Wrecks in effect.
You: Hair metal?
Me: No, no. Glam.
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer: What's a governor got to do to get some decent alcohol in this fucking town?
You: Roger Clemens?
Me: Clarence Clemons?
You: Clemons, Iowa?
Me: Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

A new year. Or maybe. No. No. It'll be a new year. Watch your step.

Monday, December 29, 2008

How Self Help Radio Changed 2008

Self Help Radio didn't help get Barack Obama elected President of the United States. Self Help Radio did not help India get to the moon. Self Help Radio was not involved in the death of [insert someone you like who died in 2008], although Self Help Radio did write an awful lot of poetry about that person three weeks before the death. Self Help Radio might have said something to offend the economy, but who will blame us for that?

Self Help Radio changed 2008 but being such a powerfully insignificant force for change. Self Help Radio may have been like the beating of a moth's wings that, thousands of miles away & decades later, causes a New Yorker to sneeze & infect a subway car with Mad Cow Disease. Science will find & dismiss a causal link soon enough, but for now, let the conjecture stand: even though you have no idea it exists, & probably never will, Self Help Radio is a miniscule force for change in your life.

(The actual ranking may be in the low high twenty thousands. But the actuaries are hogging the stats. They're still trying to prove that Self Help Radio kills the unborn at a higher rate than other radio shows.)

What does this have to do with pornography, you may ask? The number of Self Help Radio-themed pornographic series remained constant in 2008 (there were none), but where there's room for improvement, there's also room to dance. & Self Help Radio danced more than the average radio show in 2008. Radio shows are notorious wallflowers, so this may not seem to be important, but that's what they said about the Piltdown Man & look what kinds of hijinks ensued during that dance contest.

It's not too late to enjoy the last Self Help Radio of 2008 to glean for yourself what Self Help Radio knows to be true. Visit & make yourself believe what you ought to know you believe. Which is, Self Help Radio is. & most possibly shall be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh, Bollocks!

I'm sorry, friends. It's been a busy week. So can I take the week off from writing in the blog? Thanks!

This week's show is my favorite music (minus the electronica) from 2008.

If you're in Austin (or not), you can listen to my buddy Dick Dickenbock play lots of bluesy Christmas music on Blues At Sunrise this morning on KVRX from 7 to 9am (Texas time) & then, later, all kinds of Christmas music from 7pm till 1am (I think). That's on the 91.7 frequency. & live at Maybe he'll let me archive it. But probably not.

See you Monday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2008!

Before I sign off this blog until next Monday (I gotta get married this weekend, don'tcha know), I have prepared, a week early, this year's a Very Self Help Radio Christmas. It's live for your listening & Santa-sucking-up pleasure at You're welcome. Now stuff my stocking!

& last year's Christmas show is still available for listening to if you are so inclined. & why not? Aren't you just a little gay for Christmas carols? I thought so.

See you in a few days! Have a happy pre-holiday weekend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whither A Self Help Radio Christmas 2008?

Ho ho ho! I've said on this blog & in the privacy of my own head that I don't really have any supernatural beliefs, so why in the world would a weirdo like me enjoy Christmas? The truth is, I don't. I don't give gifts, I don't get gifts, I don't enjoy anything consumerish or consumery or consumer-oriented. But. It's sad to admit this.

I love Christmas music.

Not just the funny or ridiculous stuff - & of course I like the ridiculous stuff - but even the schmaltzy stuff. Of course you have heard all the really, really overplayed stuff. But I don't play that on Self Help Radio anyway. I just play the stuff I've been digging around for for the past year. & surprise, surprise! There's a lot of great stuff!

Not only that - but you'll get it early. I'm not going to be around this weekend for Self Help Radio, so my Christmas gift to you comes a week early - tomorrow!

& I don't like giving gifts. Well, except to you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Preface To Christmas 2008: Santa Pictures!

Hooray! It's drunk Santa!

Or is this drunk Santa?

Hey! Why is Santa so scary? I mean, he's really, really freaking me out. I wonder, has anyone ever done scientific research about this?

Whatever. The dude has sure been around a long time. But maybe it was Thomas Nast who invented him, so there's really nothing to be scared of. Unless. Oh god. Was it Coca Cola?

No? Whew. Boy, Christmas is weird.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blood Pudding

How to Christmas polka, part one: Find someone to Christmas polka with. It's not entirely clear if one must wear Christmas polka dots, nor what exactly those entail. Dots of some sort. Maybe green & red. Next hire the best-rated Christmas polka band in the county. Perhaps there is a polka magazine which rates polka bands in your area. If not, fair enough. Perhaps there's some sort of telephone directory. Look under "polka bands." Lots to choose from? No? How about "bowling alleys"? All right, polka band. Polka partner. Next plan a Christmas party. Booze is essential. Friends are not. Booze makes a lot of good friends. In general. For short periods of time, but you only need a couple of hours. Polka bands can run you into some money. Christmas polka bands will gouge you. Believe you me. Booze, band, partner. Need polka lessons? Easy. "Polka For Dummies." Huzzah!

Tomorrow: How to Christmas polka, part two: emergency room etiquette.

Today: want to hear what I think is the neatest electronica to come out in the past year? Easily done! Visit right now! Download! Listen! Electronic polka? Maybe not.

Friday, December 12, 2008

One Final Thought About A Weekend Full Of Cold Medicine

Too much isn't a good thing.

Or: maybe I should've had that flu shot.

Remember! Tomorrow Self Help Radio presents my favorite electronic songs of the year! Happening in the afternoon at Listen if only to hear how fucked up my voice sounds!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission Seven

Written for a young lady (not named Jane Jameson) in the spring of 1996. There's a sad story here, but I won't put it in here. Needless to say, I invented the "brain gophers" for her & this is the first time I've shared them with anyone but her. I hope she forgives me!


Denver, 1999. In the fairly civil Civil Engineering Lab of the famous Jane "Overpass" Jameson, sewage system designer to the stars, the Civil Engineer confronts Specula, leader of the Brain Gophers.

"What do you want?" says she. "Batteries not included."

"A cup of tea would be nice," Specula responds. Not even a little chagrined.

Pouring tea, Jane realizes that all these years just the hint of flowing liquid would make her have to go the bathroom. Even reading such a sentence, or a wonderful poem mentioning the lovely cascade of an elegant river, would trigger her urination fixation. She thinks she might need some sort of bladder control device, & thinks about designing one.

"Brain Gophers, despite what our name implies (& we didn't name ourselves, Ms. Jameson, our parents did)," says Specula, "don't need brains. We don't have brains. We certainly don't want human brains. We like to dig in them, it's true, but we'd rather have cake. Lots of it. With sticky candies on top. And a thin layer of candle wax & grime. And perhaps a little song."

Jane's ears perk up. "A bunny hop song?" says she.

"Of course not," Specula fumes. "A Brain Gopher song."

Jane consults her World Almanac. Nothing there about Brain Gophers. She watches a little TV. Still not a thing about Brain Gophers, not even on the Discovery Channel. She reads the complete work of Henry James, who, she realizes too late, actually just seemed to have a gopher up his ass, not in his brain. She comes back to find the Brain Gopher beating himself in a double-blind game of of Stratego.

"I have no song," she says, realizing the world is doomed & she made need to start packing, "but I have a rhyming couplet."

"Hit me," says Specula.

"Okay," says Jane. She clear her throat, which hasn't felt well since March of 1996, and intones:

"No one ever can begin to explain
Those pesky gophers of the brain
But we can use lemon juice on that stain."

"That's not a rhyming couplet!" the Brain Gopher snarls. "That's a rhyming triplet!"

"Would you like an overpass with that?" asks Jane.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Whither Gary's Favorite Electronica 2008?

Ah. cold medicine. How kind you are to those of us whose noses are rubbed red from incessant blowing! You have let me see, through the cotton & fuzz in my head, such winsome colors & marmalade skies. That is why I am proud that this week's Self Help Radio will be a tender & thorough explication, exploration & explanation of my friend the cold/sinus medication.

[Uh, Gary? No, no, it won't. - Ed.]

Who said that? Holy fuck me! Is the cold medicine talking to me again?

[No, Gary, it's me. Your editor. - Ed.]

Ed.? Ed.? Who's Ed.?

[Remember, fifteen years ago, when they pulled you out of a Bombay slum where your vacationing parents had left you with only a sign that read "Help Me - Victim Of Chernobyl"? I was part of the team who put your back together. We wanted to make you bigger, stronger, faster. We had the technology. Instead, we found you liked to do radio. I was asked to keep an eye on you & make sure you could string proper English words together in a sentence. - Ed.]

I don't remember any of that. Is it true?

[What's true is true if you think it's true, Gary. - Ed.]

I think I should up the dosage of my cold medicine!

[& I think you should make sure that this week's Self Help Radio is your pick of your favorite Electronica of 2008. - Ed.]

Favorite electric cold medication!

[We would have made so much more money off you if you had just let us replace your brain with a barrel of monkey. - Ed.]

Monkeys on cold medication!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Preface To Gary's Favorite Electronica 2008: What's So Bad About Robots?

Warning: I am still cold-sick & am full of difficult medications. So before I tell you why robots will eventually enslave us & make us into no better than toasters for their sick fantasies, let me assure you that I am as lucid as the old mill stream. Or if I could put it in limerick form:

    There once was an inveterate drummer,
    Whose lack of teeth made him a gummer,
    Hoof & mouth disease
    Had killed all his fleas
    But they couldn't kill his neighborhood plumber.

I drifted off there for a second. What was I saying? Something about the nascent probability of orbital decay? That old party fluke? I never! Still, when it's balmy out, the medication makes me feel the strangest pure joy. I should like to blow my nose exclusively in the shower. We wait, don't we, for the many ways to bend & unbend.

Still not convinced? Exhibit R: robots! They may seem lovable now, but doesn't a knife seem nice until it's cutting your jugular? Could I say the same about scissors? & David Duchovny?

I trust you'll vouchsafe my godspeed as I away? Very well. Damn, this is good cold medicine.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm So Cold For You

It's true. Despite another wonderful Self Help Radio in the can - last week's Birthday Show is being celebrated by virtually everyone who ever had a birthday - which may explain why all the robots hate it - damn you robots! - as I was saying, despite being flush with triumph at making another show which is better than most of the other shows being made by anyone within a three hundred foot radius of me (you know, because I have a restraining order against all other deejays - which of course makes segues at the radio station very difficult), I caught a cold this weekend. It sucks.

It may not be simply a cold. It may be what savvy medicos are calling "a sinus infection." Wait? What's that? If it's a sinus infection I may need antibiotics. Antibiotics are heavily promoted by the wealthy & powerful Evolving Germs lobby. I hear that politicians pay to not go to their fundraisers. Anyway, I don't want to see a doctor, so I have been chewing on some kind of cold/flu/sinus medication & it's the daytime formula so I can't even sleep.

You know why my friends are telling me to do? They want me to snort salt water. I'm not kidding. They say it's an old-fashioned way of curing a cold. I imagine it's a new-fangled way to destroy the mucous lining in your sinus cavity. But what do I know? My head feelings like it's filled with cotton. But salt isn't a powder I will snort, sorry.

Wait! Stop reading this blog! I'm still infectious! Sorry! So sorry about that!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Happy Birthday To You!

Are you Bhumibol Adulyadej, Sheldon Lee Glashow, Little Richard, Joan Didion, Calvin Trillin, J. J. Cale, Peter Pohl, José Carreras, Morgan Brittany, Krystian Zimerman, Doctor Dre, Wayne Smith, Shalom Harlow, Amy Acker, Nick Stahl, Shizuka Ito, or Chris Solinsky? Are you at all like them? Because they have one thing in common, & it's not that they've all seen the business end of Dick Cheney's Saturday Nite Special. No, today is their birthday!

& do you know what? Everyone, even insomniacs & reincarnated douchebags, has a birthday! Especially but not including my lovely Magdalena, the only woman in the universe who has not gotten so tired of my shit that she's kicked my teeth in! Since she has a birthday (it was this past Monday, by the way), & since she's so important to me, it follows that all birthdays must be important to me. Go ahead, give me a logic puzzle, I'll solve it.

So tomorrow's Self Help Radio will be all about birthdays - not just Magda's, but yours, too. Listen to it now or save it for your birthday week. What do I care? I mean, I do care!

Something smells like a microwaved baked potato. (Which is, of course, weird. Why bake a potato only to microwave it?) I'm getting the hell out of here.

Listen to Self Help Radio tomorrow in the afternoon exclusively at It'll sound as good as a birthday cake tastes. You have my recorded word on that.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission Six

Today's remembrance is from a silly email I wrote to a silly woman with whom I might have once had the chance to have a silly relationship but it fell through due to silliness. I am just posting excerpts of silliness.

The email was called "The Mlik Chocolate Melts In Your Hair, Not In Your Hamster"

She told me she was sad, & I wrote this:

You obviously haven't heard The Antacid Song!

Antacid, antacid
You don't understand my tummy
Antacid, antacid
You think I am a dummy

Just because I eat high heels
& travel with the acrobats
& skip all buffet meals
Doesn't mean I won't get mad

At my
Antacid, antacid
My stomach thinks you hate it
Antacid, antacid
He wished I never ate it

Just because I read real slow
& have a complex about cheese
& married an Asian ice flow
Don't mean I can digest grease

Antacid, antacid,
Can't we all just get along?
Antacid, antacid,
I mean, in spite of this song?

Now, *that's* sad!

[Later, I write:]

For example, I am having this conversation with you in my head right now:

Me: Hey! Don't eat that!
You: Why not?
Me: It's a bug with staples all in it!
You: I know, I put them there.
Me: But why?
You: He has a soft exoskeleton.
Me: But aren't you going to eat him?
You: Perhaps on a kaiser roll.
Me: Won't the staples get in the way?
You: Does the toothpick in the Schlotsky's sandwich get in *your* way when *you* eat it?
Me: I take it out first.
You: You do?
Me: You're afraid of it getting all runny!
You: Take that back!
Me: You won't eat a runny bug! You won't eat a runny bug!
You: I'll kick your fag ass if you don't take that back!
Me: My fag ass?
You: You have a very homosexual behind.
Me: You think?
You: So do dachsunds, though.
Me: You just said that because they're called "weiner dogs."
You: You have no faith in my abilities, do you?
Me: I take it back.
You: Your faith?
Me: What I said about the runny bug.
You: Why?
Me: It won't get runny, it'll get mooshy.
You: Not with staples in it.

See? Piece of cake!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Whither Magda's Birthday Show 2008?

There was an old fellow who lived down by the river. He spent the day taking pictures of the water with his mobile phone. He was a lonely sort. He never had anyone to send the pictures to.

In the night he liked to tap on a keyboard with the computer off. He pretended the croaking of the frogs was lyrics to his spasmodic beat. He would never really admit this to anyone. He spent most of his time in his own head.

A big storm came one day upriver. It was almost like it was looking for a place to live. Since he didn't do much upkeep on his home by the river, the old fellow was ill-prepared for the tempest's ferocity. He might even welcome the danger.

He couldn't take his eyes off the storm. He sat on the porch for a while until the pounding rain & the heavy winds started throwing clumps of earth & stones at him. Then he sat inside for a while & tap-tapped on his keyboard. The storm didn't stop. The storm, apparently, didn't want to stop.

Living in his own head, the old fellow couldn't often tell reality from what he wanted to believe was real. The storm was something real that had invaded his head. You can live most of you life in your own head. Love is the kindest kind of thing from the outside that gets in.

The old fellow's storm was the way he felt about someone he met in the real world whose smile had dazzled him. The storm could hurt him, he felt, but so far it had just been astonishing, swirling his life around. Too much to feel, too much to see, senses working overtime on overload, the storm in his head called love.

If he could, he would have made a radio show for his love's birthday. Since I can, I do. For the beautiful woman who makes a storm rage inside me just by existing. How could I not celebrate her birthday?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Preface To Magda's Birthday 2008: Why Is This Particular Birthday So Damn Special?

To answer that, I may need to employ verse. This is a song I've been working on for the past thirteen minutes called "High School Band":

  Met a girl from Poland, she was legally sweet
  I gave her my broom so she could sweep me off of my feet
  She took it as a chauvinist dig about how women
    should be the ones doing housework
  & punched me in the face for being a total motherfucking jerk.

I know, it doesn't scan yet, unless Bob Dylan were singing it, but it will once I add more profanity & set it to a totally awesome 1987 beat.

For those of you who think it's way too romantic for the likes of me, I will add that I intend to scream "Kill a cop! Cop a kill!" all through the song in a rad back-up mix-up that will play on a frequency which as well can be heard exclusively by Satanists & Christians afraid of Satanic messages.

All of this for the girl called Magda. Why? What is she? Is she some kind of anthropologist extraordinaire? Does she lay golden eggs? Does she use PowerPoint in ways that shame the common academic? Is this why she gets a Self Help Radio birthday show & no one else does?

Can anyone answer such questions? Or can such questions be satisfactorily responded to with another question? Yes & no, & also yes, but also here's something from the opera Carmen which I believe will further obscure what is truly my clearest of intentions:

La fleur que tu m'avais jetée
dans ma prison m'était restée,
flétrie et sèche, cette fleur
gardait toujours sa douce odeur;
et pendant des heures entières,
sur mes yeux, fermant mes paupières,
de cette odeur je m'enivrais
et dans la nuit je te voyais!

Do you see? Must you see?

Also, I lost a library book on the bus yesterday. If you find it, please get it back to me. I am sad about it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ten Berths Below

Someone told me something New Mexico. Someone else suggested something else West Virginia. Someone over there told me something over here Dramatis Personae. All this & nothing more! If & only if there aren't several things you need both off your chest & on your knees. I think we understand each other, South Dakota. If only we didn't have to spend the night in this hell-hole I call your life.

Mother father sister brother gene. How fastidious can you cancel out the last lasting vestige of your earliest unremembered memories? Don't try to bullshit a shitbuller. There's only one exit & that one's blue-balled by the Lord.

The only reason your rationale is crumbling like so much crumbly crumble cake is that you're too caught up in squabble with the rabble when you're too crabby to the cabbie. Look around you! It's as if someone made an entire world from Mary Tyler Moore's tears! You're going to break after all!

If there's therapy, then, my friend Ben, you know you can, within your ken, understand that men, now & then, lose, not win. Listen for example to a The Self Help Radio episode or two. Never you mind thematics - whether dysfunction in the family or hot pants in the cold wash, it forces no pills down the throat to keep you swimming. Just listen. Listen & be ill at ease.

Pony Rhode Island!

Friday, November 28, 2008

I Promised A Treat!

My pal Dick Dickenbock (who is kind of a weirdo) allowed me to let you listen to (if you want) & view (at the very least) his subbing of the popular KVRX show "The Heliocentric Hootenanny" which airs Thursday mornings from 7 to 9 am on (obviously) KVRX 91.7 fm & online at His show, which was trying to fit the format that the normal (if you can call him that) host follows, is available for your listening pleasure at the place. Please to enjoy.

Also, you know, this week's show will appear in a matter of hours. I should perhaps get some sleep.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving! I think I may have some treats for you tomorrow. Stay tuned up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whither Dysfunctional Family Holiday 2008?

I mean, what am I, some sort of hypocrite, since I don't celebrate Thanksgiving & I don't go home to be with the family during this long ass weekend?

No, I am doing it for you. You suffer with the family. I will provide the soundtrack.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Preface To Dysfunctional Family Holiday 2008: Painkillers Are Our Friends

Look at this remarkable website:

It says this: "Our collection of Family Poems describe the special relationship between brothers and sisters, the love for ones [sic] mother or father, the love of a mother for her child, the love between a grandmother and grandfather for their children. Emotions range from the beautiful memories of childhood innocence to the horrible memories of childhood abuse." Oh fucking boy!

& sure enough, it begins. Apparently eschewing good taste for alphabetical order (I approve), the site has as its two top headings "Abandonment" & "Abortion." I should ask these guys to do my show this week!

About "abandonment": "Family is who we look to when we need help. We expect our parents to raise us, our grandparents to love us, and our brothers and sisters to always be there for us when the chips are down. They are our blood and we depend on that connection. When a family member doesn't live up to our expectations we feel abandoned. When a parent, grandparent or older brother or sister puts their needs in front of our own, we feel abandoned and alone. In such a case, we are likely to feel sad, alone and anger." Blah blah blah. Look to family when you need help! They're usually the cause of the problem. Next!

About "abortion": "Abortion Poems. Poems about abortion by Adults and Teens. Poems for Mothers who have had abortions. Poems on abortions and unwanted pregnancy. Poems by teens about abortion. Abortion will always raise strong emotions." & though there are only six poems (six! come on!) in that section, I have to appreciate this dedication, from the poem by Kira which has the immortal line "Abortion is a motherfucker": "This poem is dedicated for anyone who had a abortion and felt remorse afterwards."

I didn't find any poems about unwanted pregnancy, by the way. I shall write some!

I dedicate these poems to you, Self Help Radio listener. Read them to your family this weekend. Oh you know you wanna.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Evolution Day!

Well, I'll be a monkey's nephew, if today isn't Evolution Day! On this day in 1859, Charles Darwin's seminal work "On The Origin Of Species" was first published. Early copies were naturally burned, & (not a lot of people know this) but early great sales were for fundamentalist bonfire circles, who were very happy to take a break from burning Voltaire's Candide for a while. I am happy to report that the fundamentalists then, like the religious today, refused to read the book at all. They were afraid Satan would fuck their brains with his hot, throbbing ideas. & they weren't wrong!

This has nothing at all to do with last week's Self Help Radio, which was all about stillness, & which is still waiting for you to listen to it, trembling imperceptibly, at Listen!

& happy Evolution Day! See you in hell!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Heart Stood, Still

So I'm looking around for songs about "stillness" & I am continually faced with the idiomatic fact that the condition of stillness - the lack of of apparent absence of movement - which is asked for in a sentence like:

Damn it, Winston, stop wiggling around! Sit still!

- is a different word (though probably still related, since time & motion are interdependent) than that in a sentence like:

Winston won't stop wiggling! Still, if it means he's happy, he shouldn't sit.

Ack! Anathema to your average theme-oriented radio show! We want specifics, not vagueness! & what's this with cross-part-of-speech behavior? I know yesterday was Transgender Awareness Day, but should a part of speech be able to change its "orientation" with impunity?

Uh oh. I shouldn't have written that. The gerunds are going to be mighty irked. I don't know why I can't keep my yap shut when it comes to insulting grammar. Oh course they're P.C.! That's an abbreviation!

Well, never mind me & my impending lawsuits. Visit tomorrow in the afternoon to listen to a celebration of stillness. It will be peaceful. Tranquil. Other nice words.

I can still promise that, right?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read All About Self Help Radio Extra!

Yes, friends & sailors, it's that time again, the sort-of middle of the sort-of month wherein your faithful spoon-feeder descends on an uncollected mass of songs he's heard lately & emerges soiled but smelly with another Self Help Radio Extra mix.

Self Help Radio Extra is not supported by any unions, trade organizations, chambers of commerce, fraternal conspiracy organizations, record labels, radio lapels, lapel labels, nor elementary school principals, & for that reason we can freely choose what tickles what we call our "fancy" & also probably what you call our "fancy" even though I'm absolutely certain we mean two different things.

No matter! Self Help Radio Extra exists & that's enough for you. Go! Go listen to it now! If not, later! If not, earlier! Just enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whither Stillness?

Shh. Can you hear that? Of course you can't. There's no breeze at all. The night. The night is perfectly still.

As is this blog. Shh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Preface To Stillness: A Slight Flutter

Old school listeners of the old-skool Self Help Radio, when it was in the Wednesday 1 to 3pm slot, will not be surprised that I still keep up with the "Weekly Review" which happens weekly at (I have become a big fan of the magazine, & read it almost from cover-to-cover every month.) I used to read the Weekly Review on the air, for my & everyone's edification, & miss doing it from time-to-time, especially with news reports like this one, summarized in the Weekly Review thus:

A German shoplifter with no arms stole a 24-inch television. “It's hard to believe,” said a police officer, “that the sight of an armless man walking along with a giant TV clamped to his body did not get anyone's attention.”

That's just wonderful. However, the week's news wasn't great for every differently abled felon, as this report shows, summarized in the Weekly Review:

A man in a motorized wheelchair robbed a Space Coast Credit Union branch in Merritt Island, Florida, telling employees that he was rigged with explosives; police caught him ten minutes later and recovered the stolen money from his prosthetic leg.

Space Coast Credit Union? Or Space Ghost Credit Union? I wonder.

I just wanted to give a big ups to the Harper's website today. It's a lot of fun. & since I'm a subscribed, I have access to all their archives. Nyah!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Anyone Could Have Directed That Movie

MAN I am sleepy. But my teeth are clean. Or they were clean as of 1pm today. Now I've been chewing gum & drinking soda. But even so, they're cleaner than they were at 12:30pm today. I have the bag with the toothbrush & floss to prove it!

MAN it's been a hell of a day. I spent the morning talking to credit card people & then cable people. If you can call them people. I have to pretend they're people, though, as they know the mystical integers that control my life: the last four digits of my Social Security number. If anyone doubts that we're not one day going to be slaves & laborers for computer overseers, just mediate on the last four digits of your Social Security number. All will be revealed.

MAN it's weird that I keep saying "man." It sounds vaguely sexist. Was there ever a time when sexist was sexy? For women who believe that being hateful & condescending is manly, maybe? I wonder if that has more to do with their self-esteem or their fathers. But I don't wonder too much. It's just a passing thought into which I put very little thought. Still, I need to mix things up.

WOMAN but saying that seems odd. I think I'm going to break into the John Lennon song.

WOMAN I can hardly express my tender feelings & my thankfulness for showing me the meaning of successssssssssss.

Ah well. I've written in my blog. Dooby-dee-doo. Go listen to last week's Self Help Radio show, all about tides. It's just me, Squeaky, & music. How can it be wrong?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Strange Little People, Eating Their Own Cheese

The regular folks at the Urban Dictionary are usually of great help when I need to round out a show. But not this week! Because a "tide" (which the show will be about tomorrow) is a thing about which there is not a lot of confusion, & the idioms that you find with the word ("turning of the tide," "time nor tide waits for no one," even uses like "eventide") have to do with the regularly of the physical process. But how do they define it at the Urban Dictionary?

TIDE, n.
1. What most white Caucasian people smell like. Comes from the brand of laundry detergent they all use, Tide.
Ex. Yo this cracka smell like tide!
2. Good looking person (used chiefly in Scotland)
Ex. That fellow is well tide!"
3. a. To prepare a pile of cut marijuana for use in a blunt, or other smoking preference involving the tuck method or tucking; often done with a credit card.
b. To create a pile of cut weed with a credit card, often preceding a tuck.
(The act of "tiding" was given its name by the resemblence of an ocean tide going back and forth, this is the motion one uses (back and forth) when tiding.)

Okay, the last one is related to "tides." The first one too, though indirectly. Check this one out:

"Tides low, crabs on the rocks"
1) Associated with the verb "to leave." Used primarily when people want to leave a dull party.
Ex. Person A: This party sucks!
Person B: Yeah, tide's low, crabs are on the rocks!
2) An expression alerting others that the person's testicles are itchy & he's about to scratch them, generally used in public.

Just like there are a lot of songs about tidal waves, there are some modern idioms in the Urban Dictionary:

tidal wave, n. 1. A feeling of intense hunger that rushes over you.
Ex. Dude, I just got tidal waved, want to go to an Indian food buffet?
2. A woman's thong visible over the back of her pants.
3. The fat roll that goes up the back of a woman during sexual intercourse from behind.

I have no idea what meaning # 3 means.

But remember! Self Help Radio is new tomorrow afternoon! Visit us at!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission Five

Still trying to charm the girls, I see. I miss writing these kinds of emails. I wrote this for a curly-headed blonde of German descent back in the summer of 1998. It did not end well. It was called:


Are you a CURLY-HEADED BLONDE of GERMAN descent? Do you often wish that PORNOGRAPHY were more ARTISTICAL? Do you LOOK BOTH WAYS before crossing your EYES & dotting your TEAS? Say, how much WOOD could a WOODCHUCK chuck at a guaranteed low wage & meager benefits?

If your answer is YES to all these questions (& 47 to the last one), then HAVE WE GOT A PRODUCT FOR YOU!!

First, put down that CHECKBOOK. Put away that ABACUS. Say goodbye to that shareware copy of TETRIS PLUS. Find some other place to store that IMMANUEL KANT reader. Clear your desk of those FISHER FAT-FREE GOLDEN ROAST LIGHTLY SALTED PEANUTS. Wash your hands of that LEFT-HANDED SCISSORS & GLUESTICK combination. Because your WILDEST DREAMS (as seen on TV) are about to come rushing out of your HEAD & into CYBERSPACE!!

Yes, DICKENBOCK INDUSTRIES, the same people who brought you the GLIB REMARK, the ASSHOLISH STARE & the INSOLENT INANE IDEALOGUE, is back with a PRODUCT so shiny it'll put a dent in your EYEBALL; a PRODUCT so tasty it'll make you wish you hadn't had BARBECUED RIBS for breakfast this morning; a PRODUCT so expensive that all three BUSH SONS would have to rob the UNITED STATES of a few billion more to put a DOWN PAYMENT on it; a PRODUCT so delightful it makes sitting in the BACKYARD with a HOSE & a KIDDIE POOL seem like a walk in COMPTON in the NUDE; a PRODUCT so passive-aggressive you'll feel like MOM & DAD never left the farm.

& YOU, , have automatically qualified to be in the ELIMINATION ROUND of the SEMIFINALS of the FIRST QUARTER TEST TRIALS. Send no money now. Or, hell, why not, send money now. You are almost certainly promised a place in the running. Certain restrictions apply. Offer not available to former video store clerks. Please see your lawyer for more details; if you cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one for you.


Your allowance will double! You'll be able to eat candy without rotting your teeth! You'll play piano like Liberace! You'll slim down to 3 pounds! You'll smell like a gerbil (a relatively clean gerbil, not one kept in a dirty cage utterly neglected by the three under-ten kids in the house). You'll learn more swear words than a Franciscan monk! You'll have enough money for the bus! AND MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE.

Send us your name, address, phone number, times when you & other members of your household are not at home, your measurements, an embarrassing photo, a bit of skin off the back of your neck (for DNA purposes), a sample of your handwriting (writing out "Cosy lummox gives smart squid who asks for job pen" a few times is fine; also, sign your name as you would on a check), your SAT score & your favorite recipe for oatmeal cookies (mm-mmm) to the address below, & wait for your package in the mail!

Oh, , this is indeed YOUR LUCKY DAY!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whither Tides?

Oh crap! I didn't have time to write in my blog today! I can't explain why I'm doing a show about tides! No time! No time!

Gotta distract you somehow! I know! Watch this video about smelling vibrations!

& I'll see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Preface To Tides: Spring Or Neap?

Today on the Self Help Radio blog (that's this place): a poem by little Georgie Snark, aged 7, sort of about tides:

There is no tide at the continental divide
Said the man to his bride
She thought he lied so she goodbyed
Though his eyes eventually dried he could not hide
His pride as he sighed
& looked on the bright side
With his future open wide
But his car did collide
With a tour guide in his stride
Though he could have made the auto slide
He took to long to decide
The victim was cast aside
& his safety was denied
The police asked the man why'd
He run the guide over & he replied
"I am like Jekyll & Hyde"
But the excuse he supplied was denied
& at the court where judges preside
It was implied that he would be tried
Where justice would be applied
But as if to deride
The criminal justice system's bona fides
He died.

As awful as that is, here's how I began this post before Georgie sent in his poem:

In conversation with a conservationist, I happened to overhear an overbearing person complaining about plain communication.

You dodged a bullet!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Now More Than Ever Before!

If you can believe it, Self Help Radio has entered the twentieth century - er, I mean, the twenty-first century - with guns blazing & shirtsleeves uprolled. Wait. Is it the twenty-first century yet? I couldn't throw away my 1987 Garfield calendar. That cat is fun-nee!

In any event, Self Help Radio has begun communicating on a more modern level. That's right! We've incorporated the latest improvements in telepathic slang & nanotechnological gesticulation to make every movement & utterance more meaningful than previously thought possible. Skeptical? Cynical? Cyclical? Have you not been paying attention? YOU'RE UNDERSTANDING ME NOW!

In the immortal words of Carol Burnett &/or Freddy Nietzsche, "The last thing at the end of the day is to say you're really fucking sorry about the first thing at the beginning of the next day." Actually, that's not either of them. I think I heard it on Smallville. Or maybe Californication. But that makes the point: we're hip to the happening network & pay cable shows! We are high def & low culture & there'll be no middle ground anymore - we come at you like geese at a cracker. No two ways about it. Idiomatic & hydrostatic. Problematic & slightly grammatical. Tables out, chairs in. No more puzzles - just problems!

We welcome you therefore on the journey that, if we had a lifetime, would have begun earlier. Since we needed time to get our bearings, learn to read, lose our virginity (we wish!), wait for the appropriate technology to be invented, buy a computer, find a radio station that wouldn't make us play crappy music, & stop being so afraid all the time (we wish!), we have a fraction of a lifetime. But it starts now! But what about last week's show? What about all the shows we've done in the last year? Well, visit them if you must, but don't get hung up. That was then, this is tomorrow. Now. Tomorrow now! Today!

Todaymorrow! Right now! & also later. It's a continual process. Morrowday! Something like that. We're working on it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Week Day Day Dreaming

What a week. I know, I haven't spent much time talking about Self Help Radio, but then, you haven't spent much time talking about Barack Obama. Or the election. Or people committing suicide by jumping off spaghetti bowls & then leaving notes for the president-elect. So I suppose we're even. Not! You owe me! You owe me big time!

I can talk about tomorrow's show today, however, & that sounds a little like a bumper or whatever you call those things that people play to hype something coming up. A teaser? A French tickler? A Barack Obama? Who knows. Anyway, I will - I promise! - finish the Indiepop Cs tomorrow. You have my word on it. Will I get to the Ds? No. Will I include bands that will make indiepop purists be all like, "Aw, man, the Cranes [or insert any other band name] ain't indiepop!" I will! Will I get a weird email from a person who's not really in a band & who in fact has only made recordings for his myspace page under a band's name complaining that I didn't include his band in "it's rightful place" in the Indiepop A To Zs? I don't imagine I will. Not again, anyway.

Listen! Listen at! Listen in the afternoon! You won't be sorry. You may feel a little sick. But that's because you'll drink too much tonight. I am not responsible for that. Really I am not.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission Four

Trying to flirt, failing miserably, I make fun of some "Myths & Facts" about STDs-type handout. This email from September 1996!


MYTH: Gary's emails aren't serious, so there's no need to worry about them.

FACT: Gary's emails are usually easy to ignore. But that's the key, they *must* be ignored & only a hard-ass attitudinal chick can accurately notice the seriousness of Gary's emails & act accordingly. Email of Gary's that is allowed to go unignored can be dangerous. If its bacteria & harmful desires & ideas spread through the brain & into the vital organs, it can lead to a more severe condition, even possibly sexual contact.

MYTH: Drinking a lot of cranberry juice will counteract the affects of Gary's email.

FACT: While cranberry juice is tasty & leaves your lips all red & sticky, it cannot help you with Gary's email. Only antibiotics, taken as proscribed by a health care provider, & some serious attitude, available only through your self-respect & self-knowledge, can stop the effects of Gary's email.

MYTH: As soon as one of Gary's emails is read, its danger is gone.

FACT: Results of Gary's emails may disappear after the email is read & deleted, but the irritation of ideas & self-understanding (not to mention the back-handed flattery & the saccharin sweetness) may remain in the heart & brain for much longer. That's why it's important to take all of the medication prescribed, sleep with as many other boys as possible, smoke butts & hang out with tattooed & pierced ne'er-do-wells, & admire yourself in mirrors & windows, because although you may feel all right, the sick words that remain in your head can lead to a recurrence of the email's effects.

MYTH: If Gary is able to write such stuff, he may be intelligent (cute, witty, charming, etc.).

FACT: Gary is dumb & ugly. Like you first thought. Duh. Much of his material is a bad copy of things he's read or heard. Reading more, listening to more music, watching more movies, etc., will enable you to catch him in his plagiaristic ways.

MYTH: The flightless hummingbird can go for weeks without drinking any hard liquor, though usually that's because it's working & just doesn't have the time.

FACT: Well, actually, that's true.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 17?


I almost didn't come in to work today. What a magnificent moment in my country! What a remarkable thing to happen in my lifetime! It's a hell of a time to be alive.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 17: Aw, Who'm I Kidding, I'm Paying Attention To The Election!

Damn it! Why couldn't I have slept all day! Polls won't be closing anywhere for hours, & the exit pollers are being more careful because they're afraid they'll get burned. Rats!

Can you believe Obama may well win this? Everyone is predicting victory, but I personally believe that if there's a way to steal an election, the Republicans will find it & do it. Not that I'm terribly partisan, but I find what Robert Kennedy Jr wrote about the 2004 election (& the current one) compelling, & of course the 2000 election was a fucking joke. So. The bets may be on Obama, but I hope people keep voting & I hope that he wins.

I'm quietly working on this week's show, but I can't wait for this election to be over. Egads! Gadzooks! Zounds! Zoiks! Sputter sput sput!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Please Vote!

This tiny blog, which gets an average of no readers per day (I don't count myself, but if I did, it really wouldn't affect the average) (as I am a non-person) (they got the joke, dumbass) (touchy!), still would feel remiss & non-citizen-like if it didn't contain this message:

Please vote tomorrow.

That's all. This blog would prefer you vote for the person that the person who writes this blog voted for (Barack Obama), but this blog would also just fucking LOVE to live in a country where a vast majority of its citizens voted. Who cared enough about the future of their communities, their cities, their states, their federal government, to vote for people they felt represented their views! Surely you'd like that too!

So please. Vote. Or the ghost of Molly Ivins will haunt you.

Or, who'm I kidding. I'd love the ghost of Molly Ivins to haunt me.

Still, vote!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Witch Finds Enlightenment

I hope everyone has a happy lolloween & is able to avoid the dangers of weird-tasting alcoholic drinks & diabetes this weekend. Self Help Radio exists as a public service to enhance & support your Halloween experience by having two shows available for lovers of both witchcraft & zombiecraft. Both are available at Please to enjoy.

Disclaimer: Self Help Radio does not worship Satan. Satan is, however, a fan of Self Help Radio.

Speaking of suffering, this week's Self Help Radio will help you find Enlightenment. Not The Enlightenment, although that would be a cool idea for a show. No, this week's show feature songs & talk about finding Enlightenment. Drugs are, as always, optional. Visit in the afternoon tomorrow to listen. Afterwards, we'll hang in nirvana.

Have a fun weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission Three

This is a parody of T S Eliot's "The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock" that I wrote in 1997 for a young lady (her name was in the title, but I've renamed it with something other than that, so it won't reflect on her) who, it turns out, hadn't read the original. It did not make her fall in love with me. We had an argument a couple of months later & never spoke again.

The crappy Italian at the beginning was done with something like Babelfish & I have no idea what I meant it to mean. Just nonsense phrases like "My dog is named Sparky" or something.



The Love Song Of L. Betty Butter

Che cosa vuole con me?
Capelli rosso mi spaventa.
Mi piacerebbe fare il bagno regolarmente.
Qualcuno ha preso il mio dolciumi.
Potrebbe essere il mio cane Sparky.
Per favore lasci io solo.


Let me go then, myself & I,
When the evening is sticking against the sky
Like butter & jelly on a cold piece of toast;
Let me go, through certain sodium-lamp-lit streets,
I'm wearing cleats,
Past restless guys with "will work for food" signs
& nothing but dirty thoughts on their minds;
Streets that annoy me like a leering clerk
Soon to be out-of-work
Who think they're asking the obvious question...
Look, don't ask me, 'What is it?'
Let me go & make my visit.

Into the room the toyboys come & go
Talking of Michael Jackson-o

The yellow smog that coats & soothes my window panes,
Yellow cigarette smoke that gets its jollies on my window panes,
Licked its tongue up against my shower curtain,
Gargled the water that ran down my drain,
Let fall upon its back dust from my ceiling fan,
Ran out the open door, tripped into a clumsy leap,
& seeing that it was a warmish January night,
Lay outside my bedroom door & fell asleep.

For that yellow smog that shuffles down the street
Rubbing my back like an irritating boyfriend;
I have no time, I have no time
To wash my face to face the unwashed faces that I meet;
I have no time to murder or create,
No time for all the works & days of hands
That lift & drop their drinks upon my plate;
No time for me, no time for me,
No time for these exasperating repetitions
Or these ridiculous rhymes & revisions,
Before a city bus nearly runs over me.

In the room the frat boys come & go
Talking of Dennis Rodman-o.

& indeed I have no fucking time
To wonder, 'Do I care?' & 'Do I really care?'
No time to turn back & walk up the stairs,
With a rip in my brand new jeans there -
(Someone'll say: 'I see London, I see France...')
My ratty coat, some of this morning's breakfast still on my pants,
My scarf bold & ugly, my school bag full of ants --
(Someone'll say: 'You look stupid when you dance.')
Do I care
About the universe?
I waste a minute (I have no goddamned time)
With decisions & revisions that I will never have time to reverse.

For, let's face it, I've known them all along -
Known the scumbags, dragworms, pretty boys, might-have-beens,
I have measured out my life with skanky men;
I know the voices aching with a lusty croak
Beneath the music of a noisy bar.
So how should I presume?

& I've known their eyes, known them all along --
The shady redness, the dorky color contacts,
& when I get those color contacts out,
When I have accidentally sat on them & crushed them,
& he's weeping like a girl on my bed,
Then how should I begin
To get that crybaby butthead out of my house?
& how should I presume?

& I've known the arms already, known them all along --
Arms tattooed with some other chick's name
(But in the lamplight, misspelled by a nearby flame!)
Is it his underarm smell
That makes me feel like hell?
Arms that grope under my shirt, & into my pants.
& should I then presume?
Or maybe call the cops?

* * * * *

Shall I say, I have stumbled at dusk on lamplit streets
& winced at the lame & tedious come-ons
Of lonely men in tee shirts, leaning out of car windows?

I wish I had a pair of ragged claws
To run across their smirking faces.

* * * * *

& the afternoon, the evening, I get nothing done!
I dream of long fingers,
Sleepy...tired...desire lingers,
I stretch out on the floor, no one beside me.
Should I, after kicking a jerk in his family treasure,
Allow myself a guilty moment of self-pleasure?
But though I have tried & tried, until I wept,
Though I have seen an ex-boyfriend's polaroids of me on the Internet,
I'm no porno babe -- I know what's the matter;
I have seen the options that come in my direction,
I've seen the eternal Footman watch me dress with an erection,
& in short, I was pissed off.

Let's face it, it's not worth it, after all,
After the burgers, dutch treat, & malt liquor,
Among his bar-buddies & their girlfriends all a-snicker,
It just wasn't worth while,
To have faked my friendliness & my smile,
To have gotten so obnoxiously smashed
& began smashing all their empty faces,
Saying, 'I am Jesus, come back like I said,
Come back to show you all, I will show you all' -
If one guy, puking on the pillow by his head,
Should say; 'That chick's not funny at all.
She's not funny at all.'

& let's face it, it wasn't worth while, after all,
Not a bit worth while after all,
After the sunsets & magazines & the city working on the street,
After the phone calls, after the email, after the 'I left my coat at
your place, I can get it at four...'
& this, & so much more? --
Are you understanding just what I mean?
As if my life were just nerves in patterns on a movie screen;
It would simply not have been worth while,
If some guy, getting his coat at four
& settling down on my sofa, arms wide, should say:
'You're a funny chick, after all.
You're pretty funny, after all.'

* * * * *

Fuck this! I was meant to be Lady Macbeth, I know I was;
Not a cute little coed, one that'll do
To stand next to a leading man, steal a scene or two,
Be his pillar, his 'better half'; like some easy, squirmy fool,
All smiles, glad he still wants to sleep in the same bed with me,
Pie-making, Redbook-reading, Oprah watching & shy;
Happy for the 'Wives' Night Out,' but glad, at times, to cancel,
At times, I mean, pretty pathetic --
Almost exactly, at times, the average American girl.

I grow bitter, I grow strong...
I'll wear the bottoms of my trousers long.

Should I get my hair cut tomorrow? Do I want to eat this peach?
I want to make my own clothing, loose & flowing, & walk along the beach.
I want to hear the mermaids singing, each to each.

I really think that they'll sing like me.

I can see them riding seaward on the waves
Their red hair (why not?) like the white hair of the waves blown back
As the wind blows the water white & black.

I will then linger in the chambers of the sea
With sea-boys wreathed with seaweed red & brown
& if other human voices try to find me, then, they'll drown.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whither Enlightenment?

The Most Unenlightened Person On Earth was enjoying a half-pint of ice cream while having a good portion of his life's happy memories erased by watching a crappy sitcom on cable television. Of course, he had seen this same episode several times before, so he was, in a sense, writing over the happy memories of seeing the episode the third time, but, since he never memorized anything unless he absolutely had to - telephone numbers, that Wordsworth poem in tenth grade, all the lyrics to Jay-Z's "99 Problems" - that particular section of his brain, softened & spongy from disuse, carelessly slopped the new short-term memories over other saved memories, rather than putting them in a neural processing queue, as the standard cranial model tends to do.

Halfway through the sitcom, the Most Unenlightened Person On Earth began experiencing gastric discomfort because he had eaten, for the last two weeks, at nothing but American fast food joints. Due to their unregulated status, the "restaurants," as they were misleadingly known, regularly served their patrons at rather low cost food that was as close to being spoiled, rotted, rancid, unwashed, inedible as legally possible, if the laws about the food were enforced, which of course they weren't. The Most Unenlightened Person On Earth was however used to food poisoning & also used to spending long hours on the toilet, where he passed his time & the indigestible portions of his most recent meal (an astonishing percentage of it) reading magazines with pictures of scantily-clad women in them & old Stephen King books he had enjoyed when he was younger.

He hadn't visited a doctor, outside of an emergency room visit last summer, in many years. He did not know that he had a significant E. Coli infection, that his brain harbored something similar to the mad cow virus, that he had Type II Diabetes, & that his heart was beating irregularly due to his growing weight. He drank some antacid to settle his stomach, smoked a joint, ate some popcorn & a baloney sandwich, & fell asleep masturbating to a commercial for a video series in which obviously sleazy men ask obviously inebriated women to show the camera their breasts.

The next morning, the Most Unenlightened Person On Earth woke after a more-than-microscopically small black hole had passed through the center of the earth, &, on its way back into space, at an unthinkable speed & smallness, had ever-so-slightly travelled the length of his body & broke down its cellular structure along the way. He gasped his last gasp as the sunlight seeped in through shuttered windows, & the last thing the Most Unenlightened Person On Earth saw was blood behind his eyes & a night's worth of indulgence littering his coffee table.

& he was not Enlightened.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Preface To Enlightenment: A Cautionary Tale

There was once a terrible man who had sores everywhere, even on his tongue. He lived alone in a perfectly square house that was painted the color of scabs. His undergrown yard refused to even support dirt or stones. Broken cast-off mechanical parts littered poisoned ground like fossils of an extinct robot species. He was also a hateful fuck, with never a kind word to anyone & more grousing & grumbling than small talk. Scary, nasty, disgusting, foul, smelly, ill-tempered, disease-ridden, shunned, loathed, as sinned against as sinning.

& he was the neighborhood's Bodhisattva.

What the hell? It's true! No one could possibly be enlightened because this motherfucker was too unpleasant to be around. But what about compassion? What about charity? This was obviously some kind of loophole. Something about his presence cast a pall over everyone else's attempts to escape the cycle of suffering & rebirth. For someone who was supposed to be helping out, he turned out to be a real douchebag.

This happened, of course, a very long time ago in a place not unlike our own but very different. The rules were more or less the same & the path then, as now, had eight folds, like a complicated record album for stoners in the sixties. Still, the lesson is more or less unclear - the questions were, as always, never entirely answered to anyone's satisfaction.

& oh yes, that hairy, pot-bellied Bodhisattva died & attained Nirvana. The rest of the townsfolk, though, died of the same plague he was doubtless carrying around with him, & they had to do it all the fuck over again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween, My Halloween

I have been invited to a Halloween party on Friday. I know what you're thinking. What! Someone actually invited Gary to a Halloween party!?! Technically, it's not true. I have still not been invited to a party ever. My record remains smirched. Technically I am to go with my girlfriend, who likes me despite the fact that I am no fun at parties & who knows where to find me when I am curled up in a ball weeping & pouring bourbon into my wounds.

I know what you're thinking. What! Gary has a girlfriend!?! Let's not go there.

The point of writing this is not to amaze you with some weird knowledge that someone actually wants me at their party. It's that it's a Halloween party & I have to dress up as something. But what? Everyone knows my standard Halloween get-up: "Dude Who Doesn't Dress Up For Halloween." But that might mean I'm recognized, which would eventually lead to me being dragged outside & beaten repeatedly with the floated keg. I don't want that. The place that rented the keg doesn't want that. My doctor wants that, because he really, really wants to take the family skiing this winter. But really, I don't want that.

What should I go as? Should the costume be subtle, like "sensitive poet dressed as a Byzantine patriarch from the Middle Ages"? Or something Kirby-esque, like Galactus? Or something cute, like a bunny or bear? I have no idea. I'm not good at it. Frankly, I'm surprised I remember to dress myself in the morning. & that's in more or less regular clothing.

Can you help? If not, can you stop helping? If not that, can you do what I'm doing right now & listen to this year's Self Help Radio Halloween show, which is all about witches?

Witches! That's it! I'll go as Paul Lynde!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween, A Week Early

It has been a long week, I'll grant you. You may be suffering from Election Fatigue. You may have worked on a podcast, a radio show, & a mix for your friends. You may have taken a test after a bomb scare. You may have drank a little too much just so you you could enjoy Smallville like the people it's written for. You may have been beaten up by transients at a bus stop because you made snide comments about their terrible impersonation of Keith Olbermann. You may have accidentally woken up in the middle of the night with a knife to your girlfriend's throat screaming something about James Spader & post-operative trans-sexual pirates. You may have done all these things, you may have done none of these things. It's been a really goddamn long week, that's all I'm saying.

Today I was listening to songs about witches & getting all spooky on the bus ride. People were mad - the cauldron was still hot - but I sat it on top of a wheelchair, & bus drivers absolutely love operating that wheelchair lifter-upper thingie, so I was allowed aboard. I did have to pay fare for the cauldron, though. That was weird. Luckily I had just added the "eye of toad of newt of bat" so the whole bus soon smelled like ass. I made some friends today, my friends. I made some friends today.

The upshot of this downward spiral is that tomorrow, parked near this very space where you read, will be this year's awesome Self Help Radio Halloween Show, which is all about witches. Which witches? Sandwiches? No! Witches that cast spells & cackle & cruelly use their potent femininity to emasculate the men who foolishly disregard their true power. Kind of like a fourth grade teacher, now that I think about. Or at least like my fourth grade teacher. Mrs. Harris, I wonder if our suspicions that you drank the blood of migrant workers was true?

Do visit & enjoy a Halloween treat. & make sure you listen to last year's zombie show while you're there - I'll keep it up only one more week!

Have a good weekend. Stop dreaming about James Spader! He's so not worth it.

Yes he is. No he isn't.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

October Surprise!

Okay, it's not really a surprise, but I did get the month right, & it's the right time of the month for this month's Self Help Radio Extra! But, you say, what is there "extra" about this Self Help Radio Extra? Is there extra cheese? Do I get extra bonus points (apart from the regular points I get with regular Self Help Radio)? Is Self Help Radio Extra extra filling without all those extra calories? Is Self Help Radio Extra like a super-sized version of the show?

No. What it is is a mix of songs I've been listening to approximately the length of one CD (I know, no one uses CDs any more, but I need some sort of framework or else I'll just play four hundred songs in a row) mixed especially by me for your listening pleasure. Unlike the regular Self Help Radio, Self Help Radio Extra has no Gary-voice, no Gary-commentary, & only a slightly Gary-ish touch usually around the beginning. The rest is Gary behind the scenes, playing songs I hope you like. A mix of new & old indie. Stuff like that.

Self Help Radio Extra. For you. Get some.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whither Witches?

I know it's considered pejorative to use the word "witch" these days when referring to a deeply misunderstood & roundly persecuted group of people (most of whom, of course, were never witches, just people - predominantly women - scapegoated because they were on the fringes of society). I am not a religious person, nor do I believe anything supernatural, so I not only can't feel that even if someone were called a "witch" that they either had super powers or they were somehow offensive to a belief system that called her or him a "heretic." In the same way that I did a Halloween show about zombies last year & was in no way casting aspersions on the bloodthirsty dead, so too this year I am playing with a fictional idea, like the spell-caster who cackles with her sisters about Macbeth's fate or who pals around with a friendly dead kid.

I mean, come on! Human beings have killed & continue to kill thousands of folks because they imagine they are witches! How could I celebrate that? Shame on you for even thinking that!

Having secured myself from all possible criticism from my large Wiccan fan base (hi Mom!), I just want to have fun in a secular, ridiculous Halloween-y manner. One year I did vampires, the next I did zombies, this year it's witches. Next year, when people have written enough songs about Sarah Palin, I can do a really, really scary Halloween show. But for this year, it's witches.

But I'll definitely talk about witch hunts & witch trials & the butt-ugly ignorance that causes people to burn people alive, especially when they know they're not guilty, as surely some of the Inquisitioners & sober townsfolk who passed ridiculous judgments in those days did. & I'll also tell you some easy-to-follow, approved-by-Martha-Stewart spells you can cast to get you through these troubling economic times. They won't work, of course, but they're cheaper & more healthy than my current solution, which is to drink myself blind while reading as many articles as possible about it online. My liver hurts. Also, my brain.

Halloween comes on Saturday this year! On Self Help Radio! & it's all about witches!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Preface To Halloween 2008: Scary!

There's nothing to write about because I'm not afraid of nothing. Well, maybe bugs & maybe public restrooms & maybe the next presidential election. But other than that, nothing!

What's the point, anyway? Why do you wanna scare me? Why do you wanna be scared? Why not ride a roller coaster, then? Or rent a movie where a slasher picks off cute teenage chicks one by one. Why does a radio show have to scare you?

Because it's a fearless radio show, is Self Help Radio! Scared of no one & nothing. Except maybe mean people writing in the guestbook. & the RIAA. But certainly not scared of being completely ignored! I've proved that!

Fine, we'll have a scary Halloween show. We'll have it about witches or something. Witches are scary! I mean, they're also history's saddest scapegoats, & of course they were murdered for centuries by ignorant folk scared of outside ideas & women in general. Scary!

It's the best I can do, man. Because nothing scares me, I got no idea what'll scare you.

& a Halloween show about public restrooms is way too fucking scary for me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Notions Of Right & Wrong & Good & Evil

Oh boy! I'm watching another video by Sam Harris! He's not a musician, but, to me, he's a rock star. So I'll be watching him talk about the brain & morality, but you don't have to.

Instead, go listen to the Self Help Radio sixth anniversary special. If you haven't already. If you have, you can listen to again, but listen to it underneath a lecture by Sam Harris. It's about .3 times the celebration.

I never get to go to conferences like that one, by the way. My most recent conference, actually, was sponsored by the Tidy Office Workers' Association, where the most gripping talk was Advanced Floor Wax: Questions About Application & Longevity. But it was better than the Lint Fair. I was sent there not only because I am the department's greatest source of lint, but also because I was being punished for being less fabulous than the rest of the people invited to the Lint Fair. That hurt.

Sam Harris is talking now. Ssshhh.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Down With The Site!

Yes, was down for a little while. My host was doing some server mojo. It's back now. You can listen to the anniversary show on this lovely Sunday afternoon in peace now.

Thank you to those who noticed & wrote to me!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Appy Hanniversary

Six year doing this. & still with only one pair of pants.

That doesn't mean I have only spent six years in radio - I been doing this since 1994, when I was either 6 years old, or 60 years old, depending on what will get me more respect. (There is no in-between. Sorry.) (I learned that from William Shatner. Sorry.) It just means six long years of Self Help Radio.

Wait. Is it six? What if it's actually seven? What if it's actually five?

I'm terrible at anniversaries, of course, so the Broken Show is an update - a remake, if you will - of the Broken Show which aired originally October 23, 2002. On a Wednesday. In the afternoon. With a haze in the air that made me think of Pasadena slightly melting.

Pasadena melting? That happens all the time! The sixth anniversary of this Self Help Radio show will only happen once, if I can help it. Visit the SHR website tomorrow in the afternoon to hear this show. You can bring all the booze you want. You'll need it!

Six years old! Now I have to find a good school for my young show. Why did I home-school pre-school? I don't want this show in public schools!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Blooz

Hey! I was listening to the radio yesterday morning & my former high school Hall Monitor chum & current Secretary of State of the Imaginary Anarchistic Republic Of The Moon, Dick Dickenbock, was subbing for KVRX's show Blues At Sunrise! So I've asked him if I can archive it on the Self Help Radio site, & after trying to convince him that I did in fact know him & was not working for a "Mr. Bookie" looking for cash, he said, "Whatever."

Thusly! I recorded it & saved it anyway, so if you'd like to listen to Mr. Dickenbock explore the "roots of Texas blues," you can listen to the show over at If it doesn't give you the blues, I don't know what will.

Thanks, Dick! Can I have my lunch money back now?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Whither A Broken Anniversary?

Lo, there comes contradiction & coincidence, confluence & consternation, as Self Help Radio proudly beams from its mountaintop aerie, & says unto all true believers, & also to those who are untrue, for truly shall they be in earshot, the one, the only Self Help Radio doth proclaim, "Yea & it is given unto us all a sixth anniversary show!"

"Tell us, o radio show," cries the listeners, "what shall we do to celebrate a radio show which, if it were a human, would still not be able to read & might also wetteth thy thou radio show bed?"

Self Help Radio begins to answer.

"Also," says the listeners, "as radio shows go, it is truly spake that Self Help Radio was either breast-fed too long or perhaps was weaned too early. As radio shows go, it is verily mentally & intellectually retarded."

"Enough!" cried the haughty anniversary-having Self Help Radio. "Be it decreed with great speed like a weed gone to seed in the greed of the deed: we shall celebrate our anniversary by revisiting an old theme, especially one that we can do better the second time around. So mote it be, so shall it be done!"

A clap of thunder! A claptrap of thunder! People wearing necklaces to hide their disfigured necks! Camera phones taking weird photos of animals doing things they ought not! A puff of smoke, a weeping willow running out of kleenex!

& lo in October 2008, the sixth anniversary wast thereby performed, & the revisited theme was revisited & reviews were as always mixed & yea, the children of the children of the children who first turned away from Self Help Radio said unto the gathered townsfolk, "What shall we burn tonight?"

& Self Help Radio saw it, & saw that it was good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Preface To The Broken Anniversary Show: Happy 500th Self Help Radio Blog Post!

You got it! 500 posts & I'm still not out of words! Take that, my third grade elementary school teacher who thought I was stupid for stapling my pants to the bicker rug!

I want to celebrate this ridiculously arbitrary moment by offering you something. You can claim it by doing the following: send an email to this email address (dickenbock at gmail dot com) with an address to which you'd like me to send you stuff. What will I send you?

I will send you the Self Help Radio Self Help Love Yourself Self Pack! It will include (probably) a Self Help Radio tee-shirt, a Self Help CD, some miracle sand I got in the Holy Land (or is that for my religious show?) & other stuff. Just send me an email that says "Happy Anniversary!" & that's it. It's my way of saying, "Just like my birthday, I have to buy other people stuff to celebrate my anniversary."

Yay 500th post! Yay anniversaries! Yay anything else you can think of!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Haunted By Fritos

Eep! As I sit in my office writing this, one of the students who works for me is eating Fritos, by which I mean the corn chips, & not the general line of snack products by Frito-Lay, which, I might add, is a Texas-based business, for which Texans show great gratitude to the corporation by being proudly morbidly obese.

The scent of Fritos takes my mind back to days of elementary school when other kids - not I, alas, as I was too poor to afford the twenty-five cent lunch at the time - got excited over "Frito Pie," which is basically chili poured over Fritos with melted cheese-like plastic on top. I've always wanted to make a vegetarian version, now that I think about it, but the memories of poor-kid envy of lower-middle-class luxury, coupled with the fact that I am currently identifying the smell as "greasy" - if that's possible - is kind of turning my stomach - like those weird christian dancers on the Soup the other day.

This is really apropos nothing at all, except to let you know I'm thinking of you & two important things:

1) Last week's episode of Self Help Radio is available for your listening pleasure. Click the link. What a show you'll hear!

2) Tomorrow is the legendary 500th entry of this blog. Visit & win! What will you win? I don't know! Because it won't be a contest! It'll be something else!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bringing Brazilian Ideas Home

Get this: in Brazil, according to a Telegraph article, "politicians often adopt unusual names at election time. Candidates are allowed to either register in their own name or a chosen one. Many use their long-held nicknames but some adopt outlandish identities to grab attention." That's why there's at least six people running in municipal elections with the name "Barack Obama." But some of the other names are much, much better. To wit:

Cattle Ana, Elephant Without A Tail, Big Charlie Knives, Jorge Bushi (guaranteed to lose), DJ Saddam (playing music that you must dance to or die), John, Chico & Luis Bin Laden ( the likable members of the Bin Laden family), & my three favorites, who'd surely get my vote unless they were running against one another & then, unlike in the United States, I'd have a really hard time deciding whom to vote for: King of the Cuckolds, Kung Fu Fatty & The Second King of Prawns. (Okay, I'd vote for Kung Fu Fatty. But only if he'd make sure to appoint Hong Kong Phooey Secretary of Defense.)

In that spirit, I'd like to encourage the current US Presidential candidates to adopt nicknames for the polls. I'll help. For McCain, "Cranky McOldstein" would be appropriate, while for Obama, what about "Smarty McHopey-Hope"? The Vice-President candidates could be "Professor Squinty Hairplants" (Biden) & just plain "Unqualified" (you know who). I encourage you to write all the candidates to bring this delightful notion to the states. Heaven knows we could use a good laugh right about now.

& speaking of something that could use some humor injected in it, Self Help Radio is new tomorrow afternoon. Do visit & listen. It doesn't deserve a nickname. It's not running for anything.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission Two

This is one of my favorite ever emails written to someone I was vaguely interested in but who didn't want to flirt back. We actually stayed cordial, since she had something of a sense of humor, but this email seemed to end our email correspondence. It's called "Hortense Cauliflower - a novel" & it was written over twelve years ago.

How good to hear from your skanky self. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. The tests came back negative, thank god - I really am going to have to start using protection, especially if he isn't going to. Wink wink. I have no plans & I am sadly out of whack. What will death be like? What will breasts be like? When one walks carefully down the Rue de la Huchette, one must (as always) keep an eye on the little ones. Oh love, how rare to hear your voice in this sticky dry lonely summer. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. The girlfriend says hi. The boyfriend is sullen. Did I tell you I dreamt about having sex with you? We seemed to be having fun, but of course I was being needy & you were doing a "friend" a "favor." People pop in & out of life, but nothing sticks. I need more sticky stuff to stick nonstick stuff on my not-so-sticky wall. We still haven't found out where the leak comes from; perhaps the cat is sneakier than we originally gave him credit for. The bigger the car, the larger the load. Name one promise you've kept, just one, & I will buy you a bag of cookies. If you break the promise later, I will have to take the cookies back. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. Have you seen "Trainspotting"? Wouldn't you rather drink a whole lot with me on my living room floor & even cry a little. How your make-up would run! And I'd try to catch it, of course, every little drop preciouser & preciouser. If only I were someone's type. I can be someone's type sixty words a minute. That's a word a second, slower than I normally talk. Shall we summer in the Chateau or winter in the golf cart? Ah lady, loveliness like yours can't be bought, it can't be cultivated, it can't even be dreamed about unless you're next to the dreamer... I wish I could, like e e cummings said, keep your heart in my heart, but mine, I fear, is too small, & getting smaller every day. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. Remind me to tell you funny stories about natural selection. Make a plan, invite me along. Would it flatter you if I told you that I am in love with a woman who looks just like you? Have you heard the latest Scary Girlfriend Jokes? Do strangers approach you with flowers & mints? I will attempt to attempt you again, & again, & again. You were thought about in your absence, if not missed. What can you expect? I am often more self-absorbed than is legally required. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. Ha ha ha!

Is there anything more to say here? My seduction skills sucked.

P.S. At the time, I didn't know there really was a Rue de la Huchette. I thought it was nonsense in my brain. But two years ago I had awesome falafel on the Rue de la Huchette. There were hardly any children there at all.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Whither What A Show!?

By this point in our walk together, there are three things which inevitably you can say about Self Help Radio, &, therefore, by extension, this video of a herding pig, which are these:

1) No one knows what's going on or what's any of it's supposed to mean.
2) No one knows why anyone would bother with this sort of thing week after week.
3) No one is paying attention anyway.

Frequently, in my travels & travails from bus stop to work, from bar to gutter, & from hospital room to jail cell, I encounter a special soul who wants to speak glowingly about this or that, who has no idea who I am (which is good, as I've just picked their pocket & later will puke on their shoes), but seems to "know something" about radio. Nothing they say that they appreciate about their favorite radio shows resembles or otherwise parallels Self Help Radio. & I take away this thought: Will I ever eat food prepared in a kitchen again, & not heated by the sun shining on a dumpster? Also, I think, does this mean Self Help Radio is a singular, original show, or that it's probably one of the worst ideas ever, painfully & senselessly undertaken by a deluded fool?

I can't answer that, as I am deluded fool notorious for my awful ideas. Here's one of them: a selection of songs based on the phrase "what a [insert noun]!" What a great idea! What a stupid idea! What? A regular Self Help Radio type show? What a maroon!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Preface To What A Show!: Detox Report

Look at this - I'm all sweaty, I've wet myself again, my eyes won't focus, I'm trembling, I can't keep food down, I can barely stand up - God damn it I'm addicted to something again! & I'm such a dumb fuck that I never remember what I'm addicted to until I start going through withdrawal.

Well. This is a fine how d'you do! Does this ever happen to you? Or are you a stronger person than I am? Fair enough. I'm a middle-aged man (although, of course, if I go on this way, I might be closer to the end of my life than the middle) & I really shouldn't be experimenting with drugs the way I do. & my friend's pharmaceuticals - I know they're not for me. I just can't help it. & I eat too much. & I'm with John McCain here - gambling's fucking addictive! But so much fun!

& you know, you turn around, something else is addictive - food, sex, self-mutilation, sadism, science fiction, pornography, the Catholic Church - so what the fuck? Am I supposed to live a removed, simple existence, or can I become addicted to solitude & contemplation as well? Wait. Can solitude & contemplation get you high? Big ups to my Buddhist homies!

Look, I've started puking bile & what looks like partially digested pennies. I must've had a crazy night. I'm not sure what it is I've become addicted to this time, but I'm sure off it now, because my body is rattling me like an epileptic in a bumper car. Whatever it is, though, I promise: I'll let you know.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Finding A Nice Home For Your Stray

Did your open heart cause your stray to want to stay? How do you close your heart? Will it involve Swedish Death Metal? Not at all, says experts at the Whimpering Plains Pet Asylum, located in beautiful Katemcy, Texas, somewhere in one of the scattered dwellings so lushly described in the Handbook of Texas Online. Says founder Andrew Cootsburgstein, "Why the hell would you want to say we're in Katemcy? No one's ever fucking heard of Katemcy!"

This fictional & oftentimes literally made-up Asylum can take whatever pet you throw at it, although pets being carried in must use the front door. Since Katemcy, Texas, is full of people who either haven't yet realized they're living in a hell-hole called Katemcy, Texas, or, worse yet, like it there, the Asylum plans to have the stray pets overtake the town in population a hundredfold. Cootsburgstein says, "Even if I wanted to have a place for unwanted strays to stay - which I think is a neat idea though I can't imagine there being a lot of money for it - it would make no sense to put it in an out-of-the-way village where even basic cable is a crazy dream." Adds Cootsburgstein, "I mean, come on!"

The Whimpering Plains Pet Asylum is a proud sponsor of Self Help Radio, & lets Self Help Radio staff come there to roll around with the happy animals, shares treats with them, & occasionally steps in the poo which is, frankly, ankle-deep in some places. Cootburgstein admits that the animals have not yet taken enough pride in the place to pick up after themselves: "I think I drove through Katemcy once, but I was changing CDs in the car at the time, so I looked down for half a second & missed it. Seriously, if you're going to make me head of some dumb-ass delusion, please put it somewhere significant, like Mason a few miles south. That's a motherfucking town!"

Self Help Radio dedicates last week's show featuring songs about being "too late" to the fine people who we wish existed to staff the place we wish existed at the Whimpering Plains Pet Asylum. We appreciate you!

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Gathering Storm

Hey! Did you know that I am a mere seven posts away from my 500th - yes, that's FIVE HUNDREDTH - post on this silly blog? I feel like I should do something special. & by something special, I don't mean a nostalgiac look back at previous anniversary posts. We can do that now:

from post 100 (March 7, 2007):

Welcome to the 100th post of my Self Help Radio blog! It's such a special occasion I've made this entire entry out of cheese. [...]

Hooray! 100 posts! Someone get me a cheese shredder & we can eat!

from post 200 (August 13, 2007):

So, let me formally apologize for this disappointing 200th post & let's move on to more or less the same sort of thing for the next one hundred. Oh boy! One hundred more posts! Who would've thought? Etc., etc.

from post 300 (January 9, 2008):

This is my THREE HUNDREDTH post on this blog. Has anyone (you know, beside James Joyce) ever used some many letters of the alphabet to say so little? Why can't academics use my blog to support their careers? It just seems sad.

from post 400 (the saddest one, May 26, 2008):

It's Memorial Day & this is also blog entry four hundred, & it certainly wasn't planned, but I am glad I have a place & time to honor Buster with some small remembrances.

I think I was so disappointed by the disappointment that was the disappointing two-hundredth post that I have downplayed the anniversary aspect since then. But no more! Let's celebrate!

So it'll probably happen week after next - what do you want to celebrate with? Shall I send you something in the mail? Do you want to have your picture taken with my dogs? Can I write you a poem or teach you braille? You must let me know. Let me know!

& of course it's not too late to plan to listen to Self Help Radio this weekend, the theme of which is "too late!" Tomorrow afternoon. Be there or be... too late!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission One

It's well known among those who know me well that I suffered (& therefore so did they) for a lot of my young adult life with a sort of depression. I was never diagnosed, & I worked through it in a way that I know many folks wouldn't be able to, but the depression & the recovery did lead me to alienate lots of sweet folks in ways that I regret now but, through the rosy lens of time, which tells me you can't go home again so why not laugh at the stumbling it took to get you away from there, I can wince & make fun of my past, & now, so can you!

Presenting the Self Help Radio Email Archive Project! Each week, if & when possible, I'll present an old email I wrote under unhappy circumstances for your edification & amusement. I'll not print any email I did not myself write, nor will I leave in the email any obvious reference to the person to whom I was writing, to respect their privacy, although I'm sure they've forgotten about me long, long ago.

Today's submission is full of ridiculous capital letters & was supposed to be funny. The person to whom I wrote never responded. The email was entitled "Mail Bomb." It was written over ten years ago.

I've spent the day looking at old emails I wrote you. You're so lucky I wrote such wonderful emails to you. I am a fabulous email writer. I think I will crown myself "King Cockhead" & never show my face around here again.

I'm just plain sweet, when I am not being King Cockhead. The girl what recently broked my heart told me I was "too sweet." Then she broked my heart. Just say la vie.

Yes! He's King Shit of Fuck Mountain! He's so right it makes your penis hurt, if you have a penis & it doesn't hurt already! Make him God! Make him God! Woo-hoo!

I talk very quietly, always have, in amazingly beautiful & seductive tones. My ears bleed when I scratch my ass. Anyway, I break glass here. I'm such a wonderful person, but I've got problems. & you'll never touch me.

The latest KVRX CD won the best CD Design award & of course I headed the team that designed it. Ta-da! I am KING SHIT! I am KING COCKHEAD! EVERYONE! FUCK ME UP THE ASS! NOW! NOW! NOW!

I get to make a speech, too. Tonight. With a naked girl on each arm. That's FORTY-THREE NAKED GIRLS! I am a sea cucumber!

Do they hold this at the Convention Center? Since when do women marry suits? Or date them for that matter? Did I tell you that my ears bleed whenever you sing? Preach on, Sister!

Enclosed please find a picture of a skinny girl in a tight white dress with her nipples erect. I like the picture because she looks like a mannequin & I like the road she's on. Wish I were there, wish I was there & nobody could find me.

I hope you have all the emails I wrote you. I am so fucking brilliant I am scared of my shorts. They will be worth mucho money when that diamond bullet finds its way into my head or heart. Save them! Save them now!

I love you, & always will, for I am a good KING COCKHEAD with a heart of GOLDEN CHEESE.


I have of course no idea why someone would not reply to such a beautiful email.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Whither Too Late?

Oh crap. It's too late in the day to write in my blog about this week's show, which is "too late." The show, if I were to do it now, would be too early, even if it were "too late." But I have stuff to do & frittered away time today with stuff like work & mining & now it's just too late to write anything. Drat!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Preface To Too Late!: A Brutal Ritual Is Born & Bred

Do you own a hazmat suit? I don't. But I do want one. Unfortunately, one hears two disheartening facts about hazmat suits that makes it very unlikely for me to ever get a hazmat suit (unless you get one for me):

1) They're apparently expensive - some may cost as much as four thousand dollars!
2) Some of them have to be disposed after use. Like a tuxedo!

By the way, I don't want one because I'm afraid of biological or chemical or nuclear attacks. I just want to have a hazmat suit. No one I know has one. So it would be neat to have friends over & say, "Hey! Have you seen my new hazmat suit?" They'd ooo & aaa & perhaps even try it on. What fun!

Of course, if there were a biological or chemical or nuclear attack while a friend was wearing my hazmat suit, then I'd be shit out of luck. So if I get a hazmat suit, you can't wear it for very long, & you certainly can't wear it outside.

What will I need? Something called a SCBA with a hanging mask. A cooling vest. A voice-actuated radio with a microphone in the mask. Protective gloves. A one-piece Tyvek suit. What's that? It's one of these. Disposable! What a waste. Also Tyvek booties.

That's just one layer! Listen to this: "The suit has a one way (exhaust) pressure bleed valve. This is required because as the wearer exhales, the used air must go somewhere. Even with this valve, the suits tend to blow up like balloons. When sealed up, the wearer is completely isolated from the outside atmosphere. Nothing (hopefully) can get in, and, unfortunately, almost nothing (including body heat and sweat) can get out. These suits are comprised of up to a dozen protective layers."

(That's from the Santa Clara County Fire Department website. Those guys get to wear hazmat suits at work!)

Doesn't it sound awesome? I'm not saying you should get me anything for National Day of the People's Republic of China (which is tomorrow), but if you're going to, there's an idea. A hazmat suit for Gary. Yippee!