Friday, June 06, 2008

Make This Blog Your Only Best Blog!

Now I know for a fact that literally a couple or more people read the Self Help Radio blog with awesome regularity. (Far more than listen to my podcasts!) (Hey, could my blog readers think the podcast is simply me reading the blog? Well, it's not!) But I would love if maybe thousands more would read it. (I'd love it more, though, if thousands listened to Self Help Radio. That's problematic, though - the show really isn't all that good.)

I absorbed with interest the Wired article Secrets of the 7 Basic Blog Posts & realized that I fail on most accounts. I hereby promise to follow these secrets until at least ten people read this blog every day. Then I'll really pump up the volume.

Here, in case you don't want to read the linked article above, is a summary of the seven points:

1. Be upset!
It's really hard to be so angry when I'm mainly confused. I'll try, though. Oh! That Hillary!
Does that work? Hanh?

2. Buy a thing!
I encourage you to buy into my dreams of independent media. But you can't find that in stores. Rats. Maybe I should try to find something to support - maybe a website to help me & my friends after all the Christians disappear?

3. Animals are cute!
Right. I must stop posting pictures of animals that have recently died.

4. People are dumb!
Right. That's why they're not listening to Self Help Radio.

5. Something I like, only different!
Oh, I got this down. That's what Self Help Radio is!

6. Weird science!
Wouldn't you rather see a sunset on Mars? I thought so.

7. Me, the blogger!
Whew, I got this one cold.

In any event, I promise to remember you all when I get too big for the blogsosphere & have to get ghost writers to write these posts. Let's circle our wagons now & enjoy our own intimate relationship before it gets ruined by the paparazzi & Entertainment Tonight.

Your task: tomorrow, in the afternoon, visit & listen to a show about people named Bill. You do NOT have to be named Bill, or William, or Billy, or Will, etc., to enjoy the show. But you'll like it more. I betcha.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Yet Lagged

Our cheap little motel room in Durham sat right above the window where late-night guests (who talk loud because they're talking to hotel clerks behind a plexiglass divider, despite the fact that they could be heard all through the whole motor court) got rooms - or didn't get rooms, as the case may be. One fellow walked back & forth to his car muttering about "eight lousy bucks" until he finally relented (paying with a credit card!), & another yelled on a cell phone about the cost then walked over to another nearby motel, as if the person on the other line was William Shatner trying to get him a better deal. I heard all this over the weird watery gurgle of the air conditioner because I am prone to listen to the night as I sleep.

I went out last night to find the late-night clerk playing with a radio-operated car in the parking lot, & that same fellow freaked me out when we were coming home that evening because he was apparently escorting some visitor to a room a few doors down from ours. They went in, they came out, the visitor went away. You bet I thought it was drugs!

But Magda & I drove through the blackness of the Durham highway to the airport at four this morning &, a little over fourteen hours later, I am back at home in my lovely little house feeling it had been nothing more than a dream. A dream with trees. During the three days we were in Durham, I struggled to get some sense of where everything was - you know that weird feeling when you see a street that you know you were on some part of, but it seems to you that this one is perpendicular to the one you were on earlier - I consulted a map afterwards to show up my failed human sensors - & I wonder now if it'll come back to me when next I'm there. Durham is rather small, you know. & in a forest. Forests are made to be lost in.

Big decisions were made there but I woke up from a nap just now & want to return to some more sleeping while my dogs & cats are still a little sluggish from sleep too. Plus there's a storm brewing! I'm sure I'll talk more about things of overdramatic import at another time. I have a postscript for this which ties it to this week's Self Help Radio: the night clerk? His name was Billy!*

* I don't really know if this is true. But it seemed a nice ending for an otherwise meaningless ramble.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Whither Bill?

Dispatch from Durham:

My friend Bill (or Billy, when he's drunk; or William, when he's in court; or Wilhelm, when he's drunk in court in Germany; but never Will) doesn't really exist. He is a fingerprint of my imagination. He lives on the peripheries, on the side of our mind where nothing is ever put straight, as the poet said. Yet he is insistent! & much like the monkeys that paint the clothes that we wear when the weather is about to get worse, I can't not listen to it. Not even with ear muffs & cotton candy breath.

Did you know you can buy fireworks in supermarkets in Durham? I don't know if they're good fireworks, but I can find out. I don't believe they'll let me take them home, though. "They" meaning "supermarkets in Durham."

Bill doesn't believe in fireworks that aren't generated by romance. Nor Hollywood. Nor his latest Hollywood romance. But he does understand that he possesses a naive curiosity which, as the poet says, forces two strangers to talk, & so he would like to be forced to talk to the weird people who, he believes because I told him, have written songs about him. I said I would gather them. I would buy some new shoes. I would gather the songs around the shoes. & I would let him in!

Did you know it's not legal to fire fireworks off outside the door to your second story motel room at the so-called traffic on I-85? Some nice police officers gave me a stern talking-to. They're very butch in North Carolina.

Bill is nearly always sober. Me not so much. Self Help Radio is a very serious thing & it helps out all manner of folks, especially, this week, those called "Bill." I hope my friend Bill, even though he does not exist, can appreciate that.

I hope you, even though you probably don't exist, can understand that.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Preface To Bill: What? No blog today?

Yeah, been hanging out in Durham all day, with lemurs mostly, & nowhere near a computer. Sorry. Maybe more tomorrow?

Also, I didn't meet one person named Bill today.

Monday, June 02, 2008

& Then There's North Carolina...

Yes, sports fans, I'll be spending three of the seven days of this week - or is it four? - I think the fourth will be spent getting through airports - in the area of North Carolina where I'll be living in two short months. So the posts may be shorter, though no pithier, & certainly not any more interesting than normal. But if I take pictures of anything astonishing, I might just share them with you.

No, it's early but it's still Monday so I must be the first to tell you that this past week's podcast, appropriately or inappropriately about beauty pageants, is now available where you always knew it would be at It features ninety minutes of songs, discussion, facts & lies about contests for beauty. How could you not want to listen to it? Oh come on!

Maybe you'll hear from me sooner than later - but if not, look for me in the "triangle" area of North Carolina. I'm sure you'll know me by sight. I'll be the one who is embarrassed saying the name "Carrboro."

Also, this week's show is about people named Bill. William. Billy. Wilhelm. Willy. Etc. So if you want to tell me a story about your favorite Bill, send me an email & I'll dedicate a song to them. You can encourage those haters who don't listen to Self Help Radio to write in, too. Because! The show will not just be about a particular Bill. It's about all Bills. Whomever they may be. It's true!