Friday, June 13, 2008

What To Do When Your Teeth Disagree

Have you ever had a friend talk to you at length about a book, including telling you the basic plot & also about some of the more interesting stories & characters within, usually commenting on each person or event & telling you exactly how it made them feel or what they thought it meant, & then, after this moderately tolerable dialogue, smiling at you & saying, "Do you wanna read it?" How do you tell your friend that they did for the book what most movie trailers do for movies? Which is to say, ruined it for me.

My girlfriend regularly wears clothes without pockets (I am told this is a woman thing) & sometimes uses it as an excuses to bum money off of me. This doesn't bother me, as I like to pretend I can provide something to her, & I usually have more cash on hand than she does, but she almost never remembers, once she's taken, say, a twenty, to go buy ice or something, she never remembers to bring me the change. Here's my worry: if she has no pockets, where is my change?

I am now an avid flosser. This shouldn't surprise you. But there was a time - not very long ago, I will shamefully admit - that flossing seemed incorrect to me for one reason: I wasn't really convinced there ought to be spaces in between teeth. Hear me out. It struck me that perhaps our teeth should be close enough together that even a something threadlike couldn't get between them - & worse yet, that if you tried to get something between them, you'd crack the teeth. I can't think what disabused me of that notion. Oh, yeah. Regular flossing.

While listening to lots of Bill Hicks trying to find a bit he did about how pale he is (for this week's show, & no, I didn't find it on any of his recorded released stuff, so I suppose it's from a videotape or television special), I was struck by how little I laughed. I did think it was excruciatingly funny, but I've listened to the records so much that I don't laugh any more - I anticipate the humor. Much like the way when I listen to stuff that I've been listening to my entire life I now listen to the instruments more - say, the bass, if I've never paid any attention to it - I found myself listening to the audience. Sometimes you can even make out conversations. The reason I mention this is not only to segue to talking about this week's show but also to note that I don't have the same experience with comedy on television or film - Monty Python or Marx Brothers. Just recorded comedy.

Speaking of things you might not think are funny, the new show is being prepared this afternoon. Look for it tomorrow afternoon. Listen to it Sunday afternoon. Reflect on it Monday afternoon. Tell your friends about itTuesday afternoon. Call in sick to work so you can be drunk Wednesday afternoon. Who care what you do Thursday afternoon? I'll be recording another podcast next Friday afternoon. Let's continue in this vein. For ever.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm Sometimes A Punk

Though I don't have a mohawk. Nor do I know any Mohawks. I might ask them if they like punk rock music.

I like a lot of it, but of course not all of it. Some of the stuff that I like that I think of as punk is probably not punk, & lots of the stuff that is thought of as punk I can't really stand. What sort of punk do I like? I'm glad I'm pretending that you ask.

You can have a listen to a mix I sort of made for my nephew's college graduation party (it's edited) last month here on the Self Help Radio Extra page. It's without any interruption & it's about seventy-four minutes long.

No mohawk required! From me to you! Now, if you're excuse me, I'm going to daydream & listen to Bill Moyers talk.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Whither A Show About Paleness?

Is paleness even a word?

Ack! I am late for today's blog entry! I have no compelling explanations! I don't need to defend myself to you! You got more explaining to do than me! Judge not lest ye be judged!

Yeah, it's a weird idea, a show about a lack of color. I confess there aren't a lot of songs about that. There are more songs about pale things. So it'll mainly be a show about pale things, more than paleness. Sue me. It's just a podcast.

I myself am quite pale. Always have been. Some people's skin ripens like fruit in the sun & stays golden over the summer. I resort to a zombie-esque hue mere moments after non-sunburn exposure. Here's a funny story: I went to a dermatologist a while back to get a third eye removed (long story) & the dermatologist wanted to look at my back which, truth be told, is as white as vanilla ice cream. Not french vanilla - I'm talking soft serve vanilla. Anyway, she said, "You've got some sun damaged back here." She meant freckles. That's a bad way to talk about freckles. Freckles may be caused by sun damage, but it's evil to take something as adorable as freckles & make them seem evil. I won't have it.

Plus, she wouldn't remove the third eye. Referred me to an evil optometrist. Long story.

The experience of the pale is certainly one we shall explore. Or else I will say "Ack!" once more, & collapse on the floor.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Preface To The Pale Show: Ode On A Plastic Spoon

Hey! Who put this ode on this plastic spoon? I was gonna use this spoon! Do you know how hard it is to get ode off a plastic spoon? Cleaners can melt the freakin' plastic! You! Yeah, you, with the beret! Are you the dirty dog poet who put this ode on my plastic spoon? What the fuck? Do I go over to your house & write a limerick on your butter knife? Hanh? Do I wander by your work & write a sestina on your spork? Oh Christ, look, you've got me rhyming now. Just get away from me! & don't mess with my non-biodegradable cutlery ever again!

This particular Self Help Radio blog entry was supposed to be enjoyed - prepared just for you - with a small cup of some sweet pale yogurt. The place was set & you were to come here, make yourself comfortable, & read an amusing preface to a show about a lack of color while eating something that not only lacks color, but also taste. All prepared for you by Self Help Radio. Because Self Help Radio wants to be hospitable.

Instead, some itinerant wannabe bard stops by, sees something that no sane person could possibly see in a plastic spoon sitting next to the yogurt, & just can't help WRITING AN ODE on the plastic spoon. That's all thirteen kinds of crazy! Hey! You should be ashamed of yourself!

What the...? Oh great. Well, the good news is, the ode is gone. The bad news is, so is the yogurt. Yes, the poet ate his ode with the food. He literally ate his own words. Har har. He thinks he's so clever.

Get out of here! I gotta blog to write! Stupid poets!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Braise, Whimper & Fold

One more story about Bill before too long:

Bill never met a musical instrument he didn't want to put his mouth on. He could play them all tolerably well, if your definition of "tolerable" is the same definition John Ashcroft uses for testicular electrocution at Gitmo. Man I hated when he picked up an oboe - for example - & just started tooting on it. You did not want to go to any sort of store with him, nor church, but that was because he loved Satan.

How I found myself in a dried goods store last weekend I am not sure. I didn't even know there were such entities as "dried goods stores" outside of those infernal Hobbit books. Blast them! Yet there Bill & I stood, chewing on gunpowder & talking about tamarind when, out of nowhere he said, "I hear someone calling my name!"

You have to have regular responses to Bill, otherwise you won't make much sense, but my regular response to him was to the exclamation, "I hear [Jesus/God/The Virgin Mary/Albert Einstein] calling my name!" I had never heard him be vague. I listened, too. I heard it!

"Songs about me!" said Bill. It was true. The lunatic dried good store owner with the painted-on hard-on was playing songs about Bill. Bill was apoplectic. He accused the shopkeeper of adding cayenne pepper to the no-MSG sugar cane. But I told him, "Bill, that fellow isn't playing songs about you. He's listening to a radio show playing songs about you!"

It was true! The man behind the counter had gone to & downloaded this week's show. Bill was astonished. He couldn't leave. He didn't leave.

For all I know, he's there still.