Friday, September 12, 2008

Office Spacing

I moved offices today. That's an excuse. Hurricane Ike may be visiting Austin tomorrow so I need to go home & watch the news obsessively & with perverse glee to watch newscasters get blown around in high winds off Galveston. So I didn't have time today to write some nonsense here & I won't have time now. Instead I am wasting time making excuses.

But! Tomorrow! Self Help Radio is all about salt! & not at all about hurricanes! Although wouldn't it be weird if it were?

VIsit around the time Houston is underwater & enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Needles To Say

Needles, I say! So sharp to the finger-prick, so hard for the threading! Did you know needles are mentioned over four thousand times in the Christian Bible? Let me rephrase that. Did you know I have written the word "needle" four thousand times all over the pages of my Christian Bible? It's true! Look it up!

But it does say that thing about shoving a camel through a needle's eye in like three of the four gospels. What up with that? Someone call the Roman SPCA! Jesus been shoving camels again! Is that why that Alaska woman hates moose so much? Are moose Alaska's camels?

"Go ply thy needle; meddle not with her," Shakespeare said, but too late! I had meddled with her. & she had thrown a drink in my face. But how it would have hurt if she had had a glass full of needles!

Needles also means hypodermic needles, attached to syringes, attached (ultimately) to Lou Reed. This can be of great disappointment to the uninitiated. I brought my needlepoint kit to a Needle Exchange Program expecting to trade some of my beloved Specialty Needles (I have one which is signed by all the cast members of Scooby Doo) (except Casey Kasem) (Casey Kasem is a douchebag) but instead I was told that I needed to be an IV Drug User or have a special Card which I could get at my local heroin dealer's. What a disappointment!

You are on pins & needles - & not on drugs - if you are nervous about something. Indeed, it seems to me two things are problematic here. One, who spilled all the needles & pins? Why didn't they clean them up? & two, why don't you watch where you're going? It's not like you can't see an entire floor covered in needles & pins! You probably want to live dangerously. I think you're an idiot.

Also, it's impossible, say, if you're needing to mend your threadbare coat, to use the needle on, say, your speedometer. Not to mention a VU meter! Those needles suck!

That's all the needle talk for today. I won't be "needling" you about "needles" further. Ha ha!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Whither Salt?

Salt! Salt! I just had salt on my lunch! What a coincidence!

Many people in the world today take salt for granted. There was a time when wars were fought for salt. People protested occupation by walking to get their own salt. Stores put salt in elegant containers rather than in disposable little square paper thingies. No more I say! We need to return to expensive salt! Valuable salt! Exotic salt! Priceless salt!

Okay, maybe not exotic salt. The people who extol the benefits of weird salt are kinda creepy, & probably also believe in the benefits of electrocuting their nipples when the moon is waning gibbous.

I shall construct a radio show to restore salt to its place of former glory & fame! Good old plain sodium chloride, ye shall be exalted!

At least this week. On Self Help Radio.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Preface To Salt: High Blood Pressure At Low Altitudes

"Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels," says Wikipedia, & then presents to you some awesome terms which medical service folks get to use that no one else does. Note: this has very little to do with salt. I am just obsessing about blood pressure.

This has become more common in recent years, but I've always dug hypertension. It sounds like a super power, yeah? No! It's as bad a thing as real life gamma rays! Wikipedia, do me like your best girlfriend: "Hypertension, referred to as high blood pressure, HTN or HPN, is a medical condition in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated."

Even better, you could suffer from white coat hypertension. As opposed to black belt hypertension, jack boot hypertension, & the always nasty dirty undergarment hypertension, which is what I suffer from for reasons I can't be bothered to explain.

Hypotension is not nearly as interesting, mainly because hypertension sounds like your bodies about to explode & that's so totally Scanners.

Term number two: preeclampsia. Oh, it sounds like something rich white folks on the east coast spend a lot of money to get their kids into so they can go to the best schools, but my bitch Wikipedia knows the score: "Preeclampsia is a medical condition where hypertension arises in pregnancy (pregnancy-induced hypertension) in association with significant amounts of protein in the urine." Extra bonus points from mentioning urine!

Term number third: systole. Wikipedia! Testify: "Systole (rhymes with 'fiscally') is the contraction of heart chambers, driving blood out of the chambers." I know, it's only one of the measures of blood pressure, but doesn't "diastole" sound like the name of a Dutch prog-rock band? One is contraction, the other is expansion. Okay, maybe the prog-rock band would be called Systole-Diastole. But I think that diastole is boring. Systole rocks!

The coup de grace: sphygmomanometer. What the fuck?

Hey Wikipedia! Do it to me one more time: "A sphygmomanometer is a device used to measure blood pressure, comprising an inflatable cuff to restrict blood flow, & a mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the pressure." It comes from the Greek word for pulse, or the layperson's word for "fuckin' know-it-all just tell me which pills I gotta take."

By the way, waiting rooms are weird & it may be just me but there seem to be more women in them than men. Do men just not go to doctors? We don't, do we? We drop dead instead. Go us!

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Mad Rooster & The Dither Hen

That is the name of a short story that a genial fellow named Abraham Meddle was working on, his fourteenth &, he believed, most successful short story, the night he met a particularly embarrassing end while working (as he did his entire life) at the West Bubonic Paper Mill somewhere on or about a more or less empty township in the vicinity of West Texas.

The story was a simple one - a rooster who was not able to afford his meds (due to the Bush Administration's cruel restructuring of the Medicare/Medicaid needs policy) experienced a not unhappy resurgence of his schizophrenia & started to wreak havoc in the hen-house where he spent his idle time. The rooster, while not handsome, was the best the ladies in the house could hope for, but usually only when his demons were under control. When not, he tended to rip his (& others') feathers off their bodies, fly madly at the chicken wire, & issue denunciations of left-wing political candidates in a manner one matron described as "Ann Coulter-ish," which was not fit for polite company.

The dither hen was, as expected, a rather fussy & absent-minded old thing nearing the end of her laying cycle who managed to come up with a way to save the rooster without drugging him (using principles she gleaned from a cross between Christian Science & Scientology) & the body of the short story included inspirational & hilarious descriptions of the treatment & "cure" (Meddle was never interested in clear-cut endings) of the Mad Rooster, & possibly (it was unfinished) the eventual eating of the rooster & hen by a hungry family who were slowly starving thanks to the abandoning of the social safety net under the current administration in favor of "faith-based" initiatives, & the local churches frowning on the dither hen because Scientology is un-Christian & therefore leads its adherents to perdition.

Self Help Radio is glad to be able to summarize unfinished works as part of an ongoing series funded by the Confusion Group in association with Leanr To Rade, the adult literacy group run by dyslexics.

Self Help Radio dedicates its most recent show, Indiepop A To Z # 16, to these tireless advocates of whatever they care about. It's available, as are many other shows which these groups have nothing to do with either, at You may proceed there now single file.