Friday, September 26, 2008

Late On Friday

Obligatory post to remind you Self Help Radio is new tomorrow afternoon-ish. A short about diaries. You can use this link as a little key to unlock it at Self Help Radio Dot Net. Not yet! Tomorrow around the afternoon time when I am napping & you want to steal my secrets. Or see what I really think of you. Or what you really think of me. That's right! I read your diary & copied the nasty things you said about me word-for-word in my diary! How you like them apples, appleton?!?

Have a nice weekend. Get some sleep. Have a few drinks. Listen to the show!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scheduled Outage

They're going to turn off this blog before anything can be written in it. Whatever shall I do? Must I be pithy? Must I be succinct? How can I be asked to do things I have obviously never done before?

I'm going to try to see Morgen Spurlock tonight. I'm not a horror movie fan, but I can safely say that, of all the scary damn movies ever made, his documentary/death-defying experiment Super Size Me frightened me the most. I am not certain exactly why - I am a hard-drinking vegetarian who's bound to die earlier than most - but since I saw the film, I have not eaten fast food.

I must qualify. Yes, there have been two or three exceptions, probably at airports, but also once when I had to rescue my crazy girlfriend from her own death-defying experiment, which was: falling asleep in a car going seventy miles an hour on highway 10 forty miles from Van Horn, Texas. There was nothing to eat in Van Horn except fast food, as I got there late & the supermarket was closed.

But I won't eat fast food if there are other options. & anyway, reading Fast Food Nation (& not seeing the shitty Dickie Linklater film) was more than enough for me to avoid the value menu cartel.

I say above that I am going to try to see Morgen Spurlock because of this asinine practice that places like the University have of giving out a lot of free tickets & then letting the people who come early & stand in line get in. I only hope Spurlock isn't as cool as the last person I waited hours for, which was Richard Dawkins (the picture on the wikipedia page is from the very appearance I saw!), so there won't be a large crowd. I also hope Spurlock doesn't do what Dawkins did, which was bring an amateurish powerpoint presentation with which to embarrass us all.

What? I can't shoot the shit any more? With my Self Help Radio peeps? Why? You've scheduled an outage? Bastards! I'll see you in

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Whither Diaries?

I've never had a diary per se - you know, a little book with a lock that says "My Diary" on it. Not because I thought it was gay or anything - which it is. But because I never had one. No one bought me one. I wouldn't have had the money to buy myself one - not when there were still new comics coming out, anyway.

I remember in the summer of my seventh grade/eighth grade year, I became aware that I could forget my entire life. (That was before, of course, I had a lot of stuff to regret.) So I started making "tape recording" diaries at the ends of tapes of nonsense I recorded, whether it was episodes of television shows (we didn't have a VCR & yes, I would listen to them as though I were watching a repeat) or stupid attempts to be funny that eerily presaged my own dumb attempts at humor on my radio show. (My favorite fake person was a badly-British-accented fellow whose name was Gary Gutslucker. I don't remember if I thought the word was supposed to be dirty or not.)

I have some of those tapes around somewhere - I didn't make more than two weeks' worth, & my life was BORING so they're not special in any way. But they did set a tone: instead of diaries that talked about stuff, I recounted things I did. I had miscalculated the fact that ideas change as experiences change, & that I might not recognize the people I was talking about - not to mention the places I felt I would always remember.

I took this up again some time during college, again making the monstrous error of not elaborating on my ideas, my ambitions, my feelings. Looking over one of these this past summer when I was getting rid of shit because I thought I was moving to another part of the world - "diary entries" which were scrawled in the margins of old notebooks full of class notes - I found deeply important comments like: "Saw Rose today. She said I should seek professional help." I couldn't for the life of me remember who the hell Rose is. Or was. I didn't read much more.

When I first went online & met folks online - 1994, was it? - I wrote lots of emails. Lots of fucking emails. I gathered a day's worth a year or so later & realized, wow hey! They function like a diary! They were more emotional, more confessional, & because I was writing to another person, I had to explain things like my ideas, my thoughts, why I believed what I believed, etc.

Like with the tapes, though, the task of compiling them was just dumb. Also, a hard drive wipe would have erased everything - though so far that hasn't happened. Maybe that's a good thing.

Without explaining a tryst with Usenet & the inevitable trailing off of internet-only friends, I have had less & less "diary-like" opportunities over the past decade, & have never really tried to keep anything like a diary since then. I have been able to talk somewhat about my life on the radio - though that usually gets to be BORING too - & I can still use the email collection as a kind of vague outline of my life's experiences, but the last, worst hope is probably this blog, which I write it every day of the week, usually, & which usually contains nearly nothing about my life. You know, except for days like today.

Which is perfect.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Preface To My Diary: Home Sick Is Not Homesick

It is not. When one is homesick, one is not "home." One can perhaps be in a temporary "home," which is to say a place where one is residing, such as a cabin in the woods if one is a forest ranger, or a military base if one is a soldier, or on a relative's pull-out sofa if one is an American who has just lost one's house because of greedy American bankers wanting as much money as humanly possible & given permission by a corrupt American government, or a small "plate" at the bottom edge of a diamond if one is a baseball player scoring a run for the game, but none of those "homes" are the same as the place were one either resides in a more permanent sense or is the place one considers that one belongs. "Homesickness" is the longing one feels for one's place of belonging, often more imagined than real, & it can be potent.

Being home sick, as I am today, actually means being in that place of belonging, but not in good physical or mental shape - ailing in some way, or temporarily brought low by a germ or virus or bad luck.

The difference, like a lot of things, is a matter of context. But it can create misunderstanding if context is not properly emphasized, for example, to a call to work. "I am home sick today." "Where are you?" "At home." "Why are you homesick, then? You're at home." "That's what I meant. I'm home sick." "For what?" "I'm not home sick for anything, I'm home sick because of something." "What are you homesick because of?" "My guess is something spoiled or otherwise stomach-affecting in last night's meal." "God, who would be homesick for something like that?" "Me." "You're crazy! You should see a doctor!" "If it continues, I will." "I don't mean a doctor for being homesick!" "But if I am home sick too long, surely I should see a doctor?" "Not a medical doctor! A psychologist or something!" "How could a psychologist help me if I have a stomach ache?" "Well, he couldn't, but he could help you if you've spent too long homesick." "You make no sense."

Et cetera. Much unintended comedic conversation until the ghosts of Abbot & Costello appear & beat the living crap out of the idiotic pair.

This is a public service announcement from Self Help Radio & a nauseous fellow wishing he could sleep all day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bail Me Out!

Seriously. If there's that much money lying around, who would miss a few thousand dollars put into the account of a sweet fellow who does a silly radio show that - I think I read this somewhere - "hurts no one & no one hurts it"? Call it "the Iraq way," & pretend I am one of the Halliburtons.

No? Well, fine. But I shall continue to do all the things I normally do, but with less money than if I had the government money they are now spending to buy us all an insurance company. Can I at least have some insurance? Do the owners get a discount?

No? All right, then I'm going to go start working on this week's exciting episode of Self Help Radio, which will feature excerpts from my diary because the show is about diaries. How exciting! Nothing like last week's ridiculous show about heartbeats, which I did while holding my breath. A mistake!

You want to listen to it anyway? You're sweet. Visit Self Help Radio to do so, then. I will be happy & also slightly embarrassed. You know. Like I always am.