Friday, January 30, 2009

The Ungainly Return Of "Self Help Radio Extra"

Yes, yes, I missed it in December, but in my defense, I got married, divorced, married to a bigamist, divorced from reality, married someone who wasn't divorced on a reality show, & fell asleep at the wheel. But now! At the ass end of an historic month in a year that is not a prime number, here's this month's Self Help Radio Extra, featuring stuff by the Guild League, The Secret History, Cruiser, Indurain, & other music that see-saws between indie pop & indie rock in a slightly lopsided manner which indicates I get very little sleep & don't help myself when I don't close my eyes. Go listen to the mix now! It's like Self Help Radio but without all my dull airbreaks.

Speaking of closing my eyes, that's the next Self Help Radio, available all over the place tomorrow afternoon at you-know-where. See you there & have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Whither Close Your Eyes?

I don't like that subject line. It doesn't, as they say, parse. Not even in the mouth of a nonsense-king.

Incidentally, I once knew a nonsense-king, long before one of them was chosen to be President of the United States by a group of old people in robes. He always had egg on his face - literally. I never once saw him eating eggs, but there was always some part of an egg - a flake of scrambled, some gooey yolk, even bits of shell - somewhere on his face. Maybe it was his thing. Also, he didn't smell bad. You'd think someone dressed in a crazy outfit acting like a ridiculous monarch might be too insane to indulge in personal hygiene, especially since he had food particles on his face, but he always smelled like a freshly-washed dog from one of those doggy-day-care places. Maybe it was the flea shampoo.

Anyway, the nonsense-king never said things correctly. Not like double negatives, you know, stuff like, "I ain't got nothing." I don't mind that. Nor did he split infinitives or other arbitrary silliness that makes grammarians unhappy. No, he just would construct sentences, simple sentences, that didn't sound right. "I want to isn't it home," he said. Or "This basket is rifening with put it ins." Or "Cross my crackers, I haven't looked since eyes to eyes!" Things that were kind of nonsensical, but you knew what he was getting at. Still. They just didn't parse.

No wonder he was deposed!

What was I going on about? Oh crap! I have to go to the bank. Save a space for me, will you? I don't want to miss this next part.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Preface To Close Your Eyes: Tic Tic Tic

According to OmDict, the "human-edited, online medical dictionary," a fasciculation is "a local & fine involuntary muscle contraction." They are distinguished from "tics" by being "typically visible underneath the skin" but "not strong enough to move a limb." They're also known as "muscle twitches."

A tic is a whole other banana. A tic is (according to Wikipedia) "a sudden, repetitive, nonrhythmic, stereotyped motor movement or vocalization involving discrete muscle group." Tics can move a limb - they can be hardcore. Oh, & there's also a wonderful section on the Tourette's page which talks about "some confusion in media portrayals of tics."

Anyway, back to fasciculations. If you have them, it may be because you don't get enough magnesium. You also may be drinking too much caffeine, or you may be dehydrated, or it may be plain old stress. Don't drink so much coffee! Drink some more water! Close your eyes & relax!

Except when I have twitches, I can't close my eyes. It makes me notice them more. It's a vicious circle.

By the way, does anyone know how to search that OmDict thing? I can't figure it out.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Several Circumstances Later

So I'm sitting outside in the rain with only a dollar to my name looking to hitchhike from Des Moines to any place but Des Moines & I end up in Iowa City drunk, dressed like Gabor Szabo, constructing car bombs with a veteran of one Iraqi incursion or another who's convinced I can help him meet Martin Lawrence if only we can blow up the Royal Gorge Bridge. Some uncomfortable moments of silence occur until he realizes he's got at least half a carton of DayQuil left, & soon enough we're watching some Ben Affleck movie on a portable DVD player in the back of a Madison, Wisconsin, pedi-cab being furiously pedaled by the young hippie on whom my companion has his gun trained. Convinced through imperfect evidence that the world will end if we don't destroy the twin lakes, I drag a carload of C4 into Lake Monona, & he straps two hundred sticks of dynamite onto his chest & descends into Lake Mendota, but curious fate intervenes & I am bludgeoned by two male strippers dressed as cops but with real nightsticks who wanted to skinny dip but didn't want me to watch.

I wake up for reasons best explained by the dearth of cheap pharmaceuticals in a Kenora, Ontario, hospital while a trained monkey lies about my citizenship as I can't fill out the forms with the ink damage to my hands. During a consult which quickly devolves into a heated discussion about Hockey Night In Canada, I hide in a candy-striper's drink-cart & hand-paddle it the 126 miles to Winnepeg, where I am quickly given the keys to the city & a grant to continue my performance art. I blow through the grant double-time because it's Canadian money & am found later in Hollywood sleeping in John Carpenter's office apparently after a failed movie pitch which sounded an awful lot like "They Live" because I was reading the script off his coffee table.

Arrested for vagrancy, I plead nolo contendere & ask if they'd fly Alan Shore from Boston to defend me. I am given an embarrassing psychological exam in front of the tainted potential jury pool for no other reason than to humiliate me, & the judge grants a mistrial then, in an unprecedented move, finds me guilty of "Existence With Malice Aforethought." A brief tour of celebrity chat shows follows, in which I am often mistaken for the guy that brings the weird birds & insects, & Tyra Banks beats the living hell out of me. One residual check after another appears in my mother's mailbox & I discover I am the star of a hit television sitcom in which I have never appeared. John Ashcroft is reportedly a fan.

Stumbling home for a well-earned rest I instead work feverishly to make the week's Self Help Radio, which, for all intents & purposes, is about gum. I finished it on Saturday. It's available at It still smells a little sweaty. You might want to run it through the washer a couple of times. It's a hard life on the road. I don't apologize for it.