Friday, August 07, 2009

Preface To Nine: Up At Four-Thirty

This has been a weird morning. I was awakened by the dogs at around 4:30 am (it's hard to believe it was just an hour ago) because there were folks noisily walking down the street & the dogs needed to report that to me. I got dressed, after being all paranoid about someone trying to break into the house, & went outside to find some of our recycling strewn on the street. (I think I finally got up because I heard a car crushing a can.) I picked it up, then noticed that one of the bins was missing.

A quick word: we pay a commercial company here in Huntington to pick up the recycling. In Austin, it's part of what you get with electricity & trash pick-up. Austin does it weekly. Here, it's biweekly & some folks say (we've not experienced this) that they sometimes forget to come entirely. Also, they don't take glass. Who doesn't recycle glass? Anyway.

I assumed that, since it was a lot of aluminum cans, someone had simply taken the kit & caboodle & drove off. (In Austin, some folks on recycling day would drive up & down the street & take the aluminum out of the bins.) But something compelled me to walk down the street - it's a lovely morning, all of 60 degrees, & an almost-full moon sat in the western sky lighting the area in its gauzy way - & I found the bin on the porch of a house about seven or eight houses down.

This house is a rental & the kids who live there - & they are kids, college kids - I met only once, when our movers were trying to get the semi through our very narrow street - & they were very drunk, asking me questions like, "How old are you? Do you like to drink?" I told them that my wife & I had just moved in & that prompted them to tell me, in their drunken intensity, to NOT SIGN THE PETITION. Apparently the neighbors have been circulating a petition to get them to move - for their loud music & late-night carousing - the boys who live there apparently have a punk rock band, but from what I've heard it sounds more metal - although I of course haven't been living here long enough to see such a thing. I was mainly concerned about the movers getting the trunk out of here. (& interestingly, none of the neighbors I've talked to have seen any petition.)

Anyway, I took the bin back - it was still three-quarters full - I can only assume that it was a stupid drunken impulse on someone's part, or else it could be that the bins are from Austin & say "Austin recycles" on them. Austin is considered a very cool town, of course, in this part of the world. One kid at WMUL even told me, "That's a great city, yeah. Never been there, but I hear it's a great city."

Part of me thinks that I may end up causing a commotion if they come out & find it gone, although they're probably drunk & asleep by now. I'm sober & very, very awake. It's annoying. & I'll probably stay awake until the recycling folks come.

This of course has nothing to do with Self Help Radio, to which you really should be listening & on which I really should be working. The wife is in Pittsburgh, looking at tongues (I couldn't make such things up), so it's just me, the ever-alert pups, & that moon, slowly descending as a very long day begins.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

One Day Later, Two Shows For You

Last night, a storm razed Cincinnati - rain poured into the streets of this venerable American city & washed it away as though it were a mound of crud on the filthy shoulder of America. The same storm, its voraciousness comparable only to its intensity, hammered Lexington like a coked-up roofer destroying the very domicile he was building. (Not such a great metaphor, since a storm didn't create Lexington, but I'll stick with it because I once knew a coked-up roofer who was always falling through holes he made in other people's roofs.) Then, Lexington successfully flooded & drowning, the monster storm turned its eyes eastward & saw a tiny hamlet on the Ohio River, unpretentious, unprepossessing, unpopular, & the storm opened its maw & gave out a roar. & one brave disc jockey looked into the blackened western skies & said, "No! I shall make radio tonight! I shall not let this travesty of nature keep me from mine appointed duties!" & into the sprinkly early evening he drove...

Actually, I'm pretty sure Cincinnati & Lexington are okay. & the storm took a right at Ashland. Better bourbon down that way, I hear. It was a little anticlimactic, what with the crazy radar images the neighbors were showing us. So I went & did not only a Self Help Radio (theme this week: flowers) but also the first episode of a pop show called Sugar Substitute. Both were recorded in my usual manner & are available for listening at for those with the inclination. I'll be happy if you enjoy it.

I need to split, I feel more purple prose emerging from me, like mighty Athena clawing her way from great Zeus' head, her first battle a battle to live!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

You Know What Day It Is

It's true, it's Tuesday (truesday?) & I've been gathering all the flowers I intend to play on the radio tonight for Self Help Radio's show about - well - flowers. In case I didn't tell you (& I don't read this blog either, so I'm not sure how I'd know), Self Help Radio has been moved up to 6pm due to something I said to the King Of Eight O'Clock. I'm not sure what I said (I'm usually inebriated by then), but he contacted the nice folks at WMUL & they said I had to be done by eight, so they moved Self Help Radio. That's 6 to 8pm tonight, Tuesday, August 4, at 88.1 fm WMUL, live in Huntington & all around the tri-state region. That means you, Chesapeake. I know you're listening. Don't be coy. I'll record the show & archive it as soon as I can.

But wait! The King Of Eight O'Clock is a forgiving sort, so despite his displeasure with me & his tendency to prefer trained seals as television companions for Tuesday night reality shows, he's allowed me to present, from eight to ten, a pop show called "Sugar Substitute." (Yes, I totally ripped the name off from the awesome song by Luxuriator. I hope they don't sue.) I'll archive that, too, just so you can understand later when the King Of Eight O'Clock sets his trained seals on me. [Insert joke here about how details my death will be 'fishy.'] [Wait, don't. The King Of Eight O'Clock hates puns.]

So I'd better prepare. Four hours on the radio! I'll need a shave, a nap, some oxycontin, & a sandwich. In that order.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Eastern Standard Time

So here's something I just don't understand about living more or less close to the East Coast: prime time starting at 8pm. Do the people here stay up late? Or work late? Because they sure as hell don't get up to go to work late.

As you know, I've just recently relocated to lovely West Virginia from lovely Texas. Before this, I didn't know if I'd ever leave Texas. I had a nice job, some phenomenal apron strings which kept me miserably tied to my mother, & absolutely no idea why the hell I'd leave Austin except that the summers there were getting more & more unbearable & the hill country was slowly being desertified. Also, of course, the place was filling up with northerners. Carpetbaggers! Come to steal our women! Anyway.

"Central" & "Mountain" time has prime time start at 7pm, with the nightly news at the most reasonable hour of 10pm. This meant that funny talk shows can come on at 10:30 &, if you're a kid, say, in the 1980s, you can stay up to 11:30 to watch the first half hour of Letterman before you conk out. Imagine! I would never have gotten to see the Late Show if I grew up here, not just because electricity is a recent development here (just kidding Mountain State!) but also because it was on too late! A late Late Show would have sucked for a high school kid who had to be at school at 7:15am or else there'd be no parking spaces.

I remember thinking it was some sort of fictional conceit, like soda machines that say "Soda Machine" in the pre-product-placement days in movies & television, that people on TV would say "News at eleven." "It's not the real world," I would think. "So the news comes on at eleven." But no. It's true! The news comes on at eleven! What's up with that?

I just don't get it. Is it a daylight savings thing? Since television culture began in New York, I suppose it started then. Damn it, I've gotta go do research now. If you know, tell me. If not - I'll look it up.