Saturday, August 29, 2009

Preface To Loops: You Can Loop This Blog Post & Rap Over It

I miss working at the University of Texas for one really big reason: the campus has a subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary Online. You know how much it costs for one person, like me, who might only use it now & again, & usually for my dumbass radio shows? Two hundred & ninety five dollars a year! That's amazing. Of course, the twenty-volume set costs a thousand dollars, so I suppose it's something of a bargain. Not all that looking up, leafing through pages, etc. You know, the stuff that makes books so much fun.

I can use, but it doesn't have those archaic quotes from writers that I'm sure seemed a lot more important at the time that the OED has. It does, however, have twenty-nine definitions for "loop" so I am a little grateful for that. I can also used Merriam-Webster, which is also free but a little clunky to navigate through. The other Webster's is by far the most comprehensive & free, yet I don't know why - I still miss the OED.

I think it's that you can turn off & on, like etymology & quotes. I am a sucker for sites that let you hide & show information.

You know, if you spend a little time with dictionaries online you can see where I get a lot of info I impart on the show. That's probably not a good thing to tell you - maybe you would otherwise think I am much smarter than I really am. But there you are. You can think I'm loopy - even if I'm not looped but sober - you can grab me by the pants loop or take me around town on the loop - but now you're in the Self Help Radio loop. Enjoy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Loop Loopy

You get kind of loopy listening to songs both about loops (including the clothing kind) as well as songs constructed with weirdly obvious loops, & as such you begin to find yourself thinking about, I don't know, dressing up your dog as the Starship Enterprise. How bad an idea can it be?

Whatever happened to all those people who wanted to raise their own money to keep a Star Trek franchise show on the air? Did the new Star Trek movie quiet them down? Or will they continue to make their own movies? (I confess, I really like the tag line of that homemade Star Trek movie, "Star Trek - Of Gods & Men": "Legends come together one last time... To destroy each other." But wouldn't it be better if the last part were all caps? "Legends come together one last time... TO DESTROY EACH OTHER." Also, shouldn't there be an exclamation point? "Legends come together one last time... TO DESTROY EACH OTHER!"

Maybe then I'd find it & watch it.

That's not true - I'm a huge Star Trek nerd but I barely choked down Enterprise & Voyager. The new movie was a lot of fun. If they're not going to try to make a series like Deep Space Nine again, I can handle reinvention & big budgets. Although there should have a been a little Shatner in the new movie, you know?

You heard me!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Taking Thursdays Off

I was thinking of taking Thursdays off writing this blog. Having Self Help Radio be on a Tuesday severely screws with my ridiculous artificial structure for the blog, which, when SHR was on a Friday (or when I unveiled the podcast on Saturday), was all like:

MONDAY: Remind folks I put last week's show on the web site over the weekend.
TUESDAY: Mostly nonsensical "preface to" whatever theme I was covering that week.
WEDNESDAY: Equally inane "whither the theme?" post.
THURSDAY: Treading water.
FRIDAY: The show's on today! Or the show's on this weekend!

But I can't seem to get into any sort of rhythm with the show on Tuesday. & I tend to put the show up on Wednesday, which is sort of the new Saturday, so I can't not write something until Friday. That doesn't feel right. So I think I'll just take Thursdays off & maybe even Sunday or something. I am not in any way interesting enough to write something funny &/or/god forbid insightful more than three or four days a week.

I know, no one cares but me. Man, I wish I read this blog!

Also, if I take Thursdays off, I guess I have to start next week. Damn it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This Week's Show, It's Up

Sorry for the perfunctory post, but other things are occupying your host's time. Please have a listen to the Self Help Radio show about dimensions - as well as this week's episode of the pop show Sugar Substitute - at Then make everyone you know listen to it. Form little clubs to discuss its possible merits & obvious failings. Write long academic papers about it. Copy it to a small external drive or your mp3 player & sleep with it under your pillow. Use it instead of prayer when you feel like asking something of imaginary deities. The show is for you. Have a little fun with it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pocket Holes

Oh boy! A website that teaches how to sew!

Not that I plan to learn how to sew. Self Help Radio is happening today at 3pm on 88.1 fm WMUL Huntington! I don't even have a needle & thread.

But I do have a hole in my right front pocket. I just put my change & keys in my left pocket. For the time being.

I don't think I've ever had a hole in my back pockets. I have had a hole in the back of my pants, of course, from my days as a professional cactus sitter. That's a part of my past I'd prefer to not discuss.

Neither my cats nor my dogs have a problem with pocket holes, but despite their insistence that they do have pockets, they don't have pants, & that's one thing they seem to insist more than anything else, except that they're hungry - "We have pockets!" they bark or meow. It's a little ridiculous, but they are ridiculous creatures.

I know, I did a show about pockets many moons ago. But when have I ever had to worry about fixing a hole in my dimension? When do pets talk about dimensions?

This is the material I have to work with.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Thin Layers Between The Dimensions Are So Handily Separated

It is a super power one can sometimes get by exposure to radioactive Sevin Dust &/or chocolate with too much fudge within. It is not a super power that one would know how to use unless one was actively seeking to separate the thin layers between the dimensions. If you happen to have this super power, & you don't want to separate the thin layers between the dimensions, please read no further. Below is a brief overview of the process of separating the thin layers between the dimensions.

Please note: Self Help Radio is not responsible for irresponsible use of this information. Separating the thin layers between dimensions can sometimes cause unexpected & usually lethal release of something toxic from the dimension which is separated from our own by only a thin layer. Proceed with caution & always remember to be armed with either a spray can filled with a carbonated citrus-based liquid &/or a picture of a person on fire.

First: Dimensions don't just exist perpendicular with our own; they exist perpendicular to every point of our own. Therefore there are virtually an infinite number of dimensions.

Second: If you can open the thin layers that separate our dimensions, & you attempt to pull back a layer, you will only open one.

Third: It really depends where you start. Most people with the super power to be able to separate the thin layers between dimensions can open a layer with a finger or, at most, a grabby motion with the hand.

Fourth: There's no truth to the rumor that the better dimensions are accessible at groin level.

Fifth: Despite what one might think, dimensions being virtually infinite, & the ability separate the thin layers between them utterly contingent on the point at which you begin, it is entirely possible to avoid opening bad dimensions.

Sixth: Bad dimensions are the ones that can kill or otherwise hurt you.

Seventh: Bad dimensions are much, much easier to access than good dimensions. Which is to say, the thin layers that separate our dimension from bad dimensions are much easier to breach. Bad dimensions are shabbily kept.

Eighth: It is true that our dimension has a reputation for being a bad dimension.

Ninth: This may explain why so few being from the better dimension don't venture into ours terribly often.

Tenth: If you must travel into another dimension, good or bad, please make sure to leave open the thin layers that separate it from ours, or else you may never find your way back again. It's perfectly all right to pack a lunch.

More dimensional travel instructions may be available on tomorrow's Self Help Radio.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sounding Like A Whiny Child Rethinking Its Options

Nothing puzzles more the inclusive mind than the frustrating possessive pronoun problem. To this day, it rankles to substitute the plural when not wanting to sound like a sexist dope. "If a person wants to use these facilities, they need to ask the manager on duty." How that grates. But you know what else grates? When people who should know better use the words "man" or "mankind" for the much more palatable "human" or "humanity." It seems just laziness or spite, if it's not outright hatefulness.

However, there isn't much of a problem with calling a single child "it," unless of course you know what gender it is. It might even be more offensive to assign it an arbitrary gender rather than waiting until one knows.

Also, lackluster cover versions of songs by performers who one knows can do a better job - a much better job - shouldn't be tolerated. The performers know who they are. It's simply irresponsible.

Further consideration of this post's title, which has generated eighty percent of its content, leads one to wonder perhaps if children ever reconsider their options. Would we let them? An acquaintance a few years ago referred to her child as a "little person." Never mind that the term was already in use for people of genetically short stature (there's even an organization called Little People Of America, although their web page hasn't been updated for three years), the acquaintance was attempting to stress to anyone unfortunate enough to be in earshot that her child was a person, damn it, just like grown-ups. Which seemed at the time saddening, since the poor little person probably wasn't getting a childhood as much as a little personhood. All those clinics & classes!

In any event, much like life, nothing has been resolved, nor any light shed on vexing problems. Apologies all around.