Saturday, October 29, 2011

Preface To Halloween 2011 - Graveyards!: My Life Is A Boneyard

Self Help Radio prides itself on not repeating itself, like other radio shows do. I understand that the point of radio is repetition, & that more people would perhaps listen to Self Help Radio (arguable) if it played the same thing over & over, like most popular radio shows do. Alas, it is not in my constitution.

I do love to do "annual" shows, like Halloween, which is coming up this week. But while I like doing a Halloween show, I also want to hone in on some aspect of Halloween rather than being generic. Also, I don't want to repeat myself. I do try to come up with an interesting, holiday-related theme on the topic. How have I done so far?

In 2003, it was just "Halloween."
In 2004, I didn't do a Halloween show. Long story.
In 2005, the show was about vampires.
In 2006, the show was about monsters.
In 2007, the show was about zombies.
In 2008, the show was about witches.
In 2009, the show was about werewolves.
In 2010, the show was about haunted houses.

(Speaking of not repeating myself, I did reprise the zombie show for a WRFL sub last year, & you can hear the show here if you're so inclined. I justify the repetition by saying "it wasn't a Self Help Radio show." Also, if you'd like to hear last year's show about haunted houses, it's also still available for the listening to.)

This year's show, as you perhaps have read in the post's subject line, is about graveyards. I have ideas for other future Halloween themes, like voodoo & curses, but the graveyard theme hit me at the last minute. Clearly I need to listen closely to cliched Halloween songs to tease out Halloween details I have been heretofore ignoring.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Competition

Self Help Radio is not a self-help radio show. Oftentimes when people come to the web site or especially to the Facebook page(*), they expect a generic "self-help" page, & are probably confused when it's not, as the Wikipedia describes it, "a self-guided improvement— economically, intellectually, or emotionally — often with a substantial psychological basis." In fact, many have suggested (or none have) that no one has ever been helped by Self Help Radio.

Yet there are actual self-help radio shows, & perhaps Self Help Radio should consider them the competition. What are these shows? Should Self Help Radio be worried?

If you use Google to search for "self-help radio" (leaving the dash in, which Self Help Radio doesn't), the second result(**) is Self Dev Radio (obviously they didn't want or couldn't afford the address, which sits idle), a site that appears to be internet-only, & which boasts that it "broadcast(s) inspirational interviews, self-development features & smooth music 24/7!" Going to the web site will let you immediately hear some of that "smooth music," plus the loud, confident voice of a fellow telling you what you're also reading on the site. In case you can't read. Or something.

Next is the motherlode: a list of links relating to "self-help" on Blog Talk Radio. Here is a treasure trove (if this is your kind of treasure) of links to shows with titles like "Finding Happiness Within," "Message From The Oneness," "Fate Versus Destiny," "Healing Wisdom: Attract The Perfect Partner For You," "Motivation, Exercise & ADD," & "Instinct Combat Shooting."

Hey. Combat shooting can be a form of self-help. Don't balk!

Up next is Self Improvement Talk Radio, another riff on the more familiar "self-help" phrase. It appears to be not a list of shows, but a promotional page for a particular self-help guru, Dr. Anne Marie Evers, who is Canadian & who also has a certificate (that could be Canadian for BA? (***)) in therapeutic touch. (The Wikipedia is kinder to this quackery than it ought to be.)

Dr. Evers is not a medical doctor, & her own site tells you she is an "ordained minister," so perhaps her doctorate is in theology, since her credentials only mention "certificates" & not actual degrees. She does give affirmations, which Self Help Radio does not, & how could it compete with a list like this?

1. I am the DREAMER.
2. I am the DREAM.
3. I am the Dream Activator, Dream Supporter or the Dream Stealer.
4. I am the recepient of the DREAM, the benefactor of the DREAM.
5. I am the creator, sustainer/preserver/manifestor of the DREAM.
6. I and I alone am responsible and accountable for the DREAM.

Dream Stealer?

Finally, there is Achievement Radio Dot Com, which seems like a pretty good achievement, until you click the link & oh no! " Is No Longer An Active Website."

Perhaps they needed to practice more of what they preached.

(*) Many people have "liked" the Facebook page, thinking they are liking generic "self-help radio." Most soon realize the error of their ways.

(**) After "Self Help Radio." Surprisingly!

(***) It's not.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Joke A Day A Week, Episode Eighteen

Never accuse the arguably fine folks of A Joke A Day of a lack of topicality. Oh sure, there are plenty of non-offensive insults about imaginary people to tell, & naturally men hate the women they marry once they are no longer attracted to them, & of course there are literally thousands if not millions of puns already beaten to death in the English language, all a treasure trove of repetition for the staff of A Joke A Day to share with its subscribers, people noted for a distinct lack of an actual sense of humor.

But this week, sensing the foul mood of the country, the brave editor (or randomizing computer) (pretty much the same thing at the A Joke A Day headquarters) green-lit & sent out a joke that captures the foul feeling a vast majority of America has about its richest class.

It's true! At long last - with no further ado - I give you the A Joke A Day Solidarity With Occupy Wall Street joke:

One day in New York City, a banker was driving his new Jaguar down the streets. He parked it and opened the door to get out. Suddenly a taxi went by and ripped the door off. The driver reported this to a nearby police officer. The officer saw the whole thing and said "You bankers are so involved in your possessions. You didn't even notice that your arm was ripped off as well" The banker stared at where his arm used to be and said "OH NO! My new Rolex is gone too!"

Now if only someone with good jokes would occupy A Joke A Day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Self Help Radio Bus Tours, Ltd.

Ah, buses. How I have ridden you over the years. Er. Well, that didn't sound right. I just. I want to show my appreciation for buses, is all. You used to take me home when I was in college, &, thankfully, you'd take me back to college again. You took me to work every day for over a decade, & you were often late, so that I could smoke another cigarette, back when I smoked, & stare impatiently for you down the street. I read books on you, I listened to hours of music while staring out your windows. I used to travel on buses to get to Self Help Radio, back when the show was in Austin. I met the woman I married while waiting at a bus stop.

Here is the Self Help Radio show about buses! No fare required. Also, you can play it as loud as you want. The map is at self help radio dot net, but the show is on two different routes, though - route one goes in this direction while route two goes in this direction. The stops on each route are listed below.

Thanks for riding the bus with me!

(part one)

"Waiting For The Bus" Violent Femmes _Add It Up (1981-1983)_
"Buses" Shark & Me _The Rubble Collection, Vol. 5_
"Take A Bus" Stix & Stonz _Soft Sounds For Gentle People Vol. 5 (Far-Out Treasures From California & Beyond, 1966-1969)_

"Another One Rides The Bus" Weird Al Yankovic _"Weird Al" Yankovic_
"You're Crazy For Taking The Bus" Jonathan Richman _Jonathan Goes Country_
"Roll Bus Roll" Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard _Em Are I_
"Love On A Greyhound Bus (Lucy Ann Polk, vocals)" Kay Kyser & His Orchestra _The Ultimate Collection (1939-1947)_
"Us On A Bus" Fats Waller _1935-1936_

"Bus Stop" Graham Gouldman _The Graham Gouldman Thing_
"Bus Stop" She _Wants A Piece Of You_
"Bustop" Lida Husik _The Return Of Red Emma_
"Girl At The Bus Stop" BMX Bandits _The Totally Groovy Live Experiment!_

(part two)

"Bumpin' Bus Stop, Pt. 1" Playboys _Funk Spectrum II: Real Funk For Real People_

"Double Dutch Bus" Frankie Smith _Double Dutch Bus_
"Funky Driver On A Funky Bus, Pt. 1" Charles Leonard _Bay Area Funk_
"Bus Drivers School" Bob Newhart _The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back!_

"The Magic Bus" The Who _Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy_
"This Bus Won't Go To War" Firesign Theatre _Fighting Clowns_
"Busstop" The Mad Scene _A Trip Thru Monsterland_
"Red Bus" The Minders _Hooray For Tuesday_
"Bus" The Figgs _Low-Fi At Society High_
"On The Bus" The Holloways _No Smoke, No Mirrors_

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Whither Buses?

Doesn't "buses" look funny? It should be "busses." But NO! says the spellcheck. (The spellcheck also doesn't like "spellcheck.")

Frankly, it's surprising that Self Help Radio hasn't done a show about buses before. For the longest time - from the time my car died in the summer after high school (1986) until the time my girlfriend - whom I would later marry - totaled her car in December of 2004, I did not own a car. If I needed to go places far, I rode a Greyhound bus - until I was old enough to rent cars.

In town, though, I rode buses everywhere. I took a bus daily to & from work. I took a bus to my radio show when the KOOP studios were in downtown Austin. I sometimes took buses to rock shows & then, as the shows ended after the buses stopped running, I would often just walk home.

I met the woman I would later marry at a bus stop. Maybe that's why I haven't done a bus show before. It would have to be a very good show. Buses have been good to me.

How good will the show be? I don't know. Listen tomorrow morning (it's a Monday) from 7:30 to 9am on 88.1 fm WRFL Lexington. You can listen online at WRFL dot fm. Or if you're stuck on a bus & can't tune it in, you can listen later at self help radio dot net.

At the bus stop where I met my wife, on a hot August afternoon in Austin, Texas, we were forced to share a tiny shrub for shade. The last time I was in town we drove by - & that shrub is now a giant tree.