Saturday, November 19, 2011

Preface To Feeling Good: Feeling Bad

It's true, I feel awful today. I'm not sick, I pulled a muscle in my back, underneath my right shoulder, a muscle which the wife calls a "rhomboid" even though you know & I know a rhomboid is "a parallelogram in which adjacent sides are of unequal lengths & angles are oblique." How could a geometric figure - a two-dimensional one at that - be causing me pain in my back? Is she calling me two-dimensional? Or just my poor old back?

I understand this is one of the consequences of getting old. You overextend & spend the next few days smelling like Ben Gay. It reminds me of a Louis CK bit...

I am waiting for the wife to come home so I can spend the day whining in bed.

What? I have to be one hundred percent for the radio show. Otherwise I'm complaining to YOU for ninety minutes. You see.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Self Help 101: Putting Off Talking About Procrastination

Note: This is a series of awkwardly written articles by the maker of Self Help Radio about popular self-help topics because he's getting all self-help-y after many years of mocking self-help with the title of his radio show. People, it's bad.

In daily life, as in weekly life, we as people have things to do. This is as true now as it was yesterday, & in fact the process is cumulative, so now we have more things to do today than we did yesterday, especially if we didn't do anything yesterday except try to catch up on television shows we forgot we had saved in our DVR & now because of that we missed last night's Community god damn it.

Scientists & late-night talk show hosts call this process "procrastination," & while there is no "amateur crastination," nor are we to believe there are people who are "anti-crastination," the definition we have come to know & love is "the act of postponing, delaying or putting off, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness." It is certainly an ugly definition, especially for people such as me, whose carelessness is not in the slightest habitual, & whose laziness can be excused by a note from my doctor.

The thing is, I don't want to talk about procrastination right now. I'm just not ready. I thought I was ready but then I had a long conversation with my cats about cheese that took up the entire morning. (By the way, my cats, who love cheese, are especially critical of my veganism, although at least two of them approve of Daiya, which is a vegan cheese & not a weird feline martial arts regimen.)

I also don't think you want to talk about procrastination right now. It's too personal, isn't it? It hits home. If we have to talk about procrastination, we might as well also talk about our mothers, & no one wants to do that, not even our mothers. No, there are more important topics in the self-help realm than procrastination, & sure we might think it's vaguely amusing that we're procrastinating about procrastination, we certainly didn't plan it that way. It's just that there are other things we're planning to do before we get around to this.

What other things? I'm glad you asked!

1) I was thinking of getting a label gun. They probably have really fancy ones now. I bet there's a bored college graduate at my local Office Place who'd love to stare blankly at me at this very moment while trying to remember if they stock label guns or not.

2) Do you remember how excited I was about that book I recently bought? I'm still pretty excited about it. If I get some time this afternoon I can totally read it. I don't remember what it is, of course, but it's sitting on the top of the bookshelf so I can get it down & crack it open. That's what.

3) We're out of pickles. That's just not acceptable.

4) I remember there were some links to cute things on the web I need to look at. They are in fact adding cute things all the time. Sometimes, when I am staring at a cute thing, I can hit "refresh" on my browser & suddenly there are more cute things. & you want to keep hitting "refresh." You want to.

5) If I must, yard work. The leaves that have not already blown into the neighbor's yard, I understand, are mine to rake.

If it's all the same to you, we can talk about procrastination another time. When? I'll get back to you. Let's just say: when you & I simply have nothing else better to do.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Joke A Day A Week, Episode Twenty-One

I've mentioned before that the A Joke A Day people don't want to single out any person as the average "stupid person" in the stupid person joke. At the University Of Texas, & even when I was growing up, the default stupid person was an Aggie, the nickname of a student at Texas A&M, a university situated in a parking lot called College Station, Texas. A&M stands for Agricultural & Mechanical, as the name of the school used to be the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas. "Aggie" is short for Agricultural. It's actually a little more affectionate than "Longhorn," which is what I suppose students at the University Of Texas are called.

By the way, "Aggie" is used as a diminutive for many other schools in the US, but I am referring to Texas A&M students. I don't know if Aggies from, let's say, UC-Davis in California get as bad a rap.

On the world stage, it seems the nationality most singled out for rampant stupidity is the Polish. I married a woman whose parents are Polish, & she seems to have embraced this stereotype in a charmingly self-effacing way. But I'm sure there are others who hate jokes about their heritage.

Anyway, the A Joke A Day people don't want to insult Aggies or Poles & so have invented a "non-existent" person called an "Antartian" who, they say, is "someone who lives in ignorance when knowledge is available. He persists in error without correction, & represents us all when we make a really big mistake. The person who has always been used as the stereotype for stupidity."

(Don't believe me? They define it here. Apparently they don't mind offending folks with big front teeth & who have jaundice.)

This week's A Joke A Day had sample Antartian joke. You can fit your own preferred stereotype in to make it more flavorful for you. I confess I found it kinda funny.

An Antartian named Babbette finds herself in dire trouble. Her business has gone bust and she's in serious financial trouble. She's so desperate that she decides to ask God for help. She begins to pray... "God, please help me. I've lost my business and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lotto."

Lotto night comes and somebody else wins it. Babbette again prays..."God, please let me win the lotto! I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well."

Lotto night comes and Babbette still has no luck.

Once again, she prays..."My God, why have you forsaken me?? I've lost my business, my house and my car. My children are starving. I don't often ask you for help and I have always been a good servant to you. PLEASE just let me win the lotto this one time so I can get my life back in order."

Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Babbette is confronted by the voice of God Himself: "Babbette, meet Me halfway on this. Buy a ticket."

The rest of the week was filled with jokes that have been passed around the internet for twenty years & seemed as tired as a fourteen-year-old hound dog. Oh, also this bon mot: You know you're really drunk if you can't lie on the floor without holding on.

Ha ha ha it's funny because it's zzzzzzzzzz.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inside The Outside Show

Self Help Radio broadcasting from outside! Well, not outside. I promised my mom I wouldn't do a radio show in the cold. & it wasn't really cold. It was windy, though. I didn't want leaves blowing into my face. I promised my mom. So I did do a show about outside inside. But I had a window open!

Also, like most Self Help Radio shows, it looks better on the outside. Sorry about that.

One side of the outside is right here while another side of the outside is over here. What's in each side is listed below. Also: let's just say this show is best enjoyed outside. Why not?

(one side)

"Everybody, Come Outside!" Pomegranates _Everybody, Come Outside!_
"Go Outside" Cults _Cults_
"You Outside" Dave Justin _Circus Days Vol. 6_

"Wenn's Draußen Grün Wird" Manfred Krug _Ein Hauch Von Frühling_
"On The Outside Looking In" Flanagan & Allen _Underneath The Arches: 24 Favourite Songs_
"Join The World Outside" Carol & Sherry _The Girls Of Rare Rockin' Records_
"Outside World" XTC _Drums & Wires_
"Outside Inside" Markley _A Group_
"Inside, Outside, Upside Down" Sonny Childe _Inside, Outside, Upside Down_

"Baby, It's Cold Outside (with Homer & Jethro)" June Carter _Keep On The Sunny Side_
"It's Cold Outside" The Choir _Box Of Trash: Pebbles Box_
"Baby It's Cold Outside" Pezband _Poptopia! Power Pop Classics Of The '70s_

(another side)

"Come Outside" Mike Sarne _Hey! Look What I Found, Vol. 3_
"Wake Up, Jimmy (Something's Happening Outside)" Montage _Montage_

"I'm On The Outside Looking In" Eddie Holland _The Complete Motown Singles: 1963_
"Outside City Limits" Cashelles _Here's A Song! (You Might Have Missed) Vol. 8_
"Outside Of Memphis" DeDe Turner Happening _Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples_
"Outside The Record Hop (Trying To Get In)" The Five Du-Tones _Chicago Twine Time_
"Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends" Phil Ochs _Pleasures Of The Harbor_

"Outsider" The Ramones _Subterranean Jungle_
"Outside My Door" Can _Monster Movie_
"Inside Outside" Good Idea _Quagmire, Vol. 6_
"Outside Chance" The Turtles _Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era, Vol. 2_
"Inside The Outside" Love & Rockets _Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven_

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Whither Outside?

How much time do you spend outside? If you're most Americans (& I don't imagine you are), you spend less than two hours a day outside. (I'm supposing this is on average.) By way of comparison, the average American between the ages of 18 & 35 spends twice as much time on his or her computer every day, & a little more than that watching the TV. (Some youngsters, of course, now watch the TV on their computer. Are pollsters aware of that?)

I confess I am the average American & I spend around two hours a day outside, usually walking the dogs. But on bad weather days I don't go outside at all. But this episode of Self Help Radio will change all that! I'm sure of it.

Self Help Radio's paean to "outside" airs tomorrow morning from 7:30 to 9am on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington. Not in Lexington? You can listen online at wrfl dot fm. Not awake at that time? Listen later tomorrow at self help radio dot net.

I may even be doing the show outside!