Friday, November 14, 2014

Self Help Radio 111414: Seasons

(Original image here.

I feel like I've done a couple of shows about summer, & at least one about spring.  A guest deejay a couple of years ago did a show about autumn, but I've never done one, nor a show about winter.  But who cares?  I did a show about all the seasons!  & I did it on two hours sleep!

It was fun, because in addition to playing lots of music, I got to talk to my Spiritual Advisor, the Reverend Dr. Howard Gently, & to Our Man In Hollywood, Mark Miller.  Plus, Tania called in & sang a song!  All that & tons of great music!  Look at all these exclamation marks!  I need to get some sleep!

The show is available for you to listen at your leisure at Self Help Radio Dot Net.  Please pay attention to the login information.  The songs I played are listed below.

Thanks so much for listening!

(part one)

"Let's Wander Thru The Seasons" Marais & Miranda _More Nature Songs_
"Each Season Changes You" Bob Ensign & The Stump Jumpers _Pickin', Grinnin', & Singin'_
"Queen Of The Seasons" Gordon Terry _Lotta, Lotta Women_

"Turn! Turn! Turn!" Pete Seeger _The Bitter & The Sweet_
"Like The Seasons" Lyme & Cybelle _Follow Me_
"Four Seasons" The Carnival _Fading Yellow: Timeless Pop-Sike & Other Delights 1965-1969, Vol. 6_
"I Love You For All Seasons" The Fuzz _Soul Hits Of The '70s - Didn't It Blow Your Mind? Vol. 4_

"Time Of The Season" Ippu-Do _Radio Fantasy_
"Seasons" Hearts On Fire _Dreams Of Leaving_
"Season Cycle" XTC _Skylarking_
"Girl For All Seasons" The Orange Peels _So Far_

"In Every Season" Pullover _Holiday_
"Seasons" The Ettes _Do You Want Power?_

(part two)

"A Reason For Every Season" Girlfrendo _Surprise, Surprise It's Girlfrendo_
"Whatever Season" Sambassadeur _Sambassadeur_
"High Hawk Season" The Mountain Goats _All Eternals Deck_

"Seasons In The Sun" Black Box Recorder _England Made Me_
"In A City Without Seasons" The One A.M. Radio _Heaven Is Attached By A Slender Thread_
"Seasons" Ian McCulloch _Slideling_

"Seasons" Earth & Fire _Earth & Fire_
"Seasons Change" The Proctors _Everlasting Light_
"When Seasons Change" Curtis Mayfield _There's No Place Like America Today_

"The Seasons Of Love" Ed Ames _When The Snow Is On The Roses_
"Seasons Of My Heart" George Jones _Country Song Hits_

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Whither Seasons?

I think I say this too often: I grew up in a place without seasons.

I grew up in a suburb of Dallas, & occasionally it got cold & snowed, but in general, it was hot.  It got hot around the middle of March & stayed hot until the middle of October.  There were no promises that you wouldn't be experiencing 90 degree weather in December.

It was worse in Austin.  I used to joke that Austin had two seasons: hot, & not so hot.  The truth was, the winter was mostly mild (there might be some bitter cold for a week or two, & god help the town if there were ice), & there were always a couple of weeks of spring & fall - those were the times I loved Austin the best.  It was a beautiful city those times, & then it would grow oppressively hot, oppressively humid, with the leaves on the trees always the darkest green.

Moving to Kentucky was a strange revelation.  I tell this story a lot, too:

At a planning meeting at WRFL, the discussion was about perhaps doing an outdoor show in late September, at night.  It was nixed immediately - "It would be too cold" was the immediate concern.

Too cold!  In late September!  I believe that that's when ACL Fest happens in Austin & it's still hot as a furnace around that time!  What a difference a few lines of latitude make.

So I pay attention to seasons.  It got cold today.  It's going to be a long winter.

Self Help Radio's show about seasons will air tomorrow morning (when it'll be 25 degrees out) from 7 to 9am on 88.1 fm in Lexington.  It will also stream live on wrfl dot fm.  & later on I'll stick it up on the website.  You know how it is.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Preface To Seasons: Garage Door Replacement

This is something I never thought I'd ever say: we're having our garage door replaced.

Who has garage doors that belong to them?  Who thinks to themselves, "When I grow up, among the things that I will own will be a garage door"?  I guess when I was a kid, I might have imagined that I might one day own a house, or at the very least a car I slept in as I kept a few steps ahead of the law, but a garage door?

The home we currently live in, my wife, my beagles, my cats, & myself, this house which we can say "we own" even though we owe way too much money on it to use the word "own," this house we live in was once owned by a person who was apparently a "slumlord."  We have discovered, piece by piece, the corners he cut to get the cheapest possible things to keep the house warm, dry, not on fire, up to code (but just up to code).  One of those corners was a (possibly self-installed) garage door opener that had been, in its years of use, so poorly & cheaply put together that it was curving & about to split.  It made a horrible racket whenever it opened.  When its innards went bad & we had to get someone in to fix it, the garage door specialists (because there are such things) said that it needed replacing pronto.

Luckily, I was in no way involved in the purchasing of a new garage door.  Frankly, anything having to do with the house, I let the wife choose.  I have no aesthetic opinion about the color of walls or the arrangement of furniture or whatever choice one has to make about garage doors.  (For the record, she chose sandstone.)

Why don't I care?  Because there are far more important things to argue about.  I save my energy for those arguments, not ones about the color of garage doors.  In high school & in college, I put things on the wall - mainly music-related posters - as a way to inform the rare visitor that these were my interests.  I don't care to do that anymore.  It's probably a relief to the wife.

We also have no photos, professionally made or otherwise, of us or the animals on the wall.  I find those weird, like you need to remind yourself that these people are, in fact, related or married to you.  We put pictures on the fridge, but really, if we didn't have them, I wouldn't care.  Time already buries us; one doesn't need peripherals like photos & mail & stickers & magnets to weigh down the already suffocating memories.

As I write this, & listen to music for Friday's show, there's all kinds of knocking & banging noises.  They're almost done.  I'm a little worried, myself - the old, falling-apart garage door was noisy as hell.  This one probably won't be.  & while I'm not a guilty person, & I can't imagine what I'd be doing that the wife can "catch me" at, I did like the noise that indicated she was returning.  That will probably be gone.

Maybe I should make her wear a bell around her neck.

Update: it's a pretty quiet garage door.  Damn.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Croup

Before the internet, & with no dictionary handy, one had to guess what the hell people were talking about by trying to understand the context.  I guess one could interrupt & ask, but they didn't always seem to be proper or polite, no matter what kind of annoying child or person you were.  When I was a teenager, I would keep a dictionary handy to look up words I didn't know, but often I was so caught up in the reading that I just let it pass - again, trusting in context.

Naturally, many words I thought I knew I didn't really know.

Just now, lost in my dumb thoughts, I remembered being told that a schoolfellow had "the croup."  I must've been very young but also impressionable, because it stayed with me - I think I recall that word in a strange, familiar way.  My childhood reasoning went something like: "Croup sounds horrible.  It sounds like a horrible soup.  A horrible hot soup that burns your insides."

Come to think of it, maybe I had the croup.  I should ask my mother.

Today - as I was saying - I was thinking about "the croup."  Immediately my brain said, "That's a made-up thing if I ever heard one!"  It did sound like something someone would say in fun.  My high school history teacher characterized all colds as "the epizootic."  As in, "Hey, Paul's not here today."  "No, bet he's got the epizootic!"

But croup is for real.  As it says in the Wikipedia,

Croup (or laryngotracheobronchitis) is a respiratory condition usually triggered by an acute viral infection of the upper airway. The infection leads to swelling inside the throat, which interferes with normal breathing and produces the classical symptoms of a "barking" cough, stridor, & hoarseness. It may produce mild, moderate, or severe symptoms, which often worsen at night. It is often treated with a single dose of oral steroids; occasionally inhaled epinephrine is used in more severe cases. Hospitalization is rarely required.

Croup is a relatively common condition that affects about 15% of children at some point, most commonly between 6 months & 5–6 years of age. It is almost never seen in teenagers or adults.

Before the advent of vaccination, croup was frequently caused by diphtheria, & was often fatal. This cause is now a historical one in the Western world due to the success of the diphtheria vaccine & improved hygiene and living standards.

Yay vaccines!

So there's a fifteen percent chance I had the croup when I was a kid.  Sorry - that I had laryngotracheobronchitis.  That doesn't sound like bad soup.

As a postscript: if I had read that definition above in an encyclopedia, I would've had to go get a dictionary to look up the word "stridor."  Never heard it before.  But luckily I just had to click on it.  & I discovered:

Stridor (Latin for "creaking or grating noise") is a high-pitched breath sound resulting from turbulent air flow in the larynx or lower in the bronchial tree.

Though I still wish I had a giant set of encyclopedias.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Autumn Sweater

Do you have a problem with excessive sweating?  Why do people sweat anyway?  The internet says (here):

Sweating is an essential & natural biological process that starts soon after we are born. Sweating, or perspiring, is the body’s mechanism of keeping us cool & preventing us from overheating in a warm environment or during exercise or exertion. Our body also produces sweat when we experience strong emotions or stressful situations, during hormonal changes, & it helps to play a role in fighting infections.

Normally our bodies produce almost 1 liter of sweat per day; however most of this evaporates as soon as it is produced, so we don't notice it. The body produces more sweat during exercise or in warmer environments in order to help cool us down. If a person exercised very hard in the heat they could produce up to 10 liters of sweat in a day.

10 liters of sweat a day?!?  If I knew the metric system I might be horrified!

Oh yeah, so then why do I sweat so much?

Sweat's pretty gross.  Speaking of gross, why do men sweat more than women?  Why do I sweat more than men & women combined?

Checking the Self Help Radio "kind of a table of contents page", one will discover that Self Help Radio has never done a show about sweat.  & this week's show isn't about sweat.  I was just thinking of the song "Autumn Sweater" by Yo La Tengo & my brain, in its dumbass way, imagined for a second that the song wasn't about a piece of clothing but rather about someone perspiring in the fall.

But if there were a show about sweating what songs might we hear?  Of course "Cold Sweat" by James Brown.  "Coldsweat" by the Sugarcubes, sure.  "Sweatbox" by the Wolfgang Press, yes.  Maybe that Jonathan Richman song with the awkward title "The Lovers Are Here & They're Full Of Sweat"?  Not "The Lovers Are Here & They're Covered In Sweat," Jonathan?  "Full Of Sweat"?  Really?

No, I'm not ready to tackle a show about sweat just yet.  It gives me the sweats thinking about it.  I'm not going to sweat it, though - & even if I did, & I was too sweaty, it doesn't matter!  It's cold out!  I just sweat inside my sweater & no one notices.  Except maybe the smell.