Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Gary Files # 2: Gary Hart

(I found this image on the dude's Wikipedia page.)

An explanation: Since the name Gary is going extinct, I thought it incumbent upon me to celebrate more notable Garys than myself.  This is the second of a series!

Gary Hart is, according to the Wikipedia, a "diplomat, politician, lawyer, author, professor, & commentator."  He was a senator from Colorado when I was in high school, & ran for President of the United States twice, most notably in 1987 & 1988 when I was in college.  He flamed out because he got caught cheating on his wife, which was headline news for much of that year.

When did you first become aware of him?  When he was running for president the second time, in 1987, especially because people talked about him being "Kennedy-esque."  I was born after the Kennedy administration, but his presence loomed large in politics then.  I must've known he was running for president in 1984, but I don't have any memory of that.

Did you support him?  I was going to support anyone who wasn't involved in the Reagan administration.  My god, when I hear how that awful man has been deified, I have to wonder if his admirers lived in a different 1980s than I did.

Did you ever see him speak while he was running for president?  I did, actually, after his campaign was basically over.  After the scandal broke, he had suspended his campaign for most of 1987, but returned at the end of the year.  I saw him sometime early in 1988, in a room in Burdine Hall, if I recall.

Were you on the news that night?  I was!  I didn't know about it till the next day, but apparently the local news videotaped me watching him speak.

How did you find out about it?  One of my professors told me about it the next day.  He said I looked "skeptical."

Did you ever see him/think about him/etc. after he lost the nomination?  He kinda disrespected the name Gary so I didn't really know or care about him.  He was stupid - stupid like John Edwards would later be - with his indiscretions, so, you know, he kinda go what he deserved in that regard.

Is his name really Gary?  Yes, Gary Warren Hartpence.

Do you know why he was named Gary?  I can't say for sure, but he was born in 1936, the year Gary Cooper starred in Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, so that doubtless played a big part.  Many Garys were named after Gary Cooper.

Do you know what he's doing now?  It says on the Wikipedia page that he's U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.

What's that?  Like an ambassador, but lesser?

Did you know he's written five novels?  Oh good lord.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Self Help Radio 092215: Shapes

(I probably could have made this myself, but instead I modified the image I found here.)

Shapes!  They come in all sizes &, er, shapes.  Shapes are shapely, there's no doubt about that.  Some shapes are in two dimensions.  Others in three.  The fourth dimension, I think, is time.  The fifth dimension did that song about letting the sun shine in.  Is the sixth dimension where warp drive is?  I have no idea where I'm going with this.  I was talking about shapes, right?  Shapes!  How they shape our lives!  (No pun intended.)  (What do you mean, of course pun was intended!)  (Sorry.)

The truth is, I wanted you to actually care about shapes for once in your life.  Not be worried about home invasion, or whether hair can grow on your tongue, but just care about something.  & shapes are very easy to care for because everything has a shape.  Except for those things which are shapeless, which you are allowed to not care about because why would you?  Oh god, can hair really grow on your tongue?  Why would you put that image in my head?

In any event.  In any case.  At any rate.  Anyway.  Terrible segue.  Awkward transition.  The show about shapes can be listened to anytime you're a-round (good grief) over at the Self Help Radio website.  Don't be a square (please stop)!  Make sure you notice there's a username & password requirement!  They're available on the page.  The songs I played I list below in case you don't want to be surprised.  Also, polygon.

Hooray, shapes!

"The Ballad Of The Shape Of Things To Come" Blossom Dearie _Needlepoint Magic_
"The Different Shapes They Are" Lou Carter _Louie's Love Songs_
"Shape" Breakfast In Fur _Flyaway Garden_

"Shape Of Things To Come" Max Frost & The Troopers _Shape Of Things To Come_
"Shapes Of Things" David Bowie _Pin Ups_
"Give Me Shapes" Grass Widow _Past Time_
"Odyshape" The Raincoats _Odyshape_

"Everything Around Us Has A Shape" Brian Dullaghan _Have Fun Learning_
"Colors & Shapes" Nobody's Children _Mayhem & Psychosis, Vol. 1_
"Colours & Shapes" Pale Saints _Mrs. Dolphin_
"Cut-Out Shapes" Magazine _Secondhand Daylight_

"Mis-Shapes" Pulp _Different Class_
"Last Shapes Of Never" Múm _Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know_

(part two)

"Four Sides In Three Shapes" Great Plains _Length Of Growth 1981-89_
"Heart-Shaped Box" The Vichy Government _Filthy Little Angels Singles Club_
"Pull Shapes" The Pipettes _We Are The Pipettes_

"Changing Shape" Milky Wimpshake _My Funny Social Crime_
"Shapeshifter" Elephant _Sky Swimming_
"Shape We Made" Peggy Sue _Fossils & Other Phantoms_
"Shapes Of Venus" Clone Defects _Shapes Of Venus_

"All Shapes" JDSY _Ghostly Swim_
"Forms & Shapes" Sascha Funke _Camping Complilation_
"Shapes To Escape" He Said _Hail_
"Chatter Shapes" The Moodists _Two-Fisted Art_

"Shapes For Sale" Eugene Mirman _The Absurd Nightclub Comedy Of Eugene Mirman_
"The Shapes Between Us Turn Into Animals" Robyn Hitchcock _Globe Of Frogs_
"The Shape Of Dolls" Able Tasmans _Songs From The Departure Lounge_

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Whither Shapes?

(I found this image, where the circle isn't looking very circular, here.)

Can I tell you what not to expect from this week's show, which is about shapes?*  Don't expect individual songs about specific shapes, like squares, circles, nonagons, etc.** (I did a show about circles ten years ago, anyway.)  No, in typical infuriating OCD Gary fashion, this is a show about shapes in general.  Songs about shapes may reference specific shapes, but they should be talking about different kinds of shapes.  You'll see!

Also:*** I'm avoiding songs today about "shape" as used in the sense of "being in shape."  I might not play a lot of songs about "shaping" things, focusing instead on the noun form.  I most probably will not play songs with colloquial or idiomatic uses of the word, like "shape up!"  Instead, it'll be all about the shapely shapes like the ones above.****

Might you want to listen?  If so, it'll be on from 4 to 6 pm today on 88.1 fm in Lexington & all over the world in all shapes & sizes at wrfl dot fm the website.  I'll archive it later over at the show's website, but who knows what shape it'll be in at that point?  Better to listen to it when its edges are sharp & its color bright!*****

Hope you listen!

* I mean, besides not expecting it to be very good.
** So many damn songs about nonagons.
*** There's more?
**** Though I'll say it again, that's not a circle up there.
***** Kill me now.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Preface To Shapes: Different Shapes & Sizes Of Radios

This super-duper website (from where I nicked the pictures above) has cool photos of radios in all shapes & sizes.  Why do I bring it up?  Because this week's show is about shapes!  Certainly you can see that the shapes that Self Help Radio can mold itself into are endless!

More details about the show tomorrow - before it airs, of course.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Trip To Fort Wayne

(Picture from the city's Wikipedia page.)

The wife & I drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana, yesterday, because that was the closest (so far) that Bill Maher has come to Kentucky recently.  Fort Wayne is about 250 miles from Lexington, but because there's not a major highway connecting the two cities, you have to spend some portion of the drive on highways which pass through small towns, which means stop lights, varying speed limits, & the occasionally horse & buggy.  We opted, on the way, there, to follow I-75 through Ohio most of the way, & arrived in about four & a half hours.

A friend at WRFL, who is from Indiana, told me the place was a "shithole."  My wife, who has not-very-fond memories of living in West Virginia, decided the place reminded her of Huntington.  (Huntington, however, is about an eighth smaller than Fort Wayne, & doesn't have anything resembling a skyline.)  I kept an open mind.  We were going to be there for less than a day; why have preconceived notions that color your short stay?

Complicating matters somewhat was that our youngest beagle, Pauline, who wants to be friends with everything, which means wanting to play with everything, which has resulted in the deaths of things too small to play with (birds, chipmunks) & sometimes mean reactions from things of the same size & even species who didn't want to playing with her (cats, unfriendly dogs), tried to make friends with a skunk on Friday night, which ended as you might expect, & though the wife did her best to de-stink her, we drove the long drive with a lingering skunky smell in the car.  A skunky smell will, in small doses, cause a skunky smell headache, which got to me a little as I drove the last leg there.

But!  Fort Wayne has an awesome vegan restaurant called Loving Cafe which was packed when we visited, & we know why: the food was great.  It broke my heart to think I might never visit there again - when will I find another reason to visit Fort Wayne?  It took nearly forty-eight years & the eccentricities of Bill Maher's schedule to bring me there in the first place!

The weather was chilly but good & though parking was a bitch, we got to the Embassy to see the man himself, & were sandwiched in-between two older couples who, I confess, I would've taken for more conservative on first glance.  (The city has a Democratic mayor, but its City Council & state representatives are overwhelmingly Republican.)  Maher himself joked that perhaps all the liberals in the city were there that night.  He was great, he talked/told jokes/was himself for ninety minutes, & we went back to the hotel, where our pups were waiting, & we were lucky the place let us open the window to the room, because it was a little skunky in there.  (Our apologies to the nice people who had to clean the place.)

After we woke this morning, we walked the dogs through Headwaters Park in the downtown area.  We went to a nice bakery for lunch & I begged the wife to let me drive the longer drive (by around an hour) through rural Indiana, basically running parallel to I-75 on the Indiana side, & driving through such notable small towns as Decatur, Berne, Portland, & Richmond, before stepping over into Ohio through Oxford, & finally down to Cincinnati to pick up good vegan pizza at a place called Mac's, & heading home.

When I lived in Austin, & had to visit the family in Dallas, I would often drive the longer drive through Texas east or west of I-35 just to see more (& also not to drive on dangerous I-35), but eventually I knew it would be faster to just risk my life on that eighteen-wheeler-clogged artery because I knew I'd get there in roughly three hours.  But you see so much of the world by taking a little bit of time - we did in fact see a horse & buggy on the road, as well as driving slowly through Levi Coffin Days in Richmond, & seeing a surprising number of Confederate flags flying from Indiana porches.  (They do know, don't they, which side Indiana fought on during that war?  Here's a hint: the winning side.)

Such a nice little trip we took.  I liked Fort Wayne.  I wish Lexington had a vegan or vegetarian restaurant.  Don't the city's daring restauranteurs know that anyone can eat vegan food?  My wife mentioned while we were at the Loving Cafe that we might be the only actual vegans eating there at that moment!  Let's hope Fort Wayne gives me another excuse one day to visit the town that - contrary to what my friend at RFL said - was a nice little urban area.