Thursday, September 29, 2016

Self Help Radio 092816: Wandering

(Original image here.)

Ah! A radio show about wandering! & wander it does! Just look at that playlist below: children's music, country, indie, outsider, soul, song-poem, blues, r&b, bluegrass, novelty, folk, garage rock, even a little early ska.  It is entirely appropriate that a radio show about wandering should wander all over the place musically.

But there's not just music!  There are silly interviews with the regular cast of "experts" as well as a song performed just for this show by a Lexington singer!  It's way too much, I know.  Like a two week vacation where you visit fourteen countries!

So here it is, a show about wandering that I hope you take with you in your wanderings.  It's at the Self Help Radio website - please pay attention to username & password information!  The songs played on the show are below.

Be safe out there!

(part one)

"The Happy Wanderer" Max Bygraves _The Decca Years 1957-1962_
"Chant Of The Wanderer" Sons Of The Pioneers _Tumbling Tumbleweeds_
"I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud" Julian Cope _20 Mothers_

"The Wanderer" Dion _Best Of The Sixties_
"Zig Zag Wanderer" Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band _Safe As Milk_
"I'm A Wanderer Too" Faine Jade _It Ain't True_
"I'm Wandering" Aretha Franklin _The Tender, The Moving, The Swinging Aretha Franklin_

"Come Wander With Me" Jenny Adkins _Come Wander With Me_
"Wandering" Amor De Dias _Street Of The Love Of Days_
"Wandering" The Hidden Cameras _Awoo_
"Wanderin' Star" The Perfect Disaster _Alvin Lives (In Leeds): Anti Poll Tax Trax_

"Wandering Boy Blues" Clara Smith _The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Vol. 1: 1917-1927_
"Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight?" Shelley Stuart _The Human Breakdown Of Absurdity_

(part two)

"My Wandering Boy" Flatt & Scruggs _1964-1969 Plus_
"Wandering Gal" Jimmy Witherspoon _The Swingtime Records Story_
"Born To Wander" Rare Earth _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 10: 1970_

"Wandering" The Babies _Our House On The Hill_
"Wanderer Wandering" Slow Club _Complete Surrender_
"Ramblin' & Wanderin'" Space Ghost _Musical Bar-B-Que_
"Just Wandering Around" Vermont Sugar House _Carlton Gardens_
"Wandering Hobo" Crispian St. Peters _All The Hits & More_

"Wandering Eyes" Charlie Gracie _The London American Label Year By Year: 1957_
"Weary Wanderer" Laurel Aitken _You Got Me Rockin' (The Blue Beat Years 1960-1964)_
"Wandering Kind" Scavengers _IGL Dance Jamboree '66_
"Wander Through" Elf Power _Elf Power_
"Wandering Lucy" The Haircuts _Sorrow Is The Way To Love_

"My Wandering Days Are Over" Belle & Sebastian _Tigermilk_

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Whither Wandering?

(A mythological American wanderer, taken from here.)

Ah, wandering!  Who of us doesn't enjoy it in some form or another?  & who of us, even if we don't actually enjoy it, still entertains the idea?  Okay, I've known people who hate traveling, but don't even they enjoy reading about travels, watching movies about traveling, dreaming about traveling?  All right, granted, there are types, shut-ins, homebodies, for whom the very concept of travel invokes feelings of fear & disgust.  But surely even - no, I give up.

This show, then, is for whomever likes to wander, even if they, like myself, don't get to wander all that much.  But in fact, it was actual wandering that inspired this show.  When we left Lexington in early August, & I was driving in a car full of cats with the wife & dogs in a U-Haul behind me, I got the sense that two things were suddenly possible: 1) we really could pack up & leave a place; & 2) there were lots of places to go, even in (especially in) our own country.

My wife doesn't share this vision - she hated moving, hated the whole process of finding a place to live.  & she also reminds me constantly that we have eight animals, four of them cats, & two of those who need medicine daily, which greatly inhibit our mobility.

Okay, so then we wander when we can!  For example, on the radio!

This is where I remind you that Self Help Radio wanders onto your radio & computer this evening from 9-11pm Eastern, 8-10pm Central, on the radio in Lexington at WLXU 93.9 fm & online everywhere at Lexington Community Radio dot org (if you select WLXU, of course).  It should be a fine show, & there are guests galore!

Hopefully you'll find it while you're wandering!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Preface To Wandering: A Life Spent Sitting Still

Because of this week's theme, I've been wondering about all the wandering I've done - which, frankly, isn't much.  On paper, it's maybe impressive - I've been to about thirty of our fifty states, plus the District Of Columbia & Puerto Rico.  I've taken a very slow train from Laredo, Texas, to Mexico City.  I've been to Germany twice (once when it was West Germany), to Belgium twice, to France, Switzerland, England, & Scotland.  I was awake during an entire fourteen-hour flight to Australia, & awake the entire way back.  (I don't sleep on planes.)

& yet, I've lived in Texas for over forty of my forty-eight years.  & now I'm back!

Most probably I didn't wander much for the first two decades of my life because it wasn't something that I was raised with.  Most likely I'd have scarcely left my home town if I hadn't had a German mother.  She took me to Germany when I was six, & I would remember what seemed to be endless rides to mountains & other exotic places.  When I visited again eighteen years later I was a little shocked to discover that most of the place we went to were within walking distance.

My mother doesn't drive, & the concept of a family vacation was foreign to us.  I remember just one time when we left the city when I was a kid - to visit a friend my mother had in Waco.  My mother's boyfriend Ed drove us in his Ford Bronco, & the two of them smoked like chimneys, with windows up & air conditioners blasting.  I still feel the sting of my eyes watering in the hellish, seemingly endless ride.

That's it.  I was on a plane, naturally, to get to Germany when I was six & not on another one until I was eighteen & flew to Austin for college orientation.  (If my car hadn't been broken down at the time, I probably would've driven.)  I don't know when I was on a plane again after that - maybe when I went to Germany in 1992, six years after that.

My wife's life has been the exact opposite: her family would live abroad when her father had a work assignment.  She's so cavalier about air travel that if she's not missing flights, she's the last one on them.  She boasts about this!

Since I didn't own a car after I left Garland, & wouldn't for over two decades (a real hindrance to wandering), I had to wait till I was 25 to be able to rent one.  Before that, my transportation for long distances was a bus.  I sort of miss buses - not just city buses, but the ones that take forever to get anywhere.  I once took a bus from Austin to Dallas - a three hour drive - that stopped at every other small town on the way.  It took seven hours.  It was fascinating.

My broken arm has slowed my wandering about this new city of mine, but I hope to resume in a couple of weeks.  The wandering show has made me a little self-conscious.  Anyway - I hope I have a few more years left to wander some more.

Though from my point of view, it seems to me I've spent most of my life just sitting still.

Monday, September 26, 2016

One More Broken-Arm Complaint

You already know the stats: radial neck fracture, right arm.  Out of cast, mostly in sling though that does get tiring.  Both arms very weak from fall, sprained wrists also still a concern.  Exercises for increasing range of motion sullenly practiced despite the utter boredom of doing so.

But there's one thing I would've have thought would have been a weird thing to miss, & that's flossing.

Both I & my family have a history of terrible teeth.  I've probably mentioned this before, but almost half of my siblings have no teeth in their mouths, & at least of one them should be wearing his dentures but doesn't.  We were poor but frankly dental care wasn't something my mother placed too high a premium on (she had all her remaining teeth pulled when she was in her fifties & has worn dentures since) so even if there were government assistance for such things, it was never taken advantage of.

Since some scary moments involving words like "root canal," I've been serious about my teeth.  I am a champion flosser, usually flossing twice if not more a day (though you couldn't really tell, my teeth still suck).

Since the fall, I haven't quite been able to position my arms - one of which for two weeks was in a cast - to floss properly.

My loving wife bought for me a Water-Pik, that pulsing-water based flossing alternative, & I've been using it, but it's really not the same.

It's hard to teach yourself to floss lefty when you've flossed righty your entire life.  Nowadays I can almost, with only a little discomfort, floss a simple floss, followed by a Water-Pik assault.  But my teeth do not feel the way they should afterwards.

& guess what?  I have an appointment with the new Fort Worth dentist in the middle of the next month.  My teeth - which haven't been cleaned since the start of the year - are not prepared for this important first encounter.

But I should've known flossing would be affected by my recent arm-break - I mean, everything else has been, too.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

What I Did Today

When we first moved to Fort Worth, I happened upon a notice that the Fort Worth Symphony were performing a concert of the music of David Bowie.  I like me some David Bowie in almost any form & it seemed cool to be able to see an entire orchestra perform his works.  Here is a web page that announces the show.

But then something happened.  That something looked like this:

(I found that image here.)

What?  The orchestra on strike?!?  But why?  The story made the New York Times.

The musicians aren't just picketing, however - they decided this weekend to split into groups (brass, strings, woodwinds) & play some Bowie at a local drinkery, The Shipping & Receiving Bar.  While I'm sure they're used to performing in much more ahem quiet surroundings - jabberjaws at the bar yapped all the way through a lovely string quartet version of "Space Oddity" - they were remarkable & it was a bit frustrating to speculate how great the interpretations would've sounded with a full orchestra.

My favorite moment was when, during a string quartet version of "Life On Mars?", the cellist's sheet of music fell to the floor, & he continued playing reading from it from there.  Here's a pic I snapped of it:

The wife & I were glad to be able to not only see them but help them out while they wait for management to continue negotiating with them.  Right now, management is refusing to talk, & has cancelled concerts for the next six weeks or so.  It's a damn shame.

Here is the Facebook page for the musicians, explaining their situation & listing ways you can help.  I hope you get to see them perform sometime soon - they're wonderful!