Thursday, April 06, 2017

Self Help Radio 040517: Diamonds

(Original image here.)

Here are the first few search phrases that pop into Google (for me at least) when I type in the word "diamond": backs, rings, earrings, jacks, resorts, direct, & silk.

Diamondbacks are terrifying snakes but also apparently a sportsball team, so the snakes get short shrift in a search engine game.  Which serves them right!

Diamond rings & earrings make sense, they're popular jewelry items, although it would seem weird to order gems on the internet.  But what do I know.

Diamond Jacks is a casino in Shreveport.  I thought for a second it would be a reference to the jack of diamonds in the card deck, & maybe it is, but probably not.  For the record, I avoided playing card references for this show, thinking there might be a playing card themed show in the future.

Diamond Resorts is a timeshare company out of Las Vegas.

Diamond Direct is jewelry store in Dallas.

Diamond & Silk are Youtube personalities that I have never heard of.

Nowhere was there anything about Self Help Radio's diamond show!  I'm beginning to think that, after nearly fifteen years of doing this show, I labor in obscurity!  Or maybe the show is just a diamond in the rough.

Well, dig deep for something of value & let me know what comes up.  The show is at the Self Help Radio website & the songs played on the show (in its two parts) are list below.  Pay attention to username/password info, on the page.  & be careful!  This diamond show is hard as a diamond!

(part one)

"Diamonds" by Shmu _Shhh!!!!_
"Diamonds" by The Bats _The Deep Set_
"Diamonds" by Lisa Germano _No Elephants_

"This Diamond Ring" by Sammy Ambrose _You Heard It Here First!_
"(Gary, Please Don't Sell) My Diamond Ring" by Wendy Hill _(Gary, Please Don't Sell) My Diamond Ring_
"Diamonds Are For Never" by Adam Quesnell _Can We Afford This Much Despair?_
"Diamond Ring" by Boothby _Homemade Hits Vol. 1_
"Diamond Ring" by The New Basement Tapes _Lost On The River_

"Diamonds Are Forever" by Cinerama _Health & Efficiency_
"Diamond Meadows" by T. Rex _T. Rex_
"Diamond Boys" by Smith Westerns _Smith Westerns_
"Diamonds In The Mine" by Leonard Cohen _Songs Of Love & Hate_

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Takes 6, 7, & 8)" by The Beatles _Anthology 2_
"Glass Diamond Green Roses" by Matthew Melton _Outside Of Paradise_
"Sparkling Diamonds" by Wild Man Fischer _Nothing Scary_

(part two)

"Diamonds & Rubies" by Boycrazy _Foreign Words_
"Diamonds & Coffeecake" by Old Hickory _The Patio Collection, Volume Two_
"Diamonds & Gold" by Tom Waits _Rain Dogs_

"Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" by Julie London _Whatever Julie Wants_
"The Diamond" by Arlene Golonka & Betty Walker _Bob Booker & George Foster Present: You Don't Have To Be Jewish_
"She's A Diamond" by Opal _Early Recordings_
"She's Got Diamonds In Her Hair" by Biff Bang Pow! _Bertula Pop_
"Diamonds" by The Mekons _Natural_

"Diamond Age" by Blue Orchids _A View From The City 1980-1991_
"Diamond Dancer" by Bill Callahan _Rough Travel For A Rare Thing_
"Diamond Shine" by The Clean _Vehicle_
"Rough Gem" by Islands _Return To The Sea_

"Diamond Dogs" by David Bowie _Diamond Dogs_

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Whither Diamonds?

(Image from here.)

After a few shows that were kinda challenging - searches for songs about ferris wheels & tails yielded far fewer results than I was expecting - my brain said to me, Hey.  Do an easy one.  Do a general one. Like cars.  Or trees.  Or things.  Or nouns.  Or words.

My brain prefers sleeping to being awake, & would love for me to ease up on the weirdo themes.  Somewhere along the way - probably while humming the song < href="">"Rough Gem"
by Islands - I thought to myself, Hey! I bet there are tons of songs about diamonds!  My brain, which was dozing at the time, said, I think words is a better theme. & went back to sleep.

Diamonds it was, then.  But then more problems! When there are too many songs, choices need to be made! & it's a whole other kind of challenging. Do I stick with one genre? Do I span time periods? Do I decide to forgo the more metaphorical songs? Just to spite myself, do I refuse to play songs I love?

You'll find out what I chose tonight from 8-10pm central, 9-11pm eastern, on 93.9 fm WLXU, which is also online, you know.  Come visit me on Twitter, I tweet along.

& remember: radio shows are a diamond's best friend!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Preface To Diamonds: No Jewelry On Me

My mother, who really isn't all that morbid, but who lives with a cracked sense of what she believes is expected from her*, will often talk about dying as if it's something she has any intention of doing.  But old people, you see, must chatter endlessly about it, she thinks, so she will halfheartedly do so.  One of the things she will talk about is who will get her jewelry when she dies.  My sister Pat often angered my mother by pointing out that she, my sister, didn't wear jewelry, so she wouldn't want to inherit it after she, my mother, died.**  This baffled my mother - after all, a woman is supposed to wear jewelry!  & owning it may even be better!

Now I have no idea if my mother has any diamonds nor do I care.  But when I think about diamonds I hear my sister's voice laughing at the idea that she would get from my mother useless trinkets that would just get rusty &/or dusty in a drawer somewhere.  Please note neither of us imagined that my mother's jewelry had any value.  My mother thinks they do, but we never did.

Maybe in the end I've worn more jewelry than my sister ever bothered to sling on out of obligation.  I have worn necklaces, usually ones given to me by girlfriends, & I've worn them until they wore out.  I also used to have both ears pierced, & wore different earrings every day, through most of the 1990s, which reminds me of a story.

Back in the day, there used to be a convoluted code about having one ear or the other pierced***.  The right one meant you were gay, the left one meant you were straight, the middle one meant you were bi - whatever.****  I had this friend named Gary Anderson I knew in high school.  We didn't go to the same high school, we met at a comic shop.  He liked elves.

Gary was pretty effeminate & was most probably gay.  I had no real understanding of such a thing but I liked hanging out with him because he had an active imagination, he liked to draw, & also comic books.  Well, Elfquest.  He liked Elfquest.

Three weird incidents made me think Gary might not be interested in girls.  The first one was, when I slept over one night, he kinda reached down, off his bed (I was on an air mattress), & started stroking my shoulder.  Unaccustomed to this, I simply pulled away, weirded out.  He didn't touch me again, & we never talked about it.  The second one was, when I was showing him my high school yearbook (probably for the tenth grade), he leapt back as if someone had struck him.  "Gary!" he said. "You let boys sign your yearbook!"  I said, "Of course I do.  All the people I know in school are boys."  His eyes wide, Gary asked me plaintively, "Won't people think you're gay?"  The third one was, he showed me, in his sketchbook, some pictures of naked girls he had drawn.  I said, "Ew, why are you showing these to me?"  He said, "I draw them for my friends at school.  It makes them get boners."

We didn't see each other much but saw each other every once in a while*****, & then I went away to college.  At some point in my first year of college, to piss someone off, I got my ears pierced.  My sister Karin took me to the mall, & I handled the first ear well, but when the woman started to pierce the second one, my rebellious brain started thinking, "Someone is punching metal into your flesh," & I got quite queasy.  I almost fainted.

Fast forward to the summer of 1987, & I'm home, wishing I were in Austin, but I'm walking from my sister Pat's house to the comic shop, which Google Maps says is two & a half miles away, but I was cutting through a park, when who should I run into but Gary******.  I hadn't seen him in over a year, & it was maybe the last time I saw him.  Probably not.  Probably the next to the last.

He said hello then looked as gobsmacked as he did when he saw male names in my yearbook.  "Gary!" he said.  "You pierced your left ear!"

(Or whatever ear it was supposed to be.  He didn't notice I had both ears pierced.)

"Yeah," I said, deadpan.  "I finally decided to come out."

"Oh!" Gary said happily.  "So did I!"

That line was a throwaway jibe I used to shut people up who were bothered by such things.  But Gary wouldn't have known that.  & most certainly it was an inelegant way to encourage someone to out themselves as gay to another.

The point is, I had a lot of earrings, but none of them were diamond.  Honestly, I find diamonds a little tacky.

* She gave me this sense, & it takes all my will power to drown those noises out.
** My sister Pat & I talked often about my mother's death & how it might affect us, so it's quite ironic Pat died before my mother.  Tragic, too.
*** Or this may still be true.
**** "Middle ear."
***** If I haven't told you already, remind me to tell you my Gary Anderson astral projection story.
****** He was going in the opposite direction from me. I don't know if I asked him where he was bound, but if I did, I don't remember what he said.  He lived near the comic book shop, so he was pretty far from home.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Oh No I Forgot

To Write Anything At All

In The Blog Today

Hashtag haiku
Hashtag lazy poetry
Hashtag late at night
Hashtag taghash
Hashtag hsahgat
Hashtag palindrome
Hashtag more hashtags than content

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Big Black X On The Calendar

In a fit of pique, you removed all the inserts & booklets from your CDs.  & you started stapling them to your walls.

I said, "That's going to make a mess when you take them down."

You said, "Who said I would ever take them down?"

I observed that more staples were wasted than actually used as you tried your best to secure the little booklets & inserts to the wall.

I said, "I did that a long time ago, with my albums."

You said, "I can get more on my wall with CD covers than you could with your stupid albums."

I remembered that, because the bedroom I shared with my little brother faced east, & because I liked to have the sun wake me in the mornings, & therefore left the curtains open all day long, many of the albums became faded by the sun.  But I didn't tell you that.

Instead I said, "Do you remember when you were shy?"

You didn't say anything.

I continued, "I was once out with you at an ice cream place & I saw someone I wrote clumsily romantic letters to, & I wanted to introduce you, but you wouldn't move, as though you were frozen in the booth."

You kept working.

I continued, "But the other day when we were at the coffee shop & my co-workers came in, you were very gregarious, asking lots of questions, making eye contact."

You said, not turning around, "What of it?"

I just sort of smiled weirdly.

You said, "I thought so."

I guess I ended up watching you stapling CD booklets to the wall until you got tired & then we just sort of sat there, admiring your work.