Friday, July 06, 2018

Self Help Radio 070618: Sorrow

(Suloni Robertson designed the SHR logo; the cartoon tear I added is clip art.)

Things are bad.  Things may get worse.  & then there's sorrow.  I mean, there's already sorrow.  But sorrow can increase.  Sorrow can overwhelm.  Sorrow can bury.

But what can we do?  I dunno, maybe a radio show about sorrow?  I know that seems glib.  But frankly it's about all I can do.  Not the least I can do.  The most I can do.  Another radio show.  This time one about sorrow.

& maybe a radio show can help heal.  Or maybe it'll exacerbate things.  I can't say.  I'm like an alternative medicine guy when it comes to the healing powers of radio: you try to fix everything with the same thing.  In this case, it's sorrow.  But maybe a radio show about bunions can help with one's bunions.  It's not like I have faith in any of this.

So let's heal all our sorrow with a radio show about sorrow.  Or maybe just listen to it for the music & the goofy interviews & other funnies.  Don't ask me.  I'm not a psychologist.  I just started writing stuff & now I'm in way over my head.

Listen to this week's Self Help Radio over at the Self Help Radio website.  You'll be asked for a username & a password.  Those are SHR & selfhelp.  Caps sensitive.  It's a little over two sorrowful hours long.  The songs played as well as the interviews are listed below.

"Sorrow" David Bowie _Pin Ups_
"Sorrow" Nits _dA dA dA_
"Sorrow" Broder Daniel _Broder Daniel_

introductions & definitions

"Sorrow" The National _High Violet_
"Sorrow" Frankie Rose _Herein Wild_
"Sorrow" Life Without Buildings _Any Other City_
"Don't Interrupt The Sorrow" Joni Mitchell _The Hissing Of Summer Lawns_

interview with filmmaker David Fruchter

"In My Time Of Sorrow" Marianne Faithfull _Marianne Faithfull's Greatest Hits_
"Surround Yourself With Sorrow" Cilla Black _The Best Of Cilla Black_
"Don't See The Sorrow" Au Revoir Simone _The Bird Of Music_
"Sorrowful Blues" Little Brother Montgomery _Complete Recorded Works (1930-1936)_
"Heart In Sorrow" Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee _Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry Sing_

interview with psychologist Dr. Chuck Charles

"Bruised Orange (Chain Of Sorrow)" Justin Vernon _Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows (Songs Of John Prine)_
"Sorrow's Child" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds _The Good Son_
"Sorrow Is The Way To Love" Carousel _I Forgot To Remember To Forget_
"Sorrows Arms" Honey Child _Honey Child_
"Fucking In Rhythm & Sorrow" Sugarcubes _Life's Too Good_

a discussion of literary conceptions of sorrow (interrupted)

"You Brought Sorrow To My Heart" Johnny Bond & His Red River Valley Boys _Country & Western: Johnny Bond Standard Transcriptions_
"Man Of Constant Sorrow" Bob Dylan _Bob Dylan_
"Pilgrim Of Sorrow" The Wright Specials _The Complete Motown Singles: 1962_
"Little Miss Sorrow, Child Of Tomorrow" Herman's Hermits _There's A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World)_
"Dawn Of Sorrow" The New Society _The Barock Sound Of The New Society_

closing & goodbye

"Mr. Sorrowful" Hurrah! _Tell God I'm Here_
"Sorrow Floats" Voice Of The Beehive _Let It Bee_
"Daughters Of Sorrow" The New Pornographers _Together_

post mortem

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Whither Sorrow?

(Yow! I found this picture here!)

Are you sad?  I mean, really, really sad?  What you might be experiencing is sorrow.  Yeah, I bolded that word.  & if you're experiencing sorrow (still bold), then you might need a radio show about it.

But, you may ask, will this radio show help me with my sorrow?  Probably not.  The radio show is done, as usual, by a silly man with his goofy friends, & features mainly songs about the show's theme, which, this week, is sorrow.  It's not a show run by trained professionals who work with people who suffer from depression or otherwise need help with sadness, unhappiness, or sorrow.  Really, I suggest you look for help someplace else.

However, if you want to wallow, if you really want to listen to lots of songs about sorrow, & people (mainly me) talking about sorrow, & silly skits & funny interviews (ha ha!) about sorrow, then this week's Self Help Radio might be for you!

You may have noticed in the last paragraph the word "sorrow" was no longer presented in bold type.  That's because we ran out of bold.  This show is being run on a shoestring budget.  It's embarrassing.

Sorrow tomorrow on Self Help Radio at noon.  Find your way to the very depressing Self Help Radio website (or the Facebook page or the Twitter page or even here which will lead you to the Self Help Radio website) & listen to two hours of talk & songs about sorrow.  You may find a way to bold that word again.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Preface To Sorrow: Happy Birthday America!

(I found this on Tumblr somewhere.)

Over on Facebook, where they let you relive your "on this day" memories, I noticed a pattern: for a few years there, I would say, on the Fourth Of July, "Happy Birthday, America.  You're old."  Or some semblance of that.

As this country continues to look & act less & less like I always thought it would, I feel like I should continue that tradition as long as we have a country, which may for all I know not be long.  So:

Happy birthday, America!  Wow you're old.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Low In High School

On Facebook last week I succumbed to one of those "do this & tag your friends to do it too" things that were way more popular in the early days of Facebook then they are now.  I was waiting for my wife to return from Jazzercise & didn't want to start doing something (listening to a record, picking up a book) that could be interrupted if I were really into it.

The task: "Tell us about your final year of high school."  So I did.

Year: 1985-1986

1. Did you know your spouse?
Nope. She was in California, in elementary school.

2. Did you skip school?
Probably. My mother worked so if my little brother & I didn't want to, we'd make an excuse about being sick & she couldn't check on us.

3. What kind of car did you have?
A 1976 Ford Granada. Already on its last legs, er, wheels.

4. It's FRIDAY night where are you?
Probably driving around with my pal Joe listening to music & talking about life.

5. What kind of job did you have?
I worked at a Mobil gas station for half the year, & sometimes at my family's convenience store.

6. Were you a party animal?
Ha ha ha no.

7. Were you considered a jock?
Ha ha ha no.

8. Were you in choir, band or orchestra?
Ha ha ha no.

9. Were you a nerd?
I spent all my money on records & comic books. What do you think?

10. Did you get suspended?
Nope, I was a good boy.

11. Can you sing the fight/school song?
Yes. Off key.*

12. Where did you eat?
I wasn't a vegetarian yet, so probably fast food crap.**

13. Where was your high school?
Garland, Texas. It's still there as far as I can tell.

14. What was your school mascot?
A racist Civil War Colonel.***

15. If you could go back and do it over again, would you?
God, no.

16. Do you still talk to the person you went to prom with?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha I didn't go to prom.

17.Are you planning on going to the next high school reunion?
I haven't been to any of them, & don't really talk to anyone from my high school.

18. Are you still in contact with people from high school?
Not really. A couple, one who left in ninth grade, another who was in the grade before mine. I am surprised when I look back how few people I knew back then, but I know so few people now so I guess it's not that much of a surprise.

19. What happened to question 19? Am I supposed to make something up? Okay, how about this: do you know if anyone you went to high school is dead now? ****
Yes! There's an entire web site for my school (not just my class) called "Fallen Colonels" & I occasionally check there to see if anyone I know has died. But of course I didn't really know anyone, so if I recognize anyone, it's just a name. I think we've lost ten out of 435 but I haven't checked recently.*****

20. Do you know where your high school sweetheart is?
Ha ha ha ha ha I didn't have a high school sweetheart.******

21. What was your favorite subject?
I used to hang out in the library with a couple of friends during lunch, that seemed to be the most fun I had.*******

22. Do you still have your class ring?
I would never have even thought about buying a class ring.********

23. Do you still have your yearbook?
Yeah, in a box in a closet.

Interesting?  No?  Notes on my answers below.

* It's pretty simple: "All hail to thee, to our alma mater sing, long may your power & glory ring, forever true, our hearts will be, our school South Garland High, all hail to thee."  The last "all hail to thee" was shouted with forceful pointing of the outstretched hand.  You can see it here.
** I'm embarrassed to say I spent some of my disposable income on junk food, especially Jack-In-The-Box.  If you told my seventeen year old self that in a year he'd be a vegetarian, he would've laughed.

*** I went into this more a few years back on the blog.

**** The original Facebook thing didn't have a question 19.  I don't know if the previous person omitted it or if there never was one.

***** The site is

****** My first kiss happened at the tail-end of high school, but I'm friends with her on Facebook & I think she might be a little offended if I called her my high-school sweetheart.  So she probably wasn't.

******* I was fond of English & history, though.  I went on to major in English in college.

******** My mother got a class ring thing in the mail & seemed to want to buy me one.  I told her I would never wear it & she should save the money.  I think I hurt her feelings.  I don't know if any of my siblings (four of whom graduated from the same school) ever got class rings.

Monday, July 02, 2018

A Burgh Of Pitts

That's where I was most of last week: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Why, you may ask?  The wife had business there.  I came along because it's nice to go to places you've never been to, isn't it?

Here's a picture of the town from the Wikipedia entry about Pittsburgh:

Yeah, I took a bunch of pictures of the town, but when I get around to looking at them, they'll probably be on the the Self Help Radio Tumblr page in a few months.  The pics I like.  They probably won't be too touristy.

One thing I realized is that - I should've realized this before - I am very lucky I married someone who's as much of a foodie as I am.  We ate at these places: B52 Cafe, Onion Maiden, & Apteka, to mention the three great vegan places we went to.  We found vegan options in other places, all delicious.

Mainly we haunted the museums but did manage some walks through some neighborhoods.  It reminded me a very little of Huntington (although I must stress except for mainly the hills & trees, nothing about the place felt Appalachian), a very lot of Cincinnati, with maybe some of the industrial spirit of Chicago.  I like that it's close to Columbus.  There's a part of me that wishes I had discovered the city a long time before now.

One sad thing is that I used to have a friend who lived in Pittsburgh but I lost touch with her, & very surprisingly, especially since we met online, she has almost no online presence.  But also, my last email exchange with her was like fourteen years ago.  I almost went to the address she used to live at but thought better of it.  Anyway.  It's strange to be in a place where you know (or you think you know) someone you've been friends with lives but because of stupid time & other things you've lost touch & you can't find them.  But I suppose it must've been worse in the past.

It's crazy, I'd love to go back but also there are so many places I've just never been so shouldn't I go there first?  I think so.  But thank you, Pittsburgh.  I'm sorry I never paid much attention to you.  It makes me wonder what other places I should be paying attention to.