Saturday, June 15, 2019

Self Help Radio 061519: Fifty

That graphic I made gives the impression we're celebrating some fiftieth event or anniversary.  That's simply not the case.  The show is just exploring the number fifty.

Which is not to say that the show doesn't talk about fifty things in one way or another.  Fifty miles, fifty years, fifty cents - there are many things in groups of fifty here.  (Incidentally, I wish there were a name for groups of fifty.  We just have some DC nonprofit & that time in the book of Luke (9:14) where Jesus feeds the five thousand & has them get into "groups of about fifty each" - & if Jesus can't come up for a word for groups of fifty, I'm not going to.)

What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, no anniversary, no milestone, nothing but a discussion of the number fifty plus lots of fifty-themed songs, including an entire set on the notion of "50/50" - an equitable split.

Sorry the show is late!  It's a little early today for your convenience.  But still late!  It's now at Self Help Radio dot net, you'll need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) to listen, & what is played (including the interviews) is listed below.

Thanks for your patience!

Self Help Radio Fifty Show

"Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room" Rev. F.W. McGee _Anthology Of American Folk Music, Vol. 2B: Social Music_
"Fifty Years From Now" Harry McClintock _Protest! American Protest Songs 1928-1953_
"Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong (with Miff Mole's Molers & Ted Shapiro)" Sophie Tucker _The Last Of The Red Hot Mamas_

introductions & definition

"Five Ten Fiftyfold" Cocteau Twins _Head Over Heels_
"50ft Queenie" PJ Harvey _Rid Of Me_
"Sonnet 50: How Heavy Do I Journey On The Way" Benjamin Soames _The Best Of The Sonnets_
"50 Shades Of Blue" Edwyn Collins _Hope & Despair_
"The 50 States Song" Sufjan Stevens _The 50 States_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Fifty-Fifty Blues (feat. Jack Teagarden)" Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars _Pops: The 1940s Small-Band Sides_
"50-50 Love" The Ramblers _The Best Of Harlem & Jax Records, Vol. 1_
"50/50" Frank Zappa _Over-Nite Sensation_
"50/50 Split" Beatnik Filmstars _Beezer_
"Fifty Fifty" The Luyas _Animator_

interview with record breaker Waylon McKensie

"Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover" Marlboro Chorus _Flirt_
"50 Ways" Kool Moe Dee _How Ya Like Me Now_
"50 Ways" Telekinesis _12 Desperate Straight Lines_
"Maybe It's Because I'm Fifty" Robin Williams _Live 2002_
"I Had But Fifty Cents" R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders _R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders_

classic rock lyric revelations

"Fifty" Bill Morrissey _The Essential Collection_
"Fifty" Tom Robinson _Love Over Rage_
"Fifty Years Of Fun" Biff Bang Pow! _The Singles As & Bs_
"50 Year Smoker" Bill Hicks _Love, Laughter, & Truth_
"Fifty Years" Originals _California Sunset_

conclusion & goodbyes

"50 Year Old Man" The Fall _Imperial Wax Solvent_
"50 Dollars" Space Ghost _Yeah, Whatever_
"50 Years Of Comparative Wealth" Steve Diggle & The Flag Of Convenience _The Secret Public Years: 1981-1989_
"50 Souls & A Discobowl" The Lionheart Brothers _Dizzy Kiss_
"50% Of Your Love" Lacrosse _Are You Thinking Of Me Every Minute Of Every Day?_

Friday, June 14, 2019

Fifty Things Went Wrong Today

It's not even noon here in Portland (it's probably later where you are) but the morning was spent on the phone & fretting about issues almost entirely out of my hands but relating to selling our house in Fort Worth.  We're supposed to close today & various repairs related to our contract - which appear to have been finished - have apparently not been sufficiently documented to the satisfaction of - well, take your pick: the buyers, the realtors, the insurance company - & have therefore resulted in - I'm not sure yet!  Will the sale fall through?  Will it be delayed?  What will it cost if it's delayed?  Holy shit.

One thing is clear: there will not be a Self Help Radio at noon today.  I & the wife have been on the phone all morning long, our next-door neighbor has been sending pictures, at some point even someone of the phone agreed that it is kind of a shit-show.

Instead of scrambling to get the show done at some point today, I'm just going to plan for noon tomorrow.  I hope this isn't an inconvenience or disappointment.  I know this is like the second time in four weeks I've done this & I don't mean to make it a habit.  My apologies.

Someone's texting.  This will never frickin' end.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Whither Fifty?

(Apparently there's a film called Fifty. I did not have time to watch it for research purposes.)

Here are the obvious but incorrect reasons why the theme this week is "fifty":

1) I am turning fifty.  Nope, I did that in 2018.
2) Someone I know is turning fifty.  Nope, I know very few people.
3) It's the show's fiftieth episode.  Nope, that happened in the show's first year.
4) It's the fiftieth anniversary of the show.  Ha, I wish!  No, the show turns 17 this year.
5) It's the fiftieth anniversary of something.

That last one is true.  It's the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, & fifty years ago John Lennon & Yoko Ono were holding their infamous "bed-ins."  Among other things.

But no, this show is not celebrating or commemorating anything that happened fifty years ago.

Why "fifty" then?  Is there a reason?  You wouldn't do a show about a number without a reason, would you?

Yeah, I would.  The truth is, I'm not sure I should tell you why the theme will be "fifty" this week.  I can say I've done a few number shows before - I did a show about the counting numbers, & I believe I've done shows about the numbers zero, nine, & seventeen.  (I might be forgetting others; I was certain I'd done a show about the number four but I guess I have not.)  Numbers are reliable - people like to sing songs about numbers.  But was it simply because I knew there'd be lots of songs about the number fifty that I chose that as a theme?

Did someone request it?  Why, why, why is the theme "fifty" this week?

Oh, all right.  I'll tell you.  It's because of what I learned about the number fifty here: "The number 50 is witty. People generally smile a lot when they're around 50."

Who wouldn't want to listen to a witty radio show theme that everyone smiles a lot around?  Not me! I wanna listen to that!

If you listen tomorrow at noon at the Self Help Radio website, you'll probably smile a lot around the wit of fifty.  That's the reason for the show.  Not something ridiculous.

Not at all.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Preface To Fifty: Turning Fifty

In the arrogance & despair of youth, I never thought I'd make it to fifty.  I didn't know exactly what would happen to me - would I take my own life? would I die of carelessness? would something awful & unfair happen?  Who knows?  I just had this sense - & I suppose lots of self-involved sensitive souls feel this way - that I probably wouldn't make it past my twenties.

Then, you know, it happened.  Suddenly I was no longer a broken-hearted eighteen-year-old, I was a broken-hearted twenty-eight-year-old.  Then thirty-eight, then - wonder of wonders - fifty.

For a long time I really, really wanted to keep a journal, & tried to do so in fits & starts throughout my life.  The trouble is, I don't do anything really important, & I don't have any real insights into anything.  So a few years ago, I started writing down what I did during the day, sometimes just a checklist, to give me a sense of what my life was like at the time.  I did this for my fiftieth birthday & it simply didn't sound special or interesting when I just read about it.  In fact, it sounds a lot like most of my time in Dallas/Fort Worth: dog walking & lots of driving.  I also picked my wife up at the airport.  I did that a lot.

What I don't think I did was take stock of myself, meditate on my mortal situation, put things into some context like "there is now more life behind me than in front of me."  Why not, I wonder.

First of all, it's because I've never felt my age.  Not having been a terribly physical person, the most I notice is greying beard & receding hairline, & loss of vision.  I have to wear reading glasses now.  That's the most old my body seems.

Second, I think I never adulted as much as everyone else.  I didn't have kids, & I spent a great deal of time at colleges, consistently surrounded by young people.  (It was a great sadness to me that I couldn't help out at KTCU, the college station in Fort Worth.  I miss all the kids at WRFL.)  That tends to keep one relatively young in spirit, even as one appears to turn into a crotchety old timer.

& finally, I stopped making a big deal of my birthday maybe a decade ago.  I don't have a party, I don't do anything special, I don't even want cards or other shit from family.  It's really just another day, & I'd much rather mark time by things I care about doing - like my radio program - than something like a birthday ritual.

Now, this week's show has the theme "fifty" but I turned fifty last year.  So it has nothing to do with my age, which is currently fifty-one.  I'll try to talk tomorrow about why the theme is fifty.  For today's shabby essay, I just wanted to reflect on what I thought, if anything about turning fifty.  It turns out, not much.

Which is maybe too bad; many folks wanted me to see it as a milestone.  I will tell you that I did drive to see my mother on January 20, 2018 - it was a Saturday - & she was moving out of her apartment into my sister's house.  My nephew Josh & his wife showed up.  I went to have dinner with old friends from KVRX at a place I really do miss, Kalachandji's in Dallas.  & I picked my wife up from the airport; she had gone to Lexington for a funeral.

Maybe sixty will be a bigger deal.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Heat Wave!

Record breaking heat in Portland!

No seriously, records were broken!

It's going to be several days of 90+ degree weather.  What on earth is one supposed to do?

Of course, the average daily temperature in Dallas/Fort Worth has been ninety plus degrees for weeks now, & soon will be a hundred degrees or more, so it's a little funny for me to hear people fret about the weather.  They did this in Lexington, too.

The wife bikes to work, & has marveled at how Portlanders will trudge through snow, sleet, rain, virtually any kind of nasty weather - but she says heat is their kryptonite.  Everyone biking home this afternoon in 95 degree weather was going quite slow, she reports.

It cooled down tonight & will be pleasant in the a.m.  We went for a dog walk tonight & we'll go for one tomorrow.

Next week, the highs will maybe hit eighty.  Texas would be so much more bearable if it had just a week-long heat wave every once in a while instead of, you know, months-long heat waves.

& no, I don't feel responsible for bringing this weather here.  I think I lost the Texas weather that was trying to follow me somewhere outside of Salt Lake City.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Obligatory Gary Cartoon

Found this in a romance comic from 1957:

Incidentally, 1957 was the last time anyone daydreamed about being with a Gary.