Thursday, December 31, 2020

Not That I'm Counting (But I'm Counting)

Happy New Year's Eve!  I am preparing for the fireworks because I have a nervous dog.  That's going to be fun.

Last year around this time, I was very excited because I had gotten a show on KBOO, which, along with my shows on Freeform Portland & XRAY, meant I was doing three shows in Portland.  I contrasted that with how long it took me to get a show in Dallas, which wasn't even a show that I really wanted to do.  It seemed too good to be true.

The Dickenbock Report was to be bi-weekly, so I wrote in this post a breakdown of how many radio shows I thought I would be doing in Portland in 2020:

Assuming I do all of my radio shows next year - not a safe bet, but, you know, I just might - that will mean:
52 Self Help Radios
52 Sugar Substitutes
26 Dickenbock Reports
That's
130 radio shows.

It certainly wasn't a safe bet.  Even with the week off for the Dickenbock Report, it was pretty difficult to do three shows every other week.  & then I was surprisingly offered a midnight to three slot on KBOO - on the same night I did Sugar Substitute.  It wasn't an easy decision, but I chose to end the XRAY show (this was a week before the studios closed for the pandemic) for one main reason: it was kinda lonesome.  The shows before & after mine were recorded.  I never met the programmers (the show after mine was produced in France!) & that simply wasn't the case - or wouldn't be the case, anyway - with KBOO.

It turned out of course that I started the midnight to three show after the stations closed, so I've still not met the people who do the shows before & after me.  But once the stations closed, I concentrated on both making the shows I was supposed to make for both KBOO & Freeform, & I kept doing volunteer work (but not shows) for XRAY.

Freeform took a while to get a structured automation, so there was a gap between Self Help Radio episodes.  Some of them I made & they were tossed into the general automation & I have no idea if they ever aired.  In July they were scheduled for the 8-10am timeslot, & they stayed there until I moved the show to KBOO in late October.  So while I probably should have had 52 episodes of Self Help Radio this year, the count was actually 48.  I did my regular Christmas show, my wife's birthday show, three indiepop a to z episodes, my favorite releases show, my anniversary show (where I revisited an old theme), & 41 other shows with unique themes, including Halloween & Valentine's shows which were nevertheless a different theme than previous ones.

But wait.  When I discovered that there was no show on the Tuesdays when the Dickenbock Report aired on KBOO, I asked the Program Manager if she needed a sub.  She said yes.  So starting in June I alternated the show (which I began doing live from my home) with re-made episodes of Self Help Radio (I added to existing playlists after first re-airing shows that may or may not have aired on Freeform).  I revisited 12 themes over the course of eight episodes.  Technically then, I did 56 episodes of Self Help Radio this year.  But I don't necessarily count these as Self Help Radio episodes.

If things had continued as expected, there would be 26 episodes of the Dickenbock Report.  The show aired every other week until late October when it switched places with Self Help Radio & began airing weekly on Freeform Portland.  Instead of 26 there were 34 episodes of The Dickenbock Report in 2020.

Sugar Substitute ended on XRAY in early March but not before I did eight episodes of that show.

Once the pandemic started, I began to make shows both for Freeform's automation & I also regularly covered the Thursday 3 to 5:30am slot the Dickenbock Report left empty when it moved to Tuesday, first every other week, & then weekly from August to November.  Though I did that show live, it very nearly killed me.  I was doing basically seven & a half hours of radio a week & it was exhausting.  It meant I couldn't really help out in many other ways & that broke my heart.  I made eight freeform sub shows (including one pre-pandemic) & I made 28 KBOO sub shows (including a reggae show that must've be replayed at least five times).  That's 36 extra shows I made during the pandemic.  I might have made more if I hadn't committed myself to the regular Thursday morning show.  I was able to make a Freeform fundraising evergreen & participate in our of their challenges because I didn't have to worry about that show.

Let's do the math, shall we?  48 Self Help Radios + 8 Extra Self Help Radios on KBOO + 34 Dickenbock Reports + 8 Sugar Substitutes + 36 other shows equals 134 radio shows for Gary in 2020.

It looks like I made more than I thought I would.  Even though I didn't make as many of the shows I thought I would make.

Certainly I hope to return to the studios in 2021.  I hope to continue the current shows on KBOO & Freeform & hope to sub occasionally on all three stations when needed.  But if this time next year I just had oh let's say 50 Self Help Radios & 50 Dickenbock Reports I could not be happy.

It's sad to say but there really can be too much of a good thing.  & by the way I mean a good thing for me, not for people who listen to radio in Portland.  For most of them I'm sure hearing too much Gary - or any Gary at all - is a bad thing.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Self Help Radio 122920: Indiepop A To Z # 64

(Most if not all of these images found on Discogs.)

As I type this, it's very late on December 30th - later still to the east of me, where it's already New Year's Eve in most of the country.  I spent some part of today conducting interviews for the first Self Help Radio of the year.  I spent some time visiting with old friends from KVRX on something that wasn't Zoom but was Zoom-like.  I walked the dogs twice, both times happily in-between bouts of rain.  I also fed my animals twice.  Oh yeah, I went shopping & it won't surprise you to learn I forgot to get chickpeas.  However, if I had, my bill at Natural Grocers wouldn't have been $20.20 & even the jaded cashier, who always looks like heroin might be a little too stimulating for her, responded with a "Hey! Wouldya look at that!"  But I spent most of the day, it feels like, making that fucking collage up there of images of releases I played on Self Help Radio this week.

Holy shit that was time-consuming.  I spent the evening with my wife & came back to it when she went to bed so I could finish.  I knew I played forty-three songs & I created the grid to have forty-four spaces so I could stick the Self Help Radio logo in there, but when I got to the end of the song list, I had two little squares instead of one.  So I had to go back, one by one, to see which one I absent-mindedly left out.  It turns out it was an album I was working on when my wife came home from work.  She came to say hello & I just moved on to the next one as if I had done the previous one.  I hadn't.  I had to work backward to discover which one that is.

Which is appropriate for the last show of the year.  Holy fuck this year.  What a fucking mess.

Anyway, the show's on the Self Help Radio website if you wanna listen.  It's packed with good tunes.  It's also on the KBOO website's Self Help Radio page if you'd like to listen to it with KBOO spots at the very beginning.  I appreciate the extra hour but maybe three hours is too much.  Holy moly.

Remember username/password SHR/selfhelp.  Look below for what I played.  Happy new year!

Self Help Radio Indiepop A To Z # 64
"The Girl With Sunny Smile" Pale Sunday _A Weekend With Jane_
"Happy & Oblivious" The Palindromes _Muy Muy Pop Yum Yum_
"Knight In Gale" The Palisades _A Month Too Soon: 1985-1989_

"Brenda Walsh" The Palm Songwriters _You Make Me Smile (A Shelflife Records Collection)_
"How To Beat Dementia" Palomar _All Things, Forests_
"The Garden" Panax _2000 Teenbeat Sampler_
"Patronage" The Pancakes _Pancakes Can Panick_
"Pillar Box" Panda Pops _Bristol Fashion_

"Ghosting" Panda Riot _Infinity Maps_
"Beatrice Was Her Name" Panel Of Judges _Captain Circus! Chocolat Art Returns Compilation Vol. 1_
"Barely There" The Pansies _Feel Easy_
"Alison Statton" Pants Yell! _Alison Statton_
"On My Way" Papa Go Riot _...What's This?_

"Lo Que Me Gusta Del Verano Es Poder Tomar Helado" Papá Topo _Oso Panda_
"Way You Walk" Papas Fritas _Buildings & Grounds_
"Shine" Papas New Faith _Papas New Faith_
"The Lovers" The Paper Merchants _A Friend Of Mine_
"Falling" Paper Moon _Intercontinental Pop Exchange No. 2_

"A Northern Allowance" The Paperbacks _Intercontinental Pop Exchange No. 1_
"This Is How I Feel" The Paperboys _This Is How I Feel_
"Chills" Papercuts _Fading Parade_
"The Fastest Planes" Paperfangs _ePop006_
"Sometimes In Vain" The Parachute Men _Sometimes In Vain_

"Tree Roots Turn To Forts" Parachutes _Tree Roots_
"Metaluna Moroder" Parade _Metaluna_
"Without You" The Parallelograms _1 2 3 Go!_
"Burnt Toast" Parasites _Shreds Volume 3: American Underground '95_
"If I Ever Get The Chance Again" The Parcels _One_

"Me & You" Parekh & Singh _Ocean_
"Going Down Niagara Falls" The Pariahs _Tightrope Walk_
"All On You (Perfume)" Paris Angels _All On You (Perfume)_
"Painted World" The Paris Work-In _Hi-Five! Eardrums Pop's 5 Year Anniversary Compilation_
"Adding Up" Parsnip _Adding Up_

"Sapphire" The Part Time Losers _Sometimes The Nice Boy Wins_
"The Trumpet Song" The Particles _Tales From The Australian Underground, Vol. 2: 1977-1990_
"Pacific Love State" Partnerships _Double Love Suicide_
"I Wanna Take You Out In Your Holiday Sweater" Pas/Cal _The Handbag Memoirs_
"Into Hole" Passing Clouds _Creation's Happy Reel EP_

"Sometimes" Passengers _The Sound Of Leamington Spa Volume 3_
"I'm In Love With A German Film Star" The Passions _Thirty Thousand Feet Over China_
"Every Child In Heaven" The Passmore Sisters _The Original Rock & Roll Chair_
"Wherever You Go, Take Me With You" Pastel Collision _Wherever You Go, Take Me With You_
"Baby Honey" The Pastels _Truckload Of Trouble: 1986-1993_

Monday, December 28, 2020

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 64?

(Image from here.)

For the last show of 2020, Self Help Radio returns to its Indiepop A To Z series.  There have been sixty-three of them so far, the last one airing in August on Freeform Portland.  Which means this is the first installment to air on KBOO.  Hopefully not the last!

We began the letter P in the last episode, & I suspect we'll be spending more than one show on the letter P.  The show is three hours long & that may help us get past this letter sooner, but boy are there a lot of bands/performers whose names start with the letter P.  Not that the point of the series is to rush through the alphabet!  Far from it!  It's about celebrating these artists in an underappreciated genre!

The show is on tonight (tomorrow morning technically) from midnight to 3am on 90.7fm in town & online at kboo.fm.  As we end the year, it seems nice to do it with lots of music & not a lot of me.  So shall it be.  Hope you listen!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 64: For The First Time On KBOO!

Wow, yeah!  The fourth (I think) or fifth (that's probably right) Indiepop A To Z in Portland is now on KBOO, as is Self Help Radio.  The show is three hours long, so there's an hour more indiepop.  That's kinda cool, yeah?

But I was thinking something interesting - back in the day, on KVRX, the Programming Directors (I was one of them for a while) were very stingy about what we called "specialty shows."  We wanted deejays to learn how to do good freeform shows, so one very rarely got one of those shows.  In general, they were mostly genre-specific: a metal show, a blues show, a dance show, etc.

In those days, I preferred a freeform-type show.  I didn't mind the requirements - we had to choose new stuff to play from a shelf called the "new bin" - because I felt I had more freedom.  I didn't want to be trapped within a genre.  But the truth is, most deejays hated the requirements & most of them wanted a "specialty show."  Even if, you know, once they chose to do a hip hop show, they pretty much were expected to play nothing but hip hop.

Fast-forward to Portland & pretty much every show on KBOO & Freeform are what we used to call "specialty shows."  There's almost no policing them, either - someone with a jazz show might not play jazz one week & no one would bat an eye.  As for me, I'm still a little freaked out about having a "specialty show."  I imagine a Program Director coming to me & saying, "Hey, Gary.  Self Help Radio is supposed to be based around a theme.  How does a show about indiepop bands in alphabetical order fit that theme?"

It doesn't.  But every show is a "specialty show."  It's what the deejays think the show is, not necessarily what they described when they filled out their program proposal.  It might raise a few eyebrows if a metal show suddenly became a gospel show, but other than that, the deejays are in charge.

Which is fine by me.  I still think I'm going to get reprimanded or something for these indiepop shows though.  Sixty-four of them!  & no end in sight!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 16: Ridgemont Dr


The picture above is the first house I ever owned.  I would never have even thought of buying a house if I hadn't been with my girlfriend, now my wife.  She decided we should buy a house.  I made enough money, I had good credit, it seemed like a good idea.  The process of searching for a house was difficult, not the least because we had a terrible realtor.  She seemed to think we hired her to get the best price so she tried to negotiate but she lost one house we really wanted because of her dumb, bad-card-player tactics.  I was actually out of town when this house came up for sale, but my girlfriend loved it, called me, & put a bid on it.  We were initially out-bid but, as would happen later, the potential buyers couldn't secure credit, & we were second in line.  I had to beg our realtor to please tell them we would offer what we offered initially; she seemed to sense weakness & wanted to underbid.  It's because she listened to me that we got the house*.

In a very real sense I thought I'd live in this house for the rest of my life.  I was incredibly involved with KOOP radio at the time, I worked forty plus hours a week at the University of Texas, & of course I owed lots of money on the thing.  It was cheaper than Austin rents & it was bound to be more valuable over time.  Why would I ever want to move?

It turns out that the girlfriend - who became my wife while we were living here - was a PhD student at the University & once she got that degree, she would look for jobs elsewhere.  It was the way of academia.  This was not made clear to me at the time - I might not have gone through the difficulty of house-hunting if I thought I'd only there three & a half years.  Or maybe it was made clear to me, & I just didn't get it.  I don't know.  I don't remember.

But I truly loved this house.  We adopted Bolan & Winston while we lived here, & we lost Buster.  I started this blog while I lived in this house, & had many friends over for parties & what-not.  I quit smoking for the first time while I lived here, & used to stand in that little doorway area (the front door was to the left, where the mailbox is) & smoke through the screen door while watching television.  So many mornings I left, walked down that driveway, & made my way to the bus I took to work.  If I had been with anyone else, I would probably live there still - but then, I also wouldn't have bought the house in the first place, had I been with someone else.  Or alone.

As you might recall, the economy crashed in 2008.  I had refused, when I bought the house, to accept anything but a fixed-term mortgage.  It wasn't that I am any sort of financial wizard, or even smarter than the average homebuyer - I literally had never even thought of buying a home until my girlfriend started to talk about it - it's just that I preferred to stay with my credit union & they would have had to sell my loan to a different institution if I wanted the sort of mortgage that would backfire three years later.  They of course sold my loan anyway but I watched as two of my co-workers struggled to stay financially afloat when the economy went down the drain because they chose different interest rates.  See, I don't even know what it's called.  Suddenly they had to be exorbitant rates, & I made sure I paid the same straight through.  I was lucky I was a little dumb, is all.

& because it was Austin, it was pretty easy to sell the place.  It won't surprise you that it's changed owners a couple of times since then, & the last time it sold, it went for three times what we got for it.  The new owners have zero-scaped the front & they got rid of the bush that guards the kitchen windows.  I'd like to see what they did with the back but I'll probably never return to Austin again.  The picture above was taken by me a couple months before we moved in the summer of 2009.  I'm glad I have that snapshot - Google maps doesn't go back that far.

What a nice house to have been the first one I ever owned.  As it turns out, it wasn't the last.

*Later, she represented a couple who wanted to buy the house when we were selling it.  They made an offer, we countered, & she countered with a lower offer than their original.  We of course passed.  I so wanted to tell her clients that she fucked them on the deal but, you know, you're not allowed to contact them.  Someone else paid what we asked for soon enough.  What a terrible realtor she was.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Christmas From Self Help Radio


Hi!  I hope you're having a happy holiday, no matter how you celebrate it.  We walked the dogs in the rain.  That's it!  No gifts, no carols, no Christmas movies - heck, not even any Christmas songs.  (I couldn't believe that my wife hadn't heard the Stranglers' "Peaches" so I played the song for her as we walked, & now she's singing it as she's changing lightbulbs in the bathroom.)

However I know you might experience Christmas in some way shape or form, so I remind you that you can listen to this year's A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2020 any time you'd like.  Just click the link.  You know what?  Last year's A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2019 is available too!  & holy shizzle, look!  The year before's A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2018 is also there!  I'm not going to check back, but I think there might be more - check on the Self Help Radio Show Index Page if you'd like.  Just remember: you need a username & a password, & those are SHR & selfhelp.  Happy happy!

If you'd like to look at movies & stuff, you can see the things the show's resident cinephile Chuck watched by visiting his YouTube Playlist of Christmas things he watched.  (That's quite a list of Christmas Carols he's assembled there!)  He has a Twitter thread where he talks about the movies he watches & he jots down quick reviews on Letterboxd.  There might be some holiday treats for you but Chuck does have a caveat:

I thought I should add that there is some cringe & real ugliness amongst the videos. The worst of all is in the Holiday Inn trailer. You can read about what I found distasteful in my twitter posts.

As I said above, I hope you're happy & well, & that you know the stations on which I do shows, Freeform Portland & KBOO, broadcast 24/7 & are always worth listening to.  Stay safe & thanks for listening & have a wonderful holiday & weekend!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Self Help Radio 122220: A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2020

(Original image here.)

Cancel Christmas 2020?  Oh, all right.  But can I have a three-hour radio show where I play Christmas music?  Yeah?  Totally worth the trade-off.

Three hours of Christmas music, four interviews, much yapping from yours truly - is it better than a Zoom Christmas with the family?  You have to make that call, I fear.  I just gathered tons of songs, many of them (I count eighteen) from 2020.  I made some calls, got some interviews.  I did what I do every week but in a holiday vein.  Hm.  Now that I think about it, maybe choose to spend time with the family.

The show is has settled its brains for a long winter's nap at the Self Help Radio website.  As usual, you will need a username (it's SHR) & a password (it's selfhelp) to listen.  So much happens on the show, there's a handy guide below to let you know what to expect.

Happy Christmas!  Happy holidays!

A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2020
"Merry Christmas To Me" Eli "Paperboy" Reed _Last Christmas_
"Kids" Nancy Sinatra _The Sinatra Family Wish You A Merry Christmas_
"Claus Vs. Claus (feat. Lucie Silvas)" JD McPherson _"Socks"_

introduction/a visit from Ned Dry, Christmas elf

"Merry Christmas, From The Worst Year Of My Life" Sneakthief _A Very Athens Christmas 2_
"Little Drummer Boy" The Bird & The Bee _Put Up The Lights_
"A St. Nick Dangerous Christmas Eve" The Firesign Theatre _All Things Firesign_
"Drinking Alone On Christmas" The Crystal Furs _Drinking Alone On Christmas_
"Christmas Time Is Here" Khruangbin _Christmas Time Is Here_

interview with my youngest friends Alyssa & Jason

"The Banister Bough (feat. Feist)" Chilly Gonzales _A Very Chilly Christmas_
"Sure Miss Those Days At Christmas" Matt Dorrien _My Christmas Plea_
"Mi Burrito Sabanero" Calexico _Seasonal Shift_
"Mi Burrito Sabanero (Reprise)" Calexico _Seasonal Shift_
"Silent Night (Christmas Hymn) (with The Rosette Gospel Singers)" Sister Rosetta Tharpe _Complete Sister Rosetta Tharpe Vol. 3: 1947-1951_
"Christmas Love" The Dears _Christmas Love_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Christmas Song" Phoebe Bridgers _If We Make It Through December_
"Christmas Eve Can Kill You" Mark Lanegan _Dark Mark Does Christmas 2020_
"The Night Before Christmas" Two Ton Baker The Merry Music Maker _Christmas Party_
"Could Be Christmas Eve" The Cleaners From Venus _Could Be Christmas Eve_
"Flannel Pajamas" Corvair _Flannel Pajamas_

interview with Christmas foe Neville Harrison

"Greenwine" Andrew Bird _Hark!_
"Christmas Wrapping" Ultrababyfat _A Rock By The Sea Christmas, Vol. 11_
"Merry Christmas, Doctor" Mike Nichols & Elaine May _Examine Doctors_
"The Twelve Days Of Christmas (Live)" Straight No Chaser _Holiday Spirits_
"Christmas Is" Run-D.M.C. _A Very Special Christmas 2_

another segment of Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner

"Christmas Gift" Margie Joseph _Funky Christmas_
"Santa's Got A Bag Of Soul" The Poets Of Rhythm _Anthology 1992-2003_
"The Last Time I Saw You (O Christmas)" Porridge Radio _The Last Time I Saw You (O Christmas)_
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" The Phoenix Foundation _Lost Christmas: A Festive Memphis Industries Selection Box_
"Blue Christmas" Sharon Van Etten _Silent Night b/w Blue Christmas_

a (recorded) performance by Sir Archibald Von Poesy

"Christmas In My Home Town" Charley Pride _Christmas In My Home Town_
"The Cactus Christmas Tree" The McGuire Sisters _Yulesville! (33 Rockin' Rollin' Christmas Blasters For The Cool Season)_
"Let It Snow" Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets _Winter Wonderland/Let It Snow_
"Winterglow" Grant-Lee Phillips _Yuletide_
"Hating You For Christmas" Melkbelly _Simply Having A Wonderful Compilation_

conclusion, goodbye, & happy holiday wishes!

"Christmas All Over This Town" The Plimptons _Christmas All Over This Town_
"Wombling Merry Christmas" The Very Most _Snow Covered_
"Christmas Must Be Tonight (feat. Michael Rault)" Pearl Charles _Christmas Must Be Tonight_
"Switchblade Christmas" A Bit Shifty _A Very Bert Dax Christmas, Volume Seven_

Monday, December 21, 2020

Whither A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2020?

(I don't know why I love pictures of burning Christmas trees.  This image from here.)

Ever since the beginning of Self Help Radio, way back in the wild frontier days of 2002, when there was no Twitter or Facebook or Covid-19, Christmas has been celebrated on this show around this time of year.  Not because the host is a Christian - I am not, & I'm not sure why I started this in the passive voice & the third person but I'll put a stop to that now.  It's not because I'm a Christian, & I actually don't celebrate the holiday.  I don't buy gifts, the wife & I don't have a tree, we don't send cards or put up lights or anything like that.  I stopped "going home" for Christmas over a decade ago - a thing which made my mother sad & I regret it a little now that she's gone - & I doubt the family will gather much now that she's no longer the center of the celebration.  (Also this year because of the pandemic.)  No, the one thing I do for Christmas each year is this show.

Why is that?  It might be because I've always liked Christmas music.  It might be because it's been a challenge to make a different show each year & never repeat myself.  This year I have twenty-eight - that's 28! - releases from 2020 to play.  I might not get to them all, but wow!  Why are so many people writing Christmas songs?  Probably they hope they'll make some of that lucrative "Rudolph" money.  But I think there's just something about the holiday & music that brings songs out of artists.  Who knows.

Wait, I have three hours to fill tonight?  Holy shit.  I'll need more than 28 songs...

But yes!  You can hear A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2020 from midnight to 3am tonight/Tuesday morning on 90.7 fm KBOO Portland, online at kboo.fm.  I would say "a splendid time is guaranteed for all" but I know some people hate Christmas music.  This is not the show for people who hate Christmas music.  There will be old favorites (in cover versions I've never played before) mixed among the new carols.  I hope you'll listen!

Because seriously it's the only gift you're getting for me.  & no you can't return it!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Preface To A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2020: Chestnuts

Hey wait a second.  Have I ever had chestnuts?  Are those the same as those weird white slices of things you find in Chinese food?  Let me check.  Yeah, they're water chestnuts!  Are they the same chestnuts that roast over an open fire while Jack Frost nips at the your nose?

Nope!  According to this website:

Though they share a name, & have some similarities, chestnuts & water chestnuts are not related & can't serve as substitutes for each other.

Chestnuts (also known as tree chestnuts) grow on chestnut trees, & are common throughout Europe, Asia, & the United States. The nuts are encased in spiky porcupine-like capsules, containing 2–7 nuts, each wrapped in its own shell. Raw chestnuts don’t taste good, but once roasted or boiled in their shells, the nuts become sweet & edible.

Water chestnuts, on the other hand, aren’t nuts but 'corms.' Indigenous to Southeast Asia, like rice, they thrive in wet, marshy fields, but like potatoes, they grow underground. Their brown skins look similar to the skins on (tree) chestnuts, but once peeled, water chestnuts are vastly different. They have a crisp, apple-like texture, while tree chestnuts are starchier & 'meatier.'

Both are available canned or jarred, but fresh can be harder to find.

Whoa!  Chestnuts that are roasted over an open fire while Jack Frost nips at your nose are "sweet & edible"?  I guess I knew they were edible, but sweet?  Shut the front door!

This website tells us:

This is the time of year that the Old World nut crops up in food & song. Today, all over Northern Europe, you see men roasting chestnuts over crude contraptions resting in shopping carts. Not exactly a Currier & Ives scene. (editorializing!)

Chestnuts have been a staple food in Mediterranean countries for centuries & were popular in the United States until a fungus virtually wiped out all chestnut trees in North America in the early 1900s. Americans now depend on imports, mostly from Italy.

Chestnuts have an earthy, musty taste. Though they can be eaten hot off the coals, they are better mellowed by the herbs in stuffing or in other dishes. Soon after roasting, the nuts can become so hard they could break a tooth if bitten too vigorously. However, they still can be chopped. Some larger grocery stores & most Italian markets carry chestnuts in the shell & unshelled chestnuts in a can, which are notably softer.

Even if you've never tried a chestnut, surely you know the song - made famous by Nat King Cole - that keeps it alive in holiday lore.

Wait a second.  "Earthy, mushy taste"?  "Break a tooth"?  That hardly seems sweet & edible!  Why the different chestnut descriptions?  What's going on here?

According to this website:

The tender meat of the chestnut has a slightly sweet flavor more like a sweet potato than another type of nut.

Roasted chestnuts also are a bit spongey rather than crunchy. They are a wonderful flavor of the season that everyone should try!

So they're sweet like a sweet potato but also spongey.  & still a wonderful flavor of the season?  Get outta here!

Seriously, I gotta try me a chestnut.  I won't have an open fire to roast it over, but I suppose if Jack Frost wants to nip at my nose, that'd be fine between the car & the store.  We might even pass some choirs singing yuletide carols.  But in Portland they'll be in raincoats, not dressed up like eskimos.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

It Goes Over The Nose?

When it's all said & done, & we've properly mourned the hundreds of thousands of deaths, most of which might have been prevented with strong leadership & a trust in science & medicine, we can look back with some humor at the dumbshits who endangered so many lives by not just refusing to wear a mask, but who wore one albeit incorrectly.

My own collection of stories will probably include the fellow inexplicably allowed into the Costco with a visor attached to the front of his baseball cap.  You heard me correctly.  He just stuck a plastic sheet to the front of his cap - the rim of it, you understand - & some Costco employee was like, yeah, that's cool.  Had I stood next to the guy, I could have turned & started coughing & my spittle would have covered his face were he staring ahead.  No protection on the sides.  It wasn't a real face shield.  It was obviously no mask.

There are more, they enrage me each time.  The family of five walking in the park, no masks.  The iconoclasts who wear their masks at the entrance of the store but take them off once inside.  The perennial favorite, the mask under the nose.  There will be time for these stories & more.

Thousands die each day, even as the promise of vaccines has arrived.  There'll be a time when we look back & wonder how we did lived through it when so many did not.  & we'll hopefully then have turned as much of our disgust into mild amusement as possible.  Oh!  What a grand time it will be.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 15: Fairfield Ln

(image from Google Maps)

This was the first place I moved into with someone, as a "couple."  Previously a girlfriend had lived with me, or I had moved in with her, but the woman I had met in 2001 at a bus stop & who had moved in with me in 2002 decided we needed a bigger place to live* & when my lease ran out at the end of 2002, we relocated to here.  It was a duplex, we lived on the right side, the one with the porch (the other side got a carport; he parked my girlfriend's car in the front).  We lived here from early 2003 I believe till around November 2005 - so a good deal of time.

The move was fraught with some radio-related drama.  I had gotten a show on KOOP in October of 2002.  Unbeknownst to me, the person who owned the duplex - who lived next door - was someone who had been forced out of the station & effectively banned from it.  He was proud of his association with KOOP but it was an unhappiness for him.  When we were looking at the place, & mentioned his time on the radio there, my girlfriend blurted out, "Gary has a show on that station!"  I thought it might cost us the place, but it didn't.  He never trusted nor liked me very much, however.**

When we moved in, it was just me & her & her dog George & my cats Buster & Beatrice.  We had a futon we used as a sofa (& guests could sleep on it) & in the summer of 2004, we adopted a second beagle named Ringo.  The four animals would congregate so often on the futon I started calling it "the love sofa."  Here's photographic proof:


None of those animals are with us any longer, sadly.  It was a long time ago, it seems.  We lost Buster in 2008, George in 2012, & Ringo & Beatrice in 2018.

But it was a happy time, despite the shit I went through at KOOP - which I may have discussed her but which I'm not going into now.  I loved the porch, I was a smoker then & I loved sitting on the porch & smoking.  We had cool neighbors, it was close to campus, it was a lovely neighborhood.

& though I didn't know - seriously, I thought she would leave me at any minute - the relationship that would end in marriage became a real thing here at this house.  I can still walk through it in my mind - it wasn't that big - I can still see myself opening the back door to let the dogs out - our backyard neighbor actually had squirrel traps & we thought he might be eating them - I remember the parties we threw which were shared on some app so dozens of people we didn't know would show up - & eventually someone would call the police.  I remember where my computer was, where the television was, the big window in the kitchen that looked out into the front yard where the telephone - still a landline - was.

We bought a house in 2005 (spoiler alert) & broke our lease to do so & though our landlord initially agreed to it, it secretly enraged him, as we soon discovered..  Before the last month we paid for ran out, he changed the locks - so we came to get our final things & to clean & found we couldn't get into the house.  He had also thrown away everything that was on the porch.  I had planned to invite him & his partner - who was a very nice person, we liked her ten times more than we liked him - to our new house but never did.  & I never saw him again.

* As was usually the case, I wasn't really consulted, & in fact since this time I've never had much of a say about choosing the places I've lived.
** The feeling was mostly mutual.  I felt sorry for what had happened to him at the station, though.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Self Help Radio 121520: Gary's Favorite Releases 2020

(Most every image obtained from Discogs.)

& here it is!  Three hours of my favorite releases of 2020.  Is it complete?  Of course not!  Will I change my mind over time?  Who knows!  Is this supposed to be some kind of "best of 2020"?  Nope!  What is the "best of 2020" then?  It's whatever you liked best!  Hey!  Stop asking questions & if you wanna share with people what you liked in 2020, get your own damn radio show!

That was a lot of question marks & exclamation points, which is a pretty good way to describe 2020.

You can listen to the show now & whenever at the Self Help Radio website.  Remember the username is SHR & the password is selfhelp.  It was a very long show & luckily I didn't interrupt much.  The songs I played in the order I played them are below.  Please enjoy.

Self Help Radio Favorites Of 2020 Show
"Bird Free" Close Lobsters _Post Neo Anti (Arte Povera In The Forest Of Symbols)_
"Debbie Take Control Of The Stereo" Helen Love _Power On_
"Milltown Girls" The Cleaners From Venus _Dolly Birds & Spies_

"Let Me Roll It" Tanya Donelly & The Parkington Sisters _Tanya Donelly & The Parkington Sisters_
"As You Were" The Bats _Foothills_
"Stronger" Even As We Speak _Adelphi_
"Couldn't Have Been Anybody But You" Sleuth _Gold_
"Burn" Hinds _The Prettiest Curse_

"Young Americans" Durand Jones & The Indications _Young Americans_
"Immediate Girl" The Exbats _Kicks, Hits, & Fits_
"Summer's Failing" Nah... _Nah..._
"Safety Crash" Tapeworms _Funtastic_
"Tread Lightly/Rock Gently" Boat _Tread Lightly_

"Before I Ask" Negativland _The World Will Decide_
"Henry" Galore _Galore_
"No Flag" Elvis Costello _Hey Clockface_
"Follow Me" Shopping _All Or Nothing_
"I Am You Now" Protomartyr _Ultimate Success Today_

"Say Goodbye" Riff Doctors _Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground (1983-1987)_
"I Don't Want To Join A Cult" Steve Piccolo _Domestic Exile_
"My Stupid Boyfriend" The Magnetic Fields _Quickies_
"Try Again" Andy Shauf _The Neon Skyline_
"Kyoto" Phoebe Bridgers _Punisher_

"Harbor Me" The Mountain Goats _Getting Into Knives_
"The One I Loathe The Least" The Just Joans _The Private Memoirs & Confessions Of The Just Joans_
"Don't Believe" The Psychedelic Furs _Made Of Rain_
"Worthless" Jetstream Pony _Jetstream Pony_
"Boys Who Don't Want To Be Boys" Seth Bogart _Men On The Verge Of Nothing_

"Goddess Of Chill" Dead Famous People _Harry_
"Cyrano deBerger's Back" X _Alphabetland_
"Mars, The God Of War" The Beths _Jump Rope Gazers_
"Right On The Edge" Cloud Nothings _The Black Hole Understands_
"Men" Mourn _Self Worth_

"Told You" Lady Di _I Know You Know I'm Perfect_
"Prime" Mega Emotion _Move, Motherfucker_
"Be My Guest" Working Men's Club _Working Men's Club_
"Give/Take" Porridge Radio _Every Bad_
"What's Wrong" A Certain Ratio _ACR Loco_

"Sleeping Through The Weekend" Thick _5 Years Behind_
"I'm A Lonely Night Driver" The Gonks _Five Things You Didn't Know About_
"Prospect Heights" Worthitpurchase _Dizzy Age_
"Gary Of The Academy" Lunchbox _After School Special_
"Take It Back" The Luxembourg Signal _The Long Now_

"Aries" Gorillaz _Song Machine Season One_
"Wherever You Go (feat. Jamie XX, Neneh Cherry & Clypso)" The Avalanches _We Will Always Love You_

Monday, December 14, 2020

Whither Gary's Favorite Releases 2020?

(Perfect for your tree.  Available here.)

Damn I listen to a lot of music.  Much of it is for radio shows, it's true.  But I do always seem to have music going on around me.  Here's the thing: I don't know if I listen to enough music.  Like, I used to listen to a lot more electronica than I do now.  & though I occasionally find myself making deep dives in African music or hip hop or Americana, I don't usually spend as much time with those genres as I want to or as I feel like I should - I find myself singing along to clever indie pop, to punky indie rock, to gloomy postpunk.  If you dissected me, that's what you'd find most of.

Which is my way of saying that's mostly what you're going to hear tonight if you tune in to Self Help Radio from midnight to 3am on KBOO.  Three hours!  That's so much music.  You'd think there'd be quite a diverse selection of music but - no, it's going to be indie pop, indie rock, postpunk.  The first three songs I'm going to play I think about by Close Lobsters, Helen Love, & Cleaners From Venus - bands I've loved forever who happened to release new records this year.  So it's probably going to be familiar to you if you've listened to me do these end-of-the-year lists before.

Also, it'll be in no apparent order.  Wow, can you imagine having your shit together to not only gather your favorite songs of the year but also rank them?  I can only dream of having such an ordered mind!

Midnight to 3am, 90.7 fm KBOO Portland, kboo.fm.  No interviews, not a lot of me talking.  That's the end-of-the-year Self Help Radio promise!

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Preface To Gary's Favorite Releases Of 2020:

It's that time of year again!  The time for me to get angry at the hubris of "best of" lists.  But not this year!

Hasn't 2020 been enough of a shitshow?  I don't even want to repost my old screed about why best of lists are disingenuous at best, arrogant & annoying at worst.  So I'm not going to.  The show this week is a chance for me to share in one place the stuff I've been listening to most this year.  I know many folks won't consider it "the best."  Heck, most people won't even like it.

What I have been missing is all the live music I could've seen.  I hope that comes back.  I have tickets to a concert in August 2021!  If the venue is still there, I mean.

See?  Shitshow!  Let's celebrate the music instead of grumbling.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 14: Red River St

(image from Google Maps)

From the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2002 I lived in the back of this house - technically it was a duplex, although I had the back half & another tenant had the first half.  I guess there were a couple of folks who lived in the front half - I was sort-of friends with the first couple, but the last year I lived there, it was three or four guys whom I never really met.

The path to the left went to both of our front doors, but I usually would walk down the gravel driveway & go in through the back door.  I had a big covered porch where I would sit outside & smoke, & in the summer, with the porch light on, giant, terrifying insects would gather on my screen door & my cat Buster & I would watch them with similar - but not entirely the same - interest.

To say that my life changed in this unassuming duplex would be an understatement.  While I was there:

- my job - the thing I had been doing for years - changed in such a way as I had to move offices, something that meant a giant upheaval;
- though I moved in with my cat Buster, I adopted Beatrice in the summer of 2000 & she would travel with me to so many places for the next eighteen years
- in the summer of 2001 I met the woman who would become my wife
- in October 2002, Self Help Radio premiered on KOOP
- & among other drugs, I did ecstasy a lot in this duplex

Before - & for a while during the first year or so I lived there - I was a miserable person.  I was broken-hearted, I was unable to have real relationships with virtually anyone, I felt my time at radio had ended & I no longer had that somewhat creative outlet.  & then someone - I think my old KVRX friend Jeff - offered me ecstasy.

Though I had a forty-hour-a-week gig at UT, I took a part-time (Friday nights, Sunday mornings) job at a video store in around 1997.  The guys who worked there were great, the bosses didn't mind if we drank at work, & I got to take home a ton of free movies.  (One of the cool kids I met at the video store today contributes to segments for Self Help Radio!)  Someone told me I should try ecstasy, & I should do it some place I was comfortable, so I did it at the video store - which wasn't a good idea.

My co-worker Kathy asked me as it started to take effect, "What is it like?"  I remember saying to her, "I didn't think it would be this intense."

My walk home as I began to roll was harrowing, but I made it back to this place okay.  (It was about a quarter-mile away.)  I can honestly say as I lay in my bed completely roiled by emotions both sweet & difficult that I had never felt that way before.  I later thought that I had never allowed myself to feel that way before.  I recognized something that any idiot might have noticed - I surrounded myself with the things I loved - that I had a life full of feeling & creativity & sensation - I was just too wrapped up in ideas of what so-called happiness must look like to realize it.  My first ecstasy experience - followed by many more - made me more honest about my feelings.  I had seen a therapist in the early 90s but he could never have made me see how extraordinary my life was & could be just with talk.  If he had given me e & had somehow been able to guide me through the experience, I might have been better sooner.

Not that I changed over night.  But when, in August 2001, I met a very chatty young grad student at a bus stop & made a connection, I had more of a foundation of my life to show to her than I had for virtually every woman I had met previously.  The fact that she turned out to be the person it looks like (fingers crossed) I will spend the rest of my life with was not something so obvious.  What she met though was a Gary more grounded, more occupied, more understanding of where life had placed him than if she had met him only just a year before.

One last story: she moved in with me in May 2002, & decided soon enough the place wasn't big enough for the two of us, her beautiful hound George, & my two amazing cats.  So she started to look for another place for us.  As usual, I felt swept along, but wasn't complaining.  When the time came to clean the place - I was still a smoker, & I smoked indoors, & the walls were yellow - I felt so sad about leaving yet another home in Austin, I was willing to lose the deposit just to not be overwhelmed by all the memories of that place - including the ones in which I lay on the bed in the middle of an e trip just utterly transfixed by how much I loved my home.

The woman who would become my wife offered to help.  I said to her, "If you can clean this place, I'll give you back whatever deposit money they give me."  I believe my deposit was my first month's rent or something like that - close to a thousand bucks.

The owners of the property were so impressed that the place was spotless that they refunded nearly all of my deposit - something that had never happened before in my life - & I of course gave it to her, probably around eight hundred dollars.

Honestly, it was worth it. Even now, just looking at these photos of places I haven't been in years, it has somewhat gutted me.  Places I'll never see again.  It's been rough.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Sorry I Missed Today

Today is tomorrow.  I forgot to write in this yesterday.  Well, not forgot.  I remembered but then didn't do it.  I know it says this was written yesterday (Friday) but that's because Blogger lets you cheat & back-date your posts.  Take it from me, it's the day after yesterday, which is today, but yesterday it was tomorrow.  I am currently writing this in my present, which is in this blog's future, if you believe it was written yesterday, although, again, it was written Saturday which is today for me, tomorrow for this post, & I suppose both for you, as I am confessing & giving the game away.  Anyway.  Sorry I forgot to write this.  Let me write this & then back-date it so it appears I didn't forget to write it at all.  Also, I appear to have fallen into some kind of time hole.  I may not be back.  I am already back.  I have always been back.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Self Help Radio 120820: Geese

(original image - with a funny article - here)

Never one to shy away from controversy, this week tackled that most disputatious of fowl, the goose.  Plural, geese.  See also: gosling, gander, gaggle.  Never has a bird inspired as much ambivalence & animosity!  & not just for hogging so many words that start with the letter g!

They start out pretty cute - look for "goslings" on a search engine & you'll see - but frankly most of us start out tolerably cute & look where we end up.  No place good I tell you, not for the vast majority of us.  Maybe what we reject in geese is what we see in ourselves?  I don't really know, I'm just spitballing here.

However you feel about the goose, she has been an inspiration to many artists & I have three hours of goose music to prove it to you.  You can listen if you're not too squeamish at the Self Help Radio website.  There is a username/password requirement but you know it's SHR/selfhelp.  & all the stuff that happens on the show is listed below.

Do geese quack?  I guess people say they quack.  They deserve another onomatopoeia.

Self Help Radio Goose Show
"Rocking Goose" Johnny & The Hurricanes _The Very Best Of Johnny & The Hurricanes_
"Goosey Goosey" Andy Partridge _The Official Andy Partridge Fuzzy Warbles Collector's Album_
"Wild Geese" Ian & Sylvia _The Complete Vanguard Studio Recordings_

introduction & definitions Ned Dry interrupts with a goose

"The Grey Goose" James "Iron Head" Baker _Field Recordings Vol. 6: Texas 1933-1958_
"Where The Geese Go" The Verve _No Come Down_
"Blue Goose Blues" Jesse Thomas _The Easin' In: Essential Recordings Of Texas Blues_
"Alexander The Swoose (Half Swan-Half Goose)" Kay Kyser & His Orchestra _The Best Of Kay Kyser & His Orchestra_
"The Skunk, The Goose, & The Fly" Tower Of Power _East Bay Grease_

interview with goose lover Jordan Box

"The Old Grey Goose" The Carolina Tar Heels _The Carolina Tar Heels_
"Snow Goose" Jean Redpath _Leaving The Land: A Collection Of Songs, Scottish & Western_
"The Snow Goose" Richard Thompson _Electric_
"Snow Goose & Me" Tanya Donelly _Swan Song Series_
"Pink Goose" Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingoes _Remember The Alamo! EP_

interview with goose hater Gerry Gosling

"Mother Goose Songs" Burl Ives _Burl Ives Sings Little White Duck & Other Children's Favorites_
"1945 Mother Goose Rhymes" Carson Robison _The Kansas Jayhawk_
"Mother Goose Medley" Spike Jones & His City Slickers _Strictly For Music Lovers_
"Rock Around Mother Goose" Barry Gordon _Rock Around Mother Goose_
"Mother Goose" Jethro Tull _Aqualung_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"The Cry Of The Wild Goose" Frankie Laine _On The Trail_
"Goose Eggs" Joanna Newsom _Divers_
"Girl & The Geese" CocoRosie _The Adventures Of Ghosthorse & Stillborn_
"Goose Snow Cone" Aimee Mann _Mental Illness_
"The Geese Of Beverly Road" The National _Alligator_

interview with a gaggle of geese

"Goosie Goosie Gander" Gregory Isaacs _Goosie Goosie Gander 7"_
"I Got Your Water Boiling, Baby (I'm Gonna Cook Your Goose)" The Spinners _The Complete Tri-Phi Records Singles, Vol. 2_
"Are You Cookin' Goose?" The Pipkins _Gimme Dat Ding!_
"Wild Geese Blues" Gladys Bentley _Volume 2 (May 1925 To June 1926)/Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1928/1929_
"Goose Walking Over My Grave" Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots _Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots_

remote broadcast from a goose-filled pond

"Stay Loose, Mother Goose" Freddie Bell & The Bellboys _Mercury Rock & Roll Party_
"Lunch With Monster Goose" John Zacherley _Scary Tales Featuring John Zacherley_
"Mother Goose Is Chicken" Homer & Jethro _Cornfucius Say_
"Mudder Goose" Joe Subway _Mudder Goose_
"Mother Goose Is On The Loose" 1989 Musical Marching Zoo _Buddah Records Presents "Holiday Spectacular"_
"Black Mother Goose" Patrice Holloway _Love & Desire: The Patrice Holloway Anthology_
"Mother Goose's Wine" National Lampoon _The Best Of The National Lampoon Radio Hour_

conclusion & goodbye

"The Goose" Parliament _Up For The Down Stroke_
"Morse Moose & The Grey Goose" Wings _London Town_
"Geese Outside" Yohuna _Radiating Light: Orchid Tapes & Friends_
"Mother Goose" Tim Dickinson _Mother Goose_

Monday, December 07, 2020

Whither A Show About Geese?


That picture above is pretty much the only goose I've known in my life.  Before I decided to do a show about geese, I don't know if I had much experience with geese.  This particular goose lived in a lake near our house in Fort Worth.  It was called Luther Lake, & in fact there was a Lutheran church not a half mile away from the lake, so perhaps the lake was named for the church.  In any event, I don't know if there were more than one or two geese in the lake, but this one spent most of its time with ducks:


Neighbors told us its name was "Nob-Nose."  & that it was very protective of the ducks.

Now, I haven't been back to my Fort Worth neighborhood since we left in May of 2019, & we didn't walk around that lake too often in the last few months we were there, for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which was that, in the 2018 elections, we saw way too many Ted Cruz signs & hated to think that our neighbors were so dumb to support such an obvious idiot & crook.  We just didn't feel much like being around them, you know?

Anyway, I hope Nob-Nose & its friends are all right.  They are used to being fed by people in the neighborhood, & would swim toward us on walks even though I almost never had any treats for them.  My pocket is usually filled with dog treats only.

Wait, does this blog post have anything to do with Self Help Radio?  Yes!  Tonight's show - or tomorrow's show, whatever you prefer - is about geese.  It's on from midnight to 3am on 90.7 KBOO, simultaneously online at kboo.fm.  I have discovered that geese evoke strong opinions, & will have guests who are pro- & anti-geese.  & lots of goosey songs.  Which I dedicate now to Nob-Nose although I am certain it doesn't listen to much internet radio.  It probably doesn't spend a whole lot of time online.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 13: Chateau Depew

(image from Google Maps)

It's really a shame to see that this delightful four-plex on the eastern edge of Hyde Park in Austin (it never really felt like Hyde Park) is now called Hyde Park Place.  The entire time I lived there it was referred by me & my myriad roommates as "Chateau Depew."  The back unit that's jutting out there on the left, that's where I lived, although my room was in the back & the window was added after I left.

Gosh, I think I lived there from the beginning of 1994 till the end of 1999.  I'm trying to remember the names of all the roommates I had - & I lived alone there for quite a stretch too - Russell, Richard, Meredith, Mike.  There was a girl who stayed there for the summer who was having trouble getting a visa to stay in the country - she was Indian - I have forgotten her name.  A woman named Anne who now absolutely hates me stayed for a while.  A woman named Tracy who went off to Hollywood at some point stayed with me for like three days when she was in-between houses.  I would invite people to stay whenever.

The five years I was there were the longest I ever lived in a single place in my life.  I got my first real full-time job - it's actually the only real full-time job I've ever had - while I was living there, & I also got started at KVRX while I was living there.  I got my first pet, a lovely but sickly cat named Blue Boy, while I was living there.  Blue Boy died of complications from feline leukemia in late 1999 & at that point I felt like I needed to leave.  There was also water damage that needed to be repaired because of a leak & the landlord probably wanted to fix it & then charge more exorbitant rates.  When I moved out in late 1999, Austin had almost 99% occupancy & he probably doubled the rent after repairs (& putting in that window).

I was very lonely at Chateau Depew.  My relationship with the first woman who really loved me ended in 1994, really barely after I moved in, & though we managed to stay friends for a little while, eventually she tired of me.  I made a lot of friends at KVRX & I would also date women who called my radio show - although I would invite them up to the station to meet me, knowing a homely boy like me wouldn't fare well on a blind date.  In fact, I started deejaying at KVRX in August 1994 & I stopped in August 1999 - the entire time I had my first radio experience, I was at Chateau Depew.

One thing I was proud of - the thing that didn't get my 100$ deposit returned - I felt bad about this but didn't have the skills to actually clean this - was a wall collage I started in 1994 that eventually covered the entire east wall of my living room.  I was inspired by the collage in Prick Up Your Ears although I didn't mutilate library books to create it.  Here is a composite of what it looked like:


Sorry it's not more artfully put together.  It's late, this is the best I can do right now.  The picture is dated December 1999, so I suppose this was the whole thing - I would move out a few days later.

Gosh, looking at that & thinking about that place - I suspect nearly every girl I ever kissed - not all of them, but most of them - I kissed in that apartment.  But really I was very unhappy most of the time, I would try to escape as often as I could.  I discovered the internet while I lived there, but had a terrible connection at home, so I'd go up to my work, even in the middle of the night, just to chat with folks & look around the web.  & of course I'd be near KVRX, which was on campus.

Why do I feel so strange about looking at that place, looking back?  It was now over twenty years ago.  I guess it's because I feel I became an adult in that place, even if I were basically still living like a kid in college.  But I was still so fucked up, & although it wouldn't quite cure me - I'm still something of a mess - it would take the next place I'd live in for me to become more like I am now, for me to start becoming what I have ended up as.

Friday, December 04, 2020

December 1st On The 4th

Self Help Radio's resident cinephile Chuck appeared on this week's show with recommendations for movies that were released on December 1st throughout time & space - he mentioned films released in countries other than the United States.  But what if you missed the segment?  Never fear!  Chuck has provided us with resources:

Here is his Twitter thread in which he discusses the movies (& other stuff) he's watching. The pinned tweet is where the discussion is.

He created not only one but two Youtube playlists for the event.  The first is the list of releases he found there.  (With the caveat that they are not all recommended!)  The second is a shortened list, more finely honed.  He does add it's a "work in progress"!

He's also continuing to work on the reviews he has on Letterboxd.  Pair this with the Youtube playlist & determine what you'd like to watch!

It can be December 1st for as long as you'd like.  If it were your birthday as it was my wife's, you'd doubtless want it to continue for as long as possible.

Chuck will return to Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner for the Christmas show in a couple of weeks, but you should follow him on Twitter because he keeps up with what he's watching in real time.

Much thanks, Chuck!