Saturday, April 04, 2020

Preface To Wishes: Trouble's What You're Wishing For

Honestly I don't know the last time I wished for anything.  I don't even know what I'd make the wish to.  Like, really, to whom do you wish?  Or am I asking the wrong question?  Isn't it more that you wish upon something, like the Jiminy Cricket song?

It's really been a long time since I've spoken to something or someone up there.  Or out there.  Or elsewhere.  Which is a shame, because for the better part of my childhood, I really, really wanted to believe there was that kind of magic in the world.  Imagine finding a bottle, with a genie in it, & getting three wishes!

Instead, it seems life has spent most of its lessons on me disabusing me of the believe in anything supernatural.  I have two stories that demonstrate that point, one of which I'm sure I've told before.  But I can't find it in the blog's archives.

When Star Wars came out, I, like most boys who were ten years old the first time they saw it, was obsessed with it.  Specifically the idea of "the force."  I read lots of comics & science fiction & truly believed there was something out there that held it all together.  All I needed to do was "trust my feelings."  One day, I decided to do just that.  I would close my eyes as I walked along the front area of a shopping center we lived next door to, & I'd let the force guide me safely from one end to the other.  This was on the sidewalk, not the parking area.  I was a dumb kid, but not that dumb.  & of course I almost immediately walked straight into a pillar.  I didn't break my nose, but I did get some cuts on it & bled a little.  Ben Kenobi would tell me I lacked faith, & it was true - my faith in the "force" left me the minute my face got bloodied.

Years later I borrowed a book of magic spells from my friend Gary, about whom I've talked before here & here.  He swore to me that the spells really worked.  One of them I was fascinated by was astral projecting.

Oh, I read & reread the instructions & took it fucking seriously.  I fasted for an entire day - I did it the first time on a Friday.  I waited till sundown & lay on a north-south axis in my bedroom.  I tried to visualize the room I was in & imagined myself touching things in it: my bed, doorknobs, closet doors, my things.  When I felt like I was going to go to sleep, I was supposed to sit up - but my astral self would emerge from my body.

As you might imagine, the first night I just feel asleep.  I was hungry & tired from a day at school.  The next time I tried it, I managed to stay awake, but I just kept jerking up in a dark room.  (I must've been left alone a lot as a kid - I don't recall my mother or little brother bothering me any of these times.)  The third time I made sure to fast at least 24 hours - which was very difficult for me - I was like fifteen! - & of course nothing happened but me sitting up in my room in the dark.

My friend Gary Anderson told me lots of his adventures on the astral plane, but at this point I was convinced it was bullshit.  I had followed all the instructions correctly.  To the letter.  I checked & double-checked.  He was sure I was doing something wrong.

So I asked him, "When you're on the astral plane, so you sometimes fly into my room?"

"Oh I do it all the time!" he said.

Ignoring how creepy that was, I said, "Okay to prove to me you, I'm going to write a note a piece of paper..."

"It's hard to see in the astral realm!" he protested.

"It'll be just one or two words, written very big, just tell me what it is, I'll believe you," I told him.

He never guessed, of course, because he was lying about astrally projecting himself, & soon enough he stopped talking about the whole thing entirely because I would tell him I don't believe you.

& the note I wrote?  On a big legal pad in big black marker, I had written "FUCK YOU."

Friday, April 03, 2020

Looking For "Wish" In A Search Engine

Things I didn't know about, part seven million:

No, I didn't click on that.  I read just enough in the search engine report to know it's not for me.  To wit: "Wish is an online e-commerce platform that facilitates transactions between sellers & buyers."  That seems so unusual.  I wonder why no one thought of that before?  Or isn't that what basically all "online e-commerce platforms" do?

The tagline for the site - according to the search engine - is "Shopping Made Fun."  I guess I don't find shopping all that fun myself, but the idea of buying stuff online isn't to make it more fun but to make it less tiresome.  For example, as much as I like browsing in a bookstore, I will buy books online not out of some notion of fun, but because I know what I want & I can get it easier than wandering through a store trying to find it.

Like, I just bought some books at Powell's Books online, for example.  I did that because I know what books I wanted, plus they're local & I don't have to support Amazon, which has done grievous harm - often mortal harm - to small businesses everywhere.  Anyway.

The website goes on: "Join over 500 million others that have made their shopping more smart, fun, & rewarding."  "Rewarding"?  Do you get cash back for using the web site?  I suspect that's not true.

Something amusing is that this link comes up quickly when you do a search for "wish."  If you don't want to click it, & you don't, the article is entitled, " – SCAM – Why you should NEVER shop on WISH reviews"

What does "shop on WISH reviews" mean?  I dunno, I just read the first paragraph & it didn't make much sense to me.  Still, I appreciate the idea of contrary view.

& let's not even start with the idea of a "wish" & how it relates to shopping.  If you "wish" for something, do you need to pay for it?  Of course not.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Self-Isolation Free Association

Are you kind of afraid to look at the numbers?  The numbers are a little frightening, aren't they?  Friends keep telling me they know people who think it's all a hoax.  I am glad I don't talk to people who think it's all a hoax.  Like parents who don't vaccinate their children, those people are going to get someone killed.  It's a good thing a politician that many people admire didn't say the whole thing was a hoax...  oh wait.

The neighbors holler at each other across the street, & the weary parents sit outside with their kids, who probably aren't aware of what's going on.  The wife & I walk our three dogs, one of whom, our beloved Winston, is nearly thirteen & who has very weak back legs, so at different times we can be a block apart.  This sometimes requires yelling.  So perhaps the self-isolated & even the quarantined wonder about this odd pair & their pups stumbling through the rain possibly arguing, maybe just raising their voices to be heard.

There are only a couple of busy streets we cross, & even those aren't all that busy.  The last time I was in a car was a few days ago, to get some take-out.  We want to support local business, but we also have food that might go bad if we don't eat it.  We haven't been to a store in a week, I guess we're due.  We're both a little nervous about that.  We honestly don't know what to think most of the time.

You can't play on the playgrounds now, signs have been put up, & purple caution tape which says "temporarily closed" has been wrapped around the swings & monkey bars.  Sometimes parents are walking with kids, elementary school kids, most of whom are chatty.  We passed a kid the other day who was telling his mother a story that might have been about ghosts.  He said, quite clearly, "It scared me!  I was white as a sheep!"  I thought, that works too.  & my mind fell into one of holes where nonsense is stored, this one a place where I keep words I didn't understand or phrases that confused me as a kid.

There are radio shows to do, I am working on three at the moment, I finished a reggae mix last night, one half of which aired today, although I didn't listen.  I wonder if this week's Self Help Radio can go into Freeform's general mix.  I dunno.  I suppose I'll ask.

As a result of my constant presence - & I confess I'm up late most nights - my cats imagine that any movement toward where their food is kept is another dinner time.  Sometimes that's true - sometimes they don't finish their meals so I worry they're hungry - but this is like eight, nine times a day.  I suspect they know what they're doing.  So far, though, I can't prove a thing.

Monday, March 30, 2020

What A Week It Was The Other Day

Surely I'm not the only one feeling like time has somehow changed its behavior, like certain rules no longer apply or have been slightly changed.  This afternoon I took a one-hour nap & woke & was almost certain it was morning.  That sort of confusion is becoming more & more pronounced the farther away I get from an actual schedule.  I hope that that will be remedied once I begin doing Self Help Radio weekly.

Right now I'm concentrating on prerecorded programming for two stations, KBOO & Freeform, & technically there's no deadline.  I will have a deadline for the Dickenbock Report next week, which is Sunday, & I've begun working on that.  But it's really making sure there's something that needs to be done regularly that I believe will disabuse me of this almost hallucinatory sense of time, & I think it starts with resuming SHR.

Though tonight, watching CNN, I understood why I needed to stop for a bit.  It's completely fucked-up out there & it looks to get way worse before it gets better.  The wife & I have been luckier than most - we managed to stock up on essentials, & she can work from home.  Except for dog walks - even, as today, in steady rain - we stay put, & so far we haven't gotten on each other's nerves too much.

By far the saddest thing is favorite restaurants closing.  Some subsist on take-out & delivery, but some can't keep their doors open for that - which makes me profoundly sad.  But we can only eat so much.  & I've already gained too much weight in this town.  It will be exceedingly depressing if once this is over we will have lost the great places to eat that adds to the flavor - no pun intended - of this town.

& we do that a lot, too.  We say, "Once this is over."  We talk about an end we don't have in sight.

Okay, enough of that.  Let's start talking about the dumb radio show again, damn it!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Two (Prerecorded) Shows, One Day

One of the things I like about KBOO is that they archive all their shows.  One of the things that's uncomfortable about that is, in this time of prerecorded programming, sometimes they are presenting shows in timeslots that aren't adhering to the regular shows' formats.  For example, I had two shows on KBOO today, & the timeslots which they filled - I need to stress I did not choose the times they would air - were during programs called "The Persian Show" & a time split between shows called "Armando Puentes" & "La Voz Del Sabor."  Needless to say, I did not play Persian or Spanish language music.  Instead, I prerecorded the sort of silliness that would make any other broadcaster deeply embarrassed.

My very silly show about breakfast can be listened to here.  The other program I'll need to upload to my website as it was split between programs.

In all my reading about the trials & tribulations of our plague time, I haven't really seen anything about radio stations.  & frankly that's because most commercial stations are already mostly automation.  Their programming is prepared somewhere & distributed to stations across the country.  This is emphatically not true about noncommercial radio.

Except for some nice Twitter feedback from folks not in the area, I have no idea what reaction there was to me appearing on KBOO on a Sunday during programs that I was not subbing.  I wish I could do a Persian show or Spanish-language programming.  I cannot.  I am flattered my homemade shows aired.  I wish everyone had the time & capabilities to do that for their own shows.

But I don't want the whole concept of "going to a radio station & doing your own show" to end!  Commercial radio has killed that & no one seems to care.  But those of us who value our tiny space at the left of the dial - we cherish it.  What I'm doing I hope will keep some of that space available for whatever the fuck comes after.

These are fucked-up times we're living in.  I only wish I could do more.