Saturday, May 02, 2020

Preface To Maps: Maps On Tumblr/New Uploads

You don't mind if I use today's blog for two things, do you?

Here's number one:

There's a blog I like a lot on Tumblr, which is called quite handily Maps On The Web.  It's where the above image comes from, & where you can go to find out what exactly that map is supposed to represent.  Or, you know, I could just tell you.  It's "US States whose names' letters perfectly alternate between consonants & vowels."  If that's something you enjoy, I recommend you visit.

Here's number two:

I have uploaded three recent KBOO shows to the Self Help Radio website.  You can simply go to to find them, or you can click the following direct links, remembering that you'll need to enter a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) to listen, at least the first time.  The shows are:

A three-hour general format show that aired April 18.

The Dickenbock Report from April 21 (it's Episode Ten).

A two & a half general format show that aired April 23.

The Dickenbock Report episode was assembled in haste & has two glaring errors which I got to experience while live tweeting & couldn't do a thing about it.  One is that I played a song twice.  I don't know how that got by me.  The other is that I didn't play a song, but still back-announced it.  I'm sure it had something to do with both exhaustion as well as handling dozens of sound files.  But even though no one would have noticed if I hadn't said something, I am still mortified by it.

That's all!  Please enjoy!

Friday, May 01, 2020


Once upon a time I was talking to an old acquaintance, someone with whom I hadn't spoken in decades.  We found each other again on Facebook, like you do.  At some point he marveled about how fast time seemed to have passed since last we talked.  I said something to him that I'd said to him before.  He even said, "You used to always say that."  It was this: I said, "Life is unbearably long."

My mother - with whom I talk weekly - will often tell me, "I don't know how it happened.  I don't know where the time went.  It all went by so fast."

To which I reply, "Really?  Can you not remember those difficult moments in your life when time seemed to come to a standstill?  When you were bored, or worried, or trapped in a shitty job or I don't know a church service?"

Those are things - those times when time seemed to come to a standstill - that dominate my memories.  I remember being so lonesome in my room I thought I might go insane.  I remember being bafflingly awake in tedious college classes that didn't somehow make me sleepy.  I remember waiting in lines, waiting for buses, waiting for food when very hungry, waiting for a band to fucking get onstage because I was tired of standing up.  I remember still-painful moments of loneliness when I had no friend to reach out to, no one to call, nowhere to go, nothing to watch or listen to or see.  The truth is, they seem like the vast majority of time I've lived on this planet.

When I'm dying, I'll not stand bewildered at where the time went.  I'll be able to envision it like a graph in a textbook, a map of geologic time.

It's true, as I've gotten older, it's become harder for me to get stuff done - tonight I timed myself cutting potatoes to make french fries & was astonished it took three times as long as I thought it would.  & never mind how long it's taking me to do my dumb prerecorded radio shows!  I suspect I have more responsibilities than when I was thirty-five years younger - certainly seventeen-year-old Gary might be bored on a Friday night with nothing on television, no friends to hang out with, & nothing new to read.  I'm hardly ever bored at all in my old age.  But I can't say time moves faster.  & I can't say that life feels any less long.

Maybe this perspective has helped me psychologically during this pandemic.  I do miss many things - I often think about the last time I went out to dinner, the last time I saw a show, the last time I saw a movie - but mostly I miss going to my radio stations.  I've had to listen to myself on the radio so often in the past two months I completely understand why very few people listen to my show.  But I don't feel the way many in the pandemic seem to feel.

My wife, who's much more social than I am, has begun to wonder if she should visit friends.  From a safe distance, of course.  She gets much of her social needs from work, from interacting with co-workers & students.  That's all gone for now.  It's taking its toll.  Me?  I am catching up on my comic book reading.

When I should be doing radio shows.  Damn it!

Anyway, yeah, I still feel life is unbearably long.  & who isn't feeling that right now?

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 30, 2007

In April 2007, this blog wasn't even a year old.  I wasn't even forty years old.  Self Help Radio wasn't even five years old.  I feel like I was a bit more creative then.  For example, this is what I wrote in the blog for that day:

It was entitled "When Pirates Dance!"

As April ends, I want to remember the fourth month I experienced in 2007. It seemed gloomy, rainy & sad, but also weirdly sunny, bright & warm. I may have lost fourteen dollars this month. But I also may have gained a new tooth. As April ends, I am forced to wonder: was I involved with April at all? Or did I simply just mow the lawn a couple of times & then sleep fitfully?

In April, I found out the bees are dying. My own experience with bees has been that, while they appear to be listening, they really retain nothing. After I patiently explained the difference between sugar, high fructose corn syrup & aspertame to a very sweet worker one afternoon, she still wanted to make out with my diet soda. Then she stung me & died, which I found a little too much. My mother used to guilt me like that.

If there's one lesson we should take from April, it's that daylight savings time is taxing. Oh shit, that's like a pun. Ha ha! Or, we can say that tax day saves you everything but daylight. No, that's not true. I know. That the only thing safe from tax day is sunlight. Unless you deal in solar futures. Then, never mind.

I promised last April that I would keep a running tally of the number of times I clipped my nails this April, because I had dreamt that Sid Caesar told me that your fingernails grow twice as long but your toenails twice as slow in April. Or maybe I had dreamt that April Stevens had warned me about the Ides Of March last month, because that's when Caesar died. Or maybe I was just daydreaming while watching HBO's Rome. Did that end this April?

April's not over yet! There's still time to win the lottery, grow a goatee, nail 95 theses to your church's wall, become a vegetarian, design a series of stamps that commemorate McLain Stevenson, bag a thrush, help a friend learn her vocal scales, care for a particularly sickly tree, crawl from the wreckage, reject a telemarketer's advances, get lost in someone's eyes, hit it but don't quit it, & possibly squeeze in a good cry with a friend.

But hurry!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Self Help Radio 042720: Indiepop A To Z # 62

(All images from Discogs - what a resource!)

If you'll recall, I said I'd try to have the show done by noon today.  It will be noon in Honolulu soon.  So naturally I meant noon, Hawaii time.  How weird must it be to live so far away?  I feel like the west coast misses out on all the east coast's craziness as it is!

As you can see if you've skipped ahead, I did not finish the letter O today.  I thought I might - but it wasn't to be.  Too much good stuff!  I think I am a music hoarder - I find it hard to leave some things off the list - although I reject plenty.  Which I will explore in the series I will make after I finish Indiepop A To Z, called Indiepop A To Z: The Rejects.  Just kidding.  I will never finish Indiepop A To Z.

The show is now at the Self Help Radio website.  Remember: username is SHR, password is selfhelp.  The playlist, hopefully in perfect alphabetical order, is below.  My thanks to you for listening.

Self Help Radio Indiepop A To Z # 62
"Happy Little Bumblebee" Of Montreal _The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy_
"Rachel Put Your Arms About Me" The Ogdens _Rachel Put Your Arms About Me_
"Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" Ohio Express _Pleasure From The Buddah Group_

"Boy" Oklahoma Scramble _Throw: The Yoyo Studio Compilation_
"Pretty Girlfriend" Old Hickory _Brain Travels Before The Heart Stops_
"Hide Away (World Trade Remix)" Olivia Tremor Control _Kindercore Fifty_
"Mrs Harrington" On The Waterfront _The Sound Of Leamington Spa, Vol. 5_
"Temporary Tattoo" One Happy Island _Secret Party That The Other Party Doesn't Know About_

"Panda Riot" One Hour _Little Darla Has A Treat For You, Vol. 12_
"Until" One Night Suzan _Don't Let Them Kill Our Taste_
"Mayfly" One Star _Moshi Moshi (Pop International Style)_
"Start Digging My Grave Sugar" One Thousand Violins _Hey Man That's Beautiful_
"Transport" Yuji Oniki _Tvi_

"It Comes Around" Onionhead _The Sound Of Leamington Spa Vol. 3_
"It Doesn't Even Matter" Onward Chariots _Take Me To Somewhere_
"We'll Know When We Get There" Ooberman _Running Girl_
"Empty Box Blues" Opal _Early Recordings_
"Pension Day" Open Book _Pension Day_

"Actors Studio" Oporto _French Blue EP_
"Saturday Looks Bad To Me" Oppenheimer _Oppenheimer_
"Walk & Chew Gum" Optiganally Yours _The Powerpuff Girls: Heroes & Villains_
"Revelation At 3:33 am" Orange Cake Mix _Dream Window_
"Rip It Up" Orange Juice _The Very Best Of Orange Juice_

"You're So Clever" The Orange Peels _So Far_
"So In Love" Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark _Crush_
"Something For The Longing" The Orchids _Who Needs Tomorrow_
"Steven Smith" The Organ _Grab That Gun_
"Growing Old" The Origin _Growing Old_

"A Song For Robert G" Original Sin _A Song For Robert G_
"Chocolate Box" The Originals _Chocolate Box_
"Furthest Point Away" Orlando _Passive Soul_

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 62

(Apparently this links to a "quick intro to twee."  I just googled the word "twee."  It took me this place.)

Yes, yes, we're continuing the Indiepop A To Z despite the quarantine, & possibly the lack of interest, & all the other radio stuff I'm doing.  & we're at the letter O, which is neat.  It stands for Oregon, you know.  I don't know if we'll finish the letter O, though.  I am still gathering songs.  We'll probably get to the "orange" bands, though: Orange Juice, Orange Peels, Orange Cake Mix.  So maybe not.  Hey, I'm going to include some decidedly not-indiepop bands this time around.  Like who?  Like OMD, duh.  Like you care.  You stopped reading before you actually made it to this blog.  That takes skill.

Big fat bees are bumping on my window.  Spring in Portland is lovely, & eerie too - we went for a bike ride today & there were very few people driving.  Lots of folks in their gardens, though.  Which may be why the big fat bee wants to come in.  Those people are intense!

The show will happen some time tomorrow - I'm aiming for noon but I also want to sleep in & the wife is going to make me walk the dogs early so I won't be able to sleep in but I will be walking the dogs & not working on the show - at the Self Help Radio website like always.  I might have time to add the others shows I do, too - the most recent Dickenbock Report, for example.  But I shouldn't overwhelm you.

Gotta go - turns out the big fat bee wants me to come outside & play.  I'll get my mask!