Saturday, May 30, 2020

Preface To An Odd Show: Lowered Expectations

Have I mentioned - I might have mentioned - I know I must've mentioned - well, let me preface this by saying, I'm not getting any younger, & getting old is awful in many ways, primarily the physical ones.  I have looked forever for this one quote by Woody Allen, it's from an interview back when people wanted to interview him, he was talking about being in his early 70s, he said something about growing up, he said something like, "As you get older, you have to do more & more things every day to make sure you're okay, & it's very, very boring."

Which is not really about me, but about a week ago I did something stupid which caused me to pull? strain? tear? a muscle in my shoulder, & it makes sitting at a computer somewhat difficult.  It's better than it was a week ago, certainly, but I either am not taking good enough care of myself - I mean, I'm at a computer right now, typing away - or the injury is worse than I know, because I'm not healing as fast as I usually do when I pull a muscle.  & I'm always pulling some dumb muscle or other.

The point is, I am not happy sitting on my computer prerecording a radio show, & so I can't imagine it will be that much easier tomorrow.  I decided against having interviews this week because I knew that I didn't want to spend the time editing them, & today I had to prepare an "evergreen" mix of The Dickenbock Report in case the remote on Tuesday goes badly, so I've done very little work for SHR.

It doesn't mean I'm not going to work on the show tomorrow - I will.  I just don't know how much of it I'll get done before The Dickenbock Report needs to be prepared for its live remote debut Tuesday morning/Monday night.  So - if you have expectations of Self Help Radio, I'm sure they're already quite low.  But lower them anyway.

As Edywn Collins said,

You've been down this road before
Which is not to say you're bored
Or that you shouldn't want for more
It's just your expectations should be lower

Friday, May 29, 2020

Do It Live!

Some interesting news - for next week's The Dickenbock Report, I might be doing it live.

What?  How?

It will not be at the KBOO studios, alas.  Hardly anyone is there these days, as is expected.  Nope, I'll be doing it from home.

What?  How?

Using clever technologies, I'll be doing the show from my computer.  Playing music from my computer.  Talking on my own microphone.  It could go well.  It could go horribly wrong.

Might it be worth listening to just in case it goes wrong?  Oh yes.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

May 28, 2011

This is a post I wrote nearly ten years ago before I did a show about the many ways to be called a devil, or Satan, without using the word "devil."  The playlist for the show is here..  I suppose if I were more thorough, I'd reupload the show, but I'm not going to.  Nyah.  Here's what I wrote in the "preface" to the show:

Did you enjoy being frightened as a child? I was torn between the joy of being terrified & the general sense of calling bullshit on a world that was extremely suspect when it came to proving its scary claims. I kind of had a proto-scientific bent when it came to things that scared me. Here are two stories about intrepid Gary as a ghost-hunter & demon-summoner.

I remember when that book "The Amityville Horror" came out. My mother was reading it - I don't know if she ever finished it - & we had a giant hard-cover copy sitting in the living room which I had checked out one afternoon. On the cover was a picture of the window from which the evil pig - or else just evil pig eyes, I don't remember - could be seen. That haunted me. The evening after I read a few pages - not very scary pages, I remember - I couldn't go to sleep until after I had gone downstairs & hidden the book in the oven. The oven, I guess I imagined, would protect me from evil spirits.

Success! I was able to fall asleep, & didn't wake up to an evil pig looking at me for purposes I left to my imagination. Great. But what about the next night?

Also, would my mother be mad at me for putting a book in an oven overnight? (I didn't turn the oven on.) (She didn't say anything to me about it.)

The next night I thought, look, if ghosts or demons are going to come get me - I think because something as flimsy as an oven - an oven for fuck's sake! - had prevented them from coming, they might not actually exist - then why not let them come? The next night I brought the book upstairs with me.

It stayed there until either my mother retrieved it or I simply forgot it was there. I guess I knew books had a certain power, but that book, I had discovered, was full of shit.

As for summoning a demon, well - even though as children we didn't have any real idea who "Bloody Mary" was, the name itself was pretty frightening. What's more, we knew that she was dead now but could be summoned. Why summoned? Why would anyone want to bring a murderess back from the dead? Who made that stupid rule? No matter, we knew there was a scary she-demon from the past who was described as "bloody" not because she was hurt but because she bloodied people up, & we knew how to call her.

Here's the way I remember the process.  & here's a description of it as a "game." But it was no game to us children.

Basically, you were supposed to go into a room without light (I thought immediately of a bathroom, since ours had no windows, although it was a more confined place), twirl twelve times saying "Bloody Mary!" (I chose to say it like Igor from the Frankenstein movies) & then, if you're not too sick, leaning into the mirror & saying her name a thirteenth time. She was supposed to appear &, out of gratitude for bringing her back, attack you & claw your eyes out.

The story intrigued me but I didn't know anyone who was brave enough to do it. So, one afternoon, when no one was around (I had enough sense at the age of nine or ten to realize that some people might think what I was doing was stupid), I gave it a shot. I confess I might have messed up the process some - as I said, the bathroom was small & I bumped into a lot of things as I was twirling - not to mention that I had to feel my way back around on the thirteenth turn to find the mirror - so all of this might have been rather disappointing to Mary - but of course she didn't come. I emerged with some bruises on my shins, but my eyes intact.

I was - & frankly still am - disappointed that I didn't live in a world with devils & demons & haunted books & mirrors. What has surprised me most about the people who live on this planet who still do think they live in a world with devils & demons & etc. is how easy it is to find out you don't all by yourself.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

It's A Day Where You Don't Have To Worry About A New Self Help Radio

So what does Gary do?

This Sunday, I planted a petunia.  It did not grow according to plan.  It became quite petulant & perturbed.  It objected to its plot.  The place I planted it.  It preferred a different plot.  What do I do with a petulant, perturbed petunia that prefers a different plot?  I replotted the petunia.

Also on Sunday, I took a nap.  Where did I take the nap?  I took it to my past.  This may not surprise anyone, but in my dreams I often am employed at the place where I haven't been employed in eleven years.  In this particular dream, I had an office outdoors.  Everyone commented on how inconvenient it would be to have a desk outdoors in - you know - inclement weather.  & when the Assistant Director of the department came out, he did ask me, "Do you even work here anymore?"

Nope!  I did not.

Oh yes, on this Sunday I also spoke with my mother, something I've done for every Sunday since - my gosh, it may be over twenty years.  My mother is ninety years old & she has Alzheimer's, & when I turn my speaker on when I talk to her, my wife claims she can't understand anything she's saying.  But I do.  & my mother doesn't have anyone to talk about, these days, but herself, & there's nothing to say.  She cannot hear any of my dialog, & her disease has compromised the audio clues that have encouraged her for so long.  When our connection was abruptly lost, she simply assumed I had said goodbye.

(This is something I confirmed with my sister, who is her caregiver.)

This Sunday I went for two walks, one in the morning, one in the early evening.  Should I complain about careless people not observing social distancing?  No, they are what they are.  I confess, I wish I went out with a mask, I might feel somehow morally superior - although that is not the reason for doing so.  Or is it?

People touch our dogs, that makes me flinch.  But I touch other people's dogs!  That also makes me flinch.  There are so many dogs!  I must give them treats.

But is there other radio?  Yes, there is the Dickenbock Report.  It gets recorded.  Because of crybaby injury, it take a while.  But.  It gets recorded.

No worries, though.  No worries for new Self Help Radio.  Those worries are in the future.  In the near future.  Holy shit.  It'll happen before you know it.

Happy Memorial Day.