Saturday, June 06, 2020

Preface To Cups: What's Next? Mugs? Glasses? Steins?

There was this cup I loved.  It may have been when I was a child, it may have been when I was just past childhood.  I didn't mind that other people used the cup.  It kinda made me happy - someone else liked the cup as much as I did!  Though I didn't like it if it were left out.  Didn't the cup deserve at least to be placed in the sink, to be cleaned & reused?  Never mind, it's not a long walk to the kitchen, I'll take care of it.

One of the things I liked about the cup was that it was kinda large.  Not quite a bowl - not like those absurdly large French cups that are basically bowls that they slurp coffee out of.  No, but big enough for a small snack - I would sometimes put a bit of Captain Crunch in there, eat it like a bowl of cereal although, let's be clear, it was a cup.

Another thing I liked about the cup was that it once said something on it - something written in black, maybe something funny, maybe the cup was stolen from someone's work place.  Anyway, time & use had scraped most of whatever was on there off, so there were slight outlines, almost like smudges, or like spots, where (you knew) something was written, but you couldn't make it out & probably didn't remember if you were the one who got the cup in the first place.

Which means, of course, that the cup was a white cup, but not ivory white, just kind of white.  Like coffee cups in cafes.  White with a little hint of sadness from overuse.  Not that the cup was sad!  It was a good-natured cup.  Always happy to be occupied, even if the liquid inside was just sitting there, grown cold from being ignored.  Possibly its good nature came from the fact that it had never been chipped.  There were no chips on the cup.  It was as solid as the day it was made.

One day I became convinced there was something written on the bottom of the cup.  Have you seen that?  Like in a ceramics class, sometimes you write something on the bottom of whatever you made. I remember a girl friend of mine - someone who disapproved of my smoking back in the day - making me an ashtray, & writing her name on the bottom.  To me from her.  Anyway, this was before any of that, but still at some point the thought seized me that there was something written on the bottom of the cup.  & I think it occurred to me when I wasn't in the house.  I was somewhere else - maybe school - maybe just out playing - & I decided, I need to check to see if something was written on the bottom of the cup.  The thing is, I don't know if I ever did.  To this day, I'm not sure if anything were written on the bottom of that damn cup.

Like many things I've loved, it disappeared one day, this cup.  I must've drank out of it hundreds of times, used it for cereal & ice cream & maybe even soup.  As far as I know, it was never broken, it was never damaged, it just at some point was no longer in the house.  Maybe it was decided it should be sent to a garage sale for an extra quarter, or maybe someone kept it in their car (it was too big for a cup holder though), or maybe my mother took it to work & left it there.  One day it just wasn't there.  I remember, some time in my high school years, looking for that cup, & it wasn't in the cupboard & it wasn't in the sink.

Did I lament the loss of the cup?  No, I just used a different cup.  Or a glass.  Though I did reflect on that cup from time-to-time.  I missed it.  It was a cup that I loved.

Friday, June 05, 2020


Ha ha, I just saw that my previous post was the blog's 3399th & my brain said, "I'm at four thousand posts!"  Then I understood that that was wrong.

This post was meant to be called "recent shows."  I haven't added them to the website, but if you're interested, you can listen to my last two KBOO shows - one of them The Dickenbock Report, the other a sub show, at the following links:

The Dickenbock Report from June 2, 2020, is here.  This was the episode on International Sex Workers Day so there are lots of songs about, well, sex workers.

Well, darn.  It turns out that Thursday Morning's show didn't make it onto the web site.  I did it live, & despite some technical issues, I think it went all right.  Hm.  I'll have to add it to the Self Help Radio website.

So, yeah.  That's the 3400th post.  It's nothing special, but then again, .

Thursday, June 04, 2020

June 4, 1983

Blogger didn't exist in 1983 (or did it?) (I didn't have a computer in 1983) (also, friends) (I didn't have any friends in 1983).  I might have actually had a blog in 1983, & it almost certainly would've been mainly about the Beatles, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, & comic books.  Not necessarily in that order.

Imagine how distracting it would have been to have had the internet in my youth!  At a time when I certainly never got anything done, I certainly would never have gotten anything done.  Oh shit my little brother & I would've constantly fought about using the one computer we had.  Which would've somehow been connected to the television, because we were poor.  Do you remember when people used their televisions as computer monitors?  I'd be trying to figure out how to find music videos & David Letterman clips while my little brother just wanted to watch wrestling all the time.

Almost certainly this would've happened: I'd have a blog.  I would write something nasty about my little brother (almost certainly) or some other member of my family (a probably if not a surely) & my little brother, who was a snitch extraordinaire, would have found it - he would be reading my blog mainly to find something to make fun of me within - he would have noticed some snark about him or someone else in the family - he would have printed it out - since almost no one else in the family would be using the computer for anything else except to watch wrestling - & he would have shown it to my mother, to try to get me intro trouble.

Would I have gotten into trouble?  Nah.  Maybe my oldest sister would have tried to lecture me, & maybe her husband would warn me that he would "kick my ass" if I did it again, but at that point they had ceased to be any big influence in my life.  Mostly the blog would confirm to them that I was "weird" - the most damning charge to be leveled at me at the time - & I would be less likely to go to the family gatherings I was increasingly unlikely to attend at this time.

One thing is certain: being an unpopular, somewhat introverted kid, I would've spent a great deal of time on the internet in 1983, possibly finding a decade earlier the same pseudo-community I would find on the usenet in the mid-1990s.  I would be up well into the night, not, as I did in the summer of 1983, watching late night television, but chatting with people far away - especially while everyone else was asleep & I could use the television as a computer monitor without having to fight my little brother for it.

There was a moment now when I thought I might try to recreate what a Gary blog from 1983 might be, but it would probably just be about what comics I bought that week.  June 4, 1983, was a Saturday, & I generally got my new comics from a bookstore on Fridays, so Saturday would be the day when I would talk breathlessly about the things I had purchased the day before.  That's not the kind of magic I can recreate these days.

But I can imagine it!

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Self Help Radio 060120: An Odd Show

Is it redundant to have an odd Self Help Radio episode?  Or is the word I'm looking for "mediocre"?  In any event, the show tried to be odd, which maybe made it not so odd, in the same way trying to be cool is extremely uncool.  I dunno, it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Not trying to be cool, but an "odd show."  Now I'm regretting the whole thing.

But whatever, it's already up at the Self Help Radio website.  It's roughly two hours long, it's one file, what happens on the show is below, & of course remember you need a username (try SHR) & a password (try selfhelp) & you're good to go.

The phrase I keep hearing in my head when I think about the show is John Cleese in the Fish License sketch.  You can listen here, it's at around 2:03.  He says, "There's nothing so odd about that."  I think I use that phrase too often.  Maybe even on the show!

Anyway, enjoy it, oddball.

Self Help Radio Odd Show
"Angel Of The Odd" The Otto Show _The Otto Show_
"Winifer Odd" Lal & Mike Waterson _Bright Phoebus_
"Sport (The Odd Boy)" The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band _Cornology_

introduction & definitions

"Odd Man Out" The Hi-Fi's _Let's Go Down & Blow Our Minds: The British Psychedelic Sounds Of 1967_
"The Odd Man Out" Teenage Filmstars _This Is Mod, Vol. 2: More Rarities 1979-1981_
"Odd Objects" Laurie Anderson _United States Live_
"Even The Odd" The Trash Can Sinatras _Cake_
"Count In Odd Numbers" The Rock*A*Teens _Sixth House_


"He's An Oddball" The Lewis Sisters _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 5: 1965_
"Odd Ball (Single Version)" Allan Sherman _My Son The Box_
"Mr. Odd" The Jazz Butcher _Cult Of The Basement_
"Oddballs" The Boy Least Likely To _The Best B Sides Ever_
"I Am The Odd One" Loney, Dear _Loney, Noir._

idioms interrupted by a Bowie mob

"Space Oddity (Demo) (feat. John Hutchinson)" David Bowie _Sound + Vision_
"Odd & The Frost Giants (Excerpt)" Neil Gaiman _Odd & The Frost Giants_
"Odd Jobs (Band Demo)" Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band _Grow Fins (Rarities 1965-1982)_
"What's The Odds" Passionate Friends _What's The Odds/Time Bandits 7"_
"Odds Of Forever" The Greeting Committee _This Is It_


"Odds & Ends" Dionne Warwick _The Look Of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection_
"Odds & Ends" Freda Payne _Unhooked Generation: The Complete Invictus Recordings_
"Odds & Ends (Bits & Pieces)" Warren Smith _Call Of The Wild_
"Odds & Ends" The Weather Prophets _Temperance Hotel..._
"What Would The Odd Do?" Guerilla Toss _What Would The Odd Do?_

conclusion & goodbye

"Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)" The Postal Service _Give Up_
"Odditty" The Clean _Anthology_
"Small Houses Odd Cars" The Robocop Kraus _They Think They Are The Robocop Kraus_
"Odd Rod" Goddamn Gentlemen _Sex Caliber Horsepower_
"Oddstaker" The Clydes _Old-Time Monarchy_
"Odd Paws" Bibio _Vignetting The Compost

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Whither An Odd Show?

(Image from here.)

What are the odds there'll be an odd Self Help Radio show tomorrow?  I'd say - fifty-fifty?

There's probably nothing odd about that - I've been incredibly inconsistent with the shows recently, & I've floated various theories, but certainly right now, it's because I have injured myself - I've made a doctor's appointment to see if I can get some advice or at least stronger meds - which makes it difficult to sit at a computer for too long a stretch, especially with the editing I usually do of my airbreaks.  (Which is why it would be perhaps easier to do a show live, which I will be attempting late tomorrow night/early Tuesday morning with the Dickenbock Report.)  But the second reason is surely the lack of deadline.  The show may or may not air on Freeform - currently they are not accepting two-hour programs for reasons that I shouldn't go into here - & I don't feel like cutting up the show into two one-hour blocks, as some Freeform folks are doing with their shows.  Anyway, without a deadline, I am less motivated, especially with muscles in my back hurting me.

But I have been working on the show all day & may get enough done that it might appear in the afternoon.  I actually have done not much work on the Dickenbock Report since I know I am doing it live.  I expect that will be a messy experiment.  But I'm willing to chance that rather than scramble to make a show when I am in a bunch of pain.

But!  Stranger things have happened than me getting my shit together!  So let's imagine the world is full of possibilities & there'll be a new Self Help Radio tomorrow!  If not, surely Tuesday!  Maybe Wednesday!  But certainly no later than that!

At Self Help Radio on the internets.  Meanwhile, there are new episodes of the Dickenbock Report & a KBOO sub show there if you really, really want to listen to prerecorded radio.