Saturday, July 11, 2020

Preface To Lessons: The Brain Asks Questions It Tries To Answer

How do I store memories, asks the brain.  In bottles or socks, in chests of drawers or boxes?  In discrete rectangles of time, in little flashes of electricity that bounce from neuron to neuron?

Or do I store memories at all, asks the brain.  Do I not so much store them as revise them, a painting never completed?  Do I not so much store them as rewrite them, an editing job unending?

But then how do I lose memories, asks the brain.  Do the mice that live inside me nibble away at them until they're mere fragments?  Do they simply fade away like vanishing gods, no longer worshipped, so only crumbling temples & inscriptions remain?

Why teach me anything, asks the brain.  Would I not learn my lessons anyway?  Would those lessons eventually molder & sleep, sighing fitfully under ever more memories stowed away in the dark, dusty attic of the mind?

It's too bad I love learning lessons, thinks the brain.  Sometimes, though, I think I haven't learned anything at all.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Getting Ahead Of Myself

Here's something you might not know: next week's Self Help Radio is done.

What does that mean?  Well, to facilitate the placement of shows on Freeform's schedule - all the current shows are prerecorded - the powers-that-be asked that they be turned in three days (72 hours) in advance for reviewers to make sure that they have proper legal IDs & they don't have naughty words (if they're on during the day).  I have no problem with this.  & so next week's Self Help Radio was finished this morning around 7am.  It was due at 8am.  I am completely incapable of doing anything until the last possible minute.

The point is, this morning I recorded my final airbreak for the show in which I mentioned that the theme of the next show (on July 20) has the theme "one thousand."  & I thought, as I was recording the airbreak, did I do that because that will be Self Help Radio's one-thousandth show?  Could it actually be?

Because that wasn't my intention choosing that theme.  Still.  Wouldn't it be weird if that were the case?  Tonight, I did a little digging.

Using the themes page at the website, I tried to count the number of episodes of Self Help Radio I have done.  Remember, I've done the show since 2002.  Did the number come to one thousand?

Suspense.  Suspense.  Suspense.

No, it did not.  A rough estimate is around nine hundred shows.  You may be like, "Dude, you've been on since 2002, you have have a thousand shows by now, bra!"

But should I?  The show's been on for eighteen years, & averaging one show a week for that time, the number should be - this would be in October - 936.  & I know I haven't done a show every week without pause for eighteen years.

My subconscious was not telling me there were one thousand episodes of Self Help Radio.  That won't happen for a couple of years.  I wonder what nonsensical theme will be explored in spite of that momentous occasion?

Thursday, July 09, 2020

July 9, 2017

Three years ago, I decided to start a series that I never finished or really added very much to, called "Things I Really Hate."  The first was "Being Stuck In Traffic."  I had been back in Texas for a year & was spending way too much time in traffic.  It was awful.  I can't believe I lived like that for two more years.  & not only that - I never got into an accident.  I swear I thought I'd be in an accident like a hundred times.

Here's what I wrote:

(This nightmare photo from here.)

You know, I'm the sort of guy who doesn't hate things.  If someone I know says they hate a band or a musician, I am more likely to say I just don't like them.  Opinions are opinions, there's no accounting for taste, etc.  I once told someone at a radio station who was shitting on an artist that they just didn't like them, that many other people liked them, that they couldn't dismiss them out of hand as "bad" just because they had a negative opinion.

But traffic is different.  Look.  Human drive cars.  Humans who are stupid have accidents that cause traffic.  Humans who are stupid decide in a situation where their attention should be on the road to do other shit.  They decide to drive poorly.  They decide to talk to their moronic friends on their phones. They decide to do anything but as quickly as possible get from one place to another.

This happened yesterday: while taking my wife to the airport, I found myself on a highway reduced to a standstill.  At one point, someone decided to just sit in her car & use the time to rummage through her back seat.  Yards of empty space opened before her idling minivan.  People honked.  To no avail.

The reason for the slowdown was an accident at an important exit so also fuck those guys.  But traffic slowdowns are not excuses to fuck around.  Everyone in their cars is just as important as everyone else.  When you as a driver decide to be nonchalant, you're fucking everyone else over.  Also, if you decide you're more important than anyone else, &, say, decide to drive on the shoulder - you're also fucking everyone else over.  God damn it!

But that moment when everyone isn't moving, & it seems like nothing is happening, & there's no way out - agh! I hate that.  I feel like someone who's about to go crazy.

Today I drove in a terrible storm.  Rain & hail were blowing sideways, the streets filled with water, it was terrifying.  But I would prefer that to being stuck in traffic.


Monday, July 06, 2020

Self Help Radio 070620: Dragons

(Ouchies.  Original image">here
Yay, dragons!  I always thought I was a dragon.  Maybe a dragon cursed to walk the earth in human form.  But once I break this curse, watch out!

But what kind of dragon am I?  It's cool I can discover thanks to an internet quiz!  It turns out I'm a very sad, old, weak dragon with poor personal hygiene & low self-esteem.  Thanks, internet.  You wouldn't have been so mean ten years ago.

Even if I'm not a rad dragon, I still think dragons are rad, & if you feel the same, have I got a radio show for you!  It's this week's Self Help Radio, which features lots of dragon songs, interviews with people who know a thing or two about dragons, & a chance to ride on an actual dragon (okay, that last one didn't happen, but wouldn't it be cool if it did?).

Listen now at Self Help Radio dot net.  Remember the username & password - SHR + selfhelp.  What happens on the show is listed below.  Respect a dragon's hoard of wealth!  If you need a loan, just ask.  Stealing is wrong!

Self Help Radio Dragons Show
"The Green-Eyed Dragon" John Charles Thomas _An Affectionate Recollection_
"In The Days Of Old" Emitt Rhodes _The Emitt Rhodes Recordings (1969-1973)_
"Cutest Lil' Dragon" Danielson Famile _Tri-Danielson!!! (Omega)_

introduction & definitions

"Puff, The Magic Dragon" Peter, Paul, & Mary _The Very Best Of Peter, Paul, & Mary_
"Dragon # 1" Helium _Ends With And_
"St George & The Dragonet" Stan Freberg _The Capitol Collectors Series_
"Red Dragon Tattoo" Fountains Of Wayne _Utopia Parkway_
"Dragon Blood" MC Lars _The Zombie Dinosaur LP_

interview with folklorist Melbourne Adkins

"Dungeons & Dragons" Montt Mardie _Skaizerkite_
"In League With Dragons" The Mountain Goats _In League With Dragons_
"Komodo Dragon" Bob & Ray _The Two & Only_
"Dragonhead" Throwing Muses _Hunkpapa_
"The Dragon" Biz Markie _The Biz Never Sleeps_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Slaying Of The Dragon" Constantine _In Memory Of A Summer Day_
"Dragon's Ear" Tyrannosaurus Rex _A Beard Of Stars_
"Albi" Flight Of The Conchords _Folk The World Tour_
"Where Is My Dragon?" Felix _You Are The One I Pick_
"Dragons" Possessed By Paul James _There Will Be Nights When I'm Lonely_

interview with Alyssa & Jason

"Big Red Dragon" Little Green Cars _Absolute Zero_
"Dragons Awake" Guided By Voices _Do The Collapse_
"The Dragon Of Grindly Grun" Shel Silverstein _The Best Of Shel Silverstein (His Words His Songs His Friends)_
"Dragon" Smoke Fairies _Through Low Light & Trees_
"Dragons To Slay" Garland Jeffreys _Truth Serum_

conclusion & goodbye

"The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins" Leonard Nimoy _Spaced Out: The Best Of Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner_
"Blue Dragon" Hot Lava _Lavalogy_
"Pitied Be The Dragon Hunter" The Buckinghams _Time & Charges_
"The Prince & The Dragon" The Story Lady _The Story Lady_
"Dragons" Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors _Dragons_

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Whither Dragons?

(Jack Horner becomes a dragon, from the comic Fables, found here.)

It's at this point I think many people are asking not "why is this week's Self Help Radio a show about dragons" but instead "why did it take you do long to do a show about dragons?"  To which the answer is, "I don't know I'm sorry!"

Because like dragons are awesome.  Dragons are so awesome I want to capitalize them like a German noun every time I write them.  I am doing a show about Dragons this week.  Don't you love Dragons?  Wasn't it insane on that episode of Game Of Thrones when it took them almost no time to get from King's Landing to the Wall riding on the backs of Dragons?  In my opinion that's when the show experienced a sharp drop in quality.  I'm sorry, did this become some kind of stupid fan whine about Games Of Thrones or am I announcing that this week's Self Help Radio is a show about Dragons?

Aw, can't it be both?

No, it can't, & you'll want to tune in tomorrow from 8-10am Portland time to 90.3/98.3 fm Freeform Portland also online at Freeform Portland dot org.  So many Dragons stop by!  It's gonna be awesome.