Saturday, September 12, 2020

Preface To Fiction: Poll Results

 This has nothing to do with this week's show, but I thought I'd share with you the results of a poll I conducted on Twitter (I also asked on here & on my Facebook page, but got only one response outside Twitter, & it didn't change the result here) to determine the theme for the show's 18th anniversary:

It looks like we'll be re-visiting the theme of lions on October 5!  Thanks to all those who participated!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Song In Head Game

Have you ever: played a song so many times in your head that even though you love the song you can't help but change the lyrics so you don't get slightly bored?  If so, think about the following ways of doing so:

1) Add expletives during moments when there's quiet, or extended syllables, or otherwise musical room for expletives.  There's an exciting upside to those with MC envy: it'll make you feel like you could be a rapper.

2) Forget what the song is about.  Decide to make it about something else.  Fun things to make otherwise familiar songs unfamiliar: coal mines, helicopters (may be hard to rhyme that tho), rats, integers, salad, unitards (or other odd clothing), paprika (but invite other spices along), golf (especially if, as is right & proper, you know absolutely nothing about golf), tests, origami, donuts, & religious holidays.

3) Pretend you're a different musician (sometimes radically so) than the one who performed the song.  Not pretend you're doing a cover version of it.  If you have MC envy, rap the lyrics, & don't forget to freestyle.  There's a lot more space in other songs for freestyle rapping.

4) Slow the song down.  Speed it up!  Slow it down again.  A warning: the next time you hear the actual song, it will probably sound wrong to you for a while.

5) If you know a different language, translate the song into that language while you sing it.  If you don't know a different language, invent one.  Or scat.  Scat is fine, too.  Another warning: too much scat will make you forget the lyrics over time.  & you'll be forced to scat for the rest of your days.  Or worse, hum.

6) If you're unlucky enough to have more than one song in your head at the same time, especially if they've been there for more than a couple of days, sing them simultaneously until they fit perfectly (or imperfectly) or until they make an entirely new song.

7) Have you tried an accent?  If so, do not try an accent around people who don't understand you're not trying to be offensive.  Better safe than sorry.

8) You know, I thought there might be eight of these, but I was wrong.  I am seduced by the magic of the number ten, I wanted to tell you ten ways of livening up the old songs forever reverberating in your head, but I suspect I only know seven.

9) See number nine for explanation.

10) Anyway, now that song that's been in my head all afternoon?  It's gone.  It's like an incantation or something, reading this.  I must save this for myself.  If not for you.

This I hope has been helpful if you, like me, have listened to so many songs for so long & you play them in your head constantly & you sometimes - well, maybe more than sometimes - get a little bored & feel the need - the playful need - to change them up somewhat.  Don't worry!  It's only in your head!  The songwriters/musicians will never know!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 3: Little Brook Apartments

 (image from Google Maps)

My family lived in the Little Brook Apartments for I believe the entirety of my third grade year.  I have many memories from that time.  I told many of those stories in a blog post a while back.  I wanted to add a bit since I am reminiscing.

At Little Brook Apartments I went to my first, & maybe my last, "bible study classes."  Our apartment was on the first floor, but I remember going upstairs to someone's apartment, lured by the promise of juice & cookies.  There were several of us of many different ages - I would've been 9, but there were teenage girls there.  The probably seventeen- or eighteen-year-old leading the study talked about the battle of Jericho.  I hadn't heard that story before - it was closer to a Greek myth, which I loved, than other bible stuff I'd been exposed to.  Afterwards, being completely creepy, he told us he was planning an "orgy."  Most of us had heard the word & felt it had naughty connotations, but he assured us, it just meant "party."  I don't know if he ever had his orgy, just that I never went back to his bible study.

My sister Karin had become involved at a nearby Baptist Church & one day dragged us with her, so I had a more normal bible study with kids my age while the regular services were going on.  There was juice & cookies, thank goodness, but we talked about Noah instead.  I knew that story.  Ho-hum.  My sister left that church at some point because, she said, the pastor propositioned her.  She would've been fifteen or sixteen at the time.

In the blog post that I linked above (which I have linked again), I mentioned that behind the apartment's back wall was basically an overgrown lot which had dirt bike trails; today that area is developed, & the apartment butts up against backyards of homes now.  We had found a rotting home back there in which to play, but my mother forbade us to go there ever again, & her control over us was such we never did.  Another thing we discovered was that we could climb down into the rain sewers.  (If that's what they were called.)  We were little then, & it was amazing to crawl through dark pipes & then peep up - like raccoons! - to busy streets.  There was one entrance, in the apartment's parking lot, which was big enough for us to shimmy down.  I remember how fun that day was.  Of course my mother told me I could never go down there again.  & I never did.

It was there that I met someone who was one of the first people who seemed to like me for me.  His name was Glen Davis.  (It was something of a joke between us that people sometimes called me Glen, & for some reason him Gary.  Our names were not as common then I suppose - though I suspect they're less common now - well, Gary, at least.)  Glen was athletic & adorable, the opposite of me, & his friendship in third grade made the nascent "jocks" - who even then could barely tolerate me - acknowledge my presence.  In PE, Glen (a born team captain) would pick me for his side over other players who, frankly, were better at the sports than I was.  His older sister became friends with my sister Karin.  I remember they moved out of the apartments before we did - we visited them once in another apartment complex down the street, & Glen, my little brother Chris, & I were bouncing on his bed, when a bedspring burst through - & into my foot.  I bled a lot.  I cried a lot more.  It wasn't that bad, ultimately.

It may have been at Glen's apartment - though I suspect it was at someone else's - that I had one of the most difficult problems of my young age.  I had eaten something that gave me food poisoning.  I had found myself with both diarrhea & with the urge to vomit simultaneously.  I made it to a bathroom but had to figure out, with the sluice open at both ends at it were, how to deal with it.  Suspecting it would be worse to clean up excrement than vomit, I sat on the toilet & hurked all over my legs.  Luckily I was very, very sick, so I was sent home, & no big deal was made of the mess I made.  I am sad to say I've had to make that decision more than once in my life since then.

Ultimately I think I was happy there.  I mentioned in the earlier blog (shall I link it again?) that I loved being woken by the train in the mornings.  My mother finally let us walk to school alone - we lived just a few blocks away.  I was doing well in school & had a moderate number of acquaintances who liked to play superheroes from the comics I read over & over.  In my mind's eye I can even walk around the little apartment in which we lived - it wasn't very big, but I suspect I found it comforting in a way I hadn't in any other place I lived.  Maybe I was in the process of growing into me.

My mother seemed to blame me & my little brother for tensions with the manager of the complex - she lived across the little breezeway from us & did not like us hanging out around her back patio - & we had to leave in the summer of 1977 I believe.  Like the other times we left an apartment, it happened fast - I of course was not consulted.  The next place we lived was farther away*, & I lost touch with the many people I knew around there.  Which is natural.  But I do have a fondness for the Little Brook Apartments I hadn't realized until I began writing this tonight.

It's fascinating that, of all the apartments I lived in during my childhood & adolescence, the Little Brook Apartments have never changed its name.  It can't be because the brand is so great.  Maybe it never felt the need.  They have stood for at least forty-four years, & probably more - they certainly weren't new when we moved in.

*Just to give you a sense of how close the apartments in which I lived from the ages of let's say four to ten, here they are on a map:

Click to enlarge.  On the top left is "Kingsley Crossing" - it was called Kingsley Manor when I lived there.  On the top right is "Spanish Stone," which was called "Lockwood Arms" when I lived there.  & at the bottom left - just south of "Kingsley Crossing," is Little Brook.  An easy walk to any of them.  By the way, the public storage space to the east of "Kingsley Crossing" used to be a giant empty lot full of pecan trees - & a great place to play when I lived at Little Brook.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Self Help Radio 090720: Patience

(It's Patience personified!  Original image here.)

The wait is over.  Here's this week's Self Help Radio, a show about patience.  You might have heard it yesterday, but if you didn't, you don't have to wait any longer!  The show, it turns out, is for the patient & impatient alike.  But if you weren't waiting?  It might be a surprise - possibly a good surprise, more probably a bad one.

You can listen if you'd like now & after a decent waiting period at the Self Help Radio website.  Remember, you'll need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) to listen.  It starts right away (depending on your internet collection) so no patience is necessary.  What happened on the show is below.

Self Help Radio Patience Show

"Patience" Mannequin Pussy _Patience_
"Patience" Illuminati Hotties _Kiss Yr Frenemies_
"Patience (Saturday Live - BBC 1 Radio Session)" Lloyd Cole & The Commotions _Rattlesnakes_

introduction & definitions

"Patience & Fortitude" Count Basie & His Orchestra _1945-1946_
"Patient" The Man From Delmonte _Good Things In Life_
"Patience Is Rewarded" Melba Moore _Look What You're Doing To The Man_
"Patiently" Rilo Kiley _Rkives_
"Patience" Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Subatomic Sound System _Super Ape Returns To Conquer_

interview with Corporal Dodd Mckuen, author of The Patience Of Saints

"Patience Of A Saint" One The Juggler _Nearly A Sin_
"Patience" Celebrate The Nun _Continuous_
"Losing Patience" Operator Please _Gloves_
"The Patience Of A Saint" Electronic _Electronic_
"My Patience Keeps Running Out" T-Bone Walker _Stormy Monday Blues_

a Self Help Radio workshop Patient Woman interrupts!

"The Impatient Years" Ella Fitzgerald _1954-1955_
"Impatiente (D'etre Seule Pour Pleurer)" The Gam's _C'est Chic! French Girl Singers Of The 1960s_
"Impatience" Fastbacks _The Question Is No_
"Impatience" Elvis Costello _North_
"Impatient People" Donnie _The Daily News_

interview with therapist Dr. Peter Dane

"This Patience Is Mine (Demo)" The Orchids _Who Needs Tomorrow_
"Try My Patience" The Rockets _The Rockets_
"Feast Of Patience" Coyle & Sharpe _On The Loose_
"Patient Tigers" Fox _Fox_
"Patiently" The New Birth _Blind Baby/Comin' From All Ends_

conclusion & goodbye

"Patience Is The Key" Bob Andy _Retrospective_
"Patient Sparrow" The Black Hollies _Casting Shadows_
"Slow Patience" The Attractions _Mad About The Wrong Boy_

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Whither Patience?

(Image from here.)

Like most impatient people, I have very little patience.  This may have something to do with excess worry & of course a preponderance of anxiety.  Perhaps the three qualities are supposed to exist in equilibrium & having too much of one or two creates a dearth of the third.  Might I suggest that we measure the amount of patience we have in teaspoons, the amount of anxiety we have in handfuls, & the amount of worry we have in volumes of cacophonous noise?  This should help you with your scientific experiments designed to test the above hypothesis.  Cite me in your sources the way my anthropologist wife did in her dissertation: "thanks for nothing, dipshit."

Perhaps I will gain patience on this week's Self Help Radio, which airs tomorrow (Monday) from 8-10am on 90.3/98.3 fm Freeform Portland, online as always at  I guess I will have to wait & see.  But what if I don't want to wait?  Why can I listen that show now?  Why isn't it streaming?  Why doesn't an entire season of Self Help Radio drop on a single date so I can listen to it at my convenience?  This is such bullshit.