Saturday, September 26, 2020

Preface To Nancy's Show: Famous Nancys

Here's an exhaustive list of famous people named Nancy.

It turns out I currently know two Nancys.  But I thought I knew more famous Nancys.  & yet I ended up just thinking of Pelosi, Reagan, Sinatra, & Spungeon.  & only that last one when I thought of the film Sid & Nancy.

One of the things I did last year for my Frank Show (which incidentally was almost exactly a year ago, I wonder if I unconsciously scheduled another "name" show around this time because of that) was ask strangers to tell me to name three famous Nancys.  Besides the above, I might probably get Kerrigan, & almost certainly I'd get Nancy Drew.

When I was a kid, I was a voracious comic book reader, & to this day I am fond of episodic fare - I like cliffhanger endings & "next issue" blurbs.  So I loved the Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys books.  I loved the way they looked the same, I loved that they were numbered, & I loved that they occasionally mentioned previous adventures.  But.  For some reason, maybe because my brother & I fought like cats & dogs, I didn't like the Hardy Boys that much.  I read them.  But I preferred Nancy Drew.  She had a crew.  I dug that.

That list doesn't include Nancy Drew because she was a fictitious.  Here's a list of fictional Nancys.  Strangely, it leaves out the best Nancy of all.  This one:

It is of course Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy!

The strip has experienced a kind of revival with a new writer/artist (who uses the pseudonym Olivia Jaimes).  A lot of people hate what she's done because she's updated Nancy by having her carry a cell phone, talk about the internet, etc.  I think it's delightful.  Here's one of her recent strips:

You can read 'em all at the Nancy web page.  It's totally worth it!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 4: Villa Cordoba

(Image from Google Maps.)

When we lived here, it was called Villa Cordoba (never pronounced in the Spanish way), & there was a wall in-between the door & the front lawn of the complex.  Actually, we lived in three apartments in this small square apartment world.  The one above - the one that's green with the awning - was apartment 48 I believe.  I lived there from perhaps seventh to eighth grade.  We left in the summer before my ninth grade year.

They were by all accounts some terrible apartments.  They were cater-corner from the middle school I attended, & a teacher there, upon being told by me that was where I lived, had a look of utter horror.  In fact, we were never without roaches, & at least one time the management dealt with a plumbing problem by simply opening up some valves & letting the tenants' shit run down into the street.  But it was home to me!

It seems like we lived there forever, but it was really just four years, from when I was in fourth to when I was in eighth grade.  I have fond memories of the place, but I was equally unhappy there - I went through puberty there & began to become a person while living there.  My little brother & I were inseparable when we first moved there, & barely spoke or talked to each other at the end.  I made my first real friend while I lived there - it was at school, but every day before class in eighth grade, he'd come over, we'd watch cartoons together, & then run to school.  

Because I write about my life on this blog around the time of my birthday, I've written a lot about this place.  I first spoke about it in this post.  I continued here (with a picture of apartment 18, one of the three units in which we lived).  There is a lot more here (with a similar picture as the one above).  Gosh I've written a lot about this place, here's yet another post.  & there's one last post about the heat wave of 1980.  I guess we moved away in 1983, so I've written about other places we've lived since then.

Here's a bonus photo of me & my little brother in front of Apartment 45, which is where my mother's boyfriend lived.  I'm not sure how old we are - possibly I'm in fifth grade, Chris is in fourth.  I do know I am rocking that Star Trek shirt.

It's dated 1977 (by me, I don't know why).  I would be nine years old, & therefore in fourth grade or so. Crazy.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

One Day Till Tomorrow

He didn't print the helium properly so it looked odd on the blog.  Contrariwise his fonts stormed like something out of a primitive hayride.  So it made the most sense when the Cardinal told him to lay off.

"They make cheese that tastes like cheese!" she said worryingly.  "What's next? Sequels to movies spun-off from ice skating quarterfinals?"

I'll admit, he was a plus one on the dance floor.  The craven streetcleaner wouldn't quote me on that, howsoever the firmware nor his hat fit the rearrangement.  He thought he was quite optical when the shades were drawn.

Was there mead for the many or simply fizz for the few?  He broke down & let everyone call him "Rebecca."  He mispronounced mise en scène in the middle of the night, & begged us to forgive him his slurred spectacles.

Everyone says she won't be invited to any pantries in the near future.  "At last I have my hurts," she deviated into the cold.  "No one will mansplain musical theater to me again!"

All out of turns, they left the arcade wobbly.  "You do know," he started to say, "I've no extra space in the glove compartment."

"That's so," she never took the time to reply.  "The most natural odor you'll find repellent merely because society strong-arms stepchildren."

What a shame the random people took reindeer seriously!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Self Help Radio 092120: Avenues

(There's a Self Help Radio Avenue in France!  Not really.  Original image here.)

"There's nothing that I'd rather do/Than stroll along the avenue/With you."
- Sir Archibald Von Poesy (but maybe not originally)

Ah avenues!  Where people take their constitutionals.  Where lovers perambulate.  Where lazy cars drive by lazily, as if to say, "we know, we know, it's a beautiful afternoon!"  Where you pause & a jolly fellow says to you, as if he's the funniest person you'll ever meet, "You know what they say!  Ave-a-nue is better than none!"

Seriously, we need to get a boulevard in here where people mind their own damn business.

Self Help Radio this week was a celebration of avenues.  From avenues which became more than themselves (such as Madison Avenue) to the metaphorical avenues of song (such as Electric Avenue).  Maybe there's an avenue you've been meaning to wander, or one you've meant to wander in your dreams.  Don't let us stop you.  But maybe listen to this show while you do so!  Just not too loud or you won't hear the traffic.  Also look both ways before you cross!

The show's only avenue available to it now is at the Self Help Radio website.  Please do not let it know it's kind of a dead end.  Remember, you'll need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) to listen.  What happens on the avenue stays on the avenue, of course - but what happens on the show about the avenue is below.

Self Help Radio Avenue Show
"Along The Avenue" The Relict _Tommorow Is Again_ (Vegas Mom, 2003)
"Avenue" The Monochrome Set _Spaces Everywhere_ (Tapete Records, 2015)
"Jackson Avenue" Stephanie McKay _Tell It Like It Is_ (Muthas Of Invention, 2008)

introduction & a step outside to Albina Avenue

"Electric Avenue" Salem 66 _Natural Disasters, National Treasures_ (Homestead, 1988)
"Summer Avenues" California Snow Story _One Good Summer EP_ (Shelflife, 2002)
"Abe Lincoln Vs. Madison Avenue" Bob Newhart _"Something Like This ...": The Bob Newhart Anthology_ (Rhino, 2001)
"442 Glenwood Avenue" The Pixies Three _Growin' Up Too Fast: The Girl Group Anthology_ (Mercury, 1966)
"Bring It Up (Hipster's Avenue)" James Brown _Star Time_ (Polydor, 1991)

interview with city planner Norman Hulk

"Electric Avenue" Eddy Grant _The Best Of Eddy Grant_ (EMI Gold, 1996)
"Lonely Avenue" Ray Charles _Genius & Soul - The 50th Anniversary Collection_ (Rhino, 1997)
"I Was Born To Hustle Roses Down The Avenues Of The Dead" Charles Bukowski _90 Minutes In Hell_ (Earth Records, 1977)
"Avenue A, Shanghai, Hollywood" Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts _Manhattan_ (Rough Trade, 2015)
"Shaftesbury Avenue" Momus _Don't Stop The Night_ (Creation, 1989)

a Self Help Radio panel: defining avenues

"Mass. Ave" Willie "Loco" Alexander _DIY: Mass. Ave. - The Boston Scene (1975-83)_ (Rhino, 1993)
"626 Bedford Avenue" The Drums _Brutalism_ (Anti-, 2019)
"Teardrop Avenue" Bertha Colbert _Soultime Volume 2_ (Goldmine Soul Supply, 1998)
"Teardrop Avenue" Jackie Wilson _The Titan Of Soul_ (Edsel, 1998)
"Avenue" Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan _Mustt Mustt_ (Real World, 1990)

a visit with my youngest friends, Alyssa & Jason

"Eighth Avenue" Hospitality _Hospitality_ (Merge, 2012)
"Heartache Avenue" The Maisonettes _Maisonettes For Sale_ (Richmond Records, 1993)
"(All The) Avenue Girls" Comet Gain _Paperback Ghosts_ (Fortuna Pop, 2014)
"Academy Avenue" Ducktails _The Flower Lane_ (Domino, 2013)
"Hope Avenue" Stars _There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light_ (Last Gang, 2017)

conclusion & goodbye

"Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" Bruce Springsteen _Born To Run_ (Columbia, 2003)
"1432 Dexter Avenue" Three Finger Cowboy _Kissed_ (Daemon Records, 1998)
"Fashion Avenue" Grape Room _Heart Of Gum_ (Nicey Music, 2016)
"Blue Murder On Union Avenue (demo)" Elvis Costello _Goodbye Cruel World_ (Rhino, 2004)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Whither Avenues?

(This is Park Avenue.  Image from here.)

Here's a good one.  What did one street say to the other street?  "What's avenue?"  What did the other street say back to the first street?  "I dunno.  What's ave-new with you?"

That's an example of some of the sophisticated humor prepared & ultimately thrown away for this week's Self Help Radio.  It's a show about avenues so we're "taking it on the road."  Which is of course not a thing a radio show can do, especially one made at home because no one's allowed in the studios thanks to a pandemic which, if we're being honest, is another reason why it would be a terrible idea to travel as well.

Does the show miss wandering up & down avenues without a mask?  Perhaps.  Maybe a show about avenues was conceived to recapture a normal that now seems farther away than ever.  Or maybe it was arbitrary, & looking for a reason for this or any other theme is to give too much credit to anyone responsible for Self Help Radio.  Which is Gary, of course.  It's all his fault.

Listen therefore from the comfort of your own car or home or car-home from 8-10am Monday morning on 90.3&98.3fm Freeform Portland, online at  It will be like taking a lazy drive down a tree-lined avenue in car with the top down & the wind blowing through your hair.  Or.  Or wait.  No, no, it will actually more probably be the opposite of that.  So sorry.