Saturday, October 24, 2020

3500! (Also Some Big Changes!)

(Image from here.)

Holy shit, 3500 posts on this blog?!?  That seems highly improbable.  I'll bet it's a glitch.

Here's something that's not a glitch: Starting this week, Self Help Radio will be appearing exclusively on KBOO.  That means it'll air Tuesday mornings/Monday nights at midnight until 3am.  I have no idea how I'm going to fill the extra hour - do you have any ideas?  I feel like the show often outstays its welcome at two hours.  We'll see.  I'm still working on Tuesday's episode.

What will happen to the Dickenbock Report?  It's moving to Freeform in the old SHR slot, Mondays 8 to 10am.  I did the last DR on KBOO this week & you know the dumb joke of the show is that Dick Dickenbock, the titular host, never shows up & I'm stuck there - but I got texts of sympathy from folks who thought his absence was why the show was cancelled.  I mean, that's what I said, but I thought it was obvious that it was part of a schtick.  It wasn't!

That's the news: Self Help on KBOO, Dickenbock on Freeform.  It's really not that important in the big picture.  But I'm a little amazed it's happened.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 8: Rolando Drive

(Image from Google Maps.)

This is a bittersweet one for me.  This is where my sister Pat lived from some time in the mid-1980s until her death in 2015.  I wrote about her after she died.  I miss her more than words can say.

This would be my last place of residence in Garland, Texas, & it was somewhat inadvertent.  I stayed mostly at the apartment in which I spent my high school years (which I talked about here) after my first year of college, but when I returned from my second year of college - & to this day I think I only came back because I thought I might spend the summer in Germany - about which more below - my mother had moved from that apartment for complicated reasons.  Or maybe not so complicated - the convenience store which her boyfriend owned was sold, the two of them wasted the money traveling for a year, & she had found herself unable to afford that place & needed to find another job & somewhere else to live.  She had done both, sometime before the summer I arrived, & I ended up spending it sleeping in the half-garage space my sister & brother-in-law converted at some point (the other half of the garage was my brother-in-law's "workshop").

My memories are telling me that my little brother lived in that space after he finished high school, but by the summer of 1988, he was living again with my mother in her one-bedroom apartment (I think the two of them slept in the same bedroom) & I was staying in my sister's half-garage.

My sister & I weren't friends then, & I spent the summer doing as little as I possibly could because I felt like I had been deceived about a trip to Germany.  I had written a pleading letter to my relatives, asking if they would let me stay there, I just needed them to get me a ticket, & I would work, & I would pay them back.  My German was pretty good - I had two years of college German in me & I was quite conversational.  I don't know this to be true, but I suspected that my mother stepped in & told them not to let me come.  Some things against this theory: my relatives in Germany weren't rich, & they might not have been able to afford a ticket for me.  I'll never know - they never wrote me back to respond to my request.  My mother instead told me it wouldn't happen.  She had told me that she didn't want me to go, not without her.  & I was angry about it, & bummed around the entire summer.

Most of the time I slept during the day, then went out at night.  I would listen to records on my Walkman as I wandered the deserted streets of Garland - & boy were they deserted.  I was especially fond on the Chameleons record Strange Times.  I felt isolated & disaffected & often thought about death.  I probably wrote a lot of terrible poetry.  My only friends were a fifteen-year-old girl for whom I made mix tapes, my college roommate William, & maybe a friend or two in Austin with whom I wrote letters.  I wrote lots of letters.  I didn't get a lot of letters back.

At the end of the summer I used a portion of my financial aid money to travel to Memphis to visit the only girl I had kissed at the time.  It was disastrous.  I came home even more broken-hearted & broken than before.  & I would move back into the Town Lake Apartments (as I discussed last week) at the beginning of my third year of school.  But I would never live in Garland ever again.

Later on, after other horrible interactions with my family, I became friends with my sister, & I would return to this house when I visited Garland - ostensibly to see my mother - but I always had more fun hanging out with my sister.  I loved sitting around her kitchen table talking about stuff - news, politics, gossip.  There was sometimes another family member there, & it would be the only time I would see them.

My brother-in-law sold this house a couple of years after my sister died.  He has remarried & he no longer lives in Texas.  He actually unfriended me on Facebook a couple of years ago although I thought we had a good relationship.  I have texted him a couple of times - it's been a while now, the last I think was when I sent condolences after his father died - but he doesn't speak to me anymore & in fact he doesn't even speak to his son.  He has a granddaughter now, which he's seen only twice.  It's a real sadness.

Mostly it's wistful to see this house.  I mowed that lawn many times.  I endured countless unpleasant family gatherings in its backyard.  I went to Christmases there, sometimes walking from my mother's apartment when I was staying with her for the holidays - my mother's apartment was a quarter-mile down the street.  I ate meals there, I listened to records on headphones there, I played Super Mario Brothers there.  I was there when the call came from my Uncle Harold that my father had died.  I had terrible fights there, & more than once I swore I'd never return.

Now of course I never will.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Self Help Radio 101920: Swoon

(Original image here.)

Does music make you swoon?  What about music about swooning?  God lord, what will make you swoon?  Because all I got here is a radio show about swoon.

Detractors might say - not that Self Help Radio has detractors - but wow! can you imagine? Wouldn't it be awesome if the show had actual detractors! Anyway - hypothetically - detractors might say that swooning isn't necessarily something that can be objectively elicited.  One person's swoon is another person's shoulder shrug.  Still, perhaps a preponderance of swoon might actually result in a swoon; ergo, two hours of music & talk about swoon.

It's there for your scientific investigation at the Self Help Radio web page.  Please make sure you're sitting down or maybe that there's someone to catch you should you swoon.  You'll need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) to listen.  Also maybe some smelling salts?  A cup of hot tea?  A cold compress?  Preview what happens on the show below.

Alas, I must myself lie down now.

Self Help Radio Swoon Show
"Swoon" Antenna _(For Now)_
"Swoon" The Mission _Neverland_
"Swoon" Tanya Donelly _Sliding & Diving EP_

introduction & definitions

"Swoon" Cape Snow _Cape Snow_
"Swoon" Big Deal _Lights Out_
"Swoon" Magic Potion _Endless Graffiti_
"Swoon" February _Tomorrow Is Today_

a patented Self Help Radio Music Analysis Ned Dry & Major McCheese interrupt!

"Swoon" The Deer _Do No Harm_
"Swoon" Fujiya & Miyagi _EP2_
"Swoon" The Chemical Brothers _Further_
"Swoon" Rising Appalachia & The Human Experience _Soul Vision_
"Swoon" The Lovebullies _When I Get Through With You_

interview with SWOON founder Mickey Parnell

"Permanent Swoon" Gee Mr Tracy _Harmony! Rhapsody! Destiny!_
"Swooner" Beliefs _Leaper_
"Swoon" Imogen Heap _Ellipse_
"Swoon Units" Digable Planets _Reachin' (A New Refutation Of Time & Space)_

interview with professional swooner Charlie Charles

"Venus Loon" Marc Bolan & T.Rex _Zinc Alloy & The Hidden Riders Of Tomorrow_
"Volumes" The Church _Remote Luxury_
"Public Pervert" Interpol _Antics_
"Won't Want For Love (Margaret In The Taiga)" The Decemberists _The Hazards Of Love_

conclusion, big news, goodbye

"A Fistful Of Swoon" Vandaveer _Divide & Conquer_
"Swoon" Whirr _Around_

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Whither Swoon?

(Image from here.)

Gosh, I wish I were a swooner!  You'd think I would be - I'm unhealthily sentimental & I become way over-involved in works of art like movies & songs.  Oh I faint - as I talked about yesterday - but the fainting wasn't because of beauty or being lovestruck.  I wasn't swooning.

Perhaps one can learn to swoon?  Perhaps one can pick up the finer points of swooning through a radio program about swooning?  Let's see if that works.

Tomorrow morning - Monday the 19th - from 8 to 10am, Self Help Radio features a show about "swoon."  If you are in town, you can listen to it on 90.3 & 98.3 fm; it's online everywhere of course at

Will it make you swoon?  Well, I hope so.  I hope it makes me swoon.  But I'll probably not be so lucky.