Saturday, November 21, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 11: 40th Street

(image from Google Maps)

If you had asked me in 1991, when I lived in this house in Hyde Park in Austin, Texas, I would have told you it was the happiest I'd ever been.  A year later I would have told you the exact opposite.

A week or so ago, I mentioned that I had rented a room that I never moved into, & it was because the woman with home I was having something like a relationship (but it was incredibly one-sided) had moved into an apartment on the top floor of this old house.  The door there opens onto a flight of stairs, & there are two apartments upstairs.  My "girlfriend's" was on the west side, or, in the above picture, on the left.  I basically moved into that place with her, although all my stuff was kept elsewhere, as her parents had forbade her to date me, & the place needed to look like she lived there alone.  Her parents liked to visit her.  & they were paying for everything.

The only things to say about the place - I graduated college while I lived here, & it was close enough to campus to walk there & back on days when buses weren't running - which have nothing to do with the disastrous relationship I was in at the time involve the owners of the house.  Their names escape me, although I recall the husband being a little creepy around the woman I was living with - I guess once I finally "moved in," we had to give them more money, which I myself paid - which was cheaper than the room I had been renting - & the wife was a fiery redhead very obviously in charge.  They had a young child while I lived there, & when you walked up the stairs there was one of those vintage Jesus pictures you see everywhere.  I can probably easily find it online:

Yeah, that one (found here).  That kid - who it just occurred to me must be over thirty years old now - once pointed to the painting & said "Gary."  Why in the world would he have confused me with Jesus?  It might be because I looked a little like this when I lived there:

That's from 1992, taken by a woman who actually did love me, although the damage done by the previous relationship pretty much made a healthy relationship impossible for me then.

Anyway, I always thought it was amusing for a toddler to confuse me & Jesus.  I also just remembered not only the child's name, but also the couple's names, but it's not all that important for the story.

It must've been most of 1991 I lived in this place.  Though it seems like much longer.  It was very cold there in the winter & the pitiful wall unit in the bedroom couldn't cool off the rest of the house, so we put sheets up in the bedroom doorway & stayed in there during the miserable summer months.  I don't know if I have any pictures of the place but I remember it like I was just there.  Again, it seemed like I was happy there.  But no, no I was not.

Friday, November 20, 2020

One Last Look Back At The Unknown

You might have missed it, but Self Help Radio's resident cinephile Chuck, whose segment Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner appears on the show, left you some links in case you wanted to see some of the things he talked about on this week's segment.  They were in the comments below the entry, but here they are in the actual blog, so you don't have to squint to read them.

Here is his Twitter thread in which he discusses the movies (& other stuff) he's watching. Very informative!

Even more helpful is his Youtube playlist of the things he watched.

Finally, he has a series of short reviews he collects over on Letterboxd, should you wish to read his thoughts about the things he watched.

This is so cool!  I hope you think so too!  Chuck will be back in a week or so with another segment.  Follow him on Twitter because he details his preparation before the show!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Self Help Radio 111720: Unknown

Look.  I get it.  This was a terrible idea for a theme.  On the show last night I kinda leaned into "the unknown," but that's not how it was conceived.  Because "the unknown" could mean any kind of supernatural or scientific mystery.  The show was just supposed to be about that which isn't known.  Which could mean a destination, or a person, or whatever - not just "are there angels living in condos in the clouds?" or "do black holes act as dumb waiters to pocket dimensions?"  So, more apologies than usual are required here.  I can't promise that there'll be better themes explored by Self Help Radio in the future, but hopefully they'll be better thought out than this one.

Having said that, I had fun making the show.  Maybe you'll have fun listening to it.

You can do so at the Self Help Radio website.  To listen you won't need knowledge that is generally unknown - in fact I say it every week - you'll need a username, which is SHR, & a password, which is 
selfhelp as one word.  The show is very long, three hours long, but it's jam-packed with all sorts of interviews & stuff & you can see what those are below.

For an unknown show, basically, there's not a lot unknown about it.

Self Help Radio Unknown Show
"Unknown" Gwilym Gold _A Paradise_
"Unknown" Sw/Mm/Ng _Feel Not Bad_
"Unknown" Even As We Speak _Adelphi_

introduction + a voice from the unknown interrupts!

"The Unknown" Tamaryn _Led Astray, Washed Ashore_
"The Unknown" The Masonics _In Your Night Of Dreams & Other Foreboding Pleasures_
"The Unknown" The Asteroid No. 4 _Hail To The Clear Figurines_
"The Unknown" Heat _Overnight_
"The Unknown" Mad Planet _Ghost Notes_

interview with host of Explorations Into The Unknown, Col. Clyde McAdams

"Mysteries Unknown" Elk City _Status_
"Unknown Soldier" ST-37 _Fun's Not Dead._
"Fire Of Unknown Origin" Patti Smith _You're A Hook_
"Unknown Soldier" Made For TV _So Afraid Of The Russians 7"_
"Out Of The Unknown" Died Pretty _Children Of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The Second Psychedelic Era 1976-1996_

interview with dead letter office postal worker Claire Clavin

"Address Unknown" Marty Robbins _Country 1960-1966_
"On An Unknown Beach" Bobby & Blumm _Not Given Lightly: A Tribute To The Giant Golden Book Of New Zealand's Alternative Music Scene_
"Region Unknown" The Triffids _Calenture_
"Unknown Citizen" Peter Wyngarde _Peter Wyngarde_
"Fear Of The Unknown" Siouxsie & The Banshees _Superstition_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Xtabay (Lure Of The Unknown Love)" Yma Sumac _Voice Of The Xtabay_
"The Great Unknown" Elvis Costello & The Attractions _Goodbye Cruel World_
"The Great Unknown" The Starfolk _The Starfolk_
"The Great Unknown" The Legends _It's Love_
"To The Great Unknown" Cloud Cult _The Seeker_

a visit from cinephile Chuck with Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner

"Some Unknown Reason" Wild Billy Childish & CTMF _Last Punk Standing... & Other Hits!_
"Ode To An Unknown Girl" The Pop Art _Rumpelstiltskin 7"_
"For An Unknown Lady" Dorothy Parker _The Voice Of The Poet: American Wits_
"Melody For An Unknown Girl" The Unknowns _Melody For An Unknown Girl_
"Persons Unknown" Poison Girls _Statement_

a Self Help Radio third-hour list: five scientific unknowns

"Unknown Legend" Neil Young _Harvest Moon_
"Direction Still Unknown" Cloudberry Jam _Providing The Atmosphere_
"Unknown Pleasures (feat. Hanna Lovisa)" Montt Mardie _Skaizerkite_
"Ride In The Unknown" Nada Surf _Never Not Together_
"Destination Unknown" Missing Persons _Living In Oblivion (The 80s Greatest Hits - Volume 2)_

conclusion & goodbye

"Unknown Blues" Tartar & Gay _Broke, Black, & Blue_
"An Unknown Quantity" Bill Ramsey & The Jay Five _The In-Kraut_
"Unknown Wrecks" The Mekons _The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strnen_
"Unknown Journey" The Wayward Souls _A Real Cool Time Revisited: Swedish Punk, Pop, & Garage Rock 1982-1989_

Monday, November 16, 2020

Whither Unknown?

(Image from here.)

Just to make it clear, the theme of the show is "unknown."  I know for a fact the theme is "unknown."  It's not unknown.  I know it, you know it.  I'm not saying I don't know what the theme of the show is, that it's unknown; I'm saying rather that I know the theme of the show & that theme is "unknown."

At this point I'd love to stop using quotation marks to identify the show's theme.  You know what?  I probably should have said the theme was "the unknown."  Damn it!  Why do I always think about these things too late?  I wish I knew.

Anyway, the middle of the night is a pretty good time to explore unknown things & yes, the unknown, don't you find?  It seems less likely you'll know things when it's so dark outside.  Perhaps that's why the show will have as a theme "the unknown"?  Damn it!  I wanted to stop using quotation marks!  Unknown!  The unknown!  No more "quotation marks"!


You can listen to the show tonight/tomorrow morning at midnight.  Midnight happens at night because night is in its name but for some reason after midnight is considered morning, so let's just say Tuesday from midnight to 3am.  If you're reading this Monday the 16th of November 2020, it's midnight tonight.  If that's clear.

It's happening on 90.7 fm KBOO here in Portland, & you can listen online as well at

What will happen?  Unknown.  Will you learn what it is if you listen?  Yes, but it'll still be unknown.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Preface To Unknown: I Was Remembering Really Sad Stuff

Tonight I was remembering really sad stuff.  For example.  My father died in 1991.  He wasn't around a lot when I was a kid, he was an alcoholic.  I didn't really know him, although I did occasionally see him, especially after he got sober in 1982.  One sad thing I was remembering is that I don't really remember what his voice sounded like.  My mother's voice I can recreate without any effort - I think I hear her voice several times a day - but my father's voice - I think I can approximate it, but I don't think I remember what it sounds like.

Really sad stuff can derail me.  & I find it often in the most circumlocuitous way.  A pleasant memory will occur to me.  I will try to contextualize it.  & then something really, really sad will elbow its way into the picture.  & soon enough, that's it - that's all I've got.  The really sad stuff.

Maybe this has nothing to do with "unknown."  But I think what I don't know - especially what I think I should know - like what my father's voice sounded like - can cause despair in me.

One nice thing about Facebook - something people older than I am never had - is that you can keep up with people from your past with whom you don't really want to stay friends (or in my case vice versa).  But of course many people choose not to use Facebook, & there are many people I used to know whose fates I am completely unaware of.  What happened to them is unknown to me.  At least one of them has a very common name - it's not John Smith, but it's close - so even if I could do a little cyberstalking, I couldn't really ever find them.

Is that all I have to say about the unknown?  I guess I'm not really all that deep.  But.  I think everyone knew that.