Saturday, December 12, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 14: Red River St

(image from Google Maps)

From the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2002 I lived in the back of this house - technically it was a duplex, although I had the back half & another tenant had the first half.  I guess there were a couple of folks who lived in the front half - I was sort-of friends with the first couple, but the last year I lived there, it was three or four guys whom I never really met.

The path to the left went to both of our front doors, but I usually would walk down the gravel driveway & go in through the back door.  I had a big covered porch where I would sit outside & smoke, & in the summer, with the porch light on, giant, terrifying insects would gather on my screen door & my cat Buster & I would watch them with similar - but not entirely the same - interest.

To say that my life changed in this unassuming duplex would be an understatement.  While I was there:

- my job - the thing I had been doing for years - changed in such a way as I had to move offices, something that meant a giant upheaval;
- though I moved in with my cat Buster, I adopted Beatrice in the summer of 2000 & she would travel with me to so many places for the next eighteen years
- in the summer of 2001 I met the woman who would become my wife
- in October 2002, Self Help Radio premiered on KOOP
- & among other drugs, I did ecstasy a lot in this duplex

Before - & for a while during the first year or so I lived there - I was a miserable person.  I was broken-hearted, I was unable to have real relationships with virtually anyone, I felt my time at radio had ended & I no longer had that somewhat creative outlet.  & then someone - I think my old KVRX friend Jeff - offered me ecstasy.

Though I had a forty-hour-a-week gig at UT, I took a part-time (Friday nights, Sunday mornings) job at a video store in around 1997.  The guys who worked there were great, the bosses didn't mind if we drank at work, & I got to take home a ton of free movies.  (One of the cool kids I met at the video store today contributes to segments for Self Help Radio!)  Someone told me I should try ecstasy, & I should do it some place I was comfortable, so I did it at the video store - which wasn't a good idea.

My co-worker Kathy asked me as it started to take effect, "What is it like?"  I remember saying to her, "I didn't think it would be this intense."

My walk home as I began to roll was harrowing, but I made it back to this place okay.  (It was about a quarter-mile away.)  I can honestly say as I lay in my bed completely roiled by emotions both sweet & difficult that I had never felt that way before.  I later thought that I had never allowed myself to feel that way before.  I recognized something that any idiot might have noticed - I surrounded myself with the things I loved - that I had a life full of feeling & creativity & sensation - I was just too wrapped up in ideas of what so-called happiness must look like to realize it.  My first ecstasy experience - followed by many more - made me more honest about my feelings.  I had seen a therapist in the early 90s but he could never have made me see how extraordinary my life was & could be just with talk.  If he had given me e & had somehow been able to guide me through the experience, I might have been better sooner.

Not that I changed over night.  But when, in August 2001, I met a very chatty young grad student at a bus stop & made a connection, I had more of a foundation of my life to show to her than I had for virtually every woman I had met previously.  The fact that she turned out to be the person it looks like (fingers crossed) I will spend the rest of my life with was not something so obvious.  What she met though was a Gary more grounded, more occupied, more understanding of where life had placed him than if she had met him only just a year before.

One last story: she moved in with me in May 2002, & decided soon enough the place wasn't big enough for the two of us, her beautiful hound George, & my two amazing cats.  So she started to look for another place for us.  As usual, I felt swept along, but wasn't complaining.  When the time came to clean the place - I was still a smoker, & I smoked indoors, & the walls were yellow - I felt so sad about leaving yet another home in Austin, I was willing to lose the deposit just to not be overwhelmed by all the memories of that place - including the ones in which I lay on the bed in the middle of an e trip just utterly transfixed by how much I loved my home.

The woman who would become my wife offered to help.  I said to her, "If you can clean this place, I'll give you back whatever deposit money they give me."  I believe my deposit was my first month's rent or something like that - close to a thousand bucks.

The owners of the property were so impressed that the place was spotless that they refunded nearly all of my deposit - something that had never happened before in my life - & I of course gave it to her, probably around eight hundred dollars.

Honestly, it was worth it. Even now, just looking at these photos of places I haven't been in years, it has somewhat gutted me.  Places I'll never see again.  It's been rough.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Sorry I Missed Today

Today is tomorrow.  I forgot to write in this yesterday.  Well, not forgot.  I remembered but then didn't do it.  I know it says this was written yesterday (Friday) but that's because Blogger lets you cheat & back-date your posts.  Take it from me, it's the day after yesterday, which is today, but yesterday it was tomorrow.  I am currently writing this in my present, which is in this blog's future, if you believe it was written yesterday, although, again, it was written Saturday which is today for me, tomorrow for this post, & I suppose both for you, as I am confessing & giving the game away.  Anyway.  Sorry I forgot to write this.  Let me write this & then back-date it so it appears I didn't forget to write it at all.  Also, I appear to have fallen into some kind of time hole.  I may not be back.  I am already back.  I have always been back.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Self Help Radio 120820: Geese

(original image - with a funny article - here)

Never one to shy away from controversy, this week tackled that most disputatious of fowl, the goose.  Plural, geese.  See also: gosling, gander, gaggle.  Never has a bird inspired as much ambivalence & animosity!  & not just for hogging so many words that start with the letter g!

They start out pretty cute - look for "goslings" on a search engine & you'll see - but frankly most of us start out tolerably cute & look where we end up.  No place good I tell you, not for the vast majority of us.  Maybe what we reject in geese is what we see in ourselves?  I don't really know, I'm just spitballing here.

However you feel about the goose, she has been an inspiration to many artists & I have three hours of goose music to prove it to you.  You can listen if you're not too squeamish at the Self Help Radio website.  There is a username/password requirement but you know it's SHR/selfhelp.  & all the stuff that happens on the show is listed below.

Do geese quack?  I guess people say they quack.  They deserve another onomatopoeia.

Self Help Radio Goose Show
"Rocking Goose" Johnny & The Hurricanes _The Very Best Of Johnny & The Hurricanes_
"Goosey Goosey" Andy Partridge _The Official Andy Partridge Fuzzy Warbles Collector's Album_
"Wild Geese" Ian & Sylvia _The Complete Vanguard Studio Recordings_

introduction & definitions Ned Dry interrupts with a goose

"The Grey Goose" James "Iron Head" Baker _Field Recordings Vol. 6: Texas 1933-1958_
"Where The Geese Go" The Verve _No Come Down_
"Blue Goose Blues" Jesse Thomas _The Easin' In: Essential Recordings Of Texas Blues_
"Alexander The Swoose (Half Swan-Half Goose)" Kay Kyser & His Orchestra _The Best Of Kay Kyser & His Orchestra_
"The Skunk, The Goose, & The Fly" Tower Of Power _East Bay Grease_

interview with goose lover Jordan Box

"The Old Grey Goose" The Carolina Tar Heels _The Carolina Tar Heels_
"Snow Goose" Jean Redpath _Leaving The Land: A Collection Of Songs, Scottish & Western_
"The Snow Goose" Richard Thompson _Electric_
"Snow Goose & Me" Tanya Donelly _Swan Song Series_
"Pink Goose" Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingoes _Remember The Alamo! EP_

interview with goose hater Gerry Gosling

"Mother Goose Songs" Burl Ives _Burl Ives Sings Little White Duck & Other Children's Favorites_
"1945 Mother Goose Rhymes" Carson Robison _The Kansas Jayhawk_
"Mother Goose Medley" Spike Jones & His City Slickers _Strictly For Music Lovers_
"Rock Around Mother Goose" Barry Gordon _Rock Around Mother Goose_
"Mother Goose" Jethro Tull _Aqualung_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"The Cry Of The Wild Goose" Frankie Laine _On The Trail_
"Goose Eggs" Joanna Newsom _Divers_
"Girl & The Geese" CocoRosie _The Adventures Of Ghosthorse & Stillborn_
"Goose Snow Cone" Aimee Mann _Mental Illness_
"The Geese Of Beverly Road" The National _Alligator_

interview with a gaggle of geese

"Goosie Goosie Gander" Gregory Isaacs _Goosie Goosie Gander 7"_
"I Got Your Water Boiling, Baby (I'm Gonna Cook Your Goose)" The Spinners _The Complete Tri-Phi Records Singles, Vol. 2_
"Are You Cookin' Goose?" The Pipkins _Gimme Dat Ding!_
"Wild Geese Blues" Gladys Bentley _Volume 2 (May 1925 To June 1926)/Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1928/1929_
"Goose Walking Over My Grave" Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots _Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots_

remote broadcast from a goose-filled pond

"Stay Loose, Mother Goose" Freddie Bell & The Bellboys _Mercury Rock & Roll Party_
"Lunch With Monster Goose" John Zacherley _Scary Tales Featuring John Zacherley_
"Mother Goose Is Chicken" Homer & Jethro _Cornfucius Say_
"Mudder Goose" Joe Subway _Mudder Goose_
"Mother Goose Is On The Loose" 1989 Musical Marching Zoo _Buddah Records Presents "Holiday Spectacular"_
"Black Mother Goose" Patrice Holloway _Love & Desire: The Patrice Holloway Anthology_
"Mother Goose's Wine" National Lampoon _The Best Of The National Lampoon Radio Hour_

conclusion & goodbye

"The Goose" Parliament _Up For The Down Stroke_
"Morse Moose & The Grey Goose" Wings _London Town_
"Geese Outside" Yohuna _Radiating Light: Orchid Tapes & Friends_
"Mother Goose" Tim Dickinson _Mother Goose_

Monday, December 07, 2020

Whither A Show About Geese?

That picture above is pretty much the only goose I've known in my life.  Before I decided to do a show about geese, I don't know if I had much experience with geese.  This particular goose lived in a lake near our house in Fort Worth.  It was called Luther Lake, & in fact there was a Lutheran church not a half mile away from the lake, so perhaps the lake was named for the church.  In any event, I don't know if there were more than one or two geese in the lake, but this one spent most of its time with ducks:

Neighbors told us its name was "Nob-Nose."  & that it was very protective of the ducks.

Now, I haven't been back to my Fort Worth neighborhood since we left in May of 2019, & we didn't walk around that lake too often in the last few months we were there, for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which was that, in the 2018 elections, we saw way too many Ted Cruz signs & hated to think that our neighbors were so dumb to support such an obvious idiot & crook.  We just didn't feel much like being around them, you know?

Anyway, I hope Nob-Nose & its friends are all right.  They are used to being fed by people in the neighborhood, & would swim toward us on walks even though I almost never had any treats for them.  My pocket is usually filled with dog treats only.

Wait, does this blog post have anything to do with Self Help Radio?  Yes!  Tonight's show - or tomorrow's show, whatever you prefer - is about geese.  It's on from midnight to 3am on 90.7 KBOO, simultaneously online at  I have discovered that geese evoke strong opinions, & will have guests who are pro- & anti-geese.  & lots of goosey songs.  Which I dedicate now to Nob-Nose although I am certain it doesn't listen to much internet radio.  It probably doesn't spend a whole lot of time online.