Saturday, January 30, 2021

Disambiguation (disambiguation)

Getting to that page on the Wikipedia where you discover a word you like - a name you thought you knew - something you might have suspected was unique - was not - has other meanings.  Isn't a homonym but you might have thought so.  Disambiguation!  "The process of identifying which meaning of a word is used in context."

There's not a synonym for synonym*, palindrome isn't a palindrome**,  & onomatopoeia isn't a sound naming itself.  But disambiguation has a disambiguation page on Wikipedia.  Which somehow seems appropriate.

If there were a page for Self Help Radio on Wikipedia (which there isn't), it would probably be on the disambiguation page for "self-help radio" (also not a page).  & "self-help radio" might be on a separate page of different types of radio, maybe kinds of "talk radio" (which does have a page but doesn't mention self-help radio).

It's late.  You're just looking for information.  Maybe just curious.  Maybe you made a bet.  You discover there's some disambiguation.  So you look some more.

*Some smarty-pants think differently.
**The palindrome of Bolton, by the way, is not "Notlob."

Friday, January 29, 2021

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 20: Diaz Ave.

(Image from Google Maps.)

In August of 2016, we escaped Kentucky.  The wife drove a big truck with some of our stuff in it (our unsold house in Kentucky held many of our belongings) & I drove our tiny Prius.  We had four cats & four dogs, which in retrospect seems completely improbable.  I have memories of getting to Fort Worth, Texas, on a Friday afternoon, on I-30, with the August sun bearing down, trapped on a highway I would get to know too well, overwhelmed, frustrated, strangely excited.

We landed at this rental which we agreed to sight unseen, because of the aforementioned animals.  It was not a terribly clean place, & when winter hit we discovered it was not a terribly insulated place.  The day we moved in, early August, was hotter than most people's ideas of hot, & I had to take the dogs to a room where there was an overworked wall unit, as moving people moved our things inside, leaving the front door open nearly all the time.  When there was a moment to breathe, my wife tasked me to go get some food for us to eat, but also some things (for no real reason there wasn't a shower curtain) at a retail store.  I went.  I visited a grocery store, a box store, a cool vegan restaurant - all in the peculiar dry heat of a Texas summer night - & when I got home, I found my wife weeping.  She hated the place we'd ended up, she was second-guessing her job choices, she was - in a word - miserable.

& really avoiding miserable would be the goal of our time back in Dallas/Fort Worth.  We were there for about three years & mostly it wasn't what we wanted or expected.  The first morning in our new place, we woke early - Texas summers being what they were - & walked around the new neighborhood, to get our bearings.  At 6:30 in the morning, it was 83 degrees.  We needed to make adjustments.

Though it's barely been five years, I can't remember when my wife decided to look for a new house, but I don't think we lived in Diaz Avenue for more than a few months.  As someone who understands time in terms of mowing lawns, I don't think I mowed that lawn more than a dozen times, probably less.  I was in that house the night America stupidly chose a cartoon clown to be president.  My records of photographs show that by mid-November, we had purchased a different place to live.  As usual, my wife's tastes were second-guessed by me, & I was found to be dumbly lacking in imagination.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Self Help Radio 012621: A Private Show

(Original image here.)

Revealed at last!  A private radio show made public!  Wait.  Is was public all along?  That's how radio works?  That makes no sense.  How could a private radio show be public?  It's all just crazy talk.  What I know now is that this week's Self Help Radio was a private show, & it's now available to the public.  Unexpectedly!  Shockingly!  Distressingly!

You can listen to the show now at the Self Help Radio website.  To make it still seem a little private, you'll need a username & a password, but those are SHR + selfhelp respectively so it's not like it's a private club or anything.  You wouldn't want to be a member anyway.  What happens on the show is below.

Consider your privacy respected.  Consider the show's privacy violated.

A Self Help Radio Private Show
"Privacy" East Wall _Silence_
"Private Show" Black Marble _Bigger Than Life_

introduction & definitions

"At Home (Introduction)" Bill Bryson _At Home: A Short History Of Private Life_
"It's Private Tonight" Arthur Adams _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9: 1969_
"Private Hotel" Bernthøler _Merry Lines In The Sky_
"Private Party" Shopping _Why Choose_
"Peace & Privacy" The Shoes _Dutch Invasion_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Private Life" Pretenders _Pretenders_
"Private Lives" Ultravox _Vienna_
"Private Life" Woody Allen _The Stand-Up Years_
"Private Number" Judy Clay & William Bell _Beg Scream & Shout: The Big Ol' Box Of '60s Soul_
"Private Idaho" The B-52's _Nude On The Moon: The B-52's Anthology_

interview with privacy expert Joshua Frampton

"My Bathroom Is A Private Kind Of Place" American-Standard _The Bathrooms Are Coming!_
"My Private Affair" Dawn Davis _Listen To The Banned_
"Private Armies" Vivien Goldman _Resolutionary_
"A Private Future" Love & Rockets _Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven_
"Private Party" Bobby Nunn _Private Party_

resident cinephile Chuck discusses his favorite comedic private eye movies

"Private Eye" The Hitmen _Aim For The Feet_
"Private Dicks" Private Dicks _Avon Calling: The Bristol Compilation_
"The Further Adventures Of Nick Danger (Introduction)" The Firesign Theatre _How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All_
"Private Eye" The Crabs _What Were Flames Now Smolder_
"Private Eyes" The Bird & The Bee _Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall & John Oates_

a "performance" by Major McCheese accompanied by Ned Dry

"Why Do They Call A Private A Private?" Ethel Merman _V Disc: The Songs That Went To War (WWII 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition)_
"Automation/A Private In Washington's Army" Bob Newhart _The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back!_
"Private Plane" Thomas Leer _Contradictions_
"Private Plane" Hüsker Dü _Flip Your Wig_
"Private Revolution" World Party _Private Revolution_

a clarification of the origin of the rank "private"

"Private Property" Langhorne Slim _Lost At Last Vol. 1_
"Private Property" Laurie Anderson _United States Live_
"Private God" Polak _3 X 3_
"Private World" New York Dolls _New York Dolls_
"Private World" Side Effect _Goin' Bananas_
"Private World" The Vels _Velocity_

conclusion & goodbye

"Private Hell" The Jam _Setting Sons_
"Private Name, Private Number" The Frenchmen _Sorry We Ruined Your Party_
"The Private Dining Room" Ogden Nash _Voice Of The Poet: American Wits_
"Dreaming Is A Private Thing" Little Name _How To Swim & Live_
"Private Lawns" Angus & Julia Stone _Memories Of An Old Friend_
"Nobody Could Care Less About Your Private Lives" McCarthy _The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth_

Monday, January 25, 2021

Whither A Private Show?

(image from Amazon)

Is anything private anymore?  How would that even work?  What's the story with the paparazzi, anyway?  Can you imagine eking out a living trying to get photos of an actor or pop star taking out their garbage?  & what about private investigators?  They might be looking through that garbage!

Speaking of, within a few months of moving to Portland, I had my identity stolen, probably by someone who looked through my recycling.  Someone was able to pretend to be me because I was conscientious enough to recycle something but not smart enough to shred it.  No expectation of privacy indeed!

There may be a time when there is no privacy so let's take a brief, three-hour moment in the wee hours of the night to celebrate as many private things as possible.  It may become a private joke between us in our private correspondence.  Because like the stars whose "clouds" were hacked so their privates were made public, I say to you privately, "I wish I hadn't done that."

Privately?  This is a public forum!

Self Help Radio's private show airs tonight (or tomorrow morning) from midnight to 3am on 90.7 fm KBOO in Portland.  Online everywhere at as well.  You may want to listen in private.  Although.  I think that's how one listens to radio anyway.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Preface To A Private Show: A Private Person?

When I was younger, I wasn't a terribly private person.  In the 90s I found myself in a Usenet group & posted enough that, when they did a "who's who" of regular posters, my name was there & I was labeled a "confessionalist."

Part of me thinks it's because of my mother.  My mother was an inveterate liar, but it's not entirely clear if she lied to protect herself or to promote herself.  Almost certainly she lied enough to start to believe the lies she told.  At the end of her life, she'd recall some story in as close to a way that she could to be somewhat truthful & also make herself the hero.  I spent a lot of times telling her, That's not the way it happened.  She would say, No?  & then tell the same story to me a few weeks later.

But more than that, my mother loved to reveal things about herself that were just embarrassing.  Maybe not entirely embarrassing to her, but they didn't necessarily speak too well of her.  For example, as she got older, it became difficult for her to cut her own toenails.  That in & of itself is a weird thing to want to tell anybody.  My mother would tell me that, & then inform me how lucky she was that she had my sister to cut them for her.

Who's more pitiable in that story?  My mother?  Or my sister?

She must have been doing this her entire life, & I must have noticed it, because I told people some incredibly personal things when I was young.  It would be a terrible idea now to give examples; you'll have to take my word for it.  By the time I made it into college, I suppose I had become more reserved, but somehow the internet brought that awful side of me back.  Although I do imagine I stopped doing that once I was labeled a "confessionalist."  That stung.  My last posts on the group were my awful poetry.

As for oversharing: I can't be entirely sure if I saw the sneaky reasons why my mother would do that.  By appearing to be somewhat open, revealing perhaps some personal issue, she might convince you that she was actually an honest person.  & you might ask, "If she told me this thing about her ailments, why would she lie to me about other things?"

Was that something I had absorbed & was employing for my own sake?  I wish I knew.

What's true is that I'll probably talk to anyone about anything if they just ask.  But if they don't ask, these days, I am not going to be forthcoming.  I don't tell people when I feel wronged or hurt, I don't air my insecurities or jealousies, I don't offer unsolicited criticism.  In that sense I feel like I am a much more private person than I used to be.  Than I ever really was.