Saturday, February 13, 2021

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 21: Bal Lake Dr.

That's not the greatest picture of the house we owned in Fort Worth, Texas, but it's a picture I took one night when I took the trash out.  It was a lovely house.  It is the best place I ever lived.  I miss it a great deal.

If you've been keeping up with this series, you'll know there's a common occurrence in home buying: my wife finds a place, I don't like it, she sees something in the place, she fixes it up to make it magic.  This is certainly true for the house on Bal Lake Drive.  It was a weird, claustrophobic home whose charm eluded me.  When my wife was done with it, it was a magnificent place to live.

When we moved in, in late 2016, we had a menagerie of four cats & four dogs.  When we left, in May of 2019, we were down to three of each.  My sweet loves Ringo & Beatrice died in that house - we had a doctor come to end their suffering, not all at once, when it was their time.  I would have stayed there for the rest of my life just in honor of them, they were so amazing & great.  But the house was in Fort Worth, in Texas, in a place where I & my wife had no future.

We had amazing neighbors, don't get me wrong.  We lived in a lovely subdivision.  We were comfortable.  But we had no future.

It occurred to me when thinking about this today, that even though I was able to do radio while living there - I had a show on KNON - I never did Self Help Radio live while I lived in this house.  Imagine!  I recorded a show to be aired on WLXU in Lexington for a time, & after that did the show as a podcast.  I sat in that house, which I loved, & recorded so many fake interviews, & put together so many shows, & they were never live.  Three years of Self Help Radio not live.

Some friends in Kentucky couldn't believe we'd leave the house we had there.  They're still in Kentucky, they don't seem to share my apprehension of that state.  The house in Kentucky on Southbend was sublime but it was too big for us.  The house on Bal Lake was perfect.  Okay, the yard might have been too big (though not for Pauline, who loved it).  The pecan trees were a pain in the ass (though the dogs did love crunching all the nuts that fell).  & Texas is just way too hot for too many months of the year.  & let's not forget the fucking Trump & Ted Cruz signs we had to endure.

But the house itself.  Unbelievably perfect for us.  I can't believe I'll never step foot in it.  We were barely there for what, two & a half years?  Yet it's imprinted on my DNA.  I think there's a part of me that still moves around it like a spirit.  I can see outside its every window.  I know every step to take, I can find anything - anything - you need me to find in that place.  I cooked meals, I fed animals, I watched television & films, I danced, I drank too much, I cleaned up, I made a mess, I turned all the lights off at night in that house.

It seems nice folks bought it.  They for some reason painted the brick exterior white.  Ah well.

One last thing.  There was a great oak in the front yard.  A gorgeous thing.  When workers were in the neighborhood, they had lunch under that tree.  I sometimes watched them.  & I understood.

Here's a picture from Google Maps.  This is from 2018.  I think we scandalized some of our retired elderly conservative neighbors with our Beto sign:

To jump ahead - the place I live in now in Portland is my second-favorite place I've lived.  I'll get to why it's second in a couple of weeks.  But let me just say, gosh.  That was a great house.  I loved that place.  I really did.


As a postscript, I'd like to point you to the posts I wrote about Ringo - that's a link - & about Beatrice, also a link (the names).  In case you care.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Valentine's Day Films

(Image from IMDb.)

If you heard this week's Valentine's episode of Self Help Radio - & if you didn't, you can do so at the Self Help Radio website! - you heard another installment of Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner featuring two specific kinds of Valentine's movies: a selection of "psychotronic + love" films; & a selection of films in which hearts are ripped out of bodies.  Chuck is nothing if not a romantic.

He has prepared Youtube playlists & IMDb lists for each!  The links for those are:

Psychotronic + Love YoutubePsychotronic + Love IMDb
Hearts Ripped Out YoutubeHearts Ripped Out IMDb

If you're like me, & have never heard the term "psychotronic" before, Chuck has provided as link: toward a definition of psychotronic film.

Chuck is our resident cinephile & you can keep up with his film watching on his Twitter feed, & read his Letterbox reviews right here.  He keeps adding to these even after the show!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Hopefully there's something here for you to watch.  Especially if you, like me, are a bit snowed-in this holiday weekend.

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Self Help Radio 020921: Valentine's Day 2021 - Make You Mine

(Original image here.)

Oh boy!  Just in time for Valentine's Day!  Well!  A bit early for Valentine's Day!  You will have likely forgotten all about this show when Valentine's Day rolls around!  Still!  A Valentine's Day episode of Self Help Radio!  Here it is!

Whew.  It's hard being so excited.  Especially about a collection of songs that feature the phrase "make you mine."  Or "make him mine."  Or "make her mine." Though looking at that playlist below, that's forty-five songs.  Why so possessive, o insecure lover?  Why must one be made yours?  Or his?  Or hers?  It's stunning that love needs to be owned in ways that aren't quite the same as experienced.

You can listen to the show now & on Valentine's Day & whenever you want at the show's website, Self Help Radio dot net.  (You can also listen to the show at the KBOO website.)  At the Self Help Radio site, there's a username & a password you'll require - those are SHR & selfhelp, respectively.  In addition to music, there are interviews, both of which are noted below.

Happy Valentine's Day!  Make it yours.

Self Help Radio Valentine's Day  Show 2021
"Make You Mine" Honey & The Bees _Dynamite!_
"Make You Mine" Question Mark & The Mysterians _Question Mark & The Mysterians_
"Make You Mine" The Drums _Summertime!_


"Gonna Make You Mine" Betty & The Bops _Pin-Up Confidential_
"Gonna Make You Mine" Brenda Holloway & Jess Harris _The Early Years: Rare Recordings 1962-1963_
"(She's So Fine) I Just Gotta Make Her Mine" Syl Johnson _Complete Mythology_
"I Can Hardly Make You Mine" Cults _Static_
"Make You Mine" Buju Banton _Rasta Got Soul_

interview with matchmaker Cory Cupid

"Can't Seem To Make You Mine" The Seeds _The Seeds_
"Gonna Make You Mine" The Red Button _She's About To Cross My Mind_
"Wanna Make Him Mine" The Emeralds _The Girl Group Sound Volume 2_
"Mind Over Matter (I'm Gonna Make You Mine)" The Pirates _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 2: 1962_
"(I Wanna) Make You Mine" MC Trouble _Gotta Get A Grip_

a talk with my youngest friends Alyssa & Jason

"(I Can't Seem To) Make You Mine" The Clientele _Strange Geometry_
"If I Could Make You Mine" The Love Notes _Rumble_
"I'm Gonna Make Her Mine" Billy Butler _Sugar Candy Lady_
"I'm Gonna Make You Mine" Little John _Ghetto Youth_
"Make You Mine" The Stems _Buds_

Chuck talks Valentine's movies for Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner

"Gonna Make Him Mine (Tonight)" Pookie & The Poodlez _Young Adult_
"Make Him Mine" Susan Maughan _The Best Of Susan Maughan_
"I'm Gonna Make You Mine" Lou Christie _Glory River: The Buddah Years, 1968-1972_
"Make You Mine" George Jackson _In Muscle Shoals_
"Gonna Make You Mine" Anglo Saxon Brown _Songs For Evolution_

interview with my friend Edgar

"I'm Gonna Make You Mine" Johnny Daniel & The Soul Malibu's _Lost Soul Oldies: Rare & Hard To Find Oldies, Vol. 1_
"Make You Mine" Greatest Hits _Danse Pop_
"I'm Gonna Make Him Mine (Tonight)" The Donnas _The Donnas_
"Gonna Make Him Mine" The Orchids _Go Girl (Dream Babes Volume Four)_
"Make You Mine" Side Effect _Portraits_

a terrifying airbreak without background music!

"Gonna Make You Mine" Frank Frost _Jelly Roll King_ 
"I'm Gonna Make You Mine" The Shadows Of Knight _Nuggets (Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968)_
"I'll Make Her Mine" The Valiant Trio _Detroit Undercover: 30 Classic "Lost" 45s From The Motor City_
"Gonna Make You Mine, Girl" The Excels _Gonna Make You Mine, Girl_
"Gonna Make You Mine" Crimson Shadows _Declaration Of Fuzz_

the boring penultimate airbreak

"Gonna Spend My Time (To Make You Mine)" Orella Myers _Candy Doll_
"Gonna Make You Mine" Fabian _The Fabulous Fabian_
"I'll Make You Mine" Johnnie Ray _Cry_
"I Can Make You Mine" The Originells 4 _Nights_
"Make Her Mine" The Hipster Image _The Mod Scene_
"To Make You Mine" Robert Dobyne _Can't Get Along Without You_

conclusion & goodbye

"Got To Make You Mine" Pure Silk _Pure Lovers, Vol. 1_
"Make Her Mine" Mayer Hawthorne _A Strange Arrangement_
"Gotta Make You Mine" Velvet Crest _Gotta Make You Mine_
"I'm Gonna Make You Mine" The American Breed _Pumpkin, Powder, Scarlet, & Green_
"I'll Make You Mine" Thee Headcoats _Headcoats Down!_
"Make You Mine" Mellowmen _Tomorrow's Sound Today

Monday, February 08, 2021

Whither Make You Mine (Valentine's Day 2021)?

(This is the cover of a book. Read about it here.)

Yes, I am aware that Valentine's Day is nearly a week away.  The problem with only having a show on once a week is that, when you plan holiday shows, you run the risk of having a show that's chronologically nowhere near the actual holiday.  It's something that happens.  It's happening this week because the Self Help Radio Valentine's Show is five days before Valentine's Day.  & no one wants to think about Valentine's Day until it's looming over them like a calamity.

& what's with this theme "make you mine" anyway?  Surely this show doesn't believe love is possessive!  Or does this show not endorse its own themes?  Listen, argument I am having with myself, we explore themes without prejudice.  & it turns out there are more songs in which someone wants to "make you mine" than there are varieties of chocolates in the biggest box of chocolates you can buy online.  & that includes "make him mine" & "make her mine" songs too.

Don't believe me?  Fine, just tune in to 90.7 fm KBOO tonight at midnight (Portland time) to listen to three hours of Valentine fun on this week's Self Help Radio.  You can listen in town at the frequency above & you can listen online at  It probably won't melt your cynical heart, but at the very least you'll hear a song or two you may enjoy.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Preface To Valentine's Day 2021: Make You Mine

Valentine's Day is one of those holidays on which I like to do a show but for which I also like to have a unique theme.  In the nearly nineteen years of Self Help Radio, I've done seventeen Valentine's Day show, & the themes of those shows have been:

2003: the first show, just general Valentine's stuff
2004: love
2005: hate
2007: crushes
2008: jealousy
2009: boyfriends
2010: girlfriends
2011: love songs
2012: lovesick
2013: love is...
2014: valentines
2015: famous lovers
2016: heartbreak
2017: sweethearts
2018: roses
2019: flirting
2020: the heart

The reason I didn't do a Valentine's Day show in 2006 is, I believe, because the building which housed my radio station had had a fire & was closed for a couple of weeks.  I have no idea what I had planned for that year - I suspect nothing.  I didn't plan ahead that much in those days.  In fact, there was a popular show on the local NPR affiliate in which the host would come up with a theme & have his interns find songs for him, & a couple of times when I was talking to people, they'd say, "Oh yeah, self-important NPR guy covered that theme last Thursday!"  One time a guy called me & asked if I were trying to copy him.  I said, "No, I don't even listen to his show."  "That's weird," the guy said, amazed.  "I wonder what that means."  I think we had both done shows about the devil.  Apparently my soul was in danger.

All this, by the way, from someone who's never really celebrated Valentine's Day.  I bought a few candy hearts to give to female friends on Valentine's Day in twelfth grade, but I don't think I meant them as anything more than platonic.  In fact, one of the women gave it back to me - she was mad at me at the time - & so I gave it to my mother, who was very touched.  I guess I never really did anything nice for her when I was a teenager.

This year I think the only thing the wife & I are looking forward to for Valentine's Day is the return of John Oliver's show.  But hopefully this week's Self Help Radio will also be a bit enjoyable.