Saturday, March 06, 2021

What To Do At This Hour

In case you know what time it is.  If not, time is available on your electronic device.  Which is not to say it's actually time.  It's telling the time.  How weird it would be to not know the time.  Although for most of history most humans didn't know the time.  & if you knew the time & wrote it down, most humans could not have read the time.  We didn't know how to read or how to tell the time.  Most of the time.

It seems like it was important at one time to teach children how to tell the time.  Do they still do that?  Or has that technology gone the way of dialing a telephone?  It seems we should keep analog clocks around just so a child knows how to tell the time - the way at radio stations you should teach an aspiring disc jockey how to play a record even if they just want to use their laptops.

Not to brag, but I know how to tell the time.  & seeing what time it is, I think I might finish this book about swear words I've been reading.  Because I also know how to read.  Imagine that.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Picture Of The Place Where I Currently Live

(I have better pictures of my home but I can't find
them right now, so this is from Google Maps.)

So ends this series of pictures of places I've lived in my little more than a half-century on planet Earth.  This is the 23rd place I've lived in since I was four.  I could probably quiz my family to find out how many places I lived in before that - it's probably three, but it could be two or four - my mother in her old age couldn't really remember, either, that's how chaotic life was at the time with my alcoholic father.

In previous installments, I've made a list of my favorite places to live.  In general, this list is limited to houses we've owned - I don't know if I think about any rental (with the exception of the places on Depew & Red River) as spaces I would call "favorite."  But here is my list of the places we've owned as my favorites:

1. Bal Lake (Fort Worth)
2. Insley (Portland - where I live now)
3. Southbend (Lexington)
4. Ridgemont (Austin)
5. Neel (Huntington)

That appears to be it - oh my! We've owned five houses in around sixteen years!

The reason the Fort Worth house is my favorite is that it was the perfect size for us & for our animals.  It had a lovely back yard & lovely neighbors.  In many ways, my wife designed it for us - she gutted the place & built it up according to her specifications.  She designed the kitchen for me.  She knew where everything needed to be.

She did very much the same for the Lexington house, but it was way too big for us.  Too many rooms, too much space.  I loved the place, but the yard, the house, the space - too big.

Both of those houses also suffered from where they were located: in Fort Worth, in Lexington.  We were never going to be happy there.

The Austin house benefitted from being in Austin - & from my initial belief I'd be living there the rest of my life.  But looking back, while I loved it, I kinda wish we'd had the money to make it closer to my wife' vision - I trust her completely.  & the Huntington house - it was three floors, in a dying city, which held no future for us.

As for where I live now - why is it second?  Portland has been awesome so far (pandemic notwithstanding).  But this house wasn't built for us.  We liked its layout - else we wouldn't have bought it!  & we saw some homes that we thought we'd have to compromise for - some real screwy layouts & that bane of weird purchases, the unfinished basement.  No, the house we currently inhabit feels like we chose it because it's what we like - or at least what my wife likes.

Seriously, when we first saw the house, I was struck by house perfect it was for her - & she acted completely unimpressed.  She later said it was the price that turned her off - but it blinded her to what was the most perfect for her home we had seen as we were looking.  & we almost didn't go see it.  So - had we not gone - had she stuck to her guns & felt it was too expensive - we might be living in a "compromise house" - worried about the weird smell coming from the unfinished basement.

But nope!  This is a good place to live.  & it's my second favorite in my favorite city in which I've lived.  That seems a kind of victory. 

Not that I'm trying to tie this into next week's theme or anything.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Self Help Radio 030221: Lords & Ladies

(original image here)

Welcome to Self Help Radio Castle. We hope you understand you'll have to leave your subjects (servant & vassal) outside the moat, preferably in the stables.  Lords & ladies only.  We have our own staff who will take care of your every need.  A sumptuous radio feast has been prepared, & for three hours you will hear a celebration of all you are.  Because if there's one thing the nobility lack in history, it's attention.

Therefore please enjoy this week's Self Help Radio, which is about lords & ladies.  Sometimes specific ladies & lords, sometimes metaphorical lords & ladies.  What is important is that they are lords & ladies & not those of the lower, or "working," classes.  It's good to hear music & talk about one's betters.

The show is now at the Self Help Radio website.  For those of an aristocratic bent, the show is free to listen to; if you are not, it will ask you for a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp).  In addition to music, there were conversations & reports - the details are below.

More wine, dogsbody!

Self Help Radio Lords & Ladies Show
"Milord" Mo-Dettes _The Story So Far_
"M'Lady" Sly & The Family Stone _Life_
"Royalty Capes" De La Soul _And The Anonymous Nobody_

introduction & definitions

"Little Lord Fontleroy" Quasi _The Sword Of God_
"Lady Macbeth & Miss Havisham" Hiccup _Imaginary Enemies_
"Lord Byron" Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks _2000 & Thirteen_
"Lady Fancy Knickers" Momus _Otto Spooky_
"Lord Of The Manor" Dan Melchior's Broke Revue _Lords Of The Manor_

interview with Lady Penelope of the Portland House Of Westmoreland

"Lady D'Arbanville" Cat Stevens _Mona Bone Jakon_
"Lord Lovatt" Jeannie Robertson _The Queen Among The Heather_
"I Saw My Lady Weeping" W. H. Auden _An Evening Of Elizabethan Verse & Its Music_
"Lord Randal" Abner Jay _Folk Song Stylist_
"Lady Boston" The Good, The Bad, & The Queen _Merrie Land_

interview with castle architect Claud Douglas

"Day Of The Lords" Joy Division _Unknown Pleasures_
"Lady MacBeth" The Rock*A*Teens _Sixth House_
"Lord Stockton" Peter Cook _Obsolete Rubbish From The Peter Cook Appreciation Society_
"Lady Montego" Ayers Rock _Big Red Rock_
"Lord Of Alaska" Shannon Shaw _Shannon In Nashville_

interview with the Lady Daniela Black

"Lady Blue" Wild Nothing _Life Of Pause_
"Lord Of All I Survey" The Chills _Snow Bound_
"Lady Jane" Paddy Roberts _Songs For Gay Dogs_
"Lord Maxwell's Last Goodnight" June Tabor _An Echo Of Hooves_
"Lady Waters & The Hooded One" Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians _Element Of Light_

Ned Dry interrupts to talk of Lady Godiva

"Lady Godiva" Pooh & The Heffalumphs _Laurie Vocal Groups: Lost Masters & Hidden Treasures, Vol. 5_
"Lady Godiva" Peter & Gordon _The Ultimate Peter & Gordon_
"The Ballad Of Lady Godiva" King Khan & The Shrines _What Is?!_
"Lady Godiva's Diary" Soul Merchants _1985-1987_
"Lady Godiva" Kristin Hersh _Possible Dust Clouds_
"Lady Godiva's Operation" The Velvet Underground _Peel Slowly & See_

Marge Most reports from Lord&LadyCon

"There Was An Old Lord" Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger _The Long Harvest (Record One)_
"Lady Of Carlisle" Ian & Sylvia _The Complete Vanguard Studio Recordings_
"Lord Lucan Is Missing" Black Box Recorder _England Made Me_
"The Ballad Of Lady Yarmouth" The Harvest Ministers _Orbit_
"Lord Anthony" Belle & Sebastian _Dear Catastrophe Waitress_
"Lady Sunshine" Tamam Shud _Golden Miles (Australian Progressive Rock 1969-1974)_

conclusion & goodbye

"Royal Screw Up" Soccer Mommy _Color Theory_
"Lord Gregory" Judy Collins _Judy Collins' Fifth Album_
"Things That A Lady Ain't Supposed To Do" The Four Dynamics _Atlanta Soul: The Peachtree Records Story_
"New Lord" Elf Power _In A Cave_

Monday, March 01, 2021

Whither Lords & Ladies?

(image from here)

You are cordially invited a regal gathering of the finest in songs celebrating the aristocracy, those of very high birth.  Lords & their ladies, ladies & their lords.  Quite a few ladies alone, as well as several unaccompanied lords.  Possibly some servants doing their jobs & skillfully remaining unseen, but almost certainly no peasants.  None of that.  No.  Not allowed.

Rumors that Self Help Radio is celebrating lords & ladies in order to obtain a patronage are without merit.  The truth is, we hadn't thought about it until we heard the rumor.  So should some deep-pocketed member of the peerage see fit to shower the show with financial support, we would gladly move into the dungeon, wear the court jester outfit, & attempt to amuse our betters.  But that was not our intention.  Honestly, we just thought it would be a fun show.

Listen tonight (Monday) at midnight (which is actually Tuesday) till 3am.  In addition to truly noble songs, we'll talk to a Lady in Portland, a castle builder, & an actual member of British royal family.  You can listen at 90.7fm if you're in the fiefdom of Portland, & at all over the kingdom.

Please listen!  It may turn your blood blue.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Preface To Lords & Ladies: Happy Valley

Before I watched Monty Python's Flying Circus, I listened to their records & I looked at their books.  Since their records & their books often were recreated (for their particular medium) from sketches that had appeared on the show, I often felt a weird familiarity when I saw the shows the first few times.  It's like I had listened to an audiobook or something of an episode of Star Trek, & finally saw the show.  Especially if Shatner & Nimoy did the voices in the audio book.

The reason I read the books & heard the records before seeing the shows is that my older brothers had them, & they were around, & I was a kid who loved to read & play records.  I didn't understand a lot of it - probably most of it - the Travel Agent sketch was a real mystery to me - but it was compelling enough that I would return to it again & again.  The books were even better - they were like Mad Magazine translated from a foreign language & delighted in being inscrutable & incomprehensible.  I love that.

There is a sketch I believe on Monty Python's Previous Record - imagine an album with that as a title! - called "Happy Valley" & it never appeared on any episode of the show I ever saw.  I loved it so.  A long form fairy tale with weird singing & a completely nonsensical story.  What a delight.

The reason I am bringing this up is I thought about playing it tomorrow night on the show, but it's really about a king & princess, & not necessarily about lords & ladies.  I guess I am trying to describe how stupidly rigid I can be when deciding content for the show.  That's not worth four paragraphs & minutes of your time, & I'm sorry, but wait, there's more!

The Pythons did film the "Happy Valley" sketch (it's much more like their long-form work in their last season) & but strangely enough for German TV & it never aired.  But of course there's Youtube.  & I just watched it for the very first time.  Imagine.  & you can watch it now too!

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You're welcome.