Saturday, April 17, 2021

Pictures Of Paris, 2007

It's absolutely true, we walked under the city through the catacombs.  It wasn't pleasant - I felt very strange being in such a confined place but I'm glad I did it.

Here's me & my then-girlfriend, now wife Magda, at the Eiffel Tower.

Here I am in the Père Lachaise being all sad about the fate of the Paris Commune.

If you ask me why Magda is laughing in a cemetery, I'll tell you, but it's embarrassing.

This one's called "jazz hands by the Seine."

We spent a great deal of time traveling that trip - London to Ghent to Basil to Paris & back to London.  From London we went to Cambridge & Oxford.  I think we had only two weeks, possibly less.  So if we look tired in these pictures, that is why.


Friday, April 16, 2021

Lost In Paris

Here's a young(er), short-haired Gary looking at a guidebook waiting for a train in Paris. My beard is almost free of grey, which places it a decade or more ago.  In fact, it was January 2007.  The woman who would become my wife was doing research for her dissertation & had the opportunity to go to London & Paris, & since I had never been, I tagged along.

Actually, I did get lost on the Metro once, but luckily for me, I had been in subways before, so I knew I could get off at the next stop & go the other direction.  I had very little to do but wander around & although Magda (my girlfriend) obviously took the picture (which was doubtless posed) I spent most of my time there during the day alone.  I kinda wish I had done some research beforehand.  It was an amazing experience.

Now I didn't want to talk about Paris too much but I suppose it's on my mind since that's what the show is about.  Tomorrow I'll post some pictures from that trip.  It's hard to believe it was so long ago - & that it happened so recently.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Self Help Radio 041321: A Calm Show

(Original image here.*)

Did Self Help Radio calm down this week?  Had you listened, would you have found the show calm, cool, & collected?  Or would you have thought, "This is the calm before the storm!"

Maybe "a calm show" isn't such a calm thing after all?  Maybe instead the show was exploring aspects of calm - like in idiomatic phrases.  Maybe you shouldn't expect so much from a show that's way too literal for its own good.  Maybe just don't get so excited?  What do you mean, calm down?  You calm down!  I was talking about a radio show about calm!

Breathe.  Just breathe.  Okay.  You can listen to the show in two places.  It's on the KBOO web site.  It's also on the show's web site.  If you listen to it on the latter site, you'll need a password & username.  The password is selfhelp, the username is SHR.  There were so many songs about calm but also there were interviews & other nonsense.  That is detailed below.

Is this the calm after the storm?  Is that a thing?  Who knows.

Self Help Radio Calm Show
"Calm" Haruka Nakamura _Afterglow_
"Calm" Maxïmo Park _Quicken The Heart_
"Calm" Air Waves _Parting Glances_

introduction & definitions

"The Calming Seas" Beachwood Sparks _Beachwood Sparks_
"Cool, Calm, & Collected" The Druids _Fuzz, Flaykes, & Shakes, Vol. 2: The Day Breaks At Dawn_
"Cool Calm & Collected" The Rolling Stones _Between The Buttons_
"Be Cool, Be Calm (& Keep Yourself Together)" Stevie Wonder _Down To Earth_
"The Sea Is Calm" CocoRosie _Noah's Ark_

interview with Hollywood Meditation Coach Denver Smith

"Cool & Calm" Israel Vibration _Strength Of My Life_
"I Remain Calm" The Roots _Do You Want More?!!!??!_
"I Am Calm" Scannerfunk _Wave Of Light By Wave Of Light_
"Keep Calm & Carry On" Luke Vibert _Rhythm_
"Lazy Calm" Cocteau Twins _Victorialand_

interview with inadvertent celebrity Rocky Kirkpatrick

"Calm Down Dad" Helen Love _Calm Down Dad_
"City Calm Down" Architecture In Helsinki _Fingers Crossed_
"Calm Down" Loney Dear _Hall Music_
"Calm Down AKA I Should Not Be Alone" Ezra Furman _Twelve Nudes_
"Calm Down" The Love Language _Ruby Red_

interview with Clarence Clearwater of Calming Clams Aquatic Farm

"Calm" Sleepy Vikings _They Will Find You Here_
"Calmer Song" Unisex _Stratosfear_
"Calm & Collected" Routine _And Other Things_
"Calming Water" Ceremony _In The Spirit World Now_
"Through The Calm" Pooma _Persuader_

idioms with calm

"The Calm Before The Storm" Judy Lynn _The Best Of Judy Lynn_
"Calm Before The Storm" Scott Free _Come On Down To Earth_
"Calm Before The Storm" The Bats _Daddy's Highway_
"The Calm Before The Storm" Sparks _Balls_
"Calm Before The Storm" Imaginary Cities _Temporary Resident_
"Calm Before The Storm" The Abigails _Tundra_

two things I wanted to tell you

"Calm Me Down" The Human Expression _Love At Psychedelic Velocity_
"Calm You Down" The Dentists _Beer Bottle & Bannister Symphonies: A Collection Of Some Of The Finer Moments Of Dentistry_
"Calm Down, Come Down" Throwing Muses _University_
"Calm Down" Matt Suggs _Amigo Row_
"She Calms Me Down" Purling Hiss _Water On Mars_
"Calm Down" Ari Roar _Calm Down_

conclusion & goodbye

"Becalmed" Brian Eno _Another Green World_
"A Calm But Steady Flow" Quaeschning & Schnauss _Synthwaves_
"Night On A Calm Sea" Raymond Scott _Three Willow Park: Electronic Music From Inner Space 1961-1971_

*"Calm water" by palestrina55 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Monday, April 12, 2021

Whither A Calm Show?

(image from here)

While not exactly known for being lively, Self Help Radio has been accused at times of being "fidgety" & "excitable."  We thought it might be worth it to search the show's reserves of calm for an exploration of calm on tonight's program.  Does the show have reserves of calm, you wonder aloud?  We'll find out, won't we!

Included in tonight's show along with the dizzying variety of musics will be interviews & other spoken-word diversions.  Nothing to rile, or agitate, or vex.  Just calm.  Or, really, just songs about different kinds of calm, & also discussions thereof.  So perhaps one might exhibit something more than calm.  Let the listener be admonished.

Tonight!  (Or more properly, tomorrow morning.)  On 90.7 fm KBOO Portland.  Online at  An unusually calm show.  It ought not bother you at all.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Preface To A Calm Show: The Shit I Find

Here's something I found online: "Oddly Satisfying Video That Calms You Down"

This is the pitch: "Have you ever seen something that makes your skin tingle & for some unknown reason provides you with a sense of unbridled peace & happiness? Gears working in perfect synchronization, a cake frosted with absolute precision, mouth-watering chocolate, balls of fish & marbles rolling so smoothly it hurts. Something that is just...satisfying? Well here's exactly ten solid minutes of that feeling."

Balls of fish?

Have a look, tell me what you think:

(For some reason, I can't embed the video.  You can find it by clicking this sentence.)

Was it in fact oddly satisfying?  Not really.  Was it kind of weird?  Oh yes.

& that's why I'm sharing it.  The "calm down" content wasn't there, but I do appreciate weirdness.  I appreciate taking aim & missing by a mile.  & I appreciate when someone says "balls of fish" like it's not only a thing but that they roll "so smoothly it hurts."

Please enjoy.