Saturday, May 15, 2021

Benji & Odie

This is a picture I took seven year ago on this day, May 15, 2014.  The dogs are named Benji & Odie.  They lived a couple of blocks from us, & we passed them regularly on our daily dog walks.  I never knew their ages, but Odie seemed like an oldie, so perhaps he's no longer with us.  They were both very sweet.

Come to think of it, their owner might no longer be with us.  She lived alone in the house - which she said she grew up in - & was of an indeterminate age.  She wore giant wigs & was quite the neighborhood gossip.  I can't remember her name, alas.

It was during these dog walks in Kentucky I started sharing the treats I carried with me for my dogs with other dogs in the neighborhood.  Whenever possible, I ask permission.  I'd hate for the dogs to be allergic to something I'm giving them!  This has the result of dogs not barking at us but, like Benji & Odie above, waiting patiently for me.

Sometimes it doesn't work that way - a sweet Corgi named Brooks in our neighborhood just barks.  The only time he's not barking is when he's eating his treat.  But I don't give him treats any more.  Hopefully he will stop barking for them after some time.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Plans I Had

Do not believe the Venusians who assert that there were different plans for this blog from what you are seeing at this moment. After all, this is what their planet looks like:

According to NASA: "Pictured is the view from Venera 14, a robotic Soviet lander which parachuted & air-braked down through the thick Venusian atmosphere in March of 1982. The desolate landscape it saw included flat rocks, vast empty terrain, & a featureless sky above Phoebe Regio near Venus' equator. On the lower left is the spacecraft's penetrometer used to make scientific measurements, while the light piece on the right is part of an ejected lens-cap. Enduring temperatures near 450 degrees Celsius & pressures 75 times that on Earth, the hardened Venera spacecraft lasted only about an hour."

No, the plans for this blog for today almost certainly included a picture of Venus. It was to remind you that despite anything that might dismay you about dealing with human beings on this flawed planet, at some point we built something that landed on a hostile environment - which also happens to be a planet close to us - & it took pictures right before it died.  That is fucking extraordinary.

That was today's plan.  It wasn't, honestly, but it's fine.  It's totally fine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Self Help Radio 051121: Mom

(Look! I lightly desecrated my mom & dad's wedding photo!)

This week's show was about moms - I talked a bit about mine, but it really was a celebration of all moms (I opted not to play songs about mothers - that would've added about a thousand more songs to choose from) inspired by my own.  She would've been quite flattered by that.  & then she would've forgotten to listen.

The show featured guests talking about their moms & one actual mom.  That I talked to.  I mean, some of the musicians I played might have been moms.  That wasn't a requirement.  The songs just had to mention moms or some aspect of momness.  But perhaps next time I should invite actuals moms on.  Darn, why didn't I think of that!

Listen to the show now in two different places howsoever you choose: at or at  Lots of things happened on the show, the songs & the interviews & stuff are listed below.

Say hi to you mom for me!

Self Help Radio Mom Show
"Mom" Earth, Wind & Fire _Last Days & Time_
"Mommy" The Suburbs _Credit In Heaven_
"Come To Mommy" The Lindas _8x9_


"My Mommie Sent Me To The Store" Fats Waller _1939-1940_
"Mom Talk" Conveyor _Conveyor_
"My Mom (Accent Not Included)" Hari Kondabolu _Mainstream American Comic_
"Momma" Jem _Beachwood Canyon_
"Going To Marry Mom" Mr. Rogers _Won't You Be My Neighbor?_

interview with my youngest friends Alyssa & Jason

"Everybody Loves My Mom" The Exbats _E Is 4 Exbats_
"Call You Mom" They Might Be Giants _Nanobots_
"Mom" Ed's Redeeming Qualities _At The Fish & Game Club_
"Social Media Mom" Anjelah Johnson _Mahalo & Goodnight_
"Can't Say Enough About Mom" Leroy Hutson _The Man!_

Carole the Librarian shares books about mom

"Stacy's Mom" Fountains Of Wayne _Stacy's Mom_
"Cool Mom" Childbirth _Women's Rights_
"Mom Always Liked You Best" The Smothers Brothers _Mom Always Liked You Best!_
"Hipster Mom" MC Lars _The Zombie Dinosaur LP_
"Hey Mommy" The Mighty Diamonds _Speak The Truth_

Hollywood reporter Denver Smith interviews Hollywood momIssa Ceniceros

"Momma Momma" Melanie _Born To Be_
"Your Mom Is Right" Haley Bonar _Impossible Dream_
"So Long, Mom" Tom Lehrer _The Remains Of Tom Lehrer_
"Stuff Momma Used To Say" Sandra St. Victor _Oya's Daughter_
"Your Mom's In My Business" K-Solo _Tell The World My Name_

interview with writer Florian Michaelangelo

"Mom & Dad's Waltz" Iris DeMent _My Life_
"Mommy Daddy You & I" Talking Heads _Naked_
"How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad" The Lovelites _With Love From The Lovelites_
"Quennel's Mom" The Frantics _Frantic Times_
"Mom & Dad" Cub _Box Of Hair_
"Mom & Dad" Theoretical Girls _Theoretical Girls_

the origin of maternal insults aka yo momma jokes

"Mom Or A Parking Lot" The Intelligence _Males_
"To Mom On Mother's Day" Monte Cazazza _To Mom On Mother's Day_
"When Mommy Kills You" Ty Segall & Freedom Band _Freedom's Goblin_
"My Mom's New Boyfriend" Barcelona _Zero One Infinity_
"Call Your Mom" Cheekface _Emphatically No._
"Mommy Is A Jilt" The Trend _Batman Live At Budokan_

conclusion & goodbye

"Mom & Dad" Frank Zappa _We're Only In It For The Money_
"My Mom, My Sister, & My Beliefs" Maria Bamford _Ask Me About My New God!_
"Your Mom" Thick _5 Years Behind_
"Tell Mommy You Want A Sip Of Beer" Head Like A Kite _Random Portraits Of The Home_
"2 Weird 4 My Mom" Occult Character _Metal Postcard 2020 - Lockdown Samples_
"Mom Dad & Monster" Capsule Giants _Hello Heroes_
"Mom's Friends" Tochigi _Tochigi_

Monday, May 10, 2021

Whither Mom?

(image from here)

Tonight's Self Help Radio - which has the theme "mom" - would seem to be a response to Mother's Day, which was yesterday.  & it's fine if you think that - but it's not the case.

My mother died in September, & the family is finally getting the chance to have a memorial for her.  I'm still pretty nervous about traveling - though I am vaccinated, I feel like far too many people aren't, & there are of course the politically-motivated & anti-vaxxers of all stripes who have their usually dumb reasons for opposing masks & vaccines - which leaves me anxious - but I am going back to Texas in just under two weeks to deliver the eulogy at my mother's memorial.

The thing is, I initially thought it was this weekend.  So, a month ago, I put it on the website.  I also thought, because I know there are way too many songs about "mothers," that I'd limit the show to songs about "moms."  I'd also include "mommies" & "mommas" (but not "mamas").  This is how I stop myself from way too much time finding & listening to songs.

Anyway, someone reminded me - probably my wife - that I was going next weekend & it seemed a better idea - especially since it had just been Mother's Day - to split the difference & leave the show on the day it was scheduled, even though that means I'll do a different show the week of the memorial.

But I think it'll be a fun show regardless!  There are guests galore & lots of good tunes.  Well, I like them.

Self Help Radio's Mom show airs tonight on KBOO from midnight to 3am.  You can listen on 90.7 fm or  You can even listen with your mom, if she's up.  That's something I can no longer do.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Preface To Mom: Mother's Day

(this is from here)

A while ago I was having a conversation with my sister Pat, who died in 2015, about our father, who died in 1991.  I told her that I couldn't remember his voice.  I sometimes think I have a sense of it, but he wasn't around a lot when I was a kid, & we didn't really have a lot of conversations.  I imagine there are traces of it in my brothers who, because they have retained their southern accents, tend to be higher & more reedy than my own.  But I can't ever be sure.  I don't know if there are any recordings of it anywhere.

For the record, my sister told me that she remembered it like it was her own voice, & still heard it from time to time, even more than two decades later.

There's is no chance of the same problem with my mother's voice.  I spoke with her weekly for the last two decades of her life, & saw her many times - once a year when I lived out of state, much more frequently when I lived in Texas.  I even have recordings of her voice - she called in to my radio show more than once, & I have tapes of her leaving a message on my old answering machine, which used an actual cassette tape.  Fun fact!  I used that machine until probably 2002!

Listen, I even can remember her voice changing as she got older & got a little more senile - or perhaps more demented.  I remember ridiculous arguments I had with her while I was walking the dogs in Kentucky & I remember the last time I spoke to her, when she was in the nursing home last summer, confused & close to incoherent, not really sure she knew she was talking to me.

This is the first Mother's Day in years that I haven't called her.  I tended to call her nearer to the end of the day so she could regale me with all the visits she had, the calls she had, the gifts she received.  She really loved this day.  I guess the last Mother's Day I spent with her was in 2018 - two years ago I would've been on my way here, & last year I was here, & doubtless called her.  She was fading at that point.  It wasn't easy speaking to her.  & whereas we could easily fill an hour in conversation - she tended to talk at me, telling me about her life as well as filling me in with information about my siblings' lives - by the end we spoke for mere minutes.  Her world was closing in on her, & her words were started to fail her.

So I didn't call anyone today.  But when I grabbed that image above, I wasn't sad.  Because I suspect I'll go to my own death with my mother's voice in my head.  It seems inconceivable that I could ever forget it.