Saturday, December 31, 2022

Year End Reckoning

It's time for me to tell you, at the end of 2022, how many radio shows I did this year.

It's not important that you know this.  It's not important at all.

Nonetheless, here's the total - & you know what, let me just say that it's approximate because my record-keeping skills are poor.  It could be plus minus one or two.  But I'll just say that, to the best of my knowledge, here's the total:

In 2022, I put together 134 radio shows.

How did that break down?  Like this:

52 episodes of Self Help Radio (that's right - I did not miss a week!)
(This does not include the seven extra episodes of Self Help Radio that aired on XRAY - though those episodes do add to the total.)

50 episodes of the Dickenbock Report.  I missed only two weeks of that show.

In addition, I managed to make:
Twelve KBOO Sub Shows - usually two & a half hours long, sometimes after my show.
Nine episodes of "KBOO Funnies" - me playing sixty minutes of comedy & stand-up & stuff Monday nights before my show.

In addition, I subbed on XRAY twice, & made two Freeform Portland shows as subs.

One last thing: early in the year, in an attempt to play more new music on XRAY (way before I had a show), I made six weekly mixes of two hours each.  It became a bit too much work for me, so I stopped doing it - but since I didn't talk on the shows, I don't consider them radio shows per se.  They were not added to the total.

Last year I tabulated the number of shows I did & that number was 111.  I am astonished I did more this year.

Since I did this last year, I feel obligated to do it again this year, re: Self Help Radio.
Of the 52 shows:
Forty (40) of them explored unique themes - that is, for the first time,
Six (6) of them explored themes I regularly explore - three for my indiepop nonsense, one for my wife's birthday show, one for my favorite music of the year, & one for a Christmas show.
Unusually, I repeated six themes this year.  One for my anniversary show.  One for my birthday show - I liked so much music from 1986, I needed two shows to play it.  For my Halloween show, I revisited a theme - spiders - which I hadn't previously used as a Halloween theme.  The other three - bees, buzz, & flowers - I repeated for the sake of KBOO's Spring Membership Drive.  & the amount of dollars I raised for KBOO for that effort - zero.  No one donated to my show this year.  Sorry, KBOO.

My estimate is that I was on the radio for more than three hundred hours this past year - the equivalent of almost two weeks of radio featuring me! - & I cannot apologize more.  I wish I could promise that I'll do less.

As always, feel lucky I'm mostly on late at night or early in the morning, when no one is listening.  That's the silver lining in this unpleasant data dump!

Friday, December 30, 2022


It would shock me if, after all this time - after over four thousand posts on this silly blog thing - I haven't entitled a post "Penultimate," as it's one of my favorite words.  We should have words for the next to the last, just as we should have words for the things before & after.  But as far as I know we only have penultimate.

& it turns out I did use the word in a post, from over fourteen years ago, when I was about to do my next-to-the-last Self Help Radio on KOOP in Austin.  My how time flies.  It goes like this:

Preface To My Penultimate Show On KOOP: Yes! I Got To Use The Word Penultimate!

I mean, how often do you get to use the word "penultimate"? Most people prefer "next to last," but not only does "penultimate" sound way cooler than "next to last," but it reminds everyone that the meaning of the word "ultimate" is "the very last." So the next time you see "Billy Joel - The Ultimate Collection," hold the record companies to their promise! No more Billy Joel collections ever!

Oh, tis a sadness to be approaching the end of my KOOP times. I feel blue. But I look forward - to other radio stations in the universe,* to those pesky podcasts which, at last count, almost a few folks have downloaded. & then I look back - & it seems like KOOP is giving me the finger - wait! It's apparently just scratching its face. Whew!

There are so many wonderful stories & experiences that I had at KOOP, I am sure. I have obliterated most of them, of course, with heavy drinking & short-term memory loss incurred by a desperate need I have to impress the women by breaking beer bottles on my head. But my record number of concussions in one four-hour period surely reflects the joy given to me not only by being a part of what is truly a crazy-ass experiment in community radio, but also by the crazy-ass listeners who for whatever reason kept coming back to my show, listening, calling, calling again, still listening, calling, calling into the night, calling even when I am at home & not on the air any longer, continuing to call into the wee hours, calling, calling, hey!, I got caller ID buddy, be aware of that, you freak!

It's the penultimate time you'll get to hear me on that radio station! Pass it on! Use that word all the time until people get annoyed with you. You know you wanna. Come on!

* This turned out to be prescient! I got to be a part of so many other radio stations in the universe!

Anyway, today is the penultimate day of 2022.  You knew that.  That's why I thought of it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Self Help Radio 122722: Indiepop A To Z # 70

(all images from Discogs)

Last Self Help Radio on KBOO of 2022! As usual, every four months I return to my interminable Indiepop A To Z series.  We're in the letter R - we travel from Raintree County to the Reflections.  In between I show off how exhausted I am & I ask for help during KBOO's End Of The Year Drive.  Click if you appreciate these obsessive/compulsive shows I do!

If you would like to listen to three hours of songs that fall into the indiepop genre, that have influenced indiepop, or are indiepop-adjacent, you can do so now or anytime at either the KBOO website or at the Self Help Radio website - where you'll be able to download the show but where you'll need a username & password, which are SHR & selfhelp.

Have a happy new year!  As always, thanks for listening!

Self Help Radio Indiepop A To Z # 70
"Take" Raintree County _C90_
"I'll Keep It With Mine" Rainy Day _Rainy Day_
"1,000 Days" The Rainyard _A Thousand Days_

"Whoops! What A Palaver!" The Raj Quartet _Whoops! What A Palaver!_
"Adriano Celentano" Ralley _Ave Marina: Ten Years Of Marina Records_
"Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" Ramones _Leave Home_
"Fragments Of Youth" Rapid Dance _Fragments Of Youth_
"Hope" Johnny Rasheed _Inspiration_

"Saying Goodbye" Ratcat _Rarities_
"Positively Lost Me" The Rave-Ups _Town + Country_
"Don't Bury Me Yet" The Raw Herbs _Don't Bury Me Yet_
"Dead Sinister" Raw Nerves _Sound As Ever (Australian Indie 90-99) - Volume 2: Stuck On The 90s_
"Louise" Rawhide Chomp _Louise_

"Puddles & Rain" Ray Rumours & The No-Eyed Dears _Indietracks 2009: An Indiepop Compilation_
"I've Been So Right" Ray Wonder _Moshi Moshi: Pop International Style_
"No One Notices Your Brand New T-Shirt" Raymond & Maria _Jobs Where They Don't Know Our Names_
"No-One Can Hold A Candle To You" Raymonde _Babelogue_
"Youth" Razika _Program 91_

"P Street Beach" Razor 18 _A Gift From Sing-Sing_
"It Kills Me Inside" Razorblade Smile _Razorblade Smile_
"Storyteller" Razorcuts _Storyteller_
"Wasting Time" Reading Rainbow _Prism Eyes_
"Noticia Increible" Real Carioca _Años Dourados_

"Soren Loved Regina" The Receptionists _The Last Letter_
"See My Face" Recruits _See My Face_
"All-Right!" Recycledpop _Ten; Ten_
"Myra" Red Chair Fadeaway _Curiouser & Curiouser_
"Redo" Red Dye No. 5 _Pop American Style_

"Heartstrings" Red Go-Cart _Skip & Make It Flower_
"Feeling Young" Red Harvest _Strange_
"Spin Out" Red Hour _Spin Out_
"Hibernation" Red Letter Day _The Marsh Marigold Review Gold 01-10_
"My Erstwhile Companion" Red Money _A Kind Of Retrospective 1990-1995_

"Ordinary" Red Riders _Drown In Colour_
"Wet Blanket" Red Roll-On _Sharon Signs To Cherry Red_
"It Happens" Red Sleeping Beauty _Soundtrack_
"Funny How" Reddy Kilowatt _Just For A Day_
"Let's Pretend Were Not in Love" The Reds, Pinks, & Purples _Summer At Land's End_

"Satellite Of Love" Lou Reed _Transformer_
"Only In My Dreams" The Reflection A.O.B. _Only In My Dreams_
"Searching (A Mix)" The Reflections _Searching_

Monday, December 26, 2022

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 70?

(I don't have a picture for you so here's my exceptionally twee cat Boone.)

At the end of every four months, I return to a series I started long ago & far away called "Indiepop A To Z."  At this point in time, I don't really feel there's a larger indiepop community, & I am certainly not a part of it, so my continuing this is entirely a symptom of my obsessive-compulsive nature.  I am currently on the letter R, & probably will not finish it tonight.  The best thing to be said is that, if you like jangle pop or twee pop or some new wave or some shoegaze or some mixture of these & other indie sounds, you'll probably like what I will play.  If you'd rather listen to punk or garage or indie rock, this might not be for you.

It'll be on from midnight to 3am Portland time on 90.7 fm in town & online everywhere at  It's at that point where fans of indie music intersect with fans of alphabetization.  With probably odd results.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 70: Christmas Day

Here's a couple of things I found on Tumblr apropos Christmas:

Lou & Reed vibin'.

The Brian Eno Christmas record we need but don't have.

Seriously, I'd do another Christmas show if that were a real Eno record.

Happy day all!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve

The wife fell asleep early.  I am drinking wine & looking at Tumblr (where I found the screen cap of Super Hans).  I just finished a recorded show for KBOO.  I need to work on Self Help Radio.  Terrible weather made it difficult for me to leave the house this morning so I didn't get to do Self Help Radio on XRAY.  Two scheduled shows I missed this week!

Here's something nicer from Tumblr - Christmas thoughts from Winsor McKay:

Wow, I sure loved Christmas as a kid.  But now it seems like something some other people do.

Ah well.  Happy whatever you celebrate!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Christmas Films

(image from the IMDb)

Didya listen the very last Self Help Radio Christmas show ever? If you didn't, you can always listen at the Self Help Radio website or at the KBOO website - otherwise you'll have missed the segment where our resident cinephile Chuck talked about Christmas movies, television shows, shorts, & specials from the 1960s!  Also, if you didn't listen, the following list of links might not make much sense!

Here is the keyword list he used to find the things he watched.

Using that information, he made a YouTube playlist.  He also put together an IMDb list of films available elsewhere for streaming.

Chuck has a list of films on Letterboxd, as well as his reviews there.

You are strongly encouraged to follow Chuck on Twitter to find out what he's watching & also to find out when he's next on the show!

Enjoy your Christmas stuffs!  & have a happy holiday weekend!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Self Help Radio 122022: One Last Very Self Help Radio Christmas

Here it is!  The last Self Help Radio Christmas episode! Now I can really focus on those Arbor Day shows I've been wanting to make!

Please enjoy a hopefully delightful (& delightfully odd) collection of Christmas tunes.  There are some extras, as you'll note below - our resident cinephile talks to us about Christmas movies & more from the 1960s; I interview a reindeer wrangler, a fruitcake baker, & an elf on strike; & there's a radio show from 1967 that's kind of a Christmas show by the Firesign Theatre.  It's funny.

That's all noted below.  You can listen to the show in two places: at the KBOO website, where I would strongly encourage you to help out if you can during our End Of The Year Drive; & at the Self Help Radio website, where you'll need a username & password to access the show (try SHR & selfhelp), but you can download it if you want.

Happy holidays!  Enjoy one last Christmas show from me!  Except when I redo it for XRAY on Saturday.  But after that, no more!

One Very Self Help Radio Christmas
"Christmas Alone" The Photocopies _Cheer Up, It's Christmas_
"Here Comes The Fattest Man In Town" Bob Chester & His Orchestra _The Bob Chester Orchestra_
"Christmas Eve In Fairyland" Gracie Fields _100 Hits Christmas Legends_

introduction & explanation

"Los Chrismos" Los Bitchos _Los Chrismos_
"A Johnny Ace Christmas" Squirrel Nut Zippers _Christmas Caravan_
"Cracker Jokes" Stephen Fry _Fry's English Delight_
"The Twelve Days Of Christmas" The Popguns _24_
"The Twelve Days Of Christmas" The Sweetback Sisters _Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular_

our resident cinephile Chuck stops by to talk about Christmas offerings from the 1960s (TV & film)

"Hooray For Santa Claus" Milton DeLugg & The Little Eskimos _Hooray For Santa Claus_
"Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown (vocals, Nina)" John Barry _On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)_
"Christmas: A View From Ipswitch" Richard Ayoade _Ayoade On Top_
"Wonderful Christmas Time" Kadhja Bonet _California Holiday EP_
"Santa Claus, Bring My Man Back" Ozie Ware with Duke Ellington's Hot Five _Duke Ellington & His Orchestra 1928_

interview with reindeer wrangler Arthur Jarvis

"Christmas Is The Day" The Free Design _Butterflies Are Free: The Original Recordings 1967-72_
"Merry Gentle Pops" The Barron Knights _Best Of The Barron Knights_
"Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" The Beatles _The Christmas Records_
"Merry Christmas Darlings" Swansea Sound _Music Lover_
"Stay A Little Longer, Santa" Shemekia Copeland _Deluxe Edition_

interview with fruitcake maker Shelly Green

"Santa Claus Rock & Roll" Kathy & Jimmy Zee _Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree_
"Yo Ho Ho" Klark Kent _Just In Time For Christmas_
"Yulenet Parts 1 & 2 (with Daws Butler)" Stan Freberg _The Capitol Collector's Series_
"The Christmas Song" Alex Chilton _Clichés_
"Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto" Darlene Love _It's Christmas, Of Course_

interview with elf on strike Nemo

"Tile It Like It Is" The Firesign Theatre _Live At The Magic Mushroom_

conclusion, goodbye, holiday well-wishes!

"Santa Lives In My Building" Spearmint _Have Yourself A Merry Indie Christmas Volume II_
"Merry Christmas, Elizabeth" The Chickpea Darlings _Merry Christmas, Elizabeth_
"'Twas The Night Before Christmas (A Visit From St. Nicholas)" Lorne Greene _The Complete Christmas On The Ponderosa_
"Little Drummer Boy" Low _Christmas_
"Santa Claus" Thee Headcoatees _The Sisters Of Suave_

Monday, December 19, 2022

Whither One Last Very Self Help Radio Christmas?

It's true! Tonight's show on KBOO is the very last entirely Christmas-oriented show that will happen on Self Help Radio on this station!  I mentioned the reasons why yesterday.

But don't fret, lovers of holiday programming!  I can promise you that you'll hear Christmas music non-stop in my commercial spaces & on most radio stations for the rest of your life, usually beginning in September!  Just not any with that slightly "off" feel you've come to expect from twenty years of Very Self Help Radio Christmases.  Alas.

So please join us for one last Christmastime on 90.7fm in Portland & online at tonight! Midnight to 3am! That's Portland time! I've sent word to Santa, maybe he'll show up! It's his birthday, after all!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Preface To One Last Very Self Help Radio Christmas: Wait, One Last Christmas?

What's going on?  One last Christmas show?  Is this - can it be - have we finally reached the end of Self Help Radio?

Sorry, no.  I've just decided to stop making Christmas shows.  But why?

Had I the time, I would look back over the things I've written about Christmas over the last few years.  There was a time when I really quite liked Christmas music.  But I suspect I have mentioned in passing the three things that have been nagging at me for the past few years:

One, I wasn't celebrating Christmas as a holiday.  I haven't bought presents for friends or my wife or really anyone for over a decade now.  I stopped going home for the holidays after I moved out of Texas (the first time) & didn't start again when I moved back (making my mom a little sad).  Really, the only thing I have done in over ten years that was Christmasy was a radio show.

Two, I'm not a Christian.  I know Christmas is a mostly secular holiday at this point, but it felt weird to talk about & play songs about the religious aspect, most of which I think is hooey, & then to not really take part in the other stuff, which is fun - giving the gifts, Santa, reindeer.

Three, I don't have kids.  I don't have any biological kids nor do I have children in my life.  If I did, I might get them presents - they delight in getting things, after all.  But with these three marks against Christmas in my book, it just seemed silly to spend time listening to Christmas music for a show that I was enjoying less & less as time goes by.

You may know I come from a fairly large family - six brothers & sisters, most of whom have reproduced - & you might think, why don't you buy them gifts at least?  It's funny you ask - I recall a family Facebook group from a few years ago when the discussion was, "What do you want for Christmas?"  The instruction was to list three things.  To a person, my siblings, nieces, & nephews wrote, "1. Gift Card to X; 2. Gift Card to Y; 3. Gift Card to Z."  I mean, why not just ask for money?  I guess I'd send them money if they wanted that.

There is one last reason I will probably talk about on the show.  & some people think I will renege & return to doing Christmas shows next year.  & perhaps I will.  But for now, it feels almost over.  & for me, it does seem like tomorrow's show will be the very last Very Self Help Radio Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2022


This picture was taken (by me) six years ago.  In Dallas, Texas.  I called it "Swirlie."  I think it was taken right outside the KNON studios during their annual toy drive.  I probably took about ten shots on the crappy old digital camera I was using before I got this one, where you can see the ribbons & the center clearly.  That day the temperature dropped about thirty degrees in the afternoon, & I caught a cold.

That's all.

Friday, December 16, 2022

"The Selfies"!

(original image here)

A thought occurred to me: along with my list of favorite records, I should give out imaginary awards for other favorite things that happened during the year.  It could be about anything - things in Portland, movies or television shows, whatever.

But then another thought occurred to me - what would I call them?  They'd have to have a good name, like the Oscars or Emmys or Cable Ace Awards.  But what would I call these imaginary awards that are only important to me?

Then it hit me!  Self Help Radio would have as its award the Selfie!

In excitement, I told my wife, who said, "A selfie is a picture that someone takes of themselves to post on social media."

"Oh yeah," I said.  "I totally forgot."

& that was that for Self Help Radio awards.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Self Help Radio 121322: Gary's Favorite Music 2022

(images from Discogs & Bandcamp)

Here is my official "not best of" for the year 2022. Lots & lots of music I enjoyed in 2022.

But you know what?  Not all the music I enjoyed in 2022!  I left out a lot!  & now I am second-guessing everything!  Why o why is my radio show only three hours long?!?  Maybe I should do a "favorites" show twice a year!  Three times a year!  How will I ever keep up?!?

Ah well.  Gotta move on.  Listen to this show if you'd like at either the KBOO website or at the Self Help Radio website.  At the latter, you know, you'll need a username & password.  Try "SHR" & "selfhelp."  That should work.  All the songs I played are below.  & it was all music - except when I asked in vain for help during the station's End Of The Year Membership Drive.

It was a good year for music - for music I liked!  I hope you like too.

Self Help Radio's Favorites Of 2022
"Dean's 7th Dream" My Favorite _Tender Is The Nightshift: Part 1_

"RVW" Wombo _Fairy Rust_
"Safeword" Shriekback _Bowlahoola_
"I Feel Fine" Reptaliens _Multiverse_
"Bartleby" Momus _Smudger_
"Wet Dream" Wet Leg _Wet Leg_

"Bad Summer" Spector _Now Or Whenever_
"Strood McD F.C." Jetstream Pony _Under The Bridge_
"My Most Beautiful Mistake" Elvis Costello & The Impostors _The Boy Named If_
"Mirrors" Just Mustard _Heart Under_
"Never Seen You Dance" Monogamy _Never Seen You Dance_

"I'm Waiting For The Man (May 1965 Demo)" Lou Reed _Words & Music May 1965_
"Andy Warhol (In Concert: John Peel)" David Bowie _Divine Symmetry_
"Trocadero" Sophisticated Boom Boom _Sophisticated Boom Boom_
"Bad Dreams" Marine Research _Peel Session_
"Sea Madness" The Jazz Butcher _The Highest In The Land_

"Option 8" Horsegirl _Versions Of Modern Performance_
"Loaded" Courting _Guitar Music_
"The Rip" Porridge Radio _Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky_
"First Blood" The Mountain Goats _Bleed Out_
"Driver's Story" Dry Cleaning _Stumpwork_

"Garden Of Stars" Brian Eno _Foreverandevernomore_
"Golden Air" Sun's Signature _Sun's Signature EP_
"I Don't Mean To Stare" The Orchids _Dreaming Kind_
"The Fawn" Sound Of Ceres _Emerald Sea_
"Indiferencia" Combo Chimbita _Iré_

"The House On The Borderland" MJ Hibbett _The Unearthly Beauty Of MJ Hibbett_
"Teenager (feat. Chai & Pi Ja Ma)" Superorganism _World Wide Pop_
"Vegan Water" Cheekface _Too Much To Ask_
"Strange Mornings In The Garden" The Loyal Seas _Strange Mornings In The Garden_
"Pool Cue Vigilante" Northern Portrait _The Swiss Army_

"Over & Over" No Suits In Miami _Nothing Ever Happens_
"Boho In Soho" Cleaners From Venus _That London_
"Pomeranian Spinster" Alvvays _Blue Rev_
"Go Go Go" The Wedding Present _Go Go Go_
"Best Left" The Beths _Expert In A Dying Field_
"Really In The Wrong Town" The Monochrome Set _Allhallowtide_

Monday, December 12, 2022

Whither Gary's Favorite Music 2022?

(image from some random Tumblr site)

It's that time of year again!  Not a "best of" list - I don't believe there's a such thing as a "best" & anyway I didn't listen to every release in 2022, so how could I (or anyone) claim to say what is "best" then? - but simply some of my favorite musical releases from the year.

You probably can guess I listen to music all the time & so I will almost certainly have more than three hours worth of songs I could call my "favorites" of the year.  So I follow these rules:

1) The music had to be something I listened to quite a lot.  More than just once or twice.
2) The music to be released this year - yes, I'll have some reissues on the list.
3) The song I play tonight isn't necessarily my favorite from the record - maybe I already played my favorite before & I wanted to showcase another song.
4) This is not a comprehensive list - I will doubtless have forgotten something or not gotten around to listening to something yet - there are almost three more weeks left in 2022!

Perhaps you'll have fun listening to me playing lots of my favorite music of the year.  It'll happen from midnight to 3am Portland time on 90.7fm in town & online at

You should totally make a list of your favorites too!  But if you call it a "best of" I'm probably just going to feel a little sorry for you & probably not going to pay much attention to it.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Preface To Gary's Favorite Music 2022: Repeating Myself

(image from here)

Every year around this time, I take a second to gripe about "best of" lists.  They sprout like weeds at the end of the year, & I am usually irked by the presumptuousness & the arrogance of anyone proclaiming what the 'best' is, even if it's done by committee.  Of all the major music places I know anything about (I don't really read music criticism these days, so I don't pay a lot of attention), only Allmusic says "favorites of 2022" in places, although they do have a "best of 2022" page too.

But you know what?  I'm not going to complain.  I feel like if you're the sort of person who desperately needs to believe that what you listen to is "the best" - even if there are people who don't like what you like, thereby invalidating the whole idea of "best" - then please by all means demonstrate that to us.  I'll know I can't really talk to you about music anyway.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to take some time this week to play stuff I listened to a lot this year.  I might not have played them on the radio much - my shows don't necessarily allow that as much as I wish - but I'm not always listening to music that I play on the radio.  Maybe there'll be something there you like.

It's not "the best of 2022" - & it's also not all my favorite stuff, since I only have three hours - but I hope to cover as much ground as possible!

Saturday, December 10, 2022

A Haiku For Freeform Portland

(the search engine says...)

Here is a haiku I wrote for the Freeform Portland fundraiser.  Which is happening right now!

You can click donate
At Freeform Portland dot org
Frogs clouds gentle rain

Hope it captured the essence of the haiku.  Now go to the Freeform Portland donate page & become a Friend Of Freeform! Or just make a generous one-time donation! Or maybe go to the Freeform Portland shop & get some cool merch?  Just please help us out!

Or else I'll write more haiku!

Friday, December 09, 2022

A Limerick For Freeform Portland

(according to the search engine)

Here is a limerick I wrote for the Freeform Portland fundraiser.  Which is happening right now!

Freeform Portland has a fundraiser
Asking its listeners for the small favor
   Of giving the station
   A generous donation
So it could keep being a trailblazer!

So it's not bawdy, sorry.  Now go to the Freeform Portland donate page & become a Friend Of Freeform! Or maybe go to the Freeform Portland shop & get some cool merch?  Just please help us out!

Or else I'll write more limericks!

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Self Help Radio 120622: Parallels

This week, Self Help Radio explored parallel universes - parallel dimensions - parallel worlds.  We also spent a lot of time staring at parallel lines, wondering if they'll ever meet.  (They won't.)  For a show that wishes it was unparalleled (it isn't), it played a lot of song about parallels.  Was each song equidistant from one another?  No!  That would've been too hard.

We did talk to someone who claimed to be from a parallel Earth.  & with a guy who feels like his life has been in parallel with a martial arts superstar.  & with a former Olympic athlete who was amazing at the parallel bars.  & music.  Oh so much music.

Listen to the show now either at the KBOO website or the Self Help Radio website.  If you use the second link, you'll need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) to listen.  But you can download the show!  Everything that happens on the show is below.

& I know the lines above aren't parallel.  But I needed a picture for this page!

Self Help Radio Parallels Show
"Parallel" Circus Maximus _Neverland Revisited_
"Parallel" The Gotobeds _Debt Begins At 30_
"Parallel" MomusMcClymont _MomusMcClymont_

introduction & definitions

"In A Parallel World" Wild Billy Childish & CTMF _Brand New Cage_
"Parallel" Bad Religion _The Gray Race_
"Parallel Lines" Subway Sect _Twenty Odd Years - The Story Of..._
"Through Parallel Dimensions" Outrageous Cherry _The Book Of Spectral Projections_
"Parallel Galaxy" Zolar X _Timeless_

interview with Kylo Ravsinnian, who is from a parallel Earth

"Parallels" Eels _The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett_
"Parallels" Big Thief _Masterpiece_
"Parallel Beds" Wreckless Eric _Le Beat Group Electrique_
"Step Into The Parallel" Electronic Corporation _Construction Deconstruction_
"Parallel Lines" Junior Boys _Begone Dull Care_

interview with author Uno

"Parallelograms" Linda Perhacs _Parallelograms_
"Parallelograms" Ian Dury, Kevin Kinney, & Eric Goulden _The Slippery Ballerina_
"'Cause It's Love (Saint Parallelogram)" Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 _Olé! Tarantula_
"Parallel Horizontal" Marine Research _Sounds From The Gulf Stream_
"The Edges Are No Longer Parallel" Morrissey _Roy's Keen_

interview with former Olympic athlete Nick Foster

"Parallel Lines" Kings Of Convenience _Quiet Is The New Loud_
"Parallel Text" Flare _Bottom_
"Parallel Timeline" Slothrust _Parallel Timeline_
"Parallel Park" All Girl Summer Fun Band _2_
"Parallel Bars (with Kelly Willis)" Robbie Fulks _The Very Best Of_

a further discussion of things that are parallel

"I Am Doing Better In A Parallel Universe" B.A. Johnston _Thank You For Being A Friend_
"Parallel Lives" Le Concorde _Universe & Villa_
"Parallel Love" The Postelles _...And It Shook Me_
"Parallel Paths" Little, Big _Pins & Narwhals_
"Parallel Lines" Wax Chattels _Wax Chattels_

a short airbreak reminding you to donate to KBOO during the End Of The Year Drive!

"Portals & Parallels" Belbury Poly & Moon Wiring Club _Youth & Recreation_
"Parallel" Tongues In Trees _Parallel_
"In Parallel (Acoustic)" Kelly Moran _WXAXRXP Session_
"Parallelism In Chinese & Taoist Poetry" Ken Cohen _Taoism: Essential Teachings Of The Way & Its Power_
"La Femme Parallel" Thievery Corporation _Radio Retaliation_

conclusion & goodbye

"All Things Parallel Must Converge" Stefan Grossman & John Renbourn _Under The Volcano_

Monday, December 05, 2022

Whither Parallels?

(A parallelogram from the Wikipedia)

Months ago I awoke from this dream. I had decided not to go to class. I am decades away from my college experience & still I dream of cutting class. But when I went by the class, I saw that there were very few students there - & the professor looked sad. She beckoned to me to come in, but I said I could not. She said, "Why?" I had no ready excuse so I had to lie. I said, "I need to finish a book report for another class!" She said, "What book?" & I couldn't think so I made one up: Parallel Parking In A Parallel Universe.

When I woke I wished there was a book called that.  But since I am not a writer but a dumb radio show maker I settled on the idea that "parallel" might make a good theme for a radio show.  Many moons later I guess I am ready to present one.

It's happening tonight. Midnight to 3am. On 90.7fm KBOO in Portland & online at It can only be a good show in one of the parallel universes. Let's hope it's this one.

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Preface To Parallels: Still Thinking About My Dear Old Hound

It's funny, I thought writing about him like I did yesterday would help with the grief, but I guess I'll wait a little longer for that.  We'll go back to regular radio show nonsense tomorrow, since the show is tomorrow night.  I wish I were a musician, I would've written an entire double album about him by now.  Anyway.  Forgive the indulgence.  He was so fucking great.  & I miss him more than I can ever really say.

Saturday, December 03, 2022


(Winston's first time to kiss Magda; the first of countless kisses I gave him.)

This is the (very long) story of an extraordinary little hound who stole my heart & whom we lost over a week ago.  That he lasted as long as he did seems a miracle, as you will discover if you read on.  If you don't, if it's a tl;dr situation, the summary is: despite some terrible odds, he lived over fifteen happy years with humans, dogs, & cats who loved him, & he charmed virtually everyone he ever met.

In 2001, when I met Magda, the woman who is now my wife, she had a dog, named George.  They had a connection I couldn't really compete with.  Which was fine, I was more of a cat person then.  He was a beagle boy, she decided she wanted to surround herself with beagle boys.  In the summer of 2004, she fell in love with another beagle boy named Ringo.  We adopted him & he & George became fast friends.

(I wrote about George after he left us here.  About Ringo here.)

But as both were rescues, Magda really wanted to get a beagle boy puppy & in 2007 she researched nearby breeders.  We lived in Texas then & she thought a place in Houston, called "Irish Coffey Beagles," was as ethical as we might find, & they had a litter with one boy, & we went to visit them.  I remember two things most about the trip - one, they were located in one of the weird rural places being slowly absorbed by the expanding city, & so had roads without gutters in areas where giant strip malls & box stores were being built - so we might not be able to find the place all that easily; & two, that I had an anxiety dream the night before - I had recently quit smoking & I dreamt that the owners might somehow know that & deny us the little dog because of it.  The place, it turned out, was easy to find - their yard was covered in beagle signs, statues, & other paraphrenelia - & the woman never put down a cigarette the entire time we were there.

(she had a thing for beagles)

Mostly it was an unpleasant experience.  She must have had thirty adult beagles, mostly in crates, which she would let out in shifts.  But it was wonderful meeting Winston.  The pictures at the top are from that moment.  He was very young & very frisky & he loved playing with his two sisters.  I guess we passed the test because we would be coming back to get him in six weeks.

(here is Winston with his sisters)

(here's one more picture of him when we met)

Something should be said about his name.  Magda had George when we met & started dating.  When we adopted the second beagle, he was called Grady - but he didn't seem like a Grady.  I thought we needed a drummer so he became Ringo.  I was thinking of calling Winston "John," but what pressure to put on a dog!  Since Lennon's full name was John Winston Lennon, we initially called him John Winston.  But eventually he settled into just Winston.  & it truly suited him.

Later on, Winston would be very anxious in cars, but he slept in Magda's lap all the way home. I took him by KOOP to show him around.  He was small & adorable.  The older beagle boys tolerated him but mostly paid him very little notice.  He was such a playful little thing that I once referred to him as a flibbertigibbet.  Magda gleefully started calling him "Flib Jib."  It was the beginning of a habit we had of renaming him every so often.  He never seemed confused - he always knew we were talking about him when we called him whatever we were calling him.

(the car ride home)

Above I mentioned that I was a cat person.  While I loved George & Ringo, I didn't spend nearly as much time with them as Magda did - she took them on long walks, they had adventures that I missed by working & by volunteering hours & hours at KOOP.  I tried to impose a little discipline on the beagles - I started feeding them because Magda would fills bowls with food that George & Ringo lunged at & before they were on the ground there was kibble everywhere - but I had a rule - no beagles in bed.  I was afraid that they would take over.  But that first night, though we had a crate for him, Winston cried & cried, & I relented.  I put him between me & Magda.  He was so tiny & so needy.  & it didn't take him long to turn me into a dog person too.

(living la vida beagle)

The first crisis: about two months after we adopted him, his back legs appeared to stop working.  I remember he was chasing after Ringo in our backyard & I asked Magda, "Is this normal?"  She contacted the breeder, sent her a video, & we received the resounding response: No.  (She did offer to give us a refund if we wanted to return him.  Even now that seems so heartless & gross.  Almost certainly she would have put him down.)

An expensive journey took us through the end of 2007.  We visited College Station for an MRI.  We got a diagnosis: Musladin-Leuke Syndrome.  It had previously been called by the racist appellation "Chinese beagle syndrome" because their little feet appear to be bound.  I can't remember the number of vets we saw but one of them, I still see her cold blue eyes & still hear her passionless tone, told us in early December, "He will be dead in a month."

At one point, driving down I-35, Magda even suggested it might be kinder to put him down.  I refused.  I said he was ours & we would never give up on him.  & after that brief moment of doubt, we never did.  More to the point, as you shall see, he never gave up either.

We stopped feeding him puppy food - it encourages growth & we needed to inhibit it.  We confined him whenever possible to keep him from possibly hurting himself - Magda remembers he was in a little crib-like enclosure next to her as she wrote her dissertation. We sent him to physical therapy, which he hated - a lot of it was in the water.  But he got better.  He didn't die like the cruel doctor said he would.  He was just as lovable & sweet as the moment we met.  Almost certainly he loved all the attention from his mother - she pushed him in a stroller on walks - & often to keep him from fussing, she'd give him pecans in the shell, which he would work to crack open & eat the insides happily.

As a regretful person, I regret not having the time or (being honest) the inclination to walk with them in those days.  But our time in Austin came to a close, Magda got a job in West Virginia, & in the summer of 2009 we prepared to leave Texas.  But then came:

The second crisis.  About a week before we left, Winston stopped eating.  He coughed up blood.  We rushed him to the vet, where an x-ray told us he had an obstruction in his stomach.  While the realtor was showing our house, Magda took the dogs to the neighbors where Winston had apparently eaten a peach pit.  The little guy had his first surgery, & we were on the road very soon after that.  Magda still has that peach pit.  At this point, Winston had been a very expensive dog - Magda used to refer to him as "her Prius."  Since, you know, he had cost as much by then.  (Magda is a bit hyperbolic.)  But you know what?  He was absolutely worth it.

In West Virginia, I started walking with Magda & the boys every day.  I feel like I would walk Winston while Magda walked George & Ringo but who knows.  We had a ridiculous three story house & Winston was healthy enough then to climb the stairs on his own.  We knew he'd always be small - a friend at KOOP had called him a "perma-puppy" - but we believed that he'd have a tolerably normal beagle's life.

(a happy walk in the fall of 2009)

It's been years so I can't remember but I don't think Winston slept with us at night.  I know he would often sleep with Magda on the sofa.  She would protest that she didn't really love him but he had a way of ending up with her in some pretty cute situations.

(exhibit A)

Speaking of regrets, my other great regret with Winston is that he hated being in a car.  He would just sit & shiver, utterly inconsolable.  Once the car stopped, he'd jump out, acting as though everything was fine.  If I could go back & do it again, I would demand he sit in our laps the entire drive.  Find some way to decrease his anxiety.  Because in a car or at the vet, he would shiver - & nothing helped.  He did not like any kind of depressive - it made him feel out of control.  But the reality was we drove a lot in those days - to cities around Lexington (we had moved there in 2010) & back to Texas to see my family.  He drove through virtually every state I've ever driven through.  & hated every minute in the car.

It was on one of those visit to Texas that we found ourselves with:

The third crisis.  It was in a somewhat sleazy La Quinta in Garland, Texas, with its beds quite high off the ground, that George, without malice, knocked Winston off the bed, & the little guy fell three feet & landed on his back.  He did not seem to be hurt, but later that day, when we went for a walk, his back legs had begun to stop working.  We returned to Lexington, saw our doctor (a lovely person named Dr. Egan who was so very kind to our pets), & she recommended we go to a place in Louisville.  The place is called Metropolitan Veterinary & the doctors there were excellent.  They performed something on Winston called disc fenestration.  We were warned that even with this surgery, Winston might never walk again.  But he had to have it.

(here he is with his brothers in late 2011)

Within a few weeks, though, he was walking.  His back legs were very weak (the left one in particular) but he more than made up for it with his powerful front legs. He was surprisingly fast - if he wanted to book it, he could - we called it "cockroaching" & when, for example, we visited Red River Gorge in Kentucky in 2014, I was a little worried some of the trails would be a little too much for him - but he was running circles around out-of-shape old me.

As he got older, we had to put booties on his back feet because they would drag on pavement & he'd get cuts.  But the truth is, he went on a walk with us the day before he died.  He never stopped going on walks, & were he here today, he'd be going on a walk with us when we walked.

One thing I want to mention about Winston is that he was very smart but also very empathetic.  In the summer of 2012, we had taken George, who had been limping, to the vet in Louisville thinking he might have hurt his back, too.  They made us bring him in early & we dropped him off & came back to Lexington - about a two-hour round trip drive - & we decided to nap a bit.  We got a call that while he was under they discovered his back was fine, but there was cancer in his leg.  Should they amputate?  Should they start chemo?  Would we want radiation?  Magda was freaking out so she asked if she could call back & we had a very intense discussion that from the outside might have seemed like an argument.  As we were talking, Winston very deliberately came up onto the bed & positioned himself between us, shivering like he did in the car.  It made us stop to take care of him & stop being so upset.  It was remarkable.  I had never seen anything like that before.

(here is Winston at 5; he seems pretty happy)

We lost George at the end of 2012.  It was a grief I had never experienced before.  The day after, we impetuously adopted a puppy.  We named her Pauline - she was a beagle girl, not a beagle boy - it was either that or Paulette - & she helped dilute the intense grief in the house by being a needy puppy.  But it turned out she wasn't just a balm for her humans - she was a new companion for Winston.

For reasons detailed above, Winston never had much of a puppyhood.  Pauline gave him a second chance.  Pauline wanted to play all the time.  Winston was happy to oblige.  I found video of the two of them playing not long after we adopted her - Winston literally runs rings around her.  You would not have thought he had ever had back surgery watching him joyfully running around the yard.  I'm glad we have moments like that captured.  We had older Winston for so long, it was easy to forget he was a youngster once.

The picture above is from May of 2014.  You can see that Winston (on the left) is wearing a bootie on his left foot.  That was always his weakest, & it got weaker over time.  But the time period from late 2012 to 2014 was a generally stable time.  Pauline grew up but they continued to play; even Ringo took part occasionally.  There was a change in the summer of 2015 when we adopted Yoko (you can read her story here) & it took a while for them to get along but Winston being Winston it was time for:

The fourth crisis. This is one you'd probably need to ask my wife about.  It involved his stomach, & his shivers, & seemed to be solved by medication & a limited ingredient diet.  Like many beagle issues, it involved poop - his poop was weird.  It remained weird the rest of his life, but the change in diet & the regular medication meant it wasn't as - you know what?  Let's just say his poop improved.  Ask Magda if you want more info.

(Magda & the kids at Luther Lake in Fort Worth)

We moved to Fort Worth in 2016.  Winston got older & grayer - Magda called him a silver fox - but it was all over his little body, not just in the face, where Ringo showed his age.  He tended to sleep with us, usually in-between, hogging a pillow if he could.  We walked regularly, he was always happy to walk, although most of the year we had to walk very early (thanks to the Texas heat).  Our dear neighbor Jim wrote on Facebook that one of the things they loved to see was him walking by in his little booties.  He was striking - people would think he was a puppy then realize he was not.  But we were all getting older.  We lost Ringo in 2018, & later that year our cat Beatrice.  Only Bolan & Winston were left from our Austin days.  Though I grieved a great deal (you can read it here on the blog, linked above), there were still six of them in the family, & they demanded a lot of attention.  For Winston, the worst times were the vet visits, especially the teeth cleanings.  He had to be put under for those.

(a vet visit in 2014)

During one of those cleanings, right before we moved to Portland, he had a mass removed.  The vet in Texas didn't seem too concerned about it, but in the summer of 2019, a vet in Portland removed another mass.  This one was tested, which led to:

The fifth crisis. Fucking cancer.

(on our way to the vet in 2019)

Up until this point, the veterinarians in this tale have been great - kind, often heroic, never less than smart & capable.  We generally managed to connect with good people who truly cared.  This has not been the case in Portland.  There have been a couple of fine & capable doctors to be sure, but the worst of the worst were the veterinary oncologists.  I'm not interested in naming names but I will just say, do not trust them.  They simply don't know enough about cancer in dogs.  They take wide swings & hope they'll hit something.  & loving pet owners like me & Magda are just marks for them.

Because we loved Winston, we wanted him to have the best care possible.  We agreed to spend a princely sum to get special "genetic testing" to more accurately match the chemo to the cancer.  The test came back inconclusive.  Did we get a refund?  Oh no.  They recommended standard chemo.  We wanted to prolong his life, so we agreed.  & while Winston sat shivering in the clinic - shaking really, just utterly terrified - they refused to listen to us, they prescribed a sedative that we told them didn't really work on him ("we'll give him a stronger dose"), & they patronizingly & condescendingly took him into their operating area to put a catheter in.

& Winston died on the table.  No one was fucking listening to him & he said "Enough is enough" & he coded.  I had told them before the procedure that if it happened, if he heart stopped, you bring him back.  & they did.  & the quack oncologist was so shaken that she wasn't going to try the procedure again.  Hey, you know what?  We don't fucking want you to.  We had to pay them for killing him & reviving him, too.

She told us his prognosis was a few weeks.  We decided we would take as good care as we could of him & make his last days his best days.

That was November 2019.  Winston stuck around for three more years.

My guess is the cancerous mass had all the cancer.  Not that the money-grubbing oncologist con artists had the skill or wherewithal to test for that.  They got their money out of us.  They had other desperate pet owners to swindle.

(ready for a walk, December 2019)

One of the things that happened when we moved to Portland is that we felt really, really guilty that we had deprived our dog Pauline of a beautiful backyard - the one in Fort Worth was her favorite.  So to make up for it, we began walking the dogs twice a day.  It's my opinion that this regular exercise - & we have walked all over this town in the last three years - helped Winston's legs, which were getting weaker.  He always loved to walk, & we discovered he loved walking in the rain.  We had never really walked in places were puddles were common - Winston delighted in splashing through them.

The other thing that almost certainly helped Winston after his twelfth year was the pandemic.  I loved Winston, & maybe he liked me, but he adored his mother.  I'm sure he thought that she was staying home for two years just to be with him, & he was the happiest he could be.  I confess I was never quite convinced he beat the cancer, & so I lived thinking some remarkable downturn was just around the corner, but he remained active, he continued to eat well, & he definitely enjoyed the attention he got from Magda, who has a thing for geriatric dogs.

(on some walks, though, Winston might need a little help)

These were good times. I took lots of pictures of him - I thought about making him an Instagram page so the world could follow his journey - I even thought of calling it "Winstongram" - but I had a sense - almost a dread - that the minute I did that, he would get sick & die.  So he remained our sweet secret - although he affected people like our neighbors without us really knowing it.  The couple two doors down once donated to an organization in Winston's name!  The funny thing was, it was KBOO - you know, the radio station where I - not Winston - have a show.

We were beginning to think he might live forever.  & don't get me wrong, every second we had with him from that cancer diagnosis was a gift.  I have nothing but gratitude for that extra time.  But in the fall of 2021 we had:

The sixth crisis. A melting ulcer.

(December 2021)

Again, you'd be better off asking Magda the details of this, but it involved his left eye, I believe.  Though the specialist we saw insisted his right eye still had a light reflex, Winston was for all intents & purposes blind.  He had been losing his hearing for a while, so all he basically had left was his magnificent sense of smell & his quite good sense of taste to help him along.  Despite a little difficulty adjusting, he continued to walk with us & he discovered he could order us about with a loud & resolute "bark!"  We determined it could either be to go outside, to get some water, or for sometimes other more subtle demands - he would bark, for example, if we didn't happen to walk when we regularly did, or, more insidiously, to order me to get to bed because he preferred we all slept at the same time.

He wasn't in any pain, but of course he couldn't play with Pauline anymore.  Pauline was very confused by his blind stumbling in the backyard & house & would sometimes mistake it for aggression - a couple of times she outright attacked him.  I wish I could have reminded her of the weird little beagle who basically brought her up & taught her how to dog.  On walks they were the same old pals, though.  & like I said, he continued to walk with us.  Twice a day.  Every day.  Rain or shine.

His eye situation under control, his new needs being met, he surprised us all by turning fifteen in July of this year.  Here he is with the cake:

(sweet fifteen)

When I posted that picture to Facebook, I felt a little guilty.  He actually can't see he's being photographed, & he didn't know he had a cake in front of him until he caught a whiff of it.  But it's a cute picture to be sure.  & he had a grand day.

The truth is, I never expected him to live so long, but I also didn't expect that his end would be dramatic or sudden.  As always, Winston decided to circumvent whatever expectation that was pressed upon him.

These last months with him have been such a joy, really.  When Magda had to travel, I waited on him hand & foot.  People who talked to me, or who were in meetings with me, would often hear me say, "Hold on, I need to see what Winston wants."  Though he stopped sleeping in bed with us - he actually did not prefer to be on furniture above the ground, the only exception being (of course) sleeping with Magda on the sofa - he slept in the room with us, & he was in my room for lunch & his afternoon nap.  We got a sling to carry him on walks as he would get a little tired - but there was never a walk where he didn't walk some appreciable distance, & many of them he walked almost the whole route.

(a rare moment earlier this year with all the dogs in my room)

The last crisis came quite unexpectedly.  It was late on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  I was up finishing my recorded show for Freeform Portland.  He was in the dog bed next to me.  I heard a noise, thought he was simply stretching, & quickly realized he was having a seizure.  I woke Magda up & she took him & held him.  He was very confused by what had happened - it took a while to get him to sleep.  & he slept longer that morning than usual.  When Magda & I woke Thanksgiving morning we gingerly peered over the foot of the bed, to where the little circle he slept in was, to make sure he was still breathing.

About thirty minutes after he woke, he had another seizure.  This one lasted twice as long.  We needed to see a doctor.  It being Thanksgiving, our options were limited.  We found a place in Tigard & took him.  One last uncomfortable car ride to one of those places he hated: a vet clinic.

They pretty much told us what we knew.  They said we should say our goodbyes.  I did not want him to die in the sort of place he never liked.  We called an organization called Compassionate Care & found out they could come to our house in the late afternoon.  We took him home.  He would die at home.

& he did.  He fell asleep (after sedation) eating pretzels & beggin' strips around 5pm.  He began to snore, actually.  & then he was gone.  This little creature that had just about crowded everything else out of my heart just ceased to exist.  The love boils into pain & that's how grief is made.

& I know this is too fucking long & probably dull but at least there are pictures.  He was a photogenic hound, & even more fun to look at in real life.  Magda reminded me that he was never mean, he was utterly guileless, he wanted most to be loved by his big brothers & by his mom.  My friend Kevin said, "He had a great personality" & that was true too.  He was so portable.  I picked him out & kissed him more times that I've kissed anyone in my life.  I doubt I will kiss any creature as much as I have kissed him.

(I so miss kissing that face)

Writing this is not me saying goodbye, though I know I'll never see him again.  I'll dream of him, yes, I have already started doing that.  Writing this is my way of expressing out loud how much I adored & loved him & how he changed me - he turned me into a dog person! he turned me into a guy who walks dogs twice a day! More than anything, I felt I needed to tell his story before I could return to the other stupid things I do - sharing the clumsy pictures I take, posting nonsense on the internet, focusing on my (ugh) dumb radio shows.  What I needed was some time for the grief to stop sloshing around & unbalancing me.

He was worth all the kisses & all the tears.  He was so damn strong.  He was smart & empathetic.  He started out as John Winston then became Winston which led to Winnie.  He was Flib Jib for a while.  One day he got so dirty (he was so close to the ground!) that I started calling him Schminston.  Which of course became Schminnie.  & my favorite, Schmoo.  Magda called him Schmoo-Moo.  He was Schmickles for a while there too.  Most recently he was called Nugget.  There were doubtless other names I'll remember & say out loud from time-to-time.  He knew every name we called him belonged to him.

He dealt with every problem life devised for him until he couldn't any longer.  He defied every prediction anyone - especially the so-called experts - made about him.  If it was something in the brain that finally betrayed him, well - it'll probably be something like that which takes most of us down, too.

Oh how I loved you little Winston & how I love you still.  Thank you for being in my life for the fifteen years I was unbelievably lucky enough to have with you.  I wish I could do it all over again.  & maybe I am, a little at a time, in my weepy brain & broken heart.  My sweet prince.  We will never see the likes of you again.