Saturday, July 02, 2022


According to the Farcebook, I wrote on this day in 2009, "I am home again for the first time in Huntington, West Virginia."

There's a place on this blog where I wrote about this house, & some of the things that happened while we lived in Huntington.  I didn't have a digital camera in 2009 & didn't take many pictures, so I didn't take a picture when we arrived.  Which we apparently did on July 2, 2009.  We drove our Toyota Corolla (pictured above) & a minivan.  If I'm not remembering incorrectly, it took two weeks for our things to arrive from the movers.  My books & music were more well-traveled at that point in time than I was.

This edifice was the first place we arrived at in Huntington.  I believe we took the dogs for a walk as soon as we rested some.  We might have met some neighbors.  It wasn't at all hot - I looked & saw that the high that day was 69 degrees.  In Austin, which we had just left two days before, it was 101 degrees.  & it wasn't as if we had left a different region - it was kind of like we had moved a little into the past.

My wife knew she wouldn't like it there so I decided to do my best to make it as nice as possible.  I began to walk the dogs regularly with her - that was not something I did in Austin.  I eventually started cooking for her, too, since she didn't much like the eating out choices we had in Huntington.  I couldn't fix her work, though, & that was a big part of her life.  I was left at home to take care of the animals, which was quite a happy thing for me: I got to spend all my time with them & I loved them so.  Only two of the animals we took to West Virginia made it to Oregon with us.  The dear cat we adopted in Huntington did make it here, but we lost her last year.  But I think all of them - well, maybe not my cat Beatrice, who hated traveling - but the rest of them would have loved it here.

Thirteen years ago seems to me to be so recent but also so far away.  There were times I regret not trying harder to make a life in Huntington.  But I think I knew my wife would never like it there.  & I couldn't convince her otherwise.

There's a part of me that thinks I was a little excited that day, though.  It was nice to be somewhere new.  I like that feeling.  I've got to feel it three more times since then!

Friday, July 01, 2022

Apartment Idioms

(A groovy apartment complex facade somewhere in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.)

One of the things I love to do on the show is talk about idioms.  I adore idioms.  I also say, because it's true, that they are the hardest thing to figure out when learning a language, but one of the most fun things about knowing a language.

But it turned out there weren't any idioms with the word apartment.  So I made some up.  I hope these will find their way into your conversations soon, & eventually on the Urban Dictionary.

1) one's apartment isn't complex
If you tell someone that their apartment isn't complex, it means they're not too bright.
You listen to Gary's show on KBOO?  But his apartment isn't complex!

2) basement apartment
A basement apartment is a stroke of bad luck. 
Your dog is sick?  Man, that's a basement apartment right there!

3) garage apartment
Relatedly, a garage apartment is an unpredictable or unsatisfying outcome.
The vet couldn't figure out what was wrong with your dog?  Sorry, man, for the garage apartment!

4) penthouse apartment
A penthouse apartment is good fortune - although it carries connotations of snobbery. 
Oh yes, she won the lottery, how very penthouse apartment of her.

5) one's apartment is a flat
If you tell someone their apartment is a flat, you're accusing them of being pompous & pretentious.
Oh look at Gary quoting Shakespeare! I guess his apartment is a flat.

6) apartment idioms for sex
Much like using bases from baseball to designate sexual conquest, apartments can serve a similar role.  Let's compare them with the baseball ones.

First base is kissing or making out. You can also call it renting an efficiency.
Second base is copping a feel.  You may also use the term renting a furnished efficiency.
Third base is that weird phenomenon a friend of mine used to call "clothes sex."  You can also call it a renting a furnished studio apartment.
& of course hitting a home run or a homer is good ol' sex.  Using apartment idioms, you'd say you  were leasing a rent-controlled fully furnished three bedroom two full baths.

Again, none of these are real idioms in use anywhere.  But that doesn't mean it always has to be that way.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Self Help Radio 062822: Apartments

(Actual apartment complexes I've lived in, images from Goggle Maps.)

Last night, someone called & said, "I am listening to your show in my car right now. Would it sound better if I was listening to it in an apartment?"  "Yes," I said.  The caller said, "Do you know where one is free right now?  With a radio?"

Alas, I was not able to help.  I was playing lots of songs about apartments in a cold radio booth in the middle of the night.  A show about apartments was not the same as an apartment locator app, or even one of those free books you can get at a convenience store with old-fashioned ads in.  The information relayed about apartments on the show was personal from the musician & general from me.

But there are certainly delights for those who have not lived the apartment experience!  You can listen to the show (again, preferably in an apartment) now or anytime at either the KBOO web page, or at the show's website, Self Help Radio dot net.  (At the latter site, you'll need a username, which is SHR, & a password, which is selfhelp.)  Everything that happens on the show is noted below.

Apartment complexes would be cooler if they were collectively owned by the tenants.

Self Help Radio Apartment Show
"In My Apartment" Dee Clark _Golden Classics_
"Apartment 21 (Without Strings)" Bobbie Gentry _The Girl From Chickasaw County (The Complete Capitol Masters)_
"Apartment # 5" The Billy Nayer Show _The Billy Nayer Show_

introduction & definition & history

"Real Crazy Apartment" Winston's Fumbs _Nuggets II (Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969)_
"Messy Apartment" Lee "Scratch" Perry _Who Put The Voodoo 'Pon Reggae_
"Cold Apartment" Vagabon _Infinite Worlds_
"The Apartment" Michael Showalter _Sandwiches & Cats_
"Empty Apartment" Glacier Veins _Clear Your Head_

interview with housing expert Henry Christian (part one)

"My Own Apartment" Ronnie Rochford _Teen Rockin' Fever Vol. 1_
"My Apartment" Neilson Family _Double Life_
"There Is Life Outside Your Apartment" Avenue Q Cast _Avenue Q: The Musical - Original Broadway Cast Recording_
"Apartment" Gospel Music _How To Get To Heaven From Jacksonville, FL_
"Ballet For A Small Apartment" The People's Victory Chorus & Orchestra _The School_

interview with housing expert Henry Christian (part two)

"Apartments" Boycrazy _Foreign Words_
"Lakeside View Apartments Suite" The Mountain Goats _Transcendental Youth_
"Leak/Looking For An Apartment/Friend Looking For Apartment" Todd Barry _From Heaven_
"Apartment # 9" Tammy Wynette _The Essential Tammy Wynette_
"In That Apartment Upstairs" Rosa Henderson _Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Volume 4 (1926-1931)_

interview with Jarvis Knowle, who lives in an apartment complex in a very small town

"Apartment Story" The National _Boxer_
"Apartment 3" Jill Cunniff _City Beach_
"Apt." Steven Wright _I Have A Pony_
"Apt. #5" Julie Ruin _Julie Ruin_
"All The Recipes I've Ever Ruined" The Lucksmiths _Why That Doesn't Surprise Me_

interview with apartment manager Noah Way

"Flat Of Angles" The Fall _Dragnet_
"Harry's Flat" Wreckless Eric _The Donovan Of Trash_
"Apartment Hunting" Eddie Lawrence _The Old Philosopher_
"The Girls In The Flat Upstairs" Martin Newell _The Off White Album_
"My Flatmate" Satan's Rats _What A Bunch Of Rodents_

completely made-up idioms using the word "apartment"

"My Apartment" Ben Kweller _On My Way_
"Apartment Song" Really From _Really From_
"Old Apartments & Baseball Redux" Andy Sandford _Me The Whole Time_
"Garage Apartment" Super XX Man _Volume V_
"Apartments Song" Promise & The Monster _Feed The Fire_

conclusion & goodbye

"Two House Apartment" Barry Brown _Two House Apartment_
"The Apartment The Cat & The Dress" Katie Goes To Tokyo _My Naked Heart_
"The Apartment" Half Waif _Mythopoetics_
"Empty Apartment" Chiaroscuro _Megalomaniac_
"The Apartment's Story" Anne Lene Hagglund _Bird Cherry Grove_

Monday, June 27, 2022

Whither Apartments?

According to, 39 millions people in the United States - or 1 in 8 residents - live in an apartment.  Data for Portland is a little harder to figure out - this website seems to prefer the term "renters" although that can mean renters of homes too.  But assuming it's the same as the country, isn't it time there were a radio show about apartments?  Unless there's already been one.  In which case, isn't it time there's another radio show about apartments?

Yesterday on the blog I noted I've spent 26 of my 54 years living in apartments (which excluded living in duplexes or rented homes, which would've increased that total by maybe six years) so I know apartments.  True, I don't currently live in an apartment, & I would hate to live in one of the horrifying apartments that line the highways in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where I used to live, but I'm not unsympathetic to apartments.  I would love to live in an apartment in a major city like New York or Paris!  Not that I ever will.

The pros & cons & joys & sorrows of apartments will be explored with music & talk on tonight's Self Help Radio which is on midnight to 3am on 90.7fm in Portland town & online everywhere at  Let's hope you'll listen along.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Preface To Apartments: I've Lived In Apartments Much Of My Life

(I lived in the apartment in the middle right from 1992-1994. Image from Gurgle Maps.)

A while back, I tried to tally the places I've lived in my life.  It probably wasn't interesting to anyone but me so I won't link to them - but because this week's show - the theme is apartments - I've been thinking about apartment living.

One thing that's true about me is that I am absolutely terrible at finding places to live.  I think I might have found maybe one of the places I've lived in my life.  Obviously my mother (with the help of my siblings) picked the apartments we lived in after she left my father.  But my first college roommates picked my first college apartment.  My ex-girlfriend, who had broken up with me because she had been cheating on me right before we broke up, picked the one above.  The next one was chosen by my soon-to-be-roommate, who for whatever reason wanted us to live together.  That one was in a fourplex, & the one after that was in a duplex, so I don't think those count as apartments.  Anyway, I met the woman I would marry when I lived in the duplex & she has chosen every place we've lived since then.  I fucking swear.

As far as I can remember, here are the names of the apartment complexes I lived in:
Kingsley Manor
The Lockwood Arms
Little Brook Apartments
Villa Cordoba
Unnamed Six-Unit Apartment Complex On Cranford Dr.
Town Lake Apartments (maybe not their name)
Dolphin Apartments
Tanglewood North
Unnamed Apartments On Avenue A
Chateau Depew (Unofficial Name) (Fourplex)

Yeah, I went ahead & linked to the original posts.  & I reread some of them.  I wrote them two years ago.  Anyway, it appears I lived in ten different apartment complexes in my life.  Since I may have lived in as many as 25 places in my life (I can't speak with certainly where I lived from birth to around 1972, when my mother left my father), that means it's about 40% of the places I've lived.  But it does total around 26 years of my life.  Which is a little less than half my life living in apartments.

Truly if I hadn't met the woman who married me, I'd probably have lived in that duplex on Red River for as long as possible.  There were two sweet women who lived next door - a couple - both nurses - who later bought the place.  They somehow found us - I guess I had the same phone number - & called to see if we wanted to move back in.  We had just bought a house though.

Seriously, I might have lived there longer than at Chateau Depew!  Anyway, this isn't about apartments.  Damn I should have saved some time to talk about apartments.  Now I have to go to sleep.