Friday, December 31, 2010

The last day of this year

There is a choice of tunes in the car again. Bought one of those cassette adapters all the kids are using these days. The kids that have old vehicles with cassette decks in them that is. Took it out of the package right in the parking lot, popped it in the deck, plugged in the iPod and This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks started playing in the speakers. Nice.

Here's that year end meme that makes the round every year at this time.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Was the driver in a car accident.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Did I make any last year? Do I even want to look?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I was starting to know Jeff Abraxas.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
More time to travel. A son who is verbal and toilet trained.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 15th, the accident. Could have been so much worse.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
30 poems about autism in 30 days. That was April. Changed a tire on a cold, November night without wanting to hit anything with a tire iron.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being able to pull my son into our world

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A bit of vertigo

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A 1993 Subaru, iPod baby. Bedroom floor.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My Scottish Wife.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Those who vote against their own interest

14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage, freaking car repairs.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My son when he decides to poop in the toilet.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Winter Winds - Mumford & Sons

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? Not much different, and that has to change
iii. richer or poorer? Um, richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Getting in my son's face, writing

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Goofing off online

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my wife, saw Black Swan, then at Jim's watching Doctor Who

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?

23. Did your heart break in 2010?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Men of a Certain Age

25. Where were you when 2010 began?
At home, I was at Scott's but left early

26. Who were you with?
My wife, who was recovering from dental work

27. Where will you be when 2010 ends?
At home, but at Dave's before that

28. Who will you be with when 2010 ends?
With my wife and (hopefully) sleeping son

29. What was the best book you read?
Room - Emma Donaghue

30. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Drew Grow and the Pastors Wives

31. What did you want and get?
My wife to find a good job

32. What did you want and not get?
Published. To get on a slam team

33. What was your favorite film of this year?
Saw so few new ones. Toy Story 3

34. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I think I stayed at home and whined about the heat

35. How many different states did you travel to in 2010?
Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania. Blech

36. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

37. What kept you sane?
My job, my son, Emma.

38. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Readers of this blog already know the answer to that question.

39. What political issue stirred you the most?
Manufactured outrage

40. How many concerts did you see in 2010?
Mumford and Sons, Roger Waters

41. Did you have a favorite concert in 2010?
Mumford and Sons

42. Who was the best new person you met?
I'm not sure if I've met anyone who I can say is the best, really have not been close to anyone new to rate them

43. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
I do not think so

44. What was your most embarrassing moment of 2010?
Turning a two minute poem into one that went on for over three minutes

45. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
Changing a tire on a cold November night is not that difficult as long as there is some lighting

46. What are your plans for 2011?
Travel more, to Long Island and Scotland. Write more. Lose some freaking weight

47. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I want to write a message to you every day at ten o'clock in the evening - Belle & Sebastian

2010 was not a bad year. I'm very lucky.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010, a Year in Poetry

Scott Woods encouraged others to do this so I'm going to take a stab at it.

While I think my work this year suffered due to a lack of writing discipline and distraction, I had a hell of a lot of fun with poetry. If you can't have fun with it, to me, it's not worth doing. This is in random bullet form.

Good memories of this year include the Decathlon Slam at CSCC. Doing the Dozens round against Izetta. Death by Fantasia.

Then there was the Decathlon Slam at Arts Fest. I captained a losing squad, but we kept our dignity by blasting the winning team (including Izetta) with Silly String.

It was an honor to be invited to the Face Off Slam at Writing Wrongs. I went head to head with Izetta, and lost again.

Anyone else detecting a pattern here?

There were some fine features at Writers Block this past year. A few memories are Adam Stone's "Robert Frost Checking his Netflix Queue" poem, Bill Campana's "When Love Met Love" and Jon Sands hitting the stage again and again.

Some nights after Writers' Block, you need a Silkwood Shower. Triggers include Mountain Love. Legs of Silk. Shake and Bake. Irene Cara's Raisinets.

Another honor was being included in the Language of the Art exhibit at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. My poem and Ed Elberfeld's photography together was a good combination we both learned from.

Creating the Uni with Beverly Wilkinson, hardware for the IWPS Champion. Had a lot of fun with that and hope to sustain a tradition.

Came in third place at the Upper Arlington Arts Festival Poetry Slam. Izetta was not there.

Thanks to Tyrone I wrote "Knocking You in the Bluetooth", a poem about cell phones going off during poetry readings.

I tried upping my game a bit with a trio of Persona poems, subjects that only I can come up with: An Obscene Phone Call from Mr. Potato Head. David's Rock, about, yes, that rock. Juan Valdez's Donkey Speaks.

The LeBron James slam. Ethan started the slam with a poem about the freshly departed basketball player. I followed with another. Joanna referenced him in one of her poems and I paid Louise a dollar to do the same.

A fun piece inspired by actual events was formed right before a staff meeting. Lincoln Tower, the Grassy Knoll - the poem about the Cows, thanks Henry.

Completed the exhausting task of writing 30 Autism poems in April. Autism Awareness Month and National Poetry Month gave my brain a workout and forced me to write in a few unfamiliar forms

I wrote two pantoums!

Featured at Cover Me! in January. Thanks Nick.

I'm sure I forgot something. The fine poetry that I witnessed at WoW, the establishment of the No Touching Party. 2011 is going to be nothing but a continuation of the journey. I'd like to thank my wife, and everyone at Writers' Block for all of their support, and to you for reading.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame

I've enjoyed reading Scott Woods' recap of his year in poetry. Don't know if I can do a top ten, but I think I can go back and pull of few of the most memorable moments down. Give me a day or two.

Headed back to work after a six day vacation. The child goes back to school on Monday. Not a moment too soon. He was bouncing off the walls from about six yesterday morning to ten at night. At least he slept without interruption.

Here's a list of all the movies I saw this year. They're not ranked. If I hated any of them I would have mentioned that already. Ok, I hated Hamlet 2. A few might be missing due to the hard drive failure but most of them are here. It's a pathetic list, but I don't get out to see movies as much as I used to, and I suffer through a lot of Blue Jackets games. Time in which it could be said would be better spent watching a good film.

Film 2010

1) I've Loved You So Long
2) The Horse Boy
3) What's Up Doc?
4) How to Draw a Bunny
5) Slamnation
6) In the Loop
7) The Crowd (1928)
8) Midnight Cowboy
9) The Hangover
10) District 9
11) The Reader
12) Kill Bill Part One
13) Kill Bill Part 2
14) The A-Team
15) The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo
16) The Art of the Steal
17) Dumbo
18) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
19) Hot Fuzz
20) Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
21) Matinee
22) Crazy Heart
23) Au hasard balthazar
24) Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne
25) Sherlock Jr.
26) Horse Feathers
27) Duck Soup
28) Second Chances
29) Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
30) Inception
31) This Mortal Coil
32) To Be or Not To Be
33) The Kinks: You Really Got Me
34) Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff + Robert Mapplethorpe
35) The Sting
36) The Kid
37) Anvil - The True Story of Anvil
38) The Girl Who Played With Fire
39) The Girl Who Kicked in the Hornet's Nest
40) Where the Wild Things Are
41) Hamlet 2
42) A State of Mind
43) The Great Santini
44) 101 Dalmations
45) Toy Story 3
46) Peter Pan (1953)
47) Black Swan
48) Red

Monday, December 27, 2010

It Could Have Been Worse

Spent a fair amount of time and money in three repair shops on Thursday and Today. When you buy a used car, cheap, it's going to be far from perfect. First I had the brakes fixed, this morning the exhaust and in the afternoon I had the thermostat replaced.

The car now stops, sounds quiet and has amazing heat. There are a few more things that need to be taken care of, but not yet. Probably after we return from our trip east in two weeks.

Hoping we have better weather than what's been going on the past couple of weekends. Long Island got socked with snow. Luckily one of my brothers and nephew helped dig my parents out. They're not getting younger, and my stepfather has a bad shoulder that prohibits him from a lot of physical activity. So I worry.

Tomorrow, my oldest brother turns fifty - and I'm right behind him.

Going to combine this entry with a list of the books I read this year. I did read a few more than this, but they were lost to bad memory and a failed hard drive. Not time to give lengthy reviews, but if you see three stars it means the book was very good. Four stars is a superior read. No stars means I got through it, but it was nothing special.

So here's the list of the books I read in 2010.

1) We're Going to See the Beatles. Garry Berman. 284 p.
2) Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend. Larry Tye. 392 p.
3) A Couple of Ways of Doing Something. Chuck Close, Bob Holman
4) No Poet's Corner in the Abbey - David Phillips. 222 p.
5) The Horse Boy - Rupert Isaacson.357 p. ***
6) Tooth and Nail. Ian Rankin. 290 p. ***
7) Words in Your Face. Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz. 371 p. ***
8) Open: An Autobiography. Andre Agassi. 385 p. ***
9) Corn Flakes with John Lennon. Robert Hilburn. 296 p.
10) Just Kids. Patti Smith. 278 p. ***
11) Sakura Park. Rachel Wetzteon. 115 p.
12) Marriage and Other Acts of Charity. Kate Braestrup. 217 p.
13) Au Revoir to All That: Food, Wine and the End of France. Michael Sternberger. 243 p.
14) Point Omega. Don Delillo. 117 p.
15) As it was Written. Sujatha Hampton. 370 p.
16) Me, the Mob and the Music. Tommy James with Martin Fitzpatrick. 227 p.
17) Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. Barbara Demick. 314 p. ***
18) Marilyn Johnson - This Book is Overdue. How Libraries and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. 272 p.
19) The United States of Poetry. 176 p.
20) Secret Historian - The Life & Times of Samuel Steward. Justin Spring. 478 p. **** (best non-fiction)
21) The Half Life of Planets. Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin. 247 p. ***
22) You Lost Me There. Rosencrans Baldwin. 296 p. ***
23) Eaarth. Bill McKibben. 253 p. ***
24) Lay the Favorites - A Memoir of Gambling. Beth Rayner. 228 p.
25) Pat Conroy - My Reading History. 337 p. ***
26) Emma Donaguhe - Room. 321 p. **** (best fiction)
27) Keith Richards - Life. 564 p. ***
28) Patricia Smith - Big Towns, Big Talk. 114 p.
29) Maus Book 1. Art Spiegelman. 158 p. ****
30) Great House. Nicole Krauss. 289 p.
31) Gold Medal Killer. Diana Britt Franklin. 210 p.
32) Pat Benatar - Between a Rock and a Hard Place. 256 p. ***
33) The Passage - Justin Cronin. 784 p.
34) The Outside Boy - Jeanine Cummins. 384 p.
35) Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend - James S. Hirsch. 640 p. ***
36) The Autism Mom's Survival Guide (For Dad's Too) - Susan Senator. 208 p. ***
37) Ian Rankin - Strip Jack. 320 p. ***
38) This Body of Death - Elizabeth George. 692 p. ***
39) Tooth and Nail - Ian Rankin. 304 p.
40) A Good Hanging - Ian Rankin. 253 p.
41) Little Bee - Chris Cleave. 304 p.
42) The Emptiness of Our Hands: A Lent Lived on the Streets - Phyllis Cole-Dai & James Murray. 243 p. ***
43) The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron - Howard Bryant. 624 p. ***
44) Shutout - Brendan Halpin. 189 p.
45) Paul Murray - Skippy Dies. 672 p. ***
46) Super Sad True Love Story - Gary Shteynegert.. 352 p. ***
47) Medium Raw - Anthony Bourdain. 304 p.
48) Poisoner's Handbook - Deborah Blum. 336 p. ***
49) Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So - Mark Vonnegut. 203 p.
50) Wilson - Daniel Clowes - 77 p.
51) How to Read the Air - Dinaw Mengestu - 305 p.
52) Voices of Autism: The Healing Companion: Stories for Courage, Comfort and Strength. 243 p.
53) Solar - Ian McEwan. 304 p. 480 p.
54) Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Daniel Okrent.
55) An Object of Beauty - Steve Martin. 304 p. ***
56) Stephen King - Full Dark, No Stars. 368 p. ***
57) The Walking Dead Volume One - Robert Kirkham and Tony Moore
58) Jennifer Egan - A Visit from the Goon Squad. 288 p.
59) Ian Rankin - The Black Room. 336 p.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thought I Knew it All Baby

Teena Marie died today at the age of 54. She was Madonna before Madonna. A white woman who was quite funky.

I always liked playing that one.

Just turned off the television after the Blackhawks went on top of the Blue Jackets 3-0. This team could not score in a bordello with pockets stuffed with $100 bills. Coach Arniel has to be scratching his head, a lot, wondering what he got himself into in his rookie season as a head coach in the NHL. A team that has little offense, no talent on defense and a goaltender who developed the hockey equivalent of Steve Blass Syndrome.

What to do about this team? No idea. Upper level management, above GM Scott Howson even, needs to be reassessed and possibly replaced, as does the scouting system. Does ownership really care about this team being in Columbus after John McConnell died? People are not paying to see this team play and can you blame them?

In the short term this team needs a shake up, one that can be started by replacing captain Rick Nash with R.J. Umberger. Nash needs to concentrate on scoring. Period. Umberger hates to lose and I think he has the ability to be accountable on the ice and make sure his teammates are as well.

There's very little in the farm system. A lot of bodies, undeveloped young talent, and little else. You can say a trade is needed, but the team has little to offer. It could be ten out of eleven seasons that the Blue Jackets do not make the playoffs, a sad display of a sadder franchise.

Friday, December 24, 2010

That's Not My Blog Post!

I am now an owner of a 1993 Subaru Legacy Station Wagon. It looks like this, but a bit dingier.

It has low mileage, 133K. For a 17 year old car that averages out to about 8,000 miles a year. Has not been driven much. I've had the brake pads replaced and will have the exhaust fixed on Monday. The engine has more pep than expected.

My son joined me as I signed the paperwork, went to the exhaust repair shop for the sticker shock and got the oil changed. He behaved wonderfully.

Returned the rental, someone might need it. I was very impressed with the Hyundai Elantra. When I rented the Accent back in October, I was unimpressed with it because of it's highway boredom, small gas tank and poor gas economy.

The Elantra has a lot of zip, was very comfortable to be in. Wish I had it longer because it had a plug in for an iPod.

Also have to once again give props to the staff at Enterprise on West Broad Street. Very courteous people and they gave me a lift home.

My Scottish Wife suggested we go to an Indian restaurant. It's not my go to place, but she asks for so little in return for being so awesome I could not refuse.

After being seated sitting next to us were two servers from Zen Cha, a tea house my wife goes to (as do I, sometimes) so we had a nice talk with them too.

Then the server came up and said a co-worker told her that I was a "great poet" and that it was "An honor to serve me."

Recognition does happen, and it's humbling when it does. Unlike one poet, who told me she was recognized in a store dressing room, with her pants down - it's pretty cool when someone publicly gives you praise, outside of the venue.

Had a very good chicken curry. Got comped for nothing, not even naan. See what being a famous local poet gets you? Thought about putting a haiku on the receipt but did not.

Glad we decided to head to a friend's house for socializing instead of seeing a movie or not going out.

Played Apples to Apples Jr. and ended up being the winner. Yay me!

I'd never played Catch Phrase and have not laughed so hard in a long time. Had to take my glasses off because they were steaming. Trigger word - Doo Rag.

Today my son's coming over and will stay the night with us. He's at his mother's the rest of the weekend. I might get some last minute shopping in. Tonight we'll open his presents and have a quiet night with each other.

Life is good, Otis Redding is wishing me a White Christmas, and it looks like the snow is staying on the ground for the next few days.

May you Constant Readers have a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and a lovely holiday. Thank you all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Going a Bit Deep

Such a fantastic notion has been formed in our culture; one that has been manipulated to believe that the rich are poor and need more and the poor are rich and have too much.

My son is not human. How he can survive on little sleep, get knocked out to have dental work done and still stay up until one thirty in the morning is astonishing. This kid can power a neighborhood.

He had a lot of cavities filled in, and was not happy coming out of the anesthesia. Scary and sad to watch, poor guy - and the over bearing nurse who assumed way too much about what my son does for activities and eats for starters, would not shut the hell up. I know she has a job to do, but if she got any closer she would have been behind us.

The insurance company made me a low, but ultimately fair offer on the Volvo and I made a commitment to buy a 1993 Subaru Legacy Wagon.

The Subaru has some issues. There's a leak in the exhaust that is easily repairable and the brakes are going to need some work. I offered to pay "X" amount in cash and the dealer agreed. Should be picking it up tomorrow.

What is sleep again?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Whoop ti do, Subaru

Getting gifts for my autistic son is a challenge. Thought I was clever last year by getting him a tent/tunnel. He rarely used it, then trashed it before spring. He also has a wobble board I thought he'd really dig for the balance and lights. Another mistake, he is afraid to stand on it.

What he's been playing with most is a bank I made from a pint of Jeni's Ice Cream by putting a slit in the lid. Cost: ten bucks plus about fifty cents in change.

Don't want to get him a video. That's too easy. Looking for him to be engaged, in something, a little bit. Sure, I'm probably projecting what I want him to do. Walking by the bikes and the toy department in Target is hard, especially during this time of year. All the can'ts and what ifs swell around in your head, along with the piped in Christmas music.

I went into Giant Eagle to get food yesterday and heard Psychotic Reaction by Count Five. That'll put anyone in the holiday spirit!

Santa's on fire though. The tree is decorated. Some presents are wrapped. It's not all gloom!

Have not heard back from the insurance company yet. Waiting to see if they will repair the car or total it. Not looking forward to that offer, I'm sure it will not be enough to cover the cost of a decent used car. Regardless, to get the feel of what's out there I went to a few dealerships on my side of town. Got a better feeling from one, established, used car place with a couple of vehicles that looked good on the outside. What's under the hood is more pressing though. Don't want a car that's going to explode a week after purchase.

Going to try and get motivated to work on Christmas cards, wish me luck!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Still Relevant

Even though I'm far from his biggest fan, I don't understand the Neil Diamond hate. He has a long, important and substantial career as a songwriter, performer and musician. And yes, some of it is rock and roll.

About time he's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If Bobby Darin, the Bee Gees and Abba are in there, so belongs Neil Diamond.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Everyone is ok

Some mofo cut me off on I-70 as I was going onto to 315 this morning. I had to stop short to avoid hitting the idiot and I got rear ended. My son was in the car too. The back door of the wagon is shot. Bumper is messed up. Again, no one was hurt - and it's why I drive a Volvo. You should see the car that hit me, had to be towed. The Volvo is still drive-able.

Now I'm dealing with the insurance companies and wondering how much I'll be inconvenienced by an idiot who was not paying attention on the highway.

I'm sure there will be more on this later. Got a good poetic rant about it at least.

Again, the important thing is that no one, not my son, me, or the driver of the car that hit me, was hurt.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's starting to get warm in here and things are starting to get strange

Holiday schedule is keeping me busy. Decorating the tree tonight. Still not done shopping and my wife's been working on getting Christmas cards to the UK.

My son would have nothing to do with 101 Dalmatians last night. Yes, it was the original. I think the opening credits were too boring for him and he quickly lost interest in the whole thing. At least he pooped in the toilet, again. He's become an eating machine at school, they tell me, but he's not eating oatmeal in the morning anymore. This kid!

Going to my his eye therapy session with full intention to write while there. I have nothing worthwhile to submit for the Arts Festival next month. Lacking focus and quality. Trying not to be angry about it or external events. I mean, Obama is hiding behind Clinton trying to get Paris Hilton her tax cut over 9/11 first responders medical care. That's what it's come to.

Hell, I'm trying to get my kid to poop and eat right. That's where I'm at. I can sit here and post links to things I do not like all day long, then do nothing about it, where does that get me?

But, in this time of stress there will be snacks. Andrew Bird is going to make sure of that!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

21 Cool Songs from 2010

2010 has been a year of electronic loss: The hard drive in the laptop fried out, while little music was not backed up, many photographs, folders and slide shows vanished. The CD player in the car gave up the ghost as well, and local radio does not cut it, making me a sad driver. Yet, as the year ends, we have endured another twelve months of watching the world go crazy.

It's an international cast this year as two thirds of this list is from outside of the United States. An unprecedented two bands from Columbus have made the cut. It was almost three with Scott Woods barely sliding out of contention. Frightened Rabbit was also not good enough to make it through to the final twenty one. Almost put an unreleased track from the Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street record on, but that would have been cheeky of me. I owe Janelle Monae an apology. Disappointments include Arcade Fire, who gave me no inspiration, and Rufus Wainwright - I should have known better to purchase that one. There's a festive blend of old geezers, legends and up and comers who I hope have long careers ahead of them; all complied for your listening pleasure.

The link to download these songs is at the end of this post, if you don't care to read my musings. Not sure what order they are in, but the obsessive liner notes below is the tracking that, after many hours of testing, I have come up with. You, of course, may listen to these songs in any order you wish. As always in this day of the MP3, it's not about the album, but the songs.

1) Sakert - Dansa, Fastan. Also known here as Hello Saferide, Annika Norlin has made her second project as Sakert. This was a tough record to find as getting an MP3 of Facit was forbidden from the website but my google-fu prevailed and Swedish Pop won the night. I'm always impressed by the ache in Ms. Norlin's voice even though I have no idea what she's singing about.

2) Jonsi - Boy Lilikoi. Taking the solo route while Sigur Ros is on hiatus has lead singer Jonsi edging toward Jon Anderson territory, but thankfully not going all there way there. This song was almost the lead track until Sakert pushed it down a notch.

3) Robert Plant - House of Cards. Robert Plant takes it back to pre-Zeppelin days by resurrecting the Band of Joy moniker. Replacing foil Alison Krauss with Patti Griffin was a move that added some grit to the vocals as did putting Buddy Miller on guitars and in the production seat. Plant once again finds some well chosen covers, including this one from Richard and Linda Thompson to make my favorite album of the year. I do worry he's going to the cover well too often though, how about some originals next time? Here's the Band of Joy on Jools Holland.

4) Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Money. I like the sass of this Brooklyn band. I like that they record to tape. I'm not impressed with the lack of bass in the mix though.

5) Nick Tolford & Company - I Kissed Her. A Columbus band that is doing a lot of things right. Soulful lead singer, competent musicians and decent songs. Plus, this record was recorded live. No overdubs. I bought this a Spoonful Records and got the download code with the vinyl. That's how you do it record industry, listen to the indies!

6) Cee-Lo Green - Fuck You. If you have not heard this you have been in a cave most of the year.

7) Cypress Hill - Amada Latina. Not a band I usually listen to but I heard the CSN&Y riff to Suite Judy Blue Eyes and I got sucked in by the hook. Why this was not a bigger hit is beyond me.

8) Gil Scott-Heron - Me and the Devil. After a sixteen year absence that saw him imprisoned and seeing some hard times it was a relief to hear that Gil Scott-Heron's working again. His voice now a guttural rasp, but it still has the power. Useless trivia I did not know until this year - his father, Giles, was the first black player to play for the Scottish Premier League team Glasgow Celtic in the 1950's, where he was known as "The Black Arrow." The record is called "I'm New Here."

9) Tom Jones - Burning Hell. Seventy years old and still has his chops. Working with Ethan Johns as producer gave him vitality. "Praise and Blame" was recorded live in the studio. A hot selection of gospel and blues that puts to shame singers of half the Welshman's age. Here's Tom on Jools Holland.

10) Drew Grow and The Preachers Wives - Bootstraps. I found these group through the "I Am Fuel, You are Friends" blog. Grow's out of Portland, Oregon and this song is hypnotic. Very primal, swampy, it got in my head. Grow's parents are ministers and he's got the ability to testify. A band to watch for.

11) Admiral Fallow - Squealing Pigs. From Glasgow comes one of my favorite songs of the year. That damn accent pulled me in, combined with the female backup then that wacky coronet solo. Good stuff. This video was recorded at T in the Park.

12) Kid Canaveral - Good Morning. Another Scottish band, this one from St. Andrews. Some straight forward pop/rock with decent melodies you can shout along with.

13) Cours Lapin - Cache Cache. Producers of Danish movie soundtracks find a girl singer, write their songs in French. Happens every day, right?

14) Super Desserts - Funeral. For the first time, two bands from Columbus are on the list. I'm charmed by this seven or nine piece group who put out two record this year. One is Banjo Forever, the other, Twee as Folk. Both are gentle, quirky and possess a rare charm.

15) Belle & Sebastian - I Want the World to Stop. This record has been growing on me. As long as I forget the mistake of a Norah Jones duet, this is one of my favorite records of the year. What I am very pleased with is the emergence of Sarah Martin in the band's songwriting and arrangement dynamic. The progress she has made is a marvel.

16) Furland - Quiero Ser Un Color. This was culled from the Music Alliance Pact. An earnest young man from Mexico. Great little song that battled all year to make the final list. I think it was that George Harrison slide guitar that did it.

17) Broken Records - A Leaving Song. They've been here two years in a row now. This Edinburgh band released their first full length record, Let Me Come Home, a couple of months back. They've become less of an Arcade Fire type ensemble and more of a rock group. This is a good thing. They're coming to the U.S. early next year, sadly, nowhere near Columbus. See this band in the clubs before they become too big for them.

18) Paul Weller - No Tears to Cry. The geezer is still relevant. Anyone who tells me otherwise is itching for a fight.

19) Mynabirds - Numbers Don't Lie. This song's been in my head all year. A fantastic song with mega girl group influence. It's the creation of Laura Burhenn. What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood is the name of the record. Here's the band at SXSW.

20) Divine Comedy - I Like You. Neil Hannon made another record that no one in the states really heard. Bang Goes the Knighthood was not even released here. Thanks to for shipping it here! This is one wacky video.

21) Mumford & Sons - Winter Winds. These guys penetrated my soul this year. Absolutely went nuts off their debut record and they met all expectations when I saw them at the Wexner Center for only $12 in May. You'll never see them again in a small venue and forget about paying that price to see them. They're huge now. Hell, I have Sigh No More on vinyl. Thank you Spoonful Records!

The link for the songs is HERE.

Click on

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It was bad, really bad

I like Steve Coogan and was excited to see the film Hamlet 2 on this list.

The film was reserved from my local library with ease and my wife and I settled in for what we thought would be an overlooked gem.

What we saw was completely the opposite of what we expected.

I really think this project was originally written with Martin Short in mind, such was the exaggerated gesturing and facial expressions of Coogan. It was bad, really bad.

The musical number "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" scarred my wife as it had the line "Jesus' swimmer's build."

In fact, the best part of the film was the song that was over the closing credits. A classic song from the 80's. Enjoy the best part of Hamlet 2.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Finally, a Progressive Voice

I'm not in complete agreement with him on everything. I have a lot of doubts about the estate tax, for example. He gave this speech about a week ago but earlier today gave an eight and a half hour speech against the current bill to extend the 2001 Bush tax cuts.

It was refreshing to not hear an uninformed rant, biblical verse spouted, 9/11 brought up for points, incoherent shouting, insults of the opposition, or to see foaming at the mouth.

Bernie Sanders is an American. He made me feel a bit less cynical today, even as I know he's chasing windmills.

From the Finals Stage to Dead Last

The Individual Poetry Slam is happening in Charlotte this week. Results are posted here. Click on the results link for the scores and updates. A lot of familiar names in the mix. Local poet Will Evans is in the top ten and Vernell Bristow is in the middle of the pack.

Looking at tonight, bout number twelve is where I'd reserve my seat. There are going to be some fierce battles for spots on the finals stage. Nothing is decided until it's over!

Had a bit of a health issue the past couple of weeks. Went to the doctor Wednesday and he tends to think it's a condition called BPPV. I've been lightheaded especially when going into and out of bed. Sudden head movements cause the room to spin. Bed spins while sober can be a bit terrifying, you think the bed is going to flip over on you. I'm feeling better, not because I've started the exercises, yet, but getting an extra firm pillow really helped. I shift a lot when I sleep and there were no bouts of dizziness last night. Felt more secure getting out of bed this morning too.

Dusting of snow on the ground today. Not sure what the weekend weather will be but it has to be easier than the nearly four feet that fell on my friends in Western New York. Even in Scotland, where nine inches fell in Glasgow, I worry that my Father-in-Law may have to eat his sled dogs.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Look Through Any Window

That's the view from my desk at work when I look to the right. Been busy getting settled into the new space. All is well so far.

Thinking about this, which happened in this city six years ago.

And any history of this day has to include another event. All I'll say about it is simply, shine on.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ernie, Those Sheep are Tap Dancing

Finally got up the nerve to take my son out to see a movie. The Wexner Center is having it's annual kids weekend and this afternoon they showed Sesame Street Sings!

It has Sesame Street, the muppets, music, I can tolerate those things and he likes them. Let's see what happens if we take the act out of the living room. Plus, it only cost two bucks a piece so if the mission had to be aborted we would not be out much coin.

Speaking of coin, Laurie Berkner is coming to The Palace in February, $33 bucks to sit in the balcony. For those prices she's not building a wall on stage. Sorry, not buying into that!

Got our tickets and gave his to him. Told him to give the ticket to the taker. She tore it up and I told him to take it back. He looked so cute holding the ticket, I teared up a bit.

Found a row toward the back and I let him choose a seat. He picked the aisle.

We only waited a short time before the film started. He amazed me. Not sure how much he paid attention because he was pretty quiet and not singing along. I have to say he was very well behaved. After about an hour he got a bit fidgety, but that was because it was running too long. If he did not like what he was seeing he would have got up and walked around. But he stayed in his seat for 82 minutes.

Tried to get him to eat some celebratory Dark Chocolate Jeni's Ice Cream by calling it pudding, but he was not having any of it.

As I was driving there I realized I forgot my bag with his diapers in it. So I obsessed about that a bit. Luckily there was no poop until he went upstairs when we got home. Not in the toilet though.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A New Thing

Took some video with the new toy. Takes a decent enough picture. Captured the kid doing something brand new today.

They've been trying to get him to jump in the pool for a long time. Today he finally did it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Back it up. I'll Take it!

Got everything packed for the move to the new offices. Tune in on Monday to find out if everything got there in one piece and is hooked up properly. I've spent the last day and a half working a group project at the Fine Arts Library. Pulled a few hundred books off the shelves and the physical activity wreaked havoc on my legs, but mostly my right ankle. It was on fire today!

Never been in that part of the building before so the moving shelving on the second floor was pretty cool to play with the first couple of times I had to go up there. That's where the over sized art books are kept. It was also a kick seeing a few books I've processed over the past four years. My scrawl behind the title page is quite recognizable.

I hit a wall a bit early today and left earlier than I wanted, but I was overwhelmed - and it a bit of pain.

Did head out to the OSU Forestry Department's annual Christmas tree sale and picked up a Scotch Pine. It's lovely, but a bit wonky on the bottom. A lot smaller than last year's, which took up a third of the living room. I recommend this place, the prices are fair, the trees are farmed from Ohio and the service is great. They're located on Fyffe Road due west of the Schottenstein Center.

The other new addition is an iPod Touch. To synch it up we had to upgrade our operating system to Snow Leopard, which took some time but seems to be well worth the twenty nine bucks. As I type this I'm backing up to the external hard drive with Time Machine. Seems to be quiet and seamless.

One of the main reasons we got the iPod is to download some apps for autistics. When we borrowed an iPod a few months back my son seemed to be very interested in touching the screen and playing with it. I've found some free apps for some basic things he may try to communicate to us, we'll see how this works out. There is some more expensive software available, but I'm not willing to jump into that yet.

Been quite the whirlwind this week. More over the weekend, but not as intense. My son's been feeling better. Off the bus earlier he seemed more his old self than he's been in a few weeks. Swimming should be fun for him in the morning.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Month Number Twelve

So long November with your anniversaries of death, poor overall health, odd weather patterns and high stress levels.

Kate Bush, at twenty one, sitting in a high back papasan chair, oozes more goodness than today's edited on crack video nymphets.

December is magic.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Woken up by the Rain

Pretty heavy rain moved through here about 3AM. Everyone else is still asleep. The kid needs his sleep as he's been sick the past few days. I'm hoping he gets enough rest so he can head back to school instead of to the doctor. It's hard when he can't tell you what's wrong and he's good at detecting when you spike his food with medicine.

Been busy getting ready for the move at work. Monday will have my department going to a new location. I will have a window close to my desk.

Also been working on the year end CD. This year's will be available for download and should be finished in a week to ten days. Watch this space for exciting developments.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Got Your Plumber's Butt

A fix merely removed the mask of other problems.


The toilet has been flushing itself for awhile. I've been in denial about it, until yesterday.

If Nationwide Arena did not charge $10 for parking for a Ohio State Hockey game I may not be making this entry today. I do not like paying for parking, but $10 for a game that costs $11 for a ticket is pretty ridiculous.

So I was home yesterday afternoon, and bought new fixtures for the toilet yesterday morning. That's what I did, instead of going to the hockey game.

It took less that 45 minutes to install the new valve and flapper. There was little cursing. The toilet flushed when you flushed it, and that's all. Not a bad job for someone who is not mechanically inclined.

Later, we went out to dinner. When we came home there was audible dripping in the kitchen and a ceiling tile was soaked through.

There has been a minor drip coming from the bathroom pipes for a long time. The tile was not in perfect shape. The work I did though seemed to take away one problem and cause a faster drip in the pipe.

It's not raining in the kitchen but it's annoying.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What if I shit on a Bird?

Jon Sands was the feature at Writers Block last night and Scott Woods kept making him read. Finally, he did the poem above. Dude's amazing.

His first non-chapbook will be published by Write Bloody Press in February.

Jon is also a Pop Up Poet.

This is art, love and poetry.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

Google Analytics is a site I check from time to time to see how many people are reading this, and where they are reading from. It does not track individual users, but what sites they use to access this one.

I get a wide variety of hits worldwide, but wonder how much of them are from spambots. Sweden reads me? Cologne, Germany?

In the U.S., here are the top ten states.

1) Ohio. No surprise here.
2) California. I do have friends out there.
3) Florida. Big population, but I do not think I know many people from the Sunshine State. Thanks for reading.
4) New York. My home state.
5) Virginia. See Florida. Who are you Virginians?
6) Minnesota. Really? This is probably the biggest reveal.
7) Washington. I'm fascinated. Thanks for checking in.
8) Utah. You'd think this was a surprise, but there are a couple of blogs I read from this state and the reading must be reciprocated. Thanks.
9) District of Columbia. Thanks for reading my blog Mr. President!
10) Arizona. I think I know a few people there.

I can go deeper, which city or town reads me most. A shout out to Brentwood, Ca.!

Readership has been slowly increasing the past few months. Comments are always appreciated but thank you for reading this piece of the internet.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Old and New Tricks

Not sure if it was the change in temperatures, the time change, an illness or something he's not saying but for the past several weeks my son's been in a slump. It happens to all of us. We noticed, his teacher noticed. It's hard not knowing what exactly is wrong, because he's not saying in a way we can get.

The past few days though he seems to be pulling out of it. He's been sleeping better for one thing.

We slept in yesterday morning and he came into my bed with a ball and threw it at me as he said, "Catch the ball Daddy."

It was such a lovely day yesterday we took him to a park. Surprisingly there were not many people there so he had the place to himself. He did not wander along the fence, but used the slide appropriately, he even climbed up it!

We figured something out while he was on the swings. For reasons known to him only he likes to drag his feet on the ground while swinging. If he does not hold on tight enough, he's likely to fall and get a face full of wood chips, so we try to avoid that. Underneath a couple of the swings is a hole in the ground that is deep enough so his feet would not touch the ground. When I tried putting him on that swing, he got right off.

It's amazing what he notices, or, what we think he notices.

Looking up just now, I saw him get up, go to the box of tissues and pull one out. He spilled a little oatmeal on the table and was attempting to clean it up.

Last night he stomped around the house in my wife's boots, which he had not shown interest in for some time.

Toileting though, is another issue although a couple of nights ago I did find him in the bathroom sitting on the toilet correctly. After awhile he got up, no poop, but did put a new diaper on (backwards but give him credit) with two feet in one leg of his pajamas. He tries, he really does.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Catching up

Had to take my car to the shop this morning, which caused me to miss my son's swimming. Luckily his Mother agreed to take him, can't thank her enough. Very nice thing to do.

Had a lot of time to kill before finding out the diagnosis on the car so I borrowed my wife's bus pass and got to walk around the city on a foggy morning.

Kept waiting for the sun to burn through the fog, but it never did.

Got a lot of walking in, from Buttles and High to the new park being built to the Main Library. There, I waited with others for it to open, and took over a computer to see the score of the Tottenham/Arsenal game while I waited for the mechanic to call.

Finished a book, and a few minutes later, got the call. I expected the rotors and brake pads to be shot, and they were. What was a bit of a shock, but not overly surprising was being told the head gasket is leaking.

It's a 22 year old car, in rough condition, with 241,000 miles on it. The mechanic and I agreed that sinking $1,600 to fix that was not a good idea. So I'll be watching the coolant levels, and hoping the car can hang on through the winter.

Backtracking to Thursday night's Decathlon Slam, team Shake and Bake was defeated. I lost the one minute round, and still do not the the judge heard the cheers properly. had to sit though an excruciating trivia round. Kids these days do not know their history. Then there was the Haiku Death Match which was closer to sitting at lunch in the high school cafeteria. I think the haiku was that old as well.

We did a group piece based on one of Kim Braswell's pieces about being dissed in a slam, complete with accents. I'm still trying to figure out what the accent was but I ended up yelling out in Long Island. Oh, and right as I was starting my first line the bell in the college went off. Nice.

I was representing our team in the Dozens Round, which is essentially - "Your Poetry is so..." Had come up with some solid hits. Your poetry is so bad Sarah Palin quotes your Tweets. Greg Oden's knee is stronger than your poetry. This was the first time I had done this and I was hanging in there.

I was up against Izetta, who beat me earlier this year at Writing Wrongs. She had my poetry being so bad that Kanye would not interrupt it. Finally though she came up with this gem. "Your poetry is so stupid, Fantasia reads it to her daughter at bed time."

Game. Set Match. She owns me, for now.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Morning

A more substantial post is coming. Until then, enjoy Songwriting 101

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This is How You Sell a Car

Sure, Corinthian Leather does not exist, but Montalban makes you beleive!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Best Part, it's Free!

Tomorrow night I am taking part in a Decathlon Poetry Slam at Columbus State Community College. More information is here.

If you can't get to that link it starts at 7PM at Nestor Hall.

Looking forward to this. I know my role and am working on presentation. Going to be a fun night.

Our team name is the Shake and Bakes. We even have a mascot.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Main Reason I Watch the Game

Guillermo Barros Schelotto is one of the primary reasons I am a soccer fan. Yesterday, the Columbus Crew announced they will not exercise his contract option and are letting him go.

One of the best players in MLS history is being shown the door for no real reason other than sating the ego of a stubborn, incompetent coach and a management that cares little about building a fan base of adults. They want eight years olds who do not care if Steve Lenhart and Jason Garey can't put the ball in the net. As long as Crew Cat and his buddies keep throwing t-shirts into the crowd, it's alright.

Well it's not because the Crew are doing one of the dumbest things I've ever seen a pro sports team do, and that's remove its main asset before it was time for him to leave. Schelotto is why the team won the MLS championship two years ago. Schelotto is the man who puts fans in the seats. Yes, he's 37. Yes, his skills are diminishing. Yet, he can still produce. He was the team's top scorer this season. What did the young players the team wants to lean toward next season accomplish on the field? William Hesmer, the goalie, had one goal to Jason Garey's two. This is going to cost the franchise, dearly, in goodwill.

Crew management should keep the picture above in their offices, and look at it once in awhile, because it's unlikely they will see a player of that caliber play in Crew Stadium, as a member of the home team, ever again.

Guille, thank you for showing me how to love the game.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Everybody's a Dreamer, Everybody's a Star

Watched a horrible documentary about The Kinks last night. A wasted hour with horrible production values. At least I did not pay for it. Best not to mention it again.

The clip above is interesting. I'm not familiar with the show "Don't Forget Your Toothbrush" so I looked it up on Wikipedia. That's Jools Holland on the keyboards and former Squeeze drummer Gilsom Lavis playing too.

Here's a mid 70's clip of one of the best songs Ray Davies has written.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm Not Cheap When it Comes to Beer, but There are Limits

Friday night we took a voyage up to Whole Foods in Dublin. The journey had a specific purpose. When we walked in the market we went past the produce and saw a very lengthy line of twenty somethings holding empty wine glasses. Must have been wine sample night.

The place was crowded. I really think the number of drinkers was more than the number of people doing their shopping. There were groups of people wandering the aisles, drinking wine. If it helps business by turning a supermarket into a pickup spot one night a week, who am I to be cranky about it? I just was not prepared for the crowds, or at least not expecting a bar when I was shopping for tea and a specific beer.

Rockmill Brewery is located in Lancaster, Ohio. It opened up in September and makes four beers. All of their beers are made from organic products, including grains and hops. Their beers are made in a Belgian style, which made me sit up and take notice as I think Belgium makes the best beers in the world.

Yes, I know Pilsner Urquell is my favorite, but Belgium makes the best variety. If I had to drink the beer of one country for the rest of my life I would choose Belgium.

We chose the Tripel, which is rather pricey, and their most expensive at $16 for a 25oz. bottle. (the other three cost $13)

After negotiating past a belching hipster in the parking lot, and a trip to Jeni's, we made it home and opened the beer.

It had all the right components of the Belgian Tripel - the aroma, the color, the lace of the foam on the glass. Beautifully balanced in flavor with an appropriate for the style alcohol content of nine percent. Honestly, a dead ringer for one of the world's best, made in Lancaster, Ohio. I give the brewers top marks for this and will try the others as soon as I recover from the visit to Whole Foods. I'm glad this brewery's approach is to keep the quality at a top level without going completely over the top with exotic ingredients and excessive alcohol and hop content, like Dogfish Head does. Their production is so limited it is only available for retail in a few spots in Central Ohio.

I'm still a bit concerned about the price point. While shopping today I price checked Chimay Tripel, and it costs $11 for the same sized bottle. I admire Rockmill's commitment to quality, but when your product costs five dollars more than an authentic Trappist Ale, you may want to reconsider your pricing. It's obviously not an every day beer, at least it should not be! It would be nice to be able to afford it more than every few months.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Movement in 180 Grams

Plans sometimes have a good way of falling together. Yesterday we're trying to figure out what to do on our day off when Scott Woods issues a Facebook blast suggesting it would be awesome if we met at Spoonful Records then head to lunch.

Which is exactly what we did.

I went downstairs and found a few records I wanted to trade. They've been sitting down there for eight years and have not been played in longer. Time to find some music that I could use.

Got a fair trade and my Scottish Wife and I picked out a few records. Found some Bowie, Ray Charles, Roxy Music, Queen, Steve Winwood, and more. We were joined by Scott and a few others. Played a bad game of pinball. Besides those that Scott brought to the shop, the place was rather busy on a day off for a lot of state employees. Brett's got a good thing going in that location and I hope he can sustain it.

Lunch was great. I'd never been to J. Gumbo's as it's only open during the week. Cajun food similar to what Da Levee's doing, and just as good. I knew J. Gumbo's used to be a place called Skambo's, and Writers' Block used it as a venue, many years ago. Also had a good conversation about where to get pants for our skinny sons.

Really great idea by Scott and I hope we can do this again sooner than later. We must go through all the eateries in Pearl Alley.

Got a few errands done yesterday, but after lunch ended up taking a nap then played vinyl the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tools and Taps

Oh that Writers' Block, bringing out the ignorant in everyone. I can't sit next to Vernell for awhile - the things that were said, I have to donate to the United Negro College Fund to atone. Scott Woods gave me a poetry assignment for next week. The word I was given is in the urban dictionary.

While driving home, by the Schottenstein Center there was a familiar ker-flunk ker-flunk noise by the right front tire. Yes, it had gone flat. Tried to make it home and could not without causing untold damage to the rim and who knows what else. Ended up in a lot by the gas tanks at Trabue and Dublin Road. It was well lit for 11PM and the surface was flat.

My mechanical skills are quite limited. This was the third time I've ever had to change a tire, first on the Volvo, and the first late at night.

So I pulled out what I needed from the compartment in back of the wagon. The spare is full size, not a doughnut, and set to work. The jack is about the size of a breadbox. Somehow I managed to get the wheel off the ground. Four of the five bolts came off the tire rather easily. The one bolt left though, serious pain in the ass. Yet, after some thought and a few cuss words it was finally extracted.

The tire came off rather easily but it took a few tries to get the new tire on. It was not quite light enough to completely see the bolts through the holes in the rim, but there was success. Got the bolts back on tight enough to make it home. Only took about half an hour. Aside from the damaged and torn apart tire, no one was hurt.

This morning I get to head over to the tire store and have them put a tire on the rim. I think I'll keep the spare on as it is a full size tire in decent shape. A plus is having the day off. The kid is here to wait for the school bus then we face the rest of the day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On the Same Boat

A couple of friends of mine have written some powerful stuff about their lives and dealing with their child's autism in the past day. Katie had this reaction to a letter.

"While making dinner, I listened to the "letters" segment of All Things Considered when a response came in about a story about disabled adults who are forced at adulthood to go into managed care facilities instead or remaining at home with the assistance of hole health care. Some man wrote in to ask what the value of this woman was and why should taxpayers take care of her? This asshole drives on roads that I pay for, took advantage of an education that I paid for, has police and fire protection that I pay for and military protection that I pay for and never, ever do I ask to measure his worth for all of these advantages of living in this country. Fucker! So here was my response:

I was sickened to that one of your listeners believes that since some disabled people don't "contribute" to society taxpayers shouldn't be obligated to care for them. I have an autistic daughter who does contribute to our society including providing employment to dozens of people including teachers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and many home health aides who enabled my daughter to live as normally as possible. Having these aides furthered her development more than any single treatment, for the record. Instead of judging her worth on what she contributes, I sometimes prefer to look at what she doesn't do. My daughter will never drive and congest our already congested roads, she will never default on her mortgage, she is unlikely to rob a bank, she will never run into you in the street because she is too busy texting a friend and most importantly she will never be a judgmental asshole like the man who thinks that disabled people don't contribute anything of value. I am so lucky to have a daughter who constantly reminds me of what's important."

She's always been quite frank about whatever situation she finds herself in. I've always admired her for that. It's an important issue; what are we, as a society, going to do with all these autistic children when they become adults?

Sue's a published author and has been blogging about her life, and her son's autism for over five years now. Her latest post, about parental guilt has lot to chew on in it, and she also has asked the question about autistic adults in her blog, and in her current situation as her child is of legal age.

Most days being the parent of an autistic child is rewarding. Others it can be an incredible pain in the ass. Like when he poops in his diaper ten minutes after you take him off the toilet. And when it's out of your control, like today when his bus did not show up on time so I had to drive him for the second time in two weeks - it's an annoyance. Especially when the transportation section of his school district will not admit a 20% failure rate on on-time delivery is not acceptable. I know that sometimes the bus is going to be late.

Just the way it is I suppose.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

While Waiting in the Vision Therapist's Office

You, ok, I think of the weirdest shit sometimes. Ok, maybe more frequently than sometimes. More than a top ten list, here's a list of -

Rejected Christmas Gift Ideas

Tickle Me Brett Favre's Penis
Tea Party Rally Sign Spell Checker
Unicorn Barbie
Salmonella Fruitcake
Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" with a new Forward by Lebron James
Birth Control Sponge Bob
Jan Brewer Racial Profiling Kit
Blu-Ray Charles DVD Player
EZ-Bake Oven (Dachau Edition)
Charlie Sheen Roomba Recyclable Drug Dispenser
Circus Clown Black Ops
Texting While Driving Barbie
Mr. Potato Blight Head
How to Finally Let Go by Virginia Thomas
David Carradine Memorial Neck Tie
Slam Poetry for Dummies by Jory Farr
Obama/Biden "Two More Years" Commemorative T-shirt
Madden '11 - the One with the Buffalo Bills on the Cover
Kanye West's "Guide to Taking Turns"
2013 Mayan Calendar
Siamese Barbie

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm Not Sure What's Going on Here

After about a three year absence, the new Sakert record was released in August. Readers here know that Sakert = Annika Norlin = Hello Saferide. I like them all, even if I have no knowledge of Swedish.

Annika shows up in the video at the 1:45 mark.

In trying to find a link to purchase, I found a download at a very reasonable price through Amazon.UK. This is very good news.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Ticking in My Hand

The time change usually has an adverse effect on my son. So far so good today. He was in his room and I asked what he was up to. I believe he said, "Causing trouble." It's something I say to him when he's up there alone. He's plotting things up there, I know it.

Now he's sitting next to me with a book. I asked what he was doing, he said, "you reading a book." We got him looking through Green Eggs and Ham. He's showing a lot of interest in it.

I've been on a lucky streak with books myself. There was Room which I followed up with Pat Conroy's "My Reading Life." His last two works of fiction have not really done it for me, especially his last one. His non-fiction works though. In the new one he gives a lot of shout outs to his teachers and why Gone With the Wind is one of the best works of American fiction. His storytelling is at a peak here and I found it to be very entertaining.

I'm following these two books with Keith Richards' autobiography, which is very enlightening and rousing - and I'm only at the point the Stones are still forming.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Heckled and Got Candy Thrown at Me

Yesterday we were informed that there is a new microbrewery in Ohio that is producing Belgian style ales.

We were excited to hear this and made plans to go to dinner where these beers were available. Unfortunately their production is so small they are not kegging their beer so they were only available in 25oz. bottles at a price that was a bit steep. No fault of the dining establishment, they have to make their money, but we opted for a drink and a draft.

At least the service at this place was improved from the last time we were there.

Last night's Writers' Block offered up some great work. I'd never heard Adam Stone's work before and was taken in by Robert Frost Checking his Netflix Queue.

As for the rest of the evening, well there was a porn poem read off a cell phone. I released a new poem, a stoner poem. It had been awhile since a stoner poem had been read and in the defeat of Prop 19, some things needed to be said. As for a procedure known as 'shake and bake', it would seem that simply having the darn sex would be a lot less traumatic than purchasing all that Mrs. Dash product.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Prepping for the Hayride

The sun is rising today, as it did yesterday, as it will tomorrow. The election cycle is over, for a couple of days, until the shouting beings again. So here I am with a bank lobbyist as my congressional representative and a former fox news talk show host and lehman brothers manager as my governor. This state is facing an eight billion dollar budget shortfall.

Do I want fire protection, or paved roads?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Not Shutting Down

Today is supposed to be Communication Shutdown Day, people turning off their twitter or facebook accounts in support of those with autism. There's been a counter effort for autistic people and those with Aspberger's Syndrome to tell their stories and not shut down because the internet and social media is one of the main ways for them to communicate. I agree with the latter group. I've written before about many organizations, such as Autism Speaks, that use celebrity spokespeople and ad campaigns of gloom; rarely using actual autistic men, women and children in their public service announcements.

This is my eight year old son. He has autism. The short clip is not him being bad, or being good. This is him. Communicating.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

While the Bills are 0-7

It's depressing listening or watching your team fail week after week for over a decade. Thought about headed to the sports bar up north for the game, but had a better time looking in the creepy but cool antique store in German Village and trying to find a serviceable liquor cabinet.

It was more fun talking to the people at Spoonful Records about Belle and Sebastian than eventually getting home in time to find a radio feed of the game and hear the Bills lose in overtime.

Before that, I finished the best fiction I've read this year.

Room takes it's story from recent headlines. More specifically the horrors of the Fritzl case, reduces the people involved to the kidnapper, his victim and the son she gave birth to. The story is told from the viewpoint of the child, Jack, who is now five years old. All Jack has seen of the world during his entire life is in a room that is eleven by eleven.

It's a brilliant story of their relationship. Jack's Mother is determined to give Jack an education, to teach him about a world that he may never see, while trying to keep her own wits about her in a brutal situation. It's a very intense story that really stirs up emotions, with quite a few passages that are incredible page turners.

Donaghue manages to sustain the voice of a five year old rather skillfully but confuses the reader as to where the book takes place. She uses a lot of words that could mean the book takes place in the U.K., but the book takes place in the United States. A good editor could have solved that problem. The last third of the book loses some intensity, but we find out a few unpleasant things that resolve themselves in a fair conclusion.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Why she gets the expensive chocolate milk

Disruptions and I do not get along. I'm a bit more tied to routine that I care to admit. So when my Scottish Wife wants to get things done around the house, it's best for me to stay away until she's finished.

This week's project was the bedroom floor. It's been a mess forever covered with ugly carpet (which she tore out) then a hideous dark gray wood floor. I can understand why she hated it.

Last week we ventured out to the big box home repair store and purchased enough floor laminate to cover the ugly. Wednesday night I helped lug some of the heavier stuff out of the room while she killed a warren of dust bunnies.

Yesterday a couple of people came over to put the flooring in. They did an excellent job.

Don't look at any part of the walls, we know they need paint. She's also got an idea of wallpaper in her lovely head. She's painted the kitchen and dining room and is fully capable of getting the house to where she wants it. One room at a time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Week of Tweets

Last night I deleted my twitter account. From the people I knew, for the most part, all I saw were people tweeting the same thing as their Facebook status report. What's the point of repetition?

I will say that Roger Ebert's twittering is quite profound, and Steve Martin is a very funny man. As for as following celebrities on twitter, I was underwhelmed.

If I was a small business owner though, I'd be all over this. I'd tweet products that have just been brought into my shop like there's no tomorrow, especially if the product had a short shelf life or were only available in limited quantities.

I've been pretty critical and mean to the tweeters, I may slow that up a little since going through the experience. It's not all bad, and you can fall into rabbit holes, but overall, it's not for me.

Still pretty happy here in the land of Blogger. Hits and page reads are slowly increasing, people are reading this who are not also spammers from Brazil. So thanks for stopping by. Comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rest in Peace

I did not know Anna well. Heck I’m not even sure what her real name was. She was real though; there was nothing phony about her. We met through Caitie's Live Journal, and were friends on Facebook. We'd pop up in each other comments from time to time. She told me she read this blog, but hated jumping though hoops to comment. I’m projecting a lot into what little I knew about her. One person said she was magic and that is indisputable.

In my decade plus on the internet I’ve watched people I’ve never met in person die, some a more sudden and tragic death, others a sad decline due to disease. Anna kept fighting the cancer and she was not quite strong enough to beat it.

She told the most fascinating stories of her life past and present. I’d like to think she’d led a full life, cut short as it was. She was a little older than me, with a son, boyfriend and many friends and family who are going to miss her words online and face to face.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Was it the Meds, or am I Going Mad?

I'm not sure if this dream was being watched on television, or actually happening.

John Goodman was a cop who had uncovered some serious conspiracy stuff. There was a major convoy, by rail, that I think the Russians were leading straight down the center of the United States. There were even cruise ships in this convoy, really weird looking on train tracks. The reason was unknown and if you tried to find out, you were eliminated. There was a lot of black ops technology used, a lot of surveillance used against you if you tried to speak out. Wow, who knew Henry Winkler could hide cameras that showed Goodman liked to look at nasty things!

There was a lot of bad reporting done, technology released that turned cities snowbound and Kent State being on fire was major news.

I hope this does not become a nightly event.

The Macbook came back on Saturday, with a new hard drive. I hooked up the backup and hoped. The last backup it seems was in April so all was not lost. I've never been quite sure if any of the transfers worked.

The pictures are in a jumble, which is the worst thing, and six months of photos are gone - but the better ones are most likely on Facebook. Lost a small amount of writing, what's been completed is on paper and/or archived in gmail. Lost some music, but that's the lightest loss. Overall, it could have been a lot worse and I'm thankful it was not.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Have had a sore throat since Friday. Did not sleep at all last night, the pain was so bad. Went to urgent care this morning and as suspected, was diagnosed with strep throat.

If I've ever had it before, it's never been this severe. The pain while swallowing was too much.

And a plus to urgent care. I was in and out of there in about 45 minutes.

Got my pills and have been in a fever breaking sweat most of today.

Trying to keep away from my son, to keep him from getting infected. Thanks to my Scottish Wife for dealing with me this weekend. When I'm ill, I want no one near me. Need to go into the cave and suffer alone.

I am better than my Live Journal friend Anna, who is now in an ICU with a bleak prognosis. Met her through Caitie, she's led a fascinating life. Hoping for the best for everyone, it's all I can do for someone I've never met.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

There is no pain, you are receding.

Friday night I saw the most memorable blending of rock and roll and theater. Roger Waters "The Wall" is the theater Ray Davies could never quite achieve on stage, the technology Pete Townshend could never grasp during his peak writing years.

The whole arena is used as a set. This could never be done on Broadway, the stages are too small.

The amount of time that went into planning this show has to be phenomenal. The costs of the ticket are justified when one sees the amount of people that have to be paid to truck this show from city to city. I saw at least two dozen semis outside of the Schottenstein Center the afternoon before the concert.

Every detail of the stage set is amazing. The surround sound was clean and incredible. The musicians, first rate. The crowd, odd, and I'm not talking about the guy in front of us who smothered us in pot smoke, but the people who yelled out they did not pay to see Waters projected on or behind a screen. Um, you're seeing The Wall, what did you expect? Loved the hotel room bit.

I've never been much of a Pink Floyd fan, but always respected Waters as being the band's main songwriter. At 67 he's not out there running around the stage, and he lacks the stage presence of most of the frontmen of his era. During "Comfortably Numb" while one of the other members of the group sang the David Gilmour parts, Waters mimed the words, reaching for the crowd with his hands. It was one of the most emotional performances I've seen on any stage.

He also has to hit his mark on the wall, every night.

Naturally, the wall came down.

We took our time leaving and while I was in the bathroom line, my friend took some footage of the set being broken down. I wondered what the wall was made of, know I knew.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Show Mommy Where the Poet Touched You

There's something to be said about a sex poem. When it's good it can inspire, titillate and engage the listener or reader.

Then there's the opposite.

A poet introduced his poem as Mountain Love, a Poetic Fantasy. It started pleasant enough, with images of storms along with the consumption of wine and dark chocolate.

Quickly after those words were spoken, the descent into the dark beyond began. Orifices had things inserted into them, the phrase 'hairy hole' had the crowd squirming in their seats as one.

All that was missing was a "Name and Address Withheld by Request" coda. I think it was not a coincidence that Bob Guccione passed away, possibly while that poem was being read.

Something in many of us died after hearing that poem last night. My poetic open mic innocence was shed long ago, but I cannot imagine what it was like for the fifteen year old in the audience who was attending her first poetry reading.

There was also a Women of the World qualifier slam that Vernell won. I got myself one nasty sore throat today by yelling at the judges. Karmic payback.

You never know what's going to happen at an open mic. Last weeks breastfest was rather tame in comparison to last night's Letter to Penthouse. Next week is the Halloween show. Will there be Elvira costumes, or torture porn?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More than 140

So I did the unthinkable and got a twitter account. Hey, Steve Martin's funny! If you want to rag on me after all my diatribes about it, go right ahead I deserve them.

I'll give it at least a week then see about whether or not I want to continue.

Friday night I'm going to see Roger Waters recreate The Wall. Never been much of a Pink Floyd fan, but do like Waters. For the record, my favorite Pink Floyd album is The Final Cut. Spoke to a local reviewer about the concert months ago. He went off, calling Waters a guy who uses his high school diaries for material. Guess that makes him the James Cameron of rock and roll.

Still waiting for the Macbook to be repaired.

In the midst of all this, I have been writing. Whether or not it's any good is part of the answer.

Put Snow White in the DVD player to see if my son would show interest. He sat all the way through Dumbo, which is a short feature. After about half an hour, he switched chairs. Fifteen minutes later, he lost interest completely. This is not a bad thing, he did try for half the film. What's more important is that he pooped in the toilet. Comet sighting celebration. When's the next one?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

As a Karate Expert...

If you want to marry a shoe, he'll marry you two!

If I still lived in New York, he could get my vote. Because the rent, is too damn high.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This Artifact Belongs in a Museum

This could be the week the Macbook returns. New hard drive is being installed.

Watched an interesting documentary called The Art of the Steal over the weekend. Dr. Barnes assembled a massive collection of post-impressionist art in the early 20th century and built a home in a Philadelphia suburb to display the work. There was never any intent to house the work in a museum like atmosphere but to use the facility as a learning institution.

Barnes and the Philadelphia elite and arts community were often at odds. When Barnes died, he left no heirs. Barnes will specifically stated that the collection not be loaned, moved, or sold. The Barnes Foundation was run successfully as a school with very limited public access until the 1980's. Soon after the endowment ran out of funds and the Barnes Foundation neared bankruptcy. The years to follow brought a long struggle between Barnes' wishes and those of political and moneyed institutions who fought for the collection.

It's a rather shocking story and I have very mixed feelings about the conclusion. The collection should be preserved in the conditions of Barnes' will. But how do you fund it in this day and age without a bunch of so called do-gooders and yoo-hoos with deep pockets and political influence getting in the way?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Brand Extension

Picked this up on cd yesterday. Yoko is now officially scraping the bottom of the barrel with all the remasters and compliations that have been released in the thirty years since John's death. This one though, a Stripped Down version of Double Fantasy, is worth seeking out. Lennon's voice is brought up way up in the mix and a lot of the extraneous noise (choirs, for example) has been taken out. This works well on a few of the songs with a major difference on Woman and turns the rest of side two into a naked mess. I like Starting Over most and Yoko's Give Me Something works with this raw polishing.

You also get a remastered version of the original included. A decent twofer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Next Week: Jennifer Beals' Goobers

In all my years of attending Writers' Block I do not think I have ever heard so many breast references in one night.

Perhaps it was because Scott Woods went to Detroit for a reading and was deeply affected by one poet's take on the anatomy. He brought something from their night back with him to share with the rest of the class.

It's going to take a Silkwood Shower for my mind to erase the imagery of Irene Cara's raisinets.

Did you know that one poet has yellow titty tater tots? Now you do.

It's a given to not fuck with one's tank top twins.

Yes, there was also a great deal of alliteration last night.

I was so consumed by the breast that I thought the mention of a poet's Grandmother's great wall was about her rack. I was mistaken.

And poor Travis, coming all the way from Lima was overshadowed by the others with a heartfelt poem about breast cancer awareness. He got the photograph though.

A door prize ticket was picked, not out of a poet's bra, and I won admission to First Draft Friday night.

All of this breast mentioning, and the slam had not even started yet!

It was another qualifier for the Women of the World Poetry Slam and nine women, eighteen breasts, were ready.

In round one, no breasts were mentioned. There was not even any dong knocking.

In round two though, some puppies were released.

There was an alchemy of breasts and asses past.

However, the taste of #68's nipple is unknown.

Paula wrote succinctly about "These." And when I say these, I mean, those. Yes, them.

Not sure of my use of commas there, perhaps Louise can correct my punctuation. Heaven knows she can use an exclamation point or two.

When the smoke cleared Rose Smith won a very close slam.

I'd been away for a month. Yes, I missed it.