Monday, June 28, 2010

We Will Be Invincible

It's not that England would have won yesterday's World Cup match. The goal that was completely missed by all the officials would have tied the game at two. But, there would have been a shifting in momentum and urgency by both teams that could have changed the complexion of the game. I think Germany would have won, and decidedly so, we'll never know now.

Missing or allowing goals due to blown offside calls is one thing. Screwing up when the ball has clearly past the goal line is another thing entirely. FIFA have a great deal to answer for. They're earning billions with this tournament and for a goal to be clearly missed in the net messes with the game's integrity.

I was very impressed by this memoir by Pat Benatar. A very compelling story of being one of the only female rock stars in the early eighties. During that time, there really were not many solo rock women out there other than Debbie Harry, Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde. She is one of the few stars who never went into rehab or hit any deep rock bottoms in her personal life. Despite unbelievable pressure by a douchebag record company to produce music and an incredible amount of sexism she prevailed and is now living her own life on her terms. She has a story to tell, and slapping a record company executive is a stunning part of this book.

I was not overly wowed by The Passage, Justin Cronin's thick book about the end of the world. American scientists have created a virus that may slow down the aging process, it's put into convicts, things go horribly wrong. For the first 150 pages it was quite the page turner, then the point of view shifted and I was left bored and stranded. I plodded on through the last 450 pages and could not wait for the book to end. It reads a lot of Stephen King's The Stand and even includes a pious and wise black woman for spiritual relief. Ugh. After finishing the book I was told it's to be a trilogy. Books two and three will not be in my house.

Been trying to shake a cold. Now Captain Trips has invaded my sinus cavity.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Getting out of the House

Last night, during a screening of Sherlock Jr. at the Ohio Theater half a reel of film was shown out of focus, and out of frame. It was also one of the most technically proficient scenes ever put on film.

Buster goes into the screen and the scenery changes around him as he stays in exactly the same place. Pure magic, and my enjoyment of that scene was diminished because of the projectionist's lack of attention.

I did send CAPA an email. A rather friendly reminder to get it right the next time. I did not spout off by making icons of cats out of focus with the caption CAPA FAIL or say that I'm never going to any of CAPA's events ever again.

Admittingly, I'm a grumpy old ass. To spend my time posting links of things I do not like with a snide comment is something I do less and less, which is good for everyone. I'm shunning political debate, especially online because it's not worth the effort. The link of, whatever, gets posted. Look how bad this person is. Look how bad these people are. This is a horrible thing, look! See how terrible our government is? Look at the oppression that continues to this day! People agree, or there is dissent. Links are posted countering the link in question. Arguing ensues. Latin terms are used. Personal insults are exchanged. Someone breaks Godwin's Law and for what?

Great, the ability to archive outrage exists in this day and age. Congratulations. But, again, what are you doing about it besides hating on Comfest?

Keep burning down the forest because there are couple of trees in it you don't like while you hide in the enclave.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Everton Connection

Very cool to see Tim Howard made the save, then the throw to and eventual game winning goal by Landon Donovan in yesterday's World Cup match. Three months playing for Everton turned Donovan into a man!

Had it on at work, listening in headphones. They know, and appreciate my updates. I don't cuss and click the screen on when something exciting may happen. When the goal was scored I clapped loudly.

Feeling like a wreck physically so I was far from 100% at last night's slam. It's no excuse but my energy was not there. Came in sixth out of seven and had a great time while doing so. My three minute did not grab the crowd but my one minute had them, but not the judges. Oh well, another night perhaps. It's good to have a one minute poem to be able to use on the subway or in a pinch.

Been reading a book that I'm plodding through. Started out exciting enough then took a point of view turn about a third of the way through that initially turned me off, but I'm dealing with it. If it was not over six hundred pages I'd be bailing.

Tonight at the Ohio Theater the CAPA Summer Movie Series is presenting Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr and Second Chances. Both will have scores performed by Clark Wilson on the Mighty Morton Organ. I've seen both of these films, but never in this setting. My Scottish Wife has not seen either of these treasures. It's going to be a spectacular night at the cinema!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Filling in Gaps

In the post Father's Day wake this article struck home on a few points. Most of the author's experiences are not like my own, but there are a few. I know my father has been ill and am expecting the call at any time that his time is up. We never really met. I sent him a brief note and a few photographs of my son a couple of years ago. He never replied. My stepfather raised me. He's a great man and I do not thank him enough.

I have a half sister I've never met either, but she is on Facebook. I sent her a message last year and she replied then immediately added me. We have a sporadic, but cordial contact. I'm sure we'll meet someday.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Year Older, a New One Just Begun

Survived another year. I might be in a new demographic now. Having a shot and a beer while the rest of the house should be asleep.

I don't know where aging is taking me. When it's hot outside I feel my age. The heat slows me down, makes me cranky. The usual things do not work the way they used to, maybe that's for the best. I eye the desks and tables at work and remember when I could jump on them in a single vertical leap - wonder if I can do that now, or break my leg trying?

My Scottish Wife does not like the heat either. This is an entirely new climate for her. She complained when she was here two years ago when the temperatures were in the low nineties. Then she visited friends in Austin when the temperatures were hitting record highs of 107, and the locals were complaining. When she came back, she did not say much about the weather.

We're staying here though. For obvious reasons. Even though there are many days when I feel stuck and trapped in this city there are more reasons for me to stay. This house is falling apart. Trees are growing in the gutters. Basement shelving is collapsing, taking out outdated media along with it and I have no idea what to do to make it all better. At least the roof is not failing, yet.

A road trip is not possible until October. An international air trip, which I really want to take, April 2011, if funds can be saved, if people can cooperate.

Father's Day in the Heat

My wife's friend Mary Jessica interviewed me, and other fathers in this article.

As I get older, my tolerance for hot weather decreases. I used to love the heat, until I came to Columbus. Here, the heat lingers all night. It does not cool off at night they way it did on Long Island, or Fredonia. The air here is stagnant, polluted, filled with cottonwood.

Time to wake up the boy and get him ready for the sprinkler and what not.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Going Once, Going Twice...

Another night at WB

We don't do deep shit here
Vernell's cookies
Amir's shadow
Prompts for Marshall
Virgin One: Son of Joe;
Enthusiastic Paula bidding
Eggplant scrotum
Ethan's violin
It's delicious as fuck
Virgin Two wrote her poem two days ago
Hypothetical black man
Jump up to get it poetry

And this:

If you did not bid on any items at last night's auction, Dave would put you in his sights.

We raised over $1,200 for the Writers' Block team to go to the National Poetry Slam in St. Paul. Quite incredible! Props to Joanna who worked the crowd as auctioneer.

The fall out from the management situation at Claddagh is chronicled here. There's a boycott Claddagh movement on Facebook. I, and others who supported the departed management have been dropped from their Facebook page. Oh, the drama!

On Sunday night at Jimmy V's on South High there's a party to celebrate Craig and all he did for the local soccer pub community.

Hey Flint, hope you had a fun day reading my pages.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No Question Marks, but Unanswered Questions

Even the best therapies are mostly useless if the patient will not wake up. The rest of the month is holding up a light box that pulses magenta light while the patient allegedly looks at it and reacts.

This is supposed to help.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Robert Green: American Hero

It was a festive atmosphere at the place where I watched half of the USA/England soccer match. About five minutes into my visit, I was accosted by a Liverpool fan/idiot for wearing my Everton jersey. He calmed down after I mentioned that Tim Howard plays for Everton.

Not sure what a group of local bagpipers have to do with a soccer match, but it was a lot of fun just the same.

Know what I like about watching soccer on television? The lack of commercials every three minutes. Networks that do not force promoting of their crappy programming down your throat at every break in the action. Those are some of the things I love about viewing the game. It is constantly in motion. The clock is always counting down. If you turn around, you may miss a great pass, a fine tackle.

I'm slowly giving up my involvement in NFL Football. It's a dying sport that does not give me as much pleasure as it once did. I will not disagree that the fortunes of the Buffalo Bills have something to do with this. I've been saying for years that when their owner, Ralph Wilson, dies, the history of the team in Buffalo will end soon after his funeral, or after the team is sold.

Here's what happened shortly after Dempsey's shot on net yesterday...

It was quite the wild scene at Claddagh yesterday afternoon. Over 2,500 came out to watch the match. I'm still a bit reeling about what happened after ward. It seems the manager of the bar was let go by corporate for reasons that are still unclear to me. I'm not sure why someone would be sacked after the biggest day in that bar's history but a good part of the staff immediately quit in protest.

Just when you find a place to head for a drink once or twice a week, a local with staff that remember your name, weenies have to ruin in, and for what?

I never went to Claddagh for the food, and certainly not the low prices (there were not any), but it was the staff and friendly, welcoming atmosphere that brought me back, something that will probably never happen again.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Not Fitting in the Strategic and Tactical Plans

I was out shopping at the corporate bookstore I used to work at last night. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was that the octagon was gone.

The octagon was the large, eight sided display unit that held all of the new releases. The first impression the customer received of the store was that it sold books, and boom, here are the current ones.

It has been replaced by a kiosk that is promoting the store's electronic book reader.

I have nothing against the electronic reader. It is not something I am interested in using. Give me an iPod Touch and I'd be happy, I'm not that much of a technology hater, but the kindle/nook/reader has little appeal for me. Call me old and in need of paper, still.

I did have an item in mind to purchase when I went in there. Went into the music department and continue to notice that most of the music is being replaced with blu-ray DVDs. Looked around for the cd I wanted by Janelle Monae, looked at the endcaps, in the pop rock and soul sections - did not find it. Finally asked the clerk, who asked my how to spell her name (never a good sign) then told me the store did not have the item. It had one copy, but sold it and they were waiting for another copy to arrive.

This is why people have migrated to shopping online. When you go to a store, have to root around the displays climbing over the new Renee Fleming crossover record or special Celtic music displays and still do not find what you are looking for, why waste your time?

Age has caught up to me, time has passed me by. I have to lower my expectations of going to a store and actually finding what I'm looking to purchase to, well, not getting what I want and taking my money elsewhere.

Remember the days of shopping when you actually found what you were looking for, the first time? Man, those were good times, how long ago were they?

My Scottish Wife insisted on seeing the A-Team movie. I guess the original series was big in Scotland the way Anne of Green Gables is popular in Japan. So she was stoked to see it on opening night.

Seeing Liam Neeson kick ass on screen is worth the price of admission, and in that case, the A-Team delivers. If you like explosions over plot, this is the movie for you. It's a cartoon on film. There are no expectations of thespians showing up on screen. I never watched the A-Team series, but lowered my bar of film snobbery and had a good time, which made my wife happy - and isn't that what it's all about sometimes?

Friday, June 11, 2010

From Fact to Fiction

Six years after the publication of her true crime memoir A Rip in Heaven, Jeanine Cummins returns with her first novel, The Outside Boy.

It's the story of Christy, a young Irish Traveller living in Ireland in the late 1950's. His Grandfather dies, a photograph comes into his possession - secrets are kept and revealed.

Cummins prose is quite rich, emotions run high while a deft sense of humor runs throughout the book. The plot gets a bit predictible and nearly crosses into Lifetime Movie territory, but it stays on the side of being rational. It's a novel that will please readers of many genres, be they historical, dramatic or books about a family that loves each other.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Cows Know...

A performance at the Columbus Arts Festival on 6/6/10. It is me, even though my head is out of frame. Shot by a coworker who I did not know was there. I got an email from him on Monday morning. I'm a bit shouty because it was windy and I was in a tent.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bow Down to Number Twenty Four

All I can say about his therapy is that he seems to be eager to go. Once we're there he climbs up on the table, lays down and is ready for the session. No fussing at all.

We went to the grocery after this morning's session. I only had a few things to get so I did not put him in the cart. He held my hand and we walked around the whole store with no problems at all.

He's been so good I got out his wagon, which he turned over and walked on immediately.

I had donuts, it's been a good morning.

Really enjoyed reading Hirsch's biography. It's authorized but we are still allowed to see some of the cracks in the legend. I thought it stopped a bit short when we read about Mays' hospitalizations during a couple of seasons. I thought his being 'tired' was a brush off. Mays' relationship with his first manager Leo Durocher is described fully and I had no idea how warm and respectful it was.

Mays is probably the best living baseball player at this time. He played in the Negro League as it faded after the game was slowly segregated. Mays was not the fiery player Jackie Robinson was, nor did he speak out for equal rights the way Robinson did. Mays brought his joy to one person, one stadium full of people at a time, and if you did not get that it was your loss.

I only got to see Mays play at the end of his career with the Mets. A very sad year he never should have started. His appearances though made me appreciate and love him for what he was, and why I own a New York Giants 1954 replica baseball hat. The only major league cap I wear.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Cows Know...

It's hard to assess how the Sensory Learning Program is going. It's not harming him, in any way, at all. How bad can being on a bed that rotates while your listening to quirky music in headphones be? I listened to some of the music, it sounds like he's being Rick Rolled.

He's lying still during the half hour sessions, which is a minor miracle in itself. It's still taking him awhile to get to sleep, but he has been sleeping though the night as far as I can tell.

One thing he is doing is alternating his feet when he goes up the stairs. This is something I've been working on with him, and he's finally got it. Going up, not down yet though.

We're more than a third of the way through these sessions.

This weekend was the Columbus Arts Festival. Saturday was quite damp and humid. A storm around 4PM caused the organizers to close the event for a short time. I read first, in a tent that was very sauna like.

There was a layer of sweat on me after my set. For the record I read:

Pantoum For a Child with Insomnia
Swings Inside the White Fence
The Revolution was Not in the Program Guide (Apologies to Gil Scott-Heron)
Divorced, with Special Needs
Started While Flying Over Cincinnati After IWPS
This Was How We Spoke
Lincoln Tower, the Grassy Knoll
Nobody's Poet

We left the festival and came back just in time to see my friend Joanna read two poems from her third place feature then saw first place winner Gina Blaurock's set. Excellent work.

I ended up being drafted off the bench to perform in the sixth annual poetry slam. Had a lot of fun, as did Scott Woods, who did everything but crowd surf during The Gospel According to the Matrix.

Later, Scott drew the largest time penalty I have witnessed. He lost six points. Joanna won the slam. I came in fourth.

Today I took part in the Decathlon Slam. I put together a team of poets who were out to create poetry mayhem. Vernell's team beat the crap out of us, and the secretly formed Dyno-Twins. I suspected a loss, but we were going to go out with our dignity intact.

How are you going to beat a poet reading Shel Silverstein's "Boa Constrictor" as Whitney Houston during her 2010 tour of Europe? You cannot.

It was a great weekend of poetry, and it was my Scottish Wife's birthday!

I have taken the next couple of days off to get my son to therapy and look after him before he starts day camp next Monday. His therapy concludes on Sunday afternoon. A busy week is ahead, and the World Cup starts on Friday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Someday I'll Walk Out of Here Again

In just over an hour my son will be in his first Sensory Learning Therapy session. Twelve days of two sessions a day. To say I'm feeling trapped is an understatement. It almost feels like a kill shot, but it's not a last ditch effort. I'm not sure what my expectations for this are, only that I get to foot the bill for it, too.

Sometimes I feel like too much is happening at once, and when my ability to process gets piled upon, my health fails me. It's been a bad few days and I can't leave where I'm at. You have to go to work, pay for the car registration, the mortgage, the stupid credit card, day camp, gas. For the next ten weeks I'm booked solid with getting my son to day camp every morning and work. My PTO is dwindling and I really do not have the freedom to go anywhere. No workshops, no retreats, no travel out of town to concerts.

My bags are packed and I'm stuck in Columbus.