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.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tell Me Something New

Been mining the moleskine the past few days. Got a couple of poems out of it and found a few others I have not read anywhere. Some are better than others. What's newer is better, including the one I started at the writing group on Sunday.

Been also doing some online research about another poem I'm working on. Searched for a few dozen articles, interviews and other credible sources. Trying not to come off half assed. Looking for facts amid the poetic license. Wrote up a draft while my son had vision therapy. Had a pile of lines that had no shape, found a beginning and an end. It's a bit different than what I usually do. Not related to autism either, a bit of history and fist shaking.

Going to shake some rust off tomorrow night at open mic and Friday at First Draft.

The macbook is in the shop, should have it back in less than a week with a new hard drive. The old drive is dead and I doubt anything can be saved from it. The backup was a pain to use so I have no idea if there's anything to retrieve. Not sure it's hit me yet.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Welcome This

This weekend has been a technological ordeal. All is fine, as long as I avoid getting computer parts and attempting a hard drive repair.

The macbook will be taken care of, but not by me.

It felt really good to get out for a couple of hours and write with some friends and strangers. I've had some unpleasant writing group and workshop experience in the past so I was a bit apprehensive giving it another shot. There was some very good prompts handed out, some friendly criticism given and a boat load of ideas were written down. Have not really written in the past few weeks and putting the pen to page in a free write was something that really kicked me in the ass to write. Looks like it's going to be a Sunday night thing.

Now, if I can only decipher my handwriting!

The Bills are now 0-5. I think they have a good shot at not winning a game this season. Sad, but true.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Do Not Know How People Survive

A newly released draft poem by Ted Hughes has been making the electronic rounds. The poem is Hughes' attempt to write out his feelings about the death of Sylvia Plath.

I keep thinking about Frieda Hughes, their daughter, what kind of life she must have, and what kind of mettle she has in dealing with everything.

The paintbrush has been a release for her, and she has published poetry and children's books.

How does one deal with a parent killing themselves while you're three years old and in the next room? Then, dad's next partner kills herself and your half sister in the same way your mother died. After that, your father, Ted Hughes, is demonized for destroying your mother's journals. A few years later he's made Poet Laureate of England.

I'm no fan of Hughes, and lack familiarity with most of his work. There's a ton of family drama here. Plenty of room for dislike. On his deathbed, Hughes finally speaks out on his first wife's death by publishing Birthday Letters. A mediocre movie about the Hughes/Plath marriage is released.

What is it like to have your family's history and words to be deconstructed and scrutinized by scholars, strangers and archivers with vitriol?

Then, to top it all off her younger brother killed himself a couple of years ago due to his depression. Frieda's third marriage also fell apart earlier this year.

What does she do to cope? Honestly.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Things I Have Meant To Say

The progress bar is still as the Disk Warrior does its thing. It has not moved for about thirty six hours now. The number of broken files increases while the likelihood of replacing the hard drive by this weekend goes up. Accepting losing three plus years of work is not easy.

Off to a culture shaping retreat for work today and tomorrow. It's not something I'm being cynical about attending. I'm just anxious as being around a group of strangers and discussing anything with them face to face scares the crap out of me. I do not think we'll end up holding hands and singing Kumbaya or getting Block O tattoos on our biceps, but I'm optimistic for positive results.

As a bitter and disgruntled ex-employee, I grumble when I see a lawn sign, billboard or see other propaganda regarding Issue 4. Let me state here that I am not against it in the least. In fact I will be voting for it, and if you live in Columbus, you should too. If you want reasons, ask me and I'll go off as to why. If you want me to put a sign on my lawn or change my Facebook profile picture go elsewhere. I'm putting as much effort into their campaign as their efforts into my career advancement when I worked there. Yes, there are issues.

My son's IEP meeting is next week. Having a special needs kid is hard when it comes to educational expectations. At this point, limited conversation is seen as a big step. Pooping in the toilet would be nice. Slowly, he's beginning to sleep thought the night regularly - that is massive progress.

Got to love the Wexner Center. Last night they brought in Joe Dante to introduce Matinee. It's a fun movie that was very overlooked about Sci-Fi movies of the fifties and the Cuban Missile Crisis. And Mant, the film within the film about a half man - half ant, was much funnier than I remember. Dante was very gracious and had some important things to say about the state of horror films and today's film in general. He spoke like Scorcese's calmer cousin. Very entertaining.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Caption this

Pull my finger is a bit obvious. How about, "I'm like you, only better."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One Hard Drive Later

Been listening to Write About Love, the latest from Belle and Sebastian for the last couple of mornings. I'm concluding that, with this record, B&S is a band and not the efforts one person. There are songs by Stevie Jackson and Sarah Martin that, while not in the style of Stuart Murdoch, fit the record and theme.

I'm not pleased with the celebrity cameos, especially the Norah Jones duet and am puzzled that the lovely yet voiceless Carey Mulligan gets a track. Why not include one of the singers from the God Help the Girl soundtrack, or has Murdoch cut away completely from that project?

There are a couple of fine songs on this record, the opener I Didn't See it Coming and I Want the World to Stop are quite infectious. I'm not sure how much longer B&S will sustain itself now that special guest stars are showing up. When will Cousin Oliver add his vocals?

In other news, despite massive efforts at resuscitation, it looks like the hard drive on the macbook is now an ex-hard drive. For the moment, I'm taking the loss rather well. I guess losing a lot of pictures and three years of music does not effect me much. Most of the writing can be reassembled. It's not going to be an easy transition. Realizing that lists and songs are gone, probably forever, will be tough when it hits me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Make me dance I want to surrender

Survived the weekend festivities. While driving into Fredonia on Saturday afternoon I heard two friends on the campus station. The alumni took over the radio for the weekend in hour shifts. I was asked, but declined.

When I got there though, my friend Chris asked if I'd join him as he did not want to be alone. He did not have to ask twice.

With Mike as our board operator and Chris' iPod as our record library we did an hour of live, unrehearsed radio and have a freaking blast doing it. I read the weather forecast for the first time in over twenty tears, talked about bagging an elk on Center Street. All was right in the world. It felt great to be back on the air. No one could afford my services now though, but Chris and I should consider a podcast.

Finally got to see a show at the renovated Opera House, Dan Berggren did an hour set in a beautiful theater.

Then it was over to BJ's for the shenanigans. 600 wings were devoured by starving alumni. There was live music and flashbulbs. Felt like a pinball bouncing around between people. Pheromones and dollar well drinks filled the air. My Scottish Wife had a good time and talked to a few people too. She was amazed that the bartender gave her a free coke with her drink.

After the music was over, I stood on the stage and took pictures of the crowd. I was joined by Sue, and as she and I talked a crowd gathered around us for a group shot. The price of fame I suppose.

Had to leave early to drive back to Buffalo in a pissing down rainstorm. Stayed sober and responsible. No drama, no first wife showed up.

Drove home yesterday in more heavy rain. Still made it home in excellent time. Been listening to the new Belle and Sebastian record, it helps to have connections as it's not being released until next week.

Typing this on a borrowed net book, still trying to decide on a permanent home computer situation. We have a couple of weeks to decide. Have nowhere to upload pictures to yet, but have a few to share. I look very odd in the pictures I've seen of me from this weekend.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Brief Recap

Been a great trip. Car rental, a Hyundai Accent, working out great. Safe trip to Fredonia. Saw a fabulous poetry reading by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, who remembered me and gave me a shout out during her reading!

We were in a lecture hall that I have not sat in since 1987, it has not changed. Then had a late dinner with a friend at BJ's. the wings were better than I expected.

Had a tour of Buffalo yesterday morning, nice beverage at The Spot then Premier. Spotted some Irn-Bru, showed the can to my Scottish Wife, who raced down the aisle, as if magnetized!

Later, my respect for the kimmelweck roll was increased as I had beef on weck at Schwabl's. I'm still not thrilled by all the salt.

Returned to Fredonia and ran into the past. It was, like the wings on Friday, better than expected. No drama, but good reconnecting. The music at BJ's was too loud so I was outside talking about politics and Scotland. My wife has been wonderful and made a few friends herself.

At The White Inn, two people told me I was famous, had a drink bought for me by an old housemate, missed a group bird flipping photo.

All good, except for the 2AM migraine, from which I have recovered.