Monday, December 31, 2012

If it's not sports, it's sometimes this

I did vow to see more movies in 2012 than in 2011. I did accomplish that, for what it's worth. Out of this list, maybe a dozen were seen in a theater. The rest were DVD, a couple on TCM, some at a friend's house and more recently, home on Netflix.

This number may be even higher next year.

1) Louder than a Bomb
2) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)
3) True Grit (2010)
4) The Artist
5) Ghost World
6) Haywire
7) One Day
8) Crazy, Stupid, Love
9) In the Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger
10) Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
11) A Great Day in Harlem
12) Moneyball
13) A Separation
14) Tokyo Drifter
15) Casa de Mi Padre
16) Senna
17) I Like Killing Flies
18) Branded to Kill
19) Gate of Flesh
20) Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
21) Scott Walker: 30th Century Man
22) The Thing (1982)
23) The Runaways
24) The Last Waltz
25) Cabin in the Woods
26) Drive
27) I Was a Maie War Bride
28) The Avengers
29) Captain America: The First Avenger
30) The Woodmans
31) Fighting Words/Street Poet
32) Cafe Lumiere
33) Perfect Sense
34) Moonrise Kingdom
35) The Grey
36) Resurrect the Dead: the Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles
37) Gran Torino
38) The Amazing Spider-Man
39) The Muppets
40) The People Vs. George Lucas
41) Quai des Orfèvres
42) Super 8
43) The Dark Knight Rises
44) The Power of Kangwon Province
45) The Adventures of Tin Tin
46) Expendables 2
47) Certified Copy
48) On the Town
49) Gun Crazy
50) The Descendants
51) Mickey
52) Murder, My Sweet
53) Kiss Me Deadly
54) Into the Abyss
55) Gremlins
56) Wreck it Ralph
57) Tommy
58) Casino Royale
59) Skyfall
60) El Bulli: Cooking in Progress
61) Hello Down There
62) Where are my Children?
63) The Card
64) Your Sister's Sister
65) Like Crazy
66) That Sinking Feeling
67) Django Unchained

So ends another year of blogging. Fewer posts. Fewer comments. Thank you all for reading, even you, especially you.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Coffee and Pictures

Last year My Scottish Wife got me a French Press for Christmas. I took to it well and use it mostly on the weekend. Found out which type of coffee I like and try new types frequently. I try to have a couple of different ones around and buy it already ground in small amounts, about a quarter of a pound at a time, to keep it relatively fresh.

For Christmas this year she got me a Burr Grinder. Used it over the weekend. It's quite loud but works very well. Now I can buy beans, keep them a little longer and have supposedly fresher and better tasting coffee when I want it. Maybe I'll increase the varieties in the house to three.

Took a bunch of pictures last year. Inspired by another blogger, who did something similar last year, I decided to keep a file of 'best of' pictures as I downloaded them. By the end of the year I had enough to put together a slideshow in near chronological order, added a song from my favorite album of the year and voila, instant youtube sensation. Or not. Did not really go anywhere exciting, but there are some amusing pictures in there - and not just of me and my kid!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

No resolutions, but must improve

Probably the worst year of reading than I can remember. The quality is there, but the quantity is missing. Could not even read a book a week in 2012. For me, that is ridiculously low. Plus, I included a number of shorter poetry books. They seem to merely pad my count, but you should all check out Jack Gilbert's work. Yes, I can do better.

There were a few books I started, then got about 25-50 pages in and gave up. Those do not get listed here. If I finished it, the book is here. Three stars is a cut above average, four stars is a very good book.

1) Haruki Murakami - 1Q84. 925 p. ***
2) John Doyle - The World is a Ball. 330 p.
3) Frederica Sager Maas - The Shocking Miss Pilgrim. 264 p.
4) Gil Scott-Heron - The Last Holiday: A Memoir. 321 p.
5) Jim Walsh - The Replacements: All Over but the Shouting. 304 p.
6) Annie Liebovitz - Pilgrimage. 246 p.
7) Stephen Fry - The Fry Chronicles. 438 p. ***
8) Kent Hartman - The Wrecking Crew. 292 p.
9) Susan Senator - Dirt: a story about gardening, mothering, and other messy business. 270 p.
10) David M. Wilson - The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott. 191 p. ***
11) Kate Winslet - The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism. 284 p. (mostly pictures)
12) Jack Gilbert - The Dance Most of All. 60 p. ***
13) Guy Delisle - Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea. 176 p.
14) Johnny Ramone - Commando. 174 p.
15) Francesca Woodman. 224 p. (mostly pictures)
16) Carole King. A Natural Woman. 489 p.
17) Mike Doughty. The Book of Drugs. 252 p. ***
18) Will Hermes. Love Goes to Buildings on Fire. 368 p. ***
19) Jack Gilbert. Refusing Heaven. 92 p. ****
20) John Irving. In One Person. 425 p. ***
21) Buzz Bissinger. Father's Day. 242 p. ****
22) Jack Gilbert. The Great Fires. 90 p. ***
23) Ken Calliat & Steven Stiefel. Making Rumours. 362 p. ***
24) Frank Langella. Dropped Names. 356 p.
25) Mark Haddon. The Red House. 264 p.
26) Gillian Flynn. Gone Girl. 419 p. **** (best fiction)
27) Christopher Coake - You Came Back. 416 p. ***
28) Ian Rankin - Black and Blue 397 p. ****
29) Dori Hadar - Mingering Mike. 192 p.
30 Joe Oestreich - Hitless Wonder. 293 p. **** (best non-fiction)
31) Natasha Trethewey - Native Guard. 64 p.
32) R.A. Dickey with Wayne Coffey - Wherever I Wind Up. 340 p. ***
33) Jay Stringer - Old Gold. 236 p. ***
34) David Davis - Showdown at Shepherd's Bush. 308 p.
35) Alexandra Scott - If I Could Be Louder. 20 p.
36) Jamaal May - God Engine 2.0. 30 p.
37) Paula J. Lambert - The Sudden Seduction of Gravity. 57 p. ***
38) Pete Townshend - Who I Am . 538 p.
39) Tadashi Ago, Shu Okimoto. The Drops of God. 423 p.
40) Christopher Hitchens. Morality. 104 p. ***
41) Susan McAllister (et al). A Bigger Boat: the Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam. 327 p.
42) Jack Gilbert. Tougher than Heaven. 24 p.
43) Richard Russo. Elsewhere. 243 p. ***
44) Michael G. Ankerich. The Sound of Silence. 260 p. ***
45) Kurt Vonnegut Jr. We are what we Pretend to be. 161 p. ***
46) Soccer and Disaster: International Perspectives. 193 p.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Poetry 2012, what I remembered

I doubt that I'm going to write anything close to Howl in the next week so here's a recap of 2012, from the poetic view.

Not sure how much original work of any quality I wrote. Work was done, most of it average at best. I did finish my first sestina, not saying it's decent but I completed one.

I was published a couple of times. Once online by New Verse News about the wedding of Kim Jong Un and in Night Ballet Press' - Buzzkill: Apocalypse - An End of the World Anthology. This was good news and showed some growth. More hard work is needed though.

The film Street Poet was so horrible we gathered and took the piss out of it one afternoon at the library. It inspired my poem, Kabuki Condom, that helped me win only my second poetry slam.

A more memorable gathering of poets occurred in March on the steps of the Main Library as we celebrated a Great Day in Columbus as the snow smacked us all in the face.

I made three appearances on the show Speaking of Poetry this year talking about autism, IWPS and phoning in to give Izetta a goodbye Haiku.

Writers' Block brought on the usual shenanigans and coy racism along with new regular Erik the Viking, his height, his Mormonism and wind sex. It was also awesome to see Aaron appear in his first Grand Slam.

One of the big surprises for me was winning my second IWPS title and representing Writers Block in Fayetteville. I was a bit nervous and not as pumped as I could have been but being in the coolness of Fayetteville rejuvenated my enthusiasm. That and I was 28th after the first night! Ended up falling into 45th out of 67 but I had an absolute blast. So happy to have this experience under my belt.

The other big surprise was getting involved with the Columbus Arts Festival as a volunteer. Working with such a great group of people was inspiring. Then I was asked to be the Chair of the Poetry Committee for 2013. I'm humbled Scott Huntley and Shana Scott have so much trust in me. A good group of people are on the committee and I'm excited to be working with them. And hey poets you can apply to appear on stage right here!

Been a heck of a year, looking forward to Arts Fest and what the rest will bring.

In closing I urge you to give a listen to this. Jack McCarthy on IndieFeed.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Never beleive it's not so

You never know when a night will totally enthrall you then bring you back to reality. We went to a Christmas party last night. Our host is friends with a local magician and I knew that, at some point, he'd be doing some tricks for us.

Magic has never really interested me. I mean, it's cool when it's done right, but I'm generally neutral about it.

Last night it was intimate, spellbinding, and done right. Carroll had perfect banter and his skill of card manipulation or whatever the Hell he was doing blew me away.

Later in the evening the host's son, who has been learning magic from Carroll, came out and did a magic act of his own. Very engaging and eager student. He is ten, the same age as my son, and the differences hit me over the head. I cannot be comparing all the time. Kids are different. Yet when the social skills display themselves, it hurts a little bit. Some nights more so.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Live Journal, from ten years ago.

He was no hero. (12/22/02)

Yet there was such a passion to his music and that of the Clash that you could not ignore.

They were loud, political, with a sense of intelligence that wasn't in many of the other 'punk' groups of the time.

I really hadn't heard of them until London Calling. The explosion of the opening cut, the cynicism of Lost In The Supermarket, and what were they saying about Montgomery Clift?

The bloated Sandinista came out after that. For a friend's radio poetry project I read the lyrics of Somebody Got Murdered.

Goodbye, for keeps, forever.

Then, at the station, we got a 45 from Epic Records. No group was listed on the label. It was a promo of Should I Stay or Should I Go. Things had changed for the group, or had they? Were The Clash becoming hit makers on their own terms?

I saw them live, at Rich Stadium, opening for The Who. they did their 45 minutes, closed with I Fought The Law. They weren't a stadium band. They needed the intimate raw energy of a small club to get their message across.

At the bar I worked as DJ, at the end of one evening I heard a voice call out, 'Ed, play The Clash. they have something to say.' A couple of years later I found out that voice belonged to someone who became a good friend.

They had the torch, but as Strummer later said, they dropped it.

The band split, a very ugly split between Strummer and Jones.

There was a strange Clash record done in the mid 80's. Jones did Big Audio Dynamite. Strummer had a few decent solo records, recorded with The Pogues, did some acting.

The Clash are being inducted into he Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.

Joe Strummer will be missing.

It will not be the same.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Little catastrophies

This week has brought so much bad news from people around me. Friends, family, acquaintances have had the worst possible things happen to them. Yes. The worst. All I can add to this is that cancer sucks.

That was just to Wednesday.

I'm not sure why I checked his Facebook page today, maybe it was something hockey related, but when I did I found out through the words of others on his wall that he had taken his own life.

I knew him online for about fourteen years. We met in thatplace, the depression newsgroup that I invested a bit of my life in during the late nineties. When Live Journal was popular we were friends over there, and Facebook as well.

He would pop in with random comments about the quality of liquor I was drinking, or give me air transport tips as that was a hobby of his. He'd send me encouraging emails or show some concern about my or my son's well being. The last email I received from him was in October, sending me a link to a site about how to keep an iPad clean.

Here's all he said, "I don't know if this will bring any utility to you, but I thought that I'd send it off just to be safe."

He had many problems and issues, both mental and physical. Now I'm thinking I did not reach out to him enough. He last commented on my Facebook in mid-November. He always showed that he cared. Even when he was ranting about Stephen Harper or Gary Bettman, he was always kind. Always Canadian.

Rest in Peace, Darren. Even though you caused some pain with that horrible act, I hope you are rid of the pain you were in.

I'm having a Glenkinchie, right now, in your memory. Slainte.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I'm the Captain of my Fate, the Master of my Soul

Another year is coming to an end. I've found the 25 songs that I've dug the most this year. There are plenty of gaps in my listening experience, I acknowledge this freely. I like what I like. There have been some disappointments, some pleasant enough records that did not make the cut (Sorry Aimee Mann) and some dull as dishwater material - and I'm looking at you in that case Mumford & Sons. I've put in a few direct links and embedded some of the songs I really like. Most of these you can find on YouTube, as I have.

1) Andrew Bird - Eyeoneye. Something about this guy makes him lead off my year end lists, I do not know what it is. What I do know is the man does not see the same color of the sky that we do, and that's ok.

2) The Shins - Simple Song. There are about two good songs on Port of Morrow. This is one of them. Listen to the rest at your own risk. This song though, full of great hooks. Not sure what happened with the other ten songs on the record.

3) Carole King - Pleasant Valley Sunday. One of the best records of the year is a collection of demos that are over forty years old. She's a legend, and this collection of songs she wrote hammer that point home.

4) Katzenjammer - I Will Dance (When I Walk Away) A lovely Norwegian quartet of ladies who play their own instruments and often switch in the middle of performances. Super tight harmonies. See for yourself here!

5) Los ZappinG - Cine Mudo. I like the aggressiveness of this song. First heard via The Music Alliance Pact. They're from Lima, Peru. You can see a video here.

6) The Hives - Come On! Best lyrics of the year. And the song is perfect in length.

7) P.S. I Love You - Sentimental Dishes. I love this song. Starts out with a riff straight out of Quadrophenia. The drummer tries really, really hard to play like Keith Moon. Then the lead is nicked from an Altered Images song. This duo from Kingston, Ontario is having a lot of fun in the darkness. You can watch them play this live here.

8) The Bombay Royale - You Me Bullets Love. Bollywood surf punk by way of Melbourne, Australia. This record gets a bit tiring but is great to hear in small, diverse doses.

9) M.I.A. - Bad Girls. It has a great riff and a video with a random Alfa Romeo. I'm sold on this one.

10) Rufus Wainwright - Jericho. He swung for the fences here, bringing in Mark Ronson as producer to try and achieve some mainstream success. Did not quite work. Had one cute video with Helena Bonham Carter as a sexy as hell librarian but it never caught on. I'm partial this song because his voice is sexy as hell. I like a planet that has this man on it, making music that more people should be hearing. He does it on The Artists' Den here.

11) Beach House - Myth. Yes, I bought into the dream pop here. It's a nice song. Really. Hate on her for calling her Nico with no pitch, but that ain't true!

12) French Wives - Younger. This Glasgow band might make some waves in the coming years. (Oh, and look out for Frightened Rabbit in 2013) Tight musicianship and some sweeping arrangements give them an edge over a bunch of Arcade Fire soundalikes.

13) First Aid Kit - Bill got me on to this group early this year and it's been interesting seeing them start to blow up. They're Swedish teenage sisters and they write and play like they're from West Virginia. I'm not sure their songwriting skills are close to par yet, but they have plenty of time to improve their craft. This song is devastatingly good.

14) Emile Sande - Next to Me. Hanif turned me on to this Scottish singer/songwriter early this year and I was stunned. She's got the goods. A look, great voice and she writes her own stuff. Pretty major in the UK, she played the Olympics but not much of a factor in this part of the world yet. She's a heck of a lot better than Janelle Monae, and I really liked her record. She did this song on Jools Holland.

15) Jack White - Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy. I was no fan of the White Stripes, was put out by the mystique and image they projected. Yet, they did have a few epic tunes, one that's become a soccer chant. I was very impressed with White's solo work. Very complete. Very respectful to his influences. His image as a control freak is eccentric. I do not think he's hurting anyone. He can keep doing his own thing.

16) Vintage Trouble - Blues Hand Me Down. My Facebook friend Sarah linked to this song last week and I became an instant fan. Really, bought the music off iTunes and everything. Otis Redding backed by Cream or something. The energy is amazing. The lead singer, Ty Taylor, has the motts. What's really cool is that they're opening for The Who, and we were already going in February. Can't. Wait.

17) Jimmy Cliff - Outsider. Never been much of a reggae person, but when I saw Cliff was working with the band Rancid on this record I had to give it a try. This may be my favorite record of the year. At 64, Cliff's been recharged by his new collaborators and it shows in the performances I've seen him do on YouTube. Highly recommended.

18) Tom Jones - Hit or Miss. He's still going. I call him the King of Pop. The voice is still holding on. The man is 72. You try doing what he does. He's kicking the asses of performers half his age. Slowing down to him is being able to service two women a night instead of five.

19) Susanna Hoffs - Raining. Wearing one of my shirts, not much else. Sitting on my bed, or in my kitchen, or on the living room floor - playing this song. Hey, she finally covered Go All the Way after years of my pleadings, anything can happen. She has already played it on some lucky bastard's patio.

20) Bill Fay - This World. I do not know much about this guy other than he is sixty nine years old, has worked with Wilco and has a cult following. Life is People is his first record in over 40 years. It's one of the most honest and life affirming records I've heard in a long time. It's tone is rather positive in the midst of some rather bleak songs. He's dueling with Jeff Tweedy on this song. Here's the official video.

21) Sinead O'Connor - Queen of Danmark. It's a damn shame her health and personal issues have been more prominent than her voice over the course of her career because she is mega-talented. Always has been. If you blinked after reading about her marriage, you probably missed her latest record. It's very good, and this song is both powerful and darkly funny. Reminiscent of Last Day of Our Acquaintance, this song was written by John Grant and is a fantastic cover.

22) Meursault - Lament for a Teenage Millionaire. I keep getting pulled in by Neil Pennycook's vocals. They haunt the shit out of me. The song arrangement by this Edinburgh band are a bit odd, but they put real emotions into them. Sometimes I am reminded of David Byrne, sometimes I'm weirded out, but never enough to shut the record off. LaBlogotheque got this excellent performance out of them.

23) Cait Brennan - (link to video, embed) Madame Pompadour - One of my favorite songs this year comes from my friend Cait. I've known her for about ten years through Live Journal when she and I shared many comments in the wee hours back in the day when my son never slept. We've never met. Cait's been working on her music in Phoenix and has worked very hard. She put this song out there on Valentine's Day, her birthday, and it is such a wonderful gift from her. It's a lovely poppy little jangle tune than will leave you smiling and in this case me putting some of her lyrics into the subject heading of this blog post. Here's the video. Enjoy.

24) Beach Boys - Pacific Coast Highway. I'm glad the guys could keep it together for one record before Mike fired the band just as the tour was ending. It did not suck, they still sing beautifully. The songs were a bit weak, save this one, which is quite honest and reflective.

24) Bruce Springsteen - Land of Hope and Dreams. Yes, I broke up with Bruce right after the horrid Magic. But you got to give the man another chance and he stepped up his game with Wrecking Ball. He wrote this one because he wanted to, not to spec the way The Rising was. And Bruce has things to talk about. Things in this country he is seeing that he does not like, and he nails people to the wall. On this song he completely freaked me out. I gasped when Clarence Clemons' last recorded sax solo came up. I do not gasp much for anything these days. Damn, I needed that.

If you're interested in a hard copy, hit me up via email. The DCMA blocked me for a few hours last year and I have no intention of letting that happen again.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I do not know how to stop a monster

The events of yesterday's shooting at Newtown are still raw. The details are still a bit sketchy but the fact is that twenty kids are not going to have a Christmas this year. Twenty sets of parents have to bury their children. These things are not supposed to happen as Aurora was not supposed to happen, as the Jeffords shooting was not supposed to happen.

All these mass shootings have a couple of things in common. A lone man, and guns - and I have no real answers how to prevent either from doing horrendous acts. I do not think turning a school building into an armed camp is an answer. I do not think arming everything and everyone to fulfill a Walter Mitty heroic fantasy is the answer. It's the reluctance to try anything but the status quo that continually baffles me after these murderous events occur. We sure took care of Four Loko quick though.

It's being reported that the shooter may have had Aspbergers or some other mental disorder. Another quiet kid, who kept to himself then exploded. How do these kids get treated? What psychiatric and medical facilities were available to this family, who were not poor? And did they take advantage of them?

Twenty people were wounded by a man with a knife in Shanghai yesterday. Those people are most likely going to recover from their injuries. The kids in the kindergarten classroom, not as lucky. I do not usually go to writing a poem after such a disaster has happened. Could not help it this time though.

So I've been hugging my son often, even though I'm a bit put out since he's been awake since 4AM. At least I can hear him singing, and happy, unlike twenty families in Connecticut whose homes are infected by a cruel silence this morning.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December updates

Been listening to a few sports on the internet the past few months. It's a little easier than heading out early to a sports bar or finding a dodgy pirated link to the game.

Never minded listening to football on the radio, and I like hearing John Murphy doing the Bills play by play. Plus, I can turn it off when the game is over early. Too many times this season though, the Bills have found defeat where there should be victory. Under Chan Gailey, they're now 15-30 during his regime with poor coaching and play execution as the norm. Gailey calls the plays, and is reticent to use C.J. Spiller, his best weapon on offense. After yesterday's loss, he was saying Spiller was "winded" after two runs in the first half. He must have been so winded that Spiller only had one touch of the ball during the last 22 minutes of the second half, a crucial part of the game where you need your best players to produce. Unfortunately for Spiller, his coach is not giving him that chance.

The Bills have not had a decent coach since Wade Phillips, who is now enjoying some success at Houston. To have him back would be a plus, but there's something up with the organization. Probably starts with the 92 year old owner of the team, Ralph Wilson. A lot of poor judgement and no plan for the franchise after he dies means a lot of dread in Buffalo.

In better news Everton has been enjoying a very decent first half of the English Premier League season. The Toffees currently sit in fourth place after a dramatic come from behind stoppage time winner by Nikica Jelavic to defeat Tottenham. It's been a great start, and midfielder Marouane Felliani has been outstanding so far. So good that rumors of him being sold are flying around. I hope the money being thrown does not get in the way of what could be a historic year for Everton.

The efforts of Celtic FC have been happily surprising in some aspects. The Glasgow team has had some success in the Champions League, defeating Barcelona and sweeping Spartak Moscow to reach the round of 16 for the fourth time in team history. Not sure who they're going to play next, the draw is on December 20th, but Neil Lennon's team will be prepared. The SPL season, thought to be a laugher without Rangers in the league, has been anything but. The Hoops are still in first place, but only by a couple of points over Inverness.

The big disappointment has been the NHL not playing due to greed. Another hockey season is in danger of being cancelled due to the owners and players not being able to share millions of dollars. It's come to the point where I'm done caring. I suspect that the season will be a loss, which will be a damn shame for the Blue Jackets and the businesses that surround the arena. I'm preparing a lengthy post for when the season is cancelled, as it will mean the end of my support of the National Hockey League after three decades of being a fan. I have better things to do with my time.

The Columbus Arts Festival has been keeping me busy. Working on confirming jurors or the auditions. Working on finding poets to audition (Spin your browser to to fill out the application!) and programming for Friday and Sunday. It's going slow, but definitely in a positive direction.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Discoveries and stuff

Last night we went to the Wexner Center to see a screening of Where are my Children, a 1916 message film. It's a film that preaches a very pro birth control and an equally passionate anti-abortion stance. Thing is, in 1916, available birth control was condoms, if available, and the horrid movement of eugenics. Of course abstinence is always an option.

The plot involves a district attorney, who is trying to prosecute a man for selling birth control information and his wife, who, to keep her social life intact, seems to go to the abortion doctor as much as the grocery store. There's tension, some interesting special effects that call Ally McBeal's dancing baby to mind. It's a 96 year old film that still holds up very well.

The film was directed by Lois Weber, a very prolific director of the silent era who operated her own studio before women had the right to vote. Sadly, most of her films are considered lost. I hope to see more of her work, if I can find it.

Accompanying the film live was local musician Derek DiCenzo, who I recognized as being one of Jandek's band when he came though a few years back. Had a chance to briefly talk to him about that amazing experience and how hard it was to play to a very heavily plotted film.

The imitable Guy Maddin came to town to introduce this film. He's been to the Wexner Center six times now, always good to have him here.

Had to miss the second feature, Little Man, What Now? which looked fascinating, but we had to meet an old college friend who was in town on business.

It's always a bit awkward to meet with someone who had not seen in over twenty years, but when you glimpse into each others lives on Facebook you can find something to talk about.

Today on Facebook one of my friends posted this video.

You ever become an instant fan? I did. What really jazzed me up is I found out they're opening for The Who, and we're already going to see them here in February.

These guys are good.

While posting these videos another person in the thread mentioned another band called The Heavy. Did not realize I was familiar with one of their songs already.

Really cool to discover two new bands in the last weeks of the year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Three weeks away.

Been getting Christmas shopping done. In the midst of all the busyness I neglected to follow through on the OSU tree deal I've been using the past few years. That window has now closed, the sale was last weekend and I'm not interested in buying a once live tree anywhere else.

So I found a tabletop one last night and got a tree skirt to go with it - for the table. I'll string up some lights in the window, add decorations on the pre-lit tree and call it a holiday.

My son is leaving for Florida with his mother on the 21st and will not be back until New Year's Eve so he will not be around. He does like to look at the lights, which is why I'm setting something up.

My wife is used to fake trees, the first real ones she had for the holiday were here.

Really not feeling cynical about the whole shebang, but my motivation is low. But I have been getting shopping done, now to get shipping in order. Some of these purchases have traveling to do.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Eyebrow Love

This morning one of the local malls had its Caring Santa program, in which they open the doors a but early for the families of special needs children who want their kids to see Santa in a quiet, uncrowded environment. We took my son last year and he seemed to enjoy himself. Today we went again, maybe for the last time as my son is ten after all!

My friend Teri's son Alex was waiting for us at the entrance all decked out in antlers. He's been living out of state for the last two years so it was a pleasant surprise hearing he's back in town for awhile.

We also talked to Teri, who was doing her part working for the mall and this morning's event. We're very appreciative that she let us know it was happening again, and we're also very happy with how well the mall handles this every year.

My son would not sit on Santa's lap again, but he went right for the body part.

He also sat down next to him, on a stool and seemed to be having a good time. This year, like last, Santa was very cool with the kids.

The mall also gave us a 5x7 picture and provided us with some donuts. Got to love the donuts. Thanks again to Teri and the staff of the Tuttle Mall for doing families of special needs children a very cool thing during the holidays.