Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Big screens and small

After bringing Netflix into the home, I thought I would watch more films than last year. That was not the case, but I still managed just over one a week, which is ok. I did not binge watch anything but the last season of the Thick of It.

So I saw some movies, liked some of them. Some were better than others.

1) It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
2) The Conversation
3) Blazing Saddles
4) Tiny Furniture
5) Charley Varrick
6) Amour
7) Ruby Sparks
8) Two Days in New York
9) Monty Python & the Holy Grail
10) The Muppet Movie (1979)
11) Dial M for Murder
12) I Know Where I'm Going
13) Yo-Yo (1965)
14) Beasts of the Southern Wild
15) A Fond Kiss
16) Submarine
17) The Philadelphia Story
18) Iron Man 3
19) Dumbo
20) Jiro Dreams of Sushi
21) Laughter in Hell
22) The Little Giant
23) Fever Pitch (1997)
24) Hobo With A Shotgun
25) Spaceballs
26) The Lavender Hill Mob
27) Frances Ha
28) Before Midnight
29) The Princess Bride
30) World War Z
31) Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
32) The Magnificent Seven
33) The Palm Beach Story
34) Red 2
35) Bonnie & Clyde
36) Silver Linings Playbook
37) Slam
38) The Little American (1917)
39) Planes
40) The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
41) The Man in the White Suit
42) This is Spinal Tap
43) Europe '51
44) The World's End
45) Blue Jasmine
46) Star Trek Into Darkness
47) Rollerball
48) 12 Years a Slave
49) Somm
50) My Name is Nobody
51) An Adventure in Space and Time
52) Gamera (MST-3K)
53) Pod People (MST 3K)
54) The Punk Singer
55) The Decoy Bride
56) Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
57) Robin Hood (1973)
58) Kings of Pastry
59) American Hustle
60) The Shop Around the Corner
61) Love Actually

Monday, December 30, 2013

My ears are not your ears

Like many of the kids are doing, I listened to some music this year, some of it I liked and am writing about below. Some of it I did not like and I'm not going to get into the low hanging fruit. It's too easy, and in some cases, I already had something to say about it..

Strypes - Teenage Irish kids trying to channel the early days of the Yardbirds and Rolling Stones, for the most part it works. They remind me of a non lo-fi version of the Orwells. Quite polished, having Elton John's management behind you would do that. The drummer needs some work, the singer needs more presence, but what were you doing when you were seventeen that did not involve masturbating?

Joseph Arthur: He's not for everyone, some of it (gutted inner child, really?) comes across as overwrought slam work, but it hits me - and he did appear at the Green Mill this year. He put out two records this year, The Ballad of Boogie Christ Parts 1&2 that are a solid return to form from his burst on the indie scene a decade ago. This is the record that says 2013 for me.

Janelle Monae: She's not explosive and dramatic, but a dynamo who gets it done without major publicity. Anyone who sings they're going to get their spacesuit, pack up their shit and go to the moon has my undivided attention.

R.M. Hubbert: Very interesting Scottish singer songwriter. Became depressed a few years back after some tragedies in his life and resolved to learn flamenco guitar playing. Released a very critically acclaimed record in 2012, and this is the follow up.

Frightened Rabbit - Had a feeling this one would grow on me, and it has. There's a lot of depth in this Pedestrian Verse and I'm glad to have finally seen this live this year. Very interested to see what happens to this band once Scott Hutchinson's rumored move to L.A. is finalized.

Edwin Collins - His first full length after his stroke. It’s rather remarkable that he is healthy enough to get the job done, and write some fine songs as well.

Daft Punk - Not because of that song, but because of the drumming on some of the other songs. Monster work by John R. Robinson and Omar Hakim.

Kid Creosote - Kenny Anderson writes songs while brushing his teeth and records the rest of the album after dinner. Quite the prolific writer.

Camera Obscura: A very pleasant effort by this group who fought through a lot of personal challenges while making this record, and that was before Traceyanne was pregnant. I like this song because it reminds me a lot of the early work by the next band.

10,000 Maniacs - Thirteen years and a few personnel changes later, the post Natalie Merchant core of the band returns with good work. They've been together over thirty years and my familiarity and surprise of how good they can be helps life suck less.

David Bowie - The big shock was early in the spring when a video of a new song came out of nowhere. Then the record a few weeks later. There was no interview blitz, no tour, no mass marketing blitz aside from a couple of videos. The Next Day was simply, a new record, and a very good one at that.

Arctic Monkeys - This band may have finally won me over a little bit now that they have figured out how to play their instruments better. I think we might be friends someday, but not close enough to buy each other drinks.

Pastels - My wife is more of a fan than me. I'm still not fond of Stephen's voice, but more than a few songs on this record charmed the heck out of me. The Pastels know Scottish weather, from the rain to the fall and all seasons in between.

Civil Wars - They stopped talking to each other just before the record dropped. Gave no interviews, but said it's all in the songs. This one is chock full of relationship disappointment. Up there with Blood on the Tracks and Shoot Out the Lights, and there's a decent Smashing Pumpkins cover.

Little Green Cars - Irish kids still trying to figure it out, but have some killer harmonies while they work on their skills.

Pandafan - Earnest kids from Long Island doing a very cool job at marketing themselves while attending college and high school. It’s been a pleasure hearing this band evolve as they discover their own voices.

Sam Phillips - Push Any Button. Every time I keep thinking she's painted herself into a corner, she builds more levels and layers in her music. She adds depth. I love her process, craft, and think the world of her.

Palma Violets - These guys flat out rock. Hope they will continue to do so.

Savages - Anger is good. Anger with guitars used the right way is better. This record is a true assault on your senses.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The pages turn for another year

Doubt I'll finish anything else this year. Did read some good work this year, but the quantity decreases with life and the distractions of the world. If I finished the book, which is good, it's on this list. It gets three stars if I really liked it, four if exceptional.

1) Hanif Abdurraqib. Three Crosses. 39 p.
2) Catherine Walters. When Will it Be Spring? 32 p.
3) Rosie Schaap - Drinking with Men. 272 p. ***
4) Jack Gilbert - The Great Fires. 90 p. ***
5) Teddy Wayne - The Love Song of Johnny Valentine. 284 p. ***
6) Sharon Olds. Stag's Leap. 89 p. **** (best poetry)
7) Denise Mina - Gods and Beasts. 307 p. ***
8) Natasha Trethewey - Domestic Work. 58 p. ***
9) Ian Rankin - The Hanging Garden. 335 pp. ****
10) Steph Killen - Buddha Breaking Up. 217 p.
11) Michaele Weissman - God in a Cup. 268 p.
12) Adam Makos with Larry Alexander - A Higher Call. 392 p. ***
13) Khaled Hosseini - And the Mountains Echoed. 402 p. **** (best fiction)
14) Iain Banks - The Wasp Factory. 184 p. ****
15) Rachel Kushner - The Flame Throwers. 383 p.
16) Scott Woods - We Over Here Now. 94 p. ***
17) Stephan Talty - Black Irish. 320 p. ***
18) Amy Stewart. The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks. 380 p. ***
19) Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Ben Greenman - Mo' Meta Blues. 282 p. ***
20) Denise Duhamel - Blowout. 89 p. ***
21) Jay Stringer - Runaway Town. 226 p. ***
22) Kofi Awoonor - The House by the Sea. 77 p.
23) Cristin O'Keefe-Aptowicz - The Year of No Mistakes. 111 p. ****
24) Mike Veseth - Wine Wars. 255 p.
25) Tony Hoagland - Sweet Ruin. 92 p. ***
26) Stephen King - Doctor Sleep. 531 p. ***
27) Gary Pomerantz - Their Life's Work. 465 p. ****
28) Mark Lewishon. Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years Vol. 1 . 934 p. ****
29) Ray Davies. Americana. 311 p.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I do not recall being at Brigitte and Bruno's place, or our nascent friendship

This is google translated from French.

Hello to you all,

I hope you are well. We okay, work, work .....

I received a mail from "CHAPTAL" with great photos of your stay, we were very affected. But I have no email address in their name, and as you are on the photo and it seemed to me that you are very good friends, I can meet through you. I wish to share with you our best wishes for the new year and thank you for the good times we spent together.

For socks and gloves alpaca yarn with my spinning wheel, I have not found a solution that advances in strength. I could possibly make mittens or gloves. For socks there would be that of sheep (scratchy and I did not file for now) or mixed with acrylic wool industry (which I do not) At "Mohair France" they sell of acrylic mohair Socks but be aware that it is the industrial contrary to what you see in their pub, and there is silk thread or to consolidate. I bought a long time ago, they are very sweet, they have a week! ..... heels holes ......

That's where I am ...... and of course it falls on you ..... hosts that I wanted to meet all costs ...... I'm sorry vraimlent. I hope this does not hurt our nascent friendship ....

We embrace you dearly, as tranmettez to "Chaptal".

Good Christmas

give us some news!!!!

Brigitte and Bruno

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Close to a dock on the bay

It was something my wife said. Something along the lines of not being unable to stop thinking about her, wearing the gloves and coat she got me - who is going to dress us now?

My brother asked if I would write a nice poem. I was a bit raw at the time, it may not have been nice.

The morning of the viewing I got in the rental and headed south down Ocean Avenue, it ended at a park on the Great South Bay. I parked the car on a windy, cold and damp morning and wrote this while Captain Jack was on the radio. Had it in my back pocket all weekend, but was never asked if I wanted to read anything. It's ok that I was not, was ready though.

An Endless Covering

You gave me your skin
these clothes on my back
and we wonder who will dress us
now that you are no longer here
to answer long distance phone calls
on Sunday nights.
Calls for advice, venting
a reveal of good news
and changes in health
Because you fought so hard
we will keep in motion
the way the water on the windy
Great South Bay
leaps at high tide
We continue and know that in our dressers,
our camphor closets are stocked
with sweaters, warm socks
that forever remind us
of your love

Thursday, December 19, 2013

No picture included of this Anna who is looking for a man from foreign man

Good afternoon!

This Anna. I know that it was unexpectedly for you to hear from me.
You did not know me before but I will be very glad if you will want it.
I use the agency dating serious attitudes service which helps me to looking for a man from foreign man.
I hope that you are not against that I choose you.
They found you on dating site and gave me your e-mail address.
I am lonely woman who want to create a strong family with good man.
I am 28 years old. I am single. I do not have children but I love them and
I want to have them with my dear man in the future.
I have nice well job and I like to read.
If you agree we can learn each other more and better.I will give my picture
and talk more about me and maybe you will
like me and interested in me.
I am waiting for your answer.
My e-mail address is kul.anusha@mail.ru
Have a good day, Anna.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Not much better than the Ford Focus I rented

When you move away from your parents, you do not know about all of the life they have. My Mom touched a lot of lives. The viewings were both jam packed with people who came to pay their respects. There were people I had not seen in 30-40 years. There were friends and co-workers who knew who I was even though I had no clue who they were.

The funeral home put together a nice video of pictures from various parts of her life that was quite touching. I contributed a few last minute pictures of my own and also made my own little slide show of my Mom's life that you can see here.

I'd always tease my Mom about her love of Rod Stewart, which was why I chose one of his songs for the video I made.

The mass was kind of bungled up by a new priest from Colombia, who spoke softly, with a very thick accent. He relied on the microphone to project his voice and it was not working for him. Then the battery died on the mic, and he could be heard better once he spoke louder. It got weird when one of the laypeople was looking for batteries in the room behind the altar and you could heard all kinds of drawers opening along with some banging.

It got weirder when the priest lost the plot and invited some dead relatives to bring the gifts to the altar. Had said deceased relatives shown up with the gifts of wine and bread, I may have converted then and there.

Then the priest honored the deceased relatives by naming someone who was very much alive, that's when one of my family members had to get up and correct the guy.

I was told about a bagpiper who would be outside the church when my Mom's coffin was brought out, it still startled me a little. Later, I heard the piper arrived early and mistakenly started playing in the cold and snow for the funeral service that happened before my Mom's. So the poor guy had to stand out there and play twice.

You had to laugh, and we did.

When I got home, I wanted to call her to say I got home alright. There are going to be so many of those moments now. Every piece of news about my son, when I'm looking to chat or vent or anything, she's not going to be there. It will take awhile for me to process that. And I have to work hard to keep involved with the family left on the island.

My Mom worked at the Connetquot State Park for many years and loved her job. If anyone wishes to pay their respects, they can send a donation in Honor of Patricia Costello the Friends of the Connetquot River Reserve. There are plans of honoring my Mom with a park bench and a plaque on a sycamore tree. It's a wonderful way to remember her.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Within you and without you

Even in her condition Mom always tried to stay busy. She was not one to sit on the couch and feel like crap, she did not like feeling that way.

On good days and bad she worked in the state park mowing the lawn, working the booth and, when it existed, helping to feed the trout in the hatchery. She and my Stepfather traveled frequently. I heard tales of her ziplining in the rain forests of Costa Rica. They went to Prague, when she got me a lovely Pilsner Urquell gift set. They went to Ireland, both of them, several times. They liked going on cruises to nowhere and casinos in Atlantic City and Connecticut.

When I found out they were going to Egypt, I jokingly asked her to get me a piece of the Sphinx. A smoke from a hookah and camel ride later, Mom was walking around the monument when she found a rock on the ground.

I treasure that stone.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Peace, and how fast it can happen

My Mom died last night. She had been ill for awhile, but this was not expected. I spoke to her on Sunday, neither of us realizing it would be the last conversation we would have. It was a pleasant talk, about my son and Christmas and her pending chemotherapy. She was in good spirits and sounded more energetic that she did in some time.

She started the chemo on Monday, and things went horribly wrong. She never liked social media much so I will not go into the details about her health. She died peacefully. My Stepfather, brothers and her sister all giving support. She was loved. Very much.

A friend's mother died very suddenly in a car accident on Monday. It can all end in a moment. It's been an odd week. I'm leaving on Sunday for the service and what comes with it. Still trying to process the loss of the person who has known me the longest, and who will live on in memory.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Two hours later, four new tires

When you own a 21 year old car that is your daily driver, you rely a lot on faith. A belief that the car is going to start every morning (it has) that it will get you from point A to point B without breaking down (it has) and not being in the shop with any great frequency.

For the most part, that has been in the case. My Subaru has been a very good car during the three years I have owned it. The repairs, while on the pricey side, have been necessary and not the result of a bad purchasing decision.

But how much more cash and time in the shop do you want to put into a 21 year old car? Recently, the steering has been getting more and more unstable. This was not an unknown situation. My mechanic have mentioned that there was a lot of play in the steering wheel, and these parts do not get better. Do I really want to sink another couple of thousand into this car for a steering column, shocks and struts.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been doing research. Looking into local car dealerships, what they had used in stock for what I was willing to pay, and their reputation for being decent business people.

I made an appointment earlier this week for this morning. There were a couple of cars they had that I was interested in.

Yesterday we got about four inches of snow, and the roads were crap. Was wondering what I'd wake up to this morning and whether or not I'd be able to test drive any cars. The roads were not too bad, so I gathered up my title, brought the checkbook and headed to Hugh White Honda.

The salesman was not pushy, apologized for the weather, like it was his fault, and we walked down a row of cars on a chilly morning. He mentioned a couple of five speeds, but I have not driven a stick in over twenty years, and was not about to relearn on slushy roads. There was one car in particular I wanted to test drive, he got it scraped off while I took a look in the interior and trunk.

Sent this picture of to my wife and gave the description. She did not disapprove.

Took it on the road and it felt good. Needed to adjust the seat better, but it rides well. Since the dealership is right by 270 I gave it a good spin on the highway and it continued to drive well. Everything seems to function as it should, not sure about the air conditioning though. You worry about different noises when you have an unfamiliar engine in front of you, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

When I got back we discussed terms. My wife and I previously talked what we were willing to pay and how to finance the purchase, but I called her after the dealership's offer, which we felt was reasonable so I made the purchase.

A 2005 Hyundai Elantra that went to 118,000 miles as I was on the highway. My parents own a Sonata that I have driven and really liked. I've also rented a couple of Hyundais and felt comfortable with them. This morning, no cash was spent in exchange for three years of payments plus the Subaru as trade. There's a minor oversight that I and the salesman made that he is going to make good on next week. So I'm happy with this car and hope I made a purchase of a car that's going to be low cost to maintain for the next three years, at least. It's going to be weird not having a station wagon for the first time in five years, but I'm sure I can make the adjustment.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

He did amazing things

Never thought I'd see him released from prison. Then change happened. Other than that one photograph, I had no idea what he looked like, or the sound of his voice.

Rest in Peace, Nelson Mandela. Rest well, you earned it.

Since before Ross Barkley was born

Yesterday Everton did what they had not done in 21 years, beat Manchester United at Old Trafford. Quite the match, from what I could gather while listening at work. I did warn my coworkers they may be odd growlings and noises my my desk.

The squad has been playing some spirited football this season. New manager Roberto Martinez's attacking style seems to have taken over the room. I was very impressed that the team was fearless yesterday and stood toe to toe with their opponent, trading punches on the road. Win or loss, they were not going to back down from their plan, and it paid off in the 82nd minute.

Bryan Oviedo's goal was all Everton needed in a 1-0 win. Oviedo has taken the place of the injured left back Leighton Baines magnificently, with two goals in two matches.

It does not get easier for fifth place Everton, it's off to the Emirates on Sunday to play first place Arsenal. Win or lose they will attack. They will be prepared. They will not be worried. In less than half a season the culture of the past eleven years has been profoundly changed.

Monday, December 2, 2013

She wants to know me

Hello my name is Laydilya
I live in Azerbaijan
And 'd] like am seeking my only one man.
Maybe it you could become such person for me?
If you also lonlely now then maybe I have a chance get an answer from
And then we will see if we are good couple.
I'm absolute sure in my plans to become happy.
I don't want to waste my and your time on different silly games by
You can see my foto in my this letter. t.
Hope you get pleasure from it.
Looking for you answer. Laydilya

The picture is of a far away blonde. I'm glad she is absolute sure she wants to be happy.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Worse than my fantasy football teams

My son's sleep cycle has been erratic again. He has been waking up around 4AM after going to bed between 10-11. He has not been staying up long, but long enough so I cannot go back to sleep.

I heard him Around 4:45 today and was about ready to go into his room to see how he was doing. When I opened my bedroom door he was standing in the landing. I told him to go back to bed and followed him. It's hard to know why he wakes up. Was he scared? Did he have a bad dream? His being non-verbal is very stressful for both of us. Gave him some cuddles as he quickly went back to sleep. That was about it for my night's sleep. At least there was a 7AM soccer match to entertain me until it was time to wake him up for breakfast.

Friday night's tragedy at the Clutha in Glasgow in Scotland was very saddening. I've never been in there, but have been by it many times. It was a couple of blocks from where my sister-in-law used to live and I walked by it frequently. It was one of those bars I always meant to go into, but never found the time. It seemed like a friendly enough established local and it's a real bummer that a bunch of people were there on a Friday, having a good time until a helicopter crashed into the roof. Eight are dead, a few dozen are injured. Lives are changed forever.

Another acquaintance from my college days died over the weekend. I knew Greg first at the radio station then he was instrumental in my getting the DJ job at Rascals after he left. We were never really close but he was a decent enough person who did not deserve to die at 51. Rest in peace, Greg.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

There are Bad people in the world

My Dear Friend and Partner,

Greetings to you my Dear Beloved, my name is Gina Hope Rinehart, a great
citizen of Australia,born in Perth, Western Australia,I am sending you
this email and I believe you must have been getting something similar but
still seems this is the only best way of communication apart from
telephone conversation, but we cannot because there are Bad people in the
world and will not recognize the good ones, so I advice you to settle
down and read this mail comprehensively and you will know I am for real,i
have a mission for you worth ($200,000,000.00) Two Hundred Million
Dollars which I intend to use for CHARITY.Please reply if interested by
clicking the reply button.

God Bless You.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Post holiday trip to the vault

An old one I wrote in City Center. From December of 1999.

A Shopper's Paradise

Thin girls in City Center
skinny, bony limbs
shoved into flared jeans
that were hideous two decades ago

Mothers carrying chic bags
with trendy business names
on the sides
Clothing, gadgets
Toys for boys, girls

Presents for husband, wife
spouse, mistress, nieces, nephews
An undetermined nature
of a personal relation

Happiness through credit
Pulling plastic like blind ones
We overdraw, overdraft
Bouncing many debtors

We can no longer shop in a quiet
gospel of commerce
aided by loud aggressive sentiment
Attention shoppers

Lights and loudness
Crowds and cynical cheer
in the lines are those fighting
for the one, remaining

Merriment in the mall
Piped in goodness
Calling, begging
Please purchase a plenty
or you'll no longer be

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The day before we do not travel far

My son is not happy when his mother is not there to pick him up off the bus. That means he's staying with me, and stepmom, and he does not like it one bit.

Maybe it's the food, the lack of entertainment options, but he does some good protesting for up to an hour until it's time for dinner and then he's fine.

Until it's time to sleep. Monday he decided to not go to bed until about 12:30AM. He then woke up incredibly listless at 7AM to get ready for school. It was trying. For everyone.

Today there was no school so I was prepared to stay up with him until he conked out, which he did at 10:30PM. I expected him to wake up at some point during the night, but he did not. Ended up waking him up at 7:30. He ate all his breakfast while I showered and has been quite chill today.

He's been watching videos with me, singing along to KT Tunstall. He's also taken notice of my wife's shoes and has been walking around the house with them. He's left them in the back room a couple of times already.

So it's been a good day, and I got a few chores in for the buildup to tomorrow's holiday.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

If you can read this, you are being tagged

Working on various projects, including the Arts Festival, is taking up some creative time. Wish I was not so distracted and unfocused. A piece of paper flew off the table earlier, written on it are the names of two schools to research. My son will most likely be attending one of them next year. He'll be in sixth grade and in middle school.

Time flies.

I do not read comic books. The published works of DC Comics and Marvel and their filmed editions have no real meaning in my life other than small entertainment.

I have never watched an episode of the Wire and still, somehow, have managed to hold down a full time job.

I avoid doing anything in binge format, although I've watched a few episodes of The Kids in the Hall in a row since finding it on Netflix.

There is not enough Life to watch or click on everything that I'm told is important, or life changing or worth my time.

My own things are going. I do not telegraph everything I do months in advance. I got stuff going on even while I'm looking through who died this month on Wikipedia. You do not want me to post about how my physical health has been the past 48 hours. My TMI has filters that respect the audience. Even if I knew no one would read it, I would not post any details.

I'm in the last few months of 1962 in this fantastic book on The Beatles. I was mistaken in thinking the Bob Spitz book would be the end of a close to definitive biography of the band, but Mark Lewishon's research and scholarship is amazing. I hope to write more about this volume when I finish it.

I like Peter Capaldi as an actor and welcome his interpretation of Doctor Who. Is that a high crime?

I'm disappointed in the new Arcade Fire record, is this reason for me to get spammed?

As I write this, The American Music Awards are on. I have no idea who these people are that my friends are tweeting about. Nor am I particularly concerned enough to change the channel to find out. Life goes forward. No need to hack.

I do not take my pop culture personally when it goes against me, but find something else to take up my time. Maybe even do something that is important and life changing, but I usually watch a soccer documentary about a great player from Hungary on youtube through my television instead. A friend tweeted a link about the Hungarian soccer team in the fifties and I was intrigued, so I found the documentary on youtube. It did not change my life, but it was worth my time.

I hold grudges. Tom Glavine for giving up seven runs in 1 1/3 innings in a game the Mets needed to win. Kevin Dyson for catching that ball. I will go to my death knowing it was a forward lateral. At least one ex-wife hates me enough to block me on Facebook. I did not like Lou Reed after seeing him live.

You do not want to see me with facial hair. I tried it years ago. It looked like crap. I am not making myself look like crap for a month of manufactured awareness of a horrible disease.

And do not be that guy by correcting me about the Glavine stat if I'm wrong. I have not looked it up. I'm just a guy on my couch, watching New England get their ass beat on Sunday night football. It's in the second quarter, the game can change. The game can always change. I'm a Bills fan, I know this. I'm a Mets fan, I know this. I support Everton, I am used to mediocrity. I would never tell anyone that the Bills/Blue Jackets/Everton/Mets/Celtic are important, life changing or worth your time.

It's become much, much easier to scroll past than comment.

Buster Keaton though, you should consider.

Anyway, Arcade Fire's next record might be good, so can Mumford and Sons'.

What happened to the hope in all the vitriol?

I am imperfect though, taking in some schadenfreude while the Patriots are losing badly, at home.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Returning to old form

Next week the woman who hired me is retiring after 48 years with the library. Yesterday was the official University celebration of her service. Along with a few others, I was asked if I wanted to say something during the event. I happily accepted the invitation.

The 11th floor of the library was reserved for the event, which is a rather impressive space. A lot of people showed up, which showed the level of respect her colleagues have for her. I was scheduled next to last to speak. One gentleman spoke that after he was hired 24 years ago he found out he only got the job because someone turned it down. The same happened to me!

I babbled for a few moments then pulled out the poem I wrote for the occasion. She loved it. The crowd loved it. Sometimes when you read, and it's going well, you can feel as well as hear the room's reaction - this was one of those moments.

It was an honor to be a part of her celebration. Her experience and knowledge is unparalleled. Her patience and kindness will be greatly missed.

At Writers' Block last night I read a poem I have not read for awhile. A poem with some good energy and, as another newer poet to the night who had not heard the poem before put it, had some "rage."

"I love it when you have rage," He said. "It's righteous."

Been wondering what happened to the poet who wrote that poem four years ago, where he's been, and what I have to do to bring him back.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Such flow, amazing flow

He's not for everyone, but this year Joseph Arthur has been quite prolific. He's released The Ballad of Boogie Christ Parts 1&2, and both are worthy, although I prefer part one.

Talented man.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rapid growth

Bought my son a pair of boots in early September, they were side three. Yesterday I could barely put them on him. He's moved up to a size four. Already.

His doctors were impressed with his weight gain during his last visit. Two months ago, we was still under fifty pounds, now he's up to fifty seven. So there is good progress. I asked to see the weight chart they loved showing me when he was off the bottom of it, he's on it now, very low percentile but there.

Enough of that though. Enjoy this video of otters.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Time to apply yourself

Poets, the application for the 2014 Columbus Arts Festival is now live!

You can apply here through January 24th.

Looking forward to another exciting and engaging weekend of work from everything. I'm excited!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Taking matters into one's own hands

One thing that I have really noticed from my visits to Glasgow is that the people there root out pretense, and will rip the crap out of it when given the opportunity.

That is one reason that I am always given a reason to smile whenever I've gone by the Wellington Statue in front of the Museum of Modern Art.

The statue has been in the city since 1844, but the traffic cone placement is said to have started in the early 1980's, if not sooner. It's become a rather iconic image of the city and it gives the world a glimpse of the city's humor. It's not a negative image, and far from a depressing one.

Yesterday, the city council tried to obtain funds to make a larger plinth for the statue, that would have made it more difficult to place the cone on the head. The city claims that it costs 100 pounds to take the cones off the head, and that it happens about 100 times a year.

My question why is even do that?

By making it more difficult to put the cone on, you're really encouraging those who put it there. Not the smartest move by the council.

Social media went all a-twitter, the Wellington Cone set up his own account, there were petitions started and #savethecone hashtags spouted up. It reminded me of the Hurricane Bawbag event a couple of years back. Another D.I.Y. and viral protest was happening.

By the end of the day Tuesday, the people had spoken, and they city council plans to withdraw their request to have the plinth raised.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Boys of Winter

I was a bit young to remember the New York Jets Super Bowl win in early 1969. Joe Namath was always some player who was hurt all the time.

When I was eight, I saw this play live on television.

It was one of those moments you get hooked on a game, reeled into something by a miracle play. It was hard back then to follow a team from afar back in the era when there was only football on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights. There was no ESPN, no football networks. You watched what you could and read anything you could find from the newspapers.

The 1970's Pittsburgh Steelers were a team and franchise that I have great respect for. I do not know if there has been any team in my lifetime that equally embraced its fans while in their embrace. Maybe the Brooklyn Dodgers, perhaps the great teams of the Montreal Canadiens has such a profound effect on the city in which they played. The Green Bay Packers are a entity onto their own.

In his book, Their Life's Work, Gary Pomerantz documents the rise of the Steeler Dynasty though the lives of the players, and reports the impact it had on their lives today.

There's a lot of craziness to the game, and Pomerantz gives us a lengthy glimpse at the men who played hurt and risked their lives for the game they loved - and a couple of the endings are painful to read, even when you know the outcome and history. The book was published just before the death of L.C. Greenwood, leaving Joe Greene the last survivor of the famed Steel Curtain defensive line.

It's also about a family, The Rooneys, who have owned the team from its inception in the 1930's and went though some incredibly bad years on the field until it changed some of its scouting procedures and drafted some incredible players.

In 1974 the team drafted Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. All four of these players are in the Hall of Fame. In 1964, the Cowboys had a draft in which three players made the hall. No other teams have come close.

Pomerantz has interviews with the great players, such as Pittsburgh icon Franco Harris the backups, like Steve Furness and the character of Frenchy Fuqua - who still will not exactly say what really happened during the Immaculate Reception. He wanted to tell Dan Rooney after it happened, but he told Fuqua to keep it to himself.

There were a couple of things I wanted Pomerantz to get into more: Gerela's Gorillas and more about Broadcaster Myron Cope and The Terrible Towel. Overall, this is a book that will does for football non-fiction what Roger Kahn's masterpiece The Boys of Summer did for the Brooklyn Dodgers. It's a must read for anyone with a casual interest in the history of the game during a time when the players were not isolated from their fan base. I think the ball hit Tatum first.

Friday, November 8, 2013

All too familiar territory

The Columbus Blue Jackets are in the midst of a five game losing streak, have lost their third straight game to a backup goaltender, have not held a lead in 14 periods and sit three points from the bottom of the league.

This is not 2004, or 2008, or 2012, but now and once again.

Once more the guys that should be playing defense are not, the guys that should be scoring are not and the fans are not coming to see this nonsense. We've seen it before.

I doubt the injuries of Matt Calvert and Boone Jenner are why this team is sucking so badly so early in the season. I doubt Nathan Horton's presence would add a win or two to this season. I do not know what's going on in the locker room, but that Coach Richards has not named a full time captain speaks volumes about the lack of accountability among the team.

Remember when there was a voice in the locker room that held his teammates accountable?

Yes. Vinnie Prospal, but he's gone now and not coming back. GM Jarmo Kekalainen put the match to that bridge. So what does the brick by brick braintrust of Davidson and Kekalainen do now that their project is off the rails in early November? How do you shake up a team that needs a dose of finding itself?

Hoping they have Peter Laviolette's phone number real close.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Listicle: Five foods my son will eat

1) Hormel Compleats Macaroni and Cheese

For years it seemed my son was the only kid on the planet who did not like macaroni and cheese. "Every kid loves macaroni and cheese." We heard this from doctors, therapists and specialists. They did not know my kid. Finally, we started him with ten percent in his food and built it up. He tolerated it or did not notice until we went fifty percent with it and found out that he went to eat it first. It's become a go to food that we use as a base for new foods to introduce to him.

2) Sweet Peas

It really has not been much of a chore to get my son to eat his peas. They seem to be his favorite vegetable. He loves them so much we've been using a fork (in my case, a muddler) to gently crush the peas instead of blending them down. He chows down on them like they were guacamole and there has been little to no resistance of him eating them. Again, like the macaroni and cheese, we're using peas as a base to introduce new foods.

3) Apricots

Finding my son a fruit to enjoy has been difficult. Bananas are right out. He has revolted quite strongly against them. He's ok with pears, but he does not seem to really want them around, same thing with applesauce - he will eat them, but you have to really prompt him to get him to do so. For some reason he seems to like apricots the most. It's tough to blend them. Too much and they turn into soup, too little and you get pieces of them in his dish with he does not like. So apricots it is. This weekend we introduced peaches, in with the apricots and he was cool with it.

4) Yoplait Thick and Creamy Vanilla Yogurt

My son is not concerned with brand names, but he noticed the labels on his yogurt. You can't sneak banana/strawberry past him, he will notice and reject it outright. Once in a while we can sneak a peach past him, but this is rare. He knows the Yoplait label, and can either recognize the vanilla image or perhaps the word vanilla itself. We can get him to eat other brands of vanilla yogurt and have had success with the Trader Joe brand. But they're far away, and Yoplait is easier to find, unless you go to the Brewery District Kroger, who can't keep a lot of items in stock.

5) Pudding

My son digs pudding, and has for some time. We tried sneaking new food in with his pudding, but that was a (banana) disaster. He'll eat a lot of different brands, and has his preferred flavors. He does not like tapioca, probably because of the texture and will not eat lemon, which is ok. But butterscotch, vanilla, chocolate fudge and more - he's all over them. I do not buy Jello anymore after them went from six packs to four packs and jacked up the price so Swiss Miss it is, and he always goes for the chocolate/vanilla swirl.

There's been good progress since he started at the feeding clinic in July. He's put on some weight as well and now weighs more than he ever has. There's still a long way to go, especially in regards to chewing food but to no longer buy baby food when your kid is eleven years old is, I have to say, a relief. Now, about those diapers.

Friday, November 1, 2013

But I do not remember you. Pastor Graham though, I can trust him

Dear Friend ,

How are you today?

Hope all is well with you and your family. You may not understand why this mail came to you.But if you do not remember me, you might have receive an email from me in the past regarding a business proposal which we never concluded.

I am using this opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with the assistance of another partner from India who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion.

I thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of my bank to my new partner's account in Paraguay that was capable of assisting me in this great venture. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you shown during the course of the transaction. I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of US$900.000.00. I have left a certified international ATM CARD worth of USD$900,000.00 cashable anywhere in the world.

My dear friend I will like you to contact my secretary his name is Pastor Graham Tyers his direct email address (pastorgraham0@yahoo.com) for collection of your ATM CARD. I authorized him to release the ATM CARD to you whenever you ask him for it. At the moment,I'm very busy here because of the investment projects with my family, which I and the new partner are having at hand. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.

You are required to furnish him with the below information to enable him deliver the ATM CARD to you without any delay.

Feel free to contact
Pastor Graham Tyers.
Email pastorgraham0@yahoo.com

Hoping to hear from you.

Thanks and God bless you and your family.

Dr.Jim Edward

Sunday, October 27, 2013

That day I was the Wedding Poet

Yesterday I was humbled with the opportunity to read a poem at a friends wedding. It was not my poem, but one by Taylor Mali, and I was honored to carry it around with me for a few weeks so I could read it aloud and get to know it so I would not screw it up when the time came.

The night before, we were at the rehearsal when I read it in public for the first time and it went alright. I was worried about my pacing and tone but assured all was well.

Just before the wedding, the DJ came up to me and said the hand held microphone would be ready for me when I needed it. Gulp, I was not aware there would be a microphone but figured out how to hold the mic and paper so it would be ok.

The ceremony was lovely, a lot of love in the ballroom and when it was my turn I walked over, took the mic and bashed it out quite well. Had two pages and dropped one discreetly when necessary and one of the flower girls picked up the page and handed it to me when I was finished. Darn nice of her!

Cannot thank Alexis and Jaison enough for having me be a part of their special day!

Here's the text of the poem I read. Taylor Mali performs it a bit different than the text, especially in the beginning. It's his poem, a fine poem, he can do whatever he wants.

Earlier this afternoon, my wife told me of the death of Lou Reed. It made me sad for his wife, Laurie Anderson, but did not come as a huge surprise as he just had a liver transplant in May. Although no cause of death has been released, I suspect years of abuse, and possible complications from the transplant, finally caught up to him.

His music was raw and inspiring. It could also be odd and infuriating. He was an artist who frequently was at odds with the critics and his own fan base. The one time I saw him live in Fredonia in 1984 left a bad taste in my mouth about him. He was allowed to whine about the brightness of the house lights, but to berate his guitarist, the great Robert Quine (who did not deserve it, and did not work with Reed again) and his drummer (may have been Lenny Ferrari, who missed cues) while kissing the ass of bassist Fernando Saunders showed me an incredible lack of professional tact - the show did live by the creed of the Velvet Underground, it left me wanting less.

Gone now, his music has influenced generations of aspiring artists, and will continue to resonate.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blink and you miss Finnegan!

I've been watching this mash-up all day long.

There's some fine editing happening here. Great job by the creators of this clip.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It happened, it is still happening

Read a few reviews of 12 Years A Slave, even after hearing of the brutality of the film, it still did not prepare me for the actual screening.

In 1841 New York, Solomon Northup is a free black man. He holds a job as a violinist in in Saratoga and is a respected man of the community. Two men promise him good work in Washington, D.C., he goes there with them, is drugged, then sold into slavery.

From there we are witness to a story of evil plantation owners, their sadistic farm hands and some gruesome scenes of whippings, lynchings and overall malice. In between we see some beautiful visuals, I can't help but compare them to Day of Wrath, and some compelling performances.

Director Steve McQueen tells Northup's story, it's based on his 1853 memoir, in an unflinching manner. His style is direct, rarely preachy as he shows what is probably the most honest portrayal of slavery on screen to date. It was cruel, there was nothing sunny about it, and it is still an undercurrent of society today.

For the most part, the cast is outstanding. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Northup straight, resigned to his fate but always looking for a way home. He wants more than to survive his ordeal, but to live. Newcomer Lupita Nyong'o is Patsey, a slave who catches the eye of Epps (Michael Fassbender) the vilest of vile plantation owners. The one miscast is Brad Pitt, one of the executive producers of the film, who, thankfully, only shows up late in the film as a transient worker.

It's hard to watch scenes of slaves going about their day to day work in the background while the focus is on scenes of quiet and shocking acts of torture. McQueen's skill at depicting these scenes was incredible.

I do not know how to hand out award nominations for this film. How do you decide to give a best actor/actress award to an actor who expertly dishes out or receives a whipping? It's a numbing experience. One that needed to be created, then viewed.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ten years ago

After seeing a lot of rumor and speculation on message boards about his death, I sent an email to a record label contact and had the horrible news confirmed. As you see at the end of the video, he was a troubled man, but so talented. Wonder what he'd be doing today?

In other news I went out to my car this morning to find it was invaded during the overnight. Papers strewn about and the front doors were left ajar. Nothing of value was taken, maybe a screwdriver. They did not want my clip-on sunglasses, car booster seat or cassette adapter. That is why I leave the doors unlocked. A few years ago, thieves broke a window of the Volvo and stole the stereo, that's not going to happen again. Could have been much worse.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Here's your shovel, there's the ground

My third, and probably final, concert this year was the band Frightened Rabbit. I've wanted to see these guys for about five years. The Midnight Organ Fight really helped get me through the crazy time of 2008. They've passed through Columbus a few times, but my own scheduling made it impossible to attend. This time, my lovely wife took care of my son and gave my the opportunity.

It had been six years since I've seen a show at the Newport (Lez Zeppelin) and it felt good to be back as it's one of the better venues in town. The band did a decent mix of material from their last three albums and it felt good to shout, howl and otherwise have a good time for a night. They had me when they did The Modern Leper with their second song and I could have gone home immediately after, when Nothing Like You was performed. But there was more to come. It was a good audience, and we had no problem staking out a spot on the floor for the evening.

Had a beer too many, but already took the next day off in advance, so that was good planning on my part. I'm not sure about the future ambitions of the band, where do they go from here? They're not ready for headlining an arena, but in the confines of a medium sized theater, Frightened Rabbit were successful in swinging for the fences.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's a shame I have rapports currently, she seems like a decent kind of person


My name is Anjilya. I live in country Azerbaijan. I am seeking serious
rapports through internet.

Some details about me: I am tender, caring, attractive lady, but I ’m very
lonely, and I find it hard to find an honest gentleman here. I desire to
find a decent man from a different country with whomh I can live my entire
life. I'm faithful and caring.

I forward you this e-mail in hope to get back a reply from you, I also send
you my photo.

If you do not have rapports currently, and if you’re alone too, then I hope
you respond me back. I wish to know you better and see your images. I hope
you will appreciate my look, and you'll answer me soon. In the future
e-mails I'll tell you more about myself. I also wosh to discover more about
you. I look forward to your response.


P.s. pls never ask me for nude images. I am not that kind of person.

When the fill level reaches the monk's feet, it's time for a new bottle.

With a great meal at Meat and Potatoes in Pittsburgh in July, my wife had an incredible Sloe Gin Fizz. For the last couple of months I have been trying to recreate it but the quality of sloe gin available in my area is poor. Low end brands like McCormick's and Mohawk do not come close to the quality of the imported sloe gin used in that cocktail. Fee Brother Sloe Gin Syrup combined with gin made an interesting drink but it was not close to the high standards of the original beverage.

Plymouth Sloe Gin is not available in Ohio so we had to wait until a trip to Buffalo, where I finally tracked it down. It's about three times what you pay for the cheap stuff, but in this case the price is equal to the quality. It makes a great drink and I'm looking forward to trying it in other cocktails or with some inexpensive sparkling wine. Plymouth also makes an outstanding gin, it's a fine distillery that's been operating since 1793.

Now to find a decent cocktail shaker as I'm not keen on the one we currently have. I'll know it when I see it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The true north strong and free

We got incredibly lucky with the weather over the past weekend and had an amazing road trip to Western New York with a trip to Toronto as part of the itinerary.

Everyone had their passports this time as we made the border crossing. Last time we went to Buffalo one of our party had to have his passport sent to the U.S. Embassy to get a visa for a trip to Africa. This time, there was a misplaced passport of another member of the party that was found with little stress and no tears.

My friend said that there would be a longish line at the border because of the holiday (Thanksgiving) weekend in Canada but when we crossed the Peace Bridge, there were no cars in the booth, just a border guard who examined our passports and let us in with no problems.

I keep forgetting that there are a few other large cities in Canada. I knew Hamilton was big with over half a million people, but Mississagua with over 700k, that shocked me. I was reminded that 40% of the country's population lives along the southern part of Ontario.

Our first destination was the Hockey Hall of Fame. Just outside the entrance is a display of goalie masks over the years. Here's Jacques Plante's. He was one of the first goaltenders to regularly wear a mask.

I believe that was a type of fiberglass. The HOF has a number of cool interactive exhibits as well, and some nice displays of the great players in the game.

There's a very cool exhibit where you can call a play and have it played back. I did it to one of Rick Nash's great goals when he was with the Blue Jackets. A lot of fun.

Hockey has the best hardware in any sport. All of the trophies (or their replicas, shh!) are kept in a hall that was once a bank.

It's an impressive display of the history of the game, and I'm glad we finally got to go there.

It had been well over twenty years since I've been to Toronto. There's a lot of construction going on, big buildings!

We took the subway, then a streetcar to the whiskey bar I found online. The Caledonian is a great place. It's run by a lovely Scottish woman who uses the words "Sweetie" or "My Love" in every sentence. She and my wife started talking, turns out she's from the same small town where my wife's Grandparents are from. Small world! The food was authentic Scottish.

Yes, they had haggis, and steak pie, a signed picture of Andy Murray on the wall and a very good whiskey selection. In selling the deep fried Mars Bar dessert, the owner said it's, "The best thing out of Scotland." Here, I had to correct her, because that would be my wife.

There's a billboard you can't see in America.

After a rare brief visit to IKEA we headed back to Buffalo.

We arrived the Canadian/U.S. border reentry point. There's not a long line. Guy in the car in front of us is getting questioned a very long time. After a couple of minutes I see the siren light over the booth go off, then the gate go down behind his car. My friend has been over the border hundreds of times and has never seen this happen. Border guy gets out of the booth, is on his radio, points to where he wants the driver to go. Driver goes to an unknown fate.

We pull up, tell him one place we went to was IKEA. Guard asks us if we spent $2,000 there. Four of us in a KIA Soul. These are strange times we live in.

We had a great time. Went to my alma mater for a too brief homecoming visit on Saturday night and headed home on Sunday morning in a bit of rain, but it was not snow or ice. The Subaru was magnificent, averaging about 30mpg the entire trip.

Just do not mention what happened to the Buffalo Bills.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The great, magnetic device

My son still goes to the Feeding Clinic once a week. He's usually the only one in the waiting area first thing in the morning. Not today though. There is another patient, a seven year old boy. Not sure of his condition, but his mother told me that he has had a lot of operations.

When I took out my iPod to check my email he was next to me like moth to a flame.

"So this is his favorite thing, too?" I said to his mother. He has a tablet at home.

He wanted to play with my son, but that's not how my kid rolls.

He kept looking at my iPod, and tapped me on the knee. My son pretty much avoided him, but at one point, when the boy was sitting next to me my son touched his eyebrows.

No one was bothered, or upset. We all get it. Nothing like special needs child boundary bursting to start the day.

My son is at his highest weight, ever, so there is small progress too.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Give me a head with hair

There's always something new when you have an autistic kid. A new word you did not think he knew comes out of his mouth. A task he has never performed that he does as if he knew how to do it all along. Then there are the quirks, the way he taps his spoon when he eats, the way his eye squints when he rubs your eyebrows.

A new thing just started recently. He's been pulling his hair out, and there's a word for it that I am not going to cut and paste here. There's a small bald spot, but much bigger than mine, on the crown of his head that is a cause for concern. Is it another OCD quirk, like how he has to touch the curtain rod when he walks downstairs? Or is the hair pulling something more serious? No one really knows what is causing this. I did a really messed up thing when I was around his age. Licked my bottom lip until it was dry and scabbed over so badly, impetigo set in. New baby in the house may have triggered it, who knows what was going though my crazy head back then? Makes me wonder what about this whole condition is genetic and what is not. It's another thing to add to a pile of other things that make life with him a challenge. Much of this could probably be helped if he were verbal.

Talked about it with his mother at swimming this morning and we thought getting his hair cut might help. It has been getting long, maybe that added to the trouble?

So I took him for a haircut at a place he's been to before. Oddly enough, this was the first time I had even taken him to get his hair cut. It's always been his mother who did this. Weird, I know. He does not like the sound the scissors make and is afraid of the electric clippers and the blow dryer. I told the stylist this before hand and she was really good with him. He behaved well too, until the scissors got close to his ear. No one was hurt. My son got a Dum-Dum lollipop and she got a good tip.

He's still tugging at his hair.

I am totally out of my depth here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

This and that on three and a half hours sleep

While on an after dinner walk around German Village earlier this evening, I realized it has been eleven years since I lived there, and eleven years that I have lived in this house. It's the longest I've lived in one home. Now I'm trapped by the market, and other reasons, and cannot get out of there to live, where? Someplace where I can walk to something other than an IGA where a girl got shot in the face and a half-assed but not altogether unpleasant carryout.

Getting really tired of lists. Every time I see a Buzzfeed.com post on social media that has a list of something like "Fifteen Best Bob Dylan Songs With a Horn Section" or something similar, I scroll past. That and people labeling a TV show or cultural event as the best of all time, or the second best of all time after _____. Something else to scroll past. Great stuff is great stuff. Lists are arbitrary and yes, I'm a bit tired and cranky.

My son fell asleep on the couch at 9:30 last night and woke up at 2:30AM. Did not go back to sleep until about 5. He woke up and ate well, but then his bus was late. Again. Had to drive him to school. Again. Yes, it's getting worse. It was so bad last Friday that his bus was two hours and forty five minutes getting home from school. Yes, you read that right. Complaints have been made, investigations are supposedly happening. One justifiably worried parent filed a police report after her children's bus was missing. When you're not able to get through to transportation, what recourse do you have? Even after all this, I'm not sure the district gets it.

Yesterday morning I got to show my wife the International Space Station as it flew overhead. It was a bright, solid, light that moved across the sky in the pre-dawn hour. A good thing that shows cooperation can happen even as the ground below spins out of control.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I'm going to print this letter out and sleep with it

Hello! My name is Maria. I suppose my email is a surprise for you. And I
really hope it's a pleasant surprise.
I tried to use services search of relations agency. And they asked me what
kind of men I like, and they offered to communicate with you via email. This
agency explained that they found your mail address on the dating site.
So, a bit about me. I'm a lonely woman and live in Russia in Syzran city.
I'm 31. I don't have any children, but would like to have them very much.
I'm seriously looking for a serious man to start a new life with.. I'm also
very straight, kind, God fearing, hard working, honesty.. I send you my
picture that you could see me. I hope I didn't make you sleeping with my
And could you tell me more about yourself and send some of your photos?
What city do you live in? I'll be looking forward to your answer.
My e-mail is : marinkabarevik@yahoo.com

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Road Trip to the Rockmill Brewery and Covered Bridge

Truly a gorgeous autumn Saturday in Central Ohio. Unseasonably warm, with bright sunshine and low humidity. Wanted to do something to get away from the city and get us off the laptops, so I suggested a trip to a brewery to my Scottish Wife. Of course she agreed.

Not just any brewery, but The Rockmill Brewery outside of Lancaster, Ohio. They just celebrated their third year of operation. I've had a few of their Belgian style beers, and they are excellent. Now it was finally time to go to the source.

I checked a map, and thought it would be an easy turnoff of route 33. Did not bring a map with me, which was the wrong move. Ended up going past Lancaster, turning around, taking the wrong Lithopolis Road but seemed to slowly spiral toward the brewery, as if by magic. There was no yelling, no cursing, no gnashing of teeth. We got there safe and sound. We did not even drive past it despite the signage.

It's a very rustic facility. Ended up going into the main house, which is a residence, and not the tasting room. This guy was no help for directions.

Eventually we made our way to the place where the beer is.

For $12 you get a flight of every beer that is available. This was plenty for two as the beers are quite strong and my wife did not want to fall asleep and I had to drive home. For one person, it's a lot of strong beer. The owner/brewer is doing a world class job making authentic Belgian beer in Ohio. He fell in love with Saison Dupont and wanted to recreate it for himself. By coincidence the family homestead has water that is similar to that in the places the good Belgian beer is made. It's a lovely place to reflect on what you're drinking. And they serve the flights in Glencairn glasses. If you order a pint, you get it in a Riedel Crystal tulip. Serious stuff that I really appreciate.

I really want to take some out of town, and in town, beer aficionados here. I think they'll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the product. It's not cheap, but well worth the price. I really like the Wit, and the Tripel. All the beer is quality. The Dubbel aged in whiskey casks was a bit over the top for me. Very sherry like, but there are people out there who would love it.

Just down the road from the brewery, not even a quarter mile, is The Rockmill Covered Bridge. I checked my pictures when we returned home to see if I had been here before. Back in the nineties, we drove all over Ohio to find covered bridges, as a fun day trip. This bridge was negotiable by vehicle then, not so now.

The bridge was built in 1901 and still looks grand. Right next to it is a mill that was built in 1824 that is being restored to its glory. It overlooks a rather scenic 90 foot gorge.

For perspective the mill wheel is 26 feet in diameter and was restored in 2012. This is a great day trip.

I also saw a couple of these Autism Speaks puzzle pieces painted on the ground for some reason.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good Ol' Freda!

Just when you think all the angles of the Beatles story have been covered comes a documentary from the perspective of their fan club secretary. Good Ol' Freda, tells the story of Freda Kelly who, as a seventeen year old in 1962, became an insider to the incredible rise of the band and was there at the fall.

Kelly has an incredible amount of integrity and has protected her privacy to such an extent that many of her close family and friends had no real idea of what she did during the sixties.

The film is far from a tell-all or a money grab. Kelly has specific reasons to document her story and while telling some lovely anecdotes refuses to sling any mud. Kelly is far from destitute but has had some underlying tragedy in her life. She told some incredibly sweet stories about how she befriended the parents of the Beatles, especially Ringo's. Another impressive things about the Kickstarted production is that there are original Beatles songs in the soundtrack, the rights of which were waived by the surviving members of the group. That's the respect they have for Kelly and the film makers.

My one peeve was during a montage of the inner circle who have died, there was no mention of Mal Evans, which was disappointing. Otherwise it's a remarkable documentary about a girl who was a fan of the band who became a key member of the team. For Beatlemaniacs it's a must see part of the canon. Not an exploitative work, but fair and honest insight from an until now unheard of insider.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not proficient

Mike Mills, former bassist of REM asked me to play bass in a band he was putting together. There was going to be a show at 9AM at some bar in Columbus. Mike told me the gig would be loose, essentially a rehearsal.

The bar was in the north campus area, around Dodridge and High, which seemed to be just across the street from my house.

While all this was going on, there was a zip line installed in my backyard which involved putting an odd, large, breed of cat on the line in a basket. There were a couple of other animals involved.

I walked to the bar early and breakfast was being served. I thought I saw Paul Westerberg or Jim Jarmusch eating, EVR was there (big surprise) as well as a guy I went to college with who was in this band. None of them knew I would be playing bass.

I almost got pickpocketed by some kid who asked me questions about Sheryl Crow as I was headed back to my house to pick up my bass. I saw the truck with all the gear pull up and start loading into the bar. When I was at my house, I realized I did not have a bass, but may have had an amp. I also had not showered, and had to go to work when the show was over.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cranky in Columbus

The last few weeks, months even, have been a struggle. You can tell my the decreased number of posts here. Schedules have changed, then changed again and it's been frustrating to redevelop any sense of flow. So I'm tired and may be a bit burnt out.

I'm still trying to process one of the neighbor's adult children who noticed the door to my shed open and told me he was going to have to shoot that person before he realized it was me in there. A late afternoon stand someone else's ground west side shooting would have been a blast to cover.

At least I have finally made the calls to get some bids on pruning the tree in the yard that has branches going over their roof, and mine.

After falling asleep about 10:30 last night my son decided to get up at 3AM and stay awake until about six. I was not pleased by his random babblings, humming and various uses of Dora the Explorer dialogue. Ended up having to call into work, again, because of his sleep habits. It's very frustrating, has been for years. I've learned to not go into work sleep deprived because I'm a real pain in the ass to deal with. Might be easier in my current job, but not when I worked the circulation desk in the morning.

Did manage to get him on the bus then fell asleep for a couple of hours. Headed downtown to get some lunch, still in a mean mood but this beer at The Jury Room helped me out a bit.

Downtown looked good on an early autumn day. Columbus made me sit in the Commons and forced some Jeni's down my throat too, I hate when that happens.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Essence

Every week, he is the best poet on the mic. He is the best poet you heard yesterday, heard today, and will hear next week.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

The kids are alright

I was reading an interview with Elton John last night and he was raving about this band. So I looked this group of Irish kids up on Youtube and was very impressed with what I saw and heard.

I mean, what the Hell was I doing when I was 16? Compared to the ramshackle band I was involved with, these kids were on a stage at Glastonbury. They're also quite talented, with polish provided by the production skills of Chris Thomas and the management backing of Elton John's empire behind them.

There's a lot that can go wrong here, or simply fade out to remember whens or what ifs. Right now I'm going to focus on the promise and enjoy hearing about their ascent.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I've lived in this city for over twenty years and there are still places to discover

Franklin Park is on the east side of the city, between olde town east and Bexley. It underwent massive renovations for the Ameriflora exhibit in 1992 and a lot of the design and garden structure from that time has remained and stayed in good condition.

I was very impressed with the small ponds that lined the northern part of the park. I've been to the conservatory several times, on the east end, but never roamed west. It's beautiful.

Very pleased to have finally found what I'm sure many have already known about. I've driven by it all thousands of times!

And it gives me ideas, for I do have some ambition left.

In other news I am once again the Chair of the Word is Art Stage Committee of the Columbus Arts Festival. Call me crazy!