Sunday, March 31, 2013

Slowly start your pens

The Blue Jackets had their best month ever and are in eighth place in the conference. I know other teams have games in hand, and the Blue Jackets are horrible on the road and have only four home games left. This is a small celebration for this franchise though. one that many have written off. They have flaws, deep ones, but right now while they are not necessarily learning how to win, they're proving they do not know how to lose. That is a big shift in the culture of this team.

Beginning to pack for the trip. Getting excited. Not sure how much blogging I'll be doing from the road, and certainly not doing a 30/30. I'll be writing though. Heck, I still have not really edited much from the last trip to Scotland.

Keep in mind Scott Woods' project The Road Taken begins tomorrow and The Rumble Out on the Promenade takes place on Saturday at Kafe Kerouac. These are two worthy projects for anyone to attend or participate in as National Poetry Month starts.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cubicle silence

"How can you laugh when these terrible things are happening around you?" I was asked at work a few days ago.

"Well it's either that, or jail." Was my answer.

When people you love are in the hospital, dealing with death, in relationship woes or have not taken a shit in three days it's stressful. If I was not able to crack wise about it, the alcohol bill would be greater, and my doctor told me to cut my drinking because my blood pressure is high.

I'm grateful that stressors are flipped, it's the other sixteen hours of the day that are freaking me out, not the eight I no longer spend having to deal with the public.

Still, one good martini after my half day of work before vacation is a good idea.

Still, not worrying like Hell while I am out of the country is going to be next to impossible.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another old college try

My son has been involved in a program called Shakespeare and Autism for most of the school year. It was started by some actors from the Royal Shakespeare company in partnership with The Ohio State University. There's an hour class that he takes at school every week. It's hard to say how much he's getting out of it, he's not coming home spouting lines from the Tempest or babbling in iambic pentameter. Ok, it would be cool if he did a little bit of that.

You can read about the program here. It's an interesting take on socialization and developing verbal skills. I hope they're successful with it.

There's also a video, my son's in the background.

The kid with the dark shirt is very sweet. When I see him he always asks if I like trains.

I think my son is the only autistic kid on Earth who is not interested in trains.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Defending the Cause

Once in awhile I have to become an ambassador for spoken word, whether or not it's calling out someone calling participants in the Women of the World Poetry Slam "Fake Feminists" or someone saying that watching videos on youtube of people popping zits was preferable to watching spoken word videos.

The latter happened last night, I asked the person what videos he was watching. He replied bad ones, but asked if I could recommend good ones. I mean, he could have been watching some bad spoken word on youtube, it's certainly out there. But, I had to see what I can do to try and change his outlook.

I sent him links to two. Jamilla Woods' "Pigeon Man."

And Jack McCarthy's "Careful What You Ask For."

Got a replay this morning that these examples were "much better."

I still wonder what he was watching.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Cruelest Month

My NCAA brackets look like Evel Knievel after the Caesar's Palace jump.

April is National Poetry Month. There are a lot of writers who will post a poem every day, or do a writing project and put it online. I've done this a few times, with mixed results. I'll be out of the country for the first two weeks of April and will not be taking part.

There are a couple of poets who are doing interesting projects in April though.

Scott Woods has a dream to assemble a mile of poems. You can read about, and submit to The Road Taken: the Mile Long Poetry Book at the link.

Hanif Abduraquib will be presenting Rumble Out on the Promenade at Kafe Kerouac on April 6th. You can find out more by clicking here.

If you will be doing an online writing project in April, why not post about it in the comments?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The best record by an 80 year old this year

The record is called Lost in You, and it's freaking fantastic! She sounds great, does some inspired covers and it's got a warmth to it you do not hear much anymore.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The swingback

It was the day reservations for a road trip in July came through, details were worked out seamlessly - I made a Facebook comment about waiting for the other shoe to drop.

A week or so later my son was in the hospital, a relative was hospitalized on the east coast and a friend's father died.

That's life, I guess. It's not doing good things for my blood pressure though.

The better news is that all of the poets in the Columbus Arts Festival have been contacted that they have, or have not, won a slot on the Word is Art Stage. I'm waiting for the Festival to officially release the names and schedule, I will tell you it's very a very talented and diverse group of poets. There are veterans, rookies and members of the slam scene who have not read at Arts Fest. I'm really excited for June to get here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Waiting for scores and other numbers

There's been a lot of activity with and around me the past week. Some of the busy has been positive and beneficial, some has been stressful and have given me guilt.

The latter is tough to write about, I'm neither ready nor comfortable telling it here - a story that may not be over. I've said it before and I'll say it again though - distance is hard.

In three nights we took in two hockey games. The first was to see the Blue Jackets play Chicago.

The Blue Jackets have been on a roll recently. They have earned a point in ten straight games, a franchise record. The game with the Black Hawks was number nine of that streak. It was a very tense, well played and entertaining game. Both teams played well and the game was tied at one at the end of regulation. A crazy overtime in which both teams played for the extra point was a thrill to watch and it was a shame the Blue Jackets lost in a shoot out. I hate the shoot out, win or lose.

Saturday night we headed to the olde Ohio State Ice Rink to see game two of a playoff series between Ohio State and Ferris State.

It's a small barn, the ice rink. The ceiling is low and play stops when the puck hits it, which happened at least twice on Saturday night. You're right next to the game and can hear everything that happens on the ice. You can also be heard if your lungs are in good shape. I went here a lot in the late 90's, during the team's frozen four run of 1998. A lot of memories, most of them pretty good.

My wife had never seen a game here. It's tough when you're used to seat backs and video replay, but the old experience came back and I rolled with the change and had a great time watching OSU force a third game, which is happening as I write this. (3-2 OSU in the third period)

The winner of the series goes to the CCHA tournament at the Joe Louis Arena next weekend, the last games the CCHA will have.

Edit: Ohio State wins and goes to the Joe!

Saturday also had the poetry auditions for the Columbus Arts Festival. The poets were excellent and represented such a diverse element of the talent Columbus and Ohio has. Announcements of who made it will be out soon. I've been working on the math and am very excited with who is going to be on the Word is Art Stage in June. You will not want to miss this!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

She's no Lubov, but she don't need any flirt

Hello, my dear friend. My name is Polina. I liked your profile very much.
I’ve never tried dating online before, because of this I feel a bit edgy.
And now I’ll tell you something about myself. I’m 30 years old.
I was born on the 29 April in 1983. I’m 5,4 ft tall and weigh 119 lb. I am red
and I have blue eyes. My photo proves that.
I live in Nizhny Novgorod, it’s in the European part of Russia, east of Moscow. Now, some information
about the things I love. I like reading, communicating with my friends, walking and and so on.
I am fond of watching TV and cooking different tasty things. I love sports:
tennis, volleyball, cycling, skiing.
I am an accountant in a small firm. It’s not very interesting but I like my job.
I’ve never been married and don’t have any children. But I want to get married.
And I’m searching for a man who wants to have serious relationships.
I don’t need any flirt and I hope you don’t need it, too.
If you want to continue our conversation, write me on my e-mail.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Number 266

The college of cardinals gathers in Rome today to elect a new Pope, the fifth Pope of my lifetime.

According to the prophecy of St. Malachy, this is it, we're done.

Been nice knowing you all.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Out of right field

The Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being in a four game winning streak. In two hours there game two of a home and home series against the Red Wings. Yesterday afternoon, the Blue Jackets spanked them 3-0 in front of a joyous home crowd. It got a bit testy when, late in the game Justin Abdelkader got in a tussle with Vinny Prospal. While skating away Prospal pointed at the scoreboard, and got a deserved ten minute misconduct. After years of getting the crap beaten out of them by the Red Wings, I can understand the reasons for release, even if it was a schoolyard move. Going to be fascinating to see how the Red Wings react on their own ice, with their own crowd of lunatics behind them.

Everton are in a bit of a free fall. After an embarrassing and disgraceful 3-0 defeat at the hands of Wigan at Goodison Park that knocked them out of the FA Cup, I'm wondering how they react next week against Manchester City. The team is in disarray. There's little creativity in mid-field, the defense is woefully thin with the injury to Jagielka and Jelavic has not been effective up front in weeks. Plus you have the off again on again situation with Fellaini wanting to move to a bigger club. He was booed off the pitch yesterday after a passive performance against the Latics. If he continues like that, no one will want his services. Another reason this team is in crisis mode is the uncertainty of manager David Moyes. His contract is up at the end of the season and his stay at Everton will be reviewed at the end of the season. I'm not sure how much Moyes wants to stay in at Everton now. He has had little financial support from management in building a team, but when he does acquire a team, his tactics belie their abilities. He continues to rely on veterans who may be past their prime (Tim Cahill and Phil Neville) ahead of young players who are hungry for a chance to prove themselves. The last third of the season will be very telling. If Everton do not earn play in Europe I think Moyes leaves for another team.

Celtic are in first place in the Scottish Premier League, and are likely to be league champions for a second straight year. They were eliminated by the much in form Juventus from Champions League play this week, but gained some experience at top level play. A couple of players are likely to move on at the end of the season. Wanyama and Hooper are said to be moving on to England. Celtic are in the position of bringing in players cheap, then selling them at a good profit after developing them into quality athletes. An easy thing to do when, sadly, you are the only decent team in a poor league.

We're off to Glasgow next month and I have a ticket to the last game of the season against Hibs. I'm very excited to see a match in Celtic Park even though there will be little for the home side to play for.

The Crew have started play with a win and a loss. Still too early to tell what this season will bring.

Baseball's spring training has started. The Mets still do not have an outfield. General Manager Sandy Alderson has my number.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A new bowl of fruit please

As a poet, there are times when I know I get stale. I find a theme, topic, mood and stick to it. It may keep me writing, but there's a sense of boredom to it all. I do my best to mix up my work. Most of the time, when I read it it public, it's not the same thing over and over - even if the quality is not high.

What to do when you hear the same poet doing the same theme over and over, every week?

The topic does not matter, it can be about a cat, delivering the mail, moth balls in a dresser drawer or whatever. Every week, the same thing, and it's not parts of a story, but a slightly different way of telling the same damn thing. It's like going to an art museum and seeing room after room of still life, in the same style, by the same painter, with no real variation of color, angle, display, or shape.

Find another muse. What else ya got?

Monday, March 4, 2013

44 Hours

On Saturday night my wife and I were in the middle of watching Two Days in New York when the phone rang. It was my son's mother. She was taking our son to the ER. He was walking bent over and with a limp. His energy level was also low.

I thought he banged his hip, or fell. When I got to the ER he was not walking bent over, the way his mother said, but with an obvious limp. He was doing this a couple of years ago also, when I took him to get X-rays, but nothing was found then.

After a lengthy wait, two and a half hours, my son was finally taken to get X-rays. An hour later, I saw the results. There was a massive backup of stool in his intestine. Huge, really. At about 12:30 in the morning he was given an enema. Not much moved. An hour and a half after that, another. A doctor came around about about 3AM, saying he recommended him being admitted. At 4:30AM, after eight hours in an ice cold, tiny, ER admitting room, he was finally situated in his own room.

At 6AM, another enema, and every three hours following. The poor guy really endured a lot. It's really hard to see him when he's like this, and unable to tell us what's happening to him. I also have to say it's really hard seeing so many sick children in a hospital, one of the saddest things you ever see.

The room was great, the nurses attentive almost to the point of smothering. The cafeteria was inexpensive and better than expected. It's a new, high tech, extension of the hospital and it's well put together.

The view is amazing.

It took awhile for stuff to start moving, but it did. No further description is necessary.

This morning we were told that, if an afternoon X-ray showed the colon had cleared the old stuff out, we could take him home. Which is what happened.

My son's mother was great, stayed with him all of yesterday and last night. I hope she's getting some well deserved rest. My wife came by yesterday and held things together at our house while it was all going on. I went home for some rest for a few hours on Sunday morning and last night.

Finished watching the film. A happy ending but Grandpa never took a bath. Now we have to make sure this lack of using the toilet does not happen again, the tough part.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hollywood Casino, First Friday in March

I was standing in the middle of a casino on the west side of Columbus.
Around me there was screaming from the blackjack tables.
From of joy or sorrow? I was not sure.
Bells and alarms from the slot machines were going off
the way emergency squads respond in large metropolitan areas.
In front of me Sheena Easton was singing Strut

It was her.
All five feet of her
Introduced by a hypeman
Yes, Sheena Easton has a hypeman
who also played the Kenny Rogers role
during We've Got Tonight
Yes, these things actually happened
Sheena Easton stood on a stage in the middle of a casino
two point three miles from my house
sang a medley of songs by Alexander Nevermind
And fit a few lines from The Glamorous Life in her set

My wife was busy playing the nickel slots
during U Got the Look
I moved closer to the stage when Sheena Easton
sang, Almost Over You
There was a tap on my arm
"Are you, Ed?"
a woman asked me
I recognized her as someone I may or may not have had a crush on
during a job I had in a bookstore many years ago.
"Yes." I said
"You worked at Long's. You're name starts with an M?"
I had not seen her since a funeral over a decade earlier
"Oh, right. This is surreal," I said as fifty three year old Sheena Easton
belted out the high note as best as she could
which was not bad
considering she was singing on a Friday night at a casino on
the west side of Columbus, Ohio.
And Stacy I'm completely over you if I ever had you to be over to begin with
which I did not tell her as she left with a guy I'm guessing was her husband
since we were not introduced
My wife came back
having won ten dollars after starting with two on the penny slots,
while I laughed at Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin getting into his first NHL fight on the projection screens over Sheena Easton's head as she sang Sugar Walls.
Ten years ago, none of this was possible
But now, anything is
in a venue without windows, just down the road from our home