Sunday, July 28, 2013

Columbus is doing alright.

Still trying to get out and about despite either being at the hospital or work every day. It's good to take a walk to clear my head and downtown's looking good this summer.

Always nice to have company on your walk after a pitcher of margaritas.

It's not a real summer until I see a film at the CAPA Summer Movie Series. My wife had never seen all of Bonnie & Clyde and I had not seen it in years, let alone on the big screen. That said, the print was not as good as it could have been. A lot of nicks and scratches. I've seen better. Film's still great.

We even saw the ghost organist descending into the pit of the Ohio Theater.

After the film, we cut through Columbus Commons, and the symphony was rehearsing.

It was a fine, totally unknown event that makes living in a city very cool.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I'm still listening

My wife is the fan of The Pastels, I've never been thrilled by the vocals. This song though, everything works. My wife and I were driving around when this song came on. We named different kinds of rain.

Stephen Pastel knows rain. When you live in Glasgow, and are an artist, you work with it. Use it in a well crafted song. Put it on your latest record Slow Summits.

The first single off the record it quite infectiously delightful too.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In the deep end

My son is just over a week into an intense feeding program in the city. He has three daily sessions, one at 8AM, 11AM and 3PM, five days a week, for six weeks. He is fed breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack by a behavioral psychologist and occupational therapist. The amount of food he eats and leaves behind is measured and his calorie consumption totaled up. With his current diet, he's currently getting just over half the calories he needs.

He's obviously underweight, and his body mass index is lower than the low end of the chart, lower still.

One morning as we waited in the office for his appointment there was an overweight girl there with her mother and an aide. Mom told me her daughter is 12 and weighs 187 pounds (she's not that tall, maybe 5'2") is diabetic and they have to lock the kitchen cabinets at night. She then proceeded to ask if my son would like a Snickers bar.

Hard to really evaluate progress at this point. Yesterday I watched him drink four ounces of milk three times, which is more than I've ever seen him drink in a day. I was told he got a bit non-compliant during the afternoon session today.

I'm there Monday, Wednesday and Friday. His mother on Tuesday and Thursday. His aide for the summer also comes from Tuesday-Thursday. I'm very grateful my workplace has allowed me the flexibility to do this. I have to work four ten hour shifts a week, including weekends, but this has to be done.

Getting in a routine is hard, even harder for my son.

Last week I did have to say something to the doctors. They were in his face cheering, turning on a video, every time he took a bit of food. I could see through the monitor that he was clearly overwhelmed as he was leaving his chair every time this happened. Had to tell them to dial down the brass band, which they did, to some success.

At this time we watch the sessions on a small monitor in another room. There will be alterations as the weeks progress. On Wednesdays there is a "family meeting" in which we assess what's up and go over the process.

In other news what may be the final stop on the 2013 #2 Bus Tour will be at the Urban Arts Space downtown next Thursday, August 1st as I'll be reading as part of the Paging Columbus series. Writing has come slowly to me this year, but I will have some new work to debut along side of the hits. In all the busyness of this summer, I am very excited to be a part of this local event.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Everyone look at your hands

I'm going to set my barometer of internet outrage to react with great sanctimony when the midget in this video offers an online opinion on anything people are getting ticked off about on social media.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tripping in the Steel City

Life goes on. After finding out my friend Mike died on Thursday night, with a heavier heart we headed to Pittsburgh for a planned well in advance weekend.

It's a very easy drive from Columbus. A trip that is a bit quicker now that the speed limit on Ohio highways is up to 70 miles per hour. If I had not missed an exit in the strands of spaghetti roads that is downtown Pittsburgh, we would have made the hotel in about two and half hours.

The hotel was in an odd area, just north of downtown, with high rise public housing across the street. There were no problems though, other than one guy asking for change on the corner, like that's never happened in Columbus.

The room was small, but cozy. The shower was quite small, but there was plenty of hot water. The room itself was rather noisy as we found out at 1:30AM when the room upstairs from us was having sexy time. The iron framed bed was rather old and loose in construction and did a lot of bouncing and banging. I hope there were two people up there.

The level of service at this hotel was excellent. There was a free shuttle that would take you anywhere within the city. One of the drivers was quite knowledgeable and friendly as he took us to a restaurant before the baseball game.

There were a number of recommendations for Meat and Potatoes on the Columbus Underground messageboard, so I made reservations a couple of weeks in advance. There was a crowd of people waiting for the five o'clock opening. Our names were called right after opening and we were taken to our seats as the bar instantly filled up.

Extensive cocktail menu, the drinks were excellent. My wife had a slow gin fizz with authentic Plymouth Sloe Gin. The cheery with her drink she said was the best ever. It was an amaro cherry from Italy, we were told.

My mussels came, it was an entire dish filled with them. Not many tiny ones either, all rather substantial. The only minus was the fries, I thought they would be cut thicker but while there were plenty, they were rather tiny.

I had a few bites of my wife's pannacotta dessert, which was light and tasty. I ordered an Oban off their whiskey list. It was pricey, but what the heck. It came in a Glencairn glass which is always a touch of class. What shocked me was the amount of whiskey in the glass. I know what an ounce and a half in a Glencairn glass looks like, this was about double that. That impressed me, and I was not driving!

The stadium was a short walk from the restaurant. Very impressed the city closes off the Roberto Clemente Bridge to cars and lets pedestrians have the whole thing.

The experience outside the stadium is impressive. Fans tailgate, they play whiffle ball in the parking lots along with cooking out and drinking. I respect Pirate Fan.

In addition to the Clemente statue, there is one of Honus Wagner, Bill Mazeroski and Willie Stargell. Two tipsy Pirate fans offered to take a picture of my wife and I with it, but seemed to be so drunk they could not press the button on a digital camera. It was the thought that counted.

A friend of ours gave us his tickets. His seats are incredible.

PNC Park is stunning even without the amazing views of the Pittsburgh skyline. There does not seem to be a bad seat in the house.

We saw Jeremy Hefner pitch for the Mets. He made one bad pitch to Alcarez and the visitors were down 2-0. They fought back to tie it up and send the game into extra innings. We left after the tenth and got back in time to see the Pirates win in the bottom of the eleventh watching in the hotel bar. That's how close things are in Pittsburgh.

The hotel breakfast was ok, not great, but the courtyard is pretty. We asked the driver to take us to the Fred Rogers statue.

Mister Rogers Neighborhood was filmed in Pittsburgh.

The riverfront is quite scenic.

We walked back to the hotel to rest for a bit before meeting a friend of mine at a coffee shop and then hit a deli next door. Down the street is a theater that may or may not be renovated. It was once a porno house.

After saying goodbye we rested up, had some dinner at a mediocre pub then headed to Stage AE for the Belle and Sebastian show. We met an old live journal friend of ours who was also going to the show. Before he showed up, my wife and I rated the attendees on the amount of tweeness in their clothing. The winner was a girl in front of us, who had birds all over her dress.

The venue is very similar to the LC in Columbus, it may be a bit steeper. Yo La Tengo opened and did not impress me much. They even had spinal tap guitar moments as Kaplan flung his guitar around, causing the annoying feedback. He then put his guitar down while it was still sustaining and picked up another guitar to make his noise.

Belle and Sebastian were impressive. It was fun to see my wife finally see a whole show from a band she loves.

Their back catalogue is large and they were digging out some nuggets from the first record. Stuart Murdoch made reference to the baseball game happening next door by playing Take Me Out To the Ballgame.

Fireworks were happening after the baseball game while the band was playing.

The band did not hear it as they were playing, but could smell the gunpowder. After the fireworks were over, the band's string section did a few snippets from the 1812 Overture, which was quite sweet.

It was worth the trip. A weekend we needed as we prepare for the rest of the summer. I've started 42 days in which I will be in the hospital with my son as he is in intensive in-patient feeding therapy or at work.

But Pittsburgh though, I'm not sure if it's a grass is greener thing, but I like the vibe of the place and can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

All the people I know are beginning to fade away

This morning I received word through a Facebook update that a college friend is dying of cancer. I wish his family and friends peace during this difficult time. Mike and I connected again through Facebook. We shared jokes, stories, movies, music and politics. I now seriously regret not being able to speak to him more during the reunion in Fredonia in 2010. It was a crazy, busy night and you talked briefly to everyone or no one. A few days later, in a Facebook message, I did make mention of that and he agreed. A few months ago I heard he was ill. He slowed up his posting to Facebook. I figured he had more important things to do. Did not realize the severity of his condition until hours ago.

You always think there’s going to be another time. There may not be. Everything can be lost in a moment. Have to be a bit thankful for social media though, none of the connections would have happened without it.

This is the second friend of around my age to be claimed by cancer this year. It’s hard to come to terms with aging. It sucks and it’s getting me down.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The statues and street signs know where it's at

After last week's walk, where I neglected to see the statue of a certain Austrian bodybuilder, I vowed to correct the omission as soon as possible.

That happened today.

I'm not sure how life sized or proportionate it is, but it stands tall among the skyscrapers.

Not only does Columbus get pumped up one weekend a year, we're also one of the seven most intelligent cities in the world.

And here's proof.

William McKinley is pleased.

And so ended today's downtown walk.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I hate zombies, but went to the zombie movie

Almost two years ago, on our first day in Glasgow, we stepped out of the Queen Street Station and into George Square and saw this.

It was the last day of filming World War Z. The filmmakers were substituting Glasgow for Philadelphia. Banners were strung up, street signs were added.

We did not see Brad Pitt or any of the other actors. Principal shooting was completed. We just saw a few crowd shots. I'm not a zombie fan by any means, but since I saw some filming it went on the 'to see' list.

It was interesting seeing the film and noting what landmarks were altered. The footage was in the first ten minutes of the film as mayhem takes over the streets and the zombies are on the loose. There were explosions, and car crashes. I noticed this bus getting whacked in the film.

The original release date was in the summer of 2012, but that was pushed back a whole year due to internal squabbles and problems with the script. A bit of the ending of the film was reshot, and that shows in the completed work. It seems very tacked on, which is a shame because the film is neither a cinematic turd nor a piece of gold. It has its good moments of zombie attack suspense but it also has some horrible acting. Pitt was fine as the reluctant hero, the actress who played his wife had a thankless part of doing nothing but looking worried at a cell phone (including having her make one phone call that would have been a shaming event at Writers' Block) and the kid actors were not very good.

There was one great product replacement that still has me giggling and my wife reminded me of this video during another crucial scene.

I have not read the Max Brooks book but understand liberties were taken. So many that it barely resembles the finished film. That's Hollywood though. Overall it's a piece of summer entertainment that is worth seeing, if only to escape the local crowds instead of an evening of fireworks.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Circles, my head is going 'round in circles

The weather here has been spotty the last few days. Nice and sunny quickly leads to pouring rain. Caught a break in the weather and went to Columbus Commons this morning to see if my son would be interested in riding on the carousel.

I'm not sure if he's even been on one before, maybe on a school field trip to the zoo or something his mother never told me about when they went to Disney last year. He loves being spun and I would think the overall motion might be something he likes.

So I got the token for a buck and the attendant let us on. He seemed apprehensive but I brought him on and he rode on a frog. Me, I got dizzy, which is something I do when I bend down to pick something up.

He seemed a bit scared and nervous, but once the ride got going he seemed to tolerate it. When the ride stopped we got off and he walked around the carousel area. I followed, wondering if he'd go to the entrance which would mean he wanted to ride it again. He went here instead.

He took off, looking back once in awhile to see if I was there. He circled the commons then we went back to the car with no real problem.

There was a lollipop waiting for him.

Been here on blogger regularly for over four years. This was post number 1,000. Never set out to be specific here. This blog is admittingly all over the place, from poetry, to autism to travel, sports, music, film, rants and other types of mayhem. Thank you all for reading, lurking and commenting. Especially you.