Wednesday, February 29, 2012

at our peril

Reading reviews of a new kind of pizza, I came across the following Comment:

"this pizza is very tasty and seemed like a gourmet item.....I will defiantly order it again and recommend it to friends"

Am pretty sure he meant he would "definitely" order it again...
yet am enjoying mental picture of a customer
"defiantly"ordering pizza.

("Bring us another of the spinach-with-feta-cheese pizzas!
"You bring us that pizza, or else!"...)


Delicately dexterous and ready to deal.

On the heels of competitively dramatic and scary Winter Storm Warning-forecasts etc., snow fell.

(We waited breathlessly.)
Heavy, wet slush-blanket.
Sans street- and road-maintenance, vehicles bostled about (I'm inventing the word "bostle" -- a combination of bumped, jostled, blundered and struggled),
bouncing, sliding, gyrating, with drivers becoming increasingly irate and actually driving faster, on (and in) the treacherous, slidy, slickery mush that sucks at tires, like quicksand, and throws you spinning, like gravel.

Just when calm common sense would tell us to ease forward slowly, with care, to avoid going out of control, people were instead careening wildly, tearing forward on the bumpy, ice / snow combination. In a 5-minute journey, drivers of three different vehicles tried to end my life, as I drove to work today.

A potato chip truck bore down on me, closing in, I could see in rear-view mirrow. On a downtown street where speed limit has got to be no more than 20, 25....A red light in front of me told me I'd have to stop; the hurtling 10-wheeler (or whatever) in back of me told me I was going to die. Now.

In the next block, an expensive-looking vehicle (good insurance, surely) took up the chase, barreling toward the trunk of my Buick, & I thought, "Go ahead. Make my day."
Then out on the highway a truck with elec. co. logo on side rode my bumper, & I thought, "Just pass, it's a four-lane forChrist'ssake...GO AROUND!!"

These drivers are just so angry.
I too think it's bogus that our tax-supported entities with street-clearing equipment do not do their job of clearing the streets. (Are they on strike? Are they protesting something? Is it civil disobedience?)
I agree with these angry drivers; they're not wrong; but channel the anger, folks.

Speak with your city govt. or county govt. or state, or whomever is remiss on winter-time street maintenance. Don't run over me. That's just acting out.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

for a week

Am so sleepy, aim to write a poem about sleep.

I Could sleep for a week,
I Could sleep near a creek.

I Could sleep for a day,
I Could sleep in some hay.

I Could sleep until noon,
I Could sleep 'neath the moon.

I Could sleep under a horse,
I Could sleep par for the course.

I Could sleep in a car,
I Could sleep very far.

I could sleep through a bore,
I could sleep through a war,

I could sleep with my cat,
I could sleep on a mat,

I could sleep on a roof,
I could sleep for a spoof.

I could sleep on a train,
I could sleep through the rain.

I could sleep while it snows,
I could sleep while it froze.

I could sleep with ease,
I could sleep and get "Zs."

I could sleep through news,
I could sleep without clues.

I could sleep in North Carolina,
I could sleep in South Carolina.

I could sleep in May,
I could sleep in L.A.

I could sleep in my bed,
I could sleep by a sled.

I could sleep in the dark,
I could sleep in Hyde Park.

I could "sleep like a log,"
I could sleep during fog.

I Could sleep through an election,
I Could sleep in any section.

I Could sleep dreaming of a cow,
I Could sleep dreaming of Wow,
I could sleep on Jones-Dow,
I Could sleep wondering how,
I Could sleep thinking of a plow,
I Could sleep meditating a la Tao,

I Could sleep Pow! -- right Now.

But instead of Sleep -- Vitamins, and Mental Energization.

(Holy pillows-&-blankets, if you type the word "sleep" so many times, after a while it just doesn't look right. ...)


Monday, February 27, 2012


Unexpected Quotes found,
from Mark Twain:

-- As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.

-- Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

So they had "health books" even back then...!
Eat eggs.
Don't eat eggs.
Eat bread.
Don't eat bread.

It's this kind of thing which makes us tired, in life.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

newer fellas

Dear gentlefolk of Newport
Or maybe I should say hats and cats,
I want you to lend an ear
Because I want you to hear
Some really shimmering sharps and flats.

For these cozy virtuosi,
Just about the greatest in the trade,
Are fixin' to show you now
Precisely how
(Or approximately)
Jazz music is made.

Well you take some skins, [drums]
Jazz begins,
Then you take a bass [bumm-bumm-bummbummbumm]
man now we're gettin' some place
Take a box, [piano]
One that rocks,
Take a blue horn -- New Orleans - born!
[Louis Armstrong begins playing trumpet...]

Ah you take a stick, [clarinet]
With a lick,
Take a bone, [trombone]
Ho- ho- hold the phone!

Take a spot,
Cool and hot,
Now you has
jazz jazz jazz, jazz, jazz!

...Le tout ensemble...!

Ahhh --

that's positively...


Now you has -- jazz jazz jazz...!

Messrs Hall and Young,
Ah said Hall [trombone]
And Tommy Young [clarinet]
Now you has Messrs Kyle and Shaw [piano]
That's Billy Kyle [bass]
Arvel Shaw
Now you has Mr. Barret Deans [drums]
Well listen to -- well you know who...-- [Louis Armstrong plays] -- Rah-dah-dah-dahdahdah--dah-dah, dah--...

Say hey pops, you wanna grab a little of what's left here?

Yeah daddy yeah

Here we go.
I-i-i-ff you sail --

Louis Armstrong:
a-sailin' sailin'

Over the sea,

When you wait for me,

Take my tip, they're all molto hip -- in -- Italy.

Well air-uh-vuh-dooch-ie!--
As for France--

Oh I know you're very big there --

Yes, believe it or not!

I do believe, I do indeed-!

The Frenchmens all,
prefer what they call,
"Leh - zzshazz -- Hot"!

[something - "me down..." ]--
Put me down?
Blow me down?
Vote me down?

Take a plane.

[scat-singing: "Vo-de-oh-vo-doh-doh" -- or Something...]

Go to Siam.

LOUIS: [scats wildly, Bing gets an involuntary laugh in his voice as he sings the next line --]

(ha-ha)-In Bangkok,
today 'round the clock,
Well they all like to jam...


Indians on --
LOUIS - scat
BING - The Amazon
LOUIS - wild scat
BING - Beat one bar, and all of 'em are --

LOUIS: Ah well, gone, man, gone!!

[LOUIS back to trumpet]
Ah -- from the Equator
up to the Pole,
Everybody wingin'
Everybody singin'
That rock, rock, rock, rock, rock and roll.
From the East to the West
From the coast to the coast --

Jazz is king,
Jazz is the thing --
that folks --
dig --

[Wham-bam-bahm-bahm with the percussion...]
Ba-dah-dah-da-da-da!--now THAT'S jazz!

{"Now You Has Jazz." written by Cole Porter, for the film, High Society, in 1956}
I was surprised to hear the phrase "rock and roll" in this song...I didn't think Bing Crosby or Cole Porter "knew from" rock and roll. ...

It was so brand new, then. Musicologists debate what was the First rock and roll song? --
Ike Turner's "Rocket 88" (1951), or
Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" (1955), or
Ray Charles' "What'd I Say?" (1959)...?

Well by 1955 or 56 when Cole Porter would have been writing the songs for this film (a musical re-make of "The Philadelphia Story") he could have heard "Rocket 88" and / or "Maybellene" -- (obviously "What'd I Say?" could not have been an influence because it didn't come out until three years later).

Bing Crosby singing the songs, and Cole Porter writing lyrics and melodies, both for at least three decades, had been outsize influences on American music and it seemed really interesting and arresting, how, with this song in this film, they gave a nod of polite & respectful recognition to Rock And Roll (the "new thing") without actually producing any of it themselves. "Now You Has Jazz" is not a rock song; it's swingy, jumpy jazz.

But it mentions rock-and-roll, and sort of -- claims it, or "welcomes" it, as a second cousin, or something, of jazz.

In another scene in the movie, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby are singing and Bing goes into a slow, short scat -- ba-dah-dah-DAH-da-da... in the 30s and 40s style -- and Frank Sinatra stops him and sings in a playfully argumentative tone, "Don't dig that kinda croonin' chum..."

Bing Crosby stops singing and speaks, genial as always -- "You must be one o' those newer fellas."

(His persona was always "laid-back." No-sweat. Cool. Let's enjoy this evening -- AND -- life...! That was his style.)

"You must be one o' those newer fellas." Newer fellas. Meaning -- Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins. Etc.

How exciting to imagine that pivotal moment in the evolution of popular music.

Shimmering sharps and flats.

Well they all like to jam.

Beat one bar,
and all of 'em are --
gone, man, gone!


Friday, February 24, 2012

desperado days

Janet Evanovich "sets the mood":
{excerpt: One For The Money. Janet Evanovich. Copyright 1994. Harper Collins. New York, New York.}

-----------------I was spooked over John Kuzack's death and not anxious to walk into a dark apartment, so I made a point of getting home early. I'd just locked the door behind me when the phone rang. The voice was muffled, so that I had to strain to hear, squinting at the handset as if that would help.

Fear is not a logical emotion. No one can physically hurt me on the phone, but I flinched all the same when I realized it was Ramirez.

I immediately hung up, and when the phone rang again I snapped the plug from the wall jack. I needed an answering machine to monitor my calls, but I couldn't afford to buy one until I made a recovery. First thing in the morning I was going to have to go after Lonnie Dodd.

* * * *

I awoke to the steady drumming of rain on my fire escape. Wonderful. Just what I needed to complicate my life further. I crawled out of bed and pulled the curtain aside, not pleased at the sight of an all-day soaker. The parking lot had slicked up, reflecting light from mysterious sources. The rest of the world was gunmetal gray, the cloud cover low and unending, the buildings robbed of color behind the rain.

I showered and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, letting my hair dry on its own. No sense fussing when I was going to get drenched the instant I stepped out of the building. ...

This was the sort of day to read comic books under a blanket tent and eat the icing from the middle of the Oreos. This was not the sort of day to chase down desperados. Unfortunately, I was hard up for money and couldn't be choosy about selecting desperado days.

Lonnie Dodd's address was listed as 2115 Barnes. I hauled my map out and looked up the coordinates. Hamilton Township is about three times the size of Trenton proper and roughly shaped like a wedge of pie that's suffered some nibbles. Barnes ran with its back pressed to the Conrail tracks just north of Yardville, the beginning of the lower third of the county.

I took Chambers to Broad and cut up on Apollo. Barnes struck off from Apollo. The sky had lightened marginally, and it was possible to read house numbers as I drove. The closer I got to 2115 the more depressed I became. Property value was dropping at a frightening rate. What had begun as a respectable blue-collar neighborhood with trim single-family bungalows on good-sized lots had deteriorated to neglected low-income to no-income housing.

Twenty-one fifteen was at the end of the street. The grass was overgrown and had gone to seed. A rusted bike and a washing machine with its top lid askew decorated the front yard. The house itself was a small cinder block rancher built on a slab. It looked to be more of an outbuilding than a home. ...A sheet had been tacked haphazardly over the front picture window. Probably to afford the inhabitants privacy while they crushed cans of Bull's-Eye beer against their foreheads and plotted mayhem.

I told myself it was now or never. Rain pattered on the roof and sluiced down the windshield. I pumped myself up by applying fresh lipstick. There was no great surge of power, so I deepened the blue liner and added mascara and blush....I studied Dodd's picture one last time.

Didn't want to overwhelm the wrong man.

I dropped my keys into my pocketbook, pulled my hood up, and got out of the car. I knocked on the door and caught myself secretly hoping no one was home. The rain and the neighborhood and the grim little house were giving me the creeps. If the second knock goes unanswered, I thought, I'll consider it the will of God that I'm not destined to catch Dodd, and I'll get the hell out of here.

No one answered on the second knock, but I'd heard a toilet flush, and I knew someone was in there. ..."Open up," I yelled at the top of my voice. "Pizza delivery."

A skinny guy with dark, tangled shoulder-length hair answered the door. He was a couple inches taller than me. He was barefoot and shirtless....

"I didn't order no pizza," he said.
"Are you Lonnie Dodd?"
"Yeah. What's with the pizza delivery shit?"
"It was a ploy to get you to answer your door."
"A what?"
"I work for Vincent Plum, your bond agent. You missed your trial date, and Mr. Plum would like you to reschedule."

"Fuck that. I'm not rescheduling nothing."
The rain was running off my jacket in sheets, soaking my jeans and shoes. "It would only take a few minutes. I'd be happy to drive you."

"Plum doesn't have no limo service. Plum only hires two kinds of people . . . women with big pointy tits and scumbag bounty hunters. Nothing personal, and it's hard to see with that raincoat on, but you don't look like you got big pointy tits. That leaves scumbag bounty hunter."

Without warning he reached out into the rain, grabbed my pocketbook off my shoulder, and tossed the contents onto the tan shag carpet behind him. The gun landed with a thunk.

"You could get into a lot of crap carrying concealed in this state," he said.
I narrowed my eyes. "Are you going to cooperate here?"
"What do you think?"
"I think if you're smart you'll get a shirt and some shoes and come downtown with me."

"Guess I'm not that smart."
"Fine. Then just give me my stuff, and I'll be more than happy to leave." Truer words were never spoken.
"I'm not giving you nothing. This here stuff looks like my stuff now."

I was debating kicking him in the nuts when he gave me a shove to the chest, knocking me backward off the small cement pad....
"Take a hike," he said, "or I'll shoot you with your own fucking gun."

--------------------------- {end excerpt}
----------------What do I think is excellent about this author's writing? She brings you into the narrative: you can feel that apartment, you can feel the crank phone call, you pull the cord out of the wall jack, you feel the rain, the bleak neighborhood, and the ambivalence about the mission. Never been to Trenton in my life, yet I feel I kind of know it, from reading this author. Trenton. Shady characters, fast food, no-frills real estate. Organized crime. Pollution. Attitudes formed on the cynicism and cheery desperation (bravado?) of the disadvantaged and incurious.

Some of what I read in her books is vulgar for my taste -- I wouldn't write it, and if I were her editor, I'd red-pencil it...and she would probably dump me, & get new editor...!

Some people might criticize me for reading -- and enjoying ! -- fiction that has some grungy references, "f" word maybe more frequent than a polite person might advise, and people engaging in extreme behavior -- you know, I wouldn't go out and do the things that the characters in these books do, not even the "good guys"...! But it isn't a book of advice, written in seriousness, it's Entertainment.

It makes me think of "Get Smart," the first show I ever really watched that wasn't a cartoon -- my dad would be watching it and laughing -- and I remember a conversation:
my mother -- "Isn't that violence - on - television?"
(something they had probably agreed that they were against)
and my dad answered, "Oh, but it's done with a laugh."

With a laugh. So that was all right. And I knew he didn't mean, "with a laugh," as in -- you would laugh at people really getting shot, he meant -- it was funny, and was to laugh at, and not to be taken seriously and certainly not to be imitated, or looked to as a standard of behavior ...

A sort of laying-out of the concept of artistic license, and it lodged in my awareness.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

playing the numbers, making book

Morelli and I were both born and raised in a blue-collar chunk of Trenton called the burg. Houses were attached and narrow. Yards were small. Cars were American. The people were mostly of Italian descent, with enough Hungarians and Germans thrown in to offset inbreeding. It was a good place to buy calzone or play the numbers. And, if you had to live in Trenton anyway, it was an okay place to raise a family.

[excerpts, One For The Money, Janet Evanovich]

----------- My mother was at the open screen door. "Stephanie," she called. "What are you doing sitting out there in your car? You're late for dinner. You know how your father hates to eat late. The potatoes are getting cold. The pot roast will be dry."

Food is importnat in the burg. The moon revolves around the earth, the earth revolves around the sun, and the burg revolves around pot roast.

During winter months, wind ripped up Hamilton Avenue, whining past plate-glass windows, banking trash against curbs and storefronts. During summer months, the air sat still and gauzy, leaden with humidity, saturated with hydrocarbons. It shimmered over hot cement and melted road tar. Cicadas buzzed, dumpsters reeked, and a dusty haze hung in perpetuity over softball fields statewide. I figured it was all part of the great adventure of living in New Jersey.

This afternoon I'd decided to ignore the August buildup of ozone catching me in the back of my throat and go, convertible top down, in my Mazda Miata. The air conditioner was blasting flat out, I was singing along with Paul Simon, my shoulder-length brown hair was whipping around my face in a frenzy of frizz and snarls, my ever vigilant blue eyes were coolly hidden behind my Oakleys, and my foot rested heavy on the gas pedal.

His motives for geniality were clear. I was a woman lacking appliances. Romance is good for frittering away a few evening hours, but commissions will get you a vacation in Hawaii. Ours was a match made in heaven. He wanted to sell, and I wanted to buy, and I wasn't unhappy to acept his offer of a 10 percent discount. And, as a bonus for sitting through the evening, I'd learned something about Ziggy Kulesza. He bought his meat from Sal Bocha, a man better known for making book than slicing fillet.

I tucked the information away for future reference. It didn't seem significant now, but who knows what would turn out to be helpful.

----------------[end excerpts. Copyright 1994, Harper Collins, New York.]


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

blue suede shoes

One For The Money,
a very good, entertaining novel by Janet Evanovich
("a Stephanie Plum novel")
has finally been made into a movie --
has been "in development" nearly 20 years

and now it's getting "bad reviews"...bummer, man

Am wondering, do viewers who haven't read the 18-book series just "not get it"?
Or are readers of the books disappointed because everyone gets their own idea in their mind of the characters and action, and then there's bound to be disappointment because the film-maker's vision can't please everybody...?

Or does the film simply stink?

Some make it, some don't.

Author Evanovich had an excellent tone in the first six books of the series -- after that, quality tapered off...she was writing other stuff, maybe spreading creativity too thin...don't know.
But One through Six are worth collecting; you find they're so "light," you can read them again and again & be entertained because you actually cannot remember how the plot went...!

(Some serious literature-Experts [culture vultures] might snipe that this is Too "light," but who is to say, when it's Entertainment?

If a book is so "light" I cannot remember what it's about and so can read it three more times and be entertained every time, then it's like I got 4 books'-worth of entertainment for price-of-one.

Plus, don't need to argue, if we like it, we like it.)

I wonder if the movie's director and screenwriters have read Stephanie Plum novels One - through - Six. Were I producing, would have made that a requirement. They'd have to
Read 'em,
Get 'em.

Now it's one for the money,
Two for the dough,
Three to get ready
Now -- go cat go!
Now don't you --
step on my blue suede shoes...

-- Carl Perkins


Friday, February 17, 2012

Shakespeare in the alley

Oh, the ragman draws circles
Up and down the block
I’d ask him what the matter was
But I know that he don’t talk
And the ladies treat me kindly
And furnish me with tape
But deep inside my heart
I know I can’t escape
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Well, Shakespeare, he’s in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells
Speaking to some French girl
Who says she knows me well
And I would send a message
To find out if she’s talked
But the post office has been stolen
And the mailbox is locked
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Mona tried to tell me
To stay away from the train line
She said that all the railroad men
Just drink up your blood like wine
An’ I said, “Oh, I didn’t know that
But then again, there’s only one I’ve met
An’ he just smoked my eyelids
An’ punched my cigarette”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Grandpa died last week
And now he’s buried in the rocks
But everybody still talks about
How badly they were shocked
But me, I expected it to happen
I knew he’d lost control
When he built a fire on Main Street
And shot it full of holes
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Now the senator came down here
Showing ev’ryone his gun
Handing out free tickets
To the wedding of his son
An’ me, I nearly got busted
An’ wouldn’t it be my luck
To get caught without a ticket
And be discovered beneath a truck
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Now the preacher looked so baffled
When I asked him why he dressed
With twenty pounds of headlines
Stapled to his chest
But he cursed me when I proved it to him
Then I whispered, “Not even you can hide
You see, you’re just like me
I hope you’re satisfied”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Now the rainman gave me two cures
Then he said, “Jump right in”
The one was Texas medicine
The other was just railroad gin
An’ like a fool I mixed them
An’ it strangled up my mind
An’ now people just get uglier
An’ I have no sense of time
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

When Ruthie says come see her
In her honky-tonk lagoon
Where I can watch her waltz for free
’Neath her Panamanian moon
An’ I say, “Aw come on now
You must know about my debutante”
An’ she says, “Your debutante just knows what you need
But I know what you want”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Now the bricks lay on Grand Street
Where the neon madmen climb
They all fall there so perfectly
It all seems so well timed
An’ here I sit so patiently

Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice

Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

["Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again"
Blonde On Blonde album, 1966, Columbia Records.
recorded in Nashville]


Thursday, February 16, 2012

stuck inside of Mobile


intermittent traffic hissing, humming, rolling outside

plan: move wing chair from liv.-rm., into corner of bedroom, with a decor-type pillow, and a foot-rest thing that opens to keep things in, if want to...

Tall dresser out from bedroom, into living room, to store books and music CDs.


Monday, February 13, 2012

if you have to ask

QUOTATIONS from Louis Armstrong:

-- If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know.

-- The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician.

-- There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell them.
(Was he referring to Congress, there?)

-- There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.

-- All music is folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song.
(He probably said that in the 60s when people argued about music that didn't "qualify" as "folk"..."I ain't never heard a horse sing a song." That would tend to end any controversy.)
I think if Louis Armstrong could come back to life, he should be put in charge of Everything.


Friday, February 10, 2012

you don't have the enzymes

The Lawrence / Julie & Julia Project is an hilarious blog
written by a college student named Lawrence Dai.

Following Julie Powell's pattern
(she cooked her way through Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, reporting her progress in a blog, spanning a year)
Lawrence Dai
set himself the challenge of watching the movie Julia & Julia (which chronicles Julie P.'s blog & Julia C.'s passion for cooking born in 1950s Paris, France)
every day for a year (!)
blogging about it.

On Day 12 of his blog (December 11, 2010) he put this:
[excerpt, Lawrence Dai's blog]------------Day 12.

Every time I've seen this movie, I've always been endlessly entertained by the scene where Julie Powell's mother calls Julie to berate her about starting the blog. If you haven't seen the film yet, the scene proceeds as follows:

Julie (voiceover): And then I came home and got a big vote of confidence from my mother.
Mom: Remind me why you're doing this...
Julie: Blog.
Mom: Whatever it's called.
Julie: It's a regimen, Mom. Like doing sit-ups.
Mom: Well, it's just adding pressure.
Julie: What pressure?
Mom: You have a full-time job, you have a husband, and now you're going to get sick from blogging.
Julie: It's sort of like being in AA.
Mom: What are you saying?
Julie: It gives you something you have to do every day, one day at a time.
Mom: How do you know this lingo? Honey, are you an alcoholic?
Julie: I'm saying it's good for me to have short-term goals.
Mom: Well, that is silly. That is just plain silly. Who's reading this blog?
Julie: People. People are reading it, I'm sure.
Mom: Well, it's something you decided to do, and you can decide not to, and not one single person's going to mind.
Julie: No, don't you get it? I just started. I can't stop. I have to finish--it's all I've got.
*Mom hangs up the phone*
Julie: Hello? Hello?

I've always laughed at this scene because of its exaggerated theatricality--that is, until my own mother found out about this blog. Let's just say that if they ever make my blogging experience into a movie (which would be a terrible, terrible idea), this particular Julie & Julia scene would be pretty easy to adapt.

Lawrence (voiceover): And then I came back to the dorm -- then I got a f---ing call from my mom.
Mom: You do homework yet?
Lawrence: Nah, I decided to start a blog instead.
Mom: What?
Lawrence: It's a blog, Mom. Like on the internet?
Mom: A what?
Lawrence: A BLOG.
Mom: What is this blog? You have no time for! How can you do this and get good grades, good job, make money?
Lawrence: I don't know, it's just a fun thing--
Mom: Fun? I send you to expensive school so you have fun? You can have all fun you want when you homeless!
Lawrence: I'm sure homeless people have a lot of fun.
Mom: How can you say that? Do you know what you say? Homeless people have no home! How fun is that? Are you alcoholic?
Lawrence: No, Mom. I'm not an alcoholic. You know I don't have the enzymes to even break down alco--
Mom: You don't have the enzymes to honor family either!
Lawrence: What?? What does that even mean?
Mom: Who is reading this blog?
Lawrence: People. People are reading it, I'm sure--middle-aged, married women mostly.
Mom: Well, give up. You need more time to study.
Lawrence: Alright, Mother. Listen, sorry, but I gotta go. Love you. Bye.
*I hang up the phone*
Mom: And what happened to you saying you want to be doctor? I remember--from very young age, you always say you want to be a doctor. Why can't you go to medical school? You know, blog once you're a successful doctor. You have time then, after you make money, marry nice smart girl...
*Dial Tone*
------------------- [end excerpt from Lawrence / Julie & Julia blog.]

"Fun? I send you to expensive school so you have fun?"
"You don't have the enzymes to honor family, either!"




Thursday, February 9, 2012

he said it

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.

Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.

If we [in the network television business] were to do the Second Coming of Christ in color for a full hour, there would be a considerable number of stations which would decline to carry it on the grounds that a Western or a quiz show would be more profitable.

Good night, and good luck.

--------------------- [Edward R. Murrow quotes]


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

looking good

This looks good:

Deadline Artists: America's Greatest Newspaper Columns

Ed. by John Avlon, Jesse Angelo, and Errol Louis.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

rule of law

The following Comment appeared on a NY Times article
(the Commenter says, nytimes "opening debate" to throw Constitution into "dustbin" -- I didn't see anything about a dustbin, it's just an article, but people get excited...)
still, while it's muddled in spots, you can get what he's trying to think about & I was contemplating this Comment:

-------------------------- [comment from CA] Do those arguing against Classically Liberal Rule of Law and Liberty values realize they are arguing for Rule by the Discretion of Men? That's the track record the founders pondered.

How's that Greenspan, Rubin, Paulson, Summers, Geithner Rule of Men working out for you?

Why are we so cowardly about holding ALL accountable to the Rule of Law, and so gullible to believe we should, and safely can, hand over so much power to unaccountable elites?

That article in the last few days about the SEC CHOOSING not to prosecute Big Banks, ostensibly because it doesn't fit the picture of our Central Planners.

The corrosion of justice and cynicism being bred as the financial swindle continues to go unpunished by either party is an AFFRONT to the classical Rule of Law concept, and most honest Americans are thirsting for accountability.

But now we have the NY Times fully opening the debate on throwing the people's Constitution into the dustbin.....

In exchange for what?

Benevolent Dictatorship? Philosopher King? Authoritarian Capitalism aka China?

People need to wake up and vigilantly self-govern again.
------------------------- [end Comment]

"Vigilantly self-govern."
I don't know if we "people" ever do that.
Who's got the time / energy?
That's what we elect them for. ...To do the job.
"Vigilantly self-govern." Does that mean vote?
Does it mean sit in on county commission meetings and city council meetings to see what they're up to? School board meetings?
People are busy and they don't want to sit. That's why they're usually not "sitting in" on those meetings unless there's a specific problem / issue.

And -- "accountability" for the Big Banks...if it is not OK for poor people to steal, then it is not OK for wealthy executives to steal.
That's an easy one, in my world -- like if you see a run starting in your nylons, some nude nail polish is called for. Not difficult; not rocket science. I've got a handle on that one, Scoob.

Crime is crime. Fraud is fraud.
Our local paper featured a headline in the center, half-inch or so from top, last Friday:
Had to laugh at that -- like, OK, they're going to teach us, the public, how to better implement Domestic Violence.
(Ladies, bring frying pans.)

(Continuing Education for Adults is a worthy goal in society, we think.)

And seriously what kind of courses did the Goldman Sachs & bank of America, et. al. on Wall St. sign up for? --

...Now the wintertime is coming
The windows are filled with frost
I went to tell everybody
But I could not get across...
--Bob Dylan
"It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry"


Monday, February 6, 2012

probably sane

two notes on a Monday:

Note 1. Studying the lyrics Friday of "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" realized -- when I used to hear that song on WBCN radio in Boston, the lines --

Peter Brown called to say,
"You can make it O.K.,
You can get married in Gibraltar, near Spain" --

...I used to hear them as,
Peter Brown called to say
you can make it OK,
you can get married since you're probably sane ...

and Note 2.
The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project.
A college student named Lawrence Dai blogged for a year, watching the film Julie & Julia every day, and blogging comments.
same principle as Julie Powell's original blog -- cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking, covering all the recipes in 365 days.

Well -- Mr. Dai's principle is different, I guess, because it's all the same movie -- I don't know, it's a relief to discover someone in world who does something like this, because it seems to confirm my own claims to what President Warren G. Harding called, in a coined word, "normalcy." Normality. Normalness. Not that that's necessarily a goal. (What's the percentage in being "normal"? Is there profit?)

Anyway, this kid is wildly funny, setting up a blog and doing what the woman in the movie did -- sort of.

I have wondered, before, if I could "talk" a movie. Just type on my blog all about a whole movie, and re-create the experience. But watching
the same movie
every day
for a year
typing in a blog post about it,
each day
had not occurred to me.

Am fan of Lawrence Dai.

Someone Commented on his blog,
don't you have something better to do with your life?
Lawrence Dai Replied -- No. No, I do not.


Friday, February 3, 2012

the way things are going

Standing in the dock at Southampton,
Trying to get to Holland or France.
The man in the mac said, "You've got to turn back"--
You know they didn't even give us a chance.
Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Finally made the plane into Paris,
Honeymooning down by the Seine.
Peter Brown called to say,
"You can make it O.K.,
You can get married in Gibraltar, near Spain" --

Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton,
Talking in our beds for a week.
The newspapers said, "Say what you doing in bed?"
I said, "We're only trying to get us some peace" --

Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Saving up your money for a rainy day,
Giving all your clothes to charity.
Last night the wife said,
"Oh boy, when you're dead
You don't take nothing with you
But your soul - think!"

Made a lightning trip to Vienna,
Eating chocolate cake in a bag.
The newspapers said, "She's gone to his head,
They look just like two gurus in drag", Christ,

-- you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

Caught an early plane back to London.
Fifty acorns tied in a sack.
The men from the press said, "We wish you success,
It's good to have the both of you back" - Christ
you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me

----------- "The Ballad Of John And Yoko"
Lennon / McCartney
released as a single, May 1969

--------------------------------------------- I do not have that song on a music CD, and am prevented from accessing You Tube -- (You Tube Deprivation! Repression! Cruel and unusual! Taxation Without Representation! "-Tion!"), but have the song in my head. It was bouncing through brain this morning, as I was setting out fresh Cat-food and Cat-water for Cat-man.

Cat-buddy, Chess-cat, Cat-man-du.

I think I'm going to Katmandu
That's really really
Where I'm going to
If I ever get out of here
That's what I'm gonna do

I think that's really where I'm going to
If I ever get out of here
I'm going to Katmandu.

I got no kick
Against the west coast
Warner Brothers
Are such good hosts
I raise my whiskey glass
And give them a toast
I'm sure they know it's true!

I got no rap against
The Southern states
Every time I've been there
It's been great

But now I'm leaving
And I can't be late
And to myself be true

That's why I'm
Going to Katmandu
Up to the mountains
Where I'm going to
And if I ever get out of here
That's what I'm gonna do

Oh, K-K-K-K-K-K-Katmandu
Really, really
Where I'm going to
If I ever get out of here
I'm going to Katmandu

I got no quarrel
With the Midwest
The folks out there
Have given me their best

I lived there all my life
I've been their guest
I sure have loved it, too.

I'm tired of looking
At the TV news
I'm tired of driving
Hard and paying dues

I figure, baby
I've got nothing to lose
I'm tired of being blue.

Ow! -- that's why I'm
Going to Katmandu
Up to the mountains
Where I'm going to
If I ever get out of here
That's what I'm gonna do

Wow! -- K-K-K-K-K-Katmandu
Take me baby, cause
I'm going with you
If I ever get out of here
I'm going to Katmandu.

Oh, take it away!

I ain't got nothing
'gainst the East coast
You want some people,
Well they got the most

And New York City's
Like a friendly ghost
You seem to pass right through

I know I'm gonna miss the USA
I guess I'll miss it every single day
But no one loves me here anyway
I know my plane is due

The one that's
Going to Katmandu
Up to the mountains
Where I'm going to
If I ever get out of here
That's what I'm gonna do...

Really, really, really going to
If I ever get out of here
If I ever get out of here
If I ever get out of here
I'm going to Katmandu

Ooh hoo hoo
Ooh hoo hoo
Oooh, yeah, yeah


--------------- Bob Seger


Thursday, February 2, 2012

writing in the desert

QUOTES used in Lee Silber's book,
Time Management For The Creative Person:

"The only limit to what you can achieve is the extent to which you can clearly define it."
-- Anonymous

"Just get it down on paper, and then we'll see what to do with it."
-- Maxwell Perkins (editor - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, etc.)

"If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse.
-- Walt Disney

"Never, never, never quit."
-- Winston Churchill

"Without discipline, there's no life at all."
-- Katharine Hepburn

"I'm always interested in the right things at the wrong time."
-- Andy Warhol

"Success rests with having the courage and endurance and above all the will to become the person you are, however peculiar that may be. Then you will be able to say, 'I have found my hero and he is me.'"
-- Dr. George Sheehan

"Every creative person is a duality or a synthesis of contradictory aptitudes."
-- Carl Jung

"Commandment number one of any truly civilized society is this: Let people be different.
-- David Grayson

"The triumph over anything is a matter of organization."
-- Kurt Vonnegut

"Creativity is a highfalutin' word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday."
-- David Ogilvy

"Our life is frittered away by detail....Simplify. Simplify."
-- Henry David Thoreau

"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast -- you also miss the sense of where you are going and why."
-- Eddie Cantor

"You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough."
-- Joe E. Lewis

"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."
-- Paul Hawken

"If you are working off the in-box that is fed you, you are probably working on the priorities of others."
-- Donald Rumsfeld

"Time is what we want most but what we use worst."
-- William Penn

"It is better to have a bad plan than no plan at all."
-- Charles de Gaulle

"Concentration is the secret of strength."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I enjoy writing in the desert. There are no distractions such as telephones, theaters, opera houses, and gardens."
-- Agatha Christie

"One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself."
-- Lucille Ball

"You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take."
-- Wayne Gretzky

Under the caption, "Motivation Boosters", some of the entries --

Make some changes. Redecorate....

Fake it till you make it. [Think, "success".]

Help others...

Find a role model or mentor you can turn to for advice and support.

Go one week without criticizing, complaining, or condemning.

Smile. A lot.

Put up signs that say "Yes!" all over your house.

Take action.

That one about "Yes!" makes me think of an interview with John Lennon that I read: when he met Yoko Ono at an art show in -- (Europe? Japan?) -- at her display, the viewer had to climb a ladder and then look into something. He thought it was going to say, "F--- you" or something, but it just said, "Yes". ...

"I've been on a calendar but never on time."
-- Marilyn Monroe


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

time management

"Time Management."
What an attractive idea.
I love to read about Time Management sometimes, and then other times -- I need to take the "time management" book and -- put it in the freezer.

Some of the things they -- ("they") -- tell you to do are not that realistic, plus one style doesn't "fit all" types of work, and types of personalities.

In my childhood my mother read the book Cheaper By The Dozen aloud to me, and when I was old enough I read it to myself. The dad in that book was a "motion study" expert (Frank Bunker Gilbreth) -- while the real highlight of the book, for me, lay in the humorous adventures of the large family of 12 children, I also absorbed the idea of the Motion Study expert helping people, making their jobs easier by cutting down on the amount, and difficulty, of the "motions" required to do the task.

"Efficiency expert" was also another word for that.

-------------------- Someone said, (loosely quoted), "When we buy books, we are imagining, on an emotional level, that we are buying the time to read them." A way to stretch out time -- or give ourselves more of it.

---------------------- On the sitcom "Mad About You" Paul Reiser would say, "That's two hours of my life I'll never get back" -- if it was something he didn't want to do. I walked out on the movie Kill Bill, thinking of Paul Reiser. ("I'm 35 minutes in; the mindless violence continues, machine-like; I'm out seven dollars, but if I stay to the end, I'm out seven dollars and two hours. Two hours of my life I'll never get back...!") And I went home to write, feeling as if I had not only made a Statement Of Protest which would teach modern Hollywood a thing or two (not), but also had magically extracted about an hour and twenty minutes of extra Time in Life, from the universe.

For a while in the 90s I was quite wrapped up in planners. Thought of Time Management in relation to my planner, and how Everything would now be Organized In One Place.

Now, into second decade of the 21st, I see people with their Phones-In-Hand, and wondered the other day if the Daily Planner business has suffered any because so many people now have "Everything" "Organized In One Place" -- on their phone.

Lee Silber wrote a book called Time Management For The Creative Person.

A segment titled "Left Brain / Right Brain" is topped with the quote,
"Break on through to the other side."
-- Jim Morrison

[excerpt]------- Each side of the brain processes information differently and has its own specialization, although at any given time you are using both sides of your brain. It's more a matter of emphasis than exclusivity. Still, we refer to linear thinkers as left-brain or logic-brain people. Right-brainers (artistic brain) tend to be more creative, visual, and emotional, although mathematical ability is located in the right brain also. The right-brain person is a divergent thinker in a one-track world, and at times this can be a struggle.

Nearly all the time management products on the market favor the left-brain thinking style, ignoring the needs of right-brainers. There's a simple reason for this: If you want to set up one system that's going to work for a lot of people, you're going to set up a left-brain system. Left-brainers learn patterns better, follow directions better, are better at details than right-brainers -- and they're more alike. Right-brainers would prefer to concoct their own unique time-management tools (which is a great idea, by the way) rather than conform to an existing system.

------------- [end excerpt]
I need to get a larger freezer. (No, only kidding....)