Monday, May 30, 2005

just 'a little damaged'

S. T. Coleridge
You are Samuel Taylor Coleridge! The infamous
"archangel a little damaged!" You
took drugs and talked for hours, it's true, but
you also made a conscious choice to cultivate
the image of the deranged poet in a frenzy of
genius. You claimed you wrote "Kubla
Khan" in an afternoon after a laudanum,
when you pretty manifestly did no such thing.
You and your flashing eyes and floating hair.
And your brilliant scholarship and obvious

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
brought to you by Quizilla

I've been tagged by Gina. so here goes.

1. total number of music files on my computer: 50.4 mb. I tend to delete older albums when I've burned a couple of copies.

2. I bought three cds last month in one gulp: If I Should Fall From Grace of God, The Pogues (kickass rollicking Irish punk rock led by the brilliant if terminally soused Shane McGowan); Flood, They Might Be Giants (in the phrase of Ira Robbins of Trouser Press [in an older print edition] 'they might be geniuses'); and Isn't Anything, My Bloody Valentine (lush noise by the progenitors of what became known as 'shoegazer rock'). all three cds were purchased to replace my wornout cassette tapes.

3. song playing right now: "Drown" by Smashing Pumpkins.

4. five songs recently played to death by me: "Moral Threat" by Social Distortion; "Living in Darkness" by Agent Orange; "Subterranean Homesick Alien" by Radiohead; "Angel" by Massive Attack; and "Trans-Europe Express" by Kraftwerk. of course these are in no order, and I tend to listen to entire albums rather individual songs, tho I do scan a lot for particular songs.

finally I must plug Live365 a collection of radio stations and streamcasts by all-types of stations and audiophiles organized by genres. I listen to this a lot when I'm surfing the net and/or writing.

now I'll pass the baton to Tom, Mark, and Alex.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Multi Tasking

I like being a househusband. while Nicholas naps, burned a cd of The Postal Service for a friend at the same time clicking thru several blogs this afternoon I noticed everyone seems to be talking about the new Star Wars flick. read a few reviews and it is supposed to be the best one since Empire Strikes Back. no one could possibly a bigger geek for the franchise than me, having been 10 yrs old when I saw the first movie, I was blown away. and yet, all the movies with the exception of Empire have been terrible disapointments. I don't have high hopes for this new film. George Lucas is not a genius filmmaker, even tho a few movies like American Graffiti and THX 1138, do have sublime moments.

even so, I'll catch up with the series. I avoided the last movie after throwing my empty popcorn container at the screen during the end credits of The Phantom Menace. it was fricking awful, and like bad testimony should be stricken from the record.

tonight going to the drive-in with my oldest friend. we probably won't catch Revenge of the Sith cuz when we go to the drive-in we just want to shoot the shit, drink beer, stuff our faces with chips, pizza etc etc. and soak up the atmosphere. any movie will do for that. perhaps we'll see the latest Exorcist film. it got a good review by Roger Ebert, and we all know about his expertise and love of horror films. or not. did find out recently that he wrote some scripts for legendary exploitation director Russ Meyer. now that is a recommendation.

I want to say how much I enjoyed Eileen's reading Tuesday night. it was my first reading since the birth of Nicholas. Eileen was an excellent reader, warm and pleasure-giving to my eyes and ears. her ideas on community are brilliant and would like to read more about them on her blog. also, had a terrific time talking with Jean and meeting Jim too. heard they got lost in Sac on the way home. it was a rainy evening and directions are something a native takes for granted. as many times I've been to SF I still don't know the city worth dog dookie. just point my car in the direction I want to go. and somehow manage to get where I need to go.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

the lovely Jean Vengua. Posted by Hello

me with Ms. Chatelaine. Posted by Hello

this here is the Lawyer-Novelist Jim Ryals with Eileen Tabios. Posted by Hello

here is me and on the right is Richard Hansen, publisher of 24th St. Irregular Press and the Poems-For-All series.  Posted by Hello

oh man, Eileen beat me to it, posting photos from her reading Tuesday night. but with help from Alex I'll attempt to post photos here for the first time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

a wonderful reading by Eileen last night here in Sac. great to meet her, Jean and Jim. full report tomorrow. also have photos so can anyone instruct me on how to post them.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I Wanna Be Sedated

fucking nerves are fried today. too much shit the past couple of days, without being specific at all let me just say I'se all knotted up.

okay, whatever; while feeding Nicholas today I watched again the dvd of Mark Young in conversation with Martin Edmond at the University of Auckland, NZ. watching and hearing these two wonderful writers was an antidote to my jangled state. Young's reading of his poems and banter with Edmond was a joy. Young is a rare writer, magic indeed. if it seems my words such as *joy* and *magic* are rather strong, then fuck it, cuz he is just that good. google him and see for yrself. dig!

in blogland I've been digging the writings of Gina Myers, Emily Lloyd, Joseph Massey and Jesse Crockett. I'll update my links later.

right now a Social Distortion video is on VH1 Classic's The Alternative. the song? Story of My Life, of course.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Gina Myers on a really (bad) cool movie.

Monday, May 09, 2005

I've not had this much time off from school or work since I was in high school. taking a two-month paternity leave beginning today to care for Nicholas. is it weird for a man to take leave to care for his child? I dunno, but certainly when I announced my intentions at the office to take the time for Nicholas when Anna returned to work after a sixth-month maternity leave, my decision was met with grumbling, and encouragement.

anyway, I've time for Nicholas, which is important, and in my spare moments to finish a few projects, including an interview with the poet Douglas Blazek. I certainly have time for movies of course, since one can be playing during feedings etc. etc. I do not make summer reading lists, but I do think of certain movies as summer fodder. and tho today's double-feature (not viewed consecutively, of course, but throughout the day since Nicholas needs reading time and playtime, and cuddling time) I do not think of as summer films (such as 60s beach films) they were a good intro to summer viewing.

the movies for today were Lifeforce, directed by Tobe Hooper and Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. . .the former is a goofy exercise in special effects and crappy storytelling (in other words, I liked it) from the man who horrified the world with the brilliant, but revolting, Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974, while the latter is a terrific zombie-styled flick about the end of the world from a virus that causes rage by the director who filmed the wonderfully black humored Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, an adaption from the novel by Scottish writer Irvine Welsh.

tomorrow's double-feature? perhaps I'll just watch trailers in my spare moments since I've a few disks that are strictly trailers. when I was a kid I'd watch the academy awards not because I cared for who won what, but because these were the days before dvds and vcrs and that was one way to watch trailers and film clips. I'll write about a few of my favorite trailers very soon.

Friday, May 06, 2005

it wasn't the end of the world. tho it sure felt like it, a little bit.

see, yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, a holiday associated with warm weather and the onset of summer. but the weather has been cool and rainy, a bit like fall. a bit out of season, and the day's date was 5/5/05.

I'm not normally superstitious about sequential dates or weird weather, but yesterday my buddy and I had lunch at the mall across the street from the office. it is a large outdoor shopping center, and like all shopping centers it has a central PA system that plays a kind of new age musak.

but for yesterday, my friend noticed a change in the volume of the music, and the piece that was being blasted at an industrial pitch. it was Barber's Adagio for Strings. Huh? so we sat there eating our sandwiches while being cosmically depressed. the music was presented to us as if the person in charge of the mall knew it was the end of the world, like the end of the movie The Elephant Man where John Hurt, as John Merrick, makes the conscious, and sober, choice to end his life by suffocation from his own betraying body. and when he does that by the simple act of going to bed the camera pans from Hurt to his window, and the stars above while Barber's music swells toward the end credits.

but then things got back to normal. the music was replaced with the new age stuff. the sun peeked from behind the clouds. and no one seemed to notice that the date was 5/5/05. we survived, again, somehow.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

become addicted to a new show, new to me at least, Wire in the Blood on BBCAmerica on Monday night. the premise of the mystery/drama is the life and work of criminologist cum profiler Dr. Tony Hill as he investigates serial killings in the UK.

last night the show was the bloodiest ever I've seen it. but instead of wallowing in gore, like some US dramas, its uses of special effects are very controlled and necessary to stream the story along. the episode last night, about chance, how life, living, seems to have no discernible patterns at all and that luck appears to rule. a killer used high-powered rifles to shoot innocent people on the streets because he needed a sort of godlike control. the idea that a killer plies his deadly skills because he must need to assert control over life and destiny is not a new one, I know. but the twist was Hill could not do an adequate profile because the sniper did not exhibit any kind of patterning. which is terrifying shit indeed. no patterns, no way to control or stop the sniper. which is what we all fear, chaos, utter helplessness.

there was a moment last night of sudden, inexplicable, violence that made me jump. a tv drama with that kind of bump is a rare thing. only gripe about it is the commercials, because they tend to break the tension that is so necessary to drama with their loud music and fast editing. drives me bonkers really. perhaps I'll have to get the dvds. anyway, when I was a kid I thought cable tv was commercial-free, because you paid for it, see. but no, you pay for all of it, the programming and the commercials.

Wire in the Blood is satisfying storytelling, much more so than Lost, which I've watched but feels so much like a bad come-on. Too much trickery bullshit to sustain my interest, without any pay-off. Lost seems like a really bad, surrealist Gilligan's Island. not that that's bad but keep teasing and there better be one good fucking conclusion.

today i feel like a potato chip
a lot of salt and fried to a crisp