Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Saw this in a local scenester newspaper in CT and loved the Lieberman aside. Also made me realize I do miss the old local rag Icon (or was it Ikon? No, that is a copy machine.)
I did get the latest reading schedule in mail from Writer's Workshop and the Fall lineup is loaded. Roughly in chronological order just hitting the highlights it looks like this: Marilynne Robinson, Zadie Smith, T.C. Boyle, Denis Johnson, Michael Chabon, Heidi Julavits, Jane Hamilton, Barry Lopez, Frank McCourt. I am sure some more will be on the Live fromPrairie Lights Fall schedule (Mark Danielewski for one) that aren't covered here although there is some overlap of the above.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
My nephew was a little apprehensive about meeting his uncle. He calmed down after a bit but was still somewhat leaky when took this snap shot. The family will send me some clearer pics soon. Also a niece is on the way as my sister is due in two weeks. My other nephew will be back in high school this year. The same one my sister and I attended, um...well lets just say several years ago.
I left CT around 10 in the morning yesterday to drive up to Albany to catch flight but due to delays and storms it was well over 1:30 am CST before I made it home. Really beat but will try and reconstruct a narrative about the week back East.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Spending the week in Albany for work. More on the visit to Cooperstown to follow later if I can weasel some internet access.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I was already excited about the new Pynchon coming out in December. I am now ecstatic about a chance to read a new Cormac McCarthy, The Road, due out next month (9/26). I am surprised it follows relatively quickly on the heels of No Country for Old Men. Not that I am complaining. Nice start to the fall publishing season.
Picked this up the other day and it sounds great. The fake names are gone this time around but the solid sound remains.
What is your Golden Smog name?
(Golden Smog's aliases were derived through the following formula: First Name = Middle Name, Last Name = Name of the street they grew up on). For example mine could be either Dexter Country Club or Dexter American Canyon (kind of lame actually). There are more here from an old contest when the previous album came out.
Some of the songs can be heard at their myspace page.
Older stuff still around here .
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
Picture if you will a beautifully orange tinted moon, nearly full, hovering over and reflecting upon the gently flowing Cedar River on a cool, breezy, summer night. That is what I attempted to capture. The results, as you can see, are somewhat less than described. I need to get a real camera.
My ex-neighbors invited us down to their cabin near Atalissa and it was relaxing chilling out by a fire near the water. They grilled some steaks, intially there were five, but due to a deft and hungry Great Pyrenees, only three made it to the grill. The dog had wolfed down the first two and was starting on a third when he knocked over the plate and alerted us to the theft in progess. Good times.
Last night we saw David Zollo at the Tuscan Moon in Kalona. The food was a little dissapointing, more for the price and selection but it was good. Not sure of I would be in a hurry to try it again though.
Friday, August 11, 2006
The quote is apropos of nothing. I just thought it was funny when I heard it on a King of the Hill rerun. Yesterday when I went home for lunch a package was waiting. Nothing like a letter or a surprise package of music to interrupt the steady flow of bills.
In the spring of 2004 I was working in Tucson for about a month and when not working or disrupting Juche Child's quiet family life in Chandler I managed to meet some cool people workin at our site. R (and his wife M.) dropped a whole bunch of live shows on me, introduced me to the music of Calexico, and took me along to see Ramblin' Jack Elliott at the Congress Hotel. (Dillinger was arrested after a fire broke out in hotel or something strange like that.) Thankfully, no photos of that evening exist. The only evidence, a scratched up cell phone that broke my fall. Details are fuzzy but I think mojitos were involved.
We have sporadically attempted to trade more shows but I am lazy and disorganized and it can be a time consuming process especially when one is lazy and disorganized. Anyway, I did finally manage to send some live shows to them several months after I downloaded them.
It was still a pleasant surprise to open the box and find a live Neko Case disc from the All Songs Considered show in D.C. (still available here to listen but not broken into tracks so if anyone is interested I can burn it but see above for how long that may take.) Also included in the care package was The Raconteurs (lovely throw back looking website reminds of me of my old Compaq) Jack White's other band, also someone I had not heard of Marianne Dissard (Tucson based chansonnier a la Edith Piaf accompanied by one of the Calexico boys), and the pièce de résistance (to keep up the tortured French motif), a Grateful Dead set from the U of Iowa Field House circa 1982. R. also tipped me off in advance about the upcoming Calexico show at the Englert and I was able to snag good seats.
I will work on list of shows I have and put it up here in case anyone is interested in some live stuff. Keep an eye out around the new year at the current pace. I am currently scheduled to return to Tucson for an extended stay Oct-Nov, just in time to spoil JuChe's Thanksgiving or least his Halloween. Enjoy the weekend. I am off to take the kittens to their first vet appointment. Oh, Joy!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
(AP) A Florida developer is pitching the Disney-like amusement park to go alongside a $300 million Army museum, which is expected to open near Fort Belvoir in 2013. The Washington Post reports the park would allow people to "command" the latest M-One tank or feel the rush of a paratrooper freefall.
The Army wants to move the museum to a piece of federal land that it says has space for the museum's hotel and entertainment complex. Although they have no authority over the federal project, local officials say roads in the area wouldn't be able to handle the resulting traffic.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Apologies to those who already been subjected to this and thanks to Juche Child aka The Pho King for passing on a slightly different version.
FYI: The Pho King family reunion is on the beaches of San Diego this year. Get your temporary adoption paper work in early. Details to follow.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Sometime in Summer or Fall of 1987 after a brief field exercise at Goodfellow AFB. (There is a slight chance this scene is from later in the same year at Ft Devens, MA but I don't think so. I wish I had clearly labeled my photos.) We were doing some military language instruction here for a couple months after DLI. It was quite a change of pace after a year of civilian instructors in San Francisco back to drill sergeants in San Angelo, TX.
It seems that brief periods of my life are photographed in detail while there are also complete years that go undocumented. Skip ahead to the Spring of 1993 and the annual Oozeball Tournament at UConn. Around 200 teams signed up to play volleyball in about six inches of mud. As I recall we did pretty well making it to the sweet sixteen or so before being eliminated in sudden death. With so many teams there was a lot of lag time between games where we could do a rough clean up and down some beers. Good times. (The identities of those pictured will be kept secret unless they step forward on their own.) Note the saranwrapped library in the background to prevent students from being hit by falling bricks from the recently completed construction. El Duderino has mentioned this building previously.
Friday, August 04, 2006
I was sorry to read that the oft troubled Arthur Lee, former front man to the band Love, lost his battle with leukemia and died yesterday in Memphis . One of my favorite pop albums of all time is Forever Changes. While never a big commerical success (refusing to tour didn't help) it seems that there has been a resurgance of his songs perhaps due in part to Wes Anderson's film soundtracks especially Bottle Rocket. My favorite cover of the frequently covered song Alone Again Or is the live version by Calexico.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Actually to beat the heat this weekend I went for a stroll with Chuck Palahniuk by sitting on sofa in the AC and reading Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk Around Portland, Oregon. It is part of Crown Journeys, a series of short books wherein authors wax eloquently about areas close to them. Coincidentally S. had just finished reading his book Haunted and was kind enough to share some of the more disturbing elements... an autoeroticism accident involving a swimming pool drain for example.
The Portland book is compelling with non-touristy suggestions for destinations and insider tips. It also contains brief intercalary Postcards from Palahniuks's life in the area over the past twenty years including being beaten up, participating in a Santa Rampage, and his first acid trip which can be read here. I was dissapointed not have made it to Portland while out in Seattle this spring but am glad to have read this book before my eventual first visit. I look forward to checking out other books in this series including Kinky Friedman about Austin, Roy Blount, Jr. in New Orleans (although that might need an updated version), or Iowa's own workshop mentor, the late Frank Conroy on Nantucket. (Another reading at Prairie Lights I missed.)
It would be interesting to have historical authors in modern cities such as Poe in the Fell's Point area of Baltimore battling tourists for a bar stool, Rimbaud in Paris trying to find a decent domestic absinthe, or Dickens sampling the fusion cuisine of modern London . Who else? Van Gogh in the hash bars of Amersterdam? Actually those were probably already there.