Thursday, November 30, 2006

Recent Readings

A painting by my brother-in-law, Leo, on display at Mystic Arts Center.

From The New Yorker's Shouts and Murmurs section. (Saunders is one of the best short story writers currently writing.)



Dear Ken:

Got your note, deeply honored. Being new to the company, really appreciate opportunity to outline some ideas for “Borat” DVD. As Josh mentioned, we do indeed have a wealth of footage that could be put to good use as DVD extras. In other cases, have taken liberty of suggesting some reshoots:

OPENING “VILLAGE” SECTION: How about a high-speed montage of the actual difficult, brutal lives of the villagers in Romania—the hours of debilitating toil, their oppression at the hands of their corrupt government, premature loss of teeth, death of infants, etc., etc.—culminating in a panning shot of the village on the morning of the day when they first realize they’ve been had, and that, as far as posterity goes, they will always be remembered, if remembered at all, as savages, rapists, prostitutes, etc., and they stumble out of their little sheds or whatever, looking traumatized? (Would be good if one or two could fall into depression/commit suicide as a result = confirmation of their “subhuman” status? Rich social commentary.)

ALT: The scene where the one-armed old man, many months later, weeps in his room at the memory of being tricked into wearing a sex toy on his arm. Priceless!

(Continued here.)

Mark McGwire

Good article by Jim Caple on whether or not Mark McGwire belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I agree with Caple, vote him in. He never tested positive while playing. All the rest is mere speculation and his cringe inducing appearance in front of Congress. I also think Pete Rose should be allowed in and then we can stop hearing about him. Forever.


The latest American Life in Poetry column by Ted Kooser has a touching seasonal poem.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The woods near the lake close to the house where I grew up in Ledyard, Conn.

"Just a quick one before I go." I am still organizing pictures and the work project is ending with more of a bang than a whimper but at least its ending. I did buy the new Pynchon, Against the Day, for the flight home and have read most of the blurbs about it which run from indifferent to enthusiastic with some claiming both at once. As to be expected I suppose.

I am convinced that bringing only this book along will be the best way to get over the hurdle of actually starting this thousand page monstrosity. His last one sat on my shelf for nearly ten years so I hope this approach works. I also think the Pynchon Wiki is a great idea and will be most useful.

We used to spend a lot of times in these woods. The lake (not shown) is where I basically learned to swim despite the leeches. There is a new street of houses that extends near the cemetery and they named it after the Captain above. They even put a path that leads partway to his grave marked by the flag. The woods seem to have shrunk far more than just the land being developed. It must also be in part that in our youth everything seems much larger than it actually is. (Trite but true as the cliche goes.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Back in the U.S.S.R."

Tucson anyways. It was a good trip home to see the family and some friends from high school and some others from college. Went by pretty quickly. On the way home I sat next to a nervous flier who was not to be put off by the headphones and book I was attempting to deter her with. It worked for a while until the double white Russians kicked in. Then all bets were off. I made it safely despite the turbulence both inside and outside of the aircraft the latter of which had initiated the Lebowski specials. I also have some more pictures of family and home to put up once I get my stuff organized.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

More of the Tailgate Party...

Sadly I did not get a Husky face tatoo...

A little chilly compared to Tucson but a beautiful day nonetheless.

A good breakfast is an important start to a long day of drinking.

UConn Tailgate Party

College friend Pat loading up for the early morning tail gate...

The new stadium....Go Huskies!

Husky mascot stopped by during the game

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mystic, CT

New London, CT

Eugene O'Neils former local pub currently owned and operated by member of local rock legends, The Reducers

The Coast Guard ship Eagle near the mouth of the Thames (long A sound)

Church on State Street (also a long A sound)

Even Superman needs a little rest sometimes...

Andrecito was worn out from Thanksgiving and saving the world...

I have never really used a Mac but I could get used to it. Playing around on with Photobooth on my sister and her husband's computer. This is the third time in a row that I brought torrrential rains with me on a visit to CT. Clear and beautiful out this morning. I will be trying to get some decent pictures of old stomping grounds. Friend from high school called me up and I am getting together with him and some others tonight.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Alice's Restaurant

Mom and Niece Daniela

Nephews John and Andrés

I am getting spoiled with rental cars its going to be tough going back to the '90 Corolla. This one has XM radio. Listened to the super long version of Arlo Guthrie's holiday song. It was a live recording on 30th anniversary of the orginal and included anecdote about going to Jimmy Carter's inauguration and Chip Carter informing Arlo that his record was part of Nixon's collection. Funny stuff but you have to let him tell it. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dateline: Dallas

DFW (Letterbox Edition)

Waiting for a flight home in DFW, a fellow traveller (insert own joke here) with an Admiral's Club membership brought me in on a guest pass.... Still tipsy from the wine upgrades... The anticipated overburdening crowds were overestimated as I experienced it. I did not have to wait in a lot of lines but I arrived at airport super early and was rewarded with over an hours worth of Aerosmith songs at an airport BBQ joint and not the good ones.

"One more cup of coffee..."

On my way to Phoenix last night I stopped off near Casa Grande to see a coworker/friend. His family lives in the area. This place is on the old Tucson to Phoenix highway and was supposedly popular with John Wayne and Bing Crosby both of whom lived in the area. It is one of those classic bar bars.

I am leaving my worries of work and laptop behind as I head to the airport this morning and eventually Connecticut. Will try to get some shots of the neighborhood. Safe travels to all of those wending their way home or wherever this weekend. Cue the music...

Monday, November 20, 2006

The so called 'little bastards' were noticeably larger when I took these on my return home the weekend before last and they were obviously overwhelmed to see me. This weekend I watched The Girl in the Café starring Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting, Gosford Park) and I was very impressed with her performance.

The film was an HBO production about a romance between young woman and a diplomat whom she accompanies to Iceland for G8 summit. The story at times was a touch heavy handed but I enjoyed it. After a little digging on IMDB it seems that Macdonald is going to be playing the female lead, Carla Jean, in the Coen Brothers adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. Looks like this could be worthwhile. (Knock on wood)

The climactic scene in the HBO film was moving but it also brought to mind an old joke recently circulating as an urban legend regarding U2 singer and future head of the World Bank, Bono. The following was sniped from

Bono, whilst playing a gig in Glasgow, got the whole crowd to be silent and then began slowly clapping his hands. He got the crowd to clap along for a while, the stadium quiet except for the rhythmic clapping...

After a short period Bono spoke, saying that everytime he clapped his hands a child in Africa died...

Suddenly, from the front row of the venue a voice broke out in thick Scottish brogue, ending the silence as it echoed across the crowd, "Well stop ****ing doing it then!"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

View from hotel of Santa Catalina Mountains

"Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets."

From the back seat of a ride home to serendipitously watch Taxi Driver before falling asleep.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Song for Autumn

In the deep fall
don't you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don't you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

Mary Oliver

Here are some shots of Southeastern Connecticut from a friend and a poem from the Poetry Daily archives that seemed apropos. I will return to the ancestral demesne this next time week for the holiday. Looking forward to see family, friends and some old haunts.

Friday, November 17, 2006

"Work is the curse of the drinking class."

On the way back to Iowa last weekend I was upgraded to first class for the first time ever and it was just like that Seinfeld episode. Except instead of a supermodel I sat very close to a seeing eye dog. It only lasted for a couple hours from Tucson to Dallas but I did get a Wee Brie which is really fun to say and was very yummy. As were the several glasses of wine and the mini-pizza that accompanied it. I had forgotten what it was like to be served food on planes since they eliminated meal service from coach.

I had been planning on an excursion to the Tucson dump tomorrow with a friend who is working on his house but I have to work instead which is not too bad since it might mean an earlier return home. I just hate the last minute notice. I also learned that it is best not to stop at a Macy's store on the way home from work still wearing a tie. After four people asked me if I worked in Men's Wear I fled.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

'Evil Empire' Move Over...

Daisuke Matsuzaka

Red Sox paid 50 million for the rights to make this young man very rich. Not sure if it is the right move or even the right position to be shelling out for this off season but I am willing to give St. Theo the benefit of the doubt. If it is designed to keep him out of a Yankee uniform and to establish the Red Sox in the Asian market it could pay off but it is still a hell of lot of yen to be risking. Makes me nervous. Lucchino must eat his own words now too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening. " -

P.J. O'Rourke

A little drowsy today as I stayed up catching the end of Million Dollar Baby shortly after I had finished watching the climactic court room scene from North Country. Not a viewing schedule I would recommend for the same night although both were very good especially the latter, compelling story told by an incredible cast and an excellent soundtrack heavy on Dylan.

I was catching up on the Writer's Almanac and read that today was P.J. O'Rourke's birthday and I realized I had not read anything by him since letting my Atlantic Monthly subscription lapse several months ago. He is one the funniest writers I have ever encountered. He was a perfect right wing gonzo libertarian counterweight to Hunter S. Thompson at Rolling Stone. Several years ago while visiting a friend in NYC I chanced to find out about a reading at some mega-book store nearby while I was in town and so I managed get a couple of his books signed. Naturally I picked up a copy of Republican Party Reptile for El Duderino.

According to one source O'Rourke is one of the most quoted humorists of all time and a quick search of the web will reveal some of his gems. His latest book about Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations is due out in January and I think its the first book that is not just a collection of previously published articles he has put out in a while.

Speaking of books no one reads anymore, today is the anniversary of the publication of Moby Dick. I would like to again recommend Frederick Turner's novel about Melville, The Night Inspector.

This Borat news item makes me a bit more leery of all the hype for this film. Still want to see it though. James Bond takes priority however.

The Last King of Scotland is supposed to be great as long as Forest Whitaker is on the screen. It is likely not to be shown back home until next semester on campus at the Bijou. There is a good book about a coffee heist set in Uganda during Amin's rule by Donald Westlake called Kahawa (Swahili for coffee). Not sure how hard this would be to find but Westlake does capers extremely well and assembles an assorted cast. It has been years since I read this so I hope it holds up to my memory of it. Westlake's son used to live in the Goosetown area and I remember meeting him through mutual friends. I was big fan of all his dad's comic crime novels especially the Dortmunder series and also his darker titles written as Richard Stark.

Monday, November 13, 2006

"Put on some old sad bastard music, see if I care."

Had to stop and see Jerome before I left town again (and K. and J. too of course)

"We move like cagey tigers..."

Half of Iggy's head and half of Hopper.

Difficult to coordinate the flash delay and cats at same time. This was also after stopping by the Dublin, T's place, and cracking open the Maker's Mark while waiting for a pizza. The camera eats batteries which I gather is why they tried to push the lithium batteries on me when I bought it. Will probably try the rechargeable option first but still it is upsetting when Duracells last for only a few shots.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand."

Gehryesque Sculpture/Arch in Terminal D of Dallas Fort Worth Airport

I feel like I just left for Iowa but I am already back in Tucson. Tempus fugit and all that. I have a few dozen new pictures of our cats to sort through. I will post only a few I promise.

I had a perfect book to read on the plane in honor of Veteran's Day, Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Dick Winters. In addition to recounting his version of events covered previously by Stephen Ambrose and the HBO mini-series he also gives his impression and views on what leadership, experiences, and how he managed to continue to exemplify in the role of combat leader under extreme circumstances. I still can't believe he survived leading from the front as he did. He is a model to live by.

I also noted the latest installment in the Det. John Corey series by Nelson DeMille, Wild Fire, was recently released. This highly entertaining series which begins with Plum Island, set not too far from my hometown in Connecticut, the locale being what first attracted me to the book. One of the other books in the series with the same character, Lion's Game was eerily prescient of terrorist attacks on US soil. Early novels revolve around Cold War, Vietnam, IRA etc... After getting hooked on the John Corey character I went back and read all the older ones, eventually. They may not be for everyone but they are a guilty pleasure for me. The first two chapters of his latest are excerpted on his website. And the NY Times has an article here. And they are perfect for airplanes so I may break down and get this one for the Thanksgiving travel nightmare to come. Blogger is giving me grief not sure if its working or not.
So I am going back to my movie. I forgot how good the supporting cast of Cool Hand Luke was or that after the egg eating scene that Luke looks like he is being crucified. What a great movie.

"Calling it your job don't make it alright boss."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Now batting for the Red Sox...Andruw Jones"

In my dreams pehaps, but the USA Today mentioned that the Red Sox could be looking at trying to add Atlanta slugger Andruw Jones to their outfield. Crossing my fingers. Hopefully Manny will stay or we can get more than fifty cents on the dollar if he is traded. Foulke looks like he won't be back. Still need a shortstop and a closer if Papelbon is joining the rotation. Wakefield and Timlin will be back. Please God don't let Timlin pitch in the World Baseball Classic again this year. We need him to make it through the whole season.

Starbucks exploded overnight into full Holiday sales mode. I don't want to hear any Reindeer songs or think Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I did notice that they are selling a new Sarah Mclachlan holiday song album called Wintersong which will likely be pretty good. Also there is a Santa Baby compilation of standard seasonal tunes with usual suspects Frank, Elvis etc.. and some new flairs thrown in Aimee Mann and the aforementioned Sarah. I will definitely be buying that one.

I just head Disney is making a film out one of my favorite teen books, The Bridge to Terabithia. It looks like they are focusing on the imaginary world part the story. I am fairly certain they will screw this up completely. It would be nice to be wrong though.

UPDATE: McSweeney's daily entertainment, I Would Like to Apologize To The Class by Wendy Molyneux is a must read. I almost blew Diet Coke out of my nose trying to suppress laughter in a quiet room with 40 people diligently scoring essays.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Introducing, for the first time here, ...Claire

Juche Child and child

Friday night I went down to see Robyn Hitchcock at the Hotel Congress and it was a intimate show but it was more comfortable sitting at the bar and having a better view of the stage from the reflection in the mirror. Especially since I had not really paid attention to any of his recent music except for various random appearances on80's compilations and a greatest hits cd that I remember buying from an online cd club.

The only song going through my head was his old indie radio hit, If You Were a Priest from when he was backed up by the Egyptians. Come to think of it that greatest hits record is at least ten years old and I am not sure exactly where it is any longer. Anyway, it was a very good show and he did a great cover of a Psychedelic Furs song, The Ghost In You. Since the venue is actually inside a hotel I ran into Mr. Hitchcock in the lobby while I was waiting for a cab. One of those awkward handshake deals while slightly tipsy and studiously trying to avoid fawning but still kind of cool moments. More about him later.

Saturday after work I drove up to the outskirts of Phoenix to rendezvous up with Juche and family. The eldest son had been dropped off at the grandparents and we dined with the perfectly behaved princess Claire. We ate at a place near their neighborhood, The Elephant Bar. A deceptively labeled joint as it was clearly a restaurant not a bar and their was no elephant whatsoever on the menu. I was disappointed about the lack of endangered species but the other option I chose (steak,beef) was very good.

After a wrestling match, we had a bottle of white and Mrs. Juche instituted a new wine veto rule. Juche is no longer allowed to be final arbiter for the vino selection. In the future, his preference will be duly noted and then subsequently ignored.

Waterfront park in Tempe

Sunday was camera shopping day for me. That was a comedy of errors due to the nature of the 'technical' assistance available at the mall stores that sell cameras these days. Afterward we decided to go check out the grand opening of the Phoenix Art Museum only to discover that the opening was still a week away and the Sunday paper article was a preview for the following weekend.

So instead we took a walk around the Tempe area pictured above and then had a nice lunch at Korean place. It seems the trend these days for Korean restaurants is to have a Japanese name and sushi option and the Korean dishes. Sound marketing I suppose. Awesome spicy squid in any case.

Elbows akimbo, the formerly lean not so mean fighting machines of the 1o2nd and 1o7th MI BNs and veterans of the 1989 Yakima Flyaway & Sierra Vista Tiananmen Reaction Force, as well as the 2004 Flagstaff Thunder Run, and the 2006 Bob Dylan San Diego campaigns. Ribbons yet to be designed.

Juche was in the Army almost a year before I was and I followed his path almost identically. We both went to language school in San Francisco, followed by more training in Texas, and Massachusetts before being assigned to Korea and the DMZ and then back to the States for assignment at Ft. Ord, CA.

After his discharge home to AZ , we hooked up down near Sierra Vista in 1989 while I was on temporary duty for a mission which to this day must remain classified. To protect the innocent and also because much of it is rather fuzzy. Although rumours of a video tape of this mission still abound, they have never been verified and the tape has never surfaced so all of this must remain speculation, mere or not. As it should. So after the wonderful lunch, I returned to Tucson and that is where I must take up this narrative again, but later.

"They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom."

Halloween Party at the Dublin

This is one of the things I miss about being on the road. Giving my friends shit in person. I love the Dublin Underground folk and their ball busting nature. For those of you not from the Iowa City vicinity the man on the right is not in costume, it's more of a uniform. Hence the gag.
He may be a Yankee fan from Solon but at least he likes the Replacements so he ain't all bad. The t-shirt on the left reads, My Other Car is a Fiero. Another inside joke.

I am currently working on a glass of screw top Big House Red from Trader Joe's (we need one of these in Iowa) and watching Field of Dreams on HBO , which would not be a bad night if I was not so far from home. It seems the fates and this film are conspiring to make me homesick for Iowa, my family and friends, and back East simultaneously. It's always "back East" for some reason.

"We're Still Having Fun..." (You gotta read this one from the bottom up)

(12:31 AM) I am getting sleepy. The Senate might be going Democratic, Montana has not called it yet but supposed to soon...

MSNBC just partially spoiled it for me. "For the people in Iowa the campaign season is not ending, its just beginning for the presidential race of 2008"

CNN called it for Loebsack. I think this race exemplifies how much of blowout this was, a first time candidate defeats long term incumbent. Jerry Brown in Cali? Cuomo in NY? It's like a time machine.

Lee County still has votes out but Loebsack leads that county 57 % to 43%... McCaskill and Webb have claimed victory...without concessions from their opponents.. Virginia way too close to call.... Harold Ford's concession was impressive. He will be back.

How many votes can be left? Watching the list of incumbents that lost. Dems look like they have a minimum of 24 seats and probably closer to 30. John Hall, one of the members from the band Orleans of the song "Still the One" took a House seat in NY.

McCaskill just took the lead in the Missouri race. Schwarzenegger is giving his acceptance speech. "I love doing sequels. Vat a great victory for the people of Kalifornia. "

In the outstanding counties Loebsack has a slight

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Still Too Close to Call

This is exciting. I hope Loebsack prevails.

"We're from I-o-way, I-o-way, That's where the tall corn grows."

I swear the Democrats of Iowa are blowing up my mobile like they were organized by the combined political machines of Jim Taylor, Earl Long, and Frank Skeffington. I can't wait for the election to be over. Arizona is a different political nightmare. Like California they have a ton of referendums on the ballot. So not only are you bombarded by candidates but Yes or No on a multiplicity of issues. For example there are two separate smoking propositions one favored by the non-smoking agenda and the other by bar owners etc... I do think the direct issue ballot is an underutilized option in most districts but some places tend to over do it.

TCM's theme last night was congressional movies and they picked the best. Before watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington I caught the end of the Billy Wilder film, Foreign Affair, which also features the above pictured Jean Arthur as a Congresswoman from Iowa. Great scene in which she is drunk and goaded by Marlene Dietrich into singing The Iowa Corn Song at some dive bar in post WWII Berlin.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Día de los Muertos

Sunday night I made it back from the Phoenix area and after starting some laundry I went downtown to meet some friends for the bonfire ceremony at the terminus of the All Souls Procession. I wish I had captured some shots of the people in costume. A lot of skeletons in face paint and some cool outfits. I will have to write up the weekend in detail later. Part of the problem taking pictures was my clumsy attempts at figuring out the timing of new camera, the distance, and the dark. This shot was an accident and the result of an unstable hand.
Somewhere between Phoenix and Tucson

I picked up a new toy today. I found a decent point and shoot camera at Circuit City for a very reasonable price and so far it seems to be almost idiot proof. Once I figure out the software etc.... I will post some pictures from a Day of the Dead ceremony we went to tonight downtown.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

If only he could change the setting from Los Angeles back to San Francisco and replace Sean Young

I ran across the following while catching up on blogs and following links until I forgot where I started from. I was not aware that the voice over was added by the studio or that Scott was essentially fired. I hope the theatrical version ends up at the Bijou. I remember seeing this at a second-run movie house, possibly The Red Vic. Didn't we we have this San Fran movie theatre discussion already with Churlita and Red State Librarian? Will Ohio still be red next week? Why am I talking to myself? Inquiring minds want to know. Tune in next week for as the Congress turns.

From SCI FI Wire...

Warner Home Video will issue a new remastered director's cut of the classic SF movie Blade Runner in September (2006) now that it has cleared up rights issues, followed by a theatrical release of a version promised to be truly director Ridley Scott's final cut, Variety reported. Warner's rights to Blade Runner lapsed a year ago, but the studio has since negotiated a long-term license.

The movie has a troubled history. When Scott ran over budget, completion bond guarantors took control of it and made substantial changes before its 1982 theatrical release, adding a voice-over and a happy ending. That version was replaced by the much better-received director's cut in 1992, but Scott has long been unhappy with it, complaining that he was rushed and unable to give it proper attention.

Scott started working on the final cut version in 2000, but that project was shelved by Warner soon after, apparently because the studio couldn't come to terms with Jerry Perenchio over rights issues.

The restored "director's cut" will debut on home video in September and will remain on sale for only four months, after which time it will be placed on moratorium. Blade Runner: Final Cut will arrive in 2007 for a limited 25th-anniversary theatrical run, followed by a special-edition DVD with the three previous versions offered as alternate viewing. Besides the original theatrical version and director's cut, the expanded international theatrical cut will be included. The set will also contain additional bonus materials

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Excerpt from the Sport's Guy

Packers (+3) over BILLS

Only because I'm excited for the whole "the Packers are 4-4, Favre is back" scenario that
I spelled out last week.

Hey, speaking of aging icons who need to hang it up, how 'bout Bob Barker announcing his retirement this week?!?!?!?!? We lose Red Auerbach, Mr. Eko and Bob Barker in the same week? I can't wait for the week to be over. Anyway, I have three thoughts on this one ...

1. Replacing Bob Barker is going to be like replacing Dean Smith or Vince Lombardi ... why even try? They could replace him with Jerry Seinfeld and people wouldn't be happy. It's a disaster in the making. Just cancel the show. It's the only way.

2. Two years ago, my parents were visiting and we had dinner at a restaurant in Santa Monica ... and wouldn't you know it? Bob was eating about three tables away with three other people who looked to be a combined 350 years old. So when the check came, Bob handled the check, only he noticed something that seemed off, so he called the waiter over and the two of them spent about 30 seconds going over something in the bill. And the whole time, my family was restraining me from screaming stuff like, "Lower! Lower!" and "I'm telling you, the price is NOT right!" And you wonder why I still live in California.

3. My buddy Gus and I have had a running joke since forever -- any time someone dies, retires or gets traded who meant something to the other guy, we'll either call or e-mail just to ask, "How was the So-and-So Era for you?" And usually, that's followed by a response like, "It was great -- thoroughly enjoyed it" or "A little disappointing, I really thought he would be an All-Star." So here was Gus' response to my "How was the Bob Barker Era for you?" e-mail last week, which somehow summed everything up:

"It's in my top five all-time eras. I mean who gave me more enjoyment than that guy? I scheduled college classes around being able to watch the show. He could make the putt every time. He had the beauties and he showed men everywhere that going gray was not a big deal. He and Gene Rayburn made the long mic fashionable well after most hosts gave it up. He was funny and charming. Quite an era, indeed."

(Of course, I would have added, "And he even banged a couple of the Showcase models in his '70s!" ... but Gus is much classier than me.)

Yeah, I know I keep talking about Bill Simmons but I think a lot of people just tune out sports writing and treat it as a sub genre. He overdoes the same tropes occasionally but is still a solid and funny writer/analyst from a fan's perspective and he roots for Red Sox and Patriots. If he was a Yankee fan nobody would read him. Yankee fans have no sense of humor. The rest of his weekly NFL picks column including why he hates the Colts and the commercially ubiquitous Peyton Manning is here. This year he has a running competition with his wife (Sport's Gal) picking teams with the spread and she is currently in the lead. She also gets space to for a weekly rant/rave. Good stuff. Red Sox fans need to buy or at least read his book, Now I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox .

I am heading to Phoenix to visit some friends and to get the hell out of this hotel for a day or so.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Buddhist Barbie

In the 5th century B.C.
an Indian philosopher
Gautama teaches "All is emptiness"
and "There is no self."
In the 20th century A.D.
Barbie agrees, but wonders how a man
with such a belly could pose,
smiling, and without a shirt.

Denise Duhamel

I swear I was only in the book store to pick up one specific book. But it caught me eye. The Warhol image, the familiar series title -The Best of American Poetry, the guest editor -Billy Collins etc... I was sold. The poem above is not from this book although she does have one in it. I was not familiar with her work and so I looked for more. Which is another reason I ending up buying the book.

I am off to go check out Robyn Hitchcock, someone I listened to back when I joined the service, at the Club Congress, a venue I visited also while I was in the Army but near the end while I was on temporary assignment at Ft. Huachucha, easily the best two months of my enlistment that weren't spent in school or on leave. I need to learn how to use commas or just get rid of them. Fuck it. Must take it relatively easy tonight as work beckons again in the morning because we are already a week behind schedule. ad astra per aspera