Wednesday, February 28, 2007

International Incidents


Wang Ping asks if
we went to a seder
last night
She did,
in Minneapolis
No, I say, we're not
as though we constantly
overlook details


The teachers in the lounge
crowd around the
Swedish visitor
You must be very proud
one of them beams
to be Swedish
She has no idea
what that means
She says,
I don't _dislike_
being Swedish


Who's ever met a Bulgarian?
he would shout in the bar
Then one night
two homely blond sisters
smiled and said
_We_ are Bulgarians!
They smiled for two weeks
then went away forever

Robert Hershon
Calls from the Outside World
Hanging Loose Press

The above is a poem that was retired from Poetry Daily archives last week.

Besides a bedpan I did acquire some other birthday loot. K. introduced me to the The Singing Loins with a double cd of their ballsy Celticish folk songs. (Check out their web site for some mp3s. )

I had to treat myself for the upcoming baseball season so I bought a Red Sox replica road jersey. I might have an opportunity to wear it at some Spring Training games in Phoenix or Tucson in a few weeks.

Since we are 'Talkin Baseball', I should mention that I had a good $3 find at The Book End yesterday. A hardcover copy of Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy by Jane Leavy. One of the better sports books or just plain books I have read about one of the classiest guys inside and outside of baseball. Jane Leavy does a wonderful job seperating the man from the myth and uses intercalary chapters to recap his perfect game from Sep. 9th, 1965.

Red State Librarian sent me this link to a Korean Food Journal. Hmmmm spicy squid. I feel a trip to Aoeshe for lunch coming up.
My friends treated my 40th birthday with grace and good taste. Especially the gifts.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Assassination of Little Tree

Cats and plants are sometimes not a good mix.

I woke up one morning last week to find this crime scene in the kitchen. The prime suspects were sound asleep when picked up, literally, for questioning. It seems to be true that it is the guilty who sleep soundly. There was evidence in the water bowl that the culprit had attempted to clean up afterwards. The tree has been moved to the laundry room and after a few pints of soil is in stable condition.

I managed to survive last week's birthday celebration..barely. I will try and keep up some postings a little more frequently. Bookwise I have been working my way through Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer detective one critic pointed out Macdonald essentially wrote the same book over and over but it was a very good book.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The wedding party photo from my parent's wedding in Honolulu, May 1965.

My grandfather was stationed in Honolulu for his civil service assignment and so my mother attended high school and business school there and met my father who was in the Navy.

My paternal grandparents John & Hilda with my Uncle Frank and his fiance shortly before his wedding in West Palm Beach. My Aunt Gerry still lives in this trailer where photo was taken.

My maternal grandparents (Roy and Alice) arriving in Tokyo (Aug 23 1969). My grandfather was working for the government and they traveled quite a bit.
My first Santa Pub Crawl...literally.

I have some more pictures of my parents and grandparents that I want to put up as a way of thanking them for my being brought into this world. It will take some time however and I must devote myself now to actual work if I want to leave here today and celebrate. A gathering at the Dublin Underground is scheduled for this evening. See you there. I will get those pictures up if I can though.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Nobody Does it Better"

St. Valentine Baptizing St. Lucilla Jacopo Bassano

Sonnet XXIII

As an unperfect actor on the stage
Who with his fear is put besides his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart.
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love's rite,
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
O'ercharged with burden of mine own love's might.
O, let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love and look for recompense
More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.
O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.

William Shakespeare
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Obligatory Cat Picture of the Month

Extremely bored from posing for one shot too many.
David Sedaris has an essay online about wild flowers and weed at The New Yorker. This is one of the stories he did in his show in Cedar Rapids in the fall and I imagine it will appear in his next collection.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I added this site back to list of blogs (that word still grates). If I recall it was Ondine who first clued me into this site. I was catching up on the archives and there was a post about a short film clip which incorporates some of the graphs and charts. It is pretty cool. Although the narrator sounds like Werner Herzog from Grizzly Man and I keep excepting to see an animated graph about one's proximity to starving bears and the likelihood of being eaten. I think there is a correlation but I am no mathematician. The site for film is here. A direct link to movie is here. You need Quicktime/Itunes to run it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Last Picture Show

Grant Wood...

Overall I would say I was underwhelmed by our trip to the Figge. There are some good pieces there but the museum as a whole seems to suffer from an identity crisis. A very modern building with an eclectic but not very modern collection. It all depends on what the visiting or rotating exhibit is. We saw a bunch of quilts. Definitely check it out before going. We did luck out as the day we went there was no admission fee.

They did have some cool things for kids. They had easels and paper set up in the Winter Garden overlooking the river for sketching. And there was an interactive room with fancy architecture blocks.

...and Grant Wood's chair and table.

I took a few more pictures before security informed me that photos were not allowed. There are some good things in the permanent collection such as a Durer engraving and a Bierstadt painting of waterfalls but it is mostly a muddled hodge-podge of styles. I think we expected more modern art to go with the modern building and some photography, design etc. The chair above is in the collection but the design/museum store in the lobby is selling the Eames Lounge Chair. (My birthday is coming up so if anyone has six grand for a chair it's on the wish list.) Anyway I would definitely go back (in warmer weather) if there was a decent exhibition offered.

The Iris Dement/Pieta Brown show was very good although a little steep at 30 bucks a pop. Pieta sounded better than I remember and she of course was paired with Bo Ramsey who is always sublime backing her up. I can't recall the last time I saw Bo do a solo show although he did have a new album of blues covers out. Apparently Greg Brown was in the audience but alas my hoped for duet did not occur. Iris' set was almost identical to her Englert performance but still worth hearing again. She is comically neurotic and her stage banter plays off of that. Iris also has some great new songs about her mother, her marriage, and her husband etc... so I wish she would just record them and release an album. She sang a couple of amazing covers, Johnny Cash's I Still Miss Someone and Greg's The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home.

I liked the cabaret seating of the River Music Experience even if the energy seemed a little better at Englert and if the weather was better I would be inclined to return this weekend to catch Alejandro Escovedo. We managed to avoid the river boats and gambling completely. Not sure how that happened.

More Scenes from the Museum

Feast of the Patron Saint by Franklyn Gile Latortue

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

View from the Winter Garden of the Figge

Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Birthday Elmo

My nephew Andrés sporting Elmo.

I was watching The Today Show before leaving for work. Elmo appeared on the show because it was his annual 3rd 1/2 birthday and to promote a literacy campaign. He also squeezed in some time for some serious macking on news anchor Ann Curry. Check out the video from Today show website.

Heading to Davenport tomorrow to explore the Figge and to see/hear Iris Dement & Pieta Brown at the River Music Experience. (I keep hoping Greg will show up at one of these shows and join Iris for a couple songs.) Naturally I also had to pick the coldest weekend of the winter to make this trek to the Mississippi.

Browsing the shelves recently revealed some great finds at the library's used book store as well as some eye catching titles from the library's new book shelves most notably Celia Rivenbark's Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: And Other Words of Delicate Southern Wisdom.

I didn't check it out but made note of it for the future. I did grab another verbosely titled book, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose. She breaks down close reading advice with excerpts from other works and has a list of suggested books to read as she puts it "immediately". A list is always a good place to start arguing and she provides ample fodder by inclusion(Franzen) or omission(McCarthy) for such discussions.

Enjoy the weekend.