Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fish story

In creatuve endeavors, as in so many other things, there's nothing sadder than the one that got away. Having an idea, a plan that seems like it could work out great, and then just falls apart.

That's happened to me a few times. Just recently happened again. It was a weird idea for a story, spooky and mindbending. But I failed to put the time in when I should have, and for now at least I've lost the thread.

Maybe not a total loss, though. There still is a decent scene between a mother and a daughter, both from an Italian Catholic family. Of course for obvious reasons I've never been a mother, I've never been or had a daughter, and I'm not Italian. But I like to think "write what you know" only applies if you define knowledge as a humble willingmess to learn.

Anyway, here's to priorities.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chattery teeth

Dental cleaning occurred today, and of course this is also the occasion for a checkup. (Unless the hygienist keeps her eyes closed.) Anyway, there was a minuscule amount of blood. Hardly any pain. After the last cleaning I picked up the habit of policing my gumline as if it had received a bomb threat. Apparently that's worked out.

An experience I'd recommend to all my friends.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Better luck Friday Random Ten

Last weekend we got our first big snowstorm of the winter. Since the temperatures rose to about 50 on Monday and we've had a lot of rain, most of that snow is gone now. I didn't mind the snow, or the cold, really. What sucked was we got six inches or so on Saturday. Nobody really likes to work on Saturday to begin with, so the weather was an excuse to close everything, or not open it in the first place. So with tomorrow not looking snowy, I can hopefully have breakfast where I choose and go to the library at least. And knock on wood the next blizzard will be on a Monday.

1. Kendra Shank - Gone
2. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings - When the Other Foot Drops, Uncle
3. Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
4. Brian Eno - Through Hollow Lands (For Harold Budd)
5. Reading Rainbow - Runaways
6. Beck - Broken Drum
7. U2 - Babyface
8. Harry Nilsson - Salmon Falls
9. The Beautiful South - You Keep It All In
10. Nick Drake - At the Chime of a City Clock

Who told you...

Serpent: Hey Adam.
Adam: Whuzzat, man?
Serpent: You might want to clean that spot on your shirt.
Adam: (looking down) What are you talking about? I don't have a spot on my shirt. In fact it doesn't look like I'm... HEY!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When behind-the-scenes is better than most scenes

This is an excerpt from The Muppets on Puppets. It's a first-person documentary that Jim Henson made in Pennsylvania in 1968. Keep in mind that this was several years before The Muppet Show existed and a little before his work could even be seen on Sesame Street

In itself, seeing Frank Oz with a full head of hair is almost worth the price of admission. But seeing them turn that baaic puppet into a handful of completely different characters just by rearranging the features? Priceless.

A crucial part of the creative process is fluidity: the ability to change in midcourse and find something better, or more fitting. Henson had it in spades.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shopping follies

If you;re not a big football fan, there's something weirdly illuminating about grocery shopping on Sunday. First of all I don't need to watch any games on TV to find out how they're going. It's a big year for the Patriots, so so updates are everywhere.

But back to grocery shopping. There were a lot of men and couples out anxiously looking for gametime snacks. It was not a day to be loitering in the nuts, chips or salsa area.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Service advisory (again)

Might need a couple of days away from posting here. I plugged in my laptop tonight and a spark flew from the cord. Not too surprisingly the 'chine isn't charging now. I've sent away for a replacement AC adapter. All should be well then.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

That dream

Last night on WGBH - which I can still get on my computer at least - I heard most of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. Between his eloquence, his vision, and his delivery it's not too hard to see how this man moved mountains.

I had to wonder about the effect a speech like that would have in our current multimedia involvement. The entire thing would have been on YouTube, as well as the sites of all the big news organizations, within minutes. And within minutes of that the commenters would have come in with "More liberal whining. Yawn" and almost certainly some thinly veiled racial stuff.

So on balance would that kind of exposure be good or bad? I honestly don't know. We have gotten used to experiencing the world in smaller-than-life proportions, though.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Note to self Friday Random Ten

At some point this extended holiday weekend, I'll proably call myself at work. That's something I do when I think I might need to be reminded to do something. Plus you never know, I might catch myself by surprise one of these days.

1. U2 - Dirty Day
2. Brian Eno - Backwater
3. Tom Waits - Hell Broke Luce
4. Tori Amos - Not the Red Baron
5. Nick Drake - One of These Things First
6. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Long Hot Summer Night
7. The Clash - I'm Not Down
8. The Magnetic Fields - Love In the Shadows
9. Harry Nilsson - It Is He Who Will Be King (Outro)/Daybreak
10. Kendra Shank - Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fun with coins

3. Sometimes state quarters were wondering if it’d be cool for them to bring a couple bros along? (New Jersey)

For quite funny, illustrated context see here.
One thing that just struck me. The Iowa quarter has a schoolhouse(?), tiny people planting a tree, and the words "Grant Wood." The name is just floating there. No picture of him, no "American Gothic" pastiche. It's like they're saying "Grant Wood came from here. Uh, don't ask us for proof."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Full day, between regular work in the morning, my volunteer job in the afternoon, and a quick jaunt to the grocery store after that. It's the second that's probably the most eventful. After going in I learned that I'd be doing a different job in a rather different department. Interesting.

During much of this time I was kind of achy all over. Probably it just means I slept wrong. As time wore on the ache worked its way up into my head. Yes that made it a headache, and no I wasn't happy about it. It was a relief to get home, take some unAspirin and stretch out for a quick nap. There's a rejuvenating effect to getting up after a headache lifts.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I pity the fool! No, wait, wrong guy

Has anyone out there reading this blog seen this movie? I haven't, but at some point I'm going to have to put it on my schedule. I mean, it sounds like it's excessive and disjointed, but if you're talking Dr. Seuss excessive and disjointed these may be virtues. There have been animated films based on Seuss' works, but his imagination hasn't much found its way into the live-action sphere. I've heard absurd rumors about a Cat in the Hat movie with Mike Myers, but I refuse to credit them.

Hans Conried apparently plays the title character. Between this and being the voice of Snidely Whiplash, he would seem to have a niche.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Proboscular Friday Random Ten

I wore a strap-on plastic nose today. Not all day, but for a few minutes. At work. I was wondering if it would get a laugh out of this guy, if I just had it on and didn't say anything about it or act like anything was funny. This involved waiting a few minutes until he got back from lunch, and since it sort of pinches, this required patience. Got a laugh, though. As far as I know, the target has never seen A Clockwork Orange or the nose might have had some disturbing echoes.

1. The Magnetic Fields - It's a Crime
2. Joe Jackson - Got the Time
3. Soul Coughing - I Miss the Girl
4. R.E.M. - Good Advices
5. Tom Waits - New Year's Eve
6. Nancy Wilson - My One and Only Love
7. Mika - My Interpretation
8. Reading Rainbow - To My Gemini
9. The Kinks - End of the Season
10. Brian Eno - Kurt's Rejoinder

Do the hustle

One funny thing here is that if you don't know comics at all, you might think that the makers of this video made up the Dazzler. But no, she's real, or at least real within the context of the Marvel universe. She's even been a member of the X-Men. In terms of the voice/laser thing, it's sometimes a legit superpower, depending on who's writing and what kind of mood they're in. And she only wore the silver bell bottoms and disco ball pendant for the first couple of years. Of course her reputation from that time has followed her, so no, a movie probably isn't in the cards.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Revolt of the machines

If I'm not careful, this could read like an FMyLife post. (BTW, as I write this their front page is dominated by genuinely moronic actions. It's not usually like that.) In any case, I woke up around 8 this morning. My clock radio, to the tune of about $50 if you count the warranty, is supposed to go off at 6. It went off never. So in addition to being late for work for something that would make me sound like a fool if I told anyone about it, I had to reset it and make sure the audio was working when I got home tonight. Still have no idea what its deal was. Why wouldn't HAL open the pod bay door?

Monday, January 2, 2012


It can be frustrating when someone with good ideas and/or intentions makes a mistake that could cause them to be taken less seriously. Case in point.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I for one have grown very weary of "COUNRTY CLUB POLITICS". The Center for Responsive Politics at OpenSecrets.org, states that "about 1 percent of all Americans are millionaires. In Congress that number regularly hovers, between 40 percent and 50 percent, meaning elected leaders generally need not worry about the economic pressures many Americans face - from securing gainful employment to grappling with keeping a family

Now I'd say he's got a pretty strong point here. And if I lived in Texas, there's a pretty good chance that I'd vote for this man. But misspelling one of the all-caps words makes his campaign look amateurish. And in politics, no one likes an amateur.

Fix, please.