Tuesday, November 29, 2016

An open and smut case

Ha ha, no.

Talk about being worried about the wrong thing. The man's no doubt got some nefarious plans, but against the adult film industry? Doubt it. The man's been on a permanent bachelor party binge for at least the last forty years. Not to mention being supported by Russia, which is the Wild West of the sex industry. He'll let the semen-smudged cameras keep rolling.

Now if Mike Pence becomes President...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Loud and proud

I find it can be kind of fun to read poetry aloud. Getting a feel for how it should sound, how the sound helps it mean. You don't need, by the way, to worry about where a line ends. If something looks like a sentence, read it as one.

You can do this in a lot of coffee shops and other public hangouts, I find. Of course you don't want to disrupt anyone else's conversation, but you can get a rhythm going and not bother anyone. Not sure about public libraries, though. Technically it seems like something they wouldn't like, outside of a special area. The one nearest me has totally hoisted the white flag on cell phone use, though, so why draw the line here?

Friday, November 25, 2016

It is Berry Season again

Well hello. The blog continues apace, even if I may have forgotten it for a bit.

Among other things, 2016 has felt like a rougher year than usual for losing vital musicians. Objectively true? I don't know, but between Bowie, Cohen, Prince, Sharon Jones and a few others, the losses have hurt.

So yes, the news that Chuck Berry is not only alive and about well at 90 but is working on a new album does come as a relief. Berry has been playing rock 'n' roll since before anyone thought to call it that. He could have gone away in 1960 and never been forgotten. In terms of new music he pretty much did so in the late seventies. For him to decide that yes, he has something more to say is a stroke of luck on our part.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The big drop

Friday and much of Saturday were basically mild summer days, as annoying as that might be. Yesterday (Sunday) and today have been howling winter. In between have been maybe a few hours of fall on Saturday night. This is the damnedest week.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I have thoughts in my head. Yes, not too unusual at that. They're not settled. They're not quite ready to be discussed yet. But they may be, soon.

This has been a most useful update.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Health update

Been somewhat under the weather this week. The first week after you become unemployed is in some ways an inconvenient time to catch a cold, because looking for work takes time and energy. On the other hand there are fewer hard deadlines. Oh well, I have at least managed to get my name out to a few places.

Also, next week my first prescription glasses come in. I'm oddly excited about this. The optometrist gave me an idea of how things will look when I wear them, and it promises to be much clearer. And I certainly won't mind how they make me look, all distinguished and proflike.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Well, it's not great that my first post in a few days - due to a cold and some other stuff - is another in memoriam for a great musician who's left us. But there it is.

Mose Allison, late of Mississippi, is no more. But there's still the music, and that voice. Those make the world a brighter place, still.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


I wonder if anyone has ever tried being a nighttime street musician in a residential neighborhood. You know, open your saxophone case on a sidewalk near a bunch of houses around 11:30 at night or later. Pick it up and start blowin'. Wait until someone comes out and pays you to move it along. It probably wouldn't work out well for you, but the temptation has to be there.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Meaty Montreal Musique

The roots of the recently late Leonard Cohen were weirder and darker than a lot of people even realize.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Some reminders for my fellow people of European descent:

Yes, it does look like we're declining, or shrinking as a portion of the overall population. Productive or not, it's inevitable some are going to freak about this.

But if your concerned about your family's wellbeing, there's a fix. Recognize universal human rights. Accept that everyone should be able to live how they like. "Everybody" will include you, your children, your' children's children, etc.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


This is a lovely bit of magical realism from the late great Southern Poet Randall Jarrell. In the original the second and fourth line of every stanza are indented. There's an HTML way to accomplish this but I'm too lazy to figure it out now. Hopefully the point stands.

The Black Swan
When the swans turned my sister into a swan
I would go the the lake, at night, from milking;
The sun would look out through the reeds like a swan,
A swan's red beak; and the beak would open
And inside there was darkness, the stars and the moon.

Out on the lake a girl would laugh.
"Sister, here is your porridge, sister,"
I would call, and the reeds would whisper,
"Go to sleep, go to sleep, little swan."
My legs were all hard and webbed, and the silky

Hairs of my wings sank away like stars
In the ripples that ran in and out of the reeds;
I heard through the lap and hiss of water
Someone's "Sister ... sister," far away on the shore,
And then as I opened my beak to answer

I heard my harsh laugh go out to the shore
And saw—saw at last, swimming up from the green
Low mounds of the lake, the white stone swans:
The white, named swans ... "It is all a dream,"
I whispered, and reached from the down of the pallet

To the lap and hiss of the floor.
And "Sleep, little sister," the swans all sang
From the moon and stars and frogs of the floor,
But the swan my sister called, "Sleep at last, little sister,"
And stroked all night, with a black wing, my wings.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Let's call it a joke

Q:: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A:: The chicken does what it does. The chicken feels no need to explain its actions to you or anyone else. You just have to trust the chicken, or don't.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A moving story

I recently had some business with the local DMV. Well, some of the business is still ongoing. Anyway, I'm learning that this particular institution's reputation for bureaucratic sadism isn't entirely unearned. Then again, it does help you appreciate when you deal with one of the good ones.