December 28, 2008

December 14, 2008

holy crap...duck!!!



yeah, that happened...i gotta say, as entertained as i am by this...i hope this guy is arrested and tried for assault...no matter how much i dislike george bush, he is the president of the United States...you might not respect the man, but the office deserves a certain level of respect...also...as i watch this i think...what a sad, sad man...

December 11, 2008

my year in music...2008...

thank goodness for pandora, emusic, and last.fm...my music life this year was far richer because of them...they introduced me to new music, allowed me to listen to free samples and made it easy to download and own the music i wanted...without any drm...

there are year end lists everywhere...and they're mostly the same...critics herd like everyone else...some bon iver...a little of the roots...a dash of beck...a sprinkle of gnarls barkley...nick cave & the bad seeds...maybe even some atmosphere...let's see if i can learn you some new...ish...flavors...

locally grown...

i've previously raved about eric shiveley's movie...everyone but you...


...even if he never bothered to buy a camcorder to record his extraordinary journey...the soundtrack he recorded stands alone as an excellent album...

don't just take my word for it...he's got an award to prove it...

eric's not the only one doing good work...andy ard is creating more excellent pop tunes...


Andy%20Ard
Quantcast
and katey sleeveless is making an intriguing sound down in alamosa...



on the club tip...bobby collins is opening for Z-Trip the day after Christmas...if you have something else to do that night, cancel...kid just dropped his latest mix in my inbox...damn...good...stuff...here's a bite...

and here's one of the reasons why i love living in Denver...one friday night ms. scribe and i wandered into a bar on colfax and found ms. elizabeth rose entertaining a full room...there are so many undiscovered talents in this town...you never know when or where you might find someone new...


my favorites of 2008...

i have to be honest...i cannot stop listening to in rainbows...i managed to pry myself away from the radiohead classic long enough to stumble across three acts that just keep knocking my socks off...

Busdriver

even with multiple internet sources for finding music, there's a lot of stuff that i miss...especially in hip-hop...so it's no surprise that the best new rapper i heard this year came to me through word of mouth...a lot of mcs and djs like to claim their music has jazz roots...most of them just sample a funky jazz hook and call it a day...they don't really know what jazz is...much less what improvisation means... Busdriver is the real deal...his flow can shift from smooth to whimsical to angular and aggressive...and back again...Busdriver spits rhyme like Mingus plays bass...if you don't believe me...start with Cosmic Cleavage...if you like that, just go ahead and get everything else...i did...

The Dirtbombs

i enjoyed last year's Icky Thump, so i went digging around emusic for more White Stripes...and found a lot of great garage music...especially the dirtbombs...who go way beyond garage without straying from a pure rock and roll ethos...
i especially like that this is a rock band lead by a black man that doesn't make a big deal about it...and doesn't ignore it either...

i'll be blasting both these songs all day come January 20...

Bourbon Princess

by far this band has been my musical obsession of the year...and it's not just monique ortiz' sex kitten pose...well, it helps...it also helps that this band is firmly rooted in its previous incarnation as Morphine...one of my favorite bands of the 90's...as a matter of fact, they go even further back to the 80's as Treat Her Right...



let's put it this way...Nirvana was great, they encapsulate their time better than anyone else...but i don't miss them...i miss Morphine...almost ten years since Mark Sandman died and i still crave their music...just like a drug...yeah, there was Twinemen...but that left me unsatisfied...Bourbon Princess...and the newest incarnation, A.K.A.C.O.D....this is the good shit...and ortiz is at the center of it all...



lyrically, musically, whatever way you want to measure her...ortiz is a baaaaddasssss...it makes me sad to know that Denver might not ever get to see them live...BUY THEIR MUSIC...please...

well, here's my list:

my favorite new releases of 2008...

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
The Dirtbombs - We Have You Surrounded
The Roots - Rising Down
Atmosphere - When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Shelby Lynne - Just A Little Lovin'
Beck - Modern Guilt
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Otis Taylor - Recapturing the Banjo
Eric Shiveley - Everyone But You
Adele - 19
Johnson & Jonson - Johnson & Jonson
Go Home Productions - Spliced Krispies
Everlast - Love, War, and the Ghost of Whitey Ford
Alicia Keys - As I Am
Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement

BTW, i don't own it...yet...but i've listened to it and, the new Metallica rips ass... ...and you thought you knew me...

what were your favorites from this year...

December 9, 2008

December 8, 2008

cocktail hour...Death in the Afternoon...



i'm not one for exotic alcohols...ouzo, sambuca, tuaca, goldschlagger, rumplemintz etc...so, i've been a little oblivious to the recent resurgence of absinthe...until i read about how one company is producing it here in the U.S...and then i found a recipe...if Papa Hemingway took absinthe seriously enough to name a drink after one of his books...(or understood the marketing value...that wiley Papa)...i decided this fancy spirit deserved further investigation...so, tonight's cocktail hour is dedicated to...Death in the Afternoon...

first i went searching for st. george...turns out, you can't just run down to the liquor store and grab a bottle off the shelf...go figure...they did have some other brands...with bottles that reminded of the bottles you sometimes find on the window shelves of fraternity houses...the bad old days...they did have Kubler...a label i did not recognize, but it's the Swiss...any country that only maintains an army for self defense can be trusted...right???

for the champagne, i made sure of two things...keep it small...ms scribe doesn't like the bubbly...and, no sparkling wine, brut, or prosecco...champagne...

materials secured, it's time to get to work...drinking...

as i write this i am half way through the glass...let's start with this...it is right and proper to have the word Death in the name of this drink...that's exactly what it tastes like...that may have something to do with my proportions...measuring tools...are...for...amateurs...right now my face is numb...and i keep catching myself touching my lips...an old habit from the XTC days...or maybe it's because my lips are tingling...


(this odd, stolen, clip just about replicates my experience...)

hmm...one glass of champagne never has this effect on me...i have to tip my hat to absinthe...there is certainly something to it...it warrants exploration...i just have to find a better way to drink it...i welcome any fellow curious travelers to join me...or offer suggestions...i've got a big bottle of kubler to share...

BTW, i am working on a year end review of my favorite music of the year...look for that sometime later this week...and if it sounds as goofy as this post...you'll know why...

December 7, 2008

The Noise, The Poets Call The World...

say hello to the newest addition to our collection...


The Noise, The Poets Call The World (2008)

by Katherine McGuinness...merry christmas to us...

December 3, 2008

117 years...still unparalleled...

yesterday was Otto Dix's birthday...pardon me while i take a moment to bask in his brilliance...


Small Self-portrait, 1913

born blue collar...to an artisan family...he joined the army and fought in World War I...


Suleika, the Tattooed Wonder, 1920

he came back and proclaimed himself a Dadaist...


Self Portrait with Naked Model, 1923

he made a name for himself as a portrait artist...


Unequal Lovers, 1925

at the height of his career, the Weimar Republic was waning...cosmopolitan Germany was caught in the wild duality of decadence and economic disaster...


Newborn Baby on Hands (Ursus Dix), 1927

Dix placed himself in the chasm...and observed...and painted...


Vanitas (Youth and Old Age), 1932

what he did with pigment and canvas...has yet to be equaled...





November 27, 2008

drunk, arrogant, and thankf...oh fuck it...



oh arrogant bastard...help me find a way to summarize the events of the previous week...



so monday night i sat down to watch Talk to Me...the 2007 movie about the life of Mr. Petey Greene...as directed by Kasi Lemmons...this movie sat next to the dvd player for a month...why...because while i dig anything Don Cheadle steps in front of the camera for...and Ms. Lemmons previous work...especially Eve's Bayou...struck me as the work of a director with a strong voice...if needing to grow over time...but this one fairly shouts...VANITY BIOPIC...which rarely works out...for the audience...so when i sat down to watch the movie...i had a book in my lap...just in case...

here's what i thought worked about this movie...the performances...Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor play the difficult friendship between their two characters with authenticity...Petey Greene, ex-con, ex-drug dealer, had a PHD from the streets...Dewey Hughes, at least this movie's version of him, is cut from the same cloth as Sidney Poitier's...New Negro...you don't see this class tension among black folk played out very often in a piece of mainstream entertainment...and it rings true here because the two leads hit all the right notes without playing to stereotype...not too much anyway...the poolhall scenes are the heart of their relationship...

there are some excellent moments from director Lemmons as well...especially a recreation of a Tonight Show appearence by Greene...and some deft work around a James Brown concert after the MLK assassination...

really though, that's all i can recommend about this movie...Taraji Henson is wasted here on a cardboard thin character...Lemmons direction is flat most of the way...too often relying on montage...and the actors are the only thing that keep some of the dialog from being laughable...i won't even mention the inaccuracies...others have done a good job already...

i ended up not reading that book in my lap...i didn't get carried away by this movie either...mostly, it made me think about my friend shoun...well...i should say he's someone i try to be a friend to...i can't say he's done too much to reciprocate...and it was weird that he contacted me that night...his health is not good...which is a shame because he's a talented young black man...i'd like to see him become an old black man...and what he can do with his talent during that time...maybe he'll try to take care of himself...

meanwhile, life goes on...and on of the perks of being a volunteer for the Denver International Film Festival...is the occasional free screening...this year it was Surveillance from director Jennifer Lynch...yes, David Lynch's daughter...i walked in knowing nothing about this movie...i didn't know until the credits who the director was...and what a craptastic way to spend an hour and a half...nihilistic and condescending towards rural people...especially cops...i nearly walked out...instead, i waited and hoped for this movie to redeem itself...it didn't...

there are movies that are guilty pleasures...cheap tawdry rhinestones that aspire to nothing more than entertainment...and they succeed...


and there are films that are difficult to watch...but reward you for your time and effort...




but a movie like Surveillance is just toxic waste...

okay...that's enough outta me...sincerely, your glorious arrogant bastard...

happy thanksgiving...

November 14, 2008

two reviews...

i wanted to love both of these books...especially because three or four different people recommended them to me after hearing about/reading the hearts of others...i'm still not sure why though...well, i know why...

do you remember that bowling pin table lamp you made in 8th grade shop class...no one ever said, wow you made that...you would really like the eames chair...it's got wood in it too...




that's what reading these books was like for me...



Winterson's Written on the Body has the faint scent of Literature to it...maybe it because she's British...they make english sound like a whole 'nuther language...maybe it's because the book's narrator is an unnamed and genderless first person voice...or maybe it's because of passages like this...

"Louise, in this single bed, between garish sheets, I will find a map as likely as any treasure hunt. I will explore you and mine you and you will redraw me according to your will. We shall cross one another's boundaries and make ourselves one nation. Scoop me in your hands for I am good soil. Eat of me and let me be sweet."

beautiful language...successful language...yet a bit ambitious for my taste...it fairly screams...LOOK AT ME I'M WRITING...it's language for the sake of language...it's not language in service to storytelling...

the good news is that i gave this book a chance...somewhere around page 30 I was hooked and found that when Winterson got around to telling the story of the central love affair...i found it thoughtful and moving...

and then she lost me again...i won't reveal the plot device that ruined the second half of the book for me...i'll just say that i wanted to throw the book against the wall...

oddly, i'm pretty sure i'll be rereading Written on the Body...there's a lot here i can learn from...



i could say the same thing for J. Eric Miller's short story collection, Animal Rights & Pornography...except that i probably won't be rereading this one...

these powerful, devastating, stories are...not for anyone who can't stomach frank and direct descriptions of...incest, rape, animal slaughter, and being married to a stripper...to name only a few...seriously...

good storytelling should be harrowing...make your innards tighten in knots...something is at stake in these stories and...without being gratuitous or heavy handed...they don't let us forget it...

i might not read this book again, but you can be sure i will seek out more of Miller's writing...it would be difficult to convince me to pick up something by Ms. Winterson...

November 10, 2008

i am very grateful for my friends...



a good friend...recently gave me a book...and it is a great gift simply because...while it is something i would never think to buy for myself, it is perfectly targeted to my...interests and proclivities...

i started reading it today...and the Faulkner interview is a revelation...not simply because i haven't read any of his work...that soon will be corrected...but because his demeanor during the interview...and his stated approach to writing...felt like the words of a kindred spirit...coming from my mouth, the same words would make me sound like a...self important gas bag...i guess when you when win two pulitzers, and a nobel, you get to talk like an ass...seriously, read the interview for yourself...does this sound like someone you'd have a beer with...judge for yourself...i would...

i was also struck by his comments regarding race in america...in the context of the murder of Emmett Till...i wouldn't be shocked to find out if Mr. Faulkner was not a saint of race relations, but i found his response to be tough, clearheaded and relavent to our new 21st century america...

"...if we Americans are to survive it will have to be because we chose and elect and defend to be first of all Americans; to present to the world one homogeneous and unbroken front, whether of white American or black ones or purple or blue or green..."

so, thank you Gary...

November 4, 2008

my favorite words of the night...

historosity...

decide-icide...

turd-pounder...

getting hammered...election night 2008...

when obama wins a state, take a shot...if mcain wins 2 of the 4 following states...ohio, pennsylvania, virginia, florida...do a double shot...he can't win without two of those states...and beers and car bombs...as necessary...please, do enjoy...and call your designated driver...

all shots are based on three verified calls...NYT...538...and Fox

October 31, 2008

more train video

just for fun...



music: Yousif Water Pipe Habit, by Muslimgauze

October 29, 2008

holy crap!!!



once you get past the astonishment of what this is...what it can do...a creepy anthropomorphic sensation hits you...

read the full story here on Wired.com

October 24, 2008

your word of the week...


harridan

noun
a scolding (even vicious) old woman

October 21, 2008

Go Democracy!...



i voted today on the way home from work...five minutes of my time...don't listen to the fretters and the complainers...the ballot is not that long...do your homework...be prepared...and you'll be finished before you know it...

who did i vote for...all i can say is...i believe in america and i believe in americans...

October 19, 2008

more train footage...

just because i shot it on my phone...



btw...anyone who says the women of Mad Men are nothing more than window dressing...is not really watching the show...Joan's inability...or unwillingness to stand up for herself is heart breaking...

October 15, 2008

Dear Steve Jobs...

i've thought about this a long time...it's time to quit you...while your company still makes a wonderful product...i've come to the conclusion that i no longer have faith in your ability...or desire...to bring remarkable technology to the marketplace...

i am what might be called a tentpole customer...i have been a believer since i first laid my hands on the Apple II and Apple Classic in college...during the late 80's...and actually used the NeXT computer after you left Apple...since I couldn't afford a NeXT machine, the first computer i owned was the Quadra 840AV...and I even picked up the Newton 110...just for fun...

these were rocky days for Apple...yet, owning these products convinced me that Apple was the future of personal computing...so i bought the stock...at $15...

While the company was not faring well, that computer was a stalwart part of my toolkit...it introduced me to email and the internet...

when you returned to Apple, i figured it was time to re-up...so I purchased the Powerbook G3...another sturdy and reliable machine...

by 2002 it was time to replace the laptop with the iBook G3...within months i did a complete upgrade and added an iMac G4...and the first generation iPod...

all that time i was...evangelical about Apple products...some of my friends might go so far as to call me a fanboy...and yet, they converted...

so now, i'm into my second iMac, fourth iPod...and i've retired the ibook...in hopes that you would soon be announcing a device that would change portable computing the way the ipod changed portable music...

some would say that's the iPhone...well, it's not...and here's why...

1. not enough real estate...sure, it's the real internet...but who wants to read it on a three and half inch screen...much less watch a movie...

2. not robust enough...this is the real deal breaker...it's not about the hardware...it's the software that makes Apple products superior...and the compromised version of OS X on the iPhone doesn't do enough...which brings me to...

3. the walled garden...your tightly controlled applications for the iPhone are problematic...in the opening months of the App Store, every problem you've encountered has been about control...it's bad for the customer, it's bad for the developer...stop it...

not that you asked, or would bother to even listen...trust me it's nothing new...your customers have been asking for it for months...no, years...Apple needs to make a portable computer with these specs...ten inch screen...no less than 80 gig storage...a single two Ghz chip...a minimum of four hours battery life...the full array of connectivity...WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, Ethernet, Audio In/Out...and hey, how about that new Mini DisplayPort...

what makes this different from any other netbook out there...?...well, you got your fancy touch screen interface...integrate that any way you want...oh, there's always the world famous Apple design magic...sprinkle some of that pixie dust on it...but don't forget your bread and butter...OS X and iLife...

bring all of this in at three lbs or less...and priced somewhere between $500 and $800...and you sir will restore your rightful title as revolutionary innovator...

actually, this bar is set fairly low...i'm sure you could top this paltry suggestion...but you have clearly demonstrated a lack of will...at this point, i don't care about the reasons why...

there were two signs that i took as good news...first, you presented your MacBook refresh with Tim Cook and Jony Ive...signaling that Apple will be in good hands after you move on...however that turns out...second, your "wait and see" comment about the "nascent" netbook movement...tells me you are planning on moving into that space...which is fine...Apple's best moves are not when you're first, but when you're reinventing other people's stale ideas...

so, what am i supposed to do in the interval...i could go out and buy a cheap netbook and shoehorn OS X into it...better yet, i'll buy a used MacBook from some sucker who just bought his and now wants to upgrade to one of your shiny new metal versions...and i'll wait for you to leave Apple...that now seems to be the only way Apple will move beyond making digital fashion accessories...

October 14, 2008

obligatory placeholder post...

so much to say...i haven't been able to say it...instead here's some video i shot with my phone...please do enjoy...
video

September 27, 2008

off the shelves...

i haven't done one of these in a while...so, bear with me...

Mister Chandler says...

"It is easy to fake; brutality is not strength, flipness is not wit, edge-of-the-chair writing can be as boring as flat writing; dalliance with promiscuous blondes can be very dull stuff when described by goaty young men with no other purpose in mind than to describe dalliance with promiscuous blondes."

the juggernaut says...

"Her peers had no intention of letting her out of the box they'd put her in; she was punished for even trying to break free. I had several classes with her, and was able to observe Dodie"s ruination at first hand. I saw her smile fade, saw the light in her eyes first dim and then go out."

Old Bill says...

"We seek out the unknown, the unrewarded. The man who stopped and helped. Those who take in strays. The Johnsons of the world. We sanction the shits and reward the Johnsons."

Monkey says...

"Don't worry about me,' said Monkey. 'I know what I am about."

The philosopher says...

"You vine! Why do you praise me? Did I not cut you? I am cruel, you bleed; what does your praise of my drunken cruelty mean?"

Ms. Walker says...

"But why, I can hear you wondering, am I up at this hour, and have been up all night? I will tell you."

the pornographer says...

"I have tae get a move on. I should stay cool, look out from a distance to see who comes out that door, to be sure one way or the other instead of this torture in my head, but no, ah need tae get as far away fae this fuckin hospital as ah can. That cunt is real. He lives. He is outside."

Ms. Butler says...

"Finally, she looked at him, studied him with such intensity he began to feel uncomfortable. His discomfort amazed him. He was more accustomed to making other people uncomfortable. And he did not like her appraising stare - as though she were deciding whether or not to buy him."

the good doctor says...

"The growing emancipation and independence of woman have enabled her to exercise greater freedom and initiative in the choice of a mate and in the expression of her sexual needs."

the free man says...

"I was now left to my fate. I was all alone, and within the walls of a stone prison. But for a few days before, and I was full of hope. I expected to have been safe in a land of freedom; but now I was covered with gloom, sunk down to the utmost despair. I thought the possibility of freedom was gone."

the legend says...

"I'm alive, Jimmy told himself. That's something."

September 18, 2008

was it really only eight years ago...

the company i work for is moving to a new building...so today, while cleaning one of my file cabinets, i found a wall street journal money & investing section lining the bottom of one of the drawers...dated March 27, 2000...this was the above the fold feature story...

(clicking makes it grow)

were we so optimistic that we were actually looking for the end...that was just around the corner...if i remember correct...i just got hired...or was about to be...at janus funds...a year later...only a year later...a whole slew of us were laid off...along with every other shmoe in the lower echelons of the corporate ladder...

yet, i remember thinking that was a temporary setback...that jobs were plentiful, and i would soon fall into another plum position in some cubicle somewhere...

boy we've come a long way...

i also find this little tidbit interesting...

September 15, 2008

monday night movie...The Man Who Wasn't There...

prepping for Burn After Reading, tonight's selection is, in my opinion, their best work...although Miller's Crossing is still my favorite...

(clicking makes it grow)

of the 150+ movies in my collection, 5 of them are Coen Bros movies...second only to my collection of Steven Soderbergh movies...i may have to do a month of Soderbergh...

anyway...i love this movie...sometimes i just turn off the television and listen to it play on the stereo...one of the rare cases of good voice over...

this one has the Coen Bros and all their best tricks...done to perfection...taut storytelling...hilarious dialogue...beautiful cinematography...meticulous set design...it helps that this movie is the best use of billy bob thornton's hangdog face...it helps that this is the best performance james gandolfini has done in a motion picture...it helps that this was my first exposure to scarlett jo...

yeah, i love this movie...

September 14, 2008

random sunday musings...

in my wanderings today...i ran into Craig, owner of ism gallery...when i was a barista over at Armazem coffee house...the precursor to Hooked on Colfax...Craig and i used to talk about his gallery...the ongoing development on the block...art...girls...

anyway...

we caught up a bit with each other, and he mentioned that he was written up this year in westword...which was mostly positive...and for an art gallery in Denver, a positive notice in the westword is good for business...the thing i can't help but be amused by is that they describe him as a..."budding artist"...

here's Craig...42 years old...business owner...painting for most of his adult life...and he's "budding"...sorry, but this is the kind of shit that makes professional critics sound like fools...to say the least...no respect for a lifetime of study and work...whatev...

i can't wait to be a "budding writer"...

also, went to see Traitor last night...now that we have a new enemy hollywood seems to be hitting it's stride with mature, entertaining espionage stories...see it...you might like it...



just finished The Shack...i read this book because it's about a man who undergoes a spiritual awakening of extraordinary circumstance...call it research...



i bought copies of this book and gave them to my friends...to see what their reactions might be...that was in may...it seems i'm the first one to finish...

i can't say i liked this book...i didn't hate it either...this book is meant to be a message...so i had to overlook some of the hacky parts...because it's a parable...or is that allegory...doesn't matter...the book is meant to teach...or preach...again, doesn't matter...as a piece of fiction i thought it was poor...at best...as a religious tract...it was as entertaining as a religious tract can be...

oh and Mad Men...oh boy...

September 12, 2008

September 9, 2008

NYC movie week wrap up...

new york has been on my mind all week...and not just for the obvious reason...thank you Mad Men...also this week's monday night movie...Roger Dodger...and to a lesser extent, Elegy...you just can't make Canada look like NYC...and tonight...Joshua...

first up...Mad Men...

great episode...I suspected Don was gonna have to pay for his dalliances, and it looks like the shit storm has come to town...what will our man Don Draper do now...I can't wait...

and then we have Roger...



this is my fourth or fifth viewing of this one...i've come to see it differently since 2002...i first saw this as a descendant of honest movies about the darker side of american manhood...think jack nicholson in Carnal Knowledge...not roger...roger swanson is what passes for an alpha male at the opening of the 21st century...a silver tongued, sharp eyed word shyster...an ad man...he probably thinks he's a modern Don Draper...roger couldn't carry Don Draper's piss in his shoes...it takes his 16 year old nephew nick...played with a perfect balance of innocence and worldliness by jesse eisenberg...to show roger just how pathetic his life is...

still a good entertainment...and the opening dialogue is brilliant bullshit...but this one may have to come off of my shelf...



saw this one last weekend...and Penelope Cruz is having a great year...first vicky cristina...and now this...she's not only gorgeous to look at in this movie...and in a completely different way than VCB...she delivers this movie's heart...she's more than just eye candy...

problem is, i didn't buy Toronto...Vancouver...or is it Montreal...as NYC...i never do...producers would be better off ponying up the dough and filming the real thing...if a creepy small budget movie like Joshua can pull it off...surely a movie with Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper, the aformentioned Ms. Cruz...and Patricia Clarkson...Best Supporting Actress, anyone...can afford to shoot on location...



this one just popped up in my queue...creepy and tense, i wanted to see it last year, but ms scribe doesn't like the scary...oh well...a great way to spend an hour and 45 minutes...if you can ignore a gap in logic or two...i won't give too much away except to say they could easily call this movie...Dexter: The Beginning...

that is all...

the beautiful part of the day...

Showing up is not enough.

James P. Johnson

September 2, 2008

an evolution of archetypes...

as previously noted, the seeds for the new thing i'm working on...started with...the western lands...here are excerpts from my notes...dated 6.23.01...

consider Burrough's seven souls as a model for an archetype set...

ren: the leader. arrogant, powerful, driven. can be benevolent, can be a destroyer. always has others to do the work for him, most likely sekem types, either by power or charisma. the man with the plan, but doesn't bother with the details. this makes sekem, the detail man, his most powerful ally and his mortal foe. at best, a philanthropist. at worst, a despot. can be either sex, but a very masculine energy.
identifying phrase: I WILL

sekem: the technician. intelligent, good with her hands, takes care of the detail work. she designs the machine and pushes the buttons. a natural fit with ren, but can be easily turned because she finds ren’s arrogance contemptible. saves her best work to be used against ren.
identifying phrase: I CAN

khu: the protector. empathic, sacrificing, other centered. externally motivated interests/activities. can be allied for/against any of the other types, tending to fall in with whatever ka is pushing. a very feminine energy.
identifying phrase: YOU ARE

ba: the lover. sensual, materialistic, earthy. somewhat short-sighted, living moment to moment w/o thought to consequences. most closely aligned with ka and ren because they are best able to provide experiences she seeks.
identifying phrase: I WANT

ka: the player. charming, gregarious, team-builder. like ren, values using others to achieve goals, but less self centered. can move easily with any of the other types, though not comfortable with khaibit's sociopathic tendencies.
identifying phrase: LET’S GO

khaibit: the seeker. curious, enigmatic, explorer. an outsider interested in asking questions and testing boundaries for the purpose of observing and recording the human experience. this type has a deep connection with mystery. the degree of awareness of this connection is reflected in the science/religion split that can occur in this type. higher levels of awareness in this type makes them less experimental and more reverent towards mystery. lower levels of awareness makes them more extreme.
identifying phrase: WHY

sekhu: the sheep. the nameless, faceless, mass. this is the vast sea of humanity. cacophonous voice, but can serve as chorus to main players. they like ren, as long as he has a benevolent facade. generally suspicious of sekem. looks to ba to guide them on what beauty/truth/art is.

additional notes:
each of the souls exists as part of an individual's personality. what makes each individual distinctive is which souls, in what combination, are dominant and what souls, if any, are dormant. obvious factors like trigger events, conflict (interior et exterior), growth, loss, obstacles, and alliances constitute story elements.
this is a basic framework. more structure and details can be added. my instinct is to keep it open and not choke it to death with rigidity. life is flexible. death is stiff...

August 28, 2008

I'm not a party animal...

I enjoy politics from a distance...I enjoy the tug of war of ideas...but I'm not a flag waver...there are very few things I will cheer or clap for...especially in a group environment...I'm even suspicious of doing the wave...the mob mentally is an ugly face of humanity...

So...why is this...political rally...a big deal???it's history...

so far, i've been more interested in bird dogging the network news booths...the fact the they parked fox news right next to nbc...but the msnbc booth is as far away as possible...it looks like al-jezzera is here...the fact that ann curry has a front row seat...the camera that flys over the field during games... i finally got to see how one of those work....

These are the things that i've found interesting so far...the music has been dull...the speakers, boring...i'm surrounded by union yahoos...but here I am...to bear witness...

next...obama speaks...
Showing up is not enough.

James P. Johnson

August 27, 2008

i've got a goolden tiiicket...

me and 70+ thousand other yahoos...and yes, they're nosebleeds...

August 26, 2008

hurricane DNC...day two...

ms scribe has a friend...elayne...is a longtime dem...she worked in the clinton white house...with vince foster...she was one of Tim Russert's sources on the linda tripp story...and she is staying in our home while she works for the convention...she's got stories...i hope to share some of them here with you...

meanwhile...

watching HRC give her speech tonight...my thoughts turned to...Shirley Chisholm...if you don't know the name...and the history associated with it...look it up...i'll be here when you get back...

just a reminder that this year is not the first year this kind of history has been made...

August 24, 2008

Denver DNC lunancy...

we have a guest in our home this week...she's a friend of ms. Scribe... and she's here to work on the convention...there's a lot more to tell, so stay tuned...

Showing up is not enough.

James P. Johnson

August 18, 2008

monday night movie...klute...

seeing how ms scribe is all occupied with going back to school...i find myself looking for something to do on monday nights...so what do i do...six pack of beer and a movie...old bachelor habits don't die...they hibernate...



i love this movie...

not just because i think it's the only watchable movie jane fonda ever made...

not just because it was released in one of the greatest years ever for movies...ever...

not just for the whole 70's dingy NYC vibe...

it's donald sutherland's stoic, enigmatic detective that holds the whole thing together...and keeps this one on my shelf...

Book in a week wrap up...

well, all-in-all, a good week...i baled on writing friday and saturday...no excuses..i could have done at least 20% more...at least....as it is, I wrote my page goal...it was so small...i am embarassed to post the # here...I fufilled it with little effort...this is my pattern...the song never seems to change...and the dance just goes on...the good news is...it's been my formula for success...most of what I wrote last week was good...raw still, but good...a good place to start from...i just have to be patient...or...change the formula...take bigger bites...work to the exclusion of all else...ms scribe would love that...like she says...i am the tortoise...and she is the hare...

August 16, 2008

happy birthday blog...let's go to the movies...

you were born this month six years ago...the same month as Charles Bukowski's birthday...which is today...ms scribe & i celebrated by going to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona last night...



what does a woody allen movie have to do with Buk...and you...of course you...always you...i'll tell ya...

it's no secret that that Mr. Bukowski's work is an inspiration to me...maybe it's obvious, but in my personal taxonomy of creativity...without woody allen, there is no Buk...

allow me to explain...

first it's a simple matter of chronology...i knew woody allen's work first...more than that, allen's work was the first place i encountered a frank exploration of adult relationships...even before i was capable of having one of my own...when i started reading Bukowski i was deeply entangled in...adult relationships...but i didn't understand what the hell was going on...his work helped...

now there may be some who balk at the suggestion of Bukowski and allen as creative kin...maybe not...as i see it, the only difference between the two is one of milieu...moneyed east coast elites or poor west coast bohos...they're all struggling for/against the same human condition...oh, and Buk's characters curse...a lot...

so this is a long way around getting to the point...which is...if you like either of these artists...if you like this blog...i highly recommend Vicky Cristina Barcelona...i think you'll enjoy it...

August 13, 2008

hey amateur...listen up...

yeah, that's you fucko...i know the trains are all shiny and new...and that you only really use them to act like a tourist downtown...but that's no excuse to ride like a schmuck...

here are a few helpful hints to make the lives of your fellow commuters a bit easier...

#1 - if every seat is taken, move to the middle of the car...try not to create a knot of human flesh right in front of the doors...pretend that you are a thinking, breathing human being...and not cattle...

#2 - if you are sitting in said taken seat...amid a full car...get up and offer it to someone who really needs it...the aged, the infirm, a mother with an arm load of kids and groceries...you selfish bastard...

#3 - if the train pulls into the station...the doors open...and it's so full that it's asses and elbows everywhere you look...don't try to stuff yourself on anyway...there's another one coming in 15 minutes...and it will probably be empty...relax...breathe the fresh air...lord knows i don't want to have to inhale your overpriced, over applied eau de cologne...as you step on my foot...

as a matter of fact these very same rules apply to the bus...not that you would ever deign to find yourself on one of those...thank god...at least poor crazy drunks have more manners than you...

August 12, 2008

word of the week...

glyph...

noun

a hieroglyphic character or symbol; a pictograph.

August 11, 2008

book in a week...day one...

i'm already a third of the way through my page goal...either i under promised...or i've over delivered...we'll see...

meanwhile...

this both fascinates...and stupefies...i could watch it all day...thanks gary...


best rickroll...ever...clever...funny...thanks shannon...


the first time i saw anything like this was wax audio's Imagine This...much less funny...

August 10, 2008

choosing your weapons...

getting ready for BIW...i pull out my favorite tools...


the rolling writer...


and the comp book...

and hope like hell i meet my page count...

August 6, 2008

i love new york...

stuck on the cross bronx expressway...

August 3, 2008

Super Lunch!...

quick notes from philadelphia...

for some odd reason...a lot Philadelphian's walk around talking to themselves...and no they were not wearing bluetooth headsets...

if i lived here, i'd be a regular at...nodding head brewery...

byob restaurants...where they cook the food...and you bring the drinks...this is a concept Denver needs...

one way to tell that the south begins in philly...all the women call you sweety...

July 31, 2008

well earned respite...

monkey knife fight lager...chef's burger...pesto mussels...and grog...@ nodding head brewery...

July 30, 2008

ideas in the ether...

the creative process...fascinates me...to non creative types, it can look like...magic...for me, it's about...habit...and...passion...and paying attention...

case in point...ms scribe...

she's the only natural artist i've ever known...she started painting/drawing at age 4...i'm talking about images with an innate maturity and confidence...i wish i had images to show you...let's put that on my to do list...

anyway...like i said, Amy's a natural...she's formally trained and educated in many media...yet her work comes from an unconscious place...this piece for example...



this was a custom job...she had three weeks...and a description...flower cocktail ring...she went through three different versions until she got something...that felt right...that's how she works...by feel...from her heart...

which brings me to this point...we went to the philadelphia museum of art today to see an exhibition of jewelry by Alexander Calder...an artist known primarily for his sculpture...

as we walked through the exhibit, Amy and i were astounded by how comparable Amy's work is with Calder's...not just because they use some of the same methods and materials...


spirals...swirls...stars...flowers...



"Although it is less well-known, Calder's work in jewelry fits smoothly with his wider oeuvre, according to the show's curator, Elisabeth Agro.

"The jewelry is not a separate thing he did," Agro said. "He did it alongside everything he did. It's another aspect of his sculpture."

Agro says one reason Calder's jewelry is less familiar is that the artist made the pieces mostly for family and friends."


it's uncanny...

Chinatown...



Philly...

July 27, 2008

new terrain...new words to contemplate...

just as the hearts of others deals with...love, sex, and death...the new thing i'm working on seems to be an attempt to view those same themes through...an awakening sense of spirituality...

don't run...this is an exploration...not a sermon...

so...acknowledging that i am by no means the first person to consider this approach to telling a story...and that the estimation of...the level and/or presence of my talent...is untested...at best...let's add some context to to the discussion...

i first came across this combination of themes in William Burrough's Cities of the Red Night trilogy...The Western Lands in particular...



it is here that he most fully describes his Seven Souls concept...


a concept inspired by Norman Mailer...

how does any of this inform what i am working on...not much...except...it forces the question...what is the nature of the human soul...where does it come from...and where does it go...

as a man who doesn't believe in heaven or hell...and because i'm obsessed with questions of mortality...i've spent a long time thinking about this...the new story is, in part, an attempt to illuminate some of my thought...

which brings us to language...because it is the foundation of thought...i've had to expand my lexicon in order to expand my thinking...

so...in no particular order...some new words, and their meanings...as an introduction to some of the new themes i am working on...

theism...

noun

the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. There is also a narrower sense in which theism refers to the belief that one or more divinities are immanent in the world, yet transcend it, along with the idea that divinity(s) is/are omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.

pantheism...

noun

a doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.

polytheism...

noun

the belief in or worship of more than one god.

misotheism...

noun

is the "hatred of God" or "hatred of the gods". In some varieties of polytheism, it was considered possible to inflict punishment on gods by ceasing to worship them.

(thanks to mr Murray for providing the impetus for my research)

July 26, 2008

weekend wrap up...

two things...

first...i joined this group...book-in-a-week...the objective...to write as many pages as you can in a week...you set daily page goals...and report on your progress...their motto...BIC HOK TAM...butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly...i'm optimistic...here's why...

this adds accountability to my process...at least one week a month i have to produce or fail...and then stand by the results...

i enjoy the solitary nature of writing...yet...i've always been frustrated by my inability to connect to a community of writers...there is a long list of reasons why this has not happened...most of them are mine...book in a week is my latest attempt to get over it...

second...

this week at my new job...i worked with this temp...a 21 year old serbian immigrant...a good kid...hard worker...diligent...enthusiastic to...do the work...newly engaged...fascinated with dubai architecture...and tricked out cars...



and he knows the price tag on everything...and the value of nothing...you can be sure he will turn up somewhere in my writing...

July 21, 2008

shift...again...

i've been unemployed 4 months...not coincidentally...there's been an explosion of activity here...notice that did not contain the words...writing...or, more important...work...

and it's not because no work is getting done...here is a list of everything i'm working on...but haven't told you about...

a short story involving characters from the first bsb book...who knows...maybe it's a first chapter...i am planning on submitting it...here...or maybe here...who knows...i hear Shoun is plotting a new publishing ad(venture)...the point is...for the first time i am writing something with intent to submit...

the very early stages of what i hope will grow into my first novel...partially growing out of the seed of the above mentioned short story...

the continued saga of Del, Mountain, John, and Nighttrain...the artwork Justin did for it...makes me want to raise my game up...



for some reason, that's just not enough for me...i've got something else up my sleeve...just as soon as i can clear one or two of these other works off my plate...

all of this...honest to god, it may sound like bragging...but it feels like whining...is to underline a point...two points really...

first...i start working at my new job tomorrow...so...you may see a slow down in...activity...here...to be honest, i'm looking forward to it...

second...you will see an uptick in posts regarding...my continued affair with writing...

the words the words the words the wordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswordswords

July 19, 2008

Msg from ms scribe...

If you have to advertise...it's probably not true...

corollary...no one buys if you don't advertise...

My wife gave me permission...

Really...