Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
He had worked out at Gold’s Gym
until he could bench-press 450 pounds.
He walked around the machine shop
waving a 50-pound lead hammer above his head
with one hand,
and his hammer blows
echoed off the machine shop walls
Then he started talking
about how much he liked to fuck
For the first time in the machine shop’s 20-year history,
no one was telling any faggot jokes.
~ Fred Voss, 1963 -
Monday, October 27, 2008
That evening McCain inspired another rousing crowd of 4,000 in Denver. The next morning Obama spoke before the largest crowd of his amazing, record setting campaign in Denver as 125,000+ people showed up to hear his speech. And as if that weren't enough, Obama held a second rally in Fort Collins that evening for 50,000!
That's conservative, evangelical, white centric Fort Collins! Take that James Dobson!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
~ Siddhartha Gautama. 563 BCE - 483 BCE
[The Buddha in my backyard this morning flanked by the glow of the fading "Jacob's Ladders")
Beautifully directed and sparingly written, Hormoz deserves a round of applause for his dream realized in this film.
When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in
columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to
add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he
lectured with much applause in the lecture-
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
~ Walt Whitman, 1819 - 1892
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
"East Texas soldier killed in Iraq"
A 21-year-old soldier from Palestine, Texas is being remembered by friends and former teachers as someone who could be counted on and loved his job.
The Department of Defense said Tuesday that Pfc. Heath K. Pickard died Thursday in Balad of wounds suffered from indirect fire in Baqubah, Iraq.
“He was proud of where he was, his occupation with the military,” Frankston High School counselor Cindy Owens said in a story in Tuesday’s online edition of The Palestine Herald. “It was like he had finally gotten what he had worked for. He wanted a family, honor and respect and he had gotten that.”
Pickard graduated from Frankston High School in 2006. He played football and was a member of the marching band.
Jacob Whitehurst, who had known Pickard since age 5, said Pickard was someone who could be counted on. “He was always there,” Whitehurst said. “If you needed something, he would try. He really cared.”
Richard Hamilton, Frankston Middle School principal, said Pickard seemed to have his priorities in order on a recent visit home.
“It took him getting into the service to grow up, but after he grew up, the time he spent being a man was more than most people get in a lifetime because, to figure out why we’re here, he did it in a short period of time. I think that’s what I’ll always remember about Heath — he knew why he was here, he knew what was important in life and there’s a lot of folks who don’t figure that out their entire lives.”
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Doubtless they would care what I think. They are quick to beg me for money; like I need their wisdom to help me invest in a future of hope!
But be that as it is, IF I was given the opportunity to invest in House races in the final hours here are my top pics:
AND JUST TO MESS WITH THEIR HEADS
SC 01 & MD 06
The actors portray characters ages 12 & 13, and amazingly enough--they themselves are 12 & 13. And that's the real charm of this beautiful film; although it's about very adult issues, it never forgets that it's young teens who are telling the tale. Their silliness, their pre-occupation with sex in a prankish way, their willingness to take risks, their deeply felt emotions that are show in their actions even though they haven't the words to explain themselves to one another or adults. The writer is to be highly commended, and Adam Wong makes a powerful impression with this, his feature film debut.
The shots are well planned, at times arranged like a well produced music video. Wong takes full advantage of time and setting to punctuate the ideas with metaphor. This was simply a delightful find.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
It's the story (sort of) of members of the GLBT community of Olympia, Washington.
It's production values fail on every conceivable level -- but like a train wreck, I was unable to divert my attention. The actors aren't. The sound quality jumps across time and space with every change of the camera angle (I guess they only had one camera...or one tape record). The dialogue is preachy, stilted, unnatural, and at times non-sensical. The plot goes from somewhere completely irrelevant to nowhere in particular. Ideas and characters are introduced and then never heard from again.... a merciful omission to be sure.
At one point I remember crying out in my tortured boredom, "Please, God, someone have graphic sex!" And then, they did (or attempted to make it look like it). And I nearly fell into a coma.
And the inane, insipid, piano score and incidental music... OMG, I don't have the words to describe how wrong, wrong, WRONG it was!
Look, I've lost these 118 minutes of my life... For the love of all things Campy, don't make the same mistake! You've been warned.
Both McCain and Obama where on the campaign trail. Both speaking before voters in battleground states. Both holding rallies. Both stumping for votes. Yet, inspite of the similarities there were differences. And it’s in the differences that you discover again why one candidate continues to rise in the polls and the other appears more angry and more desperate with each passing day.
McCain chose an enclosed venue with limited access. Obama spoke in an open air public park. McCain’s event required tickets, while Obama’s was free and open to everyone. McCain arrived in Concord, North Carolina to discover about 7,000 enthusiastic supporters awaiting his speech (the Carrabas Conference Facility & Events Center holds a capacity crowd of 7,480--more than any other venue in Carrabas County). Obama found himself presiding over a crowd of 100.000+ hopeful, excited supporters and potential supporters under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.
Do the math: 7,000 versus 100,000. It would appear that Americans are deciding in favor of the Audacity of Hope.
Exerpted from Wikipedia:
Depardieu was the son of actor Gérard Depardieu and actress Elisabeth Depardieu. ..... In 1995 Depardieu had a motorcycle accident due to a suitcase that fell off a vehicle in front of him. Depardieu needed surgery on his knee. In the hospital he contracted a staphylococcus aureus infection in the knee, which led to an amputation in 2003. Depardieu died on October 13, 2008, at the Garches hospital the age of 37 after contracting severe viral pneumonia at a filming location in Romania, where he had been working on a new movie, "L'Enfance d'Icare."
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The map below represents a reconstituted House based on the polls as they currently stand. It depicts a net gain of 22 seats for the Democrats while not a single currently Democratic seat switches to the Republicans. This would further shift of balance of power from today's Democratic majority of 236 versus 199 to a whopping 258 to 177.
All is not lost for the beleaguered Grand Old Party. There is a seat in Florida (FL 16) which only became Democratic in 2006 after the Representative Mark Foley chasing after boy pages scandal broke. It's traditionally Republican, and the Democratic replacement is in a bit of a sex scandal himself, involving infidelity and adultery of a heterosexual nature. If I were on the RCCC I'd have my sharks circling that bleeding soul 24/7!
But still: 257 to 178.... pathetic.
And where will the pick-ups most likely occur?
AK-@Large, CO-04, FL-08, IL-11, KY-02, MI-07, MI-09, MN-03, NV-03, NJ-03, NJ-07, NM-01, NM-02, NY-13, NY-25, NY-29, NC-08, OH-15, OH-16, PA-03, VA-11, and WY-@Large
And as all things "full-discloser" go, I have contributed to the Democratic candidates in CO-04, MN-03, NM-01, NC-08, PA-03, and WY-@Large. But I have also given to MD-06, MD-08, OH-02, and WA-08..... (MD-08 is a shoe in; so 70% so far is pretty good, a mon avis!)
Bottomline: Get out there and get involved!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I worked on the little patio that I had previously laid out just off of my sun porch. I leveled the stones and added a frame of deeper bricks. Then I spread and slowly filled the seems with a fine sand using first a broom and then flowing water.
To my surprise and pleasure, my neighbor (J.) had redefined the edging between our yards to the day before and in doing so drew it back into his yard a good 4". In the past this has been an issue....
While working, J. emerged and we had a pleasant conversation about the patio and hedgerow that I also had recently put in. He approves of both and wondered if I might not want to shift the hedge six inches or so closer to his yard. A generous suggestion, but not something I have the energy to do. I reminded him that the grown bushes would extend a good 10/12" toward his yard and offered to put in fresh mulch on the newly expanded strip.
Based on the sun, I expect the mature hedge to reach a width of 16 to 18," with the lion share of the growth and foliage to be on his (the south) side of the plant's base.
Now, two more brief views....
Thoughout my modest backyard I've allowed several trees to remain and grow transforming it into an extension of the woodland strip that abuts it. I have a couple of black oak, a white oak, a sugar maple, and several dogwoods that have joined the other plantings in this way.
When I was a child
I played by myself in a
corner of the schoolyard
I hated dolls and I
hated games, animals were
not friendly and birds
If anyone was looking
for me I hid behind a
tree and cried out “I am
And here I am, the
center of all beauty!
writing these poems!
~ Frank O’Hara
1926 - 1966
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Obama states that are hardening: + 0
Obama states that are softening: - 20
Nevada 5, North Carolina 15
Obama pick-up states: +5
West Virgina 5
States going into neutral: 0
McCain states that are hardening: + 44
Arizona 10, Texas 34
McCain States that are softening: - 6
McCain pick-up states: + 0
Friday, October 10, 2008
That's WEST VIRGINIA, by God!
Obama 50% & McCain 42%. It was conducted by American Research Group...a relatively honest outfit. The numbers are outside of any margin of error and, well, it's GD WV that we're talking about!
Makes one really think that it really is "the economy, stupid!"
Yes, we can!
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
The Problem? I bought my little TV in 1984! It isn't capable of having a whatzee-whosit decoder box attached. So what's a reluctant TV viewer to do?
The Solution? I bought a modest, 26" flat screen HDTV! The purchase was made at a local Circuit City franchise after visits to two other stores. (I wandered around my local Sears for 15 minutes without anyone acknowledging my presence....) The salesman at CC was very knowledgeable, attentive, and; I hope he copped a sweet commission on the sale.
On the downside, the screen is over twice the size of my former Tele-Visual-Communication-Device. Making room for it meant readjusting the location of nearly 40 books.
On the upside, as my eyes demonstrate the natural decline in acuity that age brings, it's easier to see the things I do choose to watch.
OMG~ Am I becoming a grumpy old man!?
As a film, it demonstrates a more complex plot line with a wider range of characters. The cinematography remains edgy toward the amateurish; yet more polished than either of the other two movies--It felt a lot like early Derek Jarman in this sense.
The story is again intensely personal on many levels without being nearly as voyeuristic as "Anonymous".
In the end, I found myself neither liking it or disliking it--I'm just ambivilent about the whole thing.
Monday, October 06, 2008
As things stand today there are 8 presently Republican seats poised to join the Democratic side of the aisle. And three more remain within the margin of error. The trends keep moving more and more to the Dems.
"Back Soon" is a rather interesting film. It tells the story of two straight men who are mysteriously brought together by/after a single night during which one of them dies beside the wife of the other who also dies in a hospital emergency room. The doctors try, but only the man, Gil, is brought back from the "light." As the spirit of the wife interacts with Gil and then her husband, there's a little bit of a "Ghost" thing that happens.
It's an ambitious storyline which is complimented by attention to characters over plot. And it's the characters that provide the charm to this "average production value" independent film.
The film is like a downer on downers, so don't watch it if you're on the southward slop of a manic-depressive week, 'cause there ain't enough lithium in the world of periodic elements to keep you safe.
Having said that, I suppose there is one interesting aspect to this film: the utterly raw intensity of the main character's psychological exposure to us. If you've seen gay porn you won't be shocked by anything in this film in that respect, but still I'll wager that you'll feel uncomfortable playing the voyeur at times. This thought has really made me wonder what it would be like to experience this film as part of an anonymous theater audience. And perhaps that's why it debued as the darling of Gay & Lesbian, Independent, and avant garde film festivals on 5 continents.
The works, set in the larger body of American Western art from the ouvre of artists like Frederick Remington and Henry Farny, would seem to beg comparison; however, truer comparisons can be made to the works of Brush's teacher in Paris, Jean-Léon Gérôme, as well as, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. For his paintings don't reach for Native Americans as rough and ready outdoorsman and warriors or as poverty besot victims. Brush decided to paint them as monumental figures. He sought to elevate them to mythical status.
In doing so, his paintings conjur up images of ancient civilizations like Greece and Egypt. His use of the subject was also his attempt to set himself apart from other artists, to capture a niche. The attempt failed or at least ran out of steam after little more than a decade; and well, except for this show, how many people have ever even heard of him?
On a viceral level, the paintings work best when they depict moments of solitude and reflection. Yet, by and large, they do not succeed. They present to the viewer a hyper-stylized fiction. The artist himself left his visit to a reservation in Wyoming depressed and disgusted by what he saw. And rather than portray reality, he opted to retreat into a fantasy that rather than elevating Native Americans acts as an indictment against their actual humanity.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I received this card and Maxfield Parrish magnet today from a dear friend who lives in Tennessee. The past few years for her have been so exceptionally challenging, that to get something from her is very dear to me (even as I understand how empowering that it is, too!)
In her note she wrote: "Thank you for the light you bring into mundane corners of my life..." Now, wouldn't that be an amazing epitaph? Giving it serious consideration!
The Afterlife: Letter To Sam Hamill
You may think it strange, Sam, that I'm writing
a letter in these circumstances. I thought
it strange too--the first time. But there's
a misconception I was laboring under, and you
are too, viz. that the imagination in your
vicinity is free and powerful. After all,
you say, you've been creating yourself all
along imaginatively. You imagine yourself
playing golf or hiking in the Olympics or
writing a poem and then it becomes true.
But you still have to do it, you have to exert
yourself, will, courage, whatever you've got, you're
mired in the unimaginative. Here I imagine a letter
and it's written. Takes about two-fifths of a
second, your time. Hell, this is heaven, man.
I can deluge Congress with letters telling
every one of those mendacious sons of bitches
exactly what he or she is, in maybe about
half an hour. In spite of your Buddhist
proclivities, when you imagine bliss
you still must struggle to get there. By the way
the Buddha has his place across town on
Elysian Drive. We call him Bud. He's lost weight
and got new dentures, and he looks a hell of a
lot better than he used to. He always carries
a jumping jack with him everywhere just
for contemplation, but he doesn't make it
jump. He only looks at it. Meanwhile Sidney
and Dizzy, Uncle Ben and Papa Yancey, are
over by Sylvester's Grot making the sweetest,
cheerfulest blues you ever heard. The air,
so called, is full of it. Poems are fluttering
everywhere like seed from a cottonwood tree.
Sam, the remarkable truth is I can do any
fucking thing I want. Speaking of which
there's this dazzling young Naomi who
wiped out on I-80 just west of Truckee
last winter, and I think this is the moment
for me to go and pay her my respects.
Don't go way. I'll be right back.
Hayden Carruth, 1921 - 2008
So here’s this weeks state-by-state results:
Obama states that are hardening: +39
New Hampshire 4, North Carolina 15, Ohio 20
Obama states that are softening: -0
Obama pick-up states: +38
Florida 27, Missouri 11
States going into neutral: 0
McCain states that are hardening: +22
Arkansas 6, South Carolina 8, South Dakota 3, West Virginia 5
McCain States that are softening: -23
Georgia 15, Kentucky 8
McCain pick-up states: 0
Friday, October 03, 2008
Lets do some math:
War on Terror 2,400,000,000,000 (Cong. Budget Off. 24 OCT 07)
Fanny & Freddy 1,250,000,000,000 (ABC News 18 SEP 08)
Wall Street 700,000,000,000
So the conservative, Republican Bush administration has obligated you and me to cover on it's 3 most costly pet projects a total of: $4,350,000,000,000.00 dollars of our tax-paying money.
That's an individual obligation for every man, woman, and child in the nation of $11,447.37. A partnered couple: $22,894.74; a family of four: $45,789.47.
Perhaps history will judge all of this as reasonable and necessary, I am no economist.
But what would our nation look like if we had better spent the money on Infrastructure, mass-transit, technology, education and healthcare? Wouldn't these uses have provided more people with the sorts of jobs that would allow them to make their mortgage payments? Allow them to be consistant consumers who support the manufacturing, service, and leisure sectors? Instead of trusting wealth to trickle down (AN ABSURD CONCEPT WITH ABSOLUTELY NO BASIS IN REALITY), why not let it percolate up?
Wipe those smiles off of your smug faces boys and realize that history will judge you the simple minded greedy morons that you are!
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
The music drives you to ecstasy, while the words bare meaning and express desires.
....keep your friends close and your enemies in your pocket
Yeah, keep your friends close and your
enemies in your pocket
...you just might start to melt them down
and they'll come around
so, keep your friends close and your enemies in your pocket
The music pounds, the words inspire. It's a hopeful combination.
And my thoughts about this film in a nutshell: It's some weird ass shit. Word.
In the Senate races; North Carolina and Oregon have been in the Dems' pocket for two weeks now; and while we're still waiting for Minnesota and Mississippi to open up, two new states have been flung into the spotlight: Georgia and Kentucky. In Kentucky the Democrat is suddenly in a dead heat with the former Senate leader Mitch McConnell. In Georgia the race has moving into the margin of error zone.
Key races to support:
Bruce Lunsford for senate in Kentucky
Jim Martin for senate in Georgia
Betsy Markey for Colorado's 09 house seat
Christine Jennings for Florida's 13 house seat
Ashwin Madia for Minnesota's 03 house seat
Dina Titus for Nevada's 01 house seat