Thursday, September 28, 2006


We're off to Rehoboth Beach for the weekend; one of Cha's non-blood Filipino 'cuzzins' is getting hitched and Saturday promises to be a good day for booze and dancing.

Hopefully we get a day like today, an Indian summer steamy hot day, so I can play around in the surf a bit. It's been a while since I swam in the sea--more than two years, in fact, and that was the South China Sea.

Likely no blogging until Sunday, unless bad weather keeps us in the hotel. Over and out.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Yes, had they voted 'nay' the measure limiting war crimes exposure of Executive Branch Torquemadas would still have passed. Even so, I'm calling for the immediate waterboarding of these motherfucking turn-coat torturous bastards:

Tom Carper (DE)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
Joe Lieberman (CT)
Bob Menendez (NJ)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Mark Pryor (AR)
Jay Rockefeller (WV)
Ken Salazar (CO)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)

Welcome to the Land of the Free! Vote Democratic in November for a clean conscience.


Didn't know that Frederick Busch died until I saw it in Harper's this month. Last year he wrote a harrowing essay about his son serving as a Marine in Iraq which appeared in that very periodical. I own a couple of his novels but haven't read them; I know his short fiction only from his appearances in The Best American Short Stories series.

"Ralph the Duck" was one of those stories, and I go back and re-read it every few years because I love it so much, and anyone who crafts a bit of fiction I can't dislodge after 18 years deserves note. In fact there were many excellent stories in that year's edition (1989)--though I haven't kept up with The Best American Short Stories annuals in about a decade because they grew tired and formulaic. We read "Ralph the Duck" in my first writing seminar class at Loyola College a billion years ago. I had bandages on my wrists because I was mauled by a dog--the chicks all thought I was an attempted suicide and for some reason that made me very popular with the ladies in English classes. But yeah, read some of Busch if you get a chance--one of a thousand small-niche writers of good fiction who'll likely fade away too quickly after death.

His latest, excerpted in Harper's:

Won't somebody think of the children!

Good grief. It's impossible to take youngins to a major museum without them seeing a nude figure of some sort. I took my niece and nephew through the Met in NYC a couple months back and they made sure to point out all the boobs and wee-wees.

The American Taliban strikes again.

I might read it

So Bob Woodward is done writing hagiographies for King George. Guess those aren't so likely to top the NYT list these days, and Woodward moves with the polls as easily as any Beltway insider. According to Bob Georgie told Republican brass: "I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me."

Great! Get your ass over to Iraq, George. You and Barney and Laura can lay down covering fire while our troops evacuate Iraq, hopefully this fall.

The Golden Ratio of Porn

Caution: The linked site below is NOT safe for work, and--depending on your sensibilities--may not be safe for home. Click at your own risk!

I don't typically link directly to hard-core pornographic images, but an aesthetic analysis of a raunchy scenario using phi? Hilarious! There needs to be a new word, a combination of silly and filthy, to describe such silthiness.

A sample:

Even superficially, this is a pleasing composition. The actress has clear skin, the three penises direct your eyes toward the action and the electric blue blanket in the background provides a nice counterpost to the actors' warm skin tones. Not to mention the visual drama, the mono no aware, that comes from capturing fleeting moments on camera.

[link found via Fleshbot]

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The French call it la précarité

Not comforting to take a job with a non-profit and then to read the following article in Tuesday's Baltimore Sun:

Four years ago, a nonprofit education firm called Success for All occupied four floors in a Towson office building and employed 500 people. Hundreds of schools across the country were signing up to use its highly regarded reading curriculum, which stresses phonics.

Today, Success for All has laid off two-thirds of its employees and shrunk to two floors. A federal inspector general's report appears to explain why. It says the U.S. Department of Education steered federal grant money to certain reading programs and away from others.

The report, issued last week, accuses the department of favoritism, conflict of interest and mismanagement in the awarding of $4.8 billion in federal funds.

Robert Slavin, the Johns Hopkins University education professor who co-founded the Success for All Foundation and spent years researching effective reading programs, said he watched in disbelief as the nonprofit lost business because states chose to adopt other programs favored by U.S. officials.


La fin

I'm about to finish my third academic degree: in addition to the virtually useless BA and MA in English, I'll have a fantastically practical BA in French Literature come December. The final two requirements for the second BA were a 400-level French course and an advanced Writing course in English, required of all 2nd BA candidates at TU. When I was first notified of the Writing requirement I was teaching advanced writing courses here, and joked with the Enrollment Services staff that I was going to register for my own class and give myself an A. They weren't amused. Finally today after much running around the English Chair gave me a waiver for the requirement, and as soon as I hand in my final paper in FR499 Media and Culture I'll be finished.

I started this degree on a whim; I was considering teacher certification and taking some education classes and took a couple refresher French classes on the side, then gradually dropped the education track and kept plugging away at language classes. Now, c'est presque fini! What's next? I have been accepted into the Graduate English program at the Univ. of Maryland--should I attempt a PhD in Literature, or go ahead and finish my teacher certification and teach English and French to high school students? The former is more interesting, but the latter is much more practical (and potentially much more financially rewarding). Practicality has never been a major concern, however.

Christ, Tiny Drum just came in for the first time since last June. He's as annoying as ever. All of the loony patrons are dropping by to celebrate my Cook Liberry departure.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


The joy at leaving a tedious, mind-numbing sinecure having faded and been replaced by anxiety over the commencement of another potentially tedious, mind-numbing, less secure position, I now can allow myself the smallest portions of nostalgic regret. Each task accomplished becomes a milestone, a moment of reflection: my last book catalogged, my last video order placed, my last credit card statement reconciled, my last invoice filed, my last inter-library loan requests fulfilled. Eagerly anticipated? My last patron assisted, my last microfilm reel loaded and re-filed, my last periodical shelved. Also, my last cake and coffee party with the Aunties. These finalities will be accomplished Thursday, at which time Cha and I depart for Rehobeth Beach and yet another in a sudden series of weekend weddings. A couple days at the beach in a nice hotel, a bit of drink and dance, and thence to a new gig renewed.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A political interlude

I recommend Joan Didion's article on Big Dick Cheney in the current NYRB* as a subtle portrait of an amoral power-broker working behind the scenes. In her novels and non-fiction Didion specializes in such folk; Cheney and his ilk are no problem for her.

Can't comment much further. US politics is so disgusting a topic and our politicians so hapless or corrupt now that I try to avoid the subject as much as possible, lest I be driven mad.

I will say I'm glad to see that nauseating smarmy ass George Allen in the shitter. That motherfucker would be wearing a sheet publicly if he could, and has been a master at veiled racist signals of the sort that since Nixon have allowed Republicans to creep into red-state dominance. Now that Allen's had to reluctantly acknowledge his Jewish heritage to a Southern good-old-boy network of supporters who regard anything beyond the lilly-white as anathema, I'm amused to see conservative blow-hards like Dave Frum accuse the LEFT of anti-semitism in order to spin this to their advantage. When Allen was first asked publicly about his Jewish heritage, he reacted as though it was a devious insinuation and disparaging to his character; shortly thereafter he did an about-face and claimed ignorance of his origins, before finally coming to the conclusion that he was proud of his diverse background.

Just think--last year Sen. Allen was considered the likely 2008 Republican nominee. Now he's got to rehabilitate himself. Perhaps he can go sit on Trent Lott's porch with W. (whenever it gets rebuilt).

*I'm such a dork that upon the arrival of each issue of the NYRB I get all woozy with pleasurable anticipation.

Shameless name-dropping

Today I was returning some borrowed CDs in Media Services. Standing by the door and browsing our video catalog was Pablo Schreiber, who plays Nick Sobotka in the second season of The Wire.

I left him alone, but thought of all the 'celebs' I used to encounter working at the bookstore, most often the cast of Homicide: bullshitting about conspiracy theories with Richard Belzer; assisting Andre Braugher with investment books; teasing Clark Johnson about his latest purchase--Erik Estrada's California drivers' license--as he bragged to me about his collection of '70s TV memorbilia; drooling over a drunk and sloppy Michael Michelle; and best of all, having to intervene when a cashier failed to accept a personal check from an enraged Yaphet Kotto. Yes, he actually did say "Do you know who I am?!"

Non-Homicide memories? Ringing up Gene Hackman; shaking hands with Greg Louganis (someone I admire a great deal); talking to Jon Voight; shooting the shit with Al Sharpton when no one showed up for his book signing (he's a charming, engaging, and actually hilarious guy); helping a three-time Cy Young winner and erstwhile underwear model find Self Help books about communicating with one's spouse (he waved me over to Audio Books and asked me to 'discreetly' assist him by going back and forth to the Psychology section); ringing up Winona Ryder's enormous CD purchase (she is really, really tiny); being asked by Joe Frazier where he could buy a woman in Baltimore. Our most regular celeb customer was of course John Waters--he haunted the True Crime section, and did multiple big events at the store, and told me a most disgusting story about signing someone's tampon.

I could go on, and on, and on, but I'll spare you.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


You read a few of these tales and begin to think "Ok, I'm on to him now. I can anticipate the finishing twist," and during each story you wrestle with the potentialities, narrowing them down to what you imagine will be the most sadistic, humiliating, or sordid jape, only to be disappointed by failure each time. Dahl's devious sophistication is to anticipate those who anticipate twists and one-up them with an inexhaustible fount of surprising finishes. Few writers of his calibre are so keenly good at distasteful characters either, and many loathsome sods get their comeuppance herein.

Uncle Oswald makes an appearance as well.

Busy weekend

Friday Sushi Hana with Julio, his student at MICA Joel, and Yo!Adrienne. I had the mercury roll with e. coli starter.

Somehow our conversation derailed from the lofty plateaux of Sargent paintings and fresco techniques to farts as "molecules of poop" and thence to far worse territory: buttplugs, accidents of the fecal variety, and US politics.

After, we scurried off to Mick O'Shea's for a Move Like Seamus original line-up show. Don't get us wrong: we love the new Seamus, and dig the current lineup and the new crunchier sound. But a chance to hear the old set-list with cello and accomplished rock guitar soloing is rare, and we were full of nostalgia for the days when we could count on a crew of ten or fifteen stout childless souls to show up and drink themselves into oblivion with us. Alas, we were tardy and missed their signature rendition of I am the Walrus.

We had a wedding reception to attend Saturday, the wedding having already taken place in the South Pacific. A nice time, but we left early and sneakily during a video presentation; Cha was exhausted, and had been through a miserable allergen attack earlier.

A snippet of conversation with an off-off Broadway actress at our table:

Gentleman to my right: So I hear you've got two lead parts coming up?

Actress: Yes, and I'm very excited. One is about a Japanese American woman and her daughter by a Japanese woman playwright. It's all psychology, with lots of the superego.

Me: Really? How so?

Actress: Well, there's not just the ego of the characters, but more than that, like extra ego.

Me: (choking politely on my portobello in WD40)

Gentleman to my right: And the other gig?

Actress: It's the best! A musical with really awesome music including notes and choruses. It's likely to be the penultimate theater experience if you go!

Me: Indeed.

Now I languish at the Service Desk, my last Sunday at work for the forseeable future.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sunspots, of the man-made variety

I don't know whence he got it, but the Url of Pembroke emailed this excellent shot of the shuttle and space station silhouetted by the sun, and I figured I'd share it with you.


Six hundred years in the future a monk discovers the remains of a fallout shelter in Utah. Inside the shelter are relics of the as yet un-canonized St. Leibowitz, a physicist who helped build the bombs which eventually destroyed the world. Much as the monks of medieval Christendom preserved the mathematics and science of the ancients in their libraries, the monks of the future preserve and attempt to understand the science of our day long after we've blown ourselves up. Should the Church allow this knowledge to re-emerge? Is Man destined to the same eternal cycle of self-destruction? Short answer, yes.

A clever little relic of the Cold War. On the Beach meets St. Augustine. Not the best future history featuring religion as its centerpiece (that would be Dune), but sophisticated and savvy.


I'm only a third of the way through season 2, and I'm completely involved. In fact, I watched four episodes straight last night, and now have to wait until Netflix delivers more tomorrow. Just great stuff. Glad to see my old pals McNulty, Omar and Bubbles. Love the sub-plot about the Balto. City police major who only decides to do real police work when a longshoreman's union boss beats him to a window donation in the new nave of a local Catholic church. Too funny, and quite real. Al Brown's Bawlmorese is exquisite: I've never heard such a strong Dundalk accent on TV outside of John Waters films or Babs Mikulski on CSPAN.

You Go, Hugo

I watched about 20 minutes of Hugo's controversial speech at the UN yesterday, and knew immediately all of the US media coverage would focus on the fact he referred to Bush as a devil who left a stench of sulfur behind at the UN podium.

Not surprising that no one is actually looking at Chavez's rather pointed and specific criticisms of US hypocrisy, which sounded like a Chomsky for Dummies litany of past and current bad dealings by DC with its own citizenry and the third world. Chavez had books by Chomsky with him, and actually lifted Hegemony or Survival up at one point during his speech and flipped through several pages to accentuate his point about Uncle Sam's misdeeds and true motives.

Yes, I worry that Hugo is modeling himself on Fidel a bit too much, and read in the NYRB a short series listing some of his actions which might prove rather injurious to democracy in Venezuala. But as with Fidel, if we'd not tried to kill or overthrow Chavez right off the bat, we might have been able to cultivate good relations with him instead of turning him into an electrifying anti-American icon.

Not that the world doesn't need a few electrifying anti-American icons, whatever anti-American means. I suppose anti-imperialist would be a more accurate description.

MSNBC was reporting yesterday that Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks had called George Bush a "dumb fuck" in a new movie. They referred to this as a "slur" and "putting her foot in her mouth." Actually, she's speaking truth to power.
I saw over at Seth's that Sven Nykvist passed away. Many of my favorite Ingmar Bergman films were shot by Nykvist, who managed to find stark and devestating beauty in those bleak landscapes.

I certainly claim no technical expertise when it comes to cinema--but know that many films I admire a great deal owe much of their beauty to Nykvist's mastery.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

He does exist!

Picselated just dropped by while doing a bit of research, and encountered one of our crazy repeat patrons. He tried to help her with a copy card reader and then told her about the temperature in Periodicals.

"Which one is he?" she whispered conspiratorily to me, and I had only one reply: "That is the Assburger."

He's like the Yeti. Until recently only Silenus and I had encountered him, and we've been regarded with great skepticism when we recount those tales, almost as though we were showing grainy footage of a guy strolling through the stacks in a big furry suit with a zipper down his back. Eskimo saw the Assburger yesterday for the first time, but her sighting has not been confirmed. I took down her account and think it's likely a Close Encounter, but need more evidence before making a determination.

Soon I'll be confined in my own little office in a secure building, safely ensconced and protected from dealings with any form of the public. No more loonies, no more herd.


Today was my semi-annual visit with Doc Hartig, wherein he gives me a quick once-over to make sure I have no more melanomas blooming and takes some blood. I mentioned my foot injury from a few months back, and how it's never been right since. He poked and prodded around my ankle and uttered cryptic phrases as is his wont: "hmmm, some sort of fluid patch," "there's a key ligament connection here," "possible surgery," "likely physical therapy," "here's a script for an X-ray, best go today or tomorrow."

So, I'll be waiting around at American Radiology for three or four hours tomorrow for internal pix. Great. I eagerly anticipate the results; could my 24-year running career be over? Must I bike or swim for aerobic exercise?

At least my BP was good: 112/70. The nurse couldn't believe it was so low, so she took it twice on my left arm and tried once on my right.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pleasant Weeknight Reading

"I'm an optimist," he says. "I think that after the warming sets in and the survivors have settled in near the Arctic, they will find a way to adjust. It will be a tough life enlivened by excitement and fear."


The End of Eden
James Lovelock Says This Time We've Pushed the Earth Too Far

Washington Post Saturday, September 2, 2006; Page C01


Instead of going to work this afternoon I watched this excellent version of Dicken's Great Expectations. A classic from the vividly rendered spooky opening sequence in a cemetary on the marsh to its syrupy closing scene. Loved it. I laughed out loud many times, and curiously found snippets of the novel, which I read when I was 16, coming back.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Abyss

I thought these last couple of weeks at the Liberry would be cake, but they drag painfully. Assburger and Pride and Joy are a nightly plague after several weeks' absence--Assburger recited his twenty favorite Guinness World Records last night, then argued with me this evening when I told him Keith David and Avery Brooks were not the same actor. Then he saw I was reading A Canticle for Leibowitz and told me it was very confusing, but that he would explain it to me if I needed help. Pride and Joy gave me a poem about Jesus.

I'm taking a half-day tomorrow and a half-day Thursday. Get me the hell out of here!

Magic Bus

I hope I'm cool enough to be doing mushrooms in my '70s.

Me and Paul

It's been rough and rocky travelin',
But I'm finally standin' upright on the ground.
After takin' several readings,
I'm surprised to find my mind`s still fairly sound.

I guess Nashville was the roughest,
But I know I said the same about them all.
We received our education
In the cities of the nation, me and Paul.

Almost busted in Laredo,
But for reasons that I'd rather not disclose,
But if you're stayin' in a motel there and leave,
Just don't leave nothin' in your clothes.

And at the airport in Milwaukee,
They refused to let us board the plane at all,
They said we looked suspicious,
But I believe they like to pick on me and Paul.

I guess Nashville was the roughest,
But I know I said the same about them all.
We received our education
In the cities of the nation, me and Paul.


On my dinner break I watched a bit of Chris Matthews--Karen Hughes was on, and Matthews as is typically the case allowed her to get away with asinine spin. Matthews asked if the US would have a credibility problem making a WMD case against Iran in the future after our Iraq misadventure. Hughes (PARAPHRASE): "The president was protecting the UN's credibility when he invaded Iraq, because the Security Council unanimously called on Saddam to disarm and he failed to do so. If the US hadn't acted no one would respect the UN as a body." Matthews changed the subject by asking if the French were right.

Attention all media shitheads who allow this claptrap to pass unchallenged regularly to this day:


Jesus Christ, I can't watch these people for two more years. The fact that we have another new justification for the Iraq war--protecting the credibility of the UN!--at this point is beyond surreal.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I wanted to like Giovanni's Gift, and really did for about a third of the way through, but Morrow's novel never lived up to the dark mysterious promise of its opening chapters, instead devolving into the literary fiction equivalent of a rather bland and predictable police procedural. In fact, a police procedural would have been less likely to overuse the painfully sentimental prose so evident here, and would have featured an engaging tough-guy or -gal as protagonist, instead of a shiftless egocentric non-entity.


Jo is a violent hot-head low-life recruited into the yakuza after he beats up a bunch of bums. He plays two gangs against each other for cash a la the samurai from Yojimbo before we find out he's not what he seems.

Once we find out who Jo really is and why he's acting so impetuously, he learns the hard way that his best friend's death was not what it seemed either.

A ninety minute fast-Tokyo Roadrunner cartoon featuring hip blaring jazz, Guys and Dolls costumes, and go-go dancers, and a plot acceptable only by the most credulous...but it's great cornball fun nonetheless.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Yee Haw

Strip away the literary and pseudo-innalectual pretentions here and you'll find a south central PA boy with a mullet and fang mustache who has a hankerin' for southern rock, Merle Haggard, and trailer trash girls. Even travel across four continents and repeat visits to several major European capitals couldn't change that fact.

So why am I only now discovering the Drive-By Truckers? I grad-eeated Hereford High School, for Christ's sake.

c'est un peu triste

Aller travailler en soirées a eu un avantage principal. Je pourrais observer French in Action avant travail.

J'aime French in Action pour plusieurs raisons, mais la plupart du temps j'aime Valeria Allain et et ses mamelons fantastiques.

Leisure Time

I had great plans for today, one of only two remaining Fridays I'll have off before leaving Liberry Land. I was going to revel in decadence, listening to music and drinking wine and journeying to Ixtlan with the help of some plant friends.

But Cha decided to rain on my parade by announcing she'd hired a truck for this morning so we could go to my in-law's old house and haul junk to the dump. That's what we spent the last four hours doing--driving a rental up to Parkton, loading it with wet carpet left out in the rain, old exercise equipment, and a refrigerator full of spiders and snails. Virginia Monologues is renting the house, and she was as amused by my white trash junk-hauling Penn State muscle shirt as I was by her Union Jack boxers. I got to pet her beagle and kitties.

Cha fell in the wet by the truck ramp and bashed her shin on the metal. Bro J was supposed to meet us to help with the 'fridge, but I wasn't about to wait around, and moved that sucker end-over-end onto the ramp and then pulled it up heavy-end first into the truck. Immediately afterward Bro J pulled up.

Turns out our local dump won't allow big rental trucks, and considers them commercial class vehicles. We had to drive way the fuck down Pulaski highway to some abysmal mudpit to get rid of our load. On the way Cha got a call from her office. Some event she spent months organizing and co-ordinating for today got canceled because of a water main break, turning her into a wailing lunatic. She was swearing like a sailor at her boss on the phone, weaving the truck from lane-to-lane, and talking about a cake for 80 people with their artwork reproduced on it that was now going to waste. "I spent $500 yesterday getting brackets so they could hang banners for this event, goddam it! Everything that could go wrong with this fucking project did. Water main break! Fucking bullshit! Unbelievable. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH." A raging Filipina on 695 driving a rental truck and screaming into her Nextel is a public menace. I consoled myself in the face of a beltway truck crash death that I no longer have a job where people call me with dismal news or emergencies. Slacking through professional life has its advantages. At least Cha got to blow off some rage by hurling trash into the dump. We got extremely mucky doing so in the rain, which kicked up heavily as soon as we pulled in at Day Cove Landfill. Wet carpet sucks--it's heavier than that goddam refrigerator by far, and much harder to wrassle.

Silenus was kind enough to load me up with more pirated CDs: another collection of joyous ditties by the Silver Jews, some Neutral Milk Hotel, a band called New Year. I just did a quick count--I've added more than 120 CDs to the home library since January, by various means. Silenus shares a great deal of the blame for that.

At least I can still do the wine/music part of today's plans.


Out of my fave European cinematic auteurs, Fellini is the most balanced, his films typically a perfect melange of bitter and sweet.* I Vitelloni is no exception. It's not up to the maestro level achieved in La Strada or Nights of Cabiria, but this humorous sad tale of five lazy-ass small-town boys still stagnant in their thirties hit home (for unknown reasons).

What an ending; [possible spoiler alert]the train-station departure is of course a film cliche of the first order, but the innovative Fellini manages a beautifully touching technical twist.

Always good to head back to Italy after so much time with the intellectually frosty Scandinavians, the existential and overly analytical Germans, and the cooly detached French.

*Balance is not necessarily a good thing to my taste. I still like bleak, joyless Bergman best, just as I adore painfully hot food. Extremes are good.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

All fun things are unhealthy, Part 1,983,032

Going down? If so, you might get tonsil cancer.

[Link via Fortean Times]

(very) Amateur photographer

Flickr is fun. I got an email from Dr. Biswas in India, who seems passionate about caves and the critters living in them. He liked several of my photos of Yucatan caves and asked if he could use them on his educational website. Anything for science!

I also got some emails from a Peruvian knife-maker who liked my photos of Mayan temples--he insists I should come to Lima and see some real ruins. Peru is one of the top three places on my shortlist of future travel destinations, but I'm a bit leery about meeting up with Walter.


Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant.

-- H L Mencken, Minority Report (1956)

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

-- H L Mencken, Minority Report (1956)

Many more quotes of a similar nature and equally applicable to the current yahoos running our country can be found here.

Check it Out

Because we are sans HBO, I borrowed season one of The Wire through Netflix earlier this year, and thought it the best single season of a dramatic series I'd encountered. Still haven't hit the subsequent years for some reason, but might actually buy year one and watch again before doing so.

Driving along Eastern Ave or Baltimore Street north of Fells Point now produces strange media-memory feelings. I've been driving around that part of Baltimore from time-to-time for 20 years, but now the public housing there has different emotional (and fictional) associations. And it's got theme music.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gimme a Break

Bush's 'third awakening...'


I took the new job: a bit more cash, good benefits, a 37.5 hour workweek, no evenings, no weekends, no patrons, no students, no Assburger, no Tiny Drum, no Gimpy Bill, no Pride and Joy...

Ahhhhhh. Now all I have to do is show that Success For All made the right choice, and that I can write curricula for kiddies.

One drawback: My commute has grown from one and a half blocks to two blocks.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

More Tunes

It's been six or seven years since I added such a volume of CDs to my collection--when I was managing a Borders I had a monthly merchandise stipend and a huge discount that kept me flush with fresh CDs (not to mention the promo copies I would raid after their listening station careers were over), but I slowed down considerably after the turn of the century. Until this year, that is!

Here are some recent additions:

Traffic Boost

The stats here for July were three times what they were for July a year ago. August was my biggest month yet, and September is on track to break August's high. Again, the number of visitors is still quite modest, but watching the expansion is fun.

Most of my visits are due to European and Middle Eastern dudes who follow links to images* of porn starlets. This resultant entry is entirely gratuitous, and I apologize.

I learned the trick from a now-defunct blogger named jenniebee. She used to write a foul-mouthed, pornographic entry now and again to boost Google keyword search traffic. I'll spare you that.

*Note: the linked images are not in themselves pornographic. Mostly they're silly, and feature an abominable overuse of make-up.

It's Coming!

Big Red did the graphics and titles for American Hardcore, garnering a trip to Sundance for Leesha and himself, where they got to hang with some of the featured acts. This is only one of a billion cool things he's worked on, and they were kind enough to hook us up with some fun promo stuff when they returned.

The movie should be opening in Baltimore--presumably at The Charles or The Senator--sometime this fall. Looking forward to it!


I'm the kind of cat who never overdraws his checking account. I always have at least a grand unaccounted for that I leave as a rainy-day cushion, and usually more than that.

So when I found out today that I was majorly overdrawn and owing fees I thought "oh, shit. Some muthafucka done stole my identitad."

Nope. Turns out the mis-hap was the same-old same-old, namely The Mrs. We're a modern couple, with separate finances. Because she is notoriously unreliable with due-dates and bounces checks with an alarming regularity, I pay all of the bills except the mortgage. She has one (albeit a biggie) upon which she must focus, and gets a monthly reminder from me to boot. This is a fair and equitable and successful arrangement.

For the most part.

In July she needed me to pay the mortgage for whatever reason. I did so, gladly, by allowing her to use EZ Pay to zip them cash from my checking. No big deal. Then this week I noticed I had substantially less money than imagined in my account, and determined to figure out what was going on, but with no urgency since I had no outstanding checks. Then I received a spate of overdrafts and fees in the mail today and quickly realized what had happened. The Mrs. never switched the EZ-Pay back from my account to hers. I've been paying all the bills for three months, which quickly drained my reserves and resulted in a swath of red ink. Now I know why my ATM card wouldn't work to pay our lavish leisure fees in West Virginia and Manhattan. My account was drained behind my back! I hate that, because each time this happens and we bounce things my credit score drops 20 points, and it's not my fault.

Meanwhile, I'm sure Cha has been surprised by the surfeit in her checking, and has probably run through it buying moon pies and trinkets.

I need to start budgeting a thousand dollars a year for overdraft fees to cover for this sort of thing. I also need to consider taking over all the finances. I'd hate to be that kind of hubby; I insisted on separate accounts when we got hitched, after all, and insisted she NOT take my last name because I don't like to lord anything over my significant other, and would feel especially lousy doing so when she's been the majority bread-winner since 2000. I like maximizing the financial freedom of both partners within a loose framework of cooperation. But it's perhaps time to stop throwing late fees down the loo.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Volume III of Mencken's autobiography is not sequentially related to the first two. According to the Preface, he decided to do another volume based on reader demand, and had leftover tidbits from childhood to dotage which he expanded to fill up a third tome. He also admits with a wink that there are a great many 'stretchers' in the text. I'd go further: Heathen Days is a book of tall-tales featuring H.L. Mencken as hero. It reads like Casanova's memoirs as re-imagined by Sam Clemens (minus the women), and is therefore unimaginably good.

I have 3.5 months in which to read 28 more books. I will never do this 100 books in a year thing again. I much prefer leisurely reading without keeping score.

Five Years

Hard to believe it's been five years--or about one fifteenth of my likely lifespan--since 9/11. A lot has happened since, much of it dreadfully misguided in my opinion (Abu Ghraib, secret detentions, Guatanamo Bay, the Iraq war, torture). But on 9/12, when there were buff jocks beating up Egyptian exchange students and waving Don't Tread on Me banners here in Towson, I thought things were going to be much worse domestically than they turned out. I literally expected the Full Orwellian Monty: suspension of elections, martial law, the deputization of right-wing militias under the Posse Commitatus Act, etc.

The US still functions, even though the priorities and principles of our leaders are wrong-headed. The Constitution has taken a few licks, most particularly the Bill of Rights--but that process had been steadily progressing for years, and had continued under Clinton. I feared the Bill of Rights would be gone by this time. I also assumed that huge terror strikes in the US would be regular over the last five years, and that the cowboy lunatic in the Oval Office would launch nukular missiles at somebody.

Fortunately I was wrong on all counts. I won't diminish how badly derailed much of our politics is, nor how costly the Iraq misadventure and all its dread consequences have been or will continue to be. I won't minimize how badly ineffective the government has been under President Frank Burns. But again things could have gone much worse; fortunately the compliant media woke up after a couple years or we'd likely be fighting Iran and Syria too right now. The Bushies got away with a lot using fear-mongering. They could have gone further. The excessive response of the Bushies to 9/11 and their failures after Katrina might actually turn out to be a strong basis for progressive politics in the future (that is if an actual progressive movement can get going again to capitalize on the widespread current disgust with right-wing cleptomaniacs running DC).

We'll see. All I know is I've been to NYC and DC and Pennsylvania many times over the last half-decade, and were I some Rip Van Winkle who'd somehow slept since August 2001 until now I'd not really see much difference while walking around, despite all that 'the world was forever changed' rhetoric. Yes, the skyline is dramatically different in NY, resembling a big smile with its two front teeth missing, and walking around Chinatown still feels weird without those looming towers. But it's remarkable how people have accepted, adjusted, and continued their lives. Unfortunately in Kabul and Baghdad people can't yet do the same thing--perhaps after a tectonic political shift here in November there will be hope for them too. Diebold might have something to say about that, however.

Of course it's possible to think things could be much worse and still agree with Billmon that things are pretty awful. We're unfortunate at this time to have in our legislative and executive branches a crew of people who HATE government and think its only purpose is to enhance the ability of the rich to increase their fortunes. They've succeeded magnificently at that.

Decisions, decisions

Apparently my interview went well last Wednesday. I met with the HR rep and answered some standard BS questions before being ushered into the back to speak to a Director of Something. Then I took a writing assessment test.

Said HR rep called me today to say they were planning to offer me the position pending a reference check. I told them they could call my current boss and my former bosses to their hearts' content.

Now the question becomes: Will I or won't I accept? The salary is larger, the hours are daytime weekday instead of nighttime/Sunday, but I'll need to find out about health insurance because Cha and I are both currently covered amply by the State of MD. Before deciding to leave I'd have to make sure we'd both get adequate coverage. Also, I lose tuition remission and lavish vacation/sick day benefits if I leave.

The new job is weird--I'd have to read children's books and write curricula for 2nd-8th grade. I have no experience with wee ones, or wee ones' books, but the organization is a non-profit specializing in helping poorly performing schools get their scores up, so I'll feel somewhat useful. My lack of experience must not matter because I beat out public school teachers who were going for the gig. My teaching experience is all university-level.

Compared to the tedium of Liberry Land the job seems all sunshine. And, it's only two blocks from home.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I'm very interested in this* house, which is a couple blocks north of The Senator Theater on York Road and is within walking distance of the Belvedere Square Market and Deadalus Books and some fine eateries.

It seems foolish to move our in-laws across the alley behind us and then ditch them, but I'm nearing the end of my psychological rope with the Towson U students in our neighborhood. Yesterday I talked with one of the roomies next door--he said "we're done with parties because Rush Week is over. You won't hear a peep! Somebody barfed all over the living room last night and I'm just tired of it." I assured him I, too, was 'tired of it,' given the astonishing number of huge parties they'd had in one week's time. Then the other kid (and partial owner of the house with his mother) dropped by and gave us a $100 gift certificate to The Melting Pot as an apology for Monday and Thursday nights when I had to go tell them to shut things down at 1am.

Of course I suspected the gift certificate was less an apology than a bribe, and sure enough things started to go haywire about 11pm last eve. Huge groups of drunken students stumbled through our yard, some of them peering in the windows, trying to find the party. They were parked all over the alley, blocking our garage, blocking traffic, and pissing in the shadows. I saw a kid hide something behind my trash cans, and found a big red backpack full of Busch Lite, which I promptly put IN the trashcan next door. Then I heard banging in the front yard, and saw a guy kicking my composter. I went out and said "Can I help you?" and two jocks were quite surprised to see me. "Oh, sorry man--we wondered what that thing was! We weren't fucking with it, we're just curious." "I dunno," I said. "Kicking it is fucking with it in my opinion." They left. I returned to the back of the house to find three girls and a guy climbing over the fence into our yard. The girls ran down the alley, the guy sat in one of our deck chairs. I went outside and saw he had a major shiner under his left eye. "What happened to your eye, man?" I asked. "Somebody sucker punched me in there." "Well, if you don't get off my fucking property I'm going to give you a matching one on the other side." He quickly left.

The person I'd like to be would never threaten violence to a drunk wounded teen. The person I'd like to be would offer succour, and perhaps treatment in the form of aspirin or ice in a plastic baggie. Obviously I'm far from the person I'd like to be, and will likely continue in that vein until we get the hell out of town. This morning our neighborhood looked like a recycling factory exploded, with bottles, cans and plastic cups EVERYWHERE, including all over our front yard.

*Damn, the house sold before its Open House today at noon even commenced!


Borrowed this from The Liberry (nod to Seth). Exquisite, brooding stuff. Be cautious if your Significant Other has belly-dance training; Eclipse might catch you off guard and result in unplanned steaming hot scenarios.


For the first third of The Bitter Half, I had to wonder if I was actually reading a novel by Toby Olson. The narrative was straightforward in a way his novels never are. The narrator, Chris Pollard, is a specialist in prisons who consults with wardens around the country in an attempt to halt escapes. He meets up with 'the kid,' a charming teenager who routinely escapes from prisons, and hears a dark Faulknerian tale of childhood. Sometimes the kid's dog Buck becomes the central consciousness. The setting moves around from Mexico to Wisconsin to Louisiana to Philadelphia, the Depression a weighty backdrop.

But things derailed quickly and the mysterious Olson obsessions with masks and endlessly embedded significations and miscues materialized. The narrator is not at all what was imagined, calling entirely into question our reading of the novel's first (bitter?) half. We realize we've not been mislead, but have made assumptions based on appearances, which obviously deceived. Toby set a trap and we fell for it deeply. Then acrobats and illusionists and uncanny coincidences brought us to more familiar Olson territory.

Perhaps The Bitter Half is his best novel since the greats Dorit in Lesbos, The Woman Who Escaped from Shame, and Seaview. Perhaps I'll revisit it in a few years as I do his others to understand better the delicious manner in which my former Temple University prof flumoxes me.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


An extraordinary film. I love the way Kurasawa arranges his shots--from behind fans, fish bowls, mosquito netting--to accentuate the texture and the crammed cityscape of post-war Japan. The oppressive heat of summer Tokyo is made palpable, helping intensify the drama. There's a fifteen minute sequence featuring the protagnist wandering urgently through the seedy parts of town, with no dialogue, no over-dubbed narration, and just hords of people and interesting cityscapes. Great fun!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Now I know my ABCs

I'd go further than the always astute Billmon; Disney suspected there would be controversy all along, and planned either to broadcast the mini-series to a larger audience as a result of all the media attention, or to pull it and generate even more fervent audiences for its right-wing radio crew.

If ABC/Disney do decide to pull the show, Rush can pummel his easily-agitated, conspiracy-minded* listeners with new 'evidence' of a 'liberal media refusing to broadcast the truth' angle, and ABC can sell the unedited DVD to millions of dittoheads.

*Here I go, alleging a media conspiracy by the Mouse and a broadcast network and I'm calling Rush's listeners 'conspiracy-minded.'


This Soviet 2001 might be my favorite Tarkovsky film--I think Andre Rubilev has to take the back seat from now on.

Cosmonaut Kris Kelvin flies out to a Soviet space station circling the planet Solaris. There's some controversy about the mission, because dudes have croaked out there, and the survivors insist they've seen some pretty weird shit. Is Solaris a sentient being? Or are the cosmonauts merely hallucinating? Kelvin is sent to find out. As soon as he arrives his dead ex-wife appears, corporeal and a bit confused. Kelvin is way perturbed, and launches her into space. She appears again. The ocean which covers Solaris is some sort of gigantic neural net that can perceive the desires of humans and present them as physical manifestations. This is troubling to the two remaning dudes manning the space station, who are plagued not by ex-wives but by young girls and mal-formed dwarves.

Like 2001, Solaris is largely about the evolution of human consciousness in a technological age. It is also a very subtle farce ripping on the group mind and idealism of the Soviet system. When the alien manifested as Kelvin's wife begins turning human she is haunted by a Breughel print that in turn reminds her of films she's seen of Earth. Shortly after, she tries to kill herself. The human condition! Loneliness and despair in the company of others, and loneliness and despair without the comfort of others. The sentient ocean on Solaris can't understand.

Good stuff. Wish I'd had some good buds to smoke to accompany my viewing.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I cast thee OUT

According to a new book, Karl Rove had the West Wing exorcised in order to dispell any remnants of HRC's liberal spirit.

Um, Karl? You need to be exercising, not exorcising.

This is sheer lunacy. For starters, HRC is not much of a liberal. Secondly, wasn't HRC soundly ridiculed in the press for channeling spirits, most notably that of Eleanor Roosevelt?* Why isn't Rove's action similarly mocked?

I remember when Frank Burns was just some laughing stock on a 70's TV show. Now the White House is staffed entirely by Frank Burnses, from the Pres on down. It's no longer funny.

*Funny how Nancy Reagan was never similarly pummeled when she used an astrologer to guide Ronnie's policies as he drooled through a second term.

The Tunes They are a-Modern

Zimmerman's croak is thicker, harsher--like a weathered butte suddenly trying to sing. The tunes are reminiscent of those on Love and Theft, ranging from driving rockabilly blues and country riffs to a sort of perverse lilting French cafe jazz. Haven't paid much mind to the words as yet but so far I dig.

I turned Julio on to Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings; his enthusiasm grew to the point that he bought this Robyn Hitchcock CD which features my favorite folksy duo as back-up band. Very appealing, very Syd-Barrett-ish. Might get more Hithcock.

I like V in its entirety more than I liked American III or IV. It's heavy; Johnny is ready to meet his Maker, and looks forward to finding June Carter at the Pearly Gates. On some tracks he can barely get breath, but it works, particularly on the Gordon Lightfoot cover.

Picked this up a month ago and listened to it every day until I nearly drove myself mad. It's that instantly likeable. Time will tell if it sticks in the rotation.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Remember His Name

Sports Illustrated has a cover story about Pat Tillman this week. I glanced through it at the Liberry and was surprised to note it sets the record straight about his true lefty politics and his real reasons for signing up:

Everybody who thought he'd enlisted purely out of patriotism, they missed reality by a half mile. Sure, he loved America and felt compelled to fight for it after more than 2,600 people at the World Trade Center were turned to dust. But his decision sprang from soil so much richer than that. The foisting of all the dirty work onto people less fortunate than an NFL safety clawed at his ethics. He had uncles and grandfathers on both sides who'd fought in World War II and the Korean War, one who'd taken a bullet in his chest, another who'd lost a finger and one who'd been the last to leap out of a plane shot from the sky. On a level deeper than almost any other American, he'd reaped the reward of those sacrifices: the chance his country afforded him to be himself, all of himself.

The sick, cynical, and twisted use of Pat Tillman by Rove and Rumsfeld for propaganda purposes is a national disgrace that has yet to be adequately addressed. Same goes for Jessica Lynch.


I love nature, I love animals, and I love many TV shows about nature and animals.

But I don't like people who go out into the wild and literally molest critters in their natural habitats on camera. I especially dislike boorish obnoxious Down Under stereotypes who do so. Steve Irwin may indeed prove someday to have been a boon to the planet Earth; perhaps his legions of adolescent fans will grow up to appreciate the natural world and the beasties therein, perhaps they will seek to preserve wilderness areas In Remembrance of Him.

I doubt it, however. I fear they'll all go out and try to wrastle reptiles and touch dangerous things. In their enthusiasm to mimic their fallen idol, they'll leave no wild boar unharried, no serpent untormented, no spot of the globe pristine. I in no way celebrate what happened to Irwin, but when I heard his sad fate I did think of the helicopter pilot in Grizzly Man who said of Timothy Treadwell: "He got what he deserved."


Based on Actual Events! Some American dude tries to get home through Turkish customs with about ten pounds of hash taped to his body at a time when terrorists are blowing jetliners out of the sky. Dumbass. He went through some awful shit in that Turkish prison--all of it lovingly re-created in this late-70s pornographic fun-fest--and he goes through some extra shit added by Oliver Stone to the screenplay. Midnight Express should have its own AFI awards: Best Conjugal Visit Scene Ever. Best Tongue Scene Ever. Best All-Male Shower Scene Ever.

My main concern watching the film? What happened to all that hash!? Did it get flushed? Did the cops smoke it? Did they whack it up with the judge? Man, I hate to see good cheese go to waste.

I think Brad Pitt based his entire acting style on Brad Davis' performance here. They even look alike.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


After I stepped down as GM at Borders #043 and became a part-time drone, I often worked the Info Desk while crotchety old coot Roland manned the registers. I had no idea how important he was in Baltimore history. I talked to him about politics many times and he never tooted his own horn as a quite successful activist and influential preservationist. Successful, influential, and humble--go figure. His obituary:

H. Roland Read, 78, Fells Point preservationist

By Jacques Kelly
Sun reporter
Originally published September 1, 2006

H. Roland Read, a Southeast Baltimore community activist who conceived the annual Fells Point Fun Festival as a means of fighting a highway proposed to run through the historic neighborhood, died of leukemia Wednesday at University of Maryland Medical Center. The Roland Park resident was 78.

Born in Philadelphia and raised in Short Hills, N.J., he earned a bachelor of arts degree at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and served in the Army in Korea. Moving to Baltimore, he became a reporter for The Sun from 1951 to 1954, covering crime and court news. He was later a public relations adviser at the old Armco Steel Plant, and from 1970 to 1980 was director of the Maryland Kidney Foundation.

In the late 1960s, Mr. Read joined with other members of the Society for the Preservation of Federal Hill and Fells Point in what became a successful effort to prevent construction of an interstate highway along the Baltimore harbor and across the water.

"Fells Point would not have survived without Roland," said former state Sen. Julian L. Lapides, who is also a fellow preservationist. "He was a visionary and could see what the area would become. He looked past the derelict buildings and saw a brilliant future."

Mr. Read purchased several properties in Fells Point, including the former Port Mission on South Broadway. By owning property, he became a litigant in a citizens' lawsuit to block construction of the highway, which would have claimed many homes along Thames and Lancaster streets. Other properties in nearby Canton were condemned and demolished along the Boston Street corridor.

To help cover legal fees involved in the litigation, Mr. Read, who was president of the Preservation Society from 1973 to 1975, conceived the Fells Point Fun Festival as a fundraiser and public relations event.

"It was his idea," said Jean Hepner, an early Fells Point activist. "He was full of ideas and knew how to promote everything he did."

The annual fall event grew in the late 1970s and early 1980s, attracting nearly 100,000 people. It remains a major source of financial support for the preservation society, whose headquarters remains on South Ann Street in Fells Point. Mr. Read also sat on the boards of Baltimore Heritage and what is now the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association.

A former Eagle Scout, he remained active in Boy Scouts through involvement with Troop 1000 at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St., where a memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Survivors include his wife of 31 years, the former Kathleen Hickey; three sons, Patrick Read of Baltimore, Brian Read of Washington and Christopher Read of Chestertown; and a daughter, Bridget Read of Washington.

Not Netflix

Julio and Yo! Adrienne rung us up last eve to go see The Illusionist at The Historic Senator Theater. They treated us because they'd received our wedding gifts that day--which was nice but entirely unnecessary.

The Illusionist is a beautiful but vacuous film. Like The Sixth Sense, it relies on the audience not noticing an obvious twist. Almost everyone in the theater knew what the twist was about 45 minutes in, and the film tried extremely hard to convince us we'd guessed incorrectly, before admitting finally that indeed our suspicions were correct all along. I hate that not-so-surprising surprise.

But I like Ed Norton, and Paul Giamatti was better than I'd seen him in a while, and Jessica Biel has certain charms. The film manages a gorgeous re-creation of Victorian age Europe along the lines of Topsy-Turvy or Finding Neverland (though those are superior films whereas The Illusionist is merely a fun movie). And Spiritualism is fun to boot. I enjoyed it as a sort of well-made light escapism.

Also, it's a good idea to see as many films at The Senator as possible. Who knows when that fantastic resource may simply fade away?

#69 & #70

Falderdash and bowlderall! C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is widely regarded as the great rational defense of traditional Christianity against modernist materialism, but while his prose is exquisitely honed and his case is nicely constructed, his entire enterprise rests on a dubious sand foundation. Mr. Lewis starts out with some absurd propositions regarding conscience as evidence for God's existence, and uses this faulty soil to plant more and more ludicrous seeds which whither and die under scrutiny. Along the way he makes offensive arguments about the necessity for women to defer to men in a Christian marriage (um, sorry C.S.--Jesus didn't spout that nonsense, but rather St. Paul did after Your Savior kicked off (or achieved apotheosis)), and says that Christians are responsible for "nearly all the great poetry of Love." I think Hafiz or Sufi and a few hundred Japanese, Indian, and Chinese poets might object...not to mention some atheists. He also makes no strong case that Christianity is better than or more correct than any other faith.

But Mr. Lewis argues for a very palatable and tolerant Christianity, and says any truly Christian society must adopt a 'leftist' government. I'll take that over what we have here in the US any time. He's also a gifted writer, with an elegant facility for useful analogy that entertained me throughout, and he is certainly less concerned with judging others than many who profess his faith. I enjoyed the book, and liked working out counter-arguments along the way.

I was forced for many years to attend hateful retrograde churches where the vitriolic rage spewed by parishioners against anyone slightly different from themselves was completely at odds with Christ's teachings. I could see this as a young kid of ten or eleven, and would often simply read the Bible in church, paying no mind to the damnation envisioned by some fulminating nincompoop behind the pulpit. As soon as my turn for Baptism arrived at age 12, I said 'no thanks' and took my gift Bible from the Church of the Brethren in Loganville PA and never looked back. I admire Kempis because he understands the New Testament the way I understand it: Jesus (and I don't think Jesus ever existed as anything other than a literary character) wants people to act like him, not worship him. It's difficult to bilk funds from people who give away all their shit and act like little children, however, so established churches have distorted his utterings down through the ages to justify doing so. Kempis cuts through all that bullshit, and provides a solid underpinning for a moral existence. Yeah, there's a bit too much of 'inviting Jesus into your heart,' etc., but whatever.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy Labor Day

During my brief career as an adjunct English prof I taught perhaps 700 students. About half of them--those taking classes with me in the Fall--would get pestered about Labor Day the Friday before. "Does anyone know what Labor Day celebrates/honors/memorializes?" I'd ask, less hopefully each time. Not one student knew. "Can anyone guess?" Not one student ever tried to guess. They thought of Labor Day as an occasion for bargain shopping, and never considered for what purpose the holiday was set aside. About a third of my students--those in my business writing class--were juniors, majoring in business, finance, marketing, or human resources. They had no clue.

Sad, really. And the reason productivity, efficiency, and profits are way up, while wages have been stagnant for 35 years is an unaccountable mystery according to the talking heads on CNN and MSNBC. Some buncomb about the new Global Economy typically serves as explanation. Almost universally ignored (though actually mentioned on Jack Cafferty's weekend roundtable Saturday) has been the government and corporate collusion to limit organizing, intensified tremendously under Ronald Reagan. I know the large bookstore chain where I used to manage was guilty of several legal violations when there was agitation for higher wages and the IWW of all groups got involved. Calling them on it cost me a job for the company in Scotland.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My New Do

I hadn't cut my hair in four months, and decided to do so before my job interview next week.

Whaddya think?

I heart 'smyooth' music

The Poet, in his infinite wisdom, turned me on to Yacht Rock. Since my mommy taught me about sharing, I'll pass it along.

"Winter tubers gladden my soul!"