Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tom Petty

AO and I watched half of Peter Bogdanovich's documentary on Tom Petty last night. Truth be told, Damn the Torpedoes (1979) was one the first albums I ever owned (the jazz saxophonist, Eddie Harris, was the other). The back story on Torpedoes is even more interesting than I thought. After his first two albums, he fought his record label (following its purchase by a larger conglomerate) to gain control of his publishing rights. He was a defiant dude. Torpedoes was the subsequent album. You can really tell that this third album was a mature one. "Here Comes My Girl," "Even the Losers" and "Refugee" are great songs. Of course to my early adolescent sensibilities they were even better. But I'm impressed with my taste after all these years. Tom Petty is sort of the southern version of songwriters like Patti Smith and Elvis Costello, even though he was a bit of a pretty boy. His biography is interesting as well. He grew up lower middle class in Gainseville, a bit of a sissy, with an authoritarian father. You can hear these themes in Refugee.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The most annoying kid ever

BB and I went to the supermarket yesterday. Unlike the little health food coop, the aisles in the supermarket are big enough to skip, run, and jump around in. Which is what BB does. He fell once and I must have said slow down at least 10 times. But mostly it's harmless. He did use the opportunity of a passing cart to scoot by me, barely missing the old woman pushing the cart. That garnered a sterner warning from me. I was pleased, though, when he became the most annoying kid ever. We got stuck behind a costumer and her daughter having some problem about a price or scanning their credit card. I became more and more impatient as a supervisor was called over. I was delighted, then, when BB took one of the usual objects in his hand and began banging it repeatedly on the metal portion of the conveyor belt. Bang, bang, bang, while the costumer ahead kept looking over with increasing annoyance. I could have stopped him immediately. But I let him keep doing it for a full minute or so. Bang, bang, bang. It was what I wanted to be doing. Finally, I pulled him away and he quit without a peep. Vengeance was mine! It occurs to me that all parents must use their kids as passive aggressive mechanisms from time to time.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I looked down the other day as BB and I did errands and focused on the two figurines he was carrying in his hand. He carries these things all the time (a little Darth Vader and a surprisingly butch-looking Princess Leia), to bed, to school, in the car. Before that, it was little plastic dinosaurs and even before that various favorite Thomas trains. But with the latest figurines, it's just so clear that they are his dolls. They've collapsed his prior attachments to objects and his now mostly gone imaginary friends into little humanoid creatures. They go everywhere with him and are incorporated into all of his play. They climb couch cushions, walk vast expanses of floor, eat with him at dinner, help him choose clothes in the morning. And they play out his fantasies, which at this point mostly include light-saber fu of various sorts. Right now they are fighting a big homemade snake in the family room, with crayons standing in for sabers (which were quickly lost). I assume they'll be slaying this dragon by the time we're ready to sit down to breakfast.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dress up

It's Halloween season. A popular time with kids, parents, and, apparently, college students. There is a costume store nearby that has been crawling with college students all weekend. (Fight for your right . . . to . . . PARRRTTTTY!) Back in San Francisco I used to hit the Castro on Halloween, which was a big parade of outrageousness. I seem to recall a skinny artist friend cross-dressed as a mafia moll waving a little gun in the air . . . those were the days.

In any case, Halloween is big around our house. Usually, AO makes BB's costume, but this year we bought him the Darth Vader costume. LB is Yoda and, unlike BB, his costume IS homemade. His mom made big green ears and put him in a baby, martial-arts-looking bathrobe. We went out today for a Parks & Recs "fairy tale trail," where the three little pigs and the big bad wolf hand out candy to touring costumed children. We saw Captain Hook and Peter Pan; Bud Light Year; little jaded rock stars; dinosaur toddlers; and lots of pirates. Everyone was cute, cute, cute, including mom, who had on a black retro dress with a Halloween print theme and a velvet cape. Me? I was a proud daddy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Aahh, surveys of Americans always turn up these irrational beliefs:

"According to a new Associated Press/Ispos poll of 1,013 adults in the US, approximately one out of three people believe in ghosts, 19 percent in spells or witchcraft, 48 percent in ESP, and 34 percent in UFOs. Meanwhile, 23 percent claim to have 'seen or believed (they) were in the presence of a ghost,' 14 percent say they have sighted a UFO, and only five percent have 'seen a monster in the closet of (their) bedroom.'" source: boingboing

Truth be told, I saw UFOs when I was a kid while traveling long distance with my parents one night. And I saw some kind of devil creature on a sleep over when I was 11. I mean, I remember these things clearly. The former I think I can explain as Northern Lights - we were traveling between Idaho and Seattle, after all - and I was half asleep. The latter I can't explain with such ease. A dream? Anxiety? The devil creature ran around the bed like some kind of heat signature. It's still mysterious to me.

I also saw lots of weirdness later, when I began experimenting . . . but that is another story. While I differ from those in the survey who believe, I do think that the brain is a beautiful and fickle organ capable of creating all kinds of transient phenomena. Sometimes, though, I'm almost convinced that my partner reads my mind. But she can't, can she?

Friday, October 26, 2007


10:30 p.m. Asleep
11:30 p.m. LB fussy, wants to nurse, in bed with us
12:30 p.m. LB fussing more, tosses against me, then to his mother, back again
1:30 a.m. LB to crib, starts to cry, back to big bed
2:00 a.m. BB in room to let us know he needs to pee
2:05 a.m. BB claims his room is too dark, hall light turned on
2:15 a.m. Cat let out, I groan about high maintenance cats
6:00 a.m. Light in hall shining in my eyes, but apparently I slept through it
6:01 a.m. Marvel at how we sleep through LB's loud snorty breathing
6:02 a.m. Start obsessing about job search, maybe need new suit, luggage.

Friday robot blogging

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Glory box

I need an in-house editor.  20 or so application letters into the job search process and I keep finding little niggling errors in everything I send out. Information breaks down, flooding my abilities to keep up. Given my ambivalence about the whole endeavor, maybe I should go to a fortune teller, or, even better, get a Tarot card reading.  I'm as likely to get some better understanding of what I'm up against from them as from anything else.

In a pinch, digital music will always satisfy. I'd been meaning to put up some of my favorite shoegaze, but the youtube videos are all too muddy. Instead, here is some psych funk by Massive Attack and Portishead.  The song is Glory Box, which seems to be very popular in places like Spain and Brazil. The video is long, but, wow, does it hit my sweet spot. As a comment on youtube puts it, "excelente extremo en el infinito."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Old hippie

I used to think that I would grow old to become a hippie who didn't give a damn.  I'd be off the grid, making my own music and love, and living a self-fulfilled life.  As I get older, I realize how unrealistic this little fantasy was.  I'd like to be off the grid and self-fulfilled, but now that I have kids and feel the pressure to have a middle-class income I just don't see it happening anymore.

Really, though, I think there's a shallower reason for giving up the dream.  It's simple shame.  For example. Looking around my campus, I'm embarrassed by the (mostly male) professors that let themselves go. They wear ugly tennis-shoe hybrids, lackluster khaki pants, and 10 year-old shirts.  They don't cut their ear hair.  I SHOULD be able to do the same, but I'll always anxiously want to stay current, wearing the latest style of shoes.  I'm not proud of this fact, especially when I dream of my inner hippie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Time-saving device

I wish there were a silicon-based device that did more to help me get work done than my simple computer. In addition to writing the majority of a chapter by the end of the year, in the next six weeks I have two conference papers to write and a revision for a forthcoming article to complete. Plus, there are 20 some odd application letters to do. It was really wonderful having the boys' grandparents in town, but I'm glad to finally have the space to get some work done. First, to the job stuff. I have a dissertation abstract to revise and letters to personalize.

In other news, I dreamt I was in an earthquake last night. I managed to escape from a crumbling building, but couldn't get across the city to join my family before waking up. I went through the 1989 quake pictured below.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend bliss

Both boys had a great weekend. They had a set of grandparents in town to spoil them. The weather was warm and clear. We played lots of soccer, both at the soccer complex and in the back yard. We went for a hike. We barbecued. We had a few long lunches, including a wine-soaked one on the patio of a local winery. The scenery was magnificent, the trees are turning red and gold, and there were lots of people also out sharing the experience. LB has tended to be fussy during the day, but not this weekend. Now, it's back to the grind. I understand that rain is on the way.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Two surreal photos of Sesame Street that BB took. I'm not sure when he took them, but today I found them in iPhoto. Actually, the photos he's taken in the past few months always have an off-kilter look to them that I find really attractive. More to come, I hope.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday robot blogging

I'm a day late.  Network connection was down yesterday.  Enjoy your weekly robot image.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bus stop bow hunter

In my latest adventures with the parents who bring their kids to the bus stop I have spoken about hunting and guns with neighbor dude. The state-at-home dad from around the corner who does not appear to cook and clean as I do is apparently a bow hunter. This means he sits quietly in trees and kills deer at close range. In season, he tells me, he also hunts with muzzleloaders. He is a traditionalist, something an idealist when it comes to hunting in the old ways. But later in the week he seemed to be pouring it on a little thick when he claimed to have killed moles with a shotgun. Not only does this seem far-fetched, but can you imagine waiting to see a mole come tunneling along? I don't doubt that a shotgun would do the job, but who sits out on their lawn all day cradling a shotgun? It's like pruning with a sword.

Apparently, it's also common to take the little ones out on their first hunting trips with shotguns. I assume that they carry shotguns because it's less likely that they'll miss. But shotguns, especially if you intend to kill a deer, don't have much range. You'd have to be awfully close, perhaps within bow and arrow range. But then the wound from a shotgun would be big and messy.

All of this makes me feel tremendously naive.  If he asks me if I've ever hunted I'm going to tell him that I grew up as something like a Quaker, which isn't far from the truth.  If I had stayed in the faith, I would have been given non-combatant status if I ever found myself in the military.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


BB was rehearsing his knowledge of Stars Wars the other night. He gets this knowledge in dribs and drabs from other kids and from us, because he's never seen any of the movies. As he described to himself how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader it dawned on him that the fight between Luke and Darth was a fight between father and son. You could see the irony spreading across his face in a big smile. I felt sort of queasy when I saw that smile.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Job search moodiness

On the play list. An Elliot Smith cover.

Big smile

Meeting BB at the bus yesterday was also a 5-year-old friend, here for a play date.  To BB's mind, it was probably like being met at the airport.  He bounded off with a huge smile and gave his friend a big hug.  The old lady next door, mowing another 1/4 inch off her lawn, was so taken with the scene that she switched off the mower and sat down to talk to the boys.  She obviously hasn't had much experience with little kids recently, but she was charmed by their disarming nature.  Somehow their conversation turned to video games, and BB told her about watching a friend's brother play a game in which you could get KILLED.  He said it with relish, but it's clearly stuck in his mind, this watching a friend's brother.   The play date went great.  The older they get the easier it all becomes.  They slam the door and huddle in BB's room and, I think, ah, now I can get work done.

P.S.  Yesterday was Blog Action Day.  I'm not much of a blogger (I won't be donating my day's blogging income), but I certainly support its goals.  Like everything else, the big problem in this world is that those who love power would rather try to stop time than adapt to a different world.  It's funny, though -- our electricity has been going out all the time recently.  The common wisdom in the neighborhood is that it's squirrels shorting things out.  The squirrels are busy at this time of year.  But we've probably saved more in our hour-long power outages than turning lights off for a year.  In any case, drive less, turn off the lights, and recycle!

Monday, October 15, 2007


I watched parts of Grindhouse over the weekend, the fauxsploitation double feature by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. I absolutely hated Rodriguez's contribution, Planet Terror, and only got about 15 minutes into it. Melting flesh zombie action is not my thing. Tarantino's Death Proof is equally silly but more realistic and enjoyable. Tarantino exploits a gearhead convention found in such 1970s movies as The Duel and Vanishing Point.  These are movies I saw in my impressionable years.  There's still something about Detroit muscle battling it out on the road that stirs my pulse. Death Proof also exploits a gender revenge theme, ala Thelma & Louise. Two gearhead stunt women eventually take down the pervert-murderer ("Stuntman Mike") Kurt Russell, one of whom straddles the door sill with a long metal pipe as they charge after him, joust-style. In between there were long takes of table conversation, which is something of a signature for Tarantino.  Unfortunately, the copies of the movies that I have don't contain the fake trailers that were part of the U.S. theatrical release. I couldn't make it through Kill Bill (too much gore), but I still appreciate Tarantino's serious homage to genre films.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Making beds

If anyone wants to get me a joke present for the holidays, this is the one: Dad's Own Housekeeping Book: 137 Bright Ideas. Why such an asymmetrical number--137? Did they run out of ideas at 137? I especially like the line in the book jacket copy that dad can make a bed "in one minute." Yes, over the years, I truly have learned to make a bed in one minute, maybe even less. But, but, do I have a real guy's voice?

"Written by a real guy, in a real guy’s voice and with a direct guy-to-guy point of view, DAD’S OWN HOUSEKEEPING BOOK—in the spirit of Dad’s Own Cookbook, with 270,000 copies in print—takes even the most Swiffer-challenged dad and shows him that housekeeping is no different from yard work, that if you can organize your shop you can organize a kitchen, and if you can load a trunk you can load a dishwasher. From laundry room to attic storage, from the “Five- Minute Attack Plan: Bathroom” to the all-out assault of spring cleaning (it really does make a big difference), from mold to stains to picking-up-after-the-kids-without-driving-yourself-crazy, this is the comprehensive crash course. Here’s how to do the laundry without dulling colors. Stock the pantry to make weekday meals infinitely easier. How to get mildew off the shower tiles. How to make a bed—in one minute. How to be best friends with baking soda—just one of the many tips the author gives for saving money. And what you can do in thirty minutes to make your house completely presentable for your mother-in-law."

Actually, my bright idea was to find discussions of dads who make beds - check Google, I couldn't find much. I know, perhaps too trivial. But type in mom making beds, or something like it, and you will get loads of hits.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Darth Vader

BB was going to be an astronaut for Halloween. The new obsession with space is a good one. He has stargazing books, solar system books, and even some space exploration books. His birthday party had a NASA theme. The NASA material has an appealing squeaky clean image. Well-educated types who still have the right stuff without the swagger. But when he and his mom came home from the costume store yesterday he had a Darth Vader costume. I know it was cheaper than the astronaut helmet, but dressing up in a Darth Vader costume at six years old is like dressing up as Satan. It's like our good, optimistic astronaut really has gone to the darkside. I'll admit, though, that he looks very impressive as Darth.

The real irony is that he won't watch the actual Star Wars movie with me. I adored the movie as a kid and became a sci fi fan thereafter. (It was a real life lesson when the sequels turned out to be so disappointing.) Even yesterday, when he had a half day off from school, I said, let's go to a movie. NOOOO! No, movies. The whole idea of a loud, dark theatre just gives BB the willies. Fair enough and probably a good thing, but I hope I get him to go with me before he's a teenager. In any case, it's much better to his way of thinking to inhabit Darth Vader without the confusions and frights of seeing him on the big screen.

I always enjoy this freshmen comp-like analysis of the racial implications of Star Wars in the film Chasing Amy.

Update: It looks like the video got pulled from YouTube.  Here's a pic of BB's costume.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thinking by cell phone

I came across this observation on Jodi Dean's I, Cite blog:

"Cell phones create a sense of immediacy and urgency that has an interesting flattening and amplifying affect. All matters are worth phoning about--immediately. So, there is little time to forget about what is such a big deal, to see it in context, to allow one's immediate feelings to dissipate."

At first I thought, yeah, she's right. I'm wondering, though, if we can't see these supposedly mindless, immediate feelings as thoughts and judgments in their own right. These immediate feelings ARE the context, rather than some higher order of thought that can assess the feelings. When one calls a significant other from the airport and says nothing more than I've just landed or we're just boarding, the statements occur in the context of an ongoing relationship. What they could mean (or think) is that I miss you already or I'm feeling insecure at the moment. And how are these immediate statements over the cell phone any different than the banalities that fill the days of people living together? Cell phones change the experience of emotion and maybe even the emotion itself (which is interesting), but I think she does a disservice to denigrate immediate feelings. I can't help thinking that she must be a bit of a Hegelian.

Cell phones aren't the problem. I think she has another fear. Say, a scholar had only 100 minutes a month on a cell phone to think, 100 minutes simply to do her work as a scholar - over a cell phone. Sometimes technology feels this way. Cell phones don't end deliberative thinking (and feeling), but if we only had cell phones to do that kind of thinking we'd be doomed.

Going to the doctor

Don't let anyone tell you different. If you work full time, expect to take the full extent of sick time simply caring for your kids. Over the weekend it was a fever, with the potential for keeping a kid home on Monday. Tuesday, it was a visit to the doctor for crusty eyes, an ordeal that takes about four hours out of one's day. Crusty eyes could mean an ear infection, an eye infection, it wasn't even clear to the doctor. The point is, from day to day, one is absent in one way or another from work. Whether it's coming in late, leaving early, or taking a chunk out of the day, work is always - really, always - disrupted by kids. It's worse of course now that we have two kids. I long, sometimes, for the day when our kids become latch-key types, finding their own way home from the bus and taking themselves to the doctor. Of course, then we'll be worried if they're having sex in the afternoon or smoking up in the backyard, but at least I'll be ignorantly at work.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I had a dream that I was camping in the Sierras with a bunch of mates from graduate school. We drove down into the Valley on our way home and stopped at my grandparents' house. Of course, there is no grandparents house anymore. But in my dream my grandparents were up and about partying with the young people. The is only the most recent in a series of dreams that take place in the context of house parties. Usually, I move through the parties dazed and confused, as though I'm trying to figure out why these people from different parts of my life are in the same place. As though I'm an alien in my own life.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Space frenzies

We had over a dozen five year olds at our "at-home" party, meaning that we didn't have it offsite at a rented or reserved location. It was a lot of work, but worth it. It was particularly good because BB has a whole new set of friends from the neighborhood in his kindergarten class and we got to meet them and most of their parents. It is a good group of kids. The weather was hot and gorgeous, which is unusual for BB's birthday.

Best moment: watching AO leading all the kids in imaginary visits to each planet, which essentially amounted to a modern dance dedicated to each planet - heavy on Jupiter, cold on Neptune, and so on. One kid yelled "and a tornado" for every planet.
Worst moment: watching a huge bunch of silver "happy birthday" balloons take flight after being set free by an errant kid. A great wail came from BB.
Most affecting: seeing BB hand out space mission stickers to each child.
Most intense: cramming 15 kids and their parents into a 100 square foot space with noise makers while waiting for the cake. There is an air conditioner in there, but it quickly became overwhelming hot.
Most dear: seeing LB, at all of 14 months, trying to hit the pinata with a big bat after all the candy had been scooped up.

The secret to a good kids party is moving from one controlled frenzy to another. Thanks to my very creative partner we had a great day.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Today is birthday party day, which is overenrolled. 15 kids are supposed to show up. Too many in my opinion. So I need something ethereal and otherworldly on the playlist.

Trip hop beats and dreamy textures from Hooverphonic. A flight attendant is the perfect symbol of nostalgia for the future.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

BB turns six

BB turned six years old.  Although the real party is tomorrow, he had a school celebration and then we took him out for dinner.

On the menu: mini cheeseburgers, cupcakes at school (with soccer rings embedded)
Drink: Island Paradise
Dessert: chocolate nachos with a train of clapping wait staff
Presents: space shuttle launch gear, Roman playmobil characters
Now wearing: his new football jersey
Got off the bus with: a golden crown on his head

Friday, October 5, 2007


So I have some blood pressure problems. It's been creeping up over the past year. Clearly, I'm worried about it, but it hasn't been such a big deal.  I started with some low doses of a hypertension medication that have stabilized my pressure levels without any notable side effects. But I had to go back to the dentist today. The dentist, since they take my blood pressure every time I go in, essentially convinced me to seek out a doctor's advice. I'm self-conscious about this viewing of my vital signs--literally the internal me--and I wanted to be sure they wouldn't get their "aha" moment again with yet another high reading.

So I called in the heavy hitter to keep the pressure down.  I took a beta blocker.  My doctor gave me this as a backup, something that will provide more blanket protection in cases of high stress and hypertension.   I don't like going to the dentist and having to admit teeth brushing faults is only compounded by the potential failure of keeping my blood pressure down.

I'm at the dentist for a routine cleaning and I tell them about my new medication, but I don't admit to taking the beta blocker that morning.  Why should I muddy the waters, admit to CARING about what they see in me?  In the midst of this exercise it comes out that it would be different if I were taking beta blockers, which are contraindicated for local anesthesia.  At this point, I continue to say nothing about the beta blocker in my system.

It's decided that they have time to fill in a small filling that recently came loose, but it's likely to require only a topical anesthetic, not something like lidocaine.  And again, I rationalize a way to say nothing about the beta blocker.

I'm surprised that the first thing the dentist does is pull out the big needle of Lidocaine.  At this point, I really should be saying something about the beta blocker.  I now know it is contraindicated for the very thing she is about to do.  But I'm silent.  As she numbs my gum, I assess my state of health.  Am I having any trouble breathing, is that a burning sensation moving up my chest?  Still, I'm now too ashamed to say anything.  Not only do I have the original shame of the fact that I took the damn stuff to begin with, but now I'm shamed that I haven't said anything until now.   I'm in the room alone for the next 10 minutes wondering whether I can squeeze out a yell as I go into cardiac arrest.

In any case, all is routine, but I do learn later, via google, that there are real risks to this combination of drugs, life-threatening risks. What can I say? That I've kept my pride somehow? Avoided being publicly shamed?  It all seems pretty pitiful now.  But who can ever be completely honest with a doctor and their nosy assistants?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Rebirth of cool

"Mad Men" (an AMC series!) is all AO and I have recently been watching on television. It's about the venal, corrupt world of 1960 New York, where men boose up all day in their offices and sleep with their secretaries. It captures a world when advertising became the real king of the market. There is even a growing subplot of creating Nixon's advertising in his failed race against Kennedy; it's clear that they are being beaten by Kennedy's people.

The series is great on the gender politics of this world, the assumptions that drive them, and the ambivalent divide between the wives and the working women. But, I think, the series is really about class. The main character, Don, is the creative director at the agency. He passes in a world dominated by the East Coast establishment, but his lower class origins haunt him and keep him subtly separate from the entitled, fraternity types around him. He has married into the establishment as well, using war-time heroism to transform himself into an upper middle-class man. But we keep seeing flashbacks to a depression-era childhood dominated by poverty, shame, dislocation, and abuse (like Nixon?). He is clearly terrified that this past will be exposed. He pays off a younger step brother (who is working as a janitor) to disappear from his life. He seeks his revenge by sleeping with women who share his own vexed relationship to the world, first a Village beat and then a second-generation Jewish-American department store owner. He sleeps with the latter only after learning about her father's modest origins. His class mobility mirrors not only their own journeys through the class system, but also their goal of being different kind of women, something other than child-like homemakers or subordinate helpmates in the workplace.

The creator of the series was an important executive in the Sopranos franchise, and he's created a world, when one thinks about it, that is much more evil than Tony Soprano and his mates could ever be. These 1960s types weren't at all marginalized; they were the future, the "rebirth of cool."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Living at the mall

I just came across a story about a group of artists who created a living space at a shopping mall, in an empty alcove. They've apparently occupied it for four years, but when security saw one of them leaving recently the whole thing came to light. Their intention was to experiment with what shopping, lifestyle, and domesticity mean. I love this quote from their website today: "It was an endless source of fascination for us that all the mundane details of our domestic dwelling were about as normal as they could be - but in the context they were in, they became suspenseful." I don't think I could have dealt with the paranoia of wondering when I was going to be found out. I remember something about a group doing this in an art museum, living between some walls. But a mall is much, much creepier.


I'm scanning the proofs of an article I have coming out (the co-written one) and this task has fallen to me. I've been through it once very carefully and found only three errors. Now I think I should do another cursory scan, but I'm putting it off. The problem is that the task puts me to sleep, making my already weird relation to my own work even worse. Whenever I read over what I've written there is always more to do or things to change, but now that it's in proofs there isn't anything more I can do. It's a scary feeling to have it immutably cast in print, like making a final decision about a relationship. I want to let it go.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Today's poem


Geographical obsession might
finally take me to the other side,
urgent flights across poles,
continents, sub or otherwise.
I want to avert my eyes
from the mobius wink
of the void, step over the
unseen menace, finally avoid
the pitfalls of the generalist
that needs the opposite and
equal force of the unspeakable.

The unknown shall become like church
bells heard by the unbeliever,
like the rustic squeak of hide,
like the language of Babel
surrounded with a smile,
like melodies you can see,
like the end of irony.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pole dance

One more post on March Fourth Marching Band. The ensemble included some pre-War style, show-girl burlesque. Clearly, someone had seen some European circus action. My favorite moment was their interpretation of the pole dance. A mohawked man on stilts came out with a long pole, held it upright in front of himself, and the showgirl proceeded to do acrobatics on the pole. It looked like a trapeze act, but on a girly show pole - with stilts! The guys on stilts also did duty as go-go dancers. Fun, fun.