Saturday, March 31, 2007

Various and sundry

1) I'm on my way out of town for the week and I get to see two of my very favorite people at the same time, which delights me, as such individuals are often spread out all over the place.

2) I've worked with some highly intelligent and talented editors along the way, several of whom have become friends or cherished acquaintances. Then there are the others. Besides the fact they placed the Northwest's most overrated band on the cover of the new issue, a noted music magazine seems to have culled its editorial staff exclusively from those who need shock therapy and those who have recently received it. I won't be writing for them again.

3) Found myself at the NW Crafts Center yesterday at Seattle Center (long story) and discovered that, apparently, the region was running low on clay jugs splashed intermittedly with blue and copper glaze and friezes of onion bulbs and starlings. And now the gap has been stopped.

Friday, March 23, 2007

"But it's like I'm stuck inside a painting/ That's hanging in the Louvre..."

Because this one is too often overlooked.
"Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight" from
Bob Dylan's 1983 LP, Infidels:

Just a minute before you leave, girl,
Just a minute before you touch the door.
What is it that you're trying to achieve, girl?
Do you think we can talk about it some more?
You know, the streets are filled with vipers
Who've lost all ray of hope,
You know, it ain't even safe no more
In the palace of the Pope.

Don't fall apart on me tonight,
I just don't think that I could handle it.
Don't fall apart on me tonight,
Yesterday's just a memory,
Tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be
And I need you, yeah.

Come over here from over there, girl,
Sit down here. You can have my chair.
I can't see us goin' anywhere, girl.
The only place open is a thousand miles away
and I can't take you there.
I wish I'd have been a doctor,
Maybe I'd have saved some life that had been lost,
Maybe I'd have done some good in the world
'Stead of burning every bridge I crossed.

Don't fall apart on me tonight,
I just don't think that I could handle it.
Don't fall apart on me tonight,
Yesterday's just a memory,
Tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be
And I need you, oh, yeah.

I ain't too good at conversation, girl,
So you might not know exactly how I feel,
But if I could, I'd bring you to the mountaintop, girl,
And build you a house made out of stainless steel.
But it's like I'm stuck inside a painting
That's hanging in the Louvre,
My throat start to tickle and my nose itches
But I know that I can't move.

Don't fall apart on me tonight,
I just don't think that I could handle it.
Don't fall apart on me tonight,
Yesterday's gone but the past lives on,
Tomorrow's just one step beyond
And I need you, oh, yeah.

Who are these people who are walking towards you?
Do you know them or will there be a fight?
With their humorless smiles so easy to see through,
Can they tell you what's wrong from what's right?

Do you remember St. James Street
Where you blew Jackie P.'s mind?
You were so fine, Clark Gable would have fell at your feet
And laid his life on the line.

Let's try to get beneath the surface waste, girl,
No more booby traps and bombs,
No more decadence and charm,
No more affection that's misplaced, girl,
No more mudcake creatures lying in your arms.
What about that millionaire with the drumsticks in his pants?
He looked so baffled and so bewildered
When he played and we didn't dance.

Don't fall apart on me tonight,
I just don't think that I could handle it.
Don't fall apart on me tonight,
Yesterday's just a memory,
Tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be
And I need you, yeah.

Copyright © 1983 Special Rider Music


Friday, March 16, 2007

I agree with everything except the last one

This ran without a byline or I'd give the (prescient) author credit. Esquire's "A Guide to Picking New Music":

Good Signs

-- The album-cover art is suitable for framing.
-- The first ten seconds of song 10 are about as good as the first ten seconds of song 1.
-- The band has played Conan O'Brien.
-- The music is put out by any of the following labels: Bloodshot, Barsuk, Anti-, ATO, Lost Highway, New West, Nonesuch, Merge, or Sub Pop.
-- Not even the female band members are wearing makeup.

Bad Signs
-- On the album cover, the band looks like they're having a great time.
-- The band's name includes any number under 100.
-- Any of the band's songs features a long introduction marked by dissonance or silence.
-- The music is by a male singer-songwriter who uses his first, middle, and last names (with the exception of David Allen Coe, who is a fine musician).
-- Laser sounds.
-- Any letters in the band name, album title, or song titles are written backward or replaced by a number.
-- You're attracted to the woman who's singing (90 percent accurate).


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"A Young Irene Dunne, Maybe"

My short story, "A Young Irene Dunne, Maybe" was published in the print version of the literary journal, Cranky, almost two years ago. Cranky recently expanded its web site and now the story is online, too:

Link to Cranky's archives:

Britain Proposes Law to Curb Greenhouse Gases

From today's New York Times:

Britain Proposes Law to Curb Greenhouse Gases

Published: March 13, 2007

LONDON, March 13 — As nations and politicians in many parts of Europe compete to burnish their green credentials, the British government today proposed laws requiring a 60 percent reduction in total carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

If approved, the draft Climate Change Bill could affect many Britons in many ways. Government representatives might be summoned to appear before judges for failing to meet targets; households could come under pressure to switch to low-energy light bulbs and to install more insulation, and manufacturers could be asked to build televisions or DVD players without standby modes that consume energy even when the devices are not in use.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hagel for President?

I disagree with Senator Chuck Hagel on abortion and environmental issues, but I hope he runs for President because his candor and intelligence might elevate the level of discourse from both parties.

Excerpt from Charles P. Pierce's Esquire profile on the Nebraska senator:

"The president says, 'I don't care.' He's not accountable anymore," Hagel says, measuring his words by the syllable and his syllables almost by the letter. "He's not accountable anymore, which isn't totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment. I don't know. It depends how this goes."

The conversation beaches itself for a moment on that word -- impeachment -- spoken by a conservative Republican from a safe Senate seat in a reddish state. It's barely even whispered among the serious set in Washington, and it rings like a gong in the middle of the sentence, even though it flowed quite naturally out of the conversation he was having about how everybody had abandoned their responsibility to the country, and now there was a war going bad because of it.

"Congress abdicated its oversight responsibility," he says. "The press abdicated its responsibility, and the American people abdicated their responsibilities. Terror was on the minds of everyone, and nobody questioned anything, quite frankly."


And to everyone...

...who helped make last Saturday's 40th birthday party so much fucking fun, thankee kindly.

Much love always,


Thursday, March 01, 2007