Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why I'll Never be a Willa Cather Heroine

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It occurred to me today, sometime after I got onto I-68, outside Hancock, Maryland that I would have never cut it as a pioneer. I could see the Sideling Hill attraction looming in the distance, snowy and grey. And I dreaded the ascent and subsequent descent. This continued for the rest of the mountains through most of western Maryland. I thought it over and over: you would've never cut it in a wagon train. Today is not the first time that this thought has crossed my mind. I hate hate hate driving over the mountains. I'm not sure why, either. I live in West Virginia for cryin' out loud. But the mountains on I-68 just bother me for some reason. It may be because there are instances when I can see beyond the berms of the interstate and realize just how friggin' high up I am. It could be the steepness or the way the road surface is banked in places. It could be that my ears pop frequently. It could be that I drive a subcompact and I fear for my safety because of the barrelling semis and assorted jackasses that share the road. It could also be as simple as I'm getting old and fearful.

I like to drive. I don't mind driving in cities or places I've never been. Give me a rough map and some idea of what to look for and I'm fine. But that fact, in and of itself, shows my lack of pioneering, adventuresome spirit. I don't mind going if I have even the roughest idea of where. But just set me out on my own or with someone who has a rough idea of where we're headed and I'm screwed--things clench and I feel anxiety attacks comin' on.

Usually the anxiety at some point abates and I'm fine. It seems to be the anticipation that gets me: my imagination and ability to spin out a worst-case scenario are massive--once I'm at the point I feared, in the middle of it, I'm fine. I eventually found myself thinking of other things: why there are so many christian radio stations in western Maryland (not just Protestant/Evangelical, but Catholic); is there any other state with such a state police presence on the roads as Maryland; what is it about Arby's hash browns that do such horrible things to my stomach.

I can manage travelling in a car provided I have cigarettes, distractions, cheap coffee and frequent bathroom breaks. But had you plopped my ass on a covered wagon and expected me to navigate west, I'd have slapped you stupid and stayed put.

Kneel Before Odd

Brandon is guest-blogging at Anything But Poetry while Aaron is away at AWP. He offered up a link to a nifty website about generating your own superheroes. I'll admit it--I'm a comic book geek from way back. I make no apologies or offer no excuses. So this was a fun little diversion after getting back from Baltimore today. I offer you my supervillain alter-ego: Sardonico. Frankly the Jack Kirbyesque energy blasts and boots make it for me.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Apologia Pro Ipse

Dear Baltimore, thank you for your hospitality.

I realize that making out-of-towners feel at home is sometimes difficult and we are sometimes not particularly gracious guests, so I feel like I should apologize for any of my lapses of tact and decorum during my stay.

To the Manager/Staff of Rite-Aid: I'm sorry that I chased a wet pigeon into your foyer during the snow storm on February 25. I never thought it would dart through the automatic doors.

To the impatient bitch in line at Eddie's Grocery on Eager Street: I realize from your cell phone conversation that you had something else to do and somewhere else you'd rather be. Forgive my temerity for being in line first. I'm sorry that you felt the need to mention that someone was in front of you five times in three minutes. I'm sorry that you need a better haircut and intensive conditioning. God forbid once I was out of your way and you were leaving you might have caught your foot in that hole in the sidewalk and fell on your already flat face.

To the driver of the white rape van on the beltway who cut us off: I'm sorry you didn't see us give you the finger.

To the unintelligible woman asking for directions at Wendy's: I'm sorry we couldn't understand a damned word that came out of your mouth and that caused us to be unhelpful.

To the counter girl at Wendy's: I'm sorry I miscounted and initially gave you $10.10 when I should have given you $11.10. I realize you can't see over the cash register without a step stool, but there's no need to shout.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rear Window(less)

There's a car that's been parked on Park Avenue for about three or four months that's missing its rear window. Brian told me about it a little over a week ago, describing how snow collected inside. Come spring I think it'll have a lovely bunch of sprouts and starts. I told him we should try and find a packet of wildflower seeds if we run to wal-mart and then broadcast them in the back seat. It's a nice humid environment: I peeked in while we were out today and the floor is swampy. Frankly I'm surprised no one has had it towed yet.

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Sunday, Bluh Bluh Sunday

It's been a nice weekend so far. The drive here was a little hairy--freaky winds for about 200 miles of my drive Friday--but I just sucked it up and slowed down. They've taken the infamous Virgin billboard down, though I did notice one while I was on I-395. Still no sign of the alleged Virgin buses. We ordered some cheap chinese and stayed in watching dvds.

I was in such a rush to leave Friday morning I ran out of the house without the bag holding my toiletries, foundation garments, pajamas and black boots. Brian had an extra toothbrush so when we were out shopping I picked up some things. We also caught the Reno: 911! Miami movie. It was okay but both of us prefer the show. It's something we always watch when I visit, it seems. When we first really spent time together we watched it all weekend and just laughed til we were stupid. Brian suggests that the budget limitations for the series makes them a little more inventive--I think he's onto something there. For me it's their interactions with the locals that are the funniest bits...that sort of thing was lacking in the movie. Tho there's a good bit with a Bubba in a red speedo that I found funny...but it still felt underdeveloped. The guys behind the movie claim they shot much more footage than showed up in the movie and that there are plans to use it for the DVD release...I'm curious to see what else they had and didn't use.
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Baltimore is snowy today. Very pretty looking out at the armory, the Meyerhoff symphony center and the rest of the view. We wandered out today to do some light shopping--rite-aid, Lambda Rising and Eddie's grocery store--just as the snow was really starting to stick. It's building up now. Brian snapped some pictures of the view from the balcony--it's very grey out. He's going out later to snap a couple of more pictures of a very special car in the neighborhood.

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the Meyerhoff Symphony Center

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the Clocktower from across the street

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the Armory

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the Light Rail

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Notes from a Scandal Junkie

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I'll admit it--I spent most of yesterday glued to the telly watching the judicial shenanigans from Broward County and most of today, too. Honestly, I have no defense, just naked prurient curiosity. And frankly, now that it's over I feel like I need a shower and wished I'd done something more worthy, like picking out paint chips or plucking my eyebrows.

And Britney's back in rehab. Again. Good Christ.

It's not like there's a war where everyone else is dialling down and we have an administration that thinks ideological stubbornness and resolve are the same thing. A war co-managed, might I add, by a DoD that allows its soldiers to be housed in deplorable conditions in what is supposed to be a flagship hospital.

I know I run to this sort of mindless tabloid fodder just for a break from thinking about everything else...but I seriously wonder about the draw for others.

I picked up the Scissor Sisters' disc Ta Dah earlier this week and have been playing the hell out of it. It's not as satisfying as their eponymous first album (their Bee Gees cum Giorgio Moroder cover of "Comfortably Numb" a song that I (ordinarily) despise is worth the cost of the album alone) because of the sheer trashy joy that runs through so much of it ("Filthy/Gorgeous" and "Tits on the Radio" are sleazy smart fun.) On the current album I do enjoy figuring out what songs their pastichey songs are referencing and what they make me think of. I'm particularly fond of the current single "She's My Man," which manages to crib from Elton John's "All the Young Girls Love Alice," Bonnie Tyler's "Holdin' Out for a Hero," and Cher's "Black Lady," sometimes all in the same bar. It's fun, but not as much fun as the first.

Running around packing for tomorrow's trip to Baltimore has just made me cross-eyed. I hate packing and always, always, always, end up with more than I need. So I'm trying to be smart this time...no clue if it's gonna work or not. Plus I woke up with a hideous headache that is resisting all efforts to medicate it away, which has made concentrating on this nearly impossible. Nonetheless, I'm ready to go. I can't wait to see the big neon Domino Sugar sign from I-395.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Little Things 2: Electric Boogaloo




Woke today to a massive crash of ice and snow sliding off the roof. The melt is on! Hallelujah! I can live with the mud and puddles and swampy bits much better than the fear of my car going into the ditch.

Walked around some outside and saw that all the daffodils/narcissus and tulips I bought on clearance last spring are coming up. You can't beat fifty cents per four pack. I ended up with 30 of those packs last year--and am going to make sure I get more this year. No sense in giving more money to large chain home improvement stores than I have to. No really stunning specimens, but quite a few tete-a-tete daffodils (they're a dwarf type with ridiculously tiny blossoms). They're on a bank to the driveway that is just an absolute mess to mow and maintain during the summer due to its angle; so I'm trying to slowly build a loose sort of rangy bed there of spring and summer blooming plants to take over and "naturalize." Light-tolerant hosta and daylilies for summer and the daffs and tulips in the early part of the year. I'm surprised at just how many are coming up--I was afraid the tulips would be eaten by the rodents.

Just found out that a short prose poem of mine will be appearing at Six Sentences next month. I'll have a post when it appears.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Diva

Just received some stunning news--details developing, not sure when it'll all be finalized. But let me just say that at the moment I'm overwhelmed, gobsmacked and more than a little bit starstruck.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Because It's Sunday

Revved engines, enemas, combat boots and butt kissing.

Praise!

Little Things

It's still snowing but the forecasts say it's supposed to warm up by the end of the week. Yay. Hopefully it will so I can go to Baltimore and see Brian. It's been about six weeks since we've seen each other which is a little depressing. We talk on the phone a couple times a day and keep in touch via ims, but we knew early on that winter would be tough for travel. So I'm hoping there's not some unexpected front or pressure system or some such thing that will throw off this plan.

The starlings are out in full company at the feeders. This is distressing. They're hideous vile creatures. There are about a dozen there now, fighting over the suet feeder and the seed, running off the others. At one point there were about 4 or 5 hanging from the suet feeder rocking it back and forth as they fought over the cake.

I'm going to sew some seed this week before I leave for this year's garden: Cleome, Amaranthus, and Four O'Clocks. I've been very good about not digging into my nursery catalogs. I need to really get everything straightened up and thriving this year before I do any major additions. And catalogs are my downfall--I see plants and I want them and I put off the stuff that needs doing right now. I'll hit the local nurseries this year and get plants that'll fill in and beef up what's already there. But not much else except some annuals for the herb garden. I still have two dozen bee balm rootsets to put out that I didn't get to in the fall. But it'll get done.

For now, I just look at my hibiscus pink hula girl bic and feel happy. How can you not feel better with such a thing at hand?


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Happy Year of the Fire Pig!

To celebrate, I'm going to share a tasty pork ribs recipe. It's a riff of a recipe found at epicurious.com. See the original here. Part of my changes are for taste (I prefer chinese five spice to plain star anise; found the original glaze a little too sweet and thought that essentially brining the ribs in the cooking liquid would add extra flavor and juiciness) and part is due to a lack of some equipment (a wok.) Either way--they're tasty. It's a great website if you're into cooking and want to find something a little different.

ORANGE-GINGER GLAZED RIBS

For the Ribs:

2 pounds pork spareribs (boneless) 3-4 lbs if bone-in
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T grated fresh ginger
4 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder

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For the Glaze:

1/2 cup chicken broth
3 T. Soy Sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp. Sambal or other chili paste (or to taste)
2 T minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T canola oil

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Sesame seeds and sesame oil (for serving)

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Combine, 1/4 cup soy sauce, sliced ginger, green onions and chinese five spice and about 1 qt. water in a dutch oven or other large oven-safe pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add ribs to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Before cooking add enough water to insure ribs are covered. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until ribs are cooked through, about 30 minutes for boneless, add another 15 to 20 minutes for bone-in. Cool to room temperature in cooking liquid. Drain ribs.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Combine chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and oil in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and allow to cook until slightly thickened. Pour glaze over ribs in dutch oven. Bake glazed ribs in oven for about 30-45 minutes or until you’re happy with the thickness of the glaze.

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Toss with sesame seeds and drizzle with a little sesame oil before serving.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

I'ma Shaaaaave for You...

Who woulda thunk back in 2003 or 2004 that Christina Aguilera would be the stable one? According to Saturday Today and MSNBC.com, Britney Spears has shaved her head after bailing on rehab. PLUS--she got tattoos! Of lips! I'm not going to be that guy and make an obvious labia-related joke. Read all about it here. I'm curious to know if she got the tattoo ON her newly exposed pate, sort of a pop-tart hommage to the late Bam Bam Bigelow.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Green Acres

Sometimes I forget how different living in a rural area is. Then I talk to Brian about having raised a few head of cattle or pigs or having a pet rooster as a kid or some such thing and I realize that it is odd. All that aside, there's a certain remoteness here that I alternately cherish and despise. Sure it's quiet and I have space to garden, but it's also an hour to the nearest mall. It's even further to an Asian grocery or decent bookstore that carries a range of poetry. And don't let me get started on what it's been like with the recent bout of snow and ice. Or about getting stuck behind slow slow drivers when I'm running late.

Taking all that into account tho, there is something about being out here in the country that satisfies me. This is what started this line of thought: I was outside chipping ice off the steps and salting, as I was getting the stuff from the tool shed I saw a few iris leaves peeking out of the snow and ice. A little yellowed and browned around the edges because of frostbite, but young green foliage all the same. It made me smile a little. I looked across the yard at the dried seedheads and stems in the beds (I never really dead head or clear out old growth until spring. I like to see things sticking out of the snow) and back at that clump of iris and I was happy. I'm not sure why, but seeing that fresh green in the snow and ice-- despite the weather--pleased me.

That's Some Pig

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Sunday is the Chinese New Year, the year of the Fire Pig. That's right kids--not just the year of the pig, but the Fire Pig. If you want to see your Fire Pig forecast you can go here. I want some gingery short ribs now.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nerdvana

Prose Poem

Poetry Thursday's option this week was a prose poem. Here's my newest one.


The Order of Things: Dispatching


The snake should not have been there, in the seam of the wall and concrete slab: it disturbed the dogs. Matte: dark as raisin, with random creamy scales; the slender tip of its tail curled over itself. One of the older boys came, took shots at it with rocks and bricks. After the second, the third, the fifth solid hit it raised itself and flashed its dove-white mouth. Swaying, it struck at the bricks, the wall and finally its own thicker middle, where some bit of its guts bulged from a tear in its side soft and sexually pink. After watching it bleed out blood brighter than our own or any that we’d seen, we went inside: we watched tv, we waited for its twitching to stop.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

For Aaron

She's not so tran-tastic here as she was at the Golden Globes, but here's Beyonce from the Sports Illustrated 2007 Swimsuit Edition.

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On a side note--am I the only one who has some homonym confusion with the title of her last album? It always processes in my head as "Bidet."

Yea Yea..Another Poet with a Love Poem

On Valentines day....but this is a love poem I can stand behind.


Having a Coke with you

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, IrĂșn, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluoresent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I'm with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o'clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it's in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven't gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn't pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it


-Frank O'Hara

Love, American Style

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If you don't read Dan Savage, what's wrong with you? He's worth the time. This week, he's featuring heterosexual happy endings...none of which feature a massage therapist and "release" therapy. And honestly--it's not sappy.

I mean--does this read like a typical love story?

I'm a straight male cross-dressing sissy, and even though it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, I told my wife about it before we had a lot invested in the relationship. We've been together five years, and I never imagined being this happy. I blog about our life at sweatshopsissy.wordpress.com.

Sweat Shop Sissy


Or this?

I met a total dreamboat online a couple of years ago. He was hesitant to date me because I'd been so much more promiscuous than he had; he figured I wouldn't see anything in a guy like him. We kept our pants on for over two months of dating, but after we had come to our senses, I took a big chance and told him my longtime fantasy of strapping it on. I had no idea how he'd take the news, but it turns out he was quite happy to hear it. Within a few months, we went shopping and he bought a leather harness, the silicone cock he most wanted up his ass, and a vibrator for me—all with his own money. Yes, my boyfriend bought my cock. We now own a house together and have a bedside dresser drawer overflowing with just the right amount of kink. He is an upstanding model of grace in bed. I can't even take it like he does.

Strapped And Happy


I want this to be true...I do. But somehow...I doubt it.

I grew up as a fundamentalist Christian—taught that sex was dirty and nasty, and should therefore be saved for the man you married. Of course the only acceptable type of sex was missionary position in the dark. Until I was in my early 40s, I fully subscribed to that philosophy.

Then I met the love of my life—who turned out to be a gorgeous, fiftysomething, cross-dressing minister who wanted to be dominated, feminized, and fucked with a dildo. It took him a long time to come clean to me—to confess all of his fantasies and sexual quirks—but the more he told me, the more intrigued and turned on I got. I can't seem to get enough of him!

My only complaint is that he said he wanted to be a sissy maid—but he never seems to find the time to clean my damned apartment!

Allegra


More of these can be found here and here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

To Sleep Perchance...



C. Dale Young and Brent Goodman have posts about recent dreams. I also got an email from an old friend that included bits regarding a couple of her dreams. I have other friends who seem to be regular dream machines. I'm astonished when we're having drinks or dinner and they just rattle off what they remember dreaming. All of which leads to my thinking about my own (lack of) dreams. I can't recall the last time I had a dream I remembered. Not a bit. No nightmares either. It's not something I usually think about until someone else brings it up. But it makes me wonder what I might be missing.

Monday, February 12, 2007

More Grammy Madness...

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Ok--I realized after checking out my notes from last night's show that I missed some things. The medley of Eagles' songs by Rascal Fatts (yes I know it's Flatts) but jesus--you get a gander at that lead singer. He reminds me of this hideous drag queen I knew of in grad school. Or a girl's volleyball coach doing karaoke after one too many kamikazees. Did we need to see him air guitar during that excrutiating take on "Hotel California"? Well, at least he wasn't singing during the guitar solos. The only thing worse than listening to Don Henley and the Eagles is listening to earnest cover versions.

Note to Lady Miss Carrie: Jesus Take the Low Notes. I'm hoping you were just over-awed by the bedazzled leathry sadness beside you...but I doubt it.

Why did they spend so much time on Don Henley while James Brown got short shrift? I'm not dissing Christina--seriously, bitch killed. There were so many people in that audience who owed the Godfather an artistic debt, that it's a shame. If nothing else it would've given us some uptempo performances. It just seems a lack of perspective. Without James Brown we wouldn't have funk or rap. Without Don Henley--well, I'd be happier.

A Little Late to the Party

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But I'm enjoying the hell out of Tom Waits' Orphans set.

The Grammys

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Some random notes on the 49th Grammy Awards.

Jamie Foxx--you're not as funny as you think you are...and the people in Ohio don't need that translated.

I now know what the bottom's perspective during missionary sex with Justin Timberlake is...ew. Trim your nose hair.

Beyonce--white flowers in your hair do not make you Billie Holiday. They don't even make you Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues.

James Blunt--Damien Rice has a new album. Go away now.

Fergie--Mary J. does not want you to hold her. But I bet you tinkled a little when you got to touch her.

Imogen Heap, Natalie Cole and Fergie all thought it was the 49th Annual Tranny Awards.

They should've gone all the way and made C-Lo Green look like Idi Amin. Forest Whitaker and Uganda would be juiced.

Xtina killed "It's a Man's World."

Mary J. took us to church again. Has she had a bad live Grammy's performance yet?

Fuck Nashville. Fuck jingoistic coun'ry music fans.

If Al Gore does run in 08 he's gonna have to explain hugging a bunch of ex-junkies.

On a personal note, I was thrilled to see "Jesus Take the Wheel" win a Grammy. I was also happy to see Lionel Ritchie sing "Hello." Now if the Police had only done "Every Breath You Take."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Because It's Sunday

A little taste of public access religiosity.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sheer Heart Attack

It's almost Hallmark's favorite day. Brian, lord love him, sent me a link where you can compose your own candy hearts. I have yet to figure out something pithy and cute to contribute, but for those of you out there who resist Valentine's Day, they do have a nice black and grey Goth section. Here's a few that other people submitted that I liked. One of them is Brian's....but I'm not tellin which.

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Friday, February 9, 2007

Big Pimpin'

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John Waters is pimping his new album at Nerve.com. It's fun and there's one paragraph in particular that I just couldn't let myself post here. And now I know for sure where to visit to perhaps see him.

Someone who didn't give his name writes, "I seem to recall a John Waters quote to the effect that a Puritanical education in Catholic schools was a good thing, and that he was grateful for his own conservative upbringing because it made sex dirty and shameful and therefore more fun."
Well, I sort of said that. I said that being brought up Catholic makes sex better because it will always be dirty. I went to a Catholic high school, Christian Brothers, and it was terrible. They discouraged every interest I had. I wish I had quit school at sixteen. I would have made one more movie. It may be different today, but when I went there, it was the opposite of what's supposed to happen when you go to school. When you go to school, you're supposed to be inspired. It was the opposite. So I certainly am not glad I went to that Catholic school. I mean, I'm not sitting around pissed about it, I don't care, it's over with, but I certainly have never been to a reunion and have no desire to.
That's good. Maybe he'll reconsider. Joe Blevins, again, asks "I admire the way you've diversified your career over the years, and are now a director, writer, actor, commentator and artist. Do you have any plans to diversify further, perhaps trying your hand at documentary filmmaking or prose fiction?"
Tell him thank you. A novel would be the hardest thing ever that I secretly would like to try one day. I just got a job offer to be a disc jockey. That's a new one. I'll never believe that you can have too many careers. When one isn't working you can go to the other one. So, who knows? I would like to write a novel. A documentary? Actually, all my films are documentaries, if you've ever been to Baltimore.
"What dictates the level of shock value you're going to reach in your filmmaking process? Is it cultural, is it financial? Do you just need to take an artistic shower sometimes?"
Well, shock value was never the main thing I was trying for. I was trying to make you laugh at your ability to be shocked by anything. And Pink Flamingos was made the year pornography became legal. It was the end of the '60s. It was a joke! What is illegal anymore? What can't you have? I never tried to top that. And if I had, I think I wouldn't be working today. I think you have to constantly reinvent yourself, and the thing that I'm proudest of is when I go to a signing, the average age is twenty-five. They weren't even born when I made those movies. I'm very proud that I have been able, each decade, to cross over into a new audience. If you stay doing the same thing, you can't do that.
A reader named "disunstrung" asks, "From what you've seen, is Baltimore still as trashy as it's ever been, and what other U.S. cities do you see as up-and-coming as far as trashiness is concerned?"
Well, I think the Baltimore that they're speaking of, and the one I make my films about, is vanishing, as it is everywhere. I mean, real-estate porn is in Baltimore, yuppies have moved here — which is good for the city. And there are still neighborhoods here that are still pretty amazing, that inspire me. But it is probably vanishing. Another city that I think. . . I think Philadelphia is pretty good that way. Philadelphia would be the closest to Baltimore in some ways. I always think of MOVE, an organization that I'm still fascinated by.
Nerve also has a link to an interview done while JW was promoting A Dirty Shame. It's worth a read.

Update: Amazon.com has a quickie video bit of JW talking about his album.

They're Not Diapers, they're MAGS

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Maximum Absorption GarmentS.

I guess that's more technical and euphemistic than NASA Nappies.

And now, courtesy of Jossip, a rundown of the cable news takes on Lisa Marie Nowak.

“A brand-new mallet and a four-inch-long buck knife? You can`t really go anywhere these days without a buck knife and a brand-new mallet. Must have.” Nancy Grace, revealing what's in her purse, Nancy Grace

• “But I have to say this. If you`re headed to find your boyfriend`s girlfriend and you`re wearing a diaper, he`s just not that into you.” Greg Behrendt, on what turns guys off, Nancy Grace

• “I think that unless there is a medical reason for you to be wearing [diapers], if you are wearing them, you are enjoying it. I mean, let‘s be honest.” Tucker Carlson, justifying his love of Depends, Tucker

• “No, we‘ve even poked around on that a little bit. And certainly the NASA people have their own specially-made, government-issued astronaut gear for this purpose. But we don‘t know whether that was what they used for this, or whether it was just over the counter, typical gear you could get at, say, Target.” John Kelly, proving he knows way too much about adult diapers, Countdown

Thursday, February 8, 2007

News of the Obvious

Is it fall 2002 all over again? Vanity Fair thinks so.

Rupert Murdoch, propagandist?

In space, no one can hear you cream...

NASA thinks they need to change things.

Space Cadet lauded as "a good role model for our daughters."

W. Winning hearts, winning minds.

Condi Rice, nice shoes: still incompetent. And what doe she have against cunning linguists?

A Bush involved with something illegal?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Dirtiest Jehovah's Witness in the Western World

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Apparently the New York Times spoke too soon. Now we have "Priapic Silhouette-Gate."

This is Prince we're talking about. He's the dirtiest Jehovah's Witness in this hemisphere
who's not named Jackson.

This is a man who wrote a song called "Pussy Control." Who sang: "now move your big ass round this way so I can work on that zipper, baby;" about a woman with used Trojans in her pockets; about Darling Nikki and her magazine; a song called "Sexy Motherfucker." Who managed to turn Sheena Easton into a moist ho with the song "Sugar Walls."

And they wonder if this image is intentional.

No word yet if Heather Wilson (R-NM) cried.

Bits n Pieces

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Stuff that's passed through my head and not left since I started reworking this new poem:

Galway Kinnel, "The Massage" from When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone
...How could anyone/willingly leave a world where they touch you/all over your body?

Irene McKinney's "The Surgery" from Vivid Companion

Louise Gluck's "Cana" from Meadowlands

Frank O'Hara's "Having a Coke With You."

Reginald Shepherd's "Seven Little Songs About the Moon" from Wrong.

Donald Hall "Sometimes when he fails, he insists not on beauty (which is conflicted) but on prettiness (which isn't) against his own ugly experience." "Foreword" Above the River.

Resistance and Surrender.

Philip Levine's comments on leaving things alone in Don't Ask.


Could these be the shaping influence of things to come?

Maybe He Didn't Try Hard Enough

It took Pastor Ted 3 whole weeks to go from meth crazed butt lover to "completely heterosexual."
(Sidenote: I hit the story through Digg and the top paid link was "I Cured My Genital Warts.")

I have a feeling that his reprogramming was something like this, although I'd love it were it more like this.

Stunning

A pair of 5,000 year old skeletons in an embrace have been found in Northern Italy. Storyhere.

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Drivin' and Cryin--The Astronut's Playlist.

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Here are the top 40 tracks for Astronut Lisa Nowak's drive from Houston to Orlando International Airport. She had to do something to pass the time and talking herself down certainly wasn't an option.

  1. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car—Billy Ocean
  2. Every Breath You Take—The Police.
  3. Obsession—Animotion
  4. Jolene—Dolly Parton
  5. To Make You Feel My Love—Garth Brooks
  6. The More You Ignore Me (the Closer I Get)—Morrisey
  7. I Drove All Night—Cyndi Lauper
  8. You Belong to Me—Bob Dylan
  9. She’s Got You—Patsy Cline
  10. He’s Just My Bill—Oliver! Original Cast Recording
  11. Can’t Get Next to You—the Temptations
  12. One Way or Another—Blondie
  13. 500 Miles—the Proclaimers
  14. Who’s That Girl—Eurythmics
  15. Behind the Wheel—Depeche Mode
  16. Creep—Radiohead
  17. ’97 Bonnie and Clyde—Tori Amos (Eminem cover)
  18. Crazy in Love—Beyonce
  19. Tiny Cities Made of Ashes (Live at the BBC)—Modest Mouse
  20. Number 1 Crush—Garbage
  21. Are You Lonesome Tonight?—Elvis Presley
  22. Take Me Out—Franz Ferdinand
  23. Always on My Mind—Willie Nelson
  24. If I Had a Hammer—Peter Paul and Mary
  25. You Oughta Know—Alanis Morrisette
  26. In Your Eyes—Peter Gabriel
  27. I Want You—Maddona w/Massive Attack (Marvin Gaye cover)
  28. Sour Times—Portishead
  29. Are You Gonna Go My Way—Lenny Kravitz
  30. Closer—Nine Inch Nails
  31. Livin’ La Vida Loca—Ricky Martin
  32. Six Days on the Road—Sawyer Brown
  33. I Wanna Come Over—Melissa Etheridge
  34. Lovefool—the Cardigans
  35. Jesus Take the Wheel—Carrie Underwood
  36. Hopelessly Devoted to You—Olivia Newton John
  37. I’ve Got My Mind Set on You—George Harrison
  38. Drivin'—The Kinks
  39. Does He Love You (Like He Loves Me)?—Reba McEntire
  40. Hello—Lionel Richie

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Taking It to Its Natural Conclusion

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So many defenders of "traditional family values" say that the purpose of marriage is to have kids, to uphold the structure of civilization by upholding the traditional kernel of society the family, yadda yadda yadda. I wonder how they'll feel about this proposed law in Washington state.

The heart of the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance's proposal is this:

The measure would require couples to prove they can have children to get a marriage license. Couples who do not have children within three years could have their marriages annulled.

All other marriages would be defined as "unrecognized," making those couples ineligible for marriage benefits.


After, all, why would anyone doubt the stability of a heterosexual family unit?

Today Just Gets Freakier

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Star, the two-faced calf from Virginia has died.
No word yet if she was killed by a rival for her left face's affections.

I'll Never Understand Straight People

This is the guy that caused the Astronut to go on her trek to Orlando International Airport? In diapers? Is it just me or does he look vaguely like Bert from Sesame Street? Just in a jumpsuit.
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Brian and I were discussing this--he made the point that it was a good thing that this was a crazy straight woman. Though the idea of insane, "Resevoir Dogs"-esque homoerotic NASA retribution is appealing, I gotta admit that I can't disagree with him.

...For Thy Love is Better than Meth

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Apparently Jesus' favorite power-bottom tweaker is cured. But he says his Colorado Man-Whore Ministering was a one time thing...an assertion that doesn't quite match what he said in his statement to his church.

Ok he's off the cock--but what about the rock?

Embarrassment of Riches

Thank you jeebus for this crazy astronaut. I don't really know where to begin with this. So many songs presented themselves--quotes from "Space Oddity," "Rocket Man," "Space is the Place," "Planet Claire" all came to mind this morning when I saw them discussing this on MSNBC--and tho they'd have made a wry nod to pop culture and the fragility of the human condition they wouldn't have done justice to the sheer crazy at work here.

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According to CNN, once apprehended, Nowak was found with: a wig and plastic bag containing a carbon dioxide-powered BB pistol, a tan trench coat in addition to a trench coat she threw away, a new steel mallet, a new folding knife with a 4-inch blade, 3 to 4 feet of rubber tubing, large plastic garbage bags and about $600 in cash. Also she was found with diapers and about half a dozen latex gloves.

Ok--some of this stuff makes sense--the trenchcoat and wig were apparently her super secret disguise kit. I'm guessing that when she wasn't playing Apollo 13, Nowak was a big fan of Days of Our Lives. The diapers she brought to avoid time-wasting stops at rest areas (let THAT sink in, considering she drove from Houston to Orlando, which according to Mapquest is about 972 miles.) The report says that Shipman saw Nowak in the trenchcoat appearing to follow her--nothing blends in in Florida like a trenchcoat, nothing. Personally, I think Shipman smelled her coming.

"Asked about the BB pistol, Nowak told police it "was going to be used to entice Ms. Shipman to talk with her," the report said.

"Mrs. Nowak stated that she was not trying to cause any bodily harm to Ms. Shipman and that she only wanted to scare Ms. Shipman into talking with her," the police report said."

Fine--that explains the BB gun. But what about the folding knife? The mallet? The tubing?



Hat tip to Eric for the CNN link.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Omnibus

Cold. Cold cold cold cold cold. There's a windchill of something like negative 13. And drifting snow. It's ridiculous. Most of the time I like living in the country--it's quiet, I can garden and the dogs and cats have plenty of room to roam and do their thing outside. But this wintriness is really oppressive. The individual components--fine. I can deal with cold, with wind, with snow and ice--but in sum....jeebus. The only thing I've learned or come to appreciate lately--I need heavier socks.
*
It's not been without its weird little pleasures though. The other evening these two fat does were grazing in the yard, they got within about 10 feet of the house. Snow was falling, it was getting darker out, very pretty. The dogs of course did nothing...no barking...no running...they were content to let the deer do their thing. As much as I enjoyed watching it, I kept thinking how do I keep them out of my garden this spring/summer. They ravaged my tomatoes last year and nothing I've tried has kept them away. Something to consider and Google. Especially since it's getting to be time to sew seeds and wait and see what takes.
*
I've always been impressed with people who come across as naturists--they see a tree, they know it; they see birds, they know them. I've picked up some of this, but mainly with plants. We've been feeding birds lately which has been sort of fun. I had to download a pdf detailing birds that winter in West Virgina just so I could suss out what was feeding and what I could offer to diversify the species. So far we've had jays and cardinals, Carolina wrens, dark eyed juncos, evening grosbeaks, tufted titmice (is that the plural of titmouse? or should it be titmouses?), chickadees, some sort of sparrows and starlings. I really hate starlings. They're vicious, greedy, nasty things. Invasive. They even manage to bully off blue jays. I just hope the cats don't begin hunting birds. They were maniacs last year hunting moles, voles, ground squirrels and rabbits; which I support. It keeps them out of my beds and garden. But I don't really want them hunting and killing birds. Well--I wouldn't care if they kill starlings.
*
I've been trying to tackle and finish a new poem. I think it's the first of this new group--the next step. It's been tough. The draft I'm working at now is just too short, it ends too quickly, without earning the finale. So I'm working toward expanding the poem. It feels different than the earlier poems--not so much in its concerns or language--but in execution: more enjambment, a more lyrical rhythm, its a gentler cadence than the others. I've been working on it every day and it just might be I'm working it too hard. It's proving resistant. But it's satisfying. It'll get there.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

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Just watched this on pay-per-view and loved it. The humor is for the most part dark and character-driven and I laughed til I cried 3 or 4 times. The full page ad touting the "Surprise Best Seller by America's Number 1 Proust Scholar" was a great moment (one of the few that I can share that isn't a spoiler.) The ending plays a little broad and as more situational--it's more a sort of cringe-inducing funny for me--not so much a natural extension of who these people are and how they act upon the world or are acted upon by it. I'm not saying I don't enjoy that sort of comedy, I do. It just felt out of place for me, given everything that came before it, which is disappointing because the rest of the movie seemed very natural and easy. Character leading to action and all that jazz. I know that there are alternate endings and that the one finally chosen was a last minute shoot, so I'm guessing that part of the problem was finding a way to end it. I'm curious to see it on DVD now and check out the alternates.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Ekphrasis

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I've always liked the idea of working from art--but have never had much success with it. There's a painting of Cy Twombly's in the National Gallery that just makes me vibrate--I shift from foot to foot and just cannot keep still; it's totally unconscious. I've tried to write from that painting, but have never been able to do it. Perhaps I'm just not ready yet. After all, it's taken me 10 years to write a couple of poems, so I'm not ready just yet to pass by this field.

I have managed one poem that I think holds up. I thought I'd post it and the two source images. They're two Untitled paintings by Joan Mitchell, one is from 1957, the other 1959-1960. I think the poem fails in terms of ekphrasis, but it does follow through on what I experience from the paintings.

VISCERA

They went inside: shaved him, incised;

the infected vermiform appendix, excised.

Dream again: hot stink; meaty lengths,

gut loops spilling from where he was abscised.

In the peritoneal corner, it waited; darkened,

swollen, like a blighted iris rhizome.

The doe’s gut split, viscera scattered across

the lane: crimson smears, aubergine muscle shredded: pulverized.

Sun through the pines, spare room, hot sheets.

She changes the bandages, pity in her eyes.

Inside, inside, inside, some days he’d just repeat it. Inside

the cells; inside the chemicals locomotoring on and on. Inside,

inside, inside,

as though the more he said it, the deeper he could go, the more he could apprise.