Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Random music of the day is “Vengo” by Ana Tijoux, because I just stumbled upon her and wow. listen

 

TRIGGER WARNING: Contains boring personal shit

 

 

I’ve always made fun of New Year’s resolutions. When people talk about their ‘resolutions’ they tend to be trite, vague, quickly forgotten, and half of them inevitably revolve around losing weight.

 

The other end of it is priorities shift over the course of the year. Also, it isn’t as if anyone will hold you to account and most importantly why New Year’s? Shouldn’t you continually be resolving to better yourself?

 

It’s strange how your work can change the way you see things. I’ve never really looked at time in “years” until recently. It has to do with being a student you see things through academia. In semesters, in seasons.

 

I got a bit of a reset when I moved to Chicago. I came here at the beginning of the year. I moved in with my significant other at the time, started a new life with the new job, all of which came crashing down after almost exactly one year. It reset my clock and now I can’t help but take into account all that’s transpired in a year.

 

I’ve been delayed in getting this post up. It kind it sprawls out farther every time I go to finish it. I considered breaking it up into several sections, maybe I will. You’ll know by the end of the post.

 

Looking at the last three years I see them as themes. The first year was all about money. The next one was dominated by sex, Last year seemed to be about friendships, although it was the poorest I’ve ever been in my life.

 

This year it’s time to go back to where I started

 

Words

 

 

My cousin, Checkmate, and I were talking recently. He’d asked sot see some of my work and I’d sent him some to read. On the phone later, I was lamenting that it’d been a good while since I was published and didn’t even know how to start going about it again.

 

He asked —How many people have read any of what you sent me?

 

—…Good point, I responded

 

 

Over this last year I made a new friend [I’ll refer to him as Flamingo] with whom I have become close. And Flamingo has a saying:

 

Philosophy is not a spectator sport.

 

He’s right.

 

Neither is Art.

 

And this is my theme the year. This is my resolution.

 

Art is not a spectator sport.

 

It’s time to get some blood on the field.

 

 

That’s where I begin this year.

 

This is my list:

 

Reading – forty books. The last few years I’ve shot for fifty to average one book a week and felt comfortable falling short. Not to set my sites low, I want them to be difficult, but attainable. So this year it will be forty and maybe I’ll surpass it

 

Writing – Finish a dozen uncompleted short stories. I also want to make some significant progress on the two novels I’m working on, but It’s harder to see what a concrete goal for those will look like.

 

50 submissions – Whether I end up with a whole wall of rejection or start building those IWDB credentials I just need to start doing it.

 

7 venues. – Lately my work has only been seen by close friends. I need to get back out into the world and get used to standing up and talking to strangers about my stuff.

 

Apply to write a house – because why the hell not.

 

Put something up here twice a week, last year I was shooting for every day (I think I downgraded to five days a week, but didn’t keep up with either.) not that what I put up here is ever going to be part of a bestseller, the physical act of putting content up gives me a deadline to follow if nothing else.

 

Fill all my notebooks currently in use. (mostly because Delphi gave me a beautiful notebook for my birthday and I’m eager to use it, but don’t want to start a what… fifth or sixth ongoing journal. I need to just finish them off.)

 

 

This is a good stopping point. There’s another page of tangential babbling, but let’s just call this part one for now and get it up because the next part will be little more entertaining I think and will be able to stand on its own.

 

 

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Shuffle Says: “Whistle for the Choir” The Fratelies [mixtape from an ex]

Life has been around 6 kinds of crazy lately. Mostly in a good way. I’ve been working out of town for a spell and spent the last week moving. I’m back on the unemployment line so regular posting should resume this weekend.

I’m applying for a big touring gig that if I get I’m sure will solve all of my problems ever.
ok maybe that’s a bit much but it will certainly be helpful.
If I do get it this blog will probably take an interesting turn.

Shuffle Says: “Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days” Louis Prima, et al., The Capitol Recordings

My friend Julie over at Happy Catholic posted a month or so ago about her belief that the world was turning into a dystopic Scifi novel. While I won’t disagree outright that I increasingly find actions taken by our government to move us closer and closer to an Orwellian singularity, I do take issue with a few of her pieces of evidence.

The first was  “A paper proposing use of the term ‘after birth abortion’”

Second was in regards to “The House rejected a ban on sex-selection abortions.”

The third was A BBC story about doctors in the UK taking organ donation for granted.

Let’s take them one at a time.

First off, leave the Philosophers alone. They’re suggestion is abhorrent? Perhaps, but they exist in the world of academia, which we can all agree bears little resemblance to the real world. I hate to sound like one of those crotchety oul fellas that always get proven wrong by history, but it’s absurd to posit that a suggestion like this would gain any traction in the US government, which is already bifurcated to the point of ineptitude by the abortion issue. Furthermore, this is their job: to argue all possible sides of an idea, to make us question morality and ethics and the state of society. The same form of critical thinking that is allows you to call these potential atrocities into question. The vast majority of people even in the essayist world will never know these guys names or pay them any mind. And it is for that reason these sort of people would even make this argument. To get people to react to it and pay attention to them for even the briefest moment. They’re trolling you. This is no more than a modern, poor man’s Modest Proposal with less ties to reality.

OK Onto the Doctors in moderately OK Britain.

I only wish this was happening in the US. We’re trying to solve a problem. I can’t list the statistics off the top of my head, but smart people have told me (and my smart people source is the head of transplant services at UT Southwestern Medical Center) about how woefully unhelpful current system is. Many other nations have circumvented by changing the mentality of the issue. The psychology behind it is this. Human beings are programmed to do two things, help their fellow man, and avoid death. Now the fellow man thing is subject to the death thing because, well… logic. Same question phrased differently plays on both. If you present it the way we do. Assume no. you have to go out of your way to say yes. In doing so you are forced to face the fact that you will, not might, die. Something we humans especially Americans don’t do well. Other countries mostly Northern European have far fewer problems with both the expense and wait time for new organs.

What triggers is the base instinct that anything to do with death is to be avoided and with it so easy to just not go the extra step people tend to just not do it. However, when the opposite is true you are forced to go out of your way to say no, the subtext of those two letters is “I want to screw over my fellow man because I want my corpse to be prettier”. We are biologically programmed (thank the maker) to feel guilt at this notion (and by we I don’t just mean cradle Catholics and Jews mind you) which again makes us more likely to be decent human beings.

All this considered.

Any person or any reason at any time can opt out of this very easily.

Just a dying ALS patient can sign (at least by oral proxy) a DNR, or a Jehova’s Whitness can refuse blood, or a Christian Scientist can refuse… y’know, medical treatment. Anyone can say no. Also, Catholics are taught that at death our souls detach from our bodies so we really shouldn’t give a shit about what happens to our corpses (I mean no one wants their remains raped, but hey, necros need lovin too). Personally, I believe it’s common Christian kindness to give what we can to others. No one would probably want my  kidneys but I’ve been told I got a good heart (which I don’t ever take for granted because two of my closest friends suffer from the exact same, but extremely rare congenital heart defect and whom but for the grace of whatever you pray to, and a brilliant fucking team of surgeons I’d never have the pleasure of spending some of the happiest moments [and on one drunken occasion bodily fluids] with)

I hope my body can be of use for as long as possible and for as many people can be dosed with ether, put in ice packs, and sold to the highest bidder.

Anyhoo, onto abortion

I want to make it very clear that I am NOT taking a stance on abortion (not in this post anyhow. I actually have a very clear understanding of my views on the matter and almost no one knows them, but that’s another story and shall be told at another time). The question raise is should abortions be allowed based on sex. Therefore we are only answering the second half given the premise that abortions are legal.

We cannot police thoughts. Motive in case of legal actions is irrelevant. The mindset should only come into play when distinguishing illegal acts for instance making the call between manslaughter and murder or when knowledge of circumstances affects a prison sentence as is the case in statutory rape.

Abortion in the United States is a legal action and therefore the reasons for taking such action cannot be grounds for prosecution. In order to allow for such a suggestion we’d have to submit that a person’s thoughts should be subject to law and that would be a grave misstep.  It’s the same reason that hate crime legislation is dangerous (I know at least two of my readers are gonna slap me for that one, but is simply fact).

You believe that terminating a pregnancy on the basis of sex is wrong. That’s fine. Sounds like a shitty reason to me too. Hell, I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s morally reprehensible, but we cannot have freedom of speech or religion if we don’t first have freedom of thought for I would certainly hope that thought comes before speech and occurs concurrently with faith. Freedom of thought is not written down for it must exist a priori to all other laws.

A wise old cowboy once told me “Yer on the right side of the law to carry ice cream in yer pockets, even if yer mind is set to horse thevin. ‘Cept in Colorado of course.”

Shuffle Says: “Marry You” B.B. King and Eric Claption Ridin with the King.

So, awhile ago I wrote about my last road trip back up here (that was before my plates expired and I ended up with 500 dollars in parking tickets in two weeks while keeping it in the exact same spot on my street) and how wonderful the drive was. This was in large part due to the pleasant company of Neil Gaiman and friends and the new full cast recording of  American Gods. 

For anyone who doesn’t know, Gaiman is a huge fan if audio books and I’m sure he went through a great deal of effort to ensure a fine production. Before the tenth anniversary of Gods Gaiman’s last novel to take an aural turn was The Graveyard Book and before that was The Wolves in the Walls both of which were for children and both of which were read in their official capacity entirely by him. In American Gods (the first version did not feature the dulcet tones of the author’s voice) Gaiman takes a bit of a back seat opting not narrate this one as he believes it would be inappropriate given his accent (an admirable choice). Instead he takes on the “Coming To America” passages, all immigrant stories, which makes far more sense considering he is one himself.  Even for those brief moments, his voice as always was a wonderful, sexy addition to the joy of the story itself.

This book is certainly on my top five and I believe, especially considering its sheer epic nature, is one that always stands for a great reread.

The new edition also features 16,000 more words than the original U.S. version. It gives it a bit of a ‘directors cut feel’, though not changing the story all that much. Gaiman admired that the “original” version has long since been lost. After half a dozen rewrites and numerous edits and editions after the majority of that text was cut, it couldn’t simply be shoved back in without negative repercussions on the story. So Gaiman says he actually did some minor rewriting to slip some extra material in and calls the new version his “preferred” text.

All things considered, however, the added content was so well blended in I had to often ask myself if maybe I had forgotten something or remembered it wrong. Luckily I was driving and couldn’t pull out my old copy to check. There additional scene with Jesus (and I wont tell you any more about it), he doesn’t put back ‘in’ at all, but leaves it as something like a deleted scene at the end. This one was interesting was… nice, a bit queer, and I can see why he left it out.

The cast is stellar, the only actors I had issue with were Shaddow’s wife Laura – there was some strange stop start cadence to her speech that just kept bothering me – and… some other woman (Sam Blackcrow I think and for the same reason)

OK so not much of a review today, but I’m feeling lazy and I really want to get this one off the shelf

Also, after spending this precious time with the book, I feel it is worth giving a half sleeve’s worth of ink to. Anyone who feels like volunteering to design it, feel free to volunteer.

Shuffle says: “long way from Georgia” Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses, Mescalito

If any one has noticed, I’ve changed the menu and subtitle of the blog. This decision came as the  result of a conversation with a friend who pointed out that  the aforementioned items gave the blog the feel of having a deep political slant that would push off many potential readers.  The bigger problem was that  after however many months this thing has been up, I still haven’t posted anything terribly political (which I still intent to do…eventually) for now, leaving that out has allowed these entries to stay out of too many places, until we get more settled with a steadier readership which as been coming along steadily. I’m still toying with pages and structure for this thing so you can expect menu items and such to continue to change as the site evolves.  Not that anyone here really cares about much else other than the drinking games.  That’s right I can see what pages are read most often.

take care boppers

Shuffle says: “What’s With Terry?” The Undertones, HypnotizedYouTube – The Undertones “What’s With Terry”.

I must be honest, this post has nothing to do with one of my favorite films Empire records.  Today I started getting in touch with my technological side.  I spent close to an hour or so figuring out what RSS is and how to use it.  I figure now that I got a blog and I’m rockin the iPod, I might as well go whole hog to join the new decade and now I am attempting to decipher the twitter. I also learned to check my blog’s stats, got myself a google account, and read through a whole bunch of WP’s help pages

What really made me want to post, however, was discovering two new bands.  The first is an old Scottish punk group called Skids, whose album Scared to Dance I bought ages ago and totally forgot about until I stumbled across it whilst going through iTunes this week trying to purge the excess out of my music library. There is some seriously good stuff on there, including “The Saints are Coming” which I also discovered was unfortunately covered by my arch nemesis Bono and Billy Joel of Green Day.  The other is a Rastafarian Punk band, Bad Brains. Frank Turner did a cover of this on his First Three Years album which I just spent the past half hour reverse engineering for my own self, mostly because I’m pretty sure he’s playing in drop D or DADGAD.  As you can tell, the original is quite different, YouTube – Bad Brains-Pay to Cum.  The lyrics are killer and I’m definitely going to have to get the rest of the album to see what else they got.  Turner’s cover, though, I feel is a testament to how awesome and powerful cover’s can be.