Friday, September 24, 2010

"Friday Night Frolic" - Run Chicken Run

The Felice Brothersfrom the Catskill Mountains to New York City subway stations, a recording studio in an old chicken coop, voices reminiscent of Dylan, homegrown, gritty rock and harmonies, now touring the USAfinding their way to Pawtucket, RI, at the Met Cafe, Friday night, October 29, 2010! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Miss My “ ”

My “ ” is gon. Wipd from its shiny black ky. 

Vaporizd into thin air; 

rubbd out lik a Mafioso rat by robust and ruthlss punching. 

Bginning with th uppr right arm, 

followd by its middl and lowr branchs, pummld colorlss, 

lik th middl C that I printd on th piano with indlibl markr whn I was just thr. 

Nothing bing prmannt. 

" "A mathmatical constant, the slop of a tangnt lin (of a crtain function), th valu of a drivitiv; 

an irrational numbr of utmost importanc. 

(Not that I shall vr attmpt to us it as such.)

It’s tru—I undrstand now—how th “ ” is th most commonly usd vowl. Utilizd, consumd, xhaustd. I’v witnssd its slow annihilation 

at th hand of th oily skinnd undrsid of my lft middl fingr;

a lon swirling print complling vidnc.

Thoughtlss. Mrcilss. 

But what to com is mor troubling: th gradual dtrioration of T, who’s uppr right cap is missing; 

and th I! Oh my! A mr smudg at th cntr of th raisd bvld squar. 

What to do whn my grayd lttrs hav all vanishd?! Th aging mind drawing blanks. 

How will I find my way? Will th sound of th rat-a-tat tap carry m through—rkindling th addictiv, habitual lik movmnts of my tn rhumatic digits?

Lik a musician’s traind ar, a singrs cultivatd vocal chords? 

Whn all my comrads hav bn limnd bald, will I still hav a story to tll? A song to sing?

But just whn I wondr how I can b m without th lttr “ ”, I am succord by th stubborn blot of my lingring “I”,

my dtrmind vowl. A syllabl, a pronoun, an uttranc unto itslf.  

I wondr if this would qualify as Ars Potica? Profssor B?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why I Don't Tweet

Artwork courtesy
I'm thinking maybe I should tweet. I'd probably get a lot more writing done if I were required to confine my words to no more than 140 characters. After about a year or so of daily tweeting, at a rate of at least once daily, I would have compiled 51,100 charactersenough to fill approximately seventeen pages of writing—and continuing at that feverish pace, it would take me about only seventeen years to write a book. A short book, albeit. Or five years to write an even shorter book. Like, maybe one you could wear on a necklace. Very. Short. 

A friend once invited me to tweet and so I did what any good friend would doI tried it. One little tweet on Twitter. A chirp really. Truly, compared to other folks who tweet, a very weak chirp. I soon discovered that in the tweeting world of Twitter, one must be continually witty and chipper. One must be armed with sassy, snarky, sunny, sage somethings to say. If one does not tweet as such, then it's simply depressing to the reader. Or worse, boring. In other words, one must be very interesting. And I think that the only people in the universe that I'm most likely interesting (notice no "very") to are my children; that is, in terms of making dinner, driving them to a friend's house, helping with homework, making sure soccer, lacrosse, track, basketball, etc. uniforms are ready for the game. Yes, then I am most interesting. Further, there is the problemand not a minor oneof multi-taskingwhich many a twit does take, and I am not a very good multi-tasker. I cannot tweet and blog, text and talk, squeak and squawk all at the same time. I. Just. Can't.

Or I will start to look like this:

The other piece of this, a rather substantial shim, is how incredibly easy it is to instantaneously shoot off every random, banal, unfiltered, uncensored thought in one's head to the entire world. The whole world. Global, that is. I don't think, under any circumstance, this is ever a good idea. Take it from me. Not. Good. Idea.

But wait, did you all know that there are actually Twitter coaches out there? Yup, like this one and this other one, with all kinds of tweet tips for you. Hmmm. Maybe I'm going to have to rethink this twitting twister. I might get that book done in more like... fifteen years? Re. Think.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Children Draw (An Interesting Sociological Study... Perhaps)

Courtesy of Max

I thought I might be away from this space for a while, but a recent discovery over at Amazon sent me into a bit of a tizzy, spinning around on my heels, spouting all kinds of exclamatory words! Yep, like: Wha?! Huh?! Bwaaah! Get out!

First, a minor diversion and disclosure: the dining room is not nearly far enough away from the kitchen. In fact, I'm pretty sure Virginia Woolf was not envisioning the dining room when she wrote "... a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction..."  Somehow, in between Amazon and logging in here to speed blog, I find myself in my dining room—the new "room of my own" (being the only part of Woolf's equation that I am currently able to address)sitting at this long, book and paper-strewn table, before my laptop, with an empty bag of Pepperidge Farm Sausalito Chocolate Chunk (milk chocolate macadamia, to die for) crispy cookies. I vaguely remember sauntering into the kitchen to fill my empty glass with water, but for the life of me I can't recall pushing open the door to the kitchen pantry. I dare say, perhaps it was the pantry that seized me, imprisoning me in its fragrant, shelf-lined walls, torturing me with its bags of treats and munchies. Wouldn't anyone break under such pressure? It's all a blur. Suffice it to say that it would be of tremendous help if the kitchen were much more than yards away from the dining area, if there were between the room of my own and the kitchen a series of obstacles, such as stairs, doors, streets, tunnels, valley's, mountains, and a large water source.

But that's neither here, nor there, so... back at Amazon I found a couple books of interest (the ones that sent me into a queer oscillation):

See... boys doodle. And girls doodle.

The above books are marketed to kids between 9-12 years old as arts and crafts, how-to books. Inside you'll find "Amazing Pictures to Complete and Create."  But do you notice anything odd here? Yes, that's true, The Girl's Doodle Book is blue. Hmmm.  The Boy's Doodle Book is red. Hmmm. Trying to keep the colors gender-neutral? (Wouldn't they then be green or yellow?) More  likely the intent is to distract one from the obvious with its subliminal color swapyou know: boys = blue; girls = a shade of red—as traditionally conceived within the color spectrum. Once deceived by the hue, the particular pigment, one may not notice what lies within. But look closer and you'll find the doodle images on the Boy's Doodle book red cover to be rather, um, masculine: Ship, shark, medieval knight in shining armor. And on the blue cover of the Girls Doodle book, just as you'd expect, doodles of a more feminine nature: tiara, unicorn, ballerina. (My apologizies for categorizing doodles in this manner, butahemI just can't help it.)

Inside the red book are, among other things, drawings of 1) a mad scientist and mechanical feet, with the caption: Invent a robot; 2) space-suited men with guns, saucers flying in space and a goblin looking thing, with the caption: Alien invasion!; and, 3) armored warriors, with the caption: Make their shields scary. You get the picture (really, no pun intended).

Want to know what's in the blue book? ('Course you do.) Here are more samples: 1) a costumed princess in a theatre, with the caption: Shower the diva with flowers; 2) a table topped with a cake stand, caption saying: Create your perfect party cake; and, 3) French courtesans, and the statement: Give Mademoiselle big hair.

You know where I'm headed with this right? Look, I am not a bra-burner, I am not a self-proclaimed feminist (though I am a feminist)only because I thought the women's movement (remember back when?) had equalized the sexes. Somewhat. To some degree. To some acceptable degree. A teensy weeny bit? But these books for 9 to 12 year olds, published in 2008, SCREAM sexism, blatant bigotry, partiality, chauvinism. (Really, Running Press Kids [publisher], did you not notice the obvious sexual stereotype here?) And despite the fact that I don't see myself as a self-proclaimed feminist, I must admit: I am the mother who bought my son and daughter, from the very beginning of time, gender-neutral toys/things. (Oh, hell, ok, I'm a FEMINIST!) Until they started making their own requests... for not so gender-neutral toys/things.  

And then I started to notice something in my own kids' doodles (w/out books or any other type of aid):

Sampling of the Little Man's doodles over the years:




And the Little (lady) One's doodles over the years:

"Love makes the world go round."

Love is everywhere.

Cutest 'lil fellers. Love. Love. Love.

Do you know what's even more interesting than the books' content? Amazon's customer book reviewsall, incredibly, glowing accolade. "Excellent concept, fun!" charges one dad. "Amazing! Seems like it was created for my son!" states another. A mother proclaims that (paraphrasing here) she bought the "Girls" book for her daughters and friends, but really, she got it for herself. (Seriously?! Thanks for taking us back a few years.) "Fun!" cries another mom. "The illustrations are so nice!"  

Not one feminist outcry. Not one.

Yes, an interesting sociological study indeed.