The one where Patrick Stewart is a time traveler

July 30, 2013

Oh, hello there. I didn’t see you come in. The weekend came and went like a flash. I worked both Saturday and Sunday because I apparently don’t like having days off. Well, it was mostly that I like having money. I like money and because saddle shoes are so damn expensive, but that story is for another time.

I’m hard at work on finishing Eating Yogurt with a Fork (poetry chapbook).

Did you know I tumble now?

Yes, I’m quite clumsy. Actually you can find my poetry, news about it and all sorts of weird silly inspirational shiz over at my Tumblr page: Love is a donkey.

A few things to come: a review of the newest Les Robert’s book and something about the ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ street pianos project.

Today however we have serious business to cover. We all know that Sir Patrick Stewart is totally awesome. It’s just a fact. Jimi fun fact #231: If you say something bad about Patrick Stewart he will pummel* you.

*not like you very much.

AnyMakeItSo his awesome is much documented. Did you know he was a time traveler? Well, ancient astronaut theorists believe the proof just may be at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I was walking through the gallery keeping the Renaissance galleries safe and sound. I came upon “Pier Francesco Visconti,Court of Saliceto, Adoring the Christ Child” marble from 1484. It’s a marble sculpture by workshop of Benedetto Briosco and Tomaso Cazzaniga. I gave it a once over with my keen detective’s eye and had to stop.

I looked again.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself?! Need proof?

Briosco

Bam!

Patrick Stewart is a time traveling bad ass.

Or Cazzaniga or Briosco/workshop are time travelers who happen to be Star Trek TNG fans.

The only thing we know for sure is I’d probably make out with Patrick Stewart if he asked me to. Wait, what?

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Cobain Unseen book review

March 21, 2012

I was given this to read by the lovely rizza. I read it quickly and intensely. Next thing I know I was typing up this review.

 

 

 

Charles R. Cross (Heavier than Heaven) makes a return to a familiar
topic with Cobain Unseen. In this meshing of photos, journal excerpts
and bits of memorabilia, Cross attempts to bring further insight into
the life of one of rock and roll’s most mysterious and beloved front
men, Kurt Cobain. This is not your typical biography. Cross doesn’t
just fill the book with the typical biographical information followed
by some home pictures; no instead he goes much, much deeper into the
life and art of Kurt. Readers are treated to very entertaining bits
and stories from Cobain’s early life and through his rise to fame. The
book’s 154 pages are filled with hundreds of beautiful pictures: shots
of Cobain as a kid, on stage, even quiet family moments. The images
are wonderful counterparts for each other. Even better are the
glimpses into Kurt’s creativity, given to us through paintings and letters done in
his own hand. There is even a CD of the troubled singer reading from
pages of his journal.

Cross chooses a scrapbook-style for Cobain Unseen, and it really seems
fitting as we learn more about Cobain’s collections, passions and
artistic endeavors. The writing is on point and unencumbered by the
traditional style of most biographies. The author has no need for an
over the top portrayal of his subject, and this results in writing that
is raw and real. It feels authentic to Kurt and parallels the style of
writing in his songs. The book uses extensive research and interview
materials in a quick and entertaining manner that at no point feels
clunky or wordy. Cross of course has the benefit of having written
Heavier than Heaven before this. Cobain Unseen isn’t necessarily for
those who are coming at Cobain, or Nirvana, for the first time. With
this attempt, Cross has no need for the usual information. He doesn’t
need (or want to) introduce us to the people in Kurt’s life. He
focuses on giving the reader a new view into the mind, the creativity,
and even the madness, that was Kurt Cobain. He chooses to go for an in
depth look at the pieces of history that came together to fuel and
create Kurt’s unique personality. This means newer readers may be left
to their own devices to understand or figure out the simpler of facts
and stories involving Kurt. That fact should not hinder a reader new
to the Cobain story from enjoying the book.

These pieces and intimate recreations are punctuated with the author’s
thoughts and research. It presents the life of the artist through
never before seen photos, chaotically scribbled notes/lyrics, precious
mementos and art. These are the real gems of Cobain Unseen. The almost
dizzying array of personal photos such as Cobain and his daughter, the
concerts, or even the shots as a baby and young child are unseen
glimpses into the rock legend. We are given views of his entire
emotional spectrum. Some match the raw and unrefined moments
of his lyrics. They run the range from blurry and untouched to glossy
magazine photo shoots. Included are slices of Cobain’s interests,
which are as odd and mystifying as the singer was. The odd dolls,
masks, monkeys, and the love (shared with Courtney) of heart-shaped
boxes, carved-up drawing figures and graffiti. One of the best parts
of the book are the assorted fold-outs and removable items: ads for
Nirvana, a copy of Kurt’s high school diploma, a CD of old songs,
blurry letters, X-rays, a scrawled handwritten draft of “Smells Like
Teen Spirit,” and even a handmade Thanksgiving day card made by a
young Kurt. This helps ground the reader and the life of the singer
who took his own life.

The diary like style employed by Cross immerses the reader in the
world that was Kurt Cobain. Cobain Unseen feels less like a biography,
and more like a collage of Cobain’s lifetime. Chaotic, pieced together
moments and scraps perhaps not all that different than the ones Kurt
himself glued and pieced together. If you’ve read Heavier Than Heaven
or any of the other books on Kurt and Nirvana, you will still want to
buy this book. As a whole, the book is a great for any fan of Nirvana
or even someone who just loves music.


the one where my cats suck at picking Oscar winners

February 27, 2012

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

(or at least you there in the back have.)
(okay nobody at all.)

It’s time for the cat vs cast vs wife pickem league. The CCWPL if you will. The first match started with the Super Bowl. You can see about that here.

Csonka raced out to the lead picking The Giants. Next up was going to be the NBA All-Star game but then I decided to have them pick the Oscars too. It was a pain in the ass to get them to make that many picks. Halfway through they’d lose interest in the scraps of paper.

(If you have a phobia related to poorly done paint drawings skip over this.)

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The Oscar picks:

Csonka:

Cinematography: Tree of Life
Supporting Actor: Branagh
Adapted Screenplay: Moneyball
Original Screenplay: The Artist
Supporting Actress: Chastain
Lead Actress: Streep
Lead Actor: Bichir.
Director: The Artist
Picture: War Horse

Rasputin:

Cinematography: The Artist
Supporting Actor: Branagh
Adapted Screenplay: Ides of March
Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Supporting Actress: Bejo
Lead Actress: Close
Lead Actor: Oldman
Director: Tree of Life
Picture: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The Wifey:

Cinematography: War Horse
Supporting Actor: Branagh
Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants
Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris
Supporting Actress: Spencer
Lead Actress: Close
Lead Actor: Dujardin
Director: The Artist
Picture: The Artist

Csonka: 1-9
Rasputin: 3-7
Wifey: 7-3

(The clear winner is the wifey. I’m sure the cats will retaliate by throwing up on her clothes.)

And now the NBA All-Star game picks. Watching the cats bat at scraps of papers was probably more entertaining than NBA All-Star weekend.

Rasputin and The wifey picked the west. Csonka hates LeBron for passing up a shot (picked the East)

Updated CCWPL standings:

Csonka: 1-2
Rasputin: 1-2
Wifey: 2-1


the one where I’m a drunk Nancy Reagan

July 14, 2011

Let’s take a little trip back in time.

(Oh come on if you’re reading this you clearly don’t value your time.)

It won’t be a far trip (or particularly entertaining one—damn got to work on my selling technique) I promise. I won’t even use my usual “where we’re going we don’t need roads” Back to the Future joke.

(Ha sorta did so take that!)

AnyTauntingMyTwoReaders we’re going all the way back to Sunday. Close your eyes and picture what you were doing last Sunday night at about 10pm east coast time. Got it? Good, now forget it because this is about me and what I was doing. I was sitting pretty much where I am now. Where?

(nosy.)
(Oh I should be painting you a mental picture?)
(Fine.)

I was sitting at the table in what we call our library. My computer is open just like it is now and I had a glass of water. The window was open and I had a fan on the floor next to me. I was wearing a Miami Dolphins tee shirt and boxers. These boxers sort of have a malfunction where the little pee flap thingy is. The thing caught on the drawer (the same one that tried to bugger my bum.) and now the flap is a little bigger than needed. With this in mind I positioned the fan and my legs so that the air would blast right into there. Ah nice and cool man bits.

(See what happens when you want a picture painted?)

So there I was being all Fitzgeraldly and typing away:

Typey typey type type.

When I needed a break. So I went on google+ and there was nothing new posted in the last like 5 hours, so I headed over to the twitter. I happened to see a tweet from the lead singer of a band, posting a link to summer tour dates/album info. The band is Patent Pending. Now these guys were here couple months ago and are part of warped tour. I’ve not missed a Cleveland show of theirs in 5 years but warped tour doesn’t count. stream theier latest album here or check out The Magical World of Joe. We decided a long time ago (after attending one and being trampled by a migraine while there) that festival shows are a no go. The other reason is you know unemployed and all can’t just spend tons of money all the time.

So I was going to ignore the link because I knew when the album was due and figured they wouldn’t be here anytime soon. Eventually I was curious (thinking maybe near the end they’d return) and clicked.

Me: Holy yoda’s green little balls! Patent Pending has a concert tomorrow night!

(Probably didn’t say it that way but I wanted you thinking of yoda’s little green balls. You’re welcome.)

It was to be at Peabody’s which we hate but will go there to see Patent Pending any old day. It turned out it was in the tiny Pirate’s Cove (inside Peabody’s) which brought back mostly fond memories. They wifebot (when she was just the girlfriendbot) and her friends would go there for 80’s dance night. I’d attend (no dancing) and sit at the bar drinking and writing.

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So we show up and are pretty much the only (non people working there/playing) drinking at the show. The show was awesome and I consider Joe (lead singer) a friend by now. By the end of it I was carrying a nice buzz. We headed on home but had to stop at Walgreens for cat food. After telling all the workers in there they are awesome I grabbed the kitty chow and stopped at the cheap movie bin.

Training Day was calling my name. From there I walked toward the cold drink section. As I did this happened:

A lady woman storms passed. Her children like 6 steps behind.

Little girl: Mom…mommy you said you needed medicine the drug section is back there.

Mom: Shut up. (she goes on to inspect the soda pop section.)

Me (tapping little girl on the shoulder): Say no to drugs and you’ll be awesome!

(Thumbs up.)

Little girl: ….

Me: Awesome. (thumbs up)

I left her there to ponder my wisdom.

Next time I’ll go with this:

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Pig man at the Summer Solstice Party

June 28, 2011

One of the first things I fell in love when I moved to Cleveland was the Art Museum. They have some great pieces, awesome lectures, and it’s free every single day. Here and here are a few posts on some of the lectures they’ve had. They also have probably my all time favorite “La Vie”.

Sometimes, when I didn’t have to be at work after school I’d get off the bus at University Circle and walk on over to the museum. I’d spend an hour or so in there and generally end up sitting in front of “La Vie.” I’d pull out my notebook and just write sitting there.

It had been a goal for a while to make it to their Summer Solstice Party. This is essentially a huge party in the museum. How awesome an idea is that? The set up is tiered. If you are (or know someone who is) Mr. Moneybags you can start the party at 6pm (Eventide) for the $175 ticket. This will get you in for the whole night and includes food and open bar. The ticket prices drop the later in the evening you show up. If you’re unemployed like me you can get 20 dollar tickets.

(15 for us cus we be members’ bitches!)

This gets you in at 10pm and includes a cash bar, which is fine because we had a pregame plan. What? Simple: Find a parking space and the drink absinthe out of plastic glasses before walking over to the event.

(Brilliant.)

Lindsay and Kat got all prettified and I wore my boring dress pants and shirt. Only Pig Man took over.

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Within two minutes I was followed and pulled aside by 2 girls. They were pretty drunk (or on the edge of it) and wanted to know why I was wearing the pig nose. The only thing was I hadn’t officially come up with the story yet.

(I wasn’t even calling myself pig man yet.)
(or talking in third person.)

Both of them pulled me off the escalator and each held an arm. They were really close to my face and played with pig man’s nose.

Girl1: I LOVEEE IT!
Girl2: Is there a reason you’re wearing it?
(Pig Man shrugs.)
Girl1: Is it a statement?
Girl2: Or just accessory.
Pig man: Just my nose so an accessory I guess.
Girl1: Oh mah gosh.
Girl2: Nooooo it has to mean something. Like performance art or something.
Girl2: Yeahhh.
Pig man: Like for Sugardale?
Girl2: YES, It has to be for SOME reason.
Girl1: I think it’s so cute.
(Pig man see’s his wife waiting/looking for him.)
Girl1: Byyeeeee
Girl2: Byeeeeee

For the rest of the evening pig man referred to himself in third person.

“Pig man’s so hot in here he’s gonna turn into bacon soon.”
“Pig man thanks you for your kind words.”
“Pig man appreciates you holding the door for him.”

At another point out in the huge dancing crowd a woman came up to pig man and stroked his snout.

Snout stroker: I love your nose!
Pig man: I’m sorry baby pig man’s already got a wife.

Later on pig man entered the bathroom. As he saddled up to the urinal another dude noticed him.

Bathroom talker: Oh man you’re the guy wearing the pig nose they were talking about!
Pig man: This is pig man’s real nose Pig Man ain’t wearing no nose.
Bathroom talker: Awesome man!

I didn’t bring the camera because I didn’t want us carrying it around all drunk and etc. We did hit up their photo booth.

(A photo booth! How awesome is that?)

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The whole night women (some drunk and some not) just had to touch my nose. Some grabbed it, some tapped it. So what did we learn? We have definitive proof that chick’s dig a guy in a pig nose.

Pig Man don’t mind one bit.


the one with a King

June 24, 2011

Recently I decided to undertake the task of cataloging all of our books. I’ve created one big spreadsheet and began listing them. I’m taking my time doing this and I’m on about book 327 or so. Part way through this I realized if I put it on Google Docs than I’d have access to the list wherever I go.

Sweet.

I’ve accumulated more than a few doubles because I wasn’t sure if I owned a specific book. It would happen something like this:

(Inside a thrift store I slowly search the bookshelves. I spot something interesting. I peer around and creep closer. When old person comes up to the books I shove them down and kick them to make sure they can’t grab the book. I pick it up.)

Me: Damn this is only 50 cents! Oh wait do I have this? I can’t remember I don’t think I do. I’m not sure though.

Old person on floor: I think I broke my hip.

Me: Shut up! (Kick them.) Shit it’s only 50 cents and I don’t think I have it. Maybe Sillie will know…no she’s not going to know…I can’t not buy it…what if I don’t have it…you know?

Broken hip: I’m in so much pain.

Me: It’s always about you!

(Stepping on their spine I walk past them.)

Then I get home and see I do own the book.

“Damn you thrift store and your alluring 50 cent book siren song you’ve bashed my ship along your rocky walls once again!”

AnyFakeViolenceAgainstOldPeople as I was cataloging the books I came across my copy of Richard Bachman’s The Regulators. Many of you may know this actually a book written by Stephen King. Now King is probably my favorite modern day writer. I’ve read every one of his books, and when I was young he inspired/influenced my writing.

I flipped open the book and admired the autograph in it.

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Why did I get a book he wrote under a different name signed? Well, it was the book I was reading at the time or perhaps was literally just purchased.

(This happened way back like in 1997 so let the fuzzy details stay that way!)

If I was to do it over I’d probably get The Stand or The Gunslinger which are my favorites.

Stephen King (along with it seems a billion other writers) formed a rock band named The Rock Bottom Remainders. I mean this is the list of authors who’ve played in the band at some point:

Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Heimel, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Sam Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles

Well it turned out they were playing the Miami Book Fair and would include Dave Barry (hilarious) and King. My sister Lisa who is oft the catalyst of my good times took me. I brought (or bought??) the book with the hopes of being able to grab an autograph. They played (and you know were decent for authors who wish they were rockers.) and then he disappeared into the back.

A large crowd lined the barrier and bulged. He reemerged and began signing books. After being pushed over to the crowd I waited and waited. Finally he made his way to me and bam Stephen Mother fucking King stood in front of me.

Now these days I’ve met a bunch of people and writers that I admire. I’ve spent time with some and talked and asked questions and it was fun. This however went more like this:

STEPHEN KING is standing in front of me. Angels were probably singing and I believe there was a bright aura shining around him. He grabs my book.

King: Hey buddy what’s your name?
Me: ….
King: Who would you like me to sign it to?
Me: ….
King: ….
Me: ….
King: ….
My sister is poking me in the back at this point.
Me: Oh uh…uh..uh..James.
King: Great.

(He signs and hands it back.)

#JimiFail


The one with the Cleveland Creep

June 13, 2011

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Finally I’m getting around to posting this. Way back on June 4th I had the privilege of being part of a Books for Bloggers event. It was held at Visible Voice Books in Tremont and allowed an intimate conversation between Cleveland bloggers and Cleveland mystery writer, Les Roberts.

When I received the email invitation I was excited. It allowed for me to bring a guest and I chose my lovely Wifebot, who of course could have attended as a local blogger herself.

A little bit of honesty time. When I first move to Cleveland way back in 2002 someone suggested I read one of the books in Les Robert’s Cleveland series. It went something like this:

Person: Hey yo you’re into writing and new to Cleveland. There is like this author who writes mysteries set in Cleveland.*

(*Nowhere near how it happened.)

I looked up the name and picked the first book in the series—Pepper Pike. I read it pretty fast and really liked it. I decided right than that I was going to get to know Milan Jacovich real well, but you know things come up. I hadn’t read another in the series since. I sort of forgot all about it until I received the email.

The event was to promote his new book, The Cleveland Creep and was sponsored by Roberts’ publisher Gray & Company.

Les met with us in Visible Voice Books’ quaint upstairs meeting room. I was happy to see the room because I’ve been considering it for a reading of one my plays.

(More on that later bitches!)

It was intimate and the author easily fell into a back and forth conversation. It wasn’t long before he was weaving story after story for us, and it felt like we were all old friends. He (obviously) can really tell a story. It was interesting to hear about how Cleveland grew on him and you could tell the love he had for the city.

The meet and greet was very lighthearted and filled with humor. He answered questions and signed the books.

(Free bitches!)

I was happy to meet @ADHicken who I’d enjoyed on the twitter.

(Wait that didn’t come out right.)
(T.W.S.S)
(Not her but you know the royal her–nevermind!)

And her blog Clue Into Cleveland is always a fun read. It was cool to meet her hubby @ScottHicken and @timzaun (who you’ll see more from down below.)

(That’s what she said!)
(Sorry.)

Roberts’ has lived in both Chicago and L.A. but fell in love with Cleveland and couldn’t leave. He’s lived here 21 years and tells how the city has influenced him and his writing. When asked about what needs to be done for the future growth of the city his first reaction was said with humor and care:

“Oh Boy”

After a chuckle he dove into what he felt needed to be done. I snagged this from TimZaun.com because it was a little more thorough than my notes. His site is a very good read. He snapped the picture above too (Hooray for lazy jimi!)

• We need to stop the brain drain of Cleveland’s upcoming talent-young residents or transplants, choosing to be educated here; and then leaving town for larger, more progressive cities.
• Government needs to make it easier for businesses to locate here with tax incentives, etc.
• Officials who embody the “What’s in it for me?” mentality need to be replaced with individuals committed to helping Cleveland thrive.
• We need more writers to promote Cleveland’s assets.

The Cleveland Creep is Roberts’ 25th book and more importantly 15th featuring Cleveland private eye Milan Jacovich. I will have a longer review up soon but I will say that it is an excellent read. Once you talk to him it is hard to hear his voice as you read. It was near me and I opened it up just to read the first few pages and was instantly hooked. The story is a fast and smooth read. The book is filled with some wonderful prose. Jacovich’s humor and love for Cleveland mirrors that of Roberts. There is a tinge of sadness to the pages as the Cleveland private eye deals with age and loss. This only adds to the gritty realism and edge the series has.

Les Roberts will return in 2012 with Whiskey Island. The story will revolve around a Cleveland city councilman—who is corrupt—sound familiar?


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