Things I learned from last week

February 20, 2012

It’s easier to convince people that I have a twin at the museum than you’d think. That story will be posted in a “conversations with jimi” later.

Volunteering (at work) always gets me punished. I get assigned the worst posts. I really hate checkroom. Most of my coworkers like it though.

If I start poems at work it means nothing if I don’t work on it when I get home. Lately I’ll start working on one and a manager will come in or a bunch of patrons.

I really want to produce my plays. This really explains itself. The wife and I’ve been talking about producing them again.

Scallions are my new arch nemesis. No matter where I order if I ask to have the scallions off they’ll still be on the food.

When I finally use my calendar in my phone it helps if I put the right movie time.

Chris Cornell’s voice is awesome. I knew this but his “I will always love you” cover helped me remember.

Being at a bus stop without headphones means you get to hear a ton of interesting things. I should stop and listen sometimes. It helps with creating characters. At the very least @Overheardohio would benefit.

Being in a room filled with Rembrandts is sort of stressful. I was a little on edge the whole time. It took me a while to get into a groove and feel like I was able to do a good job of making sure nothing happened.

Side note: In Cleveland? Make sure to check out the Rembrandt in America show. It is pretty sweet.

Melt bar and grilled is one of the best ways to cap off a weekend. This time around I had the TMNT Cowabunga Pizza Roll Melt: Cheese pizza rolls deep fried, rich homemade marinara, green ooze basil pesto cream chesse, Provolone and Romano cheese

Awesome cheesy movies with the three shillelaghs (Lindsay and kat) is always a great idea. This week it was Flash Gordon and The House by the Cemetery. They were at the Capitol Theatre and Cleveland Cinematheque

For your enjoyment:

And Lucio Fulci’s The House by the Cemetery:


The one where I’m not too bad

January 23, 2012

I’ve been a bit, shall we say, absent here recently. I do have a good excuse though. So here’s the deal, and you know you can trust me completely. It’s a pretty good story actually. It involves Libyan Terrorists and a lovably kooky scientist. So I was totally just chilling at this older scientist dude’s house—you know in a totally non gay way—and messing with his toys—again in a totally non gay way—when he called. He told me to meet him at the mall later that night. No biggie, right? So I did. When I got there he showed me a freaking time machine, but then these Libyan terrorists—what? Like this is so totally a true story and everything.

Sometimes I really need an actual editor. My sister will check my grammar and all that shiz, but I probably should have someone be like okay, really this joke? I mean I made you sit (like you’re really still reading) through an entire paragraph making a dumb Back to the Future joke.

I’ve been bad. I’ve been writing, just not on here. I’ve been all about the poetry (which is a good thing, but bad for here and for B Movie Brigade.) I’ve racked up conversations, work stories and other ideas that will find their way here. One of the things is my wrestling themed/inspired chapbook titled The Electric Luchador Rides Again. You can follow the progress of the chapbook (and my other poetic endeavors) at loveisadonkey.tumblr.com.

Moving on….

As a writer, I form rituals and habits. Many writers do. It helps me to write. I drink out of the same coffee mug when I’m writing. This is the case even after the handle of the mug broke off. I write in the same area of our apartment. I go to the same coffee shop and drink the same drink (Chai tea), and clearly I have the habit of making the same jokes in blogs. These habits and rituals often flow into other areas of my life. Hell, at my last job I found myself using the same bathroom stall each and every time.

At work I like to try and bring as much creativity (some might say weirdness) to the mundane job world. This had been hindered by the fact that somehow I started to fall into a rut in the weirdest possible way. Whenever anyone asked me how I was doing, no matter how I was actually doing I found myself saying “Oh not too bad.”

Every.
Single.
Damn.
Time.

Even after I caught myself doing it:
Person: How you doing?
Me: Oh not too bad (damn!)

It became increasingly important to come up with some different ways to respond to the questions when it came from my new manager. I mean they think I’m weird anyway. I could have some fun with it, and it’d probably help come up with some good stories for here. I started compiling weekly lists of how I would respond.

Such as:

(Simple ones that still seemed to confuse or weird them out)

Fine and dandy like sour candy
Fine and dandy like hard candy
Fine as frog’s hair.
Right as rain
Like I got sunshine in a bag.
Just swell, Mel.
Peachy keen jelly bean
Peachy keen like Jimmy Dean
I’m the tops, pops.
This must be pretty in pink cus I’m duckie.
Call me Count Duckula cus I’m ducky.
Like Mario after saving the Princess.
Like Zelda when he has full hearts.

And so on and so on. If you have any you think I should use let me know. How am I doing? Oh not too bad….DAMNIT!


the one with an origin story.

July 18, 2011

The fact that the wifebot was in a show recently meant that I was at a Theatre a lot over the last three weeks. This is something I’ll rarely complain about. I love the vibe, passion and energy that flow freely at a theatre when a show is up. Strangely the audience was usually made up of older adults.

(Strange in that it wasn’t the traditional plays being performed.)

I rarely miss a show of hers and this time was no different. I was at every single performance even the preview show. This means a lot of time around actors and directors, which for me is always a little strange. I dig them; it just always feels a little weird.

This also (generally) means I’m going to field the “you’re a playwright?” or “what are you writing over there?” questions. You can throw in the paranoia that I’m writing what they are saying or writing about them.

Now I’ve been known to steal conversations and clearly there is overheard Ohio but come on people. Not everything is about you. One night I was talking to an actor and they asked why I didn’t submit to the fest.

(And that is a story of my idiotic messing up of the deadline.)

As I talked over my glass of complimentary wine a dude who had been eyeing me as I wrote made his way to where I was sitting. As I returned from the wine table/my conversation he asked if I was going to be sitting there again. I told him he could have that seat as I was gonna walk around a bit.

He frowned and said “I was hoping you’d have a seat with me. I’d like to ask you some things.”

Jimi: Fuck that shit can’t you see I was working on some writing?

Or

Jimi: Sure why not.

I sat. He peered at me.

Him: I heard you’re a playwright.
Me: yeah.
Him: How does one go about becoming a playwright?
Me: Write plays? I mean I found my passion there and see things on the stage now.

The conversation went on from there. Mostly about how, what and why I write plays. He asked if I could talk about the play I was working on with him.

You may or may not know that the play I’m working on is a struggling playwright (ha ha) who gets dumped, fired, and rejected on the same day. He gets drunk and wants a simpler time. He remembers (and longs for) the time fondly when he was young and had an imaginary friend. His friend’s name is Percy T. Whale and yes he is a walking talking whale. He wishes for him and he returns. The problem? Percy is a drunk, annoying jerk who only causes trouble.

So I tell him this and he starts to get into it. He‘s asking questions and throwing out suggestions. He asks if I’ve considered letting someone writing a scene or two for me.

(Uhm?)

As the conversation continues it seems more and more like he’s hoping I’ll ask him to collaborate with me. Luckily Lindsay came and I was saved. The next week an older lady heard I’d seen every show—I help out the theatre doing whatever I can—and asked me why. When she found out that my wife is an actress and I’m a playwright she began asking questions.

I talked all the while hoping she’d ask me how I became a playwright.

Origin of a playwright:

When I was twelve I hated reading and loved math. I wanted to grow up and do something in the math field. One day while walking around and solving math problems in my head I came across a dog. I went to pet it and it bit my arm. I passed out.

When I woke up I was in the hospital and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I had a fever and just started writing and writing plays. I wrote until the fever went down and I’ve been a playwright ever since.

She didn’t ask but that will be what I tell the next person.


the one with a bum buggering dresser.

June 23, 2011

A wee bit of jimi business before we begin; today is my four year anniversary with the very lovely Kat. I love her more and more. She’s made me the poet, writer and person I am today.

(So send her all complaints!)

Now on to what you really came here for—the ass rape.

(Wait what?)

It was 3 in the morning. A summer night that was not unlike most summer nights. The apartment was quiet. The cats sprawled out on the living room floor in attempt to hide from the heat. I was up late (again) and lost track of the time. I tried to shake the sleep from my bones but it clung with a righteousness I simply couldn’t match. My fingers plugged away at the keyboard till the lids of my eyes grew heavy. There would be no beating sleep. I made my way to the window and paused to peer out into the darkness. What wearied traveler was out there?

(Okay enough of that. Who do I think I am Denis Johnson lite?)

I trudged off to the bedroom—trying to be as quiet as possible. The wifebot of course had to be up in 3 hours. Turning off the remaining lights I used the flashlight app on my phone to lead the way. After peeing and tossing my pants off I was ready for bed.

Except I forgot earlier in the night I washed the dishes while listening to the Indians game. I left the radio in the kitchen. You see I need the radio on to sleep. I switch between Coast to Coast AM and a Sports talk show. It all depends on my mood. If I don’t want to be bothered by real life I leave it on the sports show. Now if that show spends too much time on a sport or story I don’t like I switch on over to Coast to Coast.

AnyNowYouKnowHowJimiSleeps I had to go to the kitchen to get the radio. I knew this would lead to noise and waking her up. How could it not, after the perfect execution of silently getting into bed? I made my way slowly into the kitchen with my phone. While in there I made sure to switch the station back to the one I wanted and to turn the volume down to an acceptable sleeping level. That done I went back to the bedroom. As I used my phone to see the socket it told me it would be dying soon. No worries I’ll plug it in right now.

(Ah crap the plug is in the living room.)

She stirred.

(Ah crap I actually said that first thing out loud.)

Off to the living room to fetch the charger. Now the cats were stirring. Rasputin following me from the living room to the bedroom—he does this most nights as I head off to bed. I could hear her sleeping soundly as I rounded the home stretch. I just may get through this. All I had to do was plug the phone charger into the wall and slide into bed. I made sure all the pillows were in the right place. I plugged in the charger and it made its little noise assuring me it would begin to charge.

None of this woke her up.
(Whew.)

I moved toward the bed and pulled the plug out of the wall. That’s okay I’ll just reach down and plug it back in. For some reason I didn’t bend over to do this but instead squatted down. As I did my ass made contact with the corner of an open drawer. Bull’s-eye! I mean the Enterprise (my ass) was just sitting there shields down when a Romulan Bird of Prey decloaked and slammed a torpedo right through the hull (the hull being my bum.)

“YOWWWWWWW!”
(Pause.)

The wifebot sits up. “Whaa…whaaa…?” She appears to still be mostly asleep.

“I think I just lost my virginity to a fucking dresser,” grabbing my bum and doing a little hop step.

“Oh.” She turns over and is back into her dreams.

I gingerly walk over and sleep on my side. The next day I tell her about it and she says:

“That’s what you get for leaving the drawers open all the time.”

(Probably true.)


The one with the Cleveland Creep

June 13, 2011

Photobucket

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?


The one tinged with violence

May 25, 2011

I’ve been known (from time to time) to actually get my shit together long enough to submit to places. The act of putting my stuff out there at one point was one of my strengths. Sometimes now it feels like a real chore. I’ve been on a real submission kick lately and well I’ve received some weirder rejection letters as of late.

So join me in a shot (my ritual of taking a shot and then moving on) and enjoy this one:

Dear James

Many thanks for the opportunity to consider your submission. Regretfully we must pass on the poems at this time. At ******** we try our best to return submissions with as much feedback as possible. Our editors were impressed with the raw beauty of your images. The energy throughout your poetry is evident; unfortunately we felt they were not right for us at this time. The poems which you submitted while beautiful at times were simply too tinged with violence. Nevertheless, again we thank you for considering us and send best wishes for you and your writing.

Yours sincerely,

******* **********

Now I won’t post the poems here (because too many these days count that as “publishing” them and won’t except em) but if you’d like to read them you can ask me.

Just be warned they’re crazy violent.

(and if you don’t like em I’ll KILL you.)
(Just playing.)
(Maybe.)

Thank you for reading and I send my best wishes for you and your other reading. For your benefit I leave you with this awesome and hilarious video about dealing with rejection:


Now with more fruit (and a dictator)

May 18, 2011

The other night the wifebot and I were chilling in front of the TV when a brilliant idea struck. I let it formulate, circulate and marinate—okay I really just blurted out:

“I want to dress up a banana like Muammar Gaddafi and call it Bannafi!”

I expected silence or maybe ridicule but instead she responded (almost gleefully) “I think I see a weekend project!”

(Be still my beating heart.)
(Take note this is why we win at marriage bitches!)

Why would I do/say such a thing? Was I making light of the people of Libya’s plight? No! I’m very sympathetic to them and their struggles. I’ve been watching it unfold almost nonstop since it started. I’ve been glued to Aljazeera English.

(Probably on a list now!)
(I hope Julia Roberts calls Denzel when I get offed to fight for my memory!)

It was simply one of the strange things that floated into my head and stuck. It makes sense though. I mean have you seen the way he dresses? Quite the image! Need proof?

Exhibit A:

Photobucket

Exhibit B:

Photobucket

Seee?

There is a simple formula of banana + any kind of clothes= funny. Now if we take that and multiply it by crazy Gaddafi get up we get: banana + any kind of clothes x Gaddafi get up = epic!

Or

BANNAFI!!!!

Photobucket

Later the next day as I shared this with twitter I decided that not only did it need to happen, but I needed to create adventures for Bannafi. So soon we’ll have the origin story of the lovable fruit dictator. Perhaps even a youtube channel for him.


%d bloggers like this: