torsdag, september 27, 2007

NEW BLOG - Methods of Escape

I've changed blogs, friends. Set your bookmarks for the Methods of Escape:


søndag, maj 20, 2007

The Curtain Falls

The lake shot I take each return to the cabin. I'll return there soon, but the Drama Mater is done. A new blog will appear, though--perhaps--in September. I'd say, "Don't try to find me!" but I'll probably be blowing trumpets.

Now my charms are all o'erthrown...

I love this vista. Always. I wish it was more apparent on film that the lake opens up there in the distance, that the wall of trees breaks and leads you into larger water. It isn't clear from this spot, not on first look. One might feel hemmed in. But if you know it's there...

This Drama, At Least, Is Done

I'm keeping this blog up for the sake of having my regular read links along the side and for keeping a commenting profile. But otherwise I will not be blogging for the immediate future.

If I take it up again, it will be with a new blog, new name, new look. (The Drama has been Blog #2, and maybe I need another three or four-month hiatus before inventing Blog #3.)

Too much going on. Sleep needed, no time to sleep, no want of sleep. Much work to be done, much more work needed to be secured. And serious non-work work (i.e., fiction) needed for sanity. I miss that writing dearly, and it's been kicking at the walls in my head a great deal lately, so time to dedicate my free-writing time to that (and actual letters to be sent by post) again.

For those of you still writing online, I'm still reading.

But everyone, hey: You are good souls.

A Passage I Adore

Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint: now, 'tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardon'd the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free.

- Bill Shakespeare, The Tempest

torsdag, maj 17, 2007

Tick Check Weekend

Off to the cabin this weekend! Back Sunday afternoon.

onsdag, maj 16, 2007

On Behalf of Illinois...

On behalf of the state in which I was born and out of which I rarely strayed before age 27, allow me to apologize for this.


tirsdag, maj 15, 2007

The Meaning of Sports

Zero. Absolutely zero. Our CEO pay packages are ridiculous enough, but how can we live in a nation that pays a guy $28 million to work once every five days (that is, to pitch baseballs) for five months of employment?

How can we let our publicly-owned companies invest billions in "sports marketing"? in skyboxes and advertisements and clothing licenses?

How can we let cities and states subsidize the construction of stadiums that will now cost over $1 billion?

How how how can we do this when at the outset of summer, when on this night, May 15, when I'm not even looking to watch sports (I've too much work to even have flipped through channels once tonight)--how is this possible when our two primary sports networks, ESPN and ESPN2, are showing:

a. A rerun of the 2006 Poker Championships, and
b. A rebroadcast of the National Spelling Bee?????

Were I going to watch "sports," right about now I'd accept some beefy gentlemen named Magnus throwing kegs over walls or maybe men in kilts flipping cabers.

C'mon, ESPN. Really. You couldn't put even a glimpse of a sport up against American Idol? Are you serious?

Amanda Cello

Recent events of indulgence have left me wondering whether bruschetta or mini-quiche is a more-satisfying culinary achievement.

The bruschetta is in my mind due to the steak and jalapeno-mango salsa bruschetta made by a friend in San Francisco during vacation with the Muse. (She has since duplicated this recipe. It's awesome.) It was an entirely different variety of bruschetta than I've had before. I love the traditional (basil, tomato, fresh cheese). I love the wintry varieties (e.g., greens, feta, balsamic, duck confit). And this spicey steak-daddy version was outstanding. An absolute joy.

The mini-quiche is in my thoughts because they were part of the open house Horn O' Plenty at the pad of friends Katie and Sunday this past weekend in celebration of Phillip's instrument-making degree.

Ol' boy broke out some of his work: an electric guitar with bass range, an acoustic, a mando-cello hybrid, and a cute ukelele.

The mini-quiches were a treat. Classic, yes (e.g., broccoli-cheese), but really good. I ate probably six of them. That's like an entire slice of quiche disguised through the bite-sized delivery scheme.

Of course, one need not play favorites. But if one did....

A last look at the spread:

Big thanks to Katie, Sunday, their 'Rents, and Phillip for inviting the Muse and I. It was part of a busy Saturday--must write up a note about the symphony soon!--but very welcomed. And Phillip: Good luck with the Maine trip!

fredag, maj 11, 2007

Conversations with the Damned

In a former life, I worked for five years in a conventional office and grew a bit more bitter about the world day by day. Now the ghost of that person sits here and recalls, sometimes with real anger, sometimes with deserving fondness, moments from that existence.

The Damned

The communication approaches of my former co-workers were often outrageous. One of them, however, I suspect was actually a social comic planted in the office by some former intern or producer of Candid Camera.

Her deadliest approach was this: to instigate conversation, then participate in it by simply repeating a few words of what you've said and adding an acknowledging "huh."


Her: So what's cK's story?
cK: Just drinking my coffee.
Her: Drinking coffee, huh?
cK: Yep. Just getting my day going.
Her: Getting it going, huh?
cK (still trying to play it cool): Yeah, you know. A lot to do today. I--
Her: A lot to do, huh?
cK (beginning to panic): I've two articles due.
Her: Two articles, huh?

Most conversations would end when she seemed to have extracted your energy (perhaps absorbing it into her own central core for later utilization). She might then return to the beginning of things, much as comics do to tie off their sets, and say,

Her: Boy, I tell ya. Just drinking coffee.

And then she'd walk away laughing.

Now, I will say this: She was very sweet. Painfully sweet. And that's why you could tolerate it. You might do things like keep your hands on the keyboard in hopes this would sign "No time to talk" (No time to talk, huh?), but you wouldn't correct her, really. Because she was a nice person.

But that conversation style. Oy! It's well worth trying on your friends. Just see how long you can get away with it before they either clam up (having caught on) or you just start laughing.

torsdag, maj 10, 2007

Kittens and Questions

I'm thinking today of a former neighbor who moved to Los Angeles to concentrate on his playwriting. He'd sold two one-act plays to theater companies ahead of this so packed up and headed west.

From what I recall of infrequent updates, he was happy and doing well and still writing, though not making his money or building a reputation with his theater efforts. (I recall the plays being very bizarre things that really couldn't take off. The sort of productions in which hosiery might be a character.)

So he lived across the hall from me. This was in southern Illinois. One day he went out and picked up a kitten from the animal shelter. He was really happy. The kitten was supercute. And he sat in his apartment smoking and watching the cute little kitten scampering about the cinder block and wood plank bookshelves, about the lazy-boy, about the second-hand, sextagonally shaped end tables.

He often stayed in his apartment and smoked. It worried me for a long time. I tried to keep the writers out and about and talking to one another. Reclusiveness, I thought, was a self-destructive trait for what was already a lonely pursuit.

After four days, I saw him outside smoking on the stoop so popped out to see how he was. He wasn't feeling very good. He'd brought the kitten back.

What was wrong?

It had been coughing, apparently, from the amount of smoke in his apartment.

Q & A

I submitted a number of questions to various bloggers. Their responses can be found here:

Country Mouse Tales
Mips, the Skyylark
Lollie's Follies

It's further along in the week than I want it to be. I want the weekend, yes. I want Saturday (open house for a friend who just earned an instrument making degree, drinks with my sister and her husband, going to the symphony with my Muse, and possibly meeting up with a writer friend I haven't seen for 7 years).

But I've much to accomplish in the next 24. Would appreciate Hiro's power from Heroes right about now.
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