Friday, February 26, 2010

Forcing a light

My Grandfather ran a wheel of fortune booth at the Palace on the Boardwalk at Asbury Park. He would leave early in the day with a lunch packed by my Nana which would always include a Tastycake wrapped in wax paper.
After she died and he had a bout of cancer in his jaw, he returned to work with half his mouth missing, yet when I would visit, I could hear him before I could see him standing in front of the wheel and the various stuffed animals. His words were totally incoherent and, he had a microphone.
I was reminded of his transformation when I read the Memoir Invisible by Hugues De Montalembert. This visual artist was robbed and blinded by two assailants in his studio in NYC.
He describes in detail and quite lyrically how he managed to come to some sort of a reconciliation with his situation and to move forward with his life. Ironically of course he was a visual artist and learning to live within only an interior world was paramount.
When there are only one or two choices, to either adapt or give up, it becomes a matter of perseverance and trickery. What we think we could never manage or adjust to, remarkably become everyday things that incrementally come to be everything that we barely notice, which make up our lives.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I bit off more than I could chew

I spent yesterday recovering from the"brew Flu" as my friend Bill coined it. I'm sure that phrase is one he is familiar with. Me not so much. I don't tend to drink too much or too often, but over a five hour period on Saturday I had three and a half Optimators and that was enough to set my stand up routine in motion and have me slowly and painfully regretting certain candid conversations with individuals who don't know me that well, and or appreciate my irony.
Not the first time for me on that, I'm often lamenting my loose tongue or right up there in your face honesty. But, letting people know that I spent an entire summer flipping a Bread cassette over and over because the boy I was crushing on lent it to me; well, that's when I know I went way past where I should have been.
Then again, being of two minds, I also know that owning my grooving on a shitty seventies band is a big part of who I am, it's as much about accepting the things we cannot change as knowing that they also can make your skin crawl when you conjure the memory of a time in your life.
Every time I get the Answer that " Rush is a great band". I still know deep in my heart that they suck beyond words, no matter that everyone I've ever loved feels differently. It's this that I return to when I cross the line, that I at least can admit that what I like may have been questionable. I don't defend it, nor do I embrace it, it's just a part of the massive picture that makes up who I am.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two paperback books

My parents moved into a small apartment earlier this year, which considerably limited their storage space. Subsequently, I received a few boxes in the mail, one including my very Great Expectations-esque wedding dress, in other words, it hadn't been stored well so it was moth eaten, sun damaged and pretty sad. In addition, I got a large box full of cassette tapes from my radio program on WCSB. I thought I already had a lot of tapes but apparently, I really had a keen sense of documentation and or tapes were cheap back then, because there are a lot in there.
Now, I have mixed feelings about listening to these. On one side of the scale, I do like the music, and see a real progression in my skills, moods and general state of mind about the world, music and unfortunately as a bi-product, relationships. It's pretty embarrassing to think that someone or some people might have been able to get something from what songs I was playing. But, as I've noticed with lots of people in their late teens or early twenties; not as sharp as they (we) would like to think. I don't hearken back at those days as any better or worse than they actually were, but what I do know, is that I am the same as I always was, just a little more.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brewing alternatives

I think most people grow into their looks, and actually start looking better in their forties than they did when they were twenty. The exceptions are the bloated from way too much drink, and the crystal meth chisel; that would be the drawn cheeks, narrow malnourished look and dead eyes. Those features, do not make for a better appearance.
Now all of that perspective could be due to my age. I tend to think that our entire paradigm shifts as we get older as in what is more appealing or what we focus on.
Eamon says that I focus way too much on appearance and aging, that I am stuck there. I won't refute that, what I will say is that when I'm in a moment I don't think about it at all, I'm completely unaware of the ridiculous face I'm making or action I'm taking when I'm telling a story. Animated would be putting it lightly. I act out many events on any given day.
Yesterday, I had to give a book talk to about forty people, most of them seniors, at a church near by the library. I was to speak for an hour, and make it interesting to boot!
I had been working on the program for about a month, though up until a few days ago, had never read it aloud or timed how long it would be. So, Eamon who was not feeling well said he would be my audience. Subsequently, he fell asleep after about two minutes. So, I just used that story as my opening, did my impression of his snoring, got a huge laugh and knew without a doubt that I owned it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Break it

When we lived in Turkey, we got a call from my parent's friend, her husband had been shot by his patient who also allegedly happened to have blown up the Thinker outside of the Cleveland Art Museum, but that part is a bit sketchy.

All of this really revolves around Kojak, because this guy resembled Telly Savalas, so he would sport a dum-dum sucker and play off that similarity. A bit odd, but not the first fella who tried to take advantage of a fad.
Yesterday, I had a lot of time to work on things at home, it's been a long time, so I took advantage of it and holding my breath with anticipation, sorted socks, and with three sons there are a lot of them. All the while, I watched two movies, Hunger and In the Loop, both amazing in very different ways. Earlier this week I also watched Romance and Cigarettes. James Gandolfini happened to be in two of the movies. The man can do no wrong. For ever, I thought that he was sort of acting as Tony Soprano, that it wasn't much of a stretch. Oh, how wrong I was, he in his everyday he could be anyone body, transforms himself with each of these roles, which brings me back to "Who loves ya baby." Perhaps, a catch phrase...

Monday, February 08, 2010

I'm the lucky one

The weekend, which started Friday for me, was not a good one. Luckily I worked yesterday so I didn't really count that. Eamon's birthday was Friday and he either had a lot of angst regarding his age, or he's just accessing my ability to tolerate him at his worst. I sure hope I passed that test!
Then Saturday he and I went to a party, had a relatively good time and at one point got a call from Gus asking if he could sleep over at a friend's house. Well, because of some previous trouble I declined to let him. Later when we got home I checked his room saw that he was in bed and went to my own.
Sunday at around ten in the morning I thought it was strange that he was still asleep so I went up and found a big pile of clothes and his Homer Simpson head slipper, (that I bought him), where his head would have been. Nice.
This morning, he, and it was actually him this time, missed his ride to school and locked himself in his room for the day. Meanwhile Jake came home around two, asked if he could watch a movie in the basement and subsequently dropped his 40 ouncer as he was struggling with the basement door. Twice as nice. Anyone else want to disappoint, lie or fail? Now is the time.

Friday, February 05, 2010

It was in my way

Snooki cut my hair the other day. I am not kidding, the girl was the spitting image, down, or in this case, up to the bump. I wish I didn't know who Snooki or The Situation were, in a perfect world, it would be enough that I've never seen the show, there might be mention in some venue but the phenomenon of instant stardom crosses all lines, has no borders and leaves no stone unturned.
So I marveled at the similarities in the mirror, more of a spectacle for me to look at during the three and a half hour hair cut. See, I was her first client over there at the Brown Aveda institute. Me, with the most complicated head of hair this side of NJ, had the luck to get a student with some time on her hands. But, she was also skilled so I walked out of there, albeit sore, yet a happy customer indeed.
I didn't say anything about her doppelganger, but what I wonder is, will it be an advantages to her or will she just be the only person who doesn't use something they "have" for evil.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mine's broke down

I scorn books, well not all books, but one's that are a direct response to a trend or an issue. How fortuitous that dozens of people were writing books on global warming, or the lack thereof just in time for the GWS. These books that are a response to events just make me envision that there are hacks out there, fingers poised over keyboards, ready to type about any subject that might, and probably will sell copies.
I weed the new nonfiction every week at my job, the endless titles about the Obama's both Barack and Michelle, the lovely face of Sarah Palin staring out from those hip and now specs; there are so many answers to all of our ills, it amazes me that we still have any problems to face.
But we do, one is the library is currently facing a lack of funds. So, we have initiated a plan of charging for printing. It's not an extreme change, patrons still get ten pages free every day, but the response is, well, pretty vile, name calling, insults and that's just my colleagues. The public is pissed. They want their five or six hundred pages a day without limits. I'm not exaggerating. We have dozens of people who come every day and print out the equivalent of entire book, hey wait a minute....