story of the day.

Running. Connection made. Free beer. Adventureland. Andrew Bird album also free. Backpacks. Adult one-way ticket. Mind the gap. Eggs, tomatoes, beans and white toast. The Abbey. Big Ben. More coffee. Trafalger Square. Butt-naked man. Art. Teenage hooligans. Green Abbey Ale. Superfood. Fading fast. Sleep.


songs to help my headache go away...and maybe yours too...

Lou Barlow: "Too Much Freedom" from Goodnight Unkown. Take a listen here.

You'll know this song...

Please note: This video is oddly disturbing, I'd advise to NOT watch it while listening...

Oh Horse Feathers...how I love thee. I've never seen them live, but if...no...when I see them, I will probably fall to pieces. It's possible. With those harmonies, anything is possible.

Okay. Headache is gone. Cheers!

caught in the 'meantime,' experiencing the little things

Poets.org sent me an e-mail the other day announcing Marvin Bell as the selected judge of the 2010 Walt Whitman Award. From there I began reading about Mr. Bell. Born in 1937 in NYC, he holds a B.A. from Alfred University, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He's an intelligent man, there's no doubt about that. I went on to read a brief write-up of his accomplishments, but then moved on to getting into what it was that really interests me: His writing. One particular poem I took note of was Around Us (below). I read it. Enjoyed it. Reread it. Enjoyed it even more. And I'm sure I'll read it many times over, each time picking up some slight nuance that went undetected before.

We need some pines to assuage the darkness
when it blankets the mind,
we need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly
as a plane's wing, and a worn bed of
needles to pad the rumble that fills the mind,
and a blur or two of a wild thing
that sees and is not seen. We need these things
between appointments, after work,
and, if we keep them, then someone someday,
lying down after a walk
and supper, with the fire hole wet down,
the whole night sky set at a particular
time, without numbers or hours, will cause
a little sound of thanks--a zipper or a snap--
to close round the moment and the thought
of whatever good we did.

Now, I don't consider myself a writer. I write. But I am not a writer. "Remember, a writer writes, always," is a memorable quote from the movie Throw Mama from the Train. It's true. I write. But I don't write every single day. (Okay, well I do, but not in the same capacity as a writer.) Anyway, I do share some similarities with those who label themselves as writers, so I found a particular piece written by Bell to be one I could relate to, i.e., that the quasi writer in me could relate to: The 'Technique' of Rereading.

"God knows, there exist more techniques for writing than are usually acknowledged...You smoke or drink coffee. You don't smoke or drink coffee. Like Hart Crane, you drink cheap wine and play Ravel's "Bolero" on the phonograph. You walk about. You pull your hair. You eat your beard."

This particular piece is directed to the poet; however, a poet is a writer too, no? Either way, whether you consider yourself a poet, a writer or whether you fall somewhere in between or even off to the side, I think you'll be sure to get something from reading it. For me, I'll be reading it over again shortly. Without rereading, and once again, rereading, one is bound to miss something. Quite possibly even the most profound lesson to be learned.

Happy day.


for the moment

A friend turned me on to Manchester Orchestra this past week. I'm feeling them out. For the most part, they are a bit too loud for me, but there are some songs that I was able to pick out, the others just don't click; however, that's usually how things go anyway, so I'm not disappointed. On the flip-side, I did discover today some of their music videos and the cinematography is ridiculous. Although I'm feeling lukewarm about the songs themselves, I'm enamored by the videos; and a longing to get back into the darkroom has come on. Their vids, in a way, embody much of the aspects of photography (I'm thinking right now of mostly Polaroid pho-tog) that are fascinating me as of late: the effects of over and under exposure, double exposures, and the beautiful light streaks, along with the other "happy accidents" that result from using expired film, etc. At times there are shots, that if switched from motion picture to static, look as if they had gone through gelatin-silver processing. That's some purdy stuff.

Like signs of true lomographic photography (and I know they aren't photos per say, but it's film, no?) the scenes aren't crisp, rather they show signs of a candid I'm-going-to-shoot-without-over-thinking-aperture-and-shutter-speed kind of mentality. I enjoy how carefree it is (but don't get me wrong, obviously there was an enormous amount of thought that had to go into getting this look, I'm just saying, it doesn't come off that way, as the videos are not shot to give you that full-color, clean-as-a-whistle, picture-perfect, HD effect...you know what I'm saying). Anyway, I dig it--the videos, not necessarily the music. (Although, "I Can Feel a Hot One" is nice on the ears and the chorus "I've got friends in all the right places" (vid #1) does have the ability to get stuck in your head if you let it.)


Manchester Orchestra - I've Got Friends (Official Music Video) - Click here for more amazing videos

Manchester Orchestra - I Can Feel A Hot One (Official Music Video) - Watch a funny movie here


teeny tale: letting go, while hanging on

things will be okay she said. just hang on, you’ll see, time will heal everything. but that’s the problem I said. & she asked, what, time? partly. why don’t they make watches with the word now on the face. it would make it so much easier to read. & it's the hanging on part, that needs to change, too. I’m just scared to let go. of time, she asked? well sorta, that & some other stuff I’ve kept around that you can’t see. & as we walked down the street she promised to hold my hand for as long as I needed. she said, just in case at any moment you decide to drop whatever it is you’re carrying in your other hand that I can’t see, you’ll still have me to hold on to in this hand; you can let go without falling, I promise. & it was then that I realized she couldn't see what I was carrying, because what I was carrying couldn't be carried on the outside. but i kept holding her hand because it felt nice, & we walked on without a care for where we were headed or how long it would take us to get there.


there and back and never leaving

The lyrics of the new Cave Singers album are streaming through R, through L, to meet and bounce around in the void that falls in between. And I’m enjoying a blissful little reverie (something I do often, something I do well) in anticipation for my travels. I envision photos being taken of me and my partner leaning backwards over the edges of fountains with shiny coins flickering in the foreign light. Hold tight. I see the Eiffel tower all aglow, people ticking by hand-in-hand, the moon shining like a beacon from above, reminding me of home. Home sweet home. The stones, the grass, the air, even the water, they’re all the same elements but they're different there. Old sights are newly born when they hit these fresh eyes. Happy birthday. Raw, beautiful, broken and still standing tall, enveloped in perfumes, standing in the shade of some new building, it will be the same, but different. And so will I. A corner shop, a rip of a baguette, a glug of young wine. Our pedestrian lifestyle showing in his olive skin, in the freckles dressing up my fair complexion, and in the shimmer of strawberry blonde in the strands of my hair...Alive.

Will I see that part of the world primarily through a viewfinder? Possibly, but seeing is seeing. With photos I’ll be able to keep those sights fresh. My small, fragile journals lie ready with their blanched pages. Each is the weight of a feather, only to be weighed down by my words. To wander, to shoot photos, to write all in a variety-pack worth of places. There will be beautiful moments had, many to which I know will be accompanied by my tears: some happy, some sad, and maybe some just because. I’m ready. I’ve been ready. I’m looking forward to leaving the country. To go someplace with unfamiliar sounds, unfamiliar people, and unfamiliar views: A true sensory cleanse.


"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each."~Henry David Thoreau


Imogen Heap: Ellipse

Check out the new Imogen Heap. It comes out Aug. 24/25. I have a few Imogen Heap songs, but I've never been too sure if I could handle listening to a whole album at once of their sound. I'm trying to do just that right now. And I am in fact handling it, and quite well. It's the kind of music you can kind of zone out to. I've been feeling like zoning out a lot lately, fitting then, right? I won't always feel this way though; therefore, I don't believe I'll always be able to sit through multiple Imogen Heap songs in a row. But this is working out nicely: I find my mind perks up at just the right moments..."Just going to sweat it out? Wait it out..."

Full Circle

Wow. Me, know a song before it was posted on NPR, say what? Yes, it's sad but true: it doesn't happen too often. NPR drops tiny tune treasures into my inbox each day, and most of them I've never heard of. I'll give myself some credit and say that every couple of e-mails there will be a song I've at least heard of or have been meaning to listen to, or I'll recognize the name of the band but not the song featured. Today, I was excited, too excited, that the NPR song of the day was a song (Psychic City by YACHT) that I had scratched down on a Post-it note that had been sitting on my desk since last week. (Side note: Post-it notes around my desk mostly consist of nothing to do with work, rather they have band names and songs scribbled sideways on them...some in green pen, some in pencil and some in pen.) Another daily e-mail that graces my in-bin, and the one that lead me to finding said song, is Daily Candy. And yes, it is kind of like candy, but the kind of candy you can't eat, sort of like eye candy. At some point last week I watched this video: You Spin Me Round, Baby. Not only did I fall in love with the two songs playing in the background, I even fell in love, okay, well, I developed a girl crush on the chick who makes the hula hoops from Circle Candy for the hoopilates classes. If hoopilates was offered in Buffalo I would totally take the class. It looks way too fun and secretly, I really want to be able to bust a move with one like the cute girl does at the end of the above vid. Although, I'm not really sure where I'd be dancing with a hula hoop...someone's bound to lose an eye.

Here's the other song from the hoopilates vid that I enjoyed and scribbled down 
(she's super cute, too, isn't she?):
Theresa Andersson: "Birds Fly Away"


This Week's Mix: Chop Suey

(Yes. There is a typo. I see it, too. Just pretend it's not there.)

(On the left-hand side in the box titled: 'Hear Songs from Get Guilty')


The workday closes and the streets fill with a metallic pulse. Swerving, shifting, looking, with their destinations known, eagerness shows. One-by-one, they each pour off quickly, smoothly like cool water into ice cube trays, staying there until they are popped out by some other force. For others, their days are seamless, with no endpoint steering them in one direction or the other. Cruising, steadily gliding, and playfully dodging sun beams, they find their beat and float in the moment. Hair flutters like a loose scarf in the carefree wind. No pouring, no freezing, no popping, just being. Blissful.

I'm still on my Bauby kick. If for nothing else, the movie is worth watching for the very scene pictured above. As Bauby fondly recalls a cherished memory, one in which he was once free from the state he now finds himself, the camera locks onto the back of his lover's head, her light brown hair dances on intimately in the breeze in a moment that lingers pleasantly. It's peaceful, comforting and exhilarating; you become caught in it yourself and find a smile has washed over your face at its close: you're delighted by your own cheery thoughts and for Bauby, who is able to recall such a moment in his life even in the damnedest of positions. Although unable to leave his body, Bauby never lost his sense of imagination. Something I find incredibly endearing.


Le Scaphandre et le Papillon...

translates to "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." And it's the French translation of the French memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-and-chief, Elle magazine. Until tonight, I had never heard of the movie, nor had I any idea it was based off a book. A slow stroll down the "Foreign" section of Blockbuster revealed this true story to me.

In his early 40s (Dec. 1995) Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a massive stroke, leaving him with the condition known as locked-in syndrome, which holds its victims hostage within their own bodies. Paralyzed from head-to-toe and fully aware, Bauby was only able to communicate with the blinking of his left eye. By the reciting of a frequency-ordered alphabet, a transcriber was able to turn blinking to letters, and letters to words. Two-hundred thousand blinks later, Buaby had "written" his 136-page (original French version) memoir. Bauby's book was published in March of 1997. He died two days later.

If you think the French language is beautiful (side note: I worry I may gawk excessively while in Paris in less than four weeks, as I find the French accent undeniably alluring) and you're not afraid of subtitles, pass the comedies and pick up this beauty for something that will inspire you to quit making excuses, find what it is that makes you you, and push you to step up to the plate to prove it.

An excerpt:

My diving bell becomes less oppressive, and my mind takes flight like a butterfly. There is so much to do. You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas’s court.

You can visit the woman you love, slide down beside her and stroke her still-sleeping face. You can build castles in Spain, steal the Golden Fleece, discover Atlantis, realize your childhood dreams and adult ambitions.

Happy living.


teeny tale: worn

but what if i'm not ready to throw them out she said. you have to, they are all worn out and stinky. well what if i were to recycle them somehow. they are beyond recycling, i said, really there's no good parts left. it's better to reduce them at this point. but even if i used up all the good parts i needed, there may still be someone out there that could see something more in them, so shouldn't i at least try to reuse them. well, if they can't be recycled, i suppose reusing is better than reducing. so that night she put her old tennis shoes outside & placed them on top of the trash can. thanks for taking me this far, she whispered. & as she walked away she could only think of how happy it would make her to wake up & see that they were gone: either they had walked off in the night to begin their own journey or someone else was now wearing them & taking steps forward.


2 for 1: teeny tale & story of the day

teeny tales: awake & dreaming
I'm not sure you're awake because you look like you're asleep. well, I said, I’m kind of doing both. I didn’t know that was possible she said. It’s not always. but every now and then, when my nightmares roll into the daytime, I sort of sleepwalk through life. is that possible? yes, I said. it's called a daymare. I've had them before. they're even more terrifying than a nightmare because I can’t close my eyes entirely when it happens. oh so that’s what you call it she said. It? I asked. & she said, yeah, a “daymare,” I’ve just been calling that “life.” oh, it can be I said, that's why I’m trying to wake up from it now. from the daymare or life? she asked. from both I told her. & she asked what it was like. & I told her it was like having a beautiful dream. & then she smiled & she tip toed away but left the lights on behind her so that I wouldn't get confused and close my eyes and miss all the good parts.

story of the day: original drawing #1710-boxed book set
I held out my hands & asked where I could help & somebody grabbed me & pointed me towards the future & said, You've got your work cut out for you & I said, isn't there anything easier? & he laughed & said you could dig around in the past, but it's just busywork & that made perfect sense so I shrugged & started right where I was, along with everyone else.