October 24, 2007

Brainy Thought - absurdity of tourism

“What an odd thing tourism is. You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home, and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile attempt to recapture the comforts that you wouldn’t have lost if you hadn’t left home in the first place.”

Bill Bryson, OBE (1951 - ) is a best-selling American-born author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on scientific subjects (A Short History of Nearly Everything). He has lived for most of his adult life in England.

From the webpage BRAINY THOUGHT.COM

Isn't this just about exactly right. When I was young especially I wanted to travel and see different parts of the world, and I did see some courtesy of the U.S. military. But then that curious passage of life occurred, I became older and older until now I am maybe considered old. It's not that I have died intellectually. I still would like to go to Paris and sit at a cafe and watch the Seine flow by and try to picture the postcard Paris, the Paris of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or where the dreaded Nazi's marched under the Arc De Triumph while the Parisians watched and cried, but I no longer like being away from my home and its familiarity and comforts.

Being older also brings an understanding of what is is and what is past is past, and my days of traveling far distances are behind me for good or for bad. But I still have eyes and imagination and books and other media which will have to do.

I have the book SUITE FRANCAISE sitting on my pile of books to be read and that will take me to Paris in the bad times, and a MAYLE book of life in Provence in the good times without having to eat bad food in restaurants or accumulating dirty laundry in my suitcase. Cest LaVie, I hope that means such is life.

October 21, 2007

This is probably as 'political' as I will get on this forum.

Open letter for Mr. Al Gore,

To begin I use the salutation Mr. advisedly. I will explain.

First though I wish to congratulate Mr. Gore for winning the Nobel peace prize primarily and the secondary awards of Oscar and Emmy. I think the work he's done in bringing the subject of Global warming to the forefront of public discourse is commendable.

The main point I wish to expound on is the possibility that he may be talked into running again for the office of president. Don't do it.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, his pictures of late speak volumes. He looks happy and he is allowing his waistline to expand, another sign of a satisfied, and in his case a relaxed man living the life he wants, and being highly successful at it.

Don't let the politicians talk you into getting back into the shark-invested waters of presidential politics. I for one would like you to run again, but that's just because I like my presidents to be intelligent and knowlegable, I'm just funny that way I guess.

So Senator Gore that is why I used the salutation of Mister Gore at the beginning. You are doing great at being Citizen Gore, so keep it up and be happy. You seem to have managed your rehabilitation from politician to citizen very well.

October 20, 2007

My wife took a picture of my feet today, shod of course. I will post the picture. Now what's so great about a picture or my feet? Absolutely nothing, except the shoes I happen to have been wearing are kind of a throwback to another era, an era where the memories for me are nothing but happy memories. Those years, of course, are the forties and early fifties.

I write frequently about the forties in fiction and in essay form because it makes me feel good, and why not since I'm a recreational writer and don't have to pound computer keys for a living. In this case the reckless slogan of the sixties is apropos, 'IF IT FEELS GOOD, DO IT'.

Seeing those shoes reminds me of swing music, jitterbugging, the WWII homefront, characters in the movies of the time epitomized by Van Johnson and June Allison, Rosie the riveter, the movies SWING SHIFT, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, and SINCE YOU WENT AWAY.

The years of the forties were growing up years for me, and contrary to most popular recollections of those times, were good and happy years for me, and times were certainly changing and would continue to do so through the sixties, when times became ugly after the assassinations of the sixties.

But if I become too somber all I have to do is grab these shoes from the closet and like Alladin's lamp, POOF, I'm back in the forties.

October 19, 2007

Taking advantage of the wonderful youtubes I am able to bring back moments of my life. For example I was a young kid in 1949 when television was new and I was fascinated by it. Our next door neighbor was the first on the block, a cliche to be sure, but he actually was, to have a television set and he tolerated me most days when I asked to watch Captain Video and other brand new programs in the new medium.

It was great as I remember, but in actuality it really wasn't in technical terms. It was primitive in all aspects, but I wasn't a critic, I just liked it. I remember the reception was so poor and white lines would run up and down the screen and the horizontal and vertical holds would have trouble keeping the picture focused and I would watch it so intently that I would get headaches from the efforts. But it was worth the effort I thought.

The accompaning you tube video I probably saw live because I certainly would have wanted that ring with the one size fits all mechanism. I was a great send for things in the mail kid. I was constantly looking for something in the mailbox.

The other video is a PEP breakfast commercial with another send for a ring offer which would have been around the same time period. Ah the good old days.

October 18, 2007

Poster from art.com espouses an adage that I wish I had followed more in my life. There have been so many times I have spoken without thinking and/or said something so stupid and empty headed that I remember most of them to this day. I would hope that there is an unwritten statute of limitations on stupid talk, and people whom I have unwittingly hurt or disappointed with my mouth opening before my brain turned on have forgotten what I said.

October 16, 2007

This is a poem I received from Piper Davenport that to me resonates deep feelings. She requested I post it and I shall.

by Piper Davenport

Suburban blues kidnapped people to Detroit where what they didn't know makes them leave.

Make no apologies while they listen, listen to me-- the righteous one.

Until it happens to them, people will never understand our city and the plights that forever haunt me.

Other women clutch their sadness; their babies are dying in coffins; the guns of someone's else misery are etched in their misery.

Uneasiness sings to me. . .

I've cried and walked through cemeteries, familiar faces I can no longer hold onto.

Sometimes I wonder what has everyone running in a frenzy, trying not to go to fall to pieces

Someone calls me a black-and-white coward; I'm a leopard and I won't change my stripes.

Even the soil of our city is ruined by fire and nightmares that hang over like a dark cloud and the black mayor who refuses to be nobody's fool but his own.

There are no smiles and lollipops and ice cream trucks and the children grow up c r a c k e d to pieces.

Helpless we are, hopeless we'll stay, help us they said. Witnesses canvas neighborhoods looking for saints and converts. One of them asks me, Whose favorite person are you? I say, none, not in this city, behind the doors. They say they care and they will be back and I wait and wait and wait until I'm all alone again.

Piper Davenport is a graduate of the Universityof Michigan-Dearborn with a BA in English. Her past publishing credits include: the Lyceum, Pitkin Review, Mirrors of Life, Creative Writers' Corner, HackWriters, 63 Channels and an essay she wrote is to be featured in the December 2007 issue of PoeticDiversity. She likes to watch House Hunters andGhost Whisperer in her spare time and dreams of owning her own home some day.

Good luck Piper, I wish you great success and hope all your dreams come true.

October 14, 2007

If you have a mind like tony carrillo, the creator behind the one panel cartoon called f-minus, most everything has a comic side to it. This cartoon is an example of what I'm talking about.

October 5, 2007

Baseball Dreaming.

As the title infers, it could all be a dream, but for great moments it just about fills the bill.

The dreaded Yankees come to town with their pin stripes and 25,000.000 per year man and other assorted 'best that money can buy' ballplayers, assembled together looking like a bunch of swaggering members of the board of directors of the Chase Manhattan Bank on a company picnic.

One game does not a series make, but for this one game, against this foe of all foes, if we went no further it would be the game that lit the fuse on this bunch of young, unrecognized by the media that doesn't think baseball of any consequence is being played anywhere but on the coasts of the United States, and the imagination of all baseball fans and teams who have to make do, and compete against teams like the strutting, smirking, Yankees with teams constructed and nourished within the constrictions of a budget.

But all that aside, the game that played out in front of our eyes was Hollywood to be sure. The game is not two minutes old and the strutting, swaggering gang from the Bowery and one of their purchased hired hands are ahead one to nothing by virtue of the long ball. Ho Hum, another day at the bank, why do we have to spend another two hours of so when we could just as well end it now and go back to the bank and count our money; but no not this night.

This night it is the night of retribution of all the carefully constructed, within a budget teams, that have to operate on the amount of money that the Yankees put aside to pay someone to keep the dust off their statues to themselves and their pin stripped greatness situated out in center field.

For two hours plus the Indians, playing for themselves of course, but also for all the other teams who have had to step aside or more corrected been stepped on and over by the money bloated colossus from New York retaliate and then retaliated again and again until they tallied 12 runs against the Yankees 3. Oh joy, mighty Casey from New York has been beaten, stepped on, and left lying bleeding but not grieved over.

One game does not make a series or a season, but it makes a moment so great that if it all goes badly and those bankers come back to win it all like usual, at least we had one game, one great game, and I'll remember it forever.

October 1, 2007

It isn't often I get to give a big cheer for my favorite baseball team. So here goes: Yahoo Yahoo!!! Go Tribe!!!!

So what happens, who do the Indians draw as their first round opponents? None other than the New York (stinking) Yankees, a team they have not beaten this whole season. Granted they only played them six times, but no wins is no wins. Would cowed be a good word to describe the Indians when they and the Yankees share the same baseball diamond? I do believe that psychologically they fear the pin striped uniform, or the title Bronx Bombers, or the ghost of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. God knows I don't know what it is, but I think perhaps God is a little on the side of the Tribe this time out.

Well it won't take long to find out the answer, the series starts Thursday.