2005 Year in Review | Preview in Year 2006

Friday, 30 December 2005



  • Meet with a mort­gage per­son about what it takes to buy a house.
  • Look for a house in Tremont, if I can af­ford one.
  • Find more ful­fill­ing em­ploy­ment that pays a de­cent wage.
  • Packrat moola.
  • Run the Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon.

Shitty Science Fiction Movies

Thursday, 29 December 2005

Last night I watched The Matrix: Revolutions and The Last Starfighter. They are both pret­ty shit­ty sci­ence fic­tion movies, but each had their good points. For ex­am­ple, Neo’s line about con­tin­u­ing to fight be­cause he choos­es to do so was the high point of the movie for me since I wrote some­thing sort of about that back in the day and cit­ed a sim­i­lar ex­am­ple from the Tao. The rest of the movie sucked.

The Last Starfighter was pret­ty fuck­en dumb too. I was 3 when it was re­leased. I do think they need to bring back those short sport shorts that Catherine Mary Stewart was wear­ing. I can live with­out the plas­ticene alien pros­thet­ics, though. Oh yeah, and the evil alien an­tag­o­nist? Least. Intimidating. Ever. Someone call the in­ter­galac­tic wahm­bu­lance on that dum­b­ass.

Don’t watch ei­ther of these. This has been a pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ment. Tonight I watch Grand Illusion.

New Lists

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Earlier this year I fi­nal­ly fin­ished a book list from the Science Fiction Book Club, and since then I’ve been search­ing for an­oth­er list to cut my teeth on. I’ve fi­nal­ly set­tled on one. I’m go­ing to watch every movie is­sued on DVD by The Criterion Collection. To eas­i­ly keep track of this, I’ve made a page list­ing the cur­rent spines and the dates I’ve re­viewed the films. Three or four are al­ready list­ed. I’m ac­tu­al­ly al­ready ten per­cent done, as I’ve seen a lot of the Japanese films, noir and some of the French New Wave stuff on the list [30 all told]. I fig­ure if I watch one movie a week, I’ll fin­ish the list some­time in the next six years.

I’m al­so con­sid­er­ing that I might start to read all of the lit­er­ary col­lec­tions pro­vid­ed by the Library of America, which is a non-prof­it preser­va­tion pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny. I’ve looked over their cat­a­log and it seems to be a quite var­ied se­lec­tion of American lit­er­a­ture, much of which is un­fa­mil­iar to me. If I start work­ing on that list and have a goal, I’ll be much more like­ly to buck­le down and read some Herman Melville or William Faulkner. I be­lieve they on­ly have about 155 spines in their cur­rent cat­a­log, so I think I should be able to go through that in a sim­i­lar amount of time as the Criterion list. I must be crazy.


Monday, 26 December 2005

Loot!Here is a pic­ture of my Christmas loot. If you click on it you’ll go to my Flickr page where you can read the de­tailed notes I left on the pho­to. Did you get what you want­ed for Christmas? 

Poem Research

Friday, 23 December 2005

I’m try­ing to write a po­em about Birkenau that com­bines a sort of in­fer­nal glee on the part of the Nazis and in­fer­nal ter­ror on the part of the Jews, Roma and ho­mo­sex­u­als in their pow­er. This is very hard, and made hard­er by the fact that I’m try­ing to use the arrange­ment of the words to in­di­cate the in­ti­ma­cy caused by this mad­ness. Coupled with the fact that I have no de­tailed knowl­edge of ei­ther Nazi ide­ol­o­gy and in­doc­triniza­tion or the func­tion­ing of a con­cen­tra­tion camp from a prisoner’s point of view; this is an ex­er­cise in em­pa­thy [on all sides] that is cur­rent­ly be­yond my ca­pac­i­ty. Library, ho. This is the first po­em I’m ac­tu­al­ly go­ing to have to do re­search on. Any book rec­om­men­da­tions from y’all?

The Town Fryer

Thursday, 22 December 2005

I re­ceived my Birthmas present to my­self last evening. The Sony DSC-N1. You can read some ex­haus­tive and ex­cel­lent re­views here: [1 2]. Basically, it is an 8MP point-and-shoot that is the size of a pack of cards [it lit­er­al­ly fits in my palm] and has a 3LCD touch-screen on the back that gives ac­cess to all the menu items. It has nice bells and whis­tles [al­though the paint pro­gram it comes with is stu­pid] but not a bunch of dif­fer­ent knobs and tog­gles to ac­cess them. I’ve on­ly tak­en 4 pic­tures thus­far [my mem­o­ry stick hasn’t ar­rived yet] and on­ly used the au­to func­tions [which isn’t go­ing to last] but I’m dig­ging its porta­bil­i­ty, speed of use and adapt­abil­i­ty. But I’m sup­posed to be re­view­ing a restau­rant, not a cam­era.

The Town Fryer in Cleveland, OH

I vis­it­ed The Town Fryer be­cause that was where the December Cleveland Weblogger Meetup was be­ing held. I chucked a ride on yon­der with Steve “Rookie of the Year” Goldberg for a bite be­fore the meet­up start­ed shindig­ging. The Fryer an unas­sum­ing place, used to be Chung Wah’s Chinese and still has the sign on the wall. They got a nice juke­box full of good olé south­ern rock and roll and blues and a de­cent se­lec­tion of beer. Lonestar but no Dixie. I had me a Pacifica, which was okay but noth­ing to write home about. Steve or­dered him a mess of fried pick­les which were pret­ty good, al­though I don’t reck­on I could sus­tain my­self through a whole plate of ‘em.

For my din­ner I or­dered half a pound of fried cat­fish with green beans and cheesy grits. I was gonna get green beans and john­ny­cake, but de­cid­ed against the corn bread for rea­sons of gas­troin­testi­nal ca­pac­i­ta­tion. Now I hadn’t had fried cat­fish in a dog’s age, since I was about knee-high to some­thing short and had caught it my own self while fish­ing with my dad­dy or grand­pap­py on Brookville Reservoir. I was a bit timid at that age, es­pe­cial­ly about them stingers that the mud­suck­ers use to pro­tect their­selves, so when I caught a chan­nel cat I’d make some­one else un­hook it. 

After my meal, [which I still haven’t got­ten too, I hope you no­tice] I start­ed to re­mem­ber that cat­fish and me have a spe­cial kind of re­la­tion­ship. After I eat a cat­fish I usu­al­ly dream about be­ing a cat­fish and even start think­ing a lit­tle bit like a cat­fish. It re­al­ly ain’t no sur­prise. If you talk with a cat­fish­er I reck­on they can all tell you some tales about how un­nat­ur­al and mag­ic they can be. Catfish is spe­cial. So af­ter my half pound of de­li­cious bat­tered cat­fish, I did in fact dream of be­ing a cat­fish and be­ing nice and com­fort­able in some warm riv­er mud. Here’s one of my fa­vorite po­ems by Richard Brautigan about a cat­fish.

Fried Catfish

The meal it­self was de­li­cious. For $7.95 I got a half pound of farm-raised cat­fish and one side. I got a side of green beans and or­dered and ex­try side of cheesy grits, just to see how they com­pared to my own. The cat­fish is dipped in Cajun-spiced bat­ter, deep-fried and served with a mild and tangy mus­tard sauce. Beer and cat­fish go well to­geth­er. I was too young to know that last time. The half pound was about two and a half cat­fish. The green beans was cooked with ba­con and a bit of mo­lasses and was swim­ming in the juice. Quite tasty, and I would have loved to have more. The cheesy grits weren’t so good. A bit clumpy and not very hot, but still quite ed­i­ble.

By this time I was pret­ty darn stuffed, but I couldn’t go home with­out dessert. I could have got­ten me a deep fried Twinkie, some Lemon Squares or some home­made ba­nana pud­ding with Nilla wafers, but I opt­ed for the deep fried Oreos. Nine of ‘em for $5. I asked for a big glass of milk to warsh it all down with, and got it. I ate me 7 of them Oreos and gave two away. They were pret­ty darn good, the cook­ie part get­tin’ all soft and hot as a re­sult of the fryin’, and the bat­ter be­ing tasty in and of its own self. I think I pre­fer a deep fried Snickers bar, though, truth be told. Other stuff on their menu in­cludes Red Beans and Rice with Andaouille Sausage, Fried Sweet Potatoes and Fried Macaroni and Cheese.

All this food re­sult­ed in me be­ing stuffed like a prize win­nin’ hog, and sweatin’ grease like I was that same hog roastin’ on a spit. I had a hard time with the shut-eye and even woke up ex­try ear­ly be­cause I was so full. I’m still full, now. I’d rec­om­mend the Town Fryer as a good place to go for down­home, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it food and fix­ins. You prob­a­bly don’t wan­na go if you’re veg­e­tar­i­an though.

Fried Oreos. This is blurry because I haven't tweaked my camera yet.

Mischanneling Jack/​Zen

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Power cor­rupts be­cause it is so dif­fi­cult to ob­tain. When some­one has strug­gled to gain pow­er and fi­nal­ly suc­ceeds, they of­ten spend the rest of their time try­ing to hold on to it. What can get lost in the shuf­fle is the rea­son for seek­ing pow­er. Ironically, pow­er as a means to its own end is im­po­tent on a per­son­al lev­el be­cause it is based on ex­ter­nal con­trol.

Empowerment, on the oth­er hand, is not for its own sake, main­tains its strength from in­side it­self and is ob­tain­able by every­one. The abil­i­ty to be, with­out strug­gle, with­out con­text, is to be em­pow­ered. Then you can do any­thing.