On May 23rd, I will turn fifty. Two days later, Jill & I will drive to Chicago, pick up The Jordanian, and embark on a road trip extraordinaire! Yes, it's off to Oklahoma, land of bison and tornadoes, to visit good friends Bayard and Sarah.
We've been planning & anticipating the trip since January. It will also include a side trip to Booked Up, Larry McMurtry's bookshop in Archer City, Texas. Pix to follow.
Life is good, brothers & sisters.
Jill & I saw the movie "Greenberg" with Ben Stiller last night. Avoid this movie at all costs. Depressing and annoying. The only redeeming quality is the acting of Greta Gerwig & Rhys Ifans.
Greenberg's got problems, but we didn't care about him at all, because he's just another a-hole in a world with plenty of them. I don't need to see a 107 minute movie about one.
This gets ½ star out of 5.
Yes, I know no one forced me to be on facebook in the first place. And I'm not trying to make a big deal out of getting off of there.
a) It's cluttered. I don't care that so-and-so likes the Outer Timbuktu Anti-Bullying League. And I know I can filter this stuff. But why should I?
b) It's Borg-like. Zuckerberg will assimilate you.
c) It's addictive. This is why I got rid of my teevee. The face is just another form of channel-surfing, IMHO.
Do something constructive. Write a poem, a story, a blog, something INTERESTING. Make some jewelry, plant a garden, sing a song.
I've been thinking a lot about suburban sprawl (again), especially after watching James Howard Kunstler's talk on TED.com. Mr. Kunstler's book "The Long Emergency" covered the topic well, along with related subjects such as peak oil. It has been an essential issue to be resolved for many years, not just because gas has hit $3 a gallon again.
On a related note, if anyone has read Bill McKibben's new book "Eaarth", let me know what you think of it (I haven't read it yet). Also, if you attended his talk at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee last night (Friday, April 16th), let me know how that went.
OK, so replacing the thermostat for the furnace/AC has turned into a huge pain, so I'm taking a break to do this. (Why does my house have to have so much old, unadaptable crap in it?)
After long consideration (and delays because of the Irish lit, poetry, music, etc. obsession), I'm beginning more adventures into South American literature.
First up is Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges, who is reminding me what a combination of pure imagination and scholarly knowledge can conjure up. I'm glad I have an Oxford dictionary and a basic autodidactic knowledge of 19th & 20th century literature, philosophy, and history. After only 55 pages, I am spellbound. There are echoes of Lord Dunsany here in the fantastical entities and ideas.
Not having much background in this realm, I would welcome further suggestions (and comparisons, if any apply).
Next up will probably be The Invention of Morelby Adolfo Bioy Casares. I started this one last summer, got distracted, and didn't pick it up again. What I remember of it is that it was mysterious and unique. This one comes highly recommended by old friend Jay Johnson and is another in a long line of NYRB classics added to my library over the last five years.
After finding the music of Dervish oddly conducive to the reading of Borges, the next music to play as accompaniment will be Coconut Rock from Ocote Soul Sounds and Adrian Quesada.
After Morel it'll most likely be time to dive into the works of Eduardo Galeano, recommended by Pauls Toutonghi (after his author appearance at the old Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Bay View) and pal Joe Lisberg.
I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus, rollin' down Hiway 41.
But really, I grew up in Cedarburg, WI, middle/working class. Have had an assortment of careers: Shipping/receiving/forklift driver, Punch-press set up & operator, computer programmer, insurance sales (wow did that suck), bookseller.
I have two great children, both living in Portland, Oregon. I'm married to the beautiful & vivacious Jill. Have lived in Bay View (Milwaukee) for 9 years. Now working (as of September 2013) for Downtown Books in Milwaukee (http://www.downtownbooksonline.com/).