Monday, July 26, 2004

Movie Dog
My oh my Movie Dog has been a long time away from the slivery screen (ouch! remind me not to project on splintered wood again!) But what with the DemoSuckFest all over TV tonight, it seems a perfect time to vacuum the shelves at BlockBuster. And what is the first gem in this crown of thorns? The Station Agent.
Not perfect but what a wonderful film. The plot in a nutshell:

When his only friend and co-worker dies, a young man born with dwarfism moves to an abandoned train depot in rural New Jersey. Though he tried to maintain a life of solitude, he is soon entangled with an artist who is struggling with a personal tragedy and an overly-friendly Cuban hot dog vendor.

Absolutely fantastic performances from Patricia Clarkson and
Peter Dinklage as the artist and the dwarf. It is low-key but extremely engaging. If you have, or want, a quiet movie for a quiet evening, rent it. Thank me later.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Sharon Stone on Letterman tonight. This woman is not aging well. There is the saying "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" because the recession of the gums gives the age of the horse. Let me just say, never look a Sharon Stone in the mouth.

But then again, she's not famous for showing her teeth.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Stupid But Fun
I finally realized that I don't have to sign my actual name when I buy groceries at Trader Joe's and use my credit card. The last three times I've put my vittles on the card I have been "Trader Vic" (not really but close enough), "Arrrgghh, Matey!" and once, just once, the traditional "X."

It's stupid but it's not like I spend time thinking up clever names to sign on the little electronic signature gizmo. Speaking of which, I do like the message the box gives when one has passed his card through the slot: "Swipe Accepted." So, like, it's okay to take stuff?

Name that Meme!
I'd like to call the Berger incident "WaddleGatge" after the idea of hefty bagman Sandy filling his trousers with documents and walking out. But my influence in the blogosphere is vanishingly small. There are greater crosses to bear.
A Berger To Go
In all the brouhaha over Sandy Berger's pants-suffing incident, I think there is an opportunity for someone more musically gifted than I to rewrite Barry Manilow's "Mandy." Along these lines perhaps:

I remember just by chance
You stuffing papers in your pants
Oh Sandy! You came and you took without speaking
And you hauled it away, oh Sandy!

I see also that goggle-eyed melon-head David Gergen (who is a pompous jerk - I speak from personal experience) has now become a reliable DemoBot with his defense of the indefensible. Remember, always judge people by their intentions because you know the intentions of your political party-mates is always pure while the other guys, even if they succeed in doing great things, always do things for EEEEEEvil reasons.
And read Thomas Sowell's The Vision of the Annointed. He does the topic more justice than I ever could.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

I owe posts I owe posts I owe posts. Heads will roll.
Hmm. New Blogger posting interface. I like it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Sometimes it pays to shut up and just listen
So, there was in Greenwich Village with a bean and chicken wrap nestling steadily deeper into my belly and the sudden necessity to stand and deliver. Deliver introductions, fill the interstices between the truly talented people and try to keep the audience on my side. Not that I'm taking sides mind you!

First to play was a trio of lovely ladies who took their group name from an old folk song: "Three Sisters." Which, of course, they performed wonderfully. It's in the folk tradition so let's just say that there wasn't a happy ending to the tale told but greater unhappiness was in having a song so well performed come to an end. I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't get their names so that I am able to give them the credit they're due. Their vocal harmony was glorious as was the flute accompaniment. I will track down their names so that I can post them soon.

Next came Tania Eshaghoff (that's a link, click it, click it now, this will still be here when you come back) who played piano and had a violinist to accompany her. Wow. First, as you can see if (IF! -Ed) you visit her web site, Tania is one of the most exotically gorgeous women it had ever been my pleasure to witness. It's probably not fair that a woman this beautiful is also so fabulously talented. I will not cut and paste huge gouts of description of her CD "Dancing With Souls" so follow the link. Not just that, buy the disc. I'm sure it will be a revelation to you as it was to me. I'm listening to it even as I write this.
She plays the piano out of a fusion of Persian musical traditions with her Western musical training. She plays with a dense, flowing, polyrhythmic verve that is, well, entrancing. The violin accompaniment was subtle and flowed through the bright drama of the piano like a stream twisting through gem-laden rocks. I am unable to do her music justice in words. It really must be heard.

So, do you now start to understand why I call this one of the best nights of my life? Here were artists I'd never heard before and I was overwhelmed. And then I got to meet Jake Armerding. If I didn't tell the story of my discovery of Jake before, I won't hesitate now.
I listen to streaming radio through iTunes and one of my favorite stations is Radio IO Acoustic. One fine day I heard Jake's song Ithaca which struck me as a pretty good song. So I tracked down the MP3 version available on, downloaded and listened to it a few times. Not just pretty good - damn good in fact. Good enough to get me to buy the disc. And I played it for friends, a couple of whom are the animus deii behind the IC benefit. They went the extra mile and got Jake to appear. So I got to meet him. I'm sorry to act like a drooling fan-boy but I think this is just so cool. To find someone's music on the Internet and then end up meeting him. This is part of the whole new world of music that the net represents and I couldn't be happier. But I digress.

I told Jake of the songs I particularly liked ("Ithaca," "Adonai," "Little Boy Blue (North of North Dakota") and he played them all. And others besides. He is a terrific musician as well as a talented song writer. My only gripe is that he beat feet out of the club before I could my CDs signed. Speaking of which, thank you, Tania!

There's more to this story but I find myself running out of blog steam this late evening. I will cobble together yet another installment tomorrow. Serial blogging. Hmm. There might be something to this.

Monday, July 05, 2004

One night in New York
I am hugely remiss in posting this. OK, not in posting this but in taking so long to post this.

On June 9, I had the distinct and unalloyed pleasure of emceeing a benefit for Interstitial Cystitis at the Sidewalk Cafe in New York City. My brother-from-another-mother Paul and his lovely wife Ana set up the benefit and were trusting enough to allow me to stand up in front of people I don't know and try to connect.

It wasn't easy. But it was one of the best nights of my life. I had the chance to find some wonderful music utterly new to me and to meet the amazingly talented Jake Armerding of whom I have posted before. Not easy because getting up in front of a crowd and trying to be entertaining when I have next to zero expereience at it, is tough. If I had ginned up the nerve to try my hand at standup at the hundreds of Chuckle Huts that have open mike nights, it would have been easier.
Not to mention, IC is a delicate condition. I'm not sure that those who suffer really want to listen to someone making jokes about ... allow me to quote ... "(A) bladder and pelvic pain disorder effecting millions of men, women and children throughout the world. With symptoms of frequency, urgency, and/or pain,(which) diagnosis can be elusive." Just damn. This breaks my heart. There are afflictions which have a kind of public face, even breast cancer is now in the ken of the general public and there's little hesitation, I think, for those who have it to talk about it. But IC afflicts in ways that are not even a little part of polite conversation. No wonder diagnosis is elusive if it's something that one would rather not discuss. So, with a tear held back - because I detest the idea that anyone would have to suffer in silence - I try to be entertaining on stage. I came up with one bit that even now I know I didn't perform very well. Imagine Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First" with a doctor presenting a diagnosis of "I see" and you'll have the flavor of it. I am appreciative of the kind response of the crowd to my fumbling effort at humor.

Oh, and of course, the first time I actually say "Interstitial Cystitis," I botch it. D'oh!

My next post will delve into the artists and why you should support them. I seem to have yakked about myself enough in this post that I think the artists deserve some real bloggy love all to themselves.
(to be continued....)

Friday, July 02, 2004

If you'll excuse me...
I'm going to sleep now. I couldn't fall asleep last night and now that all the foofaraw of the day is over, I lack the mental acuity to properly blog my wonderful trip to Nuevo Jork. Tomorrow, gentlefolk, tomorrow.