Friday, December 29, 2006

The Tom Waits Site

An acquaintance, a Tom Waits scholar if there ever was one, was, unitentionally, putting me to shame as regards the comings, goings, doings, and talkings of Mr. Waits. He recounted that he and his lovely wife had cancelled a planned and paid for week-long stay at Martha's Vineyard this previous autumn as they were able to bag some tickets to see Mr. Waits perform in Louisville and, two days later, in Chicago, as Mr. Waits went from small venue to small venue allegedly supporting his latest release, Orphans.

I hadn't realized he had been touring and making public appearances, with the exception of the Daily Show wherein Jon Stewart practically soiled himself with the heaps of praise he was forking onto Mr. Waits. Mr. Waits' performance of his song, Day After Tomorrow, that night was a heartbreaker of major proportions.

How did the acquaintance hear of these shows and, more importantly, how did he get all of the details and score some tix?
"This site, EyeballKid, is all he said.
Great info. Great links. No overanalysis. Just the facts, Ma'am.
As the acquaintance put it, "None of that typing to read themselves speak stuff. You know, that blogging shit." He eyed me a tad too long for my comfort after launching that last op piece, checking to see if I had blinked or I'd teared up.
He continued, "This guy loves Tom Waits but he knows he's not Tom Waits. So, he writes simply, not in some infatuated 'Tom Waits' style. He spit out a shard of tobacco leaf poking from his cigar, let it float to the floor, and then ground it in with his toe. I felt the leather twist my psyche. He stepped back, cut a fast 90, and exited stage right.

He was right about the site. Waits & Minimalisim.

Darkness Past the Edge of Town

With some kindness bestowed over the holidays from the maternal side of the family, procurement of Tom Waits' Orphans was made possible. I went for the committed-but-not-insane version of the album as opposed to the Church-of-Waits version, the latter now going for over 3 times the price of the former. Must be the price of the Holy Oil from the spit of all of those Swordfish Trombones. Just a note here. The price of the Church-of-Waits version was listed at Amazon as $84.99 two days ago. Today (12/29/06), it's at $99.99. The stock of Waits is pointing up; time to invest in Orphans.

Some reviews to consider, before I unload my own impressions (to be done piecemal, if you don't mind).
Here's one by Philly Inq.'s Dan DeLuca, always a source of sound (ouch! Block that pun) auditary advice. A set of exciteable blurbs is located here. Making it a trio, here's this one, by ChartAttack. Wait! One more Waits.

Mr. Bruce Springsteen generally works in the light of day, occassionally taking you to the Darkness at the Edge of Town. Tom Waits lives in that darkness, especially as reflected in his recordings of the past 15 years or so, revelling in its possibilities and impossibilities. His is a world you believe in implicitly as he weaves stories of death, dankness, and lives slipping away. If Charon had an iPod as he leisurely rowed back and forth on the River Styx, I'm sure the Waits discography would be getting heavy play.

Orphans is a 3-cd set. The cd's are titled Brawlers, Bastards and Bawlers, thus pretty much describing the human condition, well the male human condition with the 3 B's. Each cd is unique, with its own set of musicians and song stylings. Bastards, as one would expect, has the most "unique" instruments, including items named The Bug and Waterphone. The estimable Charles Musselwhite bends your ear on this cd as he bends his notes on the harmonica. The ever-entertaining guitar-god, Marc Ribot, is also present doing his patented string hysterics as he coaxes semblances of notes and definities of noise from his instrument.

(continuinung later today....)


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Writer's Secret

This article by Orhan Pamuk in the most recent New Yorker has been one (very long) mantra for my night time bidding adieus. Not sure how many times I've re-read the entire piece or how many times I've jumped into its in-betweens, but I've yet to tire from its multiple readings.

"As I sit at my table, for days, months, years, slowly adding words to empty pages, I feel as if I were bringing into being that other person inside me, in the same way that one might build a bridge or a dome, stone by stone. As we hold words in our hands, like stones, sensing the ways in which each is connected to the others, looking at them sometimes from afar, sometimes from very close, caressing them with our fingers and the tips of our pens, weighing them, moving them around, year in and year out, patiently and hopefully, we create new worlds."


"The writer’s secret is not inspiration—for it is never clear where that comes from—but stubbornness, endurance. The lovely Turkish expression “to dig a well with a needle” seems to me to have been invented with writers in mind."

How wonderful. I've yet to nose-dive into one of his works as Alcessa seems to have done more than once. Definitely, on 2007's To-Read list.

Any suggestions as to which of his books I should start with?


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry to All

Two excellent Christmas Eve parties with dear friends, fabulous feast, and even roast beast was a great way to enter today's celebrations. Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and the most enjoyable of family gatherings. A smattering of snow would be most appreciated, Santa!

And, to top off a fine Christmas morning (even though hopes of snow will most probably stay as mere hopes), here's a wonderful version of that pa-rump-pa-pum-pum song from the merely too-talented Chazzy-G, co-host extraordinnaire.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

From the Sublime...

Searchie's post of December 14th is followed by that for the 24th.

A plehtora of hope is being vibed in her general direction. My, what a fantastic journey she's set herself on for the new year. A Gedankenexperiment, if ever there was one.

We, her readers, can't wait to see the results. the Ridiculous

The bathroom night light went out. Again. The bulb holder is a burnt sienna color, indication that electricity is heating up the plastic to a an eventual crispy black. Home maintenance is the postal delivery of one's life. Always the same things coming up for your immediate attention.
Enough of the short term solutions for me. No screw-in bulbs with estimated lives of 600 hours. I'm buying up to 25 years of LED low light vigilance. I realize that my house will outlast me; it's already closing in on its first century of intrepid existence.
Now, for a mere $8.29, I've guaranteed that at least one light in that house may also outlive me. My eternal flame, naturally located in the room where waste is perpetually being sent on its way.


Barking of the Incessant Pointless Kind

I'm not sure what the coming Chinese New Year is called. Here at Verging On Pertinence, we'll call it the Year of the Dog.

And I've been given a calendar to prove my point. (It's necessary to read the fine print, so please click on the pic for said details.) The Ever Loving Wife? Is she making a point here? Woof! Woof!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ahhhhhh, SNOW

I'm not a huge fan of the song "White Christmas", although I love the film. I like the song...but there are ones I adore (is that too strong of a word for a guy who shaves?) these songs.
Snow (..and a different version of Snow...)
Sisters, a la Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby. Check out the Binger. He's close to collapsing from laughter at quite a few spots. I would love to have seen the different takes they had to do for this song.
And a different version of Sisters

I'll be back in a few days. Posting this reminded me I've to see "White Christmas" this year. A sin, in my book.


Deskription *

(* Word concocted from Jim, who also proposed this self-imolating exercise). Whisky Prajer posted his as did Cowtown Pattie. Gwynne cleaned her desk up before the photo shoot. (Come on, Gwynne, admit it!!).

I do admit shoving some paper over to the side so that you can see there is a desk underneath the deluge. What amazed me about all of the pictures posted by the group is how small our desks are, covered in detritus (ooops, that would be works-in-progress) or not.

Personally, my most favorite ever desk goes back to the college days when a stack of cinder blocks surreptitiously borrowed from a construction site one night and a cheap laminated louan interior door stacked on top of the carefully balanced cinder blocks made for a desk seemingly stretching from Bangor, Maine to San Diego, CA. Even with all my books, papers, and food items, I was ever abel to fully cover that desk. I could never replicate the sound produced when I was at the wheel of my Gigantor electric Olympic typewriter and I was at full steam typing late night papers. The whir of the motor reverberated through the hollow doordesk, vibrating words within the confines of the thin wood. I imagined that if I drilled a hole in that doordesk after my college days were done, finely sanded complete sentences would come pouring out.

(Note: Click on picture for a larger view of the gory details.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Pix

Have a look-see at Blogzira's pix here and here as well. The photo shown is one of the examples of her winter scenes in Ingerlund.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Friday Night Tunings

For any folks out there who may happen to be hanging around their pc's/Mac's this coming Friday night (12/22) with wonder in their eyes but no tunes in their ears, I'll be sitting in for a fellow dj @ WVUD, covering for his weekly Jazz show.
So, starting @ 10:00 pm EST, until midnight, you can listen to Avenue C via this online connection, (91.3 WVUD). I'll be doing some late Friday night blues & jazz selections and a modicum of Christmas Jazz. Just enough to be seasonal without getting treackley. The patter is at a minimum; music is at the maximum. Any suggestions for selections for this Friday, please note in your comments and I'll try to honor them if the music is available. Due to the show's format, please note that the selections should be in the blues or jazz classification.

My regular early Sunday shifts re-start on January 7th of '07. Hopefully, some new cd additions will have been added to the bottomless bag by then.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What's the Meme Under the Tree?

In a Christmas spirit, looted from Whisky Prajer who linked, in turn, from here.

The Twenty Question Christmas Grilling

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? : Sorry, this isn't an "or" question. If we'd been outside and the weather was delightfully frightful, hot chocolate from scratch can't be beat. If muttering around the house is causing joy to be slowly leached from the other denizens, a chilly egg nog with a splash (or two) of Myers Dark Rum soothes this savage beast.

Does Santa wrap presents, or just stick them under the tree? : The two-headed and four-armed Santa stays up late on the third floor or retreats to the basement and measures and cuts and wraps and bow-ties until all 20 fingers are band-aided and strips of wrapping paper of unuseable lengths are carpeting the floor. A minimum of 3 self-jabs by scissors is de rigeur.

Coloured lights on tree, or white? : White or clear.
(Part B of that question): Lights on tree, still or flickering? : Flickering (me). Still (Ever-loving Wife)

Do you hang mistletoe?: No mistletoe, but a hole-y sock is hung with not much care to remind us to give out many wet & messy kisses or get the boot! Err, sock, I mean.

When do you put your decorations up? Week or two (or three) after Thanksgiving.

What is your favourite holiday dish? Nothing like a plateful of Sarma, though it's tough getting the real sour cabbage without trekking all the way to Queens, NY.

What is your favourite holiday memory as a child? One of my cousin's grandparents owned a farm situated on the slope of a mountain by the River Una in Croatia. On the other side of the river was Bosnia. One Christmas, about 15 cousins, their families, and ours invaded and occupied the farmhouse for a week. Heavy snow fell each day. Each room was heated at night with 4-5 feather blankets and a wooden stove. We stayed outside strumpetting through the snow, skiing down the mountain, sleighing on the hills and on the road. Then, after much yelling from inside the house in our general direction, we'd troop in from the moonlit fields and plop ourselves on the wooden benches at the long wooden kitchen table. We seemingly emptied the food cellar each night and then dragged ourselves upstairs to one of the 8 bedrooms. Under the covers, we peeked at the stove's "eyes", the flames flickering warmth our way. I don't remember gifts actually being exchanged at all that Christmas. We walked a few kilometers to a small Catholic church, packed to the max with heavy-breathing people. I couldn't believe anything could top each day's memories with my cousins in that glorious village.

Years later, the village and this beautiful old house were burnt to the ground during the breakup of Yugoslavia. My cousin's gone back; he now owns the land but he doesn't live there. There are no structures left. He has no desire to build any replica of that grand old ship of a house.

When did you learn the truth about Santa? Age four. In Croatia, Djed Mraz comes with the Devil on Dec. 6th. The latter scared the hell out of me; the former didn't have the chops to clear the fear. I gave up on the old goat.

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? Never! It's Christmas Day for the kids to go through their stockings and then open one gift. Usually, it's called the Big Gift. Then, each day after Christmas until January 7th, the kids open up one gift. We started the 12 days when the kids were very, very young. It had nothing to do with the song, but rather the Ever-Loving Wife (ELW)'s observations that opening up all the gifts on one day was a highly concentrated pleasure in a minimal amount of time. Sounds familiar? So, we started the One-a-Day thing and found that the kids seemed to appreciate and play with each gift rather than heaving it on that stack accumulating in the corner. The kids are, well, not kids now. Yet, they insist on the 12 day program even today.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I'm in charge of cutting the tree down. putting it in the holder, and stringing on the lights. My Christmas ornament hanging days are over as I seem to have lost the Touch of Placement soon after we exchanged marriage vows. I sit back in the couch and cherish my small glass of sherry while the tree is transformed into a thing of beauty.

Snow: love it, or hate it? Adore it. Lots of it. The light fluffy kind, not the heavy wet wear-you-down as you walk kind.

Can you ice skate? Absolument! Although, my thighs sure seem to be burning a lot sooner than I'd like to remember. Bauer Black Panthers are still sharpened.

Can you remember your favourite gift? The ELW gave me a one day course at Stonecreek Studios. It convinced me that I need to win the lottery to go anywhere with this career. It was a fabulous day playing with state-of-the-art equipment. Dials! Meters!

What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Having a long overdrawn dinner with too much food, too much talk, and too much laughing with my family with no plans/commitments afterwards on one of the days during the holidays.

What is your favourite holiday tradition? Christmas morning baking of cinnamon buns, as done by the ELW. Kids spinning ever tighter circles around the gift that they'll open that day.

What tops your tree? We don't put anything right on top of the tree, but we do have an angel made of palm leaves that hangs off to one side of the highest branch. Sort of at the top, but never there. And, yes, his name is Sisyphus, which makes it all a bit corny.

Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? I'm with Mr. WP on this one 100%. So long as kids are involved, giving.

What is your favourite Christmas song? Charles Brown's "Merry Christmas, Baby"

Candy canes? Concocted by the same sadist who cooked up Candy Corn. Never ever tasted a cane I'd finish. Last on I probably licked was in early grammar school. Still have an awful taste memory of that brittle stuff.

My favourite Holiday Dessert: Pecan Pie w/ Rum. Yep, I had it at Thanksgiving. Yeah, I'll have it at Christmas. Although... my mom makes some Croatian cookies (which she hasn't given me a recipe for) that are to die for.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Stephenesque's Days of Christmas

For someone steeped in the high mass of Comedy and its many levels, Stephenesque's protective armor of Irony & Sardonicism seems to be weakening under the stress of the Christmas season. It's proving tough going to hide the warm beating heart we all know he has somewhere within the recesses of his temple.

Have you lit your first Advent candle? Well, then you could start here.
Move on to here and here.
..And he gets almost downright soppy with this entry.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas shopping with Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh

Spontaneity and shoppping? Well, that would be me. Hold on. Conditionally, yes, that would be me. What conditions? Shopping in a book/cd/exotic foods/kitchen or tools supply/Lowes store. Take me out of those retail milieus and I'm a keg of TNT waiting for a spark. Come the Christmas season, the sparks are usually a-flying.

The ever-loving wife and I finally did something this past weekend that we'd promised ourselves to do since the dawn of our relationship (in some history books also referred to as the Dawn of Time). We (almost) completed our Christmas shopping before Dec. 24th.

How was this conceivable?
Two things.
1) The kids had, for all practical reasons, flown the coop.
2) My ever-loving wife did a mind-meld with me and 'Nuke' LaLoosh.

For those dear readers already familiar with Mr. LaLoosh and Bull Durham, you can skip the next paragraph and go out for a stroll, pet the dog, acknowledge the cat’s superior powers, peel a grape, partake of a bon-bon. Yeah, just move along to the stirring conclusion, if you will.

For my non-American readers (because I assume all Americans knows Bull Durham like they know the words to the national anthem. Well, perhaps a lot better), the following synopsis is offered.

As an American, even a naturalized one, it is understood that there are certain facts of American life that have to be studied intently and committed to your sub-conscious such that future generations of your fine self will already have it in their chromosomes. Some of these items are:
1) Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 consecutive games.
2) The Yankees are the Evil Empire.
3) You don’t order Chicago-style pizza in NYC.
4) You don’t order Brooklyn-style pizza in Chi-town.
5) Whatsamatterwhichyou!!? It’s "tomato gravy", not "tomato sauce" that goes on top of pasta in Philly.
6) You must have at least 78.9% of the Bull Durham script committed to memory.
7) 78.9% of the Bull Durham script can be dropped into any conversation you are having with aplomb (or any other fruit at hand).

Bull Durham is a movie not merely dealing with baseball. The undercurrent subjects include:
1) The game of baseball as a microcosm of the Game of Life.
2) Listening to one’s elders, and
3) Susan Sarandon’s literary and beguiling ways.
Ms. Sarandon, as a general manager of her own life, drafts one lucky minor league baseball player each year to play on her 1-man team. Through means of her own invention, she mentors and molds him for the next level of baseball. For the baseball season that the movie covers here, she has “signed up” one Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh, a pitcher of whom Annie Savoy (Ms. Sarandon) says, “Honey, you are a regular nuclear meltdown. You better cool off!”. LaLoosh’s control problems extend, so to speak, from the pitching mound to the Turkish-ish boudoir of Annie Savoy. In an effort to correct ‘Nuke’s meltdown, the resourceful Annie suggests to LaLoosh that he should try to breath through his eyelids like a lizard and, allegedly, like the real-life mysterioso LA Dodger pitcher, Fernando Valenzuela. In addition, being a practitioner of Baseball Wicca, she searched through her bag of potions, spells, and lingerie and decided that LaLoosh should wear one of her garter belts. As any baseball or sports enthusiast knows, the higher the level of improbability rises, the stronger is the belief. These two gambits were pitched to ‘Nuke’ so that he could take his mind off of his pitching because, as we all know, a guy can’t think and do at the same time, unless he happens to be sitting in the house. Needless to say (but say, I will) Annie’s concoctions do the trick...for ‘Nuke’, but no trick for her. She’ll have to rely on CJ’s for her tricks.

This all came up as the ever-loving wife and I were meandering through the quickly filling stores last Saturday. My discomfort with excessive amounts of people doing the willy-nilly dance as they careen through the ever-narrowing aisles quickly turned to an immobility caused by the sucking out of my soul.

Ever Loving Wife (ELW) (seeing me deflating onto myself as I leaned on a wall at Macy’s): You’re taking all of this way too seriously.
Me: But this Christmas shopping is serious business. This is the Big Leagues of relationships. One false gift and you're sent down for a year to the bush leagues with folks who chew and spit tobacco.
ELW:Well, I'm glad you're bringing up baseball, because I've got an easy cure for your malevolence toward the gifted.
Me (sequestered on a bench now): Mel Ovents? Third baseman for the Seattle Pilots?
ELW: Don’t get specific with me. Specific doesn’t get you to inner peace. Let me re-introduce you to ‘Nuke’.
Me: LaLoosh? But, he’s all over the place. Uncontrollable emotions and passionate urges. He’s the poster boy of a teenaged guy. Plus, he has moldy shower flip-flops.
ELW: You’re right about the urges and the emotions. What I’m talking about is his cure?
Me: You mean Annie and her literary ways? Or, are you referring to her constant playing of Edith Piaf? Now, that’s a cure! A continual barrage of the Sparrow’s La vie en Rose is enough to cure you of ennui, le temps perdu, and ingrown toenail.
ELW: Thickness is not a virtue, you know. Possibly not even a quirk. No, what I’m referring to is lizard-breathing and garter belts.
Me: Ah yes, the famous reptilian lingerie connection. Go on, my ears are pricked.
ELW: Well, you remember how Annie had provided ‘Nuke’ with a set of her garter belts and then how Crash had correctly fitted said accoutremont on Mr. LaLoosh.
Me: Yes, there was a certain je sais quoi too much about that scene.
ELW : Discomfort brings self-realization, I always say. Was he not a successful pitcher afterwards? Yes! Because he was not thinking about the pitching. He was too busy breathing through his eyelids and wondering what stockings he’d clip on (with care, naturally) onto his garter belt. His mind was elsewhere than the task at hand. You think about this Christmas shopping such that you get your knickers in a bunch. Thinking and bunched knickers are a rough combination; it’s difficult to get oxygen to the brain.
Me : Well, it’s worth a try, at least for one Christmas season. So, which part goes in front? The dangling parts?

So, if you happen to be shopping this weekend and you come upon a guy squirming and fiddling with his pants, no need to shield your eyes. It's most probably me, adjusting my ‘Nuke’ and breathing through my eyelids, just trying to get through the maelstrom of gifting.

Ho, Ho, Ha! A Very Successful Shopping to All!

Note: Some memorable quotes from Bull Durham are here and here. Apologies for duplications.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hrvatski Andre 3000

(Linked from Carniola. Thanks, Michael! Source is here )

Just further proof that some guys just look fabulous irregardless of which nationality's clothing he's sporting. I'd go so far as stating that Mr. 3000 should be modeling for Croatian clothing companies more often.

How does he match a Mexican poncho with a Croatian scarf and get away with it?
(Insert appropriate word from here. Being a white guy, I'll beg off as that would be tres un-cool)

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Addictive Series of Events

Mr. Michael Blowhard wrote this piece on Friday, December 1st. It concerned a Pittsburgh-set and Pittsburgh-made web-based dramedy involving a non-profit radio station WANT. It's been on the web for 4 "seasons" now. Initially, it has the feel of Richard Linklater's Slacker, only set in a more hilly city. But, after the first 2-3 episodes, it seperates itself from the impersonal short quips of Linklater's film to an insightful look into the 4-5 central characters of the dramedy. A slow but certain addiction follows for the viewer. The background music, ostensibly a broadcast of the fictitious WANT station, is sly and is woven into the fabric of each episode.
Thanks to Michael for the link to Something to be Desired and to the loss of a good part of the weekend.

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A tip of the fedora to Isoglossia.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Dollop of Self-Delusion, if You Please

From the ever-entertaining and the brain-in-full-tilt-boogie Hillbilly, Please comes this link of statistical depression. How's it work? Well, you simply put your blog URL in the space indicated, press the Calc key and...Voila (or Eureka! or What the Hell? or whatever your favorite exclamation of surprise/disgust/ relief is).

You have your answer. An (allegedly) scientific calculation of your blog's readability. The key number, per Jagosaurus is the....

Gunning-Fog Index, which is calculated as per the following algorithm listed to determine the Gunning-Fog index.

* Calculate the average number of words you use per sentence.

* Calculate the percentage of difficult words in the sample (words with three or more syllables).

* Add the totals together, and multiply the sum by 0.4.

* Algorithm: (average_words_sentence + number_words_three_syllables_plus) * 0.4

The result is your Gunning-Fog index, which is a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to understand the content. The lower the number, the more understandable the content will be to your visitors. Results over seventeen are reported as seventeen, where seventeen is considered post-graduate level

You can input your own blog or others', if you really want to get into depressing waters.

Herewith, current Gunning-Fog Index values of some of the blogs that are listed on this blog for you to go to visit.

Yours Truly 8.89 (i.e., barely out of high school? You'll do fine here!)
Easily Distracted 11.82 (History Prof from Swarthmore, wouldn't you know...)
Mortimer Shy 10.61 (This score told me that this test is whacked. If you read this blog, I'd say a 15 or 17 score would be minimal)
Outer Life 10.57
Searchie 11.31
Lilek's Bleats 9.18
2 Blowhards 10.14
Dooney's Cafe 11.17
About Last Night 9.56
This Blog Will be Deleted by Tomorrow 9.51
Andrew Sullivan 9.47
Online Photogrpaher 10.35
Maud Newton 11.27
Bookslut 8.78 (A book review/info site. Again, a surprise. Should've been higher)
The Elegant Variation 11.18 (A book review/info site.)

Now, in true self-delusional mode, what would be intreresting is to take these Gunning-Fog Indices and compare them with the worth of your blog and come up with a ratio of dollars to sense. That would be a useful exercise.....which I won't go on about as the results for yours truly don't really nurture my soul. What may need to happen is the arbitrary insertion of fundamentally inconsequential and frivolous long-syllabled words without any concern for comprehension of one's message. Communication on a higher plane, as it were, without a possibility of understanding.

So, Gunning Fog Index, take this!


I can always hope that the Gunning-Fog Index takes into account the witty and prosaic comments left on my blog entries for calcualtion purposes. Just riding on someone's coattails...


Saturday, December 02, 2006

CD's of Random Kindness

If it's happened to you, I'll confess it might have been me. It was all intended, verily I say onto you, with good intentions.
If, in the unlikely circumstance, that I came upon a cd in my collection that just didn't do it for me anymore I would put it into a Pile of Regret.
If it stayed in the aforementioned Pile for over a month, I disposed of it...sort of.
If, for some unfathomable reason, the radio station did not have a copy of the cd, I'd simply leave the cd there.
if the station had that cd, I'd resort to the act of a CD of Random Kindness.

Nothing kinky here. No staying around or hiding in the background, peeking through windows or around rows of parked automobiles or even peering from behind an available tree. No hiding in my car, with the driver's seat tilted back to the cool driver angle.
Nope, none of that. I'd simply take the cd to a parking lot. A quick 360 look would be taken to make sure no one was watching. I'd pick a car at random.
Well, o.k., not absolutely at random. I eliminated all SUV's and pickup trucks unless the latter actually looked as if its owner used it for work rather than merely tooling around with a faker cowboy hat; if the truck bed looked scratched and muddy, it was a valid candidate.

Then, I would simply walk up to the car, lift up the windshield wiper, and slip the cd under it. I prefer the driver's side, so it's noticed when the driver prepares to drive off. Sometimes, I'd leave a note.
Stupid stuff or seasonal. Hey, it is Christmas!

"Random Musical Act of Kindness"
"Track #2! I think it's really you."
"Tooth fairy for adults. Yes, I am on the job."
"I've been watching and you've been very very good."
"God thinks this cd is kick-ass!"

I wouldn't stick around for the reaction; that would suggest I had a personal agenda or a quirk of many colors. None whatsoever! Simply looking for a good home for a cd in need of some love and attention.

And, I guess, how often is a gift truly given without any strings?

Careful, now. I may be driving in your neck of the woods. Any musical preferences?

post scriptum:
I'd tried this dole out with books. By pure chance, as I had windshield wipered one, the driver came to his car shortly afterwards. He looked around, ripped the book out, and, multi-tasking guy that he seemed to be, cursed and heaved the book, as if it were diseased.
It was not a book I'd labored long to part with.
But, it was a book. I felt the author's bumps and bruises as the book bounced around the parking lot.
A Beemer, driving fast, then, unintentionally I'm sure, ran over the poor author's work. Ouch !!
I ceased and desisited with printed matter as of that point. CD's seemed an easier option. No pressure on the recepient to read or even peruse the item. A simple thrust into the car's cd-player and the gifted was in receipt.


Friday, December 01, 2006


"Like most irritable people I rarely lose my temper (a dog that's let out for regular exercise isn't as apt to run away when it does escape), but I was losing it this morning. At least in that respect I was resembling our Lord, who was forever losing His. It took very little to rile Him; Scribes and Pharisees, His Family, even a fig tree." (Peter DeVries from "The Mackerel Plaza" )

It's not as if kids scatter; in fact most seem to be drawn to me. Must be the bushy mustache and the humming I seem to engage in when I'm hiking from God's Half Acre, where I parked my car, to my Happy Abode, a couple of blocks away. They also seem to like calling me by my first name. "Hey, Darko! Home now?". They don't call other older guys or fathers by their first name. Something naughty about yelling Darko, I guess. But, that's a different issue.
So, you see it's not some always threatening exploding volcano in me. It's got to be my occassional teeth-gnashing and mental accumulation of small tiffs that causes the occasional solitary uproar in my Humble Abode. I've found that speaking in tongues, preferably tongues of minimal mutual understanding works quite well to let steam off. In fact, non-vulgar words in a quaint language can be made to sound as profane by simply raising one's voice and milling one's arms about.
For me, at times, it's as if I'm a rooster. I bellow out some screech of a noise, irregardless of that exclamation's connection with whatever is actually going on. The family has learned to ignore it or, better yet, derive amusement from it. A trip to the old country a couple of summers ago opened their eyes to this common habit of the Croatian male. All basically much ado about nothing much left to do. Cock-a-doodle-doo....

The Facts:

A definition of Losing One’s Temper: Get very angry and fly into a rage

Flip: (option a) One’s Wig or (option b) One’s Lid.
Fly: (option a) Off the Deep End or (option b) Off the Handle..
Have: (option a) A Conniption or (option b) A Fit or (option c) Kittens.
Hit: (option a) The Ceiling or (option b) The Roof (a corollary of “The Roof” is Go through (said) Roof. Hitting the or Going through Roof is directly related to the construction of your house, so keep that in mind when Losing One’s Temper.)
Blow: (option a) A Fuse or (option b) A Gasket or (option c) One’s Stack or , simply, (option d) Up.
Go: (option a) Ballistic or (option b) Nuclear.
Lose: (option a) It or (option b) Self-Control or, via REM (option c) One’s Religion.

The Aussies Bung on an Act

Wlliam Butler Yeats thought that, "One should not lose one's temper unless one is certain of getting more and more angry to the end.", while one of Delaware’s senators, the ever-enthralling Mr. J. Biden, tries to distinguish anger and losing one’s temper here.

Thais believe that to lose one's temper is most unbecoming of the person and thought of as a person with low character or poor upbringing.

In fact, not losing your temper is one of the 3 cornerstones of a long and fulfilling life. Seems the cosmic creditor can’t find you if you’re in control of your temper.

I’ll conclude with John Malkovich’s opinion on losing one’s temper, "I don't lose my temper very often now, and if I do, it's well deserved."

So, dear readers, when your emotions are negatively piqued, how do you classify your Yosemite Sam moment?


An Explanation of a Death

After much soul-searching and pensive re-evaluation Blogzira has come forward and admitted what we were all suspecting.
She killed Milton Friedman.

We can now go back to solving the other puzzling mysteries of our lives.


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