Quote of the Day

"Buzz, buzz."--Hamlet

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Burrrrrrrr

Ha...baseball in Minnesota this time of year.  The Twins don't play in the Metrodome anymore.

It's the free game at MLB.com tonight.  I'm getting cold watching it.

They're outside in the elements playing in front of a sparse crowd all bundled up with sweatshirts and rain gear.

The players are wearing their World Series in November garb, thermals and wool masks up to their eyes. They'd probably be wearing ski masks with the eyes and mouth cutouts if they could get away with it.

Baseball in Minnesota on April 30. Portland has great baseball weather right now, but it'll be short-lived. Doesn't matter.  We have no team.

Think I'll wait for the Summer Game.


TS

To Rolo's Dominion















Dog Years

Rolo’s ears and nostrils flared as Big Mike
sat with him in the good old bus. They'd
been sharing a steak cooked outside on the
Hibachi, and Rolo was growing impatient,
waiting for the rare meat to fall into his bowl.

He was thinking about Big Mike’s habit
of eating too slowly when he heard the gate
rattle and caught the scent of the stranger
approaching a little too casually. Rolo and
Big Mike’s eyes met and they both moved

Like trained stealth fighters, Mike toward
his .45 and Rolo to the entry, where he
caught a reflection of himself in the glassed
door and confronted a sudden reckoning;
a handsome junkyard dog he was no more.

A little arthritis had set in, he knew,
and now he found himself tiring easily at
times, and he wondered if he might have
cancer, the disease that had taken so many
of his old friends. His low growl came up

From his throat with an odd dispassion,
as though he didn’t care if the man out
there in the shadows, wearing a fedora
and London Fog overcoat, was a common
thief or a veterinarian come to poison him.

Big Mike invited Dooley in; Rolo, never shy,
and relieved for now, liked the tough old P.I.


TS

Repeat

The Internet has lit up with people claiming the guy got what he deserved, a suffering death just like the one his victim encountered.

This is an aspect of American society I don't understand, right up there with our worship of guns and "gun rights."

The more repressive are regimes around the world, the more likely they are to execute criminals.  Execution is another U.S. "states-rights" issue that needs to be taken off the board.

We have debased ourselves to the level of the killers.


TS

No Pay, No Play

In a just U.S., the mega-chain corporations that pay pennies would be forced to pay a livable wage.

No pay?  No play.  Which would be fine.  We don't need exploitative fast-food joints and big-box stores anyway.

The exploitation of low-income workers must stop.  As wealth becomes concentrated in fewer hands, wages will regress or remain stagnant across the board until the totality collapses.

Then we will have a real problem, but by the same reasoning, that may be what is needed.  A fresh start marked by hand-to-hand combat if need be.


TS

Sunshine


An incredible morning and it will get warm today.

I slept with my windows open last night for the first time this year.

Back to the normal rain on Monday, so I'll enjoy it while I can.




TS

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Computer Expert


True to a suggestion I picked up in a gripe column, if you copy and paste from Word to Notebook before pasting to Blogger, the insane background "white" commands at Blogger disappear.

I know not why, but I'm pleased.

One small, extra step and things are back to normal. As a bonus, the Cambria text I'm using in my manuscript auto-converts to the default text at Blogger as well.

Hooray, I like it.

If you already knew this, ignore me.  I'm an old piker.


TS

Star-Crossed















Puzzled

In Noble Coffee, Harry Reems was
struggling with a crossword puzzle
when an old codger walked in and
ordered a double latte with skim
before peering in his direction.

Harry thought, who is this grizzled
old fool? The graybeard looked right at
him and Harry turned away, undone
by his steely gaze, which if he had
admitted it, was cowardly of him.

He seems like a crazy dude, Harry said
to himself, feeling the old man’s roving
eyes as they burned into his back; he
was coming over to say something,
Reems knew as the crank drew nearer.

The old stranger looked down at Harry
and smiled. “Having trouble with that,
Mr. Reems?”  Annoyed, Harry covered 
the puzzle, unused to being  recognized.  
“Sir,” he said, “have we met before?”

“You’re the horn player! I was a big fan
of yours in Portland years ago when you
played with Mel Brown at Jimmy Mak’s!”
Harry relaxed. “No kidding?” he said. “I
guess I don’t know you. I’m very sorry.”

“Don’t be, friend. The name’s Dooley.”
“Dooley,” Reems said. “A fan...Really?”


TS

Father & Son













Lunch

The philologist Carl Hicks
pushed the club sandwich in front
of Rex Dern and said, “Have some.”

He pulled a toothpick from his
coat pocket. “If I may be so blunt,”
Carl said, “as to offer an opinion…”

“Go ahead,” Rex nodded, fixing his
his eyes on the uneaten portion of
Carl’s lunch.  “Be blunt if you like.”

Hicks licked his lips and flicked a
tiny piece of chicken off an incisor
with his tounge. “Eat, Rex, it is 

Paid for, and Tex makes a good one
if you like bacon.” Rex shrugged and 
leaned forward, acknowledging he

Was hungry and liked bacon. “You
were about to opine, Carl?” Hicks 
finally wiped his lips with a napkin.

“Tex and I agree on this, Rex. We
think your son has made a mistake.
It was a bad idea to leave Oberlin.”

Rex took a bite of the sandwich and
looked outside at Talent’s bitter rain 
slanting against Tex’s windowpane.


TS   

Monday, April 28, 2014

Heat is On


It's acomin,' and it's about time.

Maybe my mind will uplift with the temps for a while.  Chance to ride my bike (I told you hardcore pimps I am lazy) in comfort, get some exercise, etc.



TS

At the Zoo

Maybe I'll try to sneak in to see Merle. Ha, ha...

I'd like to see Lucinda Williams again as well.




TS

Dr. Jack and That Crazy Blazermania


I was a big fan in 1977.  Hell, if you lived in Oregon there was no getting around it.

I was living in Lebanon, Oregon that spring and early summer as Dr. Jack and Bill Walton led the Trail Blazers--or Trailblazers as the team's name was written frequently then.

I watched all six games with my friends in Lebanon, a series of great moments.  Julius Erving, Dr. J., who unlike Jack Ramsay wasn't a PhD at all, and powerful, talented George McGinnis were handled by the less talented Blazers, who focused on teamwork and ran relentlessly.

Shortly after the big victory parade in downtown Portland, I moved to the city.

Been here ever since, and I've seen a lot of players and coaches come and go.  One of the original expansion Blazers, Rick Adelman, almost coached them to the title again in 1989 and 1992, but couldn't repeat Ramsay's magic.

Ramsay was a big deal here in Portland, and I talked with him late one evening in Delphina's Restaurant in Northwest Portland after a tough loss that I'd watched on television.  Jack was enjoying a late dinner alone and came up to the bar for some reason.  I asked him why Clyde Drexler had played so poorly and appeared to be in one of his regular, pouting funks at the time.

"I wish I knew," Ramsay said.  I could read the extreme disappointment on his face.

But he did know, he just wouldn't say it to a stranger. Drexler was a young prima donna, it was easy to see. He was loafing because he could, and that was about the worst thing you could do if you played for Dr. Jack.


TS

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Offensive Foul


The Clippers came out worrying about what their half-wit owner said and got stomped.

Be interesting to see if they can survive the BS and find a way to keep their heads in the game.  Personally, I think the players have taken it too hard, which may be an absurd thing to say since I'm not a black basketball star, but...

You have a union. Use it and refocus.

You're making millions playing a game, what do you care what the dumbazz says? The rule of chattel isn't going to end in your lifetime.

Capitalism has a strong racist component, and even if it manages to allay some of that in the name of progress, it remains at its foundation inherently mean and cutthroat, particularly at its highest levels.

By contrast, if you were a fry cook in a greasy spoon and your dumbazz boss said something to offend or insult you you'd be in the same boat--only without the highflyin' lifestyle.

It happens, believe me.  More frequently than our society is willing to admit.  People in the business world are nice--until they're not.


TS

Hammering the Nail


A short essay by Charles Deemer.

Read this as well.





TS

Picket Fence/RP Thomas















RP Thomas photo.

RP lives in Talent, Oregon and works in Ashland.  On the side, he's a Shakespearean actor.


TS

Trillium/Charles Lucas

















Charles Lucas photo.

Charles shoots his in the wilds of Portland's Forest Park.  Here's more about trilliums.


TS

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Feedback

Numerous people I know and respect, my beautiful, soulful daughter among them, seem to appreciate some of the "Talent Poems" that I write and post here whenever I feel comfortable with my efforts.  Writing the poems is an ongoing thing, which I hope to continue until a self-satisfying cycle of work is done.

Obviously, I'm more curious than they are about how things will play out in Talent, but just now I thought I should say thanks to those who've written to encourage the work by commenting on it.  To encourage a project against the odds is a terribly generous thing to do.

The vacuum-sealed anonymity of this writer shrinks a little more whenever you mention the work, which feels good.  Thanks to all for having taken the time to read and thoughtfully respond to the poems.


TS

Best Cover



The only thing better than Dylan singing one of his old songs is one of the faithful singing the song in his own inimitable style and making it better yet.

This is one of many Dylan classics, of course, but Jack just dominates it, and stretches out in his own rough-hewn style

Great, great stuff, used in the Todd Haynes Dylan homage, "I'm Not There."

Maybe I've posted this before, but heck, it's Saturday and on Saturdays I find myself going back to what I love.


TS

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ball

Listening to the Royals vs. Orioles on MLB.com just now the O's announcer said, "Yep, there's been a little bad weather across the country this spring, been a real factor so far..."

Jesus, start baseball in May, would you?  End it in early October, like the old days.  Greed drives this scenario, with about 22K announced in Camden Yards tonight.  A 55 min. pre-start rain delay, many left early.

Time to tune in the Blazers, with another too-long season slowly winding down.  I managed to miss most of it, thank the gods, but I like the playoffs when Portland is in.

Am I a fair-weather fan?  Or what?

Ha!

BTW, Houston and Terrence Jones are in town tonight.  If you're homeless, sleep with your knees up 'round your chin, lest your legs get stomped on by the  sweetheart ex-Portlander Mr. Jones after a night of post-game clubbing downtown.


TS

The Plot Thickens

















Dooley Settles In

He once had the beauty of Adonis, but
no more; a string of bad whores, age, 
and a diet of rot gut had taken their toll.

As Dooley unpacked, put his skivvies
in the bottom drawer of the bureau, he
glanced around his seedy Talent hotel

Room. It smelled stale, like mildew, but
Dooley liked its proximity to Tex’s
Tavern, where a suspect in a Portland

Robbery named Berle Marks--once
an up and coming academician--was said
to be spending all of his stolen money.

Before turning to thieving in the Southwest,
where he put his sticky fingers to test by
knocking over a dozen stores in Taos and

Santa Fe, Marks taught film studies at

Oberlin, with an emphasis on noir classics--
"Life imitating Art," Dooley said knowingly.

Yesterday, when a car stolen from a 
downtown Portland lot showed in Talent,  
"armed and dangerous" was the cops' argot.

Dooley foresaw a winnowing teleplay, Act 3.  
He put his Smith & Wesson beside his pillow 
and poured himself a tall double bourbon.


TS

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Klan Life














Check out the remarkable photo essay, "A Day in the Life of the KKK," at the end of this Huff Post story.

Slate has some of the photos in a larger format.

Anthony S. Karen's website.


TS

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Code Zero

Blogger is in big trouble right now, folks.  I had to go into HTML and delete all the "white" code for each line of the poem below. 

Then I had to rewrite code for a line that was appearing as black or transparent text upon publication.

I can't take it.  One, I ain't a programmer.  Two, I hate trying. Tedious stuff, man.

I don't write the poems directly to Detritus, though it may appear like that at times.  In fact, I do a lot of editing as I'm writing in Word.

Guess I'll have to write to my working manuscript and than retype into Blogger, almost as bad as doing code, maybe slightly faster. Heh, I'm so used to the copy and paste method I almost forgot I can always use a little more elbow grease like the old days.

                                         ***

Okay, I've investigated.  First, it's recommended you not copy and paste from Word to begin with because this is evidently a common problem/occurrence. 

It's odd that it happens intermittently, however.

I'm reading a lot of complaints from people who say the code gets skewed in Blogger itself on occasion and the white background command appears at various times.

That hasn't happened to me yet, so perhaps I shouldn't complain too much. If and when it does I might have to abandon ship.


TS

Mysterious Stranger
















Restlessness

All of Talent had a restless streak that
seemed to run down the middle of town
like a human version of Main Street.
Rolo’s bones were never satisfactory.
Big Mike had a love/hate thing with Lizzie,
and Harry Reems’ horn embouchure was
a failed memory.

The philologist Carl Hicks was overthinking
everything and prone to depression, while
Tex fixated on the old Fury, drinking damn
near as much as the wag Ted, whose liver
was in “dreadful shape,” according to Doctor
Feilgud, an ancient practitioner and deliverer
of bad news.

Boomer, finally kicked out of school, was
considering a military career when he got
caught stealing beer and played the fool
while hiding in an alley adjacent to Knott’s
Deli, telling the arresting officer that he was
about to go "kill him some Arabs," and wasn’t
that "pretty cool?"

Not to mention poor Rex Dern, surviving on
fish and memories of his ex-wife who, like
Ted’s, left him for a life with a moneyed man.
Oh yes, the restlessness in Talent had finally
reached a peak, and things were nearly out
of hand when Buddy Dooley, an old-school
P.I., mysteriously arrived.


TS

Essay of the Day

A duh, no kidding but righteous analysis of college sports by Anthony DiMaggio, for CounterPunch.

He argues that college sports unions aren't what's needed. How about let's abolish college sports as expensive mega-businesses that are failing student-athletes, ordinary students, and taxpayers?

His stats say just 23 of 228 Division 1 programs turned a profit last year.

An extremely lucid piece, but the reality is that unionization, whatever level of contentment or discomfort it brings to folks on all sides of the debate, is more likely to happen than outright abolition.

Abolition doesn't check greed. Never has. Not even the 13th Amendment did that wholly.

TS

Monday, April 21, 2014

Typical Day

I've had this little blogger problem in the past.  It's raised its horns again, and I can't remember how I solved it.

Perhaps I never did, but it went away.

Trying to paste text to the blogger dialogue box from Word, I'm getting a white background at my posts again--for no apparent reason that I'm aware of.  I've either accidentally created a snag or one has been created for me via my "third-party" interface--if that's what you call it.

There is a way to rectify the situation in HTML for each post, but it is soooooo tedious...

Not feeling it at the moment.  Maybe next time.

Truth is computers and modern tech have been good for me in hindsight. A little bit. Blogs are great, any half-baked idea carries a little muster--oft-times very little, indeed--but I sometimes miss the good old days. When it was you, a sheet of paper, and a typewriter. Carbon paper if you were smart.

Wear out a ribbon?  Buy another.  Carbon paper, Whiteout and ribbons--parts of a gone world, except to aficionados and old geniuses.

I had a history professor--a tenured beast--at Portland State as recently as a decade ago who refused to use a computer. He wouldn't have minded if you submitted your papers in typescript or a legible scrawl as long as your thesis and argument made sense. The last of a breed, I tell you.

Things were more difficult in the old days, but that is because you couldn't throw a picture into your text and create something with a duality of effect. You tended to waste paper.  Crumpled balls of it scattered at your feet.  You had to be good.  Really good.  Now you can be your own lousy editor and let the little (or big) stuff slide because you're your own incompetent master. You shouldn't, but you do because in fact you are a sloth hanging upside down in a tree.

If you wanted to say something about neocolonialism in the old days for instance, you couldn't do this:


Or this:



You'd have to sit and write it out using words. That's hard enough, but then you had to show it to a Mother Superior or above.  Or, if you were a painter or collage artist, you'd work it out in other terms.

Excruciating, I tell you! Beyond beyond for all but a handful.

Anyway, I'm happy to have an outlet in these times.  There are days when it feels right to be doing this.  On others you wonder: why bother?


TS

Forgotten


This morning I forgot an important meeting. I didn't schedule the meeting, but I reluctantly agreed to it.

I didn't forget because I'm terribly busy all the time either--though this morning I was indeed kind of busy--but because I'm forgetful on occasion.

I'm particularly forgetful about things that annoy me, and my planned meeting was an annoyance.  When I'm working, things that displease me are easily forgotten, like the work itself if it isn't quite right.

Someone wanted to talk to me about something important, and I forgot about it, which occasionally happens when I'm absorbed in something else.

This meeting was important to her--to me it didn't seem as pressing, which may explain, partially, why I forgot about meeting her.

Yet, the meeting was important in a pressing way--to her.

I forgot about her, it's true.  I forgot about the importance of our meeting.

Well, there's always tomorrow.  At least I hope so.  I've rescheduled--at her request.


TS

True-to-Life Moment



A Buddy Dooley video.


TS

Monday Morning Essay

Whatever else you say about Chris Hedges--and I'm a big fan--he never fails to dream large.

We need more like him.




TS

Sunday, April 20, 2014

No Gentleman Jim



The passing of Rubin Carter.



One more time.


TS

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Unleashed


The mainstream comes home.

Toward...economic justice.

Paul Krugman weighs in.






TS

Live in Austin, 1989



Concert of the week.

TS

A.E. Stallings


What's not to Like?










TS

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sudden Tragedy

My friend and ex-employer from the old neighborhood, Greg Hermens, lost his young son, James, to a sudden and tragic medical condition Saturday.

My heartfelt condolences are extended to the entire Hermens family.

Peace be theirs in this grievous time.


TS

Three








TS

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Video Programs of Note/Adam Curtis

Hadn't seen this one.

Perhaps I've posted this before.

If I have, call me redundant.  If I haven't, call yourself fortunate.



TS

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fishing Story














Emigrant Lake

Sitting at the edge of Emigrant Lake,
Rex Dern cast his line as the long shadows
raked over the hills. Whenever Talent
began to weigh on him, Rex came here to fish
and pray. In this manner he discovered
two varieties of raging despair;
the willful variety that is self-induced,
and the other one that seduces on
secret wings and settles just out of sight,
creating a sensation of soulless
blight. Rex reeled his line in and checked his bait.
It looked beaten in its soaked weightlessness.
It looked damaged by a convivial
trout learned in the art of survival.


TS

Aurora Aksnes



She solves the age-old question of what to do with your hands when emoting.


TS

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Waterfront



I didn't see the painter's easel fall until I looked at this in editing, and the kid in black in the penultimate shot could be singing.


TS

Not Ready to Tour

I bought a cheap bike a few weeks ago.

Today, I rode around town. Cruised down to the river and McCall Park.  I'll put some pictures up later if I get around to it.

Nice day to ride.  I'm not an avid cyclist by any stretch.  Last bike I had was stolen, of course.  I left it chained up outside overnight, my mistake.

Perhaps I'll take more care with this one.  My apartment complex has a secured bike-storage area.  A little inhibiting for the thieves, but you never know.

Just hope for the best.

I'm breaking it in slowly.  Short rides.  By mid-summer I may be ready for longer trips. Portland is a little hillier than I remembered.

Or I'm older and more out of shape than ever before.  Hmm...


TS 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Worth Watching



The apologists won't like this.  The Hillary-loving neo-liberals, the Obama Dems, the forlorn Repubs and their Tea Party hacks, the militarists and the deniers, the America First neo-Nazis, the moderate this and that rationalists, the exceptionalists, the almost-but-not-quite-there lovers of rebellion and free thought, the liberals and conservatives, the libertarians, etc., etc.

None of them will like this.  But I do.


TS

Jesse Winchester



Watch Neko Case and composer Elvis Costello as they listen to Jesse's cover of this great tune. Neko cries, and Elvis is genuinely humbled. Brilliant stuff from the great war resister and songster who died yesterday.


TS

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kicking Her Out


The epic fight with Lulu continues.

A customer got his new book on the third try, but it was flawed as well.  Lulu is just sending them out blindly these days evidently, without any sense of quality control.

I'm really lost as to what to do.  You can't hold their dick as they try to print a decent book, so it looks like I'm done with them.

Anything new under RBP's banner will go elsewhere in the future.

In addition to messing up this order repeatedly, another order is reportedly lost in the mails.  That may or may not be on Lulu, but the company did send me the wrong UPS tracking number, so who knows...

Done with 'em, I tell you.


TS

Monday, April 7, 2014

Softball Game














Talent Softball Game

Rolo lay at the end of the bench where a patch of
grass made a nice bed. He looked at Big Mike, whose
head bobbed up and down as he chattered, “Atta
boy, Harry.  Nice and easy.  Hey, batta, batta, swing!”

Rolo watched the next pitch float from Harry’s hand.
It went up into the sky; too high, Rolo thought, and
too far off the plate. The ball fell into the dirt a foot 
outside and kicked up a cloud of dust. “Ball!” Carl

Hicks cried, and Harry Reems slapped his glove on
his right thigh. Lizzie DeLay griped, “Harry, get
the ball over the fuggin' plate, could you?” Rolo
yawned and stretched a little, bothered by a fly that

Settled above his right eye.  Lizzie doesn’t really
understand the game and cusses too much, Rolo
realized, rising to stroll to the other end of the bench 
where his bowl of water and tennis ball lay. He took

A drink and nudged the ball with his nose, feeling
good, certain he could play if only they’d let him. Rolo
could feel a sense of bitterness and frustration begin
to gnaw at him, knowing he’d soon bite Lizzie again.


TS

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gentle Reminder

MLB.com offers a free  game every day throughout the season.

If you're po' (or just cheap) it's a hella deal.




TS

Future Reading


A new bio of Brecht.










TS

R.I.P. Peter Matthiessen

The author, Zen master, founder of The Paris Review and former C.I.A. agent died yesterday, age 86.









TS

Poor Putin















I'm a little worried this may lead to World War III.


TS

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Garrison Fewell

Garrison Fewell's copy of Lee Santa's "A Journey into Jazz" came to him skewed in the printing department from Lulu awhile back.  Several of the pages were, in printing and customer terms, unacceptable.

Garrison, Lee and I have been trying to deal with this for over a month now, and Lulu is so slow as to make you wonder if the POD company gives a shit about anything other than itself.  Is this is a typical case of a monolith, given its size and the bottom line, not really giving a fuck about its customers?

That doesn't sound sensible, I know, but what really is sensible inside a monolithic economy?  Garrison is a benevolent sort, giving Lulu the benefit of the doubt.  I, personally, am pissed.

Here's a notion, Lulu.  I've given you a lot of business for the past five years.  Deal with it!

Anyway, Garrison has been a good egg about it in several email exchanges, and says he likes Lee's book a lot, despite his poor Lulu printing.  He is currently looking for a publisher for a book of his own about jazz improv and composition, which sounds very interesting.


TS

Guise



A Bill Will video.

TS

Friday, April 4, 2014

Essay of the Day

U.S. militarism is cultish and dangerous, not only for the world, but for our soldiers.

Our war at home makes the Crimean "problem" look like a tea party.





TS

Bill Will

Once, many years ago, I had during one summer a warehousing job affiliated with the Oregon Health and Sciences University.  The university has gone through many permutations since those days, and I have no idea how it functions now, but back then I worked in what was commonly referred to as "stores."

It was a state job, but I was temp-replacement help, unprotected in every regard.

In "stores," I was responsible every day for going up to "Pill Hill" in Southwest Portland, where the hospital/teaching institution rests on a bluff high above the city, and collecting surplus medical and office equipment to warehouse in a couple of storage locations around town.

My boss and I handled everything that needed to come down from OHSU (years later I worked for an outfit that specialized in taking new things such as examination tables and desks, file cabinets, sofas, chairs, etc. up to OHSU).

My boss was the stores' manager, a friend named Bob Langan, who later jumped to his death from Portland's famous Vista (Suicide) Bridge.  Bob and I had a lot of fun on that job, stopping every morning at one bar or another before work to play a little pinball and drink coffee before getting down to the serious business of taking care of OHSU's surplus supplies business.

Bob was often hung over in the morning because he was a downright drunk, so for an hour or two each dawn our routine helped him take the edge off before we set out on our daily collecting, moving and storage chores.  He was a great pinball player, and I could never quite get the hang of it.  We liked a particular table at the long-gone Candlelight Room near PSU called Eight-Ball Deluxe.

Bob hammered that thing most mornings between the bar's opening at 7 a.m. and nine, when we decided to go to work. Bobby was a pinball wizard.

OHSU Stores held a monthly sale of the silent-auction variety, i.e., people came in on selected weekends and placed blind bids on the goodies in the warehouses.  Within a couple of days we'd notify the purchasers to come in and pick up their valuables.

Two characters that came every month were a couple of artists I liked.  One was a filmmaker who bought things to enhance his sets and was particularly fond of any and all of the hospital's film and video equipment. I can't recall his name.  He was a tall, young, blond kid who went to Cannes every season for the annual revealing.  The kid had money. I think his family ran a film processing business.

The other was the artist Bill Will, who was just starting out in those days.  He loved the "stuff" in the OHSU warehouses and bought a lot of it for his projects--mannequins, medical machinery, vials, gloves, stethoscopes, centrifuges, coffee pots, scales--anything you imagine that might be functional in terms of conceptual art, installations, ironic displays of "found art" and juxtaposition.

Will has done well over the years, hatching relationships with the public money art world.

Here's his website.  Watch his videos and check out the rest of it.

As for the whereabouts of the filmmaker whose name I've forgotten? Who knows, though I'll bet you a dollar he's still making the Cannes scene every season looking for a deal.


TS

Steeeeeeeeeeeeeerike!


Speaking of baseball...

This is hard to do at any level in the game.

The kid talks about it here.


TS

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Baseball Roundup

With the Major League Baseball season now underway, here are the stories making headlines:

Another baseball "problem" echoing old-fashioned post-career ennui.

Can baseball continue to be the billion dollar moneymaker of the past?

More on baseball's cheaters and the future of one particular star.


TS

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Foodscape












Photo by Buddy Dooley

For a retired cook, it don't get no simpler than this for dinner.


TS

The Furies















Photo by RP Thomas


Tex’s Unfinished Song

Well the bar is open too late,
And nobody knows my songs.
People come round looking for Lizzie
Without knowing she’s long gone.

I can hear her voice in the wild.
It blows in like a storm in winter.
Like the cry of a lonesome child,
It makes me the loathsome fool.

I’d be crazy to ever try to win her.
For she’s thinking about someone new;
A man with my old bus and toolbox,
And a differing point of view…

ED: At this this point Tex stopped writing
In deference to another ’57 Fury sighting.


TS

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sudden Fiction


Don't ignore these guys and this genre.

I'm reminded of it as I slog through the boring, smug life of Frankie Bascombe, as told by Richard Ford.

What the hell was Ford up to, trying to out Updike Updike?

I got more out of this opening story by Dino Buzzati in Sudden Fiction International than I've gotten in two evening of dealing with poor Frankie's angst and, I guess, Ford's leavening of American emptiness.

Don't get me wrong.  I like a lot of Ford, particularly the stories in Rock Springs, but Frank Bascombe is a dolt whom I don't want to read about.

This little, meaningless diatribe is like a Sudden Book Review, ain't it?


TS

Opening Day

I've said for years that the season is too long.

Start it later and end it sooner.

Right?  Ha!






TS