Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year, SHMEEP Year!

Can someone, anyone out there, please tell me how it can already be the month of March?
No, seriously, though. In a matter of hours, it will be MARCH!
What the hell happened to February?
Am I going senile? Did I sleep through January or something?
Even with the extra day here, the 29th, I’m sorry, but something seems mightily askew!
Why does it feel like I was just back home not so long ago, for Christmas?
Is this just a classic symptom of old age?
Is the rest of this year going to be just as fleeting?
According to Robert Frost… perhaps…. perhaps it is!

The sun was warm but the wind was chill,

You know how it is with an April day,

When the sun is out and the wind is still,

You're one month on in the middle of May.

But if you so much as dare to speak,

A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,

A wind comes off a frozen peak,

And you're two months back in the middle of March.

OK, so he was talking about temperature fluctuation there, I admit, but my totally unrelated point is this, soon it will be April, and May, and then Christmas!
So the deal is this, folks.
Get a hold of some books.
A big STACK of ‘em. Try to beat the system.
Leap through many lives, this March.
Redeem the time.
Read something this March, that you have always wanted to read.


Splash du Jour: Friday

Well, I finally finished the Frank Lloyd Wright biography. WOW!
What a wild book! What a wild life!
Today I am going to begin reading Sara Gruen’s [2006] novel, Water For Elephants.

INTERVIEWER: So how do you make that move in your writing process from a body of research to a story?

SARA GRUEN: I stare at the screen (laugh). I pick some music...I guess I figure out what the crisis of the book is going to be and then I sit down and I get my first scene. But once I have my first scene I really just have to keep going. My method is I spend an hour and a half sort of revving up every morning and I’ll read what I wrote the day before and maybe do a little revising of it, and then just keep going. I just read that last tiny little bit until I feel like I can continue.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Astrological Thoughts

A really big turn-off for me, is astrology.
What I mean by a “turn-off” is that if I met someone and they began to speak about “their sign” or about “my sign” [and were discussing this in a serious fashion, as though it held credence with them] I would immediately have to begin supplanting a somewhat negative impression of that person.
With their every sentence from that point onward, they would be either climbing out of a sort of deficit position, or falling moreso in.
In short, if they began talking horoscope, I would be horrified.

Now... in a humorous fashion I find it entirely acceptable. Fun, even.
But I am talking about the die-hard astrologist now.
The believer. The hard-core star-reader.
One who is actually interested in the phases, who knows the predicament the moon of my planet is in!
This is the person that I cannot take too seriously. The type of person that takes the following definition of astrology seriously: “divination based on the supposed influence of the stars upon human events.” (Merriam-Webster).
I guess one could say that there are similarities between conventional religion and astrology.
Both are based on ancient philosophy that has evolved over the centuries and both posit that the force which patterns the heavens likewise orders humanity. Both are concerned with guidance from beyond.
I won’t pretend to be an expert in either of these pursuits, but I would argue that at least a person who is looking to their concept of “God” for guidance (through religion) believes that this God is a personal being, and as such, can decide to do things, to influence earthly life in the past, present, and (presumably) the future. Most concepts of God (especially in Western culture) include the idea that He/She possesses relative attributes that can be communicated to what has been created.
But astrology?
Astrology is assuming that (please correct me if I am wrong here) human life is directly influenced by the Sun, Moon, and the planets of our solar system as they journey through the twelve signs of the zodiac.

The moon!
And a flaming broiling enormous nuclear explosion, pretty much.
These three things were somehow directly aware of you at the very moment that you were born and the traits that you exhibit as you mature into adulthood are a direct result of their conspired interest in your personhood.
If this sounds crazy to you, how about the fact that every newspaper in the world has a space reserved in it, where you can go and see what the planets have in store for you on that day.
There is only one thing crazier, and that is the fact that so many people turn to this space as soon as they get the morning paper.

It probably sounds like I am being vindictive, like I have some real visceral hatred of astrology or those who consult horoscopes, but I really do not.
Nor do I think there is something inherently “evil” about it.
But I am honestly wondering if it is not something that is so hit-and-miss, so casually believed in, so fortune-cookie-ish... that if I just quit writing this blog right now I could turn my attention to tomorrow’s horoscope and just write one for the entire world.... covering all twelve signs!
Like, what I mean is.... how general are they?

So... being in a mega-bookstore (as I am right now) I went and picked a book off the shelf, completely at random. It’s called Your Personal Horoscope 2008 and it’s written by Joseph Polansky.
Again (no joke) I turn at random to page 72, in the Taurus section, and I read: “With Saturn now (from the 16th onwards) in a stressful aspect with you, health will need more attention.”
Thank you Saturn, I will steam some veggies!

So, the next page elaborates... “While there are no hard-and-fast rules about diet – everyone’s needs are different and everyone’s needs change under different conditions – if you listen to your body you’ll know what foods are good. You will see how you feel after eating certain foods. This is the best way to go about it.”
By the Seven Beards of Zeus! Hold on a minute. This book is like $19.95! Do I need SATURN to tell me that if I eat a big onion for breakfast I probably will not feel very good at noontime?
OK, so I’m thinking... "No, it’s got to get better than this".... (next paragraph now)... “Like last month, most of the planets are below the Horizon and your 4th House of Home and Family is much stronger than your 10th House of Career. So this is a period for getting your home, family and emotional life in order.”
Hold the phone. Is there a time of the year when these things are NOT important to get in order?
So I think, "maybe only Taurus is like this." I turn to my own zodiac sign, Sagittarius.

And at first, as I read what a Sagittarius is supposed to be like, I was fairly impressed.... “Sagittarians are noted for the development of the mind – the higher intellect – which understands philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual concepts. This mind represents the higher part of the psychic nature and is motivated not by self-centered considerations but by the light and grace of a Higher Power. Thus, Sagittarians love higher education of all kinds. They might be bored with formal schooling but they love to study on their own and in their own way.” (294).
That is sooooo me! It’s not even funny.
But then I turned the page, and read.... “Sagittarians generally entice wealth.” (295).
Sweet Lord!
I am poor as hell, and going absolutely nowhere good, in this area of life!

So I began to wonder.... what about the person whom you could only describe in the following fashion:
“You are a real prick. People generally try to avoid you because you tend to be so obnoxious and rude. You are noted for not ever wanting to develop your mind and you abhor all forms of formal and informal education. You have zero sense of humor and as a result, people that laugh or enjoy life, bother you.”
I’m flipping around all over in this book... and I do not find this guy!
Yet we all know he exists, right?
What the hell sign is this guy?

And what about twins?
Born minutes apart, perhaps... in the same... city.... (one would hope)!
Would astrology claim that these two people, (two separate entities who would have so nearly exact astrological charts), are they destined to grow up and have the same daily horoscope, the same temperaments, inhibitions, problems, talents?
I know what the experts would say... they would say that these identical twins, or similarly, what are known as “time-twins” (people born at the same exact time but not related to each other)... all of these would have different astrological charts if a proper one were drawn up, because their Ascendent would not be in the same degree and may often be in the next or previous sign altogether.
But can we stop the train for a moment here?
That explanation makes the whole thing sound even MORE absurd to me.
As though the difference of twenty-five seconds or a minute causes PLANETS to assign slightly different characteristics to two separate freshly-born infants.

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know -- and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know -- even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction -- than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.
-- Isaac Asimov –

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Let Me Count The Ways...

It was such an awesome surprise to come home after work, well, after Starbucks, after work… and find something crammed into my mailbox in the lobby. I saw the return address and wondered, “Hmmm… what would that Torontonian Nutbar be sending l’il ol’ me?”
It’s her new book, and it’s really great.

I could not wait. I ripped into the package there in the elevator.
Let me introduce you [as if you don’t already know who I am talking about] to the coolest chick in blogland Patricia Storms.
Her new book is called, You’re My Guy Because…
It is filled with 30 different ways to [lovingly] complete the sentence, and each declaration is accompanied with her inimitable artwork on the facing page. I’ve already read through the entire book, and it’s great. Funny, cute, and adorable.
I almost wish I had a “guy” to send it to.
Well no, wait a minute. There’s no real need to exaggerate quite to that extent.
But I will say this → If you are a girl/woman, and you have a guy, and you like him, you should get this book. It will make a great gift for him.

As the jacket cover says:
A century and a half ago, Elizabeth Barrett Browning started a poem, to Robert Browning, with the now-famous words:
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways…

That was then. This book is NOW.

Thank you, Pattycakes.
It’s a great little book, folks.
To get your own copy, click on the book’s image, above.
And visit Patricia HERE.
She is a royal hoot!


Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

“Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all.”
-- Philip Pullman --

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Splash du Jour: Monday

Why does anyone write a poem?

Because they have to write one.
If they could have done something else with the moments they’ve given to the composition process, it’s not a poem.
-- Cipriano

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cranberry Lake: A Saturday Poem

Cranberry Lake

An August sun baked our canoe
Where we had beached it, in the sand.
And, taking your small hand
Toward shade, I led you.

Or was it you, me,
Who followed, who led,
When gaily laughing, you said
This bunch here are portabellini?

This bunch of what? said I
Dumb as three brooms.
These here, see the mushrooms
‘Neath the tree where they lie?

How do you know this?
When I stopped you were shaken -
Thinking me angry, mistaken
By my horrified bliss.

I have studied them, learned
What they are, from a book.
Now walking with you, I but look
And they appear, as if pages were turned!

Just then the chirp of a squirrel
Awoke us, for a silence had come
Upon your words, and by some
Strange magic I knew you were my girl.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

90-Second Coronary

Well, tonight I very nearly had that massive coronary thrombosis that I am forever expecting.
I was sitting at the Starbucks in Chapters, as usual.
Reading my book. Drinking my coffee.
All of a sudden I had a one-word thought.
Isn't that weird how the mind can just suddenly kick you like that?
Instantly I wondered where my wallet was, so abundantly filled with its cash and vital information and multiple credit cards.
It would have meant the end of a very long relationship!
I rifled through my jacket pocket.
It was not there! Instantly I was having several heart attacks.
No.... no... no... [I eat way too many hamburgers to be doing this sort of hyperventilating stuff....] but nonetheless, I am desperate! I am searching my EARS for this wallet as I run back to the coffee counter.
Breathless, I ask the barista girl if a wallet had been turned in, and she reaches to this area and hands over to me my precious, precious, oh my preciousssssssss walletses.
Me wantssss it! Me wantsessssss it!

"No problem," she says. "We've got your back!"
I had left it, fully exposed, at the Sugar/Cream table!
She picked it up while doing a routine clean-up of the area.
I thanked her in four languages, three of which were completely unknown to me, and slunk on back to my table.
But for about 90 seconds this evening, I felt as though flung into the fires of Mount Doom!


Splash du Jour: Friday

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Licking My Chops

This past Christmas, I got a George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine© as a gift.
In fact, it's the Super Champ Limited Edition© as shown to the left, in operation!
Tonight I've decided to finally take the thing out of the box and use it.
So there it is.
It is sitting on my countertop!
I'm ready to go.
I'll be inaugurating the thing with some boneless pork chops avec baked potato. Being the skilled culinary wizard that I am [ahem]... I put the 'tater in the oven, where it is currently in the throes of death. Gives me time to peruse the periphery of the Machine.

Apparently, you place a drip tray at the front of the thing so you can catch the fat and grease as it drains down the sloped grill. This is obviously a key feature for people like me, who prefer to savor their grilling experience by drinking the melted fat separately, afterwards!
Actually I think I will just pour some of that fat over the baked potato when it is done. So, stay tuned, I'll be back in a few minutes to tell you how things are going.

[Intermission..... Tawk amongst yourselves. Topic suggestion: If our knees bent the other way, what would chairs look like? Discuss....]

OK, I'm back now.
It worked superbly. The chops were succulent. Tender. Heavenly.
"Best dead pig I've ever ingested," says Cipriano.
I only had the chops on there for about ten minutes. It's like making a pork-waffle! The official Foreman© "Suggested Cooking Chart" did not have pork chops listed in their rundown of cooking times, so I just guessed, according to the fact that NY Strip is listed at ten minutes.
Next time I am going to throw some kind of vegetables on this thing, along with the carcass of whatever. Next time I'll try chicken. Or fresh balcony pigeon.
But the preliminary report is in. I've gone public.
The George Foreman Grilling Machine rocks!
All of this new-fangled ex-boxer indoor-grilling phenomenon does beg the question though... if Mike Tyson invented a similar machine, would there be a special grilling time listed for stuff like "Other Guy's Ear"?

Splash du Jour: Thursday

The difference between a good play and a great play
is that after the experience of a great play we understand
a little bit more about why we are alive.

-- Kenneth Tynan --

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

"A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson . . . On Friendship --

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

The Fellowship: The Untold Story of Frank Lloyd Wright & The Taliesin Fellowship
By Roger Friedland & Harold Zellman.

I hate being too busy.
Really hate it.
And lately I feel that I have been too busy to write anything about the great books I am reading.
For instance, I just finished reading Ken Follett’s World Without End.
Loved it. Did I write about it? No.
Before that, Laura Kipnis’s The Female Thing: Dirt, Envy, Sex, Vulnerability.
Terrific book. Did I write about it?
How about McTeague, by Frank Norris? Did I like that book? Or A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, or Run by Ann Patchett? Or A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence?
Did I hate all these books and this is why I am not writing about them?
I just feel pressed for time. Doing too many other things.
Now, I have started this biography about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and I am LOVING it.
It is a great book. I am only on page 145 of 600.... but I already can tell that this will be one of the best biographies I've ever read. I've only read a quarter of the story and Lloyd Wright has already lived out the equivalent of four lifetimes!
It's a real pageturner.

If I do not write a bang-up review when I'm done this book, I am going to fill up Jack's food dishes, and then jump off my balcony rather than read another one!

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town, who was losing money, thought the competition was unfair.
He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not.
He went back and begged them to close.
Still no luck; they ignored him.
So the rival florist had no choice but to hire Hugh McTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close up shop.
Hugh wasted no time. He beat up the friars and trashed their store, telling them that he would be back if they didn't cooperate and close up the florist shop for good.
Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Splash du Jour: Monday

It is so nice to sleep in late today!
It is "Family Day" here in Ontario, and the first ever.
A newly instituted statutory holiday.
Thankfully, not all businesses are closed, but most are.
This means that my only real chore today, is to find a coffee-shop that is open. And then drink all their coffee....
Have a great day, y'all, Family Day or otherwise!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I Do It Again: A Saturday Poem

I Do It Again

The toe pads of my cat are pink as a fairy gown,
And sometimes I tug on the tufts of white hair
That emerge between each, and he looks at me
Thinking thoughts in English, lacking the vocal
Ability of course, but the message could not be
Clearer, Must you do that?
I do it again.
A twitch. Narrowed lids.
No, really. I can be just as comfortable over there.
I do it again.
Over on the couch as here on the bed with you.
I do it again.
A swat. And something like a sneeze.

Now he gets up and I anticipate the rejection.
The disdain.
Pretends he is stretching, but I know better.
He is leaving. Fake yawns. Oh, that is so fake.
There are other places, in this place, for him.
I hug my pillow, and we both sleep, apart.

Amazing though, how the clatter of food in the dish
Makes his morning. And the splatter of filtered
Water grants me that plaintive meow, Oh, I am
So dependent on you, Father.
I would tell you, but I am too busy eating.

And I bend to the very last moments
In my own home, cleaning my cat’s bathroom.
I do it again and again.

Knows nothing about give and take, my cat.
Only take. He is all about taking.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

The above poem is just a little ditty for my kitty.
He lets me live here.
And he thinks he's such a big shot!
He posts all of his late-nite snacks on Youtube now!

Have a great weekend y'all.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Splash du Jour: Friday

The following is an excerpt from the February Harper’s Magazine [page 30].
It is from actual recordings of senior German officers in captivity in Middlesex, England, sometime between 1942 and 1945….

CHOLTITZ: Would you kill Hitler too?
SCHLIEBEN: It’s very difficult to say; it might turn him into a martyr. I would hand him over to the Russians, to work in some Siberian mine or other. That would settle the matter.
CHOLTITZ: As long as the man lives, German youth will believe in his return and think only of resistance. He musn’t be surrounded by a Napoleonic halo of glory either – that is, exiled.
SCHLIEBEN: Would you kill him, then?
CHOLTITZ: Certainly. Death is no martyrdom. He should be photographed pleading for his life, and should be shown in a really bad light. He should be made to wear just a pullover, and to stand there as a criminal, with his hair cropped and so on. He should be killed, and the whole world should be told about it.

I agree with Choltitz.
My opinion can be quickly summarized.

← Bang!
And not because I am in favor of killing someone.
But because I am in favor of not killing millions of other people!

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Let Me Kiss Your Tongue

What happened next, I love.
No questions. You did not hesitate.
Someone may have had something to ask.
But, oh. Dearest.
In that certain darkness, my eyelashes playing horizon
Drinking, drank up the spectacle of that glistening muscle
Emerging from your full-wet lips,
On my sentence.
No clarification.

The tip of it.
There on the atlas of you.
And I wrapped my lips on it.
Drawing off, to full blindness.

You, as sightless as I then, moaned.

Funny, something so concerned
With a certain sense, one of the five
Knocks out others, so essential.
And blind we rolled.

You are not someone.
You are you.

It was a test, by the way.
One which you could not have failed.
And did not.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Have a great Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

"Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolutely nothing--
half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

-- From The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame –

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Poetry is the orchid of word construction.
-- My friend, L. –

I could not agree, more.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 11, 2008


My sister and her husband just returned from their trip to Mexico.
And I envy them.
Because this year I did not go.
Me. Exactly a year ago!
Last year was such fun!
She went on and on for about 46 hours last night on the telephone, and I had to stop her and say, “Do you realize there is a polar bear licking the frost off my kitchen window right now? STOP TALKING!
So, I say…… next year I am going back to Puerto Vallarta.
So help me, God.


Splash du Jour: Monday

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pitched Battle?

Recently, in an actual human conversation, I used the term “pitched battle” to describe my animosity toward and/or inability to get along with a fellow humanoid.
Only afterward, did I wonder about what I had said.
I did not wonder about how much I cannot stand the other person.
I wondered about the phrase “pitched battle.”
As in…. what the hell does it mean?
Plus… how is it different than your everyday run-o’-the-mill BATTLE?
What does the “pitched” part mean?

So, I did research.
Apparently, a pitched battle is one which has been planned, and the battlefiled has been pitched on or chosen beforehand, by both sides.
It is “an intense battle fought in close contact by troops arranged in a predetermined formation.”
A PRE-CHOSEN time and place!
A pitched battle is a battle where both sides choose to fight at a chosen location and time and where either side has the option to disengage either before the battle starts, or shortly after the first armed exchanges.
A pitched battle is not a chance encounter such as a skirmish, or where one side is forced to fight at a time not of their choosing such as happens in a siege.
For example the first pitched battle of the English Civil War was fought when the Royalists chose to move off an escarpment to a less advantageous position so that the Parliamentarians would be willing to fight the Battle of Edgehill. In contrast, the Battle of Gettysburg, fought during the American Civil War, started by chance as a skirmish, but as both generals chose to reinforce their positions instead of disengaging, they turned what was initially a skirmish into a pitched battle.

So, to recap…. a pitched battle is sort of like two opposing forces coming together and saying, “Hey, listen. Tomorrow, have your forces meet my forces at such-and-such place…… and then let us engage in systematically killing each other!”

Ummmmmm….. this is not quite what I was meaning, by using the term “pitched battle” with my foe.
What I was meaning by using the phrase was more like, “If I could do it and get away with it, I would love to let the air out of his tires and then run away laughing….” but like, I don’t want to premeditatively KILL the guy or anything.
So, I’ve gotta sharpen up on my terminology here, you know?
[Or else kill the guy.]


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Toilet Paper: A Saturday Poem

Toilet Paper

This morning, elbows on knees
I gazed at a roll of it,
Wondering what the ancients did.
Long ago. Way before toilets even.
And which came first, the toilet
Or the paper?

All we really know is that
Everywhere, ubiquitously,
There is some -- or so we hope.
But it is even beyond hope.
We know it is there, it has to be.
Because we know that the need is.
Our own rumblings churn out
The evidence of things unseen.

Look at where it is perforated.
Who ever takes just one square?
Has even one human, done so?
Yet mathematically, design-wise
Let none tamper with perfection,
Nor alter the exquisite roll.
It should be on someone’s flag.

Today I looked upon civilization’s
One big unanimous agreement.
When it comes to this stuff, we
Are all fundamentalists.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

Splash du Jour: Friday

"There is no single way to read well, though there is a prime reason why we should read. Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found? If you are fortunate, you encounter a particular teacher who can help, yet finally you are alone, going on without further mediation. Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you, because it is, at least in my experience, the most healing of pleasures. It returns you to otherness, whether in yourself or in friends, or in those who may become friends. Imaginative literature is otherness, and as such alleviates loneliness. We read not only because we cannot know enough people, but because friendship is so vulnerable, so likely to diminish or disappear, overcome by space, time, imperfect sympathies, and all the sorrows of familial and passional life."
-- Harold Bloom –

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Splash du Jour: Thursday

A few steady earners can keep a publisher in business for years. If I were a publisher, I’d rather own J.R.R. Tolkien than J.R. Rowling.
-- Ursula K. LeGuin –

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Together

Of all of the songs of the ‘60’s, my far and away favorite is Happy Together.
And lately the song has been haunting my brain. I’ve been thinking of it and singing it for days now. Today in my car, and then at work in the warehouse and in the stairwells, and in the elevator up to my apartment [basically whenever I was alone for a few moments], I was bellering the chorus to this song. The melody line and the harmonies are just gorgeous. Even when I perform it!
This song came out back in 1967,
when I was a mere lad of four years old!
But just click on the above Youtube video and see if you don’t agree with me that this song is a classic. A real gem.
And note, I am not sure if the all of the background vocals are live here [in fact, I am 100% sure they are not], but Mark Volman’s lead vocal
seems very much live. You can tell by the reverb on the microphone, for one thing. And as such, [LIVE] I think it is amazing how he picks off the notes, perfectly. Actually I just watched it again, and no… I think that none of it is LIVE at all. With all of his birdlike head-movements the recorded result would not have been as consistent and clean as what we hear in the video-clip.
But who cares!
It’s an absolutely dynamite terrific song.
May it haunt me till I am 104 years old!

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Just Wondering...

Just wondering…
Have you ever gotten involved with a book like for instance
this one and the book was good and everything but it weighed about 40 pounds and had over a thousand pages and it was taking you a long time to get through it because you are so tired after work every day that you can barely read at all and then also you sort of regretted even beginning the book because it is one that your reading partner is not reading along with you and so therefore you are lacking the discussion-factor you have become accustomed to and so as I said it’s not that the book is unpleasant or anything but it just seems it is going on and on world without end and it is taking you so long to read it that you sometimes wish you were on the verge of turning the last page but you look ahead and realize oh my GOD I am not even at all very close to turning that last page and stuff?
Just wondering….


Splash du Jour: Tuesday

This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.
-- Joseph Campbell –

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Splash du Jour: Monday

Isn't poetry absolutely wonderful though? I mean, really there is something about it that prose writing will never be able to quite get to. Poetry is so not reporting. It's so finicky, it is inherently allowed to appeal to a much smaller audience than prose. It is always such a narrow rolled-up newspaper telescopic opinion of something.
To a certain extent, the fiction shelves have to be saying... "I can appeal to you, you will be able to relate to this, please buy me, BUY ME," but the poetry shelves [more scantily clad and less visited] whisper to no one in particular, "This is what I am. Perhaps no one can relate. But no matter. I am not really for sale."

-- Cipriano –

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What's Your Abandonment Rate?

How reluctant or willing are you to outright abandon the reading of books that are not quite cutting the mustard?
How willing are you to put them aside?
Are you tenacious? Do you give a faltering book a reprieve, and keep turning pages?
Do you toss it on the coffee table and see if perhaps another day, it might light your fire? Or, skipping that phase, do you just toss it in the fireplace?
How many chances do you give a book?
Regarding consummation, how many boring and uninteresting pages or chapters will you endure before you annul your vows and open the covers of another?
Do you stick with the relationship, defying all others until the last page is turned? ‘Til death doth us part?

All of those questions interest me.
My own answer would be that generally, I am very tenacious, and rarely abandon a book. Rarely set it aside.
I give the thing every benefit of the doubt.
Early on in the relationship, I will even begin to blame myself if something seems uninteresting.
Hmmmm… perhaps I am not giving this author room to not be me.
Maybe this thing is worth…. worth sticking to!
Let me turn another page, and see what is there.

I was surfing through blogs a few evenings ago and landed upon an excellent book-blog called Dog Ear Diary.
Reading through several of Jeane’s reviews, I noticed that she grants each book a star-rating, one to five. But what was interesting to me is that many times, instead of a rating, she will write “Aban’doned” instead.
Yet, there are still comments about the book, and a reason or two may be given as to why the book was turfed or otherwise left unfinished.
The Abondonment Factor© probably has a lot to do with the level of expectation with which one approaches one’s readings. That, and outright boredom with a book, I guess. Or time itself, as in, no time to waste on a bad read!
For me, I tend to notice that I will far more often abandon a non-fiction book, than a novel. And this is usually because my interest in the topic wanes as I read.
But to abandon either, for me, is rare, as I said.
So rare, in fact, that I would estimate that for every one hundred books I begin, I completely finish [unskimmed] over ninety of them. I am probably functioning somewhere between a 5 and 10% Abandonment Rate.

One book I regret abandoning is Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.
Years ago now, I just could not quite finish it, and this haunts me.
My bookmark is still lodged in the thing, at page 340. On the back burner of my mind, there is this…. this pot of Gulag, always simmering away!
But, on the front burners, ye Gods!
On the front burners a stack of things are either in progress, or pushing each other out of line, vying for my affections. Asking… begging for me to believe in them.
Having won betrothal, longing for consummation.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Two Decisions: A Saturday Poem

Two Decisions

Look. I walk towards you, and the
World gets closer. Or further away.
Which is it? Did you take a step
See. I look up as I approach
And the clouds scatter. Or form.
Which is it? Did you take a step
Hear. There was a bird that sang
Just then. Or there was silence.
I am not sure now, did you
Hear it, too?

While that fountain played with us
And threw us in and out, I made
What is known as a decision.
Reaching to a peeling arbutus tree
I ripped a letter from it, and it
Tore and it tore clean in a strip.

Against my thumb, the underside
So smooth, nodded to me, and I
I looked into your two wet eyes.

I will write everything on this, I said,
As I handed you that bark.
And a bird we both heard whistled.
Did you take a step forward?
You did.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

Splash du Jour: Friday

A University of Illinois student went to a bookstore & asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?"
She said if she told him, it would defeat the purpose.

Have a great Friday!