Charge him? He ought to get a medal!

Via a diarist over at Kos, I give you the story of Forrest County Sheriff Billy McGee, who is about to plead guilty to a charge of interfering with, intimidating and impeding a federal officer. His real crime? He sent trailers of ice to a distribution center in the days after Katrina that were sitting in a lot--he spent five hours trying to get in touch with FEMA first and took matters into his own hands.

McGee's decision to plead guilty prevents prosecution of three deputies who were with him at the FEMA staging site at Camp Shelby. He would not identify the deputies.

"I was told that I could either plead to this misdemeanor or I and my deputies would be indicted on felony charges," McGee said. "I've asked the government on three separate occasions to indict me and leave the deputies out of it because they were only acting at my direction."

Lampton's background in the National Guard - he is a retired judge advocate - and political pressure are factors in the case, McGee said.

"I feel like he's probably getting some pressure from the Mississippi National Guard," McGee said. "He told me the governor personally demanded I be prosecuted for this."

A spokesman for Lampton said he was in a meeting about FEMA Thursday and not available.

Pete Smith, spokesman for Gov. Haley Barbour, had no immediate comment on the accusation. A National Guard spokesman in Jackson said only Maj. Gen. Harold A. Cross, the state adjutant general, could comment on the incident and Cross was unavailable Thursday afternoon.

"I think it's totally wrong to charge the sheriff," said Terry Steed, executive director of the Forrest County Emergency Management District. "Right, wrong or indifferent, people were in need. He made no personal gain from anything he did; he was trying to help people. That's what we all were trying to do."

McGee provided the following account of the ice incident:

# Steed's office notified him at about 6:30 a.m. Sept. 4 that five trucks of ice and five of water were lost between Jackson and Hattiesburg and weren't expected to arrive that day.

# About 7 a.m., emergency management personnel told McGee of the FEMA staging area and suggested ice might be available there.

# McGee sent a deputy to Camp Shelby who returned with the message that FEMA officials there couldn't release the ice but had provided a phone number of someone who might be able to.

"I called that phone number periodically for the next five hours and never got an answer," McGee said.

# After 1 p.m., McGee and three deputies went to Camp Shelby. The FEMA staging area director reported he had not gotten authority to release two trucks of ice. In response to questions from McGee, he said two trucks which were idling were filled with ice and were not assigned to a destination.

"I told him I had tried for four or five hours to get somebody at that number," McGee said. "He kind of smirked and said, 'To be truthful, sheriff, there's nobody at that number who could release it.' "

# The drivers of the ice trucks were willing to follow deputies to the distribution sites in Petal and Brooklyn.

"As we started out of the staging area, a National Guardsman jumped on the side of the lead truck, either trying to get the keys or pull the driver out," McGee said.

# When the soldier refused to get off the truck, he was handcuffed, placed in a patrol car and driven to the sheriff's office where he was cited for interfering with an officer and released.
That guy who smirked is probably lucky he didn't wind up with at least a fat lip--I know a couple of Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's deputies who would have popped him good for pulling that kind of shit.

Are there still people with principles?

Seems like there are some indie rockers who aren't quite willing to sell their souls for some major promotion.

The Thermals, a rambunctious rock band from Portland, Ore., were en route between gigs last year when they got a phone call from their label, Sub Pop. Hummer wanted to pay them $50,000 for the right to use their song "It's Trivia" in a commercial.

Trans Am, an electronic rock band from Washington, spurned $180,000 in ad money from Hummer.

"We thought about it for about 15 seconds, maybe," lead singer Hutch Harris said.

They said no.

Washington D.C.'s Trans Am were offered $180,000 by Hummer for the song "Total Information Awareness."

"We figured it was almost like giving music to the Army, or Exxon," guitarist Philip Manley said.

They said no.

The post-punk band LiLiPUT, who broke up more than 20 years ago, could have pocketed $50,000 for "Heidi's Head" after making close to nothing during their five-year existence. But they, too, said no.

"At least I can sleep without nightmares," Marlene Marder reasoned.

As the article noted, $50K is a lot of money for a struggling band, and that's the low end of these offers. Then there's the exposure that a major ad campaign can bring to a brand new band--that's worth even more. And yet these guys feel so strongly about the evil that is Hummer that they're turning down the cash.

Now it's possible that these guys know their audience, and fear they'd be reviled as sellouts if they let Hummer license their music, but it's still a gutsy call and I, for one, salute it.

Sing With Me Now

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm gets wasted,
God is quite irate.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict on Monday reaffirmed Catholic teaching that life begins at the moment of conception, saying embryos are 'sacred and inviolable' even before they become implanted in a mother's uterus.

Not every religion is this dismissive, but it ought to be troubling that the ones who hold such an inordinate amount of political power as the Catholic and Evangelical churches do are really hostile toward science.

Friday Random Ten

Running a bit late today. Amy and I are both off on Fridays, so I normally do this after running Monkey to school while she's sleeping, but today, she was up for a follow-up dentist's appointment, so we've been prettying up the apartment--new blinds in the bedroom (curtains to follow), new trellises (trellii?) on the patio for some as yet unbought vines to climb, violets for the bathroom, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Here we go.

1. Killer--Boozoo Bajou, featuring Top Cat
2. 12" 3 Speed Oscillating Fan--Big Smith
3. Where or When--Wynton Marsalis
4. If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day--Robert Johnson
5. What A Good Boy--Barenaked Ladies
6. I Took Your Name--R.E.M.
7. Doin' It--L L Cool J
8. Boyz In the Hood--NWA
9. On the Road Again--Willie Nelson
10.Tishomingo Blues--Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Bonus Track: Wash Jones--Squirrel Nut Zippers

Now we're off to Bed Bath and Beyond! Hurrah! Hurrah! (or something)

We're reading

At the beginning of the term, our employers asked Amy and me if we'd like to do a joint reading this term. We now have a tentative date--April 18th--which is, as Amy told me, the 100th anniversary of the great San Francisco Earthquake. Auspicious of anything?

On another topic completely, it's official--I am going to Austin to present a paper I haven't finished writing yet. By official I mean I've bought the plane ticket and reserved the hotel room. It will be a rambling piece, dealing with the use of personae in contemporary poetry. I may post it on my home page when I finish it, if there's any interest whatsoever.


Bob Herbert's column today makes me wonder just how far we've strayed as a people that this is even an option. It's behind the Times Select wall, so I'll excerpt it from Proquest.

He's talking about the case of Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen who was kidnapped by the US government, shipped off to Syria (under the despicable practice known as extraordinary rendition, which is a stain on the US) where he was tortured for ten months.

The underground cell was tiny, about the size of a grave. According to court papers, ''The cell was damp and cold, contained very little light and was infested with rats, which would enter the cell through a small aperture in the ceiling. Cats would urinate on Arar through the aperture, and sanitary facilities were nonexistent.''

Mr. Arar's captors beat him savagely with an electrical cable. He was allowed to bathe in cold water once a week. He lost 40 pounds while in captivity.

This person had no connection with al Qaeda.

Now even if you accept extraordinary rendition as a necessary evil in this day and age of global terrorism (I don't), there should be no question that in an egregious case, where an innocent man has his life irrevocably changed, that there should be some form of recompense, some attempt to at least try to make him whole again.

Not in the US.

The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York filed a lawsuit on Mr. Arar's behalf, seeking damages from the U.S. government for his ordeal. The government said the case could not even be dealt with because the litigation would involve the revelation of state secrets.

In other words, it wouldn't matter how hideously or egregiously Mr. Arar had been treated, or how illegally or disgustingly the government had behaved. The case would have to be dropped. Inquiries into this 21st-century Inquisition cannot be tolerated. Its activities must remain secret at all costs.

In a ruling that basically gave the green light to government barbarism, U.S. District Judge David Trager dismissed Mr. Arar's lawsuit last Thursday. Judge Trager wrote in his opinion that "Arar's claim that he faced a likelihood of torture in Syria is supported by U.S. State Department reports on Syria's human rights practices."

But in dismissing the suit, he said that the foreign policy and national security issues raised by the government were "compelling" and that such matters were the purview of the executive branch and Congress, not the courts.

He also said that "the need for secrecy can hardly be doubted."

This is what we have become--a country that values secrecy over human decency.

I remember very clearly the days and months after the 9/11 attacks, how often the phrase "if we do such-and-so, the terrorists will have won." It quickly became a joke. It morphed into a college pick-up line--"If you don't come back to my dorm room with me, the terrorists will have won"--and national economic strategy--"if you don't go into unsustainable credit card debt for Christmas, the terrorists will have won."

But it's not a joke anymore. The terrorists have won. And Maher Arar is the proof.

It's mine again!

I spent the first major money from my prize this afternoon--Monkey got her own computer, a nice little Gateway laptop from BestBuy. Now all she has to do is get all her teenage cooties off it.

An anthology project

Amy and I spent the evening with our boss and some folks from a custom publishing agency--terrific meal, all on their dime, which somehow made it taste better--because we're putting together a new set of books to customize our curriculum.

I'm in the earliest stages of planning a supplemental anthology for our Interpretations of Poetry courses, and could use some help casting a wider net of people to include in it. I'll be doing a lot of the legwork for this in the last four weeks of this semester, when I'll be teaching a lot of these poems, but still, this group I'm envisioning is so widespread that it would be easy to miss a lot of good poets.

For the first half of the anthology, I'm looking for poetry by people who have only started publishing in the last ten years or so, probably with no more than two books under their belts, if they even have books yet. Style isn't an issue--in fact, the more wide-ranging I can find, the happier I'll be, from traditional styles to avant-garde.

The second half of the book will focus on local poets, those people currently working and living in Florida, preferably southern Florida. I want my students to get a sense of the poetry coming out of their communities, especially if I can mix in some multi-cultural poets.

So if you have any suggestions for additions to the work, let me know. This is still very speculative--it may well be too expensive for us to even consider--but I'd still like the practical experience of trying to put something like this together.

Friday Random Ten, Oral Surgery Edition

Amy just went in and I'm in the waiting room--have I mentioned lately I love WiFi?--so for the next couple of days I'll be helping her recover from the removal of her remaining wisdom teeth, feeding her Percoset and not taking digital photos of her.

You know the drill (hey, that's a pun of sorts this week!)--iTunes on Party Shuffle and list the first ten songs.

1. Everybody Loves Jill--Cowboy Mouth
2. Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis--Tom Waits
3. What a Good Boy--Barenaked Ladies
4. Basehead--Corey Harris
5. Ramblin' on my Mind--John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers
6. Hold It, Now Hit It--Beastie Boys
7. Stop With the Goat Boy Thing--Bill Hicks
8. I Took Your Name--R.E.M.
9. Lawdy Mama--Cream
10. Got My Own Thing Now--Squirrel Nut Zippers

Bonus 80's geek track: Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)--A Flock of Seagulls

Wherein I discover that the 70s never really ended

Via Lawyers, Guns and Money I come across this frightening piece of knowledge.

The number one album this week is by Barry Manilow.

And people wonder why I don't listen to the radio anymore.

To the Spammers Go The Spoils

Waterspout K. Sinkable recently wrote me an email to back up Evolves H. Jocundity's email about some great semi-legal-sounding software deals; but with Fern, Hollis, and Agatha all shouting "Just Do Her" in their subject lines, it was a little hard to focus on Corel Draw. Still, only the week before I'd gotten a similar offer from Affront U. Sandwich (followed up by that goodly Perceptions P. Whipcord)... and before that from Preheats L. Smoggier, making me think that these deals aren't "about to run out" anytime soon.

Anyway, it's Valentine's Day, and when I see that Elnora Burton and Ernestine Ackerman have both written me emails titled "Fucking Saint Valentine," I know that F-bomb is a verb, not an expletive. Those girls are wild.

Of course, I'm a bit worried about calling the gals up. I mean, I'd never really worried about the size of my member until recently, but when you start getting all these comments in your mailbox (even from lisabeth COX, and you know SHE wouldn't lie!) about how much in need of enhancement you are -- you start to realize, hey, the man in the boat is no Andre the Giant! (Maybe a bit more like Vincini...? Inconceivable!)

No worries though, I'm on it: Rowena Darling knows of a "Safe way to drown your girlfriend in cum!" My girlfriends will be so glad to hear that it's safe, the next time we get together for cocktails. I'm sure Brian will be pleased too.

This good news might just keep me from playing the SUPERBAL LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL again, or answering the email from my good friend jhxthycrvwnnkkxxs -- I think that's Bulgarian or something -- titled "cripple anemone." Not that I don't love these guys, buuuut, man are they always digging for money!

They're still laughing
And if you're still laughing, you ain't dead.

‘C’est Levee’
Krewe du Vieux has used its parade to mock corporations and politicians every year for the last two decades.

“It’s just we have more material this year,” Twitchell said before the parade, themed “C’est Levee,” a pun on the French phrase “C’est la vie,” meaning “that’s life.”

Floats and props built for the Saturday evening parade in the French Quarter included hand-pulled carts elaborately decorated with blue tarps, fake broken levees, cardboard travel trailers and effigies of Mayor Ray Nagin and Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

One display asked France to buy Louisiana back, suggesting the state might get better treatment than it has from the American government. And in place of a parade map, the Krewe du Vieux had a “projected path” adorned with a swirly hurricane symbol.

I've never been that big a fan of Mardi Gras--crowds just aren't my thing. Most of the times I went into the city for a parade, I went for Lundi Gras--only the hardest of hardcore parties (i.e. those so amped up on X that they couldn't stop going) or the people like me who wanted a more chill celebration were out. Most of the mid-level drunks were resting up from Sunday for the main event on Tuesday. But man, do I wish I could be there for this one.

Side note. Amy has informed me that storySouth has added us to their blogroll. I feel like we're branching out here. Guess that means I'll actually have to write about writing like I said I was going to all those months ago.

City-folk: Friday afternoon at the Spears-Letter residence; is it still winter, somewhere?

We've been working on this patio for a while, pretty much since Wilma tore it up and made us have to deal with it. It's our little slice of the city. Planes going from/to Fort Lauderdale airport roar overhead; the trains chug and hoot a few blocks away; we hear the steam-blasts of the ships in port. Across the street, this weekend, is the stomp and shout of the Greek Food Festival, at the big blue Greek Orthodox Church (the only intrusion into our patio's sky-view). The city's other voices speak constantly too: dogs bark, parrots squawk, hedgers buzz, soccar players shout in 10 languages from the park just next door, dance mixes shuffle-thump from some enthusiastic driver's car...

But when we hang out on our patio, I mainly hear the gurgling fountain and the wind-chime, which is made of bells, and plays musical fractals for the ear. The ocean breezes travel the length of the patio, end to end, and tease the leaves of the skyvines -- and now the passion vines too.

In a way, I feel like I've been dreaming of this patio for 30 years. I love nature, but I am an admirer, not a consumer. I don't want to own nature. Or use it. I want to hike through it, breathe it, smell it, maybe get it all over me, but then, I want to go home. And home, I have discovered, is a place of man-imposed order, and simplicity.

My cat quivers at the sight of a cricket on the wall. He rolls and purr-owls, with orgasmic satisfaction. The cricket flies; he blinks, he yawns, he finds a sunnier spot to sleep in. That in which he delights, he does not need to destroy.

More pictures at my blog

Friday Random Ten

Guess I'll do this while we wait to find out if Amy's getting her wisdom teeth out today or not--scheduling screwup. iTunes on "Party Shuffle" (as if the speakers on my laptop would be party worthy)? Check. Here we go.

1. Dinah--Lionel Hampton
2. I Feel Free--Cream
3. Sweet Georgia Brown--Benny Goodman
4. Willow Garden--Big Smith The most violent music, song for song, in the US, is old-time hill music.
5. Two Clowns--The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir
6. Baby's In Black--The Beatles
7. It Don't Mean a Thing--Django Reinhardt
8. Time For Me To Fly--REO Speedwagon
9. Bo Diddley--Bo Diddley
10. Early Sunsets Over Monrovia--My Chemical Romance See what happens when you download music (legally, I might add) for your daughter?

Thursday Night Poetry

As he was a Stegner fellow when I was, and since he placed ahead of me alphabetically at the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg, and since he has a book coming out this fall, I can't help but hate David Roderick.

Only kidding of course.

Actually, that gives me good reason to make him the feature of this week's Thursday Night Poetry. What follows is the title poem to his new book, Blue Colonial, winner of the Honickman Prize. I'll have a link up to buy it when it's available. Enjoy.

Blue Colonial

I was bored until I began rigging catastrophes: pitfalls,
tree snares, explosions. I dug a hold in the woods,
hoping that something would fall and shatter a leg.

I shot at aerosol cans to burst the forest silence.
Shrapnel tore through ferns. Rodents fled along branches.
And the trees bored me because I'd climbed their gloom

to spy over our subdivision, rowed colonials, each the same
because the mind of a developer planned them that way:
decks too small for barbeque, monotonous shingles and brick.

Our colonial was the only blue one in the neighborhood,
a color I liked, but I wasn't allowed to paint it with my father
when it needed a fresh coat. He didn't trust me to brush

with caution and care, though he did let me watch while
he shot a squirrel with a BB gun one morning, a squirrel
that lived in our eaves. That's when I gave up asking

for chores around our house, my father at work in his mask,
sanding and priming rough spots, creaming a pail of trim.
Instead, I walked back to the woods and filled a hole

with my body, became a collector of hints and atmosphere.
I hunted for incidents, turtles that slipped from the surface,
feral slinks near the fringe. Once I found a pile of tires

in a ditch, but when I dragged out a pair, I couldn't find
a place for them, so I rolled them back to their mulch.
Those tires brimmed with water that only newts like,

and when I saw how the sun blinded their eyes, I stopped
meddling with tires and logs, vernal pools for the sleepers.
This was near Billington Lake, where a girl once plunged

through the ice. She'd been trapped for hours before her body
was pulled from its frozen zone. When her brain thawed,
she told about a vision she had, how everything she touched,

living or dead, spun into a string of light. I wanted to have
such a vision, to feel ice dazzle my eyes, a carboniferous
smell in my nose while I slept with the newts and salamanders.

That hold I'd dug held me still, like the axle of a bike wheel,
a trick that spins backwards. While inside, I was locked
in that girl's eye, her irises crisscrossed with wings.

This is what I meant earlier when I said catastrophe:
some trick art, some careful recording of nighthawk quips.
I still like to visit those woods near the colonial that is

no longer blue. The subdivision changed and is
perpetually changing: living tulips sent into exile,
ivy crawling the chimneys. A pile of junk is a kind of faith:

rotten deadfalls, tires that sink, so I will always go back
to visit the blue colonial and run my fingers over its paint,
knowing I lived inside it once, maybe five coats ago.

I look for depressions in the woods where I dug holes
and climbed trees. I look for bike treads brailled
into the mud, an old thrill sculpting its chapter.

This is a place that keeps me frozen: temporary flowers,
dung-tinged fumes. I walk until I find remnants, shade,
a canopy for sleep. I remember the trees by their shadows.

It's a shame we're going to miss it

Last year, Amy and I went to the funniest production of HAMlet ever staged. Okay, it wasn't meant to be a comedy, but it was anyway, while simultaneously managing to be a tragedy of epic proportions. The second production of the season, Threepenny Opera, was postponed due to Hurricane Wilma, and I was eager to see what would happen to the music of Kurt Weill in the hands of college thespians.

But alas, it is not to be. The production is this weekend, and Amy is (hopefully) having her wisdom teeth out on Friday. I don't know which would be more painful.

Today I allowed someone else -- a close friend of mine, actually -- to teach my fiction workshop for me. I would NOT describe this as akin to allowing a friend to make out with my boyfriend, or spend the day shopping with my mother on her birthday. Not quite "akin."

But when it comes down to it, the same strange receptors are firing in the brain. After all, what are workshop students if not "intellectual children" (whether they are "chip off the block" or "wayward son") -- they are creative forces come in search of an organizing principle. At this level, the "undergraduate/beginning" level, the instructor is able to be extremely helpful in non-controversial ways (not true in grad programs); when you're at the level where the students are still making genuine mis-steps (not just "aesthetic choices of questionable wisdom"), the teacher feels like she is really bringing these babes out into the world, giving them, in brochure-speak, the tools to succeed!

But I'm sick. So to whom but a close friend would I entrust my creative clan? Whether or not Scarlett and I have our own creative differences ("aesthetic choices of questionable...") I know she will treat them with respect and "do no harm" (O, great Hippocrates!) -- yet my wing flinches outward like a protective pullet's around my chicks, and I hope next week they won't have decided they (gasp!) like Scarlett better!

Writers were not meant to feel like this! Writers are recluses, miserly with their affections, uncharitable in their assessments! Lonesome and unyeilding and probably alcholics: but only to help suppress those embarrassing cross-dressing urges.... Oh, wait. It's the twenty-FIRST Century. Nevermind. ;-)

It's up!
A day behind schedule, but who cares. You can see my prizewinning poem at the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg site, along with the other prizewinners. Top prize this year was $7,500, and I was one of the second tier winners. My poem--and you'll have to scroll to find it (or even use the "find on this page" function) is titled "Up South."

Congrats also to David Roderick, a Stegner buddy, who placed in the same tier, and whose poems are located just above mine (alphabetical order of names), and to Keith Ekiss, Robin Ekiss and Bruce Snider, all Stegner fellows and friends, for Honorable Mentions.

Update: I forgot one of the Steg-folk. Sara Michas-Martin (didn't remember the married name) was also an honorable mention.

This is nuts
I'm not ever sure if this will come through or not, as most of the time when I try to access the blog, I get a 403 error. If I refresh a couple dozen times, it comes up but without the graphics in the left corner. I'm trying this in hopes of triggering something that'll break through the wall.

Remodeling in progress

Amy's moving in and getting herself settled, and I'm primping up the place a bit. Pardon the muss, please.

I am partnering up with Brian on this here blog, a grand little adventure! I still think of it primarily as HIS blog, however, mainly because I would never have named my blog "incertus."

Imperatrix, now that's what I'd have named it. Grrrowl.

Now that there's two of us, it really should be "incerti," but this doesn't improve the pun in English, "insert us." (So next time I tell someone to shove it up a crevasse, such a one has a ready reply.)

Last night, at about 4am, I lay in bed waiting for the vicodin, ibuprofin, and ice to resolve into a sleep-permitting cure for my INSANE wisdom-tooth-related pain (PAIN) -- when my mind wandered onto the subject of the human body's various flaws and the (previously quoted here) theory of UNintelligent design (or was it "idiotic design"? I can't recall): the observation that our bodies are so prone to failure, flaw, and pain, that to thrust the responsibility for this mess onto a creator does no favors to that creator's reputation.

My nephew passed away two weeks ago, and I strangely found myself, as though brutally transported, in the front pew of a Catholic cemetery chapel, listening to a Deacon whose own child of 8 had died 22 years ago, meaning that she would have been, had she lived, a woman of my age now. The Deacon implied that it was the loss of his child that brought him to a life of faith, into the Church. Again and again he emphasized, "Payton is not gone; only his body has died, but he was not his body; you will be reunited in Heaven, where he has surely gone, as he died young and was unsullied by sin."

The Deacon doth protest too much, methinks.

I think this Deacon was blowing smoke up our collective asses: My understanding of Catholic dogma is that unbaptized babes do not get a free pass to "Heaven." More than that, though, I am not Catholic, and I don't buy this life-after-death stuff at all. Sure, it would be convenient if there were some afterlife to sap the anxiety from the most anxiety-producing fact of being alive. A little TOO convenient.

Never has religious rhetoric been so blatantly empty and offensive to my ear. I just want to love and remember my nephew. But NEVER has religous rhetoric been so empty and offensive to my ear.

Payton was born with two copies of a flaw in his genes. I carry ONE copy. He had TWO. You can "blah-blah" about creation and afterlife all you want, but that's the truth: I carry one, he carried two, and so he couldn't move or smile or talk or eat for his 5 short years of life. He got 5 years from chance: my sister noticed the second he stopped breathing. Had he been napping in his crib when it happened, Payton would have been just another SIDS baby, gone at three months old. Chance. Einstein said, "God doesn't play dice." From where I'm sitting I don't think "He" does a damn thing.

But here's the thing: Chance can be beautiful. Chaos can be lively. Randomness breeds novelty and novelty is neat. What makes a sun-rise special is that it does not last. What makes a clear day joyful is the memory of pain. Without the bad in life, without the END of life, we'd never know happiness or love or the ecstasy of LIVING. What gives our lives MEANING are the dangers and time-limits.

These religious believers sap the soul from us. Their eternity is un-being. I'd rather LIVE briefly than forever "be alive." Nothing incertus about that, my friend. On this, I am positive.

Friday Random Ten and some really good news

Earlier in the week, I told you that I'd been shortlisted for a prize. I got the email yesterday--one of my poems was selected at the $5,000 level. I don't know which poem yet, and I don't know where that falls in the hierarchy of prizes, but the poems should be up tomorrow, and I'll definitely be linking them then. So massive thanks to the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation for the contest, which is in its second year, for their support of poets and writers.

And now for the random ten. ITunes on party shuffle, first ten songs, no skipping over the Safety Dance/Freebird dance mix.

1. Hell--Squirrel Nut Zippers I got to sing this one at Solo's retirement party before we left San Francisco. It's a high point of my life.

2. Loaded Gun--Reverend Horton Heat Huh?

3. Long Distance Runaround--Yes Ah, a throwback to my high school years. I keep my Yes tunes around more out of nostalgia than anything else. I rarely listen to them--don't have the ennui necessary.

4. Shango Tango--Dr. John Wanna talk about nostalgia?

5. Sunday Bloody Sunday--U2 Another high school song, but I still listen to this one on occasion.

6. The Sky is Crying--Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble In my limited view, this is the definitive version of the song. I've never herad another one even close.

7. Mandolin Rain--Bruce Hornsby and the Range See the Safety Dance rule.

8. Learning to Fly--Pink Floyd I know lots of Floyd fans who dis anything that came after Waters left the band. I think they're idiots.

9. Overkill--Men at Work Jesus, am I on an 80's roll today?

10. No One is to Blame--Howard Jones Yes. Yes I am.

Thank god that's over with.

Walrus tags me

And he was so young to fall to the blog-meme illness. So here goes.

Four jobs you've had:
1. Food service--I've fried chicken, delivered pizzas, and slung Mexican food (at a chain in Louisiana owned by an Italian family).

2. Forklift Driver--I moved up to that after being a pallet jack driver at a grocery warehouse. It was actually a pretty cool job.

3. Teacher--duh.

4. Brewery worker--Probably the best job I've ever had, working on the bottling line and racking room at Anchor Brewing. What's not to like? Good wages, free beer, great people. Did I mention the free beer?

Four Movies You'd Like to See Over and Over
How about four movies I see over and over? Actually, my repeat watching has dropped since the advent of Netflix--I don't buy as many movies as I used to, but here's four in no particular order.

1. The Princess Bride
2. High Fidelity
3. Casablanca
4. Mallrats

Four places you've lived:

1. San Francisco
2. Fort Lauderdale
3. The north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, LA
4. With my in-laws (though that wasn't really living)

Four tv shows you like to watch

1. Battlestar Galactica
2. The Wire
3. The Daily Show/Colbert Report (Like Walrus, I was an early adopter of Stewart, way back when he was on Short Attention Span Theater.)
4. I don't really watch anything else.

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Daily Kos
2. Atrios
4. Lawyers, Guns and Money

Four Places I'd Rather Be
This is a tough one, because I really like where I am. But if money were no object...
1. The Keys
2. Europe--preferably the southern part, where it's warmer
3. San Francisco
4. New Orleans

Four People to tag
Well, hell. Two of my regular four are taken, since Walrus tagged me and Amy.
1. Divine Mandate
2. Michael
3. Alison, if she's up to it
4. I'm out of people to ask.

And for the important news

Amy's poem about Monkey and Katrina and New Orleans was published in storySouth which is a hell of an online journal (which is fitting as it's a hell of a poem). Go check it out.

About damn time

Okay, both the sidebar and the home page are updated. It took me all of five minutes, which is pretty sad considering how long I put it off. Now to do some real work.

Newer Posts Older Posts Home