Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Spent today running around West Hampden (Jones Falls Valley) taking pictures. Check out this Flickr set.

Monday, December 26, 2005

honk if you love hampden

It's 3:30 a.m., and someone just drove down my street honking. Brief honks, not quite staccato, in clusters of 4 or 5.

My street is very skinny, and it doesn't really go anywhere. Most people who drive down it pull aside somewhere along it and park. But I could hear this person honking all the way at the bottom of the street.

Whatcha doin' here, Paul Revere? Was that an alert? And if so, for what? Or was it just kids being obnoxious? (Not unlikely, as my awkward pimply years involved driving around with a megaphone and a megawatt spotlight with a lighter adapter. You haven't seen anything until you've seen a suburbanite's face as her McMansion's living room is suddenly awash in a bright, passing light.)

Maybe it was Santa. Maybe he ditched the reindeer and started rocking an El Camino.


Home on the range,
Home doesn't change.
Leave one home, take another,
Home doesn't change.
Homes vanish and accumulate.
Home on a farm, home in the city,
Buy a bigger home when baby suckle titty.

Home, the rowhouse, home, the house,
Home, the bowling lane studio apartment,
A narrow dead-end alcove
In a warren of a island that's home to
One hundred thousand score hares.

I saw a picture of a home today with mold to the ceiling and a wet magazine on a waterlogged bed, which did not look like King Oliver sounds.

I gave my home away with its Irish sunbaked-yellow walls and
blood-orange trim, which bleeds into the yellow beelow.
It bleeds up to the ceiling, too, as though intelligently designed.

And I took my home back.

The walls are bare, spare some chairs,
Most of the walls are white.
White walls are for everyone,
For the next tenant to paint or adorn.
But one room is home, where I sleep on the couch.
The Irish sunbaked-yellow paint
Is thicker now for memories and songs and sentiments
It absorbed.

Love lost
______Bonnie Prince Billy
Pot smoked
________Mobb Deep
Woman slumbered
_____________Sigur Ros
Moves considered
____________ Ravel
________________ moon-eyed dreams.
Solitude embraced
___________________ bliss.
Souls disappear

Je me deplace constamment.
Chez moi n'existe pas.
Je suis partout toujours,
Et partout est ma maison.

Home doesn't change.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

an o t h er

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I wanted to go to Tom Piazza's reading of Why New Orleans Matters at KGB Bar, but getting from 116th St. to E. 4th St. was impossible tonight. The transit workers went on strike this morning, and I couldn't find a ride. A livery cab driver pulled over and said it would be $30 to get downtown. I blanched, and he said, "The yellow cabs'll cost you $45." I told him I'd keep trying my luck.

After standing around at Lenox and 116th for 5 minutes in the cold wind, a yellow cab finally pulled over. He waved me toward him, so I tried to open the door. Locked. His front window was down. "Where are you going?" he said. I said East Fourth.

"I'm sorry, man, I was just down there, and it took me 3 hours to get back uptown."

I walked back east, thinking I'd get the Metro North train at 125th and Park. But as soon as I saw my building, I went back in. Too cold. Fortunately, No Direction Home was in my mailbox. God bless Netflix.

So that was the extent of my strike experience: 10 minutes shivering outside on my block. I didn't get below 116th St. It's strange to live on the same island and not get to see this momentous event. The marching crowds on bridges, the cattle-width lines for cabs, the literal gridlock of vehicles, the hitchhiking. The power of organized labor.

The sociological grid laid plain for all to see. The arguments. "Why should someone working on a subway line make $60,000 a year?" "Well, see what happens when they don't do it?"

The ratio between the salaries of the average CEO and the average lowest-paid-worker in a company has grown from about 40 in the mid 1980s to over 300. It's nice to see labor issues on the front page and on the sidewalk.

Search "strike" at Flickr for some good photos. It's strange that I couldn't get any closer than these pictures. Well, I could have, but I wasn't walking in this weather.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A winter's day, in a deep and dark December...

...gazing from my window to the streets below on a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow...

Morningside Park

First real snow of the year today. I woke up and walked around for 10 minutes before I noticed the sheets of big fat flakes falling diagonally outside my window. Got the umbrella out and walked across town to campus. The flakes were so big that they sounded like brushes being drawn across a snare drum on my umbrella.

Shovelers shoveled perpendicular to walkers, stopping frequently.

Check out a Flickr slideshow.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Michael McDonald Had a Farm

Oh god oh god oh god. Go to this page and listen to the "Michael McDonald Had a Farm" clip.

Monday, December 05, 2005

why people play keno

These stories about big jackpot lottery winners are always incredible. I read a long one a while back about the teenage daughter of a lottery winner--wish I could remember where I saw it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rar rose real?!?

One of the most remarkable wonders science has brought us: Neuticles.

My vet said Neuticles are not ethical. Is that true?

We feel the removal of a God given body part - leaving a male pet looking unwhole after the traditional form of neutering is not only unethical but unnatural. With Neuticles it's like nothing ever changed.

Don't forget to pick up the new book by Gregg Miller, Neuticles inventor: Going, Going, Nuts!

Songwriting Collaboration

Jayinbmore of Are You Effin' Kidding Me? started an audioblog, Wyman Park Glee Club, for musical collaborations. I posted a seed of a song, and everyone is invited to pitch in.