Monday, May 22, 2017

CHECK IT OUT

I can't make this, but if I was anywhere near Brooklyn tomorrow night I would be there to see my good friends, poet Rachel E. Diken and writer/comic Boo Trundle join their fellow Atticus Review writer David Olimpio give a reading at Pete's Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street at 6:30PM.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

YOUTUBE VIDEO WORTH WATCHING

even though I knew all this from reading about everything mentioned in it, it's still worth watching to the end as a great synthesis of what we know about what we know...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Trump said in the campaign that if I voted for Clinton, I'd be stuck with a criminal president under constant federal investigation from day one. Turns out he was right. I voted for Clinton and I'm stuck with a criminal president under federal investigation since day one."  —Angela Lockhart Aronoff

Friday, May 19, 2017

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

A lot of laughs in this flick, most of them intentionally. A lot of pop cultural references too, including homages (THE BLOB anyone?). Fun stuff mostly. It's a psy-fi fantasy comic book action movie, so you go in expecting two hours of escapism. And that's what you get. Plus a lot of good and/or familiar actors (Sly Stallone in a cameo that worked for me, among them).

And the CGI effects were a total treat for most of the film, in some cases works of art, like the electric arrow of Michael Rooker's character (wait for all the end credits to get some more human-size humor with the arrow).

The most endearing and captivating of the characters, "Twig," was voiced, unexpectedly for me, by Vin Diesel! Go figure. If you want an escape from the heat, climate-wise or political, you could do worse. Much worse.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO

I think I may have posted this before. It's my sister Irene and me in front of "The Little Job-er"—our father's home repair business—in what was the oldest wooden building in South Orange. It had been The South Orange Hotel in the 1800s but now was a rundown, unused, except for my old man's business, cluttered old dump.

Irene's five years older than me (there was a brother, John, between us who passed as an infant). My guess is I'm eleven or twelve and she is sixteen or seventeen in this photo. The wording behind us was advertising for the "little jobs" we did. I worked there, for "room and board" as they said then, answering the phone and doing odd jobs.

The door behind my sister led to a small "store" that held an old style wall phone, some shelves for tools, a thick wood table covered in carpeting where we cut glass (to replace broken windows). On nice days like this one I would bring out a couple of wooden horses, and place a screen or window on them to replace the glass I'd cut inside, or the torn screen, with new screening, stapling it in, and in the case of the glass, hammering in those little sharp triangles I can't remember the name of anymore and covering them up with the putty that framed each panel.

The door to my left led to the rest of the "hotel"—an old, dusty, abandoned "lobby" where we kept ladders and leaders and gutters and anything else that was too long for the little store, and upstairs there was a funky old toilet we used and otherwise just junk covered in decades of dust and dirt.

There was also an old shoe shine stand that an old buddy of my father's from his youth used to make a small living, with a place to sit on top and then the old style metal show stands for the man to put his feet on so my old man's friend (why can't I remember his name?) could apply the polish and start snapping his shining cloth.

I worked there from eleven until I left home at eighteen, every day after school and on Saturdays and some holidays and parts of the summer. For decades after, right up until the advent of cell phones, I would often pick up the phone and put it to my ear and automatically say: "The Little Job-er" to the surprise of whoever was on the other end.

My sister and I are the only ones left of our five other siblings and our parents.

Monday, May 15, 2017

POWERS BOOTHE R.I.P.

Met him on the set of DEADWOOD. And although he's younger than me, it felt like (or he acted like) he was older! A truly unique presence on screen and off. Too young to be gone (68, the obits say). Here's The Rolling Stone obit. Condolences to all his many family members, friends, and fans.