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my life

en route to Tokyo

On the plane to Tokyo, closing in now on Narita. Flew out of BWI to Detroit, going from there far far north scraping the ice cap on the arc to Japan. The view out the window...I always try for a window seat

My plane reading - Windblown World, Kerouac's journals. God how it blows on the embers of my writing fire! Blaze forth! I shall be writing on trains and in bars this trip.

flowing through me like broken glass (Zelda's exercise, Nov. 18)

Just a week and a day until I head back for Japan, for the Seido Aichi tournament and for a few days of sightseeing and cultural investigation (including the bars of Osaka...) Got a few more things to do, lining up hotel rooms and renting a phone, figuring out what to pack. (I'm thinking about getting a big new backpack and taking that instead of a suitcase. Need to plan it out a bit more though.)

I found out that there's a new requirement for gaijin entering the country to be photographed and fingerprinted. The video put together by the Japanese equivalent of Homeland Security is a notable example of so-stupid-its-funny, as the proper Nihonjin lady explains to overacting slow-witten gaijin how the new measures make them safer.

Hopefully this week I'll get the house cleaned up, papers sorted and the like, so I don't return to a total mess.

exercise: freewrite on the phrase "flowing through me like broken glass"

and I have heard it said the in the days of American slavery, the child of the cook would be the food taster for the master of the house, because the slaves would often put ground glass in the food of their enslavers

flowing through me like broken glass

glass in the water, invisible, sharper-edged than steel when jagged, smoother than skin when whole

flowing through me like broken glass

a cutting river, internal sandblasting. I grind the glass and return it to sand.

filling in at Load of Fun

Blogging from the new toy again, my Palm Centro. Kind of wild to be able to access the full internet on a pocketsize portable - Wikipedia and Google in my pocket. I can even ssh into work. (Not that I'd want to do a lot of work typing on this tiny keyboard, but for emergency access, rock on.)

Julie called this evening. the band and poets she had scheduled to play at Load of Fun had to cancel. So a couple of us Zeldaeans filled in with some poetry and music - Julie, Mike, Robin, and I had a nice little circle o' poetry.

posting from my new toy

I'm posting this from the tiny tiny keyboard of my new Palm Centro. Just got it today - so far, so good. I've installed an ssh client and am now seeing what I can do with the web browser.

If you're considering buying a Centro - or any Sprint service - you ought to Google for "Sprint SERO" to find out about a great deal.

playing music and breaking up fights; putting down roots (Zelda's Inferno exercise Nov 4)

An eventful week...Wednesday, Halloween, I played a happy hour gig at Leadbetter's. Good crowd for the holiday (Fells Point buzzes for Halloween) and I actually made decent money, almost $80 between tip and my share of the take from the bar. Not enough that I'm going to quit the day job, but $80 for four hours - $20 an hour - is respectable. I'd play more often if I could get gigs that paid like that, sure.

Hung out afterward for the night shift, crowded but generally having a good time enjoying the musical stylings of Johnny Smooth...until, during a break in his set, I made my way up front for some fresh air and looked outside, to see a pushing match, a fight brewing, in front of the Admiral's Cup a few doors down.

I told the guy on the door to call 911, and ran over to break things up. Yelling "Break it up! Break it up! Cops are on the way!", I did my best to cool things down, stepping between any pair who looked in conflict. It was impossible to figure out who was pissed with whom about what; but for that minute of two, my job was just to act as a sort of "anti-catalyst", preventing violent reactions.

benefit shows at 2640; parties, circles, and gigs; Zelda's Inferno writing exercise

At the BARC benefit at 2640 now, Mongoloidian Glow on the stage. Zelda's will be in a while, but I came down early, got some food at The Yabba Pot and then came over to give BARC a few bucks and support the AR cause a little.

Wednesday we had a planning meeting here for the Water For the Well benefit next weekend. I'm excited that Jeff, my uncle, is going to be on the bill - first time we've performed together. Afterward I caught (most of) a Halloween music and spoken-word show at the Metro Gallery.

Thursday, I played the Fell's Point Musician's Showcase at Leadbetters, got a good response to my hour. It was the first time I'd played there since I got back to the U.S.; I'll be back for the happy hour gig on Halloween.

Friday, our Samhain circle got rained out - we decided to move the date so we could still do it outside, rather than moving it indoors. So I got to go to the show at Kiss Cafe that Kelly put together. Saw Chris and Wes there, in one of those Smalltimore moments.

Yesterday, promotions at the dojo, a long day. Then went out to see Telesma play at the Metro Gallery, good show as always.

Zelda's Inferno writing exercise: write a poem from a wordlist, generated from the theme "renaissance festival":

unicycle, plague, corset, beer, joust, serf, glimmer, awkward, wench, pine, pirate, armor, rouge, constricting

sometimes I feel the constrictions
of my created self
that fiction that defines my character
that places awkwardly-drawn boundaries around
what I say and do

a plague of personalities
an armoring identity

high school reunions; statute of limitations on grief

Had my 20th high school reunion tonight. Saw a couple of the people I'd really hoped to see, which was great; but also found out that one of them had died.

How old does news have to be before it loses the ability to hit you hard? If you find out that someone you had known and cared about died last year, five years ago, ten years ago, what's the statute of limitations on that?

Allison Fisher, a friend and classmate, a lovely young woman who I performed together with in a high school play, died of breast cancer nine years ago. I last saw her fifteen years ago, at our fifth high school reunion, perhaps the most vivacious person there. Now, I regret missing our tenth.

Gonna wear my red shirt tonight; Joe Squared

Working more on the "favorite shirt" idea for a piece...

Now I pretty much grew up on "Star Trek" - original series. I mean, my parents have a portrait of Kirk and Spock hanging in their living room, ok? And one thing you learn from watching Star Trek is, never wear a red shirt.

'Cause every damn time, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and some poor sucker in a red shirt beam down to the planet - and guess who gets all the salt in his body sucked out, or gets a knife in the chest from some warrior-culture alien, or catches the horrible disease that dissolves your whole body into a pile of powder? Right. The dude in the red shirt.

But then I grew up. And then they did the whole "next generation" thing, where the captain wears a red shirt, and the guy in yellow always buys it.

And then one night on the cable TV classic movie show I saw "Rebel Without a Cause", where James Dean wears this cool red jacket - which technically isn't a shirt, but close enough, right?

Anyway, point is, eventually I learned to love the red shirt. You grow, you learn, you put away childish ways, that's what life is all about.

so i'm gonna wear my red shirt tonight

gonna wear my red shirt tonight

gonna wear my red shirt tonight

it's my favorite shirt

it's the color of passion

it's my only red shirt

I don't care if it's in fashion


Playa Del Fuego; my favorite shirt; Zelda's exercise: synesthetic descriptions

So last weekend was Playa Del Fuego. Fun but sort of mellow. Nothing really extraordinary to a Starwood veteran - though the naked slip & slide was fun. Also nice hanging out with the Zelda's folks at our camp, I think we did a good job of drawing people in, getting folks involved in our writing exercises.

The big bonfire ("burn", in the lingo) on Saturday night was actually a little disappointing. The fire was nice enough; there were some fire performers, which is cool but I'm getting jaded and not that interested unless they're really good; and there was a little bit of drumming, but not much and not for long. No dancing. I don't see the point in a bonfire without dancing around it in a circle.

But I had a good afterward hanging out at "Whiskey and Whores", a bar theme camp. Met a girl who spun poi, who finally gave me the key to figuring out the three-beat weave; met a few pretty women. which is always a favorite pasttime.(What happens at PDF, stays at PDF, so nothing more to say on that. :-) )

interesting misheard line

At the Zelda's camp at PDF. Misheard by me from Karla: "I should burn the mind that I always forget".

Our writing exercise was postponed due to the bonfire getting lit: it would have been a poem with synesthetic descriptions.


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