my life

Greetings from Osaka

Hello friends! Was running around the past few weeks trying to get
everything lined up for my Japan trip (thus the lack of updates), now here
I am...

Got in Thursday local time, and Friday went with Robin to the school where
she teaches English to Japanese children. And I mean children - one
and a half to two an a half years old. Bilingual toddlers. They had a whole
day of Halloween events, including bobbing for apples and a pinata (filled
with American candy I brought over).

Saturday night we went to a party on the Osaka loop line, a train that
encircles the city. At first it was a complete madhouse - they had us
packed in with regular commuters, too packed to even break out a beer. I
was not having a good time...but then, as far as I can figure out, JR
(Japan Railways, on of the several train companies here) brought out an
out-of-service train for us. It was still crowded, but now it was fun!

"Dog Welcomes Squirrel Into Litter of Pups" - AP

This story of a dog nursing an orphaned infant squirrel reminds me not only of the recent "adoption" of a baby hippopotamus by a tortoise, but also of an incident some years back with my dog Piccolo.

It was spring, and the grass in back yard was a little long. I let the dogs out for their morning romp, but when I called them back in, Piccolo stayed where she was, lying on the ground. Not even the promise of a dog treat would get her to come. Worried, I went over to her, and found her curled protectively around a nest of baby rabbits in the grass!

sold the house, hurray, hurray!

Well my friends, after far too many months of stress and financial wrangling, I'm happy to say that yesterday we closed on the sale of my late grandfather's house.

It's not only a financial windfall that (partly, at least) offsets the losses of my dad's extended unemployment and health problems, but it finally lets us get some emotional resolution about my grandfather's death, and about the shoddy and shameful treatment his second wife gave us. I found myself feeling about ten pounds lighter today, actually whistling singing as I was grocery shopping..."Sarge" was something of a whistler, I remember him  whistling little tunes when he would take my brother and I for after-dinner walks around the neighborhood when we were boys.

more on HST's gonzo sendoff

Rolling Stone has more on the death of, and memorial service for, Hunter S. Thompson:

"Fuck you, Hunter," [Johnny Depp] joked one afternoon not long after Hunter died. "You want a Gonzo Cannon? We'll give you a Gonzo Cannon."

Following Hunter's thirty-year-old blueprints, the Colonel commissioned a construction crew to build the cannon. Cost was not a factor. So what if the price tag was $2 million or $3 million? Depp's recent hits Pirates of the Caribbean and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were financial grand slams, earning the forty-two-year-old actor enough money to buy his own island near the Bahamas. Doing it right for Hunter was all that mattered. "I loved him and wanted to make sure his last wish was fulfilled," Depp says. "It's that simple." He galvanized Hunter's inner circle to share his vision of building the most spectacularly weird monument ever erected for a writer.

Don't Blame the Constitution

Letter to the Editor, Baltimore Sun:

I'm somewhat mystified by Evan P. Schultz's labeling of the Commerce Clause and the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments of the Constitution as "archaic". ("Blame the Constitution", September 15, 2005). If last part of the Bill of Rights, and an Amendment passed after it, are "archaic", what are we to make of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments? If the Commerce Clause is "archaic", what is to be done about the rest of Article I, Section 8, which lays out the powers of Congress? Is the federal authority to issue currency "archaic"?

Personal rememberance of 9/11

Fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks today. I thought I'd post some things I've previously written. First, a little previously unpublished piece I wrote on the first anniversary:


Sept 11 2002

The Bards of 9/11

The show must go on.

Here it is, one year later. I'm back at the bar where I spent most of the day on that fateful famous Tuesday. I had a gig that day, my regular Tuesday evening gig at Leadbetter's. After spending the morning and early afternoon glued, like much of the nation, to CNN, I realized that I had an appointment to play music.

To play! Music! What a trivial activity at such a time. I wondered if I should bother, if anyone cared. But I also wanted to go somewhere, be around other people - a common impulse that day. So I threw my gear into the Toyota and drove down to Fells Point.

Are faeries playing with my car keys?

For some time I've harbored a sneaking suspicion that, on occasion, some of my possessions will go off and have adventures without me.

I first began to consider this possibility at festivals like FSG and Starwood, when lost items would suddenly re-appear in places I was sure had already been searched.

Ok, fine. Between the consciousness-altering effects of staying up all night at the bonfire, and the generally magickal atmosphere at these events, perhaps one should be willing to let one's perception of reality warp a bit around the edges without complaint.

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