Jan 28st Zelda's exercises

Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 17:30 By: Tom Swiss

First exercise: "Extrapolations". Given a set of objects (what I had in my bag: a pair of scissors, a Chicago Transit Authority card, a big glass marble, two green rubber bands, a set of plasticware, and a digital camera), describe the room from which all these things came.

the table by the window is covered with photos, torn magazine pages, x-acto knives and razor blades and a few different sizes of scissors
all scattered on a cutting board
a camera on top of a stack of prints
on the corner of the table a clear plastic clamshell salad container, dried French dressing crusting it and the white plastic knife and fork, soaked in to the c

Osaka it to me!

Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 09:50 By: Tom Swiss

Dear friends, family, and colleagues,

Well, I've been talking about it for a while, and the time has come to commit. I've gone and booked my tickets - I'll be heading to Osaka, Japan for the spring!

I will be leaving March 5th (yes, Trish and Nicole, I'll still be here for Picesfest 2007) and returning May 31st (yes, just in time to get my camping gear together and go off to the Free Spirit Festival two weeks later).

It is a little scary, and means borrowing some money for a while, but if I don't take advantage of the opportunity to do this while circumstances allow I will be kicking myself forever.

have a Load of Fun with Tom Swiss, February 2

Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 09:45 By: Tom Swiss

Will the poet/singer/songwriter see his shadow and be frightened back into his hole, signifying a long winter? Will he be stuck living the same day over and over again? Will Brigid, muse of the poets, visit him on this old Celtic holy day of Imbolc?

Probably not, but come find out at a night of music and poetry - A Load of Poetry, in fact, from the fine folks at PoetryInBaltimore.com, on Friday February 2nd, 8 pm, at:

Load of Fun Gallerie
120 W. North Avenue (in the Station North arts district)

featuring words and tunes by yours truly, Tom Swiss. Open mic follows.

"Tens of thousands" march on D.C. demanding withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 20:37 By: Tom Swiss
ABC News reports on today's Iraq war protest. They put attendance in the tens of thousands, and note that there were only about 40 counter-protestors. I've seen the number of pro-war protestors shrink at each of the three marches (pre-invasion, March 2006, and this one) that I've participated in; seems it's getting harder and harder for even the most stubborn Bush fan to believe in this war.

More details to come.

another fundable.org drive for a BrowserCam account

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 00:54 By: Tom Swiss

As I reported last year, BrowserCam
is a cool service that allows you to obtain screenshots of web sites in a number of different browsers, and even use VNC for live tests.

It is, however, on the spendy side - one day's access is
$24.95, or $499.95 for a year. But they are offering a special for a group purchase via Fundable.com: a group of 20 can get a year's access for $25 each. Way cool. Come join us!

Girl karate-kicks her way to freedom from kidnapper

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 23:51 By: Tom Swiss

ABC News reports on a ten-year-old girl who put her martial arts training to good use when an abductor threw her into the trunk of his car:

When the kidnapper stopped for gas, Marissa, who takes martial arts classes, kicked her way out of the trunk. She then walked into the store and calmly told the clerk that she had just escaped.

Marissa's instincts were right on, some observers say. Putting up a fight can call attention to an abduction, and that can make the difference between getting away and getting killed.

Zelda's Inferno, January 21

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 16:15 By: Tom Swiss

First exercise: "Block,Pillar, Slab, and Beam". write a poem in which you build or take apart something

I wasn't there when he put it up
Nor when it was taken down
But I imagine him happy putting it up, a hale man in his sixties putting up a swing set for his grandsons
Sinking thick steel tubes into the ground, angled brackets holding them together
A screwdriver, a wrench, pliers in his hands as he marked and filled space with the frame, hung the chains to make the function
(I think about how he picked out the location, sun and shade, trees and garden)

I think that frame was still up (swings and chains long gone) when I graduated college, my brother high school

Edgar Allan Poe's birthday visitor

Posted on: Sat, 01/20/2007 - 09:49 By: Tom Swiss

There are certainly things about Baltimore that I don't like: murder, heroin addiction, blocks of boarded-up houses. But any city where for 58 years, someone has come the grave of a writer to leave a mysterious tribute, well, can't be all bad.

When it became clear that the Poe Toaster had arrived, and placed a half-empty bottle of cognac and three red roses on Poe's grave, the crowd rushed to one entrance to get a glimpse.

Jan 14th Zelda's Inferno exercise

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 17:52 By: Tom Swiss

Sunday's Zelda's Inferno exercises:

1)"Texas hold 'em" with a "universe deck". A universe deck is a set of cards, each with a word. "Texas hold 'em" is a poker game where some card are shared in everyone's hand, and everyone also has their own individual "hole" cards. ("Hole" is probably not the right word, technically; sorry, I'm not a big-time card shark.) The exercise: use the dealt words in a poem.

shared words: spirit bite rumbling hot
hole: green floating melody

the green spirit of spring arises early
fooled by the hot January, robins and geese return months ahead of schedule

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