Saturday, December 31, 2005

happy new year!

i have to say the number 6 makes me nervous, although i feel it's more bland than threatening. it lacks the personality and the conviction of 5. but then there's the whole 666 thing.

more photos

first winter carnival ice palace
St. Paul, MN

Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN

Minnehaha Falls

Friday, December 30, 2005

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

what blog?

i know i've been slacking in the blog department. i have a revision i hope to get in the mail after the first of the year, but here are a couple of things i found entertaining today:

the onion's
least essential albums of 2005

M.J. Rose has a new vidlit out for THE DELILAH COMPLEX. It's probably one of the coolest book videos i've seen to date.


read an excerpt

"The second in the series starring sex therapist Morgan Snow is a big leap forward from 2004's THE HALO EFFECT, mostly because of the social underpinnings about the psychology of female sexuality and why it's so unbelievably difficult to accept that women can desire and demand pleasure. But this is, of course, a suspense novel, and one that's awfully hard to stop reading with some unexpected twists to close things out."
-Recommended by Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

freezin' my coax off

No internet for two days. I've been told it was because of the recent sub-zero temps. Makes the lines brittle and they crack and snap. The internet reminds me of the old days of telephone service. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. *shrug* A gazillion people spend their days patching and duct-taping. Lines are strung all over the outside of my house, and don't even look in the basement. We have connectors and breakers and splitters and cable snaking across the floor. If you were to stagger around in the dark and get tangled up in all those miles of coaxial, you'd never make it out alive. How can something so high tech be so low tech?

I also wanted to share this lovely christmas poem someone wrote for me:

"twas the nite fore krimus an all thru the cabin
not a sole was a sturin
only granny a blabbin

we hunged up our boots by the chimley with care
daddies got melted now hes mad as a bare

the yungins were tied up snug in thare beds
wile dreems of beef jerkie danced round in thare heads

i couldnt sleep so i sat in the chair
hounds started barkin they was sumthin out thare

i run to the window to see fer myself
shore nuff it were santie his mules an a alf

he stopped out in front with them mules in a prance
i got so excited i messed up my pants

he reeched in that wagan an tossed me a toy
krismus is spacial it shore is a joy"

Saturday, December 17, 2005

man with a movie camera

christmas gift ideas

about half the time i come up with some real duds. today i was trying to recall gifts that were actually hits. man with a movie camera is always a good one. this is the most beautiful and amazing film, made in the late twenties by Dziga Vertov. there is nothing i can say that will do it justice or come close to describing it. man with a movie camera really defies description. if you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so. it puts you in the center of 1920s Russia. you are there.

from facets:

Dziga Vertov's masterpiece is an application of "life as it is lived." It makes the cameraman the hero, and is one of the most dynamic experiments with montage; the film also uses trick photography, animation, slow motion and speeded-up shots. "A study in film truth on an almost philosophical level. It does deliberately what others try hard to avoid--destroys its own illusions, in the hope that reality will emerge from the process not as a creature of screen illusion but as a liberated spirit" (Films and Filming). Silent.

customer review from amazon:

Vertov's _Man with a Movie Camera_ is not only the hallmark of Russian Constructivist film but one of the greatest films ever made, no hyperbole intended. Vertov's main premise was to create a new city, an Utopian ideal, through montage and editing. The scenes in the film are taken from footage of the three Russian cities of Kiev, Moscow and Odessa.
Unlike many of the other reviewers, I would have to suggest watching the film with the sound off (at least once.) The music, although originally composed by Vertov, has been adapted more recently by the Alloy Orchestra, and can have the tendency to be a distraction. Indeed, Vertov stated that film should be a medium that stands alone, not muddled by the addition of psychology, romance, or music. He placed tremendous value on the camera's ability to distill truth from visual "garbage," with what he termed "Kino-Eye" or "Truth-Eye."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

the pogues, part 2

this is a great documentary on Shane MacGowan, lead singer and songwriter of the pogues. it's heartbreaking, but also strangely uplifting -- something that took me a second viewing to really understand. you may be able to rent it from netflix. i bought a copy through amazon last year.

Editorial Reviews

As any Pogues fan could've told you, The Shane MacGowan Story was destined to be funny, sad, uplifting, depressing, and utterly irresistible. By the time this engaging documentary was produced in 2000, MacGowan--former Pogues frontman, notorious drinker, and one of the greatest songwriters of his generation--was still the unrepentant alcoholic who caused his former bandmates so much worry. They loved him then and love him still (bandmate Philip Chevron speaks most eloquently of their history), and for all his toothless cackling and constant stupor, MacGowan is seen here as an amiable Irish pub-crawler, coherent in thought if not always in speech, still making music (with his latter-day band, the Popes), and obviously devoted to his wife, Victoria Clarke, an enabling saint whose love for MacGowan is joyfully unconditional. Archival clips, video excerpts, and interviews with MacGowan's friends and family complete this comprehensive chronicle, making it an essential addition to any punk-'n-Pogues library. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description:
This unflinching, music-driven documentary provides the first real insight into the background and career of this legendary Irish artist who, as lead singer and songwriter for the Pogues, became a worldwide punk icon. The film includes contemporary interviews with his family, fellow musicians like Nick Cave, his longtime partner Victoria and direct one-on-one sessions with Shane himself. These are interwoven with performance material stretching back to Shane's earliest work, along with fly-on-the-wall footage from both London and Ireland. Includes performances/videos of the songs: "Paddy Public Enemy No.1", "If I Should Fall From Grace With God", "Infatuation", "Gabrielle", and more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Jeff's novel-enhancing products

if you haven't been reading the write thing featuring JNEP, you are missing out on some of the funniest stuff in blogland.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

the pogues fairytale of new york to be re-released

Fairytale of New York re-released for 2005

The most famous single by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl is to be re-released on December 19, 2005. Originally released in 1987, the song reached number two in the UK Christmas charts.

The re-release date was chosen to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the tragic death of Kirsty MacColl, who duets with Shane MacGowan on the track.

Proceeds from the re-release will be donated to the Justice For Kirsty Campaign, which is petitioning the Mexican government to more thoroughly investigate the circumstances of Kirsty's death, and the homeless charity Crisis At Christmas.

The formats will be as follows:

7" - Fairytale / Battle March Medley
CD - Fairytale / Instrumental Singalong
DVD - Fairytale / Fairytale Video / TOTP performance
There will also be two versions exclusively available only via Internet download. The first, featuring Kate Melua, will be available exclusively from iTunes music store from December 19, 2005. The second, a live performance at Brixton in 2001, will be available from all good online retailers and is available for pre-order from (non-UK residents can use the Card option to purchase).

read more about it here: the pogues

how did i not know about this? i was looking up my favorite christmas song and found out it's being re-released in just a few days! woo-hoo!! And a new documentary about the Pogues will be airing december 19 on BBC. how to get a to get a copy...


It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They've got cars big as bars
They've got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It's no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing "Galway Bay"
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you

copyright 1988 Shane MacGowan & Jem Finer

Monday, December 12, 2005



1/2 cup vodka
1 - 3 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
1 teaspoon cardamom

At least twenty-four hours before serving, put above ingredients in container with lid. Shake well, then shake occasionally throughout day.

2 liters of wine. Sangria works well, but any sweet, fruity wine will do.
1/2 cup sugar (more or less, to taste)
Vodka mixture, with cloves and cinnamon sticks strained out.

Put everything in a large pan. Heat well, but don't boil.

Serve with raisins and sliced almonds. These should be put in individual cups before adding about 1/2 cup hot liquid.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

threads of malice

Time for another book tour!

By Tamara Siler Jones

Published as a Bantam Spectra Mass Market Original on November 1, 2005

A blend of historical mystery and paranormal fantasy, Tamara Siler Jones delivers a fast-paced, chilling story with THREADS OF MALICE. Here, in her second Dubric Byerly Mystery, a vicious killer stalks the quiet towns of the northern reach, kidnapping and murdering boys. With a score dead and two more missing, can Dubric and his team find the killer before he strikes again? A twisted murderer may not be all Dubric is looking for...or the only evil that he will find.

Tamara Siler Jones lives in Iowa with her family. An avid mystery reader, this is her second novel, continuing the series that began with Ghost in the Snow, and its main sleuth Dubric Byerly.

In this relentlessly gripping thriller, Compton Crook Award winner Tamara Siler Jones weaves together her unique blend of fantasy, forensics and suspense to create a world terrorized by a killer out of our darkest nightmares. Now one man must follow a trail of savaged victims to save an innocent life hanging by the slimmest of hopes...

One by one, young men in the kingdom's outer reaches are vanishing into the dark. So far, two bodies have washed up on the local riverbank. But Dubric Byerly, head of security at Castle Faldorrah, soon realizes there are countless more victim...for it's his curse to be forever haunted by the ghosts of those whose deaths demand justice.

The latest to vanish is Braoin, a seventeen-year-old painter whose mother came to Dubric's aid when he most needed it. All Dubric knows is that the boy is still alive. But time is running out, and it isn't only Braoin's life hanging in the balance. If Dubric can't untangle the twisted web of clues and lies and find his way to the killer, one of his own pages will be the next to die....

tamara's website

on the stereo

the clean

from AMG:

While Split Enz came first and hit bigger worldwide, one could argue that there would be no New Zealand rock scene as it is known today if it weren't for the Clean; the sainted Flying Nun label was formed to put out their debut single, their willingness to go the D.I.Y. route in recording their early material set the standard for any number of bands (Kiwi and otherwise), and their playful yet aggressive mixture of pop hooks, jagged guitar lines, neo-Velvets minimalism, and edgy wit paved the way for the Bats, the Chills, the Verlaines, the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience, and a handful of other bands who helped New Zealand develop its own musical identity for the first time. Despite their importance and longevity, the Clean have never been especially well-served on record in the United States; their important early singles and EPs received little circulation in America, and their post-reunion albums have been only sporadically available, thanks to the collapse of several indie labels. Anthology isn't the perfect remedy to this situation, but it comes close; it's a superb overview of the Clean's career, with the classic Boodle Boodle Boodle and Great Sounds EPs included in their entirety on disc one (along with several crucial singles and outtakes), while disc two skims off the cream of the later albums Vehicle, Modern Rock, and Unknown Country (four outtakes from the Modern Rock sessions are thrown in for good measure). A thoroughly enjoyable introduction to an important and influential band, Anthology will also fill in plenty of gaps in the collections of American fans; anyone with more than a passing interest in the Clean will find plenty to revel in here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

book video for pale immortal

link removed until the big video launch in january.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

light pillars

everybody is talking about the light pillars seen here last night. also called false aurora. they form when city lights reflect off ice crystals in the air.



i've really been lazy and sluggish when it comes to adding blog links to my template. blame it on the holidays. blame it on this revision i hope to get done before christmas. blame it on the cold, dark days of winter that make me drop into hibernation mode -- which means moving and thinking much more slowly. but anyhow, i have not been getting new links up the way i should. so if you'd like me to link to your blog, please drop me an email -- or reply here -- and i will link away!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

15 Book Things Meme

kelly at words of a writer tagged me for a book thingy.

this was fun, but i couldn't come up with 15!

Hardcovers: I'm not crazy about hardcovers. They are too big and heavy. The latest Elizabeth George book is like a Bible. It really is uncomfortable to read. You almost need a bookstand for it. it's true.

Trade paperbacks: I like trade paperbacks. I like the way they feel and look. They bend and are easy to read. Big print with a nice space between the lines. I even think they look nice when the edges get ratty. Like old jeans.

Library books: Not crazy about library books if they seem particularly and recently read by too many people. Kinda grosses me out. If they've decontaminated a long time, then they're okay. A nurse once told me germs can live months trapped in a library book. Is that true? That seems like one of those stories nurses sometimes tell. Ahem. Like the guy on the motorcycle who gets in a wreck and ends up in the emergency room with a cucumber taped to his inner thigh.

Old books: But I like old books with yellow pages and leather binding.

Books are heavy.

Books are hard to move.

I have an attic full of books that I will unpack if I ever find a permanent place to live.

Since I think I'm going to move, I don't want to put up book shelves. So I have piles of books that are now on the floor and on dressers, in closets and on the floor. And on the floor. Did I say on the floor? :D

I've been thinking a lot about creating a room that has rows of shelves down the middle, like a library.

I have a lot of books I wish I hadn't gotten rid of: and I have a lot I'd like to get rid of. But I'm afraid they will then turn into the ones I regret getting rid of.

anybody else want in on this?