Thursday, October 28, 2010

when good dogs die...

they'll remember this and find us

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

something to cling to at 7 AM

You look out the window and think, wow it's dark, there must be something wrong with the clock
and then it sweeps over you that it's nearly November and the clock is your reality check.
It really is 7 AM here in Yankee land, and it really is that dark.

However, in seven weeks, give or take (so Im fudging a little. So sue me) the days will be getting longer again. And once we hit the high double hurdle of Christmas and New Year's,  the slide into winter, true winter begins, and the days are still getting longer. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book stuff, good and ugly

Just picked up a copy of WS Merwin's "The Shadow of Sirius"  and it blew me away.  an odd thing, though;  I got through the first five or six very lyrical pieces, and had to stop.  Since then I've been carrying it around like a partially opened treasure, almost afraid to keep going.  It's become my Linus blanket of books.  I need it near me, but not to read. Not yet. 

The ugly is Barnes and Noble, a fairly sturdy candidate in the book chains for their attention to poetry--it's been six months or so since I was there last, and the poetry section which once stretched half the length of the store, now stretches three long bookcases, head  high.  No one bothers any longer to keep the books in order, and if you want, say, Kooser, you start at the first book and hunt until you find one. If any.   By next year, I said to the clerk, there won't be any.  He nodded and said, by next year, if that happens, I'm gone.

I think we're seeing a dark ages coming, one store at a time.  I always wondered what it would be like to be at the edge of a new Dark Age,  and it's not much fun.  It's all coming unglued, faster and faster.  Perhaps the computer will be our monks, our scribes,  storing information until such time as people can remember how to read again, how to turn the damn things on, how to use that information.  Im glad in a strange way to have seen that terribly sinster dark edge,  but even gladder I won't be around to watch what happens. 

Friday, October 22, 2010


Snow. Not a lot, lasted maybe ten minutes, but no matter how I tried to pretend it was pollen, (really BIG pollen) or hail...

(heading off to sulk under a warm blanket)

Friday, October 15, 2010

October picture

Almost home

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

the new bookstore

In the mall in Concord a new bookstore finally opened--however, it's Border's and they have a very limited range of books available.  It almost amounts to censorship but im not entirely sure who is censoring what or why...Im giving them the benefit of the doubt right now, because they havent been there long;  very few shelves in the open spaces, for one thing.  Lots of self help books, history, biography.  No Robert Parker, John P. MacDonald, Lawrence Block, John Irving or Terry Pratchett. Very few women-as-detective series.  And incredibly, Jane Eyre has been relegated to the mystery/detective shelf.  No poetry, not even Shakespeare or Frost. 
It comes across as a Nicholas Sparks/Oprah type store, easy reads,  nothing too difficult.  If you are over 7 you are labeled an indepent reader, even if you are  now reading the final Harry Potter.

This Independent Reader fwowed up and left.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Radio Memories

I am listening to a recording by Tom Rush, "Circle Game".  Hearing this I am once again 19, it's late, really late at night,  and WBZ in Boston is on the radio.  Dick Summer has the late night slot, and he has the privilege of playing whatever he wants.  Most records in those days, the mid sixties, were 3 minutes long, more or less.  This one was endless, and he said, you'll hardly notice how long it is.  He was right.
He introduced us to Tom Rush, Phil Ochs, and Jim Croce and a lot of other music that was just outisde the rim of what passed for "popular".   

Late night radio was amazing, back then.  Every night from 10 to 11 Jean Shepherd would hold forth from WOR in NY, only available on AM, and I was willing to endure the fade in fade out static,  just to hear him.  He played bizarre music,  expounded on everything from car dealers to tornadoes. He was never dull.  He also told the story then that eventually became "A Christmas Memory", now shown every Christmas, with Himself doing the narration. 

Radio was live, and the disc jockeys were more than rip and read music players. They talked about the records, did background, and talked to each other.  Not long ago I happened across Dick Summer's blog, in which he reminisces about those very days.  So it wasnt magic just for me.  That makes it even more special.