Sunday, September 25, 2005

Tickle me.. Surprised.

Seems like I did something right with my latest published piece. Response to Halfway Down The Hole has been wonderful, from friends and relatives emailing their praise and pleasant surprise, to a few random people emailing their positive comments.

Also, a young guy from Sicily is in the process of translating the story to Italian for publication in as-yet-unconfirmed book of short stories from "young writers and young translators." Very nice guy.

And today I got an email from an editor at an English language literary journal in India (!) who wants to reprint the story in the December issue of the Taj Mahal Review.

Thanks everybody! And specifically the smart and funny folks at pboz for giving me a chance to share my work.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Little We Can Do

The thousands of displaced people, the victims of Hurricane Katrina and an incompetent government, need our continued support. Many people donated money in the aftermath of the storm and I think that is a wonderful sign of support from the American people.

I saw it myself in my non-profit organization, we raised millions in a couple of days and hopefully helped them get food and water and proper living conditions. But money isn't everything. And money can't comfort a bored child or teenager far from home and his friends. In those times, a book can be the most compassionate and close friend a person can have.

If you can, please go visit these two Amazon Wish List's and purchase a book or a game that will go to a displaced child. There's a lot of used books available to purchase and a lot of board games that could help these kids pass the time and make friends. I think it's a wonderful idea and I'm proud to share it with all of you.



Mailing Address for Donations:

Josh Causey Parkview Baptist Church

11795 Jefferson Highway

Baton Rouge, LA 70816

(And please, spread the word on your sites and to your friends.)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

So Close!

A week (edit. oops. wishful thinking) away from Serenity's release and I couldn't be more excited!

The advance word (by those priviliged few) has been great and even if it wasn't, I'd be excited. I'm sure the film will be incredible partly because of Joss Whedon's track record and the brilliant first season of the show, Firefly.

But beyond all that, Serenity is already a sucess in my opinion, not because of future projects, but because it was an abused and neglected TV show. Surprisingly brilliant and powerful in a small number of episodes. After it went off the air, like many disenfrancished science fiction shows, the fanbase rose up with letters and emails and petitions to no avail. But the creator of the show - and the cast - were so passionate about it, were so pissed about its fate, they took action in their hands. Whedon pleaded with a major studio to give his show a second try, not with another season on another network, but a major movie.

It's going to be a strange release. The fans of the show will definitely come see it. But Firefly was a niche show that never garnered a wide audience. I've seen a few commercials on TV, all that look very good, but I'm sure people who hear about this movie based on a TV show will pause and say, "Well, I didn't see the show, how am going to understand the movie?" From what I've read, that is not going to be a problem. The show's backstory will be told through an ambitious opener that will probably rival the first few minutes of The Lord of the Rings.

I only hope that some adventorous moviegoers will take a chance on this film. I'm positive that it will be miles above and beyond most movies these days in terms of plot, character, and, especially, dialouge. Just don't mind the Chinese.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I Don't Miss It

Really, I don't.

I don't miss the coughing and the smell and the tip-toeing around other people. I don't miss the lost cash, the exposure to the hot sun, and the looks of disgust on the faces of passerbys. I don't even miss the breaks from reality that I cherished in the past.

It's been two months (give or take a week). I think I offically quit smoking.

I say, "I think," because I can't read the future and I don't know anything (about anything) for sure. But, this looks pretty legit. I've quit before, once, but was smoking the occasional cigarette once or twice a week. This time, I haven't touched one and barely have cravings. I miss it occasionally, the social aspect, the extra something-to-do while walking the dog, the afterhours celebration with some alcohol.

I never considered myself a real "smoker." Sure, I smoked for five years, put packs daily or cartons weekly, but I never fully embraced the smoker-culture. Yes, I smoked indoors, yes, I had ashtrays all over my room, and yes, I loved smoking. I wasn't one of those "uch, i hate this" types, I enjoyed myself with it. A nice, slow, smoke after a good meal. A quiet lonesome smoker listening to a quiet sad song. (I just had a pang of pain and memory, btw.) But, I never liked the smell or the aftereffects. I never smoked near non-smokers. I was very aware of my naccous, abrasive, habit and how disruptive it can be to the enviroment.

Now, as a former smoker, I have been known to occasionally rail against smokers. At a show a couple weeks ago, I was sandwiched between two smokers. I felt ill and annoyed. There was almost some shoving and fighting, but I calmed myself and moved aside. And yet I encourage smokers to "do their thing" near me. It doesn't bother me if it's one person being courteous. This weekend I'll be in a indoor heavy smoke-filled enviroment; I don't know how I'll react.

When people ask me why I quit, I can't really say. My girlfriend had something to do with it. My new job had something to do with it. The damnable heat of a Florida summer definitely had something to do with it. But it was more of a coming-of-age decision. It had been building forawhile. When people would heckle me for smoking, I'd jokingly say, "I'm quitting tomorrow." Joke's on me: It came true.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


New albums galore at the Illegal Home That Elad Built. Lyrics enclosed. One day soon, hopefully, I'll figure out how to access my free web space, maybe put up some mp3's for fun and listening enjoyment. In the meantime, lyrics will have to do:

Franz Ferdinand - "The Fallen"

Some say you're trouble, boy
Just because you like to destroy
All the things that bring the idiots joy
Well, what's wrong with a little destruction?

And the Kunst won't talk to you
Because you kissed St Rollox Adieu
Because you robbed a supermarket or two
Well, who gives a damn about the prophets of Tesco?

Did I see you in a limousine
Flinging out the fish and the unleavened
Turn the rich into wine
Walk on the mean
For the fallen walk among us
Walk among us
Never judge us
Yeah we're all...

Up now and get 'em, boy
Up now and get 'em, boy
Drink to the devil and death at the doctors

Did I see you in a limousine
Flinging out the fish and the unleavened
Five thousand users fed today
As you feed us
Won't you lead us
To be blessed

So we stole and drank Champagne
On the seventh seal you said you never feel pain
"I never feel pain, won't you hit me again?"
"I need a bit of black and blue to be a rotation"

In my blood I feel the bubbles burst
There was a flash of fist, an eyebrow burst
You've a lazy laugh and a red white shirt
I fell to the floor fainting at the sight of blood

Did I see you in a limousine
Flinging out the fish and the unleavened
Turn the rich into wine
Walk on the mean
Be they Magdalene or virgin you've already been
You've already been and we've already seen
That the fallen are the virtuous among us
Walk among us
Never judge us to be blessed

So I'm sorry if I ever resisted
I never had a doubt you ever existed
I only have a problem when people insist on
Taking their hate and placing it on your name

Some say you're trouble, boy
Just because you like to destroy
You are the word, the word is 'destroy'
I break this bottle and think of you fondly

Did I see you in a limousine
Flinging out the fish and the unleavened
To the whore in a hostel
Or the scum of a scheme
Turn the rich into wine
Walk on the mean
It's not a jag in the arm
It's a nail in the beam
On this barren Earth
You scatter your seed
Be they Magdalene or virgin
You've already been
Yeah, you've already been
We've already seen
That the fallen are the virtuous among us
Walk among us
If you judge us
We're all damned

Monday, September 12, 2005

Wayyyyyy Down In The Hole

(title for all The Wire fans out there.)

My latest published story, "Halfway Down The Hole" is up today at pindeldyboz.

Read it if you'd like. It's short.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

"Turn it on, turn up the volume, and someone is talking to you."

Wonderful article about radio during Katrina's aftermath.

Great read. Speaks for itself so I'll be brief.

Before all this, I laughed at hurricanes. Last year, all these storms sliced at me like some kind of screaming puppy, all bark, no bite. I spent one playing trivia with a group of friend in a stranger's nice house, another holed up in a tiny apartment with my mom and my girlfriend watching endless news coverage, and this last one up to ankles in flooding.

But Katrina was different. Katrina was angry. Katrina slapped the shit out of South Florida as a one or a two. The day after it made its first landfall, I went up to Broward county and saw post-war images. Buildings with broken roofs, fields of trees askew or ripped. Debris everywhere.

As a category 2 storm, Katrina seemed to this amateur meteorologist like a cat 2 storm with a vegengence, wind speeds up on the higher end of the spectrum with more pressure or whatever. that is a climate change/global warming right there! a dangerous extreme. the scale is too conservative and I think even when Katrina hit New Orleans it was stronger than their reporting. There's no doubt: This is the biggest natural disaster in US history.

So. When we criticize Bush and FEMA, we should keep that in mind.