Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Picasso in Luzern

Many years ago, in Luzern, Switzerland, I walked over a wooden foot bridge depicting a dance of death in its ceiling and soon after, arrived at my destination, a Picasso House. There were about 15 prime Picassos on two small floors, and the only other tourists were a group of camera-wielding Japanese. For each painting, each Japanese tourist would photograph all of the others standing by the painting. You can imagine it took some time for them to work their way through the museum. If I'm not mistaken I was saving money by staying in a youth hostel in Zug, forty minutes away by train, and reading V by Thomas Pynchon. This was in the fall of 1989, and soon after, the Berlin Wall would fall.

As the French would say, if they were to say it, "La vie est tres dur, mais il y a toujours des Japonais."

(On March 8, 2014, when I searched online, I could not easily find the house I visited; rather, it appears there is a much larger museum that holds some of Picasso's art, but I'm not sure if these would have been the same paintings that were once literally housed in a house.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Birthday!

If it is in fact your birthday.

Otherwise, it's just Monday morning, but cheer up! Things could be a whole lot worse: for you, for me, for your city, my state, your region, my country, or our planet. Yes, indeed.

So get your ass (figurative) offline and punch out some writing! I need 500 words from all y'all by 5 p.m. Do the best you can, and I'll throw in a free proofread, bottom to top, in search of consistent hyphens, dashes, apostrophes, and the magical punctuation of your choice.

Get on it, gentlefolk.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Interview with a Book Publisher

My interview with Olga Gardner Galvin of ENC Press is available here:


ENC Press publishes satiric novels; I'm thinking there could be a writership among my meager readership although I'd discourage any of you from thinking this blog could be the focus of your satire. All the same, I take a leap of faith in your wide grin when I say my mother found the interview interesting.

She did not, however, send me money for it, so I'm strongly considering a move to "monetize" the blog if I do not get selected in tonight's NBA draft. C'est vrai, mes amis, some men get sneaker deals from Nike and Adidas while others drive to Anderson, SC for sneaker deals at discount strip malls.

Live large, party people!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kerouac in Manhattan and a bit more woody

Philly Book Geek and fledgling novelist Greg Ippolito blogs on Jack Kerouac's posthumous voice-over of Woody Allen's Manhattan:


Greg, your drawing my attention to it is appreciated.

As for Whatever Works, Woody Allen's new film, Larry David playing the neurotic protagonist has caught my attention. (For past Woody substitutes, I'd say Kenneth Branaugh in Celebrity outperforms Will Ferrell in Melinda and Melinda.) The New York Times considers the new film mediocre at best, and the customer reviews under the article are mixed (see http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/19/movies/19whatever.html); however, Time Magazine's review of Whatever Works is decidedly positive (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1905522,00.html). I believe I read a longer version of the latter review in a print copy of the magazine.

I doubt Woody will be playing anytime soon in the Upstate, so send me an email if you catch the new one in northern territory.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Scrapple and Syrup

I honored my father's tastes today by preparing a delicacy he introduced to me many moons ago. It's best served in an aged, 6-bedroom University City house, and it helps if you are floating through the 1970s with the honorable sunbather Sam Q. Dog, tools for leather working, a dark room for photography, king-sized waterbed, a punished crayfish, and housemates including Haitian refugees and a stained-glass expert with a huge stack of early Marvel and DC comic books in well-read condition. (If you have all of those ingredients you don't need a lava lamp, but your knowledge of the zodiac could prove relevant.) Of course, if you are really in the mood for scrapple topped with maple syrup I recommend the Philadelphia brand I grew up with as opposed to the Neese's I settled for today in South Carolina.

Anyway, happy Father's Day, planet people!

Here is a poignant short piece that honors the author's father in a different way:


The author, Michael Antman, also has a novel published at http://www.encpress.com.


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