Tuesday, October 17, 2006
contributor copy of Otoliths issue two, part one arrived yesterday, via Lulu.com. a very friendly gesture on Mark Young's part to supply this hard stuff for an online publication. it's a nice range of work. two reasons exist why you might consider purchasing one of the books published by Mark under the Otolith imprint (or is it an aegis?), to wit: the work is good AND you support an effort to get the work out. see, the world is working on ways to free up, isn't that it? hadn't we ought to lend a hand?
Sunday, October 15, 2006
our trip to NYC, 2nd version, having lost the 1st to the evils of whatever the computer did (twasn't me, I swear). must give shout out to Bill Luoma's book, from The Figures, My Trip to New York, fine, skewed, earnest language. poetry, that is. yeah so lst version of this travelogue disappeared into the ether. such is writing, then you start again. see, Erin won tickets to the Digital Life conference in NYC. the odds may be greater NOT to win tickets, but it was an excuse to go somewhere. and we had Erin do the planning, just to go all parental upside him, what can be better than? I think it was his inspiration to bust down to Beth's mother's place in Jersey, where we could doss, and the next day take the train to the city. this all sounded green. redder aspects developed, insofar as Erin needed to attend Mock Trial class friday afternoon. and a last minute auto repair necessitated our leaving this area at 5:00, on a friday afternoon, at the beginning of a perfect weekend. begorrah! others, I'm guessing 17,003,001 people, thought they'd do something similar. so it was a slow haul on the Mass Pike and into Connecticut. leisurely dinner in Sturbridge. we reached Lakewood after midnight. we worked out that a train from Pt Pleasant could reach NYC properly and we made the train with 3 minutes to spare. Beth's mother came along. lovely trip. the pretty Jersey Shore and the marshes of NJ. it's funny how the delicate ecological niche of the marshes is zackly where is plunked the hydroelectric turbines and gas tanks of our national energy pastime. as I partake of that jolt, I can't complain, but it is an odd contrast. you see a lone fisherman in a boat, or dabbling ducks, in sight of intimations of massive power, incorporated. and you can believe there are gangland plantings here and there. fascinating. also to recall the evocations of Mark Helperin's Winter Tale, tho its whimsies paled on 2nd read. we reached Penn Station all comfy and right, then came out to the broad city where, according to Erin's best info, a shuttle bus would shuffle us to the Javits Center. we saw nothing of the kind. I betook me to the informational window down below, where I was pitilessly informed that no such shuttle was known about, and that no buses are down here. naught that I could say but, first removing the straw from my mouth, I shore thank you kindly ma'am. armed with that info, I returned to the street. there I enguired of some doormen, knowing full well that they must know all perinent infos. neither doorman knew of any shuttle buses but they'd heard of the Javits Center, even to the point of being able to direct an out of towner. so we walked the 6 blocks. this is only the 2nd time I'd been in NYC. the Javits Centre was your usual airy enormous urban show off place, and as such, right in my wheelhouse. I love such spaces. it was pretty crammed with people and confusion. we first of all had to refuel, especially the teenager in our midst. at the table next to where we ate sat a tableful of young women wearing short plaid skirts. took a few grinds of the gears before I realized that they were part of the show. we entered this show past an irritable gatekeeper who forthrightly advised exiters that they were using enterer's space. the tractor beam caught Erin immediately, and he disappeared into the crowd, tho he waited long enough to hear where we would meet eventually. the rest of us tepidly tiptoed in. it was loud as a throb, music and crowd noise. I was immediately overwhelmed, and like the rest, tired as tired (lack of sleep the night before). it was all just a trade show. as such, it really lacked. it mostly preyed on those wishing to be informed, or who wanted to buy something right away. the young women in plaid were a counter revolution. as were the 3rd echelon girl group (I think I'd heard their name before) who sat charmingly (or beseechingly) at one booth and signed autographs. they almost exuded glamour. I mean it wasn't like meeting Kevin Federline's wife but people seemed to be queuing up for something. there was a Miss Napster in attendence, and some other merchant had young women with purple hair performing something on the half hour, tho I never witnessed it. mostly us older generation just sat and rested our weary. several overheard conversations rested upon how the Mets and Cards played close friday then suddenly the Mets handed the game over. ten years ago, this show would have attracted 99% techo-geeks. now, it was a full cross section. 3/4 of the space was given over to gaming. the rest was for people into pictures, movies, phones, whatever. Microsoft, and supposedly so was Vista, was there but Macroapple wasn't. I was struck how toothsome a display of sleek colourful phones was. not for me, because I hardy do phones and aint looking for new ways to spend money, not to say music downloads and all the other etc aint got appeal. people looked and drooled. one site had karaoke. I saw 3 white guys doing "Insane in the Membrane", which seems like the dumbest of singalongs. "you must be insane / aint got no brain". rap, from my uncultured viewpoint, possesses a rhythm and touch that gets murdered by amateurs. what got me was seeing the man doing the boards for the performance singing along with the 3 guys. everybody now, "insane in the membrane / insane in the brain..." I also watched the tail end of a Dance Dance Revolution contest. a monitor flashes where to place your feet and you try to keep up. my only swag came from Verizon, a keychain with light and 2 cds with games. finally, we got Erin out, and headed for dinner. we found a shuttle bus, which dropped us at Penn Station. next door to Stage Door Deli was Tir na nOg, ah, land of the young. an Arsh pub. well, Arsh enough. I told the hostess a party of 4. she said 15 minutes. a waitress immediately came along and whisked Erin away (Beth and her mother trailed us). I looked at the hostess then followed. so we had a leisurely dinner. a couple of British pints under the belt. I knew Shanna Compton and Mike Magee were reading at the Bowery Poetry Club that day, and if I could have gotten there, I woulda. New York, New York!!! the bit about finding out where your train leaves 10 minutes before it leaves is nervous making, tho common. Beth asked an information person, who troubled to look up and tell us, before it was even posted on the board, which track we could find our train at. seemed like secret info. so we entrained and made it home. tra la. I love trains. my trip to Cambridge passes Walden Pond, and that thrills me every time. now today, we made it home.