Saturday, January 24, 2015

Okay ... fine.

I started a new blog.  It's called The Year of Magical Writing.  Click here.

I know.  It's pathetic, right?
A little bit.  Can we come?
Of course you can.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

This Whole Fire and Ice Business

Can you believe that I haven't posted anything for three weeks and yet two hundred plus people have stopped in just this morning to see what is up?  Me neither.  Although I appreciate it.  I really do.

Remember that old Bob Frost poem about how the earth was going to end?  Or, in this case, since poetry is a house built on a metaphorical foundation, The Year of Magical Painting?  God knows I tried fire.

Click on December 2013 in the archives, roll down to the post titled "Old and Cold" and read it.  Then read "The Greek Chorus Weighs In."  Then "Golden Years."  Then, finally, the last post of 2013, titled "Final Scene."  The one that closes with the Stones singing Sweet Virginia.

That was me ending with fire.

I thought it was powerful.
I did too.  I don't know why it didn't stick.
You're a man with things to say.

Rereading it all, I was particularly moved by the last line of "Golden Years" -- my homage to the Peter McManus Cafe.  Is it homage?  My French is rusty.  It's either homage or fromage; whichever isn't the cheese.

Anyway, the line went "Which is both life and sad."

The preceding two lines, if you're the sort of person who needs some context but refuses to actually click on the God-damned archives and receive not just context but the actual thing, straight from the forehead of Zeus, went like this: "But it's not quite the same.  And it's never going to be."

Here.  This may be easier for you ...

But it's not quite the same.  And it's never going to be.
Which is both life and sad.

Now click on January of 2014, scroll to the bottom and read the very first post of the new year.  Which is me "Coming To."  And yet, dear reader, the truth is I think I should have stayed in bed with Suzanne.  I don't think my heart's been in it the way it used to be.

Going forward, if I have something to say I'm going to post it on Medium.  When I do I'll announce  something on Twitter.  I'd insert one of those "follow me on Twitter @GVRaymond" buttons here, but that seems so tawdry.

Instead I'll grab a line from an old friend ...

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.  I am leaving now.  Goodbye.

And, of course, this ...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Denise Huxtable weighs in

Hmmm.  This from Lisa Bonet via Twitter ...


I don't really know how to spell brreeeerrnnnnggg.  It's ano-mana-pia, which is a) always difficult, b) something I also don't know how to spell, and c) sounds alarming like automatic peeing.  Which is something, barring technical breakthroughs, that's better left on the manual setting.

This should just about max-out the Bill Cosby stuff, barring more shit.

Lewis Wins

What a lot of people may not remember is that Lewis Hamilton should already be a two-time World Champion, except that he got caught in the gravel while trying to get into the pits in China and Kimi Raikkonen won the title by a point or two.  I think that's how it worked -- it was a long time ago.

Anyway, all that's now moot.  Hamilton, on whom I'm forcing myself to warm as practice for embracing Sebastian Vettel's arrival at Ferrari, blew Nico Rosberg up in Abu Dhabi and walked home for the win.  Which is fine.  Lewis used to be a lot more annoying than he is now that he's grown up a bit.  Less of a whinger these days.  In fact, he's quite a nice young man by most accounts.  Plus, he dates Nicole Schwarzenegger, or somebody, and she's pretty easy on the eyes.

And let's be real:  When push came to shove, Lewis was substantively faster than Nico on a regular basis during the races, even though Nico out-qualified him over the course of the year.

Here he is carving donuts NASCAR-style in the Abu Dhabi tarmac ...

In Rosberg's defense, his engine suffered a significant malfunction and he spent the second half of the race 160 horse-power down on everybody else.  Which, if you drive a small- to mid-sized car, is like your total engine.  Thus his 14th place finish.  Not that it mattered -- Hamilton would have won the Championship even if he'd come in second behind Rosberg, and nobody else has really been in a position to challenge the Silver Arrows all year, barring mechanical issues.  So there you are.

Me?  I'm a Mercedes guy.  I like Toto Wolff, who runs the Mercedes team.  Great name.  Interestingly, Wolff's wife, Susie, drives for Williams.  I bet there's all kinds of shit they can't tell each other over dinner.

For Nico?  Hey, there's always next year.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Perfect Crime?

Crikeys!  How many women could Bill Cosby have possibly allegedly [the Year of Magical Painting legal department told me to put "allegedly" in virtually ever sentence] raped?  If the allegations are true, he must have had been a major player in the roofies market in the 80s.

Obviously, the saddest part about sexual assault is the human suffering.  The second saddest part is that it sometimes takes years for the victims to come to grips with the experience enough to take action against the perpetrator.  In Mr. Cosby's alleged case(s), this was exacerbated by his fame and position in American culture.  In too many cases, this delay results in the perpetrator's immunity from prosecution.

If any good can come out of the Cosby business it would be a rethinking of the statute of limitations on sex crimes.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pulp Fiction

Have you entered the NYTimes pulp fiction writing contest?   Tomorrow is the deadline.  My entry, submitted earlier this week, goes like this:

They found me with a whiskey in my hand -- the third of what I had hoped would be many -- in a shack by a dock so far up what used to be the Amazon that the sun was a distant memory.

The man they sent wore a Panama hat, a linen suit and a scar that started where his ear should have been and ended near the corner of his mouth.  He carried a Smith & Wesson .38 and a letter that hit me fast and hard, like one of those elegant Sugar Ray Robinson combinations he sometimes threw off his back foot.  First a jab, then a shot to the ribs, then a flying left hook that would have taken my head off if I hadn't already been liquored up.

Three weeks later I was back in Brooklyn.

Three days after that a beautiful woman was dead.

It feels like a sure winner to me, although I've been wrong before.  Either way, there's no denying that first sentence is a thing of poetic beauty.  On the other hand, I have a bit of a twinge about the comma that sets off the Sugar Ray clause.  It might have flowed better without.  And you might argue that the whole second paragraph is trying a bit too hard.  But hey, what's done is done.

The prize?

Nothing, as near as I can tell.  So the steaks are high.  Likewise the french-fried potatoes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

And speaking of hunting ...

The Metskies are loaded for bear. They just signed this guy named Michael Cuddyer.  NL batting champ last year.  They gave up a number one draft pick and are giving the guy twenty-one Large for two years, but if ever a team needed somebody who could spend the season batting .320 or so it's the Mets.  Plus he and David Wright are tight as ticks.

I'm going to ignore the fact that he's 35 and he put up his big numbers at Mile High Stadium, or whatever they call the place they play baseball in Denver.  Now is the time for the Mets to step up to the plate, General Manager-wise.  And this would be that.

And my boy Jacob deGrom won the NL Rookie of the Year award.

Pitchers and catchers report in a little more than three months.  And that will include Matt Harvey, who we all hope will be the Tom Seaver of his generation.

As opposed to the Dwight Gooden?
Dwight had three or four great years.  I'd take that, I suppose.
Then he threw it all away.
Yes he did.  And that's a shame.
Yes it is.

Hey, let's think positive thoughts.  In the meantime we have the Knicks.

This is Matt Harvey.  Good Day!
Dude, that's Paul Harvey.
Still, it would be a cool thing for the PA announcer to say after every strike-out.

Remind me to tell you about the time I sat in his studio and watched him do his program.  What a nice man.

Hot, but not too hot

There is the assumption that Sardi's is the place.  Which it totally isn't.  Or Joe Allen.  Which it sort of is. In case there's a question, we're talking about after-hours Broadway places.  But there's another name that should be floating around on the radar, if only for the time being.  I refer, of course, to the Cafe Edison, which is destined to change from a historic dive frequented by some of Broadway's greatest to some stupid restaurant that, I feel certain, if only for the purposes of this post, will be stunningly mediocre.

Me?  I can't tell you the number of times I sat in the back with Joe Papp and Leonard Bernstein and a collection of fat old carpenters and musicians and stage hands, just shooting the breeze, drinking some of their excellent soup.  It was always hot, but not too hot.

That last part is, of course, not true.

The part about the soup?
No.  That part is true.  But the stuff about Joe and Lenny may, perhaps, exist only in my mind.

The last time I was there I got absolutely hammered with Michelle Williams and Emma Stone.  They were comparing notes on playing the lead in Cabaret (Williams on her way out and Stone on her way in) and I was having some of that excellent soup.  Later we all left together.  The less said the better.

That last part isn't true either, is it?
The part about the soup?
No.  The part about you leaving with two famous actresses.
No.  I think they've both got better things to do than hang out with me in what you might call a meaningful sense.
No doubt.
Hey, a man can dream.

If you want to read something good about the Edison, pop over to my boy Harbour's blog.  Click here for the appropriate post.

I enjoy his work a great deal. 
Me too.
Is it true that he's a terrible shot?
Let me put it this way:  When he takes aim the beagles flee.
Yes it is.  But that said, my favorite part of hunting is tramping around in the great outdoors.  Smoking a cigar.  Reflecting on fractal theory, which abounds in the woodlands.  Push comes to shove, I don't really like it that much when I shoot the damned things.
Plus you have to skin them.
Tell me about it.  What a mess.  And they're looking at you the whole time.

All that said, it may be too late for the Edison.  But there's a link on Harbour's blog post where you can click through to to and voice your displeasure.  And that counts for something.  Me?  I voted twice; once for me and once for Lenny.

In closing, let me say I'm going to miss that place.  Particularly the soup.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Eighteen Feet!

I'm sitting on my sofa staring at the opposite wall of the living room. I figure it's about 18 feet away. The idea of a king cobra that long completely freaks me out.

King Cobra vs. Olive Water Snake:

Update:  it annoys me that the video doesn't pop up and all I, meaning you, get is a U-Tube address.

I can't wait to get my computer back.