Friday, October 30, 2009

Noticeable Serendipity: Roseanne Cash Two Times

Now I realize that authors and artists sometimes have a product to pimp, or even two, so things that at first seem highly coincidental are really not so spectacular. But Roseanne Cash isn't exactly a "celeb ubiquite" (that's faux french), so when she popped up on my not-so-mainstream mass media twice last night in the space of an hour and a quarter, I noticed. First she was on public radio's World Cafe on my drive home about 9:20 with a song ("Sea of Heartbreak" from her new record. I found it curious that Bruce Springsteen was singing the harmony (I previously liked the harmony she did with her dad on "September When it Comes", but she won't be doing that anymore as The Man In Black is no longer among the living; at least until technology can repro his voice, say, 2021?).

Then I flipped to Steve Colbert at 10:30 and he was soon disparaging Bruce Springsteen's "The River" ( ) as a good candidate for use as a torture song at our Guantanamo Bay prison (wow, that makes me cringe, calling it "our" prison, but that's what it is and I feel the shame). Bruce is a pretty big name, so two mentions didn't raise my eyebrows. I flipped to soccer, Houston and Seattle still tied at zero after 70-some minutes of hard play; that's soccer.

Hey, Colbert, whatever your view of The Boss (I've never been a huge fan), he's still got some grit and some great lines: from "The River": "Is a dream a lie if it doesn't come true?"

I flipped back to The Colbert Report, and he's introducing Roseanne Cash, in person at his desk. Now I've noticed the serendipity (editorial aside: and we have our blog post title) and get engaged in their banter -- and its good, partly because Colbert is trying hard to maintain his right wing persona but his distaste for the goings-on at Guantanamo is seeping through. He signs her petition asking that our government (there's that "our" again) release the list of songs used to torture the detainees there. He signs, he says, "because it'll make it hard on Obama" (since he hasn't made good on his promise to close that facility). You can see the whole Colbert bit video at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Capitol Steps, Falling Down

Caught a bit of the Capitol Steps latest production on NPR at noon today. It was less than stellar. They riffed on Sarah Palin to the tune of "A Holly Jolly Christmas", but it had no insight, stale jokes about Russia being nearby and such. Then they think they need to find faults with Barack Obama's performance. I think, I hope, there are other ways to find humor than just finding fault. They dissed his handling of the Boston arrest of a black Harvard professor breaking in to his own house. Sure, he gave the loonies an opening by using a slightly offensive word - "stupidly" I think it was (yep, pretty inflammatory, huh?). But the transgression was by the police, using too much suspicion and not enough parsimony. The Capitol Steps also picked up on Obama's win of the Nobel Prize for Peace. Simply removing the old regime of Bush W, Cheney, Rice, Rove and Rumsfield was enough. It's like a weeklong cloud cover of gloom and storms has been rolled back and the sun is shining on the happy valley again. That's no small feat; to turn a scorched earth atmosphere into one where hope prospers. Sure, hope is more promise than reality; but hope is more peace than oppression, exploitation, lies and torture. If that transition isn't enough for the Nobel Peace Prize, then it is indeed a noble prize; I expect he will rise to it in any case. I plan to support him as I can and push him as he needs it. Shouldn't we all?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Good Guys at Delta Air Lines

As annoying as air lines can be, with their prices that go up and down depending on day of week and time of day, their silly costs to take an earlier flight, bundling and unbundling of fees like per-checked-bag and in-flight-meals, boarding inanity and on and on; Delta has, on a couple of occasions, done extra little good things that they really didn't have to, such as: I flew back from Philadelphia to Atlanta on October 5 (DL1077), and it was delayed, at least in part due to weather in Atlanta. My connection ended up a bit tight, but I made it. Based on the connection times that other passengers mentioned to me while we were still on board DL1077, I assume some of us were not so lucky. But I just received a letter of apology from Delta informing me that 2500 bonus miles have been placed in my SkyMiles account. I use my SkyMiles -- this past summer I had a free trip to Montreal, Canada on them. It won't be long before I've got enough for another adventure. Thanks for the token, Delta.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Finished Reading Ariel

And posted a quick review, here's an excerpt: "a novel of every boy's fantasy land, to meet and befriend or conquer mythical beasts; to be both a loner and to make meaningful friends and do important deeds with them ...."

In which I am Schmap'ped

The folks at Schmap are "delighted" to let me know that
my "submitted photo
has been selected for inclusion in the newly released ninth
edition of our Schmap Montreal Guide: Chinatown".

They spotted my photo on flickr and asked if they could include it in their guide. Sure, I said.

If you could look closely enough, you would see a group of WorldCon attendees walking up the sidewalk on the left side of the photo, including authors Cory Doctorow and Larry Hodges.