This is so cool...it makes me feel like a kid again. Like watching the X-Men 3 film with fellow Wiscon friends and then going on and on about the comic narratives with Dave Schwartz afterwards. That's how cool this is!
Random thoughts, memories, convoluted therapeutic ramblings, a billboard of love.
Tonight was the Open Stage at the Oakland Theater, which my friend Brooke organizes. Brooke is a force here in Youngstown. She brings together so many different kinds of people from the various branches of the arts, and has, in my opinion, been the main reason why Youngstown's arts scene has begun to cross-pollinize over the past few years, bringing about a rebirth in the downtown, which now has so much more to offer the citizens of this cold steel town. It's so nice to be able to have something like the Open Stage Night at the Oakland because there's something for everyone, and all the local talents can showcase themselves for each other. Tonight we had a spontaneous artist painting throughout the show, and there were fiction readings from people like myself, and poetry and standup comedy acts, and bands, and singer/songwriters, and storytellers, and monologues and odd science projects. I heard the most amazing songs written by a young woman who only recently put together a band by the name of The Crissie McCree Band, and it was like hearing Neko Case, only to be honest, in my opinion, at least three times better. After the show, I went up to her and told her how much I loved the songs her band played and asked if they had a myspace page or somewhere online where I could keep track of when they might have dates to play in or around town, and Crissie said she enjoyed my reading as well, so we exchanged information and can now keep track of each other much more easily in order to enjoy further projects we're doing in the future. An event like the Open Stage Night at the Oakland Theater just didn't really exist a few years ago. And wouldn't have been well attended like it has been the past few months here, so I take it as only one of the many good signs that life is stirring in this town that for decades has been in the process of disintegration.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving to anyone who celebrates it. I spent the night before Thanksgiving with my family and then got up already smelling the turkey and pies my mother was making. I haven't had a Thanksgiving dinner in two years, so this was just the most incredible scent for me. Turkey isn't a popular bird to eat in Japan, so I don't think I ate it the entire time I was there. God how I missed stuffing and sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows, which if you ask me is the only way to eat sweet potatoes. It was good to finally celebrate a holiday with my family again for the first time in a couple of years. Living in Japan and celebrating the holidays there with friends or alone was an experience I'll never forget, and actually really did love for a different set of reasons, but it's nice to sit with my mom and dad and brothers and sisters in law and their kids and my grandparents and spend the holidays together again. My grandma hadn't seen my beard and mustache yet. She thinks I look like Abraham Lincoln. I laughed a lot, trying to picture myself with Abraham Lincoln's head on my short little body.
Come down to the Oakland Theater if you're local, or even if you're passing through. The Stage is *the* most fun monthly event in Youngstown, at least for me. I'm going to read a story. Come and read one of your own, or bring a guitar and sing a song, or act out a skit, or do a dance routine; whatever talent you may have, put it on stage and show us what you've got.
If you haven't already seen the 2005 documentary, "Why We Fight", you must rent it now. It's an amazing documentary that pulls together a story of America that most Americans have no narrative for: why America is a militaristic country with a standing army, which even the first president warned would be a sign that empire was forming to overtake true democracy. It's scary, it'll have you in tears, and many viewers won't come back to the America they left when they started watching this film.
Maybe someday your kids won't. Or not in the same way that we read at any rate.
This interview with Zadie Smith is gorgeous. The sort that makes me want to have a chance to sit down and talk with her myself someday.
Okay, I *am* happy about the turnover in the election to the Democrats, but I am a little hesitant to think this will make all the woes of American culture go away. Why? Well, writing an email to a friend tonight, I found myself bringing some of this up, and will just cut and paste that part to explain myself a little further:
I am at the point where things like this can only make me snort and shake my head.
Another pic from Mill Creek Park. This bridge appeared in my story "Born on the Edge of an Adjective". It's one of my favorite places in the world.
After the wedding reception, we decided to keep the good times going and went dancing. I changed clothes. Tony and Nicole stayed spiffy.
And still there are more pics to post. Little by little, October will appear.