Thursday, July 28, 2005

Intermission #1


from March, 2001

Review: Lolita, Stanley Kubrick 19xx, adaptation of novel by Vladimir Nabokov
Reviewed by Max Zempfski-Shannon.

Lolita was a very Baa, Baa blacksheep movie.
As I sit at my typewryter, my dog, Archie, yapping "Fast!" 1 and my maid, Sweet Quim2, yelling "Hush!" I reflect on a movie that, maybe, after all these years, must have been better to society in polluted ashes flitting up discountenanced skies. First, I must tell you how emphatically I did not see the whole movie. No indeed, this downyfine Quinquagesima I had cabbage to boil and hash to fry; I skipped the beginning, as is my wont these days to sacrifice any minutes of a movie in excess of two hours (it's the right thing to do): so have I also done these days with Schindler's List, Armegeddon, Dr. Chicago, Dune, and every other Kubrick movie. In the case of little but long Lolita, the choice was wise. Entering the theater magnanimously my first glimpse was of the tall swaggering xeno, his metal instrument thrust towards a half-closed door, through which, presumably, his ailing wife lay quivering and taking her quinine. For a moment I thought: Maybe this movie ain't so bad. But sure enough, the little demon emerged: Lust. When languid Lolita skipped out of her impure camp and made her move. When Hummy's stellar darling whispered secrets and parted her legs, and made her move. And when she frolicked on the stage like ash and golddust. My lighter sides reprands me says 'why, Max, do you sit like a qadi to pass judgment on the vehicle for gentle entertainement.' For the Masses, my Gentle Literate, for the Masses! And this is a movie I knew I must absolutely condemn. From the first cue to the last cut, this movie was immoral and degrading and all too real. Too often in our society a tiny pixie xoanon wood play games around tinder middle-aged hearts. I have seen this myself. In Lolita, the brat actually pits the two innocent men against each other. One dies as a result, and the other lands in jail. And all for, in the deepest respect, a juvenile slut. I know where she contracted the Japanese 'way of life,' and it ain't tucked in alone. Maybe Mr. Kubrick and Mr. Nabokov had the best of intentions. I don't know for a fact that they are perverts. The movie was certainly pretty: black figures on light backdrops, white figures on dark backdrops, tentacle interstates, and bands of shadows crisscrossing zigzags almost symmetrically. It could have been a mistake: a bloody accident of orientation that occluded the vision, quashed their thought.

It does not change the fact that Lolita is a Very Baa, Baa, blaksheep movie and one which should not shame our sacred and stain-free silver screens.

1. With a nasal infection that increases his deep dog baritone to a high dog tenor.

2. A fine, if contrary, alto.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Sabbatical?!?


Well, not exactly, not so official, but as far as the blog's concerned, it's not exactly as if I've been diligently posting these last several weeks in the first place.

In the six weeks, I will be taking multiple trips to both Michigan and Ohio, having my bachelor's party, getting married, spending a week on my honeymoon in Belize, moving a thousand miles to the East Coast, and going through orientation and beginning classes at the New School.

I don't expect I'll have much time to read your blogs or update my own. Rest assured, however, that as soon as the dust has settled, Blue Skies Falling will be running again full-throttle from an exotic new locale. I know I've left many balls spinning in the air, but I've frozen them momentarily. I fully expect to catch them all.

In the meantime, some suggestions for how to enjoy the summer:

1. Check out the links here. Above, for Lauras, I've linked to Jess and my wedding website, New School, and NYC. To the right, as always, lies passage to many of your eloquent blogs. And below, links to music, religion, politics, and all sorts of delicious treats.

2. Go swimming.

3. Go see a movie. I recommend Star Wars III, Batman Begins, and the new Willy Wonka. Or you could borrow the My So-Called Life DVDs from a friend.

4. Take a walk.

5. Buy Billy Corgan's The Future Embrace and Jimmy Chamberlin's The Jimmy Chamberlin Connection.

6. Get ice cream.

7. Read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It's the best to date, IMHO.

8. Stay up late, talking with friends.

9. Write a fan fiction or create some fan art, and email to me. When I get back, I'll post it on Here Is No Why.

That should give you a start, but you better get moving. Only some six weeks left of summer!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lumas 23, 27.

- Hey!
- The flurry of hits and comments on the "new blog" yesterday (43 hits, or more than a third of the blogspot url) has encouraged me, and if I find time between prepping two days of clinic and finalizing plans for tonight, I'll try to write something of substance. Maybe the long-awaited continuation of the My So-Called Life discussion, or perhaps the Billy Corgan concert. I realize both of these items are delinquent.
- Yesterday, I trained Sean some more, meaning I stayed at work for 11 hours... exhausting but necessary with the wedding coming up. Back home, I spoke with my parents and Jess on the phone (she ended up coming up for a visit), did laundry, and packed for New York. Evidently signing a NYC lease is nothing like anywhere else, since the documentation is everything up to and possibly including my 8th grade guaduation certificate.
- The White Sox are having a losing streak, and have now only won roughly 2/3 of their games. The Cub, on the other hand, have just won three in a row, and are almost up to 500. I'm just saying, is all...
- Hopefully Dennis continues to bring us rain. And mow his lawn.
- Moral of the day today: Get the balance right.
- there's more besides the joyrides · little house in the countryside · understand, learn to demand · compromise, and sometimes lie · get the balance right · be responsible, respectable · stable but gullible · concerned and caring · help the helpless · but always remain · ultimately selfish · get the balance right · you think you've got a hold of it all · you haven't got a hold at all · when you reach the top · get ready to drop · prepare yourself for the fall · it's almost predictable · don't tend this way · straight down the middle · until next thursday · first to the left · back to the right · twist and turn until you got it right · get the balance right

Who wrote lyrics to live by, and what are they?


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Lumas 22, 27.

- Yesterday, I blasted through work and got home by 3. I spent an hour trying to set up apartment viewings in Clinton Hill (Brooklyn) and Astoria (Queens), but had limited luck. Reason? Any place that was posted three days earlier had been grabbed up, and any place posted in the last three ways included landlords reluctant to schedule me for a showing, given that their places would be grabbed up by the time I'd arrive, three days from yesterday. I do have one-and-a-half appointments scheduled, but my hopes are really resting on a very promising lead that was hurled into me about a week ago. I'm hoping. Hoping...
- After making phone calls (including some wedding-related calls) I looked over class information. I have to send in class preferences for New School for the upcoming weeks, and I'm getting a head start on "instructor research." Most of the seminars and workshops sound promising and exciting, but I can already catch myself leaning towards certain offerings.
- Lisa came over to visit. We hung out at my place for a couple hours, then walked down to Kopi and talked about a number of things, including the upcoming move, and future plans for the Occlusion. You thought it was over, but it's only getting bigger, and bigger!
- This morning I was determined to get to work on time, so I left a few minutes early. Then, after waiting over 20 minutes for the bus, I walked to the Red Line, caught it, and rolled into work 15 minutes late.
- We're finally getting some rain this week, courtesy of Dennis. What's bad for Florida is good for Illinois, but then that's often the case, not only as pertains to the weather.
- So I will continue to maintain question of the day, but some folks better answer from time to time. (Grrrrr.) I'll add back in other "of the day" functions, but not until sometime in September, since it's hard enough these days for me to find time to post, period.
- In the last week I've really gotten into Depeche Mode. Why has it taken so long for me to finally get into Depeche Mode?!?

- There've been lot's of predictable remakes (good and bad) gracing the Big Screen this summer. In fact, there's a dearth of original writing (despite protestations that, really, all writing is technically original writing). I'm not going to ask you to contribute... yet... For now, just tell me what should be remade, even though it never will be.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Lumas 21, 27.

- Sean came in to interview with Pam, and I gave him a quick tour of IDX. It was a late evening at work, and we didn't leave until quarter-to-seven.
- I rode the #6 down to Hyde Park for a quiet evening with Jess.
- When I asked her for suggestions for my play Guns and Love, and when I compared it to a cross between Romeo and Juliet and Miami Vice, she told me that pretty much was "the O.C." So yesterday, I saw my second episode, and I'm pretty much convinced.
- I haven't had time for extensive blogging or anything fun this week, because the immediate project is getting an apartment in NYC. And where I scrape together any free time, there's the wedding and gradschool lurking in the background.
- But we have rain today!

Should I continue doing 'question of the day?' until September, inasmuch as nobody's answering them?

Monday, July 11, 2005

We've mourned for New York and we're mourning for London, but why have we forgotten Chicago so easily?


I'm opening myself to seem unsympathetic, but the cynic in me has to ask why a life lost in an explosion is worse than any other life lost unnecessarily. I'm writing in response to not one, but many sentiments I've heard this week. I have to ask: how many of us even remembered what happened ten years ago this week? How many even knew in the first place?

July 11: 73-90°F (23-32°C)
July 12: 76-98°F (24-37°C)
July 13: 81-106°F (27-41°C)
July 14: 84-102°F (29-39°C)
July 15: 77-99°F (25-37°C)
July 16: 76-94°F (24-34°C)
July 17: 73-89°F (23-32°C)

Final count? 739 fatalities.

Ten years late, and we still haven't declared the War on Poverty. It would be a much easier war to win, I promise, less costly, more effective. It would be a war fought with ventilation and water, in Chicago, and I promise not one person involved would die as a result.

But this is a war we don't seem to care about, nor do we go out of our way to mark the places where our desperate elderly slowly died of exhaustion and thirst ten years ago.


Hey, it's the Flint, Michigan comedy minute!


from the Flint Journal:

YANKEE INGENUITY: The ice cream truck may have been playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy," but the all-American heroes in a bizarre traffic event last Wednesday were fast-acting heavy equipment operators working in Grand Blanc Township. Had Joe Edgcombe of Clio not blocked the path of the erratically driven truck with a front-end loader and backhoe - with a co-worker doing the same from behind - it's easy to imagine someone being seriously injured or worse. As it was, the allegedly intoxicated ice cream vendor banged into several parked cars and mailboxes before hitting the backhoe barricade. And he might have gotten away had Edgcombe's buddy not used his equipment to raise the ice cream truck's rear wheels from the pavement. Now, to complete this happy ending we would expect the ice cream vendor or his company to pay all the damages, including that sustained by the backhoes, which belong to Waldorf & Sons Excavating. Too often, it seems, that no good deed goes unpunished. We hope that doesn't happen here.

Lumas 20, 27.

- I'm very tired and don't feel so much like writing now, so pleas excuse any brevity.
- I last left you on Wednesday the 6th. It was a relatively late day at work, and I was exhausted from the concert on Tuesday. I'd announced the first night of my two day "show," so I slept for about an hour, then frantically cleaned until eight. Ultimately, the only attendee was Meridith, and with only one visitor, we decided to bypass any performances and just hang-out.
- Thursday the 7th was a short day at work. Again, I headed directly home, but spent the afternoon cleaning. This time, Gemma, Christian, Sky, and Bill arrived for the show, and it proceeded from there. We finally wrapped up after eleven. I thought things went well.
- I've been listening to Doris Henson this whole time.
- Friday the 8th, work got out around two-ish, and I went home and packed and readied for the weekend. Now, at 4:30, it was time for me to take the 1:15 trek to Jessica's where I'd meet her and my brother would pick us up. Through the miracles of public transportation and rush hour, and the way the two typically interact, I waited forty-five minutes for a 147 (at which point four arrived, end-to-end), and didn't make it to Hyde Park until 6:15. We got off to a late start, talking about music while I played more Doris Henson and also subjected them to Depeche Mode. We finally got in well after midnight, but we all sat up with my parents and sister until four, talking.
- Saturday the 9th, Jess and I slept in until almost one. By 1:15, we were on our way to go shopping (for wedding stuff) with my mom at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We swung through Halo Burger on the way out. We made it home by after three, and after intense vehicular negotiations with my brother and sister, left to get me shoes (awful shoes that stung my feet; I've reverted to the old) and update the registry at JC Penny. Then we returned home, picking up pizza at Muncheez on the way.
- This was another highlight of the trip; coasting along, driving through the hills of Flint Township to Beecher and River and rolling back down into Flushing.
- After dinner back home, my parents presented us with an early gift: a scrapbook for (and including out tickets for) our honeymoon in Belize. Jess and I looked through the materials with them, we went into town to visit with Grandma Coyne and Aunt Georgia, surprising them in the middle of wrapping something, and after a nice visit there, we moved on to the A&W. Riverbank park, incidentally, was showing a movie and was overwhelmed with the kids. 8th grade on up, it was just like the swarms in a sitcom. A number of kids were making noise in the restaurant, and about a dozen left without leaving their waitress a tip, and then ourside, we caught some sitting on my car. I was going to slide in and honk the horn at them, but before I could, Jess snapped at them. We really need a pair of walkers to shake at these kids. Back home, mom began showing Jess how to make potato salad, but I went to sleep on the couch, woke up, and had moved upstairs by one.
- Sunday the 10th, we got up and there was a pitch of activity getting ready for the shower. We dressed and showered and made it over to Peg's by one. In the end, the party was attended by Peg (who was hosting it), all seven Coynes and grandma Mascroft, Naheda, and Marsha, Dave, and Carly DeVoe. We ate sandwiches on Swedish Rye and tortillas with dip off suspiciously new looking Fiesta ware. We played games in which my brother and I were dressed up in bridal dresses made of tissue and toilet paper (my aunt and the DeVoes seemed to enjoy dressing me up) and then played quiz games about each other (involving factoids about Jess and me and others' wedding advice) as we opened gifts. And the gifts were wonderful, but so was their presentation. We got just about all of the barware on our registry and a spended wine set from my grandma, a number of cooking and serving pieces (including a steamer filled with my sister's puppychow mix, and a bundt cake pan with a Kahlua bundt cake), and a few more keepsake items. Also, most of the guests had brought recipe cards, so we're already building the beginnings of a collection. John Crawford and Sam also visited, and we talked for awhile before the party started to wrap up.
- Finally, we returned home, where we intercepted Kaite Cawood, who I haven't actually seen in three years, David, and their daughter Lillian. She'd brought us several books (including a wedding voodoo doll set), but the best part was Jessica finally having the opportunity to meet them. Lillian, by the way, is now four, and is well on the way to what will likely be a brilliant and serious career as... I know not what, but I was intimidated. She told us that she was already in school, and while we all had to head out, the visit capped off a perfect midsummer visit.
- Jessica, Sam, Caitlin, Cody, and I piled into the car, which was also crammed food of foods and takeaways. Cody drove, and then me. We dropped off Jessica in Hyde Park, and the rest of us rode on to Edgewater Beach by about 11, Chicago time. I showed Caitlin and Cody the roof, did the dishes, and went to bed. It was just after twelve.
- And that's my short description of the week.
- Okay, okay, I'll probably restore the "of the days" by September, because these posts just seem a little empty without them. I'm also thinking of cutting the abbreviated entries, because no matter what I try, they still look ghetto to me.
- The number of entries will probably be sporadic at best over the next two months, and you can probably count on me to not post more than once or twice during the month of August (probably mid-August). Things will be singing again in September, when I'm settled into my new routing in New York. Not such a problem, considering my once formidible readership has plunged to practically nothing in the last month or so. Is that a summer thing?

If you were a book, what would your title be, and what would your cover look like?


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Lumas 16, 27.

- Yesterday was pretty much defined by the Billy Corgan concert. More on the later. Chronologically, however, I had a screaming headache through the first half of the morning, but it tapered off eventually, and I was allowed home by one. I happened to get home just as Sam was arriving with Emily (he'll be gone for the rest of the week, in Marquette for Emily's orientation) and we all took naps. When I finally woke up thoroughly, circa 3:30, they'd left. I finished "prepping" my Corgan packet and left at a few minutes to five. I grabbed a coffee at Clarke's, met Sean in line, and we got into the Vic at about 6:45. At a little after 7 the first opening band took off, and the show got out at a tight 10. I was home by 11 and quite ecstatic. I spent the next four hours knocking out the bulk of tonight's show.

What dream would you most like to have?


Tuesday, July 05, 2005



I left the apartment this evening with a large envelope inscribed to "Mr. Billy Corgan." I returned home empty handed. Well... not quite... but regardless of whether or not he actually lays hands on the thing, I sent him a letter. A letter. I've kept this promise to my seventeen year old self, in Mr. Nelson's class, writing so hard I could die.

Now I've a bit of a story to tell, and it spans from the generous thick trombone rock arms of Doris Henson to Billy himself. Sean Conley and Connor Coyne... we truly pixellated the night, tonight. But I'll have to tell you later. I have a wedding a plan. A move to orchestrate. And a show to prepare.

By tomorrow...


Blog / Site Updates


Here Is No Why. All of the "Quick Links" are now up and running. They connect to this blog, my resume, my vitae, and an email forwarding form.

Blue Skies Falling. In the daily posts I've dispensed with daily country/state/neighborhood/word/news/picture of the day. Why? Because it's a pain-in-the-ass, takes 15-20 minutes each day I'd rather spend (at least) posting something substantial, and nobody seems to pay attention to them anyway.

I'm keeping question of the day because people seem to enjoy them, and I think they keep this blog from being to stuffy/breathy.

Also: trunchated posts. This is a needed solution because some posts (such as the "Pumpkin Cycle" or "Faithful Dissent") tend to be quite long, and many readers will want to pass them by in search of something more. I'm still looking for the ideal length for a post to be trunchated, and I'm leaning towards more than one page-down. If a post is not trunchated, the posting will be followe with the phrase "END OF POST". Otherwise, click on "KEEP FALLING" to read the post in its entirety. As I said, I'm still working to find an ideal way of being content specific while still taking advantage of abbreviation.




Tonight, tonight.


Lumas 15, 27.

- The Short Run Down.
- Friday. Returned up North with fliers for my performance art project this week (tomorrow and Thursday); Buick City Blues. I dropped them off at the Neo-Futurarium, Women and Children First, Kopi, Left-Handed Books, and Metropolis. I was going to drop them off at Café Boost, but Café Boost is no more. On the way home, I stopped at Dominics and procured party supplies. Since this one was BYOB, it didn’t break the bank. We got an abundance of pop and snacks. Back home, Sam and I indulged in a cleaning binge, and I headed down to the beach for a few minutes. Nobody was there though, since it was cold and the weather turned scary. People began showing up to the party around ten. It was a small gathering, by our standards; we probably topped out at under twenty, but still ran to about three in the morning, with Sky, Coral, Jess, Libby, and Amber staying the night.
- Saturday. When we were finally awake and de-creaky, we wandered down to the diner-type on the corner of Thorndale and Broadway. I was going to be adventurous, but opted for a corned-beef omelet. Jess and I didn’t make it down to Hyde Park until after five, especially given the frustrating (and unadvertised) rerouting of key bus lines. The evening was more relaxed; we watched an episode of Monk and Jess fixed us turkey burgers for dinner. Later, we returned downtown (with the same, now expected complications) to see SonicVision at Adler with the same crowd we’d “brunched” with. I’d hoped SonicVision would resonate like my earlier planetarium visits (see the last dozen or so posts), but the show clocked in at about a half-hour, and instead of the show and music serving each other, the songs were a jumbled medley of two minute snippets. Still, the intro, featuring digital equalizer lines pulsing skyward as Radiohead’s Everything in its Right Place chimed in.
- Sunday, our luck started to turn. I went to church (for the first time in about a month), and Jess and I did have a very nice picnic out on the Point, but the fireworks downtown, which we’d so enjoyed last year, were a bomb in all sorts of ways. First, getting downtown was an absolute nightmare. #6 buses, four deep, waded along the Stevenson and up State at a crawl, before we finally got off to walk from 14th. From there we delved into the belly of the Taste, which was bad and rancid, thousands thick, like some bloated and exhausted mob. I normally like a huge crowd, but this was overwhelming, and Jess and I both staggered out as quickly as we could. From there, we were pressed for time trying to make our way to Adler. We looked for our friends, but were also hampered by the fact that the fireworks started ten minutes early. In the end, we huddled down alone on the bottom of the concrete causeway, with the flies and spiders, while six feet above us, a man drunkenly belted, “1995! Stay alive!” and trying to sell pot to anyone who staggered within his range. Moments after the show (both of them) had wrapped up, we discovered that Jess was without her cel phone. It had been picked up. As we’d discover, the people who picked it up were unwilling to return it, despite the fact that it would only be deactivated, and thereby, useless… we found our friends, just as they were engaging two young bucks in verbal repartee, and following the deliberate collision of glass bottle with concrete breaker, an actual scuffle (broken up by two bike-wielding CPD). Getting back home wasn’t bad. It was still a lousy night.
- Monday redeemed things somewhat. I made Jess lunch (more turkey burgers) then rode the bus and train back home and spent the next ten hours working on wedding and financial aid and writing. This was interrupted first by Sean, who dropped by for his Billy Corgan tic, and hung around for over an hour, and later by Sam, who made up for eating my pizza by making us stir-fry. Later, with fireworks echoing in the canyons of the high-rises, we went up on the roof to launch a few mortars of our own, then down to the drizzly, foggy, shrouded lake to inspect the carboard and burning remnants of Indiana’s finest. I went home and wrote and reminisced, and at 3 AM, I called it a night.
- This morning I woke up with the worst headache I’ve ever head. It’s slowly gotten better, though.

So, how was your weekend?


Friday, July 01, 2005

Lumas 11, 27.

- Sorry for that somewhat-of-a-copout post yesterday, but as I said, I was here on borrowed time, and I try not to sink too much time into this thing outside of work.
- After work, I grabbed a cup of soup in the caf and ate as I walked down Michigan Ave. I caught a #6 almost right away, worked on some poetry during the ride, and walked from 53rd and Hyde Park over to the Borders by Harper. It was my intention to read up on writing, characterization and plot development, etc., but I found a bio on the Pumpkins, and had worked a third of the way through by the time Jessica showed up, looking stunning in her black blouse and skirt. We walked the windy way up along Lake Park, back to her place, had Taco Salad for dinner and watched the O.C. and Monk. Then we walked down to the Co-Op and back, stressing out the whole way about the wedding, specifically Pre-Cana, which is more involved and time-consuming than I ever imagined. We're behind the game on this one...
- Today, I'll try to rectify that, along with touch base with New School alums, and schedule a performance art reading for next week, all in a fatal swoop of phone calls to be made when I get back home. Doubtless you'll hear back on this all soon.



New York Times: O'Connor, First Woman Supreme Court Justic, Resigns After 24 Years

Zebras. Advanced Computing at the Evergreen State College.

So, what are you up to this weekend?