What Does a Brussels Sprout Look Like Grown to Full Term?

I made some changes to a short story I wrote a few nights back, and took it to the monthly free writers' workshop at Gemini Ink. The last Monday of the month, 6:30 to 9 at night.

I remember some years ago, my sister read me an interview with Robert Smith of the Cure. The band was performing in, I believe, Egypt. And Mr. Smith (who the brit media at the time was snidely referring to as Fat Boy Smith) decided to go swimming in the Mediterranean to prove to himself (and also, one must assume, the press) that his famous drinking binges hadn't irreparably ravaged his body to the point where he couldn't take in even a modicum of exercise.

It's becoming apparent that one of the reasons I continue to hammer out crap for this monthly writing group is to prove to myself that I can write something more focused and aesthetically potent than this blog.

Yep. It's a simple act of exhibitionism. Just me reading to folks who gushingly praise (or pretend to praise) my little efforts.

I've placed a link to the piece on a back-dated blog for Friday, the 24th. It's a confluence of three events. First, the night last week when I spent some time on the porch of my neighbors, the Tolands. Second, the fact that author and neighbor Sandra Cisneros seems to have bought the house across the street from her beautiful home. And, lastly, a recurring theme I find myself working with which involves eccentric inventors keen on over-throwing the laws of physics.

The piece is choppy and one of my less successful. It needs some serious editing, but I don't know if I care enough about it to make the needed changes. But, again, I was writing for an audience of about ten — that's the number that usually shows up for the Gemini Ink gatherings.

Actually, it was a bonanza Monday night. Jim Dawes, who runs the monthly freebie, decided to break us into two groups. I believe that ultimately we had about 23 people show up. That's by far the most I've seen in the year I've been attending the workshops. I'm afraid that I chose the least interesting group — I could hear the others laughing in the adjacent room. We had very little laughter in our group. Way too much poetry (most of which hurt to hear); add to that a guy who brought in photocopies of a paragraph (an idea for a larger work), and a woman with a first draft of a letter to the editor, and it should be no surprise that my eyes were on the clock much of the time.

One of the amusing things to happen Monday was when this pleasant young man in his young twenties sat down beside me. He looked fairly familiar, but I couldn't be sure if I'd seen him before. A couple of minutes before Jim got the group moving, the kid turned to me.

“Aren't you Erik Bosse?”

It took me aback. I'm not used to getting that. But because this summer has been fairly heavy with me in the public speaking mode — introducing several film events, and, I keep forgetting, my three minutes on a morning TV news show alongside Lorenzo Lopez — I guess it shouldn't have surprised me.

I admitted that he was correct. He smiled at my confusion. Said that he was a friend of Natalie Goodnow, a woman who taught a summer program at the Guadalupe Cultural Center. And I'm pretty sure I saw the guy in Natalie's company one or both of the two times I spoke with her.

His name is Josh. And he read a short essay-in-progress out of a little notebook he carries around. He explained that he usually travels by the bus, and writes while riding around. Very nice stuff. I hope he comes back.

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Monday night (actually very early Tuesday morning around three or four) I got up to see the full lunar eclipse. It was in full eclipse when I went out to check it out. This was a particularly notable eclipse because of the striking red color of the moon while in our shadow. Lovely.

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I really screwed up my knee over the weekend. It had been awhile since I'd put some serious distance on my bike. And so I hopped aboard and did 20 miles. The next day my knee was stiff and tender. So, thinking the best way to deal with pain was to work through it — but in moderation — I rode ten miles the next day. And day after that, it was clear I had made a big mistake.

I've been hobbling around the last three days in some major pain. For the folks like me who have no insurance and no money, our health plan is often self-diagnosis over the internet. Dodgy business. But probably not much worse than the health plans of those fellow citizens who have insurance. Well, my malinformed self-diagnosis is tendentious. And if indeed this is correct, the good news is that it isn't fatal. Also, it should clear up eventually if I take it easy for awhile. The pisser is that for the last three days the pain has been increasing.

Time, finally, for direct action. I just came back from the HEB supermarket with a cold compress and an Ace bandage. The cold compress is a $1.09 bag of frozen Brussels sprouts. And the problem is, I really like Brussels sprouts. I'll have to see how long I can put off eating my medical aid. As for the bandage, it's not the Ace bandage from my boyhood. This one is self-adhesive, and the fabric is treated with some sort of polymer which, by itself is only very vaguely sticky, but it sticks wonderfully to itself. No doubt another byproduct of NASA in the Tang and Velcro column of successes.

Thank you NASA and you folks in Brussels! (So do I call you Flemish or Belgium?) You know, I'm feeling much better now!

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Something went all screwy with my iTunes. The other day I opened my browser and all the sudden my iTunes program began to update itself even though I didn't tell it to do so. And then it automatically proceeded to make a back up of my iPod. I shut everything down. But it kept trying to do the same three times in a row. I finally let it do it's thing, thinking I was just being paranoid and controlling. But what it did was to erase my iPod and then replace it with the tracks on my computer which were collated in my iTunes folder. These were two different music collections.

I immediately deleted iTunes. My plan was to load up the program again. But even though iTunes is free, my antiquated operating system was incompatible with the latest version. So I worked my way through old iTunes available on line. Found the version compatible with my O/S. But when I tried to download the software, I was told by my computer that I could not do this because I had, somewhere on my hard drive, scraps of a newer version of iTunes.

Fuck. It looked like a ploy to get me to dig deep and buy the latest species of cat — Panther, Ocelot, Mountain Lion, or what the fuck ever — so that I can return to the wold of computer health.

Well, that's not going to happen anytime soon. So I have been exploring online music alternatives. Many radio stations allow free online access. I've played around with quite a few. But what I discovered last night (while poking through the links listed on the website for The Wire magazine) is a site, http://www.last.fm, where you type in a band you like. I just put in the London Apartments. Hit the return key. And music started up by a great band I have never heard of before called Adorable. Oh, wow, now there is this incredible piece that has all the elements that I love in Mercury Rev — they're a band from Sweden called Love is All. The playlist keeps going. I'm looking forward to some of these other, “similar” bands with names like The Sarcastic Dharma Society and Pale Sunday.

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At the bottom is a photo I took tonight of the full moon. These cheap point-and-shoot digital cameras can do some amazing things. But low light conditions are a mess. Sometimes you can push them to give you something interesting. I quite like the grainy images I put on this blog the other month of the Blue Star silos at night. This picture is equally as muddy, yet is also fairly groovy.

I'm placing it here as a thumbnail. Click on it for a larger image.


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