Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Month: February 2007 (page 1 of 3)

Moleskines and a meme. . .

Now and then I do something to push and inspire me to write.
As I said in a previous post, February has always been a brutal month for me in terms of creativity. Anything I can do to root myself in the right direction seems the thing to do.
It can be something as simple as a new (cheap) pen or as complex as listening to a Charles Ives piano piece.
That said, I found myself at Borders in Copley Square last Saturday morning with a 25$ gift card I’d received at Christmas.
I had about an hour to kill and began my search for the perfect whatever.
It didn’t take long before I found a Chuck Klosterman book I’d been wanting for sometime. Klosterman is a psychedelic version of David Sedaris and one unique author you should consider reading at least once.
I absolutely love the way he writes.
The book was $14.
I had more money to spend.
And spend it I did.
I’m writing this post in a Moleskine journal that I bought, a writing paper used by the likes of Hemingway. (no, I’m not implying I’m a pseudo Hemingway wannabe but damn he had a great name for a writer)
The quality of the paper we write on is obviously not as important as what we write.
But the line spacing in the Moleskine is a bit different than what I’m used to and I can’t help but wonder if that will affect the way I write.
The paper is smooth as silk, to be honest.
More words are finding their way onto the page and I’m hoping that my writing flow improves in some way.
Obviously, I have to write for this to even have a chance to work. (duh)
I have also decided to read for at least 45 minutes to an hour every day, a minuscule allotment I realize but with my working hours it’s all I can reasonably spare.
I’m thinking about doing a writing exercise modeled after Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” called “Night Pages”– three pages of continuous long hand writing about anything; basically it’s a free-write that’s crazy out of control.

I’m hoping to empty out any extraneous bullshit swimming around in my gallon or so of cerebrospinal fluid; a purging of thought and a mental dusting of the long forgotten cranial shelves that possibly harbour literary gems I can (for right now) only dream of.
I am committed to this writing thing, (and should be committed. period.) but I’m also curious . . .
What keeps you writing against all odds?

Here’s an awesome meme from Red, do it if it feels right… (I refuse to tag you!)

“If your life were a film, what would your soundtrack be?”

So, here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

Opening Credits: Kid Zero – Fourplay

Waking Up: I got the news – Steely Dan

Life: Angel in the House – The Story

Falling in Love: Morph the Cat – Donald Fagen

Make-out Scene: Embraceable You – Joe Sample (how perfect)

Breaking Up: All you need – Mike Stern

Mental Breakdown: The Border – Mr. Mister (Richard Page at his finest)

Driving: Late Night Duke Street – Acoustic Alchemy

Getting Back Together: All I know – Jimmy Webb ( I love this man. . . kinda)

Wedding: Panama – Van Halen (David Lee Roth, rocked)

Birth of Child: East of Eden – Michael McDonald (no words)

Final Battle: Sneaking up on Boo Radley – Bruce Hornsby (again, no words)

Death Scene: Route 17 – Lee Ritenour

Funeral: Blue Monk – Thelonious Monk

End Credits: Eraser – Nine Inch Nails

If you do this meme, puuleeese let me know.
I’d love to see your tunes


Rachmaninoff’s hands

It has been said that Rachmaninoff had enormous hands.
Judging from the pieces I’ve tried to play over the years (with limited success), I would have to agree.
The guy must have had mitts like the Jolly Green Giant.
Could Sergei palm a basketball?
Could Magic Johnson play the Prelude in C-Sharp Minor?
Definitely not.
Check this guy out.
It’s not Sergei but he’s creative as all hell.
Thanks to Dawn for sending the link.


God’s creatures

I know.
I’m a sick, twisted bastard.
Shut up and pass the A-1 sauce.


Just found Saskatoon’s website.
They sell the above billboard artwork on a t-shirt. Check it out.

Shattered, shattered

I was feeding my father lunch the other day when a few thoughts occurred to me.
First of all, it was Ash Wednesday and I found it almost comical that the lunch that day was Boneless BBQ Pork Ribs (they looked pretty damn good, too) and he’s staying in a ‘catholic’ nursing home.
I guess there’s leniency in Lenten observance for Alzheimer patients.
No biggie.

The reversal of our roles over the past several years has been a difficult pill to swallow but one I fully expected to digest and process. But when I look into his eyes and he’s no longer there, I try and remember the last time I heard him say my name, maybe the last time he actually understood something funny I might have said and laughed.

The heartbreaking irony is that, like my mother, I’m slowly beginning to forget Continue reading


Before culture teaches predjudice. 


Blogiversary II

It was on February 22, 2005 that I first posted this.
It was read many times but never received a comment but it was my first tentative step into the whacky and obsessive world of blogging.
I like to think that people that visit here are appreciated and today is no exception.
I can’t imagine how drab my life would have been had it not been for my blog.
I love the writing, posting, editing, changing of templates (And Moe rolls her eyes {grin}), maipulating of widgets, uploading of custom banners; I love all of it.
But none of it would be worth anything if it weren’t for you.
Yeah, you.
The person reading this post right now.
That’s right. . . you.
I thank you from the bottom of my almost empty Guinness glass (the bottom of my heart seems a bit shallow right now).
You make me smile, think, laugh and obsessively look forward to this crazy hobby called blogging.
I pray you’ll stick around because I feel the best is yet to be.
A special thank you to the woman that allows me the time to be creative, my wife.
Blogging takes time. And she gives me all the time I need. That’s love.
I’ve put together a slide show of all the different artwork that has graced these pages over the past year or so.
It’s fairly short but fairly hip.
Click on my Blogiversary cake above and enjoy the show.
To all of you still reading, thank you.


ps. it’s already the 22nd downunder, hence the early post =0)


I thought these pictures were amazing.
Talk about Extreme Handpainting.
Thanks to Dawn for sending these to me.


(And 81 other wicked cool things to say to people that really cheese you off)

They did leave out my favorite Dirty Harry line (to a hideous barfly trying to score) –
“I only do it with humans.”
A few laughs on me…
And yes, I’ve been known to use a few of these.

  1. I don’t know what your problem is, but I bet it’s hard to pronounce.
  2. I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.
  3. Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand.
  4. When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.
  5. My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.
  6. All things being equal, you lose.
  7. If you’re feeling good, don’t worry. You’ll get over it.
  8. I can only please one person each day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn’t looking good either.
  9. Smile… Tomorrow will be worse.
  10. It’s been lovely, but I have to scream now.
  11. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me alone.
  12. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  13. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.
  14. Thank you for not annoying me more than you do.
  15. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.
  16. If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  17. This land is your land. This land is my land. So stay on your land.
  18. If you explain so clearly that nobody can misunderstand, somebody will.
  19. A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  20. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  21. I need not suffer in silence when I can still moan, whimper, and complain.
  22. It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.
  23. Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do.
  24. Having control over myself is nearly as good as having control over others.
  25. I’m extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
  26. I’d like to help you out; which way did you come in?
  27. How can I miss you if you won’t go away?
  28. I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. This wasn’t it.
  29. From the moment I picked your book up to the moment I set it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend to read it.
  30. I don’t care who you are, what you drive, or where you’d rather be.
  31. I’m not cynical. I’m just experienced.
  32. I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
  33. I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do.
  34. Don’t hate yourself in the morning. Sleep till noon.
  35. It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail in the process.
  36. You may pretend to dislike me, but deep down, you know you hate me.
  37. Well aren’t you a waste of two billion years of evolution.
  38. You say I’m a bitch like it’s a bad thing.
  39. Well this day was a total waste of make-up.
  40. Sarcasm is just one more service I offer.
  41. Do they ever shut up on your planet?
  42. I’m not your type; I’m not inflatable.
  43. Well aren’t we a bloody ray of sunshine.
  44. Don’t worry. I forgot your name too.
  45. Aww, did I step on your poor little bitty ego?
  46. You look like shit. Is that in style now?
  47. Wait… I’m trying to imagine you with a personality.
  48. I don’t have an attitude problem, it’s supposed to be this way.
  49. It’s not that I’m antisocial, I’m just not friendly.
  50. Nothing is quite so annoying as to have someone go right on talking when you’re interrupting.
  51. I’m sorry, do I resemble your therapist?
  52. I think someone has to be listening to you for it to be an actual conversation.
  53. I don’t care where you go, as long as you get lost.
  54. It is just you.
  55. I heard you, and so what if the world’s ending at noon today, I can’t chat with you until tomorrow.
  56. I don’t have an attitude; I have a personality you can’t handle.
  57. I didn’t say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame you.
  58. You laugh because I’m different; I laugh because you’re all the same.
  59. If I throw a stick, will you go away?
  60. I didn’t know regurgitated spam could talk.
  61. If brains were dynamite you wouldn’t have enough to blow your nose.”
  62. If idiots could fly this place would be an airport.
  63. A mind is a terrible thing to waste; I’m glad they didn’t waste one on you.
  64. Next time you get the urge to think…don’t.
  65. I’m not antisocial. I just don’t like people.
  66. Would you kindly shut your noise hole.
  67. You have no idea how acutely depressing it is to realize we’re from the same species.
  68. “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit” as said by those incapable of its proper application and as such suffer from it a lot.
  69. It’s not that I wish any harm to the guy, I’m just saying I could happily sit by while someone knocks his head off.
  70. It’s people like you who make the Internet all but impossible to trust.
  71. Next time you wave, use all your fingers.
  72. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
  73. Well, I was nearly killed three times, fell off a bridge and broke my jaw. How was your day?
  74. On your way down the banister of life, may your ass collect tons of splinters.
  75. Are you renting the space in your head? It could be profitable.
  76. I’m sorry.. Am I poking holes in your self-esteem bucket?
  77. Why don’t you slip into something more comfortable…like a coma.
  78. If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.
  79. I wonder what life would have been like if you had had enough oxygen at birth.
  80. Whatever it is that’s eating you, it must be suffering horribly.

I’m now sufficiently armed and loaded.


Bagpipes ‘n Keetons

Quick someone call the A.S.P.C.A.!
Don’t judge my love of bagpipes based on the above comic.
I just thought it was funny.
Back to the Chaotic Soul template.
Just can’t get away from it.
Blogiversary party on Thursday. . . and you’re all invited!


Cat Punch

With three cats, it gets a bit crazy around here now and then and they duke it out.
Found this pic in an email.
Kinda cool, kinda reminiscent of our current feline situation.
That’s quite the 1 – 2 combination, ain’t it?


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