Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick Or Treat

We don't get many trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood, but for those we do get this year, I'm offering Nature Valley Fruit & Nut granola bars and Brach's Orchard Fruit gummy snacks.

Note my virtual Halloween costume at right.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Celtics patriarch Auerbach dies at 89

BOSTON (Ticker) - Red Auerbach, the cigar-smoking godfather of the NBA who turned the Boston Celtics into the most dominant dynasty in pro sports history, died Saturday. He was 89.

Auerbach, who had been in ill health for some time, "passed away suddenly," according to the Celtics' statement. The team has refrained in the past from giving details on his condition out of respect for his family.

"Nobody has had as much impact on a sport as Red Auerbach had on the game of basketball," former Celtics star and current broadcaster Tom Heinsohn said. "He was a pioneer of the NBA. He left his philosophy of winning championships, playing hard and playing as a team with several generations of players."

Jump to article...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Back in Time

Some years ago, I took in a play by my friend Christine Boylan titled Every Third Thought in which a lonely man tries to stay up every year for the switch to Standard Time, believing that night magical enough to let him rewind his life.

When I was younger, the switch meant I could stay up for an extra hour of TV. Today I'm a bigger fan of daylight and go to bed earlier, but I still try to get more done on the eve of Standard Time, so I can enjoy the hour.

Speaking of TV, Christine currently works on the CBS medical drama 3 Lbs., premiering Tuesday November 14th in the 10:00 PM slot vacated by Smith.

SCHOOL DAYS by Robert B. Parker

In the aftermath of a Columbine-esque school shooting, Spenser is hired by the grandmother of one of the shooters who believes her grandson innocent.

With every new Spenser novel comes a spate of reviews proclaiming Parker's return to form. While I take these with a grain of salt, I did prefer School Days to the previous two Spenser books, Cold Service and Bad Business.

Susan Silverman is away at a conference for much of the book. Hawk does not appear, nor does anyone with a similar skill set (Vinnie Morris, Chollo, Tedy Sapp...), so Spenser must be self-reliant as in his first few adventures. Aside from his occasional remarks to Pearl the Wonder Dog, I found this refreshing. The plot held together better than recent efforts, too.

I wouldn't urge anyone not already a Parker fan to buy a book beyond Valediction (1984), but most of them are worth checking out of the library.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Eww Files: Tooth Tunes

Details on the latest bit of technology to scare me from We Make Money, Not Art:
"When pressed to the teeth, the toothbrush renders a recorded riff from a pop star that lasts two minutes -- precisely the amount of time dentists say children should spend brushing their teeth.

How does it work? "The two-minute recording is stored on a microchip no bigger than a dot atop the letter i. Push a button on the toothbrush, and a minicomputer starts playing the song. Sound waves are transported through the transducer to the front teeth, traveling from there to the jawbone and then to the inner ear.

Hasbro is in talks with several recording artists about getting rights to their recordings...

Another Good Smallville

Last night's episode centered on Lex Luthor and Oliver Queen's tenth-year reunion at Excelsior Academy. Flashbacks showed Lex as a scheming loner and Queen as a privileged bully. In order to get into Oliver's circle, Lex turns on his only school friend Duncan, beating him to a pulp.

In present day, members of Oliver's circle are dying in mysterious, violent accidents. It turns out Duncan, believed to have died, was actually turned into a telekinetic meteor freak by Lionel Luthor. When Duncan goes after Oliver with Queen's own EMP arrow, Clark takes the hit, and the ensuing pulse fries Duncan's brainwaves.

Okay, not the most plausible plot, but this is Smallville.

The highlight was Lois and Clark chasing the story of what became of Duncan:

We've all done things we're not proud of. I just wish that Oliver didn't feel like he had to hide it from me.

You know, sometimes in order to protect the people we love, we keep secrets.

That is...totally retarded. (Walks off.)

CLARK smiles.

Kudos to episode writer Steven S. DeKnight.

Another Letterman Top Ten

Top Ten Ways To Make The World Series More Exciting

10. Instead of fireworks, games kick off with North Korean nuclear test

9. Get "Weird Al" Yankovic to write wacky new lyrics to national anthem

8. Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers wears nothing but pine tar

7. Allow top players to use performance-enhancing supplements...Oh wait, they already do that

6. Once an inning, catcher has to take one in the nuts

5. More shots of FOX's hot new young stars

4. Give Mel Gibson some tequila and ask what he thinks of Sandy Koufax

3. Oh, I don't know -- shorten the game by 2 or 3 hours

2. Just for fun, bring an A-Rod to choke

1. Between innings, Madonna adopts a ball boy

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

THE JAMES DEANS by Reed Farrel Coleman

The James Deans is DetecToday's featured novel for October. It has drawn comparisons to The Great Gatsby, and I agree. Previous books in Coleman's Moe Prager series have set up the idea of the past coming back to bite you, and everything that happens to Moe is more suspenseful and harrowing when seen in this light.

I most admire Coleman's portrayal of Prager as "lucky." Moe muddles through mostly on determination. Seemingly random things happen to him and he does his best with them, yet you know Coleman has a firm hand on the narrative.

There was a lull in the middle, when the supposed culprit confessed and the heroes reaped rewards, but by then I'd adopted Moe's reflexive mistrust of good fortune. Something had to go wrong; the only question was what. Once the story picked back up, it kept my interest through the last page.

"Who's the master?"

Click your mouse button if you recognize the entry title as a line from Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon. This post is actually about grad school. While sifting through my basement archives, I rediscovered three Post-It notes saved from my thesis adviser's door:


Come in, sit down.

I'll be right back...

My adviser was a great teacher who sharpened my writing senses and made me strive for insight in my stories without breaking my spirit in the process. I wish he'd been on time for more of our conferences, but I took his lateness as a challenge to figure out more on my own. Ultimately, I decided not to go straight into a Ph.D. program, to try and motivate myself because I'd have to do it someday anyway.

"Who's the master?"

"I am."


I'd always had a passing interest in The WB's Charmed (mostly in the Shannen Doherty years). Now, thanks to TNT's four hours a day of reruns, I've caught most of the first and second seasons and this morning ordered the first season DVD set from Deb's Bargain World.

As original creators often leave series in the middle of their runs, I have a soft spot for first seasons. It's fun to see the characters as they were originally conceived, to see them meet each other, to think what might have been before one plot twist too many.

I enjoyed the days when Andy was determined to discover Prue's connection to so many macabre events, the days when Leo seemed a simple handyman.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sticky Fingers

I was almost ready to call Detroit pitcher Kenny Rogers the feel-good story of this postseason. Today, having seen ESPN's footage of Rogers's browned-up pitching hand from several playoff games, I'm almost ready to call him a cheater.

While I'm at it, I'll call myself naive. Even with near-proof that several players are using steroids, I still get caught up in pro sports. I want to believe people are playing for the love of the game. It's probably more true that they're playing for money, attention, an adrenaline rush, or because they have no other marketable skills.

Say it ain't so.

WENN: Ford: "I'm Fit Enough To Play Indiana Jones"

Movie star Harrison Ford has reassured fans of Indiana Jones he's still fit enough to play the action hero one more time - at 64. The actor was bombarded with questions about the much publicized fourth Indiana Jones movie when he showed up at the inaugural Rome Film Festival in Italy on Friday, and insisted he's "fit to continue" as the movie archaeologist. He said, "We need to move on for artistic reasons and obvious physical reasons (but) I feel fit to continue and bring the same physical action." The fourth Indiana Jones movie has been in development for more than a decade, but the production has recently gained momentum after producer George Lucas revealed he and director Steven Spielberg are working on a script.

Mumble-mumble years, mumble-mumble mileage. I'm tired of hearing about Indy IV.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Valeria Golino

The actress of Italian and Greek descent—who made her U.S. mark in such movies as Big Top Pee-Wee, Rain Man, and Hot Shots!—turns 40 today.

Studio Briefing: Superhero To Beam Onto 'Guiding Light'

Guiding Light, America's oldest soap opera -- it began on radio in 1937 and moved to television in 1952 -- will be taking aim at younger viewers next month when it introduces a Marvel Comics-created superhero on Nov. 1. Marvel Comics said that it will cross-promote the storyline with an eight-page insert to appear in several of its comic books in which the Guiding Light characters will interact with Marvel superheroes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I can almost hear a furious Jonathan Quayle Higgins III in Kevin Burton Smith's reaction to the results of the Sleuth Channel's America's Top Sleuths poll:
...3) Jim Rockford (The Rockford Files)
2) Columbo
1) Thomas Magnum (Magnum P.I.)

MAGNUM? It all comes down to Thomas friggin' Magnum?

Yeah, that's what I thought. But what were you expecting? This is TELEVISION!!!!

It's just a popularity contest, fer cryin' out loud, and an amiably hinky one, at that.

Voting was done via the internet only (so right off, say goodbye to entire segments of "America"). Absolutely anyone with a few minutes and a mouse could vote -- regardless of their knowledge or background.

The producers were further curtailed by what they could -- and couldn't -- get the rights for, so even the short-list that people were asked to vote on was less than all-encompassing.

So what we were left with was not the best or even necessarilty the most popular of all TV and film detectives, but the most popular among a short, pre-selected list of TV and film detectives, as voted upon by a relatively small segment of the population that possessed both internet access and the knowledge and inclination to use it (ie: middle-aged and younger, generally), which would also likely skewer the results to those shows in more recent memory. Which may in turn explain why we have one movie from 1941, one movie series from the thirties and forties, one TV show from the fifties, one (arguably)from the sixties, and everything else from the seventies onward.

...MAGNUM? Yikes. I mean, I know it was popular, but THAT popular? The critic in me just can't let it go. Everytime I caught an episode it seemed to be one of the Higgins nagging/Thomas whining-and-smirking episodes. The most sustained gay fantasy ever on American television. Why do you think none of those women lasted?

I commented:
Given that this was essentially a name-recognition/popularity contest, I'm impressed that Rockford placed as well as he did.

Magnum, P.I. struck me as a mix of serious and humorous that didn't quite work, but it was the kind of show that could be enjoyed casually. Good-looking protag, exotic locale, car chases, shootouts, rockin' theme music.

Incidentally, in the original pilot script, Magnum was a more classical James Bond-type with a girl on each arm. Tom Selleck wanted to play someone quirkier, less perfect, and Don Bellisario agreed. IMO, Bellisario's current show, NCIS, is a more successful blend of serious and quirky.

Nasty. Brutish. Short.

In the tradition of Robert W. Tinsley's The Short Of It, Nasty. Brutish. Short. is a short story review blog started by Graham Powell and Steven Torres, with contributions from Bill Crider, John Rickards, and me.

My first review is of O'Neil De Noux's "The Iberville Mistress," featuring post-WWII New Orleans PI Lucien Caye.

Back to "work"

My poem "Let me do all the work," first published last year on Lunatic Chameleon, will be reprinted in Clean Sheets, an online erotic magazine. Thanks to poetry editor Devan Macduff.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The PC Called Jayne

A week ago today, my new PC was delivered, a Dell Dimension E520 with an Intel Core 2 processor running at 1.86 GHZ and a 160GB hard drive,

Unfortunately, the latest Ubuntu Linux distribution at the time couldn't recognize my network card, making it impossible to copy files from my six-year-old Pentium 2. Another distribution was released yesterday, and I'm in business.

My new computer is named after Firefly's Hero of Canton, Jayne Cobb.

It'll be Cards vs. Tigers

If you can't make it to the World Series, you want to go down in seven games, with the winning runs on base, and one of your best hitters at the plate—the way the Mets lost to the Cards last night.

The team showed heart. I'm sure they'll be back next year. And I'm sure these encouraging words are no consolation. Never before have I seen so little difference between winning and losing. And yet there is a difference once the game is over.

I don't like the Cards under La Russa, and I hope the Tigers jump on them the way they have everyone else this season.

Last Night on Letterman

Top Ten Signs Your Television Show Is Going To Be Cancelled

10. It's entitled, "Everybody Loves Osama"

9. Instead of laughing, studio audience shouts, "Let's burn down the studio"

8. The frequent lulls while the lead character attempts to remember his lines

7. It stars the remains of Desi Arnaz

6. "Variety" calls it "A thrill ride similar to eating tainted spinach"

5. To keep costs down, show is taped by elevator security cameras

4. It nabbed the coveted 3 AM time slot

3. One of 15 NBC shows based on backstage at "Saturday Night Live"

2. The opening credits include the word "Hasselhoff"

1. Their big idea is something called "Ventriloquist Week"


Click your mouse button if your favorite Gauntlet character was the nimble elfin archer. That may explain why Green Arrow is one of my favorite comic book characters and why I've enjoyed his multi-episode arc on Smallville this season.

In last night's episode, Oliver Queen takes Lois Lane to a high society party where Lionel Luthor introduces Martha Kent to his monied friends (potential backers for her state senate campaign). Shortly after Lionel's introduction, the power is knocked out, and Green Arrow steals a necklace Lionel has loaned Martha for the night. This sets Lois, Chloe, and Clark on the trail of "The Green Arrow Bandit."

Smallville frequently pits Clark against guest heroes whose identities are more established, but who will all eventually be overshadowed by Superman, to show where Clark's morals are. Green Arrow, liberal champion of myriad causes, does this better than Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. With Lana and Lex pursuing their own storyline—Lana's become quite the dragon lady, by the way—Clark is looking more like the hero he will become. Finally.

Who are you?

Haven't you heard? I'm the Green Arrow.

I hope you enjoyed your cult status while it lasted.

* * *

[Clark's heat vision has prevented Lois from unmasking Green Arrow.]

Oliver Queen. You owe me one.

That was you on the roof? Why'd you let me get away?

I'm not sure Lois would understand why her boyfriend leads a double life.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pam Dawber

...who played everyone's favorite earthling roommate, Mindy McConnell, turns 55 today. Dawber is married to Mark Harmon, with two teenaged sons, Sean Thomas and Ty Christian.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Zap2it.com: Fox Foments Future for 'Firefly's' Fillion

...According to The Hollywood Reporter, FOX and 20th Century Fox have signed Fillion to a talent holding deal, aiming to either develop a new property for the "Firefly" star or else to slot the actor into an existing show.

Jump to article...

Good news for Nate, though this is FOX we're talking about, the network that cancelled Firefly. Still, imagine Fillion showing up on Bones or House: "Paging Dr. Malcolm."

Margot Kidder

...turns 58 today.

Never my ideal Lois Lane, she was nonetheless the celluloid image of Lois from 1978 until Teri Hatcher took on the role in 1993.

"I bless the rains down in St. Louis..."

"Gonna take some time to watch the shows I never had."

With last night's Mets-Cards game rained out, FOX aired the two episodes of House I hadn't seen since it went head-to-head with NCIS. I'm all caught up and ready for House's October 31st return to 9:00 PM.

I hope the Mets don't lose momentum like the Yankees did after rain. Question for baseball fans: Dome or no dome? Lucky as last night's delay was for me, I've gotta say retractable dome.

Monday, October 16, 2006

In search of a lost poem

storySouth editor Jason Sanford blogs:
I'd like to share a great poem with you, but I can't. You see, the poem is missing. Disappeared without a trace. And despite the poem's name, there is no way to sample its DNA, to track its where abouts, or even to let you read it.

The poem is "Andy-Diana DNA Letter" by Andrew Weiman. I first came across the poem in high school, where it formed the epilogue to the 1981 Harper Anthology of Poetry, edited by John Frederick Nims. As Nims wrote in the introduction to the poem, "Our anthology opened with an anonymous poem of nearly 800 years ago on the themes of love, separation, death. Now it comes to a close with a poem on similar themes and nearly as anonymous, presented here to stand for all those (poems) being written by the young in whose vision poetry proliferates. It is 'nearly as anonymous' because the poet is not yet a presence in our literary world. This is his first published poem."

What followed was a three-page love poem, from Andy to Diana, written as a string of DNA. The poem pulses just like an actual DNA strand, narrowing and widening as Andy declares his love of Diana in a colloquial tone which simply rolls off the tongue. That said, the poem is also incredibly complex. Not only does it physically resemble the double helix of DNA, the sounds of the poem wrap around each other, mimicking the matching protein identifiers of each line of DNA in what Nims calls a "phonemic double helix."

According to the brief bio in the book, Andrew Weiman was born in Orlando in 1956 and wrote the poem while studying clinical psychology at New York University in 1980. I wish I could share with you the poem but there are no copies online (and for copyright reasons I can't reprint it without permission). Anyone wishing to read this masterpiece will have to find a copy of the 1981 Harper Anthology of Poetry or the literary journal Poetry (Vol. 137 No. 2, November, 1980) which first published the poem.

This poem should be read by anyone with a true love of poetry. However, more than thirty-five years after the poem was first published, the author and poem are still unknown. I want to change this. Just as detectives use DNA to solve crimes, I hope someone out there will notice this little blog posting and track down the author. What became of him? Did he write other poems or was this his sole poetic creation? And finally, and most importantly, is there a way to reprint the poem online so it can be shared with a new generation of readers?

If anyone knows the answers to any of these questions, please e-mail me at storysouth at yahoo dot com.

"I'm Dreaming of a..."

Tigers-Mets Series, just like the one I've never known.

I'm not a Met fan, mostly due to being twelve years old on Long Island in 1986, a fluorescent sea of orange and blue as the Mets were on top of the baseball world and the Yankees were in a down cycle. However, I was glad to see Oliver Pérez come through and the Mets' bats wake up to tie the NLCS 2-2. One team in New York had to start hitting again.

And I have to tip my cap to the Tigers, actually my second-favorite team (if we're allowed such things) since the heyday of Whittaker and Trammel. Kenny Rogers is pitching out of his mind and the Tigers baserunning can catch anyone napping.

Mannequin Envy

The Fall 2006 issue of Jennifer VanBuren's fine e-zine is live, including my poems "Airport Junkie" and "My uncle talks about himself."

In addition to poetry, Mannequin Envy features visual arts and flash fiction. Thanks again to Jennifer and poetry editor Patrick Carrington.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Best of Thrilling Detective Fiction

Kevin Burton Smith wants to know which stories you've enjoyed most in the eight-year history of Thrilling Detective Fiction. I'd like to know, too, as Fiction Editor since 2001. Contact Kevin directly at kvnsmith (at) thrillingdetective (dot) com or leave a comment here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Authors' Rhyme Time

This was a category on tonight's episode of Jeopardy! Two-word responses must rhyme.

Sample Answer: Robert's settings.

Sample Question: What are Crais's places?

Here's the toughest answer, in my opinion: Raymond's agents and publicists.

First to comment with the correct corresponding question wins.

Friday the 13th Quote: Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A STOLEN SEASON by Steve Hamilton

Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight is a former Detroit cop who relocates to the town of Paradise on Michigan's Upper Peninsula after surviving a bullet lodged near his heart. Alex is part cynic, part do-gooder, made believable by Hamilton's fine writing.

In A Stolen Season, McKnight helps rescue three men when their boat runs aground. It turns out these men are involved in a guns-and-drugs scheme the ripples of which threaten McKnight's girlfriend R.C.M.P. officer Natalie Renault and his best friend Vinnie LeBlanc.

Hamilton's style remains very readable as he weaves a satisfyingly complex web and leaves the irascible, yet earnest McKnight to untangle it. The stakes are high. Much is taken from McKnight, asking the most compelling question a story can, mystery or no: What will become of the protagonist?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

NYC Plane Crash

My friends and I were e-mailing about prospects for next year's Yankee team when we heard a small aircraft had crashed into a residential building on East 72nd St. and York.

I turned on the TV about half an hour after the crash. The building had been evacuated, and the fire was under control. We later learned the plane was registered to New York Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg relayed that two people had died, a student pilot and flight instructor. My thoughts are with Lidle's wife Melanie, six-year-old son Christopher, and others affected.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Torre to Return

At a press conference today, Joe Torre announced he would return as Yankee manager in 2007. I hope this at least means Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield will be moved.

Monday, October 09, 2006

"I'm your recent adaptation..."

I've just seen a Special K commercial and "Better Now" by Collective Soul is playing in my head. What's better than joyous electric guitar?

Scott Bakula

Best known as the time-traveling Sam Beckett, Bakula turns 52 today.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

All is right with the world, at least on Tuesday nights.

House will move back to Tuesdays at 9:00 PM when it returns on Oct. 31. Once again, I'll get to watch both NCIS and House on a weekly basis.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tuning Out

This past Wednesday I got together with some college friends, coincidentally die-hard Yankee fans, to watch Game 2 of the ALDS. Wednesday was, of course, a rainout, and the Yankees were never able to recapture the momentum of a Game 1 blowout.

Game 2 was a close one; Game 3 was not. Still, Randy Johnson pitched well for a guy with a herniated disc.

I'm not as shocked by the Yankees' poor performance this postseason as I thought I'd be. As poorly as the Tigers finished the season, I wasn't looking past this series as Michael Kay, Mike Francesa, and Chris Russo were. My prediction was that the Yankees would beat any of the National League teams if they made it past the Tigers, Twins, and A's.

In the middle of the Yankees' historic loss to the Red Sox in 2004, I began muting my TV set. I realized all the announcers could do was try to explain what happened and predict what would happen. As invested as I was, their voices grated on me. I also tune out more casual fans and don't watch pre- and post-game coverage. I watch the games. Everything off the field is embroidery.

Along with Johnson's bad back, Mike Mussina was coming off a tender groin, and Jaret Wright could never pitch past the sixth inning. The only reliable pitcher this year, Chien-Ming Wang, did win.

As vaunted as the offense was, the playoff lineup featured Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, and Bobby Abreu, three players who didn't have much time to gel with the rest of the team this year. Only Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter consistently batted in their regular spots. I'm not sure why a lot of people saw fit to look past these weaknesses.

Everyone has blamed Alex Rodriguez, but I've come to expect very little from him as a Yankee. It was up to the other guys to see if they could carry the team, and they couldn't. This Yankee fan since 1977 has made his peace with it.

The New York Daily News is reporting that Joe Torre will likely be fired and replaced with Lou Piniella. I have no qualms about this. Torre had a chance to resign with most of his Yankee legacy intact when Mel Stottlemyre quit in 2004. Instead he chose to make his money and take his chances.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Smallville Non Sequiturs

In last night's episode of Smallville, Clark discovers his super-breath after his efforts to repair damage caused by Zod bring on cold-like symptoms. This leads to another excellent comedic opportunity for Chloe to help Clark harness his power. Why is Clark not dating her again?

Meanwhile a barn door accidentally blown by Clark almost falls on Lois, somehow unleashing heretofore unseen reporter's instincts. She walks into the offices of Daily Planet rival The Metropolis Inquisitor and is allowed to write an article that makes the front page. Only in TV Land.

The episode climaxed with Clark surreptitiously saving Lana and Lex by blowing out a warehouse fire. Just like the old days.

IGN: Serenity Sequel Squashed

As seen on Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine, word came yesterday that a sequel to the Firefly movie Serenity won't be made.

Like Bill, I'm sorry to hear this, but I keep in mind that Serenity itself was made against all odds. I also remember that Firefly was a neat show while it lasted.

Take my love, take my land,
take me where I cannot stand.

I don't care, I'm still free,
you can't take the sky from me.

Take me out to The Black,
tell them I ain't comin' back.

Burn the land and boil the sea,
you can't take the sky from me.

There's no place I can be
since I've found Serenity,
but you can't take the sky from me.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Back in August I mentioned I'd lost the two made-for-TNT Pretender movies in a sea of VHS tape. Today, while finally sifting through that sea, I found one tape with both movies back-to-back. Excelsior!

My destiny calls and I go

Along with Jeff Conaway (56) and Karen Allen (55), today is my birthday. I can think of nothing momentous about 32 except having lived past 31 and being able to represent my age as 25.

The past two-plus years of my life are roughly chronicled here. I thank you for reading along and look forward to more discovery and expression:

"More misadventures?"

"Adventures, old friend."

If anyone feels the urge to lavish me with gifts, I direct you to my Amazon.com Wish List.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This Looks Like a Job for Pseudonym?

I drafted a poem yesterday that shocked me. I considered marketing the poem under a pseudonym, but after revising it—I hope without sapping its punch—I'm leaning toward using my own name.

I'd like to publish as much as I can under my own name to show versatility. We'll see where the poem finally lands.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Zap2it.com: Spike TV Gets 'A.M.P.E.D.'

Having closed the books on "Blade," Spike TV is set to begin work on its next potential original series.

Production was scheduled to begin Monday on "A.M.P.E.D.," a pilot from former "X-Files" executive producers Frank Spotnitz and Vince Gilligan about a team of cops assigned to deal with people who have genetic mutations that lead to destructive behavior.

Gilligan and Spotnitz created the show and will serve as executive producers. Craig Van Sickle and Steven Mitchell, co-creators of "The Pretender," will serve as day-to-day showrunners, and Rob Lieberman ("Dexter") will direct.

Jump to article...

I only watch Spike for Star Trek: TNG and DS9 reruns, but the names behind A.M.P.E.D. are good. I'll give it a try.

Studio Briefing: Former ESPN Commentator: ESPN Is "A Monopoly"

Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock, fired last week as an ESPN commentator after calling fellow ESPN commentator Mike Lupica "an insecure, mean-spirited busybody" and ESPN.com columnist Scoop Jackson "a clown," refused to back away from his criticism when he appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday. "I can't say I did not want to be dumped, but I knew the ramifications and knew what could happen. I'm not that surprised. ESPN is very thin-skinned, " Whitlock said. He then went on to underline his criticism of ESPN itself. "It's a monopoly. It's the most powerful sports entity, I think, in America, but it's not properly covered by the American media because too many of us are in bed with ESPN."

"Defiant. I always like that in a man."

By the time Ross Geller was fantasizing about Princess Leia, my imagination already belonged to the imperious, spoiled, sexy Princess Ardala (above, played by Pamela Hensley) of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I also liked Erin Gray as good girl Wilma Deering, but if Buck ever turned to the dark side, I wouldn't blame him.

Hensley, who went on to marry producer E. Duke Vincent, turns 56 today. In 2004, she published The Jewish-Sicilian Cookbook.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Man Called Hawk

Avery Brooks, Rutgers' first African American MFA graduate in acting and directing, turns 58 today.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Lunatic Beginning

Topics for the current edition of Lunatic Chameleon are communication (or lack thereof) and tools.

My poems "Watching Julie's boyfriend," "Drive with me to Iowa," and "Dad & I" are spread across two pages. Thanks again to editor Nan Purnell.

Still gives me goosebumps

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A-Team.

The man behind this monologue was A-Team producer John Ashley.