Sunday, July 31, 2005

HMAS Brisbane: Death of a warship
& here's the winners of the Paul Mulshine "Bennie Lane" lyric contest.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The split in organized labor: I'm for it. Tough in short term, good overall. Cripes, the AFL-CIO just elected a 71 year old guy to a fourth term as The Boss. How many old visionary labor leaders you met lately?

Boy Scout Jamboree: Despite all the terrible events, thank Yahweh it's a homosexual-free zone on United States government property. As for me, I preferred Camp Winnebago, where a kid could escape the creepiest male adults wearing perfectly pressed uniforms just by following a creek uphill a few hundred yards.

Rove, Novak, Plame etc.: Please leave John Roberts for September & get back on topic.

Heat & Humidity: You think it's over? Tell it to the polar ice caps.

A Bible passage for the President from Romans, a favorite book of the American Mullahs: For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

The unknown,
the mysterious.
those of us who need to know
find that
the more we know,
the more things we don't know
excite us.

Diane Wakoski Poetry - The Unpredictable

Friday, July 29, 2005

Minding Gina's Cats

I enjoy being around cats. But what makes me a competent volunteer cat-sitter is that I actually mix & sit with them. It's far better to have someone looking after your pride of cats who is fond of the species. My first aim is simply not to freak them out by disrupting their home. I take seriously the primary catkeeper’s descriptions of their various personalities. It's important to know a cat's vulnerabilities, too; older cats may have poor eyesight or hearing, or parts of their bodies that cause them pain if touched.

However, I'm no sucker or sentimentalist. Much domestic cat behavior is recognizable in wild cats. Cats often interact without seeming to notice each other, & even cats with personal alliances hiss each other away on occasion. Young cats mostly practice hunting & protecting themselves, but sometimes they ask to quietly feel your protective body warmth & breathing. So I can try to behave a little like a cat. I enter the house calmly but not surreptitiously, giving the curious cats a moment to sort themselves out into those that greet me & those that get out of the way. My names for them (I know Gina's official names) are Queenie; Old Blondie & her pal Wink-eyed Blackie; Wee Gee, who stays in the background but sees everything; & a sociable little tiger, who I greet by picking up & giving a raspberry on its tummy. The cats understand what I'm doing. I turn on the lights & ceiling fan to show I'm staying awhile. Then I get a scoop of dry food & go outside to feed the one or two skittish semi-feral siblings that live in & around Gina's garage & lush backyard. They co-exist with a lot of birds. Back in the kitchen, I get out out the yummy much desired canned "dinners", quickly open & dump them into the bowls, & exit the area. Cats can be finicky about what they eat, but when they also accept dry food they're a lot less hung up than dogs about when they get the good stuff. I go into the living room, turn on the TV (satellite), & settle in on the couch. The cats work out their own system for who eats what when, it's none of my business. Then, one by one they walk slowly into the living room licking their chops. The little one usually gets frisky at this point. The others go sit at various windows & fall into complacent, satisfied states of consciousness, lasting up to an hour if they don't fall asleep. The second floor is an absolutely safe sanctuary for them - I don’t go there - & makes the steps a kind of tree they can sit in. Any cat looking to be scritched is welcome, but I do it while I'm watching a movie or ball game, & if I feel crowded I simply pick it up & put it on the floor; “It’s not about you personally,” I say. Gina’s cats have plenty of space, an entire house including a cool shadowy basement, they are sane indoor animals. I have nice place to hang out for awhile while Gina's at the shore. Do I stay with these cats longer than is really necessary? I am a sane animal, too. & Rio Bravo is a pretty long movie.

What I find most challenging about dogs - aside from the leash & pooperscooper - the high maintenance, complex routines & hierarchical relationships you have to work out quickly with them seems to come naturally to most lovers of canine breeds that aren’t inbred to the point of psychosis & physical deformity. I'm inclined to be too indulgent of dogs for the sake of fast acceptance. For the most pathetic mutants among them, the sad reductions of wolves & coyotes, I have only sympathy. But dog people sometimes have little patience for the more slowly paced lifestyles of cats - who can be at rest up to 20 hours out of 24 - & the unhurried approach one needs to take - which is poetic to my taste. .

In memory of "Muppet" - a British cat.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

From WMBR-FM Coffeetime blog: Sad to report that one of Blue Note's first great cover designers/artists, John Hermansader, recently passed away.

Sick of crowded Jersey beaches? Visit the beautiful one your taxes paid for just down the road from Sandy Hook.
But Jersey beach lovers have something to celebrate; A court ruling in favor of public access.

Today President Bush gets to eulogize four dead Boy Scout leaders before 40,000 Boy Scouts. Look for him to use the words heroes & Discovery, & probably terror. He should give a recruitment spiel ; we'll still be in Iraq when thousands of these kids are old enough to enlist. This president's arithmetic is far more terrible than a freak accident. On Wednesday, 300 scouts were stricken by heat while gathering for the speech, which was postponed due to severe thunderstorms. Update: Bush's second attempt to visit the Jamboree on Thursday was postponed until Sunday, at the Scouts' request.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

An Ethiopian man with 11 wives and 77 children is urging people not to follow his example and is giving advice on family planning and contraception.
"People see me as a funny man, but there is no fun in my condition. I am a desperate man struggling to survive."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bin Laden family in bid to change its name

THE FAMILY of Osama Bin Laden has requested permission from the Saudi royal family to change its name,

Now that I have your attention: If you visit Muslim Wakeup & give yourself a few minutes to become adjusted to the surroundings, you will discover some extraordinary people doing work of great hopes under very difficult conditions. Their devoutness is a beautiful thing; warm. open, & hospitable. Their faith, which is tested daily from all directions, makes them smile a lot.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Carnival-mediumWelcome to anyone visiting for the first time via the Carnival. Although I do write on matters concerning both politics & religion, a lot of that stuff is posted as commentary to other blogs focusing on those subjects. What I reach for in The Rix Mix is something more related to a journalistic poetry, or perhaps to music, or even to a boardwalk. Readers familiar with radio station WFMU will recognize the sensibility, which I had even before I was associated with anything that called itself "free form." If you randomly hit any of the monthly archives, you'll find yourself at another location in an on-going personal assemblage, & there will be some posts that transcend the occasion of their writing, a quality recommended by both Goethe & my late best mentor - joel oppenheimer.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"All the guests are leaving, but no one comes."

Tourists quit bomb-hit Egyptian resort

An Egyptian Tourism Ministry spokeswoman said it was too early to tell how hard the attacks would affect Egypt's $6.6 billion tourism industry, which employs more than 1 million.

At least 1,000 people, mostly hotel workers in uniform, chefs and street sweepers gathered near one of the hotels hit in the attacks.

Chanting "There is no God but God, terrorism is the enemy of God," they marched through the resort's main road, carrying banners that read: "We are against terrorism."

This is a brave response considering that Important Men in the Name of Allah could issue death fatwas against Believers who show hospitality to Infidels.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

WOODEN GRANDMOTHERS dispensing wisdom
from a slot:
"This diamond comes to tell the tale
That for you good luck will never fail"

Friday, July 22, 2005

For the Kids Working at the Mall

an empty parking lot at nine pm
remembers the afternoon sun

this heavy air is ready for slicing
with an orange moon's sharp blade

drive on through! or you'll never know
the night was hurrying ahead

until you've failed to catch it

© Bob Rixon

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

At last, Asbury Park wins a kewpie doll!

The "sea breeze" at Asbury Park wasn't even reaching the boardwalk at noon on Sunday, & the a/c inside Howard Johnson's didn't seem to be working either. So Glen Jones & X-Ray Burns sweat more than usual doing their live WFMU broadcast, & the enthusiastic crowd just drank more beer - which was good for the atmosphere & for the cash registers of George, the owner of Hojo's who's stuck it out in Asbury for many very lean years; maybe it's time to replace that hand-written "menu" nailed outside the door. I can't vouch for the coherency of the actual broadcast. It hardly made any sense in person but it was free form. Jones plays Asbury because he endorses only what he loves & has fun doing it. Culturally, Asbury has a long history & is a proudly provincial place with popular local acts, & generally solid taste in "name" performers. It always seeks to entertain outsiders, & most of the important insiders are traditionalists, so you won't find much innovation or outrage. The best spirit of the town is in some of the performance venues. Jones & X-Ray skillfully improvise a sophisticated & physical F.C.C. safe show next to a largely gay beach in the early afternoon at a family restaurant that looks like a nightclub getting over a hangover. One can only wonder what the act would be like at midnight, full house, same room.

For awhile, I had my eyes on an attractive moon-faced blonde in a floppy white sun hat. Then it occurred to me that she was a physical composite of three former girlfriends; The Artist, The Grammar School Music Teacher, & the "Isn't she too young?" college student. She disappeared when I wasn't watching. My dharma was to chat with two longtime WFMU listeners now living in the shore area. They said they knew me & if they were lying to be friendly I still appreciate it. This was not a husband & wife comedy team but a solidly married couple who had moved down to suburban Monmouth County from Kearny over twelve years ago just before such modest family folks had to win the lottery to come up with a downpayment. Bill Clinton was President then & there was hope in America. As my charming couple were saying how they were looking forward to the upcoming DB's reunion at Maxwell's, their two pre-adolescent sons came in & presented their very lovely mom with a kewpie doll. Two things immediately struck me about this: First, these kids were wandering Asbury boardwalk by themselves. Second, they won something at a game of chance - a slightly slutty-looking variation on Raggedy Ann. One year ago you wouldn't have wanted your kids out of your sight in that place & they really wouldn't have had anywhere to go anyway.

For a long time there was little for a kid to do on the Asbury boardwalk except look at boarded up buildings & peculiar people - some of them genuinely demented. When Casino was totally shut, the Ocean Grove & Asbury boardwalks were disconnected & the detours could be real adventures in socio-economic disparity. Even vacationing Methodists inclined to be charitable weren't looking for that. Last Sunday there were a lot of people strolling & rolling up from Ocean Grove, riding the bikes with fat tires called beach coasters. the kind of bike you keep at the shore place or rent.

What novel ideas! Encourage some intrepid entrepreneurs (& a major candy store chain) to start businesses on the boardwalk with generous leases & "opt out" clauses, reopen the Casino concourse to allow easy access from Ocean Grove. Also increase police visibility & let people ride their bikes anytime. I wonder why the city didn't think of that years ago? I bet the city government had little to do with it except caving in to the designs of some motivated soul in a nonprof re-development agency.

The condominiums are coming to Asbury Park & so is a wave of new residents who will spend money on Cookman Ave. This is good. But I don't go to Asbury Park to see condos, Cookman is not my kind of browse yet, & I admit I never wander west of the train station. I'm a life long benny* who loves boardwalks with crowds & carousels. No matter what Asbury Park becomes, for me success depends upon what happens on Ocean Ave. & the boardwalk. HoJo's flying saucer is a wonderful building of the space age style & era Wildwood hypes yet allows to be torn down. This great structure must stand. I've always loved the haphazard qualities of our egalitarian boardwalk towns, & right there in Asbury Park at the corner of 5th & Ocean one finds Convention Hall, the Berkeley Carteret, Wonder Bar, and a creamsicle space ship.

*Derogatory term Jersey shore natives use for out-of-towners. I won't let anyone below Belford call me a benny who hasn't lived within ten miles of the coast or a navigable tidal waterway for at least twenty years. & that's being liberal.

My take on Asbury Park from Summer 2004: A Perfect Day for Ruins

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 18, 2005

Texas declares: Real girls sing high, real boys sing low.

Friday, July 15, 2005

From the Press of Atlantic City, our diligent writer at the desk follows up an A.P. report with a couple of phone calls: Value City recalls dart guns mislabeled as walking sticks

If you want to know the difference between a conservative & a neoconservative, just listen to what they say about Karl Rove.

With Rudy Giuliani's presidential fantasies crippled by Bernard Kerik's tawdry doings, NY Gov. George Pataki is headed to Iowa this weekend. What political party does this pro-choice, pro-gun control Republican think he's in? Almost all northeast Republicans are in serious denial about who owns their party now, & the few that aren't, like PA. Sen. Rick Santorum, sound mentally unbalanced. That a Republican can be elected & re-elected Governor of New York proves nothing except that in Texas he'd be called something else & not a governor.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Great date, no cover

The Glen Jones Programme featuring X-Ray Burns
Live WFMU broadcast from the Asbury Park Howard Johnson's
Sunday July 17th, Noon to 3 p.m.

This is a great date, unless one doesn't like the Jersey shore or rock & roll. It's easy to be part of the Jones audience. The preferred adult beverage is beer, Ho Jo's mixes drinks too. Burgers & fries & whatever else is on the menu. Children are welcome. This broadcast is inside, so any dogs that attend may have to be tied up outside. Wander around during the music sets, hang out during the chat breaks., at 3 you have the rest of the afternoon & evening ahead of you. Jones loves Jersey boardwalks & he first broadcast from Asbury Park some years back when only three shops were open between Casino Pier & Convention Hall & the cause appeared hopeless. We thought HoJo's would close one October & never reopen for Easter. There are only 8 Howard Johnson's restaurants remaining of over 850 at the chain's peak. The flying saucer Asbury Park version of HoJo's is certainly one of the oddest; a semi-circular dining area with a bar. There was an upstairs dining area, which could be reached by a concrete ramp, & an adjacent rooftop ourdoor theater. Is the preservation of this great building a sure thing?

Here's a bunch of artless "Are you in this one?" photos from last September's outdoor broadcast, on a free site yet, & they got lots of views.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

An amusing series of e mails that resulted in the resignation of the Chairman of New Jersey College Republicans.
Anyone who might want to read a brief representive selection of my short music reviews can read them here.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Remembering the Times Square Howard Johnson's

The Howard Johnson's restaurant in Times Square closed last week.

In a revealing letter my dad wrote to my oldest brother in the Army in the mid-60's, he describes taking me to see a Broadway play, The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd. (I wasn't supposed to see the letter, but I found it long ago.) He commented on how passively I had reacted to the experience. I was in high school at the time. The Beatles had arrived with the ultimate generation gap. I admired dad, but doing something alone with him was nearly unique. Together, we made each other uncomfortable. I don't know why he chose the particular musical, which was somewhat "experimental" for the era. The co-author & star, Anthony Newley, had been replaced by Orson Bean, although I think Cyril Ritchard (who had played Captain Hook in Peter Pan) was still in the small cast. The play was inspired by British music hall vaudeville, with two main characters, an upper class "Sir" & a working class "Cocky" playing the "game of life" in which the rules are skewed toward "Sir." The show's message was strongly leftist & against racial prejudice, with a show-stopper, "Feeling Good," performed by a black actor. I discovered that the hit number "Who Can I Turn To?" was really a rhetorical question to an absent God. Tony Bennett made it into a torch song.

I could have mentioned all this while dad & I sat afterward in the Times Square Howard Johnson's restaurant. I could have said that the "Cocky" character drew upon the bitterly underdog viewpoint of the British "Angry Young Men" - authors I'd discovered in my G.I. brother's bookshelves right next to the Beat poets. Class struggle, civil rights; these were not subjects on which I sought dad's views (which were well known to everyone in the family), nor was I eager to discuss them with him. It would only have pissed him off, messed up his sickly thyroid secretions & made his eyes bug out. I was still mouthing white suburban Republican opinions in the living room, but elsewhere my heart & mind were already turning in another direction, to events & ideas I discussed privately with teenage friends while listening to Motown, Dylan & the Stones. So that meal at Howard Johnson's was eaten mostly in silence, & dad later wrote the uncomprehending letter to my brother who soon after was shipped to a country named Vietnam.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

20,000 people were ordered out of Birmingham, England city center last night based on what police called a "real and significant threat." I've been unable to locate a photo confirming a BBC report that a wedding party left the area in a conga line.

The Capricorn

She always put on her clothes
& drove home before sunrise,
to let her dogs out, she said.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Rapping Grandma

Friday, July 08, 2005

If I were one of those injured in London, I'd much rather have this experienced old gal stop by for chat than Tony Blair - or Camilla, or George Bush.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

If terrorists are trying to achieve some goal in Great Britain beyond killing innocent humans, I can't imagine what it could be. Most Brits never supported the Iraq War to begin with, & they've been fighting with their prime minister over it since the beginning, but no western nation is less inclined to bend or break because of "terror bombing." The basic character of the various people inhabiting the British Isles has been known since the Roman Empire. These people got through the Viking invasions & the German Blitz. & they have long memories. Today, this blogger from the former colonies mourns also, & then says God Save the Queen.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Military authorities Wednesday began investigating whether a California National Guard unit was created to spy on citizens, as dozens of demonstrators confronted Guard officials while armed soldiers stood by. .... Under scrutiny is a California National Guard unit with a tongue-twisting name: the Information Synchronization, Knowledge Management and Intelligence Fusion program. It was established last year, and came to public light after a recent story in the San Jose Mercury News.Calif. Guard Unit's Possible Spying Probed - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Omelets in a bag!?

Guests, family, grandkids, for breakfast?
Here is an easy fun way to
prepare a tasty treat for breakfast (or anytime.)
Have them use a permanent marker to write
their name on a quart size, self-locking, freezer bag.
Crack 2 lg. or Xtra-lg. eggs into the bag
(more than 2 will not work),
shake, mixing them well.
Put out a variety of ingredients
such as cheeses, ham, onion, green
pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa,
etc... Have them add the prepared
ingredients of
their choice to the bag and shake. Make
sure to get the air out of the bag and zip
it up. Place the bags into rolling-boiling
water for exactly 13 min. You can usually
cook 6 - 8 omelets in a large pot.
For more, make another pot of boiling water.
Open the bags, and the omelet
will roll out easily. Be prepared for
everyone to be amazed. This is very
nice to serve with fresh fruit and a
coffee cake or toast. It's a
great conversation piece and everyone
gets involved in the process.
It's easy, convenient and delicious.
And no fat........
Forwarded by SunsettoSunrise

[Eggs & cheese are better than meat, & are better way to use our grain crops than for fattening cattle & chickens. & maybe some of that grain gets into the stomachs of hungry people around the world. Maybe 20 years ago it wasn't within our grasp as great nation among nations to end hunger & help control epidemics anywhere in the world. But it is becoming possible now. A right we need to be both promoting & extending is the right not to starve to death. ]

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Parental Advisory

Monday, July 04, 2005

Aggressor Nation

Having slept past noon following
a sleepless night, I walked
over to Gina's house, fed
& entertained her cats;
watched the Halls of Montezuma,
a very good movie starring
Richard Widmark as a high school
chemistry teacher turned
United States Marine Lieutenant
fighting in the South Pacific,
a moral man with a conscience
being tragically tested
under horrific circumstances.
While his platoon died around him,
& he desperately sought information
from stubborn samurai prisoners
without resorting to torture,
a load of laundry tumbled in the dryer.
I wasn't going to make the train
that would take me the fireworks
by the river behind City Hall.
When the fireflies emerged
I rode my bicycle to the supermarket.
picked up a few food items
& something to help me sleep,
waited in a slow checkout line
as the women ahead of me
signed checks for their purchases.
Outside, an indigo evening
rumbled with distant bombs,
rockets launched from backyards
exploded above shingled roofs,
automatic weapons fire erupted
on street corners, a large grenade
blew up between two houses.
But here my neighbors are grilling hot dogs
with mariachi music, their children
on the sidewalks waving sparklers.

I do not like being alone
on the 4th of July, & I am not
strolling through the patriotic crowd
in the parking lot by the river
behind City Hall, solitary,
with a bag of zeppoles, smiling
at the big battle in the sky.

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm the guy that spins the wheel
that wins the stuffed animals,
it's why girls like me.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?