Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The memory just appeared fully-formed.  The other night, while talking on the phone with my brother John, I mentioned how hearing certain songs could trigger a very specific memory, even if that memory was unconnected to anything else. 

For instance, I could very specifically remember hearing the Bee Gees' Too Much Heaven while we drove lazily along in his '76 Chevette, just before we reached a certain hill along Highway 141. 

"And that's all you remember?" John asked.

Well yeah, I answered, then corrected myself: No.  It was overcast, it was a Sunday, we'd left home a little later than we usually would have.  We didn't have a movie we were going to see, we were just going to hit the record stores in the malls.  I remember I was fired up to buy the soundtrack to Taxi Driver...

I stopped.  John paused for a second, then asked, "And you remember all this why?"

I didn't have an answer.  I still don't.  For whatever reason, the past is becoming more vivid to me every day.  Memories are becoming more distinct.  Maybe I've become unstuck in time, like Billy Pilgrim, or maybe I'm just learning to appreciate all the little things that made me who I am. 

In any event, I'm wondering if such things are going to become the focus of this site, as much as this site has any focus.  Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Just taking a moment to be by myself, to reflect and be grateful.

I've only mentioned her in passing, but I seem to be spending all my time with Janie.  She's here pretty much non-stop, and though she hasn't formally moved in, she's always here in spirit.

It's odd because on paper, this all seems wrong.  She doesn't like The Simpsons, for crying out loud.  And she can only name three Beatles!  And for God's sake, she watches reruns of Little House On The Prarie--not ironically, either, because I don't even think it's possible to watch that show ironically.  She just, you know, likes it.

Which probably tells you something about her personality--she's a genuinely nice person.  Good, kind-hearted, warm.  She's supportive of me no matter what I do, and she's there for me because...well, because she loves me.  And, whatever else has been going on in my life for God knows how long, I haven't been in a mutually loving relationship, and, to quote the sage poets Peaches & Herb (or, alternately, Chuck Mangione), it feels so good.

So whenever posting is light around here, it's because, good times or bad, I'm busy living my life.

Friday, November 05, 2010


Originally I was going to structure this as one of my increasingly-rare Random Thoughts posts, complete with a fake Larry King quote for a title and everything.  I thought it would be a good catchall way to mention a few things in passing, like the death of writer Monica Johnson (who co-wrote most of Albert Brooks' films and contributed scripts to the best sitcom of all time, The Mary Tyler Moore Show) and the results of Tuesday's election.  But the more I thought about those election results, particularly here in newly-Red State Iowa, the more depressed I got, and that's the kind of thing I'm trying to get away from, in my writing and my life.

Besides, there's something much more important to talk about.  Like this Spider-Man musical.

The mounting disaster known as Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is nicely detailed here, but the brief version is: Thanks to an incredibly drawn-out conceptual period imposed by "visionary" director Julie Taymor, who is apparently uninterested in such niceties as telling a story or keeping actors safe, this seemingly foolproof money-spender is burning through millions of dollars a week even as its opening date keeps getting pushed back.  It was supposed to open in a few days (hell, it was originally supposed to open last February, but whatever), but apparently Taymor and the show's composers, U2's Bono and The Edge, haven't even figured out how to integrate the songs into the thing yet, which would seem to be Priority One for a musical, but again, whatever.

Now I could use this story as a pretext to indulge my irrational hatred for Bono and The Edge.  It's nothing compared to my seething contempt for Jason Mraz or Marc Fucking Cohn, but aside from the fact that one's a pretentious, self-important douchebag and the other one has been recycling the same damned riff for decades now, there's the sad fact of guys in their fifties calling themselves Bono and The Edge.  Face it, guys, even Johnny Cougar is a less embarrassing rock star name.

And I could point out that whatever alleged innovations Taymor has in mind seem wildly misplaced, because really, who gives a sweet shit?  It's a Spider-man musical; get the Flying By Foy guys to figure out how to make him climb walls, write a stirring power ballad that includes the phrase "with great power comes great responsibility," market the whole thing to families and comic book geeks and call it a day. 

But what really pisses me off about this show is the title: Turn Off The Dark?  What does that even mean?  And why should anybody care?  I mean, yeah, Marvel Comics manages some hilariously overwrought titles on their own, but this is just ridiculous.  It's the kind of would-be poetic nonsense you'd expect from some cheap poseur who desperately wants you to think he's much deeper than he is.

But again, it's co-written by Bono, so I guess it's appropriate after all.

Monday, November 01, 2010


You know what's really sad about this?

This ad campaign ran back in '79, and yet my brother and I will still find ourselves occasionally, and for no reason whatsoever, saying, "Dave Parker's turning 7 Up!"  When we say this, and other things like it, to each other, it kind of makes sense--a shared ironic take on a bit of ephemera from the past.

But the thing is, we'll say it to other people, too, fully realizing that they won't have the slightest idea what we're talking about.  After all, most people don't remember what their lives were like over thirty years ago, much less  commercial that served only to fill in gaps between TV shows.  Some of us, unfortunately, do remember, because, well, this was the only life we had at the time.

Actually, what's even more depressing is, I only stumbled across this ad because it came up as a sidebar recommendation while I was looking for this:

Had no life then, have no life now.