Thursday, December 08, 2005

The November Hiking Report and more!

I know this post will come as a shock to the two people (Hello Neil!)
who regularly check out my blog to see if I've managed to drag myself
to the keyboard long enough to lash together a few coherent (or not)
words, but it is far past time to break the silence. First up, the
Hiking November hiking stats. Despite an interstate move and the
usual settling that occurs, I managed to bang out 56 miles, which
brings me to 607 miles year-to-date. That leaves 43 miles between me
and the goal of 650 miles for 2005. Shortly after moving to
Rochester, I discovered that we live within a five minute walk of the
Genesee River trail system that ties in with the 100 mile long canal
trails, so I'm confident those last miles will fall with no worries.
Already knocked down 10 miles so far for December. Had a fine, crisp
and cold five mile hike yesterday, the 24 F temps freezing my lip dog
and putting some solid color in all my cheeks. The trails are paved
and well-maintained, providing wonderful views of the city and the
river and I am thankfully to be living somewhere where the local
government sees the value in creating these paths.

So far, I am enjoying life here in my new town. When I mention to
someone that I've just moved up here from Virginia, the response has
always been the same, "WHY?!". They see the south as warmth and
sunlight and opportunity and maybe I'll be seeing things the same way
after I've been through the next five (or more) months of cold and
snow, but for now I'm enjoying the winter wonderland. Also, I'm
finding I feel more comfortable socially and culturally, there's
definitely more film and animation opportunities here. Attended my
first AIVF meeting here last night and was really impressed by the
work I saw and enjoyed the company. I'll be showing "ZANK" at the
January meeting and I look forward to seeing more of everyone else's
work. Lots of interest in horror films in the group, several people
working on or having completed shorts and one feature in the works,
"Fury" by Liz Lehman. Check out her web site Trillium Films
Liz told some great stories of filming in the big, scary, old Nick
Taheo's restaurant downtown here and I'm looking forward to seeing
that film.

To the future,


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

October hiking report

I am a fall person. The crisp, cool air and brilliant hard light draw me outdoors, so my October hiking miles are always good. This year was no exception with a total of 73 miles for the month bringing me to 551 miles for the year. That leaves just 99 miles left to hike before the ball drops at year's end. Most of those miles will be acquired in and around Rochester, NY after we move there next week and that won't be difficult as the region is crisscrossed in established trails. I found this great interactive map of trails on the Democrat & Chronicle site. I have hiked some sections of the canal trails and the Lehigh Valley Trail and if they are any indication of what to expect, then I'll be in for a treat.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Monday, April 18, 2039

That's the day I'm suppose to die according to the DEATH CLOCK. So what to do with all that time? Obviously I haven't been spending it posting blogs lately and I humbly apologize for that. In the process of preparing the move, I just got out of the groove, but now I am going to get it back. Time is a strange thing, at least to me right now. Have been wandering around in a semi-daze since we returned from Ireland feeling like I did when I was seventeen, trying to figure out what to do with my life. I think those large life changes take much longer to digest then we realize or normally have time for and now I am on the verge of another one. I have had some doubts about this move to Rochester, nothing against that fine town, mostly just hate to move, but I have found that any enterprise worth doing in life is going have some doubts attached. Doubt is there to remind you that you are taking a risk and risk is a sign you are living life. And if that old Death Clock is accurate, then I got a fair chunk of life left to live. Back to packing.


Note: Thanks to John Oak Dalton for the Death Clock link.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Monday, October 03, 2005

September Hiking Report

September was a good month for hiking, managed 64 miles this month. The cooler, less humid weather makes it a bit easier. Fall is my favorite time of year to get my boots muddy. Have 172 miles left to go for the year, about 57 miles a month. Most of this hiking has been on the beach, but I did get a few miles in Charlotte, NC and down in Mississippi last week while on a visit to see my Father. Onward.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Try to Remember September...

Dang and hellfire, where the heck did September go to? A large and difficult to measure chunk of it has been devoted to preparing to move from the humid, over built, gridlock shores of Tidewater to the less humid, but more diverse, slightly cooler in the winter streets of Rochester, NY. Most folks who live here question the wisdom of such a move, but I spent part of my youth in Wisconsin and actually enjoy cold weather. Besides, trading the ever present hurricane threat for a few months of freezing temps and shoveling snow, seems like a bargain right now. My in-laws in Rochester, so I've visited many times and find it to be a pretty hip town with some decent restaurants and active film community. There's an AIVF Salon group there and Eastman House and The Little Theater, which has a monthly Emerging Filmmakers series of local efforts. There is also a Writers and Books Center that features screenwriting workshops that I'm going to try out to get me back in the ink-slinging arena. Much to look forward to, but in the meantime, there are loads of loose ends to nail down. The plan is be handing out Halloween candy there in the frozen north.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Weaverwerx final arrives in the 21st century

There's an old saying, "The cobbler's children have no shoes." . That explains why I haven't redesigned or even up-dated the Weaverwerx web site since, well, ah,,, the 20th frickin' century. Lame excuses aside, check out the new launched Weaverwerx site and let me know what you think. Some (one or two of you, in other words my loyal readers) may notice that "Zank" is not represented in the "flicks" section. Well, old Zanky will be getting his own page soon, so look out for that development. I'll also be entering "Zank" into a film festival, the first since it was shown at the Flicker Film Festival. I'll keep you posted. OK HW

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hiking report August

Hit my hiking goal and then some August with 62 miles for the month bringing me up to 414 miles for the year. Leaves just 236 miles to go, a tick under 60 per month to hit 650.

Words from Gras Zero and an idea....

Like many folks out there, I'm on images and video of what seems the endless horror that is now the Gulf Coast. For a more personal take on the chaos, check out my buddy Lord Nelson's blog called "New Orleans Refugee". Nelson swings a mighty rant and his a few tales to tell.

On the lighter side of the blogsphere, "Dorking Out" has this suggestion for the future of N.O. or NEO ORLEANS as he calls it. Read More.

to the future,


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

When the levee breaks got no place to stay...

Damn. Looked like New Orleans dodged the bullet, then the levee gave it up, 200 feet of it and now the big bowl is filling up. The more information that comes out, the worse this all looks. The entire gulf coast has been shredded and I'm sure if you're reading this, you've seen the photos and footage and misery. My New Orleans pal, Lord Nelson (safe in Lafayette now, thank's for asking) has told me tales of woe, like the one where his girl friend and her parents, staying at a motel somewhere in Mississippi witnessed looters breaking into the vehicles of those staying at the motel, stealing from those who have lost it all. What level of hell do they send you to for that kind of behavior? Before all this madness, I arranged to visit my Father in Mississippi (also safe as far as I know) and Scott in N.O. at the end of September and I still hope to make the trip. Though they are warning volunteers to stay away, I want to give back to that town that has given me so many good times. I've shoveled mud before, I'd gladly do it again for all of them now. We are all in this together.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Do know what it means to miss New Orleans?

New Orleans is my favorite city in the USA. I've spent a lot of time there, been to three Mardi Gras and two Jazz Fests and countless other trips to visit my old, great friend Lord Scott Nelson. The Crescent City has a charm, character and funk that has been torn down, paved over and whipped out of most other cities. There are more eccentrics per square mile there then anywhere else in America 'cause they just don't give a shit. The locals joke about Louisiana and N.O. in particular being a third world country and after tonight, that joke will take on a cruel irony. I've read dire predications about what would happen if a category 3 or 4 storm hit; a city submerged and possibily beyond reclaiming. Katrina's a cat 5 monster with gusts up to 200 mph and a storm surge of 25 feet or more. By morning there may not be anything left but memories.

Some memories-

- arriving by a midnight train one steamy August. Lord Nelson faithfully meeting me at the station and we settled into a crawl through the Quarter. The drinks and laughs rolled on until the sun came up and then hot, black coffee and powder sugar down the front of my shirt at Cafe' Du Monde.

- second time going to Mardi Gras. Made a giant rubber tiki mask inspired by Hunter S. Thompson's "The Curse of Lono". Ran wide through the streets and at one point found myself encircled by a dozen or more Japanese tourists all photographing and video-taping me. I sometimes wonder what the footage looks like.

- same Gras trip, finding some weird, side street juke joint with a dirt floor and no windows, but the best smoking blues band I ever heard and yelling till my throat was horse.

- drinking White Russians and bowling at the old Mid-City Rock 'n Bowl.

- watching Godzilla movies and shooting pool on the nastiest pool tables at the Saturn bar.

- seeing the band Royal Fingerbowl play at the Saigon Club, as I recall it was smoker's night and the band was handing out free cigs.

- having a hang-over cheese burger at Checkpoint Charlie's and watching some 60's style funk band with a lead singer sporting an afro larger then a German Shepard., I got to stop, I'm making myself sad.

Here's to all the folks down in The Big Easy. Good luck, Buddha bless and I hope you'all make it through the night.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Go have a ball, a Murderball...

I caught "Murderball" last week and was humbled by the humility and inspired by the spirit of those rolling rugby players. From the opening scene of Mark Zupan dressing himself for the day, to the wild melee of the game, this film showed me a world that, frankly I'd never thought about before. Directors, Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro do a good job of balancing the individual stories with the main drama of the USA Wheelchair Rugby Team's effort to reclaim the title of World's Best from their arch rival Canada. This film has everything; conflict, humor, suspense, great dialogue and characters; so imagine my dismay when I read this CNN article called, "Why is nobody going to 'Murderball'?"

Ticket sales have been slow in comparison to the movie's buzz, and the distributor worries that America just isn't ready for a frank documentary -- even a really good one -- about guys in wheelchairs.

Read rest of the story

Indeed. Cynically enough I am not surprised that the masses are flocking to "The Dukes of Hazards" instead of "M-Ball" after all reality is pretty heavy right about now and the urge to escape is strong. Even though, ultimately what I took away from "Murderball" was something better than two hours of mind-wash. What I got was a glimpse of the nobler side of any of us, all of us and how some face hard realities with grace, strength and style. Do yourself a favor, catch "Murderball" not out of pity or duty or whatever, but because it's just a damn good film. Zahdah.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Zank you very much

Zank is ready. You might be more excited about this if you knew what "Zank" was, so let me tell you. "Zank" is a short stop motion animated film that I made a few years ago for the Flicker Film Festival in Richmond, Va. Every fall they hold an event called "Attack of the 50 Foot Reels" where participates create a movie from one roll of b&w or color silent Super 8 film. It's an in-camera edit and the filmmakers see their effort warts and all the night of the festival along with a crowd of one hundred plus folks. I've dared the task twice now, the first time I contributed a mini-documentary about my wife's painting called "Float" and then there's "Zank". I had been itching to do some animation and stop motion fit with the limited time available. I considered various ideas and roughed out some thumbnail storyboards, and that thing happened to me. That thing is the bad habit of getting too elaborate, biting off the big chew and never finishing the project, so I decided to try a different approach. Instead of trying to figure out every little detail, I'd just wing it. I had a "feeling" a definite "theme" was manifesting itself, so I gathered together some simple, pre-made characters to film (called toys) and over the next few nights wandered my way through the fifty feet of film. I finished well before the deadline, posted the exposed reel off and forgot about it until a few days before the event. That's when I thought about a soundtrack, what to do? At previous events, I'd seen folks do everything from live accompaniment on electric guitar to spoken word to just throwing on a commercial CD. As I had no particularly music in mind when I was shooting and lacking in musical skills my own self, I started hunting for a song. My criteria was: one - had to be around three minutes and twenty seconds long (the length of a fifty foot roll of Super 8 film projected at eighteen frames a second) and two - it had to be funky. What I wound up selecting was a Tom Waits song off "Alice" called "Kommienezuepadt" which met the requirements better then I could have designed. The night of the festival, "Zank" unreeled to lots of laughs and a big round of applause. "Kommienezuepadt" eerily matched the rhythm and feel of the animation, so much so that I had a hard time thinking about other music for the piece. I briefly considered looking into getting rights, but that provide beyond reach and I shelved the piece and life rolled on.

Fast forward to April 2004. I'm in Edinburgh, Scotland attending "Dead by Dawn". There I have the good fortune to met Neil Spencer Bruce; film fanatic, world traveler, blogger, and most importantly musician. Between b-movies and pints Neil volunteers to write, perform and record a new soundtrack for "Zank". The world is full of people who enjoy talking, in fact many of those same people believe that by talking about something, you have actually accomplished something other then converting O2 into CO2. Neil is not one of those people. E-mails started appearing in my inbox with links to copies of "Zank" with new soundtracks and every time I made a suggestion, WHAM Neil was on the job adding in his own good ideas until I couldn't remember the Tom Waits version. Yeah, Neil is that good.

So, without further ado I present:

note: this is a 5.82 Mb QuickTime movie. Neil will be hosting a WMV version soon.

I'm looking around for festivals to enter, so if you have any recommendations hip me to'em.

Thank's for looking and any comments are welcomed.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Coming Soon - Zank

Putting the finishing touches on a short animated film called "Zank". More soon.


The Hiking Report

Updated the hiking progress bar with my July efforts. Managed to
squeeze out 41 miles last month to bring me total of 352 miles for
the year so far. That leaves me just under 60 miles average per month
for the next five months, so I'm a little behind which for me is
always a motivator. Where are my boots?


Friday, July 29, 2005

Link update!

Just added a new link to another scrrenwriting blog. This one straight out of Oklahoma (where the wind falls mainly on the plains) called The Moviequill. Todd there lays down a fine post and unlike some people (like me) actually sticks to the theme of his blog and has provocative thoughts to share, so please pay him a visit.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Johnny meet Freddie and Carol

So, went and saw "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" yesterday and it was O.K., not an "Ed Wood", but definitely no "Planet of the Apes" (still reluctant to lay down the hard earned coin for a Burton film after that debacle, blah). Liked the lighting and photography a whole lot. The stuff in Charlie's hovel reminded me of Van Gogh paintings, "The Potato Eaters" and Grandpa Joe like "Self-Portrait with Badger Hat". Even though I always dig seeing Christopher Lee, really didn't care much for the whole Wonka Daddy-baggage back story bit and the Hallmark ending. And then there's Johnny Depp. He seems to have soaked up all the cool in the northern hemisphere, leaving the rest of Hollowood with a serious hip deficit. Depp plays Wonka like some stoned alien who doesn't even seem to get his own jokes and it works. Fun to see him throw in some little Hunter Thompson gags here and there and maybe a little Ed Wood too. Now some folks are seeing some Michael Jackson residue on this performance, but I think it's more twisted then that, oh yes. Depp's Wonka is the love child of Carol Channing and Freddie Mercury! Photos don't lie, check it out:

You be judge.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Follow the links

Discovered this week that this blog picked up a sidebar link over at Jim Miller's The Awful Writer. Thank's Jim and I'm glad to return the favor. The link is under the "Other Screenwriters" heading, which considering that I haven't posted anything as yet on screenwriting is awfully (sorry) generous of him. I've actually received some new viewers through that link, so hello to any new folks coming in.

Next post - "Gyro", my screenplay.


Monday, July 18, 2005

I love me some chainsaw baby!

Why is this man smiling? Well it's because he's getting to carve weird stuff out of Styrofoam with a chainsaw and get paid for it.

Occasionally I get a call from the good folks over at Virginia Scenic to put my sculpting skills to use creating set pieces for operas. It's hard, fun work and through the years I've worked on everything from an eight foot high angel to a three story tall Babylonian ruin. When I watch a movie like "The Two Towers", my eye is often focused on the sets and I cheer for my fellow blue foam carvers furiously racing the clock where ever they may be. This gig is for Chautauqua, N.Y. and an opera called "LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR" and it is scheduled to play August 5 & 8, so I guess I better get my butt in gear. Here's some unpainted tombstones I did for the show:

Back to work.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Zombies March On....

I can't seem to shake the zombies lately. Been reading the gruesomely fun serialized novel "Monster Island" lately by David Wellington. Wellington has found some clever new twists and angles that make the over worked sub-genre of the always hungry undead fun again. The short, tight chapters build a story that plays out like the drooling blue/green love child of Romero and King, with a little "Day of the Dead" here and a little "Stand". MI is self-published and represents to me the power and hope of the internet for creatives. There is now a real alternative to submitting your baby to the ever-dwindling pool of publishers, just set-up a blog and roll out the chapters, let the court of public opinion judge. But what about getting paid? you ask, easy, put the electronic hat out on your sidebar in the form of a PayPal donation link. That's what Wellington has done here and I gladly clicked thru and gave the man his due. I like that, the artist directly receiving payment, no middle people, no lawyers or marketing people or handlers or accounting problems. Smells like the future to me.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Hiking report

Just up-dated the hiking goal progress bar with the miles from June. Hit 44 miles for the month, bringing the year-to-date total to 311, 14 miles short of the halfway mark of 325 where I should have been on June 30th. I'll have to average 52.3 miles a month to make that 650, which isn't bad, but I have my work cut out for me. It's tar melting hot right now, 98 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidty to match. Not the kind of weather that inspires a long walk, but then that's why I have this goal.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Land of the not-so dead

This is a big week, no a huge week for zombie fans everywhere with the release of
"George A. Romero's Land of the Dead" the long-awaited fourth installment in his living dead series that started with "Night of the Living Dead" way back in 1968. The original "Dawn of the Dead' is a long time favorite of mine. I remember seeing it at the midnight movies back in 1978. My junior high buddies and I would walk over to catch the double features every weekend. Some how they film we wanted to see was always the second movie, so we'd have to struggle through the often lame first film to get to the goods. We had all been reading about Dawn in Fangoria and Starlog and that brief, but highly effective TV commercial that showed only a flash cut of the zombies springing towards the camera and a little narration to stoke the imagination. when it finally made it to the midnight movies, it played after "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" which, at the time, seemed liked the longest and most boring film ever made. Dawn set the standard that few films have ever been able to live up to. He had a gritty, documentary style that only added to the feeling of chaos and crisis. The characters weren't perfect, no heroes here, just people trying their best to live through a horrific situation. In all other areas, Dawn delivered the action, gore, dialogue and drama. I can't recall how many times I've seen it, a guess would be twenty times. It was always be a favorite.

Fast forward to now. It's been twenty years since the last film in the series, "Day of the Dead" and George has finally been able to get backing (thank's ironically enough to the success of the Dawn remake and "Shaun of the Dead") to shot Land. Universal in it's infinite wisdom moved the film up from an October release to June 24 and after seeing the film, I have to wonder how much it may have hurt to lose those months in post. I went to an afternoon, 3 pm show and was pleasantly surprised to see nearly thirty people there. Not a sell out, but considering this is not one of the mainstream tent pole films, a respectable showing. So how was it? I gave it a seven on IMDB. What I liked: The characters, down to the secondary and even the background players, everyone was interesting and seemed to have a life beyond the ninety-three minutes. We need more Pillsbury. Also, I've heard some pick out Dennis Hopper's performance as being weak, however I liked the take he took with Kaufman, as I've encountered several executive types who are "bad actors" and always trying to sell their agendas and don't realize their falseness is so obvious. How else could Kaufman be played? Next, the look of the zombies and effects over all: Gregory Nicotero and his crew found a new "look" for the undead and I was amazed and shocked at how much gore the MPAA let through. The "director's cut" DVD is going to quite a show. Finally, the dialogue: Some great lines often coming out of the mouth of John Leguizamo's character, Cholo or the hound dog sidekick character played by Robert Joy, Charlie. Kaufman got a few zingers, but often they sounded too scripted, too sound-bitey and don't you know they are the ones that wound up in the trailer. What I didn't like: The third act, the pacing was way off, there was a real lack of urgency and energy and I think it was a causality of the June 24 release date. I'll be curious to see how this section looks on DVD. And finally,


I have mixed feelings about the zombie (r)evolution. For me it changed the dynamic completely and made the zombies less frightening. If this idea is carried on to the point where the zombies are talking and really getting organized, then you might as well just have human against human (and then of course the whole metaphor falls apart). There were also small, sloppy bits here and there like the skateboard kid wearing earphones, alone on the wrong side of the fence and the ease with which the zombies broke through the city's defenses, but all in all it is a good ride. Just checked box office numbers and Land has scored $10.2 million on it's opening weekend, not bad for a $15 million film. Wonder what George will do for the sequel.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A hard life....

I took this photo today when I was out for a morning walk. This is the beach that is across the street from where I live right now. It's four miles round trip down to the Lesner Bridge and back and I've been jogging up and walking back. It's about as flat as you can get, makes me miss the mountains of Ireland or any mountains for that matter, but even so, it could be much worse. The beach changes everyday. Each day has it's own theme. Some days are dead fish days, others are broken glass and still others are industrial waste. The actual shape, size, and contour also are different, I never walk on the same beach twice. I'm grateful for the time I've had walking along these shores with my wife or with friends or alone.

I took this photo because of that cloud. That crazy, spiky bank of cotton with a flat edge mocking the horizon. It was a fine, peaceful moment and it's good to recognize those little pearls and breath deeply.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Take a Hike

I like to hike. It is an activity that requires very little, hell you don't even need shoes, just one foot in front of the other and pick a direction. Hiking is my main source of exercise for my body, mind and soul. For the last few years I have set an annual hiking goal of so many miles, this year it is 650 (the runner's and bicyclist are laughing right now, but we all got to play are own game). This ritual was started when I was preparing to hike the West Highland Way (an amazing trail that runs through the highlands of Scotland) for the first time and laid down a regular training schedule to stay motivated. I caught the hiking bug then and have continued to set those goals every year since. Even though I love to hike, I still procrastinate or avoid it, but the potential shame of missing a self-established goal will get my ass off the sofa if good sense fails to. What's the difference between walking and hiking? I think that walking is more relaxed, while hiking has intent and the stride is faster and more purposeful. You walk to get away from it all, you hike to go some where. You can hike nearly anywhere; city, country or 'burbs and the slow pace allows for time to study the ever-changing mosaic of life, the treasure and trash scattered all over this crazy planet. Hiking helps me to unwind and to think and stay happy. Got writer's block or feeling blue, take a hike.

Note - Thank's to David Anaxagoras for the progress bar code. It was intended for screenwriters to track finished pages, but works fine for other purposes too.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Gypsies, tramps and links

May has been a busy month. My wife and I returned on the fourth from living in Ireland the last twenty months. Since then, we have been living like gypsies, on the road visiting friends and family up and down the east coast. We're enjoying the last bits of freedom before the cruel reality of the job schedule takes effect next month. The big move looms soon, have to collect all the boxes and furniture and shuffle it across town. I always enjoy the unpacking process, playing archeologist with my own stuff.

Just yesterday, I added a few links to this page, to the right there, those film and screen writing links. These are blogs that I read on a regular basis because their authors have wisdom and humor and good writing to share, and they're entertaining too. David Anaxagoras' blog "Man Bites Hollywood", is an illuminating glimpse into the struggles of a screenwriting graduate student. He almost makes it sound fun to stay up all night and drink diet sodas trying to hit insane deadlines. John August is a pro screenwriter, his credits included, "Go", "Big Fish", and the soon to be released "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". His blog is always informative and full of clear-headed advice and a real gift to aspiring screenwriters. "The Artful Writer" is another pro blog by Craig Mazi ("Scary Movie 3" among others) and Ted Elliott (co-author of "Shrek", "The Mask of Zorro" among others) that I only recently started reading, but has become a quick favorite for humorous and insightful information. They also provide one of the most comprehensive list of screenwriting links I have seen. Finally, there's "Dr. Squid's Smorgasbord of Terror!", reportage from the front lines of no-budget filmmaking, Dr. Squid deals the goods on the DIY backyard studio life and makes microcinema look fun! So if you have writer's block and need some inspiration or something to read while procrastinating, click thru those links. Enjoy.


Monday, May 02, 2005

HST is still dead

Been more than two months now since Hunter S. Thompson punched his own ticket and I still think about him. A friend e-mailed the sad news, "Hunter S. Thompson RIP" read the subject line and I checked the news and sure enough - there it was - 67 and found by his son. Jesus. "Why not?", I imagined his last words, then the banner fell and less than a penny's worth of lead destroyed the infinite treasure caves of his mammoth, sagging mind. I wondered about his friends, Bill Murray, Johnny Depp, all the folks up at Woody Creek, all of them left here to continue the crawl without him. That night I had my own memorial, there was loud music and single malt Scotch and toasts to the night sky to all those not present. All those gone for good or going soon, and some still around, but the light's dimmed from their eyes.

I'm still wearing the black armband for that scary old mutant uncle who showed me how to spill the ink and walk with the rabid baboons and play chicken with a lightening storm. He was my own Pope of heavy water and crossed swords and bent nails. There's a bottle of Turkey and a shotgun and a copy of Morrison Hotel gathering dust in the corner. The mojo wire is quiet now, too damn quiet and I miss him.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Weaverwerx Manifesto or Now what are you doing?

There's a box on the set-up page for this blog called "brief description" and it is still blank. I find it difficult to clarify my purpose and when I try, I sometimes fall down the open manhole of my brain into the subterranean deep thought tunnels where I aimlessly wander for what seems like forever before finally re-emerging into the sunlight, confused, but empty-handed. My mind instantly leaps from "brief description" to "what am I doing with my life" and the fingers hang in the air over the keyboard and down the pipe I go again. With that in mind, I'll press on watching my step and aiming for statements of the declarative variety.
(throat clearing sound)
Weaverwerx is... (you can do it)... the funky factory of my life that has produced everything from sculpture to short films to screenplay (one so far, but I got ideas) to homemade chocolate chip cookies. This blog began as an off-shoot from my long neglected web site and was meant to be an amped up "news and events" section, but actually has become another distraction from actually redesigning and updating the site and immediately mutated into this loose collection of musings. Topics likely, but not promised to be explored; film making, art, computer graphics, animation, writing, the mysteries of the creative process, hiking (including blister secrets and the ballad of the broken shoelace), travel, humor, and apologies for failed attempts at humor. My attorney has asked me to say: In the future, I maintain the right to, without warning, notice or reason, add new topics to said "list" (referred hereto after as "list") or remove, redecorate, or digitally remaster any topics or topic-like objects from "list", but there is no expressed commitment that "list" will actually or virtually ever be altered (or printed out and put into the bottom of a bird cage) or referenced either in polite conversation or used as a veiled or unveiled threat against person(s) unnamed (but you know who you are) or compliment or back-up piece of conversation filler for awkward moments or voids in other contracts either verbal, written, or performed.

Glad that's out of the way. Now, where was I?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

the empty inbox

I cleared out my e-mail inbox last week for the first time in I can't remember when. There's always a few lingering e-mails, links forwarded on by friends that lead to sites too fat for my dial-up connection or some digest of messages from the Tom Waits group I belong to or the occasional note from an old acquaintance that gets left like leftover Chinese food in the back of the fridge offering promise and possibility, but eventually just has to be dealt with. But this last weekend, I had time and desire and weeded my way through the dozen or so bits and reached that coveted goal of zero. Now the emptiness stares back at my like that white page or canvas or lump of clay, but even worse, this emptiness isn't filled by my hand but by the whims of the great e-mail god (or goddess? yeah, somehow, makes more sense to me that he is a she), so goddess blessing my meager dry little box with the sweet rain of communication, ah yes. But until then, silence and white space.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

As opposed to the low energy variety....

Came across this bag laying by the side of the road the other day.

Amazing how four simple words can create a whole universe of possibility.


Monday, March 14, 2005

Sunday night in Gort

A rainy Monday morning here in the west of Ireland. Last night went to Gort (yeah, like the robot), a small town about a half hour drive away. A friend of my wife's invited us to see her brother play music in a pub. "What does he play?", Una made strumming motions in the air, "The guitar". "Trad music?", I asked (I respect that many folks appreciate Traditional Irish Music and can't get enough of it, but I am not one of those people. Generally find that not unlike thrash metal, blue grass or Martin Denny stuff, that a little goes a long way). "No, he plays songs by other people.", she said. "You mean cover tunes, like the Eagles and such?" I replied. "Exactly."

O'Donnell's pub most Sunday nights, is full of regulars that were absent (at first) last night as everyone was at a wedding celebration some where else. This worked out fine for us as we were able to enjoy Paddy's singing and playing. He sat down with us before his session and handed out his song list that ranged from Prince, "When Doves Cry", to Johnny Cash, GnR, "Sweet Child O' Mine" and Christie Moore and everything in between. Paddy had a quick, easy smile and was light hearted and damn near jolly. When he took the tiny stage, his singing and playing were as light and clear as his smile and I sank back into my seat, sipping my pint of the brown stuff enjoying this human juke box do his thing. Una requested, "Piano Man" by Billy Joel, and Paddy acknowledged the irony of playing that song on guitar and launched into a spot on version that had us singing along. I knew all the lyrics from having sung along with it all those times stuck in tunnel traffic commuting to Hampton from the south side. As the verses rolled out, I realized how comfortable I now feel here in Ireland and how little time we have left before we return to the US in May and how I'll miss nights in the pub like this one. A young woman at the bar made a request and Paddy slid into a rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", that was so sweet and painful and beautiful that it squeezed a salty tear or two out of my old right eye. I was amazed and grateful that Mr. Cohen created such a powerful thing; that one person can transmit such profound feelings and thirty years later another person can retransmit that same message and it is all there, the hugeness of that emotion. Gave me hope for the creative life, for my own creative life.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Rolling the blog

Time to get a soap box of my own to stand on and join the rest of the voices. Weaverwerx is a catch all for the various projects and interests that I have revolving mainly around art and film, but this blog will also leak over into all the things that catch my attention from travel and hiking to humor and writing. I've kept a personal journal for years and marvel at all the people out there brave and crazy enough to put their thoughts out there for raw consumption. I believe it is a valuable and very human endeavor and aim to contribute to that big old compost pile with my own experiences. Thank's for joining me.