2016, New Site, New Blog, New Beginning
Well, hello there...welcome to my new blogspace, here on my new website. Please bear with me as I open my 2016 blog attack with observations, updates and lots of interesting things that I hope will take your fancy and interest.
For those of you who have chanced across this site, welcome aboard! And for readers of my old blog, this is where the action's largely going to be!
Several years ago, I started blogging under the title, "Words of a Pre-Curmudgeonly Zen Pagan." The site is still up, and you can check out past writings, rants, thoughts, words, stuff, and interesting comments from some of my friends.
Just to remind you: I am not always a fine user of the Queen's English. So if you are sensitive to swearing, I apologize in advance, but it's how I must sometimes get my fucking point across.
We good with that? Cool.
Actually, let me veer off on that subject a little bit: I had great admiration and respect for the wonderful comedian and actor, Sid Caesar. My mom met him when they were in the Coast Guard together, early 40's.
Another sidebar, sorry...she was stationed in Miami, '41-'43. He was down there working on a show, and he'd come to make an appearance and meet and greet. Mom said he was incredibly handsome and very nice to everyone.
Sid wrote without fear about a horrible period of his life, from 1958 to '78, when he spiralled into oblivion on a diet of booze and pills. He wrote about this in a great book, Where Have I Been? I read it many times, and I went back to it in the mid 80's when I was in the throes of a dark and very serious depression.
I went as far as to plan my suicide, no joke.
Anyway...I managed to pull back from doing it, and the Jungian method Caesar used to talk to himself became something I did. It did not solve my depression, but it definitely helped.
What was I going to say? Oh yes...in the 70's, Casear admitted to "irrationally" hating all new comedians, and in particular he didn't get the humor of Saturday Night Live. The only ones he liked were: George Carlin, Robert Klein (who reminded him of himself), and Richard Pryor.
In a later work, Sid defended his defense of Pryor for swearing all the time in his standup. He said to paraphrase, that Pryor used the F-bomb and other words because that was the only way to get his point across.
It made sense to me. Bill Cosby once said of Pryor, that Pryor (paraphrase again), "drew the line between comedy and tragedy as thin as one could possibly paint it."
Say what you will about Bill (and I have plenty for another time), but that was as succinct as you could get about Pryor.
Now, in my "real" (ha!) job, my big mouth is something that needs to be tempered. It would not do to drop one of the Seven Dirty Words, or that's goodbye to my career.
Got away with it once, as traffic listeners in Detroit will tell you. Heh.
So what's this all mean?
Well, 2016 is the start of many things for me. The last 25 or so years of my life in this body, a reasonably even keel with my radio career in the company I've long wanted to be a part of, with reasonable physical health, and I suppose tolerable mental health.
The website thing is a matter I've put off for a long time because I am so completely useless when it comes to computers. I barely know how to turn the damned things on and off. Most of us leave our computers on because we can't remember the login information!
Wix is free site my friend Alice and I used to throw this together. Looks pretty good, if I say so myself. I have no idea how this blog post is going to look, but we can tweak it later I guess.
This site, so you know, is going to be the eventual home of my stuff. My writings, the ones you can buy, the ones you can look at, and the other crazed things I do.
I'm really of a mind to get the fuck away from Facebook. It's convenient, but works too well. I don't tend to care too much about stuff that's on it that I put there, because, well, I said what I said.
Facebook and social media are scary...they have allowed the dark, kinky, sadistic and evil side of every one of us out. We act w/o thinking, we're humans. We "say" what we'd never say in polite company, and before you know it, you hit send.
Oh Shit Moment #1.
And the Shits just keep on coming.
Facebook has become the ultimate, "HEY EVERYBODY! LOOK AT ME!" site. Nothing against my friends, but...really, folks. Constant selfies, pics of your kids, details you normally would not talk to anyone but family & close friends about...political rants of every type, religious freakouts, stuff you saw and reposted?
I've done it too. I generally only post what interests me or what has moved me.
Case in point: David Bowie's "Lazarus" video.
Ei Freaking Yi. I was never a gigantic fan, but I liked his music, his willingness to remake himself, and his genre-bending ways. Not gender, yes he did that. Genre. Zhawn-Ruh.
In a search for self I think, Bowie remade himself, and yet remained much more in touch with himself and us than most ever could do.
Blackstar is a creative achievement that leaves us with so many emotions. I can't even begin to get into all that. It's gonna take time to get that.
My old friend Natasha wrote a long and very emotional post on Facebook (where else?) today about how Bowie's sudden (not to him, I'm sure) death took her. Bowie was a huge influence on so many of my musical friends, and others. Her discussion was one of great intelligence and great honeslty, but also great pain.
I leave it to each of us to figure it out.
Oh, by the way...this is how I write.
How else do you think I've managed to write nearly 20 full length novels in eight years?
Yeah, that's about how many, I think...I don't actually know. So that being said:
Is that cool or what?
My second book, A Moment in the Sun comes out in March on Sunbury Press Books. This is my first traditional publisher, a small press, but I think a good one.
I could go on forever, but I'm gonna bet you already know the skinny: the story is of Rei, a Japanese teenager who's come out of homelessness and self-isolation (hikikomori) to get back to life. She discovers an online underground called the Dwellers; an old friend, Sho is now one of them.
Rei determines to rescue him, and enlists the aid of their friends. On the way, growing up, life lessons, understanding that the walls of rank, class and other bullshit need to fall or you get nowhere. Everyone comes to a certain degree of "getting it."
I hope that gets you. There is personal stuff in there, but I think I only dig the surface of some of the weird shit that went on in my (and other people's) life/lives. That comes later.
Anyway, you will also note the link for my first book, Parasite Girls. Hope you'll check that out as well.
Plans are for the promotion of A Moment... to get back out there, do some readings, signings, music to go along with that...there's a lot of possibilities in terms of presenting this.
I've been fooling with this idea of having live actors "read" the story or bits of it. I actually thought of this with another story a long time ago, and I may still do it. With this one, not really necessary yet, but I'd try just about anything.
There will be apperances, and I hope video, which we'll post up here.
I have a cable TV appearance (Culture & Main is the program), and it's on different systems. That comes up in the spring...my friend Carla Christopher interviewed me, and we had a really good talk. It was a different experience; being in radio, you're behind a mic, no one sees you.
TV is different, they see everything.
This life of mine is becoming a little more structured, finally. After almost six years of jobbing about the business, traveling like a lunatic, etc., I have re-landed, as it were.
I get up at 2 am to prepare for the Radio Pennsylvania Network...I'm the Morning Desk Anchor, and I do some different things in order that our affiliate stations get both sports and news updates. A lot of things to watch, think about, and get into a groove upon.
Mindfulness and staying on point is important, and a must. But I love the stress, I actualy do. A good kind.
Now, what else? Well, if you're a fan of the Hershey Bears, you will know I occasionally produce hockey games for iHeartRadio in Harrisburg, or Fox Sports 1460. Board opping is where I started but there's an art to this. I'll likely do Harrisburg Senators baseball again in the spring as well. All good.
And then on Sundays I turn into DJ`Riff, host of The Music Club on Radio-Airwaves Station...that's at www.radio-airwaves.co.uk -- it's kind of like college radio, I get to play what I want, but I block it out so you get new music, blues, and good stuff. It's fun.
Sundays, 330ish to 6 pm Eastern.
The thing is...a lot of my listeners and I are not your typical listeners. We listen because we love music. We live for it. We listen; we want to know what this strange music is, what the different music is. We do not just turn on the station and listen to whatever's on. Now and then is fine; sometimes you hear things you like, you need something on, you're working, etc.
But it all goes away...and you lose it. You can keep it, and let it go, but remembering it, so hard.
Leaving behind 2015, I would like to leave behind some words, words I heard too much of.
I also wish to leave behind man-buns. When I see grown men with them, I don't get it. Sorry, just don't.
Leaving behind politics, screaming freaks of varied persuasions, and what someone in Maine many years ago called, "the proudly ignorant."
Life goes on.
Anyway...thanks for reading. I hope you found this of interest. You will find that I tend to float around on the many topics that are in my mind. I don't blog that often, because I'm always writing.
Not always writing good things, but my energies go better elsewhere. But we do have to get this site kicking, so we'll see what happens.
I'll be shamelessly plugging the book (what other kind is there?), and my doings will be known.
My real hope is: that you might check out A Moment... or Parasite Girls and get to know the interesting people inside the stories. That helps drive me on, in ways you can't imagine.
This is the ride you've signed up for. Knock it back a gear and put the pedal to the fucking floor, people!
The last 25 are gonna be the best ones.