2012 Movies

Here’s what we watched this past year, none of them in the five months we were in the U.P.  An asterisk (*) means we liked it.

1.      Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

2.      Catch  Me If You Can

3.      Far And Away

4.      Bonfire of the Vanities

5.      The  Big Lebowski*

6.      Moneyball*

7.      Larry Crowne*

8.  Social Network

9. The Great Escape

10.  Beneath Hill 60

11. The Proposal

12. The Unforgiven*

13. Inglorious Bastards

14. It’s Complicated

15. Crazy Outside

16.  Open Range*

17.  Attack on Leningrad

18.  Last of the Mohicans*

19.  Dead Man Walking

20.  Air America*

21.  The Postman*

22. A Few Good Men *

23.  No Country for Old Men*

24.  Blackthorne

25.  Aliens vs Cowboys

26.  The Big Year*

27.  Twelve Monkeys*

28.  National Treasure: Book of Secrets

29.  Fire on the Amazon

30.  The Help*

31.  Age of Heroes

32.  Little Big Man*

33.  Valhalla Rising

34.  In Love and War

35.  Company Man

36.  Red*

37.  Hack

38.  Knight and a Day

39.  Anonymous

40.  Fat Man & Little Boy*

41.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button*

42.  Christina

43.  Medicine Man*

44.  The Money Pit

45.  Miss Congeniality*

46.  Water for Elephants

47.  Paper Man

48.  The Last Future

49.  Unknown

50.  The Net

51.  Real Steel

52.  Puncture

53.  Super 8

54.  Ides of March

55.  Hana

56.  Hugo

57.  Deep in the Heart of Texas

58.  J. Edgar

59.  The Perfect Game

60.  Seven Days in Utopia

61.  Doubt

62.  Ali

63.  The River Why

64.  Whistleblower

65.  Brother Where Art Thou *

66.  Morning Glory

67.  Win Win

68.  Winter’s Bone *

69.  Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish)*

70.  To Kill A King

71.  Tristan and Isolde

72.  Triage

73.  Incredibly Loud, Close, Etc.

74.  Lawrence of Arabia *

75.  Casino Royale

76.  Bond: Quatrain of Silence

77.  Love in the Time of Cholera

78.  Little Miss Sunshine *

79.  Land of the Blind

80.  The Land of Blood and Honey

81.  War Horse *

82.  Avatar *

83.  The Stepford Wives*

84.  Centurian

85.  New Planet of the Apes

86.  Conspiracy Theory

87.  Galaxy Quest

88.  Iron Lady *

89.  A Fish Called Wanda *

90.  Smokejumper

91.  The Second Front

92.  Men Staring At Goats*

93.  Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy *

94.  Going South

95.  Sugar

96.  Smylla’s Sense of Snow *

97.  Pelican Brief*

98.  A Perfect World

99. Changeling

100.   We Bought A Zoo

101.  King Solomon’s Mines

102. Line in the Sand

103. The Last Lieutenant

104.   Hanover Street

105. The Blind Side

106. Double Jeopardy

107.   Enemy at the Gate*

108. Tip of the Spear

109. Farewell

110. Brother Where Art Thou*

111.   The Reader *

112  Sherlock Holmes

113   Across the Unverse

114   Soldiers of Fortune

115   Bernice

116   The Hunger Games *

117   Promethius

118   The Gray

119Hatfields v. McCoys Epidodes 1-3

120 The Natural *

121 Fist of the Reich

122. rom Time to Time

123.Page Eight


125.The Way


127. Pavee Lackeen

128.The Magic of Belle Isle *

129. Stardust

130.Red Tails

131.Green Zone

132. o One’s Son

133.  Bad Santa*

134.Starship Troopers

135.  Game of Thrones: Year I: Episodes 1-10

136   One For The Money

137. The Guardian*

138.  The Holiday

139. Transformers

140. Jeff, Who Lives At Home

141. Crossroad*

142.My Week With Marilyn

143.The Station Agent*

144.Out of Africa*


146. Get Low

147. Crooked Arrows*

148. Idiocracy*

149. Ike: Countdown to D-Day

150. Hereafter

151. Five Minutes of Heaven

152. Loopers

Books of 2012

1)      Peter Steinman. The Company of Wolves. [NF]
2)      Malcolm Gladwell. Outliers. [NF]
3)      CO Sylvester Mowson. Dictionary of Foreign Terms.[NF]
4)      Lois Crisler. Arctic Wild. [NF]
5)      Lois Crisler. Captive Wild: One Woman’s Adventure Living With Wolves.[NF]
6)      Lolita Hernandez. Autopsy of an Engine, and Other Stories From the Cadillac Plant. [SS]
7)      Frank Corbin. The Wolf Hunter’s Guide: Tell How To Catch ‘Em All About the Science of Wolf Hunting. [NF]
8)      Adam Johnson. The Orphan Master’s Son.
9)      Karen Russell. Swamplandia.
10)  James Oliver Curwood. Son of the Forest: An Autobiography. [NF]
11)  Isabella L. Bird. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains. [NF]
12)  Margaret E. Murie. Two in the Far North. [NF]
13)  Stanley P. Young. The Last of the Loners. [NF]
14)  Chistopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Are Deceived. [NF]
15)  Judith A. Eldridge. James Oliver Curwood: God’s Country and the Man. [NF]
16)  Don DeLillo. End Zone.
17)  Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games.
18)  Adam M Soward. The Environmental Justice: Wm O. Douglas and American Conservation. [NF]
19)  Two Hearted River Watershed Management Plan. [NF]
20)  Stanley Wells. Coffee With Shakespeare. [NF]
21)  Katherine Duncan Jones. Shakespeare: An Ungentle Life. [NF]
22)  Suzanne Collins. Catching Fire.
23)  Jim Harrison. The Great Leader.
24)  Howard Papp. The View From the Creek: Notes From Lake Superior’s Ojibwe Country. [NF]
25)  Trevor Burnard. Mastery, Tyranny & Desire: Thomas Thistelewood and Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World. [NF]
26)  David Treuer. Rez Life. [NF]
27)  Robert Douglas Fairhurst. Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist.[NF]
28)  Carter Niemeyer. Wolfer [NF]
29)  Bill Holm. The Music of Failure. [NF]
30)  John Krakauer. Under the Banner of Heaven. [NF]
31)  Ed Decker and Dave Hunt. The God Makers. [NF]
32)  Grace Tiffany. Erotic Beasts & Social Monsters: Shakespeare, Jonson, and Comic Androgyny. [NF]
33)  Jim Harrison. Songs of Unreason. [P]
34)  Paul W. Mapp. The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire. [NF]
35)  Bill Holm. The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere. [NF]
36)  Bill Holm. The Windows of Brimness: An American in Iceland. [NF]
37)  Ian Stewart. Another Fine Math You’ve Gotten Me Into.[NF]
38)  Walt Harrington. The Everlasting Stream: A True Story of Rabbits, Guns, Friendship, and Family. [NF]
39)  Albert E. Cole. The Great Black Wolves.
40)  Anita Brookner. Hotel Du Lac.
41)  Carl Hiassen. Kick Ass. [NF]
42)  Rick Bragg. The Prince of Frogtown. [NF]
43)  Bill Holm. Eccentric Islands. [NF]
44)  Rita Crosby. Quiet Hero. [NF]
45)  Joseph Heywood. Red Jacket. [MS]
46)  Daniel K. Richter. Before The Revolution: America’s Ancient Pasts.[NF]
47)  Jaroslav Hasek. The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk: Book One.
48)  W.D. Hulbert. The Dappled King. A Tale of a Northern Trout Stream. [NF]
49)  Ed Gray. General of the Army:George C. Marshall: Soldier & Statesman. [NF]
50)  Suzanne Collins. Mockingjay.
51)  Patrick F.McManus. The Blight Way
52)  Bill Holm. Cabins of Minnesota. [NF]
53)  Laurence Durrell. Bitter Lemons. [NF]
54)  Wm. H Glass. Finding a Form: Essays. [NF]
55)  Tom Franklin. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.
56)  Wallace Stevens. The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination.[NF]
57)  Rob Ruck. The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic. [NF]
58)  H.A. Dorfman & Karl Kuell. The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance. [NF]
59)  Joseph Heywood. Red Jacket [Page Proofs]
60)  John Fowles. Wormholes: Essays and Occasional Writings. [NF]
61)  Joseph Heywood. Killing A Cold One. [MS]
62)  E.M.Forster. Aspects of the Novel. [NF]
63)  David Lodge. The Art of Fiction. [NF]
64)  Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The General in His Labyrinth.
65)  Tim Parks. Hell and Back: Reflections on Writers and Writing, From Dante to Rushdie. [NF]
66)  Cordelia Candelaria. Seeking the Perfect Game: Baseball in America’s Literature. [NF]
67)  Philip Kerr. Prague Fatale.
68)  Robert N. Bellah, et al. Habits of the Heart [NF]
69)  Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment. Law Enforcement 125th Anniversary. [MS- Proofs]
70)  Carlo Ginzburg. The Cheese and the Worm. [NF]
71)  Christopher Fowler. The Memory of Blood.
72)  Jose Ortega y Gasset. Meditations on Hunting. [NF]
73)  Hans Helmut Kurst. Officer Factory.
74)  Dan O’Neil. The Firecracker Boys. [NF]
75)  Daniel Woodrell. The Outlaw Album.
76)  Margaret E. Murie. Two in the Far North. [NF]
77)  John Grisham. Playing for Pizza.
78)  George Orwell. A Collection of Essays. [NF]
79)  Carlos Ginzburg. Threads and Traces: True False Fictive. [NF]
80)  John Grisham. The Brethren
81)  Peter Matthiessen. Far Tortuga.
82)  Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Fencing Master
83)  Jay Tolson, Ed. The Correspondence of Shelby Foote & Walker Percy. [NF]
84)  Carlo Ginzburg. The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. [NF]
85)  Tad Crawford. A Floating Life. [ARC, Novel]
86)  Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Seville Communion.
87)  Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Queen of the South.
88)  Marc Bloch. The Historian’s Craft. [NF]
89)  Gunter Grass. My Century. [1999]
90)  Joseph L. Arbena, Ed. Sport and Society in Latin America: Diffusion, Dependency, and the Rise of Mass Culture. [NF]
91)  Joseph Heywood. Red Jacket. [Proofs]
92)  Joseph Heywood. “Black Behind the  Black.” [SS]
93)  Joseph Heywood. “The Third Partner.” [SS]
94)   Joseph Heywood. Killing A Cold One.  [MS]
95)  Joseph Heywood. Brown Ball: A Summer Joy and Suffering.  [MS]
96)  Joseph Heywood. Jabbertown[MS]
97)  Daniel Woodrell. Woe To Live On.
98)  William Alexander Percy. Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter’s Son. [1941] [NF]
99)  Josefa Heifetz Byrne. Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words. [NF]
100)          Tom Anderson. Things That Bite. [NF]
101)           Molly Gloss. Wild Life.
102)          Clyde L. L. Newnom. Michigan’s Thirty-Seven Million Acres of Diamonds. [1927] [NF]
103)          Michael Wex. Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All Is Moods. [NF]
104)          Bill Bryson. Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer’s Guide to Getting It Right. [NF]
105)          Ray Ovington. Tactics on Trout. [1969] [NF]
106)          Fred Kogos. A Dictionary of Yiddish Slang & Idioms. [1966] [NF]
107)          Kathleen Stocking. Letters From The Leelanau: Essays of People and Place. [1990] [NF]
108)          Robert Leighton Dresser. The History of Pike Lake: Luce County, Michigan [NF]
109)          Larry Chabot. Saving Our Sons: How the CCC Rescued A Generation of Upper Michigan Men. [NF]
110)          Luce County Historical Society, Minnie Ida Mattson, Comp. Luce County History: Centennial Issue. [NF]
111)          Luce County Historical Society, Minnie Ida Mattson, Comp, Ed. The History of Luce County from Its Earliest Recorded Beginning. [NF]
112)          Sprague Taylor. Tahquamenon Country: A Look At Its Past. [NF]
113)          Jan McAdams Huttenstine. Remotely Yours: A Historic Journey Into The Whitefish Point Area. [NF]
114)          Dutch Hanes, Delbert Musgrave, and Bohn Musgrave. History of Columbus Township. [NF]
115)          Domingo Martinez. The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir. [NF]
116)          Michael Crichton. Pirate Latitudes.
117)          Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume I– Fort Sumter to Perryville. [NF]
118)          Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume II – Fredericksburg to Meridian [NF]
119)          Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative:Volume III – Red River to Appomatox. [NF]
120)          Robert A. Heinlein. JOB: A Comedy of Justice.
121)          Daniel Woodrell. Tomato Red.
122)          Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Club Dumas.
123)          Henry Kisor. Hang Fire. [MS]
124)          Tom Franklin. Smonk.
125)          Umberto Eco. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.
126)          Joseph Heywood. Hard Ground: Woods Cop Stories. [MS]
127)          John Lescroart. Rasputin’s Revenge.
128)          Ian Rankin. Knots and Crosses.
129)           Robert L. Phillips, Jr. Shelby Foote: Novelist and Historian. [NF]
130)          Erik Larson. In the Garden of Beasts.[NF]
131)          Mickey Mantle and Phil Pepe. Mickey Mantle: My Favorite Summer 1956.[NF]
132)          Carlo Ginzburg. Clues, Myths and the Historical Method. [NF
133)          Robert W. Henderson. Ball, Bat and Bishop: The Origin of Ball Games. [NF]
134)          Edward Marston. The Merry Devils.
135)          Knox Jamison. Bergland. [NF]
136)          Edward Marston. The Roaring Boy.
137)          Frank Deford. The Entitled.
Gary Soto. Baseball in April.
138)          Robert Linsenman. Snowblood’s Journal. [MS]
139)          Mark Rucker and Peter C. Bjarkman. Smoke: The Romance and Lore of Cuban Baseball. [NF]
140)          W.P. Kinsella. The Iowa Baseball Confederacy.
141)          Marcel Proust. On Art and Literature. [NF]
142)          Ed Davison. Uncle Ed Said. [NF]
143)          John Smolens. Quarantine.
144)          Peter Heller. The Dog Stars.
145)          John Knott. Imagining the Forest. Narratives of Michigan and the Upper Midwest. [NF]
146)          Stephen Marche. How Shakespeare Changed Everything. [NF]
147)          Nancy MacLean. Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan. [NF]
148)          Dennis Lahane. Live by Night.
149)          Thomas Daniel Young and John Hindle, Eds. Selected Essays of John Crowe Ransom. [NF]
150)          John Crowe Ransom. Selected Poems [P]
151)          Marcel Proust. Rembrance of Things Past: Part I: Swann’s Way Within a Budding Grove.
152)          James Joyce. Ulysses.
153)          Thomas Mann. The Magic Mountain.
154)          Peter C. Bjarkman. Diamonds Around the Globe; The Encyclopedia of International Baseball. [NF]
155)          Bill Wise. Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer. [NF]
156)          Wallace Stegner. Where The Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs. [NF]
157)          Guy de la Valdene. The Fragrance of Grass. [NFG]
158)          Andrea Lankford. Ranger CONFIDENTIAL: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks. [NF]
159)          Robert Sullivan. The Thoreau You Don’t Know. [NF]
160)          W.D. Wetherell. North of Now. [NF]
161)          Domingo Martinez. The Boy Kings of Texas. [NF]
162)          Stewart Edward White. Camp and Trail. (1911). [NF]
163)          Daniel Woodrell. The Death of Sweet Mister.
164)          G.B. Joyce. The Code.
165)          Joseph Heywood. Hard Ground: Woods Cop Stories. [SS-MS]
166)          Ted Kerasote. Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the Hunt. [NF]
167)          Matt Cartmill. A View To A Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature Through History. [NF]
168)          Marty Bell. Breaking Balls.
169)          Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Return of Tarzan.
170)          Guy de Valdene. Red Stag.
171)          Wallace Stegner. The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard DeVoto. [NF]
172)          Daniel Woodrell. The Bayou Trilogy.
173)          Stewart Edward White. The Mountains. [NF]
174)          Stewart Edward White. The Silent Places [NF]
175)          Stewart Edward White. The Forest [NF]
176)          Carlo Ginzburg. The Judge and the Historian. [NF]
177)          Carlo Ginzburg. Wooden Eyes: Nine Reflections on Distance. [NF]
178)          Carlo Ginzbujrfg. No Island Is an Island. [NF]
179)          David Westcott. Camping in the Old Style. [NF]
180)          Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan of The Apes.
181)          Alan Furst. Mission To Paris.
182)          William Chalmers Covert. Glory of the Pines: A Tale of the Ontonagon. [NF]
183)          Richard E. Amacher. Edward Albee. [NF]
184)          George R. Stewart. Pickett’s Charge: A Microhistory of the Final Attack of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. [NF]
185)          Joseph Heywood. Hard Ground, Woods Cop Stories.[Proofs]
186)          Paul Errington. Of Predation and Life. [NF]
187)          Bill Holm. Coming Home Crazy. [NF]
188)          Rick Bragg. Brown Dog of Yaak: Essays on Art and Activism. [NF]
189)          Mark Owen, with Kevin Mauer. No Easy Day: The Autobiography orf a Navy SEAL. [NF]
190)          Tom Wolfe. Back to Blood.
191)          George R. Stewart. Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-naming in the United States. [NF]
192)          Richard E. Amacher.  Edward Albee [NF]
193)          Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Gods of Mars.
194)          Isabel Fonseca. Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey. [NF]
195)          Walt Harrington. Crossings. [NF]
196)          Mathias Oppersdorff.  People of the Road: The Irish Travellers. [NF]
197)          Frankilin Claude Smith. His Story. [NF]
198)          Lias A Shiel. Forgotten Tales of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. [NF]
199)          Janet Evanovich. Notorious Nineteen.
200)          Hilary Mantel. A Place of Greater Safety
201)          Deirdre Bair. Saul Steinberg: A Biography. [NF]
202)          Alex Danchev. Cezanne: A Life. [NF]
203)          Jan Yoors. The Gypsies. [NF]
204)          Neil Postman. Amusing Ourselves to Death [NF]
205)          Janine Wiedel. Irish Tinkers. [NF]
206)          Jonathon Green. Slang Down the Ages. [NF]
207)          Hilary Mantel. Wolf Hall.
208)          Sharon Gmelch. Nan: The Life of An Irish Traveling Woman. [NF]
209)          Eamon Dillon. The Outsiders: Exposing the Secretive World of Ireland’s Travellers. [NF]
210)          Charles Dunn. Conversations in Paint: A Notebook of Fundamentals [NF]
211)          Alastair Fowler. Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature. [NF]
212)          George R. Stewart. Earth Abides.
213)          Hilary Mantel. Fludd.
214)          Tony Horwitzl. Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War. [NF]
215)          Ken Robinson. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. [NF]
216)          Arthur Herzog. The  B.S. Factor: The Theory and Technique of Faking it In America. [NF]
217)          Patsy Sims. Literary Nonfiction: Learning By Example. [NF]

Overheard Out of Context: Omnium Gatherum

Writing comes from seeing and hearing, vs looking and listening —

Poet Donald Hall tells us: “Specificity, the descriptions of surroundings, the bits of remembered conversations are essential for the poet.”

Chichi, neufyfood: “Grass-fed bison patty on gluten free bun, topped with cage free fried egg and sunflower pesto”  Waiting for you at Yeah Burger, Atlanta.

Two old ladies: “Think apricot, not orange. Pale yellow, not phosphorescent.

Menopause is crying in the dishwater.

On NPR: “The prodragonist in the story.”

On NPR: “I’m very not mathematical.”                   

On NPR: “All Muslims ain’t up to something.”

On NPR; “I was a former teacher.”

On NPR: ”We are in for several days of sunshine.” Sounds ominous.

Billboard in Texas: “Urgent message – Yes you can know for sure that you are going to Heaven.” (Predictably,l no sponsor or source cited.)

In a restaurant: “Then she ain’t got no way to get holt of nobody.”

In a bar: “Back when I was a kid there weren’t no lights off on Halloween. Didn’t have to worry about nothing.”

Coffee klatch in Noobs: “The old phone don’t work like the new one they give me.”

(In Meijers on a Saturday Night: “That’ the stuff over thee, but you don’t use that stuff.”

Wisdom short-handed to game show trivia.
In the bakery, an article from the NY Times. “The Effect of Sugar on the body.” (Based on one small study…being in the NYT it will now become cannon.)
In the bakery: “I bought tomatoes, thought I might like a BLT and then I forget what else. The tomatoes had no flavor at all.”

“Tomorrow night, Jack cooks!

“I didn’t volunteer to take him but I coulda and woulda if she asked.”

“Okay, you see what I’m up against here? So she made E.T. out of Cheerios and apricots and so she colored the Cheerios brown, so it was awesome, yup. One year, Jud mailed a branch to somebody, called it a family tree. That was cute. A ladybug seems quite ordinary.”

Chickens can hear, but they can’t listen.
Willpower most often shows up as won’t-power 

Red baseball cap, embroidered in white script: I Play Jesus Ball.

Note differences between locAvore and locOvores.

The flap over the President’s birth certificate: Has anybody seen paper on Jesus?

From a British Account of 1772, the Kalamazoo River is identified at Pusawpaca Sippi – Iron Mine River. There was once a foundry at what is now Riverveiw Drive and Mt. Olivet.

How to shit in a bomb shelter, Cold War style: “Line trash can with plastic, shit and piss in container until full. Cap it off, hold breath, open door, run outside and leave it. Do not breathe until you are back inside.”

“I said to Jack I’m so afraid I’ll forget what day it is.”

James Carville: “The dog won’t eat it.”

NPR: “I’m a former product specialist…I like to put people in their place.”

NPR: “I’m a priceless option.”

Dunes Restaurant, Grand Marais: “Serving lunch?/ “A little bit.”

Woman at King’s in May, Naubinway: “There ain’t no spring yet and summer will be short.”

Asian woman in Lexus pulls up across foot of driveway, signals me to lean over, says “Garrarsarehyrr?” I said, “Nope.” She drove away.

Res nullius: A thing with no owner and first possessor becomes de facto owner. Legal problems inherent when thing is human.
Sterquinarium is Latin or dunghill. Think Congress, Dead language, dead place.

Mamihlapinatoapai  is  that look shared by two people, each wishing the other ill initiate something, but which neither one wants to start.

Conservative radio show.NC restauranteer says he puts up sign, NO ENGLISH, NO SERVICE. Tells reporter. It’s not about ethnicity.

Weekly horseshoe pitching league standings in the Newberry News.

Obit says a woman died at the Golden Leaves Living Center. Is the irony not clear?

Michigan has the 10th largest Native American population in the country, 55,000 NAs live in the Detroit area. Report out that some NAs were offended by Code name  GERONIMO used for Usama Bin Laden. Consequently, American Indian Health and Family Services is offering counseling for anyone feeling offended. (Detroit News, May 20, 2011)

Progress: 1887: Richest 1 % of Americans owned 51 % of the nation’s wealth. Today the top 1 percent owns 35%. (NYT, May 23, 2011) A possible interpretation: the American Middle Class managed to sweep up 16 percent of the nation’s wealth over a century and a quarter. Wow.

From ATLANTIC, June 2011: “Detectives are gossipy; That’s the nature of being a detective; We all want to know.”

Did you hear about the Yooper cowboy? Died with his boots on in eight feet of loonshit.

Real name from the Kalamazoo Gazette,  December 2008: Florencio V.Macadangdang.

Missing Shakespeare Play: A Most Licentious Episode.

I know people who have albums of the dead from funerals they have attended.

Archie MacLeish liked to say, “A poem should not mean, But be.”

Map this: From Peter Handke: “The innerworld of the outerworld of the innerworld.”

We swim in gibbershite, and have for a long time. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “The looking at a woman sometimes makes for lust.” He didn’t end this with an amen, only a blank stare and trailing voice….


Old Poem From the Closet

Journalistic Less Is More

Back in school we learned

Our trade, writing obits

Including our own,

In 12 words exactly:

‘Joe T. Heywood, died, Big deal.

Of interest primarily to no-one.’

“To the point,’ my prof said,

“Punch it to sixteen words?”

I hastily added, ’An egotist and asshole.’

Earned a smiley-face A.

Filed for future use

By my few survivors,


Kalamazoo, December 1976

Homage to Grady Service?

Had occasion just now to have a chat with an officer in the UP about a case from this just-past deer season and he told me one day he was working with an officer up in southwest Marquette Co (near Limpy Alleredyce’s camp, in fact)  and rolling along and they spotted a small red object off in the distance. The other officer dismounted and went on foot, eventually finding a truck with it’s door open. He then found the hunter in nearby blind, reading a Woods Cop Mystery! Said he’d been so sleepy when he got to his blind he forgot to shut the truck door and since first light head been engrossed in Grady Service! Too funny.

Un Homage to Cezanne Bleu: Color Impalpable

Sometimes you get thoughts and words jumbled like stew in your cranial pot and after awhile you spit forth the bolus, see what’s there. Think crapshoot:

Mon dieu, bluescapes undo bluelife lived vivi-lividly bluishly blushing bushy blue gouts and in our blued faces, a tete with the Blue Ox of starkly blue Moanday. He blew his horn that Little Boy, Blue;

 Blue-on-Blue, spread over the Blue Ridge smudged the color of  fromage bleu, a smoky Gun-blue cornflowers, blast-casts of big-old blue streamers for basking blue trout in bottomless Blue Lagoons;

 Robin-egg blue in royal blue Sunday stew, listen to all them Delta Blues, St. Loooey, Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City too, Dallas Blues, first recorded rom life’s School of  Blue and there are places in the world I swear is true, where  blond hair’s called plava, translation: blue.

 Bluesmen living true-blue, blue-devil blues, bandy-legged bands of blue-belly blue jacket blue brothers, bonded by Old Blue, true blue, new blue, lapis lazuli, indigoo sacrebleu;

 Blue bloods bread true blue with blue -balled blue noses making bleu-noir, through and through, speaking Latin, Greek of kyanus in public schools, dead languages in what know as private schools, nary a blue collar in the visible risible blue, mate. No  blue ribbons hereabouts, just thin-scraped sheep-flesh on blue walls.

 Blue Book Institution blues, Blue Plate Specials deep sea foam blue, airforce blue, Bib Blue, navy blue and  Blue Angels split-essing over blue water ports, pretty-girl- eyes-blue, blue  balls and black two-hands striking, and those of Old Blue, Potato Head Blues, babybabybaby blue, can you feel it, dare you live it.We drink blue shine from  Blue Mason , strait/

Bluetick, Little Boy Blue, tooting sheep, bluebottle fliers round his sheep, blue dogs democrats guarding herdy perimeters, beryl blue slate blue,blue dolphins chasing blue whales up the not-so Blue Nile everybody wanting  their  brown eyes blue, don’t take your blued gun to town, son, leave your gun at home.

Blue diamonds, sparkle arkle under blue moons (a deux), nicy-icey blue ice sunk in blue spruce crotch roots, deep in blue swamps in surrounds of  blue water, ultramarine, Prussian, cobalt, azure, blue hair, wigmaker blue, great rumbling thunder blue, blue lightning, aurora borealis blue, the whole  blue borealis made by man, not god.

Blue bird, blue jay,  blue heron, things that fly wispishly blue smoke, blue-bellies, blue jackets, sky blue, sea-blue, true-blue, blue-green, ordinary blue, bleu normal, pale blue, blue tint, feeling blue, bawdy blue, barely blue, sex in blue, waxy blue, icy blue, listening blue, blue-gray dog, and  Olde Mr. Blue Wolf, he dancy-prancin’ by hisseff by blue moonlight;

Drowning skin cyanotic blue immersed  in wet-dark blue, skirmishing blues, juicy blues, berries  dyed by God blue, growing low to the ground in blue light for me, for you, to be picked by blue bears in  fleeting blue hours;

Undercooked hamburger blue, light cloudy blue, boldy-moldy thunderbumper  blue, snow-comes blue,  all y’all come-hither blue, quilted blue, high blue, low blue, pastel blue, I’m blue, you blue,  whatever can we bluely do?

Guilty blue, sapphire blue, blue suede shoe, bootblack blue butterflies, forget-me -not blue, cerulean, hazy-lazy-day blue, lakeside blue, deep water blue-diamond, blue note, we watch the wordless  blue notes of  the ever-mute Blue Man Group;

Try to banish the blues of  boy blue, Betty Blue, petit  blue,  Le Grand Mal blue, diabetic blue, untrue blue, sad and blue when the muse flies away from you,  can’t sue, see those blue darters, cold blue air, leaves us exhaling blue, swinging for fences at the edge of the blue-grass where no blue cows graze.

 Art rides in blue like an ark on blue, all the animals stuff in steerage, two by two.

And on the Great  Blue Ball call,  each of us to block the blue, sailing life on fate and sure we are in control.

Portage, 12/24/12

Night Before and All That Jazz

Whangdoodle-of-the-Month Item: Christmas Eve Day and I’m watching the tube and there is one of those  BUT WAIT, THAT’S NOT ALL! THERE’S MORE! Ad was selling Old Brooklyn Lanterns for $12.95, LEDs to last 100,000 hours, and three in the ad declared made of REAL METAL. What the hell does that mean?

Why at Christmas am I thinking about Bertand Russell?  “Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: the fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.”

He also wrote, “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”

Or, “Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.”

Or, “ The doctrine that all men are equal applies only upward, not downward.”

Finally, the fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.”

Be not an avatar of ass-kissicking. In Afghanistan the penalty for manufacturing alcohol is death, but it’s okay to give AK-47s to kids, and to mass- export poppy poop (heroin).

Age  imposes vigor mortis on all of us.

I sense in this country a feeling of oppression by increasingly larger numbers of people, who don’t like our government (at any level) and instead of identifying themselves as Michiganders or Americans think of themselves in terms of tutejszy, a Belorussian word, which means “from here,” with no “here” specified other than the local place where the speaker is located. Not a good sign. This same thing happened all through central Europe in the wake of World War II and in some locations before that, dating back to the Roman Empire.

We are in a period of emotional Volkerwanderung (essentially, a people or nation adrift).
Let’s all take a deep breath and enter the new year calmly with a personal vow to listen more and say less.


New (Old) Takes on Christmas

I’m not sure if this stuff is real because it comes off the internet, but here it is for a little-head-scratching time:

In Catalonia, as well as in the rest of Spain and in most of Italy and Southern France a Christmas tradition is to set up a whole city of Bethlehem. In the nativity scene along with Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus is the Caganer. He is usually placed in the corner for his privacy, as the caganer is a figurine, traditionally of a man, in the act of defecating, pants around his knees bending over with pile of feces at his heels. (There is no explanation of the significaance of such crap…pardon my word selection.)

Krampus is a beast-like  creature from folklore of Alpine countries (Santa’s evil twin). The job of Krampus is to beat and punish children who have misbehaved. He is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December, and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten. I wonder if our Rocky Mountain cultures produce similar weirdness, you know, from obvious lack of oxygen at some altitudes. Over)


Cezanne’s 19 Rules for Writers

Let’s focus on Cezanne’s Nineteen Rules of Painting. He may have had more, but I know only nineteen  I also need to explain that his advice was directed at brothers and sisters of the canvas smear,not writers, but I think his words and concepts apply to we scribblers too.

Why would I think this? I remember reading a noted critic’s remarks on one of Cezanne’s small paintings of apples. “In Cezanne, the empty space is as astonishing as the apple. This was a new concept of painting, not the thing, but the effect if produces.” After a good deal of thought it dawned on me that the point here is that empty space has as much force as space that is filled; for a writer that says silence or incompleteness performs or can perform the same function. In writing, I can use partial description to enable you to see a certain visual scene, but allow your mind to provide many of the details, which then begins to make the story partially yours, and encourages you to buy in, even if it’s subconsciously.

Practically this translates to me giving you minimal descriptive information on lead characters, so that you can create visually in your own head the character you want.

Pretty devious, eh?

Let’s look at Monsieur Cezanne’s thinking:

  1. Cezanne: Find the kind of nature that suits your temperament. This seems to me to be telling the artist to find his subject, and one that the artist will have some comfort with. Cezanne preferred nature, but other creative folks may not find what they want there and look at other things. The point is to work  with something that interests you.
  2. Cezanne: Observe motif more for shape and color than drawingMotif means a distinct form, or an idea and I interpret the artist here to think more in the big picture than the details, to take in the big shape of what interests you. A major motif in my work is the UP and it natural beauty and dangers. This alone keeps me returning to the geography for my stories.
  3. Cezanne: Don’t tighten the form that can be obtained without it. Not sure how to take this, but I think what he is saying is to let the form of the big picture carry the story, using only details needed to uphold and define the shape.
  4. Cezanne: Precise drawing is dry and hampers the impression of the whole. This is painter talk for show, don’t tell, and don’t show everything, show only that which illustrates what you need. I always tell people that when I write my Woods Cop stories the challenge is not what to put into the stories, but what to leave out. This particular arena is where I need the most work.
  5. Cezanne: Do not define too closely the outlines of things: it is the brushstroke of the right color and value which should produce the drawing. I think he’s talking about not over-detailing those details you choose and to make sure the colors support the overall motif.
  6. Cezanne: In a mass, the greatest difficulty is not to give the contour in detail, but to paint what is within He is telling us to not worry so much about defining lines of demarcation, but to let the details fill and define the space.
  7. Cezanne: Paint the essential character of things, try to convey it by any means whatsoever, without bothering with technique. Here the painter seems to tell us to get the story down in any way we can, and not worry about other values. Story first.
  8. Cezanne: When painting, make a choice of subject, see what is lying to the right and left and work on everything simultaneously. This seems to say to not go forward sequentially, but to work where your eye and brain take you. I do this by working on the start, and the end and various in-between scenarios, all through the writing process. When I advise writers to get the first draft done n before they do anything else, I think I’m advising what Cezanne is saying.
  9. Cezanne: Don’t work bit by bit, but painting thing at once by placing tones everywhere, with brush strokes of the right color and value, while noticing what is alongside. The artist is telling us that the tone and shape of Grady Service ought to be uniform throughout, with some slight change, consciously decided and chosen by the creator, me. Nothing happens by chance and the whole story should feel of a kind and consistent in its color.
  10. Cezanne: Use small brushstrokes and try to put down your perceptions immediately. Stick with the skeleton at the outset, and build on it later.
  11. Cezanne: The eye should not be fixed on one point, but should take in everything, while observing the reflections which the colors produce on the surroundings. In  my stories, the central mind is Grady Service. I try never to provide any other perspective except through how he can determine or guess at it. Because Service is a detective, he is trained and paid to be deeply absorbed by situational awareness. The only time he lets down is in his personal life, which is human. He is constantly looking outward trying to see and to understand what he is seeing.
  12. Cezanne: Work at the same time upon the sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything on an equal basis and unceasingly rework until you have got it. This is the essence of writing, not the original draft, but the rewriting and refinement to create the desired effect. Professional writers rewrite a lot and as someone once said, a manuscript is never completed, only abandoned by unavoidable pressures and circumstances.
  13. Cezanne: Cover the canvas in the first go, then work at it until you see nothing more to add. Here I think Monsieur Paul is telling us to write the story as you see it and feeling, throwing in everything that on first glance feels like it belongs. You can always pare down, in fact you will pare down, when you edit and rewrite.  I had an editor once tell me: Write the story that’s in your head, and let me worry about length.
  14. Cezanne: Observe from the aerial perspective well, for gradations to horizon, reflections of sky, foliage. The message here is another plea to look at your piece from all angles to make sure it all fits together. I think this approach underlies Cubist theory of simultaneity, the seeing of an object from all angles and perspectives at the same time.
  15. Cezanne: Don’t be afraid of putting in color. Refine the work little by little. Here the message refers both to original creation and reworking. The key  is once the story is down, try not to make massive change.
  16. Cezanne: Don’t proceed according to rules and principles, but observe what you observe and feel. He’s telling us to think free and create free, but I would add here that you also need to know the rules and principles before you consciously break them.
  17. Cezanne: Paint generously and unhesitatingly for it is best not to lose the first impression. This is the same as my advice to get the first draft done as soon as you can. The longer it takes, the more likely your vision will change.
  18. Cezanne: Don’t be timid in front of nature; One Must be bold, as the risk of being deceived and making mistakes.Put another way: Faint Heart Na’er won fair lady. In our vernacular, Go for it, dude and don’t worry about the small stuff.
  19. Cezanne: One must have only one master – nature, she is the one always to be consulted. In his final note, the painter is telling us the subject or motif always rules. Every word has to be true to your vision, not to some other standard.  

A Modest Proposal

I propose the following government action  in the name and memory of my late fellow scribbler Jonathan Swift (Who wrote “A Modest Proposal,”  in 1729 under a pseudonym).  (If you don’t know the piece, you’re probably not Irish. Look it up.)

Further, I propose that hereafter we use the word schooting to refer to all gun-attacks on or in schools, regardless of  body count.

Specifically, I propose a federally funded  training center and program  to be called the Anti-Active  Schooter Tactical Training School (AASTTS – Asstits?).

This  program/training is designed to: arm and prepare school personnel to counter active shooter incursions (both covert and overt entry under false pretenses, and/ or ambush- forced sudden violent attack entries (AFSVAE).

The goal of this training program is to neutralize the threat with no or minimal damage to school personnel or students.

While volunteers are commendable, no person may be enrolled in AASTTS until they pass a test to measure their reaction times, emotional stability and current (raw) shooting abilities. Those who cannot pass this test on one try will never be admitted to AASTTS. (Weakness once suggests more weakness later)

Graduates of the program will be certified for one school-year, with re-certification required before following school session. Weekly shooting on the range will be required of all certified graduates, with scores recorded. Those failing to qualify must be immediately retested. Two failures will bring mandatory Remedial Rubber Gun Requalification Training (RRGRT). Any person in RRGRFT may not possess firearms on school premises until requalification is completed and certified.  While tuition and costs will be borne by the federal government for AASS, or paid via tax write-off on both state and federal income tax returns. Those in RRGRFT must bear all costs on their own.

All AASTTS graduates must demonstrate, while being timed, the ability to accurately fire while in a gunfight, to unjam weapons, and to  switch magazines while under fire, and to move and hide in defensive cover while maintaining fire suppression; graduates will demonstrate the ability to advance on the target aggressively, and will demonstrate the ability to work alone or in concert with one or two other course graduates.

The curriculum will focus on illegal and sudden window, door, and roof entries, and will require graduates to possess gas masks and other defensive equipment in case the incursion is led with gas, or explosives, or smoke bombs. The curriculum will also crash entry by assault vehicle and other transportation methods including snowmobiles in snow environments.

No graduate of this program will be held legally liable for collateral damage and casualties.

Local schools will provide off-campus time for their designated Schooter shooters to practice. Local school boards will provide weapons and ammo for all qualified employees. However, Federal regulation will dictate type of weapon and amount of ammo to be available to each qualified person.

AASTTS-qualified employees may not possess the school district-owned weapons in any other venue (churches, theaters, sports or concert arenas and events, or shopping malls) unless they have successfully passed AASTTS for that specific venue.

The primary focus on training will be a weapon to be designated by FBI or other federal assault troops, but will possess large magazines and semi-automatic (minimum) or full automatic (recommended) capability.

Former infantry with combat experience or police with gun-fighting experiences will be given preference in selection. All other non-combat military veterans will be considered civilians for purposes of  AASSTS selection

Selection will not be made on the basis of age, race, religion, gender,  IQ, or  number of followers on TWITTER, FACEBOOK or any other social media toys.

In districts where recreational  ganja is now legally approved, or reduced to civil penalties rather than criminal, additional regulations will be issued governing eligibility and selection.

Bonuses for successfully neutralizing attacker-intruders will be at the discretion of individual  school districts.

AASTTS personnel killed in the act of defending school personnel and property will be given burial at state expense.  All wounded will be cared for at schooled district expense.

All school districts must be bonded and insured for this activity. Costs of same to be borne by local voters. AASTTS personnel killed while defending school personnel and property will be buried by insurance for this purpose and the wounded will be cared for under the same policies, all costs to be borne by the school district under its insurance policy.

Such insurance is mandatory in all Right To Schoot Intruders On Site/Sight School Property (RTSIOSSSP) states.”

As part of this proposal the Center For Disease Control (CDC) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) are herein and forthwith authorized to continue collecting gun-related crime data and release it to any citizen requesting the data.”

In this country?

Please excuse my typing. Over,