Category Archives: Libraries

Superb judge of character, me

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I slipped over to Yahoo News when I got online this morning, wanted to find out whether the world went up in smoke during the night.  Turns out all the news is piddly stuff mostly, nosy things allowing the non-celebrities spot checks into what life’s like for the sainted big named and big-breasted.

But something caught my eye about some 10 year old kid who found a mummy in the attic of the house his grandparents owned.  Brought to mind what a great judge of character I pride myself being.

Early 2000s a friend of mine died near Belen, NM.  He and I loved the same books about history, etc, and he used to joke he’d leave me that several walls of books we both cherished, when he died.  And I’d tell him I would kill him if he left me those books to have to drag around and find someone else to leave them to.

His house was a museum of artifacts he’d found.  We’d even done some artifact searching together.  I think some of those mini-balls on one of the lead pictures on this blog were found when we were somewhere together.

So when I saw in the Albuquerque paper that he’d died I was careful not to contact anyone concerning the fact we knew one another.  Not because I was afraid he’d left me those books, either.

Turned out he’d been robbing graves down in the neighborhood of where those mini-balls were found.  Maybe graves elsewhere, old ones.

Back room of that house was jam-packed with human remains a century-or-more old.  Bastard never showed them to me, all the time we were sitting around drinking coffee and talking about history.

Which I suppose is okay, because I put a high value on his friendship, enjoyed knowing him a lot.  And sometimes even then I’d forget how old I was and have to decide spur-of-the-moment whether to open a can of whupass on someone.

In his case if I’d known what he had in that back room we might have had to pick our weapons out of his museum and go at it.  I had a lot of mixed feelings swirling around inside me when the news came out and he had his brief day in the sun.

I’d have never suspected it of him.  So he’s the exception proving the rule.  I’ve got everyone else figured out.

Old Jules

Three cats and a hat overgrazing the gas stations

Good morning readers.

I’m not going to furnish you with an image.  I’m not even going to regale you with all the tales came into my mind as the cats and I travelled across west Texas.  We talked it out, mainly in loud meowws and decided there was a lot worthy of remaining unsaid until the dust settles a bit.

We’re in Andrews, Texas, after spending the night in a WalMart parking lot in Midland.  Took the Andrews Highway out of Midland after daybreak because the cats couldn’t wait to get back on the road.  Strangely, the Andrews Highway out of Midland doesn’t go to Andrews.  Goes spang to wossname, Odessa, instead.

So the cats and I asked a guy pulled into a gas station with a truck carrying a large piece of machinery I didn’t know what was and he cleared the matter up.

This trip is beginning to feel a bit like Travels with Charlie if wossname Ernest Hemingway’d written it instead of John Steinway and three cats instead of a dog.

The S key on this thing is being a Communist, but it’s only to be expected.

More later.  Stay tuned.

Old Jules

Taking it all too seriously– from Jeanne

“Artists shouldn’t enter the arena of competitions until they are tough enough to realize it is only opinion and not a reflection on their worth.”  (Mary Moquin)

So… I got a rejection letter.  None of the pieces I submitted were accepted, although I’ve been in that particular exhibit twice in years past ( most recently about three years ago).
The above is one I submitted. Problem is with form letters, you never know what it was that made them reject it. I’ll only be able to speculate when I go to the exhibit.

I’ve noted before that they seem partial to some 3-D element for the prize winners, but I haven’t tried that yet.  There are a lot of ways that could be done with my work, but without my work by nature being 3-D,  I suspect it would look contrived. I also get frustrated when I get too far away from the actual drawing (like those pendants, where the glass cutting and soldering is time-consuming).  Cutting paper, layering paper, rotating layers of paper, mirror-edges around the design–all of them  sound cool but don’t really sound fun to put together.  I’m really not a paper-crafter.
I have a couple of other ideas about how I can give them more depth, so I suppose I’ll concentrate on that first.

I have a couple of little peeves about these exhibits. The first is the application fee (in this case, $25, which isn’t too unreasonable). The second is that photography and other kinds of art work are usually grouped together, and I think photography exhibits/competitions should be held separately from other media.  I think photography is an entirely different beast, especially now that good cameras are affordable and it’s so easy to use the computer in conjunction with that.  I love it, but just because it hangs on the wall doesn’t make it the same thing.

Evaluating my work is a constant process, always there in the background, but it’s good to put it up front sometimes.   Right now the difficulty of getting exposure to promote sales makes it a challenge in ways that don’t have anything to do with the  difficulty of doing the work.  I hope I’ll be able to draw some  honest conclusions later on.  Maybe that will include submitting some photographs next time.

There’s one nice little conclusion to this form-letter rejection, though. I was shelf-reading at work last night (shelf-reading is checking the shelves to make sure that every book is placed in exact order). I always keep an eye out for bookmarks since I have quite a collection. Usually I find check-out receipts and boarding passes. This time, in a book called “The Lord is my Shepherd”, I found $26.00. Just enough to cover the application fee and postage to send the cd. Is that cool, or what?

Jeanne

Off the Shelf: What I’ve Been Reading


The nearest town, 15 miles away, has started a library, so I paused in my various re-readings off my own bookshelves to check out library books.   I was familiar with some of the authors I began with, but it had been a long time since reading them.

Elmore Leonard-  I ran through a plethora of his books in a short time.. everything the library had.  I’ve never read a book by the man I didn’t like, whether it’s the westerns he began with, or the detective stories that later became his tour de force.  I recommend him to anyone in danger of doing some light reading.  However, I came across one that’s unlike any Elmore Leonard I’ve ever read.  The Touch.  Those of you into metaphysics and healing would probably find it of interest.  It’s the best handling of the stigmata phenomenon, guru-ism, and commercial evangelism that I’ve ever read.

Rudolpho Anaya- This guy came highly recommended by the librarian.  Sorry, folks.  I came away thinking some editor somewhere dropped the ball on the three books I checked out.  Loose sloppy writing, wordy, rambling.  I suspect editors are a lot more forgiving of ethnic writers  and mooshy metaphysical gawdawful rambling flashbacks these days than when I dealt with them as a writer.  150 pages of Rudolpho Anaya would have benefited by a lot of cutting and brutal rewriting, and still ended up with maybe 75 pages worth the time.  Maybe.

Nevada Barr- Never heard of her, but I thought I’d give it a try.  Checked out three books, made it twenty-five pages into one and declared, “No more!”

Elizabeth M. Cosin- I check a couple of these out because the first one was named Zen and the City of Angels.  I’m willing to try what I don’t know, and the name of the yarn brought back pleasant memories of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  Checked out two.  Score, zero-two.  They’ll go back in hopes someone else can struggle through them.

Poul Anderson- checked out The Stars are Also Fire because I recall liking Anderson’s work several decades ago.  The Boat of a Million Years comes to mind.  It was a fine work.  However, this Stars are Fire piece seems to me to be the work of a person who needed to smoke some weed to get his mind back, or a manuscript written early in his career, a dead turkey no publisher would touch by an unknown writer, dragged up out of the files and published as a pot-boiler hack to raise grocery and whiskey money, riding the name of the later, more competent Poul Anderson.  I’m 67 pages into it, debating with myself whether to drop the effort and read some William Soroyan off my own shelf until I get back to the library tomorrow.

I’d like to point out to you that the sentence-before-the-last in the previous paragraph is five lines long.  Count’em.  Five.

No good writer would put a sentence that long on a page where some poor human might read it.

Old Jules
Reading Increases the Imagination:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeUid2rv848