Friday, March 16, 2007

A Delightful Day!

I had a really enjoyable email this morning, from an old buddy I haven't seen for something like 35 years.

Hi Jaimes!

I won't do the stories here yet, as I haven't even had time to exchange stories with him, but we were friends through 1966 - 1969 or so, before he went to start a new life in the USA.

A year or so later I turned up on his doorstep in California, thinking it would amuse him if I dropped around for coffee. This was possibly funnier in the conception than execution, as he had already put up with me sleeping on his sofa in London...but he sheltered me for the first few months before easing me out into the big wide world to have my own adventures. I have never looked back, and owe him more than I can say.

I never have had that many men friends, or buddies, but he remains one of them in my memories at least - so, even if I may often say cynical things about Friends Reunited, etc (I certainly have little desire to meet old school friends, say) - this put a real spring in my step.

Check out the poetry website he set up and/or inspired. The Alsop Review

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Time for a re-evaluation

Murray Roman - name-checked in Oz
I have to admit that I don’t really know why I write a blog. Just as with the website I wanted to learn about the new digital interactive world, and prefer to learn by trial-and-error rather than in theory only.

As far as I can tell, I mostly use it to reflect my state of mind. Occasionally world news, or work news, or home gossip slips into the mix, but I don’t feel the right to involve other real people too much, without their permission. I mean, shall I publish a photo of friends around the table at a party, or would they prefer not to have their picture on the web? During my life I have known draft dodgers, illegal drug smugglers, fathers not paying support, people on the run from abusive partners, illegal immigrants, freelancers who don’t pay taxes in the country they are passing through, etc. I have no idea whether I have the right to blow anyone’s cover.
Privacy, and all that...

At times it works brilliantly, like when I found a rare comedy album by Murray Roman on vinyl, and I mentioned here that I didn’t have any way to clean up scratchy old records.

Someone searching for the same obscure comedian found my blog through Google, and contacted me, offering to make clean digital versions if he could keep a copy, too! I gave him the vinyl – no use to me. Three Kinds of Highs - proof that other blogs occasionally remember him.

That’s the good stuff. Unfortunately, some of what I post also annoys people. I don’t do that on purpose. Whether a throwaway line about Buddhism, or a snide comment about dogs, I can get myself into trouble with readers (no excuses accepted for sloppy writing and thinking). Anyway. I can always come back and edit, although re-writing history slightly removes the fun of being able to scroll back through the diary years to see how things change. I never intended it as an 'accurate record' of anything more than my mood swings and passing fancies.

The main website needs re-designing and refurbishing, but that huge job may have to wait.

This blog, and the parallel one (focussed on my magic hobby), and the MLA one (started as a supplement to the Quarterly magazine), and the Circus Arts Forum (paid work) keep me pretty busy. Getting around to writing an article for the next magazine, or writing ‘the book’, still seem quite difficult to fit in around a day job.

The ever-diminishing time-slot doesn’t help. For all the dreams of life extension, etc – most guys don’t make it much past their mid-70s. (We just lost RAW at 74, same age as my dad got to). I don’t really expect much progress in life extension in the next decade (unlike many of my friends) – especially for old and misused bodies like mine – so I got 13 years or so, maybe.

That seriously concentrates the mind on what might seem important. Of course, if you think we hit The Singularity before then, or that the Mayan Age of Revealing, or global warming, or a nuclear war, or the plague, or whatever should absurdly interrupt my little life, then I have even less time. Hey ho.
Dandy in Week One
Here's the little fellow, Dandy, that greets me in the morning. Sorry to have implied I don't like cleaning up after a crappy little chappie.

He'll probably keep us fit in the summer, and prove a great excuse to get down to the beach (with plastic bags in our pockets).

I just growled at him (like any old dog) because he seemed too new and bouncy for me. So it goes.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Great Man

Anyone who hates dogs and children can't be all bad...
I was delighted to see that the Academy of Motion Pictures has an exhibition of WC Fields memorabilia. I reckon he seems long overdue for rehabilitation of his movies. I also heard a rumour of a release of a new DVD set, which includes at least one hard-to-find treasure, The Man on The Flying Trapeze! Although it looks as though the Pre-order only exists for people in the USA (doh!)
Anyway - sooner or later I may get The Old Fashioned Way, Man on the Flying Trapeze, You're Telling Me!, Poppy and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break - Whoopee!
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