Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tis the Season...

...to return to blogging. It seems that every year I drift away from the blog for a few weeks or even months during the fall semester. In fact, I admit it: I've been a spotty, unreliable blogger for years now. I  don't mind that. But now it's time for me to knuckle down and do some creative work. I've cut myself off from the dazzling distractions of Facebook (my friends post the best, most fascinating links!) during the daytime hours, by handing over my account keys (read: password) to my wonderful, supportive wife. So here I am, writing. Listening to music. Wondering if anyone is out there.

I never really paid attention to Kraftwerk back in the day, but suddenly they seem just the thing to set the tone for the novel I'm writing. Here's the song of the moment:


The lyrics, in their entirety: "I program my home computer, beam myself into the future."

Enjoy! Endure.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Publicity

I was interviewed by the OU Daily last week. This story popped up today, though there was a longer, better version online last night: Returning Expository Writing class to take a new look at gender norms.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cracked the Top Ten!

See what a little buzz can do?

I mentioned the other day that Amazon is giving free downloads of the Kindle edition of my book, Magnificent Mistakes, this weekend. (Well, it was yesterday, but we've extended the giveaway another day, for reasons I'm about to go into.) Well, I never thought we'd crack the top 2,000 overall list, much lest the top 1,000 free books on Kindle. At the moment, though, Magnificent Mistakes sits at #910. And, better still, the book has climbed into the Top Ten Short Stories list.

Hello, Junot Diaz! Hi, Stephen King, how's it going? Hey there, literary greats, Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, and Molly Ringwald! And oh, Tim O'Brien. Hi. How goes the carrying? You should maybe set those things down soon, eh? It's been a while. 

Also, it's nice to see Magnificent Mistakes two spots above its arch-rival, The Vampire Hunter's Daughter, Part 1, by Jennifer Malone Wright, and two slots below its spirit animal, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

Just goofing around here, but I aim to enjoy the moment while it lasts. The book reverts to its regular (low!) price at $2.99 soon. Grab the freebie while you can! Oh, and there's still a paperback, if you're into that sort of thing.

UPDATE: Magnificent Mistakes has fallen to #10, and its arch-rival, The Vampire Hunter's Daughter: Part 1, has risen again to #8.

The night is dark and full of terrors.

SECOND UPDATE: After falling to #21 on Monday morning, the book climbed back to #2 in short stories and #120 overall as of Tuesday morning at 6:00. The important question is this: Why am I awake already? Oh, hey, my free book is ALMOST as popular as Charlotte Bronte's free book. And to think of the head start she's had! 

Earlier, M.M. cracked the "Top 100 Free in Kindle" list. At the top of the page it says "Best Sellers in Kindle Store." I would have guessed that the universe's top online retail outlet would know the meaning of the word "sell." Guess not. Learn something new every day. "Hi, Jane Eyre! Howdy, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, and Herman Melivlle! Whassup, Because You Are Mine Part VIII: Because I Am Yours?"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fahrenheit Four-Fifty-FUN!

To celebrate my book's first birthday, we're giving away the hot-(not)-off-the-presses Kindle edition of Magnificent Mistakes for free this Saturday. The regular price isn't bad, either, at $3.99. Please download the book and spread the word far and wide. Many thanks!

You can still order the paperback here and here, and you can get a signed copy directly from me, if you're interested. I'd offer to sign your Kindle, too, but that seems a bit complicated, not to mention destructive. 

Give the book a shot, and please tell some friends. We're doing this to generate some much-needed buzz. Every little bit helps!




Friday, August 10, 2012

Done with Denial Day


Get ready for Done with Denial Day on September 1, 2012! As of this date, let's just all agree to laugh in the faces of the global-warming deniers and give them no more respect. They're foolish, and they're getting in the way. In fact, they're the problem.

From the description:
We have no more time for denial. Nearly all scientists acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that human activity warms the globe. We are rapidly approaching the "tipping point" beyond which changes in human behavior cannot avert catastrophic environmental impacts--that is, if we haven't reached the tipping point already. Somehow this has not become a central issue in the 2012 election season in the United States, so it's time to heat things up for global warming deniers. Let's change the political climate around the politics of climate change. The U.S. should lead the global effort to convert to sustainable energy use, yet our leaders don't feel enough pressure to lead on this issue.
Here are three things you can do to help, right now: 
1. Click the blue "Join" button above, then click the "Invite Friends" button and invite every reasonable person you know. Or five. How about the first five who come to mind? Ready, set, go. 
2. Between now and September 1, contact your representatives and/or candidates running for election and voice your concern about global warming and your desire for change (http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml). 
3. Reduce your carbon footprint right now. Commit to personal and political change today and for the long haul (http://sustainability.publicradio.org/consumed/tips.html). You might start by shutting off that light over there, putting your computer to sleep, or easing up on the a.c. by a degree or two. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. 
Let's do this for our kids and their kids, so they won't look back at us in anger. And let's do this because it's time.
Thank you. Consider joining and spreading the word: here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Meme Seem Theme Dream

I've gone a little meme crazy lately. First this, now this:


Hell, I've even started visiting and posting things on Reddit. Don't tell anyone. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Everybody Hit the Ground

R.E.M. posted this tonight. It's one of my favorite songs, from way, way back. Gorgeous.



Remember when Michael had hair?

So beautiful!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Poems Don't Sit by Rivers

It's true, it's true.

That's Paul Heaton, formerly of The Housemartins and The Beautiful South. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Little Wisdom

In 1997, I was deeply involved with both Christianity and Buddhism. I went to Los Angeles to hear three days of teachings from the Dalai Lama at UCLA. It was a grand adventure, which culminated in meeting His Holiness briefly, by chance, on the final day. That happened just over fifteen years ago. Yesterday I found my journal from that trip, tucked away in a box full of poetry and cinema books. I took a lot of notes during the talks, and I apparently made no effort to distinguish between my own thoughts and the words of he Dalai Lama or his translator. I haven't the time to transcribe the whole weekend, but here are a few highlights (unedited):


  • "By rejecting Atman, buddhists are not rejecting the natural sense of self, of 'I.' The transient nature of life is part of a continuum with what is labeled or perceived as the eternal."It is only possible to paraphrase. Selfhood of person can be interpreted as both true and false, depending on the definition of "selfhood." 
  • Through constant awareness, mindfulness, and self analysis, we should learn to use the dharma when it is most needed--when negative action arises. In that instant we should check or let go of the seeds of negativity. We should not forget the dharma in a crisis, in the face of difficulty or adversity.
  • He leans forward, rocks back, raises his eyebrows and smiles. Now and then a pure giggle bubbles up in him, the way a clear spring bubbles and gurgles to the surface. "Worldly concerns pollute motivation." A true practitioner is able to disregard worldly concerns. (Fame or reputation, the opinions of others, is the most difficult to disregard.) "No self"--the concept brings joy to the wise. It allows one not to grasp at the aggregates. (Form, sensation, recognition, mental conditioning, and consciousness.) If the root of samsara, self-grasping, is cut, it allows for a whole new level of enlightened existence--much practice is required.
  • Question: What is the difference between the no-self of person and the no-self of phenomenon? (Lunch break.)
  • [In response to my question about living with both Christianity and Buddhism, H.H. replied...] At the societal level, it is better for society to work with its own religion. However, certain individuals may arrive, after a long process of reflection and investigation, at the choice to follow another religious path. Also, an individual may embrace both a Christian and Buddhist path in the early stages. However, as one moves into deeper levels of understanding, one must choose a specific path and follow it. The concept of an all-knowing, eternal, independent Creator Spirit and the concept of all things being interdependent do not really sit together in the mind of an individual. 
  • His Holiness just broke down in tears, retelling the story of a great teacher whose last teaching was to show one of his students the callouses on his behind (from sitting for a lifetime) as evidence, the mark, of devotion to the long, disciplined path to enlightenment. Before that, in English, he said, "There is no faster, easier, cheaper way [to selflessness]."
  • Anything that comes into being dependent on any other thing or things is not independent. Therefore it is important to deny the independence of selfhood, the separateness of the one.... All separateness is false. Nothing, nothing is left out.
  • It is important to have positive, practical vision for the future. Happiness is the purpose of a life--not misery or destruction. We can achieve lasting world peace only through inner peace. World peace starts with one individual. We have to do our best to develop infinite patience. The force of peace comes from within us.
  • Inner peace, through training, can become something reliable. A peaceful attitude and environment will affect your neighbor. 
  • We should have a complete vision of a world without armament. [Much applause.] 
  • We have to reduce the gap between rich nations and poor nations. We must cultivate our relationship with nature. You have to consume less. Carry the sense of global responsibility. Be more kind.
  • Although all things are illusory, their functionality can be maintained. One is trying to understand the emptiness within the context of interdependent origination. In other words, things do exist as a result of cause and effect. This is a great challenge for the practitioner--maintaining a robust awareness and sense of reality after negating the suchness of everything. 
  • One should loosen one's grip on the worldly concerns of this life alone. Whatever behavior you adopt should inspire joy and happiness in the people who see you--even in the animals. One should cultivate altruistic intentions and maintain them with the steadfastness of a mountain, using all critical faculties, intelligence, and wisdom.
  • Remorse should not be hopeless self-punishment. It should lead to a hope for future actions. 
  • It is almost magical when he breaks out and speaks English directly to us. My sleepiness falls away. My attention leaps up and my mind stands instantly at attention the way a barracks full of soldiers responds the moment a superior officer walks into the room.
  • When one begins to think of the accumulation of merit in terms of the millions of years it takes to accumulate merit, one might be discouraged. One should disregard this amount of time, be prepared to commit an infinite amount of time to reach enlightenment. Infinity can be swift when it contains infinite ways to accumulate merit, so don't be daunted by any investment of time--enlightenment is here, accessible now. The real challenge is finding patience when confronted with pain and suffering. If one sees the purpose of one's life as being of benefit or service to others, every event becomes valuable.
  • When you truly understand the way that compassion and an understanding of emptiness reinforce each other, you can be free of dualism. Appreciation of conventional reality and of ultimate reality are the two wings with which one may fly toward the ultimate enlightenment of buddhahood. Engage in a path with both the skillful means and the wisdom--the middle way. The unification of method and wisdom, both complete in a single instant. 
There's a bit more, but that's probably well over half--and the better half, at that. Having left behind both religious practices for over a decade, some of this sounds quite foreign, quite unfamiliar to me. But the wisdom shines through, and it's good to remember where I've been to understand where I am. 

Recent Publications + Summer Clearance Sale

Every now and then I'll post a list of recent projects and publications, as much for my own sense of accomplishment as for any readers who may stumble onto this blog. It's been a while, so here goes:

"Seagulls" appeared in the final print edition of Quick Fiction earlier in the year and FlashFiction.net gave it a reprint a few weeks ago. And here's my reading of the story on Youtube:


My story "Birthday Bash" is forthcoming from Elm Leaves


Another story, "The Invisible World," is due for publication in FRiGG in October.

My short story collection, Magnificent Mistakes, will have an e-reader version in September.

And today I have a personal/travel essay in World Literature Today's new blog:
"From the Mouth to the Mic."

-----

And, speaking of Magnificent Mistakes, I have eleven copies left of the first printing. We'll print a new round in August, in time for a couple of relatively high-profile reviews in the works--but if you'd like  a signed, first-edition copy you can order directly from me at a slight discount from Amazon or Ravenna Press. I'm selling these for $10 each (normally $12.95) plus shipping ($2.50). Check or PayPal will work. Just drop a line to myname at gmail dot com for full details, and I'll ship your book within a day or two.

I have one more project in the pipeline, but I hesitate to write about it here. Don't want to jinx it! Stay tuned. And thanks for stopping by. What's on your mind?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dead Can Dance, "Amnesia"

Dead Can Dance released a song today. Repeat: Dead Can Dance released a song today! I suppose it's a single. The piece features Brendan Perry, and it's surprisingly mellow, somehow. This is the radio edit, and below it you'll find my best quick stab at transcribing the lyrics.


The new album, Anastasis, arrives mid-August--but you can stream the entire album here. Also, for the record, I claim no rights to these lyrics, and if necessary I'll remove them upon request.


AMNESIA

Saw the demonstration
on Remembrance Day.
Lest we forget the lesson
enshrined in funeral clay.

History is never written
by those who've lost.
The defeated must bear witness
to our collective memory loss.

Memories fall from the trees.
Amnesia.
Memories, like autumn leaves.

If we are subject to
empirical minds,
I wonder what lies beyond
our memories' confines.

If memory is the true sum
of who we are,
may your children know the truth
and shine like the brightest star.

Memories help me see
amnesia.
Memories set me free.

All my loves
and all my kisses,
sweet melody,
sweet memory.

All my loves
and all my kisses,
sweet melody,
sweet memory.

-----

SEE ALSO: My imagined DCD album from last year, made of the best songs from their recent solo albums. Also, here's my 1995 interview with Lisa Gerrard.

UPDATE (2/7/13): The version above is the "radio edit." Here's the full song:


And here's my favorite track from the album (which was my favorite record of 2012):


With apologies to all the Lisa Gerrard fans out there (and I'm one, believe me!), I wind up loving DCD's singers equally. They are both brilliant, and as artists they belong together forever. I hope there will be another album in the next year or two. I caught their tour in Austin, Texas, last fall. Best concert of my life, bar none. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Thought I Was an Author, But it Wasn't Quite Official

It's official. I'm a real author now. Or, at any rate, I have been assimilated by the Borg. Here's my Amazon author page: Eric Bosse. I should add, though, that for now I'm still able to offer free shipping within the U.S. and Canada on any book ordered directly from me (and, of course, I can sign that copy for you, as well!). Just email me at my name plus gmail.com, and I'll send you the paypal details.

And, for the hell of it, I'll gladly ship the book overseas, minus the $2.50 I'd charge for shipping in the U.S. So come on now, what are you waiting for? It's time. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More Poetry Slams in Norman, Oklahoma

Write Club is hosting two more poetry slams (that we know of): Thursday 29 March 2012 and Thursday 26 April 2012. At stake...the Championship of the World of Cafe Plaid. Sign up starts at 7:00, and we'll start both evenings with our usual (weekly) open mic. Slam poets can also sign up in advance--details for that are on the Write Club Facebook page. Like it.

Here's the Write Club flyer for Spring 2012:


We've also got a free performance poetry workshop with Lauren Zuniga coming up in April, though that one is nearly full. Here is its flyer (detect a design theme?):


One of our newest readers is really interested in getting a cypher going as a regular part of the open mic series. Leave us a note on Facebook if you're interested.

Oh yeah, I have a blog...

Hi. I drifted back into facebook a few weeks ago (mostly to promote Write Club Open Mic events, I swear!), and my blogging simply trailed off. Such is life.

Anyway, here's an interview I did with Kelcey Parker of the Ph.D. in Creative Writing & Other Stories blog: How Eric Bosse Became a Writer.

(I'm enjoying Parker's story collection, For Sale By Owner, by the way--though I keep having to put it away so I can grade papers.)

And here's the latest review of the book, too.  That jumped-up pantry boy is very kind. Oh, and it looks like Ravenna Press is about to sell out the first printing, so there's progress. Onward and upward!

Next challenge: persuading the people who have actually read my book to go to Amazon and Goodreads and write even the smallest little review. These things help sales, I'm told. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

PETDH Now Accepting Donations

Please support my new cause: People for the Ethical Treatment of Dead Horses.

Because there are alternatives to beating.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Everything Reminds Me of My Blog

I used to love Jane Siberry. I mean, I had a serious crush on her once upon a time. But really what I mean is that I loved her music. And I still do love her early music as well as the more popular music from the mid-phase of her career. But at some point in the nineties she went a little nuts. She stopped recording and performing under her own name, dubbed herself Issa, and made quirky little songs that lacked the drama and charm and musical interest of her earlier work.

Well, she eventually went back to performing under her own name. She tours now via house concerts in the homes of presumably wealthy fans. And, judging by the email she sent to her list today, she's gone off her rocker. Here, in all their resplendent glory, are Jane Siberry's seemingly sincere "12 Tips for a Successful Valentine's Day":

1. Prepare a feast for your special Valentine.
2. Put on some music.
3. Light some candles.
4. Suggest breaking up.
5. (silence)
6. Tell each other how much you have enjoyed THEM:their generosity, their wisdom, sense of humour, eccentricities, tenderness.
7. Tell each other how much you have enjoyed BEING A COUPLE WITH THEM:sharing meals, trips, end-of-day reflections, the occasionally mind-blowing love-making.
8. Tell each other how much you have enjoyed LEARNING WITH THEM:how someone else approaches life's pleasures, pains and day-to-days; your current 'triggers'; how to remain a 'professional' loving human being rather than the  insecure self that is always rested and ready to work.
9. Tell each other how GLAD you are:that you are breaking up with dignity and consciousness rather than by 'cheating'; that you share the same order of priorities: god, growth, relationships.
10. Sort out details:Choose date for closure (two months?).Choose date for break-up celebration with all your friends.
11. Really LOOK into each other's eyes.
12. Finish dinner, clean up and make plans!
So romantic. Enjoy! Thanks, Jane!

Though I don't think Jane Siberry meant this list of "tips" satirically, everything reminds me of my blog.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Venetian Ice

A friend in Venice sent this photo this morning. She promises that the ice will melt and the humidity will rise by the time we arrive in May. I wouldn't mind if her promise were to go unfulfilled.

Then again, an icy lagoon at that time of year would indicate some sort of dramatic climactic upheaval, verging on a sudden, new ice age.

And why, as I type that, don't I find the prospect more terrifying?

Hmm...

UPDATE: Oh my! Check out these photos.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spreading President Santorum

Yesterday, in class, I wrote "President Santorum" on the board. I hope I don't get fired. After all, the word "Santorum" is commonly tossed about in the national media. He's even being taken seriously in the 2012 race for the White house, all of a sudden. I mean, guess which G.O.P. candidate is leading the national polls, as of today. Yep.

Disgusting.

UPDATE 2/12/12: Santorum has opened up a 15-point lead over Romney, nationwide. That's huge. A less mature, less tasteful blogger would undoubtedly call it "gaping."

Whatever it is, America, sometimes you're gross.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Write Club's Love Poetry Slam

I realize my legions of international readers, as well as those around the U.S., will be unable to attend this event. Nonetheless, here is the official Write Club press release, in full:



Press Release

OU Write Club Hosts Open Mic Night and Love Poetry Slam

Write club invites lovers, poets, and lovers of poetry to Café Plaid for an evening of locally-grown literature and competitive romance


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORMAN, Okla., 16 February 2012 — Following the packed-house success of its first-ever poetry slam, OU Write Club will spice up its regular open mic session of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction with an exciting and oh-so-romantic Love Poetry Slam. Café Plaid will overflow with romance (and, no doubt, heartbreak, too) on Thursday, February 16.
Sign-up starts at 7:00, and Write Club’s non-thematic, anything-goes open mic session kicks off at 7:15. Open-mic readers have seven minutes to read original creative work.
The Love Poetry Slam begins at 8:00 with five judges chosen at random from the audience. Write Club invites poets to compete within the following structure:

Round 1: Original Love Poems
Round 2: Classic/cover/published love poems
Round 3: Poet’s Choice (original poems, classic/cover/published poems, or spontaneously composed poems using words tossed out by the audience)

Poets get three minutes per round. No props, costumes, or musical accompaniment are permitted. This special slam will be limited to eight poets. The first two elimination rounds are scored cumulatively, and the final round starts with a “blank slate” for the three most (and/or least) romantic poets. Prizes may include chocolate.

For more details join “OU Write Club” on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What About Theft of Stolen Intellectual Property?

If, by chance, I drop dead from an aneurysm today, don't be fooled. It won't really be by chance. It will be because I read this troubling op/ed piece in my university's student paper: "Intellectual Property is Theft." To be fair, the column is reasonably well written. In fact, at times, it's impressive. But the author fails to include intelligence, talent, skill, originality, and time in the category of "finite resources." In other words, if I write a book (and I have), then the paper and the ink are mine (well, my publisher's) in this columnist's view, but the words aren't mine anymore. If someone else copies my book and commits my sentences to ink and paper, then she gets to profit from selling that physical property. It's not my paper, after all. It's not my ink. And if she were to share my words online for a fee or for a fee, she could. It's all fine. No crime. I'm not a victim of theft.

No dice.

More interesting to me, perhaps, is this: if I'm in favor of intellectual property rights, then what exactly constitutes "theft"? That's where I run into trouble. Take the photo of a brain on a plate in the upper-right corner of this post, for instance. I did.

-----

On an unrelated note, Cindy Lee Berryhill is a genius. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Everything Counts in Large Amounts

But some youtube videos count way more than others.



I'm not usually impressed by cover versions of my favorite songs, but this one is perfect and inspiring. I need to step up my dad game.

For the unenlightened, here's the (dare I say it--inferior) original:


Congratulations, America!

It's official: Stephen Colbert's Super PAC has raised more than one million dollars. Take that, terrorists!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Poetry Slam in Norman, Oklahoma

[UPDATE: We're looking at March 28th as the most likely date for our spring 2013 slam. The 2013 Spring Poetry Slam happens on April 4th. Check out OU Write Club on Facebook for details.]

In lieu of a featured reader at the end of our regular open mic night at Café Plaid, Write Club will host our first-ever poetry slam next Thursday, February 2nd, at 7:00 p.m. We will need a minimum of four poets (of any level of experience!), and we've settled on a cap of sixteen. We'll have three rounds with three minutes for each poet (plus a ten-second grace period, after which points will be deducted). Three poets making it to the final round. Five judges will be chosen more or less at random from the audience. I will host. It will be raucous. It will be good fun. And then some. So come out! Come out! Come even if you're not going to compete. The greater the density of the crowd, the greater the intensity of the competition. (Not that we're going for intensity. Nah, in that case I was just going for a rhyme.) But seriously, whoever you are--an experienced slam poet, a curious onlooker, or anyone in between--help us make the evening great.

In case you're unfamiliar with the nationwide phenomenon and in-your-face style of slam poetry, here are five examples from a few luminaries in the field:

Daniel Beaty, "Knock Knock"

Andrea Gibson, "Blue Blanket"

Taylor Mali, "What Teachers Make"

Suheir Hammad, "What I Will"

Katie Makkai, "Pretty"

Yeah. I know. That might be a bit intimidating. But chances are microscopic that one of these poets will show up next week in Norman, Oklahoma. And, you know, just in case one does, you'll want to be there.

Get your poem on. Come on down!

Free Advice, Worth Every Penny

I probably shouldn't link to my own blog, but I had completely forgotten this post from a couple years ago. It's hilarious. And, strangely, since launching that column, I have received no further requests for relationship advice. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Mother Received a Wound

I think I forgot to mention here that Prick of the Spindle is featuring my four-minute short film, "My Mother Received a Wound." I made it in 2000, largely with the help and support of the more experienced (and, to be fair, more talented) Andrew Mudge--who also plays the film's central character. Enjoy.


Oh, by the way, I suppose you could say this film is  based on a true story--or inspired by one, at any rate. For years, in Colorado Springs, there was a man who stood on the median at the intersection of Cascade and Uintah holding a sign that read "MY MOTHER RECEIVED A WOUND AT PENROSE HOSPITAL." I went with "Corpus Christi" for the sign in my film, to avoid any hint of legal complication, and found out a year or two later that Penrose actually used to be called Corpus Christi a few decades ago.

Decades schmecades. Time sure flies when you're wishing you were having fun.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kathy Fish is kind.



And Quick Fiction is dead. Long live Quick Fiction.

Sorry if I'm the one who killed it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My New Blog

As I enter a busy semester crammed with two sections of a new course, an extra course on top of my normal load, a travel-writing course to develop for the summer, and a novel to write, it seems perfectly sensible that I should launch a new blog today. So here you go, laddies and gentlewomen--I now present to you...


It's where I'll do most of my film-related blogging--which, if I hold true to form, means you can expect new posts two to six times a year. I begin with this rather long list of Forty Great Films Streaming on Netflix. Enjoy!

I Am the Weak Link

Dear Packer Nation:

I owe you an apology. I let you down.

As you know, the Green Bay Packers lost their playoff matchup with the New York Giants yesterday. The fault is entirely mine.

On Sunday morning, when I chose my shirt for the day, I didn't put on my Packers T-shirt. I've gained a bit of weight, you see, and that shirt is a medium. It's not quite as comfortable as it used to be. So I decided to go against my custom for important games, and I opted for a large shirt instead. But not just any shirt. I went with my Morrissey T-shirt, purchased on the night his recent North American tour rolled through Dallas. It was a fatal mistake.

And it's clear now, in hindsight, that blame for this loss falls on me and me alone. I'm sorry. Next year, I'll get it right. I'll order a large Packers shirt, and an extra-large one, too, just to be safe.

Oh, and, in case you're wondering, the Moz concert was excellent. Really top notch.

In shame,
Eric Bosse




Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Re-Education of Eric Bosse

It's strange, I suppose, for a heterosexual, cisgendered man entering his mid forties to realize that if given the opportunity to suspend his career, go back to school, and study anything at all, right now, at this point in his life, he would choose gender studies. But that's what I'd do, if I could. My fairy godmother would have to provide for my family, of course, or I'd have to stumble upon the world's most generous financial aid package. But, for the past few years, I have been increasingly drawn to study gender. Perhaps this is my version of a midlife crisis.

But don't mind me. I'm just putting together the reading schedule and course packet for a new course. No doubt this phase will pass and I'll go back to wishing I could study filmmaking. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

If you have a moment...

...and feel up for something unusual, something well beyond the usual, something that could very well crack open your mind and expand your world at least a little bit--or, if nothing else, fill in a few of that world's blurry details--check out this wild, beautiful blog: A Wild Slim Alien. Every time I visit, I come away feeling richer for it.

It's a blog about trees. And it's a book about nothing less than life. Memory. About roots and reaching into the air. Here's an excerpt from the most recent post:
The trees along the wayside begin to stretch out now.  And they are closer to me; perhaps they are less easily defined because of that.   So we have to jump forward in time, through a decade which was far from treeless – among others London is full of its namesake trees, the planes, after all – but in which I formed no strong emotional attachments to any particular tree; or rather, can project no strong emotional story onto a sufficiently representative tree.  Of course, if I put my mind to it, there might be buried deep in me trees which had some passing significance, a Japanese maple here, an oak there.  But for a long time I lived without the special trees that seemed to dot my childhood and teenage years.
Read more here.  Or miss out.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ark and the Black Opal

Eager--probably over-eager--to hear what Dead Can Dance comes up with for their recently announced, long awaited, freshly confirmed, totally new studio album and its accompanying international tour in 2012, I grew impatient. Last week, I cobbled together my own new DCD album. Please understand: I'm a devoted fan, but I am not among the band's most avid followers. I saw them live just once (in 1994 or so, in Denver), and I caught Lisa Gerrard (solo, but with everyone from DCD but Brendan Perry) in Boulder, Colorado, the year after. I also did a phone interview with Lisa, once upon a time--one of the highlights of my brief career as an arts and entertainment journalist. She was delightful, and she said mine was the last voice she would hear before sleep that night. I swooned! Anyway, as a less-than-fanatic fan--the kind who never joined a DCD discussion forum, and only just discovered that these brilliant artists have email lists--I probably haven't listened to their recent solo records as often as I would have if the records were released under the DCD banner.

In a belated effort to get to know the songs, I decided to pick my favorite tracks from Lisa Gerrard's The Black Opal and Brendan Perry's Ark. Both solo albums feature great work, but neither is consistently magnificent from top to bottom, in my view. So there was room to trim and cut and rearrange. I alternated between the two, limited my selection to under 80 minutes, and tinkered a wee bit (though not much) with the order. Here's what I came up with (note: youtube playlist added to the bottom of this post):

ARK & THE BLACK OPAL

This faux album sounds and feels like something new. It's imperfect. It's repurposed. And I realize it's no big deal. But by putting these songs side by side--alternating between Brendan's voice and Lisa's--the effect is quite magical. Had the band done this, it could have passed for a new DCD studio album in 2010. So I thought I'd share it with you.

Here's the first smash-hit single:


If I can figure out how to make a youtube playlist with these songs, in this order, I promise to post an update with the link. In the meantime, I'll assume you're reading this because you, too, are a DCD fan excited about the joys to come. Have you ever done or heard anything like this? If you give this "album" a try, let me know what you think. Are you, like me, willing to make a pilgrimage to wherever (within reason) to catch this tour?

Another question, for the Brendan Perry completists: What are the best non-album songs and recordings from his solo career--or, if you prefer, what are your favorites?

UPDATE: Here is a youtube playlist of this hypothetical album.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Men with Big Mouths and No Guts

As one year ends and another begins--the one in which the world is scheduled to end--I must admit to myself that I have grown tired of self promotion. And not just tired. Wary. I don't trust the stuff. And everyone's got that stuff. I'm as guilty as anyone.

I have tried, in good faith, to promote my book. And I will no doubt keep doing virtual cartwheels and backflips to grab the attention of a stray reader now and then. But so what? Does the world need another book of stories? Does the world need anything any of us has to offer? I don't mean this cynically. I'm not questioning that we can work, in our own ways, to make the world a better place. Yet I witness acts of shameless and shameful self promotion left and right. Everyone is doing it. All the time. In some sense, that's what this blog is. But it's also...

No. I'll let the thought drift in the wind. When the world ends--and it will end this year, we're told--none of my doubts will matter. So I'll leave you with this dark gem. Go do some good.