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):


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.