Friday, August 7, 2009

Rehearsals for Retirement?

Well, blog, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and post more often, even at the risk of becoming inane and boring. Well, more inane and boring, anyway. The summer has been a pretty good one so far. This week my wife and I are “childless”- our youngest is off to Boy Scout camp again and our second-youngest, who has been back home for the summer, is off on a cross-country road trip. So the missus and I planned a two-night getaway at a B&B in Lancaster County, PA. Unfortunately, the owner called us the night before and told us he had air-conditioning problems, so we decided to cancel our plans and spend our three days off at home. It was wonderful, kind of a “rehearsal for retirement” – doing things at an unhurried pace, going out to dinner, sleeping in, puttering around, shopping, even setting up a new bed for ourselves (wink, wink). I could get used to this. No bingo or bus trips yet, though.

Good news in poetry: My poem, “Old Man at Bedtime”, has been nominated for a Best of the Net Award by the online journal Thick with Conviction. It’s one of two poems I’ve written about my late father-in-law, and both have earned me some accolades. I think he’s smiling down on me.

Baseball: How ‘bout them Phillies? Seven games ahead in first place, last time I checked. Let’s hope they can keep the lead and make the playoffs again – and dare I say it – even the World Series, for the second year in a row. (Pardon my skepticism, but as a long-time Phillies fan I’m old enough to remember their colossal collapse of 1964.) Their hitting – especially Rollins – is picking up again after a bit of a slump, and they have a surplus of good starting pitchers all of a sudden. Getting Cliff Lee was a major coup, and that kid Happ is looking like a Rookie of the Year candidate – what a gem he pitched the other night! GM Amaro even suggested they may go to a six-man rotation. It’s a pleasant dilemma when you have to decide whether to keep Jamie Moyer or Pedro Martinez in the rotation. The only weak link is the bullpen – Brad Lidge this year seems like a shadow of his former self.

Music: I just realized that I never posted anything about the XPoNential Music Festival, the annual event I attended about two weeks ago at Wiggins Park in Camden. It’s a 3-day affair, but I went on Saturday (all by myself, it turns out). A bit hot, but a fine day for music. Steve Wynn and Pete Yorn rocked, local bands East Hundred and Illinois were excellent, John Gorka was great as always, The Bacon Brothers were surprisingly good, Yeasayer (see below) were a revelation, local gal Sharon Little was sexy and bluesy, They Might Be Giants were quirky and fun as expected, and The Hold Steady were awesome and rockin’ as expected, till rain shortened their set.

I just downloaded two albums that I’m enjoying:

1. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix – This French band is upbeat, breezy and poppy with a splash of electronica, and the album kicks off with two of the best songs of the year, “Lisztomania” and “1901”. It’s already making a bunch of best-of-the-year lists, and will probably make mine as well.

2. All Hour Cymbals by Yeasayer – I saw these guys at the XPoNential Music Festival this year, and they were impressive, with an eclectic, progressive mix of rock and world music styles, and tight harmonies. This is their debut album from last year, and it too got a lot of favorable reviews. The music is almost impossible to describe, so all I can say is give it a listen.

Poem of the Week: Here’s a summer poem with a slightly erotic edge that appeared previously in Thick with Conviction:


On the weekend, you were a steady rain.

Yesterday, when you were mostly cloudy,

it was hard to read your sky.

But today you’re bright sunshine and warm

with a light southerly breeze

and a high in the upper 80’s.

Everything blooms around you

and fragrances follow your path.

I want to meet you on the veranda

as lemonade glasses sweat the afternoon.

Let’s generate a strong Bermuda high.

Tonight, let’s make a little thunder in the bedroom,

and glisten afterward, twisted in dampened sheets.

It’s not your heat, baby,

it’s your humidity.


S.L. Corsua said...

I loved the 'laying of the foundation' for that wallop of an ending. Pheromones perfume the air. ;) Thank you for sharing the poem. Cheers.

Bruce Niedt said...
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