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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

Gutenberg Bible and Preachers' Kids

Interestingly, today marks the 553rd anniversary of the printing of the Gutenberg Bible (Mainz, Germany 1452). The anniversary falls in the midst of Banned Books Week. Not only did Gutenberg produce almost 200 copies of the Bible in the German language, he also provided the technological tool used to educate and inform the general public in a way that had never been accomplished in history at that time. Ironically, today there is so much information it's difficult not to be overwhelmed.

:::

Today is also the birthday of American poet, W.S. Merwin. I discovered that a couple of my favorite poets are son's of clergymen: Li-Young Lee and W.S. Merwin (both sons of Presbyterian ministers).

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week 2005 is September 24–October 1, 2005. Looking over the top 100 banned books (assembled by the American Library Association) I noticed six I read during my formative years: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein & James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.

There were other books I read on the top 100 banned books list, but what amazed me most was the abscence of an obvious candidate-- the Christian Bible. A book that includes sex, witchcraft, rape, murder, cannibalism and much more would likely qualify as a banned book in most public school libraries. Most books that made the top 100 list include those (among other) topics.

This made me suspicious. Has the Bible been banned from the Banned Books top 100 list? After reading more deeply into the ALA’s Web site I found that the banned books extended list
[I]nclude works ranging from the Bible... to John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”


Further reading revealed that:
Each year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom receives hundreds of reports on books and other materials that were “challenged” or asked to be removed from school or library shelves.


Currently, my reading list only includes one banned book (out of twelve). Still, it seems human nature focuses on one offensive book while ignoring eleven quality books.

New Traveling Bonfires posters

Finally, I'm finished with the posters I've been working on over the last couple weeks. The posters are for The Traveling Bonfires which is a non-profit organization that roams "the country, instigating arts and music events, bringing people together for global peace and multicultural community connectedness." Each poster features a photo I took in Downtown Asheville.

Here's a list of the events these posters promote:

November 18
5pm to 2am
The Grey Eagle, Asheville NC. Door, $5.
A Traveling Bonfires/ Third World Asheville benefit show.
Featuring: Vanessa Boyd, Crooked Routes, Dashvara, Sunshine, Phuncle Sam and guests from San Francisco, CA; Deborah Crooks and Mica Lee Williams.

December 3
5pm to 2am.
The Grey Eagle, Asheville NC. Door, $5.
A Traveling Bonfires / Third World Asheville benefit show.
Featuring: Laura Blackley, Mississippi Cactus (touring from Milwaukee MI), Vanessa Boyd, Patty Keough (touring from Boston) and Phuncle Sam.

Feel free to download the posters. The files are high-resolution (300 dpi) jpeg files that are designed to fit 8 1/2x11 pages (with a 1/2 inch margin). Do some guerilla marketing-- promote the gigs by printing the letter-size posters and plastering them all over town. Sorry I can't make these downloads full-size (11x17). Something about the files being too big for server space. If you would like a full-size (11x17) poster to print, then email me and I'll send you a PDF file.

The performing artists will love you for it. The The Traveling Bonfires will love you for it. I'll love you for it! Don't forget to go to the shows to hear great live music. What else could you ask for?

For the performing artists contributing to these gigs... Both posters are available for purchase if you wish to have a more professional quality presentation. Not that guerilla marketing with color copies is a bad thing, but I know you want to wow your fans to The Grey Eagle shows.

I can arrange a short-run printing, but I need your orders by October 15th. Each full-color poster measures 11" x 17" and prints on 100lb. gloss cover stock with UV coating (sure beats the copy shop laser color copies). Minimum order of 5 posters. Contact me for more details.

THE INDIE, October 2005

The October issue of The Indie hit the streets last night.

To obtain FREE copies of the October issue...
go to The Indie website.
or write:
The Indie
70 Woodfin Place, Suite 01
Asheville NC 28801

or call:
Tel # (828) 225 5994

Evaluating blogging & writing

Last week, I posted several thoughts here, here and here about the future of 1000 Black Lines.

Here's the skinny: 1000 Black Lines will have a major redesign--countdown to October 1.

Also, I will be disabling "Referring Web Pages" feature: Several days ago I had a couple links under this feature which lead to some offensive Web sites (specifically "nude web cam"). I'm not sure how 1000 Black Lines was referred from those Web sites outside of someone clicking the "next blog >>" button at the top of the page. I know I have young readers in the audience which is why I try to keep most of the content of this blog PG-13.

Further thoughts on Gas Prices: part 4

Several months ago I considered the cost of war in Iraq and I speculated that "gasonline might cost as much as $7.00 per gallon" by the time my first born son is old enough to vote. The way things are going, I might be paying $7 per gallon by the time he enters grade school.

Today, The New York Times reported that the President said: "People just need to recognize that the storms have caused disruption," he added, and that if Americans are able to avoid going "on a trip that's not essential, that would be helpful."

I've limited using petrol to $15 a week which doesn't go as far is it used to four years ago. Sure, Americans may complain that gas costs are too high, but they are still filling up their fuel tanks. I wonder why most Americans chose to pay $3 a gallon for gasoline--it only costs $0.75 to ride the bus.

Poetry, Painting and other thoughts



Fragile
Last year, about this time, I contributed to "Resonance" Art Opening/Multimedia Performance. The Grey Eagle Tavern and Music Hall hosted the event. I read some of my new poems at the time and then Philip (guitarist) and Julie (rock vocalist) joined me with a music/performance set based on my book Late Night Writing. Julie contributed an original song to the set while Philip added an original soundtrack. The collaboration between the three of us was inspiring (to me at least). It was kind of weird hearing Julie sing my poems "Fragile" and "Driftwood" back to me and to the audience. In a way it was a relief to hear someone else claim them, own the words, project the ideas. I miss that. There are a few live bootleg recordings of the three or four gigs we did together. Maybe when I find some server space, I'll offer them as free downloads.

Three paintings represented me at "Resonance" Art Opening/Multimedia Performance. "Fragile," named after the poem I wrote, was painted last summer. Previously, I had done a series of four paintings inspired by the poet Kahlil Gibran (which was part of the 2003 "Resonance" art show) with bright, dramatic abstractions using a simple palette of red, yellow and black. With "Fragile," the colors deepened in order to create a stark, lyrical image. A young poet from South Carolina once confessed he didn't particularly get into modern art, but he liked "Fragile" because it seemed like a place he would like to visit. The poem I wrote that inspires this work includes these lines: "I am naked/ When truth strips me/ Of a lie." And later: "I am reborn/ When the old shattered remains/ swept away, replaced with/ a new vessel to contain my soul."



Among The Myrtle
"Among The Myrtle," named after a passage from the book of Zechariah, was also painted last summer. Most people who view this painting don't know the passage that inspires this work. The passage reads:
"In a vision during the night, I saw a man sitting on a red horse that was standing among some myrtle trees in a small valley... I asked the angel who was talking with me, 'My lord, what are all those horses for?' 'I will show you,' the angel replied. So the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, 'They are the ones the LORD has sent out to patrol the earth.' Then the other riders reported to the angel of the LORD, who was standing among the myrtle trees, 'We have patrolled the earth, and the whole earth is at peace.'

Again, as with the painting "Fragile," I attempt to present a sparse place for the eye and the mind to roam--a place someone would like to sit and rest and visit often. In a way, I was trying to create a sanctuary were "the whole earth is at peace."

My son, who was two at the time, painted along side me. We would paint outside, on the front deck on Saturday mornings. It became a weekend ritual. At the time he merely enjoyed mixing the colors on an old canvas I had forsaken. He named one dinosaur and the next weekend he would paint over dinosaur and call it puppy. During the winter we stopped the outdoor painting sessions and he began working with pencil and paper. By springtime he graduated to markers. As spring gave way to summer he had developed a curious visual language that inspired me. He began drawing people with arms and legs that didn't quite fit and dots and lines representing eyes. The smile became his creative signature--it sliced across the heads as if to say "it is what it is."



I'm Putting on My Socks
One Saturday, after we resumed our painting ritual, I created "I'm Putting on My Socks" in honor of his drawings. Three other paintings were created that day (which I may post at a later date) and a series of twelve drawings. He told me I needed more gray. I told him gray was not a color I liked to use because it's too bland. He insisted by adding a few strokes of his own. After moving him back to his canvas, I conceded. Gray became the visual language that supported the red, black, copper and white motifs.

I don't know if there will be a "Resonance" Art Performance this year. Whether collaborating with adults or children, an artist needs support in order to grow. Hearing a poem or viewing a painting from another perspective opens up a world of opportunity. Irving Stone mused that "Art's a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter... Man's spirit grows hungry for art in the same way his stomach growls for food." For those who have supported my growling stomach, I thank you.

Still Evaluating blogging & writing

Earlier this week, I posted things that might change about 1000 blacklines.

Part of the shift grew from an invitation by an editor to publish some of my blog posts in his monthy publication. So naturally, I examined the last 18 posts and realized I could be posting better quality writings. In order to accomplish that, I need to spend time writing well. I'm not sure if that means I should cut back to posting twice, maybe thrice, weekly or what.

Regarding simplifying the blogroll/link sidebar:
I may trim the blogroll. I'm not sure what to cut nor keep.

Regarding disabling comments:
Wow, a couple of you responded to that one. Screwy Hoolie had the best advice: "You don't have to feel obligated to respond to comments or to emails..." So, I didn't respond to his comment (and now I feel so guilty, but I'll get over it).

Regarding hosting the blog under a new domain name:
This is to provide easier access to this blog. 1000 Black Lines is difficult to remember. People type
"onethousandblacklines [dot] blogpot [dot] com"
instead of
"1000blacklines [dot] blogspot [dot] com"
or they try
"1000blacklines [dot] com"
which doesn't exist.
So, I need to figure out a simple, easy-to-remember domain name which links to this blog.

One thing is for certain, I'm redesigning the visuals of 1000 Black Lines to best represent my salon.

The Writing Life -- Lesson fifteen

A couple weeks ago I had lunch with a friend and I was amazed (again) by his intellectual prowess. I commented to him that I wish I could have time to read more books. "Better to read deeply than to read extensively," he said as we stood in line to pay for our meal. Coming from a gentleman who reads deeply and extensively, I think I understand what he means--concentrate on one thing and read it well. Too often I find something interesting to read but it turns out to be more of a distraction than a help for my writing efforts.

The writer studies literature, not the world. He lives in the world; he cannot miss it... He is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write. He is careful of what he learns, because that is what he will know.

The writer knows his field--what has been done, what could be done, the limits--the way a tennis player knows the court. And...plays the edges.
--Annie Dillard, The Writing Life


Examining the books I'm currently reading, (Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, Come to the Quiet: The Principles of Christian Meditation, An Explanation of America (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets), Handwriting: Poems, Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters, The Blessing: A Memoir, Don't Waste Your Life, Job and Hebrews (from the Christian Bible), A Poetry Handbook, Road to Reality, True Spirituality and Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture) it's safe to say the concentration is in poetry, non-fiction literature and spirituality. Examining the magazines and newspapers I read reveals more diversity, and the blogs I read regularly are even more varied than that. Play the edges and avoid the mire of the middle. That's the challenge.

Literary Events last weekend

MONDAY UPDATE:
I totally missed the Heartstone Poets Reading at Warren Wilson event. Did anyone else make it? Things just didn't work out that I could attend. But I did make it to the Writers at Home Series at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe.

Brenda Flanagan...
was a joy to hear as she read two short pieces. Yeah, I was a bit disappointed. I would have liked to read more. Her lyrical quality to prose simply inspires me. And the fact that she introduced her first short fiction section by singing the first couple bars of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" was the bow on the package.

Robert McGee...
read from an upcoming book that impressed everyone. It's a series of short stories based on the personalities in an office. Think Office Space without the campy humor. Not that there wasn't any humor, but the humor was sparsely sardonic--more of an urbane edginess. I look forward to reading his book when it is released.

Afterward:
Usually I chat with the authors after the readings or at least thank them for reading their work. But Sunday I felt like I had feasted on the morsels that fell from the table of masters. I didn't know what to say to them and they seemed to be surrounded by well-wishers or groupies. I couldn't tell.

I lost myself in between bookshelves trying to figure out what to say, but realized I had nothing to say. Or at least nothing I wanted to say. If I could say or ask something those things had probably already been said and asked: Do you write full-time? Or is it a hobby? Where do you get your inspiration? I love that story you read, but I'll buy your book online because it's cheaper than buying here at the bookstore. How can I be just like you? Do you use MS Word to compose your manuscript? Would you autograph my copy of your book?

Idiot, I said to myself in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice. Then I silently left the bookstore.

:::

[Originally posted Sept. 16, 2005 4:16 PM]

Heartstone Poets Reading at Warren Wilson
Friday, September16th at 7:30 PM
Canon Lounge, Gladfelter Student Union, Asheville, NC 28815
Phone: 828-298-3325
[map here]

Featuring: Keith Flynn, Glenis Redmond and Thomas Rain Crowe among other guests.


UNC Asheville's Writers at Home Series
Sunday, September 18th at 3 PM
Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-254-6734
[map here]

Readings by local authors Brenda Flanagan and Robert McGee.

Evaluating blogging & writing continued...

Evaluating this blog and my writing goals revealed changes, which need to be made. Last week, I posted some thoughts about my discovery and plan to update you on decisions being made.

Inspired by Jennifer Rice, Seth Godin and a cafe discussion with the editor of The Indie, I'm retooling/redesigning 1000 Black Lines.

Things that may change: the frequency of the weekly posts, blogroll/link sidebar, disabling comments, hosting the site under a new domain name and downloadable material.

Things that will remain the same: this is my salon (i.e. "1. [U]sed for receiving and entertaining guests. 2. A... gathering of people of social or intellectual distinction. 3. A hall or gallery for the exhibition of works of art.") and represents my interests.

I'll update you later this week about the results of my deliberation.

Lovely Day

It's three o'clock on a Saturday afternoon. The weather looks beautiful outside. I've spent five hours designing event posters. I'm seriously a graphic design junkie.

I wonder if there is a recovery program for graphic designers?

Have a fruit roll-up, friends


Each week Site Meter emails a weekly summary of traffic and stats relating to this blog. Usually I just delete these emails, but to day I say some numbers that caught my attention: average daily visits, 45 and this week's visits, 313. Twice in the last week there were more than 60 visitors.

I know all this is rather trivial, but I wanted to know what I wrote that attracted so much traffic. But the traffic didn't seem to match what was posted that day. So, I'll resume my habit of deleting Site Meter emails and continue writing. For those new visitors... Welcome. Have a fruit roll-up (I saved some from the 80s)!

Evaluating blogging & writing

Recently, I've been spending a lot of time re-evaluating the stuff of life. What are my goals? Are they in the right priority? Why is there so much clutter? Is blogging a waste of time or an essential part of my life?

I'm glad I'm not the only one considering this. Jennifer Rice of What's Your Brand Mantra? seems to have re-evaluated her priorities and reinvented her blog.
"After 18 months of writing about branding and marketing, I hit the point of burn-out. So I'm making some changes that I hope will keep me interested and engaged in the blogosphere."

She drew inspiration from a post by Jack/Zen :
"The question about creating simplicity in our life spaces, life styles, relationships, and work is the question: 'What is the essence of my life?' "


In the Christian tradition, the essence of life refers to spirituality or spiritual intuition. A Taoist would agree with that. Shen, or essence, refers to the spirit of a man. Yet, the question "What is the essence of my life?" is not complete until the body and soul (mind) are included. Maybe a better question would be "What is the purpose of my life?" In order for the essence to have purpose it must engage the mind (soul). If your mind is anything like mine, it must be disciplined they way the body is disciplined with exercise and diet.

Here's an example of what I mean. My spirit (essence) is in need of purpose. I read a psalm written by Jeremy Huggins (body in action) that caused meditation (mind in action) which lead to moments of contemplation (spirit in action). As I contemplated (essence) my life and this blog my soul (mind) wandered in many directions. One of those directions lead me to spend almost four hours tonight writing (body).

* * *



For two years I’ve been working on a novel. But it was not as satisfying as when I compose poems. The other failure to the novel I’m not writing is that I don’t like the ending (a novel can not be written unless the author knows how the story ends).

But tonight, I know how it ends. Actually, tonight I rewrote the entire plot outline, added some new characters and eliminated some of the scenes and locations. But here’s the challenge, I still don’t want to write a novel. I want to write a narrative poem (i.e. a book length poem). Yeah, buddy, I hear you--poetry books don’t sell. After all, only poets read poetry. Everyone else reads novels.

But here’s an idea I’ll toss your way. What if I released this project, this book length poem, as an audio CD? Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself. But tonight I completed the entire plot outline and a rough draft of the first two scenes (out of thirty).

Now my body is tired but my soul is wired. I doubt I’ll get any sleep tonight.

View the photo project

Jeremy Huggins began a photo project back in February. The idea was to:
"[E]ssay a roll of film... 24 exposures..."

He asked for volunteers to submit photos he would then write about--sort of a blogger's writing prompt. So, today I looked at a new photo from his project and read the short essay and looked at the photo again and thought it looked familiar. For some reason I didn't read the text: "Original photo courtesy of Matt Mulder." Yeah, buddy, I could tell you a story or two about that photo, but I like the story Jeremy tells.

[check out his photo/essay]

True gentleman

Picked up this quote from Today's Lessons, though I don't know who to ascribe it to.

"The final test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him."

Radio deejay joke

Queen produced their hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" so deejays could use the toilet. The real trick is learning to run all the way down the hall to use the toilet and back before a two-minute Green Day hit runs into dead-air.

I don't know how often "Bohemian Rhapsody" is on the radio playlists, but Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" and Guns n' Roses's "November Rain" must still be regular airplay favs.

Gas Prices plus some extra thoughts: part 3


South Asheville still has gasoline for under $3 a gallon ($2.98 per gallon). And yes, the Hess station on Hendersonville Road still has beer and cigars -- though no one can afford that anymore.

My wife filled the auto's fuel tank two weeks ago. Yesterday, $10 dollars got us a quarter tank. We'll see how long that lasts us.

Our driving habits have changed, (i.e. planning trips versus aimlessly wandering around the city), we used public transportation (i.e. the bus) and we walk more (yes, perambulating homo sapiens were equipped to walk). Ironically, the grocery store is a block from my house and I always used the car (until last week). Sure, it's not as convenient, but it's healthier to walk to the store than burn fossil fuel. I had forgotten how much I enjoy walking.

I remember growing up in a small Upper Midwestern village where I'd walk to high school, the clinic, the dentist, the barber shop, the hardware store, the grocery store... pretty much anywhere but church (my parents didn't want me to get my Sunday clothes dirty). Walking allowed times of meditation (though I don't think I called it that back then). As I walked to the grocery store last weekend I thought of many things that have been tumbling around my head like a load of laundry.

With all that idealism of avoiding paying for the high cost of petrol and getting back to perambulating habits, I was still involved in an auto accident over the weekend -- more damage was done to the vehicles than the drivers/riders. Great, now I have to deal with the high cost of auto insurance on top of the high cost of fuel.

Each day offers new lessons. I'm not sure I understand the answers to the lessons. Maybe it's because I don't know the correct questions.

Beauty in the Early Dew

This is what you miss when you don't take the early bus to work.

Thanks for visiting & Linking



There's been a lot of mileage out of the Mountain Xpress story, Into the Blogosphere. Usually this site averages around 30 hits a day, but recently there have been over 40 daily visitors. Thanks for visiting and come back anytime!

Also, I was surprised to find out how many blogs have linked to 1000 Black Lines. Here's some folks who linked to this site:

Fiction mirrors reality in times of tragedy



Last night my wife and I watched Stone Cold, a mystery detective story starring Tom Selleck. As a writer I enjoyed the character driven aspect of the movie (which is based on a novel). Though it dealt with some pretty rough subjects (rape and serial murders) there was a wholesome quality to Jess Stone, the main character. Sure, he had a drinking problem and women troubles, but he strove to do the right and noble thing. It is the character flaws that make his personal and professional victories much more satisfying as a viewer. Jess Stone is like a rock in the middle of a stream of chaos--face like flint he faces the waters of life.

* * *



Killing The Buddha published an eyewitness story entitled Into the Flood about a rock in the middle of a hurricane. EMT Philipp Meyer drove all Sunday night from Austin, TX to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Keep in mind that he wasn't watching this tragedy unfold on television. He arrived near the outskirts of New Orleans Monday morning -- an hour after the storm center passed the eastern side of New Orleans.

At 7:45 Tuesday night, I walked into the command post to speak to the Captain ... There had been a four-hundred-foot breach in one of the levees that afternoon. Word had just come down that the breach could not be fixed. In a matter of hours, New Orleans would be under an additional ten to fifteen feet of water.

The Captain assigned a sergeant to get cheap battery-powered walkie-talkies from Wal-Mart ... A lieutenant was ordered to come up with a simple system of hand communication that the officers could learn in a few minutes. Despite all their preparations, the ... police department was headed back to the Stone Age.

I followed the Captain downstairs and asked when he thought the water level would get back to normal.

"Months," he said. "Maybe never. This is much worse than the worst-case scenario. No one knows how to think about it."

Outside there was a steady convoy of emergency vehicles ... leaving the city along I-10. I watched them leave.
continue reading->


* * *



To set your face like flint and strive to do the right and noble thing amid the flow of troubled waters--that is the nature of strength and compassion.

THE INDIE, September 2005



The September issue of The Indie hit the streets over the weekend including banner story by Michael Hopping, "Your Land is Our Land" and an interview with star of Rosetta's Kitchen... Rosetta Star Rzany.

The Indie's September issue also includes three pieces by me: "Confessions of a Coffeehouse Junkie," "Books & Desktop Icons," and "Review: Simic's poem 'Old Soldier'."

To obtain FREE copies of the September issue...
go to The Indie website.
or write:
The Indie
70 Woodfin Place, Suite 01
Asheville NC 28801

or call:
Tel # (828) 225 5994

Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival

Sunday provided a beautiful day for Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival (LAAFF). I'm not sure how much "assisting" I did with the The Traveling Bonfires & The Indie, but I did take a lot of photos of LAAFF. Here's what you missed.

Street Painter



Street Performer--Sitar Player



Diana Shaheim--Egyptian Dance



Toubab Krewe



Ballet Warraba



Street Performer & aspiring young fan



Street Performer--"Sui-cyclist"



Unifire--Fire Spinners



There's more than 40 other photos of Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival at my Flickr photo set.

UPDATE: Thanks to BlogAsheville, I found out that Ashvegas posted several photos of LAAFF as well. Check out the Ashvegas photos of the sitar player and The Marshmallow Brigade and The Art Car and the phallic juggler.

Update & Welcome

1000 Black Lines is currently ranked in the top 10,000 (#9,319 to be exact) of the TTLB Ecosystem (up 1975 from last week). Of course, numbers don't matter. It's the quality of the readers this blog enjoys.

So, thank you to my loyal 30... um... there's three more you... wow... 33 regular visitors... cool. Thanks for visiting and come back any time.

Rapid River published poem


Local arts and culture magazine Rapid River published one of my poems in the September issue. Rapid River is a free monthly magazine you can find almost anywhere downtown. So, walk (don't run) to the closest Rapid River rack and grab a copy and see what you think of my poem, "A Tube of Wet Rage." Funny thing about writing a poem in first person... an editor or reader assumes the main character in the poem is the actual poet. Maybe that's part of the mystery of poetry.

I read that poem and others a Beanstreet's open mic but I didn't see either of this blog's unofficial cheerleaders. Beanstreets Cafe was rather quiet last night. Actually, the whole downtown area seemed rather somber which lead to a rather sober open mic event. Real downer when trying to celebrate a published poem.

Gas Prices soar: part 2



The lights are still off at CitiStop (by the Biltmore Village)--$3.49 for a gallon regular gasoline. Outrageous! I'm glad I avoided the mad dash to the pumps during the daylight hours.

Warning, rabbit trail: You may be wondering why most of the photos on this website are nightscapes. I'm part vampire (meaning I melt in direct sunlight) and part flexitarian (meaning I murder carrots and drink their blood). End of rabbit trail.


South Asheville still has gasoline for under $3 a gallon. Of course, this was taken around 11PM last night with no lines and no waiting and a price per gallon (regular) of $2.84. And yes, the Hess station on Hendersonville Road still has beer and cigars. I know that's what you've all been wanting to know. More importantly, there's no lines (did I mention that already?)

LAAF -- Spread this Rumor

Tired of the panic about rising gas prices or other fear-generated rumors? Me to. Here's a positive rumor to spread.

I'll be assisting The Traveling Bonfires & The Indie in some capacity at the Lexington Avenue Arts Festival (LAAF) in downtown Asheville NC. There's rumors I might even be participating in a poetry reading and exhibiting some of my paintings.

Come join the Lexington Avenue Arts Festival! There will be no shortage of arts and people and fun and music and well... it all starts Sunday 11AM goes until 10PM.

I found the perfect cheerleader


Okay maybe I've found two. Anyway, I think I found the perfect cheerleader for 1000 Black Lines. Last week I say her across a busy Asheville street. I was on my way to meet someone and quickly snapped a photo. She was painted silver from head to toe and silently stood upon a silver crate. On my way home, I ran into her on the street and asked if I could use her photo on this Web log. "Sure," she said. I asked what I should call her in she replied Silver Lady. It was too dark at that point to take another photo. Maybe I'll see her again. Or maybe she was a phantom.



Actually, it's a tie. The coffee goddess at Beanstreet Cafe would make a good cheerleader as well. In addition to serving wonderful cheese cake, decadent chocolate brownies and jive-a-lisious coffee, she also reads/writes poetry. Oh the possibilities of having blog cheerleaders. Wondering how this all started? Read about it here.