"[My relationships were] like I was in these movies where the script was only half-written. When I’d get to the end of this half-script, the other actors wanted me to ad lib. But I had never gotten the hang of that. That’s why these movies were always box-office failures. Six of them in the past twenty years. I always blew the lines." ~ from my horrible first novel "Learn How To Pretend." (unpublished)(obviously)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Concerning Violence

Frantz Fanon, in his article, “Concerning Violence,” declares that in the course of decolonialization, there is no place for the self-centered person who looks out for himself. As he puts it, “the motto ‘look out for yourself,’ the atheist’s method of salvation, is, in this context forbidden” (Fanon – 38).  Once the process of decolonialization begins, all members of the indigenous populations become members of the resistance – whether in actual fact, or merely as guilty-by-association. Gillo Pontecorvo uses this concept in “The Battle of Algiers” to show how even the seemingly innocent act of participating in a work shutdown draws all members of the community – willingly or unwillingly – into the struggle. In the film Ben M’hidi reminds Ali that all workers who participated in the strike are now known by the police and are therefore suspected members of the FLN. In the same section, Fanon describes how the act of faith that the native intellectual engages in as a given part of the struggle. “Egoism, recrimination that springs from pride, and the childish stupidity of those who always want to have the last word,” (ibid.) are things that must be destroyed in the life of the intellectual. In the film, Ali La Pointe, prior to joining the FLN, smashes a man in the mouth in retribution for a slight offense, yet later, he leaves this response behind and becomes a disciplined fighter. Likewise, the women who once adhered to the code of sharia, not appearing in public without their bhurkas and veils, now adopt western dress in order to carry bombs into the businesses of the occupiers.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Goose gives me the stinkeye

Originally uploaded by rraabfaber
A goose sitting her nest along the Rio Grande, near Alameda Bridge

REPOST: An explanation of Albuquerque's seasons

Albuquerque, contrary to popular belief is actually a nine-season city.
  1. Winter: Generally begins on New Year’s Eve and lasts for approximately three eternities. New Mexico winters usually dip to below freezing at night and rise to 70° or 80° by noon, resulting in extreme schizophrenic fashion selections. (i.e. mini-skirts with snowboots and sleeveless parkas.)
  2. Spring: Four months of constant wind, dust, and pollen.
  3. “Ahhhhh”: Three days of gorgeous weather that occurs somewhere between February and May.
  4. Nine Circles of Summer: The nine sub-seasons are Hot, Extra Hot, Picanté, Dry, Supersonic, Nuclear, At-Least-We’re-Not-In-Phoenix, Oh-Dear-God-Kill-Me-Now, and Death. Sweet, Merciful Death.
  5. Monsoon: The rainy, stormy season. Many sacrifices are made by the locals to get it to stop.
  6. Chilé: Locals buy, clean, bag, and freeze several pounds of roasted green chilé that half of them will never eat.
  7. State Fair: The season in early September when “Carnies” may literally and figuratively take the “Rubes” for a ride without fear of legal action.
  8. Balloon Fiesta: Beginning in early October, Balloon Fiesta Season is a highly controlled and mediocrified event sanctioned by the city as appropriate for tourists and yokels alike. Sponsored for years by a major film manufacturer, the fiesta attracts hundreds of balloonists and thousands of spectators from around the world. It has been called “the most photographed event in the entire history of humankind.” This is according to official city data (Source: www.CityofAlbookirkkey.gov). In point of fact it is not the most photographed event – only the most prints purchased. In 1997, film processing facilities realized that they could pass off the same set of prints to thousands of customers. Due to a mechanical glitch, thousands of rolls of pictures taken at the Fiesta and dropped at a Photo-Go-Round were fired at high velocity towards a beer can pyramid using a Wrist-Missile™ slingshot by two inebriated night-staff film technicians out back on their break. In an attempt to deliberately cover their tracks, the pair accidentally reprinted thousands of sets of a single roll of film shot by Emmaline Jimsky of Sioux City, South Dakota. Working feverishly through the rest of the night, they stuffed thousands of envelopes full of identical sets of balloon fiesta photos. Not one complaint was received and soon the word – and duplicates of the “Jimsky Negatives” – spread throughout the film-processing underworld. Since that day, no new balloon photographs have been printed.
  9. X-Mas Shopping: Begins at midnight on All Hallows Eve with a traditional pre-season High Mass and runs through Easter.

Man of Steel

I'm not big on Superhero movies, but this one looks like it has promise. Hell, the trailer alone is epic. 

Get on board!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

RE Cycle


RIP Martin


And I Quote ~ James Joyce

The 25 Greatest Quotes About Writing, From Thought Catalog

"I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality." 

~James Joyce

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Six Words

No charge

I remember this song from when I was a kid. I think it was on a Limeliter's album. Here it is ina Unitarian Hymnal.

Van Gogh's Bike

Yes. Let's.

Built For Glory, Made To Last

By The Lost Dogs

Found an old man lying on the street
Thought I'd do my good deed
I wrapped my coat around him and brought him food to eat
With labored breath he struggled
But his eyes held heaven's light
He whispered, "Young man, don't feel bad for me
It'll all work out all right"

'Cos I was built for glory
I was made to last
God formed these feet to walk golden streets when this hard life is passed
Say, "He's doing well on the other side" if anybody asks
Say I was built for glory
I was made to last

He said, "I've been a Texas Ranger
And I've been a railroad man
Lost two sons to consumption
I lost my money in a get-rich scam
Buried my wife 15 years ago
That's when I took to the road
I'm too crippled now to walk again
But I'll walk the streets of gold"

I asked, "What's your name?"
He shook his head
Said, "It don't really matter
I'm just another poor soul out on the street whose reward's in the great hereafter
And Jesus been a friend of mine when all others pass me by
But He led you here so I could say these words before I die"

The old man held me by the hand and sighed his final breath
Now his spirit is in heaven while his body is at rest
Today I'm making it my mission to help others understand
We're all fish out of water
Strangers in a foreign land

We were built for glory
We were made to last
God formed our feet to walk golden streets when this hard life is passed
It's time to make your peace with God 'cos this life's over fast
We were built for glory
We were made to last

just forget it

Monday, April 08, 2013

When are we ourselves?

"Ariane thought, well, I'm new to Adlai. With him I can be who I want to be. With Grisham -- she touched his knee with her hand -- I have to be who he thinks I am. With Adlai I get to recreate myself, be better than I am. With him it's invention; with Grisham it's performance."

~John Dufresne from his novel, Deep in the Shade of Paradise.

And I Quote ~ Benjamin Hoff

If you're in tune with The Way Things Work, then they work the way they need to, no matter what you think about it at the time. Later on, you can look back and say,
"Oh, now I understand. That had to happen so that those could happen, and those had to happen in order for this to happen..."
Then you realize that even if you'd tried to make it all turn out perfectly, you couldn't have done better, and if you'd really tried, you would have made a mess of the whole thing.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Great Art: Monet's Meadow with Poplars

Meadow with Poplars - Claude Monet, 1875, Oil

Och aye!


Loch Shin, Scottish Highlands

Place of the Day.... New Zealand

Those French. It's like they have a different word for everything...

And I Quote ~ John Muir

Examining Life

The past year and a half has been, for me, a time of rapid and constant change. I remember thinking, last summer when I was up in Taos, New Mexico for a Writers' Conference, that that was the end of the life I'd lived the previous eight years while I'd been in college, and that when I returned, my life would be something very different. I don't think I could have predicted how much so.

I feel, now, like I am needing to take every little aspect of my life and, like a piece of clothing, shake it out and inspect it for usefulness, check the pockets for pens, Kleenex, or spare change, and then either throw it in the washing machine, or donate it to Goodwill. Some pieces of clothing are hard to get rid of, even if they don't fit or are out of style. I don't know if any of that makes sense, but it's a good analogy for me. And it's a task I can't just keep putting off.

Thanks to MB for the inspiration for this post and for being a spiritual alarm clock for me.

A note from a friend.... :~)

The Yanomami and "A Bronx Tale": A Comparison of Cultures

This essay was written for a sociology class I took with the University of New Mexico around 2007

  A civilized American neighborhood in the Bronx and a tribe of naked primitives in the Venezuelan jungles are literally a half a world apart. Yet, an examination of both cultures reveals great differences as well as unsettling parallels. Though the Yanomami New World culture has roots that fade into the mists of time, and that of the Bronx neighborhood has its roots in the “cradle of civilization,” there are some strong similarities.
            The most evident similarity between the two cultures involves the societal norm of reciprocity. In the parlance of the street, it is called ‘payback.’ The Bible refers to it as ‘an eye for and eye.’ It is a deeply ingrained sense of justice that seems to be a mark of humanity worldwide. From early childhood, the Yanomami are taught that every blow should be responded to in kind. Likewise, in the Bronx culture any slight was reason for payback. Taking someone’s parking spot could mean death. A severe beating paid for rudeness. Yet, among the Yanomami, there seemed to be a stronger sense of egalitarianism. The Bronx neighborhood had a very top-down pecking order. If you were going to seek revenge going upward in the pecking order, you had better be sure to make it  permanent. We may seem shocked that such an unyielding desire for revenge could exist in a modern society. Can’t we all just get along? An examination of modern street gangs and even our own government show that this is an all-American norm. You can’t let anyone get over on you. There is a saying (that is supposed to be extremely clever) - “I don’t get mad - I get even.” Unfortunately, we seem unable to restrict it to “getting even.” We have to get one up.
A Bronx Tale (1993) (Dir. Robert DiNiro)
             Both cultures have strong, shared religious beliefs within the respective cultures. The Yanomami believe evil spirits possess their sick and that elaborate rituals should be performed to exorcise these demons. Always alert to spiritual dangers about them, misfortune was a sure sign of a spell cast by an enemy. While the Bronx neighborhood seems to us to be more “rational,” they still had their little charms to ward off evil such as making the sign of the cross when passing a church.
            In the culture of the Bronx neighborhood, the worst thing you could do was to be a ‘rat.’ As [a discussion group member]pointed out, when someone “ratted out” someone from the neighborhood, they were guilty of exposing the culture to outsiders.   Moral arguments against the criminal acts perpetrated aside, this exposing of culture weakened the structure of Cee’s neighborhood. If there is safety in numbers - if numbers are needed for survival of the culture – then to rat becomes a more serious crime than murder. In fact, it may border on genocide.
            This equating of ratting with exposing the culture to outsiders is played out among the Yanomami in a very real way. The Yanomami were constantly engaged in little battles of reciprocity, fighting over slights whose origins were nearly forgotten. In the NOVA documentary, when they decided to invite the enemy into their village, the Yanomami were extremely wary and vigilant. They went about and loudly warned these outsiders of what would happen if they got out of line. This situation is similar to when the bikers come to the Bronx. They are allowed in, politely, but with an implied warning; mind your manners or we will mind them for you. 
            The bikers were also allowed in with the understanding (by Sonny and his people) that this was an outsider element that could easily be removed. The bikers were not a stronger element. Unfortunately, the Yanomami failed to recognize who the true outsiders were.  When they exposed their culture to the Napolean Chagnon, and later, the NOVA film crew gold miners and other outsiders, they weakened the structure of their culture. The Yanomami allowed in a stronger element. Although not shown in A Bronx Tale, in later years, a stronger element was allowed into the mafia culture in the form of informants and federal agents.
            When we speak of the differences between the two cultures, some, such as the folkways regarding dress are obvious and glaring. However, it is in regards to the form of solidarity that holds them together where we have to examine things a bit closer. The Bronx neighborhood is clearly held together by an organic, or contractual, solidarity. Within the culture there is a definite set of roles for the members to fulfill. In the subculture of the Sonny’s gang, there is en even sharper delineation of roles and places in the pecking order.  Everyone knows his or her place. While many people may play similar roles, the neighborhood’s overall unity is based on the variety of roles and in the implied contractual understanding of what those roles entail. By contrast, the Yanomami are a much more egalitarian group with a mechanical solidarity model in place. There is little differentiation in roles. With minor exceptions, the community has set expectations that apply to all members. A likely reason for this would be the homogenous nature of the Yanomami culture, which was untainted by outsiders until quite recently. The Bronx culture on the other hand was being constantly buffeted and shaped by outside influences in the areas of education, entertainment and the media.
            The group solidarity and its effect on creating ethnocentrism are apparent in both cultures. In both cultures, the desire to keep outsiders away removes any outside influences to thinking. Within the Bronx group, verbal reinforcement of us versus them is constant, especially when there were greater differences with the outsiders, such as race. Among the Yanomami -- as with most American indigenous tribes, their name says it all. Yanomami means “human beings.” In most cases, tribal names (i.e. The Navajo name ‘Dineh’, Arapaho, Ute etc.) means “the people,” or some variant of this concept. The idea that “we” are people and “they” are something else, is reinforced constantly.
            There were opportunities for the agents of socialization to effect positive changes in their cultures. As the textbook notes, everyone is an agent of socialization, yet men like Sonny in the Bronx, or the Shaman in the jungle, were the respected ones. Sonny, and perhaps to a lesser degree, the Shaman, were “victims” of role-taking. Sonny clearly saw himself as other saw him, and he took that role on. People saw him as a dangerous hoodlum. They expected the worst out of him and he delivered.
            Though there were many cosmetic differences, these cultures seemed to share some basic human desire for what may be regarded as real or implied justice. That desire, shared by all peoples for all time, is tied into our survival instinct. If our people are treated justly, they will survive. If we keep on God’s good side, we will survive. If we stay alert to witchcraft and evil spirits, if we keep the outsiders at bay, and do not expose our culture to outsiders, we will survive.

©2013 Rick Robb. This essay may be reproduced, but not to use to turn in for a grade you lazy butt!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Thursday, April 04, 2013

R.I.P. Roger Ebert

RIP to the one person I could count on for a movie review.  I'm sure there were a few, but Roger and I agreed on most flicks.

Rock Meets Wood ~ Wu Wei

The Tao

And I Quote ~ Leonard Cohen


Interesting thought with some deep implications. Don't just read this and nod your head. Think about what it means, especially in regards to relationships. I could go back 30+ years on this one.

UPDATE: Gout: Day three.

 Not the worst I've ever had, by far. But it doesn't get better or worse. It just is.
It's like zen gout or something.

UPDATE: Generally, when I get gout, it comes after a period of stress coupled with not drinking enough water and adding a trigger food. As a rule, trigger foods don't bother me. Alcohol (rarely), lentils, cranberries, shellfish, etc. are no problem. BUT, the first two seem to act as a set-up, with the food item triggering the attack.

Stress + Low Hydration + Trigger Food = Gout Flare

I could not for the life of me figure out what had done it. Mostly I've eaten pasta and breads. Then a few minutes ago I decided to heat up some leftovers. I pulled a container of homemade soup out of the fridge and dumped it into a pan to heat up. And then it hit me. It was a lentil soup I'd made last Friday and eaten some of over the next few days. That would have been the trigger food.

Now that I think about it... that soup is pretty old. Time for the disposal for that.

And I Quote ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Color in Motion 5K. Check it out!

This upcoming June there’s going to be a really cool, new event coming to Albuquerque. Color in Motion 5K is going to be at Balloon Fiesta Park on June 8th and I’ve got one of the first deals available to everyone! But let’s look a little bit at what Color in Motion 5K is and what will go on.

Color in Motion 5K is a company that sponsors nation-wide color runs. You may not have heard of them before; they started getting really popular last year. Essentially what happens is everyone gets plastered with a wide array of color while running and/or walking a 5K for charity. So you get to have a blast and support a local charity at the same time!

Every kilometer that you run, you get blasted with a different color! So by the end your brand new white t-shirt will be red, green, blue, purple and all sorts of fun. And at the end there’s a huge color throw in which a cloud of color gets thrown into the air to cover all the participants! Check it out! You’ll have a lot of fun: http://colorinmotion5k.com/Albuquerque.

Also, like I said, I’ve got a special discount available and it’s one of the first. Use the promo code “THEBADACTOR” while signing up and receive 10% off registration!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

What it’s about

Poetry is about – should be about –
the poet, through her words
telling the rest of us poor bastards
that she’s been there too,
and you know what?
It’s all going to be all right 
in the end.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Rabbit in Front of the Mirror — Michael Sowa | biblioklept


afterdinner by biblioklept
afterdinner, a photo by biblioklept on Flickr.

Another poem for April 1st

Understating the Obvious
(You can’t make this stuff up)

True story: A man in Israel recently
wrestled a leopard in his underwear.
Facts: The leopard was not in the man’s underwear.
And the man, though he was wrestling,
was wearing boxer shorts.

The leopard leapt
through the bedroom window,
to eat the housecat
who was sleeping with the man
and his small daughter
who was sleeping with her father
because she had been frightened
by a mosquito
in her own bedroom.

The man leapt
up in his underwear and wrestled
the leopard to the ground.
He threw a full-nelson onto the cat
and pinned it until authorities arrived.

He was later quoted as saying:

“This sort of thing
doesn’t happen
every day.”

© 2007 Rick Robb


Creative Commons License
leafface by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Seriously.... mostly

I HATE the following:
1.     Fun.
2.     "Good" music.
3.    "Chillin'" with my so-called ‘peeps.’
4.     Sunsets
5.     Long walks on the beach.
6.     Short walks on the beach.
7.     Walks.
8.     The beach.
9.     Walking in sand.
10.  Running in sand.
11.  Sand.
12.  Sandpaper
13.  Girls named Sandy.
14.  Pecan Sandies.
15.  Sandwiches.
16.  Sandals.
17.  Sandalwood incense.
18.  Santana.
19.  Santa Claus.
20.  Cats claws.
21.  Subordinate clause.
22.  Holding hands.
23.  Clenching fists.
24.  Fighting the good fight.
25.  Fighting the bad fight.
26.  Getting my ass kicked in a fight.
27.  Fighting Texas Aggies.
28.  Fi'in to fight.
29.  Women who love too much.
30.  Women who love too little.
31.  Women who love to be little.
32.  Women who love to belittle.
33.  Men in general.
34.  Teenagers on principle.
35.  Peeps that be hatin' on me.
36.  Cats who love dogs.
37.  Dogs who are oh, so smug. (Though, oddly, not smug pugs.)
38.  Dogs in cars.
39.  Dogs in bars.
40.  Dogma.
41.  Greyhound buses.
42.  Greyline buses.
43.  Busted buses.
44.  Busted flat in Baton Rouge.
45.  Headed for the train.
46.  Feelin’ near as faded as my jeans.
47.  My genes.
48.  Mutated genes.
49.  Vanilla Coke.
50.  Chocolate Pepsi.
51.  Mariah Carey.
52.  Tippi Hedron.
53.  Stream of consciousness (Unless it’s about me.)