Monday, January 4, 2010

The first week of 2010 and beyond...

So begins Week One of the New Year and I am off duty...kinda ;-)

Tomorrow is my long-awaited trip to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I'll be discussing that more professionally on my other blog which is strictly about technology and gadgetry.

It's been...dare I say five years since my previous trip to Vegas? I tried gelato for the first time when I was there. Watched the water fountains at the Bellagio and I saw this "little" Cirque du Soleil show called KA. Man was that intense!

KA website

G4 Presents: Inside KÀ by Cirque du Soleil Debuts Jan. 7

Tempted to see it again, it's really amazing. KA trumps the Vegas magic acts and the vampire strippers, though those all have their place. But KA is a show you experience with all your senses. And though it's been a long time, I remember it and that whole trip vividly. It was really a special time.

This will be a working vacation as I pursue the latest gadgetry and tech in the making. There's a healthy roster of New Jersey tech companies big and small that will be at CES. Packing my bag of journalist toys: camera, digital recorder, laptop, Webcam.

On top of all that fun, I 've got to keep plying away at the book.

Heritage Fields will not get finished this month if I allow myself to take a siesta for the week. Why am I so dogmatic about this?

I intensely dislike the way being unpublished feels. When you talk as much as I do about writing, you have to make good on all the jibber-jabber. That's the monkey I have on my back.

JP 2.0 will be a published author, I expect nothing less than forward action on this.

I'm a bit nervous about wrapping the story up in the next four chapters. There's part of me that says I can go longer but that means I am stretching this story out probably longer than needs be. First time writers usually don't get away with an epic tale the size of a phone book.

Besides... I am starting to plan my NEXT attempt at writing a novel. Yup, time to get book 3 started.

As for the rest of 2010...

I might try to catch Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera, only a few shows left and the seats are going FAST. I already missed Don Giovanni this season and it's been too long since my last visit to Lincoln Center.

It's kind of a shame that I never learned to sing as my father's generation of the Ruth family did. I can't carry a tune in a trash bag. But if you were to hear my Uncle Al when he could belt out a solo... that's a whole other discussion.

Later this year I will try to make plans for a few more journeys, depending on how my budget looks. I may take local trips say to Philadelphia and Washington DC to do some ghost hunting. I like taking ghost tours anywhere I travel. Not sure about Vegas and ghosts though.

Don't get me wrong, I looked up ghost tours in Vegas. There have been enough mob hits and celebrity deaths there to make it the rhinestone cowboy of hauntings. Then again, maybe the trick is learning to work a ghost story from among the clinking chatter of slot machines.

Anyone with suggestions on haunted places for me to visit in 2010, do share.

I have a few other destinations I have wanted to see such as the Grand Canyon. A springtime cherry blossom festival in Japan would be incredible I'm sure and I still would love to do a European ghost tour for Halloween. I think the only way to top Halloween in New Orleans would be to get chased across the Celtic moors by some black hounds and bogeys.

P.S. If any of you tough guys want to give me grief about the cherry blossoms, don't forget that the samurai wrote poetry, performed plays, and drank tea!

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away