Friday, November 06, 2009

"Will you stop firing off those guns on this old warhip, Fatty? It's giving me a migraine."

Nothing to get excited about.

Just potpourri this weekend.

Prince Charles and Camilla are in and around town. They left Hamilton last night for Victoria and then Vancouver tomorrow. Should be a great reception there.
Hey, Josie,(who has popular blog A Majority of Two): Gonna be in Victoria B.C. about now? Charles and Camilla will be there; the place is full of Brits--even South Africa Brits from way back.. Heh.
Myself, I must confess I am a Royal booster, even if it's for Ethlelred the Unready. There is one thing Prince Charles and I have in common: we both screw up our personal lives. How could you, Charlie? Dipping the old wick while married, huh? Yeah. Happens to the best of us. But I must say new wife Camilla is no dog when it comes to social graces, likeability and bearing. She's got the royal jelly...I dasn't reach for a pun.

And a segue here to goodnatured Canada bashers:

From the National Post:

American comedian Stephen Colbert accused Canada of cheating at the upcoming Olympics on Thursday night during an episode of The Colbert Show.

"Those syrup-suckers won't let us practice at their Olympic venues," he said. "This is the most unsportsmanlike conduct by Canadians since it was discovered Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay is a moose."

His comments come in light of recent criticism from the U.S. and Britain about how Canada is taking advantage of playing host to the Winter Olympics in February. Athletes in luge and speed skating from other countries complained they had limited access to the Vancouver facilities while Canadian athletes enjoyed numerous training benefits.

Colbert wants Canada to grant access to the U.S. team, calling Canadians "Saskatchewhiners" and stating that the organizers of the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 let Canadian lugers go for at least a 100 runs at their facility.

On Monday, Colbert announced that the show is now the official sponsor of U.S. Speedskating after their sponsor declared bankruptcy, and encouraged Colbert Nation to make a donation.

U.S. speed skater Joey Cheek was a guest on the show, calling the alleged Canadian venue-hogging "a dick move" on the part of the organizers. Colbert suggested that Canada might be trying to sabotage the Americans.

"I have a theory they are going to turn the freezer off and when the U.S. gets on, they are going to sink into the pool," he said.

"I say we put Canada on notice."

Colbert then reaches into a box and pulls out a sign that says "Canadian Iceholes," placing it on his On Notice board between the likes of Jane Fonda and "limey squirrel eaters" while Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On plays in the background — a song Colbert refers to as the Canadian national anthem.


My third item is on a bit of a sad note.

This just in from R.J Baker from his blog, Confessions of a Starving Mystery Writer.

The Death of Erik Ivan James
I knew a man named Jerry Ogg that wrote on the Blogisphere as Erik Ivan James. - he was a great renaissance man. He has a completed novel that he was shopping to publishers but hadn't yet gotten pciked up.

The following is something he wrote a couple of years ago and sums up the last several months of his life. He was a Veitnam Vet and had been a well repsected legal consultant. He had been to the hieghts of his profession and to the depths of human misery. I loved Jerry and he will be greatly missed. He did good things.

"Middle-aged and well traveled in the trenches of human gutters; he wept through his story of hopelessness and despair. He cried over the loss of his soul.

He asked if it would ever get better. He asked if he would ever know peace within himself. He asked if he would ever again find dignity. He asked if he could ever again know love.

That night, he would destroy the most precious of gifts. He would pinch out the flame on the candle of his life.

I’ll always wonder what more...."
Jerry Ogg(aka Erik Ivan James)

Myself I so did enjoy corresponding with Jerry OggJames.

I even edited some of his novel, but it looks like he found no publisher before he died.

Damn. Why do writers off themselves. It make me nervous.



Erik Donald France said...

Another writer down? We just lost MacGuffin in the same way. It's making me nervous, too. Never two without three and all.

Ah, Prince Charles. Saw him with Diana in London from afar, in a carriage in the early 80s. Trooping of the Colours for the Queen or something. Why did the US form a republic and abolish all royal titles again?

Camilla seems swell enough, I suppose. Just remembered Charles' quip about some piece of architecture he disliked -- "monstrous carbuncle," he declared. Kinda funny, that.

ivan said...

Eric Donald France,

Yes,those of us a little long in the tooth get nervous when way- younger bloggers die. I guess Eric Ivan Jams had his demons over Vietnam as I still retain a ghost or two over the Second World War. Dark tremblings out there in Syvia Plath country. I make sure I always own electric stoves.

As for the Duchess of York, Jay Leno had some good zingers, to wit:

"Camilla is 87 and first met Charles 30 years ago at a polo event where 'he tried to mount her'."

the walking man said...

Statistically speaking poets have a higher incidence of suicide than any other sub culture in the artist community. Personally I think it comes from a sense of failure. I will kill myself with my words long ere I do it with my hand.

And so are the Canadians going to lighten up on the venue schedule or do i have to send a few Detroit thugs over there?

And Charles and Camilla are passe to me. *shrig* At least they can not be considered Nouveau riche. I mean the guy owns the copyrights to the King James Bible.

ivan said...

Yeah. We (I think we) poets get into this snit when the Genie won't come and we perform the ultimate self-criticism.
If only the suicide knew it was atemporary immobliization that would have been over by Tuesday...But Tuesday you no here.
Those King James writers! How I would have loved to meet some of them.
As for Charles, I don't think he walks around with a social status inadequacy hangup. He the man.

Charles Gramlich said...

I saw the Colbert skit, although I seldom watch him. My wife does. It was funny but I thought it was perhaps a bit overboard.

ivan said...


I find the guy hilarious.

...Seems to have spent his youth reinventing himself before he hit the big time.

Born in Washington, DC, he grew up in South Carolina was conscious of his accent and imitated Walter Cronkite and other TV anchormen in his speech so as to sound as if he were not from the Deep South.
Reminds me of my writing, finally, in Standard American after being in about three cultures.

Anonymous said...

Notice the look Prince is giving old whatsername. This is from the same guy that said he wanted to be her tampon?

WTF? Canadians getting an unfair advantage in the Olympics? Few years ago, squid jiggin' was introduced as a demonstration sport. Newfie won, eh? So proud of the gold medal, he had it bronzed.
Doubting Thomas

ivan said...

Hi Tom,

Long time no see. I am still saving some of those cute photos you sent for an appropriate time to use in this blog. I especially like the one from the vintage Young Rascals, showing "Ivan's Loyal Public."

Yeah, well. I'm being bormarded by the thosel Always ads on TV, advising me to have a "happy period".
Maybe they targeted the right guy.
My ex-wife used to say I did everything backwards, take my suppositories orally and all those retarde things about me. Heh.

TomCat said...

Sorry for my absense, Ivan. I've been ill.

It's a good thing GW ChickenHawk isn't still in power here. He'd invade over those venues. ;-)

ivan said...


Like John Stewart liked to say, "Canada's got more oil than Iraq? Why aren't we invading them?"

Mona said...

That photo is classic! Camilla screaming blue murder & Charles watching puzzled with the expression " its true, one never can know a woman" :D

ivan said...


Yeah. It was kind of an unflattering shot.

There are some other pix where she looks quite good. Cosmetitians or something. She looks so much better these days. Certainly not a horse, like the mischievous Jay Lenno described her in a joke.

benjibopper said...

Sorry to hear about Eric Ivan James. Suicide still perplexes me, after losing friends and acquaintances, and nearly losing others, to it. It's the lack of warning sometimes. said...

Seems so, Benji.

Sylvia Plath was aware of her Savage God, but people may have taken it for mere literature. The savage god finally seems to have extracted his price.
in the life of an obsessive, near-suicidal professional writer, the terror is sometimes released through sheer mad humour.
My ex-wife, seeing me in a mad writing episode (I couln't get it right!) had said, "Crank you up a two notches and you'd be Sylvia Plath."
I suddenly broke out into an hysterical laugh and said,"No way I'm going to cook with gas," The incubus was defused that day.
I terminated my contract with the gas company and got an electric range. Hah.

ivan@creativewriting. ca said...


Not out for a Taliban-style flogging of your good story, but old Kamikaze Ivan, for some reason, (probably alcohol) is gonna do a Allah Akbar on ya.

Hell of a story. But I think you spoiled your lead, your opener by some mixed metaphors, too much confusing information. You kind of ignored Kipling's five W's, that is to say, "who, what when where why". From the beginning the reader unclear as to to what actually happened, and so fast. What image, were you seaching for, actually? Which was the BMW and which the Tercel, and which was the median. And who was driving what? See? Too much information. The reader is confused. The wordy lead paragraph could turn him right off an otherwise excellent story.

It could make the difference between a story's acceptance or rejection: That durn lead paragraph before your explanatory flashback, which is fine.

I tried to fix the first few sentences, but it's your story.

How about a Hemingway treatmnet for brevity:

I thought I was driving not to bad for a guy in my emotional state. But the median was out to get me that day. It seemed somehow predatory.Solid concrete, of course, but today like an anaconda. Damn thing was almost alive, snake-like.

The (oncoming?) BMW curbed the median’s vituperativeness. My crumpled Tercel found itself staring down oncoming newer cars, smoke rising from its 300,000 kilometre engine, me half-conscious at its wheel, my power bill glued by my blood to its windshield.

...or you could leave the lead right out, have the story with no flashack and just tell it straight.

Believe me, I know what it's like to get rejected...But I think you hara-kiried yourself in your over-wordy opening paragraph and then the flashack.
Okay. So shoot me.:) said...

...Jaysus, I'm drunk. The above was meant as a criticism of your story on your blog right now.


the walking man said...

benjibopper said...

Ivan, I can certainly appreciate the importance of a clear lead. But, you're the first (of many I've showed this to) who has mentioned it, while others have liked the lead. That's not to say you're wrong, just that I have conflicting advice to consider.

I'm not a big fan of your re-write - really it comes out to more words to say the same thing. Maybe what's needed is just to break my complex sentences up into shorter ones for greater clarity. I'll give that a try and see if I like it better - and if you don't mind I'll email it to you and see what you think.

I do appreciate the feedback, always. That's why I post this stuff, to see what kind of reaction it gets and help me work out the rough bits. Sugar-coated niceties aren't much help in that regard are they?

ivan said...


You do not understand. I am the Pope. I am infallible. Lightning will strike you. :)