Friday, April 17, 2015

Clown Without Pity’s 2014-2015 NBA Playoff Predictions!



Oh boy oh boy oh boy, here we go: the NBA Playoffs! The playoff bracket has finally been set, and I breathed a big sigh of relief this past Wednesday because the Spurs did not land the #4 or #5 spot, which would have meant an encounter in the second round with my beloved Warriors. Did you see what I did there? I’m already assuming that the Warriors and Spurs will advance past the opening round! Okay, okay—I’ve got to slow down. Getting ahead of myself here.

Before I go into my round by round predictions, here’s a couple of executive summary-like thoughts:


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How to Obtain Permission to Reprint Lyrics for a Work of Literature

Music has been an integral rhythm in my life so no wonder that was reflected in my memoir. Early complete drafts of my manuscript were littered with musical references, including beaucoup song lyrics. From the beginning my classmates at Saint Mary’s warned me that it was costly to procure permission to reprint song lyrics. I never doubted that, but I also received conflicting information as far as what lyrics I could use for free. Unless my memory is fuzzy—which is entirely possible—I assumed, for the longest time, that I could use up to three lines of song lyrics before I would have to shell out any money to reprint them. Although I was unable to substantiate this in Getting Permission: How to License & Clear Copyrighted Materials Online & Off , or through Internet research, I continued to believe this.

Call it wishful thinking.

Now that my manuscript is being finalized—and after I found out how arduous it can be to attain reprint permission, and how expensive reprint fees can be—I decided it would be good to write an article discussing my experience. I also wanted to provide some tips that can help other writers interested in obtaining permission to reprint lyrics for their work. Also, I found several articles and message boards online that were useful but I didn’t find one article or page that housed all that information. I hope this post can provide that all-encompassing help.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Coping (or Why Do I Wake Up in the Morning?)

“We [human beings] are on a nice downward glide. I call it circling the drain. And the circles get smaller and smaller and faster and faster. And you watch the sink empty. Huish!”
–George Carlin, 2011

Why do I wake up in the morning
Nothing's changed since the day of my birth.
-Mike Muir from If I Don't Wake Up, 1988


Life is tough. Full of pain. Teeming with injustice. Coping is a life skill. As far as I know, our colleges don’t provide courses to help one cope with life in our modern world.

So how does one cope?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Drugs, Drugs, Drugs: My 13 Favorite Songs About Drugs


In his classic Relentless show, late comedian Bill Hicks said, “Drugs have done good things for us.... If you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor then. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, your tapes and your CDs—and burn 'em. Because you know what, the musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? Reeeeeeeeeeal fucking high on drugs.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Many Shades of Parting – My Favorite Breakup Songs

People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It's all in how you carry it. – Jim Morrison

Mi gran amigo and fellow blogscribe, Justin, told me he was writing a list of his favorite breakup songs for Valentine’s Day. I wanted in on the action. Life is full of pain, and what good is it keeping it to yourself? Plus, back when I lived in San Francisco, my Casa 909 household had an outstanding Valentine’s tradition that I still miss; we used to watch cheesy-gory horror flicks, get sauced on vino and heckle the moronic characters behind the television screen, especially when the killer was about to slay a couple of dumb teenagers in the throes of lovemaking. This was great for raucous laughter. Those were the coolest Valentine’s Days I’ve had so I thought this counter-lovey-dovey exercise could be fun, too.

Friday, January 30, 2015

What About Me? Clown Without Pity's 2015 Super Bowl Pick

A semi-significant part of the fun in following a sport is making predictions. It also happens to be conducive to shit-talking, which is fun.  Just ask Tom Brady.  Or Richard Sherman.

Since it’s the last game of this infamous NFL season, I figured I’d lay down my prediction for all ten of you who are going to read this before the big game. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I’ve Been Looking for a Song That Feels Like You For Some Time – My Top 10 Jimi Hendrix songs














Let me start off with a story.

Two and a half years ago Mari and I were riding a shuttle back to Cusco. We had just visited Machu Picchu. Our tour guide, Simon Puma, must have asked about our impressions. I told him that I thought Machu Picchu would be the most epic place to hold a rock concert at night. I could imagine thundering power chords, pounding drums and resounding wails echoing off of Huayna Picchu, the wave of sound cascading about El Valle Sagrado de los Incas for a thousand nights. I didn’t tell all this to Simon, but I thought something like it. I did tell him that I thought it would be awesome to blast some Hendrix from Machu Picchu at night.

“¿Quien?” he asked.

“Hendrix,” I said. “Jimi Hendrix?” (though I gave his name Spanish inflection and pronounced it “Yimi.”)