Blog Entries, Observations, Random Bits

by Victor David Sandiego

Web Site Update

By Victor David Sandiego Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:45 PM

Well, I’ve been hard at work updating the web site. Trying to simplify the navigation somewhat and keep up with mobile friendly technologies. I'll probably continue to tweak with this and that in the next few weeks.

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Tags: Tech

Ditch Poetry

By Victor David Sandiego Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:37 PM

Recently, Ditch Poetry accepted five of my pieces and have included me on their Editor’s Choice page. Ditch operates out of Canada and has an incredibly rich library of pieces from a wide variety of poets. Take a look, there’s something for everybody.

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Tags: Poetry

Poetry Salzburg Review

By Victor David Sandiego Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:27 PM

Poetry Salzburg Review

I’m pleased to say that Poetry Salzburg Review has accepted my piece Only When Gods Arrive Covered In Red Dust Will We Recognize Their Child Faces for publication in an upcoming issue. PSR has published many authors, including Naomi Shihab Nye, Jerome Rothenberg, Rae Armantrout, and Brian W. Aldiss. I’m very happy to have found a home for this piece among such notable and accomplished writers. PSR is published at the University of Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria.

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Tags: Poetry

Generations Literary Journal

By Victor David Sandiego Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:28 AM

From The Generations Literary Journal website:

In this issue, we explore the many ways in which a rite of passage shows up in modern society, and how it brings with it a story from the past. The celebration of milestones, movement, and progress will be the focus of this edition. Whether it’s a ritual based on coming of age, or a ceremonial event, our goal is to discuss and discover. Our contributors have answered the questions: How do you keep tradition and How do you disrupt and redefine it?

I'm pleased to be part of this issue with a piece from The Second Book of Muwadi titled How I Arrived Here. Other artists and writers in this issue include Latisha Baker, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Andrea Hernandez Holm, ire'ne lara silva, Alan King, and Phillip B. Williams.

Please consider supporting this small, independent journal. Issues are now available for pre-order at the Generations Literary Journal Store

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Tags: Poetry

Two Poems Published by Cerise Press

By Victor David Sandiego Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:44 PM

Two poems of mine were accepted by Cerise Press a few months ago and now have appeared in their Summer issue. The poems are Incrimination and The Madmen Among Us. Cerise Press has a great looking magazine and I'm honored to appear with distinguished poets such as Dorianne Laux, Patricia Fargnoli, and  Vénus Khoury-Ghata.

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Tags: Poetry

Subprimal Poetry Art

By Victor David Sandiego Mon May 13, 2013 9:30 AM

The web site of Subprimal Poetry Art is now up and running - and submissions are open for the inaugural issue. This has been a personal dream of mine for a long time and I'm excited to finally launch. I'm enthusiastic about the idea of reaching out to unusual, thought-provoking poets and artists from various corners of the universe! Take a look:

Subprimal Poetry Art

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Tags: Poetry

39 Boys on Ground is now available

By Victor David Sandiego Wed Feb 6, 2013 2:02 PM

39 Boys on Ground is now available

39 Boys on Ground is now available on Smashwords as an ebook. There’s several formats to choose from including Kindle, EPUB (for Apple devices, Nook and others) or just regular PDF file for reading on just about any computer. You can also get it at Barnes & Nobles or via your Apple device at the Apple Store.

From the description:

With these 39 interwoven snapshots, you will enter the darkly humorous, insightful, surreal and brutally honest worlds of boys as they climb from the hollows of their youth into the world of men. On their way to an imperfect redemption, and with a determined spirit of compassion, these 39 boys and those who at times narrate their stories for them must pass through the formidable shadows of deprivation and war with only an intensely lyrical and allegorical lamp to light the way.

You can find it here:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/281618

Please consider adding a review on Smashwords. Thanks.

Also, see some excerpts from 39 Boys.

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Preparing 39 Boys for Ebook

By Victor David Sandiego Sun Dec 2, 2012 5:37 PM

Lately, I’ve been studying up on ebook publishing as I prepare my manuscript 39 Boys on Ground for ebook distribution. Among other things, I’ve been reading titles offered by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords. These include:

Smashwords Style Guide

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide

These titles are well-written, illuminating and fun to read. If you’re looking for some good ebook information, check them out. One of the things that really stuck with me was how Mark mentions that in the traditional publishing world, if a book arrives at the store and doesn’t start selling well, they have to remove it to make room for something that (hopefully) does sell well. With ebooks, that’s not a factor. The shelf space in not limited - and some books go slow at first but later get discovered and start selling.

When 39 Boys on Ground is ready (January 2013), I’m going to offer it for free, at least at first. One of the great things about the ebook route is that I can change the price later if I decide to. In fact, many authors experiment over time with the price to find the sweet spot.

Another thing: I’ve rather given up on the idea of line breaks. It’s just too much trouble with a very shaky guarantee that the breaks will appear correctly on all (or even most) devices. For me, that’s okay. Most of my work is written using paragraphs anyway. Those that aren’t, I can change. One of the key guidelines for ebook formatting is: Keep It Simple.

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How to destroy the internet

By Victor David Sandiego Sun Dec 2, 2012 5:35 PM

How to destroy the internet

First, take two corned beef sandwiches and post them on YouTube. While everybody is eating, dial your cable company from a long distance phone booth and ask for their service advertising department. They won’t be able to connect you. With nowhere else to go, backwash fills up the pipes that connect to central switching. Nobody can Google. Start a petition to ban paper. Now new bookmarks can’t be formed and through attrition, the few remaining ones disappear. Trademark the color blue. In a few months, most online stores go belly up. Repeat, substituting green for blue.

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Tags: Goofy:Ideas

Let's call him Charles

By Victor David Sandiego Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:12 PM

Let's call him Charles

What if there was a guy sitting in a room somewhere drinking dog juice who decided if you lived or died? Let’s say that after your plane rolls a few times, spilling luggage and cocktails, you’re going straight down. You can see the city lights getting closer, turning into grids of streets. You’re thinking: This Is It, but this guy laughs in his room somewhere and twists a knob. “Let’s keep him around a while longer,” he says to nobody in particular. You swing back to the horizontal. The engines quit their screaming.

Objection! Too much good god for us to believe in. Can’t place our faith and fate in the hands of a guy with dark framed glasses at a blinking console of lights. Also – we live in an era of systematic rationality and laws of physics are not to be trifled with.

But what if this guy exists? He sits in a room inside your head, wraps wires around your plans and emotions. His bones are the same color as yours, the same color as God’s for that matter. Okay, he can’t change gravity into wine and usually, he’s circumspect, maybe even unremarkable.  But when your metaphorical plane is in a dive – maybe you’re under a lot of stress and think it’s never going to get better – it’s refreshing when this guy (let’s call him Charles) flips a few electrical breakers on the big board of your brain and your heart. Instead of spiraling into a block party of bodies, you get off at the next stop and go about your life – and not as if nothing had happened but exactly like something special had.

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Tags: Goofy:Ideas

Drum Boogie

By Victor David Sandiego Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:23 PM

Gene Krupa and his orchestra performing the classic Drum Boogie, from the movie Ball of Fire (1941) starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper. Fun movie!

Update: Well, of course the studios have filed a claim against this video. Bunch of stupid short-sighted dinosaurs. What else is new. Note to idiotic execs: when someone gets to see a clip from a movie, there's an increased chance they'll go get the whole movie and watch it. Obviously, if a person can't see a piece of a flick, they might not even know it exists, especially an old move like this one. Congrats. Shot yourself in the foot again.

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Tags: Movie:Music

Free Time Machine!

By Victor David Sandiego Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:21 PM

Saw this ad on Craig's list. Wow! If only I had a pickup truck (and knew how to fix this thing)...

Free Time Machine . Broken and only goes forward in time not backwards.. Perhaps you can get it fixed .. You load it you Haul it

Serious Inquiries only

Time machine ad

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Tags: Goofy

C&P Reading – September 2012

By Victor David Sandiego Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:39 AM

Had a great reading at the C&P this evening with Janée J. Baugher who read different sections from a personal essay of hers about her brother, his ability to fix anything, the ride up towards Wenatchee and their harrowing trip down the river on inner tubes. I’m very pleased to have had a chance to hear her and read some of my work on the same stage.

Also had an opportunity to meet some great new people and hear poetry from the open mic participants, which included Michael Hickey, former Seattle Poet Populist. Michael was elected as Poet Populist on the same historical day on which we elected Barack Obama, our 44th president of the United States. I had known this because President Obama frequently mentions this in his speeches, but I hadn’t had a chance to meet Michael until tonight.

(Okay, so Obama hasn’t mentioned it yet – we just need to let him know. He’s a busy guy.)

If you have a chance, come on down to the C&P Coffee Company on California Ave in West Seattle on the fourth Wednesdays of the month. There’s  two featured poets plus open mic. The C&P is one of my favorite places for coffee and hanging out when I’m in Seattle. It’s inside on an old, converted residence from a time when houses were built with a lot more flair.

También, antes de que me olvide, tuve la oportunidad de practicar mi español con una maestra allí. Está trabajando en un proyecto artístico en San Felipe (Baja California) y espero saber mas sobre esto pronto.

Here’s the poem I opened with tonight. It’s from The Second Book of Muwadi.

Cave

Gratitude

When my death melted away and its mortal sickness passed, men and women became translucent again and once more I could see the color of their hearts. They bore their heaving breath in bushels as they rolled boulders aside to call on me in my tomb.

“We have forgotten your face,” one of them cried and another said “No, it is your name that eludes us.”

If I could, I would have spoken and advised them to look no farther than their own heart where all the truthful bits and pieces of God dwell, as a single rabbit though chopped and sliced, inhabits the stew.

But my throat was a cactus, as it is after every bout of death, and I thirsted for a lake of wine. The people saw my need and fetched a bowl of blood to wash the spines away.

Replenished, I dribbled thanks on my shirt and broke a bubble on my lips. “It is I who have forgotten,” I managed to utter. “When ill, I see only devils; when in health, even the snakes are saints.”

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Tags: Poetry

Side Effects

By Victor David Sandiego Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:04 PM

Side Effects

So, I’m watching a movie on Hulu the other night and since they’ve gotten very good at making sure that ad blockers don’t work, I get to see the usual bunch o adverts for cars, cell phone plans, celebrity sightings, and my all time favorite: psychotropic medications.

I guess they’re running out of kids because now we’ve got ADHD meds for adults, too. But don’t worry. The pharmaceutical companies that make them assure us that it’s a real disorder. As in, not made up. They tell you that just in case you were wondering. You know, just in case you thought they might be pushing their goods only to make some excellent currency for their coffers. Don’t worry. Because it’s real disorder, it proves that they have an altruistic desire to sooth the anxieties of the world with a cool cloth.

Watching these adverts is educational. I’ve learned that these drugs don’t do the following:

  • Help walk the dog
  • Wash the car
  • Dry the dishes
  • Answer the telephone
  • Put the laundry away

They only help with ADHD. Nothing else. Well, that’s what the guy says in the advert and I admit I’m a little disappointed because sometimes I wish didn’t have to bring the towels in and fold them myself.

But that’s not the funny part. After the guy stands around for a few seconds in his modern apartment and describes how well managed his life is now, they turn the advert over to a doctor-looking actor who comes on screen with some excellent doctorish advice. Don’t forget, she says. This stuff has a risk of abuse or dependence. Keep it in a safe place. Selling or sharing this stuff may harm others and (look out!) is illegal. This stuff may cause sudden death or at the very least, serious heart problems. And that’s not all. You (*cough*) might experience:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Hearing voices (well, that's okay)
  • Believing things that are not true (I'm pretty sure this happens anyway)
  • Being suspicious
  • New manic symptoms!!
  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Tics

Also, don’t forget: decreased appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea, trouble sleeping, upper stomach pain, vomiting, weight loss, chest pain, aggressive behavior or hostility. It takes twice as long to say what's wrong with this stuff than what it's good for.

So, remind me why people buy this stuff, again?

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Tags: Ideas:Rant

By God, We Showed em!

By Victor David Sandiego Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:40 AM

By God, We Really Showed em!

Yep, we really showed em, we really did. Why, we saved the hell out of our freedoms. I don’t know sometimes whether to laugh or cry. How much longer can people put up with this upside-down bullshit is beyond me. We’ve got people these days like Lindsey Graham saying on the floor on the senate for all the world to see and with a straight face that we need to be able to imprison anybody / anywhere / anytime-we-feel-like-it forever if we want and without trial to - wait for it - preserve our freedoms!

Of course, he and his ilk don’t dare call it imprisonment. They scrub the stains from their bullshit very methodically and deem it a detention, like it’s teacher keeping a student after school for an hour.

So, yes. We kicked butt and preserved our precious freedom to: kill, lie, torture, lock people up, bash the crap out of peaceful protesters, swindle mom and pop out of their life savings, buy your very own congressman / senator / president on the open market, and (most importantly and most revered) receive 577 cable channels of inane bullshit to help distract you from the fact that the average Joe gets only crumbs.

When I think of the young men and women that died in this insane debacle called Iraq, I absolutely DO know whether to laugh or cry and I always come down on the side of tears. They died for a buck. A filthy buck. That’s it. Cheerleaders, spin it anyway you want, but all you had to do was watch the constantly changing rationales of the swine that started this slaughter to see behind the curtain.

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Greatest Movie Ever!

By Victor David Sandiego Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:55 AM

Greatest Movie Ever!

Wow! Badlanders (aka Prison Planet in some releases) is the greatest movie ever made! Seriously! But not for the usual reasons.

Not because it has great acting. It doesn’t. This is the worst acting ever. Terrible, amateurish acting throughout. The guy lying in the road calling for help is one pitiful example and of course the head-honcho baddie (Michael M. Foley) who delivers every line through clenched teeth like he has a rabid badger in his pants is another. But whew… I’m happy he finished the movie without having a stroke.

Dialog? What a hoot. “Welcome to hell!” not once, but twice! But to be fair, it was two different people in two different places so I guess it’s two different hells and they probably thought it was such a killer line that they should slay the audience with it once more and.. oh never mind.

Verisimilitude? Well, let’s see… this is a barren desolate planet where the evil king exiles prisoners (hence the title “Prison Planet”) but is the king really evil? I mean, really evil like everybody says? I don’t think so. He’s actually a pretty thoughtful guy. Check it out: as a notorious criminal in exile on a desolate planet, you get some cars, gasoline, guns, bullets and (my favorite!) large industrial power lines to drive under on the way through the wastelands.

Oh, and let’s not forget  the tiny spaceship made from a painted-over Burger King box flying through the air on a string and the awesome way they show you how to escape from bad guys in a car by jumping up from the hill you’re hiding behind and running out into the road the car’s on.

But why is this the greatest movie ever? First, you have to watch the whole thing. But WARNING: be careful of your dosages. Watch maybe 10 or 12 minutes and then take a break. Rest your eyes before starting again. Wear a helmet at all times. Make sure you let somebody know what you’re doing.

With those few precautions, you should be fine. And don’t worry: when you’re done, it’s normal for your brain to feel like it’s on fire. It should pass in a day or two. And then you’ll be glad you saw this burning barrel of trash. Because after Prison Planet, you will never ever have to watch a worse movie. If you live to be 100, it doesn’t matter. The worst possible film in the history of film-making is behind you!

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Tags: Arts:Movie

Yikes If Not A Guru

By Victor David Sandiego Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:19 AM

Yikes If Not A Guru

If I was not a guru, I would not have known that a simple operation would turn out to take two minutes. Of course, these are Guru Time minutes. In Ordinary (or mortal) time, probably six weeks or never. Simple as:

BG

I have a 100 page Microsoft Word 2003 document that uses macros to repeat certain tasks with a quick keystroke as a guru knows how. It’s a great feature.

Oh no. One day, one of my LONG-TRUSTED macros broke. Right after Microsoft Word 2003 SERVICE PACK 3. Still easy. First (after weeks of BingingGoogle searches and basically just living with it)::::::: (for why)

GURU FIX

Create a new Word document and copy everything (because I CHECKED to see if it was happening in OTHER files, but it was only happening in THIS one). The macros problem is gone (YEA!) but then I notice that NOT ALL of my custom Styles ambled over.

I LOVE Styles so okay! I can deal with that. My Heading1 (which I use for section titles) had gone dead. I only needed to copy it from the original file. TO THE GATES OF THE HARD_TO_FIND merry:

Templates and Add-Ins organizer. But it would not select back-and-forth between two of my user files (getting annoyed now, even on the Guru Annoyance Scale); only between Normal.dot and some-other-file. What language is my Computer written In?

Not (MORTAL)™

apparently. Okay again. I will copy the offending Header1 text from the original document and replace it my copy that I needed to compensate for Microsoft Office SP3. THEN!!!!

All I need to DO is choose (Use DESTINATION format)

(or is it SOURCE??)

to convey me.

After that, it is a Simple Matter™

to choose the new document Styles Pane and command:

“UPDATE TO MATCH SELECTON!”

(whew)

end of sequence

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Tags: Tech

Watch Out For Those Essays

By Victor David Sandiego Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:19 AM

Oh boy. A high school boy was arrested for writing an essay. Good thing this happened in North Korea or China the United States of America. Okay, write whatever you want, the teacher says. Oops, he forgot to mention the possibility of arrest.

Once upon a time we dissed the likes of Communist Russia for this type of thing. Afraid of a piece of paper.

Seattle Times

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Songs In My Head

By Victor David Sandiego Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:27 AM

Songs In My Head

When I was a child, I once read about a boy who heard music in his head. His parents feared something was wrong with him and took him to a doctor, who gave him pills to make the music go away. That's always stayed with me. It seems so strange and sad that parents would want to do that.

Almost every day, I wake up with a certain refrain, a line or two maybe, from some song in my head. Sometimes it's the same one a couple of days in a row, but it's usually different every day. Many do repeat over time, though and it is sort of like a barometer of my day.

From time to time, I consider writing the jingle-jangle down each day and see if over time, it adds up to some sort of revelation. Kind of like Tom Hanks and the DaVinci clues but without all the running around from statue to statue.

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Blog Entries

Web Site Update

Wed Mar 12, 2014

Ditch Poetry

Tue Jan 21, 2014

Poetry Salzburg Review

Sun Nov 10, 2013

Generations Literary Journal

Tue Sep 17, 2013

Subprimal Poetry Art

Mon May 13, 2013

Preparing 39 Boys for Ebook

Sun Dec 2, 2012

How to destroy the internet

Sun Dec 2, 2012

Let's call him Charles

Sat Oct 13, 2012

Drum Boogie

Sat Sep 29, 2012

Free Time Machine!

Sat Sep 29, 2012

Side Effects

Sat Sep 22, 2012

By God, We Showed em!

Fri Sep 21, 2012

Greatest Movie Ever!

Fri Sep 21, 2012

Yikes If Not A Guru

Fri Sep 21, 2012

Watch Out For Those Essays

Fri Sep 21, 2012

Songs In My Head

Fri Sep 21, 2012