Monday, September 25, 2006

It Stinks

We had an underwhelming experience yesterday at the Louisburg (KS) Cider Mill where their annual ciderfest was underway.

A terrible stench hit the Jones family the moment we emerged from our car in the parking lot. A fellow apple lover guessed it was a cider sewage pond, bobbing and bubbling somewhere near the parking lot. How bad was the stink? It smelled like Bigfoot took a dump, fell over dead in mid road-apple and nobody buried him.

There were other minor annoyances like pricey rides and activities (10 dollars for face painting), and no hand gel in the porta-johns, but the big stink, that was too much. I actually hung out in the potpourri booth on country craft row to catch my breath.

Don't go to the Louisburg Cider Mill Ciderfest. It stinks.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Baum vs. Capote: The Pickard Mashup

My mother and other writers read and lectured at UMKC's Pierson Auditorium last night. Mom read in support of her new book Delta Pearls, a collection of short stories. Nancy Pickard headlined and talked about the legacy of Kansas literature. She summed it up by comparing two seminal titles set in Kansas, The Wizard of Oz and In Cold Blood. She pointed out both books were about ordinary people, who lived ordinary lives, until a violent, unexpected event changed everything.

Pickard noticed that out-of-state visitors in particular expressed a measure of uneasiness during visits to her Flint Hills property. What was it about Kansas, and as the author pointed out, the Kansas landscape in particular, that made this theme reappear?

There's no place to hide when the unexpected happens: the act of God, the act of violence. Safety seems far away, even in the Flint Hills of Kansas. It's extra unexpected and then you're extra screwed when it does happen.

I'm glad I stayed for Pickard's speech. I thought I might skip out early when I arrived. It was my first time at Pierson Auditorium and I imagined a theatre style venue with rows of seats and a stage with podium. It turned out to be flat, empty space with banquet style seating, not conducive to late arrivals and early departures. I stayed to be polite and I learned something about Kansas literature that I never considered. One doesn't have to travel to Twin Peaks to sense dread and evil lurking outside the window, and for a writer working in Kansas, that's good.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mates of State - Profile

Lawrence has no room for special pop melodies as implied in this Boston Globe profile of Mates of State.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Embo Moment Update

Here's a link to Joel Orff's archives with the aforementioned comic strip moment featuring The Embarrassment, The Micronotz, and Kill Creek.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Back to Rockville: the Embos (again)

Joel Orff created another in his series of Great Moments in Rock N Roll comic strips that featured the K.C. Star review of The Embarrassment show and my comments. Get the details at Tim Finn's Back To Rockville weblog.

Friday, September 01, 2006