Google+ Badge

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just sayin'. . .

 . . . come on out if you have the chance. . .                   

                                    A RARE PERFORMANCE BY Baltimore's Iconic "OHO"

                                                                                       Connell Patrick Byrne

Who? OHO (Jay Graboski, Dave Reeve, Ray Jozwiak with guest vocalists Lisa Griffee and Kelly G), Easy Cowboy (w/Matt Rose), Jason & The Butchers and El Sledge (+)

What? Shlongtasm 2012; each band will perform a 25-30 minute set

When? 9:00 PM till closing, Friday January 20, 2012

Where? Joe Squared Pizza (133 W. North Ave. at the corner of North Ave. and Howard Street, Balto., MD 21201; phone: 410.545.0444)

Why? To celebrate El Sledge (+) manager, Dan Long, to rage against the dying of the light (“It’s a cold stare at humankind masquerading as happy beer-hall music—Lift your flagon to this, you f*ck.’”-Stan Ridgway), ingest some delicious pie, & to quaff steins brimmed with delicious, foaming hops-infused beverage.
 www.ohomusic.com

Happy New Year.

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR, by OHO from Bricolage

What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:         Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My 
Zimbio
Top Stories

'Cause you got to have. . .

. . . friends. . . 

For a chubby little (but not to remain so in comparison with my contemporaries) boy who didn't always quite feel like he 'fit in', I was extremely comfortable and quite content with those other aspects, situations, or 'worlds' to which I would retreat when I was ostracized. Not that I was literally or frequently ostracized by my peer group throughout childhood, let me must say that I did not feel that I always BELONGED.

I had what I considered to be a reasonable number of friends in whose company I reveled many a long, hot summer afternoon.  Timmy Buckley, from two doors away in our block of row-homes in the Eastern part of Baltimore County just past the city-line, my BEST friend.   But I also enjoyed the company of, singly or sometimes in groups with various of them,  the three Bodell brothers, Keith Smith, Jimmy Theiss, Joey Markwordt and on occasion, Ronald Weber.  Never a greedy person, I thought then as I do now, that this was a sufficient number of friends.  And they were good friends on whom I could rely for some good, old-fashioned kid-play.  Later, in school, new friendships would develop and likewise some of the older ones would dissolve.  But such is the way of the world.  Right? 




What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:         Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Friday, December 30, 2011

Quotes from. . .

 . . . The Thin Man (1934) (Thanks to IMDB.com)
I just love THE THIN MAN films.  Myrna Loy and William Powell had great, comic chemistry, the cases are convoluted (until you've seen them enough to remember the culprit) and the characters are so comically dated, caricatures of gangster (not gangsta) movie thugs.  The incessant drinking, the opulent wealth and the endless one-liners. There's something musical about the production of the films that I cannot explain.  They are however, always enjoyable.


Reporter: Say listen, is he working on a case?
Nora Charles: Yes, he is.
Reporter: What case?
Nora Charles: A case of scotch. Pitch in and help him.


Marion: I don't like crooks. And if I did like 'em, I wouldn't like crooks that are stool pigeons. And if I did like crooks that are stool pigeons, I still wouldn't like you.


Lieutenant John Guild: You got a pistol permit?
Nick Charles: No.
Lieutenant John Guild: Ever heard of the Sullivan Act?
Nora Charles: Oh, that's all right, we're married.


[On the motley group of guests present]
Nora Charles: Oh, Nicky, I love you because you know such lovely people.


Nora Charles: Waiter, will you serve the nuts? I mean, will you serve the guests the nuts?


Nick Charles: The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time.


Nick Charles: How'd you like Grant's tomb?
Nora Charles: It's lovely. I'm having a copy made for you.


Nora Charles: Pretty girl.
Nick Charles: Yes. She's a very nice type.
Nora Charles: You got types?
Nick Charles: Only you, darling. Lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.


Nick Charles: I'm a hero. I was shot twice in the Tribune.
Nora Charles: I read where you were shot 5 times in the tabloids.
Nick Charles: It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids.


Nick Charles: Oh, it's all right, Joe. It's all right. It's my dog. And, uh, my wife.
Nora Charles: Well you might have mentioned me first on the billing.


Nora Charles: You know, that sounds like an interesting case. Why don't you take it?
Nick Charles: I haven't the time. I'm much too busy seeing that you don't lose any of the money I married you for.


Nora Charles: Take care of yourself
Nick Charles: Why, sure I will.
Nora Charles: Don't say it like that! Say it as if you meant it!
Nick Charles: Well, I do believe the little woman cares.
Nora Charles: I don't care! It's just that I'm used to you, that's all.


Nora Charles: All right! Go ahead! Go on! See if I care! But I thinks it's a dirty trick to bring me all the way to New York just to make a widow of me.
Nick Charles: You wouldn't be a widow long.
Nora Charles: You bet I wouldn't!
Nick Charles: Not with all your money...


Nick Charles: Say, how did you people happen to pop in here?
Lieutenant John Guild: We hear this is getting to be sort of a meeting place for the Wynant family, so we figured we'll stick around just in case the old boy himself should show up. Then we see this bird sneak in, we decide to come up. And lucky for you we did!
Nick Charles: Yes, I might not have been shot.


Nick Charles: Now don't make a move or that dog will tear you to shreds.


Nora Charles: Nick? Nicky?
Nick Charles: What?
Nora Charles: You asleep?
Nick Charles: Yes!
Nora Charles: Good. I want to talk to you.


Tommy: Say, I'm getting out of here.
Nick Charles: No, you stay here.
Tommy: If I stay, I know I'm gonna take a poke at him.
Nick Charles: Then I insist that you stay.


Nick Charles: Hey, would you mind putting that gun away? My wife doesn't care, but I'm a very timid fellow.
Nora Charles: You idiot!
Nick Charles: [to the gunman] Alright, shoot! I mean, uh, what's on your mind?


Nick Charles: Now my friends, if I may propose a little toast. Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
Nora Charles: You give such charming parties, Mr. Charles.
Nick Charles: Thank you, Mrs. Charles.


Nick Charles: Now how did you ever remember me?
Dorothy: Oh, you used to fascinate me. A real live detective. You used to tell me the most wonderful stories. Were they true?
Nick Charles: Probably not.


Nora Charles: How many drinks have you had?
Nick Charles: This will make six Martinis.
Nora Charles: [to the waiter] All right. Will you bring me five more Martinis, Leo? Line them right up here.


Gil: Could I come down and see the body? I've never seen a dead body.
Lieutenant John Guild: Why do you want to?
Gil: Well, I've been studying psychopathic criminology and I have a theory. Perhaps this was the work of a sadist or a paranoiac. If I saw it I might be able to tell.
Lieutenant John Guild: Yeah, that's a good idea. But don't you bother to come down - we'll bring the body right up to you.


[Nick has revived Nora after knocking her out to keep her from being accidentally shot by Joe Morelli]
Nora Charles: You darn fool! You didn't have to knock me out. I knew you'd take him, but I wanted to see you do it.
Lieutenant John Guild: [laughs] There's a girl with hair on her chest.


Reporter: Well, can't you tell us anything about the case?
Nick Charles: Yes, it's putting me way behind in my drinking.


Nora Charles: What's that man doing in my drawers?


Nora Charles: [suffering from a hang-over] What hit me?
Nick Charles: The last martini.


Nick Charles: The murderer is right in this room. Sitting at this table. You may serve the fish.


Nora Charles: [to Asta, as Nick and Asta are going out on a case] If you let anything happen to him, you'll never wag that tail again.




What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:         Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Truly an original. . .

. . . and a BALTIMORE original at that!!

(from the Baltimore CityPaper)
Mobtown Beat

Morris Martick 1923-2011

"What I took from him was to not be scared of being unique. He just did things the way he wanted"

Photo: Katie Brennan, License: N/A
Katie Brennan
Morris Martick outside Martick’S Restaurant Fran�ais On Mulberry Street.
Photo: Courtesy Alex Martick, License: N/A
Courtesy Alex Martick
A Martick’s menu circa 2008

Baltimore has certainly enjoyed its share of eccentric eateries over the years, but perhaps none so endearing—certainly none so enduring—as Martick’s Restaurant Français. Patrons had to ring a bell to gain admittance to the dimly lit and eclectically furnished dining room, where mismatched silver and china topped the tables and a multifarious array of works by local artists graced the walls. It was funky and shabby and utterly unlike anywhere else.
The restaurant’s inimitable founder and chef, Morris Martick, died Dec. 16 of lung cancer at the age of 88, having literally spent his life there. He was born in the building—214 W. Mulberry St.—and grew up working with his parents, two brothers, and two sisters in various enterprises operated there by the Martick family: a grocery store and then a speakeasy during the Prohibition years. (Rumor has it a gin still remains in the building’s basement.)
Martick’s own first incarnation of the family business was running a bar/jazz nightclub during the 1960s. By all accounts, it was an island of Bohemian refuge in an otherwise conservative city. Painter Raoul Middleman used to hang out there, and Martick gave him his first show—hanging his paintings above the bar. “This was when segregation laws were still in effect,” Middleman recalls. “And I had a friend I really wanted to have see this show, my first show, but he was black, and it was against the law for him to enter the bar. But Morris just said, ‘Bring him on in.’ He could’ve gotten in a lot of trouble for doing that. He thought segregation laws were stupid and he lived by his beliefs. I always respected him for that.”
Former Martick’s employee Steve Pampinelli says Martick used to recount how Billie Holiday once sang there in the nightclub days. “It was actually against the law of segregation, but he would let black folks in anyway,” Pampinelli says. “So when Billie Holiday sang there, she was actually there as a patron. When people realized she was there everyone got really excited and asked if she would sing, and of course she did.”
“Morris really only left Baltimore twice in his whole life,” recalls Scotty Stevenson, who worked at Martick’s from 1977 through the mid-’80s and off and on for several years after that. “He was gone briefly during WWII while he was in the Air Force—he was in Alaska, according to him because ‘That was where they sent all the fuck-ups.’ But then he came back and took care of his mother until she died in 1959, and ran the jazz club until, he said, he got tired of the drunks and the musicians. So he closed down in 1967 and went bumming around France for a couple years really learning how to cook. He had always liked to cook, he was a natural at it, but that was when he really educated himself in formal technique. Then when he came back, he fixed the place up and reopened as a French restaurant.”
That was in 1970, when Martick’s Restaurant Français had two dining rooms on two floors, a maitre’d, tuxedoed waiters, and a genuine French chef from Paris. According to Alex Martick, who survives his brother at the age of 83, “I don’t know where he found that chef, but the man was a goddamn drunk. He’d call downstairs for bottles of brandy, supposedly to cook with, but he’d be drinking it himself. Then when he was good and drunk he’d come after my brother.”
Stevenson recalls hearing the tale as follows: “One night the chef came after Morris with a knife, and that was that. Morris was left with a French restaurant but no French chef, and that was when he started running the kitchen himself. Then the monkey suits and the maitre’d evaporated, and it all became the artists and the musicians.”
It was a natural evolution, Stevenson explains, because “almost everything in that restaurant Morris had done himself anyway—the stained glass, the painted tile, the albino rattlesnake skin wallpaper. He was an artist himself, he drew and painted, so he was always at home with artists and musicians.”
Anna Oldfield, who put herself through college working in Martick’s kitchen from 1985 until 1991, says, “Nobody worked harder than Morris himself. He was simply always there, cooking and doing anything that needed to be done. So anyone who worked for him got into that same zone, that you just did everything necessary to make it work. That 75 people were going to come in and somehow, in this little kitchen at the top of these impossibly steep stairs in this crazy little house with a bunch of crazy people, you were somehow going to get it together and make these amazing French meals.
“The way it worked was inexplicable, but transformative for the people who worked there—the ones that stayed, anyway,” continues Oldfield, who went on to get her doctorate and now teaches at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. “I was there for five years, and in that time at least 50 people came in who had been hired and they’d run screaming their first night. Literally run out the door in the middle of their shift.”
“I always thought there was a little roulette wheel running in Morris’ head, and when he met you the ball either landed on ‘family’ and he treated you like family, or ‘intruder’ and he would chase you away,” Stevenson says. “It makes sense because everything in that building was his childhood—if you were banging the pots in the kitchen he’d yell at you, ‘Stop hitting the pots!’ which is exactly what his mother had yelled at him. Anything he yelled at you had been yelled at him growing up.”
“Morris was challenging and irritable and he yelled at everybody all the time. But you could yell right back,” says Katie Brennan, who began her Martick’s career in 1985, at the age of 16—and began a friendship with Martick himself that carried through the next 26 years.
“We’d get these Culinary Institute kids who’d be like, Oh I’m gonna work at Martick’s and be a chef apprentice, and the first question he’d always ask them is, ‘How long do you cook this piece of fish?’” Brennan recalls. “And they’d start this analysis of what kind it was and how thick and blah blah, and Morris would just shout, ‘Till it’s done, damn it, till it’s done!’”
Martick was famous for his pâté, profiteroles, and, above all else, bouillabaisse. “That bouillabaisse took literally days to make,” Oldfield recalls. “You’d have to bone the fish and make the stock in all these stages, sometimes boiling, sometimes barely simmering it, and add all these different things at just the right times. It was a kind of cooking that hardly anyone does anymore, because it takes so long and is based entirely on instinct. He was such a master of that, and he never used a recipe. He always improvised, which is why if you went there twice and got the same dish, it would not be exactly the same.”
Jeff Smith, the Baltimore-born chef-owner of Chameleon Cafe in Lauraville, worked briefly in Martick’s kitchen. “Even in a short time, I learned a lot working there,” Smith says. “He definitely did things differently from anywhere else I had ever worked.”
The brutal working conditions at Martick’s were famous among employees—Brennan and Oldfield both recall a thermometer in the kitchen that routinely pegged out at its top reading of 115 degrees F—and over the years there were many tales of Martick working in his underpants, if he bothered wearing them at all. “I worked there with a guy who had been with Martick on and off over the years,” Smith recalls, “who told me that Morris would be in the shower—his bathroom was between the front and back kitchens—and customers would come in, and Martick would just step out of the shower, put an apron on, and start cooking, his wrinkly old ass hanging out while he was cooking this amazing food. I never saw it with my own two eyes, but this was the legend.”
After a heyday running from its 1970 opening to the mid-’80s, Martick’s Restaurant Français began to slowly fade from its original eminence. Stevenson says that the opening of Harborplace in 1982 drew diners downtown, away from Martick’s, as did the subsequent opening on nearby North Charles Street of Louie’s Bookstore Cafe by Jimmy Rouse, who had waited tables at Martick’s. “Louie’s drew a lot of clientele away from Martick’s, but Morris never held a grudge,” Stevenson says. “He would actually go and eat there almost every night. He used to sit there at the bar, telling Jimmy everything he was doing wrong.”
“What I took from him was to not be scared of being unique,” Smith says. “The way he just did things the way he wanted and didn’t care what anybody else thought. The guy just had a lot of guts, and held out to the end. I know what it’s like when it’s slow in your restaurant. It’s scary and hard to come to work, day after day when it’s slow like that, and he did it for years. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Martick ran his eponymous restaurant for 35 years, closing to the public in 2008. He remained there, living in the building where he was born, and carrying on the friendships he’d made over eight decades of life, many of them at the center of Baltimore’s creative circles. “There are so many people in Baltimore whose early networks and friendships were made by working at Martick’s over the years,” Stevenson says. In his later years, according to Brennan, Martick kept busy going to the movies and Pimlico race track. As late as 2010, according to Pampinelli, he was still “running a business hauling people’s trash out of their basements or helping them move house. We’d make a few extra bucks hauling stuff to the city dump in that board truck of his.”
In October, however, he collapsed while walking down Howard Street and was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. “It went pretty quickly there, at the end,” Brennan says. “A lot of people didn’t even realize he was sick. I didn’t know literally until the night before he died. I got [to the hospital] just in time. I got to give him a hug and a kiss and tuck him in when he fell asleep.”
Memorial plans are still tentative, but Alex Martick says that a celebration of his brother’s life is in the works for January. In a Facebook tribute to Martick, amid a plethora of reminiscences both affectionate and profane, Oldfield wrote:
I am overwhelmed with a combination of terrible sadness and memories that range from ridiculous to hilarious to truly tender. We were so very very very lucky to know Morris, he was like a planet that made an alternate gravity where people like us could thrive. He defied every law of physics [and] lousy boring stuff that people are supposed to do and I’ll bet y’all don’t know how close you were to having that walkin [refrigerator] fall in on your heads when you were having dinner. . . . Now that we’re all 50 or whatever we can maybe start to appreciate his absolute refusal to give in to all the thousands of things that drag people into those small compromises that destroy your soul. Morris never gave up. I’m only just beginning to get everything that he was saying to me all that time


What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:         Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I feel like a . . .


. . . crazy person. . .

Yesterday's blog about Fishbone is gone, not a trace-not a link; the entire blog site is now different,     did not play my parts well in spite of many hours of practice and familiarity;  the drummer's electronic drum kit malfunctioned therefore we did not play with drums tonight;  best friend/wife/love of my life isn't feeling well;  the later it got the more I needed to accomplish;  nodding off as I try to write this;  sons are driving to Los Angeles early next week;  packing, truck pick-up, return from visiting friends must all be done effectively to carry off the packing and departure;  elder son flying back home Saturday morning;  wishing I could make a living from music;  and blogging;  getting sleepy;  having difficulty finishing this;  need extra rest;  have too much to do;  drummer has very ill relatives;  2012 is an election year;  need to write more but don't have much time;  three sons celebrated their visit tonight;  thinking about MD crabcakes;  hoping that's what the boys ate;  getting later and sleepier. . . feeling like a crazy person!





What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:         Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Monday, December 26, 2011

You really have to. . .

. . . check out Fishbone.
These guys have been around since the early 80s and still YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF THEM???? Music, brains, chops, dedication, longevity, heart, soul & humor. . . what more do you need?
It's bout damn time.


What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:         Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Sunday, December 25, 2011

More on Christmas. . .

(based upon the writings of John Shelby Spong)

. . . The birth story of Jesus was designed to introduce the adult Jesus of Nazareth as the one who would fulfill all the expectations of the Jews. Matthew's gospel portrays Jesus as a new and greater Moses, accompanied by the same signs that marked the birth of Moses'. The birth story is very similar to the story of Santa Claus. Both are beautiful and filled with meaning. Both stories capture a TRUTH that human words cannot fully contain.

Christmas should capture a truth that human words and actions can never fully contain or express. May we understand that truth, this and every Christmas, and apply that truth in our interactions with ALL humanity. . . throughout the entire year.



What do YOU think?

http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:        Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's. . .

. . . Christmas. . .

(from the writings of John Shelby Spong)

". . . the symbol of Santa Claus . . . is the personification of the spirit and joy of giving. . .the miraculous birth tradition disappears as history, but it re-emerges as powerful and shaping narratives that provide a primary insight into the meaning of Jesus. To journey into the heart of these narratives is to journey into the Christian claim that God was present in this man Jesus and that this experience compels us to come and worship. Frankly, this transition from history to poetry is that which will save the meaning of Christmas in our postmodern world. . ."



What do YOU think?

http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:       Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Friday, December 23, 2011

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program. . .

. . . This break from over five years of regular performance was welcome, and for more reasons than one. During that period I was listening to music that I loved and that inspired me to want to make music of my own. Well, at least music more like what I was getting into than what was popular to sing along with, dance to in a drunken stupor or simply ignore while you ate, talked and generally celebrated some special occasion in your life or just a Saturday night's social event. This I was not getting. And I have myself to blame primarily. I had the freedom to leave my musical situation at the time and seek something more to what I envisioned. But alas, freedom is one thing and drive, determination and action are three others. These, quite sadly for my then musical disposition, I lacked. It really comes down to the fact that I really didn't want it badly enough.


In addition, while thoroughly enjoying the sonic antics of my art/prog/jazz-rock favorites and desiring to play things like those they played, I simply did not have the ability to create like they did. At least not on any substantial or meaningful scale. I wrote things sporadically before my retirement (my Sonata In No Particular Key is appropriate to mention here) but there was no consistent force, or inspiration for that matter, fueling the creation of much original material. I would have loved for a million new, creative musical ideas to flow freely and bountifully from my heart, mind and fingers, but it just didn't happen.


So I went happily and peacefully about building a new, married life together with my bride. My Farfisa Fast Four and Leslie 145 were setup in a prominent location in the den of our apartment for quick and easy access. Truth is, I'm not sure if I even played once a week at that time. But I was building my vinyl record album collection of my favorite jazz cats during the period and joyfully and effortlessly soaking in their music as often as I could. My Coltrane, Dolphy, Adderly and McLean collections grew with much less reliance on the old Tull, Gentle Giant and Yes for musical satisfaction. This too combined with sounds exemplifying the musical tastes of my significant other, sometimes not so willingly or graciously.



What do YOU think?

http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:      Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Somebody said. . .

. . . on line when Christopher Hitchens passed away, that 'God breathes a sigh of relief as Christopher Hitchens dies' or something to that effect. (Wasn't he supposed to be 'All Powerful'?) Well, further proof of the almighty's impotence has surfaced this week with this gem from Presidential Candidate (I use the term loosely), Rick Perry. . .

(from MSNBC.com) ". . . The famously mistake-prone Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that he prayed before a campaign event in Iowa to ask God to help him deliver an error-free performance.
Asked by a woman at the Button Factory Restaurant about the role prayer plays in his life, Perry responded, "Well, I prayed right before I walked over here that I wouldn't make any mistakes that my friends in the media would be able to put on television."The Texas governor grinned and looked out at the assembled media on the press riser -- the traveling press pool currently includes eight reporters -- before turning back to the questioner."I pray a lot," he continued, "because I'm prone to make a lot of mistakes." Perry was warmly received by the crowd of about 150 in the riverfront town, and he won particularly strong applause for his discussion of his faith. When an audience member questioned him on how to get God back into America, Perry professed to huge applause that "God hasn't ever left." "He's still here," Perry said. "He's still available." He added, "I think it's time to have a president of the United States, who will stand up say, 'Listen, I'm not afraid to admit I'm a Christian.' I'm not afraid to stand up and say, 'I'm a Christian'. . . " 

Either Hitchens was right, or the big guy doesn't listen. . . OR maybe Ricky doesn't pray hard enough!!







What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:     Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One step forward and two steps back . . .

. . . by our armed forces . . .

(origin: MSNBC.com)
". . . Wednesday two women sailors became the first to share the coveted "first kiss" on the dock after one of them returned from 80 days at sea.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of Placerville, Calif., descended from the USS Oak Hill amphibious landing ship and shared a quick kiss with her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles. The crowd screamed and waved flags around them. . . "

FINALLY!!!

But, meantime. . .

Maybe only a few bad eggs, but that's only a few bad eggs too many . . .(Also courtesy of MSNBC.com)". . . Eight U.S. soldiers have been charged in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, the 19-year-old soldier from New York City who was found shot to death in a guard tower in Afghanistan two months ago.

Chen, who is Asian and is from Chinatown, was found dead Oct. 3 with a gunshot wound below his chin. Army officials never gave details about his death, but it was believed the wound was self-inflicted.

The military's investigation found that Chen had been the target of racially motivated taunts and physical attacks at the hands of his superiors and comrades before he died. . ."



What do YOU think?

http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:    Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not a Newt fan, but. . .

. . . gotta give credit where credit is due. . .

With regard to the negative ads being run by his opponents (thanks to MSNBC.com) ". . . Gingrich said speaking to an audience near Cedar Rapids. “They ought to take this junk off the air. The former House Speaker has vowed to run a positive campaign and not attack his rivals . . . at least most of the time.

Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all have TV ads and campaign mailers attacking Speaker Gingrich on a variety of issues, such as being a “flip-flopper” and not being a “consistent conservative. . . ”

And even though Newt may not practice what he preaches 100% of the time, the sentiment is noteworthy and commendable.




What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:   Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Monday, December 19, 2011

Did it again. . .

. . . stumbled upon ANOTHER reason WHY I don't like this!!!

I'm supposed to think of material things that I WANT so that others can buy these material things (that I could just as easily purchased myself) and in addition, the kids don't ask ME, they call the ONE WHO KNOWS to ask her and she just doesn't need the aggravation or the responsibility.

Why do we do this to ourselves????. . . . . .

(from RECLAIMING THE BIBLE FOR A NON-RELIGIOUS WORLD by
John Shelby Spong © 2011 by John Shelby Spong)
". . . his birth took place in Nazareth, as the first gospel of Mark and the last gospel of John both assume, and not in Bethlehem, as Matthew and Luke seek to defend. The pressure to transfer his birth to Bethlehem is a clear bow to later messianic development. It was Paul writing to the Romans around the year 58 CE, who first claimed that Jesus was in the Davidic line and thus heir to his throne (Rom. 1:3). This was the reference, I believe, that ultimately gave rise to a Bethlehem birth story. . . "





What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak:  Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Except for a . . .

. . . false note on an ending to a piano/vocal performance of THANKFUL at a 'church' service this morning, we (Mystic I) performed quite successfully and soulfully today.

Some Christmas (maybe 1%-mas is more accurate) shopping and a relaxing afternoon with dinner followed by a loss by our beloved Ravens.

Less and less is my emotional connection to this holiday. I just feel everyone is out to buy gifts for other people because they're JUST SUPPOSED TO! and not that there is any rational reason for doing so. Of course, if you feel as I do about it, you are branded a 'Scrooge' or other such non-feeling soul who doesn't feel as though he must be generous to others at this time of year when Christian people celebrate the birth of one personage of whom little is factually or historically known and whose purported life and presumed purpose had absolutely NOTHING to do with giving gifts to ANYONE whatsoever.

Well, I must cooperate and 'go with the flow' (at least nominally and superficially) or I may just alienate EVERYONE around me. . . and I just DON'T want to do that!!




What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The modern-day Mecken. . .

. . . whenever convincing people to read Hitchens, I would say he was the H.L. Mencken of our age. By this I meant fluent to a fault, unafraid to think, and ALWAYS, whether you agreed with him or not, entertaining.

(from http://www.washingtonpost.com)
Published: December 16 | Updated: Saturday, December 17, 6:00 AM

"Christopher Hitchens, an English writer whose powerful, persuasive essays took on moral and religious hypocrisy, died at 62 in a hospital in Houston. As Matt Schudel reported:

Christopher Hitchens, a sharp-witted provocateur who used his formidable learning, biting wit and muscular prose style to skewer what he considered high-placed hypocrites, craven lackeys of the right and left, “Islamic fascists” and religious faith of any kind, died Dec. 15 at a hospital in Houston. He was 62.

He had pneumonia and complications from esophageal cancer, according to a statement from Vanity Fair, the magazine for which Mr. Hitchens worked.

Mr. Hitchens, an English-born writer who had lived in Washington since 1982, was a tireless master of the persuasive essay, which he wrote with an indefatigable energy and venomous glee. He often wrote about the masters of English literature, but he was better known for his lifelong engagement with politics, with subtly nuanced views that did not fit comfortably with the conventional right or left.

In his tartly worded essays, books and television appearances, Mr. Hitchens was a self-styled contrarian who often challenged political and moral orthodoxy. He called Henry Kissinger a war criminal, savaged Mother Teresa and Princess Diana, ridiculed both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, then became an outspoken opponent of terrorism against the West from the Muslim world.

In 2007, Mr. Hitchens aimed his vitriol even higher, writing a best-selling book that disputed the existence of God, then enthusiastically took on anyone — including his own brother — who wanted to argue the matter.

His supporters praised Mr. Hitchens as a truth-telling literary master who, in the words of the Village Voice, was “America’s foremost rhetorical pugilist.” Writer Christopher Buckley has called him “the greatest living essayist in the English language.”

Hitchens became one of the most respected figures in the atheist community, partly because of his willingness to debate members of the religious establishment. As Susan Jacoby explained :

My old friend Julius Hobson, an unconventional Washington civil rights leader in the 1960s (he once drove a cage of rats to Georgetown and threatened to release them at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street so the power brokers would know how the other half lives), used to say, “I sleep mad.” When I mentioned this many years ago to Christopher Hitchens, who died of cancer Thursday, Christopher remarked, “What a great epitaph that would be!”

We have lost an irreplaceable person in this age of American unreason. By “we,” I do not mean only atheists (although Hitchens is irreplaceable in that respect too) but everyone who values rationality and the English language. Hitchens, whose obituaries are devoting equal space to his atheism and his support for the Iraq war (he once called me stupid to my face for disagreeing with him about the latter), was a great, scathing Anglo-American writer in the tradition of Thomas Paine, George Orwell and Jessica Mitford. We may not see his like again, because the respect for language exemplified by his writings is fading away."





What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Friday, December 16, 2011

What's NOT to like?. . .

. . . if we continue to complain but don't vote our principles, nothing will EVER change. This guy is interesting. (I'm just sayin')

Rocky Anderson a progressive alternative to Obama
Former Salt Lake mayor says Democrats, Republicans sustain corrupt system
by Steven Higgs
December 14, 2011

Presidential candidate Rocky Anderson is running on the Justice Party ticket. He says Barack Obama has accepted more Wall Street money than any candidate in U.S. history.

Americans who feel betrayed by timid, capitulatory leadership from Democrats like President Barack Obama and Indiana Senate candidate Joe Donnelly now have a candidate to consider at the presidential level. On Dec. 12, 2011, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced his candidacy on the Justice Party ticket and the next day laid out a cogent progressive agenda on Democracy Now!

"Although hailing from a solidly red state, Anderson has been known as one of the most progressive mayors of any major U.S. city in recent years," host Amy Goodman said in her introduction to the report. "During his two mayoral terms from 2000 to 2008, Anderson was an outspoken champion of LGBT rights, environmental sustainability and the antiwar movement in opposition to the Iraq War."

On both Democracy Now! and in a Dec. 12 article in The Guardian, the former Democrat embraced the Occupy Movement.

"There is clearly a convergence of interests regarding the concerns we have and the concerns of Occupy Wall Street," he told The Guardian. "There's little I've heard from the Occupy movement that I would disagree with, and I think there's little we support that they would disagree with."

***
The Justice Party is needed because the American political system is "corrupt" and "diseased," Anderson told Goodman.

"We know that the public interest is not being served by anyone in the system right now, particularly the two dominant parties who have sustained this corrupt system and who are sustained by it," he said.
"Just follow the money, and you’ll see why Congress and the White House are pursuing these policies that are so inimical to the interest of the American people." - Rocky Anderson

Obama's Kansas speech on income inequality last week was "total hypocrisy," Anderson said. The president has accepted more Wall Street money than any other candidate in history, and he is surrounded by alumni from Goldman Sachs.

"All any of us have to do is look at our pension plans, our 401(k) accounts, and we can see the direct impacts of this economic disaster, brought to us through, by and large, these criminal acts committed by these Wall Street firms and their employees," he said. "And not one of them has been brought to justice under the Obama administration."

Anderson compared Obama's Wall Street contributions and subsequent timidity to his relationship with polluters, from whom he took money and then vetoed EPA efforts to strengthen air quality standards.

"We know that’s not in the public interest," he said. "President Obama has to know that’s not in the public interest. He’s serving the interest of those polluting industries."

The corrupting influence of money from the medical insurance industry is the reason America is the only country in the industrialized world without a single-payer health care system, Anderson added.

"The failure – in terms of every major public policy issue – to serve the public interest can be attributed to that corrupting influence of money," he said. "Just follow the money, and you’ll see why Congress and the White House are pursuing these policies that are so inimical to the interest of the American people."

***
The same day Anderson announced his candidacy in Washington D.C., Donnelly, the Second District Indiana congressman seeking incumbent Republican Richard Lugar's U.S. Senate seat next year, lent credence to the characterization of Democrats and Republicans as two faces on the same tarnished coin. In comments made at a diner in Indianapolis, he expressed support for the Keystone XL Pipeline through the Western United States, according to an Indiana Public Media report.
"Without Democrats voting the way they did in Congress, we wouldn't have invaded Iraq. We wouldn't have suffered as a nation because of these Bush tax cuts." - Rocky Anderson
The pipeline would transport synthetic oil from the Alberta Tar Sands in Northeastern Alberta, Canada, to U.S. refineries from Illinois to Texas. James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute, has said it will be "game over" for the climate if the Alberta oil sands become a major source of world oil.

"President George W. Bush said that the U.S. was addicted to oil," Hansen said in an Aug. 29, 2011, story posted on the Reuters website. "So what will the U.S. response to this situation be? Will it entail phasing out fossil fuels and moving to clean energy or borrowing the dirtiest needle from a fellow addict?"

Choosing the dirty needle would show Obama "was just greenwashing, like the other well-oiled, coal-fired politicians with no real intention of solving the addiction," he said.

Donnelly linked his Dec. 12 comments to Republican efforts to legislatively tie the pipeline to an extension of the payroll tax cut. "If that being in this bill makes it impossible to get this bill done, there are other points at where we can get the Keystone Pipeline squared away," he said.

The next day, Lugar issued a news release one-upping Donnelly on Keystone. The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tied the pipeline to national security and jobs as he argued the State Department's decision to delay action until at least 2013 was motivated by presidential politics. "America’s workers and security takes a backseat to the president’s effort to save his own job,” Lugar said in the release.

Anderson told The Guardian it is clear that Democrats do not represent the change Americans need.

"There are lots of good individuals in the Democratic Party," he said. "[But] without Democrats voting the way they did in Congress, we wouldn't have invaded Iraq. We wouldn't have suffered as a nation because of these Bush tax cuts."

***
Two-party collusion on retroactive immunity to telecom companies is another example of bipartisan decay and Obama's failed leadership, Anderson said on Democracy Now!.

"Then-Senator Obama promised this nation, before the primary, before he won the Democratic primary for the presidency, that he would join a filibuster against telecom company immunity," he said. Not only did he not filibuster, he voted for the legislation. "Who in this country gets Congress to grant them retroactive immunity for committing clearly felonious acts?"

The same goes for Obama's about face on domestic "war criminals" who engaged in torture in violation of international and domestic law, Anderson told Goodman. "We have this special class of people who aren’t even held accountable under the law."
"We have this special class of people who aren’t even held accountable under the law." - Rocky Anderson
To politically counter the corruption, the nation needs elected officials "who are pledged not to just represent the people’s interest in the same system, but to change the system and get the corrupting influence of corporate and other concentrated wealth out of our electoral system and out of our system of governance," he said.

Anderson told Democracy Now! that the Justice Party's agenda reflects input gathered from all over the country that demands a new direction for American society.

"It seemed that the notion of justice – economic justice, social justice, environmental justice – that’s what the people in this country want," he said. "They want an equal playing field. They want the laws to apply to everyone equally. And they don’t want our Congress and our president simply serving the interests of the economic aristocracy in this country any longer."

Today's politicians are not leaders, he said. They defer to polls and political considerations, not the public interest.

"You see these people bouncing back and forth," he said. "They’re unrecognizable from one moment to another. And it’s because of the basest political considerations. How are they to be trusted?"

Steven Higgs can be reached at editor@BloomingtonAlternative.com.





What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Thursday, December 15, 2011

As I was saying. . .

. . . about the band. . .

Before, during and after the American Legion gig, there were many dances, 'bull roasts', weddings and other affairs to keep us busy. Still, in spite of many requests for more 'current' material, we persisted in our same-old repertoire, rationalizing, being lazy, but having fun, doggedly tightening-up our musical simpatico until the question of marriage was broached.

No, I don't mean a revolutionary, four-way, gay partnership of some kind among the band members. I mean my fiance, and now wife of many, many wonderful years, were planning our wedding. The date was to be October 6, 1979. It was sometime in the spring of '79 and I gave some serious thought to how to approach a musical life combined with married life. Options were to continue in the same vein with the group, make a little spending money, and leave my new wife home alone many weekend nights, or pursue a new band opportunity that may be more challenging, more lucrative or more aesthetically satisfying- but that would still leave the other partner in my new marriage to fend for herself as much, if not more, as staying with the original band would. Fact is, for all my love of music, I enjoyed spending personal time with this person to whom I was committing the rest of my life. I enjoyed it, and still do, so much, that the choice was not terribly difficult, I can honestly say. So I announced my decision to my band-mates well in advance, set a 'last' date target, and after a particularly satisfying Saturday night performance at the legion hall, we said goodbye. There was no animosity, no bad feelings. There was simply honesty. We had a fine time socializing during breaks, as usual, and after it ended, I quit my 'professional' career.



What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

You just never know. . .

. . . how things will work out.

We had heard of Bread & Circuses (I love the name: ". . . as an expedient means of pacifying discontent or diverting attention from a source of grievance. Origin: 1910–15; translation of Latin pānis et circēnsēs; from a remark by the Roman satirist Juvenal on the limited desires of the Roman populace. . .") but had not been there. Then, a Groupon or Living Social or something coupon appeared in our email one day. I knew they offered live, local music and was anxious to go. They also have a wonderful outdoor patio where bands play in warmer weather (and cooler weather in a heated tent).

So we took our coupon and went. We were bowled over by the food and the service. Since I knew they frequently feature local musicians I asked if they would be interested in a solo, original pianist. One of the wait staff responded with the stock 'go to our website and there's a form. . . ' which I had already done months prior with futile result. But a nice lady behind the bar overheard our exchange and said, "What kind of music do you play?" and our relationship began.

Business card exchanges, email communication and within three days she offered me two dates. This Saturday is the second of what I hope to be many more.

You just never know.
RAY JOZWIAK
at Bread & Circuses Bistro
Saturday, DECEMBER 17, 2011 @ 8:00PM

“. . . Jozwiak has a broad and deep knowledge of music and one can hear little snippets of this and that running throughout his work, just enough to put you in the mind of a long forgotten favorite before he turns it inside out or upside down. . .”
Joe Hartlaub, Music Reviewer

Bread & Circuses Bistro
27 E. Chesapeake Avenue
Towson, MD 21286
410-337-5282
http://bandcbistro.com/




What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good Work!!. . .

. . . Kudos to the Baltimore City Police for no use of violence.
Kudos to Occupy Baltimore for no use of violence.
So camping is out, but a spokesman for OB said last night
that this movement is about much more than a small piece
of real estate. I for one, am glad to hear it.
---------------------------------------------------
(from WBAL.com)
"City police officers closed downtown streets overnight as officers in riot gear cleared McKeldin Square, the plaza where Occupy Baltimore protesters built an encampment.

Police closed Pratt Street and some surrounding streets just after 3 a.m. About 100 police officers were seen in the area and the Police Department's helicopter was seen flying above.

WBAL reporter Kim Dacey said police surrounded and entered the camp at about 3:30 a.m. City police began dismantling the tents at the downtown encampment at Pratt and Light streets, which had been "occupied" since October by participants of a nationwide movement mimicking Occupy Wall Street in New York City.

City police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told WBAL News that the scene was "extremely peaceful, very, very civil," and that the protesters were being moved to homeless shelters.

As of 5 a.m., Guglielmi said the process is still ongoing and that there would be more information shortly.

After police entered the square, some of the protesters left onto northbound Light Street, where police had also blocked the intersection with Lombard Street.

At 4 a.m., Dacey said some protesters told her that the action was mostly peaceful save for a few unspecified problems. Some of the protesters also said they had expected to get kicked out, but they didn't know it would be early Tuesday, Dacey said.

Unlike in other cities -- including Philadelphia, New York City, and Oakland, Calif. -- there were no significant clashes between the protesters and police reported.

The mayor's office issued the following statement:

"The City of Baltimore is committed to protecting individuals’ right to protest. However, our public parks and green-spaces should not be treated as permanent campgrounds and camping is prohibited. Individuals are free to peaceably assemble and demonstrate within the currently established guidelines. My administration is also committed to providing outreach and assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness.""




What do YOU think?
http://www.rayjozwiak.com/guestbook.html


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Please Visit
http://www.rayjozwiak.com



My Zimbio
Top Stories