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The creative habit

I’m reading a wonderful book by choreographer Twyla Tharp about how to incorporate creativity into your daily life. She says to be creative, you have to build work habits that help you produce instead of sitting around, waiting for a lightning bolt.

It’s really inspiring, I highly recommend it.

There was this one chore I’ve put off for years: Disposing of a drawer full of tapes from a video diary I’d kept during a very strange, sad time in my life. (I didn’t have insurance, couldn’t afford a shrink.) While I was doing it, I thought of one day editing the whole thing into some kind of art piece but decided that was just too strange, even for me. But what to do with all those tapes?

I mean, for one thing, you don’t want to just toss something so personal in the trash and have it turn up somewhere. But I couldn’t afford one of those electromagnetic tape erasers, so I was stuck for a solution.

There they sat, stuck in a bottom drawer, something I’d never consciously think about until I had to move again. But I’m sure they were emanating bad vibes, anyway. Today I realized I really did need another drawer, and it was time. (This is, after all, the purging season.)

I sat down with a trashbag and a pair of scissors, yanking the recording tape out and cutting it off at the ends. Some of them were labeled, and I was tempted: “That year wasn’t such an awful summer, maybe I could look at just that one.” But I knew better, and I didn’t.

Now they’re done and all that negative karma’s been carted out to the curb, where it belongs. I’m glad I didn’t watch any of them; the person I am now wouldn’t relate to the person I was then.

The Baseball Project

How did I miss Vol. 1? This sounds like fun:

Love rock and baseball, too? Here’s a rare chance to put those passions together, courtesy of this all-star team of Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn, R.E.M.’s Scott McCaughey, Linda Piton and R.E.M.’s Mike Mills (pinch hitting for Peter Buck) – the 2011 road-trip lineup of The Baseball Project. Tunes on their new “Volume 2: High and Inside” album may harken some to the styles of the Beach Boys, Lou Reed or Bob Dylan. But the yarns are uniquely focused on baseball lore, with an emphasis on heroic originals (“Ichiro Goes to the Moon”) and beautiful losers, like Boston’s “chosen son” Tony Conigliaro (ruined by a fastball pitch to the eye) and ramblin’, gamblin’ Pete Rose, here given an easy walk on the “Pete Rose Way.” The Bigger Lovers warm up first.

North Star Bar, 27th and Poplar Sts., 8 p.m. Monday, $12/15, 215-787-0488, www.northstarbar.com

E. coli epidemic worsens

This is really horrible. But luckily for these people, they don’t have to worry about whether they can afford to go to the hospital, because this is a very expensive illness to treat:

FRANKFURT—Europe’s severe outbreak of Escherichia coli bacterial infections worsened further on Friday as more people succumbed to the lethal strain in Germany and around Europe.

Total reported cases in Germany reached 1,733, with 520 of those resulting in severe complications that can lead to kidney failure, according to the Robert Koch Institute, a research body funded by the German health ministry. Cases have been reported in at least 11 other European countries.

The Spanish, Portuguese and German governments said on Friday that they would request EU aid for farmers affected by the outbreak, which is costing farmers millions of euros as mountains of vegetables sit rotting and uneaten.

The source of the outbreak still hasn’t been found, and authorities continue to warn against eating raw lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. So far, 18 people have died from the strain, which is the deadliest outbreak of E. coli in modern history.

Safe over 55?

Not exactly.

In response, the GOP is doubling down on the idea that today’s seniors won’t be affected. That’s partly true. Ryan’s plan to convert Medicare into a limited insurance subsidy, the most controversial aspect of the budget, wouldn’t take effect until 2022.

But the proposal would also repeal last year’s health care law, which means reopening a coverage gap in Medicare’s prescription-drug benefit that the statute closed. The gap, commonly called the “doughnut hole,” requires seniors to pay 100 percent of any prescription costs after the annual total reaches $2,840 and until it hits $4,550. Those who spend more or less have at least three-quarters of the costs covered. Under the 2010 health law, Medicare will pay 7 percent of the cost of generic drugs and 50 percent on name-brand pharmaceuticals; by 2020, the doughnut hole will be closed.
Continue Reading »

New Anonymous video

Wingnut hero

Ralph Reed. Obviously, Republicans have gotten hold of that new pill that erases unpleasant memories!

Fund drive!

Still working hard, still asking for donations to support this work. I’m not talking about the people in the same boat – I’m talking about the people who have it, can spare it and still haven’t donated.

Please click here to donate. (Note the instructions for people who don’t have a Paypal account.)

As always, thanks for your support.

Lesson of the day

Anything or anyone the Kochs didn’t buy, Pete Peterson did.

Marcellus shale

Nothing is allowed to get in the way of fracking.

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