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Showing posts from January, 2008

Mr. Big Mouth - The New Intellectual Children's Television Mascot

The National Intellectual Television Company has announced plans for a new children's show called Mr. Big Mouth.

The show will follow the trials and tribulations of Mr. Big Mouth as he tries to make his way through his neighborhood.

He has several friends that help him along the way. Mr. Red Head and Mr. John Kaczanowksi. In several episodes Mr. Big Mouth runs into realistic troubles that plague most middle aged men: He gets throat polyps from smoking too many cigarettes, kidney stones from too much coffee and a heart condition from his sedentary lifestyle. Mr. Red Head suffers persecution from the brunette and blonde-headedmajority of the neighborhood in a Sunday School experiment gone horribly awry. In a later season one episode John Kaczanowski gets into a car accident that severs his vocal chords and he needs to learn Ameslan in order to communicate with his friends.

Episode Number One: Bouncin' Off The Walls

Mr. Big Mouth learns to cope without caffeine.

February Has Always Been the Melancholy Month

Seems like the abandonment always occurs in February

if it doesn't come then I know that that is the time in which the roots are developed.

The Great Lakes surrounded me for Twenty Five years and I sometimes wonder if when I left them the protection that they offered faded out slowly.

For the first three years away I felt like my heart was still there.

After five years the final nail had been driven.

And now I am nowhere near the magical clear waters.

And now that life there, and its protections are blurring into the distorted bits of images reserved for my earliest of memories.

Last Night I Dreamed That I Broke My Leg

When I was younger I was prone to impulsive acts.

Running in traffic, acting histrionic, etc. -

Last Night I dreamed that I had broken my leg and that I was hobbling about with crutches.

I was still jumping off of embankments and stuff like that.

It appeared as though I had not learned my lesson.

Those were the sorts of things I would have done during my Youth In Grande Vitesse.

The dream made me somewhat homesick and it also recalled several other dreams that I had several years ago. I wonder if, when I get older, my memories of the dreams will begin to blur into the memories of my waking life in Newtonian Space.

I Have Always Lived In The Living Room

I used to lay in front of the nighttime television set and then I would have to go for a joyride in the darkened country. Sometimes I did this in the winter with snow on the ground. Sometimes I would do this in the summer with the nice warm air breathing into my open window.

I think that I enjoyed being alone more than anything. Not because I didn't like being around others - more because I liked being able to get lost in my thoughts. Driving through the blackened night was always relaxing. My mind would wander and then maybe I would find myself at the twenty four hour grocery or at the donut shop.

Then I would go home and watch some recorded entertainment. I've never really enjoyed checking out what is on. I have always enjoyed exerting control over what I watch.

Coming Soon! The Plaza of the Mind Interview with Ken Nakagawa!

Ken Nakagawa in Living on Tokyo Time.

I am happy to announce that Ken Nakagawa, the star of the 1987 film Living on Tokyo Time, has accepted an invitation to do an interview for the Plaza of the Mind. Living on Tokyo Time has been a long time favorite of mine. I have always felt that the film was the most accurate representation of that period of time. Other films of that era felt contrived and stylized while Living on Tokyo Time felt photo-journalistic. I also felt that the basic story of a Japanese-American man with no roots to his heritage meeting a woman from Japan resonated with me due to similarities in my own upbringing.

Ken Nakagawa and Minako Ohashi in Living on Tokyo Time.

I have long sited Mr. Nakagawa's understated performance in the film as being one of the biggest influences on my fiction and its sense of pacing. This interview is a thrill in that I have been able to express my admiration for Mr. Nakagawa's performance and have gotten the answers to a few ques…

Jukt Micronics Update

'Perhaps I should create a new image of Stephen Glass specifically for the Plaza of the Mind, something that is half Glass and half Christensen. I feel that this would be a more accurate representation of the Glass that I have come to know and admire.'

About a year ago I made the following statement here at the Plaza:

I sincerely think this guy is one of the greatest Americans alive today.

Here is another comment worth reviewing:

"Jukt Micronics"

Ex Journo Wrote:

Stephen Glass wrote bogus stories for only one further his own ambitions. He didn't care that he put other people's work and careers at risk, he never thought about what damage he might do with the misinformation he was churning out, it didn't matter to him that he violated the most important relationship in any professional writer's career by repeatedly lying to his editors. He knew he had cleverness and charm and he used those qualities to deceive his friends and colleagues and ma…

The Plaza of the Mind Interview with Filmmaker David Blair!

I first saw David Blair's Wax: or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees when I was still a student at University. I remember looking at it and not knowing what to make of it. I remember that I could not get a grasp on the film but something about it captured my imagination and so I decided to watch it again about a year later and it was during that second viewing that I realized that the film would become one of my top-ten all time favorites.

I later found out that Wax: or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees had the honor of being the world's first online feature-film. I highly recommend you check it out here. Mr. Blair also has an electronic journal that you may peruse here.

I was thrilled that Mr. Blair accepted an invitation to the Plaza of the Mind. Please note that this interview was actually conducted during the Spring of 2007 but for various reasons I have just now been able to release it.

[The Plaza of the Mind quotes appear in Bold-type, Mr. Blair's i…

North Kent Guild

We walk into the headquarters and we do not know what to expect.

It has always been reputed as 'a place for the discussion of un-ordinary reality'.

'I seem to have experienced this for most of my life', she said.

The floor plan is quite similar at every North Kent Guild building. It is arranged in an A shape. With the entrance at the Apex and doors to the lush garden at each of the ends. The center space contains a beautiful fountain that is only visible through the windows of the lobby.

The restrooms are in the basement. There is also a banquet room down there with a dance floor and a PA system.

Plaza of the Mind Interview with Tesco Vee Coming Soon!

I am proud to announce that Tesco Vee, a man that may have, arguably, saved my life growing up in West Michigan, has agreed to participate in the Plaza of the Mind's Interview series!

Tesco Vee, for the uninitiated, is the frontman of the legendary hardcore band the Meatmen.

Stay tuned as I speak to Tesco Vee about our favorite West Michigan hot-spots and the history of his phenomenal band.

Greg Lester's Mr. Mann Has Been Completed!

Plaza of the Mind readers would be well served to check out my long time collaborator Greg Lester's amazing Mr. Mann. Mr. Mannwas Mr. Lester's Story of the Month for the past year. He has recently finished the story and you can check it out at his Electronic Journal.

I have been a huge fan of Mr. Lester's work since we met in 1991 and he never disappoints!

I Think Of Steve Conway More Often Than Is Probably Healthy For Me

Grand Rapids Michigan
Catholic Central High School

Regular PoTM readers may recall a recent post concerning my idea for a Cockroach Armour and the subsequent ridicule that my Freshman Biology teacher implied by his silence.

The following is the history of my first meeting with Steve Conway:

Kurt Weller walks into the Biology room on the first day of school. There are several large black topped lab tables. Kurt sits down at one of the free seats near a young man with glasses and a crew cut.

Kurt: Hello.

Steve: Oh brother.

And, even though Steve and I became closer later, due mostly to our being forced to wrestle during Phys Ed and the fact that Steve accused me of making him vomit after every match we developed a sort of symbiotic relationship fueled by our love of Anime and the Cold War.

Steve Conway influenced me in a way that few others did.

He was sort of like everything that was inside of me that I was afraid to let out. I think that I hated him somewhat because of that fact but I a…

Plaza of the Mind Interview with Barbara Morgenstern Coming Soon!

I have recently begun work on an interview with musician Barbara Morgenstern, whose video for her song The Operator, I recently posted over at the Outer Channel Archives. I actually had never heard of Ms. Morgenstern until her song was playing while I did some apparel shopping with my wife a couple of weeks ago. The song blew me away and I carefully memorized the main refrain of the song to ensure that I could later find it online.

What I found was an artist who had recorded a number of albums - which I downloaded over at EMUSIC - and a singular voice that seems fresh and yet familiar at the same time.

Ms. Morgenstern was gracious enough to accept an invitation to the Plaza of the Mind.

Please stay tuned!

Web Ouija Experiment #001

Is BB Gabor near? Yes. Does BB Gabor want to speak? No. Will he come to me in a dream? No. Will BB Gabor ever speak to me? Yes. How long will I have to wait for BB Gabor to speak to me? Check back. Does BB Gabor exist in the ether? Yes. Shall I check back in May? Yes.

When it Was Summer We Wanted Winter and When It Was Winter We wanted Spring To Come Back To Us Again... We Never Did Go Swimming And I Am Sure...

We like the Springtime.

It is fresh and warm and there are cool breezies.

Penultimate Woodland Journey Through Space and Time

I used to spend more time in the woods but when I did I was in the place that I had grown up and so the woods seemed more of a natural extension of my personality.

Now I am someplace else and the woods are foreign to me.

They feel quite ancient and they seem to be covering up something that happened a long time ago. Something quite big, something bigger than anything I have seen up until now, even in the history books, something unreal.

A state of unreality must have existed in these woods.

My native woods held a magic as well, but the feeling was one of mischief rather than the foreboding danger that I feel in the woods out here.

Something tells me that I will be spending more time in the woods soon. But it will be as a surveyor and a documenter rather than an explorer. There will be nothing to explore as exploration suggests a lack of knowledge.

This will transcend that.

I will walk into the woods as though I own them.

And I will own them as much as I own my central nervous system.

A Note on Image Dimensions

Regular visitors to the Plaza of the Mind will be aware that I use many images for illustrative purposes. I have decided that I want all of my images to be in a new standardized sizing format. I feel that it is important for all of the images to share the exact same dimensions. I am still working out which size and aspect ratio will be the best and the resizing/standardization process will begin soon.

The images will also be corrected and given the 'Official Plate' treatment and hosted at the new Plaza of the Mind Image Conservatory. Let me thank you for your patience in the interim.

Kurt Weller

Herpolsheimer Rocket Express c. 1975

I always rode alone as the train would circle the basement.

I would look down on the toy section, the escalators and the huge bins of markdown.

Later they put a big face on it but it was a rocket for awhile. I liked the idea of a rocket train in the basement of the department store. You climbed these stairs and the train would come and there would be one kid in the train already. He would get out, you would get in and Mother would watch you go around.

And you felt like everyone was looking at you but they were really checking out the bargains.

And then they yanked it all down and now the memory gets more and more distant and before long will seem to me what it must seem to you: a story about a rocket train in the basement of a department store.