Month / May, 2004

Got Da’ Blues

In a weak attempt to get myself prepared for my upcoming open-mic show I have been busy listening to one man blues recordings. Let ma just say that the blues makes me feel so good. I can’t really understand why, when what they are singing about is slavery, broken hearts, and the like. It’s all about suffering, yet I have a huge smile on my face.

*And no, not becasue I like slavery!* _(Smartass)_

It reminds me of the movie _The Jerk_ with Steve Martin, where after Steve’s character has a freak out, his black mother comes into comfort him and asks him if he wants to come out and sing some blues to which he responds “I don’t know why, but that music depresses me!”

the-jerk-movie

Like Father…

Roger at his first wedding

Some people think my dad and I look alike, but although my dad may be a cute little English dork it is still not cool to look like your dad. _I mean he’s my dad dude!_ Then my father was sent this picture by his first wife of their wedding 30 years ago. Everyone at the office is all giggly “You look like your dad.”

They were married for a few years, but it was apparently evident that it was not quite right. They are still friends if you’re concerned.

Now, I know it’s not cool to look like your dad and everything, but I do admit there is a resemblance.

Ben and Diane

A Foul Draft

Hey everybody! Isn’t it fun to think that we may be together soon? In Iraq, or Iran perhaps? Shooting up innocent people? Torturing prisoners? You, me, and a big old gun. I’m just so happy that I have the opportunity to join in a groundless war and kill for our maniacal president.

Just so that you know if you are aged 18-26 you will come with me… by law. It will be like a vacation. A vacation from sanity.

Congress.Org — Issues and Legislation

_(Or maybe it’s just brilliant bullshit designed to get us thinking.)_

Updates Up The Tree

Although Up The Tree has been _on again off again_ recently, let me assure you all I am still in full effect over here. I am just so busy that getting a message out is a little difficult at the moment, but I hope to post more regularly soon. My focus on this website was initially to post my thoughts about life, but it seems as of late a little too _article-y_ for my tastes. I hope to bring back the more personal posts to the site and slow down the diatribes.

So, how have you kids been? I feel like we haven’t talked in a long, long while. Up in the tree Diane and I are busy trying to enjoy the sun and spending much needed _nesting time_ together. Yesterday we went over to Brighton Beach and hung out with the Russians, who I must say dress very… provocatively. Men and women alike all dressing like flouncey lounge singers. AND THE BOOBS! Jesus, I mean what do russians eat to develop huge boobs? If you’ve never been to Brighton, it’s an amazing area predominantly Russian and Middle Eastern.

Musically, I am readying for my official first gig, which will be over at an open mic night in Brooklyn (please e-mail me if you’d like to know where and when). I have a new guitar that I am in love which is making playing much easier. The poetry I have been writing recently has also affected my lyric writing, which I hope will add new life to my compositions.

Work… Well, not really great right now, but I’m keeping positive and hoping for a vacation soon. There is just so much work that needs to get done and not enough time to accomplish it all.

But my personal projects are flourishing and keeping me interested in my profession. I even have new project which should be launching shortly, which I will give you good folks a preview before anyone else! Can you feel the excitement?

*Sorry, got carried away there.*

Enough about me, how are you.

Best,
_Ben Up The Tree_

Fruit

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Have you ever forgotten how yummy fruit is? It’s really tasty, super nutritious, and makes you feel good.

Have some blueberries.

_It’s on me._
(Not literally of course… figuratively.)

Superman’s Panties

Superman's Undies

Somewhere in the haze before I go to sleep, when my eyes are closed, I have strange thoughts. Sometimes as simple as questioning what’s in the boneless spareribs I had for dinner, but sometimes I have a full-fledged philosophical epiphany.

Last night I wondered in order for super-heroes to wear their flashy spandex body suits, they would require hours of design, approval, and manufacture to get to the final product. I wish I could be a super-hero uniform designer. Sure it’s a highly specialized field and you would probably not be able to show other outfits in your portfolio to other people.

I mean you couldn’t tell Dr. Octopus you had worked on Spider-Man’s outfit! He would definitely torture you to see Spidey’s billing information. Yes, you would need to keep it private… I wonder if you could design a villain’s outfit? Would he pay you, or just kill you. I love design and all, but not enough to die.

How could you advertise?

The Super-Villains would find you and… gulp… POW! On second thought I bet there is a super-hero designer who designs super-hero outfits. DESIGNOMAN! He (or She) could defend himself against the likes of super villains.

“No Catwoman, you know I can’t give out that sort of information about my clients. Now is it going to be the black spandex, or would you like to try pink? Pink is the new black you know.”

Ah well, it was worth a thought.

Awake at 3AM

These are the wasted hours
between excitement and romance
between take out and gumption
by yourself
alone
wishing your friends had more stamina
and LA weren’t so far away
these are the misspent days of my youth
that I wished I had spent
better spent
and unlike the past
used to intervene
in cigarettes and booze
I am the roadie
for my own life

Taking it Back

The following post uses strong language not suitable for some children, please discontinue reading if you are offended by strong language.

*Now, don’t get me wrong.*

I feel for the prisoners of the US Military that were abused, tortured, humiliated, raped, and any other outrageous act that was inflicted upon them. That my country’s military performed those acts is awful and should be punished to the fullest extent of international law.

HOW-EVER!

Let us not forget the thousands of people who have been killed, maimed, or terrified by a war that should NEVER HAVE HAPPENED! Let us not forget that we shouldn’t be there in the first place, let alone perform those horrible acts on prisoners.

* How about the bombs we dropped on innocent people?
* How about the military casualties to find nukes that weren’t there?
* How about the chemical weapons? I thought you said they had chemical weapons vans? Where the hell are they?
* How about the soldiers who die day after day to restore peace to a country that we have absolutely no business being in? Who don’t want us to be there?
* How about Osama? Where’s all that “evidence” that he was involved with Saddam? Was there any?
* How about this fictional war created to grab some oil?

Why don’t we _not only_ look at the horrible acts of some confused military personnel, but also at a groundless war? If there’s one thing I know about the military is soldiers don’t often jump unless instructed and lots of soldiers don’t jump unless ordered. Where does the accountability end? The soldiers? The Generals? Rumsfeld?

bq. �I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture,� -George Bush

Or, how about the maniacal president that started it. This war should never have happened! We went in to stop atrocities to people and instead we committed atrocities? No? Really? What do you think happens in wars? You think we went to iraq to give out puppies and lollypops? Wars are not generally a great place to find peace. Sure there was World War II and the Nazis, and somebody had to stop them, but they went in to other countries and killed and tortured innocent people because of their religion!

Wait, that sounds eerily familiar to me.

Reasons for my outrage
“Chain of Command”:www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040517fa_fact2
“HEARTS AND MINDS”:http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/?040517ta_talk_remnick
“The Price of Arrogance”:msnbc.msn.com/id/4933882
“Rape Rooms: A Chronology”:slate.msn.com/id/2100014

Spring

Oh, joy. Spring again! Now it’s undeniable. The flowers are falling from the tees and leaves are sprouting all over. It makes it hard to believe two months ago there were none.

It is the season for better spirits, resolutions, new projects, and of course _bitching BBQ parties._ The unfortunate part about urban living, is that there just aren’t many opportunities to BBQ… in New York at least. It’s the freedom of firing of the range and not having to worry about anything other than the plates you brought out the meat on… and I do mean meat people. Although I feel for our vegetarians in the audience, I don’t care what you marinate tofu in, it’s still tofu.

So, if you have access, please fire up the grill, put on your “Kiss the chef” apron and enjoy some animal flesh (or tofu if that’s what you prefer) for us who are without.