Monthly Archives: November 2006

A Poem laced with bleakness, truth, and patriotism

You hear of wars of long lost days

And how still the world is cursed today

The bags of men are never seen,

Media produced our consciouses clean


But fighting men will never die

Not while fear and hate survive

There is a place where souls can rest

But it seems to be with who fought the best


So fight on in search of peace

Only to provoke those who now seek release

They will wander in the desert more

And wonder what we ever fought for


And yet the place where life is worse

Is the place where men only fill their purse

A soul not dead, yet not alive

In America, it will survive


Distant and longing for a cause to fight

But locked away, to their eyes no light

Settle for checks and sell your soul

is the motto of the rich; in money we roll.

Gidon Kremer article

Here it is, three years of private violin instruction and one year of orchestra at work. In this article, I pull out all the buzzwords: “staccato,” “harmonics,” “very pretty and nice”.

Go get yourself some culture at La’s The Place.

History Lesson

At one point in his swampy, poorly punctuated tirade, Tom made an interesting error. He spelled our site’s name “Gather ‘Round Children” instead of the traditional/correct “Gather Round, Children.”

Tom’s use of an apostrophe before “Round” implies that the word is slang for “Around,” as in “Gather Around [the radio for some old-fashioned story time], Children”. This makes a certain sense, as it was the explicit goal of our radio show to get people to gather ’round the radio, just like in the old days.

However, Tom and most of our listeners are oblivious to the original purpose of the GRC website when Clarence Ohbigey and I began it in 1965. The site first appeared “Gather, Round Children” as a resource for the unionization of the young and obese. We held rallies and protests, championing Round Rights, and gained quite a bit of attention (particularly from Time Magazine.) What did “Gather, Round Chilren” in was the media maelstrom that came about when it was discovered that co-founder Gabe Durham, me, was not obese. I quickly fired back with a “Doesn’t that make me all the more heroic, in a way?” but the smart-ass media kept quoting my famous “We Chubb-os Gotta Stick Tagetha” speech (completely out of context) and Clarence and I declared G,RC, as it was dead.

Clarence went on to found the very successful Round Alliance ( He even ran for president in 1969 and again in 1971. I continued to maintain the GRC site under a new premise: old-timey radio (which was then not old-timey at all but quite recent). Now, to change the name to “Gather ‘Round, Children,” I would have had to purchase an apostrophe to add to the marquee at GRC Headquarters. I was in a tight spot, now that Clarence got 100% of the profits from G,RC’s popular “I am a round child” t-shirt line, so, in the end, no apostrophe was added.

Same url, different comma placement… “Gather Round, Children” was reborn, like a phoenix from the ashes.

Thomas got involved in the GRC project in 1970. After my first wife left me due to my long hours at GRC headquarters, I realized that I could use some help running the old-timey radio show. I put an ad in the paper (“Co-host Wanted, Shirtless a Plus”) and Tom was the only one who answered. Hoping to leave the shame of my “G,RC” days behind, I never told him about the site’s near-forgotten past. Hence the lack of an apostrophe. Hope that clears things up.

Inauguration: Living Nightmare

My last three days have been a living nightmare. The indescribable pressure hurled on to me by the known-to-be-overbearing, Gabe Durham has led to sleepless nights naturally followed by significant family tension, which need I remind you, is a potential disaster in a season such as this. Many of you, undoubtedly loyal to Gabe’s charm, wit, and homemade Biodome 5 models made of clay and painted in silver and gold will naturally protest my exposure of Gabe’s all-business, hard-ass attitude and you will inquire, “What has Gabe actually done to you?” Save you words. Those of you who aren’t phonies, which I suspect is at the very most, 4 or 5 of you, know that it’s not about what he did or said; It’s about what medium he chooses to express himself to me. That’s right children, long gone are the days of a firm handshake and an eye to eye conversation (despite whatever some military propaganda/recruitment commercial might tell you). All that I get from Gabe Durham these days is dysfunctional EMAILS; business in nature, but laced with personal greetings that I cannot confirm to be genuine. I mean, “Yours Truly”… Really Gabe? What’s worse is that each email is sent to my personal email account. Some of you children that haven’t even graduated from a University likely have no understanding of the manipulative power-play that is happening here. You all can see that I work hard everyday to provide for my family; when I get home each day after the sun’s long gone, I check my personal email and expect Friend Requests, Friend Detail Requests, Wall Post Notices (if there are any, which I’m proud to say there generally are), and Blocked Spam Notifications. Now, in the midst of real substance, Gabe Durham figuratively walks in my front door and stabs me in the back Brutus-style with his deception and subliminal threats. He thinks that just because he has a nice new haircut, he can write me hundreds of emails screaming at me to hurry up with my first post. In preparation for my inaugurational debut on the presidential Gather ‘Round Children, I deserve nothing but positive vibes and supportive man bridges. I don’t need some performance driven parent figure to suck away all creative juices; frick. Give me time. My literary reputation is ON THE LINE.

Maybe if Gabe’s only communication with his father wasn’t emails from “” we wouldn’t be having this problem.

Welcome to Gather Round, Children. As always, I’m Gabe Durham…


You caught me not posting. Well, here’s what’s going on. First, we had a very successful literary event at my house last weekend. Stories were shared, tears were shared, feedback was fed, subsequent revisions to stories were made. Thanks again to everyone who made it.

Right now, I’m focusing on grad school stuff and less on publishing sweet articles online. That said, expect another article at La’s The Place next week about a classical music concert at UCLA.

Also… It has occured to me that one man showcasing his writing and music was never what Gather Round, Children was about, so I’m enlisting co-host Thomas Bush and possibly some special guests to revive the GRC community. Speaking of special guests, previous GRC special guest Brian Jones may soon become the next Big Lots! spokeself. If so, the Gather Round Children Show will go ahead and take all the credit.

They Want to Replace You With Robots

Hey folks. That Lovely Sparrows review is up, after weeks in limbo. I’m going to read it right now soI can remember what I thought of the CD. I’m pretty sure I liked it…

Fireside Chat #23

Celebrity-Stalking, Part 3: Slow and Steady Wins the Chase

I read a disturbing statistic—it’s on Wikipedia, so you know it’s true—Only 20% of stalkers are women. What? Come on ladies, do your part. I was already tailoring this series to the fraught female homespouses (my catchy replacement for the now-cliché “desperate housewives,” tell your friends), but now I’m tempted to dissuade male would-be stalkers so the gals can have a go at this growing career.

That’s right—career. You didn’t think you’d be doing this pro bono, did you? Some people may tell you it’s somehow more “authentic” to stalk only out of the perversion in your heart, but I’m of the emerging school of stalking scholars that will tell you that if you’re serious, make sure to get paid.

Veterans get corporate sponsorship from the start, while beginners need to pay their dues. If this is your first time, ask around the community: Local restaurateurs are a good shot, especially up-and-comers whose Wall of Fame boasts only Pauly Shore and Richard Kiel. Call around twenty places—one of them will bite. If they’re new to this kind of sponsorship, you can talk them through the following progression:

Stage One: Letters

Send a series of increasingly fanatical letters to your celeb, always under a false name. Use Eminem’s “Stan” as your template. First, come off as really respectful. Talk about the movies he was in, which was your favorite, and why. At the letter’s climax, subtly allude to a deeper obsession just beneath the surface like, “Christian Bale, you’ve opened the gates and seized my heart. I’m as sure that we should be together as I am that Howdy’s has the tastiest burrito in town.”

To which he’ll say, “I don’t know about the ‘we should be together’ part, but a burrito sure would hit the spot.”

If he writes back, take it as a sign that you have a good chance of getting married and having dozens of his children, and reply suggesting just that. If he doesn’t reply, send an angry note threatening not to have his children: “Perhaps I shall die as barren as Howdy’s nacho platter is tasty.” That’ll confuse him. Maybe even make him think that fathering the child of an obsessed fan was what he always wanted.

Stage Two: The Phone

Find his personal phone number. He’ll probably be unlisted, but there are plenty of people you can pay to get you this kind of info. Call it a couple of times, and, when he answers, hang up. After a couple of those, ask him if he recognizes your voice, even if he couldn’t possibly. Don’t try to get him talking yet, just offer a quick, “Eat at Howdy’s” before hanging up.

Stage Three: In Person

Try to run into him around town. Another advantage of local sponsorship is that if you’ve been doing your job right, he should be a regular at Howdy’s by now. So you head over to Howdy’s (maybe they’ll even feed you), and you wait. It’s the hardest part, I know, but you wouldn’t be doing this if you didn’t have time to kill. When he shows up, make sure that the establishment you’re endorsing gets their autographed photo or whatever, then approach him.

Stage Four: The End…?

What happens next is up to you, lunatic. I got you to this moment, but I can’t tell you what to say. I will remind you that it’s absolutely unacceptable to murder the celebrity you’re creeping on. I said it once, I’ve got no truck with stalker-killers, stalker-maimers, even stalker toe-stubbers.

You can ask him to marry you (he won’t), you can ask him to have a wild fling with you (he might), you can start showing up at his house (watch for dogs), or follow his band across the country (watch gas prices), or start a fan site badmouthing his wife (she doesn’t understand him like you do).

Or you can end it right there at your first meeting together. Say, “I’m the one who’s been writing and calling, thanks for eating at Howdy’s,” and walk off into the sunset a success, hoping to gleam a little fame and maybe get Nike’s attention when the time comes to pursue the next lucky star.

But remember, this was never about you. Months later, your celeb-of-choice will be standing in a circle of A-listers swapping stalker stories at the Academy Awards, and Jack Nicholson will turn to him, “What about you, Christian Bale? Who was your craziest stalker?” Bale will look away for a moment of reflection, smile, and say, “Well, Jack, there was this one time…”

Music Piracy Hits the Streets

Coming soon… Lovely Sparrows review.


It’s not just free songs… it’s a lifestyle.