Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Word of the Day: Whilom

Word of the Day

whilom (adj)


Natalia was astonished to see Bernardo, her whilom inamorato, perambulating down the street. She quickly hid behind a convenient pot of shrubbery.


Can't believe I haven't posted here in a week. Blame it on turkey, traveling and a fugacious broadband connection. Why do wind storms play havoc with a cable internet hook-up when cable TV remains unaffected?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Last Night's Adventure

I was working in some bureaucratic place--a large, old-fashioned office building with many long hallways and shiny floors. The atmosphere was oppressive, like something out of Orwell or Kafka. My assignment was to write a letter, a task I took very seriously. I labored over it, getting the wording just right (I thought).

When I was finally finished, I took it to my "boss," who was in a large, dark, classroom-like office on the other side of the building. This boss was a woman, somewhat like someone I used to work for but with a different, uglier face. She was non-plussed by my efforts, as she had been working on the letter herself. (There seemed to have been some miscommunication about the assignment.)

I was embarrassed and angry, but careful not to let it show. She let me read the letter she had written. (I have no memory of what the letter was about, by the way, just of its style.) Her version was, I thought, illogical and full of highly emotional language--totally unlike the carefully neutral, businesslike tone of my letter.

The scene ended with me feeling that I had to agree that hers was better, even though it seemed utterly ridiculous to me.

An annoying dream that made me glad to wake up!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

"All I want for christmas is"

According to Google

All I want for Christmas is . . .

a Bombed-Out Dollhouse
a Real Good Tan
My Two Front Teeth
a comedy about two New York City children who launch a hilarious scheme to get what they most want this holiday
a Grinning Alien Sasquatch
a few more customers
a service plan
a dukla prague away kit
a Job
a Tax Increase
a Good Night's Sleep
a Gang Bang
a sense of purpose
a new me
a Glow in the Dark Fish
a Break
a US$10 million Zeppelin
a Soil Sample from You
Flash for Palm Archive Daemonite
My Son Back
the presumption of innocence
a guy in striped tights
a wonderful, funny story that our family has enjoyed for the past 13 years
an e-mail program that works
My Country Back

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

"They do abuse the king that flatter him. ... Whereas reproof, obedient and in order, fits kings, as they are men, for they may err.''
--Shakespeare, Pericles

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Consciousness Streaming (brain dump nonsense)

Consciousness Streaming

Is Jesus a Republican? I don't thiiinnkkk so . . . Why am I always trying to read three books at once? Takes me forever to finish them. I remember as a child that I could polish off even a thick book in a day or two, because I concentrated on one at a time. But nothing seems to hold my interest like that anymore. The influence of too much time spent "juggling" work tasks, perhaps . . . Why do fast-food workers always ask you if its "for here or to go" -- even after you've just told them that it's "for here" . . . Why don't you tape all your phone conversations, add a drum track and offer them for sale on eBay as underground rap recordings? . . .

Monday, November 15, 2004

Word of the Day: Bruxing

Word of the Day

bruxing (n)

Nervous grinding and clenching of the teeth

Desmond's incessant nocturnal bruxing drove his college roommate mad.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Random Acts of Poetry

Random Acts of Poetry

Late November

Almost over:
The paper drops
like a wizened leaf
from a tree in winter.

The sun kindles a landscape,
spreading elegies of fire.
White fingers
appear at the windows.

I open a book, I write notes
like a prisoner
at the bottom of a well,
a dark place.

The house is full of ticking,
wind runs the city.
Twilight comes early, lamps
lit against the shriveling day.

Friday, November 12, 2004


True or False

The less you know about someone, the more normal they seem.

What people think you said is usually sillier than what you actually said.

Truth tellers should wear running shoes.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Consciousness Streamed

The drop in the temperature doesn't bother me so much as the slant: the stark sun hanging low in the sky, even at noon, forcing me to squint and casting elongated, film-noir shadows . . . Some people have festooned their facades with Xmas decorations already--not just those annoying twinkle lights but styrofoam candy canes and plastic elves--really puts me in the Yule mood (not) . . . Why do I see so many pairs of running shoes suspended by their laces from electrical wires, hanging over the middle of the street? Do people just get tired of their shoes and fling them up there? Whose job is it to take them down and what do they do with them? . . .

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Music of the Spheres

Music of the Spheres

Our solar system is like a giant orchestra. The plasma and magnetic fields generated by the planets can be converted into sounds audible to the human ear, and radio-wave detectors aboard various space probes have recorded this "music." Give a listen at NASA Space Sounds. Come to think of it, the planets sound more like Tibetan monks than an orchestra.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Streaming Consciousness

Streaming Consciousness

An odd humming noise outside this morning and a smell of tar. The building next door was getting a new roof, I think . . . Still feeling a bit of an election hangover . . . Halloween already seems like a year ago. The jack-o'-lantern is still here, rotting away, looking like the head of a decrepit geezer . . . Bought a "dream catcher" at the dollar store to put over my son's bed. He has bad dreams, seems to like the idea of this Native American thingamabob, made with loops and strings, beads and feathers . . . listened to "Mind Games" today, for uplift ("pushing the barriers, planting seeds / playing the mind guerrilla / chanting the mantra, peace on earth") . . . Why am I sleepy at 6 PM but wide awake at 11? . . . Alarming news: my cell phone battery has been recalled by the manufacturer, because it can "short-circuit, overheat and burn users [and] cause smoke and property damage." What next? . . .

Monday, November 08, 2004

Word of the Day: Makebate

Word of the Day

makebate (n)

A person who creates discord or conflict

"I am no makebate, no inciter of quarrels," said Nelson. "I simply think that a discussion of one's religion shouldn't be taboo in polite company."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

"The battlefield is now deserted, but the smoke of spent gunfire lingers in the morning mist. Underfoot, the earth is softened with the blood of Democracy’s wounds. The brazenly triumphant Warrior King calls for peace, but few of his former enemies, deceived countless times already, risk trusting his empty promises. It is time to take to the hills and regroup for another day. As has been shown throughout the ages, when battling a foe with superior force and overwhelming odds, a guerilla war with focused goals and cunning strategy is the only path of resistance."

--from "Out of the Ashes" at Starlight News

Friday, November 05, 2004

People are angry . . .

Anger Management

Fight Club, anyone? Seen on Craig's List:

I predict we'll see more such rage, especially if the rumors that are starting to fly about rigged electronic voting systems gain credence.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Haiku of the Day

Haiku of the Day

Gullible Red States
You know not what you have done
Too bad for the rest

--Jay Hipps (via salon.com)

Sometimes the voices are wrong . . .

Note to George

Sometimes the voices in your head are wrong.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always."
--Mahatma Gandhi

Random Acts of Poetry: Meander

Random Acts of Poetry


For a moment,
the shining street was lost.
Fog curtain,

Heliopolis behind a scrim.
The day found definition
in a ghost aperture.

I passed blunt corners
where stoics stood implacable
as men on poker cards.

At Riverview's promenade
the gray birds were massing--
rock dove, living stone.

On the spiral walk
a figure beckoned
between ash and hawthorn.

I stepped forward;
someone said, "here you are."
Was I sorry I had come?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Record Turnout

I was surprised. There were more people voting than usual, but there was no one in line for my precinct's machine. I only had to wait for the woman tending the machine to finish cooing over a little girl in the next line over. I think it helped that I went to vote around 11 AM -- after the morning crowd but before the lunchtime crowd.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Today is the Day of the Dead in Mexico, a holiday for celebrating dead ancestors. It's not Halloween Part Two--I don't think Halloween (Samhain) is celebrated in Mexico--though it may appear that way to us in the US. Mexicans are joyful today as they decorate altars with skulls and skeletons. Quite a contrast to the fear, morbidity and denial that death inspires up here.