Thursday, June 30, 2005

David Lynch's weather report

From Film Director to Weatherman

David Lynch tells us what the weather is doing in Los Angeles, in a daily webcast, at DAVIDLYNCH.COM/dailyreport/. OK . . . but I'd prefer that he make a movie.

Face Generator

Funny Face

The Eric Myer Photography site features a random face generator that allows you to combine 20 different head shots (mostly of, shall we say, nonconformists) to make new faces. Loads of puerile fun, and it might even serve as a brainstorming tool for creating fictional characters.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Dental Hygiene


Visited the dentist today to have my six-month check-up and teeth cleaning. I always wonder why the hygienist keeps asking questions ("Do you floss?" "Do you smoke?") when she has her fingers and that little mirror in my mouth. I'm forced to answer with "uh-huh" and "unh-unh," like a Neanderthal. She kept asking me if I was "OK," even though I was just lying there calmly, with my eyes closed, while she hacked away at my mouth with a pickax. Maybe she thought I had fainted. I kept thinking about cave exploration, torture devices and the pros and cons of obsessive teeth brushing.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Random Acts of Poetry

Random Acts of Poetry

Pink Slip

Following the directions
of a clock's hands,
I saw newspapers
flying through a pale sky.

I walked in zigzags, thinking
check, checkmate,
avoiding each "buddy"
wanting change.

Afternoon circulated,
then was cancelled
as the day collapsed
like a leaky balloon.

Indifferent twittering
bounced off a wall,
and I wished all commuters
were monks in India.

All the while,
time throbbed in my temples,
as I composed prayers
to the great Abracadabra.

That night,
the words of my diary marched
like ants across a page.
By morning

I was a professional
shoe tier, meditating
upon the Titanic's orchestra
sliding into a cold, black sea.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What I'm listening to

Musical Notes

Boynton dared me to take this music quiz:

Total volume of music on your computer:

122 MB. I don't think that's much by today's standards. I tend to burn music to CD and then wipe it off my hard drive.

The last album you purchased was:

I haven't purchased one in a while, but I think it was Finest Hour by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Brazilian jazz. Blame it on the bossa nova. I often buy music that I can listen to while working (i.e., that doesn't demand too much concentration or make me want to dance around the room).

Song playing right now:

None right now.

Five songs you’ve been listening to a lot recently, from several genres:

I tend to listen to entire albums, not just songs, but . . .

"Wonderful World," Eva Cassidy. Cover of the old Louis Armstrong song.
"Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)," John Williams. Not because I really want to. My son is a big Star Wars fan.
"Thorns of Glory," The Plagues. Someone gave me this independent art-rock CD, and I enjoy it when I'm in the mood for that sort of thing.
"I Am the Sky," Paramahansa Yogananda. For relaxing.
"Just a Little Bit," 50 Cent. Smutty and hilarious. I only listen to this in the car on the radio, because my son always wants to listen to the "Z-100" current-hits station. 50 is a poet, of sorts.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Longest Word?

The Longest Word?

Like to impress people with your big words? Try methionylalanylthreonyl ... leucine. The full word (here) contains 64,060 letters and refers to a type of protein containing 8,797 amino acids. Bet you can't say that one ten times fast.

(via The Presurfer)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

"We all have at least two sides. The world we live in is a world of opposites. And the trick is to reconcile those opposing things. I've always liked both sides. In order to appreciate one you have to know the other. The more darkness you can gather up, the more light you can see too."
--David Lynch

Monday, June 20, 2005

Last Night's Adventure

Last Night's Adventure

I was giving my brother's friend (a teenage boy; this took place a long time ago) a ride home late at night. When we got to his house, we started arguing about something--I can't remember what. He bit my finger! I was so angry that I slugged him, got out of the car and walked away. After a while, I realized that I shouldn't leave the car with him, so I walked back. The car was gone and so was the kid. His creepy relatives were there, however, just hanging out in the driveway. I asked one of them, an ugly older man wearing a dark business suit, what had happened to the car. He said it had been moved to a parking lot up the street and offered to walk with me to it. It turned out that the "parking lot" was actually the enormous underground parking garage for a huge nightclub, the outside of which was covered with glowing signs and neon. (The "signs" were blank, however.) We went inside, to the club's office, which had red walls and garish furniture, like a Hollywood whore house. An old woman in a white fur-lined bathrobe, who seemed to be in charge, told us where to find the car in the garage. When we went down to the garage, however, there had been a fire and all the cars had been destroyed. I woke up. (A variation on the anxiety dream, I guess, directed by my internal David Lynch.)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Random Acts of Poetry

Random Acts of Poetry


A baby cries
beneath each rock,

in this strange film
dedicated to the wet salt

and roses of memory,
with its meandering

soundtrack of soprano ahhs
and harp songs.

My part is to walk
a thousand pathways,

evading the maintenance men,
who pick up hearts with spikes

and coo in the language of birds:
We must

arrange our exits patiently,
as the script winds

to its climax,
long-awaited and carved in stone.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Vintage Base Ball

"The ballist hit a sockdolager on a jimjam"

I'm not much of a sports fan, but I enjoyed taking my baseball-obsessed Little Leaguer to observe a vintage ball game played by 1860s rules today. The game seemed a lot more like softball than modern baseball, and there were no gloves used. The players wore antique (reproduction) uniforms like the one above, and said things like "well done!" when someone got a base hit, which made us laugh. The program listed some of the 1860s game lingo, which we also found amusing:

striker (means batter)
mascot (batboy)
the garden (the outfield)
muff (error)
muckle (power)
kicking (complaining to the umpire)
ballist (player)
muffin (unskilled player)
crank (fan)
hand down (out)
ace (run)
timber (bat)
jimjam (wild pitch)
sockdolager (a long hit)
outshoot (curveball)
cake (player of little skill)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bond movie flow chart

Bond. James Bond

The formula may be shaken (not stirred), but it's still a matter of filling in the blanks: a Bond movie flow chart.

(via Incoming Signals)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Word of the Day: Omphaloskepsis

Word of the Day

omphaloskepsis (n)

Navel-gazing, especially as an aid to meditation; introspection

As the grass grew waist high and the weeds bloomed, Victor seemed a victim of procrastination. But it was more that he preferred omphaloskepsis to yard work.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Absolutely Nothing About Michael Jackson

Absolutely Nothing About Michael Jackson

Observed in my travels today: two dead chickens and a dead pigeon in the street about a block from where I live. They seemed to have fallen out of a disintegrating cardboard box. They had their heads and all their feathers, so it wasn't clear what killed them. It's unusual to see chickens in this urban area, although I suppose some people keep them. (A morning rooster crow is not unheard of.) I suspect they were the victims of a (cue scary violins) . . . ritual slaying. I've heard rumors that adherents of Santeria, a religious practice that involves animal sacrifice, live around here. According to the Wikipedia, "Chickens are the most common form of sacrifice; their blood is offered to the Orisha [a type of spirit]. Drum music and dancing are used to induce a trance state in specific participants, who may become possessed by an Orisha who then speaks through them." Supposedly, though, the animals are cooked and eaten afterwards, not put in a box and dumped in the street. Curious.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Franconia Notch, June 3, 2005

Up a Notch

My friend took some vertiginous photos of New Hampshire's stunning Franconia Notch State Park on a recent visit. Check them out at:

Franconia Notch, June 3, 2005

"The Picture of Everything"

It's All Too Much

Take the concept behind the Sgt. Pepper cover, expand on it exponentially, and you just might come up with something like The Picture of Everything. Sit back and let the evening go.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Random Acts of Poetry

Random Acts of Poetry

12 Hours

Afternoon, and my hand plows
the grass tops

that wave like delirious crowds
along the melting blacktop.

I scrawl ridiculous scenarios
across my chalkboard mind.

At sunset, a madman might see
stage-flat horizons of burning copper,

a sugar-cube city dissolving
in some dark liquid.

Tonight, the sky is a bowl of black fish.
The wind spins seeds

across a clamshell moon,
and the wires above us

vibrate with questions
that will fizzle like sparklers by dawn.

Friday, June 10, 2005



"Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish."

"A big fish in a small pond will eventually starve."
--John Leax

Thursday, June 09, 2005

54-year-old baby

Big Baby (or Money Changes Everything)

Whatever. A 54-year-old man dresses like a baby, wears diapers and sleeps in a crib. Some extreme variation on the Peter Pan syndrome, I guess.

Sultry Day


Ninety degrees at the moment (32 celsius), but it feels hotter. On a day like today, I like nothing better than biting into a cool plum. (I think Wiliam Carlos Williams had something to say about that.) Plums, if they're ripe and sweet, are like little buddhas, imparting a moment of pure, succulent nirvana. Or so it seems when you've just come in from a long walk in the roasting sun and your face is dripping onto your chest. Ninety-one will be the high temperature today, according to the forecast. Only one more degree. No, I won't melt.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Silent Film Ladies & Gents

Lost World

According to the Rolling Stone review, Revenge of the Sith would have worked better as a silent film. Maybe, maybe not, but it reminded me of the Silent Ladies & Gents site, which includes 14,000 images of 1,350 actors from the silent film era. For fans of the truly obscure, there's even a page of animal stars, including a sweet-looking cow named Brown Eyes.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Urban Fairytales: Alice Triumphant

Urban Fairytales

Alice Triumphant

"Portrait of an old bag," Alice thought, as she caught her reflection in a shop window. "A wrinkled old bag in goddamn wheelchair." The chair hit a pothole in the sidewalk and jolted to a stop. Alice pressed the accelerator key, but the wheels only spun in place. She sighed and looked around her. A woman in what seemed to be a gypsy costume was sitting behind a table outside the nearest store and smiling at her. She was old, but not as old as Alice, at least by the looks of her. The table was covered with fancy boxes of tea. "What are you grinning at?" Alice said. "Would you like to try some tea?" the "gypsy" asked. "Tea? That's the last thing I need!" said Alice. The woman rose from behind the table, still smiling, and pushed Alice's wheelchair out of the pothole. "Well, thanks," Alice murmured. "Here, try this," the woman said, dropping a tea bag into Alice's lap. "It's muscolo tea. Good for the nerves and the limbs."

That night, Alice brewed the tea, and found it delicious. It made her arms and legs tingle, in a pleasant way, all the way to down to her fingertips and toes. The sensation wasn't enough to make her forget about her looming rent day, though. The rent was already two months overdue. Soon she'd have to move back in with her idiot son and his bitchy wife, she thought. It made her want to cry.

The next day, Alice rolled out of her building, only to meet her landlord, Derek, halfway down the block. "Today, Alice, today!" he said. "I don't have it, OK? I don't have it!" she said. His face began to turn red, and he began to shake his finger at her. She hated that. Almost before she knew what she was doing, she reached up and grabbed Derek by the scruff of his shirt and his belt buckle. She raised him, all 200 pounds of him, high over her head with hardly any effort at all. "A miracle," she thought. Derek squirmed and cursed at her, but she decided to leave him up there for a while. After a minute, he quieted down and began to whimper. His baseball cap fell off and onto the sidewalk. A crowd was gathering, and some of them began to drop money into the hat. Alice felt warm and powerful all over. She wasn't going to lose her apartment now, she thought--oh no. And that triumph would be only the beginning.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Word of the Day: cwm

Word of the Day

cwm (n)

A valley (originally Welsh). Pronounced like "koom"

Below a fertile cwm spread, with barns and the orchards of summer,
Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in places rising high . . .

(Apologies to Walt Whitman for the slightly altered quotation.)

Hmm. A real word with no vowels? Read more about this strange little word here.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Questions for a Doppelgänger

Random Acts of Poetry

Questions for a Doppelgänger

Are you sincere?
Do you mean it when you say,
"This time, this is the real me,
sitting on a rock"?

Are you sincere?
Do you think
wisdom falls like water from your lips,
making no mess upon the floor?

Are you sincere?
Have you ever
been naked in a mirror,
seen your self evaporate?

Are you sincere?
Is that you in the photograph
grinning like a chimpanzee,
or the ghost of some other hominid?

Are you sincere?
Could that really be you
singing on the radio, up on a screen?
You know the words so well.

Are you sincere?
How often have you thought,
"I didn't mean to be a bastard,
forgive me, forgive me"?

Are you sincere?
Is it ever really you
squinting in the sunlight,
tripping in the dark?

Or is it me,
dropping stones into a pond,
seeing my face dissolve
in the blossoming of circles?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Weeds and Seeds: Ahh-Choo


Weeds and seeds everywhere, and I'm sneezing every five minutes, it seems. (So many people have "blessed" me today that I'm feeling like Saint Michael of Hay Fever.) A snowstorm of floating white fluff balls filled the hot, blue sky this afternoon, which means the trees and weeds are engaging in their annual reproductive orgy. It's like I'm living in some creepy vegetable porn film. Actually, I like weeds, especially the flowering kind. I admire their persistence (easy for me to say, since I don't have a lawn or garden to tend at the moment). I've always thought that even dandelions were beautiful, and I used to pick them for my mom when I was a kid. I never understood, at the time, why she didn't seem to appreciate them much. (Though I recall that she would put them in a little vase of water--just to humor me, I suppose.) . . . At the bank the other day, I noticed that the garden plot near the door was full of tall grass and weeds, which surprised me. That doesn't seem like the type of image a conservative institution would want to project. Hmm. "You're money will grow like a weed at Crabgrass Bank"? . . . You can see some very attractive weeds here.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

IFILM - Lucy in the Sky with William Shatner

Where No Man Has Gone Before

Just what the world's been waiting for: A music video of William Shatner's take on Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Awfully hilarious or hilariously awful? You decide.

Weird Bikes: Bicycle Forest Home Builders Gallery

Psych Bikes

Creative (not to say bizarre) bicycle designs are showcased at The Bicycle Forest - Home Builders Gallery. And I thought I was weird for pedaling a vintage Schwinn around.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

When Nature Calls

When Nature Calls

My Memorial Day: I drank too much coffee in the morning. Later on, while traipsing through the cemetery with my relatives (who were tending some graves), I suddenly had to "go to the bathroom." A problem. Final resting places don't have rest rooms. My father then reminded me of an old saying: "All the world is a man's urinal." Well. I availed myself of the thick underbrush just outside of the graveyard. That wasn't how I intended to pay my respects, but the living must take precedence and all that. I snapped some pictures, too.