Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Word of the Day

Word of the Day

virga (n)

Rain or snow that evaporates before it hits the ground.

"There can be snow virga, but rain virga is what most people see. Mostly in the summer, virga can be easily seen falling away in streaks from the bottom of puffy gray and white cumulus clouds on a crisp afternoon. It looks like a torn drape or a curtain hanging from the cloud, but only reaches down about halfway to the ground."
--Dallas Kachan, The Starship Diaries

This seems like a word that could also be used for half-baked notions or unfinished projects. Things like ideas for stories or artwork that seem fantastic when inspiration strikes but that then fade away when you don't get around to producing them -- or that don't seem quite so fantastic the next morning.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Today is Ash Wednesday

Today is...

...Ash Wednesday. I didn't realize it until I was walking around Manhattan today (on my way to the dentist) and saw people passing by with the smudges on their foreheads. Not being Catholic myself, I don't participate in this ritual, but it's always interested me. I wonder where the ashes come from. Do the priests have a bonfire out in back of St. Pat's? Is it burnt incense ash? Do ecclesiastical supply stores sell ashes? It's puzzling.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Sonnet (Me and Will)

That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose
They know what beauty is, see where it lies
Save where you are, how happy you make those
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show
O in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow
Kill me with spites yet we must not be foes
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit
Nor tender feeling to base touches prone
In thy soul's thought (all naked) will bestow it
Is't not enough to torture me alone
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend
For to no other pass my verses tend

[The above was composed using the Shakespeare Sonnet Shake-Up, via Cosmopoetica]

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

OK, that's enough winter, thank you. Everything seems to be covered with a fine layer of -- not just snow -- salt. My sidewalk, my car, even my coat (thanks to some too-intimate contact with the car while cleaning the windshield). Salt and more salt. I feel like a Ritz cracker. Or a peanut. Assaulted.... My Valentine's Day gift: a goblet that lights up with little portraits of stars and planets. What to drink from it? Sparkling wine, I think.... Lost gets weirder and weirder. Now precognition apparently has something to do with it. Poor Desmond. Even with a thick Scottish brogue, he can't seem to assert himself against predetermined fate.... I get President's Day off -- Monday. This is a combined celebration of Washington and Lincoln, in lieu of celebrating their birthdays separately. Both of them must be spinning in their graves about the current occupant of the office. I think I'll celebrate by keeping in mind these words of Lincoln: "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts." And this gem: "Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.".... Why don't I.... do the dishes....

Monday, February 05, 2007

Look Book: Eccentrically-Bewhiskered Art Production Designer Eric Harvey Brown -- New York Magazine

The ubiquitous...

...Eccentrically-Bewhiskered Art Production Designer. An acquaintance. I bought his photo book about New Orleans after Katrina.

Word of the Day: cachinnate

Word of the Day

cachinnate (v)

To laugh loudly

"I love my neighbour/but/are these things my neighbours?/these two-legged things that walk and talk/and cachinnate, and even seem to smile,/seem to smile, ye gods!"
--D.H. Lawrence

Things that give me the giggles: bigfoot; "Too bad the French don't have a word for 'entrepreneur'" --G.W. Bush; pro wrestling; The Office (in Slough...); puns. That's all I can think of right now.