Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Consciousness Streaming

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

"You look like that actor, but I can't think of his name." I get this from people from time to time, and more frequently, for some reason, in the past year of so. No one can ever think of his name, though, so I'm mystified. Most recently, I was told that he appears in "that movie that starts out in black and white and then becomes in color." Uh...The Wizard of OZ? (Actually, I suspect they're thinking of this guy.).... They used to pick up the trash and the recycling in the morning around here; now they pick it up around midnight. This has pros and cons: less traffic tie-ups in the AM but more noise in the PM. So I'll just be drifting off the sleep when I hear bottles and cans being dumped into the back of a compactor truck. It's the sound of all my silly thoughts and calculations and anxieties of the day being discarded and hauled away, I try to tell myself. I haven't lost much sleep over it.... Add to shopping list: noise-canceling headphones (no, not for at night).... I got a postcard yesterday inviting me to an art exhibit called "Reverence for All Living Creatures." The opening reception is on February 2nd -- yes, Ground Hog's Day. There will be a classical musical performance of something called "Groundhog Day Interlude." In upstate New York, where I'm originally from, ground hog's are more commonly known as "woodchucks". In other areas, they're called "whistlepigs", I understand. My father used to shoot them with a shotgun because they were digging holes in the lawn. (I don't think he does this anymore, but I'm not sure.) It's an odd thought to think of them being celebrated musically. According to the dictionary, an "interlude" is "a musical composition inserted between the parts of a longer composition". Part of the Rodent Quartet, maybe?.... Why don't I…. unfold my love? (Beatles reference.)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Living in Three Centuries

Wrinkles in Time

Living in Three Centuries is a portrait gallery of people who, incredibly, were born in the 19th century and are still alive (they're called "supercentarians") or were alive until very recently.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The mystery of the labyrinth


Why did the same, or a very similar, image of a labyrinth show up at various times and in different cultures around the world?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Word of the Day

Word of the Day

lachrymose (adj)

Mournful or tearful

"Her tears seemed to grieve the kind-hearted Munchkins, who became lachrymose and began pulling out handkerchiefs."
--L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

I'm not feeling lachrymose. I ran across this word in the newspaper today and liked the sound of it.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Random Acts of Poetry

Random Acts of Poetry

As the President Spoke

Someone hung dolls from the chandelier and
a nun fingered an abacus in her mind.

Prisoners giggled in their cells, watching
a pederast pass cigarettes between the bars.

Grandpa wiped his glasses with a dishrag while
a sophomore solved equations with a cheese-slicer.

An amputee said he "didn't see it coming," and
a mother of three said, "Who uses a car as a weapon?"

An estimated two million illegals flushed toilets while
an emergency-room janitor mopped up blood.

It began to pour, and
citizens ran for shelter.

(This poem has been published by City Belt magazine.)

Flash » DooDooCaca

This May Amuse

Flash » DooDooCaca

Monday, January 08, 2007

Consciousness Streaming

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

It's the month of calendars. I got a calendar for Christmas (one that features Jersey City architectural landmarks), and an Audubon calendar from my insurance company arrived in the mail today. It's always a January question what to do with last year's calendars, with their fantastic graphics. The Marilyn Monroe calendar I got for Christmas a year ago is too -- well produced, let's say -- to simply throw away.... My cold is dragging on into its second week. Now it's mostly a cough, without the run-down feeling and "head of concrete" I had last week. At least I don't feel alone. Everyone around me seems to be coughing, too. A chorus of coughing.... It's already Valentine's Day in the stores, I've noticed. There apparently is no interval between holidays in retail anymore. They are in a constant state of celebration. I think if I worked in retail I'd be sick of every holiday months before it arrived.... In the news today: they've found stem cells in amniotic fluid. I love it when a controversy, especially one as stupid as the debate over stem-cell research, just gets blown away by a new development. Now if only that could happen with Iraq.... Why don't I.... shampoo, rinse, repeat, like it says on the bottle?

Visual Version

Friday, January 05, 2007

Word of the Year

Word of the Year

According to Merriam-Webster Online, the Word of the Year for 2006 (based on votes from its website visitors) was "truthiness." It's defined as:

1. "truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, October 2005)
2. "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true" (American Dialect Society, January 2006)

Here's the rest of the Top 10 word list for the year:

2. google
3. decider
4. war
5. insurgent
6. terrorism
7. vendetta
8. sectarian
9. quagmire
10. corruption

Except for "google," they're all connected in some way with the worst US president in history, or his policies. Kind of depressing....

Monday, January 01, 2007

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

"We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient -- that we are only 6 percent of the world's population; that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind; that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity; and therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem."
--John F. Kennedy