Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Talked to somebody who attended the Sundance Film Festival today. She said she liked the film In Bruges there. Somebody else said Sundance is only for lightweight comedies. Hmm.... Speaking of lightweight comedies (ahem), Citizen Kane is playing at the Loews Theater on Friday night. Must see that on the big screen.... Interesting that the Kennedy family is split on whom to endorse. The "bigger" Kennedys, the ones that still have some of that old Camelot "mystique" about them -- that is, Ted and Caroline -- endorsed Obama; the more down-to-earth RFK branch is going for Clinton. My preference bounces back and forth like a ping-pong ball. I could vote for either of them.... It's recycling night. I like to think about all of my junk mail becoming a poetry book or, more likely, a roll of toilet paper someday.... Why don't I... talk about fictional characters as if they were real? I know someone who does....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The T&T List

The T&T List

Black-tie event
Brown algae
bird seed
Twin Peaks
Mazda 5
cable modem

My weekend revolved around all of the above in some way. Hints: I went to a "ball" in our new car, which was manufactured in a Japanese city. The rest mostly involved various errands, chores and time-wasters. Such is life.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

George W. Bush Garden Gnome

Garden Pest

Get your very own George W. Bush garden gnome here.

"The only thing that is wrong with this is that he is missing his flag." How appropriate, little man. (He's missing his codpiece, too.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Word of the Day: weltanschauung

Word of the Day

Weltanschauung (n) (often capitalized)

A personal philosophy about life or the world; world view

"News coverage revolves around strong personas: in the Weltanschauung of the Washington press corps, the President must be the focus of events."
--Steven Stark, "The First Postmodern Presidency," The Atlantic, April 1993

My world view: We all have at least two sides -- at least. There are hidden meanings in just about everything, often unconscious meanings. And our primary task is to reconcile opposites. So there.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Microfiction: "The Wild Umbrella"

The Wild Umbrella

Marcus stepped outside his house and stared up at a sky gray as pigeon's feathers. "Rain" he thought, though the streets were still dry. Miles away, thunder was grousing. As he walked toward the train station, a few icy drops fell on his scalp and down the back of his neck.

With a sigh, he reached into his nylon briefcase, rummaged around among the paperbacks and wrinkled photocopies, and pulled out a black, compact umbrella. Pressing a button on the handle made it blossom, with a pleasing "twack," like a black flower. One of its points had come loose, and a portion of the fabric flapped back and forth like a broken wing.

A sudden gust turned the umbrella inside out. Marcus pivoted and aimed it into the wind, which pushed it back into its proper shape with another "twack."

As Marcus trudged along, the shifting wind forced him to do a little dance, aiming the umbrella in different directions to keep it from deforming again.

While he was doing this, he bumped into a trench-coated stranger walking in the opposite direction, who was also fighting to keep his umbrella under control. The umbrellas brushed against each other with a swishing sound. Marcus caught a glimpse of the man's face: thin, wrinkled, with a whitish beard, and momentarily startled.

"Watch where you're going, knucklehead," the man barked. Just as he said this, another gust filched the umbrella from the his grip, and the man went scuttling down the shiny sidewalk after it. It blew into traffic and was crushed by a passing van. "Shit!" the man yelled, not so much at Marcus as at a malicious world.

Marcus turned away and resumed his march toward the train station. It was raining harder now, and the bottoms of his pant legs were getting soaked. He stopped at an intersection, waiting for cars to pass. The umbrella tugged at his hand as if it wanted to escape. The station was in sight, less than a block away, and, despite the downpour, a tiny aperture of blue had appeared in the sky.

It's a bad umbrella, Marcus thought. He released it to the wind, and it flew off into the sky, like a wild bird.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Word of the Day: elanguescence

Word of the Day

elanguescence (n)

The soul's gradual loss of its powers

"The acceptance theory can more comfortably accommodate a rule of desuetude....and allow laws to fade away with their waning acceptance and usage, slowly disentrenched by the elanguescence of memory, relevancy, and desire."
--Peter Suber, The Paradox of Self-Amendment

Being the adult child of a deteriorating alcoholic, I'm quite familiar with elanguescence. As James Brown said, "What we want -- soul power! What we need -- soul power!"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Random Acts of Poetry: The Beat

Random Acts of Poetry

The Beat

The trail of a snail
on a land of flagstone?

I can't be there.

A golden circle traced in the sky,
leaving red, empyrean clouds?

It is not applicable.

A slow-boiling kettle
releasing vaporous imaginings?

No use. No use at all.

Electrons rush at light speed,
the contortionists twist to a beat.