Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Trouble?

Troublesome Gap is a free web-based audio drama that debuted today. Something weird is going on near Hollowlog Cove, North Carolina, a tiny hamlet way up in the Appalachian Mountains near an aptly named mountain pass called Troublesome Gap. It involves mysterious lights and people disappearing, among other anomalies, and surprise surprise, federal agents are investigating. (Where have we heard that before?) What's interesting isn't so much the story itself -- at least so far -- but the medium. Audio drama, as a genre, pretty much disappeared in the 1950s as TV became the dominant serial storyteller. The podcast format is an ideal way to bring it back, it seems, if only people are willing to listen and let their imaginations generate the visuals.

The voices are professional and the music and sound effects are appropriately spooky. More information here.


My poet name is Lucius Cornelius Swanswaddle, according to the poet name generator. (If I was a "lady poet," it would be Forsythia Swanswaddle.)

You can just call me Luc, though....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Word of the Day: ostrobogulous

ostrobogulous (adj)

Something weird, bizarre, unusual or pornographic.

"Kristin Baybars, who started her career in the toy department at Heal's, made her first toy, the famous Humpty Dumpty. This is now being made by Minnie King. Now Kristin Baybars' ostrobogulous toys - the even more famous owl, the bird, the hedgehog and the goose...have established her as our leading creative toy designer."
--Corin Hughes-Stanton, Design Journal, "A Shop with High Standards"

I'm going to try to use this word at Thanksgiving dinner today. There's a certain cassarole dish my mom makes that may provide the opportunity.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

I've been working seven days a week lately, between "regular" and freelance toiling. Feel like I've been working eight days a week.... Saw Forbidden Planet at the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre last weekend. Feel like I want a friendly walking, talking juke-box robot like the one in the film.... Wandering around a gigantic "dollar store" (also called a 99 Cent store, though these emporiums don't seem to sell much at that price anymore), I felt like I was dreaming. Aisle after aisle of shiny junk. Someone asked me if I wanted to buy a nylon doo-rag.... Listening to my iTouch on the train, I looked up and caught my reflection in the window, headphones clamped to my noggin. Felt like some weird alien....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The T&T List

Randy Jackson
Forbidden Planet
Etiqa Takaful
pan handlers
The Tempest
wonder organ
Coffee Cave
The Volt
Homo Erectus

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Downright Unfriendly

The New Oxford American Dictionary has declared that its "Word of the Year" is...(drumroll)...Unfriend.

The dictionary also considered "hashtag," "funemployed," "birther," "death panel," teabagger," and "tramp stamp", but decided that "unfriend" had both "currency" and "potential longevity", as well as -- wait for it -- "lex appeal".

Interesting that both "friend" and "unfriend" have become verbs in the Facebook era. I myself have been "friended" more than 100 times on Facebook, and only "unfriended" once -- maybe. My friend count went down by one recently, though that could be because someone dropped out of Facebook altogether or got banned for some utterly arbitrary reason, as I was at one time. I haven't figured out who it is.

There are a few more people I can think of that I'd like to be "friended" by, or "friend", but alas, they are not on Facebook.

Are they.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Word of the Day: spoony

spoony (adj)

Foolish, silly, ridiculously sentimental, lovesick.

"I even walk, on two or three occasions, in a sickly, spoony manner, round and round the house after the family are gone to bed, wondering which is the eldest Miss Larkins's chamber."
--Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

I often find myself walking around the house late at night, with the lights off, carrying a flashlight, making sure the doors are locked. Not spoony, just loony.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quote of the Day

Why did the writer cross the road?

"Because on that dark and fateful night, a night filled with tempestuous moaning winds of gloom and despair, where the siren scream of direst proportions would be muted by the fiendish howl forced past earths vocal cords of echoing canyons and weird eyries (for it is in Zion National Park that our story takes place), the writer, dread-laden, weary, piteous, forlorn, did with eyes weighted from murky memories and days fraught with hideous care look out across the fell expanse of blackened tarmac and intoned dolorously, 'Mickey D's? Is that ALL there is that's open at this hour? Fuck!' "
--edward george earle gekko-lytton, lizard

Monday, November 16, 2009

Meditation on the Letter M


My makeover mediates many magnificent metaphors. Maybe Mondays mean melancholy messes move mountains? Mulling monkeys make motormouths mutate; moreover, molecules mainly match molehills. Marshmallow men mock magnetic mentors, mentally, mmm? Mud mansions matriculate madness, mating mutual Moravians. March melodies mutilate murderers, my muchachos. Meanwhile, manikins mope; mensches manipulate microphones; magazines melt; most Munchkins masturbate maniacally -- Mama Mia!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Beatles Never Broke Up... another dimension, if you can believe this website. I can't, really, but the mash-up "tape" of post-Beatles solo songs you can download there is worth a listen. If the Beatles had kept going in the direction of the Abbey Road side 2 suite, they might have come up with something quite similar to this, but better of course. Still, it's very well done and amusing, in its way. So is the story of how it was obtained.

(via The Presurfer)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

English: The World Tour

1. In a Tokyo Hotel:
Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to
do such thing is please not to read notis.

2. In a Bucharest hotel lobby:
The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret
that you will be unbearable.

3. In a Leipzig elevator:
Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.

4. In a Belgrade hotel elevator:
To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should
enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor.
Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

5. In a Paris hotel elevator:
Please leave your values at the front desk.

6. In a hotel in Athens:
Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of
9 and 11 A.M. daily.

7. In a Yugoslavian hotel:
The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the

8. In a Japanese hotel:
You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

9. In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers:
Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots
of ascension.

10. On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

11. On the menu of a Polish hotel:
Salad a firm's own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings
in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten
up in the country people's fashion.

12. Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:
Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

13. Outside a Paris dress shop:
Dresses for street walking.

14. In a Rhodes tailor shop:
Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute
customers in strict rotation.

15. Similarly, from the Soviet Weekly:
There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic
painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.

16. A sign posted in Germany's Black forest:
It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people
of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one
tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.

17. In a Zurich hotel:
Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex
in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this

18. In a Rome laundry:
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good

19. In a Swiss mountain inn:
Special today -- no ice cream.

20. In a Tokyo bar:
Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.

21. In a Copenhagen airline ticket office:
We take your bags and send them in all directions.

22. On the door of a Moscow hotel room:
If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.

23. In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

24. In a Budapest zoo:
Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give
it to the guard on duty.

25. In the office of a Roman doctor:
Specialist in women and other diseases.

26. In an Acapulco hotel:
The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

27. From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air
Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room,
please control yourself.

28. From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo:
When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him
melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then
tootle him with vigor.

29. Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:
- English well talking.
- Here speeching American.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Former English Major Blows Off Steam

Sometimes, I just feel like hurling Shakespearean insults:

Thou crusty botch of nature!
Thou fawning flap-mouthed clack-dish!
Thou beslubbering lily-livered joithead!
Thou puny beetle-headed dewberry!
Thou dankish weather-bitten malt-worm!
Thou goatish pottle-deep miscreant!
Thou bootless half-faced gudgeon!
Thou gleeking boil-brained popinjay!
Thou yeasty tickle-brained foot-licker!
Thou dankish motley-minded strumpet!
Your virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.
Thou qualling base-court horn-beast!
Thou tottering spur-galled lout!
Thou infectious half-faced haggard!
Thou odiferous doghearted pignut!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Esoteric Meaning Pig"

My favorite search-engine phrases that brought people to this site today:

alien impregnation scenes

Watching someone get knocked up in a flying saucer? So cheesy. The real space porn is here.

how to distract an idiot for 40 seconds

Why for just 40 seconds? I wonder what this person wants to do while the idiot is distracted. These aren't the droids you're looking for....

esoteric meaning pig

I suppose this person is looking for an esoteric word that means "pig" ("shoat"?). But I prefer to think that this refers to a brainy pig devoted to esoteric meanings. "The epistemology of linguistic transparency asks to be read as the discourse of process, oink, oink, oink."

Monday, November 09, 2009

Word of the Day: mooncalf

mooncalf (n)

A freak or a fool, an idiot.

"'There, you mooncalf,' shrieked Peter. 'There. It's the Great South Sea itself, the golden ocean, and we sailing upon it, joy.'"
--Patrick O'Brian, The Golden Ocean

I live pretty close to the ocean, though not close enough to really be aware of it. I like the sound of waves crashing, and I even used to listen to a CD of that to get to sleep at night when things were noisier around here. I still listen to it occasionally, with headphones. It's hard to feel anxious or depressed, or concerned about the past or the future, when you can hear the ocean in your head, heaving.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Symbols, Lost and Found

Boing Boing has an interesting article on The Lost Symbol, freemasonry, and noetic science (which is a real thing). I have a professional interest in a certain aspect of The Lost Symbol, which I won't go into; suffice it to say it's given me a few headaches, and I'll wait for the movie. My father was a Mason, but never talked about it, at least to me. I didn't even realize it until after he died. My mother says he wasn't particularly fond of the organization, at least in its local manifestation. I know now what those odd magazines I saw around the house were about....

Fish Food for Thought

philosofish 14 small

More clip art philosophy by me (and Arthur Schopenhauer). Click here for the BIG fish.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Strange Days Indeed

I read this story at the Art House open mic tonight. It went well, but later I sorta felt like a man-shaped knotweed root -- kinda blank and unreal. But man-shaped.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Noticed all the campaign litter on the ground today. Felt a bit melancholy.... Drank some flavored coffee called "Sumatra" with a slightly fruity taste. Liked it. Felt damn fine.... Saw a picture of my kitchen on someone's Facebook page. Felt momentarily confused. Then wanted to "friend" it.... Got some more free "neuroacoustic" meditation/chill-out CDs. Feel maybe a little too blissful....

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Word of the Day: preterist

preterist (n)

1. Someone who is only or mostly interested in the past.
2. In theology, someone who thinks the prophecies in the Book of Revelation have already been fulfilled or nearly so.

"Not all Christians read Revelation as unfulfilled prophecy. The 'full preterist' view is that all of the prophetic verses in Revelation were fulfilled during the first century, including the Second Coming--and that all can be seen to have occurred in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in the year 70."
--Ron Benrey, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Christian Mysteries

I haven't read the Book of Revelation in a long time.... I remember it as being like something you'd dream after eating bad clams and falling asleep in a sauna.

Monday, November 02, 2009

"Machines, Abstraction and Women"

Lynch Hands 80
Photos of David Lynch's exhibition at Galeries Lafayette in Paris.

Eh... make a film.

Much Ado about NOTHING

Just looking around our large living/dining room, where I'm sitting now, it occurs to me that we have a odd collection of chairs. The large rocking chair fits awkwardly between the couch and the French doors, making it difficult to rock. (There's no better place for it though.) Then there's the antique chair with the webbing bottom that doesn't have any webbing anymore. Instead, we have a milk crate hidden under the seat cushion -- so when you sit on this rather elegant-looking chair, you're actually sitting on a milk crate, haha. (We'll get around to fixing the chair bottom one of these years.) A nice assortment of mismatched dining-room chairs is distributed throughout the room, each looking polished and expensive, despite their provenance -- we found most of them on the street. (People throw away the most amazing things.) By far the weirdest seat, though, is the 1920s-era wooden wheelchair that my wyfe purchased at a hospital auction. It has...uh, character. Hope I never have occasion to use it for its intended purpose.

If all of these chairs were people, we'd have quite a fun group here, an eclectic bunch sitting around yacking about notable haunches perhaps.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The Summer had died peacefully in its sleep, and Autumn, as soft-spoken executrix, was locking life up safely until Spring came to claim it." (Kurt Vonnegut)