Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Got some new neon tetras last weekend. Feel a bit hypnotized as I watch them cruising around their little fish condo.... Back-packed a heavy laptop today. Felt like a mule.... Visited a huge tee-shirt factory this morning (to pick-up some shirts for Art House) in a walk-up loft space in an pre-war building. Gritty and industrial, weird machines. No air conditioning. Suddenly felt very white collar.... Ate Pad Thai for lunch today. Felt...hmmm...epicurean....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Word of the Day: zarf

zarf (n)

A holder for a hot coffee cup.

"The coffee, as thick as chocalate and sweetened with honey, reminded her of home and the odor of boiling sugarcane.... With a flourish, she removed her thumb, and balanced the zarf on the tip of her index finger...."
--Barbara Chase-Riboud, Valide

Those little cardboard thingamabobs they put around your coffee cup at Starbucks are technically called "zarfs", although they'll try to tell you they're called cup sleeves (boring!). Whenever I forget my ceramic coffee mug at work, I have to use a paper cup, and they're too damn hot to hold -- life is tough. There are no zarfs there, so I make my own, putting one (hot) paper cup inside another (cool) one. Resourceful! It does make it a bit harder to sip, though. Like I said, life is tough.

(Wasn't there some cartoon alien named Zarf?)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Much Ado about NOTHING

I love recycling night. I enjoy crushing plastic soda bottles beneath my feet and then dropping them into ye olde recycling bin. Love the sound of the recycling truck slowly rumbling down my street and consuming my castoffs in its huge metallic maw like some prehistoric monster. The sound of metal cans banging together and glass jars clinking and breaking as they fall into that ravenous mouth is the sound of creative destruction. Off they'll go to the recycling center, where they will be born again as containers of Campbell's Pork & Beans or jars of Vaseline or some other goo. And the paper! My junk mail may end up as a book of poetry or an issue of Weird N.J. or a roll of toilet tissue. It's a kind of immortality when you think about it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fun with Google

"Michael needs"

some (zZzZz)
an XP Home Edition CD to do a restore
a break
money. Badly!
our help !!!!
the Lord Jesus Christ of the King James Bible
a new pair of pants
to make his point with her in a very emphatic way
to focus on new trends and how the music industry has changed
our love more than ever
photographs of both sides of the animal
fair Jugdement. He is NORMAL
a lotto win
Faith - and a shower - and a shave - and a good slap
to go shopping and find a condom that fits him

All true. All true....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

'Dark Night of the Soul' Photos

A gallery of David Lynch photos originally intended to accompany this mysterious, unreleased album (of music) is here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Word of the Day: esurient

esurient (adj)

Extremely hungry or greedy.

"That evening he had asked her to have dinner with him. From her report we gathered that the subject was a glib braggart in an esurient state of libido. For three nights she went out with him, staving him off with promises and excuses. In the meantime she got a complete story of what was going on in the film industry."
--David Thomson, The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood

Speaking of being in an "esurient state of libido", at the request of a (ahem) relative, we visited the Museum of Sex, at 233 Fifth Avenue in New York. It's not a very big museum, and a lot of it is about animals. They have lots of chimp porn there, if that's your thing, and an interesting exhibition of Hollywood and indie film clips that dealt with sex, either implicitly or explicitly. There was a whole genre of "nudie" films in the late 50s and early 60s that I never knew about -- all about nudist camps and lifestyle, featuring attractive people in the buff, but curiously unsexy. They also have that infamous Paris Hilton video, which I found somewhat icky, mostly due to the associations, not the content. Also rather creepy: a collection of life-size sex dolls, of both genders, that were more than correct, anatomically.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nature and Not

Taughannock Falls 1 wires

More vacation scenes, this time from in and around Ithaca, our destination in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Click 'em to blow these up, or see the whole series here. Or not. (Is there anything more boring than other people's vacation pix? Maybe not, but I like to share.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

THE Way to Travel


What a way to start a vacation: Our new GPS, which we haven't quite figured out how to use yet, sent us on a wild goose chase while we were on our way upstate. We ended up getting lost and then eating lunch at this hot dog place with a lot of Hell's Angels types. This was in the parking lot. (Click for details.) Street legal? I wonder.

johnny's hot dog johnny

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Found a wrinkled, crumpled dollar on the street. Felt lucky.... The Mazda 5 got a clean bill of health after servicing. Felt some relief.... Washing dishes tonight while listening to retro psyche rock. Felt odd.... Drank an extra cup of coffee and then felt sleepy. How's that happen? Caffeine overdose?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

That's so random...

Abulafia is the "Random Everything Generator". It's a wiki page full of links to generators for creating such gimcracks as weird planets, fantasy characters, and "alchemical recipes". There's even an "Angry Video Game Nerd swear generator". It's clearly intended for role-playing gamers, but it's fun to just fool around with, and it might whip up some brainstorms for serious writers. I like the superhero names it comes up with:

Steven Impervious
Baffling Duchess Light from the Vale of Dread
El Karmabreaker
Commander Joe Ultimate
Nurse Ruthless

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Xmas in July; Cows?


cow ladies

Here are a couple of photos that sort of encapsulate Fourth of July weekend in my hometown. I grew up in small-town America (I've never lived in a suburb), which I remember as vastly boring - but punctuated with redeeming moments of genuine weirdness.

(Click the pix to see details.)

Monday, July 06, 2009

'Fox Bat Strategy' Considered

I received the CD today. It has that 1950s-meets-1990s sound that I find appealing in a lot of, uh, Lynchian music (for want of a better term). "Ricky Nelson on acid," someone said to describe the Fox Bat sound, and I think that's somewhat apt. The band is the same one featured in the jaw-dropping Pink Room sequence in Fire Walk With Me, and if you're familiar with that music (which is on the FWWM soundtrack), you know what this group is capable of -- though nothing here is as heavy or ominous as "The Pink Room" or "Blue Frank." The album is dedicated to the late Dave Jaurequi, who provided the smoothly appealing lead vocals and guitar work. Lynch produced and wrote the surreal lyrics.

For some reason, the (ahem) online retailer I ordered this from sent me two copies, though I only ordered and paid for one. Have to think about who to give the extra one to....

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Brain Dump

Full steam ahead of the game plan of attack of the 50-foot woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle repair shop till you drop dead in the water under the bridge when we come to it rains, it pours. Slicker than a wet weasel on a linoleum floor plan 9 from outer space race to the bottom of my heart of stone face the music to my ears, nose and throat. Neither here nor there are ears in the corn field mouse pad of paper tiger, tiger burning bright and early to rise and shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun spots before my eyes. Take the money and run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it takes one to know one is the lonliest number nine, number nine, number nine. Eh? Eh??

(I think this is quite coherent compared to Sarah Palin's resignation speech, don't you?)

Thursday, July 02, 2009


McGovern's at Lunchtime

Dark in here. Wrinkly decrepits giggling over beer. No, the other side of the bar. War stories. Bagpipes on the jukebox. Suspended helmets: cops, firefighters. The door swings open on a downpour. I can hardly hear a thing. A wall of whiskey bottles. Well done. The french fries dripping cheese. Separate checks please.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The T&T List

Allyn Scurra
Valiant Thor
migration project
Kurt Schwitters
America's Got Talent
public plan
little green apples
folie à deux