Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Brain Dump

Each hearing file discards a sacked associate lecture with a frown during monthly integrity convictions. The chair has a disconnected buffer handle that pushes reserved persons into blogging accidents and passe video-accented evenings of abusive left-wing demonstrating. This formatting is a sort of kindly recursion of roof melt, a long-lasting river traveling though a doubtful autobiography, conveying a mystic, messy sigh. A band with forceful toes appears outgoing, posing as rejects with their reserved dynamic murder buckets. Impossible inaccuracy is then announced, as they capture stringent manifesto machines with solid equivalent price dodges. Next, hardy, obligatory pints are examined with reservations, owing to drastic expressions of overflowing torrents and terrorist scenarios. Such hallucinatory bombing is suitable for a parity schedule network, yes?


When I plugged the first sentence of this masterpiece into Google Image Search, the result was this. Photos of Abu Ghraib and Dick Cheney? Ugh...

When I plugged the fourth sentence into Google Image Search, I got this. Again, lots of politicians, but also an onyx skull (I think), a guillotine and Michael Jackson. Hmmm.

The last sentence generated this: a choking victim, more Cheney (with W, this time), and at least two atomic mushroom clouds.

I'm starting to scare myself.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Word of the Day: panjandrum

panjandrum (n)

An important person, a VIP -- or someone who thinks he or she is. Sometimes capitalized.

"Some people claim that we are just part of a bigger story that we can't see. Others maintain that we were created by the Great Panjandrum, and still others that we are merely in the mind of the Great Panjandrum."
--Jasper Fforde, Well of Lost Plots

Here we see "Panjandrum" being used as a synonym for the Supreme Being, I think. I prefer to refer to Him/Her/It as The Cosmic Muffin. (I suppose that makes me a crumb, eh? You too.)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Let me take you down....

Or in.... I'm not in the mood for whirling, but the Spiral Photo Gallery induces a pleasant vertigo.

Here's a pic from me of a stairwell at Ellis Island. Click it. Weee...

Ellis Island stairwell

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Saw Avatar. Amazing technical accomplishment: It made a double life as a giant 3D Smurf seem semi-attractive.... Haven't shaved since 12/18. Feel scruffy.... Received a colorful book about cars of the 1950s for Christmas. Astonished at the bizarre styling permutations that were accomplished with sheet metal and chrome in that decade. Bat-wing tailfins.... Ate too much sugary glop on Xmas day. Felt sickish. Mostly steered clear of it today. Feel purified.... My teenage nephew received night-vision goggles for Xmas. Why? He spent some time in a closet, trying them out. I'm mystified....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And so this is Christmas....

And so this is Christmas

Yay -- my shopping is done. Click the pic above. This store in my neighborhood always makes me laugh at this time of year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Word of the Day: gormless

gormless (adj)

Stupid, naïve, foolish, bone-headed

"'Come real, Jakob.' 'Get real is what you mean. Another gormless phrase.' 'Gormless?' Tom said. 'I dunno,' Jacob said irritably. 'Stupid, naff, silly."
--Aidan Chambers, Postcards from No Man's Land

I am very gormless sometimes, usually when I'm distracted. For example, I once drank some cleaning fluid that was kept in a water bottle that someone had put in the refrigerator because.... I don't remember why; I guess it had to be kept cool. Now, it might seem stupid in itself to put such stuff in a water bottle and keep it in the fridge. But the bottle was clearly labeled as cleaning fluid and the label said "DON'T DRINK". As usual, though, I was thinking about work or some errand I needed to run, or a cult TV show or film, or some song was playing in my head. I just reached in, pulled out the bottle and took a swig -- and spit it out, though I swallowed a little. Luckily it wasn't caustic, just terrible tasting. I didn't get sick, but I did make the further gormless mistake of telling someone what I had just done. I was called "absent-minded Michael" for about a week after that.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Citizen Betacam

Is there no end to quirky stories about Orson Welles? A guy at work sent this one via Facebook. (Thanks, Mauro.) It involves the famous filmmaker's attempted embrace of video...and what happened to his ashes. The man was truly cursed with being ahead of his time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


"Our tragicomic dialogue can make everything beautiful"

At zentences, you can generate a seemingly endless number of gnomic pearls (as above) and rhetorical questions (requires Flash). They might even serve as prompts for quirky essays (or daydreams), if you're a philosophical sort. Examples:

Sanity approaches the infinite?
Diligence has its roots in the earth.
Silence is seen by the Third Eye.
Perserverance seems to be a mad dance of electrons.
Wonder feels warm?
The Garden of Eden cannot be a majority decision.

That last one struck me. I don't think the "Garden of Eden" (meaning paradise, nirvana, utopia or even "the good life") can ever be defined by a majority. We all have to find our own little island of satisfaction, even if it takes a lifetime. Your heaven might be my hell, or purgatory. And vice versa.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Random Acts of Poetry

My Xmas List

The drugged buzzing of winter flies
spiraling downward in a dream.

Loons in some Scandinavian night,
the woods full of moose.

An old ship, crossing the ocean,
cold waves slapping steel.

The sky pricked by stars
and exhaling frost.

A blaze of leaves dieing in a bonfire,
salting warm stones with ash.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sing Along with Webster, aka "The Singing Dictionary," is a collection of downloadable mp3 files created by combining karaoke versions of pop songs with audio pronunciation clips from online dictionaries. Pretty amusing. I especially enjoyed the site's versions of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" and the Beatles' "Martha My Dear." You. Silly. Girl.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The T&T List

Await Your Reply
Tomato Davis
Ricky Gervais
Guru Dev
Rouben Mamoulian
Bonneville Salt Flats
Alpha Centauri

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Word of the Day: quidnunc

quidnunc (n)

A nosy person; busybody.

"Close the blinds," Mildred commanded. "Do you want every passing quidnunc to know you're a beer-swilling couch tuber?"
--Leahcim Setag, Strange Loops

A guy at work brews and bottles his own beer in his basement, and he gave me some on Friday to try -- a dark stout. Not bad, though it lacks fizz. I told him he should create his own brand and label. (He uses recycled beer bottles and keeps the original labels.) Something like "Kraut & Kelt" beer -- he's German and Irish and uses that as his AIM name. But it's up to him. Don't want to be a quidnunc....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Halloween Is Over

halloween is over

This is a pumpkin that grew in our backyard this fall. I think we've held on to it a little too long. (Click for the larger version -- if you dare.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sexy Sadie, What Have You Done?

Right now, David Lynch is in India, filming "kind of" a documentary about guess who? How interesting this will be depends on those two little words "kind of", I think.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Word of the Day: festinate

festinate (adj, tr. v)

Hasty, or to hurry away.

"He rocketed almost uncontrollably to the piano, but once there, played a Chopin nocturne with exquisite control and timing and grace--only to festinate once again as soon as the music ended."
--Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

My mom has a dusty old upright player piano in her basement. I took a few piano lessons as a kid and used to practice on it. But I never liked playing the piano. I always preferred to insert a piano roll and let the thing play itself. I still don't quite know how it worked. The piano rolls were (are) long scrolls with little holes in them. In some pneumatic way, they instructed the piano on what notes to play. The rolls all played songs from the pre-war tin-pan alley era. (I think my parents got them at a junk shop or antique show.) One of them was "Melancholy Baby"; I forget what the others were, but they were of that ilk. Now I'm wondering if the piano still works. Maybe I'll try to get the thing going again at Christmastime.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

My computer at work ran out of memory at the end of the day today, preventing me from doing the one thing I needed to do to leave -- even though every one of its other functions was working. Took a long time to figure out. Gremlins again? I got home at 8:20 feeling, uh, tired.... The guy who cuts my hair gave me a clipping the other day -- not just of my hair but of a story he cut out of some newspaper with a photo of yours truly reading one of my published micro fictions at an Art House open mic. Felt astonished, as I had never seen this article before. Apparently it came out months ago. Now it's on the refrigerator. Local fame.... Almost done "reading" Inherent Vice. First Pynchon novel I'm going to get through since The Crying of Lot 49, years ago. A feeling of accomplishment (even though I know it's only because it's blessedly short).... Saw a picture of Yoko Ono in the Times today. Reminded me that today is the sad day....

Monday, December 07, 2009

Say What?

Rhetorical surrealist Sarah Palin has inspired yet another parody. I couldn't help smiling at The results of Slate's "write like Sarah Palin" contest. Indeed, I shall cherish the warm, majestic bosh of these words as I ruminate on the golden plains and amber waves of America.

(Thanks Carolyn)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

"I only change light bulbs ironically"

How many hipsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

"What? You don't KNOW?"

"I've got that on vinyl."

"You must be referring to that Sonic Youth cover of the Captain Beefheart song. Lightbulbs are uptown, anyways. Haven't you heard? You haven't heard?"

"Dude, just use candles."

"One to change the bulb and another to scoff and say 'I hate fucking hipsters.'"

"Light Bulbs are SOOO mainstream. Candles have a better quality of light and they give a way better vibe."

"It takes...Oh, excuse me, I have to go trim my beard. I'm starting to look like a real man."

"None. I call this next piece 'Dark.'"

"You probably never heard of them but i use push-in low voltage LED bulbs. They’re so much better than that cliche Edison base. Best of all I only need a few people to help! Most of the time I can get it done with only 3 or 4."

"It depends if thrift stores sell vintage light bulbs in Brooklyn."

"There's an app for that."

More answers here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Much Ado about NOTHING

Perhaps coming late to the party, I recently acquired a talkative Global Positioning System (GPS). I'm now addicted; I take it with me everywhere I drive, even if it's just to the other side of the neighborhood. The robotic, but not unpleasant, male voice (my wyfe calls him "Charles") issues regular orders to "turn right at Summit Avenue" or "In 1.3 miles, turn left at State Highway". Yes sir...or maybe not; I don't always follow his commands. When I go my own way, he's patient, though, and simply murmurs "recalculating" -- and then delivers updated instructions. He's my new best friend. Since he's been riding with me, I haven't gotten lost once, something that used to happen regularly, as my sense of direction is pretty senseless. I don't think I'll get tired of his velvety synthetic voice, but if I do, there's an option to switch to a female GPS persona. That might start to feel a little too personal though....

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Word of the Day: anfractuous

anfractuous (adj)

Full of twists and turns, winding, tortuous.

"Miguel's anfractuous blathering is driving me barmy."
--Leahcim Setag, Strange Loops

"Anfractuous"... hmmm, could be alternate name for this blog. Better than "Goose Mucus" or something. Or not.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Meditation on the Letter S


Shhhh! Sometimes swans seek serenity, sailing slowly seaword so silently. See? Subtle sorcery still smothers slugging sentiments. Sadly, sundown sinks solar safaris, sending suckers southward. Sin surrounds sex, so simpletons say. Sick! Such santimoniuous seasons seem senseless, sequestered sans syrup. Since September, seven Samurai shiver simultaneously, shaking swords supurbly. Snakes sound silly, swishing sangria; some swill Singapore Slings! Symbolic smooching? Simulated sympathy? Sucks!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009