Thursday, December 30, 2010

Photo of the Week: Lady Fingers


Nice fingers, yes? Truly a digital photo.

My wyfe is working on an art project, and part of it has involved gluing a mannequin's hand to a mirror. (Don't ask....) The serendipitous result: an opportunity for me to shoot a surrealist image worthy of Man Ray -- or at least a groovy ad for hand cream.

Click it for a larger experience and to be forever changed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Exhausted: From wrapping, from "rapping", from long-distance driving, from shoveling, shoveling, shoveling. And I only spent one day in the office this week.

Nervous: About the impending return of Mr. Compendious Spinner to my whereabouts.

Confused: Was coaxed into seeing Tron Legacy in three-dimensional aspect. What was all that about?

Pleased: Slightly warmer today. My drifts slowly liquefy.

Jealous: Of Piers Morgan's accent.

Happy: With super-effulgent rechargeable flashlight Santa brought me.

Angry: About efforts to lay a natural-gas pipeline under dear old Jersey City -- solely to allay the voracious energy appetite of holy Manhattan.

Emotional: Funny how a few lines of Shakespeare's can make me feel that I have ingurgitated an amphibian.

Perplexed: About why a Facebook friend wants to make an effigy of me out of... gingerbread.



"Is it rum or is it Coke?"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Word of the Day: nosism

nosism (n)

The practice of referring to oneself in the plural, as "we".

"The audiences here are avid and toughened -- they've survived top poetry read badly; ghastly poetry read ghastly; the mediocre read with theatrical flourish; poets in advanced stages of discomfort, ego-mania bumbling; grand style, relentless insistence, professional down-the-nosism, charm, calm, schizophrenic disorder, pious agony, auto-erotic hypnosis, bellowing, hatred, pity, snarl and snub."
--Robert Duncan, quoted in Charles Simic's Memory Piano

Mark Twain once said, "Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we'." I inhabit one of those categories (no, I don't have a tapeworm, although I am mysteriously hungry at present); I don't use the editorial "we" much, however. (When I say "we" here, I'm referring to myself and my wyfe, or some other personage.) Nosism has its charms, though, and it expresses a certain verity. As Walt Whitman said, "I am large, I contain multitudes." Don't we all?

Monday, December 27, 2010


The East Coast snowpocalypse has prevented further hypergraphia here for the time being. At least I'm now back in dear old Jersey City from my Yuletide sojourn in the wilds of Upstate New York. The last 50 feet of the return were by far the hardest. Digging continues.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sorry to Disappoint

Below are some of the search terms that brought seekers to this font of wisdom recently. Most of them probably went away disappointed. So sorry about that....

bizarrerie hunting photo

Gentle reader, were you looking for a bizarre hunting photo or hunting for a photo of a bizarrerie? You wouldn't find the former here. My only hunting experience involves trapping mice, and it isn't pretty or particularly bizarre.

Semantic Modes of Non-Essential Functioning

Might be a good alternate name for this blog....

Archaisms in Shakespeare

Are there some? "Those that understood him smil'd at one another and shook their heads; but for mine own part, it was Greek to me." (Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene 2) The problem with Shakespeare is not that his works are so full of archaisms, but that they are chock full of clichés.

you foment graciously, as any dying monster did rot

Why thank you.


I'm more of a coffeepot head.

yeti stalking

Not one of my favorite activities... but, um, is he on Facebook?

Japanese surrealism

"Why do they cover Paul's songs, but never mine?"
--Yoko Ono (who follows me on Twitter)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brain Dump

Annual Persecutional Rate (APR) for Purchases on Your DisasterCard

How long will the penalty APR apply?

If an APR is quadrupled for any usurious reason or at our capricious discretion, the Penalty APR may apply in perpetuity to future generations. If we do not receive a Minimum Prostration and statement of utter humility, submission, and adoration within 60 minutes of the date and time due, the Penalty APR will at minimum apply to all first-born children and future descendants unto the seventh generation; but if we receive 600 consecutive Maximum Payments before the due date, beginning at least one decade before the increase, the Penalty APR may stop being applied, at our sole erratic discretion, to transactions that occurred within 14 seconds after we provided you notice about the APR increase via third-class carrier pigeon.



Criterion Covers for Movies That Really Don't Deserve Them

And a lot more here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Word of the Day: verbigeration

verbigeration (n)

Compulsive repetition of meaningless or stereotyped words and phrases.

"The grin held. O'Kane was grinning now -- and so was Mart. All four of them were stretching their facial muscles to the limit, goodwill abounding, and you would have thought they'd just heard the best joke in the world. 'What is this place?' Mr. McCormick asked then, and no trace of hesitation in his voice, no stuttering or verbigeration at all."
--T. Coraghessan Boyle, Riven Rock

When extreme, verbigeration is a sign of mental illness. But it's fairly common, and vexatious, in my experience. I know persons, who shall be nameless, who persistently repeat the following:

"Pretty much"
"And your point is?"
"The good news is..."
"What's interesting is..."
"Oh my God..."
"No problem"

I don't think I'm implicated in this habitual verbal prattle, but I definitely repeat certain phrases internally as I go about my quotidian doings. I won't list them here, for fear they will lose their efficacy. These are just mental placeholders, little catchphrases that blot out disturbing or pestiferous cogitations. Sort of like "every good boy does fine", though they're a lot quirkier than that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Head Rattle


Observed a total eclipse of the moon in the wee, aphotic hours of this day, the winter solstice. This cosmic convergence happens rarely; the previous coincidence of these celestial transpirations was in 1638. Still waiting for an epiphany.


I sometimes think that if I could overcome the insumountable technical challenges and offer unique, avant-garde ringtones through this site, I would entertain thousands of visitors per day.


Feeling shaggy, I let Rickie (of Rickie's) edit my scalp yesterday. A fine shearing, with Kate Bush trilling in the background instead of holiday Muzak. I'm sick of hearing about frightful weather, Jack Frost roasting on an open fire, turkey, mistletoe, and other...chestnuts. Humbug. And by the way, Johnny Christus probably popped out sometime in the spring or summer, if we're to take any of his nativity bio at face value. That is the season when shepherds are "tending their flocks by night". So a happy solstice and Saturnalia to you, pagans.


Is it just yours truly, or is every pedestrian, driver, cashier and politician (some exceptions) indulging a particularly nasty snit lately? I wish I could avoid the public sphere entirely until this annual "most wonderful time of the year" travail is history.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Random Sequence: Dr. Ringtones (excerpt)

....They called themselves the Disorder Lobby. They were a youngish crew of seven male cronies, with Dr. Ringtones (that was his surface indentity) as the ringleader, who frequented the diviest local pubs every second Thursday P.M. "Oh, here comes the Monster Club," a bartender would say as they sashayed through the entrance.

They would sit at the bar, order a Pabst or a Yuengling (Dr. Ringtones called the latter his "ideal vitamin") and gasbag with whatever faded chippies or decrepit codgers were in attendance. "What do you do for a living?" they were often asked. "God of all therapies," Dr. Ringtones would reply. "Bunghole consultant," Rodeo Ray would say. When politics came up, "Fuck the Whigs!" the Disorder Lobby would chant in unison. Asked about their fave bands, they would cite Playgrounds for Nothing and the Dope Burgers -- both fictional.

When they grew tired of this jesting balderdash, they would pay the tab, tipping lavishly, and retire to one of the members' apartments -- "love huts", they called them -- to light up and then jabber senselessly into the wee hours before falling blissfully unconscious....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Photo of the Week: Yule Shop till You Drop

And so this is Christmas

I do all my shopping online now, often from [a river in Brazil], mostly because [a tall warrior woman] gives me a discount because... well, never mind why. But even if it didn't, I would avoid patronizing such emporiums as the above when indulging my somewhat obliged penchant for holiday generosity and benevolence. I find the sensory stimulation a wee bit overwhelming. Still, this particular galleria (on Central Avenue, here in dear old Jersey City) always provides a mesmeric opportunity for window shopping at this festive time of year. And something to photograph. Click it to see how busy the elves have been.



Homemade holiday food baskets may give gift of botulism. Fa la la la la....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Peak Performance

Wow, Bob, wow, I'm tired. Instead of further forays into magniloquent persiflage, I'll share this with you:

"Starting at 10 a.m. today (EST), Miller will watch every episode of the David Lynch TV-Series 'Twin Peaks' (including the European pilot) in a 30-hour stretch expected to run through mid-afternoon on Friday."

You can read more about performance artist Tom Miller's marathon fit of Peak here.

"I have found no evidence that anyone in the world has publicly achieved watching every episode of 'Twin Peaks' (plus the movie 'Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me') in one continuous sitting while only consuming coffee, cherry pie and doughnuts. I will be the first."

Thirty hours of caffeine, sugar, and surrealism. Let's rock!

Lynch Hands 80

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Much Ado about NOTHING


What can we say about nights like these? "Baffling" is the one adjective that comes to mind as he sits cramped on the bus, forced to abandon his book and merely contemplate, giving in to illegible darkness. He turns to stare out the window at the rushing landscape, pleased with the clarity his new spectacles provide. Neon and streetlights bathe even the shabbiest facades in false moonlight, making them almost beautiful, with their contrasts between brick and wood, iron and glass. The shadows of urban trees hide ambiguous objects in ink, and hooded pedestrians slip by like ghosts. A familiar statue passes. "Next stop!" he shouts, waking his snoozing seatmate. The van swerves and halts, and he exits to enter his rooted world.




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Random Acts of Poetry

Advice from Fred

To dance
on the ceiling
is a normal thing
when you're in
hilarity's red zone.

The dance, here,
means besotted ants
in your pants,
feet calling up

fantasy's dervish,
and turn)
to churn

the hysterical
of a mutual
electrical shock
secretly cherished

but unrequitable.
A zap of desire
provides the interior
that leads to

this pseudo-
sexual writhing--
arms wheeling,
legs giddy
whips of rubber--

till the tiles
begin to fall,
turn, slip,

and you wake up
head once again
banged up against
the concrete.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Head Rattle


I'm "reading"* David Foster Wallace's Girl with Curious Hair, a short-story collection in which well-worn "celebrities" like Alex Trebek and Merv Griffin appear as fictional characters, percolating as they never did and spouting words they never said. It occurs to me that if a film had been made of this book, Trebek and Griffin could have played these fictional incarnations of themselves: Alex Trebek as "Alex Trebek", who of course portrays "Alex Trebek" on Jeopardy. It makes my head hurt.


Coincidentally (?), I'm watching something about fractals on TV right now.


Julian, Julian, Julian. How many Julians am I aware of: Julian Assange, Julian Lennon, the Julian calendar, Emperor Julian, Julian Sands (actor in Boxing Helena), Julian Bond (civil rights guy), Julian Casablancas (musician), Julian Barnes (novelist). There's also Julianne Moore, an actress; the name is a female analogue of "Julian", as is "Julia"....half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to reach you.

*It's being read to me via audiolivre.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Word of the Day: obambulate

obambulate (v)

To wander aimlessly or walk about.

"For heaven's sake, where's your father got to now? He's gone obambulating again, just when it's time to go home."
--Peter Bowler, Ron Bell, The Superior Person's Second Book of Weird and Wondrous Words

If I had the prerogative to do as I pleased each weekday, undoubtedly I would engage in a good deal of gallivanting, camera in hand. Indeed, many of the photographs you espy here (and here) resulted from just such perambulatory traipsing on Saturday or the Sabbath.

Urban hiking is pussycat*; wandering in the woods is too, maybe even pussycatastic, but opportunities for that are sparse. What appeals to me about obambulation isn't so much the specific scenery but the feeling of autonomy -- and the serendipity.


*This is an adjective. Look it up!



The contract?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Writing a book, hippie?"

"Why don't you go listen to some folk music and give me a break!"

As every dramaturg and thespian knows, composing dialog is an art, one that requires a balance between the vernacular and the dramatically expressive, while simultaneously avoiding prosaicism. Can there be a better example of this in the comic realm than in John Waters' masterful Female Trouble? Well, yes, but it's quite the gigglefest anyway, to wit:

"I worry that you'll work in an office, have children, celebrate wedding anniversaries. The world of the heterosexual is a sick and boring life."

"I've DONE everything a mother can do: I've locked her in her room, I've beat her with the car aerial. Nothing changes her. It's HARD being a loving mother!"

"And remember my offer still stands. If you get tired of being a Hare Krishna, you come live with me and be a lesbian!"

"I couldn't possibly eat spaghetti, do I look Italian?"

And so on, and so on.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Photo of the Week: Feliz Navidad

feliz navidad

And so this is Christmas.


The festoonings that appeal to me most are not the faux nostalgic "country Christmas" kitsch you see in every emporium, or genteel arrays of pine cones and evergreen, but rather the worn, sad, faded tinsel of decades past, with its numinous patina of yesteryear. That's because I like to think of Xmas as essentially a contemplative, recollective time, close to the solstice and the shortest day of tapering year.

"The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. See it not outside of yourself, but shining in the Heaven within." --ACIM

I shot the sign above last spring, on the 92nd day of Christmas. Click it for maximum merriment.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The T&T List

Peaches Christ Superstar
Tata Nano
colony collapse disorder
"Please Don't Go Topless, Mother"
Kali Ma
Velvet Falernum
Judith with the Head of Holofernes
The Second Commandment of Beautiful Hair
Olga's Corset and Specialty Shop

Thursday, December 09, 2010


David Lynch Season Promo from Ivo Belohoubek on Vimeo.

"Yes, I really do love cherry pie." Excerpts from the Guardian's intermittently hilarious Twitter interview with Zen Master David:

Do you recognise the description of yourself as "the first popular surrealist" as valid?

I recognize it, but it's distorted. And it has mice on it.

Do you think your films are mostly misunderstood by your large and fiercely loyal fan base?

They're understood perfectly.

My wife thinks I must be insane to watch/read you. I say it stops me being insane. What do you think?

I think you are right.

if you had to describe yourself as an animal which would you be?

I would be a jack russel terrier

What was the last piece of music that took your breath away?

Seeing Pink Floyd on Youtube, singing Comfortably Numb

What is your favourite colour?

Cadmium red deep.

Does someone who fills his films/music with nightmarish or dreamlike sequences manage to sleep well?

I put my head on a pillow and it just happens.

[The whole fish is here.]

New Lynch song: "I Know".

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

Numb: From the Siberian chill here (low 30s F, around zero C), but also, earlier today, from the "numbing jell" my very expensive Manhattan dental hygienist spread on my gums. And from the fact that I'm hellish busy -- too busy to feel much except, well, busy. Nevertheless:

Sad: From cogitating about the grief of 30 years ago this date, and for all the melodious virtu we've probably missed because of it.

Inspired: I have the germ of an idea for yet another breviloquent literary narration, suitable for online consumption this time. This will explore a recent theme familiar to readers of this persiflage. Perhaps I will write it this weekend. The problem yet to be resolved is the denouement.

Stupid: Insanity looms. I washed the wrong sack of laundry. I left the house this morning without my laptop (and had to reverse course). I went out of my way and wasted my time to scrutinize the Rockefeller Center tannenbaum -- which of course is a doppelganger for last year's capacious shrub and every year's. Humbug.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Word of the Day: bizarrerie

bizarrerie (n)

Something bizarre.

"It was a freak of fancy in my friend to be enamored
of the Night for her own sake; and into this bizarrerie,
as into all his others, I quietly fell; giving myself
up to his wild whims with a perfect abandon."
--Edgar Allan Poe, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"

My wyfe just returned to our abode with an item she found in someone's trash receptacle on a nearby byway: a bone-white mannequin's arm, which has now joined the collection of imitation, alabaster body parts we keep on an antiquarian wheelchair in a corner of our drawing room. Do we live in a bizarrerie? Some might think so. But most visitors seem to find it both funny and... funny. Judge for yourself -- by appointment only.

body parts 2 BW

Monday, December 06, 2010

Brain Dump

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog eat dog days of summer or winter of our discontent over new signs of a stroke of luck of the Irish potato famine or feast of fools rush in where angels can dance on the head of a pin cushion the blow your horn of plenty of time after time to go for it takes a village idiot proof of purchase power to the people right on the good ship lollypop stick to your guns in the wrong hands across the water, hands across the sky writing a book worm your way into the air travel guide to grammar and style of speaking nonsense.



Go here and click "Listen".

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Photo of the Week


Something about this photo makes me...tired. (Sorry.) This is a pic I snapped at the Jersey City Museum a while back. There's an entire wall of these rubbery remnants, all twisted and nailed into a undulating panorama. Somebody put a lot of effort into assembling this installation -- perhaps a good year of effort?

Click it to inspect the tread.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Quote of the Day: Reality A and Reality B

"Let's call the world we actually have now Reality A and the world that we might have had if 9/11 had never happened Reality B. Then we can't help but notice that the world of Reality B appears to be realer and more rational than the world of Reality A. To put it in different terms, we are living a world that has an even lower level of reality than the unreal world. What can we possibly call this if not 'chaos'?....

"....Perhaps the solution begins from softly accepting chaos not as something that 'should not be there,' to be rejected fundamentally in principle, but as something that 'is there in actual fact.'"
--Haruki Murakami

The rest of this is here. An article that may provoke head rattles for writers and for readers of Murakami's novels.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Much Ado about NOTHING

In the Fullness of Morning

It's Saturday A.M. -- perhaps the only morning all week in which you can doze ad infinitum. The sun is up, but you pull the covers over your head and continue to dream. Then, that dreaded feeling arises: a liquid fullness in your lower extremities. You try to ignore it and go back to your convivial dream. But the reverie changes: instead of floating through an ambrosial dreamscape, your dream-self is now searching for a restroom.

It's a vexatious dilemma. Do you interrupt your well-earned languor to rise and use the facilities? For most of us, alas, the answer is "mmmuhhh.....okay."

You leverage yourself off the mattress. The room is a blur, and you're befuddled. You collide with malevolent furniture as you stagger to the can, where your slumber attire descends and at last you find blissful relief.

Then you return to your berth and attempt to rejoin the Arms of Morpheus. But it's too late. Further sleep eludes you, or, if you do, perchance, lose consciousness, it's not nearly as serene as before.

Tiny children simply evade the problem: they sleep and pee simultaneously, without hesitation or compunction. Adults must answer nature's summons, and sacrifice repose.

Either that, or stop drinking so much damn coffee at night.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Word of the Day: macroverbumsciolist

macroverbumsciolist (n)

A person who is ignorant of large words, or a person who pretends to know a word, then secretly refers to a dictionary.

"I'm feeling cantankerous," Austin said. Garrick smiled wanly and said nothing. It suddenly occurred to Austin that Garrick had no idea what he meant. "Cranky, I mean," he said. "You know -- testy, ornery, grouchy...."

"I am not a macroverbumsciolist," Garrick said, dourly. "Triple word score!"

--Leahcim Setag, Strange Loops

I only use online lexicons these days, but I still have an superannuated, ponderous, chunky, crimson, hardcover copy of the American Heritage Dictionary. It resides under the mouse pad adjacent to our decrepit desktop computer. I'm thinking of hollowing it out (the dictionary) and using it to store oddments, jetsam, and View-Master reels.