Thursday, March 29, 2012

Search Party

Here are a few more recent search queries that brought seekers to this temple of scribomania.

albert einstein attire

Early search for a Halloween costume? I think he mostly wore wrinkles and tweed. But it's the fright wig that will make it.

is claritin a deliriant

Not in my experience. Too much of anything can alter your consciousness though. Too much water can kill you.

caffeine hand cream

For those tired fingers. Apply for a patent! You are going to be sooo rich.

greek dragging stone uphill

Uh, Sisyphus? He's always pushing (rolling) that rock up the hill, not dragging it. And it's always rolling back down again. It's a drag, I know.

playboy mansion sculpture

You've given me an excuse to repost this R-rated masterpiece I photographed. But I wasn't at the Playboy Mansion (or, at least, not at that playboy's mansion). Click it for a close up when no one's looking.

waddesdon manor fountain sculpture 2

hungry trees

Beware. Their bark is not worse than their bite.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Random Acts of Poetry

Time Travelers

Travelers in time constitute incomprehensible questions. Their bead-like eyes see heaps of ashes, a world formed, polished and ignited but always relative. You can see the space between the ellipses on their window-shade faces, always less animated than ours, and drained of perplexity. Their eyes may glow with an icy fire, but their mouths hang open like zeros. These wanderers presage a smooth cancellation of all money lust and other bubbling desires; their humanity has been crystallized. Give them a kiss and they will analyze it, turn around that affectionate moment and reject it for lacking exactitude. They see cribs and coffins as emblems of a predetermined rotation -- a paradox to be admired for its supreme inanity.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Brain Dump

Psychologically speaking, consciousness as conveyed linguistically is no longer pure consciousness, since it is impossible for subjective experiences to be objectively interpreted via symbols that function, mentally, as signs inscribed on the "blank slate" of synaptic phenomena. Consciousness, therefore, is ineffable and is experienced, by the isolated subject, as something transcendent but incommunicable. Any event that appears to take place in the world outside of an individual awareness will seem to embody the transcendent from the point of view of pure subjectivity, which can never know itself with absolute certainty.

The timeliness of all material existence transcends the functioning of the body, brain, and indeed, the mind of the knower, defined and experienced as an infinitely imploded but free-flowing point of cognition. Each mental object is perceived as an ideal system for closed-truths that must remain faithful to preconceived definitions if they are to be comprehended at all. On the other hand, any ideal system of possible psychical processes that are defined as truths will remain subject to potential cognitive epiphanies that may reconfigure the mental image, defined as the revelation of perception qua perception. Consequently, the unstable subject will "believe" himself to be engaged in "clear thinking", cogitating (and indeed, conjugating) all the essential moments of the absolutely immanent. How do you like them apples?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Word of the Day: squintifego

squintifego (adj or n)

Squinting; one who squints.

"Having lost his glasses in the fight, Clive stumbled home squintifego, bumping into light posts, parked cars, and trash cans, as if in a drunken stupor. Finally reaching his door, he stepped on the cat, which let out a piercing cry that could be heard all over the neighborhood."
--Leahcim Setag, Strange Loops

I even squint while wearing my glasses, as if it will somehow make the words I read on screen all day (I'm an editor) make more sense than they do. I used to squint when I wore contact lenses, too, but that was mainly because it actually made them focus better.

Evil doers on TV and in films tend to squint while hatching their diabolical plans. And people assume you're thinking cynical thoughts when you squint at them -- as if squinting somehow gives one the ability to "see through" facades and deceptions. Next time someone says something unpleasant to you, try cocking your head a little and squinting at them. Chances are, the better angels of their nature will take over, they'll sputter a bit, and then recant.

Or maybe they'll just ask you if you forgot your glasses.



The world's greatest mystery? (Thanks, Gil)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Link Mania

Nota Bene

New Van Gogh Painting Discovered

Van Gogh apparently never sold a painting during his lifetime, and he probably couldn't hustle this one either. It would probably sell now for millions, even though it's not in his usual charmingly psychotic style.

The History of English in 10 Minutes

This humorous video tells the story of the world's most illogical language (with the possible exception of Chinese), from its Anglo-Saxon origins to the present day. "It has very little to do with England anymore."

Obsessed: Coffee

David Lynch explains his fixation on the damn-fine bean. There are worse things to be obsessed with, I suppose. Like blue velvet.

The 15 Most Trippy Dream Sequences in Film and TV

Including a certain red-room reverie. But surely Rosemary's Baby was aborted here?

The Wizard of Oz, circa 1902-3

It's interesting to see how this story was envisioned before the 1939 movie. The costumes look closer to the original book illustrations, I think.

Yoko Ono's 1966 Indica Gallery Show

The fateful meeting place of John and Yoko. One of the pieces pictured is an apple on a clear plastic stand. You were supposed to watch it decompose. That's ironic if this is where the idea for the Beatles' Apple Corps came from.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Photo of the Week

hoboken window

Here's the view from the rooftop solarium of my townhouse in what everyone calls "the ritzy part" of Jersey City Heights. That green building is the rear of the house belonging to my dear friend Wardpetra B. Hopficus, author of one of my favorite books, The Brotherhood of the Unraveling Cargo Pants. Sometimes we wave or shoot suction-cup-tipped arrows at each other's windows when we're bored.

Actually, I just made that up. This is a photo I snapped from a warehouse in Hoboken, New Jersey, last summer. Don't ask what I was doing in a Hoboken warehouse. Let's just say the space had been repurposed.

I'm thinking of making this, or a slice of it, my cover photo when that fascistic Book of Faces forces us all to accept their Timeline profile-page layout at the end of the month. This photo has a nice urban feel without being too gritty, don't you agree? It represents me well. You'll have to click on the photo to see it at full size and fully appreciate what I mean. Do it now. That's an order.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Search Party

Here are a few recent search queries that brought seekers to this temple of scribomania.

forgotten buicks
What has happened to the Buicks of yesteryear? At least they're still around, which is more than I can say for the forgotten Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles of yesteryear.

magnifique vinyl
That's an odd fetish... unless your referring to retro-cool phonograph records. That would be a good name for a record store that specializes in such.

redneck neighborhood
Mine sort of is, which is why I can afford to live here, although not all the necks are red. Metaphorically speaking, it's more of a pink-neck precinct.

dusty windshield art
This could well be my medium, considering how often we wash our car.

being sure of yourself means you're a fool
Well, instant karma will get you if you're overconfident. As soon as you start thinking "what could possibly go wrong?", you're tempting the gods, as any sitcom writer will tell you.

bullwinkle with a cup of coffee
It's astonishing how many coffee emporiums have a moose as a mascot. (See here) I don't get the connection. A caffeinated moose sounds extremely dangerous. (And that's a sentence I never dreamed I'd write.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Head Rattle


Strange hoops: My wyfe recently started taking an exercise class that involves hula-hooping. I had forgotten that hula hoops still existed, but okay.... except that she practices at home sometimes, along with a DVD of vacuous-looking women twirling their hula hoops to some synthetic-sounding disco/lounge music. (Come to think of it, is there any non-synthetic disco/lounge music?) That would be tolerable, I suppose, except that the exercises don't just involve whirling a hoop around one's waist. They also require twirling one around one's arm -- which means the hoops are apt to go flying off around the room at certain critical points. I'm learning to duck.


The New York Times, in its infinite wisdom, is now reducing the number of free articles that someone can peruse online from 20 per month to 10 before their toll booth pops up. You're then blocked from reading another thumb-sucker about whether or not America is divided or if a "sense of wonder" is lost because Encyclopedia Britannica is no longer publishing itself in print. We have a subscription to the Times at work, so it's not that much of a problem if I really want to read something. I prefer to read about East Timor at home on my couch, though.


The checkout girl who flirts with me at Stop 'n' shop told me I owed $18.24 for my groceries, then quipped that she thought maybe something happened in that year -- meaning 1824. "Some revolution?" I said, stupidly. Later, I thought I should look it up. No revolution, but the "Chumash Revolt" took place in that year, against the Spanish presence in the Californias. (You remember the Chumash Revolt, don't you?) That same year, Simón Bolívar was proclaimed dictator of Peru. Symphony No. 9 premiered in Vienna. And Joseph Aspdin patented Portland Cement. So, if I buy the same comestibles this coming week, she'll ring up $18.24 again, and I'll be prepared to mention Chumash. "Aisle seven," someone will say.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Word of the Day: mooreeffoc

mooreeffoc (n or adj)

Something that appears strange when seen from an unusual angle.

"In addition to making humorous puns on cliches, Anthony was here allowing us to perceive a natural phenomenon from a new direction; he was fabricating in essence a mooreeffoc vision."
--Robert A. Collins, in The Scope of the Fantastic

The word comes originally from Charles Dickens, who used it in his abandoned autobiography. He was sitting in a London cafe one day and noticed that "Moor-eeffoc" is "coffee room" spelled backwards; Dickens was looking at the establishment's name from the "wrong" side of the window. G.K. Chesterton and J.R.R. Tolkien later used "mooreeffoc" in print to mean something suddenly seen in a strangely new way. (You might say that David Lynch films are full of mooreeffoc places, objects, and people.)

It's one of those words that is more commented on than actually used, but I feel up to the challenge: "Her face transformed into a frightening mooreeffoc as he looked up from the floor, with her spiked heel pressed firmly against his chest."

I'm no Dickens.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fish Food for Thought

philosofish 34 small

Agree? More clip-art philosophy by me (and Gabrielle Hamilton). You can catch the BIG fish here.

More Philosofish ~ More Twists and Turns

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Much Ado about NOTHING

I was thinking today that I need some mood music, an extra-diegetic soundtrack for the quiddity of my daily existence. Feeling vexed yesterday, I could have used thumping, repetitive grunge rock. Today was busy as hell, and the hypothetical soundtrack should have included a Bach fugue or a Mozart sonata. Speed walking to the train station each morning? A loop of that amphetamine trumpet from "Penny Lane". Sleeping or meditating or daydreaming could be scored with Eno's Music for Airports. Low-grade frustration (a frequent companion) demands something minimal and repetitious. An excerpt from Glass's Koyaanisqatsi maybe? Feeling calm and self-possessed brings to mind the Twin Peaks instrumental theme, also called "Falling", although I find it uplifting. Writing, blogging -- just some random piano noodling, "tickling the ivories”, I think it's called, would do -- the sound of fingers tapping on a very different kind of keyboard.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Random Acts of Poetry

noir tree


We, man and woman,
decided last evening
to impersonate dark trees.

Our elbows
were the crooks of branches.
Our feet disappeared in the dirt.

My thoughts hardened
to wood. You hardly breathed for fear
of roosting nightbirds.

We went too far in the forest.
By morning our fingers
scratched at the sky.

To the whack of an ax
we drank our warm rain,
mindless and mum to the root.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The T&T List


Republic of Kiribati
Sultan Kosen
Luke Perry
rev share
Quantum turbulence
Oneohtrix Point Never
Ignotum per ignotius
Rebekah Brooks
The New York Jedi
Roland Barthes



Using the homeless as wi-fi hot spots

No, it's not The Onion.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Word of the Day: surquedry

surquedry (n)

Pride, arrogance, presumption or insolence.

"Thou unprofitable spinster! Did I not bid thee mind the wax there by the hearth, lest it grew too hot? And see! It runneth about the ashes, and much good shall it serve for making of candles! I do wonder at thy light thoughts and over-much surquedry! There is no good hubandry in thee! A pretty piece of goods to find a mate for!"
--Edward Gilliat, Forest Outlaws

There are two things I can't abide in a person: stupidity and arrogance. When the two are combined in a single character, the person is inevitably, in my experience, a walking disaster, creating chaos in whatever situation they encounter. I've dealt with arrogant people, and it's tolerable, as long as they are also smart. You usually just have to humor them, and they'll let you be. I've known stupid people too, and they're also manageable, because they're easily manipulated. But an arrogant and stupid person? Run! Run away as fast as you can. Especially if they are also charming in some way. We've had presidents like that, not so long ago, and look where it's taken us.

But you'll find these people while walking down the street, too -- like the guy in the Cadillac SUV who almost ran me over the other day, even though I had the pedestrian right of way. I almost got his license-plate number. Yes, SUV -- Surquedry Ultimate Vanity.

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity."
--Frank Leahy

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Way I Feel

(or felt)

Weird. For a while, I was the only person walking around the Tilton Gallery on the Upper East Side of New York on Saturday, perusing the David Lynch exhibit. The place is a bit strange (appropriately?), in that it was obviously someone's 19th-century house at one point -- there are lots of fireplaces and rickety wooden stairs to the second level, which has a Victorian tin ceiling. But the walls are covered with some mighty disturbing and/or surreal contemporary images. (See a couple of pix I took here and here.) It's not an unpleasant contrast. It's just that when I think of an art gallery, I think of one of those minimalist store-front places you see in Soho or Lynch's hometown, L.A. (The man himself will be at Tilton for a reception on the 16th; maybe I'll go back.)

Hungry. I'm a cereal killer. Every morning I eat a bowl of Grape Nuts, which are very filling, but today we had run out of milk, so I had to make do with a bagel. I've felt empty all day, not ravenous, but as if something is missing. I bought milk, so maybe I'll eat Grape Nuts for dinner. Except then I'll feel like the day should be starting, not winding down. And today has been confusing enough, what with the preternaturally warm winter weather and daylight saving time starting. By the way, it is daylight saving time, not "savings". Daylight cannot be banked, more's the pity.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Brain Dump

Every sentient being finds a provisional identity through language constructs that address the concept of abstract, symbolic reasoning, which cannot simply be reduced to a series of definitional keywords, ad valorem. Social psychology addresses this on the level of community. Left to itself, consensus evolves, even if it is far from "true"; it hardens into pleonastic concept. Therefore, the study of language channels and grammar is the only "true" study -- despite the fact that no distinct Indo-European language is compatible, on the level of provisional lucidity, with another. Consequently, the social scientists involved in the investigation of empirical commonality do not think that the tendency to freely interpret can itself be interpreted in a way that leads to specific evidentiary conclusions about the status of linguistic memes, certainly not in isolation from phenomenological considerations. However, historians of linguistic evolution have concluded that the common forms of phonetic (vocal) and morphological exposition point toward strategies of implementation and change within the common language, though not necessarily within a linear project of transformation. Equivocation is, therefore, unavoidable. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Link Mania

Nota Bene

Win a Year's Supply of Girl Scout Cookies. "The peanut butter ones are vegan," a friend comments.

Still hungry?

The moral and culinary merits of exotic flesh, including squirrel.
(Say "yum" like Boris Badenov.)

What happened to the flying car? Only delayed, but not for long, according to this article. We are living in the future, after all.

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy. Seriously. It's in The Atlantic, so it must be true.

The 50 Best David Lynch Characters. Thumbs up. I pretty much agree.

Pictures of sand: Close up photographs reveal its incredible beauty. Who knew?

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Word of the Day: bricoleur

bricoleur (n)

One who engages in bricolage (construction by using whatever comes to hand); a do-it-yourselfer.

"Coupled with his genre breaking is the fact that Dick is a bricoleur, though this is not the word Lem uses, but it is very much what he is describing.", "Stanislaw Lem's Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans"

My blogging is bricolage, a vertical patchwork of palaver and persiflage that leaks from my coconut almost every day. How's that for a mixed metaphor? As they say in the rulebooks, even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed....

So let's talk about Dick. His print works, some of which are in the public domain and some are not, have been strip-mined by Hollywood's blockbuster machine, with mixed results, as any Dickhead will tell you. No doubt the man was a mad genius. My favorite Dick book is the unfilmable (?) VALIS, a phantasmagorical mélange of sci-fi and gnostic speculation. What's not to like about an autobiographical novel that features a main character named Horselover Fat, a "plasmate", a child messiah, Valentinian Gnosticism, pre-Socratic philosophers, a rock musician named Eric Lampton, a "Black Iron Prison", and a pink laser beam from Sirius? In the fourth season of Lost a character can be seen reading a copy of VALIS.

There. Bricolage.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Search Party

Here are a few recent search queries that brought seekers to this temple of scribomania.


Definition: "A small quantity of something left over." It has nothing to do with bust size or the lack of it.

tortured gargoyle

You've given me an excuse to post this again:

waddesdon manor gargoyle

knife party fb cover photo

I hate the Timeline too, but not enough to plaster my Facebook profile page with pictures of knives. Maybe clocks....

light fixtures for a spa resembling water

I don't know.... It seems to me that a spa should have plenty of real H2O, not just stuff that resembles water. But if you must, I suggest low-level lighting.

fish philosophy

You've come to the right place. See below.

shoot luke or give up the gun

This is either an old saying (like "fish or cut bait" or "Shit or get off the pot") or an obscure Star Wars reference. The former, I hope.

walking through a dark and dreamlike forest

"Twin Peaks is NOT a fiction. Therefore, Twin Peaks will NEVER end. Look around. Look within."
--Michael J. Anderson

fishing spot in bangalore

I just thought of a cool fake book title: Fishing in Bangalore

methamphetamine lab explosion

Speed kills.

project ideas for tess of the d'urbervilles

Oh, does Tess need a project? I'm surprised. Mr. Hardy keeps her awfully busy in that novel.

ostrobogulous owl

Is that what you think of when you see my profile picture?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Photo of the Week

spiral 1

Strange loops! I didn't know what to make of this metallic curlicue that appeared last year at the edge of the neighborhood playground. Then one of the local moppets who frequents the teeter-totter informed me that the older kids use it as a loop de loop for their radio-controlled toy cars. Not many cars make it all the way to the end of the track, creating a lively little after-market in 9V batteries, transmitters, and the usual bumpers, wheels and fenders.

Actually, I just made that up, because this sculpture, which occupies a corner of Washington Park, reminds me of the looping tracks I used to have for my Hot Wheels as a kid. I also think it sort of looks like a sci-fi time portal. Maybe if I crawled through it, I'd find myself back in my parent's living room, racing my shiny little die-cast hot-rods around and around.

Click the pic for a closer look. You want to. You do.



The Tilton Gallery in New York City is mounting an exhibition of David Lynch's paintings and sculpture, from March 6 to April 14. Check out some images from the show at the link. They have a certain terrible splendor and haunting surreality.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Head Rattle


Bumper sticker / lapel button idea:

Ah! barackobama poussé, poussé.


Salad haiku

Lettuce tomato
Diced green pepper in a toss
Here comes Paul Newman


Useless fact:

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a famous king from history:

Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs - Alexander the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar


Cousin Bill


Discovered by accident one summer: most of the people on Gunnison Beach you would not care to see naked.


Why don't you . . .

. . . cut all the sleeves off your shirts for summer . . . put a mirror at an angle next to your TV set, so you can watch everything in stereo . . . pull a leg off a dead fly, put it in an envelope, and mail it to Yoko Ono . . . record all your phone conversations, add a drum track and offer them for sale on eBay as underground rap recordings . . . remove all the "postage paid" envelopes from your junk mail, stuff them with flyers and brochures, and drop them in a mail box . . . wear a Mona Lisa smile today . . . ask someone to call you "Nick" from now on . . . walk around with an unlit cigarette dangling rakishly from your mouth. (If someone asks you why it's not lit, say "because I quit smoking.")