Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blogacious commentator round up

  1. Kendrakoo has written a poem about being a woman.
  2. Sleepy E came close to a fist fight outside of Atlanta.
  3. Mid-B remembers Breaking Away.
  4. Ron of Counterintuitive is stuck in the looming semester.
  5. lisa b contemplates silence and child rearing.
  6. Cordelia illustrates a junk house.
  7. Snyder got married.
  8. lis wants to see hip studies in cultural studies classes.
  9. Dr. Write is stuck contemplating running.
  10. Charkes is very stuck illustrating dam hoses.
  11. Kim wonders about Cher fans.
  12. catinlap shares his cell phone pics.
  13. Jenny has been busy with her new digs and what not, but gives up the pictures of the afore-mentioned Snyder's nuptuals.
  14. the bunny has some knitting to do.
  15. D-Lo gives us a poem about beauty.
  16. I've given you a blogacious round up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Drifting out of reach

Here's something for your end-of-summer depression.

I am pretty sure that all the people depicted in it are dead.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Saturday Morning Biases

I sit on the grass on the north side of campus as the Republicans drive by. Some have incredibly expensive cars, others have cars that are worse for wear: minivans and trucks dirty with the high desert summer. The dude who drove by in his forest green Jag knows he is something special. You can tell by the way he has his head thrown back. I wonder what sins he has committed to get that wealth. Excessive wealth, unless you are very lucky, always seems to be linked in some way with immoral or unethical actions. I know no such thing of this anonymous man, however, but have a predilection against him. Something about his need to show off his wealth goads me into thinking ill of him. Somewhere down deep in my psyche hides a judgmental Puritan who suspects all such extravagant wealth as ill-gotten.

The Republicans are here for their Fall convention, I assume, and I am here because I left something in my office that I will need this weekend. So I sit and wait for the bus and watch the Republicans (all clean-cut men in their 50s as far as I have seen) pass me by in their cars looking confused, uncertain where to park. I catch most of them staring at me as I sit here on the grass with my computer. No doubt I look younger than I am so I might pass for a student, but somehow I doubt that. Age has begun to show on me, I think. Any sense of condescension on their part could be equaled by my own condescension towards them: get out of your fucking car and walk, fat cat is my first response to their supposed prejudice against me and my fetish against driving and for mass-transport. Of course it is more likely that they think I am poor or down on my luck like so many who ride the bus. Somehow I don't think they would have much sympathy for the poor folks who ride the bus, what with the all-American drive to prove yourself through wealth and hard work. No doubt they would think that anyone who rides the bus is poor and therefore lazy. I wonder when they will realize that there is only a tenuous link between hard work and wealth? I wonder when they will realize that the meretricious society they lie to themselves about is just a fantasy fed to them to keep them working hard for that guy in the forest green Jaguar?

No doubt they are thinking no such things. I'm sure all they are thinking is where the hell do I park and why the hell have taxes paid for all this.

"Excuse me!" I am interrupted by a woman in a red blazer driving a champagne Cadillac who has pulled to the middle of the road to ask me a question. She is the first woman I have seen and sports a magnificent grey beehive hairdo.

"Yes?" I ask removing my earphones.

"Do you know where the auditorium is?" Immediately I know part of the woman's story. She has never been to college or she would know that college campuses have dozens of auditoriums spread around campus.

"If you mean the Lifetime Activities Center," (I use the fancy name for the gym thinking that the term might strike a chord with her) "it is over there," and I point in the general direction of where the GOP Convention parking signs lead. I assume they are all in the gym, convention away--making speeches against same sex marriage and for freedom and against the evils of a permissive society and against government intervention and how we need to put more money into our precious roads and against taxes, always against taxes. How people can easily deal with contradictions is just plain fascinating.

"Is that the auditorium?"

"No its the gym, but I think that's where you are all at."

She, however, has started to ignore me since I obviously am not going to confirm her mistaken terminology and pulls back into traffic cutting off a fellow Republican behind her. He honks at her and looks angry. She is oblivious. I wonder if they will exchange words on the convention floor.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Random thoughts while in the shower mostly not about fighting grizzlies

  1. I have never properly appreciated the music of Pat Benatar.
  2. Contacts are easier to put in after a shower.
  3. Benatar has a lot to make up for with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."
  4. Is "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" about a physically abusive relationship?
  5. Why is the phrase "Bitch Factor Zero" funny? Is it akin to "Mother's Sanctity Grip?"
  6. I still think I could fight a grizzly bear and win.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Wuthering wuthering wuthering

Ok women readers of Signifying nothing: What's up with Heathcliff?

Male readers: What's up with Cathy?

Everyone: what the hell does wuthering mean anyway?

Next post: What the hell is up with Rochester?/Jane Eyre?/Reader I married him?

Oh yeah: Kate Bush.

Its the end of summer as we know it

All my bloggity teaching friends are making me anxious what with all their posts bemoaning the end of summer (as we know it)---here---here---here. I know the feeling quite well, but as I work in the summer I don't feel it quite the way I used to. The end of summer used to seem like reckoning time: when reality hit for all one's great plans and you had to set them aside. Being that I only had 2 weeks of pure freedom this year, I was amazed at how enthused I am to be back at work. I entered by 2 weeks, however, with no major plans and accomplished all of them and more! Woot!

Some time ago I broke the school-year anxiety cycle. There are benefits to working a 12 month contract, after all. It can still creep back in, however, particularly when paper-response-time looms.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

"The universe has no edge"

Well vacation was over. I just got back from the last excursion (another camping trip) to the Stansbury mountains a couple of valleys away from SLC to the west. Unlike you might suspect, the Stansbury canyons are quite tree-lined. We stayed in the upper loop near the trail head to Deseret Peak. The rest of vacation was staying as far away as possible from computers and anything that I might associate with work, other than my outburst last Friday, which was just a response to my pent up need for comedy. No I didn't go to Tennessee, but I did manage to adventure myself a good two weeks, and I'm not really going to write about any of it since that's not the point of experiencing it or of this so-called journal.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Recipe of the Day: Grandma Al-Saddiq's All American Tabbouleh!

First you do the dishes:

Well first you open a beer, and then you do the dishes:
(Suggested Music: Lynyrd Skynyrd's Thyrty: 30th Anniversary Collection.)

Next you gather your ingredients and necessary items:
(Right to left: cracked bulgar wheat, ground cumin, garlic, green onions, mint, cucumber, salt, lemon juice (you can squeeze your own if you are one of those east-coast libruls), 2 tomatoes, black pepper (damn what kind of pansy grinds his own black pepper?), parsley and olive oil.)

You'll need a knife, something to cut on, a garlic press (yeah yeah more pansy-ass cooking gear, but it is better than wasting all your time cutting up the shit), a couple of bowls, and a measuring cup. Oh don't forget beer:
Remember beer? Good-old all-American beer! How could we forget it?!

It is best to wrap yourself in the flag while making this recipe, to fend off any attacks that you are a secret Islamicist. The stars and bars would be best, but Old Glory will do in a pinch.

So here goes:

Mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of the bulgar wheat. Let is soak for 30 minutes or so:

While your waiting for the bulgar to soak, catch up on your Weekly World News:

Next chop the living Jebus out of scritch-load of parsley (2 bunches is a scritch-load)

and a bunch of mint (about a half cup)

and 3 green onions

and 2 tomatoes

and a cucumber

Bust out that wimpy-ass garlic press and crush-up 3 cloves of garlic
(Ignore any Tabbouleh recipe that does not include garlic. Such recipes hate our freedom.)

You can put the garlic in with the olive oil (1/4 cup) and the lemon juice (also 1/4 cup):

Pour (American) or grind (French) in around 1/2 teaspoon pepper. You can use less if you are anti-American:
Ok, so I'm part French. Mierde!

Salt it up! Real Americans use 1 tsp or more of salt. Pinkos use 1/2 teaspoon or less:

Now the crowning glory--cumin. I know it smells like B.O. but once it is mixed in, it just smells like, well ok B.O:

Once the bulgar has soaked, dump in all that shit you cut up and poured out then mix it together:

Here's what the final product pretty much looks like:

Serve with beer and bacon-cheese burgers.

Life in the barn was very good

"Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both" (E.B. White, Charlotte's Web 184.)

A fellow of infinite jest

I have a new study/music conservatory/hideout. This is me in my typical blogging garb:

Check out more pictures at the usual place.

Rules of Safe Life Handling for Emily Dickinson

  1. Always wear proper eye, face and ear protection especially designed to protect life.
  2. Never shoot a person who is not wearing proper protection.
  3. Treat every life as if it were loaded.
  4. Never look down the barrel of life.
  5. Never point life at anything you don't wish to shoot.
  6. Keep life on safe until ready to shoot.
  7. Store life unloaded in a locked place.
  8. Follow warning listed on life source for handing and storage.
  9. Do not shoot fragile objects such as windows.
  10. Life may cause staining of some pourous surfaces such as brick, stucco and wood.
  11. Always measure velocity before playing life.
  12. Never engage in vandalism.
  13. Do no use life for drive-by shooting.
  14. Do not modify your life in any way.

This is just to say--a relationship described for Mid-B and Lis

This is just to say
I have used all the
Fancy towels

That you were probably
Saving for guest

Forgive me
They were so soft
And comforting

This is just to say
That I drank
All the gin that was
In the Freezer

Forgive me
Since you were probably
Saving it for
Happier times

This is just to say
I have eaten all the
Words that were in
The dictionary

That you were probably
Going to use in a poem

Forgive me
They were so
Taught and useful

This is just to say
I have waited all night long
For you to answer
My calls

Forgive my loss of tears
It was so pointless
And empty

This is just to say
I have sold the
William Carlos Williams

You were probably saving
For future investment

Forgive me
It was so lucrative
And sweet

This is just to say
I have lost all motivation

Forgive me
Oh fuck it.

This is just to say
You will be hearing
From my lawyer in
The morning

Forgive me,
But she was so
And kind.

3 things from a suburban summer morning

1) The quiet moan of lawnmowers.
2) Vacant front porches--all but one.
3) Cyclists being ignored by car drivers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Fixed and waiting to be surprised

"'My, my. A body does get around. here we aint been coming from Alabama but two months, and now it's already Tennessee" (William Faulkner, Light in August, 480).

Friday, August 12, 2005

A scene from the road

A boy stands at the small-town coffee shop counter. He is on the verge of asking out the barista. She wears a tight fitting black AC/DC tee shirt with hip huggers and a Maltese cross belt. The tee shirt emphasizes the curve of her breasts what with the lightning bolt that serves as the slash between AC and DC. Her hair is beautiful and drops enticingly over her eyes rimmed in heavy black eyeliner. She is hot and he has tried his best to flirt with her, but she has been flirting with him better, admiring his tattoo (a lone birch leaf with hockey stick crossed behind it.) You can tell he is on the verge of asking her out because of his sideways glances to see if anyone is watching and whether, more importantly, she is watching him. He fumbles his money onto the counter and momentarily their hands meet as they both reach for the money at the same time.

Summer Vacation 1929: Part the first--Sultry India!

"Our journey begins in the holy city of Banaras, capital of India's Barnaras District. The city is located along the north bank of the Ganges River for three and a half miles. The city was probably founded about 1200 B.C. Splendid temples and costly palaces are reflected in the waters, as sacred to the Hindus as Jordan is to Christians. Thousands of pilgrms come here each year to undergo the rites of purification from sin. At intervals along the bank there are flights of steps by which pilgrms may go down to bathe in the water. The Hindus believe that to die in Banaras and have one's ashes scattered upon the Ganges is to be certain of gaining salvation. The city is a maze of alleys, many line by temples and shrines."

"Next we travel eleven miles south of the capitol Dehli to Kutb Minar, considered to be the most perfect tower in the world. Surely it is one of India's architechura wonders! It is built in five stories and rises to a height of over two hundred feet. The sumit is reach by flights of steps. A cupola was added, but it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1803."

"Buddh Gaya, in Bihar, is oe of the most holy places of the Buddhist religion becdause there Gautama Buddah, the 'Light of Asia' is believed to have received enlightenment. A huge pagoa markes the holy spot. The terrace, as shown here, runs around the temple, and the strange stone ornaments to the right of the seated yellow turbaned man are shrines that have been erected by pilgrims."

"A rainbow of color, some girlst perform a folk dance in the streets of a village. They slap their sticks and jangle their golden bracelets to keep the rhythm of the dance. The flashing metal, the bright hues of their dress and the flowing of their gauze-like head-coverings add grace and gaiety to their stylized motions. In dancing, they move only their arms and the upper part of their bodies, so that they stand, like tossing flowers, in one place."

"The keeper of a shrine sits before an open-air temple, tolling a bell throughout the day. The bell calls passers-by to come to prayer. Imposing masks, one black and one white, crowned with exotic headdresses, represent the gods. Spread before them are offerings of food, some of it served to the deities in brightly copper pots and dishes!"

"The Hindu temple of Gujarat was built in the eleventh century. The elaborate carvings that decorate its entrace are a superb example of Hindu craftmanship. The temple is dedicated to Surya, the sun-god, the personification of sunlight and the vivifier of man. Representations of Surya show him riding in a splended chariot pulled by seven fiery steeds."

"These dancing girls execute intricate movements without apprent effort, but the smooth flow of the steps is really the result of long training. The dances are usually in a slow rhythm and every gesture has a meaning, even the flick of a single finger. One performance is supposed to represent incidents in the life of Krishna, considered by the Hindus as the incarnation of God and worshiped as invincible in war and love. With his worship are associated brilliant color, the perfume of flowers, milk and honey and all things joyous."

"The market places in towns and cities of India resound to the cries of fruit and vegetable vendors, tempting passers-by with their succulent wares. Since the merchants seldom of scales, they accurately weigh the produce in their hands. The fruits and vegetables are usually spread on open tables for the inspection off the customer."

Next destination: the forbidden land of Tibet!

(Lands and Peoples: The World in Color, Volume IV: Southern Asia and the Far East. New York: The Grolier Society, 1929.)

Friday, August 05, 2005

But can you imagine the beholder?

I've officially found the world's ugliest chair:

The aquatically-themed chair is on some giant plaster base with satinesque orangio-pink and cyan fabric. The print is of a pond with fish and other plants. The arm rests you see are cranes who are spearing fish:

The monstrosity is so shit-monkey ugly that words fail me. The best part of the deal, however, is that it is part of a complete set: another chair, a table, and a sofa. Imagine the people who originally bought this--their shear joy in the knowledge that they were owners of pure ugly.

Ah I wish that were true. "Oh Evelina!" I can imagine the bored 60s housefrau on the phone to an equally bored Weight Watchers friend. "You've simply got to come see the beautiful living room set LaDell bought me for our anniversary! It goes perfectly with that orange swag lamp you saw at S&H Green Stamps!"

I'd buy the set to put it out of its misery by blasting holes in it with a shotgun out in the desert, but I bet second-hand store owners would want more than 10 bucks for it.

If you are in the SLC crew, go down and look at it. It exists between 6th and 7th South on State.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hates casts


So Ron is the only one who's broken a bone?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Telgram from the wilderness