Friday, August 02, 2013

When someone you really didn't like dies

So there you are looking at the screen again
It's simple. It's an obituary.  It would be what 
The family would put in stone if cutting into
Stone didn't cost so much.  

So there you are, straining for something to
Type in the blinking blinking blinking box
And you think how you could say what a 
Humanitarian the blinking blinking blinking
Person was


There should be some reasonable outcome 
But there isn't.  

You can't and you won't

So you don't.

And then it comes to you 

You didn't really dislike the person
Well you did
But you'll have to let it slide




And then you worry that no one will

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ay, Madam. It is Common

I confused dates
And put 32 on a social
Network posting.

I confused my age
And lost something of you
In that because I realized
I realized that I had not
Thought of you

For months
Or years

Surely not 33 years
Maybe just 32 months
Or 32 days
Or 32 hours
Or 33 minutes

You weren't haunting me
On the parapet demanding

You were lost to my
Confusion Dad

The post, which I quickly
Deleted stirred some interest
From social network friends
Some acquaintances some
Second hand some
First hand

But I deleted it because
It was a silly thing to share
And I was wrong about the

Being acquainted with the
Ins and outs of social

I removed you and I removed me
And then we're gone
Both of us.

I've always wanted to never
Have to answer Gertrude's

Maybe someday.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'98 Thoughts On “Growing Cabbage”'

I was doing a tad bit of Internet research on cabbage growing techniques and came across  '98 Thoughts On “Growing Cabbage"'on a web site.  The "98 Thoughts" thing was just the clever  way for the blogger to indicate comments on the posting, but it sure sounds like a challenge to me!


98 Thoughts on Growing Cabbage

  1. Sew your cabbages in February, when the sun passes into Pices.  Not Gemini, mind you because that would be way too late.  If you are in a southern clime, that won't work for you at all.  Try October.  Libra?  Is that the right sign?  
  2. Note that cabbage seeda look like radish seed or like mustard seed or like turnip seed. 
  3. The seeds look alike because cabbages, radish, mustard, turnip, brocoli, kohlrabi, and cauliflower are all members of the brassica family. 
  4. That spiciness you taste in mustard is the same chemical that is found in all brassicas--even the bland (blanched) cauliflower.  Treat them all with the respect they deserve.
  5. Jesus pondered on the mustard grain.  You can ponder on cabbage grain and the wondrous large goodness that grows from such a tiny seed.
  6. When I was a kid, I made my own sauerkraut.  You take a Mason jar, salt, water, and cabbage.  Stuff the cabbage in the jar with the salt.  fill with water.  Cap the jar with cheese cloth and put it in a dark cool place.  A few weeks later you will have sauerkraut.  A few week laters I had sauerkraut.  
  7. Place your sewn seeds in a warm place for germination.  After they have germinated, move them to a very bright window.  Whatever you do, do not let the cabbage get leggy.
  8. If you cabbage gets leggy, all is not lost.  Pot it on and make sure it gets plenty of light.  I suggest a grow lamp.
  9. Leggy cabbage seedlings actually do just fine; do not trust gardening experts.
  10. While Thoreau famously grew beans, he should have grown cabbages too, since cabbage grows well in New England and would have provided a fine source of nutrients in the lean winter months.
  11. Korean cuisine uses Nappa cabbage to make kimchi.  Nappa cabbage is also a brassica.  Add that to your list.
  12. Cabbage is famously derided as a peasant food.  Celebrate that derision.
  13. There are, to date, no American television shows devoted to cabbage.  I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that there are whole Korean and German epics written about it.
  14. The cabbage in cabbage and corned beef is best cooked in the corned beef stock with the corned beef.  Place your shreaded cabbage in the corned beef pot when about a half hour of cooking time is left for the beef.  Cover.
  15. Do not listen to cooks who say cabbage should never be covered.  They fear the so-called stench of cooking cabbage, and are most likely reliving bad peasant childhood experiences when their mothers always covered the cabbage to cook it.  
  16. Pot-on your cabbage on when they have developed their first true leaves.  A true leaf is one that looks like a cabbage and not the roundish leaf that, basically, makes up most of the seed and surrounds the germ.
  17. Germination is called germination because the germ swells, the cotyledon expands, and first roots appear.
  18. The germ is an embryo.
  19. After you have potted on your cabbage seedlings, marvel at how fast they grow and become leggy.  Ignore the legginess.
  20. Try to make kimchi out of regular cabbage.  While not purist, I'm convinced it will work. 
  21. While vodka is made out of potatoes, there is nothing saying that it couldn't be made out of cabbage.
  22. Coleslaw is an oft derided summer salad.  Relish it.
  23. Cabbage can be planted out before the last frost, so long as you harden-off your seedlings by exposing them to the cooler temperatures outside.
  24. Cabbage heads, when firm, can and do indeed explode.  My father told me a story once of irrigating late one early summer evening when it had gotten hot, when the cabbage heads exploded around him because of the new-found water.
  25. Who wrote that cabbages and kings poem?  Oh yeah.
  26. There is no information as to whether Lewis Carroll enjoyed a tasty coleslaw on a damp English summer day, but he most likely did.
  27. Red cabbage is just red.  Its redness imparts no special flavor, but you would never make blaukraut with green cabbage.  
  28. Blaukraut is the red-headed step sister of sauerkraut for Americans, but it is far tastier, in my humble opinion.
  29. Most likely there are fine nutrients in red cabbage that you do not get in green cabbage and the taste is, no doubt, spicier than green.  Do not trust food experts on flavor profiles of cabbage varieties.  Red cabbage does have a distinct cabbagy flavor to it.  
  30. Thoreau could have preserved his cabbage using German methods.
  31. He could have also used Korean methods, but, no doubt, Korean culture had not quite spread to America at that point.
  32. Fish tacos must have cabbage on them.  They are not fish tacos otherwise.
  33. My brother grew amazingly beautiful cabbages.
  34. Kohlrabi is an amazingly tasty vegetable.  It is basically the swelling of the stem, and develops a distinct spicy taste.  I suggest you grow it next year.
  35. The history of cabbage is unclear, but they were most likely developed from wild field cabbage on or around March 12, 1000 B.C.
  36. Cabbage is a biennial.  If you want to be all retro and harvest your own seeds, you will need to be patient and let your cabbage ride out the winter. 
  37. Cabbages can be kept in the ground long after winter sets in.  Mulch them with straw to keep them from freezing through and making them inedible.  And by mulch I mean cover them profusely.
  38. Thoreau could also have done this.
  39. Instead he walked the five miles from Walden to Cambridge to barter for cabbage.
  40. Lewis Carroll never left Oxford.  He bought his cabbage at the Oxford Covered Market.  No reason to get wet. 
  41. Cabbages represent the Julia set in fractal geometry.  When you peel away the leaves you find more cabbage.
  42. The Cabbage White Butterfly (pieris rapae) is seen as a serious pest to all brassicae.  
  43. So they eat a few leaves.  It is not like they destroy the plant.  Lighten up, people.
  44. Club root, however, is a serious problem in the garden.  Once you get club root, you must refrain from planting brassicae for at least 4 years.  
  45. The lack of cabbage in the garden is sad.
  46. Sulforaphane is the chemical that causes for cole crops to have their spiciness and smell.  
  47. Sulforaphane, apparently, is a potent anti-cancer agent.  It is unclear if it prevents influenza or tuberculosis.
  48. I have 50 thoughts more to go on cabbage.  And they said the onion has many layers.  Julia set!
  49. Neither Thoreau or Carroll died of cancer.  They must have eaten their vegetables.
  50. Before the last frost, plant your cabbage seedlings in well-tilled earth, about 2 feet apart.
  51. Robert Frost farmed in both England and America.  Surely, he grew cabbage between swinging on birches and trying-not-very-hard to build stone walls with his neighbors.
  52. Skunk cabbage is not a brassica and should not be eaten.
  53. Apparently bears eat skunk cabbage root after hibernating to induce emesis.  
  54. Cabbage is full of soluble fiber.  
  55. What's good for the bowels is good for the brain.
  56. Despite our tropical notions of India, cabbage is indeed grown there and does feature highly in Indian cuisine.
  57. I bet Sinead O'Connor enjoys cabbage. 
  58. Marianne Faithful, however, should eat more cabbage, given all the cigarettes she smoked.
  59. I can think of no songs that feature cabbages.
  60. There are songs about cabbages.
  61. If you put Thoreau, Lewis Carroll, Robert Frost, Sinead O'Connor, and Marianne Faithfull in a room with a cabbage, the cabbage is not going to come out unscathed.
  62. Mark Twain sure hated cabbage or maybe college educations.
  63. Ok, he didn't really hate cabbage; he hated the pretentious upstart cauliflower.  Damn you college boy cauliflower.
  64. Fertilize your cabbage regularly.  They are big eaters and have big appetites.  Yeah, they have a lust for life.
  65. People who love cabbage, therefore, have a lust for life.  
  66. It is unclear if Michelangelo liked cabbage, but there is ample evidence that he ate it, given the prevalence of cabbage in rustic Italian cuisine.
  67. Rustic is a romanticized version of peasant (with cabbages.)
  68. The savoy cabbage must have come from Italy.  I insist on that.
  69. Broccoli.
  70. There is a reason that George Bush the First was not re-elected and that reason is cabbaged-based. (Well that and he had many cabbage-headed policies.)
  71. Cabbage head must be a mild Shakespearean insult.
  72. What you can find on the Internet.
  73. The Kids in the Hall, of course had 
  74. So the Kids in the Hall, Shakespeare, George Bush, Marianne Faithfull, Sinead O'Connor, Robert Frost, Lewis Carroll, Thoreau and a cabbage are locked in a room.  Now that's pure comedy gold.
  75. I really want to believe that Marshall McLuhan talks about cabbage in this radio interview.
  76. 76 cabbages sat on a wall.  Who--oh who, will happen to fall?  A cabbage.
  77. If a lark should appear whilst planting your cabbages, rejoice for the LORD is with thee.
  78. What's the best coleslaw recipe?  Fancy you should ask.  I suggest a sauce of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part sugar and a generous dash for mustard.  Grind heavy with your pepper grinder. 
  79. My mother had an excellent innovation for coleslaw:  no sauce but just cheese and onion.  
  80. Geese like cabbage.
  81. My brother's cabbage were once torn to shreds by our flock of geese.  Geese are also obsessed with tin foil.
  82. I am unclear on how cabbage relish differs from saurekraut or blaukraut, but I'm willing to give it a go.
  83. You have to be patient with cabbage.  Just because they have formed a head doesn't mean that they are ready to harvest. 
  84. Test your cabbage's readiness for harvest by manipulating the head with your very own two hands.  If it gives way when you grip it, it is not ready.  If it is solid as a rock, time to harvest.
  85. The best place to get blaukraut in Salt Lake City is definitely Siegfired's Delicatessen.
  86. I bet Wagner thought cabbage was peasant food.  Fuck Wagner.
  87. To prevent club root you should keep your seedlings isolated from other cole crops.
  88. Mon petit chou is a term of endearment in French.
  89. With all their haute cuisine, the French still love le chou.
  90. In the immortal words of Gertrude Stein "A cabbage is a cabbage is a cabbage."
  91. Don't separate a dog from his cabbage.
  92. Cats, however, have better manners.
  93. Did I mention coleslaw?   Well here is how to get the perfect shred.
  94. KFC has ruined coleslaw for everyone.  Fuckers.
  95. One medium cabbage leaf (23 grams) has 6 calories in it.
  96. If an average cabbage weighs 3 pounds, then a three pound cabbage would contain 354 calories.
  97. Thoreau would have to eat 8 cabbages to get his necessary calorie intake for one day.
  98. That's a lot of cabbage.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Two dreams about family


I am in a white Ford Taurus with my sister.  She is saying something.  I say something back.  There is music playing.  The music is vague, but I recall, now, that one of my earliest memories is of her driving our metallic blue Ford Falcon and singing along to "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog."

She drives on.  We are on Redwood Road--a broad road, with a flat open treeless expanse around us of random houses and strip malls.

I am adult me.  She morphs from her eighteen-year-old self to her middle age.

And then, suddenly, ahead, there is a parade.  The marching band owns our lane.

She accelerates.

The flag twirlers spot our car and, screaming, bustle to the roadside, flags dragging behind.

The band breaks before us in a cacophony of terror.  Trumpets and trombones fly into the air.

"They need to get out of the way!"  my sister exclaims, hitting the accelerator.

I think we clip one of the girls as we pass.  I try to turn my head.


I am in the backyard with my brother.  He is throwing rocks at the house.  He is twelve, and has put one the pre-pubescent fat my siblings were all subjected to.  He wears a yellow plaid shirt.

I am shirtless and skinny and eight.

He throws a rock.  The rock hits our bathroom window.  It bounces off.

He picks up another rock and throws.  It bounces off.

He picks ups another.

I stand by the clematis vine that now, I know, was called "Western Virgin's Bower."

I look down at my feet and see a brick.  It is red and has the three holes that bricks have, but there is another broken brick attached to it by mortar.  The broken brick does not have three holes.  It is and old pioneer brick--solid and hard.

"Throw this brick!" I shout, my child voice ringing out.  My small hand goes down to pick it up.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday, April 04, 2013

In the wilderness or I lost my damn keys

While I was sojourning the British Isles, the old URL for Signifying nothing ( came up for renewal.  I knew that it was going to happen, but in my literal rush to get the hell out of town--I slept past my alarm on the day of my flight out after finishing up a rather taxing semester and came this close to missing my flight--I neglected to do so.

No worries, I thought, I'll do it when I get back.

More famous last italicized words, it would seem.

When I returned from the adventure in nearly mid January, after having spent a whirlwind trip in a dark, cold, yet absolutely enthralling Atlantic Archipelago, I rushed back into a new semester, and gave little thought to my little webby friend, and, having experienced the soul-crushing realization that exchanged rates suck, I wasn't about to plonk down one more Euro.  My previous domain name provider, you see, was based in France.  Not one red euro-cent shall I provide to the economy of Europe! I resolved.

Now, as the poet says, way goes on to way, and in between dealing with various crisis at my place of employment--a couple of weeks of trying to cover the demand of 30K students with 3 part-time employees due to a managerial fuck up (not on my part), and then helping 6 new folks learn the ropes, and then having the previous managerial fuck up rectified and being back to a more sustainable workforce, and then trying to write a speech that was giving me fits, and then just, you know, dealing with snow and winter and ice and realizing how much money one can really spend while traveling even if most of the places you stayed at were free--I neglected my pretty little domain so much that she went and run off on me. is currently shacking up with something called HugeDomains.  To top that, said HugeDomains apparently wants $1,695.00 ransom or palimony or dowry or whatever to get little Siggy back into my arms.  Yeah, right.

The contents of the blog had not disappeared, of course, as they are safely stored by our friends at Google.  What had disappeared was my antediluvian URL.  Gone.  Gone.  Gone.

So I thought


But why not let it go?  I thought.  What's the point of it?  What's the point?  Meh.  It should go.  Leave it like a bad habit.  Leave it like a pair of worn out old socks.

And so I let it go.

Weeks passed and my mind kept tricking me back to writing posts--about my travels in Anglo-Celtic Isles, about the weird experience of Las Vegas and having my ex invite me to have dinner with her child, her husband, and her fruit trees (that will be a poem, some day), about my weird little finds on the  Internetic tubes.  But no.  I was done with it.  Done!  No reason to put anything on it, even though I can.  No.  Don't.  It is dead to you.  Dead.

And then, suddenly, I'm sitting there at my place of employ, listening to my most excellent colleague Hightouch Megastore, and I had a pang in my fingers to write.  Write.  Write and share it with others.

O!  Where art thou?

So then I bought on the cheap and all is well.

I mean the whole .com thing is so late 90's.  And like I was making any money off that cheating old domain anyway.  Good luck with that, HugeDomains.

So say hello to

Same old thing but new flashy clothes!

Issue 31.  12 years in the making. 

Next up:  adventures in the value-laden/value-free Isles!  (Maybe.)