Friday, December 22, 2006
Well, nothing earth-shattering going on here - just enjoying a couple of days off from work. I went with a great friend of mine today to see the Linda McCartney 60's photos exhibit - wow.
While I was looking at another collection within the museum, a guy went strolling by chatting on his cellphone. I frankly, wholeheartedly admit that I am an eavesdropper. I don't care if you know it - I think it is totally disingenous for most of us to pretend like we don't listen to conversations - and of course, if it's in a public space, that is fair game, friend. Anyway, I gathered quickly enough that this guy had never been to Huntsville and actually, probably not ever to a latitude lower than North Carolina, because he was going on to his phone friend about how "this museum has an exhbit on 60's photography from Linda McCartney!" From the tone of the conversation, I gathered that he was somewhat surprised with Huntsville itself.
This guy probably was not too much of a snob, but I can't stand people who just assume stuff about places they have never been to, especially where the South is concerned. What irks me particularly are those who portray themselves as hip, progressive, and open-minded. Third-world, pollution-belching banana republic? Just hand them the Lonely Planet guide, they're right behind Angelina and Brad. Black Belt Alabama? Hell no! Oh, but I will buy that Gee's Bend quilt from Macy's that I heard about on NPR. How folksy! Blecch.
Vanity Fair had a particularly banal and ill-informed "humor" series running in the culture section a couple of months ago. The REAL America: A Red-State Appeasement Guide purported to know how we bumpkins amuse ourselves down here. I actually wrote a letter to the editor about it, but didn't get published. Thank goodness for the age of vanity publishing - you'll be delighted to know you can read it here!
Before I launch into my tirade (because we red-staters are such hot-headed folks, aren’t we?), I do want to say that I have loved Vanity Fair since I was a teenager for the captivating photography, fashion, cultural notes, and dishy high society pieces. I’ve held my tongue and kept my subscription through the many stupid-Southerner-backwards- Midwesterner-what-the-red-states-are-really-like articles. However, I just have to say bravo on the latest tongue-in-cheek delicacy you printed entitled “The REAL America: Our Red-State Appeasement Section.” You’ve now completely rounded out your well-informed collection of cultural and travel guides for those readers in New York and California who will never deign to visit the red-state wasteland anyway.
I am now a proud resident of Alabama, but I have lived in many other places during my life – even overseas! I also lived in New York City for one year. It was beautiful and lots of fun; everything you would expect. But I have to say, some of the New Yorkers I met were as provincial a people as I have ever run across. Their lack of interest in where others were from and the proud ignorance of other places in the US was astonishing.
Oh, and to Jamie Malanowski – why highlight only the TV shows and Christian themes that captivate red-staters? The last religious cultural event this bama attended was a down-home Diwali festival. My city has a thriving cultural and international community, – why don’t you visit sometime? We’ll speak extra-slow, just for you.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? My imagination.
Where would you like to live? A place with no fear and no hatred. Heaven then.
What is your idea of earthly happiness? Right now, with healthy and happy family and friends. Also, summers spent at #1 Bedford Avenue in Rehoboth Beach as a child.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent? My own.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? Mr. Darcy and Walter Mitty
Who are your favorite characters in history? Richard III, Queen Elizabeth I
Who are your favorite heroines in real life? Condoleeza Rice
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction? Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy (and Marmee)
Who is your favorite painter? Giorgio di Chirico
Who is your favorite musician? Beau Watkins
The quality you most admire in a man? Humor, decisiveness, and a sense of responsibility
The quality you most admire in a woman? Independence and a sense of responsibility
Your favorite virtue? A kind heart.
Your favorite occupation? Reading
Who would you have liked to be? Dorothy Parker for a week in the 1920s.
Your most marked characteristic? Sensitivity (for better and for worse)
What do you most value in your friends? Kindness and quirkiness
What is your principal defect? Being too hard on myself
What historical figure do you most despise? The obvious ones. As a Christian, I wish I could say I didn't despise anyone.
What natural gift would you most like to possess? Literary genius
How would you like to die? Knowing that I helped make someone's life better. Hopefully many lives.
What is your present state of mind? Introspective
What is your motto? Leave the party while you're still having fun. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your own company.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
All expenses-paid business trips with the opportunity for sight-seeing rock. I am in Boston this week in order to help train our new clients at the Boston Public Library. I have already had some great food and a very happy visit to the Museum of Fine Arts this evening. In a little over an hour I saw stuff by Gilbert Stuart, Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, Diane Arbus, Robert Rauschenburg, Andy Warhol, Whistler, and John Singer Sargent.
My favorite though was by an artist I haven't heard of before - William Rimmer. His painting, Flight and Pursuit, was very eerie. Click on the title link if you want some more information and an image. In any case, I loved going to the museum at eight at night. It was pretty much us and the local art students.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Coming up on the list will be No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy for the CSI Book Club, as well as Wicked and Storm Front (Dresden Files series) for The Arcanum.
I also got a lovely surprise present from my very dear friend Jenny. An Amazon box was waiting on my doorstep yesterday, and when I opened it it was the new Beck album, The Information. She has the best taste in music, and has introduced me to so many incredible things. I love her dearly.
"Peaches are symbols of longevity, and the chinese character for bat, "fu", sounds like the character for "blessings" when pronounced. Therefore, bats + peaches = "May you possess both blessings and longevity." - From AsianArt.org - http://www.asianart.org/hiddenmeanings.htm
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I have also been reading a lot, big surprise. It helps to keep me sane. I finished The Sunne in Splendour a couple of weeks ago. Now I have been jumping around my stack of library books, plus some stuff I just picked up at Barnes & Noble. ;-) Here's a recap if anyone is interested:
The Introvert Advantage - I don't normally troll the self-help aisle, but I became fascinated with the idea of the introverted personality and all that entails a couple of years ago when I found out I was one. Now it is so nice to read authoritative information on it and say "whew, I'm not a misanthrope after all, and it's ok to like to be alone."
Bitchfest - 10 years of the best of Bitch magazine articles - really good stuff!
Good Women - Three novellas by an English author, really fantastic. I loved "Garden Guerillas" the best.
Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 19th annual collection - This is an absolute integral part of my book collection. I have been collecting these every year for over ten years now. Enough said.
AA Gill is Away - Read this now. You really can, it's on the web. This guy is incredible. http://www.travelintelligence.net/php/writers/writ.php?id=22 It is a series of travel articles, mostly done from 1999-2001 - not what you think though. I can't do it justice in words, just read them. He could write about a burlap sack and you would be enlightened. Hands down favorite essay is "Mad in Japan." Second is "Hunforgiven."
Rumspringa - Rent the documentary The Devil's Playground if you can't get the book right away. The author did them as companions to each other. The Amish have a coming-of-age ritual called Rumspringa (literally means "running around"). At about age 16, if the kids choose to so, they can go absolutely wild. Drugs, sex, drinking, you name it. The idea is that you expose yourself to this, you can make a more informed decision to be baptized into the church. Some take a few years. Some never want to go back and join the "English" world. The catch is that you are cut off from the community forever. I haven't finished it yet, but it's fascinating.
Also picked up but not yet read - may have to come back to:
Music Lust (along the same vein as Book Lust) - Interesting enough to read through, although great as a reference.
Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grownup
What to Eat - Marion Nestle is really cool.
A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and Her Life in Fashion, Art, and Letters
Whew. Enough to keep me busy, but of course I have my eye on more. I am dying to read two short story collections by Margaret Atwood that I just discovered:
Moral Disorder and Other Stories.
Amazon wishlists are awesome. I can keep up with what I want to read there, and just see if the library has them. I also want to read:
Pay the Piper: A Rock n' Roll Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen
The Unruly Life of Woody Allen
The Last of Her Kind
Edgar Allen Poe & the Jukebox
My Latest Grievance
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Each evening I would take a nature walk down the beach and observed some awesome wildlife. Stingrays (no, I didn't kill any!), jellyfish, TONS of fish, crabs, you name it. Board games were played, seafood was eaten, margaritas were imbibed. No one got too drunk, keelhauled, shark-mauled or otherwise injured, except for a nasty sunburn on my part. That's the price you pay when you stick a gal of Anglo-Irish descent much closer to the equator when her genetic code hasn't evolved to catch up.
Now I am back among the land of the nerds, enjoying beautiful fall weather, and a great stash of library books. Sweet!
Friday, September 01, 2006
Anyway, The Sunne in Splendour is about The War of the Roses, and follows the battles and intrigues of the Houses of York and Lancaster. So far it's focused on the rise of the Yorkist Edward IV and his reign, and then (it is a VERY long book) goes into the succession of his younger brother, Richard III. I've been trying not to read too much background, because I don't want to spoil the ending! This also shows how woefully inadequate my knowledge is of some of the most pivotal events in English history. Oh well.
I am also on a crusade to get my neighbors pit bulls removed from the renters next door. It is infuriating. When we first moved in they had four dogs chained in the back yard of the house. Yes, chained 24/7. Not kept as pets. Definitely breeding them, and, I am 99% sure, fighting them. The dogs got loose on several occasions, threatening me, my husband, and others in the neighborhood. After animal control and the police were called several times, I think the landlord forced them to keep the dogs elsewhere. So, we had relative peace all last year, but now the dogs have returned. I am also fairly certain that my neighbor is selling pirated DVDs, and have it on some authority that he may be dealing drugs as well. Arrgg!! I've called the landlord twice now, and have gotten no response. What is wrong with people? This guy is a slumlord, the house looks like hell to boot. Today I am going to call animal control, on the grounds that it is a matter of time before the dogs get loose again, and there is not a sufficient fence to keep them in. I gave the slumlord ample time to call me back - too bad for him.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Basically Mayer's message is that our generation is misunderstood and people think we don't stand for anything. "Now we see everything that's going wrong/ with the world and those who lead it/ we just feel like we don't have the means/ to rise above and beat it." Wow, what an amazing attitude - that will get you places.
Now, if you're reading this you may think I am taking a song way too seriously, but it's a serious topic and raises some questions. First, we live in the richest country in the world. We can vote, we can say what we like without the gestapo whisking us away in the middle of the night - we pretty much have every means at our disposal to make change happen. If you're bothered about what's going on, use your head, use your voice, use your youth and energy. If you're over 25, start a grassroots campaign and run for office. We live in a NOW society, but change can take a while. It took time to get where we are, and it will take time to change direction.
The second thing in Mayer's lyrics that bothered me was "and when you trust your television/ what you get is what you got/ cause when they own the information, oh/ they can bend it all they want." Ok - this is incredible. If you're getting all of your news from television you may need some more help than one woman can provide. Never in the history of the world have we had such amazing access to all sorts of media - not only newspaper and radio, but a cornucopia of web content. With the web, nobody owns the information. Download an RSS reader and subscribe to newsfeeds! Make your own information in a free blog or web site. Rank the importance of a news story at Digg.com. I am a librarian and therefore I try to get my news from a variety of sources, and I can guarantee you I am not seeing only pro-war content out there. Salon and the New York Times are huge and freely accessible on the web if you want perspectives that you feel you aren't getting from the Fox News network.
Finally, the third line I want to take to task is: "It's not that we don't care/ we just know that the fight ain't fair/ so we keep on waiting/ waiting for the world to change." A fair fight? I'm sorry, but the fight began when we were suckerpunched by suicidal monsters in airplanes. That wasn't fair.
Even if there was no link between Al Qaeda and Iraq, we took down an absolute despot. This is a guy who would have his countrymen arrested, strip them naked, hang them by their hands with their arms backward, and have them beaten or electrocuted to death. In any case, I am sure Saddam Hussein would not have refused the opportunity to have a go at the Great Satan with Osama bin Laden. I find it interesting that those who say conservatives see things only in black and white tend to have some of their own monchromatic viewpoints.
So John, I have to say I give it a 5 for the music and a 0 for the lyrics. I'm just not buying it. Being passive and being a pacifist don't mean the same thing. Remember, my young minstrel - a man of thought AND action gets more chicks.
Monday, August 07, 2006
I am excited about this one. I have gotten on a biography/authobiography kick lately, and this one looks very cool. It's a memoir by a woman named Jen Trynin. Apparently she was on the verge of making it big around 1994 - she was on the cover Billboard and in Rolling Stone and had Aimee Mann as her friend/mentor, and things just sort of bottomed out and it didn't happen. Anyway, the book came out this year. I haven't read it yet so I can't recommend it, but it looks very promising! Here is her site: http://www.jentrynin.com/enter.shtml
Almost finished with Savage Beauty. If you don't read any other poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, read "Renascence." http://www.bartleby.com/131/1.html
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Sunday, July 2, 2006
Sen. Stevens' hilariously awful explanation of the Internet
Senator Ted Stevens, a neutricidal maniac who wants to allow the phone companies to charge Google and others for delivering their packets to you, gave this incredible description of his understanding of how the internet works. This man is so far away from having a coherent picture of the Internet's functionality, it's like hearing a caveman expound on the future of silver-birds-from-sky and why we need to keep them from flying so high they anger the gods.
"I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?
Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially...
They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.
It's a series of tubes.
And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
All of his movies are absolutely hilarious mockumentaries, and Spinal Tap is probably the most well known. The sentence-long description of the new one, called "For Your Consideration" is already cracking me up: "Three actors learn their respective performances in the film "Home for Purim," a drama set in the mid-1940s American South, are generating award-season buzz."
What I love about these movies is that it has introduced to me the genius of actors I have usually seen in more "character actor" parts over the years. Eugene Levy (the dad in American Pie), Fred Willard, Jennifer Coolidge (the hairdresser in Legally Blonde). So the first time you watch one them, you're going "that's the guy in...!"
Christopher Guest is amazing because of the range of roles he can play, and really become a different person in each one. I think my favorite is Corky St. Clair in Waiting for Guffman. In this, he is an actor who moves to Blaine, Missouri from NYC to direct community theater and is always seen buying clothes for his wife "Bonnie" who is mysteriously never around.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Curb appeal - Any detritus from your house remodeling or any piece of junk whatsoever that you throw out on the curb for the trash guys and 30 minutes later, it's gone.
I'm not kidding, people will take anything.
Last year we ripped a bunch of nasty astroturf off of our front porch and put it on the curb, - this stuff was moldy and had to have been there at least 15 years - anyway, I was talking to my neighbor a couple of days later and she told me her son was looking out the window one day and saw the guy from the across the street come over while we were at work and cart it off.
When we had contractors working this fall to reside and reroof our house, they told us all kinds of people were stopping by to pick up old aluminum siding, moldy awnings, you name it.
The reason I bring up this topic today is because we ripped up a lot of carpet from inside the house today - mulberry colored old lady carpet - and put it outside. Today is Saturday, and the trash pickup is Monday. Wonder how long it will make it. I predict there will be one happy grandma somewhere tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Currently reading Savage Beauty - a biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford. I am excited because I think it will be pretty juicy. I love really good biographies, especially about people who wrote great poetry and had lots of love affairs.
You may have read this poem before, called "First Fig"
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
It gives a lovely light!
On Modern American Poetry, the critic JoEllen Green Kaiser says of this poem:
"Her most famous poem, after all, does not mourn absent love but rejoices in love’s impermanence."
Friday, July 14, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
This particular day I was working in the audiovisual department:
Patron - a black man in his thirties
Me - clueless
Me: Can I help you?
Patron: I'm looking for some sounds.
Me: Well sir, we have all kinds of CDs with sound effects. Train sounds, scary sounds...
Patron: No, no I want sex sounds, like with a woman.
Me: Umm, we don't have anything like that here....maybe you could try an adult store?
Patron: Well I know that! (turns around and walks off)
Stay tuned for our next story, "The Strong Woman of Queens."
"Illegal aliens didn't invade in one day. However, if our nation devoted every available federal, state and local resource to their removal, in 90 days, they would be as rare as rocking-horse droppings."
- From a letter to the editor in the Huntsville Times.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
People broken down singularly are bizarre and eccentric creatures, ranging from our little peccadilloes to major perversions and stuff that gets one into the Darwin Awards and News of the Weird. Yet, as a whole, we somehow manage in most parts of the world to come together as functioning societies. I suppose your black holes would be places like Darfur or East Timor, and your dark matter would be uncontacted tribes in the Amazon.
"O.K., that means our whole solar system could be, like... one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being...
This is too much! That means...
-one tiny atom in my fingernail could be--
-Could be one little...tiny universe....Could I buy some pot from you?"
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Well, I guess that's enough ranting for one night. I'm going to the liberry.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I am excited because I have had my camera since Christmas, but only got around to figuring out how to upload the pictures today. I was getting grumpy because I couldn't figure out how to do it, and then Matthew asked if I had turned the camera on :-)
He is in tech support, so he is used to this.
This is our most adorable rabbit, Georgie Phillips.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
43% Dixie. Barely in Yankeedom.
This was lots of fun!
Monday, June 19, 2006
Oh yeah, I promised Maggie I would post this. We were watching Batman Begins the other night and were a little giddy from being almost done with our "boot camp" at KSU.
These are my "Suri" quotes:
Suri you have Tom Cruise as a dad
Suri your mother has to marry Tom Cruise this summer
Suri you got turned into a Scientology 'bot
Suri your dad is such a nut job he caused the phrase "couch jumping" to come into existence
These don't begin to match up in awesomeness to my friend Beau's brilliant Tom Cruise haiku. Which, for the record, he came up with several years ago, before the Tom Cruise madness. I'll post them if I can still find them (and if he's cool with that).
PS - a big thanks to Melanie for the wonderful "Suri" image!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
The memorial was beautiful, four simple slabs of polished stone (maybe granite) and a marker with the names of the four dead and nine wounded. Near the memorial and right next to the dorm I stayed in was the area where the students actually died. It is now a parking lot, but each spot where a student died was marked with lights and a marker with their name. It was very moving.
Kent State is also populated with black squirrels, which I remember seeing when I lived in Ft. Riley, KS. According to one of the professors, these squirrels were brought to the campus about 15 years ago and have since populated about a 12-mile radius. They seem to be genetically dominant. There are still some grey ones here and there, but the little black ones appear to have taken over. I was able to unwind each night with a nice quiet walk around campus and a bit of squirrel watching.
Strangely enough, having to be "on" each day and having to present and teach didn't leave me as stressed and drained each night as I thought I would be. I think it had to do with the fact that for a week, after I finished work each day, all of my meals were cooked for me, I didn't come home to a messy house (just a small room) and I had no TV or internet to distract me (consequently no depressing news to listen to), and some great books to read. I must be afflicted with modern life.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Oh, and this is just wrong.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Huntsville High degenerates
Besides the obvious, what I find so disturbing in the wake of the Huntsville High incident, are the reactions from many of the community.
On the WAFF online comment board, there are reactions such as "Yeah, next time a homeless woman would be better" to "These are teenagers pulling a high school prank" to "Why don't the police focus on real crimes," etc.
Maybe I am over generalizing here, but I would bet that all of the degenerates involved in this incident come from among the more wealthy homes in Huntsville, and have never had to or will have to worry about too much, not materially anyway.
I think that those of us who are blessed with mental and physical health and other comforts can sometimes amass an arrogance of having so much, as well as a spiritual void where others less fortunate are concerned.
The onus is on us to protect and care for others in our community, not use them as puppets for entertainment.
For any us to pass off these oafs as having fun and games or "kids being kids" makes us no better than those who support tyrants and dictators.
It all contributes to a corrupt and worthless society, and that's a very real crime.
Ann Lee Phillips,
This may not be a very Christian sentiment, but sometimes I wish they would bring back those stocks that you could stick people's hands and feet in, and throw rotten fruit at them.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
You should be able to listen to a clip and see the list here:
Oh yeah, and THIS guy doesn't know what the hell he talking about:
By the way, I nominate my husband as my muscial unsung hero, for his awesome keyboard playalongs to Bryan Adams' Heaven while I am trying to listen to it on the radio, and his participation in the St. Stephen's bell choir.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Anyway, the last two days have been nice. Work hasn't been completely insane, and have actually started running again and looking forward to doing so when I come home from work.
I had a Hitchcockian experience yesterday. While running up a tree-lined hill, a bird decided to start dive-bombing my head. I have been swiped at before, but this was really the most ferocious little creature I have ever encountered. I think he took at least five dives at me, all the while chirping angrily. Or maybe it was a she, protecting her nest. I haven't seen The Birds since I was ten, but it made me remember how creepy that movie was. It's really like these tiny dinosaurs flying around, with their cold reptilian instincts.
On Sunday - the day of the terrible mood - I went to see Friends with Money. I really like all of the actresses in it - Jennifer Aniston, Joan Cusack, and Catherine Keener, but I LOVE Frances McDormand. She was awesome in Fargo, and Laurel Canyon. Here, she plays this spastic, angry woman, but she is so likeable. I identified with her because she goes around blowing up at people who steal her parking space and all of these little indignities and affronts, when the root of the problem is much deeper. You just see her simmering all through the movie. Finally, she is in Old Navy when a couple of cuts in front of her. You know, those awful people that jump through the line when a clerk opens another register when you have been waiting longer.
Anyway, she loses it and is kicked out of the store, and while she is walking out in a fit of rage, she breaks her nose on a plate glass window.
The past couple of years, I feel like I have been on that low boil. Getting mad about things on a deeper level, bottling it up, not confronting the actual problems and then embarrassing myself by giving the finger to people on the highway or screaming or punching the wall or throwing things. And when I saw this character in the movie getting so angry she ultimately causes physical damage to herself, I knew that I had been approaching this level of anger, that any day now I am going to just blow - and I don't want that to happen. But at the same time, I want it to happen, like a little kid, show everyone how MAD I am, and feel really gleeful about it!
Oh well. This is why we are called adults, although many of us these days seem to think we are entitled to act otherwise. I often catch myself doing childish things, like whining on a blog :-)
On a happier note, I saw this line in an ad for laundry detergent yesterday and it cracked me up: "Imagine some socks chasing some panties around on a hamster wheel."
I'll buy it if I get to see that!
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I also have been staying busy with work, as well as gearing up for my sister's wedding on May 20.
Last night I saw a very moving documentary about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German minister who was part of a resistance plot to kill Hitler. If anyone is reading this and has the chance, watch this program, or visit the PBS site: http://www.pbs.org/bonhoeffer/
I have to go for now, but more later.
Monday, April 03, 2006
No family pictures on the wall, no books,
A drafting desk, a travel magazine;
No children, one divorce, a satellite dish—
A cold, efficient exercise machine,
And in the corner with the firewood, stacks
Of videos. The fridge comes with "lite" beer
And non-fat milk for the granola stored
In jars. I've looked, but there's no sugar here.
Platoons of running shoes camp by the door;
His Boston fern, neglected, pays the price;
His one unfriendly cat purposefully saunters
Across the threshold, searching hard for mice.
As he begins to age, and his gray beard
Inaugurates the thinning of his hair,
He'll pale with each sensation in his chest,
Each flutter, every pain and numbness there—
No cardiologist, nor any chart
Will ever find the trouble with his heart.
by Leslie Monsour, from The Alarming Beauty of the Sky
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
A young French man named Ilan Halimi who happened to be Jewish was kidnapped and tortured to death over a period of THREE weeks by a gang of mostly Muslim youth in one of the suburbs of Paris. They apparently invited friends and neighbors over to participate, yet no one ever called the police. I can't write anymore about it, it's too sickening.
I love France and enjoyed my time there, but attitudes like this just make me want to stay away. I am not anti-Muslim - I am anti-depraved violence against others, and I am against spineless wimps offering apologetics on why souless thugs may be justified in their acts. Let's call something for what it is, and not act like scared kids at recess trying to avoid the bully skulking in the school yard.
In addition, I am a Christian, and when I saw Rolling Stone's cover of Kanye West as a crucified Jesus, I didn't run around burning stuff and threatening murder, although I was highly offended by the content. Guess what, I chose not to read it, and suffered the fools who decided to print that garbage.
On a final note, we all (myself included) need to keep alive in our memories ALL acts of violence against every human, lest we fall into the trap as great as hate, which is indifference. Before Hitler began the death camps that murdered Jews, as well as Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, and many others, he said "Who will remember the Armenians?" (One million Armenians were murdered during WW I)
John Leo's Column:
Here is in-depth information about the crime:
Saturday, March 18, 2006
This links to a PDF that has a photo of my great-grandfather, Louis Prentiss, with Richard Nixon when he was Vice-President. I found this one day when I was just messing around, and it's pretty weird. I had no idea he had ever met Richard Nixon.
I am in a much better frame of mind today. I think I just get too sensitive about things. It is a beautiful day today and I have so much to be thankful for. The image that was in the last post is called Melancholy and Mystery of a Street, by Italian metaphysical artist Girogi de Chirico. It is one of my very favorites, and his art just appeals to me on so many levels that I don't think I can even conciously express. I like the brightness and shadow, and the silence. If you like it, also check out Max Ernst, featured here. I was lucky enough to see a Max Ernst exhibit in Paris in 1998. This image is titled Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I'm getting depressed again. Or maybe I am always depressed and it just has peaks and troughs?
The Little Prince made me weep when I read it.
I'm reading The Eye of the World for The Arcanum on March 21. It's pretty good, although I have heard of the dangers of getting sucked into the entire series. Apparently Robert Jordan wasn't kidding when he named the series Wheel of Time.
I just read What Was She Thinking by Zoe Heller, which may have precipitated the depression. The writing and storyline were excellent, but the characters were a real downer. All kinds of psychological complexes in people with nearly zero redeeming traits.
I think that next I would like to pick up Gain by Richard Powers, and also a new children's book called The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
Monday, March 13, 2006
It was one hundred degrees, as we sat beneath a willow tree,
Whose tears didn't care, they just hung in the air, and refused to fall, to fall.
And I knew I'd made horrible call,
And now the state line felt like the Berlin wall,
And there was no doubt about which side I was on.
Cause I built you a home in my heart,
With rotten wood, it decayed from the start.
Cause you can't find nothing at all,
If there was nothing there all along.
No you can't find nothing at all,
If there was nothing there all along.
For me it was that "oh no, what have I gotten myself into and how can I extricate myself" sinking of the gut. And no matter what, I always felt like a jerk.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Shakespeare, A Winter's Tale, Act III, Scene iii, lines 59-62.
This is a quote that I disovered in Pamela Dean's version of the ballad of Tam Lin.
I am not sure how many times I have read it, or more accurately, picked it up and thumbed through to favorite parts. It's like sitting down with a box of chocolates. The above link has all of the fantastic literary references that Dean uses throughout the novel. A line that gives me chills every time I read it is when the Queen of Hell confronts Tam Lin (or Thomas, in this version) after Janet has pulled him off the horse and covered him while he shape-shifts:
" 'Oh had I known," she said in her own voice, but with a wild note and a wilder accent, Scottish flavored with Welsh or French or something nobody knew; she said this much straight to Janet, and then jerked her head to address Thomas. 'Tam Lin' she said , 'what this night I did see," and she looked back at Janet, 'I had looked him the eye, and turned him to a tree.' "
Thursday, March 09, 2006
A passage that sort of parallels this is from Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers:
"The web was a neighborhood more efficiently lonely than the one it replaced. Its solitude was bigger and faster. When relentless intelligence finally completed its program, when the terminal drop box brought the last barefoot, abused child on line and everyone could at last say anything instantly to everyone else in existence, it seemed to me that we'd still have nothing to say to each other and many more ways to say it."
Now the idea that their child might be an "indigo" has started to appeal to many parents, and why shouldn't it? Many kids (and unfortunately the rest of us) today are subject to the Baby Jesus syndrome by their parents, where everything they do is special and magical. I am not trying to sound like a jerk, because I think the qualities of sensitivity and creativity, supposed traits of an Indigo, are a blessing and should be encouraged in everyone. However, some of the other qualities listed, such as:
- They feel like royalty and deserve to be here
- They are full of self-worth
- They have difficulty with absolute authority
- They will not respond to "guilt" discipline
There is more and more buzz about this type of personality, with web sites, books, and seminars - it will be interesting to see if this is the second wave of Boomeresque child-rearing principles. I do not yet have a child, but, indigo or not, I think we will be following the advice of mom.
I can't find the article online, but here is a link to a website about Indigo Children: http://www.indigochild.com/
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Last week of February: "He is hostile."
This week: "Two out of three ain't good."
I'm imagining some guy who's owned this place since the 70's (it's called Southern Business Machines, which is a mystery in itself) has reached his dotage and now fancies himself a sage. Who knows? I may just call them this week and see if anyone can tell me what these mean and who puts them up, but that may spoil the fun.
Cool link today: http://www.marumushi.com/apps/newsmap/newsmap.cfm