Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hip to be Square? Nah.

Pretentious website of the week:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I read a column today by John Leo that was so sad, and about people so evil, I could not stop thinking about it the rest of the day. Unbelieveably, (and this was Leo's point) I saw nothing of this on CNN or any of the other major American news sources, more than likely because these media sources are pussy-footing around the fact that it was vicious anti-Semitism by Muslims - just as many papers were afraid to publish the political cartoons. Do a news search - you won't see a word in any US news sites.

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

Crooked Teeth

I feel like I have been using quotes as a crutch for filler the last couple of posts, but oh well. I like to read and I like to listen to music, so it makes sense for me to be ruminating on one or the other. My husband got me Death Cab for Cutie's Plans for Christmas, so I have been listening to the CD off and on for the last 2 months. I just got fixated on their song "Crooked Teeth" the other day, however. I love how Ben Gibbard can take something as poignant as a dead-end relationship, keep the poignancy, but make it light-hearted at the same time. I know I can relate at least a couple of past relationships to these lines:

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

I Love Tam Lin

"I would that there were no age between sixteen and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest: for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting."

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 Thought

I find it truly amazing that with the web it makes it so much easier to find people. Say you think of someone you haven't talked to in years, or maybe had a crush on in highschool. You can look them up on their Amazon wishlists, their wedding registries, Intellius, Google them for photos. It's so bizarre, and yet, now that we are in this mindset, it almost becomes not a very big deal. I suppose it will get to the point that you find a long-lost friend's e-mail or web site and get in touch with them, and it will be like "so what, I can't believe you it took you this long to find me."

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."

The Indigo Child

Ok, there is an article in our paper today from the syndicated press titled " 'Indigo' Children Gain Following. " An Indigo Child is a child who is more "enlightened and spiritually attuned." Apparently these special children were first noticed in the late 70s by a San Diego psychologist named Nancy Ann Tappe. She could see auras and "noticed that a new color attached to a growing body of children, indigo, had 'entered the Earth plane."

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
to me seem like a cop-out for parents who have an unmitigated spoiled brat on their hands.

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:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Strange Things Afoot

My husband and I are bemused and fascinated by a local business in our town. Each time we pass it we have noticed that they post something new and strange on their sign outside. We've been giggling about it for over a year now, and I wish we had started keeping track of them earlier, but these have been the latest nuggets of wisdom:

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: