Monday, June 4, 2012

Maple and Bacon Doughnut

They controlled me
My whole life --
Faces, memories, bottles,
Complexes, paranoias, bongs,
Fears, shape, regrets, dope
I just got used to it.
Called it "my truth"
And made it my home.
I cried to God with all my fury,
"Take this from me
just like back in the days when your word
Was still being recorded
For the Holy Book,
Send them into a
Herd of pigs
Screaming, flailing, biting
And foaming at the mouth
So they can run
Possessed, over the edge of a steep and
Jagged cliff and die
Over and over again forever

-- Michael Vance, Street Roots, May 25, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I know these things to be true . . .

"One can draw a straight line from the young man who pinned down a terrified teenager and walked a blind man into a closed door, to the adult who put the family dog in a kennel and strapped it to the roof of the car, to the businessman who laid off hundreds of people, cancelled their health benefits, and paid himself millions while their company went bankrupt."
           - Paul Begala

Monday, May 21, 2012

"In bombers named for girls, we burned
the cities we had learned about in school."
-- Randall Jarrell

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thinking about Maurice Sendak today . . .

. . . and recalling a Jack Prelutsky poem for the kiddies:
Its Fangs were red with bloody gore.  
Its eyes were red with menace.
It battered down my bedroom door, 
and burst across my bedroom floor, 
and with a loud resounding roar  

Friday, April 27, 2012

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”

- Kenneth Boulding

Monday, April 23, 2012

Last week, in one of the most entertaining interviews in Colbert Report history, Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak took everything from the publishing industry to Newt Gingrich to task. The 83-year-old children’s book author saved his harshest words, however, for e-books, loudly declaring:
“F— them, is what I say. I hate those e-books. They cannot be the future. They may well be. I will be dead, I wont give a s—.”

The Flight From Conversation

From a reader in response to a recent NY Times article, "The flight from conversation":

I had to terminate a friendship because the friend was never "there", even when we had dinner or just casually conversing. She could not stop looking at her iPhone and texting someone NOT present. She had evolved into a person who could not even understand why her behavior was offensive. She was texting even as I walked away! She didn't even know I was GONE.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Good Girl

by Kim Addonizio

Look at you, sitting there being good.
After two years you're still dying for a cigarette.
And not drinking on weekdays, who thought that one up?
Don't you want to run to the corner right now
for a fifth of vodka and have it with cranberry juice
and a nice lemon slice, wouldn't the backyard
that you're so sick of staring out into
look better then, the tidy yard your landlord tends
day and night — the fence with its fresh coat of paint,
the ash-free barbeque, the patio swept clean of small twigs —
don't you want to mess it all up, to roll around
like a dog in his flowerbeds? Aren't you a dog anyway,
always groveling for love and begging to be petted?
You ought to get into the garbage and lick the insides
of the can, the greasy wrappers, the picked-over bones,
you ought to drive your snout into the coffee grounds.
Ah, coffee! Why not gulp some down with four cigarettes
and then blast naked into the streets, and leap on the first
beautiful man you find? The words Ruin me, haven't they
been jailed in your throat for forty years, isn't it time
you set them loose in slutty dresses and torn fishnets
to totter around in five-inch heels and slutty mascara?

Sure it's time. You've rolled over long enough.
Forty, forty-one. At the end of all this
there's one lousy biscuit, and it tastes like dirt.
So get going. Listen: they're howling for you now:
up and down the block your neighbors' dogs
burst into frenzied barking and won't shut up.

If I hadn't known better, I'd guess Bukowski. But I'd be wrong.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do or do not. There is no try.

On the continuing health care debate . . .

Seen in the New York Times under editorial comments relating to the article, "Justices Ask if Health Law Is Viable Without Mandate."

"Without the mandate, administration officials say, it would be unreasonable to expect health insurers to cover the sickest Americans if the healthiest ones are not required to pay for coverage. If the pool of the insured was composed disproportionately of the sick, insurance costs could soar."

Here, ladies and gentlemen, are your death panels. They are called for-profit insurance companies. That people persist in hoping for a market solution to a human rights issue shows the extent to which people will place blind faith in a theoretical version of capitalism that has never existed, despite any insistence that it did and we somehow strayed from it.

So we can either work toward a solid solution to health care or we can choose to keep walking toward a mirage that always just seems over the horizon. Meanwhile, families will still go bankrupt, people will be denied care for pre-existing conditions, and costs will still rise. Fear not, though, ardent free marketeers, profits will rise, too. You just have to be healthy enough to enjoy them.

C. McAdamis, Santa Monica, CA
March 28, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Maybe one of the best things that happened is with I think it was The Mammoth Hunters. When I was in Santa Clara and it was a 2 hour autographing. And mothers brought me their children and there were seven little Aylas that I got to meet between the ages of four months and I think seven years. And I think to myself you know . . . why?"

-- author Jean Auel

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

“Apart from spying, I have in my time sold bathtowels, got divorced, washed elephants, run away from school, decimated a flock of Welsh sheep with a twenty-five pound shell because I was too stupid to understand the gunnery officer’s instructions, taught children in a special school.”

-- author John Le Carre

Monday, February 6, 2012

The day you are born . . . if you are lucky . . . you are somebody's miracle.

They tell you that you are important and special.

As time goes on, you find out you are not so special and less important.

And finally, the day comes when you realize that you are not important, not necessary and you don't matter to anyone.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Another Twilight reader reveals masterful, if not misplaced, descriptive skills in this partial book review on Amazon:

"Bella Swan and Edward Cullen are enmeshed in an intense, hungry love that leaves them both destroyed, yet passionately longing for more."

Destroyed . . . and yet longing for more.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A howler from Gail Collins

"This should be a wake-up call to us all about the little-discussed national scandal of billionaire abuse. All around the nation, we are hearing stories about elderly billionaires being taken advantage of by grasping politicians. Here in New York we have just learned that Republican candidates for the State Senate wheedled $436,500 out of a 97-year-old billionaire over the last year. This sort of predatory attack on our billionaires must stop!"

-- From opinion piece, "The Revenge of Saul Alinsky", NY Times, 2/1/12

Google Easter Eggs in February

  • Searching for "tilt" or "askew" makes the page to tilt to its right a bit.
  • "recursion" shows did u mean: recursion and allows the searcher to recursively search for recursion.
  • "do a barrel roll" or "z or r twice" results in 360 degree rotation of the page.

For more fun click here

Monday, January 30, 2012

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view... where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you... beyond the next turning of the canyon walls."

-- Edward Abbey, Benediction

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Seen in comments in the New York Times, following globalization bitch Thomas Friedman's recent editorial lauding Chinese serfdom in service to Apple and the "disappearance" of the average worker:

"There was a quaint view after WW11 that people had a "right" to a job and that this system of capitalism would provide that better than any other system. It turns out that jobs are only a by-product of capitalism. The good times are over. Capitalism is now consuming itself for the sake of shareholders who are essentially using slave labor in China to ever greater profits. This doesn't require education but a new model."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Seen on a Stephen King thread . . .

. . . regarding the inaccessibility of the recent stories except via eBook or audio book:

"I'm an old dog, and not only do I have to turn around in circles three times before I lay me down to sleep at night, I'm paper trained. I'll do whatever is needed to keep turning pages 'til they pry them out of my arthritic little sausages . . . "

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Real Best Places to Retire

Finally . . . realistic suggestions that actually make sense!

"No matter where you end up in retirement, remember that relationships are more important than the weather. The warmest climate can be found amidst the safety and security of family and friends."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shutting your employees up and down is not good management.

Killing the messenger doesn't make the message go away.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In a NY Times article 8/8/12, interviewing Art Oehlke, owner of the 530 antique shop in Lorain, OH (echoes of "Darling Lorain" by Paul Simon here):

Mr. Oehlke did not say how much the shop makes. But a clue, he said, is in the thermostat on the wall near the cash register, which showed 45 degrees. If the store were more profitable, he said, it would be warmer. But he preferred to see the bright side.

"It's got an advantage," he said. "If I have to go somewhere, I already have my coat on."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Never Grow Old

"Do many men kill themselves, Daddy?"

"Not very many, Nick."...

"Is dying hard, Daddy?"

"No, I think it's pretty easy Nick. It all depends."

They were seated in the boat, Nick in the stern, his father rowing. The sun was coming up over the hills. A bass jumped, making a circle in the water. Nick trailed his hand in the water. It felt warm in the sharp chill of the morning.

In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die.

-- The Nick Adams Stories, Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"America is a country where the rich all live together in exclusive towns (and the nicer parts of cities) - network only with each other and feed off each others contacts while everyone else is just a human resource to be thrown scraps and kept stupid and underemployed. The poor and under-siege members of the middle class need to understand this: that being an 'American' is a corporate logo identity and that it engenders exactly zero feelings of responsibility from the rich. So drive around with that flag on your pickup bumper. The rich don't do that. They care more about their international counterparts in rich suburbs of Paris and London and Tokyo than they do about their fellow 'Americans' in the old mill town across the river."

-- NY Times Opinion Letter, 1/5/12

Our new national poet laureate, Philip Levine, in an interview in the New York Times magazine, reacting to the question of whether he hated the rich, replied, "I don't, because I’ve met them now under silly circumstances, and they seem like hopeless jerks to me, for the most part."
"It's called the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it."

-- George Carlin

America the Beautiful

The New York Times recently included an interesting article about the genesis of the poem (and song), America the Beautiful.

Among the comments was this one:

"America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!"

Thank you; my favorite stanza of this poem, and a relevant one in our times, as it was in the times of Bates.

Wittingly or unwittingly, the lines touch upon a broad subject, one with which this nation still must come to terms: every freedom FROM something must become a freedom FOR something better. Freedom to act freely must be followed by learning the wisdom not to act wantonly; the "soul" that strives for self-betterment must control the temptation to trample upon others; the freedom to possess is not the right to beggar another. A people free from tyranny has, more than any, the great obligation to willingly build a just society, and accept the obligations and self-control that come with that.

We are adrift as a society. Let us hope that the price of finding our course will not be terribly high.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mile 81

I so didn't want my first post of the New Year to be a downer, but I was once again reminded that I will probably never be able to read Stephen King's latest effort, MILE 81, until I reconnect to the internet at home. The ONLY way to read this short story is to download it in an electronic format.

Thanks a lot, Stephen King. And I'm being sarcastic. I wish that, if you need to explore innovative and variant publication methods, you would remember that not all of your fans have eBook readers or computers. I'd pay a good price for that story as a small softcover or special edition book but I want, dammit it, to be able to buy it in a conventional format.

If you can do that for BLOCKADE BILLY, why not MILE 81?

There, I'm done.

Coda: Through the grace of the Multnomah County Library, I was able to reserve this story on CD, read by an uninspired narrator who can't do little kids' voices worth squat. Very disappointing story, so I'm glad I didn't buy it. On the bright side though is the bonus story on the CD -- The Dune -- read beautifully by Edward Hermann. It's ten times better than Mile 81 and worth the price of admission.

Mile 81: tired retread
The Dune: provocative and creepy