« March 2014 | Main | May 2014 »

April 2014

A personal zeitgeist

That's all it is. That's all it needs to be. There are now 905 visible posts going forward. If you look at 2007, you'll see that some do have outdated links, etc., but I kept them around because there are some fun comment conversations.

I am going to take a little more care with my prose, be less lazy with it. I'm going to update more often; got something I'm working on right now about "being a gardener," inspired in ways they might not overtly see, by +Karen Schumacher and +Susan Lewis.

And I took a few screenshots to share, from back in the Vox days. I was tickled when I saw these earlier. The bottom two click to external links.

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 7.03.46 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 7.03.46 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 7.03.46 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 7.03.46 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 7.03.46 PM

(video link should begin at 5.04)


This blog is lazy, and I'm going to fix it now.

There are 1283 posts here. I'd like to be pleased with myself enough to say 100 of them are worth looking at, but I'm not sure that's true.

Today I'm going to archive a lot of them, regardless of category, or at which other blog I first posted them. I'm not keeping only the best live, exactly, definitely not just the best view of me. But something like "highlights." Or "lowlights" that are of possible interest. I want it to form a better and stronger collage, and begin again from there. I would like it to be a kind of cohesive serendipity that just the right persons (secret clones of me, I suppose,) will wish to read straight through back to 2003. If other people also found it interesting, that'd be bonus.

Maybe some sort of actual theme will emerge. Not in terms of a set of proscribed topics, just a more definable personality, going through stages and eras, and ready to start moving forward again. Some more.

Song in my head when I woke up (still there,) "Party Train" by The Gap Band. For whatever that's worth. 


Recording a conversation for posterity

Because I truly believe it's right to be good to people and wish for others to be good to people, without any particular agenda or political view.

via +Annie Yim

Young Persons. It's not difficult to not say these things, for a native speaker of English. You have a big broad language from which to work. And when you speak positively, you think and act more positively. Take your verbal cues from people you can respect.
+Al Herrera originally shared:
 
Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 10.10.10 AM


5 comments

Brittany Constable
Yesterday 11:00 AM
 
There's actually some argument that "pussy" in this sense refers to a feline (see also "scaredy cat") and not slang for genitals.

Lily Alice
Yesterday 11:03 AM
 
In terms of etymology, I suspect that's so. Something to do with being "pussy-footed," sly and quiet, etc.

In current usage, however, this doesn't seem to be the case, unfortunately. There are quite a few more terms in which the opposite happened; it was just terribly ugly to begin with, and became neutralized over the years.

Brittany Constable
Yesterday 11:40 AM

Very true. It's annoying when interesting words get corrupted.

Mycroft Holmes
6:49 AM

 
I note that in the space of 24 hours I hear some very liberal women say some or all of these things. Sure we have a broad palette, or at least we are supposed to have, but consider the following:

1) social media is, I suspect predominantly women.. perhaps not here but P interest and Fb? Oh yeah definitely.

2) what we wish people had is not what they have. Vocabularies I suspect are getting smaller due to texting. Just a suspicion. While I'd love it if the USA were filled with Dickens or George Will type folks.. Real word smiths where "scripturient" just rolled of the tongue.. we just don't have that. What we have is "no homo", an accurate representation of our current and I unlikely to change language use.

3) everyone is adhd and overcaffeinated. Brevity is necessary. This post is already tl:dr.

4) our education system is, dare I say it, "so gay", which I admit does a disservice to the lgbt community since they have a high likelihood of attending higher education. Still the usage is technically correct in that many, perhaps most of America still think being gay is somehow wrong, sinful, biologically invalid, etc. I do not share that perspective per se, but considering that I've heard any lgbt folks use these terms... just the other day a gay dude, upon seeing his dog hump another boy dog yells out and points: "no homo!". I knew him.. Tried not to die laughing....

Women say to men all the time: "don't be a pussy". I can still hear Frank Mir's wife say this to him before getting in the ring for an mma title shot. On camera.. in front of millions of people.

I guess when the parties who would feign hurt at hearing these words stop using them themselves,  I shall not argue overmuch. Until them they are colorful. Use them but know your audience.

Oh and by the way I strongly take issue with "man up" being on this list. Strength has been necessarily defined as a male trait since time immemorial. Football, hockey, powerlifting, MMA. These are all areas where men dominate even if women participate. Non participatory women are highly critical of women participants, saying stuff like: "oooh she's too man-ish.. i wouldn't want to look like that."

Strength IS predominantly a male trait. Endurance and persistence of will are not. They are female. Marathon runners tend to be without muscle and larger in the hips than shoulders, like females. Though strength and endurance are relatively synonymous, the difference is large enough to be mentioned.


M

PS: What would the movie "stripes with Bill Murray and Harold Ramos be without Francis the hypermania dude: "and I don't want any of you HOMES touching me. . Or my stuff. If I catch any of you homes touching me.. or my stuff.. I'll kill ya!!"

Sgt. Hulka: " sit down Francis.."

PPS: i note that the men in the photos are impossibly androgynous and that the women in said photo do look a touch bitchy, just a touch.I

Lily Alice
7:27 AM
 
I'm not a liberal. I'm not and refuse to be definable or lumped into some group or other by those ever-narrowing terms that cause people to believe we are on sides against each other but...

In respect to how I conduct myself, I'm a very conservative person, particularly regarding language. I love our language and have always wished to hear and see it used better. Specifically for this situation, I dislike language that seems fear-based, and is divisively judgmental. It is something with which I've never been comfortable.

Terms that are meant to be crude or visceral are legion in English and can be used well in their proper setting without making others feel less valuable or respected because of innate characteristics.

Go be an awkward little girl starting school in 1970 for awhile and get back to me on this. Or a 21 year-old woman entering law school that year.

We should be better than labeling people for having concern about the use of labels.


and very good lists they were—Very well chosen, and very neatly arranged...

Yesterday at Google Plus, +Murphy Jacobs made a very good post about the composing of book lists, setting the parameters at 30 physical books you'd bring with you on a trip through time and space. "Because you are a smart person, and it's going to be a very long trip, you decide to take 15 books you know and love, and 15 books you've wanted to read but just haven't read yet."

The lists I saw from other people were all very good and interesting, so I thought a lot about it, then spent three hours last night composing my own. I wrote them on paper, because I think better that way, then took phone pix of the pages.

If you'll recall my last blog post, I mentioned wanting to make some goals for edification. One goal is to reread some books I didn't get enough out of the first time long ago. Another is to work in a more dedicated fashion on my French, which I've been doing, then take up Italian in the fall. I'm learning the Habanera aria, just for kicks, and working very hard on eating better. But last night, I got back to my book list making. I ended up with only 12 new books to read. However, one of them is actually 7 volumes, and so I imagine that's all right.

I take book lists as seriously as Emma Woodhouse always means to. 20140422_211401
20140422_211401
20140422_211401
So now I'm going to read these books. It might take the rest of the year since I won't do it all at once and have always other books to reread, and various series to follow. Probably I'll save the Proust for autumn. But I am commiting myself to posting something about each one in its turn.

Yes, I think a personal record was broken for use of the word "very." But this isn't to be edited; it's time to move on to folia, and life.


About a hundred things to say or share

So much, so much, but I don't, because my head has too much energy for the rest of me to use. I don't know if that made sense. Here is some blather, broken up by stuff to make it seem less of a chore to slog through.

Billanddog

Toward the end of February, I contracted a virus. Well, a boy did first. He was the sickest of his life, at age 15, and I actually took him to the clinic on a Sunday, where we learned he didn't have the flu, just one of these things you get now and then that sticks to you. And as he was getting better after needing more serious attention than he has in over a decade, I fell ill. Well, I seem to every year at the end of winter, actually, but anyway. It took him over two weeks to be better, took me over three. But now it's been over six weeks, and I'm still not right. It's because of weak lungs, asthma, etc. I need a stretch of two or three days in warm dry sunshine, then I'll be fine.

In the meantime, so much in my head, and I've been sewing, doing puzzles, watching French and Japanese movies, listening to opera, having mini existential crises, and planning a duo of paintings in a similar (though poorly similar, and that's okay by me) style to a few early ones by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, to put on my living room wall.

And someone recently mentioned he'd finally read a great long 19th century piece of literature, which got me thinking.
Mickey

I make a general goal each year to take some time to appreciate good stuff or go back over great stuff to see or hear it all with a current perspective. But very general, not like when I was 17, or maybe 18, and my brother said I should make a list of good books I never read, and read them, and I sat in a tree in Loose Park with Emma and a bag of almond croissants and fell in love with Mr Knightley. Because I got through only about half the list after that. I mean, directly after that. It's a certainty I've covered it all by now.

Only there's so much else I haven't covered! I'm still lousy at Italian; every time I tackle it, I start reviewing French, instead. Whenever I try to read Ukridge, I find myself back at Blandings Castle. Things like this. So I am making a real list, and I'll make neat lines through it as I go along.

I imagined whistling through the parking lot of Home Depot, as I do, the Habanera aria from Carmen, and someone from the web would call me a poseur, only whatever the word is in 2014 for that, and I'd have to sing it aloud and annoyingly in order to shut them up, but that one line that goes, "Et c’est l’autre que je préfère—Il n’a rien dit mais il me plait" has this rhythm I can't quite get. And I could never match the sheer incredibleness of this, especially at 1.49 or I forget, thereabouts.

 

Still, that should be on the list, even though the internet, fortunately, tends to stay where it is and not follow people through parking lots.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.37.50 AM
But look, I have read Ulysses. I get why it's a thing and all, however, I didn't get any pride from it, and on the whole, I'd rather just listen to Kate Bush, only not very young Kate Bush. So the list is just for me, not anybody else, or so I can check off more boxes at a Buzzfeed page and be scored on how very, very special I am, indeed, or almost! if I just try a little bit harder.

Probably I should reach farther, though, is the original point. My comfort zone is wider than many, but not actually much or any deeper.

 
The conversation after the short bit of rehearsal we are shown amuses me.

So anyway. I'm making a list. Stay tuned.