which is a phrase I can't imagine anyone else has typed before.
which is a phrase I can't imagine anyone else has typed before.
Okay, I was looking for poems for my kids to memorize and went to a trash heap of emo cutter verse called poetry.com. I told my kids: Okay! Right now! Write a poem about death! Make it "better" than the one I just read you, and make it fast. And by better, I mean even more pretentious and whiny, if possible.
I have a poetry blog that I haven't had time for lately. I intended to do a couple of these as warm-up, then work on a piece of writing I've had sitting around for awhile, but they didn't go anywhere good, plus I got way off track. I thought you might enjoy them, though.
Haiku traditionally include a nature element, but laziness is more of a tradition for me.
graceless scribblings in my book
fresh air not required
Flicker on my screen
I imagine you are here
nibbling at my ear
White shoes in summer
sipping iced tea on the lawn
time to play croquet
Liquid sharp and cold
a juniper infusion
gently bathes my lime
Living in a cave
all the world seems dark and cold
An ottava rima is an epic poem written in eight line stanzas, but I wrote only one today. Stanza, I mean. I have always meant to get around to doing a really long one, however, I get off track on some new form to try, and don't stick with it long enough. In short, I get bored. But here's a really long one written by someone you may have heard of a time or two.
The original ottava rima was written in hendecasyllables; 11 syllable lines with emphasis on 4th, 7th, and 10th, if I remember correctly. I gave up on hendecasyllables, because they limit my already poor range. Maybe it worked better en italiano, back in the day. We sometimes roll our eyes at iambic pentameter, but there's a reason it's used so often; it comes naturally to us and works well in phrasing.
(I should dig out my thoughts on how I learned why working with strict forms is good for the heart and mind; suffice it to say for now, it encourages clarity of expression and vision.)
Parades of youth have long since passed aside
Now few are left with memories of those days
When young men marched and fought and won and died
And those returning met their country's praise
Though men and women still war for our side
Inside our hearts and minds these questions raise
How can more weapons warrant peace pursued?
When will the wars to end all wars conclude?
Haven't written an ottava rima in a while. I will do one tomorrow. :-)
Here is a neat quiz I got at SnuggleMuffin's page:
(even though it asks me to choose One Above All Else in many categories)
1. What’s your favourite word?
let's see: I like lily. And baby. And essence, and lots of others. You can see the pattern, I think. I like repetitive l, b, and s, and I like crisp words, as well.
2. Least favourite word?
most all scatological terms make me physically ill. I know that's retarded, but it's true. And ones to do with vomit are nearly as bad, but if I had to ban one group forever from the collective consciousness it would be the former, mainly because of how people randomly apply them to daily life. Like, why would you compare your belongings to excrement?
3. Least favourite phrase?
ooh! I hate "so-and so-, out of Detroit. I hate "based off of." I hate just about anything to do with "having issues."
4. What is the last book you read?
White Night, by Jim Butcher. Currently I am reading The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett
5. What book should you read before you die?
Me? The rest of the James Fenimore Cooper series, I believe.
6. What’s your favourite poem?
Possibly one I wrote myself, not to say I'm an awesome poet or anything. But they're me, you know?
7. Quote a line from a poem:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
That alters when it alteration finds,
Nor bends with the remover to remove.
(I know that's four. sue me.)
8. What is your favourite book to film adaptation?
BBC's Pride and Prejudice from 1996, which is actually a mini-series, but it counts.
9. What do you think of film to book adaptations?
I do not like them as a rule, but there have been one or two that worked well. Do not ask me to remember which!
10. Where’s your favourite place to read?
Currently, on my deck; the lower section. Actually, Loose Park in Kansas City, a thousand or more miles away. But the beach is good, too.
Here are 5 more that I added.
11. What foreign language do you enjoy hearing?
Czech! But also italiano, of course!
12. Which foreign language would you learn now if you had the time?
13. What is your favorite foreign expression?
lots of French ones. I like je ne sais quoi, not only for meaning, but sound quality. And I like che uomo! which is Italian and means "what a man!"
14. Name a favorite foreign language movie.
I shouldn't have said this. I'll make a separate list.
15. Have you read an entire book in a language other than your native one?
I've tried to read a few en Francais, including Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorcieres. But I get bogged down. I can do some poetry, though, when in a state of calm.
Today at Costco I got Acne Free, a three month supply for $29.95. It promises it has the same stuff in it as Proactiv, with the added benefit of a time-release benzoil peroxide. So we'll see.
I used it for the first time tonight, and like the way my face feels; clean and fresh and not too dried out. It also does not have a strong odor. I mainly got it because one of my daughters has almost severe acne, and I had been thinking of taking her to a dermatologist. But I want to try this first. Since we're both using it, that's still a six-week supply. My own acne troubles are sporadic, but my face never feels completely clear, and it's always uneven in tone. Maybe I'll take yucky close-up photos tomorrow night and we'll do our own before and afters. If you can stand the idea of seeing me that up close and personal, perhaps I'll share the experience through photography.
If it really does work, I intend to try the body wash, as well.
I'd like to have more to say. Yesterday I wrote a quick poem for someone as a lark. She works in NY theater, and the first letters of each line spell out the word "Macbeth." Long story. Anyway, it's not very good, but I'll share it. Maybe someday I'll fix it up a bit.
Manic summer heat drives her fury
as her sweaty skin absorbs the dust from city streets
Counting cracks in the sidewalk
baking sandals on the asphalt
energy wanes as dusk crawls over the rooftops
tenuously at first, then all at once seizing the light.
Heat remains, visible in the sodium-brightened night sky...
Well, I still haven't had much to say, have I? But I've been doing a good job wearing out my carpals and such, relinking old stuff. There's poetry and Glory of Garnish added to the scrapbook, mainly. I've got new photos ready for the Garnish page, but if you want to reread any of it in the meantime, because it is sort of funny, it's here: The Glory of Garnish.
On Sunday, the girls and I were in the city, and we ended up at a place near Times Square for dinner before taking the train back home. You may know I am not a fan of soda, even though I like carbonation, I sort of hate corn syrup, and rarely drink any soda besides the occasional Dr Pepper. I like dry carbonation with gin, though. Anyway, that was before Coke Blak. I just am mad for that stuff. It has a speck of aspartame in it, which I normally completely shun, but it's seriously only a speck.
I like that it's in a tiny bottle, only 8 ounces, though I might like 10 or 12 to be more completely satisfied. I would never drink a regular-sized bottle. And I like that it is sharp yet smooth. It's much nicer than regular Coke. I'm curious about the French mixture of it, which is supposedly more heavily coffee-flavored, but this seems very balanced to me. It has no more caffeine in it than other drinks, and less sugar, though I think some people have the idea it's boosted like those faux-energy drinks. I think that is a marketing concern that should be addressed, personally.
There's a big Coke display up at Times Square, all the time, and right now part of the rolling ad is for Coke Blak. I thought that was neat, because normally when I like something that much, it's doomed to failure or obscurity, so I'm taking advantage of it while I can.
More blather later today. I'm on a roll right now, of silliness and such. Rare these days, and worth grasping onto.
There are lots of new pictures at the Moon Motel.
I had a lot to say. Now I can't remember much of it.
Yesterday, we were eating a picnic provided by Amanda in DC, on the mall, I suppose, I was just along for the ride, while the others talked local talk, when a middle-aged man walked up to us and handed out postcards. We all looked down and didn't want to make eye contact at first (later we all shared that we thought he was going to evangelize,) but he was so well-spoken and friendly that we got interested in what he was saying. His name is Bernard, and he and his wife are homeless, and he said that since he is a rare black man who cannot sing or dance, he just signs his name to the cards, offering blessings to people who contribute to the sleeping indoors fund. It's a pretty good schtick, I think.
We all liked him, believed he was being truthful with his story, and waved to his wife, who came over. Elizabeth gave them some cookies, and everyone gave a few dollars except me, because I didn't have any. I rarely do have cash, but right now there just isn't much to have anyway.
Bernard totally set the bar for future solicitors, who just really didn't pass muster, as far as any of us was concerned. I really do wish him well.
but it's fairly accurate. I'd say that some of the answers have to do with my current, rather than usual, state of mind. Normally, there would be sharper highs and lows. If you hold your cursor over the colors, they are labeled.
I added some pictures to the moon motel blog, which is just going to be the photo album from now on, and it has a new url. And the website is up and has three sections. The middle one leads here. I didn't change the address for this blog, so the email notices will still be mailed if I update this page. So if I add pictures to the moon motel, or something to the other section of the website, I'll just post about it here, and then anyone on the list can come here to see what's new. That seems the simplest way.
Now about three people want me to catch up on reading their blogs, so I'm going to do that now. And about three people have been wondering why I've been so uncommunicative lately. Well, I kind of feel mute. I'm working on that. There's nothing terribly wrong, I just don't much like life at the moment. However, since tomorrow is my birthday, I've decided I better use that as a beginning toward gathering up some mental health, and attempting to move forward.
Two years exiled here in Poland, might as well keep trying to make something of it. And who knows what follows, but maybe it will be very good.
I did take the picture of the trout. I'm not sure where I put it, though. I'll hunt that down.
I just kind of have been hating life. I plan to start catching up with it all, very soon. And here's where you'll find me when I do. Well, there and here. Really.
a work in progress...
the sharp curve of your mouth disarms my gaze with a knowing smile
i am caught, time on hold
gulping uncertain breath...
tempo suddenly accelerated beyond measurable grasp
only your lips' fiery cadence lingers in soundless echo.
courting my thoughts
you beckon, easily
tumbling forward you're
kneading me weak
inhaling my sighs,
collapsing my will.
In a dimly-lit room
In a naked embrace
With fingertips pressing the curve of your spine,
I'll take you in.
Complete within itself
never seeking nor exerting
A passive vessel
in weightless plenitude
with Santa Claus.
I woke up with that in my head this morning.
Been working on the other blogsite. I need to call it something other than blog, though, because it's confusing to talk about. Anyway, I added a tagboard and a couple of other things, here: By the Beautiful Sea
Also, though there are not complete links for this part yet, here are the paltry few movies I saw this year, and what I thought of em. Remember how 2005 was to be my Year of Movie-Going? Yeah, not so much, as it turns out. Oh well.
B+ Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
B+ Batman Begins
A- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
C Chicken Little
C+ Pride and Prejudice
A The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
B+ Fun with Dick and Jane
Here is my current Top Ten favorites list from 1967, when I was two, and very into pop music. There were about twenty that I always liked, but I narrowed them down for this list by deciding which ones I like as much now as I did when they were fairly new. :-)
Happy Together--The Turtles
Somethin' Stupid--Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra
Kind Of A Drag--Buckinghams
Can't Take My Eyes Off You--Frankie Valli
Incense And Peppermints--Strawberry Alarm Clock
For What It's Worth--Buffalo Springfield
The Beat Goes On--Sonny and Cher
Daydream Believer--The Monkees
I woke up thinking about 1983, the year I graduated from high school, and decided I'd think about music from that year today. I did for awhile.
Right now I'm in the city at a Starbucks, and Our House by Madness is playing. I think that was 1982, but it's close enough, and it's a pretty nice thing to hear right now.
Yes, there is an INTP club, sort of. I mean, there's an online forum, and an e-mail list, and a couple of other things. They're quite a drain, though.
I can't wait to share the photos I've taken tonight. I've had a bit of fun with something I found abandoned on a sidewalk. Sometimes when I'm here, I am just here, moseying around, looking at things, and people, and that's about it. But now and then I get to have, what is to me, a New York Experience. And that's what I've had tonight. But the one drawback about my camera is that the device that allows you to put the pictures on the computer has to be plugged in to an electrical outlet, so I can't just instantly upload them to the web the way I could with the phone pix.
Otherwise, the camera is super great, and I have no complaints. Also, it's tiny. I love that my camera is smaller than just about everyone else's. I mean, it's just newer, and by next year, plenty of people will have one just as tiny or tinier. But right now I get to pretend I'm the "early adopter" I once imagined myself to be. :-)
I'm going to get some writing done this evening, but for now, check out the work I've been doing on the "blog within a blog" page, here.
How it will work is that I'll get the website redone, and then the blog page on that site will be for fun links and bits of life that I wish to share. This blog will be for quick news items and blather about more serious stuff. I can update this one on the fly, on the road, wherever. The other one requires me to do fussy things.
So the problem of wishing for both styles of blog is solved. I really function better with two methods of doing most anything rather than just one.
In case anyone is wondering why I didn't finish uploading the book in a readable format, well, that's still stuck on the Powerbook, but I believe the data can be saved, just need to figure out how to access it.
I been sayin' for awhile I'm going to do all this stuff. Well. I now have two good working computers, a new camera, a new scanner, and updated software. So I finally get to make nice with it all.
culled from a couple different things I wrote this morning:
Truthfully, I no longer enjoy debate over "issues of the day," because it bores me, and seems wasteful. I can make a statement, but by the end of that I'm bored of speaking aloud and wish to go back to mulling things over in the corner.
I was nearly drawn into debate over the striking TWU in New York. I may be liberal-minded in terms of letting people live as they wish to live, "social" issues, and blah, but I despise unions, and despise what they're doing to the city of people who depend on them to get to jobs that aren't as guaranteed, don't pay as well, and certainly don't offer free health care or pensions. Anyway, I realized how far I've come in that way. I want to say my piece and allow others to say theirs, but then just move on and let the people involved be the ones to decide how it all goes. I don't know if I'm jaded, tired, or evolved. But I'm going with the latter. So here's my statement.
I simply do not believe in unions. And I do not believe in allowing others to be overwhelmingly adversely affected in order to carry my point or sway a judgment. To me, that's the opposite of civil disobedience, un-American, selfish, and unproductive.
As to what is American, well, I'm no patriot, but I value individualism, a precious commodity in the world today. However, in certain cases, I also believe the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. I could never in good conscience do what those striking workers are doing to the people of their city, over a pension issue. It's not logical or just. Why is it not logical? Because of the nature of public service, and why it exists. No one denies those people do a hard job that deserves compensation. But they don't do their jobs in a vacuum.
I do understand that people feel unions are all about being American. The static nature of statements like that makes me uncomfortable. To evolve is generally to improve. Unions were vital to the nation's health at the height of the industrial revolution. But now they're like Gloria Swanson in that movie, Sunset Boulevard. That didn't end well, either.
So. I say my piece, others say theirs, then we move on to a new subject. They might wish to kick me out of the INTP club, but I'm the true perceiver, and they're just poseurs.
Finishing shopping today, then an update to the cute and colorful sister page of this blog.
Today I'm sharing a poem by Siegfried Sassoon, an English poet whose mother had a fondness for Wagner, hence the unusual name. go on, go on...
So. I was going to follow up this morning's rant about the insensitivity of latecomers to the end of year party with a little warm discourse on the beauty of the season and the wonders of a planet full of people all trying to make sense of the same patterns that have existed for centuries upon centuries.
Then a hundred little things went suddenly wrong, and quite put me out of the mood. I will write on this topic when I am in a better frame of mind.
In the meantime, I'm listening to some cool, swinging lounge music sent to me by a friend. It's like she looked into my heart and saw exactly how things really are. That definitely does something nice for my mood.
I haven't quite figured out about remote anchors, but for now it shouldn't matter.
It's time to stop beating around the bush. The reason so many people the world over embrace Christmas without being Christian is that it's not truly a Christian holiday. Christians decided at some point to use the day for other celebrations as one for their own as well. That's all. It doesn't mean they own the day, or the season, or nearly any of the traditions associated with it. The traditions are part Victorian, part pagan, part conglomeration of the world's ideas of how to hold a party on a dark day.
I think it's lovely to celebrate the birth of Jesus, if that's what many people like to do. But it doesn't replace all that came before, and not just because most people don't believe that's when the man was actually born, but also because it was never a day set apart just specifically for that purpose. It was a deceptive solution to a perceived problem, when Constantine turned christian, and began to realize Rome looked like it was going to hell and that he appeared to be in charge of that. It was a solution that had way more to do with political power and control than with yet another in a long series of mystical birth stories.
It would have been far better for the Jesus celebrators had they chosen a day and season not already set apart for other tales of godly birth, glory, and the return of light. Many Christians have been aware of this all along, and that is why they've focused on making Easter their main holiday, believing that the celebration of Jesus' resurrection is a more honest and meaningful tradition. This tradition was also put in place as an attempt to usurp pagan traditions, but at least it has some real spiritual merit for the practitioners.
So when you see a button that says, "Jesus is the reason for the season," take pity and smile on the person who thinks so, if you like. I'm taking comfort in the fact that the world is bigger, and older, and the reasons for celebrating the turning of dark to light have been in place for thousands of years longer than this one set of culled-together beliefs.
When I was a member of various churches, I often heard the expression, "If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything." The truth is more accurately seen in reverse: If you are willing to fall for anything, you will actually stand for nothing. People with honest Christian ideals need not fear history. But their churches are not truthful with them, and they don't even realize it.
The people who have suddenly noticed the world says "Happy Holidays" at this time of year, first of all, have not been paying attention, because it's been that way for a really long time. But also, I think they need to heed the words of their teacher, Paul, in the 14th chapter of the book of Romans. Feel free to add the letters to the Colossians to your reading as well, but be prepared to find it all a little paradoxical. Paul was like that. And the churches have retained that particular tradition well.
is going to just look like a screen should look. And that I'll finally get to scan more of my Better Homes and Gardens pictures for that webpage, which I loved getting started on. I updated today's entry on the new blog page, and I'm working on a Christmas greeting page for my fake store.
For anyone who may recall...
How do I love thee, let me count the ways?
I finally have the means to make the blog and website fun again. I've missed it so. I switched to blogger because the way I was doing it was so much harder, and because this gives us instant archives and other useful technical features. But it's so dull. And I think it makes the writing dull as well.
My first project is this set of quotes which I assembled with my personality type in mind. Chicken Soup for the INTP Soul
I'm so excited to get back to all the little bits of silliness that were the hallmark of my humble web presence. I figured out a way to use this blog but go back to the old color and kitsch. There's a new scanner tucked away until Christmas, and two good computers, and the neat camera, so now all I need is time to work on it!
Well, if life were perfect, I guess there'd be nothing to have no time to talk about.
My kids had fun tonight.
Peep Station One, as journaled by Olivia.
And there are little trees to decorate, too.
Why yes, I have lost my mind. Come join me.
The Hizzy got heavily into discussing Peeps this evening. If you start here, and continue along for a couple of pages, you'll find a few things to laugh at.
I'm so freezing right now. It's painful and I just want to be back in my nice warm waterbed with my laptop.
This one is very nice. It's a bajillion times faster, and has more memory, and a much larger screen, and a 10-key pad, which I adore, and an optical mouse, and all manner of good things.
But I miss my powerbook. Adieu, PowerBook.
When I replace you, your updated descendent will be too costly, so I will have to settle for your cute pale cousin, iBook.
On other fronts, I am making Irish Cream liqueur tonight. Someone in my forum group mentioned it, and it seemed like a really good idea. Here's the recipe:
1 3/4 cups Irish whiskey
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Blend on low until smooth, pour into clean bottles, cap tightly and store in the refrigerator. It will keep up to one month. Stir or shake well before serving. Makes 5 cups.
You could use eggbeaters or another substitute for the eggs, but with all that whiskey and sugary milk, I'm not concerned about eggs. Just wouldn't do to leave it sitting out for a long time, probably.
I probably have more to say. I'll try to get to that.
I was writing the Best Blog Post Ever, when my system crashed. It's not the fault of the system, which is ordinarily just about uncrashable. It's this very old computer, which gets confused if you accidentally shake it a little. Sigh.
No, really. It was good stuff.
1. Blah, blather, some more, lists of things, a couple of links, Roasted Chestnut hair, etc.
2. The rest of this is reconstructed with what I could type on another computer from the frozen screen, which was mostly obscured by the Dread Grey Window of Doom.
The thing about introversion/extroversion is that it has to do with how we process information we receive. Extroverts take in stuff from around themselves, want to talk about it with others, and gain energy from the sharing, from group interaction, and that's how things stick with them. Introverts take information inside to process quietly, usually letting it distill for awhile before sharing. Also they are more likely to think before speaking, and tend to feel drained from too much group activity.
Psychologists measure you on a scale of extroversion, so you can be mildly, moderately, or strongly one or the other. I could go on to discuss how it's all affected by a) how you gather information; whether through intuition or through the physical senses, and b) whether you organize it for decision-making from a more logical or more emotional point of view. But there's plenty out there to read, and you can certainly look it up if you like.
My particular makeup identifies me as someone who is introverted, intuitive, and logical, and my brain is the sort which is never certain what to do with it all--it has a hard time making up its mind, uncertain whether there might not be more information to use for the best decision, and worried that nailing down conclusions is too limiting in many situations. This shows up in many areas of my life and definitely in my writing. Most people with a similar makeup, about one in one hundred males, and slightly fewer females, have a hard time expressing warm and creative thought, although it's all inside there, passionate and yearning, just like everybody else. But it feels inadequate to express it with mere vocabulary, too easily misunderstood, and too difficult to share with just anybody, or mostly everybody.
My writing always reflected that, until about 10 years ago. I wanted so much to write stories, but my stories, when they came out of my head, always lacked life and breath and passion. I could feel it but I couldn't write it down adequately. So I began teaching myself to loosen up, first by attempting poetry. I'd ache with words, or so I thought. It was so personal. Probably too personal. It was also called Vulcan.
Little by little, I've loosened up and learned to assimilate emotion on page. It's not easy, and I have to remind myself to consider tactile imagery, "feeling" words, and expressive metaphor. When I do, I feel I've accomplished something.
As to my peculiar personality and how it affects my general behavior, here is an example of the sort of thing I mean. I was able to transcribe the first half of each line of what I just wrote, before restarting the computer. A more feely sort of person would have used that as notes to rewrite the thing. But no, I had to attempt to reconstruct the thing, line by pitiful line. It's really not as good as what I wrote the first time around.
Written by other people. I'm sort of burned out and frustrated right now.
From the AP: Dec 1, 6:57 AM (ET)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Dozens of passengers were evacuated into the rainy night at Philadelphia International Airport by a bomb scare. A bag being checked for an American Airlines flight set off an alarm at Terminal A-East around 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
Fire trucks and the bomb squad were called in, and the all-clear was sounded about two hours later - after the baggage in question turned out to contain garlic paste.
Here's what LP has to say about how we can now have nail clippers on a plane, and how maybe he won't have to always remove his shoes whenever he flies.
I heard on the radio that some advocacy groups are upset that the TSA is relaxing rules on “small tools” and “sharp personal items like toiletry scissors” in airport security checks. They say they’re going to “concentrate on looking for bombs, instead.” Those advocacy groups are saying that the TSA has “lost sight of 9-11.”
My reaction? The TSA in my view is responding to the fact that air travel is so down across the board. Gotta get those numbers back up. Of course that never comes out in the news, but you can always follow the money trail: Airlines consume massive amounts of fuel which is derrived from middle east sources where the US is up to it’s knickers presently, yada yada.
I certainly abhor the search process. I’ve been removed of my clothes and had my stuff swabbed for explosives. I’ve had every bag removed down to its last sock. Do I feel “safer?” Not a bit.
The reason I don’t is because of my own martial training, the fact that the 9-11 hijackers were all martially trained (right here in the US, in Florida martial schools, no less) and my understanding that a human being, when fully motivated to carry out an action, will find a way around virtually any rule, law, code, or obstacle. Confiscating my tweezers and my toiletry scissors wouldn’t deter me from using another makeshift tool or my bare hands if I so desired, and I’m no terrorist.
My reaction therefore? If the TSA’s new “policy” allows me to get through the checks faster, yummy. I understand that events will unfold naturally, in every context if left to themselves. Emotionally, I sometimes struggle with that. However, the sooner people come to grips with the fact that nothing will prevent a motivated perpetrator, the better. That goes for airplanes, as well as walking down the street or for locking your doors and windows at night. Understand that your risks of being “violated” on an airplane are still less than walking through the “bad part of town” after dusk.
I just think people are stupid.