Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Disc on the Installer's Desk

See that red star center top of map, off the Tobacco Farm Trail? I lost my Star Wedge there Sunday, the day after playing Seneca with SeatSix when I said, I don't need to order any discs until I get back to my standard level of sucky play. Earthgirl and I love the woods, we are determined to hike every weekend possible. We're old, it was a long winter, we're starting modestly so as to not get discouraged as we build up to lengthier, more ambitious hikes. Little Bennett Park is up 270 near the once charming now hideous town of Clarksburg. The highlighted are the three circuits we've done the past week. I often carry a disc with me when hiking to throw now and then. We were on an open stretch of trail, I threw the Wedge (an Innova Putt and Approach with a low profile and gentle fade), it hit the trail and skipped, I figured three feet, into crushed grass not yet Spring revived, I couldn't find the damn disc. So.

Ordered Sunday night, received yesterday. The blue is the replacement Wedge in the same plastic. The magenta is a beaded Aviar, also in the star plastic, the yellow is an old DX Wolf, I used to throw and roll Wolves all the time for their understability. Innova has a new plastic, the GStar, it's grippier than other plastics. I throw Roadrunners for stable drives, Beast for overstable drives and forehands, and you can't really tell because of the photo, but that Beast is a beautiful school bus yellow, next to Noxzema bottle blue my favorite color.  Best news of all?

The disc company sent me a Missing Low Is Lame sticker, I promptly adhered it to the bottom of the Aviar. It's true. Missing low is lame. A rule to live by. Fine metaphors abound. Here's a self-portrait in a sign about ant mounds, taken yesterday at Bennett.


Matthea Harvey

At the carnival, Robo-Boy sees only things he recognizes. The Ferris Wheel is an overgrown version of his own bells and whistle eyes. His Flashers, his mother calls them. The Tilt-A-Whirl is the angle his head tilts when the Flirt Program goes into effect, usually in the vicinity of a Cindy or a Carrie, though once he found himself tilting at the school librarian which caused him to wheel in reverse into the Civil War section knocking over a cart of books that were waiting to be shelved under B. There’s a dangerously low stratosphere of pink cotton-candy clouds being carried around by the children. If Robo-Boy goes near them, the alarms will go off. It’s the kind of sticky that would cause joint-lock for sure. In a darker, safer corner Robo-Boy finds the Whack-A-Mole game. He pays a dollar and starts whacking the plastic moles on their heads each time they pop up from the much-dented log. He wins bear after bear. It’s only when he's lugging them home, the largest one skidding face-down along the sidewalk getting dirt on its white nose and light blue belly, that he remembers the program: Wac-A-Mole Realism™—the disc on the installer’s desk. Suddenly it all fits together: the way a deliciously strange thought will start wafting out of his unconscious—and then WHAM, it disappears.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dormant Listening Posts Activate

  • Working on other projects (and diverting bleggalgazing, of a sort, there). Links for you.
  • Four reasons this list will kill you.
  • Understanding landscape.
  • Another post about hashtags.
  • The rhetoric of violence.
  • The definitive oral history of a TV classic, or: No Elton John, no MST3K? Universes hurl into oblivion.
  • Food links.
  • davidly's Kate Bush's London concert misadventure, an update.
  • UPDATE! Just got two emails from blooger saying two folks had blogged anonymously on today's post (or one person twice) but neither comment appeared on blooger to approve or delete. I'd post them but I don't know who to attribute them to, so if you care please comment again and sign a name. I'm guessing that I get so much anonymous spambot comments that blooger now just sends to oblivion all anonymous comments. 
  • You.
  • You.
  • UPDATE! Old Dirty Bama, I don't use that email anymore and only check it sporadically, sorry for late response to your email of a fortnight ago. Check your email!
  • A riff on birthday boy William Shakespeare.
  • Of course I want praise (diverted bleggalgazing). And yes, K, I reserve the right to edit until I abandon, since you again called it cheating.
  • In praise of Joyce Carol Oates. It's the freaking italics of interior dialogue that drive me nuts.
  • So, guess what I was listening to when falling asleep last night.


Vijay Seshardri

The omni-directional mike and the video camera, both tiny,
hidden in the bonsai cypress
are picking up my sunrise self-help talk show,
in the makeshift kitchen studio, in a bathrobe and bunny slippers.
First the opening monologue,
then the body banters with the mind, then queue up the callers.
Caller X is unhappy with the latest dream interpretation.
Caller X is cut off with a flick of the wrist.
Caller Y wants to share that my fearless candor has given her permission
to become utterly transparent herself.
Thank you, Caller Y. Your inner light can be seen from here.
Night-visiting revenants, clerks of the underworld,
gnawing the half-buried roots of being,
spirits of the burning trees, kiss me goodbye.
The tape shows me checking my chronometer and exiting for work.
Observers posted along my morning commute observe the usual detours,
the purchase of potables and comestibles.
Flash forward the digital feed.
At ten hundred hours, the current workplace asset texts,
“Subject agitated. Begging colleagues,
‘Please have the courtesy not to be conscious of me.’ ”
Of the three or four scenarios employed
to predict my next location, during the interminable lunch hour,
when the terrible questions of where to go and what to eat
among choices once enticing but now exposed in all their bitter banality
assault even the most cheerful of our targets,
today, which is a Tuesday, is burning-house-scenario day.
Cloud after cloud of smoke and flames
sweep through and over the turrets,
the widow’s walk, the pergolas, the port-cochere.
Fire boiling through the leaded windowpanes immolates the gillyflowers.
Though I haven’t been located, for reasons I don’t understand,
in the crowd shots pirated from the Eyewitness News feed,
what the crowd feels I would feel if I were there to feel it.
But I’m not there to feel it,
I’m not there at all, there at the next disaster,
the last disaster but one but one but one . . .
The dormant listening posts activate.
Windowless vans crammed with information technology
park on the corners of all the streets.
Oh, the wailing in the control room, the recriminations,
the pointing of fingers, the blame game, the pleas
of the pragmatic to move forward, not backward, and solve this problem,
find me and put me back on the grid.
Where will I be scanned for first? Maybe I’m in the trashed, padlocked
public restroom in the park. The pipes are hissing.
The concrete floor is littered with syringes and treacherous
with pools of chill and fetid standing water.
The mirrors are shattered, and the sinks and urinals are shattered.
This is the restroom nobody ever visits
in the park abandoned by humankind,
the dead zone where the transducer and the infrared lens quail,
where all the signals ricochet.
Or, alternatively, I could be on a beach somewhere.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Born Ninety-Two Years Ago Today

No, I didn't forget, and my apologies, the large collection of Mingus youtubes I've archived on the blog to be posted on his birthday - those I've found, those suggested by Hamster and Greyhoos and others - are all dead, removed by demand of some right's holder. Send me working Mingus youtubes and I'll add them.

My standard Mingus birthday paragraphs:

I don't know as much about jazz as I wish - there are only so many hours - but I was turned onto Mingus by an English professor at Anne Arundel Community College (there's a story) about the time Earthgirl and I first lived together in a marina house in Deale MD (google map 6064 Drumpoint Road, Deale MD and you can see it), and while true that Mingus' music strikes pleasure tines in my brain most jazz - most music - doesn't, I also associate Mingus with wonderful times sitting in the backyard listening to Mingus, watching the sailboats come and go while steaming the blue crabs we pulled from our pots we threw off the docks and BBQing fresh bluefish friendly fisherman gave us, and awful times too, sitting in the backyard listening to Mingus with my friend Henry, a black man, and his white wife Donna, and being called over in private by two boat owners who demanded I get the fucking nigger and his white whore off the property, waking up in the morning after I told them to fuck off to find my car tires slashed. The local cops taking the police report thought it was funny.
There was a big gun control vote in Maryland during POTUS 88 when we were living in Deale, I had a bumpersticker on my car advocating whatever the liberal position was (I don't remember the details), I woke up one morning to find my tires slashed and my car encased in pro-gun bumperstickers. The local cops taking the police report thought it was funny. 
We never intended to live for long in Deale - the marina house belonged to a family friend from Earthgirl's side, he rented it to us to give us a place to see if we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, but we both worked in DC/MOCO, the commute was hell, we would have moved back sooner or later, the incidents with the locals just made it sooner. 

Yes, that story is related to my incipient ismlessism, both its necessity and its futility.

My Attic Hurts, and I'd Like to Quit the Committee for Naming Tornadoes

  • Dave's book arrived, thanks for the extra goodies! Order yours here.
  • The Geography of Poverty. Gorgeous, sad, disturbing, provocative website.
  • The Limits of Libertarianism. Offered for consideration, not chum. OK, for chum too. I confess I now try to maintain a state of Ismlessism, I'm willing - am eager - to hear all flavors torture their contradictions and hypocrisies and attendant justifications while trying to sell me a set of encyclopedias I desperately pray I don't buy.
  • Ismlessism? L asked at Monday Night Pints. You don't make up words nearly as much as you used to, she said. Apathyatrophyitus, I said. K brought up POTUS 16, Team Democrat (serendipitously mentioned this morning by Corrente's Clinton v Warren). Warren isn't running if Clinton tells her not to, L said. I'm fuckbarren, I said.
  • I also confess I've seen Piketty-this, Piketty-that, but have only read this Piketty profile.
  • Re: turning back the inexorable oligarchic slow tsumami in a peaceable manner is not an option, cause they aren't turning back peaceably.
  • Joseph Conrad and contemporary terrorism.
  • The roots and fruits of terror war.
  • Torturers, looters, and oligarchs get freaky.
  • Péladan, for those of you like me who never heard of him.
  • Joanna Russ, for those of you who do.
  • Hamster just told me I missed Robert Smith's birthday yesterday. Don't know how that happened, but he'll have another one next year.
  • And yes, it's John Waters' birthday today, here is the standard youtube.
  • Woke up with Teardrop Explodes in my head. This is one of dozens of my favorite songs ever.


Matthew Zapruder

I hate the phrase “inner life.” My attic hurts,
and I’d like to quit the committee
for naming tornadoes. Do you remember
how easy and sad it was to be young
and defined by our bicycles? My first
was yellow, and though it was no Black
Phantom or Sting-Ray but merely a Varsity
I loved the afternoon it was suddenly gone,
chasing its apian flash through the neighborhoods
with my father in vain. Like being a nuclear
family in a television show totally unaffected
by a distant war. Then we returned
to the green living room to watch the No Names
hold our Over the Hill Gang under
the monotinted chromatic defeated Super
Bowl waters. 1973, year of the Black Fly
caught in my Jell-O. Year of the Suffrage Building
on K Street NW where a few minor law firms
mingle proudly with the Union of Butchers
and Meat Cutters. A black hand
already visits my father in sleep, moving
up his spine to touch his amygdala. I will
never know a single thing anyone feels,
just how they say it, which is why I am standing
here exactly, covered in shame and lightning,
doing what I’m supposed to do.