Saturday, April 11, 2009

Viral Performing Sheep

Two people have shared this with me and Andrew Sullivan featured it a few weeks ago. Sorry I didn't get is up sooner, sometimes Contrarienne is late to the party. But she always bring merriment.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Oh Dear

The clam prom dress you've always wanted.
this is what happens when the news is dead for two days in a row and The Contraienne is forced to go looking for material. And for my artsy sisters,  Craftastrophe!

Rough Draft

It's not that I can't sleep,
It's that I won't

V.M. Kemrocken

This morning I went to court and sat without pay through the tedious decision making of our local legal system, sleep deprived by not so much design
as fallback habit. Pleas were entered, dates were set.  A waiflike young meth addict decided to reverse her previous decision and signed up for drug court. Maybe she will start eating again.
I used to sit through theses things in rapt attention, taking notes and reading the rhythms. The rhythms are always the same. Even when there's an arson murderer in the dock, like today.

When I was rebounding earlier this week from an entire night without sleep, I had epiphanies of insight.
The brain always makes sure it is first on the list for oxygen.
Uncluttered by normal thought abundance, I figured a few things out, remembered events long forgotten. Pieces fell and found their place.
Sometimes that's the way it comes, deprive the body, starve the brain, and there's a new plane of existence telegraphing its presence — is that the way you spell presence? — by way of the remaining functional synapses. So much has shut down and clarity comes.
That's the thought, anyway. Contrarienne took a day off to play and found upon her return that she had missed little and had nothing to pass along.
So she slept on it for about three hours, then went to court for a friend.
Now, midmorning and not even a first coffee, she opens the daily email from The Poets. I signed up for this. But I never read it. Today I will.

Wayne Miller's last line says it all, as all last lines should.
sleep gives the body back its mouth..

My mouth is full of thought.

Earlier in the week, I  read  a newspaper poetry critic's account of his plan to memorize a few lines a day until he had acquired a ready repertoire to fill such tedious moments. He is often called upon to recite for friends. Maybe I will do the same. Or just read a poem a day.

One of the things they often tell you to do in recovery is make lists. List ten things you're grateful for, they say. It's supposed to make you feel better.

Gratitudes No. 1. Poetry

First line or last line:
It's not that I can't sleep,
It's that I won't

Sometimes a blog is a personal diary. I'll try to minimize that , but from what I've seen so far, nothing much is happening today either.

If you would like to receive a poem a day during April, go here. If you would like to memorize some, I'll certainly ask for a recitation.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tango Correction

The tango was born by the end of the 19th century from a mixture of several rhythms that were danced in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. Originally it was almost exclusively connected to cabarets, a sort of contention house for the predominantly male population that was increasingly immigrating to the country. Since only prostitutes would dare performing this dance, in the beginning most couples were formed by two men.
From a reliable source.

About The Tango

Casual observers may not know that the rough seamen and dock workers who generated the original tango in Argentina used to practice with each other before attending the highly controlled dances where women they wished to impress would be present. (I suppose women must have practiced together also.)

Word O' Teh Day

merkin, as in Mark Halperin Merkin

See  below 

Or, you're nothing but a goddamned merkin. You merkin, you.

Business Model, Schmiziness Model

Today is as good as any for a little media bashing.
From today's TPM:
Daphne Merkin took to the Times op-ed page last month to argue Madoff victims are not blameless. But the paper didn't disclose Merkin's brother lost billions of other people's money investing with Madoff -- and an irritated NYT editor says the issue is not "substantive," even though Merkin's brother has now been charged with fraud.

Comment O' Teh Day from Kibo:
A merkin (first use, according to the OED, 1617) is a pubic wig, originally worn by prostitutes after shaving their genitalia to eliminate lice or disguise the marks of syphilis. There are many different ways of wearing a merkin, although most involve placing the merkin on the vulva or the scrotum.

I just loves me some intertubes.

For The Joy Of It

FB Down Again

This morning. 200 million users and counting.

Defense Budget

Money shuffling is what it is, not budget reduction, even though the programs being cut may well deserve it. That $513 for fiscal 2008? It's $534 for '09.
Who needs the old media when most of them can't get it right?
Now I know that many journalists would argue that the first stories out after Gates released it all yesterday are bound to be insatisfactory as everyone scrambles to absorb it. But the truth is, with stuff like this, they all got heads up and draft copies and exclusive interviews in time to get it right. TPM says the Wall Street Journal did its due diligence.
But it was the weekend. Most didn't feel like working that hard.
My favorite offender? Mark "Mr. Smirky" Halperin, formerly of ABC News, now at Time. I'l like to see the self-satisfied SOB strung up.
Strong words. Death of democracy in my opinion deserves strong words.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Oldie But Goodie

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Facebook Meltdown?

So, um, Word Challenge was getting sort of sluggish and I rebooted, figuring it was my pathetic browser (Camino), which periodically just quits for no good reason, or my own lack of internal maintenance duties on my Mac laptop, which I've had for two years and managed so far to avoid even reading the instructions, much less take the online course.
But nooo, me and gazillions of other users are told this:

Account Unavailable

Your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance. It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Excuse me, a few hours? Guys, this is the internet. If it ain't instant, it's dead to me.
Oh, wait. Maybe it's the increased traffic from the earthquake in Italy. Nah, not big enough news to swamp the world's leading — and so far unprofitable — online whatchamacallit.
Virus? What ever happened to that April Fool's thingie that was supposed to end civilization as we know it.
Whatever. Thing is, how has this affected Wall Street?
Maybe cyberterrorism. North Korea has penetrated the Net, the Web, whatever. Or AQ. I was for years convinced that Richard Clark's account of the weaknesses in the system was an indicator of things to come. But they never came. What terrorist can live without the Net these days?
UPDATE: Okay, it was less than an hour. Still.

Sunday, April 5, 2009