Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nightcap: He had it coming

That Not So Good Bacon is a blog by Terry Taylor with graphics that are dark and edgy. This one is my favorites, entitled 'He had it coming'. I wonder if this was inspired by 'Chicago'.

He only had himself to blame...Bastard.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mental Notes: Lessons from a dog

Patrick Moberg gives us Lessons from a dog. Surprisingly, they are good lessons.

Writer's Block: Internet vices & workout plan

I like tequila and vodka cranberries, among others. But someone went a wee bit overboard by comparing tequila to YouTube and vodka cranberries to Facebook. But between Facebook and the vodka, just please pass the vodka. Thank you!

Here's the complete list of Internet vices anyway.

Interestingly enough though, the same guy -- Patrick Moberg came up with a New Media Workout Plan that means you gotta jog in place for a minute each time you open Facebook, and do 10 jumping jacks when you get on Flickr.

For those who like to go on Facebook and Twitter at work though, some people might get a tad suspicious or just think you're a weird show-off. Good idea if you're at home though.

Too bad I'm a lazy slob. Please pass the tequila. *hick*

Coffee Break Poem: Making Way

--Narragansett Bay 1960

We part from the dock
slow as disengaging lovers
one landlocked the other a
floater who won’t be
kept at bay

The diminishing pier slides back
its bollards and planks deploy
to some other place not here
but to a distancing otherworld—
the tether breaks
as stern-first we pass the
channel buoy

....Quarter back, the O-D says.

....Quarter back, aye sir,
....and we slip away

....Steer two one zero, half ahead.
....Two one zero, half ahead, aye sir,

....and we slow-slide down
....the gleaming bay

The sun’s so keen it indicates
a tern on the roof of a big estate
a half mile away
with its long lawn hill
off the starboard bow
which slopes down clear
through the wind-wove air
to a point where jades meet blues
................–which passes now
as we part the sea while
making way

Further south the sea’s first chops
begin to unsettle our sheltered
adolescent cruise

Near the harbor mouth all decks
rise then make their first
supplicating bows to whatever
god it is that intervenes
to call-off wrecks
—we’re juggled gently first in
Neptune’s law as
pitches rolls & heaves
meet yaws

Gray billows diesel from our raked stacks
Halyards snap against the mast’s steel
Gulls abundantly rise & reel
over the white chaos of our wake’s track

Sunlight splinters
into rippled billions
upon each breaker’s
sequined breast
before it folds
in a white rush falling
to the soul percussion
of a bow-wave’s
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,shush shush shush

by Jim Culleny; Nov, 2009

Tuesday Poem: A Variation

And I really don’t know
now when was I very
honest and when
was I not, it cannot be
and it’s hard to sort it out. For there’s no
lie which could not
be used in order to keep
things as they are
really or in reality, I wonder
which of these is the correct
expression here, I cannot remember,
but somehow the word
real has to be in it.
And because I do not change
at all, for better or for worse,
I’m not uglier or more beautiful
than before, up or down. Or
maybe just a shade. But:
to die: no. Death is not an option.
It’s possible that
while I am changing, I usually
sleep through those hours.
Or else am hovering upside down.

by Endre Kukorelly
George Gömöri, 2001

Monday, November 23, 2009

Coffee Break Poem: Kisses

Kiss me,
Slowly, shyly, tentatively.
Get to know every nook and cranny,
And the gentle outline of my lips.

Kiss me,
Passionately, hungrily...
Make my head fall back in surrender,
Yet keep pushing forward for more.

Kiss me,
Sweetly and wondrously,
Transport me to places I have never been,
Into that perfect world where we make the rules.

Kiss me,
Authoritative and exploringly...
Until you hear unspoken secrets of my heart,
Chanting your name over and over.

Kiss me,
Sadly and tearfully..
Feel my heart breaking with every breath,
As you shall never kiss me again.

(Author unknown)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

100 movies that defined the 2000's

I'm not gonna list it all. But these are my favorites.

98 Crash
Oscar voters loved this multi-stranded depiction of contemporary LA’s combustible race politics.

88 The Pianist
Polanski won an Oscar for this comeback of unexpected acuity, with Adrien Brody bringing haunted charisma to the lead role.

79 Spider-Man
The first hit for an amiable comic-book franchise set the tone with humour, a warm romance and Tobey Maguire’s likeable hero.

60 Kill Bill
Tarantino split the film in two and his critics down the middle, serving up a delirious martial arts revenge saga.

56 Atonement
This flamboyant, visually ravishing adaptation of Ian McEwan’s Second World War novel put its British director on the map and confirmed Keira Knightley’s star quality

46 Y Tu Mamá También
Sand and hormones eddied in Cuarón’s three-way road trip, which made a superstar of Gael García Bernal.

43 The Dark Knight
The jet-black, immersive Batman movie everyone was hoping Nolan would deliver, was a blistering swansong for its late Joker, Heath Ledger.

39 Casino Royale
Daniel Craig sizzled opposite Eva Green and proved the skeptics wrong in this muscular and intense reworking of the first Bond novel.

31 Pirates of the Caribbean
Relentless high-seas action-adventure that made Johnny Depp big box-office. So successful that its sequels essentially repeated its incoherent plot.

23 Shaun of the Dead
There were lots of zombie films this decade, but only this super-smart, suburban updating of a once-tired genre featured gags about Eighties electro.

21 The Bourne Supremacy
Greengrass took the wheel and the influential amnesiac-assassin franchise leapt into hyperdrive in this barnstorming sequel.

15 Before Sunset
Before Sunrise’s Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reunited for a dream-parade through Parisian boulevards in the decade’s most gorgeous and affectingly romantic film.

5 Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
If there was one franchise to rule them all, it was surely this. A hugely risky commitment for its studio, the outlay paid off more than anyone could have dreamed. It’s the enduring quality of the first installment, leading us by the hand into Tolkien’s richly imagined world, that made our collective Hobbit-love possible.

For the full list, click here.

100 books that defined the 2000's

I never got into Harry Potter or Dan Brown's series which were named in this list, but I did like this one, thanks to a friend who made a recommendation. This one is no. 20 on the list.

100 books that defined the 2000's:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

10 simple things we should all say more often

A friend once told me people don't say "thank you" enough. As simple a statement as it was, he's right. People don't say thank you enough.

Most of the time we let a lot of things slip by, but it's really the little things -- the same things that we usually take for granted that can have the biggest impact on us.

Dumb Little Man came up with a list -- a simple list but in my opinion, a good one -- of things we should say more often. Of course, one of these is "Thank You".

There are 10 items on the list, but I'd like to add an 11th item -- and that's "I'm sorry".

Read on

Wednesday Poem: I Knew a Woman

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek.)

How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and stand;
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin:
I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
Coming behind her for her pretty sake
(But what prodigious mowing did we make.)

Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:
Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;
She played it quick, she played it light and loose;
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;
Her several parts could keep a pure repose,
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved.)

Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:
I'm martyr to a motion not my own;
What's freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:
(I measure time by how a body sways.)

By Theodore Roethke

17 things worth knowing about your cat

For the rest of the 13, click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

15 things worth knowing about coffee

13 other things here.

Tuesday Poem: The Eyes of Flesh

that I
shall be
a wife.

Setting me
up in weeds
outside a
house where
beds of flowers
into fertilizer (he
would plant
me there)
with greenish braids
veined on my
ivory neck
twisted above
blood-checked gingham
in a knot
of love.

All his tears
fall from
his glassy rimmed
to awaken him.

Father, sleep
in Jerusalem.
I hate
the plastic
in this place
where we
my childhood. For
a house
is where
purposes are

by Sandra Hochman

from No More Masks!; Doubleday Anchor, 1973

Monday, November 16, 2009

Coffee Break: NO!

It is NOT okay
No you don't

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mental Notes: Slobs

Men usually get the bad rap for hygiene. They usually take the puns (and nagging) for icky habits women are known to hate. But on the flip side, not all women are all prim and polished either.

While the general assumption is that women are cleanaholics and health & hygiene conscious -- there are exemptions to the rule. Some women are closet slobs too.

We're not talking about stuff like "not-being-able-to-do-dishes-or-mop-the-floor-because-I'm-busy". We're talking about habits that some people actually bring to work/to the outside world that actually spread germs and/or annoy everyone.

1. Not flushing. No. it's not always the man who forgets. Some women just don't flush. The clogging in the bathroom -- yep, sometimes it IS her fault, fellas.

If a man ever had the guts to enter a public/office restroom -- he'd notice that some women leave a ton of toilet paper in the bowl and don't get rid of the evidence by pressing down on that magnificent modern invention of mankind called "the flush".

2. Not washing their hands. Oh yeah, some women will carry hand sanitizers and fret about how meat is bad for her while snacking on an apple -- but she's actually eating it with a handful of germs from the public bathroom. Yum!

3. Snorting. Yes, some women do snort -- intentionally. Lord knows why -- maybe to show how "one-of-the-boys" she is. But no one really wants to hear this from a man -- much more for a woman. Okay -- fine. This may not be unhygienic. But it's nasty nonetheless.

4. Spitting. A man once told me he was walking behind this really sexy woman. He was about to approach her, until she cleared her throat and threw out some spit.

Some other dirty habits featured in Glamour magazine.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nightcap Poem: Veneer

Give me my hand on his neck and his back to my breast,
my heart ruffling his ribs and their flighty charge.
Give me the sea-grass bristles on his shoulder-blades
and his spine, courteous and pliable to my wrist.

His back is a child’s drawing of seagulls flocked.
I knuckle the air undone by their windward flight
and draw from their dip and rise my linear breath.

Were he standing, my tongue could graze the whorl
at the base of his neck and leave my hand to plane
the small of his close-grained waist.

Were he lying down, I’d crook in the hollow
of him and, with my index finger, slub the mole
at the breech of his back that rounds on darkness
like a knot in veneer: shallow, intricate, opaque.

by Vona Groarke

From: Flight
Publisher: The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, 2002

How to organize Facebook friends

  • Friends Who Can’t Stop Babbling About Their Kids
  • Friends Who Are Really Into Farmville
  • Friends Who Just Ate A Good Sandwich
  • Friends Who Just Had A Great Workout
  • How Do I Even Know These Friends?
  • Nosy Relatives Posing As Friends
  • Friends Who Quote TV Shows
  • “Obama’s a Socialist” Friends
  • “They Faked the Moon Landing” Friends
  • “Look How Smart I Am!” Friends
  • “Join My Group Or You’re Not My Friend” Friends
  • Friends Who Update Their Status Every 10 Minutes
  • Friends Who Update Their Status Every Election Cycle

Mental Notes: Overheard in the Newsroom

Some quotes from "Overheard from the Newsroom" -- comments and conversations in any newsroom.

#2127: After someone asks if they can smoke in the office: “This is a newsroom, it should reek of cigarettes and scotch.”

#2157: Intern: “You guys sure do cuss a lot in here.” Assignment Editor: “Just wait until payday.”

#2145: Reporter just about to go live: “We’re not just breaking the news, we’re putting it back together.”

#2136: Page Designer to Editor in Chief: “If God had sex with a newspaper this is what it would look like.”

#2129: New reporter second day on the job: “If I won the lottery, I would buy a Krispy Kreme store, lay down on the machine and glaze myself.”

#2108: Cub Reporter: “How am I ever going to get a boyfriend if I have to work nights?”

#2104: City Editor: “I’m a journalist. It’s my job to stalk people on the Internet.”

#2102: Editor 1: “She looked like she was on the verge of tears.” Editor 2: “There’s no crying in the newsroom!”

#2156: Reporter holding free company propaganda mug: “What I am supposed to do with this? Stand on a street corner for change?”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Writer's Block: Fags (aka The 'F' Word)

Just so it's clear -- we're not talking about ciggies or the "third sex" here. I'm referring to annoying motorist -- usually on motorcycles or cars -- who like to make plenty of noise when they drive past. Yes, you know them -- and I hope it's not you.

To sidetrack a bit, I have a shallow side (and a not-so-surprising bitchy side) too. I like to watch South Park and a recent episode just hit the right decibels against all those attention-starved motorists who "drive by making so much noise thinking that they're cool."

Here's an excerpt from one of the scenes:

Cartman: You guys know that everyone thinks you're fags, right?

Motorcycle Rider 1: What did you say?

Cartman: You know when people like you drive around the street with your unnecessarily loud motorcycles thinking you're all cool -- everyone is actually laughing at you and calling you pathetic faggots. You do realize that, right?

Motorcycle Rider 2: Hey man, we roll how we roll, and if people are annoyed or intimidated by it -- that's too bad for them.

Cartman: No. Nobody's intimidated, actually. Everyone realizes that people who are so needy for attention they need to dress up and be as loud as possible are you guys and 16-year old girls. Just want to let you know, you're f*cking fags.

Yes, dear obnoxious and inconsiderate motorist -- fags do not refer to ciggies.

Neither does it refer to the third sex -- they don't go out of their way to ruin people's day or peaceful evening. It just refers to you.

Water be a String to my Guitar

Water, be a string to my guitar. The new conquerors have arrived
and the old ones have gone. It’s difficult to remember my face
in mirrors. Be my memory that I may see what I lost…
Who am I after this exodus? I have a rock
that carries my name over hills that overlook what has come
and gone…seven hundred years guide my funeral behind the city walls…
and in vain time circles to save my past from a moment
that gives birth to the history of exile in me…and in others…
Water, be a string to my guitar, the new conquerors have arrived
and the old ones have gone south as nations who renovate their days
in the rubble of transformation: I know who I was yesterday, so what
will I become tomorrow under the Atlantic banners of Columbus? Be a string,
water, be a string to my guitar. There is no Egypt in Egypt, no
Fez in Fez, and Syria is distant. And no hawk
in my kin’s banner, no river east of the palm trees besieged
by quick Mongol horses. In which Andalus will I end? Right here
or over there? I will know that I perished here and left my best
behind me: my past. Nothing remains for me except my guitar,
O water, be a string to my guitar. The conquerors have gone
and the conquerors have come…

Mahmoud Darwish

translation: Fady Joudah
excerpted from If I Were Another;
Farrar, Straus, and Grioux, 2009

Tuesday Poem: Rain

A teacher asked Paul
what he would remember
from third grade, and he sat
a long time before writing
"this year somebody tutched me
on the sholder"
and turned his paper in.
Later she showed it to me
as an example of her wasted life.
The words he wrote were large
as houses in a landscape.
He wanted to go inside them
and live, he could fill in
the windows of "o" and "d"
and be safe while outside
birds building nests in drainpipes
knew nothing of the coming rain.

by Naomi Shihab Nye

from New American Poets of the 90s;
David Godine, Publisher, 1991

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday Poem: Gift

I took everything from my mother, her liquor, her ghosts,
her sweetness, her heavy lips, her breath of sorrow.
I took her waist and her spools, her ears and her thimble,
I took her green thumb, and the purple cosmos blossoms
that trembled under her kitchen window.
I took her feet and her loneliness, the cities
she lived in, the small towns, their friendless dusks,
her quilts and perfumes and fingers.
I took the sound of her dresses at midnight,
and the goat she kept as a child,
I took the crickets beneath the boards of her first houses
and her lovers; I got lost in their shadows.
I took her hatred of her father,
I ate from her dishes in rooms that smelled of the sea.
I took the war and the horses that pulled the cart
that carried her mother away.
I took the odor of crushed thyme and sweat,
I took a handkerchief embroidered by my great aunt
and the iron in her shoulders and the road signs
of old villages.
I took my mother’s maiden name and her fear of oceans,
I took her bravery and her strangeness,
I took a blessing from her and
the lullabies she whispered, drunk,
and my terror of that dark music.
I took my love for a woman
who walked through a broken doorway
with her eyes closed
following no one.

by Rita Gabis

from The Wild Field; Alice James Books,
Cambridge, MA, 1994

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nightcap Video: Just do the heroin!

No, I am not promoting the use of it. I just think this guy has a point.

This is upcoming Pakistani comedian, Kumail Nanjiani:

Coffee Break Poem: After love

Afterwards, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries.

These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.

Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership.

The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar

and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.

Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when

the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self

lay lightly down, and slept

by Maxine Kumin

from No More Masks!; Anchor Books, 1973

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Writer's Block: Zeitgeist

I came across this video through a friend.

Apparently the film is a 2007 documentary by Peter Joseph about supposed 'historical and modern conspiracies'.

I do not particularly dislike films like this, because I do believe that we are not supposed to follow everything people pass off as truth.

Conspiracy theories are fascinating, however the film contains many allegations, including conspiracies about 9/11, Christianity and the banking system that I personally find to contain a classic style of using random truths taken out of context in an attempt to back it up.

Zeitgeist talks about Jesus as a sun god, with attributes similar to Horus, Attis, Dionysus, and Mirtha that include a virgin birth, 12 disciples, performance of miracles, burial and resurrection.

Already there is plenty wrong with this claim, but what I find even more ghastly is how these claims are built on the assumption that Jesus was born on December 25th.

While Christians generally celebrate Christmas Day/Jesus' birth, there is no evidence to believe that he was born on Dec 25. Scholars believe Jesus may have in fact been born in early fall or in spring, since December is cold and rainy in Judea.

Shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at night at the time of Jesus' birth. But shepherds did not remain in the fields of Judea at night during December due to lack of forage and the bad weather, and it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night.

The foundation on which he builds his arguments are shaky, with plenty of mismatched facts that only look impressive at face value but crumble at the feet of simple research. Many of the facts presented are based on assumptions passed off as truth.

The film includes Joseph's theories about the 9/11 and the banking system that also contain facts, but in my opinion are twisted around for reasons only he knows why.

However I am including the video to be fair, to let you come up with your own opinion about this film.