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Archive for March, 2007

There are lots of political initiatives I should be doing something about. And frankly, if I thought many of them had a chance of going anywhere here in the land of Huge Disconnect, where we can’t discern an Arabic totalitarian socialist state from their religious fundamentalist enemies (sound of head banging on wall) why, I’m ready.

But rolling back this boneheaded daylight savings bump from April up to early March has jumped high on my list. (more…)

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It isn’t paying taxes I mind. I’m okay with that, mostly. (more…)

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Distractions

I try to be reading when we go down into the tunnel. If it isn’t too crowded and I can sit, I get out a book.

There is the oppressive change of pressure. I knew a recent arrival once who was quite insistent on how painful this was. He looked around the train car at all of the other people, none of whom, like him, were suffering, and the pain at his eardrums was compounded by the odd sense that he alone was somehow singled out to suffer, and he couldn’t believe what was happening. (more…)

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We watched The Legend of 1900 last night, about the brilliant piano player born on a luxury liner, who spends his whole mythic life on the ship. Early on the narrator auditions his trumpet, and we found out what is music to Ernie’s ears.

Ernie, our German Shepherd mix, both barks and crows according to his moods, crowing most often (“ah-woo-woo-wooo!”) when greeting us. But we’ve never heard him bay before this. (more…)

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I was far more interested in sleep than stumbling around for my bathrobe and glasses, so I’m not even sure when it began.

The raccoons have excited Ernie for as long as he’s been with us. The first few times he smelled and heard them talking to each other, a chuckling sound, was a big novelty for him. (What the heck is that out there?! And hey, let me at it!)

We hear them sometimes up on our roof, loud enough to suspect the playful, dextrous little buggers had taken up bowling. (more…)

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A nice, respectable lady went into the pharmacy and walked right up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and calmly said, “I would like to buy some cyanide.” (more…)

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So what offends you?

Offensive or pejorative terms are slippery in American discourse. I had a high school friend with a chance to live in England. When he returned he told me the British aren’t as squeamish as we are about terms that we might consider pejorative.

For instance, he said people were called spastic over there, without thinking it demeaning. (more…)

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I once got to work on travel books, which I enjoyed, especially as I’d had the experience of traveling to a site, tour book in hand, where the book was clearly wrong. (Once, at Jogjakarta on Java, even the diagram of the pools where the sultan’s harem swam was wrong, three pools as opposed to two — how could they mess that up?) Finally, a chance to do something about it! (more…)

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Tern strike

Just before dawn out along the shoreline this morning a few cirrus clouds caught the sunlight, reflected in the bay. The water was still, deep blues with some of the warmth of the sky caught in yellows and oranges. The migrant ducks were waking and beginning to stir, and I watched a tern dive straight down for its breakfast, striking the water. A splash of gold color erupted, the tern flew off, and dark blue ripples circled out. (more…)

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I bought Stanley Karnow’s Paris in the Fifties almost on a whim, and I’ve been glad ever since. I’ve enjoyed the book immensely, even as my interest in the topics varies. For instance, though I didn’t dawdle in the fashion essay, it still startled me to read of a macabre fashion after the Reign of Terror: pretending to have been guillotined. In a style known as “a la victime” women cropped their hair, bound their necks with red ribbons and tilted their heads to simulate decapitation. An early form of punk fashion, I guess. (more…)

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