Tuesday, February 26, 2008

if everything happens that can't be done

I'm not a huge e.e. cummings fan, but I liked this. the full poem is here.

we're everything brighter than even the sun
(we're everything greater
than books
might mean)
we're everyanything more than believe
(with a spin
alive we're alive)
we're wonderful one times one


There was a project in Belgium where a group of people asked other people "to send in personal designed balloons by mail... No rules, whatever / however. We hanged them in town over night and made people smile at sunrise!"

This is a year old, as is everything I post, apparently. But there's something very simple and sweet about this, and I like it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme

The skin on my fingers always splits in the winter. I have very recently discovered this wonderful lotion.

Hey Jude

This is all over the internet, I know, but I just really love it.


Alex Zettl, a professor of physics at UC Berkeley, has made a radio out of a single carbon nanotube that's about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. It runs on batteries and you need headphones to use it, but it tunes in stations on the FM dial. Zettl and his team last year received their first FM broadcast, which turned out to be "Layla" from Derek and the Dominoes.

This is a few months old, but still, it's very interesting. And nanotechnology has been added to my list of fears.

Why I hated Juno

Exhibit A:

Leah: Yo Yo Yiggady Yo.
Juno MacGuff: I'm at suicide risk.
Leah: Juno?
Juno MacGuff: No, it's Morgan Freeman. Do you have any bones that need collecting?
Leah: Only the one in my pants...
Juno MacGuff: I'm pregnant.
Leah: What? Honest to blog?
Juno MacGuff: Yeah. Yeah, it's Bleekers.
Leah: It's probably just a food baby. Did you have a big lunch?
Juno MacGuff: No, this is not a food baby all right? I've taken like three pregnancy tests, and I'm forshizz up the spout.
Leah: How did you even generate enough pee for three pregnancy tests? That's amazing...
Juno MacGuff: I don't know, I drank like, ten tons of Sunny D... Anyway dude, I'm telling you I'm pregnant and you're acting shockingly cavalier.
Leah: Is this for real? Like, for real for real?
Juno MacGuff: Unfortunately, yes.
Leah: Oh my GOD. Oh shit! Phuket, Thailand!
Juno MacGuff: There we go. That was kind of the emotion that I was searching for on the first take.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

George Saunders is Not A Futurist

He explains himself on Amazon:

Many people, in writing about my work, have called me "a dystopian futurist" or "a dark dystopian futurist" or "a discouraging futuristic satirist who depresses the hell out of me" or "a dystopian futurist who is darkly sentimental and yet deeply, futuristically discouraging" or, in one rather inaccurate case, "that guy who is like some sort of human fly and once climbed the Sears Tower." Well, may I say, for the record, as if someone had asked me, I don't really consider myself at all a futurist. What I see myself doing in my writing is riffing on (present) human tendencies. I don't put the stories in the future as much as in a sort of parallel America, where everything is, say, 20 percent more than it is now. (Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up.) I'm doing what satirists have always done, which is to make a cartoonish, exaggerated world, where verisimilitude and realism (that is, the attempt to mimic the "real" world) are left behind and you're left with a distilled version of reality.

In Persuasion Nation

On Saturday I bought In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders, which I finished in less than 24 hours. I don't know what to say about him besides that everything he writes is funny and heartbreaking and pretty much indescribable. The story below in particular... I will let it speak for itself. Also he is a very nice man. I wrote him a letter and he sent me a thank you note in reply.

Because I for one wanted to do right, I did not want to sneak through that gap, I wanted to wed someone when old enough (I will soon tell who) and relocate to the appropriate facility in terms of demographics, namely Young Marrieds, such as Scranton, PA, or Mobile, AL, and then along comes Josh doing Ruthie with imperity, and no one is punished, and soon the miracle of birth results and all our Coördinators, even Mr. Delacourt, are bringing Baby Amber stuffed animals? At which point every cell or chromosome or whatever it was in my gonads that had been holding their breaths was suddenly like, Dude, slide through that gap no matter how bad it hurts, squat outside Carolyn's Privacy Tarp whispering, Carolyn, it's me, please un-Velcro your Privacy opening!

"Jon" by George Saunders, available in full from The New Yorker

Monday, February 18, 2008

Things that smell good

Oceane by L'Aromarine

Origins A Perfect World body wash

Aveda Shampure (or anything else Aveda makes)

This may be an ongoing list.

Kent Rogowski

His other projects are pretty awesome too. (Via Supernaturale)

Homes (from memory)

Visually, it's not that exciting. But I love the idea behind it:

"Homes(from memory) 1974-1992 is a collection of architectural plans of each of the homes that I lived in as a child and young adult drawn from memory. Since I have no recollection of the houses in their entirety, I created one (or and outline of one) by compiling disparate recollections. Since I lacked a complete memory of most of the houses many are left incomplete or individual rooms had to be drawn away from the body of the house. Each memory would alter the scale and placement of the rooms that I had already drawn and can be seen in the faint erasure marks on the paper." Kent Rogowski

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kurt Vonnegut

"And now I want to tell you about my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well-read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, 'If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'

"So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You know who else has girly legs?

"I'm okay with myself..."


News flash: Hemingway had girlish legs. Who would have guessed? I think this is very funny. Picture from the NY Times.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tortoise and Hippo

This 100 year-old male tortoise is acting as a mother to an orphaned baby hippo. Inter-species animal friendships are really one of my favorite things. More about it is here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

30 Most Unsettling German Halloween Costumes

Click here. I can't post anything from the third page because it is so unbelievably racist.

Kerouac's Belief and Technique for Modern Prose : List of Essentials

- Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
- Submissive to everything, open, listening
- Try never get drunk outside yr own house
- Be in love with yr life
- Something that you feel will find its own form
- Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
- Blow as deep as you want to blow
- Write what you want bottomless from bottom of mind
- The unspeakable visions of the individual
- No time for poetry but exactly what is
- Visionary tics shivering in the chest
- In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
- Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
- Like Proust be an old teahead of time
- Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
- The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
- Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
- Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
- Accept loss forever
- Believe in the holy contour of life
- Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
- Don't think of words when you stop but to see picture better
- Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
- No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
- Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
- Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
- In Praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
- Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
- You're a Genius all the time
- Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Eat my fear

I still can't figure out exactly what the cow drawing reminds me of. Maybe the David Lynch "Eat My Fear" cow? I dunno.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dog and sun

Franz Kamlander's Cow reminds me of a cross between my two favorite works from the Musee Picasso in Barcelona. I don't know why, because it's not similar to either of them, at all.

The Artists of Gugging

" 'Gugging' is the abbreviated way of referring to the Haus der K√ľnstler (House of Artists) at the Lower Austrian Psychiatric Hospital in the hamlet of Gugging, outside Vienna."

You should follow the links and look at each person's art. They are all incredible. (From top: Photograph of Johann Fischer, Franz Kamlander's Cow, Oswald Tschirtner's Untitled (People in Boat).)



Bill Owens Suburbia series

We're really happy. Our kids are healthy, we eat good food, and we have a really nice home.

Pale Horse, Pale Rider

Granite Walls, whirlpools, stars are things. None of them is death, nor the image of it. Death is death, said Miranda, and for the dead it has no attributes. Silenced she sank easily through deeps under deeps of darkness until she lay like a stone at the farthest bottom of life, knowing herself to be blind, deaf, speechless, no longer aware of the members of her own body, entirely withdrawn from all human concerns, yet alive with a peculiar lucidity and coherence; all notions of the mind, the reasonable inquiries of doubt, all ties of blood and the desires of the heart, dissolved and fell away from her, and there remained of her only a minute fiercely burning particle of being that knew itself alone, that relied upon nothing beyond itself for its strength; not susceptible to any appeal or inducement, being itself composed entirely of one single motive, the stubborn will to live. This fiery motionless particle set itself unaided to resist destruction, to survive and to be in its own madness of being, motiveless and planless beyond that one essential end. Trust me, the hard winking angry point of light said. Trust me. I stay.

- Katherine Anne Porter

Obama vs. the Phobocracy

The point of Obama's candidacy is that the damaged state of American democracy is not the fault of George W. Bush and his minions, the corporate-controlled media, the insurance industry, the oil industry, lobbyists, terrorists, illegal immigrants or Satan. The point is that this mess is our fault. We let in the serpents and liars, we exchanged shining ideals for a handful of nails and some two-by-fours, and we did it by resorting to the simplest, deepest-seated and readiest method we possess as human beings for trying to make sense of the world: through our fear. America has become a phobocracy.

Michael Chabon on why most reasons not to support Obama are bad reasons.

Is today the day?

I don't know what this means but it creeps me out, and I love it.