this week i

fell photobomb victims thursday: eleanor underhill signed cds, played friend of the devil on banjo like guitar. robitussin seltzer, bbq meatballs
friday: palm up palm down dnd, takeout ten minutes before closing, ceiling tile constellations of our own making on sauce defense beach towels
saturday: brushed teeth after bourbon, five coffee bangs, bloody mary from first waiter in a year, pizza honey, pizzuchini, pizza gorgonzola, fini!
sunday: three accidents before asheville, cayenne latte detour, antique emporium, dinoworld deux, still thinking about the quilt, neon coat waits too


read a christmas carol

"at this festive season of the year, mr. scrooge," said the gentlemen, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.  many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

"are there no prisons?" asked scrooge

darkness is cheap

"you don't believe in me," observed the ghost.

"i don't," said scrooge.

"what evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your own senses?"

"i don't know," said scrooge

"why do you doubt your senses?"


and i release you.  with a full heart, for the love of him you once were

a man laden with christmas toys and presents.  then the shouting and the struggling, and the onslaught that was made on the defenseless porter!  the scaling him, with chairs for ladders, to dive into his pockets, despoil him of brown-paper parcels, hold on tight by his cravat, hug him round the neck, pommel his back, and kick his legs in irrepressible affection!

a crutch without an owner

it was a game called yes and no, where scrooge's nephew had to think of something, and the rest must find out what, he only answering to their questions yes or no, as the case was.  the brisk fire of questioning to which he was exposed, elicited from him that he was thinking of an animal, a live animal, rather a disagreeable animal, a savage animal, an animal that growled and grunted sometimes, and talked sometimes, and lived in london, and walked about the streets, and wasn't made a show of, and wasn't led by anybody, and didn't live in a menagerie, and was never killed in a market, and was not a horse, or an ass, or a cow, or a bull, or a tiger, or a dog, or a pig, or a cat, or a bear.  at every fresh question that was put to him, this nephew burst into a fresh roar of laughter and was so inexpressibly tickled that he was obliged to get up off the sofa and stamp


this week i

crossed the virginia-tennessee border friday: two detours, two bright horses, afton to fancy gap, hardee's farts, boiled mush, glyph santa
saturday: no milk at farmer's market, co-op glen echo aesthetic, dried fruit tea cold? grilled tuna, circled junaluska, best holiday agreed not easter
sunday: clingman's dome, albright old grove forest like rashomon, log looked like in praise of shadows door of koizumi, grilled shrimp
monday: pine trail mountain view vertical ascent, cornbread surplus, toasted pecans, grilled steak salad with champion tomato sauce gnocchi
tuesday: broccoli stunk up the joint, incense too, kilt bagpipe march, pizza bus parking lot, two free mouth rinse cup-sized beers, sunroof ice cream
wednesday: root-exposed trail, windows crash sad face, avocado toast avec runny eggs sans garlic powder, two local newspapers argued over obelisk

read junichiro tanizaki's pamphlet of aesthetics: in praise of shadows

how unlucky we have been, what losses we have suffered, in comparison with the westerner.  the westerner has been able to move forward in ordered steps, while we have met superior civilization and have had to surrender to it, and we have had to leave a road we have followed for thousands of years

ceramics are by no means inadequate as tableware, but they lack the shadows, the depth of lacquerware.  ceramics are heavy and cold to the touch; they clatter and clink, and being efficient conductors of heat are not the best containers for hot foods.  but lacquerware is light and soft to the touch, and gives off hardly a sound.  i know few greater pleasures than holding a lacquer soup bowl in my hands, feeling upon my palms the weight of the liquid and its mild warmth.  the sensation is something like that of holding a plump newborn baby.  there are good reasons why lacquer soup bowls are still used, qualities which ceramic bowls simply do not possess.  remove the lid from a ceramic bowl, and there lies the soup, every nuance of its substance and color revealed.  with lacquerware there is a beauty in that moment between removing the lid and lifting the bowl to the mouth when one gazes at the still, silent liquid in the dark depths of the bowl, its color hardly differing from the bowl itself.  what lies within the darkness one cannot distinguish, but the palm senses the gentle movements of the liquid, vapor rises from within forming droplets on the rim, and the fragrance carried upon the vapor brings a delicate anticipation.  what a world of difference there is between this moment and the moment when soup is served western style, in a pale, shallow bowl.  a moment of mystery, it might almost be called, a moment of trance

japanese ghosts have traditionally had no feet; western ghosts have feet, but are transparent

light is used not for reading or writing or sewing but for dispelling the shadows in the farthest corners, and this runs against the basic idea of the japanese room


this week i

estimated the expansion of affordable care act subsidy eligibility under the american rescue plan act

redeemed an ode to a roadside diner, we pirouetted past midnight mass.  mise en place at one a.m., then grilling et seule petite waffle-ironing around three, copeland's corral nocturne on the l.p.

watched a handful of george carlin's hbo specials

here's another bunch of pus-headed telephone cretins: these self-important techno-dicks who walk around with these hands-free telephone headsets and earpieces.  mr. self-important doesn't want to be too far from the phone in case henry kissinger calls.  he's got the dalai lama on line two.  i say, "hey, spaceman, as long as your hands are free, reach over and fondle my balls, would you?"

i have no ending for this so i take a small bow

received the rejects from laura's birthday surprise.  next time i'll buy her a lava lamp chandelier

read the pine barrens by john mcphee

the contents of this book originally appeared in the new yorker and were developed with the editorial counsel of william shawn and robert bingham


settlers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries found these soils unpromising for farms, left the land uncleared, and began to refer to the region as the pine barrens


the woods have an undulating sameness, and the understory - huckleberries, sheep laurel, sweet fern, high-bush blueberry - is often so dense that a wanderer can walk in a fairly tight circle and think that he is moving in a straight line


caleb earle, company clerk in a furnace town called martha, kept a semi-official diary from march 31, 1808, to april 27, 1815.  it is terse and sporadic, averaging about sixty-five short entries a year, but it is the only contemporary record of life in a pine barrens town.  martha furnace was built in 1793, a few miles southeast of jenkins.  the furnace has long since collapsed, and a large earth-covered mound remains where a high double-walled pyramid of bricks once stood.  the spillway runs back to a broken dam on the oswego river at martha pond.  there were about fifty houses in the town, a central mansion, a school, and a small hospital - all interspersed with stands of catalpa trees, which were planted throughout the town and are about all that remains of it.  with the exception of the furnace mound, there is not a trace of a structure in martha now.  the streets are bestrewn with green and blue glittering slag, but they are indistinguishable from the sand roads that come through the woods from several directions to the town, and if it were not for the old and weirdly leaning catalpa trees, it would be possible to pass through martha without sensing its difference from the surrounding woodland.

january 4, 1809 - frost stopped furnace wheel several times

january 7, 1809 - ore teams hauled hay.  blew the furnace out at eight o-clock p.m.  all hands drunk.

april 20, 1809 - at twenty-five muntes past two o-clock p.m., put the furnace in blast.  delaney and cox fillers.  hedger putting in the ore.  donaghau banksman.

the voters drank metheglin (mead and water with a zest of herbs), cider royall (highly concentrated cider), mimbo (rum and muscovado sugar), straight rum, whiskey, gin, beer

new jersey pirates hauled so many of these ships into the pine barrens rivers that british hulls and scattered timbers are still in the riverbeds.  there is a dam at penny pot, on the great egg harbor river, that was made from salvaged ship timbers.  it was built to be nothing more than a cranberry dam, but it has in it seventy-five thousand dollars' worth of teak.  one new jersey sailor went out to sea in a small whaleboat with nine other men and came back into the mullica river with a british warship and a british brig, which were auctioned, like most of the new jersey prizes, at the forks, near batsto

mollie, according to miss kite, was "good-looking and sprightly, which fact, coupled with an utter lack of sense of decency, made her attractive even to men of otherwise normal intelligence."  when billie and all of their children were killed in a fire, mollie said cheerfully, "well, they was all insured.  i'm still young and can easy start another family."

pineys put salt over their doors to discourage visits from the witch of the pines, peggy clevenger..a man saw a lizard and tried to kill it by crushing it with a large rock.  when the rock hit the lizard, the lizard disappeared and peggy clevenger materialized on the spot and smacked the man in the face

a forest fire moves in a v, lick the wake of a ship.  the point of the v is called the head fire, and if it gets up into the tops of the trees it is also called a crown fire.  the sides of the v, which burn slowly outward, are called lateral fires, and they have to be fought by men with back tanks and shovels, for if lateral fires get far enough out to catch a wind of their own with fresh fuel in front of them, they can become new head fires

it is because of fire that pines are predominant in the pine barrens.  there is thought to be a progression in the development of any forest from pioneer species to climax trees.  most ecologists agree that if fire were kept out of the pine barrens altogether, the woods would eventually be dominated by a climax of black oaks, white oaks, chestnut oaks, scarlet oaks, and a lesser proportion of hickories and red maples.  in some areas, oaks dominate now.  fire, however, has generally stopped the march of natural progression, and the resulting situation is one that might be called biological inertia - apparently endless cycles of fire and sprouting.  fire favors the pine trees because they have thick bark that provides insulation from high temperatures, and also because burned ground is just about perfect for pine seedbeds.  oaks lose vigor when they are repeatedly burned.  they develop heart rot, and they die.  scarlet oaks go first, then chestnut oaks, then white oaks, then black oaks.  blackjack oaks are an exception and after a fire come back strong.  in an area where a fire has been extremely hot, the pines die and the blackjack oaks put out basal sprouts that grow to be the predominant trees in that section.  but, for the most part, fires are not that intense, and, working in behalf of the pitch and shortleaf pines, they clear out the competition

"the snappers grab the ducks by the feet and pulls them right under there, and in two or three minutes they drown and the snappers eats them.  the snappers catch big ducks."  snapping turtles in the pine barrens are sometimes a foot and a half long and almost as wide.  they weigh fifty pounds.  pineys trap them in fykes, and fry their delicious white meat

frogs are ventriloquists

when prospective buyers actually came to see the land, promoters tied pears and apples to the limbs of pine trees and stationed fishermen in small boats in pine barrens lakes with dead pickerel on the ends of their lines and instructions to pull the fish out of the water every ten minutes



this week i

miss you motherfuckers.  look at these humans.  did wesley schultz or levon helm or jacopo sannazaro or frances macdonald sing ophelia best?

noticed "reasonably" in "they were all waiting reasonably for the train" in abortion pressure in the basque terminal bar in "hills like white elephants"

maintain convey.  and high quality word of the day.  negalomaniac next time.  irs estimates top one percent avoids $175 billion, audit rates decline

steamed crab, updated advertisements.  constellations the original connect the dots.  pretend to be the cool kids until you surprise depose them


read the brief and wondrous life of oscar wao by yunior, huascar, project oscar.  todopoderoso appears, omnisciente the more pertinent superpower

 so stupid he thought the moon was a stain that god had forgotten to clean

that's what she called him whenever she was feeling tender or wronged.  mister.  later she'd want to put that on his gravestone but no one would let her, not even me

he was nineteen and lived down at the jersey shore with his seventy-four-year-old father.  in the back of his oldsmobile on university i pulled my leather skirt up and my fishnet stockings down and the smell of me was everywhere

for about a month they scromfed in various isolated corners of the school until the day a teacher, acting on an anonymous tip from a member of the student body, surprised the undercover couple in flagrante delicto in a broom closet.  just imagine: beli butt naked, her vast scar like nothing anybody had seen before, and jack with his pants puddled around his ankles

there it was, the decision that changed everything.  or as she broke it down to lola in her last days: all i wanted was to dance.  what i got instead was esto, she said, opening her arms to encompass the hospital, her children, her cancer, america

one of the authors of the king james bible traveled the caribbean, and i often think that it was a place like samana that was on his mind when he sat down to pen the eden chapters

are you awake?
if it's about star trek-
it's not about star trek.  he coughed.  i have heard from a reliable source that no dominican male has ever died a virgin.  you who have experience in these matters-do you think this is true?
i sat up.  dude was peering at me in the dark, dead serious.
o, it's against the laws of nature for a dominicano to die without fucking at least once.
that, he sighed, is what worries me.

i didn't bother with the romance.  i let him take me to a love motel on our first "date."  he was one of those vain politicos, a peledista, had his own big air-conditioned jipeta.  when i pulled my pants down you never saw anybody so happy.
until i asked him for two thousand dollars.  american, i ephasized.
it's like abuela says: every snake always thinks it's biting into a rat until the day it bites into a mongoose

each morning, before jackie started her studies, she wrote onto a clean piece of paper: tarde venientibus ossa

abelard had rehearsed a dozen answers to this question, but his response was pure reflex, came out of nowhere: yes, jefe, you are correct, i have two daughters.  but to tell you the truth, they're only beautiful if you have a taste for women with mustaches.
for an instant el jefe said nothing, and in that twisting silence abelard could see his daughter being violated in front of him while he was lowered with excruciating slowness into trujillo's infamous pool of sharks.  but then, miracle of miracles, el jefe crinkled his porcine face and laughed, abelard had laughed too, and el jefe moved on

his tio rudolfo, who was watching the game on the tv, took a moment to call out, in his best grandpa simpson voice: prostitutes ruined my life

in the dr they called a cop-divorce a bullet


this week i

rented creekside treehouse, tommy crocus bloom.  truck only to eat past eight, we stayed employed friday, built corrugated bonfire near bamboo, agreed exposed pipe a superior shower.  sheriff left post-its on window while at lancaster central market sampling the twin dental rinse cups of a passenger one and one.  no time for neighbor tandoor, nor cauliflower crust.  full of frosty fries, revised woody allen's chronicle of earl of sandwich


read scrimshaw by leslie linsley

add more engraved lines in areas where you will want a concentration of color.  if you engrave the lines close together, the color will appear darker.  do not paint the surface.  the color should only appear in the engraved lines

buff like mad

carol is british and began doing scrimshaw in england on a cow bone.  she told me that when she met dennis he told her about scrimshaw so she tried it on a cow bone.  she said that when she started it was most difficult to remove all the meat from the bone.  had she had her dog, luke, at the time, it would have been a lot easier, with luke providing most of the labor

raw umber or burnt sienna oil paint

"do you scrimshaw too?" i asked.  "nope, just scrimshelling"



listened to episode 132 of the history of english podcast

the foods essentially served as was thought that every single item of food had a fundamental nature..and when different foods were combined in a recipe, they had to be balanced so the dish wouldn't disturb the humors and make people sick.  so an ingredient that was deemed hot and moist had to be balanced with an ingredient that was deemed to be cold and dry..the physicians had to be consulted when formulating these recipes.  we can still see vestiges of this old idea if we look around us, and if we know what we're looking at.  today, if you go to a pharmacy or a drug store or a chemist's shop, you'll probably encounter the symbol, rx, which is a standard symbol for a medical prescription.  but what you might not realize is that rx is really an abbreviation, and it's an abbreviation of the word recipe..the word recipe was often abbreviated with the letters rc.  but instead of writing the c as a separate letter, it became common to write the c as a little stroke across the leg of the letter r, which made it look like the letter x

asked laura how lincoln's 1864 union opponents printed 10,000 flyersstone cold lithography, with crayons

watched on location with george carlin (1977) and complaints and grievances (2001)

get on the plane.  get on the plane.
fuck you!  i'm getting in the plane

i also like otto because otto is toot inside out

you can prick your finger, just don't finger your prick

here are some more people who deserve an inoperable tumor at the base of their spines

i'll bet you anything that ten times out of ten nicky, vinny, and tony will beat the shit out of todd, kyle, and tucker


this week i

knew plato's republican treasure sunk in ship of fools lyrics, not till today satisfied with their tune.  beyond the louvre, justice for these words exists

learned mausoleum derives from tomb of mausolus - provincial governor of the first persian empire -  one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.  now buried amongst "stunter's rest" graves of niagara's oakwood cemetery, annie edson taylor pushed the limits of cooper technology early in the first of six roosevelt administrations, zoidberg resembles second-term vice president fairbanks.

watched federico fellini's seven-nighted la dolce vita, bacchanalia punctuated by drunken naps and abrupt curtain closings.  keaton's sherlock jr. plans recreation footstep by footstep, romans leave the schedule to the city and limit their preparation to pleading with one another to stay awake

remember the trees they felled to make room for her inside out botero sculptures on new york avenue, not only inspired by gaudi

read infant mortality eugene o'neill's long day's journey into night.  a drunken family brawl before prohibition, over money, morphine, measles

he could hide behind a corkscrew


with irish blarney


tyrone: sorry i'm late. captain turner stopped to talk and once he starts gabbing you can't get away from him

jamie (without turning-dryly): you mean once he starts listening

leave it to you to have some of the stuff hidden, and prescriptions for more! i hope you'll lay in a good stock ahead so we'll never have another night like the one when you screamed for it, and ran out of the house in your nightdress half crazy, to try and throw yourself off the dock!

i can't imagine you a holy nun, ma'am.  sure, you never darken the door of a church

he wears his pince-nez, and is playing solitare.  he has taken off his coat and has on an old brown dressing gown

tyrone (disgustedly): ach!  keep such sentiments to yourself.  i shouldn't have given you that drink.

edmund: it did pack a wallop, all right.  on you, too.  (he grins with affectionate teasing)  even if you've never missed a performance!  (aggressively)  well, what's wrong with being drunk?  it's what we're after, isn't it?  let's not kid each other, papa.  not tonight.  we know what we're trying to forget.  (hurriedly)  but let's not talk about it.  it's no use now.

tyrone (dully): no.  all we can do is try to be resigned-again.

edmund: or be so drunk you can forget.  (he recites, and recites well, with bitter, ironical passion, the symons' translation of baudelaire's prose poem)

"be always drunken.  nothing else matters: that is the only question.  if you would not feel the horrible burden of time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually.

drunken with what?  with wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will.  but be drunken.

and if sometimes, on the stairs of a palace, or on the green side of a ditch, or in the dreary solitude of your own room, you should awaken and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you, ask of the wind, or of the wave, or of the star, or of the bird, or of the clock, of whatever flies, or sighs, or rocks, or sings, or speaks, ask what hour it is; and the wind, wave, star, bird, clock, will answer you: 'it is the hour to be drunken!  be drunken, if you would not be martyred slaves of time; be drunken continually! with wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will.'"

(he grins at his father provocatively.)

tyrone (thickly humorous): i wouldn't worry about the virtue part of it, if i were you

i'm as drunk as a fiddler's bitch

i claim edwin booth never saw the day when he could give as good a performance as a trained seal.  seals are intelligent and honest.  they don't put up any bluffs about the art of acting.  they admit they're just hams earning their daily fish


this week i

found "why hadn't poor human eyesight selected out?" searches unsatisfying.  is a giraffe the original periscope?  the great war had the best hats

own roughly five hundred books, that's one book per week for the decade or one book per month till doom

receive ruffles selfies ad pawseam

hey revati, one argument against having an only child is anthony

what does zora think of all this

she's old enough to wonder why you're wearing a tie

 watched rashomon, a multiple-retelling of in a grove on the subjectivity of the truth

watched sunset boulevard, buster keaton plays pinochle

you're norma desmond, you used to be in silent pictures, you used to be big
i am big.  it's the pictures that got small
read the japanese photobook masterpiece ravens by masahisa fukase by torchlight, single-use tea candle, usb charging lamplight, corona coasters