Saturday, October 1, 2005
West Virginia was 4-0 going into today's game with Virginia Tech. Now they're 4-1.
Quote of the Day: "I may not be better than other people, but at least I'm different."
-- Jean Jacques Rousseau
The temperature and humidity are doing that yo-yo thing that keeps me in misery for a month to two this time of year. I've not felt worth a whit for two days now. I'm trying real hard not to let my physical condition erode my mental state. It's difficult.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
I subscribe to an e-mail list that deals with poetics. If anyone is interested in it, drop me an e-mail and I'll give you the information about how to join in the fun. One thing that gets posted there quite frequently is job opportunities at various colleges and universities. All of them, I emphasize, all of them seem to require either a Ph.D. or an MFA degree. Is there a glut of Ph.D's and MFA's that even places like small, out-of-the-way schools require Ph.D.'s and MFA's to teach undergraduate survey courses? If so, perhaps it's time that schools start looking to those of us with intelligence, experience, talent, and uniqueness, but not necessarily possessing an advanced, or for that matter, any degree. Colleges are becoming too standardized and hidebound to be of much use to anyone other than as a job training. That's not what colleges and universities are supposed to be for. I pray the sciences haven't gotten so jaded.
Quote of the Day: "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."
-- Charles M. Schulz
Other than a slight bit of housework, I accomplished next to nothing today. Yesterday, I helped a friend move and sort through some of her belongings. Triage on your "stuff" can be both a joy and a trauma. It seems like a lot of my friends are moving or settling or making changes, while I drift along on my own private ice floe.
October! Really? Wow.
Saturday, October 8, 2005
I've not made an entry here since Tuesday. I've been both busy and ill. I've got what my friend Emily calls "the plague." I rather suspect it's some sort of virus, whereas the plague is bacterial. Still I spent yesterday in bed, and took it pretty easy today, only venturing out to pick up some burgers for lunch.
Quote of the Day: "Veritas vel silentio consumpitur vel mendacio. (Truth is violated by silence and falsehood.)"
-- Ammian, Roman Historian
Over the past two weeks I've been working on more visual (concrete?) poems. I've got a couple dozen ready to roll out. Now I need to decide what to do with them. I'll let you know when I decide.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I worked on the first layers of some visual/concrete poems/collàges last night. I didn't feel very well, but I did it anyway. I think it was something I ate. I had lunch yesterday at a local restaurant and their steam table wasn't keeping things hot enough. The meat loaf was COLD. The soup pots had no lids and I didn't even think about trying any of the soup, since the last time I was there it was tepid. I called the health department this morning. There's no excuse for running a restaurant like that. This particular restaurant changed ownership recently. I wonder who the new owners are? I suspect it's someone with no experience running an eating establishment.
Quote of the Day: "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. "
I'm still not feeling very much better this morning. My gastrointestinal apparatus is in turmoil. I'm sticking close to ceramic tile today. I think I did something stupid, too. I found one of the pills I take on the floor next to the bed this morning. I assumed I'd dropped it last night when I took my pills at bedtime. I may have assumed wrongly. It was a Hyzaar, which is used to control high blood pressure. My blood pressure is very low at the moment.
As I've already mentioned, I've been doing visual/concrete poems/collàges lately. Here's one of the better ones:
The gold leaf doesn't scan very well using an old flatbed scanner. I'm not sure a new flatbed scanner would do much better. I think a flying dot type scanner or drum scanner might work better, but since this piece is on illustration board, perhaps high-quality a digital camera photo using very good professional lighting might be the best bet. I'll leave that to the publisher. . when I find one. The gold leaf seems to 'wash out' everything around it. I tried adjusting it using Photoshop but can't get it right without masks and dodges and burns, oh my.
Friday, October 14, 2005
CSI does some bone-headed things. Last night, Grissom held up a bloody wrecking bar and called it a tire iron. Not only that, the entire cast, throughout the whole show kept referring to the tire iron. I can't believe the writer, director, actors, and everyone else involved didn't know the difference between a wrecking bar and a tire iron. FYI:
Note the ends of the tire irons have a socket that fits on the lug nuts of the wheel of a vehicle, whereas the curved end of the wrecking bar has a claw to grip and remove nails. The other end of the wrecking bar could be used to remove a tire from a rim or to insert the tire on the rim, but there is a specialized tool for that purpose, too, that bears only a superficial resemblance to a wrecking bar or a tire iron. Okay, rant over.
Quote of the Day:
"By amending our mistakes, we get wisdom.
By defending our faults, we betray an unsound mind."
-- The Sutra of Hui Neng
From 365 Buddha: Daily Meditations, edited by Jeff Schmidt. Tarcher/Putnam, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.
It's been so dreary around here the past several days. I ache, as much from the gray as from the damp. I've not felt exactly right since I overdosed on my blood pressure medication. Damn, you'd think if I was going to OD on something, it'd be more exciting than a angiotensin receptor antagonist.
I really am planning to include more in the way of visual stimulation on this site, and my other sites. I have some new material up on my naplesyellow.com site, but they're there for transfer purposes. They're for inclusion in a magazine, and rather than try to e-mail them, I've created a small gallery for them. It's not public yet, but it will be after publication, and I'll probably expand the gallery a good deal as time goes on. Stay tuned.
I got a note back from Professor Dee Morris at the University of Iowa. Here's the text of that message:
Thanks very much for getting in touch. My students were very interested in your work and it was fun to teach it. My teaching notes for that day mainly cover the history of concrete/visual poetry, but we lingered on your website to look at the digital future of visual poetry.
It's good to hear from you. I am grateful for your work--
To be honest, I'd have liked to have had a little fuller exposition of how my work was presented, but I suppose Dr. Morris is a busy woman and doesn't have time for such things.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
As if it wasn't enough that I get hundreds (yes, hundreds) of SPAM e-mails delivered to my various addresses every day, now some dick (yes, I said dick) in Korea is sending out probably hundreds of thousands of SPAM e-mails using made-up names with this domain after the at sign. Since there is a certain percentage of the addresses he's mailing to that are not there, or the boxes are full, or the SPAM trapping won't allow e-mail from anyone other than known senders, I get the bounced SPAM in my catch-all box. Great, hundreds more from some unscrupluous, intelligence-of-a-flea, filthy, peurile, scum-sucking, dip-shit trying to scam money from brain-dead morons who are so uninformed and stupid as to respond to such mailings. Thanks, idiots!
Quote of the Day: "I hate women. That's why I paint them so often."
-- Edgar Dégas
Meeting with lawyers this past Monday. Deposition next Thursday. I really wish this was over. I want to have someone do something about my ankle. I'm in nearly constant pain now. Last week, just walking, something shifted. I got a really sharp pain and I'm barely able to walk most of the time since. Yesterday evening Ann and I went to Big!Lots for probably less than half an hour. By the time we got home, I was nearly in tears. I could have taken an expired-date hydrocodone or darvocet but I hate the way they make me feel and they really do very little for the pain. Percocet helps the pain and I don't notice any alteration of my consciousness, so naturally no one will prescribe those. I guess either everyone's paranoid about a DEA investigation or they assume pain builds character. Attention, folks! Pain does NOT build character. It just hurts.
Friday, October 21, 2005
The drears are back. White-out sky, cool, damp. My sinuses have closed up shop. My aches and pains have aches and pains. Getting old sucks.
Quote of the Day: "Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door."
-- Coco Chanel
I suppose getting old beats the alternative, though.
New stuff on NaplesYellow.com -- check it out.
Monday, October 24, 2005
I'm considering using primarywizard.net to do a "Things I've Learned" blog. I thought about this while shaving this morning. For instance, if you use the Gillette Mach III razor, you're actually better off spending the extra money for the Turbo version of the blades. If you rinse the razor in cool to cold water, the turbo blades will last up to twice as long as the regular ones, and give a much more comfortable shave as a bonus. Part of the reason for this is that when you use warm or hot water to rinse your razor, you're taking the temper out of the steel and dulling the blade. Use cold water and the temper and edge last longer. Additionally, using cold water doesn't heat the blade and you almost completely eliminage the dreaded razor burn. I could do a whole entry on shaving and how the Queer Eye guys mislead you about scraping the hair off your face. You know, things like that. I could even use the Blogger software that Google provides. Under consideration.
Quote of the Day: "If Harriet E. Miers were a soft drink, she would be New Coke: a carefully marketed product that no one is buying."
-- Los Angeles Times editorial
If you've perhaps noticed a lack of entries here or a lack of response to your e-mails in my direction, things have been less than optimal around here. The change in weather coupled with fall allergies have had me down. I've managed to finish up a lot of long-neglected work as far as visual poetry and art but I've not managed to start anything new. I have some canvas stretchers and canvas that I need to stretch, but first I have to clear my table that I use for such things. It's piled up with remnants of things, initial stages, raw material and other flotsam and jetsam. I need to clear that away so I can start afresh. Adding to the burden of life for me are family issues that need to be addressed, legal matters to attend to, dirty dishes that need washing almost on a daily basis, and floors that need vacuuming. We've started the process of winterizing the house, but there's still a lot to be done there, too. I'd like a nap. Really, I would.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Was it really Monday when I made my last entry here? It's been a combination of factors: busy with things I'd ignorned helping other people with things, taking care of incidentals, taking care of winterizing and the like, and not generally feeling well. My blood sugar has been all over the map, and my leg has been the worst it's been in a long time. I'll try to do better.
Quote of the Day: "We live in oppressive times. We have, as a nation, become our own thought police; but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder "censorship," we call it concern for commercial viability."
-- David Mamet, playwright
This afternoon, Ann & I go for our depositions in my lawsuit (which I never wanted). I'm wearing business casual instead of my usual beach bum. For lunch, it's a ham salad sandwich and a banana with a Pepsi ONE to drink. I skipped breakfast because my blood sugar (BS) was a little up, not that it makes much difference. I've yet to draw any kind of correlation between my what I consume and my BS. Sometimes I get up in the morning and test. I skip breakfast, drinking coffee instead. I test again before lunch (first meal of the day) and it's gone up! Last night I tested before dinner: 81. An hour and a half after a large plate of spaghetti with meat sauce, two thick slices of Vienna bread with Promise Light and a short glass of Reunite Lambrusco: 87. What?!?!? There have been times when I ate little other than meat and fat with a couple of high-fiber vegetables and had my BS go over 150 two hours later. One day last week, after a burger and a lot of fries for lunch the post-prandial reading was 112. I can make little, if any, sense of it.
I'll let you know how the depositions go.
Depositions went well enough, as near as I could tell. My lawyer said they did. There were a lot of questions I saw as irrelevant to the issue, but I didn't argue. Ann's answers all jibed pretty much with mine, with enough difference that they didn't seem practiced or rehearsed. Overall, I guess it went okay.
I'd love to get all this crap behind me, get my leg fixed as best as it can be fixed, get some adequate pain medication, and have a little cash to use to make things easier for me and for Ann around here. Actually, I'd like to move to a better place so I'd have room to accomodate my limitations. I think buying a place is the only option for that, and we'd have to either pay cash or absorb a high rate of interest. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
I was going to wait until tomorrow before I wrote anything here, but I've been pondering the state of the universe a lot, so I decided to let some of it slop over onto the screen. Things have gotten so lean and mean in this global economy that I think we might have to go back to a more regional or local system before we can advance as a society. We are going backward right now, back to the age of corporate control of the body politic, where bosses ran the world and the peons did as they were told or they suffered and died. There are more millionaires now and more billionaires but proportionately vastly more people on the sustenance level side of the economic spectrum. Skull & Bones and the Trilateral Commission rule the world, and when was the last time we had an election to choose those groups' membership? Wealthy individuals aside, corporations control more and more of the wealth of the world. When the wealth of the world in is fewer and fewer hands, we no longer have a democracy or even a republic; we have fascism.
Advertising is running rampant. Everything that can be named for a corporation eventually will be. You already wear advertising on your clothing. It's on stadiums, arenas, even private cars now, and buses. Can airplanes be far behind? Look at the sky! Some see that as a vast untapped resource for advertising. As soon as they can figure out how, the sky will only be blue between commercials.
Society treats its artists really poorly. Painters and sculptors are forced to compete and hustle, taking away time from creating in order to survive. Read any story about great artists and you find suffering. It's not that suffering causes art to be great. It's great in spite of it. Musicians are in the same situation. There was a story about the principal flutist for our local symphony orchestra in this morning's paper. There were mentions of orchestras that hire musicians for a year, then let them go regardless of their talent after that year to avoid giving them tenure, a higher salary and benefits. The corporations have sucked all the money from the public and artistic sectors so that a decent life and a creative life are nearly mutually exclusive for all but the fortunate few. Thomas Kinkade comes to mind (and my lunch comes back to my throat).
Quote of the Day: "It is the first duty of friendship to preserve a friend's illusions."
-- Arthur Schnitzler, Anatol: Questioning Fate, 1893
Outsourcing is another great problem with our current economy. How is it that people have been convinced by conniving politicians that things can be done better and more cheaply by a private corporation driven by the profit motive than public servants can do it relying on dedication with profits not being siphoned off? This inherently makes no sense. Likewise the outsourcing (this should be called something different, such as "offshoring") of jobs in this country to other nations, most particularly India, is an abomination. Thing should not be so uneven in any economy, global or local, that it's so much cheaper to have one person or entity do a job or task than for any other person or entity to do that task, qualifications being the same. The best person for the job and for the area the service is provided should be the person getting the job, not who will do it cheapest. Then there's the question of qualification, too, as in my experience, the people I've talked to in India trying to resolve technical issues have not in a single instance been able to help me. It's always been kicked up and kicked up until I eventually talked to someone in the United States to actually fix the problem. Even in such cases, with the tech support so routinely farmed out to Jawalapoor or New Delhi, the number of tech support personnel here who actually know their subject as well as I think they should has dwindled to the point where no one knows anything about their chosen profession, only how to squeeze the last penny out of operating costs to give to the officers and stockholders.