06 January 2007

faith, vows and children.

My friend Flick told me yesterday about a friend of hers who repeats her marriage vows to her husband on the 22nd of every month (the date they got married), regardless of how faithful (or not) they may be feeling to them at the moment. This struck me as immensely beautiful. Not necessarily the marriage context. But this action of speaking out against our brains, or rather, in spite of our brains in any given moment. Our minds are so constantly distracted and chattering and concerned with the whims of now now now, which could be the product of anything from indigestion to an ill-timed comment, that there is something about stopping for a moment to repeat words that represent a greater truth.
Then we were talking about this relative to children. That most adults seem better able to bypass criticisms and self-absorbed whims of the moment when speaking with kids. It's rare to hear an adult say to a child "what *I* want is more important than what you want" or "I don't like you" (in the heat of a moment) or things like that.
Alot of us know when children are anxious, or when they need to hear something. When talking to a kid, it's easier to recognize when they are fearful or in pain or need attention.
If we dealt with other adults more often as if they were still children (proverbially speaking), I imagine we would get much further with each other. And be kinder, and perhaps even more honest.

laughing my way to crippledom.

The significance and/or oddity of this will only make sense to my closest of friends, but I finished the gutsplitting book posted about below this morning, and was laughing So hard my hands went numb. I KID YOU NOT. I had to perch the book in my lap. So weird.

Just One More.

I Promise. JUST ONE. (new readers, see a few posts down)
"They Call Me Naughty Lola" ladies and gentlemen, "They Call Me Naughty Lola"
I love the British SO FUCKING MUCH.

I'd like to dedicate this advert to my mother (difficult cow, 65) who is responsible for me still being single at 36. Man. 36. Single. Held at home by years of subtle emotional abuse and at least 19 fake heart attacks. Box no. 6207.

05 January 2007

The Oddities.

and now that this Christmas gift has at last found its owner, well, I can post it. Rife with errors, inconsistencies, misplaced copy, but still I was rather pleased that my year-long collection of the office emails made its way into a little book, which I fondly call the Brick Oddities.
208 pages. Holy Cow. We all, might I boast, give Very Good Email.

(click on picture to see back-cover copy.)

I have one lending copy in my library. Interested parties please contact me to borrow it.

But until then, I have garnered permission to publish some of the more recent missives, the ones that arrived after "publication". And until I am quieted, you, dear reader(s) shall reap the fruits of our daily labours.

from: managing editor
subject: Some Changes around here.
date: Thursday, January 4, 2007 3.27 PM

I have a letter from someone who signs himself so: Andy McDonald, B.A.

I find it so delightfully pretentious, that in future I shall sign myself (RSS), B.A. I expect you to address me as such (comme ca: "Rebecca, B.A., will you please pass me a cookie"). Also I expect the attendant heightened respect of my newly acknowledged credentials.
(You can do this too if you like. For instance: stef lenk, O.Y.O.U.B.D.O.F.R.U/R.O.S.L.E.A.U.T.A.F.B.F.E.I.B.P.F.B.E.W.N.B.L.C. (One Year of University Before Dropping Out For Reasons Unknown; Reams Of Subsequent Life Experience And Unparalleled Travel Adventures Followed By Formal Education In Book Publishing Followed By Employment With Nerdy But Loving Colleagues).

PEEING myself.

Today 231079, 443980, and i went a-wandering through Pages at lunchtime. So dangerous.

I picked up a book called They Call Me Naughty Lola.

Who wouldn't, really.

I opened it and was greeted with (real) personal ads taken from the London Review of Books, which some clever sort decided to amass between dustcovers.

Poor 231079.
I didn't have money on me. (This had been vaguely strategic planning, given the perilous dangers of a trip to Pages). 231079 decided, though, that I must have said book and purchased it for me, regardless of financial strife, regardless of the common sense knowledge that I SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY MORE BOOKS. She even refused my attempts to compensate her, in that way of hers that causes So Much Reverence and only a slight (Slight) bit of worry.

And how did i repay her? sigh. By following her around the bookshop, reading endless passages of the wit of lonelyhearts and Howling Uncontrollably. So patient. So tolerant.
And I was Crying, I tell you. SO. FUNNY.

I am going to attempt to restrain myself from re-copying the whole book onto this blog. Especially since I am (believe it or not) aware that people probably do not share my excessive degree of mirth over these, or even my rather uptight and stodgy sense of humour in general.
I do appreciate that.
I do.
But sweet balls of Beelzebub, just a few.
Just a few. (This is what you get for reading blogs, you fools. Stuck with my idea of funny.)

Here we go:

You were reading the BBC in-house magazine on the Jubilee Line (12 November), I was coughing hot tea through my nostrils. Surely you can't have forgotten? Write now to smitten, weak-kneed, severely burned, bumbling F (32, but normally I look younger). I'll be quite a catch when my top lip has healed. And this brace isn't forever. Box no. 7432.

Romance is dead. So is my mother. Man, 42, inherited wealth. Box no. 7652.

Baste me in butter and call me Slappy. No, really. M, 35. Box no. 3175.

Are you Kate Bush? Write to obsessive man (36) at box no. 7363. Note: People who aren't Kate Bush need not respond.

Grave disappointment all round WLTM serious mistake in a nightie. Box no. 6453.

You are going to be alone this Christmas. That's because nobody likes you. I, however, will provide you with a basic meal and some pleasant company on the understanding that you do not criticise my collection of antique medical implements. Tidy man, 51. Size 9 slipper. Box no. 7314.

Take the last train to Clarksville and I'll meet you at the station.* Unless the 10.15 to Watney has been delayed. In which case I'll get the bus—meet me at Morrisons, by the front entrance. If you can't find your way there, get a taxi and I'll give you the fare when I arrive, but make sure you take some change with you. If you don't have any change, take a trumpet so that you can busk for some. Woman, 38, burdened by the need to make contingency plans, seeks well-ordered man to 45. Or woman to 50. Or anyone to 60. Write to box no. 3485. If you can't find stamps, place an ad here and I'll get back to you. If the office is closed, email it. If you can't write, send a taped voice message. Etc., etc.

*(This one had Footnotes!! The preceding is a lyric to an old Monkees single.)

I will end with saying that I do realize that there is a fine line between gut-splittingly funny and grievously sad. Sigh. All this really shows us is how many single people there are out there who (ahem) spend Far Too Much Time Reading.

Shannon Gerard, you are the Coolest BookMaker on this Planet.

I am a subscriber to a series of books called "Stones and Ghosts", made by one Shannon Gerard, artist and bookmaker extraordinaire of Toronto. Her books are Unsurpassed. I encourage you, I harangue you, I Implore you; click here and look. Seriously.

It has been a short while since the last one arrived, Naturally, I thought, given the holidays and all manner of insanity.
Chatting with her in person a couple of days ago, she mentioned she had done another one, and that they were in her bag, no less.

And then today, in the mail, I got a 26 page hand-made book called "intermission", containing 26 drawings from Miz Gerard's latest venture interruptus, an illustration job of 500 (FIVE HUNDRED) drawings for a school phonics book, that needed to be completed in two months. TWO MONTHS.

I get my books in the mail without fail, even if we happen upon each other in real life, because this is the nature of the project. So, amidst the useless fliers, bills, and other atrocities with which we desecrate our postal system, are these tiny gems that arrive periodically.

And, not even just the scheduled subscription, it seems, but Glorious books made Above and Beyond the call of duty. Untold Glee, I tell you. And awe-inspiring. And bloggable gratitude. Everything.

see, it's stuff like this that makes me happy in the mornings.

SO Happy. Like chuckling to myself in an empty apartment at 8.46am happy.
not to mention that it anticipates lunch.
and i love lunch.

Today's Word: Borborygm (Noun)

Pronunciation: [bor-bê-'rig-êm]

Definition 1: The gurgling sounds made by the stomach after eating.

Usage 1: The plural is "borborygmi" and the adjective "borborygmic." Borborygmi form the gastromantic data base (see WotD Archives for "gastromancy"). "Borborology" is a both rare and archaic alternate with an unexpected meaning: profanity. However, it is difficult not to believe that gastromantics are students of borborology, not of profanity but of borborygmi.

Suggested Usage: Today we offer you a more presentable expression for the less acceptable "gut-rumblings." Use it judiciously, "The conversation around the campfire was accompanied by borborygmic remnants of the evening meal." Elizabeth Fenwick wrote in 'Long Way Down' (1959), "The room was very quiet, except for its borborygmic old radiator."

Etymology: Borrowed into English from Greek borbor-ugmos via French "borborygme." This is a clear example of Greek onomatopoeia, the imitation of a real sound in the sound of the word referring to it. It is odd the French and English did not simplify this word to "borborism" as the Greeks ultimately did. (We are grateful to suspected gastromantic Kate Johnson for today's postgastronomical term.)

04 January 2007

psychotic tendencies.

I have been on strike against my radio alarm for some time, due to its Astounding habit of starting my day with news of someone very far away committing atrocities and inhumane acts that I both am uninvolved with and can't do anything about.
Well, yesterday of course, the year proper started, and I had things that needed doing.
My radio was going for under thirty seconds and I heard the words crime, torture, and the name of some country in the Middle East. I turned it off.
Still feeling rattled ('coz that's just the way I am) I went to lunch and decided that Savage Love would be safely light reading, only to read about a woman who was raped by her boyfriend, and was writing in to see if she should forgive him, 'coz he was hospitalized with suicidal tendencies over the guilt of it all.
I was walking back to work when a friend of mine phoned me to apologize about getting a cheque to me a bit late; her brother had been shot and his friend killed in a drunken fight over the holidays, about four blocks away from where I live.
And then later, (this heard on another radio, where, I can't remember) was news of some woman posting videos of Saddam Hussein's execution for the general public to ogle on YouTube.

Somewhere, the poet Albert Goldbarth (alas, the only reference I found when googling it was my own allusion to this in my 2005 blog!) said that Eadweard Muybridge invented pornography. He was referring to Muybridge's clinical way of photographing the human form in all its revolutions; recording aspects of people that they are unable to see from all angles whilst actually engaged in said action. And all of this for other people to examine at their leisure, through the safety of distance.

Nowadays I wonder if he invented the news as well. People playing voyeur to extremes in which they will never be involved, but can watch or hear from the safety of their homes.
I doubt seriously that this passive engagement comes without consequence.

02 January 2007

31 December 2006

and more in the spirit of new years.


Such A Good Idea.

Inadvertent immortality.

987056 told me about some strange archive site where supposedly some cyber-entity is archiving previous incarnations of websites all and sundry. I went there today, only to come face to face with archived pages from my websites, since the year of 2002. Eek. How would one blush on the internet?
That said, I found a page on a previous site where I had posted pictures of some of the choicest of my old mail art; I don't even know where that stuff is anymore! Probably lurking in a suitcase. But fascinating nonetheless.