Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Argot Atrocity

Ok, I've resorted to pilfering my comments on other blogs as fodder for my own posts. I actually have been meaning to post a few things lately, but haven't taken the time.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this little diversion (via Joe.My.God.) this morning. Especially since a client recently tried to tell me to correct my spelling of "complimentary" meaning "free"; she actually said it was a pet peeve of hers when people didn't write "complementary." I gently corrected her.

In any case, I wrote the following in response to the "definitely" site, and it really does perfectly sum up my attitude. Stick that in your Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.
I love that site. However, it appears there's a glut of commenters whose true callings in life must have been to be copy editors. I say go for it and following your calling.

But unless you're trying to adopt the posture of an uptight ninth grade teacher, there's hardly anything more futile and unattractive as trying to be the language police. (Ooooh, I just started that sentence with "but"!)

Certain things irk me -- or more likely, make me giggle -- but I like to think of language as the living and evolving concept that it is. I have little doubt that within a couple of centuries, "your" may be standard for all forms of the word, and maybe "definately" will too, considering the frequency of the misspelling.

To paraphrase a minor female character in Serial Mom: "Language has CHANGED!" -- and keeps changing. (Of course, that's right before Kathleen Turner bludgeons her, saying, "NO it hasn't!").

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lilac Week

Lilacs don't really grow well in Southern California -- at least not on the coast (I assume they need a hard freeze or something) -- so they're somewhat of a rarity. However, I've really loved them ever since I was a child, for some reason. I think it's the scent.

In any case, they appear at the shops and markets here for about two or three weeks sometime each spring, and even though I usually haven't had a line item for flowers in the budget lately, I decided this bunch was worth every penny of the $8.99.

Nothing says spring to me like this.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Him Werkinz on Universiteh Ph.D. Srsly!

Reading Joe's recent post got me poking around a tiny bit on the LOLcat web universe. (Shut up, I have free time...)

Coming across one site made me think that, almost certainly, someone, somewhere, is or will soon be working on a linguistics dissertation that involves creating a comprehensive, academic grammar of LOLcat.

Academia is bullshit, man. Srsly.

Monday, April 14, 2008

But Sex is a Matter of Physics


I have a feeling I know why I haven't been going on "dates" for awhile. It's because I'm afraid of exactly the kind of mental dilemma I'm in right now. Add a healthy dose of self-flaggelation and... Shazamm!: A perfect recipe for -- if not disaster -- discomfort and hand-wringing.

That being said, I'm glad I went out with S for dinner on Friday, and it met my expectation of "at least being able to get to know someone a little better" than I would in a random, late-night hookup (one of which we'd already had many months ago). And I did get to know him a little better. And he's a "nice guy." So you know what's coming...

It's not going anywhere romantically or physically, and I'm stuck in that, "should we just be friends?" scenario (assuming the opportunity to answer that question arises; for all I know, he'll never call again and I'll be spared the opportunity to squirm). Part of me wants to believe that you can't have too many friends. Another part of me feels that I'm happy with my life as it is and I don't need further competition for my free time, terrible as that sounds.

And then there's the big dilemma, which is just internal:
- What the hell is "Chemistry," anyway?
- Is it something we fool ourselves into thinking should exist -- that queasy feeling of delight when the emotionally unavailable stud-of-our-dreams walks in the room?
- Do we have the luxury of believing in chemistry after we're "of a certain age" (and yes, I know age is just a canard that has nothing to do with it)?

These questions are all starting to sound way too Carrie Bradshaw, but they're very real on my part. At some point do we settle for the "nice," stable, fairly well-adjusted-and-lacking-major-mental-issues guy and realize that hot, steamy, monkeysex is for twentysomethings and television characters? In any case, I think that monkeysex is overrated. I'd prefer someone with whom I can fairly innocently canoodle in flannel jammies (I'm exaggerating) on Saturday night and then spend Sunday morning discussing the Opinion and Arts section of the Times.

It seems sometimes like incredible karmic justice that my hyper-sexual early thirties would give way to a spinsterlike existence of weekends spent savoring the pleaseures of a soft mattress, a warm, fluffy comforter and some harpsichord ├ętudes on the stereo.

Talk about issues.

Friday, April 11, 2008

That's amazing. Don't you think that's amazing?

So, I sort of have an actual "date" tonight... with someone I frolicked with at least four to six months ago.

I shouldn't say more, except that I'm feeling the way some overly jaded forty-year-olds might. I need to remember that Friday night "dates" haven't exactly been burning up my social calendar as of late.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I no longer love the way you hold your pens and pen - - cils

I attended Laurie Anderson's performance of Homeland last night.

I wasn't impressed.

I can say I really enjoyed one piece/song, but I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy the entire show, since I was fairly blown away by her when she premiered Happiness at UCSB in 2002.

In any event, everyone needs to own a copy of Big Science.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Imagination Would Only Be a Liability

So, I finally decide to try to start getting my money's worth from my Netflix four-at-a-time rental plan last night and watch Fassbinder's Die Ehe der Maria Braun.

Now I'm all, "What the f***??"

T$ has some 'splaining to do...

Naw, just kidding, I think I get it... I could probably manage to crank out a 'Film Studies 46' paper on it if I had to: Something along the lines of Maria, after the War, whores herself out literally and figuratively to the Americans and the French, and becomes, in her words, the "Mata Hari of the Economic Miracle," all the while waiting to be reunited with her man. But, boys and girls, it's not to be. Tragic last act. Maria can't have ihre Kuchen and eat it too.

Finally, I'll just say this: Love the hats. Love Hanna Schygulla in them.

Monday, April 07, 2008

These Little John Bullshits

PARIS — France assigned 100 police officers to investigate the desecration on Sunday of 148 Muslim graves in a war cemetery in northern France. President Nicolas Sarkozy called the attack “sordid” and expressed “profound outrage” after it was discovered that vandals had hung a pig’s head from one tombstone, desecrated others and wrote slogans insulting Justice Minister Rachida Dati, who was born in France to parents from Northern Africa.

The graves were in the Muslim section of Notre Dame de Lorette, among France’s largest war cemeteries, near the northern town of Arras. The dead are mostly from World War I, and the Muslim graves, representing the dead of colonial armies, are turned toward Mecca.
~~ New York Times; April 7, 2008
Upon reading this nasty piece of news from "Old Europe," I can't help but think of the lyrics of a catchy and razor-sharp tune by that inimitable reactionary, Billy Bragg, upon whose music I cut my leftwing teeth lo two decades ago:
At night the Baby Brotherhood and the Inter City Crew
Fill their pockets up with calling cards
And paint their faces red white and blue
Then they go out seeking different coloured faces
And anyone else that they can scare
And they salute the foes their fathers fought
By raising their right hands in the air
Oh look how my country's patriots are hunting down below
What do they know of England who only England know

Young, Gifted, and Black

I haven't really reflected much, if at all, on the anniversary of MLK's assassination. However, on yesterday's Weekend Edition, NPR ran a terrific piece on a concert given at the Westbury Music Festival on Long Island by my absolute musical idol, Nina Simone, mere days after that infamous event. Specifically, they covered a 13-minute song she performed called "Why? (The King of Love is Dead)". I love Simone, but wasn't previously aware of this song.

The story includes an interview with Simone's brother and organist, and his choked-up remembrance emotionally drove home to me the gravity of the assassination and got me a bit choked up as well. As trite as this may sound, I finally understood and felt something which had until then been mere history on the page.

Highly recommended listening at the NPR story website.

Also highly recommended: Film of Simone Live at Montreux. Volcanic.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The View From Here: Rainy Wednesday Evening


Well, everyone... in the immortal words of Neil Diamond, The Cars, and Dave Matthews: Hello Again.

As a good friend recently wondered: Life may begin at forty, but does that mean blogging ends?

The answer is: of course not. I never intended this recent hiatus to go on as long as it has. Let's just say I've been lazy. And, more importantly, TIRED. Being a quadragenarian is hard work, I tell ya what! Yeah. Really.

Anyway, things have been going well. Just have a look at these incredible highlights from the merry-merry month of March:
  • I went on a five-night business trip to Sacramento
  • I moved into a private office at work and had the rest of our office reconfigured
  • I roasted a chicken for dinner
  • I spent a weekend in San Francisco, where...
  • I attended a one-woman Judy Garland revue (for the record, I detest Judy Garland, but I have a little more respect for her after reading the entry on her on Wikipedia)
  • I clipped my fingernails a couple of times and, finally...
  • I took at least one rejuvenating bath while starting at the chipped paint on my bathroom ceiling
Who wouldn't be envious? In any case, it's good to be back. And many thanks to anyone who's missed me, and especially Papagayo, who was nice enough to post a plaintive and very nice "Missing You" comment. Diana Ross would be proud. Tell me why the road turns...?

* By the way, to prove how lazy I am (if there remained any question), this post was, of course, intended to go up more than a week ago, on that most holy of holy days: Easter Monday.