Sunday, December 28, 2008


That's right, paisley. There simply doesn't seem to be enough of it around these days. Wow, since I was bored and needed some... paisley, I googled it and landed on the End Times Deliverance Ministry, a site that seems to be run by crazy people who think paisley is the devil's work. Yes! And I quote:

"Paisley print is something you see on ties, shirts, blouses, dresses, curtains, rugs, furniture, etc. If you wear it or have it, you may be carrying around and attracting some demons, which could be the cause of some of your "problems".

Okaaay. Useful information, that. Anyway, Christmas in Maine was nice and low-key this year. No singing poinsettias, alas (mom had given it to B., J's father-in-law, who took it to the cape and then put it back in J.'s car, if I have the story straight.) I learned that if your dear, dear relatives ask you what you want for Christmas and you say socks, you WILL GET SOCKS. Which rocks, since I needed them.

I flew Delta this time -- and for the last time. It began with the too-loud bad holiday music blaring into the tiny cramped plane owned and operated by Freedom Air (whatev) who apparently "Support our troops in the Middle East." Um, okay. Does that really need to be on the side of your plane? I mean, I support each individual troop and wish them all well, but don't exactly support them being there. Okay, so then the radio/tape player whatever goes kerflooey with static and skipping and I actually have to ask the stewardess to turn it OFF. I'm also not enamored of the JFK Delta terminal at ALL, with its nine miles walk to the gate. On the way back, our checked-in luggage awaits us... at an entirely different terminal! JetBlue, I'm back, I'll never leave you again.

That said, I hope every one I know and love had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year... and not a moment too soon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thin Ice

We had our first major snowstorm here today and people are just as wimpy as always in New York City. The newscasters wax hysteric, everything closes early, etc. No biggie. But I hate being one of the casualties. In the rain and muck and snow and sleet and darkness I decided to run about 20 errands after work. Glutton for punishment, I know. UPS came through with 1 out of 2 packages I need (yay), the item in the store I'd been eyeing for X was still there (yay) and THEN I fell down.

Trying to magically run through a puddle in the dark crossing 6th Avenue at Spring Street. It looked to be 2" deep, then soon proved to be more like 4" with a nice little layer of ice on the bottom. Down I went with a muddy splash and unrepentant and really loud "Shit!" Sopping gloves, bruised knee, I carried on.

Homebound at last, I amused myself with the TV weather reports and how racist they can be. "There's a lot of black guys covering the Henry Hudson, dangerous black guys." They were saying "black ice" but I kept hearing it wrong. "Slippery black guys is the cause of more than 50 accidents so far on the LIE..." "Black guys, as always, is a danger in the city and on the highways tonight."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bangor, Maine to the New York Island

Cool beans! The state of Maine represents on the cool WORLD HUM "Travel Dispatches from a Shrinking Planet" site, which in a recent feature maps songs to cities around the world. Maine gets Roger Miller's 1965 classic "King of the Road" (#14 on the site's top travel songs)..... “Third boxcar, midnight train, Destination, Bangor, Maine.”

New York gets an moldy-oldy but a goodie: Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" (# 8)...... “This land is your land, this land is my land.. From California, to the New York Island.”

And a shout-out to Buffalo from... The Grateful Dead! You should be able to figure that one out..

Other personal faves include Ireland (Irish Rover, by the Clancy Bros) and Istanbul (Istanbul by They Might Be Giants). Okay, maybe the songs aren't exactly cutting edge but... then there's "When I Paint My Masterpiece, Bob Dylan: “Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble, Ancient footprints are everywhere.You can almost think that you're seein' double, On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs.” Don't know the song but love the lyrics. Thanks, Bob.

More cool things from the site: Ry Cooder's "El Mirage and Los Angeles"... via the NY Times, with a neat slideshow... "When Ry Cooder and I got to El Mirage Dry Lake, it was 110 degrees and heading to 117, hot enough to cook your head inside your hat. The Mojave Desert in daylight will cut the gizzard right out of you, Tom Joad once said, which is why the Okies crossed it at night."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blogger's Block and My/OurSpace

No, I haven't flown the coop. I've had blogger's block. I still have it but pledge (again) to post every day once more starting next Sundary since exactly 2 of you seem to think I have something of interest to say.

Favorite item of interest today: Harper's Magazine's cuckamonga "OurSpace" paean to the recently released Oxford Comprehensive Atlas of the World. (Psst, it's a "fifteen-pound, six-hundred-page, gold-gilt-edged, three-red-ribboned feast." Christmas is coming!

From the inspired article:

"...As a means of finding out about the world, the web is, in one way, without peer, but the narrowness of self tends to misdirect our use of that broad thing: our use of it mirrors our own constriction. MySpace indeed......

But the atlas, contributing editor Wyatt Mason posits, is:

More than merely being about the world, it bounds—binds—the world, and in a way that’s freeing. An atlas, any atlas, commands our interest, directs it outwards, forces us, agreeably, usefully, not to see ourselves, for once, as central to our world. We search an atlas for ourselves in vain: always, it exceeds us. This formal difference is productive. To be forced to encounter the world not on our terms but on the world’s terms teaches us a kind of intellectual and social humility.

My excerpting does the article little -- or no -- justice, by the way.

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