Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Elizabeth Perry draws everyday. Well, I can't quite keep up with that in terms of quality, but I am usually doodling all the time. I loved to draw and paint when I was a child. I even made friends with an artist girlfriend of my uncle's who taught me to use water color and indian ink. I used to think I was a good artist, but the older I got, the less I thought that. I still love to draw though, and I love visual art, so I'm trying more and more lately. I've done two mixed media collages and a few sketches that I am sort of pleased with I'm sharing some now, and hopefully more to come.
- Laonukeleles: ukeleles from Laos that have a tendancy to explode.
- Metagon: a hexagon that defines itself.
- Shnyl: someone who is shy, but snobbily so.
- Banaliter: even more banal that a banality.
- Foremedios: the person you go to for a cure.
- Qvelt: someone who is Svelt, but in a more flamboyant way.
- Widgety: having the properties of a liquid nitrogen produced foam., also being fidgety do to an accumulation of this foam.
This may seem silly, but it brings up an important issue. The power in naming things. When colonizers came to new lands, they imposed their names and made up their own names for things that already had names from the indigenous peoples. When God named things in the beginning in the Bible, they appeared (let there be light, and all that). The German author Jenny Erpenbeck writes somewhat on this topic in her new novel, Book of Words.
I had the opportunity to hear Jenny Erpenbeck and her translator, Susan Bernofsky last night at Chatham University. Here is a small excerpt from the new novel (Read a larger excerpt here):
Eyes, nose, mouth. How often my mother shut her eyes the instant before my
index finger hit its mark, how often my father opened his mouth to show me what
a mouth is and then closed it around my finger as if he were going to bite, but
he didn't bite. If you wanted to play ball with someone's head, only one thing
would get in the way: the nose. My father's teeth are very white, and when I
probe around inside his dark mouth with my finger, they feel damp and hard. I
see a tree and say tree, I smell the cake my mother bakes on Sunday and say
cake, I hear a bird twittering in the garden, and my mother says: That's right,
a bird. We put the cake into our mouths, it vanishes there, mouth, eyes and
nose: holes, the beginnings of paths, no one knows quite where they lead.
Stomach, my mother says, but I've never seen my stomach from the inside, at
least what I eat comes out again on the other end, but what about the things I
put into my eyes, where do they go, are all of them supposed to fit inside my
head, even if I were to stack them up the way our housekeeper stacks the
laundry, folding it and placing one piece atop the other, there still wouldn't
be room, I don't think, and therefore I keep saying all the things as I see them
so they'll change course inside my head and go out again through my mouth. Shit,
I say later when I see what has become of the cake. That's a filthy word, my
mother says, wiping my bottom. Don't say words like that, she says and flushes.
But it's something we even ate. That was before, my mother says, and we go back
to the other room. So the cake has gotten dirty on its way through my body. You
can't look at it that way, my father says, it doesn't have anything to do with
you, it's just a matter of the word. I'm not allowed to say it. No, my mother
says, words like that should never cross the lips of a young lady. Eyes. Nose.
Mouth. So it's precisely the things that are filthy that are supposed to be
stacked up and stored in my head and aren't allowed to change course and go out
again through my mouth. But, I say, if I see a foot that is dirty and say foot,
then that's a filthy word too, isn't it, but my mother says no, the word itself
is clean. Aha. It's only the word shit I'm not supposed to say, but now that's
really quite enough, my mother says.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Today in my Latin American Narrative course, we were treated to the bread of the dead. This bread is cooked as part of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in Mexico, which occurs on November 3rd. This is a time that pays tribute to friends and relateives who have passed on, and food and other objects are offered to the dead. The living then eat some of the food after the Spirits have taken nourishment from it.
We had two of the more traditional shapes of the bread, one in the shape of a skull, and decorated with green colored sugar, and the other in the shape of crossbones.
Why does this not surprise me?
Which is more sad: That FEMA asked itself questions posing as reporters and aired on the Propoganda Wing (aka Fox News), or that this sort of thing has ceased to surprise me...?
Sunday, October 28, 2007
My brother got me the sweetest birthday present. It is this awesome round soft fuzzy squishable stuffed DUCK from http://www.squishable.com This is a pic from the site, more pics to come of Mr. Peeps Duckington III, himself.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Well, I discovered an even more disturbing one (well, depends on how you look at it I suppose), on Baum Square in East Liberty.
The press here to disappear button, if effective, would not have an immediate destructive effect on anyone but the one who pressed it. Now if the one who pressed it would have gone on to find the cure for cancer or something, than yeah destructive for more people, but down the road. Now the press to explode button...would that cause the building which the button was on to explode, or some unknown target that a missile is aimed at to explode, or the presser of the button to explode? Not sure, but either way, there may be some collateral damage. Needless to say, I did not press it.
Me and my Pap Pap John
Me and my Mom outside of Church after she was the guest preacher! She preached a sermon on how the Good Samaritan applies to the church today and how we should minister to and help others without judging. She did a great job, I am proud of her.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Me and Pap-Pap John
Me and Mom
I have more pics on my digital cam, but have misplaced my usb cord at the moment. These were taken with my i book, along with some crazy distorted ones that my family would probably kill me if i made public on the internet. those sort of fun house looking ones. birthday weekend was overall good, aside from my pap willard being admitted to the hospital. but i got to spend a lot of time with the fam. took akira on a long walk, and risked life and limb to capture a picture of the goat for his bloggy and cuddled with Shiro-da-biro. Ate good food, saw a so-so movie that I predicted the ending of before we were halfway thru then hoped i was wrong and would be surprised, but wasn't, and watched my Mom preach a sermon. She did very very very well.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
To Multiply the 6's through the 10's
1. Hold out your two hands- name each finger:
-thumbs are 6's
-index fingers are 7's
-middle fingers are 8's
-ring fingers are 9's
-little fingers are 10's
2. To do a problem (let's try 7X8)
-stick out the fingers up to finger #7 on one hand (curl the remaining fingers on that hand in)
-stick out the fingers up to finger #8 on the other hand (curl the remaining fingers on that hand in).
3. Count the fingers sticking out by 10's. (In this problem you get 50 -10, 20, 30, 40, 50- so you know the answer is 50 something.
4. Count the number of fingers still down on one hand (3), Multiply this by the number of fingers still down on the other hand (2) (3x2=6)
5. You can either add that to 50 (56) or just use that as the second number of your answer for most of them (_6)
Monday, October 8, 2007
I took a breather at the greyhound station and was regretting not bringing along any water in this 90 degree weather. The sun was beating down and for some reason I had worn two shirts, so I slid my arms out of the outermost one to get more air. This probably only succeeded in letting out any coolness I was keeping in my body and soaking up more sun, but at least I didn't feel so constricted.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Pittsburgh Parks Maps- http://www.pittsburghparks.org/MapRules31.php