Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

aussieBum, Shearing the Rams, and Slim Dusty

January 29, 2016

On our last visit to Australia (in “Bruce Bruce Bruce” on the 27th), we started out in Aussie underwear (the Daily Jocks AUS line), moved through Monty Python and Bruce as a  stereotypically Aussie name (and in the U.S., as a stereotypically gay name) and on to Barry Humphries and two Australian characters he created, with notes on the Aussie celebration of working-class masculinity (amiable crudity, matiness) and disdain for effete Pommies (Brits). At the end, a promise:

For a later posting, on Aussie masculinity (and class): aussieBum underwear, Shearing the Rams by Tom Roberts, and Slim Dusty.

Now’s the time. Looking ahead: two images of Aussie men in their aussieBum swimwear and underwear, a surfer and a jackaroo:

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Yesterday

January 28, 2016

Two things yesterday: it was Mozart’s birthday, and it was a bright sunny day, cool but not cold, so after a long time away, Juan and I had an al fresco breakfast at Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden, which was packed with things in bloom (winter-blooming flowers and also spring-blooming flowers, since for plants spring starts locally in January) or simply flourishing (like many cool-weather food plants).

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Canned cranjellyfish

November 27, 2015

On the op-ed page of the NYT yesterday, an Op-Art feature by graphic designer Mark Pernice, “Parade Balloons That Didn’t Get Off the Ground” (in print) or “Rejected Thanksgiving Balloons” (on-line), with (for example) The Turkey’s Head, A Dead Leaf, Booze & Bukowski, Drunk Texting Exes, Black Friday Doorbuster Ad. And Canned Cranjellyfish:

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The creature is a hybrid of a can of cranberry jelly (on top) and a jellyfish (with its “arms” at the bottom). The name is also a hybrid, a phrasal overlap portmanteau (POP) of canned cranberry jelly + jellyfish.

Two things here: cranberry sauce / jelly / relish for Thanksgiving; and Mark Pernice and his work.

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Tinnitus, tinnitus, semper tinnitus

November 25, 2015

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, so we’re about to embark on the official season of Christmas songs and Christmas shopping (though both have been upon us for some time, and Christmas decorations have been up for some time as well — at the restaurant Reposado in Palo Alto they went up right after Halloween). Periodically I post about about Christmas music, especially weird stuff; my daughter Elizabeth, grand-daughter Opal, and other friends feed me great stuff. In 2012, among my Christmas music postings was “The multicultural Christmas playlist, mostly Jingle Bells”, where I mentioned in passing the Latin translation of the song that I learned in high school, nearly 60 years ago. The part I still recall is the chorus:

Tinnitus, tinnitus, semper tinnitus
O tantum est gaudium dum vehimur in trahā

(There are other translations into Latin out there.) Now to look at the Latin.

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mussels

November 1, 2015

Recently among specials offered by Reposado in Palo Alto, dishes featuring mussels (which I’m very fond of). Mussels have been mentioned a number of times on this blog, but have never gotten special attention. Now their day has come. Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce, on pasta (not from Reposado):

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From the 80s

October 11, 2015

The restaurant Reposado, where I regularly have lunch, plays Mexican popular music, in Spanish (more on this below), on its sound system on weekdays, but popular music in English on weekends, when visitors to Palo Alto might prefer it. Yesterday I noticed that I recognized almost all of the songs, even while I was mostly concentrated on reading and taking notes. It started with Madonna’s “Material Girl” and went through a range of other songs. Here’s a list of the ones I caught, with the dates of their release:

“Material Girl” (1984), “Owner of a Lonely Heart” (1983), “Electric Avenue” (1982), “Relax” (1983), “(I’m) Bad” (1987), “Tainted Love” (Soft Cell version, 1981), “Take My Breath Away” (1986)

Oh my, hit songs of the 80s. The 80s were my 40s, and a very complex time in my life — my first stint at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, my wife’s death, the shift to an Ohio State/Stanford split schedule, and more — but I seem to have been attentive to the music of the decade.

Two things: the categories of popular music, the song “Relax”.

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Yogi-isms

October 3, 2015

Back on 9/23, I got e-mail from a representative of a California public radio station, sent at 9 a.m. (though I didn’t get to it until later), asking me to do an interview by phone for them at 11:45 that morning, on Yogi Berra and his language. Now, I was offended at the extremely short notice (though journalists do this to me a lot), and I had other reasons for not wanting to do it. After some thought, I decided to meet rudeness with rudeness and just delete the message.

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Muhly grass

September 30, 2015

From a recent visit to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden, a glimpse of a very pretty ornamental grass. Photo from the web:

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This is a white variant (White Cloud) of Muhlenbergia capillaris, Muhlenbergia being the genus of muhly grasses. (Note that the common name is derived by clipping from the botanical name.)

The botanical name will take us on an adventure in U.S. history, starting in the early 18th century.

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Leberkäs(e)

September 28, 2015

From Ned Deily yesterday, a Facebook posting announcing:

Last night’s last meal in Berlin: Leberkäs, what else? — at Berlin Friedrichstraße station. … The joke is that it is neither liver nor cheese and definitely not Berlin-ish.

with a photo:

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More photos to come.

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Birthday flowers

September 6, 2015

I’m a few hours into my 75th birthday — 75 is a seriously round number — and already I’ve gotten (electronically) two wonderful cards, both with flowers on them, both leading to another plant family, the Asparagaceae, though neither depicts an asparagus (instead, a lily-of-the-valley and a  Joshua tree, which are, amazingly, in the asparagus family). As a bonus, the first card introduces (via four flowers) three more plant families I haven’t discussed in my recent postings on plant families —  one of which, the Primulaceae (which comes via the pimpernel plant), I’ll talk about here. As a further bonus, the second card has a nearly naked young man with notable abs (and a woolly mammoth).

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