Archive for September, 2017

The archangel Michael

September 30, 2017

(And other wingèd men.)

Yesterday was Michaelmas, devoted to Saint Michael the Archangel, a figure of great power and terrible beauty, who among other things lent his name to the gorgeous autumn-blooming aster commonly known as the Michaelmas daisy (see my 10/5/13 posting).

(Today on the calendar of religious holidays it’s Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A very different thing.)

Angels and archangels are messengers of god, also protectors. As protectors, they can be either militant (usually masculine) or maternal (usually female);  Michael, wielding his sword against the serpent / Satan, is definitely one of the militant band — but he can be portrayed either as a muscled hero (an Achilles or Ares figure) or as an ethereally beautiful young man doing holy battle (so a hybrid of Apollo and Ares, but Christian).

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douché!

September 29, 2017

An exclamation reported to me back in June by Lee Tucker, a transparent portmanteau of the slang slur douche (as in douchebag) and the exclamation touché! ‘good / clever point!’. But I didn’t know quite how to analyze his (invented) example. Now I have some simpler examples, and I think I’ve got a handle on it.

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Briefly: cartoon corgi in love

September 28, 2017

(Brief, but heavy on sex and not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Well, actually, in heat, arched up in lordosis in fact, in this on-line sticker of Biscuit in Love — Biscuit is a corgi — from Ghostbot:

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kaleidoscopic

September 28, 2017

From Bonnie and Ed Campbell, on the occasion of my cataract surgery yesterday, something for me to enjoy looking at: an animated greeting card from the Jacquie Lawson company, with kaleidoscopic autumnal images. A screen capture from it:

 (#1) Leaves, berries, and acorns (in 6-part symmetry)

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From marbles and barbats to challah

September 28, 2017

… via Greek-American food in Old Saybrook CT. A Zippyesque journey in today’s strip:

(#1)

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The fatal bookpile

September 28, 2017

Today’s Bizarro:

 (#1)

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

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Two lx profs and two psych profs walk into a surgery center

September 27, 2017

… and a combat over brains and minds ensues. Well, no. Actually:

… and they talk about the infirmities and indignities of growing old. Kim Darnell (senior lecturer in psychology at Georgia State for many years) took me (adjunct professor of linguistics at Stanford, professor emeritus of linguistics at Ohio State) to the Surgery Center at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, where we ran into Eve Clark (professor emeritus of linguistics at Stanford) and Herb Clark (professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford). Usually shop talk would have ensued, but in the context our minds were on the rickety bodies of the three senior members of the group. (Kim is one generation younger than the rest of us.)

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The birthday singing

September 27, 2017

(#1) … Loud thanks to our alligator king

A hymn of praise — the venerable Old Hundred — here presented as sung by a Floridian singing school in the shapenote singing tradition. Yes, the singers happen to be alligators, but then Sacred Harp and similar traditions are noted for their hospitality to all those come to sing.

The composition is a little gift to Steven Levine (who is, among many other things, a Shape Note singer), on the occasion of his birthday, today.

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Ice Dance in the garden

September 26, 2017

(About plants and their names.)

A row of handsome grassy plants at the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, like these:

Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’, a sedge (rather than a grass).

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Black bread and pickled herring

September 26, 2017

Kim Darnell, on a grocery shopping run for me, came across a line of very thinly sliced, dark, dense, intensely-flavored rye breads from the German company Mestemacher — one variety marketed as “Natural Fitness Bread”:

(#1)

She was tickled by the name, and also remembered bread like this with pleasure. As did I: the black bread (Schwarzbrot, sometimes called Bauernbrot ‘peasant bread’) of my childhood. A platform for cheese, sliced smoked meat, and (especially) pickled herring (herring in sour cream was a great favorite of mine).

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