Archive for August, 2022

Who was that winged man?

August 31, 2022

🐅 🐅 🐅 (three tigers for the last day of the month, ultimate August) In search — not for the first time — of an attractive image of Apollo Resplendens, I fixed on this guy, who’s only roughly one-quarter Apollo and (for my Sacred Harp purposes in the search) regrettably lacks a musical instrument:

(#1) Apollo, Mercury, Eros, and Mars (well, at least these) folded together in Richard de Chazal’s homoerotic conceptualization of the Zodiacal sign Virgo (late August through late September — like, right now), the province of people who are intelligent, analytical, and attentive to detail, but also practical and commonsensical

Apollo’s male beauty surmounted by rays of sunlight, the messenger Mercury’s wings, Eros’s wings and heart, the bellicose Mars’s bandolier and metal armguards (on his left, topman, arm). But no musicality.

Why do I care about the musicality of my Apollo figures? In my 8/29 posting “Sacred Harp numerology for my birthday”, I report on a Sunday (8/28) Sacred Harp singing in which I produced

the strongest, most sonorous singing I’ve managed in years. Utterly surprising, and totally fabulous. … Weep not for me, my friends — for a little while yesterday I was Apollo Resplendens.

I’ll get back to de Chazal in a while. First, musical Apollo and Apollo Resplendens, as represented in artworks of various kinds.


Breaking through the wall

August 30, 2022

Today’s Piccolo / Price Rhymes With Orange strip is a play on specific American tv commercials (with some gentle old-age mockery folded in), so will be baffling to any reader who doesn’t recognize the Kool-Aid Man mascot or know the wall-breaking “Oh Yeah!” tv ads featuring KAM:

(#1) There is, however, a hint to the reader in the “So not kool” (with kool instead of cool) in the title panel; note also the generational disparity reinforced by the GenX so there (see my 11/14/11 posting “GenX so“)


Sacred Harp numerology for my birthday

August 29, 2022

That’s where this is going, aimed at SH82t (Bound for Canaan) and SH82b (Edgefield) — ’cause I’m about to be 82 and so have been posting about 1982 — and SH96 (Few Happy Matches) — ’cause my birthday is 9/6. All of this triggered by someone’s having chosen to lead SH82t (which I’m fond of; it’s a Joy of Death and Transfiguration song and a shouting song: Hallelujah! I’m going to die!) at yesterday’s Marian Bush Memorial Half Day Singing in Palo Alto, which I participated remotely in because of my medical conditions. So I’ll have to tell you about my birthday, about Marian, about my afflictions, and about this weekend’s singings (Saturday 10-4, Sunday 1-4). But the numerology is the point, so I’ll talk about that first, but save the actual 82 and 96 songs for the end of this posting.


More from 1982

August 29, 2022

… and on comic conventions. Following up on my 8/26/22 posting“Moon Over Palo Alto”, on my 82nd birthday, with reminiscences of 1982: from Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County Facebook site, posted yesterday (my thanks to George V. Reilly on FB today):

(#1) 🐧 Opus tries to get in to see an R-rated shark-from-space archaeologist-adventure flick (a nearly naked Indiana Jones does battle with the Sharknado from Mars) — hoping, perhaps, for some intense violence (disembowelments!), or at least for the whiff of sex (a little skin!)

[BB on the strip for:] July 13, 1982.  A good place to point out what often isn’t obvious to pop-culture fans: there had rarely been comic strip animals that talked to people.  Take a moment to consider this (I never did, not surprisingly).  In movies and comics, animals talked to each other… but hardly ever to us.  Aside from Bugs Bunny (slapstick license, one supposes) and Winnie the Pooh (the imagination of Christopher Robin), it remained, with very few exceptions, an invisible suspension of reality they never dared to go.  -bb

FB commenters noted passing animal-human exchanges in various strips, but Opus interacts with humans as a matter of course. Though he’s a penguin, nothing human is alien to him. Or to his buddies of various species.


Linebacker or congressional reporter?

August 28, 2022

From MSNBC’s American Voices with Alicia Menendez this morning, under the header “Republicans criticize Justice Dept. for protecting state secrets in Trump documents”:

(#1) Screen shot: Murray, Broadwater, Menendez, Dowd

Former President Trump’s allies are demanding more “transparency” from federal authorities about the stash of classified records at Mar-a-Lago. “This seems to me the weakest part of their argument,” says CountryOverParty founder Matt Dowd. “The more things are put out, the worse it is for President Trump.” Dowd joined New York Times congressional reporter Luke Broadwater and New York University law professor Melissa Murray to unpack the newly unsealed Mar-a-Lago affidavit.

Broadwater’s reporting was nicely done, but my attention was captured at first by the thickness of his neck, closer to a linebacker’s than to a congressional reporter’s. Are the NYT‘s front-line reporters subjected  to repeated head confinements and impacts, as linebackers and wrestlers are? The sort of thing that would build up solid neck muscles supporting their heads? Are Broadwater’s excellent reporting chops just a cover for a secret — or former — life as a jock who can take a lot of abuse?

Broadwater has what is known, informally and metaphorically, as a bull neck (or bullneck). He’s not as extravagantly bullnecked as some linebackers, but, still, he’s definitely a bullneck boy (about his cheeks I cannot say).


Eat Your Woolly Mammoths!

August 27, 2022

I was in the middle of singing along (at home, by Zoom) to the Palo Alto All-Day Sacred Harp Singing (10-4 today), when the following appeared on my screen, representing a fellow electronic participant:

(#1) Image identified as belonging to James Solheim, who I happened to know was actually singing along from Omaha NE, using technology much cooler than Zoom

But whoa! Is this a slogan? Is it a thing? I appreciated that it was surely intended as an exhortation to ingestion, not fellation. But still… The woolly mammoth is my chief totem animal, and Woo(l)ly Mammoth is one of my pseudonyms; I am W M, I am. And I take these things personally.

As it happens, I’ve met Solheim, who sang with the local Harpers a while back, when he was visiting his daughter Jenny, who’s a recent addition to the set of local singers (more on her below). But I had no idea what he did for a living. Turns out he’s an artist and an author, specializing in books for kids. Of which Eat Your Woolly Mammoths! is one.


Moon Over Palo Alto

August 26, 2022

Facebook ads alert me to the fact that the Mid-Autumn Festival is fast coming — mooncakes! mooncakes! time to get your mooncakes! —  and that it’s on the early side this year — Saturday 9/10 (with the holiday extending over the next two days) — so comes just a few days after my 82nd birthday, Tuesday 9/6, which this year is the day after the American end-of-summer holiday Labor Day (also a MascMeatHol, that is, masculine meat holiday, though this posting will be meatless).

I have decided to more or less wrap most of  these things together into a Moon Over Palo Alto event, with red bean mooncakes (no yolk) that I have already ordered, on a day during the 9/3-9/10 period (day, time, and place still to be determined) in honor of 1982, which has lots of good associations, including red bean mooncakes (acquired in San Francisco’s Chinatown that spring for Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky’s 17th birthday, Valentine’s Day regularly coming close to Lunar New Year — another mooncake holiday).

What I’m about to acquire:

(#1) A box of 4 Imperial Palace red bean mooncakes (no yolk); the red beans in question (here, in the form of a sweetened paste filling the mooncakes) are not the red beans of the New Orleans dish called red beans and rice, and the objects called mooncakes are (full-)moon-shaped but are not in the CAKE category of foodstuffs (instead, they’re in the PIE category)


The rabbits are gaining

August 25, 2022

From Aric Olnes on Facebook yesterday, the cartoon / gouache painting “The Rabbits are Gaining” by Greg Stones:

(#1) On a snowy slope, four determined rabbits (their ears streaming back in the breeze) in a canoe are gaining on two penguins on skis (one of them looking back, no doubt in anxiety, at their pursuers)

My alternative title: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you” – Satchel Paige (in a June 1953 Collier’s magazine profile of Paige)

The penguins are one of Stones’s recurring creatures, in his charming, pointed, anxious, goofy, edgy compositions. Two examples on a theme…


A journal of my thoughts

August 24, 2022

The old Calvin and Hobbes — from 8/25/92 — that came up in my comics feed yesterday:

This blog is, in a sense, a journal of my thoughts:

— responses to things I’ve come across (things people have said, events I’ve seen, events I’ve experienced, news reports, cartoons and comics, movies and tv, music, artwork, food, plants, animals, whatever);

— reports on my life history, family and friends, emotional and physical states, beliefs and opinions and guiding moral principles; reports on research (mine and other people’s) in linguistics and  psychology and in g&s (gender and sexuality studies, though Gilbert & Sullivan do occasionally appear; I do not, however, deal in goods & services);

— and creative writing (fiction and poetry) and artwork (mostly my collages).

The responses and reports are not just passing on of things but attempts to place these things in some context (which often involves exposing my personal involvement with them, sometimes in open and unsparing detail), to analyze them, to interpret them, to connect them (sometimes in unexpected or surprising ways) to other things, and often to play with them, to use them to entertain — in displays of Martians attacking Indianapolis, so to speak.



August 22, 2022

From the annals of joy: I awoke this morning to the radiant sound of the Osanna from Bach’s Mass in B minor — on my Mac’s Music: English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, and the Monteverdi Choir (Archiv, released 2006). Osanna in excelcis ‘Hosanna in the highest’ — a most auspicious beginning to the day, a hopeful sign of a turn-around (in progress) from several dire weeks on the medical front, just barely getting through the days. But now I’m writing you about joy. (Oh, yes, Bach’s Osanna has all the glorious trumpets and tympani I require in orchestral music of joy.)

(#1) The cover of the Gardiner CD; the cover art is from a van Eyck masterwork to accompany Bach’s masterwork — some details of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb below