Archive for the ‘Anniversaries’ Category

It was thirty years ago

July 31, 2021

… well, not today, but this summer. From my 10/23/19 posting “OUTiL: a historical note”:

For LGBT History Month, some notes on a little piece of that history in linguistics, in the loose network of academic acquaintanceship that formed at the Linguistic Institute at UC Santa Cruz in the summer of 1991:


The t-shirt, once available in both pink and purple (design by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky)

OUT in Linguistics, OUTiL, OUTIL (the abbreviation pronounced /áwtǝl/, through some wags joked about its being French outil /uti/ ‘tool’, with the expected sexual slang use).

The group was primarily social, offering physical places for LGBTQ+ folk and their friends to gather, network, talk about linguistics and their lives — with a mailing list to coordinate these gatherings, and then also to offer a net-place for such talk. Over the years, it changed its mode of operation, ending up as a private group on Facebook, with me as its administrator. But now it’s been years since I was able to travel anywhere, and I’m now an old man in fragile health, not an appropriate administrator.

Meanwhile, OUTiL has served its purpose and ceased to carry any traffic. So, in the absence of anyone willing to take over from me and revive it, I have closed it down. I removed the newsgroup — with some difficulty — this Wednesday morning. Thirty summers after the first.

(more…)

A dark week in early December

December 4, 2017

A week of death, punishment, and destruction. This week: deaths on M W F, punishment on Tu, destruction on Th.


(#1) John Cleese as the host on Monty Python’s “It’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart” show

Hello again, and welcome to the show. Tonight we continue to look at some famous deaths. Tonight we start with the wonderful death of Genghis Khan, conqueror of India.

Well, acually, today, the 4th, is Frank Zappa (1993). Friday, the 8th, is John Lennon (1980). And Wednesday, the 6th, is Wolfie M. himself (1791). Tomorrow, the 5th, is Krampusnacht, when the Christmas demon Krampus punishes naughty children (the night before St. Nicholas rewards the good ones, on his feast day). And Thursday, the 7th, is Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the Japanese bombing of the naval base in Honolulu, which brough the United States into World War II.

(more…)

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).

(more…)

Drunk on words, and a lot of whiskey

October 28, 2014

From the New York Times yesterday, “In Wales, a Toast to Dylan Thomas on His 100th Birthday” by Katrin Bennhold:

Laugharne [pronounced LARN], Wales — Down the footpath from his writing shed, along the curve of the water and up the hill, you see what the poet Dylan Thomas once saw: tall birds on the “heron priested shore,” a “sea wet church the size of a snail” atop the ridge, the castle ruin to your left still “brown as owls.”

… Thomas died young, at 39, after boasting that he had downed 18 straight whiskeys (“I believe that’s the record”) in New York in 1953. On Monday, he would have turned 100. His small country, long ill at ease with its hard-living, hard-loving son who wrote in English, not in Welsh, and caricatured his roots as much as he claimed them, is celebrating perhaps its greatest poet.

(more…)