Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

For all the saints

November 4, 2019

In Mexican tradition, November 1st is the central point in the Days of the Dead (October 31st through November 2nd), while in older Christian tradition it’s All Saints’ (or, as many would have it, Saints) Day. For some of us, there is specific music for the day: the magnificent processional hymn “For All the Saints”, sung to the Ralph Vaughan Williams tune Sine Nomine.


(#1) Fra Angelico, The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs (from the 1420s, tempera on poplar wood) (from Wikipedia)

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Fried pickles with ranch

October 28, 2019

The Zippy of 10/26, on the wisdom of potato-chip owls, especially those offering fried pickles with ranch:


(#1) Wise Potato Chips, a local company in my childhood days in eastern Pennsylvania, though now all over the place; also now with a product whose name is a little festival of morphological beheadings

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OUTiL: a historical note

October 23, 2019

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: 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). A notice went out on the Institute mailing list for an informal social gathering of the new group, with a characterization that then varied, from occasion to occasion, in its list of invitees; a version from several years later:

The group is open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, dyke, queer, homosexual, trans, etc. linguists and their friends. The only requirement is that you be willing to be out to everyone on the list as lgbt(-friendly); it’s sort of like wearing a pink triangle.

This was at a Linguistic Institute, so no one was fussy about who counted as a linguist; if you wanted to hang out with rest of us for the summer, you were welcome. Just so with OUTiL; if you wanted to hang out with the rest of us for an hour or two, you were welcome. OUTiL, however, was primarily social, and that was an excellent thing, especially at the time.

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In an Indian pickle

October 21, 2019

… with a pun

In this bon appétit story by Carey Polis on 10/11/19 (which came to me in e-mail from ba today): “I Put This Condiment on Everything When I Can’t Be Bothered to Make a Sauce: Brooklyn Delhi’s tomato achaar is a little spicy, a lot of awesome”:


(#1) Brooklyn Delhi tomato achaar (photo by Laura Murray, pun on Delhi / deli by the food company)

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Space Candy

October 14, 2019

(Highly sexualized men’s underwear, leading to blunt talk of men’s bodies and mansex. Lots of other content, but this is enough to put it out of bounds for kids and the sexually modest.)

Today’s Daily Jocks ad, for a new line of underwear for the PUMP! company — the image is meant to be outrageous, fey, macho, and funny, all at once — with their ad copy:


(#1) The all new Space Candy Collection from PUMP! has launched. A new take on PUMP’s classic shape, available in Space Candy Pink & Purple. [available as a boxer (boxer brief), (low-rise) brief, and jock]

An image crammed with content — incuding those little candy-themed patches on the front (on the hip or pouch) and the back (on one cheek) of the garments.

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A rich internal life

October 8, 2019

(The beginning of this posting is about the complexities of conscious experience — attentional foci and internal lives — but midway through it veers into sexual matters, eventually into a raw account of steamy mansex, entirely unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Zits strip from 10/5, about Sara and Jeremy’s fugitive thoughts:


(#1) Sara’s conscious attention is on her homework, but anxieties about her academic life and about current events intrude; meanwhile, Jeremy is consciously focused on listening to Sara’s lament, but finds thoughts of food intervening

What’s involved is a division between two parts of the stream of consciousness: an attentional focus, the central concern in what you are doing at the moment; and any number of peripheral concerns, matters that crowd your consciousness without being chosen for attention, these peripheral concerns together constituting what I’ll call your internal life at the moment.

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The sea eagle

September 30, 2019

Yesterday’s New York Times Magazine (in print) was “The Voyages Issue: Photographic dispatches from the extremities of the earth”, with one report from remote parts of Norway: “Majesty on the Wing: Enormous and indefatigable, sea eagles turn their daily hunt into a thrilling display of aerial dominance”. The introductory photo:


(#1) (photographs by Paolo Pellgrin, text by Helen Macdonald)

Notable to me because the sea eagle, or ern(e), is my onomastic totem animal, Arnold being etymologically the ‘eagle’ stem arn-/ern- + a variant of the ‘adult, strong’ stem alt-/ald-. I am eagle-strong (you may snicker at this; most people do). (In defense of my parents, Arnold is a common Swiss-German name; probably no one in the family had any idea of its etymology.)

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Musclemen from Mars

September 29, 2019

(There will be rampant male shirtlessness. Just a friendly warning, or an invitation, depending on your tastes.)

It’s a Zippy strip (today’s!). It’s another gender note (about masculinity). It’s yet another shirtless posting (shirtlessness as a prime masculinity display, in fact.) It’s about umliterature (physique magazines, in particular). And about camp (Flash Gordon). And of course, since the arousing shirtless campy musclemen are from Mars (or possibly Mongo), about SF. And finally, tucked in there inconspicuously in the last panel is an antique Griffithian self-referential surprise (from 1973):

(#1)

Male superheroes are extravagant embodiments of masculinity: they are, to start with, embodiments of great human power (conventionally associated with men), and then they have superhuman powers beyond that; their costumes are designed to encase their bodies, but tightly, so as to suggest, reveal, or exaggerate every bit of gendered anatomy (the broad shoulders, the musculature of the arms, torso, and thighs, and the genital package). (Beyond the powers and the costumes, there are the conventionally hyper-masculine faces.)

The strip begins with superheroes on this planet, but it ends, in the lower right corner, with (hunky) superheroes in space — “Musclemen from Mars” is what the Dingburgers are reading — and it turns out that space-traveling superheroes (as exemplified by Flash Gordon) are given to frequent bouts of shirtlessness (mostly while performing their feats of manly derring-do, but sometimes during the virtually obligatory shirtless torture scenes).

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A new address

September 22, 2019

noun address: 1 the particulars of the place where someone lives or an organization is situated: they exchanged addresses and agreed to keep in touch. … (NOAD, with some degree of vagueness)

No, not for me, for my department, and in fact for the whole university. From the Stanford Report on 9/18/19:

(#1)

Serra Mall will be renamed Jane Stanford Way and become the university’s official address on Oct. 7, honoring the university’s co-founder and implementing a proposal that came out of a review of campus historical names.

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Not demented yet!

September 19, 2019

Facebook exchange on the 13th with John Singler about my most recent wave of physical afflictions, with John providing sympathetic commentary. Part of my response:

… yes, I’m a giant compendium of alarming conditions and ailments. … Meanwhile, having tended someone through dementia into death makes me constantly fearful that I am myself slipping away without realizing it.

For some time now, my slogan for my physical travails has come from Monty Python’s Mary, Queen of Scots: NOT DEAD YET! Now thinking of adding NOT DEMENTED YET! — while I search constantly for evidences that I’m still well plugged in (just very, um, odd).

I am abnormally good at counting backward from 100 by 7s, having been through this diagnostic item with Jacques, and some other patients, many times. So that’s of no use.

But on the 14th, Stephanie Smith gave me a chance to show off my chops, with this appeal:

Saturday night at the office because these files won’t resolve themselves and I have anxious comrades to check in with before I take a week off. Send revolutionary vibes.

I got five revolutionary vibes for her, right off the bat, without having to do a search, and immedately posted four of them (discarding “You say you want a revolution / Well, you know / We all want to change the world” [Beatles, White Album, “Revolution”] because it was too unsubtle, actually used the word revolution crucially). Felt clever and thoroughy undementic, or at least not yet dementic.

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