Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

At the rim of the Mournful Valley, singing

January 16, 2020

(About other things as well, but centrally about my life, which some readers might just find annoying and want to avoid.)

January 16th today. At the very rim of the Mournful Valley. From my 1/21/15 posting “Antonio Soler and the Mournful Valley”

Not long ago, WQXR [NYC FM radio station specializing in classical music] played some keyboard sonatas by Padre Antonio Soler, a favorite composer of mine since my student days at MIT but one not especially widely known. That tweaked bittersweet memories of those days in Cambridge MA, especially powerful at this time of the year, in what I’ve come to think of the Mournful Valley of Mid-Winter, in between January 17th, the anniversary of Ann Daingerfield Zwicky’s death ([in 2020, the 35th anniversary; she died at age 47]) and January 22nd, my man Jacques Transue’s birthday ([in 2020, his 78th]; Jacques died in 2003) — and with celebrations of love, for Valentines Day, very much in the air.

In the context of the Mournful Valley, VDay is definitely bittersweet. On the one hand, I’ve been alone since 1998, when J went into a dementia care facility. On the other hand, VDay is Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky’s birthday, and that makes the holiday a very big thing.

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Hung with care

December 24, 2019

Yes, cheap louche wordplay, and for Christmas. Manifested in the playful and deeply carnal CGI artwork of Vadim Temkin, in his alphabet of gay sex, where the letter shapes are formed by men’s bodies and body parts, many engaged in a variety of intense sexual acts.

This material, chock-full of sex talk in street language, is massively unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest, even without the images rife with male genitalia (which are in a posting on AZBlogX, 12/21/19, “Surprise! Vadim’s gay alphabet”).

Then, though the alphabet began merely as a set of 26 images, it came to me as worked into another genre: these images on the faces of surprise cubes, a set of 8 cubes which arrived a few days ago as Vadim’s New Year’s 2020 gift.

But first, the images, especially the one for the letter X, “eXcited Xmas eXhibitionist”, showing a well-hung Santa, with a Christmas wreath hung on his thick, solid erection (fuzzed over for WordPress, but inspectable on AZBlogX), while Santa himself hangs on a St. Andrew’s Cross, welcoming restraint, abuse, and pain. It’s a complex message.

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The images quilt

December 15, 2019

The last in a set of four; the linguistics quilt, from the 19th, is its predecessor. As before, a 12-panel composition (roughly 6 x 3 ft) made of old t-shirts of mine, assembled into a quilt by Janet Salsman, with the collaboration of Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky and Kim Darnell (and photos by Kim).  This time, t-shirts with images that have pleased or entertained me:

(#1)

Now the 12 panels individually, by row (R) and column (C).

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The linguistics quilt

December 11, 2019

The third in a set of four; the university quilt, from yesterday, is its predecessor. As before, a 12-panel composition (roughly 6 x 3 ft) made of old t-shirts of mine, assembled into a quilt by Janet Salsman, with the collaboration of Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky and Kim Darnell (and photos by Kim).  This time, t-shirts for linguistics programs or linguistics events. Some of the shirts have small or subtle images on them, impossible to appreciate in a display like this one:


(#1) The pansy background is an especially nice touch, in a gift to me

So I’ll look at the 12 panels individually, close up, by row (R) and column (C).
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The university quilt

December 10, 2019

#2 in a set of 4, the first having been my 7/30/17 posting “The queer quilt”. To come: the linguistics quilt and the images quilt. Each one, a 12-panel composition (roughly 6 x 3 ft) made of old t-shirts of mine, assembled into a quilt by Janet Salsman, with the collaboration of Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky and Kim Darnell.

#1 re-used old queer t-shirts, some political, some playful, some artistic. #2 is university t-shirts (from roughly 20 to 40 years ago), from institutions where I’ve talked, either teaching a class there, speaking at a conference there, or giving an invited talk there.


(#1) names, abbreviated names, nicknames, logos, and seals: Northwestern Univ., Univ. of New Mexico, Brigham Young Univ.; Georgetown Univ., Univ. of Kentucky, American Univ.; Harvard Univ., banana slugs (the mascot of the Univ. of Calif. at Santa Cruz (UCSC)), Univ. of Pennsylvania; Univ. of Calif. at Davis, UCSC, Univ. of North Dakota

Still to come: a linguistics quilt, with lx-related t-shirts; and an image quilt, with amusing or arresting images of several kinds.
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Him, 55 years ago

November 24, 2019

(A personal posting, not about language, and only glancingly about gender and sexuality.)

From Virginia Transue today, the photo of my man Jacques H. Transue (1942-2003) from his Haverford College yearbook in 1964:

Virginia had just discovered that tons of yearbooks were available on-line, so she searched and found this — which I had never seen before.  Virginia (the widow of Jacques’s older brother, Bill) described it as “one of the dreamboatiest photos” she’d ever seen, a judgment I’m inclined to agree with (but then I’m wildly prejudiced).

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Toadsuck catfish

November 16, 2019

Today’s Zippy, with a catfish buffet in the Toad Suck / Toadsuck AR area:


(#1) Buffet at the Toadsuck Catfish Inn (in Choctaw AR, on US 65 South), obviously of keen interest to Mr. (The) Toad

As is so often the case with establishments in Zippy strips, this one closed a few years ago — though alternatives, like Eat My Catfish in Conway, flourish in the area (which is prime catfish territory).

And, well, yes, there’s the name Toad Suck.

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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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