Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

A mini-phal

April 24, 2017

Another flower present from a friend, to cheer me during these long months of no visible flowers from my workspace (because of construction work on my front patio that started at the beginning of November and won’t be done until we have two weeks of dry weather, omg, after which painting can be done). This is a miniature phalaenopsis orchid (only about 8 inches tall), which requires indirect light (only) and almost no watering, so it can live happily on my worktable:

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White with a purple lip!

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The little kid (part 2)

April 10, 2017

Another set of photos of my family, this time a page of 6 shots of me as a little kid (age 4-7). Some notes on memory, clothing, and names for things.

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The baby and the little kid (part 1)

April 7, 2017

Not about language, but about my life. In photographs from over 70 years ago. Partly in response to a request from a friend on Facebook to post baby photos, partly as part of a project to post more family photos for my grand-daughter Opal.

Three: a photo of me as a newborn in 1940, with my young and delighted parents; then a page of four snapshots of me as a baby; and another page of 4 of me as a little kid. More to come.

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Three

March 29, 2017

Yesterdy, a posting on Michael Ontkean, who I’ve been re-watching in Twin Peaks, but who also played the central role in the 1982 movie Making Love — which led me to an earlier film with a similar plot device (a love triangle with a gay twist), 1971’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, and to reflect on three-person relationships — a subject of great interest to me, since I spent about eight years in a married triple.

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Pretty in pink

February 26, 2017

Another little bulletin from my house: the third of the cymbidium orchids to bloom this season (they’re winter-blooming flowers):

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Seven years ago

February 26, 2017

Just a photo from the Facebook archives: in my living room in 2010:

Left to right: Jason Parker-Burlingham; a large fiberglass garden gnome in the form of Alexander Adams; Max Vasilatos; Kathryn Burlingham.

Books from Stanford

February 13, 2017

Recent books from Stanford-connected authors, some my colleagues, some my former students (so I have warm feelings). Two in sociolinguistics / educational linguistics, one on the (gasp) morphosyntax-phonology interface.

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Our allotted span

February 13, 2017

At the Palo Alto Sacred Harp singing yesterday (singing from the 1991 Denson Revision), a moment of mortality (50t), with a 1707 text from Isaac Watts:

(You get humility for free.)

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At the Zippy Mart

February 1, 2017

Yesterday’s Zippy takes us to a convenience store, whose name communicates speedy service and also seems to refer to him (so that he takes a proprietary interest in the business):

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A kiss is just a kiss

January 27, 2017

(About men kissing and how people interpret such acts. There will be references to man-on-man sexual acts, so you should be prepared to exercise some judgment.)

A kiss is not just a kiss; it’s almost always something else as well. Sticking to the topic of men kissing men, we’ve got MSMs (“men who have sex with men” — but identify as straight) who sometimes won’t kiss men; and then we’ve got people who are offended and disgusted just at the sight of same-sex kisses, especially between men, and lash out in various ways, from having them banned from public view to verbally abusing the kissers to physically attacking them. These two reactions spring from two different views of same-sex kissing: for MSMs, who want “just sex”, kissing can be problematic because it isn’t sex, it’s affection and love, and emotional intimacy is not what they’re in the market for; while for enraged objectors, same-sex kissing is a sex act, and doing it in public is having sex in public, which is offensive, simply unacceptable.

Then there are people like me, for whom images like this —

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— are deeply satisfying, because we see the kiss as embodying both loving affection and sexual connection, while not being in itself a sex act. Two responses, together: “Awww, so sweet!” and “Wow, that’s hot!”

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