<= 2015.01.18


He rests. He has traveled.


Ruby on Rails and Perl on Pails and Java on Jails and SQL on Sails and Android on Ales and Github on Gales and Wordpress on Whales and Homebrew on Hails and Travis on Trails and Bamboo on Bails and LDAP on Llails and xml­Text­Reader­Schema­Validate­Ctxt on Phthails.


Going to a dark bed there was a map onto a space of sets of loops in groups of the night of all open and closed loops over groups in the map onto space of Expressionable the Nth.


The 1973 Disney Robin Hood left R. prostrate over the rhinoceros follies, and made her ask about the Crusades.

—There was a particular special city called Jerusalem;

—I have to poop right now.

This led to questions about God, which we define as a “powerful spirit” since the concept is familiar from Amulet.

―There were lots of things people didn’t know, so they’d ask “Why are there earthquakes?” and say “Maybe the spirit is angry,” and “Why does rain fall our gardens? Maybe the spirit is helping us,” and “Why is there a world? Why are there any people at all? Where did the first―”

―This is way more mindblowing than my version; I just talked about history.

She has a scooter, but the quickest entertainment is to take her anywhere at all on public transit.

—Caltrain sounds like California! I never even realized that!

Sleater-Kinney, Nob Hill Masonic, 2015.05.02

Man, I would have been less picky about The Woods ten years ago if I had known how little of its sort was coming after, and how well those songs would age in an empty field. I know they’ve been busy with television and such in this long interim; still they seemed to have popped right out of a time capsule, sharp as ever, from a time when we were hungrier in order to ask why we’d stopped being hungry.

“Let’s Call It Love” still isn’t my favorite, but this is just something about me and blues-rock. I remember when MC5: A True Testimonial had a showing in Portland and Corin went ape over it; it’s a mode. They did make the guitar solo jump around more than I remembered. Everything pounded. Anyway, Greil Marcus continues to have been right about “Start Together,” and they are my Joey Ramone.

I can’t hold attention all the way through these recent Swans double-deckers, but I do love the backing vocals that come into this one at 4:10.

I also remember above all else an occasion—I bring it up because there is something of an engineer’s touch to it—in which during an entire dinner [Benet] torturously held me in suspense over the issue of how to tell me with the most flair that he had enjoyed one of my novels. And on that occasion—on which I remember that Blanca Andreu was present, as well as another friend—he began by telling me “Well then, this novel, yes, it is fine, what’s happened is that you’ve committed a tremendous, truly unpardonable error in this book and, you see, well the book isn’t what it might have been.” I became terrified, because when someone is your mentor and you take his opinion as the most important response to the appearance of your new book, well, you take in every word; and I began to think that he was going to raise an objection to its structure, or its very conception, that he was going to tell me that its style was horrendous, and he said, “There is a serious problem because there is a moment when you talk about a railway bridge”—and that was the only thing he had written down on the note he had in front of him—“a railway bridge, and you go on to describe it in the following way: ‘The wide river of blue waters, broken by the long bridge of diagonally crossed iron’”; he said, “and of course, that cannot be, because, how could you not have realized that this bridge is,” and I am very sorry, I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he said something that was completely incomprehensible to me, let’s say that he said that the bridge was a bridge of policated beams of blecarian misipication, “And of course if you had said that it was a bridge of policated beams of blecarian misipication [un puente de vigas pudeladas de mispiquel a leberquisa], well, then the novel would have been quite different, how great indeed would your novel have been if you had said this.”

—Javier Marías, “Acto de homenaje a Juan Benet,” tr. Benjamin Fraser in Understanding Juan Benet

I started reading the latest from James Salter and had one of these complete failures of cross-generational sympathy; it was Virginia Woolf trying to get through Hilda Lessways all over again.

Myrmecophily for the perplexed

At J.’s job a discussion ran aground on whether to put full stops in the web copy, and her Dutch coworker brought up the word mierenneuker, meaning “ant-fucker,” which I’ve since been delighted to spread around. As Ray points out, it’s a better word than “nitpicker” because picking nits actually serves a purpose.

The punchline is that people get corrected for spelling the word incorrectly, with a single ‘n.’


Helen DeWitt, The Last Samurai

It’s very seductive out of the gate, and might have seriously misled me when I was younger and more invested in precocity. Nowadays I’ll cop that there are more interesting things about John Stuart Mill than his having read the Anabasis at four, or six, whichever it was. When it falls apart, it’s just for the usual reason of novels being long and outlasting the sal volatile of their conceits.

Just like cream! but worse

Ozzy: What is this shape that stands before me??!!?

J: “It’s a triangle, Ozzy.”

R. often points out, about cars, that “they can’t get upset because they don’t have faces and they don’t talk.” Today she leapt without warning to the paraphrase: “They can’t get upset because they don’t have faces or minds.”

<= 2015.01.18

What goes on