Archive for September, 2003

relax and swing

Last night at juggling the phrase of the night was “relax and swing”. Apparently this is the phrase a friend and fellow juggler uses to teach club juggling to people who haven’t done it before. You have to “relax” your arm with the club in hand to your side, and then “swing” it back up toward the other hand, releasing the club into the air. Maybe the phrase should be “relax, swing and release”, that would be even funnier.

Anyway, juggling sexual euphemisms abound, but this one was new to me.

Here are dictionary.com’s related definitions:

Swing:
slang
a. To be lively, trendy, and exciting.
b. To engage freely in promiscuous sex.
c. To exchange sex partners. Used especially of married couples.
d. To have a sexual orientation toward one or both sexes.

I think the last one is the most funny. Doesn’t everyone have a sexual orientation toward one or both sexes?

Relax and swing, baby. Relax and swing.

links like liqueur

I must laugh at this from home, perhaps later tonight: T Shirt Hell.

Also, I’ve always collected quotes about poetry, but never in any sort of systematic way. (Although I have thought about it many times.) Today I discovered Bartleby.com: Great Books Online, (which is searchable) and just about doubled the number of quotes about poetry on there. I haven’t even exhausted my search results yet! I’m excited to keep searching.

sentences of importance and devotion

I labored over this sentence today to a friend on IM:

The importance of anything in your life is only tangentially related to your perception of its importance–the true importance lies in the time you devote, whether directly or indirectly, proportional to your devotion to all the other things in your life.

Overall I only spent about 5 minutes writing the sentence, or 1/12th of an hour, or 1/288th of a day… or 1/105120th of a year. In contrast, I probably spend 1/4th of my day sleeping, (6 hours on average?). So the sentence was less than 1/70th as important as sleep is to me. This makes for some other interesting comparisons.. for example, sleep is about six times more important to me than a task at work that takes me one hour to complete. On the other hand, being at work (not necessarily working, as the case may be) is about 1 and 1/3rd more important to me than sleep.

I should have titled this entry: ‘fractions of importance’, or ‘a lesson in fractional importance’, or ‘the importance of applied rudimentary math’, or perhaps ‘why aren’t I important to you… anymore?’.

difficult challenges of love

[I was just thinking I should really have some kind of warning for when I’ll be talking about my sexual perversions… I’m actually thinking about marking all my posts where I talk about sex with a new category or something. For now this will have to do. Warning! Perversion ahead!!!]

Laura and I have this book where all the pages are stuck together… wait, not like that… the pages are stuck together so you have to pull them apart to read their contents. Every once in awhile we pull two pages from the book, and we each read one of them, and surprise each other with whatever sex act it describes. The book says you should do it in the next week, but as busy people we haven’t had as much time for it lately. Anyway, the last one I pulled was just about oral sex, and I was a bit disappointed, (even though I’m sure it’s necessary to put something like that in there, as I’m sure there are plenty of guys who don’t do it.) The only thing I took from the page was this bit about spelling the alphabet with your tongue on her clitoris. (Laura liked that one until I started saying the letter as I was spelling it… heh.)

So anyway, I’m really only writing about this because I was just trying to write a poem (failing), and I came up with the idea of trying to write my own list of “sex challenges”. (BTW, if you search for “sex challenges” on google you come up with a list of all kinds of challenges to cases of sex offenders and stuff like that, so don’t bother… we’re going to have to be more sophisticated in our searching in the future.)

Anyway, my list so far is ridiculous, but I would like to write one where the goals are actually possible. Here’s the three I came up with so far: (you’ll see that the names were really the most important part.)

screwdriving — screwing while drunk on screwdrivers in a construction site with screwdrivers in the vicinity. (Your house, if it’s sufficiently torn apart will count in a pinch.)
yoyoing — hanging upside down from your ankles and doin’it.
test(icle)tubing — sex on an inner tube while sliding down a hill in the snow wearing only mad scientist costumes. (Alternately you could be pulled by a boat on a lake.)

It strikes me that I’d really just be writing a really fucked up purity test. I remember the first time I took a purity test it was at this big party… and by the time the question “[Have you ever] Used this test as a checklist for things to do.” I somehow already had! The details are fuzzy now, but I think we’d been group kissing or something equally innocuous. Actually, it’s possible I’m only thinking about the question where it asks you if you’ve ever lied on a purity test (and of course I already had)… who can remember back that far!?!

harpsichord heartstrings

Why is it that there are individuals out there (fortunately few) who have the ability to come barging back into your life unannounced, say a few words and leave again with your stomach in ruins and your heart beating faster?

When I was a kid my dad had this old harpsichord lying around. Now, the thing about harpsichords is that they’re super easy to make sound good… if they’re in tune. Of course if they’re not in tune it’s impossible to make them sound good. And I don’t think this one was ever in tune. But I played with it! Oh boy did I.

I don’t know how this is at all relevant, but “harpsichord” is a cool word, and sounds good next to “heartstrings”.

cult a la cloud

Well, don’t waste your time on Duplex. Ben Stiller couldn’t save this horrible movie, and Danny DeVito should be ashamed of himself.

On the other hand, DO buy Cloud Cult’s CD They Live on the Sun. At times reminiscent of Modest Mouse or the Weakerthans, and at times more like Beck (Mellow Gold style). Their beats range from Beck-like to more downright techno. Anyway, I don’t know what genre pigeonholes them the best, but they’re definitely college radio material, as they’ve had a song on Radio K’s top 7 for the last couple of weeks. The song Radio Fodder gives me chills, but the whole damn thing is great.

This is not even taking into account the whole environmental bend that the band has… Earthology seems very interesting.

polemic epidemic

I’ve decided I really want to read Against Love — A Polemic, by Laura Kipnis. It’s all opposed to marriage and stuff. Plus, anybody who uses the word polemic has to be cool. (It means “A controversial argument, especially one refuting or attacking a specific opinion or doctrine.” –dictionary.com, baby.)

Speaking of polemics, I also ran into a quote today from No Contest: The Case Against Competition, by Alfie Kohn. Man… that one looks good too. Only argument I have with the page I’ve linked–who knows if the book would address this point–is that those kids playing chess in groups against one another are still playing chess… which is of course a competitive act. And how do you foster an innovative spirit without competition? Basically, what motivation is there for cooperation without competition? The page does address the way Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” concept is misinterpreted to mean more personally competitive than socially competitive, but even social competition is still competition. There is obviously some amount of competition inherent in nature… and I would argue even in our nature. But I’d still like to be a less competitive person, when I think about it, I guess.

In non-polemic news: My friend Jason is getting all kinds of sneak preview tickets… tomorrow I get to go see Duplex, (with Ben Stiller) and next week… (I can’t wait for this one) I’m going to see The School of Rock. I just watched the preview for that one yesterday… Jack Black is a comic genius.

office imperative antics

(composing poetry in an office vacuum)
Imagine folding white paper rabbits.
Draw a black hole to crawl into.
Listen to radio static for “the pattern”.

Twist your fingers in your lap.
Gnaw the inside of your mouth.
Remember running alongside the bus.
March your feet under your desk in time to a song you have stuck in your head.

(telling not doing,
I am hollow, filled with straw)
Stand up to your superiors.
(still life in office chair)

Say ‘olive juice’ to yourself.
Mutter distractedly. (nobody is watching)
Chew the edges of your fingers threadbare, nibble at your quick.
(gateway activities to madness)

Demand impossibilities of invisible people.
Read your horoscope for the fifth time.
Give yourself a nosebleed and go home early,
or wait for an electric, metaphysic whistle.

Obsessively click the same part of the screen.
Punch the monitor with your palm.
Scribble a list of things you should be doing.
Cross out each one as if it were compete.

Look around for people watching you.
Pick up your telephone to check if it rang.
Wait till your screen saver kicks in and
move your mouse to turn it off.

(trying to capture a feeling)
Pretend this doesn’t make you nervous.
Laugh out loud at nothing.
Compose poetry in vacuum.

it’s spinning! it’s spinning!!!

Wow… like twin grenades in the middle of my otherwise peaceful day, I received two brain twisting emails that shook the foundations of my subjective reality. How can we see things like this and subsequently trust and believe everything we experience!?!

The first was an email forward from a friend. The kind I hate, but printed here in its entirety:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer
in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist
and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can
sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed
ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

The second was this gif (163 KB) that moves, despite being a static gif file.

My english-as-a-second-language friend Alex was the origin of that particular optical illusion, and for some reason, he didn’t find the other email as explosive as I did. (some quotes are: “STOP IT!” and “it hurts.”) When I asked him if he could read it, he said barely. But I read the whole thing first time through without even a slight pause.

Some searching revealed this interesting blog post on the topic: http://www.bisso.com/ujg_archives/000227.html. You can bet Uncle Jazzbeau is getting bookmarked. Meanwhile, “Don’t believe everything that you breathe, you get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve.” (Beck)

update: Is it just an interesting coincidence that Jazzbeau was slashdotted only two days ago for his post that talks about this topic? Is this particular piece of text floating through the inter-aether at a more dramatic rate than usual?

toolbars and tangles

Maybe this is old news, but the new version of the google toolbar includes a “blog this” button. This is the first tangible result that I’ve noticed of google’s acquisition of Blogger from way-back-when. Nothing too impressive. But the toolbar does also block popups, so I’ll probably install it on my barely-used version of IE at home.

Today has been emotionally challenging. Lets just say I’m not terribly excited about upcoming projects here at work.

I wanted to write some poetry, but nothing has really stepped forward from my subconscious. I think my poetry has a way of drying up when nothing is happening. When there is a lack of powerful emotional and/or romantic entanglement.

Things are really not very tangled right now, which I have to say is a bit… not disappointing really, just plain. Too normal. Then again, who has time for tangles? Not me. Tangles are time consuming. And I have no time to consume!

Maybe I’m just trying to convince myself that no tangles are good tangles. I never thought I was one of those people who thrives on chaos. At least when it comes to work, I’m exactly the opposite. Actually, now that I think about it clearly, it’s not the tangles I want, really. Not really at all.