25 March 2008


Yesterday started like this:

...and ended like this:

it's good to be home... We got home from Orlando late Monday evening. Today wasn't actually that much colder here than it was at Cocoa Beach yesterday, but ... i had my feet in the ocean yesterday. And a seemingly endless supply of Rum Runners (and fine academic thinking, too, really). The paper went ok. Peter Straub said he wished i'd talked more about the funeral home and, frankly, so do i, but (Norton, looking for a good zombie theory book?) i'll do more in the rewrite.

The spectacle of Universal was a bit disappointing, as was the cultural promise of Kennedy Space Center, but the Hulk was worth the wait... Overall, it was a fine attempt at amateur tourist art...

17 March 2008

terribly busy & important...

taking a brief break away from my paper writing (in preparation for my imminent ICFA presentation) i'll share with you my latest "creative" work. A translated poem (from the original Word Verification) as well as an as yet untranslated flash fiction piece...

akrza yanoocy pzkkeh cdidj kzuja ecaoh omaoeax
hcqwk dktxq hjxtp chnubkf
gbhylb fhpts unuia mrked ydszc iwvygjp
ncnzfmu qohyq cyrjzg omgwpo elcugu myhyc nwecc
ylbwvwv stxro

thqrg chbuttg eyyxlx ofrryf qftlko
tpbdrpb xmbcig nfrvxyq eqium wyapce
uokpzfi nbzoqe kkyvh vnxfyf lvgnghp qmpwwma epvndpy urrvcj
ughhgd hfmun oswigaq bimjkx wlomtr ujqgbl
dtkokfa xlpfn jtzfm vfgaa hrqlnue rptxzm ygwlvvq
yvteyrh sguvv ltsdc hmvhwg ofgnudd
rlzbk tckkrk hmvkpkf qseik
equyyqc lwyrjkur
yhqfav lrgruss tqbvaa

ovkwz czypd gsfpk zqhouu qpqoof ctsne
zbwrg cudsuyj yjlrkgm
zbqghj cqjnoxp ypyyjf
qrhuavj swxclu yzwfcte xzema ewfgx
qviian kcocav uuhtes spvrinq awufvji

Grunting laughter cannot express a rape by moonlight.
It takes form slowly, imposingly,
but dies alone, unnoticed under the hot familiar breath
of furious confidence, “At least never again.”
My faith is broken,

let God provide for those who need. Surely
yet another conquest cannot the upset established order
of self-sure unnecessity. Wallowing in individual history
scoffs ancient riddles, loosely entwined with
immemorial power. But others come around
to solving their differences.
Underlying resentment wins out,
but can’t change the course of history [destiny].

Nature tempts us toward and away
with insignificant troubles aspiring
to surface. Obscured, they give
away the sick feeling that rejoined
the hope of completion, not solution.

... and the short short story

hojrph nlpnrx uzukkff vrwbr dzvxlql wpmswl wwsihgg qydpxr swuybu levjao pbqyq fwgrj ggdegzh uwwhd jqtdd ftvsed khcgwsy yspyalu tichmvg uwyygrm jwosa avyrj gxbxhf yhcrz segjb wzpia dyhpt nctwkyr nsnhaov wzzmp fnvtl yarqs lqoop pygbo vwbrufp lgncgl oushel eiwfc ofyjcaj tinmd zuzesdy twmcdpq wlylswi nostwhz, soimuz lreey pqmnrrl kcgcuqb qgdut vajuxk

oh, did i mention i was a crap poet? So, the context for all this is that i'm studying a lot of art centered on process & i post a lot of craigslist ads for my office gig and started collecting and translating those word verification checks as i was posting ads. I kept the original order and then tried to make some meaning out of the individual words i'd translated.

And now, you, too can play. Translate the short story & let me know where it goes... Just a word of warning. It is a bit more laborious than i originally thought it would be. Happy writing...

13 March 2008

follow the white budgie

I said this morning, as i was packing up to leave the house, that almost all of the pictures i've taken lately have been insurance/damage related (that's right, i can talk in slashes). Pictures of how the bed ripped into the hardwood floors, pictures of how the UPS guy bent our gate latch all to hell, and (just this morning) pictures of brigette's smashed up Accord...

So, i was looking up 'budgie' on Wikipedia and came across this image about conservation classification (how endangered the animals are) and i was thinking, since there is a classification on there of "extinct", shouldn't there be, perhaps, a nuisance-level on the other end of the spectrum, where you're actually encouraged to kill them. Say, for ants and cockroaches and Christian Fundamentalists (if they're serious, they ought to thank you for this).

I saw a sidewalk chalk activist today, he was drawing a big peace sign on the ground. I didn't really stop to pay attention what he was writing, but it struck me that i've never seen the people who leave messages in this way. But he looked pretty much like you would expect him to look.

10 March 2008

Jim Carey has totally stolen my life...

or at least much of my philosophy.

I'm flipping around as i read student papers ("the horror, the horror") after Colbert & Jim Carey was on Letterman...

but first, a bit of background. I totally had the idea for The Truman Show when i was, like 9, and then the movie came out... and nothing. Suddenly, he doesn't return my calls, it's like nobody's ever heard of me...

...anyway, tonight Jim Carey tells this story about knowing Frank Sinatra and asking him to come up to a table he's at with some beautiful woman to impress her... point is, it's a Don Rickles story... what this has to do with me, you may be asking, well, i have this dream... it's what i call continuing the oral tradition... here's how it works.
I love stories, good stories, person(al) stories, anecdotes, if you will... stories about something that's happened to you, well, in the interest of continuing the telling of great stories, i think we should be able to tell other people's stories as if they're our own... The reason being, is that nobody cares about a story of what happened to your college roommate's high school friend, so you turn that friend into your friend, suddenly (if it's a good story) that story lives on...

Anyway, just wanted to let you know who was stealing from me today...

09 March 2008

this is worth the click...

I generally don't center a blog entry on what i've just found that you, too, must discover, but this, as the title implies, is worth it.

This weeks issue of EW pointed me to Garfield Minus Garfield, a catalog of Garfield comic strips, minus the existence of Garfield. Now, i'm a fan of comics in general (though not Garfield specifically). Sure, i dabbled in fat-cat like everyone did... Holiday specials, bought some of the Garfield treasuries when i was a kid, but it's no Peanuts, not even a Calvin & Hobbes. But, as the site (EW explain), Garfield Minus Garfield gives us an insight into "the empty desperation of modern life" with "Jon Arbuckle in his own version of What About Bob".

See for yourself.

07 March 2008


Last night we had dinner at the latest addition to the Tippecanoe neighborhood, Shiver Me Timbers, a new restaurant specializing in American-Pirate Fusion... That's right, a Pirate restaurant right here in Milwaukee (which clearly has a long, prestigious pirate history).

I think (it was hard to tell, because their stories seemed to keep changing) last night may have been the first night they were serving food... Our reactions were mixed. A lot of first week kinks still to work out... Only about a third of the menu was up and running, the bar was a bit sparse, and they hadn't fully figured out their feel...

First-off, this place needs to get some pirate drinks. I inquired after juices and the only ones they had were cranberry, orange, and pineapple, which is pretty standard for most bars, but a Pirate bar??? Don't you think you need something more exotic? I mean, a minute and a half of internet research produced a list of pirate drinks... Additionally, splash some Welch's passion fruit juice onto some white rum makes a tasty instant pirate cockt-arr-l.

This place didn't even have rum... I ordered a second-rate pirate drink, but they only had Malibu or Captain Morgan Spiced Rum... I mean, if you're opening a pirate restaurant (which is awesome, by the way, and we totally have to open one in Decorah) you better have a damn impressive rum list.

On the other hand, i ordered the Pecan Red Snapper, and it was hands down, the best red snapper i've had in my life. The chef came out to apologize for a slight delay in getting our meals and was concerned about the dish, but i think it was fantastic... Brooke's goat cheese/smoked salmon salad was adequate, but nothing special & brig's chicken was ok, but the fish, my god the fish...

As a self-proclaimed great orderer, my two rules are 1) order the special & 2) what does this place seem like they should know? order that. And pirates ought to know fish. And these pirates did..., though they didn't know rum... yet.

04 March 2008

i ate a grapefruit today

It'd seriously been like two years since i last had one. And man, i love them. I'll probably start eating them all the time now. I not only love the taste , i love the experience. The cutting in half, looking inside, figuring out the best way to scoop out the fruit bits. Should i put sugar on it (NAY!) or salt (wha?)? Should i eat just a half, or the whole thing? I love re-experiencing things i loved long ago (& wrote a terrible poem about the experience in "Intro to Creative Writing", which i might subject you to some day)...
So, i had an idea...
It's time for the first ever Roman Numeral J user poll... Perhaps in future user polls i'll figure out how to put a little image down there where people can vote and see the results (but that necessarily limits responses to whatever i thought of at the time), but for this poll just tell us in the comments section...
Poll Question #1
What is something that you really love to do (or loved to do) or just love... that you haven't done/had/experienced in years?
-sub question, go do/have/experience this thing again... and discuss the experience...