Proust-like answers

proustBlame Dustbury; I do. He posted about the Proust Questionnaire. And because I apparently have ADHD, I decided to tackle the questions Marcel Proust reportedly answered at gatherings when he was 13 and 20. Some are duplicated, but of course I didn’t copy them.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

The lack of a moral compass.

Where would you like to live?

In a compassionate land. Some place near flowing water.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

To live in contact with interesting people, listening to a wealth of music, and to have access to a good cinema and a good Internet connection.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

To too much curiosity.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Continue reading

U2, Bob Crewe, Fab Four, plus more

u2If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know I can have some strong opinions. But with the U2/Apple thing, I feel ambivalent. On one level, I’m oddly entertained by people freaking out over Apple’s forced iTunes download of U2’s new album, and wonder if it’s just a first world problem. I particularly loved how it ruined someone’s “carefully curated collection.” I’m impressed how well the secret was kept, with the release date of the next U2 album still unclear to the media as of last month.

Then there’s the Why U2? contingent epitomized by this quote Continue reading

August Rambling: Deep dark secrets

WD40
The Hook-Up Culture Is Getting 20-Somethings Nowhere. On the other hand, Casual Love.

How we get through life every day.
Continue reading

This new gee-whiz techno-wizard world

puzzle_cook_bigWhile I’m technologically challenged, I’m impressed with people who have skills in this area. For me, these instructions are TOTALLY true.

It gives me some small comfort when Dustbury, a formerly gadget-crazy guy, explains why that old compact disc of mine is suddenly not working correctly. Or when Mark Evanier suddenly has trouble with software that seemed to be working.

Jaquandor recently asked Continue reading

Robin Williams has died. SHAZBOT!

public domain

public domain

I had heard that Robin Williams had passed away while I was hanging out with some Times Union bloggers Monday night, Chuck Miller and Don Rittner and David Kalish. My first thought that maybe it was a hoax, which says a lot about the news these days. But it wasn’t until I got home that I discovered that he had apparently committed suicide.

The FIRST person I thought of Continue reading

July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

clock.numbers
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; text is in Swedish, but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.
Continue reading

June Rambling: Hal Holbrook; Marimba Queens

pinned on Pinterest by Roger Green (not me)

pinned on Pinterest by Roger Green (not me)

My denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) voted for marriage equality at its General Assembly this month. “Ministers will be allowed to marry same-sex couples in states where it is legal.”

On the other hand, Freedom and Faith Coalition’s Road to Majority conference had an Obama figurine in the urinal.

CBS News Sunday Morning did a piece, Born this way: Stories of young transgender children. The ever-interesting Dustbury on Gender Confirmation Surgery.

Writer Jay Lake worked closely with Lynne Thomas, an Illinois-based librarian… to ensure that all his blog posts and essays would be saved for posterity. “Though this is a relatively uncomplicated task for his blog content, which he unambiguously owned, it gets problematic when you wade into the legal rights of preserving your social media presence. ‘You can’t just download Facebook content into an archive.’”

A cartoon from 2008, and still apt: A Concise History Of Black-White Relations In The United States.

Mark Evanier on O.J. Simpson trial nostalgia.
Continue reading

May Rambling #1: Depression; and ABCW’s Leslie gets married

music.clockMy April was much better than my March, but between blog connectivity problems (more anon), and back pain that kept me out of work for a couple days, followed by four days out of town for work training, which compressed other tasks, I didn’t a chance to update the April Rambling since April 17. Moreover, I discovered some links from as much as two years ago I was GOING to use but they fell through the cracks. Meaning that I’ll do another one at the end of the month. Always said that if blogging got too hard, I would not do it. And this, comparatively, is the easy post I need right now.

An article about depression I was going to include in a different blog post. Some of the earlier posts from this blog I liked too. The blogger also linked to the TEDx talk Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share. “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” When I imagine many people’s understanding of depression, I think of that famous scene in the movie Continue reading

Romance redux (because I love the word redux)

RomanceSo I answer New York Erratic’s question about romance, about me being a good listener. Yet I seem to have disappointed: “That wasn’t the answer I was expecting for the ‘getting girls’ question, but it makes tremendous sense when I think about it.” But I wasn’t some smooth talkin’ dude.

Still , I wrote, in an e-mail titled I’ll take another shot, if you give me parameters: “Not sure what kind of answer I could give you about romance. Among other things, I hardly ever pursued a woman, because I’m painfully shy. So she had to be a friend at some level first…” (Indeed, Dustbury speaks well of the anxiety guys like me experienced all the time.)

The reply: “I think you gave a great answer, but I was thinking more like skills or knowledge. Music always thrills me, as does trivia and poetry. 🙂 I know you don’t write poetry, but hasn’t any girl ever said Continue reading

April Rambling: Buy the niece’s new album, and end Daylight Saving Time

rjcoldfact
New album from Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact the debut release from San Diego-based eclectic soul/funk band. RJ is my niece, my sister Leslie’s daughter.
From NBC San Diego: “Not everything on April Fool’s Day was a joke. Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact released their self-titled debut and it’s no laughing matter. Channeling everyone from Candi Staton and Betty Davis to Morcheeba and Brightback Morning Light, these 12 tracks of soul and funk are stunners. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.”

After watching this video, I’m even more convinced than I was before: Daylight Saving Time is a waste of time. Having tried to schedule a phone call from the UK at a point when the US is in DST and the UK has NOT yet moved to British Summer Time, I know of which the speaker is talking about.
Continue reading