The Scatological Times

finger
I'm editing an article this week about theory and sexuality, as much as these things are about something.  Such a simple & mundane preposition, "about," for such Big Ideas.  Anyhow, this paper has a lot of anus in it.  There are 31 occurrences of "anus" in its fewer than 30 pages.  "Anal" appears a mere 15, but there is also one "anuses," and that seems quite anus-y, to me, dripping with the anal, almost too much to read without being overwhelmed by anusness.

Also, there's now an ad on television for adult-diaper-type underwear with the tag line / slogan "Because, hey, pee happens."

I shit you not.

Finally, the other day on facebook I saw a post in which one correspondent told us about his having just taken a dump.  Specifically he had just, again, as seems to happen to him frequently, for that was the point of the post, felt the need to shit in what sounded like a considerable way at a Barnes & Noble, after a meal.

I kinda stared at the computer a minute after that one, thinking we've really arrived.

Once back in the day the Harvard Lampoon did a parody of the (new, then) USA Today, and in the Larry King parody column, the stream-of-consciousness thought meandering between ellipses included, I think, that he had to pee.  ...  Maybe it was that he was hungry, and was thinking of a sandwich, or some particular food? ... No, I think he needed to pee. ... The guy was ahead of his time.

Nothing is happening with me right now in terms of bodily waste leaving my system, or getting ready to, or just have done so.  I am at rest, between exciting events.

Got a lot done at work today.

finger
Looking fwd to my mini-vacation.  Almost ready to abandon desk for a while.

The scab on my lawn mower bullet injury impact point is starting to come off on one side, and not ready to come off at other points, and that's uncomfortable when it catches anything, so I've had to bandage and tape it again.  The knee's also a little bad today.  But generally I've been quite mobile and unpained in getting about of late, and instead of experiencing these little things today as "uh-oh" moments, I'm taking them (if you will) in stride.  It's easier with the wound, being positive, since it's on the way to healing, and I don't feel deterioraty about it.

Olja linked on facebook to a piece about called Why Freud Still Haunts Us, and I've been thinking today about some second-guessy things, and putting it together with some notions of what "aha" fundamental human functioning the guy got at, was interested in, as nicely reduced in the article, and having some reflection around it such as one seeks another for, I'm now onto a way to look for my harmful unconscious drive that totally doesn't reinforce ever-receding levels of the self-undermining form of self-consciousness.  And it seems both hopeful and plain-old interesting, today, to me.

One way I might put it is that I'm in a good mood.  And/or space.  And looking fwd to sating my literal hunger, at least.

I was reading about acceleration today, while writing up minutes of a meeting in which a phenomenon here at the office was said to be increasing at an increasing rate.  It had me thinking about notation for acceleration, and remembering "per second per second," which I liked in high school physics, and then I was reading about how what killed Princess Diana was acceleration.  We can only take so much of it.  She wasn't wearing a seatbelt, and the acceleration (this page said) tore the pulmonary artery away from her heart.  It also said it's acceleration that makes roller coasters thrilling, not speed, and yeah, that makes sense, doesn't it.  And then Princess Diana showed up again in a chart.

So this comes to mind now cuz having hungers and satisfying them is something that can be pleasant---you know, satisfying---moreso than not having any.  Not that that's exactly like the roller coaster thing.  It's partly like the Freud thing, really, too.  Desire.

"Satisfy" has a one-of-my-favorites etymology.  The first part means "enough"; the last part is from a very basic word for "to do" and "to make".  But that doesn't begin to get at the deliciousness of the coming about of satisfaction(s).

Enough of this, now.  Dog time, and food time, and chill time, and another sprint of work day next, then none (or very little) of that or the rest of this for a while.

Fall in-to the poem.

finger
There was once an ad for The Gap, probably before there were Baby Gaps and other Gaps, that had a song that ended with "Fall in-to The Gap."  It plunked its way right down the scale from the 5th to the tonic, all even in beat, fat quarter notes all the way.  When you arrived at the Gap in it, the Gap seemed to be a place you'd really arrived at, maybe even a place to arrive at, and at which you'd really arrived when you'd arrived at it.


Advanced Wound Care

Hello, sweatshirt.


[to be continued]

dog swim &c.

foot
My pup had quite a time at the end-of-season dog swim day at the pool this evening.  This is her third year there, and the first of 'em in which she would somewhat casually jump right into the pool.  She will sleep well tonight, and I may well, too.

I ate a painkiller again a little bit ago, so some of my sleepiness may be from that.  My mow-projectile-shot ankle seems to be more swollen these past coupla days, a week after the injury.  I'm thoroughly up in the air about whether to take it in to be checked out by some medical authority.  For one thing, I'm still feeling the relief that I didn't have to take it in to begin with, that I could put weight on it, that I can get a shoe on that foot (if not a sock].  Also my sense is that they would likely not actually do anything for it in terms of treatment, and I'd spend money and use time just to be told it'll take time to heel heal.

It's the first week of school.

The postcard poetry month is over, so those are tumbling out again.  I really like maybe 3 or 4 of the ones I wrote during August.  I dunno, maybe 5, but I doubt 6.  Not a high percentage.  One of the last ones I received was probably my favorite incoming.  This is it:


Impulse

You saved the birdcage because you couldn't
save the bird, and every Sunday you scrub it clean.
And what if we become the things we hold onto?
I imagine your faceless birdcage body
walking into the room like a Magritte painting
red cape cloaking your shadowy arms.
I hold my ear to a seashell and choke on the ocean.

-- Kristina McD.



That's some good stuff. And it impresses me also as a composed-onto-the-card first draft effort.  I like its tone, and it has some evocative images and words.  Plus its speaker holds her ear to the seashell, not the seashell to her ear.  That's pretty great in itself, and for how it sets up the surprise finish.

The card it came on is a Texas tourist card of an armadillo.  The blurb:  "One of the armadillo's oddities is that all the young in each litter are of the same sex."

The goddesses don't want me to mow, maybe.

finger
I hadn't gotten more than 100 feet this unhumid evening when a rock shot out from under ol' John Deere, bam, hard into my ankle.  Ripped my bell bottoms.  Ankle & foot started swelling immediately.  It was bad enough not only that I knew right away I was done mowing but that I actually called the neighbor to come retrieve the mower rather than limping it over to his place.  Like I'm gonna borrow your mower and you have to come pick it up.  Once I peeled off the sock and cleaned the point of impact, and got the dog out on the long leash briefly, icing and elevation have helped, and the big red splotch in the middle of the bruising is smaller than it was, but I wish to complain nonetheless:  Ouch.  That hurts.  And rats, I was actually looking forward to a shorter yard.  Plus I was just this afternoon especially enjoying the walking of walking, around downtown, zapping imaginary things with my phone, setting up resonators, you know, typical townie stuff on the first move-in chaos day.

Cuz yes, they're back.  Or they're starting to be back.  With their beer in cups and their cluelessness about 4-way stops.  With their parents carrying their expensive televisions.  With their privilege looking like it must have really saturated them cuz they seem to be dripping with it.

Bert says the student body trends toward more and more out-of-staters, by the U's design.  Out-of-state tuition this year is $41,906, or $44,848 for upperclasspeople.  I mean, for one year.  TUITION AND FEES.   More than $70K for non-nationals.  The U tells folks they'll spend about 10K on housing and another thousand on books, plus a few thou on personal expenses and miscellaneous.

Rather than think about what kind of education I might have cobbled together if I were 30 years younger, I need to put my foot back up.

I caught up on Masters of Sex tonight.  Since the sad and touching thing happened last time, we spurted ahead 5 months and then another year.  I haven't been feeling real sympathetic for Bill lately, but tonight he had me, in some of what he uttered in pain, even if it came out as barely controlled fury.

I'm going to eat a painkiller tonight as much to get sleep (knock knock on some wood] (this keyboard with the broken zero & closing paren is really starting to bug me] (all the zeros above were pasted in] (I hope you can live with the asymmetry of my parenthesizing here] as to take the edge off the throbbing ankle.  I did get almost 5 hours of sleep last night, and that was good, but still not really enough.  Not enough to catch up.

When I was talking today about a little word joke, and got the little laugh at it from my witness, she said, "You miss that, don't you," and poof, there were the tears, in my eyes instantly, outta nowhere, half a nanosecond, and I knew how close the pain and that old joy are.  They're right next to each other.  They're too close.  You can't touch one without touching the other.

a giant blanket of blue

finger
a giant blanket of blue is over all of us up here
i was watching when it happened
the big kids had just jumped me into the grown-up gang
despite never yet as they usually require meeting me in person
so i could join the hangout huzzahs tonight
topless at the computer, sleep deprived
after two nights of no more than
altogether 3 hours altogether
unconscious

picked up a token tonight
it's a token, but it feels good
a gesture can feel good
a little thing just the thing

imagine something about letting go

this is not a poem
these are just short lines
sans punctuation
sans i don't know what-all,
sleep deprived and wondering
why i wasn't horizontal yet
and then everything was covered in beautiful blue
and i, dizzy in a chair, was
alive to see it, from the swirling vertigo

one hundred thirty-two thousand
nine hundred and twelve
slime-safe mind units
including mine
can sleep without the brainwashing
this night, if they, we, i
can sleep

alright it is a poem
it's always a poem
if you consider it one

I'm not thinking in the math words today.

finger
Earlier it took the better part of a minute to remember that, knowing I shouldn't go with "postulated," I really wanted "conjectured."  Then just now I wanted presumption or proposition or supposition, forgetting that they assume (in addition to letting and being given).  At least it's almost the end of the day.

I'm past the unusual blow of the celebrity death enough to've picked myself up off whatever I got knocked down onto, so I'm vertical again, if a little shaken, and resuming dealing with the challenges of the present in my existence and what arises in my mind from other sources.

One-sentence paragraphs have me a tad self-conscious, after a colleague objected to them at some length recently.

I do like them, though.

Sometimes.

Adventures in handheld scanner invisible goo wrangling continue.  Go Blue.

I have a pact to get to bed early tonight.  Relatively early.  I wish to honor the pact.  Here's to it.  I know I'll regret it in the morning if I don't pull it off.

A bee flew in Georgia's ear and stung her.

unseemly me

finger
What it has been calling up in me, the news about ([a.k.a.] the end of) Robin Williams, is a combination of a sort of sadness that is run through with recognition of how overpowering gloom can be and a lot of unseemly rage and objection to what looks like a sea of tossed-off know-it-all "Why didn't he try to get help?"/"If only the suicidal would (just) reach out to friends" biz---and then throw in a smattering of aggravation at the redirection and selfishness-accusatory decrying of the harm/pain his act caused others.  Holy moly, he tried to get help.  I don't know, sure, but I also do know, and so do you.  He tried so hard and so much and in so many ways, and it worked some, and then it didn't work.  And the thing about reaching out to friends?  Sometimes there aren't friends you feel you can reach out to.  Or maybe there are some you maybe could, and you still can't.  Or maybe you do and you're met with the kind of disgust that makes the dark even darker---the equivalent of "Keep that to yourself," or a directive to consider other people's perspectives, as if even in this most fundamental decision whether to end your own life (or anyhow in the miasmic doom that prompts that kind of consideration) you're not supposed to put yourself first.

Yes, we may spot, when not in it, what's "off" in the thinking of the depressed.  Those in that state may or may not recognize what's off in their thinking.  And, shock of shocks, a lot of their thinking is not off.  A lot of what they think and feel is an accurate understanding of the situation they're in, which is---by definition, Jesus, people---virtually unbearable or outright unbearable.  Waiting it out almost surely is less unbearable with company, connection, and the sense of being loved that they can provide, along with distraction (if possible) and unconsciousness (if possible) or (I suppose, while it works) intoxication of some sort, but people can only do what we can do.  Apparently yesterday Robin Williams couldn't wait, stay, hang on, find comfort.  That's sad because of our losing him, and that's sad because we lose people this way, and that's sad because some of us ourselves will be lost to it, or lost in the struggle with it, maybe off and on here and there or for long horrible stretches or even just once briefly, which is bad enough to be very very sad. Most of all, it's sad for him.

As Kathy Bates tweeted (yes, I stayed up late, clicking around, reading, taking it in), "The Black Dog* won the war."  We all/each feel what we all/each feel about that, and part of what I feel is I feel like lashing out at people's seeming to oversimplify and/or lay out pretty, facile bullshit if-only ig'nant backward explanations and, worse, blame.

How overpowering can gloom be?  So overpowering it can kill ya.  That's how overpowering.

I aim (o how I aim) not to see/feel that power as inevitably defeating.  Yet it will be, for some.  Damn it, it will be, for some.

*Also I have a black dog, and I'm okay with the figurative use of a black dog as the enemy here, despite the fact that a black dog can also be the exact opposite of that.
 
finger
I haven't posted except to myself all month.

It's after a softball game we forfeited to Grace but then played anyway, scrimmage-style, borrowing a couple of their players.  I forewent post-game ice cream at Washtenaw Dairy with the few teammates going and came to sit in the a/c here at the library for a bit, to emerge from the sun coma.  I've got stuff on my mind, and/but that mind's dopey.  And I'm hungry.  And I need to get to bed at a decent hour.

It's July 22nd, which is an anniversary for me.  I probably ought to be doing some private handwritten journaling to observe the occasion properly, but I'm in a post-softball a/c stupor, and there are no paper journals for me here.  I've sent my Pocket Planes airplanes off to various cities--- I'm pretty sure I'm converting Lisa Airlines to passengers only as we buy replacement aircraft, to simplify boarding as I save up enough fake money to expand to more cities I like, and maybe someday get a blimp and the space shuttle.  My game involves mostly using cities I like, so I have privileges at airports like Reykjavik and Guatemala and Barrow and Helsinki, not a great strategy to get rich quick, but I like "going" to them, flying the weird northern hopscotch jump route (Nuuk!), or cutting through Havana or Monterey but having no stops in Texas or the "regular" South or Arizona.

Shelly downloaded Ingress.  Said it looks quite complicated; I said I hear that's part of the appeal.  Maybe I'll give it a go, Erika likes it so.  I wonder if this burg is all solidly Resistance already.

It's almost postcard poem time again.  I remember an airplane one just now.

Supper.  Lisa needs supper.  And now I'm cold too.  It's like the walk-in freezer at old my racetrack job.

starting a story

finger
It was the summer of black and white stripes.

She was at once pleased with herself that she didn't generally notice these things and pleased with herself that this time she did, and right off.  It would have come to light soon enough, like those tops a few years ago that cinched right below more and more breasts until statistically it seemed every other boob was wearing what turned out to be an Empire waist, though named after what empire she never did find out.  This year, too, after enough spottings of zebra diagonals and zig-zags, horizontals and verticals, thick or thicker but never very narrow, most anyone would have noticed eventually.  But she'd noted the very first she saw, one of the flowing, long-skirt dresses that were a particularly popular variation, in some fabric that was silky but firmer than silk, though thin and taking the breeze. Look at those stripes, her mind piled on, once they'd grabbed her gaze.  Crisp; clear.  On the corner by the post office, on a pale woman with long black hair.  So when she saw the next iteration, it was already a coincidence, and just two more and she knew it was a thing.  And then they were everywhere.

This summer, she thought, as it got underway in earnest, could use some black and white.  ...

drug, quest, etc.

finger
Some sitting-still knee pain this afternoon.  Eventually I took a pill.  It takes a while to kick in and doesn't exactly make the pain go away, but it maybe (as somebody said once about some drug) makes me not mind it as much.  I wish I'd taken it earlier, on accounta maybe it would've made me not mind other stuff so much too.

I'm a bit bummed that a site I came across today for making to-do lists fun (and organizing them on the internet) is glitchy and hasn't allowed me to finish registering, let alone get started with using it.  It makes what you want to do quests, and gives points, and I don't know what-all, since I can't get going with it and they haven't yet responded to my message about it.  (Apparently they have known glitches and are very much still in development.)  It's getyedone.com and I picked out my name ([the intrepid] Goodfellow Pluck) and what kind of creature I am (halfling) and what alignment (completely neutral) (the symbol was appealing, and I like the resistance-to-value-judgments in association with getting things done).  I have all kinds of clusters of tasks I'm ready to organizing into quests and get points for on the internet.  I hope they get with it soon.

Summer is undeniably here.  First sort of depressingly oppressively muggy more-of-this-coming day, I'd say.  One of my coworkers said you can feel that it's almost Art Fair time--- that's this big mess of an annual tradition in Ann Arbor that involves lots of people, transportation interference, and heat.  This year our chorus is singing a set at a stage off toward the periphery of maybe the most peripherous of the fairs (they all smoosh together but have different characters).  I was telling somebody yesterday about how one of my favorite all-time Art Fair artists was there on South U.  It was a mechanical game fun thing as much as it was art, some would point out, but I loved it, and had I had a few thousand bucks in my pocket to spare I'd have got me a giant wall-mounted marble roller coaster art thing with all kinds of fun things the multiple-steel-balls-at-once "do" as they ride back and forth down the Mousetrap-on-steroids thing, and then get picked up by elevator things and taken up to the top to start again.  The genre of this sort of thing, I see now from my desk here, is "rolling ball sculpture."  How 'bout that.  I oughta look into this sort of thing I have a gut appreciation for.

This is not good sleeping weather.

finger
Booo.

Sorry if I startled you.

Were you told when you were a kid that being startled might make the hiccups go away?  We were.  I was, that is.  And so someone would yell "Boo!"  As I recall, it did not work.

how i want to tell you

finger
oh i want to tell you,
how i want to tell you
i can't even tell you
how i want to tell you

oh, i want to tell you.
how i want to tell you.

i so want to tell you.

i know i shouldn't tell you.

sad that i can't tell you.
mad that i can't tell you.
twisted, torn, not telling,
aching want to tell you.

no i mustn't tell you.
oh i want to tell you.
how i want to tell you, so
much i want to tell you.
finger
But I didn't.  Cuz I thought that when I was on the way back in.

Language problem I don't have to solve cuz it's in a place we follow copy:  "small non-apriorily known obstacles"

By their fruits ...

tessellation
... ye shall know them.

trapezoidal triglycerides

tessellation
Good news today on both those fronts.  In the latter, mine are down (though not yet enough), and all my other (less) iffy blood numbers improved too.  In the former, I was able to figure out the answer to this question the formal way after the guesstimate method wasn't working for me:

Parallel side length A plus parallel side length B multiplied by height and divided by 2. Or, (A+B)h/2: This is the mathematical formula for the area of what shape?

I had to start from "Hmm, what shapes have parallel sides" and what the "height" of a parallelogram and a trapezoid are (more the width, as I was drawing them), and what they might mean by A & B in the cases of each of those shapes (seems it'd be different).  Then my toy examples with sizes that wouldn't be likely to promote coincidences (so 3, 7, etc.) didn't work sufficiently fast+conclusively, and that failure was the key to my having (to have) the real fun of trying to figure the geometry of them.  I made a boneheaded glitch at one stage (on the area of a rectangle within!) it took me a while to catch (d'oh!), and I had to keep doing little experimental asides to remember/confirm rules of arithmetic/fractions/roots, etc. (cuz I don't seem to be able to remember much of that at all with authority), but I got there.  Eventually I got a formula that is equiv to (A+B)h/2, and, terribly minor though it is, it felt good to derive/prove it myself.  The key is in getting rid of the two extraneous variables that don't appear in that final formula by using their definitions in terms of others.  When I finally got the glimmer that I'd be able to ditch my - Dh/2 + Dh/2, I was exclamation-point-ly tickled.

In the sung words of Oliver Twist & co.:  small pleasures, small pleasures--- who would deny us these?

Recalibrate

film
That'll be the name, taken from my mental health professional, of the first single of the band Exponentially Decaying Verblunsky Coefficients, name taken from today's editing, and greeting me tonight in a "Restore saved draft?" invitation.  There are so many good band names at work.  Sometimes I have to work not to be distracted all day by them.

I left work early today to go see a sort of offbeat Christmas music documentary.  Sort of offbeat as a documentary (but only a little), about sort of offbeat Christmas music (moreso).  I was thinking about the liking of Christmas stuff when it's hot out, and associational stuff, and how much associational stuff there is, and the pull, and the book I've been reading via Kindle app and highlighting things in that I'd be embarrassed to have anyone see I was highlighting but I guess I don't care if Amazon and Posterity chalk them up along with everybody else's highlights.

At the cinema I ran into somebody I know, a twin of sorts, in a small way, & we watched the movie together.  She didn't want any popcorn.  It was a fairly sparsely attended screening, in the big opulent main theater of the Michigan.  After we'd had a fair bit of Q&A with the director and this other guy who was also in the movie and is more full of himself (my companion leaned over at one point to say it wasn't hard to tell which was the Canadian and which was the New Yorker), the theater/festival honcho Russ came down an aisle, saying he hated to cut things short but if any of us wanted to see Do the Right Thing with Spike Lee in attendance and have Q&A with him afterwards, we could, if we'd just hustle over to the screening room, no charge, please, c'mon, just make your way quickly.  The screening room has a few hundred seats, and I guess our town didn't come close to selling them out for Spike.

I had to come home to the dog, but I remember not liking that film so much, when it came out, which I guess was 25 years ago.  I might have been hoping for another quirky She's Gotta Have It kinda joint, if you will.  It seemed ham-fisted to me.  But maybe I'd appreciate it for that now, stylistically, in a way I couldn't then.  I'm not saying I'm sophisticated here, kids.  My favorite of the Spike Lees I've seen is Crooklyn, which is all heart, sentiment, and Ooh Ooh Chi-i-ild.

As I left, some guy out front in a turquoise suit seemed to be trying to hustle more people in to Do the Right Thing.  Was there worry that we'd look bad to the big name guy, with a lousy turn-out?  We the festival, we the w/e?  I cut back through the alley and passed what was almost surely Spike's car, driver in it, wondering whether Spike would really care.  Decided so what if he didn't have that many people to talk to.  How many do you need.  Quality over quantity.  If it were me.  There's something about politeness and politics and maybe the Midwest or the p.r. or I dunno, but really if there were 17 people digging the movie and actually talking with him about it afterwards, wouldn't that be way cool, in its way?  More way cool that sold-out rows of clapping appreciators?  That room's a little like a secret clubhouse anyway.  Under the right circumstances it can feel like you snuck back there with the other cool weirdo kids who heard about there is gonna be a movie shown.

I got new work gloves yesterday.

avatar w/buff hat
I love getting new work gloves.  It's been a few years.

They're still in my car.  I feel and smell them.  Ahhhhhh.

interment

avatar w/buff hat
When I got home to walk the dog today, there was a dead squirrel on the pine needles in the drive.  It had been a young squirrel.  It wasn't smooshed or anything.  Just lying on its side, perfect fluffy tail behind, eye frozen open, little squirrel paws weirdly restful, as if in a comfortable sleeping position.

I thought about putting it in the trash can but couldn't.  I got the shovel, dug a grave, made a soft bed in the bottom of it with loose dirt, got the little fella down there on a side, and gently covered him/her up with dirt.  I stuck a little stick in the loose earth above the body, stood there next to the ferns with my hands on the shovel handle, and said a few words.

I was aware that I was feeling compelled to enact a human ritual of respect for life, bespeaking such respect.  I was aware that that was what was happening, and that was what I did.  I also knew I wasn't going to have any great words for the squirrel, who seemed so ripped off, dying young like that, from whatever mysterious thing felled the little fellow creature.  And I did it anyway.