Three beers strong,
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Three beers strong,
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Two working taps,
And a Nanny to take good care of me
Friday, December 29, 2006
- Worst (BEST?) Toys: http://www.radarmagazine.com/features/2006/12/toys.php (Jarts rocked btw!)
- Best Fake Movie Trailers: http://www.giantmag.com/2006/12/movies/the-10-best-fake-movie-trailers-of-the-year/ ('10 Things I Hate About Commandments' might make an appearance in Cities class. The Mel Gibson and Sesame Street ones are also particularly amusing)
- Worst Tech Products: http://www.cnet.com/4520-11524_1-6478472-1.html
- Best Olfactory Writing: http://books.guardian.co.uk/top10s/top10/0,,1975353,00.html
And here's some randomness:
Best Dance http://www.ifilm.com/video/2725768
- You need to listen to this program - and start submitting your writing to journals for publication. O Brien speaks beautifully about writing and writers in Ireland. WOP and I once thought about starting a blogger book club, but it seems that we all tend to read different things and once classes start, of course, no one has time to read (even what is assigned), so I doubt anything would come of it. But listening to this program with O Brien and running into a group of guys last night with the classics in thier pockets (quite literally), roused the interest again. I tend to think that the curent rage for book-clubs, popularized by the big O, is a result of the abandonment the canon of western literature by our educational institutions over the past 30 years. We no longer, even as highly 'educated' individuals, find much literary common ground for discussion and, therefore, must engineer a situation in which more than 3 people have read the same thing. We can no longer assume that a person with a university degree will even know James Joyce, Dante or Dickens, let alone have read them. We've replaced giants with pygmies; we throw Chaucer in the trash and exult the latest victimization-narrative so we can wallow in the collective sins of Western Civilization. Perhaps the Renaissance has dried up and I should just get over it, but like Voyager II the further we remove ourselves from the life-sustaining atmosphere near the ground, the more tenous, hazy, and useless the signal becomes. Once the lifeline snaps, we just drift aimlessly.
- So, what HAVE you been reading? I jut finished a fine little history about a Scots lad gone bad, John the Painter: Terrorist of the American Revolution. A person at Hogwarts recently posited tha if he pursued history there was nothing new to discover or wite about. Well this little gem proves the point that a keen mind and creative use of sources can indeed add new wheel-ruts into well-worn roads. I also dipped into Robert Louis Stevenson and Jules Verne for a needed escape from work-related literaure. Great stories both. So, what were your best reads of 2006?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
From the seed of a man so hard and unforgiving?
A father who tried to use the Gospel to ensure
That his son's life would never be worth living
And the Lord's voice whispered on the high Sierra wind
From the mountains where the clear waters lie
Saying "Hold the bravest heart above the gravest of sins
"Leave Calvin and the Bible to the parish of Dunbar
Give a blind man back his eyes to find the brightest of the stars
And lead him to the altar of a better God by far
In the vale of the Redwood Cathedral"
I asked the Master Builder how did he find a way
To put the man in the mountain and the mountain in the man?
How long did he search to find the uncommon clay
That he needed for his Master Builder's plan?
And the Lord's voice came down from the high Sierra skies
Saying, "Take a heart of hard Scottish stone
Plant the seed of a wild place deep down inside
As I stand by the thunder of the roaring mountain falls
And I hear California call you saviour
I cannot help but wonder had a different fortune called
Would you have done the same for Scotland the Brave
God lives above the redwoods so they say
Looking down straight and true at the best of all his treasures
And if a man should stand among them to pray
It's against them the lord will take his measure
And who grew straighter than long Johnny Muir
A redwood of flesh, blood and bone
Filled by the Master Builder with a passion so pure
For the mountains that no one can ever own
Song Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
- 10 - Erect a 35ft gold statue of yourself in your hometown that follows the path of the sun (much more impressive than showing up at your high school reunion in a porsche with the trophy bride).
- 9 - Declare beards and long hair illegal (easy way to put a stop to bad poetry, except yours of course which you will read on national television).
- 8 - Officially change the names of days and months for family members and friends, reserving of course January for yourself, and declare that there are only eight months in a year just for good measure (this is also a good reason to befriend meglomaniacal Supreme Leaders)
- 7 - Write your own mythic autobiography and then require all school-children to read and memorize it as their primary textbook
- 6 - Ban all opera, ballet and recorded music as 'unnecessary' (the people have your poetry to listen too afterall).
- 5 - Institute 'National Melon Day' in celebration of your country's proud tradition of growing melons: "Let the life of every Turkmen be as beautiful as our melons." (I assume this holiday was concocted during a particularly boozey night at Hooters in Ashgabat, kind of like Kwanza).
- 4 - Close every hospital ouside of your capital (funny this, dictators usually don't have a problem attracting the sick).
- 3- Put your portrait on all the stamps and money of your country, so all of those poor sots you rule over can always adore you even if they can't buy anything with your worthless currency.
- 2 - Show that you are a loving family man, by officially changing the word for 'bread' to your mother's name (hey, we love motherhood and apple pie, why not just combine them? Ummm...I would love a nice slice of homemade Barbara Bush with my coffee about now).
- 1 - Build an Ice Palace celebrating your rule despite the fact that you rule over a country in the world's hottest desert (taking a cue, methinks, from our beloved Gilles Duseppe of 'Le Bloc' I fear. Can the enormous Sleigh of Profundity pulled by a hundred wolf-riding dwarves be far behind?).
Ah -the world mournes the passing of yet another crazy-assed son-of-a-bitch!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
- a little dopamine makes a person happy; a surge of dopamine makes a person euphoric; an abundance of dopomine makes a person schizophrenic; Igor Stravinsky caused riots! http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2006/04/21
- My dopamine this week came from dining at Le Paradou, a local eatery owned by a fellow Hibernian's people, probably one of the better restarant meals I've ever had. Let's see if Paddy can remember the menu:
Amuse: califlower mousse w caviar
1st: Diver scallop tartar served in egg shell over lobster mousse (this may have been a second amuse, but it was large enough to be a course)
2nd: Terrine of foie gras wih apricots and caramel
3rd:Oysters in creame served on the half-shell
4th: Roasted Lobster in a Sauternes butter sauce w ginger and grapfruit zest
5th: Filets of tubot and scallop
6th: Roasted stuffed boneless quail with chestnut gnocchi
7th: Chocolate mousse mille feuille served with avacado gelato
All accompanied with properly paired, and outstanding, wines. A big thank you goes out to our gastronomic Hibernian and his family for such a wonderful and memorable evening with my mother.
for those looking for a geat dining experience:
Le Paradou • 678 Indiana Avenue, NW, Penn Quarter, Washington, DC 20004
Reservations: 202.347.6780 • Private Dining: 202.347.8160
25 Best New Restaurants in the USA
-- Esquire Magazine
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
I wake up in on a lounge sofa just off the main hall of an opera, still in my dirty t-shirt, still holding the historical novel about Scots hero William Wallace, the book that I had actually been reading when I fell asleep. Well a crowd had gathered at the edge of the seating area, not ten feet from my sofa, and as I rouse myself I notice Chris Bredie's father, immaculately dressed in a grey suit with pink shirt/tie combo. He is motioning to his wife and making movements to leave, and i don't want to get up and be forced to engage in polite conversation, as I am sorely out of place in my jeans and T, so I just huddle over my book, head down and pretended the read. I think most people around me think I had just perched myself there as some pauper in order to hear the opera - it was Mozart's Idomeneo. I see a man approaching me from the left, just his suit trousers and shoes, and figure he is about to ask me to leave. I force myself to wake up. The opera was wonderful! Dream over.
What the heck that means is up for grabs; I have my own thoughts on that matter.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Soccer is such a wonderful game. I love to play whenever I can. Yesterday, my neice Lauren, convinced me to go over to the usual Saturday pick-up game that takes place in my town. I was wearing my Hiberian 2005 t-shirt from Hogwart and decided to wear it to play. The game was great fun. There were, however, some englishmen playing, who, when they saw my shirt, inquired as to the meanings of some of the Gaelic on it. When I told them what it meant they began to play a bit rougher. I promise you that this italian loves rough play so I joined into the fray with relish. I almost felt irish. To make a short story, shorter I disposessedd on of the englishmen of the ball near his own goal and in a way "my day had come" that saturday, as I watched the ball hit the back of the net. It was indeed a treat!.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Sunday brought happiness in Bowie at least as the Bills won and the Redskins eked out a win also.
May Nanny's remain open forever!!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Even though Steny Hoyer is my local Congressman, I am still upset that John Murtha did become the majority leader. He is the reason that the democrats are back in control and deserved to be majority leader. Rep. Hoyer supported the war right from day 1. The sad thing about Hoyer is that he didnt even have any opposition. The republicans don't even put up a candidate against him. Somebody needs to.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
For six years, latterly with the backing of both houses of a markedly conservative Republican Congress, George Bush has led an American administration that has played an unprecedentedly negative and polarising role in the world's affairs. On Tuesday, in the midterm US congressional elections, American voters rebuffed Mr Bush in spectacular style and with both instant and lasting political consequences. By large numbers and across almost every state of the union, the voters defeated Republican candidates and put the opposition Democrats back in charge of the House of Representatives for the first time in a dozen years.
In US domestic terms, the 2006 midterms bring to an end the 12 intensely divisive years of Republican House rule that began under Newt Gingrich in 1994. These have been years of zealously and confrontational conservative politics that have shocked the world and, under Mr Bush, have sent America's global standing plummeting. That long political hurricane has now at last blown itself out for a while, but not before leaving America with a terrible legacy that includes climate-change denial, the end of biological stem-cell research, an aid programme tied to abortion bans, a shockingly permissive gun culture, an embrace of capital punishment equalled only by some of the world's worst tyrannies, the impeachment of Bill Clinton and his replacement by a president who does not believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. The approval by voters in at least five more states of same-sex marriage bans - on top of 13 similar votes in 2004 - shows that culture-war politics are far from over.
But at least the passing of Mr Rumsfeld shows that someone in the White House now recognises that things cannot go on as before. Business as usual will not do, either in general or over Iraq. Mr Bush's remarks last night showed that on Iraq he has now put himself in the hands of the Iraq Study Group, chaired by his father's consigliere James Baker, one of whose members, Robert Gates, an ex-CIA chief, was last night appointed to succeed the unlamented Mr Rumsfeld. Maybe the more pragmatic Republican old guard can come to the rescue of this disastrous presidency in its most catastrophic adventure. But it has been the American voters who have at last made this possible. For that alone the entire world owes them its deep gratitude today.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Tis the night before Samhain and all through the house,
All the creaures are stirring, while Sasha dresses the grouse.
The pentagrams are hung from the tree-limbs with care,
In the hopes that Carnunnos soon will be there.
The initiates are fretting all freaked-out and more,
While visions of terror into their brains bore;
And Asbill in his sporran, and Wolfe in his kilt,
Have just come to terms with the blood that they spill't.
When out in the forest there arises such a clatter,
That I flee from the graveyard to avoid the whole matter.
On towards the firelight I fly like a flash,
Tear open the mullien leaf and start humming The Clash.
The moon through the gaps of the boughs ever shifting ,
Gave an eerie dull glow to the headstones I'm lifting.
When what to my bloodshot eyes should appear,
But the hulk of a man with the head of a deer.
With a pack of hellhounds from regions afar,
I recall in a flash that its Féile na Marbh.
More dreadful than Balor onward he comes,
In a low gutteral voice, a kind of keening he hums.
"To Alban, and Breacan, and Cairneach, and Damhan,
To Eochai, and Failbhe, and Iarlugh and Garbhan.
As the veil slowly lifts and the two worlds combine,
I command you to rise and get behind me in line."
And then, from the dead-wood, I hear a low wail
And the scratching and clawing of each fingernail.
As I suck in my breath, and start turning around,
The Cailleach Bheur rises up from the ground.
She is dressed in dark blankets from head to the feet
And carried with her an odor that smelled faintly of peat.
A magical hammer, the Blue Hag carries by her side,
And her arms when held out stretch nearly 15 feet wide!
Her eyesockets hollow, she's long lost the eyes,
And the vegetation as she passes simply shrivels up an dies.
She speaks not a word, but goes straight down the drive,
And after her passing I doublecheck that I'm alive.
The dark side and I on Samhain are one.
What's left when its over is the devastation she's done.
The Tree of Life till Beltane sleeps
And this is the tradition, this Hibernian keeps.