Saturday, January 29, 2011


it's oppressive. humid and a hundred degrees outside, and i hear cheering. yelling, applause, the crowd seemed less a living thing than a collection of sounds.

i turned to a waiting bowl of fruit, finding it strangely empty. now the noises had taken both the peace of the afternoon and the remainder of my meal. as i looked back through the doorway to the other room, there was no one.

Friday, January 28, 2011

put a stamp on it

if the world doesn't make any sense, what are the five most annoying things about that fact?

if the world does make sense, should anything be annoying?

Monday, January 24, 2011

better than six?

it's time to launch an all-out campaign against the number five. originally, people thought that odd numbers were inferior to even numbers. such familiar digits as 1, 3, and 7 are just too popular. lonely 5 is stuck in a neglected backwater of single-digit sadness.

what is so bad about being five? it might seem easy for a number equal to the amount of fingers we have on each side of our bodies to be ubiquitous. the problem is, five is always stuck being half of ten. nearly all psychological milestones are thrown around in whole multiples of ten. our digital bias is manifest in decades, not pentads.

what can we do about this? well, clearly we need to ditch that awful food pyramid and bring back the five food groups. it's time for an expansion of 5k runs and a preposterous increase in the number of iconic pentagonal structures. we must stand while we still have five toed feet to support us.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

step two is always the key

clothes won't love you unless you hang them properly in your closet. preferably in a pattern.

Friday, January 21, 2011


the biggest problem with ideas is that they bounce off each other. although physical laws do not apply in the mental realm, there is a constant tension between both commonly understood opponents and fresh thoughts waiting for a slot in the title bout.

no more cornbread

it's time to declare an end to the production and consumption of cornbread in this country. sometimes it can be hard to tell where a food went from side dish and occasional breakfast food to cultural scourge, but in the case of cornbread it was probably the issue of water raising that tipped everything.

before water-raised cornbread, there were a number of ways of baking and preparing this treat. it could be successfully baked in small and unusual ovens; it could be made with various flour types and mixtures, and the corn meal used could be light or heavy or thick or thin or nearly white.

since those simple days, when butters and lards and bacon grease went into cornbread, we come now to a strange reality where national boundaries are delineated by acres of oceangoing cornbread warehouses. these facilities, both costly to maintain and dangerous to defend, have proven to be more trouble than they are worth.

the first problem is the oven temperature. water-raised cornbread is baked at extremely low temperatures for immensely long periods of time, which gives it a sophisticated yet tender flavor. however, the ideal temperature for cooking these foods is still warm enough to severely burn orcas and surfers who stumble their way into the warehouses.

the second problem with oceanic cornbread raising is the low vitamin content of these foods. humans have always needed vitamins as a part of their daily routine, and ideally many people would prefer to get their vitamins in the form of cornbread. however, no one has yet perfected a system to distribute vitamin supplements evenly over the tremendous square footage, varied ownership, and international distribution of warehouses. some batches are as rich in essential nutrients as turnips and potato peelings, while others are so devoid of both nutrition and flavor that they have been ignored even by tge seabirds who normally harm yields.

the final and largest problem, a problem with the same origins as the vitamin issue, is that no one knows what ocean raised cornbread is any longer. it began as a tremendously innovative and well-defined food, like the shoestring potato or the yellow gum drop. unfortunately, what has happened in intervening years is that opportunists, innovators, mavericks, strategic thinkers, and hobbyists have evolved their own versions of the product simply by seeking to imitate, improve upon, and outwit their competitors. the sad state of today's world is that everyone knows what ocean raised cornbread is, but no one understands its evolution. what they actually know is that it has become nothing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


anonymous reports relate that db moved last week, which is strange because he still seems to be living at the place. we've got twelve roommates there, but i have to think it was db i shared the last of my corn fritters with on saturday, because all the ordinary friends and drifters who come through on slow days at the place hate my cooking. that's just one of the things that made db special.

i'll be sad to see him go, if only because there is no other person at the place who shares my interest in well-woven carpets and serial purchasing. db and i have to walk barefoot, no matter what anyone says. i've never understood people's obsession with wearing shoes in their own homes. it's like buying a protective covering to put inside all your clothing.

no one hates clutter more than me; i realize it can be frustrating to stumble upon a stripe of mud or a leftover olive when you're walking around. the thing people need to remember though is that the best experiences in life involve a surrender to vulnerability. it is precisely the control over chaos and our need to minimize the risk involved in these cultivated vulnerabilities that has produced the main artifacts of our culture.

with db around, i could trade off mornings and nights vacuuming and sweeping the place, to keep the dirt-to-floor ratio at an ideal level. feet are forgiving creatures, but they never give up their dulled sensitivity until you've prepared a spotless environment for them. think of your feet as wooly little lambs that have just been shaved. they're used to the warmth and protection of their wool, but in the case of feet this artificial barrier of sock and footwear is denying everyone's foot lambs their true calling.

feet should be the sensory foundation of home life. the experience of a good carpet is something like drinking a hot beverage in winter. it provides comfort and warmth that outlast the duration of physical contact with the floor. just by taking a five-minute lap through the drawing room each morning, i warm myself for a day of asphalt and second-hand anger.

db and i could even tell when our carefully shod roommates had experienced a little of the foot massage provided by our prized imported carpets. we're not particular about hand versus machine woven, because the texture and uniformity of the fibers is more important than who's had their hands on them for how long.

with our roommates though, there are days when we see a careless footfall, perhaps a little glide of slick heel and wool fiber, that reminds us of why we work so hard to preserve the sanctity of our carpets. every one of our roommates goes through a careful education process, where we insist not on the removal but the proper cleaning of shoes. like a border protection agency, the roommates will do the work for themselves once they've caught a glimpse of the wonders offered by the apartment's floors. we used to think we had to drill the system in to them, but the purity of the system means that education is commitment. we've learned to live this way.

it's this thorough buy-in that puzzles me when it comes down to db's departure. i know he has other passions in his life, but most heresies are accompanied by firm declarations of new conviction, not silent departure and darkness.

secrets of the universe continue to topple

the world's most important skill is not, as some might argue, the ability to operate the machinery of the internet age. for one skill to be regarded as more important than others, it must be both cross-industry and timeless. nothing is more harmed by the progress of time than that ability that is medium-specific, as innovation just refuses to halt.

to be brief, the crucial skill is and remains a facility with proper color selection. no matter how artificial or ephemeral our experiences become in this wide-open millenium, we remain visual creatures. ocular stimuli wave at us from behind a variety of trees, and we are most impressed by a color palette that is simple and evocative.

of course, once the bunkers have been raised and our lives revolve around basement dwelling and canned fruit, different skills will come to the fore. until then, whether it's picking an outfit or selling a film, you better pick your colors.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

best case scenario is here

i was just staring at this slime on my desk, and thinking 'well, i need to touch that and figure out if it has solidified.'

fortunately it was grapefruit pulp.

Monday, January 17, 2011

fast friends

freezing rain and frozen beverages.