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Wednesday
Apr202011

glorious filler

David Ferry won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and $100,000 dollars. If you click to the link you'll find a poem of his. I'd not heard of him before the announcement that he'd won the world's richest poetry prize--not that my not hearing of him means much--and he seems worthwhile; to judge by the poem posted, solid, but not lightning.

Chelsey Minnis, who has not yet won the Ruth Lilly Prize, is another story altogether.

Tired of poetry, I entered the SF Public Library, Presidio branch. As I was searching the Fiction stacks, looking for a novel, I wanted to call someone and ask 'what should I read?' or 'is there anything good to read?' but resisted the temptation. I borrowed Defoe's "Moll Flanders" (wanting "Robinson Crusoe"), "Whatever" by the Frenchman Michel Houellebecq, "How to Read the Air" by Dinaw Mengestu, and "Almost No Memory", stories by Lydia Davis.

I like reading a little Lydia Davis here and there; she makes me want to write.

Her author picture has her looking a little like a young Hillary Clinton. The book was published in 1997 when, I presume, the picture of her was taken. I assume she looks differently now.

I'll read Lydia Davis first, then Defoe, and take up the other two as the mood strikes.

Monday
Apr182011

Inventions, patents pending

Introducing

the iPodiPhoneiPad, multi-tasking communications device, comes with Thai food.

iCellpal, phoneservice that makes pretend calls to otherwise uncalled cell phones, comes in male or female voices.

iFood, gourmet meals reconstituted from their molecular origins, comes in Italian, French, and South American cuisines (vegan optional).

Monday
Apr182011

Eleusinian mysteries

"How is it that Cate Blanchett Remains So Elusive" asks The New York Times Style Magazine (April 17, 2011).

Elusive no more, as she's on the cover of the thing.

The Los Angeles Lakers (No. 1 seed) were beaten yesterday on their home floor in the first game of the first round of the NBA Western Conference playoffs by The New Orleans Hornets (No.8 seed).

There's so much not to understand that it's overwhelming.

A cult in ancient Greece celebrated mysteries, though it's only mentioned twice by Werner Jaeger in his 3-volume masterpiece "Paideia, The Ideals of Greek Culture", as The Eleusinian Mysteries. 

Sunday
Apr172011

functional embeddedness

  

Neal G, who I walk with on occasion, has invented a device that allows one to use their iPad in a much more ergonomically correct position than currently possible. He showed me his invention the other day. It seemed quite ingenious and I advised him to get a patent.

He described the process of invention as being one of "functional embeddedness". Imagine being in a dark room and needing light. You see no light switch on the wall. Finally, when your eyes are accustomed to the dark, you can see there is a ceiling lamp and that the switch has been installed beside it on the ceiling. Hmm...there's no ladder. Hmm...there is a broom in the corner of the room. You grab the broom, push a chair into the middle of the room, stand on the chair and reach with the handle of the broom to the switch beside the ceiling lamp, and Voila, you have light.

That's 'functional embeddedeness.' The notion that the solution to any problem is available, is within you, is accessible. (Though when I googled "functional embeddedness" all that came up were strange arcane responses i.e. 'embeddedness in custodial banking' etc. etc.). 

I've always liked Marcel Duchamp's 'there is no solution because there is no problem.' A sort of reverse functional embeddedness, I suppose.

Well, Gracie (pictured above) is about to solve a problem she's having with a hot fudge sundae with the great earnestness all creators share.

Saturday
Apr162011

saturday along hayes & gough

Writing takes time for itself, sits in a cafe longer than it should with bread and a glass of wine.

On such a day only the unwritten gets written.