Monthly Archives: April 2004

itsy bitsy spider

i was standing by the kitchen sink today and saw a spider sitting near the faucet . a black spider, with a compact body and a small red flourish on his furry back, the kind of spider that jumps when it feels the urge. the kind of spider that makes me uncomfortable.

how he came to be in the kitchen sink, i’m not sure. i think he might have emerged from the recently-deceased cactus (covered with webs) that had been brought into the kitchen for post-mortem inspection.

he moved across the porcelain expanse of the sink in fits and spurts, often in circles. his lack of progress didn’t seem to bother him. for all i know, he thought he was making progress. he kept tracing a clockwise circle from the vertical surface of the sink, up over the lip to the flat top, then back down, over and over and over, until someone caught his eye…

at some point, he came upon the faucet’s shiny base, a tiny mirror in the spider’s world. he was face to face with his twin and was clearly fascinated…he touched it with his front legs, reared up on his back legs, paused, moved back and forth, side to side. he climbed up on the base of the faucet, and suddenly his doppelganger was beneath him, taunting, always just out of reach. he must have stared at himself for a minute or two, month’s in spider years.
eventually he lost interest and moved off into the broader universe of the kitchen. maybe he felt that if this other spider had anything to offer besides mimicry, it would follow…

after letting him wander about for 10 minutes, i trapped him in a tupperware dome and transported him to the backyard…another universe to explore. it’s the closest i’ll ever come to being a deity. i hope he wasn’t a house spider, unprepared for the wilds of our backyard.

sometimes i feel like that spider. the world is a mystery. things happen, many of them outside our control, and one has no choice but to just keep spinning webs and looking for flies.

winged migration

winged migration
if there is a modern antithesis to alfred hitchcock’s the birds, it is winged migration, the french documentary about (you guessed it) migratory birds.

after languishing in a netflix envelope for a few weeks (months?), elaine and i finally got around to watching it. we had heard so many good things, and as avid baraka fans, we were both looking forward to a nature film.

so did it live up to our expectations?

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response to a critic of my paraphrase of condi rice

the following is a response to someone who recently criticized some of the writing on this site severely (please see Comment #3 on the entry regarding condoleezza rice’s testimony).

if i didn’t welcome comments (even harsh, judgmental ones), i would neither write, nor allow comments. however, i seem to have really pushed some buttons lately. while i don’t want to be defensive, there are some very interesting parallels and assumptions within the negative criticism i’ve received. i’d like to try to clarify my own position a bit here, and a bit in another, more extended, entry to come shortly.

if you’re interested in reading my response to pete, please continue…

NOTE: the email address that pete gave when posting his remarks was fraudulent (go ahead…try to respond to his comments yourself). i stand by my beliefs enough to not only post them on this web site, but to allow the world to criticize them (and apparently me) directly.

******

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our president is a jingoistic neanderthal

words fail me when it comes to insulting our president. i am so apoplectic over the current state of domestic and foreign affairs that i am becoming almost as illiterate and boorish as he is.

just in case there was ever any question about his ability to construct grammatically correct sentences, please read the text of his speech to the nation last night. not that i never make mistakes myself, but please…
we are not amused.

we hope his flag-waving supporters are not amused, either, and that they begin to question whether or not it would be wise to keep someone in office with the IQ of a neanderthal (no offense meant to our brethren from the past) and with the most irritating self-satisfied smirk on the planet earth.
what a jerk.

my alice-in-wonderland rant at george bush
admit you were wrong. admit you failed the american people. ask for help. admit you have made the most catastrophic foreign policy failure of the last 30 years. step down. resign. go away. go back to texas and live out your life in peace without ruining the world any more than you already have.

or perhaps your inability to speak also prevents you from listening.

oh wait. we already knew that.

get out your summer parka!

summer arrived in san francisco a couple of days ago. it’s still a little early, by chronological accounts, but i realized the cold truth last night when we walked home after dinner, and i had fourth-degree frostbite after sauntering two blocks.

the fog rolls over twin peaks like a soggy blanket, and it becomes progressively harder to drag oneself out of bed. the sun is a mere shadow of its former self; i was getting a tan (such as it is) in the backyard just a few weeks ago, and now i’d probably die of exposure.

it never ceases to amaze me. it happens every year. i tell myself that mark twain was right; summer is colder than either spring or fall here (and probably winter, for that matter). and yet, there’s still a part of me, perhaps the long-forgotten southern californian, that thinks, ‘hey! it’s summer! kowabunga, dude! let’s hit the beach.’ [ok…even when i lived in SoCal, i never said the k-word]

and so we go to the liberty cafe, and we eat veggie pot pie, drink hot tea, and wait impatiently for indian summer…only 5 more months! tiem to pull out all of those remainders….

ps: for any readers in chicago or other places that are actually cold, i realize quite clearly that i’m whinging unnecessarily. call it me ‘getting in touch with my inner californian.’ we don’t have much else to complain about…oh wait. i forgot about arnold. and traffic. and the really, really insulting price of both real estate and gasoline here.

a paraphrase of condoleezza rice’s testimony

the following is a paraphrased excerpt of condoleezza rice’s testimony to the national commission on terrorist attacks upon the united states, given this past thursday in washington, dc:

blah blah blah structural problems with interagency communications blah, blah blah blah blah , blah blah; blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. did i mention, serious systemic issues, nyah nyah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah we only had 233 days! blah blah blah we’re doing our best, really. blah blah, blah blah nyah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah shaking the trees blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah definite progress is being approximated. blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah legal impediments to anything really getting done blah blah; blah!!! blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah did i mention only 233 days to get this sh*t straightened out? blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah; blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah hey, i’m just covering the collective white house patootie, here, people, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah! blah blah. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. blah blah blah blah blah it wasn’t really a plan, so much as an idea, sort of blah blah blah blah blah blah blah nyah blah nyah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah it’s not our fault…we made no mistakes. blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah thank you.

for interested readers, the full text of dr. rice’s prepared statement is available as a PDF.
side note: i have never been so ashamed to share a meaningless title with someone.