Deeply inconsequential despair, or “I haz a sad”

The Hatter was the first to break the silence. `What day of the month is it?’ he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.’

`Two days wrong!’ sighed the Hatter. `I told you butter wouldn’t suit the works!’ he added looking angrily at the March Hare.

`It was the BEST butter,’ the March Hare meekly replied.

`Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,’ the Hatter grumbled: `you shouldn’t have put it in with the bread-knife.’

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, `It was the BEST butter, you know.’

There’s a song called Broken Telephone on the Be Good Tanyas‘ first album. It’s about a lost connection and it’s beautifully sad and profound but also simple. And it’s not about telephones at all really, it’s about the futility of trying to bridge inevitable distance, it’s about things being in such a sad state that the very construct of communication seems beyond your grasp, possibly lost to you forever.

Which brings me to the failure of my coffee maker. My scarcely-a-month-old “automatic” coffeemaker that I thought was the one. I recall the day we met. I was standing in the aisle of the store after its predecessor gave up the ghost: I was ready to be through with the whole lot of them. I wanted no more of the countertop detritus of cheap plastic coffee machines forever. I almost got the elegant french press, even considered the advantages of returning to the time-consuming but simple one-cup-at-a- time Melitta cone.

But convenience called. It’s a lucky day I manage to make it to work on time as it is. My mornings are rushed, even though I’d rather they weren’t. So I took one more chance. And now here I stand.

Oh sure, it still makes coffee. But I think a look at the video below will attest that it’s sorely lacking in the convenience department. I now have to assist the device that was supposed to help me save time. Somewhere behind those buttons, something quietly died and none of them work. Not the timer, not the clock, and definitely not the “automatic” part.

harrumph…… and woe. It’s always 12 o’clock now.


I got the chair. It’s not as old as I first thought but it’s an excellent chair, all roomy and leathery and comfortable (it’s like buttah!) and a steal at 40 bucks.


Also got two desks. Both were in a lot together, one a small wooden one and the other a massive metal one with a great formica desktop. I’m going to paint the small one, put it next to the kitchen, and use it for bill-paying, cookbook-reading, etc. The big one will be my office desk.


I also got two rolling AV shelves. I’ll use those in the garage. Lots of stuff was in big lots. I’d have liked to get a filing cabinet but I just don’t need seven of them, no matter how cheap. Same with the task chairs and televisions, lab tables, etc. I resisted the urge to buy an old-style library card catalog on which a bunch of folks were bidding an outrageous amount of money.

The auctioneer was extremely entertaining:

Rolling rolling rolling

I’m going to an auction tomorrow. The university has a twice-annual surplus property auction wherein all manner of items get sold at dirt cheap prices. I went to the preview today and took a look at the lots for sale. I was originally hoping to get an old wooden desk, maybe a task chair, a couple of small filing cabinets. And there are many such items to be had, but I encountered something else… and I must have it.

It’s a large, exceptionally well-made, leather desk chair, still in excellent condition despite some wear on the leather. Weighs a ton, solid as a rock. Unlike the myriad other task chairs, office chairs, and dining room chairs, this one is in a lot all by itself. Probably at least 20 years old, real leather, real heavy thick wooden legs and arms, huge metal casters that still roll smoothly. As is often said, “they don’t make ’em like this anymore.”

I want this chair.

Wish me luck.

Friday night jukebox: Will we stand unspoken for?

Edith Frost, Ancestors

Funk, as in: “in one”


In a funk the last few days, and the pore leetle “blog that tried” has been neglected, as have other pursuits, such as dishwashing and vacuuming.

So whither this gray cloud of slack? Things all too real, as well as all too trivial.

Too much work, for one thing. Worked both days this weekend at Job 2 and it was nuts there. I have been applying myself more than usual to Job 1, which is actually a good thing, but I’m not used to it.

Then there is the war, and the miserable and craven responses by Cheney and Bush to the fifth annniversary and the 4,000th American casualty.

I’m also downcast at the current Clinton vs. Obama slapfighting, and the whole circus in general.

Not going to Eschacon, much as I don’t like admitting it, sucks. It’s like being home with the mumps, watching all the other kids get ready for summer camp. (Yes, that actually happened to the small lesbian child that was me.)


(and yeah, it further sucks that I can’t find a decent original Shepherd illustration and had to resort to the Disney version. )

UPDATED: To include proper Eeyorage, graciously supplied by the hardworkin’ gals down in the third basement of the voluminous Virgotext, Inc. reference department.


(thanks, racy)

Friday featherblogging


Because of their innate foraging capabilities, parrots are fascinated by texture changes, imperfections, holes, knots, bumps, etc.  All such things must be closely examined with the beak and/or tongue.  The seam in this denim shirt could possibly be exploited to yield fruit or a nut, or at the very least, some buttons to destroy.

Five years and thousands of coiled springs later

As I’ve posted before, I live with a parrot, have done so for almost four years now. Like most animals, parrots pick up on the emotions and energy of the people with whom they live. At least in my experience, they do so to a much greater extent and in a very different way than dogs or cats. Dogs especially will often try to comfort their humans when they sense that they are upset or angry. One of my cats even does this. The bird however, is different. If I’m upset, it upsets and unnerves him. If I’m stressed, he’s screeching; if I’m depressed, he’s anxious and needy; if I’m angry, he’s aggressive.

This morning I got up early so I could do a post about the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. As anyone who reads this blog can tell, I’m not much on in-depth political analysis. I’m fascinated by government and politics, I’m deeply invested in the state of the country, I read voraciously, I very much need to converse about such things, hanging out in lefty blogtopia with like-minded acquaintances and fomenting discontent, but I’m not much good at writing from the long view about all this. So, this morning, I sat. First I procrastinated, drinking coffee, dithering, answering email. Then I tried to put some words down, but instead just watched the long grass in my back yard ripple in the breeze, the sun lighting up the new green buds on all the trees.

My mind was a blank. The clock was ticking, my morning was getting away from me. I got frustrated, and then I read the news and I got angry. That’s my problem writing about this stuff, I can’t divorce my emotions from it enough to achieve coherence.

So much for that extra half hour I planned. I was full of coffee, I was angry and sad, and completely blocked. I had no thoughts, I had nothing to write. Now I had animals to feed, a shower to take, a meeting at work to think about. Heading for the bathroom to shower, I reached for the bird as usual, so he could sit on the shower curtain rod like always, chattering with me while I did my thing and got ready. I held out my hand, said the usual “step up,” he hopped on, then after about three seconds on my arm, he went for me. By the time I’d wrenched his grinding beak off my hand, he’d dealt quite a bit of damage. Looking at my shredded knuckles and pinky, I was reminded of an old friend back in the day who’d drunkenly tried to fistfight a brick wall.

And that’s when it all poured out. Now that I was late for work and had a first aid crisis, I had more than enough words for a post but mostly I just cried. For the 4,000 dead soldiers, the dead journalists and contractors and aid workers, and the many thousands more Iraqis that have been killed, injured, driven from their homes and country. Driving into work, squinting into the sun and trying not to get neosporin all over the steering wheel, I wondered how many other Americans were angry and frustrated this morning, on this anniversary. I wondered how their mornings were going. Had they snapped at their kids, did they maybe slam their front doors a little too hard, peel out of their driveways, take out their frustration in traffic?

I’ve always loved the scene below, from Rainbow of Her Reasons, episode 506 of Six Feet Under. There’s a larger context to the scene of course, but that doesn’t matter. Watch the way Patricia Clarkson’s body just convulses with the hatred for “George… Fucking Bush.” She’s a great actress, one of our best, but I know lots of people who could have done justice to that one bit of physical business. There’s thousands of us carrying that rage in our bodies, that impotence, that need to lash out and put our fist through a wall, to kick something till it splinters.

Corporate welfare video blogging: Monday’s a mess

Athenae’s righteous:

But I do think we should ask. And you know, I think we should ask in the same condescending, fuck-all-you-peasants know-it-all bullshit fuck-ass tone that we use when requesting that the rest of the nation’s needy prove their legitimacy to us. I think we should ask with the same nasty assumptions at the back of our throats, the same willingness to believe that somebody else is running a scam on us to get a fat government check, the same nasty, mean, small little pinchingness we use toward individual human beings. I think we should ask those questions.

Blogging from Jott….

Blogging from Jott. I’m actually posting this from my phone using Jott. It’s really cool, I don’t know if I’d ever do it in real life but it’s nice knowing I could if I wanted to. listen

Powered by Jott

[updated: I had to edit a few words, but it’s still cool.  I know, I’m boring. ]



More here, also some words, sentences, etc..