Wednesday, December 29, 2004

British House Gymnastics

By far my favorite: "the Mop-Tripod" in the Move of the month section.


Wikipedia Indian Ocean earthquake coverage

Pretty amazing shit here. Photos, video footage, graphics, aid societies etc.
~ Roger

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Everyone Eats Muffins

The more innocuous the food item, the scarier the plot of the flash animation....
And of all baked goods, beware- BEWARE!

-em

Who Love Egg?

"Eggs! Get your eggs, here!
Popular and perfect and so complete in every way...
Eggs I really love you- like the sky above!"

Visit:
I Love Egg and click on “egg song” at bottom left.

Oodle doodle,
-em

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Pottery Barn Iraq Policy

An excellent piece by Naomi Klein (Story Linked above -- This is a link to her site "No Logo")

"Hunger in Iraq is not merely the humanitarian fallout of a war--it is the direct result of the US decision to impose brutal 'shock therapy' policies on a country that was already sickened and weakened by twelve years of sanctions. Paul Bremer's first act on the job was to lay off close to 500,000 Iraqis, and his primary accomplishment--for which he was just awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom--was to oversee a 'reconstruction' process that systematically stole jobs from needy Iraqis and handed them to foreign firms, sending the unemployment rate soaring to 67 percent.

On November 21, the group of industrialized countries known as the Paris Club finally unveiled its plan for Iraq's unpayable debt. Rather than forgiving it outright, the Paris Club laid out a three-year plan to write off 80 percent, contingent on Iraq's future governments adhering to a strict International Monetary Fund austerity program. According to early drafts, that program includes 'restructuring of state-owned enterprises' (read: privatization), a plan that Iraq's Ministry of Industry predicts will require laying off an additional 145,000 workers. In the name of 'free-market reforms,' the IMF also wants to eliminate the program that provides each Iraqi family with a basket of food--the only barrier to starvation for millions of citizens. There is additional pressure to eliminate the food rations coming from the World Trade Organization, which, at Washington's urging, is considering accepting Iraq as a member--provided it adopts certain 'reforms.'"

Monday, December 20, 2004

Bush: "I'm not going to negotiate with myself"

A Non Story for those who can stomach such a thing at this time . . .
WashPost membership required.


Saturday, December 18, 2004

SFSG One for the Poles

Buen Dia, (I am so happy to live in a land logical enough to say Buen Dia instead of Buenos Dias)

I woke up this afternoon with four pesos in my pocket and an inhuman craving for red meat. I put on my new sneakers and adjusted my new haircut and found myself again in front of the beef shelf in an Argentine grocery store turning over meat. Computing the retardo factor, I opted for three heaping ossi bucae. What poverty! that a man can go home with ossu buco and a bottle of wine for a dollar twenty five.

I was cured of the Argentine sleep schedule, thanks to Uruguay and the fact there is no shade there, until Austin dragged me along last night to a party at his rich, 60 year old widow, did i say rich, students tenth story apartment overlooking the french clay tennis courts up by the American Embassy. I had the impression we would be the only ones with untucked shirts under fifty but it turned out the old sas invited, minus old Albert, only youngsters from Austins school, albeit she prepared a spread that looked, but did not taste, like it was concocted in a twilight fantasy chez Julia Child.

Gabby the cute secretary who studies law and has enormous breasts was there. So too, Sara the bitch. Ibid, Bobak the Persian by whose nose I suppose has a dick like a summer sausage. So too Jorge the musician who played us Chopin and Ole Pale Simon the Long from London who Austin has a pathelogical aversion for and a girl with pointy teeth who works in the Argentine film industry and a girl with a mullet that must have been made in Taiwan who once started an interactive theatre troupe in Shanghai called the Omega 8 though there were only five and now eats every day with chopsticks. Marlon Brando was there. His name was Albert and he was old and slumping and always held a cigarette in his right hand backwards. He had the nose and the voice and I made him say, Like a bullet, like a diamond bullet right in the forehead, and You can be a man!, and We were going to go to a basketball game, but I had manure all over my shoes. I woke up with that beautiful, retarded voice saying Basketball game, Diamond bullet, Little arms in my head. Ole Sas, whose name I cant recall, but I think is Ilse, showed us photos of her and Borges and her autographed copy of his collected works. I insulted her by pointing out the indents where Borges had scratched ink into the pen and tried to apologize and was made to repent by reading a three page article from a newspaper from 1989.

We ate a log of ground meat slathered in mustard, a roll of twinkey dough stuffed with ham and basil, and a cake of marengue. All the dishes were gold plated and there were numerous photos of her twenty years ago. The windows were open and the breeze was cool and down below the lights were on on the clay courts and a last couple played tennis while the working man sprayed the clay down with a hose. Albert told me about New York in the sixties and I told him my theory about living cities and he told me about being in Harlem when they shot Martin Luther King. Old Sas dragged Austin away from a conversation about Messiaen and made him talk to Albert about Wittgenstein. We stood in the kitchen drinking the boxed wine that was better than the bottles we brought and Albert asked us about the women here and we all agreed and then he told us not to worry about the fact that we are all aparently invisible and we all laughed when Albert told us about the time when he was our age and moved to Rio to work for the railroads and for the first time in his life women looked at him. At four Ole Sas turned on the electronic music and everybody danced and Austin did moves to make Richard Simons pray and Simon sayed in his Received English, Oh I think hes putting it on, dont you.

We made it home past five. Austin managed to get to work at two past ten and when he barged in at one to tell me about the beautiful student who writes his name over and over in her notebook I thought it was six in the morning because of the shutters. He crashed and I remembered about the mint.

Yesterday I finally decided to cut off my mullet and buy shoes to the replace the soles I broke when we lived in San Telmo at the hotel during the November Rain. On the way home I stopped at the Arab spice shop to inquire about fresh mint and was told by in bewildering Spanish by a wall eyed Syrian to go so many blocks this way etc. and ended up, after many inquiries, asking two Bolivian shopkeepers who told me they could get me anything I wanted if I gave them 24 hours. So over I trod and picked up the bushel of mint for the caipirihnas at tomorrow nights Xmas party and promised to stop by tomorrow fo the key limes. In the first display of the capitalist instinct I have seen since Atlanta, mama Quechua had purchased small bundles of sage, rosemary, oregano and a mini bushel of basil, which is in high season now, to demonstrate her herbal prowess. I took the mint and the basil and went home and made half ass pesto that I slathered over a slice of osso buco braised in wine.

The holidays are frankly retarded here. There is a limp, albino Christmas tree in the internet place where a former Mormon from Korea mans the desk. It is ninety degrees and humid. Austin and I have no decorations, let alone money, so this year Xmas is more of a spiritual excercise than a monetary one. I broke down the other day and went to the import liquor store to buy some fancy wine for Frances who helped us so much when we got here and for Kristen the Blond and Greg the Encyclopodeiac who are hosting the Xmas party, and picked up some Cachasa and a bottle of Kosher Vodka from Poland that had a Hebrew label and was created under the supervision of a rabbi, who decided it would be smart to dilute everclear with water to 41 percent and call it vodka, something I realized after a quasi angelic calling to test the vodka before I took it to a party.

We have fresh 90 day tourist visas now. Plus the cool visas from Uruguay with rounded tops. I never imagined I would end up in Uruguay. Its one of those countries, like Mongolia, everyone is familiar with, but to which nobody but eccentric women seems to go. Austin and I took the hydrofoil across the River Platte last wednesday. We sat in the bar at station in Colonia and had a brandy and a Cinzano and soda while we waited for the bus to Montevideo. I always imagined Uruguay a small patch of jungle that fell into the sea, but it is very open and very dry, with pastures full of cattle between eucalyptus groves, like an arid New South Wales. We rolled into Montevideo just as the last buses east were leaving so were obliged to check ourselves into the Hotel Caravelle. I graced Austin with the differences between a caravel and a corvet while we waited in the lobby for the matron to do many things. The walls of the Hotel Caravelle are a tumescent green and, with the few, glazed windows, give the impression that one is scuba diving along the hall.

We found Montevideo, which lost the centuries old war for prestige to Buenos Aires, to be empty, clean, somewhat expensive and dull in an interesting way. We sat in the old city and had gin and tonics and gave some homeless children our empty tonic bottle to play with and walked around in the rain until Austin was hungry and then we went to a restaurant and I had a deboned chicken and Austin had the signature Uruguayan dish, the Chivito, which is a sandwich.

We went to Uruguay for the beach and in the morning boarded the first bus to Cabo Polonia, the Polish Cape, a place we had been told was void of people and full of sand. Within an hour we were sitting in the grass on the side of the highway nursing a bottle of vermouth. The bus hit a dog and ruptured its radiator and we were obliged to listen to the stories of a 40 something Brit who spent 12 years in Korea and lived in the Bolivian Andes while we waited for another bus to come.

We got to the turnoff for Cabo Polonia in the late afternoon. A dirty, beautiful European girl sat in the grass with a kitten waiting for the bus with her two boy friends. An abandonned roadhouse beneath enormous, red barked eucalypts interupted the empty, arid ranch land that spread in all directions. We climbed into top of a jungle gym attached to the back a giant truck and jangled through the deep sand to the beach where the waves crashed in hundred meter breaks and we could sea the white walled village along the slopes of the Polish Cape.

Cabo Polonia was one of the weirdest places I have been. It is a small village, a la the Aran Islands, at the tip of small cape separated from the highway by a pine forest and two kilometers of Saharan dunes, nearer the Brazilian border than its own capital, and composed of a hundred odd small, white washed houses inhabitted by a surly population of woolly pated, beret wearing, deeply tanned carpenters. We spent our first night in the dunes outside town, with our backpacks propped against the wind, listening to Pakistani pop music on the short wave radio. We ate tins of sardines, a wedge of cheese and crackers and drank pink wine from an empty vermouth bottle refilled by lantern light from fifty liter bottles in the wood-beamed, low-roofed, provisions shop where the village men sat on low benches in the night time and got drunk and snarled at the two lanky gringos who stumbled in from the star light. The clouds blew over and we lay in the sand and marvelled at the southern sky and watched three fighters in perfect formation fly up the coast and luckily I caught a cockroach from the wine between my teeth, but, unluckily, I bit it.

We spent our days getting sunburned and body surfing and watching the girls who were not so hot on the bus get more and more beautiful in their bikinis. Austin was entranced by the distant pine forest so we hiked across the mile of plantless, sun-beat dunes to the forest where we found wads of spittle on the trees, mounds of pine cones and a hawk that wasnt afraid of humans. We had some sardines, a liter of wine and hiked back across the dunes in a light rain. The second night we slept in a swamp because there were clouds and Austin wanted to use his tent. There were frogs all over the place and I lay in my tarp watching the stars and listening to the frogs and the crickets and the wind slapping the shutters of a cottage against its side.

Now we are back in the city of veal and women. It is almost 2005 and we are happy and Austin has an afro and I have short hair and tonight we are going to go to the graduation party for the graduate school of architecture and tomorrow night we are going to get dolled up and go the Xmas party full of Americans and hopefully somebody will agree with me that the best toy street children can ever get is a scale model machine gun and we will mash mint, sugar and ice and pour sugar cane rot gut over it and top it all off with soda.

felices fiestas,

andrew

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Comic Book Store Guy tells it:


comic book guy tells it, originally uploaded by matthewzollinger.


Mass Cold War

Breaking News: Governor Mitt Romney causes scandal by publicly praising the KGB.

Governor Mitt Romney, in a serious political gaffe, publicly called for the
resurrection of the KGB on American soil, damaging his prospects for the
Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

As reported in the New York Times, on December 14th, “Gov. Mitt Romney of
Massachusetts, the leader of a national working group on safeguarding the
nation, told homeland security officials on Tuesday, ‘the eyes and ears which
gather intelligence need to be as developed in our country as they were in
foreign countries during the cold war.’ ”

On Wednesday, Governor Romney clarified his comments by insisting “that quote
was taken out of context.  I hate Communists; they’re a bunch of pussies, and I
never liked the U.S.S.R.”

Gov. Romney also denied allegations that his office sent letters to former KGB
agents inviting them to Massachusetts with promises of visas and temporary work
permits.  But Gov. Romney did admit that “most [former KGB agents] are talented
individuals and their skills could be put to far more constructive uses.
Instead of spending their time poisoning opposition candidates in former
U.S.S.R. republics, they could be helping us protect our local high schools and
churches.”

From his office in Washington D.C., former Utah governor Mike Leavitt
sympathized with Gov. Romney.  Mr. Leavitt, still basking in the glow of his
recent Health Czar nomination, said “Mitt has always been prone to hyperbole,
and he is still butt-hurt that President Bush gave him the cold shoulder by
choosing a baldheaded tough with mob connections to replace Tommy Ridge.”

Gov. Romney took issue with Mr. Leavitt’s remarks. “I’ve never had any interest
in replacing Tom Ridge, and Mike knows that.”  Gov. Romney stressed that he has
been color-blind since birth and thus has no way of differentiating between
yellow and orange warnings.

Dietrich

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

HA! HA! HA!, or, Puke Poo Puke! HA! HA! HA!, or, Puke Poo Puke! Tu Pu Luve Haley

Austin and I live in Palermo Viejo.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/12/travel/12going.html?8br

Sorry to break with the theme but:


bush_zipper, originally uploaded by matthewzollinger.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Dude! (A response to Pu *below*)

Alright, Straightlace, you're on!

Primarily, let me apologize. I in no way intended Mr. Kay's letter to the editor to replace an informed and engaged understanding of the world as it is. Mostly, I wanted y'all to read the "trained in critical analysis by toothpaste and deodorant commercials" line and laugh. Secretly I meant to condemn the girls who, as I posted, were in the other room watching Sex & The City. But don't tell them that.

And I agree, letters to the editor don't really provide any kind of information, or possibilities for action. They merely provide a jackoff outlet for comfortable black-sweatered people who speak in sensitive prose. Maybe they see it as the privilige of education or something. the fucks!

It sucks that there are people who have been taught by television what a beautiful girl is.
It sucks that there are people who will flex their muscles or their money in order to avoid exercising any moral understanding.
It sucks that there are those of us who feel powerless to change this.

But in many ways the international political system (made slightly worse by this U.S. Presidential administration) seems to have very little to do with the real productive work you write about. Definitely you can do some shit to educate yourself. You can join causes, get dirty, fuck around locally; but when it comes to national politics, I'm not so sure that continually shouting out "hey, stop being brainwashed" might not also be needed.

Right now it seems that it’s my world standard against pudsucker-avarice-man’s. And I’d like to win. But my PR campaign blows in comparison to theirs!

WE supposedly have a choice concerning those currently in power. But in many ways it seems that WE have become obsolete but for our buying power and as indicators in the Consumer Confidence Index. And WE isn't you and me but the "American People." And if I've learned anything lately, its that while I admire the system, and the potential the system provides, I am currently not too charmed by the inhabitants of this strange realm.

“Let the governed govern?”

Jesus Christ.
No, really!

Without conclusion, but with much love for Pu's indictment of the post,
~ Roger

Strategic Studies of the Obvious

Dear Roger,

You're most recent posting on this here blog has tempted my rabbit out of his hole for a brief comment.  You posted a link to some letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, one which you thought was "dead on".  The letter was basically the usual lame indictment of the Bush administration and, by extension, of the hopeless television culture of our age and all of us, and so on.

Quick, someone notify the Center for Strategic Studies of the Obvious.

The author is right: we have entered the "age of incompetence". However, the real incompetence comes not from those currently in power.  After all, they're just doing what they've always done.  And as any surviving refugee from the worlds they've destroyed will tell you, they're quite competent at it.  The incompetence comes from those of us who consistently, for lack of enough work and ingenuity, fail to stop them and go on writing letters to the editor in place of real productive work.  Granted, maybe the guy who wrote it did so as part of a broader involvement for change.  If so, good for him.  But my fear is that he wrote it, sat back, drank his merlot and prided himself on a dart well thrown.  Nevermind it missed the elephant, who is now angry and free to destroy the village.

Roger, you're a librarian, not to mention you work in a bookstore.  You have unlimited access to information way better than that.  Let's have it.

love, pu

(Pu sent me this and asked if I would post it as a comment. but it was so "dead on" in true Pu fashion that i am posting it as, well a full post... Mi nam es mhat nad I leck books...)

Monday, December 13, 2004

I lost in Jeopardy or Madison's version of Ken Jennings!

Some of you may remember my friend Ethan (fellow film grad here in Madison) when he came through Salt Lake a couple of summers ago (he's still talking about Emily's borsht). Well, if you find yourself around a television this Wednesday afternoon, Ethan is going to live out a life-long dream of his and compete on Jeopardy!

--Tom

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Age of Incompetence

I usually hate letters to the editor, but this piece in the Tribune is dead on. "trained in critical analysis by toothpaste commercials"


~R

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Eternally Rumsfeld
By Harold Meyerson

Rumsfeld faced calls for his resignation this summer over the abuses at
the Abu Ghraib military prison in Iraq. Republicans close to the White House
said the decision to retain him was driven by the calculation that replacing
him would appear to be a concession that the administration made mistakes in
Iraq.

Moreover, some Republicans have speculated that Rumsfeld wanted to stay on
with the hope that security conditions in Iraq would improve, leaving him
with a better legacy.
-- from a Dec. 4 Post story on President Bush's decision to retain Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2016 -- President-elect George P. Bush announced today
that he would reappoint Donald Rumsfeld to another term as secretary of
defense. Rumsfeld has served in that position since he was appointed by
President George W. Bush in 2001. After serving two terms in George W.
Bush's administration, Rumsfeld served an additional two terms in the
subsequent administration of President Jeb Bush. His 16 consecutive years
heading the Pentagon is the longest uninterrupted tenure of any defense
secretary, and that doesn't include the nearly two years he served in that
post under President Gerald Ford. Rumsfeld is 84.

Sources close to the president-elect say that failing to reappoint
Rumsfeld would be taken as a criticism of his uncle, former president George
W. Bush, whose decision to invade Iraq in the spring of 2003 has bogged down
U.S. forces there in a bloody and ongoing conflict that has lasted nearly 14
years. "George W. is mighty proud of independent Kurdistan," said one former
official who is close to the Bush family. "He may have regrets about the
Islamic Theocratic Republic of Basra, particularly since they got the bomb,
and the PTCZWBOS [Permanent Temporary Curfew Zone Where Baghdad Once Stood],
but he'll never admit it."

Rumsfeld does not plan on serving all four years of President-elect Bush's
term, one Defense Department official said today. "As soon as things turn
up, the moment the Green Zone is secured, he's out of there."

One figure in the outgoing and incoming administrations who argued
strongly for Rumsfeld's retention was Vice President-elect Dick Cheney, who
first worked with Rumsfeld in the Ford administration. Cheney himself is
about to begin his fifth term as vice president, a record-breaking tenure
bought about in part by the decision of his cardiologists in 2008 that he
could not safely be moved from the vice president's office.

Both Presidents George W. Bush and Jeb Bush periodically found themselves
compelled to mount strenuous defenses of Rumsfeld's lengthy tenure. In a
memorable 2006 news conference, a visibly exasperated President George W.
Bush argued that wartime presidents had traditionally stuck with their
commanders for the full duration of their conflicts. "Lincoln didn't dump
McClellan, and I'm not dumping Rumsfeld," the president declared, leading
the White House press office to issue its now-famous clarification that the
Civil War had actually ended in 1862.

Rumsfeld's most recent term was marked by controversy over the extended
tours of duty that many of the U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq have been
compelled to serve. With enlistments in the armed services down to a
trickle, and with Congress unable to find the votes to pass the so-called
Sensenbrenner Plan to staff the armed services with unpaid, undocumented
immigrants, many of the front-line U.S. soldiers in Iraq have been serving
there since 2004, their terms of enlistment repeatedly extended by
Rumsfeld's order.

Since the Mutiny of 2009 Defense Department officials have been concerned
that bringing the "colonial army" home would risk infecting stateside troops
with a crisis of morale. "We're fighting low morale in Iraq," one general
said, "so we don't have to fight it here at home."

Rumsfeld's decision to remain at the Pentagon's helm may not have been
dictated entirely by his desire to stay until the PTCZWBOS is secured. "Don
took a bath when the dollar tanked back in 2005," one prominent Republican
said, "and hasn't done all that well since the dollar was pegged to the
yuan. In the absence of Social Security, he can't afford to quit."

meyersonh@washpost.com

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Journal Nature and the White-Crowned Alex Baugh:

“University of Utah scientists taught baby sparrows to sing a complete song even though the birds were exposed only to overlapping segments of the tune rather than the full melody. The study provides clues about how musical memories are stored in the brain and how those memories help birds learn to sing.

The results also may have implications for how people learn language. . .”
Published in the Dec. 9 issue of the journal Nature.


See the 5th paragraph here for credits:
SparrowSpeak

See the first paragraph from the Nature Article

And listen to an NPR story:
Bird Song

Badass props up the texas way to the man with skull cap, sarong and the million teas.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

SFSG : Happy Pearl Harbor Day!

Hola,

Summer has reached Buenos Aires. The days are hot and the legendary mugginess of the Rio Platte has begun. We hung up our sleeping bags and now I sleep under the sarong that Henry gave me on Ko Pan Yan with the cieling fan on. Austin bought running shoes and has been using them for their perverted end. After he is waxed I will be able to tell if he is tan. We discovered a bar in the threshhold of the kitchen that can be used for the pulling and chinning of ups and labor to do this when we are not busy digesting large sums. Our visas expire on the 27th so we are going to Uruguay on Wednesday morning. There is a ferry across the river to Colonia and from there we intend to bus and hitch our way to the eastern swath of the country that faces the South Atlantic. There are supposed to be really nice beaches there, few people, and in some places good dunes. It will be nice to get out of the city if only to see the stars. The constellations are different down here and we are trying to decide if that is Cancer in Orion or if that really was crack we smoked. Anyway, stars are better than smoking crack, and so is sand, and so is lying around for a couple of days getting cooked under the hole in the ozone. Hopefully I will be able to swim without the fear of sharks and or rip tides making me cramp up and drown.

We love our city, our apartment and our neighborhood. We have gradually expanded the orbit of our knoweldge to include such quaint facts :

1. Our Teutonic Amigo, Constantine, who hails from Bonn, called last thursday and said in his wonderful accent, It is so hot the only sensible thing is to go out and get a drink. He took us to an impossibly hip club in Palermo Hollywood, about a mile from us, where we stood on the roof and drank long islands with people from all over. I drank champagne with a businessman who spoke four languages. Austin hung out with a couple of guys from Columbia. Constantine didnt get my joke about Handel. Austin said it was too obscur. I said, but hes Lutheran. Austin said it didnt matter.

2. On the way Constantine took us to see the apartment of the pretty blond big sister from Thanksgiving whose boyfriend I learned, after going to the e cafe to ask her out on a date, just arrived to spend ten months in Buenos Aires. Kristens apartment is on the Park Avenue of Argentine prostitution. Only the most fabulous whores are allowed to work this street and it is quite amazing. The majority of the ladies are men, or people formerly known as men before elaborate surgeries. Many have enormous boobs and many of these stand around in nothing but knee high white boots and tiny white shorts squeezing their gigantic boobs for passersby. Many of them are tall and burly and I suspect one or two played on the Argentine Olympic basketball team.

3. The apartment was very nice and I am excited to go to the christmas party there because I have never been to a christmas party where they made caiparinhas and mojitos because the night is too hot. Also, the boyfriend, Drew, who I like to call Greg to amuse my sadistic heart, is quite smart and likes to paint. He failed the foreign service exam last year when Austin did and likes to say hegemony so it will be fun to taunt him about the psychotropic degeneration of expression in polysyllabic dialectics.

Note: Greg and Austin failed the foreign service exam. That means that those guys who tell you to fill out form B and bring it back with a passport sized photo are really really really really smart.

4. Our neighborhood is really cool. It is full of mom and pop stores, small stationary shops, japonese dry cleaners, 24 hour flower stands, newspaper kiosks, minimarts that put their cages down at night and sell Old Esmuggler through the bars, dives where old guys sit around playing cards on weekends, chinese supermarkets, trendy bars, hip bars, impossibly hip bars, bohemian bars, derelicts, people who sit in the park and watch the sunset, ibid while drinking boxed wine, ibid while smoking grass, ibid while selling grass, ibid while watching people jog, walk dogs, watch kids ride the merry go round, etc. Sort of a fusion of Barcelona and Jakarta.

5. At the park the other day Austin and I were heroes. There is a cage over a ramp that descends into a hillside to a locked maintenance door. Some kids were messing around and dropped their ball into the cage. Dad was unable to fish the ball out with a long stick so Austin and I took charge. We tied a second stick the long stick using an old hangar and I climbed on top of the cage and lay down and could just reach the ball by sticking my arm down into the cage and pushed the ball up the ramp to the kids by swimming along the cage, sticking one arm through the next gap and taking hold of the stick then repeating the process along the top of the cage to which mom said, me encanta, or, to be literal, it enchants me.

6. Other enchanting details of the park include the palm trees that rise up to the roof line of buildings west of the park so at sunset the light shines over the skyline and through the palm trees and the top of the swingset and lands on the winos and the joggers and the dogs fighting over the shovel and the family with the kid in the stroller who sell pot.

7. We are starting to get to know people in the neighborhood. There is the Taiwanese guy who works graveyard at the e cafe, who is literate and fluent in English, Spanish and Mandarin and who is now learning Japonese. There is the kid at the videostore who likes to show off how good his English comprehension is. There is the mom and pop store we go to because they have liters of cold horrible white wine in boxes and cheap mortadella sandwiches and the husband, who Austin calls Dad and I call Pop, in surly and talks about Italy and the wife, who we both call Mom, always says How are you and we always say Como anda and she talks about Miami and we tell her husband that we prefer Italy too.

7. a. Example of the Neighborhood quality of our neighborhood. The other day at Mom and Pops, I was waiting in line with a carton of wine when the payphone outside the door rang. The kid in line in front of me asked Mom, by name, if he should get the phone. She said yes. He did and called out to Pop, by name, Hey Marco, its Louie, he wants ten empanadas. To which Pop said, Tell him Ill throw them in the oven. Theyll be ready in a few minutes.

8. We practice Spanish by doing the crossword together that comes on the back of the Clarin. Since we moved in, and bought a dictionary, our success rates have improved from five to fifty percent. To practice Listening and Comprehension, Austin likes to listen to talk radio. I have told him about Mitch and the little red Rabbit with the rust holes in the floor and being stuck in traffic in August on I 15 listening to KALL at full volume and still he likes to wake me up in the mornings with talk radio. For Listening and Comprehension I prefer to listen to the deranged old people who live in the well outside my window who like to get drunk in the morning and yell about the dog and yell about how well the baby is sleeping until the baby wakes up and then they like to laugh about the baby crying and the dog barking and because Buenos Aires is made of cement it sounds like there is a German shepherd and a baby and old drunken people in my room and I wake up that much smarter.

9. We are slowly getting into a routine, albeit one that involves numerous sunrises, morning birds, wine that makes you say Huah, no more books to read, humidity, the mysterious smell, the lost clove of garlic, women that make you trip, an empty refridgerator, green beef, enormous piles of festering shit, summer, visas running down, accidental gin and tonics, and the dreadful knowledge that tempus fugit. I am working on several stories, a new novel and a screenplay. Austin is teaching and running and doing things on a straw matt with the door closed that make things happen to his body that can only be described with Masseyian Metaphysics. He bought a sketchpad and a pencil, his first, and sat down to draw for the first time in his adult life and discovered that he is amazingly talented at copying material reality in two demensional space. Go figure. Our Spanish has improved dramatically, but still sucks. But sucks less. And, perhaps the greatest change to our lives since 9 11, we got a video account and started renting DVDs that we watch on my computer. Last night we watched the Day of the Dead and I had to sleep with the glow in the dark rosary even after I spent two hours reading the Matrix Revolutions extra material in Portugese.

10. It is hot and sunny and in two days we will be sitting on a beach in Uruguay looking at the Southern Cross.

Hope you all are well, had a good start to the Holidays, and are taking advantage of the snow.

Andrew

PS I know its Dec 7.

Makin' a Mockery of Marriage

Got' Dang Liberals out in Massachusetts are Makin' a Mockery of Marriage

What kind of place is Massachusetts?  If they allows homosexuals to marry, they
must have no respect for the institution of marriage.  I mean, if they allow two
'homos' to marry, that's an assualt on the most respected institution in our
nation, right?  A state whose highest court is willing to piss all over a
marriage license like that must have an astronomically high divorce rate, right?
Wrong.  As I'm sure you all know (and it's probably already been posted on this
site), Massachusetts has the LOWEST divorce rate in the Union.  Damn, that's
some food for thought.  And which states have the highest divorce rates?  Some
of them got' dang bible belt states, damn!

As they said in Reading Rainbow, don't take my word for it. Google it, or go
to: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/10/3
1/walking_the_walk_on_family_values/

On a totally unrelated note, here's a plug for Eric Rolph's and Emily Davis's
website.  Please check out www.stareat.us -- if you dig around carefully, you'll
find a highly embarrassing Thanksgiving picture, in Eric's part of the site, of
Wynne and me dancing the humpty-hump.

Miss you guys,
Dietrich

Sunday, December 05, 2004

parking2


parking2, originally uploaded by matthewzollinger.

Evan and I got this parking ticket in Elena's Mom's car at the "W" lounge. We mailed it off like this today.


parking


parking, originally uploaded by matthewzollinger.

. . . Another view
~ Roger


Saturday, December 04, 2004

"Trophies"

Aljazeera: More Abuse

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