Wednesday, October 31, 2001

One of my domains has been expired for several days, and no notification was ever sent out (or at least received). What a complete nuisance to get it all going again. Both pumpkins have become jack-o-lanterns. One Jack is from the Grace church pumpkin patch and the other's from Albertson's. One is rotund, bright orange, and with moist flesh that smells like good pie material (Grace Methodist); the other is tall, brown, narrow-ridged, and stringy, but with a good shell for carving (Albertson's). The tall one, once carved, conveys an expression of vacant senility; the other, with buck teeth, looks like a fresh punk. The bottom of the mouth of each is high enough to avoid dread candle-view through the opening. From any seeds not eaten we'll be sure to derive seedlings, but the vines always acquire fungal disease before bearing fruit.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

MGM market doesn't seem to have a current web site, the search conducted found an archived message that led to an Austin Muslim listserv. The message was notification that MGM's former site had become a halal butcher. The listserv has well over 600 members and is intended for children and young people up to the age of 18, as well as their parents. Needless to say, it has been quite active since September 11.

Monday, October 29, 2001

On the mental jukebox today, and it just won't go away: "U Remind Me of a Girl that I Once Knew," by Usher. Sammy and Bob conducted an informal radio election poll: amazingly 25 for Eric Mitchell, 3 for Gus Garcia, and 1 for Breadman Blakely.There were no duplicate callers.

Sunday, October 28, 2001

We had become very fond of a small cat left free to roam the neighborhood and were dismayed and saddened to learn that she had been struck and killed by some of the traffic ever accelerating in numbers and velocity. Legally Blonde seemed to be the best available equivalent to light comedy as a distraction. The filming locations were not credited, which is always irritating, but appeared to be entirely California, except for a manipulated aerial establishing shot of Cambridge. Supposedly set at Harvard Law, the movie showed a graduating class of about 150, which would be more like Yale Law (total enrollment about 575 at any given time, and never over 200 back in the old days), instead of the 560 or so law graduates emerging from Harvard each year (total enrollment close to 1,700). On the way back from the movie, we stopped at MGM Indian foods to stock up on samosa and frozen dahl. We didn't even talk about it, but bought some handmade lamps intended for Diwali. We know that we lit them for a small creature whose name was not ever known to us.

Saturday, October 27, 2001

It's the season for Breton chocolate pound cake: five ounces of chocolate and three eggs--can't beat it!

Friday, October 26, 2001

Some people never learn that, when the invitation says black tie, a dinner jacket is indeed in order. Some people like to stand out as exceptions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Sometimes a self-inflicted haircut is far better than the available alternatives.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

So this morning's NYT agrees that those handling the mail have not been given proper attention. And in the middle of this ugly time, Fortune magazine reports that on the peanut butter front, PB Slices (similar to presliced and wrapped cheese product, evidently) have come to save the sandwich day, while, in another peanut-butter-and-jelly-merger, the Smucker jam outfit has acquired Jif. This morning, Gus broadcast briefly and cagily on KVET, and Eric at greater length on the Wake-Up Call on KAZI, spending quite an amount of time answering schoolchildren's call-in questions.

Monday, October 22, 2001

It is truly repellent to attack postal workers and people who open the mail for the "important people." More emphasis should be placed on assuring the well-being of the sorters. Those shaking machines used in the sorting process have probably spread any noxious particulate matter that may exist all over the place. I wonder how many automatic envelope openers are in place and where these days as well.

Sunday, October 21, 2001

Iron Monkey, nominally based in part on the early years of Wong Fei-Hung (or so we're told, successfully meets all escapist needs. Nearly every face among the actors is a familiar one. Normally, so much wirework is not a favorite feature, but the choreography is truly beautiful. It's been reedited and new sound furnished. At points the practiced viewer can tell where changes were made, even without having seen the unaltered version. It seemed peculiar to have no Chinese characters accompanying the subtitles. A father had brought a couple of his kids, along with a couple of tagalongs and they were all enjoying the movie to the max. What a wonderful entertainment--thank you Quentin Tarantino! Apparently the reviewers agreed.

Saturday, October 20, 2001

The current New York Review of Books is fat with ads from the university presses on subjects such as Islam, terrorism, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etc., etc., etc. The university press at Denton has reissued Mary Faulk Koock's Texas Cookbook. It costs $25 for a paperback; mind cost $8.95 way back when.

Friday, October 19, 2001

KFON's playing an odd but delightful mix of huapango and Vicente Fernandez ranchera, plus reports that Los Tigrillos and Michael Salgado are both going to be in town somewhere soon, maybe this weekend. Forbes magazine reports that the guy behind Green Mountain Coffee has an exclusive deal with Exxon convenience stores and that, what's more, he was one of two who each netted $3.1 million from the sale of EZWider papers. Having decided that last night it was time for old prescriptions to go, I was surprised to learn that the two most recent were both in 1995, for eye infections, from a doc-in-the-box that no longer exists. The third most recent were from 1984, completely unused, prescribed by a dentist for use if needed following a root-canal experience. Also out went an over-the-counter antihistamine that expired in early 1994. I think some new Drixoral is in order for this year, since for the first time since 1984 something is bothering the old sinuses. Would I use more medicine if we hadn't grown up relying on BFI powder, epsom salts, Vicks, mustard plasters, and witch hazel as our sole medicaments? I wonder.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

What brings people to the site is sometimes surprising--lots of times it's just to find the links because, even though people put up sites, they don't seem to be aware of the need for metatags so that search-engines find them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Isidoro Lopez did not play the Corrido de Dan del Santo on Fiesta Musical, but the Statesman did publish a piece by Michael Barnes. DDS was 50, and he and Terry Lickona arrived in Austin together from Poughkeepsie. The Professors of Pleasure used to play at Maggie Mae's when it first opened, but that wasn't mentioned. Why doesn't everybody sell Lammes candy for fund-raising? Infinitely better than the Word's Greatest, which isn't.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Today was the first sighting of the season for sprouting Dutch iris and for paperwhite narcissus.

Monday, October 15, 2001

If the Economist is to be credited, U.S. interests have much to fear from Vietnamese-raised catfish, but the Catfish Institute is on the job.

Sunday, October 14, 2001

Le Placarde at the Dobie was excellent light entertainment, though not at all cinematic--just a wonderful showcase for at least a half-dozen fine French actors. Gerard Depardieu is looking quite youthful. We saw a Tucanes tour bus at Riverside and 35.

Saturday, October 13, 2001

The Wiz has returned from Alaska, with many traveler's tales to relate, including everything about travel difficulties following September 11.

Friday, October 12, 2001

Our little television has been fried electrically in some way: the only sound is a Spanish-language simultaneous translation of Bush remarks. Los Tucanes de Tijuana are going to be playing here Sunday at Plaza Mexico, with los Coyotes del norte second-billed. We can't stop singing el Tucanazo.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

We still can't stop reading about the City.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

At last there's a little time to catch up on the October Metropolis magazine. Jerry Brown, now of Oakland, is alleged to have said that we house automobiles and garage people. This does not sound original to me. Other gleanings are that Puerto Rico has higher per-capita car ownership than does the U.S.A. In an interview with a lighting designer, the questioner asks about light trespass: when illumination spreads from its intended source and invades places such as our bedrooms. What are its physical effects? The designer replies: "Light suppresses our production of melatonin. Part of the process of going to sleep is having darkness. . . .. I'm very interested in it as far as streetlights in a residential community--if they are too high and too bright and coming into second-story bedroom windows. I look at elderly people, many of whom have sleeping disorders: the more they can get total darkness at night, the better." Amen!. It's so ugly to have the luminaires going into the yards and into houses; and the sky is so pink these days.

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

Just as having a long weekend of a sort, immobilized here at the homestead, allowed near-complete currency with newspapers and magazines, today brought all the items that haven't been delivered over the last two weeks. I had never read Michael Moore on line before, but all sorts of people seem to be quoting from his site these days. Others are always quoting from the Onion, which I hadn't looked at since it first went up on the Web. Still others are always fowarding pointers to flag graphics, inspirational and patriotic stuff, and false alerts about nonexistent viruses. I can't help enjoying the Photoshopped pic of the guy being photographed atop a building as the plane comes in behind him; and the same goes for the pot Osama games. I'm still all wrapped up in first-person accounts and features: today it was a team of six window-washers, saved because the squeegee that one carried had a handle strong enough to let them break out of a stalled elevator in time to exit one of the towers before it fell.

Saturday, October 06, 2001

Christina Saralegui conducted a wonderful interview with Thalia. She even asked her about whether Alicia Villarreal thinks that Thalia is imitating her. No one has ever had a better-paying contract with Univision/Televisa than Thalia.

Friday, October 05, 2001

All of a sudden the useful life of our ice-cube trays is ending, one by one. Those old metal ones with the lifter never wore out, but these twist'em ones certainly do. Since this is a household without air-conditioning in a not-cool climate, it's needless to say that our trays get real use. This week they're all going to tray heaven, it seems. A search on Google yields results that differ as between "ice trays" and "ice cube trays." I couldn't resist visiting the Tacky Living domain, which marveled at the existence of Texas-shaped ice cubes. Some of us are not at all surprised; we know that there are many sources for these things. One is My Texas Store, which also sells something called "mesquite clocks." . Another tidbit turned up is that somebody is selling old manuals and accessories, including ice-cube trays, under the Frigidaire name, complete with the original logotype.

Thursday, October 04, 2001

Modern-day telephone service must have come to route 53 in New Mexico, now promoted as "scenic byway 53." . Even the Ice Caves has a web site now.

Monday, October 01, 2001

How absurd that I thought Dryden's Aeneid was a good crib for translating Virgil in second-year Latin. When English text for the Aenid is sought, the Dryden's what's most commonly found, though. The Latin version is the same one we used: Ginn & Co. from 1900. We had to memorize big chunks from the Latin, but all I can remember now is some from the very beginning. Thinking about this made me look up all the references to Dido. All our schoolbooks were at least that old, except for the Dick and Jane readers. We had to read a lot of Longfellow's Hiawatha and memorize big chunks of it, which are sitll in my mind, but the pages where Minnehaha and the other women went naked into the cornfields under the moon were pinned together in everybody's copy. How do I know what it said? Because I read it, just as everybody else did.