Thursday, September 27, 2007


1. A prolific shrub outside my study window has come into a blue-ish, lilac -colored bloom. It is probably plumbago. I should ask the squadrons of humming birds who are arriving to partake of it. What is this bush called? What is this thing called, Love?

2. Some while back in this year, the photographer Liz Kuball emailed me to describe the gastro-intestinal malaise occasioned by having ingested a particularly weighty fettuccine Alfredo at an Italian fast-food restaurant. Bad move, she wrote. Not so severely afflicted, I was nevertheless up betimes as Samuel Pepys would have put it, the victim of a fettuccine al pesto at Peabody's Restaurant, and yes, I quite agree, anyone who would order any kind of fettuccine at a restaurant named Peabody's gets a condign punishment. Nevertheless. Up early with rumbling tummy, one has pause to think of existential things. My thoughts were of dark nights of the soul as experienced by such notables as St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Martin Buber. I seem to recall Dame Hildegarde of Bingham having had one or two and from the wrenching descriptions of their losses, I suspect Joan Didion and Calvin Trillin had them as well. Theirs were from seriously existential origins; mine was from a platter of limp noodles. Bad move to the contrary notwithstanding, my thoughts were not about survival or other serious matters of craft and conscience but back to the kitchen. Were existential dark nights of the soul set off in the first place by some dreadful meal consumed hours before in the innocence of being involved with a full schedule? Many famed conflicts and voyages of doubt have been reputedly set forth in the bedroom, and no doubt with good cause. But I wonder if we are giving the kitchen a free pass?

3. Which is more infuriating, the hour glass of the PC, advising us that some program is downloading, or the equivalent whirl-a-gig icon on the Mac?

4. Alas, it is now too late to compare thee to a Summer's day. Maybe next year.

5. After reading Father Mapple's sermon in the early pages of Moby-Dick, you were reminded of: (check one)

a. Paul Wolfowitz
b. Billy Graham
c. The Bal Shem Tov
d. Norman Podhoretz
e. Sen. Lindsey Graham
f. Seinfeld

6. Myanmar is going to regret messing with the monks and nuns.


Lori Witzel said...

Re: #6, it can't happen too soon. But who'll be able to let others know, now the state's shut access to the internet for those who live there?

A survey of Myanmar and the internet, past:

And more recent news:,1697,2190183,00.asp

x said...

This is uniformly so excellent I'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. But as to number five, EVERYTHING reminds me of Seinfeld.

R.L. Bourges said...

Father Mapple's pairing with Paul Wolfowitz made me laugh out loud, so I have to go with a).