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08/01 Direct Link
We were talking about what DVDs we had.
I said, "We've got The Seventh Seal, The Bicycle Thieves-"
"Isn't that The Bicycle Thief?"
"That's a mistranslation. And we've got Foreign Correspondent."
"Foreign Correspondent? Is that about a foreign correspondent?"
"No, actually it's about a habersdasher."
"Oh, I see."
"Another mistranslation."

"Sometimes I forget what holds planes up."
AUDIENCE LAUGHTER
"You know they can't stop in the middle of the sky, right?"
AUDIENCE LAUGHTER
"Unless it's, I dunno, a helicopter or some damn thing."
AUDIENCE APPLAUDS
"Thank you, thanks a lot."
AUDIENCE APPLAUDS
"I'm talking about being very afraid."
AUDIENCE LAUGHTER

08/02 Direct Link
I re-saw some films by Humphrey Jennings yesterday. Listen to Britain and London Can Take It! They're both absolutely stunning films. They are very much unlike ordinary documentaries. Everything is mostly real, even though some parts are obviously staged. These two films are among the most beautiful films ever made.

A friend of mine is writing a history of sleaze. I visited her just as she was getting to the Babylonian exile. "Doesn't sleaze have a rather shore shelf life? Isn't it too subjective?" She said, "It's easy to find. Just look for what the authorities condemn." "That's a lot."

08/03 Direct Link
They were out for a drive.
"Turn at the next corner."
"Okay."
A half-hour later they were still going straight.
"I think it's unusual for there to be no corners."
"Yes, it is odd."
An hour passed.
"Quite peculiar!"
"Yes. Let's see if anything's different when I slow down."
"Yes."

The itch it burns.
I scratch away
Exposing bone.
Erupting goo
Is all I see.
I wonder if
In chemistry
There's any use
For all my goo.
Or maybe there's
A use for it
In symphonies
In minor keys.
I've bottled it
For future use
Expecting to
Wholesale it soon.

08/04 Direct Link
Is a picture worth a thousand words?
Let's find out!
Windows comes with four sample pictures. The average size? 70.525KB.
One of my little stories--the last one: 26KB. Per word: .26KB.
A picture is therefore worth 271.25 words.
(Hey, it makes as much sense as Marx's theory of labour!)

Sometimes--sometimes being most of the time--I forget, or I'm not aware, that I'm old, fat, and ugly. When I wake in the morning I feel like a young person. A young buck, with dreams, and hopes, still with passion....
At least until I try to move a muscle.

08/05 Direct Link
Herb has designed his very first video game! It's retro. It's called 'Elevator Action III.' The goal is to get onto elevators with as few people as possible. You don't have any control of who get onto it with you. There's some strategy. (Take rather short trips.) Lowest score wins.

1.
A summer's tree-frogs:
The heartbeat of a giant
Looking for a mate.
2.
I'm Humpty Dumpty
With seven eggs inside me-
Hotel buffet meal.
3.
Sleeping in winter
Under thick and white blankets,
It's like something else!
4.
Don't believe the news
Of my death. Substantial is
My primavera.

08/06 Direct Link
"All in."
"You're bluffing. Show 'em."
"How did you know I was bluffing?"
"Your tell."
"I have a tell?"
"Yup."
"What is it?"
"You stick your fist in your mouth."
"I do not."
"You do. Right in your mouth."
"Okay, fine."
[...]
"I'll pass."
"I'm all in."
"You're bluffing."
"Damn!"

MY WATERCOLOURS
aquamarine, sky, azure,
Mediterranean, blue, cornflower,
ultramarine, sapphire, royal,
cerulean, forget-me-not, indigo,
turquoise, Indian, teal,
cyan, lapis lazuli, gentian,
bluebell, Prussian blue, cobalt,
zaffre, smalt, beryl,
blue-grey, blue-green, navy,
gentian-cerulian, Indian-sapphire, cornflower-indigo,
teal-Mediterranean, sky-blue, bluebell-cobalt,
lapis lazuli-royal, cyan-azure, smalt-sapphire,
gentian-ultramarine, forget-me-not-aquamarine, turquoise-zaffre,
beryl-blue-grey, blue-green-Indian-sapphire, cyan-azure-turquise-zaffre,
gentian-cerulian-bluebell-cobalt, Prussian blue-beryl.

08/07 Direct Link
A COMPUTER SIMULATION
You are looking at a screen because paper is too slow. You come across a sentence that has something wrong with it. You are looking a screen because paper is too slow. This is what you read or read. Maybe you're really reading--in either case: simulation.

"What's that rattling, Sue?"
"It's me."
"Keys, or coins?"
"Neither. It's just me. Me rattling."
"What are you doing rattling?"
"Sympathetic magic, pathetic fallacy, rhyme."
"Really?"
"I'm just a person who's rattled--thus I rattle."
"Like a snake."
"A rattle snake."
"I see."
"I can hardly get through a day."

08/08 Direct Link
Don't confuse me with my double. My double studied maths and took an engineering degree. He married, has three kids, an exective job. Lots of travel, and a mistress. Today he lives in a huge lakefront penthouse. He's healthy and he's happy. My double is quite a success, poor guy.

I met Big-Mouth for dinner. He said, "Let's be fair about this. I'm going to order what you're going to eat. That's our consensus. I'm tired of partisan politics. Do as I say. You're too stupid, I'm too smart. I'm being perfectly fair, you unrderstand? And shut up," he explained.

08/09 Direct Link
A recent study has shown that girls are muturing faster than ever these days, with menarche observed in some populations to take place as young as seven.
"There is no scientific reason to deny a middle age man wives who are as young as nine," said head researcher Muhamed Muhomina-Homina.

MY VIRAL POEM
A month ago Mary came across an online article that included a link to a poem of mine called 'Miss Hutson.' (It was a eulogy for our old landlady.) This morning I was sent a different article, also linking to my poem.
My poem has gone viral!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

08/10 Direct Link
My double was watching tv when someone rang at the door. He went to answer it. A lean guy stood there, with pamphlets.
The guy said, "Good evening, sir. I'm here representing the World Wildlife Fund, and I-"
"You're barking up the wrong tree," said my double. "I'm an anti-communist."

THE BUTCHER DAUGHTER
She's spurned me, he said. She won't even speak to me. I was foolish to give it all up to her. I wish I was a lad again. Don't tell me there's more fish in the sea. Not her. Can I borrow that chair? Got any paper?

08/11 Direct Link
Here's a new theory I haven't written about. It concerns what I call granularity. DISEASE. Most infectious diseases--the really virulent ones--are gone forever. Now we're after pretty lame ones. The Black Death killed half of Europe. (The sociocides want that again.) It's all because of more precise measurement.

Everyone from work was going to a bar, and I realized I could go so long as I pretended it was just an extention of work. Into the bar I went, knowing why. But guess who was there. My Enemy. I don't want to work with her!--so I left.

08/12 Direct Link
The things they said:
"Wow! John's gone!"
"He's so sensitive!"
"Something must be wrong!"
"I think he just wants attention!"
"He's so anti-social!"
"Maybe he has things he must do!"
"I wonder why?"
"We must be doing something wrong!"
"Wonder where he went?"
I'm lying. No-one said anything at all.

GRANULARITY II
What I mean to say is that many of the hysterias we see today in the mass media aren't generated from matter. Instead, they're generated because our systems of measurement have become more precise. The problems were always there--but now's the time when we can measure them.

08/13 Direct Link
ELIAS ABUELAZAM AND MEDIA RACISM
"All horses are brown."
"What about that roan?"
"Doesn't count."
"Why not?"
"It's not brown."
"That's what I mean."
"But that one's not brown."
"I can see that. But--all horses are brown."
"How can you say they're all brown?"
"Because I say so, peasant."

BLOCKED!
I've taken notice of a particularly hilarious phrase that's all the more hilarious because no-one, to my knowledge, has noticed it before, and I tried to come up with a use for it that wasn't political ('cause I've been too political recently), but I couldn't. It's "NON-PERISHABLE FOOD ITEMS."

08/14 Direct Link
I was born in a small crowd.
New York is my kind of crowd.
Success is moving from a small crowd to a slightly larger crowd.
Small-crowd whores are the best.
Dirty old crowd.
Let's paint the crowd red.
Crowd hall meeting.
The baddest man in the whole damn crowd.

My double is in a museum, staring at a painting of a seascape. He frowns. The painting shows a woman sitting in a chair. He sighs. It shows a London scene. He clasps his hands. It shows a red and blue abstraction. He murmurs, "But what's he trying to do?"

08/15 Direct Link
I woke up one morning from a horrible dream. There'd been an explosion at work and everyone died. When I got to work Jim said, "I dreamed last night this place exploded." "I had that dream too." Nance stuck her head up. "Me too! And everyone died!" We held a little poll there and then--everyone had had the same dream--and all of us at approximately the same time. We wondered what to do. We spread out to the other departments where we found the dream to be the sole topic of every department. And then the building exploded.

08/16 Direct Link
I set up a chair at the C.N.E. and photographed people for $2 a pop.
I took a picture of a man with one arm. He wanted a discount.
I took a picture of a woman and her son. She tipped.
Then there was the guy in the character costume. Some kind of leopard. You'd never believe what he tried to pay me with.
Everybody wanted to pay something different. I started pointing at my sign belligerently. "Two bucks!" I'd say.
Couldn't they read? Didn't they understand? When I want something for something, that's what I want. And nothing else.

08/17 Direct Link
The room at City Hall in which one pays small fines was neat and tidy.

I was there to pay a $53 fine because a cop caught me drinking a sixpack in a park.

He'd torn the yellow slip off his infractions booklet, saying, "Let this be a lesson."

I was fourth in line. There was a woman in front of me, a man in front of her, and, at the cashbox wicket, a woman who I heard say, "Thanks. I hope to never see you again."

I wondered how many times the woman taking the money had heard that.

08/18 Direct Link
The guy stepped up. He said, "Got this fine for drinking in a park." He slid it under the wicket.

The teller said. "That'll be $53."

"No."

She looked up. "Yes, it's clear. It's $53."

He took his hand out his pocket. "Gimme all the fucking money now!"

The teller calmly started stacking out the money.

A door burst open. Two massive cops stood there. "Drop the weapon, motherfucker, or you die right now!"

"Don't shoot!" he cried, dropping the gun.

The cops grabbed him and threw him against the wall, bent his arm behind him, and dragged him out.

08/19 Direct Link
As the sound of the cops beating up the guy could be clearly heard, the teller said, "Next."

That's when I got the idea. Since the cops are busy, why shouldn't I rob the place? I'd never robbed any place before. This could be the time to do such a thing.

The woman ahead of me was done with her fine-paying.

I braced myself. I looked tough.

"Next."

With my hands in my pockets I went to the wicket and glared at her.

"Ticket, please."

I paused. I looked shiftily. I pursed my lips.

I'd forgotten it on my dresser.

08/20 Direct Link
And the nominees are

1) Let's see if anything's different when I slow down.
2) Maybe you're really reading--in either case: simulation.
3) We held a little poll there and then--everyone had had the same dream--and all of us at approximately the same time.
4) "No, actually it's about a habersdasher."
5) My double is in a museum, staring at a painting of a seascape.
6) My poem has gone viral!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7) When I wake in the morning I feel like a young person.
8) The teller calmly started stacking out the money.

And the winner is

08/21 Direct Link
20

Bunkerism*

12:00 is the most stupid time of them all. Is it a.m. or p.m.? Is it noon or midnight? It's always ambiguous! The hour after midnight should be called zero. If only that was the case, we wouldn't be stuck at Yorkdale--because the bus at 12:00 was at midnight, not noon. Idiocy! Temporal idiocy! At the very least, midnight should be indicated to come at the end of a day. not the beginning! How do these wicked people sleep at night?

*Archie Bunker hated Canada because he mis-sent a shipment meant for London, Ontario to London, England.

08/22 Direct Link
21

B Trbetr jnf n evbg ynfg avtug! Vg jnf fgenvtug bhg bs Qrynal! Ur jnf fvggva' ba gur gbvyrg ng Puncf univa' orre-fuvgf & thlf 'q pbzr ol, cvff va uvf zbhgu! Ur'q fhpx vg, qevax vg hc.... Ur jnf chyyva' njnl ng gur fnzr gvzr. Fubjf jung cnegl qehtf pna qb. Jura ur unq gur punapr ur'q fnl fghss nobhg 'svfpny erfcbafvovyvgl' & 'vasenfgehpgher' ohg jr jrer nyy gbb shpxrq hc gb pner. Gurer ur jnf, vasenfgehpgher & svfpny erfcbafvovyvgl, fhpxva' bhe pbpxf & qevaxva' bhe cvff, nyyngvzr fnlva' "Ibgr sbe zr! Ibgr sbe zr! Ibgr sbe zr!"

08/23 Direct Link
22

Ho plus hum. I can't say I'm particularly inclined to write anything today. It's sunny; the water's over there; look, a chipmunk! So I'm offering this Space to Rent. I suppose the proper price would be one hundred dollars. That sounds fair. You, the viewer, for a mere hundred smackers (American, of course) can place a message here. Sonnets fit well. Or some sarcastic newsy thing. Even a panel cartoon fits. It's completely up to you. I'm strongly in favour of free speech. This is a limited time offer. It'll no longer be available tomorrow. Act now! Act now!

08/24 Direct Link
23

Austalia's still counting the votes. Rob Ford is ahead in the race for the Toronto mayoralty. Some guys have made a replica of Warhol's soup can painting out of Rubik's cubes. Someone's been hit by a train. France, Germany and Belgium persist. We have no Internet access nor a computer with which to access it. Miners are stuck in a Chilean mine. "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to me happy."--Ben Franklin. Gmail now offers a recall button. Mary just touched my shoulder. About twenty-two degrees, partly overcast, and a breeze from the south.

08/25 Direct Link
24

Something of some sort took place in Columbia Park last Monday. As of press time details are sketchy. Many who came forward as witnesses were later shown to be imposters; two turned out to be historical re-enactors. A child of unknown sex stated that it "saw the whole thing." The park itself may not be the park at which the(se) event(s) are believed to have possible taken place. Further details--true, probable, possible, false--will or will not be provided as this "cloud of unknowing" (the child's phrase) clears off. We are on top of it, in a sense.

08/26 Direct Link
25

Oh my!
Oh!
I just wanted a look inside the boathouse!
It's nothing, I was just....
Don't be embarrassed.
It wasn't what you're thinking.
You don't have to tell me that. I just didn't expect anyone.
I'll get out of your way.
No, don't.
No?
I think it's interesting.
What?
I've only seen it on the Internet.
Oh, Okay.
Wow.
How's this?
Can I join you?
Um, sure.
Okay. how's that?
That's pretty good.
Like what you see?
Yes, a lot.
It feels good.
I believe you.
Wanna trade hands?
You mean, like this?
It's so thick!
So wet!

08/27 Direct Link
26

Seeking an inspiration that is at all times (that is to say, at one time, at another time, at a third time, etc. etc. etc.) pungent, relational, isomorphic and principled, the man, of this height or of that height, "youngishly" in his mid-forties, wearing all of the following: shoes, socks, short pants, a t-shirt and a dress shirt, descends (for ascension is impossible geographically in this case) to the margin of the watery domain, black in both nature and essence, moves onto a wooden dock (raised some fifteen inches or so in the Spring). sit essentially and stares out.

08/28 Direct Link
27

One night, Tuesday night, the moon was full and visible from sunset to sunrise. What are the odds of that?

First, how often does sunset come within an hour of moonrise?
Let's check the almanacs!
It rises each day approximately twenty minutes later than the previous day. Thus there are seven days in every seventy or so.
One in ten.

Full moons happen once every 28 days.

Perfectly clear nights? I don't know about that. Would you accept one in five?

Once in 1400 nights. Every four years.

Not significant numbers.... But we were the ones to experience it.

08/29 Direct Link
Bunkerism II

The Internet is a worthless piece of junk. It's riddled with errors, and sometimes it provides entirely false information. Entirely false. It'd be better to rip it up and start again. I went all the way over there on false information--like the false information from the bus company. I went over there for a barbecue--and I walked around the store for about forty minutes--and I asked two people who agreed they were out. "But the Internet said you had stock!" They just shrugged. I was so mad! And exasperated! Let's just junk the whole thing! Okay!

08/30 Direct Link
IT started raining on our ball game.
What was the game?
We were playing with bubbles of air.
Oh.
So we all ran under a tree and looked out.
How many were you?
Three.
Under the tree.
Yes. We stared out, wondering what to do.
Quit the game, or wait out the rain.
Yes. We were all sweat and rain.
How old were you here?
Thirteen.
The others?
About the same.
So what happened next?
The rain began to let up. And we decided to keep playing. We played in the light rain. We could barely feel it. The rain.

08/31 Direct Link
"Oh, I just kind of dawdled around, took my time, a very hot day, walked quite slow, listening to conversations and so on. I got to the Canadian Tire pretty quickly, even so. The barbecue was shockingly easy to find. Gosh. Couldn't dawdle much more, though. Well, walking up to College took some time. The first streetcar was loaded. I waited. Then next was pretty packed, but I figured I had to move. Couldn't get off at the right stop--got off at the next. That's why I was late getting home for dinner with your brother whom I dislike."