04/01 Direct Link

So because all Western girls are stuck up bitches, I went to Central Asia to find me a good and decent girl who'd also be handy around the house. However, all the girls there seemed too frumpy for my tastes. They were all too round. Except ... except for one. And she was a beautiful one. Snag was she was the daughter of the local commissar or something. And he told me I had to kill this dragon. So off I went and I killed the dragon. I married the girl, named her Wendy. We moved to Toronto.

04/02 Direct Link

The electric guitar was conceived of approximately 1931. Jazz guitarists required amplification to properly play against the other jazz instruments.

In 1946, in Dorset, a woman gave birth to a son and named him Robert.

The Five Points in Manhattan came to be known as Hell's Kitchen in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Circa 1600 there appeared a word formed when the verb expose was turned into an abstact noun through the addition of the suffix -ure.

Three weeks ago I purchased a record called Exposure by amplified guitarist Robert Fripp recorded in Hell's Kitchen.


04/03 Direct Link
The Nazi Consultant came in to see our people this afternoon for a three-hour session with a fifteen minute break in the middle and free coffee and some muffins.

The Nazi Consultant kept things moving along at a fine pace by promising to "get back to that" and by taking names of our people who appeared unenthusiastic and by using dynamic PowerPoint.

The Nazi Consulant was dressed tidily in a forest green pantsuit and she told amusing stories about her days running a concentration camp in Belgium.

The Nazi Consultant was paid $500 plus a $50 per diem and travel.

04/04 Direct Link
from The Little Blue Book

It is written that possession is nine-tenths of the law.

What is the other tenth?

The other tenth are the stakes that hold up the saplings.

What if the stakes are weaker than the saplings?

If that is so, the landscaper deserves to die.

How should the landscaper die?

The landscaper should have one tenth of his body removed, in accordance with the law of possession.

What should be done with this tenth?

This tenth should be used to buttress the stakes once they have been repaired.

Tied to the saplings?

So it is written.

04/05 Direct Link
-So, who are you going to vote for?
-I can't vote.
-Why not?
-I don't think it's right.
-How so?
-Whoever I vote for gets money.
-It's a campaign contribution.
-Considering my job, I shouldn't make campaign contributions.
-Oh, come on. You sound like a conservative.
-I just don't think it's right.
-But really, you should participate.
-I know, I know...
-It's only two bucks!
-Two bucks....
-It's your democratic duty.
-Hmmm, it's my democratic duty....
-It's a very important election.
-Okay. You've convinced me.
-The Conservatives will have my two bucks on the third.
-What? What?

04/06 Direct Link
Sampso awoke, a ringing in his ear, to find himself completely transformed. He was in a bed beside a woman whom he did not know in a house that was unfamiliar. The ringing was an alarm clock. He figured out how to shut it off and shut it off. He got out of the bed and stepped onto strange flooring: carpeting. There was a door across the room. The woman in the bed had turned away. She had blonde hair. He left the room and found stairs and descended. He went outside and looked at the sun. The different sun.

04/07 Direct Link
I didn't know what had come over me when one day spotting an interesting-looking woman I decided to follow her home.

I kept a distance of fifty yards behind always. I was careful to maintain this distance. Until she stopped at a bus stop.

I didn't dare look at her. I watched her motions peripherally.

She sat near the back of the bus. I sat ahead of her. I waited.

The bell rang; I saw her clothes pass; I got off behind her.

And I looked at her blankly. She said, "John. I said no. You heard me say no."

04/08 Direct Link

Jesus Christ, don't you know what time it is? Fuck, what time is it.... It's fuckin' 7:30! Aw, fuck, it's Sunday too! Chirp-chirp-chirp, Jesus Christ, can't you get a writer? I know you lead pathetic little lives, what, three years?, but really I wish you could actually fall out of trees and stuff.... The only good thing about wind power is that it kills about 500 times more of you assholes than coal does per kil/hour.... So shrill! Penetrates pillows! What did I eat last night.... Yechh. Shut your beaks, you goddamn birds! I need a shotgun....

04/09 Direct Link
Concerning the 3rd Arden of The Taming of the Shrew

Of course the text itself is impeccable. But it's the editorial matter that's the problem. Editor John Drakakis says he started working on in the 90s and boy does it show.

About a third of the way through the Introduction I realized, "Wow, this is poststructuralist bullshit of an especially fine scent."

His uncritical invocations of Lyotard Derrida Bhabha etc. are completely yesterday's news. It's funny how he thinks he's being current when actually he's just a bigot for that "present."

People will laugh at him soon. I'm laughing now.

04/10 Direct Link

-I've got a great idea for a show.
-What is it?
-It's a roman clef, but--and here's the gimmick--it's based on two situations.
-Go on.
-Well, it's about us, here, here where we work. This whole organization.
-And what's the other part?
-The other part is, it's also about the Manson Family!
-Uh, sir. The public might not be ready for this.
-Oh please. I think the parallels call out for a treatment like this!
-I think you should reconsider.
-Get on it. Ten bil budget.
-Well, what the Executive Branch wants, the Executive Branch gets.

04/11 Direct Link
More concerning the 3rd Arden of TS

Talking to Mary this evening, I figured out why the Introduction is such a stinky carpet. It's because there's no critical history. The other 3rds outline the history of the play's criticism, but, for this one, literary history only begins in 1960. Which is why it's so out-of-date already. If the literary criticism post-1960 turns out to be rubbish (which I believe will happen), then then this particular introduction will be worthless. If he'd not decided stupidly that all criticism before 1960 was beneath him, I wouldn't be laughing at him so much.

04/12 Direct Link

I remember the first time. I was hunting boar and I happened by the river, and there I saw it. The womenfolk were scraping our clothings against boards of wood. I shouted, "Ho. You can't mix Earth (meaning the wood) against Water (meaning the river) like that." The women looked and laughed. One of them dared to shout, "It's labour-saving!" I shook my head and sighed as I went my way. The times were changing, then and there. A long time later they expanded the Oscar Best Picture nominations from five to ten. It was a lot like that.

04/13 Direct Link
New Yorker Panel Cartoon (nth in the series I can't draw)

Nazi concentration camp office. The Schutzstaffel is sitting behind a desk. Through the window are seen chimneys with smoke coming out. There's a picture of Hitler and a map of Poland. Standing in the centre of the panel is a Jew in stripes, with a pale armband. The Schutzstaffel is wearing a monocle and smoking (cigarette holder). The Jew is wearing glasses, and he's thin, and he's speaking. Below the panel, in italics, are the words he is saying: I don't think this relationship is working for me anymore.

04/14 Direct Link
I'm reading Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz. And I'm reminded of my favourite error of all time. (Not my own, but one of my mother's.) This took place in 1977 or so. Maybe four of the family were having our lunch on a summer day. We had an AM/FM radio with a tape player on a shelf, and a tape was playing. Then someone noticed that the tape was running slow. We'd never heard the tape running slow before. My mother said, "Switch it over to the radio and see if that's slow, too."

04/15 Direct Link
There's two holiday islands off Mount Fuji. One of them--Toshima--is famous for its "Love Beach," and the other--Shikine--is famous for its "Sex Beach." An entrepeneur decided to open a beach on another nearby island, combining these two beaches into one: a "Sex Love Beach" or a "Love Sex Beach," I can't recall which. Vacationers from the mainland were for a while interested if only for the novelty value of this incongruous hybrid. Then the novelty wore off, and the beach is nearly deserted these days. Some sad people wander there, tossing sticks, but not much else.

04/16 Direct Link
Palinode on Birds

This morning, a little after six. Walking. Not as much rain as last night, but still, the rain was coming down in tiny drops. The wind howled, howled through the branches above. My sweater was making me nervous. I was hot and I was cold. It was garbage day, and the wind had blown garbage onto the sidewalk at intervals. Could there be a worse morning? All the dog-walkers were holing up. My feet were getting wet. It was a morning that made everyone say, "I shoulda stayed in bed."

And yet, still, the birds were singing.

04/17 Direct Link
TV Ontario's The Agenda

The eye-beam reaches to the lighted set
Attranced to never sleep and never waken;
Eight-thirty in the evening and we get
The bright and glowing face of our Steve Paikin;
Who is this God of sober intercourse?
Who illustrates so well the road not taken?
From whence in all the heavens comes the source?
Where else? The fuzzy hair of Stevie Paikin!
But is he comfortable behind his desk?
Does he not tire of all this speech intakin'?
Because he's not too lean and not too left
He weighs all sides: the head of Steven Paikin.

04/18 Direct Link
I found out how to drown last night. I was in the South China Sea, trying to surface, but there were all these Chinese people in the way and they kicked at me and I couldn't surface. I gasped.

And then I knew how to drown. It's really quite simple. You breathe in a bunch of water, and you can no longer take in oxygen through your lungs. In other words, you drown by suffocation.

Theoretically you could drown using a single glass of water. Isn't it strange: you don't need a gun or noose: just a glass of water.

04/19 Direct Link
Several arts groups gathered at the Legislature today to draw attention to last week's proposed cuts in the cultural funding.

Members of CTNM, the RHS Group, and the Central Endorsement Committee blocked access to be the building for an hour and a half.

"These proposals would [insert metaphor] the [insert cliche] of the arts community," said Dominique Legere of the RHS Group.

James Duluth III of CTNM addressed the crowd, saying, "These [incendary adjective] cuts will [incendary verb] the livelihoods of [made-up number] of citizens.

"If we can afford [reasonable thing], then why can we afford [unreasonable thing]? [More rhetoric.]"

04/20 Direct Link
So we're watching Curb Your Enthusiasm, watching assholes unrealistically yell at one another about everything (which is the mark of immature dramaturgy), and I realized just how happy I am to be in a settled marriage. Some of the episodes have to do with dating, and I know just how shitty I would be at that task. It's almost impossible to even conceive of. Having to go through all that crap again? I've settled into my antisocial soul with the precision with which our cat settles into our afghan. Ugh! Ugh! Dating! It'd be like another planet to me! Ugh!

04/21 Direct Link
"We did what we had to do. Sometimes someone would need a cable--so they took it from your desk. Your keyboard's been gone for a long time. We lost track of your fancy chair; this one's not too broken, I guess. We'd kind of given up on you. How long has it been? A couple of years, I guess. You just ... stopped coming to work. No-one knew anything. All your personal papers and junk are still here, probably. People only took stuff that was useful. You'll need a new login. So where were you, anyway?"

"I'm not sure."

04/22 Direct Link
Once upon a time, there was a little Lie who lived in the world of Truth. He was a happy little Lie.

He was sent to school when he was of the right age, even though he swore he was much older. He wouldn't give his name, nor would he respond whenever he was called upon.

He'd bark at cats and meow at dogs. He cut his meat with a spoon and scooped his soup with a fork. He showered in cold water and he made Ovaltine with hot buttered popcorn. He slept on the ceiling....

This is going somewhere....

04/23 Direct Link
"(Is this thing on?)"

The time, by old Big Ben, is 10:25 A.M. Soon we will seethe carriage appear from around that corner down there, at the end of the street, between the happy Londoners waving their cross-filled flags, the young ones, the old ones. The, the happy subjects of their monarch, and her grandson and his new bride the actress. Any minute now, there they will be. Waving and maybe throwing kisses. The young prince's parents and grandparents and so on came down this exact same street at various periods in history. Any minute now they will be here.

04/24 Direct Link
Look at this. There he is, lying on the bed, sobbing.

He's thinking: I'm here, all alone; she won't come up to see. She's not going to come up to see.

He thinks: I've destoyed everything. I have no-one, and the one I thought I had, she's not coming upstairs. I'm all alone.

He will think: It's all in ruins. I should go kill myself. How is it done? That balcony: my mother's balcony: the atrium: drowning.

He will be thinking: She's still not here. She's not coming up. A tear over the bridge of my nose. She's not here.

04/25 Direct Link

Crossing to the Ross Dependency, our flotilla lost three of our seven ships in a storm. We survivors began south on foot five days later. The C and D teams got separated and were never seen again. Then life support for A failed, leaving just my party of twelve. A mysterious virus, never to be understood, felled four. A few days later, Lewis and von Hangrissmann fell into a chasm. Tomkins vanished, and Dumont got inoperable frostbite. Jones died of complications. Conor, Steevens and I, alive, planted a flag, at the magnetic south pole. It's a MIRACLE we survived.

04/26 Direct Link
-Okay, on this stretch, look: see that water tower?
-I see it.
-At this point you have to give three toots of the whistle.
-Three of 'em?
-Exactly three. Toot-toot-toot.
-Well okay-
-No! It's too late now!
-All right, I won't.
-Phew. That was close.
-I do this day or night?
-Day or night.
-What if it's too dark to see the water tower?
-That's why all our trainee engineers only conduct during the day.
-Yes, so that at night you'll know, just by the feel of the rails, where the water tower is.
-I understand.
-Do your best.

04/27 Direct Link
O baby o baby: how small you are, baby. A day will soon come, like lightning and snail, your sin will be seen by the world manifest. But that's for the future: let's look to today. Where is your sin hidden? Where lies your vice now? The things you will do are in utero now: the boy is the father of man. Your dreams are of needs as they're being satisfied; your greed will explode when you've language to plead. Sin is inlaid in a vital Lutheran way. Your pee that is running down my leg: what does it mean?

04/28 Direct Link

Maybe this is an old anti-semitic joke; maybe I heard it somehow, and I've forgotten knowing it. It could very well be the ultimate in anti-semitic jokes. I don't think I should tell it--but there's a very slim chance that it's original with me, today, April 28th. But remember, kids: blood libel's no joke.

"A Priest and a Rabbi meet up on a particular April 28th. The Priest says to the Rabbi, 'Happy Easter. Oh, I forgot: your people don't celebrate Easter.'

"And the Rabbi says, 'Certainly we celebrate Easter. Only we're on the other side.'"

04/29 Direct Link
coffee tacit
tea tacit
wine glass, waiting
beer pint, arriving (late)

potato skins tacit
bruscetta "Like, why can't you ever be on time"
basket of fries tacit
onion rings "There's a lot going on, gimme a break"

fish and chips "I don't know if I can go on with this"
hamburger tacit
cheeesburger tacit
banquetburger "You're not seeing things right"
8" pizza tacit
prime rib tacit

cherry cheesecake tacit
apple pie "Let's share this, and then go our separate ways"
chocolate mousse tacit

coffee "I can't let you go"
coffee "I don't want to go"

04/30 Direct Link
"Why? You're askin' me why? Ain't it obvious? Whatcher expeck when you go messin' around with the order the world?" He threw some more sapling on the fire. "Way back afore any folks talked, there was a great battle betwin th'animals an' the plants. Th'animals won, an' buriet the worsen o' the plants deep down. Struck a daytent, like. Then, 'ginnin' this century, we pumped carbon dioxide--raw plant food--inter the groun' and wakened the worses' plants. An' whatchoo think? Think folks're rippin' their own heads off? Naw. Its them monster plants come again to life. We're done for."