Friday, June 27, 2008

Photo of the day
Cipher, The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree (tm). Making it impossible for me to read the paper.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

VERY bad poetry
I can't recall where this slim little volume came from; whether I bought it for Husband or he for me. But for sheer crap, nothing beats Very Bad Poetry. Edited by Kathryn & Ross Petras, this book contains the absolutely worst poetry ever written. It's been on our bookshelves for a few years now and I still pick it up now and again and laugh at the awful rhymes, atrocious grammar, and hideous themes.

Since I have nothing else on my brain today, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few of my favorites. (Read on, I'll end with my absolute favorite.)

Well, to start with there's this delightful air by that most famous of authors, Anonymous:

Ode to a Ditch

Oh, ditch of all ditches
Death's storehouse of riches,
Where wan disease slumbers mid festoons of slime!
Oh, dark foetid sewer
Where death is the brewer
And ail is the liquor he brews all the time!

Where to start? First off, who the hell would write a poem about a ditch? Secondly....well....who the hell would write a poem about a ditch??? (Plus it goes on for four more stanzas.)

Dear old Anonymous also gives us a lovely piece of dental work:

My Last Tooth

You have gone, old tooth,
Though hard to yield,
You have long stood alone,
Like a stub in the field.

Awfully glad not to have the author read his own work on that one.

Missing body parts seems to be a popular theme with bad poets. Witness Cornelius Whur's contribution:

The Armless Artist

Alas! Alas! the father said,
O what a dispensation!
How can we be by mercy led,
In such a situation?
Be not surprised by my alarms,
The dearest boy is without arms!

Yes, well very nice. Thanks for sharing.

Next we have the unforgivable Bertha Moore, a Victorian "poet" who specialized in (God help us) baby talk. With apologies I share with you the atrocious A Child's Thought:

If I were God, up in the sky.
I'll tell you all vat I would do,
I would not let the babies cry
Because veir tooths was coming froo.
I'd make them born wif tooths all white,
And curly hair upon veir heads
And so vat vey could sit upright
Not always lie down in veir beds.

Makes you want to womit, don't it?

I could go on, and on (and on), but I shall have mercy and merely end with what is, in my opinion, the very pinnacle of poetic poo.

On Visiting Westminster Abbey
By Amanda McKittrick Ros

Holy Moses! Have a look!
Flesh decayed in every nook!
Some rare bits of brain lie here
Mortal loads of beef and beer,
Some of whom are turned to dust,
Every one bids lost to lust.

Personally, I think that "Holy Moses! Have a look! Flesh decayed in every nook!" is as near to perfection as possible when looking for the absolute worst opening line to a poem. Plus it rhymes.

Have a Very Bad Poetry day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Forget policy, the question is: does he like The Stones?
You know when pop culture as crossed the line and now passes for "real" culture when presidential hopefuls make their iPod playlists public.

The ever- charismatic Barack Obama will be featured in a cover story in the next issue of Rolling Stones. Here's a sneak preview of his carefully thought out musical tastes. No Butthole Surfers. No Pansy Division. Nope, it's Dylan, Coltrane, Stevie Wonder and the Boss.

Ya gotta wonder though. Is this really the music he likes or is this what his PR crew decided would give him the most "cred?" The London Times article points out just how politically varied his choices are. Bruce Springsteen for the hardworking factory dude. Jay-Z (what? No Eminem?) for his street-smart side. Coltrane and Charlie Parker for the hipster crowd. Elton John for baby boomers (and, possibly, the gay crowd). And Stevie Wonder's classic R&B to "celebrate his blackness."

Kinda makes you wonder what "the other guy" would put on his list.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Random waves of grain
It's all about context, isn't it? Check out Requiem for a Day Off.

In a gourmet celebration of summertime fruit. The ever-fascinating Finny shares a looks-freakin-delicious cherry pie recipe.

In the "when will you learn?" category. Those no money down home loans which have left so many would-be homeowners in financial ruin are largely a thing of the past. Except if you go through the government.

Why does Arkansas have such a bad rap? Because of folks like this yabbo His crime? Kidnapping and assaulting his mother because her pet dog killed his pet skunk. (No I'm not kidding.)

Rotating skyscrapers with floors moving independently so that the silhouette is ever changing? Not as far-fetched as it sounds. Only problem is it looks like a sex toy.

Parking in San Francisco? Don't forget your spark plug-resistent windows. A decoy car parked by the SF Police showed a car broken into in 90 seconds. I just want to know how you break a window by throwing a spark plug at it.
My late Christmas present
Oh that Husband. All I did was mention that blank wall space and he goes and buys me a Monet. How much? Just a record $80.4 million. And while the papers may be filled with phrases like "anonymous buyer" and "unknown client" I'm here to tell you that it was, indeed, Husband.

It's called Le Bassin aux Nympheas which is French for "does not go with our sofa." (But one can always buy a new sofa.) I suppose I should say "oh, you shouldn't have. It's too much." But I suppose I'm worth it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More on the kittens
Just back from kitten duty. This week I'll also be there tomorrow and Wednesday, so it'll be a major dose of cuteness for me. And work.

When there were only a few kittens it was a fairly easy job. Mix up some food, squirt it in their mouths, cuddle. Repeat. Now, however, every nursery is full and the kittens are old enough to tear up their space in between the morning and afternoon shifts. This means nearly every one needs to be cleaned and changed. Old towels out. Old newspapers thrown away. Everything moved, all kittens out. Clean the walls and floors and rebuild their space. New litter box. Fresh water and food. Plus kittens to be fed and played with. It's a surprising amount of work. Anyone who thinks kitten duty is just playing with cute little kits is in for a rude surprise.

One litter is pretty sick, unfortunately. The vet came in while we were doing our shift and said they're getting better (yay!) but it's an uphill road. (Boo!) Today, at least, we had 3 people. On Friday there was only 2 of us and it was a completely exhausting shift.

I love being at the Humane Society and doing something to help the animals. But sometimes it's sad, too. A few weeks ago two of the kittens got sick and had to be put down. And there's a separate area for unsocialized cats, many of them fresh off the streets, and they all look so confused. One bib, beautiful black girl had stitches in her head...she must have been in a fight, poor thing. And then there are all the sick cats and dogs. I just wish all of them could find safe, loving homes.

I look at Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) and am truly grateful for all the love and life she's brought into our home. Husband says she's made our little family complete. I agree (though I am continually tempted to add to our family by adopting one of the kittens. New favorite? A gorgeous little tortie named Ella.) and wish that every family with a little extra space and a little extra love could come to the shelter and make some animal's life.

And now, a vicodin, a hot bath, and then there's one more cat to feed. And she's letting me know that I'm keeping her waiting...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Got a match?
Ron Liddle in the London Times writes of books he'd like to burn. Not in a Nazi way. But in a "I can't believe I read that tripe" way.

Among the authors and titles listed were several I agree with. Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Salman Rusdie's Midnight's Children. I would, of course, have to add anything by Saul Bellow (sorry Lurker), Ayn Rand, the drivel that is The Da Vinci Code and, of course, The Beans of Egypt, Maine.

It's interesting the way that books take on a marketing life of their own. So often so-called blockbusters are total crap (again, The Da Vinci Code) that sell like hotcakes because of word of mouth. Conversely, there's a huge range of amazing novels that people ignore because they have the reputation of being difficult to read or, worse, dull. One of the reasons why I adore Husband is his complete open mindedness when it comes to books. I think that his list of top ten would include two books that many people avoid: Moby Dick, and Don Quixote. (As an aside, one of the critics mentioned in Liddle's article lists the Cervantes epic as the worst novel ever written!)

Over the years our book group has read many a tome that I have enjoyed flinging across the room in disgust; But very few would I burn (Bellow, Rusdie, The Beans, and Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow being the exceptions). But then again it's too hot for a fire right now.