Sunday, March 29, 2009

RE: Tedium

Bliss - a-second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious - lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you've never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it's like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.

-David Foster Wallace, from his notes for The Pale King, a novel on transcendence, boredom, and the IRS.

Excerpts from The Pale King give us a glimpse into the uber-boring world of an IRS office and offer some interesting strategies for coping. Whilst checking forms for accuracy, IRS clerks pause to envision soothing tropical paradises and frequently clench and unclench their butt cheeks. 

Whether this an actual practice by IRS agents discovered during Wallace's extensive research and preparation or an entirely fictional creation could not be verified by my own cursory Google search.

*Wallace hung himself in his garage before completing The Pale King, casting serious doubts on the validity of his insights into how to cope with the tedium of human life. 

** Wallace was also an accomplished tennis player and scholar of the game. Read an article he wrote on Roger Federer (one of his last completed works).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Merrill Howard Kalin Show (wowwee kazoowee)

Merrill Howard Kalin Show

Go ahead. Hate me. You know you're laughing. And for your information he was not faking any of this. Plus he's dead. Not from salmonella but from "Natural causes". If you have seen this in past I am sorry for posting this. Unfortunately I hadn't seen this up until a few nights ago. Priceless.....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

majestic creatures welcome spring

Walking home yesterday from work, I noticed an unsettling number of birds. Specifically, robins. Everywhere. Literally scores of robins. I estimated about fifty, and that was only on the ground-- some were hiding in trees, others waiting patiently on telephone wires. It was kind of like dying and going to bird-heaven, where all the robins had died and became little angelic beacons of spring and bird-heaven looked just like Albion Avenue.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Life's Great Disappointments vol. VII

I walked all the way across PetQuarters to get a closer look at a guy in the fish department who I thought looked like a young Daniel Stern. 

Up close he was just a poor man's Dustin Diamond.

PetQuarters didn't even have the brand of cat food I was looking for.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

a single burst of glorious criminality

"... her career ended in a single burst of glorious criminality. You can't keep a lady waiting forever, and there came an afternoon when she decided that she'd waited long enough."
  - Orson Welles

Not the first but certainly the most notorious of matadoras, renowned bullfighter Conchita Cintron passed away a few weeks ago.

Women were forbidden to fight on foot in Spain (lest they be gored and exposed in some unseemly and immodest fashion) and in Europe Cintron fought primarily as a rejoneadora from horseback. 

In one of her final fights on Spanish soil, Cintron ignored the order to leave the arena and let a male fighter dispatch the bull. She dismounted, drew her sword and muleta cape, and faced the bull.

The bull charged. Cintron swept her cape aside, let her sword fall to the ground, and reached out with her bare fingers to caress the shoulder of the charging bull. 

She left the arena amidst a shower of thunderous applause and red carnations and was promptly arrested.