||[24 Nov 2012|01:49pm]
I haven't been using lj much these days, other than occasional posts to puns, dailyexercise, and antitheism. Like everyone else I've migrated to Facebook. Message me if you want to be added to fb.
||[14 May 2010|12:20am]
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann's "Desiderata"
||[24 Nov 2009|01:18pm]
I haven't been receiving comment notifications in my email since lj made the big format change in Fall of '08. I haven't been able to tweak it back to normal, and can't be bothered to do more. So if I don't get back to you right away, or at all, that's why. Typically I've been checking to see if someone made a comment back to me, but if you commented on something I posted or commented on some time ago, I'll likely miss it.
||[15 Nov 2009|05:49pm]
"Nostalgia" - Billy Collins
Remember the 1340's? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called "Find the Cow."
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.
Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.
The 1790's will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.
I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.
Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.
As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.
billy collins: Nostalgia - Billy Collins
||[20 Sep 2009|09:39pm]
Best quote of the night: "better fading beauty than no beauty at all."
Movie review: The Da Vinci Code
I was nodding off as I watched it, which is always an interesting experience, so here's my review with spoilers:
Nice rich color palette to the film. I like the bit about the sinister albino monk. I presume he's Italian. A very good Italian friend of mine is albino and I encountered a fair number of them over there. I hope that the popularity of the film does not awake any anti-albino prejudice. Pleasant to see Alfred Molina again, he was good as Diego Rivera in Frida. Few recall his small part in Raiders of the Lost Ark: "throw me the idol, I throw you the whip." Audrey Tatou is always radiant of course. Kept waking up to the bits about the plotting albino monk. Then get to the bank vault scene and start to wake up again. Watch a bit in a more lucid state. After they attack the scheming bank manager, why don't they take his gun away from him? He simply picks it up and fires at them as they drive away. Watch a bit about the cryptograph and decide to quit watching and do something else.
||[01 Sep 2009|04:36am]
"The Poles mobilised in seven major groups shielding their hinterland from incursions that might come from any direction along a common frontier with Germany of almost indefensible length. Mobilisation was never completed in full: their only real defence against tanks could come from a handful of field mounted anti-tank guns that lacked sufficient mobility to deal with a foe who worked in mass and at speed. Concrete fortifications might help impose delay in a few places -- particularly in the more heavily defended sectors of the Danzig Corridor -- and rivers formed useful barriers behind which fresh mobile defences might assemble. The balance of power, if it were to be restored to Poland, could only be altered by super-human bravery."
--Panzer Division: the Mailed Fist, by Major K.J. Macksey, M.C.
||[30 Jul 2009|07:55am]
"There's a great British expression I love, which I wish would catch on here on our side of the pond: 'It does what it says on the tin.'" --redblog
||[06 Jul 2009|07:20pm]
Loved Ripley's Game (2002). It's a tad rough in places, reportedly director Liliana Cavani of The Night Porter fame walked off the set and John Malkovich took over, but it's still interesting and most of all funny, in the blackest sense.