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Month: April 2012

she admits water

“A long time ago William James corrected a prevailing view of the relation between feelings and action by asserting, for example, that we do not run away because we are afraid but are afraid because we run away. In other words, what we feel when we feel afraid is our behavior—the very behavior which in the traditional view expresses the feeling and is explained by…


consumpt (sic)

    “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know your company. I don’t know your company’s product. I don’t know your company’s customers. I don’t know your company’s record. I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now—what was it you wanted to sell me?” McGraw-Hill ad copy, from Ogilvy on Advertising      We got a new Target in our neighborhood five years ago.…

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no balk to second base

  “I tell you what I would change That NO BALK to second base. You know, You can do anything to second base. Yeah, I never did like that. What would you change?” Phil Rizzuto, Oakland at New York, May 10, 1991    These guys are Russian soldiers. From the U.S.S.R. (That old thing?) The illustration is from a dated book. Out of print. Communism.…

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how we behave

[flowplayer src=’’ splash=’’]     ENID: It’s so hard to tell with him. . . He’s such a taciturn fellow . . . BECKY: Where did you get all these words? ENID: Oh, it’s just because of studying for that stupid test my dad wants me to take. BECKY: I thought you weren’t going to take that test. ENID: Yeah, well . . . My…


striking it rich



“After reading Howitt’s account of the Australian gold diggings one evening, I had in my mind’s eye, all night, the numerous valleys, with their streams, all cut up with foul pits, from ten to one hundred feet deep, and half a dozen feet across, as close as they can be dug, and partly filled with water—the locality to which men furiously rush to probe for their fortunes—uncertain where they shall break ground—not knowing but the gold is under their camp itself—sometimes digging one hundred and sixty feet before they strike the vein, or then missing it by a foot—turned into demons, and regardless of each other’s rights, in their thirst for riches—whole valleys, for thirty miles, suddenly honeycombed by the pits of the miners, so that even hundreds are drowned in them—standing in water, and covered in mud and clay, they work night and day, dying of exposure and disease. Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do; and with that vision of the diggings still before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily?”

Henry David Thoreau, Life Without Principle*Henry David Thoreau: “Life Without Principle.” (Not to be confused with “Life Without Principal.”) Taken from The American Transcendentalists, edited by Perry Miller, Johns Hopkins University Press: 1981. Transcendentalism. Such a yummy word. I never have felt like it delivers up to its promise.





“Foreshortening means violating certain things we know in favor of drawing what we see. It may require you to draw a person you know to be tall and thin as compressed and squat. Of course, when you are finished the drawing will look right. But while you’re working it may not feel right.

Foreshortening requires that you have faith in the authority of your eye, and trust that by the time you’ve added features you’ll wind up with a convincing head.

The more we see the end of something, the less we see of its sides.”


Basic Drawing Techniques, edited by Greg Albert and Rachel Wolf, drawings by Bert Dodson

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all free today

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“In the field of its highest development, in the United States, the pursuit of wealth, stripped of its religious and ethical meaning, tends to become associated with purely mundane passions, which actually often give it the character of sport.”

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism




what to expect

  “Rounding the corner two blocks away was a woman. She was running toward Morgan but on the opposite side of the street . . . She ran well. However, her breasts were heavy for her lithe figure. They moved laggingly, as if reluctant to keep pace with the rest of her. The woman did not acknowledge Morgan, running by him with her chin in…

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“we find a grimmer reality”

  (SOUNDBITE OF BUCKETS AND WATER) (SOUNDBITE OF POUNDING) (SOUNDBITE OF WATER FLOWING INTO A BUCKET) (SOUNDBITE OF CLANGING DOOR) (SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING) (SOUNDBITE OF GOATS) (SOUNDBITE OF DIGGING) (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) INSKEEP: And our NPR crew documented Haiti’s water trouble at a time of cholera in sound and pictures. You can see their slideshow at   How many are dead? 7,000. That’s…


holding the rope

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“My inner self was urging me: Now is the time! Now! With those words I was moving to a resolution, I was almost there—but was not there. Still, I did not slide all the way back, but braced myself nearby, getting my wind back; then, renewing the effort, I was almost there—almost—and just I touched, just I grasped the prize. But, no, I was not there. . . The moment when I would become someone different, the closer it came, the more terror it struck in me—a terror, however, that no longer wrenched me back or fended me off; it just left me hanging.”

Confessions of Saint Augustine


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things of the past


There was a brief thing, a relationship, between a young man and a young woman.
Young meaning twenty or so. Young meaning dumb.

The love affair mattered more to one of them than it did to the other.
Turns out, it mattered more to him.

She’s gone. Nothing he can do about it now.
And he is still going to think about her when he is in his forties.
(Fifties. Sixties.)

Sorry, this happens.

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brother steve


“I started tweeting for purely commercial reasons. I realized that when I did a television show to promote a book or record, and that television show had an audience of, say, four million people, about four hundred of them rushed out to buy the book or record. I figured if I had a Twitter audience of, say, four hundred thousand—an audience that was tuned into me—and I promoted a book, then four hundred thousand of them would rush out and buy my book. Instead, forty of them rushed out to buy my book.”

Steve Martin (2,540,574 followers)



When she’s lying to avoid punishment, she may have broken one of the household rules. For instance, she may have damaged something she shouldn’t have been handling. Or maybe she was too rough and she hurt one of her playmates. In any case, she’s concluded that what she did is more serious an offense than lying.

from Caring for Your Young Baby and Child, by a bunch of doctors


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tony couldn’t fly

  Billy Wilder: I made it a little bit more difficult for myself with Sunset Boulevard. It was about the closest of things, you know, to make a picture about Hollywood, about an old star, falling love with a young writer, and committing suicide, attempting suicide. Tough, and then, how are we going to end it? So we just had him shot. That was a…

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hairdressing (peluquería)

Don’t cut it too short.
No me lo corte demasiado corto
. no me lo kor-te de-ma-sya-do kor-to

Shave it all off!
Aféitelo todo!
A-fay-te-lo to-do

Please use a new blade.
Por favor, use una cuchilla nueva. 
Por fa-vor oo-se oo-na koo-chee-lya nwe-va

I should never have let you near me!
No deb
ía haberla dejado tocarme! No de-bee-a a-ber-la de-kha-do to-kar-me

from a Latin American Spanish phrasebook


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is sadness an illness?

“Yes. I think it has to do with faces. Because I am always interested in faces. I just want you to sit down and look at the human face. But if there is too much going on in the background, if the face moves too much, if you can’t see the eyes, if the lighting is too artistic, the face is lost.”

—Ingmar Bergman


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