theresaurus

April 30, 2014

These pretzels are making me thirsty

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 7:01 am

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I bought these Pretz pretty much only for the lively colorful packages, although every now and again I do enjoy a crunchy salt-lick treat. I prefer these thin sticks over the traditional pretzel shape so difficult to eat without leaving tell-tale crumbs in the vicinity.

It was National Pretzel Day a few days ago. The expression of marriage as “tying the knot” apparently comes from pretzels being the symbol for marriage in the 17th century or something and the hard pretzel was an American invention, discovered when a baker in Pennsylvania left a batch of regular pretzels in the oven too long. So they say.

Sam says that all the time and now I do it too. I’ll ask him to read the ingredients on a product to make sure it doesn’t contain something I don’t like and he’ll say No, it doesn’t, so they say. I see something on TV Sam would like and tell him it’s on a nine o’clock, so they say.

Seinfeld quotes are something both of us do too much. Sam sees the Pretz: “These pretzels are making me thirsty.” He calls to tell me he’ll be late and asks me what I’m doing and I say: “You don’t wanna know.” I bring home a bag of avocados and find that two of them are undersized and going bad, but don’t get upset: “Fruit’s a gamble, I know that going in.” There’s a pigeon walking around in the parking lot: “We have a deal with the pigeons.” Somebody in our apartment building has a new baby and yesterday Sam heard it crying: “Jerry, you’ve gotta see the baby.” One of us starts nagging or complaining and the other one shouts “SERENITY NOW!” We shopped at Uniqlo last weekend and Sam bought some T-shirts that he discovered were too small so he went back to return them and this quote sprang to mind instantly: “You can’t return an item based purely on spite.” When I want to make Sam mad I say to him when he gets home: “Hi honey! How was your day? Did you have a good day or a bad day?”

I’m glad we don’t have children to embarrass by being this uncool and having the same conversations and repeating the same old jokes over and over. Here are others:

Look away, I’m hideous.
The ocean called, it’s running out of shrimp.
He/She is a sidler; is stickin’ it to me; is a high/low talker; has man hands
I always wanted to be a banker.
I don’t “get” art.
It’s not a lie if you believe it.
Santa’s a commie.
You named names.
Worlds are colliding.
That was a so-so sorry.
It’s “go” time.
You think you’re better than me?
She’s not a “me,” I’m a “me.”
I’m going out on a high note.
Big head.
A muffin can be very filling.
It was on a doily.
It’s not you, it’s me.
They called me a Mary.
How do you guys walk around with those things?
It’s a write-off. Just write it off.
I hate people who had ponies as children.
I hate men but I’m not a lesbian.
I’ve never been happy. College was fun.
Details, I need details.
Witness!
(Song): Get well, get well soon, we hope you will get well.
It moved.
Did your mother lay your panties out on the bed?
We have a society here, there are rules.

Gertrude Stein’s birthday today, so they say. From Everybody’s Autobiography:

“My eyes always have told me me more than my ears. Anything you hear gets to be a noise, but a thing you see, well of course it has some sound but not the sound of a noise. A hoot owl is about the best sound. … But speaking voices always go at a different tempo than when you listen to them and that bothers me … but then you do not have to look at them, but things said have to be heard, and they always go at the wrong tempo. I suppose really that is the trouble with politics and school teaching, everybody hears too much with their ears and it never makes anything come together, something is always ahead of another or behind … . It is best not to talk about hearing anything. Sound can be a worry to any one particularly when it is the sound of the human voice.

“If you write about proletarians it sounds as if they were very bitter, if you write about yourself or anybody it sounds as if you were very unhappy and very bitter but generally speaking everybody living has a fairly cheerful time in living, if not why not, but naturally they do. [I’ve never been happy. College was fun]

“A great many French people like rain best, why not you can go out better in rain than in snow, in rain than in sun.

“And fathers come up and fathers go down. This is natural enough when nobody has had fathers they begin to long for them and then when everybody has had fathers they begin to long to do without them. Sometimes barons and dukes are fathers and then kings come to be fathers and churchmen come to be fathers and then comes a period like the eighteenth century a nice period when everybody has had enough of anybody being a father to them and then gradually capitalists and trade unionists become fathers and which goes on to communists and dictators, just now everybody has a father … .

“The country where we live in the summer is a French country where Brillat-Savarin was born and it is a country where they talk about eating. … They eat and they talk about eating while they eat and while they are talking about eating they eat.

“Ah, he said that is interesting. I liked the food over there but I know why Frenchmen do not like it. The food is moist. … The oysters are moist well of course tomato juice and all that is but even American bread certainly hot breads are more moist than French bread. … I then began to eat honeydew melon, most of the time I was in America I ate honeydew melon [Fruit’s a gamble, I know that going in] every morning and every evening and I ate oysters and I ate hot bread that is corn muffins [A muffin can be very filling], they were moist and I ate green apple pie and butterscotch pie, pumpkin pie not so good but twice superlative lemon pies … .

“In France you drive fifty-five or sixty miles an hour all the time, I am a very cautious driver from the standpoint of my French friends but I often do and why not, not very often does anybody get killed and in America everybody obeying the law and everybody driving slowly a great many get killed it was a puzzle to me.

“I always explained everything in America by this thing, the lack of passion that they call repression and gangsters, and savagery, and everybody being nice, and everybody not thinking because they had to drink and keep moving, in Europe when they drink they sit still but not in America not in America and that is because there is no sky, there is no lid on top of them and so they move around or stand still and do not say anything. That makes that American language that says everything in two words and mostly in words of one syllable two words of one syllable and that makes all the conversation. That is the reason they like long books novels and things of a thousand pages it is to calm themselves from the need of two words and those words of one syllable that say everything.  [SERENITY NOW!]

“The business of understanding is awfully worrying to any American. Other peoples say they do or do not understand something but Americans do worry about understanding or not understanding something. [I don’t “get” art]

“Settled down in Bilignin I became worried about identity and remembered the Mother Goose. I am I because my little dog knows me and I was not sure but that that only proved the dog was he and not that I was I.

“And identity is funny being yourself is funny as you are never yourself to yourself except as you remember yourself and then of course you do not believe yourself. That is really the trouble with an autobiography you do not of course you do not really believe yourself why should you, you know so well so very well that it is not yourself, it could not be yourself because you cannot remember right and if you do remember right it does not sound right because it is not right. You are of course never yourself.” [It’s not a lie if you believe it]

April 28, 2014

Azaleas

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:36 pm

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Yves Klein’s birthday. From his 1959 lecture at the Sorbonne:

“To the question which is most often asked me — why did you choose blue? — I will reply by borrowing yet again from Gaston Bachelard that marvelous passage concerning blue from his book Air and Dreams. This is primarily a Mallarmean document in which the poet, living in ‘contented world-weariness amidst oblivious tarns’, suffers from the irony of blueness. He perceives an excessively hostile blueness which strives with an indefatigable hand to ‘fill the gaping blue holes wickedly made by birds’. In the realm of the blue air more than anywhere else one feels that the world is accessible to the most unlimited reverie. It is then that a reverie assumes true depth. The blue sky yawns beneath the dreams, the dream escapes from the two-dimensional image; soon in a paradoxical way the airborne dream exists only in depth, while the two other dimensions, in which picturesque and painted reverie are entertained, lose all visionary interest. The world is thus on the far side of an unsilvered mirror, there is an imaginary beyond, a beyond pure and insubstantial, and that is the dwelling place of Bachelard’s beautiful phrase: ‘First there is nothing, Next there is a depth of nothingness, then a profundity of blue.’ … Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colors are not. They are pre-psychological expanses, red, for example, presupposing a site radiating heat. All colors arouse specific associative ideas, psychologically material or tangible, while blue suggests at most the sea and sky, and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract.”

April 26, 2014

Tulips

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:35 pm

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The tulips the community center for the disabled in my neighborhood grows every year. Yesterday I noticed that only the purple ones were left. Do purple tulips last longer than the other colors or what?

It’s Anita Loos’ birthday today. From her (1974) autobiography, Kiss Hollywood Goodbye:

“In its heyday Hollywood reflected, if not actually produced, the sexual climate of our land. A screen love affair used to unfold chastely and without guile until it reached its climax in a kiss which, by a ruling of the the Board of Censors, had quickly to fade out after seven seconds. … Irving Thalberg used to tell me, ‘When you write a love scene, think of your heroine as a little puppy dog, cuddling up to her master, wagging an imaginary tail, and gazing at him as if he were God.’ It would be heartening if men no longer craved that sort of treatment. But men are weak and constantly need reassurance, so now that they fail to find adulation in the opposite sex, they’re turning to each other. And today, much as girls look like boys, they flunk out on the solicitude men are developing for each other. Less and less do men need women. More and more gentlemen prefer gentlemen.

“That our popular art forms have become so obsessed with sex has turned the U.S.A. into a nation of hobbledehoys; as if grown people don’t have more vital concerns, such as taxes, inflation, dirty politics, earning a living, getting an education, or keeping out of jail. … Sex attraction, being entirely a matter of chance, has to be accepted where one finds it. Frequently, its victims have nothing else in common and the whole affair dwindles into a matter of chemistry. There’s nothing colder than chemistry.

“Most middle class marriages in America are doomed, through lack of either fantasy or sense of humor that can cope with their ever-recurrent challenges: the anxiety, discomfort, apprehension, and general messiness of sex.

“What is it that has sparked this obsession for vintage movies in a generation born long after they were released? I can only think that today’s youth must subconsciously yearn for the very sentiments on which they’ve turned their backs. They must find a surcease for today’s oafishness in the shimmering glamor of Jean Harlow, the angelic beauty of Lillian Gish, and the unchallenged masculine image of Clark Gable. … The same idyllic emotions used to be expressed in other popular art forms; today I recall a song of my youth that was imported from France. Its title was ‘C’est si bon’ meaning, of course, that love is ‘so good.’ But the ballad makers of today turn out lyrics which ask ‘Is That All There Is?’

“It’s understandable that such defeatism has resulted in impotence; that composers now write such lyrics as ‘We almost made it, didn’t we, girl?’ Almost! What kind of a situation is that to celebrate in song? … I also regret the cheek-to-cheek dancing, which has been replaced by wide spaces between partners. Each one dances alone. I remember the camaraderie we used to achieve on bathtub gin; whereas today’s kids, stoned on pot, retire inside their own personalities. They may be happy, but they seldom laugh.

“But I have no intention of dramatizing my feelings about Hollywood. In the past, as now, it was a stamping ground for tastelessness, violence, and hyperbole, but once upon a time it turned out a product which sweetened the flavor of life all over the world. And it would now appear that the spirit of those old films is rising from the dust to assure a new generation that the permissiveness of the 1970s is a killjoy; that those gyrations of naked bodies which once would have made the Board of Censors reach for the scissors, lead to nothing.”

April 24, 2014

Two funerals and a bamboo shoot

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:26 am

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There’s a small bamboo forest near a busy intersection a few blocks from my apartment building. I saw only one bamboo baby today, this one, probably ripped from mother earth’s bosom under cover of the night to be boiled and eaten by the bamboo shoot thief. Sam is on his way back to his hometown to attend the funeral of his sister’s husband’s father. Two weeks ago his mother’s older brother died. The anniversary of his father’s death is soon. Spring is really the best time of year to die. Everything’s manically shooting out sprouts and leaves and flowers and the birds and animals are mating and the day is lengthening and you go the opposite direction and throw in the towel, go underground, death and darkness and decay.

From Garrison Keillor’s Wobegon Boy:

“‘Would you care for spaghetti?’ said Mother, already filling a bowl with a long skein of pasta. She dumped a cup of red sauce over it and added another, and set it on the table, with a paper towel for a napkin. Dad died on the next-to-top basement step on his way upstairs from having taken to the basement a box of rubber binders that Mother had told him to get rid of, binders saved from his years of running the grain elevator, thousands of binders, a life-time supply. While in the basement, he fetched a bag of peas from the freezer in the laundry room, which he kept full of hamburger patties, fish sticks, vegetables, hash browns, as his hedge against disaster. … And then disaster struck as he climbed the stairs. Dad suffered from arrhythmia, and as he approached the top, he must have lost his breath. … She was making spaghetti sauce. She put a little more seasoning in it, and then opened the door to the stairs a moment later, and he was gone, slumped against the wall, the bag of frozen peas in his right hand. … She sat on the stairs beside him and put her arm around his shoulders and smoothed his hair and kissed his cheek. … And then she took the frozen peas from his hand and put them in the refrigerator and called the rescue squad.

“Diana said, ‘He was unconscious, and you took the peas from him before you called the rescue squad?’ … She looked around at the rest of us. I ate my spaghetti. Bill and Judy drank coffee. They ate cookies from a box that neighbors had sent over. … And then Diana clapped her hand to her mouth. ‘Those weren’t the same peas…’ ‘Yes,’ said Mother. ‘Actually they were, of course they were.’ She had put the peas in the spaghetti, with the tomato sauce. The death peas. ‘We ate the peas Daddy held in his hand as he died?’ Diana whispered.”

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