“This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven. At night the owls made of it an echoing throat; by day it stood voiceless and cast its long shadow.”
― Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan
Monthly Archives: February 2015
What I learned this week, February 27, 2015
Best and Worst Best Pictures
I thought “Chariots of Fire” was rated too high, “Schindler’s List” rated too low. Overall, a pretty good listing… don’t know about “Casablanca” at number one though. It’s an iconic movie, but not sure if it beats some of the others.
Jill Jordan Explains the Highway Spaghetti Planned for the Continental Pedestrian Bridge
Trinity Toll Road Would Put Serious Dent in the Continental Pedestrian Bridge
When Good Scenes Happen to Bad Movies
America’s New Aristocracy: The Hereditary Meritocracy
I don’t know if I agree with this or not – but it is an interesting read anyway. I think cultural inheritance is more important here than genes… so many wealthy and successful people I know are idiots.
Dreamers propose, ranchers oppose recreational rail-trail between Kadoka and Rapid City
I understand, but don’t agree with rural folks’ opposition to rail to trail conversion through their area. They don’t want a lot of trouble from city slickers and gving up some of “their” land is the ultimate anathema. However, it doesn’t take very much land and where the trails have been built out and mature, such as the Katy in Missouri, there is a lot of opportunity for making money by the people that live along the trail.
I would love to live to see the NETT fully realized.
Houston just dramatically improved its mass transit system without spending a dime
What Dallas can learn from Houston’s Buffalo Bayou for the Trinity River project
What A Sober 6 A.M. Rave Can Do For You
Sometimes I wish I was young.
Meet the worst transit project in America
This article is vehemently anti-streetcar. So far, the streetcar in Dallas has been a good thing – though it is more of a tourist attraction than a real transit option. Once the new upgrades and expansion are in place, plus the route to Oak Cliff, it will be interesting to see whether the problems cited in the article begin to rear their ugly heads.
‘A Temporary Future’ Unpacks David Mitchell’s Nesting Doll Novels
“With the sound of gusting wind in the branches of the language trees of Babel, the words gave way like leaves, and every reader glimpsed another reality hidden in the foilage.”
― Andrei Codrescu, The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara & Lenin Play Chess
– – Moby Dada 1
All visible objects call my shadow
unreasoning mask, reasoning thing
from behind the sweep in my soul
grooved to run over unsounded gorges
except by tranquil beauty and brilliancy
of the ocean’s skin, angle to the iron way!
– – Moby Dada 2
We are too much like oysters
can ever be under torrents’ beds
the undoubted deed in looking at things spiritual,
I spit my last breath substance; from hell’s heart
they weary me, make me faint, I grapple with thee
–then, talk not to me of blasphemy and tow to pieces
To produce a methodically knocking
I’d strike the sun off from the comber of my death!
enveloped in topmost grief, not excluding its suburbs
though many there be who have tried it
Give me Vesuvius’ times of dreamy quietude
Ho, ho! for hate’s sake
as soon as I can. Towards thee I roll, from hell’s heart
I didn’t use random words as in the link above, of course… rather seperate lines and phrases from quotes from the book, sliced and reaarranged at random.
Moore and Serra
Now I really make the little idea from clay, and I hold it in my hand. I can turn it, look at it from underneath, see it from one view, hold it against the sky, imagine it any size I like, and really be in control, almost like God creating something.
And certainly the history of public sculpture has been disastrous but that doesn’t mean it ought not to continue and the only way it even has a chance to continue is if the work gets out into the public.
Ice Contains No Future
“ice contains no future , just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way- cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.”
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
I have always enjoyed the slightly dated but still beautiful fountain at Richardson City Hall, behind the library. It, for example, was one of the destinations on the famous Richardson Sculpture Bicycle Photo Scavenger Hunt.
Today, I dropped some books off at the library after work, and noticed the fountain had a different look about it.
Bequeathed To Him This Concrete Wilderness
Maitland felt himself alone on an alien planet abandoned by its inhabitants, a race of motorway builders who had long since vanished but had bequeathed to him this concrete wilderness”
—-J.G. Ballard, Concrete Island
Angel Trumpets And Devil Trombones
“Come with uncle,” I said, “and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.”
—A Clockwork Orange
Even When You’re Not By My Side
“I’ve learned that waiting is the most difficult bit, and I want to get used to the feeling, knowing that you’re with me, even when you’re not by my side.”
― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes
To relieve some stress with some mindless web surfing I sat down with Google Maps and looked at StreetView of places I’ve lived in the past.
It’s a bit of a nostalgic treat, but more of a sad thing – so many places look run down now.
I have no illusions about this being interesting to anybody else – but here are a few places I’ve lived.
First, as an adult… or at least on my own… not surprisingly, most places I’ve lived since leaving home are available:
My dorm in college – It was a brave new world back then.
Hey, look at all these bike racks. We didn’t have those when I was in school. We only had a couple of the old ladder-style. I kept my 1974 Raleigh Supercourse (Reynolds 451 tubing, Brooks saddle stock) in my room. One night someone, obviously an organized and professional criminal crew, came by and stole all the bikes out front in one sweep.
My last two years in school I lived in this apartment fourplex. Tennessee street in Lawrence is one of the coolest streets I remember – but I lived in the most uncool little brown apartment. Hey, I didn’t have to look at it.
When I graduated and found my first job, I rented the top floor of this old building. I had my own entrance, the one you see on Google, and stairs went right up from there to my door. It was a nice place to live – an old halfway house for alcoholics, it had two bathrooms including a great old iron clawfoot tub in one.
After living there, I bought this house – the first house I owned. It was a tiny little crackerbox, but I liked it. I’m glad to see it looking so good, though it hasn’t grown any bigger.
When I moved to Dallas, I lived in this old complex on the M streets, right off Greenville Avenue. It was a great place to be young and broke.
Over the years I actually sub-rented two different units in this condo building. Possibly the best thing was its access to White Rock Lake – I did a lot of bicycle riding back in the day.
When we were married we bought this little house in Casa View ( technically Casa View heights). It was in terrible shape when we bought it – a real fixer-upper. It had a fantastic pecan tree in the backyard. Nick was born when we lived there.
Unfortunately, the school district there wasn’t very good, so we moved south a little way into Mesquite. Lee was born when we lived in this house. We lived there a long time – I planted those trees in the front yard.
When you are young you should plant all the trees you can – it’s something you can look at over the years, even if you don’t live there anymore. I wrote about the oak I planted in the back yard and how you can see it now.
Now, looking back further, there aren’t very many street views of houses I lived in when I was a kid. Most Army bases don’t have street view and the other countries I lived in don’t have them either.
There is this sideways view of one house when I was in first and third grade. Not a very good angle – it was an amazing house.
When I was in fifth grade we rented this house while my father was in Vietnam.
And a couple years later we fixed this house up – it hasn’t aged very well since.
I’m not sure any of us do.
What I learned this week, February 20, 2015
Lakewood is number one… no surprise to me. I’ve always said that Temptress is one of the best things in the world. Not beer… things.
Power-Ranking the 18 Best Dallas-Area Breweries
RIP Ajax Lady
June Fairchild, Actress Who Lived on Skid Row, Dies at 68
Does Downtown Dallas Need Another Skycraper?
I have always loved Oliver Sacks’ writing, wit, and insight. And I always will.
Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer
I’m sorry if I post too many listicles on my What I Learned page – but that is one silly internet thing that I can’t resist.
I love fake, funny flyers. The first one I remember seeing was in college on my dorm’s bulletin board. Someone had put up a note, “Someone stole my Shimanu (I don’t remember the real name) calculator. You didn’t get the charger, so it isn’t any use to you at all. (this was back when calculators were very expensive). Please return it to room 345.”
Underneath, someone else posted – “For Sale, Shimanu Calculator. Needs Charger”.
Oh, and I’ve found, twice, these… not really absurdly funny, but absurdly weird flyers around town. Here and Here.
32 Absurdly Funny Flyers People Actually Posted
I loved Never Let Me Go – His new novel looks fascinating, though I have no idea how I’ll find time to read it.