Category musing



I was supposed to be babysitting the dog in the country, but I got snowed in (we all did) and wound up babysitting Mom instead.  Between setting up her iPod and tying her shoes (oh don’t ask), while subsisting on a diet of oatmeal and peanut butter crackers (Mom doesn’t really understand the concept of […]

Isaiah the prophet

The Prophet Isaiah Rebukes Me

I have spoken blasphemy–long have I nursed it in my heart– and I open the Prophet to get told-to this: This thought of yours is perverse:  as if the clay should think against the potter, and the work should say to the maker thereof:  Thou madest me not:  or the thing framed should say to […]

APink Chuseok greetings 7 Pink20120929_ endotkoreadotcom

Happy Chuseok

The great Korean autumn harvest family festival– Korea’s “Thanksgiving”, though rather a bigger and warmer, more Keatsian, production than ours– falls this year on September 8th.  It is a time of traditional costuming, family togetherness, and copious dining.  As a dedicated fan of Autumn, I can only imagine the good cheer this, or some analogous, September […]

Narcissus_pseudonarcissus_flower_ wiki wandered lonely as a cloud

Narcissus pseudonarcissus

Flipping through Wordsworth, I elected once more to scan that chestnut, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, to illuminate once more the inner eye with his roaming vision of that surprise spread of dazzling daffodils: Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: […]


Pep Squad Pentecost: the demotic demon

All this service needs is The Omen film soundtrack to complete the outrage: –though I’m not sure even one of Jerry Goldsmith’s unhinged cinematic black masses could quite restore any pretense to grandeur. I’m hesitant to affix my typically gauche, sometimes off-color commentary to content that owes a hat-tip to The Thinking Housewife, the sororal companion-site of […]

Amadeus Mozart conducts The Abduction from the Seraglio

Dream Theme

One thing I always wished as a child would happen but never did was to wake up from some awesome dream and then get to dream it, or something like it, over again. Somehow, a few years ago, that started to happen.  What neurological mechanism enabled this feature I have no idea, or even if […]


Bookmark of the Beast: Common Core selections

The other week, I picked up a Dover Thrift anthology of Romantic poetry.  This one is dedicated entirely to the big six English poets of the High Romantic period: Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats.  Not that I don’t have plenty of Romantic poetry to choose from anyway, even if I’ve long since lost my […]


Happy Birthday Shakespeare!

Middlebrow historian Will Durant thought Shakespeare a great cynic, which tells us more about Durant’s Machiavellian reading of the Renaissance than it does about Shakespeare.  Those who have found faith in this world, or who have only kept it, will remember Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love […]


Easter Monday

When I was a kid, I was sure this was the “real” Easter.  This is not, I think, because I was precociously counting the days from Good Friday– and yes, I know how “New Atheist” this sounds but, no stumbling block to church tradition intended, would it be so wrong to count out three days? […]

holy week schedules ef and byzantine

Easter Sunday

For thus saith the Lord God: I will deal with thee, as thou hast despised the oath, in breaking the covenant: [60] And I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth: and I will establish with thee an everlasting covenant. [61] And thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed: […]


Good Friday

 Behold my servant shall understand, he shall be exalted, and extolled, and shall be exceeding high. As many have been astonished at thee, so shall his visage be inglorious among men, and his form among the sons of men.  He shall sprinkle many nations, kings shall shut their mouth at him: for they to whom […]


A hiatus in hijinks

In Korea, a ferry full of high school teens on a field trip has capsized and, amid a welter of conflicting reports, it looks as if the fatalities will be in the hundreds.  Hundreds are still missing, at any event, and the waters are cold, and dozens of casualties are confirmed.  A rural community likely […]


The 200th Anniversary of Napoleon’s first abdication

Oh unhappy day! Back in the late late 90s, I imagined I’d honor all of Napoleon’s great bicentennials– Austerlitz, Friedland, Wagram– and ponder all the power and grandeur he possessed, and how it must seem that it could never fade.  But I too have marched past all these dates, past Borodino and the Retreat, past […]

Sennacherib Babylonian War

Assyrian Apocalypse: Lord Byron’s “The Destruction of Sennacherib”

Byron’s “The Destruction of Sennacherib” was one of the first lyric poems I discovered and loved as a child, a distinction which won’t necessarily commend it today.  The poem portrays a sort of divine vendetta, God’s Death Wish for the pagan horde, and who today wants to cop to digging that?  Famous sinner that he […]

A 2787

Merry Christmas!

Joy ultra lemon scent

I Got Dishwashing Liquid Up My Nose

How did that happen?! –I decided to lather up the bathroom sink spigot because it looked a bit soap-scumy, so I was trying to pour out a little dab of Joy Lemon-scent but I was being absentminded and anyway the top was clogged with congealed detergent so all of a sudden GLOBGLOBGLOB I get this half-dollar-sized […]


“Meet Me in St. Louis”: with guns, hostages, and a chariot race

I had one of those curious, sprawling dreams of mine moving in and out of moviedom.  My mother was preparing some Christmas feast with the equivocal help of two female cousins (this seemed to be some acrimonious cook-off between mom and the two sisters), while Meet Me in St. Louis was blaring, visually more than […]


Style Nanda High Neck Striped T-shirt: an extempore found photo essay

“Come in, Lucius.  I was just making some green tea.” “I hoped you might want something . . .  or just, you know . . . .” “–and I baked shortbread.  Would you like some shortbread?  I bet you’ll love my shortbread.  It’s nice and buttery . . . .” ” . . . and tight.  I […]


Print Lives: the backdoor return of the Encyclopedia Britannica

I’m one of those optimistic Luddites who insists not only will print live on, but it’ll get “smarter” to correct not only the corruptions of a digitized culture but also some of the vulgarisms of the print market itself. So I’m terribly pleased– as well as amused– to see that the folks at Encyclopedia Britannica, […]

Reader’s Fanfare: What I hear when I read “GR8BOOKS4MEN (TM)”

I’m big on the significance of mentally reading “out loud”.  I don’t go in for speed-reading in any way, shape, or form.  If one cannot be troubled to actually read aloud– and in Classical times, as Nietzsche points out, a person reading silently would have been thought very peculiar– one must at least sound off […]

The Lives of the Leftists

I was just caught in a mental jam, trying to remember whether Adorno or Althusser came up with the “authoritarian personality” schtick.  Well, it was Adorno of course; but meanwhile I asked myself, “Okay, so what are we supposed to remember Althusser for again?” Turning to wikipedia, I scrolled down and my eye chanced upon […]

“State of emergency (how beautiful to be)”

Yesterday’s bing homepage featured Iceland’s waterfall Skogafoss, seen here in a photo from wikipedia: Wikipedia explains (let’s assume this is not some Borgesian fiction) the trail up the eastern side leads to the pass called Fimmvörðuháls, where it looks something like this when the volcanoes get tetchy: You find two glaciers flanking the sides: Eyjafjallajökull, […]

When your barbeque potato chips set off the fire alarm

An evil omen.  I’m scarfting a bag of barbeque chips and drinking coffee (oh god, and I had a bowl of minestrone soup before)– I know, this makes me sound like I’m pregnant– and I’m washing down a potato chip with a gulp of hot coffee and suddenly one of the smoke detectors suddenly goes […]

A word about paper towels

Don’t put them down your garbage disposer in the sink. Sigh.  Well, it’s impr0ving.  I’ve been using vinegar and baking soda. Note to self: don’t piddle with the vinegar.  I try to be all subtle and just sprinkle in a couple of ounces at a time and let it gently fizz. Clearly, that’s not what […]

Sex and death/ It’s still Winter, right?

Two discordant titles for two entirely different themes, because it’s that kind of week.  My garbage disposer is on the fritz, but I think I know what to do (IT WILL BE TURNED OFF AT THE BREAKER BOX AND MY HAND WILL NOT BE GOING INSIDE).  But I dithered all day to getting around to […]

Embarrassment of riches

There’s snow on the ground, fried chicken (this, a mistaken grab in the frozen aisle, but a happy one) on the plate, Larry Auster’s making some progress, and MBC’s given me back, at least in playlist form,  Girls’ Generation’s Romantic Fantasy. And that’s my idea of an embarrassment of riches.  Perhaps I should be embarrassed […]

Getting “The Night Porter” AND “The Damned” into the same comments thread

Not something you see every day, but King A fits them into this entertaining (and useful) le chateau thread. –True story: I was actually gifted Cavani’s The Night Porter and Visconti’s The Damned together once by my Beloved Ex. [Ed.: What a touching Valentine’s that must’ve been.]  –You know, I’m not sure just what that […]

The Post of the Beast: Post No. 666 (“the very essence of the whore”)

What a frightful milestone. What will we talk about?  Not anything dreamily SoShi-fied: that would be blasphemy.  And what with a high-def version of Girls’ Generation’s Romantic Fantasy becoming elusive online, perhaps it’s as well we should turn from this seemingly endless spree of post-Holiday Cheer and look back at the ugly, tawdry truth all […]

How T-ara spent Christmas

–Giving and receiving love in Tokyo. Soyeon really gets into this! (well, she would!) But oh, that daggone Ahreum: does she not realize how she comports herself like a whore? How come Eunjung has the anomalous outfit with only one hemline?  Another secret sign? Well.  This show is sort of fun and sad at the same time.  Some argue T-ara […]

Poussin Holy Family Getty Museum

“The thoughts of many hearts may be revealed”


Hanukkah Scarumkkah

Contrarian blogger Half Sigma’s bracing recount of the Maccabean revolt seems to have unleashed the hounds of mirth in his commentariat.  Perhaps this is because Half Sigma’s provocative account suggests, all at once, sympathy for the Hellenizing Antiochus Epiphanes, co-ethnic cheerleading for the badassness of hardcore Hellenistic Age Jewry, and sardonic contempt for Hanukkah, which […]

Coffee-Posters triple c dot ca

Nescafe is something you do

I had a synchronicitous moment the other day in a comments thread where we’re dissecting the pro-Democratic Party voting habits of Asian-Americans, and I’m talking about dealing with Christian peers when I was an atheist teen (ah, sexy times!), and another commenter chimes in, noting that devout Christians pack about as much punch nowadays as […]


In my Periplus Pocket Korean Dictionary, I find that Korean shares the same verb sseuda for “write (a letter), compose (a poem), note down, to” and for “spend (money), to”. This was an enlivening discovery.  In Korean writing=spending money.  Good sign!  Composing poetry and spending money are possibly my two favorite pastimes. 쓰다 is also […]


A Dream Rehearsal for Christmas (or something)

After staying up late watching the deliriously enjoyable Octopussy (does no one recognize how good it is? Roger Moore’s best!), I realized I’d sailed right through the time switchbackeroo and that really I needs must get some sleep.  So I went to sleep and dreamt my dreams, and when I awoke from the last one I […]

Poussin Winter or The Deluge Four Seasons cycle


The End is here! Or is it?  From a Virginian perch (and with June’s infamous derecho to compare with)  circumstances seem relatively mild.  The power has, on a few occasions, very minutely flickered:  I should say rather “twinkled” or something like that; it didn’t flicker off, it just– flickered, is all.  The wind erratically picks up […]

Keeping it up (feat. bare boobs)

[Ed.:  Lucius?  Lucius!!  Where the devil are y–?] –Whew!  Well, after months of procrastinating, I’ve finally gone to the Home Depot down the road and bought a tin of Plumber’s Putty ($2.07) and fixed the toilet tank flapper so it doesn’t dislodge itself four out of five times when I flush the toilet.  I’ve got […]


Days of Heaven (if the wave breaks Mitt’s way)

Since only violent death seems to keep me from posting at least every other day, I might as well confess I’ve been tied up rewatching For Your Eyes Only and taking in the autumn scenery when I’m not imagining coasting through it in the mayhem of a ski chase.  John Donne says somewhere that in […]


Happy 한글날

It’s been a lame couple of days compared to Sunday– I mean in terms of personal effort and all that good Korean-style stuff I try to do with my ever-tightening-triceps-y self.  And to think, if it weren’t for the allkpop tumblr I would’ve missed that today is the Korean holiday of Hangul Day, in which […]

Rubens Three Graces Prado

The Peril of First Turning On the Heat in Autumn [with subsequent reflections which follow in strictly necessary order]

is that you mistakenly turn on the “Cold” air instead. [Ed.:  A yearly ritual.  –But completely unintentional!  –Ed.:  Ah, but what would Dr. Freud say? . . .] Well, I should hope he’d report “Sharp winter thaws” my homely muse, but then, I’ve little cared for his professional opinion where Cytherea and the seemly Graces are concerned. […]

Titian Religion Saved by Spain Allegory of Lepanto Museo del Prado


The anniversary of Christian Europe’s great naval triumph over the Moslem Ottomans at Lepanto, celebrated today in the Roman Church as the feast of The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Titian’s great allegory of the battle from the Prado: Of the battle Rebecca West, writing in the “Dalmatia” part of Black Lamb and Grey […]