Friday, May 14, 2010

Herculaneum at Sunrise

Part I.
the invited chemicals have been
      rearranging the furniture of my mind 

- Deck chairs,
                        you know 
the Titanic, you know -

They pull up comfy armchairs to the fireplace,
         and I
                  get to have tea

with my demons.

Part II.
This town and I have lived uncomfortably together.  Like a parent of a missing child, 12 years later.  There are landmarks to memories become meaningless, and yet. . . And yet.  I've not changed the locks, but I have lost the key.

My time in this town is coming to a close.  The tick-tock of calendars and hours winding down.  Two years, and this still doesn't feel like home.  I pack and find a cathedral of papers and pens, a full skeleton of a decade past, more than that.  I give away books like a future suicide.

Two years, and these two years are like a palindrome.  Inverted mobius strip, to begin and end in similar ways but on the one hand, dragons; on the other, St. George.  I don't know which I would prefer.

Could I breathe fire and sterilize the land, lay waste to the countryside, allow the charred remains to stand as witness to this heart.  They say the heat, the light, radiation of the bombs we dropped left shadows in their wake.  And I don't know if this is true, but I know what it is like to burn with such a heat, the past is burned in bas relief.  You tip your hat to shadows on the street, you pause to let the ghosts come through.  The lost remains of Pompeii, the living past, struck down and replaced by muted statues.

Or, could I live as St. George.  The gore and flesh still on my hands, the heart-taste still fresh on my tongue.  The dragon was never vanquished, you know.  The heart torn out, the fire turned to embers.  If George could eat that heart, could stand the heat, could climb back into the gaping maw of sinew and bone, the dragon would find her wings again.

This town and I won't part as friends.  The streets will not miss me.  The empty windows will not weep.  I am accustomed to endings that are final.  He accuses me of burning bridges.  And I do.  Two years and I have to struggle to remember.  The order of things.  The passage of time.

My dreams, still, though, my dreams are of a missing.  I fret that I am sleeping while awake.

Part III

I will

one day

go into that desert, head held high
     to lose my skin to brighter suns

I want to dance this on its edge

(and he held me in his coffee gaze, the words were other hands to soothe my brow, you know, you know how the muscles of my eyes become so tight, the world too clear, too sharply defined that i cut myself against the edges, there was a softness that i needed, that i had, that i soon must trade for wool)

but as for now, I won't

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hypatia's Girl Angrily Reads the Presocratics

A Presocratics Reader: Selected Fragments and Testimonia, ed. Patricia Curd, Trans. Richard D. McKirahan (Hackett, 1996)

This one's a little difficult to blog, because it covers a good 300 years and 19 disparate thinkers.  All in, you know, 106 pages.

It's been longer than I like to admit since I've really done any work with the old ancient philosophers, at least 2 years since that Aristotle class, and heavens knows when before that class that I would have done much work on the ancients.  Which is not to say that I don't think the history of philosophy is important, it's mostly that I kind of always thought that I found the ancients kind of boring. Well, except for Heraclitus, who is clearly the most bad-ass of bad-asses.  (And also, in the interest of scrupulous honesty, "kind of boring" can be wielded against a lot of philosophy, particularly if you're not used to reading it, or its A.J. Ayer.  Just saying.)

As I was pleasantly surprised to discover, a good ten years of philosophy education and general growing up can make reading the pre-Socratics much more fun.

The Listening Project - Apple O' - Deerhoof

Part 13 - Apple O' - Deerhoof (2003, Kill Rock Stars)

You know, I have absolutely no idea what I think about this one.  (To be truthful, another album I listened to while pretending to get back in shape, so, there you go)

On the one hand, it seems totally listenable, really fun (well, a little more laid-back than that) and maybe a little quirky.  On the other hand, I can't shake the sense that it's the sort of album that takes a lot of effort to listen to.  There are like melodies and harmonies and shit.  Weird.

I don't know if I've really talked about my musical laziness yet, but, I've got lazy ears.  Like, some of my favorite music ever is French Polyphony. It's just that touch more complex than chant, but without a. the douchiness and b. difficult instruments.  Also mid-nineties rock.  I am willing to bet you a dollar that absolutely no one ever broke a sweat over Inside Out, and yet, I love it.  Lazy ears.  Lazy, lazy ears.

So I think that's part of my ambivalence.  I also have never been a fan of high register voices, and the singer's voice has that high, kind of nasally quality that must make indie-music folk swoon, like ironically.  Not a huge fan.  In short, not an album I'd put on, but not one that I'd click over were the old iTunes on shuffle.

I feel so ambivalent about this, that I'm not going to do a favorite/least favorite.

Next up - All Hands on the Bad One - Sleater Kinney (2000) (I know it's out of alphabetical order, but, it's new to the iPod, and I love it, and didn't want to skip it.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Second Post in what will be a Series on Women and Skepticism

This won't be a super-long totally in-depth post today, mostly because I've got a Listening Project post to do too, and I really should finish up the book on the pre-socratics, also, like, submit grades for this semester, finalize my lectures for the upcoming semester, pack and figure out where I'm living in a month and a half.  (Let me tell you how much I'm looking forward to the end of that list. Either a lot, or not at all.  Actually, could you tell me how I feel about that?)

All deep and intense whining (or whinging as the Brits say it) aside, I really just wanted to comment on something that made me incredibly happy.  There are times when The Internet just warms the cockles of my cold, angry heart, generally when The Internet stands up for Not Being A Douchehatted Assclam.  And PZ Myers did that one small thing, and I really just wanted to comment, aloud and alone in cyberspace (does anyone use that phrase anymore? Is it like the Information Super-Highway?) that the intersection between feminism and skepticism isn't just for the ladybraynes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Listening Project - Apologies to the Queen Mary - Wolf Parade

(I finally got smart enough to just charge the ol' iPod and not sync it. Smarty-pants, this girl!)
Part 12 - Apologies to the Queen Mary - Wolf Parade (2005, Sub Pop)

This is, hands down, one of my favoritest ever albums.  For reals.  It's just fun, and beautiful, and exactly the sort of people-doing-interesting-things-with-music that I like.

I don't have a whole lot else to say about it, mostly because this is one of the albums that I, like, actually know, and so there is not a really fun "discovery" story behind it. Also because I listened to it while taking a run for the first time in longer than I'd like to admit.

I do know that the guitarist has the most kick-ass haircut ever, but that I can never find a picture of it, so I can never have that hair cut.  Which is sad.  As sad as the fact that it took me two months to figure out that I could just charge the ol' iPod and not sync it.  Which is something like tragic.

Favorite Track -" Dear Sons and Daughter of Hungry Ghosts "
Least Favorite - I simply refuse to pick a least favorite.

Next up - Apple O' - Deerhoof (2003)