Friday, December 29, 2006

Words borrowed from Si Muhand U M’hand

J'ai juré que de Tizi-Ouzou
Jusqu'a Akfadou
Nul ne me fera subir sa loi
Nous nous briserons
Mais sans plier
Plutôt être maudit
Quand les chefs sont des maquereaux.
L'Exil est inscrit au front
Je préfère quitter le pays Que d'être humilié parmi ces pourceaux.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Leges motus

my hand casts Newton's spells
careless stone obeys
water submits
five rings fade

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Koan, kindergarten

Did they stop calling it "Indian style", because nobody knows if they mean Indian or Indian?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Koan, recursion

It would be insanely postmodern if he is sketching me.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Excerpt from an interview with Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, December 7, 2006

[Full transcript]
MR. THOMAS: Thanks. Well, it was good being with you.
SEC. RUMSFELD: It's good to see you.
MR. THOMAS: When you get things, you know, straightened out, come down and see a movie with us. I promise it won't be a war movie.
SEC. RUMSFELD: What kind of a movie?
MR. THOMAS: We got a movie theater we kind of like in our house.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, do you really?
MR. THOMAS: Yeah, we decided we're not leaving anything to the kids, so we're spending it on ourselves since I earned it.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Yeah, damn right. That's my answer. (Laughter.)
MR. THOMAS: (Laughs.) There you go. And so we have this nice movie theater with surround sound --
SEC. RUMSFELD: I've heard these home theaters -- you have chairs that --
MR. THOMAS: Oh, they're fun. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah do that. You can sleep, you can do anything. It's very cool.
SEC. RUMSFELD: My wife --
MR. THOMAS: Juke box, all kinds of stuff.
SEC. RUMSFELD: My wife loves movies.
MR. THOMAS: Oh, good. Well --
SEC. RUMSFELD: She goes all the time with a group of women, and I have not been in six years to the movies.
MR. THOMAS: It'll be fun. I got one for you that'd you'd really love. You got it this Christmas. Get for her and watch it together. It's called "Akeelah and the Bee." Starbucks is involved in it. It's about a little African-American girl, 11-years-old, growing up in Crenshaw in LA. Her father's been killed by some hoodie. Her brother's about to become a hoodie. And they discover that she has this great gift of spelling. Laurence Fishburne is in it, Angela Basset. She goes out and redeems everybody. I mean, this is about every value we care about. Hard work overcoming honesty, integrity. I'm sitting there I'm balling away. I'm cheering for the kid.
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Inaudible) --
MR. THOMAS: (Then they have a bee ?). A-K-E-E-L-A-H -- maybe -- and the B as in spelling bee --
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Laughs.)
MR. THOMAS: I guarantee you I'll give you your money back if you don't love this movie. You will absolutely love this. It's got everything. There's not a white guy -- the only white guy in it is the principal of the school. Everybody else is minority, everybody else gets along.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Did you like the "Sound of Music?"
MR. THOMAS: Of course I liked the "Sound of Music."
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, so did I.
MR. THOMAS: And you know something?
SEC. RUMSFELD: People laugh at that.
MR. THOMAS: Well, I want to you something. I stalked Julie Andrews for 40 years before I finally got her.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Is that right.
MR. THOMAS: On our shelf, a picture of us having tea together in New York.
SEC. RUMSFELD: How long ago?
MR. THOMAS: Two years. But I --
SEC. RUMSFELD: She's showing her years.
MR. THOMAS: Yeah, well -- no, she looks great.
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Laughs.)
MR. THOMAS: I waited for her outside the Majestic Theater in 1962 in the rain. That's when it started.
SEC. RUMSFELD: (Laughs.)
MR. THOMAS: And that's how I opened the letter to her, you know. So anyway, you got more important things to do.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Good to see you.
MR. THOMAS: Good to you see you, and let's stay in touch.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Terrific.
MR. THOMAS: And come and see a movie. You will love that one, I guarantee it. Merry Christmas.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Thank you. Very good.
MR. THOMAS: Thanks, everybody.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ruminate, enumerate

I just heard some troubling news about the funding of my office. No, it’s not curtains for ERD’s place of work (we do something like this dance every year), it's just not the sort of thing that I like to hear 7 days after signing all of those mortgage papers.
It’s gotten me thinking about how much life is about numbers, and how those numbers express a remarkable art. At times like these, when words escape me, I am left with numbers. Some are immutable, some changeable, others a wilderness.