Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not been able to answer the great question that has never been answered: what does a woman want?
-- Sigmund Freud --


Have a great Wednesday!
******

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
-- Franz Kafka --

Have a great Tuesday!
******

Monday, March 28, 2011

Splash du Jour: Monday

It turns out that time doesn't heal the wound, but in its so merciful way, it blunts the edges ever so slightly.
-- Al Pacino --


Have a great Monday!
******

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What Richard Dawkins Believes












This means that the next few pages are inevitably somewhat intricate -- not difficult, just intricately detailed. It would probably be best to not read this section of the book when tired, at the end of a long day.

The above is from page 117 of Richard Dawkins' book The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution.
I followed his advice… I was not tired, and it was not the end of a long day.
But he never said anything about drinking beer!
Perhaps that was where I erred.
Because see, I just [burp!] read this section he is pre-warning us about, where he goes on to expertly delineate a multi-decade experiment that was conducted in order to fast-track the evolution of a certain strain of bacteria.
I read it as though my life depended on it.
And don't get me wrong, I very much love the way Dawkins writes. The book in the background here, The God Delusion -- is one of the best things I have ever read.
No, the fault cannot possibly be his. He is so clear in the way he explains things.

As a result of tonight's intense lager-induced experiment in reading I have come to the conclusion that there is a disparity -- yea, a great gulf, if you will -- between my interest in science, and my understanding of its methods.
I find that when it comes to my own limited and semi-evolved brain power, I tend to understand a general overall gist of a thing, but most often I could not put the book aside and clearly paraphrase what I have "learned".
Some would say that this means I have not learned anything at all.
That may indeed be the case.
All I can say is, this book is extremely….. convincing. And after I finish it, if someone asks me what I believe about evolution, I will give them a big Neanderthalic grin and say, "I believe what Richard Dawkins believes!"
Cheers!
-- Cip

*******

Friday, March 25, 2011

Splash du Jour: Friday

What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright... Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?
-- Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary --



Have a great Friday!

*******

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Splash du Jour: Thursday

In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It's loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road.
-- Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin --


Have a great Thursday!
*******

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

An Intermittent Case of Writer's Block

There were times when friends of mine would say, "Come on, man! Give me a break. That thing you blogged about did NOT happen to you today!"
And I'd say, "No, it did -- I'm not kidding."
And I wasn't. Kidding. Seems like I always had something to write about.
You know what? I know that it is not the "things" that have changed -- but I myself feel less in the mode of writing.
Life is still good and exciting and charged with things to write about. I've been having a lot of fun -- I've been enjoying my work life in a whole new way -- I have gained some terrific friends. I've been drunk a lot.
THINGS ARE TERRIFIC.
And yet -- it boggles my mind. My desire to blog of my adventures has waned a bit.
Why have I not written of the fact that I spent last Saturday night with some terrific friends watching a classic movie [2001: A Space Odyssey] and not understanding the thing at all?
Wow!
Back in the day, this would have elicited a blog of astronomical proportions!
I would have even had something to say of the pizza we ate! And the awesomeness of meeting a beautiful black cat, named Batman!
By the way, I am convinced that there are probably only two living people on earth that could really understand the meaning of that movie -- and they are:
1) Stephen Hawking.
2) Not me.

At any rate, my dear faithful friends. Hang in there, I encourage you.
Barring early onset Alzheimer's, I think I'll be OK soon.
I'll be back.

******

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

"They are all beasts of burden in a sense," Thoreau once remarked of animals, "made to carry some portion of our thoughts." Animals are the old language of the imagination; one of the ten thousand tragedies of their disappearance would be a silencing of this speech.
-- Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide To Getting Lost --

Have a great Tuesday!
******

Monday, March 21, 2011

Splash du Jour: Monday

Occasionally, I get a letter from someone who is in 'contact' with extraterrestrials. I am invited to 'ask them anything'. And so over the years I've prepared a little list of questions. The extraterrestrials are very advanced, remember. So I ask things like, 'Please provide a short proof of Fermat's Last Theorem'. Or the Goldbach Conjecture… I never get an answer. On the other hand, if I ask something like 'Should we be good?' I almost always get an answer. Anything vague, especially involving conventional moral judgements, these aliens are extremely happy to respond to. But on anything specific, where there is a chance to find out if they actually know anything beyond what most humans know, there is only silence.
-- Carl Sagan --


Have a great Monday!
*******

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Perfect People










Perfect People

Spent a night in a forest
looking for a flawless tree.

Somewhere around three a.m.
I wondered about criteria.

Height? Girth? Bark texture? Leaves?
Root dispersion? Affinity to others?

Does this tree provide a natural habitat for animals or at least timber for homes for animals that pay taxes?

I got weary, and fast.
Leaned against one that made me sleep.

My last thought? The next time I do this
I'll set out in the daytime.

-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2011 --

Friday, March 18, 2011

Splash du Jour: Friday

I was starting to wonder if I was ready to be a writer, not someone who won prizes, got published and was given the time and space to work, but someone who wrote as a course of life. Maybe writing wouldn't have any rewards. Maybe the salvation I would gain through work would only be emotional and intellectual. Wouldn't that be enough, to be a waitress who found an hour or two hidden in every day to write?
-- Ann Patchett, Truth and Beauty --


Have a great Friday!
*******

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.
-- Robertson Davies --



Have a great Thursday!

*******

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you.
-- Daniel J. Boorstin --


Have a great Tuesday!
******

Monday, March 14, 2011

Splash du Jour: Monday

Let children learn about different faiths, let them notice their incompatibility, and let them draw their own conclusions about the consequences of that incompatibility. As for whether they are ‘valid’, let them make up their own minds when they are old enough to do so.
-- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion --



Have a great Monday!

*******

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Broke My Spine --

-- of my Barney's Version.
It's not funny.
My book needs a chiropractor gifted with the healing properties of…. Jesus!
Never mind the horrors of the Japan earthquake today. Can we talk?
I was at Starbucks tonight. Reading away and somehow lost my bookmark.
So, when I got up to get a refill of coffee I flipped the book over and [horrors] I broke the spine of the thing. It was agonizing. I felt it in my deep heart's core!
I am not all that picky about books, really. Torn covers, bent pages, previous marginalization. I take it in stride!
But a broken spine?
It really will not do.
And so I am chagrined.
Will I quit reading this book because of its new vertebrae problems?
No.
However -- I recall a time when I actually did abandon a book because of its spinal deformity.
It happened around 25 years ago.
I was reading Martin Gilbert's The Holocaust in the back yard of my home, way back on Argyle Street North. My dear Aunt Evelyn, who was visiting at the time, came outside and asked me what I was reading.
When I handed her the gargantuan volume she grabbed it and CRACKED ITS SPINE RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE.
Where the section of photographs were.
I nearly vomited.


She said, "Hmm. Looks interesting," and handed it back to me as I gasped for air, sweating great drops of blood all over dad's lawn.
<-- Look! You can even see the line down the middle, the evidence of injury!
I not only still have the book, I even have the bookmark in it, at page 436.
Here's the kicker --
To this day I have never read another page of that book.
Something about paraplegic books -- I just lose interest.
How about you?
Does it really bother you when you irretrievably crack the spine of a book?

*******

Splash du Jour: Friday

There did not have to be a moral. She need only show separate minds, as alive as her own, struggling with the idea that other minds were equally alive. It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding, above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you. And only in a story could you enter these different minds and show how they had an equal value. That was the only moral a story need have.
-- Ian McEwan, Atonement --


Have a great Friday!
******

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

My parental role had largely been confined to providing a good life, teasing the kids at the table, leaving Miriam to settle disputes, and, oh yes, putting together those libraries after I had consulted Miriam. "When a child is born," I once explained to the kids, "some dads lay down bottles of wine for them that will mature when they grow up into ungrateful adults. Instead, what you're going to get from me, as each of you turns sixteen, is a library of the one hundred books that gave me the most pleasure when I was a know-nothing adolescent."
-- Mordecai Richler, Barney's Version --


Have a great Wednesday!
*******

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Fine Balance

I know what you're thinking, Dear Reader Friends -- but no.
<-- This is not going to be a blog about the book by Rohinton Mistry.
First, my apologies for not blogging much, as of late. I blame a sudden onset of laziness. Actually -- not so sudden. I've been lazy for a long time now. At the end of the work day I usually only have time for coffee, a bit of reading, and late-night hamburger ingestion.
Also, I've been involved in a new hobby -- leatherwork. Basically, I spend some time each evening punching extra holes in my belts to contend with my burgeoning waistline -- or, as I like to refer to the situation in more geographical terms, Equatorial Expansion©.
I've read some terrific books and failed to discuss them here.
Things like Stephen Greenblatt's new one, Shakespeare's Freedom.
As I read it I realized that I think I have read more books about Shakespeare than books by Shakespeare. If you have not read Greenblatt's biography of the Bard, I strongly encourage you to --> CHECK IT OUT!
Currently I am reading an incredibly good novel [hilarious] -- Mordecai Richler's Barney's Version. Have any of you seen the new movie based on this book?
And before this I read Alissa York's newest book, Fauna. A worthwhile novel about animals, and their effect on people.
I love animals. There's no need to convince Bookpuddlers -- you know I love animals [some of them, between slices of bread, or slathered in gravy…] but no, seriously, I love animals -- even when they are, at times, exploited by humans.
Like this goat-thing in the following video clip. Plus, there's a monkey in there, too.
It's worth watching to the end. Extra points to anyone that can interpret the running commentary of the cameraman. Please… enlighten me.
This -- this, my friends, is a fine balance….


video

Splash du Jour: Tuesday









She wore her sexuality with an older woman's ease, and not like an awkward purse, never knowing how to hold it, where to hang it, or when to just put it down.

-- Zadie Smith --


Have a great Tuesday!
********

Monday, March 07, 2011

Splash du Jour: Monday

Love is an abstract noun, something nebulous. And yet love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the world turns upside down and the screen goes black. We can’t tell if it will survive us. But we can be sure that it’s the last thing to go.
-- Martin Amis, The Second Plane --

Have a great Monday!
******

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Bonamassa In The House

I'm usually quite a slowpoke, really.
If you don't believe me, take note of how long my "Currently Reading" books stay on the sidebar, yonder. I average about ten days on one novel.
No one who knows me would say "He gets things done, quickly."
But I set a new speed record for myself today.
FASTEST BUYING OF CONCERT TICKETS!
I was just leafing through the newspaper on my lunch break at work -- taking in the articles and ads when "What the hell?" my eyes nearly fell out of my head. As soon as I saw this ad for an upcoming concert [see photo] I cut it out with a pair of scissors and calmly, but energetically, walked to the phone and ordered tickets!
Good Lord!
Joe Bonamassa is coming to my town! And soon!
I got two EXCELLENT tickets -- and now all I have to do is sit back and play his stuff on repeat mode until April 1st.
Joe Bonamassa is one of the finest blues guitarists in the world today. If you need a bit of a refresher in Bonamassa 101, click
--> HERE.
And be sure to watch the clip, below.

Splash du Jour: Thursday

I am a true adorer of life, and if I can't reach as high as the face of it, I plant my kiss somewhere lower down. Those who understand will require no further explanation.
— Saul Bellow, Henderson The Rain King --


Have a great Thursday!

********

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

I am easily moved to tears and rarely survive a visit to the cinema without shedding them, racked, as I am, by the most perfunctory, meretricious or even callously sentimental attempts at poignancy (something about the exterior of the human face, so vast and palpable, with the eyes and the lips: it is all writ too large for me, too immediate for me.)
— Martin Amis, Experience: A Memoir --

Have a great Wednesday!
********