Monday, March 31, 2008

On the Spirit World

I began to suspect he didn't know what he was talking about. I said, “How can he be my twin? I thought he was my light knight, and the thing that nights the light.”

Without the least hesitation he explained, “ He looks like your shadow, and he looks like the thing that nights the light. But really he's your twin.”

“I get the picture,” I said sardonically. “I had this twin brother, born when I was born, but nobody in the hospital saw him come out so he just snuck off and . . .”

“He wasn't born when you were born!” cut in Bill Bob. “He died when you were born. And he's born when you die.”

-David James Duncan, The River Why

Friday, March 28, 2008

On Passion

Suddenly it hit me what a pathetic lot we fishermen were. We sneaked, pursued, teased, deceived, tormented, and often murdered the objects of our obscure lust; we compounded our crimes by gloating over them; and we committed them so mindlessly and so often that as soon as we'd done gloating we commenced grumbling and griping and cursing the luck till the moment we managed to commit them again. What were our “contemplations” but odes to fish-lust, scientific explications, more and unnatural technologies and more convoluted techniques to help us sneak, pursue, tease, deceive, torment or kill more effectively?

-David James Duncan, The River Why

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On Laws of Nature

"That was the thing about Nature: make one lousy rule to describe it and it'll contradict you even if it has to transmogrify, metamorphosize, and bust it's ass to do it."

-David James Duncan, The River Why

Sunday, March 23, 2008


First sunburn of the season just arrived. On my nose of course. It tends to catch a lot of sun due to its size.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Publishing from Beyond the Internets

Hey I just found this cool feature on Blogger: Write an entry, and you can tell Blogger when to publish it automatically even if you're not there. Here's how to do it.

1. Instead of going to when you want to publish an entry, go to Sign in.

2. Create a new post just like you always do, but when you're finished writing and tagging it, click on the "post options" link that is just above the "publish post" link.

3. Change the date and time from the current date and time to when you want to publish it. Now click on the "publish post" link.

4. Your post is now scheduled, which means that it won't appear until the date and time that you specified. To check and make sure that it worked, you can go to the "edit posts" link on the top of the page and it will say "scheduled" on the line for that post.

What does this mean? It means that even though I'm going to Aspiro this week for another shift or two, that you should still keep checking Swirly Patterns and, especially, Storisbord.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mein Katpfs


What do you mean you have never been to

The Bones of Everett Ruess

Walk into a gas station or roadside cafe in any small Southern Utah town and look for someone who is old enough to have great grandchildren. He or she will probably have an opinion about Everett Ruess and, if you're lucky, might have even met the guy.
These opinions will probably range from "he was such a nice boy" to "he was bum who lived off of other people's labor and gave nothing back but third-rate artwork and poetry." If Everett were alive today, he would be 94 this year, but he disappeared when he was only 20 or 21 years old.
I remember last November when we looked for the only pathway to the bottom of Davis Gulch, where they found Everett's belongings and his two burros tied up, but not Everett. We were running out of water and might have shared his same end if not for three small pools of stagnant desert bilgewater hidden right on the edge of the gulch's cliffs. It tasted awful, but I think we're all still alive. The iodine helped, and I think I even had some Tang to add to it.
We found the path, and dropped into the gulch where he was last known to have been. Inscribed in the wall of a cave down there is "Nemo 1934", whatever that means. Davis Gulch also contains petroglyphs and two natural arches, if you ever find yourself wandering through it. It is also partly occupied by one of Lake Powell's many greasy appendages, so don't walk too far down or you'll be underwater.
Anyway, a bunch of his art and manuscripts were just found in someone's shed somewhere in California, and they are making the journey to SLC along with a lot of his stuff that we already had. They will be on display at Ken Sanders Rare Books from March 15th to March 30th. See you there.

"I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities."

From the last letter written by Everett Ruess (11/11/1934)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Feast of Stories

The thing about Storisbord is that it's new.

It's a blog that has nothing but my short stories. Check it out, and read the first installment of Lao Tsu.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Visionary: Idealistic

a. Prescient: Clever
b. Officious: Obliging
c. Dialectical: Logical
d. Zealous: Fanatical
e. Disciplined: Religious

Advice given by The Princeton Review's Cracking the GRE:

"Make a sentence. VISIONARY means overly IDEALISTIC. Does ZEALOUS mean overly FANATICAL? Yes."

Um, no actually. You've got it backwards. FANATICAL means overly ZEALOUS, and I've got the Oxford English Dictionary on my side here. (Poor OED. We come before it with the every little dispute we can think of like it's King Solomon. Thank goodness Wikipedia has taken up some of the slack.)

Was there a time when they wouldn't just toss a red pen to any bum from off the street just because he knows how to separate two words with a colon?

P.S. Tomorrow is the big day. What am I doing blogging about it?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Giving me GREif

Which of the following best describes the main purpose of the passage?

A. describe characteristics of Serialism and discuss reasons for various public reactions to the genre
B. contrast Serialism to the Romantic and Impressionist musical genres
C. describe the origins and applications of the Serial genre
D. explore the relationship between the musical genre of Serialism and the art genre of expressionism
E. counter the public misunderstanding of Serialism

Well I answered C, which was wrong. Here is the paradoxical feedback that I got from The Princeton Review's Cracking the GRE, complete with typo:

No. This answer choice is too specific no to mention too broad. It does not mention common reactions to the various applications of serialist music, though such reactions are discussed throughout the passage. The correct answer is A.

There you have it folks. Somehow that answer is too specific while simultaneously being too broad (which is of course the opposite of specific).

Not only that, it seems that it discusses a topic without even mentioning that topic. I am not sure how this can be accomplished, but it is likely that there is magic involved.

At least one thing is clear though: "The correct answer is A".

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Survey Says...

Do the following things make you like summer more or less?

1. Sunburn
2. Mosquito Bites
3. Ice Cream Headaches
4. High Gas Prices
5. Being too hot/sweaty/stinky
6. Sluggishness

I know what my answers will be, but I don't want them to taint yours.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Dear Universe

Dear Universe

Thanks for finally getting back to me. The library job closing without hire was a clear answer that I am not supposed to be an adult just yet, if ever. Now I can get started on another Peter Pan summer without feeling selfish or wondering what could have been.



Monday, March 03, 2008

Good book and a bad movie

I haven't seen the movie of The Fountainhead yet, but I did just finish the book. I liked it. If nothing else, it was a clever and engaging story with some interesting characters.
It is also a book with an agenda, one of hardcore intractable capitalism. I remember the line where I knew the author had lost me. It was something to do with how there was more suffering contained in one talented man whose artistic talent was held back by a populist society than there was in a warehouse full of starving people. Well what is one of those people was your child, Ayn Rand? Huh? What then?!
Anyway I did like the book and I liked her whole philosophy as it applies to the individual. Read it sometime when you have a spare two months (the thing is 700 pages long, and they're not Harry Potter pages either).
The bad movie I was referring to in the title of this post is Ghost Rider with Nicholas Cage. Avoid this movie.

I was a Skier once.

I used to go skiing once in a while. Still do, in fact. It was fun, especially when my parents would turn me loose and say to just meet up with them later at the car or lodge. Later I would go with my friends, and we would dare each other to do increasingly stupid things on jumps, slopes, cliffs, etc. until we were too tired/injured to even watch each other wreck anymore. (These are mostly good memories.)
I still go now and then, but sometimes I feel sort of like an anachronism sitting on a chairlift wearing a wool hat, sunglasses, with "Elan" brand skis bound to my feet. It seems my skis might as well be made of wood, and my poles have baskets made of a steel hoop with leather straps, and I might as well be dressed in sheepskin rubbed with beeswax. And please don't put me on a lift with some kid from Draper. Can you imagine the kind of conversation we'd have?

TR: How's it going?
Kid: Oh, epic man. Epic.
TR: What?
Kid: Epic. I totally just nailed an Eisenhower 540 Backside with a Double Reverse Cowbell.
TR: Oh. Cool.
Kid: Yeah.
TR: Nice day for it.
Kid: I know, right? It's sick.
TR: Sick?
Kid: Yeah. Ya know. Ill.
TR: The day is ill?
Kid: Yeah man. I mean it's been puking all day.
TR: Gross.
Kid: No, man. Sick.
TR: Oh.
Kid: But my friend just had a sale and got this ridiculous raspberry on his leg.
TR: Oh. That's...that's, uh.......
Kid: Yeah, no kidding. He had to get like five stitches.
TR: Sick.
Kid: No man, not sick. It was nasty.
TR: Oh.
(Notices my skis)
Kid: Oh sick man. Those are classics!
TR: Oh thanks. Yeah I've been thinking of getting new ones.
Kid: No way, man. You should rock those in the park. Do they shred?
TR: Shred?
Kid: Yeah. Shred the gnar?
TR: Oh yeah, the gnar. Well, uh.....yeah. Yes they do.
Kid: Sick man.

We could go on, but you get the idea. I do like skiing though.