Friday, August 8, 2014

BRAINPAN Bam ba lam...

I'm easy today.  In a hard way.  In a don't-mess-with-me kind of way.  Were you here, and don't you wish that you were?  Were you here, you'd observe, however, a laughing, Buddha-belly-rubbing me, full of cogent witticisms, and a wild overflow of Acts of Kindness. No, I don't expect that my Acts of Kindness will tip the Scales of My Personal Justice Plasticene Statue, mostly because, Hell, the scales are made of Plasticene.

Which brings this celebration of incomplete sentences and thoughts -- much of that lack done as an Act of Kindness toward vous et envers toi, usted y tú, toward the formal and informal, the plural and the singular, the public and the very private, and the greater sin of needing to throw off, burn, and bury the ashes in a truly leak-proof, environmentally perfect, sealed drum.... of those things that are now fiercely private but in need of the fresh air of a gentle, compassionate revelation.  Which brings this celebration of incomplete sentences, thoughts, and diring [neologism du jour], daring challenges of hidden derring-do to its natural first break, a celebration of the "tangerine skies and marmalade skies" that go so naturally with the "Plasticine porters with looking-glass ties" -- words that have been drumming an old beat in the Very Best of My Beloved Readers' brainpans since today's first paragraph.

* Wikipedia admonishes, in its Plasticine entry:  Not to be confused with Pleistocene or Industrial plasticine ["mainly used by automotive design studios"]
Plasticine, a brand of modelling clay, is a putty-like modelling material made from calcium salts, petroleum jelly and aliphatic acids. The name is a registered trademark of Flair Leisure Products plc. Plasticine is used extensively for children's play, but also as a modelling medium for more formal or permanent structures.

Take a few moments to dance -- horizontally or vertically -- or to sway -- sinuously or to some personal sassified jazzy beat -- with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds:

[The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney for the group's 1967 
album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.]

Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly;
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head;
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she’s gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain,
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
That grow so incredible high.

 Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you’re gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!

Picture yourself on a train in a station,
With plasticine porters with looking-glass ties.
Suddenly, someone is there at the turnstile:
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
Lucy in the sky with diamonds!

To keep things as kaleidoscopic as possible, here are the words that Merriam-Webster's online site lists as rhyming with "brainpan." Take this offering, those of you who do not know the beauty of Lucy sparkling in Botticelli's half-shell of a heaven, those of you who are still, despite this deficit, also Very Dear Readers. If you feel excluded from the Reader Types being celebrated today, rejoice in the knowledge that Google's beloved animation celebration department partied down a few days ago in honor of John Venn's 180th birthday. Familiarity of, and inordinate fondness for, Venn diagramming are prerequisites for any True Reader of This Blog.

A Venn diagram or set diagram is a diagram that shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets. Venn diagrams were conceived around 1880 by John Venn. They are used to teach elementary set theory, as well as illustrate simple set relationships in probability, logic, statistics, linguistics and computer science.
Ready, set, rhyme!  BRAINPAN Bam ba lam...
adman, Afghan, aidman, ape-man, Bataan, bedpan, best man, Bhutan, birdman, boardman, boss man, brogan, caftan, caiman, cancan, capstan, captan, caveman, chessman, claypan, clubman, Cohan, cooncan, corban, cowman, Cruzan, C-Span, cyan, deadman, deadpan, deskman, dishpan, divan, doorman, dustpan, fan-tan, Fezzan, fibranne, flight plan, flyman, FORTRAN, freedman, freeman, frogman, gagman, game plan, glucan, G-man, Greenspan, hardpan, headman, he-man, iceman, inspan, Iran, japan, Japan, jazzman, Kazan, kneepan, Koran, Kurgan, leadman, liege man, life span, liftman, loran, madman, main man, Malan, Mandan, man's man, mailman, merman, Milan, milkman, newsman, oilcan, oilman, oil pan, old man, one-man, pavane, pecan, plowman, point man, postman, Poznan, preman, pressman, propman, Queen Anne, ragman, rattan, reedman, reman, rodman, routeman, Saipan, salt pan, sampan, sandman, saucepan, schoolman, sea fan, sedan, sideman, snowman, soundman, soutane, spaceman, Spokane, spray can, stewpan, stickman, stockman, straight man, straw man, strongman, stuntman, Sudan, suntan, T-man, TACAN, taipan, test ban, tin can, tisane, toucan, trainman, trashman, trepan, triptan, Tristan, tube pan, unman, vegan, Walkman, weight man, wingspan, wise man, yardman, yes-man
Why yet another post full of snark?  Well, one thing is that I managed to sync my entire music library into my relatively small, yet disturbingly faithful, mp3 player, which promptly ceased to function, forcing me to recall which songs were a true solace in the night and which were just ear candy.  That I was forced to do this by the criterion of megabytes and the tempering memory of hearing each song through cramping, seizing legs hips hands... and the pure fun of tossing the little music machine in the air every few minutes as proof positive that the memory was no memory at all but a real function of my reality.  Better, Grasshopper, to toss the mp3 player than the hot mug of coffee.  Now snatch the damn pebble from my hand spastic hand.

For that bit of mental evil, I made myself create a batch of lucious baked goods for Fred's Congregation of Mostly Fiery Aging Militant Lesbian Existentialists.  And for the Carteresque sinning in my heart that occurred while soaking the prunes in ancient brown-sugared rum?  I made the Hang-Over Gang coffee, taking individual orders as though they amounted to Divine Dicta -- which, of course, given the circumstances, they did.

I know you, vous, tu, tú, y usted, as well as I know you, you, and you over there hiding behind the Ray Ban Wayfarers and the frail, chipping diamonds on the soles of your old Italian shoes.  I mean, Buongiorno, amico mio, but, really, closed-toed Italian shoes require socks, temperate socks, of the discrete sort, and long, not those screaming fantasmini, intemperate things that women used to call "footies."

But perhaps I stray?

No, I don't.  I am just giving you set-types the chance to make a fun array of Venn diagrams. HiLArious allusions to meld, from many cultural highs and lows.

Synthesize away.

My smiles don't reach my eyes.
My Kind Acts leak the last of their kindness not long after conception.
There are no solutions to some problems that are not the answer of Nature -- not heartless, cruel Nature, but balanced Nature. Just excise my soul.
My tears reach my smiles and sweeten the savory items from my ovens.

I set out to make incredibly healthy muffins at 4:30 am yesterday.  So tired that I rested my head on the hot stove top -- believing the best muffins to be, um, *flash*-baked, I had cranked up the heat.  Even pre-heated my muffin tins and set off two fire alarms.  Which probably saved my forehead from second degree burns. Incredibly, due to the fact that I closed doors and room dividers before taking a cane to the offensive safety devices, the Domestic Staff did not spring into the Bucket Line to save the Manor, but slept on, in peace.

Marlinspike Hall was smoking.

Recipes are not loved when I bake, and even so, I am remarkably successful.  Yesterday, I decided to cook with tea.  Chai tea. I saw a tin, I recalled the smell, I despised the acrid smoke of pre-production, and dumped it into what seemed, anyway, a too wet batter.

They're amazing.
Prunes, raisins, oats, oat bran, a secret dried ingredient from a pilgrim known to rivers.
Moist. Yogurt. One huge freaking Jumbo Egg. A Szechuan-peppered hint of cream. All overmixed, by design, by inexplicable need.  They were half-cooked by the friction of my mixing, my beating, my scraping and stirring.

They're a blessing, but we're about out, and I woke today... Well, I woke like this post. Un-Venned, running from what I know to be true, hating the blending and compromise, no matter how well it works under reforming fires. I am not excited by what is the same, by what is shared; I long to keep the greater circle intact, impermeable.  Take me before the circles' skins are white-board fodder, collections of sets and hemmed-in relationships. Subsets smother.  Universal sets reek of desperation.

 Drown me in The River.

Symmetrical 5-set Venn diagram

© 2013 L. Ryan

Marmy Fluffy Butt, Elongated

Those attentive readers who are familiars of Marmy Fluffy Butt will gasp at the virtuosity she allowed the camera to witness, and then, without the usual *ack*::*ack* contrarian fanfare, capture.

Since her feline version of IBS has been brought under control, she's in love bug stage, and can often be found attached to my left hip.  She challenges Buddy the Outrageously Large Maine Coon for Manor leadership about every other day, and has inflicted several warning slashes upon little Dobby's face when he moved in for an innocent traditional DNA check.

She's full of herself, in other words.

We like this version of a long, slinky Marmy Fluffy Butt -- she is not hiding out with abdominal pain, she is, in fact, stretching to new lengths, she winks at me and cracks the worst kind of jokes, then *ack*::*ack*s to her heart's content!

Should Marmy enthrall you, these two old posts describe how she got her and her reign since:
Wednesday's CatCam -- Full of Woe and Wednesday Morning Blahs.

 photo 2d90792b-832e-4406-9975-a8757f28fa10.jpg

Please allow me to share my etymological discovery of the day!  One cannot observe the magnificence that is Marmy without eventually entertaining the term "hoity-toity."  Most often, her attitudinal fluffiness causes a mental stutter, leaving you psychically mumbling, "hoity, hoity, hoiteeee!"  Ah, but... anyway! The term "hoity-toity" actually made!

"Hoity-toity" begs for a hoity-toity origin.  And so was born an etymology with an accent, from an older world with smaller cobbled streets, and where the habit of looking down on people whilst sipping on a thick, caramelly espresso from the comfy vantage point of a limestone or bluestone or concrete tile perch:  "The term "hoity-toity" comes from the French words haut toit, meaning 'high roof.'"

Berlitz called it this way:  "The expression 'hoity-toity,' for ; pretentious,;  comes from the French haut toit — high roof — from which the pretentious looked down on the literally 'lower' classes."

In swoops snope to do what snope does:

Origins:   In common English speech, "hoity-toity" is an adjective used with disdain to refer to the pretentious, those who put on a show of pretending to possess refinement and sophistication (similar to "highfalutin"). So, some people naturally assume that such an unusual expression, referring to the cultured, must itself have a cultured origin — in this case a French-language reference to the (literal) upper class, people who looked down upon others from atop their high roofs (i.e., haut toit). 
"Hoity-toity" has nothing to do with French (or the French), however. The expression comes from our penchant for creating rhyming phrases such as "loosey-goosey" or "helter-skelter," and in this case its base is "hoit," an obsolete 16th century verb whose meaning is "to play the fool" or "to indulge in riotous and noisy mirth." ("Hoity-toity" was more commonly used to describe those who engaged in thoughtlessly silly or frivolous behavior before it became more of a synonym for "pretentious.") Attempts to find the word "haughty" to be an ancestor of "hoity-toity" are equally specious. 

I thought of mourning the loss of a lovely etymology.

Then, thinking of the Queen who prompted the whole half-arsed search, I realized how much closer she is to silliness -- *ack*::*ack* and a wink, followed by a seductive, round-bellied flop and presentation of one white-fuzzed, pink-skinned abdomen in need of rubbing -- than to serious haughtiness.

© 2013 L. Ryan

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Reminder

Into this pitch darkness we're hurled
Where there's not a glimmer of light
It's not the end of the world
It's just the middle of the night

And the blackest of flags is unfurled
In all this absence of light
It's not the end of the world, good people,
Merely the middle of the night

The middle of the night, that's what this is
If death is the real test, this is just a quiz
When grey creeps through your window, it will be day light
The end of this darkness is almost in sight

Into a ball of fear you are curled
And you're holding on with all of your might
But it's not the end of the world, little sister,
It's just the middle of the night

In the maelstrom of your mind you are swirled
You're almost down the drain but not quite
It's not the end of the world, my brother,
Rather the middle of the night

The middle of the night when you fear everything
But the birds will awake soon you will hear them sing
You doubted you'd make it not sure you'd survive
Now you're dead tired, you're still alive

Around fate's fickle finger we're twirled
Small wonder we're all so up tight
But it's not the end of the world, good people,
Merely the middle of the night
No it's not the end of the world as we know it
It's just the middle of the night