Monday, May 28, 2012

Running is mental

This morning I went running early, in an attempt to beat the worst of the daytime heat. Unfortunately, no amount of early rising could avoid the humidity. In the course of my run, I nodded hello to several early-morning walkers. Then, about a block away and walking towards me, carrying a flat of water bottles, a man shouted, "WHAT MENTAL INSTITUTION ARE YOU FROM?"

I smiled at the jest but was too distant and winded to reply. So I simply kept running towards him. He, mistakenly thinking that I'd not heard him, or perhaps enjoying his jest enough to repeat it, shouted again "WHAT MENTAL INSTITUTION DID YOU ESCAPE FROM?"

"One quite nearby!" I replied as I ran past him. Because, after all, this was rather unpleasant weather to run in, and I am familiar with the concept that running is a masochistic pastime. So, ha ha, nice joke, buddy.

"SO THE ONE DOWN ON QUEEN STREET THEN!" he turned and shouted at my retreating back. I guess my insanity extended so far as misreporting my own institution.

This post's theme word is funambulatory, "like a tightrope walker." My funambulatory sanity tipped and fell into madness as I ran.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Underwater peacock woman

I like this artistic mixture of hair and peacock feathers. It gives me the impression that she is morphing into a bird underwater, somehow.
Clarae19 on deviantart via Just be honest for now.

This post's theme word is philtrum, "the vertical groove below the nose and above the upper lip." Moody painters know how to accurately portray emotions via philtrum shading.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Icy ice ice

While walking through the downtown, I noticed this strangely organic pillar of white. Protected by a fence and barbed wire and a "no smoking" sign.
It looked at first like plastic, its uneven surface polished smooth. There seemed no ready explanation for a plastic blob protecting these pipes, and gradually my brain -- loosened from reality by the inhumane 80F+ temperatures -- wrapped itself around the idea that this might be ice.

It looks like ice. But what sort of reverse-heat sink ("heat source"?) is conducted on this scale, outdoors? And accompanied by the slow but steady dripping of water? I suppose it could be condensation, but in that case, the heat source is very poorly designed, because it is gradually reducing its radiative capacity with a giant, thermally-insulating icicle. If icicles were built by trowel, not by fairies.

Also, what good is an outdoors heat source in Canada? For a significant part of the year, outside will be below freezing and these pipes will only serve as a traditional heat sink.
Lastly, "no smoking"? The thought that a discarded cigarette butt could have some deleterious effect on this ice hunk is charming.

This post's theme word is esker, "a long, narrow ridge of gravel and sand deposited by a stream flowing in or under a retreating glacier." A bizarre esker of ice loomed above the city's summer streets.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I made some tarts, all on this summer day.

This post's theme word is gamboge, "a strong yellow color," or "a gum resin obtained from the sap of trees of the genus Garcinia, used as a yellow pigment and as a cathartic." The plain vanilla tarts appear gamboge, although there is no added coloring.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Milk Carton Kids

I went to see The Milk Carton Kids on a recommendation received via my social network. (But no one monetized the connection. No click-throughs, no referrals, and absolutely zero cookies. I simply walked there and bought a ticket.)

Dave Borins
& co. opened and were excellent, with folkish country music that made me want to sing along with the hypnotically catchy refrains. They quite unexpectedly mixed a Southern/country-music sound with local Toronto references.

Then, adequately warmed-up and emotionally available, the headliners took the stage. Two unassuming boy-men in full suits, their entire stage presence was based upon understatement. It balanced precisely between hilarious litotes and sad, quiet sentences. "We're from L.A." Beat. No cheers from the Toronto audience. "Uh, okay. Well, we're here now." Laughter.

The Milk Carton Kids' songs were a nice counterpoint to Dave Borins: they were uniformly quiet and sad. At the end of the evening, they thanked the audience for spending a Friday evening listening to their sad songs. (You can listen, too! -- all their music is offered free on their site!)

It was delightful.

This post's theme word is jonquil, "a widely cultivated narcissus."