As I eat my microwaved 160 calorie "healthy choice"...
The Beautiful Sandwich
She could always make the most beautiful sandwich. Laced swiss cheese: sliced crossways, folded once. Ham in rolls like sleeping bags. Turkey piled like shirts. Tarragon. Oregano. Pepper. Herb dill mayonnaise the color of skin. On top: the thin, wandering line of mustard like a contour on a map in a thin, flat drawer. Or a single, lost vein. The poppyseeds hold on, for now.
Placed on a plate like isolated driftwood or a large, solemn head. The spilled chips in yellow piles are like the strange coins of tall, awkward islanders. The thin dill pickle: their boat slides into the green-sour sea.
It’s the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. He only lived for 35 years but he started his career early — a child prodigy from a family of musicians. He toured all over Europe, and wrote his first opera at age 11.
Glenn Gould plays the fast first movement (Allegro Maestoso) of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in A Minor to get you moving this morning.
“Above all, the listener should be able to understand the poem or the song, not be forced to unravel a complicated, self-indulgent puzzle. Offer your art up to the whole world, not just an elite few.”—Happy birthday Lucinda Williams!
“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.”—Dave Barry
(1929) (which was based on lectures she gave at the women’s colleges of Cambridge) she wrote:
"a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction… when I ask you to earn money and have a room of your own, I am asking you to live in the presence of reality, an invigorating life."
Unlike the terrifying Northern European dragon mythology, the dragon in Chinese mythology brings good fortune and intense power.
Those who are born this year, or in any dragon year, are be honoured, according to local custom. It’s said that dragons are fearless, ambitious, passionate and self-assured - but also conceited and slow to accept help from others.
This year is a water dragon year. It only happens every six decades and, according to Chinese tradition, the water cools down the world’s dragons leading them to, for once, step back and calmly see things as they are.
Blowing out candles at the table today are Sir Francis Bacon (1561) and Lord Byron (1788).
Bacon was a philosopher, a statesman, an essayist, and a champion of modern science. Queen Elizabeth named him Lord Chancellor but he was convicted of accepting bribes in 1621, and banned from political office for the rest of his life.
He spent much of his intellectual life challenging Aristotle’s view that knowledge should begin with universal truths. He said, “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” In Novum Organum (1620), Bacon wrote that scholars should build their knowledge of the world from specific, observable details. His theory is now known as the scientific method, and is the basis of all experimental science
British Romantic poet Lord Byron was born George Gordon in London and was an impulsive, compulsive, and given to excesses with lovers of both sexes. He had an incestuous relationship with his half sister, Augusta, and may have been the father of one of her children. He was sexy, charismatic, witty, athletic, and bipolar.
I like the description by one of his lovers, Lady Caroline Lamb, who said he was “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”
He left England to live abroad, and never returned.
She walks in beauty like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes
As he lay dying, he requested that his body be left undisturbed. Sadly, his wishes were disregarded; doctors cut him open almost upon his last breath, removing parts of his skull and organs for souvenirs. His remains were denied burial in Westminster Abbey for reasons of “questionable morality.” He was buried at the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Nottinghamshire.
These are the moments before snow, whole weeks before. The rehearsals of milky November, cloud constructions when a warm day lowers a drift of light through the leafless angles of the trees lining the streets. Green is gone, gold is gone. The blue sky is the clairvoyance of snow. There is night and a moon but these facts force the hand of the season: from that black sky the real and cold white will begin to emerge.
But nevertheless, the Senate is continuing to move forward — and fast — with its equally dangerous version of the bill, called PIPA, the Protect-IP Act. As written, PIPA would import censorship and surveillance techniques pioneered by countries like China and Iran, reversing longstanding U.S. policy on Internet freedom, betraying U.S. First Amendment values, damaging our standing around the world, threatening our job-creating innovators, and undermining Internet security for everyone.
Today is a day for action across the Internet. Learn about these destructive bills. Tell your Senator what you think. Congress needs to hear from you.