Saturday, April 29, 2006

politics, cinema, comics, & the end of the world

i recently went to see Thank You For Smoking, which i thoroughly enjoyed & highly recommend. originally this post was going to go into more detail, about child actors & how unusual it is for them to look like actual children, & about rhetoric, the power & tradition thereof, the debate about health & smoking & advertising, specifically relating to the recent wave of smoking bans in public places, including NY & NJ bars etc. (soon smoking over coffee or drinks will be a rural midwest relic of a bygone era while those more cosmopolitan places alter the whole atmosphere of going out--odd because smoking used to be the cosmopolitan thing...) & of course (briefly) about how Katie Holmes spends most of her time onscreen in compromising positions & why this suits her.

but then i became distracted by all these other movies coming out.
besides, you should just see it.


the upcoming documentary Wordplay about crossword puzzles & the puzzlers who play them looks, & i steal a line from a reviewer here, "exhilaratingly brainy". besides, it's got Jon Stewart, & some politicians, & a guy in a crossword puzzle hat.

then there's Neil Gaiman's upcoming projects: a film version of Stardust, this sort of fairy tale that i loved at first read, with Claire Danes, Robert DeNiro, Alfred Molina, & Michelle Pfeiffer, & a film version of Beowulf, which is using that 3-D motion capture tech a la Polar Express & is also directed by Robert Zemeckis, & has so many interesting cast members that i'm not even going in to detail, except to say that Crispin Glover, of all people, is playing Grendel. apparently though, the motion-capture technology is already way ahead of what it was at last glimpse, so this should be promising.

moving on to cartoons, comics, animation, blah blah blah:
i'm sure everyone knows by now that there's a Simpsons movie coming out.
but, you know, in case you didn't.
& of course, X-Men3, which doesn't really require me to say anything either.

& now, of course, the end of the world:
this June we have a rare occurence: the day of the devil. you know, 06/06/06.
(when you can spend the day listening to Slayer in solidarity, or, conversely, if you want to, spend the day praying that the world doesn't end.)
anyway, i suppose, if they had to remake the Omen, that is the day to release it.
the original is one of my favorite movies ever, & since anyone who knows me will tell you i can't stand to watch (most) horror flicks, that's quite the thing. but i can't help it, it's campy & classic & i just love it when Gregory Peck gets all suspicious.

also relating to the end of the world, in a possibly-Biblical-but-very-real sense, we have An Inconvenient Truth. (here's the official site.)
Global warming is my pet cause (because most of the world i've known will soon be under water) & apparently i have at least that much in common with Al Gore, who seems to have developed a certain degree of coolness since he was voted not-president, e.g. the creation of Current TV.
more on global warming:
--10 States Sue EPA (from today's news.)
--participate in the BBC climate change study.
--so can we please save our environment now?

& yet one more apocalypse, this time from (choke) Mel Gibson:
by the by, the Mayans, at least i think it was the Mayans, had an exact date for the end of the world, sometime in December of 2012, not sure of the details or whether it's the end of the world or the end of the calendar.
is there a difference?
& we all know how good they were with calendars.

on a lighter note, the latest cinematic innovation may very well be smelly movies.

Friday, April 28, 2006

hey kids! it's the bimbo truck!

an image i had to share.
photo by oldben, yesterday in New Brunswick.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

the fish waits for jim murphy

no downstairs doorbell

it might've been a nice house
where is jim murphy?
maybe jim murphy drives an accord.
here he comes
there he goes
maybe jim murphy drives a chevy suburban?
not jim murphy
there's a light on in the front window
here's jim murphy
that's not jim murphy
ford windstar?
not jim murphy
nondescript pickup truck?
not jim murfee
acura, lowered, bass thumpn?
it's a bandito, but it's
not jim merfeee
it looks like it has a nice yard
but jim murphy's not in it
the porch is kinda shitty
and jim murppee is certainly not on it
(we are)
did you ring the doorbell?
did you try downstairs too
there's no downstairs jim myrf....
no downstairs doorbell
there's a cat
maybe the cat's jim mrfiy
didn't you talk to jim murphy?
i talked to someone who said
he was jim murphy
but he may not have been
maybe that's jim murray
he doesn't look like he sounded
maybe jim murphy's a drunk
let's go

fashion fish

for those of you who don't live near manhattan or any one of the fashion capitals of the world, i thought i'd share this latest downtown trend:

live giant Madagascar hissing cockroach jewelry.

hissing cockroach ring, photo from the NY Post.

i'm absolutely serious.
apprently this guy designs for one of those America's top model people & this is his thing.
my thing is that bedazzled bugs are a bad joke in poor taste. although i guess the roaches must be thrilled at being that much closer to taking over mankind.

this, on the other hand, i think is hysterical:

it's a new fashion trend in Japan, apparently, to wear bottoms that have been treated--however they do it, airbrushing?--to look like you can see the ladies' panties through them.

is it true?

who cares?

it's brilliant.

my fish plays a dulcimer

i was reminded of one of my favorite poets buy jp over at criminal english.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) has long been my favorite Romantic poet. i've heard stories that before i could read, i would point to the big red The Rime of the Ancient Mariner with woodcuts by Gustav Doré and spend hours quietly flipping the pages. Doré also did woodcuts for Dante's Inferno as well as Edgar Allen Poe's Raven. perhaps i will bring you pictures of the book and you will understand.

                Her lips were red, her looks were free,
                Her locks were yellow as gold :
                Her skin was as white as leprosy,
                The Night-mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
                Who thicks man's blood with cold.

i still love the Mariner but today i feel like bringing you another of Coleridge's poems - mostly because i'm still searching for that pleasure-dome and those caves of ice. (and the Mariner is just way too long, but what part to post? - you see my dilema...) so enjoy!

Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
          Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

          But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
          Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
          A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
          As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
          By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
          And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
          As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
          A mighty fountain momently was forced :
          Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
          Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
          Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
          And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
          It flung up momently the sacred river.
          Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
          Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
          Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
          And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
          And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
          Ancestral voices prophesying war !

          The shadow of the dome of pleasure
          Floated midway on the waves ;
          Where was heard the mingled measure
          From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !
          A damsel with a dulcimer
          In a vision once I saw :
          It was an Abyssinian maid,
          And on her dulcimer she played,
          Singing of Mount Abora.
          Could I revive within me
          Her symphony and song,
          To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

my fish is a book, is yours?

stolen from banzai cat, who stole if from someone else and to the cycle of internet memes continues:

i'm not sure i ever read this book or perhaps, i've just repressed any memory of it. by playing around with the silly questions/answers, it looks like i narrowly missed being Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" - that was a lucky strike indeed, as that book was so bad my powers of forgetfulness have been totally overcome.

(come on, you know you wanna do it too - besides, the poor sod who created this test was forced to read Paradise Lost 6 times) *uncontrollably shivers*

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

April - the month of many faces

so while i've already mentioned that April is National Poetry Month and some of you may know that April is also Jazz Appreciation Month - it also seems that April is Make Your Employees Uncomfortable Month.

First, the poetry. Here's another quick one:

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

and a link to the Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot

Ok now for Jazz:
April 25th was the birthday of Ella Fitzgerald. Born 1918.

Here's a few music clips: (these are real player links)

Mack the Knife
Someone to Watch Over Me
Blue Skies

for more Jazz Birthdays click here

now we come to where i dig into my personal experience and dub this month "Make You Employees Uncomfortable Month" why? you ask. good question, mister, um, i'm sorry i didn't catch your name... well no matter.

Part 1
#1 way to make your employees not trust you: bring in a consultant to monitor them and don't tell them why or warn them at all.

here's the scoop: one of my jobs brought in a consultant to monitor the helpdesk. that magical place where a small army of two to three people, including me, buffer the rest of the IT department from the thousands of employees who often break their slightly intelligent rocks (also called computers) and then blame us. not "us" in a general sort, but very often "us" as in whoever is on the phone at the time.

Part 2
#1 way to scare the bejesus out of your employees: decide that the company is going to change over to a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software.

for those of you who are still learning, ERP software manages everything from purchasing to production to inventory to invoicing. YAY!

so, my other job has set up a week's worth of meetings with a consultant to determine how the new software has to work to fulfill our needs. this consultant then goes back to the software company (which he was hired by) and tells them how the software needs to work, then they configure it. seems to me like a ridiculous game of telephone - oh well, nothing can be as bad as using telnet for the software base.

well, that's enough ranting and informing, informing and ranting for today. i should probably get to work.

oh and happy hump day!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

another happy tuesday

because this makes me happy.


If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
- Katharine Hepburn
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get--only
with what you are expecting to give--which is everything.
- Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)

(Photo: The Kobal Collection c 1935)

Monday, April 24, 2006

fish with piano

went to see Regina Spektor on Tuesday the 11th.

i think i found her through a video, the quirky clockworky animation-esque clip for "Us", all crescending piano & scenic lyrics & panoramic photographic imagery.
does that make sense?
ok then, you watch, you describe it.

she's got this kind of self-conscious cutie/lispy/quirky thing going, kinda like Bjork only not as fey. could be the influence of the accent--i think she was born in Moscow & raised in the Bronx...

naturally there's a sense of an artist in a tradition--in this case, the classic musical tradition of pretty ladies at pianos. & she is classy, in this vaguely pre-war elegant always-has-an-umbrella-&-a-handkerchief sorta way.

like tori amos before all the theatrics. actually i'm guessing she grew up with tori in her soundtrack as well...comparisons are inevitable, what with the red hair & the whole piano thing. & the warbling, can't forget that. the songs veer from bluesy-jazzy-almost-nursery-rhymey to sounding like Tchaikovsky's redheaded stepchild.

the show was fabulous; i suspect it was the "hometown" show of her tour: lots of inside jokes & people yelling things & laughing...that's always fun to watch even if you don't quite "get" everything. & the material from the new album is tres promising, particularly "Fidelity", which i could get a copy of if i finally bought into itunes. otherwise, it's june for me...

the venue was weird, in that i-love-this-place-one-day-i'll-bring-everyone-together-here sorta way. the Warsaw in Brooklyn is this polish pub/ballroom venue, & there's a back room that serves pierogies all night. my only complaint was that it was sorta overly warm & the smell of frying onions eventually made me feel a little faint.

oldben was a magnificent good sport for indulging me in a chick-music event & absorbing it all with good-natured grins. besides, we both got a kick out of the little girl with a feather in her hair.

nothing like a lady at a piano while some weird drunk modern version of Tiger Lily goes cavorting through the gaps in the crowd.

(edit: photos from the show are up at the tourist.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

earth day fish

love our mother earth!

Friday, April 21, 2006

a quick friday fish

continuing with National Poetry Month, here's a quick poem that i have lived by for a number of years. Enjoy!

Do not go gentle into that good night
by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

photo fish

the last time i attempted a portrait site it was a bust...technical issues out the aperture.
anway, found a snazzy photoblog host, & so i've started one up again.
drop by the experiment & tell me what you think...

& in the spirit of change, the tourist has been revamped to match.

self-portrait with camera.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

the fish almost swam right by

carl v. just pointed out that April is National Poetry Month and we at the fish are ashamed to say we almost missed it. i think jennsee and i are going to have to double-time it to make up for this lack of poetica notica - especially since carl v. in the same post told fishies to swim by our pond for a little dose of verse (thanks carl!!)

so here's one to start:

Spring is like a perhaps hand
by E. E. Cummings

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

this fish is scared...

...and wants to move to a far away and quite possibly imaginary land where nuclear means the opposite of unclear... (though i suppose in some very twisted way, you could argue that it does - everything gets very clear when you're dead or dying of radiation sickness)

The New Yorker: THE IRAN PLANS

- this is a very long article. i haven't finished it yet but i may have more to say on it when i do. for now:

"One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”"


"Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iran—without success, the former intelligence official said. “The White House said, ‘Why are you challenging this? The option came from you.’ ” "

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


"What is time? Swiss manufacture it... French horde it... Italians want it... Americans say it is money... Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook."
--Peter Lorre in "Beat the Devil"

Monday, April 17, 2006

superstar fish

continuing the Jesus theme, i went to see Jesus Christ Superstar on Saturday, at the Keswick Theatre some ways north of Philadelphia. my uncle has been playing Jesus for oh, 15 years or so now...i've never seen any other version of the musical than this Midnight Productions show (although i have seen pieces of the movie, which is pretty ridiculous...i mean, all musicals are inherently ridiculous to one degree or another, but JCS by its very nature is way at the top of the list...) but it's a good one, especially since it's basically community theater...anyway, i really dig their light effects, & the leads have some serious vocal skills.

& my uncle plays a mean Jesus.

photos from the theater will be going up on the tourist later today...


in other news, Mr. Nose has a new installment of the Lt. Drinkwater saga up at the lounge, Elaine plays with alligators, lizards, & a banyan tree, Kate plays under the cherry blossoms in Shimokitazawa, & monkey0 visits the house on the rock.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

easter fish

Happy Jesus! wooooooo Jesus!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

bunny fish

does this disturb anyone else?
or is it just me?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.
-Cary Grant

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can. -Cary Grant

a poem for fish

Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Monday, April 10, 2006

a dream of fish

things i learned from my dream this morning...
you cannot throw slippers full of sand, or at least not far.
be careful who you hide under the deck with.
the game is not always what it seems.
your past will come back to haunt you.
i can't surf, but if i close my eyes sometimes i walk on water.

Friday, April 07, 2006

"life is what happens when you're making other plans"

it's absolutely astounding how quickly things change sometimes - even when you are forewarned of a thing coming to pass, it's like you never really knew until it sneaks up on you, throws a bag over your head and proceeds to beat you senseless.

picture me, just plodding along, making a few choices here, a few decisions there, and then - BAM! there i am writhing in the middle of the street as blow after blow lands on the head of the little clock-maker who sits in my soul staring out at the world. insignificant decisions can really get you if your not careful. know what i mean?


well, i go through this about every year or two. one of these episodes is why i have a spiral tattoo:

- from summer 04

this was a few years ago. in the course of a few months, a series of small impulses had changed who i thought i was. i started eating fish for the first time in 13 years: i started wearing a watch (only to spite the time i still do not believe in) for the first time in 12, i bought a wallet - 12 years as well; wore tank tops - 10 years and threw myself into a very strange living situation with nearly total strangers - never.

(it's funny how our habits are such integral parts of ourselves and yet, they are not ourselves - change almost everything about yourself and you are still, well, you). after all these little changes, i felt that i knew myself much better and was therefore at the point in my life that i could get my spiral.

the path is understanding
the method is the spiral

i recently explained this concept to livewire - the spiral is understanding. i believe that the only way you ever understand something is by coming back around to it again and again - and even if the thing itself never changes, you do and so your worldview expands in spirals. but its more than that as well. for there are times that the thing does change - this happens a lot with people and places - they change and yet are more the same - like you - and it forces you to understand yourself better. get it?

now? now i think "it never rains but it pours" is a good description of my life. it's like the universe sensed that i was making a change and decided this seemed like a good idea.

ok ok - over the past few months i made one big, but seemingly innocent decision: i decided to go to school for graphic design and BAM! i now have a car - which, cause it's been a few years since i've needed one, has changed nearly everything superficial about my life. spring is here, with it's aura of change, and so my housing situation is different: the woman that i've spent far too much time and energy bitching about is out of my life! and this super cool dude is gonna take her place. he's even decided that he wants to stay on for another year if we do. so this means I DON'T HAVE TO MOVE!! woohoo! (mysfit's note: if you could see me now, i be doing the happy dance of not packing)

and here's the kicker - i haven't told you much about my work situation. mostly it just is. but for more than a year i have been working two part-time temp jobs (the same two) and apparently they like me. both of them in the course of a week have talked to me about the possibility of full-time employment! neither has made an offer yet but this promises that sometime in the near future, the lurking mandate of change is going to once again pound my head into the pavement of the future. and this time... forewarned as i am... i will definitely... be totally... and utterly... surprised.

for all our presumed magnificence, man always stands naked before the thunderstorm

Thursday, April 06, 2006

fossil fish

this fish has arms!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


happy birthday to the tourist!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today" - James Dean

i almost forgot...

the tourist recently achieved the one-year mark.

i'd forgotten in the haze of all my illnesses, but this means i've had my digicam for one year, in which i have snapped (...hold on...let's see, it resets its counter at 10,000, & it did that in, er, about 5000 it's up to now...ok) about fifteen thousand photographs in 12 months. give or take.

so many many happy thankses to anyone who's taken the time to wade through all those band shots & trips to the beach & DC & Colorado & so on, the festivals, the parties, & the arbitrary still-lifes...hopefully i've gotten better over the year, neh?

let the tourists eat cake.

Monday, April 03, 2006

mysfit's random fish #42A

What do you want?!?

excerpt for fishes

a bit of something i thought i'd quote for the day--

Now consider the tortoise and the eagle.

The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat.

And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger.

And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there on the desert. And it will leap . . .

And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground but five hundred feet above it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle.

And then the eagle lets go.

And almost always the tortoise plunges to its death. Everyone knows why the tortoise does this. Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off. No one knows why the eagle does this. There's good eating on a tortoise but, considering the effort involved, there's much better eating on practically anything else. It's simply the delight of eagles to torment tortoises.

But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection.

One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.

--Terry Pratchett, the opening of Small Gods.