One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Chihuly's Colorful Marbles Welcome Us Back to Amsterdam

Spent the night a stone's throw from Schipol, returned the car, got a nice welcome and send-off from Chihuly's marbles (wish I were a bigger kid than I am!).

(The classy greeter -- made out of metals rods? -- I only met briefly as I made my way to the gate.)





Luneburg, Germany @ Xmas Time

When in Hamburg I like to take day trips to smaller surrounding towns -- e.g., Lubeck and Bremen. I'd heard and read about Luneburg (missing the umlaut) a bit, so I was determined to get there, even if for only an hour or two. We got there after Xmas (thus only seeing a few remnants -- e.g., a hut selling potato pancakes -- of its Weihnachtsmarkt), going a little out of our way as we headed back to Amsterdam, but were very glad we stopped. A beautiful old town!











Xmas in Hamburg #3







Xmas in Hamburg #2









Xmas in Hamburg #1

Armed (Kindled) with Elfriede and Kleist (wanted to get to Berlin to see him, but that goal was thwarted), we flew to Amsterdam and then drove to Hamburg. Wanted a different perspective on the Holidays.

We were hoping for a White Christmas, but instead got only Weisserzauber and a little rain. Still Xmas magic is Xmas magic.











R L Swihart in Current Issue of Fourteen Hills (Vol. 22.1)

My "EXTEXTSPICY" is in the current issue of Fourteen Hills but I'm afraid you'll have to pay to read (the issue is $10). I'm still waiting for my copies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Finals Postponed (LAUSD)

Arrived at school early (my usual). Putting a seating chart on the board for the first final (CC Alg. 1) and wondering how my "babies" will do: it's a tough test. Anyway, another early riser (we have an unspoken contest re "who's first, who's second"), my colleague down the way, knocks on my door with his phone in his hand. "Listen," he says, "it's S." S. was already on the freeway and said we had to leave. We were confused, so we walked down to the main office and they said the same thing: You have to leave.

Long story short: Still don't know all the details and haven't been told Yea or Nay re tomorrow. I fought the traffic (S 110), took the bridges (mountains on the left, harbor on the right, Modjeska rising beyond LB), stopped by the Belmont Pier and took a walk along the beach.



Saturday, December 12, 2015

An Earlier POV: Christendom

I think it was C S Lewis who said something to the effect of "Christianity would one day need to explain the crusades." Not sure we really can. That -- and all things relevant -- came to my head in the brief reading from Novalis' Heinrich this a.m.


The knights spoke of the holy land, of the wonders of the sacred tomb, of the adventures of their enterprise and voyage, of the Saracens in whose power some of them had been, and of the joyous and wonderful life of field and camp. They expressed with great animation their indignation, when they learned that the heavenly birth-place of Christendom was in the power of the unbelieving heathen. They exalted those great heroes, who had earned for themselves and immortal crown, by their persevering endeavors against this lawless people. The lord of the castle showed the rich sword, which he had taken from their leader with his own hand, after he had conquered his castle, slain him, and made his wife and children prisoners, which deeds, by the permission of the emperor, were represented on his coat of arms.

Walking: 12/12/15

Poised for the beginning of Finals Week: what fun. And then a three week hiatus and back at it again.

The usual route (of late): Bucks, and a turn around the lagoon. Always a thrill.






Sunday, December 6, 2015

Update: Fall-like beyond the Prison Blinds

Walking a little. Busy-ness and back problems have stemmed the flow. In the A.M., I hobbled to Bucks and the ATM, and made it around the lagoon. [[[Oh, and last night I was able to make it down to 2nd St. for the annual Xmas parade (Chi not X): I could tell you the abandoned backpack in the Irish Pub story but I'll resist (it ended on a good note and the man-on-the-rail got to finish his burger and beer).]]]

Anyway, still dipping into Heinrich (I need peace and quiet, not to mention a little Night, with my Novalis!), and have started Elfriede Jelinek's The Piano Teacher (one of the rare instances, I suppose, where the movie led to the book -- say Ahhh for Isabelle Huppert!), which, if words could become flesh, would qualify at times for verbal porn.

Anyway, a "clip" from The Piano Teacher:

     Fraulein Erika consists purely of music, and she's not all that old. That's how her student evaluates his experimental model. Klemmer even starts out one level higher: no VW, but an Opel Cadet. Walter Klemmer, secretly in love, clamps his teeth into the vestige of one of his fingernails. His face is red all over, the rosettes have spread out, and his shoulder-length hair is dark blond. He is moderately stylish. He is moderately intelligent. There is nothing salient about him, there is nothing excessive. He's let his hair lengthen a bit, so as not to look too up-to-date, but also not too old-fashioned. He won't grow a beard, though he has often been tempted to do so. He has always managed to resist this temptation. Someday, he'd like to give his teacher a long kiss and feel up her body. He wants to confront her with his animal instincts. He wants to graze her firmly, almost accidentally, as if some clumsy oaf were pushing him against her. He will then press harder against her, but apologize. Eventually, he will press against her on purpose, perhaps rub against her firmly if she lets him. He will do what she tells him to do, he wants to profit from her, then apply his experiences to more serious loves later on.

Friday, November 27, 2015

LB Romanticism: The Blue Trashcans

Should finish Penelope's "opus" by the end of the weekend. Have also dipped into the "fragment" that started it all: Heinrich (Henry) von Ofterdingen.