[the palaverist]

Thursday, July 31, 2008

[incomplete sentences]

A Googler sent out this transcript (via The Memory Hole) of an actual form from the NSA called "Incomplete Sentences," which seems like an ideal blogosphere meme. Fill it out in the comments and pass it on to others. I'll do my own version soon.

DOCID: 3114399


NAME (Last) (First) (Middle) DATE


1. I always wanted to be

2. I can't

3. If my father would only

4. People think of me as

5. I suffer most from

6. What upsets me most is

7. Most men

8. My family treats me like

9. My greatest worry is

10. Some members of the opposite sex

11. Most women

12. I regret

13. The main thing in life

14. Secretly

15. If my mother would only

16. I don't like people who

17. I wish I could forget the time I

18. When troubled

19. It bothers or annoys me that I

20. What most angers me is

FORM P5590A REV JUN 2000 (Supersedes P5590A REV JUN 76 which is obsolete)
Approved for Release by NSA on 02-16-2007, FOIA Case #42877

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 19, 2008

[idlewild books]

I have made it a goal to travel to at least two countries each year, at least one of which I haven't been to before. I don't expect to manage more than one country this year, but hopefully, beginning in 2009, that will begin to change.

The thing is, people tend to get the wrong idea about me. They think I'm well traveled because so many of my personal anecdotes begin with "When I was in India" or "When I was in Korea," or some variant, and because I know about a lot of different cultures and countries and histories, and because I worked at the UN. But I'm not well traveled, just oddly traveled. I have spent a year in Korea, 6.5 months in India, 3.5 months in Nepal, two weeks in Ireland, a couple of afternoons over the border in Mexico, and a couple of hours wandering around the Canadian side of Niagara Falls (where, to my eternal regret, I failed to buy one of the snow globes for sale that said, "TEXAS"), and a brief layover in Hong Kong, where I watched thousands upon thousands of Filipino ladies eat lunch.

Six countries. Four if you only count the ones where I spent the night. None on continental Europe, none in Africa or South America or the Middle East. I'm a Jew who hasn't been to Israel, a (recovering) stoner who hasn't been to Amsterdam, a (recovering) metalhead who's never seen Stonehenge, an art nerd who's never been to Paris, an Asian studies nerd who has set foot in neither Japan nor China. I haven't been to any of the hot spots, really: Thailand, Angkor, Bali, Venice, Florence, Prague, London. Not even friggin' London! I have to get out more.

But now at least I know where to get my travel books: Idlewild Books, on West 19th Street near Fifth Avenue. I just discovered this place yesterday, and I couldn't believe I'd never spotted it before. "A lot of people say that," the proprietor told me, "but we've only been open about four weeks." The genius of Idlewild is that the books are arranged geographically rather than by type: you can find guidebooks, language books, memoirs and novels about, say, Mongolia, all on one shelf, together. How cool is that?

There are limits, of course: no music, no poetry, no comics. As the proprietor said, the subject of the store is the whole world, and there's only so much shelf space. But it's a beautiful space full of fascinating books, and I encourage you to check it out.

Labels: , ,

[korean art at the met]

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, coming next spring:
Korean Art under Confucian Kings, ca. 1400–1600
March 17, 2009–June 21, 2009
Arts of Korea Gallery, 2nd Floor

This international loan exhibition will present approximately 50 works of art that illustrate the height of artistic production under court and elite patronage during the first 200 years of the Choson dynasty (1392–1910), a time of extraordinary cultural achievements. The diverse yet cohesive group of secular and religious paintings, porcelain, sculpture, lacquer, and metalwork will highlight the aesthetics, conventions, and innovations of a Neo-Confucian elite and its artistic milieu. This will be the first in a series of special exhibitions at the Museum focusing on significant periods in Korean art history.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Interview Meme

Here are the rules (via Pagan Mom):

1) Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2) I will respond by asking you 5 questions of a very personal nature.
3) You will update your own blog, or the comments here, with the answers to the questions.
4) You will include this and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
5) When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them 5 questions.

1) When were you happiest?

That's a tough one considering how skewed my perspective is right now on much of my recent past. But I would say probably my senior year of high school, and then maybe the first year after Jenny and I moved to Court Street.

2) What is a talent that you wish you had?

I wish I were more athletic generally. And I wish I were better at learning languages.

3) What is your favorite flavor?


4) How do you handle shame?

Badly. I'm working on that. Therapy and recovery are my main tools at the moment. But shame is something I really struggle with.

5) If you had to explain yourself in three sentences, what would they be?

(For the sake of decency, I'll avoid run-ons.) I have known for most of my life that I wanted to be a writer, except for a confused period in elementary school when I wanted to be a lawyer, and this desire runs so deep that I used to believe everyone wanted to be a writer, until I learned otherwise.

I was raised in Northern California by post pot-smoking New York Jewish hippies who became Orthodox Jews, and this was exactly as weird and alienating as it sounds.

I am a lifelong learner on as many fronts as I can manage, and in the last year or so this has taken an especially important turn as I have begun to learn the difference between pursuing dreams and indulging cravings.

Labels: ,

Previous Posts

[things i'd like to write about but haven't]
[drop the red lantern]
[how not to apply for a job]
[pop is the new alternative]
[what does it all mean?]
[national fears]
[lies, damn lies, and sound effects]
[our pakistan moment?]
[how to fail like an olympian]
[cold winters]


July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
April 2010
January 2011
February 2011
July 2011


New York Buddhist Gcal

Please Donate

[Seva Foundation]
[Médicins Sans Frontieres]


Robin's group blog.

Bits of Bliss
Things to be happy about. Add your own!

Blissfully Emparadoxed
T's personal blog.

Kate's l337 Journal
All you ever wanted to know about lung transplants and Star Wars.

La Roja Viaje
A blog about training ESL teachers in Kuwait.

Blog of journalist Miriam Joyce.

Pagan Mom
The trials and tribulations of raising Josh's Pagan godson.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Polenbergs, ever.

She Changes Everything She Touches
Rebecca's personal blog.