Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Have you ever contacted via phone the advertiser/seller of a thing you wanted to buy, agreed via phone to buy said thing, agreed not to see said thing before you bought said thing, written a $250 check to said seller, left said check at a designated spot for said seller to pay for said thing, assumed said thing was stored in a safe place described by said seller, then waited a year to determine if said thing existed in said place or in fact had never existed as said thing but only as an idea so appealing that all reason left you for the life of this transaction?

I have. Fuck.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Some information people have taken stabs at why I'm ornithophobic:

"You're sexually frustrated."

"In a previous life as an infant you were abandoned on a hillside where vultures first ate your face then ate the rest of you." Nice.

"You are really a bird. You are searching for your bird family but fear finding them because you do not know what to expect from a reunion. Reunions are always scary." Some of this not true, some is less false.

"Maybe it's race memory: An Ohio State study determined that eagles would swoop down, pierce monkey skulls with their thumb-like back talons, then hover while their prey died before returning to tear at the skull. Examination of thousands of monkey remains produced a pattern of damage done by birds, including holes and ragged cuts in the shallow bones behind the eye sockets." I like this one best. And I have those dreams where I need my hands to run.

At least I'm not afraid of rooms: Koinoniphobia. Not yet, anyway. I still need more information.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Any situation can turn to terror. The most ordinary errand can go bad.
Joan Didion, Salvador

I read this today only to return to Monday, the moment of carrying a grocery bag of wine bottles to the trash chute down my building's corridor, which caused in me that dread of a sudden turn to terror, an expectation of an expectation of pain and horror. Does "hideous lack" of natural light create this susceptibility to imagined violence? Simone Weil says the absence of chlorophyll in humans ruins us, but maybe traces crouch in our cells. Maybe it's lack of real terror, the fragility of the flesh that cuts through the mind sometimes. Too many videogames? Too much Gatorade. I need the information people to pay me a visit.
[Funes] knew by heart the forms of the southern clouds at dawn on 30 April 1882, and could compare them in his memory with the mottled streaks on a book in Spanish binding he had only seen once and with the outlines of the foam raised by an oar in the Rio Negro the night before the Quebracho uprising. These memories were not simple ones; each visual image was linked to muscular sensations, thermal sensations, etc. He could reconstruct all his dreams, all his half-dreams. Two or three times he had reconstructed a whole day; he never hesitated, but each reconstruction had required a whole day ... With no effort he had learned English, French, Portuguese and Latin. I suspect, however, that he was not very capable of thought. To think is to forget differences, generalize, make abstractions. In the teeming world of Funes, there were only details, almost immediate in their presence. from "Funes the Memorious," Borges

There is no man so unsuited for the task of speaking about memory as I am, for I find scarcely a trace of it in myself, and I do not believe there is another man in the world so hideously lacking in it ... Besides the natural inconvenience that I suffer on this account--for assuredly, considering how necessary it is, Plato was right in calling memory a great and powerful goddess--in my country, when they want to say that a man has no sense, they say that he has no memory; and when I complain of the shortcomings of my own, people correct me and refuse to believe me, as if I were accusing myself of being a fool. They can see no difference between memory and intellect. from "On Liars," Montaigne

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What is the difference between a Ding Dong and a King Don?

When Hostess introduced Ding DongsĀ® in 1967, the advertising campaign included a ringing bell: hence the name Ding Dongs. However, in the eastern United States, Hostess opted to package the cakes as King Dons to avoid confusion with a competitor's product. Hostess consolidated the King Don and Ding Dong name in 1987, packaging the cakes as Ding Dongs in all regions. Six months later, Hostess decided to go back to using the King Don name in the eastern U.S., again, to avoid confusion with a competing product. But, today the issue has been put to rest and only Ding Dongs are sold nationwide.

This turns my childhood seedy and market-driven and warps my sense of my ability to judge character. Those who say "ding dongs" apparently deserve better treatment than I've been offering.