28 February 2008

We got to get some of that re-form!

Bobby Jindal, the reformer. Bobby Jindal, the ethicist. Delivering an ultimatum to the Ruth's Chris Steak House and other legislative institutions in our fair state.

The New York Times followed his campaign closely, which I found interesting: just a state governor's campaign. No, a minority campaign (he is a Republican) in a corrupt little state where governors are more like princes. Jindal talked big and won the public like Huey Long on the back of open trucks, the gospel of fairness coming soon to a yard near you.

So it's no surprise that today the national paper showed Governor Jindal resting in his office while the legislature grumblingly okayed most of his ethics bills (save the one blasting retirement benefits to legislators convicted of state-related crimes, because we the people want to make sure Edwin Edwards and Representative Jefferson have a pillow to rest their heads on in their golden years). Adam Nossiter's story is a must-read, partly because it is informative but mostly because it is beautifully written. Clever, like a Cajun confessing he bought bad lobster traps.

26 February 2008


"Wonder Pets" in Portugese? How glorious has our world just gotten?

25 February 2008

Swimming lessons with Seeger

"But what about the kitty cats?" asks a little one.

Pointing to the picture of the people clinging to the rocks (see below), say, "These children asked a lot of questions, too—and look what happened to them!"

Then close with prayer: "God, please don’t cover the earth with water ever again. Some of us don’t know how to swim yet. Amen."

Ah, biblical teaching for children at its best. For more ludicrous game ideas and inspiring curriculum, see Rejected Sunday School Lessons: Totally Inappropriate Ideas for Working with Children. And please let's all chip in and get Rev. Segner a copy.

20 February 2008

I think I'm having visions; it's a world like this one but with awesome grammar.

The New York Times is officially neat-o. For all you semicolon lovers out there, here's an article for you: a story about a real-life punctuation hero.

You'll think it can't be, that this must be some fiction crafted by Lynne Truss or maybe a trusty follower; you'll think that follower could be me. But no, it's a real writer in a real city with a real writerly job doing writerly hero work; he knows a "pretentious anachronism" when he sees one, and he holds it up for all the train riders to learn.

So, a raised glass for Mr. Neches, please, and for all his winking friends.

14 February 2008

A poetry list

Here's a list inspired by Arthur Jackson from the poetry catalogued on my Library Thing library (I started to do just books, but that was too hard). I started a list of prose too, but that was also too hard; I need to divide by genre or else the list is off balance.

An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Brazilian Poetry edited by Elizabeth Bishop
The Bacchae of Euripides: A New Version by CK Williams
or (if drama is cheating)
Bertolt Brecht: Poems 1913-1956
by Bertolt Brecht
Collected Earlier Poems by Anthony Hecht and Complete Poems of John Donne
Desert Fathers, Uranium Daughters by Debora Greger
Elizabeth Bishop: The Complete Poems 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop
Four Quartets by TS Eliot
Glass, Irony, and God by Anne Carson
Homecoming: New and Collected Poems by Julia Alvarez
Looking for Trouble by Charles Simic
Mysticism for Beginners by Adam Zagajewski
New and Collected Poems by Richard Wilbur and The Nerve: Poems by Glyn Maxwell
The Odyssey by Homer
A Part of Speech by Joseph Brodsky and The Portable Milton by John Milton
Robert Browning's Poetry by Robert Browning
Second Space: New Poems by Czeslaw Milosz
The Urizen Books by William Blake
View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems by Wislawa Szymborska
The Whole Motion by James Dickey and WH Auden: Selected Poems by WH Auden
You Come Too: Favorite Poems for Readers of All Ages by Robert Frost