Month: June 2014

Picky Tongues – What is Not?

Picky Tongues – What is Not?

You have to choose one flavor that your sense of taste will no longer be able to distinguish. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, spicy (not a taste per se, but we’re generous): which one do you choose to lose?

Umami it is not

Neither spicy be

Sour is not dour

Sweet is a necessity

Salty is not paltry

But

Bitter, bitter is to balk, acrid and arcane

Except of course if it coffee be

The ambrosia and acidity

Fragrant aroma glee

For this, there would be

A focus on the acidity

The heaviness and liveliness

Without I cannot be.

Bali_003_-_Ubud_-_famous_lukaw_coffee

 

Image from Wikimedia: Creative Commons Attribution.

By the Dots- …

By the Dots- …

We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!

I tend to use ellipsis a lot. I do this because I tend to write in an interior monologue kind of way, or a stream of consciousness way. Although I say this, I do not think of myself as, or claim to be a writer. I hope to work towards becoming one. See Wikipedia for the ellipsis extract and usage referred to below.

Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψιςélleipsis, ‘omission’ or ‘falling short’) is a series of dots that usually indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning.[1] Depending on their context and placement in a sentence, ellipses can also indicate an unfinished thought, a leading statement, a slight pause, and a nervous or awkward silence. Aposiopesis is the use of an ellipsis to trail off into silence—for example: ‘But I thought he was . . .’ When placed at the beginning or end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy or longing.

The most common form of an ellipsis is a row of three periods or full stops (. . .) or a precomposed triple-dot glyph (). The usage of the em dash (—) can overlap the usage of the ellipsis, especially in dialogue. Style guides often have their own rules governing the use of ellipses. For example, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends that an ellipsis be formed by typing three periods, each with a space on both sides.

The triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a suspension pointpoints of ellipsisperiods of ellipsis, or colloquially, ‘dot-dot-dot‘.” [2

  1.  thefreedictionary.com
  2. Jump up^ as coined by Virginia Woolf in her short story The Mark on The Wall — or so do notes in Penguin Books’ edition (Virginia Woolf: Selected Short Stories) suggest.

Writing Space – Anywhere

Writing Space – Anywhere

Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity.

Flavor #32 – Ice-Cream Essence of Me – Ylang Yum

Flavor #32 – Ice-Cream Essence of Me – Ylang Yum

A local ice cream parlor invites you to create a new wacky flavor. It needs to channel the very essence of your personality. What’s in it?

Ylang Yum holds the essence of a haptic, textured passion and mystery, an embodiment of proprioception, the harmonious rendering of the nervous system as a whole, a kinesthetic wholeness. The yellowish tinge reminiscent of amber, things that are more than they seem, things that are within, a calming, an unspoken serenity, a gentle touch. To the lick it is smooth and cool, (almost minty), with a warmness from the underlying woodiness.

For the down at heart, for the fatigued, for those keen on a mind hop and shift, an awakening of the senses, try Ylang Yum today!

It is accompanied by Cool Water Sensual Essence should you want the whole package.

“The fragrance evokes the flavors of salt and sea on warm skin and the atmosphere of a beach sunset. Perfumer Nathalie Lorson tried to achieve this with notes of exotic flowers and vanilla. The top accords of the composition are bergamot and red fruits that lead to the floral heart of orchid and frangipani. The base rounds the fragrance with aromas of vanilla, musk and woods.”

Vending Wishes – Two Side by Side – Swap n Lit-O-Matics

Vending Wishes – Side by Side – Swap n Lit-O-Matics

Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us!

I cannot claim these ideas as my own. Trend Hunter editor Jaime Neely suggests several futuristic machines. His favourite, and it would also be mine – is the Swap-o-Matic. You place an item into the machine, which surveys it, gives you credits, which you then use for a different item to take home. See on TrendHunter.

Beside this machine there would be the short story Lit machine, with stories displayed as if tasty snacks. Mentioned by Alyson Wyers on TrendHunter. It could be advertised as: Bite-Sized-Reads.

Aside: I would also station a freshly squeezed organic juice dispenser next door, for thirsty souls.

Also sharing this great idea:

HUMAN (“Helping Unite Mankind and Nutrition”) announces the launch of “The HUMAN Touch,” a 46” healthy vending touch screen machine that features futuristic technology, which allows the user to customize his/her experience, access full nutrition information on the product before purchasing it and more.

Seasonal Scents – The Daily Post – Petrichor and Jasmine Scents

Seasonal Scents – Petrichor and Jasmine Scents

S’mores, salty ocean breezes, veggie burgers on the grill, sweaty people on the bus — what’s the smell you associate the most with summer?

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The first flowers in Spring are the Jasmine. My favourite scents of Summer would have to be Roses, Lavender, and Magnolia.

Best of all is petrichor, the scent of rain, or the scent in the air of an oncoming storm. I so love the dulcet tones of the Summer frogs and crickets. Researchers have shown that those who are sensitive to smell, can actually smell a storm coming:

“Before the rain begins, one of the first odors you may notice as winds pick up and clouds roll in is a sweet, pungent zing in your nostrils. That’s the sharp, fresh aroma of ozone—a form of oxygen whose name comes from the Greek word ozein (to smell).” From Scientific American – Storm Scents, It”s True, You Can Smell Oncoming Summer Rain.

For the rest, Summers in Durban, South Africa, are actually too hot for me, so my best Seasons are Autumn and Spring.

Petrichor is the scent of rain on dry earth, or the scent of dust after rain. The word is constructed from Greek, petros, meaning ‘stone’ + ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology. It is defined as “the distinctive scent which accompanies the first rain after a long warm dry spell.”

Groundhog Week – No, no, no, where have the common niceties gone?

Groundhog Week – No, no, no, where have the common niceties gone?

If you could relive the past week, would you? Would you change anything?

The idea of being able to relive a week, a moment, a year, a nanosecond, does not sit well with me. There is a universal tendency to look forward or look back. We mostly spend so much time in these ways of being or thinking or wishing or hoping, that we entirely miss what is happening in the NOW! Our levels of distractedness are so profound, that we can barely make eye contact with others, let alone observe even common niceties. Our manner of approaching others leaves a great deal to be desired. Are we able to parent, to connect, to be here in a way that is real in the giving of our attention? Our times suffer from the malaise of a disconnectedness, a lack of meaning, a lack of life lived substance.

Give me the now, the profound moment, in which I can be fully present, without judging, just simply being, no back no forward no reliving no hoping for what is to come or longing for what has been. Let’s pay attention. Let’s start now.

Jon Kabat-Zinn calls this mindfulness:

“paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgementally”

 

In a book by Nicholas Carr, reviewed on eLearnmag, he talks about what the internet is doing to our brains, The Shallows, which elaborates on what I wrote yesterday, mainly around the issues of distractedness and meaning.

“He examines reasons we all might be haplessly ignoring the various side effects this is having on our ability to focus, think deeply, and think critically about the things we read, see, and discuss.”

To read more go here, there is an interesting review, evaluation and conclusion to this work written by David Seckman, a great and worthwhile read.

Mountain Animal Quiz by Jennifer Mills ~ What Do You Expect from Stories?

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Try this quiz it is fun. Featured on Freshly Pressed. Share your results if you feel so inclined.

“The results the story is looking for are not at first clear – there’s no explicit question. But stories always pose questions of their own, however vaguely they encroach. Your results will be about what you expect from stories, and how you read. In each of the four results available, Mountain, Animal will fail to meet your expectations.”

My result: Imagination. Fiction is predominantly about dragons. By which you mean metaphors. By which you mean dragons. Congratulations, all thought is language and all language metaphor.

Mountain, Animal was written by Jennifer Mills as Australia’s Digital Writer in Residence

Image purchased at Creative Market

Sleepy Time – The City of Sleep ~ Rudyard Kipling

Sleepy Time – The City of Sleep ~ Rudyard Kipling

More and more of us go to bed too late because of sleep procrastination. What are the nighttime rituals that keep you up before finally dozing off?

The best I can do for this prompt is to lay out a part of this lovely poem by Kipling:

The City of Sleep

"Over the edge of the purple down,
  Where the single lamplight gleams,
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
  That is hard by the Sea of Dreams --
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
  And the sick may forget to weep?
But we -- pity us! Oh, pity us!
  We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We must go back with Policeman Day --
  Back from the City of Sleep!" (See more here).

If I can’t sleep I watch a movie or series episode, which does the trick.

Offside from a Hater of Sport Always Offside

Offside Memories from a Hater of Sport Always Offside

Team USA is playing today in the soccer World Cup in Brazil. Do you have any funny/harrowing/interesting memories from a sporting event you attended, participated in, or watched?

brttcarol

In my schooling years PE or Physical Education was a nightmare for me, all agony and no ecstasy. Forced physical activity seemed to me mightily unjust and somehow low IQ. Besides, all the business in the locker rooms, changing, smelly feet smells, dampness, (images of mold crowded into my mind), showers and so forth were like a universe from an existentialist horror, like The Myth of Sisyphus, forever toiling with a heavy burden, meaningless uphill, uphill, an acute awareness of self, the silliness of the rituals, the profound discomfort of group change rooms, even if single sexed. I always somehow felt vulnerable and exposed, disjointed, an alien in a land whose symbols were readable but nauseating and absurd.

Swimming lessons were the horror of horrors, (very little teaching actually happened). The fear was almost numbing. I experienced near drowning several times and once, I was washed out to sea with my younger sister, she clung to me, flailing around and pushing me under – luckily we were rescued, or rather, she was taken from me and taken to shore, while I struggled to swim back in the best way I could fashion. I was forced to learn to swim since I had asthma and it was felt to be necessary to develop my lungs. Well, all I can remember is many experiences of going under and swallowing water, water shooting up my nose into my sinuses causing blinding headaches. Every week I was a drowning girl.

Watching sport too gives me no joy and I must be the only South African who cares not about the score or who is playing whom, nor what sport is the current national fever. This is a language I prefer not to understand. The socially sanctioned male touching and grappling is however, interesting from a social and psychological point of view. It seems that physical activity for men is a necessary and possibly good outlet for excess energy and aggression produced by testosterone. Actually, after my divorce I vowed not to watch sport again, since my ex used to watch anything and everything live, at all hours of the day or night. Sport commentators have a way of droning on that gets under my skin. What joy it is to live in this sport free world, free too of the accouterments of the social rituals that accompany sport watching, especially the drinking and “braaing”. The possible only exceptions would be tennis or extreme sports like rock climbing, or sedate horse riding.

I did learn some martial art, JKD. This was liberating on many levels. It was profound for me to learn how to make a fist and to punch, to learn grappling and some self-defense skills. How strange it was at first, to make a fist for punching. Also, playing around with Brett’s Samurai sword was great fun, until I almost cut off my foot, while chopping at bougainvillea how easily the sword sailed through the vines, oops a bit too easily, foot in the way.

Today I am happy in the bliss of my offsideness and ignorance.

Image of Carol Knox and Brett Pelser courtesy Carol Knox.

Set for Solstice – Winter Hades and Persephone

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Set for Solstice Winter Hades and Persephone

Today’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). How are you taking advantage of the extra hours of light this time of year? Do you like it, or do you already miss earlier sunsets?

Since it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, I thought I would look at the Greek origin story to explain the seasons.

Hades, in Greek Mythology, was Lord of the Underworld. He saw Persephone, the daughter of Demeter and fell in love with her. Demeter was the goddess of the harvest and was so upset when Hades abducted Persephone, that she wandered the earth and refused to allow the earth harvests to ripen.

So Persephone became Queen of the Underworld. Origin of the above quote at Yahoo answers.