“His headache was still sitting over his right eye as if it had been nailed there.” ~ Ian Fleming, from Moonraker

Migraine Art
Tried to locate source for this migraine aura depiction; best guess is that it’s from Chapter 7 of Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

Fifth day of this migraine. Appointment with my pain doctor. Got so many trigger point injections that I lost count. Back on another course of prednizone . . .

The good news is that I’ve lost more weight.

Ho hum.

                   

Music by First Aid Kit, “Ghost Town”

Finally, an infographic that explains it all . . .

                   

Now this is a book I should write . . .

Reblogged from Curious History:

 

Abandoned Los Feliz Murder Mansion

It’s a murder mystery that has puzzled the Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles since 1959. On the night of December 6, 1959, in a mansion that sits on a Los Feliz hilltop, Dr. Harold Perelson struck his wife to death with a hammer, severely beat his 18-year-old daughter, and then ended his own life by drinking a glass of acid. Police found Perelson lying dead on the floor next to his wife’s blood-soaked bed. He was still clutching the hammer. On a nightstand next to his bed, investigators found an open copy of Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” which was opened to Canto 1. “Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost … ,” read the passage.

For the next fifty years, the mansion would remain completely untouched and uninhabited by anyone.

A year after the gruesome murder-suicide, the mansion was sold to a couple, Emily and Julian Enriquez, who only used the 5,050-square-foot house as a storage site. Neighbors recall seeing the couple bringing boxes to the mansion, but never staying overnight. In 1994, Rudy Enriquez inherited the house and, like his parents, neither stayed nor made any changes to the Perelson’s old decor.

Local neighbors and brave visitors of the Perelson mansion have shared their tales. Through grimy windows, one can see a 1950s-style television set, a Christmas tree, and neatly-wrapped gifts. The furniture is covered in a thick layer of dust and the living room remains the exact same as it was that one December night as shown in the pictures above.

Rudy Enriquez, now a 77-year old retired music manager, has refused to sell the property. The exterior of the mansion is in slow decay, and the local neighbors have had to pitch in to help maintain the property.

Though no one has been formally invited into the home, it is rumored that the mansion attracted trespassers for some time. Former neighbors have even witnessed people having picnics in the backyard. One trespasser alleges that the house is haunted and that she was bitten by a black widow spider upon trying to break in. An alarm system has been installed and, to this day, remains one of the only changes made to the Perelson’s old home.

No one knows what exactly prompted Dr. Perelson to commit those atrocities fifty years ago. Some have speculated financial woes, while others have dug up old, unconfirmed rumors of Dr. Perelson having been secretly hospitalized. All three Perelson children survived the incident, though none have been mentioned in the media since.

What remains an even larger mystery is why the current owner has left the scene of the crime almost exactly as it was in 1959.

source 1, 2, 3

 

Friday Leftovers . . .

“My childhood reading was blissfully unchaperoned. My parents were just happy I liked to read, and so I – in utter innocence – would wander into the public library and pick up any old thing.” ~ Patrick Ness

 

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
5. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
“In 1985, challengers at Cunningham Elementary School in Beloit, Wisconsin, said that A Light in the Attic ‘encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.’” (bannedbooks.world.edu)

Banned Books Week.org

The Top 10 Challenged Titles

Books Challenged or Banned 2012-2013 

11 Quotes From Authors On Censorship & Banned Books

15 Books Banned For The Most Absurd Reasons Ever

12 Crazy Reasons Why Books Have Been Banned

12 Signs You’re A Banned Book Reader

On the “Banned” Wagon: The Month in Book Challenges

America’s Most Surprising Banned Books

A Chat With Rainbow Rowell About Love and Censorship

Penguin Presents: Authors Stand Up for Free Speech

Patrick Ness’s Top 10 ‘Unsuitable’ Books for Teenagers

Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Author Ellen Hopkins

                   

Nonsense such as the above needs to be met with other nonsense. Hence,

Obamacare: Nazis, Kutcher, and Cruz . . . oh my!

I am so sick of those fallacious commercials in which someone is looking earnestly into the camera and telling the world how Obamacare is going to ruin their lives, keep their child from getting necessary medical care, and otherwise making bald-faced statements not of fact. Yes, Obamacare is not perfect. Yes, it could use some serious tweaking. But no, it’s not going to send our elderly to death camps, and no, it’s not going to keep you from getting the treatment you want/need from the physicians you choose.

What it is going to do is help people like me and my son Brett who have pre-existing conditions.

And by the way, all of those claims that Obamacare has led to this crisis or that crisis? How is that possible when it doesn’t even begin to take effect until October 1st of this year? And why, oh why, are the Nazis always dragged into any Republican argument.

Bah, I say. Bah.

[hulu http://www.hulu.com/watch/537646 start_time=07 end_time=747]

“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.” ~ Charles Bukowski, from “Women”

So  this is a scotch commercial. Charles Bukowski hawking Dewar’s—a perfect match.

(the commercial is an abridged version of the Bukowski poem below)

                   

so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

~ Charles Bukowski

 

“how can I / the epilogue of my own long torment / understand the prologue I dreamt you to be?” ~ Kori Awoonor, from “To Sika”

Kofi Awoonor AFP
Poet and Statesman, Kofi Awoonor (AFP)

Two for Tuesday: Kofi Awoonor, one of the Westgate Mall victims felled in the 9/22 attack in Nairobi, Kenya.

As I was reading stories about the attack on the Westgate Mall, I came across a name that seemed familiar, Awoonor. Turns out Kofi Awoonor, famed Ghanaian poet, was among the scores of people killed by Al-Shabab terrorists over the weekend; Awoonor was in town for a literary festival.

Al-Shabab (Arabic for “the youth”) is a Somalia-based terror group. The latest totals put the death toll at 68, with over 175 wounded.

I freely admit that my background in world literature is sorely lacking as I was schooled in literature at a time in which world literature seemed limited to a world inhabited mostly by Europeans, so in recent years I have tried to take in poets and writers of whom I knew very little.  Awoonor is one of those poets. I find it heartbreaking that in one of his last poems (below), Awoonor speaks of “bad men” who “interrupted our dance/with obscene songs and bad gestures.”

From The Wall Street Journal:

African poet Kofi Awoonor (1935-2013) was among those slain in a terrorist attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The African Poetry Book Fund is set to publish Awoonor’s latest collection, “Promises of Hope: New and Selected Poems” in 2014.

Across a New Dawn

Sometimes, we read the
lines in the green leaf
run our fingers over the
smooth of the precious wood
from our ancient trees;

Sometimes, even the sunset
puzzles, as we look
for the lines that propel the clouds,
the colour scheme
with the multiple designs
that the first artist put together

There is dancing in the streets again
the laughter of children rings
through the house
On the seaside, the ruins recent
from the latest storms
remind of ancestral wealth
pillaged purloined pawned
by an unthinking grandfather
who lived the life of a lord
and drove coming generations to
despair and ruin

*

But who says our time is up
that the box maker and the digger
are in conference
or that the preachers have aired their robes
and the choir and the drummers
are in rehearsal?

No; where the worm eats
a grain grows.
the consultant deities
have measured the time
with long winded
arguments of eternity

And death, when he comes
to the door with his own
inimitable calling card
shall find a homestead
resurrected with laughter and dance
and the festival of the meat
of the young lamb and the red porridge
of the new corn

*

We are the celebrants
whose fields were
overrun by rogues
and other bad men who
interrupted our dance
with obscene songs and bad gestures

Someone said an ailing fish
swam up our lagoon
seeking a place to lay its load
in consonance with the Original Plan

Master, if you can be the oarsman
for our boat
please do it, do it.
I asked you before
once upon a shore
at home, where the
seafront has narrowed
to the brief space of childhood

We welcome the travelers
come home on the new boat
fresh from the upright tree

From Promises of Hope: New and Selected Poems,” selected by Kofi Anyidoho, University of Nebraska Press and the African Poetry Book Fund, 2014

                   

We Have Found a New Land

The smart professionals in three piece
Sweating away their humanity in dribblets
And wiping the blood from their brow

We have found a new land
This side of eternity
Where our blackness does not matter
And our songs are dying on our lips.
Standing at hell-gate you those who seek admission
Still the familiar faces that watched and gave you up
As the one who had let the side down,
“Come on, old boy, you cannot dress like that”
And tears well in my eyes for them
Those who want to be seen in the best company
Have abjured the magic of being themselves
And In the new land we have found
The water is drying from the towel
Our songs are dead and we sell then dead to the other side
Reaching for the Stars we stop at the house of the Moon
And pause to relearn the wisdom of our fathers.