“It’s often said that we’re haunted by memories. Sometimes I think it’s the other way around: we’re the ones who do the haunting.” ~ Will Boast, from “Where It All Went Wrong”

#6 UTA Flight 772 Desert Memorial 16.864841, 11.953808 Sahara Desert, southern Ténéré of Niger
This image strike me as being incredibly poignant

“I think you wear the dusk like a thin veil. I think
your voice rises from the deepest caverns, your touch
settles like the darkness I try to hide inside.” ~ Richard Jackson, from “Self-Portrait As Window”

Arthur Boyd Nebudchadnezzar, Rainbow and Waterfall 1967 oil on canvas
“Nebudchadnezzar, Rainbow and Waterfall” (1967, oil on canvas)
by Arthur Boyd

In the first part of the dream, my mother-in-law is dead but she hasn’t been cremated yet because Ann wants to give everyone a chance to say goodbye. By the time we get there, it’s been a week, and I pretend that I do not smell the smell of decay because I do not want Ann to get mad and throw me out. My father-in-law is looking at his coin collection, and I suddenly remember a piece of fabric that my mother-in-law said that I could have. It is an ornate brocade.

In the second part of the dream, my mother is alive when she’s supposed to be dead, and I know that I will have to tell her that she needs to die. She take me to a Chinese restaurant where she knows everyone, and they let her order anything she wants not on the menu. The owner, a tiny Asian woman, takes me back into the kitchen to let me sample desserts. While I am in the kitchen I realize that I will have to tell my mother that she can’t stay. When I go back into the dining room, the place is filled with American tourists. While I was gone my mother went to campus to pick up Brett, and I see that he has gotten a haircut, half mohawk in the front and mullett in the back. I decide not to say anything.

My mother tells Brett to order anything he wants, but he only wants chicken nuggets. I apologize to the owner, who has just cut the head off a very large fish. I look at my mother and realize that she is very tired. She nods to me, and I know that she is ready to go, but I want to stay in the restaurant longer. I want to stay in the company of these people. It feels like home.

                   

Take a look at the story of Dillie the Deer

                   

All Days Lost Days

Living
in and out of the past,
inexplicably
so many things have died
in me.

In and out like a tide,
each tear
holds a tiny hologram.
Even this early
I am full of years.

Here are the little gravestones
where memory
stands in the wild grass,
watching the future
arrive in a line of big black cars.

All days
lost days, in and out of themselves
between dreaming
and dreaming again and half-
remembering.

~ Carol Ann Duffy

 

 

“It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut, from Slaughterhouse Five

Some more beautiful time-lapse photography for your Sunday afternoon. Stolen from my compatriot Izaak Mak on I Want Ice Water

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

“Honey, get in here. Honey! Honey get in here! They’re introducing the chairs! Honey, you’re gonna miss it. Hurry up! They’re introducing . . .
You said you were gonna tape it!” ~ Jon Stewart, commenting on CNN’s lead up to exclusive Hillary Clinton interview (June 18, 2014)

This week is particularly long because it contains last Friday’s stuff, which never materialized . . . oh well . . .

We’re having a heatwave, and you would think that people would be smart enough to know this, but apparently not, so . . .

Dogs don’t have the same ability to deal with heat that humans do. If you see a dog stuck in a hot car, do something about it.

Feeling quite curmudgeonly lately:

Just saying . . .

Shakespearean insults, feline style (more here):

As You Like It

Henry IV, Part One

King Lear

So bizarre that it would probably work:

Augmented Reality Technology . . . in a bus stop:

“It’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to other men like me,” he continued. “Having to live with society’s expectations that I accept women just the way they are takes an enormous toll.” ~ From an Onion article, “Increasing Number Of Men Pressured To Accept Realistic Standards Of Female Beauty”

A few from Life Hacks:

  • If you ask Google Maps for walking directions from The Shire to Mordor, it tells you that “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”
  • Dabbing vodka on your face reduces the chance of acne breakouts by tightening your pores. (Does this make your face drunk?)
  • If you’’re ever kidnapped and they tie you up and cover your mouth with tape, lick the tape until it comes off.

I’m just not sure . . . I mean . . . art, right? Or maybe just very artistic garbage?

Remember the blob?

Let me pause in my curmudgeonliness for a brief squee moment:

In this week’s episode, Jon Stewart addresses praying the gay away in Texas (language):

“If you’re one of the six million Texans without health insurance, maybe it’s time you tell them you think your arthritis is making you gay.”

Why would anyone think this is a good idea?

Just so you know that I’m not the only one whose curmudgeonliness hits warp speed when doused with too much heat, here is a link to a cake recipe . . . a cake recipe that devolved into communists, fascists and the definition of liberals, and oh yes, Obama. It’s worth the five minutes of perusal time (but much too long to include here in totem).

If you ever drop glass, put a piece of bread on it. The consistency of the bread will pick up even the smallest shards. ~ Life Hacks from Ultra Facts

And finally, because I am feeling so curmudgeonly (and not quite superior after reading the cake apocalypse feed), how about a grammar refresher, via Time via Inc.com?

Adverse and averse

Adverse means harmful or unfavorable; “Adverse market conditions caused the IPO to be poorly subscribed.” Averse means dislike or opposition; “I was averse to paying $18 a share for a company that generates no revenue.”

But you can feel free to have an aversion to adverse conditions.

Affect and effect

Verbs first. Affect means to influence; “Impatient investors affected our roll-out date.” Effect means to accomplish something; “The board effected a sweeping policy change.” How you use effect or affect can be tricky. For example, a board can affect changes by influencing them, or can effect changes by implementing them. Use effect if you’re making it happen, and affect if you’re having an impact on something someone else is trying to make happen.

As for nouns, effect is almost always correct; “Once he was fired he was given 20 minutes to gather his personal effects.” Affect refers to emotional states so unless you’re a psychologist, you’re probably not using it.

Compliment and complement

Compliment is to say something nice. Complement is to add to, enhance, improve, complete or bring close to perfection. So, I can compliment your staff and their service, but if you have no current openings, you have a full complement of staff. And your new app may complement your website.

For which I may decide to compliment you.

Criteria and criterion

“We made the decision based on one overriding criteria,” sounds pretty impressive but is wrong.

Remember: one criterion, two or more criteria. Although you could always use reason or factors and not worry about getting it wrong.

Discreet and discrete

Discreet means careful, cautious, showing good judgment; “We made discreet inquiries to determine whether the founder was interested in selling her company.”

Discrete means individual, separate or distinct; “We analyzed data from a number of discrete market segments to determine overall pricing levels.” And if you get confused, remember you don’t use “discreetion” to work through sensitive issues; you exercise discretion.

Elicit and illicit

Elicit means to draw out or coax. Think of elicit as the mildest form of extract or, even worse, extort. So if one lucky survey respondent will win a trip to the Bahamas, the prize is designed to elicit responses.

Illicit means illegal or unlawful. I suppose you could “illicit” a response at gunpoint … but best not.

Farther and further

Farther involves a physical distance; “Florida is farther from New York than Tennessee.” Further involves a figurative distance; “We can take our business plan no further.” So, as we say in the South, “I don’t trust you any farther than I can throw you.” Or, “I ain’t gonna trust you no further.”

(Seriously. I’ve uttered both of those sentences. More than once.)

Imply and infer

The speaker or writer implies. The listener or reader infers. Imply means to suggest, while infer means to deduce (whether correctly or not). So, I might imply you’re going to receive a raise. You might infer that a pay increase is imminent. (But not eminent, unless the raise will be prominent and distinguished.)

Insure and ensure

This one’s easy. Insure refers to insurance. Ensure means to make sure. So if you promise an order will ship on time, ensure it actually happens. Unless, of course, you plan to arrange for compensation if the package is damaged or lost — then feel free to insure away.

Number and amount

I goof these up all the time. Use number when you can count what you refer to; “The number of subscribers who opted out increased last month.” Amount refers to a quantity of something you can’t count; “The amount of alcohol consumed at our last company picnic was staggering.”

Of course, it can still be confusing: “I can’t believe the number of beers I drank,” is correct, but so is, “I can’t believe the amount of beer I drank.” The difference is I can count beers, but beer, especially if I was way too drunk to keep track, is an uncountable total — so amount is the correct usage.

Precede and proceed

Precede means to come before. Proceed means to begin or continue. Where it gets confusing is when an “ing” comes into play. “The proceeding announcement was brought to you by …” sounds fine, but preceding is correct since the announcement came before.

If it helps, think precedence: anything that takes precedence is more important and therefore comes first.

Principal and principle

A principle is a fundamental; “We’ve created a culture where we all share certain principles.” Principal means primary or of first importance; “Our startup’s principal is located in NYC.” (Sometimes you’ll also see the plural, principals, used to refer to executives or (relatively) co-equals at the top of a particular food chain.)

Principal can also refer to the most important item in a particular set; “Our principal account makes up 60% of our gross revenues.”

Principal can also refer to money, normally the original sum that was borrowed, but can be extended to refer to the amount you owe — hence principal and interest.

If you’re referring to laws, rules, guidelines, ethics, etc., use principle. If you’re referring to the CEO or the president (or the individual in charge of the high school), use principal. And now for those dreaded apostrophes:

It’s and its

It’s is the contraction of it is. That means it’s doesn’t own anything. If your dog is neutered (that way we make the dog, however much against his will, gender-neutral) you don’t say, “It’s collar is blue.” You say, “Its collar is blue.” Here’s an easy test to apply: Whenever you use an apostrophe, un-contract the word to see how it sounds. In this case, turn it’s into it is. “It’s sunny,” becomes, “It is sunny.” Sounds good to me.

They’re and their

Same with these; they’re is the contraction for they are. Again, the apostrophe doesn’t own anything. We’re going to their house, and I sure hope they’re home.

Who’s and whose

“Whose password hasn’t been changed in six months?” is correct. “Who is [the un-contracted version of who’s] password hasn’t been changed in six months?” sounds silly.

You’re and your

One more. You’re is the contraction for you are. Your means you own it; the apostrophe in you’re doesn’t own anything. For a long time a local nonprofit had a huge sign that said “You’re Community Place.”