Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Baking Flags

Sat back in the black office chair this afternoon, having just read that Hilary Clinton signed a bill to ban flag burning, marveling at how the mighty fall.

Now back on the home front, straight up drinking a glass of milk, relistening to Danger Doom and the claxon oven timer alarm. Pause a moment to throw another batch on the baking stone, take a fresh thirteen minutes to sit back and reread that first sentence, to wonder why people are as worked up as they are, to ruminate that a flag is a flag is a flag.

I've heard it said that the American flag is a symbol of Freedom. The oft forgotten truth is that Freedom is not a thing of cloth and thread, nevermind nylon or automobile magnets, but a grand abstract that couldn't be burned with the brightest match.

As eloquently put by Justice William Brennan in his ruling on flag burning, "We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

Sitting on the just dusted hardwood floor, Danger Doom on the b-Pod (ask him could he bark on the beat and spark calli/villain not the cat you want to meet in a dark alley), gazing up at the pale pink lights strung around the Charlie Brown tree (only now noticing that half the string is dead, but who besides pets doesn't neglect the bottom of the fake fir, far from the angels and the stars). Images flash silently across the television set, I should just turn it off but the distraction is a crutch, better used for balance than illumination. And just like that, I pack my hockey bag and head out to my men's league game, half past nine on a biting Tuesday night.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Soon, Josephine

And so follows stony silence, and Robertus sits in the blue barka lounger, wired for the first time in years (or thereabouts) watching Jimmy Carter on the Daily Show, wondering what could have been.

There will be more, mes amis, I promise.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Tonight, Josephine

Sitting on the burgundy couch in the early autumn air, a month and change since last I posted, watching the New York Football Giants score a touchdown to pull within two touchdowns of San Diego, twenty past ten on a random Sunday night.

Since then we've witnessed the governments (federal and otherwise) flounder in the face of a disaster that they'd seen coming (billions to rebuild, untold hundreds dead), the continuance of a far away war that seems endless from this vantage point, late September two thousand and five, the sudden start of an unwarranted war at home
So strange, victory.
Twelve hundred spires,
the only sound, Moscow burning
Mon amie, I grew tired of being angry, so tired of being angry, and so instead grew silent, sitting on the burgundy couch, empty as the Tuileries, without so much as a peep from the Sublime Idealist, much to my detriment, much to my dismay.
In the last extremity
to advance or not to advance
I hear you laughing
Until now, ten past ten on September twenty-fifth, when it occurs to me that there will be time enough for stunned and stony silence, and not enough to shout.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Iucundi Acti Labores

Tonight I'm sitting in the bumblebee office, having enjoyed a frosty pint, meat loaf, and some Colcannon, listening to Simon & Garfunkel
The last train is nearly due
the Underground is closing soon
and in the dark, deserted station
restless in anticipation
a man waits in the shadows
feeling the last kinks from moving Jacob and Kate (and Charlotte Siobhan) on a stifling Sunday afternoon seep out of my body, replaced by the hazy glaze of drunkedness and the pleasantly springlike air
His restless eyes leap and scratch
at all that they can touch or catch
hidden deep within his pocket
safe within its silent socket
he holds a colored crayon
It was a simple enough move, as moves go, no trouble filling the truck or scratching the mattresses past the exposed brick stairwell, piloting the freight elevator two flights up, emptying a Bank Street rowhome into a Charles Village apartment, half a dozen men and two women, sweating to high Heaven in the back of a 10-foot U-Haul truck
Now from the tunnel's stony womb,
The carriage rides to meet the groom,
And opens wide the welcome doors,
But he hesitates, then withdraws
Deeper in the shadows
and at the end of the day, exhausted and sore, sat down on the scattered furniture eating sandwiches, drinking root beer, planning a route out of the city I'm not nearly familiar with. Citing stadium traffic, Kate's sister and I leave, sharing a ride on the rickety elevator and a brief walk down the sweltering Charm City sidewalk.
Now from his pocket quick he flashes,
The crayon on the wall he slashes,
Deep upon the advertising,
A single-worded poem comprising
Four letters
Fortyfive minutes later, sitting down in the bumblebee office beside the frosted air conditioning vent, drinking a glass of water and listening to Simon & Garfunkel, I found myself thinking of Cicero, whom I'd just read in a relic of my bookselling days, Vulgo enim dicitur: iucundi acti labores: It is commonly said: hard tasks are pleasant, when they are finished.
And his heart is laughing, screaming, pounding,
The poem across the tracks resounding,
Shadowed by the exit light
Fortyeight hours later, find myself sitting back in the bumblebee office, the metamorphosis from sore to tight complete, happy to be done with moving for at least another year, to feel the pleasantly springlike breeze through the cracked window
His legs take their ascending flight
To seek the breast of darkness and be suckled by the night

Thursday, August 04, 2005

That's Good Enough for Me

It amazes me what one can make by combining a pair of eggs with sugar and flower, baking soda and salt, chocolate chips or raisins. Combine with Three hundred and fifty degree heat for fifteen minutes, just like that, a batch of cookies, or, in different proportions, brownies, chocolate cake.

More amazing still the messes you notice when sitting in a silent room, waiting for the cookies to bake -- the cobweb in the top corner above the refrigerator, the onion leaf that fell behind the trash can, a coupon clipped and long forgotten, a hidden drink coaster thought lost, a fresh splash of milk on the countertop from the last batch.

From the last batch I discovered that I only burned myself twice is both a boast and an admission. The dishtowel didn't quite cover the handle of the baking stone, and so palm met metal, and, flinching back, the inner wall of the oven, a little sting, a little swear, a little cold water and all is well. After all, I could have burned the house down.

Half past ten now, and back on the burgandy couch watching the Karate Kid (Elizabeth Shue, the people you notice some times), belly full of cookies and milk, and life is good.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Sitting in the wheeled black office chair in the bumblebee office, ten past ten, listening to Sicut cervus on the Music Match Jukebox, avoiding reading Sicut Cervus too closely, lest I bring my blood to boil at this hour of the night, nearly bedtime, ordinary Tuesday, early August, the air hanging like cotton, silent but for the spinning ceiling fan and sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita anima mea desiderat ad te, deus, as the deer desireth the springs, so my soul desires you, O Lord.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Address

As you may have noticed, I've moved the site from there to here. Thanks to everyone who made the move with me, and to any new readers who have stumbled on this site and may be inclined to stick with it.

More later.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Updates Come

I warned you yesterday, friends and strangers, of changes to come. Gone the blaring white and blue background, the dead link to Melanie's old blog, gone the amateurish look of the old template and tumbleweed between postings (and the Red Sox assured win, the Devil Rays have tied it in the 7th)

Welcome to the new Sublime Idealist, where you can e-mail posts or post comments, find links to functioning blogs (currently Eric Alterman, my friend John Sears and some guy named Ed, and a hope for more to come), and more to come, and more to come, and more.

Nine fortyfive now, exhausted and sweaty from yoga in the basement, time for a shower in the garret, and sleep.

[post scriptum: Went back and titled the old posts and cleaned up some of the detritus. Quarter past ten, tie game in the 9th, but it's the Red Sox and Devil Rays, so I really shouldn't care, Mets fan, I.]

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Updates Forthcoming

Ah, mes amis, time as slowly slipped away, but now I'm back on the burgundy couch (watching baseball, middle July) and have too much to say. Now, too drunk on Cabernet Sauvignon to type, but soon, but soon.

[Post scriptum: Suffice it to say, between the War, the bombings, the ever potential Constitutional Amendment Against Gay Marriage, the return of the National Hockey League, and that she and I are no longer Us, you and I have a lot of catching up to do. Tomorrow, tomorrow]

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter Thompson, Friday Fives

Hunter S. Thompson

There will be countless leaves and website entries dedicated to the death of the Good Doctor, dead yesterday by his own hand (so they say). To tell the truth (as always we must endeavor), I didn't read much Thompson, aside from a few pages of Fear and Loathing and some columns, but still, the writer is gone, and I fear the world a darker place for his passing.

If you don't read another word of Hunter Thomspon, read this column*, written September 12th, stunningly prophetic now, February 21st, half a forever later.

Friday Fives

Stolen from Delicious Placebo, who stole it from this guy, who wrote of Hunter Thompson on the event of his passing.

If you could freeze time at the very second in your past that you wanted to LAST forever, so that you can hold that moment for eternity, what would that moment be?

I can think of a few, but this is a family-friendly blog, after all, and so I'd say catching an autumn catnap on the couch, with the breeze blowing in through the screen door, in countless apartments I've lived in (and my parents' home before that, now that I think of it).

Have you ever finished in LAST place, whether during a race, a contest, a competition, an exam, or something else?

Personally, no, but as a team, ah yes (there is no "us" in team, after all). When I was a kid, my hockey team went 8-0 through the Christmas break, and one of the parents, who wrote for the Howard County Times, ran a story titled "Ho Ho Ho, Were 8 and Oh," and we proceeded to lose every single game for the rest of the season. The lesson is, naturally, stay out of the papers.

Who's the LAST person you talked with on the phone? E-mailed? Received an e-mail from? Hugged? Went out to lunch with? Thought about? Made something for? Made plans with? IM-ed?

Spoke with an author on the telephone not long ago, last e-mailed an author, last received an e-mail from a referee, last hugged Melanie, last lunched with Melanie, Chris, and Chris' roomate Josh (though technically that may have been breakfast, even though it was noon)

When's the LAST time that you did something nice just for yourself? What was it?

Good question...

What do you think you'll be doing on the LAST day of this month (February 28)? If you could choose a month and have it LAST forever (in other words, it would be July all the time from now on), which month would you choose and why?

February 28th is a Monday, god bless, so I'll likely be sitting on the burgandy couch, watching a History channel show about Otzi the Iceman, dead some 5,000 years, and thinking about the paper I edited two years ago about the very same guy. This is how close I've come to fame.

But c'est la vie, now, mon amie. It's five past ten now, Eastern standard time, eyelids at half mast, eyeing the staircase up to the bedroom, and sleep.


[*Post Scriptum, Tuesday, 26 July 2005: The good folks at ESPN have moved this article to their Insider section, meaning that you have to pay for access to the content. This being the internet, though, I'm sure someone has it up for free somewhere. Anywhere.... I know you're out there, I can hear you breathe.]