Sunday, September 29, 2019

Big Elf on a Mayonnaise Man (volume II)

 Flee to me, remote elf--Sal a dewan desired;
 Now is a Late-Petal Era.
 We fade: lucid Iris, red Rose of Sharon;
 Goldenrod a silly ram ate.
 Wan olives teem (ah, Satan lives!);
 A star eyes pale Roses.

 Revel, big elf on a mayonnaise man -
 A tinsel baton-dragging nice elf too.
 Lisp, Oh Sibyl, dragging Nola along;
 Niggardly bishops I loot.
 Fleecing niggard notables Nita names,
 I annoy a man of Legible Verse.

 So relapse, ye rats,
 As evil Natasha meets Evil
 On a wet, amaryllis-adorned log.
 Norah's foes' orders (I ridiculed a few) are late, pet.
 Alas, I wonder! Is Edna wed?
 Alas--flee to me, remote elf.

I recently posted a brilliant Weird Al parody of Bob Dylan singing Subterranean Homesick Blues entirely in palindromes (which, quite frankly, made about as much sense as most of his lyrics). It was so exquisitely funny that I just KEPT laughing at it as I watched it over and over and over again. This got me thinking about the art or science of the palindrome, how I`ve never really composed a good one myself, and how many there are lurking around that would only make sense in a sort of verbal Twilight Zone.

Though "Flee to me, remote elf" - titled The Faded Bloomers Rhapsody, for some unknown reason - is universally believed to be the world's longest palindrome (and if you don't believe me, just go to the end of the thing and read it backwards), I was not able to find it on Google except for the first line, which was used as the title of some song or other. I was extremely irritated, because I had no trouble at all finding it in 2012 when I first posted it (along with these images - too good NOT to repeat). Has the internet perhaps become a little less literate in almost 8 years? It wouldn't surprise me. It's a sinking ship now, weighed down by unbelievably shoddy filler and outright garbage. Finding the good stuff is getting harder than ever.

I first encountered the "Flee to me" tour de force (written by one Howard W. Bergerson, not known for writing anything else) in a book called An Almanac of Words at Play by Willard Espy, which I believe I still have somewhere (and first read in the 1970s). Some of the word-games in there are likely NOT on the internet, because no one would get them now due to the mass lowering of IQ which has taken place over the past ten years or so. So I may just replicate some of them in future posts, even if I have to scan the buggers. It might just be worth it.



Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas

Tired nude man, in a pajama I am. A japan I named under it.

A Santa Lived As a Devil At NASA
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era ?


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Weird Al Yankovic - BOB

I don't know how I've lived up 'til now without hearing this song! Weird Al has been around forever, my kids grooved to "Eat It" (his Michael Jackson parody of "Beat It"), and now my grandkids are digging him too. But I never dug QUITE this much dig in two and a half minutes. This is why it  is sometimes worth it to watch those "top ten artists who hate Bob Dylan"-type of things on YouTube, because, bad as they often are, they can lead you to to a musical Valhalla like this.

I've always loved palindromes, and I guess it was the sudden Zenlike realization that Bob IS a palindrome that set this thing in motion. Good palindromes almost make sense, or a kind of peculiar-to-the-palindrome-universe sense, a world alarmingly askance and atilt. There can be a sense of apocalypse in some of them, or an economy that is almost scary. Like Dylan, a palindrome can say so much with so little that they appear here as small lyric miracles.


I, man, am regal - a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi
Madam, I'm Adam
too hot to hoot
No lemons, no melon
Too bad I hid a boot
Lisa Bonet ate no basil
Warsaw was raw
Was it a car or a cat I saw?

Rise to vote, sir
Do geese see God?
"Do nine men interpret?" "Nine men," I nod
Rats live on no evil star
Won't lovers revolt now?
Race fast, safe car
Pa's a sap
Ma is as selfless as I am
May a moody baby doom a yam?

Ah, Satan sees Natasha
No devil lived on
Lonely Tylenol
Not a banana baton
No "x" in "Nixon"
O, stone, be not so
O Geronimo, no minor ego
"Naomi," I moan
"A Toyota's a Toyota"
A dog, a panic in a pagoda

Oh no! Don Ho!
Nurse, I spy gypsies - run!
Senile felines
Now I see bees I won
UFO tofu
We panic in a pew
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo
God! A red nugget, a fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog

Friday, September 27, 2019

Three speeds of Lucretia

(From eBay page for Lucretia's Lair) 

This is "Candy". She is a vintage Scandia house troll doll 2-1/2" .

She's had a spa bath and has new long soft Icelandic sheep fur hair in shades of strawberries and mangoes, and new hand painted spiral eyes in shades to match her hair.

Her "skin" is rough in spots and is not perfect on her little face so I gave her a bunch of curls and pulled her hair off to the side which detracts from her flaws.

She comes wearing a little double ruffled dress in white iridescent fantasy fabric trimmed out in a pink/green mini gimp making up the bodice/slee

Her hair clip is covered in the same trim and has a single ivory Mulberry flower that I dusted with iridescent glitter.

I design and make these clothes/accessories by myself. I create my own
patterns and most of the embellishments.

BLOGGER'S NOTE. As addicted as I am to trolls, and let me tell you it's bad, I don't have a Lucretia troll (yet) - that is, a troll made by Lucretia's Lair, an Etsy store specializing in trolls so deluxe that when you're around them, you always feel underdressed.

I've been "trolling" and making videos to share for quite a while now, and when I look up I am startled, even shocked to see how many of them there are. WHY did I do this? Have I really gone crazy, at last? I've been called crazy, often very graphically and nastily, and by family members, so it's not a good look for me. People jocularly telling me to "just embrace your craziness" is like saying "enjoy your leukemia". Or so it would seem to me.

There IS something crazy, though - in the extremity of it - the need - the fact that maybe nine people see those videos (or none at all - YouTube seems to want to shut me down for no good reason, leaving the billion-view channels to transgress in any way they see fit.) And though I've sort of come to and rubbed my eyes lately, and wondered what the hell it is really all about, these trolls are really beautiful to me. I have worked on costumes and hair replacement and all sorts of things, and no, I am not going to sell them, which seems to be most people's imperative for enjoying something this much: surely I MUST be going to DO something with them. Get rid of them? 

I don't post many of my troll videos here, mainly because it just doesn't occur to me. Separate worlds, you know! But here are a few. Just a few. 

Dustbuster car

The car that looks like a mini-vac.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

To My Old Brown Earth

Primal Pete Seeger. His last song. I just watched, for the second time, the PBS bio of Seeger, and could not help but shudder at how much the world has changed in those few years. How dark  it seems now, and how out of place this man's eternal optimism, inextinguishable hope. The stakes are far higher than ever before, and we can't just fix it with a change of ideology. Even if we were to come to complete world reconciliation, it would not stop that which we have set in terrible, heedless motion.  And I don't want to pass that hopelessness on to my grandkids, so I won't. But I will listen to this, and sink into it, and feel some peace for a while. Self-recrimination and hopelessness is no way to live.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Cliffhangers you will never forget!

This is actually much better without the sound. Lame Bossa Nova music does not add anything. How I wish they had left in the natural sounds.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

By popular demand: THE MUNSINGWEAR MEN!

Ye-e-e-e-e-s, it's those crazy old guys, the Lotharios of the locker room, the Munsingwear Men! Here we provide you with more than you ever wanted of those unforgettable Munsingwear Moments, as these seemingly straight guys act about as gay as men ever did in history. I'd transcribe the dialogue on these, but I'm afraid you're on your own. Just read it real fast. The first gif is the trimmed version of the ads, the second one complete and unadulterated. (Fit That Lasts!) Sorry, it's the best I can do.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Should parents "out" their children on social media?

I don't often publish long personal essays on this blog, unless something is really bugging me. 

And something really is.

I have a Facebook friend (not someone I've ever met), a writer and teacher who is deeply involved in gender issues and dispelling stereotypes/stigma around sexual orientation. She counsels students who have been wounded by internet bullies, and her published poetry often touches on these hot-button issues. 

But I do notice something in her posts cropping up more and more.

She describes both her kids as "queer", and is fiercely proud of this identification as an example of personal integrity in the face of an intolerant world. As far as I can make out, they are either pre-teens or in their early teenage years. I know that some parents have helped their pre-pubescent kids "transition" to the opposite gender because the kid identifies as such. I have mixed feelings about this, because I know about the wild emotional swings of late childhood/early adolescence and the highly volatile quest for an authentic identity, which, to be perfectly honest, I am still engaged in now.

I'm not saying "kids don't know what they want". I am saying "kids don't ALWAYS know what they want," and, even more importantly, "kids don't always know what they NEED" - or what is good for them, or even safe for them. 

This fellow poet recently "outed" one of her kids (including photos) as "non-binary", a term I never heard until recently. It's one of the many buzzwords around gender  that I admittedly find hard to keep up with (given that I came of age in the 1960s, before Stonewall even happened). 

I have always believed gender is much more fluid than has ever been acknowledged or accepted in the past. But if a kid in their early teens identifies as both male and female, or neither male nor female, particularly if this revelation is recent, I think they need to be very careful how and where such sensitive information is displayed.

Even if that child gives their parents "permission" to have this information posted on social media, even if that child is "cool" with it or even wants it out there where everyone can see it - maybe because of the rush of initial exhilaration at making the discovery - does that make it a wise idea or even safe to actually do what they are asking?

There is no such thing as deletion on the internet. My son the professional techie calmly retrieved ALL of my files when my computer self-destructed a few years ago. I was in hysterics because I was sure it was all gone forever. He told me he retrieves deleted files for businesses all the time, and it's a piece of cake. People take screenshots of disastrous tweets  every day, then replicate them millions of times, claiming "hey, they posted it first!" 

Can a teenage kid in a highly vulnerable position really make wise decisions about publicly disclosing something so fraught with emotion? What should the parents' role be in all of this? Most problematic: what if the child takes a different direction in the future? The transgendered community is notoriously inflexible and unsupportive of people who DO take a different direction and decide to "detransition". Meantime, the record of their initial transformation is there on the internet: the photos, the videos, the posts - forever.

My four teenage grandkids are all in that violent pendulum-swing between insightful young adulthood (including serious conversations that just blow me away with their astute perceptions and mature observations) and faux-toddlerhood, going wild over shirts with pink llamas on them and the adventures of Peppa Pig, a primitive and extremely obnoxious British cartoon series designed for preschoolers.

So: Albert Schweitzer versus a one-dimensional, lame-looking family of pigs. Where does the truth lie? It should be completely OK for adolescent kids NOT to know where they stand. It may be perceived as healthy to come out, the kid may even ASK to come out, and on the surface of it, coming out on social media may seem like a wonderful way to counter stigma and publicly display an example of personal courage. I "get" this, and the immense pride which seems to be behind all of this woman's posts about the subject

But I very strongly believe that it can be a disastrous decision to let the child call the shots. When parents do not play watchdog, do not act as a filter, and do not safeguard their child from the consequences of too much exposure, they are falling down in the first duty of parenthood, which is to keep their children safe.

Due to the influence of that ravening monster, the internet, parental responsibilities are changing rapidly, and people have not yet had time to adjust to it. Those of us who did not grow up with social media often make disastrous blunders which are the result of not thinking things through, and - even worse - cannot ever be retracted. But in this situation, who if anyone is really thinking it through? This woman is a published author, something which takes her posts to a whole new level of public awareness, and has been very vocal about working with "many-gendered" people. She has shared the way her child came out to her joyously, with a great sense of celebration. She received many warm and supportive comments  from her Facebook friends, backing her up unconditionally in everything she is doing. The one person who expressed concern about how kids sometimes "go back and forth" and should not be expected to be consistent received a hurt, defensive and even angry response.

But celebrations of difference need to be tempered with reality. Having personal gender issues displayed on the social media billboard is risking the child's emotional wellbeing, particularly at school where teachers and students are not likely to react with sensitivity.  "Awareness" programs can only go so far, and haters are going to hate no matter what.  My feeling is that this woman exists in a sort of bubble, preaching to the Facebook choir and thus living in the illusion that most people are OK with all this and that any potential harm to her child can be resolved.

My daughter-in-law has asked me, and sometimes reiterates, that I not post any photos or videos of her daughters on social media. My grandgirls are smart, beautiful, funny, interesting, and (by the way) brilliant dancers who are now winning trophies in competition hand-over-fist, so you can imagine how hard it is for me to stick to this. But I know EXACTLY why she is doing it. My own daughter is careful about her two kids, and does not have  a "share" feature on her Facebook page which, in spite of her being a public figure in media, only has a small and select group of friends. The only pictures I can share appear rarely on their Dad's page, which is part of his internet presence as a prominent sportscaster. But these are posted selectively and with care. I find it all kind of frustrating because these kids are so magnificent and I love them so much, but I totally understand why all the ins and outs of their adolescence CANNOT be made public. 

Lest you think I  believe people should go back in time and hide all revelations about gender identity, it's not that way at all. What I'd say to MY kid is: wait. That part of your identity will still be there and still important to you when you are twenty and on your own. If not, then you have evolved in a different direction, and that's OK too. It's all OK - but it's not always OK, or even safe, to tell the whole world.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019



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Why are you slowing up? Because your vitality is lessening, the "steam supply" is lacking. There is not that same generation of electrical heat produced by the combustion of food stuffs in the stomach that you enjoyed when you were thirty. You've got the constitution, but not the power to back it up. You're like a piece of machinery with the steam run low. You wouldn't expect to increase power by simply giving the machinery oil. You'd repair the fault - renew the steam supply. You must do the same with your body. Increase the power, the vitality, by pumping a stream of electricity into your body daily. You can't get that from drugs - they only weaken.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Mid and Maybelline

Blogger's note. Harold Lloyd's wife Mildred Davis was more accomplished than anyone gave her credit for. Harold's personality completely overwhelmed her, pushing her out of the spotlight of recognition she had achieved through years of hard work. Her somewhat reclusive life ended sadly in poor health, struggles with alcohol, and watching her son Harold Jr. commit suicide through drinking and shame over his sexual orientation. In these ads she is considered the epitome of loveliness as her huge expressive eyes encourage young women to try cosmetics that Mildred obviously didn't need.

"After Maybelline's initial advertisement ran in the classifieds of popular magazines in the late 1910's with Mabel Williams’ illustrated image, Tom Lyle began looking for a film star to represent Maybelline. In the early 1920's he contracted beautiful Photoplay stars because of the wide audience they brought into theatres all over the country. One of the most popular actresses of the day was beautiful silent film star Mildred Davis or Mid as Tom Lyle liked to call her. She was a tiny 5 foot, perky-ingenue with monster-big flashing eyes that captivated the audience and drew them in.

Mildred Davis married Harold Lloyd in 1922. Harold Lloyd was a comedian in the ranks of Charlie Chaplin and he'd been looking for a leading lady to replace Bebe Daniels. He cast Davis in his comedy short From Hand to Mouth in 1919. It would be the first of fifteen films they would star in together.

Soon after "From Hand To Mouth," was released Tom Lyle contacted Mildred to discuss her being the next face of Maybelline. Mildred Davis appealed to sweet young ladies who were just beginning to look in the mirror and compare themselves with the beautiful faces on screen. Mildred Davis with her huge made-up larger than life eyes on screen an off silently encouraged young ladies to pick up a Photoplay movie magazine and order their first little red box of Maybelline. Once they tried Maybelline with its tiny black brush and cake of mascara they were hooked and word of mouth spread from one sweet young lady to the next." (From The Story of Maybelline website)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

What NOT to say to a depressed person

What NOT to say to a depressed person

I've posted this several times before, but each time it seems more relevant. I believe, at one point or another, I have heard all of these. When a major figure (particularly a celebrity) commits suicide, we dust off a lot of homilies, and repeat "reach out for help" with the same regularity as that other meaningless phrase, "thoughts and prayers". It's sad that the onus for "reaching out" is always placed on the suffering person, as if it's an easy thing to do or as if they wouldn't have done it already if they could - and if the help were there.  

All too often, the "help" is inadequate (I was recently told by a psychiatrist that the average person with mental illness is misdiagnosed FIVE TIMES), or not there at all. Witness agonized parents sitting in the ER for three hours while their suicidal daughter, barely hanging on to life, waits for some sort of medical attention, likely dismissive (for psychiatric cases are still viewed as  "mental" and somehow within the patient's control). No one realizes that if they don't have any beds in the psych ward, which they almost never do, the patient will almost certainly be sent home with a prescription and a promise never to do it again. Even if she is admitted, no one will send flowers or cards or come to visit her in the psych ward, because that very name inspires dread. (Funny thing, because people visit prisons all the time.) Having your tonsils out would inspire a very different response.

"Reach out for help" seems to be the panacea right now, and unless they have been there, people don't look beyond it. Are things changing? Perhaps, but not quickly or profoundly enough to penetrate the blank wall of gratuitous advice which is the conventional and acceptable response.


“It’s all in your mind.”

“You just need to give yourself a good swift kick in the rear.”

“No one ever said life was fair.”

“I think you enjoy wallowing in it."

"Depression is a choice, you know."

“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

"There are a lot of people worse off than you.”

“But it’s a beautiful day!”

“You have so many things to be thankful for!”

“You just want attention.”

“Happiness is a choice, you know.”

"Just read this book. It'll fix you right up."

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“There is always somebody worse off than you are.”

“You should get off all those pills.”

“You are what you think you are.”

“Cheer up!”

“Have you been praying/reading your Bible?”

"People who meditate don't get depressed."

“You need to get out more.”

"Don't you have a sense of humour?"

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

“Get a job!”

“Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.”

"Just read this book. It'll fix you right up."

“But you don’t look depressed. You seem fine to me.”

“You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it.”

“Snap out of it, will you? You have no reason to feel this way.”

“I wish I had the luxury of being depressed.”

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

"Just read this book. It'll fix you right up."

"Do you want your family to suffer along with you?"

“Can't you at least make an effort?"

“Believe me, I know exactly how you feel. I was depressed once for several


“Turn it over to your Higher Power.”

“I think your depression is a way of punishing us.”

“So, you’re depressed. Aren’t you always?”

“You’re always so negative! Look on the bright side.”

“What you need is some real tragedy in your life to give you perspective.”

"You're a writer, aren't you? Just think of all the good material you're

getting out of this."

“Have you tried camomile tea?”

"I TOLD you to read that book."

"Go out and help someone who is worse off than you and you won't

have time to brood."

“You have to take up your bed and carry on.”

“Well, we all have our crosses to bear.”

"God never gives us more than we can handle."

"I was depressed until I tried yoga."

“You don’t like feeling that way? Change it!"