Did he really say that?

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = GEORGE CARLIN...Stained glass, engraved glass, frosted glass–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS...Nothing is more fluid than language = R.L.SWIHART

Thursday, May 31, 2012


On The Jetty

Without bark or branch
I live by the sea
Rooted in rock
I am living free.

Sky of gray or blue
For nothing I wish
I tip my hat
When saluted by fish.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lewis Carroll Campus Sculptures

The artist is Greg Ballou from Harrisonburg, Virginia

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

© (Poem #38) + (Poem #39) ©

If you diminish pain
Believing horses can fly,
Then cheer the silver stallion in the sky.


The mystery of history
Makes me go "Ow!"
How can you believe in anything
That isn't happening now?

It's real easy dude
Here is all it takes:
Ignore history as prelude
Get a fistful of mistakes.


There is a Phil Spector biographical film in the works for HBO films with actor Al Pacino to play the role of Spector.

P. Spector with the R. Stones, circa 1964

Monday, May 28, 2012

From Russia With Sky

ST. PETERSBURG.- A freestyle motocross rider, no name given, performs during celebrations marking the 309th anniversary of the city in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, May 27, 2012, with a statue of Russian Tsar Nicolas I in the background. AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky.

from art daily.org 5/28/12

Quote- unQuote...And Then Some

Words seemed for the first time in his life to run at him, shrieking to be used, gathering in carefully arranged squads and platoons and being presented to him by punctilious adjutants and paragraphs.

-F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Curious Case of Benjamin Britten

If I had gotten this quote from the internet, I would provide a link but I recently found it taped to the wall in my shoe closet, mixed into a mischmasch of quotes from a variety of sources. They were all typewritten on strips of multi-colored index cards. They were all written in Burbank prior to 2005. Somehow the strip quotes survived transcontinental moves to Virginia and then back here to Long Beach. There is a lot of stuff in that closet, not necessarily with lots of mileage. But also taped to the door is a single photo fan collage of Miss Cutler's 1955 Kindergarten class. The school was PS 193 in Whitestone, New York.

The FSF quote is from his first novel, This Side of Paradise. His 1920 income from its initial publication was monumentally greater than the money earned from writing The Great Gatsby in 1925. If Scott Fitzgerald hadn't listened to Zelda Fitzerald, the story of Jay Gatsby would have been entitled Trimalchio or On The Road To West Egg.

If FSF had opted for the title "On The Road..." what would Jack Keruoac have done?
If you were a student at the Lewis Carroll School of Logic, you might have been
presented with the following dilemma:
Given the following:
(a) Scott & Zelda.
(b) The "F" in F. Scott Fitzgerald is for Francis.

How many rounds of Word Golf would it take to get from "Francis & Zelda" to "Franny & Zooey."

FYI: More than thirty years before the fabled British band, The Who, sang its most famous–and most important–song, Scott Fitzgerald wrote an essay entitled
My Generation.


I am seated in the second row (3rd from right). Miss Cutler is standing directly behind me and in the fanned copies, I re-appear directly above her head. Miss Cutler taught at PS 193 for more than thirty years. All her kindergarten kids loved her more than numbers can count and Miss Cutler knew a whole lot of numbers.
During nap time, she would awaken me while all the other kids were sound asleep. That's when Miss Cutler would show me a whole lot of number tricks, some of which I would re-learn at the Lewis Carroll School of logic.
After reading this post, feel free to scroll down to the 2-DIE-4 PHOTO GALLERY to see an enlargement of the class picture.

Putting The Cart Before The Horse


What does this:

Bom-ma-bom, a-bom-bom-a-bom, ba-ba-bom-bom-a-bomp,
b-dang-a-dang-dang, b-ding-a-dong-ding.

Have in common with this:

Once upon a time
Before I took up smiling
I hated the moonlight!
Shadows of the night
That poets find beguiling
Seemed flat as the moonlight

The most common and reasonable answer would be "absolutely nothing at all" but the correct answer is both "lyrics" introduce the same song. The nonsense verse (the Marcels) and the moonlight verse (Tony Bennett) preface the very identifiable lyrics as originally written by Richard Rogers and Lorenzo Hart.

Blue moon you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue moon

You knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for
And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper 'Please adore me'
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold!
Blue moon! Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own.

In the pre-Beatles portion of the Sixties, I was one of five million American teenagers who gyrated on the dance floor to the Marcels' BLUE MOON. In the pre-Beatles portion of the Sixties, some of those five million American teenagers asked "Who the hell are Rodgers & Hart?"
At that time, the most common and reasonable answer was "Rodgers & Hart wrote those weird songs our parents listened to."
At this time, I am the only one of those former teenagers capable of making you ask "What the hell does Putting The Cart Before The Horse have to do with this blogpost?"

It is a metaphor for giving an example of a concept before defining the concept.

Plan 9 Music is a cyberspace concept: a signal would bounce from an advanced satellite to youtube.com
"Companion videos" would automatically segue from one to the other with the viewer/

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Birthday Greetings from Miles Davis

Kind of Blue is the greatest selling jazz album of all-time. That fact is living proof that there is intelligent life on this planet.

Today, May 26, is Miles Davis' birthday.
I am but a courier of a gift he has sent to you

Onion Apology

As a respite from a seriously lengthy blogpost, as a digression from deep thinking...I discovered an example of an advertiser's nightmare.
When a writer combines such phrases as "meat sheets" with "goop out of a tube" and the image of marshmellow bread, all I can think is "Did he/she really say that? I am sooooo jealous!"

So do not look
Under the bread
What is there
Always tastes better with
Your eyes closed

Enjoy the read but hopefully not on a full stomach! Then please come back to click on the red dot below the silly poem.

Friday, May 25, 2012

But Boredom Can Spur Deception

The semi-finals of the NBA championship begin this weekend.

Very few sports fans would dispute the following statement about the team
with the best regular season record:

Their franchise cornerstone
is the most boring superstar
in the history of sports."

The team is the San Antonio Spurs and The player is Tim Duncan
He has already helped the Spurs win 4 championships...

The franchise cornerstone he replaced is the only superstar in the history of sports
capable of winning a Sudoku Championship.
That would be David Robinson

Blogger's Note
Captain David Robinson was entitled by the US Naval Academy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

R.I.P. #3


Whenever I read lists of the "100 Greatest Rock & Roll Albums of All Time," I do a quick scan. If this album is not included, the list loses its validity.

Thank you Robin–and your Bee Gee Brothers–for all the girls I kissed while listening to "To Love Somebody."
I'll give you panavision pages
If you give me technicolor dreams

Rest In Peace, Robin Gibb.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Delusions of Grandeur

I am not a name dropper. I do not drop names. I smash them against the wall...

The words are mine and they also appear on the homepage of this blogsite, therefore I am repeating myself. Humans have the inalienable right to repeat themselves but can only do so after actually saying something. Otherwise it is all just blah-blah woof-woof.

Humans also have the inalienable right to dream and I am about to exercise that constitutional right:
I am doing a review in the middle of Blogsylvania and someone is looking over my shoulder, reeking of gin but I am honored by his presence.

That someone–photographed above–is F. Scott Fitzgerald. You may know him as the author of The Great Gatsby but you will know him much better in the very near future because Leonardo Dicaprio, in addition to portraying Scott Fitzgerald in an adaptation of The Beautiful & The Damned (under development), will be starring as Jay Gatsby in yet another film version of The Great Gatsby.
As of May 19, 2012, that movie is in post-production.

That paragraph is pure fact but let's get back to my Blogsylvanian dream. Scott Fitzgerald–aka FSF–is pointing out some of my blogposts and saying things like, "Hey, that's not bad."
I occasionally hear him chuckle which, of course, is magnified by his gin-soaked aura.

But there's a second part to this dream, featuring Mr. Fitzgerald and myself but it takes place outside of Blogsylvania. Again, he is looking over my shoulder to a particular page on Amazon.com.
"Click to look inside" he says. And so I click.
Silently but slowly, he reads some of the poems therein. Silently but quickly, he reads through some of the others. After reading the last poem, he clicks back to the one entitled SCAVENGER HUNT. He stays on that page for what seems an eternity.
"I've got it memorized, thank you."
"You are very welcome, Scott."
"Now that is a writer worth stealing from!"
He repeats that statement five times. Once for each glass of gin he drank.
And then the dream ended.

(Jennifer C.) + ( Muddy W.) = Mark Z.

Subtitle = Lewis Carroll Logic

Paranoia means never having to say you're lonely
because there is always someone close behind you.
LOVE STORY had a famous tagline: Love means never having to say you're sorry. But I will not apologize for the corruption of that sentence.
In 1970, when the film was released, paranoia was paramount to the counter-culture while LOVE STORY was emblematic of the popular culture. Many film critics gave it four stars but students at the Lewis Carroll School gave it four hankies: LOVE STORY was a four-star tearjerker. But we loved it just the same. In the movie, a rich boy falls in love with a poor girl but his ultra-wealthy father threatens to disown him. Then Death makes a guest appearance.

Because the poor girl was an aspiring musician, Professor McKinley Morganfield financed a field trip to a movie theater in a poor neighborhood. Students had to pay their own way into the theater but the Professor paid for the popcorn and transportation. Our campus was in Piscataway, New Jersey. The field trippers rode a school bus to East Piscataway. Thirty students sang along to "Got My Mojo Working" while the Professor's alter ego, Muddy Waters, sang lead.

He also drove the bus.

The theater was in a black neighborhood but the predominantly white Lewis Carroll students had too much fun on the bus to be afraid. The greater fun, however, was when people in the LOVE STORY audience added spicy and loud dialog to the action on the screen.

Moments before the romantic scene where Jennifer Cavilleri (Ali MacGraw) utters the famous words to Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan Oneill), Professor Morganfield left his seat to get us more popcorn. No sooner did Jennifer embrace Oliver, telling him that Love means never having to say you're sorry when a thundering baritone voice arose from the back of the theater.

Paranoia means never having to say you're lonely 
because there is always someone close behind you.

Professor M denied responsibility for the exclamation. Technically, he was correct: the baritone voice unmistakably belonged to his alter ego, Muddy W.

LOVE STORY was held over at the East Piscataway RKO Theater for one month. Every Lewis Carroll student (and faculty member) saw it at least twice and everyone of us knew exactly when and exactly what to shout out!

On behalf of the entire campus, I present another shout out: Thank you, Jennifer.

Generations of students at my alma mater were exposed to the campus plaque immortalizing the corrupted words of a poor girl in love with a rich boy.

The plaque was planted in the Wonderland Velour Garden. Alongside the plaque is a miniature statue of Alice. That is what she looked like after drinking something from a bottle labelled "Drink Me." It made her body become very small ." However, a life-size statue of Alice–identical to the one in New York's Central Park–is situated in front of the student quad.


What follows explains why the title of this blogpost is in the form of an equation.

In 1996, the Lewis Carroll School enrolled a twelve-year old boy. In his dorm room, this tweenager had more computer equipment than clothing. His IQ had four digits but during his senior year, an administrator had him exiled from the school after a "vandalism" incident. The boy wonder had merely removed the fabled paranoia quote, very neatly replacing it with a quote of his own. He was also accused of distorting little Alice.
Unfortunately, The administrator was the Red Queen who believed in pronouncing sentence before determining verdict. "Off with his head!" she exclaimed. "Off with his head!" she repeated.

The boy with the four-digit IQ escaped to Newark. There he lived in a ramshackle garage for three years, sleeping on a bed made entirely from computer codes. After his eighteenth birthday, he enrolled in another school. Coincidentally, it was the same school attended by Oliver Barrett IV and Erich Segal, screenwriter and author of the novel, LOVE STORY.
The boy's name was Mark Zuckerberg.

He migrated from the Lewis Carroll School to Harvard University. For more information about his Harvard years, see Social Network. For more information about his Lewis Carroll years, see below but please put on your thinking cap before doing so.

Think of what happens when "something" goes through the looking glass (or mirror) and pretend that something is you.
When you look in a mirror, the reflection is reversed. If you raise your right hand, your reflection raises its left hand–and vice versa. In another words, right becomes left and left becomes right but height remains height.*
Now, please use the highest powers of your imagination and think what happens when a “word statement” goes through the looking glass: some of it gets reversed but–analagous to height-remaining-height–some wording is unchanged. Other words may be added.

Mark Zuckerberg did exactly what the Professor did, thirty years before him. Both took a page out of the Lewis Carroll novel because the second half of Alice’s Adventures in wonderland was entitled “Through The Looking Glass.”

To wit: on a movie screen Jennifer C. gave a beautiful definition to the positive concept called "Love." Immediately after hearing what she said, Muddy W. was inspired to redefine a negative concept called "Paranoia." But three decades later, Mark Z. was inspired to define something which reversed the concept of paranoia.

*Notice that Alice's height has not remained the same. Just like when the storybook Alice eats all the cake, the "Zuckerberg Alice" has grown so tall that her unseen feet got buried in the Velour Garden.

Florence, Florence

No doubt swayed by its gorgeous suites and wonderful location, Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins and Sharon Stone are just a few of the famous personalities you might bump into while staying at this prestigious hotel. Completely upgraded in the last couple of years, the imposing 19th-century building overlooking the square and beyond towards the Arno is the last word in luxury, offering a wonderful sense of history with all the comforts of modern living.

The text is not mine but the photograph was taken by me. I granted permission for it to be used to promote the Grand Hotel in Florence, Italy. The title of this post was taken from the hotel's address on the link. Florence is a city so nice, they had to name it twice.
But the natives call it "Firenze." So did Dante, who is semi-buried there.

........................ The Almosts ........................

On Monday mornings 
at the Milk of Motherhood Insurance Company,
most employees have something to share with their colleagues.
The twenty-somethings boastfully describe their wild week-ends.

Some of them are even telling the truth.

At the water cooler, homeowners discuss shelving units 
they built for the den or relive Sunday’s football highlights.

Others talk about their daughter’s piano recital 
or celebrity-sightings–real or imagined.

But then there are the Almosts. 

There is always a small group of office people 
without weekend points of pride.

They say things like

"I almost had a hot date but I lost the phone number." 

“I almost went to the movies but
my aunt just had heart surgery
so I stayed at home and prayed for her recovery.” 

“My sister invited me to go skiing but I’m afraid of snow.”

What else they had to say was almost interesting enough 
to reprint in this space but not quite. 


The image is from Jay Pegg Europa

Friday, May 18, 2012


Greece has finally come up with a solution to its titanic economic problems.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Don't Remember The Title

If forgetting were an art
I'd be Van Gogh
Then forget where my ear was
And cut off my toe

The Truth of Advertising

I am the do
In the deuce
The knot in the noose.

The bi in the binary...
Put the laptop on your lap
And the even in the Steven.

I am the op in the opposite
Without me, down cannot get up
I am the or
For every either
The nor
For every neither
Without me
Night cannot follow day.

I put the yin on every yang
I give the knee to your needs
I put the di in the dichotomy.

I morph the power of fact
Into the Power Of Suggestion
POS is more dangerous
Than a platoon of women with PMS
Prove me wrong
And I’ll double your money back.

I would like to dedicate this post to Lord Buckley, George Carlin, and Peter Cook.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Ultimate Acronym


GOD is an acronym representing a “Group Of Deities.”

One acronym fits all, be they Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Other.

With one of the Deities being a sort-of Samuel Beckett anti-God, there is even a “G.O.D.”

for atheists.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wouldn't We All Like To Know?

Maurice Sendak died yesterday. He wrote and illustrated this fabled children's story. In A NY Times tribute, the following letter is quoted:
Dear Mr. Sendak
How much does it cost to get to where the wild things are?
If it is not expensive, my sister and I would like to spend the summer there.”

Thursday, May 3, 2012


“Substitute teachers do not get fired. Their phone stops ringing at 5AM, which is both curse and blessing.”
I wish I had read that quote rather than lived it. The curse was unemployment in San Diego but the blessing was this quote:
“I would be remiss in my duties if I did not offer you a contract to sign right now.”
Mr. Acosta, the recruiter, was looking at the L. A. Times article about the Godfather of Math. All I saw was the dotted line of a teacher’s contract. It was March 25, 1987. Thus began my career as a full-time teacher but this blogpost is not another Jeffersonian story. It has to do with the days when my phone would ring at 5 AM.

I was given a week-long substitute assignment for a math teacher about to embark on jury duty. I spoke with him briefly that morning. He bookmarked the chapter pages and told me to “wing it.” I did exactly that after opening a Geometry text to the chapter on Special Parallelograms. On the wings of whimsy & wit was born the Rico Parallelo story.
In Mr. LongForgotten’s classroom, I gave birth to the “Godfather of Math.” But I do remember Oceanside High School students’ laughing, cheering and threatening to chain me to the teacher’s desk because they thought they never would be able to “understand this stuff.” That was twenty-six years ago and five thousand students ago. The only name I remember from Oceanside High School is impossible to forget despite my ignorance about his BMOC status.

In Los Angeles, my students were Afro-Americans and Latino-Americans. I am an Italian American. Maybe you are Irish-American or Asian-American...
The race/ethnicity always precedes the -American but there is one exception: American-Samoan. They are so named because their island of origin in the South-Pacific is “American-Samoa,” an unincorporated territory of the United States. There is a large community of American-Samoans in Oceanside, California.

All teachers know the difference between the smart student and the smart aleck. In the presence of a substitute, students offer living proof that the smart aleck could easily morph into the smart student but not, unfortunately, as often as smart students become smart alecks. Luckily for me, many Samoan-American students at Oceanside High School showed me their better side.
I cannot credit an accurate and specific classroom example for this one particular student but I do remember something from the next decade while reading a cover story about him in Sports Illustrated. I exclaimed “Wrong!” when the article implied that the only place he manifest any intelligence at the University of Southern California was on the gridiron.

But it is undeniably true that his talents on the football field will soon be immortalized in the NFL Hall of Fame. Equally undeniable is his beloved status as a God-figure throughout San Diego.
Rest in peace, Junior Seau.

He Read The News TODAY. Oh Boy!

The Izard of Was
Can predict all
That will have happened

Mr. Was will safely predinked that the hyperlink will get you to a Beatles' song
about a day in John Lennon's life

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I can fill the day
With water
Or apple juice
Here comes the night

photo from artdaily.com