Would You Like Fries With That?


I know that Zoe would

I called my Dad today and when I finally got him on the telephone, he asked me a question, ”What happens when you immerse the human body into water?” This puzzled me at first, but then he answered his own question. The answer of course was, “The phone rings.”

I use to walk at lunchtime with Barbara, but then she up and retired on me. Now I walk alone, but not without my iPhone. I listen to various podcasts while I stroll the parking lots. My favorite one is Slate’s Cultural Gabfest. This week’s three course offering serves up a review of the new “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” movie, a remembrance of writer and Slate contributor, Christopher Hitchens and best of all, a discussion of the phenomenon called vocal fry.

Marissa Fessenden’s article, “‘Vocal Fry’ Creeping into U.S. Speech”, in Science Now, has touched off a fire storm in the blogosphere. The above audio clip, also from Science Now, explains what vocal fry is. The controversy erupted because the article suggested that vocal fry was either a female epidemic of speech pathology or an affectation akin to valley girl up speak. Pushback was quick and forceful. Another great podcast steer, the Language Log does it best. True, Brittany Spears affects this speech pattern, but so did Mae West. When did Lauren Bacall’s raspy voice, full of sultry sophistication become less preferrable than the high screech of bubbly ditziness?

You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.

Five artists walk into a bar, no this is not a joke, but it is a good story. Last night, Dan and some of his Webster art friends went to the Crows Nest, a cabaret bar in Maplewood. The show featured a couple of scantily clad young ladies, the belly dancer and Santa girl. Stoking the fires of audience participation, a contest was held for the best picture of each. It boiled down to a contest between the sketch artists versus the photographers. Dan’s table won all the free drinks. Who says art is dead? Photography as an art form was not helped by the creepers who practiced it. Interestingly, both of the graduate school artists were bested by their undergraduate brethren. What does this say about the burgeoning field of cabaret bar art? Hey, it worked for Toulouse-Lautrec.

Dan is graduating from graduate school at CalArts next semester. He has already begun work on his thesis project. Unfortunately, I have been sworn to secrecy. Hey, isn’t that prior restraint? I can say this; his work will occupy the largest space on campus. His piece will make the most use of the biggest gallery. He checked his grades for this semester and they were all Harry Potters (High Pass), which is better than Potters (Pass) or Lousy Potters (Low Pass).

PS – Anne biked 19 miles today. Whoo Hoo!

PPS – Today was the shortest day of the year and tonight is the darkest night of the month, with tonight’s dark of the moon.

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