I’ve got to read Milking the Moon. You’ve got to love a guy who can appreciate the finer things in life, like parenthesis. [ALD]

“I adored Alice B. Toklas because she had this little mustache, and I swear she waxed it. I can just see people staring at it, so finally instead of shaving every day, she let it grow and waxed the ends. I’m sure she waxed it. It was a proper mustache. . . . She had a very logical mind, but she also had the gift of the parenthesis. A lot of people start parentheses and never finish them. To me, it is the most maddening of all human characteristics. I don’t say, Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. I say, If you must parenthesis unto others, finish the goddamn parenthesis. . . . Alice B. Toklas had the gift, the true classical gift, of the parenthesis.”

Given her reputation as a dope-smoker, this observation is astounding. Short-term memory is one of the first things to go. Another astounding thing was the discovery that a town quite close to my parents was the focus of a major cluster of links, based on a long-term nightmare— Brian West is trying to raise money online to defend himself against charges of hacking the Poteau Daily News site in February 2000. The story is really racking up the comments on My favorite response was this one:

As a native Oklahoman I can tell you for sure: 1. SE Oklahoma is not a bastion of internet or PC technology. I’m seriously surprised they have ISP service at all (it literally is in the 3rd World–no disrespect intended). 2. Law enforcement officials associated w/ this culture are probably doing very well if they can operate an AOL dial-up connection, much less understand its mechanics. 3. ‘Public’ service jobs in the 3rd World tend to be granted politically and have very little to do w/ education level.

That sums the place up nicely: between the tribal wars over gambling territories, the meth-labs (#1 in the USA for meth production: they passed California a few years back), and the abject poverty it seems quite odd that they would make a buzz on the Internet over “high-tech” crime (just a right click of the mouse, really). But then, it does seem natural for a third-world country to hate what they don’t understand. But wait a second: the Oklahoman in question did seem quite well versed in the art of the parenthesis. [blogdex]

A far more interesting meme rolled from Meg to Luke. He’s compiled quite the array of links to abandoned structure photographs. There is some really good stuff there, but I notice that the best sites were outside the US. Abandoned structures don’t last that long around here, or in California; real estate is at a premium, so it’s mostly small buildings rather than large institutions that lie fallow— except in SE Oklahoma. I really should go back and photograph there sometime.

One final note: Metagrrrl bought a new latex cat suit, though she doesn’t seem to have the moustache to match.

(close parenthesis)