Summer Solstice

June 29, 2016

Sun-2:right

What more could we have asked, so long ago,
than this, this endless noon, this cloudless sky,
idyllic, constant, calm? How could we know
we’d weary of that bright, unblinking eye?
Such blessings grow oppressive, and this grace
now lays upon us torpor like a pall;
each languid move, each whispered word, each trace
of breath–the weight of hours has stilled them all.
Life teeters on the fulcrum of the sun
until the course of nature drags it down,
progressing slowly through the vacant plain
to that last, passing point where we are shown
a shaft of light between two standing stones–
a sign–before the longest day is done.

Florence Newman, Professor emerita
Department of English, Towson University

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Prose Styles Gone Wild, #1

June 24, 2016

This headed the menu at Richard’s Restaurant in Baltimore, 1983.

RICHARD’S MISSION

Our mission is a simple one. To Please your palate and to sooth you aesthetically. To make the drinking and dining experience singularly pleasurable to you and your friends as well as those you send to us. If we do not, you must let us know and know why. Remember, it is you, our client, whom it is felt by us, one and all, that on account of you, pay the bill, hence, therefore, you are only the most primary important and very gorgeous person with whom we do business.


Today’s Quotes

June 20, 2016

th-1“(. . . working on a play.) You do the first job as neatly as you can: She comes in. Then you do the next job: He sees her. And so on. It’s an extraordinarily useful lesson.”

“Elaine May has a wonderful motto: ‘The only safe thing is to take a chance.’ “I think she means that if you stay safe, and don’t take a chance — don’t do something that’s different from the last thing,  something that makes you nervous and holds dangers — if you keep trying to do the thing that worked last time, the encrustations of mannerisms begin to take you over. And pretty soon you’re no good at all — and therefore not safe at all. The longer you play it safe, the less interesting is what you do.”

Mike Nichols, the Director’s Art, by Barbara Gelb

NYT Magazine, May 27, 1984


Cartooning Tip #6

June 13, 2016

ToonQuote:Houghton-lzClick image to enlarge. This cartoon tip originally appeared in the January-February 2016 issue of The Cartoon!st, the newsletter of the National Cartoonists Society. All series images and texts are copyright © 2016 by the artist.


Today’s Quote

June 7, 2016

Gornick-2“Good conversation is not a matter of mutuality of interests or commonly held ideals, it’s a matter of temperament: the thing that makes someone respond instinctively with an appreciative ‘I know just what you mean,’ rather than the argumentative ‘Whaddaya mean by that?’ In the presence of shared temperament, conversation almost never loses its free, unguarded flow; in its absence one is always walking on eggshells.”

Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City, a Memoir

(Click image to enlarge.)

Cartooning Tip #5

June 3, 2016

ToonQuote:Amerogen-lzClick image to enlarge. This cartoon tip originally appeared in the January-February 2016 issue of The Cartoon!st, the newsletter of the National Cartoonists Society. All series images and texts are copyright © 2016 by the artist.