Using their words: the Democratic debate

People used their words at the last Democratic candidates’ debate, umpteen days ago.  And while the way they used them, the words, might have changed, since the last debate (old news), they’re still part of their permanent record.  We might as well see what they look like.

A reminder: I copied and pasted the transcript and pasted each speaker into wordle.

Oh, Malley

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Republicans debate war using words and clouds

Since I missed all of last night’s Republican Debate, as well as all of the previous debates I said to myself, “why not let a professional tell me what happened?”  I didn’t use to be this way, but it’s no fun watching debates by myself since I mostly hang out with Canadians and most of them don’t want to watch American politics.

So I read a live-slog through last night’s performances with the Stranger Election Control Board doing the deed. At the 8:02 part of the debate, they said this:

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Death by Tomato

Dear Beaver,

We found a farmer’s market in the next town, the hippie town, to us, and, of course, we deride hippies in general, the royal We, but really they have this town hopping. Everyone wants to go and hang out there when farmer’s market is open on Saturdays. So the royal We bought a box of reject tomatoes for $8 and then brought them home and washed them. And then I put them on the table where I usually sit for meals and let them dry. And now I won’t let Angelique move them, Continue reading “Death by Tomato”

Modern Dance: Elvis or Johnny Cash

I first became aware of modern dance companies by the publicity shots I’d see in newspapers. Women with their hands apart pointing to Casper the Ghost or other imaginary diety. Men, wearing only white gauze, cantering over another dancer in crouch pose eating a daisy. They had me.  And then when I started actually attending dance performances, it sealed the deal.

S called me up and said, “I’ve got a spare for tonight if you want to come to St Sauveur.”   Continue reading “Modern Dance: Elvis or Johnny Cash”

Dude Ranch Makes a Burger: a study

Dear Beaver,

A little about Dude Ranch’s habits every Tuesday and Thursday, and alternate Sundays.

He enters, post-workout, through the side door like he’s an electrician. He darts to the fridge and pulls out fresh ground beef. Fresh as in not frozen, and not freshly killed, though now that I think about it, how would I know? I never ask him about his experiences in the past with stock yards, cattle ranches, or burgers at rodeos, as in, Continue reading “Dude Ranch Makes a Burger: a study”

Ebola Might Not Be a Sneeze in the Park

The recent outbreaks of Ebola in the US brings me back to another contagious time when people were actually doing something about it.

Despite massive preparation (mostly just worrying) on my part, I got H1N1 while driving from Montreal to Boston (my then regular weekly commute).

I’d heeded the calls.  I’d read the posters.  I didn’t dismiss the email from the scientist, old as dust, that MIT circulated admonishing us to do everything to avoid getting the flu.  He’d apparently barely survived Continue reading “Ebola Might Not Be a Sneeze in the Park”

Franco follies

The Director almost laughed when our visitors announced they were from L’Isle.  It was what I used to call the town where I spent some quality time as a youngster myself… the chicagoland version, that is.  But I was a sad imitation, whereas they?  They were four hearty, healthy, good-looking youth who spoke English better than I spoke French.

It was the first time we let out our home.  We usually just stuck guests upstairs in our ramshackle atticle.  Where everyone but these bitter, hungover French people from Lyon enjoyed their stay.

The L’islians tried to build a fire last night.  “Watch they don’t know how,” the Director paced.  “Leave them alone.  Maybe they’ll just talk outside, relaxing if they can’t make it,” I said.

“Who wants to just talk?” the Director said.

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Flipping the Bird

image of a bird in a tree

 

Ah, I didn’t pay attention to the bird chirping differently when I tossed the ladder under the staircase.

Then a series of smaller cries erupted right in the ladder / decrepit fence material area. Shit, I thought. Shit shit, I thought again again.

The Robin on the pine branch kept at it.  I tiptoed closer to the pile, lifting junk with my pinkies raised, and saw a moving chicken part with some yellow fuzz on it. Then more: a disoriented baby flapping its new parts and hobbling.

I looked up at the discreet nest in our 2nd story staircase to confirm: bobbing fur in the nest, baby bird down. Baby was nestled in between the steps of the shorter ladder that I didn’t use.  Nice. Too many siblings flipping the bird out of the nest and onto a metal ladder, only to get nearly pummeled by another ladder.

I got some stale bread and balled it up into bits before tossing it to the mother.  Who didn’t take the bait. She just stared me down.  I went back inside to consult with an expert.

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