April 30, 2007

Song to Miss Amazon: Romancing the Website

Song to Miss Amazon
by Brockeim

Ah, that sweet siren singing the song of Brockeim:
Miss Amazon, the temptress and seducer.
Her legs reach long, like her arms, like her charms.
Her voice calls to me with wiles that snare,
and her breath envelopes me, all guile, but I don't care--
she is the river I float upon, the water washing over me,
the website I yearn to post thereon.
My reviews are my kisses, and my rank is her love.
Together, we, entangled, light monitors and sales charts
rising above mediocrity while yet pretending to be
more than friends, but less than one: lo! we are merged,
but wholly each own, independent, resplendent
enraptured in joy.

---

Some readers find books more inviting than others. When Amazon opened online, providing access to books unreachable for purchase except by the accident a speciality shop would have what I longed for, I fell in love.

Somehow, I learned more about how Amazon's reviewing works mre than most people, and will find myself laughing reading blogs and articles which have not done due diligence when forming opinions about reviewers.

I do not buy shoes by addiction, or chocolate. I buy books. Lust. Desire. Reading. Then, I learned about the community of reviewers posting on Amazon.com reviewer discussion board. What harmony, what elucidation, what... what?

What fidelity do I have to Miss Amazon? Only when she's cheapest.

April 23, 2007

Ten Books for a Desert Island

Books for a Desert Island

  1. A book on determining good plants from deadly ones.
    Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places

  2. The Professor's guide to building motors and other equipment with coconauts and papayas, as learned on Gilligan's Island. A MacGyver equivalent would be OK.
    Gilligan's Island - The Complete First Three Seasons
    MacGyver - The Complete First Five Seasons

  3. Seafood cookbook: 1001 ways to make fish, turtle, crab and kelp.
    Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking

  4. This Old House handbook on thatching a roof.
    This Old House Kitchens: A Guide to Design and Renovation Sticker: Companion to the.

  5. Farmers Almanac, so I will know the weather.
    The Old Farmer's Almanac 2007 (Old Farmer's Almanac)

  6. Native Islander-English dictionary, with a special section on ways to say, "I taste bad," and another that helps me say, "Chief, I humbly say your daughter is beautiful and would like to marry her."
    Dating For Dummies (For Dummies (Lifestyles Paperback))

  7. A book of lyrics to all my favorite songs
    The Ultimate Fake Book: C Edition (Fake Book Series)

  8. Farming techniques for rainy season agriculture
    You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise

  9. An empty notebook, likely to be found the day after I die

  10. The rest can go into a gift certificate to Amazon, so long as they deliver by FedEx.
    Gift certificate found in here somewhere
    Cast Away (Widescreen Edition)

Signals Whiffle Ball Games Are Over and Dinner Begins - review, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, 15 fl oz

My name never carried well across the neighborhood to the yard where I most often struck out at the plate. Sound, as is the case with many a young boy, was only one way to call me.

Misty evenings, just as the sun committed to drop westward, an hour after my father would drive up in his Buick Special, I smelled Worcestershire sauce from our charcoal Webber. This meant the Whiffle ball game ended, and, win or lose, I had a different plate to step up to.

The scent created a state of emergency. Bats, balls, and, if we used any, bases were gathered by their respective owners, and we all ran home like lovers impassioned in lustful want.

His recipe for steak was simple. Get it from Jerry, a butcher he knew for years, dazzle it with ground pepper and the smallest sprinkle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. Like smoke signals, the air became the messenger, or, for me, a siren seducing me homeward. No other sauce would do. His reasons had no merit for me at six years old, but I never had cause to question.

Such as it will be for you. Big bottles of Worcestershire sauce will be what you need, but a small bottle will be inspiration enough.

April 21, 2007

Beware of Bunnies

When these rabbits revolt, and hopping turns to stomping, will we be ready? Can we handle a bunnified nation?

These bunnies are divided into Bunnites and Bunnies, two similar, but battling sects of their religion, who each claim Peter Rabbit as God's messenger.

Peter's traditional story is that a bunny with wings flew to his patch, and told him to claim to the world that a greater, more powerful rabbit was watching. The rats, he said, while rodents themselves, did not eat of the holy carrot, and would not be able to go to Heaven, where 72 Playboy Bunnies waited eagerly to populate the world beyond. Convert them, Peter said to the bunnies, spread it by the carrot.

Since those days, a million generation of rabbits ago, the world has been fooled. Cute rabbits tease our foolish hearts, as they, insidious and willing to run across a road as suicide hoppers, are slowly taking over.

Beware. The book revered by these rabbits, the Bun'an, carries more than peaceful tales about hopping down the bunny trail.

Beware. The carrot you see may be more than mere vegetable.

Beware. A rabbit, even now hops among us.

April 19, 2007

Get Your Brock on with a Brockeim Mug


Brockeimic Books Are Good Food Large Mug

The latest in Brockeimic stuff is on the way. Order now, get them while they are hot.

Just $13.24 plus shipping and handling (probably $5.00). Designs are subject to change.

Product Information

  • Super-size your favorite beverage or just size-up to avoid spills with our hefty, 15 oz. ceramic Large Mug. Large easy-grip handle. When you need more, mug it up.
  • Measures 4.5" tall, 3.25" diameter
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
Brockeimic Books Are Good Food Large Mug

April 18, 2007

With Tragedy, We Need Hope

What happened? Better still, what happens next? Collective disgust, collective mourning, and collective moving on?

There is little that can be said that is not obvious, and little that can be done that isn't being done. Everyone has their part, apolitically, and, then, sadly, we move on, forget about this, and it gets cited as a footnote the next time we endure such a travesty of violence.

I wish there was a way to stop this, but men like Cho Seung-Hui will be born, lose their sense of right and wrong, and rampage again. There must be a better way.

What we need is hope. The easy path will be to try to figure Cho Seung-Hui, examine why it happened, and think something was done. Cho Seung-Hui had no hope, and became a killer.

Hope.

April 16, 2007

Stickers, Magnets and Thongs (oh my!)

The beginnings of a Brockeim.com Shop are moving forward. CafePress takes care of it all, as well as selling other very odd and interesting items. Click the images to see details, sizes and other important bits of interest.

So far, you can get a thong, magnets, or a bumper sticker.

http://www.cafepress.com/Brockeim

Apparel

Want to Read a Book? Classic Thong
$8.24


Stickers, Buttons & Magnets



Brockeimic Books Are a Friend Rectangle Magnet
$3.49

Brockeimic Books Are a Friend Magnets (100 pack)
$89.99

Brockeimic Books Are a Friend Magnets (10 pack)
$11.99

Books Are Good Food (bumper sticker)
$3.49

April 12, 2007

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

The Raven
Edgar Allen Poe
(to see my parody, see The Beauty: Parody of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" Singalong with Brockeim)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-

Only this, and nothing more."


Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-

Nameless here for evermore.


And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-

This it is, and nothing more."


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-

Darkness there, and nothing more.


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-

Merely this, and nothing more.


Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-

'Tis the wind and nothing more."


Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.


Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."


But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."

Then the bird said, "Nevermore."


Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of 'Never- nevermore'."


But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."


This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!


Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or devil!-
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."


And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted- nevermore!


The Beauty: Parody of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" Singalong with Brockeim

The Raven/ The Beauty
severe apologies to Edgar Allen Poe
see context below
for the original, see The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a fortnight dreary, up so late, my eyes were bleary,
Over many a thought of curious and hopeful dreams (of which there’s more)—
While I plodded, nearly toppling, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some beauty gently walking, walking towards my emotion’s core.
“‘Tis someone flirting,” I muttered, “Flirting at my emotion’s core—

Only this and nothing more.”


Ah, distinctly I remember it was a month beyond that bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought Harry’s ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow,—vainly I wished she’d borrow
From my letters surcease my sorrow—sorrow because she’s the one I adore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels know and well adore—

Nameless here for evermore.


And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each grotto leaf
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic hopes never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I kept on writing:
“‘Tis someone flirting entreating fancy at my emotion’s core—
Some lost friend teasing entrance at my emotion’s core;

This it is and nothing more.”


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Ma’am,” wrote I, “oh Ma’am! truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is that I was plodding, and so gently you came tapping,
And so faintly you came flirting, flirting at my emotion’s core,
That scarce I was sure I felt you”—here I opened wide the door,

Friendship there and nothing more.


Deep into that friendship peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no poor man ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave only tokens,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Harry!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Harry!”—

Merely this and nothing more.


Back into my emotion turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I felt a flirting something louder than before.
“Surely,” wrote I, “surely that is someone at my heart-string’s door—
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore;—

‘Tis just words and nothing more.”


Open here I flung the closure, when, with many a flirt, there was this treasure,
In here stepped a lovely lady of the saintly days of Our Lord.
The kindest obeisance made she, the minutes stopped and stayed she,
But, with mien of this lovely lady, who sat next to my emotion’s core—
Graced upon me with trust and valor adjacent to my emotion’s core—

Graced, and smiled, and nothing more.


Then this pretty girl beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the kind and tender decorum of the countenance she wore,
“‘Though thy crest be pretty and placid, thou,” I said, “art sure no spineless flaccid,
Friendly grin and soft-speaking Beauty wandering from the Morning shore—
Tell me what thy godly purpose is on the Morning’s Heavenly shore!”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


Much I marvelled this gorgeous treat to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing girl at his emotion’s core—
Girl, this treat graced this uncultured beast at his emotion’s core,

With such a purpose as “Harry.”


But the Beauty, sitting lonely despite the tremendous trust, spoke only
That one word, as if her soul in that one word she did outpour.
Nothing farther then she uttered; not a syllable then she stuttered—
Till I scarcely more than mumbled; “Other friends have shone before—
On the morrow she will leave me as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the Beauty said, “Harry.”


Startled at the stillness broken by the reply so often spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what she utters is her only stock—I need more,
Caught from some unhappy boyfriend whom unmerciful verbiage
Followed sage without sagacity till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of her Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Harry—nevermore.’”


But the Beauty still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I reeled a cushioning in front of her and trust (I still adore);
Then, upon the dream a-sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy into fancy, thinking what this beauteous girl I adore—
What this grin, untamed, slim, and beauteous girl I adore

Meant in mentioning “Harry.”


This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the woman whose kindly eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat inclining, with my head humbly reclining
On the cushion’s feeble lining with the lamp-light gloating o’vr,
But whose feeble thinning lining with the lamp-light gloating o’vr

She shall depress, ah, nevermore!


Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed by the girl’s hidden censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tiled floor.
“Lord,” I cried, “what friend hath thy lent me—by these angels you seem to send me
Respite—respite and nepenthe and forget this girl I adore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this girl I adore!”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


“Woman!” said I, “thing of delight!—woman still, if girl or goddess—
Whether Christ sent as friend or girlfriend tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land now enchanted—
On this home by Madison taunted,—tell me truly, I implore!”
Is there—is there balm in Chicago?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


“Woman!” said I, “thing of delight!—woman still, if girl or goddess!
By the heaven that bends above us—by the God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant universe,
I might hold hands with a saintly maiden whom the angels must adore—
Hold a rare and radiant maiden who the angels must adore.”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


“Be that word our sign of starting, girl, my friend!” I blurted, upstarting—
“You are my friend, I am glad, on my Morning’s shore!
Leave no sad memory or poor token of lilies washed upon the shore!
Leave never, my heart unbroken!—stay right near my emotion’s core!
Take not thy kindness from my heart, nor take thy pretty form from my apartment door!”

Quoth the Beauty, “Harry.”


And the Beauty, never quitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the placid trust of friendship adjacent to my emotion’s core;
And her eyes have all the gleaming of a girl’s whose eyes are teasing,
And the lamp-light o’vr her, like a halo beaming,
And my soul from out from Harry’s shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore!

About The Beauty
What poet in this time has not read Poe? And what movie goer with a romantic heart has not seen "When Harry Met Sally"? And, even yet, who has not found a friend's smiling ever beaming more with beauty than first noticed in days before?

Poe's poem is a masterpiece in American, if not world English literature. Sober, sad and grieving, with mystery and angst. Only those who have never been in love do not understand these kinds of feelings as Poe describes them.

I hope you like my parody.

--Brockeim

Perfect for Photos of Family Dogs, Ansel Adams and Future Lovers - review: 11x14 / 11 x 14 Picture/Photo Frame, Round Walnut Molding with Gold Leaf

At the top of my stairs hang three of these frames, above a shelf of books I intend to read and a canister of potpourri which has lost its scent.

To the right is an Ansel Adams photo of a desert. The lines are sweetly paralleled earthen grooves made of sand shifted in dry wind, diagonal to the perpendicularly structured frame.

To the left is a faded sketch of my dog, Bruno. I was nine, and Bruno was 12. Age and hard playing took him, or so I am told. It is nice to see him here, drawn in pleasant colored pencils by my parent's neighbor.

In the center, the wooden brown frame is simple, concise, and empty. The paint on the wall is dark beige, complimenting the frame with elegance. The logo is unattractive, and I meant to replace it long ago. Every year, I think I have met someone who will pose with me, but every month after we meet, she moves on.

Now, this year, there is Rachel. This year will be different. I am hoping when we are next out, a friend will take a snapshot. I will frame us, happy and together. We will look wonderful next to Ansel Adams' desert and my dog, Bruno.

April 07, 2007

Stopping By Some Bookshelves on a Snowy Evening - Robert Frost Parody - Singalong with Brockeim

Stopping By Some Bookshelves on a Snowy Evening
(severe apologies to Robert Frost)
Robert Frost books on amazon.com


Whose shelves these are I think I know.
He is off at the bookstore though;
He will not see me stopping here
To read his books and quickly go.

My little friend must think me weird
To stop with a library near
At this home of a friend just left
This twentieth day of the year.

He questions if my brain's bereft
Asking about my conscience's theft
The only other sound's the sweep
Of flipping pages -- language heft.

The shelves are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have "To Be Reads" to keep,
And books to read before I sleep,
And books to read before I sleep.


Robert Frost was a learned man, a true man of letters. His poetry graced more than the shelves of grade school libraries, but of great thinkers, and even John F. Kennedy's presidential inauguration.

Frost had an accessibility not found in many poets. His vocabulary was not overbearing, and his images were not unlike ones anyone growing up in the country would see. You will not struggle to understand the essence of what he his saying as you might with Edna St. Vincent Millay, but his meaning is as layered. Like Emily Dickinson's poetry, his deeper meaning was beguiled by apparent simplicity.

Most of amazon.com's customers are readers who love books as much as they love reading them. We browse our best friend's shelves when we visit their home. We borrow their books, and sometimes, with their permission. Our TBR (To Be Read) list is longer than a child's Christmas letter to Santa, and as desirous.

Many of my guides are parodies of songs, and follow the tune of the original. This one is similar, except is based on Frost's most famous poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

I hope you enjoy my look at Frost's poem.

--Brockeim

April 02, 2007

Fills Young Bellies While Mending Broken Hearts - Kraft Macaroni and Cheese reviewed

Maraconi and CheeseKraft Macaroni and Cheese beckons back to lonely days running home at lunchtime. As I lay heart-strewn and crying about the harsh rejection meted upon me by the fairest of the playground beauties, soft noodles in a cheese cream sauce would ease my ache.

Daily, at morning recess, I would smile weakly and say hello to Heidi, who, in return would grimace. There stood I, in a pile of sadness, swings and slides all around, alone, and she, having moved on, would toil no longer in my presence.

Today, all so many years beyond, I do not remember if it was her kickball skills, or the way she whispered, "Green Eggs and Ham," ever so flirtatiously, just within earshot. Her gentle words were never meant for me no matter how I thought her eyes caught mine, and with clarity, at recess, I was reminded of her tease.

Recess would pass into lunchtime, and as the bell rang, I blew out the door and ran the quarter mile home. Anger, grief, all inside boiling, looking to be purged, pushed me homeward. Second grade happiness would be found where my mom made lunch.

Resting on our kitchen table, steaming with freshly ground pepper, was the golden orange macaroni and cheese. A bit of butter and a few drops of milk converged with the cheese for the smooth-sweet-salty taste with which I could indulge my insatiated heart.

My mother, forever smiling, and me, upset at Heidi who was forever guiling, until soon, I, with my belly full, was no longer riling. Fair maiden was never won by macaroni and cheese, but my broken heart was oft-mended by its flavor.