December 22, 2009

For the Boy Who Would Be Snow King: review: Super Soft Lightweight 70% Bamboo 30% Organic Cotton Bamboo Fiber Bath Towel 460 GSM

For the Boy Who Would Be Snow King
Super Soft Lightweight 70% Bamboo 30% Organic Cotton Bamboo Fiber Bath Towel 460 GSM

Towels are the silent healer of six year-old boys who have more guts than arm. Julia showed me this one winter's day by wrapping around me the warm texture of heaven as sewn by the angels themselves. It is absorbent, thanks to the terry cloth-like weave, and served to dry me as well as swab my shame.

There was one way to be king of the hill, and a snowball was the tool. What they had flung in response to my weakly tossed effort I cannot say, but in the process, I found my jacket was not impermeable. No colder ice is there than the ice between a jacket and the skin on one's back. We fought a furious battle of snow of all colors, but now I was beat.

I started it, but they finished it. The incumbent king remained. In mercy, they let me pass to my home across the street to find solace in my room. With snow still frozen dripping from my chin, as my scarf hung limp in defeat, I shrugged low into the garage.

Young boys who are not true snow warriors (and those who are) with a thick terry cloth towel like these super soft bamboo towels will grow to be men. When Julia, my sweet friend who was waiting for the inevitable, handed me the towel she prepared in the dryer, water left my skin absorbed into oblivion. This is a big towel and I was a small boy. This difference was well-appreciated as my shivering chatter became laughter, as Julia and I both agreed about the folly of my audacity, believing I would be king of the snow hill.

When you set outside to face down snow knights, consider these as your post-snowslinging garb.

--Brockeim



November 29, 2009

Chocolate Truffle Coffee Brightens a Tired Sunday Morning: Gevalia Dark Chocolate Truffle Ground Coffee, 8-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 3) review

Chocolate Truffle Coffee Brightens a Tired Sunday Morning
Gevalia Dark Chocolate Truffle Ground Coffee, 8-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 3)

After a late Saturday evening filled with considerable conversation, I awoke leery of the day. Weary and unready for daylight, I thought four cups would be enough to realize the world was still good, and they were. My home filled the sweet aroma as the coffee trickled from my machine, and the joy of caffeinated consciousness arrived in full force within moments of sipping. Sunday morning's mercy opened to the freshly ground kindness of Gevalia Kaffe: Dark Chocolate Truffle.

The beans were finely ground, and so fewer spoons of it were needed than for my usual preparation for drip coffee. It should be a suitable grind for espresso.

Darker than an unflavored coffee, the Gevalia presented a strong, completely chocolate coffee taste. Truly as advertised, it reminded me of chocolate truffles I buy at a shop in a train station. On its own, I found the coffee more intense than I prefer, though modest amounts of sugar and cream mitigated it into pleasure.

May your mornings be lifted by the alert fragrance and flavor of chocolate truffle coffee by Gevalia.

--Brockeim


October 24, 2009

Tragedy of Leprosy and Human Scorn Unraveled in Beautifully Told Story: The Pearl Diver review

Tragedy of Leprosy and Human Scorn Unraveled in Beautifully Told Story
The Pearl Diver

"The Pearl Diver" is a difficult book. Leprosy is not part of most our lives, and much of what we think of may involve Jesus Christ's healing of the 10 lepers in the Gospel of Luke. The book is not about leprosy, but it is the context which drives the story. It is about being confined in flesh, the ever present and ubiquitous human condition.

Imagine a young woman diving with great skill to the ocean floor. The grace, beauty and athleticism just off the shore of a Japanese island alone is an image to carry a reader through each page. Author Jeff Talarigo finds the proper tone and pace so as to begin the story well. A diagnosis of leprosy changes this scene, and the woman quickly moves to a leper colony. Her family cannot handle the shame and disowns her.

Giving context to the story are 'Artifacts', something Talarigo uses as object/symbols. The technique works like a subtitle within a chapter like as with "Artifact Number 0596: A bar of soap." The soap represents cleanliness and purity. Miss Fuji, as the young woman is called at the colony, carves them into shells or fish, and in them briefly finds freedom.

The tone of the book is beautifully dour. It never ebbs and flows like the waves of the ocean dove into, creating emotional exhaustion for readers who want to leave the book uplifted. But leprosy in the 1940s is not a happy disease. The disease itself is hard, as is the social outcasting that packaged with it.

It occasionally leaves a contemplative place and falls into sentimentality, and arcs into cynicism as Miss Fuji reacts against one patient who describes her faith to her. The most tragic portion is when Miss Fuji falls into intolerance, and "wants to rip their skin apart," whenever someone religious talks about what they believe. At once she claims it is OK for some, yet is enraged when patients discuss their beliefs openly.

The world continues on without her, and it will continue when she's gone. She understands this, but isn't satisfied and pursues freedom.

Excellently written, if a bit monotonic, "The Pearl Diver" is more than moralism wrapped in an exotic context. It looks for, and arrives at deliverance.

--Brockeim


October 14, 2009

The Genesis of the Butterfly by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo describes butterflies perfectly, so to all the butterfly hunters out there, take hope.

The Genesis of the Butterfly
by Victor Hugo

The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.
Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April and before the May time
Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind's playtime,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies

Selected Poems of Victor Hugo: A Bilingual Edition

October 12, 2009

Excellent Graphite Never Fades, But Erases Unwanted Old Flames Well: review Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Black-Core #2 Pencils, Soft, Pre-Sharpened, 12 Count, Yellow

Excellent Graphite Never Fades, But Erases Unwanted Old Flames Well
Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Black-Core #2 Pencils, Soft, Pre-Sharpened, 12 Count, Yellow


At a cafe, I doodled on a newspaper with my Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. As a classic #2, the soft graphite was dark, thick and steady, working well on the dim white recycled newsprint. Against the cafe's smell of burnt coffee rested the subtle sweet smell of wood freshly sharpened.

In walked an extraordinary beauty. How many years had passed since I first saw her here? No, this isn't the time for that. She was here. That mattered. What happened 10 years ago needed to be forgotten. She smiled and called me over. "Nancy," I said. And then, more was said, with more smiles.

Three hours and a loaf of bread later, it was time to go. Nancy grabbed her address book and a pen. She asked me my e-mail address while adjusting her lipstick. She took my pencil and wrote 'Brockeim' in flowing black-gray letters with curves like waves, yet completely legible. She could have used a pen, I noticed. She didn't. I have not heard from her since.

May your Dixon pencils never fade, and the tips never break.

--Brockeim


October 01, 2009

My Deliverer of Meals and Romance: Inexpensive Chopsticks Are Perfect: Disposable Wrapped Chopstick 100 Pairs review

My Deliverer of Meals and Romance: Inexpensive Chopsticks Are Perfect
Disposable Wrapped Chopstick 100 Pairs


The chopsticks' long blond legs reached with grace toward a grain of rice. Chiseled, yet delicate, footless and firm, the chopsticks steered into the now empty bowl where remained but one small remnant of an evening that began and ended well.

Now, all candles snuffed, and the last taste of wine was sipped from my glass, I looked at this grain. I smiled I maneuvered the chopsticks to pick out the final bit. Nancy had gone home, leaving with plans for breakfast at the coast with me tomorrow.

These are fine chopsticks, the kind found in many Chinese restaurants, and will do as asked. You will not go hungry using these utensils. Tonight, as I pressed the two tips together on each side of the brown rice, I thought that this one grain should stay another night. This was no easy task. The rice was still soft, and unwilling to find its way out of the bowl. Why struggle, I thought? The rice is no doubt happier where it is.

The dishes, I decided, and the rice, could wait for tomorrow.

May your meals be as satisfying with these chopsticks, useful for eating rice comfortably.

--Brockeim


September 16, 2009

Gorgeous Carafe Sustains Beauty and a Rose, review Waterford Lismore Petite Pitcher

Gorgeous Carafe Sustains Beauty and a Rose
Waterford Lismore Petite Pitcher


One red rose sits in my carafe. There used to be water. That's dried now. So is the rose.

The glass is clear enough to see I removed the thorns. It is deep enough to hold enough chilled Riesling for a lingering dinner for two. One bottle carefully poured will be attractively displayed.

I poured four glasses neatly. Not a drop of wine lost. The thick crystal kept things as cool as possible, though, unfortunately, as did she.

The Riesling was as light as our conversation, though the excitement of the wine lasted longer. The soft angles carved into the glass flickered the candle's hues into her eyes, but all she saw was that she was leaving.

The roses stayed. She left. Explaining the rest doesn't matter. The carafe is beautiful, as was she. May your Linsmore pitcher hold more than a flower and a few glasses of wine.

--Brockeim


September 15, 2009

Kipling's Masterful Storytelling, History, and Modern Mythology Come Together: The Jungle Book

Kipling's Masterful Storytelling, History, and Modern Mythology Come Together

The Jungle Book


Legends are made from legends. Rudyard Kipling dug deep into the tales of the jungle from his years living in India, and drew from them the kinds of stories that live forever.

"The Jungle Book" is more than how Mowgli, the man cub, learns to live and survive amongst enemies like Shere Khan. The intense mongoose vs cobra "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," also well-known, is here, as are several lesser-known and unrelated adventures.

Richly written, with details and contexts unfamiliar to Western readers, "The Jungle Book" lifts imagination and language beautifully. Poetic, and written in a literary style, it shines above most modern prose.

This is the stuff of afternoon stories read to older boys and girls. Young teens will while away rainy evenings, unwilling to part until finished. Sometimes scary and always exciting, Kipling also uses the book to teach lessons much greater than a jungle in India.

When chapters were first read to me many years ago, I listened gawk-eyed, listening intently for as long as my mother would read. I read it with different eyes now, but no less a young boy as I worry how Baloo will handle the Bandar-Log monkeys.

It isn't perfect. A few scientific details are fudged (wolf pack breeding structure, for example), but nothing that matters in the big picture. Kipling will have you in the palm of his hand, even though it was first published over 100 years ago.

May "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling be as amazing to you as it has been to me.
--Brockeim

notice... as of writing this review, the book is free via Kindle.


September 03, 2009

A Cure for the Summertime Blues and Questions of Color: Wyler's Electric Grape Drink Mix review

A Cure for the Summertime Blues and Questions of Color

Wyler's Electric Grape Drink Mix 72 Envelopes


The summertime blues can be addressed with a glass of something purple. One August years ago delivered cruel weather, but an ample supply of Wyler's reduced its impact.

Forehead sweat condensated and gathered uncomfortably as Nancy and I sat on the driveway discussing why dandelions are yellow, yet the hollow stem bled white fluid. First grade would start in a few days, and yet such questions of life remained. We needed time, but the noon sun was persuasive. We knew what to do.

A crisp rip of the purple envelope provided access to the treasured dust-sized grains. One envelope is enough to dazzle a quart of plain water into the color of wine (we made it twice as strong). With a few spoons of sugar, and some quickly stirred ice cubes, we drank until full, able again to examine the meaning of a flower's color.

With a grapened smile, look toward the sunny day's heat with a cool demeanor. When Nancy grinned, her pleasure shone out brighter than the sun. May your summers be as pleasing with Wyler's Grape.

--Brockeim

July 06, 2009

Perfect for Shooting Free Throws in a Park with a Lovely Woman: Black Composite "Explosion" Basketball review

Perfect for Shooting Free Throws in a Park with a Lovely Woman

Black Composite "Explosion" Basketball


The Baden "Explosion" basketball didn't sit long after purchasing it. We bought it to use, and to labor we have put it. We brought it to a park just a ten minute walk away in early July.

Nancy and I shot for hours. I took ten shots; she took ten shots, neither of us gaining an advantage as we repeated this game throughout the late morning.

The Baden "Explosion" basketball bounced well as we tossed it between us. Perfectly balanced, it never went askew... always into her welcome hands as I made a pass.

Black, but almost navy blue, with orange lines, the ball rolled straight and true. With each revolution, the lines flickered like an old movie film. We stood mesmerized as we watched it settle in soft grass, ready to be shot again.

Whether the board deflected it, or points were scored, the game didn't matter. The shared smile, knowing we are shooting together, meant more than the tally.

A rain shower brushed by, but the composite leather basketball was unaffected. A few bounces, and a shot piercing the net was enough to shake off the dampness.

We have returned to that park a few times since, and will many times more. May your basketball bring you into the company with someone as beautiful as Nancy.

--Brockeim


April 30, 2009

Sweetens Toasted Bagels and Rainy Days: Great Lakes Select Honey, 32-Ounce Plastic Flat (Pack of 3) review

Sweetens Toasted Bagels and Rainy Days

Great Lakes Select Honey, 32-Ounce Plastic Flat (Pack of 3)


The sun had not risen, and it would not rise. This day was the kind that never sees light, and knows only rain. Any flicker from lightening was blocked by water plating the window. Coffee could not cure this morning. This took something nature delivered on a brighter day, the highly caloric and twice as sweet gift of honey.

Nancy, my neighbor across the way, smiled from her balcony as we both saw our sunrise walk and breakfast in the park draining with each raindrop. Her yellow sundress belying the circumstance danced as she turned toward her apartment. She signaled me over.

Two bagel halves newly crisped in a convection oven, were browned and ready on a napkin. Great Lakes honey stood at 32 ounces of attention, knowing the bold task ahead. From bottle to spoon to bagel, I brought the honey to its better place, and ate.

No solution could stop the rain, but honey on a bagel in the presence of a friend a morning in May lifted my temper. We laughed until noon.

May your rainiest of days be offset by the sweetest of mornings with Great Lakes Select Honey.

--Brockeim


April 25, 2009

Riding With The Wind... review - Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle

Riding With The Wind
Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle


What my Radio Flyer tricycle has done for me it can do for you. The good life begins on this fine chariot.

Years back, in the twilight in early June, she was there. Her brunette tresses flowed like chocolate waterfalls, and her smile shone like diamonds glinting at dusk. Her name was Nancy. Her game was Hopscotch. She played hard, she played mean. And she was playing it on the sidewalk in front of my house. Her bike was parked with ardency next to her, and she wanted to ride.

With nothing but romance on my mind, I climbed quickly onto the shining hard seat. I took off down the driveway, squeezing tight the tough plastic hand grips. The brilliant red of my three-wheeled dream entranced her, like it did all girls. Wind grazed my face as I fearlessly rode, and tassels streamed back, blurring in my passionate speed. Onlookers gaped in awe, seeing me charge with abandon on such a fine vehicle as this. Three airless rubber tires grabbed the black tar, and balanced me from treacherous turns -- nothing could stop me. I pedaled rough, peeling toward her, the femme fatale of the preschool.

Nancy tossed aside her chalk. With a smile, she knew why I was there. She mounted her steel steed, and together on our Radio Flyer tricycles we met the sunset and her father, who bought us ice cream.

--Brockeim


April 22, 2009

When a French Pastry Kisses You, Use Bounty Quilted Napkins: review: Bounty Quilted Napkins, White, 100-Count Napkins (Pack of 20)

When a French Pastry Kisses You, Use Bounty Quilted Napkins
Bounty Quilted Napkins, White, 100-Count Napkins (Pack of 20)

The scent of freshly baked French pastry lilts from where it is to where I am sitting. The butter calls out to the dough, and their love folds into gentle layers. Sliced apples, cut into curved angles, kindle a warm smile. Soon, I arise, then arrive, and Nancy offered me some of what I longed for.

One piece was enough, satiating what needed feeding. This, with a short espresso, left evidence of a tasted kiss. The Bounty Quilted Napkins, stocked always, conveniently, were an arm's reach away.

Wiping away the smudge of coffee and pastry, the napkin proved itself a worthy member of my kitchen. May your kitchen to be as complete as mine with simple and helpful Bounty Quilted Napkins.

--Brockeim


April 21, 2009

Iron Man and Dark Knight

Iron Man compared to Batman?

Iron Man is a much deeper movie than the Dark Knight. It looked superficially like a war commentary, but was about the transformation of a man's soul.

When dealing with crisis, Batman became vengeful, and Iron Man became a redeemer. Batman was about Bruce Wayne... any good he did was a byproduct, and Iron Man was about doing the right thing, and anything good that came to Tony Stark was a byproduct.

The Dark Knight (+ Digital Copy and BD Live) [Blu-ray]



Iron Man (Ultimate Two-Disc Edition + BD Live) [Blu-ray]

April 13, 2009

Pass On Passed Bean: Civet Coffee is Not Worth Investment: review: Kopi Luwak

Pass On Passed Bean: Civet Coffee is Not Worth Investment:
Kopi Luwak Civet Coffee

I have tasted the kopi luwak coffee. Yes, it is processed through an animal's intestinal tract, but pleasantly, I can assert all fecatorial concerns are diminished once the beans are presented to the company by the blessed animal.

I have had this in espresso, cappuccino and regular brew form. It tastes like a very decent cup of coffee, but nothing so remarkable that it requires its excessive cost.

It is expensive at any price above the market value of a standard Sumatran bean, as the value is not in the taste (ordinary), but its exoticness.

Civets eat the coffee berries and then pass the beans. In doing so, various chemicals are extracted that normally are part of coffee we are familiar with. Is it is enough to lift the quality to one worth the investment? No.

If the idea is intriguing, and you want to say you have tasted all life offers, consider the kopi luwak bean. You will have a very good cup of coffee and a great laugh. If you are looking for a terrific flavor beyond all others, look at other beans.

Pass on this and enjoy more of something else.

--Brockeim


March 31, 2009

Serviceable and Satisfactory Espresso Maker Good for Daily Use, review DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker

Serviceable and Satisfactory Espresso Maker Good for Daily Use
DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker

Home espresso machines have usually two non-negotiable functions. One is the making of the espresso, and the other is the production of steam for foaming milk. The DeLonghi Espresso Maker accomplishes both, and sits on a space smaller than my standard coffee brewer.

Working well is the creation of an average espresso. The water heats quickly, and the pressure is enough to generate a sweet crema. The taste compares with most coffeehouse espressos.

Making froth is not as easy as the manufacturer implies. The steam spigot hangs low, meaning only the smallest of mugs can fit. In my case, to also avoid milk splash, I turn it so that the spigot hangs over the counter. Inevitably, a mix of water and milk drips to the floor. Similarly, the spigot drips while heating up.

Cleaning is not hassle-free. The removable tray does as intended. The underlining tray does not. Coffee drips there, and dries, and is difficult to remove.

Single- and double-shot coffee holders are provided, and the used grounds pop out quickly, especially when dry.

I do not own the accessories, like the frothing cup. I use a mug. Also, while I have espresso cups, I prefer to retrieve a double espresso with a tea cup to avoid overflow.

A more expensive machine will have more bells and whistles, but for an economical daily morning appliance, this is a great, functional solution.

Making the perfect espresso may be impossible with the DeLonghi Espresso Maker, but a good one is achievable. For the price, I am satisfied.

--Brockeim

DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker

March 25, 2009

For Tuesdays in July, For Making Smiles Wider: review. Citrus Medley: Navel Oranges

For Tuesdays in July, For Making Smiles Wider
Citrus Medley: Navel Oranges

No smile equals that of an orange grin worn by Nancy a Tuesday morning in July.

Summer Tuesdays at five years old could not have been more blissful. Yet, there, that day, she stood, smiled, and revealed the brightest orange peel in lieu of teeth. Best yet, as we laughed, she handed me one.

These were navel oranges. Not uncommon. Just as you see here. Her father cut them into quarters, from stem-to-end. We, she and I, ate each section as we giggled in the yard with her dog by the evergreens.

It has all the Vitamin C we could want, and plenty of energy. I learned that later. Then, this last summer before first grade, I cared more about blowing dandelions and chasing cabbage moths than Vitamin C. However, it is there, ready for you when you reach the age in which orange smiles with your friend loses its draw.

What were sunny Tuesdays built for? Orange smiles. May your Tuesdays this July be as playful. Buy these often.

--Brockeim

Citrus Medley

March 15, 2009

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Those flowers that we knew last summer... Where are they?

Rumors suggested Albuquerque, but has really just been winter here where the wind blows. Cold, rain, snow. Almost done here. I saw a flower accidentally growing near a garden.

I have never been one to find sorrow on a cold day, but joy and spring are natural friends. The winter is no less in God's hand that the sunniest day.

May you find joy with someone you love this spring... not because of spring, but because you loved all winter.

--Brockeim
Long time passing

January 20, 2009

Review of the Barack Obama inaugural poem Praise Song for the Day written and read by Elizabeth Alexander

A review of the Barack Obama inaugural poem Praise Song for the Day written and read by Elizabeth Alexander.

In a word: mediocre. While I love a poem filled with descriptive images, Alexander chose unimaginative cliches to show America. She presented no nuance, no color, nothing that is more than a prosaic poem not fit for a high school talent contest.

She looked for meaning, then scraped it clean of impact and influence before committing her idea to paper.

Who or what is she praising? A day? The definition of praise here is uniformly unpointed, as a day has no power. If the day has power, then it becomes a god, with a kind of omnipotent power.

"A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."" So what? Farmers do that. Teachers do that. She neither tells us something new, nor gives us insight about their action.

Her attempt to summon the spirit of Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman fails with, "Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks..." as her song has no notes.

She suggests, "Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."" Is she suggesting others do not want to live by that, living entirely selfishly? That's hardly an Obaminian thought.

"Love that casts a widening pool of light." Love, here, is a living entity, after she tries to explain what love looks like in vague terms.

Praise changes from a thing to an action, clunking on the ground as the listener hums the platonic, monotonous drumbeat, "On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light."

Her reading was blase, coming across like a faculty reading at a community college. She is no Robert Frost or Maya Angelou. Delivering her poem with a tone as cold as the Washington DC air she stood in, listeners suffered with an insipid interlude contrasting to Barack Obama's excellent vocal power. Each word comes out forced, reminding me of bad coffeehouse readings in college with Jack Kerouac groupies wish they were as deep as William Carlos Williams.

Listen below.



Read the poem here: Praise Song for the Day

Read Robert Frost's poem as read at John F Kennedy's inauguration.

~ The Gift Outright ~

The land was ours before we were the land's.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia.
But we were England's, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak.
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.

Praise Song for the Day: Inaugural poem: by Elizabeth Alexander

Praise Song for the Day
Inaugural poem
by Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

January 11, 2009

Nothing Says Love Like a Dirt Devil: review: Dirt Devil 08220 Scorpion Quick Flip Vacuum

Nothing Says Love Like a Dirt Devil
Dirt Devil 08220 Scorpion Quick Flip Vacuum

Every evening of romance should start with the whir of a Dirt Devil. Woo your love with well-dusted crevices, blown into history by the strong suction into the sturdy plastic canister. Draw her nearer breathing cleanly her perfume and not bunnies from a lost rabbit dust herd. Notice her smile without the gray cloud of loneliness or smoky dried dirt flung up from dancing in all corners.

This is why you need a Dirt Devil. Or, if the joy of a well-vacuumed home, carefully cleaned at the baseboard level, is enough, know the Dirt Devil is the tool for the job. Cordless, with the crevice device to reach into tiny places, it will clean where an ordinary vacuum cannot. May your clean home reach into her heart.

--Brockeim