January 29, 2009

25 Strategically Important Facts About Brockeim

25 things. All are true. All matter more than life itself.
Your turn.

1. In grade school, I had friends from A-Z. One guy's last name started with A, another with Z.
2. Read very fast.
3. Once snuck up to the 75th Floor of the Sears Tower at midnight.
4. Know a few sports celebrities.
5. Have given speeches in front of a few thousand people.
6. Have never learned to use my office phone.
7. Can move my right pinky toe independently of the others.
8. Can't juggle.
9. Owns five computers - three laptops and two desktops. One of each is a Mac.
10. Was quoted in Forrester Magazine (my Amazon/Led Zeppelin parody)
11. Favorite drink is a mint mocha, triple shot of espresso. I'm drinking Gloria Jean's cappuccino now.
12. Love cats, but prefer dogs.
13. Likes numbers.
14. Can whistle exceedingly well, but lack the musical ability to exploit this skill.
15. Love corn on the cob.
16. Writes as much as three thousand words daily.
17. My right thumb is double jointed.
18. Had my picture on the cover of my university and hometown newspaper once (two different occasions).
19. Have enjoyed civet coffee (look it up), but think it is overpriced.
20. Google, at this moment (this vacillates greatly), loves me. Results 1 - 10 of about 40,900 for brockeim with Safesearch on. (0.11 seconds)
21. Take notes about random ideas while shopping. These often show up in my blogs.
22. Know a lot of trivia that is so trivial, Trivia Pursuit ignores it.
23. Have been to San Jose, but I don't know the way.
24. Has had long conversations with CEOs of several major Fortune 500s.
25. Have been listed in Wikipedia.


January 27, 2009

Nantucket Ladies

There was no man from Nantucket. The man was a woman. And another thing... no bucket. Actually the whole thing it was based on was in Iowa, she was a milkmaid, and it was all just a story about her husband, Roy, who farmed corn and soy near Des Moines. That's all. It tells better the other way.

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 17, 2009

Homage to Edgar Allan Poe's Raven in parody The Beauty

Read Brockeim's homage to Edgar Allan Poe's poem Raven in his parody The Beauty (the usual lost love thing).

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.


The Beet Goes On, The Beat Goes On

Beta vulgaris.

These are beets in all their fresh glory, photographed this weekend at my favorite market. Beautiful, often underconsidered.

"The beet has a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second millennium BC." (why we know this is true)


Before Cher.

Before Cher retired.

Before Cher returned having never retired.

Before Cher?

Beta rocknrollus.

Sonny and Cher... fans of beets?

Gazing Into the Wilderness (A Solution)

If you find yourself gazing into the wilderness, wondering where your next meal comes from, I cannot help. If you are wondering, instead, how you can spend the next ten minutes, I have a suggestion... see my site's five lovely pages.

  1. First Cup (my homepage)
  2. Taste What's in the Cup (samples of what I do)
  3. About Brockeim (who am I)
  4. Contact Brockeim (connect with me in real life)
  5. Buy the Mug (buy things I made or otherwise sell)

January 10, 2009

Dorothy Parker's Assertions About Writing

"I hate writing, I love having written."
— Dorothy Parker

I am not Dorothy Parker. I love the writing process. Her work is terrific, and worthy of all accolades. Try her short stories to really see her strength.

"There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words."
— Dorothy Parker

Agree fully. Good wise-cracking is hard to find. Good wit is even harder. Much of today's humor, as always has been the case, is wise-cracking. Wit requires more thinking. I esteem to hit one or the other here.

January 09, 2009

Need More Brockeim? Website Relaunched.

The answer to the question is, "Yes, I need more Brockeim..." and the response is, "Go to Brockeim.com.

Newly launched, with a sampling of everything you see here and elsewhere on the web, Brockeim.com gives readers a chance to better connect.

Of course, big plans exist to make it the top competitor of the Onion, the New Yorker and the New York Times all in one, but for now, enjoy.

Anything you would like to see? Let me know.

January 07, 2009

Extraordinary People - Synaesthetes

The woman discussed here has capability to see and taste music. Gift or curse? This intrigues me as a writer of modal and image sensuality. I understand some of this.

January 06, 2009

Rating Reviews on Amazon... Seeing Stars

When asked about the reviewing rating system on Amazon -- a five-star structure, I considered...

Five stars - Muhammad Ali hit me
Four stars - Sugar Ray Leonard hit me
Three stars - Naomi Campbell hit me
Two stars - A shoe hit me
One star - I walked into a wall