Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

The Sensory Delight Scale

March 10, 2022

Anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann and her cohort developed something called the Sensory Delight Scale, a kind of counterpart/complement to the Tellegen Absorption Scale, that measures “who is more able, by temperament and choice, to have vivid experiences of gods and spirits.” If you answer yes to all of these, you might be a mystic!

When I’m listening to music, I like to imagine the sounds taking shape and moving in the air around me.

When I finish reading a really powerful book, I find that the ordinary world around me seems oddly unfamiliar.

Sometimes I feel like my body is weightless, as if I’m floating, even when my feet are firmly on the ground.

I like to watch the shapes and movements that sunlight makes reflecting off the water.

Sometimes the world seems intensely present to me.

I like to think that the trees in a forest are talking with each other.

I have had a distinct sense of a watchful presence.

Sometimes when I am at a concert, I find that the music has ended a few seconds ago and everyone is clapping before I notice.

The sounds of different languages seem to be connected to different colors in my mind.

Sometimes I feel like the air is full of little bubbles of light.

Sometimes I feel like I can sense the passage of time almost tangibly.

When I hear the waves lap against the shore, I sometimes think of how much those waves might know.

I find joy in little things, like a newly opened flower.

Exquisite pleasure sometimes floods my senses.

I can get lost watching a spider lower itself on a thread.

Sometimes I feel the arms of the universe embrace me.

When I dance, I like to feel that my body is simply responding to the music.

Thoughts can have different colors for me.

My Son’s Ice Cream Flavors

February 2, 2022

My four-year-old son likes to play a game in the bathtub in which he pretends to be an ice cream man making ice cream and selling it to me. Here are some of the flavors he makes:

Yellow Fire

Blue Ocean

Salt White

White Cloud

Seaweed Green

Orange Setting Sun

Purple Rising Sun

Pink Grapefruit (this one is the most ordinary)

Mud Brown


I feel like I am forgetting some! My favorites I’ve tried so far are Orange Setting Sun, Salt White, and actually Seaweed Green is surprisingly good.

Two Lists

January 27, 2021

The foods the Israelites pined for in the desert after fleeing Egypt:

Meat

Cucumbers

Melons

Leeks

Onions

Garlic

Fish

The names/nicknames T.S. Eliot’s childhood friends:

Dago Parker

Chicken Gilbert

Doodle Page

Butch Wagner, Pat Sullivan

Snowball Wolfpert

Elephant-mouth Hellman

Gander Giesecke

Twelve Foreign Concepts With No American Equivalent

November 17, 2020

Coming soon to a self-help-inflected Netflix documentary!

Jutpälvirsaippy (Finnish): A warm, fuzzy feeling induced by thinking of your nation’s robust social services

Zzxjoanw (Maori): A secondhand embarrassment one gets when watching foreign political leaders behave poorly  

Voirepergne (French):  The miraculous ability of some women to eat high fat diets and remain slim (alternative, archaic: the miraculous ability of some women to look stylish even when wearing rags, or, the miraculous ability of some women to somehow be pretty even when hideous)

Schnitzengruben (German): a friendliness that nevertheless grates or disgusts the recipient

卞工几と 日ヨ工几呂 (Japanese): the sense of mental well-being that comes from knowing one has the exactly ideal number of possessions

Kamelåså (Danish): a cozy aesthetic that should be easily achieved with purchases from large Scandinavian chain stores yet somehow looks stupid and cheap if you live outside the Arctic Circle 

Dututebatti (Luxembourgish): a fluency with myriad languages, acquired early in life and seemingly with ease

쟁반 받쳐줄게요 (Korean): the ability to blend in to or be embraced by a wide variety of societies and cultures; alt. impeccable social skills (useful idiom: “polite tourist in a china shop”)

Schulleilis (Gaelic): a soft and universally pleasing tone of voice

Darajuiwolo (Yoruba): a combination of perseverance, strength, and optimism, all of which are readily understandable to English speakers, and yet none are able to harness the power of darajuiwolo without purchasing a book or listening to between six and eleven Ted talks on the subject

Title Dropping

September 27, 2020

Every book the narrator of Want by Lynn Steger Strong references reading. This book got a lot of buzz but I hated it for many reasons that I’m more than happy to elaborate on if you would JUST GIVE ME THE CHANCE. I honestly feel like this reading list encapsulates some of my irritation: I’m super highbrow and super, super sad!

Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight

Gayl Jones, Corregidora

Imre Kertesz, Kaddish for an Unborn Child

Marguerite Duras, The Lover

Merce Rodoreda, The Time of the Doves

Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero

Claire Lispector, The Passion of G.H.

Henry Tree, Party Going

Dorothy West, The Living is Easy

Gerald Murnane, The Plains

Mariama Ba, So Long a Letter

Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time

Magda Szabo, The Door

Tom McCarthy, Remainder

Jean Rhys, D.H. Lawrence, Colm Toibin, Deborah Eisenberg, Iris Murdoch, Barbara Comyns, Penelope Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Jane Bowles, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf

Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac

Louise Erdrich, LaRose

Pugwashisms

May 10, 2020

Last summer, my kids and I were lucky enough to be invited to spend a few days at a friend’s family’s summer house, on a rather magical island in the Atlantic with a long, bright beach and a weird little petting zoo and a giant pond of salty water smack dab in the middle.  The friend’s family had an excellent collection of vintage children’s books, including a few about Captain Pugwash, a rather inept pirate who gets his crew into all sorts of pickles (due to said ineptitude) and has to rely on his savvy but unacknowledged cabin boy, Tom, to save the day.  I wish I could find an image of this one page which just depicts Pugwash dreaming about having a normal life and tending to a garden, but humans are idiots and therefore most of the stuff that comes up on Google Images is related to the not nearly as charmingly illustrated film, and not the books.

Anyway, apparently Pugwash has a number of funny sayings he uses when he’s miffed, which Wikipedia has helpfully compiled.  Work this into your every day repertoire, folks.

“Dolloping doubloons/dolphins!”
“Coddling catfish!”
“Lolloping landlubbers!”
“Suffering seagulls!”
“Staggering stalactites!”
“Nautical nitwits!”
“Plundering porpoises!”
“Kipper me capstans!”
“Tottering turtles!”
“Dithering dogfish!”
“Scuttling cuttlefish!”
“Stuttering starfish!”
“Blistering barnacles!”
“Shuddering sharks!”

Keywords

March 4, 2020

related to Zadie Smith’s “The Embassy of Cambodia,” according to The New Yorker.

Africans
Badminton
Cambodia
Children
Choking
Embassies
England
Firings
Hiroshima
Khmer Rouge
London
Nannies
Passports
Rape
Rwanda
Servants
Slaves
Swimming Pools

The Playlist in Hell

February 13, 2020

I was working at a Joe & the Juice in Manhattan a few months ago, and they were playing the following songs on an interminable loop, and while I like a few of these songs on their own, by the end of a few hours I was seriously ready to die.  I think I missed a few titles but it honestly couldn’t have been more than 25 songs total.  I started to write them down for posterity’s sake, but then zoned out every so often as a means of self-preservation.

 

 
Genesis “Invisible Touch”
Chaka Khan “Ain’t Nobody Love Me Better”
Dolly Parton “9 to 5”
A horrible updated 80s version of “In the Jungle”
Fleetwood Mac “Everywhere”
Luther Vandross “Never Too Much”
The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”
Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams”
A-ha “Take on Me”
Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes”
Eric Carmen “Hungry Eyes”
The Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited”
Wham! “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
Michael Jackson “Beat It”
Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up”

Want To Read All These

December 12, 2019

Bernd Brunner (born May 27, 1964) is a writer of non-fiction and essays. His best known works are peripatetic explorations of the relationship between people and deceptively simple subjects, such as bears, the moon, and lying down.

Chapter Titles From The Favourite

January 10, 2019

 

  1.  This Mud Stinks
  2. I Do Fear Confusion and Accidents
  3. What an Outfit
  4. A Minor Hitch
  5. What if I Should Fall asleep and Slip Under
  6. Stop Infection
  7. Leave That I Like It
  8. I Dreamt I Stabbed You in the Eye