Friday, January 12, 2007

Some nuggets for you

  • The desert ratchets down one's expectations so low that even the humblest signal protruding from the monotonous plain is a revelation. I like it. Odd rocks, unexpected noises, even strange animal shit. One cool thing we found in a side canyon off Death Valley was a profusion of desert pumpkins. They turned out to be Coyote Gourds, and they tasted like bitter poison. Feverish Googling has revealed some desert lore: coyotes trying to wean their pups rub their nipples against the gourds; the bitterness dissuades the pups from further suckling. It must be true: after tasting the flesh of one gourd, I will never again suckle at a coyote's tit. Probably.
  • Correction: I mislabeled the mask below. It is the demon of deafness, not of parasitic diseases. This correction comes from my aunt, whose "virtuosic" performance of Vivaldi's Concerto for Bassoon in E Flat recently won acclaim. Of my lapse, she warns that "no good can come of this, I am afraid."
  • I've never really been sure what made the voyage of the Sloop John B so bad. I mean, it sounds like the worst that happened is that the cook threw away some grits and then ate up all of the corn. It's not like a giant squid attacked the boat and devoured the screaming crew or anything.
  • From the Point Reyes Light, 1/11/07, Sheriff's Calls: [MARSHALL- A resident at 11:41 am reported "a smoldering log on the beach." Deputies investigated.]
  • Also: [INVERNESS- An individual at 9:49 pm reported a "man 'masturbating' on front of employee." Deputies took a report.]