Wednesday, September 29, 2004

This woman amuses me

We had dinner at Super Salad last night. They have the little self-service, soft serve ice cream setup. One of the toppings is the usual once-frozen strawberries in the crimson juice. Jae came back to the table with a cone and all you can see are these strawberries and juice spilling over the top and down the side. She looks at me and says, "It's like a cone massacre."

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Hair and Justifications

I got my hair cut today. I always go far too long between haircuts. My hair is a little curly, and I let it get pretty out of control before going and getting it cut short again. Now some of the reasons for this are not positive. We are talking general procrastination, avoiding what I find an unpleasent experience, not wanting to spend money on hair. But there is a deeper justification. If you wait long enough between cuts, when you do get it cut, it is dramatic. Its a transformation.

For instance, I came home and was sitting across the kitchen table from Jae.* She put her head to one side and stared at me in a quizzical way. I asked her what was up. She replied, "Just trying to get used to the new Josh." See. I think that's fun.

*That kitchen table being the one that Jae built.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Why I love my wife

We were leaving for work this morning, and Jae tied a knot with one hand while precariously balancing a sheaf of papers under her other arm. When she had succeeded, she turned to me and said:

I'm a god. A small god. Only to certain insects.

Flowcharts and other selves

Have you ever been designing a flowchart and thought about how life is not binary? For every "yes," you choose, you choose a million "no's," kill a million selves. And have you ever met one of those other selves, and loved and hated them?

No, of course not, me neither.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

You stand in a puddle

You stand in a puddle, temporary mirror, and are startled by your own beauty. Birds wade by your ankles. When the wind carries away your hat, you let it go, sailing into another life.

You think of the time you lept the perilous gap, and landed perfectly balanced on the knife edge of stone, and knew that yours was the grace and the power and the glory. You craved no audience, being your own.

You remember the guru who many years ago, years like leaves in the wind, spoke of shooting himself, an arrow, into the burning heart of God, and you know he had stood in a puddle, temporary mirror, and been startled by his own beauty.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Words to Live By

I can be very serious and sometimes pretentious. I do, at least, know this about myself. As a result, I am particularly amused when some real words of wisdom pop up in unexpected places. Last night we watched some Dr. Who, and one of the charcters said something very close to:

"My grandfather used to say, `If you are bleeding, look for a person with scars.'"

I thought, wow, I'll remember that for the rest of my life. Who would have guessed?


It reminds you of the time your best friend leaned in and kissed you. Each of your limbs jumped in a different direction, like a flock of startled birds embarrased at being caught on the ground.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Hey, there. My name is Josh Gentry. This is my personal blog about me and what ever is going on in my own tiny little, self-referential world. Thanks for joining me.

I stole the title of this blog from Nick Cave's novel, but it is not to indicate any similiarity. Luckily he can't sue me, because you can't copyright titles or names. He stole it from the Bible, of course, the Book of Numbers 22:23, where Balaam does not see the angel of the Lord but his mule does. " The mediocre borrow; the brilliant steal." I thought I was stealing that from Oscar Wilde, but I just saw it attributed to T. S. Eliot.

Labels and meaning (or Soy Sauce)

Yesterday I was eating an eggroll for lunch, and for the first time realized that soy sauce is called "soy sauce" because it is made from soybeans. The name, "soy sauce", contains information, is self-descriptive. Yet, to me, it could have been "XYZ sauce". It was a label devoid of any meaning except as a cipher for "salty brown liquid I put on food."

I don't find this noteworthy because of this one incident. I have noticed it before. For example, in our yard we have flowers called morning glories. It was the second year we had these flowers that I realized that they get that name from the fact they bloom in the morning and close during the heat of the afternoon.

I'm left wondering how many other lables have meanings that I have lost through repetively using them as pointers to something.

An Ass Between Two Managers

My wife and I have a tradition of reading outloud when we go to bed. Essentially it is an adult continuation of when your parents used to read you a bedtime story when you were a child. How we got started is a story by itself that I'll relate sometime.

We are particulary fond of Ellis Peters' series of books about Brother Cadfael, a 12th century monk at the abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury, England. There are over 20 books in the series, and we have them all.

In one of the books, I forget which one, Cadfael uses a metaphor to describe the situation of one of the characters. He describes the character as "an ass between two mangers," or something very close to that. As I read it aloud, I mis-read it as "an ass between two managers." We thought it a particularly funny slip of the tongue.

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