The colder it is, the less I have to say. I just want to sit in a warm room and move things around on a computer screen, the door closed, the room close and cozy, the bitter chill gnawing at the window to no avail. No, strike that; sometimes, it avails. Which no one ever says. Man, did I avail the hell out of that presentation today.

The word means to “take advantage of” or help, benefit. People might say they avail themselves of something, but never describe something successful as having worked to considerable avail. It would sound odd. But “available” we say and hear without a thought.

See? The less I have to say. But I said what I had to say on the Strib Blog, sent out alerts to the world via the new approved sources, wrote some other stuff, went home, and was there when daughter arrived back from school. On the slab over the radiator. This time she told me about Creepypasta, which is an internet term for scary stories. Curious, I googled the etymology; comes from copypasta, a term for things people copy-and-paste and send around on email. We got into a debate about whether you could see faces in your dreams you’d never seen in real life.

The internet seems quite certain that you cannot.

Which seems silly. The brain always comes up with stuff assembled from bits and pieces, and I don’t see why it can’t reconstruct faces from the jumbled Identikit of memory. But the internet is certain! Yahoo Answers says so, even if the answer concludes by saying that there’s an alternate explanation for seeing unknown faces in dreams: you’re actually in another dimension. Was this answer helpful? Y / N

There is also debate over whether dreams are really symbolic, something that was settled for me in college during a particularly difficult time of personal soul-searching and loss of direction. I dreamed I was trying to drive a car while doing a Rubik’s Cube. Did this scenario have any metaphorical applications? Y / Y

I haven’t recollected a good dream in some time, but because I am a napper, I enjoy one of the most delightful sensations you can have: the conscious awareness that one is not awake. It’s fleeting; it is characterized by mild surprise and satisfaction. It’s the oh-ho moment of your outward self realizing that the spirits and shades have the stage now, and are setting up their scenery and backdrops, getting out the box of props, cueing the orchestra. You can watch if you like, but please don’t interfere.

The most astonishing things that transpire in the human imagination are the things we’ll never know. The feats! The plots! The adventures, the perils and perfidies, the loves lost and gained. Madness strolling up and down in reason’s raiments, watching the tale unravel and cohere like a braid made of roiling liquids. Billions of stories birthed every night, all lost. The most defining characteristic of sentience may be the one to which we pay the least heed.

There’s a song about that.



Sorry for the ad, but this is the best version. Compare, if you like with tise title credit version, which has less of the intimate mystery - thanks to the overdubbed vocals and the jangly-buzz guitar:



I have no idea where that comes from. It's not the movie version. It's not on the soundtrack.

Anyway, it's odd: I was just thinking about the opening of this movie this morning, how I saw it as a kid and was horrified in way I'd never been before. That terrifying shark-like spacecraft consuming the other, clipping the umbilical cord, dooming the astronaut to the implacable ache of absolute zero. Cold beyond sensation.

I thought of that because I'd just stepped outside to pick up the dog and bring him inside. Seven below. Thought: could be worse.












Worked a little today on the remake of the Donaldson’s Department store site - as I said, I’m tearing through the Mpls redesign. The work involved is mostly minor; resize, slap the picture into the new template. But some pictures require touching up. Here is an example: an old fiche ad for the January Shoe Sale, in which the footwear sold itself and the people knew it:


The fixed-up version.



The building in the background was, of course, remodeled into something simple and blunt and hence quite modern . . .


And also not enough. But that’s another site, soon to come. Don’t go to the old one now and spoil it. Patience!

Instead, enjoy some motels. See you around the usual spaces. More tomorrow, I hope - it's a column night, and I've paying work to do. Have a grand day!










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