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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 22, 2005

everything was eliminated

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:19 pm


Having spent the morning harvesting autumnal equinox haiku, I just

can’t get into the legal punditry frame of mind this afternoon.   So,

instead, here are a few odd ends:


leaves falling  On the first day of Fall in 2003, we posted an email sent

by me to Scheherazade Fowler.  The point was how important a small

gesture or event can be in the life of a legal neophyte (whether positive

or negative).   Go tell someone what a good job he or she did today.


tiny check  Don’t you love it when one of your pet prejudices proves to be

justified?   Back on Sept. 11th, I noted my fear that Elijah Wood might

ruin the much-anticipated movie version of Jonathan Safran Foer‘s novel

Everything Is Illuminated.   So far, reviews have not been kind to Liev

Schreiber’s treatment of the heralded debut novel.  (e.g., see A.O. Scott, in

the NYT, and Jack Mathews’ treatment, in the New York Daily News, “Novel

had depth, but everything is eliminated,” Sept. 16, 2005).  It appears that

Schreiber took out much of the novel’s soul.  A large part of the problem seems

 to be putting Elijah Wood in the role of the fictional Jonathan Safran Foer. 


By clicking just a few of the reviews listed at MRQE, I found the following:

“EveryThingMovie”  “Mr. Wood, perhaps trying to suggest watchfulness

and timidity, comes off as a shy zombie.” –  A.O. Scott, NYT


“Wood’s owlish peepers, magnified behind large coke-bottle

glasses, are about all he brought to the role. Jonathan is about

the most passive protagonist you’re likely to see on the screen

for a while.” – Jack Mathews in the New York Daily News  


“Wood’s Foer is an anemic straight-man caricature (hardly the

precocious nebbish Foer suggested himself to be)” – Michael

Atkinson in the Village Voice


“Wood, whose mostly mute turn is defined by his black suit and

glasses, can only stare in stupefaction at Schreiber’s jittery mix

of broad laughs and sentiment. Audiences will share the feeling.  

Peter Travers at Rolling Stone


“With a slick helmet of hair and Harry Potter spectacles, Wood

is more alien than simply elitist New York intellectual in the role.” 

I’m sure the other reviewers were just as scathing.  In contrast to Wood’s  StageBeautyG

wooden visage, last night, I greatly enjoyed Billy Crudup’s portrayal of

Ned Kynaston in the 2004 film Stage Beauty.   And, I was a bit envious

of the power held by Rupert Everett’s hoot of a King Charles II.  As King,

Charles voided the ban on female performers on stage, and even banned

men from playing female roles.  Were I king, I would surely ban Elijah

Wood from any movie that I am ever likely to want to see (at least until

he starts acting again).  Since he hit puberty, he’s forgotten how to act. 


What else would I do if I were absolute monarch?   Ever hear of the


tiny check  Meanwhile, my Keyword Activity page made me smile last night.

Someone queried What does a judge say in court> at Google.  There were

almost 22 million in the Search.  The #1 result was our post about an allegedly

rude judge from Ohio, Common Pleas Judge Deborah P. O’Neill.  It was titled

Less surprising: There’s only one Google result for the query bocce advocate“>.

Ditto for Bocce Missionary“>.  Guess who?


“duck pond” 

the geese gang

have the most turf


[Sept. 22, 2005]  



autumn begins, haiku continue

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:36 pm

In 2005, September 22nd marks the autumnal equinox — when Fall begins

and night and day are nearly the same length.  f/k/a is celebrating by

launching an Autumnal Equinox Haiku page, with haiku and senryu from

our Honored Guests and our Editor.


Autumn Equinox
the long whistle
of a northbound train


     haiku harvest (Fall 2005)


The good folk at “Universe in Motion” have put together an interesting

page of Autumnal Equinox information and tales.  For example, they

remind us:

What’s going to happen? Not much really, so don’t wait up

until after midnight. It’s a little like an anniversary or a birthday.

While it is just a geometrical alignment, it is one that reminds

us about the passage of time, the motion of the Earth, and the

changing of the seasons. It marks the start of autumn.


What’s so special about it?   There are a few special things you

can talk about [at school]. 


As summer wears on, the nights have been growing longer and

the days shorter. On this date, the night becomes longer than

the day!  That’s just for us in the Northern Hemisphere. For our

friends in Australia [hi, Sarni!], it’s reversed. Spring has just begun

for them.

A minor point … if you look up the rising and setting time

of the Sun in the newspaper, it’ll look as if the day is still

a bit longer than the night. That’s mostly because “sunset”

and “sunrise” are defined by the top edge of the Sun, not the

middle of it, and the middle of the sun sets (rises) a few

minutes before (after) the edge does.

On this day, the Sun will begin to rise at the South Pole after six

months of darkness. It’s going to be daytime there for the next six

months!  And yes, there are scientists who are living and working

down there now! They have a party to celebrate.


On this day, the Sun rises directly in the East, and sets directly in

the West..


On this day, the Sun passes straight overhead, at the “zenith” for

people on the equator, like in Kenya or Ecuador. When the Sun

passes straight overhead, there aren’t any shadows! 


The equinoxes (there are two — the Vernal Equinox marks the first day

of spring) have a rich place in mythology and ancient traditions. Ancients

believed the gods guided the Sun across the sky, and so they paid

attention to the way that it moved. (of course, we [at least some of us]

now know that what’s really moving is us). They used a variety of tools to

watch that motion.


leaves falling  Autumn holds many treasures and pleasures.   Please take the

time to enjoy them (before Heating Degree Days and cost per therm become

part of our daily vocabulary).





Autumn Equinox
the first car
of a northbound train




fall’s first sunset —

we head due west


    dagosan  [Sept. 22, 2005]



end of summer

the rain arrives

without thunder


      Upstate Dim Sum  (2003/I)







autumn equinox

a red dragonfly

tilts its wings


    Yu Chang

          Upstate Dim Sum  (2001/I) 



p.s. Paul David Mena has captured a

traditional autumn experience at       

                                                                                                                     leaves flying



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