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

October 28, 2005

agita & attention deficit disorder

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:51 pm

The bad news: Today, I seem to have the attention-span of most

of my former (alleged) juvenile delinquent clients.  As a result,

I’ve labored long — way too long — and am posting late.


The good news: You get a variety of (almost) one-breath



boxer smf  Throughout my life, some of the nastiest words I’ve ever heard

were prefaced with “don’t take this personal” or “it’s only business, not

personal.”   Nonetheless, I guess I do take Prof. Bainbridge at his word

when he says, regarding the fight against the Miers’ nomination:  “For my

part, it was always business, not personal. It was a matter of principle.” 


Steve seems worried about offending his usual allies and says, “Here’s

hoping we’ll be on the same side of the next round.”   For whatever my two

cents is worth, I say:

When you get mean and nasty, or gleefully link to   penny sm penny sm 

the poison pixels of others on the Net, you are getting

personal — especially when it comes to the collateral

damage done to individuals such as Harriet Miers.  A good

rule of thumb:  Mean is personal  — even if the topic is

business (and since neo-cons hate anything in the middle,

it should be easy to avoid mean). Another good guideline: 

Would you want your ten-year-old to read what you just wrote

about another human being?                                                                               


“spiltwine”   My NYS Attorney re-registration papers arrived in the mail

today. Inside was an insert about the NY Lawyer Assistance Trust.

It’s a good reminder to all lawyers and law students that there is plenty

of help out there for those who are struggling with alcohol or substance

abuse.  The insert contains this helpful Questionnaire to help one

determine if she or he has a substance abuse problem.  It being ADD

Friday, however, I want to make a much less lofty point.  Hey, LAT, 

reword the very first question, please.  It asks:

1. Are my peers, friends or family alleging that my drinking

or drug use is interfering with my work?  [emphasis added]

Is somebody trying to sound like a lawyer?  “Allege?” Most of my “peers,

friends or family” eschew that “a”-word  when discussing my actual

or probable flaws.  When not “asking about” them, they tend to assert

or assault — they don’t worry about reasonable doubt and constitutional



tiny check Lying under oath:  I don’t know if Lewis “Scooter” Libby is guilty

as charged (although every indication seems to be that he is).  But,

I do believe that lying under oath is a very serious crime, no matter

the subject.  We can usually assume politicians will distort the truth

when it is advantageous to do so.  But, they have no leeway to do so

under oath.  Which is why I supported impeaching Bill Clinton, despite

my party and political leanings. 



alkas  The Ag-nonymous Editor of Blawg Review, wrote to me overnight,

concerned that I might not know the origin of one of my favorite words,

agitaEd sent me this link to a medical website which explains:

Agita: Heartburn, acid indigestion, an upset stomach or, by

extension, a general feeling of upset. The word is Italian-American

slang derived from the Italian “agitare” meaning “to agitate.”

That launched me on a lengthy tangent, in which I discovered a fuller 

and fun discussion of agita at The Word Detective, which includes:

You won’t find “agita” in most dictionaries, although it is a

quintessential Italian-American slang word. Strictly speaking,

“agita” is a stomach upset or heartburn. But “agita” can also

mean that special kind of existential dyspepsia of the soul you

get when absolutely everything goes wrong. Comedian Jackie

Mason has explained “agita” as “when you have been aggravated

to the point where it feels like you have a serious migraine headache

throughout your whole body.” “Agita” is thus more or less the Italian-

American equivalent of the Yiddish “tsuris” (“misery”), an equation

not lost on Woody Allen, who made a song about “agita” the center-

piece of his 1984 film “Broadway Danny Rose.”

From The Word Detective, I careened around the Web, until I found lyrics to

one of the many ditties within Broadway Danny Rose about agita.  I believe

they will help elucidate the concept:



               (by Nick Apollo Forte)


Una two!

My gumba in the banzone
When I eat, he gets a treat
Like a canzone
He enjoys every meal
Every bite that I steal

My gumba in the banzone
Za da da da da|boom cha boom cha
Za da da dum|cha boom cha boom
Some people like their pizza,|some people like-a suffrite
And others like hot pepper|on everything they eat
You’ll hunger with a vuole|to taste that baccala
Then all at once you think,|”Will I answer to gumba?”
Ba ba ba ba bum|cha cha dum
Ba ba ba ba bum|cha cha dum

My lovely, lovely woman,|I hate to see her cry
But when I start to mangia,|I get the evil eye
My vuole’s getting stronger
Ah, the hell with my gumba
Then I get it from my woman,|che da botts a na sciatta

My gumba in the banzone
When I eat, he gets a treat
Like a canzone
He enjoys every meal
Every bite that I steal

My gumba in the banzone
Za da da dum|cha boom cha boom


aspirin   The folks at Sick of Lawsuits (linked by RiskProf to Sen. John

Cornyn) say:

“Personal injury lawyer advertisements often use misleading,

inflammatory, and baseless claims to recruit plaintiffs to join

lawsuits. These deceptive claims can confuse and scare

consumers into thinking they have been harmed. This is

particularly a problem when irresponsible ads targeting

healthcare services and providers scare patients, causing

them to stop necessary treatments before consulting with

their physicians.”


“We urge the FTC to create stricter guidelines for disclosures

on personal injury lawyer advertisements.”

We’re not impressed.  Beyond the fact that it is mostly a matter for

State enforcement, the f/k/a gang is pretty sure the FTC Act already

is more than strong enough to combat actual misleading, deceptive

and baseless claims.   Like SoL, however, we do urge consumers

to talk to their doctors before stopping a medication featured in a

lawyer’s advertisement.



alkas  Speaking of agita, I just lost the text to two lengthy blurbs.

One of which invited you to enjoy a sneak preview of the Nov. 2005

edition of roadrunner haiku journal V:4.   For now, I’ll just say it has

haiku from well over a dozen excellent haiku poets (and even from  

that guy who keeps taking credit for dagosan‘s workproduct). 


Here are two one-liners from Roadrunner  V: 4 by jim kacian: 




       after the ambulance sirens still there


                                                   roadrunnerAA orig.


                                    different again tonight the same stars’ wobble





just baked my first pie –

not one poker face

in the whole darn family


                   [Oct. 28, 2005]



“tinyredcheck”  Until some publisher is smart enough to collect and publish

the work of haijin Roberta Beary, I’m gonna to encore a few of

my favorites:




autumn breeze

the new smell

of my red jacket




school photo

the frown my sister

grew into



far from home
an empty swing
half my size




“school photo” – penumbra 2004 haiku contest, hon. men]

“far from home”: (for Anita Virgil)  in Frogpond XIX:3 (1996)


                                                                                                                  swings gray


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