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

February 12, 2006

yes, prof. yabut can be quite weird

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 11:09 pm

Despite his stall-tactic promise earlier this week, it seems clear that Editor Giacalone is wimping out on his Weird-Tag duties. He was tagged by Ellen “Marie” Johns on Monday, February 6. As usual, it’s been left to yours truly, Prof. Yabut, to do the dirty work around here.

NoYabutsSN When you’ve been weird-tagged, you must do a Weird List on your website — a list of five habits you have, which you or others consider to be “weird.” You also have to name and link to five new taggees, and let them know (in comments or email) that they have been tagged. (Although some taggees pen long confessions and apologia, others — see poet Pris Campbell‘s quickie list — make them pithy as can be.)

Here are a few of my so-called weird habits:

1) Aging Up: When I wrote Aging Up: False IDs for the AARP Crowd, the idea that Baby Boomers would start wanting fake ID cards to “prove” they are older than their real age was meant to be a joke. However, it’s been at least a decade since anyone (under 80) said I looked a lot younger than my chronological age, and I miss that postiive reinforcement. So, these days, when I meet someone for the first time, I often suggest that I am already 60ish, instead of my actual 56. (This ploy has not had much success, to date, and I might start hinting that I’m 70. That should do it, for now.)

tiny check To enhance the believability of my claim, I like MagnifierWatchV

showing off my new Dakota pocketwatch, which has

a built-in magnifying glass.

2) Backseat Desire: There are quite a few foods with which I have a one-night-stand relationship: they never last overnight in my home — no matter how large their container or quantity. E.g., chocolate, peanut butter, ice cream, nuts. To remedy this problem, I have been forced to leave such non-perishable foods on the backseat (or in the trunk) of my car, in a detached garage. I then bring relatively small amounts inside with me for my snacking. (I’m proud to say that, in 2005, I only went out twice after midnight to get a second helping.)

sundaeG As for ice cream, for almost 30 years, for when I’m at home alone, I have purchased only pints (and, since eating three pints of Haagen-Daz one night in 1977, while awaiting dinner guests, I buy only one at a time). That has not prevented frequent freeze-burns on the tip of my tongue from rapid consumption. Sadly, I can no longer have peanut around at all; as a result, I often request a p&j sandwich when visiting friends around lunch time.

3) Dangerous Pizza: Virtually every time I consume a slice of “American” pizza, I get pizza burn — a blistering lesion caused when searing hot cheese meets the tender parts of your upper palate, often accompanied by a loosened piece of flesh that hangs down from the roof of your mouth. [click here for advice on kissing with pizza burn] Editor Giacalone, despite his ethnic background, has been unable to offer useful tips. (Confidentially, he has the same problem, along with his Italian Ice brain freeze issues.) It’s no wonder that real Italian pizza tends to be topped with grated cheeses, not mountains of the scalding melted stuff, like here in the USA.

tiny check Question for Walter Olson: Why don’t pizza sellers fear competition from MacDonald’s? Answer: here.


4) “Bloggie in the Window“: It’s certainly not the least bit weird, that I — like the other alter egos around here, and people of good taste in general — deplore use of the word “blog,”in the place of “weblog” or “web log.” Nonetheless, my Annoyer gene occasionally dominates my Professor and Grown-Up genes, and I find myself singing a ditty I call “Bloggie in the Window,” whenever Editor Giacalone has been spending too much time on his high horse. (haikuEsq will sometimes harmonize, using a screeching falsetto.) Coming soon: “I Fought the Blawg and the Blawg Won.”

5) Counselor-out-Law: Although I almost never tell anyone where to go, I have the uncontrollable urge to advise young (pre)adults to avoid law school at all costs. [see, e.g., 1L of a decision] This has gotten me into big trouble with many a senior-partner/suburban-soccer parent. Some of my best friends have insisted that I cease and desist (no restraining orders yet), leaving me to hand my business card to their offspring, with the URL for ethicalEsq‘s Archives.

prof yabut small You know, that’s my five, but I feel that I’ve scarcely gotten rolling. Nonetheless, I shall stifle myself, and hope that the Current Editor is duly grateful for my efforts.

Bonus: I really enjoy looking up words to see their etymology. Today, I learned that”weird” comes from the Old English word for “fate,” and was used to refer to the three Weird Sisters, the goddesses who controlled human destiny. Our meaning evolved, because the Sisters were often depicted as being odd-looking or scary.

Have you noticed how many otherwise smart and well-educated people misspell “weird”? There are over 5 million Google results for incorrect form “wierd.” They appear to be applying the “I Before E Except After C” Rule, without attending to its many corollaries and exceptions. Most of the offenders seem to be 20-something males — those young fellows who can only memorize the information needed to win at computer games. Don’t get me started.

New Taggees: Unlike certain taggers, I will not tag strangers or people I know on the web who seem, well, strange. Here are a few weblog colleagues, who I hope will not be unduly annoyed by being weird-tagged:

Caolyn Elefant of MyShingle

Martin F. Grace of RiskProf

George M. Wallace of Fool in the Forest and Declarations & Exclusions

erasingSF Walter Olson of and Point of Law [withdrawn by taggee]

erasingS Steve Bainbridge of and ProfB on Wine [withdrawn by taggee]

update (Feb. 15, 2006): New Taggees:

Steve Minor of the SW Virginia Law Blog

Nancy Stinson of Canton, Ohio’s award-winning Stark County Law Library Blog.

WOlson Taggee Reports (Feb. 15, 2006): Original Taggee Walter Olson has left a Comment pointing out that “I play the accordion and have admitted to as much on my website. I think that should count for the equivalent of five instances of weirdness all by itself.” Although I’m curious to learn a few of his other foibles, I shall accept his calculation that an accordian habit is equal to an entire Weird List. So, Walter is hereby untagged, and I’ve just tagged Steve Minor.

Steve Bainbridge of has also asked to be relieved of his duties, so I am passing the torch to the mysterious Nancy Stinson of the award-winning Stark County Law Library Blog.

p.s. At his weblog simply senryu, our in-house haiku poet, dagosan posts what often amounts to a confession of weirdness every day.



the nightingale’s song
wonderfully strange…
spring’s first dawn

the love-crazed cat
strangely on edge
wanders off


going outside
everything is strange…
first inn of the year







translated by David G. Lanoue HideGoTree

Wisteria (the Journal) is coming in April

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:35 pm

Tony A. Thompson, founder of Gin Bender Poetry Review 

and host of the Coffee.Tea.Haiku weblog, has announced

publish its first edition in April 2006.




Tony says: “Wisteria is dedicated to publishing original, English-

language, or contemporary haiku, senryu, and tanka.  The journal

will be published quarterly (January, April, July & October) begin-

ning in 2006. It will be a small sized (4 1/4 x 5 1/2), desktop pub-

lished, saddle-stapled, card stock cover magazine.”


tiny check Writers and readers of haiku, senryu and tanka can still

participate in the launching of Wisteria — click here for

information on Submissions and Subscriptions.


wisteria in bloom–
voices of pilgrims
voices of birds






land of vegetables–
a tea house with blooming





the setting place
for the spring sun…
wisteria blossoms


translated by David G. Lanoue





p.s. Tony’s new hokku enterprise reminds me of my favorite

passage about the significance of haiku.  It’s be Lee Gurga:

    “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a kind of poetry that could be

written anywhere, anytime, by anyone?  A kind of poetry that children

could enjoy yet even accomplished poets needed years to master? 

A poetry with the simple aim of making us aware of life’s simple gifts

and everyday joys?  An antidote to irony, consumerism, and narcissism? 

A kind of poetry in which the best journals invited all excellent work, no

matter who the writer knew or did not know?


    “There is: haiku is that kind of poetry.”

Lee Gurga, from Haiku: A Poet’s Guide (Modern Haiku   

Press, 2003), from the introduction, “An Invitation to Haiku.”




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