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

November 17, 2007

things inadvertent

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 2:03 pm

If I get wise, on our sunny mid-November Saturday, this is going to be one of those stop-n-start, serial weblog posts: a blurb or barb here and there throughout the day, or even the entire weekend. Of course, if you don’t like having to revisit, I’ll gladly refund your subscription fee. [Count me with Carolyn, who finds it hard to imagine “25 more years of weblogging.”]

typing past sunrise
he pencils in

…………. by dagosan

9 AM Monday, Installment #4: Talk about getting here inadvertently:

The least we can do now is offer some one-breath insight on having children:

Father’s Day
she tells me
I’m not the father

……………………………….. by John Stevenson – from Quiet Enough

his vomit wiped up
my bowl of wheaties
soggy now

……………………………. by Randy Brooks from School’s Out (Press Here, 1999)

sick in bed –
my son pelts the window
with snowballs

…………………………………… by Tom Clausen – from Homework (Snapshot Press 2000)

almost sunset
the weekend dad
drags a sled up the hill

………………… by dagosan – frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)

me in one hand
a belt in the other
dad sings a lullaby

……………………………..……….. by roberta beary -from Taboo Haiku

and, to our entire Quickies category, where we had discussed Feiger’s first amendment victory over the overbroad prohibition against “undignified or discourteous conduct” toward judge. We have no idea when Jeffrey became a dad, but we can preduct an interesting Terrible Two’s experience for the feisty attorney .

  • And, the querist (don’t you love that word?) hoping to learn through Google about <kinky disciplinary methods> might have wanted to send us to the corner for a time out (without a spanking, I’m sure), when he clicked on the #1 result and found our tame, almost-scholarly discussion of “bar admission and kinky discipline.”

lemon-ice stand –
the lawyer-dad looks for
a Brain Freeze Warning

…………….………………………………… by dagosan

To nobody’s surprise, and probably quite appropriately, the #1 result was about flowers.

p.s.  There’s nothing inadvertent about the timing and theme of this week’s Blawg Review #135,  Reminding us that in 1957 Pres. Eisenhower declared Nov. 18th to be Equal Opportunity Day, Prof. Jillian Dodd of the Transgender Workplace Diversity weblog, presents an impressive array of blawg resources touching on equal opportunity under law half a century later.

ooh 9 AM Sun. Installment #3:

Buxom Paralegals? Search Engine Serendipity had me thinking momentarily yesterday about well-known paralegals, which then quickly brought my alter ego etymologEsq to ponder the meaning of the word “buxom.” In the process, I came to appreciate again an upside to my deteriorating Baby Boomer memory — the joy of rediscovering, as if indeed for the first time, things that bemused or amused me earlier in my weblogging career, and then appreciating my earlier work here at f/k/a (but worrying, thanks to Carolyn Elefant’s recent discussion of Long Haul Blogging, that I might be turning into “some kind of blogging-egomaniac, forever citing my own self-created body of work.”) Here’s what happened:

  • checking the f/k/a SlimStat page yesterday afternoon, I saw that we had a visitor who was searching at Google for /famous paralegals/. The #2 result for that query was our Sept. 2005 post “too much disclosure? (erin go bra!)“, where we wondered just how much personal disclosure and décolletage was appropriate/optimal at law firm websites — inspired by the exposure given to movie-famous paralegal Erin Brokovich at her former firm Masry & Vititoe.

larger EBustovich

unaware of the thief’s
eyes, melons
cooling in water

………………………… by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

  • That reminded me to point our readers to Update: Erin Brockovich vs. Beverly Hills High School (, Nov. 15, 2007), where Walter Olson pointed out that one of Erin’s stinkier lawsuits has resulted in the rather rare payment of defendant’s legal fees by the losing plaintiffs. Walter’s remarks led NY Personal Injury lawyer Eric Turkewitz (happy 1st Blog Anniversary, Eric!) to start a Comment-section debate over whether lawyers for the plaintiff or lawyers for defendants (and contingency fee or hourly-fee lawyers) are more likely to drag out a case. As interesting as such things might be in theory or practice, I quickly realized that it simply was not my top priority for a sunny Saturday (despite how opinionated I can be about the Bar’s canonization of contingency fees and demonization of hourly billing). That is especially true, because, at my original post about Erin, I had re-discovered . . .
  • ooh The etymology of the word “buxom.” Sure, I know buxom means “Healthily plump and ample of figure” or “Full-bosomed.” But, I had forgotten that in 2005 I also knew that an archaic meaning of the word was “Lively, vivacious, and gay” and an obsolete definition had been “Obedient; yielding; pliant.” That sent me back to the Online Etymology Dictionary, which has this entry:

buxom: c.1175, buhsum “humble, obedient,” from buh- stem of O.E. bugen “to bow” + -som, for a total meaning “capable of being bent.” Meaning progressed from “compliant, obliging,” through “lively, jolly,” “healthily plump, vigorous,” to (in women, and perhaps infl. by lusty) “plump, comely” (1589).

Well, I thought, no wonder (insecure, mother-missing) men like buxom women so much!

fine print on her t-shirt –
she glares at me
for squinting

……………………….. by dagosan

femaleSym maleSym Which somehow made me momentarily remember that I was going to write this weekend about the National Association of Women Lawyers’ newest report about the income gap between male and female lawyers at the 200 largest firms. (via ABAJournal News) So, I dug up our post from January 2006, “maybe women lawyers are just wiser than the men.” And, I thought about the perils of advocacy-group statistics (especially when we’re given conclusions but not the full report), and was getting all revved up to waste a good chuck of my weekend pontificating and thinking too hard, when — thankfully — my eyes went back to the top of this post, and I decided to let Carolyn Elefant raise the issues for me in her post at Legal BlogWatch.

training bra
on the clothesline
half moon

………………… by George Swede – from Almost Unseen (Brooks Books, 2000)

Speaking of serendipity, my easily-distracted and peridementiaed brain was about to jump back on my cyber surf board in search of ever-more weblogging materials, when today’s New York Times saved me from myself (at least temporarily), by running the article “In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession” (Nov. 18, 2007). So, I’m going to take the rest of the daylight day off from f/k/a. In fact, I’m not even going to read that Web Obsession article, or find more poems to post. Have a great Sunday, and step back from that computer, please (right after you finish reading this posting, of course).

9 PM Sat., Installment #2: Kevin Colvin (orig. photo)

winter solstice
our son reads a fairy tale
to his unborn son

………………………………. by Peggy Lyles – To Hear the Rain (Brooks Books, 2002)

Knave & Fool: While I’ve been busy worrying about the ethics and mechanics of e-shaming an internet Seller who failed to deliver the goods, Kevin Colvin has achieved instant web-infamy the past few days for helping to shame himself (and get himself fired) with a picture he himself placed on his Facebook page. See “From Facebook Follies to MySpace “My Bads:” The Age of Global Viral Embarrassment” (Washington Post, by Emil Steiner, Nov. 13, 2007); and “Bank Intern Busted at Facebook” ( As EricB wrote at MetaFilter:

“Kevin Colvin e-mailed his boss to say that he’d miss work due to what colleagues took to be a ‘family emergency.’ His boss turned to Facebook and found a photo of Colvin, dressed as a fairy at a Halloween party — one which he apparently missed work to attend. The boss attached the image to his reply, copying the rest of the office as he did it.”

Kevin, who is clearly another honesty-challenged member of the Whatever Generation, has proved himself to be one of the “future-oblivious young adults” I’ve suggested needs to be hit upside the head with a copy of Dan Solove’s The Future of Reputation. But, note, Kevin didn’t get in trouble for the funny costume he wore on Halloween. When placing the photo on Facebook, he could have reasonably concluded both that his current employer would not mind and that he wouldn’t want to work for a company that would frown on such frolic. He got in trouble for trying to deceive his boss and then being stupid enough to put evidence of his deceit on the internet. I sure hope he’s not the sole support of an infirm parent or two.

It was a Google search for /dude dressed as a fairy/ that led me to Kevin’s story. While the #1 result was the MetaFilter post quoted above, #2 was our post “nice costume, dude.” So, the f/k/a Gang thanks the Inadvertent Searchee who stumbled on our little weblog while looking for Kevin and his wand.

No Costume No Treat”
goth kids
at my door

………………………………………….. dagosan – see the original haiga at MagnaPoetsJF

2 PM: installment #1:

Can you relate? Earlier this month, I enjoyed listening to an audio version of Max Byrd’s 2000 book “Grant: A Novel” (George Guidall narrator, Recorded Books, 2001). In it, American novelist, journalist, historian and academic Henry Adams is a snotty, snobby, quite unlikable figure. However, I can definitely empathize with Adams-the-writer, if one passage in the book is true. Purportedly:

In 1883, Henry Adams started making use of the new device the typewriter, by sending his handwritten drafts to be “typed”by a stenographer. According to a sympathetic observer, it was “the ruin of poor Harry,” because it allowed him to “effortlessly revise” his work. Every draft became “more complicated and convoluted than the one before” and “his style was completely changed by technology.”

Well, Hank, just try getting anything done quickly now that we “input” our drafts ourselves and can continually (and at no additional expense for materials or staff) “effortlessly revise” our work. Talk about making progress and inadvertent consequences or getting a small marginal return for great added effort self-generated agita. [Has anyone studied how many typos are created when authors or editors try rearranging sentences but leave a spare preposition or two behind or out of place?]

under the
blackest doodle
something unerasable

revising poems
a third cup of tea
from the same bag

…………………………………… by John Stevenson
“under the” – Something Unerasable (1996)
“revising poems” – “Some of the Silence” (Red Moon Press, 1999)

[more, later maybe; until then:

If you’re stuck inside and want a large does of haijin inspiration, head over to the brand new edition of the online journal/magazine Simply Haiku (Winter 2007, vol 5 no 4). It’s filled with all sort of good Japanese-style shortform poetry, including new work at the links below from the following f/k/a Honored Guests:

microphoneG Plus, there’s a very favorable review by Johnye Strickland of Roberta Beary’s book The Unworn Necklaceno es una soprisa! see our post Roberta’s gems]. After praising Roberta’s remarkable poems, Johnye tells of her talent reading haiku in public, and says “I would like to suggest that the poet and publisher consider producing a CD of her reading her own poems.” Although still a podcast pariah, I would be thrilled to feature a link to an MP3 file of Roberta reading from The Unworn Necklace here at f/k/a.

Brightest moon —
fireworks take
the place of stars

………….. by Matt Morden, original haiga in Simply Haiku (Winter 2007)

his quiet funeral —
a man who did
most of the talking

……….. by Barry George – Simply Haiku senryu page (Winter 2007)

By the Way: have you echoed yet today?



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