A Journal of the Irrepressible

Archive for December, 2007

“an angel floating deliciously through space” – Interview with Lucy Kavaler

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I read Mushrooms, Molds, and Miracles: The Strange Realm of Fungi, by Lucy Kavaler, which has been republished in the Authors Guild Back-in-Print series of notable books. I reviewed Mushrooms a while back, and said in part:

Originally published in 1965, Mushrooms, Molds, and Miracles stands as a landmark in popular science writing. There had been field guides to fungi before her, but Kavaler’s book may be the first to broadly and popularly survey those life forms without which Gaia would have no groove.

When originally published, Kavaler’s Mushrooms was described as “fascinating” by Time magazine in a lead review, and as “superb” by the New Haven Register.

I asked Kavaler a few questions via email, about drug plants and using the Web to once again market her book. Here is her reply; the voice of the interviewer is interpolated by Kavaler. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Brian

December 10th, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Robert Anton’s Version of “A Peaceful Solution”

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A great accapella version of Willie Nelson’s “A Peaceful Solution.”

Check out the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute.

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Written by Brian

December 5th, 2007 at 8:53 pm

Posted in film, music

I am sitting at the Village Vanguard


fiction by Sarah Hafner, from work in progress

I am sitting at the Village Vanguard, listening to Betty Carter. At my right is Topper, a man I met when I was still in high school. I am thinking about David–I always think about him, how far away he is, earning his Ph.D. at Oxford–and about my ballet class tomorrow. Lighting a cigarette, Topper puts his arms around me, making it harder for me to smoke. I am not in love with Topper, but the more I drink the easier it is to think I am. I am getting drunk, Betty isn’t that good, and I cannot have a hangover for ballet, because my sweat will reveal my hangover, and I am frightened of college. My thoughts drift back to David, and his wild proposal of marriage, which I have kept to myself. Now I have the problem that because Topper–what is his real name?–because he bought the tickets to this club, will want to have sex and I will probably go through the motions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Brian

December 4th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Posted in contributors, fiction

Collected (Overheard) Quotes


We like to eavesdrop, OK? Plus, sometimes you just can’t help overhearing.

Walking back from Mariner’s Market in Cannon Beach, Oregon; twilight; a group of Youths (oh, yes, cap-Y boys) sitting outside of the pizza place downstairs from our room. And one says,

Where are we going to find midgets at this hour? The whole day is ruined!”

Overheard while standing in line at Penguin Ed’s BBQ in Fayetteville, Arkansas:

Little boy: Mama, what’s a chicken dinner?

Mama (exasperated drawl): It’s chicken meat on a plate!”

Overheard on a Pullman Transit bus:

If wheel chairs could float I’d break both my legs.”

Bits and pieces of a rant (or maybe just an anecdote, but judging from the listeners’ expressions, I’d say more of a rant) heard at the Whoop ‘em Up Hollow Cafe in Waitsburg, Wash.

I’ll run you off this goddamn job with a goddamn ax….
Swift Tracy chased me off with an ax.
Swift is a lot more important than me. Do you understand?
And I understood my Dad.”

At L’Ecole Winery, near Walla Walla, Wash., a group of young men dressed like designers, cut in front of two lovely women (who were not dressed like designers, or even in designer clothing) to get a few drops of wine sooner rather than later:

We’ll just crowd in front of these people. They look like the salt of the earth.”

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Written by Brian

December 3rd, 2007 at 11:01 pm

Medieval Help Desk to the Rescue

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The first recorded IT professional helps a monk open a book.

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Written by Brian

December 3rd, 2007 at 10:52 pm

Posted in film