12 May 2010 Wed
31 May 2009 Sun
I first want to point out that there’s a reason the title of this post isn’t “Punny Business.” That reason is that it would be a dreadful title. Some people, however, have neither the restraint nor the better judgement to leave puns in their accustomed milieu: the passing comment or the punchline of a soon-forgotten joke.
As I, and no doubt countless others, have mentioned previously, puns are roundly and routinely criticized as the lowest form of humor; some even speculate that uncontrollable pun-making is a legitimate psychological condition, a disease. I hold no such vendetta with them, but caution that there is a time and a place for puns, as well as a time and a place not for puns. (more…)
26 May 2009 Tue
I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly spiritual person, but by the other side of the same token I would neither call myself overly materialistic. With this disclaimer in hand and just as quickly out of my hand, in the company of pigs in pokes and cats out of bags, I want to share a deep, dark secret with you, my devoted, beloved, Dear Reader(s).
Sometimes, in my lowest hours, I know, I just know, gripped in the surety of despair, that possessing a certain item will bring limitless joy to my poor, impoverished existence. More often than not, the item is the same thing, recurring in my visions and haunting my adumbrant days. What could this most fabulous of objects (apologies to Time Bandits) be, you ask? Some splendiferous jewel? A sportscar so sexy one needs to reenact childbirth in reverse just to get inside it? A housecat who can clean her own litterbox, run the coffee machine and make fabu martinis? No, none of those. (more…)
26 May 2009 Tue
Or, as the New Yorker editors would have it, reëngagement. I swear, that’s too stuck up even for me.
Anyway, just to liven up the rebooting of pannaceaeae, I thought I’d share some more music. This time around I’m featuring a couple of husky-voiced sirens.
22 May 2009 Fri
More like a premature autopsy.
Just wanted to inform my Dear, Faithful Reader(s) that I’ll be reanimating pannaceaeae in the next 24–36 hours. Since I don’t know what’s going to happen when I republish (undraft?) the accumulated posts en masse, the forensics lab has recommended that you unsubscribe from the blog for the time being so that your Reader or Blog Surfer (especially WordPress’ own) will not be inadvertently inundated. You may want to mumble a prayer on my behalf as well. Can’t hurt.
14 May 2009 Thu
I’ve waited long enough. It’s about time I enlightened you, Dear Reader(s), on the origin of my name. Assuming there’s more than one of you (or if, as I sometimes wonder, I only have one reader with multiple personality disorder and a bunch of fraudulent IP addresses, more than one of your identities) who’s speculated on or suspected about the subject, I will now illuminate.
Pannonica was the nickname of Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter, an expatriate of English and Hungarian descent who was a friend and patron of many New York jazz musicians from the 1950s to her death in 1988. Actually, consulting a biography I see now that Pannonica was part of her given name, which in full is Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild. ‘Nica’ was the nickname, shortened from Pannonica.
Anyway, it seems her father, Charles Rothschild of the fabulously wealthy English banking dynasty, was an amateur entomologist who for whatever reason had an abiding interest in the flora and flora of the Pannonian Plain in central Europe. On this blog’s Képtár page can be found images of some of these plants and animals– their species or subspecies name, pannonica, means “of Pannonia.” The Pannonian Plain is the basin of the Pliocene Pannonian Sea, which was a separated section of the Paratethys Sea, which was in turn a subsystem of the Alps-Himalaya geomorphological system. Sciencey digression cribbed from Wikipedia. Without consulting some sort of arcane Hungarian dictionary, I can’t tell you where Pannonia comes from. So, anyway, Chuck apparently thought it would be neat to acknowledge his passion in the naming of his daughter. His brother Victor became a baron, his nieces were granted daughter-of baron status and, just to seal the deal, Pannonica married a French diplomat named Baron Jules von Koenigswarter, making her I guess a double baroness.
Her suites, first at the Stanhope Hotel and later at the Bolivar Hotel, were the site of jam sessions and frequent visits from some of the most important jazz musicians of the era. She had particularly strong friendships with Charlie Parker (it was in her rooms that he died) and Thelonious Monk.
26 Apr 2009 Sun
I think I may be influenced by reading Tom Vanderbilt‘s interesting and informative recent book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), but I was walking around today and thought of these:
24 Apr 2009 Fri
Just about everyone has seen an oh-so-witty novelty mug or glass of this design, or some variation thereof. Yes, they’re cute, but in truth, when confronted with the concept of ‘the glass being half-full,’ I always imagine it to be either the left or the right side. Bartenders don’t appreciate this.
Even though I can’t shake the thought from my consciousness, as in so many other things (see my early post, Welcome to the Panniverse™ ) I’ve learned to cope with my irregular thought processes and more or less successfully blend into society. After a while I learned to see the ridiculousness of the Left-Right interpretation: one can simply rotate the glass so the left becomes right and vice-versa (or front and back). It’s that whole you-can’t-have-good-without-evil-they’re-both-sides-of-the-same-coin idea. Or maybe it’s a double-edged sword. I think I’m having a crisis of analogy.
Oh I don’t know, it’s all so hopeless! (No it isn’t!)
18 Apr 2009 Sat
People say I’m mysterious. Not just here in El Mundo Bloggo, but in life as well. Although I’ve never made a conscious effort it’s something I’ve been informed of for as long as I can remember. Some people tell me this admiringly, others slightly accusatorily.
In the spirit of openness, as we find ourselves in the interstice between those calendrical pillars of sharing– Tax Day and Earth Day– I’m making a limited-time* offer to you, Dear Reader(s). What do you most want to know about me? What’s been nagging you as you read my assorted ramblings and rants? Do I really have eyes of two different colors? Have I climbed that famous mountain in that far-off country? What’s “pannonica” all about? Did I once save a baby from drowning? The questions are yours to provide.**
Consider this an anti-meme, a youyou, a W.
*This offer ends 21 April 2009 whenever I damn well please.
**Questions will (or will not) be answered at the discretion of the Panniverse Conceit.™ Relatives and family members are ineligible to participate. An accompanying donation is not required for submission.
13 Apr 2009 Mon
With apologies to Emily Letilla, I’d like to caution everyone about not being fully engaged with current events. In my opinion it’s fine to be either totally ignorant or completely apprised of what’s going on in the world. It’s the middle ground, that notorious ‘little bit of knowledge’ that provides occasion for danger.