Category Archives: Bev-Nap

Things I wish I’d said, witticisms, clever asides, often overhead in a bar where the only thing to write it down on for posterity is a bev-nap

Short Takes — London 2021

Here’s a grab bag of thoughts and images from this visit, still underway.

Hula hoop meets Shen Yun

This first one may not be too obvious, but I was struck by the juxtaposition of the chap with the Hula Hoop, on the left, opposite the poster for Shen Yun. (18-10-2021).

A spectacular shelf fungus along Regent’s Canal
Anicka Yi’s In Love With The World

Above, a look at artist Anicka Yi’s installation, In Love With The World, in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, in Southwark. These jelly fish like creations hover, rising and falling, and moving about over the crowds.

A cacophony of graffiti erupts from brick in Hill House Pergola
Mary Poppins in Leicester Square

I honestly had assumed that this was not a statue but a street performer. It’s such a classic pose for one of those fake statuary so popular around Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Imagine my surprise when I got closer and saw it was, in fact, a genuine sculpture.

The Fourth Plinth installation, Trafalgar Square
Anonymous family enjoying the merry go round on Southbank
Storefront on Ockendon Road, Islington

Making Use Of Local Artisans

Interesting review in the Shepherd Express most recent issue.  Jeff Beutner reviews INdustri Café, which besides its twee spelling indulges in a surfeit of locally produced ingredients.  In this early paragraph Beutner describes some of the local favorites for the cannibals amongst us:

The menu at INdustri Café is interesting and thoughtful. In a nod to Milwaukee, there is a liverwurst sandwich and an appetizer of kabobs made with kielbasa and white cheddar cheese. The liverwurst and sausage are made from local artisans.
INdustri Café Highlights Local Ingredients

Pawn was fortunate enough to have visited INdustri on their opening night, along with buddy T, and thoroughly enjoyed the free appetizers.  One wonders how many artisans perished for that snack.

My Ephemeral Interview

I was just walking back to the office from lunch when I saw some college age kids getting microphones and such hooked up, ahead of me on the corner.  As I approached the intersection a young man with a microphone reached it out towards me, his colleague holding up a small video camera.

“Excuse me sir, could you spare a moment for an interview?”

“About what?” I inquired.

“Ephemeral.  It’s for a class.”

“Sure.” I said.

There was a brief pause as the young man with the microphone looked at me expectantly.  A young woman in a yellow and orange striped shirt looked on, equally expectantly.  The man with the microphone had an oddly shaped head, quite asymmetrical.

“Do you know what it means?” he finally asked.

Of course I know what ephemeral means.  Right? For a moment my mind raced.  I do know what it means, don’t I? Or is it one of those words I only think I know, something I have always only defined by context?  This brief moment of confusion was put down when I confidently said, “Fleeting, not permanent.”

“Thank you,” said the microphone man, and stepped back.  I continued on my way, my ephemeral contribution to their student film now complete.

Mixed Messages

Fortune Cookie

Lunch at the Chinese buffet around the corner, seated next to two men from India and one from Australia.  They are all co-workers, just getting to know each other.  One of the Indian men has a much thinker accent and the other one seems to be trying to help him with cultural acclimation.

One thing they have in common, aside from all being Unix geeks to one degree or another, is cricket.  The bulk of their table chatter was about the superiority of one or another team or captain or manager.

At the end of the meal the waitress brings fortune cookies.  The more seasoned Indian gentleman helpfully clues the other into the old trick, “When you read your fortune cookie you have to add ‘in bed’ to the end of whatever it says.”

The Aussie pipes up,  “The Austrailian National Team will best India in their next test match…in bed!”

After a round of chuckles the younger Indian reads his, “You can make that special someone happy with a gift of flowers…in bed.”

They leave, and I read my own fortune, “Your lucky number for this week is the number five…in bed.”

London 2009 – Day 15 – Overheard

Overheard in London:

I dare anybody who is getting on the tube to talk to each other!

Man who was “in his cups” getting onto eastbound Victoria line at Kings Cross – St. Pancras station.

And then this:

It’s the first time I’ve got cast with my original accent.  I’ll have to remember how I talk!

Actor in lobby of Pleasance Theatre, North Road, wating for seating for Dying For It.


The Collaborator of Bethlehem

The Collaborator of Bethlehem The Collaborator of Bethlehem by Matt Beynon Rees

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I heard an interview with Matt Beynon Rees on NPR the other day and I am intrigued by his Palestinian detective, Omar Yussef. I like to read well written books about places I may never see. The Yacobian Building was a favorite of mine (and a fave film, too). I look forward to getting to this book and the sequels.

I have just finished the book and I must say I liked it a lot. Rees paints a lush and detailed canvas of Palestine. Bleak yet captivating. His character development is spot-on and his attention to detail is fantastic.

Matt Beynon Rees is the former Jerusalem bureau chief for Time magazine and it shows in his detailed perspective on the political realities of the Middle East. His prose range from the protean to the stunning. Here is a favorite passage of mine:

Yet the gunmen thrived, they whose accomplishments and talents were of the basest nature, they who would have been obliterated had there been law and order and honor in the town. Perhaps Bethlehem was there town after all, and it was Omar Yussef who was the outlaw interloper here, peddling contraband decency and running a clandestine trade in morality.

If you are at all interested in this part of the world, then this book should be on your list.
View all my reviews.

New Book Titles

Pawn had dinner tonight with sister HG and an unexpectedly large number of book titles were spontaneously birthed as a result.  Here are three of them (copyright © 2008, all rights reserved):

Luminary Misfits

A Nasty Tussle in June

Jesus Has Two Mommies

I won’t go into all of the back stories or plot lines of these titles.  But there you have it.

Vetting Whack-a-mole

Just read this in Gail Collin’s column over at The Gray Lady and thought it precious. In regards to the “scandal” of Jim Johnson, and the vetting of vetters:

When Johnson quit on Wednesday, the McCain headquarters issued a statement saying that the fact that he had been selected in the first place raised “serious questions about Barack Obama’s judgment.” This does not seem like a great avenue of attack for a campaign in which a large chunk of the top staff was recently dismissed for being lobbyists.

Perhaps in an attempt to differentiate the cases, the McCain spokesman said: “America can’t afford a president who flip-flops on key questions in the course of 24 hours.” Under a McCain presidency, the bleeding would presumably go on for weeks and weeks before the inevitable occurred.

Although McCain has, so far, not demonstrated that he can manage anything more challenging than a backyard barbecue, that still does not make the Johnson story look any better.
Op-Ed Columnist – Gail Collins – Barack’s Bad Day – Op-Ed –