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Archive for the ‘Ten Page News’ Category

Athaliah Pierces Her Nose (1997)

Posted by vlorbik on August 20, 2013

Athalia and her mother were on their roof being served breakfast. Though the day was not yet hot, they sat in the shade of a brightly colored canopy. The whole city of Samaria lay spread out beneath them like a map: the old market to the south, the new temple to the north, the watchmen patrolling the wall around it all.

Athalia dripped some honey onto half a roll of bread thoughtfully, pretending to listen. Despite the effort she had been devoting to wearing her mother down, she was apprehensive. How much would it hurt? Hava had said hers didn’t hurt at all. “You can feel the needle sliding through, but it’s not painful.” Lili had her doubts. Hava obviously had different notions of what was or wasn’t painful since she was subject to the occasional beating. Lili herself hadn’t even been spanked since she was a little girl.

“It really shouldn’t matter what your playmates do, Lili. It’s not for the royal family to follow fashions. The people should follow us. When I was a girl back in Sidon… ”

“Oh, but Mother! You’re so pretty! Of course they all wanted to look like you! And I’m so ordinary! It’s just a nose-ring! Everybody’s wearing them! I am twelve years old, after all!”

“But, Lili, you’re not at all ordinary. You’re beautiful.”

Athalia winced as if in pain and said nothing. She was somewhat plain. Maybe her mother really couldn’t see it. She had her father’s stern, square lips and jawline. Her eyes were narrow like her mother’s, but somehow on her face they looked sinister rather than exotic. Her nose really was her best feature. She had seen the way the boys (and lately, many of the men, too) looked at Hava. It wasn’t fair. Hava was only a slave, after all.

Jezebel, taken in, thought Athalia might be about to cry. “Well, look. The priests of Jah would never let us forget it. Why beg for trouble? Your father… ”

“Everything’s always priests and politics with you! Anyway, you said the people should follow us!”

“Don’t interrupt. Your father has been trying for years to form an alliance with the Judeans. That’s what he went to Jerusalem for. And the Jahvist priests practically run the country up there.”

And so on. She could be so tiresome. What did Lili care about Jah or Judah? Her father would get his way like he always did. Nobody ever thought about her or what she wanted. Though, to be perfectly honest about it, it wasn’t exactly clear what she wanted. It wasn’t as if there were any boys she even liked. Still, she certainly wanted to be attractive. Never mind why.

“Who cares what the Jahvists think? They don’t run things around here!”—an appeal to her mother’s vanity; Athalia knew that the priests blamed Jezebel for the growing popularity of the rival cult of Baal. And a bribe: “I’ll go to temple services! Whenever you want!”

“Oh, all right… ”

So Belit, the Queen’s own beautician, came to Athalia’s rooms the next day. Belit herself was not at all beautiful, and her elaborately arranged hair, her heavy eye-shadow, and the face powder she wore at all hours of the day and night did nothing to make her more so. Years ago, as a little girl, Athalia had admired her figure, but now she had grown overweight. Her dress had obviously been tailored to show off her horrible huge breasts.
“So your majesty wishes to be pierced.”

“Please! Belit! Call me Lili like you always used to.”

“But your majesty is now a young woman.”

She certainly didn’t feel like a young woman. She hadn’t even had her first period yet. And as for sex… well, she knew about it, of course: apparently people did it just like dogs or horses. The whole thing mildly disgusted her. And then screaming for hours in agony with a baby. Baal. Which was not to say that she didn’t get a mysterious thrill looking at the muscular legs of some of the soldiers in her father’s bodyguard.

“Well, how do we do this?”

“Sit down over here.” At her dressing table. Belit put a small washbasin between Lili and her small mirror of polished silver. “Have some wine.”

So it was going to hurt. Well, it was too late to back out now. She’d boasted to Hava that she would do it. There was also her mother to consider. She’d get even with Hava somehow.

Belit held the needle over the basin, poured some wine over it, and chanted some ancient prayers. “Hold this rag right here”—over her mouth—”and don’t move.”

It hurt quite a lot. There was a curious sliding sensation between the two layers of skin; the actual pain was only skin deep. Athalia clenched her teeth and tried not to cry.

The pain lasted only a few seconds, and the beautiful little gold ring looked quite striking. But it was still itching three days later when her father, Ahab, the King, returned from Judah. The terms of his new treaty were announced at a state dinner that night. Athalia was engaged to be married.

Posted in 90s, Religion, Ten Page News | Leave a Comment »

Clerihews for Athaliah (crosspost)

Posted by vlorbik on August 19, 2013

King Hazael
Was simply vile.
He got everything he had
By murdering Ben-hadad.

The prophet Micaiah
Was a great soothsayer.
All of the others had a lying spirit.
But Ahab didn’t want to hear it.

Was a yahoo.
What he did to those priests
Shouldn’t happen to beasts.

King Ahaziah
Was certainly no messiah.
He fell through a lattice. Splat!
He never recovered. That is that.

Elijah the Tishbite
Knew where the fish bite.
He was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire
Or Second Kings 2 was written by a liar.

(also found here
but i’ve lost control of that site.
originally published ~1997 in the
_ten_page_news_. long live print.
death to the net and that right early.)

Posted in Religion, Ten Page News, Verse | Leave a Comment »

all knowledge is found in fanzines

Posted by vlorbik on January 16, 2013

Connie’s Vietnamese Salad (1997)
(Serves 4)

1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
{1\over4} cup fresh lime juice (the juice of one lime)
2 cloves garlic, diced very fine, or smashed in a garlic press
{1\over2} cup sugar
3\over4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce
In a small bowl combine all of the above ingredients, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
The juice of one lime
1 head leaf lettuce, cleaned and cut into 1″ pieces
32 fresh coriander leaves, cleaned

3 1\over2 oz. dry rice stick noodles (Maifun)
2 Tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 medium cucumber, sliced
2 cups mung bean sprouts

1. Rub the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and squeeze the lime juice over them. Broil until done. Slice into thin pieces.
2. Soak the rice stick noodles in hot water for 10 minutes, drain. Cut noodles into smaller pieces, cook in boiling water for 2–3 minutes. Drain, and run under cold water, separating the noodles with your fingers.
3. Place the lettuce and coriander leaves in large individual bowls, toss them together. Arrange a layer of sliced cucumber and mung bean sprouts on top, followed by a layer of rice stick noodles (should be at least a cup of noodles per bowl). Arrange the sliced chicken on top of the noodles, fanning it out. Finish by sprinkling the top with grated carrot and chopped peanuts.
4. Serve with sauce on side, letting each person dress their own salad.

(Originally printed in The Ten Page News #13.)

Posted in 90s, Recipes, Ten Page News | 1 Comment »

spicerack closeup

Posted by vlorbik on January 14, 2013

shelves you can look and reach into
are *much* more useful than cabinets
with doors on them. i’ve known this
since long before i ever started
*cooking* regularly at home, too:
against kitchen cabinets was originally
printed in the ten page news #8
(may, 1997).

the spices went in here right away
when i took off the doors on *these*
kitchen cabinets (march, 2010).
i have no record… or much of an idea…
of when i put the pictures in. i *think*
this was from the *second* round of
pictures-of-food. anyhow, there are
other, bigger, ones on other surfaces
in this kitchen. one of my better
decorating ideas, too.

(madeline’s got *lots* of great pictures
of food. cook’s country magazine
in particular is a great source. no ads.
how do they do it?)

anyhow. of the spices themselves i know
but little. probably most of these,
i’ve never used. the pepper grinder and
salt shaker get a lot of use. next up
would probably be the premixed “greek”
seasoning i mentioned in my recent
scramble-fried eggs recipe. there’s also
an “italian” shaker i’ve used a few times.
hell, i admit it. one of my best *burger*
tricks is that powdered taco mix they sell
little envelopes of at the grocery.
the meatloaf ones’re pretty good too.
i haven’t got any of that on the shelf
just now, though.

the first time i ever used thyme
(at home; there’s no telling anymore
what i’ve done in various workplaces)
was in making those very same eggs
last week. and i’ve been… slowly…
enlarging my spice repertoire over
the past few months.

some of this stuff is real old and should
probably be replaced. at the other extreme,
last summer madeline *grew* some herbs.
but only, like, four kinds, in a tiny little
patch fitting in one pot. this year,
very likely, she’ll do more “herb garden”
stuff. and more power to her. just so
we still get lots of tomatoes. those
homegrown tomatoes just beat the store-
-bought in every way.

Posted in DAADD, Photo, Ten Page News | Leave a Comment »

daadd vi

Posted by vlorbik on March 31, 2010

cf. iv.i or for that matter, the whole file.

today i took off four doors…
“deconstruction” if you will.
also i uploaded an old one-pager:
against kitchen cabinets.
the wheels turn slow but grind exceeding small.

Posted in DAADD, Ten Page News | 3 Comments »

Why I Teach Such Good Classes (2003)

Posted by vlorbik on November 10, 2009

Right. Here’s some old paperwork, alpha-tized as usual; do please maintain the order as it circulates so everybody can find their own work. Exam 1 is a week from tomorrow; Friday the I don’t know what—28th, thanks. Chapter 6 and the first part of 7; I’ll be more precise by about Wednesday or so.

Okay, check it out. Apparently there’s been some dissention in the ranks and somebody’s gone over my head to the chair to complain about how how things’re going in here. Obviously, I’d rather talk about mathematics than, whatever, classroom management—and we’ll get back to that real soon—but I guess I’d better say a little bit about this business.

So. If I was to stand up here every day with a perfectly prepared lecture and write out a crystal-clear set of notes, and if you were to all copy it all out into your notebooks… then I claim that would be pretty much a waste of time: you might just as well be watching TV.

Obviously a lot of teachers do work this way: “I talk, you listen”… and there must be a few students that it works real well for. But, doggone it, if it worked for anything like a majority, then you’d mostly know this stuff already and we’d be here talking about Algebraic Number Theory or something.

The best thing I can do every day, as far as I can tell, is maybe talk about some new trick, maybe something about common mistakes in recent work, maybe look at a few questions as usual… but then, and this is where I get a chance to really do something right: ask some question that about half of you will have some pretty good idea how to begin to answer.

Now, I’ve tried to be that guy that dresses up nice and dots all the tees and crosses all the eyes and always has beautiful slides for the overhead and ends 30 seconds before the bell. But I gave up trying a long time ago: I am not that guy. A really good day for me—and we’ve had a few—is when I’m moving around the room troubleshooting and I can overhear a whole bunch of different conversations about the Problem Of The Day. Then I know I’ve asked the right question… and, for me, that’s the most important skill I’ve learned over my, whatever, n years as a teacher. Try to have some faith: I might know what I’m doing.

OK. Yesterday we were looking at rational functions…

(crossposted; the n-page news
gets “finished work” like this
old ten page news piece
and song lyrics and such.)

Posted in Math/Ed/Math Ed, Ten Page News | 4 Comments »

concerning that of which we cannot speak

Posted by vlorbik on August 27, 2009

so. i’m recently becoming
more vividly aware of my distaste
for the analytic method.

my reaction against the doctrine of
as promulgated by pop psychology?
now understood by me to be
closely related to my
reaction to, well, the whole notion
of a musical “score”…
the math-anxiety-for-music thing
i noted in the first post
of my last personal blog.
it’s *also* related to the
“tricks for getting along with people
become evil when studied for the purpose
of *selling* the poor bastards some
crap they’d be better off never having
heard of at all” vibe i noted, for example,
in a piece in my zine
over ten years ago.

in a word, it’s the classic
analytic/romantic split
at the heart of _zamm_.

and one would do much better to go off
and reread that masterpiece than to
continue with *these* ill-formed
gropings in the dark. so i’ll just remark
that in *one* thing, i’ll have passed
the master. phaedrus is obsessed
in _zamm_ with what he comes to call
“the metaphysics of quality”…
where “quality” is the great undefined
source-of-all that he navelgazingly
tumbles into in a horrifying

but, hell. *i* know about quality.
quality comes from *caring*.

and that’s a beautiful thing.
or had *better* be; i’m pretty convinced
that this is as good as it’s gonna get.

the *sad* thing is that
caring comes from pain.

this is why “passion” means “suffering”…

Posted in Rambles, Ten Page News | 1 Comment »

Withdrawal Symptoms

Posted by vlorbik on July 31, 2009

Sorry for the disappearing act. Once I’d shut down MadPOV and th’ AcLump, and lost the lease on vlorbik-dot-com and my account with my former employer and whatnot I experienced one of my manymany to-hell-with-it moments, never more common than when there’s a computer in the picture. OK, a computer or a telephone.

There’s also an “I don’t know who I even am anymore” thing going on and pretty doggone fiercely if I’m any judge. This probably won’t surprise my three or four remaining loyal readers much since I haven’t vanished altogether from the interwebs. For that matter, constant personal emotional meltdown crises are, like, my stock in trade.

Anyhow, one of the things I’m sure I am is the guy who used to do VME. Also I wrote up some lecture notes once in the form of Textbook Chapters (and flogged ’em halfheartedly until my tenuretrack dream turned to concentrated horsepiss). Also I’ve demonstrated anyhow a dilettante’s devotion to self-publishing: GLOAT magazine (1969), STOP and The Ten Page News (early 70’s), The Ten Page News and Indy Unleashed (late 90’s & early 00’s). To say nothing of VME and the other blogs (IU was a zine review zine so I was here trying to survey a certain selfpublishing subculture [just as I was doing with VME not that anybody seems to have noticed]).

So like I said elsewhere recently, I should be doing a book not a blog. What I didn’t say there, but what seems almost as obvious, I should then print up a couple hundred of ’em at my own expense and spread ’em around. We’ll cross that bridge if we can’t get out of it. Meanwhile, I’m back. Sort of. Maybe.

Posted in Book, Me Me Me, Ten Page News, Zines | 7 Comments »