art vs. machine

when i have some downtime, i like to watch pool online.  (i used to like watching it on tv, but there haven’t been any matches, not even reruns.)  with the advent of youtube, you can find some truly interesting pool videos.  seems like enterprising pool fans are really tapping into what video sharing sites have to offer, and we all benefit as a whole.  (the same can be said for other sports and games too.  i got to watch fencing on youtube; who knew fencing was fun to watch?)  not only that, what were previously unavailable matches across the globe are now accessible within your fingertips.

if you can search in european languages, i’m sure you can find matches featuring various european pros not normally seen in the u.s.  i happen to like watching filipino pros at work, so i’d dig around for that.  over a lot of time and matches, the filipino style is making quite an impression on me.  when i say filipino style, i mean that fluid, relaxed stroke many filipino pros seem to possess.  this is a gross stereotype of course; not all filipino pros use that style, and a number of u.s. and european players possess that type of stroke too, but this is the easiest way to describe that particular way to play.  (yeah, this is becoming a borderline lasciviously dirty a~*-licking man-love kind of post, but that’s not my intention.)  when i watch the traditional style vs. the filipino style, it’s like watching machines vs. painters.  the styles are so different, even though they both achieve the same thing: pocketing balls with shape.

with the traditional style, these words come to mind: machines, efficiency, business-like, exact, rigid, etc.  filipino style, on the other hand, reminds me of these words: water, fluidity, relaxed poise, flow, easy grace, etc.  i enjoy watching ralf souquent as much as the next person, but there’s something about that filipino style that is pleasing to my eyes.  watching players like efren, busti, alcano, or even svb at work, makes me want to go play.  they make pool almost mystical, beckoning me want to capture their magic and see if i can make things work the way they make it work.  for example, watch this alcano video.

now compare alcano’s style with this ralf video.

the difference between souquet and alcano is drastic; both can shoot, but alcano does it with more style.

now our east coast brethren and sistren probably know all about five guys burgers.  for us in cali, however, five guys is not a phrase in our burger vocabulary.  i guess recently the company has decided to open up shop in socal.  being a burger fan, i decided to give it a crack.  i was too busy eating so i didn’t take any pictures.  instead, i’m going to steal a pic from google’s image search.  😛  image is from

the unique part about five guys is the way you order your burger.  you basically get a plain burger (cheese costs extra), then pile on whatever toppings they offer.  all the toppings are included in the price, so you don’t pay extra for the fixings, meaning you can pile that burger pretty high if you want.  one order of fries will feed at least two people, so just keep that in mind.  when the food is ready, they put everything inside a big paper bag, and you can eat there or take it to go.  the burger patty i had was very dense and meaty, designed to fill you up.  all well and good, but i thought the patty wasn’t seasoned well (or at all).  when i bit into the burger, it just tasted like meat; all the flavors came from the toppings.  the burger was a three out of five effort: not bad, but not special.  the fries though were very tasty.  it’s cut on the thick side, and cooked nicely; the outside of the fry had a leathery feel that i found appealing, and the inside was soft.  i liked the fries way better than the burger itself.  in the paradigm of socal burger joints, i’d put five guys below the counter, fatburger, & in-n-out, and above the habit.  in my opinion, five guys beat the habit on the strength of its fries alone; their burgers are about the same.

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this week, we’ll look at the origin of the phrase “gild the lily”.

the original phrase was written by shakespeare, in king john: ” . . . to gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet . . . is wasteful and ridiculous excess.”  according to the phrase finder,

The context of that speech in the play is King John’s satisfaction with his second coronation – “Here once again we sit, once again crown’d”.  His courtiers aren’t so sure, calling the crowning ‘superfluous’.  The use of Shakespeare’s text to denote unnecessary ornamentation is fairly straightforward.  After all, ‘to gild’ is to cover with a thin layer of gold, so ‘gilding refined gold’ is obviously unnecessary.  Unfortunately, remembering text from Shakespeare isn’t everyone’s forte and the quotation has become rather garbled.  As the quotation above shows, ‘gild the lily’ doesn’t appear in the original.

apparently, someone confused the phrase “to gild refined gold, to paint the lily” with “to gild the lily”, and that was that.

2 comments on “art vs. machine

  1. Does style really matter? I guess you can say that Souquet has his own style, which is stiffer and less fluid then Alcano, but it is still a style. It’s not like they are performing a ice skating routine where expression and the way they stroke their cue matters. I guess when Janet Lee plays, more guys will be watching her play in comparison to another lady player. But are they watching her play or are they watching other parts? Um…

    Food. I agree with you about 5 guys and a burger. I don’t find their burger as yummy as people make it to be. I don’t get it either. I prefer burgers from the freezer. If you haven’t tried the Bubba Black Angus, you should. They are more pricy then other freezer burger’s, but they are yummy. Top it with a lot of grilled onions and mushrooms, and you have a perfect burger for half the price of going out.

  2. style doesn’t really matter; i’m only talking about it from a visual point of view. ralf can shoot the lights off, i’m just saying that i personally prefer to watch the filipino style of stroke. nothing against ralf’s performance at all. i’ll see if i can find bubba black angus out here.

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