Michael Ballack tribute jack-o-lantern

ich bin ein ballack

It took me until November 19 to get to it, and it is rather under-articulated, but I finally found literally five minutes to actualize my jack-o-lantern idea, which came the other day when I caught my recommended weekly requirement of sports bar time, watching UEFA soccer, and I noticed former German National Team captain (and Chelsea) midfielder Michael Ballack wearing a pretty scary looking facemask. Not to be too unsympathetic — but hey its quite possible that it was his great-great-great-great greatparents — his Grand Umpapa playing demo version of “Iko” with my great — you get the picture — I come from, in at least one direction, a family that were the equivalent of sharecroppers in Eastern Germany, Gros-Bieberau I think it was called, my cousin was a VP for European Business at National Semi and did some research back to 1750 or so. We could live on someone else’s land but not actually own land. We had to “apply” to be a member of the community and in fact most of the family lived outside of that designation. We were “kept” or “protected” but not actual Germans.

Anyhow my Halloween art and creativity ritual includes this crude homage to Herr Ballack.

If I get a minute i will suss the etymology of Jackolantern — I also have half a mind to reread a Washington Irving story that fits this general topic. “Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Also kind of sorta calls to mind that I talked to David Hess recently in Baltimore and am psyched to see or at least hear tidings about some huge outdoors piece he is doing there, and it gave me chance to recall and retell the story of visiting Edgar Allan Poe’s grave and placing an offering in the form of a Teddy Ruxpin pin. (LIke when I left a purple Longhair coin or maybe Satchmo at a voodoo hall in NOLA).

edit to add: I am not liking my quick take on “Jack-olantern” but will try to check it with my trusty Webster’s 9th. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving susses up, featuring a chase between Ichabod Crane and a “hessian trooper” known as The Headless Horseman, but I cannot quickly find the animated version I saw as a child that would have featured the villain launching like a Randy Big Unit fastball a flaming and presumably lethal jacko at poor Ich. We had a guy in our Dartmouth class who was called Ick. I think his real name was Jeff. (I didn’t call him Ich or Ich). Dartmouth has or had a humor magazine called the Jackolantern or the Jacko coincidentally although I never worked for it and hardly read it, although Mindy Kaling and Dr. Seuss did (not overlapping). I also need something to sort will-o-wisp from whip-poor-will, which I think Irving glosses. Glosses, susses, the SS — oy vey. There also seems, according to wiki, to be some kind of a Nathaniel Hawthorne cite re Halloween or Jacko. Anyhoo, I will perhaps get permission from my neihbor to put Michael Ballack in his lawn until he rots or is stolen. I also have a cool yellow and gold and green gourd I bought for aesthetic rather than culinary purposes from Palo Alto Saturday Farmers Market, which I guess we will eat soon enough. I also grabbed a cool leaf that I plan to reproduce with help from Accent Art inventory and labor and give to my dear old mum. I’ve done about 100 pretty crap art efforts over the past year or so, probably ringing up $500 in charges from Accent Arts, the official purveyor of Earthwise/MBW11/Plastic Alto art staples, that in addition to probably procuring 50 pieces or things, more if you count flyers I steal prematurely from polls and boards and kiosks. Way off topic. Back to football, US college variety. Why do we call it “College Football” and not “University Level Football” when the majority by far of the teams are from major Universities, outside of Ivy League. How is NCAA still “collegiate”.

Michael Ballack, 35, is wearing a carbon-reinforced mask to protect a broken nose suffered a few weeks ago in Bundesliga play for Bayen Leverkusen.

I am also drifting into someone’s posts about an Italian (Bologna) artist ericilcane I think doing versions of teddy ruxpin as medical drawings — also bleeds into street art. Save for another day.

edit to add, November 24: It took me a while to check my Webster’s Ninth, to add this minutiae:

1) jack-o’-lantern, note the apostrophe, entered the language in 1673, a lantern made of a pumpkin cut to look like a human face — but when did painted or in my case badly drawn features become en vogue? also, foolish fire, translated. —  ignis fatuus is first definition. Ignis fatuus, see also St. Elmo’s Fire, entered language in 1573, although that’s Latin. a cognate. A delusional goal or hope; a fire over a marsh; St. Elmo’s Fire entered language in 1804. Will of wisp entered language in 1608; see also whip-poor-will, whipperwill, 1709, a nocturnal goatsucker, nightjar, 1630. Caprimulgus. I still have to find the animated version of “Sleepy Hollow” that includes the jack-o’-lantern tossed as projectile…moving on to next holiday. Let’s talk turkey.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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1 Response to Michael Ballack tribute jack-o-lantern

  1. markweiss86 says:

    link to someone’s research on “talk turkey”
    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-tal1.htm
    The most prosaic answer is that the “to talk pleasantly” sense came about through the nature of family conversation around the Thanksgiving dinner table. It is also suggested that it arose because the first contacts between Native Americans and settlers often centred on the supply of wild turkeys, to the extent that Indians were said to have enquired whenever they met a colonist, “you come to talk turkey?”.
    The most complicated explanation is a story about a colonist and a native who went hunting, agreeing to share their spoils equally. At the end of the day, the bag was four crows and four turkeys. The colonist tried to partition the spoils by saying “here’s a crow for you” to the Indian, then keeping a turkey to himself, giving another crow to the Indian, and so on. At this point the Indian very reasonably protested, saying “you talk all turkey for you. Only talk crow for Indian”.

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