Friday, May 26I have nothing to say about this article, other than the British are apparently capable of almost infinitely stunning weirdness. (found via log.nu)
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Thursday, May 25A really interesting animated poem entitled "Miss Charlotte Brown, Librarian, Goes Mad," found on the Library Juice mailing list via librarian.net.
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Wednesday, May 24Again, Yes!"The women have this thing about suits with gold buttons." Whereas in New York, the women have this thing about brushed-aluminum nipple clips. She's right, though; DC couture is notoriously ordinary, as though they have a wedding at five, a funeral at six, and have dressed for the mean. It's because women do serious work here. New York women dress in case they will be photographed. DC women dress in case they have to testify.--from NY vs. DC also by That Lileks Guy.
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Yes!There comes a moment in every new friendship where I have to kick my new pal in the teeth. Figuratively speaking. At some point the new friend will call me Jim, and I say "actually, I go by James." I say it with a bright smile on my face, as though I'd decided to go by James just that very minute. The new friend invariably looks as though I'd just accused them of unfurling intestinal wind. They begin an apology of strenuous insincerity, all the while thinking: Oh, it's JAMES, is it? Can't be a Jim, no, it's JAMES for him. I say, old chap, roll the tea-and-crumpets cart over heah so JAMES can refresh himself.--from Jim vs. James by That Lileks Guy.
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Tuesday, May 23This is from a while ago. Eva and I were walking innocently down Market Street one evening and as we strolled past the entrance to an apartment building, we beheld this . . . dead bunny thing. It was just after Easter, so the existence of a large bunny pinata seemed reasonable. But it had been . . . defaced. Literally. And was dangling limply from the entrance gate. As we stood there in some confusion, a resident of the building arrived. Somewhat shaken by the sight, he muttered something about what a weird night it had been before entering.
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Hee hee hee. Alas, also by Ian Ton. I think it used to be called Grimly Fiendish. Do I know this person?
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Potential new .sig file (Yes, I know, I didn't change it the last time I said that. Sue me.):Alice: How'd you get her to drool like that?--from Radio Noir, by Ian Ton.
Monica: A shot of Novocaine and a Nick Cave sing-along album.
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So Salon redesigned. it's pretty, but hard to use. (It also contains a nice but shallow piece on my high school.)
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Thursday, May 18It's a beautiful beautiful week for me musically. First I find out that Fugazi will be playing a free concert in Dolores Park to support Food Not Bombs. Thus my unbroken record of never having paid to see Fugazi live will remain unbroken.
And then . . . after five years of impatiently waiting for an album that I knew was complete but unreleased . . . there's a new Shriekback album. I am blissful.
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Wednesday, May 17Didja know that John Milton didn't use the words country, church, horses, or sister very often in Paradise Lost? Didja? (For the record, he did use the words wonderous, heaven, satan, and dominations an awful lot. Read this great analysis of vocabulary words in electronic texts and find out more.
--found via caterina.net
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Wednesday, May 10Every time I forget that I have to read Sam Smith's Progressive Review site regularly, I have to kick myself. It's fun and wacky and radical--but it's also about the only place I can count on that will actually tell me what's going on in Washington D.C. Warning: much ranting on the injustice of the lack of political representation for the residents of D.C. ahead. Woo!
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Monday, May 8Saturday afternoon, May 6th. Waiting for the Oakland/Alameda ferry at the Embarcadero ferry terminal. Watching the little punk kids playing with their dog: "Eva, get skunky-squirrel! Eva, come here. Eva, give me skunky-squirrel." Skunky-squirrel was this little stuffed animal that sort of looked like a skunk and sort of looked like a squirrel. Eva the girl and I were very amused by Eva the dog and skunky-squirrel.
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Wednesday, May 3Oh hey. Very few things do I miss about Florida. Certain people (my sister, for instance). New College (sometimes). The eggs benedict at Chef Paul's (without question). But yeah, Derek, I miss driving in Florida.
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Some quick word geek links:
The Slot, by copy editor Bill Walsh of he Washington Post. Good tips on everything copy and edit, with a book coming out soon.
Word Police. From the Atlantic, for those of us who can't resist correcting the rest, a way to do so formally.
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Tuesday, May 2A few weeks ago, one of the finest establishments in San Francisco closed it's doors. The Chathouse, on 8th street between Market and Howard, was a place that made me feel immediately welcome in the neighborhood when I moved here two and a half years ago. It was funky, cozy, served good food, had interesting (and sometimes brilliant) art on its walls, and had yummy breakfast muffins.
Sometimes, the hard thing when you move to a new city is finding regular things to do. You spend all day exploring the city (or looking for a job) and it's great, but you're exhausted. You need some comfortable habits, reliable ways of getting out of the house that don't depend too much on other people, because you don't really know anyone yet. I went to the Chathouse on Thursdays for Xena Night. No, really. Every Thursday night for the longest time, I would show up and get dinner (portobello mushroom sandwich) and watch the latest episode of Xena the Warrior Princess with a dozen or so other fans. Mostly women, of course, but then the Chathouse was pretty women-centric. It was great--everybody would laugh and cheer and snort whenever Xena won a fight or there was some particularly juicy innuendo between Xena and Gabrielle.
When friends and family visited me from out of town, I inevitably dragged them there for brunch as part of the showing-off of 'my' city. When Eva moved out and we were both temping downtown, we tried to eat those yummy muffins for breakfast as often as we could. The Chathouse has been a constant in my life in San Francisco, and I'll miss the place a lot. Cate and Mo, good luck with whatever you choose to do next, your place made me and a whole bunch of other people really happy over the years. Thank you.
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New .sig file:I: Ah. Well, if hip is passť, then what is In?From Sean Stewart's Proposed Sound Bites for the Next Wave.
A: (solemnly) Radical Earnestness.
I: Are you joking?
A: Yes. But very, very seriously.
As an aside, I actually think we're well into the New Earnestness. (Although I don't think that Felicity is the vanguard here.) Science fiction and fantasy are probably going to be much better vehicles for this than they were for irony, and Sean's a good example. It's that "sensitive character-driven" thing you do, Sean.*
*Note: Sean told his audience at a recent reading that, because he was so irritated at reviews that called his writing sensitive and character-driven, he was going to read us a really grotesque selection from Galveston involving post-apocalyptic Texan cannibals. Thing is, it was still pretty much sensitive and character-driven.
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It looks like some fine individual has found what looks to be the first photograph of the adult Emily Dickinson. Woo!
All I can say is:
Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur, -- you're straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.
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