February 2003 Archives

On The Profound Unfairness of Life

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So would somebody explain to me why I never end up at parties like this?

(I will admit that this sort of thing is usually the other Paul's bailiwick (whom, incidentally, is celebrating his 30th birthday today), but hey, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do...)

Sometimes, the jokes write themselves

In elections in the Indian state of Meghalaya, candidates include Churchill, Ulysses, Tony Curtis, and, yes, Frankenstein.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Pitchaya has excerpts from a confession allegedly written by one of Saddam Hussein's doubles.

Won't You Be My Neighbor?


MrRogers.gifMr. Rogers passes away at 74.

Who doesn't remember the little trolley, the cardigan sweater, and the simple optimism of the man?

Well, since Mr. Rogers was an ordained minister, one hopes that he's now in a better neighborhood.



Does anyone know what happened to John Hiler? Microcontent News hasn't been updated since December 22...

The Price Is Right

Dear Noted Relationship Expert,

What is it with men? Every time I get involved with a guy, it's just seems that all they're really interested in is the sex. I mean, I like sex too, but I want something more. I want a deeper relationship, something more, I guess, meaningful. It's like they're not interested in me unless I'm on my back (or knees, or ...). I want them to love me, not just to screw me. So tell me: will I ever find true love?


Lost and Looking

Dear Lost and Looking,

Try dating guys who aren't jerks.


The Noted Relationship Expert

Out, Damned Boycott


While everyone seems to be boycotting French wine and cheeses (something I have absolutely no problem with whatsoever, 'cause that means that there's more for me), no one seems to have noticed that we're buying up lots of Iraqi oil.

Hmm. French wine. Iraqi oil.

Remind me again whom we're supposed to be invading?

From the damn foreigner.

For Manly Men


Tired of those lightweight quizzes that keep popping up on the web? Well, try this insanely difficult vocabulary test instead.

I got 164 (82%).

(via BaruzAllan, who managed to get 180 somehow).

Pack Up The Truck


The Fish has moved.

Nice new (very) pink design, too, if I say so myself.

Attention, Please

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Those interested in modern American art songs should go hear soprano Karen Frankenstein (and a bunch of other people) in Joy in Singing's annual Composers' Concert on February 22 (which would be tomorrow).

The concert will feature the songs of Leslie Adams and Arthur Farwell, and will be held at 3:00 p.m. at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in the Library and Museum of the Performing Arts, 111 Amsterdam Avenue (at 65th Street).

And the best part is that it's free.

On Failing To Communicate


First, follow this link and read the comments (you might want to make a note of the date of the comment).

Then scroll up and read the actual content of the post.

Am I missing something here?

Williamsburg, That Is


Dial "F" For Fear

The Randomness of IM


"And what courses does one take to design frantic midnight bathroom sex?"

It Was Snowing So Hard...

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...that there was snow in the subway.


The 1&9 stop at 86th and Broadway.

You've heard the song...

...now see the video, as Bombadil and MC Quickbeam throw it down straight from Fangorn Forest (though it does bear a certain resembalance to Central Park).

It Was Better Than Cats

"The biggest revolution in air travel since the invention of the single serving liquor bottle": on-board broadband.

All Shiny And New


Well, MovableType 2.6.2 seems to be ok (MT 2.6.2 should not be confused with an ME-262).

Biggest immediate change is that you can now put some limited HTML in your comments.

Lemme know how it works.

On Why We Blog

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The Reverse Cowgirl's photos from the Live from the Blogosphere event in LA (where it looks to be much less snowy than it is here in New York).

Scroll down to the very very bottom and read the caption.

Incidentally, I like the word "blogerati".

White Lines

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Um, if anyone's interested, I've got a big ole pot of soup and a roast chicken over here.*

*offer only valid for people who actually know where I live.

Boy, that's delicious soup.

You've Got Blog!

My friend Jennifer Crowe now has a blog.

Go check it out.

Oh, and if you're the soul-sucking, sub-human, Sauron-serving piece of protoplasmic slime who stole her purse last week, she wants it back. The whole thing, including the iPod.

You Pervy Little Panda-Fancier

M33 T00!

So, like everyone's talking about Google buying Pyra, the makers of Blogger.

I don't actually have anything to add to the conversation.

I just thought that it would be a good time to introduce the word "Bloogle" (bl-OOgle) into the lexicon.

Or maybe it should be "Glogger"? No, that sounds like someone who partakes of too much scandinavian mulled wine. Which reminds me -- does anyone want to go to a furniture store and try to pull blondes?

It's really cold outside

Pictures from the demo:

Here's a short movie of part of the protest (taken in the same place as some of the pictures). It's 7.1 MB in size. You'll need Quicktime to view it.

Thank God For The First Amendment

A Blogger's Work Is Never Done

You know, it's 5:46 in the morning here, and I just can't think of anything clever and curmudgeonly to say.

Drink Beer Polka

Well, it was a pretty uneventful St. Valentine's Day.

Except for when I set my jacket on fire.

Fortunately I wasn't wearing it at the time.

Why Are You Reading This?


It's after six p.m. on Valentine's Day. You should be

  1. Getting ready to go out with your one true love
  2. Checking your bank balance to make sure that you can pay for dinner with your one true love
  3. Screaming at the florist for having misdelivered flowers that were intended for your one true love
  4. Screaming at your one true love
  5. Panicking because you lost the stinking three-months-of-salary rock you were going to give your one true love
  6. Well on your way to getting stinking drunk
  7. Any combination of the above

Whatever you should be doing, you shouldn't be reading someone else's blog.

And If That Wasn't Enough

If the entry below isn't depressing enough, you might want to check out these Valentine's Day Cards: My Creepy Valentine and Happy Tree Friends Smoochies.

Via Davezilla and little.red.boat.


On The Darkside

Does anyone wonder why we fell compelled to celebrate love (well, aside from the millions of marketing dollars from Hallmark)?

Here's something I wrote a few years ago (summer of 1999, to be precise, back when I had a frickin' job) about the flipside.

The world is lonely.

11:08 on a Tuesday night and I've finally made it home.

Things like this happen when you work a 13-hour day.

First the left shoe.

No, actually, first the air conditioning. Then the left shoe.

I guess it's time now to work on the right shoe.


The world is a lonely place tonight.

Two of the people closest to me have just broken up with their respective
Others; and meanwhile, on the other side of the world, an old obsession is
making noises that a lonely man could easily interpret as come-hither sounds.

I wonder if I should respond, knowing full well that I will, and knowing
full well that when she fails to respond yet again, I will lose yet another
small part of my soul.

Now time to take off the socks.

Russians have always been good at apocalyptic music; I suspect that the
soundtrack for Armageddon will be Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor, Op. 3
No. 2.

But I doubt that the end of the world will find the world lonely (unless,
of course, it happens so fast that no one notices).

Tonight, though, is not the end of the world.

The soundtrack for tonight is something elegant, spacious, peaceful. Brian
Eno's Music for Airports, overlaid by the low-frequency buzz and the
occasional rattle of the air conditioner.

This is music to be alone by. Being in an airport is one of the classic
cases of profound solitude in the most unlikely of places. Airports are
temples to transportation -- the soaring spaces of the Delta Terminal at
JFK; the futuristic deconstruction of Charles de Gaulle; the cavernous
vault of Hong Kong International. There is no inherent form in the function
of an airport; they are constructed as monuments, as edifices to the
movement of people.

Railroad stations used to be like this -- the late, lamented Penn Station;
Union Station in DC. The train station in St. Louis is a mere railroad
siding; the great hulk of the old station has been transformed into a mall.
The French converted an old train station into one of the most stunning
museums you'll ever see.

But in an airport, one can be so fundamentally isolated whilst stuck in the
middle of bustling crowds.

Tonight, I think, is a night to be alone.

Marx believed that man was fundamentally a social creature; Emerson
preached self-reliance. Simon & Garfunkel proclaimed "I am a rock"; yet no
man is an island unto himself.

The truth, I fear, lies somewhere in that murky gray area betwixt the two.

There seems to be some perverse correlation between the density of a
population and the feeling of enforced isolation. There are a million
stories in the naked city, and they're all about loneliness in the packed
splendor of civilization.

Many of the agonies that we inflict upon ourselves are done so in the
pursuit of companionship. Perhaps it is fitting that we best lick these
wounds in the privacy of our own skulls.

It's 11:52. Time for bed.

The world is packed full with the lonely.

Even More Uncataloged Shit


Because it's better than doing it in a thousand freakin' little entries:

Fish In A Barrel


Three quick ones:

On Scooping Nano-content

Today, Gawker features Meg Pickard's Anti-Valentines.

Astute readers of this site will remember that I wrote about them a week ago.

Maybe someone needs to be paying more attention...

The African Savannah

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There's a new version of Safari out now.

They've fixed the font size issue on my blog (just as I was getting used to the tiny type); now all they need to do is honor font-variant: small-caps (well, fixing the MT bookmarklet bug would also be nice) and we're in gravy...

Phrase of The Day


Is "useless hipsterism" a tautology? (from an email I just wrote regarding a comment to this site)

Discuss in the comments section.

500 Entries Already! Who Woulda Thunk It!


Dear Noted Relationship Expert:

I am recently single after an intense relationship, and am dipping my toes back into the dating pool. It's been slow going so far, I have to admit. One thing does bug me: how much do you put out on the first date?

Signed, First-Time Caller

Dear First-Time Caller,

That's a good question. I think that it would be inappropriate for me to draw conclusions from my own field research, seeing as it is both incomplete and possibly skewed (I don't think that having your dates run screaming into the night is the expected outcome).

So I instead turned to the place where first dates are put under a microscope for everyone's amusement and voyeuristic pleasure: Blind Date.

That's right: the self-same show that everyone watches but no-one admits to it, the guilty pleasure that everyone has a story about even though no-one watches, complete with the world's smarmiest man, Roger Lodge.

After having programmed my VCR (if anyone want to donate a TiVo to a worthy cause, let me know) to the to tape every episode of Blind Date over a three-week period, I (fortified with three cases of Mountain Dew, more microwave popcorn than Orville Redenbacher can shake his stick at, a yellow miner's helmet (I don't know, it just seemed like a good idea at the time) and a telephone (to call for help if I needed to)) sat down to watch approximately 15 hours of cheap and voyeuristic "reality" television. Ah, were wilderness paradise enow.

(I put the word "reality" in quotes because, let's face it, how long are these dates? First they go mini golfing. Then they go to karate dojo. Then they get into a hot tub. Then they have cocktails. Then they have dinner. Then they go dancing. Then they get in a different hot tub. I dunno, that must be something like six, seven hours? I mean, me, personally, the current over/under line is 21 minutes (no, wait, AC just called and it's now up to 21 1/2), but that's another story.

So there I sat for 15 hours, watching endless interchangeable couples go out, go hottubbing, go salsa dancing, yadda yadda yadda. Everyone on that show is young, attractive, and as thick as a brick (oh, Aqualung, I'm sitting on a park bench). Do they give prospective Blind Daters the Stanford-Binet, and then eliminate everyone who scores in triple-digits? Let me tell you, I'd rather be strapped to a chair and forced to listen to the entire Ring Cycle conducted by a narcoleptic Parkinson's patient while machines drop eye-drops into my eyes than do that again. At the end of the ordeal (for that is what it was), I felt like I'd been force-fed Network 23's Rebus tape over and over and over again.

At the end of it all, seventy cans of Mountain Dew lay piled on the floor, mixed with the greasy, salty, tattered remains of innumerable microwave popcorn bags (I'm never, ever, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, even looking at Orville Redenbacher's Microwave Popping Corn Movie Theater Butter ever again, even if I end up stranded on a desert island, equipped only with a microwave oven and a container-full of the stuff), and a telephone with the Bellevue mental health hotline on permanent redial. It's gonna take me weeks to get the stains out of the carpet. There's a joke about kidneys in here somewhere, but I think that I'm going to let it slide for now.

Well, anyway, now that Roger Lodge no longer haunts my nightmares (thanks, Dr. Sacks!), I can give you a full report.

Roughly 40% of the dates were disasters. Now, I'll admit that I didn't anyone sprinting away into the gloaming, but when "Bob," trying to be all sensitive and shit, tells his date that he really likes the work of Emily Dickinson (putting heavy emphasis on the first syllable of the poet's last name) and "Carol" says "Oh, I never really liked hip-hop anyway", it's not a good sign. Or when "Liz" tells "Dickie" that he never could satisfy her and he responds by calling her a fat, aging, over-sexed cow... oh, wait, that's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Usually, the disaster dates are the most fun to watch, as one party (usually the guy, for some reason) makes blunder upon blunder, utterly oblivious to the increasing discomfort (or drunkness) of the other party. There are insensitive jokes ("Did you hear the one about the guy with Parkinson's?" "My dad has Parkinson's."), bad dining choices ("So I thought we'd try this steakhouse." "I don't eat meat."), and poorly-though-out attempts to get grabby ("C'mon. Just one kiss." "If your tongue gets anywhere close to mine, I'm biting it off."). These are train-wreck dates, disasters on biblical scales, so horrifically bad that you have no choice but to watch. Disaster dates often (but not always) end up with one party thinking that they got somewhere and the other calling the phone company to change their number.

About 20% of the dates are strained, but not entirely horrible. There's polite chit-chat ("So, you're a lawyer? What kind? I work with them a lot, 'cause I'm a cop." "Um, I do criminal defense."), vaguely shared interests ("I was training for the US swimming nationals but then I got injured." "Oh, really? I dug swimming pools one summer during high school."), and a complete and utter lack of any chemistry at all whatsoever. These aren't so much fun to watch, 'cause usually the unfortunate participants actually seem like semi-decent people who are trying really really hard (after all, this is their big "Hi Mom" TV moment) but who just can't put it together. The uncomfortable silences grow longer and longer and longer, punctuated with brief, banal exchanges about the weather and the Lakers. These usually end with the daters wandering down the street saying things like "Well, s/he's really nice, but I didn't really feel anything there."

Another 30% of the dates are also kinda of strained, but less so than above. There's actually some kind of commonality ("Like, my favorite poet, is, like Emily Dickinson." "She's the one who wrote about death all the time, right? I wrote a paper about her once!"), fewer conversational gaffes ("So, I was going to tell this joke about Parkinson's, but then I thought, like, it might be tasteless." "That's OK, I like tasteless jokes."), and even occasionally a spark or two ("What's your hand doing?" "Sitting on your knee." "Save it for later, flyboy."). These usually end by having the couple saying that "Gee, s/he's fun, and I think that I'd like to see them again."

And that leaves us with the final 10%, one in ten (more or less). These are the dates that start off a bit unsteadily, get hotter, and by the end of the program, they're waking up the neighbors. The turning point is usually the hot tub segment, for some reason; that's the lightbulb moment, when they look at each other and realize that what they've got on their hands is sex on wheels (it sometimes happens during the dancing segment, but rarely, as most men don't know how to dance). This is when "Carol" says to "Bob", "I like my drinks Big and Strong" with her hand on his crotch. "I was going to ask you about Emiliy Dickinson... but that's not important right now." This is when "Jenna" says to "Janine" that she like her kitt... er, no, that's Where The Boys Aren't, Part XLVII. This is where the hot tub turns clothing-optional, where the dancing turns into dry-humping, where the drive home involves as many red lights run as possible. The exit interviews are held in someone's bathroom, with the daters saying "Gee, yeah, I had a really great time, and, um, it was really fun, and, like, can you guys go now?"

So, to answer your question, it looks like you should put out about one time in every ten dates. But maybe less so if your suitors keep mentioning Emily Dickinson or jokes about Parkinson's.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of empty Mountain Dew cans to throw out.

The Man With All The Toys

Playing with NetNewsWire -- an RSS aggregator and reader with a weblog client built in.

Looks good so far.

I don't think that I'm going to give up the MT interface just yet, but this is pretty nice.

Twinkle Twinkle

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Sarah Hepola and The Morning News on starfuckers, aka celebrity journalists.

I Feel The Need

I know it's an old(ish) story, but still: This Wired article dicusses the U.S. military's need for speed.

And here I am thinking that it's supposed to be the war on drugs, not the war with drugs...

What Did You Think?


In no particular order, some BABB14 thoughts and recaps:

A Girl Named Bob, Alex Brokentype, The Raving Atheist, Erin the Gigglechick, Mike Wolf, KG, hostess GI Jane, R. Allan, the other host, Brian, the 646 Guy, Blue Red Orange Ricky, Ursula, Redheaded Sheila, Paul Katcher, David Danzig, Mike Lee, Brian Life In New York, and last but certainly not least, Margo Lee.

Update: Jean-Paul, Stephen Silver, Lady Crumpet, and Gary also have updates.

Update II: Ari weighs in, and The Donk expands on his previous rumination.

Update III: As per Mister Swill in the comments, Dan'l Linehan posts his thoughts (most of which revolve around deciding to crash the party, which strikes me as being a particular kind of hipster stupid, as the dialectics of an open invitation make it impossible to crash).


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Big flakes of snow now.

Oh, and if you want the low-down on why it's the 14th Annual Big Apple Blogger Bash, well, corner me tonight and I'll tell you.

Upon Silence

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It's snowing outside right now. Little tiny flakes coming down and all around.

The city is oddly, eerily quiet, as if half the population of Manhattan had melted into the snow. Even on the subway, no-one spoke, not even the homeless woman asking for handouts.

I suppose that I'm breaking one of the cardinal rules of blogging, but that's OK. I have spell-check on. Thank goodness for that. As for any unwarranted rambling, well, you guys should be used to that by now.

One little known thing about the legendary drunk writers of the world is that they did most of their writing while stone-cold sober. Hunter S. Thompson wrote Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas on the straight and narrow (I know someone who wanted to go to a Hunter S. Thompson reading just to heckle the author; personally, I think that heckling someone who owns more than 20-30 firearms is a bit, perhaps, unwise). The problem with writing under the influence is that it makes it very difficult to concentrate on what you want to say. Or even remember what you want to say.

I had a point here?

There is something about silence that concentrates the mind. The lack of external stimuli makes one turn inwards, to dwell.

I'm a lousy dweller. It is too often an excuse to mope, to wallow; to not face reality (whatever that is: there are as many subjective realities as there are observers). I learned long ago to be able to deny emotions, like Prince Hal denying fat Falstaff. Why? Beats me. I could pay a nice gentleman $150 an hour to tell me why; a chaise lounge of green with little yellow crosses on it; a comfortable view of a cream-colored ceiling; and the calm soothing voice of authority explaining everything away. At the end of the hour, perhaps a pen skitters across a pad; little ovals of health and sanity in a little paper envelope to soothe, to calm, to restore.

As a sidebar, did you know (I'll probably get hate mail for saying this) that the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and serious clinical depression are suspiciously similar? A point worth thinking about, since no-one can seem to find a physiological cause for CFS...

A graying beard, large glasses, a passion for college basketball, and a fervent belief in the power of the talking cure. An avuncular man I once knew was fond of saying that knowing your enemy is more than half the battle.

There is a long-standing trope in legend and fantasy that knowing the name of something could give you power over it. Norse legend, Arthurian tales, and the like. Tell not the little people your name, ere they will bind you to them forever.

I once believed that. I once believed that knowing what ailed you would let you rise above when the time came; you would answer the call when the call came. Now, I'm not so sure.

Naming something, identifying the problem, that does not fix anything. All it does is give you labels to work with. That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet; that which we call a dragon, by any other name would be just as difficult to slay.

Some people like to be scared. Horror movies make millions every year; Stephen King is the best-selling author of his generation. Why? A jolt to the nervous system, making them feeling more alive? A way of facing and conquering fears?

There is a book called House of Leaves, wherein the main(maybe) character buys a house that's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. When you buy something, you control it, you have domain over it. Yet the man who buys the house is fascinated by the endless crooks and crannies and by the never-ending stairway in the main hall. The house, a living, moving force, controls the man. He goes down the stairs, into the labyrinth, and loses himself there. And the reader, reaching through all the layers of narrative, starts to loose his (or her) bearings, wondering if there is an objective truth at the bottom of the staircase. The ultimate effect is profoundly unsettling, a literary reminder that all is not always what it seems.

We feel, as a species, safe when we are in control of things. When we don't feel safe, we feel fear. I was taught in school that there are two instinctive reactions to fear: the fight or flight reflex. But there is a third way. Fear can be paralyzing. It can root you to the ground, make your body betray your brain.

What are you afraid of? You are afraid of what you can't control.

And now I'm back on that couch, green with yellow crosses (or is it yellow with green crosses? I can't tell, it keeps flipping back and forth, a negative intercut with the positive) and that voice, calm, soothing, and avuncular.

And what can't you control?

It's all a facade, a mask, the tears of a clown. You can do it too. Wear not your heart on your sleeve. Cheekbones up, squint the eyes. Smile! Smile! Smile! Powder your face with sunshine!

It's dark out. That's to be expected. It's 3 in the morning, and the snow continues to swirl down, flitting in and out under the streetlights, and the city that never sleeps slumbers. And back here, back behind the greasepaint, it's hollow.

I'm trapped in here, stuck, running around with no way out in a circus tent with no way out. And then the man with the gray beard and big glasses gives me a word.

The word is big and green and heavy. It looks vaguely pop-arty.

You know what I can't control. But I do it anyway. Because I'm afraid. Because I can. Because it's easier this way. I told you that this much introspection is bad for me.

I have, realistically, 50 years. 60 if I win the lottery. And then the neighbors will bang on the door, complaining about the smell, and the super will open the door and a half-starved dog will jump out.

See? I'm doing it again. Writing around the problem. Thinking around the problem. Clever allusions to Shakespeare and Dean Martin and Helen Fielding. Dancing around, the devil playing the fiddle, and the flames shoot ever higher.

It's that darn super-ego again. For someone so relaxed, why do you have such tense muscles? To think, to sort things out. But sometimes you can't sort, can you?

In that book, when the man goes down the staircase, he takes his identical twin brother with him. And he loses his brother. He loses himself -- half of himself -- in something he can't control. Is this what you fear, losing yourself and not being able to find it again? And then you ask: who are you? Really? The unexamined life is not worth living, but is the life worth examining?

A gray man in a green - no, not green - gray shirt in a gray world living inside his head and afraid to come out. On the subway he smacks himself in the head again and again and again and again and again and no-one sees him as he sits perfectly still.

I would like to...

...but what if...

And the perpetual cycle continues, and then the scrawny dog jumps out at the surprised super and the neighbors step back from the smell...

I name you. But I cannot slay you. Not yet. Names give power.

And the avuncular man with the gray beard puts the watch away and asks me when I will see him again.

Why? What have we done here? I don't see anything. What I see is what I can't: face what bothers me. Sixteen hundred words of wandering around the topic at hand. Years of experience at avoidance. No, don't talk. Everything will be OK. But nothing ever changes. And change is a constant. The super-ego has won, reigning triumphant, oddly clad in blue and red spandex with a yellow mask on, like a mutant Captain America. I can't even face up to reality while BUI.

Playing for a draw is boring, but it works.

That depends on how you define works. Never forward, never back. And life slips through your fingers for fear of closing your hand. Awkward, halting, shy, stammering, there's a young man in here somewhere who's bitterly disappointed by the fruits of maturity. No great blossoming, no great metamorphosis; just stooped, thicker in the wrong parts and thinning on the other wrong parts. Different years, same shit.

The green and yellow lounge has a silk cover, and it is in the middle of Columbus Avenue, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny flakes of snow drifting down though the night and gently covering it. A car passes without making noise.

You are weak and you are powerless. Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Why is a bowl useful? Because of where the bowl isn't. Think of the bamboo and the oak tree.

There are ropes binding me to the chaise, under the dim yellow street lamps, under the snow swirling down.

I think too much, don't I. It's what I'm good at. I evade, I duck, I squirm. It's what I'm good at. I don't like the other things. I have seen that road, and I have walked it, and those long dark years I don't want to see again.

The man with the gray beard smiles. And he snaps the cap back on to his pen and stands up and walks away, a phantom in the thickening snow.

To wake, perchance to dance.

Gustatory Overload

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Will Leitch (a really nice guy, incidentally) on Restaurant Week: Even Swarthy Minions Must Eat.

Via the ever-indispensible Gawker.

The Very Best Of

Desert Rose

From the Times, The $100 Posy Race:

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I sent six bouquets of flowers to a complete stranger, along with notes that I was thinking of her, that I loved her, that I hoped she was thinking of me, and, well, that I was thinking of her still more.

By "in the spirit" of the holiday, of course, I mean that I had ulterior motives. The bouquets were part of a test: when you call on a florist to express your deepest sentiments in dying plant matter, what do you get for your 100 bucks?

Please Mister Postman

Whooooo Are You?


Who are you?

No, really.

Who are you?

I was going to make a nice fancy PHP poll with all sorts of TQM-style demographic questions (Age range: 14-18), etc, but when I realized that I would actually have to learn PHP for that to happen, I scrapped the plan as impractical.

So instead, if you could leave your salient details (approx. age, gender, location, job, how you first got here, what you like to read about, anything else you think I need to know about) in the comments (and feel free to be as anonymous as you want), I'd appreciate it. Hopefully the feedback will help me bring you even more internet goodness magnificence.

(OK, I'll even do it myself...)

Strangelove Addiction


Search requests in the month of January:

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Vin Diesel teaches you how to breakdance.

No, really.


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Everyone knows that Gawker is like crack.

Now you can have some of that crack on your back.

The Official Counterfeit Bootleg Gawker T-Shirt Store.

60's Porno Bird


I'm pornographic!

Oh, you knew that already? Damn. Why am I always the last to know?

Restaurant Week, Part The Third

The third restaurant we went to during Restaurant Week was AZ (sorry, it's a horrible website).

AZ is a fusion restaurant: it's supposed to be a fusion between east and west (I'll save my ranting about what constitutes 'oriental' cuisine for another day). I've eaten more than my fair share of bad fusion food before, so I tend to approach these sorts of things with a grain of salt.

I have to say that any trepidation I might have had was misplaced.

The restaurant takes up all three floors of a smaller-than-you-think building wedged between industrial lofts in the Flatiron district; there's a lounge on the first floor, a bar on the second floor, and the main dining room, replete with large glass roof, is on the top floor.

One significant difference between AZ and the other restaurants that I visited this week was that instead of adding a three-course prix fixe to their regular lunch menu, AZ's entire lunch menu was turned over to Restaurant Week. Four appetizers, four entrees, and three desserts.

I started with the Beef Pho and noodles. It was really very, very good -- a perfect replica of what Hong Kong thinks southeast asian food is like. The julienned carrots and bell peppers added the perfect crunch to the sweet sesame paste on the noodles. Another appetizer was beet (beet with a 'T', not beef with an 'F') carpaccio and a third was a reportedly superb lentil curry soup (it was not shared at the insistence of the diner involved).

My entree was essentially a grilled hanger steak with a teriyaki glaze. Despite the fact that it came out nowhere close to medium rare, it was truly delicious. Other dishes included near-perfect miso-encrusted tuna (sweet and flakey on the outside, sashimi-like on the inside) and smoked chicken.

I had pear shortcake with poached pear and vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. It was very good, but it wasn't as good as the chocolate cake peanut crunch that most of my dining companions opted for: a slim rectangle of chocolately goodness with a hidden peanut crunch inside. Another dessert was a coconut and yuzu sorbet served in a martini glass.

The meal was truly remarkable, and it really represented what the restaurant was really about.

The only catch was the service, while attentive, was a bit sloppy. For example, when the first course was cleared, I ended up with one knife and no forks in front of me. And when my steak was set down in front of me, I still had no fork. Since I wasn't planning on eating it with my fingers, I had to swipe a fork from a nearby table. And when they were resetting the table for the appetizers, one of my dining companions had her salad knife placed inside her regular knife, rather than outside (the basic rule of which fork or other implement to use is that you start from the outside and work your way in). I know, just scandalous, isn't it?

In the context of Restaurant Week, I have to give it four stars out of four on the Times scale, despite the flaws in the service. It really was that good.

Trust The Monopoly To Do The Right Thing

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OK, so according to the FCC, I'm suppose to have to use 11 digits (1-areacode-number) to call ANY phone in New York City (even those in my own area code). It's a stupid rule (seems to me that it'd be easier to go to 8-digit phone numbers, like the rest of the world, but I digress) that was supposed to go into effect on the first of February.

So it's now three days later, and I'm still calling my friends and parents without dialing 1-212 first.

Trust Verizon to fuck even stupid things up.

Hindsight is always 20/20

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Baghdad 2028: an invitation.

I think that it's an excellent idea.

From Spiers.


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At the request of Ken Goldstein, prices at the KG Collection have been slashd to their rock bottom remainder prices.

Anyone who wishes to contribute to any of Ken's favorite charities are instead encouraged to send their money directly to Ken himself (where he will make sure to disburse the funds correctly).

the surly bonds of earth

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Rick D. Husband
William C. McCool
Michael P. Anderson
David M. Brown
Kalpana Chawla
Laurel Clark
Ilan Ramon

will join

Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee, Vladimir Komarov, Georgy Dobrovolsky, Victor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov, Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnick, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe as those who perished in the exploration of space.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit . Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high unsurpassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941