February 28, 2005

The next installment of the cereal

Six things.


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Book news of various stripes

So I should probably mention that I'm doing two readings to plug my book. Yes, for everyone who has ever wondered what the world would be like if poets wrote poems whose titles were anagrams of their names (and who hasn't?), I shall be reading excerpts from my collection of such works, Holy Tango of Literature. There will also be a song or two at each reading, as well as a signing preceded by a question and answer period in which I expect to field questions like, "Why would you ever think of doing such a thing?" and "I assumed you would be a hunchbacked, near-blind old man who carries around an old leather duffel bag filled with dictionaries; did you kill and eat such a man to gain his powers?" Here's the info:

Thursday, March 10, 7:30
Barnes & Noble, Park Slope (267 7th Avenue), Brooklyn

Tuesday, March 15, 7:00
Borders, Columbus Circle (10 Columbus Circle; in the Time Warner Center), Manhattan

Can't decide whether to attend? Well, there are certain sorts of people to whom the book is likely to be amusing, so check this handy list and see if you fit any of the descriptions: English teachers, English majors, people who have ever taken a high-school English class, people who speak English, and loose women (French-speaking okay). If you don't fall into any of those categories, but you have ever wished that Harold Pinter plays featured more robots, T.S. Eliot poems had more toilet humor, or that you could give me money somehow, my book is clearly meant for you.

But wait, there's more. Holy Tango is a March Book Sense pick! This is excellent news in terms of getting bookstores to find out about the book (and, hopefully, give it a prominent place on those "recommended titles" tables whose real estate I covet). Also on the list is the new novel from my onetime Modern Humorist colleague, Cast of Shadows (which you can possibly win a copy of if you keep checking Daniel's blog for new contests). I like to imagine a gray-suited 1950s-looking guy looking directly into a TV camera, saying, very seriously, "Look for the 'Former Modern Humorist writer' stamp of quality on your next book purchase."

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February 27, 2005

If you can milk this car, you're too close

After leaving the Gates last week but before encountering the mysterious sign, I saw this car, with a very adorable cow-themed paint job (although I fear its ecological message may get lost because of the messenger, what with the popular association between cows and methane production):




At this point the car's owner seemed to run out of things to say about SUVs and gas conservation and moved on to other issues:


Anyway, welcome to New York, fellow blue-stater! Hope you liked the Gates, and, seriously, awesome job finding a parking space next to the Park.

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February 25, 2005

We like the cartoons, the cartoons that go boom

Six things.


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But you still have until Sunday for the other ones

The website for the Somerville Gates has taken down its photos, but you can still read about the frenzy it inspired here.

(Thanks to Debby for the tip.)

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February 24, 2005

I suppose you're wondering why I've drawn you all here today

Six things.


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Gates are a part of this complete blog entry

Three more pictures (not all Gates-related) from my last trip to Central Park.


From the back of the Met:


And then there was this inscrutable sign I saw on the way to the subway:


Does one not have to drive safely in the safety zone? Perhaps it is an enchanted stretch of street where even careless drivers are kept safe by the timely intervention of emissaries from the spirit world. As for me, this is not the kind of message I would expect to see when leaving a "safety zone"; something like "EXITING SAFETY ZONE: HIT AS MANY CARS AS YOU WANT" seems like it would make more sense.

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February 23, 2005

What about rum and the lash?

So you probably heard that the British Navy is actively recruiting gays:

The new effort is a sign of how much the official attitude in the British navy has changed. Until a European court ruled in 1999 that Britain's ban on gays in the military violated European human-rights laws, the navy, along with the rest of the military, followed a no-exceptions policy of dismissing service men and women who were found to be gay, often after long and intrusive investigations.

The military had agonized for years over the issue, in the way the United States has, always concluding that allowing gays and lesbians to serve would prove prohibitively disruptive and would ruin discipline and cohesion.

But after the court ruling, it had no choice but to put aside its doubts and reverse its policy. Beginning in 2000, the military said that gays would no longer be prohibited from serving. It also stopped monitoring its recruits' sex lives, saying that as long as it did not intrude into the workplace, sexuality should not be an issue one way or another.

Far from effecting a cataclysmic change, the new policy appeared to be something of an anticlimax. Recently, gay men and women in the British services have lived and fought in Iraq alongside heterosexuals - and Americans - without problem, according to military officials.

Should be interesting to see if the U.S. military still trots out the same excuses the next time there's a push to allow gays to serve. Britain also offers a civil-union-style thing for gays, which the Pope is probably none too happy about, because, you see, in less gay-positive news, the Pope has called gay marriage part of an "ideology of evil":

In [his new book], the Pope refers to the "pressures" on the European Parliament to endorse same-sex marriages.

It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man," he writes.

I just don't know why Catholics have such a problem with gay people -- I mean, at least they're not having abortions, right?

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You learn something new every day

Six things.


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February 22, 2005

Words, words, words

More tales of language from the office. In the elevator this morning, I was captivated by the mysterious headline "Home Depot nails target". In the context of a full news article, it's not so opaque, but it's a terrible headline all by itself. Is it about store competition, and they forgot to capitalize "Target"? Is Home Depot selling a game based on darts, but in which the players use nail guns? So many questions.

Also, Emily tells me I missed a memorable fire alert this morning. Apparently there really was a fire, albeit a small one (in the cafeteria kitchen, on one of the stoves) that was speedily extinguished. What I'm saying is, the alarm was not unwarranted! We really did receive a condition! But even more interesting, from the point of view of a fire-command-station anthropologist, is that this warranted alarm uncovered a new word-choice oddity. Emily reports that once the fire was out, this announcement came over the intercom: "The problem has been restored." I think that's the exact phrase that went through my head when Bush was re-elected.

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Green days

Six things.


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February 21, 2005

Night of the Hunter

I see that Hunter S. Thompson killed himself yesterday. To some extent this doesn't surprise me...because he was crazy...but part of me feels like, "Why now?" Like, the man had been leading an incredibly debauched, self-destructive life for decades and lived this long -- why not just ride it out? He doesn't seem like someone with so much self-control that if he had any suicidal impulses, he wouldn't have just done it ages ago.

On a somewhat lighter subject, I wonder how he would have felt about this odd headline juxtaposition.

Posted by Francis at 01:21 PM | Comments (1)

February 20, 2005

This is some kind of koan, isn't it?

Subject line of an e-mail in my spam folder: "Everyone is eligible! Are you?"

Posted by Francis at 04:45 PM

February 19, 2005

Hell week at the seminary

The Vatican University is teaching a course in Satanism, demonic possession, and exorcism. Here's my favorite bit:

Thursday's lecturer, Rev. Gabriele Nanni, touched on the pitfalls of driving the devil from someone's body.

Priests must never be proud of their ability, remembering that they are merely conduits of Christ, he said. They must not perform exorcisms on people they suspect have psychological problems. And they should not get carried away and invent mystical gestures.

That's right -- when you're driving demons out of someone's body, the thing you want to be sure not to do is make shit up.

(Via Making Light.)

Posted by Francis at 02:04 PM

Here comes the reign again

Six things.


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See, the Gates are even helping the snack industry

Another cute Gates parody: the Crackers.

Posted by Francis at 10:28 AM

February 18, 2005

Thumbs up

New Hitchhiker's trailer. Commence fanboy geek-out rapture.

(Thanks to Jim S. for the tip.)

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Reminds me of the time we stashed one of those in the crawlspace behind the light booth in my college theatre

Apropos of my recent reference to Time Cube, Fuldu sent me this item description from the highly entertaining online role-playing game Kingdom of Loathing:

boxed wine

This is a plastic bladder full of wine in a cube-shaped cardboard box. You
are already too educated stupid to understand the truth of nature's harmonic
simultaneous 4-liter wine cube.

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It was very nice of Daniel to find a way to give me a free book

I won myself a copy of Cast of Shadows, the new novel by my onetime Modern Humorist colleague Kevin Guilfoile, with my anagram skillz. Why not try winning yourself a copy by entering the latest contest?

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February 17, 2005

One thing

There's no way in heck I'm going to finish a Six Things installment today, but here's a shorter-form cartoon for you.


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Next up: "supercovenant" marriages, in which newlyweds are permanently chained together at the ankles

I wanted to post about covenant marriage and why it was such a ridiculous concept, but it turns out that John Scalzi has already done it for me.

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They Might Be Gates

On Tuesday night, Rose and I went back to Central Park to check out what the Gates looked like at night. I think the installation looks much better by daylight -- the sun really makes the fabric come to life -- but it was still interesting. Here are a few pictures I took while we were there:





After taking a short loop through the southwest corner of the park, we headed over to the Borders store at Columbus Circle (where I will be reading in a few weeks...but more on that in a future entry) to watch an in-store performance by They Might Be Giants, plugging their new CD and/or DVD, "Here Come the ABCs", which looks pretty entertaining, as far as I can tell from the excerpts I've watched.

The show was very relaxed and entertaining, with TMBG performing as a three-piece combo. "Bed, Bed, Bed" came off particularly well, with drummer Marty Beller producing an impressive cavalcade of noisemaking devices throughout the song. Audience members of all ages seemed to be enjoying the show, from grown-ups like Sarah Vowell (standing to my right, and who I managed to refrain from giving the groupie treatment to) to children like the tiny, tiny girl who was making the "raise the roof" hand motion while looking backward over her father's shoulder, to the teenagers in front of us who apparently had ADD and could not stop talking even though they were clearly fans. (One of the teens remarked that John Linnell was "cute for an older guy...a really older guy." Youth can be so cruel.)

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February 16, 2005

Only four blogging days left

Six things.


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To all my friends in Boston who won't be able to make it to Manhattan to see the Gates: you have an alternative.

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A brief and geeky gripe

I love Bartleby, but god almighty does their search function suck. Say I want to search their dictionary for the word "widow". One might expect that "widow", being an exact match of my search string, would be the first entry to come up. Oh no. It's not even on the first page. It's way down at hit #16. And it's not like the hits are delivered in alphabetical order or something, which would itself be kind of lame, but would at least explain what was going on.

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Details details

If any of you were burning to hear more about Kevin Federline, Stereogum has posted some excerpts from the Details interview.

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February 15, 2005

I've got issues

Six things.


Archive of more of these cartoon dealies here.

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I wonder if it will turn out that this reporter receives payments from the entertainment industry to spout celebrity propaganda, and there will be a big scandal

There's some hard-hitting reporting on the AP wire today about Kevin Federline, aka that guy who actually married Britney Spears.

Don't call him Mr. Britney Spears. After six months of marriage to the pop star, Kevin Federline is emerging from Spears' shadow.

And how is he doing that? By becoming a fashion designer...in partnership with Britney.

"I'm gonna design the men's and she will design the women's. We're thinking about calling it Pair A Dice because dice are lucky for us."

Yes, that is a fine way to step out from behind your wife's shadow and stand on your own two feet: to use her money and celebrity to start a line of clothing which you will, I'm sure, be totally in charge of designing. Well done.

Incidentally, not only is this article reporting about a celebrity, it is also meta-reporting about a celebrity magazine:

On the March cover of Details magazine, the former backup dancer is for the first time stepping out to reveal something about the man known as Britney Spears' second husband.

Well, thank goodness. I know we have all been wanting to hear what he has to say. The man danced for Justin Timberlake, for god's sake! Anyway, apparently you'll have to shell out for Details to hear any actual revelations about Mr. Federline, since the most remarkable thing we learn about him from this article is that he knows how to indicate parentheses with only the use of his voice:

"I'll tell you one thing, dude I never thought that any of this (stuff) would happen," he says.
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February 14, 2005

Still, I applaud them for not just filling the box with only red, white, and blue

Longtime readers of Heaneyland may remember two of my earliest entries, way back in 2003, when I got obsessed with Crayola crayons and the way that Crayola color names have gotten stupider over the years. Well, when I was having brunch on Sunday (at a restaurant that provides crayons with which patrons may draw upon the white paper tablecloths, of course), I discovered that Crayola has perpetrated a crazy new color-naming scheme upon today's youth: colors named after states.

When Crayola called on crayon fans to come up with clever new color names representing their states, they rose to the challenge. Crayon fans nationwide--more than 25,000 strong--nominated existing Crayola crayon colors and gave them new state-related names.

When the polls closed, a group of Crayola color experts convened to select a crayon name for each of the 50 states. The inaugural Crayola State Crayon colors are now serving a term in a limited-edition Crayola 64 Box, along with crayons named for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and 12 patriotic colors.

Here are some of the more noteworthy names. You'll see that I have a particular dislike for puns and colors with no perceivable relationship to their associated state.

Arizona: Grand Tanyon
California: Sacra-mint-o
Delaware: First State Fuchsia
Indiana: Indianappleous Red
Iowa: A-maize-ing Iowa
North Carolina: Grape Hatteras
Ohio: Rock 'n Roll Raspberry
Oklahoma: Panhandle Paintbrush
Pennsylvania: Independence Indigo
Rhode Island: (deep breath) Newport Jazzberry Festival. AAAAARRRRRGGHH
Tennessee: Tennesienna
Texas: Alamo a la Mode
Utah: Bee-Utah-ful (two puns in one)
Virginia: Williamsburgundy
Wisconsin: Moovalous Cheese

I admit that there are some state color names that I like despite myself:
Illinois: Abe Lincoln's Hat
Maryland: Francis Scott Kiwi

That gives me an idea for when Crayola puts out its commemorative box of Internet colors: Kiwipedia.

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They're an investment, dammit

Six things.


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Don't you hate people who only read the title of a blog entry and ignore everything else?

Of course you do.

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A modest proposal? Not anymore

Rose and I had our traditional beat-the-crowd Valloween dinner last night, and, midmeal, applause broke out in the corner of the restaurant -- someone at another table had just proposed to his girlfriend. Rose then overheard another couple remark, "Aw...this is where [so-and-so] proposed!" Rose is still one up on those guys, though -- a couple actually got married in her store. (It was really more of a Church of Craft wedding, but the ceremony was performed in front of Rose's shelves of yarn.)

So, a perfectly nice marriage proposal -- but was it impressive enough? It didn't involve a parachute or a parade of mariachis, after all. That's where the ever-so-necessary new industry of proposal consultants comes in. I mean, how actually romantic is it to have some wildly extravagant proposal only to have to answer the question, "Oh, honey, that was incredible -- where did you ever come up with the idea to do that?"

"Um...I paid someone."

"That's what I love about you -- you're so uncreative and have so much money!"

I also liked this assertion:

As the setting for countless romantic movies, like "When Harry Met Sally" or "Breakfast at Tiffany's," New York has become a great big proposal magnet for couples around the metropolitan area and from beyond.

Not only that, but as the setting for countless children's books, like "Eloise", New York is also a magnet for people who want to raise their children in hotels.

In addition to its natural charms, the article also features, as Rose points out, one of the classic tropes of New York Times articles -- inadvisable comments from interviewees:

Many New Yorkers still prefer the traditional approach. Some time this evening in a restaurant on the Upper East Side, Lia Macko will receive a yellow diamond ring and some sparklers on top of her dessert. (Her fiancé, Dana Matthow, is counting on you, dear reader, to keep the secret.)

And, apparently, is also counting on his fiancee-to-be not to read the most widely read paper in town. Or, presumably, to ever, ever find out about the article, or he probably wouldn't have made this unfortunate comment:

Mr. Matthow, publisher of City Guide Magazine, contemplated crazy ideas involving dancing clowns and trained seals, but in the end, opted for the couple's usual restaurant, a pianist playing their favorite song and a photographer hiding in the wings.

"She's been bugging me for so long to get married," he said, "at this point, she'll be happy just to see me down on my knees."

Ah, the language of love.

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February 13, 2005

Orange you glad?

As promised, here are some pictures Rose and I took of the Gates.

We were there for the unfurling, which is when we discovered that the orange fabric was all wrapped around sturdy cardboard tubes hidden beneath Velcroed orange vinyl covers. (I hadn't given it much thought before, but, yeah, did I think the fabric was just going to be wadded up in there?) Hence the crowd was instructed to stand back as the gate unrolled, lest a big tube land on people's heads. You can see the shape of the roll here as one of the many Christo deputies pulls the ripcord in the first photo, and the orange cover being yanked away in the second photo. (Rose took both of these.)



Here's a pile of the cardboard tubes waiting for a recycling truck:


Most of the following don't require commentary; they are just pretty. I must say that the Gates is a highly photogenic installation, and one, we all agreed, that looked remarkably like the concept art.



This is another one taken by Rose. The vantage was unusual; we were both seated on a raised lifeguard-style seat on a volleyball court (intended for the referee/umpire/adjudicator/whatever-that-guy-is-called-in-volleyball). We had noticed someone else up there and thought it was a brilliant idea, and another couple noticed us and were waiting to trade places with us when we came down. I like to imagine an ongoing chain of people sitting there all day.


I took this next one on a lark, and had no idea it would come out like this, but I was extremely pleased with it. It's a shot straight up the side of an unopened gate:


You can see a Christoling in the back of the photo wielding the long pole used to undo the gate covers. This photo hints at just how good the fabric looks with the sun shining behind it.





It was a great morning. We'll be back a few more times, probably at least once with no camera, so we can just experience the art without feeling a need to document it for ourselves. I'm also looking forward to seeing what it looks like at night. Life is good.

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February 12, 2005

I am a fan of "This Is Spinal Tap", but no, I am not stalking Christopher Guest; why do you ask?

Rose and some friends and I went to see the unfurling of the Gates in Central Park today (which was terrific -- photos will follow soon), and after the first few gates in our vicinity (we weren't at the Bloomberg/Christo/Jeanne-Claude gate) were unrolled, we few, happy, and underslept toddled over to Starbucks for sustenance before starting our meanderings through Central Park. While we were there, I noticed a weird verbal tic on the part of the clerks. Instead of saying "Next" or "Next customer, please" or whatever, they all said the same highly unnatural phrase: "Following guest?"

Clearly this is a mandated Starbucks phrase, but I wonder what the motivation behind it is. It didn't make me subliminally feel that Starbucks is classier than it is, as far as I could tell -- I just thought it sounded weird. But I can only assume that there were focus groups that disagreed with me on that. Anyone else have any thoughts about this?

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February 11, 2005

Ring tones

Readers with long memories will remember that Rose and I hate it when wedding DJs play songs that are in fact highly inappropriate for weddings -- like, say, Whitney's Houston's "I Will Always Love You". Some people take care to avoid such songs, but apparently, not enough of them, so the Dublin Diocesan Liturgical Resource Centre has stepped in to help. I agree that "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" is a terrible wedding song, but their list of "suitable" tunes is, well, a bit drippy:

On Eagles' Wings
Morning Has Broken
Wherever You Go
Lord of the Dance
Set your Heart On The Higher Gifts
Tabhair Dom Do Lámh
We Praise You O Lord
Ave Maria
Give Me Joy in My Heart

The lesson here is: don't entrust your wedding playlist to anyone. Rose and I handpicked all the songs played at our wedding. To see what we found appropriate (admittedly, our standards are different than many people's), check out the tracklist for the highlights CD.

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Condensed to a singularity

And still with the six things.


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February 10, 2005

Watch your backs

Rose points out a potential Bunny Day problem.

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The future is now

Six things.


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In and around 42nd Street, mountains come out of the sky and they stand there, waiting for the walk signal

Leaving the subway this morning, I heard the strains of a female busker playing a folk song wafting up the stairs behind me. It sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. "Insiiiide out, outsiiiide in..." was the last thing I heard. As I emerged onto the street, I figured it out: she was playing a folkified version of "Perpetual Change" by Yes. I was tempted to go back down and listen to more, but duty called.

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February 09, 2005

Ghosts in the machine

Six things.


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Oy and oy

I did not wake up this morning thinking I would hear reggae music sung by a Hasidic man named Matisyahu. Truly, the world can be a surprising place.

(Via My Backwards Life.)

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When life hands you spam, make spam, egg, sausage, and spam

Another fine web comic for your perusal: Spamusements, which takes spam subject lines and turns them into cartoons. Some of my favorites:

Your Managers Don't Have Expertise They Have This
Have The Body You've Always Wanted
It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.
house and the sheds
It doesnt hurt to check
Bert don't sleep yet

(Via Slumbering Lungfish.)

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February 08, 2005

The medium is the message

This is hilarious, although it does leave me wanting to read "The Us Weekly Index".

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And the MGM Lion will lie down with the lamb

Something about this headline really rubs me the wrong way. I mean, it's always annoying when fluffy news about the activities of Hollywood stars is treated as, you know, important in any way, but bringing Biblical language together with celebrity worship is truly cringeworthy.

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Through a scanner, not so darkly

Turns out I drew another cartoon. Maybe this will turn into a series. I'll call it "Six Things".


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February 07, 2005

Shooting books about mice in a barrel

I still read children's fiction every so often. You know, the Harry Potter series, Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy -- books, for the most part, that I would recommend to any fellow non-child. Today I finished Redwall by Brian Jacques, a book which really is a book for kids, or, at least, a book for people who don't have highly developed critical faculties. The storytelling is reasonably capable, but the writing -- oof.

The characters of the Redwall universe are anthropomorphized woodland creatures -- mice, squirrels, badgers, moles, rats, ferrets, foxes, etc. I spent far too much time trying to figure out the relative size of the characters -- at one point, a baby squirrel rides on a mouse's shoulder. In the real world, as Rose pointed out, a baby squirrel old enough to walk around would be about the same size as a mouse. The mice of Redwall (an abbey) have vowed never to harm any living creature, although they apparently make an exception for fish, which they periodically have for dinner. And who built the abbey -- the mice, or humans? If it was mice, the way the book makes a big production of how nearly impossible it is for the mice to get to the attic makes no sense. Why would the mice have built a monastery and made it impossible to get to the attic? If it was humans -- why is everything else apparently proportionally sized to the mice? And where are the humans? The villains -- an invading horde of rats -- arrive on a cart driven by a horse (sized in proper proportion to the rats). No comment is ever made about where this cart and horse might have come from.

The size issue isn't the only thing that's underthought-out. There's also the scene where a shield is used to reflect moonlight into a focused beam of light -- already a dubious prospect, but to make the whole thing even more implausible, the shield is placed (or so it sounded) so that its convex side does the reflecting. Hooray, science!

And then there's the stilted fantasy-style dialogue, and then, and then, but enough of all that. This is a fine book if you are incredibly good at suspending disbelief, don't have high standards for dialogue, and can stand endless descriptions of very very idyllic countryside and reiterations of what good friends certain tiny mammals are. In other words, the kids can have it.

Let me close by quoting one young reader's Amazon review of the book; it was posted anonymously (as all kids' reviews apparently are on Amazon), making the last line quite poignant:

I first picked up this book hoping for an awesome adventure,I got what i hoped for.If you like The Lord of the Rings,or The cronicles of Narnia you'll absolutly love this. It's a great story with great characters, you'll never put it down.I heavilly Recomend it. It's only 7 bucks!!! Defintly worth it Must BUy!!!
If you can't afford it go to the library. A+++ 5 stars two thumbs up, gold medalist . If it were a movie, it would have an oscar. SIMPLY ONE OF THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If only I could.

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No Icelandic people were harmed in the making of this holiday

We've been celebrating Bunny Day for a while here at Heaneyland, but festivities have slackened off a bit lately. So thank heavens there is a new, surprisingly not-made-up holiday to celebrate today: Bun Day!

On Bun Day, Icelandic children beat their parents with "bun wands", an act for which they receive cream puffs. God, Iceland is awesome. I just want to pick it up and hug it.

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Just in time for ten and a half months from Christmas

Amazon has finally scanned Holy Tango of Literature (apparently two months is the standard amount of time for this to take), so you can now check out some sample pages via their "Search Inside the Book" feature.

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February 05, 2005

You can't deny it

Here at Cargo, as at many workplaces, we get free bottled water. There are cases of it stacked up in the small conference room (a room in which conferences are rarely if ever held). Those cases are wrapped in plastic, on which is emblazoned this claim:


I just love the (presumably litigation-avoiding) hedging. "It might be the best-tasting water -- who knows? There's a lot of water out there!" Suggested alternate slogan: "Could very well cure cancer, via some as-yet-unknown method!"

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February 04, 2005

"I do"? They might.

New York may get its gay marriages yet. A big "right on" to Doris Ling-Cohan.

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On the solver screen

My crossword output has been pretty sporadic for a while, but a themeless puzzle of mine did appear in the New York Sun three weeks ago -- which means you can now download it here. It's the January 14 puzzle, and you'll need to download the also-free Across Lite to solve it (but if you like crosswords, you probably want Across Lite anyway).

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February 03, 2005

Holy crap, Batman

A cartoon. For you.


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Odder couples

From Debby come these two amusements:

He's a sword-wielding moralistic photographer haunted by an iconic dead American confidante. She's a strong-willed gold-digging nun with the soul of a mighty warrior. They fight crime!


He's an unemployed nervous mathematician who is 64% Bitch. She's a level-headed Muslim physicist with an adorable six-month-old son. They have blogs!

And, of course, for those of you who have been following along, there's my take on the whole thing:

He's a bunny. She's a bunny. They're bunnies!

This is also a bunny, from Jeffrey:

Posted by Francis at 07:34 PM in Bunny Day | Comments (0) | TrackBack

She put the Wamu on me

Some of you may know that I am a connoisseur of spoof e-mails, in which some scammer or other attempts to get people to give up their bank account info by sending out e-mails that emulate the look of official bank e-mails, but redirect victims to fake sites that harvest their account number and password. Many of these e-mails are very skillfully constructed and tricky to spot without paying checking to see if the links actually go where they claim to go. But not all of them. Here's one from "Washington" "Mutual":

Happy New Year!

Dear Valued Client, the management and staff would like to take this opportunity to thank all customers and affiliates for their loyalty and business during 2004. In the forthcoming years, we endeavour to provide new products and services in order to meet the needs of this ever-changing financial market. As our customer, we will keep you informed on our special offers and new products and services that may be of interest to you. Happy New Year to you from everyone at Wamu.

We offer you special discounts in all stores all over USA with your credit card and a special cupon offered free by our bank.This offer includes over 15000 shops located all over the country.

This is our New Year gift for our clients so please don`t miss this special occasion

All you have to do is to login in to your account and confirm your name and login and in 72 hours you will have your cupon. Please click below.

[Link removed]

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.Happy New Year.

If you choose to ignore our request, you will lose the offer.!

Thank you for using WAMU!

Copyediting this letter is left as an exercise for the reader.

Posted by Francis at 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apple commuter

As I was hustling to the train this morning, a fellow pushing one of those wheely carts warned me, "Careful," indicating a patch of ice on the ground. I had already noticed the patch of ice and was slowing down, but thanked him for the alert anyway. And yet -- even being doubly aware of the ice patch -- I totally wiped out. Took one step onto the ice (which was, to give myself some tiny modicum of justification, on a slope) and my left foot just zoooomed rightward, and, in a word, wham. Fortunately I landed on the pocket that I do not keep my cell phone in. The guy asked if I was all right, and I was, apart from the fact that I bruised the fuck out of my left hip and scraped my left hand slightly. I commented, "Damn, I thought I was being careful!" I believe I shall take the other path to that subway entrance tomorrow.

Anyway, while I was on the subway, I noticed a bit of found poetry scrawled on one of those subway advisory posters -- you know, the ones that say things like "This weekend, the F train will only stop at every fifth station; for service to intermediate stations, please jump off the train as it slows down on its way past the platform" -- and transcribed it for you:

I want to fuck
My sweet Spanish girls
In the ass
It feels good
KY gell
Will help that
Asshole if
It's too tight

I guess he was upset about not making it past the Poetry in Motion screening process and took things into his own hands.

Posted by Francis at 10:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 02, 2005

Eight Bunny Days a Week

Oh, you thought we were done with the bunny but we are not done with the bunny.

Marc, inspired by Lance, also pulled the Holy Tango of Art History down from the shelf, remarking: "I think 'I Choose Shy Mr. Bun' is beyond my skills as a copyist, but this is a reasonable facsimile of 'Be Just, Mr. Hare' by James Thurber."

(The anagrammatically appropriate artist for "I Choose Shy Mr. Bun" will be revealed in the comments at some point.)

And David writes, "Since my employers are obviously paying me to fiddle around with MS Paint, I decided to join your Cavalcade of Bunnies. I seem to have been channeling the spirit of Jules Feiffer this morning. I hope he wasn't trying to use it at the time."

That bunny does look a little neurotic in that Feiffer way, but he's probably just thinking about how he can't wait for his dance to welcome spring. I know I can't.

Posted by Francis at 07:54 AM in Bunny Day | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 01, 2005

Your recommended daily allowance of links

Debby sent me a link to this lobster pager -- "the ultimate guest pager for seafood concepts" -- and it made me start thinking about other food-themed items.

Like, for instance, the raw chicken hat. (Better that than one of these.)

Or the Twinkie sushi.

Were you aware that, in a game of paintball, a big inflatable tetrahedron-y thing that you can hide behind while shooting at people is called a "Dorito"? Now you know this.

(Chicken hat via Making Light; Twinkie sushi via Boing Boing.)

Posted by Francis at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack