What sort of things do you look for in a calendar? Sure, days of the week are important, as are those numbers in the little boxes. But if you, like me, think most calendars skimp on pictures of geeky girls doing geeky things (for instance, the lovely Lorinne knitting a Sierpinski triangle scarf), then you may wish to buy yourself a copy or 3.14159265 of the Calendar Geeks calendar. You can see a lower-resolution version of Lorinne's pic on the sample page, but if you want to see it in its full Neil-Gaiman-approved glory, you'll have to buy the calendar.
Brooklyn is going to get spoiled. First it gets a fancy new Ikea, and next month it gets its own TKTS booth. The best part is that the Brooklyn TKTS will offer tickets to events at BAM and St. Ann's Warehouse, and other Brooklyn-y performance venues. Awesome.
(Thanks to Lorinne for reminding me several times to post about this, because I am the lamest blogger alive.)
Sometimes I write things that aren't crosswords. My most recent thing of that nature is a short contribution to Coudal Partners' Field-Tested Books, a series in which writers recount how reading a book in a particular location affected their experience of reading it. In my case, I reminisce about reading The Chronic-(what?)-cles of Narnia, which I never had any idea were supposed to be crypto-Christian parables and which didn't prevent me from ending up an atheist, which means it's probably too much to hope that Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series will help create a generation of free-thinkers.
(Apologies to confused readers who saw this post a while ago, when I accidentally posted the links while the site was still in beta.)
"Starting Monday, the Colorado Lottery will begin selling $3 Scented Crossword tickets through lottery retailers statewide. They're available in three varieties: Crossword Bouquet, Chocolate Crossword and Coffee Crossword."
Now if only they could hone the technology so crossword entries smell like what they are. You might still not know what an anoa looked like, but at least you could smell it.
(Thanks to Patrick for the link.)
Today I was test-solving a crossword for an upcoming book and ran across a very standard sort of clue: "Half of A.D.", with the answer ANNO. And I may very well be the only person alive who has this reaction, but I'm always bothered by that clue and its ilk, because I invariably think, "But 'anno' isn't half of 'anno domini', it's only 40% of it." Yes, yes, I know, it's half the abbreviation. Your attempts at persuading me to be rational are futile.
My feelings about the U.S. flag are slightly inconsistent. I think the perennial push to pass laws banning flag burning is ridiculous, but it does bother me when people display unsightly flags -- I think mostly because I feel like, hey, you're making a point of saying either "Yay America!" or "America's still my country too, even though it's being run by complete bastards at the moment!", the least you could do is not use a ratty old flag with stains all over it, ew. Maybe it's more that I'm prissy than patriotic.
Anyway, that's me. I would think that someone like, oh, John McCain would be kind of hard-core about the Flag Code, and, specifically, aware of Flag Code Section 8g, which states that the flag "should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature." So presumably that means you shouldn't sign your name on it.
It's time once again for my octaweekly contribution to the Onion crossword. Here it is, and here's the link to download the Across Lite software that will open it for you. Alternately, here it is as a Word document.
Dick Cheney wins over the hearts of West Virginians with an incest joke:
Talking about his family roots and how he's distantly related to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the vice president noted that he had Cheneys on both sides of his family.
"And we don't even live in West Virginia," Cheney quipped.
"You can say those things when you're not running for re-election."
He apologized, of course, after people got offended, but I think the thing he should have said was, "No, no, you don't understand, I think everyone in the country is a stupid yokel. You're just the ones I happened to be talking to."