Friday, December 12, 2008


From LIFE Magazine

Today in Punctuation

From my Eats, Shoots & Leaves desk calendar:

"It is a measure of George Bernard Shaw's considerable monomania that in 1945 he wrote to The Times on the issue of the recently deployed atomic bomb to point out that since the second "b" in the word bomb was needless (I'm not joking), enormous numbers of working hours were being lost to the world through the practice of conforming to traditional spelling."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another from the Savage Detectives

"I told him that when I was a biologist I would have time to see those cities and countries, and the money too, because I didn't plan to travel around the world hitchhiking or sleeping just anywhere. And then he said: I don't plan to see them, I plan to live in them the same way I've lived in Mexico. And I said: well good for you, then, I hope you're happy, live in them and die in them if you want; I'll travel when I have money. Then you won't have the time, he said. I will have the time, I said, you're wrong, I'll be the mistress of my time, I'll do what I like with my time. And he said: you won't be young anymore."

This is the longest post I've ever made

Friday, November 28, 2008

Private Eye

To find clues where there are none,
That's my job now, I said to the
Dictionary on my desk. The world beyond
My window has grown illegible,
And so has the clock on the wall.
I may strike a match to orient myself

In the meantime, there's the heart
Stopping hush as the building
Empties, the elevators stop running,
The grains of dust stay put.
Hours of quiescent sleuthing
Before the Madonna with the mop

Shuffles down the long corridor
Trying doorknobs, turning mine.
That's just little old me sweating
In the customer's chair, I'll say.
Keep your nose out of it.
I'm not closing up till he breaks.

- Charles Simic


From the Life Magazine photo archive, via Meghan.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mystery piano

Authorities in Harwich, Massachusetts, are probing the mysterious appearance of a piano, in good working condition, in the middle of the woods. Discovered by a woman who was walking a trail, the Baldwin Acrosonic piano, model number 987, is intact -- and, apparently, in tune.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Savage Detectives

I never post things on here anymore, but I mean to. I couldn't resist posting this though.

"That German, I said, and I poured myself another shot of Los Suicidas. At the rate we were going the bottle wouldn't last until dark. Drink up, boys, drink up and don't worry, if we finish the bottle we'll go down and buy another one. Of course, it won't be the same as the one we've got now, but it'll be better than nothing. Ah, what a shame they don't make Los Suicidas mezcal anymore, what a shame that time passes, don't you think? what a shame that we die, and get old, and everything good goes galloping away from us."

Roberto Bolano

The Partial Explanation

Seems like a long time
Since the waiter took my order.
Grimy little luncheonette,
The snow falling outside.

Seems like it has grown darker
Since I last heard the kitchen door
Behind my back
Since I last noticed
Anyone pass on the street.

A glass of ice-water
Keeps me company
At this table I chose myself
Upon entering.

And a longing,
Incredible longing
To eavesdrop
On the conversation
Of cooks.

Charles Simic

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008


86 year old Obama volunteer talks about winning a trip to meet him

Monday, November 3, 2008

Right about now we can all start crossing our fingers

Yes, that little boy is dressed as Obama for Halloween.

Halloween used to be extra creepy

Next year for Halloween I'm going to go as someone in the early 1900s celebrating Halloween.

Via Flickr

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Synecdoche, NY

I can't stop thinking about this movie. Anything I say about it is going to sound silly, so just go see it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Beatles' rooftop concert

I can't believe I hadn't seen this until today! In three parts, here:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What to do if you get lost

Sesame Street



Outer space smells of fried steak, scientists revealed yesterday. The universe also has an aroma of hot metal and motorbike welding, Nasa experts said.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stayin' Alive

U.S. doctors have found the Bee Gees 1977 disco anthem "Stayin' Alive" provides an ideal beat to follow while performing chest compressions as part of CPR on a heart attack victim.

Duck-Billed Dinosaurs Emitted Low, Eerie Sounds

"Duck-billed dinosaur's bony head crests, which ranged in appearance from long and pointy to huge, Elvis-style pompadour shapes, likely sounded as unusual as they looked, suggests new evidence.

"The crests were used to produce low, bellowing calls, suggest the new findings which will be presented today at the annual meeting of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cinema verite

Sorry about the lack of pictures today. Reading is just so good. This quote has stayed with me since I read it a few months ago but I never posted it. Werner Herzog was asked if there are moments of cinema verite in Grizzly Man. This is how he answered:

"Verité comes in at certain moments when [Treadwell] is in the Starsky & Hutch mode and he’s wearing his bandanna, the sexy camouflage bandanna. And he jumps away on the little path and disappears. And he disappears for twelve seconds, which is a long time in the film and footage. Disappears for twelve seconds and reappears. But what is in between—all of a sudden you see reed grass, long stems, and… wind bending the grass. Everybody overlooked it, and I had the feeling that this is verité. "

South Seas

This is my third post from a Believer article that I just read, but...

Only one dream
has stayed in his blood: once, when
he worked
as a stoker on a Dutch fishing
boat, the Cetacean,
he saw the heavy harpoons sail in
the sun,
and saw the whales as they fled in
a frothing of blood
and the chase and the flukes lifting,
fighting the launches.

Sometimes he mentions it.

-Cesare Pevase

On a more positive note...

"There is hope. Infinite hope. Just not for us."


Lying In A Hammock At William Duffy's Farm In Pine Island, Minnesota

This James Wright poem reminds me a little of that Nabokov quote I just posted, only not nearly as good:

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year's horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.


"During the eight years that Pnin had taught at Waindell College he had changed his lodgings about every semester. The accumulation of consecutive rooms in his memory now resembled those displays of grouped elbow chairs on show, and beds, and lamps, and inglenooks which, ignoring all space-time distinctions, commingle in the soft life of a furniture store beyond which it snows, and the dusk deepens, and nobody really loves anybody."

The way I feel after reading this quote reminds me of the way I feel after reading the last paragraph of "The Dead".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The scariest story in the world

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, is said to have seen his double wearing a gray suit, trimmed in gold, riding towards him in the opposite direction while on his way to Drusenheim. Eight years later, while riding from Drusenheim on the very same road, he realized he was wearing the exact outfit that he had seen on his double eight years earlier.

The most charming inscription from a boxer in the world

"To Steve from Muhammad Ali. Love is the net, where the hearts are caught like fish."

signed on a picture of Ali knocking out Joe Frasier. Via Paper Cuts
More interesting inscriptions are here

The happiest babies in the world

(Via Meghan)
(Okay, the second one doesn't look as happy, but Obama does.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

the most beautiful place in the world

I can't believe that neither Stephanie or I have written a post about Barcelona. We loved it so much we got tattoos.

This is La Sagrada Familia.

You can't tell how high it towers over the city in that picture, but here you can.

This is paella, which is so good in Barcelona that you will LOVE IT even if you are freaked out by eating shellfish like me.

Parc Guell. It wasn't this pretty when we saw it.

Ciutadella Park.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

George Saunders on Sarah Palin

One of my favorite people on maybe my least favorite person ever.

The full piece is here, in The New Yorker.

In summary: Because my candidate, unlike your winking/blinking Vice-Presidential candidate, who, though, yes, he did run as the running mate when the one asking him to run did ask him to run, which that I admire, one thing he did not do, with his bare hands or otherwise, is, did he ever kill a moose? No, but ours did. And I would. Please bring a moose to me, over by me, and down that moose will go, and, if I had a kid, I would take a picture of me showing my kid that dead moose, going, like, Uh, sweetie, no, he is not resting, he is dead, due to I shot him, and now I am going to eat him, and so are you, oh yes you are, which is responsible, as God put this moose here for us to shoot and eat and take a photo of, although I did not, at that time, know why God did, but in years to come, God’s will was revealed, which is: Hey, that is a cool photo for hunters about to vote to see, plus what an honor for that moose, to be on the Internet.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Expressionless Little Animals

Oceans are only oceans when they move… Waves are what keep oceans from just being very big puddles. Oceans are just their waves. And every wave in the ocean is finally going to meet what it moves toward, and break. The whole thing we looked at, the whole time you asked, was obvious. It was obvious and a poem because it was us. See things like that, Faye. Your own face, moving into expression. A wave, breaking on a rock, giving up its shape in a gesture that expresses that shape. See?

- David Foster Wallace

Thursday, September 18, 2008

¡Viva Chile! ¡Viva el pueblo! ¡Vivan los trabajadores!

Find Salvador Allende memorials around the world!


"Lord Suffield, having shot this bear in Russia, subjects it to the further indignity of being stuffed by Mr Ward and made to serve as a dumb waiter."

Lincoln without his beard

In the vein of this...

Monday, September 15, 2008

RIP, David Foster Wallace

"What you're scared of has always been what moved you."

- David Foster Wallace

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Handmaid's Tale

There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.

- Margaret Atwood

Saturday, September 13, 2008


One time Bill Murray made moonshine and took 50 people from the cast and crew of What About Bob to an MC Hammer concert in rural Virginia, and Bill Murray went on stage high on moonshine and ripped his pants while he was dancing.


One of my fondest childhood memories, but also maybe the saddest thing ever. Except even now I chuckle (through my tears) when the hyenas laugh.

part two of stephanie's post

A follow-up to this.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Delicious Food

It's almost fall. I'm excited that it is cool enough to cook big, labor-intensive meals again. This weekend I am going to make Tyler Florence's Arroz con Pollo, which is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. It ends up looking a little bit like this.