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Monday: November 9, 2009

An Unfortunate Coincidence of Names

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:37 PM GMT-0500

Prufrock Press is “the nation’s leading resource for gifted and talented children and gifted education programs”. I hope the name is not a literary allusion. Gifted and talented children have enough trouble with accusations of nerdliness and worse: they really don’t need to be associated with J. Alfred Prufrock, who couldn’t decide whether he dared to eat a peach or whether he should “wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach”.

Sunday: November 8, 2009

Method in Madness

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:45 PM GMT-0500

There nearly always is method in madness. It’s what drives men mad, being methodical.

(G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Knew Too Much, VI. “The Fad of the Fisherman”)

Saturday: November 7, 2009


Filed under: — site admin @ 11:26 PM GMT-0500

Thanks to the local Farmers’ Market, I have discovered that kohlrabi looks a lot better than it tastes, while sunchoke (Jerusalem artichoke) tastes a lot better than it looks. Too bad the market and the grocery stores are all out of sunchokes.

Friday: November 6, 2009

What Does This Even Mean?

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:51 PM GMT-0500

Seen on a T-shirt worn by an 8th-grade Latin student (male):

Satan is a nerd.

Thursday: November 5, 2009

A Shameful Admission

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:15 PM GMT-0500

My mother laughed when I first told her that one of my favorite dishes is chicken hearts in wine sauce. She thinks chicken hearts are far too low-class to be mixed with something so hoity-toity as wine. Of course the wine I put on the chicken hearts is the cheapest white wine I can find — usually the kind that comes in a four-pack of small bottles. Someone with more spare time and bad taste than I could compose a whole cookbook of similar ‘bipolar’ recipes: lobsters with Velveeta, ramen noodles with caviar, and so on.

A few days ago, I inadvertently discovered that one ‘bipolar’ combination of foods is surprisingly tasty: Toulouse-Lautrec’s favorite drink, the Tremblement de Terre, goes surprisingly well with a bag of pork rinds.

Monday: November 2, 2009

A Journalist in 1922

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:32 PM GMT-0500

Harold March was the sort of man who knows everything about politics; and nothing about politicians. He also knew a good deal about art, letters, philosophy and general culture; about almost everything, indeed, except the world he was living in.

(G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Knew Too Much, I. “The Face in the Target”)

Sunday: November 1, 2009

The Good Side of an Economic Meltdown

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:39 PM GMT-0500

The only really inexpensive cheese at Whole Foods last time I was there was Höfdingi, which I would describe as a very smooth Brie, only elliptical instead of round. It was well worth the price I paid: $2.99 for 150g. I was not surprised that an Icelandic cheese was so reasonably priced, given what has been happening to the Icelandic economy lately. It’s too bad that economic meltdown rarely has a silver lining for the people directly affected.

Two Questions about DeDe Scozzafava

Filed under: — site admin @ 4:53 PM GMT-0500

1. If I’m reading my Italian dictionary right, her name means ‘Shufflebean’, from scozzare, ‘to shuffle’, and fava, ‘bean’. How does one go about shuffling beans? Stir them up in a big bowl for minestrone?

2. Now that she’s withdrawn and endorsed the Democratic candidate, can the Republican Party ask for their $900,000 back? Can individuals who contributed to her under the impression that she was a Republican ask for their money back?

Retro me, Satanas!

Filed under: — site admin @ 4:12 PM GMT-0500

There are two days left until Election Day here in Virginia. For several weeks now, the house across the street has had a sign up reading “Embrace civility”. I agree with the sentiment entirely, but still have a small, easily-stifled, urge to take some spray paint and alter it to “Embrace civility, or be damned!” or something even cruder, perhaps a plural noun in the vocative case.