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Baseball vs. literature

The other day I asked my baseball-fan friend John M. if he'd seen the ballgame the night before, and he said he'd only caught the tail end of it.

"There's something wrong with me," he said, clearly ashamed of himself. He then showed me the culprit, the cause of this horrific lapse: He's been reading "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen, and he's totally caught up in it.

Reading instead of watching sports?? Hello, anyone got some priorities around here?

Something was wrong with him.

But I could not rebuke him, because I've had precisely the same problem with these baseball playoffs. And because of the same book! I'm also, in my off-and-on way, reading "Freedom," and am 320 pages into it, and it's very good, and I can offer this latest, incremental review:

It's about sex.

Also, because I've been working on a book, I've been hanging around the university library and have lately noticed how many good books there are that a person might plausibly want to read before his or her personal expiration date. Plus good books that have already been read that ought to be read again (like "White Noise"). Maybe reading isn't a complete waste of time after all.

Last night I should have been closely watching Game 6 of the Yankees vs. Rangers series. Who doesn't want to watch a Game 6? Game 6s are often better than Game 7s. But lately I find myself unable to care much. I don't really know the players and in my heart do not truly care who wins or loses. This scares me. It might be a baseball-specific thing, as the sport gradually fades into third-tier status, heading in the direction of horse racing and boxing. Maybe it's just that the players look so dang scruffy on the hi-def TV. Or it could be a sign of age, as my cultural taste buds lose their acuity and I inexorably turn into a cranky old man interested in nothing other than writing dyspeptic letters to the editor about how everything in life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

But I really blame technology, in large part: I can now tape (DVR) the game and watch it at my leisure. I can freeze the sport in my machine and then wander off and do something else, like read. And last night I got distracted from the baseball by some good books from the library (something is wrong with me), including the Tales of Edgar Allan Poe.

I'd forgotten how short, compact, brutal, was The Tell-Tale Heart: six pages of channeled lunacy, the pacing manic, not a word out of place, and from its genius opening sentence a harrowing glimpse of derangement:

"TRUE! -- nervous -- very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?"

(I spot a guy on book leave.)

The George Will types will have us believe that baseball is the most literary sport, but it's still not as literary as literature itself. What Major League Baseball needs to do is put more emphasis on reading, particularly among the players, and particularly in the post-game interviews, like last night when Josh Hamilton, the MVP of the Rangers (who won the series in case you missed it), was interviewed during the post-game celebration. He should have been asked, "Josh, enough about this silly ballgame, WHAT ARE YOU READING THESE DAYS?"

Famous athletes should sponsor book clubs! I'm thinking Brett Favre's Book Club. He should read "Freedom," I think it's really up his alley.

By Joel Achenbach  | October 23, 2010; 8:32 AM ET
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Next: Enterprising chemistry majors at Georgetown


Page 360. I'm ahead of Joel and I started later. But I'm on a deadline. The book is due back at the library on November 2. If I keep to my pace of just over 30 pages a night, I should have a few days to spare.

And yes, there is sex. Underage sex. Non-consensual sex. Adulterous sex. Make-up sex. Sex that could even be called diamondbacking if one were familiar with that term. And since I'm just a little more than half way through, I suspect there is more sex ahead. Yet somehow I get the feeling that not everybody will be happy about it.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Baseball is more important, Boss.
But I got 'mudged in the middle of thanking the poet of the boodle ... so here it is ...

CqP, thank you for the William Blake last evening. Trees. Ents.
Those that hold the earth to the sky.

Every tree today is shouting a final glorious note in distracted harmony with his fellow.

Then each will rest awhile and silver out with frost
bear the weight of snow or
be bare and wait.


Batter up!

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in New York - mighty Yankees have struck out.

Philly, you are up next.

Posted by: baldinho | October 23, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

scc: not the "poet of the boodle". doh!
That lady, you know, who rides bicycles when she should be, you know, staying home instead of, uh, working her, like, body off when she's been, ya know, sick? That lady.

The one who knows the difference between bombazine and taffeta.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Nicely done Joel, I wondered where you were going with that!

Posted by: nellie4 | October 23, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Often the Big Novelists confuse me. I don't get their points. Do they have a point? Is there something I'm not getting? Is it like a puzzle? These questions I ask myself.

In Bellow's Mr. Sammler's Planet, which I got much out of, I wonder: are what I see in this the same things the author intended? And in Roth, whom I can't tolerate, what am I to think? Are the flaws of the characters supposed to be illuminating? Because they are not: such messes of human beings are apparent to me, they abound in every school and workplace, for the most part. Even in Berger's book Neighbors, am I getting it right? Is Earl the real psychopath?

Why do so few novels show me things I truly never saw? It is what I hope for and when it happens, it is life changing. But I have to say that non-fiction has done far more in this regard.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

This wonderful kit ties in beautifully with the evapo-day kit. I know this firsthand: I decided to pick up my book from the nightstand this morning when I woke up and read a few pages before getting out of bed. A couple of hours later, here I am eating breakfast at 11:30.

The book that has gained my rapt attention is Jane Eyre. My book group is reading Becoming Jane Eyre (where are italics when you really need them?). I read several pages before I decided that I should re-read Jane Eyre first.

With no copy of the book in the house, I picked up my iPad, punched up the iBooks app and had a free version of Jane Eyre ready to read in just a few moments. (I love reading older books on the iPad especially because of the instant dictionary feature).

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I realized that I've never actually read Jane Eyre. I'm not sure I'll have both books finished by the time our book group meets, but I'm pretty happy the group's pick has led me down this path.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 23, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to kill it.

Brunch/lunch on the sideboard (went to market yesterday, home again jiggety-jig) ... ham and turkey sandwiches, my homemade chicken salad and deviled eggs, slices of honeydew. Iced tea or cold ale. Gatorade in Cassandra's preferred flavor if necessary, but she'll have to swim under the Meem's Bridge with me - the longest covered bridge in Virginia. (Cass - wish you could - love you.)

I cross it often in my travels, but 'under' it are the wonders of swimming holes and the quiet fishing.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I should say Anathem is delivering on all fronts: it's current (the Tea Party's war on the Enlightenment); it's renewed my examination of Platonic thought in general and it's relation to theology; and also has some Wolframian points to ponder as well.

The Platonic parts also tie in with an ongoing debate I have with a friend, and synchronistically showed up in a wacky but heavy movie I saw, Leaves of Grass.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 23, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I re-read Jane Eyre this summer. A story I never tire of, probably because I feel Charlotte was, by far, the best writer of all that Bronte sisterhood. She spoke most honestly. Why Emily got all the glory for her gothic Wuthering Heights escapes me. That Heathcliff rogue, I reckon.

"Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs."

- Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

btw, there are several very good film adaptations, true to the source, should you be interested.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

That's why I thought I'd read it, talitha... the movies. At least I keep picturing Mr. Rochester looking like George C Scott.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 23, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Although I will say that had someone coerced Daniel Day-Lewis into playing Heathcliff back in the day I might be singing a different tune.

I'm teasing ... Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon did a splendid Heathcliff and Cathy in 1939. The film makers should have left it at that and just let people name cats after him.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

TBG, George C. Scott is 'the best' Mr. Rochester!

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Jumper - I've been enjoying Anathem, too. I'm about 50 pages from the end and I can see how Stephenson's tying things up while still wrestling with determinism and free will, Wheeler's Many Worlds and quantum mechanics, the nature of the cosmii themselves and humanity's relationship to them. Oh, yeah, plus God, as you pointed out.

And a climax that Clarke, Baxter, and Brin would dig.


Posted by: -bc- | October 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I am always fascinated by the range of answers I get from literary types when I ask them what Jane Eyre is about. Some people see love story, some a plight-of-women cri de coeur, some a veiled Gothic horror tale, some a racist and misogynistic put-down. Me, I say it is most deeply concerned with religion and faith.

Posted by: Yoki | October 23, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Seeya, boodle.

I'm going down to enjoy the river on this splendiferous afternoon. Already dug out my dvd of Jane Eyre for later. The music in the Geo.C.Scott/Susannah York version is worth the watch, imo. Will send it to you TBG unless you have Netflix and can get it on your queue.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and greenie, if you manage to catch that critter and want to send it to me, please put it in the freezer. Probably won't be wanting it for about 27 days, I think.

Should be better than knocking over trashcans and sniffing through open resturant and hotel dumpsters, anyway.


Posted by: -bc- | October 23, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you guys are getting heavy with all that stuff. It kind of makes me want to go out to the bookstore and run through irresponsible sums of money. Sadly, I have probably several years worth of unread book scattered about the apartment (bookshelf space is at a premium) so I really should just browse around and find something I already own.

Also, I was at Borders last night.

Unfortunately, I'm not really sure what I'm in the mood for in a serious vein so I'm working my way through Bernard Cornwell's Starbuck books on the recommendation of my bartender (we were discussing The Killer Angels at the time). I just picked up the last two yesterday. They're a lot of fun for those with a passing interest in the Civil War but I'll probably be finished by early next week at the latest and so will be back to wandering my books before bed, shaking my head and muttering while I try to find something that grabs me.

Posted by: cowhand214 | October 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Oooo, caught that Yoki as I was about to log off.

You know how I see Jane? I see her as a woman of her time, an orphan obviously, who made her way in the world as best she could ... survived circumstances that were beyond her control, and survived. To me she's the epitome of a woman who carries self-respect and passion balanced despite the dictates of her era. What more could she do?

Everyone told her she was "nothing". She knew differently, knew her own heart and knew her value as a human being in the world. And when she loved, she loved deeply. I admire Jane greatly.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I love the Wuthering Heights remake with Ralph Fiennes - the music is so haunting. I tried re-reading the book some years ago and found it tough to get through - I loved it as a teenager. Haven't tried reading Jane Eyre again.

I just finished Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union. Not sure I understood it all. I started it sometime in the spring, then picked it up again and read it at work, a couple of chapters a day. I had a hard time keeping the characters straight. But he writes in a compelling way, and beautifully, so I kept going, thinking it would all make sense. But I was taken aback by the abrupt ending, because I thought I still had a ways to go (there is a glossary, and other stuff in the paperback I have). So I'm not quite what to think of that. My sister loved it.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

What does it say about me that I read The Tell Tale Heart to my granddaughters this summer? What does it say about them that they weren't completely freaked out by it?

Still trying to read the new Bill Bryson book but life has gotten in my way. It is very interesting tho' so I look forward to being able to devote more time to it. But not right now, I am ready to nap!

Posted by: badsneakers | October 23, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

How about novel mashups? Maybe a Philip Dick and Jane Austen combo?

"Come on! You got what you want! Give them the Eyre!"

Posted by: baldinho | October 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I see it as about seeing things for the ugliness they are, and taking the high road anyway.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 23, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Cowhand, caught you, too!

Our eighth-graders in Balt.Co. were required to read Killer Angels as part of their CivWar studies. Many of them were so intrigued that they read the entire trilogy. Michael Shaara wrote Killer Angels (Gettysburg) and his son wrote Gods and Generals (prequel) and The Last Full Measure (sequel), using the format of his father's original. I think it was a brilliant way to tell the story. Focus not on the war per se, but on the biographies of principal characters, using primary sources (diaries, journals, etc.) to "flesh it out".

I know many have a problem with this genre, although I've never seen any criticism from James McPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom) or Shelby Foote (The Civil War: A Narritive) that disputed Shaara's approach.

I was lucky enough to know Mr. Foote and study under his kind and stern gaze. He gave me some of the best advice I ever
received regarding what some pejoratively call 're-enacting'. Living history, especially when we are in classrooms or museums, etc.

"Know your stuff, D. Never speak a word that you can't back with primary sources.* If you dress in period clothes, be sure they are accurate right down to your underwear because someone will ask you to see your corset. If you have to mount a horse, do it. If you need to set up a tent or wear a man's uniform, do it. That's what women did then ... be prepared to teach the truth. Plow your field."

I've got that written down from over 15 years ago. Dang, I still miss that man's sweet stern voice.

*Often we remain 'in character', never dropping the 'primary source'. I'm talking to you, yello, who questioned me a few days ago about "folks who dress up in funny costumes for a weekend" vs actors who portray characters "with a script" in a film. Don't jump to conclusions there, brother boodler. There are many "roles" to play in many settings ... actors with scripts in movies are wonderful --- and also historians (not weekend hobbyists) with knowledge to back up their voices.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 23, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I would read "Freedom," but I fear it might disturb my inner repose. Lately I have been reading a lot of Bill Bryson. Not so much sex, but quite a lot of beer.

I think that baseball could legitimately be considered the most literary of sports. (But, please, don't put me and Will in the same bin. I've never even worn a bow-tie.) First of all, baseball is very character driven. Because there are so gosh darn many games the viewer gets to know the players quite well. Further, of course, it is much easier to impose a coherent narrative on baseball because it is a very linear game. Is it any wonder there have been so many movies that feature it?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 23, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

badsneakers, I just picked up the new Bryson book last weekend on a whim down at the bookshop on Porter Square in Cambridge. I'm really enjoying it. It is, frankly, not quite what I expected but it's so wonderfully discursive and wandering and full of random factoids that I am quite content.

Talitha! I'm glad you did decide to stay a moment and catch me.

When I was a young kid I had a consuming interest in history and all things Civil War related. I remember seeing Ken Burns' documentary on PBS (my mother taped it for me) so I watched and then re-watched it. A couple years later my Dad took me to see the movie Gettysburg. I wish I knew now what theater it was at (some folks here probably would know it since we were living in Silver Spring at the time). It was an actual by God movie theater with an enormous screen, not the little mall matchboxes I was used to. That probably added a little to the effect but I remember how absolutely shocked I was when the first scene began (after that magnificent opening score) and it was in *color*. I was in love with the movie after that.

It's funny when I watch that movie now as it still seems very well done and a reasonably faithful rendering of Shaara's book which is itself a reasonably faithful rending of history. But sometimes the lines (even perhaps most particularly the famous ones) that work so well on the page sound ridiculous to modern ears when spoken out loud. Oh well, still worth it.

I think it's wonderful that 8th graders would be required to read The Killer Angles. As someone once said about Patrick O'Brian's work good historical fiction "can put a spark in the sawdust of time." The dry textbook history that is fed to students can use a little enlivening.

I have both Mr. Foote's and Mr. McPhereson's book on the shelf here somewhere though in both cases I was never quite able to finish either. Well, for Foote it's the first volume but I believe the other two are packed safely in a box somewhere. Maybe I'll take 'em down and have a look this afternoon. I'm suddenly feeling inspired.

Thanks for the thought, Talitha. I also congratulate you on your good fortune to have worked with Shelby Foote.

Posted by: cowhand214 | October 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, I think it's about Jane Eyre. It's proto-feminist, and critical about authoritian faith without charity, and shows importance to a woman of an independent income and independence in the world.

I would have liked to read it sooner in my life, but I didn't like anything labelled as a romance as a young reader. By the time I read it, so much of the truths in it were self-evident-- but they weren't when it was published, nor are the truths in it for a young reader (teens or so.)

And that kind of answers Jumper's question. Sometimes the reader grows ahead of the author in experience. We are in a high information-saturation, highly mobile society with many diverse lives.

The Roman saying that "from one man learn of all men" still holds true, though, and this is where psychologically detailed fiction can come in handy.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

You chose to misunderstand me so I have to leave it at that. Re-enacting seems to be a fun and enriching hobby, but Rich Iott is an idiot. Casually and ignorantly whitewashing the role of an SS unit on the Eastern front is pretty petty as far as stupidity goes. Dressing up as a Nazi is probably the least of his crimes.

I spent too much time admiring the soldiering of the WWII era Germany in my junior high days. It's real fun to play the German in Third Reich because they are the aggressor. It's fun to play the German in Panzerblitz because they have all the cool equipment.

But eventually you have to reconcile the role of the military units with the political aims they were enabling. It is impossible to disentwine one from the other.

We had a similar dialog during the CivlWarHistoryStorm. You can't separate the soldier from the general from the leader. They were fighting on the wrong side of history for a cause that was far from noble.

As for re-enactors, I admire their dedication to research and their obsessive attention to detail. That said, the most annoying professional re-enactor I ever met was the captain of the Mayflower at Plimouth Plantation. Since his character had no knowledge of what happened to the ship after it returned to England, he refused answer any questions about any event past the arbitrary date they had set the re-enactment. At some point the historical accuracy aspect interferes with the educational mission.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel, Joel. You don't care who wins? Surely you jest. Man, we're talking about the Yankees here. I will root for any team to beat the Yankees (sorry, Mo). Go Rangers!

I began reading Poe to the Boy when he was about seven. I started with "HopFrog", a slightly obscure but thoroughly chilling tale which has the advantage of possibly being based on a somewhat true event - at least, there was a medieval king much like the evil king character. He and I still read the stories sometimes. He loved them, but I probably warped him for life.

Last year when I needed some sherry I made sure to buy some Amontillado, to show him.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 23, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I voted today. Fortunately, before I saw this video:

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

yello... I don't know much about reenacting, and I'm skeeved out as much as you are seeing folks in Nazi garb, but doesn't someone have to represent the "other" side in any battle reenactment?

Posted by: -TBG- | October 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of knowledge and its proper handling, why doesn't every single news outlet give Julien A$$hat the metaphorical back of their hands with a single paragraph of coverage, along the lines of part of WaPo's coverage:

"There appear to be no major revelations in the latest logs. Much like those WikiLeaks released earlier this year on the war in Afghanistan, the Iraq documents are mainly low-level field reports that reflect a soldier's-eye view of the conflict but do not contain the most sensitive secrets held by U.S. forces or intelligence agencies."

OK, so the leaks give us an incremental level of detail on all the crap we already knew about the massive U.S. failure in almost every aspect of the war in Iraq. And? THIS is worth such attention? Feh.

*trying-to-enjoy-what-is-truly-a-lovely-day-and-not-just-because-the-Rangers-won-(sorry-mo!) Grover waves*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Rooting for the Yankees is like cheering for the dealer in blackjack.

The smaller the ball, the longer the bookshelf.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Marble champions must be Rhodes scholars, then, Yellojkt.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 23, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I *loved* Jane Eyre when I first read it as a young teenager. 14? 15? I don't recall, but I've always been drawn to strong women who overcome adversity. She certainly did.

On the way home from Mr. T's family reunion, I got a call that the son of our music minister and organist was killed in an accident last night. He was 20, a gifted musician studying the French horn. No details. I am heartsick. This is all parents' worst nightmare. Oh, the price we pay for being human!

Posted by: slyness | October 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

My condolences to you and your church, slyness, such a loss. *HUGSSSSSSSSSS*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 23, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of that young man.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 23, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, indeed, Slyness. My condolences to the family.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 23, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry for your friend's loss, slyness.

"I see it as about seeing things for the ugliness they are, and taking the high road anyway." - LostInThought

This is the plot to almost every Louis L'Amour book.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 23, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

That particular re-enactment group specifically chose 5th SS Wiking Panzer Division because they were a unit that fought on the Eastern Front and did not face Allied troops. So their re-enactments mostly consist of performing 'attacks' using real weapons and blank ammo against an imaginary enemy. They do say they participate (inaccurately) in Western Theater events, presumably when cannon fodder is needed for American and British re-enactors.

The real 5th SS heavily recruited Northern European and Scandinavian non-German nationals to fight against the "Bolshevik scourge" (read 'international Jewry'). Josef Mengele was their staff physician until he moved onto bigger and better things.

So while their rather emphatic policy of disavowing 'racism or anytype of embracement of Nazi idealogy', the unit they roleplay was populated by volunteers who did.

The World War 2 Historic Re-Enactment Society lists nearly three dozen units representing German groups (most of which to some degree or another disavow racism, good for them), four for Soviet military units, and none for concentration camp victims.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I add my condolences and prayers for the parents of the young man. Realizing how a few inches to the left could have changed the outcome for #2, I am very sensitive to this right now.

Posted by: badsneakers | October 23, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Unless you are from NY, rooting for the Yankees is like pulling for the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.

Posted by: baldinho | October 23, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend's son. That is so tragic. My thoughts and prayers go out.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

slyness, sympathy to you and the young man's family and friends.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

There are many reasons to not pay much attention to political races around the parts of they country you don't live. One in particular I noticed today: Tom Tancredo may become the Governor of Colorado. Tom Tancredo? Wow. Any Coloradans care to explain?

Posted by: baldinho | October 23, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... so sorry to hear about your young friend.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 23, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

yellowjkt, Perhaps there's a need for Polish resistance reenactors. They were known to help Jews, and were killed off by both Germans and especially Soviets.

Slyness, condolences. Reality is a different thing from young death as an excuse to get an opera's plot moving, as in 'Boris Godunov'.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 23, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

yellowjkt, Perhaps there's a need for Polish resistance reenactors. They were known to help Jews, and were killed off by both Germans and especially Soviets.

Slyness, condolences. Reality is a different thing from young death as an excuse to get an opera's plot moving, as in 'Boris Godunov'.

My house is stuffed with books that are likely to still be unread on my personal expiration date.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 23, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double post. The second is the correct version.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 23, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse


Terribly sorry to hear that, and my heart does ache for the parents. Will say a prayer for them.

Posted by: cmyth4u | October 23, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Boomslang | October 23, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, slyness.

baldinho, I liked the flying monkeys. The same cannot be said of the Yankees (sorry, Mo!).

Of course Ivansdad roots for America's Team in football so our loyalties may be suspect.

DaveOTCoonties, "My house is stuffed with books that are likely to still be unread on my personal expiration date." So well said, and so true of me!

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 23, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Ivan: I'll at least own up to liking the Red Sox. I was born in Boston, so that gives me an out.

If you aren't from Boston, nowadays rooting for the Red Sox would be like rooting for Goliaths younger brother.

Posted by: baldinho | October 23, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

GO NAVY!! another victory over the Irish.
I love the way the college season sort of shakes itself out after the first BSC crap comes out.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 23, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Joy. Pure and simple.

The 11 books that I had shipped from Brattle Book Shop arrived Thursday via UPS. The staff had wrapped each book individually in plain brown wrapping paper, had arranged them in stacks of three to five books each, and had encased each stack in bubble wrap, and then stuffed paper down each side of the box to protect the the three stacks. I could not have done a better job myself of protecting precious cargo if I had tried.

Monday the three boxes of books that I shipped--29 books in all, each wrapped in cut-up, slightly used paper grocery sacks from Roche Bros. should arrive. Two from the very first visit to Brattle, several from Adams National Historic Park, one from the Wadsworth Athenaeum, a handful from Borders in Burlington, another handful from Crow used books in Vermont's Queen City, several from the Ethan Allen Homestead.

And two from an independent bookseller in Keene, N. H., a purchase made to help them eke out an existence because the rest of the old mill shopping center was so obviously a victim of very hard times; the refurbished space so empty of tenants that empty fixtures could be seen through large glass windows, store signs on display but entry doors locked; the entire atmosphere eerily a rapidly evolving retail ghost town.

I don't just want to know New England. Appparently, I want to immerse myself in it. Hundreds of pages to cocoon with.

Posted by: laloomis | October 23, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

How about re-enactments of Guantonamo and Marines blowing away cars full of children at check-points?
So proud.

Posted by: Boomslang | October 23, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Okay. That's it. I can remain silent no longer. I have had it Up. To. Here. with all the badmouthing of the flying monkeys.

Clearly, as evidenced by the reaction of the Witch's storm-troopers (or whatever) when Dorothy did that whole lethal wet-down bit, all of the Witch's minions were operating under coercion. It is logical to conclude that far from being intrinsically evil, the flying monkeys were just doing what they felt they had to do.

Maybe, you know, they had really vicious contracts or something.

So, sure, heap abuse on the green broad. But leave the flying monkeys out of it.

There. It had to be said.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 23, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh Slyness. May their faith comfort them and may they be gentle with themselves with faith falters at the sheer loss.

Talitha, I spoke on the phone via Diane Reim with Shelby Foote, to ask him about my favorite (living) author, Walker Percy. I adored his answer and the very savor of that voice to me, only me, about the message of Percy and the oddity of being a southern-whereabouts Catholic gentleman.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 23, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Shelby Foote definitely has one of the great voices. Could listen to him all day (and night).

Here's a song to get your Saturday night going, and it's inspired by Moby Dick, so it's even on-Kit:

Posted by: seasea1 | October 23, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, RD. Precisely. Those flying monkeys were delighted and relieved to pledge allegiance to Dorothy. I'm sure of it.

I rooted for the Red Sox when I lived in Boston. On the rare occasions when I got away from the law school I'd go to Fenway and sit in the cheap seats. It was a great day when they beat the Yankees a few years back. I understand that, having done so, their sense of purpose had to wander and mutate. It happens when a worthy goal is acheived. (sorry Mo).

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 23, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I-Mom/RD, due to your bunny-tude and other attributes of grace and intellect, I will try to like the winged monkeys. But, such nightmares I had about this all then, and even now; Perhaps, even tonight, I will dream of them....and not in a good way.

Oh, please hold my hand. And, fax dark chocolate and pinot noir...for I am afeared being in night....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 23, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Boomslang, a south Florida Congressional district is about to elect a Republican who was retired from the Army for inappropriate interrogation, of which he's quite proud.

I think a few people have been brave enough to be Guantanamo reenactors, the orange-suit type.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 23, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

laloomis! I believe the bookshop in Keene you frequented was the Toadstool bookshop. I and the missus used to go there before she was the missus, for the same reason you did.

How long were you in Keene? That is a pretty eclectic place, even more so now than when I was there a few years ago.

Posted by: baldinho | October 23, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I've seen 'Wicked' twice (once with the original cast which caused my son to nearly get slapped by a theater kid, but that's a different story) and Elphaba aka the 'Wicked' Witch of the West got a real bum rap. We shouldn't judge a person just by the hue of their skin no matter how jaded she is (bad pun intended) or her fondness for poor genetically modified test animals she has liberated.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm over here, CqP, hold my hand! I don't like the night, either.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, my friends. This is a heartbreaking loss.

Posted by: slyness | October 23, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I read 'The Moviegoer' in college and was quite charmed by it. That phone call must have been quite a while ago since Mr. Walker passed on in 1990.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm on the Tea Party Nation mailing list and one of the features they have is a daily Candidates You Should Know About where they focus on one wingnut or another. Today they had this to say:

///There are a lot of liberals who need to be retired this year, but there are few I can think of more deserving than Keith Ellison. Ellison is one of the most radical members of congress. He has a ZERO rating from the American Conservative Union. He is the only Muslim member of congress. He supports the Counsel for American Islamic Relations, HAMAS and has helped congress send millions of tax to terrorists in Gaza.///

That is just dispicable.

Posted by: Mo_MoDo | October 23, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

YJ, yes before 1990, as darling CPBoy was not yet thunk off. One of the best moments of my life...only better to have spoken to WP myself. This quote from Love in the Ruins made me laugh aloud, like you, in college:

"Jews wait for the Lord, Protestants sing hymns to him, Catholics say mass and eat him."
— Walker Percy (Love in the Ruins)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 23, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Yello, Wicked is currently playing in Toronto, would like to take my older daughter so I looked up the tickets prices - Yikes!! Will keep my eyes open for a deal.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 23, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

YJ, one of the best things ever said was by Shelby Foote: A fact is not the truth until you love it.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 23, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Pretty exciting beisbol in Philly. That pitcher for the Giants looked like he was 10.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!

(Sorry, couldn't resist. I haven't followed baseball all season, but I guess I was rooting a little bit for the last west coast team.)

Posted by: seasea1 | October 23, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Talk about witches and flying monkeys! You don't invite them in any more than you do joy-sucking vampires. At least vampires are seductive.

Posted by: Yoki | October 23, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

i pass along my condolences to you and the young man's family, slyness. the loss of youth is a tragedy.

Posted by: -jack- | October 24, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

for those times when melancholy is the listened to with headphones.

Posted by: -jack- | October 24, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

and for all those times when melancholy is the rule,

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

if i've ever heard this, it was over the am in harriosonburg. my memory fails me.

Posted by: -jack- | October 24, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Sorry.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

this is the take that is most familiar.

Posted by: -jack- | October 24, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

yet another from one of my favourite albums:

Posted by: -jack- | October 24, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Southern Alberta and bars and horses. Yup, home to me.

Posted by: Yoki | October 24, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I'm on my second pot of coffee. The first one was a vile affair and I threw it out. I caught the slug of brine that is created when the resin exchanger switch from one tank to the other and made coffee with it. Yuck.

I'm almost done with Anathem as well. I enjoyed it tremendously. SF as it should be.

We had our first dusting of snow yesterday.
There may be more today. Yuck again.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 24, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Wicked is one of those shows that is just as good from the cheap seats because the stage is so spectacular. The other day I started singing the Pop-ular song in the car and my wife played it off her iTouch to drown me out.

It's so hard to pretend that Idina Menzel is ugly just because she is green.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Edgar Allan Poe and Boston...

When in Boston, you may want to check out Poe Square at the corner of Boylston and Charles...

Posted by: laloomis | October 24, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, you cut me to the quick, sir, with your early snow, sir... :-P :-)

baldinho, I'm sure you'll be as shocked (shocked I say!) as I am to discover the Union-Leader refuses to publish gay marriage notices.

Still, it's a bit stupid for a Senate candidate to weigh in on that -- First Amendment and so on... *SIGH*

Given the fullness of the moon last night, NukeSpouse and I thought it best to not bother bc and instead tuck a little birthday something under his door.

Once it stopped rattling in its hinges, of course.

As I gaze upon a scintillating sunrise and suck down a second slug of coffee, I simply must note that Saturday's forecast seems superb.

Well done San Fran! This is shaping up to be a firecracker of a World Series!

*contemplating-a-day-of-laundry-and-football Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 24, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, gay marriage announcements fall into stories of a certain category (controversies about Republicans, successes by Democrats, information that disproves any of the standard beliefs of the UL true believers) that they will never have in their newspaper.

It is an interesting publication. I have to think that they will ultimately go under. I particularly like the fact that they run editorials and support pieces clubbing any attempt at health care reform when they are bleeding out their ears due to rising HC costs.

Posted by: baldinho | October 24, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

baldinohio, in response to your 10:05 last night.

Yes, indeed, it was the Toadstool Bookshop in the Colony Mill Marketplace in Keene.

How long were we in Keene? Only about 30 minutes at the Colony Mill marketplace, added to 45 minutes running around Keene trying to find a large scale.

My friend and I had stayed the previous night at the Chesterfield Inn in Chesterfield, N.H. It was a choice, when planning the trip, between a more dated inn in Springfiled, Vermont, or my choice, a contemporary inn in Chesterfield, New Hampshire--stylish, clean, comfortable, decorated in the spirit of New England. Our room was in the converted barn, probably my favorite room of the B&B portion of my trip.

By way of contrast, little did we know that the luxurious Lang House in Burlington was directly across the street from a frat house and the Saturday night, the last night of our two-day stay in Burlington,...well, I didn't get to sleep until 3 a.m, because of the raucous party noise on the street.

Why so short a time in Keene? Well, the choice of final town tourist destinations on the day my friend was to depart Boston's Logan was either Brattleboro or Keene. I opted to see the Ethan Allan homestead north of Burlington on Sunday morning, and we didn't have, or make, the time to drive to the Burlington Airport to weigh her luggage. We did drive to the UPS office near Chesterfield to weigh her mammoth suitcase, only to find that the office didn't open until 3:30 p.m. So the better part of the time in driving around Keene was trying to find some mailing or shipping office with scales that could accommodate a 50-lb. elephantine suitcase.

I survived five weeks with the contents of a suitcase that weighed 36-pounds, my friend eleven days with a 50-pound suitcase. Go figure. I made a rule of understanding as we were planning the trip: whatever she packed, she would personally haul herself, including lifting in to and out of the tensy-weensy trunk of the rental car and up and down stairs. And I haven't even mentioned her 25-pound over-the-shoulder bag. Which brings me to my New Rule: travel only with my husband or alone.

Please don't get me started on female snoring.

Posted by: laloomis | October 24, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Shriek, please keep the snow in your area! Love your colchium, I keep saying I should buy some bulbs but never seem to get around to it.

Part of the problem Yello is we could only attend the shows on from Fri-Sunday which significantly ups the cost, unless we want to sit on stools - not - cheapest seat $80.00, not really that bad I guess I am just not a big spender. Did not also The Secret Garden is coming.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, baldinho, I think the UL really just exists in a parallel dimension... Dang portals! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 24, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Now this front page story is a real tragedy:

The one about gun sales to criminals is sad too, but doesn't directly affect me quite as much.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The ombudsman takes on the new WaPo practice of inserting Amazon affinity links (WaPo gets a cut of the sale if somebody buys a book through the link) into book reviews.

Joel has plugged 'Freedom' twice recently with no link whatsoever. He's leaving money on the table.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

That is one of my beefs with touring shows. The range of ticket prices is far less elastic than those on Broadway. Many shows in NYC can be as cheap as $35 way up in the nosebleeds. And there is TKTS where more than a dozen shows are up to half price, even on the weekends. Albeit, you will never Wicked 'on the board'.

'Wicked' really is worth it. Several years ago we were in New York to see some other show and I was walking past the Gershwin just as Wicked was letting out. Based on the looks of the faces, I told my wife we had to see that next. We bought tickets immediately and I think that was the last time they were affordable.

We saw it again this year as a reward for taking a time-share tour. We had surprisingly good seats and the show was every bit as awesome.

I saw 'Mamma Mia' in Toronto because the Canadian production opened nearly a year ahead of the Broadway show. We planned an entire vacation around it and saw 'Lion King' while we were up in Canuckistan as well.

Our next NYC foray is to see 'SpiderMan: Turn Off The Dark' which will be either amazing or amazingly bad. Either way, we gotta see it.

The Broadway show currently get a lot of buzz is 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson', an emo-rock take on the biography of our seventh president.

Speaking of emo-rock, when Billie Joe Armstrong joined the cast of 'American Idiot', sales doubled and it is now a nightly sell-out, so to speak.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Slyness, I'm sorry to hear the tragic story of that young man. Best to all - family, friends - affected by his passing.

Scottynuke, thanks to you and NukeSpouse for the b-day card. You're sneaky/funny. And smart to avoid me at night this time of the month. The doorframe's beaten, but the hinges held.

For all the support of the flying monkeys seen here in the boodle (some kind of animal rights thing, perhaps?), where's the love for the Winkies?

And by the way, Free the Oompa Loompas, NOW!


Posted by: -bc- | October 24, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

laloomis, Burlington is a great town. Did you get out to stroll on Church Street? This time of year they likely would have it decorated for Halloween or other fall celebrations.

Too bad you missed the Keene Pumpkin Festival. They get about 40 thousand jackolanterns, line the center of town with them and have a 2-day festival, with fireworks and all.

Posted by: baldinho | October 24, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

bc, at least one of the Oompas made it to "Jersey Shore," right? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 24, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

dmd... I sure hope you can see Wicked. It's especially worth taking your daughters to see it. Sitting next to my then-12-year-old daughter, hearing "Defying Gravity" for the first time was quite an experience.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Funniest line this morning in the G household: "Oh yay! I just took the second-to-last paper towel off the roll!"

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Yello, I can't stand Broadway shows. My aunt dragged me to Phantom once many years ago, and I do believe I subjected her and other poor neighbours to 'female snoring'. I don't know why I can't stand them, I just can.not. And it is such a pleasure reading/feeling your exact opposite emotions.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 24, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh, DNA Girl... DO NOT JUDGE BROADWAY BY PHANTOM! Worst show I've EVER seen. I'm sure my snores were as loud as yours.

Please, please, please give Broadway another chance. If Phantom had been the first one I'd seen, I'd never go back, either.

On second thought... maybe my wallet would be much happier if that had been the case!

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

What she would really like to see would be the Harry Potter Musical - which she has watched repeatedly online - from
Glee she has learned to search out the original versions of many of the songs - she will love seeing Wicked - as will I. Not to mention the Canon Theatre is beautiful (formerly Pantages).

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh I tried a few more, TBG. I am a big city gal (especially NYC) after all. Didn't work. I'm perfectly happy with opera and other theater experiences, but something about live musicals creeps me out or bores me to tears. There must be a drug for that. I haven't found it yet.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Editors never really get credit...

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Wicked" is a truly wicked show (n a good way, of course) -- I saw it at the Kennedy Centera and thought it was fabulous. I can only imagine what it would have been like with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. Wowie-zowie!

More condolences from me, too, slyness.

No skin from me in the baseball championship, so there we go. If you're happy, I'm happy. So, um, what teams are playing again?

Posted by: ftb3 | October 24, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Musicals not for everybody. They are a particularly odd art form with most devoted to the premise that people randomly break out in song. If you enjoy dance, something like 'Moving Out' may be more your cup of tea.

I followed your link and Toronto has some really good shows.

'Rock of Ages' is a good trashy wallow with a cheesy self-aware story line and lots of classic rock songs. In New York, they allow, even encourage, drinks to be brought back to your seat. This results in their being a lot of rather tipsy 40-something former hair metal groupies staggering out of the theater.

'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' hasn't even made it to New York yet, so there is a chance to see it before it makes or breaks on the Great White Way.

I'm scared to even imagine what a stage production of 'Calendar Girls' looks like. I'm picturing a rather droopy distaff version of 'The Full Monty'.

Carrie Fisher's book is hilarious and I would love to see her do it onstage. Even if she doesn't wear a brass bikini.

But 'The Secret Garden' is one of the few shows I have dozed off in. It was duller than even 'Little Women' which at least had Sutton Foster and Maureen McGovern (who was also in the touring version) to stare at.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I was reading an article about one of the actors in Priscilla yesterday, C. David Johnston. Also playing is Death of a Salesman, the reviews have been great except for the G&M which was OK. Love that play but thinking it might be harder to encourage a young teen to attend that. There are always lots of plays on, between Toronto and the Shaw festival and the Stratford festival - tend to take it for granted - but need to attend more, now that the kids are older it gets easier.

Rock of Ages doesn't appeal that much but a little more than Mamma Mia - which was in the "over my dead body category", for some stupid reason I watched the movie (TV) but only in the way that you look at car crashes - morbid curiosity, it was so awful.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

56 seconds of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson:

Lyrics not safe for tender ears, at work or otherwise.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Don't judge Mamma Mia by the movie. Somebody should have stopped Pierce Brosnan from ever trying (and largely failing) to hit a note. Plus it didn't help that the cinematographer had no idea how to shoot in the brutal Mediterranean sun. There is a reason musicals are shot on sound stages.

But my wife and I are AbbaAddicts, so we are highly prejudiced.

I just read that Philip Seymour Hoffman is going to be the Loman on Broadway next year. We had to read this in high school and I think the story of a failed dreamer resonates with young people better than you would think.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Brunch on the table.

Er, I see da Bears are playing the 'Skins today. Fanwise, I'm totally outnumbered here, but I just hope it's a good game to watch.

Lots of great B'way musicals out there. I have my personal list of best and worst, just like everyone who's seen more than one. I saw "Wicked" with a teenage girl, which was perfect. It wouldn't have been anywhere as meaningful an experience without her.

Posted by: MsJS | October 24, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

slyness, I haven't finished backboodling (correct term?) but I wanted to just mention my condolences on your loss and the loss to the congregation.

For the rest of us, let this be a reminder. For this kid and his family there will be a lot of talk about having his whole life ahead of him. While that is both true and an absolute tragedy the point is so do we all. We'll always have our whole lives ahead of us. Vaya con Dios.

Posted by: cowhand214 | October 24, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The local professional theater runs almost nothing but musicals. That's what the retirees want. Biomusicals are the rising thing. The Judy Garland Musical, then the Andrews Sisters. This year, it's Cagney, Brel, and Buddy Holly.

Makes sitting through Boris Godunov at the movie theater pretty easy.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 24, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last night. Very good - a bit hard to watch at times (don't think there will be a musical version), but I thought it was well done. I will have to try the books again.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 24, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

seasea, I can sort of imagine a dancing, singing Lisbeth Salander?

Thinking of movies, TCM is showing the restored "Metropolis", a 1920s German classic, Nov. 7 at 8 pm.

In the Google department, Google Street View has now arrived at the verdant Penn State main campus. It would help prospective students if Google did another set of imagery on a snowy January day.

I've been dazzled by Street Views of New York, London, Rome. A picture of Kyoto was good enough to settle uncertainty over whether a spectacular palm was a Sabal or a Washingtonia. It's the latter, which says something about the climate being mild.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 24, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

In news about bears, a black bear was captured in a suburban Eastside neighborhood:
"His "bait" was the irresistible combination of Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts topped with vanilla extract. The bear will be located greater than 40 miles from the Bridle Trails neighborhood to deter a return visit."

Posted by: seasea1 | October 24, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Mmmm . . . Krispy Kreme . . .

I'm sorry, you were saying?

Posted by: cowhand214 | October 24, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Traditionally, bears were lured with sardines, rodents with oatmeal and peanut butter. Tastes must have changed.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 24, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

seasea... did you read the book Wicked? Hard to imagine they made a musical out of that one.

I wouldn't put it past Steven Schwartz to come up with a Dragon Tatoo Broadway musical.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The Wikipedia article on Elphaba goes into the difference between the book and the musical. I never made it more than 50 pages into the book, but it seems the musical makes Elphaba far more sympathetic and structures a love triangle between her, Galinda and Flyero which doesn't exist in the book.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all.

a song, because it's all I've to offer.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 24, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

There is a theater group that is going to restage the musical version of Carrie, considered one of the biggest Broadway bombs of all time.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The book is a different story altogether, yello. Although they both "turn" her wicked, in the book she really does become wicked and you kind of want to see her die in the end.

One thing I like about the musical is that when I see the classic Wizard of Oz, I feel like I know the back story. The same happens when you see Wicked... they don't bother to explain--they just assume you know the Wizard of Oz.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I think I read somewhere that Sissy Spacek could sing, so a B'way version of Carrie could actually happen. That being said, of course, Spacek is perhaps 40 years older than when she made the movie.

*and aren't we all, alas*

Posted by: ftb3 | October 24, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

ftb... if you've ever seen Coal Miner's Daughter you'd know Sissy Spacek can sing.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, TBG. Nope, never say CMD. I don't like country music, so I wouldn't go out of my way to hear it, no matter who would sing it.

Posted by: ftb3 | October 24, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "saw", not "say" *sigh*

Posted by: ftb3 | October 24, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The book is also more risque. Sort of. I got through most of it browsing in a bookstore once.

DNA Girl, musicals can be a bit too Bollywood. I like watching some of the better ones on TV (Fiddler on the Roof), but songs take forever and the pace can kill the focus, so I have to be in the right mood to endure the songs-- and have a stop/fastforward button.

Which is why I'm astonished I'm even watching Glee-- but then, I always watch it on Hulu so I can skip whenever the songs are too boring. I largely want dance and/or a ministory.

Signed musicals do it for me. Intepreted musicals don't, really. Cabaret was not good for me.

We once watched a sung version of the Tempest which was so bad about a quarter of the audience left at intermission. We didn't hear the singing, just the signing, so we stayed throughout, but we were disappointed at the lack of energy.

Basically for me the only reason to stop and sing during a show is to have really great dance numbers and set-changes, which is why I like Bollywood a bit better.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 24, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

This is not exactly an outstandingly original observation but I was just reading a news item over on CNN and was struck once more while reviewing the comments section just how low the Internet increasingly allows us to bring ourselves. The comments showed a staggering lack of charity and even more stunning ignorance that it was, not to put too fine a point on it, nauseating.

Anyway, ya'll do good work over here. I just thought I'd mention it.

On an entirely different note: did CNN use to report the news or am I making that up?

Posted by: cowhand214 | October 24, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, thanks for the link! For whatever reason that song is doing it for me on a gray day in Boston. Good deal.

Posted by: cowhand214 | October 24, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Laughing at your last sentence cowhand. Personal pet peeve, is when they read peoples twitter comments.

Comments on most online sights remind me of when I would glance at the Toronto Sun (a paper left behind on the subway or commuter train). Never liked the paper but was always amused by the letters to the editor, in this paper the editor would write a note, usually scathing after the letter. Neither the letters or the editors notes were what high would consider well thought out rational discourse, comments online have taken this low point and sunk in and endless cavern. I think I lose a little faith in humanity when I read comments on some subjects so try to limit what I read, there is a whole world of ugly out there I am unaware of and want no part of.

Posted by: dmd3 | October 24, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, in a good musical, the songs carry the story forward. Well-written and arranged songs can add a lot to the storyline. A good example that Wilbrod reminds me of is Fiddler on the Roof.

In the bad ones, the music just stops the story and kills the pace. I can't think of an example right now, but I know I've seen them.

In one weekend in NYC, I saw The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Spelling Bee was on a small stage, almost in the "round," with simple props the actors themselves moved around on stage.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels had John Lithgow and was a HUGE BROADWAY PRODUCTION.

Both were great, but I loved Spelling Bee much more and it has stayed with me much longer--easily one of my favorites and worth the second viewing. It was more entertaining to see how a simpler set could still be so spectacular. And the very funny songs definitely told the story.

The first time I saw Spelling Bee we were sitting practically on the stage. Last year, when I watched the TV hit Modern Family, I couldn't figure out why the actor who plays Mitchell was so familiar to me. Then it hit me: he was in Spelling Bee and his position on the stage most of the time was right in front of me. (He was great, by the way!)

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Headline on the WaPo front page: Reid goes birther on 'SNL'

What?!? Reid did not go birther on 'SNL." An actor playing Reid did.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Far off topic, but will a Congressional committee investigate the Post for violating gun privacy?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 24, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I came inside just in time to see the Washington Professional Football Team put one away. Well done.
What a miserable cold rainy day to be outside. But I had to put the summer stuff away and prepare for winter.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 24, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It's astounding someone actually won the Washington-Chicago game, it was Turnover Central.

The Browns beat the Saints and the Bills are giving the Ravens a fight into OT?????????

NFL parity continues to play hob with game selection logic, I tellya...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 24, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow! DeAngelo Hall caught 4 passes for 92 yards!

Too bad for me Hall is a Redskins cornerback and those passes he caught were thrown by Bears QB Jay Cutler.

Da Bears played worser.

Posted by: MsJS | October 24, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Apparently a big point spread is jinxing the favorites: Saints get pounded, Ravens have to claw (beak?) into OT to win, and the Broncos are already 21 down to da Raiders.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 24, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

My daughter writes:

"We had a poignant visit to the pumpkin patch last weekend. The children have grown so tall they can see over the hay bale maze; the pigs were asleep. And there was no hot cider altho the weather was calling for it. We did get some really nice pumkins."

Posted by: nellie4 | October 24, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't ever stand Bollywood films either; yes, it was not fun to stay behind when friends went to see Hindi movies...but truly my stomach turned at the thought. I've seen maybe 10 Bollywood movies and liked maybe 2 of them. Love the songs in old HIndi movies...glorious poetry and melodies...never in the context of films/shows though. Like I said, maybe there's a drug for this weird problem.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 24, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I call that pill the remote button, DNA girl.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 24, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

non sequitur ...

What a beautiful October afternoon it has been ...

Posted by: talitha1 | October 24, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Horror movie drug:
Fur therapy in your lap
and across your eyes...


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 24, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

And a cold nose, brr,
awakes a slumbering beast
in time for dinner

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 24, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

sneaks, you heard of this guy?

Turns out a reporter for a Boston area TV station made the cut over at the WaPo pundit contest. His station is pulling out all the stops to get out the vote, including this goofy youtube ad.

It'd be OK 'cept this guy is more like Ted Baxter than Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: MsJS | October 24, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of a short-lived Broadway show called Bombay Dreams which followed the formula of a Bollywood movie. The even had a huge fountain on stage for the wet sari dancing number. It was a lively show but not particularly good.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all. Since Mr. T and I didn't make it to church this morning, I was glad to read this quote from the sermon, which really resonates:

"There is not a choice of pain or no pain; there is the choice of pain from loving or pain from not loving."

That pretty much sums life up, doesn't it?

Ah, musicals. The last one I saw was The Trailer Park Musical, which was hilarious, but you have to be a true Southerner to catch all the jokes. Talk about cliche, it was over the top.

The Panthers won! Something must have gone wrong in the universe, will bc or RD or SciTim please check and let us know what happened? Thanks!

And thanks to everyone for the kind thoughts and prayers. Yes, it's going to be a tough week.

Posted by: slyness | October 24, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I had to Google him, MsJS, even after I watched the clip. Turns out he's a correspondent for a long running local nightly news magazine program which I absolutely never remember to watch even tho' they have really good local (NE) stories. He's probably an okay guy. I did see one blog post he wrote about the Coakley campaign just before she lost the race to the empty suit last January.

Have had a busier than I wanted day but I got so much done! I even replaced a zipper on a cute little handbag #2 had bought on the Vineyard. Now I am ready to go relax.

Hey, how many of us are planning to be at the rally next Saturday? Who is coming in from out of town besides us?

Posted by: badsneakers | October 24, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

OMG, TBG! I never would have caught that. Jesse Tyler Ferguson WAS in Putnam County Spelling Bee. I tried so hard to be one of the audience spellers but didn't make the cut.

Leaf Coneybear has a MySpace page:

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

slyness, so sorry to hear about your young friend.

. . .

When Coal Miner's Daughter came out, we asked friends if they'd like to go. One, who had grown up where the story was set, said she refused to pay money to see someone grow up poor in Appalachia.

Just put out a window air conditioner at the curb. As I took it off the little red wagon, a man and his daughter pulled up and were very happy to take it. I love it when this happens!

I think Tuesday is going to be a mental health day. Monday always seems like you're faking.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 24, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Joel, just for the record, when one is a skilled multitasker, it is quite possible to both "inexorably turn into a cranky old man interested in nothing other than writing dyspeptic letters to the editor about how everything in life has gone to hell in a handbasket" AND maintain one's interest in baseball, as long as it is the National League. I believe you may have mistaken the cause of your disinterest in the Yankees/Texans game, which I assert is the default "natural" position of any sentient human. You see, it features a team once owned by George Steinbrenner versus a team once (co)owned by George W. Bush. Now, really, Joel. That's like saying you can't decide who to root for, Attila and the Huns or Barbarossa and the Turks.

And now we learn there's lots of sex in "Freedom"? *rapidly erasing an item from my long "Don't Bother" list* And underage sex at that? Jeez. Last week I start a thread on LitToC, not knowing it contains underage sex, and add in a discussion of Lolita...and now this.

Good evening, Boodle. We've just returned from a road trip to Virginia Beach to wish dottir#2 happy birthday-- her magic 3-oh. We had a nice 4th-floor oceanfront hotel room down around 12th street, and this morning from the balcony we watched at least five pods of dolphins swim past (southbound; do they migrate like birds?). Must have seen about three dozen, very close to the beach, only a hundred yards out.

It's nearly 8 p.m. and I have seen only a very few football scores, and have not yet consulted the Race for the Tiara standings because -- I admit this quite frankly -- I am a total yellow-bellied, weak-kneed, lilly-livered coward. Yes, I absolutely dread viewing the carnage I am certain awaits me. If you should happen to hear a blood-curdling scream in the next few minutes...

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 24, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The British Navy is being downsized. Time for residents of the Malvinas to learn Spanish and embrace Argentine citizenship.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 24, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

ftb: two days, plus shipping.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 24, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Yello, did you see this?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 24, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Daughter is doing homework tonight. She has to "make a poster about Viet Nam."

I told her it should say "Make love, not war!" She thinks I'm hilarious.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Should be fine as long As she wears some flowers in her hair, tbg.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 24, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Haven't checked out the site. Doubtless someone here has linked to it in the past. Wait for the last sentence. It's terrific.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 24, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Your daughter can use any of my photos with my permission:

I saw the news story about the astronauts checking into Foursquare, but I didn't know it ws tied into other sites. I just wish I could add some retroactively. We went to the Virginia Air and Space Center all the time when I was a kid in Hampton. Every summer we would visit the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville when visiting my grandparents. And I used to do work at the Kennedy Space Center.

But I bet we have boodlers who have been to even more of these places.

Part of the fun of Foursquare is checking into places you don't actually visit. When I was in Atlanta I checked in at the Cheetah even though I haven't been there since my bachelor party. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

That was a great story. I'm a big fan of The Awl (commenter #187). The main writers are two of the better Gawker Media alumni and Tom Scocca is a frequent contributor as well. I steal many of the bear stories I post here from them. It's one of their many odd obsessions. And I am all about odd obsessions.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 24, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

badsneaks, regarding the rally, I wonder: will there be dozens of articles written by reporters that rode a busful of people from somewhere in middle America to THIS rally?

I hope so.

Posted by: baldinho | October 24, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Three college applications done for the Nov.1 deadline, including the teacher recs and transcripts. Early is the NEW.ON.TIME, I tell you. Three more on Tuesday for the January deadline. All MD schools. Phew!

So, football is underway, and was in the background to all the uploading between two computers....long ago and far away, this is how I applied to college:

Did.Not.Apply. Thought my mom had cancer. Turned out she did have something but even she did not know what it was...back in the day of Health.Do.Not.Speak of such things. So, in May she asked, "Where are you going to college, dear CqP."

"No where. You have CA. I am staying home to help, etc."

"I do not have C. I have X or Y or Z; not ure. I will be OK. And, you need to go to college."

(We also then had a family meeting about not have C...lots of kids including wee ones, you know. Tricky but good. Oh, for the telling of truth about health now. Tis GOOD, even when BAD.)

Within a day, I had a phone call from a college -- small Jesuit school -- they asked me three or four questions, including my GPA and class rank. GPA check. Class rank? Dunno.

They sent me a letter a week later saying, Come on down.

So, did not apply. But went.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 24, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

TBG -- today, paper on Vietnam; next year, answer these prompts:

If you could travel back in time and have dinner with any figure, who would this be and why?

What animal best represents you? Use all senses.

Piebald, Harlequin, pinto, paint: speak about contrasts as you experience them.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 24, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

dbG... thanks for sending me over to the Awl. I've been away too long. I'm enjoying many of the pieces I'm reading there tonight, including the defense of NPR's firing of Juan Williams.

"So as for his claim that NPR fired him because "I appear on Fox"—he's right, or at least he should be. NPR, and any other news organizations that want to maintain their legacy as institutions of respectable journalism, should institute policies immediately that terminate the employment of any person under their umbrella that appears on Fox News. Fox only invites on guests that produce a veneer of impartiality. Without these sad dupes and willing accomplices, even Fox News would have a difficult time convincing its echo-chamber-partial viewers that they were watching real news."

Posted by: -TBG- | October 24, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I think yello has coined The Boodle Motto. Talitha, dear, do you mind putting it in a double-weave to be hung next to the stuffed grizzly?

All about odd obsessions.

Not to nag, but please do not hang umbrellas from "Adams'" outstretched arms.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 24, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

DotC mentioned Metropolis; FYI, the latest complete version is showing at the Ziegfeld Theater for a next couple of weeks.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 24, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Badsneakers, I am coming to DC (from MO!) for the rally. I'm bringing my 17 y.o. daughter, and picking up a friend and her 15 y.o. son in Ohio. We're going to be doing a lot of driving this weekend. Unfortunately, I can't participate in the BPH section of the evening, because we're heading back to OH immediately after the rally.

We're really looking forward to it, even if it means four consecutive days of 7 hours driving per day. Road trip!

Just can't figure out when to find the time to make cookies before we leave Thursday night. Maybe I can talk my friend into making some for us to share. Or my 17 y.o.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | October 24, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, that's great! Surely you can stay for a bit after the rally - you have to eat, right? Hope you have a safe trip and meet up with some Boodlers along the way. I'll be there in spirit!

T.M. Shine had a piece in the NY Times:

Dan Hinkley on the Chatham Islands flora:

Posted by: seasea1 | October 25, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

All these years I thought the reference librarian on NPR was Keem Alesky - turns out she is Kee Malesky!

(And I pictured someone of Middle Eastern descent, despite the Slavic last name. Guess I thought "Keem" was close enough to "Karim".)

BTW, I wrote to NPR to let them know I for one am glad they fired Juan Williams.

Posted by: seasea1 | October 25, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Some late night and early morning music
for me and for all .....


Good Monday to all!

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 4:42 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning,friends. Well it is Monday, either a good day or bad day, just because it is Monday. Yet all of them should be considered good if we're here to complain about them.

Car is parked, need tires. Will try to see about that today.

Also had an appointment for another epidural, but my driver quit on me,so that's a no show.

More bad news concerning friends fighting sicknesses. They're not winning those battles.

And of course, the usual round of aches and pains, body wise.

Concerning the kit:

And I've always thought guys would rather participate in said activity(the book Freedom discusses this) instead of reading about it, silly me. Perhaps some things have changed, never thought that would.

All in all, just a beautiful day to start the week, wouldn't you say? I literally want to scream this morning, but don't have the energy to do even that. And don't know if it would really help. Certainly won't change my circumstances, and if there is a benefit for my well-being, with the way things are going this morning, I would probably miss it. Isn't life grand?

Oh well, time to get started, no need of wallowing in this useless pity party. Have a wonderful day, folks, and love to all.

Slyness, I feel guilty complaining knowing what your friends are going through this morning, still praying. Hope you are well,too.

Posted by: cmyth4u | October 25, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

That is so delightfully sweet. Never change. Did I mention how personally the death of Bob Guccione touched me? There were publications of his literally without pictures to look at. I so envied Name And Address Withheld By Request. That guy got so much action.

One of the hallmarks of modern literary fiction is that while it has lots of sex, because it can and because sex is a major aspect of being human, it is hardly ever rolling around the beaches of Hawaii with waves washing over you sex. Sex in literary fiction has to be awkward, uneasy, unfulfilling, incomplete, or rife with consequences. In other words, just like real life. It is neither erotica nor porn.

If you want truly great phallocentric the-earth-moved sex writing, pick up any Updike at random and you will get far more purple prose than in the works of Foer, Chabon, and Franzen combined.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra! *HUGSSS* Any Monday that you join us is a great one! :-)

I have a feeling we may need to find a little red wagon to carry all our cookies to the rally...

*enjoying-yet-another-stunning-sunrise-while-contemplating-being-oddly-famished-even-after-a-slothful-food-filled-Sunday Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 25, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Laughing, because I'm the one who brought up the subject of porn vs erotica many nights ago and yello is still riffing on it.

yello, you and I may never agree, because I meant by "classic erotica" the visual art of Persian, Japanese erotica, or the written Kama Sutra, etc., while you chose to reference Victorian licentiousness and depravity in the written word to depute my point. Modern Playboy/Penthouse/Hustler may filter through your own experiences. There are many ways to look at sexual communion between us, aren't there?

None of us are right or wrong ... we just see through our own lenses, darkly sometimes. *hug*

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, and happy Monday. It looks like rain, according to radar it's about 50 miles away and heading this direction. It will be good.

Cassandra, do I need to come take you to the doctor? I'm headed out to see mine in 20 minutes, but if you need me later, call.

I'm waiting for my best friend to call to say that her father-in-law has died. The hospice nurses said yesterday it would be within 24 hours. He's 88 and ready to see God's face, but still.

Later, friends...

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Reaching out a virtual hand and hug to slyness and Cassandra.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodlies!
Superb, warm day scheduled for Santiago.
Event of the day:

Prez Piñera and his cabinet are set to defeat the 33 miners. The Chilean miners are ready to confront the government.

Has everyone gone crazy?

Nope. Cabinet ministers vs. miners will be a futbol game played at the giant National Stadium. After the game, they'll have lunch.

For the last few days queues several blocks long have formed by people who wanto get fotographed next to the Fenix-2 capsule. A cop obligingly takes the photo.
Other cops are on hand to smile and form a group. Click, click, click. It´s a long wait to get your picture taken.

Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | October 25, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning Everyone. I had a wonderful weekend since my MIL is visiting, who always brings good conversation and tasty carbohydrates. Alas, I did stay up way past my bedtime watching the Vikings/Packers game, which I enjoyed thoroughly because I cared naught who won.

Regarding this whole "porn" business. All I can add is that it is important to keep in mind that different people will interpret the same stimuli in radically different ways. Certain obviously illegal categories of material aside, it's the nature of the reaction, I assert, far more than the arbitrary category we put material into that can cause concern.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 25, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm also sending a hug to Cassandra, and one to Slyness also.

Wheezy, yes please consider staying after the rally, if only long enough to eat something! Such a long drive deserves a bit of frivolity before having to do it all over again.

I'll be baking for the next few nights, maybe two different types of cookie. Any requests?

Posted by: badsneakers | October 25, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

You can switch definitions on me all you want, I still say it is a distinction without a difference. Cultures change and tastes change. A late 50s Playboy photo shoot is far different from a mid-70s Hustler spread, so lumping them all in as one morass of depravity is a false equivalency and doesn't account for the changes in society that took place over just two decades.

In one of Kurt Vonnegut's novels, a politician defines pornography as the depiction of pubic hair, a solution that is both simplistic and absurd. That book was probably written about the time when Guccione crossed that Rubicon forcing Hefner to follow suit with them both being outflanked by Flynt.

The Kama Sutra was published in England by Sir Richard Burton, the very definition of a Victorian if there ever was one. All the 'classic erotica' you mention is filtered through the sensibilities of the Victorian obsession with Orientalism which can be disturbing even without the latent racism.

Whether you are talking about Japanese pillowbooks or Persian paintings or the Khajuraho Temple sculptures, these are graphic depictions of hard-core sex (and often highly anatomically improbable ones at that). The artistic medium or age of the source doesn't change the subject matter.

For you or anyone to mark a line on a continuum and to say anything on this side is 'erotica' and is artistic and wholesome and everything on the other side is sick depraved porn is an exercise in hypocrisy and futility.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse


I'm sorry to hear about your friend's forthcoming loss. I am sure she is lucky to have you as such a compassionate shoulder.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Snickerdoodles. Remember, no nuts.

And once again RD puts it far more succinctly and pithily that I ever can.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse


Thank you dear heart for the offer. I've called and asked to be rescheduled, hoping to get an appointment before Thanksgiving. And thanks for the hugs and good thoughts, they're really needed today.

I feel thoroughly ashame for even voicing such thoughts after visiting a young woman's apartment over the weekend. Two bedroom apartment, and the only furniture was a bed and two televisions sitting on the floor, one in the living room and the other one in the bedroom. And this young woman has a child, a little boy. We have a generation of children coming up in abject poverty, and that's nothing new, we've always had that in this country, but the numbers are growing, and that speaks to nothing good in the future.

The g-girl was getting her hair braided by the mother of this young woman, and I sat on the floor while she did the braids. I didn't mind one bit, just a problem getting down and getting up. I fit right in.

Oh, we will have much to answer for in the next life, myself included.

Posted by: cmyth4u | October 25, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Britain's largest wild animal has been shot:

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Okay Yello, snickerdoodles w/o nuts will be one of the cookies.

RD, I also watched that game for the same reason, altho' I will admit that I was sort of rooting against Favre because I find him tiresome (and now skeevy too).

Posted by: badsneakers | October 25, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Wheezy... we will let you know where the boodlers are meeting at the rally and hope you can bring your gang to meet us with us!

Posted by: -TBG- | October 25, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Slyness... sorry you're having a week of loss. But there' such a difference losing an 88-year-old father, no? If he's in Hospice care and ready to go, I'm sure your friend is ready to let go.

I know that sounds harsh, but I've been there--twice. It's sad, but not tragic to say goodbye to a loving parent who has lived a good, long life.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 25, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

yello, is there any way to make peace with you on this? I only lumped genres together to make the point that I was laughing, not that I don't agree with your (obviously) much more erudite observations. Why, since you're so convinced you're right, are you taking addressing me again?

And would you please give me the benefit of the doubt that I've read, viewed and researched the subject matter and arrived at my own conclusions? If not, I'll bow out of the boodle forever in observance of your obvious superiority.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

scc: delete "taking"

And Boodlers, dear and all ... apologies.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely, TBG, no regrets, but as you know, it's not easy to say goodbye.

Can we put the er0tica issue to bed now? Enough already.

Cassandra, I hope you have a good day in spite of the issues. Do you get to swim? That would take my thoughts away from the problems.

Posted by: slyness | October 25, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

That books like Franzen's "Freedom" or even the Updike that yello correctly cites exist in the U.S. today are the result of four main court cases, the ones involving "Ulysses" (1933; we have the great Bennett Cerf to thank); Ginsburg's poem "Howl" (1957); "Lady Chatterley's Lover" (1960 in the U.S. and in England), and "Tropic of Cancer" (1964).

What these and similar cases all have in common is that the works were not only of "some" literary merit but in fact were regarded as having a great deal of literary merit (Modern Library still ranks Ulysses as the no. 1 best novel in the English languiage in the 20th century). The quality of LC'sL is also nowadays beyond question. The point being that for the last 60 or 80 years the notion of "literary merit" has been the singular distinguishing mark between what is pornographic and what is not. By extension, literary merit then translates into artistic merit where visual and auditory matters are concerned. In short, is it art?

Having broken the barrier and created the slippery slope between 1934 and 1964 (to mix some metaphores), the sluice gates opened, and such distinctions as literary or artistic merit got swept away, and nothing was able to rise up to stop the onslaught. "Community standards" was tried briefly, but it was (rightly) bulldozed away.

I think yello is essentially correct that there is no single spectrum upon which one can place a line and say everything on one side is okay and everything on the other is not okay. But by the same token I think one can draw this line not as a straight line with impossible divisions, but rather like a road with a series of speed bumps. Some people traveling down this road will tolerate crossing perhaps one or two speed bumps (traveling from the pure and the chaste toward the utterly depraved), but not go too far. Others may cross over a series of bumps and perhaps travel halfway down the road, into Freedom/Lolita?LitToC/LC'sL land, while some will travel pretty far or even all the way down the road. I think the problem is how we construct our analogies and metaphors here. Yello is quite right that there are no single divisions or barrier; yet there are nevertheless both clear and sometimes unclear areas of demarcation. Note that in the case of Freedom, LitToC, and Lolita the issue isn't sex but underage age. Ther are probably other areas where the issue isn't sex but interracial sex (though probably not very much an issue nowadays, since now almost no one cares where race is concerned), and in other areas the issue is clearly homo versus hetero sex, and so on.

In other words, it's complicated.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 25, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse


We were going to haul a bunch of old but very serviceable furniture to Atlanta to donate to my son's fraternity, but the cost of hiring a van large enough to haul it all was prohibitive.

Then one of my wife's coworkers said that one of the students at the school shared a house with another family and they had no furniture whatsover. On Saturday we gave them a sofa, a loveseat, and an easy chair.

They came by with a panel van they had borrowed only to find the van was still full of scaffolding and painting supplies. We were able to put the loveseat and the chair in their SUV and rearrange enough other stuff to fit the sofa in the van. It was all quite comical and disorganized.

The cynic in me says the furniture ends up on Craigslist or at the flea market, but if that serves the needs of the family more, so be it.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

And don't forget all the exits available to get off the road.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 25, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

No apologies needed, talitha.

Every Boodler has his/her hot buttons, and we rant occasionally. Please don't take it personally.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 25, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Teehee, S'nuke said 'hot buttons'.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 25, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

So, since I'm unable to attend the gathering over the weekend (and, yes (of course!), I'd be on the "Sanity" side if I were there), when and where will the BPH be? I would most likely be able to attend that, if I were able to drive into town and not take 3 or 4 hours to do so, because of the bazillions of people.

TBG, Scotty, others? Are you guys organizing the BPH side of things?

Posted by: ftb3 | October 25, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

And don't mind yello, Talitha. He's a hard core socialist:

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 25, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

And finally,

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 25, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

In 'Hella Nation' the book I mentioned a few days ago, Larry Flynt is angry with white supremacists because he is convinced that they tried to kill him for graphically showing miscegenation. To me that would be the least objectionable aspect of anything in Hustler which is a particularly vile, and deliberately so, publication. They reveled in stepping well past the bounds of good taste. And Larry Flynt nearly paid with his life.

I'm not arguing, just discussing. I keep dropping the issue until somebody else brings it up. In fact, my bigger point isn't the erotica/porn divide but the classic/modern dichotomy. I have a hard time anytime anyone discusses any 'golden age' when things were better/purer/superior to the stuff put out today. That is generally hogwash whether it relates to literature, or music, or pictures of nekkid wimmin. It is a peculiar inferiority complex of post-Dark Ages western civilization that older is better.

My point at 7:28 was that the sex you find in books which make the NYTRoB as opposed to the romance aisle of WalMart or the back of the smut shop (they still have smut shops don't they?) is that they have a more nuanced realistic depiction of relationships, including sexual ones. For that to have happened, the pendulum had to swing from the prudishness of the earlier era through the let-all-hang-out anything-goes phase, back to a place where ideas can be discussed frankly and honestly.

So I can back off this inadvertently on-kit topic lest someone get the impression I am obsessed with sex. I prefer to think I am obsessed with our obsession over sex. But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Perfect, especially the second one. Kids today don't know how good they got it.

Have I mentioned that I am a First Amendment Absolutist? Just consider me the smut equivalent of an open-carry gun nut.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I didn't think YJ was riffing, and I thought he was replying to Cassandra. Also, seems to me you have to get up pretty early in the morning to offend YJ. But then again, I could be wrong, seeing as I can miss the broad side of the barn from twnety paces using a brand spanking new firearm on a bright sunny day while wearing my contacts.

Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 25, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Would someone grab my sense of humor and hand it back to me? I think I lost it where the wild things are ... and where's Waldo, anyway?

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. Sky report from my way in to work today: To the east, low strips of fluffy clouds. Lit from underneath by the rising sun, they glowed pink-orange, gradually brightening underneath to pale yellow. The surrounding sky looked very high up and was robins-egg blue. To the west: the strips of clouds were piled higher, with wispy tentacles at the end. The highest layer caught the light first, so it was pink-orange while the bottom was still dark blue. The whole wash crept down, pink-orange to yellow, while the mostly full moon soared overhead.

Cassandra, when you send flowers there, which local florist do you use?

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, my bad. I mistook the Groucho glasses for a fashion statement. (Which is kind of understandable, since the Unibomber hoodie is now required attire for anyone under the age of 25).

Posted by: LostInThought | October 25, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

FYI, several years ago it was decided (by common consensus, I guess) that the Boodle motto was "Clouds are hard."

Just sayin.

Also, I am displeased with the tenor and tone of the headline over Paul Farhi's piece on Jon Stewart, which is "Just who does Jon Stewart think he is?" Farhi's article is fine (and never uses that question, nor is it the theme of the article. It's just another half-assed snarky WaPo hed written by somebody who isn't very good at his job.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 25, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

BTW, you know it's Monday when your pants zipper decides to stop operating (as in, spontaneously disassemble)...


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 25, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

From The Awl, this site is excellent. It has a spoiler-free review of 'Freedom' which used the phrase 'tediously excellent' with which I can't agree more.

It also has pieces on 'Raise the Titanic' and 'Dangerous Visions', so I suspect some sort of psychic doppelganger technology is at work here, No way there is so much overlap in literary choices.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

An interesting take on NPR and Juan Williams from James Fallows:

Posted by: cowhand214 | October 25, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea why, but the WaPo site (the only thing I have running) just threw me a linked ad (like it's been doing for The Economist). This one asks "Is your love meant to be?" It asks me to plug in my name, and then the name of my amorata. I'm not sure what is supposed to happen if I do this (since I declined to overwhelm it with so many names, going back Gwendolyn the Fair, circa 1452). Be that as it may, it then opened up a page called the "Crush Calculator."

Thank you, WaPo. I hope this ad generates zillions of dollars for you.

(Anyway, I already know the answer.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 25, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all, my day off today and I am puttering, took the dog to the vet but he was too excited for them to be able to get the blood work they required, I now have a bottle of pills to sedate my dog for trips to the vet, he was however delightful other than when they took him to the back for the exam.

I have been struggling the last week with a very sore back/abdominal pain and naturally my GP is on vacation, really didn't need to struggle with an 80 lb. dog this morning.

To amuse myself I took the Colbert/Stewart quiz on the front page, the result was not surprising.

"Daily Show" devotee. When faced with a crisis, you ask yourself "What would Jon Stewart do?"

Posted by: dmd3 | October 25, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

S'nuke, I'm one of the resident seamstresses ... but for me to replace a zipper you'd need to have stand-by trousers. (Although I have been known to replace buttons on the fly of a soldier's grey pants while he stood right in front of me - the blushes were worth the work!)

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

As shop steward, mudge is correct about the official Boodle slogan or motto or catch-phrase, whatever it is. Clouds ARE hard. No double entendre intended.

I hope the weather is nice enough for me to wear my 'Achenblog: We Click' shirt for the Record Inanity riot this weekend. I have already warned my wife we are taking the Metro. They may be moderate, but I don't trust Jon Stewart viewers behind the wheel.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I always find those questions an unfinished thought. Is your love meant to be what? A cautionary tale? A how-to guide for stalkers?

Posted by: LostInThought | October 25, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I was considering wearing my IBPH T-shirt for the rally, but YMMV...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 25, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

According to The Awl there is Beattie's Law which states: "If there’s a question mark in the headline the answer is either (tabloid) 'no' or (broadsheet) 'who cares?'"

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Years in Oklahoma and Texas have me thinking that The Awl must somehow be about the petroleum industry.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Should any veteran boodler care to explain "clouds are hard", this newbie would appreciate it. "Clouds", as in walking on one? "Clouds", as in overhead masses of visible H2O? "Clouds", as in verbal puffery? Context, kindly.

Or shine me on ... at this point I'm one big mass of puffery myself.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

In the piracy department, "Small Boats, Weak States, Dirty Money: Piracy and Marine Terrorism in the Modern World" by Martin N. Murphy is now available in paper. The thing's a brick at 540 pages. There should be ideas for an action movie hiding in there.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 25, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The earliest usage of the Boodle Motto I could find was this:


E.F. in 08

It just sounds good.

When anyone asks you a tricky question on the campaign trail, just look meaningfully into the distance and say,
"Well. Clouds are hard."

Shoo in.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 1, 2006 12:56 PM |


As for what it means, that is a zen koan only you can determine.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

And that was in response to the late Error Flynn declaring his candidacy for the presidency on the platform of Vote For Error.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

My apologies to Mr. Columbus.

Although for the record, I think that spreading syphilis to Europe was perhaps the one ill of modern society *I* didn't blame him for.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Been to Spitalfields, a neat area that's being subsumed, cancer-fashion, by the City. Didn't realize the history was quite so ghoulish. The Plague is bad enough.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 25, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Plan for Error, indeed.

"Clouds are hard", like many a good motto, can be understood (or not) on many levels, meteorology being among them.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Was there syphilis in Europe before Columbus? Hell, yes! I could told ya that, if anybody had just asked me. Although I think I should decline any explanation about how I know this. I don't suppose you could just take my word for it, and then let it go?

LiT, the answer to the question is "Apparently not."

for talitha, on the origin of the motto:

E.F. in 08

It just sounds good.

When anyone asks you a tricky question on the campaign trail, just look meaningfully into the distance and say,
"Well. Clouds are hard."

Shoo in.

Posted by: RD Padouk | June 1, 2006 12:56 PM

Al and Hillary? Good grief. How about Al Gore and Ron Paul? That would shake it all up.

Clouds are indeed hard.

Posted by: Jumper | June 1, 2006 6:20 PM

Then the WaPo, in its infinite wisdom, archived a bunch of Joel's columns-- but without the Boodles. In the interregnum, there was established a consensus that "Clouds Are Hard" (and its Latin form) would become the Boodle motto.

By the time we find this:

Clouds are hard dmd. Hey you American type fellows, wanna buy a nice Canadian Candu reactor? We sold some to India and they loved them.

Posted by: Boko999 | March 22, 2007 8:42 PM


Remember again our motto:

"Nimbulae Inexplicabilae Sunt"

Clouds are hard to explain.

May I add to that:

Nimbulae inimicae sunt

Clouds are the Enemy...

Posted by: Wilbrod | June 28, 2006 7:03 PM

the motto had become firmly established.

My own dim recollection is it came from one of Joel's articles on global warmer and climate change, etc., during which some expert bemoaned the difficulty in studying something pretty nebulous. Somehow somebody picked up on it, and that's how it becamse Padouk's observation that, Well, clouds are hard."

I think it was this one:

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 25, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

And of course, for many of us using IE, Error is with us every time we load the Boodle in our browser...

Damn groundhogs. *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 25, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that sounds about right to me. I'm sure Boodlers with more comprehensive historicity can explanate further.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Found it!

It was this article in the WaPo magazine:

which formed the beginning of this kit:

Posted by: -bia- | October 25, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I thought that describing clouds to a non-vision boodler was the origin. As in, said-boodler used to be sighted and that clouds were hard to not see. We often write sky reports in the early days of boodle-chatting....IMom write a sky report this am.

Of course, not seeing the faces of darling children and family is the hardest.

But, I am likely wrong. Still, the boodle is poetic and permits layers and layers of meaning.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bia.

Here is the nut-graph:

///Isaac Held, the NOAA climate modeler, is the first to admit that the models aren't perfect. "Clouds are hard," he says. The models on his computer screen are incomprehensible to the untrained eye. But Held argues that the models are conservative. For global warming to be less of a problem than is currently anticipated, all the uncertainties would have to break, preferentially, toward the benign side of things. ///

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Yup. Yello's got it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

But of course CqP's post reflects why it's such a good motto. Clouds, like the boodle, are poetic, with lots of fluffy layers of meaning. Am I remembering right that we were already doing sky reports before the motto appeared?

Posted by: -bia- | October 25, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

And some of us do the fluff without any meaning at all.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all. So, clouds are hard, refers to the feedback loopie-difficulties about the aspect of clouds-as-albedo and clouds-as-stand-ins for water vapor...sort of the climate modeling rub of

albedo or vapor (BOTH) like

light is wave and particle...

Oh, how perfectly nerdy and fluffy...the boodle is both

nerd and fluff....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I only do fluff with peanut butter, actually... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 25, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

That's the way I remember it too, yello. Clouds are hard (to model).

Tee hee, I had totally forgotten about the motto.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | October 25, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

*I wonder if anybody's home . . . .*

*knock, knock*

*gonna tiptoe back to what I was doing, so as not to wake up the boodle, 'cuz I might get bit*

Posted by: ftb3 | October 25, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Just sent you an e-mail, ftb.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 25, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm home, ftb. And I know that clouds will never be the same.

If talitha may speak, I understood that the motto and metaphor intertwined ... and yet go far beyond.

I've stepped lightly on any cloud I've encountered in my life. But I've trusted that, once my feet were standing solid, I'd have my balance.

Boodle clouds confirm my conviction. Thank you all.

Posted by: talitha1 | October 25, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Before fractals, clouds were hard to describe. They have a rhythm and a periodicity, a repeating form depending on the conditions of the day. A very small portion of a cloud curves and billows just like a very large portion of the same cloud. I think it has become easier for an artist to render clouds now if the artist knows about fractals. But, and especially if making art from the imagination, clouds are still hard.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 25, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I have often wondered if Europeans traded germs upon the Viking landings at Labrador and/or Newfoundland, where were the big epidemics from this contact?

Apparently Leif is a contender for the distinction of bringing the syph back to Europe.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 25, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

How animals best shake water off themselves. There is a boodle-related payoff at the end of the video.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 25, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

The Vikings were at the end of their reach in Newfoundland. Travelling back to Greenland, then Iceland, then maybe Orkney, then maybe Norway took quite a lot of time.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 25, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

A boodle-related payoff, indeed, Jumper! Great video.

Posted by: ftb3 | October 25, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Jumpie, I though Leif and Erik dealt in Sylphs, along the path ways that DotCs notes, including dips into the Blessed Isle were the darling freckled Sylphs were minted and marketed.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

This is the end of a long train of thought, musing, because Jumper made me think about something that has always puzzled me. Well, not puzzled so much as interested. And that is, when do we talk about inventing (something) or developing (a theory), and when uncovering or discovering something that simply is, and we've come to grasp it.

So, when Jumper said "Before there were fractals" I immediately thought that if fractals explain the movement of clouds, then there always *were* fractals and what my good friend means is that 'before we understood fractals...'

Jumper knows perfectly well that I am not picking nits with him, nor implying any criticism of his comment, simply riffing off what he said to go back to my years-long train of thought. I know he knows, because he does the same thing (sometimes, and in a more informed way), and we are friends.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Love in the Time of Fractals
Once upon a Fractal
O Fractals
Les Fractals
Lift High the Fractals, Carpenters
Girl with the Fractal Tattoo
A Brief History of Fractals
Harry Potter and the Fractal of Fire
My Brilliant Fractal
Picnic at Fractal Rock
Smilla's Sense of Fractals

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Fractals always and before us. But, when we encounter, extend, and embrace the fractals, then they come into being especially and enthusiastically...just like, very much, the question:

if a tree falls.....sound? Discuss.

Jumper and Yoki: I boodlelove you and the threads and threadposters before this.

Nay. Love. Just love. No boodle-rific needed.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Slaughterhouse Fractal
Mother Fractal
Fractal of Champions
Cat's Chaos

Posted by: yellojkt | October 25, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, Eli is having a rough start in Dallas.

No wonder the video showed a couple of labs shaking off water; the Giant Black Lab was a master at that. I trained him to shake on a hand command (imagine turning a door knob back and fort 4 times). I would position the dog as he was getting out of the pool and then give the silent command. Hilarity ensued. The VLP mostly shake his giant head. The stuff that is emitted radially does contain water but it's only half of the sticky, slimy story.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 25, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The Telltale Fractal
The Satanic Fractals
A Good Fractal is Hard to Find
The Heart is a Fractal Hunter
A Fractal for Emily

Posted by: woofin | October 25, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Who Killed Roger Fractal? (a twofer)

Posted by: woofin | October 25, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

The Tell-Tale Fractal
Fractal Crash
A Bright Shining Fractal
The Last Fractal
The Killer Fractals

I was going to say something else but my brain is full of fractals.
Oh yes, thank you Jumper for the video. Whole lotta shakin' goin' on.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Woofin! Great minds! of course, you did get there first. . .

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Fractal Descending a Staircase

Not literary, but I couldn't resist...

Posted by: woofin | October 25, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

The Man Who Shot Liberty Fractal.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 25, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Fractal.

Love Is a Many-Splendored Fractal.

The Fractal in the Rye.

Lord of the Fractals.

Lady Chatterley's Fractal.


Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 25, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

The Fractal of Civilization
A Distant Fractal
The Fractal of August
The Fractal and the Pauper
10,000 Fractals Under the Sea

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Woofie, that is excellent! How about:

The Fractal Not Taken

Stopping by Fractals on a Snowy Evening

Good Fractals make Good Neighbors OR
Good Fences make Good Fractals

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

FractalMan, FractalMan, does whatever a Fractal out, here comes a Fractalman.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The Fractal in the Piazza

The Origin of Fractals

To Kill a Mocking Fractal

Little Fractals

Fractal at the Top of the Stairs

Fractal in Wonderland

A Fractal in King Arthur's Court

West Side Fractal

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 25, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Let's start the Liberty Fractal party. We believe in little bits made up of little bits (etc, times a lot) and we agree to share the bits....that way, we have more good stuff etc, like joy and leisure and contentment, with clouds and other fluffies on top.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Time out: I missed it. What happened to Romo?

Time in.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 25, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Time out: I missed it. What happened to Romo?

Okay, time in.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 25, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

#*&^%$&^%$&^%$ Movable Type.

On Hawaii 5-0 the team are out riding motorcycles without helmets. Certain persons of my acquaintance are going to have a cow.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 25, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Frick & Fract'l
Fractaled Fairy Tales

Jumper, the only thing wrong with that video is dogs always come inside before they shake. Shriek's old black lab excepted.

Posted by: -dbG- | October 25, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Goodnight Fractal.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 25, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Into Thin Fractals
The Holy Fractal
Fractals and Prejudice
Gone with the Fractals
Gravity's Fractals
To Kill a Fractalbird
Naked Fractal
Love Amongst the Fractals
The Great Fractal
Fractal, Run
Fractals and Loathing in Las Vegas
Fractals and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Portnoy's Fractal

Shakespeare's Fractal Period:

A Midsummer Night's Fractals
Fractal Andronicus
The Comedy of Fractals
The Taming of the Fractal
Fractal V


Much Ado About Fractals


Posted by: -bc- | October 25, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

A broken clavical is Romo's problem.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 25, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Romo broke his fractal. Or had his fractal broken by a blitzing Giant.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | October 25, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. *faking concern for Romo's condition*

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 25, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Broken fracticals hurt as much as broken ribbies. Bring out the iocaine patches.

And, Error Flynn is like serving up Long Island Iced Fractals at the PoliFractiki bar in the sky.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 25, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

All this talk of fractals and clouds brought to mind Wilson Bentley, Vermont farmer (1865-1931), who trapped memories of snowflakes on black velvet.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 25, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

On Golden Fractal
Frac Anything
Love in the Time of Fractals

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinkin that Error is flying on fractal wings. Or is water drop. Thanks to BKI.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinkin that Error is flying on fractal wings. Or is a water drop. Thanks to BKI.

Posted by: Yoki | October 25, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse


'scuse me.

Posted by: Yoki | October 26, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Yer excused, Herself.

bc, how ya wanna split the tiara this week? Alternate days, or you wear it for 3 and a half, then me for 3 and ahalf?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 26, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, stop whispering to Yoki through the slats in the back sleeping porch down to the girls deck. Yes, you said goodnight three times.

And, I will hold the tiara between transfers. Leave BC alone. Don't make me come up there. BC has a hard enough time keeping his date with Mr. Sandman.

Mudge? Zzzzzzzzz

Good. Now where is my Agatha Christie and my Marlboroughs? This Fanny Farmer box has been opened, with the bottoms of the candies picked at....That Mudge. Tomorrow, kaypee duty double time, Egahd..ISweer....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | October 26, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

As my Jewish friends in Montreal say, "Feh!"

Posted by: Yoki | October 26, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Stop! in the name of fractals, before you break my heart. Woofin wins, btw.

There's always a backstory, Yoki. It's that Plato thing, rearin' his head, loomin' over the horizon. Tea in the pot or in the tongue?

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 26, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

What?! They filmed a rat,
a mouse, a bear, and a lab
but not yours truly?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | October 26, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Yoki | October 26, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Fractals are a Harsh Mistress
The Fractal Who Walks Through Walls
Fractals Illustrated
The Fractal Street Journal
A Little Fractal Music
Driving Miss Fractal
The Fractal to Restore Sanity

And just for bc -- The Fractal Must Convey

I do believe I'll just list this week's football picks on a large sheet of butcher paper. I shall then dip the NukeFelines' paws in food coloring and let them walk across the list. The resulting choices should be as accurate as anything else I've tried. And looks like parity took its toll on Romo and Favre, too...

*not-makin'-any-World-Series-picks-just-gonna-enjoy-the-spectacle-(as-long-as-I-can-stay-awake-anyway) Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2010 5:18 AM | Report abuse

I very much enjoy your grover-gram, Snuke! I think that baseball needed a series where over 50% of the viewers are watching the show without feeling that they have to cheer against one of the teams or the other. We have the two best teams in October playing for the ultimate baseball glory.

It did strike me this weekend that this will be the first time in decades that the Yankees will be blow'd up without Steinbrenner there to toss wads of cash on the next batch of NY stars.

Every once and a while, it is important in pro sports to remind NY City that they aren't alone in the universe. Jim McKay would share a bit of the agony of defeat, but, for their sake, make it in the American League championships, at least. A metropolis like NY shouldn't ever experience life in the middle of the pack where teams lose as many games as they win.
That wouldn't be right.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 26, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I, Fractal
Fractal Dreams
The Fractals of Steel
The Naked Fractal
The Fractals of Dawn
Fractals and Empire

Posted by: DNA_Girl | October 26, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

A Fractal On The Roof

Joseph Stein. So it goes.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

What the fractal you kids doing on my lawn?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 26, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

You know, Mandelbrot recently died. A person who was personally responsible for more lost hours of productivity than anyone else in my life.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | October 26, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Joseph Stein... To die at 98 from "complications from a skull fracture." What a life.

And Fiddler, along with My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is a good example of how the story of one "people" becomes universal. We're all so similar, really.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 26, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

TBG, I thought we were all C. O'Donnell... *head tilt*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Well, that, too, Scotty.

Posted by: -TBG- | October 26, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

C. O'Donnell? Oh dear, no!

Mornin' all. Cassandra, is it warm and misty in your corner of the world, like it is here? Icky day, I'm afraid. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere; it is so nice to have an at-home day once in a while. Especially when the rest of this week and the first of next week will be very much NOT at home.

Hey, I looked at that Wiki article on Mandelbrot sets. It was Greek to me! The water droplets were kewl...


Posted by: slyness | October 26, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Or she was us, or something... *reverse head tilt*

And Don Geronimo needs to watch where he's walking!!!! He's got a new gig in Sacramento and he fell off the stage at a promo event! :-O (and no, I'm not going to link to the WaPo item, the comments are just depraved *SIGH*)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm not as emotionally invested in the saga of Don and Mike as those commenters are. There seem to be some undercurrents of animosity I can't qutie pinpoint. I do occasionally listen to the Mike O'Meara podcast, but it's a faint shadow of the old D&M radio show.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

And R.I.P., OctoPaul...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 26, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning, friends. Got my ride back, so feeling a tad better.

Slyness, it's downright muggy here! These weather conditions play havoc with these old bodies. Rainy yesterday, but not complaining, like an oven today.

Ivansmom, I went to Joe's Florist here in Hamlet and got a flower yesterday, and also talked with the family to find out the arrangements, which will be Thursday at two o'clock. Our little community didn't have enough to buy a flower but I called first on Him that has a huge storehouse, and He sent loving friends. Thanks for asking. God is good.

Have a fantastic day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | October 26, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Better living through chemistry.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 26, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The New York Times has a fine obituary for Leo Cullum, the TWA pilot who became one of their principal cartoonists.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 26, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

TBG, you missed a grand opportunity to supply "My Big Fat Greek Fractal."

'Morning, Boodle. Called in sick today for a mental health day, so I can stay home and write, undisturbed. Have Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn on TV in "The Fractal Also Rises," but that's just for noise.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | October 26, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

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