Friday, May 27, 2005

Omnium gatherum . . . um . . .

Part of me doesn't care, but part of me is mildly alarmed that the code for the "Parkus Grammaticus" blog was hijacked in order to create this weird . . . parody? tribute site? I have no idea. The graphics are, it's safe to say, out of this world.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Joke factory


What are you reading?
Reading Lolita in Tehran.
No you're not.
Yes I am.
We're not in Tehran, bro.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Jesus is my co-worker

I bumped into my colleague Jesus on the subway platform last week, and listened in fascination to his account of the fantasy baseball league he's participated in for the last 25 years.

Play ball!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Introducing 'Parkus Grammaticus'

Spotted recently: Mysterious doings over at Parkus Grammaticus. It looks like an attempt at a secret history of literature, with some film thrown in.

If PG's webmaster knew how to actually create a website, rather than a mere blog, we'd all be happier. But for now, this will have to do.

UPDATE 20v05: A revised edition of the Parkus Grammaticus is now available.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Crippled Detectives!

Crippled Detectives! Crippled Detectives! Crippled Detectives!

I don't know what it's all about and I don't care

Lots of stimuli yesterday: the fascinating new Herzog movie (Grizzly Man), then the latest number of the invaluable Keeler News, edited by Richard Polt. KN 52 contains the second installment of Harry Stephen Keeler's correspondence with his publisher, Dutton. Unbeknownst to Harry, his wife, Hazel, has written a roman à clef entitled Colored Toys, which she has sent to his editor, Merton S. Yewdale. Yewdale passes on it, and Hazel takes the news gracefully . . . sending him the following questionnaire regarding her book:

Did it drag in the first third?
Did it drag all through?
Could it be said, "I don't know what it's all about and I don't care"?
Was it unconvincing? in what happened?
Was it unconvincing in theme?
Did its setting in Paris militate against it?
Was it too sentimental?
Was it too "sweet"?
Were all the characters unreal?
Were some of the characters unreal?
Did the climactic scenes "miss fire"?
Was it some of these and also the fact that it lacked an n-th quality?
Was it none of these but ONLY the fact that it lacked an n-th quality?
Was it a hybrid action where the mental action was bunched too much in the beginning and the physical action too much at the end?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Analyze this!

They've been forecasting rain all weekend. It hasn't happened!

I'm trying to find some good "psychodynamic" stories for my father. Any candidates? I've been looking at Cheever, Paley, DFW, Munro . . . targeting any anthology lying around the house . . . Adam Hazlitt? Conan Doyle? It would be fun to find the perfect Sherlock Holmes story for this purpose. Suggestions are welcome!

I went to Labyrinth Books and entered a slightly manic mode—I picked up and decided I must have:

1. Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction, by Frank Close
2. Lost Positives, by John Cotrona
3. 62: A Model Kit, by Julio Cortázar
4. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, by Alice Munro

I'm most intrigued by #2—a short (94 pp.), small (4-1/4" x 6-1/4") book out from Fractious Press. A woodblock print of a guy with little devil horns and sharpish teeth decorates the cover. I know nothing about the author, the publisher, or even the journals (No Duh and Cometbus) the stories were originally published in. Sometimes judging by the cover leads to long-standing favorites (for me, Robert Kelly's The Scorpions and the first They Might Be Giants album). Sometimes not!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Hi, we're the displacements

1. Most Wildly Popular Trivia Game in America Right Now

A displacement occurs when a group has a song title that's the same as an album title—except it appears on a different album.

For example, Robyn Hitchcock's "Queen Elvis" does not appear on Queen Elvis but on Eye.

Elvis Costello's "Imperial Bedroom" was on Out of Our Idiot, not Imperial Bedroom (though the Rykodisc reissue appends it on the name-appropriate disc).

A better E.C. example is "Almost Blue," which is not to be found on Almost Blue . . . but on Imperial Bedroom!

Can Dizzyheads think of other examples?

2. The Necrocomicon

In unrelated news: Dizzyhead Brent sent us this link—the bees' knees for anyone in the Lovecraft/Jack Chick demographic, acutely bewildering for anyone else!

3. Commentary: The State of the Blog

The most satisfying thing about blogging isn't the ability to comment on the news of the day in an instant-esque, public-ish manner . . . or to string together half-formed thoughts with three dots . . . or to install distracting links to other, slightly better-thought-out sites.


It's the quantity of pun-and-allusion-laden headlines you're forced to come up with! (A Dizzies T-shirt* to the first person who can identify the inspiration for this posting's headline.)

*T-shirt does not actually exist.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Lloyd coal

They hate me, they love me, they don't mind me . . . ?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Whiskertown synchronicity

As most of you know, I tend to live life on the edge—which is why I didn't shave today. Quite by coincidence, I discovered that the incomparable Paul Collins has a terrific literary-minded blog called . . . Weekend Stubble!

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