Showing posts from August, 2004

Clear gold

As promised, the water situation: the water in West Monroe (and you'd guess Monroe too) is viscous. I'm sitting on top of one of the largest natural gas deposits in the nation, or so my Dad says, and the natural gas obviously has seeped into the water supply. Now, it's not Vaseline oozing from the faucets, but I spent more time in the shower trying to rinse the water off than I spent trying to rinse the soap off. I could only imagine that swishing some of the swill around in my mouth following toofbrushing is doing something for my oral hygiene; probably the same thing that gargling with gasoline would do.
Anyway, they've got a water cooler in the house and I'd think that they've heard of Brita out here (though there must be limits to even Brita). You've got to feel awful for families that can't afford either though. Well, I've got to feel awful at least.


Today's Yankees game ranks right up there with the greatest sports moments ever.
In the interest of alienating my readership and spreading bad will, here are some teams I hate: the Red Sox, the Angels, the Athletics, the Yankees, the Tigers, the Coyote Uglies, and the Seamless Transitions. Sorry folks.

Commerce report

Reporting from Monroe's main commerical drag, Louisville Ave, and the Pecanland mall on the state of non-Wal*Mart commercial enterprises in the Twin Cities (I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader) area:
Dining choices on Louisville Ave include Bubba Luigi's Semi-Fine Dining and the Riverside Coney Island. We passed up Bubba's (which seemed to be named aptly, and does not have a web site) and I was told that the Riverside Coney Island was "nasty"--I don't know where they got the "Coney Island" from, as they didn't sell any hot dogs according to the menu sprawled and scrawled out front. They were a biscuits and sauasage and crud house. "Riverside" referred to the nearby drainage ditch.
The Pecanland Mall is anchored by a McRae's, which just believe me on that. There's also a Dillard's and a Sears and a (big) JC Penny's. The Waldenbooks, which I went into more to kill time than due to a wavering dedication to Ada,…

Mille bourne

At some point in the last couple of days, 34 was viewed for the 10,000th time. It took over a year, which really isn't good when you think about it. Especially since Petey just sits in his office reloading it all day. There's a little counter on the very bottom of the page so you can play along as we work towards 34,000--check back in late 2009.

TWitNY to go

I didn't get a chance to do the This Week in the New Yorker thingy before I left for the America South, and I didn't actually bring this week's New Yorker with me, but I'd imagine TWitNY (I'm going to cool it on the italicisation; forgive me) needs to be weekly or I'd lose whatever meta-journalistic standing I've earned.
Before I left I read the articles on the genocide (I'll go out on a limb and call it that, though the rest of the world seems to disagree) in Darfur and on the rollercoaster arms race. I'd read articles off and on about the situation in Sudan ever since it started making real news here, but I didn't really have a grasp on the whole tragic situation; the article does a good job of going into detail about what's been going on over there. The roller coaster article mentions Coney Island a bit, which I guess is inevitable.
So I'll have to recommend them both, and any other interesting stuff lurking in the bowels of the August …

Country feedback

Well, I'm in Louisiana. I'm not quite sure what to write about--the
football (American) obsession, the latent and not-so-latent racialism, the Bush-Cheney signs peppering many yards, my progress with Ada (I beat my previous record), my adorable baby cousin and her adorable baby puppies--but I'll stick to Wal*Mart for now.
My aunt needed four things: coaxial cable, the Forest Gump soundtrack, some ears of corn, and a shotgun. (Okay, three things.) The answer was, of course, Wal*Mart. But it would have had to be the answer to just about any consumer need, because that's about all there is in West Monroe, LA. I asked my aunt whether there were a lot of other stores in the neighborhood before Wal*Mart came but I knew that was a silly question; there's no way there was anything near West Monroe that sold movie soundtracks or coaxial cable before Wal*Mart came to town. Ears of corn, yes.
But Wal*Mart, yeah. There was that whole California referendum a few months ago involvi…

Goin' mobile

I'm getting out of N.Y.C. while I still can--heading to Louisiana through Labor Day for Y.A.W., this one my cousin's. Though not the cousin who got married two years ago; this time it's her sister.
Will I be able to cell phone blog in the bayou? (They don't live in the bayou. They live in a wooded-ish area more than anything, with some farmland.) Will I be able to finish the last 100 pages of Underworld? (Yes.) Will I think be able to make it past the first 75 pages of Ada or Ardor, which was my previous best? (Hopefully.)
Any other lingering questions? Lurking doubts? Festering boils upon my administration's proverbial bust? Disgusting imagery? That's for wham the comments section is.


A bunch of people (Alice) complain (comaplains) that they (she) can't ever seem to load 34. I actually have sporadic trouble loading 34 when I'm at my parents' dialed up via Earthlink, so perhaps they're (she's) in a similar situation. Or maybe my web server periodically fucks itself (up).
Does anyone else have problems getting their 34 fix every once in a while? I'm assuming the behaviour would be the request to access the page timing out.

In which I insult David Brooks

I could imagine nothing worse--nothing--than going to camp only to find that David Brooks was my camp counselor. Those discussions about jurisprudence in a rowboat and machismo classes must have been--yeah.

You should see the Russian 34

And every other week (beholden to the vagaries of internation mail) I'll have a This Week in the New Eyewitness posting.

News about Op-eds

I don't think Steve Martin gets enough respect. He's brilliant--not that that's the best thing of his I've ever read or anything, but just in general.

Because that's the kind of dork I am

I had a farewellish lunch with Banana yesterday and (partly to defend the fact that I haven't finished Underworld yet, which is wonderful-but-lengthy at 900 pages) I mentioned that I actually read the New Yorker. I'm not exaggerating when I say that at least 70% of the people I know have subscriptions to the New Yorker, but I don't think that many people actually read it. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that. Banana said she just reads Anthony Lane's movie reviews and then whatever Petey tells her to read.
Since we don't all have a Petey to filter content for us, but we do all have a Jeff'y, I thought I'd take it upon myself to read the
New Yorker and pick out the good bits. Of course, I'm going to skip the pieces that don't interest me at all (say, the Björk
profile in this week's), so it's not particularly scientific, but neither am I.
I've created a new section for This Week in the New Yorker (TWitNY). I'm going to skip over the r…

Celiac's Digest

Sarahs, I've got some shocking news for you when you and Ryan return from your mountain adventure: you're going to hell. The good news is that they'll let you bring the day bed, but not the large chair.


Well, I used to have to struggle for bloggable material, and newspaper editorial pages used to have to struggle for enough content to fill up a page, but the Bush campaign has a solution to both our problems.
New job figures and other recent economic data show that America’s economy is strong and getting stronger – and that the President’s jobs and growth plan is working. The Labor Department announced that employers added 288,000 new jobs in April. In total, over 1.1 million jobs have been added since August, with 8 consecutive months of gains.
America has a choice: It can continue to grow the economy and create new jobs as the President’s policies are doing; or it can raise taxes on American families and small businesses, hurting economic recovery and future job creation.
President Bush’s pro-growth agenda, strong education system, and policies to help American workers gain the skills to secure good jobs are the right ways to respond to the challenges of our growing and changing econ…

Why is my country going down the shitter? Fascism Edition

The F.B.I. is reportedly going around interrogating (erm, "questioning") anti-war activists in the hopes of sniffing out any troublemakers in advance of the upcoming R.N.C. Or for some other justification--I'm not really sure.
Here's a little thought exercise: What would be hearing from the National Rifle Association right now if the F.B.I. went around knocking on the doors of people who expressed an interest in buying guns? We live in a country where to own a (soon to be assault, maybe) rifle is to be patriotic and to be a peace protestor is to be a threat. Yes, the Second Ammendment is more than the First Ammendment, but only by One.
If you think that's all well and good, but you really need something extra to induce that satisfying full-blown rage, take a look at Bob Herbert's column.

Why I love the supermarket

I was at Key Food on my way home from work, buying some cheddar and milk (lunch of Indian buffet -> macaroni & cheese for dinner [albeit freshly-prepared mac & cheese]), and the girl/woman ahead of me had the best selection I've ever seen on the 5-items-or-less line: two cans of Manischewitz chicken broth & kreplach soup, one packet of Choco-Liebnitz cookies, and a bag of pork rinds. The only thing that could have made her cooler would have been having, like, a turkducken as her fifth item. Or does that count as three items?

Wakka, wakka!

I asked Rich to cover the Olympics for 34 because I remember from my days as Publisher that it's a lot easier to get other people to write for you than write things yourself. This is what he came up with so far. I was trying to figure out what it is as it's clearly something, and the closest I can come up with is gonzo journalism. So there you go. Thanks Rich, and we all look forward to future updates.
Jeff, here is some coverage from the Olympics, hopefully it's not offensive.
Hello 34 fanboys and girls, I am reporting from Athens, Greece, where the excrement is palpable in the air.  Yesterday, the Olympics got into full swing with the opening ceremony, where athletes from around the world marched elliptically around a track to the frenetic delight of tens of thousands in the stadium and millions world-wide. 
The highlight of this ceremony was when the athlete from Micronesia emerged.  Who knew?  Another highlight was when the athlete from Laos emerged, holding his flag with…


Walking in the door from work at 3:34am would be a lot cooler if it did not entail walking in the door from work at 3:34am.

News about newspaper's Editorial Boards

It's nice to know that New York Times Editorial Board reads my blog.

Bush == Asshole

Heh. It's always nice when I have something for the oft-neglected Sports section.

I do have a complete set of Nintendo Powers

About 34% of the mail I get from blogophiles out there has to do with the old Howard & Nester comic strip in Nintendo Power
magazine. Hopefully this archive will sate your curiousity. The tip in issue #2 about
defeating Iron Mike at the end of Mike Tyson's Punch*Out! (I hope I got the punctuation right) via bankruptcy litigation demonstrates
remarkable prescience.

Ripped from the headlines

There's a nice article on the Rangers, focusing on Showalter, in the Times today. The Rangers are in town to absolutely destroy the Yankees with style and grace and non-evilness.


(Scotter and Rachel had a lovely wedding down in Pennsylvania this past Sunday. In keeping with tradition, here's my best man's speech, albeit a somewhat out of date, unedited edition. The joke at the top being that After Hours lost ouur tuxedos in a warehouse the day before the wedding, but after several hours did eventually find them.)
I'm happy to be here, and more than that, I'm so happy my tuxedo could be here as well.
I give these sorts of thing a lot, best man speeches, oddly enough. And while I'm not a professional conversationalist, I know there's a certain Form to the best man speech--open with a joke (check), tell some embarssing stories about the groom (which, believe me, I could), mention how much he lucked out to end up with the bride (which, by the way, he did), and then thank the families for hosting the event (which, absolutely, thank you).
But, and you'll have to pardon me for diverging from Form here, I thought I'd use my alotted two min…

Nerd boy loves his phoney-phone

They're releasing a new model of my nerd-phone. That's the sort of thing that gets me excited. A good many of these bloggages are written from one of those things.

Old skool

There's a post over at Kos (which, if you don't read, you probably should read) mocking the setup at a recent Bush rally. This is the picture.
The thing is that we've known for a while that Bush feels more comfortable when dealing with constituents behind improbably barriers.


I can't find a good link to yesterday's headline (surprisingly), but when the top story at the Times on Monday is that we're going to get bombed, on Tuesday it's that the information about us getting bombed is really old, and then this morning that, oh yeah, that bombing? It's based on new information and going to happen like tomorrow, that just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not really sure whom/wham to be upset at though. Everyone, I guess.

Llama courtesy of Scotter

There was this giant potentially-tarantular spider thing hanging from my ceiling the other night that I convinced Adam kill only after threats of culinary embargo. And there are a lot of other bugs in my apartment as well. My plan to play them off each other really never amounted to much, so I've employed a new technique in the war on beasties: a scarellama (or, as the Germans say, ein Schrecken Llama). Is cute, no? The best part is I don't have to feed it, as it can live off the lead paint chips indefinitely.

Any similarity between a stuffed llama sitting on a windowsill and Bush's border patrol strategy post-9/11 is entirely coincidental.

Why I write such clever essays

News has apparently broken that Rivers Cuomo has some blog--which aren't people getting tired of blogs already?--and on this blog he has an... essay. To get back into Harvard or something. And it's being described as a creepy essay, because it mentions Nietzsche. As I'm an accredited philosopher I can tell you that mentioning Nietzsche in an essay does not necessarily make you creepy--it necessarily makes you a Nazi. And yes, I'm just kidding; it's my slave mentality shining through.
The forgotten issue here is how much ass does Pinkerton kick? Too bad about the rest of his career.

Call 1-800-Fax-a-Lot

Things I'd rather be doing other than laying in bed awake after being woken up by a call from work:

I really need a Weddings & Celebrations section

I went to Boris and Deniza's wedding at the Excelsior in Saddlebrook, NJ today. It's exit 157 on the Garden State Parkway in case you're planning an affair. Check for it opposite the Wal*Mart.
Out of the two weddings I've been to so far this year this one was, by far, the Russianiest. Scott and Rachel's wedding is next weekend though, so maybe they'll be able to top that. And then my cousin is getting married down in north-eastern Louisiana, which is practically a Soviet outpost. Ain't nothing like borscht and grits.
The old Russian lady who was emceeing the event came up to me and asked if I was the best man when it was time to give the speeches, which was kind of funny. I must exude something.


I know so many people working at financial institutions in New York City, it's not even funny. My dad is really freaked out about all this--he was working at the World Financial Center during the first attack 12 years ago, and was in the subway headed through Manhattan on 9/11. And he works at Citigroup now.