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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kerouacs armed with Sharpies

" their eyes I would be strange and ragged and like the Prophet who has walked across the land to bring the dark Word, and the only Word I had was "Wow!" (On the Road)

My step-dad sent me this cautionary tale of error correction gone wrong (or right, or wrong again):
Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson pleaded guilty August 11 for the damage done March 28 at the park's Desert View Watchtower. The sign was made by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the architect who designed the rustic 1930s watchtower and other Grand Canyon-area landmarks.

Deck and Herson, both 28, toured the United States this spring, wiping out errors on government and private signs. They were interviewed by NPR and the Chicago Tribune, which called them "a pair of Kerouacs armed with Sharpies and erasers and righteous indignation."

The excerpt from the Typo Eradication Advancement League diary entry is a funny melding of Kerouac's bluster and a copy editor's precision.

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There will be Boone

Imagine my delight at seeing the cover of this month's issue of Texas Monthly: even with my poor eyesight in the dim light of my hallway, I could see my name staring at me, larger than the masthead.

And We Jam Econo was playing on the Sundance channel last night. My dad an occasional obsession with showing D. Boon to be "our fallen kinsman" since the resemblance and the "Dr. Wu" cover I guess make up for the different spellings in our names. Needless to say, my dad has little interest in linking us to T. Boone Pickens.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Barnard bat?!

I think I just saw a bat at Barnard! Something swooped by me in what I'm going to call a "neurasthenic lunge" (thx, D.H. Lawrence; here's the other poem where he compares them to umbrellas). I last saw one on Ben's wedding night in Prospect Park.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008


A funny post from the NY Times Paper Cuts blog about playing Dictionary with Ammon Shea, author of Reading the O.E.D.: One Man, One Year:
Shea went first. Opening one of the dictionary’s three volumes, the man who read the O.E.D. lowered his finger and called out: “Fuzzy-wuzzy! F-U-Z-Z-Y, hyphen, W-U-Z-Z-Y.” The rest of us looked at each other for a moment — was he kidding? — and then started scribbling like mad. We passed our Post-it notes across the table, and Shea read a list of possible definitions: a plant? a caterpillar? a hairless bear, based on the children’s rhyme? an “insistent yet friendly” thigh cramp? None of us guessed the actual meaning, and for good reason: “Fuzzy-Wuzzy” was the colonial British name for a tribe from Port Sudan. Two points to Shea, for picking a word nobody could figure out. “You should have known that was the real definition,” he said, “because who of us sitting here would write that as our fake one?”

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Blogger Sophia on Thu Aug 14, 11:48:00 AM:
balderdash! ftw.
Anonymous Anonymous on Sun Aug 17, 06:22:00 PM:
Hello from Portugal :)
Freedom for Georgia!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

"A more egalitarian, homoerotic, and therefore more disturbing obscenity," esp. when applied to Kobe Bryant

It's difficult to excerpt Sherman Alexie's essay "Sixty-One Things I Learned During the Sonics Trial" from The Stranger but here's where I started to tear up:
7. I know that I touched the hearts of every man in that courtroom when I talked about my late father. I know that each son remembered a gorgeous and/or ugly moment with his father.

8. I realized that Clay Bennett probably bought this basketball team in order to impress his father, father figures, and all of his buddies. As angry as I am with the man, I also understand his motivations. At heart, he's a boy who bought the best toy imaginable—a professional basketball team. But like some preschool tyrant, Bennett ripped that toy out of the hands of the kid who had it first.
18. In the days leading up to and following my testimony, my friends told me amazing and poetic basketball stories about their fathers, sons, and jump shots. These were love stories. My detractors can give me all the shit they want. I welcome their shit. But I am trying to write a love story. I did introduce "love" as evidence into a federal trial. Call me what you will. Accuse me of any and all clichés. And so, yes, I admit that the "professional basketball players as Greek gods" argument might have been a tad hyperbolic, but please remember that I was not motivated by hate, rage, or condescension; I was motivated by love. God, it sounds stupid to type that and read it aloud. But, damn it, I am a silly, romantic shithead.

And then it only gets more amazing after that...

(link from Bookslut, of all places)

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Blogger mark on Fri Aug 08, 11:07:00 AM:
Alice, thank you for this! It's incredible!