Monday, October 20, 2008

THERE IS A NEW VERSION OF THIS WEBSITE

AND WHILE BLOGGER has been very good to me, the time has come to move to the grand unified theory entitled:

http://www.areasofmyexpertise.com/

PLEASE update your links.

YOUR NEW RSS FEED is: http://www.areasofmyexpertise.com/rss/

That is all.

THIS IS DAY MINUS ONE

THIS IS DAY MINUS ONE of the publication of MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE.

TOMORROW, when it is published, will be DAY ZERO. Then we will start counting upward.

(ON THAT DAY, I will be on television, and probably tonight as well.)

ALSO, today is DAY ONE of my guest blogging for boingboing.net. Look for STARTLING EVIDENCE regarding the crystal skulls there, later today.

THAT IS ALL.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

MY CONSIDERED ENDORSEMENT

AS YOU KNOW, I have known and respected BoingBoing now for many years.

(INDEED, I used to read the PRINT VERSION of it, back when there were "print versions" of things, and back when The Primal Plunge was selling them.)

SINCE THEN, I have been a reader of the site, and a grateful beneficiary of its unexpected and serendipitous largesse.

BUT I HAVE NEVER DARED to write for them, preferring instead the neutrality and ABSOLUTE ANONYMITY of my own imitation blog.

MANY OF YOU may wonder, then, why I have agreed to GUEST BLOG (or really, GUEST IMITATION BLOG) for Mark, Xeni, Cory, and David, starting tomorrow.

SURELY SOME OF IT, the skeptics will suggest, has something to do with my NEW BOOK BEING PUBLISHED ON TUESDAY.

AND THAT IS SO.

BUT I MUST SAY the tipping point came today, with the RETURN OF THE CREEPY GNOME.

APART FROM THEIR many accomplishments and talents, it is this dedication to keeping this MOST IMPORTANT STORY in the public eye that has earned them, this Sunday, my full and humble endorsement.

That is all.

OLD BOINGBOING IMAGE courtesy: Wikipedia, who claim "fair use" in replicating the work of the amazing Mark Frauenfelder. I'll leave it to them to fight it out.

CREEPY GNOME image courtesy: teenagers is Argentina.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND




PORTENT COURTESY: Ape-Lad

THANKS GO AS WELL to: the comments, for pointing out the margin errors. I hope this fixes it.

That is all.

LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE

I WAS TWEETING the debate last night like Vin Diesel: FAST AND FURIOUS.

(ACTUALLY, if I were really tweeting like the Diese, I'd be tweeting about D&D).

THOSE OF YOU who were unlucky enough to have followed the whole thing will recall:

A) MY PREDICTION that the pundits would attempt to call the debate for McCain, purely out of a desire for a new plotline.

B) MY ABSOLUTE SURPRISE that the instant polls would reveal such an overwhelming consensus in favor of Obama, especially among independents.

I WAS GOING to write on about how bizarre it was to watch the pundits on CNN all suddenly change their minds about what just happened the moment they learned of those early polls...

(EXCEPT GERGEN, who actually got it exactly right, saying McCain's eye-roll and facial spasm strategy that began at the 20 minute mark would be his undoing)...

AND I WAS GOING to write how I ended up feeling no better than those pundits once it was clear my dire, gut pessimism about debate coverage was proven false (for the fourth time in a row this season).

BUT THEN, while looking for a link to back up my Diesel/D&D claim above, I came across this video.

And now this video is THE ONLY THING IN THE WORLD THAT MATTERS:



THAT IS ALL.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GET READY FOR SOME TOTALLY SUCCESSFUL EMBEDDING

SEE HOW GOOD I am getting?

(at embedding. Not necessarily: singing).



THAT IS ALL

ALAS, JOHN SELLERS

ALAS, JOHN SELLERS did not include any of our conversation on the subject of my first job for Time Out NY: reviewing video games.

BUT I AM STILL very glad to be back in their pages.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I AM NOW A PAID BLOGGER


IRA GLASS paid me a dollar to mention me on his blog.

THE EVIDENCE IS HERE:

HONESTLY, I like and admire Ira so much, I probably would have done it for 60 cents.

STILL, this particular dollar makes for a nice keepsake. I think I will give it away as a prize of some at one of my book readings next week.

ON THAT SUBJECT, WERE YOU AWARE THAT I WILL BE APPEARING...

AT Barnes and Noble, Union Square, of Manhattan, Tues Oct 21, at 7PM, WITH Jonathan Coulton

AT the Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, of Massachusetts, Wed Oct 22, at 7PM, WITH Jonathan Coulton.

AT Politics and Prose, Washington, of District of Columbia, Thurs Oct 23, at 7PM, WITHOUT Jonathan Coulton, who will be going to England for a spell.

AT the 215 Festival of Philadelphia, PA, specifically THE LATVIAN SOCIETY, Friday Oct 24, at 9PM, WITHOUT Coulton, but WITH David Rees and Patrick Borelli.

?

All of this is true.

STAND BY for more true details re:

ANN ARBOR!
The fictional city of CHICAGO!
and the across-the-pond return of COULTON for
SEATTLE!
PORTLAND!
SAN FRANCISCO!
and
LOS ANGELES!

PLUS (though without Coulton):
ATLANTA!
OXFORD!
THE APPLE STORE OF SOHO WITH ELIZABETH GILBERT!

ALSO, there will be some changes to this website.

But for now: THAT IS ALL.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

SMEARS

HERE IS THE GREAT BILL SCHER on the subject of the absurdity of launching a smear campaign this late in the game.

BEGIN QUOTED TEXT

McCain can't get back in this race by running against a fictional character. He has to run against Obama, and make a case that he has a better strategy than Obama for getting the economy back on track.

But that would require having a strategy. And he's running out of time to come up with one.

END QUOTED TEXT

(BUT BY ALL MEANS, read on. Bill Scher is one of the smartest and least excitable folks on the political internet, and he also eats deep-fried hamburgers)

BILL IS CORRECT: the time for defining Obama as a crazy, fist-bumping, BLACK!, Muslim, secret agent for Al Qaeda was back when no one really knew him. Like during the primaries.

(And it failed then, too. Because for the attack to be effective, the audience has to ACTUALLY BELIEVE that Obama is a villainous secret jihadist who REALLY AND TRULY CAN'T WAIT to paint the White House black. Surely there are some who actually do believe this science fiction; but most people are not INSANE. They just like acting that way in blog comments--and sometimes, newspapers).

BUT WHAT'S EVEN MORE startling is that the Ayers conspiracy theories and "Barack HUSSEIN Obama" dog-whistling that was once left to rumor spams and whisper campaigns has now been taken up, OFFICIALLY, by the candidates themselves.

THAT IS TO SAY, McCain/Palin are essentially attacking Obama with BLOG COMMENTS.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

POST CANCELLED

A FAMOUS ACTOR just stepped in and saved me from completing an embarrassingly sincere and serious blog post.

I AM VERY GRATEFUL to him.

That is all.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

NEW THEORIES ABOUT THE CRYSTAL SKULLS


THANKS TO SEAN MCDONALD, I have discovered this PROVOCATIVE LINK from a blog called NOTCOT...

REGARDING DAN AYKROYD AND HIS KINGDOM OF CRYSTAL SKULLS, mentioned earlier on this non-blog.

READING IT, WE MUST CONCLUDE either...

a) CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA is a real product, and not an elaborate, deadpan joke.

b) CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA is a fake product, and NOTCOT is a part of the worldwide, Aykroyd-Tricks-the-Internet conspiracy.

c) CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA is a fake product, and indeed an elaborate deadpan joke, but one that is so elaborate that they ACTUALLY MADE THE FAKE PRODUCT in order to trick people into thinking it is real.

FOR ALL OBVIOUS REASONS, I am pulling for option C.

HOWEVER, this interview turned up by "NOTCOT," if that is indeed their name, suggests that the answer=A: Dan Aykroyd is simply a deadly earnest ufologist who loves to drink.

AND IS THAT REALLY SO BAD?

That is all.

IMAGE courtesy: "NOTCOT"

Friday, October 03, 2008

THE MYSTERY OF THE CRYSTAL HEADS

The Crystal Head Vodka website contains no ordering information.

BUT IT DOES FEATURE THE MASONIC SQUARE AND COMPASS!

Huh?

ALSO: BEVMO! has it listed, but it is mysteriously not available.

COINCIDENCE?

ALSO: I SAW GHOSTBUSTERS 1 at the same time I was first reading the novel DUNE...all during a childhood trip to YALE, where I would later go to college.

COINCIDENCE?

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU that while I was at Yale, I was telepathically tutored by the crystal skull of Geronimo in the tomb of the Skull and Bones secret society!

It isn't true, of course. (I was never a Bonesman). But WHAT IF I TOLD YOU I WAS!?

That is all.

CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA

THIS COMES IN via The Hater, and I don't know what to say.

IMAGINE ALL THE HERKY-JERK pitchman verbiage of Dan Aykroyd's classic commercial parodies from SNL as filtered through the X-Files, Tony Little, and the Swan Orientation Film, and THREE LAYERS OF HERKIMER DIAMONDS,

THEN ACTUALLY ADD DAN AYKROYD and you get:

CRYSTAL SKULL VODKA



NOT SINCE Dick Van Patten's Hobo Chili for Dogs have I confronted a product so strange and marvelously implausible that I feel robbed somehow of what might have been a beautiful, sublime joke, were it not all so undeniably real.

(AND IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT about the quality of spirits produced in the province of Newfoundland, may I recommend THE SCREECH?)

That is all.

UPDATE: because they care about me, THE VULTURE POSITS that this may all be part of an oblique, GHOSTBUSTERS III viral campaign. I hope so. It would be one of the most beautiful deadpan jokes of all time, were it so. And worthy of Dan Aykroyd. But on the other hand, he does apparently have a real, non-joke, non-viral, fascination with the paranormal, so who knows?

I FIND THIS INTRIGUING

VERY INTRIGUING

That is all.

COKIE

I THINK ARGUMENTS of "media bias" are almost always a pointless, joyless hedge maze to enter.

HOWEVER, I CONFESS to fuming frequently at my Tivoli radio while listening to NPR this year (I live in Park Slope) whenever Cokie Roberts came on to casually, Kristen Wiig-ily undermine Obama.

SUCH IS HER RIGHT. I trust she calls them as she sees them. But as Josh Marshall suggests this morning, on the issue of BOSNIAKS, she seems to be wrong.

BEGIN QUOTED TEXT

Watching the debate I noticed that Biden referred to the Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina as "Bosniaks". This is actually the correct term, though in English people often say simply Bosnian Muslims. When he said it, the first thing I though was, I wonder how many right-wingers would jump on this as a gaffe on the model of candidate George W. Bush's reference to 'Grecians.'

I don't know who else exposed their own ignorance by falling into this trap. But Cokie Roberts did.

--Josh Marshall/TPM

END QUOTED TEXT

WATCH BELOW as Cokie attempts to weave a false equivalency between Biden's using an actual, legitimate term and Palin's FORGETTING THE NAME OF OUR COMMANDER IN AFGHANISTAN--confusing General McKiernan with "General McClellan."

(ALSO WATCH for a great Doris Kearns Goodwin cameo. She catches Palin's error right away, but I think that's because she knew McClellan personally. Lincoln introduced them).



LOOK, I don't know the Bosniaks. Maybe Josh Marshall is wrong on this one. But I think Cokie's smirking-with-intent is obvious here, and if Marshall's intel is correct, she owes Biden an apology.

OR ELSE: I'm just lost in the hedge maze.

That is all.

UPDATE: To be fair, I guess she COULD have picked on him for not knowing that Katie's, a Delaware restaurant he mentioned, closed decades ago.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN

BUT TO ALL THOSE DEMOCRATS who implied (or told me outright) 2 wks ago that they feared Americans were "TOO STUPID" to vote right,

HERE is why this election is so exciting.

That is all.

ADVANTAGE=?

IF YOU SEE MY TWEETS up there in the upper right, you know that I was pretty wowed by Biden in the final run.

MOST AGREE on CNN that Palin and Biden made no major flubs, however. So in terms of pundit perception: ADVANTAGE PALIN. And I think that consensus is settling in, at least in the FILTER OF THE MEDIA.

THAT SAID, she did call General McKiernan "General McClellan." That's an absurd thing to say, and should count as a major flub. But no one on CNN seems to have noticed.

THAT SAID, the first snap poll says 51% of respondents say Biden "won." And 53% still feel that she is not qualified to be President (down from 54%). That shut up the "Palin stuck the landing" meme for a moment there, so what do I know?

That is all.

ADVANTAGE PALIN

SINCE NO ONE ASKED, and yet the internet demands words,

FLUBS MATTER MOST--misstatements of fact, flustered moments of silence, obvious "dog ate homework" moments, and other assorted COURICIANA.

HERE IS THE FLOWCHART as I see it.

Palin flubs + Biden flubs = ADVANTAGE PALIN. Storyline="Everybody is human."

Neither flubs = ADVANTAGE PALIN. Storyline= "Palin didn't flub."

Palin doesn't flub + Biden flubs = MAJOR ADVANTAGE PALIN. Storyline="What's the problem with Joe Biden?"

Palin flubs + Biden doesn't flub = ADVANTAGE THE UNIVERSE. Storyline= Palin exits the national stage.

I WOULD TAKE NO GLEE IN THIS, but I would be relieved. In any case, Biden must not flub.

THE WILD CARD: will Biden attack?

PALIN CERTAINLY WILL. It is part of "Palin being Palin."

I TRUST that Biden has been counseled neither to attack nor counter-attack Palin. It is a massive risk, and he has nothing to gain.

I AM SURE that Biden agrees with this strategy as of this writing.

I AM NOT SO SURE that he will follow it. In the heat of the moment he may not be able to help himself.

If he succumbs, ADVANTAGE PALIN--even if (especially if) she flubs. Storyline="Biden=mean."

AS YOU SEE, by my goofball reasoning at least, that's four possible PALIN FTWs, and only one out for the entire universe.

IT ALL DEPENDS ON BIDEN'S SELF CONTROL.

I like Biden. But I will be drinking.

That is all.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

MARQUEE ATTRACTION

ALSO, THAT ACTUALLY IS the Coolidge Corner Theater (nee "Moviehouse") in GQ this month

AND I ACTUALLY DID used to put those letters up on the marquee back when I worked there in the early nineties (the 20th century).

(BUT AT THAT TIME, we used a long, long mechanical arm with a claw on the end, BECAUSE EVERYTHING WAS BETTER IN THE PAST.)

AND I ACTUALLY WILL BE APPEARING THERE, with COULTON, on October 22, at 6PM to promote my new BOOK, which will be sold by THE BROOKLINE BOOKSMITH,

WHERE I ACTUALLY bought my first copy of LORD OF THE RINGS.

ALL OF THIS IS TRUE, and yet still unbelievable, at least to me.

That is all.

BOING

HELLO AGAIN, bOINGbOINGists

IT IS NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN through the internet.

GUESS WHAT I LEARNED TO DO since last time? PROPER EMBEDDING TECHNIQUES.

WITNESS:



(I REALLY HOPE THIS WORKS)

MEANWHILE, HERE IS AN ACTUAL NOTE left for me in my room by the management of the CHATEAU MARMONT after viewing my last visit to BoingBoingTV...


THEY REALLY DID OFFER the best Soylent Green in Los Angeles. I hope they bring it back.

ALSO, MAY I PLEASE, PLEASE TAKE THIS TRAFFICKY MOMENT TO RECOMMEND...

SHOPSIN

?

That is all.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

THE INTERNET NEEDS MORE PHOTOS OF WONDRICH

LUCKILY, there is Sachs, aka "My Uncle, Traveling Sachs."

That is all.

Monday, September 29, 2008

THIS POST IS FOR JOEL LOVELL

SORRY I'VE BEEN AWAY SO LONG, Joel.

AS PER OUR conversation this morning on the streets of BROOKLYN,

AND IN ANSWER to your request for more political blogging,

(A REQUEST YOU ARE ALONE IN MAKING)

HERE is a much better assessment of why my TWITTERING about the debate was ALL WRONG.

THAT MY COME-UPPANCE should come at the hands of PAT BUCHANAN is appropriately shaming.

AS I SAID IN FRONT OF THAT COFFEE SHOP, what we who refresh political blogs all day long forget is this:

THERE ARE A LOT OF DEMOCRATS who like but are still wary of Obama--FOR WHATEVER REASON--and are waiting for a cue that it's OK to support him.

CERTAIN FORMER PRESIDENTS are not giving them that cue, but apparently, on Friday night, OBAMA DID.

WHAT'S MORE, since I am used to McCain's unnerving blinkyness and weird, mad smiles, the fact that he did not end up screaming obscenities just made him seem like a statesman to me.

BUT I GUESS TO THOSE WHO DO NOT REFRESH POLITICAL BLOGS ALL DAY, his angry condescension seemed surprising, and unpleasant.

ALL THE MORE REASON we should step away from the blogs and get out into the world, especially those parts of the world known as battleground states.

I ALSO STAND BY the other statement I made in front of that coffee shop: I NEED SOME MORE COFFEE

That is all.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A SECOND SHADOUT TO KING, BOINGBOING

I HAVE BEEN OUT OF TOWN, visiting the celebrity enclaves of LOS ANGELES and now ORLANDO FLORIDA, so please forgive the non-existent posting.

COURTESY XENI, here---FINALLY---is the corrected embed of the famous "KAKI KING" episode:



AND COURTESY XENI AGAIN, here is a link to Kaki's astonishing DUNE NERD-DOM, which makes me love her all the more.

AND COURTESY XENI and all at BoingBoingTV in the future, stay on the look out for "SPAMASTERPIECE THEATER" and other MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE.

That is all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

ASK KAKI KING ABOUT THE SHADOUT MAPES

LOOK, XENI did another perfect interview.

BUT YOU HAVE NOT LIVED until you hear Kaki King recite the opening monologue from DUNE in front of a FULL ROCK BAND.



AND YES: this embed may break the borders, but it is worth it!

That is all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I HAD LUNCH WITH JOHN SELLERS YESTERDAY

I HAD LUNCH with my former editor/former client/former DONKEY KONG CHAMP/and always pal John Sellers yesterday.

AND THEN HE SENT ME this curious internet video from THE PAST:



OF COURSE, YOU ALL KNOW MY DREAM of being called "Mr. Intellivision" some day.

BUT CAN ANY OF YOU EXPLAIN the child's weird, gape-mouthed stare at the end of this commercial?

IS THE JOKE HERE supposed to be that neither George Plimpton nor Henry Thomas of recognize each other?

REALLY? Were there really that many TV watchers in 1980 who loved both ET and The Paris Review enough to find this little screwball mix-up so hilarious that they would then run out and buy INTELLIVISIONS?

IS THAT REALLY THE POINT of this ad?

OR IS POOR HENRY THOMAS JUST CHOKING ON SOMETHING?

ANSWER=unknown.

The whole thing is so weirdly paced, opaque, and odd. It reminds me of ANOTHER COMMERCIAL YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN RECENTLY.

That is all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

!

IT WAS POTTS who first instructed me to read David Foster Wallace's article on cruise ships in the January, 1996 issue of Harper's.

IT WAS MY FIRST exposure to his brilliance and his many beautiful footnotes.

INCLUDING THE SHORTEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTE of all time.

BEGIN quoted text:

But it turns out that, of these six guys [a group of skeet shooters DFW has encountered on a cruise ship].... the last has not only his own earmuffs, plus his own shotgun in a special crushed-velvet-lined case, but also his own skeetshooting ranger in his backyard (130) in North Carolina.

(130): !

END quoted text.

IT WAS JUST A LITTLE PUNCTUATION JOKE, but in it I found so much to aspire to: the cynicism undone by fearless wonder, the formal playfulness, and the utter and inspiring freedom...

THESE ARE THE THINGS that make his work so challenging, and yet also so gracious. By reading him, we all got better.

I AM NOT ONE OF THE SAD ONES who have the privilege to miss him personally. But I do miss him.

NO ONE HAS EVER INVENTED PUNCTUATION MARK that can contain all the shock and sadness we felt when we learned the news,

AND NOW THAT HE IS GONE, I am afraid that no one ever will.

That is all.

BOINGBOING and BOING again

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, here is last week's BoingBoing TV episode featuring Xeni, a hotel, and my socks.

NOW FULLY EMBEDDED:



That is all.

PRETTY CHILLING

OBVIOUSLY one doesn't know the full context and all the small legalities of the moment.

BUT ON ITS FACE, this does not leave one with a good feeling.



STILL: DID WE REALLY NEED the guy dressed up like a pea pod?

That is all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

WHAT SAM DOESN'T LIKE ABOUT SOFTWARE


ONE SURPRISING FACT that came out around all the color scheme hoopla:

SAM POTTS has a secret blog.

AND ON THAT BLOG, he inadvertently provides YOUR FIRST GLIMPSE into the pages of MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE, which he designed.

HE ALSO swears a lot.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

#543930 IS THE NEW BROWN

THANKS TO POTTS, we now see a brown more closely approximating:

THE ACTUAL BOOK THAT WAS JUST SENT TO ME,

and which I am now holding in my ACTUAL HANDS

That is all.

YOU MAY NOTICE I RARELY POST ABOUT MY FILM AND TELEVISION ADVENTURES

YOU MAY NOTICE I RARELY POST ABOUT MY FILM AND TELEVISION ADVENTURES

THAT IS BECAUSE I usually do not believe they actually happened.

BUT THIS IS SOMETHING I am extremely proud to be associated with:



VERY WISELY, they did not end up using my own singing. That's JOHN LINNELL, who wrote the song.

(REALLY? I got to at least pretend to sing a TMBG song? In a Neil Gaiman/Henry Selick movie? Did that really happen?)

(I DIDN'T THINK SO)

That is all.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

SAM POTTS WRITES FROM THE NEW OFFICE

SAM POTTS,

WHO IS designer of both BOOKS 1 and 2...

NOT TO MENTION the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company...

AND A FORMER RESIDENT of actual Boston (not just fake Boston like me),

AND PURVEYOR OF SAM POTTS INC, now of Union Square (Manhattan)

WRITES IN with a color correction, displaying the attention to detail and surprisingly long memory FOR WHICH HE IS KNOWN.

BEGIN QUOTED TEXT!

Is it too much change to foist on your readers?

This would be closer:

BROWN: color="#543930"

GOLD: color="#deb406"

The brown is darker and the gold is golder.

Also, Sam Kolb is originally from the South End, I believe. We're the last generation to have grown up thinking people could actually disappear from our lives once we changed schools or neighborhoods.

END QUOTED TEXT

Jh HERE AGAIN SAYING: Thank you, SAM. For your many years of friendship and collaboration.

I shall make the color change VERY SOON, OR WHEN I GET AROUND TO IT.

That is all.

WHATEVER IT TAKES BY PAUL TOUGH


PAUL TOUGH's important and amazing new book, WHATEVER IT TAKES, is now on sale in Mississippi, according to his blog.

I ENCOURAGE YOU to go and buy it.

IF YOU ARE THE SORT OF PERSON who fears that nothing can be done about poverty and public education in this country (THE USA), then Jeffrey Canada's story, as told by Tough, will at once reassure you.

BUT IT WILL NOT "INSPIRE" YOU, the way so many mushy books about education do. Instead, it will challenge you to think differently, and do more.

And that is why it is important and amazing (IMPAZING is the term I use).

I ALSO HAVE EVIDENCE that the book is being sold OUTSIDE of Mississippi as well.

BUT IF YOU ARE THE SORT OF PERSON who either lives in Oxford or loves geographical inconvenience, here is some more information on that bookstore in the photo, which is pretty amazant in itself.

That is all.

PS: Paul also blogs about education for Slate, and tumbles at tumblr. He also has pretty much the coolest e-mail address ever.

Monday, September 08, 2008

WELCOME, BOINGBOING TELEVISIONEERS

LAST FALL, XENI and her crew interrupted my work* with their cameras.

*(NOT REALLY: I was actually taking a suit nap)

IT WAS A LOVELY VISIT, and I am very grateful that they have chosen to reveal more of my private life on BoingBoingTV today.

SEE HERE for the previous visit, including Ape Lad's early, inaccurate illustrations of A SMALL PARLOR OF MOLE-MEN.

YOU CANNOT BLAME Ape Lad, though. He did not know at the time that the mole-men are:

LUMINOUS
BLIND
FANGED
and COVERED IN LUMINOUS MUCUS

(to paraphrase Hobbes)

...or that they always wear powdered wigs.

BUT SOON YOU WILL ALL KNOW THIS AND MORE, and in much greater detail than you probably need.

THAT IS ALL.

GREETINGS FROM 664444

AS ONLY THE MOST OBSESSIVE OF YOU WILL NOTICE, we have a new background color scheme (#66444) here today,

ONE DESIGNED TO BARELY APPROXIMATE the jacket of my new, actual book.

WHICH JACKET, may be viewed here, thanks to the efforts of Potts and Connor.

AND WHICH BOOK is, or will be, discussed HERE.

FROM TIME TO TIME in the coming weeks, I will mention news pertaining to this book, its publication (Oct 21), and the tour of US cities that will follow.

I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND why I must do this.

I PROMISE it will not be intrusive, and I will return to regular blogging of FREESTYLE CANOEING as soon as possible.

That is all.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

GREETINGS KOLB

GREETINGS, KOLB, once of Brookline.

HOW ARE YOU? I am fine.

I DON'T BELIEVE we really had a chance to discuss JAGGED EDGE after we saw it in 1985.

DO YOU THINK the killer was really Jeff Bridges?

OR WAS IT A CAMEO BY BEAU BRIDGES?

Either way, SPOILER ALERT: I AM ALWAYS WATCHING

That is all.

I PROMISED I'D QUIT READING COMMENT SECTIONS FOR A WHILE

BUT WHEN A BLOG hasn't updated in 5 minutes, what else are you going to do.

IN ANY CASE, I did feel the need to highlight this comment, from a supposed "JOHN D", on a recent Ben Smith post.

"Jesus was a community organizer."

AND OF COURSE, I always read YOUR comments.

That is all.

ALERT: AMY RADFORD TO ATTEND MAXFUNCON


DOES THIS LOOK LIKE MAXIMUM FUN to you?

IF NOT, then you are incorrect.

FOR FURTHER re-education, please visit MAXFUNCON.

That is all.

OH, I SEE: IT'S A CULTURE WAR

FORGET ISSUES, if those elitist "community organizers" win, they're going to tax our babies!

NONSENSE.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

HERE'S A SURPRISING BIT OF MORAL CONSISTENCY THAT I DIDN'T EXPECT

WHILE IT MAKES MY fingerpads burn a little bit to link to her, Dr. Laura is at least consistent.

I am extremely disappointed in the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party.
NOW I WILL ADMIT: I used to listen to Dr. Laura in the car on my way to and from therapy. And so, perhaps for that reason, I still find her particular brand of sanctimonious know-it-some-ness to be strangely soothing.

That is all.

RE: THE CANOE-EWS

PHOEBE writes:

"LOVE THE THROWING OF THE MASK--BUT COME ON, AT LEAST DO ONE STANDING MOVE."

She raises a good point.

That is all.

ALL SNIDENESS ASIDE

I SUSPECT PALIN is going to do very well tonight.

ANY HOPES that she might crumple, stumble, or just melt like a water-soaked witch are pure fantasy.

SHE IS SMART, ACCOMPLISHED and professional. She will give a good speech. Obviously her supporters with laud it as a triumph. And I suspect much of the media will as well.

THAT IS ALL

NEWS YOU CAN CANOE-EWS

IN OTHER NEWS, Christine Connor shares this:



MY FAVORITE COMMENT comes from user "N757FR":

"What kind of canoe are you useing and what made you choose it?"

(A="It's a loon works nakoma. It's 13.5 feet long I believe and it i made especially for the sport however you don't need a special canoe to participate")

THAT IS ALL.

WATCHING THE REVELS LAST NIGHT

I THOUGHT FOR A MOMENT that it might be nice to be a Republican delegate.

YOU GET to make up your own reality in which a conservative activist is actually a centrist, your leader's craven decision is actually a mavericky one, and where a refueling stop-over in Ireland actually counts as foreign policy experience, and issues don't matter.

IT IS LIKE THEY HAVE MADE UP their own little, self-contained universe in the Xcel center. One big flag-y LARP.

That is all.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

MCCAIN=TROLL

I HAD A WHOLE POST written inspired by Captain Joy's very smart comment in the comments, but then it occurred to me:

Gov. Palin's selection amounts to McCain TROLLING the debate.

HER OPEN APPEAL to former Hillary voters is classic disingenuous CONCERN TROLLING.

AND HER SELECTION tempts us into a quicksand debate of relative experience in which we'll all sink in a panicky writhe of circular arguments and counter-accusations.

GOV. PALIN is a remarkable and accomplished person. But every anxiety she provokes (in both parties) as a shadow president to an aging man--and the doubts her selection sows regarding McCain's own judgment and priorities--are self evident.

There is no reason to get bogged down in the comments, all snared up in the bottom of the thread.

RATHER, it's better to take a cue from Obama's second comment, in which he dials back his campaign's own initial reaction. Because he seems to know the first rule about trolls, which is:

DO NOT
FEED THE TROLL.

THAT SAID, you really should read Cpt. Joy's very smart comment here.

UPDATE: Thank you, KARNAS, for pointing out my egregious error.

That is all.

Friday, August 29, 2008

ONE THING THAT IS TRUE ABOUT MCCAIN'S VP SELECTION

ONE THING THAT IS TRUE ABOUT MCCAIN'S VP SELECTION of Sarah Palin,

AND SOMETHING Democrats are perhaps unused to,

IT REVEALS just how much Obama/Biden are in charge of this conversation.

That is all.

HODG*CON 08

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MISSED my live feed on Twitter from HODG*CON 08,

YOU CAN RELIVE THE MAGIC through this amazing album of photos I took in the main hall.

That is all.

AND PLEASE ALSO CHECK OUT THE STUNNED LOOK ON MADDOW'S FACE AT THE 1:01 MARK

WHEN YOU ARE THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE, and you get Pat Buchanan to RE-DELIVER your speech for you,

THEN SOMETHING UNIQUE AND STRANGE is happening in American politics.



UNIQUE AND STRANGE and welcome.

That is all.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

RE: OBAMA'S SPEECH

I CAN MAKE two metaphors:

1. THE SPORTS METAPHOR (for most humans): "The rope-a-dope is over."

2. THE GEEK METAPHOR (for internet users):

"ASLAN IS OFF THE STONE TABLE"

That is all.

POLITICS

I KNOW THE POLITICS CAN GET TEDIOUS, especially when all I'm doing is goofing around over at Twitter.

BUT I AGREE WITH RACHEL MADDOW, this would have been a great keynote.

BUT RATHER THAN REGRET, I will do my small part to remind those who didn't see it on TV (like me) that this actually happened.

BECAUSE, as you will see, it's not just politics.



That is all.

ALSO, congratulations, Doctor.

WE SHOULD NOT BE PRAYING FOR RAIN

I SUPPOSE I APPRECIATE THE "IRONY" (quote quotes, not ironic quotes).

BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THAT we should be wary of praying for rain, as some others have done.

IT IS NOT ONLY BENEATH US, but hypocrisy is the surest way to ensure a hailstorm of toads.

IN MY EXPERIENCE ANYWAY.

That is all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

YOU ALL KNOW HOW I DISLIKE SPORTS POEMS

BUT AT LEAST they are not "love" poems.

THAT IS WHY I DIRECT YOU HERE, to a poem that replaces every reference to "love" with the words:

"BOSTON RED SOX HALL OF FAME CATCHER CARLTON FISK"

IT IS perfect.

READ MORE OF MATTHEW'S work at his ingenious collaborative storytelling venture "THE PATHWAYS."

That is all.



Monday, August 25, 2008

"HELLO GIRARDO [GIRARDEAU] FAMILY"

IF YOU DO NOT RECOGNIZE THAT QUOTE, then I guess you missed Michelle Obama's speech.

IT'S THE WHOLE MESSAGE of this convention, in a way, spoken by a seven year old.

A HELLO OUT INTO THE NIGHT, and I think it was heard.

That is all.

PS: SPELLING of the G family's name is corrected, courtesy my wife.

"THEY HAVE RING BALONEY AT THE WA WA I GO TO"

IF THAT QUOTE SOUNDS FAMILIAR TO YOU, then you need not click on the following words.

"RING BALONEY"


OTHERWISE, I urge you to go and see what Nathan Rabin has to say about Scharpling and Wurster.

AND ALSO, on the subject of portraits of awesomeness: Ted Kennedy looks and sounds amazing. I hope if I'm ever that sick that I get the kind of great doctoring (and nursing) that he is obviously getting. And I know that Ted Kennedy hopes so, too.

THAT IS ALL.

ATTENTION, OXFORD UNIVERSITY

I AM BACK FROM THE INTERNETLESS HILLS and am now drowning in the internetful river.

ALSO, I fear I deleted from the server an e-mail from a nice man or woman at the Oxford Union, regarding an invitation to speak at that ACTUAL ENGLISH UNIVERSITY.

IF YOU ARE THAT NICE PERSON, would you please re-send the e-mail?

THAT IS ALL

Friday, August 08, 2008

AS I CONTINUE TO BE CHASED AROUND NEW ENGLAND

AS I CONTINUE to be chased around New England, I will lose internet power again tomorrow for some days.

UNLESS I GET THIS COMPUTER to run on lobster rolls.

That is all.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

SECOND GUESSES COUNT

FROM THE COMMENTS...

TODD is the winner: famed "TRUE LIFE TALES" contributor and all-around awesome talent Jon Glaser is the voice of "STANDING UP GUY" in David Rees's new, animated static clip art comic.

IF HE WILL PROVIDE an accurate mailing address, I will be sure to provide the promised copies of MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE and GET YOUR BEST OF "GET YOUR WAR ON" ON when they are available.

MEANWHILE APOLOGIES TO...

"WILL," who was slightly too late.

"CHRISTOPHER," who is a Jon Glaser expert.

and especially

"ANTHONY LAURENT," who, "Terrance" reminds, portrays "SITTING DOWN GUY" and is brilliant at it.

That is all.

Monday, August 04, 2008

MNFTIU

ALSO, WHEN DAVID REES briefly brought the magic of INTERNET to Internetless Hills last week, he shared with me this...

IMPORTANT MOVING DOCUMENT

(Begin quoted animation)



(End quoted animation)

THE FIRST PERSON TO correctly identify the voice of the standing up guy gets a free copy of my book when it is published.

I WILL ALSO THROW IN A FREE COPY of David's new forthcoming omnibus that I have code named GET YOUR BEST ON.

And I have to actually pay for that book. SO YOU KNOW IT'S ON.

That is all.

BACK ON THE OVERNIGHT

I AM BACK on the wireless overnight service, with some reliable broadband after some days of travel and adventure.

NOW DEDICATING MY LIFE to the collection of clam shells that are large enough for stuffies.

LOOK IT UP.

THANK YOU, very belatedly, to all those who managed to follow the moon letters and found the hidden path SECRET SHOW 2 at the VOO.

BOTH SHOWS were very fun from where I was sitting (I WAS THE ONE AT THE FRONT AT THE PRIVATE TABLE).

AND BOTH WERE incredibly helpful as I prepare for the new book tour.

MY ONLY REGRET was that I could not pass along my advice to Glenn, which was:

"IF YOU ARE TRULY CALILNG ME FROM AN ALCOHOLISM PREVENTION CONFERENCE, THEN WHY ARE YOU DRUNK DIALING ME?"

That is all.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

JUST FINISHED DOING THE BILL DWIGHT SHOW

JUST FINISHED DOING THE BILL DWIGHT show with David Rees and Jaz(z) Tupelo.

DELIGHTFUL

AM BLOGGING BRIEFLY from WHMP and reveling in their giant barrels of FAST INTERNET and ALL CAPS.

DON'T SAY ANYTHING about the secret show at the Rendezvous at 8PM tonight.

OF COURSE, I WILL NOT SEE YOU there, because I NEVER WROTE THIS.

AND TURNERS FALLS does not exist!

That is all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

THANK YOU, DENIZENS

THANK YOU Rendezvous and its denizens for your patience and good humor.

YOU ALL KNOW A LOT MORE ABOUT MOLE-MEN than most of your fellow citizens (at least, those who are surface dwellers).

EVENTUALLY I BELIEVE the radio shall make some of it available on the radio.

UNTIL THEN, I look forward to seeing you at the next Secret Show, next week...

SAME MOLE-PLACE, SAME MOLE-TIME

For a discussion of non mole-manic issues.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

IF YOU HEARD ME ON WHMP-NORTHAMPTON THIS MORNING

THEN YOU KNOW these facts about tonight's SECRET SHOW/CRAFT NIGHT at the Rendezvous:

YES, commenter known as "bourgeoispig," I will read "Top Spots for Crab," because it has a LOCAL ANGLE.

(ALSO, update your blog!)

and

YES, commenter known as "adriane," is is free of charge.

BUT FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, buy alcohol (or non-alcohol) and tip heavily: it's a bar!

SEE YOU THEN (8pm) at the VOO.

That is all.

Friday, July 18, 2008

CRAFT NIGHT AT THE VOO

I AM TOLD that the SECRET SHOW next Tuesday overlaps with the Rendezvous bar's regular

KNITTING AND CRAFT NIGHT.

PLEASE FEEL FREE, thus, to bring your unfinished blankets, collage projects, model airplanes, and papier mache constructions.

I WILL BE BRINGING my own scrapbook of fake trivia and mole-man names.

THAT IS ALL.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

THANK YOU, STANDARD DESIGN

THANKS, SD, for your consideration.

BUT HERE IT IS, the next morning

AND I AM STILL NOT DONE ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT LOVE for Glamour magazine.

That is all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

YOU DID NOT HEAR IT FROM ME

That is all.

NOT THAT I'M SPENDING ALL DAY ON THE DEHYDRATED FOODS SITE

BUT I KNEW YOU WERE WONDERING about the "Spray-Dried Squid"

AND THE ANSWER IS YES.

That is all.

PACKAGING: DRUMS AND TOTES

COURTESY BRIAN from the comments, and the good people of American Dehydrated Foods:

MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE ABOUT LIQUID CHICKEN

BEGIN quoted text

Features Benefits
Shelf-stable Can be stored for up to nine (9) months, depending upon the antioxidant used.
Low moisture Helps to ensure microbiological and chemical stability. (Max. of 0.25%)
Freshness Produced daily; from fresh, young broilers.
Does not require freezing.
Liquid Reduces production cost, compared to using frozen or lard products.
Choice of antioxidant Your choice: BHA, BHT, Rosemary or many other natural antioxidants.
Packaging choices Drums and totes
Antioxidant Customer choice.
Application Information
Usage: Sprayed on, as a topical application, typically at a 1-8% rate for petfood, biscuits or treats.
May also be applied as an inclusion ingredient in canned petfoods, at a rate
of 1-10%
Ash: N/A
Moisture: 0.25%
Standard Packaging: Drums and Totes

END quoted text.

OBSERVATION 1: Does AMERICAN DEHYDRATED FOODS give away liquid chicken totes as a premium during their pledge drive?

OBS 2: Sweet Golden Retriever!*

THAT IS ALL






*Actual observation about the dog on the website, not a euphemism for liquid chicken.**

**Though it is acceptable to use this phrase as a general exclamation of surprise.

SONG FU

JULY 15 is the final challenge.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

THE INTERNET IS NOT A BIG TRUCK

DAVID GUION (who wrote and read the "Spy Rock" Lecture on the Little Gray Book Lecture Podcasts exactly 82 years ago today) wrote today regarding

A BURGEONING TRUCK/INTERNET MYSTERY.

AS GUION does not have a blog, and I am currently in the INTERNETLESS HILLS, and thus forced to blog even more poorly than ever,

I PRESENT HIS E-MAIL TO YOU UNEDITED, and without further interruption.

BEGIN QUOTED TEXT

Gentlemen,

"This tanker truck was traveling between Little Rock and Nashville, as were we, on July 2. If you google the relevant phrase you will get nothing but blog entries by people describing how they googled it too and came up dry."

"It is worth noting that liquid is the state between solid and gas."

END QUOTED TEXT.

That is all.

PS: The time for both SECRET SHOWS shall be 8PM.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

INTERNETLESS

I WILL BE LARGELY INTERNETLESS for the next few weeks. I will do what I can to update from remote locations. I may even tell you about those locations.

OR I MAY SIMPLY CONTINUE TO KEEP MY OWN SECRETS.

IN ANY CASE, I make this promise:

1) I WILL SHOW YOU A PICTURE OF BIGFOOT.

2) WATCH THIS SPACE FOR DETAILS OF TWO SECRET READINGS AT THE RENDEZVOUS in Turners Falls, MA, at which I will sit at a table and try to remember how to read in public. These will occur on July 22 and July 29, time TBD.

I JUST REALIZED that I am terrible at keeping my own secrets.

THAT IS ALL.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

SASQUATCH IS MISSING, AND MAY SOON BE GONE FOREVER

I FIRST LEARNED OF THIS SAD TALE from noted cryptozoologist LOREN COLEMAN:



NOW, JUST BECAUSE I HAPPEN TO HAVE THE SAME STATUE in my home in Internetless Hills, MA, it does not mean that I stole it from the Niki's Quick Six.

NOT AT ALL. The truth is, COULTON got it for me for Xmas (I can prove it).

AND AS COLEMAN HIMSELF POINTS OUT, it is widely available through Toscano Design.

WHICH LEADS TO ONE QUESTION : how many should we buy for the Quick Six?

MEANWHILE, I do not thank Loren Coleman enough for all his inspiration. You may have heard from BOINGBOING that he is being audited by the IRS.

THEY SAY it is because his Cryptozoology Museum in Maine is not properly a "museum."

OTHERS SAY it is because the government does not want YOU to know the truth.

EITHER WAY, Coleman needs your help. He lays it all out here, and I hope you'll join me in supporting him.

That is all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

EMBEDS WITHIN EMBEDS

HERE IS RON HOGAN of Galleygat's video of COULTON and STRAUSS singing at the Strauss Book Party one week ago:



NOW HERE IS MITCH of Jocopedia's video of HOGAN taking a video of COULTON and STRAUSS singing at the Strauss Book Party one week ago:



IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY at Mitch's video, you can see when Ron swings around to catch me joining in on the horn part (I am the one sitting in the wing chair like Sidney Greenstreet).

IF YOU LOOK EVEN MORE CLOSELY at Mitch's video, you can see that on the viewscreen of Ron's video camera is a picture of me WRITING THIS VERY BLOG POST.

I KNOW MOST PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET are jaded about this sort of total surveillance.

But I still find the fact that Ron Hogan has a video camera that sees into the future PRETTY AMAZING.

That is all.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"CRAIG KITTLES"

AND IN FACT...

THE FIRST PERSON to say the password to Darin Strauss tonight (as per the below), will additionally get a free copy of MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU

COURTESY: the author himself! (Darin Strauss).

That is all.

IF YOU ARE IN SAN FRANCISCO

I APOLOGIZE that I failed to post yesterday. BLAME TELEVISION.

BUT NOW I MUST TELL YOU:

IF YOU ARE IN SAN FRANCISCO and looking for Mr. Darin Strauss,

THEN HERE is where you can find him:

Friday, June 27
7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
BOOKS INC IN THE MARINA
2251 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

ALSO KNOWN AS "EVENT ID 376522"

IF YOU GO, you will hear words read in order from Darin's amazing novel MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU...

AND PLUS you will also probably get to meet Frank Lauria, the author of psychic detective novels who first virgiled COULTON and me around SF on the BOOK 1 tour, about 1000 years ago.

TELL THEM ALL I SAY HELLO.

OR BETTER: go up to DARIN at the signing and tell him I say "CRAIG KITTLES"

For that is the password.

DARIN WILL THEN TAKE YOUR NAME DOWN AND PROVIDE IT TO ME, and I will send you:

1. A TAXONOMY OF COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE

and

2. A SURPRISING PHOTOGRAPH OF DARIN STRAUSS.

This offer is good for the first five people who give Darin the password. If those people do not also buy his book, THEN SHAME ON THEM.

That is all.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

IT HAS BEEN SOME TIME


Hobo Sign and Coastal Life
Originally uploaded by greyaenigma.
SINCE I HAVE DRAWN your attention to these fine and persistent contributors to the H IN SUNRAYS POOL at flickr.

HERE IS A PROVOCATIVE ONE FROM greyaenigma, who shares my fondness for the strangeness of barnacles, et al.

That is all.

GOOD MORNING

I NEED TO WRITE a new blog post so that you don't all keep going to Darin's reading night after night.

BUT THANK YOU, all who did.

THAT IS ALL.

Monday, June 23, 2008

ON BEHALF OF DARIN STRAUSS: TONIGHT

GREETINGS INTERNET USERS

THIS RATHER POOR BLOG is pleased to announce that I, JOHN HODGMAN, will be appearing alongside my old friends COULTON and DARIN STRAUSS at a party tonight to celebrate the publication of Strauss's new novel:

MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU.


COULTON will be singing some songs.*

I WILL be reading some pages from my new book, MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE.

I DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY what Strauss will be doing during all of this. Sitting on a giant satin pillow, I guess, or shooting at our feet with a pistol.

NO MATTER: I am happy to dance for Darin Strauss.

ATTENTION: TRUAX. I have a copy of Darin's book for you, signed by the author, and I will send it along forthwith. And by forthwith I mean: WITH FORTH!

SORRY TO THE MYSTERIOUS GL3NN and his faction. I did not understand his cryptic response to my trivia question (was it a rebus or something?), and so I reward TRUAX for being the first to answer in a clear, forthright manner, by which I mean: RIGHT FORTH!

IF YOU WANT A COPY OF DARIN'S BOOK, GL3NN, come to the party, and I will buy you one.

AND TO THE REST OF YOU, by all means, come to the party.

Monday, June 23
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

NYU PARTY
with John Hodgman ("Areas of my Expertise," and TV's "The Daily Show")
& music by Jonathan Coulton

58 W. 10th St.
Lillian Vernon Writers House
58 W 10th St, New York, NY, 10011
(Between 5th and 6th Avenues)

THAT IS ALL

*DID YOU SEE COULTON at the Highline Ballroom on Saturday night? Wow, correct? Coulton+Paul&Storm+Shirts+Ukes=RIGHT FORTH!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU

SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW that long ago, in the Second Age of Man, I was a Professional Literary Agent.

AND DURING THAT TIME, I had the great surprise to discover that my fun, unassuming, tall friend DARIN STRAUSS was actually--SECRETLY!--one of the best writers I had ever encountered.

HE WROTE A NOVEL called CHANG & ENG, which told the story Chang and Eng Bunker, the Siamese Twins for whom the term SIAMESE TWIN was coined. Specifically, he told the story from Eng's point of view, who narrates their conjoined tale during the brief period between his brother's death and his own--the only moment he was alone.

AN BRILLIANT, AMUSING GIMCRACK OF AN IDEA, no?

YES IT IS, but what startled readers more was Strauss's ability to inhabit this thrice foreign brain from long ago so completely and authentically, and to do so with such sensitivity, insight, and humor. IT WAS UNCANNY. How could Darin know so much about so much?

Indeed, after his next book, THE REAL MCCOY, about boxers and con men, Joe DiPietro spoke for all of Darin's friends and poker-mates when he speculated that perhaps Darin had secretly inherited a house full of manuscripts of unpublished novels and was quietly rolling them out as his own.

BUT THAT IS A SCURRILOUS RUMOR, spread by a barkeep. The truth is that Darin is simply a peerless liar, a fictioneer, a writer of real, honest-to-goodness big fat NOVELS.

NOW YOU MAY HAVE HEARD something about his latest, called MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU, on Craig Ferguson the other night. I did not work on that one at all. I confess that, as he worked on it, I was concerned that Darin was testing his limits.

THE 19th CENTURY and its twins and grifters is remote enough. But now he was writing about Long Island. Specifically: contemporary Long Island (where he is from) and the awful, emotional collisions that occur when a woman makes her own child sick (which Darin Strauss has never done).

THE BARKEEP and the other poker players went to NYU a year or so ago to hear him read from it for the first time. We were skeptical. But when he read it, we were weepy. HE HAD DONE IT AGAIN.

He had created a whole funny, sad, authentic world--one that is somehow all the more fascinating and powerful because it has no Siamese twins in it. JUST REGULAR PEOPLE, conjoined in other ways: white suburban parents and black ex-cons, obsessed doctors and one horribly ill mother--all twisting around each other so believably, and heartbreakingly, that you're quick to forget THEY ALL COME FROM DARIN'S HEAD.

LOOK, I NO LONGER RECEIVE COMMISSION ON DARIN'S BOOKS. My 15% is now earned in the pleasure I get in reading them (and the small fee I get for dipping them in silverplate and selling them on ebay).

SO MY RECOMMENDATION IS GENUINE.

I will be buying his book today.

And I and the Barkeep and all the rest will be going to hear him read in NYC tonight.

I HOPE YOU WILL JOIN ME IN BOTH ENDEAVORS

That is all.

PS: a rare TRUE TRIVIA CHALLENGE: did you know that Darin Strauss once played in a band with Jonathan Coulton? It is so. A Free Darin Strauss book goes to the first person who can name the band in the comments.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"THERE WAS NO KOOKY UNCLE WHO INSPIRED ME"

DURING APRIL AND MAY (of this year), when I was 100 feet underwater with hard but pleasant work on the book and other surreal diversions (GERVAIS), I turned down a lot of opportunities I wished I hadn't, such as:

BATHING
EATING MEALS WITH FRIENDS
REMEMBERING BIRTHDAYS
BEING INTERVIEWED FOR THIS WEBSITE.

BUT NOW, things are calmer, and on slower mornings like this one, I have a chance to peruse what it was that I had missed.

AND I CAN TELL YOU NOW: bathing is terrific.

AND SO IS THIS LINK.

FOLLOW it for lots of interviews with very smart, thoughtful heads, including HUEBEL, RICH, IWEALA, KOTTKE, CHANG, and THE GREAT LIEB, below, who is not only brilliant, but wears green pants like he has a license to.* (also **)




That is all.

* You can't see so here, but trust me. In real life, he has legs. In fact, a whole body.

**AND PS: where is SILVERMAN in this group?

Monday, June 16, 2008

AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT OF MY NEW BOOK

INSPIRED, AS USUAL, by Coulton,

HERE IS MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE, as a word cloud, using all 91,723 words of the manuscript as saved on 5-6-08.





INCREDIBLE word-clouding/end-of-day-erasing technology is courtesy: WORDLE.

That is all.

PS: HONESTLY, I didn't know my book had so much "Mr." Has to be the mole-man names.

I NORMALLY DON'T JOIN IN ON THE BLOGOSPHERIC CULTURE OF CONSTANT, DRONING COMPLAINT

AND I APPRECIATE HOW my commentary on advertising...

AND/OR my commentary on Brooklyn's ruination by various carpetbaggers like IKEA (or me),

ALL SENDS this imitation blog down a ETHICAL HEDGE MAZE full of twists and thorns...

BUT IN THIS CASE, I must agree with the actual blog called LOST CITY.

TO QUOTE Paul F. Tompkins, this is THE WORST.

That is all.

Monday, June 09, 2008

CAN NO LONGER TWITTER TODAY

CAN NO LONGER TWITTER TODAY due to possible contractual violations.

(Happy WWDC).

HOWEVER, this needed to be said a long time ago.

AWRYONE is great at comments, but a MASTER TWEETER.

(Not a euphemism)

That is all.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I SAID THANK YOU

AND SO SHOULD YOU. It's the right thing to do.

EVEN BEFORE CLINTON'S very gracious and powerful (and well written) speech, I was feeling this morning that lovely sensation that comes when bitterness evaporates, frustration disappears, and you remember that there are bigger fights worth having.

THAT FEELING OF SPONTANEOUS FORGIVENESS, as much of yourself for your own stupid anger, as of anyone else, is the closest thing I know to capital G grace.

AND IN A WAY THAT I COULDN'T BEFORE (sadly), I now feel a sudden surge of gratitude. I am grateful on behalf of my daughter (and my son) for her campaign. I never really saw this race in gender or race terms before (probably because I had the luxury of not having to). But I think it's evident and remarkable that either one of them could have easily won the nomination, and from there the presidency. And that is inspiring.

IT'S TIME TO SHAKE HANDS, and congratulate Sen. Hillary Clinton.

That is all.

PS: Now what?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

FROM THE COMMENTS...

I THINK CAP'N JOY'S second comment (circa 2:24PM) offers the most humane, and frankly, most plausible explanation of HRC's speech.

BUT THE FACT THAT OBAMA is the nominee--and all that that means--really only sunk in last night, as I was heading south in a taxi on the FDR expressway.

IT IS LUCKY I WAS NOT DRIVING, because at that moment, my whole brain swerved off the road in happy surprise.

BUT THERE IS A LOT OF FDR EXPRESSWAY LEFT to travel. Onward.

That is all.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

CLINTON'S HAND: AT BEST, STRONG TRIPS

I CONFESS I WAS actually surprised when Clinton refused to congratulate Obama on winning the Democratic nomination.

(AND I'M EQUALLY SURPRISED by the NY Times's headline, which echoes her toxic contention that Barack Obama has merely "claimed" the nomination, when the fact is: he earned it).

IT IS NOT THAT I DIDN'T expect her to be tenacious. But I think anyone who gives it real and measured thought must conclude that she overplayed her hand.

TO VIGOROUSLY OPPOSE and even undermine your Democratic opponent in the heat of a hard fought primary contest is one thing.

HOWEVER: Barack Obama is the nominee of the party they both supposedly support. It was a close race, but he played by the rules they all agreed to, and he won.

TO WITHHOLD her support, as she did last night, and indeed to actually undermine his legitimacy in public is pretty poor form in itself.

BUT IF SHE REALLY IS SEEKING TO LEVERAGE HER VOTERS against a VP slot, or some other prize, how is openly blackmailing her own party's nominee going to help her?

AFTER ALL, whether or not you agree that Obama NEEDS Clinton's voters in order to win, you must accept that the argument itself has a flaw:

CLINTON DOES NOT OWN HER VOTERS.

(as Hilary Rosen points out ELSEWHERE)

YES: the latest polls suggest that 53% of those who voted for her will not vote for Obama. But that means that almost half will indeed naturally gravitate to the nominee without Clinton's express permission to do so.

BUT HOW MANY of those hardcore 53% will follow Clinton into political exile? Into a legacy-scorching feud with the nominee of her party? Or into a doomed Independent bid for President that would almost assure McCain the White House?

ANSWER=SOME, but not all.

AND I WOULD ARGUE that each day that she attempts to horde her supporters at the expense of the party's nominee, the more her reputation and influence within the party will suffer, and the fewer supporters she will actually have to bargain with.

IRONICALLY, (actually ironically), if she had held her cards a bit longer--if she had conceded and congratulated and endorsed Obama last night, she would have looked great. She could have easily conducted the same negotiations behind the scenes in private, and arguably from a much stronger position.

AS SUSANNAH MEADOWS knows all too well from my rantings yesterday in the park, as of 24 hours ago, I was even feeling that, should Clinton make a graceful exit, adding her to the ticket would be unavoidable, appropriate, and smart.

NOW, HOWEVER, I think caving to her open bullying would be disastrous to an Obama campaign and presidency. And I can't imagine I'm the only person to feel this way (just, perhaps, THE LEAST INFLUENTIAL).

BUT IT'S OK. If Obama wants to neutralize Clinton as a serious VP candidate, all he needs to do is wait. So long as she openly opposes her own party's nominee, her cards get worse by the hour.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

OK, THEN. ONWARD.



That is all.

GERVAIS PICKS "FLIGHT" OVER INVISIBILITY

AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW BY NOW, as you are all internet users, Gervais picked FLIGHT over INVISIBILITY when given the choice.

APPARENTLY, he was afraid that if he chose flight, I would curse him with the ability to only fly a few feet above the ground.

(APPARENTLY, he was also under the impression that I was actually able to magically grant him a superpower).

THEN HE ASKED ME about my nipples.

(Again)

HE HAS THE NICE, QUICKTIME version on his website. GO THERE.

BUT AS I CAN'T FIGURE OUT how to "embed" that version, here is a fuzzy, Youtubic version:



BUT REALLY, go to Ricky's site, as he has much more to offer, and you ought to really enjoy the work of GUY, the nice fellow behind the camera, in its full glory.

That is all.

IN MY FIRST TIME AS AN IMITATION BLOGGER

I HAVE FALLEN PREY to the high enthusiasms of DRUDGE.

I MUST AGREE WITH this analysis. It is inappropriate and misleading for the press to call a race based on anything but public votes/endorsements.

AND BASED ON HRC'S mixed messages about what exactly is going to be happening during her speech tonight, I think it's too early to be drawing conclusions, or even jumping to them.

I APOLOGIZE for speaking too soon.

That is all.

I HOPE

THE AP REPORTS: Obama is the nominee.

I HOPE, desperately, both for the Democratic party and for the legacy of my former President and current Senator, that HRC will stop by in St. Paul tonight for an endorsement.

That is all.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

HERE ARE THE E3 PODCASTS I MENTIONED

THANK YOU, PopSci, and thank you MIKE HANEY, for posting the link and also for sending us to LA so long ago.

IT WAS AMAZING, tiresome fun. And after the convention, I hung around in LA and met Richard Hatch.

That is all.

SARAH AND ZANE AND MATTHEW ARE ALMOST HOME

THOSE OF YOU who read very very closely the acknowledgments of my first book know of my fondness for this little family, who have been traveling in IRELAND.

MEANWHILE: I have been at BEA, signing TAXONOMIES OF COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE and meeting booksellers/bookreaders/bookeaters in Los Angeles.

ED HUMES WAS THERE.

THE LAST TIME I was at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Coulton and I were podcasting from the 2005 E3.

THIS TIME=fewer people dressed as zombies, stormtroopers, and warrior princesses. But one man who was trying to sell his book on gardening did force me to smell two gigantic sprigs of rosemary he was carrying around; and another man was very convincingly dressed as TED TURNER.

That is all

Thursday, May 29, 2008

JOEL LOVELL HAS REMINDED ME TO REMIND YOU

DO YOU LIKE public schools?

DO YOU LIKE ace political writers Mark Leibovich, Ryan Lizza, and Robert Draper?

OR THE PUBLICATIONS the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Gentleman's Quarterly.

ARE YOU FRUSTRATED that I have not been frothing about the primaries lately and require some ACTUALLY INFORMED discussion on this topic?

And most important: DO YOU LIKE CLIMBING STAIRS?

Then by all means: ATTEND this amazing panel discussion in the Fourth Floor Library of a fine Brooklyn public school.

That is all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MY FIRST COMMENT TO A YOUTUBE PAGE

BEGIN QUOTED TEXT

"THIS IS HODGMAN.

I found this video, and I wish to clarify. I enjoyed being on BU TONIGHT very much, and Christian Lynch was a gentleman.

But it was 10AM, and I was tour-weary. I had just done an early interview with CN8 after an even earlier drive from Hartford. And in case you can't tell, my suit smelled.

So blame me for any awkwardness. But I do think I owe BU TONIGHT a better interview, and when I go on tour for the new book this fall, I SHALL ARRANGE IT.

That is all. "

END QUOTED TEXT

HERE IS THE SUBJECT of the discussion.



That is all.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

ROB KEMP - KOB REMP

APPARENTLY CONTINUING a conversation that Rob Kemp and I were having in Jim and Stephen's kitchen back in 1996 regarding DC vs. Marvel...

ROB KEMP (see HERE) COMPARES TWO UNIVERSES and their super-powered analogues.

THANKS GO TO JOHN SELLERS, who is similarly amazed and grateful.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

NOTES FROM MY COPYEDITOR PART 2

RACHELLE MANDIK has this to say in the manuscript of BOOK 2:

"I am lowercasing mole-men throughout, per its use in AOME. Hope that's OK!"

RACHELLE IS CRUEL, but fair.

That is all.

JANE ESPENSON HAS RINGO STARR'S CLOTHING

IS IS true.

AND SOMEWHERE, the person who is both a "Buffy" and a "Caveman" superfan is having trouble keeping his brains inside his head.

(FOR SOME REASON, I am convinced this person is a he.)

(AND FOR SOME REASON, I am convinced his name is JOHN SELLERS).

That is all.

THIS VIDEO OF A CROW BROKE MY BRAIN

JOSH KLEIN'S presentation on THE AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE OF A MURDER OF CROWS and what that might mean for us (CROW ATTACK, in my opinion) was one of my favorite things at the TED conference.



THE VIDEO HE SHOWS of the crow using the tool broke my brain for the rest of the day.

(TO BE FAIR, it was already half-broke from meeting Morgan Webb and Phil Zimbardo and Al Gore all within 24 hours).

IF THE EMBED FAILS, don't bother complaining. JUST GO HERE.

That is all.

HALL OF FAME OF PORK

I KEEP LOOKING at the headline for these posts from Adam Sachs's "blog," and I keep thinking that Adam is now writing about wasteful, patronage spending in congress.

BUT NO. He is writing about PORK.

That is all.

Monday, May 19, 2008

VOTE HOOK II

APART FROM the other contest in Oregon tomorrow, I trust you will not forget my early fascination with, and after seeing the ad below, my UTTER FONDNESS for

STEVE NOVICK, a hook-hand away from the presidency.



THAT IS ALL.