Redefining the Terms

According to Paul Krugman, in his book The Conscience of a Liberal, I should define myself as a "conservative"-- because liberals have now become conservative in that they want to preserve public schools, Medicare, unionized workers, collective bargaining, separation of church and state, Social Security, and government regulations on Wall Street and the environment . . . and I should also define myself as a "progressive," because I think there should be universal health care (and the book really educated me on health care and its costs . . . we pay more than double what Canada, France, Germany, and Britain pay per person on health care, and have the lowest life expectancy among them . . . and a large portion of the costs of healthcare is the bureaucracy of the system, which would vanish if the government was the primary insurer for everyone . . . as it is for Medicare . . . read the book, it's too boring to summarize here) and I am also progressive because I wrote an editorial on how we should preserve our public school system instead of privatizing it and because I think taxes should return to the levels they were at in the 1970's . . . and the current movement conservatives should be defined as "radicals," as they want to dismantle the New Deal, government programs, regulation over finance, public education, Medicare, unions, collective bargaining, the estate tax, and other traditional American programs, and have us enter some weird new version of The Gilded Age.

The Avengers Are Not As Super As My Wife

The Avengers is certainly action-packed, but the heroes are too super for me . . . when the characters are invincible, there's not much on the line (plus they stole the ending from the movie version of The Watchmen) but my wife, on the other hand (who is a mere mortal) did perform a super-heroic feat while we were watching The Avengers and she did it with everything on the line . . . my son Ian said, "My tummy hurts, I think I'm going to throw up," and in a split second, with her super-human reflexes, my wife whipped out the giant bag of potato chips that she had smuggled into the theater, got it perfectly positioned in front of Ian's face as he yakked-- in the dark! the the fucking dark!-- and then calmly took Ian and the bag of potato chips/vomit to the bathroom, tossed the latter, cleaned up the former . . . and brought him back so he could enjoy the rest of the movie . . . I'd like to see Natalia Romanova pull that off.

The Great Political Paradox

The great mystery in politics is why anyone poor or lower middle class would vote against their own interests-- against social services and public schools and a clean environment and unionization and regulation of big business and more taxes on the wealthy-- but, of course, this happens across broad swaths of our nation, especially in the mid-west and the South . . . Thomas Frank tried to explain it in his book What's the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, and while it is a great read on how Republicans used so much more than hot-button issues to distract voters from economic realities, and actually built a brand-based belief system and ethos into the party-line; Paul Krugman, in his 2007 book The Conscience of a Liberal, wonders if that is truly the heart of the matter . . . he acknowledges that hot-button issues such as abortion and national security are partly to blame for the paradox, and also details how movement conservatism has galvanized the evangelicals (or is it the other way around? are the evangelicals using the movement conservatives to create a new kingdom of heaven on earth? either way, I'm going to hell) but Krugman feels the nexus of Republican power over the lower class voter stems from race, and explains how race was exploited in the deep South to bring those voters over to the GOP; while this is an awkward issue-- in the 1940's, when Harry Truman tried to create a universal health care system, his main opposition came from the American Medical Association and Southern whites, who feared integrated hospitals . . . and most of the fears of lower class Republican voters-- who are predominantly white-- are fears of redistributing income to undeserving minorities, black or otherwise . . . but America is becoming less racist and America is becoming more diverse and America is becoming economically more unequal . . . and so I am wondering how the GOP will gain these votes in the future . . . Kansas is still Kansas, according to the New York Times, but this movement conservative absurdity-- this radical and bi-partisan divisiveness that is at best a fringe in every other developed nation-- this can't continue forever, can it?

My Sixth Grade Teacher Was Passive Agressive AF

I found my sixth grade "yearbook" and this is what my teacher-- who will remain nameless for her own protection-- wrote to me . . . and notice the tone shift, it's almost like she couldn't help herself:

Dear David,

Good luck next year . . . I'm very happy you were a member of my class . . . you have been a great sport thoughout the year, your sense of humor was a bright spot many times . . . now all you have to work on is your talkativeness . . . we helped your organization (and that was a chore) and I believe you can master your talking mouth . . .

and then she had the gall to write: I'll miss you very much, please come back and visit . . . and when I was younger, I would have probably thought this was a relatively sweet note, but now that I am a master of the female tone, I get the big picture . . . I must have been a royal pain in her ass, but I was too skinny and nerdy to scream at, so she had to express it passive aggressively in that note.

Sometimes Technology Doesn't Improve Things

Art History in Two Pictures

I've got a scanner and I am determined to use it . . . sorry . . . maybe it's just a phase that I will outgrow (or maybe I should stick to scanning my six year old son's art, which is far better than mine).


I had pizza last night, but I'm not going to tell you anything about it . . . it was personal.

Confessions of a Lazy Man

I've finally gotten my new printer/scanner hooked up (check out my six year old son Ian's abstract art-- he could give Marla Olmstead a run for her money) but that wasn't the only package from Amazon that I received that day-- there was another one, a smaller one, and I figured it contained a book or two, but I didn't get around to opening it for a few days and when I did, I found two books inside, neither of which I ordered: An Eyewitness Guide to Spain and a history of Shea Stadium . . . so I looked at the outside of the package, and it wasn't addressed to me, it belonged to the house several doors down, and so I put the package on top of the scanner, informed my wife of this, and went on with my life . . . two weeks later my wife noticed that I never returned the package to the rightful owners and she chastised me (and I didn't tell her what I was thinking: I figured you would return it . . . smart move on my part) and she told me I needed to walk it over to the neighbors immediately, so I took the dog for protection-- because I figured this was going to be embarassing, since I had opened the package and then neglected to return it to them in a timely fashion, and I was hoping Sirius would drag me to safety if things got to awkward (or at least dispel the awkwardness with his powers of cuteness) but luckily no one was home . . . which means they were probably wandering through Spain without a guidebook.

A Fun and Easy Way To Spice Up Your Diction

I learned a technique from a student last week that might be Generation Y's greatest contribution to our culture-- it's not age exclusive, it's more entertaining than Facebook and Lady gaga combined, and it's easy to learn but difficult to master . . . so here it is: you add the acronym "AF" to any statement that would benefit from the additional modifying phrase "as fuck," but by using the acronym, you avoid the profanity and still get your point across . . . and make yourself feel better to boot (although I'm not sure if it has the same effect on pain as actually swearing) because nothing relieves stress like an expletive . . . here are a few examples to get you started:

1) it's humid AF in here . . . I used this one yesterday in class yesterday when my knees started sweating and my pants reflected this . . . really gross . . .

2) it's hot AF in here . . . complementary to #1 and a set-up for #5

2) you're late AF . . . also wonderful to use in class . . .

3) that was rude AF . . . useful in class and all of New Jersey . . .

4) I am hot AF . . . use this immediately after #1 and #2, especially if your pants have knee-sweat stains, and you're sure to get a laugh from teenagers.

Next Time I Will Hire Someone

I'll build a bike shed under the deck, I thought, all I need to do is level out the dirt under there . . . just go under the deck and level out the dirt because it looks like there's a bit of a slope . . . ha!

Old School

There is no question that the world has changed drastically since I was a kid, but some things never change: last week, my son Alex got in trouble in school for shooting spitballs, playing with scissors, and administering noogies.

My Son Ian Says The Right Thing (But Probably For the Wrong Reasons)

Last week, my two sons and I were walking on the Asbury Park boardwalk, in search of a video arcade, and my son Alex said, "I would do anything for video games!" and then his younger brother-- ever the opportunist-- told him, "You shouldn't say that," and then Ian looked at me and said, in his sincerest voice: "I would do anything . . . for my family."

Exciting Technological Times

I am excited to announce that we have a new printer/scanner (but I am loath to admit that it is still inside the box it was delivered in . . . it's been sitting on the kitchen table in that box for nearly two weeks, and though each and every day I announce, "We're going to set up the scanner today!" we never seem to get around to it . . . and my worry is that if I don't do it soon, it is going to become obsolete).

City of Bohane

Even though it meets my definition of true science-fiction, I gave up on Irishman Kevin Barry's new novel City of Bohane, but I did like this bit of description about how the place where you live affects your personality: "too little has been said, actually, about living in windy places . . . when a wind blows in such ferocious gusts as the Big Nothin' hardwind, and when it blows forty-nine weeks out of the year, the effect is not physical only but philosophical . . . it is difficult to keep a firm hold of one's consciousness in such a wind . . . the mind is walloped from its train of thought by the constant assaults of wind . . . the result is a skittish, temperamental people with  tendency towards odd turn of logic," and it makes me wonder how different a person I would be if I was born in Argentina . . . would I have many lovers? be able to dance? wear leather pants? walk around with a rose between my teeth? . . . unfortunately, I will never know . . . there is no escaping the fact that my genes were forged and tempered in that crucible known as Central Jersey.

Canine Economic Boost

Now that we have a dog, our consumption of duct tape has gone way up.

Don't Monkey With the Monkey

Sometimes you've got to shock the monkey . . . unless you actually are a monkey . . . then you are far less likely to shock a fellow monkey, even if it means starving to death . . . while, as Stanley Milgram certainly proved, we humans are quite willing to shock each other, for little or no reward . . . and I certainly won't put myself above this behavior, as I'm quite willing to shock my students-- in fact, one way I like to shock them is by repeatedly playing "Shock the Monkey" while they try to write an analysis of Milgram's experiment . . . especially the part that goes "monkey monkeyeeeeeee," and, I must tell you that kids today find it shocking that "Shock the Monkey" was a popular song that made the charts back in the '80's, but-- of course-- the '80's were a pretty shocking decade,

I Am a Man (and so Is Connell)

My wife and I went out with our friends in Asbury Park last weekend, and if you haven't been there recently, you are in for a surprise-- the boardwalk is renovated, full of attractions, and it is thriving . . . after downing a few beers, we started walking towards the restaurant (Stella Marina-- really good) and we passed one of those old fashioned high striker games-- the strongman test where you swing the mallet and try to shoot the puck up to ring the bell; it was on the boardwalk and unattended-- you were supposed to throw a dollar in the jar for two tries, but the guys in front of us took more swings than that and they were unsuccessful-- and they were big guys-- but the thing was antiquated and looked very rusty . . . Connell and I took turns at it, and after several tries I was able to ring the bell by incorporating a little jump in my swing, and then Connell followed suit, and rang the bell and it's a good thing he did because if I rang the bell and then he didn't, then he would have had low self-esteem for the rest of the evening and his wife would have probably left him, which would have been sad since we were celebrating their anniversary.

Children of the Carp

I was walking the dog last weekend through Donaldson Park, and it was foggy and drizzling slightly, and as we passed the little pond next to the river, I noticed a number of large boils and splashes . . . closer inspection revealed that these were giant fins and tails, brown and gold, breaking the surface all over the pond . . . so I ran home and got my children and we watched the giant carp for a while-- they were leaping and breaching and finning . . . incredibly active for very large fish-- and so we decided we would fish for them the next morning (our poles weren't set up and Alex had a soccer game so we couldn't take immediate advantage of what was happening) but Sunday morning was windy and clear and the carp were gone . . . we missed our chance.

Diamonds Are a Girl's Worst Nightmare

My friend Stacy showed up to work last Friday with a big cut on her forehead, and I asked her how this happened and she said she scratched herself while she was sleeping, but after further interrogation I discovered that she scratched herself with her diamond engagement ring, and that she wears the ring while she sleeps . . . and this practice is shocking to me-- to go to bed with a sharp object made of the hardest stuff on the planet attached to your finger-- but apparently a lot of women do this (but not my wife, so this sentence is truly altruistic) and so once again I am giving a free idea to whatever entrepreneur happens upon this desolate corner of the internet . . . these compulsive ring-wearing women need  "ring covers" . . . soft little Velcro wrappers that can attach to a ring, kind of like a grill cover, and thus prevent them ring doing any damage to the wearer during sleep (better yet would be to abandon this crazy practice of strip-mining stones from the ground  and presenting to women as a symbol of love, a symbol loaded with financial implications-- but I doubt that's going to happen any time soon).

Tick Streak!

Business as usual around here, as far as minor miracles-- this time it's a Tick Streak, and while I'm not closing in on Dimaggio's unassailable record, I still think it's an impressive chain of consecutive events: the last four times I've gone running in the orchard near the high school, I later discovered a tick crawling somewhere on my body . . . and I can see why I am attractive to a tick, as my legs are thick with hair, but still-- how long can this streak continue?-- I would like to go eight for eight since a tick is an arachnid and has eight legs (and I am wondering how long the streak has to go before it is considered a major miracle and I am canonized as the patron saint of ticks).

Oops . . .

My wife was fishing for a compliment about her use of proper English-- at my behest, she's been instructing our dog to "lie down" instead of to "lay down," but I may have ruined my credibility when I told her, "Yeah, you've been doing really good at that."

The Waitresses Might Know What Boys Like, But I Know What Teachers and Coaches Like . . .

I have been a coach and a teacher for many years and this is the deal: on the playing field, we want girls to act more like boys . . . while in the classroom, we want boys to act more like girls.

How To Get A Beautiful Young Stranger Into Your Kitchen

So last weekend there was a beautiful twenty-five year old girl in my kitchen-- she was blonde, blue-eyed, taller than me, wearing next to nothing, and I didn't know her from Adam . . . and you're probably wondering, "How do I get beautiful, winsome young strangers into my kitchen?" and so I will tell you:

1) you need to live on a steep hill;

2) you need a friendly visiting brother-in-law, who should be a bachelor, and he should be outside working on replacing your bay window;

3) you need a nasty skate-board crash to happen on the steep hill in front of the aforementioned friendly brother-in-law, who will then chivalrously offer medical aid to the girl (possibly motivated by her stunning good looks and skimpy outfit) and suddenly you've got three twenty-somethings in your kitchen and you're fetching peroxide and ointment and bandages, and watching as one girl tends to the other and wondering if anyone should ride a skateboard with that much skin exposed because, though it's very appealing to look at, it's rather dangerous (and funny thing, my wife missed it all . . . she was napping, and I'm not sure if she really believes the story).

Question of Culpability

Once again, I've got a legal question for all the litigators out there: if someone working for Jan's Boutique places a glossy Prom 2012 flyer under your windshield wiper and you don't notice this flyer until you start driving and you have no interest in the $25 in FREE Accessories or the FREE $20 Compact Mirror or the FREE $10 Hair Pin, and so you turn on your windshield wipers in order to remove the flyer because it is obstructing your vision, and the flyer goes flying . . . is this considered littering?

Trilemma of Dave

I read to encounter new stories, new ideas, and new words, and I found all of these in Paul Krugman's The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 . . . I read stories of economic disaster in Latin America, Japan, and Thailand; I read that the global crisis of 2008 might not have been completely caused by the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act (which was put in place after the Great Depression and ensured compartmentalization between commercial banks and investment companies) and might have been more the result of a "run" on the completely unregulated "shadow banking system" . . . which wouldn't have been regulated by the Glass-Steagall act anyway; and I read the word "trilemma," which Krugman used to explain the problem with national monetary policy . . . you can either let your money "float" and fluctuate on the exchange rate, which fights recession but adds a great deal of uncertainty to your economy, or you could fix the value of the rate and attempt to guarantee that the currency would never be devalued, or you can maintain an adjustable peg . . . and he explains the defects in all of these and calls the problem a "three-cornered dilemma" . . . a "trilemma" and the only trilemma in my life right now is not particularly exciting . . . it's not like Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova, and my wife are all battling for my affections . . . but there certainly are three corners to my problem: I have a knee injury, but it's not a terribly bad injury-- my knee cap popped out of place and I sprained the inner ligaments and my bursa sac is a bit swollen, and so I can either: 1) rest it properly until it heals . . . which is what I should do, but is rather impossible since I have two active boys, a dog, and I am hyper-active 2) I could do light exercise . . . jog, walk, play with my kids, lift weights, bike, and swim . . . which alleviates my hyper-activity but is rather boring, or 3) I can tape myself and wrap myself and brace myself and keep playing basketball and soccer until my knee explodes and my plantar fasciitis returns.

Three Reasons Dave Will Be Remembered For Eternity

In no particular order, here are my three greatest contributions to society:

1) The "Don't Eat It" Psychological Mind Trick 

2) The Zombie Soccer Drill

3) The Year as a Week Metaphor . . .

and while I've explained the first two ideas here at Sentence of Dave, I've never bothered to write about the "Year as a Week" Metaphor because it's only applicable if you're a teacher . . . but because of recent developments, I feel obligated to set the record straight; fifteen years ago, in the infancy of my teaching career, I developed a metaphor to help the staff make it through the grind of the school year, and it works like this: the first day of school is also the start of a monumental, macro-cosmic year-long school week, so the first day of school is simultaneously the first minutes of the macro-cosmic first period . . . and once we've made it to mid-terms-- the exact center of the school year-- then we are smack in the middle of Wednesday in the macro-cosmic Year as a Week metaphor-- and once there are thirty-five days left in the year (slightly less than 20% of 180) then we have entered the Friday of the the Year as a Week . . . this metaphor is motivational for both students and teachers alike, and I often calculate "convergences," or when the Year as a Week and the actual school week coincide-- this is very exciting, because then the way you feel about the microcosmic week mirrors the way you feel about the macro-cosmic week-- for instance, we just had a Friday convergence at the start of second period and we all felt pretty good about that-- anyone can make it through Friday; the summer, of course, represents the weekend, and it's the reason the metaphor works well for teachers and students . . . perhaps workers with less time off could create a Career as a Week metaphor, with summer being retirement; it usually takes students a while to "get" the metaphor, but most of them eventually grasp the concept (although there are always a few students who just can't think analogously, and when I say things like "It's finally Friday!" on a Tuesday, they stare at me in confusion) but this year, for the first time ever in my career, when I explained the metaphor, a student raised her hand and said, "I do that too!" and she explained that she had developed the exact same metaphor as me, and I thought that was cute and funny until last Friday, when I was explaining to a different class that we were having a convergence and a student said, "Where'd you get that from?" and I told him that I invented The Year as a Week Metaphor many years ago, and he said, "You know Student X does that? Are you sure you didn't get it from her?" and I told him that I invented the Year as a Week Metaphor before Student X could talk, so though I admired her creativity, the credit still had to go to me for the invention of the metaphor, and there's no way I'm doing a Darwin/ Wallace thing with this as I thought of this way before this girl, and so hopefully now I have set the record straight.

Take Shelter is a Movie, Not A Rolling Stones Song!

Take Shelter-- an excellent film which I will sadly admit that I referred to as "Gimme Shelter" on several occasions-- is well-acted, tense, and thrilling; and essentially, it asks this question: if you you act paranoid, delusional, and batshit crazy about something you think is going to happen . . . something no one else believes will happen . . . and in the end, that insane thing actually happens, then are you still utterly batshit crazy?

No Country For Old Sissies

I was discussing my mother-in-law's various medical problems with one of her friends, and she offered me this aphoristic gem, which she claims her father coined: "Growing old is not for sissies."

Jersey's Finest

New Jersey has the best pizza in the world, the fattest governor in the world, and the best surrealist-post-modern hyperkinetic meta-fiction writer in the world . . . his name is Mark Leyner and he's just written a new novel, called The Sugar Frosted Nutsack, after a fifteen year hiatus (his last novel was The Tetherballs of Bougainville) and I won't even try to summarize the "plot" but I believe it's a send-up of how religious texts are transmitted to mortals, edited by mortals-- think Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicea on Ecstasy-- and finally canonized . . . with major digressions about the worship of celebrities and the female anatomy-- but a synopsis does the book no justice, so I will simply present you with a long sample passage, verbatim (the ellipses are Leyner's) because this is the best way for me to review the book . . . if you like this passage, then go for it:

 --the flowing auto-narrative of the basketball dribbling nine year old who, at dusk, alone on the family driveway half-court, weaves back and forth, half-hearing and half-murmuring his own play-by-play: ". . . he's got a lot going on that could potentially distract him . . . algebra midterm . . . his mom's calling him to come inside . . . his asthma inhaler just fell out of his pocket . . . but somehow he totally shuts all that out of his mind . . . crowd's going ca-razy! . . . but the kid's in his own private Idaho . . . clock's ticking down . . . badass craves the drama . . . lives for this shit . . . Gunslingaaah . . . he can hear the automatic garage-door opener . . . that means his dad's gonna be pulling into the driveway in, like, fifteen seconds . . . un-fucking believeable that he's about to take this shot under this kind of pressure, with the survival of the species on the line . . . and look at him out there--- dude's ice . . . is this guy human or what? . . . his foot's hurting from when he stepped on his retainer in his room last night . . . but he can play with pain . . . we've seen that time and time again . . . he's stoic . . . a cold-blooded professional . . . Special Ops . . . Hitman with the Wristband . . . hand-eye coordination like a Cyborg Assassin . . . his mom's calling him to dinner . . . the woman is doing everything she can possibly do to rattle him . . . but this guy's not like the rest of us . . . he is un-fucking-flappable . . . he dribbles between his legs . . . OK, hold on . . . he dribbles between his legs . . . hold on . . . he dribbles . . . hold on . . . he dribbles between his legs (yes!) . . . fakes right, fakes left, double pump-fakes . . . there's one second left on the clock . . . and he launches . . . an impossibly . . . long . . . fadeaway . . . jumpaaah . . . it's off the rim . . . but he fights for the offensive rebound like some kind of rabid samarai . . . throwing vicious elbows like lethally honed swords . . . the severed heads of opponents litter the court . . . spinal cords are sticking out of the neck stumps . . . but there's no ticky-tacky foul called, the referees are just letting them play . . . there's somehow still .00137 seconds left ont he clock . . . now there's a horn honking . . . might that be the War Conch of the Undead?"

The Scream is so 90's . . . 1890's

Some lunatic paid 119.9 million dollars for Edward Munch's "The Scream" last night, and I don't think that's a very wise investment, as the image-- which was the ubiquitous icon of anxiety and angst for the 20th Century-- has lost its relevance . . . that screaming face doesn't do it for us in the 21st Century, because we don't have that kind of emotional energy to waste, we don't have the wherewithal to scream at the multiplex of horrors we face every waking moment-- horrors from our own lives, horrors from the lives of others, horrors from around the world, digital horrors multiplied a million times over . . . a constant barrage, an infinite deluge of horrible, contradictory, complex, awkward and terrible information . . . Joseph Kony is abducting children! Greece is going to default! My LDL cholesterol count is 340! Angelina and Brad are on the rocks! Eddie Money is still touring! I need to refinance! The sea levels are rising! . . . we'd be screaming all the time . . . we'd lose our voice; in fact, we don't have even have enough emotion left to utter a Homer-esque "Doh!"-- that's so '90's--  instead the essential reaction to the 21st Century, the facial expression for our times is Jim Halpert's ironic half-smirk . . . one of these : /  because how else can you react to the inconceivable? . . . I am afraid that the "The Scream" is destined to be lumped with King Lear and Oedipus Rex: an evocative piece tragic art, but also full of antiquated outpourings of melodrama and emotion . . . I wish I could paint so I could update the idea-- I would call it "The Smirk"-- not that there needs to be more parodies of this thing, which-- like I said-- has run its course, but I really do wish I could paint (mainly so I could paint a giant squid battling a sperm whale on my bedroom wall, a suggestion that my wife vetoed, probably because I can't paint).

Michael Chiklis and Andrew Strong are the Same Person

The proof is in the pudding: Andrew Strong never made a guest appearance on The Shield, and Vic Mackey never breaks into song after he tortures a confession out of a bad guy (because then you would identify the voice, that distinctive set of lungs that made The Commitments transcend the "band in a movie" genre . . . and I guess Shawn Ryan didn't want to give Mackey a sensitive, soulful side-- imagine if he sang his final confession-- but I think he missed a golden opportunity to make Vic Mackey even more disturbing  . . . Hitler was a failed painter, and that doesn't make him any less frightening, but it does add a strangely human touch to his evil).

Some Good Movies and TV You May Not Have Seen #6

Watching video of something extinct is poignant, nostalgic, and sad . . . but the knowledge of the subject's impending demise imbues the viewing with something special-- for example, check out the video above to see one of the last living thylacines, soon after this film was shot (in 1933) the "Tasmanian tiger' was eradicated by humans; the seminal TV series Freaks and Geeks evoked the same feeling in me . . . as by the time I watched it, it had already been cancelled (only super-hip people watched the show when it was broadcast) and so each episode-- no matter how excellent-- was a countdown until extinction; and once again, my wife and I are in the same predicament, this time with the 2009 sitcom Better Off Ted . . . it's funny, smart, satirical, fast-paced, and rather lighthearted send-up of business ethics, research and development, technology, and office politics; the jokes are clever, and Portia de Rossi is perfectly cast as the cold and callous dragon-lady boss, and though it was critically acclaimed, apparently no one watched it . . . we've got ten more episodes before it dies in front of us, never to be queued on Netflix again.


I finally finished Neal Stephenson's 915 page tour de force of a novel Cryptonomicon, and a number of superlatives are appropriate: Pynchon-esque, epic, prescient (the book predates Bitcoin by a decade), sprawling, comprehensive, dense, mathematical, and extremely intelligent . . . but I should warn you that it doesn't really pick up until page 850 . . . although if you make it to page 546, then there is a break from the text in the form of some lovely charts, which explain the relationship between code-breaking genius Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse's clarity of mind and frequency of his ejaculations-- including the difference in the sawtooth pattern between visits to the whorehouse and onanistic release and an explanation of how the graphs are differentially complicated by the arrival of his love interest Mary Smith . . . priceless stuff but you have work for it; ten gold bars out of ten.
A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.