Exhibit 23.23


Yesterday I watched a great talk about Camus and Derrida (Grad School!) but I was so worried about having joined the department's basketball team (Grad School!) that I kept seeing everything as basketball plays.

The Algerian Conundrum

It's More Bent Than You Realize

The Power of His Silence

Defending de Man

Attacking the Anti-Dreyfusards


Exhibit 23.22

You're Probably Already Using This

Grooveshark - It's pretty amazing but only if you like having streamable access to nearly every song and using a simple and intuitive interface. What is not so amazing about it: my ability to take it over and make long Gangsta Rap and Brit Pop heavy playlists with themes knowable only to me. That's when everyone gets sad.


Exhibit 23.21

On Editing A Novel #18

ACQUIRING THE PUBLISHING RIGHTS TO TOAD THE WET SPROCKET SONGS. You can't. Forget about it. There's only one way you're going to get the emotional wallop of a Toad the Wet Sprocket song in your novel and that's to write one yourself.

Find the places in your novel where you used Toad the Wet Sprocket songs to explain all the main character wanted, how they were pondering the moment of their collapse, and how exasperated they were at the world's consistent imperfections. You can find these moments quickly by searching for the phrase "It was 1991-1994 and in the background Toad the Wet Sprocket sang on the radio..." There will probably be three or four places where you used this phrase. That's okay.

The first step is to name the band something that exactly suggests Toad the Wet Sprocket but isn't Toad the Wet Sprocket. Do that before reading on.

Next, you'll need to invent a singer named something generic like Todd Robinson and invent a Sprocket-esque background of his having formed a band with his high school friends. Find a singer with the name you made up then learn how to play the bass guitar for the tour. After the tour, lose a battle to your addictions but redeem yourself by releasing an acoustic solo album that maybe isn't great but really shows what you can do without smack and Todd Robinson.

Return to your novel and look at those places you highlighted to add song lyrics and think man, I don't want to live in the past. Start a memoir that's really going to tell the truth about things, especially Todd Robinson. You're done.


Exhibit 23.20

A Primer on the Rules of Cricket, Pt. 2

11. In the event of a wide, a run shall be scored to the batsman's team but not the batsman. This run shall be called a holly or a bosh depending upon local playing conditions.

12. Should play be interrupted by the flight of a sparrow, time shall be given for gazing before play is restarted and the hourglass is overturned.

13. It is given that the wicket-keep should keep the wickets throughout the nights of the match should his quarters prove suitable. Should they not prove suitable, the wicket-keep shall retire with the wickets in nearest suitable boarding house at the wicket's expense.

14. Henceforth, the Irish are allowed to play.

15. Balls shall weigh no more than a poussin and be no less in circumference than a school marm's apple.

16. Should a player wish to smoke a pipe they may do so with the affectations of a bannister on the condition they maintain good cheer with their fellows by offering their tobacco.

17. A captain shall be elected from each side and from among the gentlemen observers. These captains shall, in the event of a tie or jig, determine the winner of the match through conference. Should the observers prevail, each shall be awarded their share of the biscuits upon retiring from the grounds.

18. Revision to rule 15 after adoption of metric standards of measure: Balls shall weigh no more than a poussin 163 grams and be no less in circumference than a school marm's apple 229mm.

19. In the event of a mystery, play should be stopped until the apprehension of the culprit with the assistance of the judge's bludgeon. Play shall then continue on in the manner of the last seen sparrow.

20. If a captain declares an innings closed, or forfeits an innings, or enforces the follow-on, and the other captain is prevented thereby from exercising his option of the rolling permitted (maximum 7 minutes), or if he is so prevented for any other reason, the extra time required to complete the rolling shall be taken out of the normal playing time.


Exhibit 23.19

Stock Photography Review

Image 1 - Bad. In all likelihood, this person's only conception of home ownership is when he returns the shopping cart he's been living out of to an abandoned Kroger in order to prove to himself that, despite this post-apocalyptic wasteland, he's still a man.

Image 2 - Good. This person is demonstrably smoking and her agape mouth shows her interest in breaking news about same.

Image 3 - Wash. On the one hand, this person might have credit card debt. On the other, this photo only made me want to start an early Cat Stevens cover band called "The First Cat is the Deepest."


Exhibit 23.18

A Comprehensive List of Things People Aren't Good at in R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" Saga

1. Hiding
2. Searching

Exhibit 23.17


* Tarpaulin Sky's always excellent review blog takes on the second volume of The Cupboard here. Just a completely generous and unexpected reading of James's really great volume. Made me go back and read it again myself over the break.

* By the way, you can order that or any of the other volumes here. Subscribing is only $15. The Cupboard. We try.

* The nascent sports blog The Realness Hurts has been prepping through the winter and is, at least for me, about to get going. I think I might write about trying to become a Houston Rockets fan (and basketball fan). Also, I still owe myself a Royals off/season recap.

*Did you know you can download and read Kelly Link's amazing collections Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners for free? You want to do this and then go buy the books to support her and the press. Really cool you can do this.


Exhibit 23.16

A Primer on the Rules of Cricket, Pt. 1

1. The batsman plays in front of the wicket facing away from but not in direct opposition to the porter who stands 18 paces from the edge of the bowl.

2. 6 deliveries is an over, 8 deliveries is a gallagher, 12 deliveries is a super over which is, naturally, frowned upon. The bowler is required to provide his own ball but not his own cap.

3. A series consists of 3 matches taking place daily over 5 days. If at the the end of the 5 days, a score has not been settled, a 'confusion' is called and the series is replayed beginning the second Wednesday following or the 12th of the month, whichever is further.

4. Should it begin to rain, the gully and the striker switch hats and call a huddle near their respective team's basket. Host country is required to provide umbrellas and pudding.

5. Each team is allowed 11 players and it is required that at least one of those players be a referee who, in coordination with the other team's referee and the head accountant, shall keep score and enforce the observation of the proceeding and postceeding rules.

6. At the conclusion of a series, there shall be the follies.

7. The pitch shall be kept to a length of no greater than 20 meters with the wicket capable of holding 2.5 liters of liquid the shape of which is to be determined by each side. Should wicket prove to be over or undersized by use of Water Measure then offending side is to have 8 jimmies deducted from their pre-dismissal gross.

8. Rule 5 applies only to test cricket and not to DRT cricket which allows for the use of 2 referees per side as determined qualified by the head accountant or otherwise gentlemanly onlooker.

9. During the lunch break youths no older than 10 may frolic on the grass provided they wear white and have the permission of their governess.

10. A batsman is out caught if a fielder catches the ball fully within the field of play without it bouncing once the ball has touched the striker's bat or glove holding the bat. If a batsman could be given out caught or by any other method except bowled, 'caught' takes precedence.


Exhibit 23.15

I Watched These Movies Yesterday Because They Have Long Been in My Netflix Queue and I Always Confused Them Even Though I Had Seen Neither

The 39 Steps
This is the Hitchcock one, a pre-WWII spy thriller which occasionally aims for laughs in a way it probably wouldn't if it were made even a few years later. In 1935, however, audiences apparently wanted a bit of a screwball comedy to go along with their international intrigue. It's not a British The Thin Man by any means, but it's a little strange in retrospect (it's a movie about an unnamed country trying to steal British air defense secrets which I'm sure was all great fun until, I don't know, 1940). It's not broad, exactly, it's just that part of the movie's charm is in ill-prepared but game Canadian getting sucked into the world of spies when he gets accused of murder. He handles himself with good humor, finding time to banter with a blonde and give a good mustache-twitching reaction shot when needed. It's all tight and smart and cute. Hell, maybe it is a British Thin Man. Nothing wrong with that.

The Third Man
I sort of hate Joseph Cotten. Okay, hate is maybe a little strong since I think I've only seen him in two or three movies, but in both this and Citizen Kane he gets the unenviable task of playing a drunk. Unfortunately, being drunk in the '40s seems to have involved a lot of hiccuping and exaggerated slurring. More than that, in both movies Cotten plays sort of a principled sidekick to a bigger man--which would be fine, great even--only Cotten himself comes across as a big man, a bit of a bully type unhappy about being shoved into the shadows. Maybe that's why he drinks. That's more of a personal issue- I should say I do remember liking that scene in the retirement home in Kane--and hardly one that ruined this movie. It's a really good movie. Certainly it's because I watched them in the same day, but it's hard for me not to see The Third Man as The 39 Steps shaken, war veteran cousin. Outside of a cringe-inducing literary reading--certainly relatable--there's very little humor in all the intrigue. Instead of a chummy gamesmanship there are lives being ruined over rashly decided and quickly shifting principles. Everyone always has a side but it might not be the same one they had the day before. There are real implications to these shaky loyalties and one's best move would be to up and leave if only it were possible. In that sense, it's as much a WWII movie as anything involving D-Day. It's also got a great deal--the zither score, Welles's face cut by light, the hands through the grate, the long final shot--that makes it hard to forget. More than that, it lingers as one of the greyest black-and-white movies in my mind.

Exhibit 23.14

Well, it's gone. Now my face feels naked. I look forward to never talking about this again.