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Ever doubt that anti-Semitism is alive and well and living in America?  Then read this.

No, not the article about John Galliano slurring about his love for Hitler and how we all should have been gassed, silly!  The comments thread.

There are two distinct varieties of implied disdain verging on outright dislike.  They are:

A) Have you noticed no one ever gets fired for insulting ____?  But say something about a Jew, and, well. 


NYT #64 - Hmm...I have to wonder, if he'd made anti-Arabic slurs or comments, would he have received the same treatment? Or is that in a different category from anti-Semitic remarks?


NYT #77 - If you want to know the identity of the real rulers of your society, simply ask yourself this question:

Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize?


NYT #84 - If he made equivalent comments about Muslims or Arabs, he'd got only a slap on the wrist if (and it's a big IF) there was any media coverage at all. Just sayin'...


NYT #90 - One question. Has anyone been fired or dismissed for saying anything bad about any group other than Jews? The Yankee stadium singer, Ronan, for an off-hand remark was ruined. Helen Thomas - in advancing years as well - was canned for saying what she thought.Are all ethnic groups treated this way? Why do I not think so?

These are so common it's actually not worth it to track any more of them.

B) Freedom of speech!  The man's being persecuted!  This overlaps neatly with, "Oh, well, he was just drunk.  It's not like he meant it."  You know, over the course of a long and glorious career of imbibing intoxicants, I've never burst out with anything I didn't on some level believe.  Funny, that.  It makes me wonder what kind of open sewers these people's mind must be, if their first though is that, if this sort of thing becomes a trend, the next time they spout off about whichever group it is they hate, there might be consequences unless we have some compassion for the poor, misunderstood bigots.


NYT #5 - Mnnn...The poor man drunk. Everyone us have said stupid things. What he said was stupid disgraceful however we should be able to live with it. Give the man a break.

NYT #41 - Poor John........he has been needing help for quite some time but where was everyone? The rants were obviously coming from a very drunken place which is not the same as being antisemitic. Natalie Portman should show empathy and compassion instead of jumping on the accusation bandwagon.

NYT #275 - O.k. readers. I certainly hope that somebody will be recording your next "error in judgenment" and post it on You-Tube with your name and address. And I hope it goes "viral" with millions of "views". Then you may be able to scrape up a little compassion for J.G. ....if you are human.

NYT #326 - And isn't there a bit of prejudice in us all. Natalie Portman comes off as this female who cannot take this comment for what reason-the mere fact that she states that "she is proud to be Jewish" is an indication to me that she is not so proud - for, in my opinion, if she were she would have no need to strike back so forcefully.

And, as a bonus, glorious C) Who cares?


#198 - As if what he said has not been thought or said of any number of groups before.

What is the big deal? The same has been said of Arabs, Blacks, Orientals...

Orientals.  That one's from Canada, in case you want to be depressed about the entire North American hemisphere, and not just the USA.

Honestly, people.  I weep.

P.S. - Here's a link to the original video: believe me when I say you do not want to wade into the cesspool that is the comments thread on that.
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Rejoice, friends, for today marks the passing of an era - or, at least, a truly epic hairball.

See, Sylvie-the-Cat is an incredibly plush cat.  Like, if you were to somehow Dr. Moreau the texture of rabbit fur to the denseness of, like, angels dancing on the head of a pin, you'd have Sylvie.  The one time I saw her soaked with water, she shrank to half her size.  She's not a fluffy cat like a Persian: more like a Chartreuse, or something, and she sheds like a mad bastard.  I never used to be The Lady With the Cat Hair, despite having been a cat owner for over a decade: since getting Sylvie, I've invested in a lint brush for every room (and it still isn't enough: I wear a lot more white, now).  Yet, despite all this, Sylvie had never had a hairball in the three years she's lived with me.

At least, not successfully. 

The same impulse that made you read that article on zit-popping is tempting you to peek beneath the cut. )


Feb. 20th, 2011 09:37 pm
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Guess what I did to celebrate my birthday tomorrow!  Guess, guess, guess!

I will give you hints.

I have:

A) wanted to do this since I was 15

B) wanted to do this but was talked out of it because it might have affected the market

C) wanted to do this since I figured out I was running out of places to adorn

Oh, come on, you know you want to guess before you peek beneath the cut .... )


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A good and responsible day!  I wrote an article on unicorns for Fantasy Magazine (note: unicorns have a much creepier history than you'd think), planned tomorrow's classes, and cleaned out my inbox.  Practical result?  I'm done halfway through KGB, which means no socializing for [livejournal.com profile] d_aulnoy .  Nevetheless: insert deep sigh of satisfaction here.
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If you're attending ICFA and you haven't booked your room yet, book NOW - the hotel doesn't guarantee the room rate after the 12th.  They still provided it when I called and booked just now (phew!), so, on the off-chance I'm not the only sluggard out there ... fair warning!
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An update without any real content:

- I love Sephora for giving me a "birthday present" when I wandered in to buy an eye pencil, because they keep one's "birthday month" in one's file.  I think it's very clever of them to have used Philosophy's "Happy Birthday!" shower/bath gel.  That said ... it doesn't foam nearly as much as the other varieties I've bought from Philosophy, and I do find myself wondering if this is how they use up out-of-date-stock.

- That said, I do genuinely and without any equivocation love the new eye pencil, as well as the nice young woman who taught me to do cool new things with it.  Sephora sales-people fascinate me.  They're always wearing the most wonderfully outrageous looks (I assume this is company policy), and, with the rare exception, they never look as awkward or unhappy about it as do 99% of the people I see in uniform (Wall Street suits, you're included).  It's apparently one of the rare positions where preference meets obligation.  I feel similarly about my tweed and elbow patches and all ... but I have to admit, it would be cool to be able to wear glitter mascara to work without anybody batting an eye.

(Well, except for me, I presume.)

- Has anybody ever figured out why cats bat at your face when you're petting them?  Is that, like, just to get your attention?  Or is it "I like it when you put your forepaws on my head, here, allow me to return the favor?"

- Am writing an article on unicorns for Fantasy.  Unicorns!  All my dreams of what I would do When I Grew Up are now come true.

- Hey, it's Valentine's Day!  I cannot think of a better thing for you to read (if have not not already, or, frankly, even if you have, as it's one of those things I like to make an annual ritual out of) than her essay On Valentine's Day.  To quote:

This is a great holiday. It's pure physical, sensual pleasure, divorced from any dogma at this point. Saint whatever. Pass the sex and food.

... think about it for a second. In the midst of winter, we are encouraged to come together and have sex (let's not be coy.) To escape the snow and ice in each others' bodies. The colors are red and rose and white--the colors of fire in the winter, of blood, of flesh, survival even in the barren times. We exchange hearts, the very vital core of our bodies. It is the last holiday before spring, to remind us that the fertile world will come again, with flowers and sweetness and love. Even surrounded by death, by blood on the snow, be it St. Valentine's blood or your own, life will win out. The traditional food is chocolate--which can be preserved through the winter and does not rot, full of sugar and fat which keep our bodies going through lean times. This holiday is as old as time: o world, even in the freezing storm, come together, make love, make children, feast, smile, and know the sun is coming soon.

Right on!  Sing it, sister!

Right, then.  I'm off to get my work obligations out of the way, so I can follow my marching orders.  Go forth and do likewise!
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Present tense.  Terse.  Loaded with implications.  Basically, the kind of writing that Stephen King accuses Harold of in The Stand.

My Life in Clothes is the kind of book that I ought to like, at least on paper: each chapter is marked by some garment and its contribution to self-image.  However.  instead, I'm rolling my eyes at the pretension.  She doesn't talk about clothes, either (I feel bait-and-switched): instead, it's all casual segues from, like, an overpriced bra her mom wanted to buy to the abuses that she suffered in her childhood, from the pedal-pushers she wears to meet a former lover onto their torrid resumption of a tawdry affair.  Ugh.

It seems like this is a subgenre within a sub-genre that might be doomed: the last book in this style I read was called something like "Little Black Dress," but it appears that I either hid it well enough to not be ashamed of myself for having bought it, donated it to some unworthy cause, or otherwise jettisoned it (and when I try to search on Amazon, all I get is a bunch of suggestions for "Mennonite in a Black Dress," which, no).  That one wasn't quite as pretentiously depressing (depressingly pretentious?), but the narration was equally self-obsessed and tiresome, if in a fluffier mode.  Perhaps - heavens forfend! - this implies that women with an interest in their own attire are tiresome and self-obsessed?

Nah.  Out of a sample-size of two, I merely choose to believe that they're bad writers.

Really bad writers.  Be warned, y'all. 

* To be fair, it doesn't seem this one has gotten an MFA.  Nevertheless, her work bears the deadly stamp.  If you, Dear Reader, have an MFA, please do not take this as a personal criticism, but accept it as a tongue-in-cheek jab at your most loathsome classmate.  In turn, when you jibe at self-important academics and their addiction to jargon, I will know that you do not mean me.
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I had forgotten how deeply and truly tired antibiotics make me.  All I want to do is curl up in a quiet little ball and sleep.

So!  Since my brain is apparently good-for-nothing, which movie should I watch tonight - "Mirrormask" or "The Last Seduction?"  Additional suggestions welcome in the comments.

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It strikes me as being decidedly odd, when a retelling is better than the original: nevertheless, upon careful consideration, I must admit that Joanna Smith Rakoff's A Fortunate Age (2010, set in the late 90s and early oughts) is considerably better than Mary McCarthy's The Group (1963, set in the 1930s). 

Rakoff does an excellent job of translating the concerns of a crowd of women.  Well, primarily: a few characters perform gender swaps, but to good effect ... nevertheless, identity, career, marriage, and childbirth remain the mainstays, in and frighteningly consistent configurations.  The story is improved, first, by the consolidation of several characters into one - it has the uneasy effect of making that one a little too perfect, but it's at least acknowledged in the text, adding a certain complexity, whereas in the original the fractioned characters are simply loathsome archetypes (The Neuter: The Career Gal; The Mother).   And, second, simply, it's eerie to read the two in quick succession, and see how many concerns remain constant: one particularly pretentious character is such the contemporary hipster that it made me giggle a little.  Actually, in point of fact, I think I actually would have sort of liked her in the 30s as a genuinely confused free-thinker, whereas her contemporary counterpart just made me roll my eyes - wonder what the true version there would be?

Nevertheless: though I love early women's novels as cultural artifacts, all of McCarthy's characters make me want to bite them.  Next up: Rona Jaffe's The Best of Everything.  Wonder if anybody's thought to rewrite that one yet ... or if somebody (me?) ought to give it a shot. 
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Rando, rando, rando: what do you call those little clippy things gentlemen wore to make their vests fit right in the back, back in the day?

See, in Paris, I found this awesome wine-red hand-sewn wool dress.  It has a v-neck and a line of glowing coal-red buttons marching diagonally across the bust: it has a fetching line of three sharp pleats extending from the point where the buttons end; it even has that Holy Grail of women's clothing, a pocket.

But it also has the silhouette of its period, which I would peg as the early 70s commenting on the early 40s, which is to say, no waist.  And I really can't be having with that.  I don't want to alter it, as there are just so many ways in which that could go wrong, and I think it looks weird with a belt, given the long straight diagonal lines of it, so ... help?  A clip would make it fall just right, I think.

Dapper clothes-horse friends, anybody know what I'm talking about, and, better yet, where to find them?  
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How much do I love my Barnard students?

One of my favorite students from last term is enrolled in my Spring course, too: preparatory to the first paper, she wrote to tell me that she had two topics in mind, both of which she thought she could argue successfully ... but, which one would have more fun reading?

Today, one of her peers from last term wrote to me to query her grade: not, it must be noted, because she was dissatisfied with it, but because she was concerned that I'd made a clerical error in her favor (as it happens, I thought her in-class contributions were exemplary, and it tipped her up to the next percentile). 

Such lovely considerate girls, they are ....

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Oh, television.

On one level, I find movies to be more satisfactory than television series: they're finite, and they rarely leave loose ends.  "Miller's Crossing?" Is like a beautiful object d'art.  Ditto "The Last Seduction."  And, well, when the endings suck, I can mentally edit to make them a little better by pretending that the ending never happened ("Secretary" and Rene Russo remake of "The Thomas Crowne Affair," you are both officially ten to twenty minutes shorter in my head, I just want you to know that).  I mean, would I like more (for example) "Princess Bride" goodness?  A sequel to "Scaramouche?"  Sure!  But I don't need or expect it, because the writers are generally aware that they need to provide closure.  

Closure is important.

And that, dear friends, brings us to "Firefly" and "Veronica Mars."

Now, on the one hand, because I never really bother watching actual television television, I'm usually spared the agony of tiny dribbles of entertainment, and the tenterhooks of wondering if my favorite show will be canceled: I know from the get-go just how much I'm going to be getting.  That said, the two opposing models of how to handle a cancellation fascinate me immensely.

Joss Whedon managed to both provide a closed conclusion to the series, and to swing a movie (with the potential of an open-ended franchise, to boot), possibly on the logic that we're officially a series-minded society, and we'll follow our stories into whatever mediums will have them.  "Veronica Mars," on the other hand?  Is literally tantalizing, as in, going back to the dude who was condemned to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree, with the water receding when he attempted to quench his thirst, and the branches rising when he tried to sate his hunger.  Least.  Satisfying.  Series.  Conclusion.  EVER.  And, no, the various promises of spin-offs or movies do not make it better.  (Hell, I can't even find the good fanfic!  Though I did just come across the Season 4 promo teaser, which is what prompted this post.) 

I know there's probably a complex theorem to explain the difference, based on fanbase likely to see the movie vs. how big the stars have hit and how much they'll need to be paid (hey, as much as I like Nathan Fillion, I'm pretty sure Kristen Bell earns a bigger base these days), but I cannot help but feel that Rob Thomas is just a sadist.  Or that UPN is meaner than Fox with the rights.  Or ... something.

Anyway.  Dissatisfied!  I just wanted to share.

P.S. - Wanna recommend some good series that do not leave one hanging? 

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Comment left on a friend's RateMyProfessor page:

I'll see her next Tuesday.

Objection lodged by me:

Obscenity, acronymonious. 

Wanker.  That said, I find the neologism oddly satisfying.  I am become that which I despise in the satisfaction with my own cleverness (albeit, I think, at a higher level).

Smugness: the new (internet) virus.  

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... when you get lost in your own damn city.  I got out at Broadway-Lafayette on my way to KGB and walked ten damned blocks in the wrong direction before I realized I was misaligned: the moment when I realized it was when someone asked me the way to Prince Street, and I automatically waved right and though, "Wait, if Prince is right, that means that 4th is, too.  Dammit."

I got there too late to hear Linda Addison, but managed to reconnect with a fair number of people before Greg Frost came on with a deeply chilling noir tale of witchery and boxing and revenge in early 20th c. Philly - well worth the travail.  I had planned to get home early for a night of class planning, but the company was too good to resist a drink at dinner.  Note to self: next time, a) triangulate off the Chrysler Building, and, b) eat lightly enough to be hungry by 9.  And, oh, yeah, big, fat, capital C) PLAN CLASSES FIRST THING IN THE MORNING so as to be able to stay out late.  In my own defense, I had to get Azrael neutered this week, so I stayed up late fussing with him, and then got woken up too damned early when he wanted to play (by "too damned early," I mean "4 in the fucking morning" - hey, at least he's healthy).  

At any rate!  Good reading, good company, and good night.
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Catching up on the internet after a long trip away is always oddly fascinating.  Devouring information in huge great gulps can help patterns to emerge.  One I'm seeing right now?  Is, curiously enough, the sartorial equivalent of how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner: a kind of gluttedness that surpasses satiation and passes over into nausea.

Purseforum has several threads on paring one's closet down to a few key, quality pieces: Jezebel is fixating on the "6 Items or Less Challenge," and my f-list has a few posts along the same vein.  BeMoreWithLess.com actually aggregates some of the various projects out there while suggesting yet another one:  after mentioning the Uniform Project and 6 Items for 6, she proposes Project 333 (3 months on 33 items, not counting the various exempted classes like undies and workout gear and nightgowns and the stuff you just wear around the house and, oh, you know, the building blocks of daily life that are exempted from all of these projects, as if to highlight how bizarrely trendy and privileged and motivated by boredom and lack of discipline these exercises really are). 

Me, I just spent two frustrating weeks living out of a suitcase, so ... to paraphrase Tango from "Tango & Cash," I did miss my wardrobe, and the desire for artificial scarcity puzzles me.  That said, I'm kinda fascinated by what appears to be a backlash against fast fashion, and all it signifies ... and I'm formulating an odd kind of a connection between said fast fashion, clothing-as-identity, and Paris.  It might be triggered by recent personal experiences, or I might be onto something: walk with me.

So!  A lot of the various discussions mention off-handedly the desire to live like French women do.*  The stereotype of the fashionable Frenchwoman conjures the image of a few key pieces of quality clothing, worn steadily in the confidence that their perfection mitigates the fact that you've already worn them three times this week.  It goes beyond having a signature piece into being signatory yourself, sufficiently secure as to be able to ignore the dictates of greige nails and Ugg boots and whatever other horrors the fashion industry is planning to throw to the masses as cheaply made (but still ugly!) trends-of-the-moment, guaranteed not to go with anything you already own.

It's a nice image, nu?  Genevieve Dariaux mentioned something similar in her 1964 tome, A Guide to Elegance For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions.  I read Dariaux a few years ago thanks to a kind loan from a friend, and snorted: Dariaux is the kind of writer who thinks blondes should stay away from jewel tones and men prefer quiet good breeding (for good breeding, read a high decollete) in their wives.  (In my head, I subtitled it The WASPs Guide to Elegance.)  But I came across it again in Kathleen Tessaro's Elegance, which is a first person memoir-style novel written by a badly dressed woman who discovers Dariaux's tome and takes it to heart as a personal Bible, changing the circumstances of her unhappy loveless marriage and her miserable dead-end career as easily as she changes her knickers (to 9 matched sets of La Perla, if you're curious, and I say this as someone who discovered just how much they charge for a brassiere just the other day).  It's a chick-lit makeover story with a few intriguing observations about clothes as signifiers of the self, but, interestingly, I don't remember there being much about inconspicuous consumption, to coin a phrase.**  However, it definitely employs the tropes of what we might call the justified makeover, as I'd suggest the current backlash overall does.

The "justified makeover" is what I call books in which the heroine is so obviously, painfully, grotesquely nonredeemable that for the author, the ends do justify the means: I still remember the Barbara Cartland novel where the Grand Dame cast her hapless heroine into a 6 month long coma so she'd lose her baby-fat.  Oy.  In a makeover-obsessed culture?  We're all sort of That Heroine, or so the zeitgeist would tell us, and we're all constantly looking for that magic thing which will make us perfect.  What I find intriguing about this particular phenomenon is that it's not being pushed by any one vehicle of the media: instead, it seems to be coming out of a genuine groundswell of mass emotion.

One of the emotions in question is, of course, frugality: in this economy, we all want to figure out how to break the cycle of unsatisfying spending.  My cynical side says that this focus on few items of good quality is coming from the desire to justify a few pricey purchases before the trend passes and we all slink quietly back to Forever 21 (inconspicuous consumption, indeed) ... but I don't think that's the whole of it.  It's the Parisian element that intrigues me particularly: it's an interesting kind of an identity to want to claim, especially since it's not being done through any particular item or element - a Dior dress, a Chanel suit - but simply through the idea of elegant quality and a limited palette.

Having just spent a few weeks there, though?  Unless I'm missing something, you have got to be kidding me.  For one thing, they have more H&Ms than we do: for another, the department stores are just like ours, except pricier (even accounting for the weak dollar, and, yes, even during the sales) (and don't even talk to me about the nifty boutiques, with their thousand euro frocks).  Now, the literal cost of doing business might well be the reason why French women are famous for having less clothing and being more selective about it ... but is it really a good thing?  If anything, my knowledge of national character aside, I'd suggest that setup is merely the precusor to what America currently has, where the rich have lots of nice clothes, and the poor have lots of crap clothes: it's more a nostalgic desire for a sense of quality, regardless of budget, than a sense of displaced national character that's currently up for debate.  Traditionally (and, by "traditionally," I mean "within the last 30 years or so), that's been settled by credit and aspirationalism ... and, obviously, that's not the answer.  I suppose I'm just intrigued by this roundabout and equally unrealistic form of aspirational longing, where instead of wanting to be Kim Kardashian, we all want to be Edith Piaf in a Paris that might have been, but doesn't currently seem to be.  Discuss?

* Men, French and otherwise, don't seem to come into these discussions.  Stereotype would suggest it's because men are already doing some variation on minimalist fashion, only without the wussy underwear exceptions - snigger, snigger.  My personal theory is that I simply haven't the bloodiest notion of where to find men's fashion discussions (it sure as hell ain't GQ, let me tell you, having read a few issues on the flight), but I didn't want to leave them out altogether as though fashion is, by default, A Girl Thing.

** Despite what might appear to be a lackluster review, I actually quite enjoyed Elegance, especially for a first novel: it's not perfect (the tacked on "happy ending" rubbed me the wrong way), but she has a wry turn of phrase that's absolutely delightful.  Better still, she's one of those authors who improves by a factor of 10 with each book, so her third, The Flirt, is a completely hilarious send-up of the romantic comedy in contemporary surroundings - seriously, Oscar Wilde would love this - and her fourth, The Debutante, is a just plain good novel of mirrored lives in the vein of Alice Hoffman.  (It just occurred to me that I'd never read her second ... off to order!)

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I am currently reading the autobiography of Judith Krantz, entitled Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl.

(What?  Don't look at me like that.  A) I plain old love Judith Krantz, and actually find renewed faith in humanity given that her books are as popular as they are.  B) Given that I am in Paris, and oscillating between ridiculous glee and wondering what all the fuss is about, I figured that her autobiography would be a great resource, given that all of her books feature scenes of ardent love for the city.)

Anyway.  In her autobiography, written in 1998 apparently, she mentions having been born in 1928, and crows over being 70.  And ... her Wikipedia page lists her birth-date but not her death-date, which leads me to assume that at what I calculate to be the delightful age of 83 or so (precisely so, since according to the autobiography her birthday is today- happy birthday, Ms. Krantz!), she is hale and hearty.

People.  My birthday is in a month and change, and my dearest birthday wish would be to meet Judith Krantz.  I am not kidding, not even a little bit.  The wonder of my literary circle has gotten me introduced to everybody from Peter Straub to Chris Claremont, so ... anybody here a friend of Judy's?  Friend of a friend of a friend?  If so, give her my felicitations for a delightful natal day, and ask her if she has plans for the 21st of February ....
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Never say never, folks.

For the holidays, I got two lovely gifts: a pair of shiny earrings, and a Nook.

Consider how much I love shiny things.

Consider that, a few years ago around the holidays, just when the first e-readers were coming out, I was "interviewed" by some woman-on-the-street reporter who asked me if I'd spring for one: I pointed out that I'd just, you know, lugged 4 tonnes of books cross-country; that I loved books as artifacts, from their heft to their smell to the physical memories entwined in them, their stains and dogears and fossilized insect remains, a la amber (I have a few books from my summer camp years preserving my various triumphs over mosquitos).  I did also point out that I thought they'd be great for my students, sparing them the agony of hauling a day's worth of books there and back again - she looked dumbfounded (and, come to that, I've yet to see any university formally pursuing that).

So, guess which gift I love more?

Dudes, it's a tie.

Now, don't get me wrong: shiny is shiny, but the Nook is an absolute delight.  It's tiny, about the size of my spread palm, or a smallish journal, or half a paperback book unfolded: it's light, less than pretty much every hardcover I've ever found, and most paperbacks too, come to that; and, best of all, the battery life has lasted me from Sunday night until now, going through a trans-Atlantic flight, a long, lazy lunch, and a hot bath, with approximately half its battery life to go.  It's incredibly easy to find what you're looking for (obscure books on weird topics! many of which are free!), and it's great at picking up WiFi (as it ought to be, since, without it, you can't give B&N any more money).  I'd been sorta kinda halfway tempted by the other e-readers I'd seen ... but the iPad is too bulky for me to stuff in my purse, and, frankly, I don't need 3/4ths of the crap it can do.  I don't want to play video games, I probably won't watch movies on the go even if I have the wherewithal, and, frankly, I'd rather uses a piece of string to play with my cat than an app.  The Kindle?  Cool, but still sorta bulky, and the whole e-ink thing got on my nerves a bit (plus the page load speed seemed a bit slow, which is a bitch for a speed-reader).  Nook?  Compact, fast, and monomaniacal - it is basically the perfect device for a voracious reader who travels a lot.  I left Frommer's Paris guidebook in NY to save my back (frankly, it's not like I ever took it out with me, anyway), and downloaded a Time Out: Paris; win all around, I say!

So: Nook, highly recommended by the[livejournal.com profile] d_aulnoy ; next post, Paris.

P.S. - Or not: I'm reading Savvy Chic: The Art of More For Less on the device, and absolutely loving it: this may call for a review.  
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Some New Yorkers are more clever than others.  A few blocks away from me, neighbors have put out their discarded Christmas trees already, and their trunks have been buried by the Snowpocalypse.  It's quite charming, really.  So, what's a New Yorker to do?  Put up a sign that reads "Enchanted Forest," of course!  

A) I love my neighbors

B) I wish I'd brought a camera.
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And thus, two points on my Bucket List are checked off: be on the radio, and perform a PSA against That Guy.  [livejournal.com profile] vschanoes  and I are both v. pleased.  

We wound up talking about Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin, Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market," Frankenstein, The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles (good), as opposed to The Grimms Fairy Tale Series in comics (v. bad), the collected works of Ridley Scott, Robin Hood and assorted retellings, and a whole bunch of other things that are escaping my sleep-deprived mind right now: the exact details elude me, because of, a) the sleep deprivation, and b) the fact that we went for 3.5 hours as opposed to the usual two.

Why?  Because WBAI is in flux, and "Hour of the Wolf" is canceled.

Not canceled-canceled, thank the gods, but moved to a different, non-actual Hour-of-the-Wolf, that interstitial time between dark and light: it will now be airing Saturdays from 7-8, cutting Jim's time down by half an hour, and, not incidentally, ousting Scott Loekle's wonderful show, "As I Please," pushing it back to the 4-5 slot (and leaving Scott "suspended indefinitely," as he apparently put it).  So, we went over into the hybrid "As the Wolf Pleases" from 7 to 8:30, and had a wonderful, thought-provoking, bittersweet hell of a time.

I've "known" Jim for years at KGB - hell, for ... 9 years now, I'd guess, but until this morning (I initially typed "tonight," because when you meet a man on a dark curb, you think "night," or at least you do if you're not non-morning-person, the-early-bird-gets-the-worm-but-who-the-hell-wants-worms? me).  I always thought of him as brilliant and broad in his knowledge, a widely read and strongly opinionated man with a plethora of topics to discuss and issues to address, but until <strike>tonight</strike> this morning, I had no idea how really awesome he was.  After 36 years on the show (38, if you count the time he spent as co-host to Margot Adler, who is that Margot Adler, a connection I didn't make until it was pointed out to me halfway through the show, at which point I damned near genuflected), he performed with wit and wisdom and boundless energy, and took calls from a variety of passionate guest-callers, some of whom sounded as though they might be crying, some of whom were shell-shocked, some of whom were characters of the sort I've read about in novels of call-in radio shows but didn't know really existed.  

I'm impressed, and I'm honored to have been a part of the penultimate show, and I'm sincerely hoping that WBAI reconsiders at least this part of their decision: sure, they want and need more listeners in this competitive age, and that necessitates a certain reshuffling on the roster, but not the part that works, guys: not the part that's good and rare and true, a kind of collective communication that's sadly fading into the more impersonal, voiceless medium of the internet, where tone is frangible and everybody uses emoticons to demonstrate what they really mean.  

You can write in to WBAI at:

PO BOX 30540
NEW YORK, NY 10117-2112

I'm sure there's an e-mail address out there somewhere, but scouring their website (see also: sleep deprivation) hasn't led to a discovery; I'll update if someone can suggest in the comments.  ETA: the brilliant [livejournal.com profile] ecmyers  suggests this address to reach Tony Blake; tony -@- wbai.org.  The internet's a powerful thing, as the Cook's Source mess has shown: so what say we use out powers for good?  Let the powers that be at WBAI know (respectfully, in measured tones, with gravitas aplenty) just how much we value "Hour of the Wolf," and, for that matter, "Why the Revolution Hasn't Come."  I like knowing that somebody out there is chronicling the best readings and sharing them with the parts of our community who can't be there, interviewing the great and the soon-to-be-great and even, once in a while, the schmoes like me who just have Very Strong Feelings, creating a chronicle of who we are and what we do and why it's important, another thread in the tapestry of speculative history.

Who's with me?
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