Saturday, September 30, 2006

Do I Amuse You?

Low self-esteem checking in to ask you, fair readers, if the blog's up to snuff. Am I boring you? Too much whining and psychological introspection? Too much talk of dogs? Not enough hot gay porn? What do you think? Holla at me!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Those Abs Just CAN'T Be Real!

Halloween Help

I've never been much into Halloween, even as a child. I love candy and all, but getting dressed up and hoofing about the neighborhood just didn't appeal to me. I stopped dressing up years ago. This year, for the first time in a long time, I have a Halloween party to go to and I need a costume. I've had one good costume idea in my life (I was a calendar one year) and that's about it, so I'm at a bit of a loss. Anyone have any creative suggestions?

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Admitting you have a problem (self-awareness) is, supposedly, the first step to fixing it. I pride myself on my self-awareness. Frankly, I think I'm too self-aware at times. Certainly, there seems to be something to be said for self-delusion and oblivousness; unaware hypocrites and non-reflective people sure seem to be having a hell of a better time than I do, at any rate. But self-awareness is only a first step in conventional wisdom. I seem to be unable to get past it.

For instance, my bibliomania and OCD wed within the bowels of my neuroses-ridden psyche to produce an obsession for "perfect" books. The merest flaw in spine, board, binding, or dustjacket is enough to send me into a tizzy. In the irrational seas of my subconscious, I feel that, unless each and every book is perfect, it will fall apart and all of its knowledge will be lost to future generations. My library is the bulwark against a new Dark Age following the inevitable Hollywood-type Mad Max apocolypse destroys modern civilization. Only the "fittest," most flawless books will survive to illuminate our descendants and bring them back to a civilized state. Alternately, in fifty years, one of my books will be worth lots of money, but I'll go to sell it and, because the spine has a dent or the dustjacket a wrinkle, they'll tell me it's worthless. And, no, I'm not making this stuff up; I really do believe it (or, I should say, a really nutty part of me does; the rest of me knows this is a crazy, narcissistic notion). I try to assuage my anxieties by purchasing multiple copies of books I deem particularly important. But, since all but a few books can meet my exacting standards, this leads to a cycle of spending and returning that I can ill-afford, considering my poverty-level income. I know that it's crazy and unnecessary, but I can't help it! If I don't "scratch the itch," my anxiety levels jump and I'm mentally tortured into revisiting old patterns. I'm aware of all this, but the awareness doesn't help me in any way. In fact, it only makes me feel worse, since I know I shouldn't be doing it and I'm spending money I don't have and torturing myself. Sometimes, I just feel like taking a torch to the entirety of my book collection and having done with it.

The book thing is only one of several similar conditions involving sex, relationships, social interaction, body image, and more that plague me and that I've touched on before on this blog (ad nauseum, perhaps). So I have all this self-awareness, all this intellectual appreciation of just how irrational and futile all these neuroses are, but I can't seem to hop over Hadrian's Wall to actually defeat the damn barbarians. What can I do?

I'm Not QUITE Nerdy Enough... exclaim, "'CMS 15 CD-ROM OMG!!!'" to the news that the Chicago Manual of Style will be released on CD and on the web, especially since I don't have the money or the need for either, but it's still kinda cool. The Chicago is the granddaddy of style guides and really is a fascinating book, full of interesting tidbits. I got a copy from my editorial mentor upon my college graduation.

(Via Bookslut)

Hippo "Tails"

Hippos have "tails" like "cedars," according to the Bible.

(Via Pharyngula)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Welcome To The USA!

Welcome, Leo! You're a mighty handsome fellow. I hope you enjoy your stay at the Bronx Zoo.

(Via Gawker)

Now I've Seen It All

A mass-murdering teddy bear. Okay, it was a bunch of troubt, but still. Makes one wonder what really caused Paddington to flee from deepest, darkest Peru to Britain. A lack of extradition treaties between the two countries, perhaps?

(Via Gawker)

Fall Has Fallen

Fall's here and it's gorgeous. The sky is blue, the sun is warm, and the air is cool. Perfectly delightful.

On a related note, I'm not the only devotee of autumn out there. It's funny, I, too, still associate Fall with school bulletin boards, too. I also always think of colonial America in perpetual autumn; I guess that's because November was always all about Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. Interesting explication of the Persephone myth, too, BTW. I'm ashamed to admit that, even though I'm a mythology buff, I never questioned the old "and this is why there's winter" explanation.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Well...'s nice to know that my sometimes ridiculously over-the-top love of dogs isn't something new.

I'm Not A Musicals Queen...

But I'd definitely go see this (#6).

Monday, September 25, 2006

But Can The Cat Play The Banjo While Narrating Classic Christmas Tales?

Okay, the original observation is kind of a crazy cat lady sort of notion, but damn if you don't start to see the resemblence when you look at the pictures side to side.

Will Wonders Never Cease?

Do you guys remember those stupid bracelets that started out flat, but when you slapped them onto your wrist they curled up? I remember I was in like elementary school when they were all the rage and schools banned them because some stupid-asses hurt themselves by snapping them on too hard.

Anyway, turns out they may be at the foundations of future flexible electronics. Isn't that wild? What next, will those "Live Strong" bracelets unlock the secrets of artificial intelligence?

(Via Towleroad)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Forget The Medicine Cabinet...

...if you're feeling nosy, snoop around a person's bookcase!

(Via Bookninja)

America Is NOT Rome

Well, it just isn't! Though Western civilization is indelibly marked by Roman civilization, and the Founding Fathers and the following generations have been influenced by their notions of what Rome was in shaping this country, comparing the Roman Empire to modern America (with the implication that the American Empire is about to fall right now!) is just silly.

Humans continue to grapple with the same sorts of problems today that they did two thousand years ago. It's therefore easy to see parallels between today's America and the Roman Republic/Empire; the same applies, however, to virtually any culture in human history.

We should certainly study how our predecessors dealt with similar problems and shared similar challenges (we should pay particular attention how well their solutions did, or did not, work), but we must always keep in mind that such study is, at best, study of analogy, not Fate. For all the similarities between us and a past culture such as Rome, there are just as many differences. History can be a guide and a counsellor, but, in the end, we have to realize that we live in our own moment, different from that of any before, and, in the end, we have to decide, to the best of our abilities, how to act and what choices to make.

(Via rogueclassicism)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pup Portraits

A museum to visit if I ever get back to NYC. Who could resist a gallery full of cute pooch pics? Not I!

(Via Gentlemans Canine Society)

A Tolkein Two'fer

A one...

A review of a fascinating-looking new book on Tolkein and the OED.

And a two...

Tolkein's son, Christopher, will be publishing a "new"-ish book next spring.

Enter The Copywriter

Not being in advertising, I don't get half the jokes, but it's still funny. Copyranter'd find it absolutely hysterical. I'd be the Lowly Proofreader, BTW.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Byzantine Emperors... In The News?!?!?

One upside to the whole Pope Benedict-remarks-about-Islam thingie (you can go elsewhere to get it analyzed, condemned, and/or defended) is that, for the first time in... well, ever, a Byzantine emperor is in the news. As a longtime fan of Byzantine history, it's cool and exciting to hear Jon Stewart say Manuel II Paleologus.

The Byzantines really deserve more attention, BTW. The history is fascinating, the characters riveting, and the scandal delicious.

Warning: May Cause Sugar Shock

Puppies fight TO THE DEATH! Or nap time. Whatevs.

I'd Feel So Much Safer...

...if my city's water system was being protected by fish! And Army fish at that! ("Ten hut!" *bubble, bubble, bubble*) Wouldn't you?

Seriously, it is kinda cool that nature provides such a reliable "mechanism", but it is also kinda laughable (obviously) that NYC is being protected by fish.

(Via Gawker)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


The sex lives of lichens! I know, go take a cold shower after reading that one.

Someday, I'm Going To Have A Library In My House And It'll Have A Catalogue And Everything!

Until, then, unfortunately, all I can do is read such things as this and dream of my future organizational schema.

(Via Bookninja)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Where Is That Coke-Head Freud When You Need Him?

(Warning to any straight people and/or readers who come just for the nerdy stuff: some graphic gay sex talk ahead.)

So, in the past week or two I've had two (that I remember) separate dreams in which I engage in some major rimming action. I'm talking diving in there and eating that asshole out. What does it mean? Rimming really doesn't come up in those "1000 Dreams Interpreted" books. Is it a premonition of things to come (please, please, please, please)? My body trying to tell me I have colon cancer? Or is a cigar just a cigar and all it means is I really, really need some action? It must have some significance since I keep dreaming about it.

All theories welcome!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I'm not one of those "Everyone come out NOW!" activist-types. It really is just not that easy. A lot of people really would face hefty consequences (ostracism, loss of income, harassment, physical harm, even death). It's hard even without fear of consequences. Even someone like me, with really little to fear, still hasn't gotten the gumption to come out to my father and grandmother.

But to any readers who may be in the closet, there is one thing about coming out I think you should consider: freedom. Just something to think about.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Damn Liberals!

The damn liberals are at it again! Now they're conspiring on the naming of [dwarf] planets to subtly/extraterrestrially criticize President Bush! Outrageous!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Agatha Christie Week

We've already issed the auction, unfortunately, but, since I've long been a fan of Agatha Christie's mysteries, I can't help but acknowledge that this is Agatha Christie Week. Murders (genteelly, of course) for everyone!

(Via Books, Inq.; Bookninja)

Many Worlds In One (Again)

More blogger reviews here and here about Many Worlds in One. On the whole, both are rather positive, especially with regards to the writing itself. Both bloggers have issues with some of the assumptions and reasonings Dr. Vilenkin makes, though, and these issues are definitely to be considered. Not all theoretical physicists/cosmologists buy all the multiverse/eternal inflation arguments (at least as currently presented) that lay at the core of the book. I think it is always useful for us, as laypeople, to keep this in mind when reading any sort of popularization: experts often disagree amongst themselves over many issues.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Good Question, Good Answer

Thanks to the kindness and knowledge of Mr. Dave Lull, Chad's good question now has an answer.

Backlog: Gwennie

If Gwenyth Paltrow actually looked like this, I'd probably like her a lot better.

Backlog: Contemplating Nerdiness

I may not agree with Sean's resistance to taking pride the terms "nerd" and "geek," but it's still worth reading. My view is that we should/can celebrate the good aspects of nerdiness/geekiness, while also challanging and changing the negative connotations. But everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

On the humorous side, a discussion of the terms "nerd" and "geek" in comic form.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pardon The Interruption

Sorry, folks, for the lack of posts the last two days; I was having some Internet trouble. You probably didn't even notice, but I certainly did! I was going crazy without the Internet! I'm back now, though, so the wit and genius that is this blog will resume. Yay!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Miss Kylie

I've known for sometime about Kylie Minogue being a big international pop star/gay icon who, for some reason, has made only occasional blips on the American radar. She's often been compared to Madonna (except, of course, not as big in the US). And I must admit that, since she really came into my consciousness with "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" a few years ago (I dare you, BTW, to listen to that song without a serious case of Ohrwurmen!), I've had a soft-spot for her. She just seemed so fabulous and sweet and funny in her interviews and appearances.

Last night, BBCAmerica broadcast a concert she gave a while back called "Showgirl." Amazing! And really more of a gay burlesque show with music, with hot male dancers (seriously, these guys were outrageously fuckable), outrageous outfits, huge and elaborate sets, outstanding choreography, and sparkly costumes. It was the epitome of that over-used and tired gay adjective, "fabulous." Girl knows how to give a show! Madonna's too busy tying red strings to her wrist, crucifying herself, and getting rid of her Gays these days to even think about putting on something like this.

Then was an interview done with her just recently. She went through a year a treatment of breast cancer and is only now getting back into the public eye. The interview only confirmed my good opinion of her. So, Viva Miss Kylie!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Subspecies Of Bibliophile...

...the bookplate connosieur.

(Via Books, Inq.)

But Can I Have Something Other Than Bodices Ripped?

You Should Be a Romance Novelist

You see the world as it should be, and this goes double for all matters of the heart. You can find the romance in any situation, and you would make a talented romance story writer... And while you may be a traditional romantic, you're just as likely to be drawn to quirky or dark love stories. As long as it deals with infatuation, heartbreak, and soulmates - you could write it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nothing Like This Ever Happens On MY Local News

Investigative reporter beatdown in San Diego! My favorite part is the serious "bite on the shoulder." What's up with that wimpy punch, though? I could throw a better punch than that guy! Hell, this guy could probably throw a better punch!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Good Question

Chad asks in a comment to this post, "[D]o you know any good online resources (preferably ones that won't cost me $200 a year like Publishers' Weekly!) to search for reviews?" Good question, I think. Anyone know?


Bill is back!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter," has died. As with other bloggers, I'm shocked and more saddened than I'd thought I would be at the news. I mean, it's not like I actually knew him or anything. And who hasn't seen him wrestle an alligator or pick up a venomous snake and procede to kiss it or something and not thought, "Damn, that dude is soooo going to get killed one day!"? But then he actually went and did get killed and it's all very sad. And it wasn't even a croc he was bugging or a snake he was handling, it was a stingray he just happened to swim over, startle, and get a barb plunged into his chest. It's a total freak accident involving an animal that, apparently, rarely attacks and almost never kills, especially when compared to some of the other animals he handled constantly without incident. Incredible. The universe has a really sick sense of humor.

No matter what you thought of his "Crazy Aussie" schtick (which, from what I can, tell really is how he was), no matter how you might have disapproved of his methods (some people think he was too confrontational with animals and too familiar), you can't deny that he loved animals, loved to educate people about animals, and fought to conserve them. My thoughts are with his family, who lost a loving husband and father, and the whole animal kingdom, which lost a friend and a champion. I offer a "Crikey!" in your memory.

Book Notes

Well, well, well: Google Book Search is actually leading people to buy books! You mean it isn't the End of the World and the destruction of All That Is Holy?!?!? Well, get my smelling salts!

Sarcasm aside, the tragedy of it all is that I doubt the authors' association and the publishers that have sued Google over their scanning program will ever even acknowledge this finding. They'll keep on keeping on decrying Google as an "intellectual pirate" or some such while the world and the publishing industry pass them by. (Wow, I really starting to sound like Grumpy Old Bookman, don't I? I'm so proud of myself!)

On a different track, Frank explains just how hard the book reviewing racket is these days. Hey, Frank, I'll be needing a job soon; I'll be your "Guy Friday"!

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Sad Day In The Gay Blogosphere

Toby of Vividblurry and Brian of Faggoty-Ass Faggot have both decided to take a break from blogging, at least for now. Hopefully, they won't be away long.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


The Joy of Christmas Cards

A woman walks into the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.

"What denomination?" asks the clerk.

"Oh, good heavens! Have we come to this?" said the woman. "Well, give me 50 Baptist and 50 Catholic and one Methodist."

(Via Comedy Central's Joke of the Day Newsletter)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pretty Please?

As I mentioned a while back, I had a very minor part in the composition of a book called Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes by Dr. Alex Vilenkin. Well, I feel kinda weird asking this, but, if you have any inerest in science or cosmology or just a thought-provoking read, could you please buy it? I've spoken with Dr. Vilenkin this week and he's a bit depressed; he thinks the sales aren't what they should be and that reviews are not as forthcoming as he'd hoped. I explained to him that publishing is a dire business (just ask Grumpy Old Bookman), that, from what I can tell, sales of the book are pretty good for a fairly niche publication, and that reviews take time to trickle in due to staff shortages and lag time in getting them written (just ask Frank). And he's actually gotten some very positive notices in Publisher's Weekly, New Scientist, and Seed.

Still, I feel bad, so I'm reminding y'all about the book and asking you to consider purchasing it. And, yes, since I did have a small role in its writing and got a mention in the acknowledgments and everything, there is some ego involved. I want "my book" to be a bestseller, damnit!

Illustrations Of Yesteryear

Pictures From Old Books. Sorta says it, I think.

(Via Books, Inq.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Beleaugered Apostrophe

Time to dump the apostrophe? Not quite yet, I think. It still has its uses, though I agree some of the rules involving it can (and, in a few decades, probably will) be discarded.

(Via Books, Inq.)