It’s highly odd to think that in less than 24 hours I’ll be on my way to the Land of True Sushi. I haven’t really had time to even think about it, to be honest, but it’ll be real soon enough. My pre-Japan to-do list has 22 items on it; I’ve got about 19 hours before heading to DFW. Sleep probably not an option — although I really want to experience the fabulous business-class lifestyle awake, not asleep. I’ll try to blog intermittently, assuming my Internet access works out as I hope it to. (And I’ll be able to get at my email — my personal email for sure, work email maybe.)

rudolph hitler

Mike Antonucci, who normally writes about teacher unions, is tracking the Arab press’s response to recent events in his terrorism email newsletter, plaintext. Today’s cluelessness award goes to Hafez Al-Barghouthi, editor of the Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, who has a problem with NYC’s mayor going by Rudy instead of his full name.
“He hides his first name, chosen for him by his Italian father,” wrote Al-Barghouthi of the mayor, “so as not to remind the Jewish voters of the infamous Rudolph Hitler (sic).”

movable type

What follows is the story of my life.
I have lots of un-fun things to do: collating lists of mailing addresses, researching boring interviews, filling out forms, buying shoes, etc.
I have just discovered one fun thing to do: playing around with Movable Type to create an archive of every article I’ve ever written.
Which one do you think is getting done? (And how much of a geek am I when “modifying perl scripts and creating category-specific cascading stylesheets” is on the “fun” list?)

dfwblogs happy hour

Another fine wingding thrown by Leia last night — DFWblogs Happy Hour III: The Wrath of Khan. Thanks to Leia’s skill at manipulating falling doubloons, I am the proud owner of four Chinese finger handcuffs, which will no doubt come in handy for those times I perform citizen’s arrests and some perp is threatening to use his free fingers to escape. Thanks to Erica‘s mouthing off, I know now that the mothers of singing waiters have only the highest of dreams for their offspring. Thanks to Matt, I now fear men with samurai swords and two-tone shoes in corporate parking lots.
Just like last month, the singalong was a highlight, although I think the absences from the choir hurt us on the more arpeggiated numbers. “Down By the Riverside” and “Goodnight Irene” were particularly strong, I thought, as were the “Bring Tha Noize”/”Theme from The Greatest American Hero”/”Oops…I Did It Again” medleys and the human beatbox rendition of “Head Like a Hole.”


Mad props to Lyn for being the first to correctly identify the contents of the boxes at left: it’s a closeup of the nose of this guy. When I was designing the site, it was just filler to be replaced as soon as I thought of something better to put there, but I suppose I haven’t thought of anything better. (Actually, my initial plan was to use some of the photos from this amazing Library of Congress exhibit of color photos from Czarist Russia — if you haven’t looked at them yet, you should. Maybe they’ll pop up here in some form or another someday.)
But Lyn’s not the only winner! Part 2 of our little contest — best absurd incorrect answer — is still a hot and heavy race. Leave your answer in the comments of yesterday’s entry. Good luck!


A few months ago, I helped out frykitty on her Greenshoes Project. Her idea is sort of a snail-mail Napster: people burn mixes of music they like on a CD, send it to her, and in exchange get a CD mix someone else made. The catch: you’re not allowed to know what’s on the CD until you get it. So you can discover new music you otherwise wouldn’t hear. (The nice folks at South to the Future used to offer something similar, but now I see they’ve taken it down.)
Anyway, I’ve got a mix available for trading (#4). I don’t remember what I put on it — there was some power poppy stuff, and some Tricky, I remember that — but feel free to swap away.

elton john

“Forget the fucking Dalai Lama. It’s a fucking joke. The Dalai Lama is all about, supposedly, peace. Now, I love the idea of that. We all would love to have peace. I have contributed to things that the Dalai Lama has been involved with, like there’s Trudie Styler, my friend, Sting’s wife, who does this Tibetan Peace Garden in London, which is a great idea. But you know, in times of war and times of aggravation, where is this peacemaking man when you need him? Fucking nowhere to be seen. And that says it all. Fucking asshole.” — Elton John, hopefully being sedated as we speak, via the superfine brandhast.

anne barnard

Just found out that a friend of mine from my college paper (now at the Boston Globe) is getting shipped off to Central Asia to cover the war. Wish her well.
We reporters have a weird job: at some level, we wish for bad things to happen so we’ll have interesting things to cover. Maybe not bad things, but certainly big things. It’s my not-so-secret hope that come November 8, when I’m supposed to be heading back to Dallas from Tokyo, things are still troubling enough in Afghanistan that my employers will tell me to head for Peshawar and do some reporting. (Hey, while I’m in Asia, I might as well swing by, no?) It’s doubtful it’ll happen, but if it does, it’ll be nice to know someone else already there.

new cds, d-plan

It has been a remarkably great season for new CDs. October (Rocktober?) has seen the release of new discs from three of my very favorite bands, and they’ve all met my high expectations. First came Death Cab for Cutie’s The Photo Album, which is better than their excellent We Have the Facts And We’re Voting Yes. Then came Sloan’s Pretty Together, which is better than their excellent Between the Bridges. And Tuesday brought the Dismemberment Plan’s Change, which is better than their excellent Emergency & I. I usually hold back on blanket recommendations, because one man’s meat is another man’s poison, but I think any right-thinking individual would find much to enjoy in any of these fine releases. (The D-Plan disc, in particular, is currently blowing my mind: who else pairs couplets like “A sunny Sunday watching John McLaughlan / And having sex again and again”?)
As a result, I am hereby giving them all the Seal of Approval. Fame and fortune will no doubt now follow them.