Reluctant Habits

Brownie Watch on Hiatus

Posted by in New York Times, Tanenhaus, Sam

As others have pointed out, the NYTBR is once again an embarassment. It’s the same old song. Richard Posner’s essay is not so much a book review but an excuse to whine about the blogosphere. The writers remain, for the most part, male, offering dull and uninteresting coverage for dull and uninteresting books. The insufferable Joe Queennan continues to earn a paycheck. We’re so disheartened by the NYTBR now that we must temporarily take leave of the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch if we are to remain emotionally and mentally stable. Too…read more

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Runners In My Hood

Posted by in Personal, San Francisco

On Sunday morning, I woke to the sounds of strange huzzahs. Turns out it was the San Francisco Marathon running through my hood. The cheers came from a throng gathered at the southeastern corner of Stanyan and Haight Streets. There was a very large speaker providing music. Weird 1980s stuff like the Smiths, with a little funk thrown in for good measure. How this mix pertained to running was anyone’s guess. But I supposed it gave the runners hope, urging them to press on. I joined the folks frozen in…read more

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David Francis Bay Area Readings

Posted by in Author Publicity

Word on the street is that Australian writer David Francis, once part of Mark’s Three Minute Interview series, will be in the Bay Area reading from his novel, The Great Inland Sea. He’ll be at the Book Passage in Corte Madera on August 3 at 1:00 PM, Black Oak Books in Berkeley on August 3 at 7:30 PM, and the Capitola Book Cafe on August 4 at 7:30 PM. (Apparently, Mr. Francis is intimidated by my hometown and won’t be making a stop here. Which is too bad, as the…read more

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If This is the Best AI They Can Come Up With, They Need a New Release.

Posted by in Technology

Fun with A.L.I.C.E. Bot: Human: How are you doing? alice : Great. How are you? human : okay alice : OK with me too. human : You just said that you were doing great. alice : Well now I doing something else. human : But now you’re okay. alice : Umm. Why now? Thanks for telling me that I am okay. human : Isn’t that an inconsistent mood? alice : ” Umm. Why now? Thanks for telling me that I am okay.”? Is it an inconsistent mood? human : are…read more

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Sort of a Photographic Supplement to Final Exit

Posted by in Everyday World

The Shanghaist has uncovered this helpful map for anyone looking to commit suicide in Shanghai. Fourteen areas are listed. Personally, I admire the over-the-top black icons against yellow-orange. The gang over at the Shanghaist hasn’t determined who authored and compiled this map. (via MeFi)

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The Pixies Are Dead

Posted by in Uncategorized

Jeff points to the sad honest truth. The Pixies are sellouts. Big time. Their ticket prices are aprocryphal (anywhere from $35-60 a show). And this concert rider illustrates that the Pixies are no different from any other bloated band making the rounds. “Veggie platter with hummous and sour cream dip?” Exactly 48 bottles of non-alcoholic beer? Fuck you, Black Francis. Eat me, Kim Deal. I have, in the face of several opportunities presented to me, resisted the impulse to plop down such a staggering sum of cash for a Pixies…read more

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Vanity Presses: The New Matchmakers?

Posted by in Uncategorized

While some publishers refrain from reading anything in the slush pile (with understandable justification) and it’s safe to say that vanity presses remain for the most part a successful mechanism to gouge unpublishable authors, this Telegraph article imputes a potential “gold mine” within these flashless fens. Consider the unlikely success of medical professor David Alric. Alric wrote a children’s novel called The Promised One and his tale of a schoolgirl who can talk to animals couldn’t find a publisher for his fiction — despite having authored several books on medicine….read more

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These Headlines Came and Spoke

Posted by in Uncategorized

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a delectable Friday, which means, aside from tonight’s unchronicled evening efforts of certain literary types who actually attempt to read a book while swinging back the shots (a multitasking enterprise that I am both incapable of and in awe of), this week’s final morning installment of the patented morning roundup. To wit: That the continued ascent of one Helen Oyeyemi, a mere twenty-one years old, continues unabated. That, despite quibbles from certain rakes, it would be incontrevertible to deny that this year’s Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winner,…read more

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WTV the Reviewer

Posted by in Uncategorized

Ms. Tangerine Muumuu herself alerts us to this review of the new Rushdie novel by none other than William T. Vollmann himself! (Regrettably, the review is inaccessible from the Publishers Weekly site and must be perused through Amazon.) It’s a starred review, but Vollmann quibbles over Rushdie’s depiction of Los Angeles, which “relies on references to popular culture that the place becomes a superficial parody of itself.” He notes that Rushdie’s female characters are “less plausible” than the male ones, his “sermonistic parallelism or repetition” (ironically, criticisms leveled at Vollmann’s…read more

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One Last Test

Posted by in Uncategorized

Dear Bloglines: Do you love this RSS feeds or not? You’re updating in spurts and, of course, I love you! Surely, you’ve received my dozen long-stemmed roses by now! So work for me with some regularity. Kiss kiss, Edward Champion.

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One Bush Street

Posted by in Uncategorized

Local photographer Thomas Hawk was harassed by security goons when taking photographs of One Bush Street: Yesterday I was shooting some photos of One Bush St. (the building where Bush and Market Streets intersect) when their security guard came out of his little glass jewelbox lobby hut to ask me to stop taking photos of the building. He said it was illegal. I moved to the sidewalk and continued taking photos and he again asked me to stop. When I told him I was on a public street sidewalk he…read more

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Petaluma Reading Alert

Posted by in Uncategorized

For any and all North Bay readers, the

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However, Ms. Vowell’s Evil Doppleganger, Sarah Consonantt, Is Mysteriously Unmentioned

Posted by in Uncategorized

Robert “U Can’t Touch Dis” Birnbaum, the hardest work literary interview in show business, is at it again, engaging in a second chat with Sarah Vowell. They talk about commercial viability, American history, reading in the sun, outdoors writers, and whether Ms. Vowell has considered writing fiction.

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After This, I Don’t Feel So Bad About Balding

Posted by in Uncategorized

Model vs. Photographer (NSFW): “[I]t was about the only truly creative idea I had ever had. While I’ve often seen photographers do nude self portraits, I had never seen a male photographer try to adopt the same poses as his female models.” (via MeFi)

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Do the Legwork, THEN Cry Me a Frickin’ River

Posted by in Uncategorized

Michelle Richmond asks, “Where’s the love for Trance?” Trance is Christopher Sorrentino’s new novel. And from where I’m sitting, there seems to be some love making the rounds. I’ve had a few positive emails about the book this week. Publishers Weekly editor Michael Scharf has been following Sorrentino on his book tour. So far, Scharf has two reports available online. But Michelle quotes from the latest installment (which isn’t yet available): The store has done its legwork: ads for series have gone in every major weekly. They’ve even printed up…read more

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Miguel Cohen on Film: “9 Songs”

Posted by in Uncategorized

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Miguel Cohen, who may or may not be the brother of Randy "The Ethicist" Cohen (he has yet to submit to a blood test), once appeared on these pages with a series of columns known as "The Un-Ethicist." He returned months later and made two efforts to summarize James Joyce's Ulysses. It's been a year since we last heard from Miguel. Until last week, when Miguel confessed to me that after a night out that he can barely remember, he had accidentally signed up for the Peace Corps...read more

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RSS Test

Posted by in Uncategorized

This is a quick test to see if the RSS feed is working. [UPDATE: Even though the XML feeds have been validated and appear through every other aggregator, they are still not showing up at Bloglines. I've emailed WordPress and, if I do not hear back from them, I will keep contacting them until I elicit a response and a fix.]

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Morning Roundup

Posted by in Uncategorized

Nora Sohnen asks whether anyone reads literary journals besides the contributors’ moms. Why yes! The audience also includes glue sniffers, inveterate magazine clippers, insomniacs, MFAs who went through the mandatory “How to read literary journals for life” seminar, and of course snarky literary bloggers. I’m truly hoping that this is a typo, but if it isn’t, it looks like men who are literary and unattractive. The daily five mile runs begin tomorrow. Actress Joan Allen took to iambic pentameter like a fish to water. Next up: haiku cadences! An artist’s…read more

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RSS Problems

Posted by in Uncategorized

Okay, everything’s good with Bloglines. Not so good with Sage. If anyone has any problems, please report them here. Name your RSS feeder of choice, the specific message you’re getting and I’ll do my best to fix it.

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Old Site? New Site?

Posted by in Uncategorized

Okay, I think I’ve killed the old template. It apparently cropped up last night. And the new feed (in the old feed) is working. Please report any and all problems here. This site should look the way it should now. (I hope!) Even though all of the comment has been imported into WordPress, I am still contending with the old MT reference points. Movable Type would not permit me to utilize a script that would generate the rediects for the 3,000 or so posts that are here. So I have…read more

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Redesign

Posted by in Uncategorized

Okay, bear with me as we get things squared away. It appears that I lost my entire blogroll. I have a backup somewhere. So I will restore this as soon as I can. In the meantime, please let me know if you encounter any problems.

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Baldness and Huzzahs

Posted by in Uncategorized

At the moment, we’re contemplating just how rapid our hair has receded in the past year. Quite literally, it has gone from a benign recession to something that is now quite serious. It is now falling out faster than snow. We tried buzzing it down short but, alas, the hair has continued to abscond from our scalp. We’ve contemplated doing away with it altogether. But the last thing San Francisco needs is another thirtysomething Lex Luthor clone running about. What next? Taking up running five miles a day and getting…read more

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Note to RSS Feed Readers

Posted by in Uncategorized

Due to forthcoming (and long overdue) events, you may or may not have to resubscribe to the feed (although it’s looking more like the former). I apologize for this. I am trying to figure out how to presere the feed as it stands so there will be no major hiccups. But I wanted to give you the head’s up. The good news is that you will soon have several feed formats to choose from. More to come. [UPDATE: Yup. Definitely not going to happen. You’re going to have to resubscribe….read more

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Not Fishing on Multiple Fronts

Posted by in Uncategorized

I had hoped to get to the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch this week. But I appear to be, once again, time-challenged. But congratulations to Maud for scoring a review. Posting will be light over the next day, as I work on a few things on multiple fronts. Including this front. In fact, it suddenly occurs to me that the notion of “multiple fronts” seems a contradiction in terms. How, for example, would multiple fronts apply when considering a full frontal nudity scene? In this case, there can be only one front….read more

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Segundo Central

Posted by in Uncategorized

A rudimentary site for the Bat Segundo Show is now up. More to come.

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Pelosi Reveals Number of Issues the Democrats Will Actually Fight For This Year

Posted by in Uncategorized

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Mass Market Paperback: Friend or Foe?

Posted by in Uncategorized

Sarah has an interesting post about mass market paperback ghettoization. She writes: But sometimes, it makes sense for a writer to be published in mass market PBO. Especially if they haven’t been heard from in some time. After the jump, I’ll talk of two writers being re-introduced using a marketing strategy that’s worked well in romance and might prove useful for mysteries as well. She points to Paul Levine and John Ramsey Miller, among many others, as examples. And while Sarah’s dealing specifically with mysteries, I should point out that…read more

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The Moral of the Story: If You’re Jean-Paul Gaultier, You’ll Be Gunned Down, But Not For Being French.

Posted by in Uncategorized

International Herald Tribune: “A statement Friday said that Menezes’ ‘clothing and his behavior at the station added to their suspicions,’ apparently referring to reports that he was wearing a bulky jacket on a summer day.”

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Remind Me to Leave My Cell Phone At Home More Often

Posted by in Uncategorized

Wired:”Cell phones know whom you called and which calls you dodged, but they can also record where you went, how much sleep you got and predict what you’re going to do next….People should not be too concerned about the data trails left by their phone, according to Chris Hoofnagle, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. ‘The location data and billing records is protected by statute, and carriers are under a duty of confidentiality to protect it,’ Hoofnagle said.” Shurrrrrrrrrrrrrre, Hoofnagle. And the Patriot Act wasn’t just extended for…read more

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Up Next in Slate: Meghan O’Rourke Expends 1,000 Words on Whether She Should Get a Nonfat Hazelnut Latte or an Espresso in the Morning

Posted by in Uncategorized

Slate: “The Kite Runner — Do I really have to read it?” This article — did you really have to write it?

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