Late Night Roundup

  • I looked at the clock a minute ago and it read differently from how it reads now. I do not know if it is a reliable clock, but I am considering taking it in and getting it replaced. The problem is that I purchased the clock quite some time ago and have since lost the receipt. I believe I purchased the clock for about $20 and I am wondering if any exotic entrepôt exists to understand and remedy my circumstances. Perhaps I have simply misperceived the clock. Or perhaps I should simply accept the clock’s strange temperament — that is, once I get past the sentiment that the clock is not cognizant. Maybe I’m the clock and the clock is the observer who reads me differently. I’d consider drinking at this point to place this predicament into some perspective. But I have accidentally ingested a double dose of Tylenol Chest Congestion pills, which indicates that it “helps loosen phlegm (mucus)* and thin bronchial secretions to make coughs more productive.” It was an accident because I relied on this clock, expecting to take my next dose “every 4-6 hours,” and the clock lied to me. I have also not detected any “thin bronchial secretions” and I have no way of knowing if my coughs are “more productive.” This phrasing seems to suggest that I am more a machine than an actual human being. And perhaps I look to the clock with the hopes of commiserating with a fellow machine. But what am I doing relying upon Tylenol catechisms and phrasings for advice? The whole point of this post was to offer a roundup at an incongruous time and here I am going into a needless segue about clocks and expectorants. Expect the unexpectorant. Expect further a bulleted item (or more) that actually pertains to current literary news.
  • Nicolas Cage and his son have decided to have you pay for their father-son bonding experience. If you ask me, this is a very shrewd marketing move, although the tax consequences now pertain to the paternal consequences and it could get very ugly, if Mr. Cage and his son Weston are not careful.
  • Like Carrie, I wish I could report upon my athletic triumphs. Alas, there have been none to speak of these days — in part because I contend with the effects of acetaminophen, which I don’t believe is particularly helpful in maintaining an exercise regimen. But I’m very happy for those who do report their athletic triumphs. We should all do this before what little remains of our personal liberties is taken away.
  • Tayari Jones offers a response to Martha Southgate’s essay. Southgate also offers this addendum.
  • I haven’t read as many romance novels as I should, but if it’s bad for me, perhaps I can report on this instead of athletic triumphs. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, demonstrating its dubious commitment to literature, has decided to serve up a bizarre she-said, she-said matchup over the issue of whether reading romances is bad for you. A few strange leaps in logic later and the romance defender is claiming that porn is bad for you. What neither of these two silly columnists tell you is that the National Foundation of Irresponsible Statistics has determined that asinine columns, particularly two extremely histrionic ones juxtaposed against each other, are 425% more harmful than porn, romance novels, and second-hand smoke combined. (via Smart Bitches, Trashy Books)
  • Arthur Salm talks with Susan Vreeland about what she reads.
  • Michelle Richmond goes Hollywood.
  • The Star investigates Jim Harrison’s gourmand tendencies.
  • This week’s New Yorker features a lengthy Margaret Talbot piece on liars.
  • Elizabeth Hand on Rick Moody.
  • Hasdai Westbrook on the Gunter Grass 92nd Street Y appearance.
  • As is typical of these “roundup” posts, they have become mere one-sentence summations. There is no witty barb to match each link. I have failed you, blog reader, and I shall flagellate myself with the nearest weapon when I am not as lazy. Because I realize this is unacceptable. Whether this is because of temporarily diagnosed ADD or fatigue, I cannot say. But with this, I send this post into the bristling online pastures — as sure an athletic triumph as I am bound to experience tonight.

* — Helpful, don’t you think, of the Tylenol company to offer this parenthetical comment, yes? All this time I had thought phlegm and mucus were two entirely separate concepts, without a biological Venn diagram to connect them. But now I have learned that phlegm is mucus too! Did I know this before? I shall ask the clock, which knows all!

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