Roundup on the Run

  • Now listen up, folks. The Oxford Word of the Year is “locavore.” I haven’t used this word at all this year — not in writing or conversation — and now I’m feeling some pressure to insert this in my everyday vernacular in ways that that the Oxford people, much less the progenitors of the word, haven’t possibly imagined.
  • When I think of literacy, Jenna Bush is one of the last names that come to mind. But all this makes me wonder how Dan Quayle is faring these days. (By the way, did you know that Quayle is the only was one of the few vice presidents in American history never to be nominated for the presidency by his own party?)
  • While the rest of you folks are getting all excited about the National Book Awards, the New York Daily News has been talking with Joseph O’Connor.
  • A rare first edition of Wuthering Heights will go on sale in London. One of the top bidders is rumored to be six-year-old Dalia Stafford, daughter of a tobacco tycoon. Stafford hopes that Daddy will bid on the book because she’s grown tired of commonplace coloring books and hopes for something a little more exotic to use her Crayolas on.
  • Marvel has kick-started an online archive of 2,500 back issues.
  • Writers warped on the big screen! It goes without saying that a writer’s life is far less glamorous than you think. (via Tayari)
  • Dan Green: not a fan of late Ian McEwan. Nor Steven Augustine.
  • Red beans and rice on Amtrak? What next? Tofurkey burgers? I’m not going to rest, folks, until I can order a tofurkey burger with a side of nacho cheese. I have no intention of eating this, mind you, but I want to teach Amtrak a lesson. (via Henry Kisor)
  • McSweeney’s 2? WTF? (via Tao)
  • I didn’t know this until today, but Dave Lull has a blog.
  • The ghosts of Conan Doyle.
  • Apparently, reading aloud helps the heart, the soul, and the mind. But the jury is out on whether it will help you get laid. Nevertheless, in light of a soliloquy I wrote for a play involving the benefits of counting, which had the character spouting off a lot of bullshit science, it’s funny to see that this character wasn’t too far off.
  • A report from Chad Post on a translation panel.
  • The Top Five Online Art Videos of 2007.
  • Kevin Holtsberry wants to know what makes a good blog. Do drop by and offer your thoughts.
  • Finally, the Other Ed is in great distress! He is trapped, Collyer brothers-style, in his apartment, and needs someone to excavate all the galleys and ARCs that have immersed him there. I have been spending the morning getting quotes from mercenaries. The best quote I have is from Oswald Grizzaldi, who can throw a few grenades into Mr. Park’s apartment for about $275. Which I think is a pretty reasonable price. Unfortunately, Mr. Grizzaldi cannot guarantee that Mr. Park will escape unmaimed. And Mr. Grizzaldi refuses to offer insurance for his operation, telling me that I need to keep him on retainer for at least six operations in order to ensure that nobody will get hurt. My thinking here is that a few other souls face the same plight that Mr. Park does. So if you need Mr. Grizzaldi to throw some grenades into your apartment, let me know and we’ll see if we can’t extract a few literary people out of their respective piles. In fact, maybe what’s needed here is a special forces unit dropping a few machetes in by chopper, along with an instruction manual titled HOW TO HACK YOUR WAY OUT OF A JUNGLE OF GALLEYS. The unexpected bonus? An unstoppable force of professionally trained machete-hackers who might find their skills called upon when the next revolution goes down. If you have any better ideas, please let me know. This is a matter of delicacy and urgency.


  1. Nelson Rockefeller, John Nance Garner, Henry Wallace, Alben Barkley. All fairly recent, and off the top of my head. There are no doubt more.


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