Recent posts

Sounds Familiar

2 minute read

Continuing the Richard Powers binge, I just yesterday finished reading Gain, which traces the corporate history of Clare International, a giant conglomerate much akin to the ill-fated Beatrice Foods. Remember Beatrice? If not, you’re not alone. The corporation only advertised its existence briefl...

Them Singin’, Dancin’ Demons Do It Every Time

less than 1 minute read

Inspired in part by the wonderful pulchritude, and in part by my own overindulgences, I’ve undertaken a plan of (somewhat) radical detoxing. The most significant aspect of my pretty much semi-annual attempt to achieve a less chemical existence is giving up caffeine, which has the immediate effect...


less than 1 minute read

Eek! I just downloaded and installed IE 5.2 for OS X, which counts among its improvements “support for the new Quartz text smoothing feature.” And boy, do things look smooth. I’m deeply unsure how I feel about this. For those of you* who don’t/can’t use IE 5.2 (and good for you), here’s a screens...

Rubbed Out

less than 1 minute read

Entertainment Weekly recently [reported](,6115,262643~3 16070~0~,00.html) on the latest shady doings from the world of la cosa nostra: Fairuza Balk, who appeared in The Sopranos‘ third-season finale as undercover FBI agent Deborah Ciccerone, taske...

Preparing for Re-Entry

less than 1 minute read

The last day in Hawaii, alas. Packing up the suitcase, hunting for the items lost beneath the bed. Realizing that I only took 8 pictures while I was here, and now this roll of film will languish in my camera until after Christmas, when I’ll finally take it to get developed and will open the envel...

Lessons I Wish I’d Learned Sooner

less than 1 minute read

1. Just because you read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn five years ago doesn’t mean you’ll remember its details during your orals.

Influence, Part II

1 minute read

Previously, on Planned Obsolescence: the book list, not as designator of “quality” or “greatness,” but rather of “influence,” which one intrepid reader understood to be the fluidity with which a book’s central concept made itself available to cocktail party chatter.

Hey, Where’s the Joy of Cooking?

1 minute read

In the spirit of two years ago, I’ve recently been directed to this list of the 100 Most Influential Books of the Century. The shift in directive — influence rather than “quality” — from all those other lists that came out in 1999-2000 makes this one a little more interesting. After all, it’s tou...