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Watching the Inauguration at Work


Gainin’ on ya

On the Strangeness of Soap

What Mark Elrod Said: Week 5


What Mark Elrod Said: Week 4

What Mark Elrod Said: Week 3

What Mark Elrod Said: Week 1




Why couldn’t Searcy have had this when I was growing up?

On Health Care, Briefly

So anyway

I’m caucusing for…

Continue reading “So anyway…”

Get your Undies

i hate christmas!

Snow Day

No longer is it enough to require your preteen to write three drafts of her her college entrance essays before she goes out to the mall. If you want her to get into Harvard, she better be reading by ten—months, that is.

The phenomena of Hardee’s marketing strategy—selling hamburgers to young, straight men like every Budweiser sells beer, with buxom women and caricatures—compares quite nicely with the “food” its franchises thaw and serve to customers such as this 1,000 calorie patchwork monster.

Restoring the church can too be done! Buy the book on eBay and find out how!

A Rule of Thumb

An expensive restaurant that does not prepare salads to order is overpriced.

Blech! Tiggers don't like hunny!

all those tomatoes

as i was happily reading TNR

another box, another 30

In Line

The midnight line for HP7 at Prairie Lights extended out the door and wound all through the shop.

30 more bucks

What 30 bucks will buy you...

Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs, writing for Time about the layers of secrecy surrounding Scholastic’s printing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows makes a keener point about reading than I usually expect from the likes of Time. However, I sympathize with Grossman’s and Sach’s point. They’re right about reading, that it’s not generally about spoilers, but about the phenomenon of reading itself and the discovery that participating in that phenomenon can engender.

Ring of Fire

Add to O’Rourke’s thesis that engagement rings symbolize a lot of attitudes that women don’t really want to be associated with anymore the fact that diamonds are symbols of exploitative labor practices that range from murderous to shameful, and the whole engagement scene suddenly reveals itself to have been reeking for a long, long time.

Fingers Crossed

K is flying home late tonight, and if things go bad, might have to stay another night in O’Hare.

My local newspaper’s Opinion Editor, JCC, complete with clunky literary allusion and backhanded slap at readers (both moves are characteristic), is recruiting bloggers.

Less than two hours left

Our wedding cost us hardly a thing.


As much as we’re online in our house, it’s absurd that we’re still on dialup, but high-speed rates here have been exorbitant.

I See London, I See Pants

It didn’t happen every day, but it happened often enough that it was disconcerting. When she wore the pants, strangers—thin usually, dressed in linen, with puffy eyes—would sniff the air.

Symmetry in Retail

All images are from this photo essay in Mother Jones of the Copia Project by Brian Ulrich, an attempt to document and critique consumerism as a political act.

Optiva Smackdown

All it took was a winter of discontent and a petition to call for a new vote on the name of my credit union.

Book Buying

I visited local used bookstores today, petted a cat, and bought some books.

What can’t you buy? And a missive on the escalation speech.

On Sanitation

Do you use those paper toilet seat covers?

How to report the shopping news.

Book and Pills

Read Half of a Yellow Sun, then take some Upitrol and have some fun.


On the continuing slow death of my G3, reading books, and Wal-Mart’s monopsony power.


I believe that every structure comes with its special set of idiosyncracies, which others in other eras might have called household gods, which must be acknowledged/placated if the moving-in is to be at all successful.

One month to go

On finding a place to rent in Iowa City.

Fashionista, Arise!

Never again will I buy anything from Eddie Bauer.


On the woes of Football… no, silly, not American Football. FOOTBALL

I am an American aquarium drinker,
I assasin down the avenue

we are people who like things to mean something

Da Vinci Code

it’s not a movie for all seasons, but it’s a movie


What I’m reading now—little more, little less.

Things that are Fake

The San Antonio River and the desire for “authentic masculinity” are one and the same thing.

TV Hell

Years ago, when we lived in an apartment with ceilings low enough to make us both feel tall, we learned something important about cable television in Iowa City: Pay for Basic, get Family.

Consuming the Gospel

The only Gospel consumed around here is John’s scroll or the weekly consumption of the Host.

this just in...from DC

the president promises to use less oil

Artistic Promise

No more detracting from Franklin. It’s time to promote family.


Literary magazines deserve more readers.

putting it off

a movie and a book

Revaluing Harry Potter, &c.

I no longer think The Goblet of Fire the worst of the Harry Potter movies.

Somebody, after all, has to write something around here!

Cold Snap

It’s drudgery, really, that’s easy enough so long as I can stay awake throughout the day. Best about it is the overtime, which began yesterday and which I intend to take full advantage of so long as it lasts.

Sestina Selection

I have the habit of checking out McSweeney’s online every week or so.

Taking Care of Business?

I’ve begun reading Thomas Merton, and taking a vow of poverty has never looked more attractive.