- I am the sort of writer who has to stop after every sentence and ask,
"Is there any way to express that without a semicolon?"
- I was interested to read that the state tax credits for the Chevy Volt
line up thusly:
Utah $600 California $1500 Maryland $2000 Tennessee $2500 Pennsylvania $3500 Illinois $4000 Colorado $6000 West Virginia $7500
I was like, buh? West Virginia? But I guess it makes sense — West Virginia doesn't have oil but it does have coal, so if the theory is that electric cars will mean more coal plants…
- I was doing a Sporcle quiz about identifying soda cans with the names
removed; it is extremely rare that I drink soda, and has been rare for 20+
years, so I didn't do very well. There were a bunch of lemon-lime ones
that I didn't recognize, but I figured one of them had to be Slice because
that was the lemon-lime soda we usually got when I was a kid. I was
wrong — apparently Slice is all but defunct these days. Out of
curiosity, I pulled up an image of a Slice can:
Oh, man. That looks really old. Which means I am really old for having consumed this when it was new. But wait! That doesn't match my memory of the cans we got! Maybe the updated version looks fresher—
Okay, I give up. I'm old.
- Speaking of being old, there's a street festival held right outside
my door every September, so I finally heard (many times) that
"We Are Young"
song that apparently was #1 for just about all of this spring and seems
like a good candidate to enter history as the Gen-Y anthem much as "Smells
Like Teen Spirit" is the Gen-X one. (Even the videos are pretty similar.)
Early verdict: a killer chorus searching for a song to be in, but still a
winner overall. One thing I like about it is that it comes with enough
latent melancholy baked in that all the Millennial kids can get choked up
listening to it in the 2030s realizing that it's no longer true.
- Also, even though it is not my usual sort of thing, count me as
someone who thinks
is a winner. I really like how the sung section sounds exactly
like the music I used to listen to when I was a kid and first started
collecting 45s (except, y'know, in Korean), then breaks down in a way that
a song from 1983 wouldn't and reminds us that we're living in the future.
- I wish Pandora had a mode that would put lesser known songs into your
playlist so you can discover new music, or rather, old music that is new
to you. When I use a bunch of obscure '80s titles as seeds, it should
recognize that I'm not looking for it to feed me a bunch of Top 10 singles
from the same era.
- Elizabeth was amused by the Amazon reviews for the infamous
Bic for Her, but I dunno — I might think this was a
sillier idea if I hadn't spent ten years teaching math to teenage
girls 90% of whom had pink calculators.
- People used to ask what Twitter is good for — you know, who
cares about a bunch of people saying "I'm eating a sandwich now" and all
that. My answer: I heard that Andy Murray had won the U.S. Open, and I
wanted to read a bunch of Ivan Lendl jokes, and thanks to Twitter, bang,
there they were.
In other tennis news: goddammit, Japan.
- Here is a comment completely typical of recipe sites — this
is for a cookie recipe:
Four stars! I used chocolate instead of mint, reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup, doubled the baking soda, and added two tablespoons of vanilla.
Yeah, thanks. I'm tempted to post a follow-up saying, "I too thought this recipe was great! But instead of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, I used tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, and pasta sheets, and it came out as more of a lasagna. Four stars!"
- I've noticed that a lot of parents on my social networks have been
crowing lately that they have hooked their kids on some decades-old
cultural artifact or another. What's that about? I remember that when
I was a kid, yes, the Baby Boomers thought the cultural touchstones of
their generation were the best, and the mass media was full of
Boomer self-absorption, and it pissed me off… but at least it
wasn't evangelical. I dunno, maybe if Facebook had been around
in 1982 it would have been full of parents announcing that nothing was
greater than watching their kids dancing around the house to the theme
- This may have made the rounds already, but in case you haven't seen
it, here's a link Elizabeth sent me:
pictures of families from around the world posing with their weekly food
purchases. Of note: the two most expensive spreads, those of Germany
and the United States, strike me as close to inedible —
the American one in particular contains virtually nothing that I would
- It is strange to me that Joe Biden has this reputation, fostered
primarily but not exclusively by The Onion, for being a boozehound
living the life of Matthew McConaughey's character in Dazed and
Confused. It's not a caricature, in that it doesn't exaggerate Biden's
actual characteristics — it seems to have been made up out of
whole cloth. (For one thing, the man has had a grand total of one drink
in his life.) And it's not like the actual Joe Biden is hard to
caricature — it seems to me that it'd be pretty easy. What
always strikes me about Biden is his lack of the emotional filters one
might expect given his demographic and his position. Look at his convention
speech: "I remember my dad coming up the stairs in my grandpop's house where
we were living, sitting on the end of my bed, and saying, 'Joey, I'm going
to have to leave for a while. Go down to Wilmington, Delaware, with Uncle
Frank, there are good jobs down there, honey…'" How many other
male, 70-ish politicians can you imagine telling stories about
their dads calling them 'honey'?" It seems to me that "Joe Biden
Bounces Check at Liquor Store" or "Joe Biden Cooling His Heels in Mexico"
are a lot farther from the mark than something like "Joe Biden Appears
Before U.N., Reads Jonathan Livingston Seagull to General Assembly".
- I was walking down a quiet residential street when I heard multiple
blasts of what sounded like a toy phaser gun from the early '80s. I looked
around and soon found the source: an old lady was walking along the other
side of the street, and on her shoulder was a large green parrot treating
the neighborhood to Mattel Electronics' greatest hits.
- I was looking at the Google Maps 45° aerial shot of the house I
grew up in, and after a moment I noticed something: whoever moved into the
house next door knocked the whole thing down and put up an entirely new,
much larger house that takes up nearly the entire lot! I used to play
basketball over there because there was a hoop set up in the driveway,
not even attached to the roof but on its own pole set into the
concrete… and that whole area has now been engulfed by the house.
No idea if there's a car elevator in there anywhere.