June 6th, 2005


Monday, with memeage

Slept in on Sunday until around noon, but managed to get to Mass anyway...the 7 PM at Our Lady of Lourdes, which I think of as the "summertime church" because of all the Sundays in 1995 and 1996 when I would work on the RBR all day, pile the kids into the K-car and then make the mad dash through downtown to make the last service in the Twin Cities. It hasn't changed at all. No entrance hymn, no recessional; the priest just comes out and starts the Mass. Zip, zoom, readings, Communion, announcements, bang, you're done. Half an hour long. It reminds me of the "Tiger Team" Masses my mother used to take me to at Elmendorf AFB when I was a little kid - seven AM Masses, the base chapel absolutely packed with airmen and officers and wives and kids. Lot of energy there.

Aside from that, spent the afternoon throwing CDs up on eBay, then got the suit back to the rental joint, hit B&N to pick up P.J. O'Rourke's Peace Kills and the revised edition of Leo Rosten's The Joy Of Yiddish...I would have preferred Dad's copy, but I'm 90% sure it got eaten (like so many of his books) by my brother's furshlugginer bulldog some years back. Leisurely large salad-oriented dinner at Q. Cumbers followed, then purchase of new air filter for Kia and finally mad dash down 35W to downtown for Mass.

And because edminster asked, my six favorite songs:
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Cobb interprets Cosby:

Nobody on any side of the debate expects those 'who weren't holding up their end of the bargain' to waltz into college. Cosby represents the sentinel at the gateway to the American college educated middle class. No foul mouths. No teenage parents. No drug addicts. No thugs. No thieves. No dropouts. No slackers. No exceptions. Everyone, black, white, foreign and domestic knows those rules and very few question them. It's no more assimilationist than any foreign exchange student's visa. It's Old School and it's right.

RTWT. And yes, I mean the comments, too.

They don't know Jack.

Ann Althouse quotes onetime WABC DJ Cousin Brucie about the iPod and the "Jack" radio format, which cost him his job and has spread like athlete's foot around the country, locally to 104.1 where it replaced the Mix format oriented around 1980s music. I don't like it either, but not for the same reasons as the good Professor.
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Michele has some comments on the passing of WABC as well. She and Professor Althouse like 60s music more than I ever did. Obviously.

6/7/05 Update Add Mitch Berg to the list of folks unimpressed with Jack.

What the well-read wombat has been reading...

I guess the HALO books (The Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike) by Eric Nylund and William Dietz qualify as very pleasant surprises. They basically cover the events that take place in the original HALO game, with some background added that explains where the Spartans (including the Master Chief) came from. I wasn't expecting much when I picked these up, but all three of them were good, solidly written combat SF. To be completely honest, I figured Dietz' novel - the middle one of the trilogy - would be okay since I've read other works by him and not been disappointed, but Nylund's books, well, who knew? He turns out to be every bit as competent as Dietz.

I've always been a big fan of P.J. O'Rourke's, ever since he was the token Republican on the Rolling Stone masthead, and have always gotten a decent quantity of yucks out of his books. Peace Kills is no exception. Parts of it made me laugh so hard on Sunday that people came over to ask what I was reading. It's a bit short, I think, but it's good.

Unfortunately, The New Joy of Yiddish isn't, so much. The key is the understated "Revised by Lawrence Bush" at the bottom of the cover, which imao is false advertising and should read "Rewritten". The original book by Leo Rosten was a funny, easy-to-read introduction to the second language of American (Ashkenazi) Jews, but this new edition can't decide whether it wants to be a scholarly tome or an ad for Reconstructonist Judaism, which pops up in the obnoxiously intrusive footnotes every other page. (One can judge what Rosten would have thought of the Reconstructionists from all the pokes at Reform Jews to be found in the original. They're so numerous as to make Bush complain in one footnote "Enough with the Reform jokes already!") As if that weren't annoying and distracting enough, Bush clutters up the book with the "authentic" spelling of Yiddish words as determined by the YIVO Institute in Israel, which nobody living here in the States really gives a flying fart about, any more than we pay attention to the vaporings of the Academie Francaise when it tells us what proper French is. Hey, we have relatives in Quebec, whaddaya mean we don't know how to speak French? Or, in my case, spell chachma? Adding to the irritation is Bush's rearrangement of the words in accordance with the YIVO spelling, for which he deserves a zetz in tuchis (kick in the ass). Save yourself the annoyance. Go find a used copy of the original; the revision is dreck. Calling it chozzerai would be far too kind. EDIT Actually, the word I was looking for is ongepotchket.

On a happier note, Viz has begun translating Akira Toriyama's Doctor Slump. This bizarre little manga mainly revolves around the misadventures of the genius doctor and his greatest creation, the robot Arale. Lots of the anarchic, slapstick humor that works better in manga (for me, anyway) than it does in anime; who'd have thought the guy responsible for the Dragonball Z manga would have come out with this?
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