March 02, 2005



The only thing I've done is pose as a 35 year old women outside of high schools.

Old Hag

That three hour spinning class bodes well....

Bob Sassone

Mark, we need a little more detail on some of those...heh.

Here's my list for anyone interested:


Jim Ruland


Justine Musk

What was the restaurant? :)


It was called Arpege; it's the 7eme arrondissment, near the Rodin Museum. And "Lola," I should have mentioned that said affair took place in Paris.


Does MOTEV know all of this?


Who do you think TOOK me to Paris??


Hmmmph. All the way to Paris to round up desparate Sallys looking for love? What do you think closing time at the bar on Valentine's day is for? Good on you for getting MOTEV to fund the escapade, though.

John Shannon

I sneaked (NOT snuck) over the wall into Highgate Cemetary in London after dark to see Karl Marx' grave--and went into the wrong Highgate across the road. (If you remember, a famous movie star took flowers.)


Tell us where and when with the Liverpudlian ( probably not the femme d'un certain age, though). For the record, I once sang 'Endless Love' ( the couple's request, not a regular tune) at a wedding service.(Or as I call it, Endless Sluv). You don't say no when you're a 20 y.o. student with no regular income.


Can totally relate on the Beatles thing. There's an incriminating tape somewhere of a scrawny, shirtless nineteen year old version of me singing "Riders on the Storm" in a band I was in. It went on for about 27 minutes and turned into a strange speed metal version of the Doors.

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  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe


    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."